so do the natives

Planets in the First House

In astrology, the first house represents self expression, identity, how one views the world and how the world views them.

Sun: Having Sun in the First House means you identify strongly with the image you present to others. Natives of this placement are optimistic, brave, competitive and natural born leaders. They just emit a light and warm presence. Their best self is displayed when they have made a mark on the world and when they are not obsessed over what others think about them. Although natives of this placement exude a confident aura, they have a sensitive ego that they feel they must protect. 

Moon: Natives with Moon in the First House view the world through emotions. They are sensitive, intuitive, “baby-like” and expressive. As the moon changes phases, so do natives with this placement. Their emotions color their expression and as a result, they cannot hide how they truly feel. People may perceive them to be fragile and weak because of how sensitive they come across. They have a strong sense of empathy because they are attuned to the emotions of others. In addition, natives have a keen intuition because they are drawn to the moon’s psychic energy. 

Mercury: With Mercury in the First House, natives have a powerful need of self-expression through communication. They are intelligent, witty, humorous, versatile and curious. Since they enjoy talking and communicating, they have outstanding social skills. Natives truly want to interact with all walks of life. They have a restless quench for knowledge that can only by satisfied by traveling, exploring and experiences all of life’s riches. 

Venus: With Venus in the First House, natives view the world through beauty and art. They are elegant, poised, charming, charismatic and fit the ideal representation of society’s standards of beauty. Natives are easy to befriend because of how polite and pleasant they come across to others. Appreciation for art and beautiful objects are two significant things natives of this placement value and resonate with. While natives of this placement are pleasant and kind, they can also be very persuasive. Natives will use their charm for diplomacy, justice and to “keep the peace”. 

Mars: With Mars in the First House, natives view the world through actions. They are active, energetic, dynamic and straightforward. New endeavors are begun with force, intuition and instincts. Natives tend to go through life being headstrong and may not fully think things through before doing something. As a result, others view natives of this placement as motivated, aggressive and even confrontational. They truly are not intimidated by what the world has to offer for them as they speak with their body language. 

Jupiter: With Jupiter in the First House, natives view the world through optimism and philosophy. They are enthusiastic, “happy-go-lucky”, knowledgeable, wise and “larger than life”. Philosophy is deeply important for natives because they need to sustain some type of perspective on life. As a result, natives can be very explorative and adventurous. They seriously do not want to be tied down by societal means. Others view natives of this placement as extremely loud and wise because of how expansive and open-minded they come come across. 

Saturn: With Saturn in the First House, natives view the world through business and responsibilities. They appear serious, stoic, “adult-like” and people may say they have a “resting bitch face”. Natives of this placement had to deal with adult-sized concerns from an early age and as a result, they feel as though they are carrying the weight of world on their shoulders. Since they are old souls, they yearn to be taken seriously by others. An ability natives of this placement have is self-control. 

Uranus: With Uranus in the First House, natives are not afraid to stand out and have unorthodox perspectives. They are eccentric, unconventional, idiosyncratic and rebellious. While society teaches people to conform to the rules and stay within a box, natives of this placement recognize the box, but do not care much about it. Since natives choose to be bold, different and non-conformist, they may feel like outsiders. It is not because they are not completely accepted by society, but it is more so the fact they are ahead of their time. They are wise and progressive souls with ideas that foster reform, innovation and advancement. 

Neptune: With Neptune in the First House, natives express themselves artistically, sensitivity and psychically. Environmental sensitivity is felt on an extreme level because of how attuned natives are to outside influences. There is confusion when it comes to identity. One person may think natives are sweethearts, while others may think natives are cold. This is due to the fact that others see what they want to see in natives of this placement. In addition, there is a shroud of mystery surrounding natives because of how alluring they come off as. 

Pluto: With Pluto in the First House, you view the world in a transformative way. Natives are intimidating, intense, secretive, powerful and psychic. They need to be the head of the wolf pack because of their deep desire for power and authority. Since natives want to be seen as powerful, they hide their true feelings from others. Revealing too much about themselves is a huge “no no”. In that sense, people view natives as polarizing, mysterious and alluring.

When you think of abandoned/stray animals, animals being released on the end of dirt roads to fend for themselves, what do you imagine? $5 says you’re picturing a dog or cat. And that’s very likely the answer! However, there is a significant problem with people releasing small pets, exotics, livestock, and fish as well. 

Pictured here is Samuel, a beardie we had surrendered a number of years ago. What made Samuel’s case unique is that he was found trucking down the middle of a rural road. The person who caught him thought he was a native lizard and brought him in to my workplace asking for advice on how to keep him as a pet because they’d never seen such a cool lizard before. Once reptile care was explained to them, they didn’t want him, but at least learned he shouldn’t be set back loose, so we took him in (and he has since been adopted). 

