we are the 21st century

My version of attending university. 📚Preorders for ‘The Avant Garde Society Volume Two’ are now available on Shopify, link in bio x In this volume I address topics of self realization, consciousness, transcendentalism, solipsism, spirituality, love, destruction, politics, conspiracy, art & poetry. Each page is a direct connection into my intricate world I have constructed. Welcome to my society x I love each of you as family, revolutionist and liberators ❤️🇫🇷 As a generation existing in 2017 we have the ability to be remembered as the 21st century Age of Enlightenment if we unite for the progress of mankind and our culture. Manifestations of the human intellect is necessary! #AvantGardeSociety #VolumeTwo #EmersonBarrett #Existentialism

I think there is a concept that we don’t talk about enough when we are talking about 21st century homophobia: and specifically (though not exclusively) homophobia directed against lesbians.  I think it’s something that I’ve seen in people who were some variety of  “born again” social conservative (ie. they are familiar with LGBT ideas because they used to run in left-y, queer-studies, etc, circles).  I also see it reflected in the un-changing popularity of “former lesbian married to a man” memoirs.  And finally in the post thread I’ve seen going around today about how straight women infantalize gay women and gay relationships. 

It’s this idea that homosexuality is a harmless, but childish millennial affectation.  Of course when you are in college you want to live the #vanlife or dye your hair funny colors, or have “sex” with other girls.  You might even act like you are “dating”, or even ridiculously enough that you are “married”.  But this is just like a millennial posting a picture of their dorm as #domestic.   I mean, that’s nice and all, but real grown-ups are straight. 

This idea drives a fair amount of actively hostile homophobia:  It’s insulting to my real adult marriage for you to use the same word for your college girl play marriage.  Lesbians wouldn’t let me marry my loving  husband the same way your fellow binge drinking frat friends won’t let you grow up and be responsible. LGBT people in general are the ultimate millennial stereotype: refusing to just grow up and have normal hetero relationships. 

 I think it’s also at play in more subtle liberal forms of homophobia. Of course only assimilationist gays want to get married!  I mean, why would you fun loving rebels want to be just like us squares? What even is the point of acting like your gal pal is your wife? How boring!  

I just feel like I have a lot more understanding of what is going on when I see homophobic shit when I realize that there is an unspoken framing that heterosexuality= adult responsibilities,  homosexuality= frivolous youth subculture.

ladies gentlemen and others, I have come to introduce you to the avengers youtube channel

tony created the whole thing and and the bio reads: robin hood, uncle sam, ginger snaps, goldilocks, jolly green and the tin man’s chill room

there are videos of natasha teaching self defense moves for women, using the boys as props. her showing tips to learn other languages and “five things you didn’t know you could turn into a weapon”. her filming twenty minute long videos answering questions and giving advice to young girls about everything, from safety, mental health, recognizing abusive behavior in men, self confidence, and how to safely get out of risky situations

thor has a series of videos that go from “things of midgard I (Thor) do not understand” and “thor tries things” of his tasting foods from all over the globe because he is deeply fascinated and respectful of other cultures

bruce does a video series of him teaching yoga and meditation, and every once in a while he asks another member of the team to participate, and by far the most viewed one is of him trying to teach tony to stay still and not say anything and tony does try, but fails miserably while bruce sighs. bruce showing recipes from all the places he’s been. “how to create a stress free environment” videos

tony being the science dad™ making videos of “cool shit you can do with useless eletronics you haven’t used since the 90s but haven’t thrown out yet”. he has short videos of “easier ways to physics” and “math for things you will actually use on your day to day life”. he makes thirty minute long videos of him showing pop culture to steve and thor. so. many. storytime. videos. “that time we tried to lift thor’s hammer”, “steve and the 21st century”, “I watched natasha castrate a man with a plastic spoon”, “clint making the mistakes again”, “reasons why I love bruce banner”. “how to handle anxiety like a boss” videos

steve does the whole thing, from homemade remedies for sick kids that he learned when times were rough and sarah couldn’t afford the real ones. workout tips. and of course, educational yet ranting videos of basic human decency things that should’ve changed in 70 years but haven’t. “it’s ok to ask for help, it doesn’t make you weak” videos

clint being that bitch, trolling everyone in everyway imaginable. changing thor’s shampoo bottle for pink hair dye? check. coloring all of steve’s clothes red blue and white? check. changing the sugar of bruce’s tea for salt? check. making jarvis play everyone a different theme song for when they walk into the room? check. and of course, tony. there are several hour long compilation videos of him scaring the shit out of tony

all of them reading fanfiction about each other. stony, clintasha, ironhawk, ironwidow, romanogers, thor/everyone, loving all the combinations they can find. yes to poliamory and everyone loving each other

jarvis livestreams a night of them drinking asgardian ale and playing mario kart and singing high school musical songs on karaoke. it breaks youtube viewing records

Witchcraft Does Not Have To Be Pretty

We’re 21st century practitioners. We mix the craft with our lives. I love going out into the woods and making things in nature, or lighting candles and putting together spells, but I’ll be the first to say, 95% of my witchcraft isn’t pretty.

I blast Imagine Dragons when I talk to my deities.

I’m usually making spell sachets while watching The Office.

I do EVERYTHING in my yoga pants and college sweater, because who wears real clothes at home?

