historical leaders

Why Teens Shouldn’t Run Revolutions

Hi guys. I’m going to piss off a lot of YA writers (and possibly readers) today, so hang onto your hats.

Mainly, if you’re in love with the idea of a high schooler with no strategic or combat experience heading up a revolution or war because they’re “so dedicated and determined,” don’t read this. Please, don’t. You’re not going to see anything you like. Go ahead and keep enjoying your guilty pleasure – that’s fine. I’m not going to own up to some of the guilty pleasures I love in fiction but don’t buy for a second in real life. That’s chill. Go for it, man.

But there are just things that I – and readers like me – are tired of seeing. If you’re sick of that trope, then keep reading. If you’re open to the idea of ditching that trope in your writing, then I really recommend reading.

This assessment/collection of tips on why teens shouldn’t run revolutions - and if you’re going to make them, how they CAN do it well - will include comparisons to history, other fiction (Unplugged), and Black Butler. Plus swearing and a range of incorrect capitalizations, because it’s fun.

On we go:

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The definition of “badass” needs a rewrite.

Why is it that people only think a male character is badass when he’s killing things? Why is it that someone who doesn’t fight is seen as inherently weak?

Here’s the thing: I’m coming out in defense of Dark as a viable villain. Again. And honestly? I wouldn’t have to if people bothered to take a second look at His characterization.

And this time, I might actually lose followers for this one. Because shit’s about to get real-world real quick. But I’m not sorry, because some folks need to be whacked with the ol’ clue x 4.

But to start out with, let’s just say this: We already know that most of Mark’s other characters have a body count. Fine.

Has Dark ever killed anyone? Not that we know of. And that’s the key phrase. We don’t know if anyone’s died because of Him, but we don’t know if they haven’t either.

Why does this matter? Do me a favour: Think of the most evil man in the world. The most evil man in history. The one whose rulership made the deepest, darkest stain in the pages of humanity’s story.

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anonymous asked:

whitestone remembering vex, as half historical leader, half folk hero. vex'ahlia, the heart of whitestone, in the daytime, but also the chosen of pelor, with a painted face and glowing eyes, prowling around the woods after monsters like a barn cat hunting mice, running with bears. kids grow up hearing tales of lady de rolo, who makes sure no monster under the bed is spared. teenagers who stay up late, watching the streets for the rumored spirit ranger, still running her patrols, centuries later.

anon i literally adore everything here

Women have played a prominent part in Celtic life, from the mother goddess and the pantheon of female deities down to a whole range of powerful historical female leaders, priestesses and Christian saints. Their role did not stop with the coming of Christianity but continued into medieval times among the insular Celts. […] a unique piece of ‘feminist’ literature emerges from 12th century Ireland in the form of the Banshenchas, a book on the genealogies of leading women. In fact, this could be claimed as the first European book about women in their own right.
—  from “The Celts” by Peter Berresford Ellis
INTJ: Why Bother with History?

SUBMITTED by Charlie ( leotes )

You’re out of school and part of working adult world. You got bills and loans to pay and most news are just cheesy click-bait or depressing. Present and future concerns dominate your attention. So why bother with the past? Its just the forced memorization of dates and dead folks, right?

Hell no.

You, dear reader, are already a part of living history. Past, present, future - it’s all just one stream of consciousness: your own and of the human collective. We just lack the omniscience and sophisticated tools (*cough*time-machine*cough*) to comprehend and track all these linkages. So if history is so darn complicated, why study it then?

Here’s three reasons why I find studying history to be useful (from an INTJ perspective):

Like Your Literature Class, History Offers Its Own Lessons To Learn From.
Everybody gets different personal interpretations from fiction. History is no different. I dare you to pick any facet of history that interests you. Study it. Draw personal connections. The archetypal patterns of human nature and relevant life lessons will pop out at you.

Interested in war strategies? Funny how some strategies parallel how your workplace operates. Are you a writer and want audiences to feel certain ways? Study the rhetoric and structure of past writers and speakers you admire. Want to strengthen yourself against emotional manipulation? One historical pattern is world leaders using a society’s fear, following a national disaster, to push policies that would otherwise be unpopular/inhumane at the time. Apply this principle to recognizing those who exploit your insecurities to produce dependency and false consent for their ideas. If you got a present dilemma, sometimes the past offers answers and possible leads.

Regardless of what your interests and priorities are, somebody from history probably felt the same. Such individuals can also teach you what not to do. ;) Studying history can also means also learning from your family’s history of past successes and mistakes (just don’t tell them that aloud!). To bastardize a (probably famous) phase: the tower of success is built on the bodies of past mistakes–whether your own or somebody else’s! Use history to live and learn, man. 

History Gives Clue to the Question: “How did We Get to Now, and Where are Going from There?”
NI, despite its visionary focus, is useless as dust when it neglects to incorporate past and present variables into the analysis. Here’s several ways how incorporating the past, present, and future manifests fort me.

