slightly different motives

anonymous asked:

Hey Michael um... Why player two?? Why not player one heh

After all those years, calling myself “Player One” just wouldn’t sound right? Like, I don’t know… it feels wrong, I guess.

Besides, as Player 2, at least I can promise that I’ll always have your back! You can count on me!

Trump also seems to bring up the campaign (and Clinton) so much because things were much clearer for him then. It was him against her in a contest that made sense, and he won. Now he has to spend his days worrying about policies he neither understands nor cares about, he’s bedeviled by investigations, and he doesn’t have the succor that comes from hearing the cheers of an adoring crowd every night. When he brings up Clinton, he’s like an aging athlete reliving his glory days. Hey, did I ever tell you about the time I threw a touchdown pass to win the homecoming game? Yes, Uncle Don, only about a hundred times.

For the conservative media, there’s a slightly different motivation at work. If you’re Fox News or a conservative talk radio show, the fact that Trump squeaked out an electoral-college victory laid waste to the plans you had for the next four years. It was going to be such fun! A Clinton presidency would have been a glorious time, filled with purpose and professional success. Now you find yourself defending a dreadful health-care plan, but if she were president, you would have been luxuriating in constant congressional investigations, innumerable phony scandals and an endless supply of things to get outraged about. And outrage is the fuel of conservative media — it’s what provides the content, engages the viewers and listeners, and keeps the audience coming back. Getting people mad is much easier than persuading them to feel happy or hopeful or excited about what the administration is doing.

Sign language as a part of autism culture

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now and spoken to many, autistic people and they were overwhelmingly like-minded which led me to write this. In this post I want to speak about the role and advantages of sign language within the autism culture and I kindly want to ask you to spread these words because it is important to me and maybe it becomes important to you and many others. 

Sign languages (there are over hundred sign languages with even more dialects on this planet) are fully evolved and independent languages that just work with a different modality, that is within the visual range because it is largely used by deaf/Deaf people. Signs, body language, mimic and visemes are used as “phonological” units to express all the meanings one can do with spoken languages.

This post is about how sign language in general is something that offers a lot of advantages for the autism community and should be seen as a part of the autistic culture and community and I’d like to see it more supported. 


The most striking argument in favour of sign language for autistic people is when they are non-verbal. A lot of research has been conducted and they all point out that even non-verbal children can use sign language to express their urges, feelings and wishes. It can also help them with acquiring spoken language so that they become more verbal. In many more modern approaches sign language is already used in therapy with big success. Thus, for many non-verbal children sign language is a more natural and suited language than spoken language.

General problems with language

But even verbal autistic people often encounter episodes where they become non-verbal. Many others report about a general unability to articulate their inner feelings and thoughts properly to the outer world and also many autistic people tend to use gestures first when they want to indicate something whereas language kicks in later. 

To give a personal example to illustrate this:
There are phases (sometimes triggered by tiredness, bad moods, panic, fear, euphoria etc.) where I become almost non-verbal. My speech becomes slurry, I can’t find the words, my pitch level is monotonous and high, I am struggling with the correct pronunciation of words, I can’t form whole sentences, I mumble and sometimes can’t speak at all or just repetitive phrases.
I also have the problem to express inner feelings. I can have panic attacks while being with others and them not noticing anything because I can’t convey inner moods or feelings by language. I also can’t explain most of my autistic experiences going on my head because I cannot articulate and phrase them.
And last but not least I have problems with using spontanous language, for instance when I want to indicate something such as a red traffic light or some danger I can only point to it or make at the utmost strange sounds. Language always comes in some seconds later. (This may all be related to my delayed speech development but is nevertheless well known by many other autistic people.)

I heard from the majority of cases like these that sign language helped them (me included). In non-verbal episodes they could fall back to sign language and still communicate sufficiently in emergency situations or when needed. They also perceived sign language as another mode of expression that was independent from their unability to express feelings so that they could sign about things that they wouldn’t be able to phrase by speaking. And with sign language they also had a tool to express meaning more spontanously when needed instead of just pointing at things.

Auditory processing disorder

Many autistic people also have an auditory processing disorder where it becomes very hard to understand spoken language when the circumstances for its perception aren’t perfect, like in a noisy environment, on the phone, a mumbling person etc. Maybe not for a phone call but for the other cases sign language is very useful to help these people to understand language even in circumstances where they can’t understand spoken language properly. 

The ease of conversation in sign language

A big relief for many is that in sign language conversations you don’t look in the eyes of your opponent but at his mouth in order to detect the visemes (the forms that the lips make), whereas most of the signs are perceived in the visual periphery. 

