service symbol

Flower Symbolism in The Empire of Corpses, aka “I am still not over it and I need to find new ways to suffer”

So I’ve recently watched The Empire of Corpses and since I loved it to pieces I decided to do some research about symbolism of one specific scene that caught my attention. As I am heavily into hidden meanings and usually Japanese movies make a good use of these tricks, I thought that something interesting might come up… And it did.

Most of the following is spoiler free, but I suggest to watch the movie before you decide to keep on reading.

Right, for starters. Remember the bunch of flowers Watson removes from Friday’s grave before digging him up? Here’s a picture I screencapped:

What we see:

- 12 white roses (or what APPEARS to be 12 roses, see below)
- 1 magnolia alba (aka white champaca)
- 1 white chrysanthemum (or white carnation, see below)
- 4 white lilies

In Victorian times, sending flowers was a discreet way of sending messages to each other, as every flower has a very specific meaning and conveys a message. I have done a lot of research about the flowers that appear in Watson’s bunch for Friday and this is what I found around the internet and books.

- White roses in general are a very strong symbol of purity and spiritual love, expressing enduring love for the deceased. In Scotland (Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, was born in Edinburgh), the white rose is often given to newlyweds as a symbol of loyalty. White roses evoke reverence, humility, innocence, and youthfulness.
More specifically: giving somebody 12 roses - known as “the perfect dozen” - is a traditional message to signify love all year round, “12 months a year”. It literally means “be mine forever”. BUT, there is a but…
When we first see the bunch of flowers, it looks like this and we can definitely count a dozen roses:

But then, when Watson removes the flowers from the grave, a 13th rose appears…

13 roses mean exactly the following: “Forever friends. Also indicate that there is a secret admirer waiting to be discovered.”

- Magnolias traditionally symbolize dignity, nobility, splendid beauty and magnificence. They are often used as a way to “empower” the general message conveyed by the flower composition in which it’s contained - it means “certainly” when used at the beginning of other sentiments along with other symbols. The magnolia is also a very tough, hard flower, unlike other delicate flowers. This is owing to the fact that it has had to adapt to changing climactic and geological conditions in order to survive, and it is precisely due to this feature that the flower represents endurance, eternity, and long life. In Japan, the magnolia is used as a medicinal and ornamental plant and has very powerful symbolism of "healing on a spiritual level”.

(I wasn’t too certain if the one we see in the screencap might be a chrysanthemum or a white carnation as the design is a bit unclear; I’d personally think the first option is more accurate because chrysanthemum has a stronger symbolism in relation to mourning and losses.)

- Pretty much everywhere in the world BUT Japan and United Kingdom (and some other countries in Asia), the chrysanthemum is symbolic of lamentation and grief; in both Japan and UK - heavily featured in the movie - it is instead a symbol of rebirth and good omen, to the point that is given as a gift to new borns and newlyweds. The white chrysantemum also symbolizes truth within sorrow, the authenticity of a strong bond between two people during hardships, and literally means “you are a wonderful friend”. Because it is associated with rebirth, it also represents patience and perseverance, eternity, and immortality of the soul after death.
- If considering the carnation over the chrysanthemum option; the white carnation has for a long time been associated with acts of love - its meaning is often given as “true mutual love”. The presence of one single flower translates into an idea of uniqueness of the bond. It is also a traditional flower to signify eternal loyalty and innocence.

- White lilies are traditionally given at funerals when the deceased person was really young, and in general it is the flower most commonly associated with funeral services as they symbolize the innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed. When you are giving a white lily you are meaning to say “you are my queen or my king”, and that your loyalty defies death to become sempiternal. The white lily has a number of symbolisms during the Victorian times - virginity, purity as well as majesty. It’s also a flower that says “it’s heavenly to be with you” - a strong sense of recognizing one’s love towards another, usually for the first time. An even number of white lilies represents balance and completion, quite literally translated into “You’ve made my life complete”.

