There ya have it folks! Harrison Ford settles 38 year debate on the set of The Force Awakens set.
admiring the stockings. 1940’s.
Fun fact: Though being gay in the 40s sucked, being gay in the military was easier, and pretty common. There were apparently, at one point in time time so many lesbians in the military that when they tried to crack down on it, the girls wrote back and said “Look I can give you the names, but you’ll lose some of your best officers, and half your nurses and secretaries.” And they pretty much shut up about it unless you were especially bad at subtlety. (Source: Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers. A good source for gay history from 1900s onwards.)
Sergeant Phelps worked for General Eisenhower. Four decades after Eisenhower had defeated the Axis powers, Phelps recalled an extraordinary event. One day the general told her, “I’m giving you an order to ferret those lesbians out.’ We’re going to get rid of them.”
“I looked at him and then I looked at his secretary. who was standing next to me, and I said, ‘Well, sir, if the general pleases, sir, I’ll be happy to do this investigation for you. But you have to know that the first name on the list will be mine.’
“And he kind of was taken aback a bit. And then this woman standing next to me said, ‘Sir, if the general pleases, you must be aware that Sergeant Phelps’s name may be second, but mine will be first.’
“Then I looked at him, and I said, ‘Sir, you’re right. They’re lesbians in the WAC battalion. And if the general is prepared to replace all the file clerks, all the section commanders, all of the drivers—every woman in the WAC detachment—and there were about nine hundred and eighty something of us—then I’ll be happy to make the list. But I think the general should be aware that among those women are the most highly decorated women in the war. There have been no cases of illegal pregnancies. There have been no cases of AWOL. There have been no cases of misconduct. And as a matter of fact, every six months since we’ve been here, sir, the general has awarded us a commendation for meritorious service.’
“And he said, ‘Forget the order.’
- The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America
I’ve reblogged this before but it didn’t have these comments and HOLY HOT DAMN DID IT NEED THEM.
make this a TV show please
MAKE AN HBO MINISERIES ABOUT THIS BECAUSE I WILL WATCH THE EVERLOVING FUCK OUT OF IT!
Meet Bill, an average American.
The first thing Bill does when he rolls out of bed in the morning is look at his phone. He checks for new texts and emails, peruses his Facebook feed, and then surfs around to various news sites and blogs.
Then he grabs a quick breakfast and it’s out the door for a 20-minute commute to work. But first he stops at a convenience store to fill up on gas and withdraw some money from the ATM.
Once at the office, Bill makes himself some coffee and settles into his desk. His computer prompts him, as it does every 90 days, to change his password. He then spends an hour going through his work email, before doing some copy making and filing.
At lunch, Bill eats at a “fast casual” establishment where he orders at the counter, brings his food to a table, and then cleans it off when he leaves.
Back at the office, there’s more email to answer and tasks to take care of.
After work Bill stops by a grocery store, and swipes and bags his items in the self-checkout line.
Once he arrives home, Bill makes himself dinner, and then cleans up the kitchen. Next he sits down at his computer to figure out which flights would be best for an upcoming trip he’s planning, and to book a hotel and rental car as well. Two hours later, Bill makes those purchases, and then shops for a new bag he’ll need for the trip, looking at numerous sites and reviews, and then putting in his credit card and shipping information once again to complete the transaction.
Then it’s a little more web surfing and one last check of his Facebook feed. Right before he turns in, Bill gets a text from a friend: “Hey man! Want to go mountain biking this Saturday?” “Sorry,” Bill replies, “I’m too busy. Maybe another time.”
While Bill hasn’t done anything physically strenuous during the day, he crawls into bed feeling exhausted. And with good reason — for in addition to performing his “real” job at the office, he also worked a wide variety of other positions: driver, news editor, gas station attendant, banker, waiter, bus boy, secretary, cashier, grocery bagger, cook, housekeeper, travel agent, and salesman.
Though Bill nominally only works a 9-5, he has in fact been toiling around the clock.
Are We Really Busier Than We Used to Be?
In the modern age, we have the same 24 hours a day that every human has enjoyed for thousands of years. But when you look around, you might be forgiven for thinking that time has somehow sped up and that our days have grown shorter. People seem harried and worn out. If you ask them how they’re doing, “Busy, busy, busy!” is often the answer.
40% of Americans say they’re overworked, half feel there are too many tasks to complete each week, two-thirds feel they don’t have enough time for themselves or their spouses, and three-fourths say they don’t get to spend as much time with their kids as they’d like. And as far as the other parts of life, well, they can’t be bothered with them at all.
Making small talk? Too tiresome.
Going out and socializing, even with old friends? Ditto.
Throwing a party? Too much work.
Going to church or doing service? Too busy.
Following basic manners and acting civil? Too tired to make the effort.
Cooking and eating real food? Too time-consuming; I’ll just get all my calories from a shake.
Putting on pants without an elastic waistband? Why bother?
Having hobbies? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
To explain what’s behind this apparent time crunch, the instinctive hypothesis is that we’re all simply working more — that jobs these days require us to toil for more hours than they used to.
Yet perception is not reality. Since the 1960s, work hours have actually decreased by almost eight hours a week, while leisure time has gone up by almost seven hours. Many will likely find this hard to believe, and that’s partly due to the fact that people routinely overestimate how much they really work by 5-10%. We also greatly underestimate our available leisure time; Americans think they have, at the most, about 16.5 hours of it a week. In actuality, nearly all of us have anywhere from 30-40 hours of leisure time at our disposal. And this includes both men and women, singles and marrieds, those with children and those without, and the rich and poor alike; in fact, lower income Americans have more leisure time than higher earners.
So what exactly is going on? What accounts for the gap between how our lives feel and how they’re actually structured?
How is it possible that we ostensibly have 40 hours of leisure time each week, and yet most of us feel we can’t even spare 20 minutes a day to read a book or meditate?
Stupefied by Shadow Work
Working women have long complained of having to hold down “the second shift” — i.e., having to do the bulk of childcare and housework after putting in time at a paid job. While it’s true and often reported that women continue to do more of these second shift chores than men, total working time for men and women these days is actually close to equal. That is, while working women do more housework, working men put in more hours at the office, so that the total working hours for each is close to the same.
Amidst the debate over which sex does more, few have noticed the fact that all of us — men and women alike — are working not only unpaid second shifts, but third, fourth, and fifth ones as well. Think about Bill’s day again: even though he had one official job, he wore many different hats.
As author and professor Dr. Craig Lambert explains, we all increasingly “find ourselves doing a stack of jobs we never volunteered for, chores that showed up in our lives below the scan of awareness.” Lambert calls these tasks “shadow work” and in his book of the same name, he describes this labor as “all the unpaid tasks we do on behalf of businesses and organizations.”
You perform shadow work whenever you do jobs that used to be done by a paid employee, but have now been outsourced to the consumer: pumping gas, booking a travel itinerary, bussing a table, and so on. We likewise do shadow work whenever we bank online or use an ATM instead of a teller, check-in to flights or a hotel using a kiosk rather than a human, and wait on hold for an hour to talk to a scarce customer service representative. When we can’t find a knowledgeable salesman to talk to and get a recommendation from at a big box store, and instead must take over his job and shop online, spending hours comparing model features and reading reviews, we’re doing shadow work then too. When we follow through on these online transactions, entering in our credit card number and address for the umpteenth thousandth time, we do yet more shadow work — this time as DIY cashiers.
We’ve all taken over a wide variety of jobs that used to be done by others, not only in the wider marketplace, but even just a few desks over; many paid positions have been subject to “job creep” in which a worker must perform the tasks that used to be done by three other people, and are not included in his official job description. Support staff — secretaries, assistants, and the like who used to make your coffee and copies, answer your mail, and keep track of your schedule, have largely been resigned to the dust bin of a bygone era. And yet the requirement of becoming a jack-of-all-trades has not been accompanied by an increase in wages.
Shadow work also includes tasks that have resulted from new practices and expectations, and which you must perform if you wish to use a particular service or simply keep your job. Think of kowtowing to the shoe-removing rituals required by airport security, filling out endless paperwork when you visit a new doctor, and of course doing your taxes, a chore which takes the average 1040-filer 23 hours of shadow work a year. Suppressing any normal, negative feelings, and putting on a consistently upbeat, friendly face — which more and more employers require of workers who interact with the public — constitutes tiresome shadow work too.
Finally, the realm of shadow work includes tasks that aren’t strictly necessary, but that we perform because of their perceived benefits. At least 2/3 of us surf the web for medical information, often coming up with our own diagnoses instead of, or before seeing a doctor; after our visit, we do more shadow work to decide between the various treatment plans the good doc described. Many folks who are looking for love report that online dating becomes like a second job, as they must spend hours perusing profiles, responding to messages, and setting up dates. And not only do we have to clean and organize our physical home these days, but we have to regularly tidy-up, back-up, and arrange the songs, emails, files, photos, and videos that line our virtual “shelves.” Plus, we must not only manage our real world selves and protect our physical privacy, but also monitor our online reputations and safekeep the data we put in the cloud.
But perhaps the most taxing shadow work of all is managing our information intake. In times past, magazine, book, and television editors controlled the flow of information to the public. This restricted the media being put out, but also filtered it for quality and importance. The web has radically democratized this process, so that anyone with a computer can create their own videos, books, articles, films, and so on. This has left the consumer with the enormous and never-ending job of wading into the torrent of media online and sifting the wheat from the chaff.
This ever-increasing mountain of shadow work tasks has placed a unique burden on the modern citizen. Lambert argues that while shadow work has hardly put us in the position of medieval peasants, it has in fact created a new kind of middle-class serfdom. We are all Bill, logging hours for corporations we don’t realize we’re employed by, and working around the clock without pay.
Life as a Middle-Class Serf
Lambert calls shadow work such, because it takes “place in the wings of the theater while we are absorbed in the onstage drama of our lives.” Had it dropped into our routines all at once, we would have noticed, and may have howled in protest, but instead it has arrived slowly in dribs and drabs. It’s become our new normal and we’ve gotten so used to it that the phenomenon has largely gone unnoticed and unrecognized.
