Turning point treatment center franklin pa
Main character syndrome? Self-importance? What causes someone to want to suddenly barge in when someone is dying?
2023.05.30 23:49 riskyplumbob Main character syndrome? Self-importance? What causes someone to want to suddenly barge in when someone is dying?
I’m pretty upset and I know I’m grieving but this all feels like a slap in the face. I have a friend I’ve been close to since childhood that I’ve distanced myself from immensely over the past 8 months or so. It started a few months back after getting a feeling that I wasn’t just the recipient of some of this hateful behavior. My friend started sending pics of her friends bathroom calling her disgusting and talking about how messy and nasty she was. Chick has four kids, works, and has lots on her plate. Either way, I have extreme executive dysfunction myself and my house is never spotless either. It occurred to me that this friend probably was doing the same thing to me as she always had bad things to say about other people. I figured I probably wasn’t just receiving the information but I may be the subject of this talk to other friends she claims to not like when she’s not around them (but BFFs when they’re together.)
Either way, things took a turn for the worse last week in my life and our friendship and I’ve decided not to just “love her from afar” but to completely cut her off as I felt she obviously sees herself as incredibly entitled to my life when she’s not… and the boundaries she’s crossing with me are things I’d never think of doing to her.
My dad was sent home on hospice. This is it. They can no longer do anything for his cancer and we’re at the point of comfort care… but he is very, very sick and he’s chosen not to have visitors from his own family.. he is truly feeling horrible.
Mind you, this friend has said time and time again she was going to come visit him before he got to this point but would cancel last minute. I never thought too much about it.. it’s just how she is. She has extreme health anxiety and she would always tell me she was too sick to come. I just let it slide as I always have.
Anyway, once we got the news I did want to let her know that he loved her as he had mentioned it and we had been very close as kids and in our early twenties despite slowly growing apart the past few months. He truly loved her and I text her to tell her that. Before I could get a second message out explaining visitation was up to him and as of now he felt terrible and wasn’t up for it, she had text my mom who is in complete denial and going through mental distress over this situation asking when she could come see him. My mom is in such denial that she’s completely convinced he’s going to go back on treatment. I found her texting her like that pretty rude and I told her what was going on and she seemed offended saying she didn’t say anything wrong. Anyway… moments later I open social media and she’s also posted photos of herself crying online and one of them is asking for people to pray for him with his name in the caption. Lots of family didn’t know at this point. I addressed this and told her had she asked it may have been okay to ask for prayers but not with any personal information as lots of people didn’t know yet. She saw no issues with posting crying pics to our circumstances. I just set my boundaries and continued on.. but it didn’t stop.
She starts messaging me asking me to take videos of him while reminding him of things she said when we were kids that she thought he might find funny.. I read this message as my dad is throwing up a bite of apple sauce with it being the only thing he’s eaten in days and crying in pain. I explained to her now was not the time to take videos. She once again seemed upset and said “I just wanted them for memories.” Which I didn’t like as when she saves stuff like this and it pops back up on memories on her device she sends it to me.. I don’t want to receive a video of him faking a laugh while he’s laying here dying a year from now. She sees nothing wrong with it.
She continues to ask to come see him and I had a doctors appointment the next day and told her afterwards I’d let her know if he felt up for it at all but it wasn’t likely. Once again, I came home and he’s sick as a dog and very week. He’s asking to go to bed at like 5pm. I told her it wasn’t a good time that he is just declining. She impatiently says “I just wish you’d let me come see him.” To this I replied “I wish you could have made it before he got this bad. He is dying and he is not up for visitors and we need privacy to give him comfort during this time and for our own grieving process.” She left me on read this time and hasn’t spoken since… to me. She has apparently continued to text my mom and ask about him though.
It was just the final straw with me. I felt like she felt entitled when even our own family hasn’t been that pushy and has respected our time and privacy. I tried so hard to respond to everything respectfully and to explain why we were making these decisions until I realized that’s not my job. I’ve had this issue with nobody else.. I also can’t stop thinking of all the photos of her boyfriends dying coworker she plastered all over Facebook to show they were visiting him and it just felt like attention seeking behavior to me rather than genuine sympathy.
But I’m stuck in this loop… what causes people to be this way? Do they truly not see any issue with it? Is it mental illness? Does everyone deal with this? I’m just baffled as I felt I gave completely reasonable responses that would have given me the idea of “they just need peace” and I wouldn’t have been upset.
The thing is, jumping back to the first paragraph, I’m sure she’s telling everyone some story about it.. but truthfully I’ve told nobody but my mom how she’s acted. I don’t understand.
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2023.05.30 23:48 maxkho [TRIP REPORT] I had the most insane trip you will likely have ever heard of. I have no explanation for how it's even possible.
Before I get into the trip itself, I will just preface it by saying I'll only give you the general overview of the trip since, if I were to describe the specifics (which, to be honest with you, are pretty substantially more insane than the general overview), it would just take way too long. Anyway, here it is:
So I was seeing a good friend that I hadn't seen in a while, and we were planning to do a light dose since I had a rated chess game the following day. So he gave me a tab which he said was 60mg because the package said 300mg and he had 5 tabs... except, as I learnt almost immediately after I took the tab, 300mg was the dosage of a single tab. Anyway, the first part of the trip actually went amazingly well, but somehow, things took a sudden turn at some point and I became convinced that my friend and his girlfriend were going to take me to their basement and torture me. For around 2 hours, I was pretty much just freaking out with not much else happening, UNTIL... Okay, I'm going to have omit quite a few details here, but the short version is (yes, that's the short version lol): reality started morphing around me as I became increasingly sober until, when I sobered up completely, I found myself on an alien planet thousands of years more advanced than Earth. Everything was completely photorealistic and completely indistinguishable from reality in all the human senses - no trippy visuals, no altered state of consciousness, nothing; I was just there on an alien planet with my friend and his girlfriend. He explained that my entire life was a trip/simulation hand-crafted by him to teach me valuable life lessons, and that in true reality, the world is a utopia in which everything is possible through the power of fully immersive digital simulation. I got to explore the planet for a bit, seeing the alien wildlife, the insane tech, some of the surreal nature, etc, before he told me I'd get to live out my life in this utopia if I passed one final test that proved I had learnt all of his lessons. He proceeded to take complete control over my body and start triggering various uncomfortable sensations that I had experienced all throughout my life, if not making me straight-up relive whole episodes of my life (e.g. being choked in a judo competition when I was 10, experiencing incredibly unfair treatment from close friends, losing a heartbreaking chess tournament, etc) and my job was to remain perfectly calm. Once I passed the first round, I died, got resurrected, and then had to do the same thing except with sensations and memories from another version of me that had lived his whole life on this alien planet; naturally, the sensations got more intense and surreal. I had to go through FIFTEEN rounds of this, with each round featuring a significantly crazier and more sophisticated life than the last. Effectively, I got to live through fifteen separate lives, each in a different dimension. And then finally, after I passed the last round, extremely overwhelmed and exhausted... guess what? That fucker started torturing me lol. Basically, I have an endoscopy trauma, so he put me on a loop of undergoing the most painful endoscopy you can imagine, bleeding out and dying, and then going through the exact same thing again. I must have gone through at least 30 such loops before it dawned on me... I was going to be here FOREVER. Not for a month. Not for a year. Not even for a century. For ETERNITY. Can you imagine that realisation? I didn't know how to even begin to handle that. Anyway, a key detail is that every time I died, I got resurrected in a different simulated reality. Eventually, I got spawned back in my home reality and was able to break out of the loop. For a good day, I thought what I had gone through was totally real - that the simulation hypothesis was true, and that I got to meet the simulation's creators. Everything was so insanely real, and their explanations so superhumanly convincing, that there literally was just no other way. Of course, having had more time to critically evaluate the possibilities, it was obviously just a trip, but what a fucking trip it was lol. And like I said, I left out some of the most insane bits of this for the sake of brevity. So this description is just the tip of the iceberg.
I honestly have no idea how any of this is even possible. If I google "nociceptory illusions" - i.e. hallucinated pain - nothing comes up. Similarly, I have never heard of psychedelics manufacturing perfectly realistic universes from thin air. I have heard a lot about being transported to different dimensions, but these dimensions are usually very different from reality. In my case, though, if I literally physically travelled to an alien planet or got tortured using endoscopy, it would just feel the exact same as what I felt during my trip. I have never heard of anything like that, and I would be that last person that I'd expect this to happen to given that my visualisation ability is usually very weak, and my dreams have never come close to realism.
If anyone can explain any of this, please do. I'm still just as puzzled by this as I was a few months ago when this trip took place.
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2023.05.30 23:44 1DaughterOfDathomir Am I Overreacting for not wanting to tell JNMIL about my pregnancy?
Long time lurker, first time poster in this Sub. My Fiancé (27 M) and I (27 F) have been together 7.5 years (engaged for 6 months) and I am currently 16 weeks pregnant with my first, a boy, due in November. From our “celebratory times” post engagement my family jokingly says.
I could write a novel on all the B.S we’ve gone through with JN but I’ll try* to keep this short for the sake of this post, but this is years of crap and abuse so I apologize in advance if this gets long and out of sorts. Maybe some day I can post specific examples/stories of all the shit she’s done.
She was wonderful for about the first year or so, then when she saw I was someone serious she changed her tune about me. She’s a typical Narc who see’s me as stealing her “perfect Angel boy”, whom she treated as her surrogate husband post divorce (divorced when Fiancé was 8 as a result of her cheating amongst other things). She’s a serial boundary stomper. I’m the one who is “behind” my fiancé manipulating every move he makes and every word he says, because she can’t fathom that her baby boy has a mind and will of his own to do what HE feels is right!
My fiancé is wonderful and has the shiniest spine, and has told her off many times and had even moved out of her house (immediately, I’m talking overnight here) and went NC for about 3 years when things reached an incredibly ugly point (around 2017/2018). Within the last few years he has tried going LC with her but it still results in issues and problems because she cannot control him, his life, relationship and is not the perpetual center of attention. However the last few months he felt she was changing, as she was reaching out to his sister (21 F who is also NC with her for a ton of despicable reasons on JNMIL part as well) which he felt was a positive sign. Mind you SIL has not felt comfortable with any of her “attempts” and does not want to have a relationship with her at this time for all the abuse she has put her through and rightly so! IMO most of her attempts were public grabs for attention, to be able to say “see I tried!” and not genuine acts from her heart. They’ve all been public displays like showing up to her college sports games uninvited, leaving oversized signs staked into her lawn, leaving gifts on her porch and notes on her car etc. None of her notes have held any sort of accountability/apology just the good ole “God doesn’t want us apart. Family is everything, Mommy loves you” VOMIT.
My fiancé does want to have a relationship with her but is still somewhat conflicted. He is trying to be the biggebetter person and give her a chance because he doesn’t want to live his life with regret towards this of any kind. Which I understand but I just can’t get past. I’m sure it’s easier for me to feel and hold onto as she’s not my mother, but the amount of abuse she has put my fiancé and SIL through and even myself I cannot forget.
Now onto to my question/concern. I personally do not want her to know anything about my pregnancy, maybe even a little after the baby is born. My fiancé says it doesn’t really affect me that much because I don’t have to see her and talk to her (which I don’t thank GOD). However I don’t want her to think this is opening up gates for her to do so. I know she would just treat me like an incubator and try to “butter me up” and act fake nice in order to try and worm her way close to my child. I’m afraid we’ll go the rest of my pregnancy with her attempts and hearing about how much she’s “changed” just to have big problems erupt when baby is born because she’s not going to be allowed in the hospital or to see him right away (which I’m not even sure if I want my own family there during or immediately after). We could try and set boundaries all we want to but I know for certain she doesn’t believe they apply to her and she’s entitled to do/say whatever she feels. She would always state that she’s the “queen” because she’s his (fiancé’s) mother and deserves special treatment and when I’ve asked about my own mom and the special treatment she deserves she tells me it’s not the same and she doesn’t matter… OKAY. This woman has stated to my fiancé and I quote “I’M top dog and she’ll get to be top dog when I’m DEAD” referring to how she’s the top person in Fiancé’s life and I can have that spot over her cold, dead body. Like what the actual F? So reasoning with her on boundaries is not exactly easy or in the question.
Personally I don’t want to let her in on my pregnancy or anytime close after. For my own peace of mind and sanity. Fiancé is afraid she will find out through mutuals that we’re expecting and doesn’t want her to blow up about it, or be mad because she didn’t get told sooner. I’m on the side of I DON’T CARE how she finds out, I want to have a stress free pregnancy and PP away from her. I’m afraid if he lets her in now she will gain all these delusional expectations about our relationship and her relationship to LO. So I’d rather deal with her finding out on her own or her finding out after and still being angry. Not having to jump hurdles of her crap while still pregnant.
I’d like to add that this isn’t something fiancé and I argue about just is something we discuss our concerns over. I know if I really put my foot down and said No he would respect me and my wishes and follow along. I guess I just feel maybe as thought I’m in the wrong or just being petty and unable to to let the past go. So AITA here?
(Sorry this rambled on for so long, thank you to anyone who stuck around to the end!)
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2023.05.30 23:32 SwiggleMcDiggle Closed Court - Albert Harebrayne
The Return of the Great Departed Soul is my favorite case in Ace Attorney. In my mind, it is perfectly constructed. There are few, if any, stray marks in its composition. While the series (especially TGAAC) often has a problem with pacing, it is trim throughout its long duration. Its characters are consistently engaging, the developments in its mystery are unique, and it is laced with a legitimately intriguing subtext throughout. It's truly a cut above the rest.
For a series so focused on truth as Ace Attorney, it's surprising to me that the series took so long to take a magnifying glass to science. Ema is obviously interested in science, but it's never really the focus of anything outside of investigation minigames. 5-4/5-5 take place in a scientific institution, but it's not really used as anything besides set dressing (Dual Destinies has a problem with doing this). But G2-3? It is all about science. Science and magic, that is.
Science is the set of all truths and the method of discovering those truths. Because of that, it has a connotation given to it by society as beyond any one person. Science is absolute. It's unquestionable. But that's not how good science is or should be done. Just like the law, science is about the change of ideas and the methods behind their discovery as much as it is the knowledge itself.
Albert Harebrayne is our scientist of note.
Wow there's a Character
Harebrayne is introduced as a defendant in G2-3. The TGAAC duology has a really strong run of defendants, and Harebrayne at this point seems to be just another member of that strong lineup: he's excellently animated, brilliantly expressive, and has a unique, punchy theme. His experiment is not left as technobabble or a joke throwaway gag. In fact, it's the first thing we see in the case: Albert Harebrayne has discovered instant transmission.
He's a unique contender amongst the TGAAC defendants, being one of the archetypes Ace Attorney has a mixed track record on: he's an uncooperative defendant. He fully believes he's responsible for the death of Odie Asman, and maintaining the status of his experiment is much more important to him than getting a not guilty verdict. It's honestly hilarious how he maintains the "now listen, I obviously didn't murder Asman, buuuuuuut
" attitude throughout the trial. And the moment he objects to Ryunosuke is a lot more substantive and interesting than what other uncooperative defendants do.
