i figured this was relevant currently

anonymous asked:

Germany DOES have a shared set of cultural markers. And they've existed since 1683 after the decisive war against the Ottoman Empire in Hungary. Jan Sobieski and Leopold I. are key figures here. There's even a list of those markers in relevant texts.

Mate, I didn’t agree with the anon that said German culture ‘doesn’t exist’. I don’t even know what point he tried to make with “different dialects prove there is no one Germany”. 

That shit happens in just about every country. No one would claim China has no culture because it’s made up of areas with nuances and dialects or because it’s current borders might not be the same as X years ago, or that that means foreigners should be able to change China despite the wishes of the Chinese.

Somehow all those arguments just so happen to lead back to this idea that it’s only Europeans that have to throw away their countries and let it be changed by foreign masses. 

For those of European descent no place can be home, nothing of ours is worth preserving, everyone else strangely has the right to hold on to their culture, but ours just exists to absord migrants into.



Or it won’t be at the end:

I think the message will be that even if the world seems like everything is going wrong and you don’t know what’s happening or how to fix it and you’re afraid, (relevant to current events) you CAN change your world for the better; that every person has the power to make it the best possible place, the one we know and love.

I do not think that Finknor will end WTNV any time soon, because it just doesn’t make logical sense.

They’ve got a book coming. They’ve got tours planned. WTNV is flourishing, and they wouldn’t cut that off now.

I also do not think that Carlos will die. They get the importance of m/m representation and they know that the fans would be FURIOUS if this ship, that finally got married, was taken away.

I think everything will be ok.

But expect some crying along the way.

Hey guys- recs and suggestions about this would be greatly appreciated

So, I’m thinking of hiring a professional editor to help me with my book before I send it off, but before I take that step, I want to approve it. I’ve figured out something I want to try- I want to see if I can make what is currently the middle of the book the beginning, and then include the beginning parts as flashbacks that I’d sort of insert to fill in the blanks to explain the relevant parts of the story. I think if I did it right, this could really help the pacing of the story, get me to the action quicker, and help me cut down on the beginning scenes so they drag a lot less, basically solve most of the problems that really bother me about the book.

However, it’s been a while since I’ve read a book that used flashbacks in that way and I can’t recall reading one. Do you guys know any good books that intersperse flashbacks throughout the narrative to explain the events of the main storyline? Preferably they’d be YA books that are easy-breezy to understand and it would be a big bonus if it was a book you think I’d actually enjoy reading.

 I’d really like to study one so I can get a better idea of how I want to structure this rewrite. Don’t hold back, just tell me anything you can think of and I’ll take a look! Any suggestions?

Book 3: The Encounter, Chapters 5-6

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Chapter 5

Everyone’s regrouped in Cassie’s parents’ barn, since hanging out at the mall en masse has become more complicated since Tobias became a hawk. Hard to smuggle a hawk into Hot Topic, I guess. Tobias notes that the current roster of injured wild animals includes wolves and a mourning dove. I assume one or both of these things will be relevant later.

The kids are trying to figure out what to make of the Giant Invisible Plane situation: Is it definitely a Yeerk ship?  Can they assume it’s doing something in the mountains since Tobias has now felt it going both to and from that general direction? Are they really going to keep poking at the entire Yeerk situation given how close they came to getting killed in the last book? (Yes, Maybe, Yes.)

Things get a little heated, and as usual Marco is the voice of “okay but seriously we’re gonna get killed if we keep this up” vs. Tobias as “I’m a goddamn hawk and I’m saving the goddamn world so there”.  Everyone else waffles around but eventually they all agree to check out the mountains after school the next day and see if they can find out anything.

Chapter 6

Time to go check out the mountains!  The easy way to do it would be to fly in their bird forms, but they’re worried about being spotted by bird watchers (who might be spies for Visser Three). Couldn’t they just fly not in a pack?  I don’t know, whatever, we’re just going to go along with this because there are a lot of books in this series and I’m not gonna nitpick each and every one.  

What they’ve decided to do instead is to hike partway on their own human feet, and then travel on foot the rest of the way as wolves.  (Ha!  I knew the wolves from last chapter were going to be a thing! I’m a genius.)

