freedom to serve

“I’ve seen a ton on the facebooks about "thanking veterans for their service.” As a veteran let me just be very straightforward and honest with you. We didn’t “serve our country”; we don’t actually serve our brothers/sisters or our neighbors. We serve the interests of Capital. We never risked our lives or spent months on deployment away from our family and friends so they can have this abstract concept called “freedom”. We served big oil; big coal; Coca-Cola; Kellogg, Brown, and Root and all the other big Capital interests who don’t know a fucking thing about sacrifice. These people will never have to deal with the loss of a loved one or the physical and/or psychological scars that those who “serve”, and their families, have to deal with for the rest of their lives. The most patriotic thing someone can do is to tell truth to power and dedicate yourself to building power to overthrow these sociopathic assholes. I served with some of the most real and genuine people I’ve ever met. You’ll never see solidarity like the kind of solidarity you experience when your life depends on the person next to you. But most of us didn’t join for that; we joined because we were fucking poor and didn’t have many other options.“

— An anti-capitalist veteran

open.spotify.com
Songs of Freedom, a playlist by clubgumbo on Spotify
A playlist featuring Vladdy Iskhakov, Tom Paxton, Chumbawamba, and others

“No revolutionary movement is complete without its poetical expression. If such a movement has caught hold of the imagination of the masses they will seek a vent in song for the aspirations, the fears and the hopes, the loves and the hatreds engendered by the struggle. Until the movement is marked by the joyous, defiant, singing of revolutionary songs, it lacks one of the most distinctive marks of a popular revolutionary movement, it is the dogma of a few, and not the faith of the multitude.” - James Connolly

Featuring over 2000 songs, this is perhaps the largest and most comprehensive playlist available online of radical and rebel songs. Spanning numerous genres from folk to zydeco to punk and metal, the songs of this playlist cover a diverse and expansive selection of subject matter, including:

  • Labor rights
  • Indigenous rights
  • The Civil Rights movement and Black Lives Matter
  • National liberation and anti-imperialism
  • Socialism
  • Revolution
  • LGBT liberation
  • Prison abolition
  • Anarchism
  • Feminism
  • The Chicano movement
  • Anti-capitalism

Enjoy hours of these songs of revolution, liberation, and freedom. May they serve as an inspiration and a reminder of what we fight for, and of those who have come before us in the struggle.

explainguncontrolandsafespaces  asked:

You are anti capitalist. The other end is communism. Is that what you support? If a person chooses not to work in your ideal economy what happens to them?

I feel like the reason you’re asking this is because you’re assuming that communism would entail “the collective” forcing a person to perform labor and then extracting their labor product when finished, yes? As if to imply that starvation in a capitalist economy is significantly better? Nah, we don’t want some collective committee forcing an individual to perform labor – and if you think that’s what the anti-capitalist critique boils down to, you’re denying yourself a layered understanding of capitalism itself, as well.

Are you under some sort of impression that workers get to control the full product of their labor under capitalism? That the critique of capitalism is merely “do basically everything the same as capitalism except have a significant place for the state sector and regulation”? Or, like, “the state does everything”?

C'mon mate, read a bit on historical materialism – the social structure of society is overwhelmingly dependent on technology, the material conditions, and our relationships to the means of production. For instance, we had feudalism when there was the windmill, we developed capitalism as the steam engine and the commercial factory took off, and now we’re fast approaching a scenario where extensive automation could free millions upon millions of people from even needing to work a job beyond couple-hour shifts, if that. The changing technology will necessitate a change in social structure, as history has shown, or we’ll continue to slip further into obfuscating barbarism managed by a ruling class of capitalists and state bureaucrats. Rather than continue to compel people to work 8+ hour shifts, starve, or have their jobs lost to machines, machines ought to replace every job they feasibly could; at that point, society should democratically control the abundance-producing machines. Figure out what jobs need to be done to satisfy needs, cut out the many jobs that literally aren’t needed to sustain society (and are just there to help with profit extraction and bureaucracy), automate wherever possible, divvy up the work that can’t be automated, and then people get to pursue whatever they want once those economic faculties are covered. In the end, people have bountiful leisure time, thus expanding their freedom (ya know, the fetishized but actually-neglected concept of capitalism). I’m simplifying the process a bit, but that’s the general trajectory that ought to be embraced.

The capitalist system has many innate tensions within it, but that automation conundrum is HUGE – capitalists want the most profit possible, and soon they will automate away jobs as wages start to increase again. This is why liberals miss the point in the grand scheme of things – yes, increased minimum wages CAN lead to job loss, and automation WILL consume jobs left and right in the coming decades. But that’s not due to the “greedy workers wanting more” or whatever bullshit right-wingers argue – it’s because the system is not structurally designed to meet everyone’s needs. It’s not about freedom or individualism or serving human need; it’s about profit extraction for a small caste of elites.

