tony had his chest mutilated in a cave while awake like honestly that alone will justifiably fuck you up

then he walks out of that one with a metal tube in his chest that’s deep and wide enough to fit pepper’s fist. proceeds to spend THREE MONTHS working at gunpoint while convinced that his captors had no plans to let him go alive. he was waterboarded. watched yinsen be psychologically tortured and die. then he walked in the desert for god knows how long

came back home to find out that his surrogate father paid terrorists to have him killed and double-dealt weapons whose death toll tony now blames himself for. that same man physically paralyzes tony and talks to him and makes him WATCH as tony’s pacemaker – the one keeping his heart beating and covering the hole that was carved in his chest against his will while he was still conscious – is forcibly removed

and that is movie O N E. completely disregarding all the other “lesser” but still near-death battle moments in that same movie that do fulfill the clinical definition of trauma. and let’s not even touch the childhood issues always looming in the background. i mean cap 3 established that before all this shit happened, tony ALREADY had severe grief-processing issues

like. in what universe can the whole “tony Hasn’t Had It Bad Enough” argument possibly gain traction with this character lmao? for starters, that’s a shitty ableist argument that shouldn’t gain traction ANYWHERE, but it’s also like. entirely and irrevocably unreasonable when it comes to tony because if trauma could indeed be weighed on a balance then like… tony’s Trauma Weight ™ is still so fucking off the charts that the charts themselves become sentient just to laugh bitterly at how off them tony’s Trauma Weight ™ is

Patreon prize question for @logicalframework:

… you manage to be (or at least fake) calm and sensible about a lot of contentious issues that most people get angry about; how do you do that? I mean, *I* sometimes want to punch the people who reply to your posts, and I’m not even the one they’re talking to. But you reliably manage to treat people respectfully and as though they’re making legitimate points, even when as far as I can tell they’re actually yelling angrily at some alternate version of reality found only in their heads. How do you manage that (I assume the time-and-space distance of text helps), and do you think it’s always worth the effort?

This is something I’ve been struggling with a lot in the last week, so I’ve kept coming back to this question. 

I think that doing good is really really hard. I think it is demanding - that making the world better takes not just good intentions but active thoughtful effort, and I think that there are some really important moral questions like factory farming that basically everyone is getting catastrophically wrong all the time. And - it’s not like I am an exception and find morality easy, or always get it right. It’s hard for me and that’s part of how I know it’s hard for other people. 

And I know a lot of people who had such an unhealthy relationship with morality that where they are now is ‘fuck goodness and virtue and ethics and principles’ and this is much much better than where they were before, and almost everything I have seen of obligation has been people hurting because of it. 

So - if you find goodness vast and complex and demanding and hard, and you know everyone else is finding it that way, and there’s tons of work of screaming moral urgency all around that desperately needs doing, then what?

I don’t know, it just makes me want to give everyone a hug. No matter how angry they are, or how awful they are, or how much of the problem they are directly causing themselves. Because - wow, that’s a shitty hand to be dealt, and it is the hand that has been dealt to literally everyone, and most people are dealing with a lot of really bad stuff on top of that. 

(Internally there feels like a lot of difference between condescension - “well, it’s not like you could be expected to do better” - and compassion - “wow fuck this isn’t fair but here we are, what have we got with which to do better?”)

Imagine, I don’t know, you accidentally travel back in time eight hundred years. Everyone around you has terrible values - they probably don’t think slavery is especially objectionable, they probably think torturing people to death for theft is a reasonable thing to do, they probably think burning the neighbors to the ground for having the wrong interpretation of who is pope is really important. 

You could write them off as loathsome human beings. You could declare them innocent because how could they have known better anyway? Or you could say “they believe terrible things and they didn’t have a chance and how do I give them one?

Sometimes it’s easier for me to extend compassion at that distance, to people whose evil opinions are uncontestedly evil and a vanished kind of evil and not an evil that is still hurting my friends or still defended as just. But I don’t want to only have compassion where it’s irrelevant. And I think the same reaction is all the more important when you don’t have the benefit of eight hundred years of hindsight from which to say “yep, in fact everyone will get over that prejudice and agree it is stupid”.

When people are awful I try to imagine they are awful in some way that feels less threatening, and that makes it easier to go ‘Oh, huh, looks like it is reasonable to judge them wrong, unhelpful to hate and shun them, and helpful to think ‘how do I communicate’ ’. I think this continues to be the best strategy when the people are being awful in ways that feel personal and threatening and scary, so I keep trying to do that even if this requires mentally pretending that they are arguing we should kill people for disagreeing over who the pope is.

