i don't know the actual source but this is what google said

anonymous asked:

You are so cool man. Okay, I just got into investing as in I opened an account with bank of america merrill edge for retirement but haven't done anything else. I know I should like buy safe stocks and stuff, but I am so wary of researching this. like i just don't trust sources that i google or magazines (my dad was interested in stocks and lost a lot of money so I just can't trust him or those magazines). I see that you have set up different markets (target retirement, inflation protected), (1/2

(2/2) and other funds. How did you get started? Where did you research? Like books or things. Thank you for your time!

Aw, thank you Anon! So, this is a little bit of a narrative, buckle up. (There is a readmore below! Read more!) 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

mind sharing your thoughts about lauren and simon?

okay so disclaimer that i am only a casual fifth harmony fan so a lot of this is based on light observation rather than anything in depth.

in case anyone isn’t familiar, there have been rumours for years that camila and lauren are/were secretly dating.

i don’t know if camren is actually thing but i tend to lean towards no. anyway i’m not going to dwell on that because it’s not super relevant here. regardless of the legitimacy of camren, i *do* think lauren is gay (or at the very least, into girls too) and she’s pinged me for years. 

i’m not going to use my gaydar as a source obviously but more as a general introduction to my thought process and what led me to paying more attention to her.

i think that she’s not straight and that she’s basically the louis of fifth harmony and simon’s been punishing her for her sexuality for years.

okay, now onto the actual reasons why i think that.

1. first - she’s a BRILLIANTLY TALENTED SINGER and she gets pretty much no solos and no time to shine. she’s been shoved in the background for years. here’s a video in which you can gauge her voice for yourself.

and yet … 

2. THE VAMPS SONG. okay so lauren dated (’dated’?) a member of the vamps and then they wrote this song and it’s pretty transparently about lauren (there was tons of press about it and a lot of fandom drama:

3. she posted this on her tumblr (which obviously isn’t a confirmation or denial of anything but as far as i can tell from some lowkey googling it’s the most she’s said on the subject):

and here’s a link to that tumblr account from her twitter:

i haven’t really gone through her tumblr in detail in a long ass time but from what i remember, she struck me very much as an outspoken feminist who speaks up for and supports marginalized communities when and where she can (and i’m sure it pisses simon off).

4. she was papped with louis (not necessarily super relevant to my points but still worth mentioning seeing as she’s basically the louis of fifth harmony minus the fake baby):

so anyway, regardless of how lauren identifies, i think this is pretty damn important and i’m so proud of her:

anonymous asked:

I have a question for you, if you don't mind. How do you keep believing in magic? Not trying to say one shouldn't, or anything, but like I've been doing it for a little while and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't; and sometimes I can kind of convince myself that it did. The thing is, I think of myself as very logical, and I respect science. Hasn't science kind of disproved this long ago? Thanks for any thoughts.

Hello there ~☽♡☾

It’s alright, I can tell that you’re simply being curious :)

Actually, quite the contrary! I also incorporate science into my witchcraft, and found it very easy to do so after knowing what I do. That is: Science has proven many things related to the metaphysical, including the way witchcraft works, to be true ~ 

Witchcraft is a way for one to manipulate the energy of the world around them to make certain outcomes more likely to happen, through the power of the mind. Not at all different from other religions who pray, sing, or leave offerings to gods or spirits. But first off, let’s talk about how powerful the mind can actually be! If you think about it, the brain very powerful. Let’s take sound and light, for example; those things are just caused by waves invisible to the human eye… but the reason most people can see or hear is because the brain tells us we can! The brain tells us that something is a certain color, that a taste is good or bad, etc. I’d like to find you a source, but I can’t seem to find the exact source myself, but you can just do some googling or library searching if you’re still curious ~ In fact, have you ever heard of the placebo effect? Witchcraft isn’t something that is fake, but the effects of a placebo can explain what the mind can do when believing in something. 