Zoom out and consider where humanity has gone and will continue to go as time moves forward. You’re sitting in an idealistic fantasyland if you think capitalism can maintain itself forever as the modes of production change and as we slip further into environmental collapse. I implore you to dig past surface ideology you’ve been fed since childhood and locate the true source of tyranny and widespread human suffering.

3

An Ember in the Ashes Cover Redesigns

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger. The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight. 

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion—even at the cost of his humanity.

A Reaper at the Gates to be Released April 2018

Black History day 2: Civil War hero Robert Smalls.

‘He sat at the conference table next to Frederick Douglass as they tried to convince President Abraham Lincoln that African Americans should be allowed to fight for their own freedom. He served five terms in Congress. He ran a newspaper and helped found a state Republican Party.

But first, he had to win his freedom.

To do that, he conceived a plan that struck a blow against the Confederacy so significant that he was heralded across the nation. Carrying out his mission required bravery, intelligence and precision timing — attributes that many whites at that time thought blacks didn’t possess.’ -Washington Post


Smalls was the son of a black housekeeper and likely a white man. He was treated well by his owners and allowed to play with the white children, which sometimes got him in trouble when he would do things like violate the black curfew to play with his white friends. He married an enslaved woman with two children and sought to buy their freedom, but $800 was a lot of money for a slave. When Smalls was 23, he took control of a Confederate ship. Wearing a captain’s coat and hat and taking care to hide his black face, Smalls steered the ship toward a rendezvous spot to pick up his family.

I strongly encourage you to read more of his amazing story here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/civil-war-hero-robert-smalls-seized-the-opportunity-to-be-free/2012/02/23/gIQAcGBtmR_story.html?slave&utm_term=.ebbaf9f19f27

what she says: im fine

what she means: it’s been 10 damn years since Anakin left Tatooine, you’re telling me in all that time queen and/or senator Padme couldn’t have lobbied a special outer-rim anti slavery bill. shes like so upset about how the republic isn’t shit out here in ep 1 but she’s not gonna try do anything to free these slaves?? she couldn’t even as a special gesture send an envoy back to tatooine with a bunch of tatooine dollars to buy the freedom of the woman whose son saved her ass and her planet?? really???? no damn jedi had any problem with slavery on tatooine either?? they’re like serving freedom and the republic and shit, why not go enforce the laws where you know for a fact they’re being broken. like i get Anakin couldn’t just go back once he grew a little but damn we don’t get Any mention that he or any jedi or fucking Padme tried even a little to free his mom and/or all the other slaves on tatooine???honestly it’s extremely bad and lazy and shitty storytelling and also where are all the Shmi stans, she’s the one who didn’t do anything wrong and got the most thrown under the bus for this narrative.  the writers couldnt have even given her any less than a MONTH’S worth of torture at the hands of the Tusken Raiders oh my god, a few days would have been quite enough!!!!!!!! really a fucking month of torture (and tbh all sorts of nastiness implied ugh) to fuel her son’s awful character arc?? I HATE!!!! WHERE ARE ALL THE ANAKIN STANS WHEN IT COMES TO HIS DAMN MOM???

Draft Cards - Tommy Shelby

Request: Their first fight (like the real one where they see they have strong personalities but with a happy ending just because - like Tommy crawling into bed late at night cause he can’t sleep away)

Draft Cards - Tommy Shelby | part of the Able series

You found Tommy’s draft card on the nightstand by his bed when you stayed over that weekend. He had gone down to the betting shop to work and, as you were getting dressed, you noticed the card sticking out from underneath a book. You knew that snooping in his room was bad but you were curious when you saw his signature on the part of the card that was sticking out. You pulled the card out and read over it.  

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140-cloves-of-garlic  asked:

My understanding, of Christianity at least, (I'm unfortunately not familiar with other monotheistic religions) is that we are supposed to love God and then have the virtues come from our desire to serve Him. So failings are understood and forgiven, if we realize that they were wrong and regret them, which is basically the same as what you said about working to make ourselves better, I think. But on another point, do you believe in the "human nature is to be selfish" thing?

Of course it’s human nature to be selfish, for a given value of ‘selfish’. 

We evolved as communal creatures. Living in tightly knit groups who all helped contribute to the success of the group as a whole is what gave us an edge and kept us from dying out. If you notice, even the most hard-hearted of humans will share with their family group. Even Drumph is willing to share with his spawn. 

But, of course, our relationship to those outside our immediate group can be far more selfish and violent. 

I would argue that some people seem to be incapable of realizing that we don’t have to hoard resources for our group any longer. Rather the opposite; that the hoarding of resources by a few is now counterproductive for the species as a whole. 

Of course I’m selfish. For myself and my loved ones. I want us to have health, joy, and prosperity. It’s just that my group of loved ones includes millions of people (billions, even) rather than my immediate family group. 

