Monday’s riots in Charm City mark the end of an era where black outrage can be mollified by greater representation while stark inequalities persist. Today Baltimore has a black mayor, black police commissioner, and a police force evenly divided between black and white officers. Baltimore is no Ferguson, Missouri, a majority black city where black residents were inexplicably shut out of the city government, business elite, and police force. Instead of a beacon of hope, black representation has become a bitterly ironic symbol of how little has changed.
Yet Baltimore still erupted this week, a casualty of America’s unearned optimism about our own progress against racism and poverty, and the longstanding strategy of integrating blacks into a power structure that nevertheless upholds stark racial inequalities. In the history of black urban uprisings, Baltimore is one of very few cities that burned despite substantial black representation in the city government and police force. And that bodes ill for the belief that harmony can be achieved by elevating a few blacks to positions of power within a system that leaves so many impoverished. American cities cannot avoid unrest by simply placing black people at the helm, as long as progress for so many is ephemeral. An unjust system remains unjust no matter the ethnicity of its caretakers.
Just as tiring as the first. Or maybe I’m still jetlagged. Le shrug.
Today, the adventuring that I’m supposed to do had an actual start: I took the metro over to the UC Paris Center that I need to go to on Monday. It’s sparse but it’s pretty and apparently, all of my classes are gonna be in it. Plus, there’s a market and a McDonald’s down the street one way and a bunch of shops (including a bookstore!) down the other. Not bad.
After that, my dad convinced us to visit this other bookstore that he had heard about. Half-an-hour of walking later, we regretted the decision. Ten minutes after that, we regretted it even more because the damn thing was closed. But it’s a bookstore that happened to be selling HPDH for ONE EURO, so I can’t hate it.
Since the bookstore was a bust, we decided to go to the Place des Vosges–which is absolutely beautiful and relaxing–and that’s how this picture came into being:
I think this picture accurately sums up my Paris experience so far.
I left my new horse homie and went to the Notre-Dame afterwards. No offense to ND but it didn’t wow me. I was not mindfucked by its beauty nor was I taken in with its grandeur. That isn’t to say that it isn’t beautiful or grand; it’s just that I already had that mindfuckery at the basilica di San Marco in Venice. I fear it’s a one-time thing. Still, I need to go back and climb to the top of the towers.
Last stop of the night was the Latin Quarter. Tons of bars and food and people and food and food. Highlight: bra wrapped around a pillar in a bar. I want to go back during the next few months and possibly get drunk. Just because.
I didn’t actually do a whole lot today but I’m so goddamn tired. On the bright side, at least I have a croissant with apricots and custard next to me. Ah, French pastries, how I love thee.
Our second relase is actually titled after a relatively unremarkable pickup truck from Subaru. Couldn’t believe it when Mollified submitted it like that. Here’s a short interview with Cassidy H Kane on the subject.
CassidyHKane: So was it like your first car or something? An old jalopy pickup truck your father gave you for your 18th birthday?
Mollified: Dude no, I never even seen one live, in the flesh, or rather in the chassis right, you have to remember I grew up in Milan, not Dayton Ohio, no offense, but I don’t think this kind of car was ever really around in Italy.
CHK: This is weird then, because let me tell you, as a fantasy supercar it’s not like, I mean it’s not like Kavinsky and the Testarossa right? That’s kind of aspirational, Jordan Belfort and the white Ferrari from Miami Vice, that’s the kind of reference that evokes a whole vibe. The Subaru Brat, eh, not so much.
Mollified: Oh but I had the model from Tamiya. Really shitty RC model.
CHK: Still kind of begs the question why though? Couldn’t you have picked up some cooler model, like a dune buggy type of offroad deal with flames decals?
