Basil al-Araj’s Father saluting goodbye to his son, Basil, as he is buried in Bethlehem, Palestine, March 16, 2017
Basil al-Araj, a 31-year old Palestinian activist and writer from the village of Al Walaja, near Bethlehem. Al-Araj was killed by the Israeli army on March 6th in a house in Ramallah, where he had been hiding in for month after being chased by the IDF.
was a beacon for Palestinian youth, and a well-respected figure by Palestinians across the spectrum, He was known for his activism and resistance to the Israeli occupation. He led a youth movement against the dangers of normalization with Israel, and simultaneously organized protests in Ramallah against the Palestinian Authority.
On February 1, 1960, four African American college students,
Ezell A. Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil, and David L. Richmond, sat down at a lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, and politely asked for service. Their request was refused. When asked to leave, they remained in their seats. Their passive resistance and peaceful sit-down demand helped ignite a youth-led movement to challenge racial inequality throughout the South.
In Greensboro, hundreds of students, civil rights organizations, churches, and members of the community joined in a six-month-long protest. Their commitment ultimately led to the desegregation of the F. W. Woolworth lunch counter on July 25, 1960.
The far left have begun to settle down and openly acknowledge the influence of imageboards in swaying politics and driving the cultural narrative. What’s more, they have come to realize they no longer have the cultural capital of youth to rely on after a decade of polarisation due to unchecked social justice progressive identity politics.
But they still don’t comprehend that the meme power of 4chan is only effective because it is resonating with youth who face increasingly aggravating conditions and quality of life. Youth who threw their hopes behind obama, ronpaul, occupy and Bernie sanders; only to see their enthusiasm crushed and rolled back into reasserting the establishments grip. Radicalism ensues where democratic representation is systematically denied.
The far left are the underdog now via years of broadly held negligence of the responsibility in commanding the narrative and ignorance in the face of a radically transformed global order that undermines antiquated mainstream values of hopeful multiculturalism and cultural relativism.
The radical left can’t “punch” their way out of this one when the next generation despises them for their clearly desperate, if not amusing violence to cover for the lack of an answer or left wing vision to deal with this new global (dis)order of late stage capitalism and the decay of western led globalism. Youth identify that, past punching back nazis, the left offers nothing constructive or reassuring to the dangers and issues of contemporary nature. If not that, the previously outspoken icons of progressive values circa 2010-2015 have gone silent either from exhaustion from social justice callout hysteria (that eviscerated progressive millenial leadership) or persistent news of cognitive dissonance triggering events (if not plainly emotionally overwhelming) like upset right wing victories (trump, brexit) and exponentially growing islamic terrorism/violence that becomes an ever increasing obstacle course to be an apologist for.
So yeah. If you look into left wing discourse today, all you see is a frantic agitation and alarm toward the far right, culminating in a single rallying cry: “punch nazis.”
There is little else to glean from the left today but this call to action, which is figuratively a desperate cry to return to the liberal normalcy and assumed permanence of 5 years ago. Unless. Of course, you look into Leninist and other staunchly communist circles of discourse that remain undeterred in their criticism of western geopolitical and social hegemony, while other radical left have turned to uphold these corrupt systems in their desperation to fight back a rising tide of fascists and nationalists. Hence the odd sight of pop-anarchists marching in the wake of brexit, in defense of the EU, a supranational entity to primarily benefit the corporate elite of the richest member states of the union.
Because of this, youth now increasingly favour far right dogma because it is the only political force that offers a path out of this shit, even if it means walking back the achievements of the mainstream left. The radical and moderate left only offers more hopeful ignorance and desperate antifa posturing (co-opted from anarchists) in spite of monthly Salafist attacks in europe that continues to erode the social democrat Foundation they stand on the shoulders of.
This leads to curious cases such as Jon tron, a man of Iranian heritage, grasping onto white nationalist talking points in what appears to be a a spell of self-loathing and disillusionment.
Without a constructive and unapologetic platform to captivate aimless, frustrated people in the middle, struggling in the new global order left by boomers (and gen x), the left will continue to lose ground in dramatic fashion.
