The luminaries are the “lights” of the chart. Known as the two most important planets, the conscious identity (sun) and the subconscious spirit (moon)
Sun: design and desires of the conscious being, vitality and stamina of the spirit (life force), declaration of the identity through self-expression, one’s character, sense of individualism (how/where one ‘shines’ and seeks validation of the ego) Example Used: Sun in Cancer
Example - The desire and design of Cancer’s conscious being is to seek emotional belonging, tranquility and safety of the soul through their home, family and past. Cancer declares her identity, self-expression and individualism through lunar notions such as empathy, nurtured protection, imagination & creativity but also moodiness, sensitivity, neediness of an abandoned inner child & clinginess. Her vitality and stamina are softened and generally low due to her search for comfort through sleepiness and indulgence. Cancer seeks validation only from those she lets into her private life; she is especially affected by the treatment, validation or lack of thereof from the mother. In other instances, she validates herself through the comfort of private retreat and introspection.
Moon: the emotive needs, instincts & reactions, subconscious trends of the past, dual “home” concept (external home = one’s dwelling, inner home = one’s soul), essence of the personality, privacy demands. Example Used: Moon in Leo
Basic Leo Keywords: father/masculine principle, proud, vibrant, loyal, creative, determined, arrogant, selfish, warm-hearted, dignified/has self-respect, attention & praise-seeking, sun-ruled (ego, importance of identity, rules the heart) youthful or childish/immature, self-expressive
Example - The emotional needs of a Lunar Leo require praise, appreciation and warm-hearted, loving support, especially so from the father figure. Instinctual reactions are set off theatrically when the ego is punctured and the feelings are dismissed, bringing feelings of insecurity & invalidation. A Lunar Leo requires a home that offers validation of the ego and creative outlets. At the core of his being his soul is vibrant with solar rays, youthful, determined, emanates an aura of self-respect and creative expression, but his personality can be consumed with arrogance, faulty pride, selfishness and immature behavior. He demands privacy when his heart or ego are wounded by those he thought loyal to him.
The personal planets are Mercury (Messenger), Venus (Lover) and Mars (Warrior), known as the building blocks of the personality.
Mercury: perception of & ability to reason with reality, the conscious mind, the mental facilities and communicative abilities, the ability to receive, translate and convey messages. Example Used: Mercury in Pisces
Example - The perception of reality for mercurial Pisces resembles lens blinded by dew drops; the world appears blurry, making her distracted and vulnerable. Her ability to reason with reality may get lost through wakeful dreams of escape and clouded by a mind occupied by unexplained emotional pains caused by her empathy tuning into the vibrations of others. The mental facilities are driven by hypersensitive receptors rather than calculated logic and she is sensitive to the opinion and criticism of others. The communicative abilities reveal sorrowful, vague, dreamy, adaptable and imaginative thoughts&messages.
Venus: The loving spirit & personal affection, social urges & behavior, physical comforts that bring pleasure in life, harmonious attraction, aesthetic perception, self-perception, values; what the heart appreciates. Example Used: Venus in Virgo
Example - Venus under Virgo has a loving spirit that is shown through physical affection and subtle and helpful acts of service as seen through her earthy temperament, as well as affection from the mind as shown through her mercurial origins. She finds comfort in the simple pleasures of life that bring ease to her anxious qualms, and her aesthetic principles surround mental stimulation such as through journaling inside a serene cafe or burying herself in books during solitude. The perception of herself is distorted through her worrisome, judgmental and critical nature, where she feels undeserving of affection and yet other times she stands
modestly dignified and satisfied with her sophisticated mind and self-reliance. Harmonious attraction occurs when another access her mind and sensual needs. She values humbleness, sincerity, and intelligence in others as she presents these qualities in herself.
Mars: The fighting spirit, aggressive urges and if so inclined, sexual urges. Inner strife “war with the self,” instinctual reactions set off by adrenaline and anger, passionate desires and ambitions, personal energy and stamina. Example Used: Libra Mars
Example - The fighting spirit of a martial Libra shows a warrior advocating for equilibrium and fairness. He is passionate about connection and the well-being of the public, desires fairness in his interpersonal and social relations, and finds peacefulness in his aesthetic interests. His ambitions reflect what he is passionate about. If sexually interested, he favors romance and mental stimulation and he is accommodating to his partner’s pleasures. He is inclined to favor healthy debates as to ease anger and tensions, yet his airy-intellect may become argumentative, gossipy and he could linger on superficial details as well as his own bias concerning his passions and opinions. Libra mars is attracted to those who are peaceful, diplomatic, polite, stimulate the mind through charm, posses social grace, and prove to share awareness of societal matters like himself. His stamina and energy is lacking as he is inclined to laziness and static, yet during other times the fluctuation of scales can show exercises and habits to “balance” themselves.
Notice the use of keywords integrated together. Try doing so with your placements; take the meaning of planets and the keywords of signs, then bring them together. Note: Be creative with the way you synthesis your writing. It’s robotic and bland for instance, to take one key phrase of mars (e.g fighting spirit) and one from Libra (e.g fair) and to simply say “Libra’s fighting spirit is fair.”
The concept of dreaming is primarily found within the element of water, the trinity of soul (4th, 8th, 12th). These energies function unconsciously and it is here that dreams originate. The 12th house and Neptune represent dreaming through sleep or wakeful dreams, retreating into tranquil solitude and escaping into a vibrant fantasy of visualizations. The 4th house, house of midnight, and Luna are a womb of private retreat & imagination. When the individual closes their eyes, they are crossing over to the subliminal realm of lucid sleep and memories, surrounded by clouds of sentiment fertilizing the soul. In esoteric studies the 8th house is where a person connects to the “astral realm.” Planets here have otherworldly experiences, whether it be through dreams or ascension from their physical form. Planets positioned in the 8th house also experience figurative death through transformation and are kept veiled by the individual in fear their secrets will surface. 8th house dreams gravitate more towards nightmares then, seeing that it is the house of secrecy and fears; these are dreams that shake a person to their core from being overly intimate, minds probing and psychoanalyzing suppressed phobias and buried secrets of shame and trauma, disturbing the serenity of slumber.
