oppressive regime

Friendly reminder that women are forbidden to read in some parts of the world right now. Friendly reminder that oppressive regimes are telling women what to wear, where to go, what they can and can’t do, right now. Friendly reminder there are plenty of men in government who view women only as incubators and nothing more right now. Friendly reminder that what happened to Ofglen at the end of episode 3 is happening to girls all over the world right now

Friendly reminder that The Handmaid’s Tale is already real, in various forms, for many women. No red dress and white bonnet necessary. 

Rose Quartz started a rebellion for herself so that she could run around and laugh at how funny the little humans are without a dictator telling her not to. While the reprocutions of that are, hopefully, freedom for everyone; Rose Quartz had no intention of the rebellion leading to the freedom of all gems from an oppressive regime. Rose Quartz literally started the rebellion out of a selfish want to play with humans like they’re toys.

anonymous asked:

Not Voyager or DS9 relate but I really hope Discovery is dark and gritty and actually lives up to some potential something we didn't get from Previous Trek shows. If it does I just may give it a chance.

This isn’t DS9 / VOY in specific, but I still want to address this, because I have some passionate feelings about it.

It sounds like you want A Song of Ice and Star Trek, but that would be as incorrect an approach to the series as it would be if HBO made Game of Thrones without the betrayals, blood, pointless cruelty, and injustice. One of the reasons for the tone of that franchise is because George R. R. Martin is trying to knock down the rose-colored view of medieval times in fantasy. Likewise, one of the reasons for the tone of Star Trek is to oppose the relentless pessimism you find in science fiction.

There are a lot of shows and films with a dark, gritty tone about the future. Half the trailers you see in theaters now are for a world taken over by an oppressive regime, or a world in flames because of what we did to it, or a world in flames and under an oppressive regime, in which kindness and morality are as rare as diamonds and fleeting as desert frost. This is not to say that they are bad, just if you want gritty sci-fi, there is no lacking for options. Star Trek sets itself apart from these stories. Instead of assuming that we will continue being the worst of ourselves, Star Trek dares to propose that we can be the best of ourselves–that we can embrace curiosity, compassion, and knowlege, rather than fear and prejudice and greed. It says that the future can be different if we work for it. It speaks to people who are marginalized and shut out and different and says that they have the right to strive and dream. It speaks to people who are not and says “be better.”

The name of the new ship and the new series is Discovery. Does that sound gritty to you? Doesn’t sound like it to me, and I would be severely disappointed if they went along with the general trend and made a grimdark series.

Here are some things about Star Trek if you believe it has failed to live up to “some potential something,” and maybe you will think twice about giving it a chance.

  • When NASA decided they needed to recruit a more diverse corps of astronauts, they turned to the cast of the Original Series. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, points to Nichelle Nichols’ Uhura as her inspiration. (Jemison later guest-starred in an episode of TNG, and Star Trek has never stopped inspiring the kids who grow up to be astronauts.)
  • Janeway was the first female captain to lead the show, but there was also B'Elanna, the first female chief engineer who was part of the main cast. Both characters were not only intellectually brilliant but often took the lead when it came time to fight dudes who were between them and the Alpha Quadrant.
  • In the height of the Cold War and its paranoia, Star Trek put a Russian character front and center on the bridge, and that’s why you have fans creating beautiful designs for uniforms with hijabs today.
  • Avery Brooks signed onto Deep Space 9 because he wanted to portray a loving, supportive relationship between a black father and son. He even got them to change the ending of the series over it.
  • Patrick Stewart insisted on not flinching away from the brutal, dehumanizing portrayal of torture in “Chain of Command,” and the writers consulted Amnesty International to make it as harsh and realistic as possible.
  • Aron Eisenberg (Nog) got numerous calls from veterans praising his portrayal of PTSD.
  • And then there is this confession. It is far and away the most liked and reblogged confession on the blog.


I would say that is potential realized.

Star Trek doesn’t just inspire, though. Star Trek confronts. From the very beginning it has held up a mirror to society, and through either allegory or visits to “history” – in other words, the present – calls us out. “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” with the black-and-white cookie people has their leader shocked that anyone could fail to see the ‘obvious’ point that his counterpart is inferior becuase of his coloration (black… on the left side) and pointedly has diverse actors in the foreground and background, something which they had to fight for. The whole of the Bajoran Occupation arc is about the hideous toll of colonialism and facism. Janeway confronts the question of euthanasia with Quinn, Enterprise has an AIDS allegory, Picard deals with demagogues and religious fantaticism and Kirk advocates respect for life even if it is not as we know it. Deep Space 9 warns of a time when we might shut away the homeless in internment camps not from malice but apathy.

Has Star Trek failed to live up to potential? Oh, you bet. There’s no excuse for the fact that it’s taken until 2016 to have an openly gay character. It has sometimes stood tiptoe on the line of something important and then drawn back. It’s tried to be a future without sexism but also wouldn’t let Mariana Sirtis and Gates McFadden use swords in the Robin Hood episode even though they’re the only ones who actually knew stage fencing. The “cultural expert” on Chakotay turned out to be a white guy who got all his information from Hollywood westerns, a real-life version of the “Apache Tracker” from Night Vale. The times when it does not love up, in other words, is when its bright future is hampered by present-day prejudice… not when it declines to be “gritty.”