I have similarly taken in released or escaped (thought we ALWAYS check lost/found when we take in a stray anything, and none of these had anyone looking) iguanas, non-native turtles and tortoises, rabbits, pigs, parakeets, chickens, and more. Heck, if I had the means, I’d have come home with an abandoned horse tied to a post on a rural road. 

Releasing dogs and cats is bad enough. They’re domesticated species and often succumb to disease, predation, injury, starvation, etc., though in some cases do establish feral populations that are injurious to wildlife. Releasing exotics tends to have one of two outcomes: a swift death or, given appropriate climate conditions and multiple individuals, the establishment of invasive populations that threaten native wildlife. Florida is obviously the textbook example, but populations of non-native animals released intentionally or accidentally by individuals or industries are present in virtually every state and indeed most countries. 

So what do you do if you can’t keep your fish, or rabbit, or iguana? Well, for one, never release it into the wild. Many people romanticize “the wild” as a wonderful taste of freedom after a life of captivity even if they acknowledge that the animal will likely not survive. In reality, “the wild” tends to be a terrifying experience for captive bred or domesticated animals, and their end often comes after tremendous suffering. Even if your animal is well suited for the environment it’s being released into, doing so is almost definitely illegal and potentially harmful to native wildlife. 

Instead, try to seek either a) a qualified new home or b) a rescue organization. There are rescues for virtually every animal under the sun, and for every person who doesn’t want x species, there’s someone else desperate to own one. You should always vet both new homes and rescues to make sure you are surrendering the animal responsibly; a basic verbal interview or questionnaire should make clear if the home or rescue is qualified. And honestly, if you can’t find anything and need to surrender your pet to animal control? They still have a better shot, and if they do wind up being euthanized, it is certainly a favorable death to starvation, disease, predators, exposure, etc.

Remember: whenever you obtain an animal, you are entering an unspoken contract to be responsible for that animal’s wellbeing, from start to finish, be that finish with you or someone else. You break that contract when you leave an animal’s fate to chance by releasing it. 

thatlethalsoul  asked:

I have a huge group of mercenaries that I'm building up to write about for a Team Fortress inspired writing, but I'm super conserned on how to make my "sneaky and shifty" spy character of the team. What races/ethnicities would you guys reccomend I avoid putting into this role to avoid the worst negative stereotyping?

Avoiding Stereotypes by Avoiding Tokenism

If you only have one of any particular ethnicity on a team, none of them will avoid negative repercussions. 

We’ve spoken about tokenism before, and this is a prime example of why you should avoid it. Having only one member of any ethnicity on a team means all of their traits are representative of their ethnicity, so you’ll be enforcing the worst of the behaviour.

On the flipside, avoiding having the Token PoC be any sort of “meaty” role in fear of avoiding stereotypes denies them their humanity. Part of good representation is letting us be the messy people we are— which includes sometimes doing stuff that fits stereotypes, even if they’re negative. The problem isn’t the “they have negative traits.” The problem is “there’s only one of them of that ethnicity.“ 

By having 2+ of any one ethnicity, you give people the room to be themselves because there’s another member of the team not like that. It breaks down the unconscious associations between the character’s ethnicity and the negative traits, by removing “of course [character]’s behaving like that, they’re [ethnicity]!” with “but [other character] doesn’t do that, and they’re [ethnicity], too.” 

(You will always get people insisting the one who doesn’t behave in the morally reprehensible way is just “one of the good ones”, but this helps cut them down— also why it’s important to have a diverse background cast with similar variety in personality types, jobs, and moral alignments)

Fear and Representation
I’m going to talk about a deeper issue I see here, which is fear of messing up. You don’t want to hurt people by doing it wrong, don’t want to be yelled at for reinforcing negative things.

This fear hurts you more than it helps you.

We get a lot of “how do I avoid stereotypes” questions. We get a lot of “how do I not hurt people” questions. We don’t answer the majority of them because if you write from a place of fear, you will not represent PoC well.

Writing good representation is not handling a bomb that’s about to explode if you press it wrong. Writing good representation is about a curiosity, love, and respect for people not like yourself. You’re curious about their stories and are invested in telling them. You love them as people, as their genuine reality. And you respect them enough to want to do them justice in your writing.

If you approach writing diversity with fear, you will not let us be human. Because by fearing writing us, you end up creating model minorities because you just can’t let them be evil, that’s bad. You other us even further by not letting us have the same internal lives and same shades of experience as white people.

People mess up. People have complex morality. Not letting us mess up or have other moral alignments than goodie two shoes strips us of our personhood.
Put all types of us into your stories. Some things you Don’t Do— like Jewish blood mages and Natives who are so much simpler but so much happier because of it— but if you approach us like people with different backgrounds, you’re at least on the right track. And if you make it that multiple people of the same ethnicity exist, then you don’t have to worry about one character being the be all end all of representation.