And this is it.
Yes, take a moment to let it sink in…

THIS SHIP IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECT AND CANON AND I WILL FIGHT ANYONE WHO DARES TO SAY OTHERWISE

BONUS:
This is a scene from one of the flashbacks showing Friday when he was still alive. I know this is a bit of a stretch, but considering all of the above, please take a look at his desk: one single red rose (we all know what it means, right? RIGHT? YES IT MEANS LOVE MY DEARS) and a skull, which are a strong pair of opposite symbols translating into a “carpe diem”, “life vs death” and “protection/destruction”.

anonymous asked:

I know that it isn't gonna stop racism, but i always "draw over" (i.e. turn it into an innocent motive) swastikas that people have inscribed in the tables/chairs at my school. As a jew it just makes me very uncomfortable to sit surrounded by those signs. i've always wondered why people would draw them in the first place, like what do they gain from it?

The people who draw these types of symbols are very much trying to take space away from the people they target and make it clear to them and the communities to which they belong that they are not welcome and not safe. Places of congregation like schools and other public places are areas in which everyone comes together to use the same service, so putting hate symbols on them is an effective way to intimidate targeted groups.

It’s absolutely reasonable for you to be uncomfortable, and while structurally it may not end racism, it’s absolutely ok to cover up or draw over swastikas. They can be very, very triggering for people, and while you should report them to your school’s administration when they happen, they also shouldn’t be left there uncritically.

I’m very sorry you’re experiencing this Anon. Channeling the discomfort/frustration/anger you’re probably feeling into the physical action of rejecting this symbol is a good start to divert the negative reactions that can come with seeing something as triggering as this. Take care of yourself.

Spirit Series Pt. 1: Gravestone Symbolism

For those of you with an affinity for spirit work and cemeteries, I have begun a series of informational posts on various related topics. Today, we will discuss the symbols found on old gravstones in the cemetery. 

Anchor: Denotes hope, a symbol of naval service, and is sometimes used as an early christian symbol

Angels: A symbol of Rebirth/Ressurection or a virtuous life (Wisdom, Justice, Mercy)

Arrow: Symbolizes death & mortality

Ball or Orb: Symbolizes faith

Bible: Denotes a former minister or teacher, and symbolizes knowledge 

Bugel: Denotes Military Service / Symbolizes Resurrection 

Butterfly: Premature Death

Celtic Cross: Symbolizes Irish Ancestry

Chain with 3 Links: Denotes membership of the Oddfellows

A Small Chair, Lamb or a Cherub: Denotes that it is a child’s grave

Broken Column: Symbolizes the premature death of the head of the family

Crown with Cross: Denotes membership or ties to the freemasons

DAR: Stands for “Daughters of the American Revolution”

Garland: Symbolizes Victory over Death

Clasped Hands: Symbolizes hope for being reunited in the afterlife

Oak Leaves or Wheat: Denotes a long life, death at an old age

Tree Strump: Life Interrupted

Inverted Torch: An Extinguished Life

So there you go, so now you can know a little bit more about the symbols on Graves and their inhabitants. Please feel free to add to or correct this list if you have something to share!!

The WHEEL OF FORTUNE & THE WORLD feature four animals that symbolize of the four fixed signs of the zodiac and four Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (otherwise known as the “Four Evangelists” or the “Four Cherubim”).

Ezekiel chapter 1 verse 10 provides the following account:
“As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle.”

A man represents MATTHEW, whose gospel outlines Joseph’s ancestral origins from Abraham, underscoring Jesus’ human nature. It is a Christian belief that salvation cannot be achieved without the use of reason, which also explains why the man also represents the zodiacal sign of AQUARIUS (fixed air).

A lion represents MARK, also symbol of Jesus Christ the King. Because it was believed that lions sleep with their eyes open, it is also said to represent Jesus’ ressurection from the dead, as Jesus lay “awake” in the tomb in the days that followed his crucifixion. The lion also represents LEO (fixed fire) and the unwavering courage required on the path towards salvation.