The reason many witches try to advise others that the ingredients in spells aren’t as powerful as intent is exactly that. Spells work because you can harness the power of your mind in conjunction with the properties of certain herbs. Have you ever heard somebody say 

“Think positive and positive things will happen.”?

Same concept! Your attitude and mind power is the best magickal tool anybody can have. The fact that you are having doubts may be reflecting into your spellwork, so I do hope what I’ve said reassures you!

There are also types of magick where energies combine with your bodys’ energy field, known in the metaphysical community as the “aura”, to produce an outcome or feeling. This has also been proven to produce an outcome, especially with crystals and stones. Crystals/stones specifically emit an energy called piezoelectricity, which may combine with our own natural ones to make somebody feel a certain way. (This is the basis behind crystal healing) It’s also why many people will carry stones with them for depression, emotional imbalance, physical illness or imbalance, etc. The chemical makeup of these minerals mixes with their piezoelectric properties, and produces a specific result when mixed with our own.

Those are just the things that I can remember for now, but feel free to come off anon and let me know if you’d like to talk about it more! I assure you that you may still practice witchcraft while respecting science ~ I just hope I do not get any upset witches because of posting this, as many people believe in many different things, and this is simply my views on the topic.

Edit: Thecosmosinmycoffee told me a very lovely quote to go along with this:

Magick is just science that hasn’t been discovered yet

➺ Rainy

anonymous asked:

Do u think ksoo's ski things have something to do with kastl's ski rumours? Or its jus coincidence?

Yes and No. I’ll try to explain why.

Kyungsoo went to a ski store in January 14, the same day as Jongin’s birthday. It doesn’t prove that he went to ski with him, tho. Only that he went there and bought some ski equipments. Jongin went to ski in January 15 - January 18, I don’t know exaclty. To me, it was at January 18, but correct me if I’m wrong. Anyway. That was the day that Jongin actually went to ski and got his injury, because you can see that he didn’t perform during GDA at January 21, but he was perfectly fine at January 14.

For me, since it was the same day as Jongin’s birthday, Kyungsoo went to that store to buy Jongin a gift (a snowboard or something). So, in that aspect, he would be connected with Jongin going there. But, it could be that Kyungsoo bought a ski equipment to himself, for him to go to that ski resort with Jongin, making him company. Who knows? But I don’t know if it’s possible, because, at that time (specially January 16 and January 18) he didn’t have any public schedule, BUT he was dubbing Underdog. You can atually see pictures of him at the studio in January 17 and January 20 or 21, I don’t remember. So, I can’t tell that Kyungsoo had a free day to actually go with Jongin at the ski resort, neither that he had a busy day that stopped him from going.

Jongin was definitely spotted there at a medical room, when a person saw him treating his leg injury. But she didn’t mention anyone making him company. But I don’t believe that he was alone there either. It doesn’t make sense, in my opinion. Specially him, that likes to have fun with his closest friends. But, it couldn’t be Taemin this time, because he was in Japan, from what I researched. What about Krystal? I don’t think she was there, either. Why? 

At that time, f(x) was praticing for their upcoming concert, Dimension Four. It wasn’t a ordinary concert, but their first solo concert, EVER. I probably think that the group was expecting that for years. And, according to Luna, they were praticing at January 16. So, how come Krystal would stop from praticing to go skiing with Jongin, what would cause her injures, like happened with him when he went there? She’s a hardworking girl. I think that a normal date would be possible, but a date in a ski resort, where she could be spotted and she could get hurt? I don’t think so. But, who knows? It is my opinion.

And mentioning the person that spotted Jongin at the ski resort again. This isn’t relevant to the principal question, but I needed to tell that. It was mentioned that:

This girl went to the medical room in that resort and saw this tall guy who was wearing goggles getting treatment on his knee and she wasn’t sure if it was him at first. (…)  When he had to take off his goggles to wear his skiwear properly again that’s when she and jongin had ‘eye contact’.

That is really important, because it shows that the person only recognized him because he took off his googles. So, it proves Dispatch’s contradiction when they said this:

D. The two are notorious for loving sports. According to sources, it has been revealed that the two also visisted a ski resort. But due to goggles, masks and helmets, no one noticed them.

