not as prescient as they should be

On April 17 in 1790, Benjamin Franklin died at 84 years old. Just two weeks earlier, John Adams wrote about how Franklin’s legacy would outshine his own:

“The History of our Revolution will be one continued Lye from one End to the other. The Essence of the whole will be that Dr Franklins electrical Rod, Smote the Earth and out Spring General Washington. That Franklin electrified him with his Rod—and thence forward these two conducted all the Policy Negotiations Legislation and War.”

Adams went on to say that “if this Letter should be preserved, and read an hundred Years hence” that the reader would say that it was simply Adams’s envy that “could not bear to think of the Truth” and led him to speak such blasphemy against Franklin and Washington.

It took closer to 200 years for biographers like John McCullough (and HBO) to help restore the legacy of John Adams and his role in the revolution. But Adams’s point was prescient, and that’s why you don’t see his face on US dollars, quarters, or hundred dollar bills.

'Orphan Black' A to Z: Dive Into the Show's DNA Before Its Final Season

‘Orphan Black’ A to Z: Dive Into the Show’s DNA Before Its Final Season

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Source: Entertainment Weekly

A: Alison Hendrix

She’s just your everyday suburbanite mom — aside from the drug dealing and gun toting she does when she’s not crafting, acting in musicals, or running for school trustee. She’s also fiercely protective of her husband (and former monitor), Donnie, and their two children.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

B: Body Double

How does Maslany manage to play so many integral roles on the series? Kathryn Alexandre has been the star’s stand-in for Orphan Black’s entire run. Once the show’s invisible secret weapon, she was eventually rewarded with a minor onscreen role, playing Alexis.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

C: Cosima

Cosima Niehaus, one of the original Clone Club members, is a pot-smoking, board-game-playing former Ph.D. student specializing in evolutionary developmental biology. She puts her science smarts to use, researching her sisters’ origins and trying to find a cure for the respiratory illness that threatens the lives of almost all Leda clones — including her own.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

D: Dance Party

The season 2 finale brought Sarah, Helena, Alison, and Cosima together for the first time, and after all they’d endured, the sestras (“sisters” in show parlance) took a moment to cut loose. But it wasn’t all fun and games; shooting the complex clone dance party took two days. The result: Orphan Black’s most memorable scene.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

E: Episode Titles

The ethics of cloning isn’t the only topic on Orphan Black that requires analysis. Each season has taken its episode names from specific texts (season 1 used Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species; season 2 borrowed from the works of Sir Francis Bacon; then Dwight D. Eisenhower and Donna Haraway followed, with season 5 set to use the poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox). The titles are sometimes ominous, often telling, and always open to interpretation.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

F: Felix

Honorary Clone Club member Felix Dawkins (Jordan Gavaris) is Sarah Manning’s foster brother and a loyal ally to her sestras. When he’s not risking his neck to save their lives, he can be found turning tricks or painting graphic murals in the buff. Despite his frequent forays into territory that’s not strictly legal, Felix serves as a voice of reason.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

G: Genetics

Questions about DNA and identity are the very center of Orphan Black. The clones are exact genetic copies — so why are they so different from one another? Their DNA is patented — so what rights do they have to their own lives? Their creators meddle with genes in an effort to direct evolution — but at what point are they crossing an ethical line?

Source: Entertainment Weekly

H: Helena

Introduced in the third episode as “the killer clone,” Helena was raised by the Proletheans to be an assassin on the hunt for her fellow clones. Fast-­forward to now, and she’s become an integral (and deadly) part of the Clone Club, helping her earn the distinction as the most vicious, hilarious, and pregnant clone.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

I: Impersonation

Let’s be honest: There are some real negatives to being a clone (see: the whole conspiracy thing). But the best aspect — besides having ride-or-die sestras — has to be duping bad guys or undecided school-trustee voters by pretending to be another clone.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

J: John Fawcett and Graeme Manson

Susan and Ethan Duncan may have spearheaded Project Leda, but these two television masterminds are the true creators of our favorite band of clones. Manson serves as the primary writer, and Fawcett has directed 17 episodes, including every season finale.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

