live ride

“i didn’t raise you like this”.

you’re right you raised me to flinch, to grovel, to cry quietly, to mask pain, to swallow my words, to take rage out on myself. you raised me to cower, to respect authority without any reason, to live with your words riding in me.

you raised me wrong. i’m just reteaching myself how to be right. i’m sorry that doesn’t look like what you wanted it to. but i’m learning to love myself in the way parents were supposed to do.

Venus Signs as Girls

Aries Venus: Raunchy Girl

she knows what she wants and how to get it. she gets sprung up easily and has high sexual energy to keep the others interested. she likes blowing shit up and staying in control. however, she loses interest fast. trying to keep her on her toes is near impossible unless u can match her energy. she knows how to get others riled up, some call her a major tease. she will keep your head spinning.


Taurus Venus: Expensive Girl

she comes with a price and u need to be willing to deal with her. she can be relentless. she doesn’t budge for anyone and her tastes always come with a heavy price tag! she wants glamour, chocolates, ur honesty and comfort. she doesnt deal with unpredictability well. she wants to be able to read you and solidify a long lasting romance. her features are so captivating its hard not to be attracted to her. expect her in silks and w/ glossy lips.


Gemini Venus: Cool Girl

she enters with style and quickness. she entices you with one conversation. she has stories in the back of her pockets and she is very airy. she might spread love in platonic ways but she still struggles with finding who she is esp in relationships so she usually retreats back to loneliness. all she wants is someone who can lead the unexpected and talk endless convos with. she is into art, music and the adrenaline.


Cancer Venus: Ethereal Girl

her large eyes will provoke your vulnerability. she wants to care for you, to understand u better but she also wants ur warmth. she is delicate and its hard for her to move on once the relationship has ended. she is used to loneliness so she tries not to be too much but it never works out. she shows her affection in various and noticeable ways such as cooking, having intimate conversations and gifts.


Leo Venus: Stargirl

her presence is magnetic. she has a big heart and gold aura that it’s hard for people to resist her. she likes to showcase her talents, her creativity, and to be applauded. yes, she loves an audience! she wants partners that appreciate her and that she can spoil. reciprocation is key for her. she likes public romances and strive to be that “it” couple.


Virgo Venus: Untouchable Girl

its hard to capture the heart of the venus virgo. she expects too much from others and not enough from herself. she gets sprung out easily and she tries to conceal it but it always ends in frantic cries. she is put together for the most part. sleek style. likes to insert control of all areas in her life. she may run lovers away because of her strict ways. she is constantly learning to accommodate for others. once she finds the perfect partner, she will give part of herself to them. she is a healer, an oracle, a treasure


Libra Venus: Party Girl

she loves glam and the fluorescent lights. she idealizes love to the point she loses herself. she wants to be your muse. your dream girl. but she may find it hard to stay in relationships bc her airy nature always comes to haunt her. she lives for the party atmosphere, to dance freely and converse over some cocktails. she may adorn herself with diamonds and a sleek slip dress.


Scorpio Venus: Mystique Girl

she offers a strange vibe that u need to know more. she reveals nothing but keeps your mind wanting all of her. she needs ur loyalty and ur trust. she seems a bit off putting bc she is scared. she must not lose you. she can be really daring but also grounded. if she cries, you will definitely hear her. she lingers in the room, maybe to the sidelines but your eyes somehow will always drift to her. she’s intoxicating. you just need to know more


Sagittarius Venus: Hell Girl

she isnt demonic but she can be hard to figure out. she is here for the fun, for the scenery, for the company. she loses interest quick because no one can seem to measure up to her expansive vision. she likes to be wild, to let loose, to scream, to hook up. she cannot be tamed. her beliefs are important to her and she can be a bit full of herself but it’s all for good measure. she always gets the last word and never tell her she is wrong. you won’t hear the end of it


Capricorn Venus: Ice Girl

she is cold to the bone but its bc she doesnt amuse romance well. she wants the power and triumph of love. if you have high status u will appeal to her well. she is reserved, calculating and enjoys getting her way. she feels like she can be too much for people so she reserves her insecurities. she may treat your romance like a business but its bc that is what she does best. once she finds the right partner, it is hard for her to leave and she will need their trust in order for her to come forward of her problems. she can easily be tense but she hides it with her wealth. she may splurge in alcohol to keep her rested.


Aquarius Venus: Electric Girl

She will literally make ur head spin and keep you on your toes. u cant tie her down. she sleeps around to fill some void and bc she lives for the ride of it. She has really pecuilar interests and she makes u look twice at her bc of her striking appearance. she loves color and music, other times she loves to tap into dark energy. she isnt consistent and if u want her attention u have to keep it.


