I can’t help but think about Yuuri being constantly mesmerized but also FULL OF SALT because Viktor, like a fine wine or good cheese, just gets BETTER with age. He is the SILVEREST OF SILVER FOXES. Yuuri can’t handle it.
Like yes his forehead gets bigger, but that just makes him look distinguished somehow? And the lines around his eyes give him this graceful wisdom. The glasses he has to wear later in life make him look like one of those beautiful professor-type men in movies–just looking at them, you know they’ve got to be over the fifty hump, maybe even pretty far over, but you still really want to see them with their shirt off?
Viktor plans a beach trip for their thirtieth wedding anniversary and Yuuri watches as his sixty-year-old husband shakes salt water out of his hair and rubs sunscreen into the freckles on his shoulders. What the fuck. Yuuri is sitting here in a giant T-shirt and shorts with an overlarge sunhat and sunglasses, and next to him Viktor is reenacting the ads for Gucci’s summer 2049 beachwear ad. The only thing missing is a lion cub and a yacht.
“Aren’t you going to swim?” Viktor asks, leaning back on his elbows, legs crossed at the ankles. His whole body is laid out as though to soak up as much sun as possible, and Yuuri is huddled under the umbrella, every bit of him that will fit in the shade folded into it.
“My hip is bothering me today,” Yuuri tells him, mostly as an excuse.
“The water might help with that,” Viktor tells him, and kneads a hand into the meat of Yuuri’s hip. “It’s nice and cool. Aren’t you having fun, Kitten?”
Yuuri bows his head towards him, smiles and butts their noses together. Viktor has a smear of unincorporated sunscreen on his nose that transfers onto Yuuri’s cheek. “Of course I am. I’m with you.”
Viktor makes a weak little sound against his shoulder. “The things you say. Even now.”
“They’re true,” Yuuri says, and takes his hand through Viktor’s hair.
“I know,” Viktor sighs. “But sometimes I still can’t believe that you’re spending your life with me. Thirty years, can you believe it?”
“No,” Yuuri chuckles honestly. “I can’t. But I’m glad it happened. And that it’s still happening.”
“Thirty years and you’re still just as beautiful as they day I married you,” Viktor says.
Yuuri looks at his husband, Number 27 on People Magazine’s list of Fifty Sexiest Men Over Fifty, and blushes harder than he has since he was in his twenties.
“Says Russia’s Golden Silver Fox.”
“I hated that article,” Viktor says. His fingers are tracing patters on Yuuri’s thigh. “It made no sense. Silver and gold clash. Anyone with a brain knows that.”
“I don’t think that was the point, Vitya.”
Viktor grabs his hand. “Come swim with me!”
“No!” Yuuri laughs, halfheartedly trying to tug his hand back. “We’re on a beach surrounded by twenty-somethings and unlike you, I have the waistline of a fifty-six year old man.”
“Then come back to our hotel room and I’ll show you the things your fifty-six-year-old waistline can do to me,” Viktor murmurs, and nips gently at Yuuri’s thigh just below the hem of his shorts.
“Well…” Yuuri twirls a lock of Viktor’s hair in his finger. “We do have a few hours before dinner.”
Yuuri lets Viktor cling to him like an octopus on the walk back to their room. Yuuri may be thirty-two years older than he was in the winter of 2016, but he is still the man who took pride in stealing Viktor Nikiforov out from under Russia’s nose–and he is still the only man who Viktor Nikiforov, Certified Fine Wine, Good Cheese, Silver Fox, has eyes for. It’s enough to make anyone feel good about their love handles.
(Viktor thinks that Yuuri’s love handles are to be celebrated. But that’s another post.)
buttery yellow summer sunrises, soft baby blankets, creaky swing sets, old teddy bears, apple trees, bright blue paddle pools, baby powder, rain on hot pavement, the sound of spoke beads, rosy hot summer sunsets, fevers and popsicles, glowing night lights, an air conditioned grocery store on a hot summer day, the scent of spilled bubble solution, rainbow water balloons, barefoot on a trampoline, farm roads, 2001 newspaper articles, little golden books, classic care bears cartoons
(I’m going to start with a random side note: If I ever get a book deal to write Japanese primer, I’m going to call it I Eat Cake Everyday: A Complete Guide to Japanese with Stupid Sentences.)
