The Origins of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”

In 1815, the eruption of Mount Tambora plunged parts of the world into darkness and marked a gloomy period that came to be known as The Year Without a Summer. So when Mary and Percy Shelley arrived at the House of Lord Byron on Lake Geneva, their vacation was mostly spent indoors. For amusement, Byron proposed a challenge to his literary companions: Who could write the most chilling ghost story? This sparked an idea in 18-year-old Mary. Over the next few months, she would craft the story of Frankenstein.

Popular depictions may evoke a green and groaning figure, but that’s not Mary Shelley’s monster. In fact, in the book, Frankenstein refers to the nameless monster’s maker, Dr. Victor Frankenstein. So tense is the struggle between creator and creature that the two have merged in our collective imagination.

The book traces Dr. Frankenstein’s futile quest to impart and sustain life. He constructs his monster part by part from dead matter and electrifies it into conscious being. Upon completing the experiment, however, he’s horrified at the result and flees. But time and space aren’t enough to banish the abandoned monster, and the plot turns on a chilling chase between the two.

Shelley subtitled her fireside ghost story, “The Modern Prometheus.” That’s in reference to the Greek myth of the Titan Prometheus who stole fire from the gods and gave it to humanity. This gave humanity knowledge and power, but for tampering with the status quo, Prometheus was chained to a rock and eaten by vultures for eternity. Prometheus enjoyed a resurgence in the literature of the Romantic Period during the 18th century. Mary was a prominent Romantic, and shared the movement’s appreciation for nature, emotion, and the purity of art. The Romantics used these mythical references to signal the purity of the Ancient World in contrast to modernity. They typically regarded science with suspicion, and “Frankenstein” is one of the first cautionary tales about artificial intelligence. For Shelley, the terror was not supernatural, but born in a lab.

In addition, gothic devices infuse the text. The gothic genre is characterized by unease, eerie settings, the grotesque, and the fear of oblivion - all elements that can be seen in “Frankenstein.” But this horror had roots in personal trauma, as well. The text is filled with references to Shelley’s own circumstances. Born in 1797, Mary was the child of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Both were radical intellectual figures, and her mother’s book, “A Vindication of the Rights of Women,” is a key feminist text. Tragically, she died as a result of complications from Mary’s birth. Mary was haunted by her mother’s death, and later experienced her own problems with childbirth. She became pregnant following her elopement with Percy at 16, but that baby died shortly after birth. Out of four more pregnancies, only one of their children survived. Some critics have linked this tragedy to the themes explored in “Frankenstein.” Shelley depicts birth as both creative and destructive, and the monster becomes a disfigured mirror of the natural cycle of life. 

The monster, therefore, embodies Dr. Frankenstein’s corruption of nature in the quest for glory. This constitutes his fatal flaw, or hamartia. His god complex is most clear in the line, “Life and death appear to me ideal bounds which I should first break through and pour a torrent of light onto our dark world.” Although he accomplishes something awe-inspiring, he has played with fire at his own ethical expense. And that decision echoes throughout the novel, which is full of references to fire and imagery that contrasts light and dark. These moments suggest not only the spark of Prometheus’s fire, but the power of radical ideas to expose darker areas of life.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Everything you need to know to read “Frankenstein” - Iseult Gillespie

Animation by Silvia Prietov

one horrible thing about transmedicalism is that it places the judgement of the medical industry over the bodily autonomy of people who seek medical transition.

hypothetically: if i want to undergo hormone replacement therapy and i understand the medical effects & possible complications & implications on my health, why should i be prevented from doing so on the basis of dysphoria or identity?

i say: that’s a personal decision that I should be able to make for myself. How is HRT or any other medical transition service less of an ethically personal decision than, say, tattoos, body modification, aesthetic plastic surgery, getting ones fallopian tubes tied, getting a vasectomy?

if a cis woman wants breast implants, that’s considered by many to be an ethically personal decision, not something she should have to fulfill some strict diagnostic criteria. Why, ethically, would we not extend the same social consideration to trans women? or, in fact, ANY person who wants such a procedure?

of course people defend transmedicalism & gatekeeping on the basis of “insurance billing” yet i have had no problem billing my insurance for informed consent transgender health care. & furthermore, fuck it, i’m a communist, i believe that all healthcare should be free. it doesn’t matter if it’s “necessary” or “unnecessary” it should all be free.

people also defend transmedicalism and gatekeeping on the basis of “people transitioning unnecessarily and making the trans community look bad,” but to that i say SHAME! shame on you for judging people based on how ~respectable~ they are, on how ~politically convenient~ they are to YOU. People’s destinies should belong to themselves!

People get ugly tattoos, but I still believe in everyone’s right to get tattoos.

People also defend transmedicalism and gatekeeping on the basis of people who ended up regretting their medical transition. Personally I don’t get this either, because again I must restate how people must be allowed to retain their bodily autonomy.

Let people make decisions regarding themselves, for themselves.

Dylan's Sixteenth Birthday
Sue Klebold A Mother's Reckoning
Dylan's Sixteenth Birthday

Sixteenth Birthday: 

“Guys, I don’t want to make a big deal out of this.”

Dylan turned sixteen in September. When Tom and I suggested a party, he demurred: “Guys, I don’t want to make a big deal out of this.” But a sixteenth birthday is a milestone, and Tom and I wanted to mark it for Dylan.

Our family tradition was to go to a restaurant of the celebrant’s choice. That year, Dylan chose a barbecue restaurant with a 1940s classic movie theme. Byron couldn’t get anyone to cover him at work. While we hated for him to miss his brother’s birthday celebration, we were pleased to see evidence of his work ethic and supported his decision not to attend. Plus, Tom and I had a surprise planned: although Dylan’s friend Zack also had to work that night, we’d arranged for Eric and Nate to meet us at the restaurant.

Dylan was genuinely surprised to see his friends. So surprised, it took him half the evening to loosen up and start enjoying himself. I was sympathetic. He was attuned to the slightest of social discomforts, though Nate and Eric found us much less embarrassing than he did. Dylan knew of our intolerance for rudeness and picky eaters as well, and was probably worried about how his friends would behave. Over the course of the night, though, he relaxed, and with good humor he thanked us for overriding his protests and surprising him. But the roller-coaster ride was about to begin.

Later that month, he woke up in the middle of the night with terrible stomach pains. We were concerned enough to take him to the emergency room, where they ruled out appendicitis and everything else. Puzzled, the doctors released him, and he appeared to recover completely. I would later learn that unexplained somatic symptoms, particularly abdominal pain, may be a
marker for depression.

I- Um- Feels.


Prompt: (Sonic Forces, cause I can’t stop thinking of scenarios xD ahhh!!! lol)

After a pretty big fight concerning leadership decisions and ethical standings, Amy stormed off away from the team, and carried off Classic her too.

Once far enough away, Amy tried to make a plan for retrieving the Ancient Powered Gears that Eggman was using to control the world and get his wishes and way.

She paced back and forth, as Classic Amy seemed worried about her, before looking over her shoulder, concerned as well that she wasn’t able to be with her hero…

“We could do this in a safe, strategic, and morally correct way where no one needs to get hurt or feel used and unappreciated. Don’t you think my plan will work, little m- ROSIE!”

Classic Amy twitched at her nickname, and swiftly spun around, sitting on her knees politely, she shivered slightly at the abrupt noise, before pouting at how rude it was to yell her thoughts away from Sonic.

Amy bent down and placed her hands on her hips, looking upset she wasn’t listening, and slightly frustrated too.

When she saw her face, she immediately knew what she was feeling… and her heart filled with loneliness too…

It just… wasn’t like how it was before… But she still wondered…

“I know, little me… I know.” she turned her head down and away, placing a fisted-hand up to her chest, and seeming sorrowful.

“I-… Ohh! I would miss him more if he wasn’t being so.. so.. difficult!” She stomped her foot down and looked away.