The thing about these types of questions— “what stereotypes do I avoid"— is you’re not really asking What Do I Not Do. You’re asking "can you tell me what to do so I don’t get yelled at for it”, as if there are magic lists of 100% Safe Traits for different ethnicities.

Safe Traits are not people. Until you ease down your fear of being Safe, of Not Reinforcing Bad Things With One Character, you will not be able to truly tackle representation in your work. The work you have to do is much deeper than putting in “acceptable representation.” 

You have to redefine “acceptable representation” in your mind. It cannot mean “a character who is safe to write without hurting anybody.” What it can mean, however, is “showing the diversity of humanity by displaying multiple people having worthwhile, nuanced, dynamic, and messy stories to tell that reflect their lived reality.”

~Mod Lesya 

>>  I’m super conserned on how to make my “sneaky and shifty” spy character of the team. What races/ethnicities would you guys reccomend I avoid putting into this role to avoid the worst negative stereotyping?

I’d especially stay away from making this character Jewish since that’s already a stereotype for us, and East Asian since there’s a negative trope about East Asians being “inscrutable” (i.e. “you can’t tell what they’re thinking so they could totes be plotting bad stuff!”)

Standard disclaimer that if you have a cast of many many Jewish characters or many many East Asian characters you can make one of them sneaky because the rest of them will show that it’s not an inherently Jewish (or East Asian) trait, but it sounded like you wanted a variety of ethnicities for this project so probably best just to stay away from making the Spy either of those two groups.

–Shira

2

Trump is already screwing over rural and working-class Americans — just not the ones you think

In a statement Tuesday, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) announced that the acting Secretary of the Army, Robert Speer, had “directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access pipeline” — an oil project the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has been protesting for months.

The news doesn’t mean the easement has been granted yet. But the Sioux and their allies have promised to fight if it moves forward.

Native Americans are rarely considered part of the “rural working-class,” a term that’s increasingly become a dog whistle for white Middle Americans. But Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II was quick to disavow that notion.

“This [protest against the pipeline] is not only a Native American movement,” Archambault wrote in a letter to Trump on Jan. 25, “it is a movement of the working class and rural whose voices are often quieted at the expense of more powerful neighbors.”

Not only do indigenous people suffer from staggering health, educational and income disparities compared to the general population, they often do so far from mainstream attention. Read more

follow @the-movemnt

To non native would be allies:

Let me tell you that we don’t need apologies. Making a grand, emotional apology on behalf of non-natives all but forces native people to do the emotional labor of comforting you and telling you you’re “one of the good ones” because you apologized. You are an individual and you act on behalf of only yourself; if you have done something harmful toward a native person, apologize to them and attempt to make it right. Be better. But don’t act as if you’re a representative of your race, apologizing to an entire other race. It’s a disingenuous and lazy attempt at allyship. What is needed is for you to learn about the history of oppression of indigenous people and to educate other non natives on it so that we natives don’t have to do the intellectual and emotional labor of explaining for the 100th time why your fave team is racist trash, or why Columbus wasn’t a hero, or why the white women gawking at the regalia and ceremonies of native women participating in the march on D.C. was wrong. Also, get out of here with your “natives are magic” crap. The majority of natives don’t live in the “traditional” way and most don’t even participate in our traditional religious beliefs. Most native peoples were forced to convert to Christianity and many of our traditions and ceremonies were illegal to practice until very recently. Not only is it dehumanizing and insulting to think of indigenous people as ~mystical~~ it’s also deeply hurtful because the aspects of our religions that you love to fetishize were stolen from us. Referring to us as “magic natives” objectifies us and reduces us to a stereotype. The “mystical Indian” archetype exists solely for the consumption of non natives. It also treats natives as a monolith; as if were all one culture of sage-smudging medicine men who pray to the oh so vague “great spirit”. Indigenous North Americans are hundreds of separate vastly different tribal nations and peoples with different beliefs and traditions. We are not a monolith. We are not your magic indians. We are not yours to objectify. Our existence continues despite the colonizers ongoing attempts to destroy us. We keep our cultures alive even as the boho dreamcatcher making, mass produced moccasin wearing set attempts to commodify our heritage. We continue to exist because we continue to resist, not because non-natives saw the error of their ways and decided to give us a free pass.

anonymous asked:

keith and lance get in a heated fight and lance says something that sets keith off and he moves to hit lance but lance freezes up and looks terrified, startling keith out of his rage and before he can apologize lance is running away.. D;

Oh dear, I already have on like this but it was fluffy at the end but i’m gonna let you guys suffer now :P Love you guys!! :D

_-_-_-_-_-_-_

It was just a simple argument at first. Nothing serious, they were all stressed over being in space cooped up for so long. The petty little argument just set everything off for both of them. Keith was red in the face from anger about Lance kept “insulting” him in spanish. It made Lance mad to think that his compliments and sweet comments were Insults (even if he hadn’t said what they were) 

Lance growled at Keith, glaring at him as he spoke. “Why can’t you just say the shit you say in Spanish to my face huh? Too scared to do so? Why must you keep speaking your native language when you’re not even near Earth?” he growled out angrily. 