It’s been a while since we’ve just talked, so I wanted to just take a moment to do that.
I think every Japanese platform at one point write an article about “the deep truth” of learning Japanese, claiming to give you the golden key that you need to become fluent in only 6 months or 1 year or whatever.
The argument for those kinds of posts isn’t hard to understand: People are fundamentally similar. If people are fundamentally similar, it is very likely that works for me will will work for you. Thus, if this works for me, it will work for you. This does work for me. Therefore, it will work for you (most likely.)
This is why all articles start with something like, “I guarantee you that I’m no genius. [Insert daily task that the writer struggles with on a daily basis.] I’m just a regular person that tried out a few things until I found a winning formula.”
I, personally, want to do my own take on this kind of article. I won’t offer a golden key, but I’ll talk about learning Japanese.
1. Japanese is Coded in the Most Inefficient Writing System in the World
Kanji, the logographs that are the bane of all Japanese-learner’s existence, comes from China. Kanji itself, 漢字, means “Chinese characters.” Kanji were invented to suit the needs of the Chinese language (from way back when, before Mandarin/Standard Chinese was a thing.) Japanese, on the other hand, is a language isolate, and it is not related to Chinese. So the use of these Chinese characters has over time been used in different ways for different words and with different readings- for Kanji tend to have multiple readings, sometimes being just 2 and at other times 8.
In Eastern Asia, the use of Chinese characters was widespread. It was used in Korea, in Vietnam, in Japan, to some varying extent in Malaysia, and the territories these nations conquered.
Korea developed an ingenious writing system called Hangeul, which now has all but totally substituted Chinese characters. Vietnam adopted the Roman alphabet with many diacritics. Japanese, well, Japanese developed two writing systems based on morae. These two writing systems could be used to write out the entirety of Japanese. Kanji is not really necessary. Further, there is no evidence to suggest that there are so many homophones such that even with context one could not make head or tails out of what was being said.
So, Japanese does have a potential unique writing system that is easy to learn (it’s easier than Hangeul in my opinion), but it does not use it exclusively because of cultural reasons. Kanji is just hardwired into the culture.
But here’s where my personal opinion and advice come in: If you have to choose between loving Kanji and hating it, hate it. Don’t romanticize it. Don’t go “above and beyond” what you have to know because of your love for Kanji. Just learn what you have to learn, and leave it at that.
“How many Kanji must someone learn?” The official common use Kanji list (the Jōyō Kanji) lists 2,136 Kanji. How many readings are among these Kanji? Somewhere around 3,869. There are also some variations on Kanji that one should keep in mind and some Kanji that one sees only in names, so add around 400 Kanji to the official list and about 400 new readings.
“How many Kanji must I learn for my first year of Japanese?” All of them. That’s my honest advice. Don’t aim to learn only a few Kanji. If you’re going to learn Kanji, learn them all. Think in that mindset. As soon as you decide you want to learn Japanese, work on Kanji. Before you enter a classroom and learn your first few greetings and whatnot, make sure you know all the common use Kanji, or at least that you’re well on your way to knowing all the Kanji.
2. Language Learning is an Intensive Process
Learning a language is a process that scientists haven’t quite been able to describe accurately. We do know, nevertheless, that it’s a heck of a lot different from learning chemistry or carpentry or bicycling.
In the Western world, there is this idea that one can learn a language in a classroom, normally as a subject period, with periods lasting somewhere from 50 to 70 minutes. Here’s the truth: it doesn’t work very well. (There are historic reasons for this way of learning a language, but we can talk about that some other time.) The success rates of language acquisition in classrooms is ridiculously low. This does not mean that language classes are bad: but it means that it just isn’t enough.