Neuschwanstein is a nineteenth century Romanesque Revival palace, on a hillside in Hohenschwangau. The palace was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, as a private retreat for himself, and was paid by Ludwig out of his own personal funds. He later dedicated the castle to his favourite composer Richard Wagner. Ludwig was so dedicated to Wagner, that many of the interior artworks on the walls depict scenes from Wagners operas.
Despite the castle being Ludwig’s dream home, he was only able to spend 11 nights there, as he died under mysterious circumstances in 1886. At the time of Ludwig’s death, the castle was unfinished, and it remains so. The few rooms that were completed, are now open to the public, via organised castle tours.
Any cyborg tony fics? Or cyborg steve? I cant seem to find any.
Well, that’s an interesting one, isn’t it? I threw in some robot and LMD stuff, too, since there isn’t a whole lot for this trope. Enjoy!
YOUR AUTHORS AREN’T ROBOTS SO GIVE THEM COMMENTS AND KUDOS!
Unit Tango-Zero November Yankee, Dash Double Zero, At Your Service by AngeNoir:
Unit T0NY-00 is not like any other cyborg Steve’s ever met. In fact, he’s willing to say he’s almost human. When Fury showed Steve this eager young man, Steve thought he’d be a great asset as a communications and security operative. Then the cyborg pulled out a suit of metal armor, and then the cyborg offered up his trust fund, and somewhere along the way, ‘it’ became ‘he.’
Ex Machina by iamironman:
A young coder Tony Stark, works at the world’s largest internet company, and wins a competition to spend a week at a private retreat belonging to the reclusive CEO of the company. One arrival he learns that he must participate in a bizarre experiment which involves interacting with the world’s first true artificial intelligence, which comes in the form of an attractive robot called STEVE.
The Invisible Iron Man by AnonEhouse:
Due to a lab accident Tony becomes an Eccentric Billionaire Hermit Philanthropist in Iron Man 2, joins the Avengers and becomes good friends with Steve without ever meeting him face to face.
The Robot Who Could Feel Pain by slightly_salty_ace (WiP): In which Tony leaves Afghanistan more machine than human. Or rather, Iron Man leaves Afghanistan. To the world, Tony Stark is dead.Or…Steve is convinced that Iron Man is just a robot with sass because the future is a strange place and he’s stopped questioning things.But when someone from Tony Stark’s past returns, putting Iron Man in danger, Steve is forced to start asking questions. Specifically questions about his feelings towards a certain red and gold robot.
Life Model Matchmaker by Zekkass: So his LMD probably shouldn’t have had sex with Steve Rogers.That said, Tony’s an idiot for not getting in there first.
A Scrap of Metal by thesilverwitch:
In a world where Steve never survived the crash, Tony builds his own Captain America.
Alien Robot’s Beloved Hero by Dormammu: In a wicked twist of fate Steve is abducted by a cold-hearted automaton who only wants to “explore” him. Can the Earth’s Mightiest Hero introduce this strange robot to the human feeling? Will he, in the process, find his heart stolen away?And what kind of a robot name is Superstar anyway? Steve really had prepared those jokes for Boner McCoy!
Imposters and Promises by navaan:
A LMD goes rogue and replaces Tony. Steve doesn’t know that, he just knows something is wrong, and he wishes Tony and Iron Man were better at asking for help.
Lost a Foe (found a friend) by panickyintheuk:
Tony Stark is on his own and at a loss, so working on Nick Fury’s LMD project is the perfect distraction - but Tony has a history of getting too attached to his tech. And sometimes his tech gets attached back.
Long Arm of the Law by Royswordsman:
Inspector Gadget AU – Steve’s a new policeman on the force and is partnered up with a goofy detective that no one in the force wants to be partnered up with. Steve finds out that Tony isn’t like the other detectives and is part of a special project and is part robot with gadgets to suit every need and is more than curious, but Tony soon wins him over. They learn to trust and love one another, until one day Reed Richards is kidnapped by Doctor Doom who has also stolen the original schematics that he and Tony worked on to make Tony the incredible robot detective he is today. Doom has other tricks up his sleeve; he builds a robot to destroy the city and people think that the robot is Tony’s doing. It’s up to Steve and Tony to prove Tony’s innocence as well as rescue Reed and save the city.
Little Scrap by Royswordsman:
Tony Stark is a robot, built by Howard Stark. But when Steve comes in for a visit, he discovers the robot for the first time.
Awoken by Love’s Kiss by Royswordsman:
Tony’s increasing feelings for Steve have finally built to a point where he needs to let them all out. But if he tells Steve anything he risks destroying the team dynamic, so he has to make do with something that he creates, confessing all of his feelings and emotions. But Steve always has a way of finding out these things.
The Descent of an Archangel by Royswordsman:
After being caught in a bio-chemical explosion, Tony awoke to find out that years have passed and things have dramatically changed, in a world now enslaved by technology. He now has augmentations in place of his limbs. But that’s not the only thing that’s changed – Whilst trying to save his team-mate, he finds out that Steve is alive and has become a ruthless cyber-soldier with manipulated memories. It’s up to Tony to free Steve from this mind control and take down the mysterious leader implementing the chaos to free mankind from their control. The world’s fate rests upon Tony’s shoulders.
Heroes are Made (Not Born) by chieftain: Tony was fourteen when he developed the code for S.T.E.V.E., but the project was deserted and lost in the days following.Twenty years later, Tony locates the old schematics while trying to rid himself of his palladium poisoning. Nothing is the same after that.
In the Flesh? by cvsossong:
Tony is kidnapped by a cult and expected to build a bomb that will reshape mankind. When he refuses, he is tortured to force him into submission. Meanwhile, the cult sends in a robot to impersonate Tony and throw the Avengers off- track. Archive warnings for depictions of injuries and torture (not too graphic, but just to be safe. There are mentions of blood and vague injury descriptions, as well as drugs).
And That Is All by Inkeye:
…I couldn’t help myself. Anywho. Look at the tags. Wall-E AU. That’s what you get, folks. Also-the robots are nonbinary, but I’m using he/him for familiarity’s sake.
Artificial by haku23:
Steve was dead, there was no denying that. But that didn’t mean Tony had to accept it.
