underpinnings

The most essential line of communication in the Beatles ran between Lennon and McCartney, and now that was interrupted, in both emotional and physical terms. McCartney felt judged, excluded, rejected. His partnership with Lennon was non-sexual, but it ran deeper than anything he had ever experienced with a woman. It underpinned his self-belief and his status in the world. Seeing Lennon focus on Ono rather than him was as devastating as it would have been for Cynthia Lennon to witness the couple making love.
—  Peter Doggett, “You Never Give Me Your Money”

When magic starts to return to the modern world, barely anyone notices. It doesn’t look anything like what we imagine. People don’t suddenly start developing magic powers, casting spells, or turning into elves and dwarves. In fact, people don’t really change at all, not at first.  It turns out that the magic isn’t even here for us. It’s here for what we’ve built. 

The change is slow, and subtle, and strange, as the magic works its way into our institutions. You mail letters to dead relatives, and the post office starts delivering their replies. Late-night bus routes stop at places never seen on any atlas. Libraries suddenly include subterranean archives where you can look anything you’ve ever forgotten, from the names of your favorite childhood books to the precise flavor of your first-ever chocolate chip cookie. 

The people working at these places take the changes in stride. The letters from the dead just show up every morning, sorted and stamped and ready for delivery, so why not carry them? Bus drivers follow the maps they’re given without trouble, and learn to accept even small gold coins as more than adequate fare. Electricians get used to seeing warding symbols in circuit diagrams, while clerks at the DMV find a stack of forms for registering ghostly steeds as personal vehicles, and sigh in relief at finally having that particular bureaucratic headache solved. The firefighters are shocked the first time they see a giant of living water burst out from a hydrant, but after it rescues several of them from a burning building, they decide not to ask questions. They tell their stories to others, though, and soon word of the changes is spreading. 

There’s no single moment of realization where everyone discovers that magic is real; the knowledge just creeps into day to day life a bit at a time, and society adapts. Cyber-safety programs teach people to never accept a file from the electric fairies without sharing one in return, and to never accept their Terms and Conditions without searching for the subsection on Souls, Forfeiture Thereof. Students leave offerings of coffee and boxed wine to petition the School Spirit for lower tuition or exam deferrals. Nurses learn the hours when Death stalks the hospital hallways, and keep bedside vigils in the children’s ward. They bring board games and cards for when the reaper is feeling playful, and well-worn baseball bats for when he isn’t. 

There are problems, of course, like the vicious monsters of blood and fire spawned from age-old hate groups, or infestations of the writing many-mouthed worms that literally feed on governmental corruption, but really, they were already there before the change. Magic only elaborates on what we’ve made, good or ill, manifesting the latent modern mythology underpinning our society. It doesn’t offer solutions to all of life’s problem, but for a few hurting people, guarded by the concrete arms of a neighborhood come to life to protect its community, or flying away on wings of copper wire and fiber-optic cable, it’s exactly the change they needed. 

A Collection Of Books By Neurologist Oliver Sacks

If you’re interested in neuroscience or psychology, I’d highly reccomend any book by Oliver Sacks! I get asked a lot about books to read so you can also check out this video I made with my top 7 and this masterpost which includes websites where you can learn more!

1. Migrane

For centuries, physicians have been fascinated by the many manifestations of migraine, and especially by the visual hallucinations or auras- similar in some ways to those induced by hallucinogenic drugs or deliria–which often precede a migraine. Dr. Sacks describes these hallucinatory constants, and what they reveal about the working of the brain. 

2. Awakenings

Awakenings is the remarkable account of a group of patients who contracted sleeping-sickness during the great epidemic just after World War I. Frozen in a decades-long sleep, these men and women were given up as hopeless until 1969, when Dr. Sacks gave them the then-new drug L-DOPA, which had an astonishing, explosive, “awakening” effect. Dr. Sacks recounts the moving case histories of these individuals, the stories of their lives, and the extraordinary transformations they underwent with treatment.

3. The Island of The Color Blind

Oliver Sacks has always been fascinated by islands, and this book is an account of his work with an isolated community of islanders born totally colorblind.  He listens to these achromatopic islanders describe their colorless world in rich terms of pattern and tone, luminance and shadow.

