valedictorial

valedictory.
  • goodbyes are never how you hope they will be

REMUS

  • harry is a tiny thing, just a few months old, when he meets him for the first time
  • lily tries to help him get comfortable holding harry, but it’s an impossible task; he will always be uneasy around children
  • (monsters shouldn’t touch them)
  • “don’t worry, moony,” james says, clapping a hand on his back. “we’ll be here when it’s all over, you’ll see him again.”
  • a lump forms in his throat
  • (will he still be here when it’s all over?)
  • he looks down and harry looks up at him with keen interest; he already has a shock of james’ hair and he has definitely inherited lily’s eyes
  • he’s a beautiful boy, a bright spot in a long, seemingly endless darkness
  • when he eventually manages to reply, his voice is hoarse with emotion
  • “yeah, i’ll see you again when it’s all over, harry.”
  • he’s painfully aware that when it’s all over is no time soon
  • (he never dreamed thirteen years, but life is cruel that way)

PETER

  • he comes to visit them one last time and lily and james are so happy to see him
  • (if only they knew)
  • they sit in the living room and catch up, harry gleefully terrorising the cat on the carpet
  • after twenty minutes or so, lily and james realise that they haven’t offered him anything to eat or drink since he arrived and rush into the kitchen to see what they have
  • (it’s been a long time since the potters entertained anyone, they’re out of practice)
  • “wormy, you don’t mind watching harry for a minute, do you?”
  • and he does mind, he minds very much
  • because he looks at this child, with james’ hair and lily’s eyes
  • and harry, like his parents, is so happy to see his uncle wormy
  • but peter knows what’s coming
  • and he knows it’s all his fault
  • so he bends down next to harry, and he almost cries when harry laughs when he ruffles his hair
  • (james’ hair)
  • and peter has only one thing to say to harry
  • “sorry.”

JAMES

  • one of the only things keeping james sane through this entire ordeal is harry; playing with his son is the highlight of his life while he’s stuck indoors
  • one day, he’ll take him out in that unused pram to play in the park near bathilda’s
  • one day he’ll teach harry how to fly
  • (one day one day one day; he repeats it like a mantra)
  • but, for now, all he can do is blow coloured puffs of smoke from the end of his wand and chase him around the house on a miniature broomstick
  • and it’s enough for harry
  • (it’s nowhere near enough for james, but it’ll do for now)
  • (one day one day one day)
  • when lily comes to take harry to bed, it feels like any other night
  • (it’s not it’s not it’s not)
  • he gives him one last cuddle, a sloppy kiss and a ruffle of his hair that sends harry into hysterics, and he waves cheerfully as harry ascends the stairs in lily’s arms
  • “see you in the morning, champ!”
  • (there is no morning for james)

LILY

  • it’s all a rush, really: the sound of a small explosion, james’ panicked voice telling her take harry and go!, then the thump of james’ body hitting the floor
  • there is no time to cry, to run, to find her wand, to build a proper defence
  • there is no time to say goodbye

