media essentials

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aftg + social media [6/?]
↳ the three people who take better care of the foxes than they do of themselves. 

It’s been exactly three weeks since I vowed to effectively quit* social media.

As a reminder, I say effectively because I am not getting rid of my accounts. But I am trimming my social media use to such an extent that, to a good approximation, I am not using them at all. So no, I have not quit this blog and I will not quit this blog. At least not anytime in the near future.

Thanks to those who have stayed along for the ride. Immediately after I made my last post three weeks ago I lost a handful of followers. But I just checked my activity feed and my follower count has apparently still been growing in my absence haha. It hasn’t gone down at all (though the slope has decreased slightly). Which is interesting. My content has a life of its own on this site, I suppose. That’s great.

But anyway. Let’s get to the good stuff, here.

My good friend @rudescience and I just Skyped after a small while. I Skyped him a couple times and we sent each other emails about once a week. Which was a huge change because, for over two years, he and I used to text/snap almost all day long, every single day. No exaggeration. It was hard to get used to, for both of us, but we actually prefer it this way. We’ve each become less dependent on each other and more present in the everyday life in front of us. But I mentioned him because he just reminded me during our conversation that I really did accomplish a lot over my three-week hiatus.

Obviously, quitting* social media was a big part of this. You might be surprised to know that such a seemingly small gesture had such an impact on my life, in only a few weeks.

Keep reading

I just have this HC in my head and- 

  • Like Jack and Bitty have just come out and obviously there are mixed results
  • Like mostly good, the Falcs are great and supportive, so are the majority of fans 
  • But sometimes they get these players that obviously don’t like it
  • Sometimes it’s just faces and glares
  • Sometimes it’s checks that are aimed at Jack throughout a game, regardless of whether or not he has the puck
  • And sometimes it’s subtle in chirps, or not sometimes not so subtle 
  • 80% of the time it ends in most of the Falcs dropping gloves
  • Then the Falcs and the Aces are playing a game
  • And one of the Ace’s says something to Jack, calls him a slur and mocks him
  • Before the other Falcs have a chance to react Kent drops gloves and is on him 
  • And that’s how Kent ended up with four pies, three bags of cookies and a basket of Danish pastries arriving at his door one day

I was tempted to write this but I have no time so instead take my little list of how it went down 

bonus for you patater ho’s : It’s a media circus and that’s essentially how Kent came out. Tater soon follows him in coming out by kissing him right there on the ice

name a more iconic duo than lightning farron and lesbianism. i'll wait.

i promised a post on how the lightning saga games highly imply and most likely intentionally imply lightning farron to be a lesbian, and here it is!

this will be prefaced with a brief note on the way lgbt content is handled in japanese society and media, which is essential to understanding all of this. in japanese society, acceptance of lgbt issues is tenuous in a strange way. while lgbt people are accepted in theory, in japanese society you are often expected to be at least relatively closeted, especially if you are in the public eye. business marriages between lesbians and gay men are not only common but are what is largely expected. this attitude is less common with younger people, but it is very prevalent in japanese media, especially video games and anime. the concept of “q*eerbaiting” in discussion of japanese media even gets complicated due to the fact that in much of japanese media, subtext is looked at the way that most of us would look at confirmed lgbt characters in western media.
due to the complicated nature of how lgbt characters are handled in japanese media, the common western media argument of “this character is not lgbt because if they were they would be shown in a relationship with a character of the same gender or it would be directly mentioned” is not very valid in discussion of japanese media.

after that, now i will move on to actual discussions of the games themselves! 😊

-Final Fantasy XIII-
-much of the proof in the first game of the lightning saga is the things always pointed out in discussion of evidence for the fang x lightning ship (flight, fangrai, whatever you want to call it). the difference in lightning’s interactions with fang and her interactions with every other character in the game, the romantic undertones there, the looks they exchange, the way that lightning’s pupils dilate when she looks at fang, pretty much everything about lightning’s interactions with fang. i have seen very few people in the final fantasy xiii fandom who try to argue that lightning is not at least sexually attracted to fang.

-in final fantasy xiii, there are two characters who are the personality archetype lightning would be attracted to, and those characters are fang and snow. fang and snow are both the same
heroic protector type of character. lightning is obviously attracted to fang, and obviously not attracted to snow, even after she has accepted him as a friend but before she has accepted him as family. a scene in particular i will point to here is the scene in the estheim house where lightning talks to snow after he wakes up after being injured (before the fight with the psicom airship). snow is shirtless and is what most people who are attracted to men would consider to be extremely attractive at least sexually, and lightning does not notice or acknowledge this in any way, and as i have pointed out before, snow is precisely the sort of man lightning would be interested in if she were attracted to men, because in so many ways snow is male fang, and is the hero archetype that would be lightning’s “type”.

-Lightning Returns-
-this game fucking ramps up alot of the gay, which is not exactly part of my argument but like oh goddess this game is a goldmine of proof for lesbian lightning. nearly every interaction lightning has with anyone in this game screams “socially awkward lesbian”.

-first of all, there is a massive contrast in this game between the way lightning interacts with women and the way lightning interacts with men. in every conversation with a woman, lightning is much more attentive than she is in her conversations with men. lightning often seems nearly interested in women’s troubles, where the troubles of men are listened to in a way that is much more “this is just my job” than “i maybe care”

-there is alot more with fang here, but it has all been discussed in depth in shipping conversations. lightning and fang’s constant flirting, the “it’s a date” line before fang leaves the dunes, the fact that lightning effectively starts to ask fang to go out on a date with her before fang tells her she is going to leave, lightning’s awkward intensified shyness during that conversation, etc.

