i think it's because they lack the spirit of the real people

Korrasami is canon.

You can celebrate it, embrace it, accept it, get over it, or whatever you feel the need to do, but there is no denying it. That is the official story. We received some wonderful press in the wake of the series finale at the end of last week, and just about every piece I read got it right: Korra and Asami fell in love. Were they friends? Yes, and they still are, but they also grew to have romantic feelings for each other.

Was Korrasami “endgame,” meaning, did we plan it from the start of the series? No, but nothing other than Korra’s spiritual arc was. Asami was a duplicitous spy when Mike and I first conceived her character. Then we liked her too much so we reworked the story to keep her in the dark regarding her father’s villainous activities. Varrick and Zhu Li weren’t originally planned to end up as a couple either, but that’s where we took the story/where the story took us. That’s how writing works the vast majority of the time. You give these characters life and then they tell you what they want to do.

I have bragging rights as the first Korrasami shipper (I win!). As we wrote Book 1, before the audience had ever laid eyes on Korra and Asami, it was an idea I would kick around the writers’ room. At first we didn’t give it much weight, not because we think same-sex relationships are a joke, but because we never assumed it was something we would ever get away with depicting on an animated show for a kids network in this day and age, or at least in 2010.

Makorra was only “endgame” as far as the end of Book 1. Once we got into Book 2 we knew we were going to have them break up, and we never planned on getting them back together. Sorry, friends. I like Mako too, and I am sure he will be just fine in the romance department. He grew up and learned about himself through his relationships with Asami and Korra, and he’s a better person for it, and he’ll be a better partner for whomever he ends up with.

Once Mako and Korra were through, we focused on developing Korra and Asami’s relationship. Originally, it was primarily intended to be a strong friendship. Frankly, we wanted to set most of the romance business aside for the last two seasons. Personally, at that point I didn’t want Korra to have to end up with someone at the end of series. We obviously did it in Avatar, but even that felt a bit forced to me. I’m usually rolling my eyes when that happens in virtually every action film, “Here we go again…” It was probably around that time that I came across this quote from Hayao Miyazaki:

“I’ve become skeptical of the unwritten rule that just because a boy and girl appear in the same feature, a romance must ensue. Rather, I want to portray a slightly different relationship, one where the two mutually inspire each other to live - if I’m able to, then perhaps I’ll be closer to portraying a true expression of love.”

I agree with him wholeheartedly, especially since the majority of the examples in media portray a female character that is little more than a trophy to be won by the male lead for his derring-do. So Mako and Korra break the typical pattern and end up respecting, admiring, and inspiring each other. That is a resolution I am proud of.

However, I think there needs to be a counterpart to Miyazaki’s sentiment: Just because two characters of the same sex appear in the same story, it should not preclude the possibility of a romance between them. No, not everyone is queer, but the other side of that coin is that not everyone is straight. The more Korra and Asami’s relationship progressed, the more the idea of a romance between them organically blossomed for us. However, we still operated under this notion, another “unwritten rule,” that we would not be allowed to depict that in our show. So we alluded to it throughout the second half of the series, working in the idea that their trajectory could be heading towards a romance.

But as we got close to finishing the finale, the thought struck me: How do I know we can’t openly depict that? No one ever explicitly said so. It was just another assumption based on a paradigm that marginalizes non-heterosexual people. If we want to see that paradigm evolve, we need to take a stand against it. And I didn’t want to look back in 20 years and think, “Man, we could have fought harder for that.” Mike and I talked it over and decided it was important to be unambiguous about the intended relationship.

We approached the network and while they were supportive there was a limit to how far we could go with it, as just about every article I read accurately deduced. It was originally written in the script over a year ago that Korra and Asami held hands as they walked into the spirit portal. We went back and forth on it in the storyboards, but later in the retake process I staged a revision where they turned towards each other, clasping both hands in a reverential manner, in a direct reference to Varrick and Zhu Li’s nuptial pose from a few minutes prior. We asked Jeremy Zuckerman to make the music tender and romantic, and he fulfilled the assignment with a sublime score. I think the entire last two-minute sequence with Korra and Asami turned out beautiful, and again, it is a resolution of which I am very proud. I love how their relationship arc took its time, through kindness and caring. If it seems out of the blue to you, I think a second viewing of the last two seasons would show that perhaps you were looking at it only through a hetero lens.

Was it a slam-dunk victory for queer representation? I think it falls short of that, but hopefully it is a somewhat significant inching forward. It has been encouraging how well the media and the bulk of the fans have embraced it. Sadly and unsurprisingly, there are also plenty of people who have lashed out with homophobic vitriol and nonsense. It has been my experience that by and large this kind of mindset is a result of a lack of exposure to people whose lives and struggles are different from one’s own, and due to a deficiency in empathy––the latter being a key theme in Book 4. (Despite what you might have heard, bisexual people are real!) I have held plenty of stupid notions throughout my life that were planted there in any number of ways, or even grown out of my own ignorance and flawed personality. Yet through getting to know people from all walks of life, listening to the stories of their experiences, and employing some empathy to try to imagine what it might be like to walk in their shoes, I have been able to shed many hurtful mindsets. I still have a long way to go, and I still have a lot to learn. It is a humbling process and hard work, but nothing on the scale of what anyone who has been marginalized has experienced. It is a worthwhile, lifelong endeavor to try to understand where people are coming from.

There is the inevitable reaction, “Mike and Bryan just caved in to the fans.” Well, which fans? There were plenty of Makorra shippers out there, so if we had gone back on our decision and gotten those characters back together, would that have meant we caved in to those fans instead? Either direction we went, there would inevitably be a faction that was elated and another that was devastated. Trust me, I remember Kataang vs. Zutara. But one of those directions is going to be the one that feels right to us, and Mike and I have always made both Avatar and Korra for us, first and foremost. We are lucky that so many other people around the world connect with these series as well. Tahno playing trombone––now that was us caving in to the fans!

But this particular decision wasn’t only done for us. We did it for all our queer friends, family, and colleagues. It is long overdue that our media (including children’s media) stops treating non-heterosexual people as nonexistent, or as something merely to be mocked. I’m only sorry it took us so long to have this kind of representation in one of our stories.

I’ll wrap this up with some incredible words that Mike and I received in a message from a former Korra crew member. He is a deeply religious person who devotes much of his time and energy not only to his faith, but also to helping young people. He and I may have starkly different belief systems, but it is heartwarming and encouraging that on this issue we are aligned in a positive, progressive direction:

“I’ve read enough reviews to get a sense of how it affected people. One very well-written article in Vanity Fair called it subversive (in a good way, of course)… I would say a better word might be “healing.” I think your finale was healing for a lot of people who feel outside or on the fringes, or that their love and their journey is somehow less real or valuable than someone else’s… That it’s somehow less valid. I know quite a few people in that position, who have a lifetime of that on their shoulders, and in one episode of television you both relieved and validated them. That’s healing in my book.”

Love,

Bryan

#Melanin #WarOnMelanin 

The Aeta (Ayta, pronounced eye-tə), or Agta, are an indigenous people who live in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of the island of Luzon, the Philippines.

These peoples are considered to be Negritos, whose skin ranges from dark to very dark brown, and possessing features such as a small stature and frame; hair of a curly to kinky texture and a higher frequency of naturally lighter colour (blondism) relative to the general population; small nose; and dark brown eyes. They are thought to be among the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines, preceding the Austronesian migrations. The earliest inhabitants of the Philippines lived some 40,000 years ago.

The Aeta were included in the group of people termed “Negrito” during Spanish Era. Various Aeta groups in northern Luzon are known as Pugut or Pugot, an Ilocano term that also means “goblin” or “forest spirit”, and is the colloquial term for people with darker complexions. These names are mostly considered inappropriate or derogatory by fellow Negritos of northern Luzon.

… 

The Aeta are the indigenous people of the Philippines. The pale skin Eurasians you see there today are Mongoloid – not Negrito. The Mongoloids are invaders to the islands. Those they could not kill they have tried to breed out. The Aeta have been dealing with genocide longer than the Australian aborigine, and long before any Europeans set foot on the island. Most people suffer some sort of cognitive dissonance around this issue. It is inconceivable that Asians are killing black people and Asians have been killing black people and stealing their land for ‘thousands’ of years. There is no stigma like that of the European slave trade. The Arabs and the Mongols have essentially gotten away with the mass murder of hundreds of millions of black lives. Most see the people of India as a race and not genocide. To be clear – Indian is a nationality not a race. People are not aware of truly how much suffering black people on this earth have had to endure. 800 years before the transatlantic slave trade there was the Arab slave trade. The Arab slave trade was still going on when the European slave trade began and has never quite ended. It is said that the Arab slave trade was equal to the European slave trade if not worse. Before the Arab slave trade the Mongols killed upwards of 40 million people (some estimates are as high as 80 million). At this early time in human history that is almost half of what would have been the worlds known population. The Mongol Empire eventually stretched from Central Europe to the Sea of Japan. The black people in China and Japan were genocided out of history (some say they still remain in pockets). The black people of Thailand(the Mani), Cambodia (the Khmer) and Vietnam (the Champa) are all still there despite the genocide. In India the black people there have been under attack for 3500 years. Today black people in India are extremely confused about their identity. Most people alive today still dont know how it is that black people came to have straight hair even though the science is there. This may come as a surprise but black people were even the first Hawaiians and Hebrews. Racism did not start in Europe. Racism started in the East and spread towards Europe, which explains why they were the last ones to take part in the enslavement of indigenous black people. What the Mongols couldn’t finish the Arabs took up and what the Arabs couldn’t finish the Europeans took up. WE HAVE HAD NO FRIENDS YET NO RACE COULD HAVE ENDURED WHAT THE BLACK RACE HAS ENDURED AND STILL BE ALIVE TO TELL ABOUT IT. WE ARE THE TRUE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF ALL TROPICAL LAND ON THIS EARTH AND WE ARE STILL HERE…

[Message for the racists that commented on this post]

I know exactly what I’m talking about.

#BlackLivesMatter
#StopBlackGenocide  



None of our scholars used the word “colorism” because none of them saw the need to. It has only been popular for a couple years now and already I have seen this word used to cover up anti-black racism a thousand times over. Even when a situation is clearly anti-black racism rearing its ugly head people will say “colorism exists everywhere”… Even when all points are indicating that it’s black genocide and erasure, people are saying “colorism exists everywhere”…
All you hair revolutionaries and social services revolutionaries need to take a seat, and/or read a book.      



“Shadeism” was a popular term long before colorism, and still is. Do your research. Pigmentocracry is also another term you should all get familiar with.
Those terms do not apply to this image, and neither does colorism.



Just in case you missed it: Those terms do not apply to this image, and neither does colorism.    



It’s messed up that only one non-black person accurately saw this image for what it is. She wrote “98% sure that last girl is actually African and her white counterpart is….welll. not filipino”. The way the word colorism is being used is not serving our best interests. It should find its place among ethnic white people – where it belongs.

… 

Black people fought to no longer be called “coloured”. As soon as we rid ourselves of that term – here comes “colorism”… I found that very coincidental, and suspect.  



The word “colorism” may have some place (most likely among ethnic white groups) but as it stands it only serves to confuse the narrative. How many times did you hear Master Teacher MLK or Malcolm X use the word “colorism”? How many times did Master Teacher Dr. John Henrik Clarke or Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan use the word? Were you ever once confused by the words our black scholars used? What about the rest of our African historians? Did they too lack the intelligence? Do you think they lacked the proper vocabulary to express themselves? Could you dare think such a thing?

… 

The struggle for black people is real. The Black Holocaust is real. Black Genocide is real. Anti-Black Racism is real. Black Erasure is real. Fix your lips and call this what it is. “Colorism” is a nice soft word like “colonialism” that white people use to make themselves feel better about what is happening and what has happened. They are two very watered-down definitions that mask the brutality and continual injustice and unjust circumstance black people are now dealing with.  

… 

Can white people say STOP BLACK GENOCIDE AND ERASURE?

Can white people say STOP STEALING BLACK PEOPLES RESOURCES AND LANDS?

Can white people say BLACK PEOPLE WORLDWIDE DESERVE REPARATIONS?

Can white people say BLACK LOVE MATTERS?

Can white people say BLACK PEOPLE DESERVE LAND IN AMERICA?

Can white people say BLACK PEOPLE DESERVE SAFE SPACES?

Can white people say WHITE PEOPLE ARE THE REASON HOLLYWOOD
AND BOLLYWOOD IS ANTI-BLACK RACIST?

Can white people say NON-BLACK PEOPLE OF COLOR ALSO PERPETUATE ANTI-BLACK RACISM AND BLACK GENOCIDE?

Can white people say FOR 3000 YEARS BLACK PEOPLE IN INDIA HAVE BEEN ENSLAVED BY ANTI-BLACK RACISM?

Can white people say CLEARLY THERE IS A GENOCIDE TAKING PLACE IN INDIA AND MELANESIA?

Can white people say WHY HAS EVERYONE ELSE GOTTEN REPARATIONS BUT BLACK PEOPLE?

Can white people say BLACK PEOPLE DESERVE BLACK SPACES?

Can white people say BLACK PEOPLE IN AFRICA, THE WEST, INDIA, THAILAND AND MELANESIA HAVE BEEN CUT OFF FROM ONE ANOTHER BY EURASIANS?

Can white people say EVERY TIME THEY TURN ON THE TV THEY SEE THE ANTI-BLACK RACISM TOO?

Can white people say WHITE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING AND HAVE CAUSED BLACK CHILDREN TO SUFFER FROM SELF-HATE? 

anonymous asked:

Hi, question about Celtic "Mythology" (the Tuatha and the fae mosty). I've recently been trying to learn a lot about it because I have Celtic blood (ik that's not important tho and it's not the main reason why) and I have felt kinda called to it I guess. I've always believed in magic sespite my monotheistic background, and I've always believed in multiple godlike entities, angels/demons/gods. However, I'm kinda called to chaos. I do not like organized religion. I wanted to know if Celtic

Part Two of Celtic Question I wanted to know if Celtic polytheism has like lots of rules or if the Tuatha Dé wouldn’t really care if I basically forged my own path? I just wanted to ask someone with experience before trying to form a relationship with any of them because I don’t want to offend the Tuatha Dé or the Fae Folk. Thanks so much for the help!            