K: Kira

Kira Manning (Skyler Wexler) is the young daughter of clone Sarah, which is pretty miraculous considering the clones were genetically programmed to be sterile — the unexpected side effect of which is a deadly respiratory illness. Kira’s stem cells may offer the key to a cure. She also seems to have an unexplained knack for predicting the future.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

L: Leda

Named after the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan, Project Leda is the code name for the Dyad Institute program that created Beth, Sarah, Cosima, Alison, Helena, and the other female clones. With the exception of the villainous Rachel, the Leda clones were raised without any awareness of the nature of their birth and DNA.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

M: Monitors

Spying on the clones for Dyad should be an unforgivable sin. Yet Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu), Paul Dierden (Dylan Bruce), and Donnie Hendrix (Kristian Bruun) have all managed to redeem themselves over the course of the series, whether it be through love, sacrifice, or humor. Plus, how can we hold a grudge against half of the duo behind TV’s all-time greatest twerking scene?

Source: Entertainment Weekly

N: Neolution

Darwin this isn’t — Neolution is a movement that believes mankind can use scientific knowledge to advance its evolution as a species. It has a corporate face in the Dyad Institute but will be best remembered for its body-­modified believers.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

O: Original

All the clones — female and male — originate from one woman: Kendall Malone (Alison Steadman). She absorbed her twin brother in the womb and possessed both male and female DNA, which scientists harvested while she was in prison. Kendall is also the mother of Siobhan (Maria Doyle Kennedy), who raised Sarah and Felix.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

P: Proletheans

A secretive group that believes synthetic biology should only be carried out in God’s name, their views on clones are divided — ­traditionalists see them as abominations, but another sect, which saw them as miracles, kidnapped and forcibly impregnated Helena.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Q: Queer

Orphan Black has been embraced by the LGBTQ community because of its treatment of queer characters, including Felix, bisexual Cosima, and transgender clone Tony Sawicki (Maslany).

Source: Entertainment Weekly

R: Rachel

Unlike her fellow Leda clones, Rachel was brought up knowing that she’s part of an experiment, and she works for her creators. Ruthless, manipulative, and cold, underestimate her at your own peril.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

S: Sarah

Brash, British, and totally badass, Sarah Manning began her journey to discovering her clone identity on that fated train platform where she crossed paths with Beth Childs. What’s come next has included deep levels of conspiracy and intrigue, not to mention high doses of danger, but it also gave her (plus Felix, Kira, and all the Orphan Black fans) the best sisterhood — or should we say sestrahood? — around.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

T: Tatiana Maslany

Arguably the hardest-­working actor on TV, Maslany’s played nearly a dozen characters so far on Orphan Black, including the five distinctive women at the heart of the story. Her performance earned her one Emmy, but she deserves a trophy for each one of the clones.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

U: Unknowns

Orphan Black has revealed a lot about Neolution and the clones’ origins, but there are plenty of unanswered questions: How many more clones are out there? What’s up with Kira’s prescient abilities? Is there a cure for the illness that threatens Cosima and her sisters? Here’s hoping season 5 offers some answers.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

V: Village

Yet another quandary for the clones to unravel is this mysterious colony on the show’s very own Island of Dr. Moreau, whose inhabitants include a man seen in Rachel’s visions. Who they are, why they’re there, and why Delphine is with them will be among the questions fans will be looking to have answered before the series’ end.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

W: Westmorland

The clones’ long and often perilous journey has led them to 170-year-old Neolution founder P.T. Westmorland (Stephen McHattie). Described by co-creator Manson as the “most evil man in the world,” the mysterious figure is finally stepping into the spotlight in Orphan Black’s final season.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

X: Experiments

Cloning may be Orphan Black’s signature scientific foray, but it’s not the only one. Neolutionists push the boundaries of human evolution — and our stomachs —­ with wild body modifications and implanted “maggot-bots,” while Cosima logs ample time in the lab searching to cure her own health issues before it’s too late.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Y: Y Chromosome

Clone Club was an all-girls’ club no longer when Ari Millen arrived in season 2 to play Project Castor’s Mark, Rudy, Seth, Miller, and last (known) man standing Ira, Rachel’s brother and adoptive mother’s boyfriend (you read that right).