Now it’s true that alongside this you have Janeway turning into a lizard and “NO MORE BLAH-BLAHS” and Miles O'Brien versus the shaving cream monster. And quite frankly, those are also an essential part of Star Trek, and I’m pretty sure there are episodes of everyone’s favorite dark and gritty franchises which are relentlessly dumb.

But if you think the point of Star Trek is just the visuals, just the space travel, just the fun of watching Shakespearian actors fling themselves over their leather seats as the camera shakes… you have missed the point of it. It has never been about just what’s on the screen.

Iz Explains Stuff So You Don’t Have to: The Nightwing Debacle.

Hey guys! As promised, here’s a write up of what’s currently making waves in the DC/comic fandom today. Given that this subject somewhat related to the Hydra-cap nonsense, I thought it should be something I cover as well, just to sorta give non-comics fans/DC comics readers who might see this and want some context.

1. Who is Nightwing?

You guys know Robin, Batman’s sidekick who they almost always leave out of movies? This is the first (yes there’s more than one, but that’s a topic for another day) and possibly most iconic one to pop-culture. Named Richard “Dick” Grayson, Dick is the son of the flying Grayson’s , two circus acrobats who died due to mob interference during a show (he also has Romani heritage (which the comics often ignore) This will be important later). Bruce took Dick in and the rest is well history.

Dick probably has the most screen time over any Robin in film/tv adaptations, including Teen Titans, Young Justice, The Lego Batman movie, the original Adam West series, and Batman Forever. He’s arguably the best known Robin to non-comic’s readers.

Because time does pass in comics occasionally, Dick grew up and after a series of events that have been retconned so many times it’s not worth getting into, ditched the Robin mantle. He would later take up the title of Nightwing.

2. Why the name Nightwing?

Dick is a HUGE fan of Superman (no really, Superman is pretty much his uncle) and after he ditched the Robin title, Superman and him had a talk where Superman told him of two legendary kryptonian heroes Nightwing and Flamebird. Inspired by the story, Dick would take on the name of the former (the latter name has a much more varied history).

3. Okay, so what’s the big deal besides the Robin thing?

To compress a lot of history into a paragraph, Nightwing is the one DC hero that like almost every other DC hero trusts and likes. Most of the Justice League has known Dick since he was a little kid and trust him implicitly for both his general good nature and reputation of being like, a really fucking good guy. Like a really good guy. A good enough guy that when Batman was told to let his own world die to let a better more “ideal” world survive, he asked if Richard Grayson was in it to make his choice on if it actually was a better world. (Dick was not in this world, which made Batman hard pass on that shit. Really. This is a thing that happened.)

Dick has also led multiple successful superhero teams, worked on the league himself, and donned the Batman title for awhile.

4. Okay, got it. So what’s going on?

Today DC announced a new six issue limited series in an elseworld (which is a world that takes place outside of canon. Think an AU.) This is the summary:

NIGHTWING: THE NEW ORDER is the story of a future world without “weapons”—where superpowers have been eliminated and outlawed. The man responsible? None other than Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Nightwing, now leader of a government task force called the Crusaders who are charged with hunting the remaining Supers. But when events transpire which turn the Crusaders’ aim toward Grayson’s own family, the former Boy Wonder must turn against the very system he helped create, with help from the very people he’s been hunting for years—the last metahumans of the DC Universe.

5. OH NO IS THIS HYDRA CAP ALL OVER AGAIN?

Yes and no. So far, it’s safe to say that this series does echo Hydra Cap in a paragon for good and justice becoming the figurehead of a fascist regime. However, everything else is kind of more murky.

For one, this series is an elseworld, which means unlike Hydra Cap, it doesn’t take place in the regular DC universe. This is not the fate of the Dick Grayson we know and love, nor is it him; it’s a version of him in a different universe. It’s also a limited run, so we got an enddate on this sucker off the bat.

Second, this is more general fascism instead of nazi brand fascism. The first cover echoes other fascist/oppressive regimes but it applies to multiple besides the Nazi party. In the DC universe, metahumans aren’t coded as a minority group (though smaller subsets are, like the Superfamily being coded Jewish), so it’s more sci-fi than an allegory for real life oppression (though if depending on the details of this event, that remains to be seen. The writer took to Twitter to state there is absolutely no genocide here in this book but the first few pages imply otherwise and long story short, I’m not convinced). The group Dick works with is also entirely new and unlike Hydra has no link in history to the Nazi party, making the claim that they’re a general “evil fascist villain” hold water.

Third, unlike Hydra Cap, this book is branded as Dick learning the error of his choices rather than a long saga to try to convince us he has a point. I doubt we’ll see the same extent of “we should feel bad for Dick oppressing all these people” that we see in Hydra cap. However, this also remains to be seen. Long story short, it’s never gonna try to get us to root for the bad guy.

6. So it’s fine?

Now I wouldn’t say that. Making an iconic character a fascist is still something to side eye, and a lot of my above caveats can change if the story itself decides to make those connections (i.e if there are prison camps for example). It’s also important to note, that making a Romani character a fascist, and one under the label of “crusader” is in terrible taste, considering the Romani people’s history with both.

The writer is also someone I don’t have a ton of faith in when it comes to nuance. (though to his credit, he is assuring and validating concerns on twitter rather than laughing us all off as SJWs).