4. Uncle Tungsten

A book about Sacks’ childood;  his discovery of biology, his departure from his childhood love of chemistry and, at age 14, a new understanding that he would become a doctor.

5. An Anthropologist on Mars

This book talks about 7 seemingly paradoxical neurological conditions: including a surgeon consumed by the compulsive tics of Tourette’s Syndrome except when he is operating; an artist who loses all sense of color in a car accident, but finds a new sensibility and creative power in black and white; and an autistic professor who has great difficulty deciphering the simplest social exchange between humans, but has built a career out of her intuitive understanding of animal behavior. 

6.  Seeing Voices

 A journey into the world of deaf culture, and the neurological and social underpinnings of the remarkable visual language of the congenitally deaf. Sacks writes “The existence of a visual language, Sign, and the visual intelligence that goes with its acquisition, shows us that the brain is rich in potentials we would scarcely have guessed of, shows us the almost unlimited resource of the human organism when it is faced with the new and must adapt.”

a lot of talk about violence is premised on the belief that we have a natural, inherent ability to recognise certain actions and events as violent (and thus, morally wrong) – and to some extent, this is true; but our understanding of violence is always socially constructed in part

to be specific, our understanding of violence, particularly in the West, is one heavily informed by capitalism and the ‘moral’ tenets that underpin capitalism (namely humanism and individualism, stemming from the Enlightenment tradition)

additionally, violence isn’t a single, all-encompassing concept – a concept of violence is dependent on concepts of what is considered harmful, who is considered a person, who is considered deserving or undeserving of violence, whose violence is considered justifiable or unjustifiable, and more (and, in the West, all of these concepts derive in part from the same philosophies I listed)

capitalism and hegemony are dependent on us conceiving of certain actions, events, and people as violent, and certain other actions, events, and people as not – in the former category goes nearly anything and anyone that threatens or hinders them, and in the latter category goes anything and anyone that allows them to persist – and then, making us believe that these associations are objectively true, natural, and inevitable, such that we won’t question their origins or ends

so, when U say things like “violence is not the answer!” and “we should never resort to violence”, note that not only your concept of violence but what U recognise as violence has been constructed in terms of capitalist and hegemonic ends – and this is how we arrive at “punching Nazis is morally wrong because violence is wrong!”, but being unable to recognise the extermination, disenfranchisement, persecution, theft, imprisonment, exploitation, and coercion that make yr life as a capitalist and hegemonic subject possible as violence – because these violations are made invisible, because U believe these violations are justifiable, because U believe that the people who are the subject of these violations are deserving of violence, and/or because U believe the people who are subject to these violations aren’t people at all

(in fact, in these same ways, capitalism and hegemony make it impossible to recognise the violence the state regularly inflicts on U as violence)

your beliefs and moral attitudes do not exist in isolation – they should all be subject to scrutiny, especially when they lead U to sympathise with Nazis

Beauty and the Beasts’ Gay Moment: AKA The Whole Movie

Much ado has arisen regarding Beauty and the Beasts’ “exclusively gay moment,” regarding the film’s character LeFou – who is regarded as the first openly gay character in a live action Disney film.

However, the film in its totality is heavily tethered to the gay experience.

As he wrote the lyrics for the film’s numerous iconic songs, Howard Ashman was secretly living with AIDS, a diagnosis he received just after receiving a Best Song Oscar for “Under the Sea.” 

Disney sought out Ashman to return to work on Beauty and the Beast, understandably eager for the award-winning lyricist’s participation. Ashman sympathized with the Beast, drawing parallels to his own experiences, and requested that they make the character into a more humanized role upon agreeing.

Together with his writing partner Alan Menken, Ashman crafted songs that would be cherished for generations – but he did so from home, growing more and more ill.

Throughout the process, the Beast’s character came to be regarded as a metaphor for living with AIDS.

Bill Condon, the director of the new film, said, “He was cursed, and this curse had brought sorrow on all those people who loved him, and maybe there was a chance for a miracle—and a way for the curse to be lifted. It was a very concrete thing that he was doing.”

Producer Don Hahn tied the “Kill the Beast” song to the feeling of societal ostracizing against those struggling with AIDS, stating, “He was really dealing with a debilitating disease, in an era when it was stigmatized. And so, there were so many of those underpinnings to the movie that people may not have seen.

