What are some things to keep in mind while creating our own history, wars, rulers, myths, legends etc. from scratch?
Follow this equation to start from the scratch
People + Conflict of Interests = Social Processes
There are, at least, three types of History
Written History, the one you find in books, notebooks, internet, the one the media tells you, the one they teach you in school, etc. Is easy to spot because it’s written by the winners, by living people with different perspectives, this means this History is biased. It also leaves behind important points of view, social processes, and people. It’s called Oficial History because is the one they want you to know and believe.
Oral History, before writing system there was Oral History, people gathering around a bondfire, food, or something else. It’s told during a celebration, a rite of passage, in daily life. The main support of Oral History is memory, individual or collective. It changes with time but hold people together stronger than Written History, specially when two or more sides are in conflict, it’s also called Unofficial History, because of its fragility and because it tells a different version of the Official History.
True History, no one has ever seen it, lived it, or heard it. No one. Not even the elves of the Middle Earth. Why? Because each and one of us sees and lives the world in different ways, with different experiences behind us.
Why using a war to solve a conflict? Who’s going to war? What are their resources? Does the leader goes to war too or do they stay? What happens after war?
There’s no such thing as fair war. Athena I’m watching you.
Myths try to explain the origin of something. The beginning of the World, the beginning of Life, why the Sun rises, why the Ocean has waves, why Flowers bloom at certain times of the year. They hold important meaning to the people they belong to. It also has symbolism that can be translated to daily life.
Usually a story related to people and why they became what they became. It’s basically good versus evil with a moral compass. It also holds meaning. It can be written but it has different variations.
Why do people need a ruler? Are they a part of our basic needs or can we survive without them?
Who’s choosing them? A god, people, their parents, a symbol?
For how long do they rule? Can we overthrow them? Do we fear them?
Where do they live? How do they live? How old are they?
To keep in mind.
Not only your main characters aren’t puppets. Sometimes your main characters are the puppets.
To every event there’s more than one version of it.
By burning books you don’t erase the past.
Collective memory is a strong form of memory.
Buildings, streets, statues, paintings, and every form of art tell a different form of History.
Not every culture develops to be a western culture. Not every culture wants to be a western culture.
Don’t be afraid when creating a new world.
People need each other but there are people no one needs.
Not always the government is the enemy.
The military isn’t subjugated by the government.
Sometimes people have no idea what they are celebrating and why. That’s okay.
People are killed, erased, forgotten because the way they look, the way they think, what they believe, who they love. Violence exists in different forms and is prepetrated by different people and different institutions.
Don’t be afraid of your people rioting. Not everyone is as blind as they look.
There’s always someone who thinks differently. It doesn’t have to be your MC.
Natural disasters happen and they can trigger social processes.
Form and substance don’t always go hand in hand.
History is weird. Randomness occurs.
Forget about Unilineal Evolution.
Events get mixed. People who should be remembered are forgotten and vice versa.
Stories are also part of History.
There are more things I’m sure I’m forgetting right now, but the information above should help you.
Aries: “A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having.” Taurus: “There are no coincidences, only the illusion of coincidences.” Gemini: “People should not be afraid of their government, governments should be afraid of their people.” Cancer:“Beneath this mask there is an idea. And ideas are bulletproof.” Leo:“There is no certainty, only opportunity.” Virgo: “Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have.” Libra:“Artists use lies to tell the truth, while politicians use them to cover the truth up.” Scorpio: “Alone, a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.” Sagittarius: “Happiness is the most insidious prison of all.” Capricorn:“You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it.” Aquarius:“The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.” Pisces: “If you’re not the sorriest piece of ass in London… then you’ll certainly be the sorest.”
I’ve always had it in my head that my sole purpose in life
is to help other people and I was never sure how I could possibly make a career
out of that. How is someone supposed to profit out of helping other people? For
people who don’t know me very well or don’t spend enough time with me, it
probably sounds like I’m exaggerating when I say that my sole purpose in life
is to help people but I can’t see myself doing anything else.
My parents, being retired, want me to get a college
education so I can get a decent job and have a nice life. So, in short, they
want exactly what I’m assuming every parent wants for their child – to be
financially stable. That being said, when I told them I wanted to major in
political science, they immediately scoffed at the idea because they believe
that there’s no scope for it in Sri Lanka because to become president here
doesn’t necessarily require a college education. But what they fail to
understand is that, my intention to pursue political science isn’t because I
want to be in power one day but it’s because of the people who are in power
In school we are taught to be kind to one another, to share,
to clean up our mess, and not to hurt others. I find it ironic how that’s what
we are conditioned to do from a very young age yet our governments tend to go
out and do exactly the opposite of what we’ve been told do. Developed countries
bomb smaller countries and refuse asylum to refugees that are displaced because
of the actions of these governments. According to Oxfam, the richest one
percent of the world own as much wealth as the bottom ninety-nine percent
combined. Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to share. We are
afraid to let go of some of our wealth. I’m not a communist but I’m not a
capitalist either. I believe that we should work hard for our wealth but it
should not be at the cost of someone else’s life. I don’t see the morality in
having more money than one needs when twenty-two thousand children die each day
due to poverty, and they die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth,
far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world.
