work imbalance

Transference (M) – Chapter 05

cr. [X]

Summary: During a routine visit to the local bakery, you stumble upon an intriguing business card and figure, what the hell. The business arrangement becomes…mutually beneficial. Y’all know where this is going.

Pairing: Hoseok x Reader

Genre: Angst, Smut

Word Count: 10,216

Warning: Tantric!Hoseok, therapist/client relationship, sexual themes, BDSM, shibari, dom/sub roleplay, profanity.

A/N: Here is the long awaited Hoseok POV chapter. If you haven’t read Chapters 1-4 already, I highly recommend doing so by using the links below.

Chapters: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06

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Transference (M) – Chapter 02

cr. [X]

Summary: During a routine visit to the local bakery, you stumble upon an intriguing business card and figure, what the hell. The business arrangement becomes…mutually beneficial. Y’all know where this is going.

Pairing: Hoseok x Reader

Genre: Smut, Angst

Word Count: 4,877

Warning: Tantric!Hoseok, therapist/client relationship, sexual themes, discussions of BDSM, shibari, profanity.

A/N: Thank you everyone for the outpouring of love and support for our favorite therapist. I sincerely hope you all enjoy this next installment.

Chapters: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06

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I’ve said it before but look wash and york are absolutely not friends tbh. and the only reason I can think of that would work canonically for why wash continued to hang out with him and north despite being straight up mean to him is an unrequited… thing. I mean come on high stress situations??? constant threat of death?? hot boys????

So as a person who was in a relationship with a 32 year old when I was 20 and extremely socially inept this last episode felt like a stab in the guts for me. Let me explain how.
Jack spent the last 50 years by himself in a cyberpunk world, there’s no way in hell he didn’t interact with people at least to a minimum in that time, right? I mean, 50 years is a fucking long time. Let’s stretch a little bit and say he could have even had some sort of romantic/sexual interaction during that time. But even that is besides the point; being that he was probably in his twenties when he got stranded on this aku-reigned apocalyptic future, he has around 70 years of life experience. Let’s move to Ashi for a bit. Ashi was born into captivity, destined to train and become an assassin together with her sisters. Assuming she’s at most 25 (which I honestly doubt, she looks 15-20 to me, but that’s besides the point), she spent more than 2 decades being denied of social interaction with anyone except her sisters and her mother, even then one could hypothesize friendly interaction between the sisters was probably highly discouraged. The only person she ever came into contact that she could be herself with and with whom she could like actually socialize, for the first time in her life, was jack. Do you see the imbalance here? How fucked up it is that a 70 year old person, portrayed still as a 20-something overly naive guy, to be in a romantic relationship with a young girl who hasn’t had an actual relationship, romantic or otherwise, ever before? Where jack had 50 years to mingle about, collecting social and life experience in general, Ashi had little to none. I’m not even against jashi honestly, but Genndy could have worked on it in a far more responsible way.

Chakras Imbalances

Chakra is a Sanskrit word and it means “Wheel” or “Vortex” because that is what it looks like when we look at it. Each Chakra is like a solid ball of energy interpenetrating the physical body, in the same way that a magnetic field can interpenetrate the physical body.

The Chakras are not physical, they are the aspects of consciousness in the same way that the Auras are aspects of consciousness. The Chakras are more dense than the Auras but not as dense as the physical body.

Chakras interact with the physical body through two major vehicles, the endocrine system and the nervous system. Each of the seven main Chakras discussed here are associated with one of the seven endocrine glands and also with a particular group of nerves called a Plexus.

Thus, each of these Chakra’s can be associated with particular parts of the body and particular functions within the body controlled by that Plexus or that endocrine gland associated with that Chakra.

BASE/ROOT CHAKRA: reproductive glands. It is the centre of physical energy, grounding and self-preservation. The Root Chakra governs the back, feet, hips, spine and legs.

If you tend to be fearful or nervous, your Root Chakra is probably under-active. You would easily feel unwelcome. If this Chakra is over-active, you may be very materialistic and greedy. You are probably obsessed with being secure and resist change.