Classic Amy bent her ears slightly and smiled emphatically, before her ears perked up with a spinning noise and she turned around, jumping to her feet.

Holding her hands in light fists up to her face, she scanned over the area.

“Huh? That sound..?” Amy turned, and immediately looked hopefully surprised for something, and raced to Classic Amy’s side, before stepping further up…

When the two heard it again, Classic Amy’s face lit up, seeing a stream of blue light coming over and arching down the hill.

“…He came back…” Modern Amy breathed out, as if amazed and touched. “He came back for me…” She stepped a few, several wobbly steps forward.

When the streak of blue swerved towards the girls, Classic Amy jumped in a type of happy-victory dance, and waved both hands up wide to signal where they were.

In amazement, Modern Amy stopped.

When the light drew closer, she squinted her eyes…

It.. it was small.

The light dimmed to reveal a small stature, but a determined little face, holding a striking stare that could only mean annoyance.

“…It’s not-…” she stumbled backwards, lowering her hands and looking down.


Had he not forgiven her?

Was he not going to come back?

Classic Sonic sped right past Modern Amy, as she held her head down, her eyes covered in shadows, as her hair moved with his speed in a delicate, but swift motion.

Bouncing giddily at her hero’s appearence, Classic Amy hopped to the side and waited for him to skid to a halt.

In the which case, he paused and put his hands on his hips, leaning forward as if to scold her a moment, though realizing it wasn’t entirely her fault for being whisked away by her older self.

He leaned back and rolled his eyes, clearly there for her and her alone.

She seemed to squee and jump towards him, hugging him as he struggled slightly but didn’t push her away.

Hearing Classic Amy’s happy, joyful sounds made Modern Amy grit her teeth and tighten her fists.

She flung herself around.

“She’s not going ANYWHERE.”

Classic Sonic had gotten Classic Amy to let go, and had his arms folded as he looked to her, before being shocked and frankly spooked a bit at Amy’s alarming declaration as she marched over and scooped up Classic Amy again, holding her over her shoulder.

Classic Amy blinked her eyes, not sure what was going on, but not fighting it either it seemed.

For a moment, she lay limp, still used to getting captured. But after a moment, she started kicking her legs and flailing her arms out to her hero, wanting to be put down and rejoin with him in his arms~<3

“Hmph.” Modern Amy glared down at Classic Sonic, before swiping her head to the right, and puffing up her cheek.

“If you want her, you fight for her!”

Classic Sonic raised an eyebrow, not sure how to take that declaration, before bending his knees and ducking his head, looking ready to fight.

Amy flinched, lifting and withdrawing a hand back. “Yeesh! I didn’t mean for you to get all serious like that!” she blinked in worry… before…

He spun into a tight ball and started jamming into her head like a homing attack x 4.

She was knocked back quite a few times before summoning her hammer, flailing it around as she closed her eyes, not wanting to get hit anymore.

“Q-quit that! You-!! Why you little-! Stooop!!!” she swung around but he landed a little aways from her, folded his arms and faced her from the back.

He shook his head, thinking this ridiculous, before sighing.

He looked up just then, seeing a taller figure as a hand came down from above him and gestured in a bob of itself to remain calm.

“Don’t worry, buddy. I got this…”

It was a calm and affirming voice, one that sounded trustworthy, as Classic Sonic didn’t quite understand, but allowed him to pass and didn’t torment the older Amy any further.

Classic Amy had her eyes filled with swirls, dizzy from the spinning and rapid movements, as Modern Amy kept trying to dodge invisible attacks she thought were still around her.

With her eyes squinted shut, she didn’t see a hand grip her hammer, stopping it from it’s random movements.

“H-huh?” Amy noticed the power struggle shift a moment, and didn’t remember Classic Sonic being so…


“What are you trying to do? Fight the wind?” Sonic shook his head, and let her hammer go.

“Hand over little you. My other me is worried about her.” he gestured to Classic Sonic a little ways away, as he did look pretty fed up with Amy’s rebellion, and outstretched his hand.

Amy looked at that hand… wishing to trust it again, but feeling hurt from before, and held onto her younger self tighter, bringing her in front of her and pulling her away from him.

“No! I won’t let him miss treat her like a toy!”

The word caught both Sonic’s off guard, and the hand immediately withdrew in a painful flinch.

The look of surprise and hurt was apparent, before Classic Sonic lost his temper, and sped forward.

He stomped the ground and let his anger full force be known, and then threw out his hand, demanding the girl!

Classic Amy looked down, innocent to his actions, and tilted her head, looking like she didn’t quite understand.

Sonic looked down, understanding his frustrations, and how he wasn’t used to Amy’s new behavior in the future…

He glared up at her, showing his frustrations too. “Amy! Quit this!” he swished his hand out in front of him.

“You’re not helping!”

“I’m trying to help, Sonic! If you would only listen to me!”

“Listen to what?! Amy? You’ve been at my throat since I got here. Why are you so against me!?” he spread his arms out, as Classic Sonic tapped his toe, folding his arms again, realizing the only way to get Amy was probably to let them talk things out, but he was growing impatient with that tactic…

“I’m not against you! How could you say such a thing! I thought.. for a moment I thought you weren’t coming back!” her anger suddenly turned to her true sorrow, and Sonic suddenly lost some of his anger’s fire through the water of her beginning tears…

She held them back, beautifully, though.

He also held himself back now, standing more up and trying a new tactic too..


“All I’ve wanted to do is help you! And all you keep doing is ignoring me! You give orders and you leave as if you haven’t been gone for so long! You make such rash decisions and don’t think of the lives at stake here! I’m not trying to fight you, Sonic! I have a bigger issue concerning a common enemy to even DARE and think such a thing!” she pointed an arm out and towards the sky, gesturing to Eggman’s large robots.

Sonic’s eyes followed the notion, before frowning deeply and looking back at her, still not sure what she was getting at.

“Then why do you fight me?” He asked this pretty tenderly, as if truly seeking understanding instead of an argument over ideals for a change.

He motioned his arms out, stepping forward, as Amy avoided the gestured by looking away.

“All I’ve been trying to do is save lives here… yours included, Amy…”

Getting annoyed with the touchy-feely way this conversation was going, Classic Sonic twitched an eyebrow, opening his eyes and finally being done waiting.

He saw the opportunity to grab his era’s Amy when her hand moved away, and bounced up to kick her other arm away as she was avoiding eye-contact.


Classic Amy jumped into his arms, wrapping her hands around him, as he quickly got down and took off, having what he came for.

“Little me-!”

Amy reached out and started to run after them, but Sonic turned around and gripped her arm, pulling her back.

“Let them go.”

“N-no! I don’t want her to feel… to feel…” she could barely even utter the word, her mouth trembled shut when she attempted too, and little whimpers slightly escaped her as she tried to form the breath to say it.

He pulled her back into his arms, and put an arm around in front of her, slightly below the neck.

She reflexed a hand up and gripped the arm, blinking her eyes wildly as tears threatened once more, and she looked to the ground, then out to where they ran off too.

She opened her mouth before closing it again, hearing him speak just behind her lowered head.

“Feel what… Amy?”

Classic Sonic sped off as Classic Amy smiled and leaned into his embrace, before feeling something was unright, and looked over his shoulder.

Her eyes filled with compassion when she saw her older self throw her hands over her eyes, and be turned around as the older Sonic held her, tightening his hold and seeming to comfort her.

She made a face of shocked horror, realizing her older self needed her.

She looked angrily up at her Sonic, and kicked and struggled as it threw him off course.

He made a video game noise of slipping up and wobbling, as if being hit, and skidded to a halt over the dew’d grass, and then turned his head to her, narrowing his eyes as he searched for understanding in his confusion of her actions.

She made another noise and pointed behind her, back to their future selves.

He turned around to look over his shoulder, and twitched at the intimate scene he saw going on.

