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Draw people nude or clothed in varied poses. Study and practice anatomy, gesture. From life or photos.
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2023.05.28 21:18 ComfyGreenHoodie_ The Rays city connect uniforms have leaked
2023.05.28 21:14 SwissCheese4Collagen The !s Fertility Tour Part 2: BabyMoon Booglaoo / Hawaiian Getaway Leaving Our Son For a Week
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SpaceHowdy folks, The !s beat OfNostrils to the punch on the Tube this week fueling my theory about Kath!'s Kompetitive Nature. If she didn't beat her to the birthing suite, she was going to get that Friday night scheduling slot. OfNostrils is up next in my queue of recaps.
But anyhow, they open with Jed! calling Tru! "Chickies" which, is repeated before the end of the 20 second intro as he is passed off to his grandma on Kath!s side. At least Tru! in staying with Grammy! we won't be hearing "chickies" every five seconds. Tru! Is handed off to Grammy! after being fussy and crying the entire first half of the intro. When I comment that Tru! Learn how to cry in Italy and he has been throwing a tantrum when he sees the camera, Baby Swiss says that Tru! gained consciousness too early, he must be replaced...Too bad his parents don't recognize or care that he doesn't like being on camera. They fly over the Grand Canyon and Jed! Steves shows it to us through the window. Tru! is the opposite of the Baby on Dinosaurs, he's a Grammy!s boy Jed! successfully pulls off the \"hang 10\" move with his hand.
They arrive in Hawaii for their anniversary trip, it's the first time leaving Tru!. Kath! says that Tru! is doing well and so are they. Well no shit, you're in Hawaii and he doesn't have a camera stuck in his face.
They walked through the "drizzles" to find breakfast, McDonald's if I were a betting woman, Kath! does her very best Mary Anne from Gilligan impersonation beachside While Jed! tries to comment on how Hawaii is the prettiest of the 50 states, the captions think he's hungry and change it to steaks. He gets as mushy about the beach and mountains as his brother J'Obnoxious James did about Switzerland. I'm scared to think what he thinks is a good steak. \"Let's Go Cruisin' \". Let's not. Kath! wisely films while Jed! \"cruises\".
The !s pickup of SS Camaro, even though as a car salesman Jed! should know that you usually do the model then the trouble but can't draw that too long because student yammer on about how convertibles are the most rented car in Hawaii. Of course they are, it's perpetually 80° and sunny. People are on vacation, and want to treat themselves. Kath! however has a different theory, she says "it's a must because it's so beautiful here." The captions once again prove they have no love for Jed! as they turn "let's go cruising" into "let's get crazy". Kath! gets some scenery J'B roll as Jed! drives up the tip of the island. The wind tries to do us all a favor and blow so loud that it almost almost
drowns out Kath!'s voiceAs she states that Jed! is going to set up his drone to flyover for Hawaiian scenery
Non-tent. After Kath! splashes in a couple of beautifuls and gorgeouses into the conversation the drone takes off and gives us the scenery footage. Judd aka Jed! #3 in Home Adrone 3: Hawaiian Vacation!
The next day begins with one of the craziest sentences I think I've ever heard is Jed! states that he was "burnt to a pulp". apparently Jed! got sun poisoning because he didn't wear any sunscreen for three hours of Hawaiian beach time. Proving that Blame Shifting was a key subject studied in the Wisdom Booklets, his excuse is that there wasn't sun at home because it was winter and just now turning into spring. Kath! had no problem putting some sunscreen on still got for herself. Either way they hike up to Manoa Falls, a "big" waterfall which ends up being tall but not wide. The !s also point out streams green...the way they made it sound was like it should have been basically Niagara Falls on steroids. Kath!s magic pregnancy shirtTakes her from eight months to four months. This is not a conspiracy, we know this fools actually get knocked up though, just want to know where she got the shirt because it is extremely slimming. She says the hike is not as easy as it set on yelp and not just for pregnant people but also for people with sun poisoning. Both said it was worth it. Burnt. To. A. Pulp. like, is his brain just a MadLib or did he Chat GPT this vlog? No Sunscreen + Toxic Masculinity + 3 hours in Hawaiian sun = S-U-N P-O-I-S-O-N-I-N-G. I've never wanted these jokers to link a product so bad before. That shirt is magic. Did he bring the whatsits pops this time for her?
Kath! flashes leg in the convertible and tries to flash "hang 10" but ends up more in the area of "call me" as they head to, oh Lord, they're going to go to Pearl Harbor. Let's see what bullshit they have to say about this. They stop for lunch as Jed! shoves a giant burger in his mouth. As they walk up to the USS Missouri Jed! states that he is read all about Pearl Harbor, of course he has. I trust SOTDRT's history lessons were also from the Wisdom Booklets and probably have some story about how a sailor prayed his way through the attack on Pearl Harbor or some shit. Great. Kath! is excited to see it, not sure why you would be excited to see something like this but not my vlog. She's also happy it's cloudy and other going to be inside and give their skin a break from the sun.
They read the engraved plaque about the surrender on the USS Missouri deck. Both say that this is it this is where World War II ended Jed! says that "it ended right here, well here the deck not here Hawaii" basically. They go inside and Jed! states that he learned something new about Pearl Harbor. I can't help you learn something new every day and this is a common experience to him because he didn't learn anything as a kid or if he just doesn't learn anything wonders through life perpetually just avoiding knowledge. He was named one of the one that was supposed to be good at school with SOTDRT, and both he and Kathy mentioned they don't like reading the things in museums but that's the only places they go to. Well let's see what they learned from this museum shall we? What happened to all the BeAuTiFuL sUnShInE?
The !s begin to tell the story of the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor, states that the planes and a lot of boats were destroyed and damaged. Since the US thought that the Japanese are going to come back invade Hawaii. Both told a different aspect of the invasion defense plan, Jed! mentioned the barbed wire on the beaches and asked Kath! to explain the second part which was marking Hawaii on all of the money so that the Japanese couldn't use captured US dollars to devalue Hawaii's economy. Of course these chucklefucks don't even come close to explaining it that succinctly and it sounds like the Hawaiians printed Hawaii on all the money that if they invaded, the Japanese
couldn't use it. These poor children, we can only hope Kath! doesn't have the patience for homeschooling and they get shipped off the public school. Although knowing her rich ass she's gonna send to a J'boarding school she has to. Jed! blathers on about how he had no idea that Hawaii was an invasion target, despite saying he read all about it. \"Very Interesting\"....what does he even mean? Is Obama not allowed to have any association with restaurants?
Off they go to Hawaiian shave ice, Jed! points out that there's "lots of flavors, so Hawaiian". Among the options listed are Waiola Rainbow and an Obama Rainbow. I will absolutely lose my shift either of them picks the Obama Rainbow option but my official bets are that Kath! will take the Waiola Rainbow and Jed! will pick something like Grape. Of course Jed! makes some weird comment about how it's interesting that there is an Obama rainbow option, and discovers Obama is from Hawaii as a cashier salesman on his recent American History knowledge. See what I mean? Does this happen to him every day or is he just like constantly oblivious? Turns out, Jed! picked strawberry and lemon lime for his shave ice, which is basically the figure red pop and Sprite combination so a fundie Shirley Temple? Kath! on the other hand, proves she's pregnant by choosing bubblegum and banana. Yeah, now I really need to know where she got that shirt or Kayte #5 was standing in on the hiking scenes. Kath! mentions that the shave ice is not like "shaved ice", a.k.a. snow cones, which she says are "Icy", while shave ice is creamy. Almost like gelato, huh? I would have picked neither combo, what is wrong with their tastebuds?
Since it's a rainy day the next day they end up at Kualoa Ranch, Where Jurassic Park movies and most importantly, according to Jed! Christian movies like Soul Surfer have been filmed. They show us, but it's raining so they don't want to go. Back to the car they go where they show mountains on one side and on the other side of the road like they aren't in a state comprised of tiny islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Next day, they rent scooters like they wrote in DC a couple of years ago and had a blast. After that they drive around until they get to their last day in Waikiki. Was Kirk Cameron in that movie too? Rain and Scooters: A Hawaiian Lurv Story She better hope he puts the top up.
The !s toss the extra suitcases that will fit in the trunk of the Camaro into the backseat. What could possibly go wrong with this scenario? I hope they buckled a little bastards in before they flew out of the car. As it is, suitcases are so packed according to Kath! that she has to wear big giant floppy hat. Between that and the suitcases, I'll be surprised if it all makes it to the airport with them.
The !s get preferential service from Southwest Airlines being allowed to pick her seat and board first due to what the airline employee calls "her temporary disability". Excuse me, Southwest Airlines employee but that's a "precious blessing from the Lord, an arrow for Big Head Jed!'s quiver" thank you very much. The !s take advantage of it, though and happily scurry onto the plane. Did she buy a shitload of clothes even though they didn't get their luggage lost again?
They get to the condo in Maui, floppy hat securely on Kath!s head. Jed! finds the pool as Kath! shows off the garden. They get dressed for dinner because it is their second anniversary and they're going to a fancy restaurant. Jed! says "these have been the best years of both of their lives". Kath! chimes in that "it's not just a cute cliché either". Whatever you say kids. What are they having for dinner you might ask? Kath! sings "Italian!!!!!!"
.......this damn bitch was just complaining, in ITALY,
about how she didn't want to eat Italian food. Anyways she goes and gets American Italian food by ordering Carbonara, because now she's "always curious about it after Italy". Meanwhile Jed! orders a pizza margherita. Mr. Swiss guessed they had pizza. I'm surprised Jed! didn't ask her what cliche meant when she was popping off from the couch. Who wants to bet that Ra! already has a matching smocked dress to match Kath!...?
The next day, they're going snorkeling with turtles and hopefully whale watching, if the whales haven't left for the summer. Jed! tells us to "stick along" as Kath! tells us Jed! has never snorkeled before. The convertible wasn't always cracked up to be or Maui was out of them because now they just have a plain old Impala. Kath! jumps in the water first and shakes head shakes her head no when Jed! asks if it's cold. They jump in and take some underwater non-tent. J'Chad...
For the last day in Maui they take the road to Hana, a 3 to 4 Hour drive. Jed! comments that stops along Hana Road it can be up to 10 hours. Rookie. They do stop along the way when they find a horse, Jed! asks for bread and Kath! hands over what appears to be a Bundt cake in Saran wrap. Jed! breaks off the tiniest tiniest
little crumb to give this horse. Apparently this was a trick, because the next thing you know they get stopped by a rockslide. Maybe you should give them the whole piece a cake to the horseman the rockslide wouldn't happen but whatever. Jed! gets out to get the rocks out of the road and wishes all he had to do was sweep cracker crumbs up.
We get to their last meal in Hawaii which is at a Chick-fil-A, go figure. They say "Truett" three times, Probably hoping to make the owner appear like a genie out of the styrofoam cups. They promised to take us along for the ride and catch up with us when they get back to Arkansas. Caaaan't wait. As Kath! speed walks through the airport, Jed! comments that Kath! is usually a slow walker, but in her excitement to see Tru! she is hauling ass. It's been 12 days, and she is ready to her son. Meech could never, but there is a wrinkle in Kath!s plan. She states that true will probably be more happy to see Jed!, but he doesn't want to see either of them. Not only does he cling to Grammy!, he leans away from his mother a second time, and then tries to pull himself back to Grammy! by clinging to her shirtsleeves. He doesn't even look happy when Jed! holds him and calls him "Chickies" one more time. Oh, I'm pretty sure he remembers you and he knows it's back to filming.
And that's the end of the Hawaiian baby moon/anniversary vlog, so now I guess all we have to do as far as The !s are concerned is to wait for Ra!s appearance to be announced. It's cracking me up that Tru! is so pro-Grammy! Thanks for your patience this week, and if I missed any typos let me know. Mr. Swiss said we should have set the dictation software to a Southern accent since I was just on vacation and I'm way more on the Kentucky end of a Kentuckiana accent right now. But otherwise, this method should make it way quicker to do recaps once I get everything set up and dialed in. Thanks again, have a great day and a better one tomorrow!
2023.05.28 21:10 asskickersunited87 Paldea Evolved pre-release!
2023.05.28 21:09 MxShamrock Is my grandma an ally?
my grandma misgenders and deadnames me cuz she is used to it but she still supports me for who i am, she deadnames me and misgenders for the same reason my brother does- cuz thats how they knew me their whole life, is she an ally or not?
And once she called a he/him I think lesbian she knows a “shim” but then I told her I think it’s rude or not okay and she said that’s why she doesn’t say it around him, so later that day I sent her a link listing things that makes you an ally and what not to call people, one of them being shim,
Last I told her I said that I’m not a trans boy and explained how non-binary people (including me who is genderqueer) is trans to, and there is no binary surgeries, I have told her that I still think of myself as a trans boy still, even though I don’t even use he/him or they/them or she/her pronouns, I don’t even use it/it’s, but anymore while saying this and I am not fully sure if I still consider myself a boy or not, I’ll refer to myself as an errand boy whenever I gotta do something I don’t wanna for someone, but that’s probably it,
And I tried to explain to my brother why saying sister mister is rude this morning cuz long story short- he thought I called a cow bull-cow,
I even sent him links, they aren’t bigots like my father and his girlfriend, especially his girlfriend since dad will more likely then not jsut say racist things before transmisia or gaycist things, but he’ll try to get people to drop the subject , I once caught him making a gay reference with his hand to his girlfriend, he claims to be poly when he doesn’t believe women he dates should be allowed to dates others cuz then “it’s cheating” but perfectly fine if he does it, he even once agreed with his girlfriend that if you don’t got consent it’s cheating, he’s cheated on her before, and my brother and fathers GF thinks people should only be with one person out of a time,
I did research, and my father believes in a belief that’s in many religions including Christianity where a man can have many wives but the wives only have him, he is polygyny, which is a form of polygamy, which I’m okay with polygamy as long as everyone in it is okay with it and can work their problems out,
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2023.05.28 21:08 Ok_Entertainment_664 Not the Pigs can fly but not gonna complain
2023.05.28 21:06 YNG_SKNHDXVX Only A Fool Would Cling To This World As It Is
Look at it.
O, how it snarls and growls,
Stamping, stomping, flailing,
Leveling flat all that is
As its temper is allowed
A kind of free reign.
Its masters, who once had the
Idea of trying to, how shall we say,
Keep it on a leash, I suppose?
They gave that idea up ages ago.
Recognizing the futility in such a folly,
Unable to control the growth
Of the savage beast they placated
For so long that, they too,
Shall be doomed by it
Going horrifically insane…
...it would be seem that they opted to sit back.
And just, well, watch.
This once was a beautiful land, you know.
Miles and miles of boundless fields.
Trees as far as the eye could see,
Stretching forever, endlessly,
Until the line of sight was,
By its finitude, made to yield.
Shrubbery, springing up in both
Plains and hills alike,
Grass and flowers rooted in the soil,
A place for all to go enjoy a bit of respite.
Fauna of all kinds, occupying land, sky, and sea,
Harmonious in their relationship with…Her, yes, Her; I forget
Her name, although we all seem to refer to her as “Mother”, or sometimes…”Nature”; any who,
Yes, all kinds, many, innumerable, unique in every way, beautiful, indescribably precious.
…I wonder where they went…
Where are they…?
Back then, if you can believe it,
There was water to drink, and air to breathe.
Here, we were given
Everything we could
Ever want, ever need.
Children will look into their little books.
Read tales of wondrous lands.
See depictions of colorful sights.
Marvelous creatures, plants, animals, filling their pages.
Quite adorable, its; they wish to know more.
How they cannot stop turning the papers with their hands.
Eyes wide with wonder, they’ll eagerly look outside.
“I, too, wish to see this world, so clear and bright!”
Outside doesn’t look like the pages, does it?
Yet, when these were written, these old tales
That they so adore, inspiration came from
Out there, no? Those authors…didn’t they draw from the
Eternal source, that beauty beyond the edges of town?
Surely, that is the case, young one…
But…that was in the past.
Bother not, in some desperate plea to see what they saw.
Those parts are unhallowed ground.
All of that…
It is gone…
“O, what could’ve caused such a cruel injustice?”
I’ll merely point out of the window,
At the rampaging creature
That spews forth muck
Into the dirt
And kills off all the evergreens,
Grass, bushes, young petals,
Claws raking the crust,
Kicking up thick clouds of angry dust,
As it, that thing,
Doesn’t like challengers; doesn’t like rebels,
Nor does it favor and joy…instead, only punishment and hurt.
Starving and stampeding
Many numbers of
Shocked, frightened beings,
Causing them to tremble and quake
(Flee or fight, they’ll try both
As it succeeds in getting what it wishes to take),
It does with pride; homes annihilated,
Leaving them to wander aimlessly
Into the yards of
Those taught to hate,
Beat, eat, greet
With hostility and rage.
Unless, usefulness is proved
(Only by the decree of so many,
As is the usual decider),
At which point
They can be worthy of
“Love” and “care” again,
Relegated to long hours alone
In a cage.
“Weren’t these green and non-bipedal things here first?”
I nod, affirming their suspicions.
“And we’re tearing up their home?”
Again, another sad, despairing nod.
“Sad.” “I agree.”
Indignant, a mother storms forward, taking the child away in a huff.
“Do not let them poison you with their filthy lies.” She said in a biting, scathing tone.
“You’ll be ruined…
…just like them.”
“You don’t want the masters to come for you, no?”
“They will, you know that.”
“And what did I tell you of this world, this one in your books?
In those old pictures you look through so often?”
“Remember what they said; it was uncouth and unclean.”
“Primitive boulder dash, they said; worst of the worst things to be seen.”
“Now, here we are. Satisfied, happy, and free.”
“Please, do not dare try to flee.”
“There’s nothing for you out there.”
“Accept the love, and the care.”
“Another thing; stop trying to get a hold of the Mother.”
“You and your desire to be close to Her, how foolish;
You’ll just be distracted
From your sisters and brothers.”
I scowl for a bit, but carry on nonetheless.
A chuckle can’t help but always escape my lips at that word. Masters.
Please, they have no control over this anymore.
Did they ever? No. For you see, that drive, that lust, that…narcotic (let us
Be honest as to what it is), well, it is not containable; it even breaks out
Upon the skin, the eyes, the face, the teeth, the breath, and renders
Whoever possessed by it, a boiling sore.
Quite clear, it is, that all that merely takes place, is the bidding is done
Through flesh puppets who’s dark minds are enraptured by mad poltergeists
From two millennia ago and a country stormed some centennials that have passed
Us by, threatened by everything that wasn’t them, longing to make them all pay the price,
Engaging in audacious heists,
Souls pitch black,
Illuminated no longer
By the light of the sun.
I never saw them ever again.
Unbeknownst to me, the whole family was eaten.
Swallowed, gulped down, forced into its gullet.
Could I have known? Unlikely. I was busy trying to
Avoid the wrath.
A difficult feat, in these troubling times.
Into the stomach they went.
Hell is where they were sent.
Forcibly melded with others.
Made, by another will, their sisters and brothers.
Grey, amorphous, moldable, indistinguishable.
Just one giant mesh; differentiation? Inconceivable.
Leveled flat, mixed around until all dissolved into all.
Keeping a herd in line is hard work; it’s better
If their traits and whatnot are irreparably mauled.
Stirred by the lining and walls,
Deep inside, no one can hear
The pained, pleading calls,
Badly burned and seared,
Soon they shall be flushed down the halls.
Years and years and years ago,
Those….masters…they would sometimes,
Silver-tongued smooth talkers they are,
Go the route of playing nice.
When this didn’t work as well as they had hoped,
Away went all of the politeness and rhetoric,
Thinly-veiled smugness, a superiority complex to rival their long dead God
(Intelligent among us will know this as
The true father of this monster,
Evidence that even ghosts
Can give birth)
Set forth was this living storm; indulge, they did, in the great vice.
Has it an abode?
I think not.
Mindlessly, it just consumes and roams.
Gas of a most foul kind has overtaken the air.
I want to choke it, make it unable to inhale.
Liquids vital to life have never been so worse for wear.
Bleed it dry, dismember it; it’s my only wish, until it is empty and pale.
Loud, noisy, its innards turn as it grinds its meals
Into steaming batches of sameness, literal shit
Eaten by future meals in their lairs (to which they’re permanently confined).
What little is left here, is what little we’ve got.
Dying everyday, she’s already in the coffin.
Within Her breast, Her many children go,
A safe place to escape all that is rotten.
I’ve considered joining Her myself.
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2023.05.28 21:01 Marvynwillames [Multiple Excerpts] An Analysis on Tau FTL
It’s no secret that lots of fans, in fact I believe the majority, think that GW removing the FTL for the Tau sometime after the 3rd edition was a dumb move, since, to be simple, you aint making a multi system empire without FTL travel, as well it makes things like the Damocles Crusade have a huge plot hole in that the Tau somehow win through reinforcements coming from their entire empire, despite lacking FTL.
The user Connor McLeod on Spacebattles made a detailed analysis on how the Tau FTL worked through editions, this is a simplified version, for the quotes he used are too big for a single reddit post.
The original theory (what may or may not be the ether drive, or also known as 'warp dives') came from Battelfleet Gothic - originally in BFG Magazines (I took mine from bFG Magazine 19) but got reiterated in BFG Armada:
BFG magazine 19 said:
The Tau were able to duplicate the warp drive of the alien ship but the initial test flights were disastrous. Achieving transition to the Warp required more than technology, it required psychically attuned minds and the Tau race boasted no psykers. Without them to guide the transition no amount of power could breach the dimensional barriers. The best the Tau could do was make a partial translation, forcing themselves into the void that separated Warpspace and realspace before they were hurled out again like a ball held under water then released.
The Water caste scientists made the observation that the boundary between real space and warp space was not a neat line. It was closer to being a turbulent ocean fomented by the tempestuous warp tides below. By carefully angling their descent toward the Warp and extending the field generated by the gravitic drive into a wing shaped to hold the vessel down, a Tau vessel could extend the duration of the dive considerably. The speeds achieved in the ascent back to real space were staggering and coupled with the effect of the Warp on time and space ensured that the real distance covered by the dive was immense. Early tests lost several drone ships because they inadvertently passed far beyond the sensor range of the recovery vessels.
There was still a major constraint, only the most powerful (and bulky) drives could sustain the gravitic wing throughout the dive and the power drain meant that considerable recharge time was needed between dives. Also by comparison to actually navigating the warp the pace was still very slow. Taking typical Imperial Warp speeds the Tau drive was slower by a factor of five. The speed was consistent though, did not expose the Tau to the perils of the Warp and enabled the Tau to expand beyond their home star for the first time.
This should be well established by know, and it's pretty self explanatory. But its worth revisiting for tying everything together because in many ways the FTL system incorporates multiple parts. One part was the Tau gravity drive. Another part was the ability to 'partially' enter the warp for the dive and maintaining that dive as long as possible. And its a process they kept improving on. On the surface of this the implication is that around or even before First Sphere they had FTL, whereas the earliest you could plausibly argue they MIGHT achieve warp diving in current fluff is by third sphere. At least, in widespread usage. You could certainly have the Tau experimenting with FTL (they experimented with Imperium warp drives in Crisis of Faith after all) and that goes back to previous spheres. We could in that respect view Tau propulsion advances to be incremental steps along that path to achieving true Warp drive (or something close to it - which may be what Fourth Sphere's slipstream is/was.) I'll touch more on that 'incremental' development' later.
BFG Magazine 19 said:
Waystations are distributed throughout the Tau Empire. They mark out the main routes between Tau septs and are used to speed communications between outposts.
This has nothing directly to do with FTL travel, except to mark/identify routes they use (and maybe facilitate those routes somehow) but it does mention that they have a role in communication. I'll touch on that after the FTL stuff, although it centers almost entirely around the Shadowsun novella.
BFG Magazine 19 said:
Unlike the Tau the Kroot are capable of true Warp travel but the exact method has been kept secret from their employers. To the Kroot, warp travel is almost migratory and they seem incapable of navigating anywhere other than systems with habitable worlds. It appears they are drawn to functioning ecosystems.
In alot of ways its belief-shaped (mass belief) and not unlike Orks and the way space hulks operated. It might explain why the Tau never found the Kroot's use of warp travel all that useful, since it seems like it would be potentially erratic or less precise than warp dives. Still, it makes no fucking sense for Kroot, Demiurg or other warp sensitive allies of the Tau to have FTL but the Tau don't, especially since many factions (including Kroot and Demiurg) contribute ships to Tau fleets!
Other later sources like Deathwatch Achius Assault carried that FTL over, and even suggested it was route based (or may have had an even longer rnaged, route based variation on the 'warp dive' that allowed Vellk'han sept to reach Jericho Reach:
Deathwatch Achilus Assault said:
The humans are not the only ones to explore the Black Reef and the Tau too have been sending scouts into its gravity ravaged depths. Less willing to needlessly sacrifice their warriors, the Tau have employed those aliens from their empire with an affinity for the void and a skill at space faring, such as the ethereal Ji'atrix and the void-dwelling Nicassar. More successfully than the Imperium, the Tau have mapped
a number of routes through the edges of the Reef, at least on their side of the anomaly, allowing their ships more tactical flexibility than those of their enemies and also allowing them to lay deadly ambushes within the edge of the Stygian Break.
The Tau also enjoy a rare speed advantage over the Imperium within the Black Reef as their unusual method of near-Warp travel works more effectively than completely entering the Warp and is less prone to disruption by the gravity storm.
I mentioned the White Dwarf's circa 6th edition which alluded to it, but you also had Storm of Damocles which also seems to reference Warp dives:
Storm of Damocles said:
LOCATION: CANNIS GAS CLOUD,
DAMOCLES GULF, 999.M41
Without psykers, the tau could not make translations into the warp, but they had learnt to make short hops through the edge of the immaterial and real space, sticking to pre-ordained 'stepping stones'. This particular transit point, deep in the Cannis gas cloud, was known to connect to the Sexton Sector. It was what the tau thought was a safe transit route, but its location had been known to the Deathwatch for some time.