Taken alone, the tasks of shadow work seem laughably trivial. But it’s serfdom by a thousand cuts; together, our shadow work chores have shredded our days into what the author of Overwhelmed calls, “confetti time.” Rather than experiencing long, unbroken stretches of time in which we concentrate on completing tasks for a single role in our lives, we are constantly changing the hats we wear — toggling from husband to cashier, office worker to news editor, father to travel agent.
And while we were formerly forced to largely work during regular work hours and shop during regular business hours, technology allows us to produce and consume 24/7. We never fully clock out from our “real” jobs, nor do we ever fully take a break from the marketplace. Even when we’re not actively engaging in shadow work, in the back of our mind there’s that ever present niggling: Is there something I need to buy? Is there something going on I should know about? Should I check my phone? We’re always “on” and constantly mentally switching between roles.
The Hidden Thieves Stealing Your Willpower
It isn’t the time that shadow work tasks require that ends up being so draining (they may even save you time over the traditional route), but their effect on the psyche. Willpower is a finite resource. You only get so much of the fuel that allows you to focus and gives you the mental energy to tackle the world each day. And what saps this fuel is making decisions, weighing options, and exercising self-control.
Shadow work requires all three behaviors, and is thus a huge willpower drainer.
I have long felt that this is one of the single most overlooked facts in modern life; even Lambert largely misses it. I think it gets to the heart of why people feel overworked, worn out, and harried — why they just can’t be bothered to be civil or to socialize or to have hobbies, even though on paper they don’t seem to have that much going on. The stuff that’s eating away at their willpower aren’t the things you’d put in a planner, but the overlooked shadow work in the wings.
Shadow work does frequently give the average consumer more autonomy; you can do things when and how you’d like. But 100% autonomy is actually not a desirable state. “Submission” is a word with negative connotations, but times of psychic submission are in fact a mental necessity. Our minds need periods of rest where we can say to someone else, “You take care of all the details on this. I just want to enjoy the result!” It’s true that the rich have always enjoyed this kind of delegated caretaking the most, with their coterie of maids and servants standing by to fulfill their every need. But as recently as 50 years ago, everybody, from the overwhelmed housewife to the working class bloke, got to regularly enjoy at least a few brief moments of respite at stores, gas stations, and the like; nearly everyone had times both of serving and being served. Now we’re always waiting, and never being waited upon. We’re constantly tasked with shouldering all the responsibility, weighing all the options (of which there are more available than ever!), and making all the decisions. It’s exhausting.
Most wearying of all, is that one of the things which is supposed to act as our servant — the web — often becomes our master instead.
Take just the example of working in an office today compared to half a century ago. Imagine in your mind’s eye your 1960s desk. It’s got some paperwork on it, a picture of your kids, and nothing else. No computer. As you go about your work, there’s nothing to distract you; you can look at the files on your desk, or at a plant in the corner, and then back to your files. Now imagine your desk at work today. Right in the center is your computer where you do all your work. Every minute you have to resist the urge to check Facebook or look something up on google to focus on the task at hand. Each time you feel the urge to surf and resist it, you use up a bit of your willpower reserve. You’re thus actually working two jobs at once: one as Outgoing Accounts Manager, and the other as Chief Urge-Resister. Your job thus feels twice as taxing as it did a few decades ago, and you go home feeling like you just worked a double-shift. Because you pretty much did.
Once our willpower reserve runs low, “decision fatigue” sets in and we shy away from doing anything that’ll require mental energy or making choices, and just generally default to the path of least resistance.
It’s no surprise then, that the time we spend watching television — the ultimate in vegging out for the modern willpower-depleted serf — keeps increasing and currently stands at almost 3 hours a day, or half our total leisure time. That same leisure time everyone swears they don’t have.
Becoming the Lord of Shadow Work
Corporations love creating shadow work because outsourcing formerly paid jobs to the consumer increases their profits. But they also often claim it’s a win for everyone, as the consumer will ultimately save money and time as well. Of course the rhetoric doesn’t always match reality; oftentimes the cost savings never trickle down, and the new robotic customer service rep is less convenient than the flesh and blood variety. For example, airline ticket prices haven’t fallen now that we buy them online and check-in via kiosk. Similarly, self-check-out at the grocery store might sometimes be faster if you only have a few items — but not if you run into an error, and not if you have a whole basketful of groceries.
But shadow work does undeniably have its benefits. It lets you shop on your own time, manage your own information stream, and dine out more often than you might have otherwise (you may have to bus your own table, but you don’t have to tip).
Thus, Lambert goes out of his way to argue that shadow work in and of itself is not a problem, and is in fact an opportunity; it “can both add new tasks and open up possibilities.” But we can only take advantage of it if we’re fully aware of the phenomenon and the various ways it’s insinuated its reach into our lives. For most, the shadow work they perform goes unrecognized, though its effects are still felt; it’s as if someone sleepwalks through nightly workouts, and can’t figure out why they’re so fatigued during the day.
Hopefully this post has brought something that typically operates outside of consciousness to the forefront of your mind.
Now the task is to manage and direct your shadow work towards productive and desirable ends. Here are a few tips for doing so:
Develop a new mindset on busyness. Part of the reason people have failed to examine their perceived busyness more closely is that many don’t actually think it’s such a bad thing. Busyness these days has become a status symbol — a sign you’re someone who’s doing things in the world. People may complain that they’re overworked, but they’re often really just signaling their membership in the movers and shakers club. Our automatic equation of being busy with doing something right overlooks important facts — such as whether this busyness is actually making us happy, or even lending itself to our productivity! Someone may be expending their energy in a hundred different directions and feel entirely worn out, but be accomplishing very little.
Minimizing shadow work will make you feel less burdened, and it’s important you don’t interpret this greater lightness as doing something wrong. Again, sheer busyness itself does not equal productivity and creativity.
Outsource when you can. The DIY ethic is admirable, but only when you’re doing-it-yourself, for yourself! Putting in time for a corporation doesn’t satisfy the soul. So if they’re going to outsource jobs to you, consider passing the task along and outsourcing it to someone else. Yes, outsourcing usually costs money, but this upfront cost should be weighed not only against the time you save, but the physic energy and willpower you’ll preserve as well. Doing things like using a travel agent, hiring a tax preparer, and even riding the bus to work instead of driving yourself, can actually end up making you more money in the long run; if you feel so exhausted at night that you never end up putting in time on your side hustle, it’ll never get off the ground. The more you outsource tiresome tasks, the more time you’ll have for satisfying and creative pursuits.
Set no-brainer blocks on your devices. Instead of expending your precious willpower trying to resist the urge to check your devices when you’d like to be working on other things, take that possibility completely off the table by putting blocks on certain apps and sites at certain times. This post covers all the ins and outs of how to do that.
Clock out from production and consumption. The average modern American is either producing or consuming at any given moment during the day. Our identities are ever tied up in economic pursuits. Take a break from the marketplace by trying not only to keep regular working hours where possible, but to adhere to regular business hours when you shop. Just because you can buy some Beard Growth Spray on Amazon at 11 o’clock at night, doesn’t mean you should. Set parameters for your economic hours, consider taking a weekly Tech Sabbath, and make unbroken lengths of time — periods in which to pursue things for their own pleasures and ends, and simply to be a human — a sacred part of your routine.
Be a satisficer rather than a maximizer. Maximizers seek out every possibility and weigh every option before making a decision; satisficers pick the first thing they’re happy with and go with it. While maximizers do end up with better things because of all their effort, research has shown that they’re still less happy with what they get than satisficers! They can’t enjoy what they pick because they continue to wonder if they made the right choice, and whether there might be something else out there they’d like even better.
In our modern life, it pays to be a satisficer. There may be a dozen different powders for your balls out there, but just pick one and stick with it. That is, whenever you find a product or service you like, if you remain happy with it, keep on using it instead of constantly surfing reviews and perusing new products that are only infinitesimally different than the previous versions.
Be ruthless in filtering information. Everyone is now their own media editor, and how you perform at this task will have much to do with the quality of your life. Grade channels/sites; do they occasionally have excellent content, while 80% of it is junk? Give them an F. Does another media outlet have the reverse ratio of gems to crap? Give it a B-. Then, instead of randomly surfing, only frequent B-quality sites/channels. Imagine yourself as a real-life editor, and ask yourself if you would publish/broadcast the content that crosses your desk; if not, you shouldn’t consume it either.
If there’s a site you’ve come to trust, as you know they examine many sources and sides of an issue before presenting advice, go right to it when you have a question, rather than wading through everything yourself.
Also apply this mindset to your Facebook feed. Hide everyone and everything that doesn’t consistently share at least B-grade content.
When you start ruthlessly filtering your media consumption, you’ll often worry that you’re missing out on things — that you’ll miss something important amongst the 20% of good stuff a generally junky site puts out. But I’ve found that once you give up a particular media outlet for awhile, the tugging and withdrawal symptoms quickly go away, and you realize it was adding nothing to your life. Further, the important subjects that the junky site occasionally covered, invariably pop up on other sites, only executed far better!
Shadow work promises greater autonomy, but ends up making us feel more out of control — that we don’t have the time or energy to do the things we really want to. Don’t let yourself be added to the ranks of a corporation’s employees without realizing it, and don’t freely hand over the cream of your energy to the lords of media and commerce. Willpower is a man’s most precious resource; if you wish to be superhuman, rather than a serf, guard it closely and use it wisely.
I realize most people on here are too young to remember the Bush years but when you guys frame your SJ posts as “you hate[x]!!! why do you hate [x]???” it sounds an awful lot like how Bush supporters would scream WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA???? whenever anybody would criticize the president.
So that’s something to consider if you want to reach people over 25. Because most of us have an extremely negative conditioned response to that type of rhetoric.