Marco is mad that he has to be a female wolf.  They’re doing one male wolf morph and the rest female wolves, to avoid any alpha-male-wolf-dominance nonsense. Clearly Cassie has read enough Teen Wolf fan fiction to know what she’s about. (Sorry, sorry.)  (I bet Cousin “#banmen” Rachel was also behind this plan.)  Jake and Marco flipped a coin for the male morph, Jake won, Marco gets to experience life as a lady wolf for the afternoon.

Cassie is still the best at morphing, so she’s first do her wolf morph so that she can let the others know what to expect.  Grinding bones, shriveling fingers, sickening crunching sounds, just another fun day for a bunch of small traumatized children!

When Cassie’s done morphing, her wolf instincts are pretty into growling at and maybe eating the other children, so that’s fun.  Everyone decides to hold very still and give her a few minutes to chill out, and after a couple of minutes she gets her shit together.  Once she’s gotten a handle on not eating her friends, she’s pretty into being a wolf - she digs the really good senses of smell and hearing.

(She uses the sense of smell to bust Rachel for having eaten bacon that day, even though Rachel claims to be going vegetarian.  I’m amused.  Also liking that as a character touch - I imagine the more time you spend as other animals, the more appealing vegetarianism might start to seem.)

Everyone gets down to the business of wolf-morphing except Tobias, who is just hanging out, being a hawk, feeling acutely left out.

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You guys I’m terrified to not be satisfied with Destiny 2. I’m terrified to lose interest in my favorite thing in earth, where I found 90% of my current friends. If my blog shifts and suddenly its not relevant anymore, I’ll be starting new in some other community. And my career path, look it’s my dream to work for Bungie if I lose passion in their games, well, that might have to change.

college/uni criteria

the college center at my school distributed this list last week, and i thought i’d share it - obviously not every question will be relevant to you, but it’s a great way to figure out what matters!


  • what standardized tests are required for admissions to this school?
  • when is the admissions deadline?
  • what percentage of applicants was accepted last year?
  • what is the average rank/grade point average of currently enrolled freshmen?
  • what were the average act and sat scores of currently enrolled freshmen?
  • how selective are the admissions standards at this institution?
  • what is the recommended high school academic preparation program for this school?
  • does this school require letters of recommendation?
  • does this school require a personal essay? 
  • does this school offer early decision/action admissions?


  • does this school have the major/program i’m interested in?
  • what is the reputation of the department or major i’m interested in?
  • what is the student/faculty ratio for undergraduate courses?
  • how may courses do most undergraduate students take each term?
  • who teaches introductory courses - faculty members or teaching assistants?
  • what is the average class size of introductory courses?
  • what is the format of the school calendar?
  • how many courses will i need to graduate?
  • does this college offer dual majors?
  • is there an honors program?
  • does this school offer a cooperative education program?
  • what opportunities are there for independent study?
  • are there exchange programs with other schools?
  • what opportunities are there to study abroad?
  • are internships in my field available?
  • what percentage of students go on to graduate school?

student body

  • what is the size of the freshman class?
  • what is the total enrollment?
  • how diverse is the student body (economically, ethnically, geographically, etc.)?
  • what is the male/female ratio?
  • what is the general orientation of students (academic, scientific, social service, arts, etc.)?

student services and programs

  • will i be assigned an academic counselor or a faculty advisor to help me choose my courses?
  • is there a career counseling center for help with resume writing, interviewing, and job placement?
  • is there a personal counseling center?
  • will i have access to health care on campus?

student life

  • are there theaters, concert halls, or galleries nearby?
  • are there movie theaters, restaurants, or sports complexes nearby?
  • does the school regularly sponsor dances, concerts, guest speakers, etc.?
  • is there an extracurricular activity i’m interested in on campus?
  • are intramural sports available?
  • what percentage of students lives on campus and what percentage commutes?
  • what role do fraternities and sororities play on campus?
  • how politically active is the student body?
  • how religiously active is the student body?
  • what are the most popular activities/clubs on campus?
  • what is the crime rate on campus?
  • are cars allowed on campus?
  • does this school have an honor code?

housing and dining facilities

  • are the dorms co-ed or single sex?
  • are apartments available for off-campus housing?
  • will dorms be available after my freshman year?
  • are there fraternity/sorority houses available?
  • how close are the dorms to the classrooms and dining facilities?
  • are there any “special” dorms available (languages, honors, international, etc.)?
  • are most freshman dorm rooms singles, doubles, triples, or quads?
  • are there a variety of food plans available?

