neighborhood children

one. Every morning leaves me with a mouthful of sorrow. I tell myself that’s because missing you is like an ache but that’s not all true: I miss you, I do, but more than that I miss myself when I was with you, I miss the girl lost in the wildflowers with her eyes open. Eventually the mornings fade into afternoons spent on the couch sifting through maps and ticket stubs and photos littered across the coffee table, a shrine to all the places we’ve been and never will again, but the weight on my tongue never lifts.

two. Sometimes I spend hours listening to your favorite songs to drown out the sound of the girl in the wildflowers calling my name, I think about how you were always full of dreams and ideas and ink-smudged maps with roads that led on and on until the end of forever, you were always so much, you were always more, and I think I was more when I was with you, too.

three. One year ago I buried two fallen angels beneath the wildflowers in the meadow behind our neighborhood, two children with fragile, brittle bones and decaying wings, the evening light paling our haloes and washing the youth right out of our skin. I was too busy crying to realize one of them was still alive, still worth saving.

four. Today I’m going to dig up the girl in the wildflowers and kiss her dirt-streaked cheeks and hold her hand until it becomes warm again. (I won’t look at your body, but the thought of it will be a ghost in my head anyway, like it always is.) She and I will go traveling to all the places marked on our map that you and I wanted to—I think you would have liked that. We’ll hold hands and run into the horizon until, just for a moment, the light breaks around our edges and we blur into one person again, and it will feel just like coming home.

arlen c. | check out my books

The Ice Cream Truck

The ice cream truck arrives, right on schedule, at 2 AM, the third Friday of the month.

You sigh, rolling out of bed to look out the window and watch. And to listen.

The ice cream truck plays its usual haunting melody, parked outside your apartment. But what you strain to hear, feeling as though your ears are on tiptoes trying to make it out, are the wishes.

Coming from all around the neighborhood, children are running through the streets as fast as they’re able, forming an impatient line by the ice cream man’s window.

At the front of the line is a boy of perhaps 5. He excitedly wishes for a puppy, then hands the ice cream man a baseball card. Then he skips off down the starlit street, a smile on his face.

After he leaves, a girl, maybe 12, and her younger brother approach the ice cream man. The girl whispers something nervously, then hands the ice cream man a Valentine. You smile. You’ve seen this before. Children wishing for their crushes to like them. The ice cream man nods and accepts the card. The younger brother doesn’t wish for anything; he just wants to say hello. The ice cream man ruffles his hair and sends him on his way.

The last wish of the night, a teenage girl, self-conscious in the wake of the children. She approaches the window of the truck.

“I just want my mom to wake up tomorrow,” she manages. She throws coins on the counter and begins sobbing.

“The payment has to be something important to you, miss,” says the ice cream man, gently. The girl says nothing, still sobbing. The ice cream man nods, then closes his window and drives off into the twilight.

You’ve never seen a single wish given to the ice cream man actually come true. That’s why you don’t go down there much. But the children, the children.

The children never stop wishing.

Jim Jones was a cult leader responsible for the murder-suicide now known as the Jonestown Massacre, where 918 people lost their lives.  In order to understand how this tragedy happened, it’s important to know how Jonestown began.  Who was Jim Jones and how was he able to gain the love, respect and trust from so many that they were willing to die for him?

Jim Jones was born May 13, 1931 in Crete, Indiana. He grew up in a very poor family, residing in a shack with no electricity.  From a very young age Jones had an obsessive interest in religion.  As a child, he would hold sermons in his backyard and have neighborhood children attend his church services.  Sometimes when the children wanted to leave, Jones would lock all the doors and refuse to let them leave, forcing them to stay and listen to his sermons. He was very harsh on children who were not as interested in church as he was and would take personal offense. By the age of 16, Jones was preaching to both black and white churches, which was highly unusual, as the city was still segregated. But Jones had a very upbeat and friendly personality and he was very passionate about the poor and the underrepresented, and empathized with the non-whites.