SIRIUS

  • the sight is worse than he could have imagined; the house is smoking, broken, ruined
  • he finds james on the floor, his body contorted into an unnatural position in death, his hazel eyes open and vacant
  • he stares blankly until thunderous footsteps tear him from his reverie; hagrid descends the stairs, but his eyes somehow immediately find tiny harry in his arms
  • “harry!” he reaches for his godson and harry stretches his chubby fingers towards him
  • but when hagrid refuses to hand him over, he knows what he has to do
  • so he grasps harry’s tiny hands in his and presses his face into his hair and kisses him on the cheek
  • “i’ll sort it all out, mate,” he promises. “then we can be a family. you’ll see.”
Here we are, on the brink of adulthood, getting ready to take the next step in our lives. But before we look ahead, I would like to take a moment to look back.
We are millennials. Kids who grew up in 2 different centuries and were the first generation to grow up in a completely technology immersed world, while still learning about the dewey decimal system and how to write in cursive, and other things that have become trite. Unfortunately, this has changed the way people look at as.
For years we have been beat down and criticized, called lazy and narcissistic. Every type of media you can think of has mocked us and adults look at us and shake their heads, all while muttering about how the world has gone down the toilet. To them, our opinions are invalid.
We are guilty of it ourselves. We have been brainwashed to think that we are bad, that for some reason a girl holding a dunkin donuts iced coffee in a hot cup is worth less than a businessman or that a football playing boy is as dumb as a rock. We believe that we are surrounded by good­for­nothing pot heads who are tainting society. We constantly wish that we lived during the 50s and 60s and 70s. We wear clothes that are meant to look vintage and filter our instagram photos to look straight out of 1974.
But the reality of the fact is that we really haven’t done anything wrong. Last time I checked, we weren’t the generation that ruined the economy and the environment and political integrity. We didn’t oppress women or african americans. In fact, we are the most open minded generation yet. We are the generation that stood up for lgbtq rights, and we’re the one’s bringing change.We’re smart too, because we had to be. It’s the only way to make it in a world where getting into college is cut throat, but you have to do it to create a life. Chances are, we will be the ones who fix the economy and the environment; the problems that we didn’t even create.
To call us lazy is just pure ignorance. Never before has a generation had to work as hard as we have to just to live a successful life. We have to take AP/Honors classes and participate in 20 afterschool activities. We have to volunteer and have a job and still maintain a social life. It’s a constant juggling act that we don’t get credit for.
So yeah, maybe we are superficial, and by that I mean that our fuck ups are superficial, at least in comparison to the people who came before us.
So what are we going to do about it? Are we going to fulfill the prophecy that society has created for us or are we going to change the world? The past four years flew by, a blur of schoolwork and heartbreaks and mistakes and laughter and the best memories of our lives, so I’m positive that the next four years will go by just as fast. Use them to your advantage. Take from them wisdom and the feeling of success, because some days of our lives will be failures, and that is okay.
There is one thing I know for sure, when we get to the “real world”, we will prove everyone wrong. We will go from the selfie generation to the generation to left a legacy on the world. Because we have to. We are the next wave of doctors and nurses, of lawyers and firefighters. We are going to be lawmakers and maybe one of us will become the president one day. Things are going to change, and we are going to be the ones who bring it. And I personally, cannot wait to be a part of it.
Here’s to us, class of 2014. Here’s to our selfies and our obsessive tweeting. To the kids who party every weekend and to the kids who don’t. To girls who wear shorts that might be a little too shortand to boys who have terrible haircuts. To great nights with your best friends and to the bad ones. To never having to wake up at 6 AM to go to a school where your opinion means nothing. To the sports that don’t get appreciation or recognition and to the arts for giving kids, myself included, a home. To the kids who have already tried to make a change and had their voices heard. Here’s to us, class of 2014, the kids who are going to change the world. Thank you and congratulations.
—  we had to write valedictory addresses in one of my classes idk

anonymous asked:

What was Jefferson's reaction to Hamilton's death?

Thomas Jefferson didn’t have an outward reaction to Hamilton’s death. He mentioned it in a letter to his daughter Patsy on July 17th, 1804:

“P.S. I presume mr Randolph’s newspapers will inform him of the death of Colo. Hamilton, which took place on the 12th.”

That is it. That was Jefferson’s reaction to Alexander Hamilton’s death. I spoke more about Jefferson’s more later talks about Hamilton here

But do not be Ron Chernow. Chernow spoke about Hamilton’s death and how Jefferson didn’t even care. But in fact, just about a month before Hamilton’s death, another of Jefferson’s children died–Maria “Polly” Jefferson Eppes–this made his fifth child to die and he was still inconsolable with grief. In Art and Power, Jon Meacham states from a primary source that one walked into his room at the President’s Home only to find him crying. Jefferson wasn’t ignorant over Hamilton’s death, he was just already grieving the death of his daughter. 

A day later on July 18th, Jefferson wrote to Philip Mazzei:

“…remarkeable deaths lately are Samuel Adams, Edmund Pendleton, Alexander Hamilton, Stevens Thomson Mason, Mann Page, Bellini, & Parson Andrews. to these I have the inexpressible grief of adding the name of my youngest daughter who had married a son of mr Eppes, and has left two children. my eldest daughter alone remains to me, and has 6. children. this loss has increased my anxiety to retire, while it has dreadfully lessened the comfort of doing it.”

August 28th he mentions to Robert Smith:

“Willing is Presidt. of the bank of the US. you may also observe he was Chairman at a meeting when they agreed to hoist the black cockade on the left arm in honour of Hamilton.”

October 11th, 1805 to Albert Gallatin:

“I imagine Colo. Hamilton had assays made wherein he founded his rates of foreign coins. indeed I think I recollect his having stated in some of his reports the particulars of his assays.”

To William Short, 12 October 1806:

“…you had, in your letters to Hamilton, indulged yourself in the same expressions of disgust towards the revolution of France.”

To Walter Jones, 5 March 1810 and my personal favorite:

“…Washington’s practice for the first two or three years of his administration, till the affairs of France & England threatened to embroil us, and rendered consideration & discussion desirable. in these discussions, Hamilton & myself were daily pitted in the cabinet like two cocks. we were then but 4. in number, and, according to the majority, which of course was of three to one, the President decided. the pain was for Hamilton & myself, but the public experienced no inconvenience. I practised this last method, because the harmony was so cordial among us all, that we never failed, by a contribution of mutual views, of the subject, to form an opinion acceptable to the whole.”