White Bear

The Black Mirror episode White Bear is so incredibly fucked up. And, like, I know this is par for the course for BM, but still.

Besides the fact that torture is bad and no one should experience it, even if they’re a murderer, there’s also the fact that they aren’t even torturing a murderer. The memory erasure blows that rationalisation to bits.

Every morning, they create a brand new person solely so that this person can experience suffering, and then they kill them each night, starting the cycle again the next day. It doesn’t matter what her physical body looks like - they are torturing babies every day for entertainment. White Bear Justice Park is a factory farm for humans.

There is a sense in which the show did manage to convey the type of emotions that might make you want to inflict suffering on someone who films torture for fun. That’s because I have a very strong impulse to personally murder everyone who ever visited that park. They are very much all complicit in something incredibly evil.

I need fan fiction in which park visitors with a shred of decency decide to break her out and, in the process, shoot the director in his smug fucking face.

I continue to have confusing emotions about Black Mirror.

Like, I just saw simulated time dilation used to torture someone until she became a perfectly obedient slave with her sense of self completely destroyed.

On the one hand, this is incredibly horrifying and the person who paid to have this done is extremely immoral - even if she paid to have it done to a copy of herself.

On the other hand, why am I so turned on halp

anonymous asked:

Hello, I was wondering if you could please give your estimation of how great an evil is factory farming in our society. Also I ve seen it claimed that a ridiculously low amount of money, less than a dollar, could save an animal one year of suffering on a factory farm if donated to one of Animal Charity Evaluators top recommended charities. I feel this would be a very hard thing to quantify but I would love if this claim is true, could I please have your thoughts on it?

I don t think those numbers are accurate.

To be clear, factory farming is almost certainly really really bad. Some people think that animals don’t have experiences at all, and so torturing them isn’t morally concerning, but in my experience, intense pain doesn’t work that way; getting your limbs hacked off doesn’t only hurt because I have a high IQ and do lots of high-level reflective processing, and in fact while experiencing something like that I don’t think humans are doing any high-level reflective property. I think that animals who have their tails or beaks chopped off for more convenient containment in tiny spaces experience the exact same thing, when that happens, that I would. Same for chickens bred to gain so much weight their legs break under their own mass are suffering, same for animals hacked to death by their fellows in their cages because of desperation and overcrowding. Factory farming is a moral catastrophe. 

But it’d be really surprising if there were a cheap intervention that reliably made people vegetarians. It’s really hard to get people to change their minds and their behavior; advertising spends billions every year influencing peoples’ product choice, and that’s mostly on things which are much easier and less consequential choices than going vegetarian. And the evidence base is very weak. The effective altruism movement has recently funded a lot of studies into various attempts to sway minds on factory farming, which is great, but most of the studies were too small to detect any effect. That could mean there’s no effect and does mean that the effect if it exists is probably pretty small. Until we can fund much bigger studies it’s hard to even put an order-of-magnitude guess on how much it costs to avert a year of torture for an animal on a factory farm.

Animal charities we can be more confident about include ones which are trying to develop meat alternatives (particularly alternative mayo, alternative eggs, and similar products, which aren’t as hard as consumer-ready alternative steaks and have a commercial market as big as or bigger than the direct-to-consumer market.) There, it’s easier to measure how much suffering would be prevented by a change in a specific industry to meat alternatives, and how much donations can push the development of those alternatives through the pipeline faster. Many of the animal-concerned people I know gave to the Good Food Institute last year, which seems like a reasonable way to aim for the measurable. 

If you want to reduce the harm from factory farming without being vegetarian or vegan, consider checking whether a 50% reduction in meat consumption is a significant cost for you, asking for your university/workplace to offer more vegetarian options if applicable, avoiding chickens and eggs (which have particularly awful suffering/pound of meat ratios), and opposing ‘ag-gag’ laws which make it illegal to publish information about the conditions on factory farms and therefore make it harder to create pressure for more humane conditions. 

@justmymindescapingme I was thinking the other day about the conversation you were having about Barry’s severe medical PTSD because pain killers don’t work. And “hypnosurgery” occurred to me. Although, as a die hard whumper/hurt/comfort sort, I’m kind of reluctant to bring it up, but it’s a curious possibility anyway. Or maybe something like that still wouldn’t work on Barry? Maybe he can’t slow down his thought processes enough to be hypnotized, particularly if he is under severe stress? Maybe it is something Caitlin and Cisco thought to try, and all of them got really hopeful that it would be a solution, but then they couldn’t make it work the next time Barry was hurt?

