substantives

I have liked, I have loved, I have been hurt. I have hurt people. I miss people that I shouldn’t even think about anymore. I ignore people that I should give importance to. I have made mistakes in the past and I have learned to live with them. I’ve learned to accept people for who they are. I have suffered I’ve cried I have faced rejection I don’t even want to be alive, but the thing is I have a million reasons to be alive and I just haven’t found them yet. I fall. I rise. I am not perfect, but I am who I am. This is me.

Thesis: the narrow focus on public performance over substantive action in certain activist circles has less to do with cynical schemes to game the system for progressive brownie points, and more to do with the fact that many folks basically think social activism is a form of ritual magic. Popular histories give us images of Great Men making speeches and leading marches and circulating petitions, and completely erase all the ground-level infrastructure that made all that stuff work; the end result is that a lot of folks seem honestly to believe that bringing about social change is a matter of performing the appropriate symbolic actions and waiting for reality to reconfigure itself accordingly.

Venus Signs

Venus in Aries: Emotional, enthusiastic and impulsive, you like to take yourself for a romantic adventurer. You fall in love with impetuosity and at first glance - and you just as quickly fall away. More demanding than you realize, you are affectionate, ardent and easily excited. Though you ultimately need a mental compatibility, what stimulates you in the first place is the physical appearance.

Venus in Taurus: Mistress of Taurus, Venus feels herself completely at home here. It makes you loving, charming, sensual to the extreme, and gives you a great artistic sense. All the pleasures of life attract you, starting with rich foods and ending with long and voluptuous sexual encounters, with the same person preferably. You appreciate constancy, and although you are capable of infidelities, these do not represent your natural mode. You need security, comfort, hugs, magnificent objects, someone who stimulates you, and an attentive partner.

Venus in Gemini: The planet of love in the sign of the inconstant mind produces witty jokes, many hours of happy conversation and strolling in bookstores, as well as an irresistible attraction towards intelligent and fast people. You are quite capable of maintaining a love story by fax. But in the absence of mitigating factors, your affections are easily influenced, and it is difficult for you to distinguish between what should be a great adventure and true love.

Venus in Cancer: A true nest builder, you get the deepest pleasures of your home and family. You are kind, sympathetic, sentimental, loyal, devoted, loved, and great cook (or at least you would like to be one). But even if you give the impression of having complete confidence in yourself, you need more than a little emotional encouragement. Your fear of being rejected may be hidden, but it is real. This may well be the reason you hang on too long, both to friends and the person you love. When you love someone, you want it to be forever.

Venus in Leo: Warm, open, loyal, in love with luxury, you have artistic sense, you are creative, you have theatrical attitudes, and you are in love with love. You feel passionate and express yourself flamboyantly. Love is an essential part of your nature, and you tend to define yourself through it. You also love the arts. But you are not about to run away with an unpublished poet, at least not if the artist in question does not have substantive financial reserves. You are happy when the money comes in well.

Venus in Virgo: When you are in love, you devote all your attention to it, analyze each interaction, reread your letters of love and listen to your answering machine to be sure that you have grasped the slightest nuance. You would do anything to be loved. But you can also criticize and control, have lots of opinions on how others should behave. Some natives with this position have noisy personalities. If you are one of them, people think that you are a wild beast of sex. In reality, most natives are modest, or even a little shy in bed.

Venus in Libra: You are affectionate, kind, warm and eager to please. True romantic, you idealize love and often have problems adapting to a real relationship. When the disappointment settles, it is hard, but you do not stay at home to mop. You are very seductive, and there is usually always someone on your track. This position also brings a high aesthetic sensitivity.

Venus in Scorpio: Thanks to the outrageous eroticism of the Scorpion, this position promises a ticket for ecstasy. And sometimes it is. The presence of mystery, intensity, and even a subtle suspicion of darkness excites you. Proud, passionate and seductive, you are predestined to deep desires, both sexual and emotional, and your love life tends to be tumultuous. In the best case, you are deeply devoted and deeply intimate. In the worst, you can be jealous and vindictive. But despite your reputation, you are also able to withdraw from social interaction and isolate yourself behind an invisible screen.

Venus in Sagittarius: Demonstrative, ardent and emotional, you consider love as an adventure, and not as a means of fixing a secure future. You enjoy your freedom, and your ideal partner is a person who helps you see the world and live even more aspects of life, not someone who restricts your activities. You have high ideals and you are attracted by highly committed people. You are also intrigued by people who come from backgrounds totally different from yours. You do not mind shocking people.

Venus in Capricorn: You are sensual in your sexual relations and constant in your affections, but cautious when it comes to reveal your emotions. You appreciate stability, ownership and righteousness, and you do not want to lose control. The disorder and the mess of emotional brawls frighten you, that’s why you do not reveal your feelings. Serious and sophisticated, you admire everything that is classic. In art as in love, you understand the need to control.

Venus in Aquarius: Open-minded, friendly and idealistic, you are attracted to anti-conformists and rebels, and you have a multitude of friends. But you are not the most passionate person on this planet, and you tend to prefer an intellectual camaredery to a romantic bond. You also need time for yourself, and you tend to take sex casually. The new techniques interest you, but not the display of passion. In the end, you are of the independent type and your heart is hard to catch.