They are waking up, but are still slowly and begrudgingly peeling back sedimentary layers of accumulated progressive arrogance and hubris that made the left an ineffectual if not functionally reckless laughing stock of a political idealism the past decade.
Intersectionality will be the key in the left wing’s future platform to rise against the alt right, but not in the way progressives of the 10’s have mismanaged it, but in accommodating the issues, awareness and especially the internal criticisms of the wide world and it’s various ethnic, social conditions.
Perhaps a global community of autonomous platforms and critics mindful of sovereign limitations and conditions. Not total universal values, protectionism and collectivism, but common grounds..
Or something. Hard to give words to it.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought toward what a functioning left wing platform could be.
mom, Fig, gave birth to 2 Sulawesi babirusa piglets on Sept. 6. The
cute pair’s charisma and youthful energy have led some of the Zoo’s most
avid members to call them “figlets”—and keepers think the moniker is a
perfect fit for these new baby pigs. Info: http://bit.ly/Figlets
Pop Up Youth Radio is a project of Yollocalli Arts Reach. PUYR is a youth-led, community-centered, pop-up Internet radio program. This show was recorded live at Crappy Suckentine’s Day Condom Party 2017, on February 10th at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Great conversations about Project Elevate (STD prevention and transgender womem), teen’s health, dating, relationship advice and MORE!
One of the most fundamental and also one of the saddest facts in human life is well brought out in a French proverb which, freely translated, means: ‘If Youth had the knowledge and Old Age the strength of doing,’“ said Mr. Tesla. "Our condition of body and mind in Old Age is merely a certificate of how we have spent our Youth. The secret of my own strength and vitality today is that in my youth I led what you might call a virtuous life.
"I have never dissipated. When I was a young man I understood well the significance of that old French proverb, although I doubt that I had even heard it then. But I seemed to have a clear understanding while still young that I must control my passions and appetites if I wanted to make some of my dreams come true.
"So with this in view, quite early in life I set about disciplining myself, planning out a program of living for what I considered the sane and worthwhile life.
"Since I love my work above all things, it is only natural that I should wish to continue it until I die. I want no vacation–no surcease from my labors. If people would select a life work compatible with their temperaments, the sum total of happiness would be immeasurably increased in the world.
"Many are saddened and depressed by the brevity of life. 'What is the use of attempting to accomplish anything?’ they say. 'Life is so short. We may never live to see the completion of the task.’ Well, people could prolong their lives considerably if they would but make the effort. Human beings do so many things that pave the way to an early grave.
"First of all, we eat too much, but this we have all heard said often before. And we eat the wrong kinds of foods and drink the wrong kind of liquids. Most of the harm is done by overeating and underexercising, which bring about toxic conditions in the body and make it impossible for the system to throw off the accumulated poisons.
"My regime for the good life and my diet? Well, for one thing, I drink plenty of milk and water.
"Why overburden the bodies that serve us? I eat but two meals a day, and I avoid all acid-producing foods. Almost everybody eats too many peas and beans and other foods containing uric acid and other poisons. I partake liberally of fresh vegetables, fish or meat sparingly, and rarely. Fish is reputed as fine brain food, but has a very strong acid reaction, as it contains a great deal of phosphorus. Acidity is by far the worst enemy to fight off in old age.
"Potatoes are splendid, and should be eaten at least once a day. They contain valuable mineral salts and are neutralizing.
"I believe in plenty of exercise. I walk eight or ten miles every day, and never take a cab or other conveyance when I have the time to use legpower. I also exercise in my bath daily, for I think this is of great importance. I take a warm bath, followed by a prolonged cold shower.
"Sleep? I scarcely ever sleep. I come of a long-lived family, but it is noted for its poor sleepers. I expect to match the records of my ancestors and live to be at least 100.
"My sleeplessness does not worry me. Sometimes I doze for an hour or so. Occasionally, however, once in a few months, I may sleep for four or five hours. Then I awaken virtually charged with energy, like a battery. Nothing can stop me after such a night. I feel great strength then. There is no doubt about it but that sleep is a restorer, a vitalizer, that it increases energy. But on the other hand, I do not think it is essential to one’s well-being, particularly if one is habitually a poor sleeper.
