#especially since the internet’s take on it is so influenced by the united states and how they view things in extremes
cryptoadnetwork · 3 months
10+ Best Crypto Advertising Networks For 2023 
In an era when cryptocurrencies are sweeping the globe, the United States is driving this shift in the economy. Effective advertising is more important than ever with businesses and consumers adopting digital money. This article will examine crypto advertising networks in the USA and show you how 7Search PPC can help you get the most out of your advertising budget.
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Cryptocurrency ad networks have developed dramatically over time, giving businesses creative methods to market their goods and services to a niche customer base. As 2023 approaches, these networks are more important than ever in bridging the gap between corporations and the burgeoning cryptocurrency community. In this piece, we'll dig into the world of crypto ad networks, examine their importance, and introduce you to the leading companies in the industry.
10+ Best Crypto Advertising Networks for 2023
1. 7Search PPC
7Search PPC is the greatest platform for collecting completely legitimate and conversion-ready visitors. You may boost your sales and return on investment with our cutting-edge ad kinds, which include text advertising, native advertisements, picture advertisements, popunder advertisements, and more. For visitors to your website or blog, our platform also seeks to offer straightforward monetization options.Advertisers and publishers may receive assistance from the well-known bitcoin or cryptocurrency advertising network 7Search PPC in accomplishing their marketing or monetization objectives. It provides marketers with highly converted traffic while paying publishers a relatively high rate.
2. Cointraffic – Crypto advertising with direct client assistance
To customers including KuCoin, Bitpanda, and 1xBit, Cointraffic has successfully executed more than 4,700 crypto-focused ad campaigns over the course of its more than five-year company history. With personal managers assigned to each client and the ability to take both fiat and cryptocurrency payments, Cointraffic may be a great resource for marketers seeking innovative content marketing ideas.
3. Bitmedia – A crypto and Bitcoin advertising network with flexible pricing models
Since its establishment in 2014, Bitmedia has handled over 30,000 campaigns, making it another industry titan in the bitcoin advertising market. With a 20 million global audience, the company's ad network produces more than 1 billion monthly impressions.
4. Paradox Group – An advertising-focused crypto consulting agency
In order to assist specialized sectors in gaining access to popular platforms, Paul Burnham and Milo McCloud formed the multidisciplinary advertising firm Paradox Group in 2018. With a team of professionals with over 50 years of combined expertise in a variety of sectors, including the blockchain technology field, the agency uses authenticity to drive innovation.
5. Google Ads – The leading online advertising solution (with restrictions for crypto businesses)
The world's largest internet advertising network by far is Google Ads. Google alone brought in a staggering $54.48 billion in advertising income in Q3 2022, an increase of $53.13 billion from Q3 2021. With all the bells and whistles of geo-targeted marketing campaigns, Google Ads has the ability to reach a truly global audience, but its relationship with information about cryptocurrencies has been rocky.
6. YouTube Advertising – The leading advertising framework for online video
Advertisers may utilize YouTube advertising to connect with prospective consumers and clients through video content. Being the largest platform in the world for hosting videos online, YouTube is especially well-liked by people looking to take advantage of influencer marketing opportunities to the fullest. This is because there are a ton of communities run by video creators whose content corresponds to the interests of your target market.
7. Adshares – ADS-powered blockchain ad network for the Web3 era
A blockchain-based, open-source solution for digital advertising is called Adshares. It can handle 1.4 million transfers per second and promises to make the ad microtransactions process simpler. The $500 billion digital advertising market is about to undergo a change as the business aspires to "become a global standard for advertising," much like SWIFT has done for the banking sector.
8. Coin.Network – Programmatic display ads and audience-optimized crypto campaigns
In terms of features, Coin.Network is among the top crypto marketing agencies, but in terms of average monthly impressions, it is surpassed by some of the top crypto ad networks. Coin.Network, on the other hand, succeeds because its network is concentrated on just supporting the most reliable publications in the blockchain sector.
9. Coinserom – A Bitcoin-powered PTC platform connecting customers with advertisers
Coinserom is a cryptocurrency and Bitcoin advertising network that enables users to earn additional revenue by utilizing their services, much to Adshares, which was previously on our list. Customers may use both video and standard web advertisements to promote their products utilizing Coinserom.
10. A-ADS – Bitcoin advertising network with the longest track record
A-adverts (formerly known as Anonymous adverts), which was founded in 2011, is the oldest Bitcoin advertising network in the world and has a history of providing Bitcoin-based adverts for more than ten years. A-ADS allows cryptocurrency payments and has over 10,000 active monthly customers.
With A-ADS, creating an advertising campaign is simple. Simply choose your budget, and A-ADS's algorithm will figure out how many impressions and clicks you should anticipate receiving each day. 
It could be difficult to keep ahead of the curve in the present, fiercely competitive crypto business. Your bitcoin business might succeed, nevertheless, provided you employ the proper methods and ideas. A reliable blockchain advertising firm and a bitcoin Twitter marketing agency can help with that. They could assist you in connecting with your target audience through successful marketing campaigns and using the potential of a strong bitcoin email list. 7Search PPC is unique among crypto advertising networks in the USA as a dependable and efficient platform to optimize your advertising potential. It is a favorite option for bitcoin marketers because to its exact targeting, reasonable cost, and user-friendly design. Accepting the power of 7Search PPC will cause your efforts to promote on crypto networks to skyrocket.
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escapewithbts · 3 years
Secrets in a Foreign Language (Part Four) - Jungkook
<<previous _ next>>
A few weeks later you entered Jungkook’s apartment with your heart feeling full. You had felt so lonely these beginning months in this new country of South Korea but seeing Jungkook every week had become a sort of comfort, especially now that you knew the feeling was mutual. Once you had gotten the awkwardness of questioning why the place was already clean whenever you got there, you used the time to just hang out with each other. You got along so unbelievably well and frequently had to remind yourself he was literally one of the most famous people in the world right now. It often blew your mind. Maybe it was because his face was all over the city, the tv, the grocery store, maybe because wherever you went you heard his singing voice in songs, or speaking voice in interviews, but the concept of fame was just something you had never thought about; the media giving celebrities an almost unrealistic and ethereal standard to look up to. But that was just it. Idols were people, too. Regular human beings, just like yourself. Jungkook was your living proof. And you really liked that about him.
He wasn’t in the living room nor the kitchen when you got there this time.
 “Kook?” you called out, using the nickname you had begun to refer to him by.
You went further into the home, down the hallway towards the bedrooms. As you got closer to the master and peered inside, you saw the adjoining bathroom door open and could hear the sound of the shower running.
Ah. So that’s where Jungkook was.
You retreated back into the living area, helped yourself to a bottle of water from the fridge and decided to sit on the couch while you waited for him to return.
And he did just that.
You were browsing Instagram on your phone when his voice startled you.
“Hey, (y/n)!”
You took a swig from the water bottle right as you looked up to respond to him, immediately choking on the liquid as you did so, for Jungkook had appeared in the room in nothing but a pair of gray sweatpants, his glistening upper half on complete display.
You learned early on that one of Jungkook’s hobbies was working out, but damn you never thought you would be a witness to all the hard work he put in. The pictures of his abs on the internet were definitely not photoshopped, an eight pack clearly visible on his abdomen. Prominent pecs, and muscular upper arms, the right one covered by a whole sleeve of tattoos. Oh my god, the tattoos. Holy shit. You had seen some of them from the days where he wore short sleeves around you, but now they were all on display, and they were just as beautiful as you had imagined.
The pants he wore were sitting low, (dangerously low) on his narrow waist, deep chiseled v shaped muscles along his hips; you attempted not to think about where they ended.
Finally, you looked up at his face. His dark hair was still wet from the shower, it was pushed back from his forehead. He had a blush on his pale cheeks, but a smirk on his thin lips, clearly aware of how flustered you had become. You cleared your throat and looked away in embarrassment, suddenly feeling guilty for staring at your friend like he was a piece of meat. But he was just so damn attractive, and you were only human, and it had been so long since you had seen a man shirtless, let alone naked… oh god, no, you were not going to go there, not with Jungkook like this in the room with you. Focus, focus on anything else.
“How-how are you today?” you stuttered.
Jungkook strolled over to the kitchen island and grabbed an oversized black shirt that was laying on the back of the stool. Fortunately (or was it unfortunately?) for you, he pulled it up over his head and let it fall at his sides before shaking his damp and messy hair. Then he smiled at you and walked over to the large couch, taking a seat right next to you. The smell of a masculine body wash and fabric softener wafted into your nose, instantly making you want to curl into his side and rest against him. You swallowed hard, trying to shake those thoughts from your mind.
It was just because he smelled nice, right?
“I’m good. We shot an episode of Run! BTS this morning and we were running around a lot,” he chuckled to himself, “it was fun, but I felt gross after. Sorry for being in the shower when you were here.”
You shook your head.
“Don’t apologize. I’m glad you were. I wouldn’t want to hang out with you if you were stinky.”
You plugged you nose and made a grossed-out face at him and he laughed, running a hand through his hair.
“Well then hopefully I smell okay now.”
Ah if only he knew.
Jungkook grabbed the tv remote from the coffee table and handed it to you.
“You pick what we watch today.”
You shrugged and turned on the tv.
You didn’t immediately go to a streaming app, you wanted to see what kind of things were on live tv at the moment. You secretly loved watching shows with commercials because while they were on it gave you and Jungkook a chance to talk more.
As you scrolled through the channels you weren’t hopeful for anything exciting as it was 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon after all.  
But suddenly, something caught your attention. The mention of Jungkook’s name. You paused your channel changing for a second to listen.
It looked like a trashy show, much like TMZ in the United States, where random people seemed to think they had the right to gossip about celebrities.
 “…Jungkook of BTS and idol soloist Kim Cho-hee are still going strong it seems.” One of the reporters commented.
“Yes, did you see that picture of them cuddling close at the restaurant they frequent in Gangnam? Sources say they were there for hours!”
A picture of the two of them popped up on the screen, sitting close in a corner of a dimly lit restaurant booth.  
“I even heard they shared a kiss when he dropped her off at her place!”
With that you felt your stomach flip and your face get hot.
Uh oh.
Oh no.
Did you perhaps feel... jealous?
“You think they’ll get married? Be together forever?”
They all laughed.
“(y/n) …” Jungkook mumbled from next to you.
“… way too young, but only time will tell!”
“(y/n),” Jungkook repeated while shaking your shoulder gently, startling you out of your thoughts and snapping your attention away from the screen, “do you mind… um, changing it?”
You fiddled with the remote in your now sweaty hands.
“Oh, sorry, no, um, I’m sorry.”
You complied with his request and moved to the next channel, something about wild animals native to the continent of Asia.
There was silence from Jungkook, and you didn’t dare look at him, your heart pounding inside your chest. It felt awkward now, like the elephant that had been in the room throughout your whole friendship, or whatever this was, was now making an unavoidable appearance. You were debating in your head whether you should finally ask him about it all when he spoke up first.
  “We’ve never kissed,” he started quietly.
You ran a hand through your hair, realizing you did not want to hear about it after all. You wanted to stay in this state of naïve bliss.
 “Jungkook…” you trailed off.
Plus, no matter how curious you were it still wasn’t your business.
He placed his hand on your arm surprisingly, making you look up into his worried looking eyes.
“Please, I really would like to talk to someone about it and since you-you already know it’s not real, and no one else really does- “
“Do your members?” you interrupted him.
He shook his head and looked down.
“No, they think it’s real.”
You took a deep breath, now even more shocked he had trusted you so easily with such seemingly confidential information those many weeks ago.
You closed your eyes tightly, the question you’ve been dying to ask on the tip of your tongue.
 “So can I ask... why? Why you’re in a fake relationship with her?”
He let out a sigh and looked down at the ground.
 “It’s complicated. Cho-hee has, um, she’s not known for being the kindest person, er, idol in the industry. She doesn’t have the best um, I’m not sure of the word in English…” he paused to pull out his phone’s translator app, “…repu-reputation is the word in English,” he sighed again, “So obviously as BTS, we’ve been very successful recently, and our managers are great at making sure our reputation stays good. So, her company contacted mine, her company has a lot more media influence in Asia, and asked if one of our members pretends to date her and help boost her reputation, they will help get BTS more attention in the Asia countries,” he paused and hesitantly peered up at you, “so… yeah, that’s basically the small explanation.”
You stared at him in both shock and confusion, so many follow up questions flooding your brain.
 “BTS doesn’t have enough media coverage in Asia?” was the first one to come out of your mouth.
“Well, not necessarily,” Jungkook replied, “but the K-pop competition is a lot bigger in countries like China and Japan because it has been around for so long here and there, unlike in areas like North America and Europe. You know, people in America or the UK or other non-Asian countries might instantly think of BTS when you say ‘K-pop’ these days, right? But here it can be different. Any other act could appear at any moment and take that spotlight, and Cho-hee’s company has more ties and relationships in Asia, more than our company HYBE, because they’ve been around a lot longer.”
You thought for a second before responding.
“So, you’re telling me… her company helps keep BTS relevant throughout Asia, in exchange for you pretending to date her in order to convince the media she’s a good person and keep her out of trouble?”
Your head was absolutely spinning at all this new information.
Jungkook nodded.
Your eyes went wide as you stared off into space in disbelief.
“Wow… I-I don’t know what to say…”
Jungkook buried his face in his hands and then ran them through his hair.
“I don’t know how much longer I can do it. She has that reputation for a reason. We get along fine, but she’s just so… controlling? Controlling is the word, yes? Sometimes I think she forgets we aren’t actually together.”
You frowned at him sympathetically.
“And what if,” he continued, biting his lip nervously, “what if I meet someone I do want to be with. What then? I can’t be with them?”
Your eyes met at that moment and you felt yourself catch your breath in your throat, you heart feeling like it did a somersault.
You looked away quickly.
“Yeah I don’t know. That certainly does makes things… complicated…”
Jungkook hummed in agreement.
There was a pause as you sighed.
“God I’m… really sorry, Kook, that you have to be a part of all this.”
There was a silence between you two. He just fiddled with his fingers in his lap.
Finally he said softly,
“Me, too. I’m sorry you have to be a part of it, too.”
You cocked your head in confusion.
 “What? Me? Because I know your relationship isn’t legitimate? You don’t have to worry about me, you know I won’t tell anyone about the two of you or- “
He cut you off.
 “Not just that,” he paused and closed his eyes, taking in a deep breath.
You allowed yourself to take in his handsome face from this up close: his smooth skin, the mole on the bridge of his nose, the deep scar on his left cheek. He was just so exquisite; and when he opened his big brown eyes to meet yours, he looked more nervous than ever.
And when he began to speak you suddenly understood why.