After graduating high school, Jim went to college to study medicine and began working as a hospital orderly. During that time in 1949, Jim met Marceline Baldwin, a nurse who worked in the same hospital. After dating for a short time, Jim and Marceline would get married.  A few years later in 1952, Jim was working as a student pastor in a Methodist church and the congregation did not take kindly to Jim’s beliefs in desegregation. It is important to note that the Ku Klux Klan was very well known in Indiana during the time Jones resided there.  At one time, there were more members in the KKK there than in any other state.  Around 250,000 men were members of the Indiana KKK at its peak, which included many prominent government officials, police and the like.  Racial tension was at an all time high and Jones preaching about loving your neighbor of all colors and interracial congregations was neither accepted, nor tolerated. Jones had no choice but to resign as pastor.  It was then that he formed his own congregation.  Originally the church was known as Community Unity and it focused on Christian beliefs. It was during his time of running the Community Unity that Jones decided that there was no God because if there was, there wouldn’t be so much poverty, hatred and inequality in the world.  He then decided he would no longer be preaching of God and religion, but rather shifting his focus to what he was passionate about: poverty and people of all colors being treated fairly and equal. In 1956, Jones created the People’s Temple.

From the beginning, the People’s Temple was prominent in the civil rights movement. Jones was responsible for desegregating the police department, movie theaters, restaurants, hospitals and other businesses in Indianapolis. Additionally, the Temple opened up a soup kitchen for the homeless and poor, had free housing available for senior citizens and the mentally ill and Jim and Marceline even opened up their own home for homeless and unwed mothers. It was the first time in history that people were publicly offering assistance to people regardless of their race.  It was also at this time that Jim and Marceline adopted a Native American child, three Korean children and became the first white family in Indiana to adopt a black child. This adoption took place in 1961, the same year the freedom fighters tried to desegregate buses in Alabama and were brutally attacked. Because of the integration and desegregation Jim Jones was responsible for, the residents of the city felt threatened and would send the family death threats and spit on them in public.  Many of the people in Indianapolis of all races saw what Jones was trying to accomplish and they wanted to be a part of it. They saw that he was really for the people and trying to make a good, positive change in the world.  Needless to say for all the good they were trying to do, they were met with hatred, threats of violence and even assaults.  Jones decided that it was no longer safe for his family in Indianapolis and they moved to Brazil. They were only there for a short time before returning to the United States, but this time making California their home. Many of the original Temple members, around 150 from Indiana, made the move to California with the Jones family.

Not everything was love and peace in the family. Jim’s wife Marceline was very unhappy about Jim renouncing his faith in God. Marceline still considered herself a Christian and would still pray to the Lord, which angered Jim greatly. At times, he would threaten Marceline that he’d commit suicide if she continued praying to God. He was also extremely jealous and did not want anyone giving his wife any kind of attention, even though he was known to carry on affairs quite often. Jim also developed a drug addiction to prescription pills that would cause erratic mood swings and bouts of paranoia.  In fact, the move to California was due to Jim’s paranoia and a vision he had of nuclear holocaust. He felt they would be safe from the disaster in California. 

By the early 70’s in California, Temple membership had grown considerably. Word had spread all over the country about Jones and his refreshing approach to race relations. During this time, People’s Temple had approximately 2,500 members. Jones began preaching to his people quotes from the Bible, even though he denounced his faith. He would find things that were fitting for him to go with his own selfish desires and wants and use the Bible as a backup source. An example of this would be Jones quoting Matthew 19:21, which reads, “Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Temple members wound up doing just that. They sold their homes and cars and gave all of the money to the Temple. The ones who had jobs and continued to work would turn over their entire paycheck to the Temple. The elderly who drew retirement and social security would turn over their entire checks to the Temple. In their minds, they were contributing to the “Good Cause”.  He made his members feel loved, safe and hopeful. While he was kind to everyone, he was especially compassionate to the poor and the uneducated. The majority of his followers were classified as such and to them, he was a savior. They wanted somewhere to belong and fit in and something to be proud of. He gave them all of that and more. All of them referred to him as “father” and had nothing but respect for him. His speeches were so uplifting to his members, even when he said ridiculous things such as he was the reincarnation of Jesus or Buddha, they just went with it. As new people would come to check out the organization and their charismatic leader, Jim’s ego demanded more and more followers and praise. Additionally, he was always looking to make more money.  He again began his practices of faking miracles and healings, something that garnered a little bit of attention in his earlier years, but this was on a much bigger level.  He would use his members to pretend to cure cancer and other ailments, making blind people see again, making people in wheelchairs walk again. These events were well-planned and thought out and with his large organization acting like they had witnessed an actual miracle (most were not privy to the behind the scenes operation and planning and truly believed that he was legitimately Jesus incarnate and performing miracles) many visitors would believe too.  Even though Jones would lie and manipulate, during his speeches he would come across as honest, vibrant, caring and positive. He was liked and well respected by not only the Temple, but the entire community. 