As he spoke, the first of the tau ships seemed to pulse as it skimmed into the immaterium. In ten minutes they were all gone, and the space before them was empty once more, except for the light of distant stars.
This meant that -at least in certain incarnations - warp dives relied on certain routes/paths/points to travel along (adding a certain degree of predictability, not unlike the warp routes between star systems in BFG) - it can be thought that BFG might have applied those same limitations to other factions and their FTL (Necron inertialess drive, Tau Warp Dive/Ether drives) so this was always an 'intended' trait. It also makes it clear its far from instantaneous - it takes minutes to achieve the 'skip' and unlike 'true' warp translation there is no rift. Presumably the rift only occurs if you actually punch the hole through into the Warp - the 'interstitial' medium the Tau travel through might simply be thought of as temporal/spatial distortions (we know warp rifts can be temporal/spatial distortions too - one reason that translations to/from warp space can be so highly distorted by gravity and one reason why translations in-system close to planetary bodies are so hazardous)
Storm of Damocles said:
It was a week's journey back through the warp to Picket's Watch. A team of servitors re-established power for the databanks, repairing broken cables and then coaxing out the reams of tau information.
The Space Marines had little need for sleep. They worked constantly, comparing Imperial star charts to those of the tau, finding known points of reference, and slowly piecing together a picture of tau movements to and from the Agrellan Warzone.
When they had inputted it all, the holo-charts glowed with criss-crossing web-lines of xenos activity. Its scale and sophistication repelled them all. Supply hubs, refuelling stations, convoy protection teams, automated drone sentries, human worlds secretly compliant, all enabling the massive movement of the invasion fleet that had smashed through to Agrellan. Konrad located two new routes that had appeared only a Terran week before the appearance of the Stormsurges.
'This is how they are transporting their new battlesuits,' he said with grim conviction.
Again note that the use of routes and mapping is important for Tau Warp Dives circa 3rd sphere (Agrellan) and they are clearly covering many tens of light years in months at most. Indeed some 'routes' seem to involve a bare week difference implying transit speeds of many hundreds of c at a bare minimum. There's literally no way third sphere could play out as it did without FTL, so this is beyond dispute.
All the same, some materials try to dispute it. While the Codexes since 6th haven't explicitly forbidden FTL, the rulebooks were something of another matter. At least in 8th edition:
8th Edition Rulebook said:
Being a non-psychic race, the T'au have no understanding of the warp, so their star fleets travel at sub-light speeds. New technological innovations have steadily increased their range, allowing them to press ever further into the galaxy. Their Second and Third Spheres of Expansion were halted only due to the barrier of the Damocles Gulf and increased resistance from the Imperium of Mankind.
Making it a bit of a headache to tie together, but not impossible since there's no real context or detail attached to the comment.
Codex tau 8th said:
In order to reach those more distant systems earmarked as desirable by advanced scouts, the vast armadas of T'au spacecraft had been outfitted with the latest Earth caste modifications. The ships' propulsion systems were upgraded so that when magnified by impulse reactors, the engines could obtain faster speeds, propelling ships forwards at hitherto unthinkable velocities. To further lessen the burden on those space-faring craft with the longest journeys, the Earth caste had outfitted transport vessels with large stasis chambers, allowing Hunter Cadres or whole commands to shift to far distant battle zones months or years away without actually aging a day in the process.
This quote cropped up in 6th too, and it was hilarious then. The 'third' iteration with the impulse reactors boosting previous drive advances (namely, the horizon drive) sound hilarious. Impulse reactors push ships to 'unthinkable velocities' yet we already knew the supposedly 'sublight' Tau already achieved near-lightspeed. Getting nearer to lightspeed might provide some more relativistic effects to protect the crew a bit from the duration, but its not going to add jack shit to speed... unless you exceed the speed of light.
In keeping with that hilarious inconsistency, the Tau in fact do this multiple times since 6th. To wit:
Tyranid 6th said:
FLIGHT TO KE'LSHAN
Though the Tau fleet was pursued by dozens of bio-ships, only a handful of cadre vessels were boarded and destroyed before the Tau successfully punched through the Tyranid blockade. Unaffected by the Shadow in the Warp, the Tau's ZFR Horizon drives propelled their ships at near light speed through realspace, and arrived safely at Ke'lshan. It took the Tyranids many days to traverse the same span of space, and for the first time in months, the Tau hoped to have a chance to catch their breath and recuperate.
Yes. Their magical horizon drives actually allowed the Tau to [i[Outrun the Tyranids[/i] Now remember that while the Tyranids having warp drive post 5th was up for debate, they still had Narvahls so its baffling that the 'sublight' Tau could outrace an explicitly FTL race. Compoudning that hilarity is the timeframe - Hive Fleet
Warzone Damocles said:
Propelled at ever greater speeds by the latest Earth Caste impulse reactors, the vast armada of Aun'Va's Tau Coalition powered across the Damocles Gulf and into Imperial Space. The expeditionary force met little in the way of significant opposition, even from the Imperial worlds that rejected the offers of the Water caste's ambassadors.
This repeats the codex bits on impulse reactors, and as I said for Third Sphere and War Zone Damocles you pretty much need to be crossing tens or hundreds of light years in weeks or months... there's no way around it being FTL. The only speeds greater than near-c are going to be many time greater than c.
Given that we can speculate on a Tau drive (and FTL) progression that follows this pattern:
Tau FTL model
First sphere has them evolving the gravity drive as per BFG. This may or may not also result in the modifications that allow (retroactively) to swiftly colonize their immediate surroundings for the First sphere expansion due to weird properties (time/space dilation) and closely placed star systems
Gravity drive (first sphere). This could still result in the discovery of a crashed alien ship and its warp drive (and experiments into that technology) but nothing definite or widespread yet.
Second Sphere is where things start to get interesting. They expand further by charting routes through dangerous parts of their space (including the Damocles gulf) through trial and error. This could be the point where we actually get navigation into and out of warp rifts in some cases, and with others you simply have warped distances/pathways to travel along. This still allows them to be 'sublight' but achieve travel that doesn't take years or decades like it should.
Second sphere, however is where they start meeting the Orks and eventually the Imperium. They learn more about FTL drives (from Ork and Imperial vessels) and they perhaps begin to study the routes that permitted their swift journeys as well. Second sphere stretches out for some time and even the end is some distance into the future, so there is lots of time for additional advances. The Horizon drive would maximize their travel speeds - travelling as close to the speed of lgiht as efficiently possible means making the most out of not only navigating warp rifts but the routes as well. Other examples of this in action would be the Black Reef/Hadex anomaly from Deathwatch
Eventually they start tinkering with their drive system in other ways to achieve other effects. We can presume the grav drive is a factor in protecting them from the effects of the warp minus a gellar field (in conjunction with their low/nearly nonexistent warp souls) but the grav drive configurations may enable them to more effectively harness and shape the routes they take, and we get into the first steps of warp dives. They start out slow and less efficient at first, but over time they continue refining the process and making improvements (being able to maintain the dive for longer (Velk'Han and Deathwatch come in here.)
Eventually, they learn to artificially replicate the Warp Dive without being confined to routes - they still can't enter the warp and it may be slower than 'in-route' travel, but this allows them much more flexibility in expanding than they had. This may or may not be the 'impulse reactors' of third sphere - we might surmise these are sort of a weaker version of slipstream drive that only achieves the 'partial' translations. We might consider this the ether drive - the logical conclusion of their pre-Warp drive travel. Speeds may get closer to equalling 'average' warp travel (non Navigator) but its still potentially much slower than true warp drive even if they could maintain the dive indefinitely (which at that point, they might on at least some ships or in some locations) Smaller ships like the Manta can also be equipped with FTL drives now.
Third sphere ends with the conflagration fo the Damocles Gulf and the Tau can no longer bypass it effectively (We could surmise that any 'artificial' dives are too short ranged or slow to make this practical over reasonable timescales for the Tau to wage war. The fastest longest-ranged routes for warp-diving would be through the Gulf, much as travelling to Jericho Reach meant the Hadex anomaly and black Reef. The Tau cannot continue their progress until the creation of slipstream drive (the final evolution of the impulse reactors to emulate Warp drive without psykers or navigators) and that brings us to 8th and eventually 9th with the fifth sphere and the Startide Nexus.
And 9th edition brings us the promise of a sixth sphere expansion... courtesy of the slipstream drive:
Codex Tau 9th said:
"Or do we exercise our new-found reach to once again push beyond what the Gue'la call the Damocles Gulf, to reclaim the septs that were lost and drive deeper than ever into the western galactic reaches? Understand my guests,this is not some mere dream. Fio'vre Ka'buto and his scientists assure me that the modifications they have made to their original designs render the Slipstream module safer and more stable than ever before when deployed en masse. With such a device at our disposal, the stars are closer than ever, and oru duty to reach them clearer.'
El'Umeh couldn't believe what she was hearing.
The Sixth Sphere Expansion, she thought, light-headed with amazement. The Ethereal Supreme is considering the commencement of the Sixth Sphere Expansion, and he is asking for my Commander's thoughts on where it should occur.
Such a thing was unheard of. The battles of the Fith Sphere Expansion still raged beyond the Zone of Silence. O'Shaserra herself led the push to colonise new worlds and raise new septs beyond the fabled wormhole. El'Umeh was hardly in possession of all the data, yet she had the impression that the empire had expended vast resources already on gathering and launching that fleet. To think that it could muster a sixth expansion even while the fifth was still underway... had the scope and scale of T'au space truly grown so vast?
Setting aside the implication that the Tau are vast enough in terms of territory and industry to sustain two Spheres of expansion so closely together, we're told that they can now safely engage in large scale use of slipstream and derive the benefits of its speed in their expansion. No more limits to warp dives or ether drive. They could achieve something that matches at least some kinds of Warp travel.
This also makes clear that the Tau not only didn't lose slipstream travel with fourth sphere. It was simply limited in its scale of application. Single ships (or small numbers) might be able to harness it effectively and without danger - but large fleets (scores or hundreds) were dangerous. Now, that may no longer be so true, and that is a HUGE game changer for the Tau.
Another thing to consider is - as I said before - in many ways the 'Ether drive/warp dive' feature is describing the same essential capability, it just evolves incrementally with each step or including a new wrinkle. First you have the grav drive - which plays a role in maintaining the warp dive once they develop that technology and presumably protecting the craft and permitting some degree of navigating the charted routes in their domain. Then as per 6th you have the 'Horizon' drive which allows for rapid and effective near-lightspeed travel. If the routes allow for the warp to amplify sublight speeds into translight speeds, then maximizing your realspace speed would be the best way to optimize travel time.
Eventually late second/early third you're getting into the true Ether Drive/Warp Dives as outlined in BFG and the impulse reactor upgrade allows for that push for 'artificially' created routes/dives (and possibly leads to the truly long-distance travel like allowing Kel'Shan to reach Jericho Reach sector despite being potentially hundreds of light years away) - the grav drive helps to maintain the dive, the Horizon engines keep speed maximized during that dive. Despite being from different, unconnected sources, you can clearly treat each iteration as being an improvement of each technology, allowing the Tau to move that much faster until they reach the presumable endpoint (currently) with a fully fledged and potentially workable slipstream drive that can be utilized for large fleets - leading to Sixth Sphere.
Now we get to FTL comms courtesy of Shadowsun, last of Kiru's line:
Shadowsun last of Kiru's Line said:
'It is agreeable to see you, Shas'la,' she said. 'What is the status of our communications?'
Sabu'ro glanced at Kou'to before answering. The veteran's nod told him that it was all right to address Shadowsun directly.
'Commander,' he said proudly, 'we are fully capable. Local tightbeam and interplanetary tachyon arrays are both at one hundred per cent.'
'Are you able to contact the rest of the fleet?'
'It has already been done. All ships are holding at station-keeping eight light-minutes beyond il'Wolaho's moon, as per your previous instructions. Command of the armada has passed to Kor'el Kenhi'ta, who relayed the news of what transpired today to T'au via graviton data packet.' He smiled. 'After you last spoke to me, I made all vessels aware of your survival.'
'Was that news also relayed to T'au?'
Young Sabu'ro seemed confused by the question. 'Why would it not be?'
Shadowsun nodded, imagining what the reaction must have been back on the home world. First, news that a powerful warship had been destroyed with all hands lost. Then, later on, a second bulletin informing everyone that she and a handful of others were alive, but for the moment, non-recoverable. Shock, followed by sadness, followed by joy, followed by concern. The halls of the Aun't'au'retha, the supreme council of Ethereals who presided over the Empire, must have been uncharacteristically lively this day. Once again, she blamed herself.
'Commander, there's an incoming data packet addressed to you.' He passed the flex-screen to Shadowsun. 'A pre-recorded message of some kind, relayed through the fleet position.'
Il'Walaho was nearly one hundred and fifty light-years away from the heart of the Empire. Real-time communication over such distances was impossible, even for a race as technologically advanced as the tau. Shadowsun took note of the time stamp as the bundle of words and decompiled themselves; whatever the nature of this message, it had been sent while her fleet was in translation from T'au.
'It says here that this was made and received some time ago. Why am I only seeing it now?'
Sabu'ro shook his head as the recording began.
'O'Shaserra,' it said slowly and clearly, 'This is Aun'va speaking. As leader of the Aun't'au'retha, may I say that it brings great relief to all to hear that you have survived the destruction of your command vessel.'
We get reference to 'tachyon' communications (presumably the short-range/in system stuff) and the 'grav-wave' data packets. There are two distinct kinds of communication and calcs here but I'll indulge in a little speculation relating to Eye of Terror. A numbe rof sources (Eye of Terror website back in 3rd edition, the Deathwatch RPG) mention tachyonic bullshit, and its often tied to Warp phenomena (as is 'subspace' bullshit in the Hoare novels.) We also know that gravity and spatial distortions are closely related to warp phenomena as well. And as mentioned before, Eye of Terror indicated that in a warp-realspace interface 'lightspeed' signals (like photons/light) could be effectively translight. In that sense, we might consider 'tachyons' to be matter subjected to the translight properties of the warp, wheras grav packets might be some sort of weird modulated grave pulses that create a sort of warp 'dive' signal to relay data back to the destination (unless of course its a physical vessel. That's not clear.) It may even be that its a tachyonic signal that is manipulated the same way the grav drive helps maintain a warp dive.
Anyhow, bullshit speculatin over nature done, we go to the calcs. The first is for the ship-to ground communications which are almost or effectively instantaneous over an eight light minute distance (this will get reiterated later) and that plays out to around at least FTL communications speed of tens of c (call it 50c or so.)
The grav-packet takes longer, but it occurs well within the space of a day (twelve hours) and possibly as little as four to six hours (remember it started during morning, and now its afternoon to evening here.) so its clearly a matter of hours top, and less than a day at worst. For the message to cover 150 LY in one day (12 hours to 24) you get between 54,000-109,000c roughly. In 4-6 hours it would be more like 220,000-330,000c. That's slow compared to some and not suitable for FTL travel (even commercial astrotelepathy can cross 10-20 LY in around 11 minutes as per Eisenhorn, whereas others have realtime communication between two nearby systems and multiple light years. 1st edition has Astrotelepathy crossing 50,000 LY in seconds or minutes even, albeit with ten words or less.) But for the Tau? That's quite fast, esp considering their FTL (such as it is) would be orders of magnitude slower. Many times throughout her career, she had pictured the memorial they would erect of her on T'au following her death. It would be placed before the Mont'yr Battle Dome, of course, where it would stand among the other heroes of her people, immortalised in six-metre-high white marble. Along the base would read her accolades – Shadowsun, daughter of Kiru, hero of the K'resh Expansion War, scourge of the greenskin barbarians, bulwark against the hive fleets.
The K'Resh Expansion War was part of the Great War of Confederation which took place in 975.M41 and lasted a dozen years, meaning this is between the end of that (12 years later, or in 987.M41) and the start of 3rd sphere in 997.M41 - no more than a decade difference. Given that Third Sphere involved Aun'Va accompanying Shadowsun personally (As 6th edition outlines) from the Tau homeworld, that means Shadowsun made a round trip from the edge of the empire and back to pick up the Supreme leader (5 years both ways).
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2023.05.28 21:01 heyitselieee First time buying a second-hand. Need your thoughts please.
Hello everyone! I hope someone can help me decide if the car I’m planning to get is worth it. It will be my first time buying a second hand car and I’m really not familiar with all the details and procedures. I’m researching atm as well but I also need advice from experienced buyers here.
I’m planning to get Toyota Yaris SE as it’s the only one that fits my budget that’s Toyota. It’s listed under Dubizzle Cars and here are the details: - 2019 model, AED 44k - 72k+ mileage - GCC specifications - Full Toyota Service History - Warranty until January 2026 or 100,000 Kms Free Servicing until 2026 or 100,000 Kms
For reference, this car will be just for daily office drive (Barsha - Citywalk via SZR) nothing else as we have a family car for weekends/long drive. Is this a good deal? Is Dubizzle Cars reliable? Any tips please if I choose to get this one?
Your thoughts will be highly appreciated! Thank you lots!
submitted by heyitselieee
to DubaiPetrolHeads [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 20:59 rose1613 Would you say this character is a Mary sue for any roleplay?
__Mobile Friendly Template_
Character Name:Adrianna Beretta
Race (Nord, Elf, etc):Imperial
Place of Birth: Cryodil
Affiliation:The pale(she lives there in the sanctuary)+The Darkbrotherhood
Position: she’s not quite speaker level nor listener she’d be at the same rank as someone like Babette or Nasir.
Starting loadout Dual Blades,poisons,bow,health potions.
Skills/Expertise/Weaknesses:She’s skilled at one-handed combat and dual wielding, acrobatics,archery,alchemy, dodging, manipulation(emotional and psychological not magic she sucks at magic) . She has a weakness to fire and is susceptible to fall damage. She takes slightly more damage then the average person from being on the thinner side well she’s hard to hit once she’s hit she’s pretty easy to knockout as she’s not use to damage. She’s not skilled at heavy-armor or any armor usage for that matter because again she’s not use to taking hits and has a low-armor overall rating. She also has a weakness to sunlight(via how it appears in game)
Magic Ability (If any, please refer to Magic Info: she can do the vampiric drain spell but she’s not very good at it and has low Magicka
Appearance: Elizabeth gillies with black hair and a red lip
Backstory: She was born to a dark brotherhood assassin who trained her from birth to join him and the league. Eventually she fell in love with one of her fellow assassins and planned to marry him but he was killed by a vampire hunter not after he turned her they were partners and would go on kills together. She was devastated and even though she killed the perpetrator it was never enough as she lost everyone well she watched the dark brotherhood fall apart. Eventually she heard they were rebuilding the sanctuary and decided to join
Additional Information (We do not require stats but if you desire, put it here): ```
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to DnD [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 20:59 k819799amvrhtcom A question about attractivity in general.
This is a question about an issue that is not exactly a transgender issue but does disproportionately affect transgender people for reasons that will become obvious later.
The short Gacha clip From Ugly to Pretty
is a subversion of stories often seen in other Gacha animations: It shows a girl being rejected by a boy called Jack for being ugly. She then undergoes plastic surgery and becomes pretty. Jack then apologizes to her and offers to be her boyfriend after all. But she then rejects him because he only wants her because of her look. Jack then wonders what he did wrong. Well, what did he do wrong? Did he even do anything wrong?
I have seen this story setup so many times: Boy rejects girl for being ugly, girl becomes pretty, boy tries to win her back. Sometimes, he fails because she doesn't forgive him. Sometimes, he succeeds because he managed to show true remorse. Yet, whenever I try to reference this concept, everyone on the internet appears to agree that he did nothing wrong and does not need to apologize because not being physically attracted to someone is a valid reason not to date them
. Which sounds kinda shallow and discriminatory against ugly people
if you ask me. I mean, if you only want to date attractive people, what do you do if the person you date becomes unattractive for whatever reason?
We live in a world with way too much shaming of ugly people that leads to self-loathing and suicide. Lots of fat-shaming causes many people to develop eating disorders. Being fat is even illegal in Japan! Fat women are told that they're not real women. Women who don't use makeup are told all the time that they aren't worthy of being seen
, causing some to feel naked whenever they don't wear makeup. Makeup and cosmetic surgeries can be expensive and dangerous in some cases. The only reason it became customary for cis women to shave their body hair was because of a false manipulative advertising campaign in 1920.
Cis women with small breasts can get complexes. Pimples, braces, and glasses are associated with nerd culture for some reason, and not in a good way. So wouldn't it make perfect sense to view all of this as shallow? Wouldn't it make perfect sense to call society bigotted against ugly people? If a man is shallow for not wanting a woman with hairy armpits and legs
, wouldn't a woman, on the other hand, also be shallow for not wanting an unattractive man?
If we then exceed this to transgender people it becomes even more complicated. I once read a story about a trans girl who got together with the person who used to bully her before she transitioned. I mean, good for them I guess, but I also got bullied a lot before I transitioned. If one of my bullies wanted to get together with me, would I not have the right to at least demand an explanation for all those times I'd been bullied? Before I transitioned, noone wanted to be together with me. If a boy tells me he isn't attracted to me because I am a boy and he isn't attracted to boys, isn't this technically trans erasury? After all, trans people don't owe anyone the knowledge that they're trans, but society owes it to trans people to take the possibility that individuals might be trans into account.
Isn't it a form of inequality that this shit disproportionately affects ugly cis people? And also trans people who had no opportunity to transition early in life? Isn't this a problem? Shouldn't we do something about that?
Now, you may think that some of these questions are exceptionally easy to answer and you would be right because I purposely asked them in a provocative way. But the real question is: Where do you draw the line between what is acceptable and what isn't? Please just answer my questions. I just want to learn.
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2023.05.28 20:59 JakeArsenal86 Thank you, Arsenal!
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It took a team with a striker to break the single season goals record to beat us. submitted by JakeArsenal86 to Gunners [link] [comments]
It took a team with 115 breaches over a decade to beat us.
It took a team who have won 5 the league of the last 6 seasons to beat us.
It took arguably the best coach of all time to beat us.
It took a generational striker who at 22 years old will go down already as one of the best of all time to beat us.
It took the most expensively assembled side in the history of football over the last decade to beat us.
It took referees who forget to draw lines on VAR to lose their jobs.. you name it it’s happened to us this season.
It’s not our fault Chelsea, Liverpool and United weren’t up to task. Without us, city had the league won in early March.
We won’t forget this season but you can bet we will build on it.
Think back to that legendary Ramsey season we all talk about. Now think that in the league he scored 10 goals. This season alone, we had Odegaard, Martinelli, Saka & Jesus with 15, 15, 14 and 11 respectively - all eclipsed that season is mad to think.
Yes maybe not all 4 had the season that Ramsey did that year, but Odegaard absolutely did.
I think about Xhaka and the season he had.. what a send off. A leader we won’t be able to replace with money.. he will be sorely missed. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would ever have said that..
Let’s not forget the injures because they damn sure made a difference to our season.
Say we bottled, say we were the youngest team in the league, say whatever you want, I’m so proud of the progress, I enjoyed the what if, I have witnessed my club who I love so much, turn its fortunes around and close in on such a man city side, we are on the up and I’m damn proud I got to enjoy the ride.
It may not have ended the way we wanted, but it was one hell of a ride and I’d have preferred this season over and over again than any of the last handful that’s for sure.
We recruit and build again. I trust Arteta and the coaching staff to improve us again.
Don’t forget we had the English media rattled for some time this season. We had Liverpool fans saying that if we won the league it’s diminished Klopps Premier league legacy if we won.
That’s how much they didn’t want us to win. That’s how much they deep down notice the progress and realise what a threat we are. The media and some pundits were quaking in their boots at the thought of it, that some of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever seen from professional journalists and pundits were made.
That’s what our boys caused this season. They fear us. They fear progress without oil money. They fear the Arsenal and above all else..
Thats the fucking Arsenal we used to be. They fear and hate us because they know our clubs history and what they are capable of.
That alone is enough for me to be happy and see that and smile knowing we go again and have a similar start to next season, we will have them rocking and for the taking.
Up the fucking Arsenal.
This is only the beginning..
Finally, if any are interested this is my shameless plug for the season. I talk about Arsenal constantly on Twitter @JakeArsenal1
Join me for a chat anytime.
Till next season guys!!
2023.05.28 20:58 HeavyScar5722 Question about posing for pre show photos, intros at start of session, etc?
I have a question about J contestants photos from before their episode airs
In the FULLBODY shot with Alex/Ken/Mayim/whoever, I know one woman posed with her hand on her hip.
Are there rules on what poses are acceptable? Like if someone posed twerking or grabbing their cr0tch or did something in low taste would they be asked to reshoot it and pick something else?
Also in the intro that Johnny Gilbert speaks over, I've seen one woman do and a man gesture to his palm possibly as an inside reference to something.
But like if a contestant gave the middle finger, or did another crude gesture or anything the show didn't like would they be asked to do something different?
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2023.05.28 20:56 The_Alloquist [A Lord of Death] - Chapter 47 (Efrain)
[←Chapter 46] [Cover Art] [My Links] [Index] [Discord] [Subreddit] [Chapter 48→]
Efrain was left, more or less, with two things left to teach. First was the more complex magical motion, how to draw flows and glide things along them. The second was how that applied to the wondrous black metal, and then to shape it into whatever she had seen.
Efrain, not for the first time, wished that he’d seen the knife, that way he wouldn’t have to rely on the girl’s amateur talents. There was a good chance that she would not be able to construct it soundly or missed crucial details that were essential. It was a risk, giving her this greatly expedited tutelage, then making her build a magic tool with nothing but educated guesswork. Practically like explaining pulleys and counterweights, and then asking a student to design an elevator.
He didn’t let his mind rest on it for too long - he had enough horrors today without contemplating what lay beyond the stone. Still, it weighed on him, as even moving the water around was noticeably more difficult than it would’ve been in the free air. He set out another filled bucket and an empty one, provided gratis by the workers.
“Are you having fun yet?” he said aloud, drawing the attention and a few nervous chuckles.
“It might be good for you to listen in,” he continued, “magic is here, has been here, and will continue to be here long after any of us are gone. One of these principles might save your life one day?”