Venus in Pisces: You are sentimental, you have the taste for art, you are devoted and ready to do anything for the beloved. You idealize your partners and sincerely seek union with them, but you have no idea what is reasonable and what is not. Other people find it easy to influence you, partly because you shrug your shoulders as a sign of impotence and accept that you are left with the crumbs. In the end, it makes you angry and explains that you are sometimes offensive emotionally, usually passively and aggressively. You truly know how to love, but you are sometimes too willing to sacrifice your own needs to satisfy those of your partners.

The rules about responding to call outs aren’t working

Privileged people rarely take the voices of marginalized people seriously. Social justices spaces attempt to fix this with rules about how to respond to when marginalized people tell you that you’ve done something wrong. Like most formal descriptions of social skills, the rules don’t quite match reality. This is causing some problems that I think we could fix with a more honest conversation about how to respond to criticism.

The formal social justice rules say something like this:

  • You should listen to marginalized people.
  • When a marginalized person calls you out, don’t argue.
  • Believe them, apologize, and don’t do it again.
  • When you see others doing what you were called out for doing, call them out.

Those rules are a good approximation of some things, but they don’t actually work. It is impossible to follow them literally, in part because:

  • Marginalized people are not a monolith. 
  • Marginalized people have the same range of opinions as privileged people.
  • When two marginalized people tell you logically incompatible things, it is impossible to act on both sets of instructions.
  • For instance, some women believe that abortion is a human right foundational human right for women. Some women believe that abortion is murder and an attack on women and girls.
  • “Listen to women” doesn’t tell you who to believe, what policy to support, or how to talk about abortion. 
  • For instance, some women believe that religious rules about clothing liberate women from sexual objectification, other women believe that religious rules about clothing sexually objectify women. 
  • “Listen to women” doesn’t tell you what to believe about modesty rules. 
  • Narrowing it to “listen to women of minority faiths” doesn’t help, because women disagree about this within every faith.
  • When “listen to marginalized people” means “adopt a particular position”, marginalized people are treated as rhetorical props rather than real people.
  • Objectifying marginalized people does not create justice.

Since the rule is literally impossible to follow, no one is actually succeeding at following it. What usually ends up happening when people try is that:

  • One opinion gets lifted up as “the position of marginalized people” 
  • Agreeing with that opinion is called “listen to marginalized people”
  • Disagreeing with that opinion is called “talking over marginalized people”
  • Marginalized people who disagree with that opinion are called out by privileged people for “talking over marginalized people”.
  • This results in a lot of fights over who is the true voice of the marginalized people.
  • We need an approach that is more conducive to real listening and learning.

This version of the rule also leaves us open to sabotage:

  • There are a lot of people who don’t want us to be able to talk to each other and build effective coalitions.
  • Some of them are using the language of call-outs to undermine everyone who emerges as an effective progressive leader. 
  • They say that they are marginalized people, and make up lies about leaders.
  • Or they say things that are technically true, but taken out of context in deliberately misleading ways.
  • The rules about shutting up and listening to marginalized people make it very difficult to contradict these lies and distortions. 
  • (Sometimes they really are members of the marginalized groups they claim to speak for. Sometimes they’re outright lying about who they are).
  • (For instance, Russian intelligence agents have used social media to pretend to be marginalized Americans and spread lies about Hillary Clinton.)

The formal rule is also easily exploited by abusive people, along these lines:

  • An abusive person convinces their victim that they are the voice of marginalized people.
  • The abuser uses the rules about “when people tell you that you’re being oppressive, don’t argue” to control the victim.
  • Whenever the victim tries to stand up for themself, the abuser tells the victim that they’re being oppressive.
  • That can be a powerfully effective way to make victims in our communities feel that they have no right to resist abuse. 
  • This can also prevent victims from getting support in basic ways.
  • Abusers can send victims into depression spirals by convincing them that everything that brings them pleasure is oppressive and immoral. 
  • The abuser may also isolate the victim by telling them that it would be oppressive for them to spend time with their friends and family, try to access victim services, or call the police. 
  • The abuser may also separate the victim from their community and natural allies by spreading baseless rumors about their supposed oppressive behavior. (Or threatening to do so).
  • When there are rules against questioning call outs, there are also implicit rules against taking the side of a victim when the abuser uses the language of calling out.
  • Rules that say some people should unconditionally defer to others are always dangerous.

The rule also lacks intersectionality:

  • No one experiences every form of oppression or every form of privilege.
  • Call-outs often involve people who are marginalized in different ways. 
  • Often, both sides in the conflict have a point.
  • For instance, black men have male privilege and white women have white privilege.
  • If a white woman calls a black man out for sexism and he responds by calling her out for racism (or vice versa), “listened to marginalized people” isn’t a very helpful rule because they’re both marginalized.
  • These conversations tend to degenerate into an argument about which form of marginalization is most significant.
  • This prevents people involved from actually listening to each other.
  • In conflicts like this, it’s often the case that both sides have a legitimate point. (In ways that are often not immediately obvious.)
  • We need to be able to work through these conflicts without expecting simplistic rules to resolve them in advance.

This rule also tends to prevent groups centered around one form of marginalized from coming to engage with other forms of marginalization:

  • For instance, in some spaces, racism and sexism are known to be issues, but ableism is not.
  • (This can occur in any combination. Eg: There are also spaces that get ableism and sexism but not racism, and spaces that get economic justice and racism but not antisemitism, or any number of other things.)
  • When disabled people raise the issue of ableism in any context (social justice or otherwise), they’re likely to be shouted down and told that it’s not important.
  • In social justice spaces, this shouting down is often done in the name of “listening to marginalized people”.
  • For instance, disabled people may be told ‘you need to listen to marginalized people and de-center your issues’, carrying the implication that ableism is less important than other forms of oppression.
  • (This happens to *every* marginalized group in some context or other.)
  • If we want real intersectional solidarity, we need to have space for ongoing conflicts that are not simple to resolve.