SACRAL CHAKRA: sexual organs, bladder, bowel and lower intestine. This Chakra is about feeling and sexuality. When it is open, your feelings flow freely and are expressed without you being over emotional. 

If you tend to be stiff and unemotional or have a poker face, the Sacral Chakra is under-active. You are not very open to people. If this Chakra is over active, you tend to be emotional all the time. You will feel emotionally attached to people and can be very sexual.

SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA: This Chakra is about asserting yourself in a group. When it is open, you feel in control and you have sufficient self esteem. When this Chakra is under-active you tend to be passive and indecisive.You are probably timid and don’t get what you want. If this Chakra is over-active you are domineering and probably even aggressive.

HEART CHAKRA: As the Heart Chakra is about Love, kindness and affection, when it is open, you are compassionate and friendly, you work at harmonious relationships.
When your Heart Chakra is under-active, you are cold and distant. If this Chakra is over-active, you are suffocating people with your Love and your Love probably has quite selfish reasons.

THROAT CHAKRA: The Throat Chakra governs the throat, thyroid, mouth, teeth, tongue and jaw.
This Chakra is about self expression and talking. When it is open, you have no problems expressing yourself and you might be doing so in a creative way. When this Chakra is under-active, you tend to not speak as much and you probably are introverted and shy. Not speaking the truth may block this Chakra. If this Chakra is over-active, you tend to speak to much, usually to domineer and keep people at a distance. You are a bad listener if this is the case.

THIRD EYE CHAKRA: This Chakra is about insight and visualisation. When it is open, you have a good intuition. You may tend to fantasize. If it is under-active you are not very good at thinking for yourself and you may tend to rely on authoritative people. You may be rigid in your thinking, relying on beliefs too much. You might even get confused easily. If this Chakra is over-active, you may live in a world of fantasy too much. In excessive cases hallucinations are possible.

CROWN CHAKRA: This Chakra is about wisdom and being one with the world. When this Chakra is open, you are unprejudiced and quite aware of the world and yourself.
If it is under-active, you are not very aware spiritually. You are probably quite rigid in your thinking. If this Chakra is over-active, you are probably intellectualising things too much. You may be addicted to spirituality and probably ignoring your bodily needs.

Info from:, Timothy Pope.

Don’t tell me to “calm down”
Don’t say, “it isn’t that serious”
Don’t repeatedly say “just relax”
I have panic disorder, IT DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT.
Chemical imbalances are real, and I can’t control when my mind is thrown out of whack.
I can not control when my body goes into fight or flight mode.
What you can do:
Distract me by watching a funny movie, go on a walk with me, talk about a book you’re reading, or we can even bake some cookies.
Never tell a person with anxiety that it’s not that serious, because mentally they feel like they’re in a life threatening situation.

To all the new people thinking about starting up in the gym this year:

Firstly, let me apologize on behalf of all of us for the few people who make you feel self conscious or nervous in the gym. I never understood the people pointing and laughing at the overweight men or women sweating it out on the cardio machines, or the small guys and girls attempting weights for the first time.

Let me give you a few bits of advice that I wish I’d been told before my first trip to the gym:

1) Get comfortable - I know it’s easier said than done, I definitely felt self conscious and awkward my first time. Do anything you can to make yourself feel more comfortable. Whether it be spending your Christmas money on nice gym clothes, wearing vests that show off your guns or wearing a hoodie to cover up. If ever I’m feeling like I don’t want to see people in the gym, I wear a big hoodie, beanie hat and headphones with loud music.

2) Get some knowledge under your belt beforehand. Don’t turn up with no concept of what you should be doing (unless you’re doing a PT session or a class etc). Get a rough idea of exercises for different muscle groups, and of course keep good form - cheat reps have a place, but not when you’re just starting out. If you’re going with a friend, don’t try and keep up - go at your own pace and focus on getting the movements right rather than heavy weight. That’ll come soon enough.

