on-man-&-nature

anonymous asked:

Don't get me wrong. Barry is a very attractive man. But there are some guys with that mentality that all women want a man that has natural muscles or a steroid freak. So at the pool party, there could be loads of them, but Iris goes to HER man. The tall, slinky that is not only smart but also sings to Iris and treats her better than 99% of the men on the roof.

Let’s not forget his abs & biceps, girl. He may not be bulging, but it’s noticeable. 😏 *legit thirsting over Grant as we speak lol*

“Natural man is a fallen creature, he is morally corrupt, and he is Hell-bent on autonomy or self-government. He hates God because God is righteous, and he hates God’s laws because they censor him and restrict his evil. He hates the truth because it exposes him for what he is and troubles what is left of his conscience. Therefore fallen man seeks to push the truth—especially the truth about God—as far from him as he can possibly remove it. He will go to any extent to suppress the truth, even to the point of pretending that there is no such thing as truth, or that if it does exist, it cannot be known or have any bearing on our lives."  -Paul Washer

Some quick thoughts about how the Grand Relics reflect everyone on the crew’s personality. A lot of these points have been touched on before, but I wanted to wrap everything up nice. 

  • Davenport gets the Oculus, which is focused on Vision. If you can imagine it, you can make it real. Pretty great for a leader, and definitely good for the pragmatic captain we’ve gotten to know. You need to know exactly what you want, and if you can’t visualize it and understand it and execute it right, it will go horribly wrong. It’s the most laser precise of the relics, because you really need to have control of your own mind to use it. Of course Davenport loses his mind, loses his iron control of the situation, and the Oculus summons black holes.  It’s leadership gone wrong and self control without the control. 
  • Lup gets the Phoenix Fire Gauntlet, which is super dangerous short term but also fairly limited. It lights things of fire, and that’s it. It’s the least finessed of the Relics, and because of that it’s the most dangerous. It’s destroyed eight towns. It’s all power, none of the wherewithal and heart we see Lup demonstrate. She’s an evocation specialist, she’s the powerhouse of the group and because of that she has to know when to stop. The Gauntlet never stops, and hurts lots of people in the short term, but once it’s fired out it’s not quite as insidious as some of the other relics. It’s straightforward, and like Lup that’s both a strength and weakness. 
  • If Lup is the flamethrower that can mess you up in the short term, Taako is more subtle but overall more destructive. The Philosopher’s Stone is willing to play nice, be used, and generally not act up, right up until it throws you a curve ball and nearly crystallizes the entire world. Taako is the master of the random, game changing play, and Stone mirrors that ability to mess up everything and amplifies it ten fold. It’s not the charmer, it’s sales pitch is the most blatant thing ever and it sounds like your weird uncle, but it will bide its time until it decides the time is right to just upend everything. 
  • Nice, quiet Barry got the Animus Bell, which is nice and quiet and diligent and straight up murders people. It doesn’t make waves or look for trouble, the people who have owned it have kept it quiet and used it sensibly and thoroughly to awful, awful ends. Even Lucretia didn’t know what it did, which suggests that it’s the shyest of the relics. Barry is solid sort of guy. He does his best, death after death, body after body. He’s also a lich who invades people’s minds to get information. The Animus Bell is equally willing to drudge forward nicely and quietly, getting into dark magic and possessing people’s bodies. 
  • Merle, of course, is their godly man. He likes nature and Pan and has more insecurities than you could shake a stick at. The Gaia Sash takes that need for faith in a higher power and desire for control and blows it up. Sloane was calling herself a god by the end of her time with it, but she was also desperate for anything to ease her mind, something to put her faith in. It’s the nature relic, technically, but you could just as easily call it the God Relic. It’s all about power and how you use it and what you need to stay sane, namely the belief in something more powerful than you. 
  • It’s been discussed before how it’s weird that Magnus got time magic while Lucretia presumably got wards and protection, but it does make sense in a certain way. The best way to protect something is to make sure the bad thing never happened. I’m more interested in how the Chalice presents itself, namely that it really believes it’s a good person (relic) even while it does awful, awful things. Magnus is also someone who tries to be good, but often, thoughtlessly acts cruel. The Temporal Chalice plays the sweet tempered host, then in a fit of spite makes them watch all of Phandolin get destroyed and got Isaak to murder his best friend. Magnus will play the moral highground, and also bully people without meaning to. But while Magnus really tries to be good, the Chalice is all surface gentility with nothing underneath. It’s Rustic Hospitality, without the actual underlying Rustic Morality. 