-there is literally a quest in this game where lightning only agrees to go on a “date” with a man because he says he will pay for her meal at an expensive restaurant, and she spends the entire quest until he starts discussing his backstory complaining about him trying to be romantic instead of just buying her food and letting her eat. one of the lines in this quest is “i’m just here for the steak”. this is not the reaction of someone attracted to men.

-lightning is always obviously uncomfortable when heterosexual relationships are discussed unless the relationship reminds her of serah and snow’s relationship or can be related back to serah and snow. if lightning were attracted to men in any way, she would not be so obviously uncomfortable around straight and straight-passing romance. contrast this to lightning’s visible reactions to romantic dialogue and romantic gestures between fang and vanille. lightning is not uncomfortable around sapphic relationships, but is around straight-passing relationships.

-the dialogue with the ticket seller in yusnaan during the main quest is a big thing. (some slight paraphrase in the quote here because i am pulling from memory but the idea of the ticket seller’s dialogue is there and lightning’s line i know is correct.
ticket-seller: what’s wrong? did your boyfriend break up with you? trust me, i know what a woman wants.
lightning: you obviously don’t know me.

-also, the difference in the way lightning responds to fang’s flirting contrasted with the way she responds to hope’s flirting. lightning encourages fang’s flirting, and literally threatens hope over his flirting.

there are probably some more things i am forgetting from my playthroughs of the games, but those are the key points. if anyone would like more in-depth analysis, i am planning on doing a 100% run of lightning returns soon and could take notes, and i would not mind replaying xiii in the not too distant future. all of this was mostly pulled from memory of having played through the games recently. if you would be interested in some more in-depth thoughts, feel free to ask! 😊

In Donald Trump’s America, the mere act of reporting news unflattering to the president is held up as evidence of bias. Journalists are slandered as “enemies of the people.”

Facts that contradict Trump’s version of reality are dismissed as “fake news.” Reporters and their news organizations are “pathetic,” “very dishonest,” “failing,” and even, in one memorable turn of phrase, “a pile of garbage.”

Trump is, of course, not the first American president to whine about the news media or try to influence coverage. President George W. Bush saw the press as elitist and “slick.” President Obama’s press operation tried to exclude Fox News reporters from interviews, blocked many officials from talking to journalists and, most troubling, prosecuted more national security whistle-blowers and leakers than all previous presidents combined.

But Trump being Trump, he has escalated the traditionally adversarial relationship in demagogic and potentially dangerous ways.

Most presidents, irritated as they may have been, have continued to acknowledge — at least publicly — that an independent press plays an essential role in American democracy. They’ve recognized that while no news organization is perfect, honest reporting holds leaders and institutions accountable; that’s why a free press was singled out for protection in the 1st Amendment and why outspoken, unfettered journalism is considered a hallmark of a free country.

Trump doesn’t seem to buy it. On his very first day in office, he called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth.”

Since then he has regularly condemned legitimate reporting as “fake news.” His administration has blocked mainstream news organizations, including The Times, from briefings and his secretary of State chose to travel to Asia without taking the press corps, breaking a longtime tradition.

This may seem like bizarre behavior from a man who consumes the news in print and on television so voraciously and who is in many ways a product of the media. He comes from reality TV, from talk radio with Howard Stern, from the gossip pages of the New York City tabloids, for whose columnists he was both a regular subject and a regular source.

But Trump’s strategy is pretty clear: By branding reporters as liars, he apparently hopes to discredit, disrupt or bully into silence anyone who challenges his version of reality. By undermining trust in news organizations and delegitimizing journalism and muddling the facts so that Americans no longer know who to believe, he can deny and distract and help push his administration’s far-fetched storyline.

It’s a cynical strategy, with some creepy overtones. For instance, when he calls journalists “enemies of the people,” Trump (whether he knows it or not) echoes Josef Stalin and other despots.

But it’s an effective strategy. Such attacks are politically expedient at a moment when trust in the news media is as low as it’s ever been, according to Gallup. And they’re especially resonant with Trump’s supporters, many of whom see journalists as part of the swamp that needs to be drained.

Of course, we’re not perfect. Some readers find news organizations too cynical; others say we’re too elitist. Some say we downplay important stories, or miss them altogether. Conservatives often perceive an unshakable liberal bias in the media (while critics on the left see big, corporate-owned media institutions like The Times as hopelessly centrist).

To do the best possible job, and to hold the confidence of the public in turbulent times, requires constant self-examination and evolution. Soul-searching moments — such as those that occurred after the New York Times was criticized for its coverage of the Bush administration and the Iraq war or, more recently, when the media failed to take Trump’s candidacy seriously enough in the early days of his campaign — can help us do a better job for readers. Even if we are not faultless, the news media remain an essential component in the democratic process and should not be undermined by the president.

Some critics have argued that if Trump is going to treat the news media like the “opposition party” (a phrase his senior aide Steve Bannon has used), then journalists should start acting like opponents too. But that would be a mistake. The role of an institution like the Los Angeles Times (or the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal or CNN) is to be independent and aggressive in pursuit of the truth — not to take sides. The editorial pages are the exception: Here we can and should express our opinions about Trump. But the news pages, which operate separately, should report intensively without prejudice, partiality or partisanship.