And idc if Practical Magic is just a movie, I will quote that shit until the day I die.

no but (among the 1424356 other things on my list) i so need to write a book about medieval history for a popular audience, just because the reality would blow people’s minds

there are so many things you can learn from it, so many misconceptions to destroy, and such an interesting social and cultural study of people learning to do things in different ways after rome fell. they had a period of almost 1000 years where classical culture was NOT the automatic standard. that is why we have gothic architecture and script. why they invented new literary and artistic genres, why they developed new laws. where, unlike in the ancient world, women and slaves were not relegated to a position of utter inferiority – in fact, slavery was abolished throughout most of the middle ages, and only began returning in the 16th-17th century when people were determined to replicate the criteria and legal systems of antiquity. same with women. you can find records of women doctors, bookbinders, copyists, shopkeepers, traders etc throughout the high middle ages. women religious were HUGELY influential; the abbey of fontevrault in france was required to have an abbess, not an abbot, in charge. queens regularly ruled whenever the king wasn’t around. it was only in 1593 that france, for example, decided to outlaw them from public/professional life. the salic law, made by philip iv in the early 14th century, barred them from inheriting the throne and later spread throughout europe, but that was not the case beforehand.

don’t talk to me about how “feudal anarchy” was a thing. feudalism was the last thing from anarchy, and it wasn’t about a lord mistreating or killing his peasants however he pleased. it was a highly structured and regulated system of mutual obligations – not a desirable condition for the serf, but still the bedrock on which society functioned. serfs were not slaves. they had personhood, social mobility, could own property, marry, form families, and often obtain freedom once they were no longer in an economic condition to make serfhood a necessity. abbot suger of france (late 11th-early 12th century) was most likely a son of serfs. he was educated at the same monastery school as the later king louis vi, ran the kingdom while louis vii was on crusade, and became the foremost historian of the period and partially responsible for establishing the tradition of ecclesiastical chronicles.

don’t talk to me about how everyone was a fervent and uncritical religious fanatic. church attendance on the parish level was so low that in 1215, pope innocent III had to issue a bull ordering people to take communion at least once a year. the content of clerical grievances tells us that people behaved and thought exactly as we do today – they wanted to sleep in on sunday, they wanted to have sex when they pleased, they didn’t believe the guy mumbling bad latin at them, they openly questioned the institutional church’s legitimacy (especially in the 13th century – it was taking assaults on every side as splinter and spinoff sects of every nature grew, along with literacy and the ability of common people to access books and learning for themselves). in the 14th century, john wycliffe and the lollards blasted the rigidly hierarchical nature of medieval society (“when adam delved and eve span, who then was the gentleman?”) partly as a result, wat tyler, a fellow englishman, led the peasants’ revolt in 1381. yes, the catholic church had a social and institutional power which we can’t imagine, but it was fought and questioned and spoken back to every step of the way.

don’t talk to me about how they were scientifically ignorant. isidore of seville, in the frickin 7th century, wrote books and books on science and reason from his home at the center of the andalusian “golden age” in muslim spain. toledo in the 9th century was a hotbed of theology, mathematics, and writing; admiring western european observers called multicultural, educated iberia “the ornament of the world.” in the 8th century in the monastery of jarrow in northumbria (aka in the middle of FRICKING NOWHERE) the venerable bede was able to open his “ecclesiastical history of the english people” with a discussion on cultural, linguistic, demographic, historical, geographical, and astronomical details, and refers to britain’s location near the north pole as a reason for its days being long in summer and short in winter (“for the sun has then departed to the region of Africa”). while bede’s information is obviously imperfect by virtue of his social and chronological location, he is a trained scholar with a strong critical sensibility and the ability to turn a memorable phrase; discussing an attempted imperial coup by an illiterate roman soldier, he sniffs, “As soon as he had seized power he crossed over to Gaul. There he was often deluded by the barbarians into making doubtful treaties, and so inflicted great harm on the body politic.”

don’t talk to me about how they were uneducated and illiterate. they were well versed in antiquity and classical authors through the high middle ages. they didn’t just suddenly discover them again when the 15th century started. the renaissance wasn’t about finding the texts, it was about deciding to apply them in a systematic way. beforehand, the 13th century saw the rediscovery of aristotle and the development of a new philosophical system to compete with the long-entrenched and studied works of plato. thomas aquinas and the dominicans were writing in this century. dante wrote the inferno in this century. i could go on.

don’t talk to me about the stereotype of the silent and oppressed woman – we already discussed that a bit above. i should also add, women usually had voting rights on the level of their community and this wasn’t regarded as odd. i already wrote a ranty post earlier on the myth that “it was just medieval times” and thus a rapey free-for-all.

we should also talk about how a form of gay marriage was legal for hundreds of years – two men could take wedding vows in a church and live together like any other married couple (though they called them “spiritual brotherhoods”). we should also talk about the cult of male bonds between knights in the 12th/13th century, and how it was idealized as the highest form of love. i also wrote a post a while ago about richard the lionheart and how sexuality worked. so.

we should talk about how all of this was happening in the time period that routinely gets written off as basically a wash between the fall of rome and the renaissance. we should remember that the renaissance was what led to modern structures of oppression for women, slaves, etc – everyone who had been worth nothing in antiquity. we should tear into the myth of historical progress and how it was invented to justify massive, wholesale colonization, genocide, and “civilization” in the supposedly enlightened 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries – because nothing we do now, apparently, can be as bad as what those bad ol’ bloodthirsty ignoramuses did back then.

we shouldn’t idealize the medieval era as a golden age either. that is never the right way to approach history. but we should take a long, long look at why we are so insistent on our simplistic, erroneous concepts of this time period, and how exactly they serve to justify our behaviors, mindsets, and practices today.

further reading to support any of these topics available on request.