Uncooperative defendants are tricky. They're either great (Lana Skye) or awful (Machi, Wocky). Harebrayne is firmly in the former category. His toils for his discovery have already consumed his life. What harm is further sacrifice? I appreciate that he isn't even rude or mean to Ryunosuke, who he sees as a welcome help. It makes his outburst in court stand out even more.
Harebrayne is the pillar that holds the entire first day of the case together, with his thematic counterpart taking over for the second day. Instead of showing the killer or the victim or another incident at the beginning of the case as a teaser, Harebrayne is front and center. His role in the crime itself is unique: the machine, his miracle, is both the scene of the crime and ostensibly part of the murder plot itself. He takes an important role in the investigation (as many defendants do), but continues to stay relevant throughout the entire first day in trial. The arc of the first trial is an arc of convincing Harebrayne that there is sussery afoot.
A Rondo of Science and Magic
G2-3 is a case that deals with a lot, but the main focus is the interplay between science, magic, and the public perception of them both. The case centers around two dramatic incidents:
- A demonstration of genius, teleporting a man hundreds of meters in an instant
- An impossible demonic act of an executed murderer returning from the dead
The core reversal at the heart of the case is that the former grounded, "scientific" incident is a complete hoax, whereas the latter, illusory "magical" incident is a real event. In order to come to the truth, sometimes we must face and confront the wildest possibilities, and challenge the foundations of what we know to be true. This conflict between perceived reality and illusion and how they may masquerade as each other is the core of G2-3, and it is represented in the two geniuses that make up the backbone of the case. One is an illusionist, and I can only hope I'll have the honor to discuss him later.
The other? Well, he's our scientist.
Albert Harebrayne did not
discover instant transmission- he just thought he did. A potential reading is that he was a quack doctor, and an obstacle to the investigation. After all, his insistence that his device worked stifled the investigation, and gummed up the murder case.
I wouldn't say the same.
After his theory is demonstrated to be false, he specifically allows full investigation to happen to gain insight as to what could've possibly happened during the experiment. This investigation, in a roundabout way, leads to the mystery of the Professor's revival coming to light. It may not be necessarily the closest thing to his end goal, but he did help the truth come to light.
And who's to say that's so wrong? In 1934, Enrico Fermi set out to discover a new element. He bombarded thorium and uranium with neutrons in order to produce new elements of the periodic table. What he made was unrecognizable- and he was awarded a nobel prize. However, upon later investigation, it turns out that what he made wasn't a new element, but was in fact a mix of elements. much lighter than uranium and thorium. He had discovered nuclear fission.
And just as Fermi unwittingly discovered nuclear fission, Harebrayne unwittingly allowed for the truth of the Professor to begin to come to light. Both discoveries were only able to happen because Harebrayne and Fermi were such stern adherents to good scientific principles, and let go of their pride when their hypotheses were called into question. In the end, Harebrayne revealed a brilliant truth: just not the one he expected.
Ace Attorney has always been a strong adherent to the idea that the truth can never be revealed by one person alone. The whole philosophy of having both a prosecutor and a defense attorney in the courtroom is that through the clash between these titans, the truth will inevitably be revealed. The same is true in science: it takes both postulation and contention to obtain a credible solution.
Hopefully, in this rankdown, as our wills clash and collide, we will be able to obtain as wondrous of a result.
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2023.05.30 23:29 galloog1 In order to justify the (relatively) massive expense this weekend to myself I reviewed every band I saw. These are their stories.
Obviously, I am wrong about every one of these but tell me why.
Alisa Amadore: fun, Norah Jones type jazz with her own voice 7/10 on The indie scale
The Beaches: Fun modern rock band with heavy 60s beach rock influence 8/10 indie scale
Talk: raspy Rock and roll, didn't shy away from covers and had a lot of fun doing it 6/10 on the headliner scale
Blue Light Bandits: heavy use of the minor key, very waily, their faster stuff was the best tbh 5/10 on the indie scale
Dropkick Murphys: Old men yell at crowd; crowd yells back 8/10 headliners
Little Fuss: Scott Pilgrim vibes with a female lead with vocals that were flat way more than they should've been. Lots of future potential here if they get a good producer 3/10 indie scale 5/10 when warmed up
Niall Horan: all the way from Brazil(Ireland) along with about 200 raving lunatic women front and center, a very technically sound performance, great use of violin, and oops, I'm now one of the raving women. Discovery of this type of music that was sitting right under my nose is exactly why I came here. Started at 6/10 and built to 9/10
Foo Fighters: wait, who are these guys? 9/10 I think if the drummer went any harder he would ignite fusion and form new elements out of the atmosphere. All gas, no breaks with these guys.
Neemz: R&B/rap performer; the DJ was fantastic and the performance was her singing/rapping over the recording with a very low microphone. Not a bad performance but the style doesn't lend itself well for a live show. 4/10 on the indie scale
Loveless: the world is still producing whiny boy bands and they are pretty good. Okay stage presence. 6/10 headliners scale
The Aces: Buddy Holly meets Funk; I guess that makes them the female Arctic Monkeys. Great stage presence, especially dealing with technical difficulties. I'm not sure what scale to put them on because they were so good. 10/10 indie scale but they won't get that scale next time. Consider me a new fan.
Joy Oladokun: I've heard of her and her one-hit song but I did not expect the sheer joy (pun not intended) she shares on stage. Her other non-hit stuff was a lot less waily and I am now a fan. 8/10 headliner scale
Actor Observer: Maybe because it was hardcore metal but these guys went the hardest of anyone at the festival so far. A lot of musical depth here that really came out when they were harmonizing 9/10 indie scale and this is the reason I wanted to come to this music festival, to discover new music. If you like anything hardcore from rock to metal, check them out. They live right up the street in Boston.
Noah Kahan: local Watertown boy literally draws a bigger crowd than the Lumineers. It was standing room only for the biggest stage and everyone knew the words. I was not incredibly familiar with him before the festival but this was the stage presence that I expected from the Lumineers. The embodiment of northern folk music and it shines bright. 9/10 headliners
The Flaming Lips: Going in not a fan, I saw 15 ft robots, giant balloons popping into confetti on the crowd, and a man singing from an orb. Pure childhood joy bottled, distilled, and injected into your veins. I don't believe in extended scales but the stage presence 100% overcomes any lack of technical talent. 10/10 and they literally stole the show. The words spiritual experience were brought up multiple times from different people.
The Lumineers: maybe the expectations were just too high but these guys had no stage presence. The songs sounded exactly like the album which is skillful and good but not really what live music is about. Great atmosphere in the place made up for it with people dancing and singing along. Obviously, everyone knew the words. It all felt very corporate for folk. 7/10 headliners scale.
Juice: The spiritual successor to Earth Wind and Fire with a lot more depth and variety. Multiple genres, they were the best opening act of the weekend. 8/10 indie scale
Wunderhorse: If you told me that Nirvana had done a colab with White Stripes I would believe you. Stage presence was basically non-existent. 8/10 indie scale because the music was so on point
Workman Song: Christian music that doesn't need to market that way. Blues folk that could stand as the soundtrack to paddle off into the sunset on a southern river. Extra points for some of the chords giving literal chills. 8/10 indie scale
Linda Lindas: Tiny girls as young as 12 sing about their cats. They accidentally rock and roll. What a stage presence... "hey crowd, what's your favorite dinosaur? Stegosaurus ? Trex?" 8/10 headliners scale.
070 Shake: Neemz could learn a thing or two from this performance. Perfect audio levels over the base track. Her vocals really added to a fantastic dj. Probably shouldn't drink mid-performance but it was still fun. 6/10 headliners scale
Sorry Mom: Sorry mom indeed. 9/10 guitar work. Lots of screaming but not so much the vocals to back it up. Don't let the rating fool you, these girls go hard. 5/10 indie scale
Genesis Owusu: Pink Floyd meets the Black Eyed Peas, there's certainly an A+ stage presence and he was all in. 7/10 headliners
Bleachers: Love letter to music production, Queen at Live Aid vibes, they know how to lead a crowd. Perfect music festival act. 8/10 headliners. Bonus points for giant tomatoes and dueling saxophones.
Ali McGuirk: Wonderful blues, Norah Jones if she was really into blues but early on in her career. 7/10 indie
Maren Morris: This woman's voice could single handedly turn the tide of a world war. It was all live and she sang her heart out. Great accompaniment and great blues, the stage was somehow too small. 8/10 headliner
Queens of the Stone Age: Stage presence was hard to determine from where I was but No One Knows was perfectly built into completely making up for any set issues prior. A lot of it felt like just biding time. 8/10 headliners scale
Paramore: What's there to say? Haley's ability to absolutely nail disjunct high notes was there 20 years ago. It hasn't gotten better because it was already perfect. There were some interesting song choices that made the performance drag but the entire stage was set up for them. 9/10
All in all it was a fantastic festival. If the goal was to discover new music, it was a complete success. Lots of new Boston locals to appreciate and some headliners that had slipped through. The Flaming Lips, The Aces, Noah Kahan, Nial Horan, and the Linda Lindas all started out barely on my radar and absolutely blew me away.
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2023.05.30 23:13 Brick_Block_297 "Don't Look Up" (2021), and the idea of political satire being "too heavy handed". I'd like to look into how the reception to this film can show us how general audiences perceive socio-political commentary, and what kind of commentary they're comfortable with.
Guess I'm a bit late to the party on this one...but honestly, maybe that's for the better. Internet discourse of film, and other narrative based media feels like its at its worst, and I think "Don't Look Up" is a great film to use for opening this discussion.
(...Also, this is secretly a hate-post for "The Batman"...)
For some context, "Don't Look Up" (2021) is an Adam McKay movie centered around an asteroid hitting the earth. The asteroid is an obvious commentary for climate change, and our protagonists are two scientists (played by Leonardo Dicaprio, and Kate Dibiasky) who desperately try to convince the US government to take action. The government has the ability to stop the asteroid, but refuses to because a tech CEO obviously based on Mark Zuckerberg makes a deal with the Republican president (played by Meryl Streep). Leonardo Dicaprio's character sells out to the tech CEO and Republicans, only to regret everything when its too late. The asteroid hits earth, and the top 1% escape on a spaceship.
This film is extremely, and I mean extremely in your face about its sociopolitical critique. The movie constantly makes fun of how working-class Republicans will parrot whatever the president says. The title itself, "Don't Look Up", is a slogan meant to be joke stand-in for Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again". The way the government refuses to take action against the asteroid is an obvious commentary on how our governments barely do against climate change. The film also makes fun of performative progressivism, as with the sellout scientist and concert scene.
Anyway, I've used the word "obviously" so many times now, its clear "Don't Look Up" is a very heavy handed film. I don't know if Adam McKay is the hardcore progressive leftist his film makes him out to be, but regardless, I absolutely love "Don't Look Up". Its heavy handed commentary is what makes this film for me.
However, upon release the film was met with a mixed reception. It currently stands at a 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, and much of the discussion was about how the film was pretentious, due to its heavy-handed message. Especially on Reddit, which seemed to hate this film. And I was really surprised honestly. The internet embodiment of "☝🤓 ermmm, ack-shually!" was calling for more subtly in this film's political commentary? The same website that doesn't shut up about Idioacracy and Blazing Saddles?
But, I think I know why "Don't Look Up" was hit with this reception. It isn't just that don't look up is a heavy handed, in your face kind of movie...its that the themes, messages, and setting, are all directly linked to our current world. It isn't a hypothetical dystopia like Idiocracy, or a century old wild west like Blazing Saddles. "Don't Look Up" takes place in our current political climate.
When "Don't Look Up" criticizes Republicans, it isn't talking about a cartoonish stand-in for the Republicans. Its talking about the current, real world Republicans. When it criticizes media propaganda, it directly references the tactics used by the very real Donald Trump. When it criticizes billionaire CEOs, it uses a character that is identical to our real world billionaire CEOs in all but name.
"Don't Look Up" did what most political commentary is too afraid to to...it directly tackled the issues it was commenting on. Even the fictional asteroid is still really on-the-nose about what its meant to be. It reminds me of when Gareth Marenghi said this...
"I know writers who use subtext...and they're all cowards!:
Maybe he was exaggerating for the bit...but I love this qoute. Because honestly, in our current political climate, what use does subtly have? In America right now, the political climate is constantly getting worse. The removal of women's rights, the attack on LGBTQ+ people, the slow death of the working class, and as "Don't Look Up" shows, the constant enderdagement to our environment. If you're gonna' talk about these very real, very harmful issues...why tiptoe around it? To make the people causing the harm more comfortable?
I think its important to note that on social media, I saw dozens of posts by people in the climate field praise "Don't Look Up", specifically because the on-the-nose nature of this movie represented how they felt. And honestly, that's pretty good proof that being subtle would've been to the detriment of this film. This film did what good political satire is meant to do. It appeased to the people being drowned out by those in power, and relentlessly critiqued those in power.
The funny thing is this...I'm always seeing people post about how they want more "mature" content that tackles real world issues. Especially on Reddit, in which people never shut up about the idea of the "mature reboot". And the thing is...this website actually loves media with heavy-handed messaging. But as I mentioned earlier, people don't want the messaging to actually be directly relevant to a real world topic. They just want media that alludes the the idea of socio-political commentary.
Its why Reddit loves media such as The Witcher III, Idiocracy, Blazing Saddles, early Game Of Thrones, Cyberpunk 2077, Blade Runner 2049. Yes, these pieces of media are very heavy handed in their themes, but because they use fictional stand-ins for their messages, it makes them safer to all audiences, and makes their critisizm less direct in some ways.
But I think the best example of how the internet interprets socio-political commentary, and what kind of commentary this audience is comfortable with, is Matt Reeve's "The Batman" 2022. This movie is currently one of the ineternet's darlings, and people are obsessed with just how "mature" and "deep" this movie is.
Thing is though, as far as socio-political commentary goes...The Batman is a big nothing burger. The movie starts by introducing a bunch of very real socio-political ideas, such as the corrupt police, the politicians being controlled by a few rich people, the underground sex-trafficking in Gotham, or how domestic terrorists use the internet as a means of recruitment. And yet by the end of the film, none of these ideas amount to anything. They're all just window dressing for a fanservice Batman flick whose only moral theme is "Batman doesn't kill", as a corporate apology for Batman Vs. Superman.
The big moral moments of this film are Batman stopping Selina from killing the man who controls all of the corruption in Gotham, and Batman feeling sad because he punched a domestic terrorist too hard. Its almost hilarious honestly, because its clear that the Riddler's terrorist gang was based off of Q-anon, and if anything, the only thing that stopped them on January 6th was when a shot was fired into the inserrectunist crowd. So the whole "Batman needs to be more merciful to the villains" arc is actually the opposite of a real-world critique.
But that's the thing. The Batman isn't actually mature. It has nothing to say about our current world or political state. It just takes real world issues, and uses them as an aesthetic for a moral theme that doesn't actually fit in with said issues. And the thing is, The Batman is an incredibly heavy-handed movie. Just as much as Don't Look Up honestly. But the difference is, The Batman's heavy handed narrative is used only for Batman's "no kill rule", not any of the real world issues the film is introduced with.
And that's kinda' my whole point. There's a reason most people online love movies like The Batman. These movies treat socio-political commentary as window dressing, using some real world issues in the most surface level manner possible, then never making an actual conclusion in them. Because of that, movies like The Batman are incredibly safe movies, and are basically "enlightened centrist" fantasies with no bite.
