optimistic cynic

The Same Coin

different sides of a single sign

aries: defender/destroyer- you either defend the weak and helpless or destroy everything in your path to get your way

taurus: tired/tireless- you are either incorrigibly lazy or ridiculously, irrationally, impressively persistent

gemini: talker/listener- you either never shut up or always let others lead the conversation

cancer: giver/taker- you either demand people’s time, energy, and attention until they resent you, or give everything you have while secretly resenting them

leo: elevates self/others- you either make yourself, and only yourself look and feel special, sometimes at the expense of others, or try to bring everyone “up” with you

virgo: nervous wreck/practical genius- you either let fear cloud your thinking, or are so detached and clear-headed that you come up with brilliant ideas

libra: isolation/partnership- you’re either obsessed with finding the perfect partner or determined to never rely on another person for anything

scorpio: honest to a fault/pathological liar- you may abandon tact and flout social norms with brutal honesty, or lie excessively to protect yourself

sagittarius: optimist/cynic- you either wear rose-tinted glasses or think the world is a festering dung heap

capricorn: criticizes/improves- you either bring other people down with harsh words and disapproval or genuinely try to help them by building on their work

aquarius: lone wolf/mindless sheep- you either forge your own path or lose yourself in the crowd and do things just because “it’s the norm”

pisces: heartless/bleeding heart- you’re either the world’s biggest sucker or completely apathetic to others’ pain

which one r u?

pessimist, sees the glass as half empty: capricorn, virgo, gemini, scorpio
optimist, sees the glass as half full: pisces, sagittarius, libra, aquarius
realist, knows it is just half a fucking glass: cancer, taurus, scorpio, leo, aries

Sound Horizon Story Summaries
  • Chronicle: The goddess of history cannot actually control history and would really like it if this cult that followed her would stop bringing about the end times.
  • Thanatos: A little girl thinks thanatos will come kill her if she falls asleep so she daydreams about death to keep herself awake.
  • Lost: An optimist and a cynic observe a bunch of really depressing vignettes.
  • Elysion: People need to stop falling in love and killing people over it. Seriously, this is becoming a problem.
  • Roman: A consciousness that's unaware of its own origins asks two other mysterious consciousnesses to find out how he was born. One or both of them are fucking with him.
  • Moira: A greek guy's life sucks, so he decides to kill the goddess of destiny.
  • Jihad of Iberia: A half-spanish-half-muslim girl alive during the reconquista loses both of her parents. She accidentally brings a demon back to life, they fall in love, and then they kill everyone.
  • Marchen: The spirit of a man who just dies can't remember how it died, but remembers that it wants vengeance. Since he can't remember who to enact vengeance on, he helps a bunch of dead fairy tale characters get vengeance.
  • The Story of Halloween and the Night: A man dies a shitty death and the fact it's halloween doesn't make it any better. Meanwhile, a kid has his first halloween and then dies immediately after.
  • Vanishing Starlight: A man who may or may not be a self insert of the author runs into the author and they shred some sick guitar solos together.
  • Nein: Aforementioned self-insert buys a pair of sunglasses from a mysterious antique shop that turn him into a cat-themed vocaloid, doomed to forever write shitty fanfiction about all of the other Sound Horizon musicals.

Jaunty whistling filled the small space, accompanying the sounds of the Ghost hacking the control panel.

“Will you stop?”

The whistling died out and the Guardian crossed their arms. “You have to admit it went well with your hacking.”

“I will admit nothing other than the fact that I can’t concentrate on this firewall with you making so much noise. Do you have any idea how complex this encryption is?”

“More difficult than the–”

“It was a rhetorical question,” the Ghost snapped.

The Guardian tsked and shifted around so they could lean a shoulder into the wall by the console and look at their Ghost. A brief glower was the only acknowledgement they got. They bumped a finger into the end of one of the Ghost’s tines with a soft “boop” and it shifted away.

“Stop that.”

“Aww, come on, Monday. You can’t be grumpy forever.”

“I’m not grumpy. I’m just the only one on this team with any sense.”

“You’re stressed and grumpy. You just need to take a break and enjoy the little things.”

“I have rezzed you six times today and it’s not even noon. Now be quiet so I can finish this hack and we can get out of here, hopefully with a minimum of death and violent mutilation.”

Silence lasted for about ten seconds before the Guardian smiled softly and gently poked their Ghost again.

“Looks like someone’s got a bad case of the Mondays.”

The hack stopped and Monday stared at the console for a moment before turning, ever so slowly, to glare at the Guardian. Beneath their helmet, the Guardian’s smile only grew.