To Benjamin Rush, 16 January 1811

“[telling a story]I invited them to dine with me, and after dinner, sitting at our wine, having settled our question, other conversation came on, in which a collision of opinion arose between mr Adams & ColoHamilton, on the merits of the British constitution, mr Adams giving it as his opinion that, if some of it’s defects & abuses were corrected, it would be the most perfect constitution of government ever devised by man. Hamilton, on the contrary asserted that, with it’s existing vices, it was the most perfect model of government that could be formed; & that the correction of it’s vices would render it an impracticable government. and this you may be assured was the real line of difference between the political principles of these two gentlemen. another incident took place on the same occasion which will further delineate Hamilton’s political principles. the room being hung around with a collection of the portraits of remarkable men, among them were those of Bacon, Newton & Locke. Hamilton asked me who they were. I told him they were my trinity of the three greatest men the world had ever produced, naming them. he paused for some time: ‘the greatest man, said he, that ever lived was Julius Caesar.’ Mr Adams was honest as a politician as well as a man; Hamilton honest as a man, but, as a politician, believing in the necessity of either force or corruption to govern men.”

Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on Patrick Henry, [before 12 April 1812]

“…from being the most violent of all anti-federalists however, he was brought over to the new constitution by his Yazoo speculation before mentioned. the Georgia legislature having declared that transaction fraudulent & void, the depreciated paper which he had bought up to pay for the Yazoo purchase was likely to remain on his hands worth nothing. but Hamilton’s funding system came most opportunely to his relief, & suddenly raised his paper from 2/6 to 27/6 the pound. Hamilton became now his idol, and abandoning the republican advocates of the constitution, the federal government, on federalprinciples, became his political creed.”

To John Melish, 13 January 1813

“…others with all it’s corruptions & abuses. this last was Alexander Hamilton’s opinion, which others as well as myself have often heard him declare, and that a correction of what are called it’s vices would render the English an impracticable government…in this they adhere to the known principle of General Hamilton, never under any views to break the union. Anglomany, Monarchy, & Separation then are the principles of the Essex federalists, Anglomany & Monarchy, those of the Hamiltonians, and Anglomany alone that of the portion among the people who call themselves federalists…he did this the more repeatedly, because he knew Genl Hamilton’s political bias, and my apprehensions from it.”

To Josiah Meigs, 18 September 1813

“…mr Hamilton, a son of Alexander Hamilton, of course a federalist and Angloman, and who was with the British army in Spain some time, declares it is their constant practice, and that at the taking Badajoz, he was himself eye-witness to it in the streets, & that the officers did not attempt to restrain it.”

To Walter Jones, 2 January 1814

“…and these declarations he repeated to me the oftener, and the more pointedly, because he knew my suspicions of Colo Hamilton’s views, and probably had heard from him the same declarations5 which I had, to wit, ‘that the British constitution with it’s unequal representation, corruption and other existing abuses, was the most perfect government which had ever been established on earth, and that a reformation of these abuses would make it an impracticable government.’”

To Elijah Griffiths, 15 May 1820

“Genl Washington’s negative to the law, but after a long. struggle in his mind, Hamilton prevailed in the last hour and let in this torrent of swindling institutions which have spread ruin and wretchedness over the face of our country.”

To John Adams, 1 November 1822

“I think Genl. Washington approved of building vessels of war to that extent. Genl. Knox I know did. but what was Colo. Hamilton’s opinion I do not in the least remember.”

To William H. Crawford, 20 June 1816

“…this most heterogeneous principle was transplanted into ours from the British system, by a man whose mind was really powerful [he was talking about Hamilton], but chained by native partialities to every thing English…”

To William Johnson, 4 March 1823

“…the life of Hamilton is in the hands of a man, who, to the bitterness of the priest adds the rancour of the fiercest federalism.”

To William Johnson, 12 June 1823

“…when, at the end of his second term, his Valedictory came out, mr Madison recognised in it several passages of his draught, several others we were both satisfied were from the pen of Hamilton, and others, from that of the President himself. these he probably put into the hands of Hamilton to form into a whole, and hence it may all appear in Hamilton’s handwriting; as if it were all of his composition.”

To James Madison, 13 June 1823

“…mentions a dispute between Genl. Washington’s friends and mrs. Hamilton as to the authorship of the Valedictory…”

To James Madison, 18 October 1823

“The jarrings between the friends of Hamilton and Pickering will be of advantage to the cause of truth. It will denudate the monarchism of the former and justify our opposition to him, and the malignity of the latter which nullifies his testimony in all cases which his passion can discolor.”

To Martin Van Buren, 29 June 1824

“we met at my office, Hamilton and myself agreed at once that there was too much ceremony for the character of our government, and particularly that the parade of the installation at N. York ought not to be copied on the present occasion; that the President should desire the Chief Justice to attend him at his chambers that he should administer the oath of office to him in the presence of the higher officers of the government and that the certificate of the fact should be delivered to the Secretary of State to be recorded, Randolph and Knox differed from us, the latter vehemently, they thought it not advisable to change any of the established forms, and we authorised Randolph to report our opinions to the President…he made these declarations the oftener because he knew my suspicions that Hamilton had other views, and he wished to quiet my jealousies on this subject. for Hamilton frankly avowed that he considered the British constitution, with all the corruptions of it’s administration, as the most perfect model of government which had ever been devised by the wit of man; professing however, at the same time, that the spirit of this country was so fundamentally republican that it would be visionary to think of introducing monarchy here, and that therefore it was the duty of it’s administrators to conduct it on the principles their constituents had elected.”

