Ss. Justa and Rufina were sisters born to a poor Christian family in Seville, Spain in the 3rd century. They helped support their family and many of the city’s poor by making pottery.
Remember that this was before Constantine, so Christians were still a persecuted minority and paganism reigned. Which is why it wasn’t particularly strange that they were asked to make pottery for a local pagan festival.
What should they do? The festival was important for their town. But as Christians, they believed the pagan festivals were gravely immoral and they wanted nothing to do with them.
So they refused to make pottery for the festival. (Can you think of any similarities to situations today?)
Their pagan neighbors were furious. A crowd stormed their business and smashed all of their pottery in retaliation. Filled with zeal, Justa and Rufina smashed a local image of the pagan goddess Venus.
The sisters were quickly arrested by the local government and imprisoned. When they refused to renounce Christ, they were tortured and deprived of food and drink.
Justa died from the abuse in prison. The local prefect was hoping that the death of her sister would break Rufina’s resolve, but she stayed true. So they threw her to the lions in an amphitheater, but the lions wouldn’t attack her. Finally, the prefect had Rufina beheaded and her body burned.
What do you think the Pact of Ice and Fire was? I mean it's major points or details.
My belief is that the Pact of Ice and Fire was an agreement signed by Jacaerys Velaryon and Cregan Stark which promised that, in return for the Starks pledging their support for Rhaenyra in the Dance, Jacaerys would renounce his betrothal to his cousin Baela, who would in turn be wed either to Cregan himself (who seems to have been a widower at this point, since he married Alysanne Blackwood at the beginning of Aegon III’s reign) or to his son and heir Rickon.
Big Eden (2000) Gay artist Henry moves from NYC to small hometown to take care of sick grandfather. A really sweet, heartwarming story. Bonus points for no homophobia (!!) plot line & a gay native american man, Pike, who is adorable and crushes on Henry.
Brokeback Mountain (2005) Who hasn’t seen this? Two shepherds and their tumultuous love story over the years.
But I’m a Cheerleader (1999) Girl gets sent to a boot camp meant to alter her sexuality. Funny and aesthetic and really cheesy but worth the watch.
Carol (2015) A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol, an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage.
First Girl I Loved (2016) Girl falls in love with the most popular girl from her school. Bonus points for a nuanced and realistic portrayal of teenagers.
The Way He Looks (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho, 2014) Brazilian coming-of-age drama about a blind boy who falls in love with his classmate. Based on a short film called “I don’t want to go back alone”, which you can find on youtube.
Holding The Man (2015) In the 1970s, two teen boys in Australia fight all obstacles thrown their way and refuse to renounce the love they feel for each other. Based on Australia’s “most famous gay biography”.
I Killed My Mother (J’ai Tué Ma Mère, 2009) Biographical drama. Directorial debut of Quebecois actor Xavier Dolan, which he also wrote, produced and starred in. My favourite film by him.
Kill Your Darlings (2013) Biographical drama/thriller. A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation. Peep Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan.
Laurence Anyways (2012) A drama that charts ten years in the relationship of a transgender woman’s relationship with her lover. Directed by Xavier Dolan.
Maurice (1987) The story of a gay man in the early 20th century. A really sweet film with bonus points for being a gay period drama that - spoilers - has a happy ending.
Moonlight (2016) (see title card) A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young black man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. First lgbt film (and film with all-black cast) to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards 2017.
Pride (2014) U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984. A truly feel-good movie every one should watch.
The Handmaiden (2016) A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her. It’s been called a “South Korean Gothic Lesbian Revenge Thriller”. Just watch it. Trust me.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) A cult-classic and must-watch. Need I say more?
Rest of movies in alphabetical order under cut, with some commentary by yrs truly (me. a gay.)
Summary: Submission doesn’t suit everyone and, as far as Jungkook is concerned, you wear it better than he does.
Warning(s): Smut, Sub!kook but also Dom!kook (lmfao pls forgive me), dirty talk, spanking, and a pinch orgasm denial because who wouldn’t want to watch Jungkook squirm.
A/N: Just leave me alone to die.
If you had to guess Jungkook’s least favorite thing to do, you would say that renouncing his power was likely it. In bed, anyway.
He always made sure to remind you that he was in charge of your pleasure, no matter what the situation. He administered it as generously or as sparingly as he saw fit. It hadn’t always been so, but Jungkook settled into his role as the dominant one quite naturally.
Evidently though, your leniency had taken its toll on his once obedient nature. You allowed him to grow confident in his ability to disarm you fully with just one brush of his hands over the right parts of your body, or dirty, whispered words against your neck, or the heat of his body pressing against yours. You had become forbearing, allowing him to push the limits of your control until he had effectively slipped it from your grasp entirely.
