excited to share that i will be working at ign entertainment as a designer starting june 1! my first job out of school and what better way to start my career than to make stuff promoting video games :D
Mance. Like Dany, Mance is the foreign invader who creates an army of Dothraki-like raiders to attack the realm. Mance also has an oversized image of himself, is a mess of contradictions, and loses sight of the bigger picture.
What Jon thinks of Mance:
Jon thinks he’s nothing more than a charismatic Euron Greyjoy or Drogo, whom he would kill if he had to, to protect his family and his home:
Mance had spent years assembling this vast plodding host, talking to this clan mother and that magnar, winning one village with sweet words and another with a song and a third with the edge of his sword… hammering a hundred different daggers into one great spear, aimed at the heart of the Seven Kingdoms…I will kill him if I must. The prospect gave Jon no joy; there would be no honor in such a killing, and it would mean his own death as well. Yet he could not let the wildlings breach the Wall, to threaten Winterfell and the north…For eight thousand years the men of House Stark had lived and died to protect their people against such ravagers; and reavers … and bastard-born or no, the same blood ran in his veins.
Jon has little respect for Mance’s main “accomplishments” as king:
All Mance ever did was lead an army down upon the realm he once swore to protect.
Mance’s attack on the Wall pisses Jon off. So much that Jon thinks of Mance’s favorite song (about how great freedom tastes) while pouring fire down on him:
Grenn was rolling a second barrel to the precipice by then, and Kegs had one as well….A flaming giant lurched into view, stumbling and rolling on the ground. Then suddenly the mammoths were fleeing, running from the smoke and flames and smashing into those behind them in their terror… When they break, they break hard, Jon Snow thought as he watched them reel away. The drums had all gone silent. How do you like that music, Mance? How do you like the taste of the Dornishman’s wife?”
Jon regrets not killing him when he had the chance:
I should have tried to kill Mance Rayder on the Fist, even if it meant my life. That was what Qhorin Halfhand would have done. But Jon had hesitated, and the chance passed.
Jon believes that his people have bled enough. He understands their daily struggles, while Mance and the wildlings do not:
“This land belongs to the Watch,” Jon said. Her nostrils flared. “No one lives here.” “Your raiders drove them off.” “They were cowards, then. If they wanted the land they should have stayed and fought.” “Maybe they were tired of fighting. Tired of barring their doors every night and wondering if Rattleshirt or someone like him would break them down to carry off their wives. Tired of having their harvests stolen, and any valuables they might have. It’s easier to move beyond the reach of raiders.” But if the Wall should fail, all the north will lie within the reach of raiders.
Stannis. Stannis is the monarch who uses the act of saving Westeros as a marketing campaign to convince people he’s the rightful king. After conquering the wildlings, he gives them a choice: death by ice, or death by fire. They can either pass through the Wall and kneel; or remain free but stay north of the Wall and freeze. He wants to convert them to his religion - a religion which just happens to position him as the world’s savior, Azor Ahai.
Hi! I asked this to @warsofasoiaf a while back, and I was hoping to get your thoughts as well. Since, unlike the North, the Riverlands have no natural defences, did Robb ever have any chance of maintaining and defending that part of his kingdom in perpetuity? Even in the best of circumstances, wouldn't whoever ends up ruling the south eventually conquer the Riverlands as soon as a slightly weaker king ascends the Northern throne?
This is a bit of fanon that annoys me. The Riverlands has natural defenses: they’re called rivers. It doesn’t have defensible borders or boundaries, in the sense that the Riverlands has lands outside of its rivers to the west, south, north, and east, and that rivers are easier to cross than the Neck or the Mountains of the Moon, but that’s not the same thing.
However, as history has shown time and again, when Riverlanders pursue a strategy of defense-in-depth as opposed to perimeter defense, they can easily deal with invaders: this is true whether you examine Arrec Durrandon’s campaign that led to the Battle of Fairmarket, the downright miraculous campaigns during the Dance of the Dragons against the Westermen, the Reachermen, and the Stormlanders, or the Battle of the Fords during the War of Five Kings.