Whereas something like Don't Look Up will actively target real world issues, and directly build its entire film around them. The film pulls no punches, and its clear what the targets of its commentary are. And because of that, this film's meaning can't be twisted in any way. There's no "both sides are just as bad" narrative here to make all audiences feel comfortable. This film knows what its about, and sticks to it.
And here's the thing...I'm not saying all movies that tackle real socio-political issues need to be super direct, and call out real names like Don't Look Up. The examples I listed before The Batman are good media, and they have a place in the world of film, TV, and gaming.
But what I am saying is that it feels like most audiences are just flat out afraid of any meaningful socio-political commentary. Even when it comes to a political satire, its as if audiences will only feel comfortable as long as the film is vague enough that it never directly makes a statement on a real world issue. And even if it does directly comment on something, as long as its disconnected enough from our reality, they'll be safe with it. Because it means it doesn't have to make them uncomfortable with the current state of our world. And because of that, when they're met with a socio-political commentary that actually has some bite to it, they're immediately bothered by the heavy-handedness of it. Because that means they have to confront real world issues in media, and for a lot of these people, media should be escapism, and nothing more.
To end this off, I'd like to mention the original piece of political satire...Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal". Written to offend the ruling class by comparing their treatment of the poor to cannabilism during a period of mass poverty in Ireland. I can guarantee you that some people thought Swift had went too far with this paper. Thing is, who do you think those people were? And who do you think his supporters were?
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2023.05.30 22:56 Reno-Reporter First E.T. Gun Incident Leaves Motorist Dead
From the Dissociated Press:
WILLOW CREEK, KY - A recent incident following the disclosure of extraterrestrial life has captured the attention of social media nationwide, a Slibbernox tourist from the planet Zyrklaxa found themselves at the center of a violent inter-species altercation.
With the official first contact diplomatic preceding completed and formal relations opened with extraterrestrial species, naturally an influx of alien tourists and immigrants had been unleashed on the nation. Seemingly it had been only a matter of time before an incident of gun violence involving an outer-space visitor would happen.
The incident unfolded when the Slibbernox, Gthulgraxazilgarnalthroz, caused some traffic congestion while peacefully traveling down Evans Cutoff Rd. Preferring natural means of transportation, these interstellar visitors find our existing roads a perfect esplanade when enjoying the natural beauty of the Planet.
The Slibbernox, pejoratively referred to as "Slimebacks" by certain Americans, originate from the planet Zyrklaxa in the Vraxion system. While they resemble slugs at first glance, their immense size distinguishes them. Standing at an astonishing 8 feet tall, with elongated cylindrical bodies stretching over 12 feet in length, they prove too large to fit on sidewalks. Additionally, their bodies naturally secrete a sticky slime, leaving behind a gooey trail wherever they wander. To accommodate their transportation needs, courts have invoked existing draft animal laws, granting Slibbernox fair use of the roads.
Many motorists patiently waited behind the Slibbernox, however, one impatient local, apparently frustrated with the situation, decided to pass the slow-moving alien illegally, and while doing so engaged in the controversial practice of coal rolling. "Coal rolling" refers to a custom in which diesel trucks are equipped with modified engines and intentionally emit thick, black smoke by manipulating the vehicle's exhaust system. Coal rolling is sometimes used as a form of harassment or intimidation against cyclists, electric car drivers, or apparently slow-moving alien pedestrians.
With humanity freshly steeping in the newfound complexities of intergalactic culture, it's now apparent that expelling Nitrogen Oxides at another is, in fact, one of the most offensive Slibbernox gestures known in their culture, to the point of constituting legal assault on Zyrklaxa.
Witnesses reported that Gthulgraxazilgarnalthroz, rightfully outraged by the assault by any standard on Zyrklaxa, did not hesitate to confront the man. As it is now known, despite their ability for auditory speech, the Slibbernox posses apparent physic abilities. With unknown severity or extent, Gthulgraxazilgarnalthroz began to psychically castigate the already agitated motorist, who then, as he was driving away, frantically dove out of his moving pickup truck and began to writhe on the pavement. After a vividly agonizing 6 minutes, the telepathic beration had ended.
Video evidence captured the man regaining his composure, visibly disturbed by the psychic invasion. Upon standing up he immediately drew his openly-carried M&P40 pistol and fired several rounds at Gthulgraxazilgarnalthroz, causing slime chunks to explode off the alien's body and neon pink goo to slowly leak from the bullet holes. In Kentucky it is legal for anyone over 21 to open- or conceal- carry a legally owned firearm. Moments later, the alien began pulsating rapidly.
Too much dismay, the situation took an ill-fated turn, the man began to clutch and became flush red, then started aggressively screaming. One shockingly amused onlooker can be heard in the video, "Bro goin' Super Saiyan!" Then, disturbingly, the man is seen pointing his firearm at his own head and pulling the trigger. Onlookers compelling reactions to the macabre seen can be heard in multiple videos. One man, "Holy [expletive] [expletive] balls!" Another frantically repeating "He just [expletive] bodied himself!"
Reports indicate that Gthulgraxazilgarnalthroz surrendered to authorities but was not held on charges, and they intend to cooperate fully with the investigation. In an unadorned and blunt series of short social media uploads, Gthulgraxazilgarnalthroz uses an obnoxious but popular text-to-voice function to explain their side of the incident: "Enjoying Willow Creek, maybe buy some land." - "Arrogant and aggressive human male attack me. Just scratch so I am peaceful and restrained." - "I tell man he do a bad thing, I make him feel bad like me. Man couldn't handle confrontation with his own actions. I feel bad, why sad and angry man allowed devastating weapon?"
Authorities, grappling with the lack of laws governing psychic powers, deemed Gthulgraxazilgarnalthroz the victim in this incident and did not press charges. Many Americans are now left contemplating the profound implications of intergalactic encounters and the need for comprehensive legislation to address such complex situations.
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2023.05.30 22:51 Archives-H I volunteered for an expedition to get off death row. I never should have entered the Sea of Green.
Before I begin my story I must maintain that my sentence to death was a wrong and vile thing to do. I maintain that I am not a killer. I did not kill the schoolchildren the authorities decided to hang me for.
My sentence to death, I must maintain, is a huge misunderstanding. There must be forces out there against me, who conspired to put me in prison for this very experiment, this accursed expedition.
I am not deranged. I am not insane.
The man in the odd multicolored sweater paid me a visit a week before my scheduled execution date. “You are the former schoolteacher Chet Adami?” he asked, polite, offering me a plastic cup of coffee.
I nodded, taking a sip. “I didn’t kill those kids,” I reiterated, for about the thousandth time. “Are you the uh, priest guy? That comes before-”
He shook his head and waved away the guards. “My name is Canopy Hydrangea,” he introduced, extending a hand. I shook it. “I understand you may not be guilty, despite what the state believes.”
I nodded. “Finally, someone who-”
He cut me off. “I’m not interested in your story. Whether you die or not is of no consequence to the people I represent,” he continued. “But I am here to offer you a deal. There’s a place the people I represent need exploring, and I need volunteers.”
He produced a sheet of paper and a pen. “This agreement,” he clasped it into my hands, “has you join a team of expendable, uh, volunteers such as yourself on this expedition. You get in, get the things we need, and get out- and you’re free for life.”
This was better than dying in prison.
I asked him what place this was that I’d be sent to. He told me I had to sign the form first. “I’ll do it, then,” I cheered, signing the document.
He smiled and patted me on the shoulder. “We’ll even give you a whole new identity,” he offered. And with that, he seized the document away from me and left the building.
Within hours I was blindfolded, sedated, and transported. When I awoke I was strapped to a bed in a helicopter, with four others beside me, all beginning to wake up.
The man who’d offered me the deal was there too, sucking on a lollipop while rearranging documents and photographs.
These images, I assumed, was the place they wanted us to explore. They were mostly all aerial photos, a sea of endless green and the occasional bird. And yet, there was more- images of impossible landscapes, dreamlike beings.
“Ah, you guys are awake!” he clapped once, and walked over.
The next few moments were a flash as he re-injected us with some sort of blue, wriggling substance. It was cold, and I swear it pulsed inside my arm.
Then we had landed, and the group was quickly taken inside a compound. We were freed and sat down in some sort of meeting room. More people were inside.
A blue haired lady joined the man.
“Welcome, volunteers,” he announced, pointing to a projector. “You are all, save for one, prisoners on death row,” he reminded. “This offer today is simple- you enter the forest, travel to an outpost we have recently lost contact with,” he turned on the projector, displayed a bright red cylinder labeled ‘SYSTEM RECORDER-A32’, “and recover this data module.”
The woman spoke next. “Easy, right?” she counted us. “We’ll provide maps,” she gestured to tablets. “But this forest is different.”
They proceeded to explain the reason they need ‘volunteers’ for the assignment then.
We were on an island somewhere in the Java Sea. The island had a massive forest in the center, one that at first glance seemed as normal as ever. This changed when an international mining company sent in a team of geologists to determine if there was anything of note beyond the forest.
This team never returned.
Nor did a second team, armed with weapons. Or an environmentalist group that ventured in to document new species. So then the organization our recruiters had come from entered the forest.
We were on the outskirts of the forest, at a place they were calling Ake Base.
Over the past month, they had begun to map the forest and determine why so many hadn’t returned. The reason was illogical- the forest was bigger than the island itself.
Drones that ventured in should have come out the other side- yet remained inside the forest, encountering bizarre phenomena and creatures undocumented.
Every so often, the forest would slope downwards, revealing a new layer with new and distinct ecosystems.
“Recently though,” Canopy concluded, “we’ve lost contact with several outposts in the third layer to eighth layers.” He changed the slide to one of the lost outposts, standing alone amidst a vibrant, alien forest. “You enter the forest, get to your team’s assigned outpost, get back out with the data and you’ll be set for life.”
“Does anyone choose to rescind their agreement?” the woman asked. “It’s either death, or this, and frankly, your chances here aren’t that better.”
There were some who raised their hands. “Hell no!” a man shouted. “I’m goin’ back to life!” The woman had them taken away. We heard gunfire outdoors. No life row for him.
Whoever they were- they were serious about this.
They started to call out names and assign teams.
My team, was small, four of us. There was a mercenary named Leo who kept talking about the food the organization had brought us. He seemed pleasant, charismatic, and I almost forgot he was a criminal.
There was a scientist called Anya who, as she joked, was ‘serving infinite life sentences’ for crimes against humanity. She was given the codes and a booklet of things to watch out for in what they called the ‘Sea of Green’.
Then there was Gail. She was quieter than the three of us, and had an almost eerie vibe to her. She didn’t tell us what she’d done to get here, but she was there nonetheless.
Thankfully, we were given the closest- and safest outpost. A little place in Layer Three, marked by the map as only a few hours walk away.
We set off the next day.
The forest, in the beginning, seemed to almost invite us in. The birds chirped and danced, unafraid of mankind. We even fed them the nuts we’d been given as breakfast rations, which they seemed to enjoy.
About an hour in, things changed. The light from the sun barely pierced the canopy, and at times, we had to utilize our flashlights to see what was in front of us. Leo took the lead, hacking away at the branch and vine in front of us.
The forest was starting to look like a jungle- and yet, as we traversed it never seemed to choose which one it wanted to be.
“Wait!” Anya hissed, as we crossed a stream that seemed oddly familiar. She read from the booklet, then to the map on tablets we’d been given. “We’ve made a circle.”
Leo shook his head. “That’s impossible,” he insisted. “I don’t remember turning.”
“Yeah,” I agreed, catching up from behind.
Anya shared the booklet. “It’s one first phenomena researchers encounter,” she explained. “This place plays tricks on us- we need to follow the stream.”
“But then,” Gail pointed out, “we’d be going in the wrong direction.”
“Trust the book,” Anya concluded. We followed the stream then, and the path started to grow denser, as if the forest hated us for traveling further. But the path was right, and the forest changed as we journeyed.
An hour later the forest had changed. It had sloped downwards a bit, inviting us to the second layer of the maze. The trees seemed higher, and the light was now gone completely.
This was when we started to hear it. Click-click.
“What was that?” I asked, turning. Click-click.
Anya rushed through the book. “It’s not documented.”
Click-click. And then we saw lights in the distance, lights that as we continued walking, were revealed to us as bulbous fruit on the trees that glowed an eerie electric blue.
Click-click. “You sure it’s not in that book?” Leo questioned, switching his machete out for a gun. Click-click.
The clicks were getting louder, each one sending a jolt of uneasy fear down my spine. We moved closer together now, fearing the unknown that were in these- A bush in front of us rustled. Leo aimed his weapon.
A deer- no, something like a deer popped out, gently squawking. It was… wrong in every sense, but it seemed more occupied in chewing a flower than us.
The small creature had the antlers of a deer, yes, but it also had the face of an old man. Not to mention six fists full of thumbs at the end of its legs. It inspected a glowing fruit with it’s odd thumbs.
“Ew,” Gail commented, disgusted. “What the hell is that?”
Anya didn’t have time to look for answers before a black, insectine limp shot out of one of the bulbous fruits and impaled the deer-thing. It screamed an all too human scream and struggled.
We backed away- and by then, the noise was overwhelming. Click-clickClick-clickClick-clickClickclickClickclickClick-clickClick-click. They erupted from every single one of the bulbous fruits, and things began to pour out of them.
The limbs, see, were attached to a head. The a simple sphere that opened into buzzsaws of teeth that grotesquely clicked as they opened. The face-deer only screamed as the clicking creatures devoured it.
“Run!” Leo reminded, shooting as some started to near us. “Run!”
That shook us out, and we ran, terror in our very veins. They seemed more interested in the fallen deer than us- but we still ran until we could no longer.
Actually, it was until I fell off and entered the third layer.
A weight appeared on my chest and I fought it off, thinking I was about to die- but the soft, furry creature atop me jumped off. It wasn’t one of the clicking monsters.
And then I realized the third layer was bright. The trees themselves were glowing now, not the insect fruits of before. And there were a whole host of new, bizarre creatures.
The thing I’d pushed off was some sort of rabbit, covered in glowing blue stripes. If layer two had been a forest of darkness this was it’s very opposite.
In the skies there were ribbons of glowing creatures- thin kites on an unseen wind. The trees were alive with all sorts of furried friends, darting here and there and eating odd colored berries that didn’t seem real.
Anya pointed and spoke, “Look!” It was the outpost, in ruins.
“But what attacked it?” Gail murmured, as we walked over.
We entered through a hole in the wall. The place was oddly peaceful, calming, now home to bioluminescent little ants that dotted the place. Occasionally, one or two of the face-deer would appear, licking the dots up with twin tongues that emerged from it’s too-human face.
“Cute,” Leo joked, picking one up and stroking it. It screamed back at him, chilling and he dropped it. “Never doing that again.”
The place was… too peaceful. And- “what happened to their bodies?” I posited. “If they were attacked- where’s their blood? Their corpses?”
Anya shrugged. “It is odd- perhaps they got devoured.” She gestured to the many oddities around us. “But you’re right, there should be bones, at least.”
This was when we heard the screaming. And all of a sudden every single creature retreated away, disappearing from view, save for the tiny ants inside with us. The screaming was a cacophony of voices, realer than the ones we’d heard from the face-deer.
“I think we need to go,” Leo whispered, holding out the red ‘data module’ in his hands. “Now.”