A bull represents LUKE as well as the principle of earthly sacrifice. The Bible offers numerous accounts of bulls or oxen being sacrificed as an offering to God. Bulls also played an instrumental role in the development of agriculture, making them a symbol of service. The bull signifies the sacrifice that Christians should be prepared to make in the name of Jesus. It also represents TAURUS (fixed earth).

An eagle represents JOHN, whose gospel tells of Jesus’ Ascension to Heaven. Eagles also symbolize SCORPIO (fixed water) and the transormation that Jesus made from an earth-bound being to a heavenly being. The gospel of John introduces the concept of “Logos,” which places Jesus within the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, underscoring his divine nature. Gnosis (union with God) cannot be achieved without the death of the ego, which often takes the form of physical death.

Why do you think Pixie specifically chose the Wheel of Fortune and The World to feature the Four Evangelists?

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

The Colors of the Zodiac

Based on color psychology, the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior.

Aries: Red

Positive Symbols: excitement, passion, power, energy, courage, willpower

The sight of red is very powerful as it excites emotion and drives us to take action, much like Aries, the fiery cardinal sign which starts out the Zodiac with a bang. It also symbolizes desire and passion, both key characteristics of Aries’ ruler, Mars.

Negative Symbols: aggression, rage, revenge, violence, lust

Red is such a powerful color that it has physical effects: the sight of red raises blood pressure and increases respiration rate. The color of blood, red is easily associated with violence. Mars, ruler of Aries, is associated with aggression as it is named after the god of war.


Taurus: Brown

Positive Symbols: warmth, support, strength, wisdom, calm, reassurance

Brown is a color which makes us feel secure and stable, much like the Taurus, solid and reliable. This color is associated with wealth as well, a matter associated with Taurus’s ruler, Venus, and very important to Taureans as they seek stability through money.

Negative Symbols: suffocating, controlling, passive, serious, despairing

Taurus can become either too controlling or too passive when they reach extremes. The color brown can have negative psychological effects in extremes, causing a feeling of loss of control or being overwhelming.

Gemini: Yellow

Positive Symbols: joy, wisdom, friendliness, youth, philosophy

The sight of yellow stimulates mental activity and arouses cheerfulness. Gemini is a sign known for its wit and optimism making yellow its color.

Negative Symbols: anxiety, stress, confrontation, cowardice, ego

Gemini is prone to overthinking which causes them a great deal of stress. They can also feel superior to others due to their mental abilities which can lead to trouble.


Cancer: Pink

Positive Symbols: caring, love, affection, calm, intimacy, acceptance

Cancer is the sign of caring and intimacy. Like Cancer’s ruler, the Moon, pink is associated with femininity, emotion and intuition. Both are tied to nurturing.

Negative Symbols: weakness, insecurity, volatile, over-emotional

Cancer can be hard to pin down due to their overwhelming emotions which shift quickly. They are often accused of being too emotional because of this.


Leo: Gold

Positive Symbols: wealth, power, beauty, status, warmth, elegance

Leo, of Fire and ruled by the Sun, is a warm sign associated with power and glory. Leo is a sign that is bold, much like brilliant gold. Wealth, status and generosity are all key to Leo, just as they are to gold.

Negative Symbols: greed, ego, synthetic, cold, self-righteous, opportunistic

Gold represents the ego and self-centered actions. Leo can become focused solely on themselves and forget the needs of those around them. This can make them seem cold if not indifferent.


Virgo: Green

Positive Symbols: health, service, vigor, dependability, protection, perseverance

Green is considered healing as it is the most restful color for human eyes and can actually improve vision. Virgo rules the Sixth House, ruler of health and the ability to overcome difficulties in life. Green is the color of growth and nature, fitting with Virgo’s constant growth as a sign which strives to reach perfection. This color of earth fits well with Virgo, an earth sign, as both are tied to dependability and strength.

Negative Symbols: hypochondriac, cowardice, materialism, jealousy

Virgo can be materialistic and focused on money, as earth signs typically are. Their interest in health can become obsessive as well.


Libra: Blue

Positive Symbols: peace, tranquility, order, loyalty, balance

Blue is a calming color and is actually capable of slowing metabolism, heart rate and eases appetite. Libra is the sign of balance and equality through partnership. As the scale, Libra seeks to create a perfect state of calm, much like blue.