 “It’s also because I… I like you, (y/n). I’m really… starting to like you. As more than a friend or-or someone I just hang out with one day a week,” his face turning red as he went on, “And if you don’t feel the same way I under-”
But before he could finish you placed one hand on the side of his neck and the other on his cheek as you leaned into him and pressed your lips against his in a tender kiss. He relaxed into you and wrapped his arms around your waist to pull you close, practically sitting you on his lap. You finally let his comforting scent completely engulf you, running your hands through his soft hair and nibbling on his bottom lip.
 Oh, yes.
This certainly made things very complicated indeed.
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manscaped · 10 days
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script-a-world · 3 years
hi, any advice on timeline and era etc stuff? I have dyscalculia so numbers and measurements are meaningless to me and it’s really difficult to figure out how much time should lapse (on a large scale; time periods, millennia, eras, etc, not stuff like in one persons lifespan) between eras and events, especially in regards to political n social n technological etc changes
Feral: That depends. There isn’t one answer. You’re asking for longer time periods than a generation or a lifetime, but for scale, take what’s happening now. How many calamities, major political events, social trends, and changes in technology (and how we interact with it) have happened in the year 2020? Since the year 2016? Since 2008? Since 2001? How are they grouped together or spaced apart? And these are all working on each other. In the USA where I live, the 9/11 attacks absolutely have a direct causal effect with the politics that led to the 2016 election (actually before that a Supreme Court decision in the 2000 election also had an impact on that result), and the results of the 2016 election impacted how COVID has been handled this year. That’s 20 years, so when we’re looking at longer timeframes, we scale up. We see gaps and groupings and there just isn’t a specific “oh every decade/score/century, these types of events happen.”
To quote a particularly relevant introduction on Wikipedia:
This results in descriptive abstractions that provide convenient terms for periods of time with relatively stable characteristics. However, determining the precise beginning and ending to any ‘period’ is often arbitrary, since it has changed over time over the course of history.
To the extent that history is continuous and not generalized, all systems of periodization are more or less arbitrary. Yet without named periods, however clumsy or imprecise, past time would be nothing more than scattered events without a framework to help us understand them.
Eras, of the non-geological or -cosmological sort, or time periods are culturally determined, completely variable in length, and often overlap. For example, the beginning of the Victorian Era, 64 years, (defined by Victoria’s rule of England) of the Anglo-influenced world overlapped with the Antebellum Era, 78 years, (defined by political and social tensions in the lead up to the American Civil War) of the United States, which is also part of the Anglo-influenced world, and then following the end of the Antebellum Era, was the American Civil War, 4 years, and then the Reconstruction Era, 14 years (the first 2 of which are within the Civil War), which are both fully contained within the Victorian Era. Typically, when you are trying to think about eras, think about political rulership, wars, and large scale trends like artistic styles. It may also be helpful to familiarize yourself with the Three-Age System, which can be applied individually on cultures, rather describing trends for the whole world.
What it really comes down to when we think of eras and time periods is almost like a type of pareidolia. People see groupings of like things happening and put this grouping into a bubble of time, which kinda doesn’t actually exist in objective reality and is more or less a group hallucination on a massive scale. It calls to mind what Zeno’s arrow might have actually been trying to describe - not to say that this paradox is infallible, but it’s an interesting thought exercise, especially once you get into the quantum Zeno effect.
Now that I have fully diverged from the question at hand, we’ll get back to it. Let’s look at one technology type and how much time elapses between developments as well as some tie-in technological, social, and political forces that may be acting on the developments or that the developments might be acting on. I’ll also note how this technology traverses the eras of history as I find that looking at one discrete set over time is easier than just trying to look at the big picture. Let’s look at the history of printing.
(With hopes that it will be easier for you to conceptualize, I will use simplified (aka rounded up/down) timeframes written numerically rather than spelled out or via terms like decade or century so at the very least you can compare length of numbers. I’m also going to link as many Wikipedia articles as I can - I like Wikipedia for this because of its incredible cross-indexing and how it strings relevant articles together into a series, often chronologically. If the numbers are still challenging for you, I will summarize without at the end.)
5,520 years ago, the very first form of printing we know about is done with cylinders rolled over wet clay in Sumer in 3500 BCE, the beginning of the Early Bronze Age.
3,700 years later, woodblock printing is developed in China somewhere around 200 CE/AD, just after the end of the Pax Romana in Europe.
700 years later, the next development of printing is movable type, which is developed in China in 1040. 26 years later, on the other side of the world, in 1066 is the Battle of Hastings and the establishment of the Norman Era of rulership in England, in another 20 years, in 1086, the Domesday Book is hand written in 2 volumes: 1 is 764 8”x15” pages, the other 900 8”x11” pages.
400 years later gives us the Gutenburg printing press that is developed in Germany (at the time in the Holy Roman Empire) in 1440. This is during the Renaissance Era; it’s also the Era of Humanism, and often called the Early Modern Period. Martin Luther will write the 95 Theses less than 80 years later and start the Protestant Reformation, largely thanks to the ability for the theses to be easily copied by the printing press and spread quickly.
75 years later we have etching in 1515. 90 years later, the first weekly “true” newspaper, the Relation, begins printing in 1604.
130 years later we have mezzotint in 1642, which is the start of the First English Civil War, which will last for 4 years. Depending on your preference, the Age of Enlightenment either began 5 years before or 40 years later (unless you’re French).
130 years later we have aquatint in 1772. That is right at the beginning of the American Revolution: 2 years after the Boston Massacre; 1 year before the Boston Tea Party; 2 years before the Intolerable Acts and the First Continental Congress; 3 years before Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” Speech (which is printed and shared across the colonies), Paul Revere’s Ride, and the Battle of Lexington & Concord; and finally 4 years before Thomas Paine’s Common Sense is published, the signing of the Declaration of Independence (which is printed and shared across the colonies), Nathan Hale’s execution for treason against the Crown, and Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware.
25 years later lithography is developed in 1796; the year prior Napoleon overthrows le Directoire.
40 years later we have chromolithography in 1837, the year Victoria ascends and the first electric/battery powered locomotive is invented.
5 years later is the rotary press in 1843. The First Industrial Revolution is over.
15 years later is the hectograph in 1860. 1 year later, the American Civil War begins.
15 years later is offset printing in 1875. 1 year before, the first commercial typewriter becomes available. 1 year later is Bell and Watson’s first phone call in 1876.
10 years later is hotmetal typing in 1884.
1 year later is the mimeograph in 1885. 2 years later is Black Monday. 5-10 years later the radio is invented.
20 years later is the photostat and rectigraph in 1907.
4 years later is screen printing in 1911. 3 years later WWI begins in 1914.
10 years later is the spirit duplicator in 1923. The Roaring Twenties.
2 years later is dot matrix printing in 1925. 4 years later is the Great Crash.
10 years later is xerography in 1938, the same year as the first digital computer. 1 year later WWII begins in 1939.
2 years later is spark printing in 1940. 1 year later is the Attack on Pearl Harbor.
9 years later is phototypesetting in 1949. The USSR detonates their first atomic bomb.
1 year later is inkjet printing in 1950. Truman orders the development of the hydrogen bomb. Apartheid becomes law in South Africa.
7 years later is dye-sublimation in 1957. 6 years later, Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his “I Have a Dream” Speech.
12 years later is laser printing in 1969, the summer of which is known for very Very.
3 years later is thermal printing in 1972. The break-in at the Watergate Office Building is this same year and 2 years later Nixon resigns.
14 years later is 3D printing in 1986, the year Pixar Animation is founded and the year after the beginning of the Iran-Contra Affair.
1 year later is solid ink printing in 1987. 2 years later is the invention of the World Wide Web, and the internet as we know it.
4 years later is digital printing in 1991, the same year the USSR dissolved. 2 years before, the Berlin Wall fell.
There have been no significant developments in the history of printing since 1991.
So, let’s look at some averages to help us consume this data. Printing has a history of 5,520 years. It took 3,700 years for another development to occur, and then another 700 years after that - in other words, in the first 4,400 years of printing, there were 3 developments, equalling to an average of 1 every 1,470 years. In the 400 years between 1440 and 1843,  there were 7 developments (average of 1 every 57 years). In the next 100 years between 1860 and 1957, there were 14 developments (average of 1 every 7 years but with 1 year having 2 developments simultaneously). In the next 22 years between 1969 and 1991, there were 5 developments (average of 1 every 4 years).
While the general trend is that the more a technology develops, the faster it develops, a trend is not the whole picture. Consider: in the 90 years of 1796-1885, there were 6 developments, making the average 1 every 15 years. In the 85 years of 1907-1991, there were 15 developments, making the average 1 every 6 years. There has not been a development in the past 30 years! There hasn’t been this large of a gap since 1837, 180 years ago.
In general, without numbers, what I think we can see here is that sometimes a certain development, like the printing press, can usher in a new era, and sometimes reactions to what else is happening in the world can pressure someone into developing something new, but often times, most times, when you look at just one thing under microscope over time, why that thing is produced in this era but not that era has nothing to do with the eras in question. When we create time periods, we’re generally doing it after the fact. No one living under the rule of the Roman Empire in 100 CE was thinking to themselves, “ah yes, the Pax Romana, when we have peace for 200 years!”
So applying all of this to worldbuilding, I see two methods that you can use together, to create a timeline that makes sense and is useful to your storytelling.
Method the first, arbitrarily create time bubbles of various lengths - I recommend the use of index cards for this. Index card A is 7 years; card B is 150 years; card C is 47 years and so on. Then take big ideas and put those onto your cards; use inspiration from real history. “I want the War of the Roses but condensed into 7 years.” “A Mongolian Empire type expansion happens over 150 years.” “There’s a 47 year Renaissance of fascination with Ancient History.” Then take those cards, lay them out into roughly the order in which you want them to occur, maybe overlap them a little, especially if they are happening in different parts of your world. Remember that time is not actually linear and things do not happen in a linear, narrative manner in the real world, so there can be wild leaps; there can be regressions; and you don’t have to follow real world history here - though you may want to the first time as a helpful exercise. It’s also very unlikely that you will ever have to know exactly how many years are between the eras or what the interstitial eras are.
Method the second, list all the major historical events, inventions, etc that you want/need to have happened. Start with what directly impacts your main characters and plot. “MC’s great-grandfather is humiliatingly defeated in battle, casting a pall of embarrassment across the generations following and ultimately putting the MC in the position that she starts in.” “The first great wizard codifies the 10 Laws of the Important Magical Order that the MC is trying to earn her place in.” Put these in an order that makes sense to you, keeping in mind that it’s not going to be a perfect progression. Again, you don’t need to know how many years there are between each event, but if great-grandpa was the last in a very long line of family members allowed to be in the Important Magical Order, then that IMO had to be founded first, and there would probably be some events between these two.
Then, when you have your two timelines, one of era/time periods and one of events, graft them together. You may have to shift some things to make it work, but consider the “feeling” or theme of the eras and what events make sense in relation to those feelings. Additionally would this event be more suited to happening when the era is new and is finding itself or when the era is solidly on course or is it an event that would completely shatter the illusion of the era and usher in a new one? Does it make sense for your great wizard to be codifying her laws in the expansion of an empire, or during a period of relative peace and prosperity in an established empire, or before empires were a thing in this world and few traveled far from home?
Tex: I’ve found that historically important events are caused for roughly two reasons - one, an invention that others capitalize on for an exponential growth into other inventions/social uses, and two, someone got sick of someone else’s crap and did something about it. Natural disasters will happen with enough frequency to be noted (see: the Little Ice Age, the Black Death, and the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa), although there’s little prediction for them because of the lack of observable build up in activity.
To pull from Feral’s timeline of examples, writing is popularly attributed to being invented in Sumer, 5,520 years ago - it’s our oldest found example, at any rate, though I’ve learned to never say never on archaeological discoveries.
What prompted this invention? Things rarely occur out of the blue, and rarely without interaction from other domains - where could writing have come from? Maybe art? What about from the creation of a tool, a reuse of certain skill sets? Something else we haven’t thought of yet?
So that’s one half of the question. But what about the other half - what did people around the inventor (multiple inventors?) think of this new thing? Deliberately associating a particular sound with a particular object - even a 2D object like pressing shapes into a piece of clay - and then standardizing it, is no mean feat. How did this agreement even happen? Were there arguments about how to do these graphemes, how best to shape them? What about which phoneme to each?
I doubt Sumerian cuneiform was created in a day, and likewise I doubt that language popped into existence on a whim. To keep pulling from this example, language composition has a strong effect on how we interact with our environment (University of Missouri-St Louis Libraries), but it conversely is also deeply affected by the environment its users create (Nature).
Because of this, I think it’s easier to work from a different angle - figure out what your major events are, and what eras you’re covering. If these major events also define an era, that’s even better! Working out how long everything each thing takes is ultimately a bunch of minor details, so it’s up to you how much your plot actively needs them, rather than decoration to your story meant to amuse you more than your audience.
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jocia92 · 2 years
(Google translated)
Dan Stevens, who grew up in Wales and south-east England, spent his summer holidays at the National Youth Theater at the age of 15, and he was drawn to the stage while studying English in Cambridge. Since his big breakthrough as Matthew Crawley in the hit series “Downton Abbey”, he has also repeatedly appeared in films such as “Inside Wikileaks - The Fifth Force”, “At Night in the Museum: The Secret Tomb” or “Beauty and the Beast” . Most recently, Stevens played the Russian Schnösel singer Lemtov in the Oscar-nominated comedy “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” from Netflix. At the beginning of June, the German film “Ich bin dein Mensch” by Maria Schrader celebrated at the Summer Berlinale Premiere, which starts on 1.7. comes to German cinemas regularly. Stevens plays the role of a love robot in it. Unlike on the screen, however, the 38-year-old prefers to speak English in the zoom-conducted interview. He chose a brick wall with a lion motif as the digital background. No allusion to the song “Lion of Love” from “Eurovision Song Contest”, but a photo of the famous Ishtar Gate in Berlin’s Pergamon Museum, where “I am your human” was filmed last summer.
Mr. Stevens, in your new film “I am your human” you play a humanoid robot that is entirely geared towards fulfilling the romantic needs of a skeptical scientist. You yourself recently described the film as “delightfully German”. How did you mean that?
I wanted to say that here pretty big questions - such as what actually makes a person or how much perfection love can take - are negotiated in a very light-footed, elegant and sometimes humorous way. In my experience that is a very German quality. At least I have often seen with many of my German colleagues and friends that they are very good at not discussing difficult issues exclusively deadly serious and melancholy.
Where does your personal connection to Germany and the German language come from?