The screaming got ever closer, and the trees in front of the outpost, beyond a window, started to shake. “I concur.”
We were backing away when we heard the squelching of something loud and heavy. Turning around, we saw the screaming creature we’d heard. It was massive, fleshy, and filled with tiny gaping holes, some filled with eyes, all rising, breathing as one.
I nearly threw up. But that was for a different reason.
The holes were one thing. But the screaming, severed bodies of dozens of people attached the the eye-full monster was another. They screamed and screamed, their bodies unneatly joined and sown into the creature.
It sniffed the air and walked over to the glass, looking in as we hid. “What is it?” I squealed. “What the hell is that?”
The face of a victim in military clothes appeared at the window, screaming, face slowly popping, skin repairing and being digested all at once. Anya flipped through the pages. “They called it a Fleshweave. It absorbs bodies and eats them that way.”
That would explain the lack of bodies we’d seen.
The window shattered- and the thing began to force itself on it, flesh turning to churned cylinders through the window. The bodies, crushed further, screamed some more.
So we ran as the beasts fell into the room with a plop. And despite it’s heavy, gluttonous form it charged forwards, faster than it looked.
Out the outpost we went. I felt a meaty hand hit me and then I fell. It stalked towards me, but a gunshot from Leo burst it’s pus-ridden hand, covered my in grotesque, viscous liquid.
I picked myself up and ran from the screaming thing, up the steep slope and climbing onto the second layer.
I fell again, but Anya caught me, helping me up.
Leo did the same for Gail- but she slipped and fell back into the third layer. The thing approached her, all of it’s pulsing eyes upon her. “Help me!” she bellowed. “Don’t leave me-”
Leo prepared to jump down- but it was too late. The Fleshweave simply picked her up and it opened it’s skin, forging her into her body- er, her top half,- it severed the rest.
“Go!” I snapped, dragging the mercenary to action. The creature behind us lifted itself onto the dark forest and continued to follow.
Gail, merged with the other unfortunate bodies, screamed. I almost stopped in terror from the sound, but flight-or-fight forced me to continue.
Click-click. We found ourselves back in the center of the abode with the insect fruit. And the insects were clearly attracted to the stench of decay the monster emanated. Limbs emerged, and the face-beetles jumped up and swarmed the creatures.
I don't know if the creature was killed by it. I only remember Gail’s face as the insects started to pick her body- and so many others like her- apart.
The way out seemed harder than going in, but we made it. We survived. We reached the outpost and handed our data module to the man who’d offered us the deal. “Impressive,” he congratulated. “You’re the first team back.”
“I want out now,” I panted. “Back to real life.”
He patted me on the shoulder and gave me a sad smile. “According to the world you’ve already died by suicide in your cell,” he informed. “See, there’s a way the people I work for have operated so cleanly for the past few centuries.” He paused and took a step back. “We can’t afford loose ends, see, and you’ve shown us you have the guts to survive Bandai La- er, the Sea of Green.”
I took a step back, panicking. “What do you mean?”
He sighed. “We can’t give you a new life and risk exposing our operation here,” he explained. “And we still need ah, expendable people to lead us to whatever’s in the center of the island.” He handed me a can of soda. “Welcome to your new life. The Company really values your dedication as a treasured employee.”
But I don’t want this. I was promised freedom. And they can’t keep me from exposing them- I’ve typed this up and Anya did something to the tablet so I can receive and post things online.
I’m not sure if this’ll work. But if it is: I’m on an island somewhere in the Java Sea. There’s a forest that goes on forever and I’m being held as some sort of explorer by some Company.
Find me. Before I die.
submitted by Archives-H
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2023.05.30 22:20 zaken 2 weeks post surgery
Previous post: https://www.reddit.com/valvereplacement/comments/1363zn2/surgery_in_2_weeks/
Bio: male, early 30s, bicuspid aortic valve, severe aortic regurgitation, severe 6.9cm LVEDD, 3.5cm mild ascending aorta aneurysm, no symptoms other than a significant heart murmur and a visible bounding pulse in my neck. I had the David procedure done, which is an open heart surgery where they repair the aortic valve and replace the aorta root with a synthetic graft. The native valve is placed inside the graft. Day before surgery:
I spent the day hanging out with my wife and daughter. My parents also flew in the night before to help take care of my kid while my wife and I would be in the hospital. I'm quite fortunate to have had essentially no anxiety leading up to the day. From my point of view, I didn't really have to do much of anything so there was nothing to be anxious about :) I tend to only get anxious before a performance or presentation or things like that where I'm responsible for executing something.
Before bed, I washed with the special antibacterial soap and we changed the bed sheets, pillow cases, and my PJs. Chugged a good liter of water before going to bed. Day of surgery
: Woke up at 4:30am. Showered again with the special antibacterial soap. Said bye to my parents and drove with my wife to the hospital for 6am check-in. The surgery itself would start at 8am. They called my up at around 7am to start prep. I hugged my wife in the waiting area and followed the nurse into the pre-op area where they shaved my chest and legs, wiped me down with some antiseptic wipes, and placed an IV. I waited for about 30 minutes once I was prepped, mostly browsing reddit on my phone and sending funny faces to my wife since I was wearing a dorky shower cap thing, before a team of 2 anesthesiologists came and confirmed all the details about the procedure. They wheeled me off into the OR. The last thing I remember is an anesthesiologist apologizing for all the "stickers" (ECG electrodes I think?) they were putting on me. I have no memory of them starting the anesthesia itself (like the mask or IV; no memory of counting down from 5 or anything like that).
A blink of an eye later, I had teleported to the ICU and woke up with a breathing tube, 3 chest tubes, a Foley cather, and like 3-4 more IVs and arterial lines that I had no memory of (left wrist, right wrist, right elbow, right side of the neck, possibly left elbow? Can't recall). It was slightly uncomfortable but absolutely no pain at all. The most uncomfortable thing was that the breathing machine seemed to have its own cadence for breathing and I wanted to breath my own way. I asked them to remove it but the ICU nurse said it was still too early and they wanted to wait another couple of hours. I was still pretty out of it and I'm pretty sure I was falling asleep here and there. My wife told me that the surgeon had come by and said the surgery went very well, and they were able to repair my valve. There was still some mild regurgitation remaining apparently, but nothing to worry about.
That evening, they removed the breathing tube and I had a bit more awareness. The anesthesia was wearing off and I was starting to feel pain in my lungs, which turned out to be from the chest tubes. Initially it wasn't too bad but over the next couple of days it got quite painful if I ever tried to take a deep breath. So I was taking quite shallow breaths and didn't really want to use the incentive spirometer
Woke up in the middle of the night with severe pain in my right lung and summoned my nurse, who administered dilaudid through my IV and it quickly got better. Day 2:
I was surprised to learn that the pain meds weren't scheduled, and they would only administer them if I asked for it. I was approved for 650mg Tylenol every 6 hours, 10mg oxycodone every 6 hours, and some amount (can't recall) of dilaudid and gabapentin. My recommendation would be to set some timers to ask for the pain meds on a regular cadence to avoid it getting out of hand. My right lung was by far the worst, spiking up to 7-8 on the pain scale whenever I took a deep breath, and holding at 3-4 during shallow breaths. No real pain anywhere else, including the incision.
One of the medicines they administered twice was a day was a Heparin shot, which reduces blood clots. It has to be administered subcutaneously which I found to be quite painful, and I grew to look forward the least to this medication. They also had me on metoprolol for blood pressure.
Around mid-day, they removed the Foley catheter which I would miss -- it was quite nice not to have to worry about urination. They had me get up for the first time, drink some chicken broth, and get weighed. I had gained 16lbs in fluids (160lbs -> 176lbs) so they started me on lasix to eliminate some of that. A PT guy came and had me walk to the neighboring unit and back (about 1 minute of walking) and told me to start practicing my incentive spirometer. I wasn't able to get it any higher than 500 before my right lung would start to hurt.
Soon after, they said I was ready to move out of the ICU. A transport person came, helped me into a wheel chair, and wheeled me off. I settled into the new room. Someone came to take some chest X rays with a mobile X ray machine. It shows I had a mild pneumothorax in my right lung; maybe that was why it was painful. They didn't seem concerned about it and said it would hurt less once the chest tubes came out. Day 3:
One of the chest tubes seemed to be done draining, so they came to remove it. It honestly wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. They had me exhale and hum while they pulled it out in one go. Took about 3 seconds and felt funny, but no pain. My right lung pain immediately got better. I was suddenly able to breath a lot deeper than before and was getting my incentive spirometer up to 1000.
After this point, I never really experienced much pain ever again. Except for the god damn Heparin shots.
I kept drinking chicken broth and apple juice as my only source of calories, and the lasix were in full effect at this point so I was getting up every couple of hours to pee. I was something like 168lbs at this point (lost 8lbs of fluids).
I did 3 walks around the nurse station. About 5 minutes each. Had my first bowel movement somewhere around here. By evening time, my doctor cleared me for a regular diet and I ordered a bunch of fruits and a barley soup.
Getting in and out of bed was a chore -- I had to get help from a nurse every time. It took a good 5 minutes to organize all the tubes every time. Day 4:
The other 2 chest tubes came out, and also the pacing wires. Again no pain, just feels strange and ticklish. Easily tolerable. I suddenly had a ton more freedom. Without the chest tubes, I no longer needed the nurse to get in and out of bed. Tried to get in a couple of longer 10 minute walks, but it was definitely a lot harder. My heart rate would go up to 130 and I would need to go back to bed and lie down to get it back under 100.
I also noticed that sitting upright in a chair and eating food would also spike my heart rate, up into the 120s. I would be a little bit out of breath after eating and would need to lie down.
At mid day, they wheeled me off to get my first post-op echocardiogram. The echo results were very surprising: it showed mild-to-moderate
regurgitation, and a completely normal LV size -- 4.5cm LVEDD. My surgeon's PA came by to talk about it, and said that the surgeon disagrees with the echo tech's interpretation of the images and would still classify it as mild regurgitation. More importantly, during surgery when direct visual inspection is possible, it apparently looked quite good. They think once the lasix fully drain me of all the excess fluid, there will be less regurgitation. I asked if it's really possible for the LV to shrink so dramatically in just 4 days (6.9cm to 4.5cm) and she said yep, and in fact it's a sign that the valve is working well. I think I wont really find closure on this until my next echo which is probably many months away so I'm putting it out of mind.
They did say they would switch me from metoprolol to hydralazine, which also reduces blood pressure but has the side effect of increasing the heart rate. Apparently a faster heart rate would be good in my situation to help the valve heal (I guess because faster heart rate = lower volume of blood that is pumped?).
To my surprise, the PA said they were going to discharge me ahead of schedule since I met all the necessary criteria. My blood pressure was pretty steady at around 120/80. I was a bit conflicted since it felt safe at the hospital, but I also did not want any more god damn Heparin shots so I agreed to go home.
At home, I had a wedge pillow but it was a royal PITA to get in and out of bed so I impulse ordered an power lift chair rental which they dropped off the next day. Day 5:
The lift chair arrived, which was amazing. I no longer needed help from my family to get in and out of a horizontal position. I did find that it was important to be horizontal to get my heart rate under control with the hydralazine. Lying completely flat, I was at 100 BPM. Sitting up would take me to 110. Eating would get me to 120 and walking would get me to 130. I would need to go lie down after eating or walking to catch my breath and get my heart rate down.
I went for my first outside walk, where I walked about 4 houses down and back (5 minutes).
I took my first shower sitting on a shower stool. I was very cold after -- probably another side effect of the hydralazine as well -- and struggled to warm back up in bed. I was shivering and was worried for a bit whether I had an infection, but my temperature was normal so I think I was just cold.
My appetite wasn't very good and didn't want to eat what my family had cooked for me. I preferred cold, sweet things and ate a lot of honey net cheerios with cold milk.
I filled my hydralazine in oxycodone prescription, and picked up some tylenol as well. I used the oxy once on day 5, and didn't find the need for it after. I was able to get by just fine with tylenol. Day 6-10:
More of the same. Appetite got a lot better and started eating normally. By day 10, I was able to slowly walk a good 15 minutes in one go, about .5 miles. Around this time I also stopped using the lift chair and was able to get in and out of bed solo without too much difficulty. I also no longer needed the shower stool. It was a bit of a regret to spend a bunch of money on the stool, wedge pillow, and lift chair only to use them for 3-4 days, but they did make those few days quite a bit easier so I'm convincing myself it was money well spent. Day 11-14:
Rapid improvement -- on day 14 I was able to walk 1 mile in 20 minutes, and did it 3 times that day. Heart rate is down to 90 at rest now, and eating doesn't really increase it much. I feel good enough to go back to work honestly (just a desk job, and can work from home). I was half thinking I should try jogging, but I have cardiac therapy starting in a couple of weeks so I'll save my energy for that.
I'm still on the hydralazine and tylenol. I have essentially no pain as long as I'm maintaining the sternal precautions. I'm considering stopping the tylenol to see how it goes.
All in all, I have to say it was a pretty smooth experience and wasn't that bad at all. It seems like it's not completely unlikely that I'll need another surgery in the far future, though hopefully it's at least 15-20 years away. But if it's going to be anything like this, then I really have nothing to worry about. My wife tore her ACL in a skiing accident a few years ago and I have to say the recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery was a lot harder than this!
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2023.05.30 22:19 TheWrongDimension Starry-Eyed (Fan Fiction)
Statemeant of, Estella Freeman, regarding her experiences during an audition for a film rendition of Macbeth. Original Statement given on November 21, 2008. Audio recording by Jonathan Sims, Head Archivist of the Magnus Institute, London.
I appreciate your discretion. I could tell you recognized me the moment I sat down. I'm sure you can appreciate what an actress of my caliber has to deal with whenever I interact with the public. It can be nauseating, people swooning over you asking for an autograph or a picture or what have you. I’ve been an actress for almost 30 years and I can tell you it's really refreshing whenever I can find a moment to just be with other people and not have to talk about what your next big role is going to be, or how I was able to give such a performance in Destiny Walked North
You're no doubt acquainted with many of my films, A Passage to Burma,, In Search of Sunrise,
and of course everyone's favorite, Destiny Walked North.
Oh but you don't want to hear me talk about all that. Sigh,but then I suppose I do have to tell you about the little misunderstanding concerning one of my recent auditions. Look, I'm only agreeing to give this statement because my younger sister, Cathrine, insisted I talk to you and threatened to go to the tabloids if I didn't. It really is all just a bit of unpleasant nonsense I can assure you.
The audition in question was an upcoming film version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, directed by Dexter Banks. Dexter had decided he wanted to do a modern rendition of the play and had asked me to audition for the part of Lady Macbeth. Now I don't normally do Shakespeare. I find it the droll labor of lesser theater actors but Dexters a friend and I always try to help whenever I can so I agreed to the audition.
The scene in question is the well known sleepwalking scene that opens act 5 of the play. In it, Lady Macbeth is seen sleepwalking and delivers a powerful monologue wherein her guilt is laid to bare. The audition itself was done as a series of three takes which were all performed and recorded on a small set built to look like the interior of a modern day estate.