After a few moments, a younger member hesitantly spoke.
“Are there any schools? To teach magic,” he said, before immediately trying to shrink back into the crowd.
Efrain regarded him as he considered the question.
“Why? Do you have an interest?”
The men around him laughed, and the boy’s face flushed as he locked eyes with what must’ve been a very attractive bench.
“Yes. There are, and were, schools. The greatest was the Angorrah Academy in the capital, but it has long been ransacked and converted to other uses. Centuries ago, now.”
The men were listening with interest now. Efrain wasn’t surprised, given the way the church stepped on the toes of history when writing its edicts.
“Yes. Angorrah used to be a heart of learning of all kinds,” he said, gesturing off to the western mountains, “magic, science, the arts, craftsmanship. The academy was beautiful, in its way. Still… what happened happened.”
“The night of the burning tree?” one of the older men ventured.
“Indeed,” Efrain said, “the night of the burning tree. A bunch of hotblooded youths getting involved in open rebellion. Anyone care to take a guess at what the seniors were doing?”
No one responded, all were looking on with bated breath.
“Nothing. Sitting in their towers, sipping their wine. All the while a bunch of idiots painted a target on all of our backs, and they did nothing to stop them.”
He was conscious of the potential hypocrisy he was engaged in. It was only a couple of years after the night of the burning tree when he had awoken in his new body. For all he knew, he could’ve been one of the idiots involved. He would like to think that he was not so stupid as to burn the most holy symbol of the church. But there was no way to know for certain.
“Then the purges began,” he said, “I had left the city before. I saw the writing on the wall.”
“But that would mean you’re hundreds of years old,” protested one of the men.
Efrain looked at him, the other men looked at him, and the man faded back with a quiet ‘oh’.
“Yes, I’ve lived for a very, very long time,” he said, stretching as he did, “there’s several different ways you can go about it, but… well, the results speak for themselves.”
Now that caught their attention, as tales of immortality often did.
“Before you ask, there’s a steep price for extended life, regardless of which way you do it. Not to mention, it’ll most likely take decades upon decades of study, and help from others besides. Even with all that, it’s still a very risky business. One mistake, and you’ll be greeting death early.”
That seemed to quell most of the curiosity, though not extinguish it completely.
“Well,” he said, “back to the original question. As for the remaining schools of magic, you’re not likely to find anything west of the mountains. The church’s hold is too strong for any sort of formal study to flourish there. The best one would be…”
Efrain tapped his mask as he ran through the locations, hoping that two centuries hadn’t wiped them away.
“Karkos, to the south east,” he said, “though I haven’t been there for many years. I recall… well, there was the idea
of a school once. If you’re really interested, that would be the place to try.”
Some of the men nodded thoughtfully, though Efrain doubted any of them were actually vying to go.
“What can magic do?” said one of the younger ones again, “can it make swords sharp, or on fire or…”
He stuttered out as he reached the limits of his creativity. Efrain didn’t mind - it was nice to have queries to take his minds off of recent events.
“Magic weapons?” he said, mentally thumbing through his collection of knowledge on the topic, “yes, you could. Most ordinary weapons can be infused with magic, with appropriate skill. As for things custom made for the purposes of handling magic, well…”
He thought back to his vault in his holdfast, missing home, as cold and isolated as it might’ve been. There were a handful of weapons in his collections, usually cursed, but little that he would actually use. They were mostly there for preservation and study, rather than actual warfare. His armoury on the other hand had enchanted items, but they tended to be more along alchemical lines rather than physical ones.
“They are rare, quite rare. Some of you are steel workers, I would think?” he said, witnessing a few nods, “well then, how many years would it take to become a good one, usually?”
There was a smattering of guesses, until a big, keg-chested man offered “five or tener’ years, depends.”
“Then I’m sure you can imagine, my friend,” Efrain said nodding, “combine learning magic and
smithing, then learning how to weave the latter into the former. Many, many years. True master enchanters and magesmiths are not something seen since Angorrah’s golden years, and that was centuries ago.”
He remembered the site of the great forge works under the academy, situated near the cistern so that they had a constant supply of water to fuel engines and quenching pools. The smell of hot metal and burning wood barely eclipse the stench of sewage. There had been several doddering craftsmen by the time he’d left, though the days of their magnum opuses were long past.
“Even in my time, they were dying out, and when the Academy was ‘decommissioned’, well, most of their works and knowledge was destroyed. I only knew barely beyond the basics. In any case, most magic weapons are too expensive to be practical. However you could ‘enhance’ in the way you’re thinking’ - holding edges for longer and so on.”
He paused, trying to recall the few examples he’d witnessed first-hand.
“Why, they even used to pre-enchant metal at the academy, so you could temper them faster at higher temperatures, without risking warping or weakening.”
The men began to nod more fervently - this was a subject they were more familiar with.
“But nothing dramatic. To be sure, there are tales. Weapons of light, tools to replant forests and cure illness,” he said, reaching over for the cube.
Watching the streams and rivers of metal form and reform in his hands, he began to recite.
“Long lost, long lost, across the waves,
Past brothers’ tombs and fathers’ graves.
Long lost, long lost, across the sea.
Lands old and rich and everfree.
The first lands where we long to be,
Long lost, long lost, across the sea.
Where all are found, where all is saved.
Long lost, long lost, across the waves.”
“I know that!” one of the men said, “it’s in one of the church books the priest used to sing.”
. It’s an old
poem, one of the oldest. It’s one of the few surviving writings from the times of Eblem.”
The name of Angorrah’s founding king turned the last of the bowed heads.
“You’ve been?” said a number of astonished labourers, drawing a mental grin from Efrain. The ‘first lands’ must’ve been a legend to them, something spoken about in terms of gods and myths.
“No, no I’ve not,” he said, “they do exist, far to the south west. Several weeks by ship, if the wind is in your favour. It’s a hazardous crossing. But, if the verses are to be believed, ‘anything’ can be found there. Magic runs strong in that country.”
He lifted up the now solid cube as an example.
“For instance,” he said, “and if this is the metalwork they could do, who knows what else they could create?”
The men were enchanted now, transfixed by stories they’d never heard. But it’d have to wait for later, he thought, as he saw Sorore led by Lillian cut around the corner.
“Right then, back to work. Though you are welcome to listen in as you wish,” he said, as Sorore sat down in front of him, frowning at the two buckets.
“You ready?” he said, and she nodded, “very well, let’s begin.”
“The second lesson of magical motion is as follows…”
For the next half-hour he taught her about the process of drawing flows. How to imagine an invisible line, like carving a channel for the water to follow. How to start from before the mass, and move magic through it, simultaneously pushing the magic through it, and pushing the mass on the magic.
“And to practise that, I’ve brought back your favourite teaching aid,” he said, gesturing to the pair of buckets in front of them.
He thought he detected the hint of a scowl on the girl’s face.
“Quite simple, really, just draw an arc between the two points. We’ll stop when you’ve filled the empty bucket to the best of your ability.”
The hour after that was relatively simple, Sorore imagined a line, drew magic across it, then drew the water across that. A few false starts and water explosions later, she had a steady stream falling into the bucket.
“That’d be useful,” said one of the men, “wouldn’t have to move around the smithy too much.”
“Solid objects get a little more tricky,” said Efrain, “if I taught you how, you’d spend just as much time learning how to dodge wayward tools.”
There was genuine, not nervous laughter this time. Sorore was sitting there, quite focused on the stream, though not particularly tense, watching as the water slowly filtered from one to the other.
“A fun minor lesson,” he said, “try to make a flow with right angles only.”
The girl’s concentration lapsed, spilling water on the cobbles to her annoyance. But regardless, she tried, and largely succeeded in the first part. When she attempted to push water up, it sprayed off past one of the men, leading to it being quickly dropped.
“Any object has mass, and thus momentum. Think of running and rapidly turning around. Takes a lot more effort, doesn’t it? Curves are almost always more efficient. Now, back to it.”
Within another twenty minutes or so, she had filled up the second bucket. The last of the drops were drawn over the arc, and vanished under the surface.
“Well done,” he said, “you now know the basics of moving liquids like water, and even gas like the air around us. Solids get a little more tricky, so there’s really no time to teach you that. When we get to forging the knife, let me handle that part.”
She nodded, beaming at the bucket that was empty less than an hour ago.
“You’re ready,” he said, “now for one little note about this material. This has no resistance to magic. You’ll have to create your own, for reasons that we can discuss later. Two forces, equal, pushing against one another. Are you ready?”
She nodded, fingers twitching in excitement as he handed her the cube.
“Merely make them equal as you can,” he said, “don’t try and-”
The partially liquid cube shot out to the left, which Efrain caught and circled around into the main mass. The girl’s magic was still quite chaotic, and it was potent.
“Try again, two opposite forces at the same time. Like pressing your finger tips against each other. You’re holding it under tension.”
She did so, and a couple of tries later, the cube collapsed into fluid.
“Well done,” he said, despite the gasp she made as she attempted to grab at the fluid, “now comes the hard part. You need to maintain that tension as you guide it along the flow.”
He demonstrated, letting the material pool and coalesce into a streamer that floated into the air.
“This will be tricky. We’ll work at it,” he said, letting it spatter back onto the pavement.
The girl tried, and tried, and tried, and tried. For hours and hours as her face grew pale and sweat once more dripped from her chin. They were well past midday before she managed to get a decent grip on the technique, even though it still vibrated violently.
Efrain was completely unsurprised by the imperfection. Working with material like this was a challenge even for senior students. She had managed it in an afternoon. On its own, she would be considered exceptional, even if she had years worth of theory to catch up on. Efrain seized control and moulded it back into a cube, letting it solidify once more.
“Well,” he said, “you’ve gotten the gist of it. Not so easy, hm?”
She nodded, brushing her hair back and rubbing at her eyes.
“Now comes the really hard part,” he said, with less sadistic, teacherly mirth than he might want to, “You need to create a flow that is the shape of the blade.”
Sorore’s eyes widened at the proposition, and she audibly gulped.
“How?” she said.
“Imagine the shape of the blade in space, and divide it up into flows that you can guide the metal to. Simple in theory. But far, far from easy. This is the challenge we’ve been leading up to. You need not worry about making it solid, just let me handle that. You need only to work on the shape.”
Sorore was eager to try, if a little daunted perhaps by the complexity of the task. First Efrain managed to make a concept wire piece of the blade with her. They discussed features, the chisel tip, the furled blades, the tang of the blade. The small rivulets and channels she’d seen in her ‘visions’ of it.
Then came the actual ‘forging’ of it, and by the Lost, was it difficult. Attempt after attempt after attempt fell apart, the girl growing grey by the exhaustion. As the light around them began to darken, they stopped, adjusted and retired. All to no avail.
“I just can’t…” she said, face red with effort after the latest attempt, “there’s too much to keep track of.”
Efrain had watched, with occasionally gentle prodding, as the girl attempted to fill in the gaps. The actual flow wasn’t particularly difficult, but forming the total structure of the blade, while maintaining cardinal paths for the metal to follow was clearly beyond her level. Efrain sighed - at least now, he had an idea of what the shape was and could make a good approximation of what was needed.
It was unfortunate that the young girl didn't manage to fully develop the skill over the afternoon’s course, but it was hardly unexpected. He had been pushing her far too hard, and at this point it was probably going to be more economical to just simply create the blade himself. It wouldn't be perfect, but he had to hope that it would be enough for the door.
"Well,” he said, “ it would appear that we’ve run out of time. Good progress despite. I think I'll try to finish the rest of it.”
As he’d expected, the dismissal made the young woman's shoulders slump further. He was almost tempted to reach out to her, but the ever-present glare of Lillian dissuaded him. She would get over it, assuming they all survived, and for that, he needed the knife. Soroe was led away into the afternoon, and Efrain was left to find a solution he wasn’t entirely sure existed.
Within a few minutes he had managed to get the basic shape, the details, however, were an entirely different story. Try after try after try, he spent what hours he had attempting to get every single detail he could. Night was oncoming before he had something he thought might work. The actual utilisation and technique he hoped weren’t as important as the structure. Efrain was not looking forward to the most likely outcome - the first usage of magic would immediately revert the solid metal to fluid.
Sighing, he finally rose, bizarre blade in his hand. With a nod to the rest of the labourers, well at work repairing blades and mending armour, he departed to the church. The remainder of the townsfolk were littered about, preparing for the siege. If they were lucky, they had a few more hours before the attacks began, but that did not still the fear obvious in their eyes.
Efrain crossed into the main hold of the church, and made his way to the stair door. Innie picked herself up off the stones and walked beside him.
“The child?” Efrain said, looking back towards the medic bay.
“Leave her,” said the cat, “she’s needed, and the happiest I’ve ever seen her. Did you have any luck?”
“She came close. Somewhat,” Efrain said, letting the black blade catch the light, “I finished it.”
“Oh that’s comforting,” said Innie, “using a tool you
“If you have a better suggestion,” Efrain responded with a snort, “we can’t get much more desperate than we are now. Is this or roof.”
“I'd rather fight them here on, at least that way I can burn the church down while I die,” she said.
The catacombs greeted them - dark, cold, and smothering. The duo came before the black stone wall, Efrain glancing over to check if there was nothing he’d missed. Finding that his powers of observation were sound, he raised the blade tip to the smooth black stone.
“Here we go,” he said. [←Chapter 46] [Cover Art] [My Links] [Index] [Discord] [Subreddit] [Chapter 48→]
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2023.05.28 20:49 Altraacc Important Document
Hey all,for almost a year now I've been composing a document based on theological and scientific findings related to Human Sexuality and Social issues and their place in the Catholic Church.Since I am writing this based upon a marginalized community it would seem bias and unjust if I published this document to Bishops and Church Leaders without the advice and consul of the community itself.I want to ask for help and even consider co-writers from this community.It may sound naive,but I believe this document and writers like this can inspire the kind of Just and Unrebellious change the Holy Spirit desires,I think there is a real problem in our Church and the decline of Religiousness is a serious threat to the world with Reformation being the solution,May God forgive me if im wrong but what can I do if im right? So please,any and all help regardless of Religion or Self is appreciated,my plan is to send this document out to several Church Leaders and Theologists once this document is well developed and consuled.
I also apologize,this is quite a long document!
Here is the text:
lus corporis A collage of opinions and facts alike on the use of gender and sexuality in today's world and how the Catholic Church can "Listen,Reason,and Propose" as said in "Male and Female He Created"
"What you are now,I once was,What I am now,you will be." -Father Mike Shmitz
This document should not be taken as Anti-Catholic or Heretical,I,the author, fully believe and agree and have Faith in the One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church,as of now Current Church Teachings describe Homesexual acts and the "LGBTQ+" Community as sinful,and therefore this should be taken as Christian law,this document is a proposal,rather then a "93 Theses" and should not be acted upon until declared Canonical or False by the Catholic Church.Another fair argument to bring up is that I as an individual writing this may be,in my innocenc,biased towards subjects I consider indisputabl,such as abortion,despite this I will do my best to providea neutralargumentbased on facts and testimony outside of my own self. Additionally,please feel free to criticize or disprove anything stated in this document aswell.I thank you for your time in listening to me, and may God's peace be with You,always.
Chapter One On Current Catholic Church Teachings
1.Pope Francis and the Churchs currently teach that God Created Man and Woman,and while Genders role in Society and biology can be distuginshed,they must not be separated,additionally Masculinity and Femininity are created by the body,and are two pillars that hold up society.
- Pope Francis has been considered very radical and liberal on the Catholic Churches stances concerning the LGBTQ+ community,while he has condemned abortion,calling it "The same thing the Nazis did but with White Gloves"
3.LGBTQ+ Catholics are not permitted certain Sacraments in the Church,not out of discrimination,but because the Church believes they cannot truly lead a full
life of Christ and guiding others to Christ if they continue to deny the Church's teachings and the Word of the LORD.
4.The Catholic Church has been critzied for not taking the opinions of LGBTQ Catholics on certain documents concerning the topic,however until proclaimed Infallibile under the Doctrine of Papal Infallibility,these documents are technically still up for slight discussion as said in Male and Female He Created them,with"Listen,Reason,and Propose",however they are Church Teaching and must still be followed
- The lives of every single person from conception to natural death are sacred and matter greatly to the Church,that must be clear as the Church has been accused of discrimination,the People of the Church(Failable) and The Church(Infallibile) must be distuginshed
6.Transgender people and members of the LGBTQ community often feel true disorder and uncomfort on their current identities, and many LGBTQ Christians believe they are acting in the full authority of God,through Jesus Christ our Savior
7.Gender Disorder is something many people go through in life,especially during puberty and teenage years
8.A potential theory for the rise in Transgenderism is the decrease of testosterone due to products that take it away,and an increase in estrogen levels from birth control pills and etc flushed in our water that filters cannot take away,even the US Ground Water Authority agrees with the Estrogen Increase in Public Water via Contraceptive Pills.
- The Church teaches that God created man and women and that the sacrament of Holy Matrimony can only be celebrated by a true Male and true female
Chapter 2 A statement on the ex cathedra status of LGBTQ and the Church's stance on Homesexuality
The Catholic Bible has a few mentions of homesexuality, such as 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
"Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes* nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God"
However,when reading the footnote given by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops You will find that the Greek word translated as boy prostitutes may refer to catamites, i.e., boys or young men who were kept for purposes of prostitution, a practice not uncommon in the Greco-Roman world. In Greek mythology, this was the function of Ganymede, the “cupbearer of the gods,” whose Latin name was Catamitus. The term translated sodomites refers to adult males who indulged in homosexual practices with such boys.Refers to the boy prostitutes and sodomites,also translated as homesexuals,refers only to the act of lustful homesexuality,and while homesexuality may be lustful,some homesexuals claim the love the feel is true romantic and unified love
However, when reading Romans 1:26-27 St Paul States
Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural,27-and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity."
This shows us that St. Paul describes the act of Homesexuality as Unatrual,however, when St Paul describes, "and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity." He does not specify necessarily that the act of true unification of flesh between the same sex as sinful,however he does describes the act of Man and Woman's relationship as natrual,this should be noted as this suggests Saint Paul is saying that a Man and A Man,or vice versa,cannot have true sexual unity,however this interpretation is quite "wishy washy."
In Ephesians 5:31-33, St. Paul states
For this reason, a man shall leave [his] father and [his] mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.”x
32-This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.33-In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.
The footnote given by the USCCB states " prostitute: the reference may be specifically to religious prostitution, an accepted part of pagan culture at Corinth and elsewhere; but the prostitute also serves as a symbol for any sexual relationship that conflicts with Christ’s claim over us individually. The two…will become one flesh: the text of Gn 2:24 is applied positively to human marriage in Matthew and Mark, and in Eph 5:29–32: love of husband and wife reflect the love of Christ for his church. The application of the text to union with a prostitute is jarring, for such a union is a parody, an antitype of marriage, which does conflict with Christ’s claim over us. This explains the horror expressed in 15b. "
This shows that the USCCB belives Saint Paul meant that Marriage demonstrates the love of two flesh as a reflection of the love of Christ and his Church.Testimony from Homesexuals argues that the love two homesexuals feel for each other is real and just love,like Christ and his Church,whether or not this is real or a delusion caused by a psychological disorder,only The Lord knows for certain as of now.
One issue on the approvment and justification of Homesexuality given by the Bible is when Saint Paul states "Female gave up Natrual Relations,likewise did the Males" Saint Paul is specifically referring to the union of male and female as natrual and anything otherwise as unatrual,this could technically be countered by saying that Saint Paul did not mean that the act of homesexual love was unatrual,but the abuse of it was,however this is slightly unclear
The footnote on 1 Timonthy 8-11 by the USCCB states
"Those responsible for the speculations that are to be suppressed by Timothy do not present the Old Testament from the Christian viewpoint. The Christian values the Old Testament not as a system of law but as the first stage in God’s revelation of his saving plan, which is brought to fulfillment in the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ."
This reveals to us that the act of Homesexuality as it is described in the Old Testament as sinful is not necessarily Christian Law, but rather part of God's First stage of Salvation
Chapter 2 Conclusion Therefore,while definitively not Infallibile,the conclusion of this document is that there is no definitive New Covenant Biblical bases for the disapproval of Homesexuality,however Christ gave the Church the authority to proclaim Christ Teaching,and therefore,just because it is not in the Bible doesn't mean homesexuality is in line with The Teachings of Our Lord and Savior,Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Chapter 3 On "Non Binary," "Third Genders," and "They/Them pronouns,"
Genesis 1:27 states -
27-God created mankind in his image;
in the image of God, he created them;
male and female* he created them
The footnote given by the USCCB states
"Male and female: as God provided the plants with seeds (vv. 11, 12) and commanded the animals to be fertile and multiply (v. 22), so God gives sexuality to human beings as their means to continue in existence."
Also, note that Genesis states that man and women came from each other and were once One.This has potential to theological development, but more time and research is needed to process this.
Based on this,this document can this not justify that the Catholic Church can recognize "Third Genders,or Non Binaryness" as God Created only two Genders Male and Female.A mix of the two sexes may be possible,but more evidence is needed to even consider this seriously.
Chapter 4 On the Ordination of Women
You may have noticed Genesis states that "God Created Man and Woman in his image" this could be a reasonable argument for the Holy Ordination of Women,however it should be noted that while Jesus had many Female Disciples,he did not have any Female Apostles.
The following information,Passages, and reference belong to the Catholic.com Website in an article written by Jason Evert
1 Corinthians 12:5-9 states
There are varieties of service, but the same Lord . . . All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. . . . If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. . . . If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. . . . Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles . . . Are all apostles?” (1 Cor. 12:5–29).
This shows us that while Saint Paul may have said "Women or Man,No matter" he was referring to the role of all of us as the Body of Christ,while not everyone is subject to every role,everyone has a different role in the Body of Christ,this Biblical Passage could also be used to argue that God designated and designed each Humans role in the Body of Christ at Birth and that Role should not be reconstructed
It should also be noted that the Bible refrences a female "Phobe" who is a deacon.Combine that with the matter that Temporary Diaconate is not full Preistly Ordination and the lower case ordination of Women may be possible in the form of temporary Deacons.
Pope John Paul II declared, “Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Luke 22:32), I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful
Therefore, this document is in agreement that the Ordination of Women Onto the Holy Ordination and the Sacrament of Holy Orders is declared definitively incorrect,however, female Diaconate may be Scripturally,Theologically,and Spirtualy possible.
Chapter 5 On Transgenderism and the use of Hormone Replacement Therapy(HRT) and Sex Reassignment Surgery(SRS)
1.The Bible doesn't give any clear insight on the Early Churchs exact position on Gender Ideology,therefore we as the Body of Christ must primarily rely on current medicial and psychological findings aswell as Church Teachings rooted in Scripture and Tradition
2.The Catholic Church currently teaches that one is born and conceived Male or Female,and that to try and change this is an act of disobedience of God's Ultimate Design of Humanity,Catholic and Christian Transgenders claim they are not acting out of disobedience,but rather are medically aligning their "God Given Identity" with their Physical Form.
- This should be taken relatively seriously, however,as most medical and psychological institutions agree that "Gender Dysphoria" is not simply a disorder but a realization of one's true identity and a genuine medical concern
4.The use of pronouns that do not align with a Person's God-Given Gender is prohibited by the Church,however a Male living a Feminine life style while recognizing he is still a Male at Birth,and vice versa,is not taken as an act of disobedience toward ones own biological gender by the Church
5.New Ways Ministry,A organization dedicated to building a bridge between the LGBTQ Community and the Catholic Church(not necessarily in full Communion with the Church)seems to support idea of Gender Ideology,however evidence to suggest anything further is low.
- Tia Michelle,an openly intersexual and transgender,received support from her Preist at the idea of becoming a Nun,Tia has stated that there is nothing stated in the Bible that undermines the credibility of Christian Transgenders and that,like aerospace engineering,our modern idea of this concept did not exist at the time of the Bibles writing.The Catholic Church has not responded to this case at the time of writing.
- Pope Francis famous "Who am I to Judge?" quote on Gay Preisthood suggests his openess to the idea od acceptance of an "LGBTQ" lifestyle,however this quote was directed toward Homesexuals and does not mean the Church support the use of HRT or SRS,additionally Pope Francis was likely referring to the fact that homesexuality in itself isn't sinful,rather the act upon this tendency is the sin in question.
8.The LGBTQ Community,especially the Transgender community revolve heavily around the arguably selfish idea that their attraction and change is based on what they desire and their feelings and what makes them happy.This is contrary to Church Teaching because God's will and Feelings are more important than ours.However it should be noted that some people do feel very strongly about their identity and believe it is in Communion with God's will and The Salvation of the World,and that one's own medical and mental needs are permitted to be fulfilled by the Church.
- Something to point out is that all Catholics believe in the Reuninfication of Body and Soul at the Second Coming,this could be taken to suggest that Body and Soul are 2 different things that can be separated in the form of Transgenderism,or that Body and Soul are 2 things that work together in harmony with each other.However,in Catholic Teaching,while on Earth you are your body,and so to separate solid and biological sex with a social "twin",Gender, could be harmful,we may even be seeing the effects of this rapid accepting of this ideology today.
Conclusion Therefore,as the act of conforming to one's psychological and medical identity is described as Gender Ideology,the act of using HRT,SRS,and Opposite Sex Pronouns should very much be up for open debate and change in the Church based on current medical and psychological findings.