Nuts and Bolts…But Mostly Nuts by Chekhov:
There are no heroes in this world - only Tony Stark, and his money, and his brains, and his robots… And he’s made quite the progress: In a few weeks, his first line of home-access humanoid androids is going to go up on the market for the world to enjoy! But Tony has something else captivating his attention - an old model of the very first antique robot he’d discovered in the old freezer tank of his father’s basement. This robot is something else, something different. It insists that it’s name is Steve Rogers… and Steve seems to be keeping quite a few secrets from the genius who pulled him out of an ice-cube.
All There in the Manual by scribblywobblytimeylimey:
Steve spends some time in Tony’s workshop and comes to realize just how passionate he is about his inventions. Then he maybe – accidentally – has a sex dream in which he is Tony’s latest AI project. And Tony finally notices that Steve frequently has a hard-on while watching him work. (That’s it. That’s the story.)
Noble Metals by @veldeia: Living together with the Avengers, in a relationship with Steve, Tony’s as happy as he’s ever been—until it turns out he’s dying of palladium poisoning. Unwilling to tell anyone, he replaces himself with a Life Model Decoy and breaks up with Steve, so he can hide and focus on fixing his arc reactor before it’s too late.Steve can’t decide if Tony is acting strangely or if that’s just his denial speaking. Tony Mark II struggles to figure out the best course of action, stuck handling issues he was never programmed to deal with. And Tony isn’t sure he can ever get Steve back, even if he survives.
Pinion by @kiyaar:
Tony is off-world when Wanda says the thing. Steve isn’t. How the events leading to X-Factor 231 might have happened.
A/N: Goddamnit I hate the fact I’m fond of this trope (slight
mythology parallels, Chill older brother!Kirk-not yet but there will be, all of it). But the tag needs
more fics and here, have one and have a long-ass one :) Also enjoy my philoso-babble
at the start, let’s hope I can bullshit my exams this well. Um yeah, it’s gonna parallel Psyche and Cupid, take your feelings and run. Translations are ripped from google translate (sorry).
Part 1 of 5
It is known to all who study Earth History, that the within study of
the Western World; religious beliefs have shifted from that of the Polytheistic
to the Monotheistic. Evidence of which can be traced from the study of
literature of antiquity.
Yet above all, it should be noted that humanity worships love. This
notion is to be found within the basis of all major Earth religions (see
Chapter 3 for further elaboration). The fixation with the idea that we are not
wholly alone in the world and are destined for an inextricable connection.
Platonic or erotic. Romantic or eternal. Whether this love transcends class, race,
gender, species or divine nature; it is to the discretion of the individual and
society for whom these texts resonates with.
The Mise-en-abîme- a dream within a
dream, a story within a story that parallels the key narrative- of the tale of
Eros & Psyche is a notable example. Found within Apuleius’ Metamorphoses,
it remains a prime example of an allegory and, of humanity’s ability to relate
to the transcendent concern of obstacles to love. Yet it is worth noting that
in this instance, it is the woman who is undertaking the physically perilous
trials of love as opposed to the literary trope of the “knight in shining
armour”. This trope itself; resulting in the hyper-masculinity of the twentieth
and twenty-first centuries, was resurrected in Walter Scott’s 1820 novel: Ivanhoe.
This courtly love, while catering to conservative Victorian sensibilities as a
departure from the seemingly-libertine nature of Byron strains of writing, do
not remain eternal and do not truly represent human nature when it concerns
love. Humanity is ultimately drawn to those tales of Eros and Psyche,
Persephone and Hades, Achilles and Patroclus: reiterations of which are
implanted within our minds from our childhood fairytales of forbidden love. It
is emphasised by the novels of our youth, then cultivated in the next
generation; as we from our deathbeds, spin a final enchanting tale for our
-An Extract from M Reyes, The Human Story: A study of societal
perceptions of fictional and non-fictional literature. Required reading for
graduate-level Earth History cadets.
“You’re ensign [y/n]?” You stood nervously, fiddling with
the sleeve of the blue uniform you’d spent a childhood dreaming of as you roped
poor elder and younger siblings into playing ‘diseased- patient-on-an-away
mission’ while yourself played the Starship Captain or the Science Officer or
the Chief of Medical interchangeably. However it was most frequently the role
of Science Officer that you played as your friends’ defeated Klingon warbirds.
The bridge of the Enterprise, fuck
that, just to be part of the Enterprise
crew was notoriously difficult. But apparently your ability to bullshit was
That was a bit of an understatement, you would fight anyone,
tooth and nail to get here.
But Captain Kirk continued to stare at you evenly, observing
his PADD with your details before him. He smiled encouragingly as you confirmed
your details, impressed with your exam scores. Well he should be, you spent
night after caffeine-fuelled night studying chemical formulae and the biology
of various planets. You stretched, using textbooks to lift your leg in the
splits as you revised nineteenth-century authors and their works. You memorised
mathematical equations, an old-fashioned marker correcting integrals on the
bathroom mirror. You were discouraged as a precocious nine year-old for aiming
too high, the Enterprise only
accepted the best they had told you, and you re-tied the ribbons adorning your
pig-tails and said “fucking watch me”.
Your eyes now began to observe the brilliant array of
personnel aboard the bridge, lingering briefly on an ensign about your age at
the helm, before once again attempting (and failing) to make eye contact with
“You specialise in scientific research? That’s cool-“ Kirk
looked up, pointing at your diploma displayed on-screen in his lap.
“Jim, no one says ‘cool’ anymore,” You recognised the quiet
sass to come from the Lieutenant Uhura, and you suppressed a snigger. This crew
was practically legend, everyone in the Academy talked about the gorgeous Captain Kirk and his equally as
talented crew, navigating deep space, surviving John Harrison and Romulins and
“Aye captain,” You nodded, holding your hands behind your
back to calm your nerves, appearing to be brave. “I took a double degree,
majors in Xenobiology and Xenoarchaeology-“
“It also says you took courses in Creative Writing and Earth
History?” Kirk raised a brow in amusement, smile playing on your lips. From the
corner of your eyes you sensed both men at the helm turning to face Kirk’s
command chair. This time you took a proper look at the boy about your age,
dark-blond curls adorable messed as he offered you a shy, reassuring smile.
Navigator, his position must be navigator. Why else could he be seated at that
position with such authority?