Tl;dr “Shut up and listen to marginalized people” isn’t quite the right rule, because it objectifies marginalized people, leaves us open to sabotage, enables abuse, and prevents us from working through conflicts in a substantive way. We need to do better by each other, and start listening for real.

... Somehow, Still Talking About This Captain America Shit (Now With Bonus Spider-Man and Agents of SHIELD)

So now Secret Empire has revealed its Shyamalan Twist and given the readers a Good Guy Steve Rogers as well as Hydra Cap, and the kinds of dickbags who, when this whole bullshit began were dismissing people’s complaints with “oh come on, don’t you know how comics works, it’s all going to be put back at the end, blah blah blah…” are crowing I-Told-You-So’s.

But here’s the thing:

Yeah, fucknuts.  We always knew this.

Keep reading

my problem with “choice feminism” à la buzzfeed isn’t that it focuses too much on choice but rather that choice feminists don’t seem to want substantive, free choice at all.  they don’t want to investigate the context of women’s decisions (what atwood would call the rat’s maze).  they don’t want to challenge power structures or belief systems that restrict or coerce women’s choices. just like in sex positivity, their concern is not the freedom to choose yes or no but rather the willingness & enthusiasm to say yes.

if you describe cultural coercion (like the reward-punishment system that pushes women to wear make-up), choice feminists will defend make-up by saying that they choose to wear it.  they don’t attempt to refute feminist analysis, they just proudly declare that they don’t mind the coercion at all.  when they say “i chose it, so those pressures don’t harm me”, they really mean “i like it, so i don’t care how those pressures harm others.”

Reasons to watch the New Russian Holmes series (2013)

I’ve blogged a lot about this show over the last month or so, but I’ve been meaning to make a big post about it all in one place, so here we go!

Originally posted by spiritcc

A brief intro for those who care:

Sherlock Holmes (2013), or, as it seems to be popularly called, New Russian Holmes (as opposed to the old Soviet Holmes), is an eight-episode Russian-language Sherlock Holmes adaptation directed by Andrei Kavun, starring Igor Petrenko as Holmes and Andrei Panin as Watson. It first aired in Russia in November 2013, but has had no official English release.

So where can I watch it?

Despite the limited release, all eight episodes are available on Youtube, with English subtitles, translated thanks to the excellent @spiritcc​.

Yeah but why should I watch it?

Because it is excellent. I don’t want to spoil people too much because discovering things yourself is really the best, but let’s be a bit more specific:

The opening credits:

Even before the first scene, we get treated to a beautiful opening sequence with really great music, but this isn’t just a sequence to shove credits in your face, it’s not even just an aesthetically pleasing series of shots of Watson’s notebook, the opening sequence forms part of the episode and part of the series as a whole.

Every opening is unique, from the images to the voiceover, and is as much a part of the story as the substantive scenes themselves. 

The refreshing take on canon:

If you’re going to watch this, you need to know that the fundamental premise of the show is that the ACD canon lies. Watson’s “stories” are just that: stories. Holmes in real life is different, Watson is different, Mrs Hudson is different, the cases went differently, hell, even Gregson is different. So if you’re looking for a faithful replication of canon, this isn’t the show for you, but once you take on board this fundamental premise, it’s fantastic because it forces you to think about canon in a new light, and to consider the implications of Watson as an unreliable narrator.

You’ll get to see how and why Watson came to write “canon” the way he did, and you’ll get to see how everyone reacts to it. Every other adaptation (with the exception of Bert Coules’ radio series perhaps, but even that adheres to canon quite strictly) treats canon as more or less the “truth” and bases their version off that to create an output; this show treats canon as the output, and works backwards to imagine the “true” series of events behind it. This aspect (at least for me) was one of the most delightful themes to watch develop throughout the episodes, and it really shows how much original thought and passion went into the conception and creation of the show.

Watson as the true protagonist:

This sort of follows on from the fundamental premise of the canon stories being mere stories. Watson is the person through whom we get to know Holmes; everything we read is Watson’s doing, so it’s natural that the protagonist should also be Watson. We see the world from Watson’s perspective.

It’s not a story about this genius Holmes and his sidekick Watson, it’s a story about Watson and his adventures with this intriguing man, Holmes, and in that way it makes the show very grounded and very real.

Holmes the nerd:

For some reason, Igor Petrenko’s Holmes has been likened to Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes, but I don’t think that’s accurate at all. Whereas RDJ’s Holmes veers more towards grubby cocky action hero who happens to be good at reasoning (and I don’t say that with any scorn), Petrenko’s Holmes is very much grounded in the same sheer intellect that defines canon Holmes, only this version is a more flawed, nervous character, which I think makes him more interesting. Petrenko does an excellent job with the quirks and mannerisms of the character. He also keeps insects in jars in his room.

nerd.

Watson the military man:

A lot of adaptations emphasise Watson’s role as a doctor, but few seem to remember that he was also a soldier, so it’s refreshing once again to see this series not only acknowledge that military background, but to explicitly keep it front and centre the entire time.

Watson the surgeon:

For all its joviality, the show doesn’t shy away from graphic realities either. Watson is more than just a doctor, he’s a surgeon. We see him handle the scalpel more than he does the stethoscope.