There are many reasons why learning a language in and of itself may be hard. It’d take forever to talk about all of them.
But let’s talk a bit about lexicons. A lexicon, here, refers to the dictionary in your brain where you store the words you know. If you’re monolingual- you have a standard dictionary in your brain with a word and definitions. If you were raised bilingual, then you have one lexicon with two words and definitions. That is to say, if you’re an English-Spanish speaker, then you have “cat” and “gato” in the same space in your brain and you know that what applies to one applies to the other. Then, depending on your fluency and use, you may have two supplementary dictionaries where you store all the information about words that don’t exist in the other language and idioms and expressions and things like that.
Now, if you’re an English speaker and, say, you want to learn German, part of what you’ll learn to do is to process your English lexicon entries into German. What that means is that you learn to engineer English words into German. “Father” turns into “Vater,” “to drink” turns into “trinken,” “Love” turns into “Liebe,” etc. So the words that have no relation with English (the non-cognates), turn into a supplementary lexicon and everything else is put through a mental processor.
Because the brain can do this is the reason why many people in Europe can speak many languages. The fact that someone can speak Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Italian, and French is not terribly impressive. The overlap in words (and in grammar) is so immense that what you’re doing is processing one language into another and you’re guaranteed an astonishing success rate.
Japanese, however, is different because it’s a language isolate. You can’t process one language into another. You have to learn words one by one. That takes time. It takes repetition. Memorization is as much an active process as it is a subconscious process. When people talk about the benefits of “immersion,” what they’re talking about most of the time is putting your brain into survival mode, i.e. either you learn all these words (and grammar stuff) or else you will not be able to survive and thus you will die. That is one way of doing it, and if you do not choose this path you have to commit some serious time to this. I believe that if one knows around 5,000 of the most frequently used words in any given language, one is guaranteed to know at least 95% of all the words one will hear/read in a day (given that one doesn’t go read a super technical manual on how to calibrate a nuclear reactor or something like that.) So, the question becomes how will you memorize 5,000 words? How long will that take? If one learns 10 a day, then it’s 500 days, and if one learns 50 a day, it’s 100 days.
The tradeoff when it comes to speed is that the faster you learn something, the faster you forget. (When you relearn something, it should be faster nevertheless.) So how much time will you commit to learning a language? How will you follow that up? These are important questions.
3. Japanese Media is Considerably Insular
Japan isn’t like the United States. The United States wants every nation to know what music it likes, what fashion it wears, what it believes ideologically and socially, etc. The U.S. is everywhere.
South Korea, recently, is everywhere. K-Pop, K-Dramas, K-SNL, K-Beauty. If you want to know what Korea is up to, it’s pretty easy to find out. They want you know!
Japan… eh. Japan is pretty good at making anime available globally. People know about Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon and the Mighty Atom and all that. When it comes to dramas and movies and tv shows, they’re not quite interested in that. Ages ago I wrote a post on the misconception of “Whacky Japanese Game Shows,” where I basically explained that most of those shows aren’t game shows but segments on variety shows, the only person in my mind having totally insane game shows being Beat Takeshi.
Okay, fine, what does this mean? This means two important things. First, one’s expose to the language outside of going to Japan or talking to Japanese people will be based highly on anime, which is fine but there are other styles of expressing oneself. One needs a bit of variety. If one goes the information/news route, then one is exposing oneself to something very formal and literary, but dull. Second, it means that when people teach Japanese, they’re going to assume that one wants to speak Japanese for business purposes. This sounds strange to say, but let me put it like this: Japanese is an important part of the world economy and STEM and anime, on the other hand, is not a sufficiently large part of Japanese culture so that the Japanese can figure you want to learn Japanese for that sole purpose. If you want to speak Japanese, then it must be for business purposes (and we’ll consider academics to be within business.) So you learn Japanese through the perspective of honorific and respectful language. This isn’t a bad thing either, but the desire to make you sound nice will often lead to lies about how Japanese actually works at a grammatical level.
