Just out of Dunkirk. My nerves are absolutely shattered. It’s relentless.
The hype is justified. It’s a masterclass in film-making. It feels classic and utterly modern at the same time.
The score is one of the best I’ve ever heard (and I’m not usually a big fan of Hans Zimmer)
There are no showy star turns from the actors here. Every part is played with restraint; concentrating on survival. It’s genuinely an ensemble cast, but Fionn leads it. And he is truly excellent. He is whitefaced with contained terror and exhaustion throughout. Mark Rylance is like the anchor. Tom Glynn-Carney is amazing - he is going to be a massive star.
And Harry….I can’t describe how impressed I am. Now I understand Chris Nolan’s supreme confidence in him. He is so bloody good and I am so bloody proud.
bsd really got me into learning about the rl authors, but ive been having trouble finding stuff about the japanese authors. do you have any recommendations for where i could start?
Ahhhh, I’m flattered you came to ask here for suggestions! I don’t think I’m the best person to ask, honestly, but I’ll do my best to help! Since you said it was BSD that got you interested, most of my recommendations will be from the Japanese authors featured in the series~
This is only to get you started, a bit of a sampler for what some of the literary greats have to offer.
– Akutagawa is the master of short stories, so there can be no better starter when it comes to dipping your toes in when it comes to Japanese literature.
Most of Akutagawa’s works deal with exposing the egotism of man and the flaws of the human spirit. His writing may be elegant and refined, but to others it comes off as unfeeling and cerebral; you’ll have to find out for yourself where you stand.
– “There are bodies buried beneath the cherry trees!” This line from one of Kajii’s most famous works is often quoted, probably because it associates the ephemeral sakura with the grotesque. Sakaguchi Ango also wrote a story with the same title, but I find Kajii’s to be the more memorable one between the two.
– BSD may have you fooled, but Higuchi is actually an extremely popular literary figure in Japan, due to both the quality of her work and her all too short life. “Separate Ways” is quite a short read, but it has a heartbreaking realism most stories twice its length can’t even hope to touch.
– And now, we enter the surreal. Though more known for being the originator of modern mystery stories in Japan, Edogawa was also considered a master of gothic horror. Be warned, this story can be disturbing so skip this if you have a faint heart! (As an aside, Ito Junji put a spin on the tale and published a oneshot inspired by “The Human Chair“ a few years back.)
William Adolphe Bouguereau
- was a French academic painter and traditionalist. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body.
If you’re my Romeo then I’ll happily drink the poison: Chapter 2
It’s the next chapter. WOOOOO. I really need to start writing summaries for my chapters, I’ll try that next week. I honestly get inspiration for this story at the most random times for this story like I woke up at 6 am today and was like “bet this is genius” and then added a shit ton of words. I think the reason I’m so inspired is because I’m starting to lose motivation for school and this gives me some sort of escape. Glad you guys are enjoying, give me feedback it’s always appreciated whether it’s good, bad, whatever. Critiques are always welcome like I critique myself. For example, I kind of wish I’d written in third person instead of second person but I’m gonna commit to it now. You can even talk to me about random shit like how you feel about the names of the Kingdoms, or which Kingdom you’d rather be a part of. I love you guys and make sure to check out my other stuff because I have a masterlist now.
The Azurian Plan for dealing with catastrophe was to pretend like nothing ever happened, and it drove you crazy. Ever since the “incident” everyone just acted like you and Tom didn’t almost die. The broken windows were summed up as some sort of stress fracture. They claimed your heels had caused you to slip and fall in the loose glass, causing your injuries. What surprised you the most Tom’s willingness to go along with this. Almost like the shooting didn’t even phase him.
Over the past few days, the two of you had started “wedding planning” aka getting a recap of all the features your mothers picked out. There were 9 days left before the wedding and 10 days left before coronation. In order to get Azurians to accept you, the current Queen decided it would be good for you and Tom to go into town to meet with people. After taking pictures and talking to citizens, you’d then host a session where citizens were free to come in an ask you questions. Sort of like a press conference but open to all.
Naomi dressed you in a white button down, dark wash jeans, interlocking Gucci belt, black YSL pumps and golden hoop earrings. She put you in a flowing chestnut brown wig and gave you loose waves. Your makeup was subtle, giving you a glow from within. The goal was to make you look classic, modern, and approachable.