campus facilities

  • how is the library (to study, do research, are the hours convenient, etc.)?
  • how are the recreation facilities?
  • how are the sports facilities?
  • how accessible are the computer labs?
  • how are the music practice rooms?
  • is the student center a comfortable place to hang out?
  • what condition are the buildings on campus in?

cost and financial aid

  • what is the total cost to attend this school (including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, travel expenses, and living expenses)?
  • are there any special fees for my particular program or major?
  • what percentage of students receive financial aid?
  • what is the average financial aid package?
  • does this school offer institutional scholarships?
  • are there opportunities to find on-campus jobs?
  • does this school offer tuition payment options?
  • are scholarships available for first-generation students?

anonymous asked:

I know you answer lots of questions like these, but I am lost in what to do next in my Japanese studies. I'm still a beginner, but know enough to make out simple sentences and the gist of more complex sentences. How did you start studying when you were starting to learn? Thank you! I love your blog, it is such a great motivation when I'm about to give up!

WORK WITH A TEXTBOOK!!!! It’s levelled so your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary will gradually increase over time. I like Genki and Minna no Nihongo, which you can find here and here.  

ALSO READ READ READ, even if you feel like you’re not at that level yet.

  • Use Easy NHK News because it’s geared towards beginner and beginner-intermediate Japanese learners who want to learn more vocabulary relevant to current events, and be able to read the news in Japanese without crying too much about Kanji
  • Read Harry Potter if you feel adventurous, which you can find the Japanese versions for right here
  • Yotsuba is also a nice, cute manga with tons of hiragana and furigana to hold your hand and guide you through. I linked you to the raw scans for all 13 books (they’re all .rar files but I’m sure you can figure it out on your own)

Practice writing short entries (even if your vocabulary is still quite small) and post them onto lang-8, and get them corrected by native speakers! You’ll learn a lot in a short time, trust me. Remember to challenge yourself to use words and structures you’ve never used before, or else you’ll always recycle the same phrases over and over and over again, and you’ll never improve. 


Omega Vampire Translation Project

I figured I would make a semi-official post seeing as I have decided to translate the Omega Vampire main game.

Relevant Links:

  • There are two masterposts. You can reblog/like this one. The other is a page you can access through the link in the sidebar called “OmeVan” (OmeVan is the abbreviation used by the Japanese community). Both will always have the same information, so you don’t need to keep track of both.
  • Updates” is another sidebar link that contains the translation’s current progress and a little blurb on how I go about translating.
  • This playlist, compiled on youtube by It’sMe, contains all the raw gameplay. It’s also the only reason I took the project on in the first place, so please go thank the person who took the time to upload all the videos!

Please note that I am not creating a patch of this game; I have no clue how to do so!

I will be uploading the subtitles to the videos on youtube, but I also have a clean script that I may upload here as a text post just in case the videos get taken down. If at any point you want the whole thing in a pdf for some reason, just contact me and I can give you a copy.

And that’s it! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to come talk to me by ask or messaging.

@belligerently tagged me in this nice meme

What’s the story behind your username?
there’s actually quite a story; i don’t think i’ve told it. i was going through a really rough time, i was realizing a friendship needed to go, for my own mental health. i felt so knocked around, so over-concerned with what other people were thinking of me, just hoping i was relevant to the wrong people. one of the first things i did was change my url, and i picked replicarters to a.) imply more than one [aka death], b.) feel backed by a force that DEFINITELY didn’t give a shit, any kind of shit. i wanted to feel powerful and free. it worked.

What’s your favorite scene or quote from a series/book you’re currently obsessed with?
i’m trying to figure out just how much i want to print out screenshots of “i’m sure it isn’t appropriate at all. but then, i hate to be appropriate~”, bring them to work, and put them on my board.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
my favorite ridiculous fact is that you can’t get an erection in space, nothing’s going to top that

Name 3 of your pet peeves.
hypocrisy, insecure women who take it out on other women, putting your goddamn music on loud enough for other people to hear

What are your favorite toppings on a pizza?
pep, mushrooms, and double mushrooms

What are 3 things you like about yourself?
imagination, sense of humor, determination

Favorite type of dessert or thing to treat yourself with?
fruit! tarts! more than cannolis, more than jellied cookies, more than strawberry shortcake! fruit fucking tarts!

