retrench!

SPILT COFFEE 01.

》pairing : kim seokjin x reader
》themes: angst ; suspense ; office / boss!seokjin AU
》chapters available : here
》status : on hold temporarily

Kim Seokjin hates spilt coffee; and he especially hates coffee spilt by you.


You keep your eyes trained on the abstract flower staining the somewhat pearl white tiles you stand upon, and while you continue to observe the flower as it transforms into an incorrigible mess, you can feel his condescending gaze fixed onto you, like a hawk monitoring it’s prey. It goes on like this for several seconds: you, staring at the spilt coffee; and him, staring at you – the human incarnation of the spilt coffee. You’re about certain he’s had just enough of you and you swallow your humiliation courteously, unsure of what to do. You play a game of improvised mental tennis, the ball bouncing between the courts of staying in the room to clean your clumsy production or swiftly exiting his office at once. As he continues to press his eyes into your skull, you realise you don’t win in any circumstance and so proceed to say, “Would you prefer I clean up or leave, Mr Kim?” and when he fails to respond you feel even more humiliated, because you’re trying your best to come off as dignified and respectful at the same time, but Kim Seokjin rips you of your dignity and juggles your capability to respect him like a ball on fire. When he continues to remain silent, long arms folded neatly over each other as he stands above you, you silently huff and turn to his desk for his box of tissues. Bent to the area of the white ground that’s stained with decaffeinated coffee, you run through the events that had transpired today at your new workplace.

When you were told two months ago that you were being promoted you were absolutely ecstatic. Your shared rent with Namjoon had always been manageable, but at the expense of many much-needed items such as pizza, bikini wax and Netflix subscriptions. With the extra cash you could save up to finally be legible to apply for a home loan and transport fees would work out. Hearing the income raise urged you to immediately agree. However, when you were told you would be transferring back to your previous branch you were not ecstatic the least bit. In fact, you were horrified to the core. Because that was the branch run by Seokjin, and Seokjin did not like you. He was the reason you had even transferred to another branch in the first place, and going back to him would be jumping straight into the lion’s den. You had immediately considered rejecting the offer, but for every reason not to go back, there were ten reasons pushing you into Seokjin’s playground. You needed the money, you were sick of Angie, your co-accountant and her peculiar manners and you had needed a more convenient place, closer to home as transport fees ate at least a quarter of your salary for the month. It was inevitable, you were going to be Seokjin and his teams accountant whether you liked it or not, and at that moment you were dreading it.

That morning you wake up a little earlier than usual, your mind is unsettled and your right leg jerks with nerves. Seated at the breakfast table you exercise your right arm in order to get what awaits you today off of your chest. There’s no pain any more, but it’s a struggle for you to grip onto items or even balance them in your palm. Three hours later you’re dressed and ready to go. You walk the distance as it’s a ten minute walk the most and realise that you’ve reached the building half an hour early.

The receptionist informs you about which floor you’re assigned to, which is obviously Seokjin’s branch and advances to tell you that the first thing you should do is meet the secretary of your floor before settling in. With a nod of your head, you make your way to the elevator. As you enter the lift, another girl steps in with you and you notice it is Yoori. A girl who works on the ground floor for a facial product company.

“Y/N?” She asks in bewilderment, not looking the least bit happy to see you.

“Yoori,” you greet with a smile that she eventually returns. There’s an awkward silence you’re confused as to how came into existence, considering you were both good acquaintances, but you try to break it by saying, “missed me?”

She nods far too enthusiastically and it scares you to an extent. The silence persists and you attempt to break it again.

“How is everyone on my floor doing?”

She glances at you slowly, seeming to take a while to put her thoughts in place. “They… Most of them have been retrenched.”

“What? Why?” You blurt out in horror. If they had been retrenched, why were you hired?

“Soekjin said he could manage with a maximum of twenty people.” Hearing his name sets a fire to the lower region of your stomach, but you grip yourself as she continues.

“Whoever wasn’t retrenched had grown a bit too annoyed with Seokjin, they said he had turned rather autocratic, they weren’t up for being controlled… so most left, and new employees were hired.” Yoori shifts uncomfortably as you both reach your floor.

As you step out you notice she does too. Ignoring your curiosity since she had always resided on the ground floor, you continue to further question her.

“Any ideas as to why they needed a new accountant?”

“Well the accountant that had been around for two years had gotten married and moved out of Seoul about three months ago, so Seokjin told me to find someone at leisure as they had to be reliable, I requested the downtown branch to send their accountant as I’d heard she was brilliant, I had no idea that it was you. I’m really sorry Y/N, if I had the slightest hint, I would have never sent for you.” Yoori looks at you in terror, breathing quite weirdly it concerns you. She had gone from casual to hysterical in seconds.

“It’s alright,” you mumble as you grip her hands. “Stop ranting, calm down and take deep breaths.”

But clearly, it isn’t alright. Neither for you or her, because Seokjin has no clue you are in the same building as him, and when he does find out, it won’t end pretty. “Y/N, he’s going to kill me, Seokjin will kill me,” she whispers.

At that moment you stare at her in pity and guilt. You were the reason for her plight. Seokjin was definitely going to kill her, because he hated you. He hated Y/N Y/L/N with all the hate he could manage to harbour. And there’s nothing you can do to help Yoori because while you are the cause of the problem, you can never become it’s solution, never.

“Well, he can’t fire you, so don’t- don’t worry about that. But whatever he decides to do, w-we’ll work around it.”

You had come off even more nervous than Yoori was and you felt like kicking yourself for not controlling your emotions.

“No, Y/N,” she whispers sadly, “you don’t understand.”

You’re about to ask what exactly it is that you don’t understand but before you can, many people rush into the floor. Some are chatting together whilst the rest sit in their respective cubicles. You notice that all of them are strangers and you do not know even one new employee. What rampage had Seokjin gone on two years ago?