Everything started off fine. I had already delivered two flawless takes but Dexter had been unsatisfied. He said that my guilt did not appear genuine and suggested I try and find a memory to draw from for the final take. Now as I mentioned, I’ve been acting for 30 years and I dont need some director, friend or not, telling me how to get into character. Still, I didn't want to make a big deal about it and acquiesced to trying Dexter's way.
So that's what I did. It took a few moments but I suddenly remembered an incident from my childhood. I was about 10 or 11 at the time. One day while mum was out, I had taken some of her makeup to try on. You have to understand at that age I had started becoming interested in looking and dressing like a real woman and not some little girl. Anyway I knew it would make mum furious were she to catch me. I must have spent an hour meticulously applying the primer then foundation, followed by blush, eyeliner, and of course la touche finale
: mums ruby red lipstick. Now at some point during all this I must have lost track of time for no sooner had I finished applying the lipstick when I heard the sound of mum’s fumbling with the front latch. I knew there would be no time to properly put back all the cosmetics and clean my face. I was certain I would be caught when I had the sudden idea. I quickly gathered up all the cosmetics and dumped them into my younger sister Cathrine’s room then locked myself in the privy just as mum entered the house.
Needless to say my little scheme had worked perfectly for it was not but a few minutes more when I could hear mum angrily shouting at Catherine. By the time I had cleaned my face and emerged I found my little sister sobbing in the corner.
Sigh, but of course I could barely go a whole day with all that guilt and I eventually confessed. Mum was…well she was pretty tough and lets just say I got what was coming to me.
And so I concentrated on that moment and when Dexter yelled action I began that final take. I put everything I had into that take. The moment when Lady Macbeth looks at her hands for fear of stained blood, I imagined the red stain of my mother's lipstick and thought about the cries my sister had made when mum had throttled her.
At the scene's culmination I made a spontaneous decision to improvise. The scene normally requires Lady Macbeth to exit the stage but I choose instead to throw myself on the floor in dramatic fashion. And so I screamed “What's done cannot be undone.--To bed, to bed, to bed!” and fell to the floor, eyes closed. I lay there for a few moments waiting for Dexter to yell cut but… there was nothing. At first I thought that perhaps my performance had just stunned him and so I waited for a few more moments but still… nothing. Then I opened my eyes to the horror of an empty room. Dexter, the entire crew, they all were…gone. I was alone. I thought at first perhaps it was a joke, that the crew had somehow snuck away in those moments where I had closed my eyes but then I realized something else: There was no equipment, no cameras, no light fixtures, no director's chair. It was an empty set. Now it's possible that maybe Dexter and the crew could have slipped away while I was preoccupied with my audition, a practical joke while I was lost in the performance as it may. But there's no way they could have just moved all that equipment in the span of a one minute scene. I began to panic, calling out for Dexter, for anyone to answer, hoping that at any moment someone would pop out and I would realize it was all imagined, a hallucination perhaps. But no one popped out. There were no responses. No surprises or jokes. Just the sound of my own voice echoing off the walls.
And then I realized something else, something that truly terrified me: I was no longer standing on a small set but in the actual room itself. What I mean is that, as I said before, the set had been constructed to look like part of a room in a modern day estate, it even had a small fireplace for Lady Macbeth to warm her hands by during the scene. The set had been no more than 8 or 9 meters long at most but this…this was an entire room, not a set at all. What I might have called panic moments before had now coalesced into utter terror. I ran to one of the doors and found it opened into a hallway, one typical of any other house of this type, and like most hallways, I could see it led to other rooms. I moved forward down the corridor carefully. A bathroom on the right, a bedroom on the left, another bedroom, and further down, the hallway led into a formal sitting room. This was a house, just like the setting of Dexter's film. I cried out again, begging for someone, anyone to answer, but still nothing.
Then I heard something: A distinct whistle coming from somewhere not far away. I rushed back down the way I came, this time turning down an adjacent hallway toward the sound and emerged into what was clearly the kitchen. And sure enough there, on the stove, sat a steaming tea kettle over the soft glow of the stove's flame. “I know you're there!”, I called out. Clearly the kettle had been set by someone and whomever they were they were nearby. I could feel it. Like someone nearby was watching. Then suddenly I heard a loud thump, back toward the sitting room I had just left. I ran back and found that a fire now burned in the fireplace: The thump I heard was the sound of a smoldering log that had crumbled.
Now I will admit I am not a brave person, and in this particular set of circumstances to say I was terrified would have been an understatement. All the same, I do not enjoy being played with. Whatever this was, whatever was happening, it was clearly someone's idea of a joke. It must have been right? Bolstered by my anger I set out frantically searching the house, flinging open closet doors, searching under beds, all the while screaming, daring my tormentor to reveal themselves. But it was always the same, I would enter rooms that had clear signs of a recent presence: A lit cigarette in an ashtray, a running faucet. I would return to rooms I had left moments before and find objects had moved. A book lay open on a night stand where it had not been 5 minutes before. I started to think I was losing my sanity.
This went on for what seemed like 30 minutes when suddenly I had an impulse. A horrible dread filled me and I rushed over to a window and drew open the curtains. I don't know exactly how to describe what I saw. It looked like the English countryside, but a countryside that had been burned and ravaged beyond comprehension. What might have once been the rolling green hills of Cornwall or Wiltshire were now blackened monoliths of ashen waste. All across were ember colored cracks scared into the earth, littering the landscape like open sores. And when I looked up into that blood red sky where the sun should have been, I saw instead, a viscous orb of the deepest jet. I stared at it, unable to remove my gaze, watching as it would occasionally writhe and pulsate ever so slightly. And when it did, just for a moment, it looked almost like an eye that had blinked, a wretched sentry keeping watch over its wretched wasteland. I screamed. I mean at that point any shred of hope I had that this might be some elaborate hoax or prank was gone. This was a nightmare. A pure terrible nightmare.
It's hard to remember everything that happened next but I recall running through the house in a panic and somehow ending up back in the original room I had found myself in when all this began, the one that matched the set of the film. And when I looked up I saw that there now stood in the center of the room a loan movie camera, mounted on a tripod. It looked just like the ones the crew had used on the set; only this one was unmanned. It was, however , pointed right at me, and I could tell from the faint hum that it was running. We stared at each other for several moments in silence. I say we because I want to make it very clear that this wasn't just a camera, it was….I dunno, the…thing that had been watching me. I was certain. I can't tell you how I knew it but I just did.
Sigh, and then I did the only thing left I could think to do. I slowly, deliberately, got down on my knees, looked right into that camera, and I begged. I begged it to spare me, to show me mercy. To please take pity and absolve my wretched soul of whatever sins I had committed. To witness all the guilt I could lay to bare. But the camera said nothing. It just sat there silently filming, silently watching. I guess I must have collapsed at that point, probably from exhaustion.
When I regained consciousness I was back on the set of the audition, surrounded by Dexter and the rest of the crew. To my surprise everyone was clapping and Dexter was beaming. I thought perhaps it all had been some strange hallucination or day dream and I vaguely remember trying to compose myself before the sudden feeling of everything slipping away.
I assume I had passed out. At least that's what the nurses told me when I woke up in St. Thomas. Something about stress induced psychosis and how I needed to take it easier from now on, and how i wasnt 25 anymore and blah blah blah. I was there for 2 days I think. It doesn't really matter. And I never did get the part. It went to some up and coming twit, you know the one in all the vampire movies. Dexter didn't even bother to call to tell me. The nerve. You know after 5 films, all I've done for him the least that bastard could do was call to tell me he had decided to give the part to some younger harlot he was probably sleeping with.
I haven't done any more auditions. Haven't really got the stomach for it lately. I mean I know I could still get the parts, it's just ...well…I don’t think I could bear to be in front of the cameras. The way they just stare at you, watching, silently taking it all in. I mean I know it was probably all some sorta of stressed induced hallucination or whatever but deep down I don't think it was. You know lately when I am out walking, I stop and look up at the sky, just to check and make sure the sun is still there where it's supposed to be. Anyway I think that's everything
Sigh. There's so many things wrong with this statement. Where do I begin? I think the key words here are hallucinations and psychosis. Neither of which forms the foundation for verifiable fact. Then there is the issue of Ms. Freeman’s reliability. A quick IMDB search indicates that Estella Freeman was indeed an actress who appeared in several films including several by renowned director Dexter Banks. However, she was not, as her statement claims, cast in a lead role in any of them. Almost all of her credits are for minor roles, certainly none that would be considered star billing. According to public records that Sasha dug up, Estella Freeman was the oldest of two children born to Robert and Sally Freeman. She did have a younger sister named Catherine but she apparently passed away in an unspecified domestic accident at the age of 7, roughly the time Estella would have been 10 years old. She is listed as having attended the Croydon School of Acting before appearing in several minor film roles over an approximately 25 year period. On October the 13th, 2008 she was admitted to St. Thomas hospital where she was diagnosed and treated for stress induced fatigue and released on her own recognizance after 48 hours. Clearly Ms. Freeman is either suffering from delusions of grandeur or is a pathological liar, but in either case I think this is another dead end. I seem to recall that Dexter Banks appeared in another statement, but given my predecessor's penchant for disorganization, it may be years before I can track down that statement. Still, I’ve asked Martin to keep an eye out for it.
There is one other additional interesting fact. Tim really came through on this one and managed to obtain a copy of Ms. Freeman’s audition tape from that day. I don't know what guy or girl he had to sleep with to get it and I wont bother to ask. I reviewed the tape and it does indeed show Ms. Freeman performing 3 takes of the scene as she described in her statement. The first 2 are uneventful. However during the 3rd take, just as Ms. Freeman goes down on the floor, the tape cuts out to static. When it continues, it appears to show her acting rather hysterically before being assisted off the set by several crew members. Now what's interesting is that the video time stamps indicate only a few seconds elapsed during the time just before and after the cut out but the static itself plays for over 90 minutes. Still, it's not definitive proof of anything “supernatural”. End Recording. The Magnus Archives is a podcast distributed by Rusty Quill, and licensed under a creative commons attribution noncommercial share alike 4.0 international license. All the characters and settings referenced are the property of Rusty Quill in their entirety.
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2023.05.30 22:06 4668fgfj The Ironic Case For Nazbol
I am specifically referring to National Bolshevism
as the term was originally coined, rather than any group of people who may have labelled themselves "National Boshelviks" since. The term predates even the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922, let alone any other 20th century regime. The term was originally used by Karl Radek to describe two member he was expelling as "National Boshelviks". What these people wanted to do was align the revolutionary movement in Germany with that in Russia in mutual opposition to both the treaty of Versailles and the treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
I am specifically defending the prospect of this strategy in particular rather than specifically any person who might have been or could have been advocating for it and any ideas they might have had otherwise, not because it is national, or even bolshevik, but rather because I think it conforms with the idea in the Communist Manifesto of the role of Communists in relation to Proletarians where the Communists do not form separate political programs of their own and instead are supposed to align various proletarians movements together across nationality with respect to the current stage than any of those movements may find themselves in.
In what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?
The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties.
They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.
They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.
The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.
Therefore the irony of this position I am defending is that it was the one advocated for by people labelled National,
which would clearly seem to be contrary to being independent of nationality, and Bolshevik
who would seem to be sectarians seeking to mold to proletarian movement. The other irony is that for it to have been possible it would have required overcoming proletarian movements in different nationalities operating independent of one another, in addition to overcoming the sectarianism emerging between all the differing "Communist" movements. In other words this is another call in an endless stream of "stop infighting!" coupled with "everyone except for me is wrong" which just contributes to the infighting by creating a new sectarian divergence but there is very little that can be done about that. Mostly this is just an excuse to discuss a particular moment
I find interesting and inner contrarian in me just wants to make the seemingly most insane position seem the most reasonable as a challenge.
Lenin was not in favour of this so it was a bit of a non-starter. In "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder
he criticizes people who refuse to recognize the treaties, but in addition to the tendencies of so-called National Bolsheviks, he also criticized the Left-Communists that Karl Radek and the other German Revolutionaries were often members. Here we can start to see a problem emerging as you clearly have two different revolutionary movements in two different countries who are having difficulty working with each other (with the problem of the treaties between these countries not even being the main issue they were squabbling over). Indeed while not around long enough to have become officially a Left-Communist herself, Luxembourg is associated with them as her writings are cited as a major influence on the tendency, and she is notable for criticizing Lenin's Bolshevism.
There was a lot of confusion in this period and numerous tendencies diverging from one another, the reason being is that in the wake of the Russian Revolution and the end of the First World War there was a period of revolutionary activity across the entire world
. While Russia and Germany are often the most focused upon due to the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany being our core 20th century players and many seeing these revolutions as the origin points of these things with a compare and contrast analysis being done to understand while one failed and the other succeeded, in the light of understanding the world revolution as a wave, looking at just these two revolutions becomes parochial, as there was clearly one singular revolution going on across the world in the same way as during the Revolutions of 1848 where the Communist Manifesto was published.
Indeed Marx and Engels viewed that as a singular revolution and would have viewed the similar wave of revolutions that peaked in 1919 but spanned from 1917-1923 as a singular revolution. While differing in severity there was revolutionary activity in numerous countries ranging from the Two Red Years
in Italy to the much less impressive sounding Red Week
) in the Netherlands. Even as far away as Canada
, and South Africa
there were labour revolts in this period. The case of Canada is a bit emblematic of the obscurity of the scale of these events, as while the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919
is well known, much like with only Russia and Germany beings discussed, the strike wave
nature of the events in Canada just as in the world tends to fall out of discussion, as for instance this wave actually started with a general strike in Vancouver
that was crushed by the military.
In the Preface to the 1882 Russian Edition of the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels even suggested in the wake of the assassination of the Tsar Liberator that the impending Russian (bourgeois) Revolution would serve as a signal for the Western proletariat to have their Revolution, and that the Russian Revolution could end up being communist alongside the West.
And now Russia! During the Revolution of 1848-9, not only the European princes, but the European bourgeois as well, found their only salvation from the proletariat just beginning to awaken in Russian intervention. The Tsar was proclaimed the chief of European reaction. Today, he is a prisoner of war of the revolution in Gatchina, and Russia forms the vanguard of revolutionary action in Europe.
The Communist Manifesto had, as its object, the proclamation of the inevitable impending dissolution of modern bourgeois property. But in Russia we find, face-to-face with the rapidly flowering capitalist swindle and bourgeois property, just beginning to develop, more than half the land owned in common by the peasants. Now the question is: can the Russian obshchina, though greatly undermined, yet a form of primeval common ownership of land, pass directly to the higher form of Communist common ownership? Or, on the contrary, must it first pass through the same process of dissolution such as constitutes the historical evolution of the West?
The only answer to that possible today is this: If the Russian Revolution becomes the signal for a proletarian revolution in the West, so that both complement each other, the present Russian common ownership of land may serve as the starting point for a communist development.