Pisces Venus: Pixie Girl

she wants to lose herself in romance, to hold her partner’s hand with softness and relish in her fairytale. she has a delicate heart and when it shatters, she withdrawals. she becomes vacant. those glowy eyes turn to black. but she often doesn’t get to this point. her wishful thinking is what gets her in trouble. she is easily manipulated, taken for granted by people with bad intentions. she enjoys art, symphonies, and vulnerability

… okay so i definitely was going to animate dre under the lovely @cursetale‘s blessing and… then i couldn’t get Dreby outta my head so here we are

i’m totally working on Dre but man i just could not resist that face and those bunny ears are you kidding me

from this gorgeous chain from last week or so between cursetale and the also-fantastic @blesstale because just… hell yes. hell goddamn yes.

10

give these to ur special someone and u have a 99.99999% chance of courting them I swear @penguinz-can-fly

Horizon Zero Dawn and Cultural appropriation: A very different view.

For the first time EVER, I’m sitting on the other side of a discussion about appropriating native culture.  Why?  Well, let me lay the framework.

First off, I’m not a guy who “knows a Native American” or has a “Native friend”  I am a 100% Anishinabe (Ojibway) dude who lives on reserve and has fought racism, stereotypes, pan-Indianism, and cultural appropriation fiercely for as long as I can remember. I’ve been the victim of horrendous racial violence as a child, adolescent, and adult, and I’m also a gamer.

I am the first to point out anything that smacks of any of the above and after I saw the Dia Lacina essay on “Horizon: Zero Dawn” being culturally insensitive and appropriating Native culture, I felt for the first time in a situation like this that I had to say something in rebuttal.

Lacina takes issue with the use of the words Tribal, Primitive, Braves, and Savage being used in the game (fyi they’re used to describe predominantly white people in game and they’re White words we didn’t use to describe ourselves thus I claim no ownership of, nor want to, anymore than I want to be a redskin, Indian or Wahoo)  

It seems (IMO) that most of her beef comes from an apparent belief that numerous aspects of generic tribal culture that appear in the game (making clothing from skins, hunting with spears and bows, living in a Matriarchal society, etc) are the sole domain of the Native American and just to be safe and cleverly keep her POV less subject to scrutiny, she applies it even more broadly to indigenous people world wide (I will just refer to us in particular as NA cuz I’m lazy and I also don’t refer to myself as a Native American) and basically that anything that is remotely “tribal” shouldn’t be used in gaming without our or someone else’s permission.

 In fairness, I don’t know if she’s actually played the game but as someone who is currently in the midst of doing exactly that, I can tell you that I have a pretty good idea of what stuff triggered her being upset and why, and while I absolutely respect her right to get offended by whatever she likes, and she makes excellent points about some other games, I am going to point out that there are flaws with this logic.

First of all, the basics: HZD is set in a post-post-apocalyptic future where people are living in tribal groups in a very destroyed world.  Machines exist but as hybrid animal/dinosaur type creatures and technology is pretty much non-existent in day to day human life.  

The heroine of the story is a red haired, white girl named Aloy who lives as an outcast with her adopted father, Rost.  Without giving a lot away, they are fiercely shunned by the local tribe for something Rost did and also the fact that Aloy is motherless.  

Impressively and rightly, though somewhat dismissively remarked upon by Lacina, is the way women and especially women of color are portrayed so positively in-game as this particular tribe is a total Matriarchy run by elders of various ethnicity.  African, Asian, White, and a variety of undefined people of color are common everywhere in the game.  (The leader of one band of warriors is a very fierce, commanding, intelligently portrayed black woman with a powerful presence.)  It reflects a fairly global society from a “skin color” perspective without any horrible accents or broken speech.

They worship an “All-Mother” goddess and their culture is (at least how I saw a lot of it) fairly heavy on European i.e. Celtic, Germanic, Scandinavian, etc type symbolism and the rest is filled in with mostly generic tribal-ish stuff that you could find in countless cultures around the world.

 I really didn’t get a “Native American” vibe off the game.  Of course, I don’t automatically presume to claim sole ownership of things like tribal life, hunting with bows and spears, and worshiping spirits of various elements solely for my own.  Random fact: Because there are over 500 distinct First Nations in N. America, we, believe it or not, didn’t all ride horses, live in tipis, use bows and arrows, tobacco and sage, and worship Eagles and Wolves.  Why? Well…use your brain.  Tobacco and Sage don’t grow EVERYWHERE, horses came over with the Europeans (and if you saw where I live you couldn’t have and cant for the most part get a horse through the bush if you tried) Eagles and Wolves don’t live EVERYWHERE….get the point?  Anyways….