What is your favorite scent
it might be vanilla

Which fictional character would you cosplay as?
sailor saturn, cat girl isis from the inexplicably doctor who tos episode assignment: earth, and i don’t want to SAY i’d make a good jadzia but i would :^)

What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?
all advice i’ve ever been given basically distills down to “chill out”

Share a gif that makes you laugh.
like, i’ll spare you a becker gif, i guess

tagginge @echeveria2 @slug2 @moominpappa gonna have a Good gif to make me laugh, rubs hands together, @jadziadax and @swaggykong

Kazue Kato's commentary on Lightning

A short interview translated from the back of the Blue Exorcist character book
: )

Interviews for other characters are here.

Mild spoilers from volume 12. Otherwise you should be okay if you know who Lightning is.

Keep reading

cosmicsuperclass  asked:

Thanks for the help. I want to learn about story and vis dev as well as animation, since my goal is to be a story artist and eventually a director. Would an animation major somewhere cover these topics, or is there something else I should look into?

I highly recommend Concept Design Academy in Pasadena. Their teachers are mostly professionals who are currently working in animation. I took a figure invention class taught by Helen Chen a year ago, it was a really great experience.

For story specifically, Louie Del Carmen’s intro class, and then Tron Mai’s advanced classes. Not only will you be learning from really talented, relevant people, you’ll probably be meeting a lot of industry pros who are taking the same class.

For character design, I’ve heard great things about Stephen Silver’s academy in Sun Valley. He also has a class online at Schoolism (which is excellent so far, I’m about halfway through).

Ni-Se and Memories

So, this isn’t a character analysis, but I have something to add to the post about how memory works in Ni/Se. You seem to get that asked often enough and I think I have some insight from the Ni/Se perspective, since your last post gave a very good explanation of the Si/Ne perspective. (That one really helped me understand the memory thing, which boggled me for ages.) 

(For the record, my current understanding leads me to believe I’m an INFJ and that might be relevant to how I look at the past.) 

As a warning, this is based on mostly my own experiences/how I understand the functions and not anything written by psychologists.


Ni users can also have trouble getting over traumatic things, especially if those things still are somehow in play in the present and have a potential to keep being in play in the future. 

For example, I can look back at all the horrible things that have happened to me and I’ll feel little. Me and an ENTJ friend casually traded ‘tragic’ life stories on the day we met because both of us have abusive parents and those relationships are still relevant today (for me, it’s how they still often try and threaten me/control my life. For her, it’s that she left home as a teenager and basically has to fully support herself while in college.) Neither of us could really talk about ‘now’ without bringing up why ‘now’ is the way it is. And both of us expressed the idea of ‘I hate when people try and get all sympathetic or pity me because of what happened. I didn’t want to share this because I want comfort. I wanted to share this because it explains some things and not sharing it would make me have to talk around a significant portion of my life.’

But and this is the important but, those things are still traumatic, or maybe traumatic isn’t even the right word. I still have to blacklist child abuse because it will start to eat at me. And the way it does is thinking about the events makes me analyze them and give them meaning in the current context. Makes me want to figure out ‘how should I deal with my relationship with my parents, given the context that they are abusive? Isn’t it betrayal to think of them like that?’ I get spirals of anxiety and pain trying to figure out ‘how do I move forward in way I feel okay about???’ (I think Fe plays into this. Moving forward means being willing to have a MAJOR fallout with my parents and that frightens me.) 

This basically makes me think that the brain loop looks like for an Ni/Se user processing their past (warning, the following is just a personal theory): 

1. Thing happened in the past.

2. Thing still occurs or is relevant to this day or has current usage. (An Ni user rarely (though not never) looks back for the sake of it. )

3. Something happens that makes Ni user look back and reassess the memory. To give it new context. Also Ni users might start to think ‘how does this thing explain my attitude towards XYZ.’ 

4. With the new meaning, Ni user wants to move forward or possibly apply their new understanding. If the thing is unpleasant, to fix this thing so it stops hanging around and being annoying. 

5. If their judging function doesn’t protest, the transition is easy and doesn’t bring much emotional turmoil. They just do what they feel they need to do to move forward. The problems with the past appear when a judging function starts to be a brat. Especially the feeling function. I have a feeling that this effects NFJs more than NTJs, actually. But, either way, an Ni user might have a highly negative reaction to the past when they feel like ‘I CAN’T MOVE FORWARD. EVERYTHING I COULD DO WILL NOT BE OKAY WITH ME. I’M STUCK HERE. STUCK.’ 