In the words of Tiffany Aching, written by the late great Sir Terry Pratchett;

“All witches are selfish, the Queen had said. But Tiffany’s Third Thoughts said: Then turn selfishness into a weapon! Make all things yours! Make other lives and dreams and hopes yours! Protect them! Save them! Bring them into the sheepfold! Walk the gale for them! Keep away the wolf! My dreams! My brother! My family! My land! My world! How dare you try to take these things, because they are mine!

I have a duty
!”


And honestly, a god that demands I love and serve him with everything I have, all the time, and have all good things spring solely from my service to him? Sounds mighty unappealing. I prefer a god who likes his praise, sure, but also encourages me to have my own shit to do, and to figure things out independently from Him, and who doesn’t put limits on my expression of my sexuality or power. 

The Christian concept of god has always been terribly limiting to my mind. And I know some people say that they find freedom and peace in serving god, but serving and humbling myself has never been in my nature. 

npr.org
Descendants Of Native American Slaves In New Mexico Emerge From Obscurity

Every year in late November, the New Mexican village of Abiquiu, about an hour northwest of Santa Fe, celebrates the town saint, Santo Tomas. Townfolk file into the beautiful old adobe Catholic church to pay homage its namesake.

But this is no ordinary saint’s day. Dancers at the front of the church are dressed in feathers, face paint and ankle bells that honor their forebears — captive Indian slaves called genizaros.

The dances and chants are Native American, but they don’t take place on a Pueblo Indian reservation. Instead, they’re performed in a genizaro community, one of several scattered across the starkly beautiful high desert of northern New Mexico.

After centuries in the shadows, this group of mixed-race New Mexicans — Hispanic and American Indian — is stepping forward to seek recognition.

Genizaros are descendants of slaves, but not Africans who crossed the Atlantic in shackles to work in Southern cotton fields. They are living heirs to Native American slaves. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Native American women and children captured in warfare were bought, converted to Catholicism, taught Spanish and held in servitude by New Mexican families. Ultimately, these nontribal, Hispanicized Indians assimilated into New Mexican society.

“Who is the genizaro?” asks Virgil Trujillo, a ranch manager in Abiquiu. “We know who the Apache are, the Comanche, the Lakota. We know all this. Who’s the genizaro? See, in our history that was suppressed. Spanish people and white people came in. [They said] ‘bad Indian, bad Indian.’ ”

Ranch manager Virgil Trujillo wants the world to know that “the genizaro people of the pueblo of Abiquiu are alive and well.”

The name genizaro is the Spanish word for janissary,war captives conscripted into service to fight for the Ottoman Sultan. Some New Mexican genizaros gained their freedom by serving as soldiers to defend frontier villages like Abiquiu from Indian raids. By the late 1700s, genizaros comprised one-third of the population of New Mexico.

The territory changed hands from Spain to Mexico to, in the early 20th century, the United States. Genizaros intermarried with Hispanics, and their identity as Native Americans was effectively erased, at least in the historical record.

“Today we have a little tiny opportunity to get our word out,” says Trujillo. “The genizaro people of the pueblo of Abiquiu are alive and well.”

The Santo Tomas fiesta moves from the church grounds to the home of the festival chairman. A trio of musicians entertains. People sit at outdoor tables in a chill wind, eating bowls of steaming pozole, or hominy stew, with red chile.

One of the dancers is Gregorio Gonzales, a 28-year-old man in a black skullcap with a red arrow painted on his cheek. If asked, he says, he would say he is a genizaro.

Today, genizaro is a neutral term. But it wasn’t always so, Gonzales says. He’s a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology, writing his dissertation on genizaro identity.

“Genizaro, the term, was actually used as a racial slur by people, especially here in northern New Mexico, the equivalent of the N-word,” he says.

Gregorio Gonzales, 28, is a dancer in the Santo Tomas festival as well as a Ph.D. candidate writing his dissertation on genizaro identity.

What’s happening in New Mexico today is a sort of genizaro renaissance.

There have been recent symposia on genizaro history and identity. A pair of scholars at the University of New Mexico is putting out a book. The working title is Genizaro Nation.

“There was a lot of Native American slavery going on. It’s just an eye-opener to the average Americans when they discover this,” says co-editor Enrique Lamadrid. He is a distinguished professor emeritus of Spanish at the University of New Mexico who has done some of the groundbreaking scholarship on genizaros.

While Native American slavery was commonplace, New Mexico was the only place where free Indians were called genizaros.

They were often Comanches, Utes, Kiowas, Apaches and Navajos taken as slaves by each other, and by colonists.

“In the 1770s, if you were going to get married, one of the best wedding presents you could get is a little Indian kid who becomes part of your household. They took on your own last name, and they became part of the family,” says Lamadrid.

One thing the new genizaro scholarship does is smash the conventional notion that New Mexican identity is somehow defined as either the noble Spaniard or the proud Pueblo Indian.