Tragically, Ashman passed away before the film was released. In tribute, the filmmakers included the dedication: “To our friend, Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful.”

Beauty and the Beast was the first animated film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

The Rising Signs

What is it?

Your Rising, also known as Ascendant, is one of the most personal to you. This is the sign that changes the most, as it will go through all twelve signs within the 24 hours of a day. 

Where is it? What does it control?

It marks the beginning of your 1st house, the house of self, and also dictates your chart’s ruling planet. This is different from your dominant planet, as your ruling planet is the one lying behind every aspect of your chart, whereas your dominant planet is the one taking charge of it all. For example, someone with Virgo Rising will have Mercury as their chart ruler as this is the planet which rules Virgo. Mercury signifies communication, work ethic, and speech. Someone with Mercury as their chart ruler may find it easier to explain themselves, or push themselves in work based situations. Obviously, this is not always strictly true as other areas of the chart may affect this. In this example, having Pluto - a planet of renewal and rebirth - in the 10th house - the house of work - may sway the Mercury ruler to be less able to push and stay driven in work based situations.

What does it show within me?

The Rising sign is like a public front. It can be regarded as the more personal version of your Sun sign, but it is in itself unique and important. It is what your friends see in you, it is what you put across within a group. It underpins you at parties, you chatting to your friend, or you answering a question in class.

How does it work with other placements?

It can often work alongside your Sun, or show how you may act in different situations. For example, you usually appear as your Rising, but then will appear like your Venus around your crush. For example, Leo Rising and Capricorn Venus. Leo Rising will usually appear loud, bold, magnetic, but with Capricorn Venus would switch to quiet, polite and a little bit mysterious around your crush. So, the Rising sign can often show your basic set aura or way of being (like the Sun sign).

Can it say something about what I look like?

It can! However, what you look like and your fashion sense also relies on other parts of your chart, namely: planets in the 1st house, venus, house of your venus, dominant sign and dominant planet. Your Rising can, however, depict what type of colours you like to wear, or maybe what kind of look or facial expression you seem to give off. 


Aries Rising is bold, impulsive, and a fun lover. The young nature of Aries is seen, and this person always seems to be looking to be positive and exciting. They appear to lead an adventurous life, always laughing with their friends and saying what they think. This person is loud, and somewhat flamboyant. Aries Rising prefers rouges, and dark nature colours, and seem to reflect wanderlust and questioning in their eyes. Famous Aries Risings: Rihanna, Shakira, Heath Ledger, James Dean

Taurus Rising is stubborn, well spoken and fashionable. They seem to like what’s good in life, whether it be food or a fancy new watch. They aren’t particularly extroverted, but will say what they think. Taurus Rising appear very composed, and true to their Earthy nature, somewhat business like. They may come across as being work or career oriented, and as rather intellectual. These people love to love things, true to their Venusian Rising, and will definitely have something in life they are proud of, often of a materialistic value. Famous Taurus Risings: Martin Luther King, Lana Del Rey, Salam Khan, Halle Berry

Gemini Rising is laid-back, sociable, fun. The airy nature of Gemini makes them appear detached and care-free, and whilst they are, they are also children of Mercury and thus house a more calculating side. These people are very chatty and extroverted, and seemingly get along with everyone. They seem very good at holding interesting conversations and including anyone in them. They often wish to talk about unique things, rather than the usual small talk, but are more than willing to do that too. They often have an array of hobbies, all of which they seem very good at, as Gemini Rising can be avid learners. Famous Gemini Risings: Amy Winehouse, Kristen Stewart, Mick Jagger, JK Rowling

Cancer Rising is nurturing, empathetic, and well mannered. They can often seem to put emotions and emotional ties at the forefront of their manner and beliefs. They seem to play a parental role in their friend groups, and always take others under their wing. They are the children in the playground who invite you to play with them if you look alone, or show you around the classroom on your first day. Their understanding of emotions and feelings can often make them well mannered. They try to remain polite and loving, as this is how they want others to be, but aren’t afraid to slide their Rising to one side and unleash their inner Mars side if you upset their friends and family. Famous Cancer Risings: Angelina Jolie, Albert Einstein, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tyra Banks

