false sense of freedom

Period

I just found your blog and saw you were doing requests. Can you do one where the reader has been on the island for a month and she has her period and Pan and the lost boys don’t know what to do when she gets moody and has her cramps ..

warnings: mild swearing
848 words

You always knew this day would come. It lay in the deep recesses of your mind, allowing you to live in ignorant bliss with a false sense of freedom until the day came again, and it seemed as if you had forgotten a day like this even existed in all the excitement surrounding your arrival in Neverland. And although time is frozen here on the island, the days - and months - still go on as usual, bring you ever-closer to…

Your period.

And it was total shit.

“Out of my way,” you sniped at one of the younger Lost Boys, who was rolling around in a fit of giggles in front of the weapons pile. “Fucking move,” you commanded again, quite irritated when he didn’t budge. The small boy scurried away as you selected your pick of daggers to train with that day, grumbling in pain all the while.

It hurt like hell, the cramps. All you wanted to do was lay in your cot and die, but alas, there was work to be done on the island, and you would not be thought helpless amongst the boys, whom you had gained respect from this past month.

It had been a couple of days since your menstrual cycle had begun, and the Lost Boys were quite taken aback by your foul mood. Sure, you were already sharp-tongued and authoritative, but you had never been so…bitchy. And scary. Good God, the boys had no idea what to do with you. Hell, you had nearly sliced off Felix’s ear after he asked you what was wrong. He barely had anytime to dodge the dagger you chucked at him, just missing his head by a hair.

You had had enough of dealing with your period in the uncomfortable conditions of your tent for two nights, so this evening, you planned to walk to the beach. Exercise had always alleviated the pain, so perhaps this would also help your mood.

Nothing.

This walk had helped with nothing, and you were lying in the sand, clutching at your abdomen, cursing and swearing as you rode out the waves of pain.

“Tut, tut. Such foul language, dearest,” drawled a voice from behind.

“Fuck off, Pan,” you seethed. You sat up, knowing full well that he probably would do anything but that. Peter Pan took a seat next to you, chuckling as he did so.

“Touchy, are we?”

You snarled at him.

“I’m afraid to ask, since you almost gave Felix another scar when he popped the question but, I’m intrigued. What is the matter, love?”

You sighed, mostly out of annoyance rather than surrender. “Fine,” you began. “I’m on my period.”

Pan looked at you blankly. “Your-”

“Period? You know, menstrual cycle? Every month there’s a week where blood gushes out of my vagi-”

“I KNOW, I KNOW WHAT IT IS!” Pan heaved, face a bit blanched as he looked at you with a strange expression, mouth a bit open and gaping as his cheeks tinged pink. You didn’t know what to make of his face. And you don’t know what it was, but something in his features seemed almost comical in that moment, and you giggled. You laughed.

You chortled.

Pan hadn’t the slightest clue what to do as he just gaped at your insanity, and pretty soon, he was chuckling as well. You were lying on the sand clutching your abdomen once more, not in pain this time, but in laughter. Pan simply gazed down at you, secretly relieved that you didn’t seem to be hurting.

After the bubbling glee had died down somewhat, you were left with a small smile upon your lips.

“Ah, that’s better,” Pan said.

“What is?”

“Well, you’re not snarling at me, so that’s always good.” You scowled at him, and he laughed again. “What I mean to say is that it’s better now that you’re smiling. Or, you were, at least.”

You smirked at that and turned away from him to face the ocean, rising up on your elbows. Although you had forgotten about the pain for a while, you could feel it edging back now, and you huffed in protest.

“Do you need anything?”

You raised a brow and looked at him. Did the magic-wielding jerk just offer his help?

“Why are you looking at me like that?” He eyed you suspiciously, and you stared at him for a long moment before replying.

“Tea, would be nice. And some more cloth.”

Pan smirked at your request. “Anything else, Your Highness?”

“Hey-” you tossed a bit of sand at him. “You asked.” Pan chuckled and stood up, offering you a hand. You got up as well, and as you brushed sand off your clothes, Pan could barely refrain from asking his next question.

“Does it hurt?”

A mischievous glint cast over your eye as you replied smoothly, “Not as much as it does to have talk to you.”

“Alright, alright.” Pan ran a hand through his dusty brown hair, and you smiled to yourself as the pair of you walked back to camp together.

POWER | GREED | BASIC NEEDS - Anakin Skywalker’s viewpoint.

Something’s happening. I’m not the Jedi I should be. I want more. And I know I shouldn’t.” — Anakin Skywalker.

You know as much as I loathe Palpatine; I always admired his deviousness. The Jedi took in this poor slave kid and forced their rules on him (for all the good that brought them) and as Jedi; Anakin wasn’t supposed to have anything, let alone “want” something.

“WAIT!! Padmé offered him to go with her in RotS!” Yes, and she was reaching out to him, however, Obi-Wan chose that wrong time to show up, so scratch that.

Keep reading

I couldn’t tell you why
I was always in such a hurry
to grow up.
I moved from a city
that shackled me
to a false sense of freedom,
and kept me ignorant
to all the ways in which
one can only be free
when they are young.
I should’ve known better;
all grown-ups are pirates.
Small-hearted thieves
with their dejected ships
anchored in mortality.
I have always been a lost boy:
crowing at the sun,
barking at the moon.
I never wanted hooks for hands,
or a ticking time bomb in my chest;
never wanted to trade autonomy
for blood and diamonds.
Forget the sword fights
and buried treasure.
I want to feel infinite
in spite of feeling small.
I’m not afraid to die,
I’m just learning to slow down.
—  To Live Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure
The allegory of The Skinner Box: The illusion of freedom (through choice) in videogames

Thought I’d post one of my media blogs, since I haven’t done any of my weird philosorant posts pretty much since the beginning of my Tumblr days. It’s a bit dense, but hopefully thought-provoking. Also, BioShock spoilers, but GOPLAYITNOWWHATAREYOUDOING?!?!

