And then there’s the major works from the anti-capitalist pantheon, including the Communist Manifesto and Capital by Marx and Reform or Revolution by Luxemburg. I recommend the former list for variably more informal writing styles that are more approachable to the uninitiated. Socialism…Seriously and Why Marx Was Right are written by witty authors who condense a lot of layered information about socialism and anti-capitalism. If you’re more into visual mediums, Red Rosa is good because it’s a graphic novel. Democracy at Work and Parecon are interesting because they have less of a red☭
☭down with the bourgeoisie
☭ vibe when compared to the others on here, but they always stake a clear opposition to capitalism, and I think they’re great gateways into anti-capitalism for liberals who are still more cautious. And Ours to Master and to Own and Subterranean Fire are fantastic looks into the history of working class struggle against capitalism and all the ways in which things have been successful; these books correct a lot of the bullshit history we learned in school from the upper-class perspective – much needed.
There’s this great book about working class history by Sharon Smith called Subterranean Fire. The title calls to mind the fires of class consciousness that sit beneath the surface of a supposedly stable economic system. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I’m pretty sure I want my first tattoo to involve something like this design, which is a direct reference to Smith’s choice phrase. The triangles are the alchemy symbols for earth and fire, and I’d love to get something with a very stylized water color look overlaying the two triangles. In general, I’m just in love with the phrase “Subterranean Fire” as a reference to socialist class consciousness. Check out the book and use the phrase!
As a fellow Slavic person (more specifically Slovak) I’d like to introduce you to the beauty of Slavic history. I see loads of rps that are based on mythology but let’s be real: 99.9% of your mythology rps or mythology plots are about Greek mythology and even though I completely love the fact any kind of mythology is getting more and more recognition it sucks to see other cultures forgotten and overlooked. So I thought I would list the gods and goddesses for you to use instead of overusing Greek ones.
Note: Slavs are members of a group of people in central and eastern Europe speaking Slavic languages and Slavic countries are Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Belarus, Croatia, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro.
If y'all are interested in artsy/solarpunk aesthetic alongside left-wing politics, feel free to follow my side blog @subterranean-fire! My aim is to create a space reminiscent of Films for Action or the Zeitgeist Movement, minus the unhelpful desire to separate from the rest of the political left. (Because let’s face it: while outlets like that are useful in their own ways, their transformative powers are limited by their “above the fray” refusal to stand with leftists. If you’re advocating for a “resource-based economy” of democratic planning that distributes according to need and puts automation to work wherever possible, you’re a socialist in all but name – recognize your place on the political spectrum and join the class struggle.) Anti-capitalist activism ought to focus on the beauty and enchantment that reside in people – qualities that are suppressed within the status quo. @subterranean-fire is about reigniting that spark in the human soul that is being actively extinguished by alienation, oppression, and the constricting environment of capital.
hi! first, thank you as always for your work on these books. i'd like to know if you had any thoughts on what happened in Hardhome 600 years ago (are those screams in the caves only a superstition caused by fear?), and if you think it's relevant to the current events in any way. thank you!
You’re quite welcome! And, well, whatever happened at Hardhome was really really weird:
Hardhome had been halfway toward becoming a town, the only true town north of the Wall, until the night six hundred years ago when hell had swallowed it. Its people had been carried off into slavery or slaughtered for meat, depending on which version of the tale you believed, their homes and halls consumed in a conflagration that burned so hot that watchers on the Wall far to the south had thought the sun was rising in the north. Afterward ashes rained down on haunted forest and Shivering Sea alike for almost half a year. Traders reported finding only nightmarish devastation where Hardhome had stood, a landscape of charred trees and burned bones, waters choked with swollen corpses, blood-chilling shrieks echoing from the cave mouths that pocked the great cliff that loomed above the settlement. –ADWD, Jon VIII
Hardhome was once the only settlement approaching a town in the lands beyond the Wall, sheltered on Storrold’s Point and commanding a deepwater harbor. But six hundred years ago, it was burned and its people destroyed, though the Watch cannot say for a certainty what happened. Some say that cannibals from Skagos fell on them, others that slavers from across the narrow sea were at fault. The strangest stories, from a ship of the Watch sent to investigate, tell of hideous screams echoing down from the cliffs above Hardhome, where no living man or woman could be found. –TWOIAF
So… 600 years ago there was a mysterious fire that burned a wildling town, left its people entirely missing or found dead, caused ashes to rain down for months… and caves full of screams, but no people. A big mystery laid out in ADWD, coming out of nowhere, with no apparent purpose relevant to the plot. Except for the fact that now, thousands of wildling refugees from the battle at the Wall have escaped to Hardhome; and in fear that they would all be turned into an army of wights by the Others, Jon Snow sent a large (and probably doomed) delegation of Night’s Watchmen to save them.