Negative Symbols: coldness, self-righteous, conservative, rigid

Libra, as an air sign, can come off as emotionally distant or cold. Their focus on equality can also come off as self-righteous and conceited.


Scorpio: Black

Positive Symbols: power, sexuality, wealth, depth, mystery

Scorpio rules the Eighth House, house of sex, the unknown and sexuality, all matters associated with black. Black is a symbol of the unknown, it represents what is beyond our understanding.

Negative Symbols: pessimism, control, secrecy, heaviness, death

Scorpio is associated with the unknowns in life such as death, represented in Western society by black. This is a sign which prefers solitude due to their private nature. Scorpions are collectors of secrets.


Sagittarius: Orange

Positive Symbols: vibrancy, warmth, spontaneity, confidence

Sagittarians are bold and spontaneous. They are confident and warm individuals who believe life is meant to be lived to the fullest. Orange matches their vibrant nature.

Negative Symbols: superficiality, over-indulgence, pride, exhibitionism

Sagittarians can come across as superficial because they come on so strong. As they can speak harshly and out of turn, Sagittarius often seem more prideful than they actually are.


Capricorn: Grey

Positive Symbols: security, solidity, composure, practicality

Capricorn is known for stability and pragmatism. Capricorns are logical, composed and supportive. The color gray represents many of these same characteristics as it is a practical color associated with business and reason.

Negative Symbols: rigid, indifferent, melancholy, cold

Capricorn, like the color gray, often comes off as cold or distant. Their strong-held beliefs come off as rigid and severe.


Aquarius: Silver

Positive Symbols: revolution, ingenuity, modern, balance, illumination

Aquarius is the sign of revolution and societal growth, a fresh start, shiny and new. Like silver, Aquarius represents equality for all and balance.

Negative Symbols: distance, coldness, artificiality, deception

Aquarius can be cold and distant though they are so friendly. To be unbiased, they must be neutral which can make them seem even colder or insincere.


Pisces: Purple

Positive Symbols: creativity, balance, humanitarianism, love

The sight of purple inspires reflection and contemplation. It is a color of knowledge and spirituality. Pisces is a sign of peace, balance and love. It is known for thinking outside of the box and wild bouts of imagination.

Negative Symbols: immature, cynical, impractical, delusional

Pisceans are prone to deep and all-consuming fantasies which can be difficult to separate from reality. They are often accused of being immature or unable to care for themselves because they don’t always function well in society.

- Lavinia Amoun

  • Vimes: *tries to do a secret handshake*
  • Vimes: *accidentally summons an ancient demon from the dungeon dimensions*
nytimes.com
Please Don’t Thank Me for My Service
Some veterans wince at reflexive gratitude.
By Matt Richtel

…Who doesn’t want to be thanked for their military service?

Many people, it turns out. Mike Freedman, a Green Beret, calls it the “thank you for your service phenomenon.” To some recent vets — by no stretch all of them — the thanks comes across as shallow, disconnected, a reflexive offering from people who, while meaning well, have no clue what soldiers did over there or what motivated them to go, and who would never have gone themselves nor sent their own sons and daughters.

To these vets, thanking soldiers for their service symbolizes the ease of sending a volunteer army to wage war at great distance — physically, spiritually, economically. It raises questions of the meaning of patriotism, shared purpose and, pointedly, what you’re supposed to say to those who put their lives on the line and are uncomfortable about being thanked for it.

For real. I didn’t sign up for any altruistic reasons, I did it because they offered me a scholarship, and no one who’s thanked me has known what I even did on active duty before they toss this out. I also - fortunately - had a pretty easy time of things in the military. (And as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten even more jaded about everything military so.)

annoyingmaggie  asked:

Number four with TenxRose :) Maybe something fluffy/funny? Thank you so much!

4. things you said over the phone

Here, have a Doomsday reunion!