Given the very real dangers posed by this administration, we should be indefatigable in covering Trump, but shouldn’t let his bullying attitude persuade us to be anything other than objective, fair, open-minded and dogged.

The fundamentals of journalism are more important than ever. With the president of the United States launching a direct assault on the integrity of the mainstream media, news organizations, including The Times, must be courageous in our reporting and resolute in our pursuit of the truth.

ok let me say this: the s2 snk ending is wonderful

anonymous asked:

I absolutely know that violence is never the right answer, but at the same time I feel like sometimes violence is the best/only option in some cases to get a point across, and I hate that I think that. I must say I found a lot of satisfaction seeing Richard getting decked, and I absolutely would have done the same

Which sounds totally great until you see this:

And reasonable people can just look at him and scoff and think, “What an idiot, we all know that all your rhetoric is ridiculous and nothing but racist conspiracy theory. All you do is spout racism constantly. You’re a bigoted joke.” But whilst we’re saying that, you’ve got the other side saying, “Holy shit, that’s true, nobody ever contradicts what he’s saying! They don’t argue because they can’t argue!”

Now, don’t get me wrong. You can argue with bigots until you’re blue in the face and they’ll ignore everything factual and relevant to support their own positions. The thing is, the only thing that’s happened as far as Spencer is concerned? He’s had buzzwords thrown at him with absolutely no one explaining why the buzzwords are actually relevant this time.

Because, sad to say, we’re living in a society at the moment that thrives on calling others buzzwords for no reason, and a lot of people are just ignoring the buzzword-claims when they happen now. Most people have no idea what Spencer actually says or actually believes, or, they know that it’s wrong but they can’t actually explain why it’s wrong to others.

You know, over in the UK, we had a political party that was massively racist and bigoted – the British National Party. And support for it grew, because a lot of media coverage was essentially, “They’re bad and racist!” without going into why. So when the BNP leaders said that they were smeared, there were those that believed them, and more people started to listen to them. And now the BNP are nothing.

What happened between them growing and then suddenly slipping into obscurity?

Their leader was invited to speak, as an equal, on a BBC politics show. There was outrage from the public. “Why are you letting that evil, racist bigot speak?!” But they did let him speak. And when he finished speaking, he was asked questions. And he couldn’t answer those questions. He was poked and prodded at, criticised and analysed, all on TV, and he showed himself to be exactly the disgusting bigot that he was. He was completely exposed, and the BNP dropped from having around fifty seats in local government, to now having one. Membership dropped dramatically and nobody mentions it anymore.

Punching the leader might have felt good, but it wouldn’t have done anything. Exposing his views and showing him for the fascist bigot that he actually was? That stopped him.

There will, unfortunately, always be extremists and the worst of humanity out there. But violence for no reason does nothing. It only gives the bigots and excuse to push their agenda further, and thanks to this publicity? There will be people researching him and thinking that his smooth-talking is correct. I have absolutely no doubt that he’ll have brand new supporters because of this. Spencer is going to keep spreading his vile message online where he calls the shots, and right now, the media’s only defence against him is, “What a bigot!” and nothing else.

And calling someone a bigot today means nothing, when “bigot” can be code for “doesn’t call themselves a feminist,” “wants to talk openly about immigration issues,” “thinks that anyone can be racist,” so it’s pointless going the way we are now.

People need to address what he actually says and why that’s actually bigoted and wrong. We absolutely do not need another debacle like CNN making up what he’s said to make his bigotry sexier for the camera. 

A punch won’t work. Exposing the truth will.

Keeping Indoor Succulents: A Guide for Hopeful Growers

I see a lot of blogs out there telling people interested in having succulents and/or cacti that unless you can provide the PERFECT outdoor place for them, you shouldn’t have them.

That’s just damn discouraging for a would-be grower! While a warm, sunny spot outside IS ideal and I strongly advocate getting your succulents outside for the growing season if POSSIBLE, don’t let the lack of outdoor space prevent you from enjoying some of these awesome little plants!

Here is a guide that will help you choose the best succulents/cacti for every windowsill.

***

¡¡ Some things to remember !!

• Succulents with dark green leaves are best. They are best-suited to soaking up whatever light is available.

• Make sure there’s plenty of airflow. This will help prevent prolonged dampness, which leads to rot. I keep a fan on frequently, especially after watering. This is especially important if your home tends to be humid.

• Water deeply and infrequently. It’s best to water until a good amount of water drips out the drainage holes, and then not watering again until the plants are bone-dry. NEVER let your plants sit in excess water!

• Use clay pots with a lot of drainage. If your plants are indoors, the clay soaks up a lot of excess moisture that could otherwise lead to fungus. Make sure the pots have AT LEAST one large drainage hole in the bottom, but more is better.

• Gritty, fast-draining growing media is essential. Stay away from anything containing peat or a lot of wood. Soil with a large amount of coarse sand, lava rock, or perlite is ideal.

***

Succulents/cacti that do well by a bright (south or west) window:

- Aloes
- Corpuscularia
- Crassula perforata
- Crassula ovata
- Senecio rowleyanus
- Sedum morganianum

Succulents/cacti that do well by a less bright (east or north) window:

- Hatiora
- Haworthia
- Gasteria
- Rhipsalis
- Sansevieria
- Schlumbergera

***

¡¡ Please note that these are plants that I’ve had experience growing in these conditions. I’m sure there are more out there that do just fine indoors. Feel free add your own success/fail stories! Your plants’ needs will also depend on your own climate and hardiness zones, if your window is obstructed, etc. !!