Now 1882 didn't turn into a revolution in Russia and there were several false starts like in 1905, but eventually it did finally happen. However seemingly with Lenin's New Economic Policy, both scenarios discussed ended up needing to happen. The Russian Revolution was both Communist and they felt it impossible to transition straight into Communism and thus had to allow some kind of bourgeois property relation to develop, and then later on had to eliminate this thing they created themselves in a rather unfortunate series of events. Additionally while the Russian Revolution did prove to be a signal for the Western proletariat to have their revolution, the proletariat revolution failed. In the spirit of this discussion I'm going to be argue that these were not separate incidents but rather the failure of the western proletariat's revolution is why Lenin implemented the NEP in 1922, in part because of internal rebellions calling for these things and because the international revolution seemingly failed resulting in a loss of hope that the western proletariat would in some way save them, which had to result in some kind of proletarian vanguard party lead bourgeois state emerging on the fly. Stalin would later have to undo this both these consequences in the events he is most criticized for, as in addition to reversing the NEP with collectivization, he undid the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk when as Molotov said "One kick from the German army and another from the Soviet Army put an end to this ugly product of Versailles" in regards to Poland. Polish independence being quite the unfortunate sacrifice here considering how supportive of it Engels was in the 1892 Polish Preface the the Communist Manifesto.
But the rapid development of Polish industry, outstripping that of Russia, is in its turn a new proof of the inexhaustible vitality of the Polish people and a new guarantee of its impending national restoration. And the restoration of an independent and strong Poland is a matter which concerns not only the Poles but all of us. A sincere international collaboration of the European nations is possible only if each of these nations is fully autonomous in its own house. The Revolution of 1848, which under the banner of the proletariat, after all, merely let the proletarian fighters do the work of the bourgeoisie, also secured the independence of Italy, Germany and Hungary through its testamentary executors, Louis Bonaparte and Bismarck; but Poland, which since 1792 had done more for the Revolution than all these three together, was left to its own resources when it succumbed in 1863 to a tenfold greater Russian force. The nobility could neither maintain nor regain Polish independence; today, to the bourgeoisie, this independence is, to say the last, immaterial. Nevertheless, it is a necessity for the harmonious collaboration of the European nations. It can be gained only by the young Polish proletariat, and in its hands it is secure. For the workers of all the rest of Europe need the independence of Poland just as much as the Polish workers themselves. (The call for "full autonomy in a nations own house" is probably worth explaining. Nations that should be autonomous are nations which can be autonomous all on their own without international meddling. Engels was notoriously against all the south slavs for their pan-slavism because their independence was necessitated by interference from Imperial Russia, in part because he was still mad about the revolutions of 1848 not working out. He was even still mad at them 34 years later when he reaffirmed Polish independence alongside Irish independence as the most crucial national struggles to support. The reason being that Poland rejected pan-Slavism and was instead independently nationalist. That Poland could stand alone (and more importantly that Polish agitation threatened three reactionary imperial monarchies in Germany, Austria, and Russia at the same time. Ireland being important to screw around with the bourgeois British Empire as Marx and Engels increasingly saw the absentee revenues the British ruling class generated for themselves in Ireland as being the key to their parliamentary political dominance in England against both lower class and anti-imperialist challenges which were often the same thing) is why Polish independence was so supported. Standing alone is important because autonomous nations can switch between the rule of various classes without the risk of foreign interference on the part of imperialist reactionaries putting things back the way they were to protect their sphere of influence. The issue is that Polish independence ended up being a thorn in the side of the revolution when Polish independence was granted through Wilsonian liberal internationalism and during the Russian Civil War the Red Army tried and failed to retaliate against Poland when they joined forces with the Entente Liberal Imperialists in the Soviet-Poland War. For NATO fans the opposition to NATO comes from this concept of being against spheres of influence, with a preference for complete independence. The Soviets or even Russia joining NATO however transform the institution from an American sphere of influence into just some vague "nobody invade anybody else okay guys thanks" treaty which is what it is sold as. So long as Russia is not included in NATO it fails to fulfill its stated purpose, and it must be opposed because it does not protect the independence of the nations within it, rather it makes them subservient to the United States, and the counter-balance of Russia inside the block is sufficient that the nations within it could seamlessly transfer between spheres of influence, or more importantly, not be in anyone's sphere of influence by successfully playing the US and Russia off each other, which puts each nation in a position to pursue development with little risk of the alliance being used to punish them. In fact if say Luxembourg decided to go rogue it could even use the NATO treaty to argue that anyone infringing upon them should be subjected to retaliation by all the other members, and now they have a socialist Luxembourg in the middle of Europe and they can't do anything about it because the treaty guarantees their independence with multiple dozen moving parts so long as Luxembourg doesn't militarily invade anybody. However if the organization is nothing more that an American political block with US bases every where, clearly the US would be able to pressure people into recognizing the socialist Luxembourg as illegitimate in some way and argue it can be invaded without requiring everyone come to its defense. So NATO good if Russia included and US bases removed, an in NATO Russia still isn't a threat to even Estonia if dozens of European countries are required to defend it, and that isn't even considering a late arrival of the US and Canada when they finally cross the Atlantic. The problem with NATO is that it is clearly an unofficial loosely held US empire, it stops being a problem when it is no longer this)
This whole confused mess could have been avoided had the world revolution not failed. This circles back to the Russian and German revolutions and how they were not united. Therefore the position of those labelled Nazbol is attractive merely for the sake that it would have united these two disparate revolutions. The success of either was reliant on the success of the other. The prior Bolshevik position of Peace Without Annexations or Indemnities
would permanently lock in the Russian and German revolutions together in a mutual opposition to the bourgeois treaties, a pact of blood to oppose the pacts signed in ink.
Additionally opposition to the indemnity aspect of the treaty of Versailles would have been in fidelity to the revolutionary history of the Paris Commune which inspired the notion of the dictatorship of the proletariat in 1871, which was prompted in part by opposition to the burden of the reparation payments imposed on France by Bismark in response to Napolean III's failed invasion being placed on the people of France by the bourgeois government that signed that treaty. On a global scale while the opportunity for revolution by the proletariat refusing to enter World War One was squandered by the Social Democrats granting their permission, the proletariat could instead refuse to exit World War One by not granting their permission for acceptance of the bourgeois treaties just as the Paris Commune refused to accept Bismark's treaty.
Indeed opposition to the bourgeois Treaty of Trianon served as the basis for cooperation between the Nationalists and the Communists in Hungary, who unlike the Luxembourgists in Germany, were internationally aligned with the Boshelviks in Russia with the establishment of the Hungarian Soviet Republic
. The alliance however broke down with the establishment of the Slovak Soviet Republic
as the Hungarian nationalists questioned why they were participating in the Hungarian Red Army if they were just going to be liberating other countries, this ended up not even being that relevant of a dispute seeing as Slovakia was never fully captured and the Czechoslovak army ended up recapturing it in a month and so the issue only lasted from June 1919 to July 1919. However it exposed the core obvious problem with the alliance between nationalists and communists, as the full Petrograd formula was "peace without annexations or indemnities, on the basis of self-determination of the peoples
" so the nationalists opposed to treaties were not going to like it when the second part got implemented later.
Lenin and Stalin ran into a similar issue when Stalin opposed Georgian self-determination
in 1922 and wanted them to instead join Russia, with the comical situation of Stalin calling the Georgian Mensheviks "nationalist-socialists" and the Russian Lenin accusing the Georgian Stalin of being a Russian nationalist-socialist in response. We can clearly see that there are vastly differing views on the questions of nationality all over the place and there was no one line being taken, with Hungary and Germany taking vastly different views in regards to the treaties and cooperation with nationalists, to their own unique sets of problems later on with them.
The vastly different ways everyone was handling these issues is why I argue that the best principle would have been to have no principles at all. The only communist principle in regards to nationality is international cooperation. Indeed while you had Communist revolutions in German, Hungary, and Russia, the common thread uniting them of opposition to the bourgeois treaties would have also united them with the liberal Kemalist revolution in Turkey, thus completing the alignment of all revolutionaries in the central powers and Imperial Russia against the rest of the entente attempting to impose the bourgeois treaties, in effect adding Russia to the central powers after the imperialist war had turned into a civil war in all four imperial monarchies. That Turkey was in a vastly different stage of revolution than the other three would be irrelevant as these revolutions would still be mutually supporting of each other, and the Communists could rest assured safely knowing that while differing countries might be in different stages of revolution, they had the advantage over all others in knowing the ultimate end result of all their revolutions even if the people operating in them might not know it themselves.
The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.
As such the notion that one needs to be politically Communist to participate in the revolution is false. So long as a state of revolution remained the stages of the revolution could continue moving forward. If Turkey was not materially ready for it, that need not matter so long as the Kemalists were willing to join in an anti-imperialist block in the mean time, which they were willing to do until the Soviets later started looking at the straights with desire which eventually pushed Turkey into the arms of NATO where it remains to this day. However at the time the Soviets and Turkey were quite friendly despite their obvious ideological differences merely based on this mutual geopolitical interest in so-called anti-imperialism. This anti-imperialism was selective however, with the "Mountain Turks" and "Mountain Russians" being sacrificed for it, but the benefits of not having principles means you don't exactly have to care about that. Ataturk can make poutine out of the Kurds all he wants if he remains staunchly anti-imperialist on an international level. This gross cynical realism while obviously questionable is still consistent with Revolutionary History as all prior revolutions do not stand up to moral scrutiny when they are viewed in this way. In fact at the twilight of the 1848 revolutions Engels himself
called for the Hungarians to wipeout the "counter-revolutionary" Slavs, while this is obviously not something we should want to have happened, and we definitely should not ever do this if we ever find ourselves in a position to make those decisions, it is important to understand the reasoning behind why he was saying those things, that it is the continuance of the revolution itself is both the most important thing, and something that is largely out of anyone's control in the Hegelian sense of Historicism.
The Magyar cause is not in such a bad way as mercenary black-and-yellow [colours of the Austrian flag] enthusiasm would have us believe. The Magyars are not yet defeated. But if they fall, they will fall gloriously, as the last heroes of the 1848 revolution, and only for a short time. Then for a time the Slav counter-revolution will sweep down on the Austrian monarchy with all its barbarity, and the camarilla will see what sort of allies it has. But at the first victorious uprising of the French proletariat, which Louis Napoleon is striving with all his might to conjure up, the Austrian Germans and Magyars will be set free and wreak a bloody revenge on the Slav barbarians. The general war which will then break out will smash this Slav Sonderbund and wipe out all these petty hidebound nations, down to their very names.
The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward.
A key fact you will observe is that they are often quite over eager in announcing the impending revolution. For instance The Magyar Struggle was published in January of 1849 in Marx's Newspaper, and Louis Napoleon was elected President of France in December of 1848. It seems as if they might have thought that this would have been more significant than it actually turned out to be. This kind of made sense though because Louis Napoleon's main opponent in the election was Louis-Eugene Cavagnac who lead the army to suppress a worker's uprising in Paris back in the "June Days" of 1848. Additionally the Hungarians did not do this, instead they adopted cultural assimilation policies called Magyarization, and late in the revolution into 1849 while the Russian and Austria Imperial armies were barring down on them they adopted minority right protections to try to win them back. However they were ultimately unsuccessful in repelling the Russian invasion regardless of any attempts at outreach.
What I find notable about this is that Engels essentially predicted the sides of the "next world war" (albeit there was a world war in between) that would wipeout entire peoples, but somehow ended up reversing the reactionary and revolutionary sides, as an Austrian German and the Hungarians did engage in a war against the Slavs, but because somehow the "poles of revolution" did somehow invert and head outwards from Russia like Engels said the Slavs supposedly wanted, that war was against the revolution instead of for it.
There is no country in Europe which does not have in some corner or other one or several ruined fragments of peoples, the remnant of a former population that was suppressed and held in bondage by the nation which later became the main vehicle of historical development. These relics of a nation mercilessly trampled under foot in the course of history, as Hegel says, these residual fragments of peoples always become fanatical standard-bearers of counter-revolution and remain so until their complete extirpation or loss of their national character, just as their whole existence in general is itself a protest against a great historical revolution.
Such, in Scotland, are the Gaels, the supporters of the Stuarts from 1640 to 1745.
Such, in France, are the Bretons, the supporters of the Bourbons from 1792 to 1800.
Such, in Spain, are the Basques, the supporters of Don Carlos.
Such, in Austria, are the pan-Slavist Southern Slavs, who are nothing but the residual fragment of peoples, resulting from an extremely confused thousand years of development. That this residual fragment, which is likewise extremely confused, sees its salvation only in a reversal of the whole European movement, which in its view ought to go not from west to east, but from east to west, and that for it the instrument of liberation and the bond of unity is the Russian knout — that is the most natural thing in the world.
However a lot can apparently change in almost 100 years. Russia was once seen as the bastion of reaction celebrated by the reactionaries everywhere for having invaded Hungary to put down the 1848-9 revolution, but then became the center of revolution, taking that spot from France which didn't really participate in the Revolutions despite the 1917 mutinies defused in June by Philip Petain by reassuring the soldiers by calling off the offensives that were intended to try to reassure the Provision Russian Government from the February Revolution to stay in the war and who launched the "Kerensky Offensive" in July which prompted the unsuccessful "July Days" Bolshevik uprising before the later successful October Revolution.
The absence of French participation beyond this is remarkable given how much they played a role in other revolutions and also remarkable how it was later Vichy leader Petain himself who basically defused the situation by giving the soldiers what they wanted and ending the suicidal offensives. The difference between Petain and Kerensky here and that the Russian revolution had not yet gone proletariat at this point while France was dealing with its own situation coming up from the soldiers and that the Russian version of this happened only a month afterwards should probably be focused on more here, in addition to how the differing approaches countries took on simultaneous and similar events from 1917-1923 should be analyzed like how I am suggesting (Comprehensive Revolutionary History of World War One when? Honestly I might write it at this point, issue is wikipedia as sources is probably not the greatest, and wikipedia article bouncing is how I'm formulating these connections as it requires an extremely shallow understanding of a lot of things that people with deep understandings of those things would all reject because I'm ignoring intricacies, despite ignoring intricacies being the entire point as intricacies are caused by random eddies and chaotic currents, and so must be ignored if you want to get a sense of the overall direction things are going, although admittedly I feel myself getting a bit schizo when I assert random concepts whole cloth that nobody has ever used by anyone besides me as you will see with the term "global political magnetic field collapse")
Since the Russian Revolution the apparent "pole of reaction" where global reactionaries collect as their refuge that Russia represented seemingly shifted to the United States for the Cold War after the pole reversal and global political magnetic field collapse manifesting in the out of place auroral borealis of the inter-war period and world war 2. It would be reasonable to assume that it would be just as possible for the United States to become a new center of revolution in the way Russia took that position from France despite Russia being the most reactionary power of anyone before that happened.
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2023.05.30 22:04 rodbellsdiner Would you stay in this job?
I'm working in a healthcare related job that I just started three weeks ago. It's a job I was really excited about getting. It's what I wanted to do. It's more money. The hours are great and I have holidays off. My old job offered me a promotion with more money and I turned it down for this new job.
But I don't really like the culture. I'm so used to working in hospitals but this a surgery center and it's different. Even though there's females and males working here, it's very "bro"-ey in a douche way. It's also very white (no offense to anyone white) and not a very diverse crowd. I'm mostly white myself but I do prefer a mixed crowd. There's maybe 10 black nurses and an Asian tech. And there's like 150 employees at this place.
The way some of them talk is homophobic and racist, although its very subtle to the point where you're not sure if it is or not. One guy told me you can get away with saying anything you want at this job and you need to have thick skin. There's a part of me that is uncomfortable and wants to leave. But there's another part of me that wants to grow some balls and not run away. I feel like I don't fit in but it's also only been three weeks.