Your legs were still sore from the cuts, so you were a bit cautious about walking around. Your head bodyguard, Martin, led you to the armored car where Tom was already waiting. You glanced and your fiance to see him in a pair of slacks, dress shoes, and a button-down. His hair was gelled meticulously.
“You look decent,” He said glancing up from his phone. You rolled your eyes buckling up and smoothing out your shirt.
“Aw hubby you’re just such a charmer,” You say sarcastically. The driver awkwardly shifts in his seat at the two of you. “You can roll up the partition and play some music, we just need to talk to each other.”
The driver quickly rolled up the partition and started playing a playlist which you assumed belonged to Tom. No Diggity bumped through the speakers. Your fiance stared intently at his phone, rubbing his temples.
“Something wrong?” You asked trying to peek over his shoulder. He flipped his screen to face his thigh.
“Nothing of importance,” He shrugged it off. You rolled your eyes and glanced out the window. The driver traveled down the backroads making the ride serene. You could only imagine what it must have been like for Tom to grow up here, probably taking in all the nature of the…wait why did you care about what Tom’s experience was? You brushed the thoughts out of your mind as you made it to the Azurian capital of Emeraude.
Lush was the most fitting word to describe the area. A part of you felt the landscape before you were fake, some sort of movie set. It was too perfect, so green. Naomi and you had ventured down to a meadow, taking in the beauty of the area (and maybe taking a few pictures). It was elysian in nature.
Citizens became excited, recognizing the royal cavalcade. Three security cars in the front, you and Tom’s limo and three security cars in the back to create a protective barrier as well as a police escort with Azurian flags waving on the front of each car. The driver got out and opened the door for both of you. Tom got out first putting on his kilowatt smile.
He reached into the car and helped you out. People still cheered for you, but it seemed like there was a nervous energy in the air. You were still a stranger to them. You suspected they would have been colder to you, had it not been for the situation with your father. The media pitied your family, a queen was now left standing without her king who couldn’t even see his children rise to power. You tried to push those thoughts to the back of your mind as the wedding grew closer and closer. It pained you to think he wouldn’t be there to walk you down the aisle or watch you become Queen of Azure. You didn’t want to bother your mother with these thoughts since it was probably more painful for her.
“You alright love?” Tom asked pulling you out of your thoughts. You blinked a few times pulling yourself back to reality. People were staring, shit. You forced a giggle before leaning in to give Tom a kiss. The distraction worked, the crowd awwed at the affectionate exchange.
Tom let out a soft chuckle and pulled you in for a hug. You felt his lips brush against your ear. “What the hell was that?”
You giggled as if he said something funny, looking into his eyes lovingly. “Just go with it.”
He lightened up from the hug, and just settled an arm on your lower back. His forearms flexed underneath his shirt, making your heart slightly quicken at how tense he was. Not that you’d ever say it his face, but you appreciated for an arranged marriage that you ended up with someone that you find palatable and one might even dare call him handsome.
Security led the two of you down the street towards your first stop, a flower stand. An older gentleman bowed to you and Tom.
“Oh no you don’t have to do that,” You assured him. Tom slightly nudged your side and nodded at the man. The two shook hands.
“Prince Tom, it’s amazing how close we are to the coronation. I remember the first royal announcements when you were born,” The man said graciously shaking the crown prince’s hand.
“We appreciate the support you have for my family, and loyalty to our country,” Tom thanked him.
The florist turned to you, a kind gaze coming from his eyes. You were handed a bouquet of light pink peonies tied together with a thick white ribbon. “Thank you so much, I appreciate your gifts.”
“Anything for the future Queen,” He smiled. You returned the grin and took a sniff of the flowers. Cameras snapped, getting a romantic shot of you. “Some people don’t trust you, but I have faith you’ll be a good wife for the prince,” He said sounding content.
“Don’t trust me?” You asked with a raised brow. Tom gently pushed you towards security, away from the florist. You opened your mouth to say something else, but Martin led you in a different direction as Tom wrapped the meeting up, taking a few pictures.
