kneejerk

Humans Are Weird

CONCEPT:
Aliens have a sense of humor, but they don’t understand why humans use humor and/or sarcasm for EVERYTHING.
Signs of friendship, signs of hatred, sadness, happiness, stress, etc.- all humans seem to have a kneejerk reaction to say something terribly inappropriate.
And just imagine aliens getting so offended. Like, when humans gather and talk about past atrocities, chances are at least ONE person will crack a joke. (”Bush did 9/11!”; “The Salem Witch Trials were *hot*.”; etc.) and the aliens just being like ???? how DARE you disrespect those sentient beings’ hardships?????
And the humans going lol chill it was terrible but ultimately stupid.
And the aliens just growing more confused and somewhat offended as they continue to talk to humans.
(ALSO, trying to talk to humans about things that are wrong with them is near impossible- they will crack jokes about their depression, anxiety, PTSD, abusive home life, etc. and you won’t even know it’s an actual problem unless they flat out tell you.)
In addition, an alien race that keeps their sexual lives entirely private/sacred/just don’t talk about sex being BAFFLED by all the sex jokes we tell. And just basically having a conniption as we make innocent things seem so dirty (Alien 1: Wow, that’s big, Person 1: Not as big as this! *thrust* BOOYA! *People going “OHHHH” in the background. Someone screams “Kobe!” and successfully makes a was of paper in the trashbin. The disgusted aliens are, once again, reluctantly impressed*)

Feel free to write a short story-thing to this (please do). I might write something, but sci-fi is NOT my area, and I’m just very overwhelmed. But yeah, humans and aliens and robots, my dude. (ALSO, people with blue eyes are technically mutants. Double also? Humans have a mutant gene where we’re bone with five fingers instead of the six we apparently should have; although the six is almost always not very useful/difficult to maneuver.) 

Words by Hiba Krisht. Hiba is Lebanese and Palestinian, as well as a scholar and brilliant writer, so when she talks about Palestinian welfare and discourse about Palestine, everyone should listen.

“I’m at the point where I can’t see how focus on the Israel Palestine question re: Chicago Dyke March is anything other than derailment.
I’d also like to say that perception that pro-Palestine sentiment here is being silenced *as a general trend* very much does not sit well with me because I believe the silencing to be happening the other way around, and think this is in fact a longstanding destructive feature of discourse surrounding the Palestinian cause. Also, I believe most of those engaging in defense of a pro-Palestinian liberation stance right now mean well but do not understand how much its framing decenters actual Palestinian welfare.

I will elaborate on both counts. I’m agitated from all sides about this and I can’t do brevity so bear with me I guess.

First, the derailment. It’s of particularly troubling sort because it falls into a larger pattern of whataboutism where what *should be* a case of clearcut antisemitism cannot ever be identified and unilaterally condemned by the left without also being hashed and rehashed in exculpatory ways "because Israel.”

This is ESPECIALLY troubling when:
- There is a persistent phenomenon that’s almost like a lefty inversion of the concept Israeli exceptionalism. Like a reverse- exceptionalism, whereby discussion of Israel’s transgressions are held to singular standards of scrutiny to the exception of other nations/populations with comparable and/or far more deplorable histories and actions and crises. And in that I am including all the unspeakable injustice and destruction the larger MENA region has wrought to Palestinians, and how accountability seems no concern there, in part *because* of eternal return to obsessive, unilateral focus on Israel as the central Palestinian issue.

- Cases of anti Muslim bigotry aren’t held to the same scrutiny. The fact that people will demur about antisemitism but not anti-Muslim bigotry betrays a terrible lack of self awareness re: double standards. I mean, if you want to go ‘head and make weak arguments about how religious symbols are politically wielded, I’m going to have to start wondering why you aren’t referencing the much more appalling and deadly scope of human rights abuses committed under Muslim banners whenever the question of banning Muslim symbols comes up. Which would be a clearly terrible argument, but maybe it’s worth reflecting why the same argument suddenly makes sense when it comes to Jewish symbols.

- Casual antisemitism often manifests as (among other things) conflations between Jewish symbols or beliefs / various Zionist ones / various Israeli nationalist ones. We ALREADY know the Dyke March incident to be an iteration of this problem. Now think about how fucked up what happened next is: the ban of a Jewish symbol at a public event based on a bigoted conflation is called out as anti-Semitic. Then, as a kind of precondition for defense against or acknowledgement of such anti-Semitism, people on the left apparently see fit to hold Jewish people accountable, individually and as a group, for *the same bigoted conflations targeting them*, basically needing Jewish people to declare their politics and/or unilaterally renounce Zionism – essentially acting as gatekeepers despite being outsiders operating from apparently rather reductive and narrow presumptions of Zionist politics, since they somehow have the arrogance of assuming they understand and can judge what any given Jewish person’s Zionist adherence entails and means based on the label alone???
Who the fuck else does this? Who the fuck else has to go through this? Do we have to establish and approve of the political and ideological leanings of Muslims in order to defend them against anti-Muslim bigotry, or do we engage in whataboutism re: the scourge of political Islamism in the Middle East to determine if Muslims have the right to display their religious symbols in the west?