Essena O’Neill is a virtual Panhandler.

I saw about 500 different articles yesterday on facebook, buzzfeed, instagram, and tumblr about some girl named Essena O’Neil quitting social media to live life in the real world. I guess this girl was “instagram famous” and companies would pay her to post pictures wearing their clothes or drinking their tea or whatever product they wanted her to endorse. So social media was essentially her career. 

Apparently, Essena had some eye-opening experience that made her realize that she based her self-worth on followers and likes, and that social media is all a facade or “not real life” as she says over, and over, and over, and over again in her 3 youtube videos she made about why she’s quitting social media. She goes on and on for like 15 minutes about how social media isn’t real, she won the genetic lottery, and that people need to get off their phones and live in the now. “Hell yeah! What a great message!” i thought to myself as I watched, but then she completely ruined it for me by closing her message with a pathetic plea for her followers to give her money because she can’t afford her rent. 

This made me furious. Here we have this perfectly healthy 18 year old girl, an alleged straight A student, crying about wanting to live a normal life in the real world, but not actually doing anything to live her desired “normal life” and begging strangers to financially support her. How in the hell is that a step towards living a normal life in the real world? I don’t think her intentions were ever to live a normal life. In my opinion, she’s exploiting a real issue to promote her new blog so she can continue to make money by literally doing nothing, and she’s receiving praise for it. That’s sickening. 

You never quit a job when you have financial responsibilities to take care of and no source of income lined up to replace the job you’re quitting. I thought this was common sense, but I guess I just have good parents and smart friends because this is something I’ve been perfectly aware of since I started working. This girl had a job, social media, that allowed her to take care of her rent and bills without having to depend on someone else to do it for her. I find it ridiculous that people are giving her praise for being irresponsible and quitting her job, leaving her incapable of taking care of herself. I get it, her job was making her depressed and it wasn’t healthy for her to live that way anymore. Guess what? In the real world, pretty much everyone hates their job! I work in a restaurant and deal with assholes all fucking day to the point where I don’t even want to be around people most of the time, but I would NEVER quit my job and put myself in a position where I can’t pay my rent. To be perfectly blunt: that’s just fucking stupid. She is receiving so much attention and praise for something that in the “real world” she so desires to be a part of would be considered stupid and irresponsible. She isn’t accountable for her actions whatsoever, and we are just enabling that. 

So I guess no we’re supposed to feel bad for this poor 18 year old girl who quit her social media job to live a normal life where she begs strangers to support her. An 18 year old, straight A student, who is mentally stable, well bodies, and 100% full capable of finding a normal real world job, but would rather blog about wanting to live a normal life and rely on her followers to support her. Really? We’ll support an adult who is 100% capable of taking care of herself, but when we scoff, judge, and look down on homeless people that ask for spare change outside of stores or on street corners? This girl who has a roof over her head, food in her refrigerator, and clean clothes on her back is more deserving of your spare change than a mentally ill and damaged veteran who has literally nothing? PISS OFF. This girl is no different than the panhandlers you see asking for money outside of stores that eventually drive off in a car nicer than yours cause they’d rather ask people for money than work for it. If you have money to spare, please don’t give it to some girl who is more than capable of taking care of herself. Donate it to a charity, give it to a homeless person, or use it to buy food for a homeless person if you feel skeptical about giving them money. Don’t let yourself be scammed. 

And who follows this girl? What is the demographic of her fans? Well, who uses social media the most: teenagers and young adults. It’s hard enough to take care of yourself  and be financially independent at that age, let alone being responsible for someone else. I find it kind of insulting that I bust my ass trying to balance full-time school with working almost full-time, and this girl wants to beg me and other people going through the same shit as me to pay her bills. Get the fuck out of here. If she put as much energy into finding a job as she’s putting into promoting her blog, then she would for sure be employed right now. Expecting teenagers and young adults, who are most likely working and going to school in order to better themselves, to support you financially is just wrong and she should be ashamed of herself for even asking. 

Social media can be harmful, and it’s important to educate young people about the psychological harm that can happen to people who measure their self-worth in social media popularity. Everyone, and i mean everyone, tries to make their lives seem so much more interesting on social media and it’s important to recognize that and avoid comparing your life so someone’s social media life. If you find yourself getting upset because your life isn’t as exciting as someone’s life on social media, or if you get upset because your picture doesn’t get a million likes on instagram, remember than you’re so much more valuable than that! And if you get to a point where it affects your mental and/or physical health, then get professional help. Know that you are beautiful, loves, and important. I remember the story of Madison Holleran on ESPN called split image and it’s worth the read if you are intrigued by this topic. But don’t support some girl who is exploiting a real issue to gain more attention and to fool people into taking care of her financial responsibilities. We didn’t force her to become an instagram celebrity, we didn’t force her to accept money and sponsorships from companies, we didn’t tell her to make social media her life, and we are not responsible for taking care of an adult who is more than capable of taking care of herself. This isn’t an attempt to start a movement, this is a clever marketing strategy so Essena can rebrand herself. Don’t buy into the bullshit! 

Need some help finding Vodou-positive movies.

So Haitian Vodou, as well as Louisiana Voodoo and Santeria (basically any Syncretic religions) are typically very poorly portrayed in popular media and are essentially always lumped together with hollywood black magic and satanism. If I ever see another movie where a Baron Samdei looking character tricks someone into a Faustian bargain it will be too soon.