My parents had friends who lived in Bielefeld and we used to visit them in North Rhine-Westphalia during the school holidays. Traveled from England by car! That’s how I learned a little German as a child, and later I learned it as a subject at school. I even did a short internship there through our friends in Bielefeld. I really love the language. Funnily enough, I was later able to use my knowledge of German professionally, because my first film was “Hilde”, in which I was next to Heike Makatsch played the British actor and director David Cameron, who was married to Hildegard Knef. After that, I always hoped that there might be another chance to speak German in front of the camera, because playing in a foreign language is an exciting challenge. When the chance arose to shoot “I am your person”, I could hardly believe my luck.
Did you know the director Maria Schrader who gave you this chance?
Funnily enough, when the script for the film landed on my table, I had just watched the Netflix series “Unorthodox”, which she directed. I had also watched a few episodes of “Deutschland 89”. In general, I knew that she was a great German actress, not least because friends who knew their way around the German theater scene often raved about her. Working with her was a joy now. Her understanding of actors is quite instinctive and brilliant. I have seldom seen someone who can help an actor who is having difficulties with a scene with such simple means.
The fact that you had already seen “Unorthodox” shows, of course, how quickly “I am your person” must have been implemented in the past year …
Oh yes, that was really quick. In March I was still in New York and was about to premiere a new play on Broadway. But then the pandemic came, everything was canceled and I flew back to my family in Los Angeles. A few weeks later, Maria and I met each other via Zoom - and shortly afterwards I was sitting outside in a café in the Berlin June sun for the first time in months to discuss the upcoming shoot with her. That was pretty surreal because I hadn’t actually left the house since March.
Is it correct that you oriented yourself to Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart to portray the romantically programmed robot Tom?
In any case, these were role models that Maria and I spoke about. When you think of the game between the two of them, you always see an enormous clarity and directness. Cary Grant, for example, was always quite funny, especially in his romantic roles, but also flawless in an almost artificial way from today’s perspective. I found that very suitable for a robot. Apart from the fact that the ideas that Tom and his algorithm have of romance and love are certainly also shaped by the classic romantic comedies from Hollywood. Oh, the woman is sad, so I’ll bring her flowers! Such automatisms from the stories from back then were very appropriate for Tom now.
Keyword role models: Who shaped you in your career as an actor?
There were of course many. Jimmy Stewart was certainly something of a role model. My mom and I watched a lot of his films when I was little and I was always impressed by the kind of sweet tragedy that went into all of his roles. But maybe Robin Williams’ work influenced me even more. I always found the incredible variety of his films remarkable. He could make his audience laugh hysterically like no other, but also move them to tears in other roles. I always wanted to emulate this range.
In fact, the range of your roles is enormous and ranges from the Disney blockbuster “Beauty and the Beast” to a comic adaptation in series format such as “Legion” to bulky independent films such as “Her Smell” or the horror thriller “The Rental “, Which we just released on DVD. Is there a method behind this diversity?
Not in principle. I like variety, but I’m not just looking for roles that are as different as possible from one another. Rather, there are always similar factors that I use to select my projects. Sometimes there is a certain director that I really want to work with. Or the role itself is irresistible because it presents me with acting challenges. And sometimes a script is just fantastically written and I am interested in the topics it is about. With “I am your person” it was definitely the latter, especially since the timing was just right. In 2020 there were so many societal questions that ultimately touched the core of human existence. Such a script, which deals with something very similar in a light-footed way, was just fitting.
A few years ago you said in a questionnaire from the British Guardians that your greatest weakness was not being able to make up your mind. So every time you are offered a role, do you ponder whether you should accept?
No, no, when a script appeals to me, it actually does it very quickly. It’s such a gut feeling. If I’m unsure and skeptical, that’s a good indicator that this is not the right thing for me. That with the difficulty in making decisions related rather to something else. For example, it takes me forever to order in a restaurant because I can never decide what on the menu appeals to me the most.
You became famous with the role of Matthew Crawley in the series "Downton Abbey”. Did you immediately suspect at the time that something big was going on?
At first we were all pretty clueless. There are really many British history series, and we were one of them. When the first season aired in the US and was a huge success there, it was pretty unexpected. I never expected the impact the series would have on my career.
Barely ten years later, are you still being asked about the role?
Oh yes, regularly. Probably nothing will change about that either. I got out after three seasons!
In the meantime, however, the flamboyant Russian singer Alexander Lemtov from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” should also be a character with whom you will be immediately associated, right?
Right, it has been mentioned more and more recently when people recognize me on the street. This charming, silly film obviously had a nerve with the audience last year in the middle of the corona pandemic. Especially since the real Eurovision Song Contest had been canceled.
The film was the number one topic of conversation on the Internet for a while - and Lemtov GIFs and memes were everywhere. Did you follow that?
It was really hard to avoid it. I wasn’t looking specifically for what people were posting. But of course my friends passed a lot on to me, and there were already some very funny Lemtov things. But he’s also a figure made for GIFs.
Another question every British actor under 40 has to put up with these days: Would you like to become the next James Bond?
Oh, of course, everyone gets to hear this question again and again who meets certain criteria. But it is completely hypothetical. Although a few years ago I read in an audio book by Ian Fleming’s “Casino Royale”.
You mentioned earlier that you and your family have lived in the United States for a long time. How big is your homesickness?
I actually feel very comfortable in Los Angeles. But every now and then I miss the sidewalk culture of European cities. People on foot, street cafes, things like that. Last year the longing for it was particularly great, although it was of course clear to me that there was a state of emergency in Europe too. In any case, I found myself reading books that were set in Europe and made me homesick. Which is why the unexpected trip to Berlin was really a boon.
You are also an avid cricketer. That’s certainly difficult in Los Angeles, isn’t it?
There are quite a few cricket clubs here. The only problem is that the few people who do the sport here are so good at it that I have problems keeping up. That’s why I always lose sight of the matter here a little. Even as a pure TV viewer, it is not easy to stay on the ball, because of course there is no cricket broadcast here at prime time. But as soon as I’m home in England in the summer, I really want to play again!
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dweemeister · 3 years
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NOTE: This is the third film released theatrically during the COVID-19 pandemic that I am reviewing – I saw Raya and the Last Dragon at the Regency Theatres Directors Cut Cinema’s drive-in operation in Laguna Niguel, California. Because moviegoing carries risks at this time, please remember to follow health and safety guidelines as outlined by your local, regional, and national health officials.
Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
As Raya and the Last Dragon, directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada and written by Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim, made its theatrical and streaming bow, the United States was grappling with a wave of highly-publicized hate incidents towards Asian-Americans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This spike in racially-motivated verbal abuse, assaults, and homicides began with the pandemic and, frustratingly, had only been receiving national attention in these last few weeks. Despite the nation’s racist origins entwined with chattel slavery of black people and its continued unequal treatment of minorities including Asian-Americans, I am not qualified to say if the U.S. is “more” or “less racist” than other countries. But I can hardly think of any other people that interrogate racial inequality and oppression as much (and as publicly) as Americans – an undeniable strength. There was no way Raya and the Last Dragon’s cast and crew could have anticipated the film’s fraught timing, but the film provides a much-needed, positive, and heavily flawed, action-adventure romp drawn from Southeast Asian cultures.
The very notion that Walt Disney Animation Studios was attempting to craft a film using an amalgam of Southeast Asian cultures stoked my excitement and dread. Southeast Asian cultures – including, but not limited to, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam – are often lumped into those of East Asia (China, Korea, Japan), which dominate Asian-American depictions or Asian-influenced media in the United States. What gave me pause is that Disney’s track record in films featuring non-European-inspired characters and places inspired by non-European cultures is mixed. Aladdin (1992) and Pocahontas (1995) are aggregations of (and indulge in stereotypes towards) Arabs and indigenous Americans alike, especially in their presentations of “savagery” (Pocahontas in particular is guilty of false equivalences).
Cultural aggregations in fictional settings are not insensitive, per se. Yet, Disney’s stated intentions on this film are undermined by a voice cast ensemble almost entirely composed of actors of Chinese and Korean descent – you can bring up Adele Lim’s response to the voice casting controversy all you want, but her response contradicts the film’s promotion. Amid its gorgeous production and character design, Raya manages to avoid the worst mistakes of its Disney Renaissance predecessors. But its hero’s journey is too cluttered and too littered with the anachronistic and metatextual jokes plaguing the last decade’s Disney animated features.
Five centuries before the events of Raya and the Last Dragon, the land of Kumandra saw its people live in harmony with dragons. That relationship, however, would be devastated by the appearance of the Druun – a swirling, purple vortex that turns living beings into stone. In the conflict against the Druun, the last dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina), makes a fateful sacrifice to save Kumandra by concentrating the dragons’ collective power into a magical orb. Soon after, Kumandra’s five tribes – Fang, Heart, Spine, Tail, and Talon (named after parts of a dragon) – fight amongst each other for control of the orb (Heart eventually gains possession of it), effectively partitioning the land. In the present day, the Heart tribe’s Chief Benja (Daniel Dae Kim) proposes and hosts a feast-summit to discuss and heal Kumandra’s divisions. Benja has taught his daughter, Raya (Kelly Marie Tran), the ways of a warrior and the necessity for Kumandra’s tribes to realize their oneness. At the feast-summit, Raya befriends Namaari (Gemma Chan; Jona Xiao as young Namaari), the daughter of Fang Chief Virana (Sandra Oh). Predictably, Namaari betrays her new friend in an orchestrated ploy to pilfer the dragons’ orb for Fang. Just as the Druun make a surprise invasion of Heart, the botched heist sees the orb break into five, and each of the tribes makes off with part of the orb. It will be up to Raya to recover the other four pieces of the orb, lest Kumandra succumb to the Druun.
The film’s screenplay is, charitably, a mess. Though Qui Nguyen (primarily a playwright) and Adele Lim (2018’s Crazy Rich Asians) are the credited screenwriters, Raya’s phalanx of story credits (mostly full-time, white employees at the Disney studios) suggest studio interference. Raya seems as if it is trying to cleanly differentiate certain tribes as based on a certain Southeast Asian nation. Instead, it comes off as a brew of mish-mashed parts (this problem extends to the otherwise stunning animation). With the exception of those from the militant Fang, the bit characters from the various tribes do not behave any differently from the members of other tribes. The partition of Kumandra, five hundred years before the events of Raya, feels like as if it had never existed for lengthy stretches in this film.
After Kelly Marie Tran, as Raya, narrates the mythology and history of Kumandra in the opening minutes, the film’s structure tethers itself predictably to the monomyth. The fracturing of the dragon’s orb into five parts sends Raya onto a tedious adventure: the physical travel to a new part of Kumandra, introduction of a sidekick (all of them are comic reliefs), an action setpiece involving a necessary assist from new sidekick, and the integration of that sidekick into Raya’s ever-growing party. Lather, rinse, repeat. To squeeze the four other tribes into the film’s 107-minute runtime and set up a climax and resolving actions results in a frantically-paced movie. Almost all of the film’s dialogue is subservient to its structure, the hero’s journey. This disallows the viewer to learn more about our lead and her fellow adventurers. In arguably the most important example in how the dedication to story structure undermines the characters, take Raya’s repeated mentions to her newfound confidants that she has difficulty trusting others. Six years have passed since the day of Namaari’s betrayal and Raya’s discovery of Sisu. How has Raya’s sense of distrust evolved over time, and how does it manifest towards those of other tribes? Does it appear in moments without consequence to her quest, in gusts of casual cruelty? In terms of characterization, Raya is showing too little and telling just the basics – a dynamic that also applies to the film’s most important supporting characters.
Ever since Tangled (2010), the films of the Disney animated canon have increased their use of metatextual and anachronistic humor (e.g. Kristoff’s comment about Anna’s engagement to a person she just met in 2013’s Frozen and Maui’s Twitter joke in 2016’s Moana that still makes me gnash my teeth when I think about it). Invariably, the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has seen its brand of pathos-destroying humor bleed into the Disney animated canon and Star Wars. Like so many films in the Disney animated canon, Raya takes place in a fantastical location in a never-time far removed from the present. From the moment Raya meets Sisu, the circa-2020s humor is ceaseless. For Disney animated movies set in fantastical worlds, this sort of humor suits films that are principally comedies, such as The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) – a work that owes more to Looney Tunes than anything Disney has created. Instead, Raya’s comedy will suit viewers who frequent certain corners of the Internet, “for the memes.” Do Disney’s animation filmmakers believe the adults and children viewing their films so impatient and unintelligent about human emotions? That they will not accept a scene that deals honestly with betrayal, disappointment, heartbreak, or loss unless there is a snide remark or visual gag inserted within said scene or shortly afterward?
Raya seems like a film set to portray its scenarios with the gravity they require. But overusing Awkwafina’s Awkwafina-esque jokes and a DreamWorks- or Illumination Entertainment-inspired infant causing meaningless havoc will subvert whatever emotions Nguyen and Lim are attempting to evoke. These statements are not arguing that Raya and Disney’s animated films should be humorless, that Disney should stop casting an Awkwafina or an Eddie Murphy as comic relief. Instead, Raya is another case study in how Disney’s brand of ultramodern humor is overtaking their films’ integral dramatics. Raya is noisy, clamorous – no different than anything Disney has released in the last decade, save Winnie the Pooh (2011).
Production designers Helen Mingjue Chen, Paul A. Felix, and Cory Loftis have worked on films like Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Big Hero 6 (2014), or Zootopia (2016). Each of these films feature glamorous, near-future metropolises or sleek digital worlds. Where the tribespeople of Kumandra might not be behaviorally-differentiated, the color coding, lighting, and biomes of each of the five lands comprising Kumandra ably distinguishes Fang, Heart, Spine, Tail, and Talon from each other. As if taking cues from the production designs of Big Hero 6’s San Fransokyo and, to some extent, The King and I (1956), it is difficult to pin down specific influences on the clashing architectural styles within the lands, in addition to the unusually empty and cavernous palaces and temples and varying costumes. As picturesque as some of these lands are, the art direction does not help to empower the characteristic of the tribes and their native lands. Nor does James Newton Howard’s thickly-synthesized grind of an action score, which prefers to accompany the film’s excellent combat scenes rather than stake a clearer thematic identity for its own. Howard uses East and Southeast Asian instrumentations and influences in his music, but, disappointingly, they are heavily processed through synthetic elements and are played underneath the film’s sound mix.
Character art directors Shiyoon Kim (Tangled, 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and Ami Thompson (2017’s MFKZ, 2018’s Ralph Breaks the Internet) embrace the (generally) darker and varying skin complexions of Southeast Asian peoples. The skin textures are among the best ever produced in a Disney CGI-animated feature, and the variety of face shapes – although still paling in comparison to the best hand-drawn features – is a pleasure to witness.