Yoori wonders off further into the floor which makes you frown.

“Can I help you?” You turn around to see a man your age, leaning against a cubicle wall, mug of coffee in hand. He’s wearing a crisp white shirt with a silk black tie and his hair is a turbulent shade of dull green and black.

“Uhm, yeah, I guess,” you answer him, realising you needed to meet the sector’s secretary. “Can you take me to the secretary for this department?”

“Secretary?” The man asks more than states. He takes a sip of his beverage. “Well, I haven’t noticed any secretary around, but the boss has a P.A. Maybe she can help?”

“I think that’s her actually, the receptionist downstairs said secretary so…” You turn your hands in a weird circular motion, probably making yourself look like a complete fool.

The man vaguely smirks, probably just as weirded out as you are for just having a conversation over the word secretary and it’s synonym; personal assistant. Removing his left hand from his pocket, he signals you forward.

“This way.”

You follow him down a few hallways until you reach the P.A.’s office. Not bothering to knock, he opens the door and peeps in. He quickly pulls his head out of the doorway and looks at you.

“She’s not in yet, but take a seat, she’ll be here shortly.”

“Thank you,” you say curteously as you step in and he closes the door.

Taking a seat, you pull out your phone to see you have a missed call from Namjoon and immediately call him.

“Hey, Princess,” you hear his voice on the other end of the line.

“Hey, Joon,” you greet back.

“Mary wanted to wish you luck for your first day at work but you left early, here,” you hear some shuffling in the background and soon after a toddler’s voice fills your ear.

“Hey, baby!” You coo in happiness. She continues to mumble incoherent words as you laugh.

“Well, I have to get her washed up for day care, so talk to you later and all the luck! We love you!” Namjoon says shortly after.

“Thanks for the call, I appreciate it.”

You cut the call and look around the room, your left leg jerking once again, a regular habit. You continue analysing the room until a picture frame on the desk catches your attention. Picking it up you squint at the photo. Once you’ve registered the faces shown, your eyes widen in shock. It’s Yoori, standing behind a beautiful scenery of mountains and wild flowers, standing next to her is a familiar face, Seokjin. From the way his hands are placed on her hips to the way she rests her head on his broad shoulder, you figure out they’re now a couple.

“Wow…” You mutter as the door swiftly opens. You stand up to see Yoori at the door, tears staining her face.

“Yoori, I…” You mumble, unsure of what to do. She walks in and begins packing her belongings, which obviously frightens you, because it’s apparent Seokjin hates you more than he loves her.

“He moved me to the downtown branch,” she says sulking, “he said I should go to where you came from.”

“I’m so sorry, Yoori. He didn’t break up with you, did he?” You ask in concern, not wanting to deal with the guilt of ruining Yoori and Seokjin’s relationship.

She looks at you in confusion before glancing at the photo frame resting in your hands.

“No, he said we’ll talk at home, so not yet I suppose.” She picks up her handbag and whatever she could gather into a small box and heads for the door. “Seokjin would like to see you in his office,” she says before leaving the room.

You stand on unsteady legs as you stare at the door in shock. If Yoori, who was Seokjin’s girlfriend, couldn’t escape his wrath, what in heaven’s name was in store for you?

The young man from earlier walks in to the room and glances at you unsurely.

“Y/N?” He asks.

“Y-Yeah,” you breathily reply.

“Seokjin is calling for you, come on.” He signals you with his fingers once again and you force yourself to move.

The man constantly looks back at you in concern, noticing the anxiety emitting from you. He asks if all is good to which you nod your head. You soon both stop in front of a familiar room.

“Obviously I’m unaware of a few things, but considering Yoori was crying, I’m certain Seokjin isn’t in a good mood. So, if you need help, call for Yoongi, that’s me.”

He winks at you before smirking again and walks off to his cubicle hidden between several others.

Taking a deep breath and the Lord’s name, you open the door to Seokjin’s office and step in. You’re met with ice air and silence when you see him standing with his back faced to you, in front of a beautiful painting that has even you basking in it’s glory. You’re unsure as to whether it is an angel or a demon because despite being portrayed as evil, it emits nothing but purity. It’s stuck in an unsettling pose, surrounded by hues of purple, pink and peach. Turning your attention from the painting to him, you’re certain it’s another person. He’s dawning light pink hair and a formal shirt to match with black pants and shiny shoes. You can make out his silhouette easily but he feels completely different.

“I see you’re still an avid paint collector,” you say to make your presence known. He turns his head slightly before turning back to the painting, refusing to acknowledge you. “It’s a beautiful painting,” you try again.

“It’s you.”

You stay silent at that, a hundred thoughts flying through your head.

Me? Does he see me in the painting? Or did he paint it?

You wonder. Either way, it is you, because Seokjin believes you are a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and nothing can change his perspective.

You continue standing at the door as Seokjin walks to his desk and sits down.

“Take a seat, Y/N,” he orders, and you oblige.

He keeps his gaze glued to the wall behind you and yours is on your lap, staring at the design of your phone. It’s silent for an eternity, but you don’t mind, even though you’re internally unable to breathe.

“So due to Yoori’s carelessness, you’ve landed back here. But I must ask you, Y/N, was this the perfect opportunity for you to come back, or what?” He asks you as if he is speaking to a dog. He probably wouldn’t even talk to a dog in such a crude manner.

“It was the perfect opportunity for me to earn more money,” you rebuff.

He scoffs, something the Seokjin you knew would never do. When you finally look at him, you see him looking at you too.

“You do know I’m going to make your life a living hell, don’t you?”

You keep silent at that, both you and him knowing the answer to his question.

When you look at him carefully, you see how much he’s changed. He’s much paler, or that’s probably the effect of dawning light hair. He looks taller and more mature. There’s no glint in his eyes anymore and you notice a tattoo peaking through his shirt. He wasn’t the Jin you knew so well two years ago, he had changed.

