Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Leaders & Organizations Join In Solidarity, We Won’t Go Back
Ninety organizations came together on December 13, 2016 in Washington, D.C. to declare our unity and dedicate our collective power to protecting and advancing sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice in the United States and around the world. Every person has the basic human right to quality health care, and no individual or community should be left behind. Each of us should have the chance to live safe, healthy lives and be free to determine our own path – including if, when, and how to create a family. We will resist every attempt to roll back those rights or undermine those opportunities.
WE BELIEVE IN:
protecting and expanding access to sexual and reproductive health education, care, and services;
safeguarding and advancing abortion rights and access;
promoting health, safety and wellness for all communities;
fostering fairness and equity in sexual and reproductive health.
WE DEMAND THAT:
the policies of our government recognize and respond to the needs and priorities of the diverse range of individuals, families, and communities we represent, especially those who face disproportionate, burdensome, and unfair barriers to accessing quality health care, including women and girls in the Global South and low-income women, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, indigenous peoples, young people, and women of color in the United States;
appointees, nominees, and elected officials uphold our nation’s laws and the U.S. Constitution, affirm protections and safety for individuals, especially those most marginalized, and work to ensure health equity in the United States and around the world.
WE COMMIT TO:
mobilizing to defeat actions that threaten to undermine sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice in any community in the United States and across the globe;
exercising the collective power of our movement to create a world where all people have the rights and resources they need to thrive;
standing together with our progressive allies to advocate for policies that advance sexual and reproductive health and rights and that ensure all communities have the resources to exercise those rights;
working across movements to advance immigrant rights, youth rights, disability rights, LGBTQ equality, economic justice and racial justice and to ensure the safety of our communities.
We won’t allow roll-backs on hard-won rights. We will hold firm to ensuring that all people are treated with dignity, compassion, and respect and can achieve full reproductive freedom. Together, we will work for a world where equitable access to sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice is realized for all.
Someone asked for a Shipping Corner on Rick and Unity when I was fielding suggestions back in February. So, a cynical, old, alcoholic scientist and a collective consciousness, also known as a ‘hive mind,’ are former lovers. I couldn’t resist delving further into this one.
Hiveminds in General
Usually, hive minds are depicted as evil, unsettling entities. In essence, a hive mind is a collective group of sentient beings sharing one consciousness; reduced to what purpose workers serve to an insect colony. There’s no individualism, only a numbered figure who lives to perform one specific role and nothing else. Think: Star Trek’s Borg. It’s an incredibly unnerving and daunting idea to become “assimilated.” A person is no longer themselves, merely a tool or a single, inconsequential cog in a giant machine.
Not all hive minds are depicted as outright evil, though. In “Ender’s Game”, humans were engaged in a war with a sentient insect species dubbed “the buggers.” The novel itself is sociopolitical commentary on war, especially on the life and times of being a soldier. The buggers are viewed as strange and unsettling barbarians, but very formidable foes. Throughout the novel, though, Ender questions this black and white view of “us vs. them.” Everyone he talks to advises following orders and just doing what needs to be done. Their circumstances are so dire, it’s easier, if not essential, to focus on survival and winning.
The truth about the buggers’ hive mind and culture was slowly revealed. The bigger struggle between the humans and the buggers was a nasty misunderstanding and the buggers were just as baffled by the humans as they were by them. At the end of the novel, Ender discovers the new Hive Queen, a fairly thoughtful, compassionate, and kindly soul. One key hallmark about the buggers is that they are a natural, biologically set-up hivemind; they aren’t on a mission to assimilate the universe. Rather, just to find means to further and better sustain their society as it grows. The Hive Queen runs the entire show, but ultimately, she wants what’s best for her people and makes decisions as pragmatically as she can. When she reaches out to Ender, she hopes to make amends between humans and buggers.
Where Does Unity Fit Into the Hive Mind Mold?
(Note: I’m referring to Unity as ‘they’ since they have no defined gender. Also terms like ‘self-improvement’ can apply to Unity since they refer to themselves with “I” and “me” pronouns while speaking.)