3) Train at regular times and consistently. Not only is it good to get into a routine, but you also start to recognize people around you. It might start with a simple nod of acknowledgement, but eventually you’ll form friendships and potentially training partners. If you’re self conscious, I recommend training early mornings or late nights. Avoid 5-7pm, the gym will be full of people after work or school.

4) Music. Find a decent pair of headphones that can play loud. And find a genre that gets you pumped. I recommend metalcore or hip hop. You’ll thank me.

5) Watch other people. You can learn a hell of a lot from other people. It’s always good to mix up your training, and I often get ideas for new exercises by watching other people.

6) Ask for a spot when you need it. It doesn’t matter on the weight, would you rather be pinned under 80lbs or ask someone for a spot?

7) Start your training utilizing more Dumbbells than barbells, and free weights over machines. This will help to work out any minor imbalances and also improve mobility. Exercises that feel a bit awkward will start to feel more natural. Don’t forget to stretch!

8) Take progress pictures! And track your progress. I was never one to keep a direct training log, but I have progress photos going back over 3 years. It fantastic to go back and look at where you came from. If you feel embarrassed about how you look, you don’t have to share it - but in 6 months time and you feel like you haven’t progressed, you can look at the photo and see just how far you’ve come.

9) Learn about nutrition. Training hard is all well and good, but if your diet is poor you won’t progress anywhere near the rate you should. You can’t out train a poor diet. As a general rule, stick with chicken breasts, turkey, lean mince, white rice, brown rice, yams, oats etc. You’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

10) Don’t quit. Don’t think of it as a chore or something you have to do. Enjoy it. I can’t tell you when I realized this, but training should be a joy.

Hope those aren’t too patronizing or too cheesy - good luck!

“Postgraduate training was characterised by work-life imbalance. Long hours at work were typically supplemented with revision and completion of hte e-portfolio.

Trainees regularly moved workplaces which could disrupt their personal lives and sometimes led to separation from friends and family. This made it challenging to cope with personal pressures, the stresses of which could then impinge on learning and training, while also leaving trainees with a lack of social support outside work to buffer against the considerable stresses of training.

Low morale and harm to well-being resulted in some trainees feeling dehumanised.

Work-life imbalance was particularly severe for those with children and especially women who faced a lack of less than full time positions and discriminatory attitudes. Female trainees frequently talking about having to choose a speciality they felt was more conducive to a work-life balance such as General Practice.

The proposed junior doctor contract was felt to exacerbate existing problems.”

Well, at least my peers are getting some papers about how bad our work-life balance is becoming. I don’t know what we’re actually going to do about it, but it’s a start…

(Photo and transcription from the Junior Doctor Contract Forum)

This is the letter I wrote to my friends and colleagues regarding my resignation


As some of you have heard, I recently resigned from surgical residency, and am leaving clinical medicine.

Ten years ago, I decided to be a doctor. It was a decision that made perfect sense at the time: I wanted to help people who were suffering, and I was fortunate to have the ability and resources to gain entry into medical school. I wasn’t sure which specialty would be my calling, but shortly after starting my clinical rotations I fell in love with surgery. I loved seeing and evaluating patients who had a very clear and usually dramatic surgical problem that I knew could be solved by an operation, by putting hands on the patient and potentially curing them of whatever it was that was ailing them. 

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Look, if you think that Cullen is an irredeemable tool because he was once a dedicated Templar, then that’s your prerogative.  I’m not here to tell anyone how to feel about fictional characters.


In my opinion?  The fact that he came out of DA2 defending mages was a goddamn miracle, and speaks to the quality of his character.

