This is the year 2017 and I’m still having to yell about how ridiculous Maya extinction myths are and tell people we are ‘Maya’ not ‘Mayan’. I’m not saying shame shame if anyone reads this and didn’t know. I’m so angry concerning how slowly these issues are being picked up by educational institutions, at how often I have to bring these things up to higher education professors.
We are a massive massive group of peoples. One of the largest Indigenous groups in the Americas. Wikipedia cites 7 million or so of us total but honestly that’s way off because that’s about how many Maya folks there are in Guatemala alone.
We’re not dead. The Maya did not ‘mysteriously disappear’. We did not ‘fall’. We did not fade into obscurity. We’ve led revolts and rebellions against colonial powers for hundreds of years. We’ve had a big hand in shaping legislative definitions and protections for Indigenous Peoples in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
We haven’t lost our cultures. We’re constantly threatened and experience a lot of violence and have our resources stolen but we are still very much alive and our cultures have persisted.
And don’t even try me with the whole “Oh well we mean your CIVILIZATION disappeared, not you.” The structure of our societies and layout of our network changed and decentralized in many areas. That didn’t make us turn invisible. That didn’t make us not still be large in numbers with a relationship with our lands and lose influence in the areas we live. We still held power in large cities way after what people like to cite as “the fall of the Maya Civilization” (around 600-900 A.D. when we still had cities that we held power of until nearly 1700 when the last was “conquered” by Spain.)
Which brings me to the next issue. Being “conquered” or having a colonial government installed does not erase Indigenous societies or civilizations. That’s an extremely eurocentric way of thinking. We didn’t suddenly turn into Spaniards. We still had massive amounts of towns and villages with leaders. We still had our cultures, our trade, our networks, our influence, while Spain focused on putting up flags in our cities.
So yeah. All your history books have you all convinced that an extremely large group of people, with a greater population than more than half of the countries in Europe, all died out 1100 years ago.
Now try to imagine what kind of shit Indigenous Peoples with much less numbers and much lower access to resources go through.
New chemotherapy breakthroughs have increased
the 5-year survival for pancreatic cancer from 16% to 27% (and is getting
Scientists figured out how to link robotic limbs
with the part of the brain that deals with intent
to move so people don’t have to think about how they will move the limb, it can
Child mortality is down everywhere and it keeps
Thanks to the ice bucket challenge the gene
responsible for ALS has been found, meaning we are closer to an effective
treatment. Let me rephrase that: we are close to getting a treatment for a very
bad disease because a lot of people (including really hot celebrities) got wet.
A solar powered plan circumnavigated the world.
Michael Jordan donates 2mil to try and help
bridge connection between police and the community.
Tiger numbers are growing.
Pakistan has made strides toward outlawing honor
70,000 Muslim clerics declared a fatwa against
Pokemon Go players went insane with placing lure
modules near hospitals for sick kids.
California is now powering over 6 million homes
with solar power, a record in the US (and that is the tightest shit)
Volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in
Apparently world crime as a whole has
drastically declined as a whole in the last couple of decades.
Coffee consumption has been proved to help
curtail cancer and suicide rates.
Speaking of coffee Starbucks figured out how to
donate perishable food in a food safe way.
500 elephants were relocated to a better, safer
and bigger home.
We made massive strides in Alzheimers’
prevention (my grandmother literally told me that scares her more than getting
cancer this is very good news)
The ozone layer is repairing itself and all the
work we did to get rid of those aerosol chemicals was actually worth it.
A new therapy developed in Israel could cure radiation
The Anglican church resolved to solemnize
same-sex unions the same as opposite-sex unions which required a super majority
of all three orders of the church (lay, clergy, bishop).
The Rabbinical Assembly issued a resolution
affirming the rights of transgender and non-conforming individuals.
Precision treatments for cancer are hitting
clinical trials and WORKING (as someone who’s had relatives with cancer this is
the best news)
Dentists are once again providing free care to
veterans who need it.
The Orlando Shakespeare Festival showed up with
angel wings to block funeral-goers for the Orlando Pulse victims, view from
Rise Women’s Legal Centre opened
Death by heart disease has decreased by 70% in
the United States
Two brothers saw color for the first time thanks
to specially-designed glasses
Portugal ran its entire nation solely on
renewable energy for four days straight
A retiree is launching a project to transport 80
endangered rhinos to an Australian reservation to save the animals from
An Afghan teacher has been delivering books via
bicycle to villages that lack schools
Harriet Tubman is going to replace Andrew
Jackson on the $20 bill.