(On the other hand, in South Korea the K-Pop/K-Drama boom is such a big deal that people around the world start learning Korean in hopes of auditioning for the big production companies in hopes of becoming actors, singers, dancers, and hosts.)
So here’s my advice: Once you have your feet wet with Japanese, once you know your Kanji and you know how to analyze a sentence (even if the lexicon isn’t all there yet), look at something that isn’t anime. I recommend movies, a lot of which are quite nice. Okuribito (Departures) was a great movie. An (Red Bean Paste) is a more recent film that was wonderful. Look up some movies. Sit down, and watch them. Watch it with subtitles, so you know what the movie’s about. But watch it a second time and a third time without subtitles. Try to see if you can make out a few sentences, read a few signs that appear in the background, take note of expressions or words you keep hearing. No, you won’t be able to understand the whole film all of a sudden, but it’s something new and something good and the more Japanese you learn, the more you will be able to return to the film and make out. Eventually, you will be able to listen to a sentence, pause the film, and look up the words you don’t know.
4. Learning Japanese Doesn’t Happen with One Method Alone
This is rather obvious, but it’s worth finishing this off with. There is an abundance of book series, CDs, cassettes, and even online resources (our own included.)
A language is greater than any method, than any curriculum, than any teacher. No one source has all the answers. One has to be encouraged from day one to look at many resources.
A library is a language learner’s best friend. Why? Because books can be expensive, and you will probably not need all the resources you dabble into for a long time. So, when you begin learning Japanese, look at the entire Japanese section, order a few famous books through InterLibrary Loan, if you have access to that, and sit down and just read the books, as if they were novels. Don’t memorize a thing. Don’t do the exercises. Just figure out their style, their aims, their perspective. Do read the footnotes! The more footnotes a book has, the more useful it tends to be in the long run. Information that isn’t relevant in Lesson 1 may be absolutely vital in Lesson 10.
Check out some old books if you can. The way people learn a language today is not the same way they learned it 50 or 100 years ago. The most useful Italian grammar book I ever read was written in the 1800′s. Japanese books published before World War II may have some slightly outdated things, such as the /we/ and /wi/ morae, but they will be good for most of everything else. I’m personally dying to get library privileges again somewhere to be able to look into these, so if I find some good book titles I’ll let you know.
Because a lot of language instruction was, until recently, modeled after the way Greek and Latin was taught, reading some of our own material gets you familiar with the lingo, should you heed my advice. So people like to talk about cases and declensions and conjugations and moods and all that. The works of William George Aston are some of the most important books on Japanese historically. So, if you can find originals of those, please do read them.
So everyone’s going crazy over Harry Potter AU right now and I remembered the cross over fic thing I kind of started, so what better a time than now to post it?
To say that Yuuri Katsuki didn’t understand the significance
of being sorted into Slytherin house would have been an… understatement to say the least.
You see, Yuuri’s family didn’t know anything much about
wizarding culture to begin with, much less British wizarding culture. They’d
been surprised as anyone when they, by all standards a totally average Japanese
family living in a small seaside town, received a letter scripted in English
with green ink, explaining that their youngest child had been invited to learn
magic. Since that letter had arrived three days after Yuuri’s eleventh
birthday, extensive research had been made.
Regardless of the effort, most of the information the
Katsuki’s had originated from a short note attached to the average acceptance
letter. It had explained that the great wizarding school of Hogwarts had
decided to accept a greater number of international muggle-borns, considering regional
wizarding schools such as Mahoutokoro didn’t accept them, and that since there
was such a significant surge of potential, Yuuri had been invited.
Despite the fact that Yuuri himself had had almost a year to
prepare himself, his English was mediocre at best, and reading long wizarding
terms for too long hurt his brain. He was sure though that it had not been
mentioned anywhere in his books, and he did read them again afterwards, that
‘Slytherin’ was regarded as the elitist quarter of Hogwarts.