“What the hell was he talking about?” You asked Martin through a forced smile.
“Nothing princess, nothing to be concerned with.”
Tom finished taking a couple of shots with the chatterbox of a florist, hoping you weren’t in a bad mood now. When he was done, one of his handlers came up to him. He held back the urge to roll his eyes. His mother always had people breathing down his neck, even though he was about to rule a fucking country. He was completely capable of handling his shit.
“Is she pissed?” He asked nonchalantly already picking up on how annoying and persistent you could be.
“She’s keeping it together,” His handler responded. “In private, she’ll probably confront you, just ease her fears.”
“That’s my job,” He grumbled. His mother made it very clear that Tom was supposed to keep you under control. She didn’t care how he did it, but she didn’t need the scandal of a runaway bride on her hands. Tom couldn’t help but wonder if his mother’s controlling nature would play out after the coronation. Even if he technically had control, she had a lot of pull over the way things ran in Azure.
He walked with a purpose down the street, making his way back to you. His hand intertwined with yours, giving the illusion of a happy couple.
“Would you like to explain to me why one of your people would find me untrustworthy?” You asked tucked your hair behind your ear. He gave a breathy chuckle, giving your hand a light squeeze.
“Not particularly, darling,” Tom said waving towards a small girl who looked at you two with adoring eyes. She rushed over and a security guard blocked her path, making the child stop in her tracks. She cowered back, staring up at the large men staring her down.
“Stop it,” You and Tom said in unison. Tom gestured for the guard to move, before bending down to the child’s level. The girl still remained hesitant.
“It’s okay, I don’t bite I promise.” His warm smile made the little girl fumble over to him. She couldn’t have been more than 5 years old. “What’s your name sweetheart?”
“I’m Ve-ron-ica,” She said shyly.
“That’s a pretty name for such a pretty girl,” You’d chime in also bending down to the child’s level.
“Thank you, Ms. Princess,” She mumbled slightly. You laughed at her politeness.
“You can call me Y/N, sweetheart,” You said, taking a few peonies from your bouquet and tucking them into her already established braid crown, making it a flower crown. “You’d be a much better princess than me.”
“You’re pretty,” The tiny girl complimented. She looked to Tom. “You’re pretty too.”
Your fiance was slightly taken aback, feeling his cheeks and ears burn. Hmm, maybe pretty boy could be his new nickname. He’d love that.
“I think you made prince charming here flustered. See how pink he is,” You teased. Veronica giggled before reaching up to kiss Tom’s cheek. He blushed even more.
“Pink’s my favorite color,” She said excitedly.
“C’mon cutie let’s take a picture together,” Tom would say composing himself. Veronica squeezed herself in between the two of you, trying to hug you both at the same time.
Her mother was in the corner, smiling. “C’mon sweetheart let’s leave the nice people alone,” She said to Veronica. The little girl nodded before giving you another hug and kissing Tom’s cheek once more, then scurried off.
You and Tom both stood back up. “We can’t wait for a royal baby,” Veronica’s mother said.
“In due time,” Tom smiled, grabbing onto your hand and tugging you away before you could make a snide comment.
“More like over my dead body,” You mumbled once security created a barrier around you. He sighed. He pondered about how many wrinkles he was going to gain from this relationship.
“Y/N, I know you’re not an idiot. You know as well as I do that we need to produce an heir. Why the fuck do you think a royal arrangement was set up?” Tom said exasperatedly. You shot an icy glare in his direction. “Look, let’s not argue about this. We have time before an heir is expected.”
“We’re talking about this later. If I’m going to be Queen I have some demands that need to be met,” You said in a huff, folding your arms over your chest. Tom takes a deep breath.
“Let’s just wrap this shit up princess.”
The rest of the trip to Emeraude involved going to a bakery (they had delicious croissants); visiting some expensive business (you weren’t quite sure what they did); going to a hospital and talking to more kids (they were so adorable you wanted to take them with you); and visiting a park (more beautiful scenery).
Now you were headed back to the palace for the open question session. Tom had put in earbuds, clearly trying to ignore a conversation with you. You rolled your eyes, feeling a buzz from your phone.
“Hello, big brother,” You sigh. “What have I done wrong now?”