“Stop with the rhetoric language Seokjin, it doesn’t suit you.” He laughs at your words and you roll your eyes.

“As you’re aware, I’ve transferred Yoori to downtown. Once she realises how much leeway she received here, her sorry ass will suffer for bringing you here.”

You’re flabbergasted at how rudely he speaks about the girl he loves in her absence, but you say nothing regarding it. He really had turned bitter.

“She didn’t know, Seokjin,” you say in a trembling voice.

“Well she ought to have known,” he spits back.

“And since I’m in dire need of a new P.A., it’s your job to find a suitable replacement at the earliest, and whilst doing so, you will serve as my temporary P.A.”

“I’m an accountant, I was hired to be an accountant,” you state, shaking your head. This wasn’t happening, you weren’t going to let it.

“And an accountant you’ll be, but you’ll be my personal assistant as well. You’ll be paid for both jobs, I’m not that cruel. But for you, it’s go hard or go home, Miss Y/L/N.”

When he says nothing more, you realise that this is really happening. He was really burdening you with two jobs at once. And if you complained, he’d find his way out of it, because he had his hatred to fuel him.

And that’s how you end up wiping the pretty white tiles of your pretty boss with his pretty tissues. Because you’re the personal assistant of Kim Seokjin, and boy was he already taking you for a ride.


hi i need friends. ok. bye

Every generation has faced the choice: Do we let our ideals expand or retract? Do we let our freedoms grow or do they retrench? Do we let love expand or do we love be beaten by hate? This generation now has our task. There is a shadow hanging over our ideals and our values. There is assault on our values and our principles. And now more than ever we must choose to fight. We must choose to resist. We must choose to stand up for what we believe in. Now more than ever.
—  Cory Booker, DC Rally, 1/30/2017

People since the Hilton era of reality TV, certainly since the Kardashian, be all “we didn’t USED to pay so much attention to the petty doings of the vapid rich". Girl YES we did, that was the society pages. Same concept, same audience.

(My father was in the society pages once. As an old-for-America commercial city, Philadelphia had a respectable “society” presence, and he escorted some girl to a cotillion in the ‘50s.)

Course they had actual aristocrats to fill that role in Europe. The “jet set” of the ‘60s was basically air travel making it practical for American “society” to merge with the Eurotrash in seaside resorts, rather than the distinct continental and Vineyard-Palm Beach-Pasadena circuits they’d had before.

That kind of faded as time went on, maybe countercultural anti-rich-WASPiness. Maybe that as superstructure to the relative eclipse of heirs after the New Deal and publicly held Managerial Revolution. (Eclipsed by professionals, as “bright young things”, heroic engineers and surgeons, “yuppies”, “symbolic manipulators”, the “creative class”?)

Writings of the 80s often describe the period as particularly celebrity-obsessed, that always struck me as odd. Maybe we’re still swimming in that world and can’t notice the water. But Beatlemania was in the ‘60s, Hollywood celebrity fandom predates WWII. (I do notice that models seemed to become celebrities more in the 80s-90s, where now it seems more celebrities from some other field are used as models.)

I think I’m starting to realize that part of it is “celebrity” started filling that “society” niche. Part of it was celebrities claiming some authority(-from-authenticity) to intervene in society, especially in the “New Hollywood” of the ‘70s - Brando sending Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to the Oscars, Jane Fonda in Vietnam, Warren Beatty reminding America of its communist traditions. That’s when it became normal for movie stars to “have a cause”. And then into the ‘80s in music, Live Aid, Band Aid, Farm Aid, Bono. Fuckin’ Bono.

Of course, a lot of this just turned into charity-for-the-purpose-of-attention-getting, but how do you think all those society charity balls worked?

I suppose the transition moment from “society” to “celebrity” would be Henry Kissinger at Studio 54.

Of course actual royalty is still a thing, in the older-tilting supermarket tabloids. The Charles-Diana wedding in '81 was huge in the states, a lot of contemporaries linked that to cultural retrenchment after the '70s went off the rails (heterosexual monogamous monarchy, hard to top that for tradition).

And if now we’re back, on reality TV and Instagram, to gawking at the callow rich and their hangers-on, courtiers and courtesans, well, we’ve been there before.

[TRANS] 170711 Star Crew’s statement

Hello. This is HOTSHOT’s company, Star Crew.

Firstly, we would like to sincerely apologise to fans who felt worried and uneasy rather than happy regarding HOTSHOT’s sudden comeback and anticipated a high quality stage. The company is also aware of the passionate support that fans have been giving HOTSHOT and would like to convey our gratitude.

After their debut in October 214, HOTSHOT’s last official activity in Korean was their repackage album in July 2015. In the same year, they did activities in China from October and officially debuted in Japan in April 21016, focusing on overseas promotion.

Truthfully speaking, because of external problems in July 2016, the company business worsened and we had to retrench many staffs in tears. As a result,apart from needing staffs for music production, we also lacked PR staff who could manage the SNS accounts. As such, in order for HOTSHOT to release an album in 2017 with more than 3 songs, it required a production period of 6 to 7 months.

In the midst of working on their comeback, Ha Sungwoon and Noh Taehyun participated in ‘Produce 101 Season 2’ as trainees and both of their efforts paid off with good results. As everyone knows, Ha Sungwoon will promote as a member of ‘WANNA-ONE’ and Noh Taehyun will return as a member of HOTSHOT.

Currently, it has been finalised that HOTSHOT’s new song will be released on July 15th. We are awarre of the doubts surrounding whether it’s too rush of a comeback of if the company has considered our intentions. As mentioned earlier, after HOTSHOT’s activites in Japan, they have been working hard recording songs and finalising the choreography for their Korean comeback. Therefore, we were able to announce news about their comeback right after ‘Produce 101 Season 2’ ended. HOTSHOT’s July comeback has been discussed with all members and set since the beginning of the year. As such, we hope that everyone does not misundertand that the company forcefully fixed this comeback.

