the shocks of adversity

theguardian.com
As poverty rises, the affluent won’t be able to escape its effects | Darren McGarvey
Rising resentment among the underclass is spilling out from ‘deprived’ areas and threatening to engulf society at large

The study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicting a sharp rise in child poverty will provoke the usual, commendable, shrieks of indignation. When news that more children than ever before are soon to be confined to economic deprivation, it’s sure to inspire a slew of robust dinner party debates.

The overriding emotion anyone should be feeling at news that in excess of a third of British children will soon be growing up in relative poverty is fear. The tidal wave of social problems racing towards all of us because of this unsustainable inequality has the potential to overwhelm society.

The cracks are already beginning to show. Take the various constitutional crises gripping Europe. Regardless of the political composition of the movement, the grievance that provokes is invariably the same: political and economic marginalisation underscored by the most galling wealth polarisation.

I’m one of those formerly “poor people” vomited up from the gaping class wound at the heart of British society to offer “shocking”, “inspiring” testimony about the adversity they have since transcended. You might find me recounting the day my drunk mum chased me with a knife or see me on television looking very bored as I explain, yet again, that I managed to avoid smoking crack because somebody knocked on the front door as the pipe was being passed to me.

I’m one of structural poverty’s most comforting cultural tropes: the survivor who lived to tell the tale.

It’s now commonplace to point out the correlation between poverty and nearly every other social problem you care to mention. Not just economic hardship, but poverty of the sort that fertilises cultures of abuse. This problem transcends left/right politics and will eventually overwhelm any society that refuses to deal with it.

When these problems flare up, they are rarely contained within a household or a community. Instead, they spill into our society and multiply, at a massive cost to us all. They spill into overcrowded casualty and high-dependency hospital wards. They spill into six-month waiting lists to access clinical psychologists and psychiatric counselling facilities. They spill into overrun social work departments and inundated supported accommodation projects barely keeping their heads above water. They spill into stressful housing offices, packed to capacity crisis centres and outmoded addictions services. And, for some, they spill into police stations, courts, children’s homes, secure units, young offender institutions and prisons.

Poverty is not only about a lack of employment or opportunity but about having no margin for error while living in constant stress and emotional unpredictability. For many children growing up in the chaos, deprivation leaves them emotionally disfigured and physiologically primed for chronic health problems.

What do you think is driving many of our current social problems where crime, violence, homelessness, addiction and the mental health epidemic are concerned? It all begins with a child living in social deprivation. And when it comes to the scourge of child neglect and abuse, poverty is the factory floor.

For now, the problems remain contained, confined only to the communities we call “deprived”, where the poor can be monitored, surveyed, policed and punished. But only for so long.

Action on poverty will require a far-reaching, long-term political consensus. It will require compromises and excruciating levels of humility from all of us, including the poor. This may require us to become willing to admit we may be wrong about some things and that there are no easy solutions or clear villains.

In other words, the situation can seem hopeless.

A great irony of British life is that lower-class people are often regarded, by their affluent superiors, as being a little coarse and unsophisticated, rough around the edges – when the true vulgarity on display is the apathy of many of those who regard themselves as educated and insightful; those who blindly believe, from the comfort of their economically gated communities, that this untenable status quo, built on sand, won’t soon collapse in on itself, as the coming wave of social dysfunction crashes aground and washes us all away.

Darren McGarvey’s Poverty Safari has just been published

Atomic Prejudice

Not about nuclear power! This post is about ‘staying in your lane’, various forms of prejudice such as racism, ableism, homophobia, etc. Content warning for discussion of torture as 'therapy’, medical scary stuff, mention of rape and other non-con .

I have a lot to say about 'staying in your lane’, but first I want to talk a bit about the Judge Rotenberg Center.

The Judge Rotenberg Center is an infamous residential facility for developmentally disabled individuals. The primary source of its infamy is its use of skin shock 'adversives’ (not to be confused with Electroconvulsive Therapy, where electrical shocks are used to deliberately induce a seizure for therapeutic reasons. Which does apparently somehow manage to work not-uncommonly. It is of course still labeled a Class III 'High Risk’ treatment by the FDA as it IS delivering shocks with the deliberate intent to induce seizures. But things that would be very bad in an uncontrolled environment can still be helpful medically-heart surgery is good even though one would not usually want someone cutting open one’s chest). Autism Speaks got a lot of hate for endorsing the JRC, though to their credit they have since renounced and publicly condemned it (Autism Speaks remains bad. The JRC is simply bad enough that even Autism Speaks condemns it).