Income inequality, poverty, and climate change are not
heaven sent. They are man-made problems often, if not always, created by the
politicians we elect to represent us: the people. Unfortunately, politics has
become a competitive sport for some and the minute they come into office, they
forget who they are representing and instead, focus more on re-election.
Funnily enough, if they were to do what was best for the majority rather than
their wealthy donors, then they wouldn’t need to worry so much on whether they
would be re-elected or not.
Pursuing political science, I’m hoping, would allow me to
gain the experience and understanding I need to be able to change the world one
day. I understand how unrealistic or may be even overly idealistic that may
sound, but I’m not afraid to risk my life or my well-being fighting for what I
believe in. People can laugh at my “naivety” if they wish but someone has to do
something, so why not me? What if Martin Luther King decided that racism would
be too difficult of an obstacle to overcome? What if Nelson Mandela believed
overcoming institutionalized racism and apartheid was unrealistic? What if
Eleanor Roosevelt and Susan B. Anthony decided that fighting for women’s rights
was overly idealistic? Where would we be today if they didn’t do what was once
considered impossible? Just like them, I intend to pursue my goal despite
constantly being told that it’s “silly” and “naive” of me to actually consider
“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
“I can assure you I mean you no harm.”
“I’m not questioning your powers of observation; I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.”
“The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.”
“Are you, like, a crazy person?"
What does that mean?”
“It means that I, like God, do not play with dice and do not believe in coincidence.”
“Are you hurt?”
Die! Die! Why won’t you die?… Why won’t you die?”
A building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone, a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.”
“A man that I will never forget.”
I’ve witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I’ve seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them… but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it… ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love…”
You’re not afraid of death. You’re like me.”
How do you imagine that’s gonna happen?”
“ Ideas are bulletproof.”
“Artists use lies to tell the truth, while politicians use them to cover the truth up.”
But I don’t want you to die.”
“Nothing else existed… until I saw you. Then everything changed. I fell in love with you ____.”
“He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.”
There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense.”
The first time we kissed, I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers/his again.”
I remember how different became dangerous.”
I love you. With all my heart, I love you.”
You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it.”
Would you… dance with me?”
A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having!”
Is it meaningless to apologize?”
Would you prefer a lie or the truth?”
Yes, I killed him.”
Violence can be used for good.”
“Are you going to kill more people?”
I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none.”
What was done to me was monstrous.”
Why do you think I’m still alive?”
This is weird.”
“What usually happens when people without guns stand up to people *with* guns.”
There’s no certainty - only opportunity.”
One thing is true of all governments - their most reliable records are tax records.”
The only verdict is vengeance, a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain.”
Oppenheimer was able to change more than a course of a war. It changed the entire course of human history. Is it wrong to hold on to that kind of hope?”
I have another rose and this one is for you.”
You. It was you.”
“I’m sorry, but ______ dead.”
I can’t feel *anything* anymore!”
“Don’t run from it, ______. You’ve been running all your life.”
Is everything a joke to you, _____?”
“That this country needs more than a building right now. It needs hope.”
“God is in the rain.”
“The time has come for me to meet my maker and to repay him in kind for all that he’s done.”
Put the sword away.”
“I want him/her to understand what *terror* really means.”
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.
Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch, we are free.
A building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone, a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.
Today is the 4th of July, and you know, I just want to talk really quickly about that.
I know that it’s been kind of hard to be patriotic lately, what what…well, everything. This has not been a good year for America. We’re hurting, we’re stumbling along, and right now, it can be really hard to believe that America is even worth all the celebration.
“How can we celebrate when right now, people in the government are talking about taking away essential healthcare? When we’re closing our borders to people who are in need? When people are dying at the hand of police, and people riot in the streets? When everywhere you look, even freedom of speech is being trodden on.”
Well, a part of it is we’re not just celebrating America itself, but it’s history. We’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. Our birth and growth was bought at heavy cost, and it’s hard to look back at all of them. A lot of the time, we really don’t examine them as closely and dispassionately as we should. What’s important though, is the ideals, and if we’re holding ourselves to what makes America great.
Someone recently campaigned on that idea. Make America Great Again. They wanted to make us an economic juggernaut, a world power to be reckoned with. They wanted other countries to look at us and be afraid, to listen when we spoke. That’s never been what makes America great. Our money and power was only a result of our true greatness.
What makes America great, and it’s still been great, is our ideas. The thought that a man shouldn’t be bound by his station and birth, that everyone should have an equal crack at life if they work at it. The idea that people should have the right to live their lives in a manner of their choosing, regardless of what the state thinks of that. The idea that Washington DC doesn’t control how Washington State conducts it’s business, as long as said state upholds the ideas near and dear to every Americans heart.
Many of these ideas fly in the face of the darkest parts of America, those who fear others, those who want to control others, to stand atop a pedestal and be worshipped. They’ve been in power before, and they will be again, but even this was foreseen by the shapers of this country. They had seen how tyrants come into power, how easy it is to grab a nation by it’s throat, and they wove into the very fabric of this country tools that the common man can use to defend himself. The gridlock we’ve seen in the government all this time? By design, meant to ensure that no one person or group of people could easily change the course of this great nation. As painful as it is, we must look not in terms of months or even years, but decades and centuries.