“I am going to kill you.”

The Guardian snorted in laughter, as they had the past dozen or so times Monday had declared that, and pushed off the wall to step back from the console. Monday held the glare a second longer before going back to the hack.

What happens when a character casts such a long shadow that pop culture can’t entirely leave him behind, but at the same time that character is firmly rooted in a time and place from which pop culture has itself moved on? The somewhat less than reassuring answer can be found in the film “Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze” (1975), the TV series “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” (1979-81), and the TV series “Flash Gordon” (2007-08). In all cases, it’s probably fair to say the Pulp Era characters in question simply didn’t successfully transition to the modern era.

Even the cult film “Flash Gordon” (1980) produced by Dino De Laurentiis succeeded only insofar as it created an over-the-top campy and color-saturated reimagining. A lot of fun to watch? Absolutely. But it didn’t result in a new iteration of Flash Gordon being a serious and credible late 20th century pop culture character in the same way that, for example, Han Solo from Star Wars was. Put simply, it’s extremely difficult to reboot Pulp Era characters for contemporary pop cultural tastes.

It was with this in mind that I recently purchased “Avengers of the Moon,” the new Captain Future novel by Allen Steele.

Captain Future is my favorite pulp character. The Captain’s backstory is about as “pulp-y” as it gets. As a child, Curtis “Curt” Newton – Captain Future’s real name – was orphaned when his parents were murdered by the malevolent Victor Corvo. Curt’s father, Roger, was a brilliant scientist who had relocated to the Moon to work on his experiments. After his death, Curt was brought up by The Brain, the disembodied central nervous system of Roger’s colleague Simon Wright; Otho, an android who was a master of disguise as well as an effective combatant; and Grag, a powerful and self-aware robot.

Captain Future was universally revered by the citizens of the solar system, a solar system it should be noted teeming with sentient alien life on several planets and moons. The Captain and his Futuremen worked closely with two members of the Planet Police, the solar system’s interplanetary law enforcement agency: Marshal Ezra Gurney, a senior Planet Police official whose speech and personality seem better suited to the Old West than to outer space, and Joan Randall, an agent who had feelings for Curt although their relationship never developed into anything serious.

The stories were quite imaginative albeit formulaic. But there was just something about the chemistry of the characters that really worked, Curt Newton was the young, handsome space hero, as adept with his mind as with his fists or his proton pistol. Otho and Grag bickered and insulted each other constantly but cared deeply for each other. Simon “The Brain” Wright was the elder statesman. While not achieving the notoriety of Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers, Captain Future, created by Mort Weisinger and written primarily by Edmond Hamilton, still reigned from his secret base in Tycho Crater on the Moon over his pulp science fiction empire from 1940 to 1951.

Enter journalist and sci fi author Allen Steele. Steele previously dealt with Captain Future somewhat obliquely in his 1996 Hugo Award-winning novella “The Death of Captain Future” in which a fan of the pulp hero acts out a fantasy based on the exploits of the character. In “Avengers of the Moon,” Steele attempts the impossible task of rebooting the Captain Future universe for modern sci fi fans.

The novel is set in the 24th century rather than the early 21st of the original pulp series but earlier in Curtis Newton’s reimagined timeline: Newton is not yet Captain Future but a somewhat awkward youth, understandable given his limited contact with other humans and unique upbringing by his surrogate family. Early on in the novel, Newton learns of the murder of his parents by Senator Victor Corvo two decades earlier and plans revenge.

While Steele’s Curtis Newton is credible as the man who is not quite yet the hero he will become, the Futuremen diverge to a greater degree from their pulp incarnations. Otho is harsher than the lovable rogue of the 1940s. At one point he actually threatens Simon Wright with death. An interesting plot change is that Otho was originally supposed to be the body for the brain of Simon Wright but because Otho’s own brain developed sentience so rapidly, this plan was abandoned on ethical grounds. As a result, the Brain remains in a drone that flies using ducted fans rather than the force beams of the old sci fi magazines. Grag is more robotic in temperament. Ezra and Joan initially treat Curt with disdain and the very name “Captain Future” invites eye rolls and laughter rather than the awe and respect displayed from the very first pulp story, “Captain Future and the Space Emperor” (1940).

One of the saddest concessions to modernity is that Captain Future’s spaceship, the Comet, is reduced to a 20 year old yacht that has to hitch a ride on a lightsail ship to travel from the Moon to Mars. This much diminished Comet even lacks the power to lift off from Mars’ surface were it to land there. Thankfully, a worthier successor to the vessel is hinted at near the novel’s end.