"Today, at 77, as a result of well-regulated life, sleeplessness notwithstanding, I have an excellent certificate of health. I never felt better in my life. I am energetic, strong, in full possession of all my mental faculties. In my prime I did not possess the energy I have today. And what is more, in solving my problems I use but a small part of the energy I possess, for, I have learned how to conserve it. Because of my experience and knowledge gained through the years, my tasks are much lighter. Contrary to general belief, work comes easier for older people if they are in good health, because they have learned through years of practice how to arrive at a given place by the shortest path.
Nikola Tesla. “Tremendous New Power Soon To Be Released.” By Carol Bird. The Charleston Daily Mail, Charleston, West Virginia, Page 40. September 10, 1933.
Introverted Feeling (Fi): Rosalee is extremely kind and sensitive, with an amenable personality, but she can also be strong-willed and assertive in standing up for her beliefs. Often, she does what she believes is right whether or not Monroe agrees – and that includes informing the council of crimes in Portland. She holds her emotions inside and does not share them easily – it takes her years to tell her sister and mother why she missed her brother’s funeral. Though she wants Monroe to be happy, Rosalee must first come to terms with her own feelings about Christmas before she can embrace it as a happy holiday and share in his enthusiasm for it.
Extroverted Intuition (Ne): She quickly catches on to whatever is happening around her, in terms of what is actually going on under the surface and/or relationship advancements between people. She also had an impulsive youth that led her to reckless behavior in pursuit of “more exciting” things than running the family Spice Shop. Rosalee is very good at brainstorming solutions with the others, offering new ideas, figuring out how to spice up her relationship with Monroe, and in speculating on potential outcomes that the others cannot foresee. She is pretty laid back about the present and the future, but …
Introverted Sensing (Si): … has a bit of unhealthy retention of the past. Until she can create new traditions with Monroe and find a space for her own feelings at Christmas, she avoids it, because each year the holiday season forces her to emotionally relive the death of her aunt and uncle. Rosalee also has a tremendous respect for the concept of family, so much so that she almost chooses not to marry Monroe because she doesn’t want to come between him and his parents. She respects the traditions of their kind, and usually abides by them, right down to informing the council of local misbehavior.
Extroverted Thinking (Te): She has extensive knowledge of other creatures and cures, mostly gained from personal experience and studying her books. Rosalee uses logic to back up all her arguments and decisions. Often, she acts on her feelings rather than talk about them – right down to walking out on Monroe’s parents after an argument. She has a certain amount of respect for the “rules” of their kind, and is forever trying to influence the external world through her actions.
I started writing this Hiccstrid AU, but then I had a radical different approach to the story, so I scraped the first bit. I thought someone might enjoy it, so here:
shine, Ma’am,” came the sultry voice of Lady Heather, mimicking the foreign
accent of the regular servant.
Heather yanked back the thick
curtains of the bed. Bright, invasive morning light flooded into the sanctuary
of the bed. Astrid didn’t jump or stir; she’d woken up before Heather had
entered the room.
“Seriously, it’s morning,”
Heather said. “Quite a late morning for a princess. You feeling alright?”
“Of course,” Astrid said. She
rolled onto her back. Heather stood at the bedside, hands on her hips, radiant
in green and silver. Her dark hair had been tied back into an elaborate braid.
Astrid swiveled her head on her own hair, a mess between her and the pillow.
“I’m not looking forward to today. That’s all.”
Heather harrumphed. “What’s not
to look forward to? Young men in armor beating each other up…it sounds great.”
Astrid pulled herself off the
pillow and pushed the plush blankets down. Might as well get it over with.
“Fine. Where’s Helga?”
“Oh, she’s helping your mother
with something. I didn’t ask questions, so don’t ask me what they’re doing,”
Heather said, waving her hand dismissively. “The point is that I’ve taken the
task of getting you up and dressed and presentable for the ceremony. Let’s go,
Princess, you’ve got a bad case of bedhead.”