There’s a surprisingly sharp generation gap on Tumblr–when I first got on the site in 2011 it was between high-school age and college age, but I don’t think it’s defined primarily by life stage or maturity level, because it’s tracked steadily upward ever since. Anecdotally, right now the split seems to be centered around age 23, plus or minus a couple of years on either side, which corresponds roughly to the birth years 1990-1994. My hypothesis for the generation gap boils down to “how old were you on September 11, 2001?” Those solidly on the older side of the gap were at least vaguely aware of a pre-9/11 political landscape, witnessed how disruptive the first term of the Bush administration was, and have a visceral reaction anything that smacks of neoconservatism or Religious Right propaganda. Those on the younger side attained political awareness in a world where the changes wrought by the Bush administration were the new normal, and their right-wing bogeyman uses Tea Party and GamerGate rhetoric.
So for the record, Bush-era “innovations” that unnerve the FUCK out of people on the older side of the generation gap:
- Casual acceptance of fear as an excuse for hatred and pre-emptive retaliation
- An “ends justify the means” approach to stamping out the slightest trace of vulnerability, no matter how repressive the means, or how slight or unlikely the potential harm
- “If you’re not marching in lockstep with us, you’re one of THEM, why do you hate all that’s good and noble?” / “Dissent and safeguards against the abuse of power just give aid and comfort to the enemy” / “Don’t you SEE that insisting that the protections of civil society apply to THOSE PEOPLE is just going to GET OUR PEOPLE HURT, YOU’RE HURTING PEOPLE YOU MONSTER”
- Anything that smacks of religious-fundamentalist logic or rhetoric
These things are not normal. These things are not how just societies are built. They are the hot water that an entire generation of lobsters has been raised to swim in without noticing. The undercurrents in the internet movement calling itself Social Justice that disturb the older generation are, essentially, the dirty tactics of the Bush administration and its unholy marriage of neocons and fundies–rebranded with a new set of acceptable targets, but with the tactics themselves unquestioned. Are they the younger generation’s fault? Fuck no. They’re what happens when the most culturally and politically powerful nation on Earth tries to pretend it’s moved on from the Bush years, but without ever having confronted the devastation those tactics left in their wake, dismantled the self-sustaining fear-and-repression machine, or held the perpetrators accountable for their officially-sanctioned torture, shredding of civil liberties, and thinly-justified wars of aggression.
So if I were to do the annoying geezer thing (at the ripe old age of 27) and Address The Youth, I guess what I’d say isn’t just that most people over 25 get an overwhelming urge to throw up in their mouths at the slightest sign you’re playing “but why do you hate freedom” Mad Libs. (Although that’s true.) It’s more than that. It’s that “why do you hate [x]???” belongs to an entire toolbox of fear/attack, ingroup/outgroup, and absolutist tactics that we’ve left lying out without bothering to re-affix the giant warning labels that they aren’t normal, or necessary, or even effective over the long term, however tempting they may be for a quick fix. And that it’s okay to refrain from using them.
The bad guys will not win if you ease off the attack a little and give your opponents room to tell you where they’re coming from. Opening yourself up to argument-counterargument with Bad, Unacceptable, Forbidden ideas is a form of vulnerability, but finding and evaluating the weak spots in your beliefs ultimately strengthens them and strengthens your ability to win people over to your side. Doubling down on the repeated assertions that you shouldn’t even have to argue and that disagreement is harmful or immoral is an alluring way to get what you want in the short term, but it produces superficial compliance out of fear rather than genuine agreement, and the backlash it causes is ultimately more dangerous than the vulnerability of opening yourself to disagreement. And it blinds you to the possibility that you may not be entirely in the right. This isn’t some MRA sneak attack to manipulate you into ceding ground. This is how discussion normally works in a functional society. You have been handed a dysfunctional, toxic system for exchanging ideas, in online SJ as well as in wider politics–and no, it’s not normal or effective, and no, you do not have to buy into that system’s claims that it’s the only thing standing between the innocent and an orgy of destruction and victimization.
The strangest thing about this is that I would not consider myself particularly old (does anyone?) but I was in my late teens on 9/11, and yeah. This is exactly what I find unnerving about the approach of some younger people to SJ issues. For a long time I just put it down to (im)maturity, but I’m really starting to think that there’s something fundamentally toxic and broken about the way our country has been approaching these things for the last 15 years or so. That kind of black and white, ‘if your fave is problematic then they’re basically the antichrist’ thinking that demonizes and squashes any kind of disagreement is really unhealthy, and it’s something that is learned.
Same, I’m 30, married to someone older than me, and we have a lot of friends in their 40s/50s. People I encounter on a regular basis comment on what a “baby” I am. I was 15 on 9/11. I’m not like. Ancient. But there is a definitely a difference between how people my age discuss issues versus how younger folks discuss them. Neons have really done a number on out ability to talk about stuff.
This would explain a lot about how fandom conversations have been going down recently. The absolute us/them nature of some of them, and the way SJ tools are used to bully people in order to win an argument.
I thought it was largely to do with Tumblr being a poor design for actual conversation, but this makes more sense, given the patterns I’ve seen.
I…think that most of the people on Tumblr will get older. The no holds barred, right or wrong, FUCK YOU surety is part of being a teenager. Then you get it knocked out of you and learn to nuance. Both phases have value. What I’m saying here is that I think it’s more developmental than generational.
I don’t understand what this has to do with 9/11
9/11 largely serves as a convenient symbolic marker for a severe shift in public discourse– I was 14 when it happened and I very clearly remember the before-times socially and politically and the after, when there really was a huge public shift in the way things were discussed, and how people in my age group and a little younger responded to things like “national tragedies,” “us vs them,” good vs evil" etc?
Kind of dumb example but I think is illustrative– when we were 12/13, the year before 9/11, a group of kids went to DC and New York and visited all the war memorials. People whose uncles and fathers had fought in Vietnam visited the wall and Arlington, were moved, went through all the ceremonial stuff, but not to the point of dramatic hysterics. Maybe two/three years after 9/11, many of the same kids went to Pearl Harbor while we were on tour in Hawaii and everything was prefaced with this really jingoistic Us Vs Them language, and half the group spent the entire time bawling performatively. There were also a lot of recriminations for not engaging in the theatrics, because it wasn’t showing Proper Respect to Our National Heroes, none of whom any of these kids could have known because they all died in 1941.
My little brother is only 22 months younger than me but he doesn’t really remember the day at all, and doesn’t really remember anything about the politics or big news stories from beforehand, whereas I very clearly remember having an opinion about the 1996 election and my The Talk with my mom was kicked off because of the Clinton impeachment. 9/11 kicked off a lot of the worst of what we see in American political discourse today, and so people who don’t remember it as clearly or the time before may have different outlooks, especially in the States.
On the one hand this is a fairly enlightening take on the somewhat rabid state of what passes for online discourse these days.
On t’other, remind me again why we haven’t built a wall around America yet?
This is a fascinating conversation. I think there’s more to it than this–the way digital social spaces intersect with social phenomena informs the discourse hugely–but there’s a lot here worth considering.
It also occurs to me that a lot of us who were old enough not only to remember 9/11, but also to be aware of the shift in public discourse around it, are also old enough to remember the Cold War, or at least its last lingering throes.
I’m 32, and I grew up with parents who were very active in the nuclear freeze movement. One of the fundamental truths I absorbed very early was that us-vs.-them absolutism and refusal to compromise and engage in good faith with ideological opponents wasn’t just stupid; it was deadly–potentially on a massive, global scale. I remember projects to hook U.S. kids up with penpals in the U.S.S.R. in hopes that we’d learn to see each other as people and so maybe not end life on fucking Earth if by some miracle our parents didn’t beat us to the punch.
And that approach was critical to the peace movement in general: humanizing the enemy. Trying to find points of connection; to learn to disagree humanely. That was a core, fundamental value of my childhood, in ways that were very closely and directly linked to the contemporary geopolitical scene; and they’re philosophies that continue to profoundly inform and steer my discourse and my approach to conflict–personal and political–as an adult.
Which is part of what scares the shit out of me about the discourse I see online, especially from the left: it’s all about radical dehumanization. I see people who are ostensibly on my side casually call other human beings trash or garbage or worthless. Scorch earth. Go to unbelievable lengths to justify NEVER engaging. Meet overtures to peace or steps toward change with spectacular cruelty.
I mean, I’ve seen variations on this exchange more times than I can count:
“[group x] are people, too.”
“No, they’re not.”
And then people LOL, and I don’t even know where to start, because–No. You do not say that. You do not EVER say that. EVER.
And I can so easily imagine how terrifying it must be to grow up in that–to be 15 or 16 or 17 and just becoming, and trying to find and place and grow into yourself in that kind of violence, and–
–to paraphrase someone profoundly and complexly flawed and still a person worth paraphrasing: Remember, babies, you gotta be kind.
“Trying to find points of connection; to learn to disagree humanely. That was a core, fundamental value of my childhood,”
Yes. I was almost 16 during 9/11 and this all sounds like a very good theory to me. My younger sibling who’s about 6 years younger than me doesn’t remember much of it. They aren’t very political though and grew up with two older siblings who talked about this stuff at length. I still think it’s the age too and the anonymity of the Internet, especially tumblr. Much easier to dehumanize people you aren’t speaking to in person.
There’s rarely ever a single cause for anything - behavioral, genetic, whatever. So yes (im)maturity, anonymity, and the crappiness of Tumblr for conversations will all shape the way discourse happens here as well, but I do think there’s an interesting point here about 9/11 as a tipping point for the way certain conversations were conducted in the USA and how different ages of people will (generally) react to them.
marauders4evr: sad-commie:tenderpotter: inksplattersandearlyhours: I think one of the reasons the...
I think one of the reasons the Harry Potter Epilogue was so poorly received was because the audience was primarily made up of the Millennial generation.
We’ve walked with Harry, Ron and Hermione, through a world that we thought was great but slowly revealed itself to be the opposite. We unpeeled the layers of corruption within the government, we saw cruelty against minorities grow in the past decades, and had media attack us and had teachers tell us that we ‘must not tell lies’. We got angry and frustrated and, like Harry, Ron and Hermione, had to think of a way to fight back. And them winning? That would have been enough to give us hope and leave us satisfied.
But instead. There was skip scene. And suddenly they were all over 30 and happy with their 2.5 children.