What I wan’t to know is if you good folk of tumblr can recommend any media, but particularly movies, that show Vodou (or any syncretic religious traditions for that matter) in a positive light, as opposed to being witchcraft?

Trump personally congratulates Turkey's president for his referendum win

(President Donald Trump.AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
President Donald Trump called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to personally congratulate him on his narrow referendum win on Monday.

Critics questioned Trump’s congratulatory call because Erdogan’s victory was seen as bringing him a step closer to one-man rule in his country.

The US State Department took a different tone.

“We encourage voters and parties on both sides to focus on working together for Turkey’s future and to maintain a meaningful political dialogue," said acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner. "Democracies gain strength through respect for diverse points of view, especially on difficult issues.

”We look to the government of Turkey to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all its citizens,“ Toner continued. ”The United States continues to support Turkey’s democratic development, to which commitment to the rule of law and a diverse and free media remain essential.“

The new referendum would allow Erdogan, who has already enacted sweeping reforms since a 2016 uprising that nearly ended in a coup, "to issue decrees, declare emergency rule, appoint ministers and top state officials and dissolve parliament," according to Reuters.

After 51.4% of voters reportedly opted to pass the referendum, protests against have erupted in the streets of Istanbul. Protesters claim that despite the win, there have been voting irregularities, such as the acceptance of ballots that did not bear official stamps, according to an Associated Press report. Reuters also reported that an initial assessment by the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) — the European monitor that was supposed to have been overseeing the voting — concluded that it ”did not meet democratic norms.“

In addition to endorsing Erdogan’s referendum win, Trump was reported to have discussed other issues that the US and Turkey have been embroiled in recently.  

"The two leaders agreed that [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad should be held accountable for the actions he has taken,” added a statement from Erdogan’s office, in a Washington Post report. Since Assad's chemical weapons attack earlier this month, the Turkish Health Ministry was one of the first organizations to denounce Syria for its role in that attack, which killed at least 83 people in the northwest city of Idlib.

NOW WATCH: ‘Stop interrupting’: Spicer argues with a reporter after saying Trump’s former campaign manager played a 'limited role’



More From Business Insider

If ‘cyberspace’ once offered the promise of escaping the strictures of
essentialist identity categories, the climate of contemporary social media has swung forcefully in the other direction, and has become a theatre where these prostrations to identity are performed.  With these curatorial practices come puritanical rituals of moral maintenance, and these stages are too often overrun with the disavowed pleasures of accusation, shaming, and denunciation.

Valuable platforms for connection, organization, and skill-sharing become clogged with obstacles to productive debate positioned
as if they are debate.  These puritanical politics of shame – which fetishize oppression as if it were a blessing, and cloud the waters in moralistic frenzies – leave us cold.  We want neither clean hands nor beautiful souls, neither virtue nor terror.  We want superior forms of corruption.

What this shows is that the task of engineering platforms for social
emancipation and organization cannot ignore the cultural and semiotic mutations these platforms afford.  What requires reengineering are the memetic parasites arousing and coordinating behaviours in ways occluded by their hosts’ self-image; failing this, memes like 'anonymity’, 'ethics’, 'social justice’ and 'privilege-checking’ host social dynamisms at odds with the often-commendable intentions with which they’re taken up.

—  Laboria Cuboniks, Xenofeminism, A Politics for Alienation

Ben Sokolowksi is honestly the poorest excuse for an Arrow writer I’ve ever witnessed. He’s been on twitter bragging to Olicity fans about how Olicity has way more fans compared to Lauriver due to the fact that the tweet he put up (asking Olicity fans to retweet and Lauriver fans to like) has far more retweets than likes. 

The fact that a writer, who is supposed to be professional has gone on social media and is essentially mocking Lauriver fans with his insensitive and downright mean tweets is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. 

Arrow does not revolve around Olicity. A good television show should not revolve around any ship and shouldn’t be influenced at all with the amount of followers a particular ship has. A show is not as good as it’s ship.. Yet that’s essentially became what Arrow is about. I’m surprising myself even to say that it has became more about ships than The Vampire Diaries and The Originals; at least those two shows manage to maintain strong platonic and familial relationships as well as a decent plot, fight scenes and character development, something Arrow has completely lacked for season three, not necessarily because of terrible writing in those departments but because it didn’t have the time due to Olicity taking up ½ the screen time.

A fan service relationship that clogs up character development and prevents emotional resonance and other screen time for more important characters (not necessarily important to the fans but to the story) is exactly why I can firmly say that Arrow is the worst series on the CW. And yes I’m including Reign. 

Black Manhood

What exactly does black manhood mean? What is it? Why is it defined it such stark terms, and are we seeing a change in modern consciousness about it? The Marvel Universe, Star Wars, and (soon) DC Cinematic Universe has, arguably the four most high profile black male protagonists to date (I’ve left out Falcon, War Machine, Lando, and others due to the fact that those men were not leads/co-leads in their respective franchises).

Each man is black, but each one defines his own manhood in such differences, and multitudes.

There’s Finn, from Star Wars, who, through his own agency, freed himself from the First Order, rescued the pilot Poe Dameron, made friends with Rey,  and started on a journey of heroism.

Luke Cage, a man with impenetrable skin who does his best to stay under the radar, and is forced to be a hero for the betterment of himself and his community.