He shook his head, in what looked to be fear, and reered a leg up with Amy to the side in his arms as if ready to dash off.

She puffed up a cheek, and bonked him with her hammer on his head.

His eyes swirled as rings plopped out, and then shook his head from the effect and glared back at her, pouting.

She looked more sincerely to him, tilting her as if saying, ‘come on..!’ and showing she was truly worried about them.

Classic Sonic leaned his head up and away from her, but his eyes stayed fixed.

His ears drooped back in frustration, but he couldn’t resist her heartfelt plea.

He turned back to the Modern tragedy, and sighed, before racing back to them.

Sonic looked up from Amy crying and moved slightly, as Amy felt the shift and turned her head back to their Classic selves.

Classic Sonic stared at her a moment, not really liking her, but put his Amy down and folded his arms, waiting once more.

She nodded to him, a huge smile as to say ‘thank you for waiting for me’ and then ran up to Amy with a skip in her step.

Amy knelt down.

“I’m sorry… I pulled you away from your hero. All because me and my Sonic were fighting…” she put a hand up to her eye, wiping it gently. “I was… I was jealous… and embarrassed… because I knew you expected so much more from your future.” she bent her head down. “Sonic’s not always mean… And he doesn’t mean to be sometimes, but..”

Modern Sonic’s shoulders dropped as air escaped his nostrils, and he looked away, feeling awkward about being called out.

His younger self raised a judging brow to that comment, and looked to his future self.

Modern Sonic doubled-taked his expression before stomping a foot down and lifting a fist, warning him indirectly to quit judging him.

He then pulled back to turn away.

“Either way. I’m sorry for my selfish behavior. Me and Sonic are going to have a long talk now. So you can go. We’ll be okay. Many challenges can come up when you have close friends. But…” she looked down to the side, before up behind her at Sonic.

“Greater friends put differences behind them. And walk on towards a brighter future.” she smiled, as Sonic looked back to her, and then away to scratch his nose, as if embarrassed.

She giggled and turned back to Classic Amy.

Once she turned around, and he checked with his eyes to be sure of this, he leaned up to address Classic Amy, and held up a thumbs up and a signature wink with a smile.

It was as if he was telling her it would be alright too.

Seeing that the two were going to make-up made Classic Amy’s worried expression of love turn to pure delight, and she did her usual dance and happy twirling of jumps before rushing into Modern Amy’s arms and hugging her.

Once done, she raced back to her hero, who casually, as if duty, just scooped her back up without much care for the Modern scenario and walked off a moment, bouncing Classic Amy in his arms to get a good hold on her.

Also… it made her laugh, that could have contributed to the action too.

Modern Amy smiled when she saw them leave, before returning to a small, neutral frown and getting up, dusting off her dress.

“…You ready?” Sonic turned back to her, and offered his hand.

“….Em.” she looked at him, then the hand, and accepting a new trust needed to be formed, along with a new understanding, she took it.

The two, led by Sonic, walked off further down and away from humanity, finding some privacy.

“I’m… not good with compromises Amy… but I can explain… a little, of what I was doing so far away from everything.” he looked down, kicking the ground.

She nodded, her hand still in his.

“…I don’t want you to think… that it’s… entirely because of what I’m going to say. But i hope it explains my behavior lately…. especially towards you.”

She nodded again, wiping her eyes.

“…I… We’ve been getting..*ehem* we’ve spent a lot of time getting to know each other, you know?”

He let go of her hand, and threw his arms up behind his head.

She was surprised and perplexed by his suddenly shift in uneasiness, and blinked up at him.


He stared off towards the sun.

“…We… We’ve *Ehem* had a lot of adventures together… you know?” he once again dropped his hands and continued to press his toe into the dirt.

“Makes a guy think… exactly… what this is… It’s difficult for me to really call it anything… or place a title on it… but…” he turned away and walked on, looking up again.

“Made me think. That’s all.”

She was suddenly, and very slowly, growing more and more interested in what he was trying to say.

She followed, suspiciously, behind him.

“What you took for um…*cough, ehem* ‘Anger’ was actually a cover.” Sonic placed a fist over his mouth, as if this was hard for him to articulate.

Amy’s stare held, before her eyes widened.


“… was the cover?”

Sonic turned back around, facing her.

The light through the sky seemed to blare over the image of the two, details were lost, but words were crisp and clear…

He looked down again after a moment of staring.

His feet kicked up slowly over the other.

“That’s the thing… that’s hard for me to address… one I can’t name. Nor identify…”

He stopped closer in front of her, and slowly… rose his head up to her eyes.

“Out of fear.”

The wind rushed by.

Amy’s hair gently floated behind her, as she slowly held a hand up to her chest in a tight ball again, her heart pounding.

He looked at her expression, then her eyes, trying to read what she was getting from all this.

He looked away again, and walked briskly ahead once again, swinging his arms around.

“I can’t say I have an answer! But half the reason I wasn’t around for so long was one, the Gears, and two, some thoughts. More things popped up, but the thoughts were the most present and…”

He stopped from his carefree facade, and turned back to her… then swished his head away as if embarrassed or ashamed at his next word.



He immediately noticed her expression and grew shyer, more defensive, and especially continued to avoid being directly assertive again.

“Ehem.” he cleared his throat once more and folded his arms, looking away. “We should head back. I’ll try and be more considerate of your feelings this time. I’ll let you battle more and even take charge of your own positioning. Just… Just promise me one thing, Amy Rose.”

He turned back to her, swaggering up, before stopping the swaying to try and hold himself seriously again, but his nature suggested he tried to play most of his feelings off, and Amy was picking up on that.

His eyes were a serious plea, and Amy could hear the slight shift in tone too…

He wasn’t playing around.

This was a sincere desire of his heart for her too keep.

“Just.. Don’t get hurt. Don’t let me lose anything more.”



She was going to keep that promise, forever..

And ever.

My feels right now, I need to go to bed, goodbye sweet, cruel world.

(AU-y, but I tried to stick to character as much as possible…)

The Seven Heavenly Virtues

Chastity: Discretion of sexual conduct according to one’s state in life; the practice of courtly love. Cleanliness through cultivated good health and hygiene, and maintained by refraining from intoxicants. To be honest with oneself, one’s family, one’s friends, to all of humanity, and to all of God’s creations. The ability to refrain from being distracted and influenced by hostility, temptation or corruption.

Taurus, Scorpio

Temperance: Restraint, temperance, justice. Constant mindfulness of others and one’s surroundings; practicing self-control, abstinence, moderation and deferred gratification. Prudence to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time; proper moderation between self-interest, versus public-interest, and against the rights and needs of others.


Charity: In Christian theology, charity—or love (agäpé)—is the greatest of the three theological virtues. Love, in the sense of an unlimited loving kindness towards all others, is held to be the ultimate perfection of the human spirit, because it is said to both glorify and reflect the nature of God. Such love is self-sacrificial. 


Diligence: A zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work; decisive work ethic, steadfastness in belief, fortitude, and the capability of not giving up. Budgeting one’s time; monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness.

Aries, Capricorn

Patience: Forbearance that comes from moderation; enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity. Building a sense of peaceful stability and harmony rather than conflict, hostility, and antagonism; resolving issues and arguments respectfully, as opposed to resorting to anger and fighting. Showing forgiveness and being merciful to criminals and sinners.


Kindness: Charity, compassion and friendship for its own sake; empathy and trust without prejudice or resentment. Unselfish love and voluntary kindness without bias or spite. Having positive outlooks and cheerful demeanor; to inspire kindness in others.

Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius

Humility: Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. It is a spirit of self-examination; a hermeneutic of suspicion toward yourself and charity toward people you disagree with. Modest behavior, selflessness, and the giving of respect.The courage of the heart necessary to undertake tasks which are difficult, tedious or unglamorous, and to graciously accept the sacrifices involved. 