How the fuck they claim that two people visited a ski resort, but at the same time, no one noticed them? Jongin was only spotted because he took his googles (and because the girl saw his name, but if he kept his google, mask, whatever she would still feel a doubt about his presence or not). If Krystal was with him, she would need to take of her googles too and someone would notice them somehow. They wouldn’t stay with everything in their heads all the time, anyway.

Summarizing: I think that the fact that Kyungsoo bought ski equipments at January 14 and Jongin’s skiing are related. But I can’t claim that they were there together, because Kyungsoo had his own activities, even if they weren’t public ones. But I don’t think that Jongin went at the ski resort alone, either. So, for me, they only thing I can conclude is that, Kyungsoo at least knows who Jongin went ski with, if the person wasn’t himself.

anonymous asked:

I love the fantasyverse and it inspires me a lot. How did you two go about starting to make an entire world? How did you start? I'm amazed at how deep your world building goes.

Ahh thank you!! We’re so happy to hear that!!

@dyemelikeasunset actually has had this project sittin around since she was like 10, she said her motivation was “I was a preteen who liked LotR and then realized “y they all white tho” ” and that’s that LOL!

jump to like a decade and a half later where we’ve made too many Ragnarok characters to know what to do with (and a few miscellaneous high fanatsy ocs with no universe to roam in) and we decided “heeey lets throw them in that old fantasy world of yours” which naturally means we started to develop it. I think the core part of our world was the races so we started with that, with the world map itself and magic system being close seconds (worked on those at the same time) 

There’s a lot of idea sound-boarding, research, then making characters to test drive it all- it helps us flesh out and refine each race/culture’s nuances. Honestly the most fun about this is the free reign building aspect. We both really want diverse fantasy that’s fun but accessible and we wanted a world-building experience that was a little less restrained to one city or area so other people could freely play with it for their own roleplays without it getting too cramped.

So if anyone ever wanted to start some kinda world building experience I’d personally recommend finding the major catch you want to focus on of your world and branch out from there. 

- For race creation I recommend googling the “cultural iceberg model” and a whole buttload of diligent research with multiple sources to make sure you’re not reading into something problematic/incorrect thinkin’ its “The All Powerful Source” haha (no shortcut for this) 

- for worldmap creation I recommend (after knowing what you want your general shape to be- lots of water/islands? a pangea? two? a specific number of continents? continents that make a certain shape?) try drawing random shapes and see if anything speaks to you, or try looking at other maps for inspo, or check out a few map makin guides or generators to get you started. 

- as for magic systems of whatever kind (if you have magic at all or w/e) i’d just look at mmorpg stuff to see what’s popular/what’s been done to death and try to deviate off that; consider magic systems of other cultures, etc. also, new applications of familiar stuff is really fun to dream up- or you can always keep it simple if your focus is elsewhere.

also check out ty’s ask on this from a bit ago for her pov too!!

tpespisetta  asked:

Hi, I would like to thank you for your insightful reviews of Supernatural-they are very interesting and help me understand the references and hidden meanings, which can be difficult for those whose first language is not English. I don't know if someone else already wrote this, but I wanted to point out that the opening song for the episode was actually going to be Van Morrisson's 'Into the Mystic', however the artist did not give them rights, according to Jim Michaels. Any meta about this song?

Ohhhh… now the anon I’d previously gotten makes so much sense. They asked about my thoughts on ‘Into the Mystic’, and I believed they were asking about the episode, not the song. Thanks for pointing this out. 

I’d never heard this song, so I googled it immediately and found its lyrics very interesting. (You can listen to the song here). 

