no faith in this world

Amid the Ruins

x

for @jadekitty777

written by : @megapieceoftrash


Standing in the smoking remains of her old base, staring into the hurt, frightened eyes of the person she loved more than anyone else, Amelia knew it was too late to feel remorse. If she had wanted to stop this, she would have had to let Faith die, and god, Amelia would kill the whole damn world before that happened, humans, walkers and all.

“Why?” Faith’s voice cracked, right down the middle, tearing through Amelia’s heart. “Why would you do this?”

Amelia put on the darkest smile she could manage, “The strong survive, Faith, that’s just the way things work.”

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anonymous asked:

What did the founding fathers think of Muslims?

In 1739, Benjamin Franklin became involved with one of the earliest documented places intended for interfaith use in America. It was built on the idea of being inclusive of all religions, including Muslims. In his writings, Franklin made clear:

“Both house and ground were vested in trustees, expressly for the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire to say something to the people at Philadelphia; the design in building not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

The “preaching-house” was to be a meeting place open to people of all faiths, including those of the “Muslim world,”. He went so far as to “preach” Islam in America. In his Autobiography he wrote concerning the non-denominational place of public preaching above “so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

And it being found inconvenient to assemble in the open air, subject to its inclemencies, the building of a house to meet in was no sooner propos’d, and persons appointed to receive contributions, but sufficient sums were soon receiv’d to procure the ground and erect the building, which was one hundred feet long and seventy broad, about the size of Westminster Hall; and the work was carried on with such spirit as to be finished in a much shorter time than could have been expected. Both house and ground were vested in trustees, expressly for the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire to say something to the people at Philadelphia; the design in building not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service. “

Benjamin Franklin not want to ban Muslims from coming to the United States, on the contrary, he wanted to invited them. However, In a March 23, 1790, letter to the editor of the Federal Gazette, Franklin wrote:

“Nor can the Plundering of Infidels be in that sacred Book [the Quran] forbidden, since it is well known from it, that God has given the World, and all that it contains, to his faithful Mussulmen, who are to enjoy it of Right as fast as they conquer it.”

Records at Mount Vernon show that some of George Washington’s slaves were, Muslims or at least descendants of Muslims [x]. These slaves were able to retain their Muslim-sounding. One Muslim slave, Sambo Anderson, Sambo fathered six children with two different women, both of whom lived at the River Farm area of Mount Vernon. In an article entitled “Mount Vernon Reminiscence” that was published in the Alexandria Gazette on January 18th, 1876, “an old citizen of Fairfax County” contends that Washington and Sambo had a close friendship. It continued by stating that Sambo was a “great favorite of the master [Washington]; by whom he was given a piece of land to build a house on.” It contended that Washington allowed Sambo to keep a small boat to “cross over the creek in, and for other purposes,” a rare privilege for any slave. Sambo was also claimed to be excellent hunter and was given permission by Washington to own a gun and ammunition, which were also rare privileges for a slaveowner to bestow up a slave. According to notes recovered from Washington’s ledger, he used to visit Sambo to buy duck meat and honey.

Washington tolerated the presence of Muslims in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Bampett Muhammad fought for the “Virginia Line” between 1775 and 1783, and there was Yusuf Ben Ali. Ben Ali served as an aide to General Thomas Sumter in South Carolina. Sultain Sidi Muhammad ben Abdallah of Morocco, who showed interest in helping the Americans in their fight against the British Empire. Abdallah assisted Washington by listing the newly independent United States of America as a country whose trading ships would be welcomed in the ports of Morocco, a move which offered the potential for supplies to be shipped to Washington’s army. These early diplomatic relations between the United States  and Morocco showed in the ratification of the Treaty of Marrakech in 1786, which remains the longest standing foreign relations treaty in American history.

In a personal letter from 1783, he made it crystal that America would be “open to receive… the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions, whom we shall welcome to participation of all our rights and privileges … They may be Mahometans [Muslims], Jews, or Christians of any sect.” another letter written to Edward Newnham in 1792 he wrote that battles over religious differences were “the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated.” He was explicit to avoid religious disputes, feeling problems might “endanger the peace of society.”

