nature-versus

been thinking a lot lately about how (for lack of a better word) ugly men are allowed to be, and still be seen as natural and human, versus the forced maintenance of femininity required of women to be seen simply as human and worthy of respect. we live in a society that celebrates male mediocrity and demands constant performance from women, and idk it just really makes me wanna scream

There’s a lot of discussion in fandom about who Luke and Leia in relation to their parents. I think it’s a really interesting subject particularly when you get into nature versus nurture. Luke and Leia’s adoptive parents gave them a lot, and so did their biological parents in terms of personality traits. Based on my own personal experience, I feel pretty strongly about the nature side of the nature versus nurture debate, and how some things are just engrained in people. However, also from personal experience, I can say that the nurture side is also incredibly apparent in people.

What Luke and Leia got from their biological parents are traits that come naturally to anyone. They aren’t learned, they’re just a part of you. What they got from their adoptive parents was a healthy upbringing that made them into the amazing characters we know and love. Let’s delve in a little bit.

There’s been a lot of great talk lately about Leia and her relationship with Bail and Breha. They are her parents, and it is their legacy that she continues to carry on. What Leia got from Anakin and Padme, from my perspective, is her temper, her political mind, her sharp tongue, and her leadership skills. Like I said, these are traits that are often ingrained in someone. But it was Breha and Bail who taught her how to hone her skills. She may have been a natural leader, but they showed her what was worth fighting for. It’s because of them that she grew into someone so good. You can have all the right traits, but if you don’t know how to use them, they’re no good. That is what Bail and Breha did for her.

Unfortunately, I see far less talk about Beru and Owen as Luke’s parents. I imagine it’s because Beru and Owen were simple farmers, and not rebellion leaders like Bail and Breha. But let’s not forget that these simple farmers raised the man who saved the galaxy. Luke was a lot like both his parents, kind and compassionate like his mother, heated temper and emotional like his father. Luke arguably got the best childhood out of any Star Wars character, even if he wouldn’t agree. Beru and Owen gave him a childhood. Luke is tempted to turn to the dark side, but he never did, and that’s partly due to them, because they raised him to be good and kind.

The four adoptive parents are really important to who Luke and Leia became. Yes, they are both a lot like their biological parents. That’s very clear. But the reason they both grew up to be heroes who would fight for the good in the galaxy is due to their adoptive parents. You can have the greatest biological parents in the world, but if your upbringing is awful, that doesn’t matter. Look at Anakin. He had a wonderful mother, but a horrible upbringing, so he went dark. But never Luke and Leia. Luke and Leia are heroes because of Bail, Breha, Owen, and Beru, not because of their genes.

Breath of the Wild: Nature vs. Technology

One of the biggest themes I noticed in BOTW was the reoccurring nature versus technology, which played out in the atmosphere, lore, and in some cases, characters. I think this game did a great job of describing the unpredictable relationship that nature and technology have, meaning that too much of a reliance on technology might not be a good thing, but on the hand, not adjusting to a rapidly changing world could be very damaging.

The obvious one is the beautiful atmosphere containing some blights here and there of ruins caused by Calamity Ganon and the technology. There’s also the Guardians and various tech lurking around, which serves as a reminder of this duality. 

Also Divine Beasts? Divine = good   Beasts = bad 

That in itself hints at the duality of their nature. They are neither good nor bad, but really, a force that is used however their pilot deems it.

The Sheikah technology was seen with mixed feelings 10,000 years and 100 years ago. Zelda’s father was adamant in her getting her sealing power working, but also wanted to use the tech as well. They strove for balance between nature and technology- but sadly fell short due to Calamity Ganon’s unexpected behavior- his ‘nature’ was more ‘technological’ than they realized- not simply a mindless best.

Zelda’s character encompasses this - she lacks the confidence in her natural skills, wanting to find answers in the technology and finding a logical answer to their dilemma and her own. She is a smart and hard working girl to the point of obsession, but is not in tune with her natural instincts (and true feelings), and thus, is constantly denied her sealing power. No matter how much research or practice she did, nothing would work, not even praying.

It is not until her actions are driven by her care/love (you be the judge) for Link that the mystical Triforce works and provides her the ability to not only save Link, but also temporarily stop Calamity Ganon from unleashing again. She didn’t think, but rather, reacted to the scene and used her instincts. Her true wisdom was realizing she had the answer all along. She has to trust in herself for 100 years that she will be able to keep Calamity Ganon off. 

The fallen champions are another example of this duality. Revali, Urbosa, Daruk, and Mipha were chosen to pilot the Beasts, which certainly seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, they got taken over by Calamity Ganon, leading to their deaths and more destruction. Technology, in this case, was shown to also have a negative effect - if we solely rely on it, can get the better of us. Their ‘natural’ spirits are bound within the tech, unable to find peace or provide their skills for use.

Link, a force of ‘nature,’ comes in and has to reclaim the Divine Beasts. I liked this part of the game because it shows that we can always redo the mistakes of the past by getting ‘in tune’ with ourselves. Link was sealed off in technology for 100 years, and in a way, is getting back to his ‘own nature’ by relearning his past life and regaining skills. By his actions of taking the Beasts back, he allows for the champions and their loved ones to find peace.

