lessons learned from fiction

50 Asks
  1. What was your favorite 90s show?
  2. What is the last song you played?
  3. What is one character you feel particularly tied to?
  4. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?
  5. How do you keep yourself organized, if you do?
  6. You’re in a bad mood. How do you choose to deal with it?
  7. You can marry one fictional character. Who?
  8. If you weren’t born in this era, which do you think you should have been born in?
  9. Coffee, tea, or water?
  10. Name one weird gift you’d like to be given.
  11. One thing that always creeps you out?
  12. What is your Starbucks order?
  13. Are you more like your mom or your dad?
  14. Does the toilet paper roll belong with paper coming from the top or the bottom?
  15. You get to meet one author of your choosing (dead or alive) and ask them all your unanswered questions about their book. Who do you talk to?
  16. Do all disasters have an up side? Or is that foolish thinking?
  17. What is your favorite rainy day album?
  18. Do you tan easily?
  19. Do/did you ever pass notes to your friends in school?
  20. You are going to be isolated with one person for a week straight. Who is with you?
  21. What is your feel good movie?
  22. If you had to dye your hair, what color would you choose?
  23. What is something you are proud of?
  24. Tell me a story about you.
  25. Name a lesson you have learned from a fictional character.
  26. Any recurring dreams?
  27. If you could take a long roadtrip anywhere, where would you go?
  28. What was the first concert/show you attended?
  29. Best sing-along-dance-alone-in-your-room songs?
  30. Weirdest phase you went through as a kid
  31. Pro- or anti-sleeping with socks?
  32. Are you still in touch with your first best friend?
  33. The moment when you realized you loved _____ (music, sports, etc)
  34. Jelly or jam?
  35. Have you ever learned to knit or crochet?
  36. Tell the story of your first love
  37. A book you would recommend to anyone who would listen
  38. A movie you would recommend to anyone who would listen
  39. Are you good at keeping plants alive?
  40. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
  41. Something you’ll admit to the internet but not people irl
  42. You’re in a tattoo parlor about to get inked. What are you getting done?
  43. What are you like when you are really really tired?
  44. Do you prefer taking notes on paper or online
  45. Are you a leg jiggler?
  46. What makes a song /good/ in your opinion?
  47. How many drafts do you have on your blog(s)?
  48. Are you an old soul or young soul?
  49. Frosted cupcakes or unfrosted cupcakes?
  50. What do you think your mid-life crisis will be about?
INTJ: Why Bother with History?

SUBMITTED by Charlie ( leotes )

You’re out of school and part of working adult world. You got bills and loans to pay and most news are just cheesy click-bait or depressing. Present and future concerns dominate your attention. So why bother with the past? Its just the forced memorization of dates and dead folks, right?

Hell no.

You, dear reader, are already a part of living history. Past, present, future - it’s all just one stream of consciousness: your own and of the human collective. We just lack the omniscience and sophisticated tools (*cough*time-machine*cough*) to comprehend and track all these linkages. So if history is so darn complicated, why study it then?

Here’s three reasons why I find studying history to be useful (from an INTJ perspective):

Like Your Literature Class, History Offers Its Own Lessons To Learn From.
Everybody gets different personal interpretations from fiction. History is no different. I dare you to pick any facet of history that interests you. Study it. Draw personal connections. The archetypal patterns of human nature and relevant life lessons will pop out at you.

Interested in war strategies? Funny how some strategies parallel how your workplace operates. Are you a writer and want audiences to feel certain ways? Study the rhetoric and structure of past writers and speakers you admire. Want to strengthen yourself against emotional manipulation? One historical pattern is world leaders using a society’s fear, following a national disaster, to push policies that would otherwise be unpopular/inhumane at the time. Apply this principle to recognizing those who exploit your insecurities to produce dependency and false consent for their ideas. If you got a present dilemma, sometimes the past offers answers and possible leads.