Into the Mystic

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that fog horn blows I will be coming home
And when the fog horn blows I want to hear it
I don’t have to fear it

And I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And magnificently we will flow into the mystic

When that fog horn blows you know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows I got to hear it
I don’t have to fear it

And I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will flow into the mystic
Come on girl…

Too late to stop now…

This song has so many layers of hidden meaning that I feel overwhelmed. It has unsurprisingly another ‘sun’ reference (=Cas). “Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic” gives me a bad feeling of defeat (for Dean). The “bonnie boat” makes a reference to the boat in which Prince Edward Stuart escaped his defeat at Culloden in 1746, pretending to be a serving maid (Source x). The fact that the reference was used along with ‘the mystic’ both scares me and gives me hope.

On the one hand, it scares me because we were shown scenes from Sam/Lucifer jumping to the pit bringing Michael along, and now I imagine Dean jumping to the “Empty” (mentioned in 11x02) with Amara. This time it has to be Dean to keep the symmetry of the story and because “self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity” (the goddess, the Darkness) fits his current arc. The song even says, “I don’t have to fear it”, so… I think Dean will be the one self-sacrificing this season (not Sam) once he realizes that he shouldn’t fear Amara, he should become one with her (obtain unity?) and that way win this one, even if he is “defeated”. This sounds incredibly tragic, BUT… the “bonnie boat” reference in the song also gives me hope because that was the boat where Prince Edward Stuart escaped his defeat, which means Dean might be trapped for some time, but he will escape (as it always happens in Supernatural). 

Into the Mystic is a song “about a sailor at sea thinking about returning to his lover, who is back on land. Normally a foghorn signals danger, but in this case it means he is close to home and his love.” (Source x). This makes me think that Cas will still be on Earth, though maybe still in trouble, and Dean will be thinking about returning to him, about going home. “He’s coming home” Cas said about Dean in 10x22 even though Dean was on his way to the Bunker and Cas wasn’t at the Bunker when he said that. It was a very subtle way of saying Dean will eventually go home; he’ll eventually return to Cas. 

The problem is that if Amara is defeated at the end of this season, our next big bad for season 12 is very obvious: Lucifer! I mean… Casifer. (Casssssssifer? Lustiel? Whatever you may call him!). 

I really hope this is not what Robbie had in mind when he chose to name the episode ‘Into the Mystic’ with the intent of using this song. It’s time to brace ourselves and prepare for the worst. 

anonymous asked:

I have a genuine question to ask. Why do you think jongin is always on his phone these days? there's a lot of airport pics showing this. I've read somewhere in twitter that its because it is his world now, or rather the person he is texting is his world now. its not hard to figure who this person is implying. but this point aside, what do you think jongin is doing with his phone all the time? pls don't ignore this ask thank you.

Hey anon,

Before I begin, I want to apologize if I seem to ignore your ask. I’m deeply sorry to you and to other anons who sent me asks before but left unanswered TTTT I’ll try my best to answer all of your asks!

Let’s move on to your question.
(x) - additional links

Firstly, you have to understand that SK ppl are very attached to their mobile devices. There’s even a rehab camp for teenagers’ internet addicts in SK (1, 2). A kr coursemate of mine told me that even when you ride a public transportation in SK, you’ll notice that majority of the passengers will be on their phone (3). One of the kfans I’m closed with told me that she’s also attached to her phone but she’s not dating anyone. Even some students in my uni are glued to their phone too (I’m studying in Asia currently). We’re living in a technology era anyway. Everything is at our fingertips.

Holding your phone all the time doesn’t mean you’re dating someone. It could mean anything. JI could be talking to his sister about her newly born baby, discussing w gsoul about their potential collaboration, asking his mom about his babies or playing games.

Now, take my advice. Don’t believe people’s words on social platform 100% and don’t pay attention to one source only. Expand your field of knowledge. Google it, read about it or even ask around. This is one of my way to connect with people from different parts of the globe. You have access to it, use it :)

Next, JI has been glued to his phone since 2013. And not just JI but all of exo_’s members are (I noticed that in 2012, all members don’t have their phone with them. The only thing I saw them holding when they were at the airport was their passport.). So, you’re implying that all of them are talking to their significant someone?