Now the Palestine thing. And necessary conversations. And silencing and whatnot.

Even points that are so reasonable and evident they may well be tautologies by now, like 'Palestinians are entitled to basic human rights’, bear a different weight when made in these contexts. They don’t exist in vacuum, but carry the shadow of a discourse that already has huge issues with privileging particularly anti-Zionist or anti-Israel Palestinian advocacy no matter how tangential to the conversation, and never mind what else is minimized and derailed in the process.

I am not doubting the sincerity and concern of my friends who are struggling to express pro-Palestine sentiment while being confused by hostility right now, but I would urge a more thorough consideration of the relative space taken up by the respective conversations thus far, and to not confuse long overdue push-back from folks who have every reason to be frustrated and sick of derailment and semantic squabbles over definitions of Zionism every time anti-semitism comes up.

If it seems like there is rejection from the left when you want to assert a pro-Palestinian stance here, it is less likely to be because people have a problem with pro-Palestinian politics as such, and more likely to be because there is a salient point regarding how cavalier antisemitism already is today and how these patterns of derailment every damn time end up gatekeeping attempts to counter an insidious kind of racism that can and must be discussed without forcing marginalized people to jump through the Israel Blame Game hoops to defend their humanity. The Israel Palestine thing needs to stop hijacking conversations about antisemitism. Palestinian welfare does not suffer if people refuse to derail conversations about anti-semitism, but conversations about anti-semitism certainly suffer when what-about-Palestine pops up.

And that’s all besides the fact that no matter how well-meaning, this Palestine-specific whataboutism does not contribute anything appreciable to Palestinian welfare and is so oblivious in some ways it’s kind of heartbreaking to try to navigate through. I firmly believe that the kneejerk way the Palestinian Cause is held up like a trump card whenever convenient and the infuriating reverse exceptionalism with which the conflict is treated has been a firm factor in prolonging the crisis and exacerbating Palestinian suffering. I’m struggling to find the words for why it troubles me so much to see all these conversations stuck on questions of whether anti Zionism is anti Semitism because don’t forget Israel and what about accountability for Palestine.

Please. Please. Please try to understand that an anti-Zionist pro-Palestine liberation stance is not one that needs championing in the left, that nobody fucking lets us forget Israel when we try to talk about Palestine, and nobody stops talking about Palestine when anyone mentions Israel, and it hasn’t done shit for diaspora or territory Palestinians except turn us into a handy slogan.
Establishing a stance of basic advocacy for the rights and welfare of the Palestinian people is not what the discourse lacks, it is what the discourse needs to *move past* already. Everybody is well-versed and comfortable with the Israel Blame Game– it drowns out and supersedes everything else, and it’s everything else that Palestinian advocacy desperately needs.

This is something that frustrates me to no end because it’s not reducible to something like Israeli conduct being dealt with disproportionate scrutiny in the left *as such*, but as a function of urgency and relative space. When Israel overshadows discourse about Palestinian welfare even though it is Arabs who are responsible for the most staggering and horrific ongoing Palestinian abuses, we have a problem. And it can never be talked about or addressed because only Israel’s actions are viewed with agency and significance, and attributing Palestinian suffering to anything else is instantly condemned as insidious detraction.

So you can see how it is frustrating to go through the whole 'is pro-palestinian anti-zionism anti-semitic’ rigmarole when it is so often a distraction from more functional questions of Palestinian welfare.

Fact: There are kinds of anti-Zionism that are pro-Palestinian rights and that are also anti-Semitic. Fact: There are kinds of anti-Zionism that are pro-Palestinian rights and that are not anti-Semitic. Fact: There are kinds of Zionism that are consistent with upholding the rights and freedoms of Palestinian Arabs, and, fact: there are kinds that are categorically not.

Educated opinion: Not only is anti-Zionism the established and normative stance across most of the Middle East, but, if we’re being honest, probably the most prevalent and established type of anti-Zionism in the discourse is that which engages in solid pro-Palestinian advocacy while also falling into both gross and casual anti-Semitism. This is definitely the case in the broader discourse on the issue in the Middle East, and what’s more, there is next to no self-awareness of the anti-Semitic assumptions, myths, and bigotries, not to mention the historical revisionism, threading popular and political anti-Zionism in the MENA region and popular Palestinian and Lebanese culture as well. This is a problem, and one that will never be addressed as long as pro-Palestinianism and anti-Semitism are presumed to be wholly non-overlapping binaries by well-meaning leftists. It is both possible and necessary to acknowledge and mount critique of anti-semitic elements in pro-Palestine discourse while maintaining Palestinian advocacy. Acknowledging anti-Semitism in the discourse is not going to undermine the Palestinian cause. Again, people don’t need to be perfect moral agents to justify a defense of their humanity.