The number of films starring actors/voice actors of Asian descent (all-Asian or majority-Asian), animated or otherwise, and released by a major Hollywood studio makes for a brief list. Raya and the Last Dragon joins an exclusive club that includes the likes of The Dragon Painter (1919), Go for Broke! (1951), Flower Drum Song (1961), The Joy Luck Club (1993), and Crazy Rich Asians (2018). Among those movies, Raya is the only entry specifically influenced by Southeast Asian cultures. Its cast may be headlined by Kelly Marie Tran (whose skill as a voice actor is one of the film’s most pleasant surprises), but most of the roles went to those of Chinese or Korean descent. No disrespect intended towards Gemma Chan, Sandra Oh, or veteran actress Lucille Soong, but the majority East Asian cast only serves to further monolithize Asians – as the amalgamated story, plot details, and production design have already done. I will not second-guess any fellow person of Southeast Asian descent if they feel “seen” through Raya. What a compliment that would be for this film. How empowering for that person. But the life experiences of those of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent are markedly different. Disney’s casting decisions in Raya – all in the wake of the disastrous Western and Eastern reception of the live-action Mulan (2020) – have revealed a fundamental lack of effort or understanding about the possibilities of a sincere attempt at representation.
To this classic film buff, the discourse surrounding Raya strikes historical chords. When Flower Drum Song was released to theaters, the film was labeled by the American mainstream as the definitive Asian-American movie. Opening during the height of the American Civil Rights Movement, the film (and the musical it adapts) looked like nothing released by Hollywood (and on Broadway) at that time. In that midcentury era of rising racial consciousness and the lack of opportunities for Asian-Americans in Hollywood, the marking of Flower Drum Song as the absolute pan-Asian celebration was bound to happen – however unfair the distinction. Even though Rodgers and Hammerstein (two white Jewish men who made well-meaning, problematic attempts to craft musicals decrying racial prejudice and social injustices) composed the musical and zero Asian people worked behind the camera, those labels remained. With some differences in who wrote the source material, The Joy Luck Club and Crazy Rich Asians have followed Flower Drum Song’s fate in their categorizations. Will Raya? Time will be the judge, the only judge.
Before time passes judgment, we have some present-day hints. Though not released by major studios, the quick succession of The Farewell (2019) and Minari (2020) point to an experiential specificity that Raya attempts, but never comes close to achieving. Whether through aggregation or specificity, Hollywood benefits from the perspectives of underrepresented groups. Widespread claims that Raya too closely copies Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008) reflect that dearth of East Asian and Southeast Asian representation in American media. For too many, ATLA is the Asian fantasy. These simplistic observations and bad-faith criticisms (one could rebuke Disney’s vaguely-European princess films on the same principles, but I find this as lazy as the bad-faith ATLA criticisms) also suggest a lack of understanding that Asian-inspired stories are drawing from similar tropes codified by Asian folklore and narratives centuries old. If one reads through this reviewer’s write-ups, you will find an abiding faith in the major Hollywood studios – past, present, and future – to be artistically daring and to genuinely represent long-excluded persons. Many might see this faith as misplaced. But even in the major studios’ flawed attempts to depict underrepresented groups, like Raya, they concoct astonishing sights and form moving links to the cinematic past.
Assuming you have not skipped to this paragraph, the write-up that you have read may seem scathing to your eyes. Raya is no Disney classic – there has not been one for some time. However, I thoroughly enjoyed my first viewing of Raya. After a few weeks’ worth of keeping my agony private over the recent uproar over attacks on persons of Asian descent in America, it was a surreal experience to see even an amalgamated celebration of Southeast Asian culture. Over this last year, we have lost people and things that emboldened us and ennobled us. In this season of unbelonging and otherizing feelings for Asians in America, Raya’s timing is fortuitous. It is emboldening and ennobling.
My rating: 6/10
^ Based on my personal imdb rating. Half-points are always rounded down. My interpretation of that ratings system can be found in the “Ratings system” page on my blog (as of July 1, 2020, tumblr is not permitting certain posts with links to appear on tag pages, so I cannot provide the URL).
For more of my reviews tagged “My Movie Odyssey”, check out the tag of the same name on my blog.
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saturniandevil · 3 years
January 2021 & The Year Ahead
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AKA my notes from The Astrology Podcast because I really appreciate these regular forecasts, supplemented with this big ephemeris.
Going into this, Saturn & Jupiter will be conjunct in Aquarius on the solstice, December 21. (I’ve scheduled a reminder post so you can go out and see it--just after sunset!) I’ve also done a quick peek ahead and we’ve got a lot of Aquarian themes for us in January and 2021 in general--change in major cycles. Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions take place every 20 years, and this one in Aquarius shifts us to a ~200-year period where Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions will now take place in air signs, after having had them in earth signs for the past ~150 years. Air can represent information and data, and Kelly and Austin also talk about how air can also represent dispersion; you don’t see a breeze but you see the leaves or sand moving with it. We may move towards digital communication and decentralization/deconstruction of social & political institutions.
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(Image of Archetypal Explorer software showing how December is the nexus of some major outer planet interactions)
Saturn Square Uranus // ♄ □ ♅
Saturn has been contacting Pluto, who intensifies his structures, but this year Uranus will be challenging him. Worldwide we may see more large-scale pushes for larger change--the struggle for liberation against structures that are no longer working. Exact on: February 17 (♄♒ □ ♅♉ at 7° of each respective sign) June 14  (♄♒ □ ♅♉ at 13°) December 24 (♄♒ □ ♅♉ at 11°)
Jupiter square Uranus // ♃ □ ♅
This aspect has a shorter-term effect, but Jupiter may lend his benefic influence to this struggle and make the change easier or more constructive. Exact on: January 17 (♃♒ □ ♅♉ at 6°)
General shift from Cardinal signs to Fixed & Mutable signs
Jupiter’s and Saturn’s trips into Aquarius this week mean that 2021 will start out with a strong emphasis on early degrees of fixed signs right off the bat, and Mars will be entering Taurus soon as well. Look to the planets and houses where Aquarius and the other fixed signs fall for you to get a glimpse of where this shift may affect you on a personal level. Saturn will slowly trek through Aquarius over the next 2 years, and the nodes/eclipse axis will also shift into fixed signs in 2022.
The eclipse axis (N. and S. node) has already moved from Cancer-Capricorn to Gemini-Sagittarius, moving some personal & emotional focus to the mutable signs. (Eclipses occur when a new or full moon lines up with the nodes.) Dates: May 26 - total lunar eclipse (🌞♊ ☍ 🌙♐ at 5°) June 10 - annular solar eclipse (🌞 ☌ 🌙 at 19°♊) November 19 - partial lunar eclipse (🌞 ♏ ☍ 🌙 ♉ at 27°) December 4 - total solar eclipse (🌞 ☌ 🌙 at 12°♐)
Generally, the problems that cardinal signs have brought to attention or projects they have started will be changing for awhile--fixed signs are slow to get started but long-lasting.
Mercury retrogrades will also be taking place in air signs this year! More in-depth information below the cut (after January).
January 6: Mars enters Taurus // ♂ ➡♉ This means he’ll be squaring Jupiter, Saturn, and conjunct Uranus--possibly igniting some of the issues they have brought forth? Mars and Uranus may prove combustible against critical Saturn, but Jupiter may be more receptive to change.
January 8: Mercury enters Aquarius, Venus enters Capricorn // ♄ ➡♒ ; ♀ ➡♑ This will put Mercury in a square to Mars--watch what you say! Our messenger will also be squaring Uranus in Taurus, which may indicate disruptive difficulties in the communication or distribution of basic material necessities, or changes in currency.
January 13: New Moon at 23° Capricorn // 🌞 ☌ 🌙 23♑
January 14: Uranus goes direct at 6° Taurus // ♅(d) 6♉
January 19: Sun enters Aquarius // 🌞➡♒
January 28: Full Moon at 9° Leo // 🌞9♒ ☍ 🌙9♌ The moon will be opposite a close Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius, as well as squaring that Mars-Uranus conjunction, forming T-square in Leo, Aquarius, and Taurus. Expect tension and outbursts--perhaps channeled unexpectedly through that empty point in Scorpio.
January 30: Mercury Retrograde at 26° Aquarius  // ☿(rx) 26♒
Rest of 2021 below the cut!
Similar to January, here are some highlights for the months ahead. (Sorry but I’m ditching the emojis now or I’d go insane trying to cut and paste them.  They’ll be back in other posts announcing sign ingresses, monthly forecasts, etc.)
Aquarius Stellium By the 10th we will have the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn all in Aquarius---that’s every visible planet except Mars! Last time this happened was in 1961-2. Look to your chart to see where this will affect you; Feburary will show you how Aquarius is going to manifest for you.
These planets will be hidden by the sun’s light (cazimi), considered a behind-the-scenes “cycle reset” for each. As the sun moves forward, these planets will become visible again in the sky just before sunrise, literally re-emerging into our view.
Saturn Square Uranus, Jupiter Square Uranus
Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius From January 30 (26 degrees) to February 20 (11 degrees). This means he’ll be slowly moving towards a conjunction with Jupiter (visible in the morning sky).
March 3: Mars enters Gemini This will relieve some of the pressure on the fixed squares; things may get a little more flexible. Lots of energy, possible all over the Internet.
March 4: Jupiter conjunct Mercury in Aquarius Some ease of communications here.
March 20-26: Venus conjunct Sun in Pisces & Aries The Sun enters Pisces on the 20th with Venus following on the 21st. She’s exalted in Pisces, but hidden under the Sun’s rays. Mercury has entered Pisces just a few days earlier as well.
Mars conjunct North Node in Gemini Squaring the Sun and Venus throughout the month. Mars may indicate rashness and the North Node confusion (eclipses)--check where Gemini falls in your chart to see where things may fall off a good path.
Venus-Sun conjunction continues She’s not to happy being burnt by the Sun or in fiery Aries, though she does enter her domicile in Taurus.
Stellium in Taurus Mercury, Venus, Sun, and Uranus will be hanging out in early-mid Taurus by the 20th, loosely squaring Saturn in Aquarius while they’re close to each other. We may find ourselves “going outside like we never have before.” We’ll be reintegrating into the physical world as an act of rebellion, or rediscovering older knowledge as something new and revolutionary.
April 23: Mars moves into Cancer Slower, more subtle and emotional than Mars in Gemini
April 26: Full Moon at 7° Scorpio Really emphasizing the Taurus Stellium & Saturn-Uranus square. In mutual reception (in each others’ domicile-similar to a conjunction) with Mars in Cancer
April 27: Pluto retrograde at 26° Capricorn Pluto is the last of those big planets to hang around here. May affect the United States’ chart (having a Pluto return.)
May 13: Jupiter enters Pisces At last, the major benefic in his domicile! He’s moved away from his fall this year, but was still co-present with negating Saturn up at this point--but now he’s out on his own. Aggressive hugs, chicken soup for the soul, possibly a return of travel in some places (“spring break”). In a mutable sign he can show us the new opportunities in events that have occurred. However he’ll go back to Aquarius this year--rooming with his landlord Saturn. It’s a bit of a sneak peak for 2022.
May 23: Saturn Retrograde at 13° Aquarius
May 26: Total Lunar Eclipse at 5° Sagittarius Picking up some of the themes from the eclipse we just had in December 2020 and turning them in a new direction. This eclipse’s ruler is Jupiter in Pisces, and the Sun’s ruler Mercury is also in domicile in Gemini (the Sun is opposite the Moon at all full moons, this time he’s in Gemini.)
It’s an eclipse, though--what are we not seeing, what are we missing? Our podcast hosts are predicting that perhaps travel agencies will rush forward and miss some things. December 14, the last eclipse, the US had the electoral college officially vote for Biden and the first patient to receive the vaccine--the US chart has Sag rising and Jupiter in Cancer (in the most common chart).
May 29: Mercury Retrograde at 24° Gemini Squaring Neptune in Pisces--perhaps the increased travel will be due to some illusions. He’ll be STRONG during this retrograde, so there may be some disastrous overload in travel or other Mercurian areas, such as communication.
June 5: Mars in Cancer opposite Pluto in Capricorn 26° cardinal signs are especially sensitive to this shift in power dynamics. This has been building since the last eclipse and precedes another one.
June 10: Solar eclipse at 19° Gemini Triple conjunction with Sun/Moon/Mercury, squaring Neptune in Pisces. A time for fantasy and illusions, not so great on the logistics.
June 11: Mars enters Leo Once again, fixed sign emphasis--this time Mars is approaching the Saturn♒-Uranus♉ square, which has been building and will go exact on the 14th. We may be headed for more social turmoil and a fire Mars will make this all louder.
June 20: Jupiter Retrograde at 21° Pisces He has unfinished business in Saturn in Aquarius. He’ll go back into Pisces when Mars, Uranus, and Saturn allow us some more optimism.
July 1: Mars opposite Saturn
July 3: Mars square Uranus This further emphasizes the stubborn tension that’s been plaguing us all year--intensifying in midsummer.
July 28: Jupiter re-enters Aquarius He may be playing a bit of peacemaker between Saturn and Uranus in the fixed signs.
July 22: Sun enters Leo The Sun generally has a stabilizing influence, especially in a fixed signs, but he’ll have to contend with Saturn (as will all planets in Leo for the next couple years.) Both planets are in their domicile for this opposition, perhaps bringing a more moderate, measured negotiation to the conflicts of Mars ☍ Saturn at the beginning of the month.
July 29: Mars enters Virgo He’ll be exiting an opposition with Jupiter, meaning he’ll no longer be aggravating the fixed outer planet struggles. Venus precedes him a week earlier; at a personal level we may be a little more calculating and flexible.
First week: Sun square Uranus Is over within the first seven days. A little more positive for us.
August 16: Venus enters Libra Finally, she can enjoy her domicile without Saturn squaring her in Capricorn! The benefics are more free to help us in 2021 than they were in 2020. We start reaching fair agreements, whether personally, politically or financially.
August 18: Mercury conjunct Mars at 12° Virgo Fast & Furious! An earth Mercury may push is towards a tangible solution. Mars is in fall, but is being received by Mercury (Mars is in Mercury’s domicile), and may really listen to the messenger. This also trines Uranus in Taurus, adding a distinct flavor of technological innovation here.
August 22: Venus (♎) trine Saturn (♒) Venus is in Saturn’s sign of exaltation as well--she’s got the power to make some deals with structured Saturn. Coincides with a Full Moon in Aquarius and the Sun entering Virgo.
August 30: Mercury enters Libra He’s joining Venus, and Mars is coming soon
September 10: Venus enters Scorpio
September 14: Mars enters Libra The accords reached during Venus in Libra may come crashing down as Mercury and Mars join her--some may stay, but some deals are OFF!
September 27: Mercury Retrograde at 25° Libra We’ll really be rethinking some of the agreements that were just made. He’ll trine Jupiter before and during this retrograde--things will feel good. But with Mars there we’ll have to face the issues.
