lands and people

the only thing that i dislike about the whole discourse about americans not knowing geography is the assertion that europeans somehow do

this view is terribly eurocentric bcs everyone judges it based on whether they can complete europe blank… you’re asking a european person to complete europe blank… and then laugh if someone from not from europe can’t… as if europe was world’s most important continent…

and even then, many europeans straight up can’t complete europe blank despite living on the continent, in fact there is a video of european students being asked while IN CROATIA to locate croatia and they still didn’t know despite actually being in the country, it took them good 10 minutes with hints to do it. half of europeans couldn’t place baltic and balkan countries properly to save their lives

but even if every european could complete a europe blank the vast majority would not be able to complete asia, africa and south america blanks and to natives from those continents they would look about as idiotic as americans do…

y'all really need to stop equating geography knowledge with completing the europe blank, do y'all not even notice what’s wrong with it

humans: This is our home! We built it ourselves, and its ours to defend!

centaurs: uh. but it. but its not tho.

humans: THIS is our home then! We’ll fight to the death for this sacred land belonging to our people!

charr: Here’s The Thing. 

7

“It’s my favorite scene in the movie and it’s the most important scene in the movie. It’s also the scene that made the least sense to other people going in, which is why it’s a wonderful victory for me. I think that in superhero movies, they fight other people, they fight villains. So when I started to really hunker in on the significance of No Man’s Land, there were a couple people who were deeply confused, wondering, like, ‘Well, what is she going to do? How many bullets can she fight?’ And I kept saying, ‘It’s not about that. This is a different scene than that. This is a scene about her becoming Wonder Woman.’” -Patty Jenkins on the No Man’s Land scene

8

It’s my favorite scene in the movie and it’s the most important scene in the movie. It’s also the scene that made the least sense to other people going in, which is why it’s a wonderful victory for me.

I think that in superhero movies, they fight other people, they fight villains. So when I started to really hunker in on the significance of No Man’s Land, there were a couple people who were deeply confused, wondering, like, ‘Well, what is she going to do? How many bullets can she fight?’ And I kept saying, ‘It’s not about that. This is a different scene than that. This is a scene about her becoming Wonder Woman.’ - Patty Jenkins on the No Man’s Land scene

50 Rumors And Hooks...
  1. A bandit gang preys on wounded and weary adventurers as they straggle down the road from the dungeon to the city. 
  2. A black cloak was stolen from the Burnt Bridge tavern last night; sewn into the hem is a treasure map.
  3. A gigantic egg appeared in the town square last night. No one knows what might hatch out of it, but it’s going to happen soon.
  4. A deity walks the city streets disguised as a humble mortal. 
  5. A hot-tempered knight has promised all his lands to his brother if he is bested at the upcoming jousting tournament.
  6. A leading churchman has announced a heretical doctrine; his fellow priests have demanded that he recant, on pain of excommunication. 
  7. A wrestler named Drón Goldentress will perform three great quests for anyone who can beat her in a match. 
  8. Agitation grows in a neighboring land for a renewed war against the kingdom. 
  9. An eerie dog with glowing eyes stalks the city at night. The magnificent sorcerer Furioso was bitten by it, and now he can barely remember his own name.
  10. Ditchdiggers unearthed an ornate tin casket the other day. They can’t figure out how to open it, but won’t let anyone else try, either. 
  11. Drinking a poison surely meant for someone else, the meek baker Oswald dropped dead in a tavern last night. 
  12. During the day, the headsman’s daughter appears rather homely, but under the moonlight, she is the fairest young maiden in the realm.
  13. Every hundred years or so, a black, venomous rain falls on the city, killing hundreds of people. A recurrence is months overdue. 
  14. The Superordinate Six, a band of famed adventurers, have failed to return from an expedition to the Rat City ruins. 
  15. Goblins tunneled a good distance under the city walls last year, but the authorities covered it up. 
  16. Grave robbers have been digging up the bones of slain adventurers. They must be working for a lich or evil wizard. 
  17. Luriez the horse trader is auctioning off Bravo, a clever and magnificent steed. His former owner, a luckless mercenary, lost him in a dice game. 
  18. Magic items sold by Antesos Three-Beard have a peculiar way of finding their way back to his shop after the purchasers die. 
  19. Many of a famous knight’s heroic feats were in fact performed by his squire, a young girl dressed as a boy.
  20. Mercenaries have taken sanctuary in the temple; the high priests want them out but are forbidden by the tenets of their faith to expel them. 
  21. Pound for pound, the most valuable treasure in town is not silver or gold, but the cache of saffron hidden in the spice merchant’s shop. 
  22. Priestess Ciana has great healing powers, but those she raises from the dead sometimes take on her personality traits. 
  23. Pulsing green lights are frequently observed near the abandoned mines south of the city. 
  24. Recent rains flooded the catacombs beneath the city; strange things are floating to the surface.
  25. Someone is stealing all of the town’s church bells. 
  26. Somewhere in the city, the priceless Altar of Kych is hidden in plain sight.
  27. The armorer Casabon just received a shipment of Zhenish steel, which will make fine blades for those who can afford them.
  28. The astronomer Harun the Subtle reports sighting a circle of new red stars in the sky. The Royal Astrological Society has offered a reward to anyone who can conclusively explain the meaning of this omen.
  29. The beloved singer Dulari has fallen prey to a terrible illness, one the healers can’t cure. 
  30. The bullying city watchman Moyalva has been extorting money from the weak and helpless.
  31. The courtier Vivando has fallen out of favor with the king, who suspects him of having eyes for the princess.
  32. The exiled prince of Cadis unwisely dismissed a churlish servant who knows too much about his master’s business.
  33. The feathers that rained down on Beggar’s Alley last night came from the wings of battling archons.
  34. The floorboards beneath the Trembling Pig Inn are hollow and full of stolen gold.
  35. Pirates have disrupted grain shipments meant for the kingdom; starvation looms if traders cannot resupply in time.
  36. The high sheriff becomes violently enraged if anyone accuses him of having orc blood. 
  37. The king is a usurper who has the real heir to the throne chained up in his basement.
  38. The king plans to build new watchtowers around the city. Laborers, once desperate for work, will soon be hard to hire.
  39. The king’s chief minister plans to step down, making way for his clever but abrasive protégé. 
  40. The philosopher Frabreck has released another pamphlet arguing for the conquest of the orc lands, so that its peoples can be liberated from evil and placed under the king’s benevolent rule.
  41. The rancher Septimus is raising a flock of strange reptilian beasts on his farm.
  42. The retainers of an unpopular knight quelled an uprising on his lands by fi ring crossbows into an unarmed throng.
  43. The rich merchant Zaguant has learned that pirates have sold his son into slavery.
  44. The son and daughter of two rival merchant families eloped a few weeks ago. Both fathers offer a reward for the son: his father aims to protect him, but the girl’s wants him dead.
  45. Whenever a member of the murderous Lampedusa clan is slain, the weapon used to deal the death blow is permanently imbued with powerful magic.
  46. The young adventurer Brialda carries a shield bearing the crest of the Acatero family, even though, as an illegitimate daughter of that clan, she is not entitled to it. 
  47. An ancient throne lies buried in a field nearby. Anyone who sits on the throne for an entire night will rise from it a wise man or a lunatic.
  48. They say that if you listen long enough to the water lapping against the shore near the statue of King Brand, you will hear the name of an innocent person you are fated to kill. 
  49. They’re slaughtering more than just cows and sheep at the old abattoir down by the piers.
  50. Whenever ravens gather on the clock tower, a mighty hero dies. 