That’s another cool component- the game is asking you to trust in your ‘natural’ spirit advisors and yourself to end an ‘unnatural’ Calamity Ganon (especially since its got fused tech). They may have passed on, but true to nature, remain champions in spirit- you can still succeed, even 100 years later. Their efforts show that as bad as the technology turned out, it is simply a matter of how it is being used and how those in power will use it that dictates whether its bad.

If there’s anything to learn from BOTW, it this is- never lose your ‘natural instincts’ guiding your faith, but don’t be afraid to engage in scientific reasoning- this duality, when balanced and used appropriately, can lead to great things.

The Northrop Frye Theory of A Song of Ice and Fire (or, why you can be certain this series won’t have a downer ending)

The affinity between the mythical and the abstractly literary illuminates many aspects of fiction, especially the more popular fiction which is real enough to be plausible in its incidents and yet romantic enough to be a “good story,” which means a clearly designed one. (p 139)

This quote comes from Northrop Frye’s 1957 essay “Archetypal Criticism” in his book Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. An influential Canadian literary critic, Fye is especially known for his work on William Blake. I’d been familiar with his theory of the four mythoi (generalized story patterns) since high school, and while reading A Song of Ice and Fire I became convinced that Martin has to be aware of it as well. Thus I decided to read the entire essay it comes from to test the idea (not an easy task; it’s 110 pages of very dense text), and that conviction has grown to the point that I want to write the man to ask him directly.

Of course, it doesn’t entirely matter if Martin has read Frye’s work, because his mythoi are archetypes. Frye’s theory of archetypes doesn’t necessitate a collective unconscious like Jung’s; rather, he’s talking about the cultural legacy Western society has inherited primarily from Hellenistic and Biblical traditions, the tropes and symbols we all recognize instinctively. It’s part of our cultural unconscious, the background noise we’ve all received since childhood.

There’s a lot in this essay that could be applicable to aSoIaF, such as how wolves and dragons are classic archetypes of evil or at least dangerous and untamed nature, or how literature versus mythology gives you more freedom to subvert archetypal meaning, but I want to focus on his idea of mythos, and how he argues that there are four major mythoi, comedy, romance, tragedy, and irony, and that they archetypally correspond to the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

You should already be able to guess a little of where this is going.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

do you have any fic writing tips for force-sensitive characters like luke and leia? your characterization and personification of the force in your writing is so deliciously satisfying, it just seems so right and i forget you just do fic work and not actual canon lore/writing and i was just wondering how you manage it

The beautiful thing about the Force is that it’s a really elegant handwave for whatever you want. Because no one in canon really knows what it does or how it works on a concrete level, and that means it does whatever! “Is it like chi?” you ask. “Or more like the holy spirit or Earthsea magic or Tolkien magic or a kind of new age-y science—” YES IT IS ALL THOSE THINGS THERE ARE NO RULES. PICK ONE AND WRITE INTERESTING FIC ABOUT IT.

I mean, there are certain examples that do exist and form the basis of our knowledge, but honestly they just bring up cooler questions. 

We know the Force can be used to communicate (like Luke and Leia on Cloud City) but does that mean all Jedi have a built in walkie-talkies? or does it only work with your long-lost twin sister in moments of intense emotion? And then how does that mesh with the fact that Jedi seem to know when others are “disturbed” or feeling strong emotions? (How clear is the reception on the Force walkie-talkie? Does it communicate in words, or emotions, or images? Etc.)

Additionally, you can use the Force to read and influence others’ minds, as with Kylo Ren’s interrogation or Obi-Wan/Luke/Qui-Gon’s use of the Force mind-trick. Is having your mind read painful? Can you get specific information, or just sights/impressions/emotions? How long does a mind-trick last? Could you mind-trick someone into doing something horrible? Can you mind-trick multiple people at once? WE DON’T KNOW.

Personally, I like writing Force-sensitivity as those kind of…..vague gut-feelings everyone has, but dialed up to eleven, and unerringly accurate. For example, if Leia can’t shake the sense that something is wrong, something is almost definitely wrong, even if she doesn’t know why. Luke immediately knows that Leia is important to him, even he can’t articulate how. For both of them, it’s very vague and feelings-based, because that’s how they relate to the world and each other, it makes sense they’d do the same with the Force.

Although, when I write Rey-as-a-Jedi or even Kylo Ren, I do lean more heavily on imagery. All of my pieces for both of them are much more about physical things like light and burning, contrasted with shadows and the dark. Nature versus artificiality, lightness and clean versus sickness and heaviness, etc. I…..could make up a canon reason for this, but honestly I just like it as a contrast, and I think it’s a different way of relating to the Force.

I don’t think either of those are wrong or right! They’re just different. I’ve read fics where the Force is more active (I tend to write the Force as passive, manipulated by Jedi) and I’ve read fics where the Force is difficult to access, even for Jedi. I’ve read fics where a Jedi can Force-jump all day, and fics where it wipes them out just to convince some stormtroopers these are not the droids they’re looking for. As long as you’re internally consistent, the Force is whatever you need it to be.

………..this is all a long way to explain that you can pretty much do whatever (within reason) and as long as it’s interesting most people will go “yep seems accurate”)

A Guide to Dæmon Interactions

Both interpersonal and inter… dæmonal. Keep in mind, these are solely based on my opinions of how a world with dæmons might be. These are not entirely based off of interactions from the HDM series, though it is the same principle. If anyone has other ideas, please share! It would be fun to talk about.