In the future, the company will continue to discuss HOTSHOT’s activities with the members and give them full support. With the help of a staff who has decided to take responsibility for the official Fancafe, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram which have not been managed well throughout this time, as well as preparing new channels, we aim to get them running back up as fast as possible with full dedication. With the absence of a networking team causing fans to be unable to communicate with the members, we deeply apologise and promise to be more efficient in the future.

Also, if there are plans for Noh Taehyun who received lots of love from nation producers through ‘Produce 101 Season 2’ to promote with JBJ members, the company promises to give our utmost support.

Lastly, since the company situation was the reason why HOTSHOT had to take a long hiatus from Korea promotions and made the HOTSHOT members and fans wait , we sincerely apologise and will work hard to actively communicate with the members and fans in the future. For HOTSHOT who will be making a comeback again, we ask for your warm encouragement and endless support so that they can continue performing with the love from fans. Once again, the company deeply apologises for making fans worry.

Thank you.

Trans cr: hotshotsg
© TAKE OUT WITH FULL CREDITS

Herb of the Week-Motherwort

COMMON NAMES

Lion’s Ear
Lion’s Tail
Lion’s Tart
Motherwort
Although motherwort is indigenous to Europe, over the years, the plant has acclimatized itself to the different conditions all over North America. Presently, motherwort is found in the terrain ranging from Nova Scotia to Montreal and southern parts of North America to Texas and North Carolina. The plant thrives best in vacant plots and other wastelands.

The motherwort is a perpetual plant often growing up to a height of five feet. The herb bears leaves that are hairy and have an unkempt and disheveled look and often resembles the tail of a lion. Owing to the leaves’ appearance to the lion’s tail, the herb is also known by other common nicknames like lion’s ear, lion’s tart and of course, lion’s tail. The each leaf of motherwort comprises three hemispheres that are shaped like javelins. The herb bears pink, white or purple colored petite flowers that normally blossom between June and September. The motherwort flowers normally blossom in clusters or groups.

Keep reading

I think that Lin is stepping forward, boldly, with the first real synthesis of two great American institutions: the Broadway musical and hip-hop. Before Hamilton, each of them had their monuments. Broadway had its Chorus Line, Cats and West Side Story. Hip-hop had its Ready to Die, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and 3 Feet High and Rising. But the two worlds turned independently of one another. When there was a seismic event on Broadway, the citizens of hip-hop nation didn’t feel the ground move under their feet. And when there was a major release or retrenchment in hip-hop, the dancers and directors and dramaturges didn’t experience an inner reawakening. Until now. Because Hamilton’s isn’t just a hip-hop musical or a stage presentation of hip-hop; it’s organically and genuinely both things at once, in ways that are too important to be skimmed over.

Let’s start with the music and build up from there. When I hear Hamilton described as a “hip-hop musical,” even when I’m the one doing the describing, I balk a little bit at the phrase. Even when swearing to friends that it’s not “B-boy with spirit fingers,” it’s hard to capture. The music in the show isn’t limited to hip-hop. There are elements of pop and elements of rock and elements of the more traditional show-tune feel. But the very fact that the show draws on all these diverse genres is exactly what makes it hip-hop in spirit. Think back to all the different kinds of music and musical energy that have been absorbed into hip-hop. Run-DMC used American hard rock, in the form of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” for their song of the same name. Kanye West sampled classic R&B, in the form of Ray Charles, for “Gold Digger.” And Jay-Z used Broadway show tunes themselves, in the form of the Annie lament “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” for “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” (and then, in an encore performance, the Oliver! song “I’ll Do Anything” for “Anything”). Hip-hop, at its heart, draws on old pieces of multiple traditions but gives them a new context and new life.

The show’s tagline, “This is the story of America then, told by America now,” thinks that it’s about American history, but it’s just as much about American musical history, and specifically about the way that hip-hop has always operated. It locates the past and adds a layer of the present in a way that becomes genuinely forward-looking. That’s the first great hip-hop characteristic of the show, to borrow all kinds of music equally, and to turn them toward one end.

The second comes from Lin’s profound understanding of what makes hip-hop truly revolutionary. Broadway, at its best, works because of its spectacle: It has precision and scale and energy, and it manages to have these things over and over again without losing a step. A Broadway trouper can hit his or her marks precisely and powerfully whether it’s the first time or (in the case of the Phantom of the Opera) the 10 thousandth. Hip-hop comes from a different place. It has immediacy and cleverness and the sense of doing something big with relatively simple supplies (voice, sample, brain).

This is where Hamilton really soars. Every time I have seen it, I have tried to dissect what I’m watching: not to understand it, but to dissect it, analytically, and then count the parts. There aren’t that many parts. There are actors and dancers and a script and lighting cues and music. Those are the basic organs required for survival. But they’re used with an efficiency and a certainty that can only come from hip-hop, and from Lin’s understanding of what hip-hop really is, down at the bottom.

anonymous asked:

how does the jewish community handle islamophobia? even elie wiesel is highly racist towards arabs and ignorant towards muslims. ive been called a "raghead" and a "schwoogie" numerous times by jews in my area for supporting palestine, im starting to believe that the jewish community is vile and racist because of these people, please help point me in a different direction?

I’m not going to pretend that anti-arab racism and islamophobia aren’t problems in the Jewish community. Both definitely exist in significant amounts and that’s something we have to police internally. No one else can do it for us.

To some extent it is handled on a communal level. Synagogues and Jewish groups I’ve been a member of have engaged in interfaith summits and mixers. The point behind those is to try to engage with each other as people, accept our respective differences, and look for commonalities. There are many that exist.