Things will really get spicy towards the end of the year.
October 6: Pluto goes Direct at 24° Capricorn fjdhada
October 6: New Moon in Libra Conjunct Mercury and Mars, with the planets making trines to Jupiter and Saturn as they approach and leave this lunation. May see a challenge to agreement and accord in the realms under the outer planets’ rule.
October 10: Saturn stations direct at 6°♒
October 18: Mercury stations Direct at 10 Libra, Jupiter stations Direct at 22 Aquarius
October 19: Full Moon at 27 Aries Opposite Sun-Mars conjunction in Libra. This highlights a growing square between Mars (23°♎) and Pluto (24°♑). Jupiter (22°♒) is trine the Sun & Mars, though, so he may relieve some of the pressure.
October 30: Mars enters Scorpio Once again he’ll activate that Saturn-Uranus square and add pressure to the fixed signs.
Mars, Sun, Mercury enter Scorpio They will each activate that outer planet square. The accords that weren’t working in October will be really apparent now.
November 19: Lunar eclipse in Taurus This is the first eclipse on the axis we’ll be seeing in 2022--a foreshadowing for the following year. And this will further aggravate some of the fixed sign tension we’ve been experiencing. It’s also squaring Jupiter at 24 Aquarius, who may ease the aspects a liiittle bit.
December 1: Neptune stations direct at 20° Pisces
December 4: Total solar eclipse at 12° Sagittarius The completion of the eclipse series on the Gemini-Sag axis. The nodes will change early 2022, and the themes of the eclipse cycle that started a year previous (last week at time of writing) will wrap up. Mars is still in Scorpio, and the “martial” fixed star Antares is close by to this eclipse--strong chance some of the previous contention will ignite or stay aflame.
December 19: Venus Retrograde at 26° Capricorn She’ll be leading us into 2022 with this motion. She’s conjunct Pluto during this station, slowing down almost to his pace as she prepares to change directions. Venus & Pluto may represent more obsessive love, and in Capricorn things may be melancholic and bound/restrained.
December 24: Uranus♉-Saturn♒ square exact to the minute (5°11″) This is the final, most intense culmination of the aspect that has overshadowed the year (although it will come back in ‘22 as well.)
December 28: Jupiter re-enters Pisces He’ll travel all the way through it this time! ;) From this watery domicile he may put out some of the fires that Mars started. We welcome an empowered benefic as we move on to the new year--good news for the mutable signs!
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manscaped · 10 days
Gifts That Sleigh 🎁
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felicityzoid · 2 years
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Technology- A Friend or a Foe?
Dependence on technology has made us forget about some of the traditional skills. Technology is wonderful but the increasing rate of dependency on technology is alarming. For example, the skills of reading maps have been forgotten as now people are using GPS for directions. Nowadays driving is also automatic, the car basically drives itself and after using automatic cars people have forgotten how to operate manual cars. Calculators have also become so popular in school that people can’t operate simple calculations without using a calculator. The dependence on the technology is too much that people are losing their ability to think and even read as people have all the information they need on the internet. Our grammar and spelling mistakes can also be corrected by the computer. We have also stopped producing our own food as production of packaged foods have been mechanized.
For a long time, computers have been all over the place and most households have them. Internet is the common activity on the computers and the internet is used to expand our knowledge, listen to music, play games, chat and watch videos. Most of the population is addicted to internet and spend much of their time on the internet other than spending their time on productive activities.
Technology makes our life simpler and easier but people's dependence on the technology is too much in that they are making people damn lazy as we have become sluggish, obese since our transportation has been mechanized.  The technology has made so lethargic in that we cannot even go to the shops to buy fast foods and all we need is just a phone call and the foods are delivered to us. So, in my opinion too much dependence and addiction to the technology is not good for humans.
There are many advantages that technological advances have brought. Technological dependence is clearly seen when we look around and realize that we are surrounded by technological advances ranging from mobile phones, computers, iPod, and television; that have become part of our common lives causing in us a certain dependence. Technological development has grown at considerable speed and the consequences on society, countries and individuals are enormous. Technological development has a unique course we cannot alter, nor stop; It defines our lives. In the present, technological change is determined by a few large multinational corporations that in turn influence the behaviour of consumers by advertising, so the consumer is directed to where they want. For example, for the people that must be continuously checking their e-mail; cell phones were invented, which already have mobile internet so that they can connect at anytime and anywhere. Another example of how consumerism is relating to new technologies is the company Apple who release every year a new iPhone. It is important to emphasize that the same consumerism perceived by the people today in everyday life; it is the same that induces to the purchase of new and improved artifacts focused more than anything else as a whim and not as a necessity. The gap between consumption and need becomes increasingly close and more difficult to discern.
“At first glance, one might have the tendency to dismiss such aberrant cell phone use as merely youthful nonsense a passing fad. But an emerging body of literature has given increasing credence to cell phone addiction and similar behavioural addictions.” Technology is a means that on one hand brings us many advantages, but in the other hand, we have to establish that the use of artifacts such as the Internet and mobile phones are becoming of excessive use in young people, for Roberts and Pirog it is definite that all these artifacts are becoming a way of life for each one of them, and they say that the same young people are at a stage where they will become addicts to this devices if they do not know how to control themselves. They argue further that technology isolates people because it is now very common to see how many hours devoted young are to be on the network, because humanity is involved in a technological world, that’s where people are starting to talk about the term “technophile” which is becoming more common every day. In addition, several people are starting to consider technology dependency as any unhealthy dependency such as alcoholism or drug addiction. Jane Demerica thinks the opposite to what is set out in the article of Roberts and Pirog she says that these new technologies are extremely beneficial for all and that it is difficult to speak of dependence in these technologies. New technologies in communication are optimal for better knowing people and expand the social circle. “Meeting new friends- Shy kids can make new friends on the internet.” She also claims to have solved the problems of introversion and even ensures that parents feel reassured that their children are talking to friends who already know and are under supervision to help lower the risk. Another point where she is in favour is the mobile phones because she mentions, “Cell phones make it easier for parents to keep track of their children.”
The technologies have a great potential to enhance and change the education system, which can break the prevailing cultural patterns so that technology does not bring so many prejudices and steers away from becoming a dependency. “When schools in different parts of the state, country or world connect, students can “meet” their counterparts through video conferencing without leaving the classroom.” According to him, there is no abuse of technology rather this is the current key of teaching so children and youth should be therefore more exposed to the media. As a source of information, the Internet provides immediate access to almost all knowledge collected by mankind in the history of civilization. In times where knowledge is power, access to the Internet puts a person in complete advantage over those who do not. With the internet a person can read the latest news on different topics, obtain information on employment opportunities, find out the latest fashion trends, and learn from the written responses of millions of people in specialized forums and blogs. The downside is that many people infringe copyright because they are tempted by so much information and end up copying and pasting text and then present them as their own. This promotes laziness and dishonesty. Also, many people take advantage of the vast amount of personal information available on the Internet to blackmail or steal identities. Psychologist Patricia Greenfield indicates that technology is causing the loss of critical thinking in students. She states that because of the incredible boom that technologies have on societies can begin to talk about the concept of dependence on technology, estimates that there are already hundreds of incidents of Internet dependency. Although she is not totally disagreeing with the new technologies, she indicates to use both “As students spend more time with visual media and less time with print, evaluation methods that include visual media will give a better picture of what they actually know.” Addiction is increasing, it is giving following alteration in social and physical habits of young people and identifies these as other addictions, producing anxiety about being in touch with a computer and the need to be using it every minute, so that has made huge gap between use and abuse. Another person who is in favour with the views of Roberts and Pirog about the mobile phones is Josip Ivanovic who says, “Teens’ natural tendency to follow trends may result in an emotional attachment to a cell phone that is out of scale with its actual value.” It can be said that many people, especially young people tend to use this device in a manner disproportionate, making it an addiction. Most people overuse the cell, nowadays users cannot leave it off for minutes, and if so, they tend to turn it on after a short time to check for text messages or voice mails. People who are dependent of cell phones need to feel their devices in their hands, otherwise they will not feel good, and this will generate anxiety, stress or despair. This new addiction attack to hundreds of people, and the worst thing of all is that they do not realize that they are addicted because they see it as something normal. “The overuse of cell phones has become a social problem for tens of thousands of Americans not much different than other harmful addictions.” In addition, cell phone addiction can cause serious damage to the home environment; because it causes alienation when a member moves away to make a call or send a text message this generates a detachment of the family environment.
We live in times where the use of technology is applied in every aspect of the society, which explains the technological dependence in which we live. Nowadays society applies new technology almost anywhere such as scientifically, socially and financially, “But as a foundation for an important economic pillar in our country, I suspect we’re pushing the envelope of sane thinking. There is no such thing as an unhackable computer system. There is no such thing as a 24/7/365 computer system.” For example, if we go to the bank and the system goes down, we cannot do anything because all the information about the clients is stored online; If a person wants to be served in any unit of government health, he has to make an appointment, but if it is rush hour in which all users want to make an appointment, the system will flood, and they won’t be able to handle the appointment. Other problem could be if a system fails “Because hospital systems are so complex, and require the careful integration of disparate, specialized software and hardware systems, single component downtime can greatly interrupt workflow.” New technologies have entirely changed the way of life of young people. In some respects, very much improved. For example, in order to perform the schoolwork children have to use a computer to do some research. In the last few years there has been a considerable advance in the technology, each time improving more what we already have, which is beneficial to our quality of life. The problem is that goes awry and creates addiction among children and adolescents, and presently technology can be considered as a drug.
At first, results from the ease of communications appear valuable because it helps people to communicate with others who are far away, but if this trend persists, people who use this technology often will isolate. “Young adults who use Facebook more frequently show more signs of psychological disorders, including antisocial behaviour, mania and aggressiveness.” An example of this is Facebook where more and more people spend hours attached to this virtual community, and thus ignore their interpersonal relationships in the real world. For young people, I believe that new technologies have become a property of first need that gives them independence with respect to the outside world. Some of the things that stand out are the media such as television, social networks, the consoles such as the video games, mobile phones, the Internet, and photos and videos from digital cameras. This has caused a radical change in the socialization and how they relate. The presence and contact now have become a thing of the past. Friendships are now not visible using technologies. For example, with the use of Facebook many people can meet new friends. The advantages that young people see in the new technologies are many and varied. For example, in social networks allows them to have a continuous communication. They can choose a person to talk or keep hidden until they feel confident most of the time, they use it at home where they feel safe and uninhibited, which causes parents to lose and control of their children. These technologies also have an impact on family relations, creating privacy for the children, which is hardly controllable by the parents, because most of the population now has a computer at home with internet access. The computer is a useful tool in everyday life as it helps us to make academic work and non-academic work. Although it is a very important tool in our daily lives today we have also become very dependent on it because we cannot do anything if we do not have a computer, this mainly happens because our environment demands the use of this tool each day at work or school, and nobody denies that it is a very useful tool for everyday tasks, but when a person rely on something that is what we dread to think what will happen when this technology is not around us. From a computer with internet connection a person can buy anything, from books to a house. There is no need that could not be met with the Internet and a credit card with funds. Someone with Internet connection could live his entire live without having to leave his home. This also means that the Internet offers an endless variety of business opportunities, from basic Web page creation, sales of traditional products, to even sales of stranger things. The negative side of these are of course spam, phishing, and other forms of fraud; through which unscrupulous people look for to get rich quick. Fraud can also come from the buyer’s side, because many thieves of credit cards use the Internet to make purchases under the name of their victims, emptying their bank accounts and ruining their reputation.
In conclusion, technology is a phenomenon that surrounds us all with artifacts and technical devices daily, is an element that is maintained for the length of time, and we remain equally or more wrapped up in a technological world that teaches us a new way of learning, and adaptation. Technological dependence is part of our lives because nowadays no one is free of this phenomenon on the global level. An example of this are the universities which indirectly involve students in this system, the same applies to jobs or simply with the Chat, which is limiting personal relations, replacing them with virtual communication. All this becomes dependence when individuals cannot perform their daily activities without the use of some device, or better said function in society without occupying any technological tool. Historically, technology has been used to meet basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing. But also, for other negative purposes such as, create weapons to persuade and dominate people. Technological activity affects the social and economic progress, but also produced the deterioration of our environment. Technologies can be used to protect the environment and prevent the growing needs cause depletion or degradation of material and energy resources of our planet. Avoiding these negative aspects is the task not only of governments, but of all the people living on the planet. Although technology has several disadvantages, I think the advantages of these are more favourable to mankind. In fact, one could say that without sustainable development of the technology, the humans would not be more than an ordinary living being on this planet. The inventions of man are indicators of the cognitive evolution of the same, and in their eagerness to learn, can overcome evolutionary barriers such as adaptability to certain climates, and defence against diseases. Unfortunately, it is man who decides how to use it. Certain types of men see technology as weapons for war, others as tools that help us improve the quality of life of the species.
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The “BTS Biot” Trend
How uneducated people in the Philippines use the phrase "BTS BIOT" to hurl homophobic epithets against the group.
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he Jose Rizal Memorial University (JRMSU) in Zamboanga del Norte has announced that it is investigating students who were involved in the viral “BTS Biot (gay)” photoshoot that received criticism from the internet.
The issue arose from the posting of a group of boys and the posting of a poster including a caption called "BTS BIOT," which turned into a trend on Twitter and Facebook.Several internet users have chastised the school for allowing children to "spread hatred and prejudice against different nations."One Twitter user said, "The #BTSBiot is a prejudiced and homophobic act against BTS."Another person posted on Facebook, "It's one thing to mock and make fun of BTS, and it's another another to insinuate that being homosexual is an insult." On Thursday, June 3, JRMSU emphasized that it had not issued any orders for students to "make personal declarations or remarks in their images."
“The pictures of two senior high school students holding a whiteboard with disparaging remarks about a boyband circulating in the internet was done upon the personal request of the said students with a photo studio of their own choosing without the knowledge and official sanction of University authorities,” the school said on its official Facebook page.
BTS (Bangtan Boys) is the most renowned male K-pop idol founded in 2010 and has since made its debut with Jin, Suga, J-Hope, V and Jungkook. The problem apparently started with a gay, bisexual and feminine cebuano phrase from the Philippines, "BIOT." Usually, a male feels insulted by the name of a female. The BTS BIOT problem is even reaching South Korea and all BTS supporters are angered by the male group's experience of insult and criticism.
As ‘BTS Bayot' or ‘BTS Biot' trends in the Philippines, BTS supporters, popularly known as ARMYs, expressed their dissatisfaction. In the Filipino language, the term is now being used as a trendy catch-all disparaging term for male homosexuals, male-to-female transgenders, or transexuals. As "Pride Month" approaches, Filipino netizens have normalized the term's use on social media and in everyday conversations, highlighting the narrow definition of what it means to be "masculine."