“The Spanish fantasy is a myth,” says Moises Gonzales, an architecture professor at UNM and co-editor of Genizaro Nation. “I think it’s great that we’re finally having a very elevated conversation about what it means to be genizaro in contemporary times.”

In the 300-year-old villages tucked in river valleys of New Mexico, the genizaros are finally telling their stories.

@sabaatahir !!! The cover title and date are finally out! A Reaper at the Gates will be released April 10th 2018.

Summary:

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion—even at the cost of his humanity.

The Valkyrie- Chapter 1

“No need to look so menacing, sweetheart.” Loki murmured in your ear. “This is the elven king I am treating with, not a horde of orcs.”

You bit your lip, trying to ignore the tingles down your spine.

The flush on your cheeks, the quickening of your breath. There was nothing that made a Valkyrie’s blood run hotter than the prospect of danger.

He had insisted on your company this night. For protection, he claimed. The Mirkwood elves were lean, war-hardened creatures with wild, dangerous temperaments. A valuable asset in Loki’s quest in gaining his rightful place as king and ruler of Asgard. But it was yet to be determined whether the king of the Woodland Realm was ally or adversary.

The elven procession was approaching, and the last thing you needed was to be distracted by his throaty sensuality, the electrifying warmth of his close proximity. You pulled from him in annoyance, adrenaline rushing. You had to focus.

The elven king strode forward in his brocade robes, hair cascading down his shoulders like a silver waterfall. He eyed Loki with a cool disdain, his nose upturned.

“…Loki.”

Loki gave him a charming grin and bowed, half mockingly. “Thranduil.”

Thranduil narrowed his eyes, looking hard at the Asgardian. Then his gaze fell on you.

You had not expected to see fire in the piercing blue. He tilted his head ever the so slightly. Suddenly a red-haired elf by him leapt towards Loki, silver blade flashing.

CLANG!

You blocked her sword with your twin daggers, inches from Loki’s face. You could hear the pounding of your heart, feel the maddening heat racing through you. She ducked as you swiped at her, and kicked your legs from under you. As you fell, you threw a dagger at her face. She knocked it from the air. You used the distraction to slam her in her shins. Her arms were pinned down with your knees, your remaining dagger against her throat. You glared triumphantly up at the elven king. Your breath was ragged now. Your lips were parched, your chest tight and heaving against your breastplate.

A faint smile played on the elven king’s lips. “…Quite a fighter you have protecting your mirage, Loki.”  

Mirage?

You ground your teeth. The bastard. He brought you here not because he couldn’t protect himself, but to watch you burn. And he was enjoying every minute of it.

There was a rush of wind behind you as the mirage vanished. A warm, familiar hand grazed your shoulder. The sensation was almost painful. The real Loki had materialized, wearing his full regalia. Slowly, you released the elf and pulled yourself to your feet, every cell on fire.

“It seems as if elves are not easily deceived by Asgardian magic,” Loki laughed, shrugging. “I am impressed. Although I still don’t know what the fuss is about. I thought we had already reached an agreement.”

“We had. But you have yet to fulfill your side of the bargain.”

“Killing a dragon is no easy task; you know firsthand the dangers of facing such a beast. Surely there is something else I can offer in the meantime for a few thousand men.”

Thranduil was quiet, his expression unreadable. Then he turned to you and stared you dead in the eye. “…The Valkyrie, perhaps?”

Loki narrowed his eyes almost imperceptibly. Then he threw his head back and laughed. “I’m afraid the Valkyrie is not mine to give,” he lied smoothly. “She serves me on her own free will.”

“I see,” Thranduil said softly, his gaze lingering as if he were drinking you in. “I will give you time to consider a counter proposal. You and your Valkyrie are welcome to stay in Mirkwood in the meanwhile.”

He turned on his heel, his elven guards following after him deep into to the woods.

“Your rise to my defense was unusually slow tonight,” Loki said gruffly, cupping your chin and tilting it towards him. “You seem…distracted.”

Your senses still simmered from the brush with violence. He was too close, his lips a sensual flick away. His breath was warm on your face, his grasp firm.

“I promised to defend you. I was not aware I was to defend your shadows as well.“

He trailed his fingers down your face. “…I gave you freedom to choose how you serve me. If you’ve chosen to protect me, then protect me.”  

You swallowed a low moan. Stupid hormones. Stupid Loki. 

You swatted his hand away irritably. "Are we heading to Mirkwood?”    

“You’ve but just met the king of elves, and now you’re so anxious to go to Mirkwood,” he said sourly, wrenching his gaze from you.

“…I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Fine then.” He snapped. “We will go to Laketown first. Watching you fight has me worked up to quite an appetite.”


Loki’s “appetite” tonight was a voluptuous brunette and a lean, spritely red-head. You stood by in silent indifference as he hooked the tavern girls with the slightest crook of his finger, the seductive curve of his smile. How effortlessly the gods enthralled the mortals.