Educated opinion: Leftist discourse centering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is overall entrenched in rigid, binary thinking and overwhelmingly leans pro-Palestine but in unfortunately too-basic, reductive ways. It already has an ideological rigidity problem. The discourse is such that to be pro-Palestine is to be above all transcendentally righteous: the lines of oppression and blame are clear and brook no further complexity; it is the cause no reasonable person can deny or fail to center in any conversation, and Palestinian advocacy is almost synonymous with condemnation for the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people and aught else.

It is troubled with issues of allegiance and abstraction– maintaining certain principled stances re: the Cause is treated as an almost inviolable tenet for anybody who can claim to care about Palestine, despite the fact that the central narrative of the Cause pits the immediate welfare and prosperity of generations of living, breathing Palestinians against the memory of a Palestine that has not existed for decades and an abstract future promise of a right to return to a place that never again will be. The narrative may have once been in service of the people, but it has not been so in a long time. And it is only the narrative that is treated with sanctity by the most vocal champions of Palestine, and if it comes at the expense of Palestinian lives like in Yarmouk, so be it. Palestinian advocacy is more about condemning Israel than it is about supporting Palestine, and that is the problem.

It’s beginning to feel like despair, seeing how pro-Palestinian discourse is framed in terms of the questions of Zionism and anti-Zionism over and again, constantly centering and recentering the question of Palestinian welfare as a foil to Israeli aggression in broad nationalistic and/or existentialist terms, assuming unilateral causes, ascribing agency very selectively to regional actors, brooking no interrogation of Palestinian, Arab, or Muslim agency in the conflict, and obsessively resistant to moving past the past.

It’s been decades and Palestinians continue to suffer large-scale crises in basic resources, public health, trauma, and disenfranchisement, and they have largely been allowed to persist in the name *of* Palestine, at the hands of Arab regimes that shrug off all accountability in Israel’s direction, though for fifty years diaspora Palestinians in the larger Levant have been purely at the mercy of the Arab states housing them. We do not need to hear tired pro-liberation stances when it is those very stances that are used to justify keeping us holed up in Lebanese and Syrian refugee camps, stateless, in suspended animation, without civil rights or wealth or upwards mobility, dying slowly of poverty and deplorable living conditions and isolation if we’re lucky, and if we’re unlucky, until a guy like Assad comes along and murders, maims, starves, and makes refugees out of a whole city of us– and yet it is in the name of liberating Palestine that Assadist discourse proliferates, being anti-Israel, and Palestine’s catastrophe is only and ever subsumed into the crimes of Israel and not of those of Syria or Lebanon or Assad or Hamas or the PA or Fatah or the GCC states or anybody else.
When I want to talk about Palestinian advocacy, I want to talk about Assad and the nearly 200,000 Palestinians in Yarmouk camp that are now dead or gone or starving under siege and I want to talk about how the Lebanese state has made pariahs and a lost people out of *generations* of diaspora Palestinians practically quarantined in refugee camps because of petty sectarian concerns and I want to talk about the Palestinian political elite grievously frittering away resources and opportunities that could have prevented significant Palestinian suffering and death because of political feuds and a reckless privileging of a jihadi cause over popular welfare– but I cannot, because the justifications, distractions, conspiracy theories loop incessantly back to Israel. Which cements *my* concern that these conversations are not really *about* Palestinian welfare at all.“

tenaciouslytrans  asked:

I always try to have a diverse cast of characters in anything I write, regardless of the genre. But I've received feedback from some people that my mixed-race characters aren't "realistic." One example of this is a character I have; he's Indian and Argentinian. I have a decent story for now his parents met and everything. Is having characters like this unrealistic or like I'm forcing diversity? What's a good way to go about this? Thank you!! And sorry if my words are all scrambled.

“Unrealistic” Racial Mixes? Indian and Argentinian

I’ve met people who are Iranian and Latino, Italian and Indian, and (white) German and Chinese. My Japanese friend and colleague was born in Venezuela. I used to do business with a woman who called herself “Jewban” (yes, she was from South Florida.) 

Is the person who told you that white? Because I almost wonder if part of the “forced diversity, unrealistic” kneejerk reaction is white people forgetting that interracial couples don’t have to contain a white person.

That’s not to say that certain groups wouldn’t raise an eyebrow–but for that to happen, they’d have to be highly geographically localized, and you could probably still make that work if you set it up realistically.

–Shira

Define “unrealistic.”

I typed in “Indian Argentinian” and immediately got a Wiki article on an Indian community in Argentina. so, y'know, far from unrealistic.

FWIW: there’s Puppity, a comic going around about being multiracial by Kiana Khansmith, a Jamaican-Japanese woman. Also, the last two Miss Japans were Black and Japanese (Ariana Miyamoto), and Indian and Japanese (Priyanka Yoshikawa). My mentor in law school was also Black and Japanese, too, and one of the deans was Black and Korean. A blogger I follow is Japanese-Vietnamese, even, I had a classmate in school who was Chinese and raised in Peru, and also taught a student who was Japanese and raised in Mexico. 

tl;dr: agree heartily with Shira.