Lance stared at him with wide eyes, absolutely pissed now. “I tlakin Spanish to make sure i stay in touch with my roots, so that when i go home, my family and I don’t feel so far apart,” he growled out, huffing angrily. 

“At least I have a place to return to,” he said as he turned, looking away from Keith. Keith had lost it at those words, seeing red for the first time in a while. He swung, aiming straight for Lance. 

Out of the corner of Lance’s eye he saw the punch and turned, flinching bodily and eyes looking terrified. The flinching snapped Keith out of it instantly, staring at a terrified Lance. He stood there like a deer in headlights, tears in his eyes. He instantly turned on his heel and ran off before keith could even get out a word of apology. “Lance!” Keith called out, he wasn’t sure if thing were ever going to be the same between them now. 

Oh yeah, all the time. Visitors often show up in their own costumes, which is fine, but historically accurate clothing is expensive as hell and most of them wear shitty Halloween “Native American Princess” pleather costumes from party stores. Which is… less fine. We usually have indigenous reenactors at the events I’ve participated in, so the girls waltzing around in Disney costumes are universally embarrassing and make everyone uncomfortable.

White people legit reenacting indigenous folk is a gray area. The people I know who’ve done it do so in partnership with actual native reenactors and usually qualify that they’re French fur trappers, who did adopt some indigenous dress and customs and married into native families. But there is a difference between responsibly educating guests about stuff like tradesilver, brain-tanning, voyageurs, smallpox blankets, and wigwam construction with hands-on materials (….minus the smallpox) and some random white girl traipsing around in a pleather dress with a fucking feather in her headband. Plenty of guests will mistake her for a reenactor.

Guess who’s about to board their first flight for a trip to Japan?
(Hint: it’s me!)

Something else my boyfriend’s brother said last night was actually kind of upsetting. I can’t quote exactly but Ill do my best:

“[Discussing rise of pagan religions and declining Christianity in mainstream media] …all I’m saying is, as a white, straight, christian, conservative male, it feels like the walls are closing in on me”

Its just… So shitty? I don’t know even how to verbalize how I feel about this, but its just so shitty that the ruling class, the predominant culture that has oppressed and assimilated millions of people in the western world, having complete control over everything is trying to play the victim card now that other cultures are finally breaking the glass ceilings that have held them back for so long.

Do you know who’s walls closed in on them? The Native Americans who were forced out of their lands in an effort to accommodate for American Imperialism.

Do you know who’s walls closed in on them? Native Africans when they were ripped from their home country and shoved in cargo holds to promote American Industry.

Do you know who’s walls are closing in on them? American Muslims and American Jews who have seen dramatic increases in violent hate crimes, LGBT Americans who have to fight for basic cultural rights, Black Americans who are literally being gunned down in the streets while their executioners get off, victims of sexual assault who are being threatened into silence by the new healthcare bill- the walls are closing in in these people.

There is no white genocide, there is no war on Christianity, there is no heterophobia, simply attempts to express other lifestyles and worldviews, and an attempt to be free from hundreds of years of straight, white, and christian being considered the norm.

JK Rowling really needs to stop appropriating from Native American culture when she’s not giving them meaningful roles within the backstory of American wizarding history.

All of the Houses of Ilvermorny are associated with Native American mythology or folklore. And yet Ilvermorny was founded by two (presumably white) European settlers? Okay. Seems legit 😒

This is really troubling, especially when you consider how Natives are used as mascots for schools and sports teams to this very day in America. It’s dehumanizing. Their culture can be appropriated and misrepresented and used as symbols by white people like JK Rowling but they themselves can’t be represented positively in media at all??

Why aren’t there any Native American wizards involved in JK Rowling’s backstory on American wizarding history? Yes, she includes a section on Native American wizards (that misrepresents and reinforces negative stereotypes of Native Americans I might add), but why aren’t there any named Native American wizards? She can create Isolt Sayre and James Steward and Chadwick and Webster Boot, but there are no Native American figures who play a prominent role in American wizarding history?

Frankly, it’s disappointing and disgusting.

                “My daughter is going through her Harry Styles phase, right? First, she insisted for tickets which I got it for her anyway. Second, his album has been on repeat every passing second since release. Third, is there anything else I should worry about? Any warnings about this Styles guy?” Cassandra questioned, arms firmly crossing over her chest before raising a brow at the other.