Given that most people with autism would not learn sign language as their mother tongue there is the fact of learning this language deliberatedly. And this fact makes many conversations easier. First of all, you have a constant topic with your course peers, small talk would be, thus, a little less awkward and hard. And many other sign language experienced autistics also agree that conversation with deaf/Deaf people in sign language are way more comfortable and enjoyable. Furthermore it is very often the case that talks in foreign languages are less awkward because the demands for those conversation are different (working with language and practising it) and not about making it socially perfect. 

Advantages of the visual modality

Most autistic people are easily sensory overloaded. This mostly happens outside the comfort zone, for instance on the streets, in the public, with a lot of people and noises around you etc. Many cope with the input stimulus by wearing ear plugs or ear/headphones to block the uncontrolable auditory input by silence or controlable music as a way of stimming. Meeting people in the public that you know can be a pain in the ass because you have to unplug your ears in order to communicate. Not only is your possible auditory processing disorder kicking in and cumbering the communication but also is the surrounding noise overloading you. But with sign language you can leave your ear plugs in and don’t have to leave your autistic comfort zone completely for communication. 

Learning body language and facial expressions

As mentioned earlier, most people with autism would go the way of learning sign language as a foreign language. And in sign language body language and mimic are very important because they are grammatical tools to make questions, negations, direct speech and a whole bunch of other things. But that is why sign language (i. e. learning sign language) is actually very useful for people with autism because in the courses you learn body language and mimic from the scratch. You learn when to use which facial expression, which different ways there are to raise your eyebrows and what they mean and how you express disbelief and affirmation by body language. In sign language these things are very well structured, they are systematically, predictable, not intuitively blurred but well defined and explicit and well practised in the course so that everybody can learn it. That is a huge advantage for people that have problems with producing body language naturally or perceiving it correctly.

Which sign language?

As with deaf/Deaf people it is the modality that counts. First of all, there are over hundred sign languages with even more dialects to choose from. In some cases, however, a manually coded language could be useful, too. When children are non-verbal it might be advisable to teach a manually coded language to give them a language that is very similar to the spoken one, so that they can learn the spoken language more easily. But in all cases it should be noted that a natural language (natural sign language, or manually coded version of a natural language) should be used because they are learnt more easily and have proven to be efficient for everything you want to express.


There is still a long way ahead because most people don’t know any sign language and so it is hard to find situations where you can actually use this language that appears to be more natural for your demands of a language in many occasions. That is why it is so vital that not only autistic but also allistic people learn sign language, not only to make the world more accessible for deaf/Deaf people (which would be a very pleasant side effect) but also to facilitate communication for people from the autistic spectrum among themselves and between the autistic and allistic world.

When something appears to be so useful as this for a certain group of people with a disability (or special needs if you don’t like the d-word) it should be made more public, more adopted by the community itself and structures should be created to ease this process.

Sign language teachers should be informed or trained about autism and how to integrate people with it into the course. (Especially paying more attention to the acquisition of body language and facial expressions as linguistic ways of meaning and to the slightly different motives of learning sign language.) If you are visting a sign language course I can recommend to tell your teacher about your autism, your motives and what you wish to learn from her/him.

That would be it from me now and these were just some major pros I wanted to present. There are of course many more reasons why it can be very advantageous for autistic people to use sign language.
If you reached this point I am very happy you made it so far, thank you a lot. I would be very interested in hearing about your feelings, thoughts and experiences concerning this topic and hope for constructive discussions. Cheers.

The strongest force in the human personality is a need to stay consistent with how we define ourselves. We live how we believe we are.

If we define ourselves at our core as ‘Athletic’,  our whole being will work to achieve or maintain that standard, it will be part of us. If we constantly say things like, ‘I’ve always been heavy.’ or ‘I’ve never been good at sports,’  or ‘I can’t lose weight,’ or worse, then our subconscious, and the universe, for that matter, will say,”Oh – never mind, their body has excess weight, they struggle to workout consistently and eat healthy food, that matches their identity, no assistance needed here.”

If you aren’t happy with a part of your life, then raise your standards. Change your definition of who you are at your core. Change your story and put that new belief out to the Universe. It doesn’t mean things will magically change, that the weight will drop off overnight, or you’ll get stronger without putting in the time. It still takes effort, but be open for assistance and opportunities to live up to your new, higher standards which will appear in your life … and be ready to TAKE THEM.