Cancer, Virgo

*Descriptions of virtues are copied and pasted from wikipedia

*Applies to each sign’s higher manefestations

Submission: Summing Up Snape

First, I want to apologise for the length. It turns out that, even though I don’t really care for Harry Potter in general, I have thoughts on Snape as a deliberately morally complex person and character.

I think the best way to sum of Severus Snape is to quote Alan Rickman: “I don’t play bad guys, I play very interesting people.”

Simple question: Is Snape a bad guy? IN the broadest sense of the terms ‘bad guy’ and ‘good guy’ he’s a good guy because he’s fighting against the Big Bad Evil.
Not-so-simple question: Is he a good person? NO. Or maybe yes?
Let’s break down 'bad’ into Petty/Small Bad and Really Bad. Severus Snape practically personifies Petty Bad; he’s abusively sarcastic to young students who can’t handle him. Having had a Snape-lite teacher myself as an older teen (16+) it’s possible he would be better teaching older students, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that he could alter his teaching methods for young students, especially as he’s had around a decade of teaching prior to HP 1.
It can be argued that Snape acts this way because he’s undercover and because the story’s from Harry’s POV so it’ll look worse because Snape doesn’t like Harry and has to actively dislike him. I have seen it argued that away from Harry’s POV Snape could have a nicer personality, especially with the teacher’s as they seem to have a good relationship with him. We will ignore all of this because it’s hypothetical. And also because the whole school agrees he’s mean and so on.
Is he Really Bad? In the past (taken as pre-HP 1) he was. Undoubtedly. He was a Death Eater and the chances of him being a Death Eater and not having taken part in a raid or something is really small. Did he intend to put the Potter’s and Longbottom’s in danger when he overheard the prophecy? Not them specifically, but he knew it would be a person (and possibly a child? I forget the pophecy’s exact wording) and so he still deliberately risked that person’s life. 

But then he did change sides. Was it for a selfish reason? Yes. But does the reason matter as long as he still changes sides and risks his life?
I don’t know. That’s an ethical decision that everyone needs to decide for themselves.
Does having been a good guy from then on (in the terms of Big Good as he’s definitely not a Small GOod person) excuse the bad things he did before?
I don’t know. That’s a decision everyone needs to make for themselves.

From a strictly legal/judicial point of view, does his actions spying for the Light Side excuse his actions as a Death Eater?
Possibly. As a spy/undercover agent, any act he does to maintain his cover is pardoned/excused. It’s also possible that, had he lived, his actions as a spy might have been used to legally pardon the acts he committed before changing sides. Or it was later hashed out that, to remain a free person, he would have to be a spy in the future.
So legally, yes, his acts spying on the Death Eaters could make up for his time as an actual Death Eater.

He’s still not a nice person. Using D&D terms I would say he’s True Neutral or Neutral Good at best (doing good things for personal reasons). But he’s a Very Interesting Character because you could argue back and forth over his morality, his actions and so on for ages. In children’s lit and quite a lot of media you have the Good Guys, the Bad Guys and little in between. But those Grey Guys, the morally grey ones are/were rarer and tend to be fun to discuss.

And then we have Terry Pratchett and Granny Weatherwax and Sam Vimes. They are good people; not just good, but Good. They are Not Nice, but they are definitely Good. In fact, these two know how Bad they could be and are sometimes shown fighting to impulse to do bad things, especially given VImes and his Inner Watchman.
Or the Doctor from Doctor Who. He’s Good, but can condemn being to eternal torture, wipe out entire species and more in the name of Good/the Greater Good. When he’s angry, he’s terrifying.

Like Snape, you can argue their actions back and forth over the Good/Not Good side of things; there are strong hints that Granny’s angry over the fact that she has to be Good because her sister chose to be Bad. Does being reluctantly (and sometimes angrily) Good make her less than one who is Good even though she also chose to be Good (as Snape did)? Likewise, there are hints that Vimes is trying to make up for inactions from before Guards! Guards! or is at least terrified of what he could do. The Doctor is trying to atone. They all have done bad things (or bad things for good reasons) or want to do them.

Or Hell, why not Zuko? He chased the Gaang for around a year attempting to capture them and bring them to the Fire Nation where they’d be imprisoned at best and executed at worst. He hired an assassin to kill Aang (and possibly the Gaang by extension). In Ba Sing Se he ended up joining his sister after kind-of agreeing to side with Katara and thus his actions and choices helped lead to Aang’s death.
His actions in season three are him atoning for bad choices; from helping the Gaang to fighting Azula and helping everyone with their Life Changing Field Trips it all came from a place of guilt and the decision to do what’s right comes from a selfish place.
So he and Snape both did stupid things as teenagers and were eventually motivated to change sides from self reasons.
Does that make Zuko less Good?

I don’t know because, get this: we get to see quite a lot of Zuko’s backstory and his actual reasoning and choices leading up to his defection. When he changed sides we knew it was because he knew it was the right, good choice regardless of personal motivation. We don’t see this for Snape, so I have no idea. We see a bit of his possibly abusive home, we see/hear of a few select childhood memories including a couple horrific ones where the bullies should have been expelled. We know he was a Death Eater, but don’t know his actual crimes. We know he selfishly changed sides. And nothing after that aside from his borderline to actually abusive teaching methods. And we only observe those memories, we never get to hear his POV. Ever.
He could now be genuinely believing the Light Side’s cause and sincerely regretting all his actions, he could only regret the one that lead to Lily’s death and still be a closet racist. Anything in between.

Is Snape good or bad? I don’t know. But I can say that all the characters I mentioned are Very Interesting Characters. But as a person, I would prefer Zuko, Granny Weatherwax, Vimes or the Doctor any time. And, personally, he’s the least Good of all the characters I mentioned on both a Small Good and Big Good scale. He’s … simply Very Interesting. And a bastard. I do find him an interesting character, but all the other ones I mentioned are meatier because we get to hear from them personally and see more about them. I absolutely would not have him teaching anyone under fourteen at a minimum even in the country I currently call home where it’s not unusual for a teacher to make a student cry every day or so.

Again, sorry for the length and the rambling. I honestly should have just submitted the first paragraph about him being “interesting” because you can discuss him for ages. Ethics, morality, comparisons and so on.

this is probably kinda messy but i just really need to get all my Trollhunters thoughts out before I burst. beware of spoilers, my dudes.

I love that I feel some, if even a small bit, of sympathy for each of the “villains” in the show. Draal begins as Jim’s first major adversary wanting to be the Trollhunter, but as he steadily becomes a close ally we learn all Draal wanted from the title, from beating Jim, was to make his father proud, something he learns to do by helping Jim instead of going against him. Strickler is a ruthless and cunning guy who literally admits to being power hungry and only having his own best interests in mind, but he has a soft spot for Barbara that brings out his more human side, that makes me feel bad for him despite everything. NotEnrique is a (quite literally) shifty, selfish brat that betrays Jim and co. before officially moving to their side, but his genuine care for Claire and her feelings, the budding sibling relationship they grow to have, makes me like him, makes me sad to think about him leaving after Claire gets Enrique back. Angor Rot is a cruel hunter who enjoys torturing and destroying souls, but the flashback where we learn he’s so bitter because his own soul is trapped in a ring and he wants to be free, made my heart clench when the ring shattered right before his eyes. Even the little gnomes who are shown to be selfish and mischievous, are shown another side by Chompski, another turned ally of Jim’s, who just wanted a home.

The characters are multi-dimensional, and because of this we see gray spaces among them. NotEnrique especially goes back and forth for awhile before settling his allegiance with Claire, but I appreciate the gradual change as opposed to a sudden one because it feels more realistic. You can feel that inner conflict going on. It becomes very clear that villains are people (creatures, whatever) too who see themselves as doing right but are capable of shifting their perspective into a new idea of right. Aaarrrgh is another great example of this. He used to fight with the GumGum long ago, but then realized he was wrong and dedicated his life to repenting for all the death he caused, choosing to do good and be a pacifist instead. The show doesn’t define by fixed black and white, but by the choices characters make. This extends to the “heroes” too.

