government system

A list of BTS’ most socially-conscious, thoughtful, woke, non-love songs:

2 Cool 4 Skool (2013)

No More Dream * = about the pressure of the younger generation to follow the dreams of their parents/elders and give up the dreams of their own

길 (Road/Path) = about taking the untraditional path despite the uncertainty of the future

O!RUL8,2? (2013)

Intro: O!RUL8,2? = about pursuing your own dreams, taking chances, and living without regret

N.O * = about the machine-like nature of the current education system

팔도강산 (Satoori Rap) = about being proud of where you’re from and your dialect. acknowledges and unifies Korea’s vast linguistic/provincial diversity

Skool Luv Affair (2014)

Tomorrow = about making the future better by being the instigator for change and never forgetting who you really are

등골 브레이커 (Spine Breaker) * = comments on consumerism/materialism and respecting your elders

Jump = about remembering the hopeful dreams of one’s youth and growing up to become the hero of your own childhood

Dark & Wild (2014)

힙합성애자 (Hip Hop Lover) = about the power of music to change one’s life

Rain = comments on the repetition/monotony of life and that fact that one has to confront oneself in order to create change

BTS Cypher, Pt. 3: KILLER = haters? “i don’t give a fuck”

핸드폰 좀 꺼줄래 (Can You Turn Off Your Phone) = comments on society’s obsession with social media and the decline of face-to-face communication

2학년 (Second Grade) = about working hard and staying humble in order to reach the top

Wake Up (2014)

The Stars = about facing the ups and downs of life and never giving up no matter what

Wake Up = about continuing to work hard as others sleep & taking control of one’s life

The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, Part 1 (2015)

Intro: 화양연화 * = comments on the uncertainty of the future, the search to find one’s purpose, and the dangers of comparing oneself to others

I NEED U * = going beyond a classic love song, the song comments on the insecurity of youth

쩔어 (DOPE) * = about waking up the sleeping youth and breaking the stereotypes placed upon the younger generation by working hard to reach the top. reject rejection!

흥탄소년단 (Boyz with Fun) = about ignoring the judgement of other’s and doing what makes you happy

이사 (Move/Moving On) = about remembering/learning from the past while reaching for a higher place

The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, Part 2 (2015)

Intro: Never Mind * = about looking forward and working even harder if you feel like falling down

Run * = about not letting anything stop you from pursuing your passions

Butterfly = comments on the insecurities of youth & the fears of feeling dependent on someone

Whalien 52 = about loneliness & feeling like no one is listening/understanding

Ma City = comments on being aware/proud of your hometown’s history (& also calls out a Korean online terrorist group that targets minorities and leftists, especially people from Jeolla province, were J-Hope was born)

뱁새 (Baepsae/Silver Spoon) = comments on the concept of social status/privilege and the growing gap between the upper and lower class

고엽 (Dead Leaves) = comments on the difficulty of giving up something good for the better

The Most Beautiful Moment In Life: Young Forever (2016)

불타오르네 (FIRE) * = about how one should live however one wants to without labels & that it’s okay to lose

Save ME * = comments on the duality of youth (happiness and sadness) and thanks ARMYs for accepting who they (BTS) are and letting them be who they are

Epilogue: Young Forever * = comments on the difficulty, but importance, of facing reality, moving forward, and following one’s dreams

House of Cards = comments on how ignorance can be bliss but that reality will always catch up eventually

YOUTH (2016)

Good Day = comments on brotherhood and the importance of lifting each other up to create a brighter tomorrow

Wishing On A Star = about not being afraid to have big dreams because the more you hope, the more likely it will come true

Wings (2016)

Intro: Boy Meets Evil * = comments on the dangerous addiction of greed/ambition

피 땀 눈물 (Blood Sweat & Tears) * = comments on the danger/ease of succumbing to temptation & losing the innocence of youth

Begin * = about brotherhood & how the other members shaped him to become who he is today

Lie * = about feeling trapped under the lies he told himself & losing his identity in the process

Stigma * = about struggling with his self-identity & his guilt because he can’t always be there for the people he cares about

First Love * = about how the piano guided him to recover his passion for music

Reflection * = about insecurity, loneliness, self-hatred & learning to love himself

MAMA * = about thanking his mom for always supporting him & telling her she can lean on him now

Awake * = about acknowledging his limits and imperfections but trying hard anyway & putting the other members before himself

Lost = comments on the uncertainty of growing up and finding one’s own path

BTS Cypher Pt. 4 = about not listening to those trying to bring you down & to love yourself

Am I Wrong = comments on the corrupt government system that doesn’t care about the general public and only focuses on pleasing the top 1%

21 세기 소녀 (21st Century Girls) = comments on the unjust treatment of females in current society & a women-empowerment message of strength and self-love

둘! 셋! (그래도 좋은 날이 더 많기를) (2! 3!) = about enduring/overcoming hardship by sharing your burdens and finding strength from one’s loved ones

You Never Walk Alone (2017)

봄날 (Spring Day) * = comments on government corruption by referencing the Sewol Ferry Tragedy & is about missing a friend that you haven’t seen in a long time

Not Today * = about empowering the underdogs/minorities/women of the world

Outro: Wings = about believing in oneself and having trust in one’s decisions in order to choose one’s own path

A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone = comments on the importance of teamwork in order to dream bigger and reach higher

name: video w/ lyrics

=: live performance/dance practice

*:official music videos/trailers

The system will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling - their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We may be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

—  Arundhati Roy
If You’re Too Busy For These 5 Things: Your Life Is More Off-Course Than You Think

Originally posted by teapotsandroses

Despite turbulence and other conditions keeping airplanes off-course 90 percent of flight time, most flights arrive in the correct destination at the intended time.