Calling for a Ride Home  AO3 | FF.net | Teaspoon (when validated)


Bird song was the first thing Rose noticed when she arrived at her newest destination, followed by the scent of tropical flowers carried on the sultry breeze. She slipped the dimension cannon into her pocket and scanned her surroundings, searching for any possible threat. When she didn’t see any people or pending natural disaster, she turned her attention to discovering her location.

Her TARDIS key lay beneath her shirt, cool against her skin. So wherever she was, the Doctor wasn’t nearby. However, she thought she felt the faintest hint of an electrical current buzzing along the key, and she tried not to hope too hard as she pulled her super phone out of her coat pocket.

She turned the phone on and took a deep breath before looking at the display. All the air went whooshing out of her lungs when she saw five bars, indicating excellent service, and the symbol for universal roaming.

So, right universe anyway… even if I’m not on the right planet.

Rose bit her lip and stared at the phone for a moment longer, her finger hovering over the key pad. Finally, need and hope won out over any possible concerns, and she pressed speed dial 1.

Keep reading

These pretties are the seeds of the Sugar Cane - for the first time this year, and at the request of a very dear Spirit, I got some seeds and planted five of them - to be honest, without much expectations, because growing such huge plants in containers is always a challenge. To our surprise, they all sprouted, and only a few months later, grew enough to flower and seed. A couple of days ago, the seeds needed to be picked, because the seedheads were so heavy that they were bending the plants.

Right now, these are drying in our very warm kitchen, so they can be offered at the Noche De Animas Service, as a symbol of susteinance, abundance, and of course sweetness :). BTW, what you see in the pictures is only half of what we got - talk about gardening miracles!

peternclarke  asked:

If the Brotherhood w/o Banners were King's Men who still consider themselves in service to Robert Baratheon, as they state when first meeting Arya in A Storm of Swords, why don't they accept Stannis as his heir?

It’s less literal service to the royal bloodline of House Baratheon than symbolic service to the realm as ruled by Robert:

“We were so few that all we could do was harry their rear, but we told each other that we’d join up with King Robert when he marched west to crush Lord Tywin’s rebellion. Only then we heard that Robert was dead, and Lord Eddard as well, and Cersei Lannister’s whelp had ascended the Iron Throne.

That turned the whole world on its head. We’d been sent out by the King’s Hand to deal with outlaws, you see, but now we were the outlaws, and Lord Tywin was the Hand of the King. There was some wanted to yield then, but Lord Beric wouldn’t hear of it. We were still king’s men, he said, and these were the king’s people the lions were savaging. If we could not fight for Robert, we would fight for them, until every man of us was dead.”

The Brotherhood’s mission and self-conception calls into question the foundations of service. Who are we charged to defend? How are we to enact that defense, especially as more powerful individuals and institutions fail in that charge? What must we do in the name of that defense…and what will we let ourselves do? The knights of the hollow hill play a major role in GRRM’s interrogation of knighthood: how it ties into both the largest political questions and the most intimate of identity arcs, how its vows are both uplifting and constricting, how it can reflect and empower the worst of corruption while also standing as a source of individual strength, etc. Not for nothing does GRRM have the Brotherhood intersect with Sandor, whose story deals with the exact same questions. Of course, their stories arguably took opposite paths from there: Sandor washed up on the Quiet Isle to bury the dead, while the dead rose from the river to lead the Brotherhood over the edge. Hence the Hound helm ending up with the latter. 

quick bonus headcanon in light of FOO DOGS: 

Talonok are unsurpassed weavers all across Sornieth – their small size allows them to work with very fine fibers and to do extremely intricate threadwork. Their culture tends to assign meaning to textiles as a result. 

Most frequently, Talonok will weave fabrics so that their nests can have a soft, warm lining or will use them to sew gifts for friends, family, tribes they wish to curry favour with, lovers… Many of the garments seen on Beastclan-allied Longnecks are Longneck wool spun and knit by Talonok craftsbirds, as a symbol of their new alliance. Warriors, be they Raptorik, Foo, or Beastkin, who have done the Talonok a great service wear a symbol of their deed in the form of an elaborate ceremonial garment.