I have autism. Because of this, I know what it is like to face some of the various things that autistic people face. To use a common way of phrasing, my condemning the JRC has me 'in my lane’. I have never been tortured the way JRC tortures its residents. I have however had people attempt to alter my behavior in unpleasant ways due to my autism, so this does give me some knowledge though. But here is the thing-a lot of LGBT individuals are currently worrying a lot about electroshock 'therapy’. If they have enough experience from their life to be able to understand the badness of that, then it does not seem difficult for me to say “Imagine that, but rather than trying to eradicate your homosexuality/bisexuality/transgenderness/etc they are trying to eradicate an even bigger and harder to hide part of yourself.”. This explanation doesn’t completely communicate my understanding-'harder to hide’ isn’t very clear, I’m not sure exactly how to communicate the sensation of trying to suppress something like flapping in excitement, though I could try and possibly communicate more (“Imagine a world where people consider smiling disgusting” might be worth trying)

Rather more interestingly though, I’m still only extrapolating how bad such a thing would be-as stated I’ve never experienced it. Some nonautistic, in fact not mentally disabled at all people have however. It is entirely possible that some of them are better at extrapolating the details of how the torture interacts with autism than I am at extrapolating the torture, in which case they would in fact understand this component of autism oppression better than I do.

Most people reading this however, have hopefully not been tortured with electroshock therapy. But we can still extrapolate-if you have ever had someone hurt you, or even just suffered pain at all, that gives you at least a start. The more distant your experience is the harder it will be, requiring more explanation and/or effort. Possibly too hard to overcome-I admit if you have no experience with pain at all I am at a loss for how to start other than saying “Mary’s Room” and perhaps talking about utility functions. This is a difference of quality, not a difference of kind however.

So I say to you feel free to speak out against torturing mentally disabled people with electric shocks! And that you almost certainly didn’t need an autistic person to confirm that such a thing is bad-I’m pretty confident you could have figured that out on your own.

Now, back to the original topic (not that we ever truly left it)! Perhaps some of you are wondering about the title-'Atomic Prejudice’? Well, our word atomic comes from the Latin word 'atomus’, meaning 'indivisable’ (Spoiler alert: This was kinda awkward when it turned out we could totally divide them, and they in fact divide often in nature). Prejudice is not atomic-it has parts (just like atoms!). The prejudice I face as an autistic person divides into a variety of different parts-mockery for the way I speak and displeasure at my expressions of joy for two examples. Other people face similar things for different reasons-the details and reasons might change-perhaps they have a stutter, or face mockery for their accent. Some details might matter more, others less, and some barely at all. Regardless, prejudice is not atomic-it has parts and those parts can resemble parts of other prejudices.

There is, however, an attitude I’ve seen which stands in opposition to this view-an insistence that prejudice cannot be dissected or examined. One such example is here. A few choice quotes:

Two unalike things that have different discourses that can’t be compared because they are just… Different

In a world where [the bigotry and angry signs were identical] they still can’t be compared

You can’t compare them

And the most problematic quote:

if you aren’t POC you haven’t experienced racism therefore you cannot accurately describe what is racist and why it’s bad other than the fact it’s… Bad

Really? That sounds like EXCELLENT news. After all, I’m autistic-I’ve had speeches from my mother about how to stay safe and not offend cops. Since I can therefore describe that, I guess black people must not have to worry about anything remotely similar to that! Call the presses! Black Lives Matter can go home! Non-POC have experienced poverty and can accurately describe that-I guess racist economic oppression must be gone! Hurrah!

Or, ya know, no.

Sure, my experience with speeches from my mother about how to be safe around cops probably aren’t identical to any speech a black person has received. I doubt most of their speeches are identical either though, unless their mom’s are passing a script around. What level of 'accurately describe’ is being talked about here? The point where one can quote it word for word? I have a terrible memory-I couldn’t quote any of the speeches my mom gave me word for word. Or perhaps it is a matter of degree, in which case I suggest one first imagines what sort of ratio between autistic risk and black risk would justify one’s view, and then go look up the statistics-what if the autistic risk increase is 10% of the black risk increase? 50%? 80%? What if they are equal? What if the autistic risk is higher? And ask yourself-where did such a number possibly come from?

While I was doing research for this post, I came across a post that I don’t think I’ll link (due to the nature of the content), but shall attempt to describe, where someone talked about the statement “don’t compare anything to rape”, and how they felt very awkward about it because their PTSD was caused by a medical incident where they felt their consent was messed up in some weird ways, their body was violated, and afterward they felt ruined sexually. They referred to it as “their rape” because it was the only word they could come up with to explain the sensation, and when they got into feminism the sensation was that it was trying to steal the only name they had for the way they were violated. Now, I get nitpicky 'you should use language in a formal and precise manner!’ feels. And full disclosure, that did pop up as I read the post. I promptly squashed it. I *really* care about people communicating precisely. And if I thought I was up to navigating such an emotional minefield I might try to help someone work out a more exact description (I do not think I could achieve such a thing). But they were trying to understand and communicate and work through something terrible. That is VERY important, but trying to make things ‘atomically’ bad blocks that. 

So the ‘atomic’ view of prejudice often just seems nonsensical, if taken literally dismisses real problems people face, hampers recovery from trauma, interferes with communication and the ability to bond with others. Anything else?