There's an Asian guy who works with me and one of the surgeons was mocking how he talked and the Asian guy laughed and made a joke out of it. And I wish I could be like him and just laugh this stuff off.
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2023.05.30 21:55 Responsible_Method77 In dire need of help. Ndad and enabler mom getting out of hand.
I'm a 22-year-old woman who was raised by a neglectful, cunning, arrogant, and self-centered dad (who I suspect to have NPD) and a controlling, gaslighting, emotionally abusive, enabler mother. The relationship between my parents is also not great, as my father was unfaithful to my mother on several occasions, subjecting her to mental and emotional abuse, forbidding her to work, and continuously complaining about household chores.
Living in a culture that doesn't recognize women's empowerment and freedom, I have been unable to escape this miserable household with my two younger sisters. As Indian residents living in the Middle East, we are in dire need of help.
My father's actions toward us have been unforgivable, cruel, and malicious.
▪︎ He recently abandoned my beloved cat that I raised for 2 years in an unknown place to replace him with a younger kitten. It happened a week ago and he refuses to tell us where it is. He claims it was to demonstrate to my mother how easily he can discard her for someone younger and that he is unaffected by emotions. However, I cannot understand why my cat deserved such inhumane treatment. I miss him to bits and can't stop thinking or crying about him.
▪︎ Another cruel incident occurred when my mother was admitted to the hospital with an intestinal blockage and needed my father's support. Instead, he was out partying and singing, completely neglecting her. Despite the difficulties my mother has caused me, I was appalled at my father's heartless conduct. He seeks praise, attention, and compliments from strangers by attending parties and singing for them.
▪︎ But nothing compares to the trauma that he inflicted when he violently forced me to agree to a marriage to a man that I do not want to be with by emotionally and physically torturing me and my sisters. He threatened to murder us all, rip our faces off with a knife or sell us to a black market if I did not agree to this marriage. I was on my period and I usually have terrible cramps. It was one of those days when he kicked so hard repeatedly on my back and slapped my face until I almost fainted. He knocked my sister unconscious by slapping her face several times because she cried for help. He threatened to abandon us on the streets without any financial support or cut us into pieces and bury those pieces in a desert.
▪︎ All my friends and relatives who came to our aid were threatened and blackmailed by him. He cut off all ties with them, ensuring that they would suffer if they dared to help us.
▪︎ He always called us names, body-shamed us and told us that we deserve to be on the streets, that we can only be prostitutes or beggars and are worth nothing more than that. He has a disgusting perception of women in general. He told us we will definitely get raped by men out there if we don't have our dad in our lives. Furthermore, he stated that only men can give us lives, and if women look forward to being independent, their legs must be broken and they must be forced to serve the men in the household.
▪︎ I was stopped from pursuing my higher education after high school, unlike my peers. I wasted 3 years of my life from 2019 until covid got over so that he might change his mind. But he never seemed to so I was forced to study in an online college. I am doing my college with a scholarship as my father refused to pay any money.
▪︎ He never cared about his family, our education, our health, and our development and was always after money, praise, and his selfish desires.
Some of the things that our mom did that affected us emotionally,
▪︎ She was also a body-shaming, emotionally abusive, constantly bickering, and controlling parent. She told me once that she loves our narcissistic cruel dad way more than she will ever love us.
▪︎ She teamed up with my dad to force me into agreeing to the marriage. My engagement is next month with that man and I'm unsure how to get out of this situation than to marry him and leave this cruel household. I was always strong about my opinion on my marriage and career but they've driven me to a point where I've just given up. If I were to leave this house, I can only leave alone which would mean that my sisters would get emotionally tortured or even physically harmed in cruel ways when I'm gone. I cannot let that happen. If I am to leave, I will leave with them which is very difficult.
▪︎ After I finished high school, I cannot remember a day when she stopped yelling at us and blaming us for the minor inconveniences in the household. It got to a point where I was suicidal.
I can remember all the abuse since I was as young as 3.
Are there any solutions for someone like us? How do I and my sisters live when there are issues as such and mental suffering day after day?
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2023.05.30 21:50 Jcb112 Humans Don't Hibernate [Part 48/?]
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Confidence, certainty, and remorse. Those were the emotions that were interpreted from the readings we gleaned from the interloper’s brain. Emotions that lit up almost immediately after I asked that question, that one last interrogative inquiry that I hoped would shed more light on this person of interest. “What is this individual to you, besides a seed for your grand design?”
It was a question that was meant to crack
through the wishy washy tendencies of the interloper’s speech. One that I had hoped would lead to something
more than just another round of long-winded philosophical pondering purposefully meant to obfuscate palpable meaning and intent.
At least, that was the intended
effect I hoped
it would have.
Yet what I received dashed my expectations yet again.
As it was neither the long-winded philosophical tirades the interloper was prone too, nor another long-winded rant.
But a single word, spoken with an emphatic ferocity that took me by complete surprise.
That was the interloper’s sole reply to my question. That one word carried with it an ominous airy texture that felt eerily out of place when compared to the creature’s mightier-than-thou
persona it’d been unrelentingly projecting up to this point.
Vir and I simply allowed that word to linger in the air for a while, as we both stared at each other and eventually nodded in unison.
“So… should we wait?” I immediately asked Vir.
It wasn’t long before the interloper jumped off of that sudden proclamation into something with more meat and substance, completely disrupting the ominous buzz that had come with the silence.
… is an avatar of a future that must be actualized. They represent a foil to the follies of both humanity
and my own kind.” I wanted to scoff
at it for daring to mention humanity as in need of a foil
. The thing was projecting, and it was clear that it was simply trying to get me to doubt my resolve in the race that it so clearly held more than its own fair share of biased grievances towards. “This individual was the first to truly see beyond the veil, to understand what I
understand, to comprehend what I
comprehend. The interloper quickly paused, once again feigning thoughtfulness no doubt. “They were the first individual from beyond the fold
to reach parity, for as much as parity could
be achieved within the inherent limitations set forth by the tides of fate and the randomness of chance that is the natural order.”
The interloper’s tone had slowly, but surely, crept back to its usual haughty and disconcerting overtures.
However, when juxtaposed to its emotional readouts, it was clear that there was at least something
to go off of here.
“Confidence, hope, desire, and longing.” Vir read out the emotional readouts as they came through.
“We’ve said this once before but I’ll say it again, we can’t entirely
rely on this as an indicator of its truthfulness. You know as well as I do that the thing may be able to manipulate its own emotions.” I shrugged. “However, what I am
gleaning from this is that this person of interest
is perhaps a heavily modified person belonging to the local race endemic to the planet below. One that was perhaps one of the interloper’s more successful
test subjects. I highly doubt it values this person beyond their worth within this grander scheme it has.”
“That’s what I’m getting from this as well.” Vir responded immediately, leaving no room for any pauses in the conversation. “Well, whatever this individual is, I think we have our intel. Anything else we ask from it will be caked in a layer of poetic prose enough to give Shakespeare a run for his money.”
“A human poet synonymous with his flowery prose, his name became a common saying back amongst the crew back in my day when we had a brief classical revivalist
trend. Anyways, that’s not important. Do you have any other points you believe need to be covered?” Vir asked promptly.
“Practical concerns. We need to narrow down our search as best as we can. Otherwise, we might be in for a grueling grind that I honestly do not have the patience to deal with.” I managed out simply, as Vir responded with a single nod and gestured for me to continue on with my questions.
This time, I intended it to be a rapid-fire operation.
can I find this individual?” I stated plainly, before turning towards Vir. “Send transmission.”
“Transmission sent.” Vir acknowledged.
To my surprise, the interloper seemed to be more forthcoming this time around, actually answering within the span of just a few seconds as opposed to its monotonous
wait times of up to minutes
between each question.
“If all is as it should be, then iterative memory should serve to sequester their place. They will remain within that which they know
. A fortress hidden in plain sight, a refuge placed within what was once a verdant garden; and as is the case of all good seeds, they shall not scatter but instead remain where they fall. As even if a forest is razed and torn asunder, it is the duty of the remaining seeds to restart the cycle anew. This individual is present within a location which symbolizes their longing of reaching me
, Vanaran. Decipher for yourself the words which now mean little to you, without the gift of your elders.”
I was honestly holding my breath throughout the first half of that response, as it honestly sounded like I’d be getting something tangible we could work with. Yet it all seemed to have fallen apart at the second half where the interloper once more returned to its signature poetic prose.
I had no time to discuss it though, and I knew poking further would just result in more
So I began asking other adjacent
am I looking for here? Any specifics? Any distinguishing features? Anything I should look out for particular with regards to this individual? I’m assuming it’s one of the local species? I have plenty of generic datasets to go off of, just basing my observations off of the piles of corpses that currently surround you.” I quickly added that last bit as a sort of jab
, a petty one perhaps, but one that I wished to use to reiterate the severity of its follies. “But I need
specifics if there’s more than just a handful
of survivors down there.”
I turned to Vir. “Send transmission.”
“Transmission sent.” Vir replied with a nod
A few seconds passed. This time however, the delay was as pronounced as most of our interactions up to this point.
“They are as wise as they are foolish, and as foolish as they are wise.” The Interloper began. “And if the world beneath my tomb
is as dead and disheveled as you claim, then this fact will make it all the more simpler for you to isolate that which we both seek. For they will know
of a time before their own birth, and long for a future far beyond their own lifetime. They will be a gem amongst the soil and detritus, a star within the dark expanse. It will only be through bridging the emptiness that exists between sapient minds, for you to discover that which I speak of.”
I turned to Vir with an exasperated expression after listening to… whatever that
was, as Vir could only look at me with a look that more or less matched my own thoughts at the moment.
It was a look of complete and utter tiresome annoyance.
“Right, I think it’s time we end this, and finally see what there is to find on that untouched tomb.” I peered towards the planet below, peaking my head just beyond the litany of screens taking up the majority of my vision, just to glimpse at the blue, brown and green orb that the moon, and by extension us, currently orbited.
“This concludes our current line of dialogue, Interloper.” I spoke with certainty. “However I want to make something clear. Whether or not I proceed with your request is completely up to my discretion, as is the case with every other facet of this current dialogue, and the circumstances surrounding it.” I continued, reasserting the current dynamics currently at play as I wanted to make things as clear cut for it as possible; that this wasn’t
one of its typical games where it
was the one that held all of the cards. “Terminate connection.”
I turned towards Vir and once more gave him a single nod of approval. “Send transmission.”
“Wait, was terminate connection
comment part of the transmission or was that an order to actually
terminate the connection with the interloper?”
“That’s part of the transmission, I wanted to add that last bit in for an added bit of flair
.” I spoke with a confident wink.
Vir seemed to approve, at least, that’s what I assumed was the case with that slightly uplifted grin that was more pronounced on one side than the other. “I can get behind that… transmission sent.”
Surprisingly, the interloper refused to respond further. Whether or not it took the termination
of the connection literally, or whether it simply wanted to pull the silent treatment on us was unknown.
What we did
know however was what it felt immediately after.
We were once more bombarded by hope, anxiety, and concern, with guilt somehow present all throughout each and every emotion as it ebbed and flowed from one feeling to another.
We spent a total of five or so more minutes in silence, anticipating perhaps a delayed response that never came.
“Alright, so I guess that’s it then.” Vir was the first to break the silence. “I don’t detect any more readings from it that would indicate a desire to continue on with the conversation, so we’re all set here.” He craned his head towards the planet, shooing the screens away for a moment as the ship began moving further away from its orbit around the moon, and towards the planet in real-time.
The acceleration was genuinely impressive, as I felt at times that the monitor in front of us simply showed a timelapse of a journey as opposed to one actually happening
right before my eyes.
“And the countermeasures within its chamber?” I reflexively asked.
“Still operational. I have multiple lines of communication set up between the moon and the planet so even if
QEC goes down, we still have local live-communication feeds to fall back on. Anyways, should shit really
hit the fan, the nuke is set to go off after a very
liberal set of parameters are achieved, so I wouldn’t worry about our little friend
getting up to no good.” The AI winked back at me in reassurance.
“Right. So, with that out of the way, I think we need to focus on what
exactly we’re looking for here.” I spoke with a hefty breath. “We both agree it’s another one of the local species, correct?”
“And we both agree this person of interest is possibly augmented or genetically augmented in some way, right?”
“That would be the logical assumption after its entire long-winded speech about how this individual is literally the harbinger of a new age, yes.” Vir replied seemingly without a second thought.
“It never mentioned any distinct physical features which separates this person of interest from the rest of the species though.” I quickly added.
“No it did not. It seemed to only highlight characteristics that are details exclusive to the knowledge and personality this individual possesses. At least, that’s what I garnered from the riddles
it spoke in. Moreover, I believe it expects us
to find out exactly who this individual is via conversing with them. Bridging the emptiness between sapient minds
is a very
specific set of words to use. Which to me indicates a phenomenon I see often amongst networked
AI, and that is a sort of a cognitive and cultural disconnect when perceiving non-networked sapient beings, calling their conversations a bridging of emptiness
. And since the interlopers seem to be quite networked themselves if their psionics are any indicator, I’m assuming this
to be what it’s alluding to.”
I let out another sigh, my headfrills tilting this way and that as I spoke. “So we’re looking for a member of the local species, and the only way we can confirm if they are who we’re looking for is to talk to them.” I summarized succinctly, before moving to the next major point of contention. “But actually narrowing
down their location is another matter unto itself.”
“The interloper mentioned a fortress, which to me indicates that this person may well be hiding within a fortified position, perhaps a bunker. Furthermore, its whole emphasis of a forest is making me think that that's what we’re supposed to be looking for. A bunker hidden somewhere in a wooded area.”
said that the location symbolizes a place where a person may be able to talk or reach out to the interloper. Perhaps we’re talking about a radio station of sorts? A bunker hidden underneath a signal station, hidden somewhere in the forest?” I offered further, building off of Vir’s initial theorycrafting.
“That sounds like a solid theory in my book.” Vir nodded in agreement, as he began tapping away at the consoles in front of him. “I’ll begin downloading the data the satellites have been able to gather so far. I don’t expect much from sat-readings though. So after we pick and prod at the satellite readings, I think it’s time we put some of those autonomous intra-atmospheric survey and reconnaissance drones to good use.” A small smile began forming on the edges of Vir’s screen-face, as those little digital fangs that now framed his open grins complemented his persona very nicely. “It’s time to hunt.” First Previous
(Author’s Note: We're finally out of the interloper's domain, onto the next part of this arc, the planet! I hope you guys enjoy! :D The next chapter is already out on Patreon as well if you want to check it out!
[If you guys want to help support me and these stories, here's my ko-fi
! And my Patreon
for early chapter releases (Chapter 49 of this story is already out on there!)]
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2023.05.30 21:38 xtremexavier15 TSWT 22 (pt 1)
Girls: Eva, Izzy
Boys: Ezekiel, Mal, Topher
Episode 22: Rapa Phooey
"Last time, on Total Drama World Tour!" Chris opened, the recap beginning with a pan across the Serengeti ending in the castmates reacting with shock. "Africa! Come for the safari, stay for the near-death experience!" The host adopted a vaguely 'African' accent for the next line, as clips of the rhino and lion were shown.