It won’t be easy to change. You have to change your self-talk. When you hear those old words in your brain or on your lips, STOP and change them immediately. You can change your story, you can re-define yourself, free yourself from old, limiting beliefs and achieve your dreams.

Sources: Tony Robbins , Jen Sincero 

thekinderbeast  asked:

I saw a documentary recently, in which they said, Iceland became Christian basically because Denmark became Christian and imprisoned every Iceland not der on it's soil, sending an ultimatum to Iceland, that they would execute them, if Iceland wouldn't convert. A heathen law man, respected by Christians and Heathens alike, was in the end asked to decide. After some days he decided that Iceland should become Christian by name but in private every Icelander was free to do whatever. Can you confirm?

Sæl vinur,
(Hello friend,)

For the most part, yes, but also not exactly, because we should add a dash of ‘it’s complicated’ just to be safe. Allow me to briefly retell the story:

All of the parts are correct, but the interpretation of all those parts together is up for some debate. After all, documentaries are not exempt from having a bias, and not in the sense of having an agenda, but just because it is simply human nature to have certain inclinations. I suppose it is better to say that the documentary may have made some claims or assumptions that could be seen from various perspectives, and every interpretation is but one perspective out of many. I am finding myself being carried away in a moment of philosophical contemplation, so I digress (my apologies, but, in my defense, those are things we ought to think and talk about).

Anyway, Iceland was indeed pressured by Norway and not exactly Denmark. To be more specific, though, it was King Olaf Tryggvason who truly pressured the Icelanders, especially after his missionary, Thangbrand, returned from there with little success in 999.(1.) After this, the king not only imprisoned Icelanders as hostages (not a ton, mind you), but he also closed off Norwegian ports to Icelandic merchants.(2.) Now this was a big deal. Iceland was an island, after all, which meant that many goods needed to be imported. I would argue that it was not only the pressure from executing hostages that placed an ‘ultimatum’ on Iceland, but the economic strangling that King Olaf placed around their necks.

Yet, there were hostages, and they were the often the “sons and daughters of prominent Icelandic pagans.”(3.) Furthermore, King Olaf did threaten to “maim or kill [them] unless Iceland accepted Christianity.”(4.) Yet, this, as I mentioned above, was not the only force creating pressure. Believe it or not, there were already Christian Icelanders, some of which were fairly prominent, too.(5.) Why would they need to care about someone else’s family members? Unless they had some sort of bonds through kinship, they didn’t. 

There was something else on the line here, though. An aspect of Iceland’s foreign policy was to maintain a good relationship with Norway for two reasons: family and economic ties.(6.) Many Icelanders, whether pagan or Christian, had family in Norway, and therefore would prosper from continued positive relations. Furthermore, as already mentioned, Norway was Iceland’s major trading partner, and a falling through would be devastating on the economic front.

As for the “heathen law man,” his name was Thorgeir Thorkelsson, a chieftain (goði) from the farm of Ljósavatn in the Northern Quarter.(7) Most of what the documentary seems to have said pans out to be true, although his motives are, you guessed it, up for debate. Various accounts do agree, though, that he was indeed the Lawspeaker to make this decision.(8.) Here is an account from Njal’s Saga:

“Thorgeir lay for a whole day with a cloak spread over his head, and no one spoke to him. The next day people went to the Law Rock; Thorgeir asked for silence and spoke: ‘It appears to me that our affairs will be hopeless if we don’t all have the same law, for if the law is split then peace will be split, and we can’t live with that. Now I want to ask the heathens and the Christians whether they are willing to accept the law that I proclaim.’” 

They all assented to this. Thorgeir said that he wanted oaths from them and pledges that they would stick by them. They assented to this, and he took pledges from them.

‘This will be the foundation of our law,’ he said, ‘that all men in this land are to be Christians and believe in one God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and give up all worship of false idols, the exposure of children, and the eating of horse meat. Three years’ outlawry will be the penalty for open violations, but if these things are practiced in secret, there shall be no punishment.’

All of these heathen practices were forbidden a few years later, so that they could neither be practiced openly nor in secret.” (9.)

He was indeed a heathen, and he did, as illustrated above, for some unknown reason, deem that Iceland should adopt Christianity. It is also true that heathen practices were allowed afterwards, but not indefinitely. In Ari Thorgeirsson’s Íslendingabók, he says this about what happened afterwards:

“And he (Thorgeir Thorkelsson) brought his speech to a close in such a way that both sides agreed that everyone should have the same law, the one he decided to proclaim. It was then proclaimed in the laws that all people should be Christian, and that those in this country who had not yet been baptised should receive baptism; but the old laws should stand as regards the exposure of children and the eating of horse-flesh. People had the right to sacrifice in secret, if they wished, but it would be punishable by the lesser outlawry if witnesses were produced. And a few years later, these heathen provisions were abolished, like the others.” (10.)