Watson the badass:

Yeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh

Watson’s facials:

I know I’ve posted a lot about this but seriously Panin’s acting is really one of the highlights of this show, he was such an excellent actor, absolutely convincing in his role.

Brand new revised subtitles by yours truly!

Over the last two months I’ve gone through and edited all the English subs for the series, so hopefully everything will read a lot smoother! Any remaining mistakes are entirely my responsibility.

The humour:

Sort of reminiscent of the tone of the Soviet series, this series shares that light-heartedness, but it sure as hell isn’t a joke either. It’s not dark and edgy for the sake of being dark and edgy. It doesn’t pull the cheap trick of taking advantage of your feels. The series sets out to tell a story and it tells a beautiful story and you will genuinely love the characters for who they are. And you will feel good about it. Yes, you will even love Lestrade.

Watson taking a bath:

The hilariously bad English (I laugh in good faith):

The creepy autopsy  man:

This weird ass scene:

Originally posted by nitefise-art

Kilts!

Moriarty hiding in the first fucking episode no less

not showing you, you have to spot him yourself

And finally, their timeless friendship:

Originally posted by random-nrh-gifs

Originally posted by idlesuperstar

Originally posted by random-nrh-gifs

Never has a show felt more genuine or more satisfying to watch when the final credits roll. This is a Sherlock Holmes that has had thought, love, and appreciation poured into its making, and it shows. 

So, llamas, go forth! You can watch the entire series here. I hope you have as much fun as I did :)

I didn’t lose him, I had to let him go. I didn’t get over, I had to move on. I didn’t lose feelings for him, I had to walk away. I didn’t get bored of him, I had to do what was best for me. I didn’t let him go, I had to push him away. I didn’t forget about him, I had to cut him off, I didn’t want things to get worst and so I just did what was best for me. I didn’t want to break up, I just didn’t wanted to handle it anymore, I didn’t want to live his life. I just needed time for myself. I just got to the point where I put myself first for once and I decided it was time for me and him to go our separate ways. It’s not that I doesn’t want to be with him anymore because I does, but it’s that the things weren’t the same anymore and no matter how long I waited for things to get better, no matter how hard I tried to make things better, it wasn’t happening. I just didn’t want to be unhappy anymore. I did use to run back to him in just a Heartbeat, but for now I just need to be on my own.

~~Sana Afreen~~ (Via@substantive-thoughts)

Random thought: I suspect the reason that most nerds are terrible at fantasy worldbuilding - and I’m absolutely including myself in this assessment - is that we have a tendency to impute agency to technology.

That is, when we look at historical examples of societal change or upheaval that are accompanied by a technological paradigm shift, we tend to analyse that upheaval as an obvious and inevitable consequence of that technology; the social and economic milieu surrounding the event is considered, if not irrelevant, then at least of secondary importance.

It’s like we’ve recognised the inadequacies of the Great Man theory of history, but rather than adopting a substantively different approach, we’ve simply subtracted the Great Man, resulting in a historiography in which new technologies spring fully formed from the aether and work their will upon the world’s stage, with no acknowledgment that technological paradigm shifts are at least as much products of the material conditions of their development as they are drivers of those conditions.

Then we turn around and attempt to imagine a fantastical world by asking a series of questions of the form “how would this particular magical ‘technology’ change society?“, when we should equally be asking: “what sort of society would develop this kind of magic in the first place?“

Why some people see Donald Trump as a hero, not a bully:

So, let’s start from this point: Donald Trump is not a hero. He’s a bully.

Heroes, after all, defend the weak and marginalized against the strong and the vicious. Bullies pick on the weak and the marginalized to the benefit of the strong and the comfortable. Much like his racism, Trump’s bullying is textbook.

None of which changes for a second the fact that lots of Americans seem to think of Trump as a hero anyway. And since at least part of my job is to think about things that don’t make sense, here’s my take on why the “Hero Trump” people think the way they do.

The Hero Trump people have engaged in what can be called “privilege inversion.” Basically, they have convinced themselves that liberals and minorities have created a world in which it is substantively worse to be a white person, especially a male white person, than to be “Other.” From their point of view, political correctness and its associated practices – trigger warnings, language policing, etc. – have made victims of those who are otherwise assumed to be privileged. Thus, white people, especially men and especially Christians, are actually the abused minority group in America, victims of the PC police and a culture that regularly mocks their values and their goals.

Please don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying this has happened. I am NOT saying white male Christians are martyrs or that the PC police run the world. I AM saying that a whole lot of Trump’s supporters think this way. Hence his being an asshole makes him a hero: as Barry Goldwater once put it (in a very different context), “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! … moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

In the Trumpette worldview, the erosion of privilege makes one a martyr. Trump is King Canute (look it up!) heroically standing against the tide, and his supporters seem to believe that – unlike Canute – Trump can hold back the waves.