As Jim Jones became more dependent on drugs and his paranoia grew, he began using scare tactics on his followers. He would tell them that people were plotting against them, including the CIA. To his followers, this was terrifying. They felt all they had was each other and their “father”. He also made sure to increase the dedication people had for him as well as making them more disciplined followers. He began making ridiculous claims to his members, informing all the males in his organization that they were all homosexual, all of them but him.  He would have sex with the male members to prove to them that they liked it. Additionally, he would have sex with the women members and then during their daily meetings, they were expected to speak on what horrible lovers their husbands were and what a great lover Jones was. He eventually informed his members that they were not allowed to have sex, not even the married couples. Essentially, the only time anyone was “allowed” to have sex was when it was with Jim Jones.

In the early 70’s Jones and his “church” was accused by the media of financial fraud, physical abuse of its members and mistreatment of children. It was while this was going on that Jones purchased some land in Guyana in an effort to move himself and the entire People’s Temple so as to avoid the people who were supposedly plotting against him and trying to ruin him.  It was his goal to create a utopian society here, free of racism and worry, but also to seemingly gain much more control over his followers. Initially there was a small group of members sent to Guyana to begin building houses, plant crops and prepare the area for all the members.    In the mean time, Jim Jones got to work holding meetings, letting all the members know what was to be expected of their move and the tropical paradise that awaited them, getting passports made of all of his members and continuing to try to make as much money as possible.  Eventually Jim Jones and 1,000 of his members all made the move to Guyana and arrived at the compound known as Jonestown.  What they arrived to was anything but the heaven they were told it would be. The houses were not yet completed, nor was anything else complete because Jones did not want to spend a lot of money on the project.  It was less like paradise and more like a concentration camp. Jones informed the members that no one was allowed to leave and to reinforce that, he stationed armed guards around the property. Additionally, he confiscated their passports so they could not leave. He also confiscated outgoing mail so members could not get a hold of any family or friends outside of Jonestown. Some worried family members made phone calls to Jonestown and Jim and his closest members would listen in on the calls to make sure no one was out of line.  Members were expected to work on the land day and night, with minimal breaks and very little food.  With Jones treating his members horribly, it’s no surprise that he was always on edge, wondering if they were plotting against him. He installed an intercom system in Jonestown with a loud speaker and would get on the speaker at all hours, day and night, drunkenly preaching to his members, many times speaking of upcoming doom and an apocalypse. He began holding mock suicide drills in the middle of the night due to his thoughts of the US government being out to destroy him. Members were publicly beaten for disobeying as well as threatened with death. Coupling the new environment making members extremely vulnerable with the physical and psychological abuse and brainwash, there wasn’t much members could do at this point in time other than being obedient and subservient to Jones.