What I’m saying is that it’s gonna be hard to figure out exactly this is going to play out until I see the first issue. I think the storyline and the advertising is something we should be critical of, but a lot still depends on how the book approaches it. This isn’t to say you should “give it a chance” only that we might want to hold off from saying DC is promoting fascism until we see if they’re gonna take this from a “feel bad for Dick angle, not all fascists are bad” or a “Dick fucked up hard” angle. We can just say this storyline is at the very least insensitive given current events and Dick’s ethnic roots.

Plus, Dick turning on Superman is just weird, and the preview pages are not helping my concerns.

So be critical of the concept but be careful not to declare what the narrative is trying to say until we know what the narrative is.

7. And if it does come out to be “feel bad for Dick, not all fascists, narrative supports the fascist regime for just wanting the best for us” angle?

Then go crazy guys. Though even if it does go that way, it still won’t be as Hydra cap. Because at least it’s still only a elseworld.  Which is like the worst consolation prize ever.

So, a week or so ago I made a post about wanting to learn about Finn’s parentage. Naturally, as with seemingly most posts about Finn that get more than a hundred notes a couple of comments were posted that derailed my post from its original intent.

Sure, some were worse than others, but even the ones that might have been posted with no ill intent still held a similar message: Finn doesn’t need to learn about his parents.

Let’s just ignore the fact that this fandom has been borderline obsessed with Rey’s parentage for over a year now and at no point have I seen anyone say that she doesn’t need to know who her parents are because “She found family in Finn” or whatever because that bit of hypocrisy is a discussion for another post.

No, what this post is going to be about has more to do with why I want Finn to learn about his parents after I got yet another person pleading the case for why Finn doesn’t need parents on that post. Because it actually goes just a bit deeper for me then just wanting Finn to have blood relatives of his own.

You see…I’m black. African American specifically, and like many people who are a part of the African diaspora I don’t know exactly where my ancestors originally hailed from. I don’t know what their culture was like, what religions they practiced, the languages they spoke etc. And being disconnected from that part of my heritage has always kinda left me with a hurt feeling in my chest.

Now let me be clear for a moment and say that black people aren’t a monolith so this thing that I’m describing is not something every black person has experienced or can relate to. I’m just talking about my experiences.
But anyway back to my point. Finn getting a chance to meet his parent(s) is more than just him getting reconnected with his blood relatives. 

Because if/when Finn meets his parents is the moment he gets to learn about what planet he’s from. What his planet’s culture is like, what language they speak, how they view or practice the Force and a number of other things and experiences that Finn will get a chance to reconnect to.

Finn reconnecting with his planet and his culture after getting ripped away from it when he was young and forced to assimilate into an oppressive and abusive regime would be pretty incredible to see and that’s why Finn meeting his parents is so important to me.

I’m sure your comments on how Finn doesn’t need parents and that Rey and Poe are his family now have good intentions, but they really aren’t needed.

2

I kind of like the implication that Aang went through this brief period of “Fuck the Fire Nation,” after finding out that his people had been massacred. 

The show doesn’t focus too much on Aang’s grief in Book 1, but I feel like this meshes well with my headcanon about Aang being reminded of Kuzon while talking to Katara in “The Storm,” which ultimately leads to him reminiscing about him in “The Blue Spirit.” 

anonymous asked:

Do you know of any heart destroying books?

Oh man. Oh boy. OH YES do we ever! 

First up is If I Stay by Gayle Forman!

This book will mess you up. Mia has to put the pieces of her life back together again after a horrible accident, and decide if living is even worth it. Full of love, romance, and grief, you’ll want to keep the tissues at hand. 

Okay, but maybe you’re looking for a Fantasy adventure that will not only have you burning the midnight oil but also leave you totally emotionally wrecked? Then you’re looking for the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir. 

Elias and Lia come from different worlds, but together they just might be able to overcome the oppressive regime of the Empire. Will their love be enough to overcome the divide between them? You’ll have to read to find out.

But then maybe you just want to have a gentle cry, the kind where you’re innocently reading a book under your desk in math class and then SUDDENLY TEARS. Then you’re looking for Nina LaCour’s We Are Okay

Marin has cut off contact with everyone from her past, even her best friend Mabel. But now Mabel is going to visit Marin, in the hopes of reconnecting and helping Marin deal with the tragedy that left her heartbroken. Full of beautiful moments between friends, there’s a lot of love and a lot of tears wrapped up in this package. 

And if we’re talking books to make you sob, GOTTA have The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu.

Lorna lives on the shortest street in Brooklyn, which is said to be cursed. Any man a woman on the street falls in love with will die, but Lorna and her friends don’t believe…until they do. The feels are strong with this one, as you travel the map of love and grief, and forbidden romance. 

Looking for more books that will destroy you? Check them out here!

darqueloaf  asked:

Hi Jordan. I've been hearing some disturbing things about the way Marvel is using Hydra to market their books (trying to get comic store employees to dress as Hydra agents, retconning Cap and Magneto to be Hydra) and it's seeming that as fictional as Hydra is, actual white supremacists are loving this marketing, and using it to celebrate their bigotry. Idk what power, if any, you have over this, but as a queer long time fan, I really hope it ends soon.

Thanks for expressing your concern to me.