Well, the way I’ve generally seen it used also often seems rather dishonest and aggressive. If people can’t examine prejudice at all, then they are forced to simply take your word, and as a result your orders. You can use it like a weapon people to bludgeon them into obeying, or harm those you hate. I think a lot of people are ‘hardening’ the concept to try to seal themselves off from a world that is hurting them, but others are ‘hardening’ the concept into a metaphorical club they can use to intimidate and whack people. 

And that is no good. Besides the immediate harms they can achieve using the weaponized concept, bit by bit they make it harder for people to reason and comprehend and communicate and ally. A weapon whose very construction alone scars the cognitive and social landscape, even without its use.

The some other effects of suppression of comprehension vary, especially when there is disagreement-since if you can’t understand something except through someone else, what do you do when they disagree? This can be disorienting, though occasionally amusing. It can also worsen in-group conflicts, since if the only way anyone outside can know is through your group, and your group must have all the knowledge, even an innocent disagreement must publicly turn into an attempt to claim the other person is faking their membership. 

Now, of course checking your views with other people is important-I have one or more people look at almost every big post I write (I am far better at theory than practice, and so I especially worry that I may be completely missing something. Remarkably often the response has been along the lines of 'Oh, huh, that is a good theoretical description of what happened during [X]. Good job’ ‘During what? Never heard of it. Wasn’t even sure if something like this ever happened. Well, good to know’). The wonderful @alarajrogers and her ability to give long and informative rants on LGBT history, feminism history, fandom history, and probably some other kinds of history I haven’t asked about yet has been a great source of information (Plus she writes good fanfic). Even for autistic issues I prefer to check-checking is just generally a good idea.

However, as long as you are willing to have honest and productive discussion, I welcome you into my ‘lane’. I doubt you will be able to prove yourself a master of choosing fidgets if you aren’t autistic/adhd/whatever other brain things cause that, but even the ‘native’ occupants don’t know everything, and they can still try to help.

As for examples on the opposite end of the spectrum, I offer this by the wise, insightful, and kind @theunitofcaring who manages to describe view of prejudice where the ‘outer casing’ is transparent and every mechanism laid bare, this by the amusing, kind, and well dressed @funereal-disease who brings up additional psychological issues that I confess I cannot personally relate to or very well validate, as my psychology is decidedly based around theory and principle. They are both awesome people.

anonymous asked:

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation." George Washington (Some sound advice for Sam Heughan...)

Sound advice for us all, really.

Perhaps, in reality, he is simply being courteous to the old coot and the intimacy is merely misperception and assumption (or PR) that has taken on a life of its own.

Thunderstorms

So, I wrote up this quick one-shot for Highspecs Week and the ‘Rainy Days’ Prompt. Originally, I was going to do something light and fun for rain, but I came across a song on youtube with a woman sitting in the rain, wearing black and with an umbrella and I thought, “Dang, that would be a good scene to write out!” and that’s how this came to be. 

Hopefully you all enjoy! You can also find this fic on AO3 if that suits your fancy. Same username and everything :)

It was fitting that today, of all days, it was raining something fierce. A storm of epic proportions. Almost like a fucking cliche that calmed and depressed Aranea at the same time. He would’ve laughed at the irony of it all, were he here to experience it.

Keep reading

People read Kirk as this throwback, old-timey-values, womanizing captain but honestly there’s so much about Kirk that I love especially if anyone has read the novels. Like if you disrespect someone on his crew for their gender, their race, their background, their religion he will put a freaking stop to it right there with a goofy smirk on his face and charm in his voice and he will burn you right there in front of the entire bridge crew if need be and send you to you latrine duty. Picard, as much as I can enjoy the philosophical questions, has a tendency to get too academic with certain things. Kirk sees his crew as an extension of him and accepts every different experience and person along with that, so if you disrespect any part of that you disrespect his whole crew, his ship, and himself.

anonymous asked:

If this is all right to be requested, how would the Nordics react to finding out Denmark is dating a person who's disturbingly like him? Hyper and enthusiastic, even wears black coats paired up with red too. What would be their levels of freaking out? (And also how would Denmark deal with their similarities, too, haha). If this leaks from the rules, I'm sorry to disturb. Thank you in advance either way. ^^

(Oh my, that would be troubling)

Norway/Lukas Bondevik: Oh dear god get me out of here. One Denmark was bad enough. Before Denmark was even done introducing his s/o, Norway would be halfway out the door with his bags packed. Unless Denmark’s s/o could somehow (fire fights fire?) tame, or at least distract Denmark from bothering Norway, it’ll either take him a million years to get used to them, or he’d actually move at the first possible chance.