EDIT: corrected Priyanka’s surname to Yoshikawa and Eliana to Ariana. Thanks so much, helpful followers! 

~Mod Jess

Transference (M) – Chapter 03

cr. [X]

Summary: During a routine visit to the local bakery, you stumble upon an intriguing business card and figure, what the hell. The business arrangement becomes…mutually beneficial. Y’all know where this is going.

Pairing: Hoseok x Reader

Genre: Smut, Angst

Word Count: 8,370

Warning: Tantric!Hoseok, therapist/client relationship, sexual themes, BDSM, shibari, dom/sub roleplay, profanity.

A/N: Prepare yourself, this is the shibari chapter. Shibari practice comes with many risks, so always consult professionals before playing.

Chapters:  01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06

Keep reading

The Lost Legacy of Doom’s Hitscan Enemies

I’m dancing. My feet follow no pattern and make no sound as I glide effortlessly over the terrain, but the rhythm of the Super Shotgun guides my every move. I weave to and fro among the soaring fireballs and scything claws, spotting opportunities, darting near and far, catching hellspawn in efficient point-blank bursts of scattershot. Boom, click, ker-chunk. Boom, click, ker-chunk. Boom, click, ker-chunk. Somewhere in the back of my head, I’m dimly aware of the familiar noise of a pneumatic door sliding open, barely audible above a tinny MIDI rendition of ‘Fear Of The Dark’. It’s catchier than you’d think.

Somebody roars. I’ve heard the sound enough times to recognise it as a ‘somebody’. Startled, I pivot to catch sight of the new assailants: two heavyset bald men, cradling imposingly large guns, furious piggy eyes as red as their bulky chestplates. Chaingunners. Before I can close the distance, they open fire, tearing an abundance of new holes in my circle-strafing, road-running backside. I put them out of action, but the damage is done. Was that a fair exchange? It’s not as if I could’ve outpaced their shots. Are they a fun enemy design in this, the most famous of all famously fast-paced first-person shooter? My kneejerk response is ‘no’, but Doom—because of course, it’s Doom—is a lot smarter than it seems.

Few games can claim to have lived as long and as healthily as Doom. Of course, it’s had the unwavering support of a community on its side, constantly tweaking and touching-up and doing everything in their power to stop the wrinkles under its eyes from showing, but its simple formula and flexible combat were always going to hold up well against the test of time. Doom has influenced the design of the modern first-person shooter in more ways than I could possibly articulate, with a little bit of DNA in everything from ARMA to Ziggurat, and yet… I feel there are one or two lessons from it that never quite caught on.

See, the concept of the ‘old-school’ first-person shooter, while not especially formally defined, is very much a thing. We’ve seen bits of it in the likes of Painkiller, Strafe, Tower of Guns, Dusk, Desync, Devil Daggers, and yes, even Doom 2016: games that buck dominant design patterns to focus on swift, streamlined, evasive movement, and a host of enemies that force you to make the most of that movement. Out of style, but by no means out of their depth, these games take after Doom more than most, but no matter how much they borrow from it, there’s one particular feature that many seem to skirt around. Something regarded almost with a kind of hushed, ‘we don’t talk about that’ shame, like the uncle at the family get-together who isn’t allowed to leave the country for reasons that nobody’s quite sure of. Hitscan enemies, a regular staple of Doom’s encounters, have near-vanished from the contemporary games that bear closest resemblance to it. What happened?

Well, at a glance, they do seem to clash with the desired experience. Doomguy can outrun a lot of things—many of which need at least fifty supervised hours logged before you can operate them independently—but he cannot outrun bullets, nor buckshot. You can’t dodge a hitscan enemy’s attacks by just going fast; the nature of Doom means that they take no time to pivot and have impeccable aim, other than the inherent spread patterns of their weapons. Your only recourse, it would seem, is to get out of range—a bit of a tall order, in most scenarios—or to take cover, which sounds like it would go directly against the fast, exciting experience of running around with the wind in your hair and a rocket launcher under your arm. ‘Cover’ is a dirty word; one that brings to mind hunkering behind a chest-high wall, plinking away at a succession of targets and crawling out only when a grenade gets tossed into your lap. To be in cover implies one is at rest, without any of the spatial analysis, fast-paced action or thrilling escapes that characterise the rest of the combat. You can see this stigma manifest frequently in retro first-person shooters, which often come hand-in-hand with the attitude that cover is for babies, and charging blindly into battle with your enormous, impenetrable testicles hanging out on display is the only acceptable combat strategy for ‘real men’. You could probably write a hefty tome about how unhealthy pulp action-hero masculinity has seeped through various layers of media and eventually pooled, like a discarded half-finished McDonalds’ thickshake, in nooks and crannies of gaming obscurity, but that’s a discussion for another time.