200 strangers attended the funeral of a homeless
WW2 veteran with no family
A teen battling cancer married his sweetheart
Bank firm pays for college tuition for the
children of employees who died in the 9/11 attacks
New medicine has been shown to increase melanoma
survival rate to 40%
Over 800 Boko Harem Hostages were rescued by
Toys R Us is Offering Quiet Shopping Hour for
kids with autism this holiday season
Volunteers made special tiny Halloween costumes
for NICU babies
A 4-year old befriends a lonely man and helped
him heal after losing his wife
People survived c ancer
People overcame depression
Any kind of victory, even if it affects only one
person, is a victory
Now for the pop culture good news
LEONARDO DICAPRIO WON AN OSCAR! EVERYONE READING
THIS LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO SEE LEO FINALLY GET WHAT HE DESERVED
There’s a new Harry Potter book
And a movie
Harry Potter has no plans on vanishing with time
This sweet father gave candy to passengers on a
flight so his little girl could trick or treat on Halloween
LET ME TALK ABOUT ALL THE KICK ASS MOVIES WE GOT
THIS YEAR OH MY GOD
Kung Fu Panda 3, this franchise is still going
strong despite that its about a panda played by Jack Black
Jungle Book. The amazing remake none of us saw
Finding Dory. I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve
heard good things
Kubo and the Two Strings. Haven’t seen that yet
as well but its Laika so I know it’s a masterpiece
Deadpool. The beautiful and super accurate
R-rated marvel film
Captain America: Civil War. Seriously is the best
marvel movie yet in my opinion I need more.
don’t mind me I’m just a movie that tackled the issue of racism and not only
game changed animated films but also made a billion dollars
The Hamilton Mixtape is coming out. Which is a
bunch of artists singing songs from the musical (Sia, Usher, Regina Spketor,
etc.) I’m excited.
A personal victory for myself, I joined Tumblr
and met angels in blog form so…that’s uplifting.
And I met my favorite voice actor at a con which
was a bucket list accomplishment.
Good Things that have yet to happen this year
Good things that have nothing to do with the year but will hopefully
make you feel better
Rain (I like listening to rain it’s one of the most
FF: If you are a religious person you are an
FF: If you are not then you are a splendid coincidence
Any year spent with loved ones be they family or
friends is a good year. Trust me.
”A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why,
sometimes in life, it’s the only weapon we have” –Roger Rabbit
*Plz feel free to add other good news (even if it’s something small like you ate cheesecake THAT is good news)
*at the end of the year I plan to remake this list with new things, fixed mistakes and links but will be posting from my side blog @iamrainbow
I was at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, it was heartbreaking, we were leaving the block we were on when a massive explosion went of and I just grabbed my friend and ran like everyone else. When we got outside there was people on the floor bleeding and police everywhere. Managed to get out safe, never ran so fast in my life. My friends dad just grabbed us and we ran. There was screaming children!!! This was meant to be a fun friendly concert, I just can’t believe anyone would want to hurt children like that. The ringing of the explosions are still in my ears. My prayers go out to everyone who couldn’t get out safely and were hurt outside- paramedics were on there way!
We had a massive chat. Sat down for like two and a half, three hours or something. It was really, really long, but it was really good. There was a lot to talk about. There was talking about how it is now being a solo artist. How it was writing the record. How you even start to write a solo record. Where he wrote it. He spoke all about making the album, and basically having to become a solo artist and that pressure of knowing that the world are gonna want to hear this and are going want to judge it as well. But we played it in the room, and it’s so good. It’s really, really good. And it’s much - no offense - it’s much better than I thought it was gonna be.
Nick Grimshaw talking about his interview with Harry
@directedbyzacksnyder first of all I would like to thank you for putting into words what I have struggled with.
In case anyone doesn’t know, Justice League director, Zack Snyder, recently announced that he would be stepping down from the project due to a family tragedy.