Barry has so many traumatic experiences under his belt that it’s actually difficult to categorize them all.  The biggest ones are standouts: (1) he’s surrounded by and participates in a lot of experiences that result in death, (2) he’s been tortured by dozens of metahumans, (3) heck, he’s been tortured by his friends because of the no-painkiller caveat, (4) he lost both parents in a traumatic situation, (5) scratch that: he knelt over his dying mother and father in their final moments, (6) he’s been psychologically tormented by speedsters like the Reverse Flash and Zoom, both of whom could have killed dozens or even hundreds of people unimpeded, (7) he’s definitely got some Zoom-specific PTSD, which we see explicitly in Gorilla Warfare, in addition to general PTSD from any of the above experiences, (8) he’s been thrown into the Speed Force not once but twice, (9) he was literally killed by his friends/family in the particle accelerator explosion, (10) he lost memories in Flashpoint, and (11) he’s traveled to no less than twelve different [divergent] universes, forced to restart and re-earn his family and friends’ affection and cope with the psychological trauma independently.

Barry has to be at the edge of his endurance, but he endures, because what is the alternative?  I’d love to see them address even a small fraction of these issues that he has to live with, every day, on the show, but regardless of the show’s attention, I love to explore it in fic.  Speedster-strength painkillers are terribly overdue, and putting him through medieval-style torture is exactly that.  At this point, you just want to cut the poor guy a break. 

But I do think you’re right in that hypnosurgery might not work because of how quickly his thoughts work.

Barry has truly been through a lot.  The fact that he has to keep enduring so much aches.

anyway this chair is located in synth retention iirc and im now morally obligated to tell you that i can’t stop thinking about danse or x6-88 being stuck in that fucking nightmare device, painfully aware that everything they were is about to be ripped out of their brains and replaced with something institute friendly

im an awful, awful person

GUYS I HAD A THOUGHT (partially inspired by this video)

Steve: do you know me?
Bucky: You’re Steve. I read about you in a museum. 
Steve: I know you’re nervous, and you have good reason to be.
[Bucky clenches his jaw.]
Steve: But you’re lying.

What happened the last time Bucky mentioned that he ‘knew’ someone?
He was tortured. It’s a pretty safe guess that the scene in the bank vault wasn’t the first time that the Winter Soldier has brought up past memories, specifically of Steve. And each time, that was taken as a signal that his mental conditioning was breaking down, and he suffered for it–over and over and over again. 

In this case, Bucky deliberately avoids answering the question within a personal context (”I know you”) and takes a much more indirect route (”I read about you”). He’s not supposed to know Steve. Every single instinct built up over years of abuse is telling him that if he admits to knowing Steve, he will get hurt.  

So he lies.

anonymous asked:

Imagine Bucky having a really bad day and JARVIS helping him to get through it.

He’s flat on his back and the agony is all encompassing, and he can’t see – can’t breathe, choking on the tube down his throat –


– can’t scream, can’t –


He doesn’t so much wake up as open his eyes, and he’s still on his back, still frozen with terror, but he can wheeze desperately. Bed. He’s in a bed. His bed, in the Tower. Fuck. He manages to move enough to curl onto his side.

“Your heart rate was considerably elevated, sir.” It’s JARVIS.

His heart rate is still considerably elevated, pounding hard enough to make his chest ache. He’s had this particular nightmare-memory on loop enough times to know exactly how it ends. He gropes for his left arm, and the metal is a relief, the lack of a bloodied stump is a relief.

“Thanks,” he rasps.

“You’re welcome,” JARVIS says, and there’s no snide there. Eventually, Bucky’s able to sit up. “Would you like me to rouse anyone, sir?”

He wants… fuck. He doesn’t want anyone seeing him like this, still shaking and unable to draw a steady breath. He shakes his head. “Could you just… warmer?”


It doesn’t actually help with the shaking much, but it helps with the breathing, and he can close his eyes for more than a moment without horrible things rising behind his eyelids.

“Would you…” he doesn’t quite have words. “Could you just talk to me?“

JARVIS doesn’t miss a beat. “It’s Tuesday morning, sir, Dawn will be in twenty minutes. It’s going to be partly cloudy, and 74 degrees…”

He dresses slowly, and goes up onto the roof to watch the sun rise over the skyline. JARVIS sends up one of the kitchen staff to unobtrusively deliver dry toast and black coffee, and Bucky doesn’t ask how JARVIS knows it’s about the only thing he could keep down right now.