Firstly, I would like to address the idea I sometimes see floating around that  dæmons would be like guides or companions, sometimes even friends/protectors. Personally, I find this a bit absurd. A dæmon is a person’s soul, their innermost self, not a pet, and they are really not your therapist. I think the mistake people often make is that, in a world with dæmons, one human and one dæmon make a singular person. Two halves of a whole, and all that. How you view yourself is how you would view your dæmon, and vice versa. This isn’t to say that you can’t have a good relationship with your dæmon, it’s just a personal pet peeve that I have about the idea that a dæmon would comfort you through all the hard times and such. A person’s relationship with their dæmon is very much dependent on their relationship with themselves.

To break this down further, let’s examine how emotions would be interpreted to body language and proximity. A dæmon that is very clingy to their human would be portraying that person’s desire for comfort and support. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it could be a way of broadcasting someone’s lack of support system, or just a personality trait. Either way, the tactile act of comfort is representative of someone who enjoys/needs consistent reassurance. This kind of behavior could also be drawn out by anxiety, and someone subconsciously wanting to feel secure. Other ways anxiety could manifest would be submissive positioning (head down, exposed belly/throat, ears back, skittish movements, etc) for fear, raised fur/feathers or other types of bluffing threat displays for anger/distrust, hiding behind their human or in their clothes, and uncharacteristically high energy. Now, the default actions of a dæmon say a lot about their personality, as well as their human’s. Someone whose dæmon hides behind them suggests that they lack the confidence of someone whose dæmon bristles or snaps. In contrast, a dæmon that is rarely emotional signifies someone with barriers between themselves and the rest of the world.   

Now, the majority of people will be reasonably tactile with their dæmons- it just makes sense. While there can be subconscious drives behind a person/dæmons actions, a decent amount of it can be written off as part of living in close, comfortable proximity with another being. There’s a difference between a clingy dæmon and, say, a mouse dæmon who constantly rides around on their human’s shoulder for convenient and comfortable transportation. There’s also a difference between someone whose dæmon is reasonably aloof, and someone whose dæmon genuinely dislikes them. And yes, I do think that can happen for people who really, truly hate themselves. In my opinion, an indicator of certain kinds of mental illness could be a generally tense or bitter relationship with one’s dæmon. For example, someone with depression might alternate between a dæmon that is overly attached and one that’s aggressive with them, or they might desire to touch their dæmon but they won’t be allowed to. Even people without any type of mental illness would probably experience their dæmon lashing out at them in frustration at one point or another.  Anyway, someone who has a good relationship with their dæmon but isn’t constantly touching is likely the type who is pretty comfortable with themselves. They don’t need to regularly fulfill their craving for attention/affection, and therefore can handle a slightly more detached relationship.

I personally am of the opinion that in times of high emotion/stress, dæmons fall back onto their settled forms’ instinctive responses. For example, I don’t think a dog dæmon would never sniff another dæmon’s butt, but when they’re happy they’ll wag their tails or let their tongues loll out. Scare them and they might yelp, piss them off and they’ll growl, but there are still certain practices that just aren’t acceptable. There might be communes or something where dæmons are encouraged to “go natural” by acting as animalistic as possible. However, in your stereotypical interactions, dæmons are going to act like people, not like animals, though I think most dæmons leave the talking to their humans. In some countries, there might be some kind of polite greeting between dæmons, but that’s just speculation. Dæmons as a rule, I think, don’t usually talk to anyone other than other dæmons, their own human, and people they’re close to. I would think that they are capable of speaking out, and do, but I can imagine most people would like to keep their soul to themselves, a bit. Of course, levels of chattiness would depend largely on the dæmon/person, so for some, it isn’t that unusual to hear their dæmon talking to other people. I picture dæmons who are close spend a great deal of time cuddling or grooming one another, and chatting quietly together.

For people with separated dæmons (if they have a large water-bound form, an inconveniently large terrestrial form, or even a bird of some kind) I think they would likely compensate for the missing emotional support/broadcasting provided by their dæmon by being a bit exaggerated in their expressions and gestures. Without their dæmon next to them to help show how they feel, other people might need that extra indicator to really understand them.   

I imagine that it happens sometimes that people’s dæmons would just decide they like or dislike one another out of the blue. I’m sure it would be one of those things that couldn’t be scientifically proven, but the theory is that dust can be attracted or repelled by itself, and it pretty accurately can show how well two people will get along. This leads people to ask; do people turn out the way they do because of the specific dust their dæmon is made of, or does specific dust become attracted to them because of who they are? Kind of a nature versus nurture question.

Anyway, I feel like this is a pretty comprehensive overview of what interactions in a realistic world with dæmons would be like. If you think I’ve left anything off, let me know so we can talk about it! Or if you disagree, tell me why. I’m curious to hear what everyone has to say.

Next up I’m thinking of doing a guide to dæmons and gender/sexuality, if people are interested.                      

A brief history of the word “nigger.”

The history of the word nigger is often traced to the Latin word niger, meaning Black. This word became the noun, Negro (Black person) in English, and simply the color Black in Spanish and Portuguese. In early modern French, niger became negre and, later, negress (Black woman) was unmistakably a part of language history. One can compare to negre the derogatory nigger and earlier English substitutes such as negar, neegar, neger, and niggor that developed into its lexico-semantic true version in English. It is probable that nigger is a phonetic spelling of the White Southern mispronunciation of Negro.