Snyder only announced this because knowing the internet he knew that if he had simply said he was stepping down, loads of bloggers and clickbait websites would have gone on to write inaccurate articles about how “Hack Snyder ruins the DCEU once again”, or “WB finally washes its hand of Zack before he creates another disaster.”
Over the years it’s become incredibly clear that critics and bloggers have used their opinion on Snyder to become nothing but massive jerks.
And in doing so not only have these bloggers, websites posted incredibly hurtful stories about Zack but they’ve taken it to a personal level.
Just yesterday I got into a huge argument with a Critic, who I once had massive respect for, because she decided to make a terrible joke about how she was completely confident that Zack Snyder hated his mother.
Look I understand that Zack isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, hey I consider myself a fan and even I don’t love all of his work.
But please, please, can we stop with the massive personal attacks on this guy. Snyder is a kind man who every single person who has worked with him has praised to the high heavens for being a gentleman. And many actress have said that if it wasn’t for him they would have quit acting.
He’s not a misogynist, or some Right Wing Ayn Rand obsessed psychopath, or some edgelord who wants to ruin your childhood.
He’s just a guy who has feelings just like us and that often gets forgotten about.
Right now Snyder needs some time to make peace with a family tragedy and a kind word could a long way. And if you can’t do that feel free to say nothing at all. You have already proven your character.
Tell us about the parrots and the zipline? That sounds like the worst thing to happen ever.
Oh boy ok brace yourself cause this entire debacle was just a mess. Imma tell the story of this entire day cause it was just absolute bs
So I’m in Mexico with my family, yknow, having a nice vacation. My dad doesn’t do heat, so it was just my grandparents, my mom, and me. Keep in mind, I was like, 16 at the time, so this was a few years ago now.
So, i fully admit, I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Always have been, always will be. So when they said we could go to a massive park that was 90% underground, and the rest was like 300ft in the air, i jumped at the opprotunity.
so we get there and I immediatly beeline for the ziplines. Now, you can’t just do one of these suckers. Once you do one, there’s no going back until you’ve conquered all 12 (or something like that, there was a lot.) It took the better part of two exhausting hours to get through them all.
So before the parrot issue there was some other bs first. We brought my best friend with me that year, but because we were both too light, we had to go tandum for a lot of the lines, or else we wouldn’t make it across. We’d just get stuck in the middle of the line dangling like a pinata, and no body wants that.
so the first bs comes along. I’m singing the batman theme song to keep my friend calm, because she is not a fan of heights. Like, we are screaming NANANANANANANA BATMAAAAAN at the top of our lungs. And we look ahead and see this massive gap in the trees. Now, we’d gone over a couple cinotes already where we could see the people doing the under ground activities. We figued, hey, let’s laugh at the people doing the river swim that’ll make us feel better. SO we get up on it and my friend starts freak tf out. It wasn’t a cinote.
it was a snake pit.
A massive round, man made snake pit will with hundreds of writhing snakes. They were climbing the walls, even the trees that were like 3ft from our toes. So we’re freaking out like “I don’t wanna be indiana jones i’m too young!!” But we pass it with no problem. We keep going another few second or so, and we see another break in the trees. We’re bracing like cause we assume it was another snake pit. It wasn’t.
It was a crocodile pit.
cue freak out number two.
but we pass it and all is well. Then we come onto the landing strip. We were just starting out so this one was pretty low to the ground. And then i see a weird shape on the grass landing pad.
There was a crocodile on the lawn
we freaked OUT like you wouldn’t believe.
so we’re soaring at this thing and there’s no stopping. We’re waving at the guys who are supposed to catch us with a net like “yo guys u got a coc problem.” and they don’t seem bothered in the slightest. We pass over this thing and it doesn’t move, but i’m 99% sure i tried to kick it. Now we’re free we’re safe and we should be slowing down…why aren’t we slowing down.
we slam into the safety net full force and bounce back a couple feet. When we manage to unhook ourselves we find the two duded pissing themselves laughing.
it was a fake crocodile. i tried to kick a concrete lawn ornament.
onto the parrots.
for this next one my friend was freaking out, as we were over 300ft up. I wanted to go asap so i went attached to my mom instead. At this point, i am alrady 5′8″, and my mom is like 5′5″. so you have this massive beanpole of a child strapped to her tiny mother. So we take off and our combined weight has us absolutely flying down the line. It’s all idealyic and serene, and i’m enjoying my crocodile free cruise. I look down and through a break in the trees i spot the amphibian vehicles going in and out of the cave systems. All good. Right beside them is a pack of leopards sunning themselves on a rock, which is also directly below us. and im thinking “wow, this would a crappy time to fall” immediatly i hear
my legs hurt all of a sudden. I glance down and see blood dripping down my leg. Mom is screaming/laughing.
we hit a flock of parents mid flight
and they were pissed.