First off, I do always like to say that you are entitled to your own opinion. I am not trying to negate your feelings–they are yours and no one can take that from you. But you wrote to me, so I am going to do what I can to answer/explain from my point of view.

There are a few things in your ask that ring of the telephone game. There are sites out there that are taking the story and the facts and spinning them into different meanings than intended, and then THOSE stories are getting more play than the actual facts of what is happening.

I don’t believe Marvel is asking employees to dress as Hydra agents…I think they were offering them T-Shirts with the Hydra logo on them. Hydra are the villains in this story, they are a big part of it, so promoting them makes sense, to me. Again–I edit the Darth Vader books, which are about a traitorous murderer who works for an oppressive fascist regime that literally blew up multiple planets. He’s the main character of the series, but I hope it’s clear you’re not meant to emulate him.

I don’t believe there is any comic where Magneto joins Hydra.

Now…I have not heard anything about actual white supremacists using Hydra to celebrate their own beliefs. If this is actually true…yeah, of course, that is horrible. It also makes them pretty foolish, because again…it’s pretty clear to me Hydra are the bad guys in this story. The story judges them harshly and invites the reader to do so as well. So…to point to them and hold them up as your ideal is a poor choice for a lot of reasons…not the least of which is that the good guys tend to win in comics, the vast majority of the time.

Please consider the following
  • Self-conscious, anxious Gryffindors that constantly worry about what people think or doing something wrong, but are brave enough to get up every morning and go to class.
  • Short tempered Hufflepuffs that start fights on the regular, because no one has a right to shit on the weak or oppressed.
  • Ravenclaws with no interest in school or class, but love learning for the sake of learning.
  • Slytherins that believe in social justice and use their cunning to rip apart oppressive regimes like a force of nature.
  • Characters that display house characteristics in ways that are unique but true to form

anonymous asked:

Hey, if you're not too busy, i was wondering what podcasts you listen to/would recommend? I started listening to the bright sessions and Mabel after seeing you reblog/post about them and i seem to have such trouble finding new ones to listen to. Thanks!

aI AM NEVER TOO BUSY TO TALK ABOUT PODCASTS.

Also, I listen to a HUGE number and I have been meaning to make a list.

so OK, here we go! /Mario 

http://mabelpodcast.com is amazing, it’s an eerie story about a woman trying to get in touch with the estranged granddaughter of the woman she takes care of as a live-in nurse. There’s ghosts, or faeries, or something else eerie.

http://thebrightsessions.com is a sweet, light podcast about a bunch of kids (high school and college age) who have superpowers and go to therapy. There’s a thriller element, lots of queer rep, and tons of in-world documents/blogs/etc created.

http://www.kingfallsam.com/ is about the radio hosts of the overnight call-in show in King Falls, a town where the weird happens.  Reminds me of Eerie, Indiana, if you ever saw that show.

http://withinthewires.com is by the Welcome to Night Vale people and it’s a creepy horror story about an oppressive regime and women escaping from it, and sisters and love and memory and identity.

https://arsparadoxica.com/ is a cold-war-style spy show about time travel and accidental history and science and people who are broken in interesting ways.

http://www.albasalix.com/ is a silly fairy-tale comedy that reminds me in all the best ways of a great sitcom. It’s about the grumpy Royal Physician to the King in a fantasy land and the idiots that plague her.

http://woodenovercoats.com/ reminds me instead of the great old British comedies like Fawlty Towers and Are You Being Served? It’s about a struggling funeral home on a tiny island and is lightly surreal. (It’s narrated by a mouse, for starters).

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/panoply/the-message The Message and Life After are each one-season shows on this same stream. The Message is about a dangerous sound/music being studied; lif-e.af/ter is about people who live on via their social media profiles after death.

http://iriscasefiles.tumblr.com only has two eps, but it’s a cool adventure-y mystery in outerspace about a biologist and, I think, a revolution.

http://www.wolf359.fm/ is incredible, it’s about a small crew on a deep-space science mission that quickly goes bad – but it’s funny and charming and full of found family.

http://www.thepenumbrapodcast.com/ is a genre-bending semi-noir podcast about a grand hotel just this side of nowhere and the people that inhabit it.

http://thebridgepod.com is a tale of the transcontinental bridge, a once-grand project that has fallen to ruin, the mystery of what happened to those who once lived there, and deep-sea monsters and the eco-terrorists who love'em.

http://pleasuretownshow.com/ is about a turn of the century town in Oklahoma that was once envisioned as a hedonistic utopia but quickly fell to the vaguarities of man.

http://thrillingadventurehour.com/ now rarely updated, but with tons of back episodes – an old-school radio play type show.  The two stories that anchor it are Sparks Nevada, Marshall on Mars (space cowboys!) and Beyond Belief (glamorous NYC couple drinks, encounters the supernatural, amuses themselves by resolving problems) but there are quite a few serial shows.

http://www.eos10.com/ is about a couple of doctors on a space station that serves as an intergalactic travel hub, and is silly and ridiculous and worth it.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-elysium-project/id955156631?mt=2 is about folks who were experimented on and given strange powers, and have now escaped from the people who had them captive.  Really interesting take on how the powers work, IMO, and definitely scary sometimes.