  • The status quo: *props up a system where fewer than ten individuals control more wealth than half of the world's people; where artificial scarcity starves thousands of people daily despite humanity being able to feed everyone and then some; where people are expected to needlessly toil for the enrichment of a select few, even though automation could weed out a large portion of menial labor; where empires are built on the backs of the poorest; where corporations and the state make up a ruling caste that structures policy in favor of capital accumulation and against the grand majority of the population*
  • The status quo: *reproduces all of this oppression and injustice through a highly sophisticated media apparatus that disregards or suppresses worldviews that challenge it; through an education system that rewards compliance within those parameters; through an ideological culture that celebrates markets, inequality, and "individualism" uncritically. creates misleading ideologies to justify itself materially*
  • Right-wingers: *regurgitate all of this ideology they've been fed since childhood, acting as a bulwark against any substantive movements for liberation beyond the status quo, thus keeping power dynamics completely unchanged*
  • Right-wingers: We're freedom fighters =) We stand up for the underdog against government corruption =) Just get a job sweaty =) If you don't like that eight people control more wealth than half the world maybe you should start a business of your own =) Don't tread on me =) Submit to cops arbitrarily and you won't get shot =) I'm simultaneously a traditionalist and a rebel =) Communism means work or starve =) Now do as the bosses demand and work this unfulfilling/dangerous/unnecessary job =) Or lose your job and thus starve =) I'm a subversive intellectual sweaty =)

anonymous asked:

I just failed my chemistry test (part of the 5% group of F's in my class), and all I want to do at the moment is feel depressed and cry. How do you handle failure? Like getting a bad test score?

/hugs/

Firstly, cry. Let it out. Screw motivational quotes, self help books and keeping composure.  Curse, scream, yell. Put on your comfiest outfit and park yourself in bed with a book, movie, music, youtube - anything that isn’t study.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a time out.

Its not like the next few hours will change your mark - so do what’s in your power right now, that being, taking care of yourself.

Resources 

I’ve written about how I deal with failure on this studyblr before. See:

The first two posts include a list of resources, ranging from working professionals sharing their experiences and strategies for dealing with failure, to music recommendations, study tips and goat remixes. Something for everyone - call it my failure first aid kit.

3 Steps 

To summarise, I cycle through three broad steps: 

1. Immediately after the exam (aka ‘Fuck everything’)

  • Consider what you can do immediately after the exam. Nothing can get you back those few hours you spent in the exam room. You’re not obliged to discuss your performance with your peers, comparing answers won’t change what you’ve written.
  • Take some time off from studying - rest, recuperate, reset.

2. Upon receiving results (aka 'getting down to business’)

  • Review my exam: what areas did I do well in? What areas do I need to improve, where did I lose most of my marks? Was it a procedural error (e.g. the style of question and time limits) or was a substantive error (e.g. I didn’t understand the concept they were testing, did we even learn about titration).  I use this review to structure my study for my next exam.
  • Formal avenues of Review: was there anything that affected my exam performance? If so, am I eligible for a remark or resit? Has the assessment been fair?
  • Ask: approach teachers, lecturers to ask for feedback. How can I do better? What was a model answer?

3. Shia LaBeouf it

  • Using the strategies and information I have gathered above, its time to bite the bullet and study for the resit or my next exam.
  • If I have to cover similar content, I’ll find a new way to study the content (e.g. audio, video, mindmaps)
  • Rather than go through all the content, I’ll target the areas where I lost the most marks, whether this be by content or a particular style of question (e.g. short answer, essay)

A few things I like to keep in mind: 

Effort can betray you 

  • you can work hard and still fail. You can put in hours and hours of work and still pull up short. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to work diligently. The worth of hard work (the 'process’) goes beyond the result you achieve. The result doesn’t invalidate the means.

Success is not a predetermined route

  • There are many ways to achieve your goal. This assessment, no matter how much its weighted, no matter how many people tell you 'it’s the only way’ is not necessarily the only way to achieve your goal. Life isnt a series of dominos which collapse once you fail this exam. Success isn’t linear.

Self Confidence

  • Its difficult to untangle feelings of self confidence from academic performance, particularly if you’ve dedicated the majority of your life (so far!) to school etc. School is an artificial pressure cooker of constant assessments, scrutiny (and competition). Remind yourself of who you are outside of 'being a student’ - you are a friend, a kick ass baker, master procrastinator with the endurance to pull all nighters to marathon episodes of friends. Dedicate yourself to pursuing something outside (and completely independent of) school and your 'future career’. Remind yourself that you’re human.

During the immediate aftermath of a bad exam result, its difficult to simply 'get over it’. It feels like it is the 'be all or end all’ because you’ve invested so much time and effort into studying, and up til now, the direction of your life has been defined by reference to your academic journey. 

I try to keep things in perspective, for the sake of my sanity. This exam is only one in a series of exams I’ll ever take. That exam only reflected my performance at one specific time, at one specific place. It doesn’t tell the examiner who I am outside 9am-11am on a Monday morning in exam hall B. It has no bearing on my ability to be a good friend, reliable employee, awesome pet owner.

When I struggle to keep things in perspective, I find this 'Life Calendar’ by Tim Urban helps, and the Tim Minchin speech referenced in one of the links above.

 Heck, I still cry. There’s days where I spend the entire day in bed. Sometimes, my recent failures seem just as bad as that stupid quiz I failed back when I started high school - and I’m in my final year of university now. Failure at any stage is difficult because here’s the thing - you don’t have the luxury of hindsight to tell you 'things will be ok’.  

But that’s ok.

Because I’ll get up the next morning and try again. 

And again. 

And again. 

And eventually, things will change. I can’t promise that they’ll get better, but they’ll change.

You’ll get through this anon, and I wish you all the best.

Possible 6/12 events in ascending order of likelihood:

  • The game
  • An announcement of a release date
  • An announcement of the date on which the release date will be announced
  • A vague teaser that reveals far less than it purports to
  • A series of flippant remarks attempting to reframe the foolishness of expecting substantive communication as an ironic joke which we’re all in on rather than a mere statement of fact
  • Absolutely nothing
  • 20% off shirts with pictures of hats on them

There were reshoots to Rogue One. Did you do any different versions of your scenes, like when you say, “I trust her with my life?”