Correspondence from Tench Tighman in 1784, Tilghman inquired as to what type of workmen George Washington would like at Mount Vernon. Washington wanted good work men and confirmed, “they may be of Asia, Africa or Europe. They may be Mahometans [Muslims], Jews, or Christians of any sect, or atheists.”

At Mount Vernon, Despite Washington’s views, there were challenges to anyone practicing the Islam faith. Pork was a traditional and often breakfast for slaves [x]. The standard work week stretched from Monday through Saturday, making traditional Friday Islamic prayers nearly impossible to continue at the plantation since Friday was a work day.

John Adams referred to Islam when discussing religious freedom, typically referring to Muslims as Mahometans. It is untrue that Adams passed into act the Treaty of Tripoli to keeps Muslims out of America. The treaty was because of the American ships who were being acted by such pirates who happened to be Muslim–but just because they were Muslim. Article eleven of the treaty explicitly states:

“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, – as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims], – and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

In translation, America was not against their religious beliefs nor were they ever and that even if those attacking American vessels were Muslim there would be no ill feelings towards others of the religion. The language indicates the United States of America was merely neutral on religion in a treaty that was all about protecting U.S. ships. 

President John Adams wanted to secure commercial shipping rights, and the countries he wanted to negotiate with happened to be Muslim, and happened to justify piracy by declaring war on Christian nations. Adams addressed that declaration by claiming that the United States was not Christian, and was not at war with Muslims. 

Adams named the Prophet Muhammad one of the world’s great truth seekers alongside Socrates and Confucius. He said that Prophet Muhammad was a “Sober inquirer of the truth.” He helped to write the Massachusetts constitution, which indicated “the most ample liberty of conscience for Deists and Mohometans.” 

During the Election of 1800 another of the claims thrown at Thomas Jefferson was that he was secretly Muslim. Jefferson owned a Quran which he bought as a twenty-two year old law student and he had previously stated that a Muslim, with rights ensured to them by the Constitution, could indeed become the President of the United States. Jefferson did not leave any notes on his immediate reaction to the Qur’an, he did criticize Islam as “stifling free enquiry” in his early political debates in Virginia, but this is a charge he also heaved against Catholicism. He thought both religions combined religion and the state at a time he wished to separate them.

A few months after authoring the Declaration of Independence, he returned to his home in Virginia to draft legislation about religion for his state. Writing in his private notes a paraphrase John Locke’s 1689 “Letter on Toleration”:

“[he] says neither Pagan nor Mahometan [Muslim] nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion.”

This claim, Jefferson incorporated into the legislation:

“(O)ur civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions.”

Jefferson believed strongly in the separation of state and church as well as that religious liberty and political equality would not be exclusively Christian meaning. The original legislative intent had been “to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.” as he stated in his autobiography. 

In 1805, at the White House, President Jefferson welcomed the first Muslim ambassador. Because it was Ramadan, the president moved the state dinner from 3:30 p.m. to be “precisely at sunset,” a recognition of the religious beliefs.

I can find nothing on John Jay and Muslims. 

The government, James Madison reasoned, has no more right to tolerate someone’s religious beliefs than it does to interfere with them. Madison also believed specifically in the inclusion of religious voices in a democratic system: “In a free government, the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other the multiplicity of sects.”

He worked on the same legislature as Jefferson, see above for more details. 

I can find nothing on Alexander Hamilton slavery, nor does he have any letters pertaining to the subject. 

When Muslim Barbary Pirates committed terrorist attacks, under President James Monroe, he refused appeasement and instead deployed the U.S. Navy, as he stated, March 5th, 1821:

“Our relations with the Barbary Powers are preserved…by the same means
that were employed when I came into this office. As early as 1801 it was
found necessary to send a squadron into the Mediterranean for the
protection of our commerce.”

In his State of the Union speech on December 3, 1822, President James Monroe expressed regret that the “gloomy despotism” of the Muslim Ottomans had spread over much of the world. For Monroe and his audience, this Islamic despotism was a threat to Western civilization and American democracy. As with Adams, the pirates still placing attacks were mean’t to be seen as terrorists and not just for their religious beliefs. His were closely in line with James Madison and Thomas Jefferson (above). 