The reason for this phenomenon is quite simple — through air traffic control and the inertial guidance system, pilots are constantly course correcting. When immediately addressed, these course corrections are not hard to manage. When these course corrections don’t regularly happen, catastrophe can result.
For example, in 1979, a passenger jet with 257 people on board left New Zealand for a sight seeing flight to Antarctica and back. However, the pilots were unaware that someone had altered the flight coordinates by a measly two degrees, putting them 28 miles east of where they assumed to be.

Approaching Antarctica, the pilots descended to give the passengers a view of the brilliant landscapes. Sadly, the incorrect coordinates had placed them directly in the path of the active volcano, Mount Erebus.

The snow on the volcano blended with the clouds above, deceiving the pilots into thinking they were flying above flat ground. When the instruments sounded a warning of the quickly rising ground, it was too late. The plane crashed into the volcano killing everyone on board.

An error of only a few degrees brought about an enormous tragedy.

Small things — if not corrected — become big things, always.

This flight is an analogy of our lives. Even seemingly inconsequential aspects of our lives can create ripples and waves of consequence — for better or worse.

How are you piloting your life?

What feedback are you receiving to correct your course?

How often do you check your guidance system? Do you even have a guidance system?

Where is your destination?

When are you going to get there?

Are you currently off-course? How long have you been off-course?

How would you know if you are on the right course?

How can you minimize the turbulence and other conditions distracting your path?



1. Organizing Your Life

I don’t think I’m alone in being slightly scattered and sloppy about certain areas of my life.

Life is busy.

It’s hard to keep everything organized and tidy. And maybe you don’t want to have an organized life. But moving forward will require far less energy if you remove the excessive baggage and tension. Everything in your life is energy. If you’re carrying too much — physical or emotional — your progress will be hampered.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explains that some things are important, and some things are urgent. Most people spend their life prioritizing urgent and “shallow” activity (e.g., answering emails, putting out proverbial fires, and just day-to-day stuff).

Very few people have organized their lives to prioritize almost exclusively important and “deep” activity (e.g., learning, health, relationships, travel, and goals).

No one cares about your success more than you do. If you’re not a meticulous accountant about the important details of your life, then you aren’t responsible enough to have what you say you want.



So how do you organize your life?

Environmental Energy

  • Is your living space cluttered and messy or simple and neat?
  • Do you keep stuff (like clothes) you no longer use?
  • If you have a car, is it clean or just another place to keep your clutter and garbage?
  • Does your environment facilitate the emotions you consistently want to experience?
  • Does your environment drain or improve your energy?



Financial Energy

  • Do you have unnecessary debt?
  • Do you know how many dollars you spend each month?
  • Do you know how many dollars you make each month?
  • Are you making as much money as you’d like to be?
  • What’s holding you back from creating more value in other people’s lives?
  • Most people don’t track their expenses. But if they did, they’d be shocked how much money they waste on stuff like eating out.
  • I’ll be honest, as a creative and right-brained person, administrative and logistical details bog me down. I procrastinate and avoid them. But this lackluster behavior is holding me back from the very goals I’m trying to accomplish.
  • Until I can hone in on my finances, I won’t have a healthier financial life, regardless of my income. Until I take complete responsibility of my finances, I’ll always be a slave to money.
  • And so will you.


Relational Energy

  • Are your relationships the most meaningful and enjoyable part of your life?
  • Do you spend enough time nurturing the relationships that really matter?
  • Do you maintain toxic relationships that no longer serve you?
  • Are you authentic and honest in your relationships?
  • Like money, most people’s relationships are not organized in a conscious manner. But with something so critical, we should take better stock of our relationships.


Health Energy

  • Do you eat with the end in mind?
  • Are you conscious of and in control of the foods you put in your body?
  • Does the food you eat improve or worsen the other areas of your life?
  • Does your body reflect your highest ideals?
  • Is your body as strong and fit as you want it to be?
  • Are you healthier now than you were three months ago?
  • Health is wealth. If you’re bed ridden, who cares how organized the other areas of your life are? It’s so easy to put our health on the side, such as foregoing sleep, over consuming stimulants, and making poor eating habits.
  • Little things become big things. And eventually everything catches up.


Spiritual Energy

  • Do you have a sense of purpose in life?
  • Have you come to terms with life and death in a way you resonate with?
  • How much power do you have in designing your future?
  • Death, it turns out, is not your greatest fear. Actually, your greatest fear is reaching death and having never truly lived.
  • When you organize your spiritual life, you become clear on what your life is about. You become clear on what you stand for, and how you want to spend each day. You develop conviction for what really matters to you, and what is a “distraction.”
  • No matter how well defined, everyone has a moral system governing their behavior. Most people believe in being honest and good people. But until you organize your spiritual life, you’ll experience internal conflict when acting contrary to your values and vision.