So if the North adopted an effective administration (with support from the political community of the Riverlands) that built up a riverrine navy, used the rivers to gain the superior mobility of interior lines and to force any invader into fighting at chokepoints where you have a huge defensive advantage, and was willing enough to retreat back to the inner lines of the Trident when necessary, I think the North could hang onto the Riverlands, even if pressed, for an extended period of time.
The Trump phenomenon is a logical and unavoidable continuation of America's racial politics
In order to better understand the Trump phenomenon, it’s helpful to look back at our history in the past 150 years, much further than is normally done.
To take but one example (others will work too, but this one is handy), Mississippi was one of two states that had more black residents at the time of the Civil War than white, the other being South Carolina. It’s an instructive case because this had a statewide effect, whereas the results were more varied in other places.
For decades after that war, because the ruling white class literally became an immediate minority, Reconstruction was desperately opposed there. Mississippi had a racially diverse government for decades, and even elected the first black US Congressman at that time, but that change created tremendous fear, anxiety and dread among much of the white population.
Don’t be mistaken, this was not a government overrun by uneducated slaves bent on revenge. It was a progressive new majority. Abolitionists and liberals of the time (and “carpetbaggers” from the North–which is why that’s now a pejorative term) were a part of it as well. No doubt quite a few supporters of the old guard also held office, but they had to work with the new majority.
But the former ruling class clawed its way back into power literally through terror and intimidation, until national support for a federal presence ended, Reconstruction was abandoned, and they were able to pass a series of laws that would keep them in a bare majority. This is precisely why the state flag was changed to incorporate the confederate flag at around the turn of the century. The new flag announced the new era–that the confederate powers were back in control, that Federal troops had finally given up, and that no one else, especially black Republicans, would be welcome or even tolerated in the statehouse.
This happened all over the South of course, where many local governments were violently overthrown by local whites, who could not accept the idea that society would not be fully white-controlled. We have documentation and even photos of burned-out courthouses and black neighborhoods after electoral victories, where the ensuing anarchy and deaths were used as an excuse to nullify results. Violence was instigated to justify extreme measures, measures that were needed to rein in the same violence.
That power structure is still in place all around the nation, even after the parties have changed places, and even though Federal troops have been brought back in on rare occasions. Gerrymandering and voter suppression continue today to make sure of it, and in Mississippi the remaining state flag is a visual proof. In other states, (like Georgia, where the flag was changed in opposition to integration) such obvious symbols are finally coming down, but not without a fight.
Over a century later, however, control is shifting inevitably nationwide. We’ve seen this start to happen many times, and every time there has been violence and backtracking, and more recently even an attempt at nullifying Clinton’s second election through impeachment, and desperate searching for an impeachable offense for President Obama for seven straight years. The reason southerners called Hillary a carpetbagger in the 1990’s was due to her politics, not her birthplace, and Bill was called the “first black president” because of how he was treated, NOT because of any actual blackness or even a rapport with African-Americans. These are critical points, because they are an enduring part of our basic political dialogue.
Obama is no radical. We’ve known that since he first ran for office. Yet to a solid third of this country, he represents a radical and terrifying change and a loss of power that has been in the making since before 1860. Hence the absolute freakout on the far right that was nonsensical to everyone else.
With the election of Obama in 2008, the visual impact of the changing country was ultimately too much for a lot of whites to stomach. As a result, we were immediately inundated with racist photoshop work, essays on Americas decline, and a “hates America” theme that made no sense to those of us who see Barack Obama as a quintessentially American figure, which he is. But then, we don’t see America as a battle against change, the way Confederates in 1890’s Mississippi did, and many people–tea partiers, for example–still do.
This is not an exclusively Southern thing, and it never has been. Even before the Civil War there were strong and violent disagreements over white power on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. Don’t forget that at the dedication of the racist confederate monument and symbolic home of the reinvented Ku Klux Klan at Stone Mountain, Georgia, the keynote speaker was the mayor of New York City. That’s only one example, but it’s a part of how the North effectively embraced Southern white supremacy as a method of nation-building in the early 20th century.