I’m imagining what the prison sentence of playing “Subservient Trophy Wife” to an abusive, misogynistic sociopath would feel like. I know that this is far from the top priority re: solidarity, but this 10 second clip is a visual metaphor illustrating this man’s relentless reliance on abuse as a means-for-power.
Everyone around him (his family, his staff, his victims) appears to live in fear of his limitless rancor, and what it would mean to renounce him in any way/shape/form. This man has made his fortune by bullying and intimidating his contractors, clients, and the women in his life. He scams them, steals from them, physically and verbally assaults them, because he knows that he will be able to ruin their lives if they ever tried to take him to court. This is the backbone of his empire.
We see you, we are watching your every move, we are not intimidated by you or your corporate manipulation tactics, and we will fight until you are defeated.
making fun of vegans/people who care about animals in general is just another form of boring edgy humor that i would hope most socially conscious minded people would renounce. if a vegan is being bigoted/an asshole then absolutely call them out on it but if you think its funny to mock someone expressing earnest compassion for the life of another sentient being then i truly do not understand you and think you are probably not a very good person.
@skyguy95 : because we need to delve into feels, more than SW already make us do?
AU where Padme either has enough strength to wake up after Vaderkin lashes out at her (she still believed there was good in him, the only one, even in her last moments in Rots) or arrives after they have been duelling. But she has some issues with Obi Wan.
I do think it’s worth noting that Danny has a lot more love and respect for his father than he seems to sometimes.
When Vlad tries to offer him power in exchange for renouncing his dad, he doesn’t even consider it. Danny’s not interested in power, and he’s never going to betray his dad. What’s more, any time Vlad calls Jack an idiot, Danny actually gets really angry with him.
I dunno, I just thought that was really sweet and says a lot about Danny. He’s a moody teenager, yeah, but his family means a lot to him, even if they mess up a lot.
“Ideally, she would accept the marriage proposal of a member of the Royal
Family who would renounce his throne for her. Since this was hardly
likely, she concentrated on an alternate plan: getting work.” – Carrie Fisher, Postcards From The Edge
Plot: When you was kidnapped but your boyfriend Yoongi is one of the most influent boss in Seoul.
Words count: 1,9k
Warning: Slightly mention of blood;
For @esu333; i hope you like it! M.
Gif isn’t mine, credits to the owner!
The italics part is a flashback!
The soft light was the only thing you could see. Choking, you had something down in your mouth, you tried to move but your attempts were completely useless. Between the folds of the hood you wore, you perceived blurred voices. Something, in your mind, continued to echo because they were particularly familiar.
Taking stock of the situation, you realized you were sitting. At least you weren’t dead, you thought in relief.
“Don’t try… There is no use Y/N ” Someone muttered into your ear; “I’m sorry… I asked them not to hurt you. ” He added with a low tone.
“KyunSoo?” You murmured, your voice emotionless.
“Really Y/N.. I would have preferred not to resort to this. ”
Your mind started racing, hectic and fast. If KyunSoo was in front of you, the reason could be just one. He had a score to settle with Yoongi.
Sighing, you start fidgeting in your chair but a hand gave a hard shoot on your head, provoking you a groan of pain.
“Stop Y/N.. don’t make things difficult. ” He warned you, but you did not have the slightest intention to listen to him.
No one could give orders to you.
The sounds around you were flushed and these makes you realize that you are locked into some soundproofed room. No one wanted to make you hear what was happening outside or to allow others to hear you.
Cursing softly you started rubbing your hands together, in a desperate attempt to pull them from the interweaving of ropes that held them tight.
“When they tie your hands with a triple knot, you can’t do anything but just broken two fingers of your hand and your wrist to set you free.”
Yoongi’s voice, in the days when he was explaining and repeating concepts familiar to him, it was not to any help at that time. Holding back the tears you tried once again to remove one of the two hands, but a violent blow against your chest stopped you instantly.
“This bitch,” someone unknown said vehemently; “Why don’t you just kill her??” The person added lost patience.
You did not recognize him, but you know he has no power over KyunSoo. He is the boss, he has always been. In your mind began to appear the memories of your days in College, you would never have thought he would become one of the most influential gangsters in the city.
He was sweet, friendly and charismatic. Now he was just known for the highest amount of deaths associated with his name.
“Did you have managed to reach him?” Kyunsoo asked, bored voice, and your heart will lose some beat.