There were a few people who did successfully leave the People’s Temple, most notably Bob Houston.  Houston’s mutilated body was found near some train tracks after leaving the Temple.  US representative Leo Ryan was good friends with Bob Houston’s father and coupled with the abuse allegations he had heard were happening at Jonestown and the mysterious death of his friend’s son that had recently defected, Ryan decided he would fly to Guyana to investigate the supposed utopian society and see if members were truly happy there or if they were being held there against their will, as it had been told to him.  Ryan brought with him some concerned family members, people working for the media and photographers.  Jones got word of the visit and made sure to explain to his members how they would behave and how they would represent Jonestown.  They were told to prepare the best food (including a lot of meat, which Temple members were not allowed to eat otherwise due to its high cost) and to be thankful for Jones at all times.  On November 17, 1978, Ryan and his crew (who had been in Guyana for three days and were being refused to be let into Jonestown) were finally allowed to enter the compound.  For the most part, the People’s Temple put on a very convincing show for Ryan, praising Jones for all of his hard work and dedication. They expressed how happy they were in Jonestown and stayed on their best behavior for fear of what would be done to them if they didn’t.  However, one rather brave Temple member, (and a wonderful personal friend of mine) Vernon Gosney, slipped a note to one of the reporters that arrived with Ryan. In the note, Gosney pleaded for help getting out of Jonestown. The letter was signed by both him and another Temple member, Monica Bagby. Jones asked Ryan and his group to leave for the night and the next day, they arrived to interview more members. During the interview, another woman came forward stating that she wished to leave Jonestown with her family, as well as another family. It was made known to Jones that some people wanted to leave and he pretended he was okay with that, that they were free to go at any time. After interviews concluded on November 18, 15 people in total were to leave Jonestown with representative Ryan. Hidden amongst the 15 was one man, Larry Layton, who was only posing as a Temple defector and had no intention on leaving.  Once they arrived at the airstrip, 2 planes were available to the group. Larry Layton boarded the small, six passenger plane. Once on the airstrip, he began shooting Temple members who were on the plane, wounding several. Temple members who escorted the people to the planes began shooting at the other plane, killing Leo Ryan, 1 Temple member and and 3 journalists. 9 others were wounded. All of the survivors ran and hid into the nearby fields.

As the shootings were happening at the airstrip, Temple associates were given orders by Jones to prepare a drink, enough for all of Jonestown, consisting of grape Flavor-Aid, cyanide, Valium, chloral hydrate and Phenergan. Jones called all of his members to the pavilion for a meeting.  44 minutes of said meeting was recorded and is known as “The Death Tape”.  Jones informed his followers that he knows someone who boarded those planes were going to shoot the pilot, which would cause the death of all of the people on the planes and hinting that this would lead to the government coming to Jonestown and taking everyone’s children away. He then encouraged his members to drink the Flavor-Aid concoction and commit revolutionary suicide. That they would be heroes and forever remembered as revolutionaries. Many of the first to take the poison were parents who used syringes to squirt into the children’s mouths, then doing the same to themselves. Others simply drank it.    Some members thought this was another fake suicide drill until they witnessed people dying and then fear and panic set in.  Jones can be heard on the Death Tape telling members to die with dignity, and that death is preferable to life at that point. It has been said that many were forced to take the drink at gun point. A few members managed to hide under beds and avoided death. A couple others managed an escape and ran through the fields. Jim Jones did not drink the poison, instead, his death was caused by a single gunshot wound to the head. No one knows whether it was self-inflicted or if another member did it. One other woman was found dead with a gunshot wound. Additionally, a woman named Sharon Amos was working at the Jonestown headquarters in Georgetown. She received a radio communication from Jonestown informing her to commit revolutionary suicide. She took her three children into the bathroom and stabbed two of them to death, then had one assist her in stabbing herself to death, followed by the last of her children killing herself.

Many of the Temple members who fled into the jungle were lost for days and nearly died, but a Guyanese government plane flew in and located them. Others made their way to Georgetown, staying at cafes, and some staying with local residents.

Larry Layton was found guilty of conspiracy and of aiding and abetting the murder of Congressman Leo Ryan and of the attempted murder of Richard Dwyer. While the only person ever found guilty of any happenings at Jonestown, he was paroled in 2002.

In total, 918 individuals lost their lives at Jonestown. It was the largest death toll of civilians by human acts up until the 9/11 tragedy. Jim Jones was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea. His wife and three of their children who died at Jonestown are buried in Richmond, Indiana (The oldest daughter left the People’s Temple before the move to Guyana and two of their sons survived Jonestown by being out of the area for a basketball game).  The bodies of over 400 of those who died in Guyana are buried in a mass-grave at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, California.  A memorial listing all 900+ casualties, including Jim Jones, was completed at the grave site in 2011.

The DDADDS on Halloween

Craig: Helping his daughters look amazing for trick-or-treating. One of the few days out of the year where he lets himself eat absurd amounts of sweets. 