;slowdance on the inside (m)

pairing— kim taehyung x reader | feat jeon jungkook
genre/warnings— light angst, romance/fluff and smut
words— 20,476

:: summary— Taehyung has liked you as long as he can remember. He’s unsure when the line blurred from friendship to romantically, but it’s about to get a lot worse when he’s forced to watch you date his friend, Jungkook…

Keep reading

you know what’s really precious about 21st century girls?? it’s that it’s one of the only songs written by male idols that’s about women, solely about women as their own persons. it’s not about women who rejected them or women they’re crushing on or women they’ve dated. it’s about empowering them and actually talking about how wonderful they are. it’s a song dedicated to us and we don’t get a lot of that.

anonymous asked:

I feel so stupid lol ☺️ but i really need to ask this, i am 16-17 and i wanna be more girly and like lil'woman, how can i? Thank you soooo much again 💕

 Oh! You want to be more “girly” ? Well, I’m going to take in fact what girly normally means in this sense and use it like that ahhah! Don’t feel stupid, though.

First thing’s first:

You have your own style that is unique to you…etc. You don’t have to be something else, though if you are currently not happy with yourself and are working on self improvement, I encourage you to do so. Let’s start with some basics on what “girly” or “feminine” is! 

Girly is basically acting in very feminine and liking feminine things. However, there is MUCH more to it than just the look. I’m going to start off with the more “mature” side of things, as you said you wanted to be more like a woman (which includes maturity) and then we can work on other things! It’s not just a style, it’s a mindset. The “fuck you i’m going to get my goals” mindset.

Embracing yourself:

/Note: None of this is set in stone. This is just my opinion on to help her grow into a stronger and more mature woman.

  • Do not take shit. Walk with your head high and smile. If someone puts you down, ask yourself: “Is this a logical problem or is it opinionated?” If it is opinionated, ignore it. If it is logical and backed with evidence and reasoning, take it into factor and make note to work on that.
  • Learn to treat yourself. It’s okay to want to spend a little extra money on yourself sometimes.
  • Be independent. Don’t rely on others to get things done for you. Your homework is your homework. Your job is your job. Be independent and don’t rely on them to do it for you!
  • Treat yourself and others with respect. I have a rule, instead of just “you have to earn my respect” I say: “I respect until you disrespect, and at that point, I drop all respect I’ve had for you.”
  • Fight immaturity with maturity. If someone is being messy as hell, fight back with maturity. Give no fucks. Show no mercy. When they call you a name and try to fight, if you want to piss them off AND come off as mature, say something like: “Honestly, I have goals to reach. I don’t have time for you to be immature and try to ruin that for me.” And walk off.
  • Don’t be afraid to break sometimes. It happens to the strongest of people. There is no way I could count how many times I sat in bed at night trying to stop crying. Cry, and afterwards, take a deep breath and tell yourself that you’ll get through this.
  • DO NOT let people dictate who you are. Don’t let these little boys or girls tell you that you need to look like this or that. Don’t let them tell you who you should be. Not even your parents are allowed to tell you who to be. If they try, pretend to obey but do the exact opposite. Be who YOU are.
  • Get your schoolwork done, babe. Seriously this is important, it isn’t about the grades. It’s about furthering your knowledge and showing everyone that you can do what they think you can’t.
  • Have fun! Have fun if you want, but be safe.
  • Do everything with confidence, even if you have to fake it!
  • Follow your passions. Maybe you like dance, singing art, makeup or whatever else. Do it. 
  • Remember that if anyone ever says you fucked them, that only gives you power.
  • If you’re giving an assignment wednesday and are told you need it finished by friday, work on it wednesday. Cut off all distractions and work on that assignment. Afterwards, write down everything you didn’t understand. The next day, spend time learning about what you didn’t understand and proofread the assignment 3 times. This applies for ALL days.
  • Exams coming up soon? Stop staying up all night studying. Study in 10-15 minute intervals with 5 minute breaks. Quiz yourself every hour to find your weak links and then study those. What are you scared of failing most? Focus on that.
  • You’re 16-17. You know about sex. You know how it works. You may have already have sex. This is okay. All I ask of you is to be safe. Do NOT rely on someone to have condoms, if you need, go buy them yourself. Know how to do things safely. Remember: Kink isn’t spontaneous, it’s safe words. Anal isn’t a quick slip, it’s reading articles on how to do it and lube. Be safe, be real.
  • In the case that you get pregnant: Breathe. Make your choices. Do what you need to do and always remember that you can run in my askbox and talk to me about everything. I will always be here to listen. You can also read articles and such on parenting advice, how to do it as a teenager..etc.
  • I’m telling you the above because I’ve had friends who got pregnant at 15-16 or 17 and didn’t know what to do.
  • Also: 
  • Don’t slut shame  or talk bad about girls who want to have sex and have lots of it. Instead, encourage them to do it safely.
  • Don’t put anyone down that isn’t as popular as you. Bring them up. 
  • Being sweet will get you a long way.
  • Act twice your age if you want to look really mature in front of all the teachers and shit. Literally you can read articles..etc. on maturity.
  • Remember that maturity does not mean you can’t have fun.
  • If you feel depressed…etc. talk to someone. Don’t be silent.
  • One of the first signs I ever had of anorexia was that I craved the disorder. Which means I literally wanted to be it. Little did I know it was going to drag me through hell. If you have these thoughts, get help.
  • Do not be afraid of going to get help from a professional.

Inspirational Shit:

/Note:  Take notes on these. Take them to heart. Carry them with you like a blankie to a baby and don’t let go of them.