No. That was one of the reasons why I did it, because that little scene there meant a lot to me. I’m so happy that the film has done well, because it meant a lot, I think, to the franchise to do this whole thing that the standalone films would be just as substantive and good as the others, so that they can have a life themselves.

so about the new sbahj stuff

im gonna paste some lines from dirk below about the world ending post 2011


TT: But we are definitely in agreement about my bro’s films as the masterstrokes they were.
TT: He just kept cranking them out, too. He really stepped up production after 11/11/11, even though the cat was finally out of the bag. He was very dedicated to his craft.

TT: The key to sorting it all out is to understand it doesn’t actually matter.
TT: Through video streaming services he would frequently set it up so that buying a certain title would ship you the wrong film.
TT: And often titles for movies were available for sale that just straight up didn’t exist. Or would be sold for dollar amounts that made no sense, like $2.890.1. And sometimes buying a download would actually deposit money into your account instead of deducting from it.
TT: It was all part of the “experience.”

TT: It marked the beginning of a completely shameless downward spiral of western civilization, through a series of events that were probably hard to notice at the time, but quite glaring when evaluated historically.
TT: Though the Baroness made very few substantive gestures of aggression, the global fear of her looming threat would trigger all the changes she needed.
TT: Governments prepared for war, as if to defend against the invading alien armies she undoubtedly commanded.
TT: But of course, she had no army. She was always the only of her kind.
TT: Instead, the world powers were only setting about to build her armies for her.
TT: The media deteriorated into this preposterous circus that was in all practical ways inseparable from the power base and government institutions.
TT: Popular entertainers became dangerous demagogues, and their roles in the media blurred with those of executive authority.

TT: And the most dangerous were the ones who fed into the fear and hysteria most effectively.
TT: These tended to be plants. Unscrupulous shills paid by the Baroness to move her agenda forward.


TT: But it didn’t happen overnight. It was a gradual decline in the integrity of the system that allowed it.
TT: Eventually the wheels came off and the political scene mirrored the absurdity of the media circus.


what do you guys think the new sbahj work could possibly mean

anonymous asked:

what do I do when someone tells me Jewish isn't a race

Ah yes.  We know the type:

We don’t imagine the person who told you this will be intelligent enough to comprehend the following, but here’s the breakdown of how wrong they are:

1) There is no biological basis for race.  There is no gene that is exclusive to members of any one “racial” category.    The concept of “race” has been roundly rejected by geneticists and anthropologists as having zero scientific validity.   As anthropologist John Shea points out, “Race is folk taxonomy, not science. The variables used to organize it, such as skin color and hair texture, are arbitrary choices.”

2) If race isn’t a scientifcally-valid construct to describe reality, then just what is it?  It’s a social construct - something that doesn’t actually exist but that humans have taken a hold of as a way to organize their social world. As Brian Jones put it, race is real “…in the same way that Wednesday is real. But it’s also made up in the same way that Wednesday is made up.”

3) Because race is a made-up social construct, we prefer the term “racialized” as a term, since race isn’t something people are, it’s something that’s done to them - an identity foisted upon them.

4) Racialization historically has been super-arbitrary and what people think of as “races” varies with geography and time.  Since it’s not a scientifically-valid concept, country of origin, language spoken, and religious beliefs have all been used to determine what racial category one group or another has belonged to over the years - all in an attempt by the dominant “race” to keep “lesser races” subordinate to them.  For example, in the late 1800s, neither Italians nor the Irish were considered to be white.  There are parts of the word even today that would consider Catholics to be a separate racial category.

(above: anti-Irish racist propaganda from the late 1800s)

5) So because racialization is a social construct that changes with time and geography, Jews have previously been considered a separate “race” - certainly by the nazis in the most extreme and tragic example.  Karen Brodkin has written about how Jews in America “became white” in the 1940s.  Currently we are witnessing the racialization of Muslims in very much the same way that Jews were racialized.

So to sum up: race is a made-up concept that’s not substantively real or scientifically-valid.  Because of this, people have historically used all manner or criteria to try to delineate racial boundaries, including religion, language, and geographic origin.  Some of these, mixed with physical stereotyping, were combined to racialize Jews.  There have been other examples of ethnic, linguistic, and/or religious groups being racialized and we’re currently seeing the same thing happen to Muslims.  

Michael Lee Brown as Evan Hansen

*Minor plot spoilers ahead

Michael has a gorgeous voice.  He uses more vibrato than either Ben or Colton, which was a tiny bit jarring only because I’m not used to it in this role with these songs, but he sounded GREAT at all times.  I also think he really doesn’t need to use the vibrato as much; when he holds a high note without it, his voice is to.  Die.  For.  

I was struck how Michael’s Evan is most believably a high school teenager.  I have no idea of MLB’s actual age, but he’s the only Evan during which it never once seems like this is an adult man playing a teen, if that makes sense.  This lends an added vulnerability to his portrayal.  

It also makes the eventual Evan/Zoey romance a bit less believable, because since he feels so young, Zoey actually seems like the older student.  For her to fall for Evan in this dynamic doesn’t feel quite as realistic.  I honestly think a few more performances in the role would easily take care of that, though, and help them find a more credible romantic bond.