Chapter 6 On Abortion and Sexual Intercourse
The Catholic Churches stances on abortion are very clear,the act of purposeful termination of a human fetus is to commit a serious sin,that of murder.However many people disagree with this as they claim that decision is the right of Woman,and not the Church.This can be proved false,as any Child that has the potential to be born,albeit even with serious medical conditions or without a biological family to support them,has the right to live.Even Science supports the Pro Life Movement,as life begins at conception in the scientific world aswell.However,a Child who ends up in one of these difficult situations is the moral and just responsibility of society to raise and educate,we do not kill people with Cerebal Palsy because of their condition,even if they suffer because of it,do we? We do not terminate the life of someone in foster care,do we not?Also,Groups Like Catholics for Choice seem to have no Scriptural or Theological bases for their beliefs and claim that the majority of Catholis believe in abortion,however likely the majority of lapsed Catholics are the ones who believe in this act of murder,however evidence to prove this is lacking,although likely.However in very rare and specific circumstances,(eg,the mother and child are both in danger) and unintential death of the child may occur.This shows that while abortion is a serious act of murder,in certain very specific situations,some form of "abortion" may have to occur.Also,any Religion that claims and abortion is mandatory is wrong,while religious Freedom is a God-Given right,nowhere should the act of innocent murder be a freedom of humans.Therefore it is with confidence I can conclude that the act of abortion,while in many situations may be desirable as pregnancy is a very,very difficult Miracle to go through,is wrong and the Catholic Church has no right to agree to or support this act of murder unless a very specific circumstance occurs,unintential in this case.
The Act of In Virto Fertilization,while may seem Unitive,is not considered such.The Gift of life in the form of Sexual Intercourse is required for a relationship to be Unitive,as this is what God has desired for us.However the Church must be empathetic with infertile couples and hear their situations and stories out.Using Contraception during Intercourse may be Unitive,but it is not open to the gift of procreation and life,and therefore cannot be supported by the Catholic Church.However,Couples who cannot conceive naturally but do not lack the procreative and unitive intentions could potentially be a reason for just changing of this teaching,and should be listened to,aswell as those who are victims of Rape and Incest so long as the Contraception is not in the form of Murder(abortion).
Additionally,the Sacrament of Marriage is required for two to become one flesh,this is transparently stated in the Bible by Jesus Christ Himself,and therefore the Church must never conform to the Societal acceptance of Pre Marital Intercourse and the related social and medical,including mental, issues caused by such acts.
Chapter 7 On Asexuality and Aromanticness
The Catholic Churchs stance on Asexuality is clear,No person is without the desire of the gift of life,to not have any sexual stance is impossible,however the Churchs Clergy practices the desire to not have sexual or romantic relationships,therefore Sexual Aromantancy is fine,However Nonsexual Asexuality is non existent as God made all Humans in his image,even the infertile.
Chapter 8 A conclusion on these findings
Therefore Brothers and Sisters in Christ,I believe I can say with confidence that while writing this,I have felt the support of the Holy Spirit through me,whether that means an approval of my proposals,or a desire for this document to be proven false,I am not sure,but with the full confidence of The Most Holy Trinity,I can say that the Church’s stance on Homesexuality,including Lesbianism,is very much up for discussion and Biblical discourse,additionally it may be said that these findings can be proven "Natrual" (However,see section on Saint Paul's "Male and Female gave up Natrual Relations and turned to unatrual relations with their same sex."),Additionally the Church’s stance on Gender Ideology can be considered medically,psychological,and theologically incorrect in certain instances,Being Non Binary(No Gender) on the other can be said as with confidence wrong as God Created just Man and Woman,although certain Catholics and Non Catholics alike disagree with this and should be heard out.Also keep in note the specefic mention of Man and Women coming from each other from One.The Combination of Two Genders/Sexes may be possible if proven Solid based on Medical and Psychological findings.Premarital Intercourse,Non Unitive,and Non Pro Creational intercourse can be said as wrong as Marriage,Unity,and Procreation are required for the proper,just,and God Given use of Sex.Abortion,however I can say with confidence is murder,as there are ways around it and ways to help Children who are saved from the Abortion Holocaust,whether Society has the ethical and morality to take these steps is unclear to Man,unfortunately.Aromanticness,the desire to refrain from sexual and romantic relationships is already practiced by Church Clergy,however the idea that a person cannot have some form of Sexual Drive or Desire,even if smaller than others,is wrong.The Ordination of Woman into the Holy Orders of Preisthood has been definitely declared as outside of the Churches Authority by John Paul and until the Church takes a different stand in this,this should be considered Christian Law,albeit up for some slight discussion.
Therefore Brothers and Sisters,as God has given us free will and reasoning to further the Church in her Glory,I formally conclude this document "lus corporis"(The right of the body),and propose this to the Catholic Church:The Right of the Body belongs to God,however based on Medical,Psychological,Theological,and Biblical findings,the definition of what we consider to be altering God's Ultimate Design for us all is very much up for discussion and debate
I thank you for taking the time to read this letter,and once again emphasize the importance of following current Church Teaching as Christian Law,even if that Teaching or Teachings are debatable,Because the Vatican must listen to the pleas and cries of the Body of Christ,Amen.
"Be strong and courageous for the Lord is with you,"
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2023.05.28 20:47 spartachilles Midterms of 1938 A House Divided Alternate Elections
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Rising to the presidency under hotly contested circumstances by rallying the government to legally depose President Howard P. Lovecraft due to his infirmity, the first days of the Hayes presidency were far from smooth. Despite having held office for just 28 days, President Lovecraft and his inner group of supporters had spread their tendrils widely throughout the government, rushing quickly to appoint as many like-minded individuals as possible to positions of power within the government. Even after forcing the resignation of the whole Lilienthal clique the day before swearing his oath of office, President Hayes found himself preoccupied for weeks with comprehensively rooting out the Formicist movement from the federal government and finding enough of his own allies to fill in the many gaps left behind after the Formicist anthill had been scoured. Especially as the vast majority of the Formicists given positions of power in government had been white men, Hayes was particularly lauded for his appointment of substantially more women and people of color than any of his other predecessors. Perhaps nothing else more symbolized his commitment to equal rights than his choice to fill in the vacant office of Vice President, the widely celebrated union leader and Florida Senator Asa Philip Randolph.
Sensing more enemies lurking in the dark than just those in the Formicist movement, President Hayes was also quick to meet with Representative Samuel Dickstein, the longtime chair of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Feeling that their work had been neglected by the Dewey administration, Hayes worked with allies in Congress to ensure an appropriation of more resources to the Committee. The result was a reinvigoration of the White Scare that had followed the Cape Cod Invasion in the earlier decade, with high-profile hearings once again delving into the unsavory history of the DuPont chemical company and making new inroads into areas such as the film industry. Perhaps even more incendiary was Attorney General O. John Rogge’s string of prosecutions of figures implicated in Smedley D. Butler’s Business Plot allegations such as business executive Grayson M.P. Murphy and even former General James G. Harbord. Completing the circle was Secretary of Education George S. Counts, returned to his office after a brief interruption during the Lovecraft presidency, who initiated a nationwide endeavor for a standardized curriculum surrounding the history of Grantism designed to achieve a “social reconstruction”
underscoring the “moral equality of man”
and critical of societal institutions “inimical to the underlying principles of democracy.”
Once his position had been secured, Hayes hoped to spend the next years of his presidency agitating for the final realization of President Dewey’s Great Community and perhaps even to drive it into further adoption across all facets of American life and the economy. However, another issue would instead come to consume his presidency. Starting as all things do in the Balkans, the disintegration of the Triple Monarchy of Austria-Hungary-Croatia
led to a European crisis
after the Kingdom of Italy occupied territory claimed by the German Empire. With the pleas of the International Court of Justice falling on deaf ears, the conflict rapidly spiraled into continent-spanning war
after successive escalations by the powers of Europe. Even the socialist Republic of Spain, which had professed neutrality as the war broke out was near-simultaneously consumed by a civil war mimicking the patterns of the wider European war. But it was not only Europe that was thrust into the flames of war, Asia too exploded into open conflict
in the summer of 1938. After long-rising tensions finally reached a climax, the Japanese Empire launched an unsteady attack that rapidly transformed into a full-scale invasion of China replete with horrific war crimes and massacres of civilians.
Hayes’ position on foreign affairs was nothing if not clear, furiously denouncing the “military madness and tyranny”
of the French-Italian Pact of Steel and particularly attacking their sponsorship of the Nationalist rebels in Spain as an assault on global socialism. Likewise, Hayes echoed the sentiments of the late President Bliss in denouncing Japan for “sowing the dragon’s teeth of militarism”
. Yet President Hayes did not solely content himself with words, and made several bold moves to counter the threat he saw in international Integralism. After the sinking of two passenger liners carrying American civilians by French naval forces, Hayes successfully extracted an indemnity from the French government to compensate the victims and threatened to impose an embargo of ever-valuable coal and iron if further transgressions were made. Holding a strong affinity for the socialist government of Spain that was under siege by the Nationalist revolt, Hayes also openly fostered the formation of American volunteer units to fight on behalf of the Spanish government, though his efforts to send material aid failed at the hands of Solidarists and Federalist Reformists reluctant to provide such aid to a radically socialist government. However, such skepticism did not extend to the longtime American ally of China (perhaps in part thanks to deeply established commercial ties), prompting the authorization of arms and supply shipments to China through the British port of Guangzhou as well as substantial embargoes on the flow of the same going to Japan. In order to disarm the threat of large-scale strikes posed by longshoremen leader Harry Bridges and mine workers leader John L. Lewis, Hayes met with both and, using the panache of a former union man still extraordinarily popular with the rank and file, credibly threatened to get both of them voted out of their union presidencies if they did not cooperate and thus secured the free flow of goods out of Pacific harbors.
Of course, these issues of foreign affairs did not totally consume the domestic politics of the nation. In August of 1937, the Council of Censors published its first annual report on the operations of the government, producing a document harshly detailing millions of dollars that had been misspent or unaccounted for in federal appropriations and noted dozens upon dozens of instances of incompetent management among the civil service in the administration of the Great Community. Hoping to forge his own identity as the Speaker of the House even after his Formicist allies had been overthrown in the executive branch, Walter Rautenstrauch thus pushed the first substantial civil service reform bill in 50 years through the House of Representatives, designed to enact stringent requirements on newly created positions across the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, and the Interior. Although the bill passed through the Senate thanks in part to public pressure from the Council of Censors, it earned a controversial veto as President Hayes attacked it as an antidemocratic measure designed to lessen control of the people over the government. Economically, the country showed signs of recovery from the depths of unemployment seen earlier in the Depression, but this coincided with increasingly rampant inflation as prices began to skyrocket across a wide variety of goods in the market as well as an increasingly staggering national debt. Yet with the House of Representatives largely deadlocked and the Senate determined to preserve the Great Community, little change was made to the economic policies of the nation aside from the nationalization of the merchant marine after several Federalist Reformist Representatives under the leadership of Royal C. Johnson crossed the aisle on the basis of preventing war profiteering and ensuring national defense. Also notable was the long-awaited referendum on the future of the Congo, in which independence won by a large margin, though Hayes moved to push the future independence of the territory back by another ten years in light of the dangerous international situation.
But as Americans once again head to the polls, several new incidents have brought foreign affairs to the fore of the national election. Following the brutal Battle of Nanjing, the USS Asheville was sunk by Japanese aircraft during an evacuation mission of American nationals and many of the remaining survivors were strafed by gunfire in the open water, among a litany of other acts of violence and brutality perpetrated on American civilians. Furthermore, reports streaming into the country from China detailed crimes against humanity perpetrated on an unimaginable scale by the invading Japanese army. Meanwhile, the House Un-American Activities Committee shocked the nation by reopening the previously cold investigation into the Cape Cod Invasion, announcing that the State Department turned over new documents suggesting that Ulysses Grant III and other ringleaders of the attempted overthrow of the democratic government had had extended communications with the Italian foreign ministry, leading many tabloids to conclude that Mussolini had himself sponsored the effort to return the Grant dictatorship to America. Thus, while weighing these new developments against the myriad other considerations surrounding the ongoing wars abroad, the American people now must decide how to react. As President Hayes has put it while stumping for the Social Democratic Party, “shall we ignore the call of our homeland, of liberty-loving Spain, of outraged and devastated Belgium, of heroic Britain and China, of starving Croatia?” Social Democrats
On domestic issues, the Social Democratic Party is remarkable for the unity fostered by President Dewey and his Great Community. While there remains much debate on the extent of government control over the economy and the mechanics of how they should be transferred out of private control, virtually the whole of the Social Democratic Party agrees that the nationalization of monopolistic industries such as the electric power, natural gas, and utilities industries are the most immediate priorities for extending worker control over the economy and putting an end to exploitative practices by business. Although largely content with the current regime of large deficit spending, dovish monetary policy, and a hefty taxation scheme, Social Democrats have continued to press for expansions to the land value tax in particular as a means to raise additional revenue to address the national debt while combating the pernicious effects of land ownership. Additionally, thanks to the advocacy of President Frank J. Hayes following many other predecessors, the Social Democrats have mobilized in favor of a system of universal sickness insurance to continue the extension of the expansive social safety net implemented with President Dewey’s Great Community. Blaming the greed of private businesses for the recent uptick in inflation and claiming that they have used the economic recovery as an excuse to extort average workers, President Hayes and the Social Democratic Party have called for the implementation of price controls on basic necessities and essentials of life if the inflation continues. However, while broadly unified on the matter of domestic matters, the same cannot be said of foreign affairs, where there remains an acrimonious split in the party.
are those who broadly support the struggle of the Spanish Republic, the Chinese Republic, and the Anglo-German Grand Alliance against the Integralist powers of France, Italy, and Japan. Framing the ongoing world war as a struggle of the forces of liberty and labor against the military tyranny of the Integralist ideology, the interventionist Social Democrats believe that action must be taken against France, Italy, and Japan lest Integralism once again threaten the United States. To this end, the interventionists have wholeheartedly backed the theory that Mussolini’s Italy were the backers of the Cape Cod Invasion that sought to restore Grantist rule to America, and point to the little-disputed French and Italian support for Nationalist Spain as evidence. Thus, under the leadership of notables such as New Jersey Senator Upton Sinclair, Montana Senator Jerry J. O’Connell, and Minnesota Representative John Bernard, the interventionists have come to support the rearmament of the United States, the sending of arms and material aid to Spain and China in particular, and even the entry of the United States into the war if it proves necessary. Some interventionists, such as Californian Robert A. Heinlein, have even gone so far as to claim universal military training as a fundamentally socialist concept that could be incorporated into a wider scheme of national service. However, many of the Social Democratic interventionists remain uncomfortable with the idea of allying the nation with the authoritarian monarchy of the German Empire, especially due to its repression of left-wing elements, but see it a necessary and lesser evil due to the less expansionist and ideological tendencies of the Kaiser. Broadly speaking, the interventionists tend to be more moderate than their isolationist counterparts, supporting a more limited vision of worker control of the economy and social spending, though there remain some radicals deeply committed to the international preservation and spread of socialism.
meanwhile have harshly denounced international conflict as the “fruit of the perpetual economic warfare of capitalism”
and insisted on the strict neutrality of the United States through the enforcement of an embargo on all belligerent powers with no further distinction to avoid sponsoring any type of warfare. Under the leadership of Connecticut Senator Devere Allen, New York Governor Norman Thomas, and Wisconsin Governor Daniel Hoan, the isolationists have attacked any efforts at the militarization of American society, believing that it will inherently lead to the oppression of the working class and return of dictatorship to the country. More than anything else, the isolationists have harshly denounced the thought of entering the war by alleging modern war to be inherently suicidal and causing an incalculable strain on the working class. Moreover, those within the isolationist camp have strongly questioned the underpinnings of the interventionist argument, arguing that Germany is as much of an enemy to the working class as the Integralists and questioning the commitment of Chiang Kai-Shek to any socialist ideals. Perhaps the most controversial position has come from civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois
, who has argued that an intervention against Japan would merely foster a return of European colonialism in Asia. However, with most of the Social Democratic isolationists having an affinity for pacifism, few are content with simply letting the world war play its course. Instead, the isolationists concur that the American government and the wider socialist movement must agitate for a general strike by workers of all the belligerent powers to bring an end to the war, and perhaps realize worldwide socialist revolution. In general, the isolationists skew more radical than the interventionists, often favoring the inflammatory Declaration of Principles authored by Devere Allen that supports wide-reaching nationalizations of much of the economy. Solidarity
While Solidarity has long held members of both conservative and progressive stripes, the differences between them has become largely diminutive in the face of the sweeping leftward march of President Dewey’s Great Community. Attacking the fiscal policies of the Social Democratic Party as reckless and irresponsible, Solidarity is unified in the demand for federal spending to be drastically cut as a countermeasure against explosive inflation of prices and to avert the looming possibility of a sovereign debt crisis. Moreover, Solidarity argues that the overly expansive size of the federal government under the Social Democratic administrations has lent itself to the rise of governmental corruption and labor racketeering, and thus has come to largely favor civil service reform. Still cognizant of the risk of a return to economic crisis, Solidarity remains supportive of a dovish monetary policy designed to expand the money supply and thereby avoid a slip back into the deflation of the Great Depression, and many of its progressive members favor reasonable antitrust measures and other regulations to prevent the exploitative industry practices. Although the distinction has been encroached upon the Social Democratic Party under Presidents Dewey and Hayes, Solidarity also has a reputation as the strongest defender of civil rights in American politics, with many of its populations favoring greater action to end discrimination in private business and ensure the equality of African Americans and women in American life. Much like their Social Democratic peers, Solidarity has also been beset by a growing rift between two camps of thought on foreign affairs ever since the dream of international arbitration died alongside its champion former President George Foster Peabody in the midst of a world war.
are those that support the struggle of China against the invasion by the Japanese Empire and the Anglo-German Grand Alliance against the invasions by France and Italy. Believing the Integralist powers to be aggressors impossible to reason with who have destroyed the world peace so painfully architected by their party two decades ago, figures such as Connecticut Governor Raymond E. Baldwin, House Leader Charles Phelps Taft II, and former presidential nominee Wendell Willkie see little alternative but to take drastic action to preserve the world order. The interventionists, feeling an affinity towards the democracy of the United Kingdom, have also been quick to frame the conflict as one between the democratic way of life and the aggressive authoritarianism of the Integralist ideology. Thus, they favor a measured rearmament plan to prepare the United States for an eventual conflict, as well as policies designed to contain the war-making abilities of France, Italy, and Japan. Although some hold a distant hope for being able to arbitrate this world war in much the same way as the last, most of the interventionists have become convinced that an American intervention into the war, particularly in Europe, will be necessary to avoid world domination by aggressive Integralist powers antithetical the civil liberties and democratic values which Solidarity has cherished since its foundation. While expressing some hesitancy to the idea of intervening on behalf of the German Empire after its recent dissolution of the Reichstag, the interventionists have a greater faith in the German commitment to the restoration of the Hague system of international affairs and believe that they may be able to pressure for the reintroduction of democratic government in the country. Unlike the Social Democrats, the Solidarist interventionists are skeptical of the socialist Spanish Republic and largely reluctant to commit to supporting it. On the whole, the interventionists tend to be more progressive than their isolationist colleagues, favoring a greater degree of regulation in the economy and more willing to compromise with the Social Democrats to preserve the Great Community.
instead believe that the collapse of the Hague system is the ultimate proof that the United States should turn inwards and avoid foreign entanglements. Rejecting the idea that America is responsible for the preservation of democracy abroad, the isolationists believe that the interventionists are merely intent on drawing the country into a bloody and expensive war that may well invite the very tyranny they claim to be opposing. Instead, as typified by leaders such as Michigan Representative Arthur H. Vandenberg, Ohio Representative Robert A. Taft, and Florida Representative Zora Neale Hurston, isolationists instead support a strict program of embargo on all belligerent powers designed to show no favoritism to either party and ensure that further incidents such as the sinkings of the USS Asheville or the SS Scharnhorst are avoided. Thus, they argue, the country would be able to avoid being drawn into the war and focus on maintaining its prosperity and addressing its many domestic issues. Moreover, they believe that if the United States is able to steer clear of the raging international conflict, it might naturally emerge in a dominant international position after the war has run its course. The isolationists also distrust broad rearmament programs, believing that wantonly strengthening the peacetime military could result in a return of Grantism and military dictatorship in the country. The isolationists tend to be largely conservative, taking a harder line against government spending and believing in a restrained role of government in regulating the economy. Federalist Reform
Broadly dominated by its New Nationalist wing, the domestic platform of the Federalist Reform Party remains largely centered around the ideas pioneered by its thought leader Charles Edward Merriam though there remain some more conservative skeptics. Although much like Solidarity the party sees the deficit spending of the Social Democratic Party as fiscally irresponsible and philosophically disagree with the nationalization of industry, the Federalist Reform Party holds a markedly different view on the relationship between the government and the economy. United around a belief in the need for a strong executive to successfully regulate the economy and push forward their governmental initiatives, the Federalist Reform Party supports cooperation between government planning experts and the private sector to avert cutthroat competition, direct the economy towards more profitable investments, and regulate the excesses and failures of the market economy. They also support a more limited program of public works spending to help stimulate the economy under the framework of a balanced budget. Blaming President Dewey’s removal of the country from the gold standard for the recent inflation, the Federalist Reform Party has called for more hawkish monetary policies if not an outright return to the gold standard to help control inflation in conjunction with a balanced budget. Hoping to strike a middle ground between a respect for labor and controls against radical leftism, the Federalist Reform Party generally favors the maintenance of many current union protections while also calling for a criminal syndicalism law that would outlaw the advocacy of the use of violence to effect political or economic change. Yet perhaps one of the party’s most defining traits is its stringent denunciation of corruption in government, calling for it to be comprehensively rooted out through civil service reform and anti-corruption efforts while blaming the Social Democrats for fostering the growth of graft and crime from within the government. Unsurprisingly, the Federalist Reform Party has also become bifurcated along the lines of interventionism and isolationism in the face of the global war.
of the party see it as in the nation’s best interests to intervene in the world war on behalf of the Anglo-German Grand Alliance and the Chinese Republic. Displaying a more coldly practical perspective, the interventionists, led by figures such as House Leader Harry Hopkins, former Senator Harold L. Ickes, and newer faces such as W. Averell Harriman have noted that the deep commercial and financial ties between the United States and the United Kingdom, Germany, and China leave it little choice but to intervene in the conflict. Moreover, they argue that if France, Italy, and especially Japan are left to succeed in the world war, they will surely pose a direct military threat that America will sooner or later be compelled to confront. Instead, they believe that the United States should intervene sooner rather than later to ensure that it can better project its influence in whatever new order may result after the end of the war, and have particularly taken aim at the threat posed by Imperial Japan with its formidable navy. Although holding few of the reservations that the other parties do about committing to open war, the interventionists agree that the country is woefully underprepared for an international war after years of military neglect by the previous presidential administrations. Thus, they have pragmatically suggested that the country rely on providing material aid to its future allies while embargoing its anticipated enemies and embarking on an ambitious rearmament program. The cornerstone of such a rearmament program would be the implementation of universal military training compelling all young men into a period of military service in preparation for an eventual war, a program which they hope to maintain in the long term due to other claimed benefits such as the installation of a spirit of discipline and nationalism. Having a certain affinity for more authoritarian government, the Federalist Reformist interventionists have not shied away from aligning with the German Empire, but have been rather critical of the alleged corruption of Chiang Kai-Shek’s China and have ruled out entirely the idea of intervening on behalf of radical socialism in Spain.
of the party, largely ruled by Chicago Tribune publisher Robert R. McCormick but also supported by Congressional figures such as Hamilton Fish III, have argued that America has nothing to fear from the global war should it pursue a prudent policy of national defense. Much like the isolationists in the other parties, they have largely called for an embargo on all belligerent powers to avoid offending any particular side or otherwise drawing the country into the war. Yet much unlike the other isolationists, they have nonetheless strongly supported a national program of rearmament and universal military training under a policy of armed neutrality to guarantee the nation’s security and safety from foreign threats. This, they argue, is the best course to ensure that the country is not attacked or otherwise forced into the war. Disagreeing with the assessment of their other Federalist Reformist peers, the isolationists argue that the United States has nothing to fear from any foreign power due to its naturally defensible position with oceans separating it from any dangers. Likewise, they argue that commercial bonds can easily be reforged either with fellow neutral nations or with the victorious powers. On the whole, many of the isolationists are also conservative skeptics of the New Nationalist movement who favor less government intervention in the economy and blame overly powerful unions for the nation’s economic woes. While the political scene has become rife with fiery condemnations for opposing opinions on foreign affairs, the Federalist Reformist isolationists have acquired a more unsavory reputation than their counterparts in other parties. Still lurking within the party are those remaining hardliners and outright Grantists who openly sympathize with the Integralists and have pragmatically backed the isolationist position in the hopes that France, Italy, and Japan can continue to press their advantageous position to victory. With figures ranging from radio priest Charles Coughlin to former Georgia Senator Eugene Talmadge, their political views range from populism bordering on the Social Democratic platform to archconservatism, but they remain united by their admiration for Integralists such as Mussolini and their stringent isolationism. View Poll
2023.05.28 20:41 Emerald_Aussie School of Beards Chapter 27: “BeardSchool is Out (for Summer)!”
We have done it. The end of another school year! Before we jump into this last set of stories, remember to subscribe to ReddX, home of the best cringe content on YouTube. Promise, swearsies, it’s just a fact and it’s totally science. Go ahead and look it up!
I miss that intro a lot so I figured I’d just write it in. I waited until after graduation to post this because, with ManiBeard at graduation, I figured anything could happen. And it did. And with that, let’s jump into this last set of beardy tales (for this school year). Let’s a-go.
- “No Place Like Home (Campus)”
I was in a pretty good mood because I found out that district was ticked off at admin for considering moving my Cave to a different room next year and because they keep using my Cave as ‘backup’ for state testing. Evidently, the district was unaware this was happening but after I had complained to Cook about the extent of it she went to the district and, well, I’m keeping my Cave next year right where it is, and testing use will be limited. I won without lifting a finger. Sometimes bureaucracy works. Not often, but it’s beautiful when it does.
Of course, that good mood was not to last…
On this day I had a meeting with all the other Graphic Design teachers at another campus. We will call it Clique High School (because ‘cult’ may or may not be YouTube-friendly).