Leo Rising is bold, extravagant, popular. These are the people you think have it all. They come across as very confident and sure of themselves, and their energy can often rub off on you when you’re around them. They appear as a glowing light in a room, and often like to remain in a happy state. Although, due to their nature, drama can follow them anywhere and try to wreck their positive ambition. Leo Risings may seem to exaggerate a lot, as it is true they are rather dramatic, but this just makes them excellent story tellers. Their attitude and bold ways can often feel magnetic, and cause many to gravitate towards them as they appear to individual and unique. Famous Leo Risings: Marilyn Monroe, Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez, Freddie Mercury

Virgo Rising is quiet, analytical, observant. Whilst they are not afraid to share an opinion or add to a conversation, they do sometimes prefer to just watch and listen. They seem overly composed and a little mysterious to others, as well as intellectual and calculating. They make it seem as though every moment and word has been planned and practised. Virgo Risings, however, are more ambiverted than their fellow feminine signs as they are Mercury ruled. This makes them good conversationalists, and with their observant nature, they often have interesting and thoughtful comments to make on things. Whilst they don’t feel the need to be the centre of attention, or lead a group discussion, around their friends they are more than happy to let their quiet nature take a step back, and get involved in debates or conversations. Famous Virgo Risings: Madonna, Kurt Cobain, Emma Watson, Jay Z

Libra Rising is charming, flirtatious and a people pleaser. They like to keep a peaceful exterior, and be on good terms with people. Being a Venusian Rising, it can appear to people that they are flirting, or being incredibly charming, when they may not be doing so deliberately. It’s common for people with this placement to enjoy being friendly with many people, and avoid hateful people as this doesn’t keep in with their need for positive surroundings. Libra Risings may be less likely to share an opinion they have that they deem controversial as they like to avoid conflicts, or they are more likely to pad it out with words and phrases that will avoid hurting others. However, these people are likely to talk about making differences and changes in the world, as they are very concerned with peace and well being. Famous Libra Risings: Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Harry Styles

Scorpio Rising is mysterious, calculating and deep. They are the people who seem to have a lot on their mind and in their hearts. They care deeply for those in their circles, and whilst they may not let you in fast, once you are in, they become quite protective. Like Cancer Rising, they can often want to bring people under their wing, but the difference being they only do this once they believe they can trust you. They often have profound things to add to conversations, and notice the little things in anything, due to their investigative ways. Scorpio is a sign that may find it harder to trust people, so this Rising may often choose to remain a little distant in groups they are not 100% familiar with. Famous Scorpio Risings: Hillary Clinton, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Robin Williams

Sagittarius Rising is comedic, expansive and bold. They don’t ever seem to have a care in the world, and don’t seem to know restrictions. The chart ruler of these people is Jupiter and it shows in their happy-go-lucky and ambitious ways. They are often the class clown or joker of their friends, but also the one willing to argue and debate. They often have hobbies they know a lot about, and are knowledgeable about worldly and political issues. This can often be a surprise to others, as the comedic positive face turns sharp-tongued and domineering when faced with an argument or debate. Sagittarius Risings are also fine with making fools of themselves and facing embarrassment, as to them these are just more life experiences. These people are bold and adventurous, and this can often draw many to them as their nature is so unique and sometimes hard to understand due to this. Famous Sagittarius Risings: Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Lee

Capricorn Rising is reserved, calculating and orderly. In their Earthy nature, they appear calm and collected, as well as quite businesslike. These people may not always be the leaders of a conversation, as they are not overly extroverted, but they are still present and often add value food for thought to a discussion. They seem to process things very logically, and give advice from an objective place. Again, like their Earthy counterparts, they can see work oriented, but this is due to their ambitious and high-flying nature. This, to some, can make them seem competitive and superior, but Capricorn Risings don’t necessarily feel that themselves. They don’t answer questions in class, or tell you if you’re wrong to spite you, it’s just that they’re honest and objective. Why would they let you live a lie? Famous Capricorn Risings: Taylor Swift, Megan Fox, Ariana Grande, Lorde