The number of times double standards were at play when it comes to Zayn

Zayn works with Chris Brown (Feb 2016)
ot4 fans: “how could he work with an abuser”
Liam works Quavo (May 2017) a known homophobe and dates/impregnates Cheryl Cole who has a conviction for assault
ot4 fans: Just because he’s working with a homophobe doesn’t make him one
 
Zayn dates Gigi 4 MONTHS after breaking up with Perrie
ot4 fans: how could he move on so quick
Revealed Louis impregnates Briana WEEKS after dumping Eleanour
ot4 fans: …..nothing…..
 
Ed Sheeran reveals Niall screwed Ellie Goulding despire knowing she’s dating Ed Sheeran
ot4 fans: …..nothing…..
Zayn starts dating Gigi AFTER she Joe Jonas break-up
ot4 fans: Him and Jonas were pictured together how could he
 
Stripper sells story to The Sun about Zayn cheating with her while dating Perrie
ot4 fans: what a pig
Flight attendant sells story to The Sun about Harry cheating with her while dating Kendall
ot4 fans: it’s The Sun, the newspaper is known for bullshit

 PillowTalk artwork released with topless Zayn on the cover (Feb 2016)
ot4 fans: he’s getting desperate using his body to sell his music…is that what he left 1D to do
Harry released topless pic (album cover) Liam topless video promo for Strip That Down
ot4 fans: ahhERTRET so turned on

Zayn imiatates Lil Wayne album cover
ot4 fans: OMG what’s he thinking zero imagination
Harry album drops plagiarizes Badfinger, The Beatles, Bowie in his album copies Prince album title Sign o’ Times copies Shed Seven album cover
ot4 fans: ..he’s just inspired and paying homage

Zayn one of the few men in showbiz to open up about male taboo subjects of mental health, self-harm and eating disorder
ot4 fans: He’s a liar covering a drug addiction, he’s playing the victim..for sympathy
Harry wears a couple of pink suits
ot4 fans: wow Harry is such a brave gender bender

Zayn’s Mind of Mine is released March 2016 contains 4 sexual songs out of 18
ot4 fans: There’s more to life than sex he’s so shallow
Harry’s album released May 2017 contains several songs about sex
ot4 fans: OMG he’s a young man it’s only natural he’ll sing about sex

Zayn tell Billboard “the music I was releasing with 1D was not real to me, it wasn’t about me”
ot4 fans: what a jerk
Harry tells Rolling Stone I wanted to to be honest with my writing “I hadn’t done that before.”
ot4 fans: he’s just keeping it real

YOU don’t even need to stan Zayn to notice the double standards that this fandom has displayed in 5+ years

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PSA: if your grown ass man is too scared to accidentally brush up against a wrapped tampon, it’s time to find a new man. Your period is natural and shouldn’t freak him out. #RemoveTheStigma #PrettyLittlePSA

Things confirmed so far from all this red carpet stuff
  • Tarjei Sandvik Moe has 0 chill and loves to tease us
  • Pretty sure Henrik believes in soulmates and that Tarjei is his acting soulmate (the NATURAL connection man!!)
  • Tarjei probably takes pics of him and Henrik shooting makeout/bed scenes and sends them to Lea like “hope you don’t mind if I borrow him for a bit”
  • They’re mature and aren’t annoyingly ‘no homo’ about their roles
  •  Henrik is charming af
  • Our soulmate is the interviewer
  • They’re both good kissers and think it’s fun to show up and just do that for a scene in s4
  • everyone is just at that award show for them (lets face it it’s true)
  • apparently they get egged on at parties to make out (and they do it too)
  • they deserve the world

I can always tell when an architect loves nature. The Ticino region in the south of Switzerland is a prime example of how man and nature can live in harmony.