http://rustyquill.com/the-magnus-archives/ is a weekly reading from, well, The Magnus Archives, a collection of eerie, horror-tastic documents in possession of a group that specializes in studying the weird.

http://www.archive81.com/ is also about both the library and librarian of a weird collection.  I stopped listening at the beginning of season 2 because of some pretty explicitly on-tape torture, but before that it was good.

https://www.lessergodspodcast.com/ is about the Final Five – the last generation of humans after a reproductive apocalypse.  They live in decadent fame as the world ends and people desperately try to create more people.  I wish this was fully acted rather than read in-perspective, I have a hard time keeping characters apart sometimes, but it’s good stuff in terms of world-building.

https://greaterbostonshow.com/ reminds me of a slightly more serious Douglas Adams, it’s a slightly surreal show about people in Boston and…weirdness.

http://www.returnhomepodcast.com/ is about an ordinary guy who returns home to find his dad has forgotten him, his mother is missing, and the Society of Shadows needs him.  The writing starts out pretty cliche but it gets better as the show goes on.

http://www.ourfaircity.com/ is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi… I’m not sure what to call it.  It’s not a comedy, but it is weirdly funny.  It’s not horror, but it can be horrific.  I have audio processing issues and this one gives me trouble, but when I can puzzle it through it’s usually worth it.

http://www.limetownstories.com/ is so so so good and I so hope for another season – a decade ago a scientific collective/town disappeared completely, to a person.  A reporter related to one of them investigates what could happen.  Heart-poundingly scary in all the best ways.

http://pnwstories.com/ has The Black Tapes, Tanis, and Rabbits, all presented as very ordinary NPR-style podcasts about weird and mysterious things – a collection of supernatural events that a scientist is studying, a place/state of mind/eerie thing called Tanis, and an ARG/real-world game.  I like’em well enough but they lean on the same tropes, so pick one and stick with it IMO.

http://www.lorepodcast.com/ is more folklore than fiction, but it’s good storytelling about mysterious and creepy and lovely things, so I think it belongs here.

On my yet-to-be-listened-to list:

http://www.hectorvsthefuture.com/

http://www.tarynmaxximilliandafoe.com/welcome-to-mollyville/

I… think that’s everything fictional/storytelling that I’ve got right now.  

The Okinawa-America conflict explained

When I first got to Okinawa, I was posed with the question by practically all of my friends, “What’s with the protests?”. After having spent 7 months here and getting both sides of the story, I feel I can safely answer this question.

First off, what’s the backstory? To put it simply, Americans have a really bad reputation on the island. Not only has the U.S. tried to expand military operations on the northern part of the island (to much dismay of the Okinawans who would rather be able to use their land for their own purposes), Americans are known for being highly impulsive and reckless. As joked by one of my Japanese taxi drivers, if you see someone cutting you off in traffic or tailgating, it’s most likely an American.

This is a recipe for disaster for any who study political crises. Political distress combined with demographic tension almost always leads to demonstrations once given a spark. And as many have seen in the news, we recently got that spark and it created fire. After the rape and murder of an Japanese woman taking a stroll through the forest by a U.S. marine, Okinawans took to the gates of the U.S. bases demanding the bases be closed. One protester sign read, “Military bases on Okinawa are hotbeds of serious crimes! We demand all bases get out of our land”.

How has the U.S. and Japan responded to this? In rather unique ways, actually. Japan detained a prominent anti-U.S. base activist by the name of “Hiroji Yamashiro” based purely on suspicions of misconduct, while the U.S. has given back land to Okinawa from parts of its bases in order to appease the upset local populace. In other words, both sides heard Okinawa’s voice and responded in the way they found appropriate.

For Japan to try and silence unrest is nothing new, since in 2004 three antiwar activists were detained by Tokyo police which warranted Amnesty International to declare them “prisoners of consciousness”- a designation appropriated typically to oppressive regimes like North Korea and China. But for the U.S. to concede land is really surprising and praised by many internationals and Okinawans. We may not see a complete U.S. withdrawal from Okinawa anytime soon, given its strategic importance (something constantly toted on U.S. military sites and on its bases), but the more land given away most certainly means less Americans to stay.

However, simultaneously, the U.S. is taking a peculiar approach to dissolving unrest on their bases. In orientations and on state-sponsored newspapers (i.e. “Stars and Stripes”), the U.S. is claiming that all the protesters are paid and from mainland Japan. This isn’t true at all and merely a propaganda spat to keep their troops happy, but interesting to take note of.

Overall, it’s hard to say what will come of the conflict, but what is clear is that Okinawa wants its land back and the U.S. wants to keep its strategic position in the Pacific, and the sooner that a compromise can be reached, the better.

anonymous asked:

What do you think about "Chosen ones"? My story has the main character developing into sort of one (only person with special Powers, etc) and it's bugging me a bit. In books like HP, Harry himself was just lucky enough to survive most attacks most of the time. He was just at the right place at the right time with the right tools. Same could be said of other stories with "chosen ones". I don't want my story to revolve around serendipity over skills. Thanks!

Hey anon!

I think that the best approach for this question is acknowledging that there are multiple versions of the Chosen One trope. While the protagonist is generally the subject for a reason, the weight placed on their shoulders is determined by the world they live in and the circumstances of the narrative.