6. Either the Ni user sucks it up and does what they don’t want to do. Or, an Ni user might see that the situation is temporary and decide to wait it out until they have more options. (Though, this mostly only happens if the Ni user believes the situation WILL change and has an idea of when that change will happen. Might change is not good enough.) 

The key thing is, for Ni/Se users, looking back is all about reinterpreting the events into the current and future context. The events themselves are irrelevant.

anonymous asked:

My story begins with my main character discovering her dead boyfriend isn’t dead after all, and she spends the rest of the story figuring out why he faked his death and where he is now (it’s a spy story). I also want to write alternating chapters of their relationship and the other relevant events leading up to his ‘death’, at a 1:1 to 3:1 ratio (the current plotline getting more time). Does this storytelling method sound effective? Is there anything I should avoid when using this structure? -G

Using Past and Present in One Story

I personally enjoy this structure, considering I’ve written one similar to it, and a good friend of mine is writing one now. I do think it works best when you have two obvious stories going on, however. Where you could (theoretically) choose to write an entire story about one or the other. If one of the timelines doesn’t have enough meat to carry a story on its own, then it probably shouldn’t be a plot that you’re alternating between. You want readers engaged in both stories; you don’t want them rushing through one timeline because the other one is ten times more interesting. So try to treat both timelines the same way you would treat them if they were their own stories. In both timelines, do characters have goals? Is anything at stake? 

It’s also crucial that you give readers something to wonder about in the past timeline. In using extended flashbacks like this (where they take up significant real estate in the novel), there should be some kind of mystery or suspense in the past. You have to consider that if you’re also telling the future/present timeline, readers will essentially know how the past timeline ended. In your case, your character is trying to solve the mystery of why he faked his death in the present timeline, so what suspense are you putting in the past timeline?

When you dramatize a past timeline like this, it can’t just be for informational purposes. It’s gotta be because the story in the past is suspenseful and engaging too. 

Now, having said all that, you don’t want both timelines to be completely balanced. You’re including less of the past timeline, which is a good way to put more weight on the present timeline. But you also want to add weight with heavier story content. Metaphor time:

Pretend the left side of this scale is your past timeline, and the right side is your present timeline. Notice that the left side (past) isn’t empty. It has content. It has substance. In story terms, there’s plot, there’s character development, there’s suspense. But, the right side (present) contains something heavier. There’s more at stake, more suspense, and more significant character growth. 

Basically, both timelines should have significance, but the present timeline should have more. Because the present is the furthest advancement of your plot, so it should be what everything in your story is building to, including the past scenes. 

[The exception to this would be what’s called a “framing” story, where an author starts and ends with the present timeline and uses the middle to tell a story of the past. What I’m referring to in this post is when the author uses past and present a lot, like the ratio the anon mentioned]

As long as your past tlmeline scenes are doing more than just providing perspective and backstory for a reader, you’ll be using it effectively. Make those past scenes a story all on their own. If those scenes can’t be an interesting story on their own, then they don’t really need to be dramatized. So if you feel like that’s where you’re at right now, see if there are ways you can ramp up those past scenes to make them more important to the story overall.

Make readers want every scene, whether it’s past or present. 

Hope that helped!


The New Voltron and LGBT (Warning, minor spoilers)

Yep, there’s spoilers. But it’s minor, although you should watch Voltron: Legendary Defender anyways because it’s awesome.


Wait for it…

Pidge is a girl pretending to be a boy because Plot Reasons that are more relevant to the backstory than their current situation.

There’s really nothing to indicate Pidge’s sexual preferences, other than technophilia. She still identifies herself as a girl despite her disguise. I wouldn’t place Pidge as a hero for the LGBT community. However, how the rest of the cast reacted is appropriate.

  • Lance never bashed on Pidge for being a bit effeminate when he though Pidge was a guy, and he’s the group asshole.
  • None of the characters had an issue with her being a girl. By the time she was willing to admit it, everyone but Lance figured it out (because sometimes Lance is the group idiot). Knowing didn’t change how they interacted with Pidge.
  • The show doesn’t suddenly portray Pidge as a feminine ideal once the reveal happens. The character isn’t suddenly drawn with hips and tits - the uniform fits the same, and Pidge still wears the same baggy clothing.