Unlike other incarnations of a hivemind, Rick and Morty’s Unity really is a collective with no specific individual or primary figure in charge. For convenience purposes, certain scenes pick an attractive female alien as their chosen avatar in a given scene, most often the busty purple-haired world president, but really, every one of the aliens inhabiting the planet are Unity. This is distinctively different from a figure like the Hive Queen or the Borg Queen. Both of those characters are akin to puppet masters. They could easily be pulled apart and scrutinized separately from their collective. The purple-haired president really couldn’t. If she were pulled away from Unity’s control, she’d be an entirely different character.
Another intriguing approach is how Unity is portrayed as a strangely sympathetic and morally ambiguous figure. Summer poses the set of arguments about the morality of assimilating individual beings that come up in just about any story with a hivemind. Doesn’t assimilating someone infringe on their individuality? Their inalienable rights, freedoms, and choice as independent beings? Unity responds to Summer’s arguments with how utopian this world has become since they took over; how much more productive, happy, and successful the world’s populace is under their influence.
Then, Summer experiences seeing what the citizens were like before Unity showed up: race tensions to the point spats constantly erupted in the streets or how unwieldy and unpleasant just about any given person was when compared to their civil, intellectually sound counterpart when controlled by Unity. The sociopolitical unrest, as well as how evil certain persons were are greatly exaggerated, but that’s a hallmark for how Rick and Morty frames any kind of commentary or interesting ideas (Compare this with how deep the divide between the Gazorpazorp sexes are in “Raising Gazorpazorp”). In short, Unity poses the idea of how attainable true peacetime is when there are so many irreconcilable differences between people. There may be plenty of decent, morally sound people, but personal interests, prejudices, and dire circumstances can easily set people against one another. As trite as this saying is, “One rotten apple spoils the bunch.” That said, though, the episode doesn’t set either Summer or Unity as fully in the right. There’s an interesting moral ambiguity here: It’s wrong for Unity as an entity to “thrive on enslavement.” Every being placed under their control is, indeed, a puppet. They have lost every ounce of independence, free will, and choice they’d have otherwise. Yet, Unity isn’t necessarily evil. They place earnest investment on each being assimilated; trying to mold them into a successful and healthy individual as well as a beneficial part of their overall society. In some respects, it’s a catch-22. Unity’s set up is a fantastic base for food for thought. Especially in regards to challenging and mulling over what it means to have free will.
Narrative-wise, this set-up shows why Unity was able to take over this particular planet so easily, if not why they have some justification for doing so besides make-up and biology. Even then, Unity still second-guesses themselves. Summer’s arguments have been posed to them before countless times. Enough that they have an internal struggle as to how to best approach or converse with single-minded beings outside of their collective. They place a lot of emphasis on how much they treasure Rick’s open mind and acceptance. He doesn’t challenge the basic, fundamental differences between his nature as a single-minded entity and Unity’s as a collective. He even embraces the ‘bigger picture’ and potential of what Unity can achieve, though, not quite to the same practical and benevolent effects as what Unity does (which, again, is ironic given the usual depiction of a hivemind in science fiction. Or even what kind of can of worms Unity’s brand of collective mind presents from a moral standpoint).
What is the Nature of Rick Sanchez and Unity’s Romance?
Since Unity has grown in size and scope, their ambitions, goals, and responsibilities have increased as well. When Rick enters their life again, they feel compelled to impress and indulge him. There’s something tantalizing and attractive about the old scientist. Entertaining a relationship with him is just as unnatural and taboo for Unity as it would be for Rick. It’s the whole ‘bad boy’ flare and push the envelope further attitude that Unity enjoys so much.
In regards to Rick himself, his romance with Unity definitely pokes at an interesting dimension for his sexuality. I’d go so far as to say this may hint at the idea of Rick being pansexual. For all intents and purposes, Unity can create or simulate just about any crazy sex fantasy he wants. There was at least one scene where Rick had his arms draped around an attractive younger woman and a buff younger fellow. And, both were very openly flirting with him through touch, gesture, and facial expressions.