He found that fact out within maybe ten minutes of his
sorting, when met with almost angry
looks from most of the long table.
A few weeks later, when he
better understood the culture, he realised why exactly a foreign muggle-born
being sorted into Slytherin (pretty
quickly, he should add) was such an oddity. And the cherry on top of it all?
Yuuri wasn’t even particularly talented at magic.
Green quickly became Yuuri’s
least favourite colour.
Yuuri’s favourite colour, in actuality, was blue. He even
used it as an excuse from time to time, when Phichit had to shake him out of
his gaze. It slipped off his tongue with ease; ‘I just really like the colours of the Ravenclaw robes’. Yuuri’s
ability to lie so fast and easily was one of the very few Slytherin qualities
in himself he’d discovered so far. It wasn’t a complete lie, exactly. The
combination of bronze and blue was a favourite of his, reminding him of the telescopes in the astronomy tower, or the reflection of the sun in the great lake.
Of course, he actually preferred a silver and blue combination that had little to do with the robes, and a lot more to do with Viktor Nikiforov.
Another of Yuuri’s Slytherin qualities was his obsession
with unsolvable mysteries. And the older boy was just that; an enigma. Not that
Yuuri was a stalker or anything, but he did tend to spend the majority of his
obligatory time in the Slytherin dungeons reading articles about the Ravenclaw.
Amongst the articles, his favourite was the one about Viktor’s first Quidditch
match as the Russian seeker, aged just sixteen. Within the article, there was a
photograph of Viktor catching the snitch, waving at the crowd from his
signature golden broomstick. That particular article made its home under
Yuuri wished he’d been sorted into Ravenclaw.
Phichit wished Yuuri had been sorted into Hufflepuff.
“I just don’t get it,” he said, looking over his shoulder
briefly as some older students snickered at them. “They’re all so Slytherin, and you’re so not.”
Perhaps if he hadn’t just failed to create his Patronus
charm yet again, Yuuri would have chastised Phichit for using ‘Slytherin’ as a
dirty word. Instead he resigned himself to ending up hanging around in the
kitchen corridor yet again, a tradition after four years, listening to his best
friend rant about the Frog Choir (which Yuuri point blank refused to join) and
their most recent Muggle Studies essay.
Yuuri liked Muggle Studies. He supposed he probably had the
advantage, being the only muggle-born in the class. Regardless, he found it
interesting. Wizarding ideas of muggle life and the reality of it were quite
different, though Yuuri wasn’t about the ruin the illusion for them with a
mundane reality. Also, it was guaranteed to be a simple ‘O’ when he sat his
exams next year.
He was used to their familiar routine by now. Phichit would
keep him company for a while, before eventually disappearing into the
Hufflepuff common room to spend time with his house friends, and Yuuri would
walk back to the dungeons alone. It wasn’t as if Yuuri didn’t get along with
the other Hufflepuffs exactly; Guang Hong, Leo, and Emil were nice enough, but
Yuuri just didn’t quite fit in with their group. It was better than his options
in his own house, he supposed.
If the colour blue hadn’t sealed his fate already, there was
no doubt that it had once Yuuri caught the sight of it out of the corner of his
eye. His head betrayed him and turned as he read the blue banner. Though he was
edging on fifteen years old and had lived in Scotland for most of his recent
history, English sometimes betrayed him. It didn’t help that the one and only
Viktor Nikiforov was standing underneath said banner, celestial and perfect,
smiling brightly as he talked to a Gryiffindor first year.
“Hey, you want to sign up for lessons?”
At that moment, Yuuri regained the ability to English, and
saw the words ‘tutoring’ in bronze script. He swallowed. Of course Viktor
Nikiforov had no idea who he was. He probably thought he was just some
thick-skulled Slytherin, either who needed to study because their parents had
cut off their galleons due to bad grades, or else someone who was going to pay
him to write scrolls. Did Yuuri look that incapable? Was his own mediocrity
that obvious to the outside world?
