this is how productive i am when my internet connection is down

what to do if you are feeling gross

so sometimes I’m just sitting around being lazy, watching tv or getting distracted by internet things, or I’ve eaten too much or I’ve just had a super long day. and sometimes I’m even aware of how much of a blob I am being, I’m sure this happens to other people, too. anyways I wanted to share this little list to motivate me/others to stop being a blob:

1. very very first thing. shut off your internet. put all the tv and stuff out of reach. this is really important, but you will feel 100% better afterwards.

3. uncover your windows, let natural light filter in. if you can/want to open them, that’s also fantastic. it really helps lighten your mood, always makes me feel more connected with the rest of the world.

2. put on some music. it’s ok to use your phone/computer for this, but remember to just keep it away from arm’s reach. also, you can use whatever music you’d like, but I suggest something soft, like Frank Sinatra or Beegie Adair or Jack Johnson.

3. take a walk. look at the colors and plants people surround themselves with. pick out houses/buildings you like. look at the sky, listen to what’s going on around you. I don’t generally listen to music for this because I like to feel grounded when I walk, but if you’re more of a song person that’s okay, too. it’s really easy to forget how long it’s been since you’ve had some fresh air.

4. take a bath. if it’s hot out, turn on a fan and cool down the room so you’re all cosy in the water, put in some bubbles and scents. grab a book or magazine. exfoliate, do your nails, put on a face mask. throw yourself a little spa day. when you get out, put on lotion, put on new underwear and soft, comfy clothing.

5. make your favourite cup of tea or coffee, or maybe pour yourself some lemonade or just cold water is fine too.

6. go sit in a common area of your house, like a living room or dining table. if you’re not home alone and don’t want to be bothered, gently voice it to the people around you or go sit somewhere else where you feel comfortable and relaxed. just get out of the same walls, find a change of scenery. you could even leave and go to a café or a park if you’d like.

7. do some writing/doodling. whenever this happens, I always like to use a spare piece of printer paper or something not connected to a notebook so I’m less attached to it and less likely to care about the way it looks. let the pen do its own thing, don’t worry about messing up. if you feel that you’re getting frustrated, step away and do something else.

8. make some lists. this is one of my favourite pastimes. list nice things that you’ve seen recently that you think you’ll forget later on. list little details of your dreams, list things you want to do in your favourite season, list recipes you’d like to try. the possibilities are endless.

9. cook/bake something. important reminders—if you don’t find this relaxing, don’t do it!! find another hobby that you love where you can enjoy doing something productive. also, even if you’re making something fantastic, be sure not to snack too much or overeat (I’m very prone to this). you could also make something for a friend or a neighbour!! people always enjoy a heartfelt craft made by someone who cares.

10. catch up with an old friend or family member. ask them out for coffee or something, it’s always nice to talk. trust me, they will very much appreciate you reaching out.

11. write a letter to someone. you do not have to send it.

12. go to a park and look at the flowers or sit in the grass. grab a sketchbook, some sudoku, a book, a puzzle, your thoughts, or anything else you could tinker with while enjoying the fresh air. something to make your brain work a little.


there’s more, of course, but this is all I can really come up with at the moment—I hope it works! now get off that web and have a good time!!

My life as an ISTJ

SUBMITTED by anonymous

(Gif: Mr. Norrell, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. ISTJ)

When I took the test,I was typed as an INFJ the first time and an ISFJ the second time but when I read the description,it never fit me so I kept looking.I came across realistic,objective descriptions of ISTJ and I knew that I found what I was searching for.

Introverted Sensing: My memories are extremely important.I would feel incomplete without them.One of my worst fear (along with losing my sanity and my mobility) is having Alzheimer’s. I trust my past experiences to know how to act in the present. My brain is so accustomed to compare the present to the past that I very often get a feeling of deja vu. Everything in my present have ties to the past : my hobbies are connected to the past ones (as a child,I loved Greek and Latin mythology. Now, I love mythology in general.)

I’m sentimental and I can be really nostalgic. My past made me who I am and shaped my personality.I can be stuck in the past and unable to let go past hurts,wounds,insults,bad experiences,grudges. I can also be resistant to change unless I am proved that it is beneficial. I enjoy my personal routines.It gives me a sense of stability and peace without which I can not live.

I don’t really see myself as traditionalist in the sense of “in the society you live in, it had always been this way so you will do it like this.” If that was the case,I would let the boys in my class be the boss. Marriage and having children would be an very important goal and I wouldn’t be a feminist and a self-identified demigirl and possibly demisexual and demiromantic.

I often get annoyed at people who want to force me to try new things. I know what I like and don’t like and I know I will not like it so why bother ?

My tastes are very specific and on the expensive side.I love anything that delight my senses in a quiet way : good food, chocolate, salty and spicy things, a fresh drink during a hot day,comfortable clothes,soft and high quality fabrics,walk barefoot on the cool floor,long and hot showers,
pleasant perfumes,sweetly scented candles, hygiene products that smell good, beautiful music, the sound of the rain, a lovely landscape, an elegant and refined decoration,the feeling of well-being you get after a long walk…

I am very attentive to my physical needs and very aware of my body’s reactions. I can’t understand how some people can completely forget their body and its needs. For me, it’s unthinkable. History is my favorite subject in school and I learn about it as much as possible by myself. I am fascinated by the history of a lot of countries (especially my own) and I enjoy connecting what happened in one specific country to the international situation during this period. I like visiting museums,watching historical documentaries and films,
reading books and using the internet to satisfy my thirst of knowledge. I deeply respect antiquities and relics.

I see the past as a source of knowledge and wisdom. History always repeats itself and we are fool if we think we can escape the past (Go see Fighting the Hate by MangaEngel on Deviantart. It’s crying the ugly truth no one wants to acknowledge.) I think we should look deeply in the past,see what had worked and where we have failed and use this information to build a better future. I’m tired of seeing each generation think that they will not repeat the mistakes of their elders and that in the end they still make the same mistakes.

My memory is good but selective.I easily remember useful information,
things that interest me or are stupid but I am very bad with people’s name and face.I often think about the past and I love analyzing it.

(Gif: Abbey from Sleepy Hollow. ISTJ.)

Extroverted Thinking: I love structure and organization. I want clear and precise rules,limits and instructions,and detailed explanations and advice. I want things to make sense and be organized and logical. I have high standards for myself and others and I expect effectiveness and competence. My patience for incompetence, foolishness and lack of maturity and responsibility is very thin. I become annoyed very easily if people can’t do their job correctly. Planning and organization are natural for me. The moment I wake up, I began to organize my day in my head. I dislike improvisation and not knowing what I will do. Despite the appearances,I procrastinate often. However, I never miss deadlines. I loathe being late.

I am a down to earth, practical, pragmatic, realistic and no-nonsense person. I’m blunt and straightforward on most things. I dislike it when people are not plainspoken. Tact and diplomacy are not my specialties. My common sense is solid and extremely present. I don’t want to be in the spotlight and I am not interested by being the boss but if I see that the leader does a poor job, I will take charge. The dependable stereotype is true and if I promised to do something,I will do it. I am repulsed by the idea of not keeping my promises.

Introverted Feeling: My feelings are deep and strong, and I have trouble understanding and controlling them but I hide it. I internalize everything. I am unable to talk about what I feel,which can be very unhealthy. I am extremely reserved and private. I fiercely protect my thoughts, feelings and private life. I am not very expressive and affectionate. I show my love and affection by doing things. I keep everything to myself and I almost never open up. If I confide to someone, I will only say a little and only talk about the situation, never my feelings themselves. I need time alone everyday to function. I like my space and I respect people’s space. I am not a physical person: physical contacts are rare to nonexistent depending of the person with me, and I always keep some distance between myself and others. I am sensitive and take everything seriously. I try to be more detached without much success.

I also have a romantic and dreamy side that very few people know about. I have a strong moral and ethical code. If I don’t respect my values, I feel extremely sick and guilty. I have quite a black and white vision of the world even if I am aware that grey is the dominant color. I dislike talking about my values but I am ready to defend them. That’s one of the only moments you will see me passionate and fierce. I am very independent and a lone wolf. I never tried to fit in group at school and never felt any desire to do so. I think in term of individual rather than group. I have a strong sense of identity and I will not change to please others (my grandmother asked me many time to be more feminine.I never changed. She also asked to my mother to get me and my sister baptized before herd death, we completely refused.) I have a live and let live attitude unless one of my deepest values is violate. My life is my business and people’s life are their business. Everybody has the right to live his/her life as they want. Besides, you don’t have to judge people. You’re not in their shoes. I am not good when feelings are involved. Consoling someone is hard for me and I suck at giving emotional advice and support. I don’t know how others see me. (I am just sure that I come across as aloof and reserved.)


Extroverted Intuition: On one side,this function makes me prone to catastrophe thinking and panic when things don’t go according to the plan. I am pessimistic and I always think the worst will happen. On the other side,it gives me an intense curiosity. I love analyzing things, try to see beyond the surface and compare what people say to the reality. I have various interest I want to pursue (sociology, psychology, parapsychology, mythology, history, symbolism,
religions, languages, foreign cultures… ).“Why” has been my question since I was little. Ne also helps me to accept change and alter my views on what I want from the future.

anonymous asked:

hey amanda, on your insta like five posts back you posted a... cart?? thats the word you used? for playing vinyl and said its good for newbies and anyway im such a newbie that i dont even know what its called, but would you provide a link? inherited a ton of old classical + jazz records and have no way to listen. and the internet confuses me with too many options.

Yeah!! I’ve been in the exact experience before and I know how rough it can be. I suddenly made the (possibly irresponsible, since I was a broke college student at the time) decision to start collecting vinyl around this time last year, and it was pretty overwhelming. I got ha-ha’d by lots of arrogant record store dudes who pointed me right to the pastel blue Crosley players without a moment’s hesitation. Fun thing about being a women trying to take up a hobby is that pretty much every decision you make will be scrutinized by a male public, sadly. It’s nerve-wrecking…but don’t give up! I never believed it until I experienced it, but vinyl really is warmer, more engaging, and in my opinion the best way to listen to music, bar none. 

This is gonna be a long post, lmao, and I’m sure I’ll get some feed back or uh..spicy hot takes from anons later, but who cares. I know your question was about cartridges, and if you like, I’ve put it right at the end of my answer for you to scroll down to. But I think I wanna start back from stage one just because I’ve been meaning to for a while. Hope that’s ok. So uh. Enjoy some pics of my two little needle-robots & an explanation of how I got them under the cut. 

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College survival skills

I’ve decided to write a list of all the wonderful things I’ve learned in my first year of college in the hopes that they will help someone else. These can also be helpful for high school students or anyone looking to further their education. Some of these tips are related to each other.