He spirited the four of you to the Halls of the Woodland King, where the elves were expecting your company. The elven guards raised their eyebrows at the humans but said nothing, showing you to the guest quarters.

Once in his room, he threw himself on the plush feather bed and gathered the two giggling women into his arms.

“Such delightful hospitality!” He drawled mockingly, grabbing a pillow. “Silks! Satin! Courtesy of the splendid elven king Thranduil, the only elf in the whole galaxy with a stick permanently up his arse!”

The red-head guffawed too loudly.

“They say a dragon shredded half his face,” the brunette rasped dramatically. “He uses magic to mask his disfigurement.”

“Oooh, battle scars!” Loki snickered. “Is that why you couldn’t take your eyes off him earlier, Valkyrie? He’s just your type!”

“…It’s late. I’ll take my leave.” You said flatly, heading towards the door.

The way he looked at you then, like a storm cloud had swallowed engulfed the sun.

“…You know I brought them here in jest,” He said quietly, the laughter gone from his voice. “Stay, and I will send them away.”

Jest? Spiteful, petty, jealous god. You can play that game too.

“…Good night, my lord,” you muttered, and closed the door.

The Mirkwood guards let you out of the cold stone halls and into the fresh silence of the woods. You leaned over railings of woven branches, overlooking the waterfall, the water crashing down against jagged rocks.

It had been three years since Loki claimed your life-debt. Six months since he began following you with eyes of forlorn longing.

Were he not in exile, he would never have given you a second glance. You knew it was only his loneliness that drove him to you.

A part of you hated him for it. Another part of you secretly yearned.

“It is not safe in these woods alone at night.”

The voice was low, soft as distant thunder. Your hands were on your blades, your breath caught in your throat. It was the elven king, pale under the moonlight like a silver ghost. He leaned against the trunk of a gnarled tree only a few feet away. You did not know how long he had been standing there, watching you.

You should have sensed his presence. How could you not have seen him? The base instinct of fight or flight took hold, adrenaline streaking through you like lightning as it did earlier in the night. Danger, your body purred. Delicious, delightful danger.

“I can fend for myself,” you murmured.

He drew closer. He was very tall. With broad, muscular shoulders and heavy-set chest. There was something very carnal about the way his robe flashed blood orange against blackened silver, and you could not help wonder what sort of man one would find beneath the brocade.

“I have seen for myself how a Valkyrie is a force to be reckoned with. Odin must truly regret having lost one of his finest warriors.”

“He regrets nothing,” you growled, your temper rising at the thought of the tyrannical old buzzard. “If he had his way, I would be burning alive on a pyre. Loki smuggled me from Asgard, before I could be executed.” 

"A Valkyrie’s life spared is her life owed. So you do belong to Loki.”

There was that slight smile again. You could feel him studying you, a tiger eyeing its prey.

"He holds my life-debt. I belong to no one.”

“But you are precious to him.” His words dripped from his lips like honey. “Guard, soldier, assassin. Bound by honor to fight, to kill as commanded by whomever holds your debt.”

You nodded. “To go against the honor of a life-debt is lethal for Valkyries. Our hearts would stop mid-beat should we refuse to kill or defend as ordered.”

“Can a Valkyrie life-debt be transferred?”

The elven king’s expression was unreadable. You bit your lip.

“…Why do you ask?”

There was no mirth behind his smile. “I have a twisted dagger scar that runs between my shoulder blades. A jagged parting gift from one who had, up until then, been my confidant and most trusted bodyguard. I have made many enemies over the years, and I need someone I can trust. Loyalty, like trust, must be earned. But honor…” He took your hand and raised it to his lips, his eyes never leaving yours. “Honor is intrinsic. If it is honor that binds you to your god, then I will have that same honor bind you to me.“

Your heart fluttered like a banner in the wind.

TO BE CONTINUED <3

Chapter 2

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This fic posted 4/10/16 only on lemonconfessions.tumblr.com . This fic is not posted anywhere else, so please feel free go ahead and report any rip-off posts on FFN and AO3 if you see any <3  

A War Fought at Home : Chapter 7

Corporal Natsu Dragneel has been through Hell, and unfortunately for him, the ride isn’t quite over. How will a new Rehab program at the local VA help? And will a certain blonde help make matters better?

Modern Military AU. Warnings for mentions of depression and adult language/situations. Other warnings to come as the story progresses. Cross post on AO3 and FF.net.

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

The last thing Lucy had wanted to do was go out to some club. After spending the day cleaning her apartment, she had received the text from her friends inviting her for a night out. Honestly, she hadn’t been out much after she started her degree program a year ago and it was getting significantly more difficult to come up with excuses on the fly. Between working at the VA, school, and packing, she was exhausted, only having two weeks to gather up what was important and sell the rest, including most of her bigger furniture pieces. After informing her that Sergeant Fullbuster had actually agreed to her moving in with them, Natsu had also told her that the room came pre-furnished. Luckily that meant extra money in her pocket for rent in her new home. While that helped keep the stress at bay, there was also the looming topic of ‘her father’.