Say some country presently hates your country. Consider the (under-advertised) fact that your country supported a corrupt president that the citizens later had to overthrow in a revolution. Knowing this useful tidbit aids my understanding of those countries’s relationship and its ties to related events like war.

Or consider how popular media is filled with older generations complaining about the current generation. Considering how we live in an age of accelerating technology, environmental, and economic advancements–its likely that some people fear being “left behind” in the job market and cultural mainstream. That’s a reasonable fear. After all, human culture and policies are slower to adapt to such advancements. Considering all this helps me obtain a greater sense of sympathy and understanding for why some tension among generations exist. .

Or think about how it’s harder nowadays to evaluate the veracity/context to a source, especially if it’s online. It’s easy to conceal a date, author’s true name, and other indications of social-historical context. It’s also easier to generate fake support for a niche opinion/product (some politicians and businesses already do this). Knowing this, my NI-TE says it’ll be necessary for future generations (and yours truly) to grow savvy of identifying such tricks when evaluating online sources.

History Reveals How Social Constructs–Their Definitions and Assumptions–Evolve Over Time.
Uncovering the understated, omitted, concealed, and shameful parts of any version of history excites my NI. Its like being a hacker or detective: “Why are you hiding this? Why are you saying this? What do you me to do it? Where/how did you arrive at this? Who also benefits and knows about this?” Exploring such questions clues me into the underlying biases, priorities, and assumptions that a given society or individual holds about reality.

For instance, let me ask you: how would you define “adulthood?”

Some folks answer with legal age. Others describe life milestones. Somebody from medieval history might say that pre-teens are miniature adults, capable of marriage and producing children. Contrast this with somebody from a modern, post-industrial society: they may find pre-teen pregnancies and wide age differences to be alarming issues. Depending on how “adulthood” is defined, different social outcomes occur. Its up to a given society what trade-offs it’ll accept: “Could we use the extra labor now or should we invest in their ongoing education and (assumed) future payoffs?” Knowing how certain aspects of society evolve overtime keeps my own NI perspective humble to possible revision and expansion.

That being said, some patterns of human nature never change. You think Baby Boomers and Generation X are the only ones to complain about younger generations? Read the salty writings of ancient civilizations and you’ll find funny parallels. Amusingly, some of my Millennial-aged buddies are already starting to complain about Generation Z as well. All of this inter-generational blaming leaves me wondering though: What sorts of problems and progress will my generation, the Millennial, leave behind for future generations?

Assuming I don’t die from some freak accident, it’ll be an interesting outcome to experience and witness. (Just let me give my Millennial apologies ahead of time to any Generation Z folks reading this. ;P)


…Whelp, if you’ve gotten this far, thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed my perspective, and found different ways of interpreting history so studying it is more useful and interesting for you!

Understanding Rhysand (and Tamlin): A Post-ACOMAF Reconciliation of Rhys’s Actions Under the Mountain in a Culture of Defeat

In other words, the sequel post to my “Rhysand Defense Post.”

This post is in response to the lovely nonnie who left this message in my inbox. Beware, this is long (but honestly, who is surprised? Not me. And probably not the nonnie haha).

Here was the question: 

Hello, Nonnie!

Aw, yes, this does come up quite a bit, and it can be difficult to reconcile Rhys’s actions in ACOTAR with the version of him in ACOMAF.  I have actually made several posts regarding this if you’d like to check them out (though they were made before ACOMAF came out). The two that immediately come to mind are my “Rhysand Defense Post” and “The Difference between Tamlin and Rhysand: The Man on the Throne and the Man in the Arena - ACOTAR and ACOMAF Excerpt Analysis”

In essence, when examining Rhys’s treatment of Feyre in ACOTAR, I think it’s crucial to remember that Rhys was acting as a trapped leader stuck between a rock and a hard place; he was working within a culture of defeat and was trying to not only survive, but protect both Feyre and his people.  Both Tamlin and Rhys are faced with what to do once Amarantha takes over, and they respond very differently: Tamlin with inaction/paralysis, and Rhys with action. Both of these responses are legitimate and entirely realistic in terms of how war leaders have historically responded to war and defeat. (I actually took an entire course in college that focused on the culture of defeat in times of war, particularly focusing on the Franco-Prussian War, the American Civil War, WWI, and WWII–and trust me, it is amazing how people–and especially leaders–act during these times. It can be ugly, and oftentimes a leader’s choices are very limited in what they can do to help their people.)

Keeping this in mind, we can see that Sarah doesn’t pull her punches in showing the sheer ugliness of war and–even more importantly–what comes after war. What happens when your people are defeated. What happens when a sadistic tyrant rules and displays her torture methods as a way to cow any potential rebels, to sew a culture of fear.