The first thing you need to know is I have a history with CHS. Remember, all the way back in chapter 1 where I mention I was a substitute teacher at Standard High before they hired me as a teacher? Well, there was one part I left out because it was irrelevant to that story, but it becomes relevant here. It is true I did sub at SHS, but the part I left out was that for half of the 2020-2021 school year (Covid year), I was a long-term sub at another campus and that campus was Clique High School. To say it was a poor experience would be underselling it immensely. You could say that Elon Musk is well off but that doesn’t really express the massive mounds of money that malevolent menace truly had. Likewise, saying I had a poor experience at CHS doesn’t really express the absolutely traumatizing, terrible, troublesome experience that my life there. It got so bad that I would leave work, cry the entire 30-minute drive to SHS, pick up Beatle, and make him drive the rest of the way home because my eyes were sore from crying.
What did I do at CHS? Well, I was a long-term sub in ESL. That’s where I got my start with it. When I walked in at the start of that year I’d never had a high school classroom before, I had no lesson plans, limited access to the curriculum since I was a sub, and I was teaching virtually because Covid…and what did I do? I build a curriculum, bonded with my class, and wrote my own lesson plans (even though subs generally don’t write plans). Basically, I rebuilt their ESL program. I did apply for the job. After all, I was already doing all of the work for substitute pay. I may as well get teacher pay for being a teacher. Right? Wrong.
They did interview me for the job but then proceeded to yank me around for half a semester before finally saying they were going to hire someone else. Who? No idea. But not me. But they wanted me to continue to long-term sub and do what I was doing until they found someone. Honestly, when I didn’t get the job part of me was pissed because of all the work I put in, but part of me was relieved. You see, the culture at CHS isn’t like the culture at SHS. Their principal, whom we will call Mr. D (for reasons that will soon be clear), had been named the district’s principal of the year and his staff completely fawned over him…a staff mostly comprised of women. The male-to-female ratio at CHS was considerably more unbalanced than at SHS. What struck me as odd was that Mr. D did not seem to warrant such admiration. During my interactions with him, I got slimy car salesman vibes more than high school principal. I would come to find out that this went deeper than I knew.
Remember AVIDBeard? Yeah, to her credit she was the one that warned me. Mostly I think she saw a chance to gossip, but nonetheless. I was visiting SHS and telling the English dept. how much I missed subbing for them (they actually liked me at this time…this was long before EnglishBeard even worked there so certainly before that whole thing made me a pariah). They missed me too. Although honestly, they missed having a sub at their becken call. Let’s be real. Anyway, AVIDBeard was all too happy to jump in with gossip.
“Be careful over there Mandy,” AVIDBeard said.
“Why? What do you know?” I asked.
“I had a training over there once and this teacher that works there started freaking out because the instructor, who was also a teacher there, was late. She started to have an anxiety attack and when I asked her what was wrong she said ‘Daddy isn’t going to like this’,” AVIDBeard explained.
“What?!” everyone in the room asked at once.
AVIDBeard nodded, “I know! So I asked her, ‘you call your principal Daddy?’ and she said ‘of course.’.”
I raised an eyebrow. I was skeptical, to say the least. Even then I knew AVIDBeard was not a reliable source. But, on the off chance she was telling the truth I had to know. CHS wasn’t exactly full of friendly teachers. In fact, where everyone at SHS had been welcoming, it had been the very opposite at CHS. They treated me like an outsider they were skeptical of. I had managed to at least have somewhat of a dialogue with the librarian. She helped me to ensure that my ESL students had books in their native languages to read during the pandemic. I went to her one day to ask about scheduling some book pick-ups for the students (this was when teachers were on-campus but students were virtual).
“Hey, can I ask you something?” I asked after we had figured out scheduling.
“Sure, what’s up?” she asked.
“OK, so it’s dumb, but someone told me you guys call Mr. D ‘daddy’. Silly, right?” I said with a laugh.
She just blinked, “Who told you that?”
Her reaction caught me off guard. She wasn’t laughing. My eyes widened, “Um, I don’t remember, it just got mentioned in passing.”
“Don’t ask anyone else that question…just…don’t even mention it,” she said.
I blinked. I wanted out of this conversation, “OK, I won’t. I’ll just forget I ever heard about it.”
She nodded and turned away, “I have work to do. If you need more books let me know.”
I rushed back to my classroom. After that, the librarian was very cold toward me.
To this day I honestly believe that the reason Mr. D didn’t hire me was because I’m too strong-willed and I have a big mouth…neither fits well into a cult-like structure, which it is very obvious CHS is.
At the semester break, they hadn’t yet hired anyone and asked me to stay for the rest of the year as a long-term sub. Basically, they wanted to pay me sub pay for an entire year of teaching. I told them ‘no way’ and I begged the district and Mr. Principal to let me return to subbing at SHS. I didn’t even care that regular sub pay was less than long-term sub pay. I just wanted out…and it turns out it all worked in my favor because obviously Mr. Principal ended up hiring me for the very job that Mr. D rejected me from and I’m very happy where I am now. And I don’t even have to call Mr. Principal ‘daddy’. Gag! Say what you will about Standard High, but I’ll take it over CHS any day.
OK, I know that was a lot of backstory, but I truly need you to understand why I so vehemently loathe everything about CHS and moreover why even being there gives me a mild case of PTSD.
Alright then, where were we? Oh yeah. Meeting for Graphic Design teachers over at CHS. I was not happy about this because I hate being at CHS of course, but I also hated leaving my students with a sub this close to the end of the year. But, alas, there I was. I walked into the familiar, loathsome halls. Daddy was in the main hall greeting his subjects.
“Mandy? What are you doing here?” he asked as he looked me over. I was in full-school spirit mode. SHS staff shirt and matching school spirit Converse I had custom-made.
“Graphic Design meeting,” I said.
“Oh, you teach Graphic Design now?” he asked.
I nodded, “Yeah, I did so great at fixing their ESL program they gave me my true dream job and now I’m relaunching their graphic design program.” OK, so it was a bit of embellishment, but I wanted him to know that his loss was SHS’s gain.
“Shame…we have an ESL position open here at The Clique,” Mr. D said. That’s how he referred to his campus. Imagine if the school’s name was Blue Mountain High and he called it The Mountain. Yeah…cringey.
“Oh yeah? I heard Patty didn’t stay,” I said. Patty was who they hired instead of me. She ended up retiring after one year at ‘The Clique’.
“Yeah, well we hired Emmy to replace Patty and now she is leaving,” Mr. D said.
“Shame…yeah, I’m still at SHS and quite happy. I heard principals were turning to poaching from other high schools so I’ll save you the trouble. I’m not poachable,” I said, wanting to get away from him.
“You could have your old job in your old room,” Mr. D said in a tone that made me very uneasy.
“I have a perfectly lovely Cave. Besides, my husband works at SHS too and I like being on the same campus as the love of my life,” I said, pointedly.
“If you change your mind, let me know. Enjoy your meeting. Welcome back to The Clique,” Mr. D said as I quickly walked away to find the room Graphic Design was meeting in.
Now, this may come as a surprise to you all, but I am NOT a social creature. Truly. Beatle is my best friend and aside from Cali all my other friends are on the ReddX Discord (hence my desire to not get myself banned over there). And I am 150% ok with that. At that moment I wanted to be in my Cave more than anything. The pressure to be ‘on’ and social was beyond exhausting to me, especially this late in the year. But, always the professional, I mustered every bit of perky in me to be lovely to my other-campus counterparts.
This proved to be a challenge. One of them, more of a Karen than a Beard really, would not shut up about how amazing her campus was and how she never had issues with phones because her kids were so well-behaved. She also said she couldn’t post work early because they would have it done before they ever got to class. Oh, and of course she is teaching graphic design because she needed a break from her real job as an engineer. And oh, did she mention she is an engineer? Because she’s an engineer. She also went on and on about how she didn’t like the curriculum at another campus she was at so she complained and got 68 teachers from all over the country to back her up and they changed the whole curriculum to what she wanted. OK, whatever. I wanted to ask if everyone stood up and cheered too.
Another teacher was just insufferable. She kept asking for the same bloody stuff over and over even after being told it wasn’t in the budget. She didn’t know the cost of any of it, just that everything she wanted (think equipment and software licenses) was expensive and our budget is next to nothing right now. She didn’t even make arguments as to why we needed it. She just kept asking for the same stuff in the same way. All of it was stuff we didn’t need and most of us wouldn’t even use.
I contributed my thoughts on what I felt needed to be added to the curriculum, which was met with agreement. I really only had that one suggestion. The rest of the time I let them do their thing, which was woefully unorganized, disjointed, and overall a waste of time I could be grading papers. And so I decided that while they did their thing I would organize my Google Drive. As I was doing this I noticed something. I was still the owner on ALL the ESL files for SHS. Not just the ones I created…ALL OF THEM. If I were to hit delete SHS would literally have to start from scratch organizing their program with new teachers next year. But Ms. Dean did make clear I was to have nothing to do with ESL anymore. If I deleted the folders was that malicious compliance? Or just being a bitch for the sake of it? I still haven’t decided…I find the situation humorous, in not a bit morally ambiguous.
Ultimately, it was decided that 1 day wasn’t enough for our meeting so we would meet again one week later at the same place. I declined. I needed to be on my campus because I did have actual work to do. Grades would be due the day they wanted to meet. I wasn’t the only one. About half of the graphic design teachers agreed to meet again the following week and we would all be meeting again August 1st. So I get to start my school year back at ‘The Clique’. Lovely.
Yeah, this was a very real reminder that for all the beardery at Standard High, it could be SO much worse.
After that long mammoth of a tale that the last story was, here is a short one for you.
This happened the day after my meeting at CHS. Sonia wanted to end the school year with some team building so she asked Ms. Dean if they could have an off-campus team meeting at a nearby restaurant and grab some food. Ms. Dean told them no. Sonia then decided they would just order takeaway and do the same thing on campus. She reserved a conference room and everything.
So the day of the eat and meet came. Beatle had ordered some enchiladas and was looking forward to a hot meal during the workday. CovidBeard didn’t go because she said she wasn’t feeling well and needed to just go home early. I know that comes as a shock. Meanwhile, ManiBeard decided he would sit next to his bff, Beatle. ManiBeard hadn’t ordered any food because ‘the catering menu looked good, but nothing on the regular menu appealed to me’. What ManiBeard did have, however, was a bag of crackers. As Beatle tried to eat his food, ManiBeard both ate his crackers and talked at the same time. It didn’t take long for Beatle to realize that small bits of cracker crumbs were flying at him and his food. He shifted to the side to dodge the airborne particles that threatened to infect his space. It was here that ManiBeard declared he had signed his contract but still wasn’t sure if he would be back next year because he had until July 3rd to pull out of his contract and he really just didn’t want to make a commitment.
After the meeting, everyone went their own way, except ManiBeard, who cornered Beatle in the mudroom. I was in my Cave waiting for him when I got a text ‘SOS, I’ve been cornered! Mudroom!’
I sighed, “Come on Wee One. We have to go save Dad.”
Wee One chuckled, “Oh no.” She followed me faithfully as we headed downstairs.
“Oh, good, you’re here already. We gotta go Love. Wee One has that thing…see ya later ManiBeard!” I said as I grabbed Beatle’s arm as I passed and just kept walking.
The next day Beatle went into Sonia’s room for inclusion and she smiled at him, “Sure you got all the crumbs off?” she teased.
Beatle rolled his eyes, “Right?!”
Sonia nodded, “ManiBeard is why I don’t eat lunch in the workroom anymore. ManiBeard would walk over to me and just stand over me…like right over me…and talk while he ate which would just send food everywhere. One day he was eating some chicken salad and a piece of chicken flew out of his mouth and landed on my arm.”
“Oh bloody hell. That’s disgusting,” Beatle said before vowing not to be near ManiBeard eating ever again.
- “Little Lies”
Ever since it was announced PastorBeard was the new dept head he had been walking around like a roster puffing out his chest. He had also been going out of his way to talk to Beatle, as if to rub in that he got the dept head job and Beatle didn’t. It was annoying, but I stayed out of it. I even played nice when PastorBeard stopped me in the parking lot one day and asked me about my weekend plans while I was waiting for Beatle.
“What are you plans this weekend, Mandy?” PastorBeard asked as he leaned against the side of my car.
“Oh, nothing major. Weekend chores. Beatle has some school work to get done and he’s going to put some snake repellant in the yard…I’ll probably clean the house and spend some time with my mum,” I said, trying to be pleasant as I could be. What I really wanted to do was to tell him he was a bastard that should never teach, let alone lead a dept.
“You should come to watch me on Sunday. I’m preaching his weekend,” he said with a smile. His tone came off like he intended it to be a flex.
I forced a smiled, “No thanks. Not my thing.”
“God isn’t ‘your thing’?” he asked, leaning towards me a bit.
I took a step back, “Not the same one you believe in.” I started absentmindedly playing with the Flower of Aphrodite pendant I wore around my neck.
“Are you Catholic or something?” he asked.
I fought the urge to roll my eyes. People presumed since Beatle was Irish that we were a Catholic family a lot. Instead, I shook my head, “No. Actually, if you must know, I’m Pagan.”
PastorBeard looked taken aback, “Oh…I see.”
“So, while I appreciate the invite…not my thing,” I said again.
“You should come anyway. I’d love to look out on Sunday and see you there. And who knows? If you hear what I have to say you may change your mind about being pagan,” PastorBeard said with a cocky smile.
I looked around hoping Beatle and Wee One were going to be there soon, “I doubt it…anyway…um…I hate to keep you on a Friday.”
“I’m not in a rush. You’re fine,” he said, “Did you hear I’m the new dept head?”
“Yeah. I know,” I said, “Beatle told me. He applied to you know.”
“I know. They need someone that is a strong leader for the job though, someone that can guide the dept the way I guide the church. They can’t pick someone with a weak personality. A man should be able to lead…his church, his work, and of course his wife,” PastorBeard said pointedly.
“Uh huh…a good leader knows when to defer to those wiser than he,” I said as I saw Beatle and Wee One, “Love! Hey!” I waved.
Beatle saw PastorBeard and looked unhappy, “Hi PastorBeard.”
“Have a good weekend you guys. See you later Mandy…think about my offer,” he said as he went and got into his truck that sat on tires far too big for it.
“What was that?” Beatle asked when we got in the car.
I shrugged, “He was either hitting on me or he was just being a pompous arse…or both. Hard to say.”
And we went on our way.
The next work day Beatle walked into the workroom and saw PastorBeard in there talking to Vera (the assistant mentioned in chapter 26.)
“Just do your best to set them up for success,” PastorBeard told Vera as he walked out of the workroom.
“Are you ok mate?” Beatle asked her.
Vera shook her head, “We’re almost done. Almost there.”
“What happened?” Beatle asked.
“Well, only 2 of the kids in that group in the hall workspace need my help,” Vera said pointing to a group outside PastorBeard’s room, “The others are kids missing work and PastorBeard kicked them out of the classroom. I’m supposed to watch them and make sure they behave but they already told me they aren’t going to do anything.”
Beatle’s expression went dark, “You’re a SPED assistant. Not a babysitter.”
“I know, but I’ve never seen him actually help anyone. He doesn’t go around the room to help. Just tells them to be quiet and pokes them. I don’t know why he feels the need to touch them. He tells them if they need help they can go to him and he just sits at his desk the whole time…but no one is gonna go to him for help because they don’t like him,” Vera vented.
Beatle sighed, “You know he’s dept head next year, right?”
“Oh, I know. He told me no one else wanted it,” Vera said sadly.
Beatle blinked, “No ma’am. I interviewed for it.”
“That’s just what I heard,” Vera said.
“He lied,” Beatle shook his head.
What PastorBeard didn’t know is that Beatle had something else in the works…we weren’t sure it would pan out at this point (as of this writing we still aren’t), but Beatle wasn’t going to take PastorBeard’s crap lying down…and for that, I was proud of him.
- “Wrapping It Up”
3.5 days till summer. Grades were due. I sat at my computer to adjust the grade book and turned on some music. Not even kidding, ‘The Final Countdown’ was on the radio (yes, I listen to the radio. Satellite Radio to be precise). It was the perfect music for working on my end-of-year checklist. I felt like I was in a movie and this was my montage music!
We reached the point in the year when all the teachers were just playing movies. For my part, I was letting them watch the Super Mario Movie. I had some happy students. I also wrote Wee One a pass to spend the day in my room. She was done with her work and wanted to help me with some Graphic Design work for next year’s launch (we are launching an on-campus design firm). She asked me which workstation she could work at and I did the worst thing a mum can do to her child. I sat her next to my baby neckbeard. She started working but within 10 minutes she came to my desk.
“Mom…” she started.
I looked at her. “Excuse me?”
She sighed, “I’m sorry…Ms. Mandy?”
“Yes ma’am?” I asked her.
“Can I sit on the other side of the room…it’s less claustrophobic and I have a friend over there…” she trailed off.
I chuckled and leaned in so only she could hear me, “You don’t appreciate sitting next to the baby neckbeard?”
She looked sheepish, “Not really.”
“Can you smell him?” I asked.
She made a disgusted face, “Sort of, yeah.”
“OK, yes, go ahead and move,” I nodded.
In the meantime, Beatle was texting me:
Beatle: Why does ManiBeard always start class with “How are we?” instead of “How are you?”?
Mandy: Because that’s what’s in his programming.
Beatle: LMAO! Point. I will not miss him this summer. You know he said he is only helping with graduation because he didn’t help with either dance. I thought it was mandatory that we do one of the 1 dances.
Mandy: Sigh. 1) yes it is and I bet they got on him and forced him to help with graduation and 2) why the hell would they let him help with graduation? That event is stressful enough without adding ManiBeard to the mix.
Beatle: He said he rather work graduation because it’s his favorite event because he gets to see the kids move on.
Mandy: But he’s a freshman teacher. He doesn’t know many if any, seniors.
Beatle: I know! Oh, CovidBeard is leaving.
Mandy: WHAT?! FOREVER?!
Beatle: I’m watching her class for the rest of the period.
Mandy: Oh, just for today.
Beatle: Yeah. Don’t get too excited.
Mandy: Damn. 3.5 days left. Heaven forbid she stick it out.
And right about the time I was hoping my Beard encounters were over. At least until graduation…it happened. I had to email EnglishBeard. Why? Because I needed one of his students (who happened to be one of my most talented graphic design students) to come to my class the next day during his class. I cringed at having to interact with him. I asked Beatle if I should even bother. “We’re not doing anything, why would he say no?” Beatle asked. “He’s a beard.” I replied. “Fair.” Beatle conceded.
Finally, I took a breath and started to type: “EnglishBeard, if it is alright with you, can Sara come to my class during 5th period tomorrow to do some Graphic Design work? Thanks, Mandy”
2 hours later, he replied, “What work? Why should I send her to an elective? My class is core.”
I sighed, “It’s ok if you are doing something in class. I just thought it would be ok if you are just watching movies.” I replied.
“We are just watching movies, but my class is still a core class and yours is not,” EnglishBeard replied.
“You are correct. However, Sara is going to be in my Graphic 3 class next year and I want to get all my Graphic 3 students together for a meeting before the end of the year and the rest of them are in my 5th period. If you don’t want to send her that is fine,” I replied.
“Ok, that would be fine. I will allow it,” EnglishBeard finally said.
I sighed and wrote a pass to give to Sara.
Meanwhile, in the English 1 meeting, Beatle was dealing with his own Beard.
“And the Beard came back….CovidBeard came back for the meeting,” Beatle texted me.
“WHY?!” I texted back.
“IDK! I’m spraying Lysol when she leaves the room. She’s like ‘I’m sitting here sweating. I have no idea what I have.’ I guess she came back for attention,” Beatle replied.
I sighed as I typed, “Probably.”
Why did all these Beards have to come back? Why couldn’t this be last year when we had the mass exodus of Beards? That was nice. I liked that.
Maybe they would get less beardy over the summer?
- “Graduation Day”
Have you ever sat through a graduation ceremony? If you have you know how dull they are. Being part of it is even worse. Graduation in Australia was quite different, but when I graduated from college in America Beatle practically had to force me into the cap and gown. It was not something I have ever liked…so the irony that I volunteer every year (except next year when Wee One graduates) is not lost on me. Mostly, I do it because I know it means something to the kids to see their teachers there. That said, I silently curse in my head the entire time while making sure to smile, be peppy, and congratulate even the most ungrateful of students. While I don’t look back on my graduation fondly, some of them might and I want to help provide good memories.
Graduation isn’t just on that day either. The day before we have to participate in graduation practice, which is just as awful, if not worse. I did entertain myself by watching ManiBeard however.
We all gathered in the practice gym to line up and then once everyone was in place we processed into the main gym. The practice gym was so bloody hot that I was sweating. It was so bloody hot that ManiBeard actually took off his cardigan for the first time all year. I have now confirmed he does have arms under it. Bloke never takes off his cardigan/coat…even when the outside temp is 100+ in Fahrenheit. I further observed only to realize that they had, for some reason, put ManiBeard in the same row as 2 of the baby beards I’ve been observing over the course of the year. ManiBeard was as clueless as one might expect and had no idea how to manage the kids and telling them when to stand, when to sit, when to walk, etc. He made it through graduation practice, but I was seriously concerned about the next day. I was also concerned because I saw the gown they set aside for Mani. It was huge! He was going to look like a puppy wearing his owner’s sweater. Let the chaos commence!
And commence it did. Shortly after lunch Beatle texted me “OZZY ISN’T COMING BACK! WHAT THE HELL IS EVEN GOING ON AROUND HERE?!”
Remember Ozzy? The other Australian on campus? Yeah, evidently he said, “this really isn’t something I foresaw happening. It is something I needed to do. But please, I don’t want to make it seem like I’m excited to leave. I’m not. It’s actually been really hard packing up my things.” Ozzy had been around since the campus opened in 2016. It was a true shock to see him leave and Beatle was very distraught over it. Honestly, so was I.
After school Beatle barrelled into his classroom, “OK, mate, what the hell is going on?”
The conversation was private so I’m not going to detail it, but I will say that circumstances happened so that Ozzy had to go back to Australia. He was not happy about it. He said he thought he would retire from Standard High, but life happens. This was a blow, but we wish him the best.
I found out later that night that ManiBeard managed to out-beard himself. He did the beardiest thing he’d ever done.
“Did you guys meet today in E1?” I asked Beatle.
“Yeah, but it was more social than a meeting,” Beatle replied.
“ManiBeard? Social? How did that go?” I asked.
Beatle chuckled, “ManiBeard wasn’t there.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because he miscalculated all his grades and had to redo them,” Beatle said.
I froze as I tried to register what he said. Finally I spoke, “But our gradebook is automated. We don’t calculate anything. We put in the number and bam…grades. How the hell did Mani manage to ‘miscalculate’ grades?”
“No idea, but admin wasn’t happy. They sent in Lana to guide him through it,” Beatle said.
I laughed, “Oh my god! After everything he did to keep Lana out of his room she ended up fixing his gradebook? The irony is too delicious! This has got to be the beardiest thing he has ever done. How the fuck do you miscalculate grades in and automated gradebook?!”
Beatle shrugged, “Talent?”
The next morning (THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL) an email started circulating from teachers that were worried about getting left at the arena we were holding graduation in. They wanted to ensure the bus wouldn’t leave them behind. Beatle and I watched as the emails flooded our inboxes. ManiBeard: “I need a ride too.” EnglishBeard: “Don’t leave me behind!” HistoryBeard: “I look like too much of an escaped inmate to safely hitchhike. Don’t leave me either.” MathBeard:I need the bus to get back to school.”
It was at that point I texted my brother to see if he could pick Beatle and I up after graduation. To be clear, we have to ride the bus over with students so taking our own car wasn’t an option…but riding the BeardBus home did not appeal to either of us. I like getting fodder for stories, but I’m not a complete sadomasochist. My brother agreed and I felt relief wash over me.
Beatle and I ended up combining our classes in my Cave for the last day because we bought breakfast tacos and donuts for the kids and it was easier to combine classes than to try to split the food. So, most of the last day was the kids eating and playing Mario Kart on our Switch. It was pretty fun. I did leave the kids with Beatle at one point so I could go down to Cook’s kitchen and do my department check-out stuff. When I say Cook had a professional kitchen that is not hyperbole. The culinary kitchen at Standard High is anything but standard. We’re talking a state-of-the-art kitchen that any head chef would be in awe of. It’s truly a thing to behold and for high school students? Yeah, it is pretty bloody great. Oh, and the cutting boards…let me tell you about the numerous cutting boards!
…I’m kidding Red! Just kidding!
But yeah, the kitchen is pretty great. Anyway, when I went into said kitchen, MediaBeard was in there doing his check-out as well. When he saw me he smiled and turned to me.
“Mandy, thank you so much for everything you did for me this year. It was a rough year and you had my back. I truly appreciate you, thank you,” he said as he hugged me.
I hugged him back, “Aww, mate…I got ya. Anytime. Next year will be better.”
When I said back in Chapter 1 that MediaBeard was certainly a Beard, but one of the ‘good’ beards, this is what I meant. Yes, he can be a bit…well…beardly. But, the bloke has a good heart. And I am glad he will be back next year. I’m going to try to mentor him now that I’m settled in graphic design. I am also glad he will not be Wee One’s teacher next year. She’s decided to take graphic design 3 and animation 1 which means she will have me as her teacher for 3 out of 8 periods. Come to find out she likes me as her teacher. And I’m pretty hard on her. She said I made her better. I must be doing something right!
Cook has 100% become my work Mum and I adore her. She plans to have a department soiree before school starts and for the first time ever I’m actually looking forward to going to a department function, solely because of Cook. She is amazing.
Finally, as long last, the 2022-2023 school year ended. All the non-senior students left and the seniors arrived.
Beatle and I scarfed our lunch down and headed to the gym… this is where graduation truly begins.
I put my gown on over my work clothes as did Beatle. We sat together and chatted for a bit before he went to his row to help organize kids. I was left sitting alone in my row as the students filed in. And, as I usually do in these situations, I started to observe my surroundings and live a bit in my own head.
I saw some teachers grouped up talking and laughing near me. For a moment I felt that loneliness I felt all through school (until I met Beatle). I had a moment of feeling like that ‘weird blonde kid’ again. I guess it never really goes away. It was a reminder that from the day we met (see SquirrelBeard for that story) Beatle has always been where I fit. Does anyone else ever have a moment of reversion like that? Where even as an adult you remember how it was to be an outcast at 15 or whatever? Maybe it’s just me? Maybe it’s because I work in a high school?