I came across this poster on Queen St. West in Toronto and I couldn’t look away. Posters such as these, strategically placed around the city are pushing people to question Canada’s dark, colonial history, as is the incredibly critical art being produced by Indigenous artists such as Kent Monkman and Rebecca Belmore. These artists, activists, thinkers and interventionists are destabilizing and dismantling biased, historical Canadian narratives.

In the decade or more of being in Canada, I have recently had the opportunity to establish close allyships with Indigenous friends. Through their research and lived experiences, I am learning about a side of Canada that I was not initially aware of. While the Canadian Citizenship book discusses our shameful history of residential schools, it presents a watered down version, summarized in undignified, short lines, mostly ending with, “Canada has since apologized.”

The abuse that was carried out on Indigenous children at these schools (the last residential school closed in 1996) was horrific and conveniently left out of textbooks. With more awareness around the topic, Canada’s internationally positive reputation is being challenged. Canada’s deputy minister of Indian Affairs Duncan Campbell Scott was quoted in 1920 to have said: “Our object is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic.”

While an apology by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a start, it is not enough. After all, actions speak louder than words. Grave injustices have been committed against Indigenous people. Erasure of language, culture and customs so as to benefit and serve colonial systems of oppression, unsolved cases of thousands of missing, murdered Indigenous women, increased likelihood of sexual assault on Indigenous women, an alarmingly high suicide rate amongst Indigenous youth and deplorable living conditions in some parts of Canada where Indigenous people reside. By deplorable I mean run down schools and homes and no access to clean, drinking water. How can we justify this while being one of the wealthiest countries in the world with a global reputation for excellence in living standards and human rights?

Far too often I hear fellow immigrants from my own community refer to Indigenous people as “drunks” and “criminals.”

“Oh these natives, they’re such a menace to Canadian society.”

“They get so much funding from the government. All their schooling is paid for.”

“They should be grateful and move on from the past. Look at the state of poor people in the third world countries we come from.”

“These people don’t know the first thing about oppression. They take all the money the government gives them and waste it on drugs and alcohol.”

It is ironic to see new immigrants settle on Canadian land while demonizing and othering the original custodians of this land.

Indigenous people have been dealing with institutionalized racism, discriminatory legislation and federal under-funding for over 100 years. As we mark our 150th birthday as a nation today, I hope that we can work toward addressing these important and urgent issues. Indigenous people are bearing the brunt of genocidal, colonial policies while the rest of us immigrating to Canada are reaping immense benefits such as world class healthcare and education, services that many of our Indigenous communities lack full access to. Our indifference and lack of awareness around these pressing matters has dire consequences for First Nations, Metis and Inuit people of Canada.

Today, on Canada’s 150th, I am stating a land acknowledgment for the first time in all these years of living, working, giving to and taking from Canadian land.

***I wish to acknowledge this land on which I currently reside and work. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land. (Please correct me if I have stated this land acknowledgment inaccurately)

As a tribal daughter of the Indigenous Magsi clan in Balochistan, Pakistan, I stand in solidarity with my Indigenous brothers and sisters in Canada.

I wish you a safe, peaceful and more informed #Canada150 long weekend.

Does anyone else have that problem where your brain is just like a bunch of different musical lyrics competing for dominance the entire day? Like, one second I’ll be hearing Dear Evan Hansen lyrics in my head, then La La Land, then Hamilton, then Dear Evan Hansen again, and then by the time I realize what’s been happening I’ve already missed my teacher’s entire lecture