And the Millennials were left flailing in the dust.
Because while we recognised and empathised with everything up to that point. But seeing the Golden Trio financially stable and content and married? That was not something our generation could recognise. Because we have no idea if we’re ever going to be able to reach that stage. Not with the world we’re living in right now.
Having Harry, Ron and Hermione stare off into the distance after the battle and wonder about what the future might be would have stuck with us. Hell, have them move into a shitty flat together and try and sort out their lives would have. Have them with screaming nightmares and failed relationships and trying to get jobs in a society that’s falling apart would have. Have them still trying to fix things in that society would have. Because we known Voldemort was just a symptom of the disease of prejudice the Wizarding World.
But don’t push us off with an ‘all was well’. In a world about magic, JK Rowling finally broke our suspension of disbelief by having them all hit middle-class and middle-age contentment and expecting a fanbase of teenagers to accept it.
Also. Since when was ‘don’t worry kids, you’re going to turn out just like your parents’ ever a happy ending? Does our generation even recognise marriage and money and jobs as the fulfillment of life anymore? Does our generation even recognise the Epilogue’s Golden Trio anymore?
#i think this one of the reasons why the james/lily/albus naming theme bothered me #because there’s a sense of going in a circle rather than pressing forward #the only way the wizarding world will survive if it changes dramatically from this point #having the station seem exactly the same #right down to the names being thrown around #makes it seem stagnant #so i’m guessing another dark lord should turn up in a couple of decades (x)
YOU PUT IT IN WORDS
I went to the Tenement Museum in New York’s Lower East Side a couple days ago with taydev, and I didn’t get in half as much time as I wanted. Here, have the Steve Rogers headcanons it gave me.
•Sarah Rogers grows morning glories in old subsidized cream cheese boxes. She lines them up along the living room windowsills and lets them climb the curtain strings.
•Sarah sleeps in the front living room and Steve in the back, because he was sick so often as a child. She folds up her bed and leans it against the wall every morning and folds it back out at night. When she starts getting sicker, Steve makes her take the back bedroom. It’s warmer there, and they don’t have to constantly set up and take down the bed.
•There’s a low-hanging light fixture in the kitchen. It’s not a problem for Steve or Sarah, who are short enough to walk under it, but ever since his last growth spurt Bucky knocks his head against it every time he comes over.
•Steve and Sarah have a radio in the kitchen, tucked on a shelf against the wall. They’re not the only ones–the walls aren’t very thick, and they can hear Mrs Baldizzi playing Italian opera every afternoon at 3. They’re good friends with the Baldizzis. They have a daughter about Steve’s age, and a son one year younger. It seems silly to leave the fire door between their apartments closed when they could leave it open. Steve and Josephine get on like a house on fire, and Mr and Mrs Baldizzi are always happy to look after Steve on the evenings Sarah works late. Sarah makes them loaves of Irish soda bread in thanks. Adolfo teaches the children rummy and pinochle while his wife Rosaria gets teary-eyed listening to the radio. “I miss Sicily,” she says as she polishes her pots. “There was no opportunity, I am glad for our opportunity here, but I miss my home.”
•Sarah keeps her father’s rosary hung over the vanity mirror, right beside the picture of Governor Roosevelt, who started the Home Relief program that bolsters her income.
•Steve sewed all the curtains in the apartment while he was bedbound.
•Sarah is keenly aware of their impoverished state and the negative image of the Irish, so she does her best to hide her accent, and makes sure Steve washes up thoroughly each evening, and keeps an immaculate house.
•Toilet paper is provided in the form of leftover newspaper clippings. Steve sometimes gets distracted reading the cartoons, and doesn’t move until someone bangs on the door.
•Bucky comes from a comfortably middle class family, and he’s a little horrified at the poverty of Steve’s apartment. He stares incredulously when Steve drags over a stool to put a quarter in the gas meter so they can have hot water and heat.
•Steve knows everyone in the building, and on the buildings on either side, and the ones across the street. They’re all good people and good neighbors, but the ones in his building, they’re family. Mostly they’re Irish–Vinegar Hill is Irish–but there’re the Baldizzis, and the Jorgensons as well, who’re from Norway. The next building over has Eli Roth, who is Steve’s best friend until he meets Bucky. The hell the three of them raise, along with Josephine Baldizzi (much to her mother’s despair), is legendary.
•Steve babysits the Baldizzis’ newest addition during the summer, so Mrs Baldizzi can get some chores done. He puts the baby down in a blanket-lined apple box until he outgrows it.
•There’s wallpaper hanging off the ceiling in the kitchen, where the moisture from the stove loosens it up; the landlord put down a beautiful white tile floor in the lobby to make it more attractive to new tenants, but it’s usually smeared with mud; decades of old coal soot stains the embossed tin ceiling of the stairwell, and the entire place makes the most dreadful racket from the pub in the basement. There’s always plenty of folk pressed along the poky hallways, smoking or talking, or queuing up for a turn at the john, and sometimes, especially if they come home drunk off their rocker (Mr Jorgenson especially is a bit of a lush), they don’t bother waiting–they just take a piss right up against the wall.
•Once when he was bored Steve picked off a curl of loose wallpaper in his room and found another pattern beneath it. He picked through that, and found yet another. All told he peeled off a solid twelve layers of paper from the middle of his bedroom wall before his mother came in and had a fit at him. When the dust settled, she made him help her clear out the room and peel the rest of it off. It took them about a month, but by the time they got down to bare plaster they’d managed to peel away forty layers of wallpaper. She let Steve doodle whatever he wanted on the walls while she saved up for new paper.
A+ New York headcanons
people have no idea what its like to be 14 and have everyone telling you that you’re faking and pretending to be ill for attention or to skip art class and the doctor’s telling you you’re ‘just being a teenager’ when you actually had a serious kidney disease
if someone hadn’t eventually listened to me i would have died
Please, please support self-diagnosed teenagers, don’t pretend they’re not really disabled, don’t belittle or mock them, don’t exclude them from disabled spaces and for the love of god don’t pretend you know more about them than they do
i am disabled to this day because when i was a teenage girl, my doctors didn’t take me seriously. when i said i was in extreme pain, they said i just wasn’t trying hard enough at physical therapy to repair a broken ankle. turns out they’d fucked up the surgery to fix it, and their neglect of my months of complaints meant it was damaged beyond repair. i still have mobility issues 8 years later, will have pain and require surgeries throughout my life and will, always, be disabled. because of them. because of the silencing of girls’ voices, in all spheres. because doctors do not value the voices of teenaged girls.
When I was twelve, the knee specialist I had finally convinced my mom to take me to (after years of begging) told me that my knees hurt because of my hips widening.
“No,” I said. “You don’t understand. I can’t walk when it happens, it hurts so bad. It’s been since I was a little kid.”
“It might twinge a bit, sure,” he told me. “Go to physical therapy for a few weeks.” I burst into tears.
My mom then refused to take me to physical therapy, because it was a long drive and the doctor said it wasn’t serious, so why should she bother? That was the start of her not listening to any complaint about my joints I ever had.
As it turns out, my knees were dislocating every couple of days. She and my doctors ignored and taught me to ignore sprains, fractures, cartilage tears, and dislocations until I moved out and learned that it wasn’t normal. I missed out on years of my life because of my doctor not only discounting the experience of a young girl, but fully blaming my pain on the fact of my being a young girl.
Listen to children when they tell you something is wrong with their bodies.
I had stomach pains for years as a kid. Almost daily. I was blamed as a faker.
I have Celiac.
People know what the hell is going on with their own bodies. If they don’t think something is right fucking listen to them.
When I was 11 I started getting really bad jerks in the morning. They started as twitches and gradually advanced into jerks where I would lose control of my limbs - I threw shampoo bottles while holding them, fell down in the shower, etc. My doctor told me they were just “morning twitches”, and lots of people get them.
They got worse to where my whole body would shake and I would fall down. I would lose periods of consciousness during the day where I’d stare off into nothing and forget what’s happening. A few times I even woke up disoriented and confused only to realize I also wet the bed. At age 15.
My doctor told me none of the symptoms were related, it was just stress, go to the bathroom before bed, and to get more sleep. He never once saw me for more than 15 minutes or offered to do any sort of testing.
One morning I had a seizure in the shower that resulted in a concussion, a scar up my back from hitting the faucet while falling down, and near drowning because my head blocked the drain. I would have died if my little brother didn’t find me.
Five years after I first complained to my doctor I was diagnosed with epilepsy. It took a near-death experience to get anyone to take my condition seriously. Fuck people who don’t listen to kids and disregard teenage girls as “making up symptoms”.
When I was 5 I had an incredible pain in my chest. I was five. A child. And my mom brought me to the hospital. My mom was a doctor. She’s currently the head of a large department at a local hospital, and one of the most respected endocrinologists nationwide. She told the doctor I might have a heart issue, right? Since, you know, she’s a doctor and knows these things. She told the doctor to get me a CAT scan. The doctor had this diagnosis: I was a drama queen, and my mom had anxiety disorder.
My mom’s not the kind of person who gives up though. She kept taking me back to the hospital. They finally diagnosed me with pneumonia, since I couldn’t breathe. My mom was not happy with this diagnosis. They put me on pneumonia meds and I still didn’t recover. My mom insisted she heard a “rub”, and the doctor said FINE, he said WE’LL TAKE HER TO GET A CAT SCAN just to make her shut up. They just wanted her, an MD, to shut up.
The CAT scan came back and I had over a liter of pericardial fluid around my heart. There was a soda-bottle-sized balloon around the heart of a five year old. That’s the reason I couldn’t breathe. I was finally diagnosed with pericarditis, inflammation of the lining around the heart (the pericardium).
I would have been dead had it not been for my mother’s persistence in the face of a doctor that refused to trust an MD simply because she was a woman.
Look at how many of these stories are on this post. They don’t stop devaluing our experiences when we grow up. Nor when we get medical degrees.
My story isn’t nearly as serious as some of these, but it still impacted my life. Starting around age 5, I had serious digestive problems. Like, wind up in doctors offices repeatedly and when I got older, in the ER multiple times. Have you ever not pooped for several weeks? I don’t recommend it.