Firstly, organization is important. I don’t mean having a spotless desk or closet for all your school things. During my first semester I had my books lying EVERYWHERE throughout my house and it was a disaster. This semester I have them piled in two places: under my coffee table and on my piano. The books under the coffee table are the ones I use frequently. The ones on my piano are the ones that I don’t use or don’t need anymore for the rest of the semester.

Secondly, coloring. I bought two packages of colored pens at the beginning of the year. I have green, orange, light and dark blue, purple, pink, red, and black. I take notes in a different color every day so it’s easy for me to find where the notes from one class period end and the second begins. My history, English, and most of my math notes are in a different color every day. My logic notes and the rest of my math notes are written in two or three colors, with the bulk of the writing in one color, important equations and words in another, and random notes in a third (my notes are blue and the extra writing I put on them is red or pink). I usually do my math homework in blue, purple, and green so I can keep track of the equations better. Sometimes I only write the original problem and the answer in pen so I can do the work in pencil. Sometimes I just rewrite it. Don’t do your homework in pink/orange/red because teachers usually grade in red. Always ask your professor before you turn in rainbowified homework. Colorful flashcards are also super useful.

Third, Google drive. Google docs is a basic word processor by Google that is attached to any gmail. All gmail accounts have them. You get 15gb for free and have the option of buying more (or making another email). I do this so I can work on my papers from any computer without having to worry about flash drives. I can also send the link to anyone I want and allow them to edit, comment, or just review. It also has a chat option where only the people editing the paper can see. It’s great for getting your friends to review a paper because they can leave comments on what needs to be changed, make a few adjustments and bold what they did, and message you explaining what they did or their thoughts on certain parts of your paper. It’s also super useful for group projects. Your entire group can work on writing the paper at once from anywhere instead of relying on one person to do the work or having to schedule meetup times. Google docs also has a small sidebar similar to the clipart sidebar in Microsoft word, but the sidebar in Google docs gives you the option to search the internet from the same window and/or use a dictionary while writing. Google drive also gives you the options of slides, spreadsheets, and a couple more. You can also upload your pictures and pdf files to drive to  access them from any computer with internet.  It’s completely free unless you want to buy more space.

The fourth relates back to all three. Color code your work. I have an old set of colored dividers in my binder. I keep all my work in drive in folders. My history divider is green, the folder color in drive for history is also green. Logic is blue, music is pink. It makes it easier for me to connect the digital work to the hard copies I have.

Fifth, outside sources. It’s important to use credible sources for research and term papers. Most professors will want you to use articles from a certain database, or will limit your potential sources to articles from peer-reviewed journals. Some of these articles are super hard to understand, especially when you’re in a science-heavy field. Fortunately, most subjects also have been written about in simpler language online. If you have problems understanding your acceptable sources, don’t be afraid to look up the material to make sense of it. Keep two lists of sources, one list of cite-able material and one of incite-able but explanatory articles. Just make sure not to mix them up.

Sixth, work habits. Make sure you learn what situations you work best under. Some people do better if they start writing their papers as soon as they’re assigned, others find it easier to write when they’re under pressure (when the paper is due in a few hours, which is a terrible idea by the way). Some people work best with music playing, others in perfectly quiet spaces, and some prefer to be in a café or other semi-social environment. Find what works best for you to capitalize on your time.

Seventh, find time to take naps. I ride public transportation for an hour to get to school, I am on campus for seven hours, five days a week, and I have another hour bus ride to get home. If I don’t need to do any work on the bus I usually sleep, read, or play Pokemon (more on my slacker habits below). I don’t have classes all seven hours all five days (thank fuck) so I sleep inbetween classes (when I’m not working or playing Munchkin). Everyone is pretty cool with letting people sleep, but sometimes headphones are important. Make sure to keep a phone, ipod, or friend readily available that is guaranteed to be able to wake you up in time for your class (or bus in my case). Sometimes when I get home it’s easier for me to nap for an hour or two and then stay up later to do my work. Again, alarms are important.

Eighth, vegetating is important. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I need to not do anything productive for a few hours. This is where I read, watch tv, check tumblr, play Pokemon or Mario Cart, and play card and board games with the other people on campus with me. I have a group of people that I play Mario Cart, Munchkin, and other random board games with on a regular basis. Not only do I get to vegetate, I get to socialize and it’s really fun for all of us.

Ninth, take care of yourself. I vegetate to prevent myself from getting panic attacks (it works, I’ve only had one problem with that all year). If you need more time to yourself, extra sleep time, or need to do anything for your mental health, don’t be afraid to do so. If it’s going to get in the way of your school work, let your professor know. They’re people too, and they’ve been through something similar to what you’re doing now, and they understand that things happen. Most are pretty understanding as long as you talk to them and don’t make excuses. Make sure you eat enough, make sure you drink enough water, keep a reliable supply of cold medicine, ibuprofen, advil, midol, or any other medication you might need on hand. Don’t be embarrassed about any health problems, college students are much more mature than high schoolers and won’t make a big deal about it. Take walks around campus if you need/want exercise, and remember how important sleep is.

Tenth, take advantage of all the cheap and free things you get. There are a lot of places that offer discounts/freebies to anyone with a student id. For example, there are some restaurants and fast food places that will feed you for cheap, the Metropolitan Opera offers student discounts, there are websites that offer way discounted plane tickets, some museums have certain days a week that students can get in for free/cheap, and some schools and public transportation systems agree well enough to provide students with free transportation (I get free bus rides if I show my id, I give the school $13 a semester). Most campuses offer decent internet, you just might have to log in with your student id. Use school wifi to download things instead of draining your own wifi plans with large downloads for school.

Eleventh, online resources are wonderful. There are some really good citations generators that will make your life so much easier. Purdue Owl is the go-to website for anyone who needs to learn how to format papers in a certain style, and it’s a good idea to check your citations from a machine against the sample citations on Purdue. If you’re still having problems, don’t be afraid to ask a classmate for help. Tutors are also an option and there is nothing wrong with seeing one.

Twelfth, side by side windows will make writing and citing so much easier. If you run windows 7, you can have two windows side by side by dragging them against the sides of your screen. I don’t run windows, so I use an extension called tile tabs on Firefox. I just have to tell the program which tabs I want to appear where on my screen and they’re there. This lets me have my outline and essay visible at the same time without printing the outline, which saves me a lot of time that I would have been spending scrolling up and down or switching between two tabs. It also lets me quote or paraphrase an article without copying and pasting, which again saves time.

Thirteenth, write your papers on something that interests you. Most professors give you the freedom to choose the topic of some or all of your papers. If they do, choose something that interests you so you won’t lose interest in the paper as easily.

Fourteenth, don’t be afraid to explain your situation to people. Explain to your professors when you need time for your health, explain to your friends and bosses when you need time to do your work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re in school, you’re there to learn, no one is going to expect you to know everything.

Fifteenth, take advantage of free books. There are a lot of websites that offer free pdf copies of some textbooks. There are a lot of legal websites and a lot of illegal websites, which you use depends on what you’re comfortable with. If you can find one of the books you need for free online, or you can buy a hard copy for $50+, it’s usually better to go with the online copy. The exceptions are if you prefer to have the actual book or if it’s something important relating to your major. If you wanted to go to med school, you would want to buy and keep a lot of your medical textbooks. Same with law, music, history, and pretty much every major. There is nothing wrong with used books. I would rather spend $15-30 on a beat up used book that I’m not afraid to write in than $50+ on a brand new book that I won’t want to write in for fear of causing it to lose value.

Sixteenth, highlighting is really important. Highlight important sections of your pdf sources, print articles and highlight or write on them to make finding important information easier. If you plan on keeping your textbooks, highlight or use pencil to draw your attention to important things (scary equations, major historical patterns, etc). Use torn strips of sticky notes or stickers that are specifically meant to keep track of pages. Color code your stickers and highlights based on content (in a history book I could have one color for religious themes, one for secular themes, etc).

Seventeenth, when your teacher gives you sample papers to keep, make notes of what they’re doing well and what they can do better. I’ve ruined so many papers by framing them off of a sample that my teacher had given me as an example of what not to do. Make notes as your professor goes over the sample material on the paper about what they’re doing well, what is acceptable, and what the paper needs to improve on.

Eighteenth, calenders in any form are important. Usually I have a list of homework due in the next week written on my arm. I have a calendar on my fridge that has all the important school deadlines, homework due dates, days I’m working, days I have plans not related to school, and any phone numbers I might need. At the beginning of each semester I’ve gone through the syllabus from all my classes and written down the important due dates (term papers, tests) on the calender in a planner. Color code the things on your calender (days I work are written in black, history assignments are in green, logic in blue, etc. The exact same colors I use for the folders and dividers for those closes).

Nineteenth, keep track of your grades. If the class has few enough assignments, most professors will list the points for each assignment and the points needed to pass the class in the syllabus. Every time you get an assignment back, write the score on the syllabus next to the possible points. That way you can easily calculate your grade without having to find all of your assignments.

Twentieth, extra credit is just as important as the mandatory coursework. If your professor offers extra credit, take it. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have time, but it’s definitely worth doing if you can. Most professors try to make the extra credit work fun or helpful to the course. My math professor assigns extra credit to guarantee that we understand the material, my music professor does it to guarantee that most of her students pass, my logic professor does it for both of those. My history professor has done it in the past to help us connect the coursework to the real world and to demonstrate how the things we were studying still affected the modern world.

Twenty first, don’t rely on a curb. There are so many students that are in my classes and have been in classes with me in the past that have relied on the curb and have failed or are failing currently. Try to get the best score possible on the mandatory coursework and tests, because it is never guaranteed that a class or test is going to be curbed. It’s amazing when it happens, but relying on it happening and then failing because it didn’t isn’t going to help you at all.

This list is by no means complete and I will add to it as I think of and remember more things. Feel free to add more tips you might have.

Hi, you don’t know me but, Iv'e recently ran into your stuff like two days ago and I have to say I’m impressed with how big you are on the internet especially your W2H work. I’m amazed that it has such a huge fanbase, well maybe not amazed because it is really really good. I don’t really, too much, wanna talk about just your W2H because I’m sure it gets annoying and you’ve done much more than just that, for instance: Iv'e been though your Deviantart and your youtube and your art is amazing and I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next, but I am curious about you as an artist. How does it feel that you’ve created something many people love? Does it annoy you when people ship your characters? Does it bother you when people make fanart of your characters, or even change them, or put them in their own comics? I know fans are crippling and demanding and it must be hard work to create the wonderful things you do. Do you have fan trouble? One more thing, do you ever think about trying to get, not just W2H , but your work into a TV series or even a youtube series with Mondo Media? I apologize for taking up sweet time but I’m just blown away with how much you’ve accomplished and the lives you’ve touched. Hell, you'e managed to create a whole new fandom and if that’s not impressive, IDK what is. 