The thing is, Doom itself doesn’t actually work that way. In fact, it does a number of things to ensure that hitscan enemies don’t stifle the player’s movement, but instead add an extra set of considerations and trade-offs, forcing them to look at the play space—and when and where they position themselves in it—in a more nuanced manner. Like most of the ingredients that go into a first-person shooter, the way Doom’s hitscan enemies work is subject to its encounter design—a surprisingly diverse field, as custom WADs frequently demonstrate—but there are a few qualities to them you can count on in every sensible encounter.

Let’s break this down, piece by piece. Of the five enemy types in the first two Doom games with hitscan attacks, the three most common ones by a large margin are the ‘former humans’: undead soldiers who utilise conventional firearms—provided your definition of ‘conventional’ extends to a portable belt-fed chain gun, I suppose—and have all the durability of a cardboard cutout of Master Chief that somebody left out in the rain overnight. Upon noticing the player, they give a suitably enraged bellow and enter their attack routine: move, pause, shoot (if possible), repeat.

This pattern gives us time. Like a fireball whistling through the air, it gives us a chance to handle our predicament by reacting and moving quickly. It only takes an undead sergeant a few tenths of a second to level his shotgun barrel at yougive or take a bit of bumbling around, as they are wont to do—but in the world of Doom, it’s enough to at least start on a decisive manoeuvre. Doomguy runs quickly enough that you can very likely put something between yourself and your foe before they fire—it doesn’t even have to be a wall; other monsters serve perfectly well—and since the poor daft AI has no concept of suppressing fire, you need only be behind it for the split-second it takes them to return to their ‘move’ state. Consequentially, cover is less about clinging to the warm, comforting bosom of a solid wall and more about rapidly, momentarily repositioning yourself when the situation demands it; diving around corners, circling pillars, making use of the nearest solid thing in a pinch and immediately darting back out again. Taking cover is every bit as much about clever, well-timed movement as circle-strafing a pack of imps, and to be honest, probably demands far more split-second decision-making.

Another quality that’s critical to the success of the former humans is their relative squishiness: you can usually count on a single shotgun blast to put one out of action, and even glancing shots are likely to interrupt their routines long enough to buy some extra breathing room. A crowd can be swiftly dealt with by just raking a chain gun across their ranks—conveniently, the exact weapon dropped by the strongest former human, the Chaingunner—and pointing anything bigger at them is usually outright wasteful. This is key because it means that they’re only a very short-term threat—or, in larger battles where they’re mixed up with other enemies, only a threat for as long as you ignore them. Ducking behind a pillar once to evade a sergeant’s buckshot is a rush, but having to go through the same motion two or three times is stagnation. By letting you remove the former humans from the fight almost as quickly as they appear, Doom lets you quickly lift the restrictions they impose and expand the space where you can freely move, ensuring you’re never tied to one piece of cover or trapped in some godforsaken alcove.

But not every hitscan enemy in Doom goes down so easily, does it, hmm? I’m going to gently refuse to acknowledge the Spider Mastermind—a rare, highly-situational boss that squats unpleasantly at the end of the first game like a cane toad under the wheels of your dad’s Hilux—and instead concentrate on the notorious Arch-vile, whose pale, emaciated, lanky form is enough to set off half a dozen panic alarms in any Martian marine’s head. It’s everything the former humans aren’t: fast, durable, and capable of suddenly blasting half your health clean off from the far side of a munitions bay—to say nothing of its ability to revive fallen monsters, unravelling your work more and more the longer you leave it standing. Crucially, however, while the Arch-vile makes for a more persistent and punishing threat than the former humans, it also gives us much more time to work with. It takes about three full seconds of dramatic posing for an Arch-vile to wind up its hitscan attack—a pillar of infernal fire that explodes around its target—and once again, you are only required to actually duck behind something for the split-second when the attack connects to avoid taking damage. 

Consequentially, while our vitamin D-deficient friend does rather firmly, briefly force players into hiding, it also affords us the opportunity to stretch our legs and take nontrivial actions in between its attacks, giving it a distinctly different effect to Doom’s other hitscan enemies. Between every Arch-vile’s attack, there’s time enough to dart around the immediate area, change cover, take care of some lesser enemies, or—most likely—run up to it and empty both barrels into its repulsive mug. At an abstract level, the Arch-vile clamps down on the player by forcing them to be out of certain zones at certain times, but doesn’t make those zones inherently damaging to cross, like a crowd of former humans does.