Appropriation and a God's Burden

@spoopernaptime asked: 

Hi, I have a long question about cultural appropriation regarding Native American mythology. The Thunderbird has a long history across various tribes and regions. This pertains to a character who represents a single side of dualist philosophy - i.e concepts of yin, relating to darkness, water, etc. 

This character is an ancient entity currently residing in a form resembling a Native woman - as her most recent ‘role’ in terms of how humans believed in her was the Thunderbird and she still resides in the Pacific Northwest - home to a diversity of tribes and persistent Thunderbird culture. She has an odd relationship with the Native cultures across America in that she feels like she let them down as a God (what with, white imperialism and genocide and all.) Part of her character arc does include starting a blog dedicated to the preservation and education of Native languages but she’s reluctant to engage with the communities - and to a greater extent, pretty much all of humanity. 

The story itself is full of metaphysics brought down to human levels, and I ended up using a Native American concept in the process of embodying a primordial force. I’m aware of the Magical Native American trope and (I think) she sidesteps it well enough but I’d like to know just how terrible an idea this may be. Especially with the latest mess from Rowling.

It’s all a bit weird because the character is technically not even human, much less a Native American, and is older than humanity itself. However, in her acting as a Thunderbird, she was very real in terms of what individual cultures believed her to be (the whole system of magic in the fantasy is based on the power of human faith, so. Due to the nature of what she is I wouldn’t say her character invalidates anyone’s faith and yet!! I don’t really know. So.) Most of her character arc has little to do with Native Americans and everything to do with her own self and relationships to the other non-Native characters. So is this a mess of cultural appropriation and disrespect or what.

So… you have an ancient spirit with no connection to Natives become a sacred religious concept for multiple tribes in order to “help” Natives, then proceed to include no Natives in your plot?

What part of this isn’t appropriation?

You’ve basically come up with a white saviour/guilt plot, using a god instead of white people. The spirit must protect and save Natives! But then the whole plot is her dealing with her own feelings, so the Thunderbird becomes a window decoration to show where her focus is, and what guilt she’s dealing with.

The blog is actually something I’m going to focus on because depending on how you spin it, you can either come across as helpful (re-posting a bunch of stuff that other people have written to defer authority to them— as she should) or steamrolling actual Natives (by writing content in authoritative tone, which is a non-Native being an expert in Native culture). If you don’t play your cards right with this, you will come across as colonialist. 

Even protecting and preserving cultures can have a toxic twist to it, in the form of believing assimilation is inevitable so you should document everything that exists now. It can come across as fetishizing to focus on the resilience of Native culture, because it’s very easy to turn voyeuristic/model minority about it. “Look at all this tragedy, but they’re still fighting and exist!” can be both genuine praise and invalidation for the cultural genocide. Or, if you exclusively go “all this tragedy, imagine the possibilities, poor them” then you can both be validating the pain… or ignoring modern resistance efforts.

Tricky balance to accomplish, and nearly impossible to do so if she doesn’t interact with Natives. Also next to impossible to get sources, because how will she find anything if she doesn’t interact with the community?

Magical Native isn’t your worry, here. The core of that trope is “Native person had special powers because they’re Native”… so the fact your character isn’t Native and has no connection to a tribe means you avoid the trope by default.
What you very much do fall into is a reskin of White Man’s Burden, where an outside character feels pity towards a marginalized group and promptly works to better them, becoming a better person in the process. 

This is very much a white person’s story at the direct expense of Natives. The Thunderbird is nothing but window decoration to give context for what the god is feeling/what their current role is. Instead of exploring or representing Natives, you’ve sidelined our story to have somebody external feel guilty for not treating us right.

And that doesn’t help us at all.

~ Mod Lesya

In the same vein, regarding to the dualist philosophy in this work, I think it would be better if you made sure it wasn’t just a repackaging of Chinese philosophy. Many philosophies and religions deal with dualism/dualities, so I think that you can find ways to build a fictional philosophy/system around dualism that isn’t coded as Chinese, particularly if this work isn’t going to have much Chinese representation.

~Mod Stella

I often see people trying to be allies to natives, but still pushing or supporting the idea that the only thing we have to care about is the environment. this is a harmful narrative that communicates two things:
1) that colonialism and our oppression is ancient history
2) that native lives are less important than native land

if you want to be an ally to native people, stop perpetrating the same colonial bullshit we’ve been trying to destroy for ages. yeah, our land is important, but you know what? so are we! remember it.

anonymous asked:

I apologize if this has been asked before, but would someone who had minimal training but can read body language really well be able to defend themselves somewhat competently against a trained fighter?