LGBTQ+'s support in Korean music has increased over the years. Many K-Pop idols have spoken for fans on LGBTQ+ problems, and BTS is the most influential person to promote and soothe the community.
The term "gay" is still used as a disparaging epithet in many parts of society. When determining whether or not homophobia occurs, the aim, effect, and context in which words are used are all critical. Unfortunately, homophobic language is still prevalent in the twenty-first century's second decade.
The trend has even reached South Korea, where fans have shared their opinions:
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"First and foremost, I am not upset because I am a fan of BTS. As a Korean, I'm triggered. BTS is regarded as one of Korea's greatest achievements. And talking about it makes me a little enraged.What if I make a snide remark about Manny Pacquiao? I'm not claiming he's the worst boxer alive; I'm just stating that talking nonsense about Manny Pacquaio, one of the Philippines' greatest pride and achievements, would make you angry and upset.Exactly the same thing. You don't have the right to spout nonsense about anything just because you don't like it. Be respectful, and strive to improve. And what exactly is the problem with being gay? "You homophobic f*ck."
Another Korean citizen also commented that “Maybe Filipinos made this phrase as a joke, but this joke is very insensitive. Or maybe because they are jealous. But the fact is that the Filipinos are hurting us Koreans and also the LGBT community.
Furthermore, it is common knowledge that most K-pop idols are unconcerned about gender stereotypes. Many stated that society's expectations on men made it difficult for them to be themselves.
“The labels of what being masculine is is an outdated concept," as RM explained. "It is not our intention to break it down. But if we are making a positive impact, we are very thankful." He added, "We live in an age where we shouldn't have those labels or have those restrictions."
RM, pushed young people to speak up for themselves at a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 2018. He said, "I want to hear your voice." "I'd like to know about your belief. Just speak for yourself, regardless of your origins, skin color, or gender identity. Find out what your name is and what your voice is." His speech garnered a lot of attention, especially among LGBTQ+ people.
The Filipino Armys defend and protect against Filipino homophobic about BTS BIOT on social media.
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One of the world's hotgest boy bands is Bangtan Boys or better known as BTS. Seven million people – Suga, Jin, J-Hope, RM, JungKoke, V, and Jimin, in particular online – cannot be obtained enough by millions. Since BTS used the voice to influence and promote equal rights, the conservative society of South Korea has evolved. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) supportive stars are also supported.
They have given the community encouragement and comfort. The term 'gay' remains a derogatory term in some countries. This homophobic rhetoric is still common and is already the second decade of the 21st century. BTS BIOT (gay), which recently surpassed the trending topic on Twitter, expressed delight at the students' viral photoshoot after the BTS fans, also known as ARMYs. Some Philippines still have a mistaken and negative use of the word gay. The subject was celebrated in the Pride Month with thousands of commitments. A netizen called the school "for permitting their students to promote hate and harm against others.
The Filipino armys is sensitive to the Filipinos who are homophobic to their Korean idol group. Their rights are upheld in every Filipino armys. Some armies create BTS biot and blogs with video creation. The Filipino armys become patients and excuse themselves for the activities of the homophobic Filipinos.
A birth of small-minded clout chasers.
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Since the release of the new McDonald’s and BTS collaboration, the fans (ARMY) of the globally known K-Pop boyband have been going crazy about the limited event hosted by the fast-food chain. The fans of the boyband are known for their extreme fangirling, not only girls now, but a lot of guys are also getting really interested as well. The fanbase is also known to be one of the biggest fan groups to ever exist.
When there are fans, of course, there are also those that despise or hate on the boyband. Most of the haters started hating because of how the fans are always excessively losing their minds on whatever the boyband do in their career; may it be on social media, on song releases, and on brand collaborations. Some haters started hating plainly because they have nothing better to do with their time.
Furthermore, the boyband, have been rumored to be gay as well. Hence, the uprising of a trending phrase “BTS BIOT” which directly means “BTS GAY.” The word ‘biot’ or properly spelled as ‘bayot’ is a vernacular term for the word ‘gay’ so with the ongoing trending of the phrase, we can only assume that it was the Bisaya people who spearheaded this trend.
A lot of people that are hating on the fanbase and the boyband are also even purchasing the BTS Meal just to post a photo of the packaging being thrown in garbage bins or even balling up the paper bags for the meal. A lot of them do this to piss off the fans or plainly just chasing clout on the internet.
However, may it be true or not, regardless of what their gender is; they should still be respected for what they do and for their contributions to the music industry.
Take from an Army
"Why do you like KPOP?"
"Why do you like BTS?"
"Isn't it a waste of time and money?"
"Why are you so interested in them? What benefits do you get from them?"
These are just some of the questions that people do usually ask whenever they meet a kpop fan. People usually tend to insult or look down on people who are an avid KPOP fan. Some people would think that K-Pop fans are weird and probably insane for doing so. As a KPOP fan, these statements don’t matter to me. Honestly, I don't mind it at all. I've always understood that people really do have different personalities and preferences in the things that they do like. But an issue that was brought up recently really caught my attention. I am an Army, I am an avid fan of BTS, and with the issue on "BTS BIOT" came up, I was deeply disturbed. For me, it was really insulting, and it pains me to see that a lot of Filipino people are really doing it for fun. I have so many questions going through my mind. Why do they hate BTS? Is it because these guys wear makeup and fancy clothes? Is it because these guys show love, care and intimacy towards each other and their fans? Are those people behind the issue really do hate them? or they were just using it for clout? I am indeed bothered and disappointed at the same time. As an army, I am really upset knowing that the issue came from my home country. It is really sad because these people do not know how BTS helped their fans. The peace, love and comfort that the armys get from them is what they don't understand. BTS helped their fans emotionally and mentally, these guys taught us how to love ourselves. These guys even support, educate and raise awareness on LGBTQ+ issues. It is really sad that these guys only aim to make people, their fans happy and loved, yet they are being mocked and insulted. If only people could show empathy, compassion and understanding, we could have a better world for sure where people could live in peace and just do anything that could make them happy. It is just a matter of respecting each other's choices and preferences. Please put in mind that if there is anything that you don’t like from other people's choices, and if you can't support them, at least respect them.
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crispipaper · 3 years
A polite letter to J.K. Rowling By a transgender fan of Harry Potter (TW. Suicide and trauma)
Dear JKR, 
My name is Alex Hernandez, and I have identified as a Harry Potter fan since I was six years old, and a non-binary/ transgender individual since I was sixteen. I recently read your essay concerning your opinions about transgender individuals, and your claim that by providing information you were ‘protecting natal girls and women.’ I was extremely disappointed when I read your piece, both as a queer person and as a Harry Potter fan. The factual information you provided was ill-informed and often taken out of context. The opinions you shared were harmful to many members of the trans community, and perpetuated stereotypes that we have been trying to dismantle for years. 
What stood out to me most in your essay was the insinuation that the only way a person could truly be considered transgender is if they underwent hormone replacement therapy and/or gender confirmation surgery. This is simply incorrect, as there are many people (myself included) who happily identify as trans that have chosen to or cannot undergo those types of treatments. It also completely leaves out the identity of non-binary, a-gender and gender fluid individuals, who do not subscribe to the binary gender identities that accompany these types of treatment. It is also not as simple to gain access to these procedures as you seem suggest, even within your home country of the United Kingdom.
In your writing, you state that “a man who intends to have no surgery and take no hormones may now secure himself a Gender Recognition Certificate and be a woman in the sight of the law.” According to the official website for the government of the United Kingdom, a person who wishes to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate must be over the age of 18, have documented proof of a diagnoses of gender dysphoria, have lived as their intended gender for at least two years, and intend to live as this gender for the rest of their life (https://www.gov.uk/apply-gender-recognition-certificate). This clearly shows that a person must provide more than just their word in order to gain legal recognition of their gender by the British government. You are correct that surgery and hormones are not prerequisites for obtaining a GRC, however, medically transitioning is not a prerequisite for being a trans person. 
You also cited a very controversial study performed by Doctor Lisa Littman the supports the theory of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. According to this study, children and young adults are more likely to come out to their parents as transgender after engaging online with other trans individuals. Dr. Littman claims that according to the survey she conducted (which was directed at parents of children who had recently come out as trans), gender dysphoria can just appears out of nowhere during puberty, and that internet forums and peer pressure is a large contributing factor to this. However, there are several things wrong with her writing. To start, the survey she conducted in order to obtain her data was targeted at parents of children who had recently come out as trans and only posted to websites that were about parents questioning their teen’s recent coming out. She asked irrelevant questions about the child’s mental health, including whether or not they had been diagnosed with a mental illness prior to coming out, or if they had experienced trauma at some past point in their life. Although I understand that the article was taken down and re-reviewed, the author did not rescind her findings, and simply used the republication as a way to clarify what she had previously stated.  
The other aspect of your writing that stood out to me as particularly harmful to the trans community and those questioning their gender identity was the supposition that one could just “choose” to be trans because they have experienced trauma. Your experience as a survivor of domestic and sexual assault are real and valid, and your trauma regarding these situations is real and valid. However, this does not give you the right to suggest that you might have chosen to transition during these times in order to escape abuse. Transitioning (in your case) from an Assigned-Female-At-Birth (AFAB) individual to a male identifying individual does not automatically exempt you from abuse and violence typically experienced by cis-gendered women. It is not a choice people make because they have experienced a trauma. It is a recognition of what has always been true to them, that they were previously unable to freely express. 
Here’s where you seem to be missing the point. People who choose to transition from a female to a male are not trying to “escape womanhood.” What they are doing is finding ways to freely express themselves in the most authentic and truest way. For example, say you were born with red hair. But for years and years your family was dying your hair brown because it was more “socially acceptable” to have brown hair. You knew that you had red hair, and that wasn’t something that anyone could take away from you, even if they were trying to cover it up or pretend like it was brown. And one day, you meet a group of people who have naturally red hair, who are flaunting their red hair and making a point of not dying it to fit societal standards. And maybe you don’t agree with what these people are doing, and you continue to dye your hair. Or maybe, you realize that you’ve always preferred having red hair, and now you’ve come across a space where it’s ok to be a red head. These people understand what it’s like to have their hair dyed for years and years, and want to embrace their naturally red hair. That’s how it is for trans people. A trans man was always a man, he was just born into a woman’s body, and socialized as a woman. But once they encounter other trans people, and realize that these people will accept and love him for his true self, then he will “come out” because he realizes that he was always a man and now finally feels comfortable expressing that. 
I also want to take this opportunity to share with you my own personal journey of gender exploration, since the stories of non-binary trans people are often overlooked and rarely heard. I was assigned female at birth. I was given a traditionally female first name, and socialized as a girl for the first sixteen years of my life. However, even as a little kid I had a sense that something wasn’t quite right. When I was younger, I really didn’t like my name, and always wished I could have been called Amber or Ashley. I knew that I was not the person I wanted to be, but I didn’t have the language or understanding to really figure out how I was feeling. As I grew up, I came to embrace my feminine name, and to enjoy traditionally feminine things such as princesses and makeup.
Fast forward to high school, when I was beginning to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community. Before I got to high school, I didn’t know a single queer person my own age. Existing on the internet at the time, I encountered many stories of trans people, but the only ones I ever saw were of binary trans individuals. I knew that I didn’t want to be a man, but I also knew that I didn’t really want to be a woman either. So I cut my hair short and started wearing clothes that showed off less of my figure and that attempted to obscure my female form. When I was fifteen, I was doing a presentation on LGBTQ+ identities for school, and came across the term “non-binary individual.” At the same time, I was taking a class where we were learning about the history of feminism, and how many ancient cultures saw femininity and masculinity less as physical forms and appearances, but rather as energies that a person could embrace. Both of these streams of information collided, and I suddenly realized I had words to describe how I’d been feeling this whole time. I didn’t want to identify as a binary woman, and I didn’t want to identify as a binary male. Instead, I wanted the language that would allow me to feel comfortable traveling between these two energies. 
My personal definition of what it means to be a non-binary individual is a person who embraces both masculine and feminine energies, and can express themselves as one, neither or both. I keep my hair long and have chosen not to go on hormones or have reconstructive surgery partially due to trauma I experienced as a child, but also because I want to keep these aspects of feminine energy close to me. There are days where I feel more masculine, where I wear “mens” clothes and attempt to present as a more masculine individual. There are days where I want to feel more feminine, and I choose to wear skirts and makeup because that is what helps me to embrace my feminine energy. And there are days when I want to combine energies, so I will present myself as some combination of masculine and feminine presentations. 
All of this is just to say that when you, a person who has considerable influence especially on younger children, make these inflammatory statements and harmful claims, you are effectively telling children that this is not a world where they can be as authentic to themselves as possible. You are creating a hostile environment that encourages other people who share your ideas to be more vocal, which honestly does more harm than good. Many of those statistics that you quote about rising rates in teen and transgender suicide are often because people who feel forced to conceal their true identity would rather not exist in a world that won’t allow them to be who they really are. So if you are truly interested in changing public perception of transgender individuals, while continuing to support the education of children and the protection of women, I would suggest reading literature that directly opposes your view points, and having conversations with people (particularly trans people) who have real experiences and are willing to share them with you. 
Alex Hernandez (they/them)
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tlbodine · 4 years
Why Isn’t “Mass Shooter” a Modern Horror Monster?
Horror reflects the anxieties of the culture that produces it. In the 1950s, we got monster movies about radiation-mutated creatures and invaders from beyond the stars, mirroring our Cold War Science fears. 
In the 1970s, as “Women’s Liberation” and birth control went mainstream, we see an influx of horrors settled on childbirth and children and family dysfunction. 
And as the 70s bled into the 80s, while real-world serial killers were leaving behind trails of victims, the masked psycho was dominating the field with countless slashers. 
But now -- throughout the 2010s -- mass shootings loom large our our collective American consciousness. Hardly a week goes by without hearing of one somewhere, and they inspire fear and terror. Yet we haven’t seen them show up to dominate horror media in the way serial killers do -- what’s up with that? 
Horror-media discussion about gun violence under the cut! 
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Before we get started, a caveat: There is media about school shootings. It’s just not usually horror. Most, as you can see from IMDB, is family drama: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls070532039/
And none of them are really particularly mainstream, not in the way we associate with slasher films. 
So what’s the difference? Why is a killer with an axe more compelling as a film monster than a killer with a gun? 
Some hypotheses: 
Primacy: Because mass shootings are frequently in the news/public discussion, it’s always “too soon” - the real-life horror is too horrifying for entertainment. Sounds good on paper, but why isn’t that true for slashers? Those movies were popular when serial killers were at their most active. 