Unity can also pull other crazy, ridiculous stunts: Rick can direct a sitcom from his couch, he can invite as many guests as he wants to a house party, he can watch people perform uncouth acts they wouldn’t otherwise. He lets the power rush straight to his head. Everyone is a playmate. Everything is his playground where he can cut loose and get as unwieldy as he wants to with, presumably, no consequences. To some extent, Unity enjoys what kinds of mischievous ideas he proposes that they probably wouldn’t explore by themselves due to how heinous and ridiculous said ideas are. These two most likely met when Rick was still going through an experimental or rebellious phase of his life. They’re like a pair of hormone-crazed, adrenaline junkie teens when they rekindle their romance. Unity shirks their maturity, self-discipline, and self-control. And Rick lets himself become more unhinged and irresponsible than usual.
Unity has a sense of adventure and yearns for excitement, but over time, they’ve managed to channel these into more focused, productive effects. They’ve grown and developed both in the scope of their collective and how they conduct themselves. In Rick’s case, apparently, he’s never ‘grown up.’ He’s always been an ornery, party on end type. It’s interesting that when he initially sells Unity on getting back together, he advertises that he’s reconnecting with his family and cleaning up his act. So, they’ve had a discussion about clashing ideas and goals before. When Unity entertains Rick, she enjoys reliving their history together, but they won’t pursue things further because of how they make the other regress in behavior and conduct. As in, whatever connection Rick started making with his grandkids frays since he’d rather party. And, Unity lets themselves submit to Rick’s craziness where they’re making efforts to grow, better, and ultimately, assert themselves.
In short, Rick’s and Unity’s story is an intriguing take on a tragic romance between a couple trying to rekindle old sparks. There will always be chemistry between the two, but they’re so toxic for each other that their independent lives decay at the expense of getting together. The bigger emphasis is on how much Rick drags down Unity and how difficult the decision to break up is for them. But, they have to go through with the break up if only for self-preservation alone.
Rick Sanchez, Post-Breakup
Look at the scene in the Rick and Morty season 2 finale when Rick gives a best man speech at Birdperson’s wedding (one starting with sentiments that Dan from Dan Vs would fervently nod in agreement with). He’s absolutely cynical towards the idea of romantic love and skeptic about the ‘sanctity’ of marriage. Yet, he follows up these beliefs on a fairly hopeful note. It’s one of those rare scenes where the viewer catches a glimpse of what little empathy Rick holds for select few. Even more, he announces that he’ll try “to be more open to others.”
Generally, Rick presents himself as crude, crass, insensitive, and abrasive. He’s generally motivated by finding the root of a new scientific discovery or purely selfish, self-indulgent effects. He treats just about everyone with disrespect, if not bullies or insults them on a daily basis. Yet, this is peppered with him yelling a victorious “Wub-a-lub-a-dub- dub!”, then downing alcohol from his flask. Tie this in with what Birdperson said Rick’s catch phrase meant and Rick’s being an alcoholic. At his core, Rick isn’t just a horrible person and entertaining-to-watch jerk, but a depressing character. He’s an outright cynic and pessimist, assuming the worst or expecting the worst from everyone and everything. He tends to support the strictly self-preserving move. It’s a mix between opening Morty’s eyes to the horrors of the world and accepting them, or some form of escapism. Unity, initially, falls into the second category.
Once Unity breaks up with Rick, the result is a kaleidoscope of feelings on the fellow’s part. One part is disappointment, since Unity was a freewheeling kindred spirit. The other part is Rick taking stock of his life thus far. More intensely than normal. There are so many horrible things he’s done, so many things left unsaid and never done. What if he wants to change, but just finds it easier to fall into his general routine? He’s been this way for so long, it’s hard to imagine changing and growing in a meaningful way now. In short, he has very self-destructive and toxic thoughts drifting about in his head. The combination of his grief towards falling out with Unity and his self-hatred proves too heavy a load to bear. It’s definitely one of the more intense and introspective scenes for Rick over the course of the series.