Jude had been in touch recently, within the past couple days, petitioning for her return to Acalypha. Of course, he had cited the ‘unnecessary tribulations of working a lower-class job and living in a sham of an apartment’ as reasons why Lucy should give up on her quest for freedom but those only served as fuel for her fire. She loved living in a tiny studio apartment she got to call her own. The blonde student also loved her job at the VA more than she could describe. Seeing the veterans day after day, overcoming some of the worst obstacles life could throw at them, gave her hope that she too could tackle any problem that came her way. Even if it was a mustached man in a suit who had come to take her away…

Natsu wouldn’t let that happen. The thought came to mind without her consent, taking Lucy by surprise. In the past few months, the two of them had become quite close and she knew without a doubt that he would keep her safe from anything, even her own father. Honestly, when she looked at Natsu she didn’t see his chair no matter how much he despised the thing. She saw him as a strong, courageous, rambunctious Marine who worked harder than anyone she had ever met. She was sure there was very little he could do to change her mind.

Looking around her tiny living space, Lucy sighed as her phone buzzed again. If it was one of the girls further trying to pester her, she was going to flip her lid. A small smile crept onto her dust-covered face when she saw it it was her favorite Marine.

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When your fandom is being attacked by bigoted people who've never read the damn books and want to say it's racist

Originally posted by beasts

peachyrad  asked:

why do you think so many genderists and libs in general are sympathy vampires? any theories as to why it's now cool to hang with the ""more oppressed"" crowds?

-Liberalism largely emphasizes “individual freedoms”

-Narcs are inherently self-focused, and therefore Liberalism’s emphasis of individual freedom (as opposed to serving the greater good) appeals to them

-To a cluster B, “right to individual freedom” means “right to control others as I see fit in order to achieve or obtain whatever I please”

-Cluster Bs attempt to manipulate their perceived “right to individual freedom” in order to guilt others into subordination, seeing as they value their individual desires over the rights of others

-The most effective way to induce this guilt in others is to play on the weak morals of people with poor critical thinking skills and/or a lack of boundaries

-Creating a false “oppressed” identity allows cluster Bs to gain the sympathy required to play on the weak morals of others

-The most effective way for a “privileged” person to create a false “oppressed” identity is to co-opt the suffering of a genuinely oppressed group 

-Attempting to opt-in to an oppressed group requires you to lie about reality, which Cluster Bs have no qualms about doing

-You see this with liberal feminism’s rampant female appropriation, lesbian appropriation, gay male appropriation (in the case of fujoshis), racefaking, self-diagnosis of mental disorders, etc


One way cluster Bs distort reality to elicit sympathy is by claiming to have “made a suicide attempt” after merely threatening suicide or committing a non-injurious gesture. 

These unsubstantiated self-reports of “suicide attempts” skew statistics and are used as a tool to induce further guilt in people with poor critical thinking skills and/or a lack of boundaries. 

Cluster Bs threaten suicide as a means of controlling others - i.e. “I’m so suicidal because of my nose :^( donate to my Paypal so I can get facial feminization surgery”. They use the inaccurate suicide stats (and the implicit threat of suicide) to garner pity which they manipulate for financial gain.


Why do I think so many genderists and libs in general are sympathy vampires? Because Liberalism attracts cluster Bs, and because genderism is a tool Cluster Bs use to manipulate others. 

Why is it now cool to hang with the “more oppressed” crowds? Because claiming to be oppressed is an effective way of eliciting sympathy in people with weak boundaries, making them vulnerable to manipulation.

Nobody would be donating to a genderist’s gofundme if they didn’t feel sorry for those charlatans. Genderists need sympathy to exist in others in order to leech off of others. That’s why they’re called “sympathy vampires”.

The essence of femininity and a shounen women's strength - a long Gintama analysis

Gintama, despite its comedic form, talks about some important topics and I deeply appreciate it. There are many problems, but still some themes come back more often, in different settings and with different situations, yet they are not outdated, on the contrary - there is always something new that can be added. One of those problem is the matter of femininity, or rather problems with defining femininity, because not once and not twice Sorachi-sensei let his women said “I don’t want to be a woman, because”… yeah, why?
Here the answer is not so simple, every woman is a little different and her protest against femininity has a different form, is associated with different troubles. I do not want to be a woman, because I can’t do things that are natural for men. I do not want to be a woman, because it makes certain things unattainable for me. It cuts my perspectives. I do not want to be a woman, because it makes me weak. I do not want to be a woman, because men humiliate me. Because my life would be different if I was a man. Sorachi-sensei shows a woman fighting on many levels, not only to be equal to men, but also to show what does it mean to be a shounen woman, a strong female character, a valuable female character.