Here’s a mini spam of exo_’s members possibly talking to their ‘world’ from 2013-present.

Implying that JI is talking to Kry bcoz he’s attached to his phone is a very vague evidence unless you saw/read their messages. Pcy was even mad about all these lovestagram. He said he had an insta to connect with his fans and shared his music. It had nothing to do w tae_y. Now I know why not all members have an insta acc.

It won’t be shocking for me if there’ll be another exo_ member couple is announced, people will point out ‘ahh I knew it. he was really glued to his phone. he must be talking to her’. Why bother paying attention to this almost baseless things when you have an actual interaction of them in front of you? Don’t limit your thinking. Explore all the possibilities. But be rational and practical.

I don’t pay much attention to this very vague evidence because I have something, even more, better, far concrete comparing to ‘attached to phone is a sign of dating’. Yes, kr couples are indeed clingy. But clingy doesn’t define glued to their phone only.

Now, here’s my question to you. If an idol attached to their phone bcoz they’re talking to their significant someone, who in exo_ is really dating here tbh?

(I’m sorry if I appeared very bold here but I’m just stating my opinions).

winebrightruby  asked:

Today, a man in a comic book store told me that "all that stuff" between Kirk and Spock is fan-insert, not in any way intended by the writers or staff of Star Trek TOS. (Considering I had used the term "bromance", I don't know exactly what he was objecting to.) He also said "the writer" has said nothing like that was ever put in. I feel like this is a subject that's come up before on your blog, but I was wondering if you have any insight you'd like to share?

Well, let’s take this in stages.

(a) The phrasing “All that stuff” instantly seems to me to reveal greater or lesser levels of bias-against. (You were there, so you’d be in a better position to judge than I would.) So anything further from this source ought rightfully to be subject to greater-than-usual levels of scrutiny.

(b) By “the writer” I assume he means Gene Roddenberry. (While, horrors, possibly not knowing about the existence of other Trek writers? Not knowing about Gene Coon, or Harlan Ellison, or Dorothy Fontana, or Ted Sturgeon, or or or…? God, what an arid boring place such a worldview must be.)

And if he means Roddenberry, then he’s wrong about “fan insert” being the only source of, at the very least, implications of possible love between Kirk and Spock. Pro insert? That we’ve got. All you need to do is Google around for information about the term “t’hy’la”, which Roddenberry coined and which appears a number of times in the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. This term, which Spock several times uses in the narrative to describe Kirk, is defined as follows by Roddenberry:

The word “t’hy’la“ is Vulcan and means ‘brother’, ‘friend’ and/or ‘lover’.

You also get kind of a sly “editor’s note” about this term (and I’d give a pretty to know whether this appears in the first edition or was added later):

The human concept of friend is most nearly duplicated in Vulcan thought by the term “t’hy’la”, which can also mean “brother” and “lover”. Spock’s recollection (from which this chapter is drawn) is that it was a most difficult moment for him since he did indeed consider Kirk to have become his brother. However, because “t’hy’la” can be used to mean “lover” and since Kirk’s and Spock’s friendship was unusually close, this has led to some speculation over whether or not they had actually indeed become lovers. At our request, Admiral Kirk supplied the following comments on this subject:

"I was never aware of this ‘lovers’ rumor, although I have been told that Spock encountered it several times. Apparently, he had always dismissed it with his characteristic lifting of his right eyebrow, which usually connoted some combination of surprise, disbelief, and/or annoyance. As for myself… I have always found my best gratification in that creature called woman. Also, I would not like to be thought of as being so foolish that I would select a love partner who came into sexual heat only once every seven years.”

The disclaimer kind of makes me chuckle, and possibly not for the reasons people might necessarily expect. (For one thing, it’s interesting for what it doesn’t say… but let’s put that aside for the moment.) Most important to note here is that there was probably never a Trek book that was as closely vetted by Gene and his office as that one, and if something appeared in it, then either Gene or Paramount meant it to be there.