Regardless of what your interests and priorities are, somebody from history probably felt the same. Such individuals can also teach you what not to do. ;) Studying history can also means also learning from your family’s history of past successes and mistakes (just don’t tell them that aloud!). To bastardize a (probably famous) phase: the tower of success is built on the bodies of past mistakes–whether your own or somebody else’s! Use history to live and learn, man. 

History Gives Clue to the Question: “How did We Get to Now, and Where are Going from There?”
NI, despite its visionary focus, is useless as dust when it neglects to incorporate past and present variables into the analysis. Here’s several ways how incorporating the past, present, and future manifests fort me.

Say some country presently hates your country. Consider the (under-advertised) fact that your country supported a corrupt president that the citizens later had to overthrow in a revolution. Knowing this useful tidbit aids my understanding of those countries’s relationship and its ties to related events like war.

Or consider how popular media is filled with older generations complaining about the current generation. Considering how we live in an age of accelerating technology, environmental, and economic advancements–its likely that some people fear being “left behind” in the job market and cultural mainstream. That’s a reasonable fear. After all, human culture and policies are slower to adapt to such advancements. Considering all this helps me obtain a greater sense of sympathy and understanding for why some tension among generations exist. .

Or think about how it’s harder nowadays to evaluate the veracity/context to a source, especially if it’s online. It’s easy to conceal a date, author’s true name, and other indications of social-historical context. It’s also easier to generate fake support for a niche opinion/product (some politicians and businesses already do this). Knowing this, my NI-TE says it’ll be necessary for future generations (and yours truly) to grow savvy of identifying such tricks when evaluating online sources.

History Reveals How Social Constructs–Their Definitions and Assumptions–Evolve Over Time.
Uncovering the understated, omitted, concealed, and shameful parts of any version of history excites my NI. Its like being a hacker or detective: “Why are you hiding this? Why are you saying this? What do you me to do it? Where/how did you arrive at this? Who also benefits and knows about this?” Exploring such questions clues me into the underlying biases, priorities, and assumptions that a given society or individual holds about reality.

For instance, let me ask you: how would you define “adulthood?”

Some folks answer with legal age. Others describe life milestones. Somebody from medieval history might say that pre-teens are miniature adults, capable of marriage and producing children. Contrast this with somebody from a modern, post-industrial society: they may find pre-teen pregnancies and wide age differences to be alarming issues. Depending on how “adulthood” is defined, different social outcomes occur. Its up to a given society what trade-offs it’ll accept: “Could we use the extra labor now or should we invest in their ongoing education and (assumed) future payoffs?” Knowing how certain aspects of society evolve overtime keeps my own NI perspective humble to possible revision and expansion.

That being said, some patterns of human nature never change. You think Baby Boomers and Generation X are the only ones to complain about younger generations? Read the salty writings of ancient civilizations and you’ll find funny parallels. Amusingly, some of my Millennial-aged buddies are already starting to complain about Generation Z as well. All of this inter-generational blaming leaves me wondering though: What sorts of problems and progress will my generation, the Millennial, leave behind for future generations?

Assuming I don’t die from some freak accident, it’ll be an interesting outcome to experience and witness. (Just let me give my Millennial apologies ahead of time to any Generation Z folks reading this. ;P)

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…Whelp, if you’ve gotten this far, thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed my perspective, and found different ways of interpreting history so studying it is more useful and interesting for you!

Child Abuse in Fiction

My experience with the portrayal and inclusion of child abuse in the media as someone who was abused and is now a writer and has a few things to say about it. -Alternate title- How I learned the wrong lessons from fiction and finally found the words to explain what went wrong and how it can be fixed.

Long post below the cut.

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The End

So, I finally finished Blood of Olympus, which means that the Percy Jackson and the Olympians/Heroes of Olympus series has now reached its close.

 When I first found out that Blood of Olympus was going to be the last book of the series, I was hit with the illogical fear that my childhood would end along with it. After all, the books were my first for a lot of things. They were one of the first series I actually got into, my first fandom, my first fictional family.  Percy was my first ‘boyfriend’. Annabeth was my first girl crush. Luke was my first fallen angel come home. Thalia was my first role model. I didn’t want to let that go.