So while we don’t know if Pidge is LGB or T, neither does the rest of the Voltron Team, and they serve as a fine example of how to treat people that are or even just might look to be: people should be treated no different and not be condemned for what they feel their real gender is or what they prefer to boink.

Although I suspect Keith might be gay - and if he turns out to be, I’m fine with that.

Welcome to the Family

About a month ago I decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and order the rest of the Supernatural custom Funko Vinyls I wanted.  I was afraid the parts might become unavailable before I was finished buying them a month at a time, since they’re made, Frankenstein-like (currently a relevant reference!!) from the parts of other figures.

First we have Chuck (God?), in his bathrobe.

Hi Chuck!

Then we have Sheriff Jody Mills:

I just love how perfect this one is.  I don’t know what figure that head originally belongs to, but it’s just so fitting with the short hair she’s had the last couple seasons.  I’m pretty sure the body is Rick from Walking Dead.

Next we have Garth and Mr. Fizzles.

Mr. Fizzles can sense when you’re being a liar.

Next we have Sam “Wesson” from the au episode “It’s a Terrible Life,” where he and Dean “Smith” are not brothers but an IT guy and an executive, respectively, working at the same company.  It’s all a setup by Zachariah, but it’s awesome.  Dean eats salads!  Sam has a man bag!

And finally we have shirtless Sam which is Sam’s head stuck on an Alcide’s body from True Blood, and you can see his anti-possession tattoo.

However, I shall henceforth refer to him as Soulless Sam because that’s the point in the timeline when this scene takes place:

I really can’t think of another episode where he just stands around for an extended period of time with his shirt off.  Normally his soul prevents him from being all “yeah, I’m fucking hot and I know it” but here he is quite unencumbered by modesty.  ;-)

Thanks funkoadventures !

[…] there’s a unique thrill in watching the original team inhabit characters they helped to create, boldly redefining American history in multicultural contemporary terms.

Beyond that, director Alex Horwitz’s densely packed 84-minute close-up digs deep into the ways in which the musical has rescued its subject, Alexander Hamilton, from relative obscurity, reaffirming his legacy as the principal architect of the American economic model that remains in place today. Using sharp graphic animations that draw on period etchings, the film offers as much fodder for history and political students as it does for theater and music fans.

It may seem a dubious honor to many of us when former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson calls Hamilton “the patron saint of Wall Street.” But it’s also fitting in a show that embraces the paradoxes of Founding Fathers whose flawed humanity doesn’t negate their enormous contributions to nation-building. The irony of men like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson being both slaveholders and champions of freedom comes under considerable scrutiny. Daveed Diggs, who originated the roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Jefferson in Hamilton, makes the provocative but pertinent comparison that the racist or homophobic lyrical content in the work of certain rap artists doesn’t make them any less brilliant.

Significant attention is given to the show’s central relationship, between Hamilton (originally played by Miranda) and Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom Jr.), and the process by which that friendship fractured into bitter rivalry. One of the reasons Hamilton has been such a hit is its empathetic gaze; the show refuses to see just one side of a character. Burr blurts out the mother of all plot spoilers in the production’s first three minutes when he confesses in the title song, “I’m the damn fool that shot him.” That would make him a conventional villain in other hands. But the genius of Hamilton, as Odom points out, is the way it illustrates how “we’re all more than our worst acts on our worst days.”

The film is laced with illuminating commentary from Miranda and his collaborators; from Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow, whose book was the big fat vacation read that started Miranda drawing lines in the rivalry between Hamilton and Burr that echo those of rap adversaries Tupac and Biggie; from historians Annette Gordon-Reed and Joanne Freeman; and from politicians pointing up the significance of Hamilton’s work, among them Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Elizabeth Warren and Paul Ryan.

That kind of bipartisan participation alone makes Hamilton’s America an interesting anomaly in such a divided election year. Also relevant to the current political climate are comments from the Hamilton creator’s father Luis Miranda, a political consultant who came to New York from Puerto Rico at 18. “In my experience, immigrants are never the lazy, stupid ones,” he says. “They’re the smart, hard-working ones because they have to work so much harder to make sense of their reality and succeed in that reality.”

That applies to Hamilton himself, who literally wrote his way out of humble circumstances to become one of the most powerful figures in America’s transformative infancy. “I know this guy,” says Lin-Manuel Miranda with pride. “I’m just playing my dad.”