So im screaming and swatting at them, they’re screeching like little feathered demons and pecking t us, some were dangling off my shoe laces, shriekingly like hellions. I still have scars from those suckers. They eventually fly off starnig us down like “dont ever come to our terf again”
we finished the ziplines without incident after that.
but my day isnt over yet.
we have a wonderful lunch, i get my legs cleaned up, and we make the trek to the amphibian vehicles i saw earlier. We hop in and we’re going through the motions. Up and down, into caves and out. Super cool. Loved it.Then we come to where i saw the leopards.
all the cars in front of us pass without incident.
the second we roll up the leopards perk up and start running after us
cue freakout number 4654783
now, my grandpa is driving and i’m sitting there, with nothing but a mesh door between me and a pack of leopards
“grandpa go faster, we gotta goooo” and he just looks at me all calm like
“i know why they’re here.”
“THE HELL DO YOU MEAN YOU KNOW WHY THEY’RE HERE GO FASTER”
He just calmly, oh so casually, pulls out a hot dog from lunch.I just kinda stare at him like GRANDPA
Obviously i do the smart thing
i grab that stupid hot dog at chuck at the nearest leopard
i hit it in the face
they all fall on each other trying to get a taste of that mustardy goodness and we take that moment to make our escape
and that was my” wth is going on in mexico extravaganza”
and that day didn’t even include the sting ray incident
“Well, you see, we could eliminate poverty entirely if we just bent our massive technological apparatus to our will rather than live and die by its own dictates as a power above and heteronomous from us, but to do so would remove opportunities to build character, like watching your children die of preventable diseases because you couldn’t afford health insurance.”
All the time we spent playing this Massively Multiplayer Online Game, enshrining the information and history on our wikis.
And now the game, Club Penguin will officially close it’s Abode Flash doors for good.
I highly recommend playing all you can, visit all the rooms, replay all the minigames, feed and care for all the puffles you’ve adopted (or release some, if you wish), buy a lot of items, earn as many stamps as possible and just explore.
However, I’m not sure if the website will be preserved after the fall, so go to the Wayback Machine, and try to save all those recipes and activities in case someone is a blast-to-the-past searcher for fun.
why do you hate JK Rowling? Hope this doesn't come off as rude, I'm just confused
No problem. Not a lot of people know how she has treated Scotland. In 2014 she spent £1 million keeping the country I live in tied to the proto-Fascist government in Westminster. She called those who opposed this move “death eaters” and threatened to remove all her charity money from Scotland if we didn’t vote the way she wanted.
We’re still controlled by a government that has been investigated for crimes against humanity for their treatment of the disabled because of JK Rowling. We’re still tied to a government that wants to make the UK healthcare system MORE like the US system that is killing so many Americans. We can’t accept disabled child refugees because of JK Rowling. We still have another country’s massive (and occasionally malfunctioning) nuclear weapons being stored just outside our largest city because of JK Rowling. And to top it all off, we’re being dragged out of the EU against our will because of JK fucking Rowling.
She doesn’t give to charity to help people, but to wield power over them. I have no respect for her and I never will.
You know how there are stories all over the media now about how Scotland hated Donald Trump for years before the rest of the world joined in? Someday the rest of the world will catch up with us on JK Rowling too.
We’ll be on the ground at rallies and events across the country – loud, proud, and in lawmakers’ faces. Find an event near you today. We need a massive show of strength at local offices to demonstrate just how much opposition there is to “defunding” Planned Parenthood and taking away people’s health care – whether you think your senators are with us or not.
or just take a photo and post it to social media on June 21st.
Put pink lights on your door, pink signs in your window, pink buttons on your bag! Wear a pink outfit. Pink nails. Pink lips. Pink hair!