The solar system civilization from the pulps survives surprisingly intact with the assorted aliens of the worlds of the system being rebooted as human beings who have been genetically modified to accommodate failed or incomplete terraforming procedures on the various moons and planets.

I won’t spoil the plot further except to say that not too surprisingly by the end of the novel, Curt Newton has accepted the mantle of Captain Future and the name now commands respect rather than prompts derision.

Anyone picking up “Avengers of the Moon” with the expectation that he or she will rediscover the magic of those old sci fi magazine stories will be disappointed, not because of any failing by the author but because that’s not the purpose of this book. Steele could have written a novel in direct continuity with the 1940s Captain Future universe but it would have been merely a pastiche. Instead, he chose the much more difficult task of trying to capture the soul of those wonderful old pulp characters and transplant them into a grittier and harder science fiction story to appeal to modern readers. In this all but unworkable endeavor, the author probably comes as close to success as is possible.

Reading “Avengers of the Moon” is like meeting some old friends for the first time in 20 years and discovering that they are now rather different people. And that’s okay. It means you can both reminisce and get acquainted. This iteration of the pulp icon is clearly the product of a culture that is older, less confident, less optimistic, and more cynical than the culture that produced the original. But that’s exactly the kind of culture that needs a hero like Captain Future.

Old School Science Fiction recommends adding Allen Steele’s “Avengers of the Moon” to your summer reading list.

towards the brighter side (of this) - cynical_optimist - SKAM (TV) [Archive of Our Own]

“You just got slugged in the fucking cheek,” Elias interrupts.

“Well, yeah,” Mikael says. “But not well. It doesn’t even hurt.”

After the fight, the balloon squad head back to Adam’s house. mikadam, 1.7k.

What Your LOK OTP Says About You:

Korrasami: Outgoing, forward and invested in your hobbies. You are so proud of your OTP and lets face it, you probably crack-shipped it back in book 1. Very very defensive of your precious canon lady ship, maybe even to the point where it can be off putting. But your fellow Korrasami friends will always have your back. You’re independent, hardheaded, and brash. Optimistic, but mildly cynical about society. You have to learn to pick your battles, but you are good at winning the ones you do.

Makorra: You hold a deep, seething sad hole inside of you after the finale that just can’t seem to be filled, though you try and try again with AMVs, fanfiction and fan-art. These two will probably be the literal death of you. Low-key emotional mess but you cover it pretty well with sarcasm. You believe that Mako and Korra need to be protected at all costs. You long for the days when book 1 was see-all end-all. A nostalgic piece of garbage with a great sense of loyalty, love, and humility.

Bopal: A real softie with a heart of steel. Your endless love for Bolin gives you a sense of peace when you realize he landed himself a quality lady. You’re warm and fun to be around, even if you have a bit of an emotional side. Generally a lovely person and a top-notch friend. Your relationships tend to look big picture rather than in the moment romance.

Kainora: You cheesy little shit, you. Nothing makes you smile more than seeing two people who are perfect for each other finding one another. You’re a sucker for good girl/scoundrel romances (Hello! Lady and the Tramp? Aladdin? Classics man!). You’re quiet and maybe a bit reserved around large groups but with your friends you’re quite the jokester!

Masami: You are drawn to the “love at first sight” AUs, even if you don’t really believe in it yourself. You’re a rare breed, but that just means that those of you who remain aboard the ship are loyal to a T! You’re pessimistic in love, but that doesn’t mean you’re bad with relationship. It just means, you’re more cautious. You don’t throw yourself at just anyone! Driven and passionate in your career.

Borra: Love that buds from a close friendship is your biggest relationship goal. You are drawn to people who are as hilarious and outgoing as you. Quite the romantic, you tend to fall for people easily. Your celebrity crush and you? You still totally have a shot! Never say never! You remain optimistic and loyal in your friendships. Like the big sister of your friend group. You’re a riot and a grand time, but you know your limits.

Bosami: Nothing hurts more than the sad, sick pain of seeing their beautiful friendship fade away as the books progressed. The end of book one opened so many doors for them that you saw mildly explored in book 2, but your dreams were smashed within a few episodes. However, you are still a strong believer that good people will find each other. You are very protective of your friends and family. You don’t actively seek romance, but if it finds you, you will go with it! You’re very open-minded and understanding.

Tahnorra/Amorra: Everything after book 1 was a lie.