Losing his nerve to say a word,
Yuuri attempted to hold his head high and turned away once more, not daring
once to look back.
Through events beyond his control, Yuuri ended up waiting
patiently outside the grand door of the Ravenclaw Tower. It had been at his Defence
Against The Dark Arts professor’s insistence that he signed up. The whole thing
was absolutely humiliating. Everybody
else in the class could cast it just fine, marvelling at their ethereal
patronus charms. Even the Gryffindors had begun laughing at him, though he
suspected that was more out of boredom than the genuine disdain his own house
held for him.
Yuuri’s throat constricted as Viktor Nikiforov himself
wandered through the door, casually whistling to himself.
“Ah, Yuuri Katsuki right? I’m going to be your tutor!”
His smile was pure sunshine and Yuuri’s mouth flew open.
Nonononononono. This couldn’t be happening. Out of every Ravenclaw in the
entire school, he had Viktor. Viktor
Nikiforov! The Viktor Nikiforov had
agreed to give Yuuri an hour of his undivided time every week until Christmas. Yuuri felt both ridiculous
“Yuuri? Are you okay?”
Yuuri blinked. “Hai! I mean, y-yeah?”
Surprisingly, Viktor laughed to himself. “So Yuuri, what is
it you need my-” his gaze pierced into Yuuri’s “…assistance in?”
His mouth was drier than that one time Phichit had found
fire whiskey. “I-I, uhm-“
“Hmm, communication skills? I can do that.”
Great, just great, way
to play it cool, Katsuki!
“No!” Yuuri immediately realised how rude he’d sounded, and
found himself bowing out of habit. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to snap. Professor
Okukuwa thinks I need help in spell work.”
Viktor’s porcelain fingers began to play with his long hair,
twirling and twisting it around. “And do you need help, Yuuri?”
Yuuri looked down. “I’ve struggled to produce my patronus.”
“Oh!” The older boy’s eyes crinkled and his mouth broke out
into a heart shaped smile. Yuuri lamented internally about how unfair it was
that he was in the presence of such perfection. “That’s all?”
His heart sunk. “I know it’s stupid.”
Viktor’s beam remained firmly intact. “I was going to
suggest the library, but that doesn’t sound like the best idea.” He paused. “I
know!” Without missing a beat, he took hold of Yuuri’s wrist and dragged him
down the many stairs that lead up to the Ravenclaw tower. Yuuri, who had
literally just suffered in walking up the entire thing, felt his lungs burn
Still, Yuuri followed regardless, wordlessly behind Viktor
as they reached the seventh floor. To a bystander, it may have even looked like
they were holding hands.
(hey if anyone thinks I should continue this at some point hit me up)
(also I’m really into Slytherin!Yuuri and Ravenclaw!Viktor and think I have good grounds as to why I’d sort them that way)
idk ur still taking questions but im an anarchist and ive been interested in maoism so like whats maoism rly about/what makes it diff than marxism leninism ?
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) is best described as the culmination of the historical, theoretical, and practical advancements of class struggle. This is why you’ll often see it described as the “highest stage” of Marxism. In relation to Marxism-Leninism (ML) it can best be described as a continuity and rupture from ML, meaning while it follows the same theoretical and practical trend, it also introduces a series of new contributions which make MLM a qualitatively different ideology beyond ML.
So, following the legacy of ML, MLM upholds the advancements of Marxism made by V.I. Lenin and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Without getting into them these include:
Marxist understanding of capitalist-imperialism
Marxist Theory of the State
The Vanguard Party
The Right of Nations to Self-Determination
(Foundations of Leninism is a good all-encompassing work if you are interested in ML before Mao). Now, Leninism goes beyond just Lenin’s words and so ML includes the historical context of its theories- the Russian Revolution, the line struggle between Trotsky/Bukharin and Stalin in the Communist Party, Five-year plans according to a proletarian state, and, sadly, the foundations of revisionism which laid the groundwork for capitalist restoration in the USSR- an event that would shape much of Mao’s theoretical contributions. So to avoid making this super text-heavy, I’m gonna break them into bullet points (with explanations, of course).