You did not want Yoongi to be involved, you would rather die than put him in danger.
“Kyunsoo… What do you want from Yoongi? ” You asked, holding the hot tears that itched your eyes; “I can give you what you want. I have my money, I swear. ”
A broke sigh between you lips caused you a chill down your spine; because you know that nothing would have distracted him from his goal.
“What is mine, Y/n. I swear you won’t be hurt if he cooperates.”
“And if he won’t cooperate…?” You asked with another tremble into your voice, reprising the attempt to free your hands from the grip.
“You are going to die.”
Not that you were surprised by his words, you were well aware of how that world worked. And yet you did not care to die if the man you loved was safe.
His hands started to rush on your neck, laying on your hips while forcefully you were attracted, making crush your bodies. It was the first time that you let him bring so much to you. Always too far away but connected in ways you couldn’t explain.
“Do you know that if you stay with me, you could often risk your life?”
“I don’t care, Yoongi” You muttered onto his lips, without taking your eyes off his.
His eyes didn’t leave a moment, glided lenses on each stroke of your face, provoking you the most intense sensations ever.
“I promise you one thing, Y/N”. He added with a serious tone, cupping your face in his hands by tapering and delicate fingers.
A strange trait for the most feared of all boss in Seoul, but you had always loved his hands.
“What?” You raised an eyebrow in a curious expression.
“I would never let someone lay a finger on you. And if it, for a mere twist of fate, happen… They’ll no longer have their hands or their lives to do it again. ”
That particular moment in your relationship made space in your mind and a quite feeling invaded you. He would protect you, you could even hear that the situation would end soon.
So you renounced completely to free yourself from the ropes, your body is relaxed and even your heart slowed his beats. You felt completely different and it was the thought of Yoongi to help you; knowing he would save you.
“Y/N, are you okay?” The voice of Kyunsoo brought you back to reality and you shake your head, just too tired of that hood on your face.
The man in front of you understood the situation and decided that maybe wouldn’t have been a danger discovering your face. You were well aware of why you were there, seeing them in the face wouldn’t have changed anything.
The newfound “freedom” allowed you to understand, finally, where you were. There were not a lot of clues, the bare walls and just a desk where Kyunsoo was sitting, checking documents that you couldn’t see from where you are.
“He will hurt you. ” You were warning him, even if he did not deserve this at all.
His laughter filled the air immediately, while your eyes rested on him and you observed with disgust.
“I’m not afraid Y/N; not of him. ” He reassured, a frown amused onto his face.
“You should.” You added, still teasing him in pride.
One thing that you had understood of those men was just that; they were incredibly sensitive and proud. Hurting them at that point and they could become incredibly weak or ruthless killers.
“For now, your dearly beloved did not give signs of life.”
The posture in which you were started to hurt a few hours earlier, but you did not stoop to complaining. Your mouth was closed for that entire time, while your legs became weaker and weaker and the pain in your wrists grew.
Suddenly a dull thud made you to lift your face, turning towards the thick door that divided you from the rest of the world.
No shot, no amount of screaming. There were total silence and disappointment surrounded you because if it had been Yoongi the screaming would not be missed.
“Didn’t they tell you how to treat a woman? A woman that didn’t belong to you.” An icy voice, steeped in anger, rang out in the speakers making you lose a couple of heartbeats.
He was there, he had not broken his promise.
Kyunsoo began to look around, visibly frightened, by pulling the gun out of the holster inside his jacket. You smiled and began to experience a feeling different. For the first time, despite you always kept hidden your fear in front of Yoongi, you are not scared by the “work” of your man. For the first time, you are relieved, because otherwise, he would never be able to save you.
The door, only wall between you and freedom, collapsed after a few moments, perhaps thanks to a minimum dose of an explosive charge. The smoke filled the room, provoking you a slight coughing while your eyesight was completely blurred.
“Kyunsoo, I thought you were smarter than that.”
“Yoongi… One more step and I’ll kill her. ”
The barrel of the gun is pointed at your temple and you froze immediately, while the smoke was starting to branch.
“Yoongi …” Your whisper reached the man, standing at the door with the gun lowered against his side.
His gaze was completely emotionless on the outside. You were the only one who could see the anger that burst in his eyes and a shiver down your spine shook and assured you at the same time.
“Touch her again and I swear, Kyunsoo–” He began to mean with icy tone; “in less than three minutes you’ll be dead.”
“I die, she dies. You know I’m a trigger happy, don’t force me to hurt her. ”
“You have exactly ten seconds to let her go.”
He was calm, so calm that managed to soothe you. His voice had the power to be a soothing for you and this time was no different.