Aquarius Rising is eccentric, individual, and characteristic. They are bored by normal, average things and are drawn to people or hobbies with something special about them. They’re good at keeping interesting conversation, and make people question what they thought they knew. Aquarius Rising doesn’t want to blend into the crowd and let others opinions wash over them, so they always speak their mind, or play devil’s advocate. They’ll be the one to question things or other another view if they feel things are very one-sided. Speaking out for themselves and others, they aren’t afraid to stand up. They may ask questions on the behalf of others, or call people out for behaviour they don’t agree with. Famous Aquarius Risings: Barack Obama, David Bowie, Nicki Minaj, Audrey Hepburn

Pisces Rising is sweet, sympathetic, and naive. These people like to put emotions into everything, rather than look at them logically. They often try to see how others feel or look at things, but may not ever truly understand, although this is something they try desperately to do. Like Libra Risings, they do enjoy keeping peace and thus try their best to be polite, but like Leo Risings, drama can often follow them due to their ethereal sweetness. Pisces Rising, whilst usually preferring to remain like an agony aunt or a helpful servant, can also be quite chaotic itself. These people can let the emotions they put into a situation get the best of them, and this can cause them to be petty or more gossipy than their usual positive selves. Famous Pisces Risings: Michael Jackson, George Clooney, Demi Moore, Whitney Houston

Trump’s tweets attacking the judiciary go well beyond conventional criticism of judicial opinions on the substance or of “unelected judges” who are said to be overstepping their power. The description of the judge who first blocked his ban as a “so-called judge” directly targeted the judiciary’s institutional legitimacy. And it’s not hard to imagine where Trump’s explicit claim that any terrorist attack should be blamed on the judiciary will take him next, if such an attack does occur.
 
 
Trump recently claimed that “any negative polls are fake news,” particularly those from major networks like CNN, NBC and ABC. He added: “Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.” In other words, any poll that finds that Trump or his policies are unpopular is suspect or invented by definition. Multiple polls have shown that majorities reject his travel ban and his border wall, and global protests have broken out against the ban in particular. In other words, the public backlash to the first two major efforts to translate Trumpism into policy reality has been severe. In response, Trump is explicitly telling his supporters that any empirical evidence of that backlash must be discounted as fake news — particularly if the polls in question come from major news organizations, who are thus being cast as deliberate deceivers of Real Americans.
 
 

You cannot divorce that last point from the larger context here: Trump and Sean Spicer spent days attacking the news media for accurately reporting on his shriveled inauguration crowds, and Stephen Bannon has claimed that Trump’s “populist nation-state policies are supported by the vast and overwhelming majority of Americans” — in other words, that a vast silent majority is rooting for Trumpism to succeed. But that’s just nonsense. The effort to falsely inflate impressions of popular support for Trump — and for policies that in reality are deeply controversial and divisive and are being rejected by majorities — is concerted and deliberate. And the unabashed use of obvious and demonstrable lies to carry out this deception campaign is remarkably brazen.
 
 

Trump is now claiming that the media is covering up terrorist attacks, saying that “ISIS is on a campaign of genocide, committing atrocities across the world,” and that “in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” The larger context here is crucial, too: The media has in fact been invaluable in rooting out the dangerously incompetent process that led to the creation of this ban, as well as the ugly, discriminatory ideological underpinnings of the idea. In response, Trump, once again, is moving to obliterate the very possibility of shared agreement on the legitimate institutional role of the news media in informing the citizenry — right when it is playing that role to great effect by shedding light on the truth about his latest and most visible exercise of executive power, thus demonstrating that it can function as a check on him.

— 

Trump is now attacking all the institutions that could limit his power.

This is not what a president in a democracy (or, pedants, representative republic) does. This is what an autocrat who hopes to be a dictator does.

Congress is doing fuckall to stop this madman and his puppet master, Steve Bannon. We have to keep calling, keep marching, and when we have a chance, defeat these cowards in the next election. This means we start working now, and we don’t stop until they are gone. We will lose more battles than we win, but the ones we win will be fundamental to protecting our country.

6: “Marry me” (part 2 from the 5/6 request, also andreil!)

It takes 4 months and 2 weeks to organize Matt’s proposal to Dan. 

Neil knows because he’s been pretending to understand most of what Matt says to him for 4 months and 2 weeks.

