Me starting Hunger Pangs in early 2016: lol what even is this, okay, so there’s a vampire and a werewolf who fall in love and hilarity ensues, maybe have something in there about overcoming prejudices or something, throw in a war or cultural divide idk PUNS so many puns this is going to be the fluffiest piece of feel good shit ever.
Me reviewing final draft of Hunger Pangs in 2017:
“He promised us,” the vampire wailed as blood streamed from his nose, shrinking in on himself as Nathan stepped toward him again, “I didn’t think it’d come to this, I didn’t think—”
“You didn’t think,” Vlad interjected coolly, “that a megalomaniac with an insatiable lust for control over death, wouldn’t try to control vampires, a part of the undead race, and use them to open up a portal to the Underworld? Are you mad?! He’s been using zombies for centuries!”
“Melville, I swear if you say ‘better than them’ I will personally twist your head off and sew it on backwards.”
“He promised us freedom!”
“Freedom from what?!” Vlad shouted, and Ursula took a prudent step back. She could feel the electric charge in the air, thrumming between her teeth. “We’re a race of immortal parasites sitting on top of centuries of wealth and privilege, founded on war and slavery, what could you possibly need to be liberated from?!”
“Elizabeth was right,” Melville spat, still trying to avoid Nathan even as he sneered at Vlad, fangs on show, “You’re weak. You let this dog and his,” his black eyes darted to Ursula, “bitch get into your head. But then again you always were a human lover. Anyone could see it, the way you doted on that half-breed sister of yours. She’ll be the first up against the wall, her and her little pet huma—”
Nathan reached up, tentatively checking to see if he still had eyebrows. “I didn’t know you could do that.”
Vlad, staring wide eyed at the blackened spot where Melville had been, doubled over and threw up.
“There, there,” Ursula soothed, patting him lightly on the shoulder. “Most people don’t know their own strength until they have to use it. You did very well though,” she smiled as he looked incredulously up at her, ”keep it up and we might just win.”
You start off with freedom, but one by one slowly and subtly certain things are taken away.
When you once could go to a doctor and have that covered now you must pay the entire fee. And some people aren’t even allowed to go.
Families who were once supported are now living in boxes on the streets, as food is no longer supplied and they are evicted.
When you once could believe in whatever higher being you wanted, now you are forced into a single category and registered if you do not worship it.
When you once could love who you wanted, marriage is only allowed for certain people.
You must dress according to a small scrap of paper given to you at birth. You are immediately judged and categorized according to this. Anyone who disobeys is socially executed and banned from society.
Criminals once went to Prison, but now they are filled with minor offenses regarding medication that is needed and possessing minor recreation drugs. Rapists walk free.
Police do not uphold the law, they attack when and wherever they please… they are given tanks and weapons to attack the common people.
Basic necessities are limited to the wealthy few while fresh water is slowly consumed. What remains is poisoned by oil and toxic waste.
Forests and nature are slowly allowed to be destroyed as those who wanted to protect them are silenced.
The media stops reporting the news and instead reports false information. In fact subtle brainwashing is used. Anyone who objects is arrested.
The leader is a puppet for a shadow government.
Did I forget to mention that this is the United States of America? Yup. America has become the basis of a dystopian novel.
In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies—the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distraction.
Only the very best pilot is allowed to
fly the heir to the Empire from one place to another, and until the
very best pilot comes, the Empress won’t allow her son to leave the
Pilots from every school in the galaxy
come, of course, to try to apply for the position as the prince’s
personal pilot, but none of them can make it past the Empress’s test.
Every new applicant leaves complaining of yet another catch to the
test that none of their friends warned them about.
One complains of an asteroid field too
thick to fly through, another of wormhole calculations made by hand,
a third of a complex engineering problem no flight instructor has
“Have you taken the Empress’s test?”
becomes a question among pilots and those who work with them, a joke
and a real question all at once. After five years, anyone who answers
no is considered hopelessly green, and not even a freight company
will hire them until they’ve given it a try.
It’s a question, a brag, in pilot bars,
and in one particular bar, someone listens to years of brags and
wondering if the Empress is keeping her heir cooped up in the center
of the Empire on purpose.
She listens, and she thinks, and she
never steps foot in a piloting academy.
Stop constructing “lanes.” We can and should criticize sexism worldwide.
As usual, this post is primarily addressed to Western liberal feminists. I have noticed that one of your favorite lines that you smugly try and pass for discourse is “stay in your lane.” Men somewhere in the world are oppressing women somewhere in the world and when another person starts to criticize, you try to silence her with this “lane” nonsense.
Here’s the thing: Sexism and patriarchy don’t have a lane. They don’t have a culture. They are part of every culture, every place, and every system worldwide.
My oppression as a woman in Iraq has the same material problem as oppression of women in the United States, France, Argentina, China, Uganda, any society on this earth: male violence. The root of our problems is the same root and we will not solve any of these problems without pulling up that root.