  • “All flowers must start as sprouts.” -  Me
  • “To fight or to cower down, that is the question. The question in which you should answer from the ground, even face down in the dirt, bloody and bruised from life with a smirk. Because to fight when you’re down is the most courageous thing.” - Me
  • “And she will bow to no one nor anything, and the day she does, you should fear.” - Me
  • “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.” - Picasso
  • “Don’t run backwards, no never, even if it breaks down, oh better.” - Tomorrow
  • “If you feel like you’re going to crash, accelerate you idiot.” - Nevermind
  • “You don’t need a ‘reason’ to live. Live because you can. Live because in the end, even if it hurts, you don’t need a reason to live. All that matters is that you’re here.” - Me
  • “If I ever break through the wall of failure, people will be in awe at the sight of me rising from nothingness.” - Me
  • “Some girls are full of heartache and poetry and those are the kind of girls who try to save wolves instead of running away from them.” - Nikita Gill  //Be one of those girls. - me//
  • If you want to truly live, you have to be tested, whether by yourself or the cruel game of life. - Me
  • Stop living in fear of what might happen and start living in what is happening. - Me
  • “Don’t fashion me into a maiden that needs saving from a dragon. I am the dragon and I will eat you whole.” - Unknown
  • “She spun herself a crown of gold, thrones of bones and citadels, to the deaf stars she screamed: make me queen or I’ll make you bleed.” M.J.
  • “You’re masking past failure with your present success and it’s both beautiful and terrifying, like watching a witch write your name in the stars.” A.Ashstar
  • Lmao there’s a lot from me but most of them have literally kept my best friends from dying so I added them anyways.
  • “Touch me and you’ll burn.” - Margaret Atwood
  • This photographers work will inspire you
  •  “You’re worth it, you’re perfect, you deserve it, just work it.” - 21st Century girl 

Now we can get on to the typical “style” or such. This is just some stuff that I’ve accumulated. However there is so much more to it. You dress how YOU want to dress. Do what makes you confident. But if you want, I do have a polyvore. (celestial-sweets). Now onto some style recommendations to embrace your femininity! When most people think “feminine” they think “dress” when I think feminine, I think “gorgeous”. There will be a massive variety under this. So you can wear whatever you want and still have style recommendations.

Clothing Style:

/Note: I feel the need to say that you should wear whatever makes you confident and comfy again.

  • Chic:
  • Tucked in tank tops and body suits with jeans
  • White skinny jeans look amazing with this look
  • Get your glitter lipstick on if you want boo yes work it
  • Nude also works well
  • Normally they don’t add a lot of highlight but i you want, yesss
  • Wavy/curly hair looks gorgeous with this style
  • Heels (usually black or tan) are a hella yes
  • Mascara and nude eyeshadow
  • Natural looking brows
  • Button ups
  • Baddie:
  • Do the above with this new style too, itll work
  • But also if you wear bodycon itll be hella looking baddie
  • thigh high boots happen a lot
  • matte lipstick
  • with matte eyeshaodw but with a really clean glitter
  • yea that happens
  •  and gradient brows ive noticed
  •  but the best part about this look is that you can be casual with it and look like you’re some kinda goddess i swear
  •  literally if you toss on some highlighter, a pair of ripped jeans and a shirt with some adidas 
  • or likea bomber jacket, a sports tank and shorts, with adidas and some like nude lipstick, brown mascara and highlgihter
  •  you will literally glow like you have never glown before
  • Crop tops are a thing with this look yall
  • Hella Cute And  Casual:
  • Jeans, sweatpants
  • Toss on like a crop top hoodie and a cropped tank and boom
  • oh oh oh and if you wear an oversized plain white t shirt with like a pair of jean shorts
  • you will make heads turn
  • honestly tho and with this, you wanna have very very light eyeliner like
  • just tightline the top, light mascara, aa clear gloss on your lips
  • you will be a glowing boo without even trying
  •  AND DUDE A MESSY BUN YES
  •  but if your hair is too short for that that’s okay boo i understand, 
  • itlls still look cute as fuck
  •  Fancy As Hell:
  • Heels, strappy ass heels,
  • Small chain necklaces with tiny pendants 
  • A ring or two, with some shiny bracelets
  •  nails
  • dresses dresses more dresses
  • soft curls or straight hair works well
  • a black scarf paired with a button up shirt and some black slacks and a pair of heels will make you look like a business woman
  • or like a pencil skirt
  • but a black pleated one works too
  • stockings go well with this look
  • TBH tho just wear what you wanna wear.  
  • Remember to put an outfit together super easily you can stick to basic colors like black/tan/gray/white and throw something on so quick to look fancy
  • Also to be honest any fancy undies will make you feel so much more feminine i swear
  •  like i have some lace ones with poka dot and i cry they make me feel so good
  • EXPLORE CLOTHING!!!
  • Bbut if you want to look very mature then you should look at business women…etc. take notes on style from it and how to present yourself.

Self care:

/Note: yes boo get ur self care

  • Wash your face
  • Moisturize
  • Don’t sleep in makeup
  • Coconut oil your legs like hella
  • Don’t forget to brush your teeth darling
  • Organize and clean your room once a week
  • Get your dishes out of the room EVERY DAY
  • Go to bed at a reasonable time if you have school okay
  • Wash your clothes when the basket is almost full, not full. But almost full. And learn how to properly wash them.
  • Go on a walk once a week or do some kind of activity
  • Drink ya water girl!
  • all this is so stereotypical but idgaf
  • Watch movies sometimes
  • EXPLORE!! Safely, though
  • If there’s somewhere you want to go, start saving a little bit of money to go there
  • When you wake up, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you love you. 
  • Fight towards your goals
  • Ttake your damn vitamins boo bear. Like vitamins and nutrition support can help you so much more than you would know.
  • Don’t overwork yourself.
  • Love yourself, love myself. - RM

Okay boo that’s all the advice I have! Literally just have fun, much love dear. Always remember you can come to my ask box!! Have fun! Love yourself!!!