In any case, I snapped out of it and looked around. What caught my eye was a pair of BRIGHT crimson skinny jeans. And the wearer? ManiBeard. OF COURSE!
He also had on a plain white t-shirt with the district logo on it that we got free at the start of the year and Van trainers. What was the dress code for this event that admin had explicitly given us the day before? Dress pants and a Polo or button-up for men or a suit for men, a dress or nice pants and shirt for women, dress shoes, and absolutely no jeans, trainers, or t-shirts. Yeah. For J’s part he had on black pants and a black button-up shirt with a tie. He looked good. It was also the first time he got to wear his Master’s hood at a graduation, which was pretty frickin cool too! I had on black pants and a nice shirt. I was not wearing a dress at graduation. Just, no. Anyway…ManiBeard…right…so he wore EXACTLY what admin said don’t wear. Cause…ManiBeard. And I was right, his gown made him look like a puppy wearing his owner’s sweater. It would have been cute if it was anyone but Mani. Instead he just looked robotic and lost. And, exactly like I suspected, he didn’t talk to any of the kids. He didn’t even congratulate them. Probably because he teachers 9th graders and didn’t know any of these kids and had no connection to them. Beatle knew a lot of them. These were the kids that he taught his first year as freshmen so he had seen them through all 4 years. It was emotional for him.
It was around this time I turned around and noticed paramedics in the hall. I later found out a student (one of mine actually) had a seizure. I had seen them roll a kid out of the building on an office chair but I didn’t know who under Mr. Principal told me later. As all of this was happening APBeard said they put a sign up sheet on the stage for any teacher that needed to take the bus back to campus after the ceremony. A bunch of teachers headed to the stage. One that looked like a textbook beard said, as he walked past me, “that would be all of us. Like any of us can afford an Uber with what they pay us.” I raised an eyebrow and looked the man over. “That has GOT to be HistoryBeard” I thought to myself. Beatle ran up behind me.
“See that bloke up there…the one at the sign up sheet right now?” Beatle asked me quietly.
“Yeah,” I said.
“That’s HistoryBeard,” he confirmed.
“I knew it! I knew that had to be him. Damn, he is a beard and it’s not even just on the inside,” I said.
Beatle shook his head, “No, he’s one that is beard inside and out.”
I shuttered as Beatle returned to his seat.
About 45 minutes later we boarded the bus and headed to the arena. I hoped everything would be smooth sailing from there, but that would have been WAY too easy.
So, I need to paint a bit of a picture here…have you ever been backstage at an arena? It’s not a huge space…and when you put a couple hundred people back there…it’s a tight fit. We were lucky to have a 2 inch radius around us. Personal space does not exist when you cram everyone back there. And we had to line up in order. Each row had a letter. It seemed everything was fine. My row was in order…but something felt off. That’s when I realized whoever set the signs up doesn’t know the bloody alphabet because instead of A, B, C, D, E, F, G it went A, B, C, D, E, G, F. I was in row F. I realized the error but I also wasn’t about to move anything without telling an AP. So I found an AP that said he had to find another AP and 3 APs later I was told to swap Rows F and G. I helped correct the signed and then we had to shift the rows with VERY little space. It was…something.
It was hot, cramped, and miserable. Beatle told me later some of the kids in his row snuck back into a supply room and were stealing popcorn. It was in the moments of being back stage I remembered why last year I said to myself ‘never again, I’m never doing graduation again’. I’m really not next year cause of Wee One and I’ll probably forget the year after and volunteer again. Cause teacher brain. Anyway, it was finally go time and we walked out, sat down, and the ceremony started. All done? Not quite.
For the sake of wrapping this up I’ll quickly list the crap that happened during the ceremony:
- Someone in the stands called to a kid ‘you look like ET but we love you anyway!’ to which a graduate yelled back ‘you’re an asshole’. Classy.
- ManiBeard was clueless and lost. He may as well have not even been there because he was mostly just in the way.
- The boys decided it was great fun to pretend to fall on stage just before the got to Mr. Principal. This happened 4 times. A 5th pretended he was about to fall then twerked instead. Again, classy. Ladies and gentleman, our future.
- A boy in the row in front of me turned around and was using his program to sword fight with a boy in my row. I gave them the ‘mom/teacher look’ and they both got a panicked look and said ‘sorry ma’am’ before sitting straight for the rest of the ceremony. Maybe Wee One is right. Maybe I am scary.
- MediaBeard made the senior video and it was awful. I have a hard time believing he worked ‘in the industry’. Next year I’m going to see if he will let me do some graphic design templates for him. It will be part of my proposal to mentor him.
And then graduation was over. Beatle and I checked with Number One and were cleared to leave. Brother picked us up and we headed to dinner (where Brother once again came very close to getting the name BrotherBeard) and summer began.
And that concludes this year of School of Beards. If there is any demand I will be back in the fall because with all the beards returning I am sure to have a new batch of tales. I sincerely want to thank everyone that had come on this journey with me, Red for reading (and being a mate), and Beatle for supporting me and allowing me to share his stories. I mostly want to thank everyone that has listened to Red read these stories because that is the most amazing thing…hearing these stories read and getting his insight. I do appreciate it more than I can say. Keep an eye out for the rest of BowserBeard this summer and maybe a couple of one-offs.
Now, to end this year I decided to try my hand at my first parody song. Apologies if it’s not very good. Like I said, it’s my first one. I hope it doesn’t suck!
“BeardSchool’s Out” (Parody of “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper)
Well, we got no choice
But to hear the noise
Listenin to the beards’ voice
The poor girls and boys
Well, we can't escape ya
Can't find an out
And when they start to shout
Education’s in doubt
BeardSchool's out for summer
Beards go into slumber
Beardschool makes us shutter
No more Mani
No more English
No more preacher's judgment, yeah
Well, Mani can’t control his class
And Pastor’s got the Principal
And the students pay the price
We can't even think about next year
BeardSchool's out for summer
Beards go into slumber
Beardschool makes us shutter
No more Media
No more Math Emails
No more two-faced Dean
Out for summer
Out 'til fall
Do the beards have to come back at all
Beards go slumber
BeardSchool's out for summer
Watch the Beards lumber
BeardSchool’s out till August
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2023.05.28 20:41 grierks Hedge Knight, Chapter 31
The night air was brisk without his armor, and he could feel gooseflesh travel across his skin when a soft gale brushed through the empty street. There was a small thought at the back of Helbram’s mind that told him that removing his armor was a poor choice where he was going, but he did so anyway.
He was done fighting for today.
The Troll’s face flashed through his mind. His eyes in shock, brimmed with tears as its heart stopped beating from the spear that was embedded into his chest. Helbram shook his head to banish the image from his thoughts, but as he did the soreness to his body became all the more evident. Embers of pain rested in his arms, reminding him of how he pulled at the rope with all his strength.
Only for it all to amount to nothing.
Helbram closed his eyes and sighed before looking ahead, catching the sight of Sophia walking ahead of him.
“I thank you for your assistance,” Helbram said, “Elly may have been putting on a brave face but she took the hardest hit out of all of us.”
“It is the least I could do, healing is one of my duties,” The Maiden of the Sword glanced back, “Though from what I can tell, you require it more than she did.”
Helbram’s shoulder throbbed as she spoke, and he had to admit that she was correct. While the shield had absorbed most of the Troll’s blow, his shoulder took the rest, and he had the misfortune of landing on it when he hit the ground. The rush of battle and haze of his own anger had dulled the pain previously, but when all that had faded, he found himself hesitant to even move his arm for fear of the fire that would lance through him if he did so.
He clutched his shoulder with his uninjured hand, “Perhaps you are correct… though I will tolerate it for now. Let it serve as a reminder.”
Sophia nodded, and let silence fall over them again. They remained that way until they arrived at the Shrine. The water of the sea below reflected the blackness of the night above, but the restlessness of its waves allowed for no clear image of the starry night above to appear over its visage. When they crossed the bridge to the Shrine’s island, Sophia turned, avoiding the front doors and walking off to the building’s side. Helbram quirked an eyebrow and looked at her, and The Maiden only glanced at him before motioning for him to follow her.
He did, but he took in a small breath and focused his Ether into his ears. The sounds of the waves below grew more prominent along with Sophia’s own footsteps, but he could hear no other sounds. Helbram relaxed his posture when he did not detect anyone nearby and picked up his pace, walking right behind Sophia as she guided him to the back of the building. A cliff spiked from the isolated isle like a blade, pointing to the near full moon that glowed so brightly in the sky, casting its pale light across the cliff and the back of the building.
At the base of the cliff was, to Helbram’s surprise, a trapdoor. It was of the same wood of the Shrine’s own entrance and was surrounded by a border of the same pale stone. Its make was noticeably less elaborate, much more weathered than the building that loomed over it, evidenced by the rounded corners of the stone’s border.
Sophia pulled the trap door open, revealing a staircase. Rather than crafted, its stone steps appeared to be carved from the earth itself, and lead down far enough that he could only catch the hint of light at its bottom.
Helbram pressed his lips thin and looked at The Maiden, “Pardon my caution, but I am none too fond of going down mysterious doorways.”
Sophia frowned, “As understandable as your caution is, there are far less conspicuous locations for me to try and trap you.”
There was a bluntness to her voice that bled through her polite demeanor, revealing only a glimpse at the woman that sat behind the mantle of The Maiden.
Helbram snorted, “Fair enough, but ladies first.”
Her frown deepened, but she walked through the trap door first. Helbram waited a moment before following her, leaving the trap door open behind him as he made his way down the stairs. The air was still as he walked down the stairs, but the once distant sound of crashing waves grew closer,and clearer the further down that he went. The reason for this was made obvious when he reached the bottom of the stairs and was greeted by the cave that sat at its end.
It was not large, its size barely providing enough room for the small table and two chairs that sat at its center, rustic pieces crafted from lumber so worn it could be mistaken for driftwood. The far end of the cave opened out to the sea below, a simplistic railing of the same weathered wood serving as its border. Water crashed below, spraying the railing with a light mist. He could see the waves themselves reaching the lips of the cave on stormier days, but on this night he found the sight mesmerizing, its calmness a far cry from the chaos that occurred earlier in the night.
Sophia took a seat at the table and motioned towards the opposite chair, “Please, sit down.”
Helbram made his way to the table, noting that his height was enough that he felt the tip of his hair brush against the cave’s roof. Ducking instinctively, he took his seat as he looked out to the sea.
“I must admit, this is quite the unusual spot,” he said, “Never would I have guessed that such a hideaway existed.”
Sophia joined him in looking out towards the waves. When he looked out to her, the mask of the Maiden could no longer be seen. Gone was the serenity from her face, the stillness to her features, replaced by eyes cast downward, unable to look up as worry gradually furrowed her brow. Her upright posture was now slouched, hunched over as if the weight of the world sat upon her shoulders.
“It was made by those that built the Shrine,” she explained, a tiredness overhanging her voice, “It served as their place of respite, away from the town above.”
She looked at him, “Away from the voice of the Sword that whispered into their ears.”
Helbram nodded, understanding her point, “That is interesting… I wonder why that is.”
Sophia shrugged, “I have heard tales that those sailing the Black Sea will sometimes find their spells and magitek disrupted. Perhaps that is the reason.”
He rubbed his chin, “Would the Sword not notice your absence?”
The tired woman sat back in her chair, letting out a sigh, “If it has before, it has not made mention of it, and I am hardly the first Maiden to utilize this space for their own peace of mind,” she tapped her fingers against the table, “Besides, it has been preoccupied as of late, speaking to those it has chosen,” she looked him in the eye, “You among them.”
Helbram kept his expression blank, “I do not know what you speak of.”
“I am not a fool, Helbram,” she said, the spark of irritation in her voice fading to weariness, “Aside from the brief moment that you laid your hands on it, I am exposed to its voice at all times. It spoke to Marcus, to Marjorie… to you.”
He crossed his fingers and rested them against the table, “...yes, it did, but I spoke true when I told you it did not choose me.”
“It did not say it overtly to any of you three, yet it chooses to speak to you three among all others, and of all those that it spoke with, it is only with you that it appeared so earnest,” she said, “I could feel its desire as it reached out to you, speaking to you with visions of memories past.”
“How much did you see?” He asked.
“Glimpses,” she said, “the sight of a large, damaged rock, of a man splitting stone without an ounce of effort, but no more than that. I did not wish to glimpse too much. I saw even less of Marjorie’s.”
“And of Marcus?”
She closed her eyes, “Of that, I saw everything, felt everything. The hand that reached out to his father as he abandoned them, the tears that fell down his eyes as he cried with his mother. The anger, the sorrow, the burning flame of desire to surpass the man that left them behind… for the Sword that will grant that wish. It senses it, it calls to it, kindling the fire with trauma that should be long past, growing it with each passing moment.”
Sophia opened her eyes, the steel behind their gaze giving him pause, ‘Which is why he must never have it.”
Helbram regarded her words, resting his uninjured arm on the table, “And so you come to me.”
Sophia nodded, “Tell me, when you looked upon the murals within the Shrine, what was it that you saw?”
Helbram recalled the pictures that sat above the Sword, “The story of a hero, felling a great darkness that had befallen a land and making the ultimate sacrifice to finish it off for good,” he searched Sophia’s eyes as he spoke, noting that his recounting of the tale did nothing to bring a reaction to her expression, “But that is not what you see, is it?”
The tired woman sat back and sighed, “What you see is a vision of the past, what I see is prophecy.”
Helbram looked at her with questioning eyes.
“Not in the literal sense,” she said, brushing her silver hair aside, “all who look upon the mural praise the glory of the hero and his actions. None have ever considered the perspective of the hero himself.”
Helbram said nothing as Sophia continued.
“They see a man chosen to wield a powerful sword, chosen to banish an all consuming evil from his home. They see a man of great strength, of power that is to be admired and coveted… of a sacrifice that rings true of all heroes of legend. But what do they not see?”
She leaned forward, grabbing the edges of the table with a grip tight enough to turn her knuckles pale, “Do they see the weight of such responsibility? The pressure of the expectation that is placed upon a hero? Are they aware of the pain that man must have gone through, the abject terror and tribulations that plagued him as he not only fought that darkness, but harbored it within him until he found no other choice than to smother the very light of his own life?”
Sophia looked into Helbram’s eyes, “No, they do not. They see the opportunity for glory, the means to powers that they could only dream of, blissfully unaware that the tale of a hero is not one of such heights, but of peaks amidst a tide of lows that will erode a man’s very soul.”
Helbram leaned back, “And that is what you wish to spare Marcus from.”
Her eyes widened, “You are as perceptive as I hoped.”
“You would not be speaking like this were Marjorie were on your mind,” Helbram explained.
Sophia closed her eyes and loosened her grip on the table, “Of that… you are correct.”
He crossed his arm, “Do you not believe that he can handle the Sword?”
She shook her head, “I know full well that Marcus would be able to wield it, to bear the responsibilities that would come with it. Yes, he is naive, and untrained, but at his core he is a strong, good man,” her voice grew soft, “I have known ever since we were children, yet I would spare him of the burden all the same.”
“And place it onto me,” Helbram kept his voice and posture relaxed, studying Sophia’s body language carefully, “why not Marjorie? She would be more than eager to claim the Sword.”
She frowned, “Great though my desires may be, I do not aim to be foolish in my choices. Of the two others that the Sword speaks to, I trust you the most to take it.”
“And why is that?”
“Marjorie hungers for it, with a desire that I daresay matches that of Marcus’s, perhaps even more. But whereas Marcus’s rages like a flame hers serves to drown me like the ocean,” She motioned to Helbram, “You, however, seem almost adverse to the Sword, regardless of its desire for you to wield it. If you were to be the one to draw it… then perhaps you would be the one to best wield its power.”
Helbram nodded, “And so you deem me worthy enough to bear the burdens that you do not wish to befall Marcus. While I appreciate the honesty, I must say you are doing a rather poor job of convincing me to do so.”
Sophia did not look away, “You strike me as an honorable man. It would be unfair of me to try and deceive you.”
He snorted, “Marcus is indeed quite lucky to be in your care. I can see why he is enamored by you.”
A blush races across Sophia’s cheeks, “That is irrelevant.”
Helbram eyed her with doubt, “Hardly, but I shall prod no further on that subject,” he pressed his lips together and stared at her with a solemn expression, “Regardless, I am afraid I cannot do what you want. I have no intention of drawing the Sword.”
Her eyes became downcast, “May I ask why?”
“I’d say you made a rather compelling case as to why I should not do so,” he said, which brought about a defeated frown from her face, “But, more importantly, I cannot trust it.”
She looked at him with confusion, “What do you mean?”
“The words that it speaks to everyone… whispers that promise some sort of boon, some fulfillment of wishes, or even revelations that are too vague to verify, but broad enough that you cannot help but believe that it was speaking the truth,” he leaned towards Sophia, keeping a spark of anger contained as he grit his teeth, “But the words it spoke to me… I know them to be lies,” he said, feeling his shoulder throb, reminding him of the realities of his weakness, “none knows that more than I. So tell me, how could I draw the Sword when it chooses to lure me in with falsehoods?”
To his surprise, Sophia did not falter. Instead, the tired woman’s expression went still, a calmness to her features that was different from the guise she wore as Maiden.
“Are you certain that it was lying to you?” she asked, her voice steady.
Helbram’s eyes narrowed, “What do you mean?”
“I have seen the Sword speak to countless people,” she said, “And while I do agree that most of what it tells people are shallow statements, I have not known it to be wrong.”
She stood up from the table, walking up to the balcony and staring out to the sea, “When the Sword looks into someone… I am able to see what it sees,” she explained, “I have seen the potential of so many… of men and women seeking fortune, children brought by their parents in hopes that they would be chosen or some revelation of their potential might become apparent. In all of these situations I know what the Sword speaks is true, because I have seen it all as well.”
Sophia turned back towards him, “All except for when you took hold of it.”
Helbram said nothing.
“I do not know why that is, but I know that the Sword was not lying to you. In its eyes, you are the one that possesses the most potential to wield it.”
He grit his teeth, holding back the anger that rose in his chest, “Why would that be? I hold no power aside from a sliver of Ether that a child could cultivate in their sleep. The more that the Sword refers to my potential, the more I am forced to confront that simple, undeniable truth.”
Sophia’s eyes widened as a low growl traced his voice.
“I have traveled through the Six Kingdoms, consulting with scholars, pleading with healers in the hopes of finding some cure for the weakness that plagues me, and none could be found. I have crossed the ocean to Esperia, believing that perhaps that land of magitek could have discovered a method by which I could break the shackles of my own constitution, only to be told that yes, there are methods by which someone with my condition could eventually come to cultivate the strength that is denied to them… but that my particular case was too severe to treat,” his voice descended to resignation, “And in that revelation I found myself wandering, finding my way to the Freemarks, being given hope in a brief moment where I managed to do what was thought impossible by my own hands, finding companions that I do not deserve.”
He closed his eyes and sighed, “Hope that is smothered the more that I am forced to confront the reality that, in my own arrogance, I thought I could ignore for a time,” He stood up from his chair and walked towards the stairs, “I am not the one that will wield the Sword, “ he did not face Sophia as he spoke, “ I am sorry.”
He made way to the stairs.
“What if you spoke to the Sword further?” Sophia asked, steel in her voice.
Helbram stopped and looked back at her.
“You only touched the Sword for an instant, hearing its voice for only a moment,” she said, “Will you not give it a chance to explain itself further? To know for certain if the words it speaks are indeed the lies you believe them to be?”
Resolution was clear in her eyes, but Helbram could also see the desperation under it all.
He took a deep breath, “Marcus is indeed fortunate to have someone cherish him so… Fine, I will speak to the Sword once more.”
Sophia’s chest fell in relief, “I will take you to it now.”
He did not say much as they made their way back to the front of the Shrine, but as Sophia unlocked its doors and moved to go inside, he grasped her shoulder to stop her.
“I will speak with it alone,” he said, his voice calm, but with a weight behind it that gave her pause.
She bit her lip, brow furrowed in uncertainty, but she eventually nodded, “I will wait for you out here.”
Helbram gave her a small smile, “I thank you.”
He brushed past her and into the shrine, closing the door behind him. The Shrine was enshrouded by the night’s shadows, with only the tree at its center illuminated by the pale moonlight that leaked in from above. As he walked closer to the blackened wood his eyes wandered back to the murals that sat above. The tale of the nameless hero held a sadder tone to it within the pale light, and as Helbram stared at the image of the hero impaling himself with his sword, he could not help but understand the fear that Sophia felt.
He sighed again, “Gods, how do I find myself in these situations?”
His eyes fell back to the Sword, its silver make glimmering further in the as moonlight danced upon its exposed surface. The sight alone was entracing enough to drive him closer out of sheer curiosity, and to his surprise, there was no compulsion that moved him as there was at the beginning of the day.
He snorted, “Want to leave it as my own choice, I see…”
He rolled his good shoulder and took in a breath, staring at the blade’s handle. He grasped it before doubt could overcome him, and as he did, all went black.
The void surrounded him again, its formless floor supporting his body that, thankfully, reflected his current attire of simple clothes. There was a chill to his injured shoulder that he caught a fleeting feeling of, a brief flash that banished the pulsing waves of pain that would radiate from it, letting him move it like normal.
Helbram rolled his shoulder as he looked around, “I suppose that is a good start…”
He stopped as his eyes fell upon an expected sight.
A man that was as tall as him, but with a wider and sturdier build. Their hair was similar, though the burly man’s was more well kept than his. There was steel in his brown eyes, but the man’s face was a kindly one, possessing a gentle smile that brought an ache to Helbram’s heart.
His father walked up to him, arms open and welcoming.
“At last, we meet.” First
___ Author's Note: I wanted to use this chapter to flesh out the character of Sophia a bit. I didn't want her to be some simple Maiden of the Sword that did not appear that much in the story itself, and I feel like this goes a long way in giving her some dimension beyond what was shown of her before. Let me know how I did! If you wish to read ahead and gain access to the audiobook version of this story, consider supporting me on Patreon. If you want to leave a donation, here is my Ko-fi. More than any of that though, I hope you enjoyed the chapter, and have yourself a very wonderful day! :)
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2023.05.28 20:40 eulalie_pop Logan made Succession a circle, not a line, and we're about to watch it end where it began
So I’ve been down the rabbit hole
, trying to chase every off-the-cuff reference, stray allegory, allusion, comparison, and tangent. I’m going to need you to bear (hug) with me for a bit because I think I’ve stumbled on some truly insane parallels between this show and the myriad of references it makes and it will take a lot of text to justify to you that I'm not crazy (or that I am, but at least I do my research).
This is a show that employs a ton of intertextuality and what the poet T.S. Eliot (someone quoted frequently throughout the series) calls “the mythic method”: essentially using historical, literary, and mythological allusions to draw parallels between characters on the show and characters throughout history (real and imagined).
This method helps the audience to build both conscious and unconscious associations with each of the characters and, ultimately, underscores the Roys’ (and humanity’s) damning commitment to making the same mistakes over and over again. The show seems to draw a lot from Greek mythology, Arthurian legend, biblical parables, Shakespearean tragedy, and modernist poetry (among many other things).
These networks of symbolism span from the earliest recorded history to modern celebrity culture and yet they reveal frighteningly unchanged elements in the stories they tell. The parallels of these references throughout the show serve to highlight the cyclical (the illusion of progress) and deterministic (the illusion of free will) nature of existence.
While I will be dipping in and out of the existing references, I want to call particular attention to the poetry of the aforementioned T.S. Eliot (who champions the mythic method) and John Berryman’s poem Dream Song 29
because I believe much of their work has served as a foundation for characters.
In the show, Frank makes mention of his poem “The Long Song Of J Alfred Prufrock” more than once. Outside of the show, Matthew McFayden (the actor who plays Tom) references the same poem to describe his character. Jeremy Strong (the actor who plays Kendall) says Eliot’s work The Four Quartets
is a huge inspiration to his acting and character. A line from this particular work did strike me as being quite on the nose, which is why I continued to comb the poem for more (which it does deliver on):
"In my beginning is my end. In succession Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended, Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass. Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires, Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth Which is already flesh, fur and faeces, Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf."
This will probably be a monster of a post, so I will attempt to break down the following sections between poetic parallels, visual and dialogic symbolism of eternal recurrence, and an exploration of the historical and mythological allusions. Ultimately, I believe all of these clues point to the overwhelming conclusion that we will end where we began, in some way or another. Circles & Cycles: Endless Recurrence & The Futility Of Progress
The show toys a lot with the philosophical concept of eternal recurrence, which postulates that “time repeats itself in an infinite loop, and that exactly the same events will continue to occur in exactly the same way, over and over again, for eternity.”
These eternal loops are symbolized visually with mirrors, water, fractal reflections; in the “uh-huh” and “mhmms” of repeated, near-palindromic dialogue; and in the show events that echo and repeat: in-air death scares, asynchronous business deals, family betrayal, weddings, retreats, implosions, family reunions, trauma bonding, baptism, funerals, etc.
In this understanding of time, there is no linear progress — or even progress at all. Time is cyclical. People are cyclical. As are the events that transpire. This is particularly interesting in a show like Succession whose title alone implies the phrase “line of succession.” Viewers would expect to see what comes next — who comes next — but as Logan himself yells, “Nothing is a line. Everything is moving all the time.”
Logan consistently evokes the circle shape in his speech, “Put a circle around him” he tells Shiv. “We’ve been circling for an hour, tell them we’re out of gas,” he complains in a moment of grim foreshadowing on his plane. “Crawl in a circle and close your eyes,” he shouts during the game of Boar on the Floor.
And he is the bright, burning nebulous center of this circle. He’s described as “carr[ying] his gravity. He's not a man, he's a f*cking planet.” And the people around him are described like satellites and moons. Characters exist in his orbit. And every complete orbit (or “revolution”) leaves characters in exactly the same place. There are motions, there is the illusion of progress, but the result is the same. Eliot again:
“every attempt Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure”
With this understanding, the show may just end where it begins. Not only in “nothing” happening, but in repeating the same events ad infinitum
: A kid tries to take over the family business, they try to align with their siblings, they eventually backstab their siblings, they end out in the cold, and then they reunite, swear not to do it again, until it all repeats.