For the first time Sorachi-sensei showed a woman having problems solely because of her gender in a short story about firefighters, when Gintoki met Tatsumi. Because it was the beginning of the manga and Tatsumi never came back, I just remind that she was a girl saved from fire by a fireman. The fire killed her parents, so since then the girl was brought up at a fireman headquarters. Her dream was to become a firefighter, but her wings were quickly clipped. How? Simply, Tatsumi heard that she wouldn’t be able to be the real firefighter because she was a woman. And we all know it’s a male profession, a man world where a woman inherently does not fit. It was not that the firefighters didn’t like Tatsumi. They just didn’t treat her seriously - couldn’t imagine a good female firefighter. Sorachi-sensei showed it as a function too abstract for stagers.
There aren’t any simple stories in Gintama, so of course it turned out that it was never about Tatsumi’s gender. Her foster father wanted to protect her from his dangerous work, he just wanted to make her happy, it never really mattered that she was a girl… but for sure?
No. At this moment we disregard the storyline. Undeniably Tatsumi’s father wanted the best for her, he loved her, he didn’t regret that he had a daughter. In this case gender actually meant nothing. But let’s get out of the story area and stand on the author’s side. If a firefighter saved a boy, would he love him as much as he loved a girl? Yes. If he wanted to succeed his profession, would his father stop him? Yes. If Sorachi-sensei chose a man, would the story be the same? No. Sorachi would show this story through completely different means, “deterrence” would be different. The things that a boy has to prove are completely different. He would be a little bit like Shinpachi, most likely he would prove that he can do something - he himself, as an Individual. Tatsumi didn’t have to prove that she can do something. Immediately obvious way to divert her attention from firefighters was to remind her that she was a woman, with a man such a thing does not exist. Her privacy was taken away from her, her efforts were not individual, but very general. Because it showed that a woman can pursue male professions. She has gained privacy at the end, when she learned the truth about his father, that’s true. But Sorachi-sensei had reasons to choose a woman, underestimated just because of her gender.

When we talk about the problem of femininity in Gintama, without any doubt the most important character is Kyuubei Yagyuu. I mentioned Tatsumi because her silent protest was not a protest against femininity. Of course, she wasn’t sweet and girly, but she also didn’t hate being a woman. She was the woman doing some things as well as men, it was her role. Kyuubei’s problem was totally different. Kyuubei is that unusual character, in her the approval and contempt for the womanhood existed at the same time, or rather admiration for Otae’s femininity and the contempt of her own femininity.
Her father and grandfather said they never wanted Kyuubei to abandon her femininity (father again. If I have a little time my next essay will be about fairly difficult role of a father and his impact on a child in Gintama), but we are not surprised. Kyuubei was raised on simple rules - if you were a boy, you would inherit family, the dojo, our name, you’d be a samurai, you would be our pride. But you’re not, you’re just a girl. Some people probably would look askance at you if they knew you’re not a boy. And perhaps it was never explicitly stated, never said like that, but what little Kyuubei could hear if not ‘if you were a boy, you’d be much better, valuable person’. But she was just a woman.
Anime and manga sometimes give us situations like “Oh God, you are a woman?” and responses like “I’m a man in my heart, but outside I’m a woman”. Surely anyone can add more than one character. But how often the problem itself is marginalized and the topic runs as a TV trope or the effect of surprise, nothing more? Kyuubei has a serious problem, because she is not another character whose sex turns out to be different. Kyuubei is someone who believed that being a woman made her worse. As we know, in fact Kyuubei felt like a girl, she wanted to be like Otae, she wanted to behave similarly. But the influence of the society and the pressures were so strong that her dream was quickly burned.
Once again, remember that Sorachi-sensei, contrary to appearances, doesn’t live in a jungle and on a tree. He is an employee of one of the greatest shounen magazines and the amount of parodies shows that he is aware of his market. Perhaps he also knows about the widespread trend of giving women male characteristics, making women like different men to show how strong she is. I’m sure he knows. Sorachi does the same thing, he makes his woman masculine and… shows her as someone completely lost, deprived of identity and above all, unhappy. Sorachi-sensei completely breaks this approach, Kyuubei is only destroyed by such treatment. And Kyuubei’s society is sometimes like all readers, because are their expectations different? For many people femininity means weakness.
Sorachi-sensei answers when Kyuubei tells Otae that she always wanted to be like her. Who is Otae? She is not manly, she’s not even a fighter. She is a girl who, after her family death, took over her home, took care of her brother, she is someone who wants to continue the family dojo all alone, who works the night shift, so her brother can train with Gin, who always defended Kyuubei and never to judges her. Or, if you want to use the phrase Kyuubei said, she was a nice and at the same time strong girl. Pretty good definition of strength.