(If anyone wants to add anything, go ahead I am away from my bookshelf currently so there may be things missing.)

I need to let myself be happy. I need move forward. I need to be forgiving. I need to refresh my faith. I need to see the world through positive eyes. I need to be happy with what I have now and know that that what I have now was once what I longed for. I need to trust that what I long for now will one day be mine in the future. I need to breathe. I need to smile. I need to let myself love and be loved. I need to say yes more and to say no less. I need to get my ass off of the couch. I need to be in nature and and enjoy peace.

The light in me is brighter than any encroaching darkness. I need to remember that.

…art must must carry man’s craving for the ideal, must be an expression of his reaching out towards it; that art must give man hope and faith. And the more hopeless the world in the artist’s version, the more clearly perhaps must we see the ideal that stands in opposition - otherwise life becomes impossible! Art symbolises the meaning of our existence.
— 

Andrei Tarkovsky,

Sculpting in Time

anonymous asked:

I'm honeslty kinda disapointed that Talon know's what Sombra is up to... :/ I mean, her whole deal was that she made her own path and didnt't take crap from anyone (and as a Latinx character, it meant so much) but Blizzard kinda ruined that for her, in my opinion

we know how resourceful and smart sombra is let’s not get ahead of ourselves here….!! I have all the faith in the world in her !! like I really can’t believe it’s that simple, there has to be more… I was surprised too but I can’t see this ruining her story until we know more!! she’s still the baddest bitch in overwatch and that’s a #fact so believe in sombra !!!! 😤😤😤

do you ever think about the fact that steve trevor didn’t have much faith in humanity or saving people because of the combat he’d seen 

but he met diana and gave up his life to save people because diana restored that faith in him and believed in her ability to save the world. and died with a smile on his face because of her

anonymous asked:

If you have the time and if you don't mind, what are some books you really recommend? Doesn't have to be all time faves, but anything that pops into mind that you want more ppl to read and love, Extra points if lgbt+ , i got the whole summer with little to do and i wanna spend it reading some good quality writing and honestly so far your recs have introduced me to so many faves its unbelievable

[blushes profusely] oh wow, thank you!!!  i’m so glad you’ve trusted me enough to check out some of the stuff i reblog; that is like the ultimate compliment, i can’t even???  i don’t mind at all(!), fair warning though: i only started recording what i read partway through last year and my mind is like a sieve so i’ll do my absolute best to remember what’s sang to me in the recent past.  warning number two: i’m in an open relationship with absolutely every genre out there so i’ll try to note which belongs where so you can avoid those that hold no interest for you.

LGBT+

  • i’ll give you the sun.  i loved this book, the writing is fucking transformative and all the characters are so damn likable, while still being realistically flawed human beings.
  • the raven cycle (tetralogy).  definitely my favorite series since harry potter.  the writing, the world-building, the characters, it’s all on top-form.  i wrote a little, mini non-spoilery review of it: here, back when i was better (worse?) wordly-wise and my feels were brand new.
  • more happy than not.  i’m still not sure how i feel about this book.  it was hard, but it felt very true to the characters and the lingo and style matched the ages of the players and i have a lot of respect for that.
  • the watchmaker of filigree street.  woooow i loved this book.  i admit ‘historical fiction’ kind of makes me cringe.  it never precludes me from reading a book but it does knock it down the list by a book or five because they’re often very dense and very clunky and end up taking me ages to get through.  but this one was gorgeous.  i loved the plot, the attention lovingly placed on every character and the historical elements.  the surprise gay in an already brilliant book felt like winning the lottery honestly.
  • captive prince (trilogy).  okay, truthfully, i’m only putting this on here because the second book is such a high point for me.  it was never bad at any point but it had unfortunately been hyped far too much for it to live up to my, admittedly, very high expectations.  hopefully it’ll fare better with you?
  • everything i never told you.  i go back and forth on this one.  i like the writing a lot, i like the LGBT aspect a lot, and i like the mystery aspect a lot but there are definitely characters i would cut out entirely for sheer predictability if i could and that killed a lot of my enjoyment at the time (but i think much more highly of it in retrospect?).  so, take that as you like.
  • aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe.  if there’s a book that handles its characters with more care or respect or consideration then i haven’t run into it.  i love the way this is written and the people it’s populated with.
  • flying lessons & other stories.  a bunch of uber talented authors writing a bunch of uber diverse and LGBT-focused stories and, yes, that is exactly as awesome as it sounds.
  • the song of achilles.  it is utterly heart-breaking but so rich, honestly.