Iceland/Emil Steilsson: What kind of hell is this?! Similar to Norway, Iceland would be all ready to get out, although he’d wait until the introductions are over. Probably because he’s too shell-shocked to react before that. Although he might not be as adverse to having two Denmarks in the house, you can rest assured that one of them is going to have their clothes ‘accidentally’ dyed, because that is just taking ‘couple shirts’ way too far.

Finland/Tino Väinämöinen: Denmark, you had a twin? Wait, no, Norway, what did you do this time? Poor Finland would actually believe that Denmark’s s/o was another Denmark, probably through Norway’s magic. Nothing either of the two did helped to change that impression. Some say he still believes it to this day. 

Sweden/Berwald Oxenstierna: He won’t really care. Whoever Denmark dates is none of his business. In fact, he’d be the one blocking Iceland and Norway from moving to the southern islands, as well as preventing anyone from outright calling Finland an idiot. Of course, he ends up challenged to various ‘battles’ twice as often now.

(And of course)

Denmark/Mathias Køhler: When Denmark first saw his future s/o, he almost spat out his drink. The same logic-defying hair, the same coat with red, the same grin, and the same walk. When they made eye contact, and the other person spat out their drink, Denmark knew he had found his soulmate.

Damn, did he just fall in love with himself?

Accepting Help

This was requested by an anon. It is a Spencer x Reader where Reid goes to hug the reader and the reader flinches because she has been in an abusive relationship. I hope this is good! Thanks for reading!


The case that your team just solved ended triumphantly, but was exhausting. The entire team decided to retire to their own homes after stopping at the office first. Everybody filed into the office and headed toward their desks to pick up the last few things that they needed before heading home. You were a boisterous group, overjoyed that such a troubling case was behind you now.

You reached out and grabbed your coat off of the back of your office chair before spinning around and turning back toward the elevator. When you reached the glass doors, Spencer joined you with a smile.

“Hey, y/n.” He smiled

“Hey, Spence.”

He slung a friendly arm around your shoulders. You immediately flinched away. The horrible memories that constantly thrived in your mind flashed across your eyes and you looked anxiously down at your feet.

You liked Spencer. You really did. You had gotten closer to him than you had any other man in a long, long while. You really liked him, and you built a strong friendship with the man that you believed could one day maybe even develop into more if you could only get past your own personal insecurities, if he would even consider a relationship with you in the first place.

Your life had been a mess up until you had joined the BAU and you liked to keep the previous part of your life before you joined the team to yourself. None of your coworkers knew of your past relationship. They did not know that you had been in an abusive relationship. You couldn’t help but flinch when Spencer threw his arm so casually over your shoulders, and he was shocked to find you so adverse to it.

“S-sorry.” You mumbled in apology

Spencer knew that something was wrong. He knew you too well to not notice your strange reaction. He carefully pulled you aside, allowing all of your other team members to pass by the two of you and head over to the elevator.

The second that the elevator doors shut and the machine stirred to life and began its descent to the first floor, Spencer turned to you, concern riled in his eyes.

“Y/n, are you alright? What’s wrong? What was that?”

“It was nothing.” You muttered

“That wasn’t nothing. You flinched away from me.”

You knew there was no way you were going to get out of this without telling Spencer the truth, so you relented. “It’s just instinct.”

“Instinct?” He questioned, confused

“Yeah,” You responded, a blush flushing your cheeks, “I was in an abusive relationship before I joined the BAU. Now it’s just instinct.”

“Have you talked to anyone about this? Who knows?”

“You. You know, and that’s it. Nobody else knows, and I would prefer if it stayed that way, Spencer.” You pleaded with him, but he was unrelenting

“Why don’t other people know, y/n?” He continued

“Because they don’t need to know. If they know, then they always pity me, treat me differently. I don’t want to be treated differently because of my past.” You answered

“Okay, but what about your family? Please tell me that at least they know?”

You solemnly looked down at your shoes and shook your head ‘no’. He sighed.

“Not even your family?” He could not seem to get his mind wrapped around the fact that he was the only person on the entire Earth that was aware of your past relationship with your abusive boyfriend.

“I never felt like I was worth enough to them to tell them. If I told them, then they would feel obligated to help me and pity me, and I do not need anybody’s help or pity. I am a strong, independent woman with a good head on her shoulders.”

“But, y/n.” He continued on. You let out an exasperated sigh at his tough pressing into the topic, “You were abused. That is something that you want your family to worry about. That is something where you accept help. You should need help. Just because you are an independent woman, does not  mean that you can not accept the help of others. If anything, accepting assistance from those who offer it is a sign of strength.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” You sighed. You had heard it all before, “I know.”

You turned around to leave, facing your back to him and signaling the end of the conversation, but he was not about to have it. He grabbed onto your wrist to keep you from leaving, and you yanked your hand protectively away from him.

His eyes bored in sadness and concern. You looked up at him expectantly, crossing your arms tightly over your chest.

“This is me offering you help, y/n.” Spencer whispered to you

You were taken aback. You had expected the confession to cause your relationship with him to crash and burn, but he was still here. He was still kind to you.