We see the ugliness of a culture of defeat, and how different people react. We see what happens to those who rebel (the High Lords who were killed); we see how conquered people are tormented and treated as animals (the hundreds of fae trapped in the caverns beneath the mountain to hunt each other in the dark); and we see the awful, terrible, horrendous choices that people in power must make.

Because they must make a choice, and there are no good choices.

You either act and hopefully begin a chain of events that could one day lead to your people’s freedom or you do nothing at all. When you do not act in the face of evil, you in turn perpetuate that evil. To not act is to be complicit in evil–and that is part of the reason why Feyre was so upset with Tamlin in ACOMAF when she speaks to the fact that he did not fight for her UtM. Because although he was trying to protect her by being stoic, he wasn’t really protecting her at all. She would have died, and he would have done nothing to stop it. (History doesn’t look kindly upon inaction in these situations–for example, think about how countries who were silent in the face of the Holocaust are viewed though they knew what was happening. Think about the countries who were not only silent, but did nothing as hundreds of thousands of their citizens were forcefully deported to their deaths. Think of the not-directly-affected countries who knew what was happening but did nothing–and yes, there were more that knew early on what was happening than we’d like to acknowledge. Silence–inaction–is truly its own choice, and Sarah is showing in ACOTAR that inaction is its own type of evil, really. We watch as the world goes to hell, thinking that by not acting at all we can at least protect our own people, protect ourselves–but then the wolf comes to your door and it’s too late to act. You have no allies, because everyone else has already been eaten, and in the end your people still die anyway, and all you can do is watch.

That is why Tamlin is so haunted after UtM. He had to watch as Feyre died. He could do nothing because his earlier inaction sealed his doom, and his people’s doom, and Feyre’s doom. This is also why his actions are so extreme in ACOMAF. He is trying to make up for how little he did UtM, but in doing so he smothers Feyre; he takes away her choices, her agency. Granted his power once more, he becomes the extreme protector. Tamlin can’t find a middle ground, but is bouncing between extremes. This is why he has his nightmares; why he is overbearing; why he focuses so much on what he can do to protect Feyre; why he watches in the night in beast form, ready to attack. He is haunted by his choice to not act, but now that he does act in ACOMAF, he goes too far.

Through Tamlin we see that not acting has its own horrors, its own traumas, its own hauntings.

Sarah shows us this: that inaction cannot save Prythian, just as it does not save people in real life. But she takes it one step further: she shows us the horror of what action brings as well.  Because although we would like to say that we should keep the moral high ground in times of war and defeat–that it is more important to do so then than at any other time–sometimes survival and the moral high ground can’t exist hand-in-hand. Leaders in war can have very limited options, and many times they try to choose what they believe is the lesser of two evils. They can’t always consult someone else; it is not always safe to do so. They play a dangerous game, and they try to save as many people as they can.

This is what Sarah shows us through Rhys’s character.

Rhys, whose actions are not savory and are very morally gray. Rhys who is neither the villain nor the hero in ACOTAR, but rather some complex character in between (which, let me tell you, is very realistic. No war commander or leader in history was a saint–they made choices that cost lives and agency and destruction. Such is the ugliness of war and defeat.). Rhys is a realistic war leader, even if the exact situation the fae are trapped in isn’t typical of a true war.

But Rhys is the man in the arena and he knows he is the only one standing between his people and destruction. Half of one of his courts is killed by Amarantha immediately upon her ascension, and time and again he is faced with hard choices that he must make–as he tells Feyre in ACOMAF–very quickly.  He sacrifices the majority of his remaining power to protect Velaris and his people, leaving him very little power to fend off Amarantha.  He sacrifices his body and his mental health by becoming his tormentor’s whore. He is raped and tortured and tormented to the point that the only thing keeping him going is the fact that he is the only one stopping Amarantha from finding his family and his people. He faces public ridicule and hatred; he must pretend that he enjoys his position by wearing the mask of an enemy (which is a tactic that past leaders and heroes have done. E.g., Oskar Schindler, who wore the uniform of a Nazi but saved hundreds of Jewish lives in WWII). But he tries to show mercy when he can (as with the summer fae, Tarquin’s friend who was staging a rebellion). He tries to keep going for 50 years, tries to lure Amarantha into making a fatal decision, tries to lure her into the woods where the Weaver waits. He has tried and tried and tried, and he is about to lose hope.

And then Feyre comes.

This girl, whom he has dreamed of for months, who has given him hope. The girl whom he suspects from their very first meeting is his mate. The girl whom he tries to protect from Amarantha’s claws by trying to scare her away–both by warning her to leave this place (the Spring Court) and by putting on a show that would convince Tamlin to let her go.  But then she shows up UtM anyway, and Rhys is horrified because she is almost certainly doomed. He is going to have to watch as this girl–the girl who might be his mate–will be killed in front of him and he can do nothing to stop it.