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Z: Zygotes

Sarah and Helena, who shared a surrogate birth mother, also share a genetic mutation that allows them to have children, unlike their sestras. Helena is currently carrying twins — and still kicking ass. (Don’t mess with her babies.)

Source: Entertainment Weekly


So I probably won’t be writing this, but there is some rudimentary headcanoning below. It’s not a full worldbuild, and it neatly skipped over a few decades there, but it’s a start ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
@myurbandream, @letslipthehounds
tagging @deadcatwithaflamethrower, @obaewankenope, @meabhair, @punsbulletsandpointythings, and @lilyrose225writes you’ve already seen this, but just to cheer up a few ppl (@markwatnae HOW FUCKING DARE): 

springboarding from the Luke Time Travels AU from letslipthehounds to waaaaaay way ahead in that AU’s future

Keep reading

Kingsman actor Taron Egerton says calling people a ‘chav’ is offensive and is equivalent to homophobia

Kingsman: The Secret Service actor Taron Egerton has said descriptions of his character as a ‘Chav’ are ‘offensive’ and ‘ugly’ and the word should be removed from general language. His character in the film (and the film as a whole) has drawn comment, both complimentary and critical, from the press regarding its representation of working class youths.

Speaking in an interview with The National Student, Egerton offered his comments on the subject when asked about how he felt about reviewers branding the character a ‘chav’. He responded by saying that “It’s a bit offensive, isn’t it? It’s quite an ugly word. I think it’s a really, really, really lazy generalization.” He continued by saying he felt it was a ‘generalization’ that people form council houses would be ‘antisocial.’

Egerton has previously played a comparative character in Sky 1’s now axed drama series The Smoke. His character – a working class young man involved in criminal activity – was known in the drama as ‘Asbo’, a nickname derived from the controversial Antisocial Behavior Orders given out to people as part of the Crime and Disorder act of 1998 who have caused harassment, alarm or distress. He said of both Asbo and Eggsy, his character in Kingsman, that “both are really three-dimensional characters, both men with enormous hearts despite not being the most eloquent of men.”

His dislike of the term ‘chav’ was revealed further when he compared it to being homophobic: “I think the term ‘chav’ is one we should start, you know, to remove from our lexicon really. We don’t go around calling people ‘poofs’ anymore and rightly so, and I think there is no difference really. It’s a lazy, derogatory way of describing an incredibly broad and diverse group of people.”

His comments are especially prescient when seen in light of the Guardian’s recent harsh criticism of Matthew Vaughn’s film Kingsman, although the interview was carried out prior to its publication. The article (27th January), written by Jason Ward, claimed that the film is “utterly contemptuous” of the ‘working class’ and is “one of the most sustained acts of right-wing filmmaking” since the 1980s.

Meanwhile, the film has garnered very positive reviews from other quarters, attracting a 94% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and many four star reviews.

Without giving away any spoilers, here are some general descriptions about what to expect when Rogue One opens:

• The film, starring Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, an outlaw recruited by the Rebellion to steal the plans for the original Death Star, is set just prior to the events of 1977’s original Star Wars, and references to the first trilogy abound, foreshadowing events-yet-to-come.

• The tone is, as promised by Lucasfilm, a war story – a relentless action tale. Fears that much-discussed reshoots were softening the story or watering down the ending appear to be unfounded, since the movie presents a much grittier soldier’s story than previous films. Think of it as Band of Brothers with a Star Wars setting, more than earning its PG-13 rating.

• Chirrut Imwe, the blind warrior monk played by Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen, and K-2SO, the blunt-talking security droid played by Firefly star Alan Tudyk, steal the movie. Ironically, they both provide some of the movie’s funniest and most heart-tugging scenes.

• Much like The Force Awakens, there are a significant number of shots from the Rogue One trailers that aren’t in the finished film. Director Gareth Edwards says he shot a lot of footage in a cinema verite style, trying to capture the chaos of battle, so either trailer-makers drew heavily from material that was later unused, or portions of those scenes were reshot.