FANTASY

  • the diviners.  (also has a minor LGBT character, who may play a bigger role in the sequel?)  fair warning, i have not read the sequel, lair of dreams, because it is somehow still not out in paperback (yes, i read physical books, yes, i pretty exclusively read paperbacks so i can lug them everywhere with me, YES, I PRE-ORDERED THIS ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO AND IT’S STILL NOT OUT, NOT THAT I’M BITTER ABOUT THAT OR ANYTHING) so i can’t speak to that one finishing on a high note as i don’t know.  but this was the first historical novel i managed to like in a long while.  it does such a good job of fusing in 1920s lingo and dress and aspects that i couldn’t help but love it.  add in the fantasy elements and i can admit i’m the perfect sucker for it.
  • the scorpio races.  i’m not sure why but it took me a long-ass time to get into this book, i wasn’t flipping pages with gusto until well towards the end but - especially as i was reading so much YA at the time - i really appreciated coming across a romance that lets both people come into it as themselves and stay themselves, neither puck nor sean were ever smashed or crumpled or shaved away to fit into their relationship, which was so refreshing.  plus the water horses were fucking cool.
  • the night circus.  the writing, the atmosphere, the circus.  just… it is all very whoa.
  • all the birds in the sky.  i loved this writing style and these characters and the magical elements.

CONTEMPORARY

  • i’ll meet you there.  there was something about this and i just… ended up liking it way more than i expected to.  i might’ve just read it at exactly the right time, i’m not sure, but i really enjoyed it.
  • the invoice.  this is honestly just hella cute and so freaking surreal.  swedes, man.

NON-FICTION

  • why not me?  i like mindy kaling a lot.  i make no apologies for that.  plus you can read both her books in about five seconds, haha.

SCIENCE FICTION

  • station eleven.  i loved this book.  the way the narrative is woven is so refreshing and i wish the comic book miranda was writing in this book was a real thing more than anything else in the woooorld.
  • illuminae.  hot DAMN this book was cool.  the plot was rock solid, the characters were hilarious and badass and the graphics made out of text and spiraling words and just the way this thing is put together?  shit, it’s worth your money and then some.
  • a robot in the garden.  okay this is just cute as hell.  i can’t even with tang, he’s the most adorable robot to ever adorable.
  • annihilation (southern reach trilogy).  (LGBT minor characters.)  okay, honestly?  i don’t know.  this was freaking zany but i was invested as fuck in all the kookiness for reasons i can’t articulately elaborate on.
  • the martian.  hilarious, engaging, SPACE.  what more do you want?

HORROR

  • things we lost in the fire.  this is more atmospheric than anything but, damn, could this get me wishing i wasn’t reading this in the dark or looking over my shoulder to make absolutely sure no one was standing behind me.  it’s a book of short stories (by the way, i love books of short stories and i definitely realize that is not true for everyone) and each one is so well-delivered and stylized.  i really enjoyed reading this.
  • let the right one in.  okay, this is legit horror so definitely stay away if you’re easily squicked out but it is harrrrrd to find good horror (at least in my opinion) and this definitely, definitely qualifies.
  • horrorstör.  i honestly had such low expectations for this, a horror story set in a wannabe-ikea, but it ended up being so ridiculous and strange and funny that i was won over by the finish.
  • the girl with all the gifts.  holy unique and well-executed zombie idea, batman!

SHORT STORIES

  • the bigness of the world.  there were definitely ones here that hit better than others but the ones i liked, i really liked!