Part of the issue is a collective sense of fear. You have to keep in mind that Jews have spent the last 2000 years in a state of existential terror due to the fact that non-Jewish majority cultures have expelled, ghettoized, forced conversions and murdered us. That has been true in Europe, but it has also been true in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Not to sound like Star Wars, but fear can lead to anger which can lead to hate. The more under attack you feel, the more likely you are to turn to people who you feel you can trust, in our case other Jews. What makes it worse is that there are really very few of us, about 14 million in a world with 7 billion people in it. From the amount of time we see people spend talking about their notions of Jewish power and influence, we are .2% of the world’s population. 

Now, I’ve seen Arab and Muslim say and post all sorts of things were anti-semitic as hell. I have to make a conscious choice not to blame all Arabs or Muslims. It doesn’t help that Arabs and Muslims are demonized in the American culture where I was raised. There are institutional forces pitting us against each other. There is all sorts of propaganda that we have to work to identify and resist. Collective change takes work. 

Part of my frustration with the Israel/Palestine debate is how it has changed since my teen years in the 1990s. At that point, when the Peace Process seemed to be more than a talking point, I was able to visit Palestinian villages and talk with people. There were no walls. There was a sense that change was possible and on the horizon and the big question was what form it would take. That all changed. Nowadays we see a great deal of retrenchment, fear, disengagement, collective demonization and judging everyone by the worst actors in their groups. We need to find a way to get over that. Co-existence should be the goal, but we’ve chosen vilification instead. We’ve entered a vicious cycle of violence, recrimination, assumptions of bad faith and shouting of invective. I wish I knew how to undo it. All I can promise is to try to do my part.

anonymous asked:

As someone who is quite unfamiliar with the history of modern China, what would you say are some critical points/events that led to its communism turning into this... thing that it is now

By the late 1950′s, early 1960′s, there were elements within the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) that more or less called for the restoration of capitalism within China, among these Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping who presented themselves as loyal supporters of Mao Tse-tung yet were considered more “moderate” in terms of policies.

The star of Liu Shaoqi was in the ascent during this period. Liu’s leadership of the ‘first line’ gave him the authority to convene conferences, select speakers, and thus secure passage of the measures he supported. For example, in an expanded CC meeting of January 21-27, 1962 (the ‘meeting of the 7,000’ cadres), Liu Shaoqi presided and gave a speech (on the twenty-sixth) in which he reported that Hunan peasants had told him that the failure of the Leap was only 30 percent due to natural catastrophes and 70 percent due to ‘human errors.’

At the same time, Liu called for the following reforms: (1) immediate cessation of work on projects from which no 'economically relevant results’ were expected; (2) shutting down enterprises that make no profit or operate on a loss; (3) reintroduction of free markets and higher prices for agricultural produce; and (4) use of the production team as the basic accounting unit. This conference was followed by the Xilou conference of the Politburo Standing Committee, which was held from February 21 to 26, 1966, and again chaired by Liu. At the meeting, Chen Yun submitted a report pointing to a deficit of two billion yuan. The report, which was accepted and distributed to local levels, justified retrenchment and increased reliance on local initiative to solve economic problems. At the Beidaiho Politburo Conference in August 1962, Liu Shaoqi again raised the questions to be discussed and dominated the meetings.
(Dittmer, L. Liu Shaoqi and the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Rev Ed. England: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 1998. p. 42.)

Understanding that there was an urgent necessity to attack and remove capitalist roaders from the party, and to avoid what happened in the Soviet Union with the ascension of the Khrushchev clique, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was launched to address this pressing issue (among others).

While Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping were purged (forced to retire from their positions, and more or less barred from any party duty) during the GPCR, the latter would have the benefit of being Zhou Enlai’s protege, someone who had accumulated a lot of power within the CCP and held certain influence over Mao Tse-tung, especially after Lin Biao’s attempted coup (some argue that this coup was initiated because Mao Tse-tung had refused to follow Lin Biao’s suggestion of becoming head of state, thus displacing Zhou Enlai and allowing Lin Biao to later succeed as head of state and party chairman. It’s hard to say whether this was based on rivalry or genuine mistrust regarding Zhou Enlai, but the coup had catastrophic effects and affected the general opinion on the GPCR).

With Zhou Enlai’s death, Deng Xiaoping, who Zhou had appointed as his successor, saw himself being removed once again from any influential positions as the Gang of Four, with Mao Tse-tung’s support, launched a campaign against Deng. Hua Guofeng instead became the premier and vice chairman of the party.

Once Mao Tse-tung died, Hua Guofeng succeed as chairman of the CCP and the central military commission to much of the Gang of Four’s surprise. Thus they engaged in a political war to ensure the future of socialist China (which they unfortunately failed to win). Since Guofeng required support in dealing with the Gang of Four, he restored Deng Xiaoping to series of positions (Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Military Commission and Chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army). In reply to his rehabilitation, Deng would use his newly found influence to oust Guofeng, consolidate his power over the CCP, and a launch a series of campaigns to besmirch and “criticise” the GPCR (in a similar fashion to De-Stalinisation in the USSR) and to reform China’s economic model with pro-capitalist elements.

A real cowboy of revisionism

This, of course, is a very brief and simplified version of the events that transpired. If you’d like to read more the subject, we have a bunch of books in our library but we also recommend reading “The Political Economy of Counterrevolution in China: 1976-88“ by Henry Park, “The Capitalist Roaders Are Still on the Capitalist Road“ by China Study Group, “And Mao Makes 5″ by Raymond Lotta, and “Evaluating the Cultural Revolution in China and its Legacy for the Future“ by MLM Revolutionary Study Group in the U.S.