Let’s look at his arc:

  • Cullen is a rookie kid.  He’s sympathetic enough towards mages that he can potentially form a crush on one.  He knows that this is inappropriate, given the power imbalance at work, and so doesn’t follow up on it.  He wants to do the right thing.
  • Cullen is tortured by blood mages for weeks or possibly months.  Meanwhile, all of his friends are brutally murdered in front of him.
  • Cullen has a breakdown and lashes out at mages.
  • Does this case Cullen’s commanding officers to send him off to a nice, quiet monastery for some recuperation time?  Nope.  Apparently not.  Instead they ship Cullen off to Kirkwall, aka the blood mage capital of Thedas.
  • In Kirkwall, Meredith takes a shine to Cullen because of his ongoing  freakout, and promotes him to the post of Knight Captain at a very young age – likely bypassing several intermediate ranks. 
  • Cullen spends the next six years being regularly exposed to demons and blood magic.  Some of there experiences are probably triggering.
  • At the same time, Cullen is surrounded by people who would have encouraged and rewarded his worst authoritarian tendencies.
  • Somehow, in spite of this, he forms doubts.  He comes to (re)recognize the humanity in mages and decides to defend them, turning against the mentor who had faith in him when he was a broken young man.

I think that’s kind of amazing. 

Welcome to the inaugural installment of The 100 Femslash Challenge!

As most of us know too well, femslash is drastically underrepresented in fanworks. Even in our fandom with a canon primary F/F ship, less than a third of the works on AO3 feature a femslash pairing! Let’s work on this imbalance and flood our fandom with femslash!

The 100 Femslash is a fic and art challenge that seeks to increase the amount of femslash in the fandom. Any and all female-only ships are welcome!

If you have questions, check out our FAQ and rules pages, and if you’re interested in joining, sign up here. You’re also welcome to sign up as a beta! Sign ups close before midnight central time on November 2nd. Works are due December 28th by midnight, and will be posted on January 1, 2016.

We look forward to seeing what you guys come up with. Let there be femslash!

Thorin's Actions Against Thranduil's Reaction, or the Power Imbalance Between Dwarves and Elves

I’m seeing a lot of meta lately concerning Thranduil’s reactions to Thorin in the latest Hobbit film, and mostly what I’ve been seeing has attempted to rationalize Thranduil’s decision to put Thorin and his company in prison. Now granted, this could merely be what I’ve seen solely on my dash and what has been linked to me, but I haven’t really seen a single detailed critique of Thranduil’s reactions. I’ve only seen rationals, excuses, and agreement. So let’s add a dissenting voice to all that. This is going to attempt to explain power imbalances between Thorin and Thranduil and highlight that Thranduil’s ultimate reaction to Thorin’s anger is tyrannical and irrational.

Let’s begin by backing this up. Way way up. If all you’ve seen of Thranduil is from the movie then you know he made mention of certain white gems that he believes were owed to him by the dwarves. This is some book knowledge to flesh out why exactly those gems are so important:

“In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves, whom they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay. If the elf-king had a weakness it was for treasure, especially for silver and white gems; and though his hoard was rich, he was ever eager for more, since he had not yet as great a treasure as other elf-lords of old. His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth. All this was well known to every dwarf, though Thorin’s family had had nothing to do with the old quarrel I have spoken of.”

I’ve been seeing people comment on the fact that Thranduil has been wronged by the dwarves for their possession of the white gems. Well, in fact, this is a quarrel so ancient and prolonged no one even remembers who started it or how it happened. The elves have one version and the dwarves another, we have no indication of who is in the wrong and who is in the right, however it would seem based on meta that’s already flying around that everyone has decided to side with the elves. Why? Are their claims so much more pressing than that of the dwarves? There is no evidence to solely side with the elves or the dwarves. And yet it is Thranduil who holds Thorin in contempt for this supposed snub. Thorin, on the other hand, is not concerned with treasure at the moment. And I believe this deserves more critical thought. Why are some so quick to assume the elves are in the right here?

And therein lies our first glimpse of the major power imbalance at work here. Thranduil has the luxury of continuing to reflect on wealth and gems even though it is stated that he has rather  a large stash of precious items as it is. Thranduil is never called to account for his own greed, and yet, by the fandom’s own admission it is Thorin who is still ever the greedy one here. How so, I speculate? If greed is the evil of the day then should Thranduil be put under just as much speculation as Thorin is for his lust for gold and precious gems? Absolutely. If not more so in this moment as Thorin as zero power and Thranduil has all of it and currently he is the one letting his gold lust corrupt his mind.