The best example probably being when Jim faced the ethical dilemma of trusting Angor Rot to follow through on their deal or not. Both of his friends stood for these opposite choices; Toby wanted Jim to trust Angor Rot and hand the ring over, and Claire wanted Jim to keep the ring and control Angor Rot with it instead. It’s hard to say what the better choice is because both raise good points. Ultimately Jim seemed to lean more Claire’s way, going a step further and trying to steal the Killing Stone from right under Angor Rot’s nose, but that backfired horrendously resulting in the ring shattering and utterly destroying any chance of some sort of truce/alliance ever forming between them. Angor Rot was after blood from then on out, putting Jim, his friends, and all of Troll Market in serious danger. We don’t know if all of that could’ve been prevented had Jim acted differently, we don’t know if something worse would’ve happened had Jim acted differently, but it just goes to show the moral complexity behind ethical decisions like that, something I deeply appreciate the inclusion of. Its great writing.

Jim is faced with smaller decisions of this nature as well, such as when he lies to his mom once more after promising to tell her the truth when she recovers and doesn’t remember anything again, though we have yet to see the outcome of this decision, whether its the better course of action or not, as again each choice has its drawbacks and benefits.

That said, I find Jim’s character progression in a moral sense very interesting, particularly when it comes to “finishing the fight”. The story begins with Jim vehemently against this, choosing to spare lives like Draal’s (”House rules. Not mine.”), going so far as to start a speech in front of the disappointed trolls about how he doesn’t want to live by their rules until he’s yanked off stage by Blinky. This continues up until about the middle of the season when he has to kill Gunmar’s son out of self defense. My first thought watching that scene was ‘Oh no. The first kill’ He was trying to dance around it in the fight, trying to get out of doing it, but in the end he couldn’t get out of it. Kill or be killed. And as the stone body tumbles into the water, you see Jim’s conflicting emotions on his face. You see the resignation, the realization that this is something he’s gonna have to do sometimes whether he likes it or not, and your heart breaks a little for him. Then in the finale Jim doesn’t hesitate, jamming Angor Rot’s sword right through his own chest without looking back.

And it hurts, watching this young, loving kid realizing you can’t spare everyone, having to adapt to this harsh warrior lifestyle so suddenly, but its realistic development. Too many times stories will try to argue that killing the villain makes you just as bad as them, but that’s just not how it works. That’s not how war works. It’d be nice in theory if everyone could be spared, but that’s not reality and Trollhunters does a great job of showing that, and the emotional burden that comes with it.

Switching gears a bit, there’s a decent amount of foreshadowing of Jim’s father having been a changeling, and consequently Jim having some of that troll/changeling blood in his veins as well; his father’s mysterious sudden disappearance, the fact that the amulet has only ever chosen those with troll blood before, the quip about Stickler being a changeling “If he’s one, I’m one” in which we find out later Stickler is one. I don’t know if the theory’s true or not (it would explain how the amulet could’ve chosen Jim), but I wanna play around with it for a sec, as well as the Daylight and Eclipse powers, in relation to the morally gray spaces in the show.

If Jim is part troll/changeling, it would symbolically represent the amulet really well; Daylight representing his humanity, Eclipse representing the changeling. On the surface, like a human compared to a changeling, Daylight seems more “good” than Eclipse. The suit’s blue and silver, there’s no ill intent behind wanting “the glory of Merlin”, and Blinky says Jim’s (as well as all humans’) greatest strength is their ability to love each other. Whereas Eclipse is black and red, is drawn from Gunmar’s eye, is to be used “for the doom of Gunmar”. But, like a human and a changeling, despite appearances, neither force is more inherently good or bad. Humans are capable of doing evil, and Daylight is capable of being used for evil, like when Angor Rot was using Daylight against Jim. Changelings/any creature from the GumGum are capable of doing good, like NotEnrique and Aaarrrgh, and Eclipse is capable of being used for good. Nothing is inherent, nothing is all good or all bad, all that matters is your choices, how you choose to wield those powers, what kind of person you choose to be.

And Jim himself would be the amulet that binds these two forces together. He is neither all human or all troll, all light or all darkness, all good or all bad. He is not one side of the coin or the other. He is the coin itself. He is the literal balance of these forces, bridging the gap between them as well as the gap between the “good” creatures and the “bad” creatures, and then all the creatures and the humans. He commands these forces. Regardless of appearance, regardless of blood, he gets to choose how they’re used and what kind of person he is, and that is what defines Jim. Not either or, but both. Both sides embraced together. That is of course if Jim really is not all human. It’s certainly something I’d like to see.

Function Pairs

The more I learn about function the more I realize that they never operate in a vacuum. Functions come in pairs for a reason. The workings of each are intimately related to their partner. 

Ti/Fe: Speaks bluntly and acts on reason/Hates to be thought of as rude or inconsiderate.

Fe/Ti: Works towards collective harmony/Often will do or say unpleasant things in pursuit of the greater good.

Fi/Te: Seeks harmony with their own values/Stubbornly opposes those who try to make moral or ethical decisions for them.

Te/Fi: Seeks effective solutions/Seeks solutions that go along with their values

Ni/Se: Sees what is not there/Tries to change what is there to fit their vision.

Se/Ni: Lives in the moment/Needs to be moving towards something

Si/Ne: Finds stability in established trends/Is acutely aware of how things might change.

Ne/Si: Constantly moving forward/Never fully lets go of the past.

How well the functions work together relies on their position. Function that lie adjacent in the stack work together more seamlessly, while functions that lie on opposite ends of the stack run into more conflicts and imbalances. An INTJ is more likely to reconcile Te and FI (Seeking effective solutions/Seeking solutions that go along with their values) while an ENTJ is more likely to reconcile Ni/Se (Seeing what is not there/Trying to change what is there to fit their vision)        

Voltron Legendary Defender: Allura [ENTJ]


Extroverted Thinking (Te): Allura is a strategist and natural logician, and has no patience for what she perceives as poor organizing or laziness in others. She is also comfortable taking command, and acts as the Paladins’ field operator during missions. She chastises the Paladins for slacking in their training, failing to form Voltron, and does not go easy on them for a moment. She is very specific in her instructions to others and can be relentless and pushy.

Introverted Intuition (Ni): Allura is always focused on the bigger picture. Combined with Te, she is fine with making the hard choices to keep the Paladins safe and continue their quest to defeat Zarkon, even if it means making sacrifices. She is also apt at connecting abstract ideas, such as how interwoven the universe is, and how this relates to her powers to activate the castle’s crystal, as well as her connection to the Balmera.

Extroverted Sensing (Se): Allura is confident in her foresight and her strategies, and will jump headfirst into a problem with little to no warning to her team; she isn’t one to question her own ideas once she’s stuck with it, going as far as shooting herself into outer space to test her theory that the Galra are tracking her energy—a trait she and Keith share. Paired with her Ni, this makes Allura a calculated risk-taker; she advised her father to fight Voltron instead of hiding the lions, and is willing to risk her life to activate the teludav, if it only grants them a moment’s opening to take down Zarkon.

Introverted Feeling (Fi): Some of Allura’s decisions are ethically questionable, showing inferior Fi. While her ultimate goal is to free the universe from the Golra Empire, she doesn’t place too much value on a single planet or system, seeing each win and loss as tallies against the Galra. Her prejudice against the Galra causes her to turn her back on Keith when his heritage is revealed, even after spending two seasons as comrades-in-arms. She is ultimately able to push through her conflicting moral codes—absolute hatred for Galra and the carnage they’ve sowed, and her loyalty and affection for her team—and embraces Keith, apologizing for freezing him out.