8

Tank Girl. 


“Black and blue, the face of Tank Girl.” 

“The volatile Molatov girl.” 

“Tank Girl cover, c. 1995.” 

“One hour ahead of the posse.” 

“We all have friends at Bell’s end.” 

“Duck season?… Rabbit season?” 

“All new 21st Century Tank Girl cover, the cock rocket.” 


Aside from Gorillaz, Jamie Hewlett is most known for his earliest crazy creation, Tank Girl, which started as a strip in a magazine called Deadline in 1988. Instantly, people fell in love, and it quickly became a comic series. 

Tank Girl is immensely popular, even to this day, for a reason. It’s a good look into Jamie’s art and how it influenced his later works. Crazy scenarios, fucked up characters, that eccentric, apocalyptic feel… Artists all over the world look to these comics as inspiration. 

The character Tank Girl is also immensely popular. She’s badass and weird and gross and vulgar and sexual and violent. She smokes, and fucks, and shoots, and has fun- She’s dating a bloody kangaroo for God’s sake! Tank Girl isn’t sweet or pretty or kind or gentle. She’s fucked up, in the best way possible. 

Tank Girl as a whole is such a bizarre and brilliant series, and the pictures here in Jamie’s artbook (including some fantastic parts of the comics) really show that. Really amazing, really raw and weird and beautiful. ❤️ 

anonymous asked:

How do you make distance work?

you make sure she knows she’s the only one you want. you make sure you tell her how much she means to you. i don’t care how busy you are it takes 2 seconds to send a text to someone to tell them you care about them or you’re thinking about them, i don’t care if you FaceTime for 5 minutes or 5 hours, you make it work. you don’t let the distance define you, because when you really care about someone nothing else matters, were lucky enough to be alive in the 21st century where we have the ability to communicate with or see someone literally with the click of a button. you fucking make it work until that distance doesn’t exist anymore, and you get to wake up to the girl of your dreams everyday. you don’t let the distance win.

Man, this new worldview introduced is arguably one of the most bizarre pictures Isa has ever painted. 

Our chapter is set in the middle of a war zone. Torn bodies plaster the fields, soldiers desperately scramble for the trenches trying to avoid machine gun fire coming from  bunkers. Taking those uniforms and weaponry also into account, its incredible easy to imagine this chapter taking place in some WWI-esque battlefield. And when we as readers in the 21st century think about the “great war”, horrible images of terror, fear, and desperation easily come to mind. War is an awful thing that does awful things to people, and those participating in it are almost guaranteed to be heavily affected by it, and not in a positive way. We can all easily picture terrified soldiers who do not wish to be part of their fight in any way at all. So those are the kind of images we’ll get to see in this new setting, right?

Yeah, nvm.

Perhaps these reactions are more present among the default, expendable foot soldiers, but Isa doesn’t focus on those. Instead, Isa focuses on the new kids, who look even younger than the 104th when they saw their first share of hell in 850. But instead of the horrified faces we spent so much time looking at throughout the Trost arc, we get this

Smiling faces. Normal conversation.

Casual banter between comrades.

Straight up eagerness to run into enemy fire.


I mean…what


These are not the kind of conversations or reactions that would be considered normal in the middle of a warzone. ESPECIALLY NOT FROM KIDS. Those guys aren’t even breaking a sweat (except Uda but thats supposed to be more comical than anything I believe). 

I mean, we of course were aware of Marley’s brainwashing, but this is just…a wholly different level, and it certainly doesn’t stop there.

The probably most jarring aspect of this exchange isn’t her eagerness to leave the trenches, but her talk about the numbers at stake. Her argument is entirely based on numbers, she doesn’t even take a second to reflect on her or other peoples lives. The worst part is that she places her own life on the same level as explosives, basically mere ammunition. Of course, in war, people are basically reduced to numbers and weapons when looking at it from a larger scale, but we’re looking at the perspective of a child caught in the middle of it. What the hell.

Look at Gabi running away from the explosion. The running style, facial expression and cry create a borderline comedic scene. In the next panel she’s overly excited about finding cover, completely ignoring the dismantled corpse nearby. This scene is just…utterly grotesque.

Lets compare ch 3 and 91 for a minute here. Eren talks about exterminating the evil titans, which’ll in turn bring humanity freedom. Yay

Here, Gabi talks about obtaining the armored titan to join the anti Paradis force and wipe out the devils there which’ll in turn improve the lives of the Eldians. 

Sounds familiar? 

Just like at the beginning of the story, the main character has an extremely black and white point of view, desiring to change the world for the better by themselves, in a fight against evil monsters. Eren then spent the next 90 chapters being disillusioned until he finally saw the ocean he desired for so long, only to realize the freedom he sought still lied far away. And I dare say Gabi will go through a smiliar experience sooner or later. This bizarre representation of the war is so jarringly weird, Isa obviously plans to throw things around later on.

The difference between Eren’s and Gabi’s viewpoint is that Eren’s viewpoint was based off personal experience and because all his life, he felt the direct influence of the titans. Gabi’s opinion of Paradis’ population stems only from the brainwashing received by Marley’s warrior program. And this can be felt throughout the entire chapter. The carelessness of the kids, their smiles and casual talk, as well as their inexistant regard for human life all seem to originate from the warrior program. Not only does she make a difference between the “good” mainland and the “bad” island Eldians, the value of the human life is entirely lost in the process, most likely to facilitate genocide

Remember Bert’s and Reiner’s shocked faces? They gain even more weight now that we actually got to witness their mental state before the attack. 