To William Short, 8 January 1825:

“…he takes great pains to prove, for instance, that Hamilton was no monarchist, by exaggerating his own intimacy with him and the impossibility, if he were so, that he should not, at some time have betrayed it to him. this may pass with uninformed readers, but not with those who have had it from Hamilton’s own mouth. I am one of those, and but one of many. at my own table, as well as elsewhere, I have heard him and mr Adams both avow their preference of monarchy, and especially that of England, over all other governments. both agreed it was the most perfect model of govmt ever devised by the wit of man: mr Adams adding only ‘if it’s corruptions were done away,’ and Hamilton that ‘with these corruptions it was perfect, and without them it would be an impracticable government.’”

Thomas Jefferson also had a bust of Alexander Hamilton. 

If you are interested in more information on the rivalry of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, be sure to read up on what I wrote about their relationship here

elmarayahs  asked:

Omg I saw all the Korrasami on my dash from your blog and I got hit with nostalgia because Korrasami is my OTP forever and always. Do you have a fic rec by chance?

Yeah sorry about that, I fell into a Korrasami shipping hole. I have extremely high standards for fan fic so most of the fics on my list are nothing short of amazing.



They say that true love hurts. Well, this could almost kill me. by frenetic_core

“In a world where you share in the pain of your soul mate, the Avatar’s other half has it pretty rough. (Soul mate AU where they can feel each other’s physical and emotional pain to a degree.) Updates sporadically. Will cover Books 1-4.” This is pretty fucking amazing but it’s not finished. I still highly highly HIGHLY recommend you read this. 


Venti Sized Crush by ZoeReed

“Tumblr prompt: I’m a barista and you’re the obnoxious customer who comes through and orders a venti macchiato while talking on the phone the whole time so I mispell your name in increasingly creative ways every day AU.” This is pretty good, it’s not my favorite but it manages to be fluffy and somehow still angsty. 


The Seeking Balance Series by SimplyKorra

“The story of Korra’s recovery, starting from the night after her fight with The Red Lotus. This is a detailed account of the things she went through, how it affected her and those who love her. With the added twist of her saying yes when Asami asks to go with her to the Southern Water Tribe to heal.” Definitely my favorite Book 3 fic, or even my favorite one ever. It does such a wonderful job dealing with Korra’s recovery and PTSD and the priority of their relationship and ugh, just go fucking read it already it’s just everything I imagined it to be. 


Cool For the Summer by iamyouropus (adieu_sweetamaryllis)

“It’s been three years since Korra left for college. Three long years since she’s talked to her friends. Now, she’s coming home for the summer just in time for a road trip with the old gang.Korrasami beach-house AU slow burn. Mentions of past Korra/Kuvira. Might be mentions of Mako/Wu.” This is one of my favorite AUs ever. It deals with Korra struggling with coming out and it’s just fucking amazing. It’s still being updated and I’m a beta for this story and you HAVE to read this.


I Could Make You New Legs by psocoptera

“For the first month after Korra leaves, Asami doodles wheelchairs. Post episode 4x02. An Asami-centric companion piece to ‘Korra Alone’.” I’m not going to lie, I cried. This is a one-shot and it’s beautiful and it’s probably not supposed to make me cry but it hit me in all the right spots also here I am crying. Just go read it okay?


all our lives by valedictories

“Asami is her heart; Asami is her home. And soon, now, Asami will be her wife. (Alternatively: Korra really needs to find better hiding places for important things.)” This is also a one-shot and written beautifully.


if these sheets were the states by neurolingual

“(“I love you.” Asami presses her words over the bruise on Korra’s eye. She echoes it on every cut and bandage she can find on Korra’s body, feels Korra’s hand in her hair, feels Korra’s heartbeat underneath her lips, warm and strong and alive. Alive.

Korra’s mouth burns like fire against Asami’s lips, hands framing Asami’s ribs when Asami pulls the sheets over them, closes the world away. Asami stops wondering what it’s like to imagine and curls into the real thing).” Another one-shot that I also cried reading. It’s fucking amazing and I am so happy we have such tremendous writers in this fandom.


eclipse by clarias

“Korra growing up in the South Pole.” This one’s a shorty but it’s so beautiful and gods I need to find more adjectives but there’s just so many great ones out there and just go read this please.


It’s such a gorgeous sight to see you in the middle of the night by natashass

“She texts Bolin: Good news: Asami isn’t a ghost that eats my ramen noodles.” This is the second most read fic in the entire Korrasami fandom I think and for good reason. This was the first Korrasami fic I read and I wasn’t disappointed. 