Most of the stories I’ve read that make use of the Chosen One type follow three specific types:

  • The Figurehead —  The person chosen by the people to represent a group or movement
  • The One Foretold — The person predicted by a prophecy to fill a specific role
  • The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy — The person who fulfills the outcome predicted by a prophecy

I’m sure there are other types and combinations that would lead to different interpretations, but they generally boil down to one of the above. Each of them are typically handled in a different way, so the first step is deciding which one of these best represents your story and the type of character you want to portray.

Keep reading

thequantumqueer replied to your post “I don’t say this enough but like, the final act of return of the jedi…”

consider: ewoks as a metaphor for the fact that oppressive regimes can and must be fought at the local level to bring about any meaningful change

I mean that’s fair I just see them as a silly and somewhat unnecessary addition to the movie of which didn’t add anything to the movie that couldn’t have been done better by just simply using more rebels

stop using ‘[role] coding’ in your transformers fanfiction

listen. i don’t ever want to see anyone talk about ‘x coding’ or 'x programming’ in transformers fanfiction or meta again. that sounds harsh. here’s why

when you say something like “brainstorm is inherently violent because of his MTO coding, he has a constant urge to kill” or “ratchet/first aid is better at surgery and diagnosis because of his medical coding,” you’re doing a number of things

1) you’re straight up accepting the logic of functionism as it’s presented in the text. you know, functionism, the evil oppressive regime we see in flashbacks, the one that megatron fought a revolution against because voiceless millions were being murdered because of their shapes? the one that says you’re nothing but your body and your body wholly defines your worth, identity, and abilities? ’____ coding’ logic is fundamentally the same as functionist logic. it says that your body dictates your being.

2) you’re taking a leap from THAT and going into the logic of REAL WORLD ability and disability by implying that brainstorm, for example, is violent/crazy/[inhuman] for having MTO coding, or ratchet is more intelligent/skillful/useful for having ambulance coding, or a police officer is more protective/powerful for having x coding, or any number of variations on this i’ve seen.

by linking “is a surgeon = is naturally better at surgeon related skills,” or “was put into a combat situation at birth = more naturally violent,” you’re naturalizing these links in ways that people do **in real life** to marginalize disabled people further. people already treat disabled and mentally ill people like those things define who they are entirely lol. this is toxic. this should not go unchecked and that’s why i’m commenting now; it hurts me, as a disabled and mentally ill person.

the most egregious example, obviously, is slave coding. it’s the most blatant case of dehumanizing (for lack of a better word), objectifying, and fetishizing someone’s lack of agency, but at their root, 'coding’ and 'programming’ tropes are all based in the idea that i’s frame/function that is determinant of identity and ability.

besides all that, nothing is just… biology. people have an incredibly complicated relationship to society and social roles and history, so this is just reductive. for example, i don’t think rewind has 'dataslug coding’ that would compel him to compulsively save every scrap of information, but his relationship as a dataslug to history and his personal life would leave him with a particular relationship to his alt mode and abilities that might yield a similar result???

please just think about it for a minute in a way that doesn’t just involve concluding “oh, that must be PART OF HIS ROBOT DNA.” it’s just not necessary in any way and i think you can do better. ‘it’s just for fun’ is a shitty answer when it comes to you riffing off people– people like me– supposedly existing entirely as a function of **society voice** the disorders. so.

if anything here needs clarification or elaboration, lmk.

Guys

Why is no one talking about Venezuela? Please talk about Venezuela. Everyone deserves to know what is going on and the people of Venezuela deserve to be heard. My heart and prayers are with the family members of the victims of an oppressive regime that enjoys violating the rights of their people. People are getting shot in their homes. Fucking disgusting and I’m so sorry.

Islam apologists, you only have yourselves to blame

I know that nothing in politics is simple enough to be condensed down to a single issue but as close as this last election was, there’s a number of factors that helped swing the election in favor of Trump. One of them was his no nonsense approach to Islam. For years Muslim moderates, liberals and anti-extremists have been writing, lecturing and studying how to effectively reform Islam, deradicalize its followers and make it more compatible with the 21st century. Recognizing the distinction between people and ideas, these reformers promote tolerance and peace towards Muslims but unapologetically critique the ideas held in the Quran. This approach represents the very essence of American values - treat all individuals equally but scrutinize all ideas rigorously with critical thinking and rationality.

But at every turn, the reformers have been attacked, not just receiving threats from Muslims but by other liberals. Sam Harris was called an Islamophobe for criticizing the bad ideas held in the Quran. Maajid Nawaz, a Muslim of Pakistani origin and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an ex-muslim from Somalia are still being labeled anti-Muslim extremists by the SPLC because they talk about reforming Islam. Only two days ago Ali had to cancel her trip to Australia as she received death threats. Death threats for speaking about Islam. Dr. Bill Warner, an Islamic scholar who has studied the Quran for over 30 years, was told by the president of a Florida college that he should be censored and never be allowed to speak because he was critical of Islam. When did it become standard practice for universities to support the censorship of ideas? Ali Rizvi, Wafa Sultan, Sarah Haider and other critics of Islam have all faced the same explosive reactions from leftists, the defenders of Islam, who don’t have the slightest clue what they’re defending. Merely scrutinizing an ideology is treated as social barbarism by those unable to draw the distinction between criticism of an ideology and contempt for its practitioners. Ironically, those actually living under oppressive Islamic regimes are often grateful for the secular voices speaking out on their behalf because with Islamic blasphemy and apostasy laws they have no voice.