If there is one thing I’m taking away from this chapter is that Marley are seriously grade A douchebags. If anything, 91 further emphasizes the fact that, even though a return of the Eldian empire is not a desirable thing, Marley can’t keep existing the way it is if we seek an ending that ultimately ends of an improved situation compared to 845.  

3

Astrology + Astronomy 

Today astrology refers to the observation of human behavior in relation to the stars and planets. But for most of European history, it also included the science we now call astronomy. Astrology was in turn closely tied to alchemy, a millennia-old blend of science and spirituality that sought to unlock the secrets of creation. 

In antiquity, seven planets were known—the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The physical world, meanwhile, was composed of four elements, while the heavens included the “fifth element,” quintessentia. In the alchemical-astrological worldview, the seven planets were tied to the seven known metals—gold, silver, quicksilver (mercury), copper, iron, tin, and lead. In astrology, each sign is also tied to one of the four elements.  

We asked 21st-century astrologist Rose Theodora to explain how each of the signs maps to the planets, metals, and elements:  

Aries is ruled by the planet Mars and is associated with the metal iron and the element fire. Mars represents one’s instinctive physical response and determines a person’s energy level. 

Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus and is associated with the metal copper and the element earth. Venus describes one’s aesthetic preferences. 

Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury and is associated with the metal mercury and the element air. Mercury denotes a person’s mental fluidity and communication skills. 

Cancer is ruled by the planet of the Moon and is associated with the metal silver and the element water. The Moon determines our emotional and habitual nature. 

Leo is ruled by the planet of the Sun and is associated with the metal gold and the element fire. The Sun signifies our life path and identity. 

Virgo is ruled by the planet Mercury and is associated with the metal mercury and the element earth. Mercury denotes a person’s mental fluidity and communication skills.  

Libra is ruled by the planet Venus and is associated with the metal copper and the element air. Venus describes one’s aesthetic preferences.   

Scorpio is ruled by the planet Mars and is associated with the metal iron and the element water. Mars represents one’s instinctive physical response and determines a person’s energy level. 

Sagittarius is ruled by the planet Jupiter and is associated with the metal tin and the element fire. Jupiter is associated with one’s innate gifts, intelligence, and luck. 

Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn and is associated with the metal lead and the element earth. Saturn is associated with a person’s karmic life path, on which they must work methodically to overcome obstacles. 

Aquarius is ruled by the planet Saturn and is associated with the metal lead and the element air. Saturn is associated with a person’s karmic life path, on which they must work methodically to overcome obstacles. 

Pisces is ruled by the planet Jupiter and is associated with the metal tin and the element water. Jupiter is associated with one’s innate gifts, intelligence, and luck. 

“In our quest for innate oneness,” Rose tells us, “we are similar to the alchemist. It is through the astrologer’s lens that we can learn how to uniquely express each element within our own divine nature.”  

Do you identify with your sign—and its planet, metal, and element?

Calculating Celestial Movement, Peter Hille. Engraving in Leonhard Thurneisser zum Thurn, Der Planeten Circkel und Lauff (Berlin, 1575), fol. 3. The Getty Research Institute, 92-F166

The Microcosm and the Macrocosm, Matthäus Merian the Elder. Engraving in Musaeum Hermeticum, pl. 4. The Getty Research Institute, 1380-912

Why Taylor Swift Is The Greatest Living Songwriter (Under 60) Taylor

I recently found myself at a BMI Awards dinner where the song publishing rights organization was handing out some career achievement awards, the first of which went to the classic ‘60s team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. And then they gave one to Taylor Swift, in one of those cases where they have to name the award to the person it’s being given to because it feels a little too uncomfortable to give the standard “lifetime” award to someone in her 20s. In her speech, Swift gave props to her elders: “I first wanted to say to Cynthia Weil, to Barry Mann, and to Carole King, you, the Brill Building, your legacy, are the reason we do what we do. Many of us in this room can’t dream of accomplishing what you guys have accomplished.”

Except she already has. And (heresy alert!) more. Swift is a rightful heir to the Brill Building tradition, with all the mastery of pop craftsmanship that entails, but she’s also the finest contemporary inheritor we have to the confessional singer/songwriter throne. She’s Barry Mann and Bruce Springsteen, together in one silver metallic mini dress-wearing package. That’s why I say Taylor Swift is our greatest living songwriter—under-60 division, just to be safe. But I digress.

I am glad I’m alive in the prime era of Taylor Swift the same way I felt glad to be alive in the half-century of Dylan and Springsteen and The Beatles and Costello. I’ve leaned forward into my first listens to 1989 and Red the same way I thirsted for the on-sale moments of The River and Nebraska and Imperial Bedroom and Time Out of Mind. These are the moments — all too infrequent in the 2010s, if you’re a recovering rock snob — that you live for as a music fan and especially singer/songwriter aficionado: the opening of a magazine you subscribe to, in which the editor-publisher has promised to bleed onto every page in some fashion. You look forward to admiring the craft and you want to know that you’ve been handed the next six months’ or year’s worth of earworms all at once. But most of all you want to feel you’re about to make that passionate connection with a deep-feeler who knows you better than your own best excuse for a best friend.