Time

  • How much of your time do you feel in complete control of?
  • Is your time being wasted on things you don’t intrinsically enjoy?
  • Are the activities you spend your time doing moving you toward your ideal future?
  • Are you spending most of your time furthering your own agenda or someone else’s?
  • What activities should you remove from your life?
  • How much time do you waste each day?
  • What would your ideal day look like?
  • What activities could you outsource or automate that take up your time?
  • Until you organize your time, it will disappear and move quickly. Before you know it, you’ll wonder where all the time went.
  • Once you organize your time, it will slow down. You’ll be able to live more presently. You’ll be able to experience time as you want to. You’ll control your time rather than the other way around.


Stop What You’re Doing and Get Organized

Getting organized and conscious of your present circumstances (e.g., your environment, finances, relationships, purpose, and time) puts you in a position to build toward the future you want.

The fastest way to move forward in life is not doing more. It starts with stopping the behaviors holding you back.

If you want to get in shape, you’ll make more progress by stopping your negative behaviors than starting good ones. So, before you start exercising, purge the junk food from your diet. Until you stop the damage, you’ll always be taking one step forward and one step backward.

Before you focus on making more money, reduce your spending. Detach yourself from needing more and become content with what you have. Until you do this, it doesn’t matter how much money you make. You’ll always spend what you have (or more).

This is a matter of stewardship. Rather than wanting more, more, more , it’s key to take proper care of what you currently have. Organize yourself. Dial it in. Your life is a garden. What good is planting if you don’t prepare the soil and remove the weeds?

Why do most people stay stuck? They never organize. They try adding more, or being more productive, or taking a different approach. So before you “hustle,” get organized.



2. Plan And Invest In Your Future


“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb


Taking these foundational areas of life and organizing them is essential to creating your ideal future.

Very few people consciously plan and design their life. It’s actually startling how few Americans are investing in their future. Most Millennials are terrified of the stock market and long-term investing. Most Baby Boomers never developed the discipline to invest, but instead maintained an addiction to American consumption.

Even still, you have complete power over the details of your life the moment you decide you’re worthy of that power. That decision is manifest in tangible behaviors, like fixing or removing troubled relationships and saying “no” to activities that are nothing more than a waste of your time.

You get to decide right now.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” — Benjamin Franklin

Your vision should be based on your why, not so much your what.

Your why is your reason, your what is how that is manifest. And your “what” can happen in a ton of different ways. For example, my why is to help people get clarity on the life they want to live, and to help them achieve their goals as quickly as possible. My what could be blogging, parenting, being a student, going out to dinner, and several other things.

Too many people think creating a vision is about nailing down exactly what they want in the next 20 years. The problem with this mega long-term approach to goal setting is that it actually slows your potential.

Instead of having a pre-set plan of what he wants to do, Tim Ferriss executes on 3–6 month experiments that he’s currently excited about. He told Darren Hardy in an interview that he has no clue what the outcome of his experiments might be. So there’s no point in making long-term plans. He has no clue what doors will open up, and he wants to be open to the best possibilities.

But his why doesn’t change.

When you are proactively creating and collaborating with many different people, the whole becomes different and better than the sum of its parts. This is why you can’t plan for everything. Because at the highest level, you’ve transcended your need to have things exactly how you want them. You know that with the help of other people, you can do things 10X, 100X, or 1,000X bigger and better than you could ever conceive on your own.

Rather than expecting a particular outcome, you are completely confident that the best outcome will ensue. This is how you create and contribute beyond anything you could ever comprehend. Collaboration and synergy lead to new innovations and ultimately, human evolution. It’s how the old and outdated rules are redefined and replaced with new and better ones, thus changing the global environment.

Invest in Your Future

When you choose to forego momentary gratification in order to have an enhanced future, you are investing in your future. Most people fail to do this successfully.

Most people don’t purposefully invest in their finances, relationships, health, and time. But when you invest in yourself (and your future),you ensure your future present moments will continue to get richer and more enjoyable.

Thus, your life will continue getting better and more in line with your ideal vision.



3. Tracking Important Metrics


“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates. ”

— Thomas Monson


Getting organized and investing in your future are futile if you’re not tracking. In regards to the most important areas of your life, you need to be on top of what’s going on.

Tracking is difficult. If you’ve tried it before, chances are, you quit within a few days.

Research has repeatedly found that when behavior is tracked and evaluated, it improves drastically.

If you’re not tracking the key areas of your life, than you’re probably more off-course than you think. If you were to be honest with yourself, you’d be stunned how out-of-control things have become. As J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, has said:

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.”

The cool part is, once you get organized, make a plan, and start tracking, desired change happens quickly.

Track the things that are closely related to your core priorities. As Jim Collins said in Good to Great, 

“If you have more than three priorities you have none.”

Your priorities reflect your why, and thus, your life should be build around your priorities. Not the other way around. Consequently, if you’re serious about improving upon the foundation of your life, track your priorities. 