No matter what its origins, by the early 1800s, it was firmly established as a derogative name. In the 21st century, it remains a principal term of White racism, regardless of who is using it. Social scientists agree that words like nigger, kike, spic, and wetback come from three categories: disparaging nicknames (chink, dago, nigger); explicit group devaluations (“Jew him down” or “niggering the land”); and irrelevant ethnic names used as a mild disparagement (“jewbird” for cuckoos having prominent beaks or “Irish confetti” for bricks thrown in a fight.)

Over time, racial slurs have victimized all racial and ethnic groups; but no American group has endured as many racial nicknames as Blacks: coon, tom, savage, pickaninny, mammy, buck, samba, jigaboo, and buckwheat are some. Many of these slurs became fully traditional pseudo-scientific, literary, cinematic, and everyday distortions of African Americans. These caricatures, whether spoken, written, or reproduced in media and material objects, reflect the extent, the vast network, of anti-Black prejudice.

The word, nigger, carries with it much of the hatred and disgust directed toward Black Africans and African Americans. Historically, nigger defined, limited, made fun of, and ridiculed all Blacks. It was a term of exclusion, a verbal reason for discrimination. Whether used as a noun, verb, or adjective, it strengthened the stereotype of the lazy, stupid, dirty, worthless nobody. No other American surname carries as much purposeful cruelty. The following shortlist is important information on the word’s use and meaning:

Naggers: Acting in a lazy and irresponsible manner.
Niggerlipping: wetting the end of a cigarette while smoking it.
Niggerlover: Derogatory term aimed at Whites lacking in the necessary loathing of Blacks.
Nigger luck: Exceptionally, but undeserved good luck.
Nigger-flicker: A small knife or razor with one side heavily taped to preserve the user’s fingers.
Nigger heaven: Designated places, usually the balcony, where Blacks were forced to sit, for example, in an integrated movie theater or church.
Nigger knocker: Axe handle or weapon made from an axe handle.
Nigger rich: Deeply in debt but flamboyant.
Nigger shooter: A slingshot.
Nigger steak: A slice of liver or a cheap piece of meat.
Nigger stick: Police officer’s baton.
Nigger tip: Leaving a small tip or no tip in a restaurant.
Nigger in the woodpile: A concealed motive or unknown factor affecting a situation in an adverse way.
Nigger work: Demeaning, menial tasks.

Nigger (as a word) is also used to describe a dark shade of color (nigger-brown, nigger-Black), the status of Whites that mix together with Blacks (nigger-breaker, dealer, driver, killer, stealer, worshipper, and looking), and anything belonging to or linked to African Americans (nigger-baby, boy, girl, mouth, feet, preacher, job, love, culture, college, music, etc). Nigger is the ultimate American insult; it is used to offend other ethnic groups. Jews are called White-niggers; Arabs, sand-niggers; Japanese, yellow-niggers. Americans created a racial hierarchy with Whites at the top and Blacks at the bottom.

In biology, heredity refers to the transference of biological characteristics from a parent organism to offspring. The word, nigger, speaks to the human heredity of Black people. Defining which characteristics of a person are due to heredity and which are due to environmental influences is often a controversial discussion (the nature versus nurture debate), especially regarding intelligence and race.

The hierarchy was set up by an ideology that justified the use of deceit, exploitation, and intimidation to keep Blacks “in their place.” Every major societal establishment offered legitimacy to the racial hierarchy. Ministers preached that God was White and had condemned Blacks to be servants. Scientists measured Black skulls, brains, faces, and genitalia, seeking to prove that Whites were genetically superior to Blacks. White teachers, teaching only White students, taught that Blacks were less evolved cognitively, psychologically, and socially. The entertainment media, from vaudeville to television and film, portrayed Blacks as docile servants, happy-go-lucky idiots, and dangerous thugs, and they still do this today. The criminal justice system sanctioned a double standard of justice, including its unspoken approval of mob violence against Blacks and there is still a similar double standard today. Both American slavery and the Jim Crow laws which followed were saturated by anti-Black laws and images. The negative portrayals of Blacks were both reflected in and shaped by everyday material objects: toys, postcards, ashtrays, detergent boxes, fishing lures, and children’s books. These items, and countless others, portrayed Blacks with bulging, darting eyes, fire-red oversized lips, jet-Black skin, and either naked or poorly clothed.

In 1874, the McLoughlin Brothers of New York produced a puzzle game called “Chopped Up Niggers.” Beginning in 1878, the B. Leidersdory Company of Milwaukee, WI., produced NiggerHair Smoking Tobacco. Decades later, the name was changed to BiggerHair Smoking Tobacco. A 1916 magazine ad, copyrighted by Morris & Bendien, showed a Black child drinking ink. The caption read, “Nigger Milk” (shown). In 1917, the American Tobacco Company had a NiggerHair redemption promotion. NiggerHair coupons were redeemable for “cash, tobacco, S&H Green stamps, or presents.” The J. Millhoff Company of England produced a series of cards in the 1930s which were widely distributed in the United States. One of the cards shows ten small Black dogs with the caption: “Ten Little Nigger Boys Went Out To Dine.”