“Really?” You asked in disbelief

He nodded in return, “What do you say we go out for some coffee?” He asked you

You smiled widely, “I would love that, Spence. Thank you.”

You finally crept away from the dark, obsolete corner where the two of you had been secluded. The elevator door dinged open while everything else was otherwise silent. You stepped into the elevator together, keeping the silence alive.

Just as the elevator door began coming back together, you said, “And Spencer, this is me accepting help.”

Unremarkable

How about a Bucky Barnes request where the reader is just so normal, and quiet, and just kind and it’s just something Bucky needs after all those years and is drawn to and he’s just this big puppy around them? xxx Have a great day <3 - anon

A/N- I hope you like this!

Originally posted by leafierleaf

You worked in the local book store, it was always rather quiet so you got quite long lunch breaks. Everyday you would walk to the coffee shop across the street, order a  hot chocolate and sit at the little table in front of the window with the two comfy chairs.

This had been a routine of yours for at least two years and in that time you had seen the coffee shop get more recognition and get busier at lunches, particularly because it was on one of the main streets the battle of New York happened on. You didn’t mind the hustle and bustle of the city people, you enjoyed people watching and it was always interesting to see who stopped in the shop. A couple of regulars like yourself, business men and women who found it on their rush to work, teenagers needing a place to hang out for an hour instead of going home. You had seen it all, but never him before.

It was a busy day, busier than usual and the harsh winter rain had everyone from the streets cramming into any shop they could find. You still managed to get your usual seat by the window and happily drinking your hot chocolate when he walked into the shop. He was tall, he had long brown hair that was wet from the rain, he was certainly muscular and at the bottom of his sleeve you could make out a glint of a metal prosthetic.

He got lost in the crowd of people and you went back to looking out the window, a few minutes later you heard someone clear their throat, “Excuse me,” came a quiet voice.

You looked up and were surprised to see the man from earlier in front of clutching a cup of coffee in his hand. “Do you mind if I sit?” he asked gesturing to the chair opposite yours, “There’s no other seating,” he explained sheepishly.

“Go ahead,” you nodded. He smiled gratefully and sat down opposite, “I’m Y/N,” you introduced and held out your left hand for him to shake. Hesitantly he did, just as you suspected he had a metal hand and you figured his whole arm was like that, he seemed shocked that you didn’t have any adverse reaction to his hand then settled in his seat.

“I’m Bucky.”

“Nice to meet you Bucky,” you smiled at him and sipped on your drink, “So what do you do for a living?” you asked him.

He seemed startled that you wanted to actually talk to him, he assumed that you would have exchanged names then sat in silence till one of you left. That was not the case. He eyed you up and down to see if you were any kind of threat or spy to get information, when he realised that you weren’t he chose his words carefully, “I uh, do public service stuff.”

“Oh, like a police officer?”

“Something like that,” he nodded, “What about you?” he asked, hoping to change the subject.

“I work across the street at the book shop,” you pointed out the small shop opposite where you and Bucky were sitting, it was a quaint little place that was tucked away from all the other shops along the street. Bucky recalled walking past it a few times but never really noticing it until now.

“Is it a nice place to work?”

You nodded enthusiastically, “The best! Of course I’m biased about it because I love books but it pays well and I can get a lot of reading done between customers.” Bucky and you talked until your lunch hour was over, you didn’t talk about all that much, just the weather, your job, silly plans for the future and what you were doing next weekend. The time flew by and when it was time to leave you almost didn’t want to go, “I guess I’ll see you around, Bucky,” you smiled at him and got up. He watched you leave the shop and jog across the street in the rain before you slipped into the book shop.

When he went home that day all he could think about was you. You weren’t like the other Avengers, for one you didn’t even seem to know who he was. There was a certain air around you that made him feel comfortable and safe, it had only been an off chance that he had ducked into that coffee shop to get out of the rain but he now realised that it may have been the best decision of his day.

The next day he got to the coffee shop in hopes that you would show up again, which you did. You were pleasantly surprised when you walked in and saw him sitting in the chair he had been in yesterday, you ordered your usual hot chocolate then walked over. “Fancy seeing you here,” you smiled at him as you took your seat.

“You don’t mind, do you?” Bucky asked, suddenly nervous. What if you didn’t really want to see him again? What if you were just being friendly yesterday?

You quickly shook your head, “Not at all. How’ve you been?”

“Fine,” Bucky nodded a little bit, “You?” he asked.

“Great,” you smiled, “I started reading a new crime book last night and I’m already a few chapters in. I think the killer may be the neighbour but that could just be a red herring,” you told him and proceeded to go into a bit more detail about the plot of the story so far.

Bucky listened to you talk, getting lost in the sound of your voice and inputting his own opinion every now and then. With you the whole world faded away, he didn’t have the pressure of living up to any expectations or shy away from doing something that might get the others on the team on edge. You didn’t know about that, he could do what he wanted without fear. Once again lunch came to an end and he was sad to see you go but you promised to see him tomorrow once more.