But then she proves that she is just as clever as he is, and she strike a bargain with Amarantha. And in that moment–this very important moment–we see the decision that Rhys makes: “I decided, then and there, that I was going to fight. And I would fight dirty, and kill and torture and manipulate, but I was going to fight. If there was a shot of freeing us from Amarantha, you were it.  I thought…I thought the Cauldron had been sending me these dreams to tell me that you would be the one to save us. Save my people.”

Rhys will do whatever it takes to save his people and Feyre, and it is this resolve that culminates in his actions UtM during Feyre’s trials. As I’ve discussed in my Defense Post, Rhys plays a role–he wears a mask–in order to arrange the chess pieces on the board in such a way that he can take out the queen–but he must do all of this without raising suspicion.  

As for his actions concerning Feyre and the dancing, Rhys believed that this was his best option he had in the situation–and in reality, we can see that it killed not only two birds with one stone, but really more like 7 or 8. Not only does this allow him to be near his mate, but it gets him a legitimate reason to both get Feyre out of her cell (where her isolation was wrecking her mind) and to show Amarantha that Feyre is suffering sufficiently to not be given any other torturous variations of her “chores.” The dancing also diverts people from entertaining the possibility that they could be working together against Amarantha. If Rhys is casting Feyre as his harlot, it reaffirms Amarantha’s idea that humans are nothing more than lowly trash–not a possible threat. At the same time, Rhys and Feyre’s relationship appears antagonistic at best. With his actions, Rhys is assuring that no one could possibly guess that they are, in fact, mates. If anyone had found out that bit of information, then everything would have fallen apart.

(On a related note, and as has been discussed on a related post, Rhys also uses this situation to stand up to his abuser. He presents Feyre before Amarantha and her court with a crown on her head, thereby showing his support for her and his belief that she will win. On a more subtle level, it shows his deeper belief that Feyre is his equal: she wears a crown imbued with the symbolism of his court and psychological healing. He does not see Feyre as someone lower than him, even though he pretends he does. To everyone else, the image of Feyre in a crown and the sheer dress is a mockery, but in reality it is a subversion of this exact idea. Feyre is mortal, and is looked down upon–seen as an animal–but just as in the First Trial, Rhys is betting on her. He plays to Amarantha’s tune even as he subverts it.)

Although this decision to have Feyre dance and drink is morally gray, Rhys used the wine as a kindness. It helps Feyre forget the ordeal, which I’m sure he didn’t want to put his mate through in the first place. At the same time, Feyre doesn’t have to maintain a front (which she would not be nearly as good at as Rhys in the current state she was in - she could have given them away). The wine sweeps her away, so it’s easier for her to dance and let go (which she comes to welcome). And Rhys, being protective of her, makes sure she stays with him the majority of the night (or within view). She dances with him or sits on his lap, and those swirls of ink both allow him to know that no one has touched her or taken advantage of her and lets her know the next day that she was safe. It also lets her know that Rhys never took advantage of her either.

Of course, there is also the question of why Rhys didn’t simply ask Feyre to take part in this plan; it would have affirmed her agency. Honestly, this is a great question, especially since we saw how much Rhys values Feyre’s agency in ACOMAF–and we see then that she could play the part quite well (see: the scene in the Court of Nightmares when Feyre plays the harlot).

While I think we can all agree that we would have preferred Feyre knowing Rhys’s plan from the beginning, in terms of plot, suspense, and character arcs this decision might have unhinged the story.  

Let’s take a look.

What were some of the main motivations that Rhys would have to keep Feyre out of the loop?

1) She’s human, and thus her mind is as easy to crack as an eggshell. It is very easy to invade a human mind as a daemati–Rhys explains how Feyre’s thoughts were practically screaming to him because of the lack of barriers around her mind. Unfortunately, Rhys is most likely not the only daemati UtM. If Feyre knew Rhys’s plan to overthrow Amarantha–especially in her vulnerable mental state–it would be a very simple matter for one of Amarantha’s spies or lackeys to find out that Amarantha’s whore isn’t quite as obedient as she thought. Take Rhys out of the equation and Feyre wouldn’t stand a chance–it would be game over for everyone. This in turn ties in with reason #2.

2) Rhys must maintain a front and not raise (even more) suspicion.  He has already raised suspicion multiple times: he made a bargain with Feyre, he stopped her chores, he healed her arm, he disobeyed Amarantha’s order to shatter the summer fae’s mind, and he bet on Feyre in the first task. On top of that, Rhys’s family sided with the humans in the war against Hybern.  Rhys has to tread very carefully with this plan, as everyone is watching him. Even Feyre notices how his actions can spur suspicion; she says as much in his room UtM during the lentils scene. So Rhys must make sure he wears his mask at all times. He can’t risk Feyre seeing beneath it, even when he visits her cell, because if she knows, then others can find out from her. Or someone can overhear, or Feyre could give them away through her reactions to him (he can’t know how good of an actor she really is; he barely knows her, so he must play it safe).