• Despite its heavy tone, there’s a lot of humor in Rogue One. There’s also a lot of heart, particularly in the father-daughter story of Jyn and Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) a scientist who is stolen away to work on the Empire’s Death Star project. The film also features a gripping, almost prescient speech by Jyn that will leave many fans with a lump in their throats.

• Finally, Darth Vader… The Dark Lord of the Sith delivers one moment of pure horror. You could argue there’s even more than one scene that fits this description. Rogue One shows a ruthless, predatory side of Vader when he is at the height of his powers.

• Actually … one more note: Fans of the Disney XD animated series Star Wars: Rebels should keep their eyes wide open for a number of special surprises. (That’s all I’m going to say about that.)


What if Yhwach invaded while Aizen was still in Hueco Mundo?

As requested by anon. :)

In canon Bleach, Yhwach politely waited until after Aizen was done with his whole “make espada and invade the Royal Realm plot” and until Ichigo had his powers back before he started his invasion. Yhwach is a nice guy like that. But what if Yhwach’s alarm was set a bit earlier, and Yhwach woke up a couple of years earlier, while Aizen was still happily ruling Hueco Mundo? In fact, what if Yhwach invaded Hueco Mundo just after Ichigo and his friend came to rescue Orihime? How would Bleach be different then? 

1. Ishida’s “fear the Quincy” comment would be more immediately prescient. 

Early on in the canon Hueco Mundo arc, Ishida fights Aisslinger Wernarr, and declares that he will leave the defeated arrancar alive so that he can tell Aizen that “the Quincy are here, and that in reality, it’s not the Shinigami he should fear, but rather the Quincy!” Which at the time probably made most of the audience smile indulgently because “there goes Ishida, thinking the Quincy matter again!” But imagine if, soon after that, the Quincy army actually invaded Hueco Mundo. Suddenly Ishida’s comment would seem like a knowing declaration of war.


Ishida: I say “fear the Quincy.” The Quincy arrive.

Ishida: Am I a god?

2. Aizen and Yhwach would face off.

Upon invading Hueco Mundo, Yhwach would go straight for Aizen because, you know, killing the leader really quickly is Yhwach’s way.

Yhwach: Hi. Want to join me?

Aizen: Aren’t you a little early?

Yhwach: Isn’t that throne a little big?

Aizen: Oh. It’s on.

3. Aizen would end up in the prison instead of Halibel.

I’m not honestly sure what would happen if Aizen and Yhwach really fought. On the one hand, it’s hard to imagine anyone succeeding in the face of Aizen’s ridiculously overpowered zanpakuto. On the other hand, though, Yhwach casually killed Yamamoto, the guy Aizen had to create a whole new arrancar to deal with. Plus, Yhwach is the new big bad. He kinda has to be stronger than Aizen, right? So anyway, in this reality, Yhwach wins. He tosses Aizen in that jail Halibel ended up in canonically, partly because Aizen is immortal, and partly because Yhwach seems to have an intended use for Aizen.

Aizen (hanging in chains): WHY AM I SHIRTLESS?!

4. Tosen would die; Gin would defect.

Aizen’s shinigami subordinates would be faced with a difficult choice - fight for Aizen or not? Tosen, being the decent one, would fight to defend Aizen. And die for his trouble. Gin, on the other hand, would care about nothing but staying in the hopes of maybe killing Aizen later. So he’d totally defect if allowed.

Yhwach: Why would I hire a shinigami?

Gin: Well, from what I’ve heard, you’re planning to “hire” some hollows. I’m like them, only, you know, not poisonous to you.

Yhwach: I dunno…

Gin: I could do a Quincy Encyclopedia for you!

Yhwach: Okay you’re hired.


5. Askin would interrupt Renji and Ishida’s Szayel fight.

Meanwhile, various Quincy would be sent out to kill hollows and see what’s what. I have decided that this means that one Quincy would interrupt each of the big espada fights. Askin, naturally enough, would show up at the fight between Renji, Ishida, and Szayel. He seems to like interrupting science.