I got tested for a bunch of things, and they all came back negative. My symptoms would cycle. Basically, my digestive system would slow to a halt, then I’d suffer horrible cramps and pain and until things cleared, I’d feel fine for a few days and then it would start all over. I was so bloated I could change sizes and it was physically painful. A nurse once told me that the cramps were about as bad as she’d seen on women in labor. From the ages of 5-13, I was taking about 4x the ADULT dose of Milk of Magnesia daily with on results.
Once I got old enough to be more involved in my own care, I began asking doctors if there could be any other possible cause, like diet. I was told no. If it was diet, then I wouldn’t constantly have symptoms. There was nothing they could do, I was just messed up.
When I was in college, it got worse and after an especially bad ER visit, I went through rounds of tests again. Same story. Fed up, I started using the medical school’s library to do my own research and found a study that indicated kids with these same symptoms did better without cow’s milk. So I gave up milk for two weeks as a trial – within a week, my physical symptoms had cleared AND my anxiety had decreased dramatically.
It was that simple. Stop eating cow’s milk.
I was about 22. I have no idea if there’s any permanent damage from this that will show up later or not. But I feel like I lost my childhood. I never got to be active. I never got to learn or play sports, because even walking was uncomfortable and painful so much of the time. I had a limited social life because I never knew if I’d be well enough to do things, or I’d be spending half my time trying to hide how much pain I was in.
I’m now 32, and even though I’ve now had 10 years of being able to control things and be reasonably healthy, it feels like I’ll never get the chance to do things – I have started running but there’s a part of me that will always wonder what it would have been like to play a sport or to get to spontaneously spend time with people in a way you can’t really do as an adult. And I still have some lingering physical issues that get aggravated and cause me pain regularly.
Listen to kids. Don’t just dismiss them. Even if someone has no obvious permanent damage, you’re stealing their quality of life.
Jaw-dropping, epic-length work of art from Paul Ford. Save this for when you have time to sit back and let it sink in. Glorious.
for all the shitheads continuing to throw a tantrum over Caitlyn Jenner being called a hero when “soldiers are the real heroes,” lemme throw some numbers at you real quick: during the deadliest war in American history (the Civil War), U.S. soldiers had a 1 in 15 chance of dying [x]. currently, trans women have a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered, or 1 in 8 for trans women of color [x]. it is currently MORE DANGEROUS to be a trans woman in the U.S. than it is to have fought in the deadliest war in our history. let that sink in as you sit the fuck down.
Also let’s not forget there are trans women in the military/veterans, so the groups are not mutually exclusive
I’ll reiterate that I’m a former special forces operator. I was the senior 18D on my ODA. I have a special forces tab, bronze star, CIB, etc. I’ve been in combat. I’ve picked shrapnel out of myself.
I’m also a trans woman. Nothing I did in Afghanistan scares me or hurts me like transition has. I lost family and friends and I became a regular target for slurs and hatred. It wears you down.
Being trans is harder than war as an american soldier, because when you’re trans, you’re AT war. There is no headquarters or home base where you’re safe. You’re out in no-man’s-land, and you’re exposed, and your’e unarmed and you’re alone and it is EVERY DAY, 24-7.
So don’t feed me any transphobic bullshit masquerading as patriotic bullshit.
my parents aren’t teaching me life lessons.
I’m an adult.
Some shit about life, from a bonafide adult:
- even if you get along great with your family you will get along even better with them after moving out
- generic is almost always just as good as name brand. But there are some things you never buy generic, including: peanut butter, ketchup, liquid NyQuil, Chips-Ahoy chewy chocolate chip cookies
- just imagine the person on the other end of the phone hates talking on the phone as much as you do. Even a receptionist. I worked as one and I hate talking on the phone
- at least once in your life you will go to Wal-mart to buy something under $20 like an ironing board or something and your debit card will get rejected. No one will judge. Everyone at some point in their lives has had $2.98 in their bank account.
- thrift stores
- everyone else is too busy panicking about everyone else noticing every tiny thing that could possibly be wrong about them to notice any tiny thing that could possibly be wrong about you
- you will screw up. a lot. you live and you learn. and when you start to think too hard about that embarrassing thing that happened and how you wish you could change it, just tell yourself that what’s done is done. There’s no changing it, so just forget it and move on. It’s the only way to stay sane.
- do the dishes before the sink grows its own ecosystem
- you can’t put Dawn dishsoap in the dishwasher.
- if you are the only one in the aisle at the grocery store, and you need to get from one end to the other without even looking at anything in that aisle, then you should totally cart-surf down the aisle. Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional. Hold on to the little things. They make all the difference.
- never try to make cake from scratch at 3am. You end up with a topographical map of Middle Earth.
- 15% tip.
- the best way to get money for food is to tell your grandparents about how you basically live on microwaved mac and cheese. Their horror may result in twenty bucks and orders to go out and get yourself “a real dinner”.
- sometimes life sucks, and knowing that it might get better doesn’t always make it suck any less, but you’ll never get to the non-sucky days without enduring the suckiness.
- no seriously, NEVER put Dawn in your dishwasher
Do not buy generic brand spaghetti sauce either.
Always check the type of light bulb that goes in lamps. A 60w is not interchangeable with a 40w.
Dollar store batteries work just as well as store brand.
- Reward yourself from time to time when you do things that you needed to get done. It’s a good way to remind yourself to do them. Going out to pay a bill? Get Starbucks or something you don’t get often. Rewards don’t have to be huge, they can be small things like that.
- Rice, pasta, flour, sugar, cheese, eggs, milk, a pack of chicken, a pack of frozen veggies and a well stocked spice cabinet go a long way food-wise. Splurge and get the biggest container of rice you can. You don’t have to go back and buy it again anytime soon and it makes a TON of meals in the meantime.
- Rice can be cooked on the stove. You don’t need a fancy rice cooker. Two parts water to every one part rice (two cups water for one cup of rice for example). Get your water boiling, add rice, put a plate or lid on it, put it on low for 20 minutes. It should be done.
- Keep a calendar on your pc of bill due dates. If your bills are set up at inconvenient times, like all of the services started on the first or something, then call up the company and find out if you can get your billing date switched to something more manageable. A lot of places do try to work with you.
- There is no shame in calling a company and asking for an extension on a bill. Let them know what you can pay, pay that amount, and they arrange when the rest of the payment is required. This can stop you from having services shut off man. It shows responsibility on your part.
- Take time to eat, even when you don’t feel like eating. Your body needs energy to live.
- Wash or rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. It prevents gross caked on junk.
- “The Works” is an excellent cheap toilet cleaner.
- MAGIC. FUCKING. ERASERS. THEY WORK ON EVERYTHING JUST DON’T SCRUB HARD. I took the ring out of our bathtub with one. Also generic ones work just as well.
- Keep some bleach around but if you use it for cleaning? Dillute it. There’s rarely ever a case where you need to pout straight bleach on anything. A cap full or two in a bucket of water works just fine.
- DO NOT MIX CLEANERS. Chemical reactions are can be very dangerous. Here’s a good list. (Note that vinegar and baking soda can actually be a good combo for removing smells from things but it’s not very good at actually -cleaning-.)
- If you drink? Don’t take meds at the same time it’s just not good.
- Make sure you check the dosages on your pill bottles. No one wants to accidentally overdose on cough syrup or ibuprofen.
- If you have a uterus make sure you have a heating pad and ibuprofen on hand for the pain. Hot baths also generally help and Ginger Tea is excellent for any nausea.
- Buy a first aid kit. It’s worth it in the long run.
- You can often do your taxes online at places like TurboTax.
- Here’s some good sex ed resources because I had to explain what a yeast infection was recently.
- Petroleum jelly (aka Vaseline) is good for chapped lips and you can get a decent sized tube or tub of it (generic brand version) for cheaper/same price as Chapstick.
- KEEP TRIPLE ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT IN YOUR HOUSE FOR CUTS AND SCRAPES AND SORES.
Over the counter medications (stuff you can buy right off the shelf no prescription needed) have a name brand and a generic name. ALWAYS buy generic if it’s available it is literally the same thing and way cheaper usually.
Some names to remember when you’re looking for meds!
Acetaminophen = Tylenol
Used to treat pain and reduce fever. Do not take with Ibuprofen.
Ibuprofen = Advil, Midol, Motrin
Used for pain and fever, is an anti-inflammtory. Is good for period cramps because it is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
Naproxen = Aleve, Naprosyn
Treats fever, pain, arthritis pain, gout, period cramps, tendinitis, headache, backache, and toothache. Is also an NSAID.
Acetaminophen + Asprin + Caffeine = Excedrin
Usually marketed as “Migraine Relief” as a generic.
Asprin = Bayer
Use for pain, fever, arthritis, and inflammation. Makes you bleed easily so should not be used for periods. Might reduce risk of heart attacks.\
Triple Antibiotic Ointment = Neosporin
Used on cuts, sores, and scrapes to reduce risk of infection and promote healing.
Also a general mutli-vitamin isn’t a bad idea and if you don’t get a lot of fruits or milk/sunshine in your diet you might want to get vitamins C and D specifically for daily use.
if you do accidentally lapse and put dawn in your dishwasher, run it empty and put hair conditioner where the detergent goes. that’ll clean it out (tip given to me by dorm custodian when roommate did the thing).
if you live off ramen, add stuff to it! add veggies you like, don’t use the whole flavor packet to cut down on sodium and msg or don’t use it at all and add your own spices.
if you’re making something with potatoes in it (beans, stew) potatoes are done when you can easily stab a fork through them.
you can microwave a hotdog as long as you put it in a microwave safe container of water. microwaves work by making water molecules vibrate. also, when reheating rice leftovers, add a small amount of water, like maybe a spoonfull, so it doesn’t get hard and crunchy.
the rice cooking advice above is for long grain rice. if you’re making short or medium grain rice, a 1:1 ratio (one cup water for one cup rice) is better, so the rice doesn’t come out too mushy.
buy a few cans of chicken. wholesale club stores like sam’s, costco, or bj’s tend to carry multipacks for a good price. they’re incredibly useful for when you forget to defrost meat.
buy meat on sale and put it in the freezer. buy vegetables on sale, and put them in the freezer. frozen veggies are often as flavorful and good as fresh ones, keep longer, and often come in microwaveable bags or with microwave directions.
soak ink stains in milk to help get them out or at least lighten them.
soak blood stains in water as soon as possible, with a bit of detergent or stain remover. scrub at them. use cold water, heat binds proteins to fabric. tbh, there’s no real need to change the washer from cold-cold setting unless the thing you’re washing says to wash in warm water.
acetone, found in most nail polish removers, dissolves super glue.