Why We Need Stories about Dark Things

One of the things I get tired of from time to time is the perspective that if something shows evil behavior then that means the story, song, game, whatever, is inherently bad. But there is a difference between illustrating evil behavior and promoting it.

Not all appearances of bad behavior invite bad behavior.

While one purpose of storytelling is to entertain, another purpose is to teach or educate–a purpose that in today’s world, most people seem to have forgotten.

A long time ago, there used to be all sorts of horrific stories told. Open Grimms’ fairy tales, and you’ll see that Cinderella really isn’t that Disney-friendly. But often some of those older stories were meant to teach a lesson or scare children into behaving (that latter point is one I personally don’t condone). Horrific things happen in the Bible (and the Book of Mormon). We can often learn from these accounts, but some of them are simply a record of what happened (if you believe in that), whether you like the content or not. It is what it is. Conspiring incest, rape, slaughter, and even cannibalism can be found in scripture stories. In today’s world, most people have been conditioned to believe that stories are only meant to entertain. Or entertain and uplift.

Those two things are valid. But what I get tired of, though, is the perspective that all stories should be full of puppies and rainbows (yeah, that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean), and that’s what we should be writing, and if a story is dark, it’s “bad” or lesser or … something.

The World Needs Stories about Dark Things

It’s important we write about what I call “the big and heavies”–rape, addiction, suicide, massacre, societal brainwashing, etc. And when I say “we,” I don’t mean specifically that you or I HAVE to; I mean “we” as in us, writers and creatives everywhere. The world needs creatives who delve into the big and heavies, and here’s why:

1. Stories provide a safe means to explore and discuss dark things

The big and heavies are vital to discuss for a healthy society. We shouldn’t be turning a blind eye to dark deeds. We should be turning the right eye to them. Literature offers a safe way to explore and discuss these issues. It offers some distance (because it’s usually a work of fiction) while simultaneously having the ability to offer closeness–empathy.

Also, fiction provides a type of lens to view these behaviors through. Speculative fiction might have a more exaggerated or symbolic lens, such as the fashion industry of Panem in The Hunger Games, or the discussion of pure bloods in Harry Potter. A lens lets us view the issues in a way that may emphasize certain points or give us a new perspective on them, and again, the distance can provide a bit of a “safe” buffer for readers. We aren’t talking about racism; we’re talking about magical blood–and we can have a whole discussion on it that correlates with issues seen in racism, and no one needs to feel uncomfortable because this is about wizarding blood. Even realistic fiction provides a perspective, though less exaggerated, to see these issues through.

2. Powerful, emotional ramification drives home a point or idea or lesson.

Unlike reading text books or the news, fiction writing often works off making the audience feel something. It appeals to emotional experience, even more than intellectual experience. It is one of the only mediums where we can put on the skin and thoughts of another person.

In parts of society, we try hard to divorce intellect and emotion, but powerful emotional experiences are often what cement ideas and lessons into our minds. Back in the day, fathers used to take their children out to their property line and beat them so that the child would never forget where the property line was. We’ve seen similar conditioning with training wild animals. Both are crude examples, of course, but the emotional experience drove home the lesson. While negative emotions are powerful, this same thing can happen with strong positive emotions. We remember powerful feelings of happiness and of love, and if there are any lessons or insights associated with those, we recall those too.

In fiction, emotional experiences can drive home powerful lessons. And they stick with the audience.

Strong emotional experiences in fiction amplify the conceptual ramifications of dark deeds, and cements into the reader the weight of such behavior, in a way that pure intellect cannot. Once we “experience” an issue, we care more about it. Fiction is a vehicle that allows us to develop and fine-tune our empathetic skills, so we can better understand and relate to those who’ve dealt with such issues.