While every Hamilton fan has different favorite numbers, the disappointing choice not to include “Satisfied,” sung by Renee Elise Goldsberry as Hamilton’s sister-in-law Angelica Schuyler, or “It’s Quiet Uptown,” sung by Hamilton and his wife Eliza (Phillipa Soo) in the shattered aftermath of their eldest son’s death, does seem to leapfrog over two of the show’s defining moments. And critics who have charged (unfairly) that the female roles remain marginalized in a musical celebrating diversity may quibble about the limited time dedicated here to the women’s songs.

But glimpses of the craft that went into numbers including “Alexander Hamilton,” “My Shot,” “You’ll Be Back,” “Wait for It,” “Yorktown,” “What’d I Miss” and “The Room Where It Happens” give an ample idea of the musical’s shape and of the singular vitality it harnesses to make dusty history so exciting and emotionally charged. What’s more surprising, however, is the extent to which this lively and engaging film goes beyond chronicling the birth of a milestone musical. Horwitz’s focus is no less on the lasting impact of the historical figures onstage on contemporary American life.

I do not get tumblr and refuse to anymore:

NINTENDO: “Hey, there’s a touch-based relationship builder in thre new Fire emblem game, since the Pokemon Amie worked out so well, and we figured we’d try to see how similar AR interaction minigames worked with the audiences!”

Tumblr: “Ew how creepy, I don’t want to pet these anime characters, nintendo has sunk to a new low, I can’t believe this weird hentai shit”

NINTENDO: “Okaaaay… since the announcement doesn’t seem to have gone over well with western and/or primarily english speaking sitesand reviewers, we’ll remove the interaction system from wester releases to hopefully im[prove how you view our game.”

Tumblr: “God, go figure. Look at this meaningless censorship of media. Us westerners are too sensitive right?  God this reminds me of some overly dramatic historical event that has little to nothing in relevance to what currently happened, unless I twist the words just right to make nintendo sound like nazis for doing this.”

i think i’ve figured out why my word count always spirals out of control

me: *describing a character or scene setting, adds in a detail because it would be logical for it to be there*

me: now that i have committed this detail to print, I must make it Relevant™, or else I will have violated the Laws of Writing©

me: *writes 1,200 more words of action around this scene piece to make it Relevant*

me: *in the process, includes five more details that also now need to be made Relevant™*

me: shit

On Knowledge

CW for brief mention of domestic violence and rape threats/jokes in anecdote #2

So the BF and I had one of our rare arguments the other night, which we resolved not through discussion of the issues that caused the fight (I don’t even remember what they were, tbh), but through a middle-of-the-night, perched-on-the-kitchen-counter-with-glasses-of-cheap-malbec discussion about standpoint epistemology. And since it’s relevant to this blog (and to that asinine non-debate), I figured I’d share our conclusions here. I’ll start with a couple bits of anecdata—not because they validate my argument, but because they illustrate and concretize it—then sum everything up as efficiently as I can. Which, given my current state of exhaustion, will probably be less efficiently than I’d like.

Anecdote #1

When I was an undergrad I worked as a writing center consultant, and one day I had a student come in with a personal narrative assignment. She had grown up on the Pine Ridge reservation, and wanted to write about her experience with poverty. The poverty she suffered was extreme—no running water for days at a time, severe malnutrition and constant hunger—and at one point she said, “I don’t mean to be, you know, racist or anything, but I don’t think that white people quite…get it.”

“I don’t think that’s racist. You’ve experienced it first-hand, and your perspective is important.”

“I just don’t want the paper to sound too angry, you know?”

Well, yeah. That made sense. And I don’t know her exact reasons for telling me that she didn’t want to seem racist, but based on her other statements, I suspect she was anticipating objections.

As we continued to work on the paper, she repeatedly expressed concern about her tone. She seemed primarily concerned that a hostile tone could impact her grade, which was, again, understandable. We lived in a racist area, and her writing definitely could piss people off. I knew her teacher and doubted they would respond negatively, but it was a reasonable concern nonetheless.

Anyway, what struck me here was her self-awareness. She had unique first-hand knowledge of poverty and racism, yes—but she could also anticipate hostile responses. She didn’t just view the world from her own perspective, but from the perspectives of others, including those who would object to her statements.