“One.” His cold tone had become lethal.
“Give me what is mine Yoongi.”
“Yoongi.. Could you just go straight to three instead of waiting up to ten? ” You asked, completely drained of all energy.
You did not want to die, but if it had to happen you would have preferred a quick thing.
“Whatever.” He Murmured, this time a hint of amusement in his voice.
You closed your eyes to hear a gunshot, not knowing if it was the Yoongi’s one or the Kyunsoo’s one directly to your head. You were prepared to impact so you have curled up about, but you could not feel any kind of pain.
Slowly you unfold the left eye, just to see blood splatter on your hands. But it was not yours and this was a huge relief, so much so that you felt the adrenaline begin to slip away from your body.
“Baby, I’m here… I’m here. ”
You raise your eyes and when you saw at that time of the aggressive tremble that was shaking you, accepting with gratitude the loving touch of his hands on your face.
“I’m here babe, sorry it took me so long.” He whispered, while one of his men entered the room and immediately freed your hands. “What did he do? See your face… God, I’m going to kill him. ”
“Y-Y-you have already done so, Y-Yoongi.. ”
“I’m going to kill him again just for daring to touch you” he hummed on your lips, finally relieved to see that despite all you were alive.
He put his hands under your armpits after they finally had freed your hands and feet, lifting you effortlessly and clutching firmly against his body.
Crying is liberating, hot tears flowed fast on your cheeks still stained with blood, while he rocked you gently.
“It’s okay baby, everything is over.”
“You’re here… you’re really here. ” You managed to say through tears and sobs, hiding your face in the crook of his neck and the collarbone.
“I promised two years ago. No one can touch you without lost their life. ”
this day in 1600, the Italian friar, astronomer and philosopher
Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for heresy. Bruno’s ideas were
controversial for his day, but are now hailed as precursory to modern
scientific understanding. Bruno proposed the concept of an infinite
universe populated by other intelligent life and rejected traditional
geocentric astronomy. He agreed with Copernicus that the planets revolve
around the Sun, but expanded on this by suggesting that the Sun is just
another star. For these unorthodox views, which challenged traditional Christian ideas about the
universe, Bruno was found guilty of heresy by the Roman Inquisition and
burned at the stake. For his refusal to renounce his beliefs, Giordano
Bruno is often remembered as a martyr for free thought.
“Perhaps your fear in passing judgment on me is greater than mine in receiving it” - Giordano Bruno to the judges upon hearing his death sentence
Words by Hiba Krisht. Hiba is Lebanese and Palestinian, as well as a scholar and brilliant writer, so when she talks about Palestinian welfare and discourse about Palestine, everyone should listen.
“I’m at the point where I can’t see how focus on the Israel Palestine question re: Chicago Dyke March is anything other than derailment. I’d also like to say that perception that pro-Palestine sentiment here is being silenced *as a general trend* very much does not sit well with me because I believe the silencing to be happening the other way around, and think this is in fact a longstanding destructive feature of discourse surrounding the Palestinian cause. Also, I believe most of those engaging in defense of a pro-Palestinian liberation stance right now mean well but do not understand how much its framing decenters actual Palestinian welfare.
I will elaborate on both counts. I’m agitated from all sides about this and I can’t do brevity so bear with me I guess.
First, the derailment. It’s of particularly troubling sort because it falls into a larger pattern of whataboutism where what *should be* a case of clearcut antisemitism cannot ever be identified and unilaterally condemned by the left without also being hashed and rehashed in exculpatory ways "because Israel.”
This is ESPECIALLY troubling when: - There is a persistent phenomenon that’s almost like a lefty inversion of the concept Israeli exceptionalism. Like a reverse- exceptionalism, whereby discussion of Israel’s transgressions are held to singular standards of scrutiny to the exception of other nations/populations with comparable and/or far more deplorable histories and actions and crises. And in that I am including all the unspeakable injustice and destruction the larger MENA region has wrought to Palestinians, and how accountability seems no concern there, in part *because* of eternal return to obsessive, unilateral focus on Israel as the central Palestinian issue.
- Cases of anti Muslim bigotry aren’t held to the same scrutiny. The fact that people will demur about antisemitism but not anti-Muslim bigotry betrays a terrible lack of self awareness re: double standards. I mean, if you want to go ‘head and make weak arguments about how religious symbols are politically wielded, I’m going to have to start wondering why you aren’t referencing the much more appalling and deadly scope of human rights abuses committed under Muslim banners whenever the question of banning Muslim symbols comes up. Which would be a clearly terrible argument, but maybe it’s worth reflecting why the same argument suddenly makes sense when it comes to Jewish symbols.