Mollified: Listen, it went down like this. I was like 8, 9 years old, I wanted a popular Nikko RC model car but it was too expensive, or sold out everywhere I think, so my father took me to this really well regarded model toy shop downtown. And it was heaven, they had tamiya models of every conceivable vehicle in existance, and I think then and there I thought, screw RC cars, let me have that model TANK, or that model US NAVY BATTLESHIP. But my dad, always the voice of reason, told me no, I’m not gonna buy you a model with 7000 tiny plastic parts that eventually I’ll have to glue up for you once you start crying, life is too short for that shit. Take one of those cars and let’s go back home.So, enraged, I picked the shittiest one I could find, thinking hey, that’ll show him, but you know, that only showed me since i got stuck with that thing for years while all the other kids laughed at me.
CHK: Great story, you were a little douchey kid. still not sure how any of this has even anything about to do with the music, your music?
Mollified: Look that wasn’t a great car right? So I think, something had to be great about it right? And I bet it was the tape player. It was a japanese car, I’m sure it had an amazing chunky tape player with solid switches that would cla-clunk when pressing rewind or eject. It has to. Don’t ruin my fantasy.
CHK: I think i’ve actually been on a BRAT once, you know, in rural Ohio where *I* grew up, I think I won’t spoil it for you, sometimes it’s better to face reality sooner rather than later, sometimes it’s not.
white people sure do love quoting MLK to mollify African Americans legitimate rage against systematic oppression and racism. and always negating the fact that MLK was MURDERED by the same power he was protesting against. fuck you if you’re more outraged at the sight of burnt buildings and cars then dead black bodies in the street!
the MLK they won’t quote tho…
“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season. Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
You bitch. Making me write. lol Knowing I’m frustrated and making me write. Okay. Here goes. (Let me preface this by saying I have many lines AFTER this, but, yes, the next line I have to write is the first one of Ch2 lol)
Well. So much for annulling things quietly, he thinks, as he squints at the slew of messages and takes in her stricken expression. Regina flips the phone back toward herself and swipes through the messages again, muttering, “She told half the family. Half the family.” That last part is said with enough volume to have both of them wincing.
“I’m sure it’ll be fine, love,” he tries to mollify, reaching his hand out for hers, but she scoffs and snatches away out of his reach.
“You don’t know my mother,” she tells her tersely, dropping the phone to the bed and pressing her palms against her eyes. “This is a disaster.”
requesting wheeljack teaching the tiniest wrecker explosives (like you didn't see this coming)
1) im sorry this took so long 2) why can’t i write wreckers/wheeljack stuff without throwing in something about him and bulkheads v complicated relationship
Miko walks out of one of the storage rooms in a helmet and full-body suit. Raf does a double take, then wordlessly grabs Jack by the sleeve, though his expression is an equal mix of fear and exasperation.
Jack, ever the mediator, immediately tells Bulkhead.
“Miko’s going to blow something up!”
Beneath the helmet, Miko’s no doubt giving him the stink-eye, all he can see is his reflection in the shiny black visor. He watches his own face contort in pain when she punches him in the arm. While he rubs his arm, Miko yanks off the helmet and tucks it under her arm, more gently than Jack ever knew she was capable.
I hadn’t eaten anything all day yet and I was super cranky when I saw these folks ambling through the street, emanating mollifying tunes. I immediately softened my disposition, but I didn’t think I was un-cranky enough to not creep them out so I just enjoyed the moment. A whole Kit-Kat later, I found them in the station and told them how I felt. They wished me a better rest of the day. I’m passing that to you all.
“Hm…Kai hasn’t seen Oki lately either. Wonder if he’s shutting himself up again? Gee, I hope he’s doing all right.” Though the red maned warrior would come out on his own accord eventually, he was sure, the forest sprite swallowed concern through sips of butterfly dock extracts. Even he could not escape the itchy pollen Yoshipetai emitted.
The warm tea was mollifying to his prickling throat. Lying his head down on the table in front of him, coughing into the ashen skin of his arms. His legs, covered by a pale comforter, lifted just a little as he scooted closer. Until this occurrence, Ishaku made no movement. His warm, wrinkled hand slipped under the envoy’s ebony bangs and clammy flesh. At least his fever broke.