This is the first line from a popular children’s story called, “The Ten Little Niggers.” it reads like this.
Ten Little Nigger Boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self, and then there were nine.
Nine Little Nigger Boys sat up very late; one overslept, and then there were eight. Eight Little Nigger Boys traveling in Devon; one said he’d stay there, and then there were seven.
Seven Little Nigger Boys chopping up sticks; one chopped himself in halves, and then there were six.
Six Little Nigger Boys playing with a hive; a Bumblebee stung one, and then there were five.
Five Little Nigger Boys going in for Law; one got in Chancery, and then there were four.
Four Little Nigger Boys going out to Sea; A Red Herring swallowed one, and then there were three.
Three Little Nigger Boys walking in the Zoo; the big Bear hugged one, and then there were two;
Two Little Nigger Boys sitting in the Sun; one got frizzled up, and then there was one.
One Little Nigger Boy living all alone; He got married, and then there were none.

In 1939, writer Agatha Christie published a book called Ten Little Niggers. Later editions sometimes changed the name to Ten Little Indians, or And Then There Were None, but as late as 1978, copies of the book with the original title were being produced. It was not rare for sheet music produced in the first half of the 20th century to use the word nigger on the cover. The Howley, Haviland Company of New York produced sheet music for the songs “Hesitate Mr. Nigger, Hesitate,” and “You'se Just A Little Nigger, Still You'se Mine, All Mine.” This last example was promoted as a children’s lullaby. Some small towns used nigger in their names, for example, Nigger Run Fork, Virginia. Nigger was a common name for darkly colored pets, especially dogs, cats, and horses. So-called “Jolly Nigger Banks,” first made in the 1800s, were widely distributed as late as the 1960s. Another common piece with many variations, produced on posters, postcards, and prints is a picture of a dozen Black children rushing for a swimming hole. The caption reads, “Last One In’s A Nigger.”

The civil rights movement, Supreme Court decisions, the Black empowerment movement, broad civil rights legislation, and a general embracing of democracy by many American citizens have worn down America’s racial pecking order from slavery moving into Jim Crow period and today’s institutional racism. Yet, the word nigger has not left and its relationship with anti-Black prejudice remains symbiotic, interrelated, and interconnected. Ironically, it is co-dependent because a racist society created nigger and continues to feed and sustain it. But, the word no longer needs racism, or brutal and obvious forms, to survive. The word nigger today has its own existence.

Another interesting and confusing experience in American speech is the use of nigger by African Americans. Poetry by Blacks is instructive; one can often find the word nigger used in Black writings. Major and minor poets alike have used it with startling results: Imamu Amiri Baraka, contemporary poet, uses nigger in one of his angriest poems, “I Don’t Love You,” and what was the world to the words of slick nigger fathers too depressed to explain why they could not appear to be men. One wonders how readers are supposed to understand “nigger fathers.” Baraka’s use of this imagery, regardless of his purpose, reinforces the stereotype of the worthless, pleasure-seeking “coon” caricature. Ted Joans’s use of nigger in "The Nice Colored Man” is an example of explainable expression. Joans said he was asked to give a reading in London because he was a “nice colored man.” Infuriated by the labels “nice” and “colored,” Joan’s wrote a quintessential rebellious poem. While the poem should be read in its entirety, a few lines will do:
Smart Black Nigger Smart Black Nigger Smart Black Nigger Smart Black Nigger Knife Carrying Nigger Gun Toting Nigger Military Nigger Clock Watching Nigger Poisoning Nigger Disgusting Nigger Black Ass Nigger.
This piece uses adjective upon adjective attached to the word nigger.

The reality is that many of these uses can be heard in present-day African-American society. Herein lies part of the difficulty: The word, nigger, endures because it is used over and over again, even by the people it insults. Writer Devorah Major said, "It’s hard for me to say what someone can or can’t say, because I work with language all the time, and I don’t want to be limited.” Poet and professor Opal Palmer Adisa claims that the use of nigger or nigga is “the same as young people’s obsession with swearing. A lot of their use of such language is an internalization of negativity about themselves.” Rappers, themselves poets, rap about niggers before mostly White audiences, some of whom see themselves as wiggers (White niggers) and refer to one another as “my niggah.” Snoop Doggy Dogg’s single, “You Thought,” raps, “Wanna grab a skinny nigga like Snoop Dogg/Cause you like it tall/and work it baby doll.” Tupac Shakur’s “Crooked Ass Nigga” lyrics included, “Now I could be a crooked nigga too/When I’m rollin’ with my crew.” Also rap lyrics that degrade women and glamorize violence reinforce the historical Brute Caricature.

Erdman Palmore researched lexicons and said, The number of offensive words used correlates positively with the amount of out-group prejudice; and these express and support negative stereotypes about the most visible racial and cultural differences. When used by Blacks, nigger refers to, among other things, all Blacks (“A nigger can’t even get a break.”); Black men (“Sisters want niggers to work all day long.”); Blacks who behave in a stereotypical, and sometimes legendary, manner (“He’s a lazy, good-for-nothing nigger.”); things (“This piece-of-shit car is such a nigger.”); enemies (“I’m sick and tired of those niggers bothering me!”); and friends (“Me and my niggers are tight.”). This final habit, as a kind word, is particularly challenging. “Zup Niggah” has become an almost universal greeting among young urban Blacks. When asked, Blacks who use nigger or its variants argue that it has to be understood in its situation; repeated use of the word by Blacks will make it less offensive. It’s not really the same word because Whites are saying nigger (and niggers) but Blacks are saying niggah (and niggaz). Also it is just a word and Blacks should not be prisoners of the past or the ugly words that originated in the past.

These arguments may not be true to the real world. Brother (Brotha) and Sister (Sistha or Sista) are terms of endearment. Nigger was and still is a word of disrespect. More to the point, the artificial dichotomy between Blacks or African Americans (respectable and middle-class) and niggers (disrespectable and lower class) ought to be challenged. Black is a nigger, regardless of behavior, earnings, goals, clothing, skills, ethics, or skin color. Finally, if continued use of the word lessened its damage, then nigger would not hurt or cause pain now. Blacks, from slavery until today, have internalized many negative images that White society cultivated and broadcast about Black skin and Black people. This is mirrored in cycles of self- and same-race hatred. The use of the word,nigger by Blacks reflects this hatred, even when the user is unaware of the psychological forces involved. Nigger is the ultimate expression of White racism and White superiority no matter how it is pronounced. It is linguistic corruption, an attack on civility.

To a smaller scale, words other than Nigger also remain accepted public banter in White America. In 1988, on Martin Luther King’s birthday, sports commentator Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder said (on national television) that Black people were better at sports because of slave plantation breeding techniques. “During the slave period, the slave owner would breed his Black with his big woman so that he would have a big Black-kid. That’s were it all started.” Another sports announcer, Billy Packer, referred to pro-basketball player, Allan Iverson, as a “tough monkey.” Another announcer, Howard Cosell, referred to Alvin Garrett, a pro football player with the Washington Redskins as “little monkey” during a Monday Night Football game. The comments made by Cosell and Packer did not go without any punitive consequences.

Nigger is one of the most notorious words in American culture. Some words carry more weight than others. But without trying to exaggerate, is genocide just another word? Pedophilia? Clearly, no and neither is nigger.

After a period of relative dormancy, the word nigger has been reborn in popular culture. It is hard-edged, streetwise, and it has crossed over into movies like Pulp Fiction (1994) and Jackie Brown (1997), where it became a symbol of “street authenticity” and hipness. Denzel Washington’s character in Training Day (2001) uses nigger frequently and harshly. Richard Pryor long ago rejected the use of the word in his comedy act, but Chris Rock, Chris Tucker, and other Black male comedy kings use nigger regularly and not affectionately. Justin Driver, a social critic, makes a case that both Rock and Tucker are modern minstrels shucking, jiving, and grinning, in the tradition of Step ‘n Fetchit. White supremacists have found the Internet an indispensable tool for spreading their message of hate. An Internet search of nigger using Netscape or Alta Vista locates many anti-Black web pages: Niggers Must Die, Hang A Nigger for America, Nigger Joke Central, and many others. Web searchers find what most Blacks know from personal experience, that nigger is an expression of anti-Black hostility. Without question, nigger is the most commonly used racist slur during hate crimes.

No American minority group has been caricatured as often or in as many ways as Black people. These misrepresentations feature distorted physical descriptions and negative cultural and behavior stereotypes. The Coon caricature, for example, was a tall, skinny, loose-jointed, dark-skinned male, often bald, with oversized, ruby-red lips. His clothing was either ragged and dirty or extremely gaudy. His slow, exaggerated walk suggested laziness. He was a pauper, lacking ambition and the skills necessary for upward social mobility. He was a buffoon. When frightened, the Coon’s eyes bulged and darted. His speech was slurred, halted, and stuffed with malapropisms. His piercing, high-pitched voice made Whites laugh. The Coon caricature dehumanized Blacks, and served to justify social, economic, and political discrimination. Nigger may be viewed as an umbrella term, a way of saying that Blacks have the negative characteristics of the Coon, Buck, Tom, Mammy, Sambo, Pickaninny, and other anti-Black caricatures.

In 2003, the fight to correct the shameful availability of this word had positive results. Recently Kweisi Mfume, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), gave a speech at Virginia Tech. There everyone was informed that a landmark decision was made with the people at Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Recognizing their error, beginning with the next edition, the word nigger will no longer be synonymous with African Americans in their publication.

Nigger, like the false impressions it incorporates and means, puts down Blacks, and rationalizes their abuse. The use of the word or its alternatives by Blacks has not lessened its hurt. This is not surprising in a racial hierarchy four centuries old, shaping the historical relationship between European Americans and African Americans. Anti-Black attitudes, motives, values, and behavior continue. Historically, nigger, more than any other word, captures the personal hatred and institutionalized racism directed toward Blacks. In 2013, incidences such as Atlanta born restaurant entrepreneur Paula Dean and Oklahoma football player Reilly Cooper’s comfortable reference to the word against Blacks shows that it is alive in the white vocabulary and it still does great harm.

Source: Phil Middleton and David Pilgrim, Department of Sociology,
Ferris State University 

via:  Dr. Ray Winbush

Supergirl: Mon-El

Mon-El was added to Supergirl this season, and he is unique among the main/supporting characters for a number of reasons. The first, and most obvious, was that he grew to adulthood on another planet, and the audience is seeing his character adapt not only to learning of his planet’s fate but also to living in a whole new planet.

Under the cut for length. Seriously - this is long and rambling.

Supergirl spoilers through 02x13 “Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk.”

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anonymous asked:

"care to give me a back scratch?" ....spacedogs?? I am not a trash possum....I'm uh, someone else

Oh yes, you’re definitely not any trash possum I know. But, you know, just in case a certain trash possum I do know of is interested, I’m going to tag @hotsauce418​. Better safe than sorry and all.

Also this is me wading into the waters of a/b/o with a little Alpha!Adam and Omega!Nigel. Sorry not sorry.


Tired and bored of work, Nigel tossed his phone onto an end table and turned his attention to Adam.

Adam was sat on the sofa, an expression on his face far too serious for someone who was watching a film on TV. He attacked every task with a level of focus and determination that left Nigel unable to resist touching him up and teasing him until he put a smile on his face.

He watched Adam’s eyes follow the characters on screen for a moment, and then heaved himself onto the sofa, face down in Adam’s lap.

“Care to give me a back scratch, gorgeous?” he asked, arching his shoulder blades up for effect.

Without taking his eyes off the screen, Adam ran his fingers over Nigel’s back, short nails digging in in all the right places. Nigel groaned.

“Your heat must be coming soon,” Adam said absently.

“Why do you say that?”

“Because you always demand more affection from me within forty-eight hours of your heat arriving,” Adam explained as he picked at a small bump he’d found near Nigel’s shoulder. Nigel shifted around, squirming away from his touch until he returned to scratching.“It’s likely due to the hormonal shifts you’re experiencing.”

Adam slipped his hand beneath Nigel’s shirt. His fingers were cold, and Nigel shivered as they moved up his spine. Above him, Adam huffed out a soft laugh.

Adam wasn’t wrong. Maybe it was part of Nigel’s personality, or maybe it was his years of posturing to hide the fact that he was an omega, but short of four days every month Nigel publicly took the role of dominant partner. But then his hormones would shift and it would come. Behind closed doors Nigel would find himself rubbing up against Adam, as desperate for attention as a barn cat. It made his face go red just thinking about it.

In a world of nature versus nurture, nature always had to fucking win out in the end.

“You little shit,” Nigel mumbled. He pressed his face into the soft skin of Adam’s stomach. “You keeping notes about me like a science experiment?”

“No. I’m just stating an observation.”

“What other ‘observations’ have you made about me, gorgeous?”

Adam ran his nails around the curve of Nigel’s shoulder blade. Goosebumps sprung up on his skin. While Adam considered the question, Nigel busied himself with wedging an arm between Adam’s back and the sofa, so he could wrap his arms around his waist and keep him close.

Adam smelled so sweet. Like soap, and the spices he’d used while making their dinner. Nigel inhaled deeply, scenting him.

“You pretend to like beer, but whenever we go out you end up drinking half of my cocktail instead. Your nose twitches when you’re upset,” Adam said. “You seem to enjoy receiving affection more than giving it, but you’re reluctant to admit it. You only ever ask for it during your heat and I don’t understand why.”

Nigel turned his head, just enough to peer up at Adam. Adam had taken his eyes off the TV entirely in favor of watching his fingers move beneath the fabric of Nigel’s t-shirt.

Nigel nuzzled his stomach. “Damn. Read me like a book, didn’t you?”

“No. The books I read are difficult to understand,” Adam said with a smile. “You’re mostly very easy.”

Very carefully, Nigel untangled himself from Adam’s lap so that he could sit up. He kissed Adam, nuzzling their noses together when he drew back.

“What did I ever do to deserve a sweet little alpha like you?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” Adam said, puzzled frown creeping onto his face. Nigel kissed it away. “But Nigel, if you want affection from me, you don’t have to hold back until your heat. I enjoy touching you and making you happy.”

“I know, darling. Old habits die hard, I guess,” Nigel said. “You going to stay home and fuck me when my heat gets here? Keep me feeling good?”

“Of course. My work has special leave for mated alphas, you know that.”

Adam’s voice was serious, but the way a grin played about the corners of his mouth told Nigel he was only winding him up. Nigel stood and, before Adam could stop him, swept his alpha into his arms and carried him off towards the bedroom. Adam laughed and clutched at his shoulders.

“Then why not practice until then?” Nigel asked and kicked the bedroom door shut behind them.


I have about six more prompts in my inbox waiting for fills, so I’m temporarily closing prompts until I get more of those done. For the full prompt list, check here!

megasov  asked:

What is the lore like in morrowind? from what I saw it looks a lot crazier and weirder than oblivion or skyrim

the aesthetic is a bit different as the concept artists were taking inspiration from, among other things, dune and star wars (yep), although that is still mixed in with “standard” western medieval fantasy elements in the form of imperial settlements and other imperial influences. the contrast here is very much intentional and tied into the story (in fact a lot of the lore and backstory in tes3 as well as “connotations” of your actions and their reception by characters as a protagonist with ties to the empire revolves around that)

overall i would say that worldbuilding in tes3 is quite different than in skyrim and oblivion. it might be an unpopular opinion but i find it more similar to the way ESO does worldbuilding, where you’re technically a blank state, but your very presence and your participation in the events of the game are a result of a string of events involving people (and not necessarily prophecies), and you pick up the fragments of that backstory while discovering the world youre thrown into - although ESO relies on exposition to a much larger degree than morrowind, which has no real way of providing such exposition, and the game feels much more lonely. the only moments in morrowind where you have the chance to talk to someone and ask them, hey, so what did happen, occur towards the very end of the main story, and in both instances you really can’t trust the person you’re talking to that they’re telling the truth.

in fact the ambiguousness of the story and your role in it, and the presence of unreliable narrators and your character quite obviously going through an identity crisis, is a huge thing in morrowind which i find really appealing. things like the nature of godhood versus humanity (elf… elfishness?) are discussed.

36 lessons of vivec are probably the most famous for being the ~wacky~ part of the lore and frankly i have my own thoughts about taking the things described in them at face value (my thoughts are: i really don’t think you’re meant to take these at face value, guys)

i’m not really sure where i’m going with this. i enjoy the lore and worldbuilding in this game. i think it’s really really solid. i think the originality of the setting itself can be a bit… overrated by its fans, although it certainly stands out among TES games and is, allow me to use this really awful word, iconic. it’s really nice aesthetically. the lore is conveyed in an immersive, interesting way. how “crazy” the lore is in this game is, too, i think a bit exaggerated. the creators certainly took a lot of liberties and artistic choices that they did not come close to in oblivion or skyrim, but. but. i dont know how to finish this sentence, i have the flu and i feel like garbage. the creators of morrowind unintentionally made mistress dratha one of the best characters

Hubble's tale of two exoplanets: Nature vs. nurture

Is it a case of nature versus nurture when it comes to two “cousin” exoplanets? In a unique experiment, scientists used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to study two “hot Jupiter” exoplanets. Because these planets are virtually the same size and temperature, and orbit around nearly identical stars at the same distance, the team hypothesized that their atmospheres should be alike. What they found surprised them.

Lead researcher Giovanni Bruno of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, explained, “What we’re seeing in looking at the two atmospheres is that they’re not the same. One planet – WASP-67 b – is cloudier than the other – HAT-P-38 b. We don’t see what we’re expecting, and we need to understand why we find this difference.”

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Tree versus Alligator!

USFWS Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex: “Absolutely amazing things can be found at our USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System! We have crews out at Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge trying to get trails cleared from the significant damage after Hurricane Matthew last October.

Bert Wyatt of our fire crew was out clearing trees yesterday and came across this incredible sight (and bit of bad luck). Amazing!”

Photo: Bert Wyatt/USFWS

Source: Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex on Facebook

   katya zamolodchikova quotes inspired starter sentences

  • “Charisma - Uniqueness - Nerve and Talent. What do these qualities have in common? I don’t know. I’m not a scientist.” 
  • “And then I come to find, dishonesty has travelled up and down my thighs.”
  • “Nature versus nurture, or spay versus neuter - we couldn’t care less. I’m the pretty one. I’m dangerous to myself, and others. ”    
  • “My life is a dark room full of piglets.” 
  • “Unconditional love should not be wasted on the ungrateful. But sometimes gratitude is a total waste of time.”
  • “I want a boyfriend who wears his skin nice and loose - like a cape.” 
  • “I am a paragon of erotic spirituality. I touch myself so you don’t have to.” 
  • “Occult spirituality is the key to managing premenstrual discomfort. But sometimes, I can’t help but wonder if my vagina has a hidden agenda.”
  • “As you inhale, breathe in possibility. As you exhale, tell me your social security number.”
  • “Arson and ambition are basically the same word.”
  • “In Russia, Santa Claus is a dyke.”
  • “I am a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, covered in spandex.”
  • “Massage your lower bowel. Subscribe to my YouTube channel. Connect with your core.”
  • “My name is (blank). I am my own worst enima.”
  • “I do not jump for joy. I frolic in doubt.”
  • “Strength, stamina and agility are the keys to dominating my dungeon.”
  • “Do you hear the sound of my vagina brush scrawling your name in blood on the bathroom floor?”
  • “The hunter has become the hunted. And the hunty has become the … cunted?”
  • “Which one is the real me? Reality is a bunch of bullshit.”
  • “I wear my heart on my sleeve, and my limbs in my underpants.”
  • “Your penis is like a prince in a fairy tale. But my vagina is a Ken Burns mini-series.”
  • “If you need me, you know where to find me - seeking validation and self-love in my dumpster.”
  • “I like to think of it as the visual representation of untreated mental illness.”
  • “Thirty-four years old – never been fisted!” 
  • “I’ve got a lot of internal dialogue going on.” 

anonymous asked:

What's your view on Ouma and Saihara's relationship?

Oh my god, thank you so much for asking this. This is actually one of the things I’ve wanted to write about the most lately!

I’m going to reference some of Ouma’s FTEs in my answer, so I’d like to thank @kaibutsushidousha for translating them all to English! Those FTEs gave me a lot of insight on things, and were incredibly fun to read, so if anyone hasn’t checked them out already, I’d say go take a look!

My explanation’s probably gonna get long, and it WILL include spoilers for pretty much every part of the game, so anyone who wants to avoid spoilers shouldn’t read past this part!

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2

I just did it on my own. I’ve never worked with an acting coach, but my parents had acting classes and I grew up around them my whole life just because I didn’t have a babysitter. I’m actually a very shy person - that’s a big secret, so don’t tell - but being in those classes pushed me to break out of that a little bit. It’s like nature versus nurture: I’m naturally very shy, but I was brought up in a way where I had to get up and get out of that.