If you examine Rost, he like most of the men has a braided beard and other seemingly Viking/Middle Ages inspired features, is white, speaks clear, unbroken English, and is a loving, protective and very positive role model for the girl.   Aloy for her part, is also fairly Viking-esque (to the point of looking incredibly like Lagaertha from the show Vikings but with red hair) also Egrit from GoT, and is no damsel in distress who needs men to save her. NOWHERE in the game have I encountered any Tipis, wigwams, Sweatlodges, or Non-White people speaking in stereotypical “Me smoke-um peace pipe, He go dat-a way” fashion.

The  opening cinematic is very touching (and long) as we see the orphaned Aloy as a baby in Rost’s care being carried around in a bundle on his back (which pretty much every culture did in one form or another at some point in time) and him ultimately taking her to the spot where a child of the tribe receives it’s name.

I really liked this idea as it isn’t often portrayed in a lot of mediums outside of stereotypical “Dances With Wolves” bullshit. Also, naming ceremonies are not the sole domain of NA people and what occurs bears zero resemblance to any NA ceremony I know of.  (It was actually a little Lion King at one point lol) But it’s a powerful moment in the beginning with much more that occurs during it but I won’t spoil that either.

Aloy herself is a pretty complex character.  She’s extremely independent, defiant, and questions pretty much everything about why things are the way they are and wants to do something about it.  You actually begin playing her as a 6 year old which is pretty unique and even then she’s tough and fearless and determined to explore her world.  

She is in no way hyper-sexualized (I’m looking your way Overwatch) Her clothing and everyone else’s, is utilitarian and appropriate for the environments she lives in, and so far, I have not encountered anything with her or any other character that made me go “WTF?”and trust me, my radar for that shit is HIGHLY SENSITIVE.  This isn’t Avatar, people.  It’s not John Smith. It’s not The Great Wall or Pocahontas.  This isn’t white dude shows up and saves the helpless non-white people while helpless native woman falls in love with him stuff.  It’s a fictitious future where we maniacs blew it up, damn us all to hell!

But here’s the more annoying thing for me as an actual Anishinabe.  I don’t need people speaking for me or getting offended on my behalf.  I am very capable of doing that myself. I am also in no way writing this claiming to be speaking for any other NA people or persons. It’s based on my observations from actually playing HZD and examining the various fictional “cultural” elements in the game.

If you see a skin tied inside a hoop and automatically assume it’s a dreamcatcher” ripping off “our culture” (FYI Dreamcatchers are a 20th century thing whose popularity was a result of pan-Indianism that exploded in the 70s.) or if you see feathers on a spear or as part of a costume (nowhere is anyone wearing a single eagle feather in the back of a beaded headband or a Dakota looking headdress either) and automatically presume it to be ripping off NA culture, you’re REEEEEEEEEEALY reaching.  If you think caring for the environment, obeying matriarchs, worshipping elemental spirits, or making your own clothes is solely the property of NA culture, see previous statement.

By all means get offended.  Get offended by Chief Wahoo.  Get offended by the Washington Redskins.  Get offended that thousands of Native women have been murdered or gone missing and nothing’s been done about it.  Get offended by Johnny Depp or Robert Beltran playing Native people instead of actual Native people getting those roles.  Get offended by shit like Adam Sandler’s “Ridiculous 6” where a native woman is called a “hot piece of red prairie meat” or Depp’s “Lone Ranger” movie.

Get offended that my family was destroyed by the Residential Schools and that the 60s scoop took babies away from their families and people, that forced sterilizations took place and mass graves of dead Native children exist at former Residential School sites.

Don’t just jump on the I’m offended bandwagon because you saw some feathers or skins or spears or bows in a game and immediately grew indignant and wanted to claim them as OUR culture.  They’re not.  They’re almost globally universal in numerous cultures at various points in time.  Get offended, as she rightly mentioned, when the game Overwatch sexualizes the shit out of almost every female character and takes West Coast tribal art and makes a costume out of it.  

THAT is appropriation.  White people holding powwows in Europe (powwows are also pretty much not traditional and are extremely pan-Indian, not to mention full of us appropriating each other’s Native cultures ie. Dakotas wearing Jingle Dresses, Ojibway wearing Dakota regalia, etc) is appropriation.

This game……I’m just not seeing it the same way.  And I’m nobody.  I have no ties to Guerilla or anybody other than myself and my community.