No, because that’s not how body language works. Usually, when people talk about reading someone’s body language, they’re actually looking for social or psychological cues someone exhibits.

Body language is affected by your cultural background. I don’t mean you can’t learn other cultural cues, but they do vary. So, your character might be very good in reading their native body language, but not really understand someone from another country.

In this context, reading the combat body language from a martial artist isn’t like learning a foreign language, it’s like trying to understand an alien one.

A couple things, combatants do have tells. Untrained or poorly trained fighters will give away what they’ll do before they strike.

One of the things training does is mute those tells. Some forms will generate false tells that are designed to mislead an opponent. A feint is the most basic form of this, but this can get pretty sophisticated.

When you’re dealing with someone who’s had the same training you have, reading their body language in combat is doable.

When you’re dealing with someone from an unfamiliar style (or even just someone with more training in your own style) trying to read their language can get you in trouble fast.

When you’re dealing with someone that’s been trained in multiple styles and is incorporating elements of what they’ve learned together, reading their body language is going to get very dangerous.

-Starke

I think one of the things you’re missing (and it’s a common mistake) is the assumption that combat is an physical. You’re thinking: “well, even if my character has limited training if they could read the other guy’s body…”

No.

Learning to mess with your opponent’s mind and mask your tells is part of the standard package. It’s such a natural part of the training package that most martial arts won’t actively discuss why they’re training you that way. It’s just a part of it. Martial arts training, all combat training really, works under the assumption that your opponent will try to read your body language to gain an advantage and works to circumvent it in the way it retrains the instincts, how you stand, how you move, etc. You see this commonly in the long lag times at the beginning of boxing matches or other fighting events where the two opponents spend a good long time staring each other down before either moves.

What are they doing? They’re reading the other person’s body language trying to get a beat on how they’ll react and they’ve got a very tight margin of error. Read it wrong and it’ll cost them a point, which can cost them the match.

Every martial art and combat style has different tells, different quirks, because they all have different priorities and evolved to combat different social expectations. Body language is a means of social communication, it’s how we communicate to each other in ways that are mostly tracked subconsciously. Body language is one way interacting with individuals who have certain mental disabilities can feel awkward for someone who is neurotypical (or has a different disorder) because the social cues you expect in their physical behavior aren’t there. (On the other side, having certain mental disorders means you may spend a lifetime trying to decode the signals.) As Starke said, body language is social conditioning, it’s cultural. Change cultures and everything you expect about boundaries and social cues shifts, changes. If you’ve ever visited a foreign culture, you may have learned that the physical social interaction can be just as daunting as the verbal language barrier.

The combat arts are built to subvert your expectations when it comes to physical tells. Many of the techniques and even the basic resting positions are meant to mess with the way the human brain tracks data and registers threats.

For example, your peripheral vision is a beautiful, beautiful early warning system when it comes to tracking movement and it’s a double edged sword. All it does is track motion, you can train your body to respond to that motion. It puts a priority on fast, circular motion coming in toward the head because it’s easier to track the hands when they’re outside the line of the body.

However, by coming up directly toward the face (as seen in common prison grabs which target the eyes with the fingers), you can engage a blind spot because the brain is slow react to movement camouflaged by the body. Attack the face and your opponent will instinctively move to defend it, thus leaving the rest of their body undefended. The second strike comes, almost at the same time, to the gut (or elsewhere). Having succeeded in their attack, they then proceed to work their opponent over a.k.a keep hitting them until they can no longer stand. You don’t need years of martial arts training to learn this or even a basic understanding of how the brain works. Kids on the playground will do an early variant of this in games of keep away. Training however, does make the individual a great deal more subtle.

(Learning The Body Line: stand facing a mirror. Hold your elbows and hands outside your body, then bring them in so your elbows touch the front of your chest. Keep your fingertips up, loose, but touching. If you don’t immediately notice, close your eyes and count to ten. Then open your eyes and look for your hands. If you’re not drunk this will happen pretty quickly, but not fast enough. If you are drunk, it’ll happen really goddamn slow. That’s how the body line works. You have now learned one of the simplest, basic mechanics of mental manipulation and body camouflage built into almost every martial art. Congratulations.)

Whether attacking or defending, combatants don’t want their opponent to see what they’re doing until it’s too late. When you watch the early movies with Jackie Chan and Jet Li or other martial artists, ask yourself “when did they switch their ready position”. To the casual observer it often seems like they just go, “bam” they’re in the obvious ready position and then they’ve attacked.