Heather picked a strand of yellow
hair from Astrid’s head and flicked it aside. She laughed.
Astrid stood and stretched her
hands to the tall ceiling dappled with sunlight. The stained glass in the
topmost pane of the window shone red and yellow on the shined, white-painted
panels. After a bath, Heather helped Astrid to towel-dry her hair, oil it into
submission, and braid it as carefully as if it were threaded gold.
She dressed in a red and gold gown,
and Heather tied it. Astrid lifted the golden crown from its polished wooden
box, and placed it on her head; by sacred law, Heather’s hands were not allowed
to touch it. Only a sanctified or royal hand could touch the crown.
Three guards, all in Berk’s
shined silver suits, waited on the other side of Astrid’s wide bedroom door. At
once they all took a knee, right hand on their left breast, over the heart.
“Princess,” they spoke together,
words muffled by their metal helmets, which bore the crest of Berk, a winding
dragon curved around a pointed sword.
The three guardsmen walked
alongside Astrid, metal plates clicking together as they stepped. Heather walked
beside her. The entire palace seemed to buzz, silently, as if too much noise
might wake the portraits. They hung on nearly every wall, of stern-looking
dignitaries, respected politicians, magistrates, royals, and honored civilians.
In the west wing, a painting of a popular magician hung.
The guards escorted Astrid and
Heather to the main dining hall. The room could seat as many as fifty people at
its long table, but typically sat less than ten.
Astrid’s father, King Arvid, sat
at the head of the table. His pointed crown shone in the light that flickered
from the hundreds of candles above. Queen Lenora sat to his right, a beauty in
gold. Astrid’s younger brother of fifteen, Prince Tegard, sat to their father’s
right. He need a haircut. Astrid sat to her mother’s left, across from her
“About time,” King Arvid said. “I
was beginning to think you weren’t waking up.”
“And miss the induction?” Astrid
said with mock enthusiasm. “I would never.”
“Oh, darling, stop that,” said
her mother. “No one likes a smart tongue.”
The doors leading into the
kitchens opened, and a small army of white-clad servants carried covered silver
platters to the table. A platter set in front of each of them, and the lids
were lifted in learned unison. Each plate had been made to the eater’s
preference. Astrid’s plate held eggs, peppercorn sausage, and a thick slice of
“Eat up,” King Arvid warned.
“Today will be a long day.”
Tegard stuffed a sausage into his
mouth. “Why do I have to sit through the ceremony?”
“You’re the prince,” King Arvid
said, as though he and his son had had this conversation many times before. “It
is your duty.”
“Not really,” Tegard said. He
took a bite of eggs and swallowed without chewing. “I don’t control the Royal
Knights. That’s your job. When it’s not your job anymore it’ll be Astrid’s
“That’s no way to look at
things,” Queen Lenora said. “What if something happened? What if Astrid got
sick? What if she has no children? You’d be second in line for the throne,
Tegard. You’ve responsibilities.”
Tegard sighed. He continued to
eat without arguing further.
Astrid pushed her eggs around on
the plate. When it wasn’t her father’s job, it would be her job. As heir to the
throne, all royal duties would pass to her, regardless of marriage, because her
blood held the royalty; she would be the true royal, whereas her husband would
be royal by marriage.
After the meal, King Arvid and Queen
Lenora led the way through the antechamber and into the main hall, where a
crowd of Knights, guardsmen, magistrates, and other important leaders had
gathered to watch the induction ceremony of the new squires. The ceremony took
place once every five years, and gave the kingdom something to celebrate.
The crowd silenced at the horn
which announced King Arvid’s arrival. All stood. Astrid did as she had always
done, and stepped in line after her parents. They stood in front of the grand
line of thrones, her father’s the grandest, with the great hall before them.
Hundreds, possibly thousands of candles burned on the chandeliers above them,
suspended by shined silver chains. Sunlight blazed in through the tall windows.
The air stilled, as if a
collective breath had been held.