Then post it all to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, you name it – be sure to use the hashtag #IStandWithPP, and tag your Senators (more on that below).
4. Call Your Senators (again)
They. Have. To. Hear. From. Us. Even if you’ve done it before – do it again.
Honestly, set a daily reminder on your phone and call every day in June. Ten calls from one person are just as useful as calls from ten different people.
Text PINK to 22422 to make a call now or go to istandwithpp.org/callto call both of your U.S. senators, and then invite your friends to do the same! Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
5. Tag your Senators on Social Media
Senators (and their staff) will notice when you tag them. And believe us, they’re listening. Text PINK to 22422 to get to our unbelievably simple form at ppaction.org/post, which tags your senators and gives you a chance to edit the post. Personalize your message, and then share the tool with your friends!
Tweets count, too! If you have Twitter, Tweet at your senators and air your outrage. Not sure where to start? We do all the heavy lifting for you at ppaction.org/tweet, or Text PINK to 22422 to get the link. We’ve written some sample Tweets there to get you started. And, bonus, Tweet at your favorite celebrity to share and boost the signal!
You ever find it funny that even though the NCR canonically have working railroads, and New Vegas is a high-profile area, there’s no working trains, freight or otherwise?
I did. And because I’m the best, I’ve decided to add some actual trains to New Vegas. But then I decided to go the extra mile. Welcome to New Vegas Railroads. A worldspace/immersion mod that aims to get the Mojave moving a little bit, by expanding upon the NCR’s often mentioned but little seen railroading endeavors. With this, the player may travel to the town of Bullhead, the major NCR railroad hub in the Mojave, and help them get New Vegas’ railroads back up and running. But even if they choose to ignore that, Bullhead Railyard is full of things to do, with tons of unique weapons, equipment, and secrets scattered about.
FEATURES -A new worldspace, Bullhead Depot, the major rail hub for all westbound freight in the NCR, connected to the Mojave via tunnel. With a massive amount of little features, secret areas, and more! -Bullhead features working signal lights, trains configurations changing as the day goes on (but only if you get the trains running), working lifts, and much, much more. -New equipment, all train themed of course! From railway rifles, crossing-gate melee weapons, and a locomotive-themed powerfist, plus much, MUCH more. -After the player saves Sloan from the deathclaws, and deals with the Powder Gangers, they can head to Colonel Hammer, the overseer at Bullhead, and inform him the tracks are clear. -Once they do this, trains will start traveling along the Bullhead-Sloan-Boulder City rail line, with set schedules! -The ability to catch a train out of Bullhead, and ride it across the wasteland to Sloan, Boulder, or the Follower’s trainyard! -A multitude of trains, most of them are standard Barstow diesels, but we have a special massive steam locomotive, the Twohead Flyer, ready for action. -Ability to watch the Twohead Flyer depart Bullhead and arrive in Boulder. It even crushes NPCs on the way! -Four fully voiced, unique NPCs.
You mentioned in a post that fiction ≠ reality, but to kids it's not, fiction shapes how they see the world. Fiction is supposed to show them what's right and what's wrong. Adults who support adult/minor relationships make it had for children to distinguish that line if they haven't dealt with discourse (in the actual sense of the word) on serious subjects before. I can't make you stop shipping adult/minor ships, but I hope you consider what you're posting and the consequences that they have.
Is it fiction that shapes their perception or context?
I will agree that what we see in the media can influence us to some extent; a tragic movie can bring us to tears, just like a drama can educate us on matters across the globe, and propaganda has been used - even in modern day - to try and change the opinions of the masses to suit a greater power.
That being said, those things all rely on context: our tears spring from empathy, the education relies on a desire to be educated, and propaganda usually is on the back of a society willing to believe or being fed specific information from other sources. It’s like in children’s shows. We see Bart Simpson being strangled by his father, or Keith name-calling Lance, but children usually know these things are completely wrong.
They know not to imitate ‘Tom and Jerry’, because they have parents and teachers there to say: “it is wrong to hurt someone else”. They get time-outs on the naughty step, or a spanking in certain cultures, or just a long lecture … they usually have some trusted figure there to discipline and/or explain, so that everything they watch is through that same filter of understanding.
It’s why we need to supervise the media our children consume.