There are acting choices that MLB makes that I like very much; specifically a part where he got an audience laugh out of a line that had never gotten one before (that I don’t even think was written for a laugh.)  Naturally, because I slept before posting this, I now CANNOT REMEMBER the line.  GAH!

WTAW was sung spectacularly.  I think the singing was the focus here because of the importance of the song to the show, and he was holding back a bit acting-wise in favor of getting the notes right, which he definitely did.  More turns in the role will also help there, as it will with You Will Be Found.  It was sung *beautifully*, and just needs more palpable panic from MLB’s Evan when he drops his note cards mid-speech.

I love love LOVED MLB’s dynamic with Rachel.  It felt like Michael’s different portrayal of Evan gave her something substantively new to work with, and she KILLED it.  This was one of the best performances for her of the seven I’ve seen.  At the moment when out of pain, Heidi sarcastically apologizes for not being able to give Evan certain things, and Evan bites back, “It’s not my fault other people can!”, the audience audibly gasped.  It was this huge “oh no he DIDN’T” moment, which I’ve never seen happen quite like that at that point in the show.  VERY dramatic.  

Particularly because that moment was so harsh, Evan needs to be especially overwhelmed by what he’s done in “Good For You,” and I didn’t quite feel that.  Again, I believe this is down to the newness of performing the role. I think remembering where he had to move on stage during the song was likely the priority here.

I also felt that Will Roland’s performance got a new life playing opposite Michael.  He had the audience in the palm of his hand every time he opened his mouth.  It was fantastic.

Words Fail.  Boy howdy, there aren’t enough ways to say how thoroughly Michael CRUSHED this.  Snot bubbles glistening and visible from Row L, y'all.  What I especially like is how he was able to act this full-out, yet made the conscious choice to almost never drop the melody in favor of the drama (something both BP and CR do more of.)  I don’t think it’s necessary to growl the lyrics quite so much to sustain the dramatic effect, and Michael proved this definitively last night.  So, so good.

In conclusion, this performance just solidifies my belief that as great as he is, this show doesn’t need Ben Platt to survive and thrive.  The audience was all in for Michael’s performance, just as they are for Colton when he plays the role.  If you see the show, #YouWillBeFound no matter which Evan you’re fortunate enough to experience. <3

anonymous asked:

I see tons of advice for how to write first drafts, but what's your approach for writing second drafts (or third and fourth drafts, for that matter)? How do you turn a mess into something more structured and resembling a proper story? Also, how do you know when something's done and it's time to just stop and send it out? Thanks for your time.

Ok so you’ve done it! You’ve managed to get all the way through the first draft! Congratulations! But the work isn’t over, of course. Now you’ve got a whole pile of words and a whole ‘nother slog to turn it into something comprehensible.

Second drafts (my favourite part of the writing process) are a different type of work to the first draft. The first draft can be described as telling the story to yourself. You need the big strokes, the details of who does what and goes where, and to fumble through the plot arcs from beginning to end. The first draft has a lot of figuring out logistics so that in the second draft you can fill in detail, nuance and so that you can hone things to the best version of what they are.

Much like writing the first draft, everyone is going to approach the second draft slightly differently according to their personal preferences. But here’s how I do it.

Step one: Take a break!

Seriously. You’ve just spent a long time highly focussed on one thing, your brain needs the rest. The longer the piece the more of a break you need. For short stories I take a couple of days to a week, novellas a couple of weeks, novels, you could take a month or so. Give yourself time away.

Importantly, this is time to forget stuff about what you were working on – don’t panic when you read that by the way, you’ll still have all your notes, you’ll still have the broad strokes of what it is supposed to look like, but with any luck with some time away, you’ll have time to forget the stuff that isn’t important and that gives you trouble with the work. You’ll forget which parts you got stuck on thinking ‘I’m not good enough to write this’, or ‘that day I was writing badly, that chapter sucks!’ 

Take the time. Forget. Give yourself room to get excited about the project again.

Step two: Re-read!

Sit down and read the book through from start to finish. Approach it as though you’re reading a friend’s book. Take notes as you go, but only on the ‘big’ stuff. Does the plot hold together overall? Do characters make sense and ‘feel’ right? Are there plot lines, or characters that appear and then aren’t followed through? Are there obvious ‘mistakes’ that you should deal with?

Step three: Re-organise!

You might have noticed things in your read-through that seem out of order, or that if plot points were switched around or shifted on the timeline, they’d make more sense. If it’s a matter of picking up chapter seven and plunking it between chapters three and four, then do that now. 

If not, then you’ll need to do more intensive reworkings. Draw up a timeline of the story from start to finish, and plot out the story in the new timeline, so that you can have an organised plan on how to go in and change stuff around.

NOTE: Do not work over your original files! 

Keep a copy of the original draft. For each change that you make, create a new copy to work on. Keep track of the different versions that you’ve worked on, and BACK THEM ALL UP! You don’t want to set out reworking the whole story, realise you don’t like the new direction, and then have nothing to go back to.

Step four: Annotation! 

When I say the second draft is my favourite draft, this is the step I mean. Personally, I print out the manuscript (A4, double spacing, wide margins), I staple each chapter into a booklet, and I go to town with colour coded pens and markers.

I go through chapter by chapter, and I note down the key point of the chapter, and map out the emotional and character arcs, and I jot down my ideas of how I can refine the execution of those things.

Then I go through each chapter, paragraph by paragraph, and I do the same. 

What is the purpose of this paragraph? 

How can it be executed in a more effective way? 

What can be added to make this paragraph better? 

And what can I cut that is clogging up the story?