King Arvid held up his hands to
the room, and spoke in a booming voice. “Today we welcome these fine young men
into the royal order, as squires. Today we recognize these young men for their
valor, for each has proven himself in the trials in order to stand where he
Twenty or so young men stood in a
line in the middle of the floor. No women, Astrid noted. Knight Farley, the
only female Knight, stood with an impassive expression on the floor. It had not
yet been a week since she and Astrid had talked of more women in the order.
Stoick the Vast, a grand Knight
in his youth, led the order. He stood in his shined armor, a head taller than
most other men. An intense, but weary expression had replaced his usual
cheerful demeanor. He held his gaze on the group of young squires as if he
suspected one of them of treason.
Some of the young men looked as
young as thirteen. Most looked to be in their twenties. One man looked to have
gray in his brown hair.
“Today we welcome these young men
as allies, friends, and fellows into these grounds, so that they may learn what
it is to be a Knight, what it means to vow their lives, and the dedication,
determination, and perseverance it requires,” King Arvid said. While he spoke,
no one in the room so much as uttered a word.
Astrid caught the gaze of a
stocky young man. His black hair had been combed straight back. He winked.
She tightened her fingers into
her fists, fighting to maintain her passive expression. Such nerve. If she could
participate, she would knock his teeth out.
“Let the induction ceremony
begin,” King Arvid said.
A horn blew through the hall,
sounding the start, and King Arvid sat. Astrid sat down beside her mother,
grateful that her brother sat on the other side of their father. He’d been
complaining for weeks how he should be allowed in the order; he’d been training
since he could walk. According to King Arvid, he wasn’t old enough. Astrid
understood what he meant, whereas Tegard didn’t. Tegard wasn’t mature enough.
The first young man stepped up to
the throne. He placed his hand over his heart, and bent onto one knee. He said,
“Roger Ogler, of Rachel and Samson Ogler.”
“Rise Squire Ogler,” King Arvid
said. “May the gods watch over you.”
Rightly named by the king, the
newly titled squire rose, bowed again, and walked to the side of the group. The
next stepped up, repeated, and after the king bestowed the title of ‘squire,’
he stepped aside.
A tall, wiry young man with
braided blonde hair stepped onto the platform. He bowed. “Tuffnut Thorston, of
Mr. and Mrs. Thorston.”
King Arvid hesitated, and glanced
at Stoick, who shrugged. King Arvid trusted Stoick’s judgement, and knew that
he wouldn’t let just anyone into the ranks.
“Rise, Squire Thorston. May the gods
watch over you.”
Tuffnut stood, and joined the
The next in the line made Astrid
blink; he could have been Tuffnut’s twin. He, too, had long blonde hair tied
“Ruffnut Thorston, of Mr. and
Twin sister. Astrid glanced between the two, definitely twins. Knight
Farley, despite the rules of Knight’s impassivity, grinned. Whispers went
around the entire room as the sudden news spread.
“Good,” Queen Lenora said under
her breath to Astrid. “The order could use more women.”
King Arvid cleared his throat.
“Rise, Squire Thorston. May the gods be with you.”
Squire Ruffnut Thorston walked
with pride to the line, and stood beside her brother with a grin. Many people
in the room stared at her, but it didn’t seem to bother her at all.
“Did they know that she was a
woman?” Astrid asked her mother.
She smiled faintly. “I doubt it.
Several of the young men look surprised. Probably shouldn’t let those into the
order. They’re not very perceptive.”
The stocky young man pushed
several others out of his way to the front. He bowed deeply, then took his
knee. “Snotlout Jorgenson, of Spitelout and Bertha Jorgenson.”
“Oh,” Queen Lenora murmured. “It
doesn’t need any more Jorgensons.”
“Is that Stoick’s brother?”
“Brother-in-law, he’d quickly
correct you,” Queen Lenore whispered. “Hates whole lot of them.”
“Rise, Squire Jorgenson,” King
Arvid said with strain. “May the gods be with you.”
Snotlout’s gaze lingered on
Astrid, and she narrowed her eyes at him. He joined the others.