The Electric Soldier by lupinely

“When Jinora finds Korra in the swamp, she tells Korra that a group calling themselves the normalists have kidnapped and killed Asami. At least, that’s what they say they’ve done. A Captain America: The Winter Soldier-inspired season 4 AU.” THIS. THIS FUCKED ME UP BIG TIME. LIKE. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. YOU NEED TO READ THIS NOW. RIGHT NOW. MY FAVORITE FIC OF ALL TIME. 


All Roads by tofsla

“Republic City to Ba Sing Se, with a number of lessons learnt in the process. Korra and Asami take a road trip.” Another great, great, GREAT one-shot.


Like Broken Thunder by neurolingual

“They’re the last ones in the mess hall, so they’re at the end of the line, but Asami doesn’t care. She can see the skin on Korra’s shoulders move, stretching the dusted freckles near her neck when she motions through the technique she learned from her father when she was waist high, too. Just like Asami.” This is fucking awesome and made me miss camp all over again fuck.



Here is my soul, I hope you like it. 

anonymous asked:

Hey! I really loved your answer about hey angel. I think the one of the main reasons behind it being so polarizing is the religious imagery it brings up. I remember at the time people joking about Harrys tweets being for a Christian Rock album lol

The more I looked into the phrase “Beautiful Noise,” the stranger it gets.

Apparently, there was a documentary in 2014:

From this website:
http://www.beautifulnoisedocumentary.com/mobile.html

“Beautiful Noise is the first-ever documentary about one of the most influential, underground music movements of the late 20th century, a fascinating period when some innovative musicians mixed guitar noise into conventional pop song structures while maintaining a philosophy of letting the music speak for itself.

Although many of the people interviewed are notoriously press shy[,] they have opened up about their music and experiences from over 20 years ago, how they defied the rules and became sonic innovators that have inspired so many.

Featuring members of Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Slowdive, Chapterhouse, Swervedriver, Lush, Curve, Pale Saints, Seefeel, AR Kane, and Medicine. Also featuring Wayne Coyne, Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan and Robert Smith.

The film premiered May 31, 2014 at the Seattle International Film Festival and Internationally June 8, 2014 at the Sheffield International Film Festival and screened in more than 20 festivals worldwide, including the Don’t Knock the Rock Festival in Los Angeles and as the Opening Night selection for the Sound + Vision Festival at Lincoln Center.

Created by filmmakers Eric Green (Writer/Director) & Sarah Ogletree (Producer/Editor) and their production company HypFilms, Beautiful Noise is a DIY, indie film and passion project.”

Review from Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone magazine: “How can guitar clang amped up to the point of pain feel so much like bliss? How can ungodly slabs of feedback become such an addictive thrill? That’s the question behind Beautiful Noise: the definitive story of a moment when a host of rock dreamers aimed for the sky and broke on through.”

So, the documentary, which came out before MITAM was written, is named "Beautiful Noise,” features bands that used layers of synthesizer and amped electrical guitar sounds to mix electronic noise into conventional pop songs.

And, the film features iconic ‘90’s groups with their singular, signature synth sounds– Cocteau Twins, Lush, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan. Not only that, but some of these bands have a signature, dreamy kind of frontman/ singer.

“Hey Angel,” anyone?

I admit when Harry tweeted the lyrics, I didn’t know what to expect. Christian Rock was the last thing on my list, I must admit. 1D was not about to pull a Justin Bieber– 1DHQ would never allow it. Even without considering Zayn, who is Muslim, religion is too contentious an issue for a boy band with an international audience.

But as Harry said in Another Man, just because they don’t sing about religion outright doesn’t mean they aren’t spiritual.

I was so pleased to see that some of songs on MITAM weren’t really about romantic relationships. Songs like “Walking in the Wind” have a valedictory feel, all the more poignant for being on MITAM, the last album before hiatus.

Could “Hey Angel” be about God?

Let’s look at the bridge again:

Yeah I see you at the bar, at the edge of my bed
Backseat of my car, in the back of my head
I come alive when I hear your voice
It’s a beautiful sound, it’s a beautiful noise


A beautiful noise. The god of rock and roll. But also just… God. Something or Someone who is with you, no matter where in the world you’re touring, no matter how sad, homesick, in love, drunk. No matter who drifts in and out of your life as a boy bander. A constant. A guardian angel. Home.

Thanks for the ask.

[CONTINUED]

WENDY: Friends, family, guests. Graduates of 2016.
WENDY: I am truly honored to deliver the valedictory for this year’s graduating class.
WENDY: I look out at all of you today, the kids that I know and some kids that I don’t, but I am so proud of all of you. All of us.
WENDY: We made it.
WENDY: But this isn’t the end of anything. No, this is only the beginning.
WENDY: some of us will go on to get more education, some of us will jump straight into work. Some of us will be left wondering where they spent the last four years at all.
WENDY: But no matter where we end up after we go home today, I want you to promise me some things.