Putting everything back together, Doom’s hitscan enemies are designed not to eliminate movement, but to carefully squeeze it; to force the player to take action, moving along vectors towards positions of safety. Restrictions on where in the combat space you can safely be are what make Doom’s fights engaging, and the restrictions that hitscan enemies provide are every bit as important to your positioning as a Revenant’s homing rocket or an Imp’s tossed fireball—they just take a different approach. Yet they’re also designed to ensure you’re never required to linger at your destination a moment longer than necessary, either by being easy to remove from the battlefield, or by only periodically applying their particular brand of pressure. Like every enemy in the game’s toolbox, they can be abused and used outside of their ideal roles—take a peek at The Plutonia Experiment, half of Final Doom, for some truly breathtakingly rude Chaingunner placement—but their basic principles are every bit as valuable as their peers.

Doom will force you to move, but it will never force you to stay. And that’s the philosophy that every first-person shooter should be built on, really.

anonymous asked:

So I've never really understood why people complain so much about Obamacare anyway other than rising premiums for some.

WHELP

1. Honestly? I think a lot of people flat-out didn’t understand what it was. President Orange is wrong about almost all things, but genuinely—healthcare really is very complicated. Health insurance is a huge and incredibly complex sector of the economy, governed by a whole slew of laws, regulations, and entities, which differ from state to state and insurance plan to insurance plan and also how CMS is feeling that day. I don’t blame people for not really knowing how this massive shift in health insurance affected them, and latching onto what the media was saying (see #3)..

2. the ACA was passed in 2010, but some of its provisions weren’t rolled out until last year. Other parts have been rewritten, after Supreme Court cases found them unconstitutional. Still others haven’t been enforced. The full PPACA is a sprawling bill, that does a lot of things all Americans like—prohibit denials for preexisting conditions, remove lifetime caps, limit deductibles, allow adult children to stay on parents’ plans, etc. But the ACA also had the individual insurance exchanges that people don’t understand and don’t like, insufficient funding for states that needed exchange development and staff training. The website crashed multiple times. People’s insurance plans shifted around such that they couldn’t necessarily see their regular doctor. Taxes were raised. And fair or not, when you create a significant health insurance shift, and afterwards medical costs rise, you get blamed for that too.

People don’t like change, especially when it’s little things like ‘I have to fill out an extra piece of paper with my taxes.’ (That stuff drives people nuts way more than actual substantive changes.) Combined with the misunderstanding of why these things were necessary, and general rising medical costs, and people hated it.

3. Not only were there structural and rollout problems, but there were messaging problems. The Democrats were much more lukewarm about a bill that was clearly a compromise with moderate Republicans. (The ACA is actually based on a similar Heritage Foundation plan.) This allowed the….not moderate Republicans, who were pissed, to take hold of the ACA news cycle early and use it to their advantage. There’s a reason that significant numbers of people didn’t realize “Obamacare” and “the Affordable Care Act” are the same law—I’ve never heard it referred to as the ACA outside of the healthcare field until recently. When I’m talking to friends or family even I refer to it as “Obamacare” just because it’s easier, everybody knows that that is.

It’s why everyone is so shocked the Republicans didn’t have an actual plan until last month—they’ve been complaining about the Democrats’ for over 7 years, it isn’t as though they haven’t had the time.

4. In combination with #3……the hatred for Obama has faded a little, swallowed up by lame duck nostalgia and the sheer horror of Trump. But it really cannot be overstated, how much a certain chunk of the Republican party hated Obama. He was so….he was Kennedy born again, Camelot part II, but even more threatening because well jesus, he was black

This was the era of “socialist medicine” and “born in Kenya” (which was a real thing, this was something that the President of the United States had to address!) Slapping ‘Obamacare’ onto the ACA tainted it with the same politics, the same kneejerk ‘NEVER’ from those who genuinely believed Obama was a socialist radical African in disguise. Even now, if you browse through twitter, you can see various bottom feeders crowing about “undoing Obama’s work” and “striking back against Obama”

So you’ve got structural issues, messaging issues, racism, misunderstanding, and the sheer burgeoning costs of medical treatment.


…………………….just to start

Loss of innocence

So this arc sure took its sweet time to get going, but boy is it moving now. And the best thing about this is that Our!Ciel isn’t the only one who’s having the ground breaking under him—the two biggest rays of sunshine in the manga are, too. 

Lizzy and Soma are in a dark place right now—emotionally, at least—, and while Yana used them to give us (and Ciel) breaks when things in the manga got too rough, this time Lizzy and Soma are in the eye of the storm. 

That’s why the tone of this chapter is so wonderful. People are mourning, shocked, scared–and with good reason, because it sets the stage for what’s to come. Whatever innocence was left in these characters is gone, now. And it’ll only get worse from here. Especially since Real Ciel is tied to the horrors of the past and is now bringing them full-force into the present, so they won’t only be our!Ciel’s burden to bear.

Yana won’t only put our!Ciel and his identity, his wants, his needs and his desires to the test; Lizzy and Soma will be going through the same process, and it’ll be so interesting to see where this all leads them. 

This is where we’ll see just how strong they - and their bonds with each other - truly are, and it’s going to be awesome. 

Dream Interpretations

We’ve recently received several questions asking about dream interpretations.  The reason we don’t do them is simple: we can’t.