As most of us are aware, the show has made very direct mention of the John Berryman poem Dream Song 29
. The names of the past three season finales (as well as the name of the upcoming fourth) are all direct excerpts from the poem, which deals with grief and sadness and the guilt of killing someone when you can’t even confirm there’s been someone killed at all.
Berryman consistently wrote about the guilt and grief he experienced from his father’s suicide. Berryman himself would eventually end up taking his own life, which on its own is a brutal reminder of the cycles of trauma. It also doesn’t feel insignificant that Berryman jumped off a bridge.
What’s really interesting is how each subsequent finale is named for a line that comes earlier and earlier in the poem. It also toys with this concept that things come full circle and end where they begin. This echoes Eliot’s essential thesis of the poem:
“What we call the beginning is often the end And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
But while the speaker of the poem comes to realize he has not murdered “nobody” by the poem’s last line; Kendall, moving through the poem backward, must reckon with the idea that he may have killed somebody even if they were a “nobody.” And while we may encounter this as a moment in which Kendall is genuinely despairing over his season 1 inadvertent murder, I believe we are far more likely to see Kendall embrace this moment.
We see "nobody" and "no one mentioned" a lot when it comes to Logan, who believes most people are "fungible as f*ck," and "pygmies" while he's "1,000 feet tall." When Kendall is involved in the accident, we see him echo "NRPI" or no real person involved.
The reason Kendall couldn’t live up to his father’s expectations is that he couldn’t be the killer his father needed him to be (even if his morality or basis of being a good person is off). This retroactive movement through the poem could be Kendall realizing he is, in fact, the killer his father always needed him to be, enabling him to take the necessary steps of seizing the crown on his own. Allegories & Allusions: Mythic Comparisons & Determinism
It’s Shakespearean, like Roman says, “I kill Kendall, get crowned king, like we’re in f*cking Hamlet or something.” But it’s not just Hamlet
, it’s King Lear, King Richard III
. And it’s not just Shakespeare, it’s Oedipus Rex
, The Odyssey
, The Waste Land
, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
, Cronus devouring his children, Romulus killing Remus, Noah cursing his child for looking upon him naked.
The concept of the monomyth was popularized in "The Hero With 1000 Faces" and discusses throughout history, throughout different times and places, different cultures, different religions, different people have developed stories with relatively similar fundamental elements. The show is rife with allusions of stories that follow that same thread. Logan is Cronus who is King Lear who is Romulus who is who is. This is another form of endless recurrence: the inability to break the cycle. Or, in a very Hamlet reference, "maybe the poison drips through."
The themes of patricide, fratricide, and incest in particular are rampant. Rhea (like Rhea Jarell) in Greek mythology is both sister and consort to Cronus. Both are part of the first generation of aptly named Titan gods. Cronus overthrew his father Uranus and learns his children are fated to overthrow him. So he eats them as soon as they are born. Logan does refer to people as food a surprising amount throughout the show, varying from red meat to vegetables. He outright calls for blood sacrifice, which evokes the language of the gods.
Logan is referenced specifically as one of the last real American titans in his obituaries and eulogies. The language around him is frequently god-like. He's known as "the big man" or even "the big man upstairs." Tom tells Greg to "be his representative here on earth"; Roman asks the audience, "who is going to climb Mt. Olympus and be the next Dr. Zeus?" And that's where the myth gets interesting.
The only child not to be eaten is Zeus, who does end up killing his father and was surprisingly interested in marrying his mother. We're familiar with this plot formula through a different archetype: the Oedipus Complex, which we see referenced in the show with “Oedipus Roy,” “Oedipussy,” and “stabbing my eyes out.” The same story is repeated again in Hamlet with brother killing and brother and son yelling at his mother about her milky breasts (something Roman does to Shiv more than once). In the show when Logan says to Roman, “You may want to f*ck your mother but I don’t.” We know none of these stories end well. As Connor muses, “It’s not right to kill one’s father; history teaches us that.”
In the story of Romulus and Remus (whose mother’s name is also Rhea), the two brothers were initially chased out of their city as potential threats to the King (yet again). They were left by the river to die and were saved by the river god (important). After successfully overthrowing the kingdom that left them for dead, they agree to found a new city. They ultimately disagreed on which hill to found it and decided to have a bird-watching competition to see who could see the most omens indicating they had divine approval for the hill. Remus says he saw 6 auspicious birds but Romulus claims to see 12. Romulus kills Remus over this.
It should remind you of Logan visiting his childhood home with Ewan: “I saw a mistle thrush at the bandstand,” and the log book he kept as a child of birds he “saw” that Ewan would cross out if he didn’t believe him. It may also echo a part of The Four Quartets
, “Other echoes/ Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?/ Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,/ Round the corner. Through the first gate,/ Into our first world, shall we follow/ The deception of the thrush?"
There is much to be said about the themes of warring brothers. Also the themes of fathers worried their children would one day overthrow them who take action to thwart or murder their children, which inadvertently sets into motion the very outcome they fear. It happens over and over again in stories old and new. As Panhandle Pete says, “I push him, he pushes me, and around and around we go.” Or as Eliot puts it, “that the wheel may turn and still / Be forever still.”
Much of these works touch on a sort of determinism, or the slow crushing reality that every action you take — even if that action is an attempt to thwart your fate — will ultimately lead to the same inevitable ending. This is the illusion of free will on top of the illusion of progress. And Logan, in fearing his children would usurp him (and also disparaging his children for not being able to), set into motion his own death and his own messy succession.
It’s also a reminder that the greatest men in life are all the same when laid to rest:
"O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark, The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant, The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters, The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers, Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees, Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark…" Structure & Symbolism: Water As Rebirth & Destruction
The show has very much been structured around Kendall, and we watch him move through bodies of water with what feels like different symbolism each time. Is he drowning, is he reborn? We witness Kendall at his lowest point face down in a pool and at one of his highest, splashing into the Pacific ocean. We watch a man drown. We watch Logan beg Kendall for water as they walk through Adrien Brody’s maze. We watch Roman clamor for water at the funeral when he needs to calm down. Poetry has long played with this life and death dynamic in water, like the sailors dying of thirst in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
“Water, water, every where,. And all the boards did shrink;. Water, water, every where,. Nor any drop to drink. The very deep did rot: O Christ!”
This sub has noted Kendall’s connection to water, which has been represented over and over visually. But once you realize every metaphor, analogy, and simile he uses is water-based, you can’t unhear it. He calls his father “a tsunami of corruption” and describes things “as more precious than water”; he calls deals “choppy” and “dead in the water,” and asks to “help steady the ship”; he offers to “row back” on business deals, says timing is “high tide,” and that he has “bigger fish to fry.”
Logan is apt to use similar water symbolism, even telling Shiv that she’s marrying a man “fathoms” beneath her. As Rhea tells him, fearful of his own monstrosity, “I can’t see the bottom of the pool. I don’t know if you care about anything. It scares me.” ATN’s major scandal was “death cruises.” Even his operating nemesis is called “Sandy.”
In fact, there is mention of all elements and seasons — in particular, fire from Shiv, air from Roman, and earth from Connor. T.S. Eliot’s The Four Quartets
confront these same themes and share some surprising similarities with show scene locations, dialogue, and plot points.
That’s because Succession
is an allegory for the micro and the macro: the rise and fall of families, civilizations, monarchies, dynasties, and empires. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, the cycles rinse and repeat. Eliot modeled the four quartets on the 4 elements and the 4 seasons. And you can see even in Succession a similar manifestation of 4 elements. And, well, 4 seasons of the show. (And what occurs after 4 seasons? A full revolution around the sun, bringing you to where you began.)
Water seems to be at the root of it all. Even Ewan’s eulogy meditates on his and Logan’s journey on a boat. Even their abusive uncle is named Noah. In the show, we watch our nobody die by water, we watch our main character nearly die by water, and then we watch him revive in the ocean. As Kendall and his father wind their way through Adrien Brody’s circuitous Long Island home, Kendall remarks, “I think this leads to the ocean.” Because every path leads to the sea in some way or another.
The overarching narration from T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land
is the Arthurian Legend of The Fisher King. This story is told a million different ways with a million different outcomes, but always boils down to an injured or maimed monarch ruling over a dying land. Or as Ewan refers to his "empire of shit": “He’s built a wasteland and called it an empire.”
He’s looking for someone, anyone, to heal him, rescue the kingdom, and ensure the dynasty survives. This is the myth of the holy grail, which, in this show, can be seen as the throne: The original stories of the holy grail were not Christian/religious but they do employ a lot of the same mythmaking from earlier religions and mythologies to tell their stories and thus construct their new realties. As Eliot says in The Four Quartets
"The whole earth is our hospital Endowed by the ruined millionaire, Wherein, if we do well, we shall Die of the absolute paternal care That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere."
I believe Kendall (and the other children) represent the grail knights who try to save the king. (On the same level they stand in for the gods, the elements, or anything at all). When Christianity became more popular, these myths adapted to Christian overtones, but they still had the Celtic and pagan myths at their core: the grail becomes the chalice from the last supper.
That’s why Kendall’s easy comparisons of himself to Jesus feel less blasphemous than revelatory. Jesus is another hero archetype in the show’s mythology. He is willing to sacrifice himself, which Kendall must do in order to become the successor his father wanted. As he says, "this is a culmination of my life's journey to be crucified for you morons."
(It’s worth noting: In some legends, the knight saves the king; in others, he inadvertently destroys him. We know Logan dies, but it does feel less likely that Waystar Royco survives.) Drowning is a constant feature of Eliot's poems, but so is baptism and renewed life. It is difficult to determine the meaning of water in either instance, except that it doesn't discriminate as a life or death bringer, which is both beautiful and terrifying. Parallels & Predictions: Piecing The Plot & Poetry Together
To repeat again, as this show is wont to do: “Crawl in a circle and close your eyes!” Logan Roy shouts during a game of Boar On A Floor. It’s an allegory, like many games on the series, and proudly says the quiet part out loud: Logan always wins. Here’s a little boar on the floor reference in The Four Quartets:
"We move above the moving tree In light upon the figured leaf And hear upon the sodden floor Below, the boarhound and the boar Pursue their pattern as before But reconciled among the stars."
We’ve seen the L.O.G.A.N. system at work many times and with many people. He dangles a carrot, a morsel of love, as each character attempts to play the game over and over while expecting different results. They are doomed to crawl in that circle, to play that blind game, as Logan angrily shouts, “It’s fun!” And this game doesn't end in death. The children still ask. "What would dad do?"
Games on Succession (which are a consistent refrain), it turns out, are rarely fun and are often designed to humiliate or inflict pain. The same goes when characters say “I’m just kidding” after an eviscerating remark. Logan thinks life is a game, and as he says, games should be taken seriously. And because Logan explicitly makes the rules, there is no winning, just trudging around the board, passing Go, and collecting $200. The games are essentially Sisyphean tasks that the kids wouldn’t be able to win even if they were actually competent enough to run the company. And yet they keep rolling the boulder. It’s endless. The repetition. It ends where it begins.
"Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, Every poem an epitaph. And any action Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start. We die with the dying: See, they depart, and we go with them. We are born with the dead: See, they return, and bring us with them. The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree Are of equal duration. A people without history Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern Of timeless moments."
Please also note the use of “the rose” and “the yew tree,” which are the names of Logan’s siblings Rose and Ewan, which derives from yew-tree. Other important name comparisons include Kendall’s association to spring/river valley; Siobhan’s nickname either a knife (Shiv) or Pinky (a variation of the name Rose); Roman’s connection to Romulus/Corialanus; Tom’s name meaning “twin” because there was already someone named Judas in the bible HELLO; Logan’s name meaning little hollow, which recalls another Eliot poem, The Hollow Men
We know this show is a game, one that isn't fun at all, and one whose rules Logan made up. Even when there's a winner, there's no winner. So it's almost futile to play at all. That said, it’s impossible to make sense of any of it all without the ending — to confirm this ball has been rolling toward an inevitable conclusion, but given the show’s ending has probably occurred already, here are my thoughts:
This may feel a bit on the nose given we’ve already seen this almost happen to “the Kurt Cobain of floaties,” but it would certainly be poetic. This could be sad (launched from a bridge); empowering (a la The Awakening
); or metaphorical (a drug overdose). At some point Kendall says, "If dad didn’t need me right now I wouldn’t know what I would be for." The kids exist with Logan as their sun; they are moons, satellites, in orbit. And when their sun dies out, they repeat the motions in the cold, slowly losing their patterns and motions. The term is science is a rogue planet and the following lines from the poem remind me of Kendall and his broken, hollow stare.
“It would be the same at the end of the journey, If you came at night like a broken king, If you came by day not knowing what you came for, It would be the same, when you leave the rough road And turn behind the pig-sty to the dull facade And the tombstone. And what you thought you came for Is only a shell, a husk of meaning From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled If at all. Either you had no purpose Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured And is altered in fulfilment.”
- Kendall is king of the ashes
Any victory feels like it will be a Pyrrhic victory regardless when you've had to systematically take down everyone you love to achieve it. The same lines above can echo here "the purpose is beyond the end you figured/And is altered in fulfilment." A hollow victory. The Fisher King question Logan poses is, "Who can replace me?" Logan wanted each of his children to display the killer instinct. Kendall’s backwards journey through Dreamsong 29
may very well see him realize he is, in fact, the killer his dad always wanted — with open eyes. This will probably involve taking down his siblings. In this version, winning is a lot like losing, which feels very Succession
These Shakespearean histories and tragedies rarely end well for existing houses. With Richard III
(the-multiple-lineage-ending war of the roses) and Hamlet
(the-whole-house-dies-but-a-norwegian-king-swoops-in-to-take-it-all dynastic struggle) references abound. We may just see a new house rise up and rinse and repeat. This would probably also occur if the kids take each other down and leave it open for another party. We saw last season that Roman thought he had an in with Mattson until it didn’t serve Mattson anymore. I see the same thing happening between Roman and Mencken. This puts Mencken and Mattson in a position to take over, which may make Mattson win it or…
When Mattson is introduced, he is referenced as a trickster. Generally, in mythology, this character is quite intelligent or in possession of secret knowledge, and he uses it for trickery and commandeering situations. (Is that blood thing real???). Hamlet
concludes with every major character killing the other with their own tragic flaws until a third party Scandinavian comes in to take the crown with no necessary action or bloodshed at all. We already know he's unscrupulous; what is his end game? It reminds me of one of his early lines to Roman, which would be an eerie foreshadowing:
“Success doesn’t really interest me anymore, it’s too easy. Analysis + capital + execution. Fucking, anyone can do that. But failure, that’s a secret. Just as much failure as possible as fast as possible, burn that shit out, that’s interesting.”
We’ve seen it happen before (which is why it should happen again). We’ve also seen Tom remove the thin veneer of his ambitions to the point where he almost feels like Richard III. He has played the fool, which is Shakespearean estimation, is often equivalent to the trickster. This would be a fun and distorted parallel to Shiv offering this job to him for Logan to offer it to her. This would probably happen in conjunction with Mattson winning. As I mentioned earlier, the name Tom means “twin” and the apostle Tom was only called as such because there were already one too many “Judas” in the mix. He's also from Minnesota (the twin cities!), so this is becoming very real, you know???
While we know Tom has betrayed Shiv before, we also know Greg betrayed Shiv and Tom when he spoke to Geri in the first season about Tom having a press conference on cruises. He leads Tom to believe Shiv has betrayed him, getting one over on both of them. There may also be something with the Rule of 3 and being betrayed 3 times that feels biblical. The show also makes TONS of references to holding on to blackmail for opportune moments. Will we see something like this?
I’m not a big believer that Greg will fail so far upwards that he will win (this would feel like a betrayal in its own right), but do I believe there’s a world where Greg gets himself on a piece of paper with a question mark. Maybe???
This is my personal hope because I want the Tom and Jerry allusion to be real more than any other I put together (we love a good cat and mouse game). If Mattson wins, he needs a US CEO. Geri has collected a massive amount of dirt on everyone. And to call back to season 1’s interim CEO discussions, Shiv says, “I don’t like Geri. But I don’t hate Geri either.” It would feel particularly good given how much time and effort Logan spent clarifying Geri would be terrible at the position. Especially as Logan disparaging someone generally means he’s afraid of what they can do.
I’ll end at the ending. Or conclude where Eliot did on The Four Quartets:
"We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well When the tongues of flames are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one."
PS. Given ‘Pinky’ is another name for ‘Rose’ does this mean Shiv wins??? JK let’s just watch the show tonight and laugh at our predictions in the morning.
submitted by eulalie_pop
to SuccessionTV [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 20:40 BmHype Paladin Murloc OTK improved with new cards
Deck code in comments.
I am currently testing out a Anyfin can happen deck in low legend (Meaning this is a non-competetive deck) with some of the new cards helping out the deck a lot. The deck uses the old 7 murlocs with charge and buffs from classic and plays [Tip the scales] to summon them from the deck. This is then followed by [Anyfin can happen] to try and kill off the opponent.
[Order in court] allows you to consistently draw your cards to set up for the combo. When played it also prevents drawing murlocs unless the enemy mills you so [Tip the scales] can be played.
[Stonehearth Vindicator] draws [Order in court].
[Anachronos] clears the board the turn before you play [Tip the scales]
[Bonelord Frostwhisper] makes it possible to play [Tip the scales] and [Anyfin can happen] earlier. It also makes it possible to play [Anachronos] first and then play [Anyfin can happen] on the same turn if the opponent has played taunts. The deck has no other win condition than trying to kill them with the murlocs so dying three turns after the effect has gone off does not matter much.
The rest of the deck contains cards that try to keep the enemy distracted or slow them down. These cards can be swapped out for alternatives, do note that any spells that cost 3 or less may screw up [Stonehearth Vindicator].
Keep [Order in court] or [Stonehearth Vindicator] in starting hand and remove any murlocs since they can be summoned with [Tip the scales].
Play any murlocs drawn and play [Order in court as soon as possible]. If [Order in court] is played on turn 2 then [Bonelord Frostwhisper] will be drawn on turn 6, or earlier if any 7+ cards were already drawn prior to playing it.
Play [Bonelord Frostwhisper] on turn 6. If she dies play [Tip the scales] on turn 7 (Otherwise on turn 8) followed by a disrupt card if there is space left on the board. Follow up with [Anyfin can happen] the turn after and play [Anachronos] before if they have taunt minions. [Blessed champion] can be played for a deadlier board if drawn.
The regular full board has 30 damage with the 3 charge minions. The second [Anyfin can happen] played will have a different board than the regular one since more than 7 murlocs will have died at that point so it may deal more or less than 30 damage.
The deck strugges against freezes, [Loatheb], [Devolve] and polymorphs/removal that doesn't kill the murlocs. If the enemy are playing murlocs then they will unfortunately screw up the murloc pool for [Anyfin can happen].
Any deck modifications are appriciated.
submitted by BmHype
to wildhearthstone [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 20:35 Aparadisefound [Primer] It Only Takes One: Mono Blue Infect with Tetsuko Umezawa
Hey everyone! Thanks for taking time to read the primer on my labor of love over the last 4 years: Mono Blue Infect. It's my favorite deck I have ever made, and a joy to pull out. Even the people playing against it usually find it a lot of fun, and a great addition to the table. Decklist: https://www.moxfield.com/decks/mFAsCcDjkkWg2-zBwRxc-w Background
Initially conceived as a deckbuilding challenge, some players from our LGS in Tampa (big shoutout to Steve who has helped tune this deck so many times) decided to build mono-colored infect decks. At the time (April 2019) Green and Black were faraway the best for zerging doing single opponents; cards like [[Skithrix the Blight Dragon
]] and [[Triumph of the Hordes
]] easily outpaced what most blue cards had to offer. This made it so my personal deckbuilding philosophy had to be a little different; so I leaned into what blue does best: **Control**. I set out to build a control deck that slowly whittles down the table with infect, finishing the game without anyone knowing what hit them. The deck looks differently today than it did all those years ago, but the core principle is the same. I hope you enjoy. The Plan
Get 10 poison counters on everyone. Don't die. How?
Get at least 1 poison counter, preferably 3 or 4, on every
opponent, early in the game. Our commander, [[Tetsuko
]], allows all (save 3 utility creatures) our 20+ creatures in the deck to become unblockable. Almost all these creatures either draw us cards (such as [[Mischievous Catgeist
]] or continue our infect game plan (such as [[Blighted Agent
]]. Tetsuko makes creatures with Power OR
Toughness of 1 unblockable, so our creatures such as [[Phyrexian Digester
]] can also swing unhindered. Our remaining creatures are for utility; cards like [[Tekuthal
]] make our proliferates stronger (more on that later) and cards like the [[Tribute Mage
]] and [[Trinket Mage
]] give us the some toolbox capabilities for advancing our board state. Great, so you get a couple poison counters out. What next?
The name of the game is \*Proliferate*\. Our first main goal was getting a single poison counter (or a couple) on all of our opponents. The second goal is to now control the game, as only Blue can do. Generally, infect decks have a singularly minded goal: Infect down one player at a time, because of how quickly you can deal 10 poison counters to an individual. This usually makes the player the archenemy, as no one wants to be out of the game early. With mono blue, we can go that route if it's your playstyle (we're actually pretty good at it with unblockable creatures equipped with [[
Bloodforged Battle-Axe]] or [
Umezawa's Jitte**], however there is another option: stack up control, draw, and proliferate cards, and win the game all at once. Again, HOW?
I'm glad you asked. We have a few ways of rapidly proliferating the table. The scariest, and easiest to win in a single turn is our friend the [[Flux Channeler
]] who says "Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, **Proliferate**. With 39 non-creature spells in the deck, 6 of which proliferate on their own, the game can end pretty fast. Our opponents likely know after the first poison counter what our gameplan is, however, so it's recommended to save Flux Channeler until you are either: 1. Sure you can protect them with countermagic (which then also proliferates) or 2. Ready to finish at least 1 player. Aside from Flux we run a myriad of ways to regularly proliferate, from [[Karn's Bastion
]] to the incredible [[Staff of Compleation
]]. If games are going long you could always add in cards like [[Inexorable Tide
]] as well, although I don't personally run it in my list.
Ideally we get our opponents to 4-5 poison counters while building a hand full of counters and proliferate; once your opponents feel the threat of your creatures we let their removal go through, and save our counter magic for what really wins us the game. We don't need Flux Channeler to win, however, as it's easy enough to proliferate regularly with other cards, such as unblokcable [[Thrummingbird
]] or a mana sink such as [[Viral Drake
]]. The deck has a deceptively easy time in finding pieces to win the game from out of nowhere, since you're slowly whittling down the table most of the game. Usually by turn 6-7 everyone is infected, we have a stacked hand, and can start looking to end it. **Power Level*\
As we are all aware, Power level within Commander is a hot button topic, so I'd like to give a little bit of my perspective on what types of decks exist in MTG, and where this fits into that pantheon.
As I see it, there are 4 levels of Commander Deck
- Stuff I own - These are decks which are functionally a bunch of random cards with no central unifying game plan or win condition. Think early precons.
- Battlecruiser - These decks are what the vast majority of kitchen table magic falls into. Usually there is a gameplan or theme, with a good amount of support within the deck for that specific plan. Ramp followed up with big stompees is usually a good example of these decks. The high end of this tier starts to bleed into high power, but generally isn't consistent enough to win.
- High Power - Decks where there is a strong central goal and most, if not all, the cards in the deck are in service to advancing the specific goals set out by the deck. Infinite combos exist here, however are usually not the fastest or most opitmal win conditions of the format. Turn 5-7 usually someone is attempting to win or gaining an insermountable advantage.
- cEDH - The best decks that exist. Almost, if not every, card is completely opitmal. Win conditions are extremely specific and the entire goal of these decks is to advance that goal as quickly as possible. It's not infrequent to see Turn 2-3 attempts at wins or stax players locking others out.
If we take these tiers at face value, our Mono Blue Infect deck sits somewhere in the low-mid section of the high power category. We could make it stronger with some infinite combos and even faster mana (Crypt/Grim Monolith/Mana Vault/Etc.) which might push it into the high power of the high power category, but it's no where near cEDH. But it's definitely too strong to face battlecruiser tables, which you would pubstomp and no one will have fun. Always remember to use rule 0 as honestly as possible. **Specific Card Choices*\
Let's talk about some specific cards and strategies.
[[Prologue to Phyresis
]] is a powerhouse in every way. It does everything we want to accomplish early game in one card, while also being a tool for winning the game later on. We can tutor it with [[Spellseeker
]] or [[Muddle the Mixture
]] and we can flash it back with [[Snapcaster Mage
]] It's an incredible card and we are lucky to have it.
]] is an extremely valuable card, as it is our toolbox tutor. Up against graveyard-based strategies we can grab [[Relic of Progenitus
]], if we are low on lands we can grab [[Seat of the Synod
]] or if we want fast mana we get [[Sol Ring
]], if we need a way to apply poison we can grab [[Prosthetic Injector
]], and if we just really need to end someone we can grab [[Bloodforged Battle-Axe
]]. Overall Trinket mage is one of our most valuable cards.
[[Tezzeret the Seeker
]] is everything Trinket Mage is and more. Tutors your entire artifact toolbox, can ramp you with untaps, can even win the game with regular combat damage with his machine army. Budget Options
As of the time of writing this, Moxfield lists this deck as a $600 deck. That's a high-mid budget deck, but can easily be cut down to less than $200 with very little impact to game plan or performance. Counters such as [[Mana Drain
]], [[Force of Negation
]], and [[Swan Song
]] can be easily replaced with cheaper counterparts. Same goes for cards like [[Cyclonic Rift
]], [[Faerie Mastermind]]
, [[Tezzeret the Seeker
]], [[Rhystic Study
]], and [[Spellseeker
]]. We can also remove the pricy lands like [[Inkmoth Nexus
]], [[Urza's Saga
]], [[Ancient Tomb
]], and [[Otawara the Soaring City
]]. Getting rid of all of these might decrease consistency very slightly, but overall the deck performs extremely admirally on a budget: all you need is the Tetsuko, some poison counters, and some counterspells! Upgrade Options
The decklist, as is, is pretty tight. It can definitely swing 5-7 cards, however, and in that way we can add some very strong fast mana or combos. Cards like [[Mox Amber
]], [[Mox Diamond
]], [[Mox Opal
]], [[Mana Vault
]], and [[Mana Crypt
]] can make the deck MUCH faster, and are easily tutorable with the current toolbox. Stronger countermagic with [[Force of Will
]] and [[Fierce Guardianship
]] could also increase protection. We could also throw in disruption such as [[Gilded Drake
]] or [[Back to Basics
]] Final Thoughts
Thanks for taking the time to read this. This deck has been my favorite I have ever built to this day, and I'm very proud of how it performs. I'm open to all feedback and suggestions, and hope you enjoyed!
submitted by Aparadisefound
to EDH [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 20:24 Icy_Breadfruit1 A self-portrait of fascism by a professor of Hillsdale College, the Claremont Institute, and Trump administration advisor.
By Michael Anton July 26, 2021
Gaslighting getting you down? Feel like the regime has dialed the Megaphone up to, and past, eleven
? You’re not crazy. It’s definitely happening and likely to get worse as our masters’ ability to cope with reality further worsens—or worse, they gain the complete and absolute control they seek. They’re both scornful and terrified of dissent, which explains why they incessantly shriek at us and lie to our faces.
So, to help you navigate the twitstorm, I present a guide to seven of the regime’s most common, oft-deployed lies. This is not meant to be comprehensive. I’m sure there are tactics they use that either I haven’t crystalized or that aren’t front-of-mind at the moment. I encourage others to expand the catalogue with their own observations. The better we can understand how they try to manipulate us, the better we can resist and counter it all.
Let’s start with the Unholy Trinity of ruling class horse manure. These first three are similar, but subtle differences determine the ways they’re used in differing circumstances. The Law of Merited Impossibility
The coinage is Rod Dreher’s and goes back to the early debates on homosexual marriage. As Dreher formulates it, the Law of Merited Impossibility holds: “That will never
happen, and when it does, boy will you [homophobes, transphobes, racists, sexists, whatever] deserve it.”
This Law is used, first, to disarm resistance to the latest leftist enthusiasm. Whatever the innovation is, it will have no adverse consequences. None! Puberty blockers and disfiguring surgeries have no downsides whatsoever. How dare you suggest they might!
Its second purpose is to dismiss out of hand “slippery slope” arguments—despite, or because of, the fact that every single such argument over the last twenty years at least has proved true. Worried that allowing people to “self-identify” as whatever sex they want will lead to pervy 50-year-old men exposing themselves to’ tween girls? Insist, loudly and indignantly, that that will NEVER happen and anyone who suggests it might is an alarmist bigot with a heart full of hate.
The third purpose is to enforce the new caste system. Those who get to impose fresh irrational indignities on the rest of us are the upper caste. Those who object, or even have reservations, are lower. The latter are not allowed to harbor, much less express, any doubts. Whatever humiliation the upper caste has planned for us, we deserve and must meekly accept. Hence when said pervy 50-year-old actually does
start waving around “her” equipment in the girls’ locker room, if any parent dares object, let ’em have it with both barrels. That thing that ten seconds ago you said would “never” happen? Now it’s righteous punishment for the retrograde.
The Law of Merited Impossibility has done wonders for the Left in helping to ram through a wide variety of radical societal changes and cow into silence all opposition. It’s currently busy destroying girls’ and women’s sports, an outcome that we were assured would “never” happen. Though one wonders what the ladies did do to deserve it.
The Law is a bit passé, though, because our rulers rarely any longer feel the need to reassure normie Americans that everything will turn out OK, that the things we most fear won’t happen. Mostly, the holders of the Megaphone just skip to the second half, the angry insistence that we deserve it The Celebration Parallax
A parallax is the apparent difference in position of the same object seen from different vantage points. For instance, an analogue speedometer that reads sixty miles per hour to the driver, but fifty to the passenger—even though the needle itself is only in one place.
The Celebration Parallax may be stated as: “the same fact pattern is either true and glorious or false and scurrilous depending on who states it.” In contemporary speech, on any “controversial” topic—or, to say better, regime priority—the decisive factor is the intent of the speaker. If she can be presumed to be celebrating the phenomenon under discussion, she may shout her approval from the rooftops. If not, he better shut up before someone comes along to shut him up.
Note also that the key distinction here is celebration versus non-celebration, not support versus opposition. One need not actually, clearly oppose the subject under discussion in order to be blameworthy. Declining or neglecting to celebrate it forcefully enough is enough. As in Stalin’s Russia, lack of enthusiastic clapping is regarded as opposition. The legitimacy of one’s right to state the same identical fact, in the same identical language, depends on who one is and what one thinks of it. Since the left presumes that all persons of color approve of the phenomena covered by the Celebration Parallax, the Parallax is really a test to distinguish allies from Deplorables.
To the best of my recollection, the origin of the Celebration Parallax arose from the need to defend “affirmative action,” a very unpopular policy since its inception. The party line therefore goes like this: People of color must be granted explicit preferences to overcome America’s “legacy of racism” so that we may “diversify” America’s power centers and end white male dominance, a move that—in addition to being necessary to address the country’s inherent racism—improves those institutions by infusing them with different and hitherto neglected points of view. Also, kids of color need “role models” who “look like themselves.”
But there is no such thing as “reverse discrimination,” which is itself a racist term, and there are no “quotas” (another racist term) whatsoever, but only “timetables,” “goals,” and measures to evaluate applicants and candidates “holistically.”
On no subject is the Parallax more prevalent than immigration. Depending on who’s doing the talking, the demographic transformation of the United States is either a glorious trend that portends a permanent Democratic majority and a more “vibrant” future, or else a “conspiracy theory” that is not happening in any way at all, no-how.
The Left insists that concerns from certain quarters that immigration policy in America (and Europe) amounts to a “great replacement” is a “dangerous,” “evil,” “racist,” “false” “conspiracy theory.” But a leftist New York Times
columnist can write an article entitled “We Can Replace Them
” and . . . nothing. [Redditor’s note: Michelle Goldberg calls for politically dispossessing white nationalists, not displacing white Americans from America.
] Same fundamental point, except she’s all for it and her targets aren’t. A U.S. Senator can exult
that demographic change will doom Republicans. [That is a link to a more or less openly white nationalist website.
] Joe Biden himself can refer to an “unrelenting stream of immigration.” Except they’re celebrating
it and calling
for it. Anyone on the Right who uses the exact same words will not merely be denounced; the very fact pattern that is affirmed when Biden says it will be denied when the Rightist repeats it. The Law of Salutary Contradiction
Which brings us to the Law of Salutary Contradiction, whose formulation is: “That’s not happening and it’s good that it is.” While the Law of Merited Impossibility applies to the future, this one is about the present. It’s what the ruling class immediately switches to after what they insisted would “never” happen is happening before everyone’s eyes.
Is the NSA spying on Tucker Carlson? That’s an insane conspiracy theory . . . which is also warranted by Tucker’s treasonous contacts with Russian officials as he seeks an interview with Putin.
Is the Biden Administration inviting in illegal immigrants, then putting them on military planes and shipping them to the heartland? Absolutely not . . . and these future Nobel Prize winners deserve their shot at the American Dream.
Once you learn to recognize this pattern, you see it everywhere. It is the cornerstone of ruling class rhetoric in the current year. The Smails Exhortation
Turning from the Unholy Trinity, we see that the ruling class condemns all of us as entitled boors. In their eyes, we deserve nothing. We have no reasonable wants nor any just complaints. Our only role is to accept getting nothing and learning to like it.
Our masters bleat about “democracy” but have redefined the word to mean “getting exactly what we”—i.e., they—“want.” Any ostensibly “democratic” outcome that might result in us getting what we
want is ipso facto illegitimate. Border wall? Fascist! Immigration enforcement? Racist and fascist! Law and order? Double racist and fascist! Better trade deals? Economically illiterate! An end to endless wars? Catastrophic! And also, somehow, “anti-Semitic.” Penis-free girls’ bathrooms? Transphobic!
No matter is too small, too local, too private, or too inconsequential to escape their gaze and slip their punishment. Bake the cake, bigot.
Mostly what they bleat, though, is anti-American, anti-white, anti-conservative, anti-Christian, anti-rural, anti-Southern, anti-Red-state, anti-redneck, anti-working-class hate. Every media organ and cultural citadel blares this message loudly and incessantly.
The purpose is hard to figure. On one hand, it’s demoralizing, which certainly serves ruling class ends, and it fires up their coalition. On the other hand, if you’re trying to boil a frog, it’s best not to tell him the plan, as he might try to jump out of the pot.
Which brings us to: The Lie-Back Imperative
This tactic, and the next one, are related to what Steve Sailer has called “The War on Noticing.” [Steve Sailer is a white supremacist.
The regime knows it’s in a difficult rhetorical position. The heart of its argument is that some people are inherently innocent and good while others are inherently guilty and bad and must be treated accordingly. To ears insufficiently attuned to this new understanding of justice, this can sound unjust. Tying moral worth to circumstances of birth? Not
treating people equally? Punishing the living for the sins of the dead?
Why all this is—contrary to appearances, logic, and common sense—“just” requires considerable explanation. To the extent that people “get it,” they will sharply divide between those who say that the “advantaged” have it coming and those who object “No, I don’t.”
The problem for the regime, therefore, is that while its message is very effective at egging on its own side, it can be equally effective at alarming and rousing its targets. The ideal solution would be to come up with a public message that rallies the regime’s base while lulling its targets, but this turns out to be very difficult, if not impossible.
Another option is to forbid the targets from speaking up—hence the Celebration Parallax.
But the regime’s preferred mode is not merely to allow its targets to speak, but to require
it—so long as the targets deny the regime apparatchik said what she said. Hence the response to “You are evil and deserve what’s coming to you” must be “You don’t think ill of me and wish me no harm.” Every punch in the face must be publicly rationalized, by the victim, as a massage. The purpose is partly to bully the frog into staying in the pot and partly a matter of humiliation. In the oft-quoted words of Anthony Daniels, “a society of emasculated liars is easy to control.”
A great many “conservatives” are not merely willing but eager to play along. Indeed, whole institutions of the establishment “Right” do little else but reassure their ostensible constituency that the Left not only doesn’t mean its proto-genocidal rhetoric but isn’t even saying it.
It is an odd feature of the current year that calling an avowed enemy a liar—publicly insisting that her plain words could not possibly mean what they plainly say—not only fails to provoke an angry denial but is welcomed by the liar herself. Anything to keep the regime’s targets somnambulant for as long as possible. The more Americans who wake up and realize that contemporary leftism is a revenge plot with themselves as its targets, the more will object and try to stop it. This is what the regime, at present, most fears and is trying to prevent. The Enmity Counteraccusation
This one is perhaps the most brazen. As I put it elsewhere
, “the enemy calls you its enemy for recognizing its enmity.”
As regime hacks spew vile, borderline—and sometimes explicitly
—violent rhetoric at you, they will immediately wheel and counterattack if you dare object. [Some guy on Twitter suggested Mr. Anton get the rope for predicting that George Soros would initiate a coup against the Trump administration ahead of the 2020 election.
] Don’t appreciate being called evil because of your race? Then you are “divisive”! Dare put up your hands to block an incoming punch? That’s violence! You’re just supposed to take it.
They’re enemies who treat you like enemies while they insist that you treat them as friends. At least, though, unlike the housebroken “Right
,” they stab you in the front.
A related point is that if you so much as speculate as to where their insane vitriol might lead the country, you will be accused of wishing for that outcome
. It’s entirely possible that decades of anti-American, anti-white, anti-Christian animosity, coupled with nation-destroying trade, immigration and foreign policies, will not lead to civil war. Then again, it’s entirely possible that they might. If they do, the ruling class and the Left will bear the blame. Naturally, though, they will blame us.
Indeed, they already are. Attempts to head off such a conflict by warning about it are treated as provocations intended to produce said conflict. One can be forgiven for wondering if their plan is to start it and then say we started it, sort of like insisting Poland triggered the Second World War by shooting back. “You’re worthless, baby; and if you even think of trying to leave me, I’ll kill you”
Which brings us to the last. Deplorable Americans are loudly and incessantly said to be the worst people in the history of the planet, pure unadulterated evil, with no legitimate concerns, interests or grievances.
Well, OK. Then why live with us? Why treat as anathema
even the most moderate, banal, attempt to allow some measure of federalism and local control?
There can only be two answers: either our masters know (or intuit) deep down that we can live without them but they can’t live without us, or else they want to keep us around to administer what they view as deserved punishment.
Being neither a psychiatrist nor a theologian, I could not say whether the roots of this behavior are psychotic or demonic, but in this layman’s judgement, it exhibits key characteristics of both.
But understand this: they hate you and want you cancelled and ostracized, or at least utterly subservient and obedient. You owe them no consideration. Their every argument, every sentence, every word are proffered in bad faith. As Mary McCarthy said of Lilian Hellman, “Every word she writes is a lie—including ‘and’ and ‘the.’”
The regime is powerful, which means we must calibrate our resistance carefully. But to think clearly, our minds must be free. Which requires understanding its rhetoric and seeing through it. I hope this short guide is useful in that effort.
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2023.05.28 20:24 54ltymuch Re-Structuring the MCU from the ground up - Phase One
Look look look, I know. I know.
It's another guy constructing a cinematic universe. Trust me with this one, I've planned ahead rather than just going one movie at a time, there is an actual structure to it.
This story is going to be a closed one. Three arcs that each have three phases, so while it is huge (if you want to compare it to where the MCU is right now, we would be at the halfway point, right in the middle of the second arc/saga), it is not infinite. There will be a final event to ends everyone's arcs and stories, no loose threads. Schedule
- X-Men: Regenesis
- Untitled Deadpool sequel
- The Sub-Mariner
- Captain America
- The Hellfire Club
- The Wolverine: Weapon X
- X-Men: Hellfire and Brimstone
- Black Panther: Enemy of the State
- The Astonishing Ant-Man
- Fantastic Four
- The Sub-Mariner: War of the Worlds
- X-Men: Schism
As you can see, phase one is mostly mutant-based as I want fresh ideas and characters to start the universe off. While this phase doesn't have one movie involving every single player, the last two have all the major factions except for one.
This is an origin film for the X-Men set just before whatever present day would be in this timeline. We will be going with the classic six-man First Class which consists of Charles Xavier, Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey, Beast and Angel.
We will have William Stryker and Bolivar Trask as minor side characters who, while not prejudiced against mutants just yet, are distrustful of the new mutant gene that is beginning to show itself in humans.
Xavier is our protagonist for the film, we explore his psyche and issues with self-worth and thinking he's a failure because of his brother, who is the main villain in this film: Cain Marko a.k.a. the Juggernaut. He creates the team to stop the Juggernaut as he knows he can't do it alone, hence the formation of the team. Cyclops and Jean Grey don't get together in this film but there is some chemistry there. Cyclops' arc is learning to be a better communicator and leader, as he wants to lead the team but finds himself not being a good leader at times. Jean and Beast have doubts about their power - Beast's being more doubts about his form - and being mutant in general which Xavier helps him with. Iceman's arc is about accepting his difference from everyone else. It's key to point out that he doesn't have doubts about his power but rather the social aspect of it, knowing he isn't like everyone else (this is obviously foreshadowing for the inevitable outing, I don't like making a character's sexuality a big deal I think it should just be who they are but for Bobby it's a bit different). Finally, Angel is unlike the others. While the others are all getting to grips with their roles in a team and their mutant powers, Angel is slightly older than the others (minus Xavier of course) and is comfortable with his power, he just doesn't care much for being part of a team, having to be convinced by the fact that Juggernaut is a challenge for him rather than the team aspect of it. While he doesn't complete this arc in any way, it is clear he makes baby steps towards being more open with his teammates by the end.
No cameos, no references to other characters or anything. Just let it be a self-contained story.
Untitled Deadpool sequel
I have nothing to say about this movie. Let Deadpool do whatever he wants to, hopping from universe to universe, ending up in this continuity at some point. To be clear, this is Deadpool 3, sequel to the first two Deadpool movies that are real and exist in the real world. I would be willing to throw major money at this to get some cameos or even slightly larger roles from characters from the Fox universe as well as the MCU since both universes are basically irrelevant now. I would especially love to get interaction between characters who were unceremoniously recast such as the two Yukios and the two Sabretooths. Maybe Cable and the MCU Thanos share a scene? Do whatever you want guys, have fun.
This should be a direct horror adaptation of Peter Milligan's The Sub-Mariner: The Depths. That is it. The director may introduce side character such as Lady Dorma, Namora and Namorita if they want to but it's really up to them how they want Namor to be characterised, by his relationships or by the plot itself. If I could, I would get Guillermo Del Toro on this. For the unfamiliar, The Depths is a horror storyline that showcases Namor from the perspective of a fleet of ships on the surface, he is the monster rather than the hero.
This too would be an almost direct adaptation of Rick Remender and John Romita Jr's Castaway in Dimension Z. No origin needed, general audiences know Captain America by now, no need to go over it again. Arnim Zola as your act one villain, get some quick period piece stuff in the first act, send him to Dimension Z and then have a three act structure there creating a four act film with Green Skull as your main villain, with Jet Zola and Ian Zola as supporting characters. When Cap eventually gets out of Dimension Z with Ian at his side, he is greeted by Sharon Carter revealing that he has come back to 70 years in the future. Cap is now in present day.
The Hellfire Club
Get Rian Johnson in, he can make a Knives Out style mystery thriller using the Hellfire Club characters. The characters I will be using are Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Donald Pierce, Mastermind, Harry Leland, Selene, Fredrich van Roehm (who is the victim) and Emmanuel Da Costa, as well as Tessa in a cameo
This is set just before present day too.
The Wolverine: Weapon X
Weapon X origin for Wolverine, re-treading properly after the shitshow that was the last Weapon X movie. This should be a pretty faithful adaptation of Weapon X vol. 1 #1-#4 however, not diverting from that story too much, mainly in the involvement of Dr. Abraham Cornelius rather than William Stryker. I would get Matthew Vaughn for this one to give it a bit of period aesthetic while also allowing the movie to have a distinct mix of subtly funny while not shying away from the fucked up nature of it all. I want every movie in the Wolverine story to have a unique directorial vision.
X-Men: Hellfire and Brimstone
This movie brings the elements of the last two films together with the X-Men to mark the phase as a connected universe before the second half of the phase which is a lot more disconnected and less mutant-focused.
This movie is basically the X-Men against the Hellfire Club, who are plotting to take over the government of Nigeria where there the population boom is also resulting in a mutation boom. Xavier's started the school for the gifted in between films, and we introduce Storm as a new recruit to the team. Xavier knows he's up against it and decides to recruit Wolverine too just before the midpoint of the film.
The big twist halfway through is that Angel is a double agent working for the Hellfire Club, revealing that he only joined the X-Men after Shaw asked him to keep tabs on powerful mutants. The final battle ends up killing a few Hellfire Club members (Pierce, Da Costa and Selene) and destroys property, which catches the attention of Stryker and Trask once again. Trask decides to begin developing countermeasures.
Black Panther: Enemy of the State
Another pretty faithful adaptation, Black Panther in a political struggle with the White Wolf (the actual White Wolf character who is T'Challa's brother, not Bucky Barnes). Storm is our main love interest, although Nakia is present as an ex which causes tension in the group somewhat. Achebe and White Wolf succeed in their coup, making Black Panther an actual 'enemy of the state', which is when Captain America and Everett Ross join the fray on behalf of the US government who find Achebe and the White Wolf to be dangerous to the larger political landscape, eventually discovering Wakanda's true nature after contact with T'Challa. When T'Challa's mother Queen Ramonda protests against the White Wolf in public, she is assassinated in cold blood. This begins the third act as it completely instabilises the country as people realise that the new power may not be better in the long-term, the final fight being essentially the Wakandan Civil War.
The Astonishing Ant-Man
The Ant-Man in question here is Hank Pym, but Janet van Dyne is not quite the Wasp yet. Our feature villain is Absorbing Man but we may have a minor antagonistic role from Titania (maybe have Titania played by a wrestler? Charlotte Flair would be the perfect one I think but Britt Baker or Rhea Ripley would do a job too). Finesse and Hazmat would probably make good side characters too, just get Edgar Wright on this and let him have free reign.
Doctor Strange: Sorceror Supreme
This is a tricky one because I like where Doctor Strange is right now in the MCU a lot. This is going to be more of a soft reboot, have the same actors and keep the first two films in memory without the mentions to the larger MCU. So while Strange hasn't fought the Scarlet Witch and doesn't have knowledge of the other multiverses, he is at that same point in his friendship with Wong and in his skills. We will however be recasting Nicodermus as a lower level sorceror salty at Strange for not helping him after his wife died, and have him tap into the dark dimension to try and steal Strange's power, causing Clea to come to Earth and warn Strange before the two along with Wong go and solve things. Mordo shows up too, helping Nicodermus as he believes Strange to be part of the problem about abusing magic.
Strange's arc in this film is learning to trust Clea and realising he should use his power whenever possible to help others rather than holding himself to the rules he sets for himself.
Cameo from Nightmare in a post-credit scene.
Introduce them in the modern day, put em together, boom
I know it sounds ridiculous considering the failures of previous films but Matt Shahman is someone I trust I'll let him on for this project. Mole Man is the villain, and Victor von Doom is present for a couple of scenes involving the Baxter foundation selling some sort of technology to the country of Latveria.
Reed and Sue are together from the beginning of the film and while their relationship's turbulence post-incident forms the core of the film, their bond is stronger than ever by the end of it. We should have Alicia Masters too with Ben, but the two's relationship is a lot more turbulent even before they get powers, and while the powers don't end their relationship it puts more strain on it than ever before. Johnny has his laundry list of non-committed relationships and how each of the four characters tackles love and differs from it is the starting point for how we will create the dynamics between them. While Mole Man doesn't directly challenge these dynamics as a character, he should try and poke holes in the team this way, giving a little more credence to the 'mole' part of his character.
Cameos from Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock out of costume as a lawyer defending a victim of some sort of dangerous tech that was stolen from the Baxter building, and a slightly more extended one from Tom Holland's Spider-Man who fights Mole Man at the very start of the film and the pair's fight unwittingly causes the accident that gives the F4 their powers.
The Sub-Mariner: War of the Worlds
Much like Captain America: Civil War, this is a movie that features two warring factions but as the title suggest is still part of the story of one primary character: Namor.
This is primarily a Namor movie, introduce side character if Guillermo didn't want to in the first film: namely Namora, Lady Dorma, Namorita, Llyra and Stingray. They are all on Namor's side during this, we will explore inter-Atlantean conflicts later I want there to be tension between members but no outright fights. The other side of the war is, of course, Black Panther. Our supporting characters are Shuri, Monica Lynne, Nakia, Storm and Okoye. Storm's stoic nature makes her absent from the conflict but she is still there during discussions.
Something about Atlanteans being killed in a Wakandan mining operation or something, it escalates, Atlantis declares war on Atlantis. Namor's side will of course have their own tensions as some disagree with a declaration of war while others push him to go to war. T'Challa resists at first and is purely defensive. In an Atlantean attack on Wakanda, the royal palace is put under siege and Nakia dies, turning the dynamic between the two countries on its head as T'Challa, wracked with guilt, decides to go on the offensive to a mixed response from his own camp.
The tensions between the two sides are prominent but we should find a way to separate them from their councils. Eventually Okoye and Shuri come to blows in the wreckage of Wakanda's capital while T'Challa is away, while Stingray disagrees with Namor's methods and decides to help Wakanda.
Okoye and Shuri get more and more tense and Okoye gets the upper hand and nearly stabs Shuri before she stops and all the trauma the nation has suffered comes back to the both of them. Okoye drops her spear and the two reconcile just in time for T'Challa and Namor to face off alone.
Our final battle is a personal one between the two rather than some big war. Pure fisticuffs. The two go toe to toe and are evenly matched, but the fight is broken up by Storm who finally puts an end to everything by intervening and forcing the two to come to a truce. I'm justifying that Storm can stop both of them as T'Challa obviously has a relationship with her and water conducts electricity so Storm should realistically be able to beat him.
Professor X's philosophy of stopping evil after it becomes a problem and Cyclops' need to stop whoever could possibly be a threat causes tension between the two, and this combined with both characters wanting to lead the team results in a fracturing of the team while dealing with Bolivar Trask, who has finally finished his Sentinels after the end of the second X-Men film.
The Hellfire Club also features of course, being prosecuted by the Sentinels too, resulting in a shaky truce between the X-Men and the Club. Much like Civil War, the 'villain' is defeated by the end of the second act only for another act to appear as after the Sentinels are destroyed, the mutants continue to bicker and eventually come to blows. Emma Frost, having begun to see the righteousness in Xavier's ways, sides with him, as do Beast, Angel and Storm. Cyclops is joined by Jean Grey, Iceman, Wolverine and Kitty Pryde, whereas Colossus decides to leave the X-Men altogether and the rest of the Hellfire Club leave. However before they can leave, Cyclops accidentally burns Angel's wings and Emma and Xavier both try and paralyse Mastermind at the same time causing Mastermind's mind to fracture and him to go brain-dead. This is just too much for the group and they go their separate ways, Jean taking Cyclops and his guys away.
Just in case we're unclear on how the mutants are split:-
- Xavier's team: Professor X, Emma Frost, Beast, Storm
- Scott's team: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Wolverine, Kitty Pryde
- MIA: Angel, Colossus
And that's how we end the phase. The X-Men are fractured, Wakanda and Atlantis are at an extremely shaky truce, Captain America just woke up in modern times, Doctor Strange is reaching his prime, and the Fantastic Four and Ant-Man are now established.
The next phase will focus on expanding the mutants further with smaller branched teams and assembling the Avengers.
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