GRAPHIC NOVELS (i read a lot of these so, um, prepare yourself)

  • saga.  (LGBT minor characters as well.)  this is world-building to a degree that i’m convinced did not exist before.  just, i can’t say enough amazing things about this series and the staggering amount of imagination that regularly goes into it.
  • ms. marvel.  heart-warming as fuck.  it’s definitely really easy to lose faith in the world these days, luckily kamala is there to remind you that people are primarily and genuinely good.
  • black science.  this is another one that took just an insane amount of imagination to cook up.  i got off to kind of a rocky start with this one but the gray-ness of all the characters really speaks to me, and that doesn’t really blossom until later in the series.
  • spider-man/deadpool.  this was very satisfying for my super duper spideypool-shipping mind.  joe and ed did us so good, and joe basically said in his sign-off: i made it absolutely as gay as they would let me, haha.
  • the wicked + the divine.  (LGBT minor characters that you’re going to get way too attached to, and retroactively.  it’s awful [sobs].)  the concept for this, gods reincarnating into teenagers before they burn up their hosts after a predetermined set of time, is so fucking cool.  the humor and the characters and the plot is all just aces.
  • iceman (LGBT MAIN CHARACTER).  okay, so this just started.  like issue #2 was only released days ago but 1) i am liking it so far and 2) marvel did it so dirty and barely advertised bobby - an openly homosexual superhero - was getting his own series, like, i found out about it the day before it went on sale and i keep my ear fairly close to the ground (not as close as some BY A LOT, but closer than the lay person i’d say) so if you can support it, please do!  pre-orders mean a lot in terms of numbers. :))))
  • descender.  admittedly, this starts out rooough.  because the main character, TIM-21 (and his little dog too), are annoying as hell.  he’s an android so there’s no dimension to him so he’s booooring as all get out but i am so glad i stuck with it through to the next trade because, probably picking up on the unsustainability of him as a main character, he gets shuffled off and the side characters get the stage and they rock so hard.
  • paper girls. (LGBT main characters.)  i’m kind of just convinced that brian k. vaughan can do no wrong at this point.  his plots are so tight and mind-blowing and badass.
  • monstress.  here’s a little tid-bit about me: female comic book writers are 100% more likely to get my money and my time because they are so damn rare and this series is unique, badass, and eye-opening.
  • black monday murders.  i’m a little premature with this since there’s only one volume and i usually try to wait until there are at least two but i check up on a volume two a lot so that definitely means something intrigued me!
  • nailbiter.  okay, i haven’t read the final volume yet ‘cause i’m reluctant to let it go but, so far, a series about multiple serial killers all being from the same town has me VERY HOOKED.

i wish i could remember more but this is honestly way better than i expected to do, haha.  they’re definitely not all my all-time faves but they’re ones that have stuck with me for one reason or another and that i didn’t feel i wasted my time on, so that’s something, right?  i hope this helps get you started and that you don’t think too awfully of me when you inevitably run across ones that aren’t your cup of tea!

Music is not a place for fear. Music is the universal language that the whole world speaks. It doesn’t matter what faith, what race, what class, what life experience. When a bunch of people can get together and they can all relate to one thing - their love for music - a beautiful thing happens. And it’s that sense of communication that keeps music fans so loving and so unconditional. I stand with Manchester.
—  Halsey’s message for One Love Manchester

Friendships serve its best when under God’s grace :) Be the friend who walks the talk of faith and leads loved ones to Christ Jesus.

The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense. - Proverbs 27:9

The Best Films of 2017 - Mid-Year List

There have already been many great films so far this year, so I felt it worth doing a run down of my favourite films of the year so far. These all reflect the cinema releases we’ve had so far in the UK in 2017 - for that reason this list includes some films that were released in the US in 2016. Enjoy, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the best films of the year so far!

Honourable mentions: Their Finest, Colossal, Gifted

1. Get Out, dir. Jordan Peele

This film really knocked me for six, to such an extent that I simply had to see it twice in the cinema. It got even better upon a re-watch, when I was able to watch it with full knowledge of the characters’ underlying motives and the things to come. It’s a terrifying concept (the racism of an all-white suburb is taken to a horrifying extreme) executed with incredible panache, and you feel every emotion that Chris goes through thanks to Daniel Kaluuya’s excellent performance. Get Out also represents one of the most brilliantly communal experiences I’ve ever had at the cinema - I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say that the audience erupted into spontaneous applause at a key moment in the climax. Simply fantastic. 