However, it actually starts much earlier than that. These actors actually move to a ready position the second their character’s register that they’re in danger. Often, it can be as much as a full five minutes before the fight even begins. Watch the first twelve seconds of this clip from Kiss of the Dragon. As Jet Li walks down the hallway, he’s already in a quasi ready position. His head is up and alert, his shoulders are squared, his arms are slightly tensed (you can tell by the curve at the elbow as they move out from the body and moving with very minute swings). When the desk is kicked through the glass, he steps back, but instead of staying facing fully forward his body turns on a slight diagonal, his hand comes up (to guard his face from the glass and in general) in an automatic response. He’s slightly caught off guard, but he’s already instinctively moved to protect himself in response to the action. (This is trained instinct, not natural instinct.)

These are the barest, barest of basics. The psychological aspects of camouflaging movement are so built into most martial arts that the practitioner isn’t even going to think about it. They might unpack it later at higher levels or if they develop an interest in exactly how the physical side of martial arts affects the mental side and vice versa.

You’re not going to learn to look for these tells unless you’re learning to fight. If you are learning to fight, then you will start training yourself to look for tells in your practice partners. You may be told what to look for, you may not. As you improve your technique, you will get better at hiding your tells

It’s a vicious cycle.

The short is: everyone is already looking for signs that someone is going to attack them. Those signs do not usually cross-confluence with the usual social expectations of threatening behavior until the first strike happens. They often come off as distinctly non-threatening.

Even if they can figure it out, the amount of lag time between when their brain figures out the person has moved from threatening to actually attacking and when the hit connects probably won’t leave them enough time to respond if they haven’t been trained to. This will all take place within a few fractions of a second and if you haven’t been working on building up the response times and mental connection to different parts of the body, if you have to think about it, then you’re already moving too slow.

-Michi

Can I have an interview?

Pairing: Tony Stark x Reader

Words: 1535

Based on this imagine: x

Summary: You’re a badass journalist and on a press conference of Stark Industries you ask Tony a few tricky questions, which leads to a private interview with him. 

Warnings: Lots of fluff

Just to mention: I’m not a native English speaker, so prepare for troubled grammar.


Tony: „Do I really have to do this?“

Assistant: “It’s your company after all.”

Tony: “What a pain in the ass.”

The assistant explained everything to him but he didn’t listen that well. Tony played with the sleeves of his jacket and rolled his eyes as his assistant was done explaining.

Assistant: “Is everything clear, Mr Stark?”

Tony just made a wiping gesture with his Hands and said that everything is fine, after all he’s used to such conferences even though he hadn’t done one in a while. As the two walked to the front room where the journalists took place one after another, his look wandered around the room and suddenly stopped.

Tony: “Who is she?”

He leaned towards his assistant, who was tipping something in his smartphone. The assistant looked up and followed his sight.

Assistant: “That woman over there? That’s Y/N. She’s from the New York Times. I’m surprised you don’t know her, she’s widely known for her journalistic work.”

Tony: “Her journalistic work?”

Assistant: “Yea, she discovered some scandals lately and gained herself a name in the business. Be alarmed. She’s a tricky one.”

Tony’s eye got smaller.

Tony: “Is she? Maybe I have to convince myself of that.”

The stage was widely lit as a guy with headphones on came to Tony and led him towards the podium. His look rested on you, as by a miracle he didn’t stumble on the stairs. You were focused on your notepad in front of you that laid on your lap, to write the last few questions down that were on your mind. The first speaker started to welcome everyone and introduced some people in the room, so you looked up and saw that Tony was starring at you.

Your sight crossed for a few seconds and then he looked away and was heading to the podium and started his speech. It was about the new direction of Stark Industries, which now has completely given up all weapon developments and were focused on other technologies. Under his speech, your looks crossed a few times again. You felt like he was smiling at you slightly, but not obviously noticeable. You were definitely interested in him, but in a professional way. He was after all a Businessman that became suddenly a Superhero. But that wasn’t something you where interested in. Moreover there were rumours that old weapon construction plans have leaked and an organisation in the Middle East stole them, to rebuild his weapons what caused a few incidents recently.

After his speech was over he was asking the audience if there were any questions left but the others seemed to be satisfied with what he said. But you were not. Tony was about to leave the podium as you stood up and starred at him with an intense look.

You: “I have a question.”

He turned around and leaned down to the microphone again.

Tony: “Yes?”

You: “Are you informed of any leaked weapon construction plans of Stark industries?”

This question got him by surprise. His eyes widened and he came a step closer to the podium.

Tony: “There aren’t any leaked plans out there. We store them in safety.”

You: “So you’re building currently weapons?”

Tony: “We’re not.” His voice sounded hard and his expression darkened.

You: “So why were there incidents in the middle east, with weapon of your company involved, recently? I thought there were all destroyed.”

He looked towards his assistant that showed him with a gesture to stop the conference and leave.

Tony: “I don’t have any further information of that.” He said shortly and turned of the microphone and left to the backstage.