YOU’RE ALL DOING GOD’S WORK BLESS YOU
Takes pictures, have prints made and put them in photo albums. Be IN the pictures, have someone take pictures of you and your friends. Get over not looking perfect in thw picture. Someday that friend might be gone and those pictures might be all you’ll have, you will want to be in them. I made that mistake with my best friend, i always felt weird asking for a picture together… he died of cancer January of 2014 and now i have no pictures of us together. Its my only regret in life.
unitsoul:cinderfell:so i think i mentioned how my entire junior class got to sit in our auditorium...
so i think i mentioned how my entire junior class got to sit in our auditorium and listen to ruby bridges talk about racism for two hours yesterday, but i didn’t talk about one of the most powerful moments in the presentation?
so we got to the end—like, the last twenty minutes—and she asked for questions. and we had a few standard questions (”how do you feel about people taking their education for granted?” “what would you say to the people who stood outside and protested you going to school if you met them again?”) but there was this kid waiting in the question line fidgeting nervously. and everybody could see it?? when he finally got up to ask his question, he asked her about her opinion on the events on ferguson.
and she mentioned her sons again, who she talked about earlier in the presentation. and then she told us about her son who was murdered. and she talked about the mothers who had their children taken away and how if you took a life unjustly and forsake your role as a keeper of the peace, you should be punished. and then she talked about how everybody chooses a side in this thing; good and evil.
and then she said that racism today is scarier than it was to her when she was growing up.
and the entire junior class was silent.
for those of you who don’t know, Ruby Bridges was the first black american child (one of the first???) to go to an all white school in the south, meaning all those photos you’ve seen of little black kids being harassed by a violent mob full of white adults - she grew up with that. and despite growing up in that environment she still thinks racism today is scarier than when she was growing up. idk but that comment got to me.
to everyone who has said that racism is gone or isnt as bad as it used to be “back then” - here’s someone who grew up “back then” saying that not only is racism is still alive today, but it’s even scarier than it was when she was growing up. go and read that comment again and think about it
An important thing to remember is that up until only a few years ago, the internet was like a sea of tiny, isolated islands. The biggest social outlets were forums, each with its own status quo, and the biggest, most visible ones were most often run by ambivalent moderators who encouraged “civil discussion” even if it meant letting grotesquely prejudiced shitheads have their “equal say.”
People who had any sensitivity to a lot of issues were often just run off and had to stick to smaller, more private outlets. Forums for trans people, abuse survivors, anyone different from the acceptable mainstream were treated as trolling targets and often crumbled under the onslaught.
What we’re NOW seeing, across all this social media like tumblr and twitter, are people coming out of hiding, showing their true feelings and identities as they discover they’re not as alone as they thought.
The people who chalk this up to some kind of SJW special snowflake bandwagon are people still living in the internet’s dark ages. They don’t get that this diversity and compassion was always there, but hidden under their mountains of fake edgy bullshit. That’s what pisses them off so much: they thought the internet was a free-for-all paradise to take nothing seriously and be as big an asshole as you want, but that was nothing but a facade all along. It was the result of people who thought they HAD to act that way in order to avoid becoming targets.
Now we’re finding out which ones were just legitimately terrible people to the core and they’re all in panic mode over it.
ugh, like there is LITERALLY no canonical evidence for the ~han solo: space womanizer~ head canon. like, when he first meets the ONE female character in the entire series that he interacts with he is GROUCHY and SHOUTY at her, not sauve and dashing. she thinks he is a tool and tells him this multiple times. not really smooth and charming.
he then takes to following her around on Hoth and practically pulling her pigtails asking ” DO YOU LIKE ME? YES/NO? (PLS SAY YES)” with hearts in his eyes. (Chewie probably had to throw out like a HALF DOZEN old notebooks that were filled with awful power ballads/poetry/odes to her and “Mr. Han Organa” written in different fonts)
when it comes to the iconic ‘i know’ in response to Leia’s proclamation of love, Ford has stated that it’s out of PURE CONCERN for HER FEELINGS (“the point is that I’m not worried about myself anymore, I’m worried about her” - DIRECT QUOTE), it was NOT a ‘boss’ move or ‘so swagtastic it hurts’ it was an apology that he couldn’t be there for her, it was an attempt to make her smile, to make it hurt less than if he had said the words too and then was forced to leave her. (not that he would have been much help; remember that han solo spends the majority of the 3rd film mostly blind and feeble, unable to take care of himself and generally getting in the way while Leia Gets Shit Done)
when he does say the words, it’s with the most adoring and awestruck expression. those words are fused with more than just love and respect. he’s almost HONOURED that he gets to love this badass babe and that she allows him to exist in her orbit.
AND THEN he loves Leia so much that he’s willing to step aside so she can be happy with the man he believes she wants. and valuing a woman’s choices and feelings over your own is not exactly womanizing behaviour - so where did this headcanon come from??
#THANK BABY JESUS FOR THIS POST#i am so fucking sick of nerd dudes taking every admirable or cool male character and saying#HE MUST BE DROWNING IN LADIES#SO SMOOTH#RICO SUAVE#TOO COOL TO CARE ABOUT LADY FEELINGS#like literally fuck all the way off#these characters are canonically awesome and cool and smart and heroic#AND SWEETHEARTS TO THE WOMEN THEY FALL FOR#lookin @ u jim kirk#lookin @ u john sheppard#staring directly into ur eyes han solo
Thinking about growing a beard but don’t know how to take care of it once you got one? I visited Hudson Hawk Barber & Shop in Springfield, MO to learn how to trim both a short beard and a longer beard.
Can’t grow a beard, period? I’m afraid I can’t help you there–but I feel your pain! (Though I can grow a mustache, I can’t grow a good beard to save my life.)
If you’re reading this in an email click here to watch the video.
When one hears the word “Viking,” it almost instantly conjures images of brawny warriors wielding fierce swords, riding in waves of long ships to pillage and plunder unsuspecting villages. It’s an accurate image, though not a complete one.
The Vikings, more than almost any other people that actually lived in history, have taken on a mythological reputation. This is likely because we simply know so little about the Norsemen — literally, “men of the North.” Most of the writings from their time period were written by Christians, who were one of the main targets of Norsemen raids. As the monks and other historians weren’t keen on fondly remembering the Vikings, they didn’t give them much space in their records.
Consequently, few detailed accounts exist of this Northern Germanic people. What we do know is for the centuries roughly spanning 700-1100 AD, the Norse emigrated all over Europe, literally and figuratively spreading their seed throughout Ireland, England, France, Germany, and even Greenland and Canada’s Eastern shores; if you have Northern European ancestors, there’s a good chance you have some Viking in you. As to our knowledge of Viking culture, we are largely limited to reports of their martial endeavors, conveyed in vague descriptions like “the Northmen at this time fell on Frisia with their usual surprise attack,” and, “the Northmen got to Clermont where they slew Stephen, son of Hugh, and a few of his men, and then returned unpunished to their ships.” As author Anders Winroth notes in The Age of the Vikings, our only surviving descriptions are “the Vikings show up, ravage, and kill many if not all.”
This dearth of historical information has turned the Norsemen into a pure symbol of the warrior archetype, and raised their standing to that of near gods. They didn’t see themselves in that regard, however. The Vikings had their own pantheon of revered deities, as well as accompanying stories of the role these gods and goddesses played in creating the world, spurring mortals’ heroic deeds, wreaking destruction, and catalyzing renewal.
While figures like Thor, Loki, and Odin are making an appearance in pop culture (and will only continue to do so based on Marvel’s tendency to make sequel after sequel) the old myths behind those figures are even more interesting than the films they star in. On the big screen, all we see are Thor’s heroic deeds of strength, likening him to a Norse version of Hercules. And of other Norse figures, we get almost no information at all.
To the Viking people, these gods provided the very breath of life; they served as models for manhood to Norse warriors. No matter the religion you practice (or none at all), all men can learn from the Norsemen’s myths, just as we can learn from those of Rome and Greece (Got Thumos?). Over the course of a few monthly articles, we’ll explore the Viking worldview and gods, which were different and more complex than their classical counterparts. In some ways, this makes the Norse gods more relatable to us mortals than the likes of Zeus or Hercules (even though he was partially mortal himself).
Today, we’re going to look specifically at Odin. He’s the chief god in Norse mythology — the Allfather. I found his story and the myths surrounding him to be utterly captivating, and he provides an excellent study for today’s man.
Among the many Viking deities who inhabit Asgard, the fortress of the gods, Odin plays the role of Chieftain. But he is not the Creator, nor the first god to come into existence. To understand Odin’s place amongst the Viking deities, we first need to briefly look at the Norse creation story.
Before humanity existed and even before sky or ground or wind, there existed a gaping abyss known as Ginnungagap. At one end of the gap flamed elemental fire and at the other end blew elemental ice. The cold and the heat met in the gap, and the drops formed a frost ogre named Ymir. As frost continued to melt in the gap, a cow emerged named Audhumbla. She fed Ymir with her milk, and she was in turn nourished by salt licks that formed in the ice. As Audhumbla licked away, she uncovered Buri, the first of the Norse gods. Buri had a son named Bor, who with the giantess Bestla had three sons: Odin, along with his brothers Vili and Ve. The three brothers killed Ymir and constructed the world with his corpse. The frost ogre’s blood became the seas and lakes, his flesh the earth, and his bones the mountains.