2. The Handmaiden, dir. Park Chan-wook

This film is exquisite - it’s first and foremost a beautiful boundary-smashing love story, and an absolutely marvellous tale of female defiance. It transplants Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith to 1930s Korea, and the story is effortlessly adapted to become intrinsically interwoven with its new setting. Sookee is a talented pickpocket plucked from a thieves den and sent as a handmaiden to trick a rich heiress into falling for a conman. To say any more would spoil the twists, but this film is just a masterwork of suspense, keeping you guessing throughout a series of interlocking pieces that take their time to reveal their secrets. I’ve seen the theatrical cut and the extended version, and they’re both great - you’re in for a treat with either.

3. Jackie, dir. Pablo Larrain

This is a film that soars on the strength of Natalie Portman’s incredible performance, which is complemented by Mica Levi’s haunting score. Portman’s performance is painfully vivid, with her agony and wretchedness coming through so intensely that it’s often uncomfortable to watch. Jackie is probably the best portrait of grief I’ve ever seen, and it sucks you into a famous historic event by providing an incredibly intimate perspective on it. This is great cinema, but be prepared for suffering.

4. A Cure for Wellness, dir. Gore Verbinski

This is a delightfully strange Gothic fairy tale of a film, and I’m amazed and impressed that a Hollywood studio gave Gore Verbinski a budget sufficient to pull it off with such beauty and style. I’ve seen this film attract love and hate in equal measure, but I adore it - the trailers set you up for a rehash of Shutter Island, but nothing could be further from the truth beyond the isolated setting. If I had to compare this to anything, I would compare it to Roger Corman’s Poe cycle of films from the 1960s - it has a similarly lurid sensibility and a deep-seated sense of fantastic romanticism at its core. Great if you’re after something uncompromisingly bonkers.

5. Wonder Woman, dir. Patty Jenkins

This film represented pure joy for me - I couldn’t have anticipated how emotional I was going to get at witnessing a (wonder!)woman crossing No Man’s Land and deflecting bullets with her bracelets. This simultaneously rejects the wry self-awareness of the Marvel films and the grim self-importance of the previous DC movies, instead unabashedly depicting a superhero who triumphs thanks to her overriding belief in love and compassion. Patty Jenkins adds endless little touches - from funny moments to quiet scenes where characters talk simply to learn about each other - that enrich the film and make it feel vivid and intimate in a very rare and special way.

6. Silence, dir. Martin Scorsese

This is truly the work of a master filmmaker, and it represents a stunning artistic achievement and a moving and intelligent investigation of the threshold of faith. Scorsese tried to get this made for decades before finally succeeding, and his passion for and belief in the project shine through in every painstakingly crafted frame. Silence is equal parts beauty and brutality, and it uses this contrast to illuminate the painful questions that the faithful must ask themselves when faced with the harsh reality of the present world. It’s heavy stuff, but well worth your time if you’re up for a film that raises more questions than it answers.

7. In This Corner of the World, dir. Sunao Katabuchi

I had no idea this film existed until a few days before I saw it, but I was really struck by its poetic treatment of the joys and tragedies of life. This film follows a young bride who moves to live with her husband’s family in WWII-era Japan, and while it deals unflinchingly with the trauma and horror of war - particularly the bombing of Hiroshima - it’s also surprisingly funny and ultimately hopeful. The power of this film comes through in the little moments of human connection and the way that the full potential of animation is exploited to maximum effect.

8. La La Land, dir. Damien Chazelle

A lovely ode to the classic Hollywood musical, La La Land is a technical marvel that sticks with me because of its heart and humanity (those words are recurring a lot, right?). It tells a very small story of a love affair between two dreamers in Hollywood, but it feels much bigger than them because of the way in which their story is told. La La Land draws from influences across the spectrum of cinema, and its homages to the classics are joyful and loving. The final ‘what might have been’ sequence represents the perfect marriage of raw emotion and filmmaking virtuosity. 