Step five: Rewriting!

Open a new blank word document, and retype the story from your annotated copy.

Yes. Rewrite the whole thing.

You’ll end up getting creative with your wording, you’ll make connections that you hadn’t consciously thought of before, you’ll cut stuff that really isn’t important enough to bother retyping but that you would have felt bad about deleting. The rewrite is key.

Step six: Re-re-work!

At this point, you could probably do with another break from the manuscript, you could say step 6.0 is take a break, step 6.5 is re-re-work.

Just like in step one, take a step back, and read your story as though it was given to you by a friend. Take notes on any issues you find, think about how the prose flows, and how the plot works and if the characters are doing the things they should be doing.

You can go back and repeat any of the above steps if you find more problems that you want to deal with, you can even just go through this whole process a number of times until you’ve got something coherent.

Step seven: Review!

Time to get an outside perspective: ask a few people whose opinions you trust to read the manuscript. If there are particular elements of the story that you feel you need to work on more, you could ask them more pointed questions (did you feel like the protagonist’s actions in the middle bit are justified by what they experienced in the beginning? Etc), or you could ask them for their general thoughts and feelings as they read it.

Make it clear that you’re not looking for corrections on spelling, or grammar. Take note on the feedback you get, but don’t take any of it as gospel. What this is, is giving you the opportunity to see what some other people get from your story, and whether what you think it says lines up with what other people think it says, and how you feel about the convergence or divergence of those opinions.

NOTE:

While I’ve written this out as an orderly list, you will probably find that many manuscripts need more of some steps than of others. Some will probably need no re-organising, but will need a whole lot of work on the prose. Some might need complete reorganisation but the prose is fantastic already. You might find that some works need a lot added to them, while some benefit by being cut back severely. Each manuscript is going to be a different beast to work on.

All of this is what would be called ‘substantive editing’, that is, edits that involve content, structure and narrative. While it is fairly important for legibility that you’re working in as correct grammar and spelling as possible, it will not be perfect. 

The second round of editing, once you have the work in pretty much the shape you want it, is line editing. Going through and giving your prose and word choices close attention, making sure that every sentence is pulling its weight.

The next round of editing, when the substantive and line edits are done, is the copy edit. You can attempt a copy edit yourself, but these are more usually done by professional editors either hired by the author, or as a part of the publishing process.

And that’s how I approach the second draft!

I hope that helps!

Hi there, your friendly blogger Mason here!

At the moment I’m fundraising to cover the costs of my gender confirmation surgery, if you’re able to donate, please click [HERE] to give me a helping hand!

If you’re not able to donate, I would be really grateful if you would reblog [THIS POST] so that more people will be able to see the fundraiser.

Thank you for reading, and thank you all for being so kind!

HOLLYWOOD, LGBTQ+ PEOPLE ARE DYING TO THROW THEIR MONEY AT YOU…IN RETURN FOR POSITIVE REPRESENTATION

Here’s a bullet-point list explaining why it is important to include real, substantive, and positive, LGBTQ storylines in your movies, tv shows, etc. 

First and foremost; positive representation can change/save lives!

- Think of all the people who you can help by offering positive representation to a marginalized community. Your stories would be far more accurate of the world’s population, which includes a large number of people who identify as somewhere on the queer spectrum. There are so many great stories of people who’s lives have changed, all because they saw a little bit of themselves on their tv screen. They found someone they can identify with and relate to, someone who makes them feel less alone. Just imagine how many more people won’t commit suicide, who won’t be afraid to live a lie anymore. YOU can change that, YOU can help.

 LGBTQ people WILL go see your movie!

-And most likely we will see it two, three, four+ times in theaters because we are so starved for representation. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the LGBTQ fanbase is probably the most loyal set of fans you could ever get. Ask any of the actors in popular shows like Rizzoli and Isles, Once Upon a Time, Sherlock, and many many others that LGBTQ people support based solely off imagined/implied non-canon relationships! We latch on to projects that even so much as hint at a gay relationship and suffere through endless hours of heterocanon just to feel a part of something. Imagine what we would do if you portrayed a homosexual relationship as the main story!!

That loyal fanbase will promote the hell out of your project.

-FREE PROMOTION! What’s not to love about that?! Have you heard of Tumblr? Social media? We will signal boost info about your movie to anyone and everyone, begging them to go see your movie. We will vote for your movie (and related characters) in every online poll, share all the links, and beg allies to join in. We will make fanvideos, fanart, and all sorts of stuff to help promote your movie. Why waste money on expensive ad campaigns, when we are more than willing to help in anyway we can.

We will buy your DVDs and other movie related merchandise.

-We want you to do well, consider it a thank you for telling our story, but most importantly, if you do well that opens the gate for other LGBTQ projects to be greenlit. We will throw as much of our money as we can at your project and related merchandise to boost your sales. I have bought movies and their soundtracks before I even seen or heard it, SOLELY because I knew they included a gay character. Trust me there are plenty more people out there who will do the same.

Someone has to be the pioneer, YOU can make history!

-Like mentioned above, we want you to succeed so other queer stories get to be told, but in order for that to happen, someone must pave the way. Society is moving in the right direction of inclusion, even if it’s slowly. One day diverse casts and genres will be the norm, and you can help launch us there. Imagine how you will be remembered in history, about how you were the first major studio to have real LGBTQ representation that wasn’t just the “token gay character.” One day people will tell your story, imagine the documentaries and biopics made about the studio and the people behind the scenes who fought for that story to be told.