It’s not that he’s not happy for them, it’s just that being told to celebrate love feels like being told to celebrate the way the world turns, or the gravity that continues to pin us like the bar on a rollercoaster seat. Neil celebrates love by staying alive to see it. He celebrates it by keeping it.

He looks at prospective rings and says they’re fine over and over again. He dutifully tells Dan nothing even when she asks outright. He answers the phone when Matt calls him in a panic at midnight and says “what if she says no” so many times that Neil hands the phone to Nicky.

It does make him think though, about Andrew. Without meaning to.

He doesn’t think of it as marriage in his head (to Neil, marriage has always been something that swallows you like quick sand). Tying himself to Andrew though — having something legally binding like Neil Josten on his documents, like their names on the lease, like his contract with his team — that means something to Neil.

Being with Andrew is the thrill of being in the game, but having it on paper would be like points blinking onto a scoreboard. He knows he’s scoring now, but he wants the crowd to know too. He wants this win to stick.

He doesn’t mention it because it doesn’t matter, ultimately. Neil doesn’t need other people to tell him that they love each other.

Andrew scoops Sir off Neil’s lap and smuggles him to his side of the couch. He pours one bowl of sugar crisp and one bowl of granola in the morning. He catches Neil’s sleeve before he goes for a run and uses every ounce of 5 AM energy he has to hold Neil’s eyes. Neil knows how he feels.

But he really does support Matt and Dan, separate from the way he’s scared of hospital rooms he won’t be allowed into or the box on a form that labels them ‘roommates’ like that’s anywhere close to enough.

The engagement lines up with a weekend that all the original foxes are scheduled to meet up on, scraped together by Matt’s meticulous hands and Nicky’s constant phone calls.

Andrew isn’t interested in going, but Neil asks, so. They’re the first ones there.

Keep reading

Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors. The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.
—  Carl Sagan, Cosmos

anonymous asked:

What are some hurdles a person who has practiced taekwondo, fencing and aikido might have to jump when thrown into a real life or death fight? What will happen when they get much better at escalating quickly (almost too quickly) and they're thrown into a situation where that's the opposite of what they need to do?

By, “the opposite of what they need to do,” you mean, not escalate the situation, or specifically work to try to limit the harm being inflicted. You know, like an Aikido practitioner?

I know we’ve said this before, but; martial arts are not interchangeable. They’re not just alternate move sets, or aesthetic considerations. Every martial art, every one, brings its own philosophies and outlooks into play. When those philosophies overlap, you might have options to start mixing them together, or lifting elements from one for the other. Aikido and Taekwondo don’t really have much of anything to talk about.

Aikido is a martial art of pacifism. It works well for self defense because the entire idea is, you stand at the center, plant your feet, and send anyone who attacks you to the floor, so they can think about all of the mistakes they just made.

As I said at the beginning, Aikido doesn’t escalate, at least not on its own. This is a martial art that focuses on ending conflicts with as little harm done as humanly possible. People will get hurt, that’s an inevitability, but, this is a martial art that is heavily focused on avoiding escalation.

If you want to start mixing it with something else, there are other martial arts that have common ground. Jujitsu and Judo both have some of the same philosophical underpinnings, they’re just pretty sure that plopping someone on the ground isn’t enough to get the message across, that sometimes you’re going to want to get down there and make your point in person.

There are even aggressive martial arts that you can (probably) mix Aikido with fairly effectively, including Muay Thai or Krav Maga. Martial arts that say, “I want to get really close to someone and turn them into goulash.” They do have common ground on the ranges that they think combat should be taking place at.

Taekwondo doesn’t. It’s a very active martial art. It wants to go places and kick people in the head. As a practical martial style it shares almost nothing with Aikido. Where Aikido wants its foes close enough to reach out and touch, Taekwondo is all about forcing your foes away, and keeping them off balance while you drive your foot through any internal organs they were using.

Taekwondo exists as a practical martial art, but you’re going to be hard pressed to find that variant outside of Korea. If your character served in the South Korean military, worked for the police or as a bodyguard there, then it’s possible they learned this.

Taekwondo traditionally pairs with Hapkido. I don’t know much about the martial art itself, beyond that it has a focus on joint locks. But, these are designed to work together, and against one another, so a practitioner in one would probably also learn the other.