This is why Rhys must play the villain, despite the fact that he feels that bond with her, that he is falling in love with her and thinks she may be his mate.  Just as Tamlin chooses inaction to try to save her, Rhys chooses to wear the villain’s mask to protect her as she completes her challenges. He fights with her from the shadows; he is her ally and on a deeper level, she begins to realize that, even though she can only catch glimpses of his true intentions.

3) Rhys must act like a villain to keep suspicion away, but also to motivate Feyre. This is very important. Feyre acknowledges both in ACOTAR and ACOMAF that Rhys understands her psychologically; he knows what will motivate her.  In ACOMAF, he knows that riling her up by thinking about flirting or sex will make her react/get her mind off of her trauma, but in ACOTAR he knew flirting wouldn’t be enough/be the proper motivation (though he does use that tactic occasionally). Instead, he uses her other key motivator: anger. (In ACOMAF, before the Weaver scene, we have this line from Feyre, acknowledging this tactic: “Anger, this…flirtation, annoyance…He knew those were my crutches.”) It would be anger that she could harness–the only thing that could keep her fear and the rising insanity at bay. Her anger toward him empowered her; it focused her; it is what stopped her from shattering. He could not give her hope through a plan, so he gave her the other major emotion that can motivate a human through hard times: hatred. Between that and her love for Tamlin, Feyre is able to keep herself together. Thus, we can see that Rhys’s actions not only serve to divert suspicion and move the chess pieces on the board, but they also serve to focus Feyre during the months she’s sequestered away in the dark cells UtM, where night and day she can hear the screams of the tortured in that deep darkness.

It is only near the end, the night before the Third Task, that Rhys is able to start taking off that mask. He is able to talk to Feyre as himself, and she realizes that the glimpses she’s seen beyond that mask are real: that Rhys is lonely and tormented as well, and that he has been her ally all along.  Rhys acknowledges that Feyre could turn him in–end at all–but he was just raped by Amarantha after that kiss in the hallway and he needed someone to talk to. He’s been alone, dealt with this all alone for so long, and he just wants to be with his mate: to be without his mask with her for a few minutes.

This leads to 4) Rhys didn’t tell Feyre because he has been used to working alone. He could never rely on others to help him because if they were caught, he’d be compromised as well. For 50 years, he has had no one to confide in; he could not see his family or his friends, and the only people UtM were members from his dark court: the Court of Nightmares. (With the seeming exception of Feyre’s handmaidens, Nuala and Cerridwen.) Used to making decisions unilaterally and in secret, it is no wonder that Rhys is slow to reveal his plans to others, even to Feyre. Feyre is a human, a human that hates him and fears him for the most part; it would be suicide to let her know early on in the plan.

Importantly, we see that this learned behavior of his doesn’t go away immediately in ACOMAF. Because Rhys was used to making plans on his own for so long, there are several times in ACOMAF that he does things without talking to Feyre first (e.g. using Feyre as bait to lure in the Attor). Rightfully so, Feyre is furious with him and hands it to him. And afterwards, we see that he realizes he was wrong for doing what he did–that he deserved Feyre’s anger. He apologizes, and you know what? He learns and he stops doing it.  Unlike Tamlin, who apologizes to Feyre for taking away her agency but continues to do so, Rhys recognizes when he overstepped his boundaries and stops doing it.  He respects Feyre as his equal, and while he makes mistakes, he apologizes for them and tries to change his actions.

He apologizes for UtM as well (e.g., during a training scene: “I’m sorry I didn’t find a way to spare you from what happened Under the Mountain. […] From dying. From wanting to die.”), and tries to explain to Feyre why he did what he did. Some of his reasons are good, and some of them are not–though we can understand why those motivations were there. (For example, while some of what he did was to motivate Tamlin’s anger to strike out at Amarantha, Rhys also admits that it was partially to get back at him for killing Rhys’s mother and sister. Likewise, the kiss in the hallway had multiple motivations, including protecting Feyre from Amarantha [who would have had a bloody field day if she’d discovered Feyre’d been with Tamlin] and his jealousy that Tamlin was not only with Rhys’s (potential) mate, but had also not used that one opportunity to get Feyre out.)

As I’ve discussed in my other analyses, all of this culminates in the final battle with Amarantha, where we see that Rhysand is not the enemy, but the friend. (Not Rhysand, but Rhys.) And this is yet another reason why Rhys’s characterization and decisions over the course of ACOTAR are so important: because it sets up this wonderful reveal–the unmasking. This is where the heart of this tale–Beauty and the Beast–truly comes into play.