The left loves to assure us that terror has nothing to do with Islam yet these terror groups are only following and copying what’s in the Quran and Hadith. It’s why we have the term “moderate Muslims” as they aren’t following their Quran, many Muslims have never even read it, they don’t adhere to the fundamentals of Islam as ISIS does. When you really start getting into the meat of the Quran and Hadith, there are doctrines that pose staunch opposition with classical liberal values. It’s easy to say the critics are taking the Quran out of context but there are hundreds of Islamic scholars and clerics all studying the context and none of them can agree on one interpretation. That’s why Dr. Shabir Ally can talk about the fair nature of Islam while Abu Bakr al-Baghdadithe, who also has a PhD in Islamic studies is running a campaign of hate and terror in the name of Allah. They get their fundamentals directly from the Quran and the Hadith. There isn’t a moderate version and a terror version, it comes from the same book. The same verses can and are interpreted in different ways by different sects but the fact that it’s full of bloodshed, hatred towards infidels, beheadings and mutilation, they leave the door wide open to such easy interpretation.

Many educated Muslim apologists arguing for the peaceful nature of Islam often avoid the Hadith, avoid violent verses from the Quran, and jump through hoops to try to interpret “beat them,” “slay them,” or “If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him” in a peaceful way. But how on earth do they expect a billion Muslims - many in highly illiterate regions - to all interpret them as anything other than literal? Their violence and views come directly from the Quran and the Hadith, and for this reason alone these texts are imperfect and subsequently, so is Islam. The Quran is full of contradictions, granting Islam a tremendous amount of power because it can claim to be a religion of peace while simultaneously advocating jihad. People often say things like Islam was the first to give women their rights but Muslims are given the right to rape infidel women, permitted to rape and beat their wives and take part in polygamy. Muhammad himself at the age of 53 married and had sex with a 9 year old girl.

In Saudi Arabia, one of the most devout Muslim nations and home of Islam’s most holy site requires women have chaperones at all times, forbids them to drive, forces them to cover from head to toe and whipping and stoning women for being raped or holding hands with another female. Muslim women are denied education and within many Muslim countries only a quarter of the women are literate. In many Muslim nations they give women half a testimony in court, they aren’t allowed to speak or defend themselves in court without a male relative to speak for them and they’re often beaten or killed if they stray from any of these laws. God forbid if she has a bacon cheeseburger, wants to wear a t-shirt in summer or have a one-night stand. Even in the more “moderate” Muslim countries such as Turkey, their public swimming pools have great imposing dividing walls to keep women out of sight. Women aren’t even allowed to pray with the men, they are sent to the back or into another room. And god help her if she wants out of Islam. In some Muslim countries there are laws in place that condemn apostate with a death sentence while the rest have some other form of punishment for apostasy. They all at the very least have blasphemy laws that requires punishment of anyone who criticizes Islam or Muhammad. So much for freedom and women’s rights… The worst part is, Canada has recently voted for this exact Sharia law to be introduced into the country.

Apologists claim that the radical views and actions of many Muslims don’t represent Islam and they are using a peaceful religion for their extremism but religious extremism is not a problem if your core beliefs are non-violent. The problem isn’t fundamentalism. The only problem with Islamic fundamentalism is the fundamentals of Islam. These “radical views” which the left disassociates with Islam are really the most authentic display of Islam. It’s why 50 Muslim countries ban LGBT groups, 10 Muslim countries can legally kill gay people and many more legally whip and imprison gays, 16 Muslim countries ban all Jewish people from entering - how can they say it’s only a tiny fraction of Muslims who hold these extreme views when we are talking about entire Islamic countries following none other than Islamic law? We cannot be silent on this issue. We cannot let fear blind us or lose our compassion but we need to be discussing ways to promote assimilation and secular Western values.

Unfortunately the second we start to have this conversation, the Islamophobia card gets pulled out by privileged, blue haired buffoons who have never had their clitoris sliced off, have never had acid thrown on their face and have never been forced into arranged marriages against their will as those who they are calling Islamophobic have. Their idea of oppression is not being given free tampons from the government. They fail to distinguish the difference between anti-Muslim and anti-Islam so anyone who questions Islam must automatically make them Islamophobics who hate all Muslims. Phobia means an irrational fear and there is nothing irrational about approaching Islam with calculated caution but if you question it you are called a racist. Islam is not a race. It is a belief and a way of life that people of many different races choose whether or not to follow. It is an idea and if we can’t criticize an idea, then free speech is truly dead. All ideas should be questioned, no belief should be able to go unquestioned. If a belief is true then it will hold up to scrutiny and if it doesn’t then why try to hide it? There are thousands being killed and millions suffering worldwide in the name of a religion and yet some people are still concerned that we shouldn’t challenge a belief system for fear of offending? If terror attacks shake the beliefs of Muslims worldwide as much as they say they do and then it should lead them to question the violent nature at the core of their ideology and embrace an overhaul and begin to hold Islam to the same standard we demand and expect from other religions.