New Democracy: In countries oppressed by imperialism, the material conditions for socialism and the development of the productive forces can not be completed by the bourgeoisie because of conflicting class interests. This necessitates that proletariat form a United Front of several classes against imperialism with the Communist Party at the helm. The New Democratic Revolution allows for a “telescoping” of a bourgeois revolution and proletarian revolution so as to rapidly free a country from imperialism and develop productive forces so as to smash feudal and colonial relations, carry out an agrarian revolution, and prepare for socialist construction. This is only applicable in countries that are oppressed by imperialism. [X]
Mass Line: A method of organizing where members of the Communist Party listen to the concerns/wants of the masses, study them under revolutionary theory, and formulate concrete solutions which are then propagated among the masses. It can be summed up with the phrase “from the masses, to the masses”. This was not only to ensure that the Communist Party maintains a political line in touch with their base, but to ensure that the theory of the Party was based on practical experience and investigation. [X]
The Permanence (or Law) of Contradiction: Contradictions are a fundamental element of nature and society. Some are antagonistic or violent, some are non-antagonistic. Some take primacy over others (such as the contradiction between imperialism and oppressed nations being primary over the contradiction between proletariat and bourgeoisie). Mao explained that dialectics has one fundamental law- the unity and struggle of opposites- with the other laws being expressions of this main one. Mao saw that struggle is constant and unity is temporal- this can be summed up with the phrase “one divides into two”, showing the process of conflict/change inherent in all things and the fact that contradictions will continue even after unity is achieved. This was a break from the previously dominant trend of Marxist philosophy which essentially said “two combine into one”. [X]
Protracted People’s War (PPW): The armed branch of the Party, the People’s Army, should be deeply entrenched within the masses. PPW covers a general three-stage process. The first, strategic defensive, is the establishment of base areas and the building of dual power (a concept originally developed by Lenin in his work “On Dual Power”), while revolutionaries avoid directly engaging the state and warfare is done very sporadically. The second stage, strategic equilibrium, happens when the proletarian power built in base areas rivals the power of the current bourgeois state. The third, strategic offensive, involves the capturing of larger bases of power by the People’s Army and eventually conquer state power on a nation-wide scale. Did you notice those three things i put in bold? Those are what Mao called the 3 “magic weapons” of the proletariat in revolution. This method of revolution differs from the insurrectionist method (where the urban workers rise up during a period of crisis allowing them to seize state power) and the focoist method (employed famously in the Cuban Revolution where guerrillas do not have an explicit contact with the masses). [X] [X] [X]
Cultural Revolution: The recognition that the bourgeois ideological superstructure lingers under socialism is one that derives from Mao’s recognition that class struggle continues under socialism (Mao even said it intensifies). While the system of ownership changed with socialist revolution, another revolution should be launched to help change the ideological superstructure, to fight for proletarian ideological supremacy over the bourgeoisie. [X]
Class Struggle under Socialism and that Socialism is not a distinct Mode of Production: Socialism is not a mode of production like capitalism, feudalism, or communism. It is a transitional society where the proletariat holds state power and there is social ownership of property commanded by economic planning. Because of these many contradictions that continue after a revolution (as one divides into two, remember) socialism cannot be considered a completely separate mode of production, only as a transitionally dominant mode of production and set of social relations, still bound up in the class struggle. Many MLs and other socialists focus solely on the legal form of ownership- i.e. who actually owns the means of production (the state or private entities). But this legalistic separation was never professed by Marx or Lenin. This mechanistic view of socialism leads towards forms of revisionism like the “theory of productive forces” which was the justification for capitalist restoration in both the USSR and China. Maoists stress the importance of the relations of production over the ownership or development of productive forces. For Maoists, what is most important is political line- whether or not proletarian politics are in command or not. [X] [X] [X]
MLM extends beyond just Mao however. The recognition of the qualitative advancement of his contributions by the Peruvian Communist Party and the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement in the late 80s and early 90s- the period in which “actually existing socialism” was collapsing- stands to show that MLM is the principal, preeminent force of revolution in our current era.