Part Three of Celtic Question Just realized I was super vague, I was referring to mainly Irish Celtic. The entities I feel like I would get along with would be Na Morrígna, Brighid, Manannan Mac Lir, and maybe Airmid             

Irish polytheism has conventions, sure, but in all honesty we don’t have a whole lot of rules, which can be both freeing and frustrating.  We have a few ritual conventions, like not eating food offerings or taking back other offerings once they’re made, and we tend to give certain values (as we interpret the Irish understanding of them to be) priority, like hospitality and honor.  We also usually use a paradigm of the Three Realms of Land, Sea, and Sky instead of the four elements of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air.  (The Four Treasures are another alternative, but they map a little too conveniently to the four elements for my personal taste.)  But unlike traditions like Kemeticism and Hellenismos, we just have so little evidence telling us how the gods were worshiped, historically, and we don’t have an unbroken inheritance of tradition.

I can’t speak for the Tuatha Dé, either as a whole or as individuals, especially without knowing the details of what kind of path you want to forge in the first place, but the comparative lack of historical ‘how-to’ means we do have a lot of space for individual development.  That said, I think it’s valuable to understand what’s Victorian romanticism or modern neopagan invention versus older, native Irish in order to have a clearer understanding of where the gods are likely coming from.  (Irish polytheism is especially vulnerable to Celtic romanticism.)  My recommendation is to take a look at what other Irish polytheists are doing, see what common trends show up in them, and decide if they’re the kind of thing that would work for you.  Personally (and YMMV) I think the things you can’t really avoid in one way or another include:

  • Hospitality.  This depends on your means, of course, because bankrupting yourself for guests’ luxury or emptying your wallet at every street corner doesn’t do anyone any good.  It can be as simple as offering your friend a glass of water when they come to visit or as grand as doing social activist work to make your community more welcoming.
  • Sovereignty.  This one is a little more contentious because of the implications of oppressive power, but it’s more usually defined in this context as an individual’s right to be personally empowered in balance with their spiritual and social communities.  While common across paths, it’s most prevalent in warrior-related ones.
  • Action.  We tend to put more emphasis on ‘walking the talk’ than ritual adherence, in my own experience.  For example, the people I know in person who worship one of na Morrígna are involved in social activism to some degree, according to their own needs and limitations.  This particular manifestation is not universal to Irish polytheism, however, and is a personal choice.
  • Local cultus.  The gods are tied closely into the Irish landscape and nothing happens without its location being named.  This is often translated into the real world as the polytheist building a relationship with their own land, Irish or otherwise, and getting to know the spirits, history, and cycles of their own location.  If you’re interested in getting to know your own fae, your own land spirits, this is important.
  • Right relationships.  This means being in mutually beneficial relationships with your humans, your gods, and your spirits - and your own sovereign self, too.

The degree to which you focus on any of these things may be different, especially if you walk specific paths like the warrior’s or perhaps a poetic one like filidecht, but these are the things I see come up most often with myself, other Irish polytheists, and in the mythology (which, it should be said, aren’t coming to us from polytheistic writers, unfortunately).  I think these values translate well not just into other traditions but also the secular world, too, since they basically boil down to, “Don’t be an asshole to yourself or others unless someone deserves it, and also finding a purpose for yourself is psychologically healthy, even if it’s just making sure your pants get washed every so often.”  That balanced pragmatism is one of the things that has kept me in this faith tradition as long as it has, in all honesty.

The relationship between the Tuatha Dé and the good folk is complicated for Irish polytheists, I think.  I see them as separate, whatever the later medieval sources would have us believe, but I know others who feel differently (a friend, during her ‘I want nothing to do with the gods’ phase, once had one of the gods show up in the guise of a plant spirit), so I encourage you to explore those similarities and differences for yourself if you haven’t already.

Here are the PSG’s tags for the Morrígan (also a catch-all tag for all the Queens), Brighid, Manannán Mac Lir, and Airmid, which should have additional links you may find useful for them.  Here’s the tag for Irish polytheism and our resource backup doc, which has further information for various traditions.  I have my own tags for the Morrígan (plus a page of resources), Brighid, Manannán Mac Lir, and Irish polytheism in general.

- mountain hound

Spring Anime 2017 Part 1: woke up late

This time I prepared so I could get to the procrastinating right with the first post! Yay! Let’s get this show on the road.

See also:

• spring anime 2017 part 2: girlfriendship is magic

• spring anime 2017 part 3: comfy and easy to wear

• spring anime 2017 bonus round: things you already knew were good


Alice to Zouroku

So get this, a pretty girl with psychic superweapon powers escapes from a lab she’s been in her whole life and now has to adapt to the real world with the help of a guy she stumbles upon, all while being chased by her superweapon former friends. But in a shocking twist, this is actually better than Elfen Lied! Not being written by someone as brutally incompetent as Lynn Okamoto is a start, but the real change here is that our heroine is less murder machine and more genuinely cute, and more importantly the guy she ends up with is not a harem ringleader dorklord, but a grumpy elderly florist. Yeah, we’re skipping the recent trend of dadfeel anime and diving headfirst into granddad feels (I don’t know if aging otaku are quite old enough to fully self-insert yet, but the same principle applies). It’s a low hanging fruit, but that’s what makes it work; a deliberate, contemplative pace and delightfully whimsical music by TO-MAS also help. So far, so good, were it not for the fact that this is only one aspect of the show. Of course a show like this would have an action half as well, and that one’s pretty garbage. Not only is it directed with zero impact or excitement, it also relies on horrible CG a lot - I really don’t want to be reminded of Hand Shakers this quickly again, thank you very much. Plus, it runs with a Alice in Wonderland metaphor, which is baby’s first literary reference and doesn’t bode well about the intellectual ambitions of the project. So we have one half that’s admittedly effective, but also very predictable and which desperately needs to go somewhere to pay off. The other half just plain sucks and has little chance to improve. I think I’ll give this one a few more chances to sort out its priorities, but it’s definitely not a sure thing.


Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism

A cocky guy walks into a school full of pretty girls with weapons who have managed to sissify all the dudes by forcing them to crossdress. He then proceeds to troll them with his rugged charm. You know, it’s really not that easy to offend me but damn this show is trying. Apart from bottom-tier harem crap setup, this show also looks like ass and is tremendously boring; a few well done action cuts do not in fact excuse “fights” that mostly consist of exposition about special attacks, or terminally uninspired direction. Macchiavellism is the worst of shounen fightmens crossed with the worst of harem LNs, plus some of the worst jokes bad anime comedy can come up with. It’s not even audacious enough in its badness to boggle the mind; I could watch this if I was interested in adding another 1/10 to my MAL, but that’s about all I can appreciate about it.


Frame Arms Girl

Speaking of unholy combinations, here’s Gundam Build Fighters x Rozen Maiden x Strike Witches: A girl stumbles into a sentient mecha musume model kit that spends its time explaining the technical details of model building to her and attracts other model kits that want to fight. It’s an ad for model kits, what do you expect. There’s no characters, the plot is utterly uninteresting, the action’s bad, it looks subpar to bad, and the only high point is how brazenly it reads to you from the manual.


Gin no Guardian

Here’s your latest Chinese webcomic adaptation from your friends at Haoliners Animation League (Shanghai) Inc., whose output has been asymptotically approaching the quality level of a bad Japanese cartoon for years now: Closer than ever, but still not quite there. Maybe they should stop picking bad webcomics with incomprehensible nonsense plots as source material, just sayin’. So this is about a dude who beats up CG zombies in the spirit world but the actual story is how he got there? Or something? It manages to look barely alright and even has some visually striking design work, but its half-length run time prevents it from forming any semblance of coherence and I’m not about to ask for further clarification.


Oushitsu Kyoushi Haine

In a vaguely 18th century Germanic kingdom, a grown ass man with the body of a ten year old and a snarky disposition is hired to become the tutor of an instaharem of fabulous princes. I really don’t get who this is for; obviously the harem is straight out of a PSP otome dating sim, but it’s lacking the obvious self-insert dimwitted main girl, and no, it isn’t gay romance either. Even though it’s a comedy, that aspect does not seem to be played for outright parody. The source material is running in GFantasy, a shounen title (but not one as specifically elementary schooler-focused as Jump, it also carries fujo favorites such as Black Butler). Dubious provenance aside, Haine is moderately funny if nothing else, mainly due to the deadpan reactions of the main character to these ridiculous dreamboats. It just also drags more than a little, with long conversations that aren’t very entertaining all the time. It’s watchable compared to a lot of the stuff out this season, but I remain unconvinced.


Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records

After Macchiavellism already obliterated the battle harem bingo, here’s our next winner. The setup’s more or less the same and in some respects it’s even more formulaic (the school is actually a magic school for magic people, princesses, duels, &c), but Akashic Record is not quite as odious simply by focusing on being a comedy first and foremost and pulling that off at least on a technical level - it has good visual execution and comedic timing. The question is just how much credit you want to give it for that when the jokes themselves still suck, and that’s of course ignoring the entire setup being Light Novel as all fuck. Kinda seems familiar actually, because this is not entirely unlike to what KonoSuba did to the isekai genre, and people keep trying to tell me that that was totally great. Well, go watch this one then, motherfuckers.


Sagrada Reset

But there’s always the other kind of light novel, the one where high schoolers talk about life, people and the world. Think Bakemonogatari or OreGairu. Sagrada Reset wants a slice of that pie and starts by stealing the magical realism conceit from classic™ visual novel Wind ~A Breath of Heart~: There’s a remote town in Japan where everyone has superpowers, but if they leave the town they instantly forget about it. Oops, i guess I just spoiled Wind’s midgame, but I have to since Sagrada Reset puts this stuff right upfront because it has to discuss technicalities (at length) to make its plot work. Yeah, that’s how I like my magical realism, thoroughly explained and conceived by people who should write wikis, not fiction. There’s a girl who can reset time, but only once per arbitrary period of time and also including herself, which means she only finds out she already did it once it doesn’t work again. So that’s pretty useless, except there’s a guy whose superpower is having his memory unaffected by this. They have to work together to solve… some problems, I suppose. This whole idea seems to have potential in a JoJo subplot sort of way, but it’s completely sunk by the way the thing is written, since apparently the writer has never met a human being in his life. It’s entirely made of these pseudo-deep highschool stoner philosophy conversations presented in a lifeless inflection by people who stand around like robots on battery saver mode. This seems to be intentional (at least the term “robot” is thrown around a couple of times, which is certainly ominous), but it also makes for an excruciating and interminable watching experience.


Sakura Quest

Since Sakura Quest was announced, I have been gleefully throwing water on the hype of people who expected this to be the next Shirobako. After all, how likely is it for lightning to strike twice, especially considering Mizushima is not in the director’s seat? Surely it was all just wishful thinking, I want a S2 of Shirobako as much as everyone but I just don’t trust anime. Well consider me fucking told, since apparently among the parties wishing for more Shirobako is P.A. Works, and unlike the anitwitterati they can make it happen. The actual brand name seems to be reserved for a Mizushima project, but I would have no trouble believing that Sakura Quest is a spinoff about Aoi’s sister in the boonies; Shirobako Sunshine, if you will. The initial setup is mirrored here; Yoshino is not a young professional starting her dream job, but a young professional unable to score a dream job (or any job) so she settles for a random one she’s very skeptical of, but will undoubtedly learn to love. Apart from that, well, it’s Shirobako: The positive tone, the large cast of likeable oddballs, the relatable writing about post-highschool problems, and it even looks completely identical. I’ll still be realistic about it: Shirobako isn’t great for what its ideas were, but for how thoroughly it delivered in the long run, and this is by no means guaranteed to also happen with Sakura Reset Quest. For an episode 1 though, it’s like a dream come true, and P.A. are setting themselves up for seasonal double domination with this and Uchouten Kazoku S2.


Souryo to Majiwaru Shikiyoku no Yoru ni

Enough gushing, here’s 5 minutes of porn. Okay, it’s josei porn so there may still be gushing involved if you know what I mean, nyuk nyuk. Er, sorry about that. Sooooo there’s a sexually frustrated woman who meets her school crush who’s now a priest, and then they fuck. With a staff made up mostly of (non-josei, but hey) hentai OVA veterans, there is really only one way this could go. I appreciate the brazenness as usual, but I really don’t know how much steamy harlequin romance tailored to TV broadcast standards I want to watch.


Tsugumomo

I’ve seen some warnings about Tsugumomo based on its source material which is a manga with 1. a very high level of art quality and 2. content that has been described as “makes To-Love Ru Darkness look family friendly”. This may explain why it has not been licensed. It doesn’t explain why this first episode is fairly tame though; sure, it’s very much an ecchi comedy, but you get those from time to time and Tsugumomo is not any more raunchy than what I’m used to seeing (and it accomplishes this even without obvious BD-advert censoring). That incidentally also removes any reason to watch it: The plot is as basic “guy gets magical girlfriend for purposes of fights and/or walking in on her naked in the bath” from 15 years ago as they come, and it’s suspiciously well animated, but not well enough for that to be a selling point. Maybe it will get real skeevy eventually, I won’t be around to find out.


Warau Salesman NEW

Warau Salesman starts strong with ultra cool, Saul Bass-inspired opening credits, but that’s about all it has to offer. It’s based on a “black comedy” manga from the 60s by one of the Doraemon authors, and oh boy can you tell. Not only are the character designs 60s-tastic (so at least the Osomatsu-san fujos can schlick to something while they wait for the S2 of that), but so are the sensibilities: The titular salesman goes around tempting frustrated office workers with doing something moderately irresponsible, such as drinking in your lunch break or spending above your means, and then ruins their life when they actually do it. It’s like Twilight Zone written by your HR department. In the 60s. This stuff would have been outdated even in 1989, when it was animated for the first time – hence the “NEW”. I don’t know, it just seems mean-spirited, obvious and pointless, and most importantly I put the “black comedy” in quotes because in addition to not being very black, it’s not funny in any way, and unlike regular anime comedy I can’t even see what’s supposed to be funny. 

anonymous asked:

How do you know if you have any psychic ability at all? And how do I know what's part of me being mentally ill and what's not? Do you have any advice or words of wisdom? -@sapphicbabywitch

I am both Bipolar Type 1 and well versed in my personal psychic ability, and I can assure you that this question has haunted me before in the past as well.