So what the heck happened at Hardhome 600 years ago? And how could it affect upcoming events in the story?
Well… I should first mention that there was a popular
a few years back that the Hardhome Event was some kind of experiment by the Faceless Men, a trial run for what they did to Valyria. However, I was always skeptical of this theory, because
If the Hardhome Event was 600 years ago and the Doom of Valyria was 400 years ago, what the heck were the FM doing for 200 years?
If the FM spent 200 years perfecting their methods, how come there was only one “trial run” and we haven’t heard of other mass destructive events of this type elsewhere in the world?
Why on earth would they pick Hardhome of all places to do this? Surely innocent wildlings didn’t deserve death like Valyrian slavers did?
Nevertheless, I think the Hardhome Event might still have something in common with the Doom of Valyria.
It is known that Westeros is a geothermally active continent. Besides the volcanic island of Dragonstone (with its active volcano Dragonmont, lava tunnels, and obsidian), there’s the hot springs below Winterfell, heating the ground and the walls and providing hot pools in the godswood. There’s hot springs beyond the Wall as well. And far south, there’s the Brimstone river in Dorne, stinking of sulfur.
So… I think it’s possible that what happened at Hardhome was some kind of massive geothermic event, like the Doom of Valyria. There may have been some kind of volcanic explosion, or geyserous release of chemicals that set the town on fire; burning intensely hot, killing everyone. The half-year rain of ashes sounds like the results of a volcanic eruption, as well. And as for the shrieking caves:
Just beyond Waikanapanapa, we entered a rocky, desolate gorge, seamed and fissured in every direction with streams of hot water, while jets of hissing steam, bursting from its sides, marked the site of subterranean fires. The heated, quaking soil was covered with thick deposits of silica, sulphur, oxide of iron, pumice, obsidian, scoria, and other volcanic products, and with its sulphurous atmosphere, fierce heat, and shrieking sounds, it appeared as we entered it like a short cut to Pandemonium… One of the most remarkable wonders of this region was Te Ana Taipo, or the “Devil’s Hole,” a deep circular aperture in the rocky gorge, from which a column of transparent steam burst from a small aperture at the bottom of the deep funnel shaped hole with a deafening screeching sound like the voices of a thousand fiends. Never was heard anything so wild and so dismal as the human-like wailings of Te Ana Taipo; and as the thrilling noise went echoing over the hills one expected to see an army of evil spirits spring up around headed by his Satanic Majesty himself.
But maybe that’s not right. There could be other possibilities:
Maybe the Hardhome Event was like Earth’s Tunguska Event, a (probable) meteor impact/disintegration/air burst that flattened 2000 km2
of forest. While on Earth, the event happened in sparsely populated Siberia and caused no human casualties, on Terros the meteorite burst above a heavily populated town, set all the buildings on fire, and caused the deaths of all living there. However, this doesn’t explain the screaming caves.
Somehow the wildlings of Hardhome woke some thing that killed everyone with a fiery explosion, dragged a few survivors to the caves, and proceeded to torment them there. Slightly more possible with the magic of ASOIAF, but wildlings aren’t exactly known for sorcery or waking the Thing That Should Not Be.