One of the young men that
Snotlout shoved stepped up. Stoick watched his every move. Tall, thin, with
soft green eyes, the young man didn’t look like a knight. He looked like
someone to be found in a library.
“Hiccup Haddock, of Stoick and
Valka Haddock,” the young man said.
A hum went through the room. Many
eyes cast toward Stoick, who kept his eyes pinned on the young man. King Arvid
leaned forward, hand on his knee. Hiccup Haddock paled, and held his gaze on
the floor, as the others did before their name was called.
“Is that so?” King Arvid asked,
smirking. “Well done. Rise, Squire Haddock. May the gods be with you.”
Hiccup stood, and bowed toward
the king. He walked to the line of squires, past his father, who made no move
to congratulate him.
“That is Stoick’s son?” Astrid
asked. “Stoick is huge and Hiccup is so…small.”
Queen Lenora spoke lowly, “That’s
what ‘Hiccup’ means. He’s a runt.”
“That’s a cruel name.”
“I didn’t name him.”
Astrid looked toward Stoick, who
followed his son to the line of squires.
It seemed as though several
others in the hall thought the same thing, for many still whispered and looked
toward the squires. Hiccup, unlike Ruffnut, kept his eyes on the floor.
Queen Lenora whispered, “I’ve
heard he’s a bit…clumsy. An embarrassment to his father.”
“And he wants to be a knight?”
Queen Lenora smiled. “It would
Astrid ignored the large blond
boy that stepped to the platform. Hiccup kept his gaze at the floor. Stoick
didn’t acknowledge him.
Stoick had always been a figure
in her life. He’d been the symbol of protection. The Knights protected the
palace and the royal family. They trained in combat, how to spot predators and
threats, and how to stop them without a mess or trouble. Often she would not know
about a threat until after the fact; Stoick and his Knights had reacted so
swiftly, so quickly, as to stop it before it happened.
She’d always admired Stoick, but
she never considered what it would be like to have such a man as a father.
Hiccup glanced up, and for a
moment his gaze flickered in Astrid’s direction. Their eyes met; Hiccup
blinked, but Astrid held her gaze. He stiffened, and his slightly slouched
shoulders popped into perfect posture. He looked forward. He blinked, and gazed
back to Astrid, who hadn’t turned her eyes off him.
There was something about Hiccup
Haddock. He was not like the others. Different, but not wrongly so.
She held her stare until her
father stood. She stood, too.
“That concludes the induction
ceremony,” King Arvid said. “Would the squires please make their way outside
into the courtyard. There are vows that must be taken.”
The Knights led the quires into
the courtyard outside. Palace walls surrounded the courtyard on three sides.
The fourth side led into a flowery atrium.
new squires stood in lines, and recited the rite as Stoick read it to them, “I,
as a squire, take responsibility for becoming a Knight of the Royal Order. I
will not compromise my duties to the crown. I will protect. I will serve. I
will obey. I will learn. I will become a knight.”
watched this from a balcony overlooking the courtyard. Twice she caught Hiccup
Haddock’s glance, although she looked at him more often.
Stoick led his squires to their
quarters, a quiet corridor underneath the east wing, where the Knights lived.
They matched out in their rows.
“Interesting bunch,” King Arvid
said. “How many do you think will drop out in the first week?”
“At least three,” Queen Lenora
“Last time seven of them dropped
out,” King Arvid said with a sigh.
“I bet Hiccup Haddock will drop
out,” Prince Tegard jeered. He bent his elbow into Astrid’s side. “He’s too
busy making googly eyes.”
“Shut it.” Astrid grabbed his
wrist and bent his arm back.
Tegard cried out, and Astrid bent
his arm harder.
“Astrid,” King Arvid said. “Don’t
break your brother’s arm.”