Some of my Bipolar side effects are random bouts of psychosis and I am very familiar with intrusive thoughts, swinging moods, etc. But these symptoms, I have noticed, are very different from when I connect with the nonphysical world, be it through psychic ability or astral travel.

I think, personally, one huge identifier is the energy behind each. I’m going to use personal examples from my experiences with empathy v. mood swings, and hallucinations v. seeing spirits.

Empathic Ability vs. Mood Swings

When I’m having mood swings, I can feel it in my head. I feel unbalanced, and something will tick me off and I can snap from serene to angry, or happy to anxious, but often times a thought or external stimuli is linked to this switch.

In contrast, my first experience with empathic ability that I could first identify as emotions that were not my own was related to the death of my pet rat. I was in a classroom of people not talking to anyone and nobody was paying any attention to me, and my heart sank to my stomach. There was no stimuli for this emotion and I was feeling very level headed mentally that day. I came home and found my rat had passed and identified the feeling as guilt. This trend continues when I pass someone and feel their anxiety, though I’m not anxious, or someone enters my home and I become overwhelmingly sad despite my love for this person.

So, from this, we can conclude

  1. Empathic feelings come from an external source with no immediately identifiable stimuli.
  2. Empathic feelings are often quick, brief moments of feelings from another, while mood swings and symptoms from mood disorders are often long-lasting, be it an hour or two to a couple of months.

Hallucinations vs. Spirits

During a hallucination, my personal experience is often visual. It feels like a dream and doesn’t make sense, and will often shake away when I make a quick double-check. Now I realize that not everybody who hallucinates will have this experience, and it can often be quite worse, but I can only speak from personal experience.

I remember being at a concert and I felt anxiety and dissociation trying to take a hold of me. Pretty soon a cockroach appeared on the person’s shoulder in front of me. It startled me due to its large size and dissimilarities to any cockroach I had ever actually seen, and when I made a double-take, it was gone. When I drive after a long and anxious day at work I will sometimes see headlights pop up where there weren’t any before. Even really bad experiences like seeing a man outside of your window in class shooting you in the head. After it happens, I know it’s not real, despite the fear it brings in the moment. These are hallucinations.

Doing spirit work, however, elicits a different response. I will feel the spirits energy when they are around or I’m talking to them, and I can feel their presence. It will come to me in body tingles, smells, emotions, colors, feelings, emotions, and general “vibes.” Hallucinations are hollow. There’s nothing connected to them.

When astral traveling and seeing spirits in the astral, because I lack the ability to see them when not in that mindset, I’m actively summoning or pursuing the spirit. Psychosis is not something that is often sought out.

So, in short:

  1. Hallucinations hold no personal energy unless it draws a response from you (ie. fear, worry, panic).
  2. Hallucinations aren’t often actively sought out, in contrast to spirit work.

My experiences are not universal. For example, some people experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs may actually be looking for hallucinations. Also, not everybody hallucinates the same, and I recognize my experience with it is mild in comparison to some others with problems with mental health. I also realize empaths don’t feel everything the same way. Again this is all personal experience.

Above all the most important thing is getting mental health in check. Even if you have never had a mental health diagnosis, be aware and conscious of symptoms, and talk to a therapist or psychologist as needed. The easiest way to distinguish between your mind and the nonphysical is to first be able to identify what’s going on in your own head, what are your thoughts, and how to identify them.

Thank you so much, @sapphicbabywitch for your question!.
If you, or anybody, has any more questions please do not hesitate to ask! I will always answer to the best of my ability. <3

Question Extravaganza Blog #2

Hi there! Remember, back in December, when we had an “End-of-the-year Question Extravaganza Blog”? And how there was going to be a second part? Well, FINALLY, here it is! Round two of our answers to the questions that you sent to us via Twitter, so long ago.

Who’s playing this time:

Tom – Localization Producer

Brittany – Localization Producer

Junpei – Assistant Product Manager/XSEED’s Garbage Disposal

Ryan – Localization Lead

Nick – Localization Editor

Alyssa – Product Associate

Liz – QA Tester

Danielle – QA Tester

WARNING: Spoiler alert, just in case! And maybe some language.

 

Question: which character from Senran Kagura New Wave would you most like to see become playable in a future game

Liz:

There are so many! Kasumi, Kumi, Fuga, and Bashou
    Kasumi - shy girl that can code her way into your heart? aw yuss.
    Kumi - ngl I like foxes. I’m also hella curious what her animations would look like…
    Fuga - dude it’s fireworks coming from a shamisen who doesn’t wanna SEE THAT. AND THOSE PLATFORMS. DAMN.
    Bashou - paintbrushes: creation, destruction, or the beauty that comes from their combination? tune in next time on quiet girls that can artfully kill you

Brittany:

Fuga. I’ve loved her design ever since I first saw it and I’ve actually begged Takaki-san in person to put her in one of the core games.

Alyssa:

Picking just one is hard, so these are the ones are the top of my list:

Meimei – She fights by throwing bombs shaped like steam buns. Just. Yes.

Ukyou – For some reason, I really like the idea of a machine gun shaped like a bass guitar. She’s also a cutie, I like her design.

Seimei – I like the fact that she rocks pajamas. I wish I could wear pajamas all the time…

Question: What is your most favorite game that you have localized And why?

Brittany:

Trails of Cold Steel II. I cried so much while working on it, haha. It was the game that made me feel like I was really growing up as a writer, and I was so proud of the effort I put into that during every step of the process. Everyone knows I love the series, but for now, that game has a particularly strong place in my heart because I feel like I grew as a person together with those in Class VII (is this too cheesy? lol).

Junpei:

Definitely the EDF series. I’ve been a big fan of the series since the first EDF came out in Japan, but also I learned a lot from the producer and the dev team. It was a very exciting to work on, and luckily, EDF2: Invaders from Planet Space was selected as a D.I.C.E  Award nominee.

Also, Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity was a favorite, too. The game is very fun and pretty. I didn’t really know about the Touhou series at first, but this was a good title for Touhou beginners like me to learn what Touhou is. The dev team is very passionate and professional. I was always impressed by them while working on this.

Ryan:

I have a few personal favorites: Estival Versus because I love the character banter, Deep Crimson for the same reason, and Suikoden V because it was my first real localization project and I still have a soft spot for it.

Alyssa:

I have a soft spot for Ys: Memories of Celceta. It was published before I started working here, but was the first XSEED game that I played.

Even though we didn’t really localize it (just published it physically), I’m a big fan of Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. Working with WayForward was an absolute treat and I’m so glad that we have a chance to do something with them.

Tom:

I think anyone who knows me knows my answer to this, but in case you don’t: RETURN TO POPOLOCROIS, BABY!! ;) The very first game script I ever translated was part of the script to PopoloCrois Story II on the PS1, which I translated in play-script format and uploaded to GameFAQs as a translation guide. After that, the very next thing I translated was all 51 episodes of the two existing PopoloCrois anime. I am a PopoloCrois super-fan, and when the opportunity came along to work on a PopoloCrois game, to say I was ecstatic would be an understatement. Getting to officially write English dialogue for Prince Pietro Pakapuka, Narcia the forest witch, the White Knight, and the GamiGami Devil was an absolutely amazing experience, and getting to sit in on voiceover sessions and help shape the way they sounded in English was the icing on the cake.

Corpse Party is a close second, though, because I was able to get much more graphic than I’m used to, and it was a bizarre amount of fun describing some of the most horrible acts of mutilation and torture imaginable. It was weird working on Corpse Party and Fishing Resort at the same time, as I had to keep stopping myself from inserting extremely graphic language into the Fishing Resort script.

And Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed gets an honorable mention, as the three weeks spent in voice-recording for that game may be the most fun I’ve had in my seven years at XSEED.

Question: Where do you face the most unexpected challenges during the localization process?

Nick:

The thing about unexpected challenges is that they’re…well, unexpected. The things we run into the most frequently are things we know to be watchful for based on past experience (which is why we usually catch the major stuff). A good example of an “unexpected challenge” would be realizing partway in that we don’t actually have all the text files for the game, even though the developer said they gave us everything. Working on games that are still in production also has the tendency to turn up a lot of unexpected issues, particularly when the developers change things and neglect to mention that they were changed. If you learn that a localization was being worked on while a game was still in development, know that it was probably a huge headache for the translators and editors compared to working on something that has been finished and more or less finalized.

Sometimes it’s because there’s an honest mix-up and they thought they’d given us everything. Other times there’s a breakdown in communication along the way, as can occur when information has to pass through too many hands. So…ultimately, miscommunication is where we stand to face the most unexpected challenges. It varies from project to project, and we know to be mindful of it, but we can never fully predict when this sort of issue will pop up.

Originally posted by geekylaugifs

Question: Where do you try to draw the line between remaining loyal to the original and changing to fit the region you are localizing for?

Nick:

Every editor will give you a different answer for this, so I can only speak personally, but here’s where I stand on this issue. When I localize a game, I absolutely want the intent of the original to come through. That’s what people are coming to the work for - what they want to experience. However, sometimes, truly conveying the spirit of the original work necessitates departing from the exact language of the original.

If one facet of my job is about accurately conveying information and character relationships, another facet is to ensure people who buy our games are entertained and engaged. That happens best with a script that feels fairly natural in its English phrasing. A quick example is how, if you listen to people converse, most people make frequent use of contractions. They’re a natural linguistic shorthand for English, so it feels natural to make broad use of them in character dialogue. But I often see dialogue written without them (like, where it doesn’t strike me as an intentional editorial choice). Without contractions, at the most basic level, you’ll get dialogue that sounds wooden and has less flow to it (Tom and I often compare it to the speaking style of Data, from Star Trek: TNG), but in some cases, using or not using contractions can subtly alter the way we perceive a line, especially if there’s no voice-over to clue us in. “I cannot believe he said that about me” carries a bit more of a testy tone than “I can’t believe he said that about me.”

There are also cultural differences that, when translated over on a 1:1 basis, won’t elicit the same response from an international audience, so some tweaking is necessary to make sure Western players of a game experience enjoyment similar to what Japanese players would’ve felt. This is admittedly a touchy issue, since a lot of this involves getting a good feel for the characters’ personalities, and so is inevitably colored by an editor’s own interpretations of them. In a blog I wrote before the first Trails of Cold Steel was released, I laid out some cases where I basically felt that the characterizations provided in some places by the original script were lacking, so Kris and I embarked on a mission to strengthen characterization not through any sweeping gestures, but just by bringing certain traits more clearly to the fore in scenes specific characters were in. It’s something you might notice if you had the Japanese and English scripts side by side, but it never stood out to most players, and from anecdotal accounts I’ve read many places online, I think this initiative of ours was very successful. Certainly, I think it brought a lot to Rean’s character in particular.

Ultimately, I want a localization to keep all the information the original script gave, but sometimes I re-frame how that information is conveyed because I value entertaining/engaging writing and want our games to feel, as much as possible, like the English scripts could just as well have been the original scripts.

“So, where do I draw the line? As someone who always wants to push for better writing, I generally won’t make an edit - even if it would sound great - that would result in dropping factual information conveyed by the original. Not necessarily on a line-by-line basis, but definitely on a scene-by-scene basis. Ultimately, I want a localization to keep all the information the original script gave, but sometimes I re-frame how that information is conveyed because I value entertaining/engaging writing and want our games to feel, as much as possible, like the English scripts could just as well have been the original scripts.”

Brittany:

This question is too broad and no one should have one answer for it. It depends on the game itself, the context, the importance of the topic in question in the scope of the story, the emotional impact it’s supposed to make. The most generic answer I can give is that we should always remain loyal to the spirit/intent of the original game, and if anything comes under question, we should consult the dev team and get their perspective on it.

I guess an example that’s happened a few times throughout Trails is one where Japanese honorifics are dropped as people become closer. A big deal is made out of it, but that sort of thing doesn’t exist in English. At the same time, there’s no reason to force it in the English version because the name-dropping isn’t necessarily the focus–it’s the result of characters becoming closer. The intent is the bond, and as long as you write the scene so that English players understand these characters have become closer thanks to what’s going on, then I believe we’re still loyal to the Japanese while still properly localizing the scene.

Question: outside of trails in the sky sc what was the hardest game to work on you’ve released?

Brittany:

It’s a toss-up between Unchained Blades and Rune Factory 4. RF4 was a joy to work on because I’m a big fan of the series, but it also contains so many complex algorithms that even the Japanese version of the game occasionally had random bugs that just couldn’t be reproduced. Those were everywhere during QA, and then we also had had all that text that needed to be checked for context…

Unchained Blades is far shorter with less text, but it was plagued with bugs during QA to the point where I once ran to the bathroom to cry from losing my save data for the umpteenth time. We had no debug mode for that one, either, so anything I had to test, it had to be done by playing through like a normal player. Hopefully the effort was worth it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of players experiencing the issues on that game that I had!

Ryan:

Probably Fate/EXTELLA, which had a lengthy, lore-heavy script with a long history behind it, plus a writing style that was both abstractly poetic and strictly technical.

Danielle:

I would say the Story of Seasons series, mostly because of the sheer volume of text and variables to test.

Question: which sort of cultural references do you try to keep rather than rewriting for localization?

Tom:

Generally, all of them. It’s always better to keep a reference, and just maybe insert a brief explanation, than to get rid of it. People who play our games know that they’re playing Japanese games, so I figure, why try to disguise the Japaneseness of them? Better to celebrate it.