“Oki…I presume he’s one of your Oina friends, right?” Times had certainly changed since Issun was only a boy. It was difficult for people like the old man, but still yet, Ishaku only had Issun to thank. He often had discouraged the boy from straying too far out of the forest, never expecting him to someday mend the severed ties between they and the Oina. When he left, he truly became something else.
“Yeah,” came Issun’s grinding voice, “he’s always out on the prowl or shuttin’ himself up in his hut. He’s got bad social skills.”
“Bad social skills,” Ishaku echoed, loosening Issun’s rice paper ponytailer and smoothing out the young man’s hair, just like he used to. “Very typical of a man of the Oina.” The boy had his work cut out for him, that was for sure. The Oina still had much developing to do. Who better to trust the future to than his grandson?
“Mm?” If his throat had not bubbled, Issun would have made an inquiry of more substance. It earned him a chuckle at least.
“Come, Issun, you can’t sleep there. It’s bad for your back. You still haven’t finished your tea.”
“Too bitter…don’t want to. Don’ nag. Ow, that’s my ear!”
“It will be your rear if you keep that smart mouth, boy.”
Tiny toes curled under the ripples of the steaming spa, stress mollified by the temperate waters. There were very few places he intended not to set foot, thus treating the sore skin by the therapeutic springs became a priority. Walking along by his lonesome was much more difficult when no one else was there watching. At least he wouldn’t become distracted.
Legs, too, slowly sunk into the pool, the tiny cloth covering his waist storing water inside its fibers. It was true that Sasa Sanctuary received very few visitors, but something about coming alone almost made him fret. There was no duty other than long term goals and motivations to address his thoughts, but only the sounds of nature around him in their stead.
It wasn’t so bad, being alone, though it made him more wary. Whether it was his mind playing tricks on him, or the work of the gods, it felt as if the day had gone by much faster than usual. He rested his eyes for what felt like mere minutes, and then suddenly the sunset was gone. Again, the sun escaped him.
For how long would it continue to elude him? It was there, always, it smiled at him; but he just wanted to see her again. That would be too easy though. To tuck himself away and under their favorite cherry tree. The gods were everywhere; in the trees, the sky, the very water he sat in.
They worked in such mysterious ways. They were beings that far surpassed mortal comprehension, yet they thrived on that very thing. Could it be that those divine spirits identify themselves with the help of prayers? Identity and power were two very complex things. Identity, on the other hand, was even more so. If the gods tried so hard to identify themselves with mortals, then what was their nature beyond what was seen? Was it too pure for the eyes of man? Would sin blemish their holy figure?
Ishaku lifted his gaze, intending to ask more to the stars and the sleeping sun, only to find his answer in two ashen moons. “Wh–wh–Two moons!?” There was only supposed to exist one moon in each sky, yet there! Lo and behold, she with pale hair and skin smooth to the eyes like dough,
Never had he imagined the god of the bow to be so bulbous. Ah, two arrows could mark him! This was it, this was what he had long waited for; Amaterasu, the motherly ghost light, was finally to return! Salmon flowers eat her, fever his face in a blustering spring bloom! Hotness sprung, rocketed, ascended to the heavens to reunite him! White plumed, firmer–they could leak pollen, or they could pierce him right then!
How cold had they to be? Take him alive, but not his children–never his children! He was still too young to perish by cede! Moonlit enchantress, have mercy on he of small stature, listen to his bay, don’t burn his copper seas! Bronze to red, trapped words unsaid, clenched deeply in the jaws of upheaval!
A lost love, but birthed willow did she, and they who came from her! This was not she, but a stranger to his drinking eyes. Strong was his clamor! He was man of honor, of decency! He had the strength to get through any challenge, even if this, his most tantalizing view; pretty like a picture, tried to deter him. Away he turned!
“Stop! Noooooooooooo! Don’t come any closer! A–ah, this isn’t a nude bath! Cover yourself! Quickly now!” Dare he peek?