Brian: Trying to beat everyone else’s Halloween decorations. Is seen taking multiple trips to the local Home Depot for more yard decor.

Damien: He is decked out like an authentic Victorian duke of course. Decided to invite M/C over to take part in the consumption of absinthe, partly because he wished to show off his antique set up. 

Hugo: Excited for the Halloween specials. Trying to teach Ernest about the origins of Halloween but he just wants to egg houses.

Mat: Sick Halloween party at his house, everyone’s doing the Monster Mash.

Robert: Probably seeing if Joseph’s doing some crazy stuff. Extra paranoid and takes every precaution possible to avoid being attacked by some supernatural force. Legitimately thinks the Dover Demon is out to get him on this specific night. He’s also probably a bit drunk while all of this ensues.  

Joseph: Telling the friendly neighborhood children that Halloween should be both fun and safe is sinful and that they’re going to hell.

Just had a thought

Mk, so I heard that some parents let their children eat dirt at a young age cause it builds their immune system and I want thinking about all the weird shit I ate as a child. When I was about six and my siblings were four we had a sort of trade system with the neighborhood children. We would take plants from our Mom’s garden and trade them for other plants we wanted, for eating of course. I’ve read some of the humans are weird posts about people eating plants that look like they would be good, but just imagine when children do it, we would ‘sample’ any new plants that popped up in the neighborhood and compare them to food we had tried, my favorite was the oatmeal flowers, little white flowers that grew on the tree in one of the other kids’ yard up the street, I’d trade mint leaves for a bundle. I can only imagine the aliens reactions to shit like that lol

SNK Character Song Series 07: Erwin Smith (Image song & monologue translations)

Thanks for your patience! 

Here is the second half of my translation, this time featuring Erwin’s image song & monologue! 

(You can read Levi’s song & monologue translations here.)

Similar to the Levi post, I included the original Japanese and romaji versions of the song, and I also made a transcript of Erwin’s monologue in the original Japanese. You can read that one here.

Again, spoiler warning for details of Erwin’s entire character song CD, as well as one more plug for the official release :)

SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN CHARACTER SONG SERIES 07: Erwin Smith

“Hope Of Mankind” (Vocals by Daisuke Ono)

Side Note: the melody for Erwin’s song is based on the previously released SNK single, theDOGS.

Japanese Version

見せかけの希望を説いて
夢をちらつかせはしない
惨状だけが 現状そのもの

時に最善の策は
尊い命切り捨てて
先へ進む 道を死守
戦場のセオリー

終わりなきCRISISの中
兵を導き続け
何を捨て去ったとしても
繋ぎ止めるHope Of Mankind

飽きるほど見つめてきた
人類の及ばなさを
それでもまだ滅びてはいない

犠牲払わぬ弱者に
どんな勝機があると言う?
向き合うべき相手とは
100年の脅威

※終わりなきCRISISの中
何度でも飛び込んで
核心の断片探す
それだけがHope Of Mankind

終わりなきCRISISの中
兵を導き続け
揺るがぬ信念貫く
尽きるその日まで

無惨に散った餌食となった
有志にいつか償えるなら
命ひとつじゃ不足だろうが
地獄に落ちたその後でなら…
限りある今下す決断が
明日を創ると信じている

※ Repeat

捨てたものは限りなく
得たものは僅かでも
挑む限りゼロじゃない
可能性はまだ

Romaji version

Misekake no kibō wo toite
Yume wo chiratsukase wa shinai
Sanjō dake ga genjō sono mono

Toki ni saizen no saku wa
Tōtoi inochi kirisutete
Saki e susumu michi wo shishu
Senjō no seorī

Owari naki crisis no naka
Hei wo michibiki tsuzuke
Nani wo sutesatta toshite mo
Tsunagi tomeru Hope Of Mankind

Akiru hodo mitsumete kita
Jinrui no oyobanasa wo
Soredemo mada hirobite wa inai

Gisei harawanu jakusha ni
Donna shōki ga aru to iu?
Mukiaubeki aite to wa
Hyaku nen no kyōi

*Owari naki crisis no naka
Nando demo tobikonde
Kakushin no danpen sagasu
Sore dake ga Hope Of Mankind

Owari naki crisis no naka
Hei wo michibiki tsuzuke
Yuru ganu shinnen tsuranuku
Tsukiru sono hi made

Muzan ni chitta ejiki to natta
Yūshi ni itsuka tsugunaeru nara
Inochi hitotsu ja fuzoku darō ga
Jigoku ni ochita sono ato de nara…
Kagiri aru ima kudasu ketsudan ga
Asu wo tsukuru to shinjite iru

*Repeat

Suteta mono wa kagiri naku
Eta mono wa wazuka demo
Idomu kagiri zero ja nai
Kanōsei wa mada

English Translation

I do not offer false hopes
By dangling dreams in front
It is nothing but bleak, but that is the way things are

Sometimes the best policy is
To sacrifice precious lives
Defending until the end the path forward
It is the theory of the battlefield

Into the midst of this endless crisis
I will continue to guide the soldiers
Even if I have to abandon everything
I will hold onto the hope of mankind

I have stared myself sick gazing upon
Humanity’s inferiority
Nevertheless we have not yet perished

For the weak ones who have not paid with sacrifice
What sort of chances of winning are there?
The opponents we must face
Have been a menace for 100 years

Into the midst of this endless crisis
I will dive over and over again
To search for fragments of the truth
That is simply the hope of mankind

Into the midst of this endless crisis
I will continue to lead the soldiers
I will cling to my unwavering faith
Until my days come to an end

It is cruel how the victims have fallen
If I were to atone for these volunteers
One life is not enough, but
Perhaps it would after I have fallen into hell
There is a limit to the decisions I make now but
I believe we can build a tomorrow

There’s no end to the things I’ve thrown away
Even though the things I’ve gotten in return were few
The ability to challenge is not down to zero
There is still a possibility

++

Monologue English Translation

My father was a teacher. The course of my life was set in the classroom one day where my father was giving a history lesson.

Having doubts about the story of how humanity had been driven into these walls, I asked my father a naive question.

At the time, my father stayed silent, but after we returned home, he answered my question.

There were a great number of inconsistencies in the history book distributed by the monarchy.

Moreover, he had a theory that they were hiding an astounding truth.

I spread my father’s theory around to the neighborhood children.

There was no ill intention, it was an innocent act.

However, on the day in which those details were investigated by Military Police, my father died in an accident in a faraway town he had left for.

Of course, it was only ostensibly an accident. My father was killed at the hands of someone who disapproved of his theory.

Inside the walls, there are a portion of humans who indulge in a privileged life– their desires, as well as a foolish son tempted by innocent questions killed my father.

And then my father’s theory became my truth. Proving my father’s theory became my life’s mission.

Humans become titans, and titans become the walls.

In this world full of harsh paths, answering the question I put forth on that day is the meaning of my life, the reason why I was born.

It is for that reason that I came to lead the Survey Corps, giving commands to numerous subordinates: “Give up your life.”

Almost all humans who join the Survey Corps will die.

On their first expedition outside the walls, the probability that new recruits will become food for the titans is roughly 50 percent.

1 in 2 people will lose their life.

Just in the last 4 years, the Survey Corps lost the majority of its soldiers, and with the fall of Wall Maria, all of the results we had gained crumbled in an instant.

There is no guarantee that Survey Corps soldiers who dedicate their hearts for the sake of humanity will live tomorrow. The current condition is bleak.

However much we try to discuss our hopes and dreams, all of them will be easily crushed.

No matter how much we champion some great cause or become a sacrifice for someone else’s sake, the pay off is almost nothing.

And yet I have been ordering many soldiers to die.

I have been using gamble-like military strategies in order to fight against this cruel world.

A comrade who formerly aspired to join the Survey Corps with me fell in love with a girl from the bar we frequented, and he chose to protect her.

I too thought I could perhaps walk along that same kind of path.

But I chose the path of fighting titans over a girl I loved.

Even a person who chose a peaceful life and could spend their life happily will eventually die.

Hope? Or despair? When this small world is about to change, I am the only one who will choose my own path.

I am the only one who will choose the path I believe in.