You still stood up in the audience, eyes all on you. You signed and sat back down, packed your things and left the room. With your phone in your hand you walked down the hallway to immediately inform you boss. You tipped in his number and turned left around the corner to see Tony leaning against the wall. He seemed to be waiting for you.

Tony: “Can we talk?”

You: “Mr Stark. I’m surprised you want to.”

Tony: “If you’re saying the truth, we have to talk.”

You: “I’m not lying.”

His eyes appear to be darker than usual and his whole body language told you that he was stained, but then suddenly had a sigh of relief. He let his Head fall to the side and pushed himself away from the wall.

Tony: “Then we talk.”

You grabbed your bag and wanted to get your notepad out but Tony stopped you. He grabbed your wrist and you looked up to him.

Tony: “Not here.”

You: “Where?”

Tony: “… Are you hungry?”

A few minutes later you both sat on a table near the window in a beautiful café in downtown Manhattan. It was already late afternoon and the sun went down. The last sunbeams flooded the tiny café in a warm red and the waiter turned on the light chains that covered the whole ceiling before he went to your table to place the red wine, that Tony ordered for you two.

You: “That’s a nice place.”

Tony: “Sometimes it’s the smallest things that are the best, aren’t they?”

You: “You’re right.”

You looked up from your glass and saw that Tony was starring at you again, but with a warm expression and his eyes glowed in the dark. You felt slightly attracted to him, but you suppressed this feeling and tried to stay focused on the topic.

Tony: “So tell me everything about the leaked plans.” He said with a rather hard voice again and put his glass to the side.

You put out a map of your bag and a big file with every detail of the issue that you collected yourself over the last months. Tony’s eyes widened as you went on talking and revealed even more information to him, which he didn’t know till today. He spoke with Jarvis through his smartphone a few times, and made notes so he could handle this afterwards. The night went along and you were were still discussing about all different types of topics. Politics and economics mostly till he questioned you a few private things.

Tony: “Don’t your husband complain from time to time, if you spend so much time researching?”

You were surprised, of where this private question came of all sudden. You shook your head, and said that you’re single at the moment. Too much work of course and such things. Tony pored himself another glass of wine in and then the waiter came to your table.

Waiter: “I’m sorry, but we close now.”

You looked over to the clock and then to Tony. Was it already that late? Time flew by so quickly. Tony stood up and said he’ll go pay.

You: “Wait, I give you some money.”

Tony: “No, please. I want to pay. I had nice company after all.”

You sat back in your chair and gave him a smile.

You: “Thanks.”

Tony helped you get into your coat and pushed the door open for you. You stepped outside the café and looked around the empty streets. You hoped to catch a taxi, but there wasn’t any around.

Tony: “Where do you live?”

You: “Thanks, but you don’t have to bring me home. I know the way from here on.”

Tony: “I insist.” He lifted his elbow and you tuck your arm into his.

The streets were empty and the streetlights guided the way. It was a quite long walk but you talked the whole time and you learned a lot about the mysterious Mr Stark that everyone was speaking about. You came closer to him just a little bit, not really noticeable but he seemed to search the near as well. After a while you reached your home and stood in front of the door.  

Tony: “It’s true what the say about you.”

You: “What do they say?”

Tony: “That you’re a tricky one.”

You laughed and looked Tony into his eyes. He was about a Head taller than you, so you had to look up to him.

You: “I guess they’re right. And I didn’t think that you were one of those men.”

Tony: “Of those?” He raised an eyebrow.

You: “You know, of the good ones.”

A smile appeared all over his face.

Tony: “It’s been some time since someone said that to me.”

You: “Maybe you should start to open up to people more.”

Tony: “Yea, I maybe should.”

You didn’t even realise how close you were to him. Just now you realised as you tried to make yourself a little bit taller by standing on your tiptoes. But Tony sure made a move as well as he leaned down slightly just so that you could feel his breath already on your lips. You bit your lips and then he leaned in for a kiss. You felt his soft lips on yours and he grabbed your waist to pull you even closer to you.

Tony: “I really enjoyed to night.”

You: “I did as well.” 

im so so so so so so SO TIRED of all this bullshit representation news. so tired. like sense/8 wasn’t perfect by any means, in fact a lot of it was fucked, but now thats its cancelled, on top of the ge/t down being cancelled, on top of the dissapointing TA/Z ‘redesigns’ (yes maybe they couldnt do a complete overhaul because the lines are done and changing color is easier but STILL IT IS A TOTAL COP OUT) i just. im so done. i can hardly get jazzed about any media i consume anymore and its exhausting!!!

edit: a note on sense8, it both has decent poc rep but could have done a lot better, and a lot of the poc storylines end up rehashing racist stereotypes not to mention to Bs w/ the white cop dude, but i dont think for one minute netflix cared abt that i think its a part of a larger trend of devaluing poc led media