By the time everyone else is up and moving, he’s ensconced himself with a book so it’s okay that he doesn’t talk much. Steve notices, though, and quietly joins him on the couch, also reading, and it’s good.

Steve also brings him a plate of food from lunch, and it smells amazing - roast meat and vegetables, but he picks up the cutlery, and the metal reflects the light - his own goddamn hand reflects the light, and all he can think is scalpel and all he can hear is the whine of the saw and fuck everything -

“Sergeant Barnes,” JARVIS says, neutral as ever. “Mr Stark requires your expertise down on Level 17.” Bucky carefully puts the plate down and excuses himself to Steve.

“He doesn’t actually, does he?” Bucky asks when he’s out in the corridor.

“Not precisely,” says JARVIS. “But the gym on Level 17 is empty, and contains the new reinforced sparring apparatus. It needs testing.”

Working out until he’s too exhausted to think helps a lot.

It helps enough that he’s okay enough to eat dinner with everyone else, and lasts a whole hour in the common room afterwards before needing to plead tiredness and bailing.

His apartment is … warm, and there’s quiet music playing from above. “JARVIS, are you serenading me?” He aims for a joke, but he can’t deny the relief that’s easing his muscles. The staff have changed the bed, too, and slipping between clean, smooth sheets feels like an unspeakable luxury. JARVIS dims the lights, enough that Bucky can see the room at a glance, but also close his eyes to darkness.

“Would you wake me, if I…?“

“Immediately, sir,” JARVIS says.

“Thanks,” Bucky whispers.

“Sleep well, sir.”

He really, blessedly, does.

People who’ve followed me for a while will know that nightmares about hell are something I’ve had for a long time (although fortunately they’re getting less frequent.)

Well, last night I had a dream that I went to Hell and it was… pretty chill? The basic conceit of the dream was “God told Satan to torture people in hell. However, Satan is too lazy to do anything much, plus he hates God and doesn’t want to please him by torturing sinners, plus he just has no incentive to do anything. So the tortures in Hell are all half-assed things like ‘the coffee is really bad.’”

I remember I spent some time hanging out with James Joyce, but forget most of our dream-conversation. I do remember the following exchange with Satan, though:

Me: Are you actually sure this is Hell?
Satan: Well, the pizza does have anchovies.

So what is the answer? How can you stand your ground when you are weak and sensitive to pain, when people you love are still alive, when you are unprepared? What do you need to make you stronger than the interrogator and the whole trap?

From the moment you go to prison you must put your cozy past firmly behind you. At the very threshold, you must say to yourself: “My life is over, a little early to be sure, but there’s nothing to be done about it. I shall never return to freedom. I am condemned to die —now or a little later. But later on, in truth, it will be even harder, and so the sooner the better. I no longer have any property whatsoever. For me those I love have died, and for them I have died. From today on, my body is useless and alien to me. Only my spirit and my conscience remain precious and important to me.

Only the man who has renounced everything can win that victory.

But how can one turn one’s body to stone? Well, they managed to turn some individuals from the Berdyayev circle into puppets for a trial, but they didn’t succeed with Berdyayev. They wanted to drag him into an open trial; they arrested him twice; and (in 1922) he was subjected to a night interrogation by Dzerzhinsky himself. Kamenev was there too (which means that he, too, was not averse to using the Cheka in an ideological conflict). But Berdyayev did not humiliate himself.He did not beg or plead. He set forth firmly those religious and moral principles which had led him to refuse to accept the political authority established in Russia. And not only did they come to the conclusion that he would be useless for a trial, but they liberated him. A human being has a point of view!


N. Stolyarova recalls an old woman who was her neighbor on the Butyrki bunks in 1937. They kept on interrogating her every night. Two years earlier, a former Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church, who had escaped from exile, had spent a night at her home on his way through Moscow. "But he wasn’t the former Metropolitan, he was the Metropolitan! Truly, I was worthy of receiving him.” “All right then. To whom did he go when he left Moscow?” “I know, but I won’t tell you!” (The Metropolitan had escaped to Finland via an underground railroad of believers.)

At first the interrogators took turns, and then they went after her in groups. They shook their fists in the little old woman’s face, and she replied: “There is nothing you can do with me even if you cut me into pieces. After all,you are afraid of your bosses, and you are afraid of each other, and you are even afraid of killing me.” (They would lose contact with the underground railroad.) “But I am not afraid of anything. I would be glad to be judged by God right this minute.”