Because it is not only Tamlin who wears the mask, but also Rhys. We are not only supposed to look beyond the mask of our obvious romantic interest/beast; we are also supposed to apply that lesson to our complex villain/anti-hero figure as well–because he is the true beast.  While Tamlin’s unmasking and character evolution in ACOMAF reveals that the beauty Feyre expects behind the mask hides a corruption/trauma-induced abusive characteristics beneath (which in turn provides a brilliant depiction of how abusive relationships develop: i.e., the person sees the abuser in a romantic light at first, until they slowly realize how much power has been taken from them), Rhys’s unmasking shows the compassionate man beneath the villain’s mask.  Told in Feyre’s 1st person narrative, we see Tamlin and Rhys through her point of view, and as she slowly realizes the truths behind their characters–as she strips away those masks–we do as well. Those realizations are meant to be slow; they are meant to encourage us to truly look at the world around us and to not make those snap judgments, because character motivations may be much more complex than we realize.

If Rhys had revealed his plans to Feyre early on, we would not have had a story that truly played with the idea of masks: masked faces, masked intentions, masked personalities, masked truths. The story would not be about this slow evolution of understanding that Feyre (and we) undergo, but rather a less-complex story about a heroic love interest helping Feyre defeat Amarantha. We would’ve lost several layers of meaning, including the entire dialogue about war leaders operating within a culture of defeat where every option is a bad option. (It’s much like an awful game of “would you rather.”) By keeping Rhys’s intentions hidden for most of the story, by telling it from Feyre’s 1st person pov, and by seeing the terrible choices he must make, we are asked to read this story more maturely and use the themes and lens of Beauty and the Beast to analyze these characters.

Using this lens, we can see that the characters in ACOTAR and ACOMAF are not black and white villains and heroes. They are complex characters–and this includes both Rhysand and Tamlin–with complex motivations that are entirely human, realistic, and–importantly–understandable. Whether it is Rhys’s actions in ACOTAR or Tamlin’s now in ACOMAF, we can see where these characters are coming from, and while we may not approve of those actions, we cannot deny that their characterizations and decisions shed light on the human condition: both during war and afterwards–but especially afterwards.  Whether under the rule of a tyrant or during the aftermath of freedom, facing the trauma of one’s choices and the effects of psychological, physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse is never easy. We see how these experiences and traumas force/enable characters to grow and change–sometimes for the better, but not always.

So no, Rhys’s actions UtM–and Tamlin’s actions more recently in ACOMAF–are not always pretty, nor are they always right.  But to address Nonnie’s initial question more succinctly, I believe that Rhys’s actions in ACOTAR were meant to help as many people as he could. I believe his intentions were good, that his choices were not great, and that if we look closely at his potential options, he chose the best option he could in his circumstances and tried to mitigate the negative effects of those choices.  He took away Clare Beddor’s pain, he gave Feyre wine, and he killed the summer fae rather than shatter his mind; he stopped Feyre’s chores and gave her an alternative that put her less at risk while keeping her with him–which was the safest place she could be; he gave reason for Feyre to hate him: to focus her, to save her (despite the fact that his mate might hate him forever).  He gave her music–hope–when she had nothing else. He fought for her at every turn, before UtM, during it, and afterwards. He never gave up on her, even when she was ready to give up on herself. He gave her choices when he could, and he regrets when he couldn’t.  He was willing to let his mate go, to let her choose another male, because that’s what he believed she wanted. Rhys isn’t selfish. All he wants is for Feyre to be happy; to be able to make her own choices; to be able to be the strongest, happiest version of herself.  So yes, while Rhys isn’t perfect, he tries his best with what he’s given–and he is deeply sorry for the pain he wasn’t able to spare Feyre (or others) UtM.

Such is the cost of action; such is the cost of being a leader.

For Rhys is a leader, which means that no matter his actions, they will affect others. He is the leader that acts; he is the man in the arena, and it is easy to label his actions as not good enough, to label him as an abuser or a villain (which I don’t see him as). It is harder to try to understand him, but that is what Sarah and literature as a whole encourage us to do: to understand the other and see how his or her story relates to ours–and to the human condition more generally. Rhys’s and Feyre’s and Tamlin’s stories (and the other characters’ stories in ACOTAR/ACOMAF, honestly) brilliantly speak to humanity and its variations, and this (in many, many words) is how I feel about Rhys’s depiction and character arc in ACOTAR, especially in relation to the new information we have in ACOMAF.  

Honestly though it’s hilarious that like

The second you start looking at Transformers critically you realize that the point of the series is that “the only people that are ever good are the one who follow the Leader who has Divine Right to Rule”

Like this isn’t even an exxageration. What does Prime have in just about EVERY continuity, The Matrix of Leadership. What is it? The thing that chooses who the next Autobot Leader is, it’s a religious artificate said to be directly connected to Primus (Cybertronian GOD) and it (and by extension Primus) chooses the next Autobot leader.