- Casual antisemitism often manifests as (among other things) conflations between Jewish symbols or beliefs / various Zionist ones / various Israeli nationalist ones. We ALREADY know the Dyke March incident to be an iteration of this problem. Now think about how fucked up what happened next is: the ban of a Jewish symbol at a public event based on a bigoted conflation is called out as anti-Semitic. Then, as a kind of precondition for defense against or acknowledgement of such anti-Semitism, people on the left apparently see fit to hold Jewish people accountable, individually and as a group, for *the same bigoted conflations targeting them*, basically needing Jewish people to declare their politics and/or unilaterally renounce Zionism – essentially acting as gatekeepers despite being outsiders operating from apparently rather reductive and narrow presumptions of Zionist politics, since they somehow have the arrogance of assuming they understand and can judge what any given Jewish person’s Zionist adherence entails and means based on the label alone??? Who the fuck else does this? Who the fuck else has to go through this? Do we have to establish and approve of the political and ideological leanings of Muslims in order to defend them against anti-Muslim bigotry, or do we engage in whataboutism re: the scourge of political Islamism in the Middle East to determine if Muslims have the right to display their religious symbols in the west?
Now the Palestine thing. And necessary conversations. And silencing and whatnot.
Even points that are so reasonable and evident they may well be tautologies by now, like 'Palestinians are entitled to basic human rights’, bear a different weight when made in these contexts. They don’t exist in vacuum, but carry the shadow of a discourse that already has huge issues with privileging particularly anti-Zionist or anti-Israel Palestinian advocacy no matter how tangential to the conversation, and never mind what else is minimized and derailed in the process.
I am not doubting the sincerity and concern of my friends who are struggling to express pro-Palestine sentiment while being confused by hostility right now, but I would urge a more thorough consideration of the relative space taken up by the respective conversations thus far, and to not confuse long overdue push-back from folks who have every reason to be frustrated and sick of derailment and semantic squabbles over definitions of Zionism every time anti-semitism comes up.
If it seems like there is rejection from the left when you want to assert a pro-Palestinian stance here, it is less likely to be because people have a problem with pro-Palestinian politics as such, and more likely to be because there is a salient point regarding how cavalier antisemitism already is today and how these patterns of derailment every damn time end up gatekeeping attempts to counter an insidious kind of racism that can and must be discussed without forcing marginalized people to jump through the Israel Blame Game hoops to defend their humanity. The Israel Palestine thing needs to stop hijacking conversations about antisemitism. Palestinian welfare does not suffer if people refuse to derail conversations about anti-semitism, but conversations about anti-semitism certainly suffer when what-about-Palestine pops up.
And that’s all besides the fact that no matter how well-meaning, this Palestine-specific whataboutism does not contribute anything appreciable to Palestinian welfare and is so oblivious in some ways it’s kind of heartbreaking to try to navigate through. I firmly believe that the kneejerk way the Palestinian Cause is held up like a trump card whenever convenient and the infuriating reverse exceptionalism with which the conflict is treated has been a firm factor in prolonging the crisis and exacerbating Palestinian suffering. I’m struggling to find the words for why it troubles me so much to see all these conversations stuck on questions of whether anti Zionism is anti Semitism because don’t forget Israel and what about accountability for Palestine.
Please. Please. Please try to understand that an anti-Zionist pro-Palestine liberation stance is not one that needs championing in the left, that nobody fucking lets us forget Israel when we try to talk about Palestine, and nobody stops talking about Palestine when anyone mentions Israel, and it hasn’t done shit for diaspora or territory Palestinians except turn us into a handy slogan. Establishing a stance of basic advocacy for the rights and welfare of the Palestinian people is not what the discourse lacks, it is what the discourse needs to *move past* already. Everybody is well-versed and comfortable with the Israel Blame Game– it drowns out and supersedes everything else, and it’s everything else that Palestinian advocacy desperately needs.
This is something that frustrates me to no end because it’s not reducible to something like Israeli conduct being dealt with disproportionate scrutiny in the left *as such*, but as a function of urgency and relative space. When Israel overshadows discourse about Palestinian welfare even though it is Arabs who are responsible for the most staggering and horrific ongoing Palestinian abuses, we have a problem. And it can never be talked about or addressed because only Israel’s actions are viewed with agency and significance, and attributing Palestinian suffering to anything else is instantly condemned as insidious detraction.
So you can see how it is frustrating to go through the whole 'is pro-palestinian anti-zionism anti-semitic’ rigmarole when it is so often a distraction from more functional questions of Palestinian welfare.