There were such people in 1937 too, people who did not return to their cell for their  bundles of belongings, who chose death, who signed nothing denouncing anyone.

One can’t say that the history of the Russian revolutionaries has given us any better examples of steadfastness.“

—  aleksandr solzhenitsyn

this is also a great time to talk about mcu tony + sense of captivity time

here’s the dealio

according to the IM1 novelization, tony feels a Special New Yorker Connection to jimmy, one of the humvee soldiers, because jimmy was wearing a mets watch (tony is stated to be a yankees fan btw). after the ambush, one of the insurgents starts wearing that watch. the moment tony notices that is stated to be the first moment in his life where tony experiences genuine, murderous hate, he wanted to find some way to gather his strength so he could jump the guy and strangle him and “feel the man’s life ebbing between his fingers.” it’s intense. but he holds himself back because he’s too weak, and this is the moment when the first “fleeting notion of an idea” to build a weapon pops into his mind. then he spends the whole time in captivity obsessed with this watch, right, until he escapes and the insurgent is dead on the ground and tony tries to bend over to retrieve the thing, but he can’t, because the suit doesn’t allow that kind of mobility, so he crushes the watch under his boot so nobody else could have it and he woefully thinks that’s the closest he can get to justice

and like, think about it. tony being obsessed with this watch while he’s in the cave. he has no precise means of time-keeping in there. he spent an indeterminate length of time passed out?? how long has it been since the ambush? pepper’s birthday?? assuming this happened starting on early summer (when the movie came out) – is it the 29th of may yet? is it his birthday?? before? after? has it been that long? not? his biological clock is shot to shit so he tries to count days using yinsen’s sleep cycle as a base and he tries to make marks on the wall and get a feel for temperature variations inside the cave so he can tell whether it’s night or day but?? how long has it been? he’s sitting there and he needs to like, heat something up for a specific length of time or whatever, so he just stares and counts seconds. he’s tried to count heartbeats but those are too erratic. he can’t consistently use the provided laptop because (according to the novel) the generators in the place are controlled and he doesn’t always have access to them. the laptop battery has been shot to shit and won’t last five minutes. and he’s just like, fuck. he wishes he had a fucking watch. and maybe he asked for jimmy’s but they wouldn’t give him that one and so he refuses to take any other because by god he’s gonna sit down and count those seconds just to remind himself of how jimmy died and how he has to last long enough to get that watch back

(imagine the fucking panic of watching yinsen almost die, and then hearing “you have until tomorrow to finish my missile.” like. what the fuck is tomorrow. what is that. is it immediately after the sun rises? where the fuck is the sun? is it after midnight? if so what time is it right now?? does “tomorrow” mean “as soon as i wake up”?? like holy fuck, how long do you usually sleep, how long UNTIL you sleep?? what the fuck?? is tomorrow?? supposed to mean??)

(threats of impending death at the end of an undetermined length of time are formally considered emotional torture)

and then yeah. he’s back. it’s like, over two months past his birthday. people tell him it’s been three months. they give him dates

and tony’s like. ok.

but also, what the fuck

how on earth does he reconcile this?? all these dates? that are supposed to tie back to his experience?? he tries to look back but it’s so fragmented, it’s like? are you SURE it wasn’t just two weeks? are you SURE it wasn’t twenty years? are you SURE i didn’t get sucked into some alternate continuity, because this makes no sense? it doesn’t register? am i remembering things in the right order? how many times was i waterboarded?

he goes from being like, “i’ve been in captivity for three months” (IM1) to saying he spent “a soiree in an afghan cave” (IM3) because maybe that french vagueness can mask his lingering, worsening sense of “what the fuck”

he can’t help but assess time in chunks of three months. like at any point in time, whenever he stops and looks at the date, his mind instantly, mercilessly goes back three months and he tries to make sense of that chunk of time like somehow THIS is going to be the moment when he’ll finally be able to reconcile his experience. like he thinks that maybe when “three months” finally make sense, he’ll be able to organize and archive those memories and lock them in an organized, chronological past that he can evaluate without drowning in chaos and terror

or something like that

worst case scenario: ripley is in a position to seriously harm percy and the rest of vox machina.

but ripley, who has been listening to percy’s most private conversations for three months, doesn’t hurt percy. she doesn’t need to. he’s already afraid of her.

she goes after the rest of vox machina instead.

ripley hurts scanlan, and grog, and pike.  ripley hurts vex and vax. ripley hurts keyleth.

and percy can’t do anything about it, and watches his family fall all over again, at the hands of the same woman, because he couldn’t stop her.