WENDY: I want you to promise me that you’ll not only be successful, but happy.
WENDY: That what you do with the rest of your life is something that you enjoy. It’s something that makes you proud, and something that makes you eager to get out of bed in the morning.
WENDY: Because while money is important, especially in this day and age, it’s equally as important to value your life and what you do with it.
WENDY: So please promise me that you’ll find some way to be happy.

WENDY: And, please promise me that you’ll make smart decisions.
WENDY: When you leave here, make a game plan and try to follow it as best as you can.
WENDY: Be productive, be intelligent, have some common sense. Learn to recognize your own self worth and what you can do for the rest of the world.
WENDY: It’s not up to everyone else to save the world someday. That’s an activity that everyone participates in.

WENDY: Maybe most importantly, I want you to promise me you’ll do good things with the rest of your life.
WENDY: Whether it makes you happy, finds you love, or is generally stress-free. I want you to be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
WENDY: Go somewhere, do something, make yourself and anyone else you possibly can feel good.
WENDY: I don’t just mean charity work or volunteering. I mean take that trip you’ve always wanted to. Apply for the job you’ve dreamed of having since you were a kid.
WENDY: Don’t let your past hold you down to where you are. Take off the heavy chains and let yourself soar higher than you ever thought you could.

WENDY: And last but certainly not least, I want you to promise me one more thing.
WENDY: I want you to love yourselves.
WENDY: Find love, and love yourselves. Be it in the form of a spouse, a roommate, a trusted coworker, or even a pet.
WENDY: Know that you matter. Know that you are capable, you are good people, and you will always be loved by someone.
WENDY: It’s one of the most important things humans can feel, love and acceptance. Make sure you feel loved and accepted, somehow, some way.

WENDY: And with that, all I have left to say is how very proud I am of the classmates and friends sitting in front of me today.
WENDY: I want only the best for all of you. I want you to go out and experience life, and make something great.
WENDY: Be introspective. Be educated. Be excellent. And, most of all, remember where you came from.
WENDY: Remember who you are, and stay true to how you feel. You never know what you can really do until you try it.
WENDY: Now, if you’ll all join me in switching the tassel from the right to the left…

5

Obama bids his final farewell to the nation from his adopted hometown of Chicago

President Barack Obama bid farewell to the nation on Tuesday in an emotional speech that sought to comfort a country on edge over rapid economic changes, persistent security threats and the election of Donald Trump.

Forceful at times and tearful at others, Obama’s valedictory speech in his hometown of Chicago was a public meditation on the many trials the U.S. faces as Obama takes his exit. For the challenges that are new, Obama offered his vision for how to surmount them, and for the persistent problems he was able to overcome, he offered optimism that others, eventually, will. (AP)

(Photos: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP, Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP, Jonathan Ernst/Reuters, Jonathan Ernst/Reuters, John Gress/Reuters)

___

See more images from Obama’s farewell on Yahoo News.

So it’s widely known that J.R.R. Tolkien was extremely critical of/dissatisfied with the state of academia in his time, and he also believed that linguistics, history, and literature were three facets of the same discipline that lost important context if considered individually.

Well I finally got around to reading his valedictory address, and oh my god if it isn’t the saltiest thing ever written.

Tolkien on scientific linguistics:
“ … forming what one might call our ‘hydroponic’ department.”

Tolkien on using undergrads as research assistants:
“Whatever may have been found useful in other spheres, there is a distinction between accepting the willing labor of many humble persons in building an English house and the erection of a pyramid with the sweat of degree-slaves.”

Tolkien on the process of getting a degree:
“… a 'planned economy’, under which so much research time is stuffed into more or less standard skins and turned out in sausages of a size and shape approved by our own little printed cookery book… . I should hesitate to accuse anyone of planning it with foresight.”

Tolkien on pop-culture studies:
“We now have on our hands one thousand two hundred years of recorded English letters, a long unbroken line, indivisible, no part of which can without loss be ignored.”

Tolkien on student accommodation:
“Meanwhile many of the better students wish to spend more time in a university; more time in learning things, in a place where that process is (or should be) approved and given facilities… . But alas! those with the more eager minds are not necessarily those who possess more money.”

Dear Sir:
I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as straitlaced, cantankerous, pecunious, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.
—  my american teacher showed us this letter during my third day at uni and I loved it. It was written by a copywriter called Robert Pirosh, who wanted to become a screenwriter; he got the job and won an Academy Award in 1949.
I know that we all think that we are immortal, we are supposed to feel that way, we are graduating, the future is and should be bright, but like our brief 4 years in high school, what makes life valuable is that it doesn’t last forever, what makes it precious is that it ends. Today of all days I am here to remind us that time is love, so don’t waste it living somebody else’s life, make you stand for something. Fight for what matters, no matter what! Because even if we fall short, what’s better way to live?
—  Gwendolyn Maxine Stacy
Rant - OC fans and Adam Young

Warning: LONG READ

Sitting here, listening to The Midsummer Station, I start to see what’s gone wrong. 