After a few weeks the other Avengers noticed a perk in Bucky’s attitude, they also notice he went out at the same time every day and got back happier than ever. “Maybe he’s discovered drugs,” Natasha offered dryly.

Steve glared, “Bucky would never,” he protested.

Natasha shrugged with a smirk, “You don’t know.”

“What if we just ask the guy?” Sam said.

“That’s no fun,” Natasha shook her head.

“It’s not about fun,” Steve said, ever the voice of reason, “It’s about what’s making him so happy. He’s had all the best therapists and none of them had this kind of effect on him.”

“He could have found his own therapist,” Sam suggested.

“Barnes hates all therapists,” Natasha countered.

“What if he’s into something bad. What if he’s joined one of those cult things?” Steve sounded concerned.

“He’s not in a cult,” Natasha rolled her eyes.

“You could just follow him,” Wanda suggested as she walked past them.

The three of them looked at each other, “That’s actually not a bad idea,” Sam nodded.

The next day when Bucky headed out of the tower Sam, Steve and Natasha set out after him and kept a good distance between them and him. “Where’s he going?” Steve asked as they ventured further into the town.

Natasha shushed him, keeping her eyes trained on Bucky as he weaved through the crowds and towards the coffee shop to meet you. Eventually he turned into the shop and they took a position across the street where they could see him but he couldn’t see them.

They waited a few minutes before they saw you sit down opposite him and greet him with a wide smile.

“Oh my god,” Sam said, stunned.

“This has to be a mistake,” Natasha shook her head.

“He has a girlfriend,” Sam whispered in shock.

Steve shook his head, “They’re not dating.”

Natasha and Sam looked at him, “How can you tell?” Sam asked.

“Because when she got there they didn’t hug or touch each other in any way, I know Bucky well enough to know they’re not dating.”

“No,” Natasha agreed, “But they want to be,” she smirked. The group watched you and Bucky have lunch together, it was quite a sight to see. Bucky was talking and smiling way more than anyone in the tower had ever seen him do, it was also pretty obvious that he got heart eyes every time he so much as glanced in your direction.

They couldn’t hear your conversation but both of you seemed enthralled with it and completely tuned out to the rest of the world. Just before you and Bucky left the group quickly went back home to the tower so they would arrive before Bucky got back.

When Bucky did get back Natasha, Sam and Steve were talking amongst themselves and their conversation stopped when Bucky entered the room. “What?” he asked, squinting his eyes at them.

“Nothing,” Steve replied innocently at the same time Sam asked, “Who was that girl you were with?”

Steve and Natasha shot him a glare while Bucky tensed up, “What girl?” he lied.

“The one you were at lunch with,” Sam prodded.

“Noone,” Bucky shrugged, “Her name’s Y/N,” he couldn’t stop the small smile that came on his face when he said your name and thought of you.

It quickly dropped off his face and was replaced with a blush when he noticed all three of them grinning manically at him, “Shuddup,” he mumbled and walked away from them.

“My friends found out about you,” Bucky mentioned casually at lunch the next day.

“Is that such a bad thing?” you asked, raising your eyebrows.

“When they’re my friends, yes. Well, they’re not really my friends. More my friend and his friends,” he explained.

“So why is it a bad thing?”

“They’re not exactly normal, it’s likely that they’re digging up everything about you that they can find.”

“Why? It’s not as if I’m your girlfriend,” you laughed, Bucky laughed too a little nervously. He would be lying if he said he hadn’t thought about it but it would be too dangerous, it was bad enough he was friends with you when you were so unaware of his past.

“These friends that aren’t your friends, are they with the police too?” you asked.

“In a way,” Bucky replied slowly.

“In what way?”

Bucky sighed, it was time to tell you the truth, “My friends are the Avengers. We go on missions and fight against people and things that want to harm people like you.”

You stared at him, “The Avengers?”

“Yes.”

“The Avengers are your friends?”

“Mhm.”

“They’re the ones doing background checks on me?”

“Probably.”

“Oh god,” you breathed, Bucky prepared for you to storm out, say that you never wanted to see him again and tell him where he could go. Instead he was startled by what you actually said, “Oh fuck, you’re friends are going to find all the crappy fanfiction I wrote about Harry Potter when I was twelve years old.”

Bucky chuckled, “Harry Potter fanfiction?”

“Shush, I was young and wistful to go to hogwarts,” you laughed.

“So you don’t mind that I’ve been lying to you?”

You shook your head, “Not really, doesn’t change anything so why would I?”

After a few months everyone noticed the change in Bucky, he was always happy and smiling. In fact Steve said he was almost back to his old self before the war, slowly they all met you and when you were around they could see an even bigger uplift in Bucky’s spirits. He doted on you in every way he could, he lit up at the mere sight or mention of you, it was plain to see you meant the world to him and he would do anything for you.