“Surprisingly nothing. Your in-laws are actually impressed by the pictures you got today,” He reported back. “Get ready for the baby rumors though after the way you two were today.”
“We just met,” You said cutting a glance at Tom. “It’s not happening anytime soon.”
“Anyways, get ready for the press conference. Make sure to stay queenly,” He joked.
“Are you implying I’m not queenly all the time? I’m offended,” You fake gasped.
“Azure is either going to love you or burn the castle down.”
“Good thing I can handle the heat.”
Tom tried his best to be interested in this conference but was getting bored. You were to his left, accompanied by your mother and brother, and on his right was his family. He kept glancing down the row to see his brothers. Sam was holding it together, considering he had the most poise of the whole lot. His twin, on the other hand, was not maintaining composure as well. Since his phone had been confiscated, thanks to his mother, he had nothing to keep him preoccupied. He continuously kept throwing his head back and groaning. Sam kicked Harry underneath the table as a warning to behave. Tom chuckled softly at the exchange. Paddy had a bit more of an excuse since he was so young. He was doodling on a notepad the whole time.
“Thomas,” His father’s voice gained his attention again. Tom glanced over at his father and then down at the person asking the question.
“Sorry love, can you repeat?” He said, sitting up straighter. The woman’s huff was caught on the microphone.
“Prince Thomas, I want to know why you think it’s okay to have a Queen from an enemy territory,” The woman spoke clearly agitated. Tom looked towards his mother and she just bit her lip. He hesitantly looked back at the woman.
“Listen, I know there’s been some hostility but it’s for the benefit of everyone that we have favorable relations with Cadiella. My soon to be wife has also been trained all her life to be a Queen and she’ll make a more than suitable one for us,” He tried to be as diplomatic as possible.
“So are we making friends now with those who have wronged us? Azure will come off as weak to any future enemies. We’ve done fine with few alliances, why do we need any more? Especially with the Cadiellians of all people, they’re worth nothing to us,” She quipped back. Tom could hear your brother shift in his seat and crack his knuckles. It was clear the other crown prince was not happy with this round of questioning. His eyes bore intently on Tom, making it clear the terms of their relationship would be set up by how this questioned was answered.
“Azure is not and will never be weak. Our techniques are forever evolving, under my new leadership, I’d rather keep my enemies close. Keeping things cordial with Cadiella will mean another ally to fight by our side as well as do business with us. I want to build our economy and our safety first and then handle all of those who wronged us. No one is being let off the hook for crimes against us, but Cadiella shouldn’t be who we place our focus on anymore.” Tom carefully picked his words making sure they wouldn’t be easily twisted on him. The woman still seemed unsatisfied.
“Fine, well what do you think about the spy claims? What makes you think your precious princess isn’t trading our secrets and plans to attack us?”
Tom glanced over at you to see you staring straight ahead, maintaining composure. “Y/N, would never do that as she is now loyal to Azure and our people. She is our soon to be Queen and shall be treated with respect.”
“So you would let her get away with manipulating us?”
You opened your mouth to say something but your mother quickly switched your mic off and put her hand on top of yours. You and Tom shared a look.
“I will say it again, Y/N is loyal to us,” He started. “But if she were to commit an act of betrayal as King I wouldn’t be able to let that stand. Even as her loving husband, she’d be tried for treason,” He said holding his stare with you. His eyes gave away that this was a warning. If you did try anything you’d quickly be shut down. Everyone in the room had their eyes on the two of you. You held eye contact for a few more seconds before you stood up and walked out with a smirk painted on your lips. If you were going to be accused of treason prior to even doing anything, might as well have some fun. A frigid bitch they want, a frigid bitch they’ll get.
Tom managed through a couple more questions before not being able to take it anymore and calling the meeting off. Both royal families scurried out and went to go search for you. They checked for you in your room, Naomi’s room, the garden, kitchen, sitting area, no sign of you. Tom dipped back to his room to grab his phone and found you sitting on one of his chairs drinking a glass of bourbon from his bar cart and scrolling through his phone. His eyes widened as he reached to snatch it out of your grasp. You quickly placed the phone in your bra and gave him a coy smile.
“Something wrong darling?” You mimicked his voice.