Combination of the above, Lovecraft-style (and similar to the Bloodstone Emperor’s black stone that fell from the sky, still worshipped by the Church of Starry Wisdom) – there was a meteorite that exploded over Hardhome, but it didn’t just bring a fiery air burst that destroyed the town and killed almost everyone, it was carrying some Great Old One, an eldritch creature from beyond the skies, which dragged the survivors to the caves, shrieks and screaming etc.
However, while that Eldritch Asteroid might be an interesting story, I don’t see how it applies to the situation in Hardhome now. Which isn’t to say they have to be related, but it seems odd for GRRM to set up this plot point without it actually being relevant in the future. If there is some abomination from beyond the stars (or from deep within the earth) still in the caves of Hardhome, how would it help or hurt the Night’s Watch mission there? While it might be able to destroy the Others, such a thing seems more likely to join them. And that kind of plot complication just doesn’t feel like it belongs in an already complicated story.
Whereas if the destruction of Hardhome was a geothermic event… and if there’s serious geothermal activity going on there still… then that could mean, in addition to lava and geysers – dragonglass. Obsidian, the “frozen fire” that we know can destroy Others, could be a weapon for the beleaguered Night’s Watch to find, when driven back to the caves by an army of the dead. And further, lava flows, the fires of the earth, could be diverted down the cliffs to distract the Others and wights and keep them from chasing the survivors back to the ships.
Or maybe lava and obsidian are a little prosaic compared with experiments of the Faceless Men and the Horror Out of Space. (Even with screaming geysers in the caves.) I don’t know. Maybe all the theories don’t even compare to what GRRM actually has planned for this plotline, and the real answer could be something completely different. There really isn’t enough evidence in the books to make any kind of valid prediction here. (You’re lucky I was in a mood to speculate wildly, I’m usually not.) So I guess we’re just going to have to see. I hope we find out soon. :)
Consider yourself hit! Can you guys tell I’ve been reading my World of Ice and Fire book tonight? xD
He never expected to need a campfire in the desert, but the
heat here waxed during the day and fell off sharply at night, so the Dornish lit
Rex sat in the circle of near-silent men, eating a fiery
stew of snake meat laced with spices. The firelight flickered over his face;
In the heart of the black city it was not warm, but cool and
dank, the walls sweating little rivulets of cold water like vast subterranean caverns.
The fires always burnt, even at noon, the sun above hidden by constant blankets
of angry grey cloud and air choked with foul miasma. At night the firelight
flickered in windows, but only scant few; most of the city lay empty and
abandoned, filled with a darkness so deep it breathed.
Rex and his brothers were not born in the
city-by-the-shadow; there are no children in Asshai. He could not remember a
life before that, though. Could not remember back before the high halls only
half-illuminated by weak torchlight, before the clang and clatter of swords and
spears in that near darkness, before the time his every waking moment was
observed by eyes hidden behind masks of lacquer the colour of old, dried blood.
Before the training, before the darkness; before the shadowbinders.
|| I stumbled upon the Dictionary of the Symbols in one of my university’s libraries and I found some interesting things with regard to symbols and archetypes linked to Fëanor’s figure.
Colour of fire and blood, red is for many peoples the first colour, for it is the more strictly linked to the principle of life. There are two kinds of red, one nocturnal, feminine, that has a centripetal power of attraction, the other diurnal, masculine, centrifugal, turbinant like a sun, casting light on everything with an immense and irresistible strength. […] It is ambivalent, as the red of deep blood (of the blood of the womb): hidden, is the condition of life; spilled, it means death. Every man who spills another’s blood even for a just cause is, like the blacksmith, an untouchable, because he goes to the very essence of the vital mystery, incarnating the centripetal red of blood and of melting metal. […] This virtue of red, when associated to daytime, reverts the polarity of the symbol. It is a new red, associated with white and gold, essential symbol of vital strength. It embodies ardour and beauty, impulsive and generous will, triumphant and free Eros. It also embodies martial virtues. […] With the divine valorisation of red, the symbolism of the flame replaces that of blood. In the majority of European and Asian legends, the spirit of fire appears dressed in red or wears a red hat. […] Esternalised, red becomes dangerous like the uncontrolled instinct of power; it leads to egoism, hatred, blind passion, infernal love. […] The beliefs of the Bambara say that the colour red is linked to warmth, fire, blood, corpses, irritation, difficulties, the King, the untouchable, the inaccessible.