You didn’t get involved with any Avenger stuff, you liked living your ordinary life and Bucky was drawn to you like a moth to a flame because of it. He couldn’t even imagine what he would have been like at this point in time if he hadn’t chosen that coffee shop on a rainy afternoon, he did know that he wouldn’t be anywhere near as happy as he was with you. You were the one thing that made him want to live his life and be happy, you were the best thing that had ever happened to him.

***

A/N- I hope you liked it, let me know what you though! Requests are open but I’m currently on holiday so be aware that I won’t be able to do it until the end of the week at the earliest xx

Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.
—  George Washington

avataviking  asked:

Hello, I was writing to you but my internet turned off((( So this is the second time)) Did you analized between eggs exlode in gotnf and Toothless's explode the ice,sorry for my english i limited in words. We don't now of course if eggs of furies explode but if so, this is parallel or something like this. If a little one can explode thing it is ok that this big can do with the ice. And Toothless started to glow cause of huge energe he used for this bang.. and not because he became the alpha.

Wow! Your ideas are really thoughtful and insightful. I had not thought of that before at all… you have a really unique idea, and I think it is an amazing parallel. You can see a beautiful symbolism between how dragon eggs hatch and how Toothless emerges, as I see it anyway, as the alpha dragon in HTTYD 2. 

In both the books and the movies of How to Train Your Dragon, dragon eggs explode. Baby dragons “hatch” from their eggs with a literal “bang.” You’re right that we never see if Night Fury eggs explode in the same way as other dragons - in fact, the only breed of dragon whose eggs explode in Gift of the Night Fury is the Gronckle. Gronckles are the same species whose eggs explode on Berk and, to Hiccup’s perspective, on Dragon Island. Even The Book of Dragons short does not give more information about how dragon eggs hatch across all the species.

Whenever I cannot get any information or contradictory evidence from the DreamWorks movies, I turn to the books for grounding my arguments of the HTTYD world. In “The Day of the Dreader,” the eggs Toothless watches over are not said to explode, but for the dragon to punch through and crack open the eggshell themselves.

…crooked lines appeared all over the lime-green surface of the egg.
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!
A hard little head punched its head through the eggshell (it had to be hard, for the shells of dragon eggs are a centimeter thick). A tiny little dragon, with huge eyes and a black smudge on the end of its nose, blinked back at an astonished Toothless.

However, the author also wrote in “The Complete Book of Dragons” the following passage. It works similarly to what happens in “The Day of the Dreader,” where Toothless warms the eggs up before they hatch. But there’s one extra important detail that is slightly important, and which we could backtrack to imagine occurred in “The Day of the Dreader” too. Namely:

Roll the [dragon] egg into the fire, then wait. Eventually the egg itself will burst into flames. It will begin to shake and steam and turn darker in color. As the egg cracks, great shafts of lightning will burst through those cracks, setting fire to all it touches with bright blue flames, until finally… the egg explodes. (pp 69-70).

From all this we can glean a fairly cohesive picture of dragon hatchings across the species. It appears, from what we know about dragons hatching, that basically all dragon eggs explode. Dragons have a very defined, notable moment of birth when they explode out of the shell… and enter the world as new dragons.

As you said yourself, this is a huge parallel to what happens to Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon 2. There is a defined moment - an EXACT SECOND - when we know that he has become something greater… a new alpha dragon.

This moment. Boom.

Toothless is completely encased in ice, almost like a caterpillar in a cocoon metamorphosing into a butterfly. Under this enormous pressure, this defining moment in Toothless’ life changes him. I talk about Toothless’ change a bit more here under the supposition he might have become a Titan Wing (though also might not… I am ambivalent anymore to what he is classified as). Regardless of what Toothless becomes, though, the idea is that he changes radically right here right now. That link explains why I think the change happens at this specific point in time. Essentially, the idea is that a combination of Toothless’ age and his shocking adverse situation leads him to unleash a latent ability, glow blue, and burst out of the ice.

In a way, then, Toothless is hatching. To go back to Cressida Cowell’s book, Toothless has been rolled toward a fire. He is in a horrible situation where his life - and Hiccup’s - are threatened by Drago. All of Berk is under attack. This is a metaphorical fire that warms him up and gets him prepared to hatch. And then, exactly like dragon eggs hatch in the books, “great shafts of lightning will burst through those cracks, setting fire to all it touches with bright blue flames.”

Toothless starts his life as an alpha down to the detail of blue fire akin to how baby dragons start their own life. 

Just like baby dragon eggs explode all at once in a defining second of their life, Toothless changes from a youth to an adult in this short moment.

How to Train Your Dragon 2, after all, is not just about Hiccup’s coming of age from boy to man, from uncertain young man to the chief of his tribe. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is also about Toothless growing into the leader of his species. THIS moment when Toothless bursts free from the ice is exactly like him hatching out of an egg. This is the defining moment Toothless changes into his own role as the leader of dragons.