Who is the enemy of this world?

The key that will save humanity from this despair is none other than humanity’s determination.

This firm determination is, above all, mankind’s hope.

Therefore, I have no choice but to go see the answers I want to know.

Even though I have lost my arm as well as many of my subordinates while carrying the wings of freedom on my back¹, I must continue to advance beyond the walls by fighting against this cruel world.

If we can manage to reach the basement of Eren Yeager’s home, surely we will be able to seize the key to freeing ourselves from control by titans which has lasted for 100 years.

The answer to the question I brought forth on that day is at a place right before my eyes, a place I can reach my hand toward and grab.

Everything is for the sake of my dream– my very own dream. For that purpose I have guided many soldiers, and have ordered them to die.

Mike.

Nanaba.

Gelgar.

Ness.

Eld.

Gunther.

Oluo.

Petra.

As well as every other soldier who has tragically fallen.

My one life is not enough, but eventually I will make up for it. After I have fallen into hell, certainly I will have the privilege to atone.

Certainly, without fail. But now is not the time.

No matter what it takes, I have to be present to witness the moment that the truth about this world becomes clear.

Even if I have to abandon everything.

My conviction is unwavering.

Translation note:

¹ Here the phrase 自由の翼を背負い/jiyū no tsubasa wo seoi (“carrying the wings of freedom on my back”) has a connotation of it being a heavy burden to bear. It looks similar to another phrase in Japanese, 十字架を背負う/jyūjika wo seō, which means “to have a cross to bear” or more figuratively, “to carry a heavy burden”.

3

Last night I watch an old episode of Mister Rogers Neighborhood (Nighttime, 1587) where he visited Russia around 1982 and he brought the Daniel Tiger puppet with him and he even met this group of friendly Russian schoolchildren of varying ages and he wondered how they would react to the Daniel puppet. So he brought out Daniel and their reactions are all very sweet, all of them smiled, one kissed Daniel, some stroked him a lot-but it amazed me that although Mr. Rogers knew very little Russian, and these children obviously didn’t speak English he was able to connect with these children and make them smile. It goes to show you that kindness and love is a timeless an universal language! 

Fireproof #1 - The Beginning - An Alex Mini Series

Originally posted by antogriezmann

**An Alex, Harry’s Character from Dunkirk, fic was highly, highly requested. For the most part, this is an original story simply based around his character and there will only be a few references to things that happened in the film – just in case some have yet to see it, there won’t be any spoilers. 

Well, I hope you all enjoy it and be sure to let me know what you think! :) 

**Word Count- 4,397

********************************************************************************************

3 March 1939 

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As a child, Jeffrey Dahmer had significant difficulty approaching other children and interacting with them, a problem that was exacerbated by his family’s frequent moves in his early life.  In a baby book that she used to track his development, his mother Joyce Flint fretted over how distressed her son became over going to preschool, often bursting into tears at the time they were supposed to leave.  The young boy was rigidly shy and introverted.  On one occasion, a teacher expressed concern about his inability to get along with his classmates.  She noted that at recess, Dahmer would roam the playground, on the outskirts of the other children’s playing.  In class, he did not respond when others approached him.  The problem, she explained, was not that Dahmer was relating aggressively to other students; he simply did not relate to other students at all.  Concerned, Dahmer’s parents worked to ameliorate the situation by placing him in various extracurricular activities in the hope that being around other children would push him out of his shell.  Their efforts unfortunately proved futile, as the boy quickly lost interest in all of the activities.  

Despite his social deficits, Dahmer managed to build a small coterie of friends, who would later state to news reporters that they knew he was “a weird kid,” but interesting to be around.  These friends sometimes accompanied him in pursuing his one enduring interest: canvassing the woods and country roads in search of roadkill.  All the neighborhood children were aware of Dahmer’s “Hut,” an old tool shed where he stored his collection of animal remains that he dissolved in jars of chemicals.  When Dahmer entered middle school, a story circulated about how how he had once angrily broken a jar that contained the rotting flesh of a raccoon against the floor in front of a group of kids, and the stench was so terrible that they vomited.  Other rumors detailing his bizarre tendencies branded him as a strange and unpredictable outcast, a role which he retained for the rest of his life.  

politico.com
How Free Eyeglasses Are Boosting Test Scores in Baltimore
Educators know that poor kids do worse in school. The solution might be as simple as helping them see the board.