“I like too many things?” You replied unsurely with an
uncomfortable grin. Your eyes instead met the smiling boy’s as he held back a
quiet laugh, tilting his head down at a reproving glance from his companion.
Kirk laughed in delight at your cheek and stood, shaking your hand. He
congratulated you and with a rather brutal clap of your shoulder, told you that
you’d love shadowing Dr McCoy for the
first few weeks. The doctor in question seemed to perpetually wear a frown, but
with a terse smile he led you to the turbolift to what you knew would be the
med bay. Glass panels slid before your eyes, taking one last look of a bridge
that you hardly dared believe you would see again. You bid a quiet farewell to
the polished surfaces and the efficient crew as sliding doors silently slid
before your eyes. The pristine-white panels, chrome detailing reflecting
artificial light and a crew who were easily the best in Starfleet. You felt a
slight lurch as the lift began it’s descent to a wholly new world below the
bridge, one far more chaotic and experimental than the necessary control of the
navigators and linguists and commanders above.
The likelihood was that unless you rapidly ascended the
ranks or, someone managed to get severely pissed-off enough with Commander
Spock to murder him, you wouldn’t be seeing the Bridge anytime soon. It was a
nice dream, a sweet dream to be remembered when the hours spent staring at data
got far too much. Or perhaps it was more convenient to imagine the Bridge as
Doctor McCoy grumbled on and on about how a single hole in the hull of the ship
could boil everyone’s blood to-
Well, you didn’t like to dwell on it. The next five years
were going to be absolute fun.
“Mr Chekov, I understand you are as of now, off duty.” It
was more of a statement than a question, but Chekov nodded anyway at Spock,
acknowledging the Vulcan as he vacated his post for the next shift. He couldn’t
quite place the name of the particular Lieutenant in question, but he gave a
cheery greeting anyway before walking over to Spock.
It was always ‘do
this, Mr Chekov’ and ‘don’t press
that, Mr Chekov’ and his absolute favourite:
“Kirk, doesn’t the lad look adorable?” Scotty would pull the engineering goggles off his head
and ruffle his curls with no small amount of pride, “he’s going to be a bit of
a heartbreaker when he grows up, just watch,” and of course, Captain Kirk would reply with:
“Curls get the girls, Mr Chekov- or really, anyone.” With a
snide grin and a wink, attempting to set him up with crewmates about his age,
or attempting to teach him how to flirt-
He was never following that particular piece of advice ever again, not if he wanted to remain
alive for the next five years.
“Mr Chekov, would you mind delivering this PADD to Doctor
McCoy and his assistant-“
“Ze new ensign?” Chekov interrupted Spock, a little excited.
It had been nearly three months since they’d left Yorktown and he hadn’t even
had an opportunity to greet her, let alone get her name. In his mind she was
just fleeting glimpses of a short, blue hemline and snippets of laughter and
conversation. Always rapid-paced and always intelligent. She was the embodiment
of excitement and passion, finishing her lunch in the mess hall before bidding
her friends goodbye and returning back into her lab. Their shifts never
aligned, he ran regular daytime shifts while it seemed she worked irregular in
the laboratory as she seemed to enjoy, spending the rest of her time either
observing Doctor McCoy or watching some old earth film in the recreation hall.
“Yes, ensign [y/n].” Spock confirmed. Chekov felt his pulse
begin to quicken a little, the barest hint of perspiration forming at his
temple. He was nervous now, why was he nervous? “Mr Chekov, are you well?”
“Eh-ah… yes, sir.” He was sure he’d more-or-less snatched
the PADD from the Vulcan, raising a brow in silent question before turning
The brief trip to Medical Bay was boringly familiar, most
people retreating to private time within their rooms for showers and calls
home. He had hoped no one noticed his slight nerves, after two months of only
seeing part of her, he would be able to address her directly. That was new.
And also somewhat terrifying.
He could do this. After all, he was seventeen when he first
came aboard the Enterprise, surely
talking to a girl was easier.
“Chekov! Spock told me he’d be sending you down,” Bones
turned the corner, exiting a small room. His eyes were first drawn to a slumped
figure, seated upon a stool as she had evidently grown tired of waiting for the
computer to analyse the unknown samples, “that the PADD?”
“Yes sir,” Chekov handed the PADD over as they both stood
over the young ensign’s shoulder. Chekov found her slow breaths enchanting as
her chest rose and fell in the rhythm of sleep. Her hair gently cascaded from a
ponytail, fanned over the stainless steel bench, her elegant head resting upon
her forearm in what he could only guess was a terribly uncomfortable position. “Ees
she asleep, sir?”
“[Y/n]? She’s been down here for three days, only left to
grab food from the mess hall.” Bones shook his head in consternation. “She’s an
absolute sweetheart- got all the work done- but gone and burned herself out. She
sleeps deeper than a comatose patient, knocked over some equipment earlier and
she didn’t even make a peep.”
“Reelly, sir?” Chekov was interested more with the gentle
flutter of eyelashes against her warm cheek and the slight shadow they cast. She
looked so wholly at peace, so different to the literal ball of energy who would
bump into him in corridors, attempting to find a colleague in order to corroborate
her hypothesis. What clever mind lay asleep there? “она хорошенькая,” He
stopped himself before he could continue, noticing the incredibly satisfied
smirk on Bones’ face.
“She got you all hot and flustered now?” He whispered in
amusement, “I have no idea bout what you said-“
“Whatever it is, don’t be mean to the poor kid, you’ve no
idea how many loops she’s flown through to get here,” Chekov nodded at Bones’
warning, brushing a strand of hair away from her serene face.
“нет, I don’t theenk I ewer could,” Chekov’s reply was
mostly to himself, quiet and delivered with a small smile on his face. No, he
Land ownership is the reason certain groups of people have power and control.
Many of these people have perpetuated intergenerational wealth while simultaneously identifying themselves as impoverished and humble- despite owning large territories, unused resources, and appreciations- which otherwise could be used to provide for the needs of society.
These people claim a right to property and use the law to defend territorial claims. They are almost entirely ignorant of the history of their own land, and willful ignorance protects their sense of entitlement from the guilt they would feel if they were forced to accept the truth of it’s initial aquisition- which is no great secret.