T'challa, the king of a great African nation, untouched by Colonialism, who lost his father and must now take on a grand responsibility of leading his nation towards its future.

and Victor Stone/Cyborg who was involved in a terrible accident, saved by his father Silas Stone through advanced technology, and now questions his own humanity while struggling to protect the people he cares about.

Each man is allowed to express his own individual self, in all of its forms and shades. In Jessica Jones, Luke Cage is allowed to mourn the death of his wife Reva, to feel conflicted about Jessica’s part in the incident, and in Luke Cage, those same shades of humanity will be pushed further.

Finn, is allowed his own self-interests. He is allowed space to care for his own needs (a need to escape the First Order and secure his own safety). He is allowed to space to mourn the death of his comrade. He is allowed the space to feel joy that Poe Dameron is alive.

T'challa is an interesting case, because he must operate with the mentality of a leader. In Civil War T'challa isn’t just hunting the people who killed his father, he is insuring that the people responsible for the death of Wakanda’s king are put to justice. He must serve his people, as well as his own heart.

Victor Stone is a little harder to pin down (mostly because Justice League hasn’t premiered as of t he time of this writing) however through the Cyborg comic books, and Justice League animated films, I assume there may be some crossover between the character’s protrayal in the different media forms. Victor is, essentially, a man who is out to reconnect with his own humanity. He is looking for shadows of the person he used to be, and trying to hold on to what small piece of humanity he has left.

Now, aside from the super hero /sci fi elements of the franchises these men are in, personality wise they have very little in common. Finn is charming, and inexperienced, yet willing to fight back. Luke Cage is reluctant, T'challa is calculating and passionate, and Victor is reflective.

And why is this so significant? Because this black manhood is being showcased as different, and personable. Strange, yet normal. And this is important for the betterment of both the black and the nonblack community. Humanity exists within shades, all people (regardless of race or gender) contain multiplicity. Being both black and gay is almost seen as an oxymoron. So growing up as a black man learning about his sexuality was difficult. Now, my parents were always tolerant of who I was (as a kid I loved Disney princess films, and dolls) but going out into the world as a black man, people always have a preconceived notion of who you are. And that notion is ALWAYS present, regardless if you are gay, a nerd, or anything else. We’re not expected to embrace our multiplicity as black men, so we turn away from it, and embrace a more narrow view of who we’re supposed to be.

When black men turn away from that multiplicity we, in effect, define ourselves in stark terms that human beings were never meant to be placed in.  Black men are various, and it is being reflected at a critical time (now specifically during an era of Black Lives Matter, where blackness and all that it encompasses is examined, reaffirmed, and celebrated.)

I’m happy that we’re getting media that allows black men to be human beings, and express ourselves in different emotional ways, free from strict ideologies. It’s so important to be accept who we are. We’re humans.    

Future Perfect: What Fate Awaits Jupiter Ascending?

Jupiter Ascending is, as far as Warner Bros. is concerned, done. It has long since finished its theatrical run and has now been released worldwide in almost every conceivable home media format. Promotion has essentially halted, and the movie is now at the mercy of the public. 

So, what’s next for it? While it’s impossible to say for certain, it doesn’t hurt to speculate. In particular, I’d like to resurrect a comparison I’ve made before - Jupiter Ascending is, in terms of both its content and reception, pretty much a modern-day Labyrinth.

Keep reading

omegaresnovae  asked:

You should do a piece on Reagan and his legacy sometime. I have a feeling you'd have a lot to say, little of it positive.

Reagan had charisma, but an extremely narrow view of humanity.  His presidency was all about restoring “family values” (i.e., completely ignoring the AIDS epidemic and LGBTA issues while encouraging the censorship of so-called “violent” media) and essentially fucking over the 98%.  He cut taxes for the rich, and raised them for the middle and lower classes, resulting in a TRIPLING of the national debt, and leaving nothing for even the most basic government spending (of course, he circumvented this by literally stealing from the Social Security Trust fund).  This also caused corporations to outsource jobs overseas, which effectively increased the rate of unemployment.  And let’s not forget–he also spent billions of dollars funding the mujahideen Freedom Fighters, effectively sending a massive amount of weapons and training right into the hands of the Taliban.

Visual Culture

One of the papers I’m taking this year is Visual Culture, or as one of my lecturers has defined it, ‘how seeing functions’. 

If I’m being completely honest, I first chose the paper because I wanted to toss aside books of Romantic poetry and study paintings instead (and for an essay I’m studying Botticelli, yay 🎉)… but little did I know that I had actually always been emotionally invested in the study of Visual Culture.

Two weeks ago, I tentatively made the suggestion of an idea that I had for an essay to my supervisor. I had no clue whether this thing had any potential or anything, but I remember thinking that I wanted to bring my own, personal experiences and therefore opinions to the paper. So, what did this idea entail, I hear you cry? 

Blogging. Profiles. The Self.

I have accounts on most main social media sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr). I’m not alone in this at all - in fact most people I know are on these sites - but that is precisely my point. I occupy a small fragment of the vast, virtual world of the Internet…. I occupy a ‘space’. This ‘space’ is essentially shown to me & others via pixels on a flat screen. I can then perceive other people’s small fragments and compare them, perhaps connect them, to my own. Is it not interesting that what we ‘see’ when we view a profile comes to represent that which we assume is real (i.e. another person/life)? This may not make much sense, but I’m basically telling you my perspective as a person scrolling through Instagram/Tumblr on my phone. And it was these two social media sites that interested me the most.