Ironically, Taekwondo can also find common ground with martial arts like Muay Thai or Krav Maga. These are all martial arts that enjoy moving around a lot and messing people up. Where Taekwondo excels at doing this at range, Muay Thai or Krav Maga offer options to do this up close.

Now, if you’re sitting there and wondering why I just listed the same two martial arts as compatible to both of the ones you picked, that’s because they have common ground with one another, the two you picked, really kind of don’t. It’s not that martial artists never learn conflicting styles. That does happen. But the benefit you gain from that isn’t being able to blend them together into a single style, it’s being able to switch up your approach to fit the situation you’re in. And, yes, escalation control is an element of your martial art.

A character who’s been trained in Aikido and (practical) Taekwondo, would be in a very good position to work as a bodyguard. Taekwondo allows for rapid vicious responses when called for, and Aikido allows for them to deal with attackers in public situations where you really wouldn’t want a bodyguard tearing apart an overly eager fan.

I’m just going to toss this one out, but fencing really doesn’t add much to this situation. It will help with physical conditioning, but then again they’d already be getting that from Taekwondo and Aikido.

So, if your character’s been training in Aikido, either recreationally or practically, they shouldn’t be having issues with escalation. Remember, escalation is where you increase the amount of force you use to a point where combat ceases to be an appealing option for your opponent. The entire concept is anathema to Aikido, which seeks to end combat with as little violence as possible.

Also, there’s a side nitpick, it’s not really possible to escalate too quickly. The issue is escalating too far. Again, the idea is that you demonstrate a degree of violence your opponent isn’t psychologically ready to handle, forcing them to back down.

Escalating too slowly can give them time to come to terms with what you’re doing, but the only problem with escalating too quickly is that you’ll use excessive force. For example, grabbing someone by the skull and gouging out their eyes would (almost certainly) convince their friends or allies to back down, but if the situation doesn’t warrant that kind of force, it’s excessive, you’ve escalated too far, and there will be consequences. These can be the obvious legal issues associated with extreme violence, or it can provoke responses in opponents where, instead of backing down, they’ll be more willing to retaliate in kind. For example, pulling a gun on someone’s friend might get them to back down, where killing their friend will drive them to come after you, where they wouldn’t have with less escalation.

The problems faced by a character who escalates too far is, that they’ll make far more enemies, which will eventually catch up with them. This is part of why escalation is such a tricky concept. It’s requires a substantial amount of finesse to pull off effectively.

Escalation is also something that is seriously frowned on by most of the recreational martial arts community. Unnecessary, and excessive violence is a serious liability issue for the school, particularly if their students are children (and, honestly, that’s pretty common.) A large part of this is because of the exact problem you’re describing. The actual difficulty is about going too far. It’s not hard to go way too far in an instant, that happens all the time. But, unless your character is operating with some kind of “above-the-law” protections, going too far once is a good way to end up spending the next 25 years in a small cell.

-Starke

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Marx and Engels acknowledged that women’s labor - in producing the labor force itself (reproduction) and in maintaining it (housewifery and motherhood) - was the underpinning of all economic activity. Having noted that, they went on to ignore it…otherwise, they would have wound up with a very different vision of the proletariat.
—  Robin Morgan

This week there’s something more important than the Productivity Challenge or my photos of coffee and books or getting your bullet journal in order. This week is the week to engage, educate and resist

Engage with politics. This is the week to start if you haven’t before or to ramp it up if you’re already involved. Read, write, protest, repeat. Give your time and privilege to help others. 

Educate yourself. Your education is a radical act, don’t let it stop and don’t restrict yourself to your own subject. Learn about the historic struggles underpinning today’s politics and tell others. Use your education to inform your activism and your activism to inform your education.

Resist injustice. In the street, on campus, on the bus. Resist it at a protest or on social media. Do as much as you can, do not stand idly by whilst injustice occurs around you. Ignorance is complicity, action is resistance.

If you have queries/questions about this, hit me up. This week I’m going to focus on the crossover between our education and our resistance. If I lose followers, I will cope. 

anonymous asked:

what would utena be like, if it had been told from Akio's warped perspective? Well, your opinion on it, at least.