They take pride in the ability to retreat into private territory and secure the means to live in a state of relatively Independence.
The silence of the land and a rustic life bring them a sense of peace. Americana is the name of their heritage. The romantic countryside is their icon.
The privledge of their ideals, unfortunately, has cost a great deal of blood for my people.
Kanopi House (Blue Lagoon, Portland, Jamaica) :: A tropical jungle of vine-drenched, 100-foot Banyan trees; soaring chartreuse bamboo and flowering magenta ginger lily descending into a secluded, white sand cove.
Where an elegant, earth conscious oasis of chic-ly appointed, ‘tree houses’ is linked by a winding pathway sliced through a sun dappled rainforest overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
A private shoreline that wraps around a blue lagoon, ringed by an untouched coral reef; purple manta rays gliding through clouds of colorful fish in a warm turquoise sea, glazed in a layer of cool from the mountain stream that flows into, and over, it. Kanopi House is an environmentally friendly hideaway.
The Studiolo di Gubbio, or private retreat, of Federico da Montefeltro, “the Light of Italy”, lord & Duke of Urbino, 1444-1474. A great humanist leader, he commissioned the construction of a great library, with his own team of scribes in his scriptorium and supported the training of fine artists, including Raphael.
“There must be a place a room and a sanctuary set apart for silence for shadoews and roses…” Carl Sandburg
Mental health, in fact, is a paradigm case of how capitalist realism operates. Capitalist realism insists on treating mental health as if it were a natural fact, like weather (but, then again, weather is no longer a natural fact so much as a politicaleconomic effect). In the 1960s and 1970s, radical theory and politics (Laing, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, etc.) coalesced around extreme mental conditions such as schizophrenia, arguing, for instance, that madness was not a natural, but a political, category. But what is needed now is a politicization of much more common disorders. Indeed, it is their very commonness which is the issue: in Britain, depression is now the condition that is most treated by the NHS. In his book The Selfish Capitalist, Oliver James has convincingly posited a correlation between rising rates of mental distress and the neoliberal mode of capitalism practiced in countries like Britain, the USA and Australia. In line with James’s claims, I want to argue that it is necessary to reframe the growing problem of stress (and distress) in capitalist societies. Instead of treating it as incumbent on individuals to resolve their own psychological distress, instead, that is, of accepting the vast privatization of stress that has taken place over the last thirty years, we need to ask: how has it become acceptable that so many people, and especially so many young people, are ill? The ‘mental health plague’ in capitalist societies would suggest that, instead of being the only social system that works, capitalism is inherently dysfunctional, and that the cost of it appearing to work is very high…. By contrast with their forebears in the 1960s and 1970s, British students today appear to be politically disengaged. While French students can still be found on the streets protesting against neoliberalism, British students, whose situation is incomparably worse, seem resigned to their fate. But this, I want to argue, is a matter not of apathy, nor of cynicism, but of reflexive impotence. They know things are bad, but more than that, they know they can’t do anything about it. But that 'knowledge’, that reflexivity, is not a passive observation of an already existing state of affairs. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Reflexive impotence amounts to an unstated worldview amongst the British young, and it has its correlate in widespread pathologies. Many of the teenagers I worked with had mental health problems or learning difficulties. Depression is endemic. It is the condition most dealt with by the National Health Service, and is afflicting people at increasingly younger ages. The number of students who have some variant of dyslexia is astonishing. It is not an exaggeration to say that being a teenager in late capitalist Britain is now close to being reclassified as a sickness. This pathologization already forecloses any possibility of politicization. By privatizing these problems - treating them as if they were caused only by chemical imbalances in the individual’s neurology and/or by their family background - any question of social systemic causation is ruled out. Many of the teenage students I encountered seemed to be in a state of what I would call depressive hedonia. Depression is Usually characterized as a state of anhedonia, but the condition I’m referring to is constituted not by an inability to get pleasure so much as it by an inability to do anything else except pursue pleasure. There is a sense that 'something is missing’ - but no appreciation that this mysterious, missing enjoyment can only be accessed beyond the pleasure principle. In large part this is a consequence of students’ ambiguous structural position, stranded between their old role as subjects of disciplinary institutions and their new status as consumers of services. In his crucial essay 'Postscript on Societies of Control’, Deleuze distinguishes between the disciplinary societies described by Foucault, which were organized around the enclosed spaces of the factory, the school and the prison, and the new control societies, in which all institutions are embedded in a dispersed corporation. Deleuze is right to argue that Kafka is the prophet of distributed, cybernetic power that is typical of Control societies. In The Trial, Kafka importantly distinguishes between two types of acquittal available to the accused. Definite acquittal is no longer possible, if it ever was ('we have only legendary accounts of ancient cases [which] provide instances of acquittal’). The two remaining options, then, are (1) 'Ostensible acquittal’, in which the accused is to all and intents and purposes acquitted, but may later, at some unspecified time, face the charges in full, or (2) 'Indefinite postponement’, in which the accused engages in (what they hope is an infinitely) protracted process of legal wrangling, so that the dreaded ultimate judgment is unlikely to be forth- coming. Deleuze observes that the Control societies delineated by Kafka himself, but also by Foucault and Burroughs, operate using indefinite postponement: Education as a lifelong process… Training that persists for as long as your working life continues… Work you take home with you… Working from home, homing from work. A consequence of this 'indefinite’ mode of power is that external surveillance is succeeded by internal policing. Control only works if you are complicit with it. Hence the Burroughs figure of the 'Control Addict’: the one who is addicted to control, but also, inevitably, the one who has been taken over, possessed by Control. Walk into almost any class at the college where I taught and you will immediately appreciate that you are in a post-disciplinary framework. Foucault painstakingly enumerated the way in which discipline was installed through the imposition of rigid body postures. During lessons at our college, however, students will be found slumped on desk, talking almost constantly, snacking incessantly (or even, on occasions, eating full meals). The old disciplinary segmentation of time is breaking down. The carceral regime of discipline is being eroded by the technologies of control, with their systems of perpetual consumption and continuous development. The system by which the college is funded means that it literally cannot afford to exclude students, even if it wanted to. Resources are allocated to colleges