“Adam doesn’t interact with fans anymore!” “He’s completely abandoned the fans!”

That’s something I’ve heard countless times over the past year and a half or so, and as some have said before (making my rant a tad derivative, admittedly), I hardly can blame Adam when, since 2012, everyone from “fans” to critics have slammed him for every single creative step he’s taken, every release he’s put out, and every word he’s written in his songs. 

Singers, songwriters, etc, like all artists (of which I consider myself to be, as I am a writer and aspiring director), use artistry as their own personal form of expression. If emotions have been felt, negative or positive, hell, I know they’re bound to spring up in my writing shortly! I assume it’s no different than Adam’s process, as it’s clear to any fan of his that his songs all represent some part of himself or his experiences.

People, generally and from my experience, do not tend to stay stagnant in their emotions. Life is a journey, with many adventures, experiences and emotions spread out through it. Some days, you want to disappear, bury your head in the ground and tell the world to go away. Other days, you’re on a beach surrounded by people having a great time outdoors surrounded by people you love. (Tidal Wave x Good Time) 

So, when Ocean Eyes and All Things Bright and Beautiful were written, built and released, those were chapters in the book of Adam’s life. But as all stories do, his life continued and new chapters cropped up, chapters worthy of telling in a new album, and there was The Midsummer Station. From love songs, to innocent repetitious pop tracks about having fun with friends, to songs about battling depression, the album covered the entire canvas of the emotional spectrum, and you could feel Adam’s story being told, and a new chapter unfolding. Not to mention, Adam? He loves the album to death and has gone on record saying it was the most fun album to record, release and perform. Respectable, right?

Countless fans who couldn’t wait for the album’s release savaged the living hell out of it. Here are just a few lines from “fans.” 

“…this is just bad generic pop music. I understand that Owl City has always been slighty generic and very cheesy, but this is a new low for him.”

“Adam has managed to go from a creative, unique, individual artist to a generic, mainstream nobody. No ones gonna remember this album. All it has to offer is hollow and cheesy pop club anthems.”

“…this album takes everything I love about Owl City and throws it out the window. His quirky metaphoric words have been exchanged for simple and often childish lyrics.” 

What about critics? Worse. 

“Young’s idea of fun is based on an uneasy mix of cheap valedictory philosophizing and infantile daydreaming.”

“His fluency with pop forms only makes things worse; Young spoils everything he touches. The Carly Rae Jepsen duet “Good Time” is grating enough to make you hate Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe” and also good times in general.”

“Where once he dreamed of Fireflies, now Young just sounds burned out.”

Adam’s pride and joy, his favorite of his creations musically, savaged not only by critics, but by the people who once said how much they loved him and his music. Imagine your family turning against you, screaming at you, when you’re someone with anxiety, depression, and needs to conquer severe introversion every night to face this crowd of judgmental people and sing the songs they hate you for making.    

After that, Adam released some soundtrack tracks, and with confidence, seemingly having beaten the critics, he boldly promised fans that he would release a string of EP’s for the fans. This after the attacks on TMSS, and in the midst of a label switch. After that plan seemed to falter, Ultraviolet atleast seemed to please a fair amount of people… except for “This Isn’t The End”, a personal song Adam wrote discussing suicide, loss, and his belief that life deserves to continue in the midst of the worst hardships. Well, fans seemed to disagree with it’s placement on the EP, and said it was “out of place” and “awkward.”

Two attacks on some of your most personal art is enough to deter anyone from continuing perusing the art-form… But he continued, and released Mobile Orchestra. Well, just look at some of the responses to the newest album from Adam. 

“Fans”

“ Mobile Orchestra has to be the most confused album I’ve ever heard from Owl City. There’s hardly any consistency in style from song to song, and the lyrics are bland and understandable. Owl City lyrics are not supposed to be like that. If you are a classical Owl City fan, don’t bother with Mobile Orchestra, it will disappoint.”

“ Just point me at the moment when Adam stopped making fairytales for ears and started to do typical pop-food for 16-years girls. I need to travel back in that time to stop him.”

“ As a huge Owl City fan, I’m disappointed with this new album in so many ways I can’t even put it into words. I honestly never thought I would ever say this but I could barely listen to all of the songs from beginning to end. I literally had to skip every song, and I couldn’t help but hope that the next one would be amazing so I wouldn’t feel so bad.”

“ Sorry, but this album just isn’t good at all. I’ll forget that this exists and hope that Adam Young returns to his roots a little and makes an album that is at least listenable.”

Critics

“ It’s unoriginal and twee.”

“ Everything on the new album by Owl City sounds as if it was recorded by children, or trolls/ Young delivers with wonder so wide-eyed you’d think he must be high/ Young’s nerdy sensibility kills it, It most strongly affects his singing, which crosses the line from boyish to infantile.”