After assembling the world, Bor’s three sons also created the first humans, Ask (the man) and Embla (the woman). Odin had the most important task, imbuing the first people with spirit and life, while Vili and Ve gave the power of movement and the capability of understanding, as well as clothing and names. Because of Odin’s role in creating the Norse universe, he became known as the Giver of Life.
While this origin myth lives on, it’s possible that the deity is based on an actual man. Snorri Sturluson, a 13th century Icelandic historian, believes Odin was a famous warrior who led his people out of Troy and into Scandinavia. His greatness was such that he ascended to the status of a god, and became worshiped as one. His myth continued to grow, especially among Germanic peoples, and he eventually usurped Tyr as the chief god, both in myth and in religious practice and worship. If this is true or not, we’ll never know, but either way his mythological status has been cemented.
However Odin’s apotheosis came about, he is typically depicted as a white-haired, bearded old man, and often resembles Zeus or the Christian God in artistic renderings. The noticeable difference? Odin has but one eye (we’ll get to that story in detail later), and is most often flanked by an assortment of creatures, namely his ravens and his eight-legged horse.
Odin’s other main companion is his wife, a goddess named Frigg. We don’t have too many important myths about her, but because of her matronage, Frigg was given a day of the week, which to this day is known as Friday. Odin sired many children, the most important of whom for our purposes are Thor and Baldur (we’ll discuss them later in this Norse series). Eventually, Odin is killed by the great wolf Fenrir during Ragnarok (the Norse apocalypse and subsequent recreation).
Lessons from the Myths of Odin
One key difference between most current, monotheistic religious systems and the polytheistic ones of old, is the flawed nature of the latter’s gods. The Norse gods weren’t 100% “good” like the Christian Jesus or Islamic Allah. They more or less had certain desirable characteristics, but in many ways mirrored the humans who worshiped them in their faults and oddities. Odin was no exception.
He is perhaps the most complex god in all of mythology. He’s the Allfather, but also a bit of a wandering, magical shaman. In fact, J.R.R. Tolkien imagined the now-revered Gandalf as being an “Odinic wanderer” (among many other Norse influences in The Lord of the Rings). So when you picture Odin, imagine many of Gandalf’s qualities: wise, discerning, inspiring, fierce; but also quite mysterious and prone to doing things not easily explained.
Odin, like many other chieftain gods, displays characteristics that Viking culture deemed most important and worthy of emulation. Let’s take a look at those traits, the myths behind them, and what modern men can learn from the Viking Allfather.
The Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom
Odin is not an omniscient god; in fact, his chief characteristic is that he’s always seeking wisdom, even at great personal cost, as we’ll next see.
The most famous of Odin’s myths is how he lost his eye in seeking greater knowledge and discernment. The story goes that Odin visited a certain well — the Well of Urd — because he knew its waters contained wisdom. When Odin arrived, he asked Mimir, the shadowy, wise being who guarded the well’s depths, for a drink. Mimir knew the tremendous value of such a gift, however. Instead of giving a drink from the waters straightaway, he first required Odin to sacrifice an eye. Whether given easily or after an agonizing internal debate we don’t know, but Odin gored out an eye, and in return Mimir allowed him to quench his deep thirst. Odin lived the rest of his life with a single eye, but much wisdom.
One interpretation of this myth notes that Odin exchanges worldly vision (his eye) for internal vision (wisdom). While he didn’t give up his worldly sight entirely, he realized that in some cases, wisdom and discernment propel us further towards our goals than what’s on the surface. I rather appreciate this insight, and it correlates well with what Brett wrote about situational awareness a couple weeks ago (I highly recommend you read that article). Visual observation is certainly important in being aware and present, but what’s more important is orienting yourself to what you’re seeing, which can’t be done without the help of knowledge, foresight, and wisdom.
Another famed tale that communicates Odin’s relentless pursuit of knowledge is his discovery of the runes. In our modern understanding, runes are simply ancient forms of writing, but in the Viking age, they were far more than that, and held the secrets to wisdom and the very meaning of life. Let’s take a quick look at the tale:
At the center of the Norse universe is the great tree called Yggdrasil (pronounced ig-druh-sill), which grows from the fathomless depths of the Well of Urd — the same well mentioned above. (Asgard, the gods’ fortress, is held within the upper branches of this great tree; it’s a biggen.) In a complicated bit of magic, three powerful and shrewd maidens called Norns carve runes into the tree’s trunk, which dictate the destiny of all the Norse worlds (there are nine worlds — most of them invisible to the human eye — in which different creatures reside; Midgard is the realm of the humans while Asgard, as just noted above, is the gods’ dwelling place). As you can imagine, understanding the runes would be quite desirable. From Asgard, Odin could see the Norns’ activity, but couldn’t discern the mysterious carvings. He envied this knowledge mightily, and decided to take on the task of finding the runes’ meaning.
Knowing the runes only revealed themselves to those who were worthy, Odin hanged himself on the tree, pierced himself with a spear, and denied any sustenance or help from other gods. Odin peered upon the runes with an intense focus, and after teetering on the balance beam between life and death for nine days and nine nights — and perhaps even dying a little bit — Odin beheld their secrets. In spite of his pain and exhaustion, he then let out a great, beastly yell. After this, he became the great god he is known as, and wielded a number of magical powers.
In one source for this story, the Havamal, Odin says he was “given to Odin, myself to myself.” He sacrificed himself, for the sake of himself. Part of him had to die so another part could gain wisdom and understanding. It’s analogous to our more modern concept that the child is father to the man. In order to progress, small parts of us need to die every now and then to allow new shoots of wisdom to grow in their place.
The lesson from both of these tales is that gaining wisdom often comes with sacrifice. In our modern age, it seems people have come to believe that if something is hard, or sacrificial, it’s not worth doing. Odin, and his Viking followers, believed in just the opposite. If something is worth having, it absolutely requires sacrifice, and it’s always worth it, no matter how great the cost.
When it comes to wisdom, hopefully you don’t have to lose an eye, but certainly you should be willing to place time, energy, attention, and even money on the altar of your goal. Read difficult and dense books, seek challenging experiences that will push you outside your comfort zone, swallow your pride — perhaps the hardest sacrifice of all — and put yourself out there to find a mentor. Consider the sacrifices to be investments in your wisdom in the long run. It will be well worth it.
Poetry, the Gift of the Gods
Odin often spoke in poems, and was credited with giving poetry to humanity. This happened when he stole and consumed the Mead of Poetry, which unsurprisingly required a great deal of effort and sacrifice. Beyond just poetry as we think of it today, this mead was truly a source of knowledge and inspiration — it even came to be nicknamed “the stirrer of inspiration.” Drinking the mead not only gave knowledge and words to the mind, but the ability to inspire and persuade and arrange those words in meaningful ways.
The story is fairly lengthy, so I can’t give all the backstory, but you’ll get the gist of it:
In the Norse pantheon, there exists two groups of gods, the Aesir and the Vanir. The Aesir were the primary gods — Odin, Thor, Baldur, etc. The Vanir, on the other hand, were secondary gods whom we don’t have many myths about. Usually, the two groups got along, but not always. During one particular skirmish, they sealed a truce by spitting into a vat. Their spit then formed a being named Kvasir, who became yet another eminently wise creature who wandered the earth giving counsel. He not only possessed wisdom, but dispensed advice freely to those who asked.
Once upon a time Kvasir was invited to the home of two dwarves, Fjalar and Galar. When he arrived, the dwarves killed him and made a mead with his blood. This elixir contained within it Kvasir’s ability to provide wisdom, as well as inspiration. Anyone who drank it would be conferred these gifts.
Eventually, the dwarves got themselves into further trouble, and were forced to give the mead to a giant named Suttung, who hid it beneath a mountain. Odin knew the mead’s general movements, but couldn’t figure out access to the mountain. Seeing as how Odin desired wisdom and knowledge above all else, he unsurprisingly set his sights on doing whatever it took to find and drink the mead.
Odin’s first step was to go to the farm of Baugi, who was Suttung’s brother. He disguised himself as a farmhand, and dispatched the nine servants who were already there (in a clever bit of trickery he got them to all kill each other). Odin approached Baugi and offered to do the work of those nine men, and in return he wanted a drink from the mead. Baugi had no control over the elixir, but he promised to help Odin acquire it should he indeed be able to complete the work.
Odin did so, and he and Baugi trotted off to meet Suttung, who angrily denied them access to the mead. So, Odin and Baugi attempted to venture into the heart of the mountain themselves. After Baugi drilled a hole into the rock, Odin shapeshifted into a snake and crawled through into an inner chamber. Once inside, he shapeshifted once again into a young man and was greeted by a fair maiden-guardian named Gunnlod. As the guardian, she had to grant him permission, and they struck a deal in which Odin would get three sips after sleeping with Gunnlod three nights. Odin obliged, consumed three whole vats (rather than three sips), and flew off to Asgard in the shape of an eagle, where he then regurgitated some of the mead so he could dispense it to others at will.
Odin previously had knowledge and insight, but now added to that the gift of dispensing it in meaningful and motivating forms.
It’s a wonderful thing to have vision and insight, but if you can’t share it others, and convince them to take action, you’re powerless to affect the world. The potency of wisdom’s power is predicated on cultivating charisma and mastering rhetoric. Think of a man like Winston Churchill; he had a vision of where his beloved England needed to go to win the war, but his efficacy as a leader came down to his ability to change and inspire his countrymen’s hearts through his radio broadcasts and Parliamentary speeches. Pure wisdom is like electricity, and rhetoric the conduit which channels that current into effective power.
Conclusion: Odin the Breath of Life
While Odin is sometimes seen as a war god, that title belongs to Tyr in Norse mythology. Odin doesn’t often take part in battles himself, and we don’t have many war myths about him. He’s more about providing the vim and vigor warriors need to vanquish their foes. One writer from the year 1080 writes that Odin “imparts to man strength against his enemies.”
There’s an old Norse poem from The Poetic Edda that identifies Odin as “ond” — the breath of life. He provided the first humans in Norse mythology — Ask and Embla — with their animating force. It’s through his magical powers and bestowing of spirit that humanity strives to better itself, to flourish, and to rid stagnation from its existence.