on the basis of how successfully they meet targets on achievement (exam results), attendance and retention of students. This combination of market imperatives with bureaucratically-defined 'targets’ is typical of the 'market Stalinist’ initiatives which now regulate public services. The lack of an effective disciplinary system has not, to say the least, been compensated for by an increase in student self-motivation. Students are aware that if they don’t attend for weeks on end, and/or if they don’t produce any work, they will not face any meaningful sanction. They typically respond to this freedom not by pursuing projects but by falling into hedonic (or anhedonic) lassitude: the soft narcosis, the comfort food oblivion of Playstation, all-night TV and marijuana. Ask students to read for more than a couple of sentences and many - and these are A-level students mind you - will protest that they can’t do it. The most frequent complaint teachers hear is that it’s boring. It is not so much the content of the written Material that is at issue here; it is the act of reading itself that is deemed to be 'boring’. What we are facing here is not just time-honored teenage torpor, but the mismatch between a post-literate 'New Flesh’ that is 'too wired to concentrate’ and the confining, concentrational logics of decaying disciplinary systems. To be bored simply means to be removed from the communicative sensation-stimulus matrix of texting, YouTube and fast food; to be denied, for a moment, the constant flow of sugary gratification on demand. Some students want Nietzsche in the same way that they want a hamburger; they fail to grasp - and the logic of the consumer system encourages this misapprehension - that the indigestibility, the difficulty is Nietzsche. An illustration: I challenged one student about why he always wore headphones in class. He replied that it didn’t matter, because he wasn’t actually playing any music. In another lesson, he was playing music at very low volume through the headphones, without wearing them. When I asked him to switch it off, he replied that even he couldn’t hear it. Why wear the headphones without playing music or play music without wearing the headphones? Because the presence of the phones on the ears or the knowledge that the music is playing (even if he couldn’t hear it) was a reassurance that the matrix was still there, within reach. Besides, in a classic example of interpassivity, if the music was still playing, even if he couldn’t hear it, then the player could still enjoy it on his behalf. The use of headphones is significant here - pop is experienced not as something which could have impacts upon public space, but as a retreat into private 'Oedlpod’ consumer bliss, a walling up against the social. The consequence of being hooked into the entertainment matrix is twitchy, agitated interpassivity, an inability to concentrate or focus. Students’ incapacity to connect current lack of focus with future failure, their inability to synthesize time into any coherent narrative, is symptomatic of more than mere demotivation. It is, in fact, eerily reminiscent of Jameson’s analysis in 'Postmodernism and Consumer Society’. Jameson observed there that Lacan’s theory of schizophrenia offered a 'suggestive aesthetic model’ for understanding the fragmenting of subjectivity in the face of the emerging entertainment-industrial complex. 'With the breakdown of the signifying chain’, Jameson summarized, 'the Lacanian schizophrenic is reduced to an experience of pure material signifiers, or, in other words, a series of pure and unrelated presents in time’. Jameson was writing in the late 1980s - i.e. the period in which most of my students were born. What we in the classroom are now facing is a generation born into that ahistorical, anti-mnemonic blip culture - a generation, that is to say, for whom time has always come ready-cut into digital micro-slices. If the figure of discipline was the worker-prisoner, the figure of control is the debtor-addict. Cyberspatial capital operates by addicting its users; William Gibson recognized that in Neuromancer when he had Case and the other cyberspace cowboys feeling insects-under-the-skin strung out when they unplugged from the matrix (Case’s amphetamine habit is plainly the substitute for an addiction to a far more abstract speed). If, then, something like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a pathology, it is a pathology of late capitalism - a consequence of being wired into the entertainment-control circuits of hypermediated consumer culture. Similarly, what is called dyslexia may in many cases amount to a post-lexia. Teenagers process capital’s image-dense data very effectively without any need to read - slogan-recognition is sufficient to navigate the net-mobile-magazine informational plane. 'Writing has never been capitalism’s thing. Capitalism is profoundly illiterate’, Deleuze and Guattari argued in Anti-Oedipus. 'Electric language does not go by way of the voice or writing: data processing does without them both’. Hence the reason that many successful business people are dyslexic (but is their post-lexical efficiency a cause or effect of their success?) Teachers are now put under intolerable pressure to mediate between the post-literate subjectivity of the late capitalist consumer and the demands of the disciplinary regime (to pass examinations etc). This is one way in which education, far from being in some ivory tower safely inured from the 'real world’, is the engine room of the reproduction of social reality, directly confronting the inconsistencies of the capitalist social field. Teachers are caught between being facilitator-entertainers and disciplinarian-authoritarians. Teachers want to help students to pass the exams; they want us to be authority figures who tell them what to do. Teachers being interpellated by students as authority figures exacerbates the 'boredom’ problem, since isn’t anything that comes from the place of authority a priori boring? Ironically, the role of disciplinarian is demanded of educators more than ever at precisely the time when disciplinary structures are breaking down in institutions. With families buckling under the pressure of a capitalism which requires both parents to work, teachers are now increasingly required to act as surrogate parents, instilling the most basic behavioral protocols in students and providing pastoral and emotional support for teenagers who are in some cases only minimally socialized. It is worth stressing that none of the students I taught had any legal obligation to be at college. They could leave if they wanted to. But the lack of any meaningful employment opportunities, together with cynical encouragement from government means that college seems to be the easier, safer option. Deleuze says that Control societies are based on debt rather than enclosure; but there is a way in which the current education system both indebts and encloses students. Pay for your own exploitation, the logic insists - get into debt so you can get the same Mcjob you could have walked into if you’d left school at sixteen… Jameson observed that 'the breakdown of temporality suddenly releases [the] present of time from all the activities and intentionalities that might focus it and make it a space of praxis’. But nostalgia for the context in which the old types of praxis operated is plainly useless. That is why French students don’t in the end constitute an alternative to British reflexive impotence. That the neoliberal Economist would deride French opposition to capitalism is hardly surprising, yet its mockery of French 'immobilization’ had a point. 