“The digital realm is biased toward choice, because everything must be expressed in the terms of a discrete, yes-or-no, symbolic language. This, in turn, often forces choices on humans operating within the digital sphere. We must come to recognize the increased number of choices in our lives as largely a side effect of the digital; we always have the choice of making no choice at all.” (Douglas Rushkoff, 2011. ‘III. Choice: You May Always Choose None of the Above’ in Program or Be Programmed, p.49)

The theme of choices is heavily featured in the (now) classic game BioShock (Irrational Games, 2007), known for the iconic catchphrase: “A man chooses; a slave obeys.” Set in 1960, in an underwater city named ‘Rapture’, the game is a first-person shooter, simulating Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged (1957) in a state of ruin.

The famed “BioShock moment” revelation refers to the scene where you/the protagonist, Jack, discover you are a clone of your nemesis Andrew Ryan. In a series of flashbacks, you a revealed that the trigger “Would you kindly” forced the player to perform acts throughout the game.

As Claus Pias notes “Computer games are dependent on that kind of tyche; the game is a series of events that occur through coincidence but that in retrospect can be seen as nothing other than necessary.” (Claus Pias, 2011. ‘The game player’s duty: The user as the gestalt of the ports’ in Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications, p.169) Videogames are dependent on rules. No matter how expansive the ‘sandbox’ of a game is, it is still reliant on laws of the game world – programmed essentially as 1’s and 0’s/yes and no’s.

“A game is a machine that can get into action only if the players consent to become puppets for a time.” (Marshall McLuhan, 1964. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, p.238)

The BioShock revelation is a landmark for the medium because it is self-reflective of it’s nature as a videogame. Videogames depend on coercing the player into a false sense of freedom and autonomy. This is done by constantly being given “choices”. Though, as Rushkoff reminds us, a “forced choice is no choice at all” (p. 52). BioShock’s major “choice”, as given to the player, is to choose between saving ‘little sisters’ or harvesting them. It reduces a moral choice to ‘good’ and ‘evil’, or ‘good ending’ and ‘bad ending’, or even ‘win’ and ‘lose’. But the BioShock moral choice cannot be a genuine hypothetical moral conundrum, since videogames are too pragmatically motivated.

Claus Pias argues, in videogames, “We are not in the realms of conscience and morality but in the area of duty and law” (‘The game player’s duty’, p.180). Pias regards a gamers’ actions as ‘duty’ based - in the Kantian sense. Kant’s Categorical Imperative is not about choice. In short, we must act on duties for the sake that they are duties.

“Playing videogames, like working with computers, we learn to adapt ourselves to fixed systems of control. *All the adapting is ours*.” (Charles Bernsein, 1991. ‘Play It Again, Pac-Man’ in A Poetics, as referenced by Robert Jackson, 2014. BioShock: Decision, Forced Choice and Propaganda, p.367)

We program the videogame; we are programmed by the videogame. We jump to the timeliness and punctuality of hitting the ball in Pong; we are regulated by the game to declare “I am here!”

We can see these effects replicated in our society, in the capitalist structure and gamification. I used to work at EB Games, and it was fascinating to see gamification in action first-hand. We were driven to meet objectives by having our KPI’s (Key Performance Indication) constantly reviewed. We were ranked individually and by store, and regionally as the store within the company. It created a competitive environment, where we were pegged against each other to sell more products, extended guarantees and pre-orders – for the sake of your KPI rank. And, of course, we did it by the illusion of our own “choice”. As Wendy Hui Kyong Chun discusses “The liberal market… both produces freedom and seeks to control it.” (2011, ‘Excerpts’ from Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, p.7)

Thoughts? I don’t think it’s a bad thing that videogames are essentially/reductively a Skinner Box. I think - perhaps - “life” is too. I also think that determinism doesn’t necessitate that we aren’t autonomous beings. But, then again, I am an existentialistttttttt.

We know who the killers are,
We have watched them strut before us
As proud as sick Mussolinis’,
We have watched them strut before us
Compassionless and arrogant,
They paraded before us,
Like angels of death
Protected by the law.

It is now an open secret
Black people do not have
Chips on their shoulders,
They just have injustice on their backs
And justice on their minds,
And now we know that the road to liberty
Is as long as the road from slavery.

The death of Stephen Lawrence
Has taught us to love each other
And never to take the tedious task
Of waiting for a bus for granted.
Watching his parents watching the cover-up
Begs the question
What are the trading standards here?
Why are we paying for a police force
That will not work for us?
The death of Stephen Lawrence
Has taught us
That we cannot let the illusion of freedom
Endow us with a false sense of security as we walk the streets,
The whole world can now watch
The academics and the super cops
Struggling to define institutionalised racism
As we continue to die in custody
As we continue emptying our pockets on the pavements,
And we continue to ask ourselves
Why is it so official
That black people are so often killed
Without killers?
We are not talking about war or revenge
We are not talking about hypothetics or possibilities,
We are talking about where we are now
We are talking about how we live now
In dis state
Under dis flag, (God Save the Queen),
And God save all those black children who want to grow up
And God save all the brothers and sisters
Who like raving,
Because the death of Stephen Lawrence
Has taught us that racism is easy when
You have friends in high places.
And friends in high places
Have no use whatsoever
When they are not your friends.
Dear Mr Condon,
Pop out of Teletubby land,
And visit reality,
Come to an honest place
And get some advice from your neighbours,
Be enlightened by our community,
Neglect your well-paid ignorance
Because
We know who the killers are.

— 

What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us - Benjamin Zephaniah