Note to Mods: despite appearances, Voltron: Legendary Defender is most certainly not an anime, but an American production, from the creators of Nickelodeon’s Legend of Korra and Cartoon Network’s Young Justice.


Starfleet’s moral relativism problem: is it ever ok to condemn another culture?

Central to all of Star Trek has always been the Prime Directive – that set of rules that governs our intrepid space explorers from Captain Kirk to Captain Janeway and everyone in between. Poor Captain Archer existed in a time before, and I’ve often pitied him for having to shoulder the burden of having to make some really questionable ethical decisions without having a Prime Directive to shift the blame to when it turned out his decisions really sucked.

At its core, the Prime Directive dictates that Starfleet cannot interfere with the internal affairs or development of alien civilizations. Some of the best Star Trek episodes involved our heroes clashing with the ethics of a rigid application of this doctrine, but there was always one implication of the Prime Directive that bothered me – the idea that we shouldn’t judge other cultures through the lens of our own because who’s to say what’s right and what’s wrong?

This philosophy of moral relativism argues that there are no universal moral standards – sentient beings are completely at the mercy of their own societies to impart a code of moral behavior and whatever it comes up with is “good enough.” There may be common themes among many societies in terms of morals – most seem to agree it is wrong to commit murder, for instance – but ultimately, what is “right” according one society is not guaranteed to be “right” for another. And let’s be honest with ourselves – even with the topic of murder, we still fiercely debate exceptions to the “no murder” rule such as war, capital punishment, or self-defense.

Our own society provides an incredible patchwork of thorny moral and ethical issues that we still have yet to decide upon. We debate things like abortion, torture, slavery, free speech, and more. We probe these issues by asking ourselves questions like, “At what point does life truly begin?” and “Is torture ever justified?” We explore them by posing philosophical experiments like the Trolley Problem and asking ourselves whether it is morally acceptable to kill one person to save the lives of two or more others. 

How does that line go again? Something about “needs of the many” or something? 

But at the end of the day, might (in terms of numbers) makes right in moral relativism. While I don’t subscribe to that theory, there are times when our beloved Star Trek characters do under the guise of defending the Prime Directive. On the surface, it sounds very peaceful and anti-colonialist. After centuries of watching many empires from the Romans to the British set fire to cultural diversity – and given arguments that many Western nations continue to do this today, just without being quite as invadey – this sounds like a nice change of pace. Live and let live. But this also creates a mind-boggling acceptance of suffering, genocide, exploitation, and oppression within Starfleet.

One of the first chronological examples of the faults of moral relativism is found in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode, “Cogenitor.” Archer and his crew meet an affable, three-gendered species called the Vissians, but we quickly learn that only two of the society’s genders have any real rights. The third gender is referred to as a “cogenitor,” and Trip Tucker ends up on Captain Archer’s shit list for teaching it how to read and putting ideas in its head. When the cogenitor later begs for asylum, Archer refuses. It gets worse – the cogenitor is sent back to the people who basically treat it as chattel and commits suicide, and Archer points out that Tucker’s interference led to its death and will mean the Vissian couple will probably never get to have a child. No winners in this ethical dilemma of an episode, only losers. Until you remember none of this would have happened in the first place if the Vissians had just treated the cogenitors like people.

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Angel One,” we encounter the cringe worthy society of Angel I, a planet of misandric women who oppress men. We all got a few giggles at the ladies of Enterprise-D being suddenly held in higher regard than their male counterparts, but things get very dark when Beata, the Elected One of Angel I, decides some dudes need to die for spreading heretical teachings that imply men are equal to women. We get a sort of cop out solution in which Beata has a change of heart and decides to banish rather than execute these “heretics” after Riker makes an impassioned speech about basic rights, but Riker was more than willing to let things go bad if need be, because, “The Prime Directive” and “Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”

The 80′s were a weird time. That outfit is a few inches of fabric away from having a codpiece.

In another Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Symbiosis,” we’re introduced to the Ornarans and Brekkians and we find out that after an ancient plague, the Brekkians started peddling an expensive and addictive drug to the Ornarans and calling it a “treatment.” There’s no plague anymore – the Brekkians just control the Ornarans through their drug addiction. Dr. Crusher finds a way to synthesize this drug and offers to help wean the Ornarans off their addiction, but what does Captain Picard do? He tells her to mind her own damn business because it’s not the Federation’s place to tell the Brekkians that it’s wrong to deceive and enslave the Ornarans through an addictive drug.

This episode also gave us one of the weirdest brawls in Star Trek history. Like a Reefer Madness for the 24th century, if you will. 

And this is the most uncomfortable part of moral relativism – who gets to draw the line and where do we draw it? On one end of the spectrum, we have moral relativism which claims anything goes – societies should be able to torture animals, employ the slave labor of children, and oppress women as they see fit – just as long as enough people agree it isn’t wrong to do so. At the other end of the spectrum sits moral absolutism, a theoretical construct that would result in a perfectly unified, homogenous culture, but one that would also strip away many facets of culture that lead to human diversity. 

If Star Trek is supposed to serve as a guide for how we might become a more progressive society, it does a terrible job a lot of the time. Now, there are many instances of our protagonists saying “to hell with the Prime Directive!” and taking what most of us would agree is the more morally praiseworthy route. But there’s no rhyme or reason to it. Just look at how they treat the Borg. Why is it ok to let some societies oppress men or drug another species into submission but it’s not ok to let the Borg assimilate the galaxy in their ultimate quest for perfection? 

I’m going to guess the answer is that until the Borg decided to stick nanoprobes in a Federation citizen, the cheerful little robots simply weren’t the Federation’s problem. We might argue that the Prime Directive certainly has provisions for self-defense - how ridiculous would it be to consent to being annihilated or assimilated just because the Federation is afraid of offending another culture and refuses to draw a line in the sand where right stops and wrong starts? The slope gets slippery here though. We could say this mirrors the concept of large Western nations trying to police the rest of the world and impose their customs on other societies - but how many of us watched documentaries about the Holocaust in school and wondered why the hell previous generations allowed shit to get that bad? How many of us continue to stand by while people in Iraq and Syria live under the threat of the Islamic State? I doubt most people even realize what’s going on in the Philippines or Venezuela right now because hey, “Not my country, not my problem.” It is a huge gray area for what constitutes forcing certain customs on unwilling societies and trying to genuinely help people, but if we can’t agree that Nazi extermination camps and religiously motivated beheadings are bad and need to stop (even when they aren’t happening to us personally), I’ll be surprised if we ever make to the 24th century. It makes me wonder how exactly Earth “solved its problems” and created a utopian society in the first place with this attitude of moral relativism.

Let’s face it – we have no shortage of modern travesties that sound ridiculous in the context of this philosophical approach. The Chechen Republic has been reportedly rounding up gay men and torturing them in recent months, and moral relativism would have us shrug and say, “But their culture says homosexuality is a sin.” 

To anyone who actually thinks that, fuck you. 

Bacha bazi, a practice where adolescent boys are groomed for sexual relationships with older men, remains pervasive in many Pashtun societies. Moral relativism would tell us that we shouldn’t condemn predatory pedophilia because to do so would mean unfairly imposing our Western beliefs on their culture. 

Just because one culture says widespread sexual coercion is ok doesn’t make it so. 

I could keep going on, but this post is already long enough. The bottom line is, all too often, Star Trek lazily glosses over a lot of moral and ethical dilemmas by using the argument, “Who are we to judge?” June is Pride Month, and in honor of LGBT individuals all over the globe who all too often have less rights than their cisgender heterosexual counterparts, maybe we should avoid looking to the “progressive” future of Star Trek and instead ask the question, “Who are we to not judge?” 

While I can’t resolve one of the greatest philosophical questions ever devised, someone once gave me a great piece of advice that I think applies to this idea of moral relativism: no person’s belief is inherently worthy of respect, but every person is. 

anonymous asked:

You're sort of an E-Celebrity. The meta that you and Alabama miles created was once mentioned in a tweet by T.V something. Do you sometimes worry about the influence you have on people's minds, given today's social climate, and the laziness of others? Do you get scared that people can bend, if they don't use their minds? Or do you not worry about that sort of thing because you feel like people should be responsible for their perception? How do you do this? How does shady do what she does?