Also interesting is what she didn’t address. About the causes of this poverty, she said simply, “too many people stay on the rez. Nothing will change if people don’t leave.” If she had thoughts about the systemic causes of this racism and poverty—which, to be fair, she may have—she didn’t discuss them during our session. Whether or not she did is, of course, beside the point; the point is that there are different types of knowledge, and that it’s important to distinguish between them. Knowing how to thrive within an oppressive system and knowing how it functions and perpetuates itself are very different things.

Anecdote #2

I also used to wait tables at a terrible, poorly-managed restaurant, and one of our line cooks, T, was a violent misogynist in his mid-twenties who bragged about hitting his girlfriend and enjoyed shoving the female waitstaff against the wall, holding paper towels over our mouths, and asking us if it “smell[ed] like chloroform.” One time he pretended not to understand my request for a side of garlic bread, and, when I snapped, “I’m sure you can handle it,” threatened to follow me home and…eh, you get the idea.

Our male co-workers encouraged us to be straightforward with him. “Just tell him to stop, he’ll respect you more if you defend yourself.”

“Okay, but when I defend myself he threatens violence.”

“You probably didn’t approach it the right way.”

Well, that was half-true. There was no “right way” to stand up to this guy, because he hated women in general and flew into a rage when we dared to fight back. The one time I snapped at him was a mistake—otherwise I just tried to avoid him.

That said, two of my female co-workers were great at calming him down. One had been in a long-term abusive relationship several years before, and one was in an abusive relationship then. They were both adept at distracting or placating him when he started ranting, and working was much more tolerable with them around.

The guys we worked with encouraged us to speak up because, by their own admission, that was the method that worked for them. Just call him out, joke around a bit, he’ll be fine. They were especially confused about my behavior, because I was known for giving the kitchen staff shit. They didn’t understand that this method wouldn’t work for us because they never had to see things from our perspective. T wasn’t a threat to them, just an occasional annoyance—and he never threatened them to the point that they felt compelled to prioritize his thoughts and wants.

In short: Very few of the women who dealt with T chalked our problems up to rape culture or misogyny, yet we all had some understanding of how to deal with him. Our understanding wasn’t shared by the male staff because they never needed to understand T in the first place. We—and particularly the women who had dealt with abusive partners—had a much better sense of how to cope with the abuse, regardless of how well we understood sexism.

(The story has a good ending, by the way: After I had a long discussion with my manager, she confronted him in front of the other guys—a strategic choice—and yelled at him until he tore off his apron, screamed “fuck you, bitch,” and quit in a blaze of male entitlement.)

End of anecdata

When we—feminists, anti-racists, social justice bloggers, etc—argue that the voices of oppressed people deserve priority, or that those people possess a privileged knowledge dominant groups don’t, we’re not saying that they’re necessarily more knowledgeable of, or fully-equipped to dismantle, oppressive hierarchies. We’re not saying that privileged people who have studied these issues in higher education are completely ignorant and have nothing to contribute to the discourse.

What we’re saying is that, while oppressed people may not share your academic understanding of oppression, they tend to be very adept at surviving within those systems—and those who do have this academic knowledge will often have a more nuanced perspective. Your opinion isn’t magically invalidated simply because you’re white, cis, male, wealthy, able-bodied, or neurotypical; however, you are seeing from a necessarily limited perspective. You can read the source material, but you haven’t lived it, and empathy is not enough.

More importantly, you don’t usually have to empathize. Want to ignore the ways you benefit at others’ expense?—that’s a component of privilege, so go right ahead. Oppressed people, however, don’t have this luxury. If they want to thrive within an oppressive system, they usually have to internalize dominant modes of thought.

I’ve seen people argue that “if I can’t fully understand your experiences as a [marginalized person], you can’t fully understand my experience as a [privileged person] either,“ which is true–but it also ignores the very different ways that oppressed people are socialized. Oppressed people are not simply told that their voices, thoughts, and rights don’t matter; they’re taught that the voices, thoughts, and rights of privileged people deserve priority. Consequently, they often internalize those voices and thoughts. They memorize them. They act under the influence of them.

So no, the point is not that oppressed people are the only ones who deserve a voice, or that they are automatically more knowledgeable on all aspects of privilege and oppression. The point is that they have first-hand knowledge, and therefore deserve prominence in anti-oppression movements. So if you want to criticize standpoint theory, go for it—but be careful to distinguish between different types of knowledge and learning. Because while there are many reasonable objections to standpoint theory, the notion that oppressed people have a better understanding of certain aspects of oppression is not far-fetched.