Getting back to the movie, there is a lovely addition of Thranduil showing Thorin old scars from past firedrakes fought. Why they were fought we do not know. Certainly Thranduil is entitled to his fear. Now we see Thranduil’s fear and Thorin’s anger working at odds with one another. Thranduil suffered personal and physical scars, but ultimately his people are still prosperous and his kingdom is very much intact.

Thorin’s scars may not be physical but they are no less obvious. In place of personal scarification Thorin is dealing with generations of displacement, genocide, and a loss of cultural heritage in the form of the Arkenstone. Thranduil stating that he’s seen dragon fire is utterly moot. Where does he have the right to tell Thorin that he should not speak of dragon fire to him? A physical scar does not carry the same weight as multiple lives lost, a homeland destroyed, and a people displaced. So Thorin and Thranduil are beginning this confrontation already off balanced politically speaking. Thranduil feels he has the right to critique Thorin on his vengeance since he was personally marked by a firedrake himself. What, ultimately, does this grant Thranduil? Nothing I’d say save self righteousness. He loses nothing by stopping Thorin he gains nothing by releasing him either. This is not life or death for him. It is for Thorin and his people. Thranduil has no place to comment on or impede the dwarves. But by his personal scars he feels he can. And they are indeed tragic, but only on the individual level. Thorin must contend with his entire peoples’ scars and loss of heritage. A wider and deeper matter altogether and Thranduil’s inability to note this in his self righteous instance that Thorin has no place to talk to him of dragon fire shows his own blind prejudice.

There is a lot that is said about dwarfish prejudice towards the elves, but very little that I’ve seen that comments on the reverse. The Dwarves may think ill of the elves all they like, but what can they really do to them beyond shout and curse? They do not have any power beyond their own words. Thorin may curse Thranduil and rebuke him, but Thranduil can throw him in prison and this precisely what he does. This is a huge power difference. Thorin is criticized for cursing Thranduil, but Thranduil is not equally criticized for having Thorin and the dwarves placed in the dungeons indefinitely, the only charge being a blow to his pride. And this is the difference between individual bigotries and a systematic prejudice. Systematic prejudice carries power behind it. The power to kill and incarcerate in this case.

Thorin calls Thranduil out directly for his isolationist politics and his refusal to aid the dwarves during their time of crisis. Speaking truth to power is never a wise move if you have no power of your own, but it is right to do so, arguably. Thorin does not accept aid from a leader who proved ineffectual to him and his people previously. True, Thranduil offers him a deal, but Thorin is not in any position to test the merits of that deal. Thorin has seen Thranduil abandon his own people and that we do have visual proof of. Thorin is speaking not only of the day Thranduil did not help them fight Smaug, but he cites that Thranduli did not aid them when the dwarves came to them starving and homeless. This makes me think that Thorin appealed for aid to Thranduil at another point in time and was refused. If that is the case, then Thorin has every reason to mistrust Thranduil, not on a personal level, but because his lack of aid probably cost his own people several of their lives.

And Thorin is clearly betting on Bilbo finding a way into the realm, he does not need a deal if he has an ace up his sleeve. He’s not being immature or callously casting aside the hope of his people. He’s playing a long game. And speaking of aspersions cast onto Thorin’s maturity and tact:

This is hardly an immature shouting match. Examine the way Thorin holds and conducts himself in the court of the elf king. He does not speak directly to Thranduil, he turns and address the court and projects his voice to Thranduil’s subjects. He’s not calling out Thranduil for insult sake, he’s exposing his past actions to his own people. He’s making certain everyone can hear him, because you can be sure the elves have only ever heard one version of the story of the desolation of Erebor and Dale. It’s not a petty immature action, it’s a calculated move to draw power away from Thranduil because in that moment he has an excess of it.