For example:

Your key relationships

Your finances

Self improvement (such as health or how you use your time)

You can track whatever priorities you have. But I can absolutely promise you that once you do, your conscious awareness of these things will increase. You’re ability to control these things will enhance. Your confidence will wax strong. And your life will become simpler.

You’ll be living a simple, yet organized and refined life. You’ll be responsible, which put another way is freedom.



4. Prayer and Meditation To Reduce Noise

“I have so much to do today that I’m going to need to spend three hours in prayer in order to be able to get it all done.” — Martin Luther

There’s a lot of emphasis on hustle these days.

Hustle, hustle, hustle.

But all the hustle in the wrong direction isn’t going to help you. Yes, by hustling you can fail often, fail fast, and fail forward. However, as Thomas Merton has said:

“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”

This happens way too often. We get caught in the thick of thin things. Far too late do we realize that in our mad rush, we were pursuing someone else’s goals instead of our own.

But spending a large chuck of time in prayer and/or meditation does more than provide clarity to what you’re doing. These things open your mind up to possibilities you can’t get while busy.

For example, a few days ago I spent the entire morning praying, thinking deeply, listening to inspirational music, and writing in my journal. A few hours into this process, an idea came to me that is absolute gold.

I also got insights regarding important relationships during that time, which when those insights came in, I immediately sent out emails or texts to those people. Amazing collaborations and mentorships were the resultant outcome.

But there’s more.

Your thoughts are incredibly powerful. They actually govern not only you but those around you. Think about it, if you think positively about the people you’re around, their lives are better. This is why people “send positive energy” or pray for other people. It actually makes a difference.

Your thoughts create endless ripples — even waves — of consequence all around you.

While praying and/or meditating for a large portion of time, the level of your thoughts will elevate. And interesting things will begin happening. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of miracles, you can think of it as luck.

Whatever you call it, when you spend large portions of time every day in deep reflection mode, luck strikes. Stuff happens that is completely outside of your control for your benefit.

For instance, during my deep dive into my mind and soul, one of my favorite authors came across my blog. He re-tweeted one of my articles and reached out to me. Now we’re friends. We’ve spent lots of time together. He’s helped me get a book contract. He’s even had me speak at one of his events!

If you’re skeptical of these ideas. Give it a try. Why do you think the majority of the world’s most successful have rituals such as these? There is a higher realm you can tap into that unlocks limitless possibilities.

The only thing holding you back from those things is your mind.



5. Move Toward Your Goals Every Single Day

How many days go by where you did nothing to move toward your big goals?

Probably too many.

Life is busy.

If you don’t purposefully carve time out every day to progress and improve, then without question, your time will get lost in the vacuum of our increasingly crowded lives. Before you know it, you’ll be old and withered, wondering where all that time went.

As Harold Hill has said: 

“You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.”

After you’ve gotten yourself organized, made plans, started tracking, and gotten into the habit of prayer/meditation, taking action and hustling will be automatic. You’ll be focused on the right thing and in the right frame of mind to actually execute.

Its good practice to do these kind of things at the beginning of your day before your will power depletes.

If you don’t, it simply will not get done. By the end of your day, you’ll be exhausted. You’ll be fried. There will be a million reasons to just start tomorrow. And you will start tomorrow — which is never.

So your mantra becomes: 

The worst comes first. Do that thing you’ve been needing to do. Then do it again tomorrow.

If you take just one step toward your big goals every day, you’ll realize those goals weren’t really far away.



Conclusion

It’s really easy to get off course in life. Like airplanes, we constantly need to make course corrections.

But we can ensure we get where we want in life by organizing ourselves, planning for our future, tracking our progress, heightening our mindset, and hustling.

Do this long enough and you’ll be shocked.

Go!

yesterday a teenage boy buried his head in my neck and cried. i had to coach him through his breathing as he told me he was “supposed to be aborted”. to him, getting good grades equated to mattering. to him, my mentioning that he needed to be more succinct in his essay (he’s a creative; prone to storytelling) was a comment on his character. my heart is breaking for this beautiful, vibrant boy. i know that i have a number of young people, of students, who follow me and i just need to tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, your grades do not determine your worth. i apologise for the education system, for standardised testing, for government-mandated scoring systems. i am so sorry. but please, please, listen to me when i tell you that you are not your grades. that your value exists outside of how well you understand grammar, or pythagorus’ theorem, or photosynthesis. you are a living, breathing, feeling, beautiful entity and that has nothing to do with a letter grade. did you make someone smile today? what are you passionate about? how many times a day do you tell people you love them? what do you admire in your friends? what do you want to be when you grow up (don’t worry about how you’re gonna get there, just tell me what)? were you kind today? when you lie in bed at night, what do you wish to dream about? what gets you out of bed in the morning? what are your guilty pleasures? your idiosyncrasies? your nervous ticks? do you let yourself love out loud? are you happy with your choices? are you just happy? don’t tell me what you got in english; tell me what you love to read. don’t tell me what you got in maths; tell me precisely how much you need to save before you can afford a brand new whatever-it-is. don’t tell me what you got in history; tell me how you binge watched the tudors. don’t tell me what you got in health; tell me what doctor google diagnosed you with and what song you asked your best friend to play at your funeral. don’t tell me what you got in science; tell me about that time you climbed your next door neighbour’s tree and sat there watching the world breathe. don’t tell me about your grades. tell me about you. please.

is it just me or is this a perfect summary of their personalities

Why develop a fictional culture?