“Y/N, we need to have a talk,” He said closing the door behind him.
“We’re talking right now,” You said taking another sip of your drink. It burned like hell on the way down but you kept your cool.
“Look, you can’t just storm out of events when you get annoyed. You’re about to be a queen so act like one. I was the person who handled the problem not you,” He said getting frustrated.
“They think I’m some golddigger or something after your precious crown when I hate this situation more than you!” You snapped.
“Look, I defended you. Besides, I don’t even know why you care what they say because they hold no power over you. Stop getting so wrapped up in your feelings.” He stomped over to his bar cart and poured himself a glass.
“I want to assure my opinion in this kingdom will be heard if I’m going through with this,” You demanded. He rolled his eyes.
“You’ll be queen, there’s no higher title.”
“No, I actually want to have my voice heard. I don’t want you to have the ability to shoot down my ideas. I am your equal, not your sidekick.”
“I don’t know why the fuck you’re yelling at me when I’m the only one who actually thinks you’re not the spawn of satan. I’m pissed off about this situation too. Nothing is in my control yet everything is blamed on me,” He sighed, taking a moment to calm down. “You’ll just have to trust that I’m not going to screw you over.”
“Oh yes, because your word is worth so much to me,” You folded your arms over your chest.
“If I screw you over, your brother is going to break the truce meaning that’s another battle I have to fight that I want no parts of. I know you think we’re some sort of bloody hungry monsters, but I’m not in the mood to send my people into a battle over an upset Queen,” He explained leaning back on his bed. “I just said the treason shit because what else was I supposed to say? Being reasonable it’s not like I could lock you up for it, the Cadiellian army would be burning the palace down before you could be formally accused. My people just need to think I have control of all situations, and right now they view you as a situation.”
“Oh trust me, I will be a situation if I continuously get disrespected and have my opinion voided,” You spit.
“You know the way you talk and behave makes me curious to if you’re the one who had that near-death experience set up in an effort to try and off me,” He said running a hand through his hair, messing up the perfect locks.
You laughed. “Yes because I totally planned to cut the shit out my legs. And if I did hire someone, you should know they would not have missed. How do I know this isn’t some plot to get rid of me?”
“Because same as you love, whoever I would have hired would not have missed,” He said through gritted teeth. “Look, let’s just call it a truce. We’re stuck in this shit no matter what and I’d rather not have you cause a scene at my coronation so I promise you that we will be business partners in this. It will be a loveless marriage, so I hope you’re good at pleasuring yourself with your own two hands darling.”
“Better than you ever could.”
He takes a step closer to you. “Ooh, I doubt it. It’s a shame you’re not more cooperative because I’m better than your wildest dreams.”
“More like in your dreams. Those whores you hire scream for you to stroke your ego,” You say with the click of the tongue. “Oh Thomas, yes right there yes,” you mimic in a high pitched voice. You pick up the bottle of bourbon, take a long swig before slamming it back down against the bar cart. “I’ll see you at dinner asshole.”
You slightly stagger down the hallway as the liquor hits your system. You grip onto the walls as you manage to make your way back to your room. You swing open the door to find someone in a mask rummaging through your bags.
“He-” Before you can get another word out a hand goes over your mouth and the door shuts behind you. You look up at the tall masked person behind you, as they tighten their hold.
“Let’s hold it together princess, we wouldn’t want you to end up like your father.”
continues Maya Angelou’s personal story,
begun so unforgettably in I
Know Why the Caged Bird Sings…Maya Angelou, still in her teens, has given
birth to a son. But the next few years are difficult ones as she tries to find
a place in the world for herself and her child.
in this third self-contained volume of
her autobiography…Maya Angelou moves into the adult world. Maya struggles to
support herself and her son through a series of odd jobs and weathers a failed
marriage to a white man before landing a gig singing in one of the most popular
nightclubs on the San Francisco coast.