Could you please do an analysis on how S3 talked about Hiccup's leadership a lot more than in other seasons? In other seasons it seemed like decisions were made as a group now we get 2 epi's of Fishlegs and Snotlout wanting to prove themselves to him
Hiccup’s increasing leadership is extraordinarily interesting. Technically, Hiccup has led the dragon riders before in an official role; when they acted together as the Dragon Academy, Hiccup was placed in charge. Hiccup has also acted as a leader in moments like Dawn of the Dragon Racers and Dangers of the Deep when he is acting chief. However, it is to note that, increasingly throughout RTTE, Hiccup becomes more and more leader-like. The group initially acts as more of a team with Hiccup as the cement, but by S3, there’s no doubting who has taken control of the Edge.
In RTTE S1, especially the first half of the season, Hiccup and the youths often act together and make decisions together as a group. For instance, they seek out potential “base” island candidates together. In “When Darkness Falls,” everyone cracks out their own ideas about how to construct their base. While Hiccup does try to insert in his voice and tell people to prioritize, Snotlout criticizes this as “Princess Outpost Hiccup” rather than a good assertion of authority. And when Hiccup comes up with a solution to the problem, he presents the idea to the entire team which is reacted to with enthusiasm. This is a situation in which the group works together and decides on a solution as a team. Hiccup is not acting as a strict authority figure in these sorts of moments.
Other moments in RTTE S1 can be listed as Hiccup being more of a smart, oft-heeded voice in the group rather than the set leader. For instance, in “Reign of Fireworms”, when the twins become the “real leaders,” Hiccup goes with it. When everyone is trapped in the cell, Hiccup is then asked if he will do something about it. While this does suggest the youths still see Hiccup as a leader, it is to point out it’s not Hiccup going around asserting his authority at this point in time. What he does in “Reign of Fireworms” is eventually decide to stop a problem when it gets too out of hand.
Still, there are cases in which Hiccup demonstrates leadership even in S1. “Crushing It” is a great example of Hiccup acting as a natural leader without thinking it. Stoick starts to give instructions to the youths about how to handle a dangerous wild Rumblehorn, but Hiccup jumps up and tells everyone where to head. And they all heed him. Stoick is left, wordless, standing in the background and analyzing his son. Stoick realizes - even if Hiccup does not - how well his son handled this situation as a leader figure.
But Hiccup’s authority becomes more pronounced, regular, and outwardly acknowledged as the youths’ time on the Edge progresses. In “The Zippleback Experience” from S2, Hiccup is demonstrated as having some authority to assign shifts. At the start of the episode, Hiccup tells the twins, “Since you two seem so eager to spend some time away from the group, you get to pull the first two shifts of patrol duty.” That is a command, not a suggestion. Furthermore, the twins respond not with protests, but with a comment about Hiccup acting in power. Ruffnut says, “He’s really become a tyrant,” and Tuffnut responds, “Power will do that to you.” This is, technically, an indicator that Hiccup is taking the leadership role. And if that’s not enough, when Hiccup gets decked in fish and thinks it’s the twins’ fault, he shouts out, “Ruff! Tuff! Ohhh, I’ve got another shift with your names on it!” Hiccup is assigning shifts, no one is questioning him on it, and we can point to that as a feature of him leading the youths on the Edge.
S3 is where Hiccup’s authority really gets pronounced. It is far more pronounced than the previous two seasons. For starters, there’s “Follow the Leader,” and entire episode in which Fishlegs looks to be a leader when Hiccup is gone. Hiccup explicitly puts Fishlegs in charge of the group when he and Astrid are away; the fact Hiccup is designating who the leader is when he is gone is a clear demonstration of Hiccup being the natural leader when he’s present. While the youths question Fishlegs being a leader, no one questions the fact Hiccup’s the leader. Snotlout’s qualm is, “Why would Hiccup put you in charge of anything,” not, “Hiccup’s not in charge.” Throughout the episode, and Hiccup provides feedback about how Fishlegs is doing. This is an episode that might be about Fishlegs’ character growth, but it firmly settles Hiccup’s leadership role on Dragon’s Edge.
“Turn and Burn,” the very next episode, also has an element of Hiccup being a leader embedded in it, too. The episode compares Hiccup and Snotlout’s comparative positions with Stoick and Spitelout’s. The big takeaway Hiccup and Stoick get is that Snotlout and Spitelout are trying to impress their leaders. This again puts Hiccup in the leadership role.