When you’re creating a race of people for your new world, you need a culture to give those people and their way of life some context. The culture helps determine how the characters act, dress, eat, solve problems, among so many other things. You can (and sometimes, should) have multiple cultures in your world, depending on how large your focus area is. Cultures affect each other, but also serve in a narrative sense to draw contrast in-world and to draw parallels to the reader’s world. 

So here are some thoughts, big and small, that are meant to help inspire you as you create amazing cultures. (And remember that you’re thinking about the following questions in the context of the general population, not your main character(s).) You can simply answer these questions in short-answer form, or you can write a short story to flesh out one or two or three questions at once. If you do that, submit them to me! I’d love to feature them on the blog. 

  • How old do people believe their race is? How old are they really?
  • How prevalent are religions to the common person?
  • What is/are the origin stories of the main religion(s)?
  • What do most people think should be the highest priority:
    • biological family?
    • chosen family?
    • career?
    • service/charity (of any kind)?
    • religion?
    • entertainment/fun?
    • nation?
    • expansion (of nation/culture/influence/understanding)?
  • How do culturally shared priorities shape interactions?
  • What is the common greeting? Does it vary by age, class, rank, or sect?
  • How is gender viewed by the majority? Why?
  • What are common myths/legends of your people and how heavily do they influence the modern day?
  • How trustful are people of outsiders?
  • How welcoming are people, in general, of strangers into their homes?
  • How well do people of various factions (class, race, religion, etc.) get along in society?
  • How far has technology advanced, and how has it been implemented into their daily lives?
  • If magic exists, what do they believe is its origin? Its source?
  • If there is division between magic/non-magic, how do the two treat each other and why? How long has it been that way?
  • What sort of relationship do they have with their ruler?
  • How content is the average person?
  • How do people make their living and how big a part of their life is their career (if applicable)?
  • Do they have “weekends” and if so, what sets them apart from “weekdays”?
  • How do they treat their close friends?
  • How do they treat their enemies?
  • How do they handle small conflict, between individuals or small groups?
  • How do they handle larger conflicts?
  • How are they prepared for any potential war? Do they have some sort of military or militia in place? 
  • How many wars have they, as a society, fought over the course of their lives/history? How much of an impact does that have on their cultural identity? (i.e. WW2′s impact on patriotism in America, and how it’s yet to go away.)
  • What virtues do they value in individuals? What virtues do they say they value? If those are different, why?
  • How do they dress? Does it vary greatly by gender, or not? Is their focus on clothing very practical, religious, sentimental, or simply driven by the latest arbitrary fashion? How do the above answers reflect on the culture on a deeper level?
  • How do they treat their elderly?
  • How do they treat their children?
  • At what age does a baby become a child, a child a young adult, a young adult an adult, an adult an elder?
  • How much regulation does the day-to-day life of the average citizen entail? Or, how involved is the government in micro affairs?
  • How are these people seen throughout their known world? How do other cultures view this culture?

Check out the rest of the Brainstorming Series!
Magic Systems, Part One
Magic Systems, Part Two
New Species
New Worlds 
Map Making
Politics and Government
Belief Systems & Religion
Guilds, Factions, & Groups
War & Conflict
Science & Technology
Wildlife & Ecosystems
History & Lore

Trump’s Most Damning Legacy

In a radio interview on Thursday, Trump said “the saddest thing is, because I am the President of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I’m not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I’m not supposed to be doing the kind of things I would love to be doing.”

Trump then asked, referring to the Department and the FBI, “why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton with her emails and with her dossier?”

In a series of tweets Friday morning, Trump directly called on the Justice Department and the FBI to “do what is right and proper” by launching criminal probes of Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s obvious aim was to deflect attention from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of his campaign, and of the indictments issued against his campaign aides.

But by calling on the Justice Department to investigate Hillary Clinton, and lamenting he cannot do “the kind of things I would love to be doing,” Trump crossed a particularly dangerous line.

In a democracy bound by the rule of law, presidents do not prosecute their political opponents. Nor, until now, have they tried to stir up public anger toward their former opponents.

Our democratic system of government depends on presidents putting that system above their own partisan aims.

As Harvard political scientist Archon Fung has noted, once an election is over, candidates’ graciousness to one another is an important demonstration of their commitment to the democratic system over the specific outcomes they fought to achieve.

This helps reestablish civility and social cohesion. It reminds the public that our allegiance is not toward a particular person or party but to our system of government. 

Think of Al Gore’s concession speech to George W. Bush in 2000, after five weeks of a bitterly contested election and just one day after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Bush. “I say to President-elect Bush that what remains of partisan rancor must now be put aside, and may God bless his stewardship of this country.”

Gore publicly bowed to the institutions of our democracy. “Now the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it … And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.”

Bush’s response to Gore was no less gracious: “Vice president Gore and I put our hearts and hopes into our campaigns; we both gave it our all. We shared similar emotions. I understand how difficult this moment must be for vice president Gore and his family. He has a distinguished record of service to our country as a congressman, a senator and as vice president.”