I think you are right: if this is the only discourse a child sees, it can have detrimental affects, but - massive ‘but’ here - where are the parents/guardians? Why are strangers on the Internet meant to parent the children of other people, whom they have not agreed to legally raise?
See, when we grew up, this was a constant discussion. We were taught basics of reproduction as soon as we asked questions. We were taught about ‘naughty places’ and ‘private places’. We were taught never to let an adult touch there. These discussions evolved over time, so - as a young teenager - we were taught about statutory rape, that even if we ‘want’ it that it’s still wrong, and so forth and so forth …
We need to put the responsibility for raising a child on the parents.
Tumblr is 18+ on the app, 13+ on the website, I believe? While AO3 allows all content and explicitly states this, while having a tagging and rating system for you to make an informed choice about what you see. This means we have to lay responsibility upon the parents for not supervising or limiting the Internet activity of the child, instead of trying to infringe upon the rights of adults and remove their safe spaces to produce/consume art as they wish.
It’s basically a case of there being safe spaces for children, too, where they can discuss/consume art freely without coming across such materials, but that falls upon the parent to make sure that they are on the right websites … example, if I do not like porn then I avoid porn sites. If I don’t want to see shipping, I don’t go onto Tumblr or AO3.
What I’m advocating is personal responsibility.
We need parents/guardians to stop the children from seeing these things, or for them (and schools) to provide a context to what they see … if a child knows that it’s fiction, just like child abuse in ‘The Simpsons’ or glorified violence in ‘Tom and Jerry’ is just fiction, they won’t normalise it and seek to emulate it. The answer isn’t to ban or censor such cartoons; no one would ever say ‘ban cartoons’, because they’re a part of life, but I think providing context to cartoons is absolutely key to these things.
One last example …
I was around eight when “South Park” first came out; we watched it religiously as children, even with videos cassettes of it, because parents assumed that it was safe as all cartoons were for kids (that was their mistake and their fault as parents, because - like with shipping - the content isn’t the problem, but that it’s made accessible by parents unwilling to supervise their own children).
In our case, we had massive context for what we saw (luckily, our parents were good on that score, which is part of why I always advocate teaching children, especially if you aren’t willing to supervise them). We never copied the bad language (some people I know today never swear; even I say ‘shoot’ or ‘darn’ as a general rule). No one I know copied the violence (I don’t have a single friend from that group who ever tried to kick a baby, for example).
It was just entertainment. We laughed and enjoyed it, but we never copied it or held it up to a standard of normality … it was just a cartoon; we knew that, because our parents taught us that, as well as teaching us the behaviour in such cartoons was inappropriate in real life. This is why education is key.
If a child has parents that accidentally let them see Keith/Shiro, they should at least have the education and context to know that behaviour is inappropriate and should not be copied … it’s not up to shippers to stop creating such works, because the places we’re in are designed for adults or for all age-groups with explicit rules allowing such art. Now, if I went onto a children’s forum and posted such things -? Bad. On Tumblr -? Not so bad.
Sorry for the long essay back.
We just need to realise that art/fanfiction isn’t the problem; the problem comes from parents/guardians not contextualising what children see, or preventing them from seeing it in the first place. We also need more safe spaces just for children, both moderated and supervised by responsible adults, so they have places to go that - well - aren’t Tumblr or AO3.
Selling out the first home game would mean so much to this team and to this club. It would mean that we would be competing as one of the best, if not the best, women’s soccer atmospheres in the entire club and world. I think that we would set a massive record and it would just proof why Orlando is one of the best cities for soccer in the nation and in the world. Not many teams can compete with that +
We’ve closed the submit box in the past for various reasons (usually the mods being on vacation), and when we reopen it, we get a massive flood of submissions! Closing the submit box just means submitters are more patient and wait with baited breath (and keyboards) for it to reopen.
As a very serious adult, with a respectable career and life, and a healthy ability to let petty shit slide, I spent much too much time last week arguing with strangers on the internet who believe in the myth of the Dark Ages.