The corporate side of Paramount was an extremely buttoned-down sort of place in the 70s and 80s (as, frankly, most media companies were) and would have been terrified of doing anything that might alienate or freak out their viewers / readers. And things only normally get worse in such situations when a fictional property starts to be seen as being worth serious money… which was what was happening with Trek around then. I could be wrong — and if anyone has correction for me on this, I wouldn’t be surprised — but it seems likely to me that Star Trek was the first really visible TV property to be resurrected as a feature film with a serious budget. (If not the first such TV property to be so  resurrected, period.) Suddenly here was this long-deceased series coming back as a movie, suddenly here was a serious director at the helm in David Wise, and Isaac Asimov, God rest him, brought on as science advisor… and behold, the smell of money was in the air.

At such times the parent company tends to become terrified of doing anything, or allowing anything to happen, that might possibly screw things up. And whatever might have been going on in Gene’s head as regarded his real feelings about Kirk and Spock being More Than Just Good Friends, he was enough of a producer and aware enough of how things worked in the real world of film production and its attendant publicity that — for public consumption — he was going to have to either deny the possibility outright, or be publicly ambivalent.

Straightforward denial on “Kirk’s” part here would have been simple enough. And I’m sure I remember anecdotal mentions about Gene laughing the concept off at one convention or another when the subject came up. But the one print declaration we’ve got is what you see above, and the ambivalence strikes me as both funny and transparent in terms of its attempt to conceal an opinion that Paramount (or was it Gulf + Western then? I lose track.*) would not have approved of and which Gene, if wise, would never publicly confirm.

Inside his head, though… I may be from Long Island but I am not a medium, so I do not have current access to the only being who would know for sure. Yet at the same time, you want to examine the evidence. Here we have a man who campaigned hard with the network to have an alien first officer (even though the Network freaked so badly over his “satanic” appearance that they airbrushed his ears round in the promotional material for the affiliates): who would have had a woman first officer if things had gone differently: who wanted a racially diverse crew: who went out of his way to include nationalities (like Russians) that the US had recently been on the outs with: who set up and saw through to film the first interracial TV kiss. Roddenberry was routinely ahead of his time on issues like these. It would not surprise me in the slightest to discover he’d at least entertained thoughts like this for two of his three leads, who from first to last we are shown as partners in a truly extraordinary friendship.

Now, that said —  The inside of the Great Bird’s head was one thing. But if even Gene was being cautious, you may imagine that elsewhere in the Franchise, the concept of saying anything in the clear about the, um, nuts and bolts of a possible t’hy’la relationship between Kirk and Spock, was not kindly received by TPTB. Writers who attempted such — or at least, failed to get away with it — were shown the door at Pocket Books and emphatically invited not to darken it again. About “fan insert” outside of the professionally published books, I know what any moderately well-read fanzine fan of the 70s and 80s and 90s knows: that it was rampant, and Paramount knew about it, and it was winked at.

More than this, respondent saith not. The jury would probably have to be out permanently on this issue (meaning auctorial intent. But wait a minute: we’re concerned about this why? I thought The Author was Dead.)  :)  …In any case, for us at this end of time, all the “hard” evidence is and must remain ambivalent. But then, things being as they were, how could it be otherwise…?

*A lot of the Trek novelists and editors during that period used to call it “Engulf + Devour.” This would have been before Viacom, which did its own engulfing + devouring on Paramount.

anonymous asked:

How come some people in the UK don't like polish people?

I’m on mobile so can’t do a long answer with sources but essentially some people in the UK (a minority but a very vocal minority) dislike Polish people and Eastern Europeans in general because they believe that they have come over to this country and are taking our jobs. There are literally no solid statistics of this actually being true but right wing douche co-pilots (UKIP) are under the idea that this is the case.

What people are failing to see is that the reason these people are getting jobs is because not only are they qualified for the position but they have much higher work standards than the ‘local’ population. The UK is lazy, we put in a low level of effort and the results match, people from overseas come here and are willing to put everything into a job and it shows but some people are seeing this as jobs being taken from them when in fact it is an excuse they use to cover their own laziness.