Many voters continued to doubt the legitimacy of Bush’s victory, but there was no social unrest, no civil war. Americans didn’t retreat into warring tribes.

Think of what might have occurred if Gore had bitterly accused Bush of winning fraudulently, and blamed the five Republican appointees on the Supreme Court for siding with Bush for partisan reasons.

Think of what might have happened if, during his campaign, Bush had promised to put Gore in jail for various improprieties, and then, after he won, called on the Justice Department and the FBI to launch a criminal investigation of Gore.

These statements – close to ones that Donald Trump has actually made – might have imperiled the political stability of the nation.

Instead, Gore and Bush made the same moral choice their predecessors made at the end of every previous American presidential election, and for the same reason.

They understood that the demonstrations of respect for each other and for the Constitution confirmed the nation’s commitment to our system of government. This was far more important than their own losses or wins.

Donald Trump has no such concern.

This is the essence of Trump’s failure as president – not that he has chosen one set of policies over another, or has lied repeatedly and chronically, or even that he has behaved in childish and vindictive ways unbecoming a president.

It is that he has sacrificed the processes and institutions of American democracy to achieve his own selfish ends.

By saying and doing whatever he believes it takes for him to come out on top, Donald Trump has abused the trust we place in a president to preserve and protect the nation’s capacity for self-government.  

This will be his most damaging and most damning legacy.

Questions for developing the biology of a new species or race

Something to remember when developing your new species or races: always remember that your unique race/alien race should not distract from the narrative. It is always fun to experience new and different peoples that can be so similar to humanity while being so different. But you don’t want to create a main species that is so utterly alien that it distracts from your narrative. The details of your race should enhance your story, not needlessly complicate it.

So! With that in mind…

Starting from scratch:

  • What about them says “other”?
  • How are their environmental conditions reflected in their biology?
  • What texture/color is their skin or outer layer? Why?
  • Do they have hair? If so, where and what color(s)? What texture(s)?
  • How many biological sexes are there? How many genders?
  • How many cones do their eyes have?
  • How many limbs do they have? How are they used?
  • How many fingers/toes do they have? How has this altered their number system?
  • Were they the only race on their home planet that evolved to “intelligent?”

For further development:

  • How would it describe its setting?
  • Do they have physical traits specific to their class or caste?
  • What traits do others of their species find attractive? Why?
  • Do they use special tools to enhance or repair damaged/failing physical traits or senses (glasses/contacts, prosthetics, wheelchairs)?
  • What unifying characteristics set them apart from humans? What do they have in common?
  • What dietary needs do they have?
  • Do they use special ornamentation (clothing, jewelry, tattoos) to show rank, occupation, heritage, etc.?
  • How do they relate to temperature or climate?
  • Do they have joints or tendons that move in a way that would seem unnatural to humans?
  • What is their sexual biology like? Is it analogous to ours, or something entirely different?
  • What recreational activities are healthy/positive for their biology?
  • How does their body respond to various types of excitement or emotion?

Creative exercises for species/racial development:

  • If someone were write a wanted poster for a criminal of this race, what features would the notice highlight? Why?
  • What are (or hypothetically would be) the most popular plastic surgeries among people of this species?
  • What is their average morning routine? How do their care for themselves, physically, on a daily basis?
  • Write a short story in which someone of your new species/race attempts to put on a set of human clothes or visa versa. 
  • What is the most popular sport and how is it played? How do the species’ unique traits play into the game, if at all?

Check out the rest of the Brainstorming Series!
Magic Systems, Part One
Magic Systems, Part Two
New Worlds
Cultures
Civilizations
Map Making
Politics and Government
Belief Systems & Religion
Guilds, Factions, & Groups
War & Conflict
Science & Technology
Wildlife & Ecosystems
History & Lore

The hardest thing I have to deal with on a daily fucking basis is the double standard in this fandom. Let’s just imagine:

  • if it had been Tony Stark who said Fuck You the entire UN governing system?
  • If it had been Tony Stark who’d kept, say, the information about Bucky becoming the winter soldier from steve?
  • If steve had done everything, got into multiple fights and battles with the UN and flown across the whole world, just to keep Tony out of jail, and then have him run off anyway and make everything 10× worse for him?
  • If Steve had been the one manipulated by Wanda?
  • If Steve had been the one to bring Peter into the fight, under the assumption there would be no actual conflict and just wanted more manpower, and then Tony had been the one to drop an aircraft on him?

Tl;dr- Even if you completely reversed their actions, somehow, magically, Steve Rogers would still be the hero, And tony stark would still be villainized.

What school forgot to teach me:
  • How to balance a check book
  • How to pay a mortgage
  • How to cook meals from scratch 
  • How to aquire a TV license
  • How to survive on a students budget 
  • How to have dreams

But hey- at least Mitochondria is the power house of the cell…

Misunderstandings

IMAGINE: Years ago (Y/N) and Steve were in a relationship, however something happened that made him cruelly break up with her. Now that the Avengers need her help, what will happen between the two of them? 

[gif is not mine. tell me what you think.] 

warnings: swearing, violence, angst. 

word count: 2 k+ 


(Y/N) fiddled with her pen as she stared at Fury and Tony sitting down opposite of her desk. She leaned back into the comfortable leather seat and smiled at them.