Historically? This has been a bad idea. Seriously, anyone claiming leadership via Religious/Divine Right always leads to bad shit (See: Functionism in IDW for fiction)

Not to mention? No one sees anyone who ISN’T an Autobot as a person. Look at how they talk about those who are unaligned, they talk about them as if they’re lesser beings. They literally caged and chipped Decepticons because apperently they’re just animals now.

When you look at Transformers with a criticle eye, you really begin to realize just how much the Autobots hate anyone who isn’t them and hide behind how “well they must be in the right because their leader has the Maxtrix and the Maxtrix comes from God”.

TL;DR Autobots are founded on Divine Right to Lead where as Decepticons are people from the masses who organized themselves. Megatron in TFP and IDW got people to follow him willingly by talking about things, not by going “I’m a special mech that Primus himself said was special”

The Shout Out #11

The eleventh issue of the Shout Out is a bumper edition! On it, you can find a list of creators and bloggers new to our Directories, as well as brand new community leaders and cultural ambassadors!

They’re always write!

We welcomed a pair of writers to the Creator Directory this week! One was @bubbleteahime, who you’ve hopefully already checked out after she debuted on this week’s Fanfiction Round-Up!

The other is @bzrava, who’s yet to appear on the FFRU, but why wait for that? Go ahead and check out their writing tag right now, and stay ahead of the trend!

World-renowned ask blog!

The cosplay ask blog with a roster of characters so huge we couldn’t fit it on our Creator Directory, @ask-a-nation joined us this week! If you have a burning question to ask a country, this blog is your best bet for an answer!

1 in 100 (million)!

We also said a hearty hello to @aph-ghoul, the newest edition to our list of 100% Hetalia blogs! If you want your Hetalia fix all in one neat blog, there’s the place to go! We’re sure it’s not actually haunted!

The leaders of leading!

We’ve had a few people join us as community leaders! These people can be contacted for help concerning their community, so here they are, and here’s what they represent:

If you’d like to become a leader, please read this post!

Ambassadors to amazingness!

We’ve had a lot of people sign up as ambassadors for their countries! It’s been fantastic meeting them all! If you need help with a country, see if someone represents it below:

If you’d like to become an ambassador, please read this post!

Birthday Reminders!

On the 15th of May, it’s the anniversary of the Hub’s launch! This blog will be turning a whole year old! Then, on the 17th, it’ll be Norway’s non-canon birthday! Don’t let our anniversary distract you, just make sure to prepare some amazing gifts for him!

Have something you want us to promote? Contact us off-anon!

anonymous asked:

i watched a few videos on the lgbt people in japan thing and something that was interesting was that a lot of japanese people said that being gay wasnt frowned upon until westeners came into the country. i believe they said many military leaders and historical figures in japan were known to have had relationships w the same gender so /shrug

me and my friend tchai were talking about this before actually. do yall remember the tale of genji?? thats a great story and yall should read it but it has the worlds first fuckboy in it and its the man himself, genji in the flesh. this man was rejected by a pretty girl so you know what my boy genji said?? he said “you werent even that pretty sike!!” and slept with her brother instead what a bisexual LEGEND

so really what im getting at is the first novel ever written was about a petty bisexual japanese boy and thats honestly the energy i wanna put out in 2017


hermdoggydog  asked:

What would a deck of playing cards in Westeros look like, if/when such a thing develops? Like what suits, what ranks (7 suits with 7 ranks to honor the Seven, perhaps)? Would there be regional variations?

If playing cards ever get introduced to Westeros, I expect they’ll come from Essos, probably Yi Ti, the way playing cards originated from China in our world. (Via Persia, India, Egypt, Southern Europe, and so on.) As such, I wouldn’t expect the Faith of the Seven to be a strong influence on the number of suits or ranks, any more than the Trinity was an influence in Europe.* And for that matter, 7 is a lucky number in our world,** but that doesn’t seem to have affected card suits at all.*** Also, since religious leaders have historically frowned on gambling, I would expect a game using the images of the Seven to be considered blasphemy,**** so… yeah, that’s not going to happen.

* Actually, I can’t find anything that says why 4 suits are the most common, other than that’s how it originated in China. There’s a few Indian variations with all kinds of numbers of suits, including 12 for the 12 signs of the zodiac, and 10 for the 10 avatars of Vishnu, but still the most common number of suits is 4.

** Unlike in the Discworld, where 8 is a prominent number, and Cripple Mister Onion has 8 suits.

*** 7 being lucky has affected dice games though. And they do play dice in Westeros. Also tiles, which is probably dominoes.

**** Seriously, can you imagine how the medieval Catholic Church would react to a game with cards of God, Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Spirit? ugh ugh ugh. (Note that tarot cards used for divination, and the pagan imagery of the major arcana, etc, are not medieval; they weren’t developed until the late 18th century.)