Although the Photograph has been said to contain a trace of the ‘real’ - something other artistic medias such as painting do not - we have also all heard, as citizens of the 21st Century, the common phrase that a person’s Instagram life is not their ‘real’ life. And to this we think, well…duh(!). It’s common knowledge that usually people only post photographs they feel look good, or ones they think will express a superior part of their life, because this is the part which adheres to the culturally constructed ideas of ‘beauty’ and ‘taste’. But I’m not interested in this ‘why’, more interested in the effect. Before I say anymore, I thought I’d specify that the kinds of Instagram profiles I’m interested in looking at (literally) here are those that are – or so we think they are - focused on material objects. You will recognise the ones: you go onto an Instagram profile, where the image of a hand with an expensive watch on the wrist lies next to an image of the body shown in a ‘mirror pic’, the head is cut off from the frame and our first focus lies on the expensive suit. The next image shows slick shoes, worn on the feet of…who? Well, the faceless blogger, of course. This person intrigues me, but I couldn’t give a damn who they are. I’m more interested in wanting to find out what they’ve done to the representation of the human body in the arrangement of such an Instagram profile. The fragmentation of the body when I visit these pages feels harsh to me. For me, their Instagram page is not purely a show of economic surplus or capitalist culture; I think there’s something more to be said, and I’m wanted to use Visual Culture – ‘how seeing functions’ – to say it as the viewer.

Tumblr is different. The blogs I am interested in talking about are those that feature photographs mostly taken by other people, collated to form something we have come to acknowledge as an ‘#aestheticgoal’. I’m not going to go into theories of aesthetics because this just isn’t relevant here – ‘aesthetic’ in the social media sense is essentially ‘taste’. But in any case, the impression bloggers on Tumblr are presenting is that of an even less ‘real’ … the people we assume lie behind these blogs aren’t even trying to construct an image of themselves, instead a persona for who they ‘ideally’ wish to be. The imaginative inhabitation of – say – an image of a New York apartment is something we can experience on this site, next to the #goals of an image of a bikini-clad model at the beach. I’m interested in how this juxtaposition of images plays out in our perception as viewers, and what kind of effects this kind of viewing experience has.

This is where my idea gets quite personal. I’m not going to get personal in my essay because it wouldn’t be relevant, but I think my feelings are relevant to the efficacy of this blog post. Thinking back to my first experiences of Tumblr and Instagram as a teenage girl, I must admit I consistently reblogged and liked photographs of unattainable #bodygoals and #relationshipgoals. I’ve just been reading an essay by Rosalind Coward called, ‘The Look’ in preparation for a seminar tomorrow, and I’ve actually (usefully) been able to link it to my ideas for this social media essay. Her essay made me feel… uneasy. Not because I disagreed, but because I actually felt an affinity with the conclusion. Her essay basically (I’m being extremely general here) describes the circulation of images of the female in society, and the effect these images have on women. What is usually seen to be the ‘Narcissus’ stage of woman’s life (i.e. the woman-child stage), where the woman ‘identifies’ with these ‘ideal’ images surrounding her, turns out to be an identification laden with discontent, namely because the woman cannot see herself in the image of herself presented. Coward concludes the essay by saying that these images create an anxiety: if we cannot become the ‘image’ presented, if we cannot prune ourselves to ‘perfection’ through dieting, buffing, bronzing, waxing, etc… then we will, ultimately, face the future as unloved.

Reading this essay now, I can see that the idea of being unloved because you cannot attain the ‘ideal’ look is a false notion, but it is 100% something I have felt and do still sometimes feel. I no longer follow blogs that promote these kinds of images, I also no longer follow the profiles of those who are said to represent society’s ‘body goals’ on Instagram - not because I do not like who these people are (I like to think every person in and of themselves is lovely) but because I have been exposed to the images of these women in the past, and it is these images that have affected my perception of my self. The images of these real women that have been taken with the ‘ideal’ in mind is the problem. By unfollowing, I am choosing not to expose myself to the images any more than society dictates I have to via billboards or other forms of cultural media you see walking through the street … therefore I feel like I can begin to cultivate a certain comfort in the skin I am in.

I’m actually quite nervous for the seminar tomorrow, as I would not feel comfortable taking about my own experiences as a teenage girl and even as a woman in front of 25 people, no matter how useful it may be. However I need to say here that exposure to an ‘ideal’ definitely played a part in my issues surrounding mental health. There were days, weeks even, where I wouldn’t leave the house because I felt too ugly to expose myself to the world. This sounds melodramatic now, but it’s actually fucking serious. And it makes me angry. In 2013 I cancelled a trip to Barcelona with friends on the day I was supposed to leave because I thought I was too fat and too pale to enjoy myself, and I was terrified of the photographs. I measured myself by the societal ‘standards’ handed to me on a plate in the form of social media such as Tumblr/Instagram. I’m not saying there is fundamentally anything wrong with having an account (I’d be the definition of a hypocrite if I did), but I do find the effect exposure to such images can have interesting – even in the instantaneous effect of scrolling past something. 

Which brings me to the last interest I had: the difference in experiencing Tumblr/Instagram real-time on a feed, to experiencing individual pages. This to me seemed to have very different effects. We scroll, we like, we move on. But a profile with a collection of images calls for more contemplation, more judgement. And it will be interesting to see where this goes. 