“Do we have an agreement?” Fury asked as he briefly looked at the contract.

Her smile became more predatory, “Fury,” she started, his last name coming off smoothly from her tongue. “You and I both know that my people look at every contract before I sign them.” 

“Get one of them here then.”

“Fury, if this is how you save the world then I really fear for the human existence,” she chastised. 

“(Y/N),” Tony waned.

She smiled, this time more friendly and happy, “Just having a laugh, Stark.” (Y/N), with her left hand pressed a button on her desk. A few moments later the door opened and walked in a well dressed man. 

“Timothy, look over this for me.”


(Y/N) looked at the Seattle skyline, enjoying the beautiful view. She paid no attention to the three men behind her, paid no attention as they debated the terms inside the contract.

“Miss (Y/L/N)? The contract is ready to sign.”

“So quickly?” She asked, not turning around.

“The terms are stated clearly, and obviously they learnt from last time.”

(Y/N) smiled as she remembered what happened the last time. Finally, she turned around and walked to them. Pen in hand, she grasped the contract and signed wherever it needed her signature.

She looked up at Tony and Fury, “Guess I’m working for the Avengers.”


Steve gawked as he watched (Y/N) strut into the conference room like she owned the place. He looked at Fury who refused to meet Steve’s gaze knowing that the super soldier was glaring at him. “What is she doing here?” He spoke loudly as she sat down.

(Y/N) smiled smugly at him, “They needed my expertise on something.”

“Like what? Killing people?” Steve tilted his head, “Or hacking into the government system illegally?” He tilted his head to the other side, his tone mocking her. 

Before (Y/N) could retort, Tony stood up, “Nope, nothing should come out of your mouth unless it’s something pleasant. Wait, no scratch that, just don’t talk to Rogers. Go to the other side of the room.” 

(Y/N) licked her lips and grinned at the two men. She pretended to zip her mouth with her finger, then flipped them off. Turning around she walked towards Nat who greeted her with a smile.

“Who’s the girl and why does Steve hate her?” Bucky asked as he and Sam watched from the other side.

“You ever heard of (Y/L/N) Enterprises?” Sam watched as Bucky nodded. “That’s her family’s company, she inherited it from her grandfather. She’s one of the most powerful people on the planet right now. In terms of money,” Sam moved his lips around. “And other things.”

“She’s a dirty criminal that’s what she is,” Steve grumbled as he narrowed his eyes at (Y/N), who was watching him intently. “She’s a stuck up criminal who plays with people’s lives for fun.” Steve turned to Bucky who was furrowing his brows. “Don’t trust her.”

“Steve and (Y/N) have a bit of history together.” Sam explained and Steve scoffed. 

Their conversation was ended as Fury called the meeting. Bucky, Sam and Steve sat directly opposite of their leader and listened intently to their new mission. Bucky, however couldn’t help but watch (Y/N). The way that she spoke when Fury asked her to, her confidence. He knew that he was looking too intently at her when she turned in her seat to face him, giving him a curious look. Bucky wanted to look away, to turn to the side, to shy away from her. But something deep inside of him urged him to look at her. It wasn’t until Sam nudged him that he looked away from her.


(Y/N) punched the bag harder, watching as the dust fall from the ceiling, she knew that one more punch and it would be hurdled across the room.

“What are you doing here?” A voice interrupted her. 

She paused in her movements, her arm in the middle of swinging. (Y/N) cocked her head to the side. Before she could turn around she was thrown against the wall, a hand enclosing her throat. She was faced with Steve, anger in his eyes. 

(Y/N) gave him a small smile. “Darling, didn’t you miss me?” The hand around her throat became tighter, “I guess that’s a no.”

“(Y/N),” Steve started. “What are you doing here?”

She gave him another smile, and with a kick to the stomach he landed on his stomach, she quickly straddled him -pinning him to the ground. “I got a contract Rogers. Your team needs me for that HYDRA mission you received.” 

“We don’t need your help,” Steve spat.

(Y/N) wrapped her hand around Steve’s shirt collar, pulled him up and slammed him down again. “Trust me, I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t need me so much.”

“You’re a fucking traitor (Y/N), just because the team is so enamored with you and can’t see you’re just here to fuck with us again, doesn’t mean I’m blind.”

She swallowed and let go of Steve’s shirt, (Y/N) quickly stood up. “If you really think that I betrayed you Rogers…”

“You were working with HYDRA!” Steve yelled. “I saw you! I followed you and I saw you go into their compound!”

“BECAUSE BUCKY WAS THERE!” She snapped. Steve looked at her, his anger now mixed confusion.

“Bucky wasn’t in that facility. Don’t lie to me.” Steve gritted out through his teeth.  

“They transferred him.” (Y/N) sighed frustratedly, she ran a hand through her hair, then exhaled loudly, “After the events of Washington, you told me that Bucky helped you. That he was the Winter Soldier.” (Y/N) paused and licked her lips. “You told me everything about Bucky, Steve. You were, you are his best friend, and he was yours. He was the reason why you couldn’t sleep at night, the reason why you still cried when I shared your bed. You were unhappy because there was a massive part of your life missing.”