'Certainly the students who kicked off the latest protests seemed to think they were re-enacting the events of May 1968 their parents sprang on Charles de Gaulle’, it wrote in its lead article of March 30, 2006. They have borrowed its slogans ('Beneath the cobblestones, the beach!’) and hijacked its symbols (the Sorbonne university). In this sense, the revolt appears to be the natural sequel to ’s suburban riots, which prompted the government to impose a state of emergency. Then it was the jobless, ethnic underclass that rebelled against a system that excluded them. Yet the striking feature of the latest protest movement is that this time the rebellious forces are on the side of conservatism. Unlike the rioting youths in the banlieues, the objective of the students and public-sector trade unions is to prevent change, and to keep France the way it is. It’s striking how the practice of many of the immobilizers is a kind of inversion of that of another group who also count themselves heirs of 68: the so called 'liberal communists’ such as George Soros and Bill Gates who combine rapacious pursuit of profit with the rhetoric of ecological concern and social responsibility. Alongside their social concern, liberal communists believe that work practices should be (post) modernized, in line with the concept of 'being smart’. As Žižek explains, Being smart means being dynamic and nomadic, and against centralized bureaucracy; believing in dialogue and co-operation as against central authority; in flexibility as against routine; culture and knowledge as against industrial production; in spontaneous interaction and autopoiesis as against fixed hierarchy. Taken together, the immobilizers, with their implicit concession that capitalism can only be resisted, never overcome, and the liberal communists, who maintain that the amoral excesses of capitalism must be offset by charity, give a sense of the way in which capitalist realism circumscribes current political possibilities. Whereas the immobilizers retain the form of 68-style protest but in the name of resistance to change, liberal communists energetically embrace newness. Žižek is right to argue that, far from constituting any kind of progressive corrective to official capitalist ideology, liberal communism constitutes the dominant ideology of capitalism now. 'Flexibility’, 'nomadism’ and 'spontaneity’ are the very hallmarks of management in a post-Fordist, Control society. But the problem is that any opposition to flexibility and decentralization risks being self-defeating, since calls for inflexibility and centralization are, to say the least, not likely to be very galvanizing. In any case, resistance to the 'new’ is not a cause that the left can or should rally around. Capital thought very carefully about how to break labor; yet there has still not yet been enough thought about what tactics will work against capital in conditions of post-Fordism, and what new language can be innovated to deal with those conditions. It is important to contest capitalism’s appropriation of 'the new’, but to reclaim the 'new’ can’t be a matter of adapting to the conditions in which we find ourselves - we’ve done that rather too well, and 'successful adaptation’ is the strategy of managerialism par excellence. The persistent association of neoliberalism with the term 'Restoration’, favored by both Badiou and David Harvey, is an important corrective to the association of capital with novelty. For Harvey and Badiou, neoliberal politics are not about the new, but a return of class power and privilege. ’[I]n France,’ Badiou has said, “Restoration’ refers to the period of the return of the King, in 1815, after the Revolution and Napoleon. We are in such a period. Today we see liberal capitalism and its political system, parliamentarianism, as the only natural and acceptable solutions’. Harvey argues that neoliberalization is best conceived of as a 'political project to re-establish the conditions for capital accumulation and to restore the power of economic elites’. Harvey demonstrates that, in an era popularly described as 'post-political’, class war has continued to be fought, but only by one side: the wealthy. 'After the implementation of neoliberal policies in the late 1970s,’ Harvey reveals, the share of national income of the top 1 per cent of income earners soared, to reach 15 per cent … by the end of the century. The top 0.1 per cent of income earners in the US increased their share of the national income from 2 per cent in 1978 to over 6 per cent by 1999, while the ratio of the median compensation of workers to the salaries of CEOs increased from just over 30 to 1 in 1970 to nearly 500 to 1 by 2000…. The US is not alone in this: the top 1 per cent of income earners in Britain have doubled their share of the national income from 6.5 per cent to 13 per cent since 1982. As Harvey shows, neoliberals were more Leninist than the Leninists, using think-tanks as the intellectual vanguard to create the ideological climate in which capitalist realism could flourish. The immobilization model - which amounts to a demand to retain the Fordist/disciplinary regime - could not work in Britain or the other countries in which neoliberalism has already taken a hold. Fordism has definitively collapsed in Britain, and with it the sites around which the old politics were organized. At the end of the control essay, Deleuze wonders what new forms an anti-control politics might take: One of the most important questions will concern the ineptitude of the unions: tied to the whole of their history of struggle against the disciplines or within the spaces of enclosure, will they be able to adapt themselves or will they give way to new forms of resistance against the societies of control? Can we already grasp the rough outlines of the coming forms, capable of threatening the joys of marketing? Many young people strangely boast of being "motivated”; they re-request apprenticeships and permanent training. It’s up to them to discover what they’re being made to serve, just as their elders discovered, not without difficulty, the telos of the disciplines. What must be discovered is a way out of the motivation/ demotivation binary, so that disidentification from the control program registers as something other than dejected apathy. One strategy would be to shift the political terrain - to move away from the unions’ traditional focus on pay and onto forms of discontent specific to post-Fordism.
Prompt from @limax25: First of all, LS is one of my favorite stories EVER. And that’s saying something. So well done you! I was wondering how and why Jamie found himself up on that rooftop the night he met Claire and if she ever asked him about it.
Hi guys! Hope you all like Jamie’s pov of their first meeting. Let me know what you think and feel free to send me anything you’d like to see. I’m not writing the story in a linear fashion anymore, so literally anything :) Enjoy. Side note, I didn’t edit this a lot, so there may be errors
“Hmm,” he hummed against her damp neck, kissing a drop of
They were snug in the small tub at Murtagh’s flat. The air
was heavy with steam and the vanilla candles Claire had bought were scattered
around the room, giving it a nice romantic feel. His legs were bent and toes
smashed at the end of the porcelain. Claire fit snugly in between his thighs,
her own toes just reaching the end of the tub. He buried his nose in the nest
of curls atop her head while their fingers played together, twined tightly.
Murtagh had been so kind as to let the (semi) newlyweds have
the flat to themselves for the weekend while he made the excuse of visiting
friends in Glasgow.
Jamie had gotten the news yesterday that their now mold-free
flat would be ready at the end of next week. Tonight was a celebration of
“You never told me why you were up on the rooftop the night
“No, I think I would remember,” she teased, her eyes glowing
in the candlelight and vanilla air.
He cleared his throat in preparation for the story and she
snuggled back under his chin.
“Ach, well, it was after a long night at the bar and I
needed to clear my head, ye ken?”