Ryan:

Depends on the medium and context. Fate, in general, is known in part for drawing lore from all over the world, so we did our best to keep its references to world history and literature intact. Akiba’s Trip was chock full of Japanese-language anime references, some of which had only unofficial translations, so we did our best to cobble together appropriate translations from Japanese and English fan sites. SENRAN KAGURA drops references to well-known anime now and again, well-known enough that we can keep them intact, with an English take on their wordplay (such as when Katsuragi’s play on “a great era of sexual harassment,” referring to the “great era of piracy” from One Piece, became “a great invasion of privacy.”) Occasionally, we’ll run across Japanese proverbs that don’t have direct translations, so we’ll do our best to find English proverbs or wordplay that match the general sentiment of the original.

Question: What was the situation in a game that gave you trouble? Joke? A conversation? Interactions? Items? Names? Tell us the worse!

Tom:

Shiawase no Sachiko, in Corpse Party. To this day, I’m still not 100% satisfied with my translation there.

See, in the Japanese, there’s supposed to be a distinction between 幸せのサチコ (“Shiawase no Sachiko”), which roughly translates to “Happy Sachiko,” and 死合わせのサチコ (a different way of writing “Shiawase no Sachiko”), which roughly translates to “Sachiko Aligned with Death.”

The English I came up with for this is “Sachiko Ever After” vs. “Sachiko in the Everafter.” And even that vaguely acceptable solution took far, FAR too long to come up with.

Sometimes, Japanese linguistic references are just really tough to work with!

Ryan:

The first example that comes to mind is a certain “My Room” conversation from Fate/EXTELLA, where Nero and the Master have a back-and-forth conversation about different kinds of bathing. The original Japanese script had an entire conversation tree about misreadings of kanji, which had no direct translation. This is one of those rare times where we were tempted to, as we sometimes call it, “Go full Samurai Pizza Cats,” after the old anime dub where the American dub team never received the original script and had to make up a whole new one, but we stuck with it, and eventually came up with some reasonably close wordplay in English.

Question: Do you have friends in other localization teams/companies? What could you learn from them? Do you reach out to them?

Brittany:

I’d love to hang out with some of the localization people I’ve interacted with via Twitter, because I’m actually pretty ignorant of what goes on in other companies. I’m pretty much XSEED only, but I’d love to learn the process in other places or just bond with others who do the same work that I do.

Tom:

Absolutely! Other companies are “competition” to an extent, but they’re also colleagues, and we’ve met with people from numerous other nearby companies for lunch, karaoke, etc. many times since I’ve been working here at XSEED. I don’t know that we really learn much from them, nor they from us, but we always “talk shop” when we meet up, discussing localization challenges we’ve faced, fun stuff we’ve done recently, etc. It’s just good to sometimes talk with other people who fully understand what we do.

Ryan:

We’re good friends with the Aksys team down the street, a lot of our staff have Atlus experience, and most of the original senior staff came from Square-Enix. For Fate/EXTELLA, the Aksys guys were kind enough to share their notes and script from Fate/EXTRA as references. One of the best bits of advice I can give people looking for work in the industry is “Make friends wherever you go,” and that’s as true once you’re in as it is when you’re getting started.

Sherlock’s Valentine’s Day Challenge Day #3

“I guess this makes you my Valentine.”

Sherlock x Reader

Side Note: Thank you so much for the reblogs and likes on the last two, and to anyone who commented! I appreciate your compliments dearly, you’re all so sweet! This is a day late but I couldn’t post yesterday because my internet connection completely turned off when I tried to - agh!

Also, I would like to issue a slight warning for this story. Mentions of a serial killer and “suggestive material” that doesn’t go into detail. 

“You’re coming with me. Now.”

Your hand instantly stopped the spoon filled with ice cream in front of your wide open mouth as you looked over at Sherlock grabbing his coat. You were curled up in his chair with a blanket wrapped around your shoulders, which Sherlock had more or less thrown at you abruptly earlier in the evening.  

“Wait, what?” The utensil dropped out of your grasp and clattered in the bowl. “But I’m celebrating!”

“Sitting down and watching crap telly, while eating more than your weight in ice cream can hardly be called celebrating. What’s so special about today?” He scoffed.

“It’s Valentine’s Day, Sherlock - only one of the most important days of the year!” He raised his eyebrow at you while you smiled sarcastically back at him. “Fine. Important to me.”

“So you are here, at the flat, and not with your boyfriend on this incredibly crucial day?”

You paused to stare at Sherlock, hoping it would dawn on him. His face was blank as his eyes continued to blink at you. “You mean Scott? We broke up three months ago. Don’t you remember?”

“…Explains why you’re always here.”

“Hey! It’s not my fault I don’t have a Valentine and I celebrate on my own in the flat. Not to mention, you asked me to live here after John moved out! Don’t tell me you forgot that too.”

“Not important.” Sherlock shrugged his shoulders before jumping on his heals once. “Are you done celebrating your lack of romantic affection? I’m getting impatient, Y/N. Let’s go.”

You squinted your eyes and examined him. “Why?”

A grin broke across Sherlock’s face. “We’ve got a case.” He reached over to grab your jumper from the arm of the couch and handed it over to you.

“But I look like a mess right now!”

“Oh stop. You always look perfect.” Sherlock strode over to open the door and raced down the steps, his voice becoming distant. “Meet you outside!”


“What exactly did I get myself into?” You turned from the window of the cab to study Sherlock’s face which was facing the car seat in front of him.

“A date.”

Your heart nearly stopped in your chest at those words as you stuttered an answer.

“W-What?” You questioned, your voice raising higher in the process.

He looked over at you to stare deeply into your widened eyes. “I need you to pretend to be my girlfriend while we’re at the restaurant the suspect owns.”

The blush creeping up onto your features slowly began to reside as you realized it wasn’t a real date, but for the case. Raising your hand up to fan your face, you turned to the window once again and coughed.

“Oh, alright. That doesn’t sound too difficult, then.”

Your hand, which was resting beside your thigh, felt the warm sensation of Sherlock’s hand next to yours while his thumb came to rest on your little finger. You ignored it, shaking your head slightly.


“So this is the restaurant? Shame I don’t have a Valentine, it has such an incredible atmosphere for a date.”

The two of you were standing outside of a large and vast building, where the windows displayed red string lights strung along the wall, giving off a warm atmosphere. Expensive table decorations were placed sporadically, with red roses and gold accents, and tied together the Valentine’s spirit. The customers appeared to be very much high class, immediately drawing your attention to your dark skinny jeans and soft brown jumper. Sherlock was wearing the usual suit beneath his Belstaff making it clear you were vibrantly out of place.

“Neat. For an active serial killer, this place is incredible. You’d never figure he chooses to decapitate people on his free time.” You shushed Sherlock instantly, glaring at him to convey the message you both needed to be careful with anything you said. He just chuckled back.

You wrapped your arm around Sherlock’s and shook off all your nerves. Looking up at him, you smiled warmly and nodded. Smiling back, he rubbed your arm and winked.

The game was on.


After being led to your table, the two of you sat down on one side of the booth and looked around the restaurant discretely. You tried to spot the man in the picture Sherlock showed you before exiting the cab, but it was no use.

“Remind me what we have to do exactly?”

“We’ll have to get acquainted with the manager and get a few answers out of him - every piece of evidence traces back to this restaurant here.”

“And we have to pretend to date because…”

Sherlock’s jaw tightened and his eyes flicked around as if looking for an answer. He opened his mouth to reply, but then noticed that your waiter had approached the table and interrupted your conversation. Your eyes flicked towards the waiter and noticed he was staring intently at… Not your eyes. Immediately you crossed your arms in distaste.

Sherlock himself had deduced the man’s intentions and squeezed your side harder. When it was your turn to order, the waiter… Damon, by his name tag, looked you directly in the eyes and smirked.

He began undressing you with his eyes and making you incredibly uncomfortable. You looked over to Sherlock for assistance, who had a dark glare set on Damon. Lost for words you turned to the waiter once again. As your mouth opened, you were stopped instantly when you felt something warm on your cheek. It only took you a few seconds to realize that Sherlock had kissed you affectionately.

Holy shit.

“My girlfriend and I will be sharing a meal, thank you.” Sherlock’s face lit up with a smile. “You can leave now. I’d like it if you left us alone as long as possible - I wouldn’t want you to feel uncomfortable with the suggestive material we will be discussing.”

Your mouth dropped open before your hand covered it and stifled a rising laugh. Damon left with a glare to Sherlock as you shook with laughter, burying your head in the crook of his neck. You felt his own laugh vibrate through his chest as he kissed your forehead.

“I don’t think we need to keep this dating act up for this long, no one is watching.” You say with a laugh before raising your head and looking at Sherlock seriously. “Sherl, you never answered my question. Why do we have to pretend to be a couple?”

“I felt the inclination of wanting to.”

Moving your eyes back and forth between his blue orbs with a shocked gaze, you lost all train of thought in the depths of his eyes. Sherlock swallowed nervously and looked down at the table with a straight face as a small smile made its way onto your own. Reaching behind his ear you began playing with Sherlock’s dark hair, moving your fingers through its softness.

You both began to realize the close proximity of your lips as he looked up, when you decided to move your hands to cup his jaw, thumbs caressing his skin. Leaning forward, Sherlock connected your lips in a gentle kiss and you smiled into it. His arms fully encased your waist as you were tugged closer to his body. You both pulled away for air and Sherlock looked at you in amazement.

“How do you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Always have this affect on me.”

You smirked in satisfaction. “Always? How long have you felt this way?”

Sherlock didn’t have to think much as he remembered the day perfectly. “Practically the day I met you.”

Your heart soared and you couldn’t resist placing your arms around his shoulders, kissing him once more.

He pulled away much faster than you would have liked and exclaimed, “I was wrong!” Sherlock kissed you briefly beside the mouth. “Y/N, you are brilliant! It was our waiter, not the manager. No wonder it looked like he wanted to devour you.”

“Thanks?”

“The answer was so obvious, it was right in front of me! Being the manager’s son means perfect access to both customers and ingredients at this restaurant - don’t eat the steak by the way - amazing how much potential all these serial killers have. It’s like Christmas!”

“You’re adorable,” You said with a laugh and took his face in your hands, kissing him gently on the lips, “now let’s go get him.”


Sitting in another cab on the way back from Scotland Yard after having chased Damon down successfully and convicting him, your head rested on Sherlock’s shoulder as your eyes closed from exhaustion. In between the both of you, your hands lay intertwined.

“Sherl, what does this mean for us?” You yawned, asking sleepily.

He lifted your hands and placed a kiss upon them. “We’ll talk about it in the morning. Sleep, Y/N.”

Snuggling closer to his side, you smiled up at him. “You know what I think? I guess this makes you my Valentine.”

What I’ve discovered

This is a long post… but I think its worth reading,

Here is what I have discovered while having a dumb phone in the midst of a technology addicted world.


I often feel alone.

 While most people are stuck on their phone I am sitting here by myself. I can be in the living room with my family (cousins, sisters, brothers, uncles etc), yet not interaction occurs between anyone because they are on their phones. Not to mention the TV volume is cranked.

When I go out to eat with people, I find it hard to hold a conversation not from a lack of topics or slightly awkward silences, but because what was a dinner for two, has now become a dinner for three. The uninvited smartphone dominates the conversation.  

When in the car, i cant help but notice the number of swipes my passengers make to distract themselves from whats happening around them. The fear of being seen, or seeing things as they really are. 

Ive seen children be ignored, because a facebook post was more important than what the child was asking, or trying to show the parent. What they learn is a phone has more value than they do. Eventually a child will stop sharing pieces of their life when they grow older, and the parents asks why? From experience. this is why. For me, it was a football game, or TV show. They were more valuable than how my day at school was, so much so, I was told to be quiet. If you asked a parent though,they wouldn’t say their Iphone is more valuable, but that’s whats lived. Actions speak louder than words.

People are terrified if they cant find their phone. Terrified. Frantically throwing things in search of their lost lover. The one that constantly demands attention, but never gives, always takes.

Often, in conversation I have to repeat myself a few times because the focus from my listener was shifted to that new tweet, or the alert banner making sounds on their phone. Sometimes, people ask me a question, and look at their phone, forgetting the question they ask. I watch them as they stare at their phone, while I answer, and they look up, saying, “Good” or they dont even look up or say anything.

Ive found there is no such thing as silence. Someone is always on the TV, Radio, or phone. There is always noise, constantly! I have gotten in the habit of separating myself to my room just so I can listen to the nothingness of space and time. The birds outside, or the winds in the trees. Or, nothing at all. With the sound of my heart and breathing. Its in these moments I can reflect on the stark realities of life and see whats happening right in front of my eyes. When I silence myself, I can hear the voice of Him who speaks stars into existence. 

People usually only talk about stuff that they read or heard on Facebook (or the news). I rarely hear a conversation asking someone how their day is, beyond “Its good”. Because that’s what we want to hear, and the person saying “its good”  knows we don’t really care about the terrified, scared person inside screaming for attention, who doesn’t know what job to take, or what school to go to. We just go through the formality. 

Its honestly been very difficult to cultivate real conversations and friendships, with anyone. I think that’s why I have been feeling so alone lately. Everyone else is in a different world. 

I got rid of a lot more stuff, and all of my books. All 145 of them. its a long story but its a good one. Maybe Ill tell it sometime. I’ve spent a lot of time laying in my bed looking at the ceiling, working in my greenhouse, or staring out the window. I spend more time on tumblr through my laptop than I would like. I almost got an iphone today. it was so tempting. Snapchat is so fun, I love doing those filters and they make my selfie game soar to the top. But that’s all it is. A selfie, me, trying to make myself look good. its about myself. All of a sudden I remembered what it was like to panic over my lost Iphone, or see people not talk to me because I was addicted. To watch my siblings be sad because I was reading a facebook post and they wanted to play cards. All these things I see happening are all things I did. I don’t want to live in that. its so exhausting. And I know as you read this there is a part of you, maybe its loud or maybe its small, but there is a part of you asking, “What would it be like if I got rid of my smartphone, or even just took a short break”. Im not saying to do it. But I am saying, we miss a lot. A LOT. We miss our children grow up. We miss beautiful sunsets, and rainbows. We miss hearing birds wake up in the morning singing to greet the day. We miss emotional healing conversations with hugs and redemption. We miss reading a book, and letting the words dance in your mind evoking thought and imagination. We have forgotten how to truly imagine things. We miss what it means to dream. We thing if we aren’t connected digitally we miss whats happening in the world, but the truth is, we miss whats happening right in front of us, and the beauty it hold, the limitless possibilities. 