Politics: Perhaps political motives are influencing the market. Since gun control is a contentious topic, maybe some powers are motivated toward censorship. But wouldn’t that also censor the family drama type movies? Why would it focus on horror especially? 
Logistics: It’s just really hard to make a good horror movie about a mass shooting. Guns kill people pretty quickly and indiscriminately, so you lose the mounting suspense and intimacy of a killer with a knife and other similar horror/slasher conventions. 
This last point, I think, bears some further consideration. The more I think on it, the more it seems that the things that make gun violence especially horrifying in real life are also things that make it very hard to put in a horror story: 
Mass shootings happen, obviously, in mass. Most horror formulas require characters to be isolated and picked off one by one. 
Guns kill people in ways that are impersonal and swift. If you’re killing a stadium of people with an automatic weapon, it’ll take just a few minutes. You can’t stretch that out into a long, lingering torture sequence or whatever. 
Gun violence is indiscriminate. Wherever a crowd gathers, a shooter can start killing people. There’s no space for, say, the “horror rules” re: jock, slut, virgin, etc. because morality doesn’t play into it. 
A killer methodically making his way through a sorority house, killing its members one by one lends itself more naturally to suspenseful storytelling than a gunman opening fire on a crowd. A killer leaving clues and taunting detectives lends its own narrative structure. 
In that regard, it’s pretty obvious: We cannot make a slasher-style film or a torture-porn film about a gunman. It just won’t work. 
But perhaps we’re looking at it all wrong. What if we viewed the mass shooter not as a serial killer, but as a force of nature? The disaster movie genre has ample cross-over with horror, and the general formula would work well for a mass shooter: 
Introduction to a wide cast of characters as they maneuver into a vulnerable position
The disaster hits, and we move between individuals affected by the calamity, watching their initial reactions 
In the ensuing chaos, characters attempt to escape further danger
The danger passed (for now?) some characters manage to survive, now irrevocably changed
Whether the disaster in question is an earthquake, a sharknado, or a school shooting, that formula should work. The key to success lies in the pacing and the large cast, allowing you to stretch out a relatively brief event into a detailed and tense narrative. 
So why haven’t we seen that? Outside of, like, one made-for-TV movie I recall watching in the 90s, this presumably straightforward premise hasn’t gained much traction. 
The Making of Monsters: Signs and Signifiers 
Perhaps the real reason we haven’t seen a lot of horror stories about mass shootings is because there is already so much mythology and symbolism tied to these sorts of narratives, and that symbolism is at odds with the creation of movie monsters. 
Guns carry a tremendous amount of cultural significance and baggage, at least in the United States. It’s why they’re so politically contentious. And when something is already heavily laden with symbolic meaning, it’s hard to turn that symbolism into something else in a way that will stick. 
Point #1: Guns are a great equalizer. Unlike a knife or sword, skill doesn’t matter all that much when it comes to killing somebody with a gun. You don’t have to be strong or fast or have a ton of training. You just have to point it and pull the trigger -- if you do that enough times, and at a big enough target, you’ll probably hit something. This means that anyone can kill someone with a gun: a skinny nerd, a young child, a petite woman. Guns are the thing that give you, the underdog, a way to compete against them, the big strong enemy. 
This leads to Point #2: Good Guys With Guns(tm). As absolutely anyone who has been on the internet for five minutes after Any Sort Of Bad Event will tell you, Bad Things can be stopped by Good Guys With Guns(tm). And while you can debate the merits of armed civilians protecting a group from harm against an active shooter, it’s impossible to deny that, historically, good guys have been armed. Police, military, armed militias, frontiersmen, etc. carry weapons. Which means that “guy with a gun” does not immediately translate, visually or thematically, as “threat” in the same way as wielding a butcher knife in a non-culinary context. A guy with a gun could, at a glance, be a good guy. A guy with a big knife is obviously a villain. Similarly, the Good Guys With Guns(tm) bleeds over into the horror genre. What would the zombie apocalypse be without headshots? How many horror franchises could have been cut short if someone had just shot the killer? 
Finally, Point #3: Guns in media have special powers. Gun mythology in film and television is well-developed, with its own set of tropes and expectations. In movies, pointing a gun at someone will automatically make that person comply with whatever you ask them to do -- we even have vernacular about this, “nobody put a gun to your head” -- as if the gun were somehow more powerful than a simple threat and could in fact control behavior. Often, people who are shot in television politely fall over and die quietly; it’s a civilized end, without all of the screaming and thrashing (never mind where they’re shot or what that would would do in real life). And there are so many types of gun. We have a whole video game genre dedicated to it -- collecting guns, learning their various abilities, applying them situationally to achieve various goals. With so many established tropes, writing anything with new tropes and rules runs the risk of generating confusion, disbelief and even hostility in an audience. 
So, with all of that in mind, it starts to become clear: 
Writing a horror story about gun violence is difficult because guns carry so much mythic significance, and it’s impossible to write about them metaphorically while keeping it clear what that metaphor is. 
If I write a story about an atomic-powered lizard who destroys a Japanese town with radiation, it’s easy enough to see that it’s a metaphor for nuclear warfare. But there is no similarly straightforward metaphor for gun violence readily apparent. 
But it’s tougher even than that -- because guns themselves aren’t the only thing to have been mythologized. 
The Myth of the Lone Gunman 
Remember: Guns are the great equalizer. 
This knowledge sits in the foundation of storytelling, not just in the fiction we make up but in the way we build narratives around mass shootings in the real world. There are certain tacit assumptions we make about gunmen that may or may not be accurate.
We have a certain narrative framework in place to explain school shootings, for example: The awkward, isolated young man who is bullied until he finally snaps and goes on a killing rampage. 
Never mind that this narrative is not wholly supported by facts. It may be true in some cases, but certainly not all. And yet, go back up to that list of mass shooter movies on IMDB and look again at what the majority of them have in common. 
This is problematic because, from a mythic perspective, people who are bullied and then stand up to their oppressors are heroes. 
In Carrie, when Carrie White destroys the school after being humiliated on prom night, we’re on her side. It feels good to watch her kill all those people who were awful to her. It feels just and righteous and imminently satisfying. 
When Spartacus leads a slave revolt, we cheer. When Daenerys Targaryen kills all the masters and uses their heads as mile-markers, we feel triumphant. When Arthur Fleck shoots the smug talk-show host on live television, we think, Well, he had it coming. 
Oh, sure. We pay lip service to being horrified. And these dark heroes might die at the end, receiving some karmic retribution for the price of their revenge. But can you say, truthfully, that you have ever once watched a story about an underdog killing his bullies and felt sorriest for the bullies? 
So: This is the problem with our cultural narrative about the school shooter. Purposely or not, it puts the shooter in the role of hero. 
And not only is that irresponsible, it’s just downright inaccurate. 
When Stephen Paddock opened fire on a concert and killed 58 people, he was not firing back at his oppressors. 
When Omar Mateen shot up a night club in Florida, he wasn’t getting revenge against his bullies. 
When Adam Lanza slaughtered 26 people at an elementary school -- 20 of them young children -- he obviously was not giving his victims what they deserved. 
In the real world, mass shooters might be motivated by political ideology and a desire to promote fear -- ie, terrorism. They might be unhappy with some aspect of their lives and decide to “punch down” at a vulnerable group in the worst possible way. They might be looking to become the heroes of certain media narratives, to secure some kind of fame or notoriety. They might want to kill themselves in a way that hurts a lot of other people at the same time. There are lots of reasons why people might commit mass murder. 
But the important thing is that the victims are, overwhelmingly, not bullies and oppressors. They are people. Just innocent people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because mass shootings aren’t really about personal vendettas; they’re about mowing down a bunch of strangers in a few minutes at an impersonal long range. 
So here’s my final thought on the topic: We SHOULD tell horror stories about mass shootings. 
It’s a topic that’s timely, and it’s a scenario that’s frightening. There’s no reason not to tell these stories. But to make it work -- on a logistic and socially responsible basis -- we need to change our treatment. 
Going back to the “disaster movie” idea: It’s time to treat mass shooters in fiction as forces of nature, as oblivious and blindly destructive as a hurricane. It’s time to center the focus on the victims. Never mind the killer and what led him to this moment. Let’s take a minute to think about the people caught in that situation -- the people who fear for their lives, who try to help one another, who fight or flee or hide once the first shot is fired. Let’s write about the moments of humanity shared by two strangers crouched behind something while shots fire all around them. Let’s write about the horror of having your perfectly normal, mundane day suddenly and irrevocably shattered by a stranger with a gun. 
There is horror there, real horror, that can be mined and cultivated and turned to art. And it seems to me that embracing that, and shifting the cultural narrative away from valorizing the lone gunman, would be good for art and society. 
Are you ready to tell that story? 
I am. 
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manscaped · 10 days
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fallenhero-rebirth · 4 years
Hi! :-) I'm pretty bad at reading between the lines and understanding subtext, especially since English isn't my first language, so I thought it'd be easier to ask: when did The Big One happen? Was the world previous to that 'normal' (similar to ours)? What exactly did they do to MC at the farm? What, exactly, is a regene? Sorry for so many Q's, lol. I really love Fallen Hero but I feel like I'm missing a lot of information, or maybe not all of it has been published yet. Gr8 work! 🖤
The world before that was not entirely like ours, it diverged around 1900 or so. If our world focused a lot on the space race, atomic power, atomic bombs, getting to the moon, flight, satellites and things like that, the FH world focused a lot more on medical tech and what we would call cyborg tech. It’s behind on things like cellphones and the internet (think mid nineties for that) and we never went to the moon. Putting the new and updated timeline below.
A ReGene is a vat-grown body implanted with an artificial intelligence mind. They tend to be boosted in various ways, and subject to intense modifications since they have no rights, they tend to be used for experimental new technologies. If they die, they just grow more.
What the MC did at the Farm is spoilers.
History of the Fallen Hero world.
1945: World War II ends, but the technological arms race continues. The United States and the Soviet Union both 'recruit' available German and Japanese scientists, taking full advantage of what they learned from the more unconscionable experiments during the war.
1951: The Korean War very nearly turns nuclear when the first Chinese Type 52 bipedal tanks help push the UN forces out of the mountains and nearly out of the country. Though clumsy and slow, they prove to be useful in the mountainous terrain, leading to an upswing in the power armor industry.
1955: The Soviet Union announces that it has successfully created the first functional, cybernetic limb replacement. This is widely considered the start of the Cyber Race.
1957: The Soviet Union manages to successfully interface man and machine, leading to a quantum leap in power armor technology as bipedal movement patterns become a lot more organic.
1960's: The US repeatedly releases new versions of its power armor suits as the Vietnam war rages, the lighter, more maneuverable armors being more suitable for the terrain. Various upgrades for soldiers are becoming more and more common, and the nickname 'Mods' is coined for those changed by the cybernetic implants.
1968: The first so-called 'Masked Heroes' appear in public, Modded veterans from the Vietnam war angered by their treatment at the hands of the government and the public. Very soon afterwards, new villains also take to the stage, and the police find it increasingly difficult to deal with disturbed people who have military training and equipment.
1971: A metabolic diet pill launched without proper product testing turns out to have uncommon and dangerous side effects. Though most users die or are crippled, a certain lucky few develop powers hitherto unseen in humans. The pill is quickly nicknamed the 'Hero Drug' and though it is pulled off the market, use and research continues. People who have gained powers are nicknamed 'Boosts' in the media.
1976: The Hero Drug is declared an illegal narcotic, banned after causing the deaths of untold thousands of people. Still, the lure is too strong, and research moves underground and behind securely-locked corporate doors.
1979: Wei Chen, who will later be known to the public as Marshal Steel, is born.
1980: The Year of Hell. The Big One hits the West Coast, and the San Andreas fault causes a massive earthquake to strike Los Angeles, which triggers the Cascadia subduction zone a few days later. The massive earthquake and resulting tsunami throws the whole West Coast into disarray with more than 150,000 estimated dead and missing. As if this was not enough, three months later the Mammoth Lake volcanic system reawakens, and the resulting eruption destroys any hope of quickly salvaging the west.
1980-1990: Aftershocks ravage the West Coast, halting any rebuilding effort. Little by little rebuilding turns to evacuation, all efforts being put into getting the Midwest back on its feet to regain a stable food supply. Food riots are common and several armed uprisings against the increasingly-authoritarian government are struck down by the military.
1981: The US government is nearly paralyzed by refugees as well as the rain of ash covering most of the Midwest. President Clark declares martial law.
1982: ${ortega_name} Ortega, also known as Charge, is born.
1984: Los Angeles is renamed 'Los Diablos' in 'The Angels of Los Diablos,' a famous documentary about the rescue efforts.
1986: The GeniTech corporation patents the creation of lab-grown stem cell organs, revolutionizing the transplant industry.
Late 80s: Estimated birth of ${name} ${surname}, later known as Sidestep.
Early 90s: Fed up with the suffocating yoke of the federal government and martial law, more and more people start moving back into the ruins of the west, starting the recolonization. A disproportionate amount of these people are Enhanced heroes and villains, both Mods and Boosts fleeing government control.
1992: In an effort to increase private industry investments, the West Coast is declared a free economic zone, where there will only be the bare minimum of federal government oversight. No taxes. No regulations.
1992: The GeniTech corporation patents whole-body stem cell clones, allowing for large-scale harvesting of replacement organs. Following a tumultuous debate about the ethics involved, GeniTech is one of the first companies to move their corporate headquarters to Los Diablos to escape regulation.
1993: The Re-Gene project is first revealed in a New York Times article, claiming it dates back to the seventies with the goal of making androids for use in war. The author, Tim Mazetti, was killed in a traffic accident soon afterwards. The future Ranger, Lady Argent, is born.
1996: Los Diablos is up and running: the first Mayor is elected, and it is starting to look more and more like a functional city. With the huge changes to the coastline, large tracts of the South Bay are abandoned and the city shuffles inland. The future Ranger, Herald, is born. Chen drops out of high school.
1997: Appalled at the lack of law and order in the free economic zone, or the FEZ as people call it, the newly-elected President Ross creates the Marshal system. Recruiting some of the most famous masked heroes of the region, he funds the 'Rangers' initiative in order to stem the worst excesses of the Enhanced populace. Chen joins the army, gets a boyfriend. Mount Hood is one of the founding members of the Los Diablos Rangers, as is Sentinel.
1998: Chen is deployed overseas, SE Asia. Sentinel joins the Rangers.
1999: A breakthrough in energy technology leads to the first plasma reactors, leading to ever more compact cybernetics. Hollow Ground self-declares as the kingpin of Los Diablos. Chen's boyfriend is killed. Chen has an accident with an IED and loses his hands. His body proves to handle mods well, so apart from his hands the army invests in an access port for armor interface as well. Ortega has their accident and is used as a test subject for their cutting edge electrical mods and spinal column. Chen and Ortega meet in the hospital during rehab. Mount Hood becomes Marshal Hood of the Rangers.