Luidzhia

Ons Light Novel 5 Chapter 3

Title:  The Disappearing Princess

Disclaimer: This is a fan-made translation from Chinese translations! Please go easy and enlighten us on any mistakes or deviations from the original light novel. All credit goes to the original author and illustrators. - Hyaka and Kuro Shion

—————————————————————————————

It was completely dark when Guren walked out of the lift of the condominium.

The times was 6.15pm in the afternoon. Time for dinner.

On the streets that were being illuminated by the street lights, silhouettes of salarymen and students whose uniforms were shoddily worn could be seen.

Walking away from the broader streets, Guren called for a taxi.

“Hop on.”

Keep reading

At the same time Alexander undoubtedly had one pressing and all too practical reason for his impatience. Philip’s attitude to money (which his son inherited) had been more or less that of the Prussian general Von Moltke, who in 1914 when presented with a memorandum on the need for an Economic General Staff, replied: ‘Don’t bother me with economics - I am busy conducting a war.’ But to maintain a professional standing army created economic problems that could not possibly be ignored… Alexander in fact found himself facing a very modern dilemma. Retrenchment could only be achieved by dissolving the splendid army on which all his hopes hung. This, for him, was unthinkable. But if he refused to reduce his commitments, he had to increase his resources; and his notions of how this could be done were strictly limited. To his way of thinking, an empty treasury was best filled at someone else’s expense - and the Great King’s coffers, as everyone knew, were fabulously well-stocked. In other words, to solve his economic crisis, Alexander must either sink back into obscurity or wage a successful war or aggression. There was never much doubt about which he would choose.
—  Alexander of Macedon, Peter Green

anonymous asked:

What do you think about the PEN Freedom of Speech Award for Charlie Hebdo and the writers like teju cole who refuse to present at it?

Neither faction seems to me to have good sense on their side. 

Molecular biologists (bear with me) have a specialized definition of the word ‘sense.’ DNA, as everyone knows, looks like a ladder twisted into a very tight helical staircase. The rungs of this ladder are composed of two nucleic acids that grip one another to form what is called a base pair. Each nucleic acid will grip only that which complements it: adenine grips thymine while cytosine grips guanine (AT, CG.) If a single molecule of DNA unwinds and splits down the middle, the two halves of the genetic ladder will naturally attract the corresponding bases required for the original molecule’s duplication.

Now, the purpose of DNA is to direct the formation of proteins. If DNA is a means of storing the ‘genetic code,’ that which is encrypted by it are proteins. ‘Sense’ refers to the half of the DNA ladder whose code will be deciphered to direct the assembly of these proteins. The content of the other strand, the strand which compliments ‘sense,’ is called ‘antisense.’ This is because it contains, as it were, the opposite information from that in the sense strand:

A—T
T—A
C—G
G—C
T—A
C—G
C—G

(Sense on the left, antisense on the right.)    

Sense and antisense provide a very useful metaphor when it comes to thinking about things like radical Islam, Charlie Hebdo and the wise response to atrocity. The idea here is to discover the sense of a thing. This is done by examining its contours so minutely that when you peel yourself away from it, you become its negation. Here’s a personal example that uses it:


Credo

I do not believe in God. I do believe in humanity. My faith has neither a Christ, nor a gospel. There is, however, an antisense.

The antisense of what I believe is the Holocaust.

One can worship an antithesis in the service of one’s faith more effectively than a deity. The Holocaust is a negative image of my belief and it is deeply stamped on the world. In the depths of its fissures, where it perfectly negates everything that I believe, I can see the impression of the spires of my faith:

  • If the Holocaust concentrated Jews, homosexuals, the Roma, and all the other elements of German society who rendered it heterogeneous, and did this so that they could be murdered—very well: in my faith societies are alive only if they are mixed unto the point of abolishing majority. 
  • If the Holocaust attempted to destroy the mentally ill, the physically disabled, the miscegenated and all the other embarrassments to racial purity—very well: in my faith these people are all the nobler for their difference. 
  • If the Holocaust slaughtered communists and the enemies of exploitation—very well: in my faith the advantages of wealth are no more than a heritable debt that holds one’s humanity in hock until it is paid. 
  • If the Holocaust exploited bureaucracy’s talent for sneaking guilt out of focus until even the most ordinary person could perform mass murder—very well: in my faith any order I execute, I execute as though on my own children.


This at any rate, is the sense I make from the Holocaust. There are a great many awful things in the world whose contours must be inverted by making sense of them. Unfortunately, as I’ve said before, things like massacres tend merely to prove that people believe themselves capable of good if they can readily hate what is despicable. Righteous indignation in the face of injustice is not the same thing as sense. For example:

The men who murdered Charlie Hebdo’s staff and Paris’ policemen imagined themselves as martyrs for the propriety of Islam. We, in turn, imagine those murdered staff as martyrs to the freedom of speech. Their martyrdom is set to be commemorated with an award by PEN International on May 5th.

I say that this is not the sense that should be made of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Imagining the staff to be martyrs who deserve a posthumous reward does nothing but replicate in ourselves the murderers’ black-and-white thinking and their self-righteousness which saw difference as barbarity. By doing this we merely steel our resolve with the same sentiments that steadied the murderers’ nerves. A society that cherishes the distinction between good and evil will be stacked with dead heros and haunted by unapprehended villains. This is the sense imposed by the United States after September 11th. A sense whose reflexive and unconsidered creation has inundated the world and now flows back to its issuing wound in New York City.  

Conversely, imagining Charlie Hebdo unworthy of an award honoring courageous exercise of free speech implies that there are others more deserving. But this is not true, because awards are the badges of mediocrity. Awards single out for adulation the last to be early and the first not to be late. The illumination they cast on their recipient is poisonous and the reflection thrown back blinds our imaginations with a middlebrow glare. Anything you think is important enough to deserve an award is probably too important to be given one. This is also not the sense we need.