2. the Blacksmith
Among the mysteries of the transformation of metal, that of the blacksmith is the most relevant for the importance and ambivalence of its implications. […] The work of the forge consists of the creation of being starting from the non-being. The work of creation is that of the smith. […] Moreover, the symbolism of the forge is linked to words and singing, and this aspect introduces the initiatic function of the activity, like the word of gods. […] But metal comes from the womb of the earth and the forge is linked to the subterranean fire; smiths are sometimes mythical monsters or the guardians of hidden treasures. In other traditions the smith has an important role: keeper of celestial secrets, he gives rain and heals from illness and catastrophies; in some cases he is on the same level of the chief and the king, the substitute of the organiser of the world. […] We find again here the two aspects of the symbolism: Ch’ih-yu forges weapons, instruments of strife and death; Huang-ti melts the copper crucible that gives him immortality. […] Because of the more or less sacred character of the smith, he arouses in others ambiguous or ambivalent reactions; sometimes despised and feared, other times respected, he occupies the more diverse ranks in society; he often lives distant from the city, in a reserved zone in company of his wife. The art of working with iron is sometimes considered a royal secret, or sacerdotal. […] In conclusion, the blacksmith is a symbol of the Creator but, even if he is capable of forging the Cosmos, he is not God; gifted with a superhuman power, he can exercise it against both divinity and men and thus is dreadful like a satanic wizard. His power is essentially ambivalent: it can be as much malevolent as benevolent and from that springs the reverential fear that he inspires.
Because of the stones, the metal and the shape, jewels represent arcane knowledge and are also interpreted as substitutes or depictions of the soul, in the Jungian sense of the word. They represent the unknown riches of the subconscious; they tend to pass from the level of secret knowledge to that of primordial energy because they are energy and light. […] It is always about the union of opposing forces, the precious and the terrible, but this legendary origin indicates that the splendour of the diamond or of gems is a chthonic light and their hardness is a symptom of an energy coming from below. […] The jewel is not only a precious stone in its natural state: it is the crafted gem, the work of the jewelcrafter as much as of the person who commissions and chooses it. It is an alliance of soul, knowledge and energy.
According to the Yi ching, fire corresponds to the south, red, summer, heart, and the latter link is constant, whether fire is representing passions (especially love and wrath), or spirit which is also intuitive knowledge. […] With regard to the forge, it should be noted that its fire is at the same time celestial and diabolical, instrument of the creator and the demon. […] Chthonic fire is human wisdom and uranic fire is divine wisdom. […] The sexual meaning of fire is universally connected with the first way to obtain it, that is the friction, the rubbing, image of the sexual act. […] Fire is the best image of God, the least imperfect of its manifestations. […] Like the sun with its rays, it is the symbol of fecundating action, purifying and illuminating. But it also has a negative aspect: it can suffocate and darken with its smoke, it burns, devours, destroys; it is the fire of passions, punishment, war. According to the analytical interpretation of Paul Diel, terrestrial fire is the symbol of intellect, that is the conscience in all its ambivalence. […] “The devouring fire“, contrary to the illuminating fire, “is the symbol of exhalted immagination… the subconscious […], of intellect in its rebellious form.” Fire, for its burning and consuming aspect, is at the same time a symbol of purification and regeneration; it is found again the positive aspect of destruction.
At my job, we have to work on holidays and we don’t receive time-and-a-half. The other day, a few of my coworkers were talking about how angry they were that we didn’t get time-and-a-half alongside something that irked them about the GM. You know me – I was there in a flash to fan those flames. They even seemed receptive to strike action! When all is said and done, our company is a big one and any strike for time-and-a-half would need to be coordinated across a bunch of branches. I’m just glad the seeds of discontent are there in some capacity. Maybe they’ll grow into fine class conscious plants when the material conditions ripen ever-closer to the fall of capitalism.