2000: Intent on regaining lost influence, the US flexes its muscles in the Middle East. This leads to a series of proxy wars with the ailing Soviet Union. Chen gets deployed there, now piloting an armored suit instead of a helicopter. The first known sighting of a Re-Gene on the battlefield. Chen sees Re-Genes on the battlefield. Ortega debuts as Charge, sponsored by a military subcontractor because they want to see how the mods perform.
2001: Steel is sick of the army and what they are doing abroad. He has racked up enough commendations that he's considered a suitable candidate for the Rangers, equipped with a new, shiny armor. Meets up with Ortega again when they are both in for surgery upgrades, and Chen talks him into signing up for the Rangers. Ortega's father dies.
2002: Ortega joins the Rangers. Sentinel officially starts to transition, there's a lot of controversy that Hood shuts down. Sentinel is not fired.
2004: A huge scandal rocks the Re-Gene project after its operatives are suspected of human rights abuses in another proxy war in Panama. It is never brought to court as the Re-Genes themselves are androids with artificial minds, but the scandal moves the project back underground where it has remained ever since.
2005: The Special Directive is formed, rumored to be a black-ops strike team of Re-Genes, deployed against anyone deemed dangerous enough by the government.
2006: Anathema joins the Rangers. The Rangers team up with the Special Directive for a mission. It does not go frictionless.
2007: Ortega is promoted to Marshal after the death of Marshal Hood at the hands of Hollow Ground. Sunstream joins the Rangers.
2008: Sidestep debuts as a vigilante. Charge and Sidestep meet for the first time.
2009: Psychopathor is the villain headliner of that year until finally put to a stop by the Rangers and Sidestep. Dr. Mortum and the Vitruvian are active as villains, but not high key threats enough to be a target for the Rangers.
2010: The Catastrofiend goes on a year long rampage, tearing through the Marshal before disappearing again, a pattern that will be repeated over the years. Ashfall works closely with the Rangers, becoming another associate.
2011: Los Diablos is hit by the Nanosurge, a runaway nano-weapon devouring all flesh before it is contained by an alliance of heroes led by the Rangers. Sidestep plays a vital part in its defeat. Herald takes the hero drug and survives the boosting process. Psychopathor escapes. Sunstream quits the Rangers and disappears soon afterwards.
2012: The Void is looking to expand their Santa Ana territory into Los Diablos, and the Rangers strike back, leading to a final showdown in the southeast deserts.  Herald moves to Los Diablos. Dr. Mortum retires from active villain life, focusing on research.
2013: The Heartbreak incident occurs. Sidestep and Anathema are believed to be killed in action. Ortega retires as Marshal and hero, replaced by Steel. Sentinel and Herald meet.
2014: Ortega returns from retirement, joining the Rangers once more as Charge. Steel loses both his legs when he's nearly crushed under a building in the battle against the Catastrofiend that has resurfaced. The Catastrofiend gets securely locked up. Herald gets his first sponsorship (and name) as a corporate hero. Herald debits as a vigilante under a different name.
2015: Lady Argent debuts as a vigilante in San Francisco. Herald gets hired as a corporate hero, and gets his hero name.
2016: Lady Argent joins the Rangers. Steel nearly gets assassinated, losing an arm in the process. Sentinel retires. The Catastrofiend escapes, but disappears after a mercifully short rampage.
2017: The MC returns to Los Diablos under an assumed identity.
2018: Herald joins the Rangers.
2020: The events of Rebirth.
2021: The events of Retribution (the next book)
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thegldngwy · 3 years
“Eh di wow! Ikaw na-”
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(*This expression doesn’t have a correct translation, but is usually mentioned in a condescending tone, downplaying a smart statement when an opposition has nothing left to say)
Consumers of Philippine media are a conundrum of themselves: they boast about their sons and daughters finishing as lawyers and doctors, but when presented with facts with well-backed claims, they balk and say, "I'm right because I saw this on Facebook."
The Philippines isn't either the safest place in the world for journalists these days - things are now easier to look up online, so what's the use of them? Some could even claim to be disenchanted by the news, so much because of the influx of fake news spread by internet trolls. Otherwise, maybe your own grandmother thinks it's best to eat garlic everyday to ward off, not only spirits, but also the Covid-19 virus.
    One might ask even why? Why is there a distrust of our own media? Why does such distrust exist when media and all its influences and networking gives us so many chances to be in-the-know, save lives and be informed about matters of the state?
    We have to review once more about how the internet has allowed us free rein over information/content creation. Because of this development, news also had to adapt to a digital platform in order to keep up with the latest trends. This has also allowed more jobs for journalists, especially in the field of investigation and in depth stories. But then, the faster it was to create content, the faster it was to pave the way for fake news.
    Since social media gave huge contributions in news dissemination, it raised an awareness, not only for the common reader but to the journalists as well. Take the Twitter application for example: with just one click, you can find any information just about anything through it. The faster you tweet, the longer it remains to be important. This results into journalists having to rethink how they exactly will be delivering their reports but now basing on the fact that its contents are reviewed "with only half an eye." We are losing quality as fast as we are trying to tweet something just to be updated. This often results into sloppy news-making, considering the need for haste and "what you hear is what you get" kind of mindset.
    Now, back on the Philippines and the resident "chismosas."
    Every alleyway has them, but now with Covid-19 restrictions and quarantines, they are more lively as ever online. These personalities aren't quite labeled as the usual internet troll, but often than not are people who have such a strong entitlement to their own opinions, and perhaps to some others whom they believe in.
    As Barbie Zelizer puts it, individuals have their own personalized bubble of information. This is where they curate the information that they want to "see" themselves. In exposure to the diversity of information presented to them, they form their own opinion- and firmly believe that they are correct no matter what.
    Journalists have been called the Watchdogs, of the state, of the government, of the people. Media had been called up on multiple times to present accurate information wherein what news they present are all backed by substantial evidence. Media also became the voice of the people, the strong symbol of democracy, accountability and public relations.
    To reiterate, the Philippines isn't the safest place for journalists. Counting between the years 1992 and the present day 2020, over 86 journalists were killed in the Philippines alone, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Although it's saddening to think that journalism is a dangerous course to take, the fact that these deaths and discrediting even more journalists are making it look like people are being more afraid of finding out what they truly believe in is disputable, especially when it threatens to pop their bubble of personalized information, to be undermined, to lose control of what you know- and perhaps, being the receiving end of a dominating and irrefutable claim.
    Public distrust is one of the many problems that journalism is facing right now, especially when in order to achieve recognition and legitimacy as a journalist, the latter places themselves in a position to be the arbiter between truth and democracy.
People, despite their aversion towards "nosy" reporters, need these same people in democratic discourse, since these civil debates make each participant known and acknowledged without having to discredit whatever belief or information that they know.
    Despite Philippine media being placed under this skeptical and scrutinizing eye, it still remains a key concept into achieving a well-functioning democracy due to their learned abilities and boundaries to find and produce something newsworthy. What we are always trying to present are facts and timely truths that has the potential to unite us as a whole.
    With journalists, it's not a compliment for anyone to be told, "Eh di wow, ikaw na magaling," rather, "Ikaw na ang matiyaga."
(Published on: 12/13/2020 - Writing Assignment)
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savannahr11 · 3 years
Savannah Rogers  
English 102, Section 6
Professor Sumstad
Commentary Essay  
The Impact Social Media has on Mental Health  
(Call to Action)  
While many of us enjoy connecting with people through social media, we often fail to notice the impacts it has on our mental health. In the past decade, we have seen many social networking sites have come and gone such as Facebook, Myspace, Instagram, etc. We see these sites as a way to share ideas and connect with friends. Researchers have recently said that these networking sites lead to several mental disorders including low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. Because social media is newer, many questions people have about future impacts are left unanswered. The World Economic Forum explains that studies show people between the ages 14-24 are the most vulnerable to mental health disorders. Social media and the Internet are only getting stronger and more addicting to people in today’s society. Many teens can’t even imagine a world without technology, and it is only deteriorating their minds more and more. Social media is deteriorating mental health in people of all ages because of reoccurrences of cyberbullying, self-image issues, and the ideas of online vs reality. Furthermore, society needs to find alternatives to social networking sites, self-monitor the use of technology, and connect with people through social media that bring you positivity.  
Cyberbullying is when the use of electronic communication is used to bully a person, usually by sending intimidating or hurtful messages. In an article titled, “51 Critical Cyberbullying Statistics in 2020” by Broadband Search, 73% of teens said they have been cyberbullied before and 44% of them said they were cyberbullied in the last 30 days. Bullying through a screen has become a world problem in more recent years. Social media allows kids to say what they want to people without getting the repercussions as if they were in person. The US Library of Medicine stated that “In general, researchers have examined the relationship between involvement with cyberbullying and adolescents’ tendency to internalize issues. For example, the development of negative affective disorders, loneliness, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and somatic symptoms. Many victims described themselves as feeling powerless, sad, and hopeless.” The few ways we can help stop cyberbullying are to take action if we see it happening, save the evidence, and use the app’s tools such as blocking the user. By not attempting to put a stop to cyberbullying, we are setting a failed example for future generations.  
As the want for social media increases so does the ideas of self-body images. Today, we see celebrities and models setting a certain “body type” for social media users to look at. With the direction the media is heading in, body types are getting talked about in songs, television shows, and especially on social media. There is a stigma around what the “ideal” body is whether it be comparing yourself to a Victoria Secret model or one of the Kardashians. According to Boston College Professor Amanda Doria, “Approximately 40% of 9- and 10-year-old girls are already trying to lose weight. This is largely a consequence of how the media, in general, has painted a picture of the “ideal” body type: tall, stick-thin women who have very few curves.” Setting an ideal body shape in your mind can lead to lower self-esteem, depression, and even eating disorders. Furthermore, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality states that “Hospital stays due to eating disorders in the United States increased 18% from 2000-2006, with 28,155 patients being treated. This increase coincides with the initial emergence of social media in the early 2000s.” There are several solutions to stop the thought of a negative body image. The most important solutions to follow are to stop judging other people’s bodies on social media, cleanse your feed from any accounts that are creating these thoughts, and follow accounts that show a body image like yours. We are starting to see more “body positive” and “love your self-image" posts across social media which is spreading awareness to men and women that suffer from the negativity of self-image issues due to social media.    
The social media persona we present is often different from who we are in real life. The unclear difference between online vs reality harms our mental health. We often see posts on numerous social networking sites of people living happy and getting out and doing things but what we don’t see are their hard and low moments of life. Chicago’s School of Psychology, Dr. Ali Jazayeri states, “Social media is showing the dangers of slipping too far into a virtual world and losing a sense of real life, the real self, and real priorities.” This results in social media users finding themselves comparing their lives to a “fantasy” life they are seeing on a screen. Jazayeri also wrote, “Some people use this social media to create something that they are not,” he says, explaining that the virtual world can distract people so much from their real lives that they either forget who they are or become so involved in the reality they’ve created that they don’t want to work on their own issues.” It is noted by The School of Chicago, that comparing your daily experiences and life to someone else’s what is shown to be “happy” life can lead to anxiety and depression. To avoid mental health issues due to the idea of online vs reality, you simply should limit your time on social media and avoid certain accounts that create the negative feeling. It is important that we stop comparing our lives to other people’s to try and find happiness amongst ourselves.  
Social media has both benefits and detriments when it comes to our mental health. In the last 10 years, the way we communicate has changed significantly because of social media. However, it is still unclear how this different form of communication affects normal human behavior and mental health. It is important to remember that these apps can’t replace our human-to-human connection. By finding alternatives to social networking sites, self-monitoring the use of technology, and connecting with people through social media that bring you positivity, we can lessen the number of people that are victims of the mental health problems social media brings.  
Annotated Bibliography  
“51 Critical Cyberbullying Statistics in 2020.” Mar. 2020. The article explains how bullying has been around since the start of mankind but in more recent years we have seen a shift in the way bullying is occurring because of technology. The authors of the blog go in depth with facts and statistics on how cyberbullying is affecting young adults and adolescent’s mental health. The statistics in the article are all pulled from researchers from universities and mental health research centers. The authors educate the readers on several different aspects that revolve around cyberbullying and mental health such as, the impacts cyberbullying has, what victims should do, and how it is a persistent problem here in the United States.  
Doria, Amanda. “The Effects Social Media on Body Image and Mental Health.” Nov. 2019. In the article, Doria explains how in the last decade scientists and parents are worrying more about the repercussions social media has on the mental health of future generations. The author states, “Many studies have shown that this accessibility can have serious effects on the mental health of children, and body image in young girls especially. When scrolling through various social media platforms such as Instagram, young girls and teens are subconsciously comparing themselves to the seemingly perfect bodies and lives of influencers and other celebrities.” With photoshop and filters becoming a new normal across all social media, not only depression and anxiety but eating disorder cases are getting worse. Amanda Doria concludes her article saying that society should start disconnecting themselves from their phones and social media to have a better quality of life.  
Hutchinson, Andrew. “Who Are You IRL? Social Media vs Reality.” Aug. 2020. Hutchinson explains how people make their lives look “perfect” through a social media profile, but in reality, it is the opposite. The author tells how 87.73% of women compare their own body to images they see online. People disregard whether Kylie Jenner or Kim Kardashian’s body is photoshopped in their pictures and compare themselves to the pictures. He wraps up the article with a small conclusion saying how comparing our realistic and everyday lives to someone who only shows off only their happy moments is worsening our mental health and increasing anxiety and depression.
Mir, Elina. “Social Media and Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Mental Health. Jan. 2020. In the article, Mir explains both the negative and positives that social media has on young adults’ and adolescents’ mental health. She notes that a positive to social media is that kids can stay connected with friends while a negative is that it can cause severe anxiety. The author states, “32% of 12-17 year old's report having anxiety and the percentage is only increasing.” Mir goes on to say that the increasing numbers are due to the constant need for social media and idea known as “FOMO.” Parents also get informed on what they can do to help if their child is experiencing one of the numbers of mental illnesses caused by social media.  
Sperling, Jacqueline. “Like It or Not, Social Media Is Affecting Your Mental Health.” Feb. 2020. A psychologist specializing in anxiety at McLean Hospital goes in depth about social media feedback and what it does to your mental health. The big debate she addresses is if social media should take away “likes” or reactions. For example, Instagram was said to take away the “likes” feature on the app. Sperling states, “Even if you remove the likes, there continue to be opportunities for comparisons and feedback. People still can compare themselves to others, and people still can post comments.” The author concludes her article explaining that social media is here to stay but society and the social media apps have to work together to find a middle ground to keep the platforms safe for the future.
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