Some people also believe they are coming here to take our benefits, get free housing and money from the government etc. However, this again is not all true, I don’t have the figures but a simple Google search will provide the answer. I think a big problem is that the right wing media focuses too much on those entering the country and ignoring the opposite - every year thousands of Britain’s are leaving the country and living abroad yet you never hear about them causing issues even though it is essentially the same thing happening.

Now what I’m saying isn’t necessarily true for everyone, there will be people coming here for benefits but that is an absolutely tiny amount, not anywhere near enough to cause such an uproar considering many British people are also just living on benefits even though they are fully able to work (I understand some people cannot work for many reasons and that is fine, I’m against those that choose not to work because they can’t be bothered).

This may all be totally incorrect and I may have just dug myself a hole but as I said I’m on mobile so can’t fact check so just using what I know. If anyone has anything to add then please do. At the end of the day some people in the UK are just whiny little dildos and should just chill.

anonymous asked:

I don't see why you can't cosplay Hux without Kylo??

I’ve been sitting on answering this for 3 weeks since before AX, because I wanted to take time to answer it, so sorry for the wait. And also sorry that it’s a long answer: 

I get uncomfortable cosplaying Hux alone in public because the First Order has such obvious allusions to WWII and post-War Nazism. I know you can make the argument that it’s not a direct allusion - the First Order is much more vague about their MO and methods so their ideology ends up getting boiled down to “we want to control everything” without filling in the details. But the production design is so deliberate that it’s an uncomfortable outfit for me to wear without other SW cosplayers around me to make it very clear that it’s a costume.

Like we know the George Lucas originally made the Galactic Empire to echo Nazi Germany, there’s a lot of interviews out there to support this. The officer’s uniforms are a visual parallels, the Stormtroopers swiped their name from the paramilitary Sturmabteilung of the Nazi Party, you have Palpatine starting as a Chancellor before anointing himself Emperor which mirrors Hilter starting as a Chancellor before anointing himself Dictator, etc. And I argue that TFA took it even further. They added red into the First Order insignia and well, just go google “neo nazi embelms” because I don’t really want to post that type of symbolism here and you’ll see why I’m uncomfortable wearing the First Order’s insignia on my sleeve in public (I usually wrap my patch in a black cloth if I have to wear the jacket outside of a con and my ranking stripes are removable). And just…go look at pictures of the Nuremberg Rallies  and hold them up next to stills from Hux’s speech. And I’d hazard a guess that writers and director watched “Triumph of the Will” and were like, “yeah, I bet we can get Domhnall Gleeson to emote like this.” Then there’s the fact that every First Order officer we’ve seen in the movie is white, and it stands in stark contrast to how diverse the rest of the TFA universe is, so that has to be intentional. And on top of all the similar language and visual cues, JJ Abrams has said that the Order was partially inspired by how many high ranking Nazis and their families fled to South America and went into hiding after WWII - in the real world, they all stayed hidden and faded out, but the First Order is like what could’ve happened if the Nazis’ kids grew up, got pissed off, and came back to Europe with an army to try and reclaim what they thought was their birthright. So you can’t say those parallels aren’t there and that people aren’t aware of them. 

Am I saying no one should cosplay from the First Order or the Galactic Empire or other similar fictional organizations like Marvel’s Hydra? No, obviously not. I generally think people have enough sense to know they can cosplay as something without supporting what it means, separate themselves enough from a character to not actually be that character, and understand that there’s aspects of certain characters that you shouldn’t idealize. But I am saying that you have to be tactful about it because this imagery comes from real historical sources and this imagery and ideology haven’t died out and are still used by Neo Fascists today. And I think it’s especially important to realize all this in America’s current political climate because we’re seeing a resurgence in people who actually do vocally and violently support this ideology. 

Like, I think you should be well aware of where your cuff titles come from before you put them onto your sleeve: 

So that’s why I absolutely will not cosplay Hux in public without another Star Wars cosplayer next to me.