9. Okja, dir. Bong Joon-ho

Not many films can balance flatulence jokes with uncompromising critique of capitalist greed, but Okja pulls it off with aplomb. The core story hinges on the innocent and endearing friendship between a young girl named Mija and a bio-engineered super pig called Okja, and the film succeeds because you totally buy their connection and desperately want the two of them to have their wish and live together in the mountains. I’m delighted that Netflix gave Bong Joon-ho a platform to make such a weird beast.

10. Logan, dir. James Mangold

Logan may be bleak, but that isn’t what makes it great - Logan is fantastic cinema because it remembers that superheroes are still people who struggle with their own souls as much as super-villains. This film features the best character work managed in any of the X-Men films, and Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and - in particular - Dafne Keen give heart-rending performances that really ground the film and give it an emotional core. I hope we get more superhero films like this, and that the takeaway from it for the industry is the importance of stressing character rather than frantic spectacle.

Most anticipated films still to come: War for the Planet of the Apes, Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets, Dunkirk, The Beguiled, Mother!, Logan Lucky, Blade Runner 2049, Murder on the Orient Express, The Shape of Water, Annihilation, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

So lemme tell y'all a story:

I was in 10th grade honours English. I loved my teacher - she was super cool, but didn’t take any shit from anyone. During our time with her, she was going through a rough divorce.

Our teacher had developed this system: if we were good, she’d add “time” to our class, with each “time” being worth ten seconds, so we had to work hard. That meaning, she would give us a free period after we’d built up the exact time that a period extended to be. It was an earned privilege, and we always did our best to try and obtain it. Hell, playing puzzle games and reading was way more fun than a test or worksheet!

We were reading Animal Farm, a book my mom had given to me when I was ten bc she knew I loved to read and enjoyed anything that was thought-provoking. I’d read it then, and again later in my parochial middle school. Living in a big city, public schools aren’t well-funded, and I was lucky to have all my close family scrape together cash for a good education. Needless to say, I was rather familiar with the book.

Now back to the system! Our teacher had implemented a rule that every morning (she taught my first period class) we wood stand up and recite the commandments of animalism. We’d all try our hardest to do it perfectly, lest “time” be taken off our class. But one morning, she was… cold.

My classmates who’d recited before me were all told to sit down and stop reciting, because they were “wrong.” Knowing that, I was confused, as was everyone else. Yet, we all kept trying the same thing. She let the first few people finish. Then, she let people get partially through before she’d utter, “wrong” or something of the sort and deduct our hard-earned time.

It finally got to me; it was my turn. I stood up and started, and was immediately shut down by her. I was frustrated, to say the least. I replied after a second and told her that I was, indeed, right. She muttered for me to sit down. I refused, and by now she’d taken off twenty seconds. Everyone groaned, but I continued to disobey. Eventually, my classmates started telling me to just stop and it turned into yelling at me once I’d lost our hard-earned twenty minutes (meaning we had been halfway to a free period) as I continued to argue. Once we were in the negatives, people were literally yelling obscenities at me. They even yelled at her, blaming her divorce and period. Gross behaivour, mind you.

I didn’t stop.

The teacher said that she was going to call security and have me removed. I replied that it was a-okay with me to do so. I promptly walk out of the room and she followed up by telling me to wait in the hallway. I’d intended to walk to the office myself, but obliged figuring it was no matter to me.

I was in the hallway for about a minute before she rushed out and gently grabbed me by the shoulders. I was rightly confused. She gasped, and stammered out that she had never imagined it would happen. Why was she suddenly not being so ruthless? Why was she flabbergasted? Well, apparently what she’d “wanted” was for us to all fail. That it was a lesson, and she’d have given back the “time” she had removed. It was all about “knowing” what was coming, and how fascism meant that the rules could change at any time, without your knowledge and consent, but you could still be punished for it. She told me that she’d called security, and told them if they saw me in the hall during that call, to excuse me. Nobody had done that before. Apparently, throughout her decades of teaching, not one student had done that. They had all caved and sat down eventually.

You can be that person. In something that matters to us all. It’s not fun, but when has fighting for what’s right ever been easy?

Don’t you, for a single second, allow for you to second guess yourself.
Never.
The world may second guess you,
your friends may second guess you,
But you yourself must always have faith.
—  Nicole Addison @thepowerwithin