___________
(submitted by theimaginaryfangirl)

RESPONSE UNDER THE CUT:

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“We’re not exactly sure what this fuzzy line between consciousness, unconsciousness, sleeping, and dreaming… its all going on and on in one cycle, but we’re not exactly sure what part of it we’re playing all the time. We have to hit on things to be sure. I mean how many times have you had dreams where you’re like, oh its a dream. How do you know that knocking on things isn’t a fucking dream? The whole idea that you can dream, the idea that you can imagine, the idea that there’s some mystical part of your brain that sees things that aren’t really there and puts them into position and gives you a little fucking cartoon… What the fuck is that? We don’t know shit! We know a lot, I mean we’re brilliant compared to cave men, but in comparison to understanding the very nature of the universe, you know, subatomic particles. All fucking rules go out the window when you go subatomic. You know they have things where a particle can be in a super state where its in a state where its moving and its still at the same time. What the fuck does that even mean? And the idea that you can look at something and as you’re looking at it, you change the behaviour of it. The observer actually changes the actual atoms that are moving! What the fuck, how is that even possible? We don’t know ….

So to say we know a lot, yeah we know a lot for people. But there’s some shit that we don’t understand at all. They don’t even know why the universe stays together, they don’t know why it doesn’t just fly apart. I’m thinking that this whole thing might be someone’s imagination. It might be your imagination, it might be my imagination, it might be a combination of everyone’s imagination. I mean things are real, there’s real laws to this life. But it god dammit operates like a work of fiction!

I’m not sure what this is and I don’t think you are either. I think you can pretend that you’re sure because it makes you feel better at night and you can pretend that everything you can’t hit with a hammer isn’t real and its just your imagination.

What the fuck is consciousness? What is this? What is life? What is this idea that “oh I’m gonna call Burt Kreischer and ask him to come over to my house”, and Burt somehow navigates through space and time and arrives at my doorstep, and us friends get to communicate and we’re talking into some fucking thing that takes all of our voice and all the shit we say and throws it through some internet, breaks it down to one’s and zero’s, where its then interpreted by other people’s computers in real time! What the fuck is this? Don’t tell me you know what this is, this is bizarreness. If life wasn’t real it would be the craziest psychedelic trip ever! It’s almost like what a real psychedelic trip is, is something you’re not use to, something that throws you off, but life its self is the most uber bizarre thing ever!

We don’t know that this universe that we exist in right now is the only universe . We don’t know whether or not there are infinite universes that exist side by side next to each other and its the human mind that guides you in one direction, from one to another, and they’re all parallel, they’re all co-existing in the same sphere. We don’t understand any of this stuff. They’re just now starting to think that inside every black hole, is another universe . Wrap your fucking head around that! This is a new theory among scientists, not people like me, but among scientists. They believe that inside every galaxy is a super massive black hole, and the newest theory is that inside every super massive black hole is another universe with hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with a black hole at the center, each containing another universe, with hundreds of billions of galaxies! We have no fucking idea.

Life might be just one frame in a infinite movie that last forever…

The imagination is the real force behind the evolution. What imagination truly is, we think of it as “oh I can see things, I can work around problems”, but when you imagine a idea, when you imagine a product, you imagine how to design an engine for a car… Your imagination has this idea for this thing and then you build it and design it and boom… It’s there. That thought, there was no thought of that before it existed. There weren’t people running around thinking of the car. There was no thought of it, you created this or it came to you. There’s something from nothing, something from… from what is it, the ether? Even if its just these synapses firing in your mind, what is the signal? What is the root of this signal?

It is possible that the imagination is something that is, information that is out there. The idea that there’s shit out there and what we are is little antennas. And that when we tune into something, if we pick up this signal for the engine, and someone picked that up, excellent! Once that piece is in place, “ohhh”, then it flowers and blossoms, like a Fibonacci sequence on a fucking sunflower. You know It all burst out exponentially in certain directions, and then that creates more inventions, which also burst out, but all of them emanate in the imagination initially. All of them have to be thought up. All of them have to be created by the human mind. The confines of our imaginations is based on what we’ve experienced. Our whole collective idea of what the world is, is based on what we’ve experienced. Even photographs and things that we haven’t experienced, but can see. Things that are in the galaxy and planets and shit. We use these and we have this whole map of our universe. But that’s just what we see, right now. Its only limited by our ability to think outside of what we’ve all ready seen. The universe could be infinity fucking bizarrely complicated to the point where every different dimension has it’s own laws and rules and every different universe exists in the center of every single black hole. That might all be real shit! It might be so infinite and crazy we maybe can’t see it.

What am I doing? I’m piloting this fucking flesh vehicle around some sort of dimension filled with other flesh vehicles. If I didn’t know what this was… If I came from no judgement what so ever, just a total natural point and I looked at just human behaviour moving around the planet, I would be like “This is the most psychedelic shit ever!” Just us, we’re like the craziest character in a fucking movie.

I think the imagination is something we’re not taking as seriously as we should be. I think your mind doesn’t just control things in a sense that you bring things out of the ether, you bring things out of your imagination. You bring them and manifest them in the real world. But I think your mind actually has an effect on how things go in the real world. If you believe in things, they have incredible power over you, both good and bad. Who’s to say that’s not real? There’s like the idea of the placebo effect where I give you a sugar pill and all of a sudden you feel better ’cause you thought I gave you medicine… Still you feel better. People have actually been cured of ailments because of the placebo effect, so what the fuck is happening? There’s a direct correlation between positive energy and positive results in physical form. They’re all connected.

I believe that the life that we’re in right now, this existence we all participate in, may very well be just a station on a radio dial, an infinite radio dial, and that you and I, we’re on the phone and we’re on 107.1 but there’s a 105.1 right down the dial and everyone’s fucking blue with big giant black eyes, and they all move through solid objects and they don’t need water and they don’t breathe air. There might be an infinite number of worlds all around us all the time… and life might be like a radio.”

—Joe Rogan, What Is Reality

We’re Dating Now

It’s a little dirtier than I thought. I guess I was really bored with no internet connection. And this gif is so amazing…

Originally posted by lifewithflowersintheair

Part 1 Part 2

Unfortunately, the weekend ended and it was time to face reality. Theo was a bigger bathroom hog than you’d imagined so you resorted to using Lydia’s old bathroom; bad idea. Lydia liked her showers steaming so you nearly died in there then you had to walk back to your bedroom to get everything else you needed.

You banged on the door furiously and when Theo opened it he looked gorgeous. His hair was all wet and there were water droplets running down his chest and then that towel that hung low on his hips. You were pretty sure you looked like a wet dog compared to him.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I honestly know nothing about high school and I'm going to be a freshman next year. Do freshman take certain exams? Do you have any advice?

HELLO! ooooh welcome to the realm of high school my friend! ^-^ 

hmmm if you’re also in California, i don’t think there’s any specific exams that you have to take as a freshman. HOWEVER, this might depend on your school? like i don’t know of any schools that have such a requirement, but you might want to check with your school’s websites/upperclassmen if such a thing exists. but additionally, in CA, you will have to take the CAHSEE (CA high school exit exam) at the end of your sophomore year~ but fear not it is not very difficult and most people at my school do not study for it ^-^ it just kind of comes and we take it and it’s over LOL. also if you don’t pass sophomore year, you have more  chances to take it further on in your high school journey uwu

mmm as for general advice:

  1. branch out. try new things that you never would have thought you’d try before. high school is a time for experimentation, because this is when you can make mistakes and learn from them without too many consequences!! i suggest signing up for a lot of clubs, finding out which ones appeal to you the most, and narrow down the list for your upcoming high school years uwu
  2. as for grades, i didn’t realize freshman year how important your grades are in the long run (tbh as a freshman i didn’t know anything i was 100% clueless oof). although do not stress yourself out over your grades, try to realize the importance of education early on and develop good study habits! i swear that those will help you for so many years to come - and if you want to apply for private schools, doing well in freshman year won’t hurt either! (although again: do not stress out too much!! if you show growth/improvement in your GPA over your high school career, typically that’s looked upon well too!)
  3. experiment. this kind of goes along with my first tip, but it’s more of an all encompassing experimentation idea! experiment with study methods; experiment with subjects you like/dislike; experiment with standardized testing even?? (more on this later); experiment with friend groups! just experiment experiment experiment, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to take opportunities that even somewhat appeal to you ^-^
  4. friends & change. people WILL change. it is inevitable. and it’s less of a product of being in high school, but more because of just general growing up/maturing/learning new things new ideas etc. personally, i’ve drastically changed my friend group throughout my time in high school. i think it’s because my friends that i made in elementary school/junior high was more out of “convenience” rather than true common interest? and it sounds kind of bad to say convenience - but it’s true in a sense! becuase we were in the same class in elementary school, we naturally formed a friend group and just kind of continued that in the first year or so of high school. but eventually i met people that i had more in common with and people that i just connected better with in general! i’m not not friends with my previous friend groups, but we just aren’t as close and we’ve all changed as people and i think that’s to be expected and embraced~ do not be afraid of change ^-^
  5. standardized testing. ok ok this is VERY early to even start thinking about this, and honestly i wouldn’t stress too much about it during your freshman year. but based off of personal experience, i mean i don’t think taking a practice test or two of SAT vs ACT at the end of your freshman year is a bad idea? if you gauge early on what kind of test you naturally do better with, then it gives you a better idea of your future timeline! and imo, i wouldn’t wait for the end of junior year/beginning of senior year process for the test-taking, just because of the amount of work you’ll probably have. junior year is incredibly difficult, and AP testing at the end of the year + college apps at the beginning of senior year will leave you wishing you took care of most of your standardized testing earlier! but this is just my personal opinion derived from my own experience
  6. participation & talking teachers. i would suggest getting used to asking your teachers questions/talking to them after class if you don’t understand something early on! it will truly help you academically, because you’ll be pursuing that extra bit of knowledge that might just trigger that “aha!” moment in your mind. also, i think being able to ask teachers questions is an important skill to have - especially when you go college and it’s office hours vs. during class 1-1 attention (this is what i’ve heard/read on the internet; i’m still a high school student so i dunno for sure LOL). also participation helps immensely with understanding - especially in a discussion-based class like english!
  7. enjoy your time in high school. tbh i wouldn’t repeat my high school experience for anything. i am not going to lie - i stressed my way through sophomore year and junior year (freshman year was ezpz because i didn’t understand/know what was going on so i just kind of went through that like “yeah…..so high school is a thing????” plus my classes were easy LOL), and those years were rough. also i’m sure senior year isn’t going to be much better in terms of potential stress level. HOWEVER - as crazy as it sounds - these four years will pass by quickly. try to document your years! have something you can look back upon to see how you’ve grown as a person - both physically and mentally. maybe journal, scrapbook, (private) blog, take lots of pictures! i think that you will thank yourself when you choose to be nostalgic as a senior and you’re surrounded by your classmates during graduation and everyone is reminiscing about all the bittersweet moments. and of course, not everyone enjoys/likes high school, anD YOU KNOW WHAT, if that ends up being you, it’s all good too!! there’s so much more ahead of you (college, life, LIFE!!) that you have to look forward to. four years will just flyyyyy and it’ll be over soon if that is what you wish ^-^
  8. stay in the moment. kind of akin to what i said in number 7, but really try to enjoy each and every day - or at least, find something that made you happy. remembering/noting maybe 2-3 things that you’re grateful for/made you smile will help a lot with your perspective and mental health during even the days when you’re v stressed out! 
  9. talk it out. that being said, if you are feeling stressed out, please please please do not hesitate to talk to someone. whether that person if you guidance counselor, a fellow classmate, someone here on tumblr, or one of those anonymous talk/chat lines etc, talk it out. or write it out! just have an outlet you can use to channel/funnel out all of your fEEls uwu
  10. balance. finding and maintaining a balance is really important. i know i’m still searching for one myself. find a balance between school (extracurricualrs/academics), your social life (family/friends), and YOUR time (personal down time when you can just chill and not have to worry/think about anything). 