Szayel: What’s this? Another Quincy? Well, if it isn’t my doubly lucky day!

Askin: Yo. Don’t mind me.

Askin: Figured I’d just watch until there’s only like one of you left.

Askin: Fighting all three of you at once would take way too much time!

Renji: Um, friend of yours, Ishida?

Ishida: !!!

6. Ishida would defect.

Because either he already knows, at this point, that his mother was killed by Yhwach, and so joins to take revenge, or he doesn’t know, and is like “Hey! Quincy!”

Renji: Hey! Ishida! Where do you think you’re going?

Ishida: I am Quincy, Abarai.

Renji: Yeah? And what am I supposed to tell Ichigo, huh?

Ishida: …that I am Quincy?

Ishida: It isn’t that hard to grasp.

Askin: Hey now. Leave the sarcasm to me.

7. As Nodt would find the unconscious Rukia.

Meanwhile, As Nodt would beat Zommari to unconscious Rukia. Being a lonely sort of guy (and also having powers that kinda require consciousness), he just decides to wait for her to wake up before killing her. Of course, Byakuya shows up first. 

Byakuya: What a strange looking espada you are.

As Nodt: I’m not an espada. I am a Quincy.

Byakuya: Do not be ridiculous. I can see your mask.

As Nodt: Um this spiky face mask is a Quincy spiky face mask.

Byakuya: Sure it is, espada.


8. Bazz-B would interrupt Ichigo’s Nnoitra fight.

And Bazz-B, of course, would go straight for Ichigo, who at this point would be getting the shit beaten out of him by Nnoitra, I guess.


Ichigo: G-Grimmjow? What did you do to your hair?

Bazz-B: …who the hell is Grimmjow?

9. Orihime wouldn’t be recaptured.

In canon, Starrk shows up after the Nnnoitra/Kenpachi fight and takes Orihime back to Aizen Headquarters. But since the Quincy have just invaded in this new reality and Aizen is imprisoned, Orihime would actually be free.

Ichigo: So.

Orihime: So.

Ichigo: Weird day.

Orihime: It was!

Ichigo: I mean, we’re watching Kenpachi - who showed up for some reason - fight some guy who says he’s a Quincy, even though he’s not Ishida.

Orihime: Plus you apparently have hollow powers.

Ichigo: Yeah, I guess that’s news too.

Orihime: I kinda expected Ulquiorra to show up at some point.

Ichigo: Right??

10. Most of the remaining espada would end up with the Quincy.

As the uproar from the sudden appearance of Quincy started to die down, most of the espada would go over to their side. I mean, they worked for a shinigami boss. Why not a Quincy? Except for Barragan. I feel like he’d draw the line at working for a human and so be killed.

Halibel: Aizen-sama promised to give me the strength to protect myself and my followers.

Halibel: What are you offering?

Yhwach: I probably won’t stab you in the middle of a battle.

Yhwach: Although if you lose one you’re toast.

Halibel: That’s…fair?

11. Urahara would do all of that fake Karakura Town prep for nothing.

Because it turns out nobody is invading the human world after all.

Urahara: I’m so glad they paid me in advance!

12. And Soul Society would be even less prepared.

Poor Soul Society though. Preparing themselves for the onslaught of an arrancar army led by Aizen. Fearful lest he manage to create a Royal Key for whatever his plan was. And then, instead, a bunch of Quincy show up.

Yamamoto: We will stop the arrancars!

Quincy: Hi!



Yamamoto: What

Perfection (4x04: The Apprentice)

This one-shot is part of Twenty First Century Man, a series of canon compliant one-shots that explores Hook’s thoughts and feelings as he adapts to the Land Without Magic. Check out the master-post for a complete list of one-shots in this series.

Episode 4x04: The Apprentice
Rated: T

Hook + modern clothing

Killian stepped out of the Crocodile’s shop into the early afternoon light. Hopefully, Swan wouldn’t question the story he planned to tell her, especially given that he’d already enraged Rumplestiltskin on more than one occasion in too short a period of time. The least he could do to maintain some semblance of order would be to perpetuate the lie that Mr. Gold was, in fact, a changed man.