(By this point it should be obvious that the cultural value of Charlie Hebdo’s editorial content is irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make. I’m interested in new breeds of dog. The farcical self-seriousness of dog shows where ancient breeds are ranked by worth or purity fills me with intense boredom.)

Good sense dissolves conflict rather than escalating it through retrenchment. It recognizes, for example, that the desire and means to murder cannot be destroyed but only neutralized by the provision of better ideas. If by some dark miracle I were suddenly to inhabit the body and mind of George W. Bush on September 12th, 2001, I would have announced mandatory classes in Islamic studies at all public high schools. I would have explained that the way out of pain runs for a very great distance through humility. I would have said that cycles of violence are cyclical because familiar territory is the easiest to traverse. I would have shown that the more intimate your feeling for the contours of antisense, the more undeniable the shape of progress becomes.

I think that the reason that Hamilton is blowing people’s wigs back is something a little different. I think that Lin is stepping forward, boldly, with the first real synthesis of two great American institutions: the Broadway musical and hip-hop. Before Hamilton, each of them had their monuments. Broadway had its Chorus Line, Cats and West Side Story. Hip-hop had its Ready to Die, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and 3 Feet High and Rising. But the two worlds turned independently of one another. When there was a seismic event on Broadway, the citizens of hip-hop nation didn’t feel the ground move under their feet. And when there was a major release or retrenchment in hip-hop, the dancers and directors and dramaturges didn’t experience an inner reawakening. Until now. Because Hamilton’s isn’t just a hip-hop musical or a stage presentation of hip-hop; it’s organically and genuinely both things at once, in ways that are too important to be skimmed over.
—  Questlove on ‘Hamilton’ and Hip-Hop: It Takes One, Rolling Stone

Guardian’s 100 best Footballers in 2013

FC Barcelona players

1. Lionel Messi- Maybe the best way to put it is that when Lionel Messi is missing, as he has been too frequently over recent months, it can seem that football is missing its principal showman. He is the player you always want on the ball and, as soon as it arrives, there is always that instantaneous burst of expectation. It is rare in the extreme and though Diego Maradona will always have nostalgia on his side, Messi’s output is prodigious enough to give oxygen to all the arguments about their immense qualities. All that can currently be said is that Messi is the only player in the past quarter of a century who has made the debate legitimate. By now, you will be familiar with the gifts that make him a giant of his sport: the balance, the speed off the ground, the way he sees everything on the perimeters of a pitch and takes the art of dribbling to its highest level. They say left feet are educated. Well, there is nothing in the world that Messi’s does not seem to know. But there is also something about Messi that does not get talked about enough amid the avalanche of statistics identifying his position as a formidable collector of goals. Messi has won the Ballon d’Or in four consecutive seasons and though Cristiano Ronaldo might knock him off the perch next month, the Argentinian is on the shortlist again to make it five. Just consider the hunger and drive that goes into maintaining that level of consistent excellence. It is not the peacock-like spreading of feathers that make Messi an authentic great, it his attitude and commitment. What we have now is a player for whom a goal drought means two or three games without scoring. Opponents will flood midfield to try to smother him. They will kick him, and chop him, and surround him, but it rarely works. And Barcelona are great for it. A team with Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta and so many others will never be on nodding terms with ordinariness, but just look at what happened last season when Messi went into their Champions League tie against Bayern Munich with a damaged hamstring, then was not risked in the second leg. It is Messi, always, who shines the brightest out of the constellation of star footballers at Camp Nou

5. Andres Iniesta- The man Sergio Ramos calls Spain’s “magician” and Fernando Torres says is “touched by a magic wand”, Andrés Iniesta is the creative talent for Barcelona and Spain who does not so much run as skate. There is something deceptive about Iniesta’s game, about the way that he seems to show the ball to opponents only to take it away from them again, about the way he seems to be holding it too long until you realise that he is merely waiting for exactly the right moment to release it, inviting the pressure on to himself because, as one coach puts it, he can: deep down he trusts his touch so much that he can take what appear to be risks, knowing that his feet are faster than anyone else’s. Injuries have been a constant problem in Iniesta’s career but look back over the past three major international tournaments, all of them won by Spain with him at their heart, and his influence is startling

6. Neymar- What a difference a goal can make. Until his wondrous left-foot goal against Japan in the Confederations Cup last June, Neymar was being doubted even by Brazilian supporters and a dry spell of almost 900 minutes certainly did not help. There were also accusations he would not handle his €57m move to Barcelona. However, after playing an integral part in Brazil’s dress rehearsal for the 2014 World Cup, including a flawless display in the dismantling of Spain in Rio, Neymar has hit a different stride for club and country. It has been interesting to see the Brazilian blending in at the Camp Nou without ruffling Lionel Messi’s feathers and that he has done so by accepting a more subdued role in Gerardo Martino’s plans, although he has shown glimpses of what he can do. The striker has done better than many naysayers predicted, as much as his critics might bemoan his theatrics. Neymar is a crucial part of Brazil’s plans to lift their first World Cup on home soil next year

8. Xavi- It is a depressing thought, but one of the questions that face Barcelona and Spain is how to prepare for a post-Xavi era. The Catalan is 34 next year and the reality is that however many creative, technical, passing midfielders Spain produces, none are quite like Xavi. The man team-mates call the machine, he has been what could be described as the ideologue behind arguably two of the most successful sides in history, teams with an instantly recognisable identity. Brazil will be his last World Cup, maybe the last time he ever plays for the national team. Spain may never have had a more important player and may never have one again

27. Sergio Busquets- Outlining Sergio Busquets’ qualities is no longer an exercise in explaining how his solid, reliable positioning provides a platform for Lionel Messi et al to shine. He is now Barcelona’s second most important player, after the Argentinian. His positional sense remains superb – the way he anticipates danger and often drops between his centre-backs to make crucial challenges. His aerial power is also crucial and his passing has become increasingly incisive.