hmmm i think that’s it for now. i think everyone’s/every school’s high school experience is different, so i tried to be as general as i could! if there’s anything more specific you want to know about, my ask box will stay open :’) hehe also there are some other freshman tips around the interwebs as well! so there’s that ^-^

I HOPE U HAVE A GR8 DAY FRND

Generation-Slamming, Grace Helbig, and Why E! Needs to Get on Board or GTFO

I am 23 years old. I last turned on a television over a month ago. I am subscribed to 75 YouTube channels/creators, 30-40 I watch consistently. I have subscribed to their podcasts and monetarily supported their creative and charitable endeavors. I own books, clothing, music, and more produced by these content creators and, yes, I have even purchased products advertised on these channels. I actively engage on social media platforms like this very Tumblr to connect with others based on a shared appreciation of online video content.

Hello, welcome to the future of entertainment.

E! posted this tactless article, wherein they talk down upon millennial/teen culture and, subsequently, disrespect online content and the talented people who create it. When Team Internet started giving E! some rightful backlash, they followed up with this tweet:

Putting aside the use of an outdated/misplaced meme and two whole emojis as a means of saying “look! We understand the youths!”, this tweet:

  1. Demonstrates that E! misses the entire point of why the article was problematic in the first place. It mocks a generation whose interests are consistently and ruthlessly invalidated for sport. And it mocks the creators who produce that content, many of whom are using their influence to better the world (I mean, hello, Project for Awesome.)
  2. Shows E!’s true attitude toward online content in general by saying “look, we tried your stupid YouTuber thing. Look how great we are by lowering our standards for you!”
  3. Exploits someone E! took into their own family as a shitty defense of a tasteless article. E!, it is literally your business that you signed Grace Helbig to a tv show, you ninnies. Throwing her under the bus in a way you would never do to your other content creators is disrespectful toward an individual who busted her ass to make your programming great.

What does E! think is going to happen? That these teenagers are going to grow up and have a flip switch in their head where they think “The older generation is right, online content is silly, I’m going to delete my YouTube account and do something adult, like watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

Here is what E! doesn’t want to admit, what it’s afraid to admit: The digital space is important. It’s powerful. And it doesn’t give two fucks in a fern tree what television is doing.

Online creators are changing culture. They are building communities that span continents because their medium allows them to do so, unlike television. It might be hip and fun to hate what the kids like, but what the kids like is objectively and outstandingly more progressive than anything else out there right now. And it’s not going to stop. The kids are coming. If I were you, E!, I’d want to be on the winning side when this is all over.

And if not? Well…

No Hope for the Collective

The News

I’ll start with the bad news: we are doomed. The good news: you are not doomed.

There is no hope for the collective. We aren’t all going to make it out of delusion. It’s not likely for everyone to realize their freedom during our time on this planet. There will be no global awakening or mass enlightenment, no shift in shared human consciousness, no spiritual revolution. There will never be a utopia on Earth. Humanity at large will remain enslaved to authority and to itself, in delusion for as long as it exists on this planet.

Despite the fact that there is no chance at freedom for the collective people, your individual potential for liberation remains unchanged. Your own awakening out of delusion and into liberation is a very real possibility, available to you in this life, in this moment, here and now.

Awakening involves first an abandoning of groupthink, of ideology, of belief systems, dogma and religion, of philosophy, of culture and tradition. All of these ideas have come from the group, from the outside. They are all lies. They do not truly belong to you. They have not come from within your own being. They are an insult to your dignity as an intelligent, critically thinking human being. They burden you. They keep you in chains.

To realize your freedom, you must let all borrowed ideas go. To awaken, you must free yourself from the brainwash and conditioning that has been inflicted upon you from the group. You must give up your identity as a member of the collective and reclaim your individuality. You must stand naked in solitude before existence; tabla rasa.

Of course, this isn’t really news. This has been the case for all people, throughout all of human history. Many that have realized their own freedom from this world of bondage have shared this same message before. We cannot all awaken, but you alone can.

We Live in a Dystopia

Some might feel that there is some hope, that the common people do have a good chance at rising up, taking down those that abuse their positions of power, and bringing equality and peace to everyone. This may have been a possibility sometime in the past. Many visionaries have had ideas about it. Today, our chances at a mass revolution, be it political, economical, or spiritual are slim. We are doomed. Here’s why I feel this way.

I have come across only one true prophet. He wasn’t a character out of some dusty old book and as far as I can tell, he wasn’t very mystical. In his novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, published in 1949, he writes of a futuristic totalitarian society. He depicts a world where a place untouched by surveillance is rare, where an intentionally endless war is fought, where falling in love is a crime and where thinking a thought against those in power is a death sentence.

He wrote, “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” When published sixty five years ago, it would have been reasonable for some to see his work as cynical and crazy and to simply cast it off as well written fiction; the product of a dark imagination. At that time, many would have been skeptical of the possibility that his futuristic dystopian society could actually become a reality. Well, it’s too late for skepticism and critique now, because it is a reality. The only true prophet was George Orwell and his fiction is our reality.

We don’t need a vision of the future. We don’t need to close our eyes and exert our mental energy to imagine anything. Take a look around. As a collective people, it’s too late for us. We’re fucked. (But you are not.)

Anyone that is willing to be honest can take a look and see clearly what our circumstances are. Look at how a few corporations have a stranglehold on the economy, then look at who controls the media, and then look at who controls the government. Inquire into who is paying who to bring you information. Look into the affairs of organized religion and wonder about what their real interests are. Find out about democracy in its original form and then compare it with the version of democracy you have been given.

They’re Always Watching

Today, in 2014, Orwell’s 1984 surveillance technology is a little obsolete. He imagined that they would need helicopters to snoop into people’s windows. He imagined that there would be a single telescreen per household, broadcasting propaganda on a video screen and recording people’s every move with a video camera.

Well George, in 2014, those in power don’t have to force any of these surveillance devices on us. We call them superphones and we will gladly pay for them, so long as we each have our own. We only ask that they come with a passcode lock feature to prevent our friends and family from invading our privacy. The best ones come with two high definition surveillance cameras and a microphone that is always listening. They have a loudspeaker that accompanies a high definition screen and an electronic notepad and keyboard that stores all that we write. They also include a global positioning feature that emits a signal which reveals our exact location within ten feet of accuracy. Our superphones are connected at all times (unless, perish the thought, their rechargeable battery is drained) to a network which can be accessed by anyone, so long as they know what they’re doing. We trust that those who know what they’re doing have no interest in invading our privacy. Oh, and they’re completely wireless too!

A little more than a decade ago, I remember hearing some conspiracy theory about how in the future we would all be forced by the government to get a microchip implanted in our skin, for whatever reasons. That scared the shit out of me as a kid. Today however, we will gladly pay our money to carry, for all intents and purposes, that same microchip around in our pockets and handbags as long as we can use it to take a #selfie.

Before I continue, I’d like to make it clear that I am not against technology by any means. I wrote much of this post on a superphone while its front-facing high resolution camera stared right at me. It very well could have been taking photos of me and sending them to some top level secret spy agency. At this point, I don’t give a fuck. The internet may have no privacy, your phone may be tapped, but that does not render them useless. Make use of these technologies anyway. Make them work for you so that you win in the end. It is certainly possible, if you are a wise individual.

I am not advocating that we abandon technology, that we fight for our privacy or that we resist Big Brother. Resistance is futile. It is too late to resist. Collectively, we are doomed. We will never be free. My message is that as a population, we are doomed, but that you, as an individual, are not.

They may invade your worldly privacy, but they cannot touch who you are on the level of being, of consciousness, of spirit. Put a buddha in chains and she remains free. The only way to realize your buddha nature is by taking responsibility for your own freedom, as an individual.

Let’s pretend hypothetically that those in power really have no interest in snooping around our personal matters. If tomorrow, they suddenly became interested, they could find out almost everything about us within a few hours at most. The infrastructure is already in place. The telescreens are in our hands, the satellites are in orbit, Instagram has all of our photos, Facebook knows who we’re with, where and why, and Google knows exactly how we got there and how we’re getting home. They can already read our minds. We allow them access without a problem. It’s called Twitter.

Sharing this information on these platforms is not something they would need to even force us to do. With mainstream media, they have bombarded us with unreal expectations of happiness and ruined our self-esteem. Consequently, we already willingly play show and tell for our friends online in an attempt to gain validation which our poor egos so desperately need.

The fact of the matter is however, that those in power are interested in invading our privacy. Not only are they interested, they are currently acting on those interests without much of a problem. This is not my opinion or a theory. This is fact. They don’t necessarily know everything about us right now, but it is still early. They want to know and they can, so eventually, they will.

Those in power only have an interest in keeping things under control. By invading our privacy, by influencing the way we feel, think and behave, they maintain control. They will only continue to exert more and more power over the population. For the collective people, the future will only get dimmer and dimmer.

Sheep

The foolish masses look to the people in power for support and protection. These people in power have absolutely no primary interest whatsoever in the well being of the population. They have no respect for us as people, because we never demanded it.

I am not saying we must start demanding respect, privacy or dignity. It’s too late for that. Be realistic. Some feel that one billion people could easily overthrow any government, if only they realized their strength in numbers. This is correct. It’s also highly unlikely considering that in order for this to happen, one billion people need to remove their individual blindfolds first. Consider how one shepherd herds many animals. The animals could easily trample him and live freely. They won’t though, because they’re too dumb. The population as a whole is no different. But you are not the population. You are an intelligent individual.

Everyone, except for the most naive of people, has at least some suspicion that those in positions of power are corrupt liars and cheaters. Most, if not all politicians are known to be full of shit, those in government are known to be a bunch of overtaxing bastards, and so on. Everyone is aware of some form of corruption in the government.

This is not all part of a paranoid conspiracy theory I’m trying to weave together for you. This is not news. Everyone is aware of all of this, to some extent. But there was just never any concrete evidence to support these sentiments. There was never any real way to prove that the government was really up to no good.