It was pathetic that the man didn’t seem capable of change. Did he not want to try? Did he not care about his own wife? How could a man profess to love a woman enough to wed her, and yet treat her like a child or a simpleton?

He shook his head, realizing that deep in his thoughts, he’d stopped walking. He knew that marriage in and of itself wasn’t terribly meaningful, especially to someone like the Crocodile, who’d treated Milah as though her desires and needs were unimportant annoyances. Of course he’d do the same to Belle. Both women deserved better.

Perhaps he shouldn’t judge Belle as much as he was tempted to. Milah had been fooled into marrying Rumplestiltskin; there was obviously something about the man that made it easy for him to deceive beautiful, brilliant women.

Killian didn’t need deception. He didn’t need fraud. He was winning Swan’s heart by being honorable.

But bloody hell, if this date was going to go well, he’d need more than just a hand.

Keep reading


This is a Top 10 Headcanons post about You. And you were excited, because you always liked to read about yourself on the blog.

24) The City Council wants people to think that angels aren’t real because they actually run a witness protection program for Yous. (A Story About You Yous.)

43) In A Story About You, Your fiancée was Lauren Mallard.

43) Your fiancée was always working with the Man Who Was Not Tall and the Man Who Was Not Short. She was grooming you to be the perfect box carrier for them.

57) The Fiancée from a Story About You became the supervisor from a Story About Them.

63) Earlier today, a Man in a Tan Jacket came to visit you. He sat with you for quite some time, telling you about himself. “Wow, this is so interesting,” you thought. “I should type it all up and send it to that fanon blog. When it gets revealed in canon, everyone will be impressed with how prescient I am.” We have your messages in our inbox now, attached to your username.

56) Seeing a vision of the Dark Planet is a sign you are going to die. How close you actually are to dying changes from person to person - but it means that the chain of events that started right now will inevitably lead to your death. You saw it just before you decided to leave your life behind and go to Night Vale, which lead to Your death at the hands of the Man Who Was Not Short and the Man Who Was Not Tall.

99) “Belonging to Night Vale” is not just a matter of being born there. Some people are born far, far away from Night Vale, but still belong to it - sometimes they can identified by how strange and off-putting and Night Valean they act, but sometimes society can push normality into them and they don’t become strange until they find Night Vale. And they all find Night Vale eventually; the city has its ways to call them. You from a Story About You is one such person, so is Hiram McDaniels and so is Carlos (there’s something else keeping him from leaving the Other Desert).

125) Cecil isn’t just reporting what’s happening during “A Story About You” and “A Story About Them,” he is LITERALLY making those things happen.

133) Night Vale grants one wish to every one of its citizens, in a be-careful-what-you-wish-for Monkey’s Paw sort of way, of course. You from the Story About You, for example, wished for a life free of consequences, and got that - but in a way that drove him insane.

1048) Welcome to Night Vale fans are all former Night Vale residents that have been kidnapped and reprogrammed to remember a normal life by Strexcorp. The reason Night Vale fans are attracted to the show is because the show is set to attract all of its missing residents. Cecil and Carlos are planning your rescue as you read this.


Natasha: So one night Steve started crying about how much he loves you and how you two had some sort of conversation about the whole thing. In secret.

T’Challa: Um so Steve is coming and we… don’t think… Steve should… see you, Tony…

Reed: You’ve done the most egregious thing of all of us.

Tony: Really. Really. Namor and Stephen Strange are both “one of us” and I’M the worst?



(NB: Next issues of New Avenegers/Avengers are the interlocking Steve/Tony covers. OH PLEASE LET THIS BE PRESCIENT.)

Just finished reading - 17.10.16 Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. And for my second book club! (I have been reading between the two..) The first time I read this I was aware of how important a book it was, but it felt like it had passed its era of crucialness, with the increased news coverage of discrimination towards people of colour in America though, and the black lives matter movement, it felt a lot more prescient. I was surprised to hear some people in the club voice opinion that it was a trashy piece of Americana, and some frankly antiquated views on race relations (a table of all white people should be the last to have a say on whether racial slurs are offensive). I can find little at fault with it, and Lee’s use of a child narrator is one of a few examples of necessary use rather than a gimmick to play with emotions.   