Thranduil is not hurt by Thorin’s words, he’s panicked. He never anticipated someone with that little power to challenge him in such a blatant display. It’s probably been a long time since he’s been challenged in his own realm at all. Thorin becomes dangerous in that instance and must be locked down, which is precisely what occurs.

Thranduil has no reason nor obligation to detain the dwarves other than the fact that he can and that there is bad blood between these two races. It is easy to ignore the plight of a displaced people if you are comfortable enough in your own lands and in your own power. There is nothing just, nor right in that mentality of isolationism. Other elves even call Thranduil out on this in the film (Tauriel mostly, but Legolas follows her example by his actions) but even this is hardly spoken of in the essays I’ve seen about Thranduil and I think it deserves a better conversation than it’s been getting.

The power imbalances between Thorin and Thranduil are rife. Thranduil is a king secure in his lands and borders. Thorin is a displaced king struggling to keep his people together and reclaim a lost kingdom. One cannot insist that they’re actions are coming for equal ground and therefore cannot analyze their actions as if they can be weighed with equal weight. Thorin may scream curses all he likes ultimately it will not effect the rule of Thranduil. Meanwhile Thranduil may incarcerate Thorin’s entire company for as long as he wills and at his leisure. There is a fundamental disconnect going on if one assumes that these are of equal power. Thorin may insult Thranduil’s pride, but Thranduil can take away Thorin’s freedom at a whim.

Speaking truth to power is a dangerous game to play, and that is precisely how Thorin engages with Thranduil in their scene together.

Nonmonogamy is not the solution to monogamous relationship problems

I see this kind of thing in a lot of online fora:

Troubled person: Me and my partner have been together for a while now, and [because of this perfectly good reason] it’s become apparent that one of us wants more sex than the other. It’s an imbalance that makes me feel uncomfortable. What do I do?

Advice person: [Blah blah generic but good advice to communicate, etc.] Also consider nonmonogamy.


What is this about? I mean, a few years ago it just didn’t happen. Blimey, I advised people of this a couple of times and felt like I was the only poly person on the planet judging by the reactions I got. But now I never do suggest it, because it sends a slightly disturbing message. It implies that relationship challenges can be overcome using nonmonogamy.

Undoing the crap taught to you by an adult lifetime (however long that might be) of standard dating-and-romance conditioning takes a hell of a lot of work. A sex imbalance is for many people not a big deal as long as you have a good honest conversation about it. Suggesting nonmonogamy to a monogamous couple who’ve only been together just long enough to find out that they have a libido imbalance is like that time that someone proposed I have babies to see if it might fix my painful periods. And what if it didn’t work, huh? I’d have painful periods and a child.

The same logic applies here. Yes, there is a small chance that the couple are very well suited to nonmonogamy and will be very grateful for your suggestion. For some people the libido probably is a quota that can be met by sex with anyone at all. But even so, there may still be an issue - because “my boyfriend doesn’t want to have sex with me very much” could very well turn into “my boyfriend still doesn’t want to have sex with me very much, and I’m allowed to sleep around or get another boyfriend but I don’t want that. I want to have sex with him.

When monogamous people get together, most of the time it’s because they want to be just with each other. Proposing a solution that involves extra people to an exclusive couple is like offering cake in a locked box to someone who is thirsty. Adding people is a lot of work for something that does not remove the problems between the original couple.

The only problem nonmonogamy solves is “I don’t like being monogamous.”

April goals.

1) Focus on self love, confidence, and body positivity.

2) Focus on establishing a healthy relationship with food. Go at least one day of intuitive eating/not measuring food.

3) Make April a binge-free month.

4) Continue to work out consistently; make progress with lifts.

5) Continue to work on my muscle imbalance by incorporating more stretching.

6) Spend a lot less time on fitness-related social media and focus on MYSELF.

New month, new goals. Some of them will be really challenging for me, but I have faith in myself and I have amazing support from friends and family. Trying to make April the best month of 2015 yet!