3. Explore, cognitively, the causes, consequences, and facets of the big and heavies

In the real world, we live our own lives in our own perspectives, and that’s it. In literature, you can include several perspectives of those involved with an issue. You can often see the issue’s causes, consequences, and facets to a degree you may not in your own life. You can see far-reaching effects in a matter of hundreds of pages, rather than decades or hundreds of years. This opens up new ideas, new perspectives on the topic, which leads to more discussion.

4. To provide hope and uplift, in spite of darkness. To overcome.

I sometimes see this weird idea that an uplifting story needs to not cross some invisible line too far into the dark. In some ways, that couldn’t be further from the truth. As a Harry Potter fan, I’ve had friends come up to me and talk about how they’re disappointed that the stories got darker and darker. Maybe I’m weird (okay, there’s no “maybe” about it), but I like that. I like stories getting dark. I like when they get darker and darker. I like my evil, evil. I want the Voldemort who tries to possess Harry to get Dumbledore to kill him. I want the Voldemort who tortured animals as a small child and who murdered others to split his soul into seven pieces. The world is often an evil place. And how much more powerful is it to overcome the bowels of the most wicked, than it is to overcome a guy who shoplifted? I like my evil, evil. Not because I want to be part of the dark, but because I like seeing people overcome it.

A story that includes dark materials can be just as uplifting, if not more uplifting (because of the contrast) than a story that doesn’t. The idea that a story can’t be dark and inspiring is just unfounded.

Every Christmas season, I become a fan of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra all over again. If you’ve never heard of them, you may still recognize some of their most iconic Christmas songs, some of which have gone viral on synchronized Christmas light videos.

What many people might not realize is that each of their Christmas albums actual tells, and comes with, a written story. If you see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra live, they will read the story to you bits at a time, interspersed with music. But not all their stories are about happy sleigh rides, warm fires, Christmas hams, and decorated trees. There are parents who abandoned their disabled children, babies born addicted to crack, love that has been lost. But the stories and albums are uplifting, not because the creators avoided dark subject matter, but because they illustrated the power of overcoming–overcoming difficult times and personal mistakes. It’s hard to make it through one of their performances with a dry eye through the whole thing.

5. To render reality–others’ reality or your own

But some stories aren’t necessarily meant to be about overcoming the dark or inspiring an audience. Some stories are just about reality. Human nature. The natural man. Experiences that people actually go through. Some stories are simply meant to render, often for reasons 1-3. It’s a statement. It’s meant to create social awareness, empathy. Maybe it’s meant to start a discussion. Those stories need to exist too.

Closing Thoughts

Keep in mind that many audiences only see stories strictly as mediums for entertainment and, on a subconscious level, a reinforcement of a positive, maybe even sugary, feelings and ideas. Those audiences may (on a subconscious level) refuse anything that is otherwise, and consider any mention of the dark and heavies as something that shouldn’t be there. That is their right.

And in some cases, they are correct. Some stories do not need and should not have dark content. It doesn’t serve the purpose of the story, it messes up the tone of the story, and it can ruin what was already working. You wouldn’t, for example, put in a serious plot line in The Office about Pam being legitimately raped. It doesn’t fit.

And with all that said, you shouldn’t feel forced to write content you feel very uncomfortable writing. Your work should reflect the writerly you.

Next week, I’ll talk about how to write about dark things without promoting them.

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Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPreflections

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags. For a chance to be featured, follow @instagram and look for a post every week announcing the latest project.

The goal of #WHPreflections was to take photos and videos of reflections, both man-made and naturally occurring. Each week, we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.

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Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPreflections

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post every week announcing the latest project.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall! This weekend, the goal is to take photos and videos of reflections, both man-made and naturally occurring. Here are tips to get you started:

  • Notice reflections in all different surfaces around you. Whether it’s a freshly polished mirror, a cup of coffee or a smooth lake, there are reflections ready to be captured everywhere.
  • Play with different forms of photography. A reflection that’s full of life and motion is an opportunity to experiment with Boomerang, reverse video or Hyperlapse.
  • Pay attention to light and how it changes throughout the day. This will affect the brightness, quality and movement of the reflections you see around you.

PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPreflections hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured next week.