Returning to the season 2 finale, Rick finally found some kind of hope and resolve. Even though this gets ripped to shreds mere moments later, it’s a huge move on Rick’s part. One of the more significant scenes that show what little humanity and kindness he has. He’s not getting a full-blown redemption arc, but season 3 definitely has interesting promise for Rick’s character growth.
From the top left descending: The Sun, the Moon, nestled in the “Horns” of Mercury is the Star, which then becomes Venus (note the inverted Seal of Sulphur), then Saturn.
On the right, descending: Earth, which touches Mars – and Uranus – which sit on the bough of Jupiter, to the left is Pluto and its moon, Charon, all of which rest on the inverted Trident of Neptune.
As far as uses go, best for works involving: Cosmic Oneness, Completion, Unity, Balance, Collective Archetypes and Community. Also, micro-cosmically for things involving the faceted psyche, consciousness or soul.
We can use this Law of Attraction and project a beautiful utopian future for ourselves by projecting positive thoughts and images of the kind of world we want to live in – united communities filled with love for everyone, that live in harmony with everyone and the planet, with absolute abundance in every area of human endeavour. That is what I project for my world – I hope you will join me and break the cycle of mind control that keeps us trapped in servitude by our own doing. We are all living breathing human beings of infinite soul connected to the divine creator through the creation itself. Our primary desire is to love and to create and this is what we should be doing on this planet for all of humanity to benefit from.
Michael Tellinger - Ubuntu Contributionism - A Blueprint For Human Prosperity. The Ubuntu Liberation Movement - Unity and Higher Consciousness for a New World.
Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to families across the country celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today begins a week-long celebration of African-American heritage and culture through family and community festivities. Kwanzaa’s seven principles—unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith—are also shared values that bind us as Americans. And in the spirit of the season, we reflect on the blessings of the past year and commit to building a brighter future for all our children. As families, friends, and neighbors come together today to light the Kinara, our family sends our best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.
So… I did a little symbolising, as I was inspired by @radiantzeki who linked me to the larger, and clearer image and pointed out Yuuki’s hands.
If you have a look at the picture, you’ll see that Yuuki’s hands are closed in a fist, her look is stern, unwavering and determined as she stares at her hands. Zero, however, is looking at her fist, his gaze soft and his hand delicately clasping hers, softly and yet reassuringly.
Clenched fists are, generally, a symbol of solidarity and support. They also embody a collective unity, strength and defiance of what goes against their belief. (Think rebels without a cause)
In this chapter, it seems that Zero is under attack over his relationship with Yuuki and that Yuuki, herself, is angry that Zero has been attacked over her, and apologises to Ai, and implying that from now on she must take responsibility for the vampires (which we know is what happened back in bonus chapter three).
The raised fist shows the defiance Yuuki has over the norms and expectations placed on her and Zero and her unwavering determination and unquestionable loyalty. It’s a sign of unity with Zero, but also a rebelling against the standard vampiric order. They fact that they are both looking at it shows that they are in it together, forever.
Yet Zero, as he does in the chapter, is not showing as much anger and aggression, but, very softly lends his support and strength showing that he is responsive of her needs, and is reminding her to stay loving, gentle and tender. He is reminding her that he will stand by her always.
Essentially, the closed fists are literally a sign of unity but also a giant ‘screw you’ to anyone who tries to pull them apart.
It seems Hino really is going for the star crossed lovers theme for VK Memories.
Huge protest in Paris yesterday (1 million demonstrators).
March, riot, hundreds of people wounded by cops, molotovs, and a good unity between autonomous collectives, foreign activists, unionists, maoists, anarchists and other groups of people pissed off by the government and its cops.
something I love about the pokemon fandom is that every time something new is revealed, we all come together and just completely lose it. there’s this unity, this collective screaming. it’s a good feeling
Bye Bye London !
Was Good To be around this week !
Into You Tattoo Family
Seven Doors Tattoo
Shangri La Tattoo parlour
The London Tattoo Convention
Polaroid from Matty D'Arienzo project Collection , Remember !
Love & Unity !
Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today begins a celebration highlighting the rich African American heritage and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa—unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. During this season, families come together to reflect on…