Then one day, Edward Snowden came along with his leaks about the NSA. These revelations are profound. To anyone with half a brain, they aren’t exactly shocking or surprising. They do however confirm any suspicions that the government is abusing its power. Snowden’s whistle blowing reveals simply that the government has interests which are far more important than in the well being of the population. Suddenly, we have something solid, no matter how small it is (though his leaks are not small at all), to prove that the government is fucking us over. We have a case. We have a chance at this.

Yet nothing. No real action is taken. Three hundred million Americans are given evidence that proves their government has betrayed them. And still nothing. They remain obedient, passive and in denial. Instead, the betrayal on Breaking Bad or the trade of a favourite hockey player sparks a greater emotional response.

We have come to be so disengaged with our own lives that it is impossible for us to even realize when something significant takes place that demands our action. Our collective attention is cast permanently outwards, at the other. We sit passively engaged in other people’s lives, disconnected from our own, numb to what is actually happening to us.

I suspect that the NSA doesn’t really give a shit about Snowden and his leaks at this point. I bet they’re laughing. They might as well have leaked all this information themselves considering that no significant amount of people have engaged with it in any meaningful way. They know that people are distracted, looking outwards, unconcerned about their own lives, their family’s lives or their fellow citizens’ lives. If today, given the revelations about the NSA, there still hasn’t been any action, there never will be.

The collective population is fast asleep, showing no signs of waking up any time soon. It seems they enjoy sleeping, so don’t disturb them. You don’t need to begin a campaign to tell the people they are all doomed. If they really wanted to know, they would see it. It’s so god damn obvious. They don’t want to know. They are content in denial and bondage and there is nothing wrong with that. Do not disturb them. I mean this sincerely.

If you have the arrogance to think that you could lead all of these sleepwalkers out of the darkness and into the light, take action and do it. Be well aware that your peers are stubborn, blind and most of all, comfortable. You probably can’t do it. I challenge you to prove me wrong. Let’s see a utopia.

The Inner Revolution

Do you think those in power have not accounted for every possible scenario of rebellion or revolution by the masses? They are one million steps ahead. The only thing they cannot account for, they cannot avoid, they cannot fight against is the rebellion of the individual from the collective all together. There is no force in all of existence can stop the silent inner revolution of an individual. Nothing can stop an individual on the path to liberation.

If you are a critically thinking individual, recognize that your best shot at spiritual awakening, at freedom, is on your own. All of humanity is not going to wake up with you. To awaken, you must go off, alone.

Abandon all hope in your peers and trust yourself.

The Net

The collective people are caught in a net. The holes in the net are only big enough for single individuals to escape through. The reason the group remains caught is because everyone is holding hands, clinging to one another’s approval, another’s belief system, another’s narrative. The group finds a false sense of security holding one another’s hands. By holding hands, individuals surrender their individuality and become blind to the fact that they are all caught in the net together, enslaved by none other than each other. They feel as long as they are all in this together, then it is okay. As long as bondage is shared, it can be tolerated. They make pacts to hold each other’s hands and to stay trapped together, forever.

As a group, the collective people trapped in the net are all doomed. It is impossible for them to escape together, no matter how hard they try. Being part of any group is enslavement. Freedom lies only in individuality. No matter who you are associated with – buddhas, billionaires, leaders or rebels, family or friends, any association is bondage.

Rarely, someone finds themselves trapped in this net and recognizes that freedom is a possibility. They see that the only way to escape, is to let go of the group, and to slip through the net as an individual. That someone could be you.

The net can’t be cut. An individual doesn’t need to engage the net in on its own level in combat. The only way out is through. The individual severs their ties with the group, they abandon all ideology and they slip quietly, courageously, through the net.

This individual rebellion, this inner revolution, this reclaiming of one’s dignity as a human being is the greatest force in all of existence. Once someone recognizes their circumstances and acknowledges the possibility of freedom, there is nothing that can stop them from ultimate liberation.

As an individual, you are not doomed. I invite you to let go of the group, leave behind your borrowed ideologies, beliefs, dogmas and fears and to free yourself.

Experience for Yourself

What it means to leave the net and reclaim your individuality, to abandon ideology, groupthink, religion, culture and belief systems is to simply bring your attention inwards, to your own personal experience of reality here and now.

To let go of groupthink means to give up faith in others and to trust yourself to make sense of your experiences on your own. The priest may have seen god. His experience is of no value to you. Disregard him. Seek to find god for yourself. The scientist may have seen an atom. Her experience is of no value to you either. Disregard her. Seek to understand reality for yourself.

Someone that has truly found Truth does not encourage you to follow them, or to bow down before them. Someone that has truly found Truth invites you to come and see it for yourself. They respect your dignity as an individual; they don’t demand your faith or your belief. They acknowledge that your potential as a human being is equal to theirs. If they were able to find Truth, then you certainly are too. Revoke all idolization, all attachment and all faith in others. Seek to understand life for yourself.

Do not live through other people’s experiences. So many individuals have given up their own experience in exchange for an identity as a fan of a sports team. They have been fooled into investing their time, money and emotional energy into the athletes’ experiences. Sports fans sit at home and say “we won” with pride and “we lost” with sadness as if they had any significant impact on the performance of the athletes. This is outrageous.

It is true, not all people are gifted enough to be world class athletes. But that does not mean that one must turn into a passive spectator, disengaged from their own life. One can still observe and enjoy sports all the while being fully engaged in their own life experience. One can turn watching sports from a passive pastime into an active experience.  Take note of how the athletes are able to push themselves under pressure, see if you can recognize when they become frustrated and how that affects their performance and see if you can observe the point when they enter the flow state. Take their experiences and learn from them. Apply the lessons in your own life, through your own experience rather than living vicariously through theirs.

The scientist may have seen an atom, but have you? Unless you have experienced for yourself, take all other people’s claims to be nothing but unverified rumours. Be doubtful, skeptical, critical. Do not revoke your faith in the old fashioned priest and then immediately hand it over to the modern day scientist.

To you, there is no difference between one who claims to have had a mystical encounter with an angel and a scientist that publishes a paper about something she saw under a microscope. To you, both claims are equally unverified should therefore not be accepted as ultimately true. To accept anyone’s claims as true is to surrender your own ability to understand reality for yourself.

It does not matter how many other people have experienced it or believed it, you must always remain critical of every piece of information you encounter. Never forget that there was a time when most people believed the world was flat. Never forget about the placebo effect. The only thing of real significance in your life is your own experience.

You are just as able as anyone else to make sense of this. You are alive, as a human being. If anyone has a chance at understanding what’s going on here, it’s you, through your own experience.

Talk With Action

Many feel that this individual, personal approach to freedom is selfish and mistaken. They feel that as a collective of beings on this planet, we must all work together, in unity and community, towards our own shared evolution, awakening, shift in consciousness, enlightenment. I feel this is a load of shit. Groupthink, no matter how freedom oriented, no matter how positive, has always failed and will always fail.

Throughout history, there have been many individuals that have attained liberation. There has never once been a group of two or more, however. No partners, groups, sects, traditions, communities, or civilizations have ever realized enlightenment together. Enlightenment has only ever been realized by individuals.

Still, there are many people that are partial to the school of thought which holds the belief that the collective consciousness of humanity is capable of awakening together, all at once. They are hopeful for the future. They join together to make the world a better place and to raise the vibrational frequency of the planet. They hold hands and frolic in the meadows, talking about stuff. They believe that at a certain point sometime in the future, a shift will happen, and click, everyone will just be awakened and planet Earth will be transformed into a utopia.

Many people from this collective awakening school of thought belong to the large new age community. Some were brought up to believe in the existence of heaven in an afterlife. They recognized the ridiculousness of this idea, but not completely. They simply shifted their belief in heaven after death to heaven on earth, sometime in the near future, following the collective awakening of all sentient beings, or something.

For them, the idea of a collective awakening is always only a possibility in the future. For those in favour of it, it is never a possibility here and now. There are always many excuses: there is still work to be done, there are still issues to be resolved, the frequency is not high enough, the wise ones have yet to arrive, the arch angels have yet to send the message, not everyone has seen the light yet.

Time is an illusion. Tomorrow never comes. Considering that the collective awakening is only expected to take place sometime in the future, it will never happen. Your own awakening however, can take place right here and now. It only takes a clear moment to just see what is.

Naturally, more people are in favor of collective awakening than to individual awakening. The reasons for this are quite simple. By claiming that the collective awakening is possible for humanity at large, people become dependent on others to progress. They are easily able to fall into passivity by simply saying that they are waiting for the others to catch up, or that the others are holding them back. Those that look forward to a collective awakening can easily hand off any responsibility to the group at large. Nothing gets done when everyone is waiting for everyone else.

The few people that recognize that awakening is possible only for the individual take responsibility for their own circumstances and take action. They recognize that there is no one to blame, no one to depend on and no one to help. They begin to get it done, on their own, and certainly, all individuals that truly realize the significance of the possibility of their own awakening, do indeed attain liberation.

The reason that many spiritual seekers insist on the collective whatever is simply because they are too afraid to claim their own individuality and responsibility for their own freedom. But you are not the collective, you are not the group, and you are not a group thinker. You are an individual capable of thinking critically for yourself. You have the highest potential for freedom.

Though my sentiments may be disparaging towards the collective, they are empowering for you as an individual, if you are able to recognize it. I will always be misunderstood by the collective, by the group thinker. Only individuals can understand what I am saying.

I challenge any sincere people that truly believe in the possibility of a collective awakening to prove it. Prove that freedom for all is waiting, sometime in the future. Show me a utopia. Talk with action. If you truly believe that a collective, synchronized meditation will result in awakening on a mass scale, you better make it happen. If you truly believe that we will all burst into enlightenment once everything comes together, you better make sure everything comes together, pronto. Work day and night towards it.

If you could recognize just how profound these claims actually are, you would certainly let them consume your life completely; there would be no down time. Follow through with utmost sincerity and dedication with these ideas or let them go completely.

I recognized that only I could make a difference for my own situation and so I did that. I took action because I saw just how profound the possibility of individual freedom was. The path to awakening consumed me. Whether you feel that a collective awakening is possible or whether you recognize that your own awakening is possible, allow either path to take over every moment of your life or don’t bother with any of this at all.

As a collective, we may be able to fight for great things, like the legalization of gay marriage and drugs. After these achievements, we will fight for something else. The collective will go on fighting for nice things, but this is ultimately no different than fighting for a bigger prison cell. The only thing really worth fighting for is one’s own liberation.

Make no mistake about it. The fight for one’s freedom is a brutal war that is waged upon oneself only. Going within and cutting away one’s ties to borrowed beliefs, conditioning and identity is the most gruesome task conceivable. For this reason, I am sick of the heartfelt bullshit that comes out of the new age community about how we are all going to make it together, in love, in unity. These are mere children’s bedtime tales, not war stories. The battle for your own freedom is the only true war and only you can fight it.