1) No one ever again — not a news person nor a civilian, not an American nor one from anyplace else — should waste another second asking, “Knowing what we know now, would you have invaded Iraq?” Reasons:

    a) It’s too easy. Similarly: “Knowing what we know now, would you have bought a ticket on Malaysia Air flight 370?” The only people who might say Yes on the Iraq question would be those with family ties (poor Jeb Bush); those who are inept or out of practice in handling potentially tricky questions (surprisingly, again poor Bush); or those who are such Cheney-Bolton-Wolfowitz-style bitter enders that they survey the landscape of “what we know now” — the cost and death and damage, the generation’s worth of chaos unleashed in the Middle East, and of course the absence of WMDs — and still say, Heck of a job.

   b) It doesn’t tell you anything. Leaders make decisions on the basis of “what we know now.” They have to weigh evidence based on “what we knew then,” in real time.

Which brings us to:

2) The questions reporters and citizens should ask instead. There are two of them.

  a) Based on “what we knew then,” how did you assess the evidence, possible benefits, and possible risks of invading Iraq? What were your views as of early 2003? This is a straightforward-rather-than-tricky, for-the-record query. It’s a prelude to the much more important question:

  b) Regardless of whether you feel you were right or wrong, prescient or misled, how exactly will the experience of Iraq — yours in weighing evidence, the country’s in going to war — shape your decisions about the future, unforeseeable choices about committing American force?

Question 2(b) is the essential question, on this topic, from candidates aspiring to become president. In assessing answers to this question:

    — Minus points to any candidate who tries to bluff through with the tired “I don’t do hypotheticals” cliché. That might apply if you’re a military commander declining to say exactly when and where you’ll attack. But if you want to be president you need to explain the mindset with which you’ll approach still-undefined (that is, hypothetical) challenges.

    — Plus points to any candidate who wrestles honestly with the question of what he (or she) has learned from being wrong (or right) about Iraq.

—  James Fallows, demonstrating both what good reporting would look like, and a basic understanding of what Presidents of the United States do.

Against Me! - “Borne On The FM Waves Of The Heart” (feat. Tegan Quin)

After almost a decade of making music together, 2007 was the year that the Quin sisters began to branch out and appear on other artist’s songs. One of the best collaborations from this period was “Borne On The FM Waves Of The Heart,” which appeared on Against Me!’s fantastic album New Wave. The collab came about after Tegan joked that she should sing on the record during an interview with the band at Warped Tour. Frontwoman Laura Jane Grace liked the idea and wrote a song with Tegan’s voice in mind. It would still be another five years before Grace would come out as transgender but looking at the lyrics and knowing what we know now, they seem especially prescient:

Anxiety, anxiety you give me no mercy
Grind my teeth smooth and flat in my sleep
We took some pills to calm us down
Then we needed help to come back up
Just trying to stay in control of the situation

The Boy who was Too Afraid

Feet don’t fail me now
Take me to the finish line
All my heart, it breaks every step that I take
But I’m hoping that the gates,
They’ll tell me that you’re mine

Feelings for Makoto Tachibana as a fanfic writer, because I was sad for the whole of today. (As a general warning, this is speculative, and also involves discussion of religion, which might be sensitive to some)

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Earlier today, a Man in a Tan Jacket came to visit you. He sat with you for quite some time, telling you about himself.

“Wow, this is so interesting,” you thought. “I should type it all up and send it to that fanon blog. When it gets revealed in canon, everyone will be impressed with how prescient I am.”

We have your messages in our inbox now, attached to your username. We aren’t posting them because technically they would be spoilers, but they’re pretty cool – thank you!

To: thepassivenerd
I’m so sorry it took me forever to get it on Tumblr for all your liking/reblogging purposes. Illness + work knocked me out and I couldn’t drag myself out of bed (since Tumblr won’t work properly on my laptop. Besides, you’re vacationing in South Africa, so you shouldn’t mind lol :P stop checking Tumblr).