This constant and unceasing nature of American race-based politics has been almost invisible to “moderate” Americans in the past half-century, resulting in odd debates such as last year, when millions of whites were introduced to the fact that the confederate flag was displayed as an intimidation tactic. This racist aspect of the conservative/progressive divide has been subtly implied and reinforced since the 1960s, when the violent backlash against the Civil Rights movement turned reasonable people away from the idea of a segregated society. But it has never left our political discourse because it forms the backbone of it.
In fact, almost every single conversation about entitlements, taxes, spending, crime, schools, minimum wage, job creation, food assistance, housing, healthcare, and especially disaster relief, all boil down to attitudes on race. For decades, conservatives have put race behind their policy on every single one of these issues, but have carefully pretended it wasn’t there. The hard right conservative base (as well as the activist left), saw it and took it for granted, so much so that many even assume that it’s part of the public dialogue. Pointing it out as problematic is honestly seen by the far right as anti-white because it they honestly see political progress as anti-white, because it is anti-white supremacy.
Trump’s supporters have spent their entire lives understanding this, and surrounded by people who clearly hear every racist dogwhistle the rest of the country misses. They are so accustomed to it that they have no need to be subtle about it and expect that the rest of us hear these things the same way. It’s a fact of their politics. It’s why wealthy Republicans will say, in complete seriousness, that John McCain’s defeat was “worse than 9/11,” or that whites are liberal only because they “like to be around low-class people.” The class being referenced is literally a fixed class of outsiders with whom lifelong conservatives cannot fathom social contact.
Trump knows this, and he’s embracing it. More likely, he’s a part of it and feels the same way. Either way, it’s shocking but it’s not surprising.
Mostly, it’s terrifying. People are going to be hurt and some are likely to get killed. To Trump’s supporters, this election is life and death, because is not about policy, just as EVERY election for them has not been about policy. It is about the invasion of a foreign culture, the same “foreign” culture that most of us simply see as American. They may call it elitist, urban, politically correct and other things, but it’s simply an integrated American culture. Policy is always a constant extension of that culture war. This is why, despite his obvious lifelong lack of interest in religion and his pro-choice comments, fundamentalists support Trump so strongly.
For them, this election is literally about our civilization, and keeping their tenuous control of the nation, even though they lost it years ago. The Republican Party has used this subtle and consistent racism so effectively over the past fifty years that Republican white tribalism is now the only thing that holds the Party together. Their base will fight over it, and violently so, even if lazily “moderate” republicans are horrified by it.
There is no other issue of any importance in this election for Trump’s fans, and no other candidate directly addressing it. This isn’t about how to pay for college, who will raise minimum wage the most, or any other minuscule differences the Democratic candidates have between them. That’s extremely minor stuff by comparison. Much like with George W Bush in 2000, they think Trump is their savior, and they’re going to treat him like one.
Only this time they are feeling way more desperate.
Some are living in mansions, some
are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my
dear, yet there’s no place for us.
Once we had a country and we
thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find
We cannot go there now, my dear,
we cannot go there now.
In the village churchyard there
grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew:
Old passports can’t do that, my
dear, old passports can’t do that.
The consul banged the table and
“If you’ve got no passport you’re
But we are still alive, my dear,
but we are still alive.
Went to a committee; they offered
me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next
But where shall we go today, my
dear, but where shall we go today?
Came to a public meeting; the
speaker got up and said:
“If we let them in, they will
steal our daily bread”:
He was talking of you and me, my
dear, he was talking of you and me.
Though I heard the thunder
rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying
‘They must die’:
O we were in his mind, my dear, O
we were in his mind.
Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened
with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let
But they weren’t German Jews, my
dear, but they weren’t German Jews.
Went down the harbor and stood
upon the quay.
Saw the fish swimming as if they
Only ten feet away, my dear, only
ten feet away.
Walked through a wood, saw the
birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang
at their ease:
They weren’t the human race, my
dear, they weren’t the human race.
Dreamed I saw a building with a
A thousand windows and a thousand
Not one of them was ours, my
dear, not one of them was ours.