“When you told me that, I knew that I could help in some way. Help you. So yeah, I used my fucking sketchy contacts and tailed Bucky and where he was kept. I fucking went there, I negotiated with those scum, pretended that I was one of them, that I was betraying the team so I could try and speak to Bucky, for you.” She stepped forward, hands now clenched by her side. “I was there for three months, I made progress with Bucky, little but it was there. He could still remember me from the previous times I snuck to see him. Remembered bits of you.” (Y/N) pushed him, Steve being too shocked again landed on the floor.

“Then you came at me that night, yelling at me. Accusing me of betraying the team, betraying you, betraying us! You humiliated me Rogers, the person that I loved and trusted humiliated me in the worse way possible.” She clicked her jaw in annoyance, “You fucking threw me from the compound. Banned me from ever seeing anyone, you sprouted lies about me!”

“How the hell was I supposed to know? I thought you were betraying us!” Steve fired back. 

“YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO TRUST ME!” (Y/N) bellowed, her eyes gathering tears due to frustration. “THAT’S WHY WE WORKED WELL! OUR RELATIONSHIP AND PARTNERSHIP WAS BUILT ON TRUST, STEVE!”

“I DID EVERYTHING FOR YOU! I RISKED EVERYTHING AND ALMOST LOST EVERYTHING FOR YOU! AND HOW AM I REPAID? YOU HUMILIATED ME, YOU BROKE MY HEART. YOU FORBID ME TO SEE THE PEOPLE I CLASSIFY AS MY FAMILY! YOU BROKE ME!” 

“(Y/N),” Steve whispered brokenly. Tears threatening to spill down his face.  

She inhaled and looked at him coldly, “Just don’t. This is my last mission for the Avengers indefinitely. I made sure of that.” (Y/N) began walking away, only stopping to pick up her water bottle. “After this mission Rogers, you’re going to officially be dead to me.”


Steve gripped the rails tighter as he looked out at the New York skyline. Could it be true? He knew that it was. If there was one thing (Y/N) never did while they were in a relationship was she never lied to him. But some inane part of him wanted to tell the rest of him that she was lying, in order to get the guilt feeling of his chest.

“Fuck,” he muttered.

“Rough night?”

He looked to his right and watched as Bucky walked towards the railing, a small smile on his face.

“Buck,” the other super soldier looked at Steve. “I have a question.” Bucky nodded. “(Y/N),” Steve started. “(Y/N), she said that she met up with you, at the HYDRA compound. 

Bucky nodded slowly.“When she walked into the conference room today, I couldn’t help but stop looking at her. I knew her from somewhere, every night I fall asleep and dream about this woman speaking so softly to me, I can never see her, I can never make out her face. Fuck, when she spoke Steve, it was like everything came back. Bits of information that she fed me about myself back then, about you.” Bucky shook his head, a small smile appearing on his face.

“You’re in love with her,” Steve acknowledged.

“Well she practically brought me back, how can I not be in love with her?” Bucky laughed. “I’m not in love with her Steve, but she helped me. Without her it could have taken forever for me to come back, or maybe never. 

“She spoke about me, huh?”

“She did, a lot,” Bucky groaned good-naturedly. “You could hear it you know? The love in her voice whenever she spoke about you. I’ve never heard anyone speak about anyone like that.”

“I screwed it up Buck.”

Bucky shook his head and clasped a hand on Steve’s shoulder and squeezed for a moment and returned his arm back to his side. “The love that she had for you is the kind of love that can last forever.” Bucky pulled out his wallet and pulled out two pictures. “She gave me this when I started remembering her,” he passed the first picture.

Steve looked at the image and he felt his heart clench. It was him, pre-serum and Bucky standing with ice cream cones in his hand standing somewhere in New York. “Look at the back.” Steve flipped the photo and saw (Y/N)’s familiar handwriting. On the back of the photograph it said: ‘This is one of Steve’s favourite moments with you. Look at this Bucky, remember this. Come back to Steve. Come back to your best friend.’ 

“She’s a bit pushy,” Bucky commented. “Really bossy.”

Steve laughed heavily, his throat closing up with emotion. “What’s the other photo?” 

Bucky hesitantly passed it to him, “I got this during one of her last visits. A guard came to check on me, she was almost caught. While I helped her hide, I may or may not have picked it from her pocket.” 

Steve looked at the second photo, this time a more modern one. It was him and (Y/N). Specifically him and (Y/N) on the couch, his head laying on her lap. He was looking up at her with a smile on his face, while she looked down at him with an equally great smile. Steve flipped the photo over. This time his heart hurt more than ever, he couldn’t help the tears streaming down his face, nor did he do anything to wipe them away. 

Bucky watched as Steve traced the photo and the writing over and over again. He watched as his best friend cry at what he lost. He knew the feeling, he knew what lost felt like. But then, he also knew that if someone believes enough in you, you can come back. 

“You’ll get her back.”

“Thanks, Buck.” 

“Anytime, pal.”


As Steve laid down on his bed, he carefully looked at the photo again, tracing their faces, her face. He turned off his light and cradled the photograph to his chest. As he fell asleep, his heart and mind echoed the words etched on the back of the photo. ‘My heart. My equal. My soul. My love.’