Merry Christmas! I loved being your Secret Santa. 


The Reunion

inspired by: “I had to touch you with my hands, I had to taste you with my tongue; one can’t love and do nothing.” ― Graham Greene, The End of the Affair

The memories came back, pushing and pulling at Emma like they were fighting over which moments got to be seen first. She remembered Henry at her doorstep, dragging her to a ridiculous sounding town called Storybrooke. She remembered the complete and utter shock that arose from seeing him, the fear at what that meant for her, but more so for him. She wasn’t a mother. She didn’t think she would ever be cut out to be a mother. Then she saw her parents, saw Mary Margaret and David, but then she saw Snow White and Prince Charming, saw faces in a fairytale book.

There were kisses and tears, Graham’s lips on hers, her voice shouting, “Graham picked me,” laced thick with emotion at being chosen. At being put first. Then she saw Regina, in her pressed clothes and silk shirts. Her apple tree, her hands carrying fireballs. All their disagreements, their fights. But then, the understanding they found in Neverland, that they may not have ever found if Pan hadn’t taken Henry. Their son. “My gift to you," she had told them, teary and miserable. Thank you, Emma thought, feeling close to tears. It was too much to take in.

There was Granny’s diner and Ruby in her skimpy outfits. There was Archie and his dog. There was Storybrooke, a real place, and she was the sheriff of it. There was a library and an animal shelter. There was Jefferson, who had only wanted to get back to his daughter. And there was a school and a mayor and a life she had made for herself. True Love’s Kiss and Henry opening his eyes and everything being terrifying but okay, because Henry was alive. She had finally found a real life, not one spent in the back of a car, running for her life every day.

And then came the truth about what had happened with Neal. She remembered the story about the tree, about being "the Savior,” and what it had meant for her relationship. She remembered crashing into him, her heart shattering into a million pieces when she looked up and realized who she was seeing. The way her voice had broken in that bar, the way everything had broken. She could see Henry’s face falling when he realized she had lied. She saw the dreamcatcher and the way she had feared she would trip and fall out that window upon seeing it. What had it meant? she’d wanted to know.

And in those memories came someone else.

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Not surprisingly, the purveyors of the plot [of Federalist support of Thomas Pinckney in the Election of 1796] included Jefferson himself. On December 28 he penned an ingratiating letter to Adams, averring his wish that the vice president be elected to the top position. Yet it was “possible that you may be cheated of your succession by a trick worthy of the subtlety of your arch-friend of New York.” Jefferson sent the letter first to Madison, asking him to decide whether delivering it would be politic under the circumstances. In the event, Madison decided that it would not be. One reason, he explained to Jefferson, was that Adams presumably knew of “the trick aimed at by his pseudo-friends of N.Y.” and might suspect Jefferson of wanting to use him (Adams) to avenge himself against Hamilton. Moreover, Madison presciently pointed out, the Republicans might have to oppose Adams’s policies, in which case it would be embarrassing if the president had written evidence of Jefferson’s initial friendliness and confidence. An Adams-Jefferson entente was not in the cards. It may have been the obvious utility of the plot tumors to the Republicans that raised Adams’s own doubts. On February 13, 1797, he tried to reassure Gerry:

“I believe they honestly meant to bring in me; but they were frightened into a belief that I should fail, and they, in their agony, thought it better to bring in Pinckey than Jefferson, and some, I believe, preferred to bring in Pinckney president rather than Jefferson should be Vice-President. I believe there were no very dishonest intrigues in this business.”

This was exactly what Hamilton and his friends were saying. It must have been clear to Adams, moreover, that the humiliating closeness of his victory over Jefferson (seventy-one to sixty-eight) was the result of the outcomes in Pennsylvania and the South rather than anything Hamilton could have engineered. But prone as he might have been to rationalize things, Adams’s suspicions of Hamilton continued to eat at his mind while the rumors did not fade away. As Stephen Kurtz aptly reminds us, the Republicans “would not let Adams forget.”

—  John Harper, American Machiavelli: Alexander Hamilton and the Origins of U.S. Foreign Policy