29. Cesc Fabregas- The fact he is fast approaching 400 appearances for clubs and country at the age of 26 is remarkable. Over the past year Fábregas has demonstrated the range of his game – used as a centre forward, playmaker or deep-lying midfielder. Perhaps he is slightly underrated because he doesn’t have a clearly defined position. But he only needs to glance at Andrés Iniesta to see that doesn’t necessarily reduce a fine player’s value to his team.

39. Gerard Pique- On the one hand another blockbusting year for Piqué, as Barcelona won La Liga by 15 points and reached the Champions League semi-finals. On the other, an uncomfortable one at times as Piqué has struggled occasionally in a team that no longer disguises his mild defensive shortcomings by monopolising possession and which demands that its central defenders defend a little more. He remains a wonderfully skilled ball-playing central defender but it has been a year of retrenchment

41. Dani Alves- Last season was not a vintage one for Dani Alves and Barcelona, but the fact that the club did not look in the market for a replacement right-back is a testament to the Brazilian’s lasting power. It might also be a case of remembering that Alves is one of the players with most assists to Lionel Messi. A Seleção “untouchable” for the past three years, the Brazilian might be slowing down but still packs a punch or two

63. Javier Mascherano- Mascherano talks an extremely good game: there is a reason why they call him the Little Chief. He admits to learning a new game since joining Barcelona. He also became a defender, full stop. The cliché said that he should not play at centre-back but he performed well there. Until now. With Barcelona now playing deeper, Mascherano at centre-back has not really worked. And no one knows that better than him.

69. Victor Valdes- Let’s get the myths out of the way. Víctor Valdés is not rubbish and Barcelona could not just as easily play without a goalkeeper. Those ridiculous assertions have been definitively disproved. He has been Spain’s best keeper for the last two years, at least, and is a man of character as well as talent: agile, strong and focused. Largely forgotten now, he was the hero of Barcelona’s 2006 European Cup win. He will leave Camp Nou at the end of the season. They will miss him.

95. Alexis Sanchez- When Sánchez described himself as a jugadorazo – a great player – most people giggled, and not just because of his accent. Far from arrogant, Alexis’s comment could in fact be read as an attempt to convince himself. After all, his start at Barcelona, a club where some players are effectively forced to reprogramme, has been far from easy. Yet the focus on the missed chances and occasional stumbles overlooked the importance of his movement for others. And now, he is scoring goals too, including a wonderful chip in the clásico, the confidence flooding back and the class starting to show.

youtube

Mamma Aggie

A heart touching short documentary about life as a working class South African told through the story of Agnes Mofokeng. Mamma Aggie also reveals the many hardships of life working for a Labour broker. It shows the transition that UCT (University of Cape Town) took to save money by retrenching their gardeners and cleaners and instead outsourcing the labour broker, Metro.

I’m just like

I’m sorry that I’m so pissed about this I just really dislike

A)This immediate retrenchment around the Democratic party and this casting of anyone who’s talking about working class stuff as a quasi white supremacist

B)The people who are like getting hundreds of notes saying that the problems that rural areas face aren’t real in the face of any and all fucking studies about the area 

like the area around my hometown will get like, two drunk driving deaths and a heroin overdose a year, this in an area with a very small population.  People don’t have any meaning, don’t feel like their life has any forward movement, so they kill themselves with this shit.  Working in a school was like existing in an alternate universe where people weren’t constantly depressed about their jobs and the impossibility of making ends meet.

and my town is doing pretty well

I just want to say...

When I was Protestant (non Catholic Christian) I unintentionally didn’t really talk about Jesus, God, or any religious things outside of Church with anyone, not even with my Christian friends. Sometimes I would go as far as liking a inspiration Christian message in FB, but that’s it. I read the bible by flipping through the pages and opening to random verses. 99.9% percent of my conversations were about other parts of my life, what ever it was at that moment. I prayed when I needed God, when I was desperate…and for some reason in the restroom.

Then I became Catholic, and Christ IS my life. Christ is literally ALL I talk about with anyone, all I think about, and all I live for, 100% unintentionally. I can’t stop. I look at religious photos all day long, read religious books, seek Christ in absolutely everything I do, UNINTENTIONALLY. Sure I’m still lacking in nearly every spiritual department, and I have a whole life time of perfecting to do…but I just wanted to say, that the Eucharist has transformed every word i say, thought in my head, every action i take, even the air I exhale. Christ has permanently attached himself to my life.

Sometimes my selfishness pushes Christ away, and I can feel that despair and that hunger to the point I’m driven nearly mad. Then I retrench to confession and reflect on all the holes I nailed into my soul, seeking to fill these with acts of penance, with prayers for graces.

Now this isn’t a Catholic versus Protestant post. this is just me trying to explain the difference I feel in my life. We are born to seek love and to seek truth and when you spend your whole life seeking yourself, and you finally forget yourself and find that Truth and that Love; it is eating for the first time.

I can’t explain the ultimate joy I feel everyday, and it isn’t because I have a perfect life, or I’m a perfect person, but because I live a life of suffering and I find hope in a perfect Love. I pray everyday for everyone to understand, to know, the difference between temporal happiness, and Joy. I pray every day that everyone stop seeking happiness, but seek Joy.

I just love everyone so much, and that feeling is so hard to explain. For now all I can hug you with is prayers and tears. I hope they reach you, I hope you can feel that Joy that you were made for!

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism will reduce its class size and cut about six positions from its staff as the news industry retrenches.

The New York school will also focus on raising funds for student scholarships, Coll said. Estimated tuition, fees and living expenses for a full-time master’s degree student are $92,933, according to the school website. Coll said he will host a public meeting tomorrow to discuss the changes.

LOL!