Here is some further reading for anyone interested, as well as the links i included throughout the answer:
I’ve only just realized how well Dramione could have worked as a couple (or almost couple), so I jotted down how I feel their relationship could have gone, from meeting until the end of the war. Maybe I’ll do beyond that later. I’m not a writer- it’s probably obvious and for that I’m sorry.
Year one: Hermione and Draco meet in Ollivander’s. She’s adorable and nervous and excited when her wand sends sparks. She asks a lot of questions and he answers them all. He doesn’t know she’s muggleborn until the very end of their first conversation and then he wonders to himself if this is one of the “filthy Mudbloods” his father warned him about.
Draco takes an immediate dislike to Harry after being rejected in their first conversation. He secretly gets upset when Hermione is sorted into Gryffindor. For the rest of the year they don’t speak, but he sneaks looks at her and catches her eye from time to time. Sometimes she even gives him a smile.
Year two: Draco’s father spends the summer “educating” him about the purity of magical blood. Draco doesn’t really stop to consider if any of it could be true, but his father has a tendency to anger quickly and Draco craves his father’s pride, so he doesn’t question it. At a Quidditch practice, Hermione gives Draco a smile from the stands and he’s so surprised and happy that he beams back. But his Quidditch mates see him, so he spends his year overcompensating by throwing Hermione to the wolves. It breaks his heart a little every time. When she’s found petrified, he doesn’t sleep for a while. He can hardly eat. He catches her eye after she’s back, but she barely offers him a glance in return, and he knows he deserves it.
In 1941, Jews throughout the Third Reich were forced to wear a yellow Star of David. That same year, the first gassing experiments were conducted at Auschwitz and 33,771 Jews were killed by Germans and Ukrainians at Babi Yar outside Kiev. At the beginning of the war, the U.S. media rarely reported on or even knew about these horrific events, but word of Jewish suffering at the hands of Nazis trickled down to Kirby, Simon, and other Diaspora Jews in the form of wrenching letters from relatives trapped in the old country. Simon and Kirby used Captain America to strike back and boost American morale while proudly alluding to their religious faith. In a later issue, Steve Rogers watches newsreels depicting Nazi atrocities — newsreels Kirby and Simon surely must have watched as well.
Captain America’s weapon of choice was a strange one — not a machine gun, but a shield. The shield is a famous Jewish symbol, the Magen David, which means the “Shield of David.” (It’s also known as the “Star of David” because the Magen David is a hexagram.) The term “shield” in Jewish prayer denotes the closeness and protection of God. In a sad twist of fate, Captain America’s costume featured a star at the same time that Simon and Kirby’s European brethren were being forced to wear a star of a very different kind.
Simcha Weinstein, Up, Up, and Oy Vey! How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero (x)
“hey there lovely! could u write a jungkook scenario where his acne is getting really bad and he feels really insecure about it and tries to hide it as much as possible because he thinks he looks ugly?? the ending is up to you !!!”
Character: Jeon Jungkook (BTS)
Word Count: 1,176
(i want to hug him every time i see an article about his acne. he’s in no way ugly and i hope he knows that <3)
Being an idol, or any figure in the
public light for that matter, requires having a lot of eyes on you
all the time. Each set of eyes is that much more capable of examining
you, critiquing you and ripping you apart without even having to be
in your proximity. The power of the internet. Any tiny imperfection
is immediately exacerbated into something a million times more
severe. It could be something entirely natural: a weird mole or a
slight bump in the nose. That public influence makes you want to
scratch it off your face and make you look perfect merely for their
wandering gazes. We wish it was that easy. One of these
imperfections, standardized by the media, is acne. It’s a reality
Jungkook was far too used to.