It already is, dude.  All the pomp and circumstance lavished on the dueling game by the camera/score/pacing - that’s all him.  All the artsy camera shit that obfuscates the rape/incest is him.  The priorities of the plot are his.  The mythology that underpins it is his.  That’s why people can and do watch the whole thing and not get that he’s the bad guy.  That’s why the win condition is escaping the story itself.  That’s why nobody can remember anyone who has.

anonymous asked:

Who are your favorite minor characters from all the four nations?

Good question!

Water

Hama. What a powerful character this was for someone we only got to see in one episode! We get to see her rise and fall, from a powerful and dignified waterbending master, to a corrupted and hateful old crone who tortures her own tribeswoman in order to “teach” her. She invented her own technique and is a deadly force to be reckoned with. Hama also gave more depth to the Southern Water Tribe, presenting a dark side to waterbending that had been hitherto unknown, as well as harkening back to a time when the tribe was strong and waterbenders were numerous. Both her strength and her hatred left a permanent mark on Katara—and a reminder for us that water is everywhere.

Earth

Avatar Kyoshi. This Avatar literally left some big shoes to fill, as she is the longest-lived of any known Avatar and cemented a legacy that is still carried on in her island and her warriors. She saved her people by breaking off a piece of the mainland Earth Kingdom, a tectonic (and titanic) feat that was as awe-inspiring as it was deadly.

One of the things that I like about how she is remembered and presented is that she is a tough lady who does not deride femininity. Her technique, for example, is about using an opponent’s force against them, a skill tailored for female use. Toph, while a tremendous earthbender, prefers her part being played by a big, strong man, teases Aang about his delicate footsteps and “feminine side”, and takes a long time to appreciate the value of doing chores and being a team mom. Kyoshi has big feet AND wears makeup, fights in a dress with fans AND stops tyranny in its tracks, and doesn’t disparage traditionally female attributes while showing off her strength.

Like most earthbenders, Kyoshi doesn’t beat around the bush with regards to her business; when Aang tries to tell her that she didn’t really kill Chin the Conqueror, Kyoshi replies:

Personally, I don’t really see the difference. But I assure you, I would have done whatever it took to stop Chin.

I would have taken that advice to heart, Aang. Just sayin’.

Fire

Piandao. Just because you’re a nonbender doesn’t mean you are any less a member of your nation, and Master Piandao exemplifies this at a time when firebending is the most prized ability in the Fire Nation. Piandao is coveted as a teacher and easily could have gotten filthy rich on war profits, considering how highly militarized the Fire Nation becomes during the war. Instead, he will only accept students that can be taught, not only how to fight, but how to achieve their potential as human beings. He prizes humility in an era of arrogance and combines the artistry of the sword with the strokes of calligraphy. He encourages creativity and bravery, as we can see in Sokka’s training. As a White Lotus member, he is instrumental in freeing Ba Sing Se from the Fire Nation’s yoke, and is a role model for personal as well as professional achievement.

Air

Guru Pathik. Yes, technically he is not an airbender, but this guru embodies all of the best qualities of the Air Nomads: friendliness toward living things, a carefree nature, sense of humor, and a high level of spirituality. Monk Gyatso would have been a more conventional choice, but I’m putting Guru Pathik first, not only because we see more of him, but because through him we learn about the tenets of interconnectedness and enlightenment that underpin the Avatar world. He teaches Aang, but doesn’t coddle him, and lets him know in no uncertain terms what will happen if Aang interrupts his training. Aang has had masters of air, water, earth, and fire, but Guru Pathik is the only one who helps Aang master the Avatar State—the most powerful technique he has apart from energybending.

the libra’s ‘need’ for other people can be seen by ruling the 7th house/ descendant and this is the astrological ‘shadow’ it is the axis of the ‘self’ (Aries) and ‘relationship’, the personality blooms in aries, is creatively expressed in leo, the ego is undone in virgo and the existence of others begins playing a role in the expression (think virgo is here to serve), and this is further accelerated by libra who physically connects with people so the 8th house/scorpio door can be open for soul level communion. through this process you can see what underpins the role of other people in life, not so much as a dependence but as an indwelling need that allows them to fully demonstrate their qualities. there can also be weak ego boundaries in libra and at its lowest expression the personality is almost a complete imitation