Where Swift is most like the great confessional rock writers, and least like the Brill Building set, is in her propensity to fill her songs with seemingly stray details. If you’re writing by the books, you learn early on not to include random asides that throw listeners out of the commonality of the lyric. But Springsteen, Dylan, Costello, et al. have faith that, whatever is lost in relatability by including something specifically autobiographical is a gain for fans who know that that weird minutiae confirms the rest of the emotions as authentic. When Swift interrupts Out of the Woods to mention “Twenty stitches in a hospital room/Remember when you hit the brakes too soon,” that’s about as un-Brill as Bruce talking about Crazy Janey and Greaser Lake. But the specificity of the bridge makes the universality of chorus more meaningful, even if the unstable relationship you’re being reminded of by the song didn’t involve a visit to the ER. It may seem peculiar to the 21st century that we can confirm who the significant others in Swift’s songs are by picking out lyrical details about eye colors or fire signs or scarves and checking them against her exes. But is finding out whether All Too Well was about Jake or Harry that terribly different than the thrill of figuring out whether Dylan’s It Ain’t Me, Babe was about Suzi or Joan, but with Google taking the place of waiting years for a biography?

The position that Swift is Actually Quite Awesome is not nearly as controversial among the older white guy set than it would have been a few years ago. You only get a B for courage now, not the former A, if you speak up at a cocktail party and say, “No, I don’t mean it’s good for what it is, or she’s a positive role model for my daughter or a gateway drug to Courtney Barnett, I mean she is truly the shit.” (Crickets may still ensue, mind you, if no longer outright shaming.) You can attribute this in part to Ryan Adams, whose album-length cover version of '1989’ did a fairly excellent job of indie-splaining Swift to people who only needed to hear that her songs could be rearranged in the styles of The Smiths and Elliott Smith to sign off on her. As much as I enjoy Adams’ '1989’, it falls just a little short as reinvention, or revelation: You kind of sense him wanting to get credit for being the first to discover that Swift’s frothiest sounding songs all have minor chords and melancholy under the Max Martin-ization. The real problem with Adams’ interpretations—which is not a fatal problem, given how good Wildest Dreams sounds as an R.E.M. song—is that he doesn’t really have that much use for the words, given how uninterested he is in emphasizing particular words or phrases and how he throws away some of the best lines. (To be fair, this is pretty much Adams’ approach toward his own lyrics, too.) Not that with Swift the lyrics are everything, when she has such a gift for melodic delights and surprises… but, yeah, the words are kind of everything.

Going back to Swift’s 2006 self-titled debut now, it sounds a little primitive, in retrospect. Which is fine: “primitivist” is exactly what you’d expect or hope for from a girl who released at 16 an album of songs she’d mostly written at 14 and 15. No one should sound 30 as a teenager, unless she’s Fiona Apple. (Hearing Apple’s eloquent teen jadedness when she was a freshman artist felt as impressive and spooky as Captain Howdy’s voice coming out of Regan MacNeil’s mouth.) At the time, it was a widely held assumption that co-writer Liz Rose was the brains of the operation. But you couldn’t help but notice that the best song on the album, Our Song, was a solo Swift composition, penned before she had access to the best song editors Music Row could offer. It sounded utterly conversational , establishing Swift’s knack for writing in complete sentences in a way that sounds completely diaristic and completely musical. It embraced both metaphor (“Our song is the slamming screen door”) and the meta (being one of those songs that is self-conscious about how it is, in fact, a song). It was winsome, guileless, and juvenile—in the best way—on top of being freakily expert for a song written by an underclassman for a school talent show.


Two years later (Swift’s follow-up albums have always been two years later, up until now), she came up with Fearless, which was so much more accomplished that it won her the Grammy for Album of Year, the first time that’d been accomplished by a record made by a teenager. But looking back at it now, you can see it was the only time she ever really marked time, stylistically, as a record-maker. The breakthrough that mattered was 2010’s Speak Now, which was her first real “pop album” (at least for those of us who pay attention to content and not the officially mandated tropes that insisted that honor belongs to '1989’). Just this once, she wrote the entire album by herself, in a rather deliberate F-you to everyone who figured she’d been propped up by Nashville pros. Similar auteurist turns by pop and country artists with points to prove have not always gone so spectacularly but Swift used the opportunity not just to defend but to diversify, as great writers and investors will. This DIY show of tour-de-force ran the gauntlet of effervescent girl-group pop (the title song), Evanescence goth-rock (Haunted), cheerful neo-bluegrass (Mean), girl-on-mean-girl pop-punk (Better Than Revenge), and even a token transitional single in the country-folk style of the first two albums (Mine).

'1989’ is the masterpiece of her career so far
'Speak Now’ also incidentally included the most searing, stark, boldly confessional song by a major artist since John Lennon’s Cold Turkey. (Hyperbole intended.) This was Dear John, a slow, epic-length missive to a love-'em-young-and-leave-'em type that was jaw-dropping in its vulnerability and rage. Never mind the lucky stroke that apparently had the rock star who used and discarded Swift being a guy really named John; Swift does like her literalism, so she probably wouldn’t written a public dear-John letter to a Tom, Dick, or (even) Harry. It’s a ballad that creates the illusion of the artist having vomited onto the page—for those of us who like that sort of thing—but actually belies a severe level of craft beneath the bile. The song rises to an emotional victory, as Swift goes from paying witness to “all the girls that you’ve run dry (that) have tired, lifeless eyes 'cause you’ve burned them out” to being the one who “took your matches before fire could catch me, so don’t look now: I’m shining like fireworks over your sad, empty town.” Compare this to the other great fireworks song of 2010, Katy Perry’s, and there is simply no pyromaniacal contest.


With 'Red’ another couple of years later, she bid a fond F-you to her own previous F-you and reintroduced co-writers to her stable, now adding Max Martin and Shellback as collaborators on a choice trio of songs, as if to say: I dare you to knock this block off. Aside from the handful of tracks with those guys, though, 'Red’ felt more like a classic singer/songwriter album than anything she’d done before or certainly since. It was all about lost love, and hardly for the first time, but now Swift was jettisoning her “better than revenge” approach to achieving payback in song and taking equal responsibility for relational failures, and it was all very sensitive and self-examining and enlightened. So when I got my first listen to the determinedly frothier '1989’ a couple of years still later, I lamented the loss of the previous album’s hard-fought breakthroughs in songwriting maturity.