Fact: There are kinds of anti-Zionism that are pro-Palestinian rights and that are also anti-Semitic. Fact: There are kinds of anti-Zionism that are pro-Palestinian rights and that are not anti-Semitic. Fact: There are kinds of Zionism that are consistent with upholding the rights and freedoms of Palestinian Arabs, and, fact: there are kinds that are categorically not.
Educated opinion: Not only is anti-Zionism the established and normative stance across most of the Middle East, but, if we’re being honest, probably the most prevalent and established type of anti-Zionism in the discourse is that which engages in solid pro-Palestinian advocacy while also falling into both gross and casual anti-Semitism. This is definitely the case in the broader discourse on the issue in the Middle East, and what’s more, there is next to no self-awareness of the anti-Semitic assumptions, myths, and bigotries, not to mention the historical revisionism, threading popular and political anti-Zionism in the MENA region and popular Palestinian and Lebanese culture as well. This is a problem, and one that will never be addressed as long as pro-Palestinianism and anti-Semitism are presumed to be wholly non-overlapping binaries by well-meaning leftists. It is both possible and necessary to acknowledge and mount critique of anti-semitic elements in pro-Palestine discourse while maintaining Palestinian advocacy. Acknowledging anti-Semitism in the discourse is not going to undermine the Palestinian cause. Again, people don’t need to be perfect moral agents to justify a defense of their humanity.
Educated opinion: Leftist discourse centering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is overall entrenched in rigid, binary thinking and overwhelmingly leans pro-Palestine but in unfortunately too-basic, reductive ways. It already has an ideological rigidity problem. The discourse is such that to be pro-Palestine is to be above all transcendentally righteous: the lines of oppression and blame are clear and brook no further complexity; it is the cause no reasonable person can deny or fail to center in any conversation, and Palestinian advocacy is almost synonymous with condemnation for the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people and aught else.
It is troubled with issues of allegiance and abstraction– maintaining certain principled stances re: the Cause is treated as an almost inviolable tenet for anybody who can claim to care about Palestine, despite the fact that the central narrative of the Cause pits the immediate welfare and prosperity of generations of living, breathing Palestinians against the memory of a Palestine that has not existed for decades and an abstract future promise of a right to return to a place that never again will be. The narrative may have once been in service of the people, but it has not been so in a long time. And it is only the narrative that is treated with sanctity by the most vocal champions of Palestine, and if it comes at the expense of Palestinian lives like in Yarmouk, so be it. Palestinian advocacy is more about condemning Israel than it is about supporting Palestine, and that is the problem.
It’s beginning to feel like despair, seeing how pro-Palestinian discourse is framed in terms of the questions of Zionism and anti-Zionism over and again, constantly centering and recentering the question of Palestinian welfare as a foil to Israeli aggression in broad nationalistic and/or existentialist terms, assuming unilateral causes, ascribing agency very selectively to regional actors, brooking no interrogation of Palestinian, Arab, or Muslim agency in the conflict, and obsessively resistant to moving past the past.
It’s been decades and Palestinians continue to suffer large-scale crises in basic resources, public health, trauma, and disenfranchisement, and they have largely been allowed to persist in the name *of* Palestine, at the hands of Arab regimes that shrug off all accountability in Israel’s direction, though for fifty years diaspora Palestinians in the larger Levant have been purely at the mercy of the Arab states housing them. We do not need to hear tired pro-liberation stances when it is those very stances that are used to justify keeping us holed up in Lebanese and Syrian refugee camps, stateless, in suspended animation, without civil rights or wealth or upwards mobility, dying slowly of poverty and deplorable living conditions and isolation if we’re lucky, and if we’re unlucky, until a guy like Assad comes along and murders, maims, starves, and makes refugees out of a whole city of us– and yet it is in the name of liberating Palestine that Assadist discourse proliferates, being anti-Israel, and Palestine’s catastrophe is only and ever subsumed into the crimes of Israel and not of those of Syria or Lebanon or Assad or Hamas or the PA or Fatah or the GCC states or anybody else. When I want to talk about Palestinian advocacy, I want to talk about Assad and the nearly 200,000 Palestinians in Yarmouk camp that are now dead or gone or starving under siege and I want to talk about how the Lebanese state has made pariahs and a lost people out of *generations* of diaspora Palestinians practically quarantined in refugee camps because of petty sectarian concerns and I want to talk about the Palestinian political elite grievously frittering away resources and opportunities that could have prevented significant Palestinian suffering and death because of political feuds and a reckless privileging of a jihadi cause over popular welfare– but I cannot, because the justifications, distractions, conspiracy theories loop incessantly back to Israel. Which cements *my* concern that these conversations are not really *about* Palestinian welfare at all.“
Have you ever written about religion on different planets? How do they worship differently on Naboo versus Corellia versus Alderaan, for example?