Kyuubei is not the only one who said “I have abandoned my womanhood”. But as I said before, every woman is different and we won’t see two similar cases. When Kyuubei says she does not want to be a woman, she thinks about becoming a man. Abandonment of femininity as a sign of masculinity. A third character for whom the essence of femininity is important was Tsukuyo. Tsukuyo is, again, completely different than the previous two girls. First of all, in her case there is no continuous comparisons with a man - with a firefighter, with a son of the Yagyuu family. Tsukuyo never tried to become a man, she also looks quite feminine compared to the two previously women. But Sorachi-sensei at one point said that Yoshiwara is an arc about broken women - none of them has been broken by her life, but by treating like a subject by men. Personally, for me it was the only anime showing a brothel and making named prostitutes the heroines.
The abandonment of femininity for Tsukuyo was divided into two parts. The first occurred when small Tsukuyo, being just a child, took a knife and destroyed her face to escape the fate of a prostitute. Here her gender meant beauty, grace, elegance. For Yoshiwara girls being the real woman was becoming more and more beautiful to please men. According to this inculcated logic the only way to avoid it was to erase the beauty from the very beginning. So the woman without the attribute of femininity, her beauty, automatically cease to be a woman. The second part took place when Tsukuyo met her master. It was him who told her to completely forgot about femininity, but for him it didn’t mean the same as for her. For Jiraia woman was weak, because a woman is the one that is protected. If you do not want to be protected, but protect, abandon femininity. Tsukuyo believe in these words, but similar to Kyuubei and Otae, for Tsukuyo being a woman didn’t mean anything bad. The real woman was Hinowa, firstly she was beautiful, secondly she was not made to fight, but to be protected by Tsukuyo. But the Yoshiwara society never recognized a not-beautiful woman, a not-for pleasing a man woman. The Yoshiwara was all for men, and the women were only for men too. Tsukuyo said that they were enslaved women and their slavery was created from the continuous power of men and stealing from women any form of freedom, individuality. They were serving as an object. And again, Sorachi says it in this story - if they were not women, they wouldn’t suffer. Because they were women, they have been sold to a brothel, because they were women, they were treated like that, because they were women they had to cease to be women to not be forced into prostitution.
Since we are talking about the Yoshiwara, a word about Hinowa. I’m not a native English language speaker and I admit I have no idea how this term is called in English. But Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” and the character of Sonia has created something called “the holy whore” and in literature it means a woman from seemingly moral lowlands, but distinguished by greater kindness and sense of morality than “normal women”. Sorachi-sensei used it very neatly, because Hinowa was it. A courtesan, a geisha. Certainly she was sold for money to men, at least before Hosen fallen in love and imprisoned her. And for Gintama characters having flaws is quite common, even though it’s hard to find a more flawless character than Hinowa.

Each character is different, each character represents different problems, but they are all associated with the discrimination against women, very visibly outlined by Sorachi-sensei. But let’s not talk only about those women who couldn’t make it, because the whole bunch of them did something and their gender couldn’t interfere. What do I mean? Gintama is not just a mass of broken women, intimidated by men. It’s Kagura, physically the strongest character in the entire cast. It’s Tetsuko Murata, the swordsmith creating the best swords. It’s Matako Kijima, the best shooter who never misses. It’s Mutsu or Ikumatsu, leading or co-leading their own business. They’re women in male roles that have never heard, “oh, it’s a woman” or “even though she is a woman…”. They are simply the best people in their field.
Really, if look at Sakamoto and Mutsu, don’t we get the exact opposite of what we expect in fiction from genders? Sakamoto is sometimes careless, sometimes reckless, easily makes friends, often needs to be saved, is guided by the heart rather than by the mind. Mutsu is rational, calculating, down-to-earth, she saves Sakamoto when he’s in danger. And still I didn’t see anyone hating on Sakamoto because “he’s so stupid and useless and he still needs help and he should do something and…”

Sorachi-sensei never tells his women to prove anything despite being women or try to catch up with men. If anything, he teaches them to achieve everything in life because they are women. Kyuubei or Tsukuyo not only didn’t give up being a woman, but they wear femininity proudly. Because being a woman is the pride and strength and Sorachi-sensei reminds it every time shows together Otae, Kyuubei, Tsukuyo and Sa-chan or Kagura, Tsukuyo and Nobume or any other feminine combination. Male power is not chauvinism, Gin says he doesn’t like seeing a crying woman, Shinsengumi is the entirely male unit. And that’s okay, because next to the thing that only a man can do is what can be achieved only by a woman. In every area of life.

None of them have ever heard “despite”. They are strong and beautiful because they have high self-esteem, awareness of their strengths and pride that can’t be crushed and can never be received by those who thinks that a woman has to be like a man to be strong. A Gintama woman is strong when she’s a real person.

3

Release Date: April 10, 2018
New Covers Release: August 29, 2017

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion—even at the cost of his humanity.