Stood on a great plain in the
Ten thousand soldiers marched to
Looking for you and me, my dear,
looking for you and me.
Refugee Blues – W.H Auden , Holocaust Survivor – March
Compiled by Hilda Schiff in
Holocaust Poetry, 1995
I read from the news that last month saw the worst spike in hate crimes against refugees and Muslims in America and in Europe. People were beaten to death. Places of worship were burnt to the ground.
I’m Asian. I live in Asia where we don’t really have to deal with the current surge in international refugee issues. My country doesn’t have to deal with terrorist attacks or with religious friction. So perhaps this is not my place.
However, I speak as a descendant of people who have been the victims of religious purges (1954, North Vietnam. The purges effectively rendered my country into an unofficially atheistic state) and those who have once fled a murderous regime by risking death on rickety fish board at seas (Boat people humanitarian crisis, 1975-1990. Estimated number of death: half a million). History repeats itself if we do not learn from the mistakes of the past. Regardless of your religious or political affiliation, human compassion is still a universal virtue that is absolutely vital to our species, and I hope that despite the bigotry, xenophobia, and the fear-mongering politics, that it will still win out at the end of the day.
Project Freelancer was a logistical and logical clusterfuck, Part 1
Inspired by this amazing post! A million thanks to my dear friend @barsenthor for helping me out with this!
Okay so Project Freelancer is a fucking mess. Even ignoring how its goals are twisted, ignoring absolutely everything else, it’s a logistical and strategic nightmare. From the 2nd episode, we see the Director sending in agents clearly not suited to a mission. And it never really improves.
So to start with, I’m going to break down what each Freelancer’s specialities/fighting styles are, complain about their assigned enhancement and then I’m going to pair each Freelancer with an appropriate enhancement that would ACTUALLY HELP THEM DO THEIR JOB.
Going in order of the leaderboard…
Tex – Tex is a Disruption Tank. She can take hits, but her main ability is dealing a lot of damage, very quickly. Her ability to take hits means she can take down a lot of people. She’s great against groups (although part of this might be the inverse rule of competence; one bad guy’s a threat, lots of bad guys are canon fodder). Tex is virtually unstoppable once she gets going; it takes a hell of a lot to stop her. Like, say, a ship crash and emotional trauma.
Tex is given the active camouflage, which she uses to great effect and it’s one of her signatures. But… it actually does not make a lot of sense to give it to her. An active camo is hell of a lot more useful for infiltrators (like York or Connie) or snipers (like North or Wyoming.) Locus certainly demonstrated what kind of shenanigans you have to do to trace an invisible sniper. (WASH KEEP YOUR HELMET ON IN THE MIDDLE OF COMBAT, DAMN IT.) I have a theory that giving Tex that unit has a hell of a lot more to do with isolating Tex from her teammates than helping her in combat but that’s a whole other post.
Carolina – Carolina’s about a hundred things at once, but the ones I’m going to focus on in particular is glass cannon/monk. In contrast to Tex, one good hit puts Carolina down quickly. It’s epitomized in Carolina’s philosophy: “It’s not bad if you don’t let it hit you.” Carolina can’t take damage. (The healing unit in S12-13 helps with this to a certain extent, but we see how much a knife to the leg impacts her ability to fight throughout the later half of season 12.) The monk part mostly comes in with her martial arts prowess (here’s a great quote from Monty contrasting Carolina and Tex’s fighting styles), but, sticking with the D&D system for a bit here, Carolina has about a million ranks in improvise weapon. Seriously, she used a grappling hook and grenade as a flail. She can fight with just about anything. Carolina can seriously cause a lot of damage, like Tex (in fact, I’d say she can cause more damage per hit than Tex, bc that’s usually how stats balance out) but she has to be constantly moving.
Which is why the choice of her speed unit is a rare good choice. She’s a bit of a fragile speedster epitomized. She uses her unit well, and it legitimately makes sense with her fighting style. I’ll leave it up to you to wonder if that’s on purpose on the Director’s part, because I’m pretty sure that’s another thousand words of meta.
Everyone else is below the cut ‘cuz this is getting long.