Conclusion

Though my tone may sound urgent and paranoid at times, I am really not too concerned about any of this. This is not an anti-establishment-fuck-the-system rant or a tantrum against the new age community (okay, maybe a little one). This is ultimately a pro-individual declaration of freedom.

I don’t have any agenda to wake anyone up, to preach ‘the way out of the net’ or to smash the state. I am not an optimist. I am simply realistic. I don’t expect seven billion people to abandon groupthink, reclaim their individuality and slip through the net one at a time. Though it is as possible as anything, it is highly unlikely.

Personally, I am lazy, perfectly content and only somewhat dedicated to pointing the way out of bondage for any individual that seeks freedom. I enjoy writing for the sake of writing and so I do so. Reviewing this post, I must add that it was written in a rather interesting state of mind after I finished reading 1984. Now, a couple of weeks later, I am tempted to scrap it all together because there is something missing from it. I can’t say what it is, but fuck it. I’ll post it anyway. These are just notes, after all.

If the NSA is reading, I assure you, I am not a threat. I am simply a fool. I appreciate the genius in your methods of surveillance and control. Please don’t take down my site.

Though it is possible for us all to be buddhas, I know that it is only likely for a few people. This message is only meant for that handful of people that are capable of hearing what I am saying. Most will not come into contact with my message at all. Many will misunderstand it and leave it, even less will think they have understood when they have not, and still even less will truly hear it and act upon it. If you feel that you are capable, then you are. It is then your duty, to nobody but yourself, to reclaim your own life and freedom.

This situation is likely to only get worse for the group. It will not get better. It will not end. There will probably be no successful global revolution. More and more power will continue to be exerted upon the group. The boot will keep stamping. This situation, however, can only get better for the individual. At the moment, the individual is completely disregarded, oppressed, cast away. There is no lower that the individual can sink. It has reached rock bottom, it is considered peripheral, unimportant. This is good. This means that for the individual, there is nothing worse and only something better. For you, this is not so bad. For you, this is exciting.

What How to Train Your Dragon Says About Friendship

NOTE: This is not a spoiler-free analysis.

The relationship between Hiccup and Toothless is strong, and it is one that fans seem to universally adore.  For a good reason.  It is absolutely gravitating and powerful.  People love watching two broken individuals find one another and bond over their paralleled hurts.  People love watching the silliness between Hiccup and Toothless at the start of How to Train Your Dragon 2 when they wrestle on the ground and tease one another.  People love watching the devotion between Hiccup and Toothless when they risk themselves to save the other.  You really do see a best friendship, and it is glorious to watch.

What I find the most amazing about their friendship, though, is not just the upsides to it.  Instead, I absolutely love how sturdy the friendship is.  Sure, we see many rock solid, incredible, heartwarming friendships throughout movies and books and television shows and comics.  But what I mean about “sturdy” is not just that they remain solidly close throughout the DreamWorks franchise.  What I mean is that they remain solidly close even after trials, which, between most other individuals, would have completely fractured the relationship.

For Hiccup and Toothless were the direct cause of the biggest hurts in each other’s life. 

They isolated each other from their kind.

They caused each other’s physical disabilities.

They both tried to kill each other.

And yet they are wholly and truly 100% best friends. 

It’s not just the friendship that’s powerful.  It’s the friendship that endures through the pain.

The Downed Dragon

First, the simple fact Hiccup and Toothless were able to bond at all is incredible.  Hiccup was the one who downed and injured Toothless, the one who disabled Toothless and made the dragon incapable of flight.  As Gobber said, “A downed dragon is a dead dragon.”  Flight was an essential facet to dragon life, and Hiccup took that away from Toothless.  That’s huge. 

You might ask if Toothless knew Hiccup were the one that shot him down and broke his tail.  Oh yes, I am quite sure he did.  Dragons have a great sense of smell, and I’m sure the bolas Hiccup shot smelled just like Hiccup.  Secondly, after Hiccup shot Toothless down, he approached the dragon with a knife and the clear intent to kill Toothless.  So even if Toothless somehow didn’t connect the smell from his ropes with Hiccup, a boy standing up with a sharp blade yelling at him is a very obvious indication of hostility.  Toothless knew who inflicted this pain on him.  Hiccup should have been an enemy.  Period.

And of course Toothless did not open up to Hiccup immediately.  He was suspicious, growled a lot, and opened up only very slowly.  But the fact he ever took to trusting Hiccup at all is incredible in and of itself.  Not only that, but he started opening up even before Hiccup started fixing his tail.

Would you become friends with someone if you first met them holding a knife up to your chest?  People aren’t so willing to say, “I’m sure it was just a misunderstanding,” with something like that.  People are more likely to say, “I’m not so stupid to take a risk.  That person’s dangerous.  I’m staying away.”

So.  It’s pretty amazing this friendship started at all given it all began with a serious physical injury.

You’re Not a Viking. You’re Not My Son.

I also want to point out that, like Hiccup, Toothless appeared to be a bit of an outcast or anomaly in the Berk dragon world.  Hiccup’s narration at the beginning of the first movie makes it clear that the Night Fury never stole any food – the only species, so far as we know, to act in such a manner.  This made Toothless just as strange to the other dragons as Hiccup would have been to the other Vikings.  Not to mention he was the only one of his species on Berk, so far as we know.  Toothless might have been trying to “fit in” with the other dragons by firing plasma blasts and aiding the food raids, but he was not fully a part of the dragons.

Still, once Toothless was trapped in the cove, he was completely cut off from the other dragons.  He could not mingle with the others.  He was cast aside, injured, and alone.  Because of Hiccup.

And Hiccup’s friendship with Toothless threw him completely out of the Hooligan tribe as well.  He was always an outcast, too, but it was only after the Kill Ring incident that he was told by his own father and chief of the tribe, “You’re not a Viking.  You’re not my son.”  His friendship with Toothless got him disowned.  (And got Toothless captured by the Vikings!).

You can tell Hiccup realizes that his friendship with Toothless landed him here in full isolation.  As he confides to Astrid, he says it would have been better if he had been able “to kill that dragon” back when he first saw him.  Even then, though, we know that Hiccup still feels a great heart for Toothless, and that he never wants to do anything except save his friend.  Which is exactly what he does.

The two of them may have caused each other’s isolation, but they only use that as a point to understand each other, not tear each other apart.

Peg Leg

The movie does not show exactly how Hiccup lost his leg.  I believe I read somewhere that a fan was able to talk to some key figures from the production of How to Train Your Dragon and asked what happened.  Their answer was that Toothless, in the attempt to save Hiccup, grabbed onto his leg with his mouth and ripped it.  Even if that rumor is not true (quite possibly isn’t, knowing the internet), the hypothesis that Toothless is the direct cause of Hiccup’s leg loss is pretty plausible anyway.  Hiccup is falling head-first into the inferno, so his feet are the closest thing to Toothless’ grasp.  And while Toothless does wrap his wings around Hiccup, it appears that based on the timing of Toothless’ wing flap, his wings would have been far away rather than close to Hiccup as they approached the fire.  So Toothless would not have grabbed Hiccup with his wings first, but with his mouth.

Another note is simply a mouth would have been more solid at grabbing someone than wings, and while dragons’ wings are strong (Valka can walk on top of them), I’m sure there would be more control and surety to grabbing Hiccup by the mouth than the wings.

There are alternate explanations to how Hiccup might have lost his leg – maybe when Toothless wrapped his wings around Hiccup, he didn’t wrap anything around Hiccup’s left leg, and thus it was burned away – but I do feel like there is a decent case at least that Toothless played a direct role in Hiccup losing his leg.

Hiccup would have been unconscious when this happened, but if his leg were initially mangled instead of neatly cut off, there would have been a clear way to know that Toothless’s catch – while it ultimately saved his life – also meant that he lost his leg and almost lost his life, too.  And regardless of how he lost his leg, this never would have happened had he not met Toothless and learned the location of the Red Death’s nest.

I feel like there’s no surprise that Hiccup feels no animosity toward Toothless toward this, regardless of how he lost his leg.  Toothless saved his life and there were no ill intentions in this incident at all.  Still, it means that Hiccup and Toothless have a painful parallel in their relationship – Toothless’ missing tail is at the cause of Hiccup, and Hiccup’s missing leg is somewhat at least at the cause of Toothless.  And someone else might easily have looked at Toothless and said, “It would have been better if I’d never met you, because then I never would have lost my leg.”  But Hiccup and Toothless didn’t do that.  They use their injuries as a way to understand each other and become even closer as best friends.

The two of them are best friends because they both have gone through many of the same circumstances.  It’s what makes the bond so close and so plausible to viewers.  But it’s also amazing to think that many of these pains were caused or exacerbated by the other member in the friendship, and yet they still managed to hold close and relate to one another.

You Would Never Hurt Him.  You Would Never Hurt Me.

The How to Train Your Dragon movies are a wonderful arc in the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless.  The first movie is about the rising friendship.  The second is about the friendship at its height.  Five years later, Hiccup and Toothless are incredibly close, leaps and bounds even from how they were in the first movie.

However, it is in this movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2, that we see the friendship closest to breaking. 

Hiccup’s immediate reaction to Stoick’s death is to sob into his father’s arm.  He doesn’t even notice Toothless around until the dragon is incredibly close, and then he reacts explosively, chasing Toothless away and emotionally shouting out, “Get away from him!”  And thus creates a painful rift in their friendship during a scene that is more than painful enough already.

We can always say, “Toothless didn’t mean to do it, so of course they can still be friends,” but thinking about my own personal experience, intentionality doesn’t have to be a justification for why friendships should remain solid or break apart.  For instance, if someone unintentionally but frequently hurts their friend, perhaps that relationship should end.  That pain should be avoided.  Emotional abuse does not even have to be considered intentional in order for it to occur.  And something so serious as your best friend killing your father – regardless of whether or not it was fully “intentional” – is still something to seriously consider before claiming that the friendship should continue.  Someone killing your father is not something that is easily forgivable. 

Would you be able to do that?

Even if you could forgive someone for point-blank killing your father in front of your face, would you feel so inclined to hang out with them again anytime soon?

Would you care so much about your father’s killer minutes after the death happened, that when you saw him taken away by Drago, your immediate shouts would be of concern?

Only minutes after Stoick’s death, and Hiccup showed he still cared and loved Toothless.  Even at that point, he thought primarily about Toothless’ safety over Toothless’ role in the nightmare.

Wow.

Of course the rift continues.  It’s painful, it’s obvious, it’s not immediately closed, and the pain of two best friends who have serious problems to address is horribly potent.  When Hiccup approaches Toothless a second time, he is incredibly scared.  He might be saying, “You’re my best friend,” and urging Toothless to come back to him, but Hiccup’s eyes are wide with terror and his voice is cracking with fear.  Hiccup still doubts that his friendship with Toothless can continue in the face of Stoick’s death and the Bewilderbeast’s continuing control.  He might even be scared that Toothless will kill him then and there.  After all, Hiccup might be trying to do all he can to save Toothless and save this friendship, but it takes two people to keep a friendship going.