Jamie took a big gulp of air as he finally opened the door
to the roof. It finally felt like he could breath again. Too much time in the
city wasn’t good for his mental health. He missed green things. He missed open
landscapes with no buildings but land as far as they eye could see. He missed
Jamie knew it was ridiculous, but he felt some sort of
comfort when he looked past the lights of London and to the north. It was the
It had become somewhat of a habit for him to go up on the
rooftop. The bar he worked at to fill up his time was right across the street. And
it was one night that he just walked in, took the elevator and found his way.
Perhaps not the most legal thing, but he wasn’t bothering anyone. The roof was
always empty. He found that no one noticed him slipping in after dark and he
cherished his private retreat. A home away from home in a way.
Jamie felt a stab of pain in his chest thinking about how
that home was so changed since the last time he had been there and the
humiliation of not being able to muster up the courage to go back.
The thought of seeing his father’s grave filled him with so
many emotions, he had to clutch the knob of the rooftop door to keep himself
He was about to turn around and go back when he heard a
noise. A sniffle?
Jamie squinted in front of him in the dark to see a figure
standing by the edge of the building, clutching the cement for dear life and
the force of their sobs shaking their whole body.
Christ, were they going to jump?
A gust of wind came around him and the stranger and he
noticed that thick brown hair twirled around the person. A lass, then.
He struggled for a moment, thinking the best way to approach
her if she was thinking about jumping. Should he just run up and grab her while
she isn’t expecting it? Or just talk to her?
Well, if she isn’t
suicidal, she’ll think ye one draftie if ye run up and grab her, he thought
He tentatively took one step towards her and spoke softly,
“excuse me, lass?”
She jumped about a foot in the air when she heard his voice,
causing him to panic even more. The lass turned to face him and even in the
dark, he could see her red face, wet with tears. Another pain struck his chest
like a lightening bolt, but this time, it wasn’t from pain.
She wiped her blazer’s sleeve across her face, trying to
hide her discomfort.
“I’m sorry. I
thought…I didn’t realize anyone else was up here.”
Calculating his next
move, he carefully edged a few feet closer to her. He didn’t think she was going to jump, but he
still couldn’t be sure.
“I come up here
sometimes to clear my head. It’s peaceful, ye ken?” He spoke in the most
soothing voice he could muster, but what did he know about comforting
A few feet more now,
she was almost in reaching distance. He read her face carefully, but saw
nothing but simply curiosity towards him, not alarm. Good.
“My name is Jamie,”
he said with a smile, reaching his hand out to her, slowly.
She stared blankly
at him and his hand for a moment until a flash of comprehension and then horror
washed across her face.
wasn’t going to…” she waved her hand out towards the city and the ledge, “I
wasn’t thinking about jumping, I just needed air.”
broke on her last sentence and he could see the silver tears beginning to flow
down her face again. She turned slightly away from him to hide them.
something inside him, deep and powerful, as he saw her crying. It was an
emotion that he didn’t recognize at first because he had never felt it in this
way before. Something he couldn’t understanding feeling for a stranger he had
just met not but a few minutes ago.
the sudden she was in his arms. He wrapped his arms tight around her, as if to
protect her from the pain she felt. To protect her from feeling that isolating
feeling he intuitively knew she was crying about because it was all too
into his arms and she fit like she was made for him. Her brown curls tickled
his nose as he whispered Gaelic into her ears while she cried into his chest.
She wrapped her hands tight around his body
and suddenly home didn’t seem so far anymore.
when I first kent I loved ye,” he whispered into her ear, coming back to the
present as the story ended, brushing away a few stray bubbles from her chin.
“Oh, Jamie,” she whispered, turning
around to look at his face. “Oh, I do love you.”
He leaned forward to met her lips,
running his tongue across her bottom lip, cherishing her taste.
She pulled back and wrapped her legs
around his hips, making the water ripple around them and the candles on the
edge flicker in the dimness.
“Turns out that when I needed home the
most, home is what showed up,” he tapped her one the nose, making her giggle.
Her eyes filled with
tears, but tears so different than the night they met, and he knew exactly what
she felt inside. A feeling that words fail to ever describe.
“I ken, Sassenach,”
he said softly as she wrapped herself around him in a promise that he echoed.
To never let her go. “I ken.”
She had always had a certain affinity for hidden places. Even as a very small child, she would vanish for hours at a time. Neither of her parents found this particularly concerning, and it was unclear whether Xenophilius noticed how the stretches of time she was gone increased after her mother’s death.
Hogwarts cracked open to her like an oyster. She had no map to guide her way, but she still managed to find her way to the places that each house considered its private retreat. The lush secret gardens Hufflepuff students tended in their spare time were among her favorites.
It was never purposeful. She wasn’t the sort to go ferreting out secrets. She simply looked at the world with wide open eyes. It was incredible how much was right there in plain sight, if only one was willing to look.
You are amazing! Jon Sansa Prompt request! Arya has returned home and she notices her older brother has changed. He still loves her the same way but he has started loving someone else as well. The only thing is it seems to be a very different kind of love.
First of all, thank you so much and sorry this took so long! <3 Secondly, I got kind of carried away and this has a super-long exposition of Arya’s return. I hope you enjoy! This is almost 2.4 k
Mild warning for attempted assault (nothing worse than the books).
The Winterfell Arya saw when she finally made it there was nothing like the Winterfell she remembered and carried in her heart through all her perils. However, she was no longer the same girl that left her home all those years ago. She was darker, more twisted. Maybe this ruined Winterfell was the only one she now deserved. Perhaps these walls that were stained black by ash and these crumbling roofs were perfect for housing her degraded murderous soul.
Arya wasn’t prepared to find just yet. So when she enters the Keep’s walls together with dozens of others that were seeking shelter, she didn’t wear the face of one of the Stark sisters. This face smiled more readily, a sweet kind of smile that got her a job serving the new Lady of Winterfell.
She expected her sister to be a demanding employer, but strangely that wasn’t the case. These days she mostly brushed her own hair and only required help when there was a particularly stubborn knot. So Arya made her bed and brought her meals and slept plenty because Sansa required so little assistance in everything she did. Her sister guarded her space and her heart more vigilantly than she did when they were children.