I plugged my Samsung Evergreen in to charge it. The battery lasts three days by the way, its pretty rad. My old Iphone 6 lasted about 4 hours. 

Concluding this post I will say this. Seriously consider the negative effects of the lifestyle that is lived addicted to the digital age, then do something about it. I cant explain it, but I have fallen in love with silence. Its so healing, and freeing, and life giving. When the Spirit of God and I sit, and do nothing but be with each other. Man, that’s good stuff.

If you don’t believe in God, or have any faith so to say, I still implore you to consider what I said above. Regardless of belief, there is a lot being missed.


I pray this post ignites something in your heart that will help you remember your dreams, and push you to pursue them. 


“Human relationships are rich and they’re messy and they’re demanding. And we clean them up with technology. Texting, email, posting, all of these things let us present the self as we want to be. We get to edit, and that means we get to delete, and that means we get to retouch, the face, the voice, the flesh, the body – not too little, not too much, just right.”
Sherry Turkle


Blessings,

Jordan

anonymous asked:

I didn't like how Roku told Aang that being an avatar also doesn't hurt his chance with the ladies, he's basically telling him that's since you're the avatar you'll get the girl, I don't think that's a very positive message because that's not very true either, just because you're better than someone in a certain way that doesn't mean you'll get to be with whoever you want, it doesn't work like that, it wasn't a good message to Aang who's already possessive over Katara and to the audience either.

Aang: I did let all that attention go to my head. I was being a jerk.

It’s weird because in the beginning, it seemed like the show was trying to send the opposite message. All of the little girls were so excited about Aang because he was the Avatar. But all of that attention was just childish and superficial, and Katara was the more reasonable one because she didn’t treat Aang any differently because of who he was. The girls left when they got bored and it was Katara who truly worried about Aang and the Unagi. Aang let it go to his head trying to make Katara jealous, and the lesson was to be more humble. The last thing Aang needs is a romance based on him being the Avatar.

Zuko: Please. The real hero is the Avatar. 

But later, the show was contradicting its own values. The prisoners in Avatar Day, and Avatar Roku reinforce the message that being the Avatar will win you the girl you like. Katara seemed to realize her “true” feelings right after Zuko said that the Avatar was the real hero, so this was no accident. 

Iroh: To be honest with you, the best tea tastes delicious whether it comes in a porcelain pot or a tin cup. There is a simple honor in poverty.

In a way, it is the same with Zuko’s romance. The show wouldn’t send a very good message if Iroh simply told him that being the Firelord wouldn’t hurt his chances with the ladies. His whole character arc was about learning to love himself as a person and to let go of the mindset that came with being a prince. Finding people who accept him for who he is and not his status. Zuko’s date with a girl he met in a poor tea shop fits perfectly into the themes of his character arc. As would a potential Zutara romance.

Zuko: Tell me, if you could have anything you want right now, what would it be?
Mai: Hm … A big fancy fruit tart, with rose petals on top.
Zuko: You know, being a prince and all, I might just be able to make that happen.
Mai:That would be impressive.

But with Mai, it seemed like Zuko was using his status as a prince to compensate for what he is lacking in authentic intimacy. He is using his perks as a prince to convince himself that he is worthy of Mai’s “love”. But deep down, he feels that all of the praise and attention simply for being a prince is alienating and hollow. His romance goes against the very spirit of his character arc.

the pilgrimage (a breath of the wild post)

The thing about Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule is that I can feel it under my feet. Its grassy hills, its rugged rocks. So many game worlds fail at this. They feel sleek and synthetic even when they mean to feel organic. Horizon Zero Dawn, which came out just before Breath of the Wild and which lives now forever in its shadow, felt calculated and constructed in comparison, all that tall grass everywhere, so transparently gamey in presence and function. Where HZD lays out all the limited, obvious interactions its world offers–shoot this part of this enemy with this type of arrow for maximum damage–Breath of the Wild is a world that says, Well, here you are. Explore and discover. Things here interact in ways obvious and in ways surprising. You never know just what might happen.

Sometimes even the real world feels thin to me, or maybe it’s just that my existence in it doesn’t feel solidly rooted to much of anything. I lack a witness, a mirror, a partner, a family, and maybe that’s why sometimes I feel like I might clip through the ground and fall through the world, never to be seen again. Sometimes a change of scenery helps. Perhaps the coffee shops, subway stations and city streets I see every day have grown too familiar to me; when I visited New York City last summer, it was invigorating just to be in a different place, a place not wholly unfamiliar to me, but fresh enough to be stimulating, and seemingly alive with possibility. But I think it’s more a result of too often not having a person to share places with. Time with good friends can remind me that my life and my existence are real, and can help me feel the ground a bit more solidly beneath my feet.

Link faces his quest in Breath of the Wild alone, and yet not. As in previous games, he communes with the dead, here aiding the spirits of four fallen friends of his from a century past, so that they may in turn aid him in his final battle against Ganon, the embodiment of evil. But despite their ethereal presence on his quest, each imparting to him some part of themselves, he cuts a solitary figure on the long treks across Hyrule, seeking both to help his friends and to remember himself.

It’s this quest, the one for his own memories, that I found the most fascinating. You have a photo album with 12 images from across Hyrule: find the spot where the photo was taken, and you will find a fragment of Link’s forgotten past. Some are quite easy to find, with obvious landmarks to use as points of reference, and for some, a man named Pikango will kindly nudge you in the right direction. There was one image in my album, though, with no landmarks in it, and for which I found no Pikango willing to give me a helping hand. It was this one.

Just a spot in a forest. There are many forests in the game, and this looked to me as if it could have been taken in any number of them.

So I began my pilgrimage, heading to every clump of trees on the map that looked sizable enough to be the place where this photo was taken, and marking off the ones on my map that I’d already visited.

Think how many games don’t have this kind of trust in their own worlds, how many games would give you a waypoint, or at most (as Horizon often does) a small circular area on the map in which what you seek is sure to be found. Breath of the Wild asked me to go on a real quest, one in which what I was looking for might have been almost anywhere in the wide, wide world, and when was the last time a game let me go on a quest like that? A quest like that forges between the player and the world a kind of intimacy that is destroyed by the tunnel vision waypoints foster, as you charge full steam ahead for your goal, missing the trees for the forest.

People and places are inextricably linked in our minds, aren’t they? Certainly there are places around San Francisco–coffee shops and bars and neighborhoods–that always remind me of certain people, and certain times we shared. Not long ago I heard someone on the street call a bar by the wrong name, “First Edition,” he said, and I had the impulse to correct him, to say “Local Edition,” because every time I walk by that bar I think of a time I met a friend there for drinks, and she doesn’t live here anymore, and so there’s a sense in which that place is sacred to me, a little haunted by my memory of her.

Finally, after hours of searching, I found it, in one of Hyrule’s many forests, and I felt so much closer to Hyrule than I would have if the game had denied me the fullness of the search.

These memories root Link’s life to Hyrule, and I had to imagine that what Link was really looking for was to be reminded, through memories of the people he loved and the places they’d shared, of who he was, what he was fighting for, what he was living for. Walking all over the kingdom in search of his past made me see the land as something real, and worth saving. It’s worth saving because real things happened there once, long ago, and someday, they could happen there again.

4

Jeffrey Dahmer’s (Basic) Astrological Profile

Sun (main sign) in Gemini (air): Your Sun sign represents your ego - it is who you are to yourself, the things you like, why you like them and the root of your personality. Jeff was a Gemini. Gemini are VERY often stereotyped as being two-faced, but it’s more complicated than that. Many Gemini seem inconsistent because they are an air sign, meaning they tend to process and convert emotional information in a logical (not always practical for feelings, obviously) way. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t emotional, it just means they prefer to express it in a less obvious way than, let’s say, a water sign. Sometimes Gemini say that they feel as if their emotions and thoughts do not always correspond with one another, in part due to other placements, which can create internal conflict. Gemini, depending on how well they express themselves, are also usually either very eloquent or terrible writers and speakers because their planet, Mercury, is the ruler of communication. Gemini have extremely active imaginations and are usually good at joking as a coping mechanism for situations that make them emotionally uncomfortable or anxious.

Key Gemini words for Jeff: Racing thoughts, detached, intelligent, impulsive, clever, savvy liar, charismatic, manipulative, anxiety, nervous energy, logical, charming, witty, persuasive, mean-spirited humor, practical jokes, using humor to disguise/avoid emotion

Example: Jeff was known for his wild antics in high school, and his dark sense of humor followed him throughout his life - from his mocking cerebral palsy gestures in high school, to joking that there was a body in a suitcase after one of his kills, to the flyer he posted for Cannibals Anonymous in prison. His imagination was absolutely key to Jeff’s compulsion - his obsession with realizing his imaginary life ultimately destroyed and ruined his own and 17 other lives.

Gemini also dominates the hands, nervous system, and lungs. Gemini tend to look younger than they actually are.

Example: Jeff was a self-admitted chronic masturbator and really enjoyed smoking cigarettes, so much so that he eventually only agreed to interviews in prison in exchange for cigarettes (and snacks) and he complained that it was difficult to afford them on his prison wages. Jeff’s compulsion to touch and feel things began at a very young age, according to his father, Lionel, beginning with small animal bones as a child, to dissection of roadkill as a teenager, and finally to a full-blown erotic attraction to organs and viscera as an adult. Jeff’s face also seemed to appear different many times in his life, especially with or without his glasses.

Moon in Aries (fire): The moon is where you will find one’s emotional capacity and how they process emotions. Aries in this placement tends to be self-important. They are not lazy, but they are impatient, even demanding, restraint and keeping their temper are not their strongest attributes. They enjoy a challenge.

Example: Jeff was able to keep his job at the chocolate factory for multiple years, despite his extracurricular activities. When on the prowl, he sought out the most attractive guy in the room, showing a bit of a competitive side that isn’t outright, nor is it a negative trait when not amplified. Aries also likes to be in charge and Jeff was not a submissive lover.

Ascendant in Libra (air): Ascendant (often called ‘rising’) is the ‘social mask’ worn around people that do not know us well, it is how others would describe us, how we physically appear to them, and how we express ourselves. Libra rising usually gives off fair hair and light colored eyes. Libras prefer the company of aesthetically pleasing things and people, and are generally passive and agreeable. They dislike arguments and fights, and can be exceptionally good at flirting. When arguing with a Libra, they prefer to diffuse the conflict in a nonviolent way and can talk themselves out of trouble. (most of this describes Jeff, so I won’t give examples).

Key point: Libra is the opposite of Aries - there is conflict for Jeff with the social mask duties of remaining passive and submissive in daily life, with the emotional and internal desire and drive for control and to get what he wants. Gemini makes it easier to separate the two - emotion from logic, but this can create detachment to avoid threatening the ego.

Mercury in Gemini (air): Mercury, as stated before, is the planet that rules communication. While Gemini can be rather chatty, not all of them are like this. Jeff’s Mercury being in the same sign as his Sun says that he usually means what he says, as it is directly from his ego. Although he was not a very good writer, Jeff was very cognizant of his wording verbally and chose his words carefully, not to be lacking in or falsifying sensitivity. He is sincere, as his words are deliberate, even if not very deep. Even though Jeff had problems relating to others on an emotional level, he seemed to genuinely want to understand and to be understood after his arrest, and was very good at expressing even his more irrational or surreal ideas in an effective manner.

Venus in Taurus (earth): Venus is how we choose our friends, lovers, and what type of work we might be attracted to based on what we are passionate about. Venus in Taurus is highly self-indulgent, enjoys good food (😯), emotions are concrete and lacking in complexity, opinions are fixed, but they are capable of befriending people that are nothing like themselves, even if the friendships are minimalistic in nature. This placement also has a tendency to prefer being dominant. Taurus are usually homebodies, but because they prefer to host and they enjoy their security. Real estate is a very practical profession for a Taurus, if they choose it.

Mars in Aries (fire): Mars is how we expel energy, how we act, and how we handle conflict. Jeff’s Moon (emotions) and his Mars (energy) both being in Aries means his objective matched his thoughts, and they were just in sync enough to be dangerous. Because he wasn’t especially verbal, it can be assumed (and confirmed) that Jeff spent a great deal of his time, energy, and money thinking about and acting on his crimes. Aries in Mars can create restless energy, which can feed the Mercury placement of the Gemini, a sign keen on imagination, but Aries is a sign of action - adding to the desire to feed impulses to remove the internal tension. Also not a lazy placement, Mars in Aries might be susceptible to biting off more than one intends to chew (bad pun) and poor multitasking can lead to being overwhelmed, rebuilding anxiety, and spiraling out of control. Mars in Aries is aggressive and control-seeking, at its worst.