You act like you’re some kind of progressive by silencing other Western women who talk about other cultures’ issues, but really you’re denying that all of our issues are rooted in the same oppression, and that is Western exceptionalism. You’re saying that your issues are worth public criticism but ours must be framed in ways that appeal to your moral senses or they should be silenced.
Global patriarchy is every woman’s “lane” because it’s literally global. I am allowed to criticize male violence anywhere in the world because I see a different manifestation of the same problems in my own life.
Sexism doesn’t have a culture. (Nor does racism, classism, homophobia, etc.) It exists in every culture in the world. For this reason, we cannot equate criticisms of sexism to criticisms of cultures because criticizing sexism criticizes every culture. (Or one global culture that we all share.) If you honestly believe that sexism is definitely wrong (which I do) then why are you silencing criticism of sexism?
Ask yourselves: Why are you so afraid of offending somebody’s “culture” by criticizing patriarchy? There can really only be one reason. Your feminism just appeals to men.
If our cultures can’t stand on their own without sexism, then what even are they? I love my culture. I love speaking Arabic and Assyrian. I love our folk music. I love our political novels and films. And I could still love all of this without sexism in our culture. Culture doesn’t exist in a snow globe. It is meant to change.
So are you actually going to let people defend sexism with “it’s our culture”? It’s everyone’s culture! And if we recognize that it’s wrong, we should criticize it! Just like we should criticize racism, classism, and homophobia wherever we find them. If you prioritize “protecting culture” over criticizing sexism, then you prioritize the feelings of men over the actual lives of women. And you aren’t a feminist.
I know I talk about listening to Middle Eastern women too, and I stand by that. You can and should listen to our stories, our thoughts, and our criticisms. And you can and should amplify our voices and offer your own criticisms of sexism, because sexism affects you too.
Issues with more attention usually get more support. People can’t support women in developing countries if they don’t know our struggles, and we cannot spread awareness if other women who discuss these issues are silenced. Western voices and media outlets have the most influence worldwide, so why are you stopping people from using them?
There is a difference between talking over someone and empathizing with her experience and offering meaningful criticisms. Talking over someone is a silencing tactic because you’re telling a woman not to talk about her lived experiences because you must know better. Listening to us, having a dialogue, and criticizing sexism together is productive and it’s the exact opposite of silencing. Stop trying to conflate the two.
You have an extremely low opinion of women from developing countries if you believe that criticizing how sexism manifests in our cultures is patronizing us. Do you think we don’t know what sexism is? Do you think we don’t also have indigenous feminist movements? Do you think we haven’t been trying to bring attention to these issues?
It’s true that sometimes Westerners use sexism and homophobia in places like the Middle East as justifications for their own bigotry against Middle Eastern people. Again, if you honestly believe that racism, xenophobia, or imperialism are wrong, then you don’t need to dance around cultural sensitivities to make your point. The thing about inalienable human rights is that you don’t have to earn them.
Half of people in developing countries are women and you can advocate for our liberation in all countries of the world at the same time. Wow! There’s a massive difference between acknowledging how sexism manifests in some cultures and saying we’re savages who should be confined to dangerous war zones.
Stop dividing women. We are in this together. Sexism is wrong in every context and every culture and we are allowed to criticize it wherever and whenever we find it.
Im a student form Germany currently studying English, Philosophy and Social Studies focussing on politics.
Having a penpal had been my dream since I was a child and I guess it’s a
great way of talking to someone from a different country with different
experiences! I’m open for texting as well as exchanging letters and
little (hand made?) gifts!
I enjoy reading classical literature (favourite Author is Oscar Wilde),
Western Philosophy (which I just started digging deeper into),
historical novels and fantasy (JRR Tolkien; George Martin, RA Salvatore
but also Urban fantasy such as Harry Potter) and will be studying
Literature in England as soon as I finish school!
I also enjoy TV Shows, Cartoons and Anime of any genre!
Im a passionate Writer and an Artist; through not being too good at both
I enjoy expressing myself this way and hope to improve my English so
one day I’d be able to translate my works on my own
Through I’m interested in literally everything I’m a bit of an
introvert; but writing or texting should work out perfectly fine. If you
are an open minded person who is fine talking casually with a queer
girl whose English isn’t really perfect, you should be the one! We can
talk about anything, your life, your struggles, your interests and
hobbys, political orientation, philosophy, literature, shows, the
weather, literally everything!!
How do you come up with/where do you draw inspiration for the politics in your novels?
If you spend enough time reading history, you notice that certain types of arguments come up over and over and over. Conservative views versus liberal views, religion versus religion. Established families versus rising talents.
One of my favorite areas of conflict and one that’s served me very well is the rise of the merchant and farming classes against the lesser and greater nobility that came following the Black Death. The beginning of the Renaissance has a lot of good stuff.
The Black Death left a great shortage of farming labor meant you had to pay them more, which meant they had more money, which meant they had more pull. Pair that with the rise of the merchant class who could loan the suddenly farmer-poor noblemen money. Both groups on either side of the nobility had power, suddenly, which meant they could manipulate the nobility and the royals. The merchants could afford to pay for things that showed off their money, like clothes, art, and entertainment. Since the monasteries had more money, they could afford things like universities and scholars. Suddenly you had more people who could live on thinking. Always an interesting point in history.