The sashes that Corven shamans wear are ceremonial garments with prayers chanted over the threads as the fabric is spun, and are said to be imbued with protective wards as a result. The Beastclan sashes that Raptorik warriors have taken to wearing are likewise beginning to take on a spiritual significance – some will embroider on records of the battles they’ve fought, like wearable tapestries, and some will stitch on a small knot of thread to the end for every dragon they slay.

Family quilts and tapestries are not uncommon ways for Raptorik to preserve their history. Being more resilient than parchment and more accurate than an oral tradition, these become deeply precious if not somewhat mismatched heirlooms, with bits of damaged quilts being patched onto new ones, a piece of a garment made as part of a couple’s courtship getting stitched into a family quilt when they wed, and the patched spots messy spots of a nesting blanket all adding their own disorganized bits of history. 

The only dragons small enough to be on the same scale as Talonok are Fae, and their dexterity is limited by having only two fingers per hand. Attempts to study Talonok weaving techniques have largely failed, given the cultural and spiritual significance they attach to the process and their animosity toward dragonkind, so dragon textiles tend to largely be inferior in nature – usually being made by far larger hands and therefore being of a much coarser knit, for example. An increasingly common practice as dragon-Beastclan tensions escalate is to simply loot and co-opt bits of Beastclan material. Wearing Foo mantles is not the only case of dragons angering Talonok through their fashion choices…

anonymous asked:

What's your take on the social justice, WTS, etc. stuff going on at Stanford right now?

Do you mean WTU?

Anyway, generalized take on campus social justice, informed by current events at Stanford but also by friends at other places and various media:

Student politics contains a lot of people on both sides who are basically fighting over the levers of administrative (and in the case of public universities, state) power. They are fighting to get professors fired or tenured; fighting to get their own activists campus jobs doing activism, fighting over where the school’s endowment is invested, fighting over what counts as hate speech and how much trouble you get into for it.

I think this is a bad approach to activism, for three reasons. The first is that it can be used in pursuit of bad goals exactly as easily as in pursuit of good goals; there is no truth-seeking in it. None of the discussions of hate speech or microaggressions that have sparked firestorms on campuses today specify ‘this sort of statement, if untruthful’. And so you get professors fired for being insufficiently pro-Israel and speakers uninvited for being excessively pro-Israel and students made to feel afraid on both sides, depending on who currently has the upper edge in social power. Good policies promote debate not because they respect the inherent value of debate and free speech (well, they should, but that’s harder) but because good policies will win debates. Stanford, a couple years ago, shut down a talk by an opponent of gay marriage. They should have let him talk, because his arguments were not dangerous. They would not have been convincing. Our side has a better argument.

The second reason is that it has, of course, disparate impact. Skye was marvelling earlier today about a story of a beloved classics professor who got fired for putting on Seneca’s Medea - and also got fired from his second job at the school as a janitor. A lot of campus social justice tactics involve getting people fired or calling for their resignation. If the people in question are the well-connected upper middle class, they’ll bounce back from this. It is not a safe assumption that the people whose resignation you’re calling for are. Oberlin’s “we demand the immediate firing of [ a dozen mid-level administrators]” was a particularly egregious case of this. 

The third reason is that it does not achieve the goals the movement has. As far as I can tell, administrations basically respond to all these events by asking their PR teams to work overtime. They find and comply with the easiest-to-manage of the demands, announce that they’re convening a committee to talk about the others, and wait for the furor to die down. Students graduate in a few years and their energy for activism usually doesn’t even last that long; the administration is willing to outwait them.

I think campus social justice demands should take the form of specific demands that can happen right away, developed alongside the administration as much as possible to avoid making the interaction adversarial until it absolutely has to be (perhaps taking advantage of the fact that other students who are being adversarial are scaring the administration into cooperating; I am in favor of two-pronged approaches). I think they should favor concrete proposals (”change this psych services policy”) over symbolic ones (”divest from this evil organization”). I think they should not just permit debate but welcome it, announcing when debates will be hosted when they announce the policies in the first place.