The fact is a lot of Americans are afraid because they don’t understand what’s going on, they know there’s a problem and they want to solve it in a kind and compassionate way but sadly the voices of reason, those that may be able to provide an actual viable solution are squashed. We should be having calm and rational conversation and debating how Islam needs to reform itself to be compatible with classical liberal values in the 21st century. Instead the conversation is constantly being hijacked by the apologetic, irrational left with character assassinating slurs which has silenced many great minds on the issue. Rather than having a progressive conversation about Islam, most politicians keep silent or make excuses for it, allowing someone like Trump to step in because he’s the only one that has ever addressed it. It’s why we have to put aside the septic PC gag and talk about this rationally because by silencing the intellectuals, the Muslims calling for reform and the anti-extremists, liberals on the left have handed a platform to Trump on a silver platter. The left only have themselves to blame for the rise of the Trump to presidency. Islam is guilty and the more you try to convince us it’s peaceful, the more we will prove to you that it isn’t. We must speak out and Islam must be criticized without relent for dogma, inequality, unwarranted violence and sexism have no place in the evolution and future of mankind.

The walls of this elevator are made of crystal so that you can watch the people on the ground floor shrink to ants as you shoot up into the air. It’s exhilarating and I’m tempted to ask Effie Trinket if we can ride it again, but somehow that seems childish.
— 

Katniss in chapter 6 of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

A reminder that despite the oppressive regime she’s lived under, and despite the fact that she’s in the Training Center preparing for a death match, Katniss is resilient and retains a child’s capacity for wonder. 

image source 

unpopular opinion: why severus snape is among the best characters in harry potter

hey! so recently i’ve seen a lot of extreme discourse on severus snape on tumblr, which i suppose, considering the character, is inevitable. i mean, to many, he’s quite a ‘grey’ character. i wanted to pitch in my own two cents.

what are my aforementioned two cents? well, i think severus snape is one of the best character’s in the harry potter series. but unlike a lot of my fellow snape fans, i can back up that claim with substantial evidence.

i’ll set a brief premise, though. one main reason why severus snape is viewed unfavorably is because, quite honestly, that’s how he is written until the chapter “the prince’s tale”. jkr deliberately paints him as a villain (with the greasy hair and seemingly-malicious intent), so that the final reveal is even more shocking. so disregard all the glances that harry interprets are evil, or how he is described as looking. go by the facts, only.

firstly, he was just as brave, if not braver, than the trio. this claim may sound preposterous, but hear me out. it takes guts to stand up to an oppressive regime outright, but it takes even more to do so undercover. severus snape spent around a decade pretending to be a death eater, even though he was now thoroughly disillusioned with what they stood for, and he played his part well. for merlin’s sake, he fooled the best legillimens in the world - the dark lord! he spent years in a profession he didn’t like, put up with people he hated, and risked his life day in and day out for the exact same cause that the order of the phoenix fought for!

secondly, he had a miserable childhood. living in an abusive household like the one he lived in (bc let’s be real, we know that tobias snape wasn’t a kind father) couldn’t have helped him, and his school days weren’t much better. the only person who was really kind to him was lily, and bullying has a terrible mental effect on a person - of course he would go to the death eaters for solace and company. he takes solace in his skill in the dark arts and in potions, and he spends so long being manipulated by dumbledore. it’s incredible how he manages to still be so strong and brave, but he does.

thirdly, he was so incredibly loyal. there are two main cases to this - let’s start with the less weighty one: dumbledore. snape was obviously blown away when he overheard that lily potter was to be killed, and immediately told dumbledore, in the hopes of saving his childhood love. so dumbledore requested something of him, something that snape did until the day he died. 

“In — in return?” Snape gaped at Dumbledore, and Harry expected him to protest, but after a long moment he said, “Anything.”

dumbledore asked for something no one else would dare to do - to spy on voldemort. and snape delivers.

and here’s the most important point: everything he did was for the sake of his lost love, lily evans. indeed, this is inarguably the romantic highlight of the books. severus snape fell in love with his childhood friend, lily, the only person who was ever truly kind to this outcast. but she ended up scorning him for someone she hated, someone she knew tormented severus - james potter. it would be so easy for severus to turn his back on her for this, but he doesn’t - lily’s safety is still his number one priority. he keeps fighting for her, both in hogwarts and later in life. especially after when he finds out that she is to be killed, he immediately goes to dumbledore.

“You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down — kill them all —”

he’s frantic, and absolutely petrified of his love dying. and he promises to do anything necessary to prevent this. and when lily does die, snape is absolutely distraught, and spends the rest of his life protecting her legacy and protecting her son. he doesn’t forget her - how else could his patronus be a doe? he loves - not loved, loves - her so much that he is willing to put his own life at risk even though he knows she will never return his love.

this is pretty brief, that’s why i believe severus snape is an amazing character who deserves so much more credit than the fandom gives him. i’m not saying this is the final word on this - everyone is entitled to their opinions - but this is what i think.

8

Whoniverse: Class Appreciation Week – Day 4 – Favorite Theme: Inverted Tropes

Charlie is the white male protagonist–the alien prince without a people.  This is meant to be his tragic backstory.  She’s just the terrorist who attacked his people.  And yet…?  This becomes her story.  She is a freedom fighter against an oppressive regime.  The ‘tragic prince’ is the heir to a morally questionable monarchy.  He is not the hero (nor is she the villain) one would expect.