On that scale, we stand head and shoulders above other nations. 200 years ago, owning a person was considered just and right. 100 years ago, white men still dominated this society to the point of utter control. Hell, 10 years ago it was illegal in many parts of the nation to marry someone you truly loved. America has proven, continues to prove, and will always prove we can change, whether the people who lust for power like it or not.
Being a patriot isn’t about blindly cheering for your country. It’s about caring enough to be worried when you start to see it go astray. I’m afraid for America, but I’m also proud of it, because at the end of the day?
This isn’t America.
This is America.
The thing that terrifies prospective tyrants the most is when we remember that Americans outnumber them. Immensely.
And if there’s one thing Americans do well? We don’t put up with tyranny.
I like to think of myself as an optimistic person. I am definitely realistic, but I choose optimism over pessimism. This is a conscious choice, one that sometimes leaned more towards pessimism, but has lately been optimistic.
I often find myself shaking my head at the hate and fear spread across the world. That is not to say that there isn’t any hate or fear out there, but the specific stories and people we shine a light on are often not the right ones. We are spreading the wrong fear and the wrong hate.
Citizens of several countries have expressed hate towards Syrian refugees entering ‘their country’. They are afraid that it will bring terrorism and terrorists into their country. They are afraid they will have to pay for them, that they will lose the opportunity of getting a job, a house, or help from the government because it is going to these refugees. Should we keep our eyes open and make sure that people don’t take advantage of us? Absolutely. Should we be aware of why these people are refugees, why they can’t stay in their own country, what the difference is between voluntarily leaving a place and having no other choice? Absolutely.
Let’s back up a few years to put some perspective on the Syrian refugee crisis:
The war in Syria started 5 years ago (as of March 2016) and has resulted in the death of more than a quarter million people.
It started because 15 children were arrested and reportedly tortured for writing anti-government graffiti on a wall. Syrian citizens took to the street to protest the way these children were treated. This occurred in the city of Deraa.
These protests started peacefully and were a call for the release of the children, democracy, and greater freedom for the people of Syria.
The government’s respond was not peaceful - the Syrian army, under command of al-Assad, opened fire on the protesters which resulted in the death of 4 people. The following day the Syrian army shot at a group of mourners at one of the victim’s funeral which resulted in the death of 1 person. From here, the situation escalated. News of protesters being killed and the story of the 15 children being arrested and allegedly tortured, traveled the country and caused an uproar throughout Syria.
Protesters began demanding that al-Assad should resign, however al-Assad refused to do so, which caused more protests and more violence.
In August 2013, it was reported that Syria used chemical weapons to attack its own people. UN inspectors were able to confirm the use of chemical weapons in September 2013. Syria denies the use of chemical weapons.
After much discussion by world leaders about the chemical weapons, it was decided the chemical weapons held by Syria should be destroyed. The group of people responsible for destroying the weapons, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in late 2013. However, there is some doubt about the completeness of this procedure due to reports from the OPCW stating that traces were found of sarin and VX nerve agent at a Military Research Site in Syria that had not been declared previously by the al-Assad regime.
The war in Syria gets worse because of infighting amongst the rebels trying to overthrow the al-Assad regime. This is where ISIS (also known as ISIL or IS) gets involved. ISIS is an al-Qaida breakaway group of terrorists. Some rebels start fighting ISIS and the al-Assad regime, some fight ISIS, and some fight the al-Assad regime, thus creating the infighting between the rebels. ISIS gains control of parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014 and it declares a self-styled Islamic caliphate. I will not go into further detail on ISIS, but it is the reason why several countries have started bombing Syria, in order to stop ISIS from gaining further control. For more information on ISIS, please check these helpfuloverviews from The New York Times.
Millions of Syrians have fled the country, but 18 million people still remain in the war-torn country.
The information above is a nutshell of the whole story. For more information and details, please check my sources over at the BBC and The New York Times.
The Syrian refugee crisis is an ongoing one, thus the number of refugees is growing every day. With so many different countries and rebel forces involved, it is hard to keep track of. However, the following graphs will give you insight on how many refugees have come to which countries, how many have applied for asylum, and how many have died trying to make the dangerous journey to freedom.
Several EU countries have stated that they can take up to a certain number of refugees. Some countries have stated that their borders are closed and aren’t accepting any refugees. The process of accepting refugees and granting them asylum is not easy. Watch as Samantha Bee breaks down how refugees make the cut to enter countries in her show ‘Full Frontal with Samantha Bee’. Start at 4:26 to catch the helpful animation!
This should go to show you that it is highly unlikely for members of ISIS or any other terrorist group to successfully ‘pose as a refugee’ and thus end up in the country of their choosing to commit terrorist attacks. The system is, as always, not just there to help the refugees but also to ensure public safety.
I hope with these facts I have shed a light on the dire situation facing the Syrian people. It is not an easy subject to understand or to lay out in just a few sentences, but it is worth knowing about. Don’t forget who the real victims are.