On problematic behavior in Carmilla

So this past week or so I’ve been having an email exchange with a close friend about Carmilla. And by that, I mean the web series, the character, and how the fandom interacts with both of them. My friend has read the original text before she even started the web series. I have not. So we’ve been coming at this issue from slightly different angles, but I think the conclusion is something we’ve both agreed on, and that is: Carmilla, the character, is problematic–and this fandom often glosses over that fact.

Recently (this past Tuesday, in fact,) my entire dash was having a riot over the fact that Carmilla had finally said Laura’s name. She showed genuine concern for her, and she reached out. I understand why people (and shippers) are excited about the fact that a character who has previously done all she can to distance herself from Laura (and the ginger scoobies) completely dropped that guard and rushed to Laura’s side. I get it. I really do. But the posts that I were seeing about that moment were really bothering me. “ SHE SAID HER NAME ” is what everyone was freaking out about, but the thing is? This shouldn’t be shocking. Laura is a person, and surprise, yes, she has a name.

Like I said, I understand Carmilla distancing herself, but for me? A refusal to call someone by their name is more than distancing yourself from them. It’s dehumanizing. Up until this point, it’s been snide comments and condescending nicknames from Carmilla. Calling her cutie and creampuff and sweetheart. But it's not sweet. (And I didn’t even mention spaz, which even google dictionary calls offensive.) In the beginning of this series, Carmilla didn’t support Laura at all. Whether or not she felt different internally is one thing, but from what we, as an audience, saw and from what Carm showed Laura, Laura’s project was a joke to her. She didn’t take Laura seriously. And she constantly spoke down to her. Calling her these names wasn’t meant to be charming. It was meant to shrug her off like a child. 

I’m going to drop a truth bomb here, and maybe you agree or maybe you don’t, but I think that I wouldn’t even be writing this post if Carmilla, the character, was a straight, white man. Why not? Because you already would have said these things yourself. If Carmilla was a few hundred year old (male) vampire constantly calling a 19 year old girl “cutie” and “sweetheart” when said 19 year old girl was always talking about how s/he was the actual worst, we wouldn’t think it was cute or charming. It would be problematic, and also gross.

But Carmilla isn’t a man. She identifies as a woman in a series that we love because of its badass lady cast, nonchalant treatment of sexuality, and nonbinary discussion of gender. But that doesn’t mean we should let Carmilla’s behavior slide. 

This is where my friend–her name is Natalie and she’s lovely–was able to come up with an explanation that I just wasn’t seeing, and I’ll quote her directly because she said it so well:

“This is the motif we all recognize and have seen a thousand times over and over, the bad girl/guy evolves into an altruist, the spoiled brat evolves into a humanist, the rich white man learns to sympathize with the poor woc, etc.  We’ve seen the problematic underdog turn into a good person a few times throughout our tv/movie watching lives, we have come to suspect and in this instance where the source material is readily available, expect it as the plot trajectory.  Everyone who loves angst and reformed assholes can spot this literary theme from a hundred miles away.”

That is true.

“So Carmilla is brash and spooky, she must be hiding something, the fandom says.  Carmilla is outright mean and dismissive, she must care for Laura’s safety ultimately, they postulate.  The fans justify her problematic behavior because they know what’s next, but they shouldn’t accept it or romanticize it. ”

Also true. Our future assumptions should not excuse Carmilla’s current or past bad behavior. Maybe those who have read the text know a good change is coming, but it’s not here yet. So why are we romanticizing this dismissive, condescending, and negative behavior now? I’m not saying that Carmilla can’t change, that she doesn’t, or that she won’t. (Spoiler alert: we all know she will.) But what I am saying is that we need to recognize problematic behavior when we see it.

I’ll let Natalie conclude: “Just because we know the character will change for the better doesn’t mean we should silently observe her problematic actions and prematurely ship her/praise her for reforming.  She hasn’t reformed yet.  We must point out her bad decisions first in order to show the contrast to her good ones.”