Dreams operate on a very personal system of associations, experiences, and beliefs.  What a symbol represents to one person may represent something completely different to another.  Consider:

  • What people, objects, emotions, and themes stand out to you?
  • Are any of them recurring?
  • What are your kneejerk reactions to these things?  Not what you think you should feel but what you actually feel.
  • How do these things interact with one another?

If you dream of someone you haven’t seen in a long time, maybe it’s an indication that something in your past will become relevant.  If you feel fear or anger, maybe it’s a warning about that.  If that person interferes with the present action of your dream, maybe it means the past will disrupt your present and you need to be prepared to face whatever emotions or themes that person represents.  Is any of that actually accurate?  Hell if we know, because we’re not the ones inside your head.

Only you can know what your dreams mean.

Your dreams are as much a system of symbols, archetypes, experiences, and personal intuition as any other form of divination or psychic ability, perhaps even more so.  It’s up to you to figure out how to piece it all together to find the picture on the front of the box.  Sometimes dreams are exactly that - just dreams.

There are reasons we don’t answer certain types of questions and I swear it’s not because we want to be assholes.  We simply can’t interpret dreams for you or know if something is an omen with any degree of certainty or usefulness.  The FAQ, Before Asking, and Resource Blog are there for a reason, partially to help us but mostly to help you, and as we try to recover the resources that were lost with Tumblr’s latest break they can only improve.

- mountain hound

before asking | faq+tags | resource blog

capriciousuke  asked:

Tbh i kinda hate this specific group of yuri shippers on tumblr. The ones w this mindset that theyre better than every other shipper, bc they (in theory) think that their fxf ships are better because they dont involve kink or men and are all around unproblematic and pure.

the overpurification of f/f ships bothers me sometimes….but I have a kneejerk reaction to anything to do with “purity” at this point.

My Ace Relationship (AKA How I Found I Was Ace Too)

rimewasted-icequeen submitted:

This is a happy relationship story, despite my own acephobic reactions at one point :D

I’ve been in a relationship for eleven and a half years now with my fiancée. I’m very sex-orientated, and at one point was actually borderline addicted to it - long story short, I had a hell of an upbringing and that combined with the fact I’m trans and an ex-sex worker meant a lot of my issues went into personal contact. I didn’t know when we started going out that my partner didn’t enjoy sex and figured other people were just saying they did to sound cool/because of peer pressure - and she didn’t know about asexuality at that point. I always thought there was something off a bit, but at that point I wasn’t mature at all and neither was she, really, so we didn’t really talk about it - and I could also get quite…manipulative about it as well, thanks to above issues and me not realising I was doing it. 

Fast forward about five, six years, and we both find Tumblr, and suddenly my partner discovers a name for how she feels: sex-repulsed asexual. Suddenly she’s not ‘broken’ in her mind, everything makes sense and the relief she must have felt…we’d both grown up by this point, but now she had to tell me - the very sex-orientated, sex-enjoying transguy that felt his only worth was physical - that she didn’t like sex. 

Now, we very, very much loved each other - still do - and I’d grown and learned that I’d been manipulative and packed that in pretty quickly. I still had my problems, as you’ll soon see, but I tried my best to try and stop them. But the sex petered off, and me being me, I assumed she was rejecting me so…kinda asked about it and got pretty defensive with it. I could hear the old nastiness coming out so I was trying very hard to be non-defensive and manipulative, even warning her to tell me if she thought I was be so that I could stop that before it happened.

And then she blurted out she was Ace and…I didn’t react well, immediately taking it personally. I’m not going to go into details as I’m sure you’ve heard most of the things. Suffice it to say I took it personally, like she was taking a toy away from a child. There were a couple of other things not related to the asexuality that made it worse, so it wasn’t entirely acephobia behind it and was more mixed with ignorance, but yeah. I was a dick, and I wince thinking about it now. 

Her being the wonderful person she was, she actually suggested an open relationship, which I immediately went ‘oh hell no’ to as a kneejerk reaction. We did nearly break up over it, though as I said, there were other factors at play. But yeah. It was serious stuff.

Anyway, it took me a couple of weeks to chill out and think it over, not helped by the other factors (not to do with this so not being mentioned here). After I’d worked my way through them and apologised for upsetting her with me being an ignorant twit, I actually asked her about it - all of it - and listened, which I should have done at the start but was too defensive and bull-headed to. She told me about asexuality, about being sex-repulsed, about how it had nothing to do with how she felt about me emotionally. That honestly, it had nothing to do with me at all - she just really did not like sex. Orgasms were great, sorta, but so was playing Mass Effect - she just didn’t care about them enough to want to get through the ick.

Eventually we agreed to trying the open relationship thing. I’m now in a happy polyamorous relationship with her and my Koto, and we’re stronger because of it - god, I couldn’t be happier.

BUT it doesn’t end there.