 But as I was reading the final installment, I started to think back on all the things I have learned from the books and their characters.

 Percy taught me that a sense of humor can truly help you survive hell itself.

Annabeth taught me that even Wisdom’s Daughter doesn’t know everything.

Grover taught me that even the sidekicks can become the heroes.

Clarisse taught me that even the roughest of people have their soft spots.

Luke taught me that even the worst of us can change.

Chiron taught me that a hero’s legacy is not their story, but the difference they made.

Thalia taught me that it was okay to be a tomboy.

Bianca taught me that your siblings are worth sacrificing for.

Jason taught me that the past does not define us.

Piper taught me that voices are meant to be used.

Leo taught me that the world is a machine, and it all has a purpose.

Frank taught me that appearances are rarely a reflection of what is inside.

Hazel taught me that second chances only matter when you make them better than the first.

Reyna taught me that even the worst ghosts cannot haunt you forever.

And finally, Nico taught me that we find home when we stop running.

 Now, I sit here, ten years after The Lightning Thief was first published, five days after the final installment, three days after my seventeenth birthday and I can proudly say that, yes, my childhood has ended with these books.

 But I am eternally grateful that I had the opportunity to be called things like geek, anti-social, wallflower, obsessive fangirl, bookworm, and all the other names that came along with escaping between the pages of books. I am proud to say that I am a demigod-wannabe, that I learned more valuable life-long lessons from fictional characters that any textbook you could put in front of me, and that 50% of my childhood will always exist in the content of ten books.

 So thank you, Rick Riordan. You created a story that helped me and I’m sure many more to not just grow, but to grow up. We are the demigod generation and we salute you.

 

It’s amazing how people find it pathetic to cry over fictional characters’ deaths. They just say “They’re not real. It’s not worth crying over.”
yeah?
WELL FUCK YOU!!!!
The reason we put stock into fictional characters is because they represent us. Who we are. Who we want to be. They represent our desire for love, redemption, power, freedom, strength. 
In them, we see ourselves; growing stronger and overcoming adversities.
We see them sink into the depths of despair and pain, and see them overcome it.

That’s why, when we cry over them, we’re crying for ourselves.
We’re crying for a piece of ourselves that’s been ripped away. It’s something that can’t be easily replaced.

When they die, it’s like they’re looking right at us saying: “This is as far as I can go. The rest is up to you.”
We cry because we’re afraid to face a world where they don’t exist anymore.

I write this post as tears are still streaming down my face after I broke down and cried out loud after seeing the death of a character I love. A character who was flawed, but still fought for his friends. A character who knew for a long time that he was dying, but never gave up. 
even as a fictional character, the lessons I learned from him will stay with me forever.

I dedicate this post to all of the fictional heroes. To those characters who gave us hope and courage when real people failed to do so.

I'm going to assume you know what I'm talking about.

Well, I mean. He isn’t wrong.

He knows more about fandom than I would have expected. I might have reached the point where I’ve stopped being entirely surprised by that, but that’s more information about what goes on in fandom that I would have expected from someone on the powers that be side of things.

That’s not the art or the fics, that’s the politics of meta and argument and passionate debating about what it all means, in the end. Should I be surprised that anyone involved in a show would dig down that deep into our world to see that sort of thing? It’s not really about digging down anymore. That’s the wrong metaphor. Everything is on the surface now. I’ve stopped being surprised.

There is a point where fandom activity and discussion is about something beyond a piece of fiction, no matter how beautiful, well-written, well-acted, or well-shot. There’s a point where the language of fandom becomes a way to make sense of the world, and to determine what is right, and what is righteous, and what is a part of the problem. It’s the marriage of social justice and fandom, something many people want to conflate with slash fandom culture, or meta fandom culture, but is actually its own thing altogether.

Fandom is a community that starts with a piece of fiction, so it makes sense that the fan community would take the lessons it’s learning from social justice and see problems in that piece of fiction, or problems in interrogating and enjoying that piece of fiction, as community problems to be solved out loud. Sometimes it might seem ridiculous, but I think it comes from a good place. Fiction, and fandom, becomes the stage on which to have a different conversation, for good or for ill, rightly or wrongly.