While the comparison isn’t perfect, it seems like Odin to the Norsemen is what thumos was to the Greeks. Wisdom, passion, and inspiration are his domain, and as we’ve seen, he sacrificed much to attain those traits.
And Odin expected humans to do the same. The Norse culture, like many ancient ones, wasn’t a democracy, but a meritocracy. You had to work for your blessings from Odin; they weren’t just handed down freely. In tale after tale, men had to literally and metaphorically bleed themselves in order to attain their aims and transform into warriors — the only type of man who had a chance at accompanying the Allfather to Valhalla.
As we’ve seen over and over on the Art of Manliness, characteristics like passion and vigor are not necessarily inherent within us. It’s through action and work that we build up these properties and form the foundations of who we are. Follow the example of Odin and relentlessly pursue wisdom, even sacrificing time, energy, money, etc. to obtain it. Study not just for the sake of knowledge, but to be able to convey that knowledge to others; come to learn the intersection of information and expression. Let the great, bearded, one-eyed Chieftain serve as one of your invisible counselors; he’ll advise you in perhaps mysterious ways, but also always towards fierce inspiration and wisdom.
Sources and Further Reading
The Age of the Vikings by Anders Winroth. This is a history of the Viking people, rather than a specific look at Norse mythology. It helps set the stage, however, and does well in giving an honest account of their culture.
The Poetic Edda (Hollander translation). A collection of anonymous mythical poetry and verse from the 1300s that serves as an origin text for many Norse myths.
The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson. A textbook-like work from the Icelandic historian which compiles Norse myths. This, along with The Poetic Edda, offer the majority of source material for Norse mythology.
Nordic Gods and Heroes by Padraic Colum. This is a collection of reimagined and rewritten Norse myths. They’re in a language that captures the beauty and inspirational nature of the tales rather than a rote translation of ancient words.
Norse Mythology for Smart People. An online treasure trove of articles and information about the mythological Norse universe.
BUT OFFICER, I HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG! WHY AM I GETTING A TICKET?!
"You are getting a ticket for being too nice"
Only in Canada…
They even send these to gangsters and criminals who are doing well to tell them to keep up the good work and during Christmas, they send Christmas cards to gangsters wishing them well and that it is never too late to change their lifestyle because they are here to offer help. [x]
What can they do with the tickets they earn?
"Not everyone was happy with [Captain America]. This may surprise some people, but before America..."
In fact, a pro-Nazi group called ‘The German-American Bund’ once marched in front of Timely’s offices [one of Marvel Comics predecessors]. The two called in the police for protection, and they sure as hell got it!
As it turned out, then mayor of New York, Fiorello LaGuardia, was a fan of Captain America and actually called them up to tell them “You boys over there are doin’ a good job. The city of New York will see that no harm will come to you.””
Never let it be swept under the rug. There was a lot of pressure for America to either stay neutral, or even to go in on the side of the Nazi’s, before Pearl Harbor (and after, to only declare war on Japan). Celebrities like Charles Lindbergh were pro Nazi, and not shy about their opinions.
My fucking head is going to explode.
"Native American" names?
Why don’t you just label the entire month of November as “promote racial stereotypes and underlying mysticism” month and stop pretending any of this shit is grounded in the idea of realistic education or fact.
My fucking Native American name is Chamberly. My son’s Native American name is Jaiden. Don’t come at me with the spirit animal bullshit while your curriculum completely ignores the real time suffering of an entire population of people.
Let me tell my native friends Kevin, Jeremy, Courtney, savannah, Ryan, Ron, and Mikey that their names are wrong apparently
I still remember this fuckshit vividly over 20 years later, but when I was in primary school we had to do something like this and the teacher wanted to give us all “Indian names” and write them down on these stupid little headbands with construction paper feathers and I had written my Blackfeet name on the headband, misunderstanding the project cause I’m a fucking child. And my teacher comes around and gets mad at me for “ruining” my headband and I didn’t understand the problem and she says I’m supposed to write down my Indian name
And I said I did
And she says “that’s not an Indian name” which I can only assume now she said as much because it wasn’t English and I argued with her, saying that yeah it totally was because my nana had given it me and why was she even mad that I already had a name?
And the teacher told me “You’re not Indian”
And I said “Yes, I’m Blackfeet” and this fool ass woman laughs at me and says that’s a “made up” name and that I’m not Indian because, and I quote “You don’t look Indian and most of them are dead or on reservations. You’re not dead or on a reservation, are you?”
I was a smart kid, right? I could read by age three and I started school two years early so I was two years younger than everyone in my class and I was fucking five when she said this to me and I still remember it like it was three days ago.
I went into hysterics. I was crying so hard that she sent me to the principal’s office because I was scared all my NDN family was going to die now and I was sad that I’m not NDN unless I’m on a reservation. Like? This grown ass White woman had me locked in an identity crisis before I was even allowed to stay up past 19h30 on a weekday
Like, this shit is not fucking cute. Don’t fucking do this racist bullshit. When we have names in our own language, we don’t just fucking pick them out of a hat at random. There is history and Medicine in people’s names and these things are parts of our identity—not to mention not every Native person has a name specific to their Nation’s culture
It’s almost 2015, why the fuck is this still happening?
Little boy: I will not hit the teacher with a light saber.
Lady: And why are you not going to hit her with a light saber?
Boy: It is my toy, and my choice, but if I hit her with the light saber, I'm acting like a Sith.
Lady: Do you want to be a Sith?
Boy: No! I am Obi-Wan!
bedlamsbard: The difference between learning a modern language and an ancient language is that in...
The difference between learning a modern language and an ancient language is that in first year French you learn “Where is the bathroom?” and “How do I get to the train station?” and in first year Attic Greek or Latin you learn “I have judged you worthy of death” and “The tyrant had everyone in the city killed.”
on the issue of racism, this is a great illustration.
minority racism towards white people is at most an inconvenience. a singular experience where their race works against them. a truly escapable type of experience because after it, they return to a society tilted in their favor. in fact, even during the experience, they never leave it. they never lose the advantage.
white racism towards minorities is systematic and destructive. we get jailed, shot dead, have our rights ignored, our rights slashed, neighborhoods targeted, job opportunities decreased, healthcare options constrained and more. all these things work together to create a understandable hatred towards whites. a hatred born out of pain, experience, oppression and disenfranchisement. a hatred that makes way more sense than white racism which is born out ignorance. a hatred that is fueled by the knowledge that whites, even those who swear to not be racist, by their actions and words perpetuate the system of oppression. their words of solidarity ring hallow.
i for one have never trusted easily but white people have a even harder time gaining my trust. very very few do. what’s most disheartening is when you extend that trust only to be betrayed. i had that happen to me a few months ago. that cut was deep but it was a learning experience. 99.99999% of whites are programmed to hate us. that’s just the truth.
As a white woman I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share this because it made me sad and uncomfortable. Then I realized that’s exactly why I need to share it.
"The basic plot, which cannot be ignored even in the films, is that Harry, Hermione and Ron give up..."
The basic plot, which cannot be ignored even in the films, is that Harry, Hermione and Ron give up everything for their political struggle. They drop out of high school, they go illegal, defy the government, belong to an underground organization [The Order of the Phoenix], operate out of safe houses and forests and even raid offices of the government and banking offices. This is all done in principled opposition to the Dark Wizard Voldemort and a corrupt bureaucratized government that has been heavily infiltrated with his evil minions. This is revolutionary activity. But the movie version does not present it as such or emphasize these radical aspects of the plot, thereby entirely missing the dramatic sweep and action present in the first half of the last novel.
The novels recognize the importance of alternative media for political struggle. The mainstream press [The Daily Prophet] is shown as unreliable and unprincipled, eventually deteriorating into a fear-mongering propaganda machine for the Voldemort-controlled bureaucracy. For a while the alternative but above ground media [The Quibbler] publishes the real news, but it ceases to print after the daughter of the publisher is kidnapped. In the book, friends of Harry [Lee Jordan, with Fred and George Weasley as frequent guests] start broadcasting the real news from an underground radio station, encrypted with a password. This radio station becomes a critical link for the resistance, which is scattered and weak. Although we are treated to some radio broadcast updates in the movie, they are delivered by a disembodied and professional sounding voice, not our friends the Weasleys. This undermines the important message - a guiding principle behind the media coop - that in a serious situation it becomes necessary to produce your own media and not to rely on ‘professionals’.
The novel makes it clear that in this phase of the struggle the characters romantic lives take a backseat to their political activity, as Harry breaks up with the love of his life [Ginny Weasley] so as to avoid making her a target for Voldemort’s forces, who are known to use torture and kidnapping as tactics. The ‘love triangle’ that becomes the focus of the movie isn’t even really present in the books. In the books, the relationship between Harry and Hermione is totally platonic - Ron is shown as jealous, but the feeling is entirely without foundation. In the book Harry says to Ron: “I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me. It’s always been like that. I thought you knew” (pg 378, DH US Hardback). This conveys that men and women can be close comrades and friends without being involved romantically. But in the film, Harry and Hermione are shown dancing romantically, and Harry’s line to Ron about his brotherly feeling towards Hermione does not even make it into the film. This completely undermines the important message that jealousy is counter-productive and has toxic effects, which is an important feminist message for young people.”
HP is one of the most fundamentally anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian, radical books in a WHILE. The books are incredibly diverse in race and gender, including villains. While everyone was screaming about Pullman, and hanging their hats on the witchcraft in HP, Rowling basically put out a roadmap of revolutiinary youth.
Everyone likes to pull the, “Deatheaters are Nazis,” subtext but if you look at the timeline of the text and publication, it’s pretty clear that politically, this is an England/Ireland/Scotland/Wales under Tory rule and in the midst of the Troubles & Thatcherism from the start, with subsequent books written and published in a post-9/11 world.
Rowling wrote the root, branch, and flower of politics and power creating death and despair, where love and unity by choice were the strongest powers. There are reasons for that.