one of those things padme will never be able to fully explain to anakin—sinking down under the water of the bay (like the sea from which all life came and to which all life would return) the chanting voices distended, strange, filtered through the water as she tried to hold her breath. Whenever anakin or obi-wan talk about the force, that’s what she conjures: suspended there in the warmth, light and salt in her eyes.
on tatooine they did it differently, she heard—from anakin, dust baths and ash and dryness, skin stretched too-tight over his bones and no water at all. (it was too precious, not even the force would ask that of them. not when they needed it so desperately.)
it was strange, the handful of conversations she’d had with senators from other planets, other sectors; bail organa had been anointed in snow, breathing quick because he was not accustomed to mountain elevation. alien species choosing anointings with hrucium, osmium dust, because what did carbon and fatty oil chains mean to them?
(The only eternal truth is the Force, the Force universal and unending. It doesn’t matter, what particularities of it are rendered unto you.)
leia, alderaanian raised if not quite born, has a theological education heavily rooted in her father’s understanding of the Force, which preaches that silence is complicity and true devotion is the lightsaber.
(obi-wan and bail used to have good-natured arguments about it, whether the Force sought peace and balance, or whether they were too far from balance to ever be content with peace.
mostly, breha had found it amusing that she’d married a man who would have been just as happy renouncing his worldly possessions and preaching at the temple on jedha as he was being viceroy of alderaan.)
leia doesn’t—think about it much before the destruction of alderaan, except to resent. but then alderaan is gone, alderaan is dead, and all those stupid traditions she’d ignored and resented and rebelled against, the cultured grace and artistry she’d chafed under isn’t an obligation. it’s a relic. (it’s not even a relic, a relic implies there is rubble or pottery shards left, something leia could turn over in her hands; proof that it existed once. the absence of alderaan is its own obligation, heavy and visible only to her.)
if she shuts her eyes, she can see her mother lighting the tanough candles, the light in her eyes as she smiled at leia.
leia has emergency candles in her pack (practically antiques, but they get the job done, the quartermaster had sighed)and sometimes she takes them out, holds them in her hands under her palms smell of wax, and there are tears prickling at her eyes.
she wishes she remembered all the words to the prayers. she wishes she remembered the stories her mother told, her father told, the folk tales and the songs. She wishes—It’s not about anything, but someone ought to remember. (it shouldn’t be her, but she doesn’t know of anyone else.)
owen and beru were not terribly religious, several generations removed from the fervent, secretive worship found in the slave quarters of mos espa, and even further away from the core’s way of doing things. (if there’s a bright center to the universe—)
but there are things that endure, simply out of habit—luke will never waste salt, never spill it, and somewhere among what little he saved from the fire is a holed stone, which he keeps in his pocket of his flightsuit.
this isn’t what luke thinks of, when ben explains what the force is. luke thinks of heat, the sun high above the sand—the thrill of knowing he should have been asleep in his bunk, like the rest of Tatooine at noontide, but instead standing there, on the very edge of the homestead. like the last thing alive in the whole galaxy.
he remembers watching the wavering line of the horizon. a line of grey-brown-dust smudges moving slowly, heavily, coming closer until he could make them out—slaves, dressed in robes and cowls, carrying something over their shoulders. there were a few men and women following them, and they were singing—something, luke couldn’t make out words, except that it was high, and sad.
it took too long for luke to realize the thing swathed in white was a body, they were going to bury their dead, and he felt himself go hot. immediately, he whipped off his hat and bowed his head, until they were gone off towards the western gorge, and he couldn’t hear the singing anymore.
by the time he made his way back to the farm, his neck, ears, scalp, had all blistered from sunsburn. beru had to use a whole tube of bacta, and made him shuck a year’s worth of slatin for sneaking out.)
han, corellian-born, has no particular faith—if he wanted to be a jedi, that world was gone by the time he was nine; and if he wanted to be sith, he should have started out as more than just a low-level smuggler and scammer. (they’re burning the world down by the time he understands his options, he never really had a chance.) he figures life is short and brutish and sometimes free, and then you die. end of story.
so he’s genuinely shocked and not shocked at all when luke calls himself jedi—might as well, really, aren’t they all weirdos and mystics these days—
(it’s a political label more than anything else, right? jedi are for the core and the republic and the rebellion, the force is just their way of dressing up a war.)
what are you doing? leia asks sleepily, lifting her head up from where she fell asleep on the dejarik table. han startles, pulling his hand away from the inside of the hull like it suddenly burns. nothing, han says. just—saying goodnight. to the falcon? leia asks with a yawn. why?