In a 2010 public lecture, Bill Gates attributed global warming to “overpopulation” and touted zero population growth as a solution achievable “[i]f we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, and reproductive health services.”94 The argument is disingenuous: As Gates certainly knows, the poor people who are the targets of his campaigns are responsible for no more than a tiny percentage of the environmental damage that underlies climate change. The economist Utsa Patnaik has demonstrated that when population figures are adjusted to account for actual per capita demand on resources, e.g., fossil fuels and food, the greatest “real population pressure” emanates not from India or Africa, but from the advanced countries.95 The Gates Foundation is well aware of this imbalance and works not to redress it but to preserve it – by blaming poverty not on imperialism but on unrestrained sexual reproduction “in places where we don’t want it.”

From Malthus to the present day, the myth of overpopulation has supplied reliable ideological cover for the ruling class as it appropriates ever greater shares of the people’s labor and the planet’s wealth. As argued in Aspects No. 55, “Malthus’s heirs continue to wish us to believe that people are responsible for their own misery; that there is simply not enough to go around; and to ameliorate that state of wretchedness we must not attempt to alter the ownership of social wealth and redistribute the social product, but instead focus on reducing the number of people.”96 In recent years BMGF’s publicity apparatus, exploiting Western alarm about “climate change,” has helped create a resurgence of the overpopulation hysteria last experienced during the 1970s in the wake of Paul Erlich’s bestseller The Population Bomb.97

—  The Real Agenda of the Gates Foundation, IV. A Broader Agenda

Jacob Levich

Andy on Pseuicide

This will be an extremely long post.

In response to an anon ask pointing out that at least one (eventually revealed to be more) of the SPN fandom “suicides” was a fake, Andy immediately leaps to the trolls’ defense, insisting that no one has any way to know whether those people really tried to kill themselves. Never mind the medical misinformation and patently ludicrous hospital room scenarios that were being spun out by the trolls’ “friends”, or the obviously false claims of hacking. You weren’t PHYSICALLY THERE, so you can’t KNOW what happened.

Then, regardless of the trauma and upset that has been caused by the whole mess, Andy tells the anon that the only thing that matters is that, “The hate was real. The intent to try to fucking murder someone with words was real.” Even at the point that Andy posted this response, people were pointing out that the anon messages the “victims” had received pre-pseuicide were implausible at best. That internet bullying has led to real suicides in the past has nothing to do with the fact that in this case, the hate messages and the suicides were fake and followed a pattern that is clear and obvious to most people who have been through similar fandom upheavals before. But Andy has a vested interest in backing up others’ claims of receiving hateful anonymous messages on tumblr, as this is a tactic that he frequently uses to make himself look like a martyr or to bring up topics that he wants to discuss.

Andy goes on to say that the people who committed pseuicide were:

in such a dark and painful place that it is not simply understandable or excusable, we should be on our knees fucking grateful that they didn’t do something so permanent that we wouldn’t have the chance to pull them back from that edge.

That’s right. He is saying that their behavior was completely, 100% acceptable. He is saying that no one is allowed to be upset or angry with them for manipulating their friends and followers in this way. He is saying that the only appropriate response is to be GRATEFUL to them for faking their suicides on the internet because now we can help them–and that it is fandom’s responsibility to help them. He is making the pseuicide bloggers’ victims responsible for their abusers’ emotional well-being. That is disgusting.

Moreover, he says:

The only, THE ONLY people who did an evil thing in that hypothetical instance are the Anons.  If someone is being bullied and commits an act of desperation because of it, no matter how foolish, THEY ARE THE VICTIM.  This is NOT the victim’s fault.  It is NEVER the victim’s fault.

Carlanime and Valancyredfern have responded to this very well.

Then Andy talked about his own pseuicide.

(Cut for potentially triggering/distressing content.)

Keep reading

This has been discussed before, but today I went on an epic tangent talking to Sparks about shipping.

It is a commonly known psychological fact that victims of child abuse tend to be emotionally stunted due to their trauma. Without intervention, most child abuse victims tend to be emotionally closer in age to themselves at the time of trauma than their physical ages.