So, given that account, people were “free to do whatever,” but only during this period of transition. Now, we may enter the realm of reasonable probability, but that, of course, comes with its limitations. Still, we can assume that it was quite possible that people still remained heathen for quite some time, yet this would have been difficult, mainly due to social pressures. It may have been more likely that some families retained their heathen traditions in somewhat of a hybrid religious state, in which they worshipped both Christ and the old gods. This was actually not unheard of. In Landnámabók, the Icelandic Book of Settlements, a man named Helgi the Lean is described as such:

“Helgi’s faith was very much mixed: he believed in Christ but invoked Thor when it came to voyages and difficult times.” (11.)

My final judgement is to say that this documentary was correct, of course, but not an ‘absolute truth’ on the matter. Besides there not being such a thing as an ‘absolute truth’, especially in regards to history, the documentary only provided one telling of a complicated tale; there were quite a few complications likely not discussed in the documentary. 

After all, there was more going on behind the scenes back when King Olaf was taking hostages. Furthermore, although Thorgeir allowed heathens to continue practice, this was only a temporary condition. Yet, even so, we do not truly know the reality that was in place. All we have are generalized accounts that tell us the ideal or legal standpoints. Let us not forget, either, that these very sources were written by the ‘winning’ party. As I said when I began this post, we all have a bias, whether we like it or not. There is no shame in this, but it must be known to properly handle the sources that we are given.

My advice, then, is to understand that documentaries, and even many works of academia, often only grant you one version of the story. Even the version I have told above leaves out certain details that honestly need consideration. Still, the documentary was not wrong, but there are always many levels of intricacy that truly need consideration before we can fully understand any given situation. 

Anyway, I truly am grateful that you asked this question. It was a pleasure to respond to it, and I do hope that you and many other prospers from my insights.

Með vinsemd og virðingu,
(With kindness and respect,)


1. Jesse L. Byock, Viking Age Iceland. (London: Penguin Books, 2001), 299.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. I could talk about this for quite a while, but it would take us further from the question at hand than we ought to wander, at least for the time being.

6. Byock, 299.

7. Ibid., 300.

8. Ari Thorgeirsson’s Íslendingabók, chapter 7, and Njal’s Saga, chapter 105, give good accounts of this, and arguably with slightly different motives.

9. Robert Cook trans., Njal’s Saga, in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders, vol. III, edited by Viðar Hreinsson, Robert Cook, Terry Gunnell, Keneva Kunz, and Bernard Scudder. (Reykjavík: Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997), 127-8. (Chapter 105, pages 180-1 in the Penguin edition)

10. Ari Thorgeirsson, The Book of the Icelanders: Íslendingabók, translated by Siân Grønlie, edited by Anthony Faulkes and Alison Finlay. (London: University College London, 20016), 9. (Chapter 7)

11. Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards trans., The Book of Settlements: Landnámabók. (repr., 1972; Manitoba: University of Manitoba Press, 2012), 97. (Chapter 218)
EXCLUSIVE: Hulk Meets Weapon X In Weapons Of Mutant Destruction Crossover
In February, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso set off a storm of speculation when he tweeted out [...]

@keeper-of-the-lore sent me this link. There is going to be a small crossover in June between Totally Awesome Hulk and Weapon X - Weapons of Mutant Destruction. Here is the interview:

So, in the broadest sense, what is Weapons of Mutant Destruction?

Greg Pak: Well, we’ve got our heroes and villains who are hunting down the new Weapon X and end up teaming up with Amadeus Cho, the Totally Awesome Hulk. That in itself is fun because you’ve got very different dynamics here where the Hulk is this young cocky dude who thinks he knows everything and the Weapon X team is this hardened group of mercenaries and killers and criminals basically. There are some fun contrasts there but they’ve teamed up because they found out that Weapon X is hunting the Hulk. The Weapon X Program has a very specific mission in mind and it involves the Hulk, and so now our heroes and the Hulk are teaming up to try to thwart it. Over the course of this story, things are going to get bigger and bigger and bigger and there are a few mysteries that will unspool, and much slashing and smashing.