I really don’t like how this headline is framed. Even the sub-headline (is that what it’s called?) is insulting and also misses what the point should be.

The reason why this bothers me so much is that I’ve worked in the non-profit & charter school industrial complex where black children are business ventures, and the black community is an endless research project of problems that need to be solved. I don’t appreciate the premise of “who can find the most unique, high yield solution to the negro problem?” Or in other words “what can we do to help this group that refuses to help themselves?”

At this point people are like “you’re looking into this too deep” or “but these kids are receiving help, and that’s what’s most important” okay. yeah. Except go back and read the article. This is about boosting test scores, which is what the whole Black Poverty Industrial Complex bases their model on. Black children become data points that they get to manipulate based off of the unique variable they’re selling.

The fact of the matter is: living in poverty, with a lack of access to their most essential needs, impacts every aspect of life - INCLUDING education.

Black people aren’t only valuable when they’re able to produce test scores that benefit rich white people. That’s when we get white saviors flocking into neighborhoods to rescue black children from their family members. 

& buying kids a pair of glasses, while great for the individual, doesn’t excuse the systemic mechanisms in place that perpetuates poverty and intentionally target poor black neighborhoods.

I like the thought of the Cahn twins getting along fine with the Christiansen twins, and they don’t find them creepy at all. In fact, they admit that they did creepy things to creep out their mom and dad when they were young and give the Christiansen’s pointers. Craig and Joseph have a talk with their kids about why it’s not nice to scare the neighborhood children

Visiting the Neighborhood of Make-Believe

Special Collections recently welcomed Courtney Weikle-Mills’ ENGLIT 1635: Children in Pittsburgh. Students had an opportunity to learn about collections that focus on contemporary Pittsburgh cultural organizations and Pittsburgh-based authors.  Curators and Librarians highlighted the Fred E. and Harriet R. Curtis Theatre Collection, the Nietz Old Textbook Collection, and the Elizabeth Nesbitt Children’s Literature Collection and students were asked to submit a Tumblr post about the materials.

If you grew up anywhere between the 1970s and 1990s, odds are you probably have seen Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Filmed in and featuring Pittsburgh often, the show and its host Fred Rogers have a special place in the collective hearts of Pittsburghers. Saved in the University of Pittsburgh’s Special Collections, the interactive book­­­ The Neighborhood of Make-Believe Playtime Puppet Theater (1974) features the kind of imagination that the show encouraged in its child viewers. 

The book features paper puppets of many of the recognizable characters from the TV series, ­­­like King Friday XIII and Henrietta Pussycat, which children are able to punch out and play with. The book also gives much larger paper replicas of the familiar sets from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe so the characters are able to play in their familiar habitat. The inside of the book gives instructions on how cut and press out the characters, and how to prop open the sets for kids to play in their “own ‘Neighborhood of Make-Believe.’” With it’s bright blue castle of King Friday’s, or Daniel Tiger’s clock, the Playtime Puppet Theater book brings the magic of Mister Rogers’ show into the homes of the children who would have bought this, and encouraged them to play and act out imaginative scenarios with these familiar characters. Mister Rogers was able to bring the Neighborhood of Pittsburgh into the homes of children across the nation, and then through this interact book, was able to bring the sort of imagination and play that occurs in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

-Emily Frey, Senior, University of Pittsburgh

anonymous asked:

neighborhood children from across the street: "look, old man lorence left his blinds up! my mom says he hasnt left that house since we moved here. he just sits in there all day, dustin his figures..."

One of those damn kids took a picture of me.

A concept: I live in a small house with a very large garden that the neighborhood children frequently play in and sometimes help with in exchange for fresh fruits and pastries. I teach them to feed the ravens, but the trick to befriending them is a secret. I am old, but no one is sure just how old, only that my hair has been silver for as long as anyone can remember. I spend my evenings drinking tea and reading books from the library, sometimes alone, sometimes with a friend, and often with a large cat sleeping in my lap