With all of that said, I think in general students have entirely legitimate complaints. Colleges have a weird incentive structure where they are more accountable to the U.S. News and World Report than to their actual customers, and their actual customers want a bunch of things and are entirely right to agitate for them. Also, someone recently got the administration to replace nearly all the men’s and women’s bathrooms on campus with gender-neutral ones, and I think if not for students pushing for that, it would have taken decades. Stanford has a $22billion endowment. Their students should absolutely be fighting for that to be spent in a way that matches the reputation the school wants to project. If most of their requests are too long-term, not actually feasible or a good idea, and/or needlessly incendiary, that’s fine. Activism doesn’t start with coming to the table with your most reasonable ideas.

But it does, eventually, need to get there.

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Laurel Reviews Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1

Alright, folks. Here it is! My first attempt at a review. It’s a week late because I had to figure out how to format this and I don’t have Issue #2 yet because I’ve been sick today.

I figure the cover art isn’t a spoiler because we’ve all seen the promotional images with it. I’ve reblogged them here! So here goes.

Cover Art
Don Santos cover

We have known about this cover for ages. I have a print of it hanging on my wall from NYCC last October. I think Santos captured Mal’s and Inara’s faces and expressions perfectly - and look at how his face has almost exactly the same expression as his picture on the screen. This is the face of a determined man aimin’ to misbehave.
I particularly like that this cover gives an indication of what’s to come (that the Alliance are now after him publicly) without spoiling anything.
That said, though, I have to admit - I’m not overly fond of the classic hero-protecting-the-damsel pose. I’ll explain more under the cut because there are spoilers involved.

Georges Jeanty cover

Or, as I call it, the “And Then There Were Seven” cover. Ah, all of our old favourite faces. Our Big Damn Heros! Well… the ones who survived. I love having the whole crew on one page and I love how different each of them is looking at us. Simon (with his hand on Kaylee of course) looks apprehensive but resolved, Inara seems like she’s going to enjoy the bumpy ride ahead, Zoe is “torn up plenty, but she’ll fly true,” Jayne’s mouth is curled up at the corner - he can see a good fight coming, Kaylee looks gentle and somewhat worried as though she knows that people are going to get hurt, River is unreadable as ever with a wonderful spark behind her eyes (pun intended), and Mal looks ready for whatever comes next. And then there’s our home - our Serenity at the forefront of the artwork to remind us what unites us. Her black and steel is a wonderful contrast to the reds and golds of the crew.
This is an amazing piece of artwork and I am so glad that we Browncoats get it.

Iain McCaig cover (Ghost Variant)

My personal favourite. Mal has his eyes open and he looks unsure of what’s coming next (which is very like him). It shows that he is now a public figure and WANTED. Serenity is there, turned away from the giant poster with engines blazing to show that the crew is running from the Alliance, only this time they are being hunted far more actively than before. They’re not just trying to stay in the shadows - now, they are trying to stay as far out of the Alliance’s reach as possible. It’s not enough to go undetected anymore; now, they must be untraceable. 

Alright, spoilers upcoming so here’s the readmore. Caution: my summary is super in-depth. If you don’t have access to the comics and want to keep up, the long summary will help with that. There’s a TL;DR at the bottom if you want to skip to there.

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Arrow 4x13 - Sins of the Father

‘Sins of the Father’ is an inspired title for this episode because it refers to many of the prominent father-child relationships we see on this show, and it’s not just the obvious ones. Sure, the two big anchor points are the relationships between Malcolm and Thea and Noah and Felicity, but there are others, if one looks hard enough. 

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…if anyone should want an end to official celebrations of Lee and the Confederacy, it’s the white Southerners who hold on to this memory. The general isn’t just a totem of the Confederacy or an avatar for abstract qualities of honor and service; he’s a symbol of destructive white resistance to the opportunities of Reconstruction. If the white South had moved in a direction that opposed Lee’s values—if it had embraced the great potential that came with the end of slavery—we would have a different, and likely better, America than the one we live in.