Korroh/Irohsami: Like Tahnorra and Amorra, except you feel a little more betrayed. You are personally offended at the lack of Iroh in the later seasons. Professional and mild on the surface, but a super exciting person underneath. Tbh, you still have hope (maybe naively, but still).

Boleska: Book two was probably your favorite. You loved Eska and the idea of the Andy Dwyer/April Ludgate relationship between she and Bolin. You are sarcastic, a little childish, and you really enjoy balance. You’re a sucker for opposites attract relationships. The little brother of the fandom that everyone at least likes enough to admit it happened and maybe just look the other way, rather than hating on it.

Zhurrick: The only ship that really mattered in your opinion at the end of the series. Sure everyone else was nice, but THIS! You’d been waiting for their wedding, hell, just their confessions of love since book 2! You are optimistic, witty and tactical. A planner, but willing to throw that all away every now and then when the situation calls for spontaneity. The funky uncle in the friend group who everyone loves, but will just sit back and watch things go down. 

Wuko: All of that potential for a queer ship with depth, RUINED! You’re more than convinced that these two had romantic feelings for one another. You’re goofy, but well mannered when you need to be. Your friends can come to you for anything because you’re a great listener, although you would talk their ear off if they let you. Lucky you, both Mako and Wu ended the series single, so ship on! So much potential to explore!

Korpal: Like a more intense and sadder Bopal shipper.  

Korvira: A natural born leader. You are loud and in charge and full of energy, that is, when you feel motivated. When you lack motivation, you can be really lazy. You are ok with settling for Korrasami but your heart will always belong to Kuvira.

What your _____ OTP says about you series: [ATLA] [Harry Potter]

We have every reason to be optimistic in this world. Tragedy is around, yes. Problems everywhere, yes. … You can’t, you don’t, build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen.
—  Gordon B. Hinckley
A Queer, Midwest Joan of Arc

“The fire is still there – we just need a reason why,” she said.

I first met Trish “Devi8” through roller derby, where she volunteers as a medical staff member to keep us safe during all the collisions and chaos of the sport. A 40-something Minnesota native and a nurse at a local children’s hospital, she is the most cynical optimist I’ve ever met, with a dark humor and a bright, genuine laugh. 

When not working long night shifts, Devi, as she’s affectionately known in the roller derby community, volunteers at the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition shot clinic and speaks about queer issues anywhere and everywhere she can.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Somebody said you seem innocent. To me you seem naive and overly optimistic.

Interesting. I am a lawyer and that makes me a professional cynic. In my younger days I was far less optimistic and far more cynical. I recognize that there is a lot of suffering in the world. I see the cruelty. I see the seemingly impassable gulfs that divide us. However, I have seen what love can accomplish. I have seen what compassion can do to push back the darkness. 

I am no naive young hippie with rose colored glasses.I am an old man. I have seen evil and suffering up close and personal. I know that the darkness can push back the light and it may dim. The light may dim but it never fails. A new day dawns and with it a new birth of consciousness. I will not be there to see it born but I might in some small way be a part of bringing it to pass.

(So I feel like I should update y’all as to what’s happened in recent days, mostly yesterday and today.

Got an aneurysm, yeah go figure, I always joke about it and now it finally happened. According to my dad three customers bombarded me with questions without slowing down and I just collapsed, so I wake up a good few hours later in a hospital bed and the docs say that my brain just went “Nope.” and shut down on me via aneurysm. This was yesterday, yes I’m feeling fine, like a million bucks. Got a lump where the aneurysm is and that’s basically it.

Today I go to the psychiatrist because I had to, and hilariously enough straight from his mouth: “You are the strangest basket case I’ve seen all year. Cynical yet optimistic, extremely dependent yet independent.” 

I stared at him and asked “Bipoooooolar?”

And he says “I can’t say that, because you don’t flip. It’s just how you are 24/7. It’s weird.”

Got a pretty good laugh out of it. So here’s the thing, I haven’t felt any creative juice flowing since yesterday so I’m hoping it’s just a block, but worst case scenario the aneurysm did more than just make me more cynical [Incredible considering I was already cynical].

tl;dr some shit happened, I’m fine but I won’t be able to do anything creative for a while.)

I am like a never ending box of paradoxes that I wish I could solve. I am insensitively sensitive, cynically idealistic, optimistically pessimistic, empathetically apathetic, judgementally open-minded, affectionately aloof and the list goes on and on. It is as though my existence is designed to know and understand everything, but at the expense of being unknown and misunderstood by everyone.
—  Submitted by soulsoftranscendence