“A Grim Retreat” has an entire premise focused around the idea that Hiccup has been overworking his companions. The dragons and all the teenagers are at work because Hiccup wants them to be productive. Everyone expresses the desire for a break, including Astrid, Snotlout, Tuffnut, and Ruffnut. In fact, the conversation proceeds where Hiccup says, “Guys, I - I get that you’re all tired, but remember why we’re all doing this.” Snotlout says, “Oh, because you told us to.” Later, Astrid and Fishlegs come to Hiccup’s hut and say, “We object.” “Everyone could use a break.” Only when Hiccup concedes they can have a break do they go on a break. This is Hiccup’s decision, and everyone has to convince the one leader to get the vacation. This obviously shows the power structure on the Edge if five to one isn’t enough to go on a vacation… until the one in charge says, “Fine”.
Within “Defenders of the Wing Part 1,” Hiccup himself declares himself the leader. It’s not just him acting as a leader we get in this season, but an outright verbal declaration of him being so.
When the youths invite Heather to Dragon’s Edge, it is Hiccup’s choice and leadership that brings her officially into the gang.
So yes. Yes, yes, yes. S3 demonstrates Hiccup as The Edge’s Big Leader through and through.
What is interesting about this is how it occurs. In Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk, Hiccup starts the Dragon Academy and is given authority by Stoick. While Hiccup becomes confident in the role of leader, it is an official establishment with a title. There was no such official designation on the Edge in RTTE. Hiccup became that leader naturally, in part because he has led the youths in the past, and in part because he continues to make a great leader in the present. Even if he did not start the adventure thinking, “I’m totally the leader of these folks,” but the time of “Defenders of the Wing Part 1,” he will outright declare, “I am the leader.”
It’s also to note that the youths accept this. In a way, they expect it. Since they expect Hiccup to stand up and stop the nonsense in “Reign of Fireworms,” you can see they clearly look up to Hiccup for guidance and decision-making. He’s still got that influence from the Dragon Academy years. Everyone is fine with him continuing to act that way, even if they have moved on and they are no longer Dragon Academy students. Hiccup being the leader, as the youths see it, is the natural course of events.
As Hiccup grows, he becomes more and more a natural leader. He takes his first steps in HTTYD when he comes up with a “crazy idea.” In ROB and DOB, he works as a leader in the Dragon Academy, making decisions when he and his friends are in danger. In RTTE, he goes from being an unofficial leader to one who clearly takes charge of the team and acknowledges it. Now he’s doing it in an island that is unsupervised by anyone else. It’s still leadership focused in areas of his personal interests and in dangerous little-choice scenarios, but he’s growing in his span of leadership. By HTTYD 2, Hiccup still might not see himself as a leader because his leadership positions have been restricted to: 1) tight situations, 2) a very small group of people, 3) doing it during recreation when he wants to, and 4) not doing any of the official sorts of duties, acts, and ceremonies a chief does, but he’s gained a lot of the experience and skills needed to become Berk’s number one. In HTTYD 2, Hiccup transitions into someone who isn’t just making choices for a small band of riders. He becomes the chief of an entire tribe.
While she admits she was at the heart of the Nazi propaganda machine, with her tasks including massaging downwards statistics about fallen soldiers, as well as exaggerating the number of rapes of German women by the Red Army, she describes it, somewhat bizarrely, as “just another job”.
“Those people nowadays who say they would have stood up against the Nazis – I believe they are sincere in meaning that, but believe me, most of them wouldn’t have.” After the rise of the Nazi party, “the whole country was as if under a kind of a spell,” she insists. “I could open myself up to the accusations that I wasn’t interested in politics but the truth is, the idealism of youth might easily have led to you having your neck broken.”
The details Pomsel chooses to focus on may reflect the way she has edited her own story so that she feels more comfortable with it. But it is also conceivable that a combination of ignorance and awe, as well as the protection offered by the huge office complex in the government quarter really did shield her from much of reality.