Hey Anon,

I both think that people are responsible for their own perception and that I have a responsibility to present myself in a truthful way. Everything you ever read is colored by the perspective and the worldview of the author. Even something like Wikipedia with multiple authors will simply give you a truth based on the most prevalent worldview - or the publicly accepted worldview - at that point in time. Truth shifts with perspective. Critical thinking is something that develops. If you’re lucky you have people guiding you, if not, maybe you get burned before you get smart. That’s how we learn and it’s an evolving process for the rest of our lives. As a writer you cannot write for everyone. You can’t meet everyone at their level and you cannot choose your audience or what it uses your writing for. You can try to reach a specific audience, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. If you publish anything on some level you have to accept that your words will be misunderstood, taken out of context and used to prove the opposite of what you’re trying to say. The alternative is silence.

I have a few things that I do that are ethical decisions connected to this. As I mentioned before, everything anyone ever writes is colored. What I try to do is to show you my goggles. Our goggles are made out of our social class, culture, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity… and just generally all of our life experiences. Imagine it as if I am wearing green goggles and I am describing you the world in green, because that’s how I see everything. What I try to do in order for people to read me critically is to pull back and also describe the frame of these green goggles from time to time on top of the reality I see. 

In practice, that means I will often use “I”-messages. “I think this…”, “I feel…”, “…at least that’s how I see it.”. It’s an invitation for people to be aware of subjectivity. It’s encouragement to ‘do as I do’ and not ‘as I say’. Analyze, think, feel for yourself. Sometimes I’ll include anecdotes and personal experiences, which serves to inform, but it also shows emotional involvement that again, might color my perspective. It’s something I consciously include. 

Dumb positivity is another way to be more objective. They are another description of the goggles. It means ‘in this post I am specifically looking at the queer subtext and the queer reading’. In every other case where the subtext in a tv show doesn’t specifically relate to homosexuality we could be sure that foreshadowing is really foreshadowing and that symbolism will become meaningful in text. The only reason we can’t be sure in the case of Once Upon a Time is because at some point in history queer subtext was divorced from main text to tell secret stories, cause it was the only thing we were allowed. Every story has subtext, it’s a general storytelling tool. We live in a strange time where it could be either. We’re starting to see more queer stories told openly and at the same time this historical storytelling device lives on and is still being used. Dumb positivity is about not having to repeat this awareness of history in every post. It’s about not reminding or focusing on the reason why we got here in the first place - discrimination and homophobia - but on the validity of our stories regardless of how they are told.

The other choice I make is to try and never shame people or be disrespectful toward people who have different opinions. Making people feel ashamed - for example by calling them stupid or naive - causes people to stop focusing on what is being said. Instead they will be digging in their personal history to defend who they are. Or they will stop talking to you or to anyone, but they won’t change their minds. I know when I am personally under attack the first reflex is emotional, it’s about self protection, so why would that be different for others? It seems counter-productive if what you’re after is a meaningful exchange of perspective.

Similarly, even if I get very negative messages I will still try and look at what they are saying and wonder if there is truth there, wonder if they have a point. I seek out other parts of the fandom and try to understand their point of view. I won’t always publicly address this, but it’s something I use to check myself. I try to face my shadow. Of course it is nice to be read, to get feedback, to have people ask you questions. To be po-pu-la-a-ar. Of course there is ego involved. I think the only thing you can do is to be aware of this and to try and correct yourself if you find out if it interferes with your being truthful.

Last but not least, I do take into account the context of where I am writing. Say I would have arrived in this fandom and I hadn’t seen anyone mentioning the possibility of queer baiting or criticize the problematic aspects of the show… I probably would have. Right now there is plenty of criticism and everyone is aware of the possibility of queer baiting. The information is there and I can’t imagine people who have been around for a while haven’t been exposed to all the different views and they are choosing what resonates with them. So it’s also a matter of this blog not happening in a vacuum.

The part that seems to confuse people most about my blog - or where some seem to think I’m lying for popularity or attention - is that I genuinely believe it is more likely than not that they’ll make the romantic subtext between Emma & Regina text eventually. I think anyone who has read, engaged with and understood OperationOUT completely, understands where I am coming from. However, many people are angry about the show - for good reason - so I am not actively going to invite people to invest their time and energy in reading about a show they hate just so they can understand me. What I can’t do is lie about my perceptions of the show just because it’s somehow perceived less shameful to be wrong when you were being cynical. I think I’d rather be fearless, truthful and wrong then.

Does that answer your questions?

PS: I have no knowledge of our meta ever being tweeted by… someone at TV something. Do you have a link? 

lululempi  asked:

Hi. I really love and adore your drawings and when I found your photo blog I got very happy. However when I checked it and saw all these dead animals... I couldn't believe in that. I thought you were an animal lover. It is good to give them to the earth maybe, but why do you take photos of them? Why do you share these photos? It was so hard even to see these poor dead animal bodies, but sharing them as if their death has an aesthetic delight.... Sorry, but I disappointed about you...

I’m sorry that seeing my photos of dead animals was difficult for you. Yes, I am absolutely an animal lover, I’m about as passionate of an animal lover as it’s possible to be! Most of what I think or talk about on a daily basis is animals; I am deeply committed to protecting and respecting nature in everything I do, from political and environmental concerns to my own personal ethical decisions of living a vegan lifestyle and getting around by bicycle instead of car; I literally burst into tears of delight if I watch a rabbit do normal rabbit things for more than a minute. I’ve dedicated my life to drawing animals whenever possible – and large percentage of those animals I draw are dead ones, even if it’s not immediately obvious at first glance. My love for nature extends to all parts of it, not just what is conventionally viewed as pretty, and nature operates according to cycles of life and death. It pairs (as we perceive it, anyway) moments of tenderness and harmony and symbiosis with moments of chaos and tragedy and brutality. The things that we consider to be beautiful in nature aren’t possible without the things that we associate with ugliness, and I choose not to shy away from either extreme. 

To your question, I absolutely am capable of finding as much aesthetic beauty in a dead thing or a tragedy or something that makes me sad, as I am in something that is beautiful and fills me with joy, and I don’t see anything negative about documenting and sharing that. Anyone who actually engages with nature and wilderness on a regular basis learns that death and suffering are everywhere, and stumbling across it in your explorations is inevitable. So I come across animal remains all the time, and every time I have to decide on the appropriate action in that case. Most often I experience a few moments of reverence and curiosity and regret for the ended life and move on, and don’t document the experience or engage with the remains in any way. Sometimes I am moved by the experience enough to take a photo to remember it, and sometimes, if that photo turns out to be beautiful to me, I might post it, because I know there are a lot of other people out there who identify with what I’m feeling. There are times that I post the photo because I’m angry, because the animal’s death was the result of cars or trains or a collision with a building, and I’m overwhelmed by the helpless injustice of so many of the deaths that humans bring upon animals, and I want to force others to confront the consequences of how we all live, with full knowledge that no matter how much I try to live a responsible life, I’m still complicit in these deaths. There are times, when an animal dies an unnatural death out in the open and its body is on display for passersby to see and feel callously grossed out by, that I literally scrape some poor creature off the cement, dig a hole, bury it, put flowers on its grave, and cry for its death; nothing but the deepest levels of sorrow and sympathy could move me to do this. 