I think this pretty obvious in the case of Daryl. Physically, he’s somewhere in his mid thirties to mid forties, but emotionally, when the series starts, he’s basically a teenage boy. We see him progress as he becomes part of the “family” and starts to know what familial love is. This is really why Bethyl works. There is no imbalance of power as on an emotional level, Beth and Daryl are equals. And it’s with Beth’s help, the burning of the shack, etc, that Daryl begins to grow emotionally even more. Prior to their fight in “Still,” he’s closed off, barely surviving, and Norman himself said had Beth not been there, Daryl probably would have “opted out.” But after their fight, he begins to express himself in ways we have never seen him do before. He’s emotionally and physically expressive with Beth.

Then she gets taken and in “Consumed,” Carol acknowledges the changes that his time with Beth have brought on. He has hope, where she does not, that they can save Beth. He gives Noah the benefit of the doubt when she doesn’t. Bethyl shipper or not, no one can deny the changes that Beth brought out in Daryl.

Then he finds her and she gets shot. This brought on a massive regression in Daryl’s personality. He’s completely shutdown in 510. When they get to the ASZ, he doesn’t want to be there, is incredibly uncomfortable, and flat out says he’s there because Carl and Judith need a roof.

So what happened to that Daryl that was willing to spend the rest of his days in a funeral home with Beth “making it work?” He regressed. Beth got shot and he suffered another trauma before he was able to even tap the surface of his childhood traumas. He may have shown tremendous growth during his time with Beth, but he was still ill-equipped to emotionally deal with such a gut wrenching trauma. He had just learned to have hope and faith and it was violently taken away from him.

So, what’s my point? At this point, Daryl is stuck. He has regressed far enough back that he does not have the emotional capabilities to deal with losing her. At this point the only person that can help Daryl deal with the emotional trauma of losing Beth is Beth. Either Beth has to be alive or until Daryl gets killed off, he’s going to be mourning Beth. And I don’t know about the rest of you, but that would be boring as all hell.

Sometimes I wish I was born a man. Of course, I love being a woman – I love all that it means and the way it feels and how many things I can do – but it gets so exhausting. I get tired of trying to explain, over and over, the way womanhood can feel like chains wrapped around you. The way your femininity can become this thick, cloying cloud that enters a room before you do and changes everyone’s perception of who you are. There are the cat calls and the petty condescensions, sure, but there are years and years of slights and missed opportunities and people who assume you are just there to help out, because why wouldn’t you be? You’re a woman. 

Occasionally (and with great futility) I will try to explain to a man what it’s like. And even the men who are the smartest, the most lucid about the way the world works and the imbalance of it all, they don’t quite get it. They feel like you’re speaking a different language, and they have the guide book, but they can’t put it together in real time. And you are left wondering if you are insane, because all of these small injustices collect over time and leave a film that becomes your new skin. Have you gone crazy? Is sexism just the way the world is, and you are insane for perceiving it?

And honestly, I am never as struck by sexism in the things that are denied women as the things that are allowed men. The world is full – bursting – with mediocre men who have been placed in positions of power or influence or structural importance because they were there. Because part of their intangible value is their neutral status: they are just a worker. Just their job title. Just the person they are. They are not a man first. We don’t fear that they are prone to mood swing or childbearing or some vague, inexplicably terrifying aura of woman-ness. They get to be the perfectly acceptable vessel that occupies space, who does not have to be exceptional to be treated with exception.

Women are always women first, then whatever it is they want to be second (if they are lucky). We feel it when we walk into a room and we are the only one of us. We feel it when we are in a conversation in which the rigid, logical-at-all-costs, pragmatic-to-a-fault masculine point of view is not only preferred, but taken as the neutral stance. We feel it when we are introduced to a man who assumes we are there to help someone because we couldn’t possibly the one he came to meet. We feel it every day, like a thousand tiny needles all over our bodies.

But we can’t say it. Because that would make us crazy.