Anyway, if you want a properly worldbuilt playing card game in Westeros, with regional variations, I’d ask @warsofasoiaf, that sounds right up his alley. Though since you are asking me… hmm, I’d go with a bicolor 4 x 14 + 2 deck. Red and black, for the Targaryens. The Italian suits (cups, coins, clubs, swords) as that sounds properly medieval. 10 ranking cards (1-10), 4 court cards (knight, queen, king, dragon). And two fools, red and black.

As for variations, regional ones might replace the 1 with the local paramount sigil (wolf, rose, lion, etc). But I can actually see historical variations being more popular – green and black during the Dance; the red and black dragons being used to indicate allegiance circa the Blackfyre Rebellions (Bloodraven has the game banned when he’s Hand, of course); yellow and black with stags instead of dragons post-Robert’s Rebellion.

Hope you like!

anonymous asked:

Hi Lizzie! I'd like to know who you personally believe (or what's historically backed up) to be the God/dess of mental illness? Specifically things having to do w the autistic spectrum? Thank you for your time :)

As with most things in Hellenism, it’s less a case of, “This is the patron of this thing”, and more a case of, “There are all the Theoi who are connected to this thing.” Let me introduce you to The Theoi Iatrikoi- Deities of medicine and healing:

Apollon is historically considered the leader of the Theoi related to health and healing. His son, Asclepius, is the God of medicine. Asclepius’ wife, Epione, is the Goddess of soothing pain. Iaso, Aegle, Aceso, Hygeia, and Panaceia are Their children.

Iaso is the Goddess of cures, and recovery. Aegle is the Goddess of good health. Aceso is the Goddess of healing, and specifically the process of healing. Hygeia is also named as the Goddess of good health. Panaceia is the Goddess of cures, typically regarded by the ancient Greeks as presiding over salves and medicines. And Telesphorus is a God who presides over recuperation from wounds or illness.

I’ve seen some very good arguments for Athene as a patron to mental illness since She presides over affairs of the mind already. I’ve also seen people mention Ares because of the personal struggles and battles a person with mental illness has. Personally, I’ve always found Dionysos to be helpful to me with my anxiety. 

As with everything else with mental illness though, it’s going to be a pretty personal thing. What works for one person may not work for another. What helps one person may hurt another.

I’m afraid I have zero opinions though about a patron for the autistic community. Since I’m not autistic, I’m not comfortable making a statement like that about who would be the patron deity. I think that’s something that autistic members of our community are going to have a better idea (and experience) of, and I don’t want to speak over any of them.


This clip (along with the singing scenes in Hyangjumok) shows better than anything I can say why it’s so important to the message of the show that Gil Dong and the Ikhwari are the protagonists, but not the heroes, and it’s important that they AREN’T the heroes.  It isn’t about Gil Dong saving Joseon or about Gil Dong deciding that the only answer to their problems is a new king, it’s about the people saving themselves from a corrupt and abusive king.  The historical leaders of the coup are there, doing their thing, but they’re powerless without the populace.  The “people” are the heroes of the story, they just needed a push in the right direction to get going.  Gil Dong’s role is to give that push, not to do it for them.

Hellenic Polytheism 105: Patron Deities

What is a Patron Deity in Hellenism?

In Hellenism a patron deity is one who holds domain over a specific area, career, or group of people. 

That typically means that They have a special interest in that specific group of people as defined by the domain, and may offer protection and guidance to them. They’re also the default go-to deity for petitions involving that domain.

Rather than being an indicator of a particularly close relationship with a deity, or an indicator that you devote an extra amount of time and effort to Their worship, the word patron is used in Hellenism to indicate that a deity holds domain over an area of your life. You may still have a particularly close relationship with a patron, but that’s not the immediate implication.

Keep reading

You have the same name as a historic leader. One day you find yourself in the distant past armed only with the knowledge of your 21st century life. It occurs to you that you must rise to power and fulfill your legacy in the history books.

When we employ the Great Leaders Theory of History, we fail to see all the above. We ignore the great and simple truth that a society’s historic leaders are made by its structural and institutional conditions. And by ignoring this truth, simply yearning for Great Leaders to save us, we remain paralyzed and blind — and vulnerable to Caesars, whether they are named Julian or Vladimir.
—  Umair Haque in Bad Word at Medium. Why Trump Was Inevitable — But Recovery Isn’t
Or, Why the Great Leaders Theory of History is Wrong

I don’t want to get into the specifics because I know people (read: americans) will try to argue with me on this point, but most of the time, historical leaders and governments deserve to be looked at with a nuanced view where you can acknowledge the bad and the good without universally categorising them as one or the other. And on that same note, you should always question who your criticism benefits the most, because you may just be regurgitating propaganda that has become dogma.


Today is a momentous day. Indonesia has officially sworn in its new President, Joko Widodo. It marks the beginning of a new chapter and a chapter I hope will be for a better Indonesia.

Proud Indonesian

Photo from BBC, Time Magazine