Lamented it for about two minutes, that is. '1989’ is the masterpiece of her career, so far, and that’s not withstanding the thick gloss of candy coating that covered the whole endeavor now that Martin was fully on board as guiding executive producer as well as hands-on guy on about half the tracks. The meme favored by some critics, that Swift had sold out on us with all this interference by the reigning kings of the pop machinery—and after all we’d done to defend her as an artiste!—was misguided even by the usual standards of stick-up-one’s-ass bias and entitlement. It may seem counter-intuitive, for those of us who usually live and die by singer/songwriter yardsticks, to say that '1989’ is Swift’s most mature album, when there is barely a guitar anywhere in earshot for the singer’s tears to fall upon. But as it turns out, it is possible to talk intelligently, walk in rhythm, and chew bubblegum at the same time.

Yes, '1989’ is a less outrightly emotional album than any of its predecessors. Swift herself has said it’s the first time she wasn’t writing in the wake of a heartache. And that’s part of what makes the album so seasoned and smart. If all the previous albums were her “breakup album,” '1989’ is her maybe-we-are-ever-getting-back-together album. It’s about being just a little bit rueful about past relationships—in a less world-ending, drama queen-y fashion than the take-no-prisoners approach that admittedly made a lot of us fall for her in the first place – and largely about that impulse to reconnect, even as you sit by the phone and consider what a terrible idea that would be. She’s thinking back on a breakup that wasn’t that traumatic (possibly one with Harry Styles, if we’re to take the cheeky title of Style literally), and considering every negative and possible angle to rekindling an old flame. As a result, a lot of the songs on '1989’ are about mixed emotions, which are by and large the hardest kind to write.

She understands more brilliantly the power of dynamics — that even the most grandiose song can benefit by suddenly getting completely naked for 40 seconds.

And here is where we quote another great pop writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, who famously said: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Swift is showing us that first-rate intelligence when she encapsulates the divisions we all experience as we find the good and bad in people, lovers and otherwise: “You always knew how to push my buttons/You give me everything and nothing.” “Ten months sober, I must admit/Just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it.” “This love is good, this love is bad/This love is alive, back from the dead.” As the CEO of her own corporation, Swift has had a lot of time to think about risk/reward ratios. Grappling with that in matters of love is part of her giftedness and increasing talent as a writer.

I think again of the congratulations Ryan Adams got for bringing out the sadder emotional undercurrents in '1989’’s material. He deserves some of it, but it’s not as if Swift didn’t make that a fairly easy discovery. Bad Blood is the most blatantly confectionary song on '1989,’ with a sing-song-y quality of the chorus makes you think Avril Lavigne, if you’re making comparisons. But would Avril, or any other pop star you can bring to mind, have interrupted the beats and chants for a lengthy, virtually a cappella bridge that brings the mood down with its warnings about bullet holes and living with ghosts? It’s akin to the hyper-produced song on her previous album, I Knew You Were Trouble, where Swift puts an end to all the dubstep to very quietly wonder, almost sotto voce, whether the object of her affections ever loved her, the other girl, “or anyone.” In the big beat era, she understands more brilliantly the power of dynamics—that even the most grandiose song can benefit by suddenly getting completely naked for 40 seconds.

Blank Space, meanwhile, shows Swift to have under-heralded skills as maybe the greatest comedy writer since Eminem. As probably everyone who wasn’t completely divorced from pop culture in 2015 knows, Swift wrote it as a sort of spoof of her own image as a serial romancer (which is to say, a girl known for dating about half as many partners as a typical guy her age). When she says she’s got a blank space “and I’ll write your name,” it’s understood that she means she’ll write an excoriating song about the dude later on—she’s in on that joke. But amid the nearly Randy Newman-esque humor and exaggeration, there’s a real undercurrent of pain and possible self-knowledge. The time limits that come up in lines like “I can make the bad guys good for a weekend” and “Find out what you want/Be that girl for a month” don’t sound like they’re being played strictly for ironic laughs.

She is maybe the greatest comedy writer since Eminem.

Is she a spokeswoman for a generation? You might be on thin ice using that kind of phraseology for someone who spends so little time writing outside of the relational realm. But Swift does have an understanding of impermanence that seems uniquely millennial. She’s talked about how she looks at the length of her parents’ marriage and no longer takes it as a given she’ll find a lifetime partnership, which would probably come as a surprise to the younger Swift who wrote Love Story. But she finds a haunting beauty in what we might call planned obsolescence. “Wildest Dreams” pulls off the particularly tricky time-traveling feat of looking ahead to a future in which you’re looking back to the past… and of being intensely sexy and rueful at the same time. “You’ll see me in hindsight, tangled up with you all night, burning it down,” she sings. “Someday when you leave me, I bet these memories follow you around.” That moment when you’re in the heat of passion, leaving your body just long enough to realize you’ll be nostalgic for it someday? If you’ve ever experienced it, you probably never thought somebody would nail it in a song.

Not that you have to be a millennial to be capable of considering how things are likely to end even in the midst of everything going right. I was trying to remember what song the future-nostalgia of “Wildest Dreams” reminded me of, in some weird, roundabout way, and then it came to me: Dylan’s You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go. It’s maybe heretical to compare the bard with this girl from the north country, but not so heretical to say: Great minds wistfully think alike. And we should all feel a little lonely if either of them ditched us.