Elemental key & representation
__________________________________
*Air: logic - III
*Water: emotion - 0
*Fire: energy - II
*Earth: stability - I
__________________________________
RANDOM ASTRO FACTS:
- One of the movies Jeff cited as helping him feel powerful and in control, that he enjoyed watching alone and with his victims often, was The Exorcist III. Jeff related himself to an ‘evil’ character with yellow eyes dubbed “The Gemini Killer” in this movie, especially.
- The majority of Jeff’s victims were Sagittarians and Aquarians, both of which are considered ideal romantic partners for Gemini.
- Lionel Dahmer, Jeff’s father, is a Leo.
- Ted Bundy was a Sagittarius, the opposite of Jeff’s sign, Gemini.
- David Berkowitz is another renowned Gemini serial killer.
__________________________________
**OPs lengthy disclaimer: This was written with each of Jeff’s aspects considered in flux with one another, rather than what you would find on an auto-generated natal chart, where each aspect would be separated and not take the others into consideration. I opted out of including any trines/conjunctions/etc or anything that would imply that it was Jeff’s destiny or fate to become the person he did. I do not believe in predictive astrology, and to me, astrology should simply be used as a tool for reflection and developing self-awareness/improvement. The aspects I’ve chosen to highlight leave room open to interpretation - they show our best and worst case potential, our strengths and weaknesses, and internal obstacles that we individually overcome or let destroy us. Even if someone else had Jeff’s exact chart placement for placement does not mean they will become a cannibalistic serial killer. What Jeff did was a choice and this is simply to examine what he could’ve been versus what he was from an astrological perspective** I did not delve into Jeff’s Neptune, Saturn, Uranus, or Pluto signs because they are very nonspecific to individuals (they change less often). If anyone is interested, I can go into his ‘houses’, which goes more into his childhood, career choices that would’ve been ideal, and social perception.

mitarashiko  asked:

Your conversation with 50cyg makes me want to ask you something~ What do you think Yamato likes the most about Taichi? What is your favorite scene of them?? Do you think they think about the reasons why they two can form omegamon??!! I'm very curious *^*

You know, at first I thought these questions seemed harmless, but when I got to thinking about them…they took me a while to answer lol

I already know these answers are going to be long. So I’m just going to put them under a cut. 

Keep reading

A Brief Look into Freyr and the Elves.

@rickthesicilian asked:

“I had no idea that elves were ancestor spirits. Could you elaborate on this (or provide a source that can in your place)? Also, what implications does this have for Freyr? He was at one point said to be the “ruler of the elves,” or something similar, iirc. Does this give him lordship over the afterlife or dead in some way?  (Actually, scratch that first part. I just found your prior post about gods and races.)”


The Elusive Nature of the Elves

One thing about elves in norse mythology is that they are quite elusive and mysterious. They never seem to be given a great deal of direct attention, rather they linger around the peripherals. That being said, Frey’s relationship with the elves is equally lacking in details. From what I currently know, there are not many references in our surviving sources that link Freyr to elves and Alfheim. Here is one reference, from Grímnismál, stanza 5:

“Alfheim the gods gave to Freyr
in ancient days as a tooth gift.”

Even Alfheim itself is not often discussed in our surviving sources. Our knowledge about elves generally comes in bits and pieces from various accounts. Due to the fact that elves are generally on the outskirts of our mythological accounts, the best we can do is piece together a theory of what role elves actually had. In order to understand Frey’s relationship with elves, this must be done first.

In the prose edda, this is all we get about elves and their home-world Alfheim:

“High said, ‘There are many magnificent places there. One is called Alfheim. The people called the light elves live there, but the dark elves lie down below the earth. They are different from the light elves in appearance, and far more so in nature. The light elves are more beautiful than the sun, while the dark elves are blacker than pitch.”

So, what is left is to make sense of this. Out of the entire book, this is all Snorri provides about the Elves and their home-world. Any other references are without detail. He never says that elves are the ancestors of the dead, but there are some accounts of beings quite similar to elves that suggest this. Also, the practice of ancestor veneration that I mentioned also suggests this. Elves seem to be beings without any physical description, taking on the characteristics of light (or the lack thereof). My suspicion is that Snorri is treating them like the dead spirits, good (light) and bad (dark). However, there is no real evidence to say so concretely. 

Snorri was a Christian man who admired his tradition and his people’s history. However, even if he admired these traditions, he lived nearly three-hundred years after Iceland had already converted to christianity. That being said, it is possible that some areas had become blurred and so he described them the best that he could. Historical memory often comes with holes and blurs. Nothing is ever quite clear or they way that they should seem. So, to understand elves, perhaps we should look at beings that are similar to them.

The landvættir (land wrights) somewhat fit this spirit role. They are spirits quite connected with the earth itself, protecting the land they dwell in. Landnámabók, The Book of Settlements, states that the dragon-prows of ships must be removed when close to land for fear that they would disturb these spirits. However, these spirits take on many forms, often not even human forms. For example, in Olaf Tryggvason’s saga, the four landvættir that protect Iceland are described: a dragon, bird, bull, and giant. Although Snorri does not describe the Elves to look like humans, he does not make them seem like animals either.

To get back to the point, elves seem to be spirits rather than physical beings. They are described as light and are never given a detailed image. It is not surprising, then, that elves might be the spirits of the dead ancestors. There are actually terms that have been used to describe them, and even sacrifices specifically made to them. I believe this information comes from the Icelandic sagas. Iceland kept a longer hold on these traditions and some aspects of ancestor veneration even lasted into Christian times. Here is a term that has been used to refer to female ancestors:

  • dís (pl. dísir) - a female guardian angel, goddess
    • dísablót - a sacrifice to the dísir

Frey’s Role with the Elves

So, before I get too far off-track, let us return to Freyr. He is said to have inherited the realm of the elves, so what does that mean? He is a god of fertility and pleasure, meaning peace and prosperity. He also does have an association with light when you think about gullinbursti. I also believe he is said to be attributed with a Yule tradition of bringing the sun back after the winter solstice. the relationship between Freyr and elves is never stated outright, so we have to make our best attempt now that we have laid out some more information gathered from various places.

To finally answer your question, I would suggest that the relationship is more in that spirits, whether elves or ancestors, have a connection with this world and prosperity. Perhaps the reason Freyr rules over the elves is because the spirits still serve the earth (protecting its prosperity) as landvættir. Perhaps it is because the spirits of the dead become like light, which allows the growth of more life. It is difficult to summarize the connection in such a condensed statement, but I would say the relationship has something to do with spirits and prosperity. 

I do not think this gives Freyr any control over the afterlife or the dead in general. Rather, I believe it has something to do with a “cycle” of sorts; a relationship rather than an authority. Harvest is a similar process of growth, experience, and removal. Freyr is associated with this process. If you think of elves and sprints in this way, it does not seem to odd to pair them with the natural cycle of the earth. Our ancestors grew, lived, and died. However, they laid out a foundation that allowed our prosperity to exist today. Similarly, the elven ancestor spirits would protect and provide our prosperity, along with Freyr.

Conclusion

I understand that this discussion got quite complicated, and I do apologize if it is way more than you intended to receive. I am honestly not quite sure what to think about it myself still. It is no simple relationship, especially since the sources we have left the matter open-ended. If you get anything out of my answer, just know that elves in norse mythology are quite mysterious. There is not much told about them, so even their connection with Freyr is left in a blur. Also, this is just my interpretation on the material, so I am sure there are other interpretation floating around out there. I also believe that this subject requires a much more detailed and in-depth study that dives into multiple sagas and other accounts. What I have provided is simply a summary of what that would be. 

Anyway, thank you very much for asking! I hope my answer was helpful.


Sources (in order of appearance):

  1. Andy Orchard trans., The Elder Edda: A Book of Viking Lore. (London: Penguin Classics, 2011), 51.
    1. Grímnismál, stanza 5.
  2. Snorri Sturluson, Prose Edda, translated by Jesse L. Byock. (London: Penguin Classics, 2005), 28.
  3. Angus A. Somerville and R. Andrew McDonald ed., The Viking Age: A Reader (Second Edition). (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014), 68.
  4. Geir T. Zoëga, A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic. (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2004), 88.
  5. (general source) Jennifer Dukes-Knight, “Norse Mythology,” lecture, Viking History, University of South Florida, 2015.

cabalbrothers  asked:

Might I inquire to know what tfc is, exactly? What does it stand for? I presume it's a book series, is it not? It seems decent, so I figured I'd ask.

HELLO DO YOU HAVE A MINUTE TO TALK ABOUT TFC. I PROMISE THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. (aka please sell your soul and join me in hell)

tfc is short for the foxhole court, which is both, an alternative name for the all for the game series by nora sakavic and the title of the first book.
it centers around neil, the son, the puppy (i love neil very much) and his freshmen year with the palmetto state university’s foxes. the foxes are a team that is unusual in two aspects:

A) they play a sport called exy, something that the author herself came up with and that my lazy ass likes to explain as “lacrosse. just…better.” all you need to know (for now) is that it can be pretty violent, is co-ed and neil loves it very much.

B) their coach, david wymack (please adopt me), chooses only players for his line-up who come from “questionable” backgrounds. (i.e. abuse, drugs, complicated family drama etc.). therefore they are a fractured mess with no real image of team spirit. (hence great chance for C H A R A C T E R D E V E L O P M E N T )

you would think this is enough to make up a pretty decent bookseries with angsty athletes and their everyday drama but BEHOLD. because besides characters that take this sport seriously in levels ranging from me and any sport to oliver wood and quidditch the foxhole court is served with a side of mafia, death, and pain. i don’t want to take away too much hence my lack of explanation but let’s just say when i started the series i expected none of this darkness, i died about 29292 deaths and i loved every second of it.

what really makes this for me (besides its intriguing plot ofc) are all of the characters. and when i say all of them i mean literally all of them. usually you’ll find series with secondary characters that are just there to fill plotholes, never once important again. you don’t waste a second thought on them usually. then there’s this gem, where all of them have a layer to their personality that gets you interested in them, not a single one seems to be unnecessary and i love. every. part. of it. since talking about all of those lovely minors would take weeks probably i’ll settle on the mains right now, my children, my family, the foxes.
(i’ll try to keep this as spoilerfree as possible, but still, there could be some i didn’t recognize as such. there definitely are.)

they can be devided into two groups:

1) ANDREW’S LOT

Andrew Minyard

  •  u kno those moments while reading where the character is being a dick throughout all of ut but you still think “yup, i’ll get attached to you” 
  •  that’s it 
  •  ‘sociopath’ , on drugs that cheat on all of his emotions
  •  can be pretty scary 
  •  has knives -> ready to cut a bitch at any time of day and will do so 
  •  also very protective and the mom friend

Aaron Minyard 

  • Andrew’s twin 
  •  angry about all the things. constantly.
  •  he may seem like he doesn’t care. it’s because he doesn’t. (this is what canon says but my heart says that SOMEWHERE,,,,DEEP DOWN,,,,,) 
  •  how did i grow so fond of this grumpy midget (the twins are tiny. like. tiny.)

Nicky Hemmick

  •  the gay cousin 
  •  no srsly, he’s the twins cousin and he’s gay
  •  half mexican 
  •  if this was a supernatural thing nicky would be the friend of the main character without special powers but a hell lotta sarcasm 
  •  has a boyfriend in germany 
  •  can talk for hours where is the off-button

Kevin Day

  • you know how i talked about oliver wood and quidditch? 
  •  kevin is the oliver wood of exy 
  •  “coach you can’t cancEL EXY” “kevin there are people dying” 
  •  insensitivity, arrogance and determination all list kevin in their definitions but he can pull it off and still remain your child 
  •  just watch him take over your heart bc he will


2) THE UPPERCLASSMEN

Dan Wilds

  • used to be a stripper 
  • is now captain of the foxes 
  •  also my mom 
  •  idk man when i read it dan was just so #relatable to me??? 
  •  will fight.

Matt Boyd

  •  (i keep forgetting but he is a) rich kid from nyc 
  •  a good bro 
  •  literally so unproblematic??? 
  •  absolutely in love with dan 
  •  the parents those two

Allison Reynolds

  •  please step on my face 
  •  has money and you won’t forget it 
  •  raging feminist 
  •  couldve enherited her parents business but chose exy 
  •  did i mention STEP ON MY FACE

Seth Gordon

  •  hates everyone 
  •  except allison sometimes 
  •  matts and neils roomie 
  •  weird sleeping habits 
  •  grumpy cat

Renee Walker

  •  the christian sweetheart 
  •  can and will fight. politely tho. 
  •  “who doesn’t like renee???!!!!!” (-nicky) 
  •  she literally baked cookies for the team 


i love all of those children so so so much. so. much.
as well as this series. i just finished it today so have some general (bait) information
(this is just all my thoughts in no particular order)

- tackles certain subjects that are usually romanticised/ written in an unsatisfactory matter really well (such as rape, selfharm, abuse etc) ((putting a trigger-warning here though, it can be really dark, like i mentioned!!))

- some pretty decent queer representation

- neil was confirmed demisexual so my ace heart sings

- you can literally not. stop. reading.

- everyone speaks like 5 languages??? they keep switching??????(fairly often they soeak german and it was pretty fun for me to translate it in my head and see what it would sound like)

- i feel like a not small amount of twenty one pilots songs would fit this series pretty well but im not into top enough to confirm 100%

- the author has a tumblr with loads of usefull background info (since she’s focusing on a new series this year there probably won’t be many additions but tbh there is so much already there isn’t even anything to complain about???)

- you know how ever series has that one/handful of character(s) that make you want to scream out because theY  HAD ENOUGH AND THEY DONT DESERVE THIS SHIT JUST GIVE THEM A BREAK? its all of them in this book. i can tell you who wont get a break and its YOU

- and last but not least the first book is FREE on amazon and smashwords! the other two (the raven king, the king’s men) are a dollar each!! join hell now for 2 $ !!!!

im publishing this because all of my followers should need to get following message out of this incoherent pile of thoughts:

PLEASE READ TFC

Mod Sarah: I would probably die in the prologue because I have no combat skills at all. If by some miracle I didn’t die in the prologue, then I would cry a lot. If I survive past that, then I would get myself a mabari and a nug. In terms of combat class… I really have no combat skills, BUT I do have some first aid/medical skills, so… healer? Alchemist? I could try a crossbow…? I’d probably be okay-ish in some form of support. For real tho, there’s a very large chance I would die, RIP Mod Sarah. If I actually survived, I’d probably end up trying to write down everything I know about biology, because at heart I am a scientist, and I would be a rampant bitch about sanitation and washing hands. I’d also try to make sure everyone gets equal pay and opportunities regardless of race, fuck the Chantry, though I’d have issues doing politics and court stuff because I don’t understand social cues and I’d probably die playing the Game. I’d also try to ensure the overthrow of the Circles for good. Maybe I’d be okay with my mabari and nug. As for companions, I think I’d get along okay with most of the companions because I’m good at listening to problems and not judging, though IRL I’m shy, so I don’t know how they would react to that. Not sure how I’d handle Solas. I’d probably actually end up getting along well with Dagna and Dennet.