Heart of a Woman, Maya Angelou leaves California with her son, Guy, to move
to New York. There she enters the society and world of black artists and
writers, reads her work at the Harlem Writers Guild, and begins to take part in
the struggle of black Americans for their rightful place in the world
in 1962 the poet, musician, and performer
Maya Angelou claimed another piece of her identity by moving to Ghana, joining
a community of “Revolutionist Returnees” inspired by the promise of
pan-Africanism…lyrical and acutely perceptive exploration of what it means to
be an African American on the mother continent, where color no longer matters
but where American-ness keeps asserting itself in ways both puzzling and
opens as Maya Angelou returns from Africa
to the United States to work with Malcolm X. But first she has to journey to
California to be reunited with her mother and brother. No sooner does she
arrive there than she learns that Malcolm X has been assassinated.
YAY someone asked for the thing!! Thanks for this!
who’s the cuddler: Makoto. He’s more about hugging and leaning on her, whereas Kiri is more about the casual intimacy of laying down on the couch in a way that puts her feet into his lap - that sort of thing.
who makes the bed: I think Makoto tries to do it before Kyoko inevitably gets to it.
who wakes up first: Makoto is the morning person.
who has the weird taste in music: We know that Makoto likes “whatever’s popular” so that makes Kyoko’s taste for classical (or just classical-style modern compositions) to be ‘weird’ in comparison.
who is more protective: Kyoko.
who sings in the shower: Both, but Naegi is just belting it out while Kiri is sort of softly humming and sporadically saying one or two words aloud… :)
who cries during movies: Makoto
who spends the most while out shopping: Kyoko was raised in an expensive lifestyle and therefore has expensive tastes. I figure that Makoto is more likely to not budget properly, but he’s far less likely to buy something that costs $1000, so she’s the big spender.
who kisses more roughly: Kyoko usually.
who is more dominate: Likely Kyoko, unless Makoto is in a cheeky mood
Harry Styles | One Shot | Red Lips and Poker Chips
I duck my head down and step out of the black car,
immediately being greeted by the highest people of the casino. The highest boss
and probably one of the most greedy and money obsessed men I’ve ever met, comes
walking towards me and gives me a steady hand, welcoming me back. I squeeze his
hand a little harder back, showing him that I’m a little more important and
richer than he is. The man recoils slightly, almost bursting out of his
expensive suit because of his heavy posture. I turn back and thank my driver,
walking into the big and expensive house of gambling.
Two beautiful ladies in gorgeous dresses
step by my side to accompany me and lead me towards my reserved room. After a
long day of work and closing an important deal for my company, I was looking
forward to a quiet, brain wrecking game of poker behind closed doors together
with some other powerful rivals of mine in this city. I like coming here,
meeting new people for business deals and to celebrate business deals that I
handled that same day.
I step into the room and everyone turns
their heads towards me, all accompanied by a woman. I dismiss the ladies that
led me inside and ask for my poker chips which they quickly take care of. I
take a seat, my favourite drink already in stood on the table in front of me. I
turn around and spot one of the workers here whom I’ve been friends with for
a while. He gives me a professional nod and I smirk back at him as a thank you
for already putting my drink on the table.
“Always in time at the last second,
Styles.” One of the men says from his place opposite to me. I shrug and look
down arranging the chips that the girls put down.
“You know me. Busy day at work. Finally
finished off a deal that occupied me for over a year. I think we can
celebrate.” I say casually and the booming of their laughter fills the room.
How do you respond to the claim that the American Revolution was a conservative revolt?
All good monarchists concede that a tyrant is not a true king, but one does not replace the office over a bad servant within it.
The Americans faced abuses worth being contentious over. I would go so far as saying armed rebellion can be a good thing. But, it’s one thing to rebel until your goals are met, it’s another thing to break away and form one’s own nation.
But the greatest sadness within the American Revolution is not the division of the Kingdom from the colonies so much as the American acceptance of Enlightenment philosophy, Enlightenment values of equality/liberty/rights, Republicanism (as a form of gov’t), and the out-right anti-monarchy position they took and have now promulgated over the entire globe. Besides France, perhaps no nation is more responsible than America for destroying the institution of monarchy and the old values, and that’s the tragedy.
And I would add that being an American “conservative” is far, far to the left of what pre-Enlightenment political philosophy considered “conservative.” There’s a reason why the values in the Constitution that modern American conservatives seek to retain are referred to as “classical liberalism.” (Of course, this makes modern American liberals off the scale with their Satanic ways).