There are people who will roll their eyes at all of this and that’s fine, but for me, finding a dead thing is the most impactful experience that I’ve ever had in life. No matter how often it happens, it feels the same – dizzying and surreal and haunting and fascinating and deeply heartbreaking. But there’s how we feel, and then there’s what we do with those feelings. Curiosity is the reaction that moves me to usually try to figure out why it died (which is a lot of the time a complete mystery) and to examine it closely if I can handle doing so, because there are not many times in life that you have the opportunity to look at a wild animal from an inch away or literally feel its weight in your hand or the softness of its feathers or fur, and that information is super valuable to me as an artist. A funeral is a different type of reaction, a personal and emotional one, which for me transforms the guilt and heaviness of having to walk away from this little tragedy into a futile but meaningful expression of respect and acknowledgement and reverence and apology. And the third type of reaction I have is to make art that tries to make sense of all of this, by fixating on a single fallen animal as a representation of every other animal I’ve found, and by making its death appear beautiful, because it is – its death nourishes the soil as it decomposes and new life springs from that. I’ve never been able to accurately express all these complexities in one piece of art, but attempting to is what drives me to draw and paint at all. So literally, my art doesn’t exist without me coming across these dead animals and being moved by them, so why would I censor that part of the creative process? If anything, you even asking me these questions proves to me that my message and goals don’t necessarily shine through in my art in the way I want them to, and so I have lots of work left to do :) 

Stan didn’t know activating the portal would create a potential universe-destroying rift. He didn’t see Ford’s blacklight message in the journal. Dipper did. Dipper knew beyond a shadow of a doubt activating the portal would lead to something horrifically dangerous and life-threatening, if not immediately destroy the universe entirely. Dipper saw the message and he knew about the danger and he knew about all the terrible things Stan had done to get the portal working. He knew and he knew and he knew and he STILL forgave Stan immediately for EVERYTHING because Stan had done it all to save his sibling. Because, despite knowing what the blacklight message says, that the universe could and probably would be destroyed if he goes through with this, Dipper would do the exact same thing to save Mabel.

This is how you get a real experience with complex wildlife, not by disrupting them and putting them into tanks as money-making pets.

There are so many animal and environmentally friendly ways of seeing these animals in the wild, whether it be land-based watching, kayaking, or taking a tour with a reputable whale watching company that uses the least invasive and most eco-friendly methods.

There’s not need for marine parks anymore. Please make the ethical decision.

@mtgmanabarbs​ replied to your post:

If you live in the U.S., “Voting your conscience” is 100% identical to not voting in every practical way unless your conscience happens to line up with one of the political parties that might win the election you’re voting in. The idea that wasting your vote on a minor party candidate is sometimes the correct moral or ethical decision is a huge lie designed specifically to disenfranchise people whose views are outside of the mainstream.

there is a very real flaw in the system there — i think we can all agree on that — but two things:

  1. races much smaller than the presidency exist, as do ballot initiatives, and on these you often really can vote your conscience without this issue. further, if people are dead set against voting for the democratic presidential candidate or whoever because that candidate isn’t far enough left, i’d much rather have them in the voting booth weighing in on downticket races/issues than sitting the whole thing out.
  2. there is at least something to be said for the idea that voting third party sends a message. again there are people who are just not going to vote for the democrat no matter how much you insist they’re wasting their vote, and i personally would rather them register their opinion by voting than register no opinion by not voting at all. especially since non-voters can and will be used by bad guys of every stripe who pretend to speak for them and will make whatever claims about non-voters’ intentions are convenient to their self-interest.

if you want to go fight with people who want to sway democratic voters to third parties, knock yourself out. but i’m talking about turnout of people who would otherwise not vote. and there’s just no way that people who vote for the jill steins of the world are more disenfranchised than people who are not voting at all.

Function Pairs

SUBMITTED by intj-the-cynical-idealist

The more I learn about function the more I realize that they never operate in a vacuum. Functions come in pairs for a reason. The workings of each are intimately related to their partner. 

Ti/Fe: Speaks bluntly and acts on reason/Hates to be thought of as rude or inconsiderate.

Fe/Ti: Works towards collective harmony/Often will do or say unpleasant things in pursuit of the greater good.

Fi/Te: Seeks harmony with their own values/Stubbornly opposes those who try to make moral or ethical decisions for them.

Te/Fi: Seeks effective solutions/Seeks solutions that go along with their values

Ni/Se: Sees what is not there/Tries to change what is there to fit their vision.

Se/Ni: Lives in the moment/Needs to be moving towards something

Si/Ne: Finds stability in established trends/Is acutely aware of how things might change.

Ne/Si: Constantly moving forward/Never fully lets go of the past.

How well the functions work together relies on their position. Function that lie adjacent in the stack work together more seamlessly, while functions that lie on opposite ends of the stack run into more conflicts and imbalances. An INTJ is more likely to reconcile Te and FI (Seeking effective solutions/Seeking solutions that go along with their values) while an ENTJ is more likely to reconcile Ni/Se (Seeing what is not there/Trying to change what is there to fit their vision)  

It is ok to be “that annoying vegan.” Veganism isn’t just a lifestyle choice, it is a moral imperative. When you make an ethical decision you aren’t just deciding that this is wrong for you; it isn’t like saying apples are nicer than oranges. People don’t believe prejudice is wrong just for them, or adultery, or abusive behavior. Ethical statements are truth claims; you are professing the belief that this thing is wrong. For everyone. It is every bit of ok to be “that annoying vegan” because that stereotype only exists to silence us.

anonymous asked:

For the shipping meme- I don't care which gender you would ship me with. Also I love the Volturi but ew no. Although i lean towards the sciences my hobby is art. I love nerdier pop culture, fantasy books and occasionally romance. I would need to date someone relatively laid back who I could just talk to. I would have to be the bubbly one in the relationship. Kindness is important to me, for my ship to have and for me. They also have to be willing for cuddles and watching movies.

Okay, I ship you with Eleazar so hard. Usually, I give people two options because I’m torn, but not this time. 

So, the way I see him, Eleazar is a character who makes the right choice– and by extension, the kind choice– every time. He’s not as radical as Carlisle, so his goodness is quieter and less showy, but he’s a sweetheart. In short, he’d be down for cuddles and also ethical decisions. 

In my Eleazar backstory headcanons, I inevitably find myself discussing his affiliation with the Jesuits. Basically, he was around education and academia all his life, so nerdy interests would really work for him. Plus, he spent some time in Volterra, so he’s knowledgeable about art, at absolute least. 

Basically, Eleazar is nice and chill and dorky (and his take on the Volturi is also “Ew, no.”); he’s a good fit for you.

[the ship meme ask thing explained (x)]

The Office: Pam Beesly [INFP]

NON-OFFICIAL TYPING: by a non-tumblr user

Introverted Feeling (Fi): Pam is a quiet, gentle woman who relies more heavily on emotion than logic. She is very comfortable with her own definition of “right” and “wrong”, quickly voicing her disagreements with the actions of others. She is virtuous to a fault, making most decisions based on their ethical merit. These decisions rarely involve a logical step-by-step process; they just “seem right” to her. Pam filters every suggestion through her own subjective value system. She doesn’t compromise on what’s important, refusing to cooperate with anything that contradicts these values.

Extroverted Intuition (Ne): Pam is exceptionally creative. Her ability to see potential everywhere helps her to come up with ingeniously clever ideas, which in turn she uses to resolve conflicts, boost workplace morale, and enrich her personal relationships. Pam occasionally uses this talent to help people (usually Michael Scott) out of sticky situations. She is a fantastic advice-giver and a clever schemer, all in all making her one of the most loveable employees at Dunder Mifflin Scranton.

Introverted Sensing (Si): Pam does what she can to keep Dunder Mifflin (and Michael) from going off the rails. She is quick to point out practical implications and problems arising from people’s hair-brained schemes (mostly Michael’s). She has sentimental feelings toward Scranton and the Dunder Mifflin branch, as well as it’s idiosyncratic employees.

Extroverted Thinking (Te): Pam can be harshly critical of herself at times, and also of other people when they do something sleazy.  In moments of inspiration, she makes big, life-changing decisions without hesitation.