Mod Tiarne: I’d say: “Fuck the Chantry, you’re all fuckwits.” I’d also try to fuck Varric. I may say fuck it and go find Sebastian so I can romance him with my Gaelic. OH and I’d recruit Zevran into my party because I need my precious crow baby with me to fight evil. I’d honestly probably just spend most of my time hanging with Shale, Shale would get me XD

Mod Jas: Fun fact about your least favorite Mod Jas, I was in archery for all of high school and I was the captain for junior and senior year, and I occasionally go hunting. So I wouldn’t do that bad at survival of enemies, I mean I’m not going to be doing any crazy backflips or anything but I can shoot pretty good. As for the politics, I’d suck. I would be assassinated in my sleep. Too opinionated and emotional. As for interpersonal relationships, I can see myself getting along with Sera, Cole, Dorian, Bull, Cullen, Josephine and Harding. Cassandra maybe, because I would be pro mage but I wouldn’t be like. An asshole. P sure Cassandra likes people who aren’t assholes. As for Vivienne that depends because I’m always between pro circle and anti. There’s pros and cons (and before discourse starts with y'all, I am willing to make a post about why I have pros and cons. I know some of y'all get upset like its real politics). Over all, I don’t think I’d do great as Inquisitor, but I don’t think I’d be bad. Jasper The Herald of Andraste, Not Horrible But Not Great.

Mod Katalyna: My first response would be to sigh heavily because this bullshit is just my luck. Then I’d square my shoulders and get shit done. As long as I can put one foot in front of the other, even metaphorically, then I know I can do it. I would definitely recruit the ENTIRE House of Crows from Antiva. All of them. Including Zev. I would use whatever means necessary. Money, blackmail, literally taking them over from the inside by assassinating the Guild Masters, whatever. Having the House of Crows would make literally everything 10000% easier. I would also make wild use of Solas’ knowledge of the Fade. If he has an idea that I can weaponize without actively hurting spirits? Done. Turn the demons from the rifts on my enemies with or without blood magic? Done. I’d probably romance Solas even knowing how bad it’ll hurt. I cannot resist my egg man… I am the Egg Slut™. If I could manage to resist that silky smooth voice (doubtful), I’d romance Cullen. I’d probably be either an elemental mage or an archer. What I lack in skill I’d make up for in pure determination, rage, and Antivan Crows.

“It’s better to be a cute boy than an ugly butch lesbian.”

Six or seven years ago (and longer!) there were huge debates taking place about the term “queer”, what it meant to the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community, whether it should be added onto the acronym and whether people who defined specifically as “queer”, to the exclusion of any of the other letters, should be welcomed into LGBT spaces.

At the time, the term “queer” represented a radical element that was highly attractive. Here were a group of people who seemed to be anti-capitalist, unapologetic, anti-assimilationist, aggressive and non-conformist. And to 20 year-old-me they just looked so bloody cool. I came through school and college having the word lesbian hissed at me, but not really having any other language to describe myself. I argued viciously for the inclusion of the “Q”, and shouted down the concerns raised by older (and sometimes not) members of the LGBT community that the word “queer” for them echoed horrendous experiences of homophobic assault and bullying.

“We’re reclaiming it,” I spat, “and anyway you can still be lesbian, or gay, or bi, and/or trans if you want.”

Fuelled by zeal, well-meaning enthusiasm, a complete lack of understanding of LGBT and women’s history and a massive streak of arrogance, I wrote these concerns off as archaic and narrow minded, and for that, I am truly sorry. 

As time passed, I started to feel ashamed about being a lesbian within the queer community. As one ex said to me “lesbianism is sooooo last century”. I was butch too, a real stereotype. I was ashamed of being a butch lesbian stereotype, and felt that I sucked at being a woman so much, that maybe I couldn’t be one, but the term “genderqueer” left me cold. I also didn’t fancy men, and they didn’t fancy me.

I didn’t realise until much more recently, but what is happening is the sexism and homophobia found in mainstream society is just being re-appropriated and shoved out from the other side under the guise of radical queer politics; women who exclusively date and sleep with other women are being shamed for it by the very community they are supposed to be a part of, in a way that men who exclusively date and sleep with other men are not. Being a lesbian in a society that heaps pressure on women to be with men is and always has been an enormously radical act.

An avalanche of hypocrisy, or was it always there?

In the last couple of years I noticed a big push within the community to educate on trans issues, change the culture around checking which pronouns people use, increase trans visibility and promote more respect and understanding around gender identity, which are all good things in my book. Intentional mispronouning, both in and outside of the LGBT community is a constant micro-aggression. But then something else happened. The same queers who were screaming bloody murder about people not getting their pronouns right, started to use gender neutral pronouns for me without asking. It didn’t feel right. Occasionally someone would ask what pronoun I used, and on hearing me say “she and her” would double take and say “are you sure?”

Why weren’t these queers taking my first answer? They certainly got angry when people questioned using the neutral “they”. It occurred to me that members of the queer community were questioning my right to define as a woman because of my androgynous appearance almost as much as straight homophobes had questioned my validity as a woman for the exact same reason. I felt increasingly pressured to define as something other than “woman”, and that being a woman, particularly without prefixing it with something like “genderqueer” or “genderfluid” or “non-binary”, was increasingly difficult to get people to accept. Was I so bad at being a woman that my own community wouldn’t even believe me? Isn’t it ironic that a supposedly radical community seemed to find the concept of a masculine woman so difficult to swallow?

If our behaviour falls outside of certain prescriptive boundaries laid out by straight people, must we now question our right to be women at all? Why has it become so offensive and revolting to be considered a woman in the queer community? Why don’t people, who experience the world as women, are treated and seen and oppressed as women, want to be women?

It’s because to be a woman in our patriarchal society is to be less. To be a woman is to be in an undesirable position. To abandon the label “woman” is to claw back some individual power, rather than see women as a political class and collective. In short, its because of sexism. An acquaintance said recently:

“It’s better to be a cute boy than an ugly butch woman.”

We need to talk about class, or the lack of talk about class.

I have lost count of the number of times I have heard or heard of some middle class MA Gender/Sexualities/Sociology Studies twerp shaming and condemning some poor gay seventeen year old for not knowing what a demisexual, panromantic, masc of centre genderqueer is. There are large numbers of the queer community who need to face up to the fact that they have a huge amount of social, educational and class privilege, and that some people do not get to read books that introduce them to all these terms. Some people grow up in houses where there are no books, or the only thing they ever read with the terms “lesbian” and “gay” are tabloid newspapers spitting bile. Sometimes people make mistakes, or have limitations of language. And some of us think that the obsessive developing of endless terms is an intentional attempt to stretch the definition of our community so much that the community in fact will not exist.

Butch and femme are terms that were prominently used amongst working class lesbian communities, and were later sneered at and denounced as aping heterosexuality by elements of the separatist feminist movement, who were often middle class and/or had more academic backgrounds. Now we see lesbian women and gay men being sneered at and dismissed as “monosexual” by elements of the community in much the same spirit, “femme” has been appropriated and is frequently used to refer to any feminine presenting queer person and the word butch is still coded as ugly. There are no cafes, bars or clubs that specifically cater to LBTQ women left in London and very few spaces elsewhere.

You have a right to be queer, and others have a right to be lesbian, gay, bi and/or trans.

I have learnt to be unapologetic about being a woman who exclusively has romantic relationships with other women. But it is a shame that I had to learn this twice. There are other people who feel that their identity, although not hetero/cisnormative, is not represented in the L, B, G or T, and they define as queer (or both). That is fine, if that is what they want. What is not fine is the shaming and erasing of lesbians that goes on. What is not fine is to make the identity of “lesbian” synonymous with trans exclusive feminism when it isn’t. What is not fine is the ridicule of butch women that goes on, whilst skinny white masculine of centre genderqueers enjoy pedestal type positions in the queer community. It is not fine to disrespect and enter and disrupt the few women only spaces left when you know you do not experience oppression as a woman. It is not fine to harass the organisers of a women only event because you’re a man* and consider yourself a lesbian and feel you should be welcomed. That’s just complete misogynist douchebaggery.

It is not fine to force people to call themselves queer and erase their gay and lesbian and bi identities in the process. It’s just hypocritical. And its shit politics. Stop it.

I am a butch lesbian woman. And that’s ok.


*I am talking here about douchebag men who exploit nuanced gender politics to harrass lesbians, so don’t bother with the OP is a TERF stuff.

(FULL TRANS) AJ X THE STAR VOL. 1 - BANGTAN BOYS

Suga

Creating the Name

Suga. A unique stage name. It gives others a sweet, soft image. But the person that I met totally contrasts this name.

First, as opposed to sweets, he prefers lighter food.Secondly, as opposed to bright songs, he prefers more somber songs.

“The stage name is given to me by Bang Shihyuk PD. He says the name includes many levels of meanings and think it’s best suited for my image." Although he has a stage name that is totally different from his image, he actually really likes it himself. "Because he gave me that name. Although ‘Suga’ has a very sweet meaning, I hope because of my existence that one day the word 'Suga’ will be defined.”


Quiet Little Prankster 

Suga described himself in lyrics as a “Daegu guy.” It’s his hometown and also a place where he spent a lot of time at so it’s not surprising that he misses that place. He came to Seoul by himself yet he doesn’t let himself forget his identity - he actually incorporates such thoughts into his lyrics.

“In Korea, they say Daegu men are men of few words and not too into expressing their own feelings." During the interview he chose specific wording for his answers but he was able to clearly express his thoughts.

Of course he also is like guys of the same age and also have a prankster side.

"I often go to the sauna with the members since we don’t often get recognized. We would play in the water and compete in who can stay in the sauna room the longest. We would even put on a mask in the sauna while chatting…”

Although he’s quiet, he also has a naughty side. There’s usually laughter when he’s with the other members. When the camera is filming him, he would show a V-sign as a reaction. Suga is a man with two charming sides, leaving others wanting to know more.

Keep reading

MY LIFE WITHOUT LIQUOR

Not everyone would have the same reasons to change their daily habits - and definitely quitting alcohol isn’t for everyone - but for me it has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life. 


Before touring around the world with Savages after the release of our first album ‘Silence Yourself’, drinking alcohol had never been a conscious problem in my life. In fact, to this day I can say I have never really been addicted to anything. I know I’m pretty lucky this way. People really struggle with addiction to a level I will never be able to experience. But I know dugs just ain’t for me, and I’ve known that since I was a teenager. My body was never strong enough to take it, and my mind was never really attracted to it genuinely - which I tend to view as a blessing, as I know I will never have to deal with the desperate sensations of emptiness due to the lack of it.
This said, touring got me into drinking everyday. That’s something I hadn’t planned and it was a daily habit that drove me into a bad place which I didn’t notice at first. 

At the time, I wasn’t able to go on stage without alcohol. It started with me drinking only a shot or two of vodka before walking on. Then I’d set myself rules like ‘drink only an hour before the show’. Then ‘ok two hours before the show but never after the show’. Then I started drinking full glasses of vodka and cranberry juice onstage whenever I was feeling thirsty. Later I switched to red Martini. I’d drink almost a bottle every show. That’s when I got ill and lost my voice.

I remember the last time I drunk alcohol. It was at the British Film Institute (BFI) in London more than two years ago. Savages were curating an evening around the legendary Australian guitarist Rowland S. Howard, screening the documentary about his life. This was quite a coincidence now I’m thinking about it. The documentary relates the story of Rowland’s musical genius and struggle with drugs until he sadly died much too early (liver cancer in 2009) after he just finished recording his masterpiece 'Pop Crimes’ with Mick Harvey, JP Shilo and my friend Jonnine Standish from the Australian band HTRK.
My mental and physical health was very weak at that point, due to the intensity of touring and my bad habit with alcohol. I was ill and my voice started breaking, sounding more and more like a broken kettle. I drunk red wine all that evening and went home quite early around midnight. I remember cursing everyone and everything on the ride home, and waking up with a terrible hangover and nausea. Andy, my tour manager at the time, showed up at 9am at my house to take me to the next show. I was still in bed, unable to move, unable to imagine myself physically doing it again, getting in the van and playing another show…

That’s when you desperately need someone who knows you very well. Luckily I had someone like that.
Johnny Hostile sat on the side of our bed. I looked at him and started to cry. I was feeling so miserable and helpless. My heart felt empty and my emotions numb. I wanted to go on tour and play the shows, but I just didn’t have the strength anymore, and I felt I was letting everybody down. I was ashamed of the state I was finding myself in at that moment - and letting anyone witness it was humiliating. He took my hand and said: “you’re gonna get ready, slowly, have a shower, eat something, Andy is going to wait for you. But as soon as you step out that door, you won’t drink another drop of alcohol". At that time, I had known Johnny as my partner for 9 years, and known him sober for 6, so this was coming from someone who was aware of what he was talking about.
Everyone can stop alcohol for various reasons, beyond the real damage done to your body and your mind, there’s a real stupidity surrounding alcohol consumption in certain cultures when you think about it. From numbing your access to first hand experience, to excusing idiotic acts (including encouraging the mass to mediocre sexual intercourse!), alcohol is too often used to excuse a lot of crap happening in the world. We drink because we want to forget, make space in our heads so we can chase away the annoying thoughts. For people who are constantly thinking about how to change the world and find ways to make things better, drinking alcohol quickly start not making much sense at all…
At that point I knew I couldn’t physically finish the tour if I didn’t change something. Johnny is a person who I’d always known for suggesting good solutions for me to be happier my life. I trusted him. His words were the only light of hope at that moment, so I took it.
I haven’t drunk since then, but most importantly I haven’t felt the desire to drink at all - and it’s been more than two years. That day I realised that drinking was not only putting my health in danger but it was putting my work in danger too, and that was the most important signal to me. Not being able to play a show is the worse thing that can happen when you’ve build all your life around music to achieve what you want to achieve.
 I guess it’s called a survival instinct, and mine was pretty strong when it came down to music.
Few months after that, Savages embarked into another three months of touring during which I was completely sober. Australia, Europe, South America… Never did I enjoy the life on the road so much. I wasn’t tired, my voice was at its best, my spirit was high. Surprisingly, I would go out a lot more after the shows, partying until 5am, waking up feeling tired but fine, no hangovers! 
Quitting alcohol has really been amazing for me. I would recommend it to anyone who feels trapped and needs a change - or anyone who (like me) has a weak resistance to drugs in general. Alcohol can be fun and I would never judge someone who wants to drink. But as much as it numbed my pain, alcohol also numbed my happiness. I feel so much freer now I know it’s only music that makes me loose myself onstage. Nothing and no one but myself is making me connect with the people in the room. I’m doing that! Me, the people and the music. Nothing more. I think there’s definitely some magic in that.