“ Owl City’s fifth album, Mobile Orchestra, arrives this Friday, and it contains the worst music he’s ever made. It might be the worst music anyone has ever made. Mobile Orchestra is so atrocious that you might find yourself thinking, hey, maybe “Fireflies” wasn’t so bad after all. Subjecting yourself to it will likely lead to physical discomfort, emotional distress, and a despair that runs deeper than words. It’s the kind of album that inspires avowed pop fans to reconsider rockism as a life philosophy.”

After both of his recent outputs have been torn apart by fans and critics alike, it leads little mystery why Adam, a man already humble, anxious and nervous, yet very prideful of his work, has completely altered his public persona to be isolated, very “business oriented”, and “abandon” us. Hell, the hatred of Mobile Orchestra rained down on him all while he was in the midst of one of his best friends being found guilty of a very serious crime. That’s heavy weight. 

The “fans”, those of us who used to interact with him every day via social media, go to the concerts and flail around with him, have turned on him. Another great indicator? Every person who will like or reblog this, I will know your URL, profile picture, and maybe even name as you do. The fandom, the optimistic and content bunch that remains, is so tightly knit and small. The vast majority? They’ve turned on Adam. And unfortunately, Adam has begun to turn his back on us. 

So the next time you wonder “Why are his eyes closed on stage?” 
“Why are all of his tweets promotional?”
And, most frightening but more likely with every passing day, “Why did Adam quit?”, remember to look no further than the fandom. 

youtube.com
State of the European Union Speech 2017
http://ec.europa.eu/soteu Every September in the annual State of the European Union speech the President of the European Commission takes stock of the achiev...

Three years already, time flies when you’re having fun it seems. Jean-Claude Juncker has delivered his third State of the European Union address, laying out the situation we find ourselves in and the plan for the rest of his mandate.

The first apparent theme is almost valedictory. The economic good news, the political tide turning, the absence of the much-predicted domino effect on the far-right. Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective from across the English Channel, where thoughts are inevitably focussed on endings and the news is invariably negative, but Juncker seemed especially retrospective this year.

The bulk of the speech though builds on the retrospective and lays out the plan for the remaining months of this legislative term. It is an ambitious plan. The Union is to be enhanced, with the Energy Union, a new Cybersecurity Agency and expanded agendas on global trade and the climate that step into the void of global leadership, all on the table.

As well as these ambitious steps forward, there is a lot of tidying up mentioned. This includes an accession instrument to make joining the Eurozone a far more attractive proposal to non-Euro member states, a merger of the Council and Commission presidencies into a single executive head of the European Union, and an extension of the Schengen free movement area to Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia among other things. All worthy efforts to reduce the number of exceptions, anomalies and special cases that make the Union so complicated and difficult to understand.

The take-home message seems to centre on the importance of equality and unity. Perhaps it is slightly redundant to point that out, but over the past year much has been made of a multi-speed Europe, of some member states getting together to enhance their union while leaving other members behind. This sits alongside and almost tries to justify the inexcusable situation where recent accession member states see lower standards in food and goods, where posted workers are paid less than domestic workers across borders and where failures in regulation mean vaccines can save lives in one member state but are unavailable in another.

Juncker rejects these inequalities in no uncertain terms, tying the rule of law that has been so controversial in some new accession members to the idea of equal treatment, equal responsibility and solidarity. It is an important message, one that comes at a timely moment when it might be more convenient to simply evade so many difficult debates with an advocacy of a multi-speed union. As part of this, the idea of a separate Eurozone parliament is rejected, and not a moment too soon. Setting aside duplication and complexity arguments, no quicker way to relegate recent accession states to second class status exists. Instead, Juncker throws his support behind the creation of transnational list seats in the European Parliament we already have, to democratize our Europe and Europeanise our democracy.

And finally, the message of unity inevitably ties back to Brexit. Juncker expresses regret that the Union will have 27 members after the 29th of March 2019, come what may. Mere regret doesn’t begin to cover it, but the end of British membership isn’t the end of the whole Union. The 27 member states will be joined by the states in the Western Balkans in due course, and it is appropriate that Juncker is proposing a relaunch summit on the 30th of March to be held in Sibiu. Yes, it is a fun coincidence of Romania holding the rotating Council presidency that it will happen almost as far away from Britain as you can get while in the EU. But holding the event in Sibiu in particular is also useful to underline the point that Europe’s future is in reaching out to new Europeans and finding ways to bridge our differences, not in obsessing over the mistakes of the past.

Crossing the Water

Black lake, black boat, two black, cut-paper people.
Where do the black trees go that drink here?
Their shadows must cover Canada.

A little light is filtering from the water flowers.
Their leaves do not wish us to hurry:
They are round and flat and full of dark advice.

Cold worlds shake from the oar.
The spirit of blackness is in us, it is in the fishes.
A snag is lifting a valedictory, pale hand;

Stars open among the lilies.
Are you not blinded by such expressionless sirens?
This is the silence of astounded souls.

–Sylvia Plath, Sylvia Plath: The Collected Poems