In the sixties and seventies, wearing lipstick was seen as an act that made a woman complicit in her objectification as a sexualized ornament. In communist Croatia, wearing lipstick was an act of political rebellion. Sometimes things that seem trivial on the outside have a lot of meaning on the inside.

You can look at something from your own perspective and say, “but that’s silly, you’re blowing everything out of proportion, that little bit of fiction doesn’t really mean what you say it means.” But everything has a context. If you’re not on the inside, and don’t know what all those things mean in that universe, you won’t understand the message. Or maybe you’re right: maybe it’s completely wrong. That happens. Blown out of proportion, things going to extremes, ultimatums, emotions running too high. People tying things together that shouldn’t be. Or maybe it just doesn’t mean the same thing in your context. Maybe it’s just not a message for you.

Anyway. I can’t even tell where the fourth wall used to be anymore.

Random Asks I'm Bored

1. What is your favorite tv show?

2. What song are you currently addicted to?

3. What is one character you feel particularly tied to? 

4. What is the coolest thing you have ever made?

5. How do you keep yourself organized, if you do?

6. You’re in a bad mood. How do you choose to deal with it?

7. You can Marry one fictional character. Who? 

8. If you weren’t born in this era, which do you think you should have been born in?

9. Coffee, tea, or water?

10. Name one weird gift you’d like to be given.

11. What is the best surprise anyone has ever planned for you?

12. Name one pet peeve of yours. 

13. What is one thing or one person who can make you smile no matter what?

14. Does the toilet paper roll belong with paper coming from the top or the bottom? 

15. You get to meet one author of your choosing (dead or alive) and ask them all your unanswered questions about their book. Who do you talk to?

16. Do all disasters have an up side? Or is that foolish thinking?

17. What is your favorite rainy day album?

18. What tv friend trope are you in your group (ie the mom, the funny one, the baby ect)?

19. What food do you want right now?

20. You are going to be isolated with one person for a week straight. Who is with you?

21. What is your feel good movie?

22. What is one thing you did that shocked even you?

23. What is something you are proud of?

24. Tell me a story about you.

25. Name a lesson you have learned from a fictional character. 

Occult Fiction and Reality

Today I would like to talk about the occult in fiction as opposed to the occult in reality, and how occult fiction, if taken too seriously, can be poisonous to a person’s spiritual development. Now, I’m sure you think you’ve read this over and over on a million different sites and books. This topic has been discussed to death; there are plenty of people willing to tell you that The Craft isn’t real and that shouting “Pyrofuego!” won’t create a wall of fire. What I have to say, however, is a bit different, and (I feel) more important than that.

It’s a bit silly for someone to see a few movies and then march into an occult group hoping to learn to shoot fireballs, but these people don’t really hurt anyone, aside from embarrassing themselves. They’re quickly disabused of their obvious fantasies and either leave it in favor of the less esoteric side of life, or stay and attempt to understand the reality of the occult. Unrealistic expectations of magic are annoying (to those who have them, and others) but no where near as damaging as other, more subtle lessons that can be learned from occult fiction.

Occult fiction is just that: fiction. Fiction presents the world and other people as we would like them to be, not how they are. Even stories about horrible situations contain a strong, driving element of longing: longing for excitement, for courage, for true friendship, for ideal love. That’s not a bad thing. It’s the whole point of fiction. To entertain. The fantastic magical abilities are present because everyone would love to live in a world where such things were easily possible, but the unrealistic nature of them pales in comparison to how unrealistically relationships, self-worth, love, and even work are portrayed in fiction.

People who would scoff at the idea of shooting fireballs can easily fall into believing that these more subtle, but more intrinsic, aspects of fiction mirror reality. And this is a Bad Thing. It happens fairly often, especially to young people. And it is a lot harder to disabuse people of these lessons than it is to explain to them that no, they can’t shoot ice beams.

With that said, I present to you some poisonous lessons that can be learned from occult fiction.

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