To use Sharon Smith’s term, the “subterranean fire” is there and it needs to be fanned by collective action.
I’m not one to scare of fearmonger…but this is serious shit. Like, really serious shit. There’s been a subterranean fire going on under the West Lake and Bridgeton landfills and the concern now is that it is approaching the north quarry where the nuclear/radioactive waste that dates back to the Manhattan Project aka when the atomic bombs were made. If the fire meets the radioactive waste material, it could be catastrophic, with the exaggerated term, “Midwest Chernobyl” being tossed around. The fact that it’s gone under the radar is scary considering it could screw a lot of the neighboring towns/cities up for..hundreds of years? Depending on the rate of decay for the material.
Bellarke AU. Bellamy and Clarke just won back their home from the Grounders. Blah blah blah.
Did shadows know they were cast from brilliance? Bellamy couldn’t help but ponder the question as Clarke glided by, in the process of removing the thick battle armor from her arms. As she passed, he was just the dark outline of the mountain he had known himself to be: immense but nothing compared to solid stone rooted deep. He was nothing compared to the burning suns of her sweeping eyes as they barely regarded him.
Shaking his head, Bellamy brought a bloodstained arm across his brow in an attempt to keep the salt from his sweat-drenched hair from falling in his eyes. Today had been brutal, but despite the bone weary tiredness, victory surged through Bellamy’s veins at the memory of his enemies’s retreating form.
The Grounder force had been a plague upon his land, ripping it from his ancestors many moons ago, and today… today his body had fertilized the soil of his long-ago home with sprays of blood his sword had shed. The plants of harvest would sow red and he would devour the crimson hearts of the earth without waiver.
But for now, The Rebel King- as his people had proclaimed him- needed to rinse the day from the pores of his skin. Following the path Clarke, beloved princess who had the hearts of his people, had taken, Bellamy unclasped the thick paludamentum from around his shoulders and tossed it to the first soldier he saw.
Hand maidens had given word that the bathing quarters of the newly appropriated castle were functioning and were heated from the warmth of a deep, subterranean fire. Bellamy had no doubt that his princess intended to take advantage of such means to cleanliness. It had been a long, gruesome campaign from the towering peas of their exile, to the forest-dense lands they had claimed in battle only hours earlier.
Rounding a corner of a pathway that only the flicker of small flame illuminated, Bellamy listened for the faint sounds of running water as a guide. All he wanted to do was talk to her, and the foolish drive controlled his legs and kept his brain at bay. There would be no logic or rational thought- he had a country to run now- until he could tell her thank you.
After a few more turns, there she was.
The chamber was large and dancing with orange glow, and a round pit in the middle that gave the constant sound of moving water from its depths. Standing in the center of the water, her golden brushing the lowest reaches of her back, was Clarke. She held the tattered remains of greaves in one hand, as if about to toss them to the bank of the pool.
“You know,” she spoke over he shoulder, her voice warm and teasing, “it’s not polite to stare.”
Bowing his head- such modesty he suddenly felt- Bellamy took a step forward, a small laugh leaving him. “My apologies Princess.” he quipped. “But I’m not here to admire you, just rinse the day off.”
No different than any of the many occasions where Bellamy could have told her just how often he wound up admiring her, no matter his intentions, the boy made king walked to the edge of the pool and properly collapsed on his ass, not caring if his armor rusted from the water now lapping his shins.
Then Clarke turned, looking at him like she dared his eyes to dip below her face and take her in. Never one to disappoint, Bellamy’s breath caught at the sight of her chest, fully exposed to him.
“What-” he cleared his throat, suddenly unable to speak, “What are you doing?”
Opting not to speak, Clarke waded over to him and held the hand he still had clenched around the broadsword. He had forgotten it was there, it had been there so long.
Flitting from their touching hands, the curve of her breasts- he lingered there- and the intensity in her eyes, Bellamy let her removed the weapon from his fingers.
Leaning closer, pressing her body between his legs- my god was this really happening- Clarke’s warmth bled through the cold armor he still wore. “Sheath your sword, Bellamy Blake,” she urged, letting the blade fall to the floor. Her hands on his thighs made him think not of his sword, but of how naked she was and how unfair it was that he wasn’t.
“Anything for you, Princess,” he breathed. In a practiced move, Bellamy ripped off the armor on his upper body. Pausing only to slide completely in the water- and their bodies touched in ways they never had before- he pulled the disgusting tunic over his head while she worked to remove the braccae and balteus from his lower half.
They froze, suddenly aware that this was happening and there was no threat of injury or death to interrupt them. No, this was everything they had been through in the past years coming to a head. No more trying to fit everything that they felt into rushed urgings- “I need you.” “Brave, princess.”- because Clarke was in his arms and that was all he needed.
Somehow they could never get to the point where their bodies could pass to each other the burning they felt. Now though, there was seclusion and there was time.
Wasting no more of it, Bellamy pulled her into him, not bothering with words anymore. Her lips were salty, and he kissed her harder, trying to rid the taste of battle from her mouth, leaving her with only him.
In the back of his mind, Bellamy processed the concept of taking it slow, but fuck that. This was the realization of countless dreams and he was shaking with the notion that he was about to be inside of her.
Grunting with the effort his worn muscles felt to reverse their positions, Bellamy sat Clarke on the edge of the pool and spread her legs as wide as they would go.
“I need you, Clarke,” he panted, burying his head in he curtain of hair at the hollow of her throat. This was Clarke, so he did not care that he sounded on the verge of tears: she was it for him.
“I know.” Her lips pressed the words into his cheeks, the emotion she said them with was felt in the way her fingers clung to his biceps, urging him to kiss her again.
So he did. Wrapping a hand around her outer thigh, while simultaneously gripping her cheek- because he could not bear it if she pulled away- Bellamy bit her lower lip lightly, reveling in the moan she responded with.
He wanted more of that noise. Moving his hand across the top of her leg, Bellamy let his fingers fall to where he wanted to be, and he ran his fingers through her velvet heat, feeling just how ready she was for him.
“Now,” she begged, grabbing his cock and guiding him towards her entrance.
Still kissing her, Bellamy removed her hand and held on tightly to it as he pushed forward without any thought to buildup.
Warmth enveloped him, tugging his nerve endings to the surface of his length, where they mingled with hers, pulling a sigh that only pure bliss could utter from her mouth.
The hand he had on her cheek flew behind her neck, keeping her lips on his as he fucked the longest years of his life away. But Bellamy knew that she was able to feel their entwined hands and have no doubts that this was more than the need to feel a body. As he thrust into her, Clarke would tighten the fingers she had buried in his hair at some point, and held him together.
Bellamy didn’t want to fall apart, but he could feel his body shaking as his release loomed near. All he wanted was to fall into Clarke and stop telling her he needed her. It was a coward’s promise.
Yes, he needed her- more than anything- but he needed water and food as well. This feeling, it went deeper than need, and even being so far inside her that he couldn’t see straight wasn’t enough to find a word that fit better than the one one the tip of his tongue.
Clarke was close, but he was closer. “Clarke.” His voice was ragged, desperate. Calmness seized his body, and their eyes locked.
It was right there. All he had to do was say it.
“Bellamy,” she gasped as her body tightened in his arms.
Together, they felt euphoria explode over every inch of their bodies, and words that scared Bellamy to death had no meaning there. Nothing had meaning as he floated through wave after wave of pure pleasure, alongside his princess.
“Wow,” she breathed with a tired laugh.
“Yeah,” Bellamy chuckled, “Wow."
Minutes passed before Bellamy could find it in him to pull away from her. When he did, he refused to let go of her hand. For now, he still needed her. Maybe one day he could tell her, and not rely on their bodies to get his point across.
A wicked smile on her face distracted him from trying to tell her how much he loved her, and Bellamy was suddenly to busy starting round two to care.