The arguments in question focused on a massively inaccurate meme, which some observers of the group pointed out was originally supposed to be about knowledge loss after the burning of the Library of Alexandria, but which some very cool EDGE LORD had changed to be about ‘The Christian Dark Ages’. Please feast your eyes on it in all it’s massive wrongness:
This is, pretty obviously, a bunch of honkey bullshit and also massively incorrect, as many important scholars have noted. As a result, I spent hours of my life – which I will never get back - pointing out repeatedly that the ‘graph’ in question has nothing to do with reality, and arguing with non-experts about the medieval period.
For the most part – these people were well-meaning. Many pointed out that this was a very Euro-centric world view, and that Asia, Africa, and the Arab world were all making huge advancements in scientific and medical theory at this time. That is absolutely true. White people have never been the entire world. The Chinese had a massively advanced scientific culture by this time, for example, and had been holding it down with hermetically sealed research laboratories since the third century BCE. The Arab world, meanwhile was compiling treatises on eye surgery. Scientific advancement was something that was happening in this period. Europe is not the centre of the world.
Having said that, while it is important to acknowledge that the-rest-of-the-world was making huge strides in scientific advancement during this time, and that Europe and white people are not the entire world, nor responsible for all of human advancement, there was no such thing as the Dark Ages in Europe either.
While everything about the idea of the Dark Ages is incorrect, lets start off with the way the term was meant to be used. The totally ignorant graph above, unsurprisingly, is completely fucking off. Hilariously, the idea of the ‘Dark Ages’ actually originated in the medieval period itself. Petrarch – the poet laureate of fourteenth-century Rome - was actually the originator of the idea that there was a period of stagnation that Europe was moving out of. Petrarch had a political axe to grind. He considered that any point at which Rome – where he lived and worked and had considerable sway – did not completely dominate the world was a BAD TIME. This is not an unbiased assessment of world history.
The actual phrase ‘Dark Ages’ itself derives from the Latin saeculum obscurum, which Caesar Baronius – a cardinal and Church historian - came up with around 1602. He applied the term exclusively to the tenth and eleventh centuries. However, and very significantly in his use of the term, Baronius was not decrying a state of scientific malaise, or a particularly turbulent political period – he’s talking about a lack of sources surviving from that time. Indeed, Baronius sees the cut off point for the dark ages to be the Gregorian reforms of 1046, following which we see a massive increase in surviving documentation. Witness an actual useful chart:
When we move into a period where there are more texts to be considered, Baronius argues, Europe moved out of the period of darkness and into a ‘new age’.*
Now this is some real talk. As you can tell from that graph, during the Carolingian Renaissance of the ninth century, we see a flurry of Latin writers emerge, and a lot of text copying. This drops off again until what we term the Twelfth-Century Renaissance – home to this blog’s favourite philosopher/proto-Kanye – Abelard. (Shout out to my boy.) However, when people use the term ‘Dark Ages’ now, they usually use it to talk about the entire millennium of the Medieval period, and they aren’t talking about source survival. They aren’t thinking ‘dark’ as in ‘occluded’, they are thinking ‘dark’ as in pejorative.
We can thank the Enlightenment historiography for the expansion of the idea that the medieval period was a bad dark time. Kant and Voltaire in particular liked to see themselves as a part of an ‘Age of Reason’ as opposed to what they saw as the ‘Age of Faith’ of the medieval period. To their way of thinking, any time that the Church was in power was a time of regressive thinking. The Middle Ages, then, was a dark time because it was so dominated by religion.
The first push back against the term dark ages began with the Romantics. After the, um, unpleasantness of the Reign of Terror, and the major cultural and environmental upheavals of the Industrial Revolution it became fashionable to look at the medieval period as a time of spiritual focus, and environmental purity. Obviously this is a super-biased way of looking at the period – just like it was biased for Enlightenment thinkers to take one look at the primacy of the Church and declare an entire millennium to be bad. I mean, really what the Romantics were doing was just casting shade on the Enlightenment historiography because they felt like it inevitably led to the guillotine. But what can you do?
By the twentieth century historians had moved on from the idea pretty much completely. If you take the time to actually, you know, study the medieval period, it becomes very apparent very quickly that there was a tremendous amount of intensive thought happening. This is the era of Thomas Aquinas – a bad ass philosopher who will think you under the fucking table. Of Hildegard of Bingen – who basically founded scientific natural history in the German speaking lands. Hell, like we talked about last week Rogerius and Giles of Corbeil were throwing it down for major medical advancement. There was a lot going on. On the real, without the contributions of medieval thinkers you would not get Galileo, Newton, or the Scientific Revolution. The medieval period was not a period of stagnation, it was a time of progress.