But like an infant dragon, Toothless’ life at this stage has only just begun. A baby emerges, exploding from its egg, with a whole new world and life journey ahead of it. It needs guidance, life experiences, and learning to become an actualized adult years down the road.

Toothless himself is going to have to go through a huge learning curve. His life of leadership as a dragon alpha is completely new territory for him. He does not yet have the experience to be the incredible alpha dragon he will be later in his life. This, I feel, is the content to the third movie, paralleling Hiccup’s own settling into role as Viking chief.

Guess we’ll see in 2018.

I want to add in one more important explosion into the How to Train Your Dragon DreamWorks franchise and how it, too, symbolizes a coming of age, a sudden burst from one stage of life to another.

Hiccup’s own transformation from boy to man comes in a split second here.

Yes, I am actually going to make this analogy. The instant Hiccup’s childhood terminates is from an explosion.

You can actually create a strong parallel between this moment with Hiccup and when Toothless is encased in ice a short moment later. Both Hiccup and Toothless have their life threatened. Then, in a split second, everything changes for them, and they have to stand up to responsibilities they were not expecting to assume for many years. As a consequence of each explosion, Hiccup and Toothless become adults and leaders, standing up to fight against Drago, taking their stand to protect their people from danger. 

The thing about these explosions is that they cause both harm and good. We see that in an amusing way in Gift of the Night Fury. The babies do not mean harm when they explode from their eggs; however, when those eggs hatch in the Berk village, they do EXTENSIVE damage to the buildings around them. In order for the happiness of birth to occur, there has to be first a climactic, impacting, potentially hazardous event. The most hazardous explosion comes from Hiccup’s own coming of age… but the parallel is there.

That is the way it is in our own lives. We grow, we become, we change because of the painful explosions in our lives. We become something better often when situations blow up in our face. It is what happened, literally, to both Hiccup and Toothless. There is a burst, there is an explosion… and then there is some good that comes out of it.

I am ecstatic beyond belief you brought up the parallel of dragon eggs hatching and Toothless hatching into adulthood. There really is an enormous symbolism of Toothless emerging from the ice, bursting outwards, in the same way that a baby dragon comes to life out of its egg. Toothless is “born” here. He becomes an alpha dragon, emerging from a shell of ice.

Barefoot is Best - A deeper look into the damaging effects of Steel Horse shoes

Sharing Lisa Williams’ article from her natural horse magazine! 
Do you believe a horse can be shod and still be completely healthy?
No, I don’t. We know that shoes inhibit natural function and cause adverse consequences. Some of these include:

* Decreased shock absorption: Shoes decrease the hoof’s ability to absorb shock by 70-80% by not allowing the hoof to expand properly upon weight-bearing. In 1983, a study at the University of Zurich found “a shod horse walking on pavement receives three times the impact force as an unshod horse trotting on that surface.” The excess force must then be taken up by the legs damaging joints, tendons, and even the lungs which were not designed to deal with this force.

* Metal vibration damages tissue: A doctorial thesis at the University of Zurich found that metal horseshoes vibrate at about 800 Hz, a frequency damaging to living tissue. This type of circulation and neural condition in humans is called Raynaud’s Syndrome. We must realize that every step a shod horse takes is damaging tissues throughout the body, setting him up for chronic conditions such as arthritis, ringbone or sidebone.

* Decreased blood circulation: Each hoof is actually a secondary circulatory pump which supports the heart in circulating blood throughout the body. When the natural expansion and contraction of the hoof is diminished by shoes or unbalanced hooves, this important blood flow is hindered, putting the horse at a disadvantage not only in his hooves but his whole body.

* Decreased traction: Metal shoes do not give the amount of traction on slippery ground, pavement, or rocks as an unshod hoof. A natural barefoot uses the skid-break action of the bars, suction-cup effect upon weight-bearing, and the ability to “feel” the ground as an all-terrain tool.

* Damage by nails: Nails weaken the hoof wall in addition to contributing to tissue damage from the vibrational frequency. Since old nail holes do not close-up, they leave the hoof vulnerable to bacteria as well as temperature extremes.

* Hoof contraction: When a hoof grows, it does so not only in length but also in diameter. Since the metal shoe doesn’t become wider, it contracts the growing hoof in a squeezed position. Remember that shoes are applied when the hoof is off the ground and in its contracted state. Proper hoof function (contracting and expanding) is hindered and the hoof is forced into the all too narrow hoof shape. Contracted hooves are oval rather than round and have very narrow frogs and heel bulbs.

* Prevents development of young horse’s feet: A horse’s coffin bone grows and develops until they are about five years old. If a horse is shod before that age, the constricting influence of the shoe prevents normal growth of this all important bone, predisposing the horse to lifetime hoof problems.