You mentioned how this story has very different personalities coming together, but it is also very different tones in terms of what readers expect fromWeapon X vs. Totally Awesome Hulk. How do they mix together in Weapons of Mutant Destruction?

GP: Those two things together provide great story and character fodder. The fact is that the Hulk, Amadeus Cho, is not a killer and he is not a hero who ever plans to kill anybody. That’s not in his repertoire of finishing moves. He is an optimist who thinks that he can always find the right solution to any problem and doesn’t believe in the lesser of two evils. He thinks he can always find a way to do the right thing and have the right outcome.

The team led by Logan is considerably more jaded. Maybe they’ve seen more. Maybe they just have a different way, a different ethos and attitude towards the world. But that conflict between them as they team up is absolutely going to feed into the story. It’s going to be a big part of that emotional journey for these characters going both ways.

The tone I think will be darker than your average Totally Awesome Hulk story, as you can imagine, but those contrasts are part of what is going to raise the stakes for all these characters and also just make it a ton of fun in terms of character interaction.

How did you conceive of this story? You were already writing Totally Awesome Hulk. Did you have this story in mind when you pitched for Weapon X, or did you start working on Weapon X first and then try to figure a way to bring both books together?

GP: It’s more the latter. I mean I’d been working on the Hulk. I got the call from Mark Paniccia about working on Weapon X and loved it. Many, many years ago when I was pretty early at Marvel there was a point when I had actually submitted a pitch to work on a Wolverine book. I’ve always loved that character and I love the Old Man Logan character, and you know, a chance to work on a book starring that character seemed like a huge amount of fun.

Then as we developed the Weapon X storyline and kind of realized where this thing was going I think it became apparent that the Hulk could play a very interesting role here. It makes total sense given the motivations of the heroes and villains in these stories, and what the heck? I’m writing both books. My editors came to me and suggested, “Hey, why don’t we try this?” It just made a lot of sense to me immediately.

What can you tell me about the new Weapon X program and why they’re interested in Logan, his team, and the Hulk?

GP: I should be very careful here for fear of spoilers. I can say that Weapon X has gone through a number of different incarnations over the years, and so it’s a new incarnation of the group, of this nefarious organization, but its mission is to exterminate mutants, which is, of course, a classic mission for many X-Men villains. Weapon X has not always had that as its central focus. At different times that’s not been its primary goal but that absolutely is the focus here and now. We are eventually going to learn that a surprising character is in charge of the program, a classic X-Men villain who will be revealed in the fullness of time.

What makes it even more interesting is that there is another villain who is involved in all of this with parallel but slightly different motivations. Even as the heroes are figuring out how to work together and what to do there is a very interesting villain story going on during the course of this crossover and I love that. People talk all the time about the idea that a story, a great action story or a great adventure story, often depends on how good its villains are. If you have really great villains then your main characters get tremendous challenges and the story just improves by leaps and bounds, and I’m very excited about these villains in this story. I think we’re doing something kind of special.

We’ve been work-shopping and coming together and having big discussions about things, and brainstorming and everything, and I think - I don’t want to jinx it, knock on wood - but I think we’ve hit the sweet spot here. I think we’ve got something really special going on with these amazing bad guys. I can’t reveal too much just yet but you’re not going to want to miss it.

An organization that’s challenging both Logan and the Hulk must have some significant firepower to do so. Can you say anything about the kinds of threats Weapon X has in its arsenal?

GP: Oh yeah! It’s Weapon X, right? The whole mission of Weapon X is to create super soldiers or killing machines of some kind or another, and this Weapon X is bigger and badder than ever so they’ve learned from all of the undertakings that various Weapon X programs have taken in the past and this is the next generation, and it will take everything our heroes have to tackle it. If you know the characters you can imagine that say, for example, Sabertooth and Amadeus Cho might not get along at all, that Amadeus Cho may be exactly the kind of person Sabertooth hates most on the planet. But when you’re facing the enemies they’re facing it makes sense that they would need each other and have to team up.

In recent issues, Amadeus has become part of a group of superhero friends, not exactly a team, that includes Ms. Marvel, Silk, and Shang-Chi. Will they have any role to play in Weapons of Mutant Destruction?

GP: Probably not in this story, no, but you’re going to see there’s a big story under way right now with that team, with those heroes, that goes to issue #18 of Totally Awesome Hulk. It’s a four-issue story that started with issue #15 and that’s definitely a team that’s near and dear to my heart and I expect we’ll see them again in the fullness of time.

There is also this picture that I consider a prime example of Weapon X being kings of idiots: