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#by 'dominant' I mean 'everything can kill you' not most populous
adobe-outdesign · a month ago
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best part about Pokemon is that it asks the very serious question of “what would happen if humans weren’t the dominant species on earth” and answers it with “we’d make friends with the things that are and have them protect us” and I think that’s great
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hellomynameisbisexual · a month ago
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Travis has had both boyfriends and girlfriends since high school. But when his coworkers discovered his dating history at a board game night, they told him he couldn’t be bisexual. “Bi men don’t exist,” they said. “You’re just a confused gay guy.” Travis, 34, had brought his girlfriend with him that night, but they started calling her his “roommate” after they found out he was bi.
Santiago got an even harsher reaction when he came out to his family. “‘Bisexual’ is just code for insincere gay man” is how he said one of his relatives reacted. “He didn’t use the term ‘gay man,’” 24-year-old Santiago told me, “but I won’t repeat slurs.”
In the past couple of months, I’ve heard dozens of stories like these from bisexual men who have had their sexual orientations invalidated by family members, friends, partners, and even strangers. Thomas was called a “fence-sitter” by a group of gay men at a bar. Shirodj was told that he was “just gay but not ready to come out of the closet.” Alexis had his bisexuality questioned by a lesbian teacher who he thought would be an ally. Many of these same men have been told that women are “all a little bi” or “secretly bi” but that men can only be gay or straight, nothing else.
In other words, bisexual men are like climate change: real but constantly denied.
A full 2% of men identified themselves as bisexual on a 2016 survey from the Centers for Disease Control, which means that there are at least three million bi guys in the United States alone—a number roughly equivalent to the population of Iowa. (On the same survey, 5.5% of women self-identified as bisexual, which comes out to roughly the same number of people as live in New Jersey.) The probability that an entire state’s worth of people would lie about being attracted to more than one gender is about as close to zero as you can get.
But the idea that only women can be bisexual is a persistent myth, one that has been decades in the making. And prejudice with such deep historical roots won’t disappear overnight.
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To understand why bisexual men are still being told that their sexual orientation doesn’t exist, we have to go back to the gay liberation movement of the late 1960s. That’s when Dr. H. Sharif “Herukhuti” Williams, a cultural studies scholar and co-editor of the anthology Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men, told me that male sexual fluidity got thrown under the bus in the name of gay rights—specifically white, upper-class gay rights.
“One of the byproducts of the gay liberation movement is this…solidifying of the [sexual] binary,” Herukhuti told me, citing the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s as a pre-Stonewall period of relatively unstigmatized sexual fluidity.
Four decades later, the gay liberation movement created a new type of man—the “modern gay man,” Herukhuti calls him—who was both “different from and similar to” the straight man. As Jillian Weiss, now the executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense Fund, wrote in a 2003 review of this same history, “gays and lesbians campaigned for acceptance by suggesting that they were ‘just like you,’ but with the single (but extremely significant exception) of [having] partners of the same sex.” Under this framework, attraction to a single gender was the unifying glue between gay men, lesbians, and straight people—bisexual people were just “confused.”
Bisexual people realized that they would have to form groups and coalitions of their own if they wanted cultural acceptance. But just as bisexual activism was gaining a foothold in the 1980s, the AIDS crisis hit, and everything changed—especially for bisexual men.
“AIDS forced certain bisexual men out [of the closet], it forced a lot of bisexual men back in, and then it killed off a number of them,” longtime bisexual activist and author Ron Suresha told me.Those deaths hindered the development of male bisexual activism at a particularly critical moment. “A number of men who would have been involved and were involved in the early years of the bi movement died—and they died early and they died quickly,” bisexual writer Mike Syzmanski recalled.
The AIDS crisis also gave rise to one of the most pernicious and persistent stereotypes about bisexual men, namely that they are the “bridge” for HIV transmission between gay men and heterosexual women. As Brian Dodge, a public health researcher at Indiana University, told me, this is a “warped notion” that has “never been substantiated by any real data.” The CDC, too, has debunked the same myth in the specific context of U.S. black communities: No, black men on the “down low” are not primarily responsible for high rates of HIV among black women.
For decades, bisexual men have been portrayed—even within the LGBT community—as secretly gay, sexually confused vectors of disease.
In 2016, bisexual men are still feeling the effects of the virus and the misperceptions around it.
“We’re still underrepresented on the boards of almost all of the national bisexual organizations,” Suresha told me, referring to the fact that women occupy most of the key leadership positions in bisexual activism. And in a new, nationally representative study of attitudes toward bisexual people, Dodge and his research team found that 43% of respondents agreed —at least somewhat—with the statement: “People should be afraid to have sex with bisexual men because of HIV/STD risks.”
For decades, bisexual men have been portrayed—even within the LGBT community—as secretly gay, sexually confused vectors of disease. Is it any wonder that they are still fighting to shed that false image today? It’s hard to convince people that you exist when they barely see you as human.
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It’s not that bisexual women have it easy. Both bisexual men and women are much less likely than gay men and lesbians to be out of the closet, with only 28% telling Pew that most of the important people in their life know about their orientation. Collectively, bisexual people also have some of the worst mental health outcomes in the LGBT community and their risk of intimate partner violence is disturbingly high. Bisexual people also face discrimination within the LGBT community while fending off accusations that their orientation excludes non-binary genders. (In response, bisexual educator Robyn Ochs defines “bisexuality” as attraction to “people of more than one sex and/or gender” rather than just to “men and women.”)
And on top of these general problems, bisexual women are routinely hypersexualized, stereotyped as “sluts,” dismissed as “experimenting,” and harassed on dating apps. Their bisexuality is reduced to a spectacle or waved away as a “phase.”
But it is still bisexual men who seem to have their very existence questioned more often.
Suresha pointed me to a 2005 New York Times article with the headline “Straight, Gay, Or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited,” the fallout of which he saw as “a disaster for bi people.” The article reported on a new study “cast[ing] doubt on whether true bisexuality exists, at least in men.” The study in question measured the genital arousal of a small sample of men and found, as the Times summarized, that “three-quarters of the [bisexual male] group had arousal patterns identical to those of gay men; the rest were indistinguishable from heterosexuals.”
“It got repeated and repeated in all sorts of media,” Suresha recalled. “People reported it in news briefs on the radio, in print, in magazines, all over the place.”
As the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force noted in its response to the article, the original study had some clear methodological limitations—only 33 self-identified bisexual men were included and participants were recruited through “gay-oriented magazines”—but the Times went ahead and reported that the research “lends support to those who have long been skeptical that bisexuality is a distinct and stable sexual orientation.”
“Show me the quest for scientific proof that heterosexuality exists. It begins and ends with even just one person saying, ‘I’m straight.’” — Amy Andre, Huffington Post
The article fueled the devious narrative that male bisexuality was just homosexuality in disguise. The lived experiences of bisexual men don’t support that narrative—and neither does science—but its power comes from prejudice, not from solid evidence.
And unsurprisingly, the 2005 study’s conclusions did not survive the test of time. In fact, one of the co-authors of that study went on to co-author a 2011 study which found that “bisexual patterns of both subjective and genital arousal” did indeed occur among men. The New York Times Magazine later devoted a feature to the push for the 2011 study, briefly acknowledging the paper’s previous poor coverage. But many in the bisexual community were unimpressed that the scientific community was still being positioned as the authority on the existence of bisexual men.
“Show me the quest for scientific proof that heterosexuality exists,” Amy Andre wrote on the Huffington Post in response to the feature. “It begins and ends with even just one person saying, ‘I’m straight.’”
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One of the most tragic things about society’s refusal to accept bisexual men is that we don’t even know why it is still so vehement. Dodge believes that his new study offers some hints—the persistent and widespread endorsement of the HIV “bridge” myth is alarming—but he told me that he would need “more qualitative and more focused research” before he could definitively state that HIV stigma is the primary factor driving negative attitudes toward bisexual men. (Research in this area is indeed sorely lacking. The last major study on the subject prior to the survey Dodge’s team conducted was published in 2002.)
In the meantime, bisexual advocates have developed plenty of compelling theories, many of them focused on the dominance of traditional masculinity. For example, Herukhuti explained that “we live in a society in which boundaries between men are policed because of patriarchy and sexism.” Men are expected to be “kings of their kingdom”—not to share their domain.
“For men to bridge those boundaries with each other—the only way that we can conceive of that is in the sense that these are ‘non-men,’” Herukhuti told me, adding that, in a patriarchal society, gay men are indeed seen as “non-men.” The refusal to accept that men can be bisexual, then, is partly a refusal to accept that someone who is bisexual can even be a man.
Many of the bisexual men I interviewed endorsed this same hypothesis. Kevin, 25, told me that “it’s seen as really unmanly to be attracted to men.” Another Kevin, 26, added that “the core concept of masculinity doesn’t leave room for anything besides extremes.” Justin, in his mid 20s, said that “men are one way and gay men are another way [but] bisexual men are this weird middle ground.”
Our society doesn’t seem to do well with more than two—especially when so many still believe that there’s only one right way to be a man.
And Michael, 28, added that bisexual men are “symbolically dangerous”—a “big interior threat to hetero masculinity” because of a shared attraction to women. It’s easy for a straight guy to differentiate himself from the modern gay man, but how can he reassure himself that he is nothing like his bisexual counterpart?
The answer is obvious: He can equate male bisexuality with homosexuality.
The logic needed to balance that equation, Herukhuti explained to me, is disturbingly close to the racist, Jim Crow-era “one-drop rule,” which designated anyone with the slightest bit of African ancestry as black for legal purposes.
“For a male to have had any kind of same-sex sexual experience, they are automatically designated as gay, based on that one-drop rule,” Herukhuti said. “And that taints them.”
To see that logic at work, look no further than the state of HIV research, much of which still groups gay and bisexual men together as MSM, or men who have sex with men. Dodge, who specializes in the area of HIV/AIDS, explained that “when a man reports sexual activity with another man, that becomes the recorded mode of transmission and there’s no data reporting about female or other partners.” Bisexual men have their identities erased—literally—from the resulting data.
“A really easy way to fix this,” Dodge added, “would be to just create a separate surveillance category.”
But when it comes to categories, our society doesn’t seem to do well with more than two—especially when so many still believe that there’s only one right way to be a man.
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The situation of bisexual men is not hopeless. Slowly but surely, they are expanding the horizons of masculinity. The silver lining in Dodge’s study, for example, is that there has been a decided “‘shift’ in attitudes toward bisexual men and women from negative to more neutral in the general population” over the last decade or so, although negative attitudes toward bisexual men were still “significantly greater” than the negativity directed at their female peers.
“Put the champagne on the ice,” Dodge joked. “We’re no longer at the very bottom of the barrel but we’ve still got a ways to go.”
That distance will likely be shortened by a rising generation that is far more tolerant of sexual fluidity than their predecessors. Respondents to Dodge’s survey who were under age 25 had more positive attitudes toward bisexuality, perhaps because so many of them openly identify as LGBTQ themselves—some as bisexual, some as pansexual, and some refusing labels altogether.
That growing acceptance is starting to be reflected in movies and on television, once forms of media that were, and still often are, notoriously hostile to bisexual men. A character named Darryl came out as bisexual with a myth-busting song on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and, as GLAAD recently noted, other shows like Shadowhunters and Black Sails are starting to do bi male representation right. The HBO comedy Insecure even made biphobia into a powerful storyline when one straight female character, Molly, shunned her love interest when he told her that he once had oral sex with a guy in a college. But other shows, like House of Cards, are still using a male character’s bisexuality as a way to accentuate his villainy.
Ultimately, bisexual men themselves will continue to be the most powerful force for changing hearts and minds. I asked each bisexual man I interviewed what he would want the world to know about his sexual orientation. Some wanted to clear up specific misconceptions but so many of them simply wanted people to acknowledge that male bisexuality is not fake.
“It’s important that bisexuality be acknowledged as real,” said Martyn, 30, adding that “there’s only so long someone can hold on to a part of themselves that seems invisible before it starts to make them doubt their own sense of self.”
“I am happy being bisexual and I’m not looking for an answer,” said Dan, 19. “I’m not trying things out, I’m not using this as a placeholder to discover my identity. This is who I am. And I love it.”
Samantha Allen is a reporter for Fusion’s Sex+Life vertical. She has a PhD in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Emory University and was the 2013 John Money Fellow at the Kinsey Institute. Before joining Fusion, she was a tech and health reporter for The Daily Beast.
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samibetache2000 · 2 months ago
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How Streaming services and youtube are taking over modern day tv:
I mean when was the last time you turned on your tv, I mean it’s probably on all day every day right but are you watching actual tv and unless your over fifty I think theres a big chance the answer is no.
When I ask someone what they’re watching on there tv there answer is simply Netflix or Youtube or something other streaming platform but what exactly is Netflix and let’s actually take a second to look at its dominance.
Netflix is an American streaming platform founded in 1997 in Scotts valley, California by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, on this platform there is a enormous library of films, series’s and Netflix original’s.
Its available worldwide bar a few countries due to political reasons, grossing 24.96 billion dollars last year with around 203 million paying users that’s about the entire population of England, France and Germany combined, if we keep it uk focused with the population of 66 million in that figure 15 million have a paid Netflix account averaging 1/4.5 people which is crazy considering that most people share accounts too.
The reason for Netflix’s dominance in my opinion is due to many things, the interface is so easy to navigate giving you genres and recommendations based on previously watched content and also a simple search bar, the variety of content is unmatched from kids to +18 movies and series’s available in a multitude of different languages and also translation and subtitles on almost everything.
And in my opinion the main reason for there success is there Netflix originals as there only available to watch on Netflix, the success of shows such as Stranger Things, 13 reasons why, black mirror, You, Money Heist (La Casa de papel) …. Etc makes a Netflix subscription a must have.
However Netflix although currently unmatched are starting to face stiff competition form the likes of Amazon Prime and Disney+, Amazon prime might sound confusing as Amazon is usually the delivery service and prime being the option for next day delivery however in recent years they begun taking there streaming service seriously also by making amazon exclusive Films and Series’s and securing the rights to hundreds of popular movies and elite shows like Vikings.
Disney+ however is a relatively new streaming service which was only launched 15 months ago and has already amassed a whopping 95 million paid subscribers which is almost half of what Netflix has despite Netflix being 21 years older, and this success is due to the fact everyone loves Disney and is also the parent company of two of the most popular franchises in TV history in Start Wars and Marvel, and they started of right with a Star Wars exclusive in the Mandalorian and now debuted one of three marvel tv shows announced in Wanda Vision on top of that they have every Disney movie ever made which includes some of the biggest movies of all time like Frozen, Home Alone and Cars. If I has to bet on any service dethroning Netflix at the top Disney+ is definitely the one.
The only thing that is really going for “Normal TV” at the moment is live sports as personally for me it’s the only reason I have actual channels, and that probably explains why the TV right for live sports are so expensive, some of the numbers are stupid.
Just from UK based Sky and BT alone pay over three billion pounds a season for rights to showcase there matches and the premier league are believed to actually bank 5.5 billion globally when you include other companies, ESPN pay the NFL 1.9 billion dollars a season for there rights, with ESPN, ABC, and Turner Sports paying 2.7 billion dollars a year for the NBA.
No tv shows or anything else on TV even comes close to these figures and that’s why I think that if it wasn’t for live sports “Normal TV” would be dead.
Even networks like BBC and ITV have realised this starting there own streaming services in BBC iPlayer and ITV HUB respectively showcasing all there programs on there essentially for free however to access the BBC iPlayer you need to have paid the £165 tv license fee however, even a 5 year old can get around by literally just lying when they ask as theres no verification process whatsoever.
The major issue approaching for “Normal TV” is that even Live sports are realising this and are looking into streaming services with many already making the switch, think of WWE despite having multi billion dollar deals with USA network and FOX respectively there main shows are all shown on the WWE network from there pay per views to there documentaries to a library of classic event and matches and guess what its been extremely successful for them and you can’t be surprised, with 1.5 million paid subscribers and an annual revenue in the millions.
UFC are also trying something similar with UFC fight pass broadcasting lots of different fighting promotions and also a library similar to WWE’s where you get historic fights and events and anything fighting related you want to watch really.
However most of the UFC pay per views are actually on another streaming service and probably the most successful sport streaming service in the US in ESPN+ with 11.5 million paid subscribers funny enough also owned by Disney, ESPN+ showcases live UFC PPV events for a discounted price, live Major League Baseball, Major league soccer, National hockey league and much more.
Another thriving sports service is DAZN which is currently the main destination if you’re looking for boxing as its become the main sponsor and partner of Match room Boxing showcasing fights like Anthony Joshua vs Andy Ruiz jr in over 200 countries worldwide, DAZN also shows tons of other sports including Football, Cricket and basketball making it a way more diverse platform then ESPN+ however is lacking the big brand behind it.
This leads to another blow to “Normal TV” as it brings the slow death of PPV, pay per view is a service where a spectator can purchase events to view privately whilst the broadcaster shows the event at the same time to everyone ordering it.
However PPV is dying as it’s always been expensive paying around £40-£90 per event however nowadays that’s no longer the case for example WWE pay per views happen once a month however if you have the WWE Network you watch the PPV for free so instead of paying around £50 for the event, you pay £9.99 for the monthly subscription.
Same thing goes with boxing as most fight are on DAZN or ESPN+ so why would you pay for the PPV instead of $19.99 or $4.99 respectively.
The only ones that really still use the PPV system is The UFC but like I mentioned before with ESPN+ you get a discount, however UFC president Dana White has spoke multiple times about making UFC PPV’s fight pass exclusive.
Now lets move on to the holy grail of them all and that’s YouTube, and why is that you may ask ? Well simply because it’s free you don’t have to pay a penny to watch youtube, well you do sit through a few Add’s here and there however you get the watch all your favourite content for free.
Well I highly doubt it but if you’ve never heard of Youtube, it’s an online video sharing platform owned by google and the second most visited website in the world, its available worldwide bar a few countries again for political reasons with an estimated 2 billion daily users grossing around 15 billion dollars a year Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos.
Basically it has everything you need and more, and the impact it has on this generation is immense you can just pick up a camera talk and upload it and have the Internet do the rest, it helps as its an easy way to exercise freedom of speech by sharing political views.
Kids nowadays don’t re want to watch TV they would rather watch they’re favourite YouTuber, they grow up idolising people like KSI, Pewdiepie, and Ssniperwolf. These you-tubers literally have the power to influence a generation as people who consider themselves fans would do anything for them.
Unfortunately sometimes they take it too far like back in 2019 PewDiePie was battling it out with T-series on youtube for the n*1 subscribed YouTube channel But what happen next can never be expected a terrorist unleashed fire on a mosque killing 50 people and writing subscribe to PewDiePie on the wall, the Terrorist was definitely an Islamophobe but he thought it would be a good idea to help PewDiePie as he knew that this would generate lots of attention and bring lots of light on PewDiePie’s channel.
PewDiePie later condemned his actions describing it as a terrible incident that he prays never happens again and essentially gave up on the battle with T series and stoped the subscribe to PewDiePie meme.
Another incident where fans have got out of hand is with popular YouTuber Roman Atwood where he’s had to deal with a stalker for years and even had to get the FBI involved As the stalker Would threaten him and his family, change there mail address, Hack into the security cameras and take pictures and send them to the family and even call in a false Bomb threat to a family funeral.
However YouTubers still have the power To manipulate and influence certain things by Just shining a light on them they can increase the value and inflate a certain market. And example of this is when YouTuber Logan Paul who has recently been making Pokémon content where he opens 22-year-old packs which are worth a ton of money to try and pack certain rare Pokémon cards and the rarest of them cards is a PSA 10 1st edition base set Charizard and before Logan Paul Was doing the Pokémon stuff a Charizard was worth around $250,000 however now a Charizard is worth around 3 quarters of a $1 million. And all type of Pokémon prices have gone up, he has basically made Pokémon popular again and it seems to be the talk of YouTube.
YouTube, Netflix and all other streaming services have really killed off classic TV And they have way more influence than classical TV ever had and the scary thing is this is just the beginning.
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dailyaudiobible · 3 months ago
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02/01/2021 DAB Transcript
Exodus 13:17-15:18, Matt 21:23-46, Ps 26:1-12, Pr 6:16-19
Today is the 1st day of February, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian and it's great to be here with you today. Obviously it’s a special day because we’re transitioning into the second month of the year, but it’s a special day because we've completed a whole month together, which means we are settling into a rhythm and we are settling into community for the year. It's…it’s interesting. If we…we make it to Valentine's Day, then the chances are really good that we are going to make it through the year together. And, so, well done for making it all the way here to the second month of the year. Let’s just take a second to think back. It's only been a month, but look at all that has happened. We…we found our origin story. We discussed that. We found out in the third chapter of Genesis what happened to us. We know this is the fall of man. We…we saw the repercussions of that immediately, both in the world and in the human heart. Mankind was naked and unashamed. That was the natural state of things. That’s how it was supposed to be both inward and outward week. We weren’t supposed to have to hide. We weren’t supposed to have hide from each other or from God. But that's what happened, naked and ashamed and hiding. And that's what we see everywhere we look, including in the mirror. And, so, we got some context. And we went through famous stories that we've probably heard our whole lives, like Noah and the flood. And we then met this man Abram and God calling this man Abram to a land he didn't know and giving a promise for this land and changing his name to Abraham and entering into a covenant with him. And then we watched the miraculous story begin to unfold as generations passed to new generations and more and more children were born. And, so, Abraham has Isaac. Isaac as Jacob. And we hear this often in the Bible, “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” And then Jacob's name was changed to Israel. And all the sudden we have a context for what we hear about the children of Israel. The children of Jacob and his offspring, the children of Israel. And we watched the story of Joseph at length, one of the children of Israel, who was trafficked by his brothers into slavery in Egypt. We watched God save Egypt from plague, saving Joseph's family in the process. And then we watched them prosper in…in Egypt, four centuries. Like, four centuries, but they were enslaved and then we met another powerful pivotal figure in the Scriptures named Moses, who was sent back to Egypt to be the…the prophet of God and to demand the freedom of God's people. And that brought on all these plagues that we’ve been reading about the last few days. And that's where we find ourselves. The final plague has descended upon Egypt. The…the children of Israel have been forcibly forced out of Egypt. And that's where we pick up the story as we begin this second month of the year. And we’re reading from the Voice Translation this week. Exodus chapter 13 verse 17 through 15 verse 18.
Commentary:
Okay. A few things we should probably take note of from our reading today because they will help us with our day and our week and this brand-new shiny sparkly month that we find ourselves in. Let's go to the book of Exodus first. The children of Israel have been set free from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. And we watched all of that unfold plague after plague after plague sort of systematically dismantling Egypt. And Pharaoh's arrogance in believing that he is a deity, that he is divine, that he is a God himself, and who is this Hebrew God that would come. And you can kinda get in his head and understand why he would think this. If he has been raised to believe that he is a child, a son of God, that he is the Pharaoh, like a divine being upon the earth, the king of Egypt, and he has a population of people who are his slaves and this population of people who are his slaves come and say, “our God says that you should let us go.” I mean if you think you are divine yourself then you would be thinking, “well, at bare minimum you are my slaves. Whoever your God is is no way near as powerful as the gods of Egypt or me.” So, we can see him resisting and we can see God just demonstrating His power before them at first but then things definitely begin to take a more serious turn and things amp up all the way until Pharaoh and the Egyptians demand the children of Israel leave, which they did. And then we…we read something really interesting that could really help us in our lives. So, the children of Israel were freed from slavery. They entered the desert because that's…that's the way to go to the promised land, across the Sinai Peninsula, but God did not lead them by the shortest, easiest coastal route. He led them deeper into the desert. So, in other words, He set them free and did not give them any easy path, did not give them the most straightforward path. There was work to be done in that desert. And we’re in that desert now, right? They’ve crossed the Red Sea and they are on the other side of the Red Sea, but they are in the desert and they are going to be there, and we are going to be there with them for what feels like an awful long time, 40 years to be specific. Actually, even more than that. And, so, we’ll be spending some time in the desert. And this is our desert portion of the year and we need to embrace it because there are so many lessons in the wilderness. And I mean that metaphorically in our lives, but I also mean that literally in the stories that we’ll find in the Bible that come from the wilderness. So, the children of Israel are in the wilderness backed up to the Red Sea when they notice that an army is coming against them. And the closer that tis army gets the more they realize these are the Egyptians. This is the Egyptian Army coming to destroy us and re-enslave. Of course, the Egyptians and Pharaoh after they…after they let the people go, they start imagining the repercussions. This is going to be devastating to their economy because now you have…you have about a million people that are your slaves that have been propping things up that you've set free. And, so, they’re reconsidering and hardening their hearts again. And they’re gonna go back and get going back and get the Hebrew people. Meanwhile the Hebrew people are kind of boxed in. It’s the wilderness in front of them, the Red Sea, the ocean behind them and the enemy army is bearing down upon them. We could pause here and just think about seasons in our lives where we have felt trapped and boxed in, like where there is literally no good way to go. The enemy is coming down against us. It’s the sea behind us and the mountains and the wilderness before us. There is no way to escape. And, so, the Hebrew people do basically what we would normally do. They start to complain and gripe about the predicament they’re in because now God has come to set them free and things have only gotten worse again. Do you see a theme emerging, though? Is this not the story of Joseph where when he did everything right things only got worse? So, they're ready to abandon Moses, see if they can maybe go back to Egypt and become slaves again because that might be better. While here's this army that’s gonna destroy them. They are trapped. And God speaks to Moses and Moses speaks to the people. The only thing you need to do is shut your mouth and watch this. This enemy that you see today you will never see them again. And that is indeed what happened. And that is indeed something that we should put in our pocket or purse and carry around with us for the next year.
Then we move into the book of Matthew. The religious leadership, we are talking about the clergy, right? We are talking about men of God who are leading the people are getting pretty fed up with Jesus. God in flesh. Like, they do not believe. And, so, they confront Jesus about how…who gave Him permission to do what He's doing. And, of course, as we have come to notice in the first month of the year Jesus is always going to speak to the truth of the situation. He’s always good to talk to the plot behind the story. He knows that what's being presented is a mask, that everyone is naked and ashamed and hiding. And, so, He's like, “well, let me ask you a question.” And He talks about John because they didn't believe in John either. And, so, Jesus ends up telling the story about a man who had a vineyard and he fixed it all up and got it ready for business, and then he leased it and went away and when a  harvest time came he wanted his share of the harvest, but the tenants refused became rebellious, beat up the people who came to collect the harvest on a number of occasions until the master sent is heir, his son to come and collect because he's the heir, he that…he's the owner. And, so, they should respect the owner of the vineyard but they don't. They conspire to kill him, which is what they do. And then Jesus asks the religious leadership what the Masters gonna do. And they immediately answer, “the master is gonna destroy those people.” They were speaking out their own future essentially, because in the story the vineyard is the Kingdom, and the master is the Father, and the Son is Jesus. And this story is an interesting warning about religious dominance. When religion is used to ensnare or entrap or control people then there is no value in it. That might sound bigger than it should. But it's simply the story that's coming out of all of the Gospels. The people that were against Jesus were the people of God, God's leaders who did not recognize that God was doing a new thing in the world and did everything to destroy that new thing including...including killing God, including killing Jesus. God made flesh. So, we should get some clues that this journey we are on as we walk alongside Jesus and listen to what He has to say and watch the away that He operates and observe His character that we may find a bunch of challenges, that we may need to listen to Jesus instead of what we've been told about Him, that we might need to press in closer and deeper as we watch the amazing and that's an understatement…the amazing thing that God had chose to do when He chose to come and rescue people again from slavery. Slavery to the oppressiveness of what was going on around them in their culture and slavery to sin. And we also may need to understand that when we become free we may not be taking the easy road. We may need to go into the wilderness because there is work to do there.
Prayer:
Jesus, we invite You into that because it doesn't sound like it would be fun. We don’t want to go wander in the wilderness. We felt like we did that all year last year. And yet the thing You are after is our freedom. And we confess that even as we see it in the Scriptures, we see it in our own lives. We fight You on that because it might be hard, it might be difficult. We might have to endure. It may get more difficult, before it gets easier and we don't like that. We don't like that. And yet You've been very clear all along that there is a narrow path that leads to life and that that is the path that leads to life and few ever find it, but wide is the road to destruction, the easy path. And, so, as we move into this second month, we are inviting Your Holy Spirit to begin to align us with where You're going, to begin aiming us in the direction we need to head in no matter what it looks like because we as the children of Israel are going to have to learn that there is no other hope outside of You. You are the only hope there is and we must trust You utterly. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
Announcements:
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And that's it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I'll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise:
Hi, my DAB family this is Truly Thankful Taylor just wanted to say hi tonight. I have three of my little ones with me…2 littles and one teenager. Girls do you wanna say hi? Hi. We've been talking about our reading for today in DAB Kids and Chronological and all the different stuff 'cause all of our family are doing different ones. Some of us are doing all five in English. Some of us are just doing Chronological or kids and we're just loving God's word even more but we were talking about having faith as small as a mustard seed that it can move mountains. So, each…two of the girls wanted to pray tonight. So, sister do you want to start? What did you want to share? That people would have faith in God and that people would love God even more and let Him be in their heart. Jesus thank you for the day. Thank you for everything you have done. Thank you for being our God. And I want to…I want people to let you into their heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen. OK sister. Jesus thank you for the day that we have faith in us and faith in Jesus and that everyone starts praying and those who don't pray now pray. And have Jesus where? In our faith, in their heart. That's right. We pray all this in Jesus name. Amen. Love and blessings everybody. Bye. Bye. Bye.  
Hi, my name is Luanne from Texas. I just want to say thanks. This journey so far has been so good and so revealing. It's been so wonderful to watch the creation and then the de-creation and with the New Testament seeing what the recreation could be. I'm just so grateful. I'm grateful for Brian for this. I'm grateful to the community who’s reading it along with me and it's just been so healing after 2020. I'm just so grateful. So, Lord I just ask that for those who are weary, come. Come to the Bible. Sit with us and learn and you will find much joy. I ask this in our most holy savior's name, Jesus. Amen.
Good morning fellow DABbers this is Sally in Massachusetts Amazed by Grace it's January 27th and I am so thankful this morning that I listened as I do most every day to the DAB and so blessed by the word of God and so encouraged today as we read of Moses and Aaron and pharaoh and the people, how God works through everyone to carry out His plans and purposes. He worked through pharaoh. He worked through Moses. He worked through Moses mother and father. He accomplishes purposes through people and He's accomplishing His purposes in and through each of us day by day as we yield to Him. And I'm just so thankful that we worship a God of power, a God of a plan, a God with purposes. And I am so thankful that we have this family to worship God together, to encourage and strengthen each other. Thank you, Daughter of the King from Tennessee. I so appreciated your prayers and your thoughts today. And Pamela from Pennsylvania how easy it is. I have also often been guided by fear instead of faith in making decisions. And dear brother McQueen from Utah. Lord we pray Your comfort to this family. Thank You for Betsy Lopez and the wonderful grandma she was to him. We pray Your comfort to this family at this time. And Lord we thank You that although world at times feels like it's out of control You are God alone from before time began and You are on Your throne because You are God alone. Increase our faith in You Lord we pray and thank You in Jesus’ powerful name.
Hello Daily Audio Bible my name is Gail and I'm calling from Las Vegas. I'm calling in response to a boy that just called in about his grandma, Grandma Lopez who was in a car accident and he wanted to get the word out to us about his grandma. I am so proud of you for the courage that you showed to call in and let us know what happened to your grandma. I felt that you two had an amazing relationship and you were so close. And I bet you miss her. I really know that you miss her because you wanted to make a lasting memory and let us know that she died, and it was important to you to get the word out. So, I applaud your courage sweet boy and I just wanted to say that we hear you and we are praying for you. Keep calling in. Keep calling in. We love to hear from you. Bye for now.
Good morning Daily Audio Bible I'm calling in to speak to Golda McQueen. Young man your courage to send in the message to speak to the people about your grandmother and her legacy of love in your life touched my heart in so many ways to remember my own grandmother. I want to know not only Betsy Lopez will be remembered today for her own life but for the life that she poured into you. And I just want to encourage you with two verses that I thought of when I heard you speaking. Exodus 4:12. So, go Golda. I will be with you. When you speak and I will give you the words to say. And in Acts Jesus himself came to Paul and encouraged him to keep speaking. He said in acts 18 9 and 10 during the night Paul had a vision and the Lord said to him don't be afraid and don't stop talking to people I am with you and no one will be able to hurt you. Many of my people are in the city. Heavenly Father I pray You pour out a triple blessing upon Golda McQueen as he goes to the funeral of his grandmother whom he loved so much and wants her to be remembered and it made such an impact to remember my own grandmother I know prayed for me, but I never got to grow up with her. So, I…I thank you Golda. You have touched my heart in ways you'll never know until we see each other in heaven. God bless you son.
Hello, my name is Richard today is my first day listening in several years. I just listened to February 27th recording that I was blessed by. Some of you may remember I was Richard from Mississippi back in 2018 I went through a divorce. I moved back home to Arkansas. That’s where I stay at now. I work for my dad part time. I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm trying to get back into reading the word and listening to DAB every morning. So, I covet your prayers that you would pray for me as I establish a new habit and to know the Lord. Bless each and every one of you in Jesus’ name.
Good morning this is Radiant Faith in Georgia. I'm listening on January the 27th and I just heard a young man from Nevada I believe his name was Golda McQueen. He's nine years old and he was on his way…I hope I can get this out. He was on his way to his grandma's funeral. I'm a grandma and this just really touched my heart, the love that he had for her. He said that it's hard to get messages out from where he lives and he's only nine years old but let me tell you something, we heard you loud and clear. We heard the love that you had for your grandma and I just pray, and I believe that Jesus let her hear you. Oh, Lord I know she was proud of you.
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voodoochili · 4 months ago
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My Favorite Songs of 2020
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With nowhere to go and nothing to do in 2020, I had plenty of time to listen to as much music as I could stand. Luckily for me and for everyone else, 2020 supplied an embarrassment of musical riches; the endless creativity of our artists providing necessary emotional support during the Worst Year Ever™.
I’ve compiled my favorite 100 songs of 2020. Again, I limited my selections to only one song per artist, but as you’ll see, I couldn’t quite stick to it this year. Narrowing the list down to 100 was a painful process, with many excellent songs left on the cutting room floor. 
Check below for Spotify playlists
Top 100 Songs of 2020: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3ySKk19paBFgO698vw7HTs?si=-al-SyEsTqWzqKfmEraNFw Best Songs of 2020 (Refined):  https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1ET0aA5TPj5JDsUtosaCVv?si=MyDxjcXKQpy3SNs7dV0wIQ Best Songs of 2020 (Catch-All):  https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0XxtEo0PrNSyZDWBCjJtuR?si=pBZWRoNGSGWBCaqxJrHoyw
Without further ado, my favorite songs of 2020.:
25. Yg Teck - “What You Know”: Yg Teck has one of the more prominent Baltimore accents in rap music, elongating “ooh” sounds and shortening “er” sounds with reckless abandon. “What You Know” is buried towards the end of his excellent mixtape Eyes Won’t Close 2, but it stands out as one of Teck’s strongest songs. The buoyant piano-led beat offers Teck an opportunity to reflect on his struggle with heart-breaking directness: “So what if they hate me, sometimes I hate myself.”
24. Brian Brown - “Runnin” ft. Reaux Marquez:  Filtering the conventions of southern rap through his easy-going drawl and omnivorous musical appetite, Brian Brown is the brightest light in Nashville’s burgeoning hip-hop scene. Built around producer Black Metaphor’s circuitous jazz piano, “Runnin” is a soulful and poetic meditation on breaking out of the staid existence that can creep up on you if you stay still for long enough. Brown serves up the song’s irresistible hook and provides a grounding presence on his second verse, evoking the styles of two Tennessee rap titans: Chattanooga’s Isaiah Rashad and Cashville’s own Starlito.
23. 42 Dugg - “One Of One” ft. Babyface Ray: Detroit producer Helluva’s beats provide the tissue that connects the Motor City with the West Coast, creating anthems that mix D-Town propulsion with soundscapes perfect for a top-down drive down PCH. The Helluva-produced “One Of One” is an electric duet between two of the D’s most distinct voices: low-talking, whistle-happy guest verse god 42 Dugg and nonchalantly fly Babyface Ray. They trade bars throughout the track, weaving between squelches of bass to talk about the ways women have done them wrong.
22. PG Ra & jetsonmade - “Keeping Time”: The phrase “young OG” was invented for guys like PG Ra, who is somehow only 20-years-old. On “Keeping Time,” the South Carolina rapper spits sage-like wisdom about street life over Jetsonmade’s signature trampoline 808s, decrying nihilism and emphasizing the importance of holding strong convictions in a deliberate, raspy drawl: “Oh, you don't give a fuck 'bout nothing, then you damn wrong/Cause every soldier stand for something if he stand strong.”
21. Empty Country - “Marian”: After spending a decade as the main songwriter for Cymbals Eat Guitars, Joseph D'Agostino is an expert at crafting widescreen indie anthems. CEG is no more, but D’Agostino is still doing his thing, opening the self-titled album of his new entity Empty Country with “Marian,” a chiming and heartfelt power ballad with sunny vocal harmonies and a fist-pumping riff. It’s hard to make out the lyrics on the first few spins, but a closer listen reveals some striking imagery (“In a sea of Virginia pines/A burnt bus”), as the narrator imagines the life that lies ahead for his newborn daughter.
20. Raveena - “Headaches”: Raveena’s music is a soothing balm, capable of transforming any negative emotion into peaceful reverie. “Headaches” starts as a sensual, woozy, reverbed-out slow jam–typical Raveena territory, perfect for emphasizing the enlightened sensuality that she exudes in her vocals. The song mutates in its second half into an invigorating bit of dream pop, picking up a ringing guitar riff and a prominent backbeat as Raveena struggles to stay close to the one she loves (“There's no sunset, without you”).
19. Los & Nutty - “I’m Jus Fuckin Around” ft. WB Cash: In which three Detroit emcees receive an instrumental funky enough for ‘90s DJ Quik and proceed to not only not ride the beat but to fight so hard against it you’d think they’re training to get in the ring with Mayweather. I love Michigan rap.
18. Sufjan Stevens - “My Rajneesh”: I’ve never seen Wild Wild Country, or read about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his cult, so I don’t know too much about the subject matter of “My Rajneesh.” I do know, however, that it’s a story that involves crises of faith and the state of Oregon, which means it fits perfectly into Sufjan’s milieu. “My Rajneesh” does an excellent job of relaying the ecstasy of a devout believer, layering celebratory chants, South Asian traditional percussion, and glitchy electronics into a 10-minute epic. As the song progresses, the sonic tapestry grows distorted, mimicking the emptiness that lies beneath Rajneesh’s surface and the darkness and confusion faced by his followers when the illusion fades.
17. Koffee - “Lockdown”: Leave it to rising dancehall superstar Koffee to find ebullient joy in a situation as bleak as quarantine. Weaving around piercing guitar licks and euphoric vocal samples, Koffee schemes to turn her lockdown romance (”quarantine ting”) into a long-term deal, fantasizing about travel with her love even as she’s content to just spend time in her apartment. Everything is dandy as long as they're in the same room.
16. Rio Da Yung OG & Louie Ray - “Movie”: Flint’s answer to Detroit’s “Bloxk Party,” one of the best rap songs of the past decade. Rio and Louie trade verses throughout the song, competing with one another to see who can be the most disrespectful.
Rio’s best line: “Ma don't drink that pop in there, I got purple in it/I know it look like Alka-Seltzer, it's a perky in it”
Louie’s best line: “Let me cut my arms off before I ball, make it fair”
15. Ratboys - “My Hands Grow”: “My Hands Grow” shines like an early-morning sunbeam, hitting that circa-2001 Saddle Creek* sweet spot with aplomb. But “My Hands Grow” is more than just a throwback–it’s an oasis, populated by sweeping acoustic guitars, electric leads with just the right amount of distortion, and especially Julia Steiner’s affectionate vocal, which blooms into gorgeous self-harmonies during the bridge.
*Obligated to add that this song came out before Azure Ray signed to Saddle Creek, but the point stands.
14. J Hus - “Triumph”: J Hus and Jae5 have the kind of telepathic artistic connection and song-elevating chemistry only present in the best rapper-producer pairs. A great example of how their alchemy blurs the lines between genres, “Triumph” is the J Hus/Jae5 version of a boom-bap rap track. Hus rides Jae5’s woodblock-and-horn-accented beat with unassailable confidence, gradually elevating his intensity level as he sprays his unflappable threats. Like most of Hus’s best songs, “Triumph” is home to an irresistible hook, which I can’t help but recite whenever I hear the words “violence,” “silence,” or “alliance” (more often than you think!).
13. Sada Baby - “Aktivated”: Every post-disco classic from the early ‘80s could use a little bit of Sada Baby’s wild-eyed intensity and dextrous flow. On “Aktivated,” Sada runs roughshod atop Kool & The Gang’s ‘81 classic “Get Down On It,” turning it into an irresistible and danceable anthem about going dumb off a Percocet. Sada is a master of controlled chaos, modulating his voice from a simmer to a full-throated yell within the space of a single bar. It really makes lines like “Coochie made me cry like Herb in the turtleneck” pop.
12. Yves Tumor - “Kerosene!”: Prince is one of the most-imitated artists on the planet, but while most artists can only grasp at his heels, Yves Tumor’s “Kerosene!” reaches a level of burning passion and sexual literacy that would make The Purple One proud. A duet with Diana Gordon, “Kerosene!” is a desperate plea for connection, each duet partner thinking that a passionate dalliance might cure the emptiness inside. The song vamps for five minutes, filled with guitar pyrotechnics and moaning vocals, its extended runtime and gradual comedown consigning the partners to a futile search for a self-sustaining love that won’t burn itself out when the passion fades.
11. Special Interest - “Street Pulse Beat”: “Street Pulse Beat” sounds like “Seven Nation Army,” as performed by post-punk legends Killing Joke. It’s a strutting, wild, propulsive anthem–part come-on, part self-actualization, all-powerful. Dominated by an insistent industrial beat and the fiery vocals of frontperson Alli Logout, whose performance more than lives up to the song’s grandiose lyrics (““I go by many names such as Mistress, Goddess, Allah, Jah, and Jesus Christ”), “Street Pulse Beat” was the song released this year that made me miss live music the most. 
10. Megan Thee Stallion - “Savage” (Remix) ft. Beyonce: The first-ever collaboration between these two H-Town royals was the most quotable song of the year, firing off hot lines and memorable moments with an effortless majesty. Megan does her thing, bringing classy, bougie, and ratchet punchlines about the men who grovel at her feet, but it’s who Beyoncé elevates the track to transcendence. She prances around the outskirts of Megan’s verses, applying the full force of her lower register to her ad-libs (“THEM JEANS”), and during her verses, the Queen proves once again that you can count the number of rappers better than her on your fingers.
9. DJ Tunez - “Cool Me Down” ft. Wizkid: WizKid is almost alarmingly prolific, releasing enough amazing songs per year that he would be a worthy subject of his own “best-of” list. My favorite WizKid song of 2020 didn’t come from his excellent album Made In Lagos–instead it was this team-up with Brooklyn-based DJ Tunez. A favored collaborator of WizKid (Tunez is partially responsible for career highlights like 2019’s “Cover Me” and 2020’s “PAMI”), Tunez’s organic and textured approach to Afrobeats is an excellent fit for his voice, mixing swelling organs, 808 blocks, and the occasional stab of saxophone into a percolating concoction. The “Starboy” rises to the occasion, hypnotically repeating phrases in English and Yoruba, making octave-sized leaps in his vocal register, and stretching syllables like taffy as he sings the praises of his lady love.
8. Sorry - “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”: Part swaggering indie anthem and part skronking no wave, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” struts with the woozy confidence of someone who’s had just the right amount to drink. It’s the ideal throwback to late L.E.S. (or Shoreditch) nights, sung with irresistible gang vocals on the chorus and a detached sneer on the verse that jibes with the sinister undertones of the deliberately off-key backing track.
7. Destroyer - “Cue Synthesizer”: As Dan Bejar ages, he becomes less like a singer and more like a shaman, his incantatory near-spoken word verses grounding his band’s instrumental heroics. On “Cue Synthesizer,” Bejar plays the role of conjurer, summoning synthesizers and electric guitars in celebration of music’s ability to breathe life into modern mundanity.
6. Chloe x Halle - “Do It”: Pillow-soft R&B that walks the fine line between retro and futuristic, powered by the Bailey Sisters’ playfully twisty melodies and sumptuous production from a somewhat unexpected source. That’s right, piano man Scott Storch took a break from smoking blunts with Berner to deliver his smoothest beat since he teamed with Chloe x Halle mentor Beyoncé for “Me Myself & I” in 2003.
5. Fireboy DML - “ELI”: Nigeria singer Fireboy DML is an unabashed fan of ‘90s adult contemporary, worshipping idols (‘90s Elton John, Celine Dion) that even some devout poptimists wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. A modern-day retelling of the Biblical fable of Samson and Delilah, “ELI” seems to take inspiration from Ace of Base’s “All That She Wants,” its rocksteady beat, wobbling bassline, snake-charming flute, and “lonely girl, lonely world” lyrics recalling the 1994 Swedish pop smash. It’s a testament to Fireboy’s charisma and melodic mastery that “ELI” is as invigorating as “All That She Wants” is annoying. He switches from playful flirtation on the verse, to hopeless devotion on the chorus, to lascivious swagger on the bridge, gently ratcheting up the intensity in his vocals until the song’s climactic guitar solo* grants glorious release. *The build-up on “ELI” is so great that it makes it easy to ignore that the guitar solo itself is a mess. It sounds like the producers couldn’t get Carlos Santana, so they settled for Andre 3000 instead. 
4. The Beths - “Dying To Believe”: If you’ve ever audibly cringed while thinking about something you’ve said or done in the past, The Beths have the song for you. Carried by its driving backbeat, “Dying To Believe” chronicles singer Liz Stokes’s rumination on a crumbling friendship, her fear of confrontation preventing her from removing her toxic friend from her life. Though the lyric is pained and uncertain, there’s no such lack of confidence in the music. An adrenaline rush of muscular, sugary power pop, “Dying To Believe” is an immaculate construction, each fuzzy guitar riff arriving with mathematical precision and each “whoa-oh” chorus hitting like a ton of bricks. Jump Rope Gazers might not have been as consistent as the Auckland, NZ band’s self-titled debut, but “Dying To Believe” is as good as anything on that album and helps solidify The Beths’ deserved reputation as some of the best songwriters and tightest performers on either side of the International Date Line. 
3. The 1975 - “What Should I Say”/“If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)”: I know, I know. I was supposed to only pick one song per artist, but sue me, this is my list and I just could not decide between these two. The 1975 have always balanced their affinity for ‘80s-style pop anthems with an interest in experimental electronic music. In 2020, they released the two very best songs of their career, each seemingly fitting into one of those two boxes. On its face, “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)” is the band’s transparent attempt at recording their own “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”–it’s in D Major, it has a chugging backbeat, an echoing two-chord riff in the verse, and an ascending E Minor progression in the pre-chorus. Where the Tears For Fears classic takes a birds-eye look at the yuppie generation, Matty Healy uses his song’s swelling bombast and gleefully cheesy sax solo to explore the awkward intimacy of cyber sex. The burbling Eno-style synth that opens up “If You’re Too Shy” evokes a dial-up connection, simulating the thrill of discovery felt by those whose only connection to the outside world comes through their screens.
“What Should I Say,” meanwhile, combines Boards Of Canada-esque bloops with bassline that strongly resembles Mr. Fingers’ oft-sampled “Mystery Of Love”, over which Healy sings in a heavily-manipulated voice that sounds like the lovechild of Travis Scott and Sam Smith. Fittingly for a song about loss for words, the best moments of  “What Should I Say” spring from vocal manipulations, imparting more emotional resonance than mere words could ever hope to provide. The final minute of “What Should I Say” is almost tear-jerkingly beautiful, as a single computerized voice cuts through cacophony, determined to let the world know how it feels, language be damned.
2. King Von - “Took Her To The O”: His career was far too short, but King Von had plenty of chances to demonstrate his god-given storytelling ability before he passed away in November. Accompanied by regular collaborator Chopsquad DJ’s chaotic, circular pianos, Von recounts an eventful night in his home neighborhood of O’Block. Von’s gripping narrative is packed with writerly detail (“Nine missed calls, three of them from ‘Mom,’ other six say ‘Duck’”), peeking into his justifiably paranoid state-of-mind (“My Glock on my lap, I'm just thinkin' smart”) and ending with a smirk on a bit of gallows humor that recalls prime Ghostface. Long Live Von.
1.  Bob Dylan - “I’ve Made Up My Mind To Give Myself to You”: It’s impossible to escape that 2020 was a year of mass devastation, on a scale not seen in American life since the second World War. In the midst of the cascading chaos of this year, I married my best friend. So it’s fitting that the song that resonated most with me this year was “Throat Baby (Go Baby)” by BRS Kash.
*Ahem* Excuse me. It was a love song, and not just any love song: the finest love song of Bob Dylan’s six-decade, Nobel Prize-winning career. 
Bob Dylan spent much of the 2010s trying his hand at the Great American Songbook, applying his craggy croon to standards made famous by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. It felt like a weird turn for such an iconoclastic figure, one known for his massive (and valuable) library of originals. “I’ve Made Up My Mind To Give Myself To You” proves that Bob’s covers and Christmas albums weren’t larks or cash grabs, but an old dog’s attempt to learn new tricks by digging into the past.
“IMUMMTGMTY” shares a lot of DNA with “The Way You Look Tonight” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” bringing florid metaphors and touching pledges of devotion, but it also inherently understands that love is a decision–a weighty decision that imparts great responsibility–as much as it’s a feeling. What really makes “IMUMM” sing is the tastefully folksy arrangement, which ties into the old weird America explored by Dylan’s compadres in The Band, filled with bright Telecaster leads and easily-hummed choruses. And the lyrics are excellent even by Bob’s elevated standards. It turns me into a puddle every time I listen. I’ll let Bob take it from here:
Well, my heart's like a river, a river that sings Just takes me a while to realize things I've seen the sunrise, I've seen the dawn I'll lay down beside you when everyone's gone
Here’s the rest of the list. Check back later this week for my albums list!
26. Katie Gately - “Waltz” 27. Bonny Light Horseman - “Bonny Light Horseman” 28. Bullion - “Hula” 29. Omah Lay - “Lo Lo” 30. Greg Dulli - “Sempre” 31. Fiona Apple - “Shameika” 32. Anjimilie - “Your Tree” 33. Key Glock - “Look At They Face” 34. Lido Pimienta - “Te Queria” 35. Morray - “Quicksand” 36. Obongjayar - “10K” 37. Xenia Rubinos - “Who Shot Ya?” 38. Kiana Lede - “Protection” 39. Flo Milli - “Weak” 40. G.T. - “What You Gon Do” 41. Chris Crack - “Hoes At Trader Joe’s” 42. Lil Baby - “The Bigger Picture” 43. The Orielles - “Memoirs of Miso” 44. Shoreline Mafia - “Change Ya Life” 45. Masego - “Mystery Lady” ft. Don Toliver 46. Junglepussy - “Out My Window” ft. Ian Isiah 47. Siete Gang Yabbie - “Gift Of Gab” 48. Rosalía - “Juro Que” 49. Black Noi$e - “Mutha Magick” ft. BbyMutha 50. BFB Da Packman - “Free Joe Exotic” ft. Sada Baby 51. Andras - “Poppy” 52. Lianne La Havas - “Weird Fishes” 53. Crack Cloud - “Tunnel Vision” 54. Lil Uzi Vert - “No Auto” ft. Lil Durk 55. Fred again… - “Kyle (I Found You)” 56. Burna Boy - “Wonderful” 57. Lonnie Holliday - “Crystal Doorknob” 58. Mozzy - “Bulletproofly” 59. Tiwa Savage - “Koroba” 60. Frances Quinlan - “Your Reply” 61. Ariana Grande - “my hair” 62. Bad Bunny - “Safaera” ft. Jowell & Randy & Ñengo Flow 63. Yhung T.O. & DaBoii - “Forever Ballin” 64. Katie Pruitt - “Out Of The Blue” 65. Sleepy Hallow - “Molly” ft. Sheff G 66. Niniola - “Addicted” 67. Prado - “STEPHEN” 68. Drakeo The Ruler - “GTA VI” 69. Boldy James - “Monte Cristo” 70. Caribou - “Like I Loved You” 71. Andy Shauf - “Living Room” 72. Hailu Mergia - “Yene Mircha” 73. Kabza de Small & DJ Maphorisa - “eMcimbini” ft Aymos, Samthing Soweto, Mas Musiq 74. Gunna - “Dollaz On My Head” ft. Young Thug 75. Roddy Ricch - “The Box” 76. The Lemon Twigs - “Hell On Wheels” 77. Sun-El Musician - “Emoyeni” ft. Simmy & Khuzani 78. Madeline Kenney - “Sucker” 79. Natanael Cano - “Que Benedicion” 80. ShooterGang Kony - “Jungle” 81. Don Toliver - “After Party” 82. Chicano Batman - “Color my life” 83. Pa Salieu - “Betty” 84. Chubby & The Gang - “Trouble (You Were Always On My Mind)” 85. Dua Lipa - “Love Again” 86. Rucci - “Understand” ft. Blxst 87. Skilla Baby - “Carmelo Bryant” ft. Sada Baby 88. Bartees Strange - “Boomer” 89. Jessie Ware - “Read My Lips” 90. The Hernandez Bros. & LUSTBASS - “At The End Of Time” 91. Brokeasf - “How” ft. 42 Dugg 92. Mulatto - “No Hook” 93. Eddie Chacon - “Outside” 94. Veeze - “Law N Order” 95. Polo G - “33” 96. Bktherula - “Summer” 97. Jessy Lanza - “Anyone Around” 98. Perfume Genius - “On The Floor” 99. ComptonAssTg - “I’m Thuggin’” 100. Mario Judah - “Die Very Rough”
Honorable Mentions: Jamila Woods - “SULA (Paperback)” Demae - “Stuck In A Daze” ft. Ego Ella May Good Sad Happy Bad - “Bubble” Guerilla Toss - “Human Girl” Kaash Paige - “Grammy Week” ft. Don Toliver Kre8 & CJ Santana - “Slide!” Laura Veirs - “Another Space & Time” Angelica Garcia - “Jicama” Malome Vector - “Dumelang” ft. Blaq Diamond OMB Bloodbath - “Dropout” ft. Maxo Kream SahBabii - “Soulja Slim” Shabason, Krgovich & Harris - “Friday Afternoon” Skillibeng - “Mr. Universe” Waxahatchee - “Fire” Westerman - “Float Over”
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aion-rsa · 5 months ago
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Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 8 Review: The Sanctuary
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This Star Trek: Discovery review contains spoilers.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 3, Episode 8
From the very beginning, Star Trek: Discovery has loved putting Michael Burnham in an impossible situation, and making her choose. This isn’t a bad narrative habit, especially for a show as thematically-driven as Star Trek, but some Kobayashi Maru scenarios are more interesting than others and, some, well… some are just plain clunky. This was the case in “The Sanctuary,” which saw not only Michael but the whole Discovery crew sent to Book’s home planet, Kwejian, to strictly observe, Emerald Chain leader Oysraa show up to bully the trance worm-loving planet. As far as no-win scenarios go, this one has a pretty obvious moral high ground. From the moment Admiral Vance allowed Saru to captain his ship to Kwejian, I think we all knew where this was going to end…
And what an ending it was. Oysraa shows up on the scene, and almost immediately sets about using coercion and violence in an attempt to get what she wants. Saru is easily persuaded into engagement, using the thinly-veiled excuse that it isn’t the Federation who is engaging; it’s Book’s Millennium Falcon-esque ship. Oysraa, understandably, doesn’t care about Saru’s superficial reasoning—to her, the Federation has attacked—but the damage has been done. Detmer, with Ryn as a co-pilot, gets to show off her considerable piloting skills in an epic space assault that loses no points in my book for being heavily reminiscent of Star Wars. It’s been a pleasure to see Detmer’s character used more this season, and watching her go “full manual” is only one entertaining example.
And what does Oysraa want? Ryn, the Andorian refugee we met in “Scavengers,” whom we’re told again and again in this episode has unique value to The Emerald Chain. While the set-up and execution isn’t particularly elegant, perhaps it doesn’t need to be. The way in which Osyraa doesn’t bat a viridian eyelid before carpet-bombing Kwejian tells us viewers everything we need to know about The Emerald Chain’s dominance: they’re not used to being met with any resistance—or at least any resistance that stands a chance. This is why Ryn is so unique, Detmer spells out for us: he’s the only person to have ever stood up to Osyraa.
Again, it’s an effective but inelegant plot point. Not only is it hard to believe that no one else has ever stood up to The Emerald Chain, but it’s even harder to believe that Osyraa didn’t simply kill Ryn years ago. Once Discovery has earned Ryn’s respect for standing up to Osyraa, we discover that Ryn’s value lies in knowledge: he knows that The Emerald Chain is running out of dilithium. It’s a weird secret, honestly; resources, even for crime syndicates, involve supply chains and supply chains are made up of people. It seems unlikely that Ryn would be the only person who knows this deep, dark secret. But, like most plot elements in this episode, I am willing to go with it—one, because Discovery has earned itself a great deal of narrative goodwill this season and, two, because it sets up an interesting parallel between The Emerald Chain and the pre-Burn Federation.
This season has hinted multiple times that the mystery of what caused The Burn is probably related to the Federation’s desperation to either find new sources of dilithium or to find an alternate way of getting around. As we learned in “Unification III,” the Ni’Var had been convinced for more than a century that their own experimental alternate transport project led to the tragedy. While that theory has been discredited by Michael and the rest of the Discovery crew, it’s not hard to imagine that the Federation’s desperation to solve their dilithium problem didn’t lead to The Burn in some way. After all, The Burn happened because most dilithium in the galaxy went mysteriously inert, causing the detonation of every active warp core.
Read more
TV
Star Trek: Discovery — What Do Georgiou’s Mirror Universe Flashbacks Mean?
By Ryan Britt
TV
What Is the Burn? Star Trek: Discovery Season 3’s Biggest Mystery Explained
By Ryan Britt
The Burn may have been a tragedy of epic proportions, but it was what followed that truly sent the universe into disarray. Without the Federation to keep the peace and stability of the universe, a power vacuum formed that allowed a force like The Emerald Chain to grow up in its place. In “The Sanctuary,” we finally get our first proper look at what seems to be the Season 3 Big Bad, and they’re just as power-hungry and ruthless as we’ve been told. Heck, Osyraa is introduced in a scene that sees her feeding her own nephew to a trance worm for being bad at his job. I’ve written before about how much I’ve enjoyed this slow-burn approach to introducing the Season 3 villain. Rather than giving us scenes of Osyraa being a jerk, the cruel dominance of The Emerald Chain has been built into the all-important worldbuilding of the season in subtle and consistent ways. Because of this, the actual introduction of Osyraa is a bit underwhelming. But it intrigues me that, in their first encounter with the Big Bad, the Discovery is so victorious. It makes me think things are going to get worse for them before they get better. This was all a little too easy.
Presumably, Osyraa will take retributory action against the Federation for the Discovery’s actions at Kwejian, which will make the easy choice Saru made here more complicated. In this moment, Saru understandably stepped up to protect the vulnerable people and creatures of Book’s homeworld, but will other vulnerable planets and populations be made to suffer because of it? Either way, I think Saru made the right choice here, but, narratively, I would like to see Osyraa strike back in some other way. Otherwise, The Emerald Chain is going to lose some serious cred as the season’s Big Bad, effectively lowering the stakes of the entire Season 3 plot, which has been so gloriously built thus far.
For now, the Discovery is safe and happy. Michael isn’t the rogue officer this time. Saru made the executive decision to disobey Vance’s direct orders, though you can tell he’s hoping to get away with it on a technicality. With five episodes left in the season, I hope the Discovery crew is enjoying this calm before what it sure to be a season-ending storm.
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Additional thoughts.
Here are all of the Star Trek Easter eggs and references we found in “The Sanctuary.”
“Where I am from, the emperor’s personal physician was buried with them when they died.” Oh yeah, Georgiou might be dying? Luckily, Hugh “Oracle of the Mess Hall” Culber. It says a lot about how far Georgiou has become integrated into this crew that she is actually allowing him to look into whatever brain dysfunction is going on. It also tells us how terrified she is. (You can tell how scared Georgiou is by the number of aggressive quips she gets out per second. The more she threatens to poison your children, the more terrified, she is.)
“If I had time, I’d poison your children.” “If I had time, I’d have children.”
Book and Michael’s relationship continues to be a beacon of healthy TV romance.
“Carry on.” Are you into Saru’s catchphrase? I am.
The Discovery science team has found a source for The Burn, using the Ni’Var data. It started in a mysterious nebula, and seems to be connected to a distress beacon sent out by a loss Federation ship. The plot thickens!
The post Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 8 Review: The Sanctuary appeared first on Den of Geek.
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skvaderarts · 5 months ago
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Apocrypha Chapter Thirty Seven: Opposition
Masterlist can be found Here!
Chapter Thirty-Seven: Opposition
Notes: And here I sit, having to go to work in 10 hours, and I’m just starting this chapter. Not the best decision, but I’ll find a way to make it work. And then tomorrow I’m gonna relax and try to knock out both chapters for next week early. I can only imagine that Black Friday (which I’m firmly refusing to work this year!) is gonna keep me busy all week.
(-~-)
Sunday, August 25th, 2:00 am
A cursory look at how the situation was unfolding immediately lent to the idea that any and all police would probably be converging on the vicinity of the attack shortly. Despite the fact that there was very little that the local police (or the military, for that matter) could do against hordes of demons, they were obligated to try, even if only a little. If the Redgrave City attack was anything to go by, the region was woefully underprepared for another demonic attack, but the youngest Son of Sparda was admittedly hopeful that some sort of initiative would be taken by the local government to see to it that the next time something like that happened, they would be able to do more than throw useless grunts at the problem and blow up bridges to keep the demons at bay.
Why did there always have to be a next time?
Despite the fact that it would bring a swift and permanent end to Dante’s demon-hunting career, he couldn’t help but wish for a day where the population of the underworld lost the ability to travel two and from worlds. Their father had spent a considerable amount of time seeing to that, and had made untenable strides in that regard, but here they were, over two thousand years later and still fighting the same foe. It seemed that there would always be a need for their family’s experience in devil hunting; a fact that troubled the devil hunter in red slightly. Was this it, then? Was their entire bloodline cursed to do battle against their father’s kin for the remainder of their existence until the day came when they no longer could? Were none of them allowed to pursue their own wants and goals outside of this admittedly limited field? It was all a bit fatalistic and heavy for his tastes, but he found his mind wandering to the topic on occasion these days when he considered his family and everything they had sacrificed as a whole to protect the general public. It was all very heroic, but was there to be nothing more to their lives than endless self-sacrifice and then a glorious and inevitable death in battle?
In truth, Dante couldn’t say that he really minded going out that way, but every time he saw Nero with his family and V trying his best to acclimate to a new and unfamiliar world, he couldn’t help but feel… something that he couldn’t quite pinpoint. If asked, he’d probably say that it was remorse for the lives that they could have had if not for the fact that they had been born into this mess, but he wasn’t sure that was what he really thought. There was no denying that he was glad they were a part of his family, but there were days, especially after Nero had been nearly killed when his twin brother had attacked him that day, that he wished they could have both lived in blissful ignorance, unaware of the danger that their seemingly cursed bloodline carried with it.
The idea of never having met them pained him greatly, but if it meant that they would not have to deal with the trials and tribulations ahead of them and the weight their lineage carried, then he would have slept better at night knowing that they were not doomed to the same fate that he and his older twin were. He wondered how they felt now, and how knowing what he felt would affect them. Dante would never say any of what he was thinking out loud to either of them, but he’d think it nonetheless. And every time that he saw them, it would be a reminder.
Perhaps the two of them together could achieve some semblance of normality for the rest of their little family. Was that such an unreasonable fantasy? It was not impossible to believe that there might be a day where they no longer needed to participate in this endless battle. Or maybe that was wishful thinking. Still, the devil hunter in red needed something to strive for. He wasn’t getting any younger, and the idea of doing battle against their foes was still just as exhilarating to him as it had always been, especially now that his own identical twin was no longer one of those foes. But still, there was much work to be done.
“So whatda think the odds are of this being that cult again?” Dante said as the twins headed towards the building in question. The onslaught of demons had stopped for the time being, signaling that something more might be going on here than they originally thought.”
Vergil stayed quiet for a moment, shifting Yamato to his non dominate hand in an effort to prepare for another attack. There was no way that the eldest Son of Sparda was going to simply waltz into a dark, decrepit building that he’d never been inside of before and just assume that everything was going to be fine. The Darkslayer hadn’t lived as long as he had by being an absolute tool, and he expected that Dante wasn’t that foolish, either. After all, his brother was many things, but a complete idiot was not one of them. While the younger of the two was prone to do foolish things, that didn’t mean that he had a psychotic death wish. And if he did, he wasn’t going to act on it in any way, shape, or form tonight. There were matters to attend to, and he intended to see things through to the end.
“I would imagine the odds of that being the case are about on par with the possibility of this being an obvious trap staged by our opponent.” Vergil lowered his voice as the pair entered the building, making an effort not to give themselves away too prematurely. From what he could tell, they seemed to have the element of surprise, at least for the time being. There was no need to squander that.” But then again, if this is a product of one of Belial’s schemes, then it could very well be an obvious trap meant to throw us off so that we fall victim to another less obvious trap. He likes to indulge in those kinds of games from time to time.’
Dante shot Vergil a curious look as they continued forward. So this Belial demon truly wasn’t playing around, then? Good. He enjoyed a good fight from time to time. He just hoped that no one else got dragged into the conflict. And then there was the mater of V and his connection to this cult. While they had a reasonable hunch as to why this powerful demon prince might want to capture V and what the cult planned to do, there was still no certainty as to what and why this was happening. How had he even known that V was alive in the first place? Dante had spent nearly the entirety of both of his nephews’ lives ignorant to their existence, only for them to go and yank a misplaced soul out of the netherworld and for a demon of this caliber to send someone after him? What were the odds of that?
He needed more in-depth details as to what was going on here…
“So if you think it’s a trap, what are we doing here?” Dante said, not so much expecting an answer from his twin as he was from himself. As if by instinct, they’d both just walked into the building, knowing full well that this wasn’t a logical idea. And yet, here they were. Maybe they were both just insane. “Or maybe there just aren’t a whole lot of things that can stop both of us if we’re working together. And we are, for once.” Dante considered internally for a moment. Yes, maybe that was it. But getting too cocky couldn’t end well in the long run. They had to keep their option open, lest they fall victim to their own naivete. 
The youngest of the two brothers couldn’t help but imagine that V would have something to say about this kind of thing; some wise homily to spin about the dangers of hubris and such. Who could say? He wasn’t here, after all. And what a lucky turn of events that had turned out to be. 
Dante didn’t really mind V’s presence in the slightest, but keeping him as far as they could from any possible cult activity was probably a good policy. He could only imagine that his oldest nephew had made a swift recovery by now, but that could all change in an instant if they ran up against a super-powerful demon or a powerful summoner. While V was formidable in a battle (at least from what Dante had seen) there was a certain level of risk that he knowingly undertook anytime he entered battle that none of the rest of them took. Despite his obvious skill, V had the least training out of the lot of them, and the youngest Son of Sparda couldn’t help but imagine what he might be capable of if they showed him how a devil arm worked or he gained further proficiency over his abilities. It had taken Nero a while to get where he was now, but the difference showed in every conceivable way.
Once they returned to the office, the next step would be to return the Arcana to Vie de Marli where it belonged, they would have to see to it that V received some sort of mentorship. But first, they had to make him put down his books long enough to show him anything. Dante couldn’t help but think that V would do better as a librarian or working in some sort of museum than he would in a vicious battle to the death against demons. And yet, somehow he held his own just fine for the most part. The devil hunter in red had to give his nephew credit for one thing: he was an extraordinarily fast learner.
“Because that is where we will more than likely locate our assailant. I have some questions for them.” Vergil said under his breath as they neared what appeared to be a large, open room. He wasn’t so much irritated with Dante as he was the lack of knowledge in this situation, at least for the time being. He refused to tolerate this severe lack of insight any longer than he had to.
The instant that they rounded the corner and walked into the central chamber of the old factory, the two of them were faced with a literal wall of demonic energy. The entire building suddenly reeked of it, confirming their suspicion that this was the place that they had been looking for. And much to their surprise, there was a man standing at the far end of the room with their back turned to them, seemingly unaware of the fact that they had arrived. The twins halted, deciding in silent unison to take the opportunity to see what was going on since a large, glowing portal stood before the unknown man. He shook his head, nodding along to something they couldn’t hear before a loud, otherworldly voice echoed throughout the chamber they currently occupied. Vergil closed his eyes for a moment, a wave of obvious displeasure taking over his features. It was rare that the eldest Son of Sparda wished that he was wrong about something, but this certainly counted as one of those occasions. Dante glanced over at him, searching for silent confirmation of what he’d already surmised from Vergil’s shift in tone. This was the Belial he’d heard so much about, then? Well, they certainly sounded the part. The deep, bellowing tone he spoke in was accited by a certain level of cold, calculating intelligence that Dante was accustomed to associating with the demons he’d spent so long doing battle against, putting the likes of Balrog and Burial to shame despite their obvious sentience. Not, this devil was conniving, and he clearly knew what he was talking about, even if neither of them did.
“From what I can tell, things are going to plan. Well, I assume, that is. I don’t have a way of checking.”
“You see, that is where you and I differ most, servant. I do not assume. I know.”
The man shivered slightly, clearly shaken by the words of the powerful being that he served. To say that he was in way over his head would be an understatement, but then again, so we’re practically all humans that dared do business with a Prince of Darkness.
“Do you desire anything else from me, master?”
“Oh, I can assure you, I do not require the services of you or any other wayward stragglers any longer. My little cult has proven to be an entertaining diversion for some time now, but it seems that Vergil has once again inadvertently served my best interests by eliminating the vast majority of you. Now I need not do the tidying up on this joyous occasion myself. Truly splendid indeed.”
If they could have seen the face of the being who he spoke to, Dante got the impression that he had just smirked in self-satisfaction, readjusting himself on his metaphorical throne. There was no way of knowing for sure, but they were willing to bet that the man standing before them had no idea how truly dead he was, and their assumption was proven correct meer moment later when the man suddenly began choking and screaming, violently thrashing about before falling onto the floor. He went into some sort of fit before going totally still, clearly dead to anyone unlucky enough to discover him. Blood ran down his face from his nose and mouth as he gave his last breath, clearly quite distressed as he perished at the hands of his former master.
For a moment, everything went quiet. Dante and Vergil watched, unmoving as the portal continued to glow brightly, knowing that it needed to be closed but unsure as to how it had managed to be opened in the first place. There was a part of Vergil that was furious that he’d missed the opportunity to question the man himself, but he got the impression that Belial wasn’t stupid enough to leave witnesses walking around who his detractors could interrogate. But just as Vergil considered suggesting that they vacate the premises, a low, genuinely pleased laugh bellowed forward from the rift that stood before them.
“You know, I should thank you, Son of Sparda. Truly, It’s not every day that I get to indulge in such activities. It’s nothing personal, really. I don’t do personal. But I’m not sorry to say that I won’t be showing you any form of gratitude. You shall see in due time.” He paused for a moment, seemingly waiting for Vergil to speak or respond in some way, but he didn’t. He simply stayed there, unmoving and internally cursing himself for coming here. How had he forgotten about that little facet of his foe’s abilities?” I trust that you remember what happened the last time our paths crossed. I can’t imagine that you’ve forgotten already. After all, our meeting was so… memorable. I kid, of course. You remember very little of that encounter, as was my will. But do take your time to concoct your own clever schemes as you always do. Some day soon I shall remind you why my will is absolute.”
With no further fanfare, the portal went dark but remained open. Vergil waited a moment before allowing a long, almost tormented sigh to escape his lungs and exit his mouth. Yes, of course, Belial had known he was there. Didn’t he always. He stood up from the crouched position they’d taken behind the broken and abandoned factory equipment and walked over to the portal, unsheathing Yamato and using it to close the gateway. A criss-cross of delayed swipes closed the gate the instant Vergil returned his devil arm to its sheath, the Darkslayer shaking his head slightly as he rested his hand on his forehead and pinched the top of the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index finger.
“... Should I ask why you and the nightmare demon are on a first-name basis? And how did he know you were here?” Dante approached Vergil slowly, unsure as to where he should even begin, considering everything he’d just heard.” What’s all this about you forgetting? Did he wipe your memory or somethin’?”
Vergil sighed and dropped his hand from his face, swiftly walking away from the place where the gate had once stood and towards the exit. He suddenly felt an immense and overwhelming desire to leave this place and never return. Dante followed closely behind him, somewhat relieved that the attack was at least over for the time being and that massive amounts of damage were not dealt this time around. It had only been about a city block or so, and casualties, if there were any, had been scarce. After the dumpster fire that the Redgrave City incident had turned into, Dante was eager and willing to take any victories he would take part in, even if those victories were short-lived and slightly situational. This was over because the devil that had willed it into existence had grown bored of it, and that was a fact that Dante wasn’t blind to. And he was not keen on it.
Once they reached the exit and stepped back out onto the street, Vergil crossed his arms for a moment and sighed, unable to find even temporary pleasure in the cool night air. This situation had just taken a rather unorthodox turn for the worst out of nowhere, and he didn’t like that one bit.
”To answer your ceaseless questions, brother, we met some time before I returned to the human world. He demanded that I serve him after the demon thrown was left… unattended. Most were unwilling to contest his rise to power at that time, but I refused and usurped him.” Vergil glanced away for a moment, noting the distant lights that accompanied the fire trucks that had just pulled up about two blocks down the road from where they currently stood.” As for how he knew I was there, I can only assume he can still sense my presence from the underworld so long as I am within a certain proximity to a portal. We might as be standing in the same room as far as his abilities are concerned. He does not forget something once he’s experienced it.”
Dante nodded, not at all pleased by any of what his brother had just said. He didn’t need to know how that worked to know that it wasn’t good.” I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that’s how he killed that guy?”
Vergil nodded.” Yes, in much the same way he attempted to kill me when last we met. Belial has access to a primordial source of power somewhat akin to Nightmare’s that allows him to… suggest an experience for you relive, especially when that memory was never yours, to begin with. That and the pressure he exudes when near someone is enough to send most beings spiraling into an early death, or a coma at the very least. It’s rare to be able to resist pure terror. That’s how he managed to fragment my memory of our full encounter, and he clearly revels in that fact. I suppose you could say that his true power is trauma itself.”
This time it was Dante’s turn to cross his arms and look unamused.” So he can, what, literally scare someone to death? Tranutize you so badly that you forget entire events or think something else happened?”
“In essence, yes. And so long as he has physically been in the presence of the individual he wishes to exert his will over, he is basically unavoidable. Thankfully his range is limited, but the extent of his cruelty and the range his machinations are willing to extend to is not. He cares little for petty sentiments such as honor or decency.” Vergil looked distant for a moment as though he were considering something unfathomable, something that he was truly unable to make himself consider.” He would absolutely destroy the minds of anyone necessary to harm his actual larget and leave them a husk of their former selves, decimated beyond repair. I’ve seen him do it. And all that purely to see his opponent break. He is a plague in that sense. And now you understand why I have so little tolerance for anyone who willingly serves him, hence the reason I cut down his cult where they stood. This cannot be allowed to continue.”
For a moment, Dante just stared at Vergil, unsure of what to even say about the mental image that his twin had just painted for him. It was a bit difficult to defeat an enemy that could destroy you from the inside out. How were they supposed to stop him? And although neither of them said it, they were admittedly concerned to some degree when it came to what this demon might want with V and these plans that he was working on. Everything about this situation seemed dire, and the youngest Son of Sparda was starting to grasp the severity of what this could mean for them.
This was now a war.
“Yea… none of that is good, Vergil. None of it.” Dante sighed and shook his head, the weight of the situation they were now in truly affecting them. They needed to act fast and smart, something they didn’t tend to do.” Can’t believe I’m saying this, but we should probably head back to the office and start coming up with a plan or something. Oh, and put that knife back where it belongs.”
Vergil nodded wordlessly, his mind a thousand miles away. He was still combing over the situation at hand. There was a part of him that couldn’t’ shake the feeling that this was all a misdirection of some sort, meant to leave them open to a larger threat. That was generally how Belial operated. While he believed every word of their enemy’s threat, it just wasn’t like the demon prince to be so… direct.
Just a moment later, the two of them glanced up the street, noting that there was a person in a safety vest standing on top of a vehicle. The man addressed the growing crowd of people gathering around them, all of the locals seeming terrified out of their minds. “Please vacate the area! We are investigating the cause of this event. We have also received news of a mild earthquake due west of here. It caused some kind of underground cave-in deep in the woods near the waterfront which we will be investigating as well. If you reside in that area, do take care when returning home. Thank you for your time!”
Both Dante and Vergil shared a knowing look, relatively positive that they knew where this cave-in had occurred. It seemed that they were not returning to the office just yet. They had a conduit to double-check.
(-~-)
And just like that, it’s 5:55 am! I have to work today from noon to 7 pm. Looks like it’s going to be a long, energy drink filled day. But that’s okay. It was worth it to finish this chapter! No lie, I might carry this over into a book three as I did with Soliloquy a while back just to keep the pacing in this fic consistent. I’ll think about that when I’m more awake though. Anyway, I look forward to reading what you thought about this chapter! I’m using a new document editor, so I hope it did the trick! I think I’ll post this fic a few hours early, too. See you next week!
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cutisn · 5 months ago
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Why Marxism failed
pecter of Marx’s communism has wreaked havoc on mankind for nearly a century, persecuting billions of people and causing hundreds of millions of deaths. The civilizations created by mankind that are suitable for human existence have gradually been wiped out and replaced by praises of peace. Touted the "new culture and new ideas" of Marx and his doctrine. Its heyday dominated nearly half of the world's population and occupied more than half of the world's livable land. When this seemingly invincible ghost stretched out its claws to try to include the entire world in its bag, it suddenly fell to the ground at the end of the 20th century. The state apparatus it built to tightly control and suppress people’s dissatisfaction quickly spread across all communist countries. The land fell apart and disappeared, and Marx’s communist movement failed!!!
Although Marxism has failed, if we cannot find out the reason for its failure theoretically, it is easy to resurrect under the temptation of communism with its golden halo and find its believers again. This article attempts to find out the reason for its failure. I am not convinced that the arguments put forward are correct. It is enough to put it forward.
What Marx said is socialism-communism. Marx believes that all affairs in the world have regularities, and human development has regularities: from primitive society to feudal society to capitalist society, and finally into communist society." There is a communist primary stage of socialism. "In a communist society, there is no private property, and all materials are common property owned by the whole people. The name of the Communist Party comes from this. Everyone is working consciously to the best of his ability. Without currency, people just need to go to the store to get it. At this time, material abundance (because everyone consciously works to the best of his ability) can meet all needs. This is a blissful communist society with no exploitation, no oppression, no fraud, no personal property and family. According to the objective laws of human development, a communist society will definitely come.
Marx did not say that since capitalism has developed to a certain stage, it will definitely be replaced by communism. Why not wait patiently for the arrival of communism instead of asking humans to kill each other and create a socialism. If it is said that the replacement of capitalism by communism can only be achieved by violently breaking capitalism, then how can it be said that it is inevitable that communism replaces capitalism?
Marx kept telling the poor that you are poor because your property has been exploited and looted by the rich. Because Marx discovered the so-called surplus labor value that is deducted by the rich when the poor work for the rich. According to Marx's plan, the poor must unite to form their own organization, the Communist Party, and then be armed to use violence to overthrow the rich government, and establish governments at all levels elected by the poor, so that the country will be in power by the poor. The poor are no longer exploited when they are in power to work for themselves, and everyone will be full of energy to work. After the violent seizure of power has completed the plunder of the rich, all means of production belong to the whole people, that is, to the state, and all means of production become the property of the poor overnight. So how to produce the next step, Marx has already planned-implement a planned economy-plan by an authoritative department. The country will produce whatever the market lacks, and produce as much as the lack, so that there will be no blind competition in the capitalist society. The resulting overproduction, the superiority of the planned economy is much higher than the disorderly competition in the capital market. In this way, the rapid development of the economy will soon become a huge abundance of material and enter the communist society. Politically, Marx planned that the leaders of all levels of government and various institutions would be elected by the masses under him. The poor proletarians are the most revolutionary. They can do everything responsibly for themselves and other proletarians.
Like the godfather wishing to his followers, Marx painted a bright future for communism and a specific implementation plan for the world. However, when his believers practiced his plan, they found that doing exactly according to his plan often did not work. Instead of following his plan, he turned his back on Marxism. Biting the bullet and doing it the result was a complete failure of Marxism, and almost all of the communist countries collapsed.
Practice is the only criterion for testing truth. The failure of the Marxist-Communist movement shows that communism is a utopia and cannot be realized.
Communism failed in its initial stage-socialism. In fact, it only succeeded in seizing power in a few countries, and no country succeeded in implementing a planned economy. The success of the seizure of power in several countries except Russia was achieved with the help of other communist countries.
Why did Marxism-Communism fail? What's the problem? We know that Marxism encourages the proletariat to rise up and rebellion. It believes that the proletariat is the simplest, most upright and most revolutionary spirit. After the proletarian seizes power, he has a share in all of himself The common property of the whole people will be cared for, everyone will work hard, and the whole world is a big and loving family. The elected administrative officials will work hard to serve the people. Marx believes that the proletariat is the most selfless, and socialist communism will be even more selfless without private property. Here Marx has forgotten or neglected one thing, self-interest is the instinct of all creatures in the world, and human beings can't do it. Marxism wants the Communist Party that has seized state power to implement a one-party dictatorship. The reason is that the Communist Party is the most advanced party and the party of the proletarians. Now a country where the country is a proletarian has a set goal of progress, and naturally does not allow other forces and people to come. Mix together. A one-party dictatorship can lead to an inner-party dictatorship and an inner-party dictatorship can become a one-party dictatorship. Driven by the self-interested instinct, people want to keep their vested interests and obtain new benefits. A one-party dictatorship allows them to do this. In order to consolidate the one-party dictatorship system, many laws and decrees restricting freedom were enacted. This caused great dissatisfaction among people and eventually led to the collapse of the dictatorship. Economically, all means of production in socialist countries are owned by the state, eliminating competition, resulting in a decline in labor efficiency, and people with high labor efficiency and low efficiency get the same remuneration and tend to make people unable to work. As for the communist society, each one does what he can to get what he needs. Under the self-interested nature of human beings, it is almost impossible to realize it. Human nature is like leisure and dislike work. Moreover, the workload of a person is less. And nothing is exactly the same. It is human nature to choose the right one, and human desires are endless. This is also nature. There are also common, good and best things in communist society. For example, if people who want to eat apples take apples, they are of course the best ones. Everyone is like this. Naturally, not everyone can get the best. Some people will find ways to eat. One takes two and the other stays for next time. It is natural for this to happen, and it is happening in all aspects. Can Marx’s communism have everything it needs? Can a society exist?
Marxism believes that people's consciousness will be greatly improved in the socialist stage, because the state is the poor state power is the poor people's power, but ironically, the consciousness of the dictator who led the socialist country to the communist society and Without improvement, in order to keep his throne, he does not appoint people on his merits, and even throws the whole country into a catastrophe for his own personal gain. Marxism relies on these selfish dictators to lead the country to a society of equality, freedom, selfless fraternity and love? It is not that these dictators are different, but are caused by human nature. Since human nature dictates whoever goes up, it will be the same, but the degree is different.
Marx created a communist society, but no one has seen this society. Everyone has doubts about whether it can be realized. Marx has two main reasons for this. The first is: Marx believes that everything has its own law of development. It is the inevitable law of social development that Communism replaces capitalism based on human will. Second, human beings have experienced communist society in the past, that is, primitive communist society, so it should be a logical thing to enter a more advanced communist society. Let me talk about first, things have their own laws of development and will not change according to people's will, this sentence is not wrong. But why does Marxism conclude that according to the laws of social development, capitalism will surely perish in a few years? The world will definitely enter the communist society they designed and will not enter other social forms, including the societies that we do not yet know and have not yet thought of form. Second, there should have been communist phenomena in the early hunting stage of primitive society. The animals caught must be eaten in time and cannot be preserved. Grain harvested in the farming stage can be stored and eaten slowly. People have short-term wealth and wait for a long time. The slow increase in wealth leads to private property. The emergence of private property is a progressive phenomenon. Just imagine if the surplus food is still put together and belongs to the public, no one will look after it carefully. If it is distributed to individuals Individuals will protect it carefully. So when there is excess, it is distributed to individuals. In the future, if you have a family, it will be even more private property. Primitive communism died out due to excess property, and Marx's communism was established due to the increase in property. Is this possible?
Marx’s communist fantasy is like a perpetual motion machine. The perfect design in all aspects is that it violates the laws of nature in a small key place. The perpetual motion machine can never move and communism can never be realized. In his later years, Marx said that he was not a Marxist. Maybe Marx found the mistakes in his theory, but he couldn't bear to deny the results of his life's struggle publicly, so he made this suggestion.
Marxism believes that the economic foundation determines the superstructure, and the elimination of private ownership also eliminates the idea of ​​private ownership. Marx does not know that the self-interested nature of people is the basis of private ownership. Marx was a thinker, theorist, legal scientist, and prophet but not a physiologist. It is not surprising that there is a mistake that human nature can change.
The failure of Marxism lies in treating the self-interested nature of human beings as the superstructure, thinking that as long as the economic base changes the self-interested nature will change, and the self-interested nature is not the superstructure. It is the foundation of all living things that is inherently unchangeable, and competition will It is a manifestation of the self-interested nature. Self-interest and competition are the two necessary conditions for the existence of living beings. Without the self-interested creatures, it is impossible to come to the world and survive, and competition failure will be eliminated. There is an old saying in China that "people are not for themselves, the heavens curse and the earth dies." That's what I mean. The fantasy to eliminate competition and change people's self-interested nature to create a happy society can only be nothing but a basket of water. But after all, humans are advanced animals. Humans control their self-interested nature within a reasonable range through moral education and legal punishment, so that humans can move forward smoothly
马克思主义为何失败
马克思的共产主义幽灵在肆虐了人类将近一个世纪,迫害了数十亿的人造成数亿的死亡,人类有史以来创造出的各种适合人类生存的文明,逐渐被其消灭,代之以歌颂和 吹捧马克思及其主义的"新文化新思想"。 其最盛期统治了世界人口的近一半,占据了世界宜居土地的一半以上。 这个看似不可战胜的幽灵伸出魔爪试图将整个世界纳入它的囊中之时,在20世纪末却突然坠地而亡,其所构筑的严密控制和镇压人民不满的国家机器在各个共产国家中迅速 土崩瓦解烟消云散,马克思的共产主义运动失败了!!!
虽然马克思主义失败了,如果我们不能从理论上找出其失败的原因,那在披着金色光环的共产主义的诱惑下很容易死灰复燃,重新找到它的信仰者。 本文试图找出它失败的原因,并不确信所提论点是正确的,提出来起到抛砖引玉的作用就可以了。
马克思所说的社会主义-共产主义是什么,马克思认为世间一切事务都有规律性,人类的发展也有规律性: 从原始社会发展到封建社会再到资本主义社会,最后进入共产主义社会"这期间 有一个共产主义的初级阶段社会主义"在共产主义社会里没有私人财产一切物质都是全民所有的共同财产--共产党的名字由此而来--每个人都在自觉地尽自己的能力劳动, 没有了货币人们需要什么去商店里取就行了。 这时候物质极大的丰富(因为每个人都自觉地尽自己的能力劳动)可以满足所有的需求。 这是一个没有剥削没有压迫没有欺诈没有个人财产和家庭的极乐共产社会。 按照人类发展的客观规律共产社会是一定会来到的。
马克思没有讲既然资本主义发展到一定阶段就一定会被共产主义所取代,何不耐心等待共产主义的到来而非要人类自相残杀,人造出一个社会主义。 如果说共产主义取代资本主义必须以暴力打碎资本主义才能实现,那怎么能说共产主义取代资本主义是客观规律是必然的呢?
马克思喋喋不休地告诉穷人,你们之所以穷是因为你们的财产被富人剥削掠夺去了。 因为马克思发现了穷人给富人打工时被富人克扣去的所谓剩余劳动价值。 按照马克思的规划穷人要团结起来成立自己的组织-共产党,然后武装起来用暴力推翻富人政府,成立由穷人选举产生的各级政府,这样这个国家就由穷人掌权了。 穷人掌权为自己劳动了不再受剥削了,每个人都会焕发出冲天的干劲来工作。 在用暴力夺取政权完成了对富人的掠夺,一切生产资料归全民也就是归国家,所有的生产资料一夜之间成了穷人的财产。 那么下一步怎么生产呢,马克思已经规划好了--实行计划经济--由一个权威部门做计划国家缺什么市场缺什么就生产什么,缺多少生产多少,这样不会出现资本主义社会的盲目竞争 导致的生产过剩,计划经济的优越性大大高于资本市场的无序竞争。 这样经济高速发展很快物质就会极大的丰富而进入共产主义社会。 在政治上马克思规划的是各级政府和各类机构的领导人由其属下的群众选举产生,穷人无产者是最革命的他们能为自己和其他无产者的事情负责任的去做好一切。
马克思像教父对他的信徒许愿一样为世人描绘了一幅共产主义的美好前景及具体的实施方案,但当他的信仰者实践他的规划时,发现完全照他的方案办往往走不通,而 不照他的方案办又背弃了马克思主义。 硬着头皮干下去其结果是马克思主义彻底失败,共产国家几乎全部垮台。
实践是检验真理的唯一标准,马克思主义-共产主义运动的失败说明了共产主义是一个乌托邦,是不可能实现的。
共产主义在其初级阶段-社会主义就失败了,实际上它只是在夺取政权方面在几个国家成功了,搞计划经济没一个国家成功。 夺取政权能在几个国家成功除了俄罗斯以外都是在其它共产国家的帮助下取得的。
马克思主义-共产主义为什么会失败,它的问题出在哪里? 我们知道马克思主义鼓动无产者起来造反,它认为无产者最单纯最正直最具有革命精神,无产者夺取政权以后面对所有的自己都有一份的 全民共同财产会悉心爱护,每个人都会努力工作,整个世界就是一个友爱大家庭。 而民选上的行政官员会认真努力的为人民服务。 马克思认为无产者最无私,而到了社会主义共产主义没有了私人财产会更加无私。 这里马克思忘了或是疏忽了一件事,利己是世界上所有生物的本能,人类也概莫能外。 马克思主义要夺取了国家政权的共产党实行一党独裁的统治,理由是共产党是最先进的党,是无产者的党,现在国家是无产者的国家有既定的前进目标,自然不允许其它势力和人来 搀合。 一党独裁可以导致党内的独裁而党内的独裁可以变成一党独裁。 人在利己本能的驱使下都想保住既得利益获取新利益,一党独裁可以让他们做到这一点。 为了巩固一党独裁体制又制定了许多限制自由的法律法令。 这引起了人们的极大不满,最终导致独裁党的垮台。 经济上社会主义国家一切生产资料归国家所有取消了竞争,造成劳动效率的下降,而劳动效率高和效率低的人拿一样的报酬趋使人们出工不出力。 至于共产主义社会各尽所能各取所需,在人的利己本性下几无实现的可能,人的天性是好逸恶劳,而且攀比心重,一个人工作量少了旁边的人工作量也会减少。 而任何东西都不会完全一样,挑好的拿是人的本性,人的欲望没有止境这也是天性。 共产主义社会东西也有一般,好,最好之分,譬如想吃苹果的人去拿苹果当然是挑好的拿,人人都这样自然不是每个人都能得到最好的,有人会想办法吃 一个拿两个另一个留在下次吃。 出现这种情况是很自然的,各个方面都出现这种情况马克思的共产主义各取所需的社会能存在吗?
马克思主义认为在社会主义阶段人们的觉悟就会有极大的提高,因为国家是穷人的国家政权是穷人的政权,可具讽刺意味的是带领社会主义国家向共产社会前进的独裁者的觉悟并 没有提高,为了保住自己的宝座,并不任人唯賢,甚至为了一已的私利不惜把整个国家投入一场大浩劫。 马克思主义依靠这些私欲遮天的独裁者带领国家走向平等自由无私博爱的社会岂不缘木求鱼? 不是这些独裁者属于另类而是人性使然,既然人性使然换哪个人上去都会如此,只是程度大小不同而已 。
马克思创造出了一个共产主义社会,但没有一人见过这个社会,能不能实现每个人都会存有疑虑,对此马克思有两大依据,其1是: 马克思认为事物都有自己的发展规律,不 以人的意志为转移,共产主义取代资本主义是社会发展的必然规律,其2,人类过去经历过共产社会即原始共产主义社会,所以再进入更高级的共产社会应该是顺理成章的事。 先说其1,事物都有自己的发展规律且不会按照人们的意志而转移,这句话没有错。 但是马克思主义凭什么断定按照社会发展规律,若干年后资本主义肯定会灭亡世界肯定会进入他们设计的共产社会而不会进入其它的社会形态,包括我们现在还不知道的和还没想到的社会 形态。 其2,原始社会的早期狩猎阶段应该出现过共产现象,扑获的动物要及时吃掉不能保存,到了农耕阶段收下的粮食可以储存慢慢吃,人们有了短时间的财富,以候慢 慢的财富的增多就有了私人财产,私人财产的出现是一个进步现象,试想如果多余出来的粮食还是放在一起属于公共的,谁也不会去仔细照看它,如果把它分给个人每 个人都会仔细的保护它。 所以当吃饱肚子还有多余的存在时就分给个人了。 再往后有了家庭就更是私人财产了,原始共产主义由于有了多余的财产而消亡,马克思的共产主义由于财产的增多而建立,这可能吗 ?
马克思的共产主义幻想就像一台永动机,各方面都设计的完美无缺可就是在一个小的关键的地方违背了自然规律,永动机就永远不能动弹共产主义就永远不能实现。 马克思晚年曾说过他不是一个马克思主义者,也许马克思发现了自己学说的鈕误,但又不忍心公开否定自己奋斗一生的成果,故做此暗示。
马克思主义认为经济基础决定上层建筑,消灭了私有制也就消除了私有制思想,马克思不知道人的利己天性才是私有制的基础。 马克思是一个思想家,理论家,法律学家,预言家但不是生理学家,出现认为人的天性可以改造这样的错误也就不足为奇了。
马克思主义的失败在于将人的利己天性视为上层建筑,认为只要经济基础改变利己的天性将会改变,而利己天性并非上层建筑,它是一切生物的生存基础是天生不可改变的,而竞争则 是利己天性的表现形式,利己和竞争是生物存在的两个必要条件,没有利己天性的生物是不可能来到世界上也不可能生存下去,竞争失败也将被淘汰。 中国有句古语'人不为己,天诅地灭'。 说的就是这个意思。 幻想消除竞争,改变人的利己天性来创造一个美满的社会,只能是竹篮子打水一场空。 但人毕竟是高级动物,人类通过道德教育和法律惩罚将人的利己天性控制在合理的范围内,使人类能够顺利向前发展。
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t4t4t · 5 months ago
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Class is a social relationship. Stripped to its base, it is about economics. It’s about being a producer, distributor or an owner of the means and fruits of production. No matter what category any person is, it’s about identity.Who do you identify with? Or better yet, what do you identify with? Every one of us can be put into any number of socio-economic categories. But that isn’t the question. Is your job your identity? Is your economical niche?
Let’s take a step back. What are economics? My dictionary defines it as: “the science of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.” Fair enough. Economies do exist. In any society where there is unequal access to the necessities of life, where people are dependent upon one another (and more importantly, institutions) there is economy.The goal of revolutionaries and reformists has almost always been about reorganizing the economy. Wealth must be redistributed. Capitalist, communist, socialist, syndicalist, what have you, it’s all about economics. Why? Because production has been naturalized, science can always distinguish economy, and work is just a necessary evil.It’s back to the fall from Eden where Adam was punished to till the soil for disobeying god. It’s the Protestant work ethic and warnings of the sin of ‘idle hands’. Work becomes the basis for humanity. That’s the inherent message of economics.Labor “is the prime basic condition for all human existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labor created man himself.” That’s not Adam Smith or God talking (at least this time), that’s Frederick Engels.But something’s very wrong here. What about the Others beyond the walls of Eden? What about the savages who farmers and conquistadors (for all they can be separated) could only see as lazy for not working?
Are economics universal?Let’s look back at our definition.The crux of economy is production. So if production is not universal, then economy cannot be. We’re in luck, it’s not. The savage Others beyond the walls of Eden, the walls of Babylon, and the gardens: nomadic gatherer/hunters, produced nothing. A hunter does not produce wild animals. A gatherer does not produce wild plants. They simply hunt and gather. Their existence is give and take, but this is ecology, not economy.Every one in a nomadic gatherer/hunter society is capable of getting what they need on their own. That they don’t is a matter of mutual aid and social cohesiveness, not force. If they don’t like their situation, they change it. They are capable of this and encouraged to do so. Their form of exchange is anti-economy: generalized reciprocity. This means simply that people give anything to anyone whenever. There are no records, no tabs, no tax and no running system of measurement or worth. Share with others and they share in return.These societies are intrinsically anti-production, anti-wealth, anti-power, anti-economics. They are simply egalitarian to the core: organic, primal anarchy.
But that doesn’t tell how we became economic people. How work became identity.Looking at the origins of civilization does.Civilization is based off production. The first instance of production is surplus production. Nomadic gatherer/hunters got what they needed when they needed it. They ate animals, insects, and plants. When a number of gatherer/hunters settled, they still hunted animals and gathered plants, but not to eat.At least not immediately.
In Mesopotamia, the cradle of our now global civilization, vast fields of wild grains could be harvested. Grain, unlike meat and most wild plants, can be stored without any intensive technology. It was put in huge granaries. But grain is harvested seasonally. As populations expand, they become dependent upon granaries rather than what is freely available.Enter distribution. The granaries were owned by elites or family elders who were in charge of rationing and distributing to the people who filled their lot. Dependency means compromise: that’s the central element of domestication. Grain must be stored. Granary owners store and ration the grain in exchange for increased social status. Social status means coercive power. This is how the State arose.
In other areas, such as what is now the northwest coast of the United States into Canada, store houses were filled with dried fish rather than grain. Kingdoms and intense chiefdoms were established. The subjects of the arising power were those who filled the storehouses. This should sound familiar. Expansive trade networks were formed and the domestication of plants and then animals followed the expansion of populations. The need for more grain turned gatherers into farmers. The farmers would need more land and wars were waged. Soldiers were conscripted. Slaves were captured. Nomadic gatherer/hunters and horticulturalists were pushed away and killed.
The people did all of this not because the chiefs and kings said so, but because their created gods did. The priest is as important to the emergence of states as chiefs and kings. At some points they were the same position, sometimes not. But they fed off each other. Economics, politics and religion have always been one system. Nowadays science takes the place of religion. That’s why Engels could say that labor is what made humans from apes. Scientifically this is could easily be true. God punished the descendants of Adam and Eve to work the land. Both are just a matter of faith.
But faith comes easily when it comes from the hand that feeds. So long as we are dependent on the economy, we’ll compromise what the plants and animals tells us, what our bodies tell us. No one wants to work, but that’s just the way it is.So we see in the tunnel vision of civilization. The economy needs reformed or revolutionized. The fruit of production needs redistributed.
Enter class struggle.Class is one of many relationships offered by civilization. It has often been asserted that the history of civilization is the history of class struggle. But I would argue differently. The relationship between the peasant and the king and between chief and commoner cannot be reduced to one set of categories. When we do this, we ignore the differences that accompany various aspects of civilization. Simplification is nice and easy, but if we’re trying to understand how civilization arose so that we can destroy it, we must be willing to understand subtle and significant differences.What could be more significant than how power is created, maintained and asserted? This isn’t done to cheapen the very real resistance that the ‘underclass’ had against elites, far from it. But to say that class or class consciousness are universal ignores important particulars.Class is about capitalism. It’s about a globalizing system based on absolute mediation and specialization. It emerged from feudal relationships through mercantile capitalism into industrial capitalism and now modernity.Proletarian, bourgeoisie, peasant, petite bourgeoisie, these are all social classes about our relationship to production and distribution. Particularly in capitalist society, this is everything. All of this couldn’t have been more apparent than during the major periods of industrialization. You worked in a factory, owned it or sold what came out of it. This was the heyday of class consciousness because there was no question about it. Proletarians were in the same conditions and for the most part they knew that is where they would always be. They spent their days and nights in factories while the ‘high society’ of the bourgeoisie was always close enough to smell, but not taste.
If you believed God, Smith or Engels, labor was your essence. It made you human. To have your labor stolen from you must have been the worst of all crimes. The workers ran the machine and it was within their grasp to take it over. They could get rid of the boss and put in a new one or a worker’s council.
If you believed production was necessary, this was revolutionary. And even more so because it was entirely possible. Some people tried it. Some of them were successful. A lot of them were not. Most revolutions were accused of failing the ideals of those who created them. But in no place did the proletariat resistance end relationships of domination.
The reason is simple: they were barking up the wrong tree. Capitalism is a form of domination, not its source. Production and industrialism are parts of civilization, a heritage much older and far more rooted than capitalism.
But the question is really about identity. The class strugglers accepted their fate as producers, but sought to make the most of a bad situation. That’s a faith that civilization requires. That’s a fate that I won’t accept. That’s a fate the earth won’t accept.The inevitable conclusion of the class struggle is limited because it is rooted in economics. Class is a social relationship, but it is tied to capitalist economics. Proletarians are identified as people who sell their labor. Proletarian revolution is about taking back your labor. But I’m not buying the myths of God, Smith, or Engels. Work and production are not universal and civilization is the problem.What we have to learn is that link between our own class relationships and those of the earlier civilizations is not about who is selling labor and who is buying, but between about the existence of production itself. About how we came to believe that spending our lives building power that is wielded against us is justified. About how compromising our lives as free beings to become workers and soldiers became a compromise we were willing to take.
It is about the material conditions of civilization and the justifications for them, because that is how we will come to understand civilization. So we can understand what the costs of domestication are, for ourselves and the earth. So that we can destroy it once and for all.
This is what the anarcho-primitivist critique of civilization attempts to do. It’s about understanding civilization, how it is created and maintained. Capitalism is a late stage of civilization and class struggle as the resistance to that order is all extremely important to both our understanding of civilization and how to attack it.
There is a rich heritage of resistance against capitalism. It is another part of the history of resistance against power that goes back to its origins. But we should be wary to not take any stage as the only stage. Anti-capitalist approaches are just that, anti-capitalist. It is not anti-civilization. It is concerned with a certain type of economics, not economics, production or industrialism itself. An understanding of capitalism is only useful so far as it is historically and ecologically rooted.
But capitalism has been the major target of the past centuries of resistance. As such, the grasp of class struggle is apparently not easy to move on from. Global capitalism was well rooted by 1500 AD and continued through the technological, industrial and green revolutions of the last 500 years. With a rise in technology it has spread throughout the planet to the point where there is now only one global civilization. But capitalism is still not universal. If we see the world as a stage for class struggle, we are ignoring the many fronts of resistance that are explicitly resisting civilization. This is something that class struggle advocates typically ignore, but in some ways only one of two major problems. The other problem is the denial of modernity.
Modernity is the face of late capitalism. It’s the face that has been primarily spreading over the last 50 years through a series of technological expansions that have made the global economy as we know it now possible. It is identified by hyper-technology and hyper-specialization.
Let’s face it; the capitalists know what they are doing. In the period leading up to World War I and through World War II the threat of proletariat revolution was probably never so strongly felt. Both wars were fought in part to break this revolutionary spirit.But it didn’t end there. In the post war periods the capitalists knew that any kind of major restructuring would have to work against that level of class consciousness. Breaking the ability to organize was central. Our global economy made sense not only in economic terms, but in social terms. The concrete realities of class cohesion were shaken. Most importantly, with global production, a proletarian revolution couldn’t feed and provide for itself. This is one of the primary causes for the ‘failure’ of the socialist revolutions in Russia, China, Nicaragua and Cuba to name just a few.
The structure of modernity is anti-class consciousness. In industrialized nations, most of the work force is service oriented. People could very easily take over any number of stores and Wal-Marts, but where would this get us? The periphery and core of modern capitalism are spread across the world. A revolution would have to be global, but would it look any different in the end? Would it be any more desirable?
In industrializing nations which provide almost everything that the core needs, the reality of class consciousness is very real. But the situation is much the same. We have police and fall in line; they have an everyday reality of military intervention. The threat of state retaliation is much more real and the force of core states to keep those people in line is something most of us probably can’t imagine. But even should revolt be successful, what good are mono-cropped fields and sweatshops? The problem runs much deeper than what can be achieved by restructuring production.
But, in terms of the industrial nations, the problem runs even deeper. The spirit of modernity is extremely individualistic. Even though that alone is destroying everything it means to be human, that’s what we’re up against. It’s like lottery capitalism: we believe that it is possible for each of us to strike it rich. We’re just looking out for number one. We’ll more than happily get rich or die trying.The post-modern ethos that defines our reality tells us that we have no roots. It feeds our passive nihilism that reminds us that we’re fucked, but there’s nothing we can do about it. God, Smith and Engels said so, now movies, music, and markets remind us.The truth is that in this context proletarian identity has little meaning. Classes still exist, but not in any revolutionary context. Study after study shows that most Americans consider them middle class. We judge by what we own rather than what we owe on credit cards. Borrowed and imagined money feeds an identity, a compromise, that we’re willing to sell our souls for more stuff.Our reality runs deeper than proletarian identity can answer. The anti-civilization critique points towards a much more primal source of our condition. It doesn’t accept myths of necessary production or work, but looks to a way of life where these things weren’t just absent, but where they were intentionally pushed away.
It channels something that can be increasingly felt as modernity automates life. As development tears at the remaining ecosystems. As production breeds a completely synthetic life. As life loses meaning. As the earth is being killed.
I advocate primal war. But this is not an anti-civilization form of class war. It’s not a tool for organizing, but a term for rage. A kind of rage felt at every step of the domestication process. A kind of rage that cannot be put into words. The rage of the primal self subdued by production and coercion. The kind of rage that will not be compromised.The kind of rage that can destroy civilization.
It’s a question of identity.Are you a producer, distributor, owner, or a human being?Most importantly, do you want to reorganize civilization and its economics or will you settle for nothing less than their complete destruction?
Kevin Tucker, 2004/2005
From Green Anarchy #18
https://theanarchistlibrary.org/category/topic/green-anarchy-18
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mushroomtale · 5 months ago
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Q: Is Chinese culture peaceful?
Ronald Kimmons, fluent in Mandarin, BA in Chinese, former missionary to Taiwan
Chinese culture is civilized.
As any Chinese person will tell you, China has like 6,000 years of history.
For much of that history, China was - or at least perceived itself to be - a civilized nation surrounded by barbarians. This fact can be seen in its name - Zhongguo. This is often translated as “Middle Kingdom”, but I think it is more correct to say “Central State”. As in…the center of the world.
Being the most populous nation in the world is not a new thing for China. It has rivaled India for that title for centuries.
Chinese agriculture goes back as far as agriculture goes. And an agricultural society is a civilized society pretty much by definition.
There was a time in which China was without a doubt the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world. During this period, China sent out many exploratory seafaring missions, but it did not engage in any colonization, largely because it had no reason for doing so. China already had what it wanted.
🐉 Being a civilized culture, China values stability. Chinese culture teaches everyone to fulfill their proper role in society, avoid unnecessary risks, and not make a mess of things.
This, of course, means that China values peace. 
However, if you think this means that there is something particularly pacifist about China, you are wrong. China’s culture is not a warmongering culture, but it is most definitely a culture with a long history of war. There were various periods in which the wars of Europe paled in comparison to the wars of China, both in scale and in savagery.
More importantly, though, China has a long history of leaders using the threat of violence as an important part of diplomacy. War is simply diplomacy by other means, and vice versa. China understands this as much as anyone.
China literally wrote the textbook on war.* 🐉
*The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period (5th century BCE). The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu ("Master Sun", also spelled Sunzi), is composed of 13 chapters.
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The Art of War presents a philosophy of war for managing conflicts and winning battles. It is accepted as a masterpiece on strategy and frequently cited and referred to by generals and theorists since it was first published, translated, and distributed internationally. Those who must succeed in highly competitive environments frequently use Sun Tzu’s philosophies as the cornerstone of their ways.
The Art of War is a required reading for all CIA officers and is used by top professionals in many fields. Major users include: National Defense University, U.S. Marine Corp, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, American Medical Systems, National War College in Washington DC, Microsoft, US Department of Defense, Boeing, General Dynamics, Sandia Laboratories  
🐉 So in short, China is peaceful in that it values civility and stability. But do not mistake the value it places on peace for pacifism. That is not it. Not at all.
Don’t poke the dragon. 🐉
Scott Lam, lived in Hong Kong
🐉 Yes and no. One of the fundamental differences between Chinese culture and that of the West is that the Chinese values, almost frantically, the concept of Unity. 🐉
When the Roman empire collapsed, Europe eventually was divided into dozens of nation-states. These nation-states didn't reunite Europe, but instead expanded outward via violent colonizations in order to gain resource to compete with other rival European nation-states. The division lasted till today. The European countries might become allies with each other for various reasons, but probably no one will ever expect Europe to reunite into a Roman-esque, one country state again.
China has also been divided into many nation-states, actually many times throughout her history. However, instead of being content with the division like Europe, China was willing to go through extremely violent and bloody civil war, sometime losing more than 80% of her population, in order to reunite. However, once they are united, China will become very peaceful again and almost never bothered to invading other countries.
This culture of Unity is not only displayed in the political level, you can also see such Unity in the Chinese society like in Chinese families, schools, businesses etc.
🇨🇳 Therefore you can see that China is fairly peaceful in the international stage such as in trade and diplomacy. BUT, if there comes anything that threatens the Unity of China, such as the Taiwan issue, the Tibet issue, Diaoyu Islands etc, China can and will fight. 🇨🇳
Visual Timeline of Cultures: China, Europe, America
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China Maps by Dynasty
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Philip Lee, Guy in Hong Kong
Chinese culture isn’t just peaceful, it’s downright nerdy. 
China, like all settled agricultural civilizations, has always tended towards a relatively peaceful culture. China is in no way unique in this respect. The same could be said for civilizations like Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley.
Farmers simply don’t benefit from war. They gain very little from victory, lose everything in defeat, and suffer heavily either way. Just the very act of going to war is bad for them because it means leaving their farms.
🐉 What made pre-modern China unique was that it was the only civilization where the secular scholar, not the priest, and not the soldier was the first man of the state. 🐉
European civilization has always held the warrior as the first man of the state. Nobility in Europe was defined by martial prowess, a man gained the respect of his peers by being particularly good at killing his peers. This tradition seems native to all European civilizations starting with the Greeks themselves whose philosophers were also soldiers. The Romans spread their culture of martial alpha male dominance to all parts of the Mediterranean. The Germanic tribes that inherited the Western Roman Empire created the medieval system of warrior nobility.
Civilizations in the Middle East has often been more religiously focused, making the priests the most important members of society, often its rulers, certainly the most respected. Both Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations were ruled by priest kings. Later the Hebrew tradition inherited the idea of making priests the ultimate authority figures. Islam carried on this by making the Caliph the head of both mosque and state.
It was only in China that the best way for a man to gain the respect of his fellow men was to become a (scholar). And people wonder why Chinese and other Chinese influence cultures today are so focused on scholastic excellence. 
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randomnotesofmyown · 5 months ago
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Psycho Pass (19)
Episode 19 - Transparent shadow
Kogami practiced using a gun and decided to borrow it. He left the hideout on a motorbike with the helmet on.
The therapist told Ginoza that his coefficient was fluctuating, and if the issue was not addressed
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Ginoza laughed, then said, "I just remembered that my partner fell into the same situation long ago." "What happened to your partner after that?" "He stopped being my partner. He's one of my subordinates now." After a pause, Ginoza continued, "It's ironic. I've been trying my best to protect myself so that I won't end up like him, and yet, this is how it turns out...What a joke..." "I'll set up an intensive therapy program for you immediately. I'll notify--" "Please wait. I can't do it yet." Ginoza got up and left, saying he found hope in his new colleague.
Kogami went to Professor Saiga's house and was told to get inside right away.
Once in, Saiga asked if Kogami was carrying a gun. Kogami admitted, saying the professor was like a psychic.
At the office of Division 1, Ginoza instructed the rest to immediately take care of Kogami when they saw him. Tsunemori asked, "We capture Makishima alive, but we take care of Mr. Kogami right away..." "That's right." Masaoka, "why don't we put the matter of Kogami aside for now? We're bound to run into him if we drive Makishima into a corner." Ginoza stated the Sibyl system would take five more days to be fully repaired. Until then, they couldn't rely on face recognition to track down Makishima. Kunizuka asked about the possibility of Makishima taking this opportunity to flee. Tsunemori dismissed it and said Makishima would definitely make a move.
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"He's compelled to test this world until his dying breath. He will confront this society protected by the system with blunt human nature. That's why Makishima made a provocative call to Mr. Kogami."
In the information analysis room, Karanomori asked Tsunemori if she was okay after all those that happened. "I may not be the best person, but my ear is yours if you want it." "Mr. Kogami is..." Tsunemori paused in mid sentence, turned her head to another direction, then continued, "becoming a real killer, not just a latent criminal...I don't want that to happen no matter what." "You shouldn't shoulder everything all by yourself." "I'm okay. If you're worried, would you like to check my Hue? I was surprised when I checked it myself this morning. Even after what happened, it's a pale turquoise color. Just how coldhearted I am?"
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"Then what on earth is Psycho-Pass? What is... a person's heart?" Karanomori gave Tsunemori a pad on her back, and hugged her.
Saiga was preparing breakfast when he saw Kogami. "You didn't sleep?" "I had a hard time predicting what Makishima's next move would be, so..." "So you think that man is going to do something more?" "The security network will be fully restored in five days. That's the information I got from the CID's analyst. To Makishima, that will be the time limit he has to launch his last fireworks. " "I looked through the information you brought with you. I can see why you're having a hard time." "What do you think?" "if there is such a thing as political offenders in this society managed by the Sibyl system, this man would be one of them." Saiga continued, "Terrorists, anarchists, agitators, revolutionists with suicidal tendencies, who are interested in the people, the whole lot of them are all good for nothing. By the way, what's the definition of anarchism?" "It's a denial of governing and authority, but it is different from confusion and disorder." 
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"Makishima is close to an anarchist, but since he likes destruction so much, he's quite different from the original meaning of the word." "An inhuman control system...that is Sibyl, isn't it?" "If I am to borrow Max Weber's words, ideal bureaucrats are those who intently perform their duty without anger and fondness, without hate and zealousness, and without love and personal predilection. In that sense, the Sibyl system may be close to the ideal bureaucratic administration. But that is, assuming that all the known specs about Sibyl are true."
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"He also said it's not something worth me putting my life on the line to protect." "Let me quote a little more from Max Weber."
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"Technical knowledge and practical knowledge...Keeping that knowledge secret increases their superiority." "Makishima is trying to strip away that superiority." "And he almost succeeded. Those riots pushed society right up to a very dangerous line."
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"But he refused it." "I'd like to talk to this Makishima guy once in a session recorded on video or audio." "For your research?" "He doesn't interest me that way yet. It would be purely to help your investigation. If Makishima was here right now, how do you think he'd join our conversation?" "He would..."
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"The moment you quote Max Weber...'Rather than a system, isn't it a huge prison? Panopticon...a facility that allows you to observe everyone at once. Sibyl is its worst possible form. You can control the maximum number of prisoners with the minimum number of people."
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"He's a cynical man with a distorted sense of humor." "I see...he satires science and politics that have gotten too advanced." Saiga, "let me ask you a personal question."
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"There are some aspects of him that I can understand. I don't know anything about his past. But one thing I'm certain of is that there was a critical turning point in his life...the moment he realized that he was idiosyncratic. He can control his Psycho-Pass at will. Some people would probably think that's a privilege. But Makishima didn't. What he felt was...probably a sense of alienation. In this society, if the Sibyl system doesn't acknowledge you, in a sense, isn't it the same as not being recognized as a human being?" "A child who wasn't accepted into the group...that feeling might actually be the starting point?" "We won't know the truth until we ask Makishima himself." "But you are not going to ask him..." "Right." "When you're done here, come to my study. I'll show you something interesting."
Cut to Ginoza, he was making a report to Chief Kasei. "Hence, the ones who knows Kogami's personality and way of thinking and are most suited to predict his pattern of actions..."
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"Hmm...I see..." Replied Kasei. Masaoka, waiting to hear the result in the lobby, asked Ginoza about it as soon as he stepped out of Kasei's office. Ginoza said division 1 would continue tracking down both Kogami and Makishima. "It has to be division 1!"
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"Say, Nobuchika...since when did you become so soft?" 
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"As long as we go after Kogami Shinya, we have no choice but to put our lives on the line. That being the case, why don't we leave it to division 3 and..."
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"And make it someone else's problem?!" I bet you too realized what Kogami was thinking and just let him be, right? When Kogami left, you didn't even try to stop him and just saw him off, didn't you?! In order to let him kill Makishima! That's clearly a breach of trust! No, it's a criminal act! No matter what excuses you make, you can't deceive the dominators! Do you want me to check your coefficient right here right now?! Dammit!"
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"Do you and Kogami want to act as agents of justice that badly?!"* "It's not about justice. It's an obsession. Even though you know there are other, wiser ways to live, if you turn your back on it, everything you have built becomes a sham. There's a moment like that." "Are you saying...that that's your pride as Enforcers?" "it's not because we're Enforcers. This is what you'd call a man's pride." "Then I have my own pride. I'll capture that idiot Kogami with my own hands at any cost...no matter what anyone says."
Kasei talking to the Sibyl congregate, "He's done for. But under the current circumstances, there's no one immediately available to use as our pawn." "Hmm...what? Is that the final collective decision by everyone?" "Yeah...but...I can't fully understand with my current capacity. I'd like to go back there once and check the consensus."
Kogami went into Saiga's study and saw 
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He asked, "what is this?" "It's an old type of anonymous message board. It's operated via several overseas servers."
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"If you look in the right place, you can find them. So, anyway, they haven't caught the Sibyl system's attention. The users of this board are former college professors, journalists, critics, literary scholars...they are the people whom the Sibyl system regarded as useless. They still comment even now when their frustration builds up, saying things like, 'there's nothing good about Sibyl'...it might be fruitless, but it's better to have this kind of place than not having it. I started a thread before breakfast."
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"Ways to cause a complete collapse of the Sibyl system in five days?" 
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Kogami, "they all look like stupid jokes to me."
Saiga, "Then find the joke you think the funniest. You and Makishima are alike. Trust your inspiration." Kogami scrolled and scanned through the replies, and one of those comments caught his attention.
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"The Sibyl system collapses due to a food shortage...Hyper-oats..." He clicked to view the whole reply. "Currently, 99% of the food consumed in this country is processed food made from hyper-oats. They're genetically-modified oats that have the ultimate harvest efficiency and we depend solely on this single item." Saiga, "An enormous amount of a 'monospecific genus' that eliminates diversity, huh? I see... if a single fatal defect is found, it's possible that they could be completely wiped out." Kogami, "This might be Makishima's next target." "Food self-sufficiency?" "Yes. This might be it." Kogami then headed to the book shelf as he continued speaking, "Crops, production system, genetic modification...do you have any information on things like that?" "Leave it to me?" Saiga started doing a search. Kogami took two books from the shelf, one on genetic-modification and the other on agricultural drone systems.
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Saiga found something
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"it became impossible to restrain the excess concentration of population in urban areas," Saiga read from an article he printed out, "but while people can move, we can't move land. The primary industry of agriculture was forced to shift to complete automation." "Mechanized farming by drones...genetically enhanced hyper-oats and disease countermeasures using good viruses...those things enabled us to achieve fully automated farming and because of that..."
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"Now the Hokuriku area is a vast granary with zero population." Saiga, "If there are problems with crop health management, hyper-oats, which is a monospecific genus, will be devastated by disease." Kogami, "if the food self-sufficiency system collapses, Japan will have to once again import food. The government will have to rapidly change their attitude of refusing communications with other countries." Saiga, "with food shortages, the entire Japanese population's Crime Coefficients will rise." Kogami, "Once they lift the ban on food import, they have no choice but to relax border security. An inflow of refugees will probably start, too. Once that happens, measuring Crime coefficients itself might become meaningless." Saiga, "in order to make it happen..." Kogami, "Makishima needs an expert's help right now." At dusk, Kogami left Saiga's house. Saiga, "I intentionally took part in your plan to kill Makishima Shogo. Since I'm aware of it, the next time I get a surprise check, that will be it for me." "Professor..." "By giving you a hand, I feel that I've fulfilled my own role. But even so, Kogami...I am dumping all the dirty work on you, after all."
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"For some reason, I can't even imagine someone else besides me killing him."
Inside PSB division 1. Tsunemori stay behind alone. A drone entered and delivered a special dominator.
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Sibyl, "Inspector Tsunemori Akane, I will now tell you the truth about everything."
End of episode 19
* I heard Ginoza mentioned the phrase 正義のミカタ (ally of justice) when he asked Masaoka the question that got translated as “ Do you and Kogami want to be heroes that badly?” and felt changing the translation slightly might be good here.
Comment: There is one thing that puzzled me about the Sibyl's decision that people who could sow the seeds of independent thoughts were useless. And despite the certainty that those people would hate the system, it let them live and communicate with one another about the bad things of Sibyl. Was it because the system controlled every aspect of the lives of the people, those scant criticism made the people who posted them appear like lunatics? To destroy the system, the country would descend into chaos. But to let it remain in place, people would continue to be reduced to livestock. To kill Makishima could prevent him from causing chaos that would result in an unknowable number of deaths. But the system killed, too. Anyone whose coefficient exceeded the approved threshold would simply be eliminated. No legal procedure. No judges handing out verdicts. The Sibyl decided who live, who die, and who to be locked away for the rest of their life. And the people would have no way to voice their opposition but to accept whatever decision the system handed them. If the Sibyl system, being so arbitrary, was the necessary evil. People who wanted to chip away its grip and its authority, were with a motive that was understandable. Makishima wanted to end the system he considered oppressive. Kogami wanted to kill Makishima to prevent chaos and death. This looked as though it was a duel between two good villains.
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writingwithcolor · 6 months ago
In my setting, 90% of the world is uninhabited wilderness due to monsters, and inhabited lands must be cleansed and then inhabited(with most political units being large city states or republics). My setting is also entering a colonial era of exploration, but I'm wondering how to portray colonization when any colonizers would naturally settle and build on unoccupied land, and wouldn't take over entire continents and dominate indigenous peoples, and I'm wondering if that might be separating
(2/2) colonialism from it’s realistic brutal history, as even if colonizers tried to take over natives and exploit them for resources, they simply wouldn’t be able to conquer/subjugate them and their entire land, which makes me wonder how I should portray colonization/worldwide expansion at all(especially since trying to represent future developments like Afro-American culture or poc with European religions/names divorced from their violent original history seems like whitewashing colonialism)
Monsters and Fantasy Colonization
It is whitewashing colonialism, but perhaps not for the reason you think. And that reason is that colonizers thought the lands they colonized were uninhabitable untamed wilderness due to “monsters”: Indigenous peoples.
A major goal of colonialism was to hunt and kill and enslave and generally “cleanse” the “monsters” in order to make room for white Europeans. It’s one of the reasons the concept of race was invented: to classify not white-Europeans as less human, therefore more monstrous, therefore perfectly fine to hunt and kill and enslave.  
You legitimately cannot make this scenario not hurtful the way it is. If they really are monsters and lack sentience, then you codify the concept that colonizers are justified in taking over everything to “civilize” the “wilderness” (hint: colonized lands were never “untamed wilderness” and were actually very carefully curated, constantly-managed ecosystems. Yes this is anywhere humans lived). If you give them even a little bit of sentience, then you have 100% recreated Earth colonialism. And all animals have some degree of sentience, working under their own rules for how they behave.
Attack on Titan as example
A really, really good example of how subtle but how insidiously evil this “the only safe place is this small area” attitude can be is Attack on Titan. If you’re unfamiliar, Attack on Titan has people live in walled cities because outside of the walls are full of “monsters”, the Titans, who eat people. A major goal of the cities’ government is to kill as many of these “monsters” as possible, to make sure humans can expand back out and stop living in walled cities. This is even after it’s revealed Titans have human forms.
Now toss in the knowledge that the author is a Nazi sympathizer and the “monsters” stop being monsters and start being Jewish (as the series progresses, all people who have the ability to shift into Titans are marked with star patches on arm bands. I should not need to explain why this is bad).
Dehumanization and Eugenics
The concept you can’t co-exist with monsters is a very… colonizer thing. It’s rooted in various xenophobic attitudes that colonizing nations around the globe have perpetuated to justify their goals of taking over everything. There’s a reason that one of the steps for genocide is dehumanization: colonization leads to genocide. So by setting up this world as “out there is nothing but monsters, we can’t go there unless we destroy things and make this safe”, you’re living up to centuries of colonizer attitudes that have been passed down through culture as “necessary”. When it’s not.
The fact you use the word “cleanse” is very much a dogwhistle for Nazi (/generally eugenic) ideals. I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way, but when you start using such clinical, dehumanizing, genocidal words… marginalized people especially are going to draw parallels to various supremacists who have used that word in the past. A “population cleanse” is eugenics, full stop.
Co-existing with the monsters
You have the option to make it so they learn to live with the monsters and treat the monsters as part of the world, a necessary part of the world, and have rules in place to protect everyone the majority of the time. Maybe always have a fire roaring at camp so they know to stay away. Maybe leave out offerings so the monsters don’t feel the need to hunt you and learn it’s better to leave you alone because you help. Clear paths that make it easier for everyone to navigate the world. Hunt only what you need, making sure to leave plenty to go around, both plant and animal.
You don’t have to see outsiders as monsters. They can just exist, under their own rules, and all of those rules can coexist. Because monsters or not, they are part of the planet’s biodiversity, and just for that sole reason, they deserve respect.
~Mod Lesya
More on this Story’s Parallels to Colonization 
I need to ask this question - are these colonizers the protagonists, or in any way portrayed as the “good guys”? Because in that case, I’m sitting here wondering why the word “colonial” needs to preface the idea of “era of exploration” at all.
As Mod Lesya so thoughtfully and thoroughly explained above, the current scenario is very hurtful. The very idea of “uninhabited wilderness” existing is rooted in the idea that if some place doesn’t have the “humans” aka colonizers living there, then it’s unoccupied and free real estate. This is frankly untrue if anything is living there, even if said inhabitants are seemingly monstrous. That place is not wilderness and is not uninhabited, it is already occupied and the territory of others and humans are the guests at best and intruders at worst. That should give you perspective that this is not people just taking over free land that no one else is using, this is people taking over with force a land that the natives were already living on, and it’s hard to see this as anything other than an aggressive takeover with dehumanization and genocide.
Plot and Characterization 
If these humans want or need to explore the world and spread out due to sympathetic reasons (aka they are supposed to be the good guys), then take out colonialism. People can leave their homes and go to different continents and make a place for themselves without colonialism. Let them be immigrants, let them be travelling merchants, let them be ambitious explorers, whatever you want them to be, as long as they respect the natives. Let your humans remember that they do not have any inherent right to what the land has to offer. If they’re going out to the world, they should learn that they have no right to take over and “fix things” to their tastes, and instead must learn how to be part of what is already there.
-Mod Rune
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