So when Toothless escapes from the Bewilderbeast’s control, Hiccup is shocked and ecstatic.  It means that he has not lost Toothless.  That this relationship will last beyond the aftermath.

There were serious doubts in Hiccup’s mind about whether or not he and Toothless would still be friends after this incident.  The thing was, they both worked together in order to keep the friendship.  Even in the face of tragedy, the two of them worked together to be each other’s support.

So often in this world I see friendships break apart because of significant (or even insignificant) injuries to the other party.  And that is totally understandable.  We avoid the pain.  Don’t want it to happen again and take precautions, preventions.  But Hiccup and Toothless have injured each other far, far, beyond what has destroyed other friendships.  And I think that’s an important take-away for everyone.

For anything can break a friendship.  And friendship can withstand through anything.  It is not about what happens in a relationship that determines whether or not it will survive – it depends on how the two people in that relationship work together to combat the problems that arise.  If the two individuals in that relationship both work on building a bridge, they can withstand any trial.  Even if that trial is the death of a father at the cause of said best friend.

(And Hiccup probably has nightmares about it.  About Toothless shooting that plasma blast.  Maybe at Stoick.  Maybe a horrible twist where it’s Astrid or someone else he loves.  And then he wakes up in the morning and says hello to his best friend.  Just throwing that out there.)

Hiccup and Toothless never seem to question whether or not the good outweighs the bad in their relationship.  There’s no question there.  There’s only a focus on the positives.  Rather than pointing out how they have injured one another, they focus on the blessings that their bond has brought them, the good experiences that their friendship has given them, and they fight to keep that going.  And because of that, the two of them can withstand everything and comfort one another even for the pains they have caused each other.

In many cases, their friendship landed them in painful situations that they would not have experienced had they never met each other.  In a few of those significant cases, they were very closely linked – sometimes even the direct cause – of those hurts.

This friendship is beautiful because of its laughter and its sacrifice.  All the joys and the tears.  All the adventures they have together.  But what takes my breath away the most is this undying loyalty.

This unconditional love.

anonymous asked:

I remember reading somewhere that you were an English major. I'm considering pursuing that major but I'm worried I won't be able to find a job afterwards. I don't think I want to teach for a living and I'm attending an expensive private university so I'll graduate with loans. What do you currently do? Does it have anything to do with your college major?

Hey there, thanks so much for the question. I was an English major.When I was applying for colleges I thought I wanted to go for film production and Screenwriting. I really had immersed myself in all things film. I was writing critics for a local newspaper, making shorts and writing scripts constantly.

When I looked at what schools were really ace for Film and in my area (I didn;t want to leave Pennsylvania, I applied to Drexel and realized that their tuition was insane. Insane because I didn’t know if I really loved film, loved production and everything about it.

So, I went with the safety choice of the State School I attended and went in Undeclared, I got most if not all of my general classes out of the way my first year and a half and was able to discern that I loved Literature, theory, discussions and research. I also loved debating and helping others. So, after a rocky attempt at being a business major and very close to declaring theatre as my major, I went into study Secondary Education with a concentration in English, later graduating in a the concentration of some altered thing called Literature in adaptation to media and youth lit. I don’t really remember. I remember my Senior Semester Colloquium was written about my relationship with film, the internet, blogging, gender theory and media. 

My freshman year I worked in a dog boutique in town and met Janna, my now close friend and forever mentor. She needed a dog walker, little did I know that offering myself would put me in the middle of a life changing opportunity. Janna passed on so much information as well as connections, it’s unbelievable to look back and see I had little to no direction until she gave me a nudge. She connected me to people in New York, brands, PR people, and to clothing. Janna handed down to me some of the best clothing and thrifting skills I now hold dear to my heart. Yeah, my mother taught me how to haggle for  & purchase rugs, furniture and plants. BUt Janna taught me how to commute to New York, what to wear, drink, and say. She taught me who to avoid and who to network with. She also encouraged me to be myself. 

In the summer of my Sophomore to Junior year I had interned in NYC at a web based magazine with some of the best editors and writers from Town & Country, Men’s Health, BBC, Glamour and many others. Then later went back last summer post graduation and worked under the Digital Media Manager for Maiyet, an up and coming women’s high-end sustainable fashion company. I also worked two other part time jobs to make it possible to afford to to it, and slept on couches & road on buses  back to PA, in the middle of the night. 

I won’t lie to you and tell you I stumbled on both of those opportunities, but tell you that this blog led me to getting both internships, and my most recently ended job with Art In The Age/Quaker City Mercantile in Philadelphia. My blog is the first thing on my resume, it includes my work with Maiyet, my writing, blog work with Club Monaco, recognition and reviews from brands and magazines. It’s a clear representation of my attention to aesthetics, my creativity and my general awareness of trends, consumers and merchandising. 

Now? Well, I am just starting my own business, two years after graduation college. With the help of the amazing networking and resources around me, I decided to leave a stable salary job with opportunity for a rocky road of adventure. I’m designing digital campaigns, making websites, and creating content. I’m being creative and everyday I’m about supporting local, growing local, and being local.  

Also, don’t worry about the loans too much, and if you are I know tons of people that went to get their general courses fulfilled at community colleges and saved tons of money by staying home, paying for the classes themselves then went on to graduated from other schools with the prestige and the major. And less debt. 

My advice? You will get a job if you do a couple things right: Network and represent yourself (brand yourself online), work hard at whatever opportunity is given to you (internship, or even a part time job) don’t be scared to roll up your sleeves and do the work, it will be noticed. And, realize the first job you get out of college doesn’t have to be your forever job, and if you’re unhappy, only you have the power to change up your life.

If I could go back, I probably would have minored in PR, but hindsight is 20/20. Good Luck and I hope this helped! 

i’ve been hanging out here (waiting for something to start)

once upon a time, regina x robin you’ve got mail au snippet because it had to be done. a bit of mindless fun, 1900 words.

Part 2

Part 3

Regina Mills has never been an internet addict. She can’t imagine doing her job without the conveniences granted by electronic devices, she’ll admit, but she is not one of those people who itches to check their notifications every five minutes or spends hours before a screen. 

Or she wasn’t, before.

It’s another October morning — the air outside is crisp but inside it’s warm and cozy, and, still in bed, Regina raises her arms above her head in a deep arching stretch. There’s something about the fall, the unbridled heat of summer finally giving into a more pleasant (and more forgiving) weather, a carpet of leaves covering the sidewalks, the smell of cider and the pumpkin specials filling the small coffee houses. It’s by far Regina’s favourite season and this year it seems particularly agreeable, the spectrum of yellow, brown and red fuller and brighter; everything somehow more.

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anonymous asked:

Bellarke prompt 'SERIOUSLY! Are you using my Wifi again, how do you know the password?'

this took me an EMBARRASSINGLY long time to get to, but i adore this prompt so thank you so much lovely for sending it in 


let me in;

read on ao3

Fact: the WiFi in the apartment complex Bellamy lives in is absolute, utter shit. 

Within the first two days of him moving in, he purchases his own router, because he has his doctoral thesis he has to finish as soon as possible, and it’s nearly impossible to write an eloquent but factual novel-length essay about ancient Greece with no Internet. Like, he understands people did do that before, but for fuck’s sake. It’s the twenty-first century. He doesn’t have time for this.

So, he buys his own router, sets it up and adds a password - because damn it if he’s going to spend the money to alleviate this shitty WiFi situation and have the entire complex mooching off of it. Octavia mocks him for it, claiming, “Bell, this is basically the 2015 version of an old man screaming ‘get off my lawn.’”

“Yeah, well,” he mutters as he tests the connection, “I don’t want them on my fucking lawn. My lawn is beautiful.”

She laughs at him and steals another package of his Ramen, as if she doesn’t already have fifteen boxes at home. (They’re very established in adulthood, clearly.) 

The joys of wonderful, working, fast WiFi last about two weeks before the connection starts getting slower, and slower, and slower - until, eventually, it won’t even let him connect half the time. 

It drives him fucking crazy

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The Fusion Diaries: Let's Start With This One I Guess

My name is Chris Gethard. I am the host of a thing calledThe Chris Gethard Show. Up until now, that show has been a small stage show and then a slightly bigger public access television show. It has been a thing that only a few people ever knew about, but those few people tended to care a lot.

 For years I’ve been saying that if you just gave us a shot to do this thing on “real” television, we would turn a lot of heads and do a lot of damage.

 Now we’ve got that chance, and I have to step up and deliver.

A network called Fusion is letting us make ten episodes of TCGS with a budget and an office and the ability to do it right. My mission in life right now is to make them look smart for taking this chance on us.

The process of setting up a television show takes a long time. Thus far, the process of setting this one is taking even longer than we thought it was going to. It makes me restless.

So I figured one thing I could do to calm my nerves, and to touch base with anyone who’s supported us along the way, and maybe to find some new interested parties who want to be a part of this journey before we re-debut at our new home, is to publicly vent all my feelings on how things are going via over-sharing blog posts. Those are a thing I’ve always been good at. So these will happen from time to time.

Keep reading

In My Blood (Like Holy Wine)

Pairing: Micheoff

Word Count: 4265

Warnings: sex toys, fucking machines, overstimulation (yeah i’m fucking diving right in at the deep end here) 

Summary: Micheoff getting adventurous.

After a month of nothing I tried to come back with a bang! and I finally did it. I wrote smut that didn’t end prematurely with angst. I DID IT MOM. Now I’m gonna go hide under a rock for a year!

AO3

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2

The Radical Notion of Michael Jackson’s Humanity

Five years after his death, we’ve done little to locate the man beneath the tabloid caricature.
by Tanner Colby

It was a beautiful summer day. I was sitting in my office in my apartment in Brooklyn next to an open window when the headlines started to come in over Facebook. One or two at first, then a flood. Pretty soon I was clicking over to iTunes, pulling out songs that I hadn’t listened to for a very long time. I played them on a loop for the rest of the afternoon. To judge from the passing cars and the open windows down the block, everyone else was doing the same.

We all remember where we were five years ago when we got the news that Michael Jackson had died, killed by a fatal dose of some obscure hospital-grade anesthetic the singer used to cope with his chronic insomnia. Yet for all the global outpouring of nostalgia and affection, none of us really knew the man we were grieving for. To the general public, especially in his later years, Jackson had become an abstraction, not a person at all but a tabloid cartoon: “Wacko Jacko.” All the hastily written obituaries tied themselves in knots trying to extract a tasteful remembrance from a media narrative that had devolved into constant speculation about his plastic surgery, gossip about his eccentric behavior, and, unavoidably, the did-he-or-didn’t-he allegations of child abuse that engulfed and finally destroyed his reputation. Every gushing bit of praise came with an asterisk firmly affixed. At best, we mourned the precocious, youthful, still-brown boy who’d become such a tragic, broken man. We didn’t mourn the man.