(han doesn’t have an answer, except that he has always done this, and the falcon has always been safe, flown true. these things aren’t connected, but they are.) I don’t know, he says. the force, probably. go back to sleep, your worship.
Frantically posting a story I wrote a year ago (seriously, a year ago) in order to appease the people who just started following my blog (I’m alive I swear)
We were the pride of the Ytrian Imperial Fleet. Five hundred ships, more than most species had in their possession, military and civilian. Five hundred ships, tens of thousands of sailors. So we did what we do best, what empires do best, we expanded our territory.
We expanded, and our rule was benevolent. We built hypergates, expanded trade, ensured the naked were clothed and the hungry were fed. We did this for those who we conquered, and in time they came to love us. A line of emperors a hundred generations long unmarred by a succession war, a line of emperors a hundred generations long each educated from birth to know they served the people. We had perfected the rule of a monarch, we had perfected the hereditary leadership, by getting rid of the only issue it had. Unreliable monarchs.
So when we came to the edge of a Republic, we were amused. Many species that now lived and died in the borders of our great empire had experimented with democracy at one point in time, and now all had renounced such failings and were happily in servitude to our glorious leader, Emperor Ytriax'us the Forty Third of His Name, Light of the Empire, Great Servant of the People.
So when we came to the edge of a Republic, we did what we always did. We gave them a choice. Submit to us peacefully, or submit to us through war. We will give you all the boons of the empire, or grind your armies away and restructure your planets to better serve.
The first of the Republic’s planets came to us, and they accepted our benevolent offer. They were enfolded in the arms of the empire, and loved as all our people are loved. They were given boons of technology such as their planet had never seen.
Then came the second, the third, and eventually the fifteenth planet of the Republic to submit to our glorious empire. We grew ever stronger, as was our destiny, as was our duty.
The other planets of the Republic, they would not submit. So we marshaled our great fleet, our five hundred ships, and we sent them to war.
The Republic met us in combat, and the Republic fell in combat. And the Republic was absorbed into our benevolent empire as dozens of species before it had been absorbed into our empire.
That is, they were going to be. But right as our great fleet, still with four hundred and sixty six great ships of combat was about to finish off the flagship of the Republic, and bring the predictable end to this predictably tragic combat, four massive ships jumped into the system.
All four were huge ships, many times larger than any of our battleships, and all were emblazoned with similar words, hated words, words I have come to dread hearing. The Yorktown, the Waterloo, the Normandy, the Gettysburg. A pale skinned biped came onto the screen.
“You sailors, soldiers, and ships of the Ytrian Empire. You will visit no more violence upon these people. You will depart this system and all systems which did not voluntarily join your empire now, or I swear you will suffer the consequences. These ships are those of the Knights Terra, as are those that will follow, and you will visit no more war upon those peaceful stars.”
We laughed, shocked by the presumption of these four ships. What paltry force this was, to presume to issue demands to us. We were the Ytrian Empire, and we knew no master but our Emperor, may he reign forever.
So our Admiral, great Ytriax'an, cousin to the Emperor Most High, amused by their impertinence, deigned to speak to the scum.
“You who are the Knights Terra, we know not of you, but you clearly know of us. We are the ships of the Ytrian Empire, and we will not permit you to stand in the way of progress. All will come under our benevolent rule, by peace or by force the choice is yours.”
After that, after that there was violence. Sudden, immediate, overwhelming violence. We had no idea the Terrans were in range for their weapons. We had no idea their missiles were capable of destroying one of our Battleships with a single blow. We handful of survivors fled, ran for the safety of home and Empire.
As we left that system, they broadcast a single message to us.
“Democratia aut mors, sed non imperium.”
We’ve spent the last decade decrypting that message. It is in a Terran tongue that was dead a thousand years ago, but they stubbornly refuse to let go entirely. Loosely translated it means “Democracy or Death, but never Tyranny”. It is the motto of the Knights Terra, who have rained death and destruction upon our Empire.
To your battle stations now crew, the Stalingrad just warped into the system, to join her sisters the Madrid, the Bull Run and the Kursk.
Defend the Emperor, prepare to meet your ancestors with dignity, and when our Empire dies remember those who destroyed it. Remember those who shattered our rule, who would not suffer our Emperor to spread his rule throughout the galaxy.