We had this particular scenario in every developed culture throughout the world at some point–the rise of the middle and lower classes, and the splitting of groups of nobility in their urge to gain money and power.
Any time you have people in conflict, you have plot. Whether you’re killing each other with swords or getting people dumped in prison with your pen.
Given that the First Order is heavily implied to have been founded by radical elements of the Centrist Party (who first eliminated their more moderate members, such as Senator Casterfo) does this mean that the New Republic during TFA was ruled purely by the Populists, or do you think another party arose? Because their reticence to openly fund the Resistance suggests a certain level of deadlock.
Well, I’m not so sure that the Centrist founded the First Order - they’re clearly linked to an imperial remnant operating in the Unknown Regions, in all likelihood Rae Sloane’s (probably others as well - there’s the reconstruction effort alluded to at the end of Lost Stars, probably launched by Rax and still secretly operating post signing of the Galactic Concordance ; the Amaxine fodder warriors of Bloodline…), but there’s a lot of details still missing: how did remnants join up, starting with the Unknown regions group and the Centrists, and when? how did Snoke enter the picture, how did the First Order actually became publicly known and in which circumstances did the Centrists leave the New Republic, etc.
Anyway, I digress.
Regarding the New Republic during TFA…
I think it’s worth noting that neither the Centrists nor the Populists were political parties, but rather factions with their own left and right leanings and much internal disagreement; the (maybe sham) conflict between them was about
political philosophy, pitting two very different views of what a galactic government ought to be, rooted in and exacerbated by recent history.
As a rule, Populists distrusts Centrists (dirty ex-imperials that they are), and Centrists resent Populists (damn rebels broke the Empire and will punish us forever). The Centrists, some of the defeated heirs of the Empire, keep pushing for a stronger central government (according to themselves) or authoritarianism (according to the Populists), whereas the Populists feel very strongly about laissez faire policies at the federal level.
the new republic is only a republic and a democracy on that federal level, with individual worlds or systems representing every political system under the suns. the republic even let in corporations ffs
Conflict or not, the Populists were always the top-dog - they won the war after all (i’m not going into the joke that was the Galactic Concordance), and so shaped the New Republic according to their own ideals. Bloodline describes an inefficient Senate, partly because if authoritarianism sucks, so does a federal republic designed to have no real power at the federal level or actual authority over its members. However, the Senate circa Bloodline is also inefficient because the Centrists/Populists deadlock is keeping attention away from things that actually matter, and the fact that it’s the Centrists who find the New Republic flawed ensures that the Populists will just refuse to even entertain the idea and instead harden their view.
The Populists aren’t in the best of place post Bloodline, but the departure of the Centrists should help them rebound some - for a bit. That departure is only hinted to in the Propaganda Artbook; what went on exactly remains a mystery. One thing I’m certain of is that it will only comfort the Populists into the idea that they were right - but also maybe be their end as a semi-united political group. Once the Centrists are out of the picture, the Populists lose they common foe, which is pretty much the only thing that keeps them together. They’ll then be free to discuss whether the New Republic should even exist at all and whether or not they should “open voting to the general populace, so that instead of thousands of senators refusing to agree, they could have countless citizens refusing to agree”
Hopefully, the New Republic has (also) been discussing and acting on other, more immediate matters. The departure of the Centrists likely freed the political arena for the unaligned Senators of Bloodline, so overall i think the New Republic circa TFA is 1) deeply steeped in Populists ideas, 2) basically a mess of small factions and shifting alliances owing to old and recent history as much as to immediate interests.
As to the New Republic’s relationship with the Resistance - Kor Sella’s on Hosnian Prime to try and get the New Republic to act in its own name, not to fund the Resistance. Technically, the New Republic doesn’t fund the Resistance, even unofficially; members of the New Republic do. The rest are busy trying to ignore it all; they’re in a bind, because acknowledging the Resistance means having to acknowledge the First Order as a threat, and the majority just doesn’t want to (that’s a whole other post and i’m getting winded).
Leia’s case fails before the Senate at the end of Bloodline, so at this point no one’s really worrying about some forgotten, definitely not treaty-bound remnant of the Empire growing in the Unknown Regions or its possible links to the Centrists. And post Vadergate, Leia’s lost too much credibility to keep making her case - she was seen as too belligerent even before Jakku, and the Vader association wouldn’t help, especially considering the New Republic goes out of its way to not seem like it’s going to be the Empire 2.0 - it’s why it demilitarizes and tries very hard not to seem aggressive.
When the New Republic does recognize that the First Order is a thing at some point after Bloodline, they go for an appeasement policy, pretty much letting the Order do whatever as long they’re left alone, which is probably helped by the fact that the First Order starts growing in the Unknown Regions, and the New Republic has little care and even less regard for the backwaters of the galaxy.