“World Without Ghosts”

(An essay by Chinese sociologist Fei Xiaotong, written around 1943 or 44)

Accepting an invitation from the University of Chicago, I went there to work on my book “Earthbound China.” After I arrived, a secretary showed me to room 502 on the fifth floor of the Social Sciences Building and asked politely if it would do for an office. When I noticed the name “Robert Park” in the brass card-holder on the door, the alert secretary hurried to say, “I was waiting until you decided before putting your name up.”

“Don’t change the name. I like that one,” I told her. But she could hardly have understood why.

Robert Park had been my teacher. He came to Yenching University [in Peking in 1932] when I was an undergraduate there. Though I was just an ignorant student, I absolutely worshipped him—except for the old man’s perverse insistence on teach­ing at 7 a.m. and never missing a class or even coming late, which meant I had to skip breakfast to get there on time. For better or worse, his course determined the direc­tion my life has taken in the ten-odd years since, and to him should go the credit or the blame. The founding father of the Chicago school of sociology, he maintained that sociology should take as its subject understanding human nature. Perhaps I liked him because he wanted me to read novels and not sociology textbooks. More than reading novels, he urged going and personally experiencing different kinds of life. Ten years later I still follow this teaching. On this trip to the United States, I had hoped to go hear his classes again. But I was busy with other things, and it was half a year before I got to Chicago, and the old professor had already gone south to escape the Chicago cold. And so it happened that I was put in his office.

This arrangement, whether accidental or not, was full of meaning for me. I had been an unremarkable student in Professor Park’s class, a matter for some regret, and ten years later, though still without achievements, I remained eager for a word of praise from the teacher. I was secretly happy that, sitting in the chair he had used, I would surely absorb something of his spirit, and hoped to write a book that would compensate for my earlier failure to be worthy of the pains he had taken in rising so early all those mornings to teach us. There is here a sort of historical causal connection: because of a past memory the present takes on a significance greater than anything in the current situation. My strong desire to have the name left on the door arose out of a need for concrete, living, moving history. I felt that if the nameplate, the old books lining the walls, even the air in the room were not disturbed, then, surrounded by this lingering past, perhaps in a few months I would see a draft of “Earthbound China” on the table. But if these were disturbed, all might be lost.

This, in fact, is the “tradition” of which I have written in an earlier article. Tradi­tion need not be an obstacle to innovation. True, it has its bad side. When old peo­ple, with the various privileges and respect that have been accorded them in the past, prevent any change in the status quo, that is a bad aspect of tradition. But it is also undeniable that everything new is born out of that which is old. These ties of kinship should not be obliterated, and recognizing them gives to the connection between old and new the significance of succession and continuity. If we can develop this kind of feeling for history, I believe the world and mankind will be richer. When we go on a trip into the country, we can enjoy the scenery merely as a present phe­nomenon; if we have left there earlier memories worth recalling, this can bring on a pleasant nostalgia; and if this is a historical site, our feelings arc further enriched because of what others did there. People do not live only in the here and now; life is not just a string of moments. We need history, for it is a wellspring of inspiration. When we take tradition in this way, that is another aspect of it.

Sometimes I think the world is very strange. We in the Orient accept tradition, but what we seize on is its bad side. The West seems to want to disregard it, with the result that the good side is lost too.

Of course, it is not entirely true that Westerners purposely disregard tradition. For the most part, they all know much more about the history of their own coun­try than I do. Every child who goes to New York has to go gaze at the huge Statue of Liberty and then on the way back visit the church that George Washington fre­quented. In Washington, D.C., there are the hundred-foot-tall Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and now the Jefferson Memorial. Buildings just a few hundred years old are preserved as historical monuments. On a personal level, Americans keep diaries and write autobiographies. I have elsewhere described how on Thanksgiving the year before last my host brought out a big pile of his fathers diaries. At Professor Redficlds house, Mrs. Park especially wanted me to see the pictures of Redfield ancestors in a corner of the living room. On Professor Ogburns staircase wall were neatly lined up generation after generation of ances­tor portraits. Perhaps because at a dinner party I had once expressed the view that Americans lack any feeling for history, all the friends I came into contact with were particularly anxious to correct my misapprehension by showing me their concern for their ancestors. All this is true, but still I feel their regard for tradition is to a greater or lesser extent conscious, intellectual, and artificial. It is not the same as ours. The reason I feel this way is that I have found Americans do not have ghosts.

When tradition is concrete, when it is a part of life, sacred, something to be feared and loved, then it takes the form of ghosts. This is equivalent to the state­ment by Durkheim that God is the representation of social cohesion. As I write this, I feel in my heart that Chinese culture in its essence is rather beautiful. To be able to live in a world that has ghosts is fortunate. Here let me relate some personal experiences.

When I was a boy, because the family was in decline … we lived in a big old building of which at least half was closed off awaiting uncles who seldom came home, and in another part of which were dark rooms that had never seen sun­light. … In these dark and desolate rooms, there were more places for ghosts than for people This environment was already sufficiently frightening, but in addi­tion not a day passed when people did not talk of ghosts to scare or amuse us children I am not exaggerating when I say that to a child like me brought up in a small town, people and ghosts were equally concrete and real….

Because I grew up half in a world of ghosts, I was particularly interested in them. Gradually my fear changed to curiosity and then to attraction, to the point that I even feel a little sorry for people raised in a world without ghosts. The thing that felt most strange to me during almost a year of living in America was that no one told me any stories of ghosts. I do not want to overpraise such a world, but I will admit that children who grow up in it are more comfortable than we and do not have to live with fear in their hearts all day long. But perhaps there is a heavy price for this, a price I would be unwilling to pay.

The beginning of my gradual change in attitude toward ghosts occurred the year my grandmother died. One day not long after her death, I was sitting in the front room looking toward her bedroom. It was almost noon. Normally at that time Grandmother would go to the kitchen to see how the lunch preparations were coming along, soon after which lunch would be served. This had been a familiar sight for me, and after her death the everyday pattern was not changed. Not a table or chair or bed or mat was moved. Every day close to noon I would feel hungry. To my subconscious mind the scene was not complete without Grand­mothers regular daily routine, and so that day I seemed to see her image come out of her bedroom once more and go into the kitchen.

If it was a ghost I saw, it was the first one in my life. At the time I felt nothing unusual, for the scene was so familiar and right. Only a little later when I remem­bered that Grandmother was dead did I feel upset—not frightened, but sad the way one feels at a loss that should not have occurred. I also seemed to realize that a beautiful scene, once it had existed, would always be. The present loss was just a matter of separation in time, and this separation I felt could be overcome. An inex­tinguishable revelation had struck; the universe showed a different structure. In this structure our lives do not just pass through time in such a way that a moment in time or a station in life once past is lost. Life in its creativity changes the absolute nature of time: it makes past into present—no, it melds past, present, and future into one inextinguishable, multilayered scene, a three-dimensional body. This is what ghosts are, and not only did I not fear them, I even began to yearn for them.

I cannot get used to people today who know only the present moment. To take this moment as [the sum of] existence is a delusion. Our every act contains within it all the accumulated history from the beginning of the universe right down to the present, and this every act will determine the destiny of endless future generations. If the present moment, fragmentary, abstract, false, is taken for life, this life will necessarily be shallow and base and even empty—since the moment cannot last, one might as well indulge oneself and revel, for when the instant is gone what is left?

American children hear no stories about ghosts. They spend a dime at the “drugstore” to buy a “Superman” comic book. This “Superman” is an all-knowing, resourceful, omnipotent hero who can overcome any difficulty. Let us leave aside the question of what kind of children this teaching produces; the point worth not­ing here is that Superman is not a ghost. Superman represents actual capabilities or future potential, while ghosts symbolize belief in and reverence for the accumu­lated past. As much as old Mrs. Park, trying to lessen the distance between East and West, might lead me over to the corner of the living room to look at faded photographs, it was the Redfields little boy who showed me the heart of American culture, and it lay in Superman, not ghosts.

How could ghosts gain a foothold in American cities? People move about like the tide, unable to form permanent ties with places, to say nothing of other people. I have written elsewhere of the gap between generations. It is an objective social fact that when children grow up they no longer need parental protection, and the reflection of this in the family is childrens demand for independence. Once when I was chatting at a friends house, his daughter sat with us chain-smoking. The father happened to remark that it was senseless to smoke like that, but she paid no heed and afterwards told me that she was eighteen, it was none of the old mans business, smoking was her own affair. Eighteen is an important age for a girl; after that her parents need not support her, but neither can they tell her what to do.

I also know an old professor whose son teaches in the same university as he but lives apart from him—which might be all right, but he seldom even visits. During the war they could not get a maid and it made my heart sick to see the professors wife, old and doddering, serving a guest coffee with shaking hands.

When I was staying at the Harvard Faculty Club, I noticed sitting at the same table every morning a white-haired old gentleman who lived upstairs and who from his looks was not long for this world. Whenever I saw him I felt outraged. He must have been a famous professor who had educated countless people and worked hard for society. Now old and failing, cast out of the world into this building, with­out relatives even to care for him much less give him pleasure, he might as well have been dead. One day he said softly to the waitress, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it down the stairs tomorrow.” Afterwards I asked her where his home was, but she did not know the answer and only shook her head. In America, when children grow up they have their own homes, where their parents are mere guests.

Outside the family there is certainly much social intercourse, but dealings with people are always in terms of appointments. On my office desk is an appointment calendar marked in fifteen-minute intervals with a space for a persons name beside each. Apart from business there are various kinds of gatherings, but if you go to one you will find it is no more than social pleasantries: a few words with this person, a few words with that one—it is hard even to remember their names. I cannot say all Americans pass their lives like this. But I once asked a fairly close acquaintance how many friends he had whom he could drop in on at any time without a previous engagement. Counting on his fingers, he did not fill one hand. In fact, unless they have business or an engagement they spend most of their time at home, where they don’t much like to be disturbed by guests. At any rate, friends warned me not to go barging in on people all the time.

With interpersonal ties like these, naturally they seldom see ghosts after death. Moreover their movements are so easy and they have contacts with so many peo­ple, that there seldom comes about the kind of relationship I had with my grand­mother, living interdependently for a long time, repeating the same scenes, so that these scenes came to seem an inalterable natural order. Always being on the move dilutes the ties between people and dissolves the ghosts.

As to attachments to places, that is another thing that made me uncomfortable in America. Not the beds and mattresses, for I believe there are none more com­fortable than those of the Americans, but the constant moving around that year was the cause of my discomfort. I visited many places, but when I think of them now it seems I went nowhere, for I felt no particular attachment to any place as all were alike, differing only a little in the height of the buildings. The cities are all more or less the same, at least for a traveler: you get off the train and your bags are taken by a black man who everywhere wears the same type of cap (you may not encounter this kind of man, but you will not encounter any other); you take a similar taxi to a similar hotel—no matter what hotel, if you have stayed anywhere once, you will not feel it unfamiliar. The hotel rooms are all comparable, some big­ger and some smaller, but none lacking a bathroom, a cold-water tap, a Simmons mattress, and nice stationery and envelopes. Since it is the same everywhere, you can never take away a particular impression from any hotel.

Hotels are not exceptions; it is basically the same with homes in American cit­ies. Moving house is no more difficult than changing hotels; a phone call is all it takes. Move here, move there—the houses are about the same. In New York I thought of renting a house and visited ten possibilities in succession. In the end I said to the friend who was accompanying me, “Why bother to see each one? Why not draw straws?” Moving here and there dilutes peoples ties with houses.

Whenever I return to my native place, I go to see the house I lived in as a child. I have lots of questions about the tung tree and the loquat tree; the tung tree still has my name carved on it. In London, where people do not move so frequently, I still remember where I lived on Lower Station Road and Ridge Avenue [?]; while I was in the United States I heard that the old buildings there had been bombed, and it made me feel bad for several days. In America, at least for me, no house has yet produced such a feeling.

I cannot get used to the way lights illuminate all the parts of a room either. Liv­ing in such rooms gives you a false sense of confidence that this is all of the world, that there is no more to reality than what appears clearly and brightly before your eyes. I feel the attitude of Westerners toward the unknown is very different from that of Orientals. They think of the unknown as static, waiting for people to mine it like an ore—not only not frightening, but a resource for improving life in the future. They are very self-assured. We Orientals feel some measure of reverence for the unknown; our reverence for fate makes us content with our lot, makes us aware of human limitations, and keeps our eyes fixed on the humanly attainable. I cannot assert that this attitude is ultimately due to the form of the houses we live in as children, but I believe that my own early feelings of uncertainty toward the big kitchen and the back garden and my fright toward the closed-off rooms have still not dissipated, but only expanded into my view of the universe. If many people in traditional China had similar experiences, then these experiences may have deter­mined the basic structure of our traditional attitudes toward people and things.

In a world without ghosts, life is free and easy. American eyes can gaze straight ahead. But still I think they lack something and I do not envy their lives.



M. H. Boroson here. I don’t agree with everything in this piece, but I find it fascinating. I used a passage from it at the opening of The Girl with Ghost Eyes, and I wanted to share the rest of Dr. Fei’s brilliant essay.