In any case – two weeks ago I pitched my idea to my supervisor, expecting to be shot down. Instead he was really excited. And so am I.  

- Sarah (or, the woman who made the image below monochrome because I think it ‘looks good’ … I’m conforming to certain standards, but I’m also showing an image of my ‘self’ I wish to present. It may not be the ‘real’ me, but in a world which is in itself virtual, it may suffice as a trace of reality attempting to provide a somewhat genuine account of my life.) 

Every time there is violence in the Middle East, there are always people who celebrate Israeli and Jewish deaths. We perhaps expect this from radicalized Muslims but it’s not uncommon to see a white, Christian grad student living in America posting tallies of dead IDF soldiers and celebrating each one. These people usually say something to the effect of, “Colonizers have no right to safety” or “There’s no such thing as an Israeli civilian/innocent.” I disagree with these people (to say the least), but at least they are displaying principled thinking in some way. You could choose, in good faith, to agree or disagree with them.

What’s more troubling is the presence of lies, distortions, and conspiracy theory on the “Palestinian side.” We see this in the media narrative surrounding the shooting of Palestinians who commit stabbings and other terror attacks. Many media sources and individuals on the “pro-Palestine” side are only telling half the story, omitting the information that the Palestinians shot by police had just made attempts on Israeli civilians life. Sometimes they directly parrot from Palestinian propaganda–these people were “executed,” they were “innocent,” the stabbings were “alleged.” In at least one case, a video of a terrorist being shot was circulated with the (false) explanation that it was an Israeli police officer shooting a Palestinian teenager for no reason, and that an “Israeli mob” had screamed “Die, you son of a bitch!”

Leaving aside these attempts to whitewash the attacks (and the expectation that Israelis who have just escaped being stabbed to death should be passive and tolerant towards their attacker, instead of reacting with shock, fear, and anger–like all humans do), there is a broader problem of distortion in the movement. False stories are circulated all the time and–most importantly–there is not an attempt to correct them and be allegiant to the truth. Two notable recent examples: earlier this year, there was a a report that Israel had opened a dam to deliberately flood Palestinian homes. This was reported by the mainstream media, including Al Jazeera and VICE. Later, it turned out that there was no dam in the area and the media had essentially repeated Hamas propaganda–the equivalent of the “Jews poison our wells” fibs of medieval Europe. Almost no effort was made by the many left-wing media sources and individuals who shared the story to correct it. It didn’t matter what had happened. What had mattered was that it was the sort of thing that might have happened and, if you thought otherwise, it was proof you were a colonizer, a racist, a supporter of all Netanyahu’s policies, et cetera.

Example 2: Last summer, a French Palestine solidarity turned violent. Some (though by no means all) protestors attacked Jewish shops and smashed windows. It culminated with a mob surrounding a synagogue, rattling the doors and trying to get in. The mob were fended off by the Jewish Defense League, a right-wing organization that formed in response to French antisemitism. Later, it was claimed by many left-wing journalists (including Richard Seymour writing for Jacobin) that the “mob story” had been a fabrication and that the JDL had “incited” the attack by screaming racial slurs. However, this claim was definitively debunked by the Guardian: there had been a mob and the JDL had not incited them. As far as I know, neither Seymour nor anyone else made any attempt to correct their misreporting. I still hear it cited as an example that Zionists “made up” the reports of antisemitism in the wake of last summer’s war.

Conspiratorial thinking is also prevalent. Documented facts and credible historical accounts are disputed on the base that they are “Zionist revisionism” and “propaganda.” It’s not uncommon to see someone promote an article from the New York Times that criticizes Israel, only to call it a “Zionist rag” several hours later when it criticizes Hamas. People pick and choose and deliberately tune out voices that contradict what they already believe. Of course, this is a problem on both “sides,” but only one “side” claims to be socialist and anti-racist.

I’m not pointing this out to say that people who engage in this behavior are terrible people (although some of them certainly are), or even necessarily anti-semitic (although some are). Rather, I see this as a problem that is caused by the growing irrationality of the left wing. Instead of treating Palestine as a solidarity cause like any other, it is treated as the ultimate test of good and evil. When you move so far away from actual material conditions and events, you wind up sabotaging yourself and hurting innocent people, Israelis and Palestinians alike. Much of the pro-Palestinian movement is tragically no longer rooted in coherent leftist principles. It doesn’t advocate for the rights of both peoples; it advocates for the destruction of Israel. It doesn’t point out that claims of autonomy and indigenousness are complicated, it claims that Jews have no right to autonomy and are indigenous to nowhere. It doesn’t subject Israeli nationalism to a standard critique, it sneers that Hebrew is an “invented language” and that Jews eating hummus is “cultural appropriation.” It doesn’t point out that Israelis are protected by a state military while Palestinians have none, it claims that no Israeli has a right to be safe. It refuses to consider the conflict through the lens of the Arab world’s hostility towards Israel or the fate of ethno-religious minorites in the Middle East. It doesn’t advocate a principled boycott of West Bank goods; it tries to boycott all Israeli academics and stop Palestinians and Israelis from artistic collaborations or even appearing onstage together. These damage the credibility of the movement. They are a sign of something fundamentally wrong with today’s left.

None of this is the Palestinian’s “fault” and of course pro-Israeli media is capable of lies and distortion. But we don’t need MORE bullshit. What we need is people to emerge and be rational and say, “Anyone who murders other people out of religious mania is not on my side.”