But it’s not just that the idea of a ‘Dark Ages’ makes no sense when you look at what incredible advancement was happening at the time, it also makes no sense because it implies that stuff was going really well under the Romans. We estimate that somewhere between thirty to forty percent of the population of Italian Rome were slaves. The Romans had total bans on human dissection, meaning that there was no real way for medicine to progress any further than it had by the time of collapse – a problem that medieval people didn’t have. I mean even if you just want to make it about religion - the Roman Empire was Christian at the time of its collapse and had its heads of state worshipped as LITERAL GODS during the pagan era. Somehow every edgy motherfucker with a fedora is totally cool with this and thinks it is super reasonable though. Because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. The Romans were not a bunch of really awesome people living a life of idealised rationality any more than medieval people were all ignorant savages living in fear of God.
Is there a time that historians use the term ‘Dark Ages’? Yeah, we do use it to talk about source survival rates. It’s not a term we use as a value judgment, however. We just mean that we don’t have a lot of evidence to go off of. By the same token – if we somehow move on to another electronic format without converting the way things are stored now, we could be moving into a theoretical Digital Dark Age, where historians in the future won’t be able to study what we are writing now. (And that would be a tragedy, because legit, I would kill to be a historian working on Donald Trump’s tweets in the year 2717.)
We’re now moving away from using the term Dark Ages at all, however, because of the frequency with which it is misinterpreted. I mean, if every basic motherfucker out there who never bothered to read God’s Philosophers (hat tip to James Hamman – this book is amazing) will insist on willfully misinterpreting us, we just ain’t gonna give them the ammo.
What it comes down to is that the medieval period was as vibrant as any other period of history. If you’re going to player hate, go ahead, but please don’t act like you know anything about either medieval or ancient history when you do. There is no period of rational supermen followed by ignorant monsters. There are just people doing their best in the circumstances.
* Caesar Baronius, Annales Ecclesiastici Vol. X. (Rome, 1602), p. 647. “Novum incohatur saeculum quod, sua asperitate ac boni sterilitate ferreum, malique exudantis deformitate plumbeum, atque inopia scriptorum, appellari consuevit obscurum.”
12x10 - “Pterodactyl Screeching into the void” - Part 1
My title is borrowed
from @postmodernmulticoloredcloak comment on my crazy blogging after first
watching this episode earlier. I feel like it is a fitting title for how this
episode made me feel. To clarify, these are very very happy pterodactyls.
Steve Yokey wrote this
episode and he appears to have well and truly taken up the gap left when Robbie
Thompson sadly left the show. In fact this episode to me channels the ghost of
Robbie in many different ways. From the fanfiction-esque moments of poor
suffering third wheel Sam, to the meta nod to Charlie Bradbury, there
is much of Robbie to be found here. Basically, it was bloody perfect.
I feel like there is so
much to talk about in this episode that fandom will be chewing on it for months
if not years to come. Yokey has picked up the characterisations brilliantly,
and seems to have an understanding of what the fandom desperately craves in
terms of Castiel, his character, his personality and his development. I adored
his sass in this episode. Some other writers *cough*bucklemming*cough* struggle
to really capture Castiel’s sass and humour. Showing their lack of
understanding of Castiel’s persona and his intelligence and instead writing him
in a way that is jarring and sometimes basically stupid. Castiel is far from
stupid. In this episode he was written perfectly, in a way I haven’t seen since
Edlund’s time. Is that a sweeping statement? Maybe. But I’m still riding my
high so let me have it this time.
This episode gave us
three of my favourite things. Badass and Sassy Castiel, Overprotective grumpy
husband Dean, and poor long suffering brother Sam. (baring in mind this is how
they are usually written in fanfiction nowadays this is exactly my jam and I am
so so happy to see it play out on screen. Seriously who sold their soul to
Crowley for this episode?)
This review will also be
in two parts. Because I have so freaking much to say about it.
The first part will
focus on destiel, the second on everything else including Castiel’s emotional
arc (as separate from destiel), his relationships with angels, angels and
gender and Lily Sunder’s character.