I was just thinking.. and I'm not sure if I understand things correctly but if Jon bends the knee, the North would effectively not be its own kingdom, right? Meaning Jon isn't KitN anymore. So because he's not a Stark he basically would have no say in anything at all since Sansa is Lady of Winterfell? All this shit doesnt make any sense (and i suppose thats because jon is acting ooc??) but Stormbrat would effectively rule the north and Jon has no claim/power whatsoever? what is this writingggg
Jup. If Jon bends the knee, which he hasn’t actually done btw, not really, not literally, not in front of witnesses, nor has he informed his bannermen of their new monarch…. he’s not a king anymore.
That’s the tricky thing here. Jon was declared king, he was chosen, in such a way he can be ‘unchosen’, with Sansa, it’s quite different. Sansa in heiress to Winterfell (Bran gave up his place, she’s first in line now), her claim rests on her birth, she can’t be challenged there. She can’t ben ‘unmade’ her father’s legitimate, trueborn, Winterfell born, eldest Stark and heiress to the north. She’ll always be lady of Winterfell.
So… what is Jon now? Dany promised him the warden of the North title. I suppose that’ll do. More than he ever expected to have once, anyway. So yeah, he’ll still have some power, I suppose. He’ll be a bit like Ned, except… the North respected and admired Ned. No way in frozen hell that the North will respect and admire Jon after giving their lands away to the mad king’s tyrannic invader daughter with her messed up morals, her very un-northern arrogance and her three fire lizards.
Jon seems convinced they’ll learn to appreciate Daenerys and her sparkling perfection, which makes the least amount of sense to me, ever. Jon knows the North, better than anyone at the moment really, better than Sansa, despite the show turning that around, yet he can’t see that Daenerys would honestly be the last thing that could ever please them?
Cornflower is an annual herb having a straight, sinewy and downy stem that usually grows up to a height of one to two feet and is branching. Solitary, vivid blue flower heads akin to those of thistle grow at the branch ends. The herb produces long leaves that have a grayish-green hue and emerge alternately on the stem. The leaves are shaped like lances and are also downy like the stem.
The cornflower is a preferred garden flower and can be cultivated easily. It is an annually growing plant found in several varieties and its flowers have a wide range of colors. The cornflower, also often referred to as the bright blue ‘bachelor’s button’, is known as Centaurea cyanus in terms of herbal medication.
Cornflower is indigenous to the Mediterranean region and, hence, it has been naturalized all over Great Britain, where it was widespread in grain fields, and the farmers viewed this plant as a weed and referred to it as ‘hurtsickle’ owing to its sturdy stem that unsharpened their sickles. In effect, ‘cornflower blue’ is the hue of extraordinarily blue eyes. According to folklore, particularly, people who are fortunate enough to have such attractive eyes are likely to take pleasure in the beneficial effects of the plant to their eyesight. A decoction prepared with the dehydrated cornflower has been used traditionally to cure inflammation of the eyes. In traditional medicine, the leaves or the seeds soaked in wine were taken internally to treat pestilential fevers. In addition, the juice extracted from the leaves of cornflower was applied topically to wounds.
As cornflowers keep hold of their vivid color even when dehydrated, they are frequently utilized in arrangements of dry flowers or even in garlands. The juice extracted from the flowers is blended with alum water to prepare a blue ink. However, the color is not everlasting as a dye for cloth.
The Latin name of cornflower denotes a mythical centaur which the ancient Greeks worshipped as the father of medicine.
Just in time for National Fishing and Boating Week, #mypubliclandsroadtrip Takes a Ride on the South Salmon River
The 425-mile Salmon River in Idaho is one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the lower 48 states. The river begins as not much more than a trickle at an elevation of about 8,000 feet in the mountains of central Idaho. It gathers force and carves the second deepest canyon in North America, which effectively splits Idaho in half. The section known as the Lower Salmon River eventually meets the Snake River and flows into the ocean.
The river and its canyon are truly remarkable in this “pool and drop” river where difficult rapids are located in the narrow canyons. The numerous unusual white sand beaches offer camping and serve as a reminder that this river is still free flowing.