See, my fiancée pointed me in the right direction to read about asexuality - this blog being the first I looked at - and I read everything. I wanted to understand this, so I could make her happy without making her compromise - because she tried, for me, but it was making her miserable so we decided to stop it. It was how I discovered about romantic and sexual attraction not being the same. And slowly, I discovered several somethings about myself in reading all of this - that I’m quoiromantic, and that I myself sit very squarely on the Ace spectrum - first as demisexual, and then as I learned and grew, as an asexual person myself. I’m still very sex-positive and treat it more as a chocolate bar - I enjoy it if it’s there, but I’m not going to bother getting out of the chair to go to the shops if I haven’t got it. I also realised that I don’t really experience sexual attraction. I can appreciate aesthetics, and if I’m in a sexual situation then whoop, but outside of it I’m just…not bothered. 

My fiancée now is so much happier with who she is and relaxed, as am I, and our relationship is so so much stronger because of it. I do have sex with my Koto, but I no longer feel the driving need to have it all the time like I used to (another thing to chalk up to addiction there). We’re heading towards the sixth year with all three of us, and I can’t imagine it could be any better, honestly :D

anonymous asked:

I understand the need for rebranding but both Louis and Niall have been successful without having to distance themselves. It seems to me that Harry is willing to alienate the very people that got them into the position he has today just so he can move on to be more famous.

I know people think that and I disagree. I think Harry is the most tied to the band and he bands former brand as the face of 1D, and I think I think he has the biggest hurdles to overcome in terms of gp perception. I mean the go HAS a perception of him. The other boys are much less visibly connected to 1d.

For example I had never heard Louis or Niall’s names before I joined the fandom and I certainly couldn’t pick their faces out of a crowd, and I know the same for a lot of my peers. Peers who enjoyed both Niall and Louis’s singles because they didn’t have that initial “ew he’s from 1d” kneejerk reaction. Harry doesn’t have that sort of anonymity to appeal to the gp, so he HAS to distance himself.

Lean

Another what-am-I-writing-here moment 🤷

Um. Enjoy… 😏


AO3 link

“Would you stay?”

Dean never meant to sound so needy, didn’t even know how the words fought their way out of him to dare ask. But the second they stumbled across that threshold of his bedroom, that solid wall he threw up to force himself distant from people crumbled down, leaving him nothing but exposed. Vulnerable.

It might be the worst kind of feeling for Dean, something he’d denied himself feeling his entire life; because vulnerable wasn’t something he’d ever been allowed to be. Though with Cas, vulnerable was often how he felt, finding he wanted to lean into it sometimes, tried tricking himself into it on occasion. Cas was the first person in his life that had ever really let him lean, so, really, it wasn’t Dean’s fault that he wanted to. Not that he would ever stop cursing himself for letting himself lean, of course.

“Of course,”

Unless, of course, something external brought his defences down. A difficult hunt, an unhealed injury, a civilian lost in the fight against whatever they were fighting at the time. When that happened, which was both not often and far too often, Dean would retreat. Be it into a bottle, into himself, into his anger, where he pushed everyone away through his constant lashing out.

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Winter Shadow - chapter 7

They took her to a military base, she wasn’t sure there. She’d allowed herself to give up utterly in the van, had surprised herself by falling asleep. She’d slept deeply, better than she had for many years, because she’d finally given in.  There was no more James, or Winter Soldier, or Bucky, whoever he turned out to be. No mission, no commands. Pain, she could deal with, if that’s what they gave her, it wouldn’t matter. She dreamt of a quiet cell, of solitude, of being ignored and unwanted, unnecessary, and it felt beautiful.  With James gone, she’d finally given up hope, and found peace in the thought.

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the worst part about antis arguing with me about what the word “fujoshi” means is that at the very best it’s lazy, and at worst it’s kinda racist. the literal meaning, “rotten woman”, isn’t up for debate, but antis have their own idea about the history of the word and what it’s been adopted to mean and when I try to educate them on it they just dismiss it and go “well I’m not Japanese! I don’t care what it means in Japan, to me it means homophobic women who fetishize gay men!” (never mind that antis never, ever use the word “fetishize” correctly and this is no exception.)

it was originally used to insult and shame women for having sexual interests that straight men felt threatened by, and it was incredibly sexist and based on double standards, but women in Japan reclaimed it, much in the same way that western fans refer to themselves affectionately as “geeks”, something meant to be an insult.

fujoshi is just a word for women that like yaoi, bishounen, and otome works. It does NOT mean homophobic, it does not mean acting cringey and insensitive, it doesn’t mean treating real gay men like fictional characters. and while we’re at it, yaoi doesn’t mean “problematic cartoon depictions of gay relationships”. some of it is problematic, some of it isn’t. yaoi isn’t a bad word just because you have a kneejerk reaction to it, and your alternatives like “just say shipping!” are bad solutions to a non existent problem.

you don’t get to ignore what words mean and their histories just because you’re too lazy or apathetic to learn a little about someone else’s culture.