When it comes to Jackson’s story today, we’re still doing our best to compartmentalize. We put “Billie Jean” and “Thriller” in one box and put his personal life in another box and try our best not to think about it too much. Two years ago I was forced to reconcile that split. Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, two men who’d served as Jackson’s personal security team for the last two and a half years of his life, approached me and asked if I’d help them write a book about Jackson’s final days, a time spent alone with his family behind the gated walls of a rented Las Vegas mansion, away from the glare of the spotlight. You can’t write a good biography of an abstraction. You have to excavate the human being from the mythology and misinformation built up over the decades. Empathy is the tool required above all others, and empathy is the quality that’s missing from virtually everything ever written about Michael Jackson. We glorify him or we vilify him or we pity him or we take his changing appearance and we use it as fodder for theories about race and gender—the highbrow equivalent of the objectification you’ll find in the tabloids. We do all of this, but we do not attempt to understand him.

Jackson would take midnight trips to Barnes & Noble and drop $5,000 on books in a single spree.

The idea of Michael Jackson as a human being remains a radical notion. But during the process of writing the book, that is how I came to know him. Through Bill’s and Javon’s eyes, I got to see the everyday person: Jackson helping his kids with their homework, Jackson grabbing a basketball and corralling his bodyguards for a game of HORSE in the driveway. The eccentric behavior was still eccentric, of course, but seeing it in context, a lot of it actually made sense; I gained a better understanding of why he made the choices he made.

As for the allegations of abuse, once I really started digging into them, what surprised me was not just that the allegations are unfounded, but that they are so obviously unfounded. The first claim, made against him in 1993, was debunked by a thorough piece of investigative reporting in GQ. The second claim, made a decade later, was soundly rejected by 12 reasonable jurors as being without merit. These facts are available to anyone with five minutes and an Internet connection. Yet the questions about his innocence persist. The “Wacko Jacko” stories haven’t gone away.

The reason they haven’t is because Jackson was different. His actions were outside the norm. People need a context, a framework, in which to understand him. Humans are storytellers. It is our nature to shape facts into a narrative. Jackson’s narrative, driven by the tabloids and adopted by nearly everyone, was that of a boy genius who morphed into a weirdo and a freak and possibly a criminal. That’s the only story we know, and to date no satisfactory counternarrative has emerged to replace it. The allegations against him have long been proved false, but they haven’t been replaced by a more compelling truth. And that’s the problem. Absent a new truth, people remain free to say whatever they want about him. Depending on what day of the week it is, Jackson is either a serial pedophile or a virginal man-child—or, somehow, both.

Michael Jackson deserves a more honest accounting of his life. He deserves to have his story told properly. As we look back on his death at the five-year mark, we would do well to reconsider everything we think we know about him. Take, for example, one of the most mocked statements that Jackson ever made: “I am Peter Pan,” a declaration that came during the disastrous 2003 Martin Bashir documentary Living With Michael Jackson. When Jackson said that he was Peter Pan, Bashir took it as an opportunity to portray the singer as if he were a mental patient on national television, and the world mostly took it to mean that Jackson fancied himself a whimsical sprite, prancing around Neverland in green tights, sprinkling fairy dust everywhere—that guy had to be guilty of something.

To his record company Jackson was a product. To his family he was a meal ticket.

But that’s a misconception based on our own cartoonish understanding of both Jackson and Peter Pan. Michael Jackson was, among other things, a smart and voracious reader. He’d take midnight trips to Barnes & Noble and drop $5,000 on books in a single spree. History, art, science, religion, philosophy—he’d sit alone in his house devouring everything he could get his hands on. (If you were a chronic insomniac too famous to leave your own house, you’d read a lot, too.) And the source of Jackson’s Peter Pan obsession was not just Disney’s 1953 animated film, but also J.M. Barrie’s original play and book, vintage editions of which Jackson collected for his library.

In Barrie’s original telling, Peter Pan is a very different creature. Unable to grow up, he is trapped in an eternal present. He lives without consequence. He has no memory, and therefore no understanding of how his actions affect others, meaning he can never truly connect or empathize with anyone. He is alone. It’s no accident that Pan’s home, Neverland, is an island cut off from reality. Taken at its most literal, Neverland is a place where you can never land, never rest. It is the same frenetic, make-believe battle of pirates and Indians played out over and over again.

Peter Pan, like so many great children’s stories, is a dark and morbid piece of work. What do we mean when we say someone has “lost” a child? We mean that the child is dead. That’s what the Lost Boys are, children’s souls snatched from the prams of London, waylaid on their journey from this world to the next. And Pan’s outfit is not, in fact, a pair of snappy green tights. It’s a tunic “clad in skeleton leaves.” The symbolism is hard to miss. Neverland, the Lost Boys, Pan himself, they all represent a kind of death, because while it might seem fun and idyllic to remain a child forever, to never grow up is to already be dead. And even though Pan presents himself as a carefree, swashbuckling adventurer, late at night, once the games are over, he is plagued by nightmares, dreams that are “more painful than the dreams of other boys,” dreams that make him wail “piteously.” But the source of Pan’s nocturnal torment is a mystery; no one understands what causes it, and no one can make it go away.

When Michael Jackson told us that he was Peter Pan, I don’t think he was telling us that he wanted to be a cartoon. The tragedy of the false allegations against him is that they obscured the very real problems we should have been paying attention to. During his trial, a stream of witnesses testified that Jackson had never done anything inappropriate to them. That they were just friends. I would argue that Jackson’s relationships with children, far from being scandalous, are actually quite boring. Unusual at first glance, yes, but ultimately nothing more than movie nights and trips to amusement parks and other mundane goings-on. Jackson’s relationships with children are more notable for what they tell us about his relationships with adults, or the lack thereof. That’s what’s truly interesting about the man.

From the time he was 10 years old, Jackson was indentured to the entertainment industry. Almost every relationship he knew was transactional. To his record company he was a product. To his family he was a meal ticket. Almost everyone in his orbit was drawing a paycheck, and when the paychecks stopped, they often stopped coming around. “I’ve met a lot of people in my life,” Jackson once said, “and very few are real, real friends. I can probably count them on one hand.” And by the end even those people, the Elizabeth Taylors and the Chris Tuckers, were only around in a superficial way, dropping by for a few hours here and there. As Bill and Javon aptly put it, “There were plenty of people coming through Michael Jackson’s life, but there was nobody in his life.”

Jackson bears some responsibility for his own isolation. As a result of a lifetime of being used, he himself was incapable of the kind of reciprocal sharing and trust that meaningful relationships necessarily entail. The man bemoaned his solitude in song after song, yet he was notorious for icing the very relationships he desperately wanted. Jackson could be unfailingly kind and generous to people, but that ostensible sweetness masked a deeper inability to relate. He’d grown up as the center of his own universe, in a world where everyone catered to him. When relationships grew messy or demanding, he would just shut them down. By the time he moved to Vegas, Jackson had distanced himself from all of his famous siblings. (Yes, even Janet.) Jackson’s two marriages, to Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe, are also good examples. Like everything else in Jackson’s life, those relationships were the subject of endless and generally tasteless speculation. But we needn’t speculate about the nature of the marriages to note the one obvious thing about them: They didn’t last very long. Even if they were the arrangements people alleged them to be, they weren’t even successful on that level.

Maybe the guy on TV calling himself Peter Pan wasn’t the crazy one.

Jackson took refuge in the world of children because it was the only place he felt safe. Children, he often said, “don’t want anything from you.” In fact, outside of the recording studio, only three relationships served as constants in Jackson’s world: his relationship with his mother, his relationship with his fans, and his relationship with children. These relationships all share one thing in common: They’re easy. A mother’s love is unconditional. The devotion of a fan, even more so. And who among us is immune to the wide-eyed adoration of a child? These types of love, though a joy to receive, require little effort. They don’t challenge the recipient. And eventually, they become debilitating. Too much mothering and too much hero-worship stranded Jackson right where he was, left him unwilling and unable to change.

It’s admirable that Jackson’s hard-core fans never rushed to judge him the way the general public did, but the adoration of fans and children alone cannot fill the role of a spouse or a partner or true friend. Those are the relationships that force us to be our best selves. In all the obsession over whom Michael Jackson slept with, rarely have we stopped to ask: Whom did Michael Jackson connect with? Whom did Michael Jackson love with a mature and rigorous kind of love, and who ever gave Michael Jackson that kind of love in return? No one. Once the stage lights dimmed, he was amazingly, astoundingly alone—and not just alone, but utterly lacking in the possibility of ever being otherwise.

The one bright spot in Jackson’s final days was his three children. He was the best and most loving father he knew how to be. But he was also, by his own admission, an incomplete father. He couldn’t do all the things a father is supposed to do. There were moments in their lives that he was unable to share, things that the rest of us would take for granted. Driving past a public park in Virginia one time, the kids spied a playground and begged their father to stop and come and play with them. But Jackson couldn’t risk being photographed with his own children, exposing their identities to the paparazzi. So he waited in the car, watching from behind tinted windows as the bodyguards took the kids across the street to enjoy the moment that should have been his. That problem was only going to get worse as they grew older. What was going to happen when those kids grew too old for masks and code names? What was going to happen when, like all adolescents, they began to reject the world Jackson had made for them?

Peter Pan does not have a happy ending, at least not for Pan himself. The Darling children grow homesick, and they beg Peter to fly them home, which he does. The children return to their nursery, their overjoyed parents rush in to hug them tight and welcome them back, and Pan is left outside, looking in, unable to share in the family’s warm embrace. “He had ecstasies innumerable that other children can never know,” Barrie wrote, “but he was looking through the window at the one joy from which he must be forever barred.”

Ecstasies innumerable, yet denied the simple joys of being human. Seems a pretty astute description of life inside Jackson’s gilded cage. Maybe the guy on TV calling himself Peter Pan wasn’t the crazy one. The biggest difference I can see between Michael Jackson and Peter Pan was that Pan had no memory of what caused the nightmares that afflicted him. Jackson knew all too well why he couldn’t sleep at night, which is why he looked to the syringe and the pill bottle to try and make it to morning.

Michael Jackson made a lot of unhealthy choices in an effort to cope with the burdens he carried, but we shouldn’t judge those choices without a diligent and sincere effort to understand why he made them. Last year the late King of Pop topped Forbes’ list of highest-earning celebrities, easily besting his closest living competitor, Madonna, by a good $35 million. That feat was made possible by a massive overhaul of his debt-ridden estate, which has been transformed into a wildly profitable, billion-dollar enterprise. If that much effort can be made to refurbish his professional legacy, it would be a crime if we did any less for his personal one. Michael Jackson ought to have his story reconsidered. The man led an extraordinary and extraordinarily difficult life. He deserves an epitaph that doesn’t have an asterisk next to it.