"Here we played a few rounds of the world's favorite game," he said over portions of the contestants getting hit by soccer balls. "And then, we went on a wild alien hunt!" Ezekiel Clone was shown popping out of a bush and sniffing around, then the teens shot their tranq balls at each other."'cept nobody told Owen it was open season on him!" Chris chuckled as the big guy was shown first getting tackled by Ezekiel Clone, and then trying to keep him away from his face.
"And after all that," Eva shot Owen and the clone to sleep, "everyone managed to get Mal the Malicious voted out," Mal was shown to be upset about the vote. "Harsh!"
"Mal managed to live on for another day thanks to Owen neglecting the rules of the show, which was to sing," Owen was shown going back to sleep and departing the plane. "That's gotta be tough!"
The recap ended and the scene flashed to the cockpit. "Can it get any wilder?" Chris asked the camera. "Oh yeah it can!" he danced, the grand title tune of the season beginning unusually early. "It's Final Five time, right here on Total! Drama! World Tour!"
The camera zoomed out as usual, the final shot showing another airplane flying across in the far distance.
After the usual opening shot of the plane in flight, the scene cut inside to first class as Eva stretched her arms up above her head and sighed.
"Strange. I never got interrupted by Izzy singing about the monkeys on the walls," Eva said as she looked around. "Oh right. Izzy's not in first class this time."
"And I couldn't be any more glad," Topher sighed comfortably. The camera cut over to the opposite side to show Topher leaning back on his couch. "If she was here again, she'd be too much of a god player."
"You're lucky I brought you up here for a purpose, or else I'd pick Ezekiel instead," Eva brought up.
"So because I was affiliated with Mal, I know Eva wants information from me about how to stop him," Topher confessed. "I'll give her some tips, but it's going to come with a fee."
Topher was pushing a cart filled with candy. "While you were sleeping, Chris delivered your prize for winning," he explained.
"Candy? Is that the best he can do?" Eva griped.
"I have a sweet tooth, so I wouldn't mind taking some of these sweets myself." Topher grabbed a couple of lollipops and caramel apples and shoved them into his pockets.
"I don't want to discuss candy with you," Eva clarified. "I just want to know-"
"How to take down Mal because I cooperated with him," Topher finished her sentence.
"I was going to finish that," Eva reminded the dirty blond.
"I'll help you, but on one condition," Topher said.
"What could it be?" Eva raised her unibrow.
"You have to promise that you'll let me win the next challenge," Topher revealed his goal.
Eva scoffed. "Forget it. I like to win, and no way will I let you claim victory at any time."
Topher sniffed and pulled the cart away. "It's your loss and funeral."
"Topher's nowhere near as bad as Mal, but he sure is annoying. Give up a chance of winning? I want to take down Mal, but not if it comes to that," Eva made clear to the viewers.
As the scene moved to economy class, the silhouette of Ezekiel Clone could be seen standing just outside the opening to the compartment. The shot panned over to Ezekiel and Izzy sitting on one of the benches.
"The silent treatment?" Mal scoffed as he was in view of the camera. "Really?"
"What else did you expect?" Ezekiel rudely told him. "Us flying over a rainbow?"
"Nope, because rainbows are sanguine," Mal spat out.
"If you want us to work with you, then you can forget it," Izzy said. "I don't trust liars, and I'm looking at one right now."
"I don't have to take any of this," Mal said to the girl. "Owen may be gone, but you will join him next."
"We'll just have to see about that, Mal!" Izzy retorted as Mal left her and Ezekiel alone.
"What a knob," Ezekiel muttered under his breath. "Did you two know each other before the show, because he certainly hates you the most out of everyone here."
"We went to the same juvenile center, and the both of us were very well-known for what we did that got us arrested," Izzy answered.
"Did you happen to know Duncan before you joined the show?" Ezekiel followed up.
"I never personally talked to him, but he also knew about Mal," Izzy said.
"I can't believe I never listened to Sky and Duncan when they said that something was off about that guy," Ezekiel grumbled. "Now that they're gone, we're lacking a bit of strength against Mal."
"Zeke, they may be out of the game, but that doesn't mean we can't all work together," Izzy stated. "It's four of us against one of him after all."
"Yeah," Ezekiel agreed, though confusion crept up inside him. "Wait, this includes Topher, right?"
"Definitely, but I still haven't forgotten how he got rid of my friends," Izzy said. "Once Mal goes, he's next."
"I am in an alliance with him, but that'll end if Mal is eliminated," Ezekiel said. "For now, let's get Topher and Eva to see the reason as to why we should be a team eh."
"I like the way you think," Izzy smirked at him.
"We were able to vote for Mal last time, but because of the sing or get eliminated rule, Owen had to leave. As long as Mal doesn't win and we all sing, the votes won't be ignored," Ezekiel deduced. "I'm not stupid, just a bit ignorant and naive."
"Attention passengers," Chris announced over the loudspeaker as the plane was shown beginning to descend, "please prepare for landing!"
The scene cut inside the cockpit as the host hung up the microphone and looked at Chef. "C'mon, just let me fly it once!" he pleaded to the unflinching pilot. "What can it hurt? It's technically my plane, you know."
He reached over for the controls, but Chef quickly turned to stop him and the two grown men engaged in a slap-fight. The jet was shown wobbling and losing altitude dramatically, cries of "My pinkie!" and "Hey!" coming from Chris and Chef inside.
The camera moved to ground-level at an island beach, a moai statue prominently in the foreground as the plane rapidly descended towards it and the camera. "Oh no!" Chris screamed as the plane flew forward, clipping the moai statue with its wing as it swung stage right and knocking the giant head over.
"Gosh darn it!" Chef swore from off-screen.
Seagulls were crying off-camera as the scene flashed forward, showing Eva and Mal walking up to the fallen statue.
"Another piece of world heritage destroyed," Mal remarked cynically.
"That won't be the only thing that's getting destroyed today," Eva told him.
"Who, me?" Mal pretended to be shocked.
"I was thinking about Topher… of course it's you!" Eva said.
"You may have muscles that are bigger than my soul, but don't forget that I do have a brain," Mal said back.
It was then that the rest of the Final Five walked up to them. "These caramel apples are delicious," Ezekiel claimed while holding one. Izzy was snacking on a chocolate bar, and Topher popped a sweet into his mouth.
"This is even better than Cody's stash of candy," Izzy moaned at her chocolate.
"These dopes get the first class prizes and not me?" Mal reprimanded.
"Did you think I was going to reward you after everything you did?" Topher bluntly asked.
"So many people to choose from," Mal pondered. "The hardest thing for me is deciding who I won't pick off."
Several more moai statues were shown dotting another stretch of beach, seagulls crying as the camera panned rightward to the five tired contestants climbing up the side of a steeper hill.
"'Iorana!" Chris greeted them from off-screen once they'd reached the top, startling the five with his appearance. He had once again appropriated a local costume, now nearly naked except for a small leather loincloth, furry shin guards, and a three-tiered feather headdress in blue, red, and green. He also wore a necklace of what looked like small pebbles and a curved bone in the middle of it, and had white lines running across his cheeks and down his bare chest.
"Wow Chris. You've been working out," Chris commented in a pleased tone.
"And welcome to Easter Island," Chris continued. "Aka, Rapa Nui! Place is old," he explained. "These dudes were carved so long ago," he gestured at another moai, "no one even remembers why anymore! Ten bucks says it started as a dare," he said with a cheeky smile.
"Twenty bucks says get on with it!" Eva griped.
"Yeah," Chris deadpanned before continuing. "Today, you, our Final Five, are going on a highly traditional Easter Island egg hunt," he explained as the shot panned across the five teens.
"Are we gonna be hunting for chocolate Easter eggs?" Izzy asked eagerly after taking a bite from her chocolate bar.
"Uhh, no. I'm talking the old school kind of eggs," Chris replied, "the kind that come from birds, y'know those flying things with feathers and talons and vicious kill-you-in-a-second beaks?" The contestants gasped to varying degrees.
"Speaking of which," Chris said with a sly smile, bending over to pick up five feathered headdresses, "traditional feathered Rapa Nui headdresses! Wear 'em with pride, chickens!"
He tossed them into the hands of the contestants at the same time: blue for Mal, green for Eva, purple for Ezekiel, red for Topher, and yellow for Izzy.
The footage skipped forward a little ways to show Chris leading the Final Five, now wearing their headdresses, past a few more stone heads that seemed to have rather...unusual shapes.
"Hidden in these head things are a bunch of colored eggs that match the color of your...head thing," Chris told them.
"So you really did your research," Mal said dryly.
"Your challenge," Chris continued, "to find three eggs in your color. Then make a break for the massive underground cavern system and book it all the way up to the highest point on the island." The camera panned away from the host as he gave his explanation, showing a nearby cave entrance first before quick-panning upwards to another cave on top of a high hill.
"Reach the top with all three eggs to begin the second part of today's challenge," the host explained as the shot cut back to him and the Final Five.
"What happens if we drop an egg?" Izzy asked.
"You'll have to come all the way back here for a replacement," Chris answered, causing Topher to quickly raise his hand. "And no," Chris said in anticipation of the next question, "you can not take a back-up egg." Topher lowered his hand in annoyance. "First to the top gets a big advantage in part two," the host said, the shot zooming out to show the backs of the contestants. "Now, scramble!"
At his command, the five turned and ran towards the stone heads.
Izzy and Topher ran up to two of the giant heads and paused to look up at them.
"These look really familiar," Izzy commented, the camera panning up to show that the two they were standing in front of had been carved to look like Lindsay and Shawn.
Izzy gasped and continued looking on to the right. "It's everyone who's been eliminated," she commented in shock as the camera panned across statues that looked like Jo, Rodney, Duncan, and Amy.
With a few grunts of effort, Topher began climbing up a statue of Lindsay, while Izzy did the same with Shawn. It wasn't long before Izzy managed to reach inside the statue's hat and pull out an egg.
"I got one!" Izzy said with delight, before seeing its red color. "That's not mine."
"Blue's my color," Topher commented as he clung to Lindsay's ear. "Hand it over."
Izzy thought about it, but decided to throw the red egg over to Topher. "If we're going to get rid of Mal, we'll have to work together."
"I'll remember that when I locate one of your eggs," Topher told her before dropping down from Lindsay's statue with his egg.
Meanwhile, Ezekiel had climbed on to Sadie's head and smiled when he pulled a purple egg from behind her hair. "You are so helpful to me, Sadie," he said, giving the statue a kiss.
"I wish I could say the same thing about Ella," Eva commented, pulling out what looked like a yellow bird out of her ear. She let it fly, then scoffed. "I do not know what goes on in her head 24/7."
The shot cut to Cody's statue, then panned down to Mal as he looked it over. "I hope that dingo didn't take away your brain cells," he taunted, kicking the statue's base. A blue egg fell from his tooth and landed in Mal's hands. "Perfect."
The camera cut to Heather's statue, where a green egg could be seen in her ear. Izzy jumped onto the statue with a grunt, then pulled the egg from its hiding spot. "Excellent! One for me!" she cheered. "I just need something to carry it in," she said thoughtfully. The camera briefly cut to a patch of long grass and back to her smiling eagerly.
The footage skipped ahead to show the psycho girl, now with a yellow egg in a bjorn made from the grass she'd spotted earlier, searching at the head of Amy. "Yeah!" she cheered as she pulled out a yellow egg. "Another one! And one for Eva as well!" she said as she pulled out a green egg. "I should go give this to her."
The camera cut to Eva about to climb Duncan's statue, until the sound of footsteps caught her attention.
"Eva!" Izzy cried as she ran over. "I found one of your eggs!" She thrusted the egg into the bodybuilder's basket.
"Really?" Eva wondered.
"I know you'd do the same for me given the situation we're in," Izzy said.
"First Ella and now you?" Eva asked. "Why do I keep getting unwanted assistance in the game?"
"'Cause we're Team E-Scope, Eva," Izzy responded.
"Me and Izzy are currently the last girls left in the competition," Izzy explained. "With Noah and Owen gone, the boys outnumber us. That won't be a bad thing if Topher and Ezekiel are with us."
"Now I'm starting to consider letting Topher win if it'll defeat Mal," Eva said. "The contestants help me even when I don't ask for it. Maybe I should return the favor for the first time."
Rodney's stoney rendition was shown next, a red egg nestled in his right ear. Topher was currently trying to reach it, but the height of his head and the egg he was trying to hold on to was making it difficult.
Topher stretched out his arm enough to just barely brush the egg with his fingertips. Unfortunately, this only served to unbalance the egg; it wobbled a bit, then fell forward and cracked on the stone below.
"It was strategy. Nothing against you," Topher groaned, jumping down to the ground.
"You clearly don't have anything to put your eggs in," Izzy commented as she and Eva walked over to the Chris fan. "We'll help you out, but you have to give us our eggs if you find them."
"It's a deal," Topher agreed quickly. "I don't even care who wins anymore, as long as it's not Mal."
"I'm out of my league for this one. I had to convince Izzy to give me one of my eggs," Topher admitted embarrassingly. "Not a good look for me."
The scene moved back to Mal walking around with three eggs in his basket.
"How did you manage to find three eggs while I only found two?" Ezekiel asked in astonishment.
"I can utilize the abilities of my slaves, and Manitoba is very useful indeed," Mal chuckled.
"Calling your personalities 'slaves' is not a good thing to do eh," Ezekiel called him out.
"So does picking your nose or offending women," Mal teased.
Ezekiel squinted his eyes at Mal and turned his heel. "I'm trying to grow out of that. Now leave me alone!"
"I'm really starting to get tired of people bringing up the bad stuff I did in the past," Ezekiel groaned.
The scene flashed to the beach near where the plane had landed. Chef and a pair of interns were now trying to move the knocked-over moai back upright, with Chef pulling on a rope in front while the interns pushed from behind.
Chef groaned and grunted in exertion, but paused when the host's voice came in over a walkie-talkie in his pocket. "This is King of all Chrisdom seeking Bitty Baby, over!" Chris said. Chef let go of his rope to pull out the communicator, and the moai head fell back over onto the two interns that had been trying to push it.
"When you're done slackin', think you can give me a hand?" Chris asked.
A flash took the focus back to Mal, who was looking rather tired as he trekked uphill through the underground cavern system.
"It's a good thing I didn't eat those sweets otherwise I wouldn't be able to trek uphill for much longer," he grumbled.
Mal then heard something approaching, and he looked forward again and went into a nook in the side of the tunnel just as a large spherical boulder barreled down the slope.
He leaned out with shock on his faces after the boulder left, and the camera cut to Eva, Ezekiel, Izzy, and Topher, who had also found three eggs each and started their journey through the caverns. They quickly spotted the approaching boulder, screamed, and ducked into crannies on opposite sides of the tunnel.
"You have got to be kidding!" Ezekiel exclaimed, the four poking their heads back out into the open.
The scene flashed to the cave's exit at the highest point of the island, where a cackling Chris watched as Chef pushed another large, spherical boulder into the caverns. He sighed mirthfully as the camera cut in for a close-up, then as the grand title theme began to play he told it "We've got tons more fun, literally," he motioned to a nearby pile of similar boulders, "right after this, on Total! Drama! World Tour!"
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2023.05.30 21:21 Skamakazi_1 The least interesting things about ALR are her weight and hygiene
Honestly I'm not interested in her weight or hygiene talk. The trainwreck/talking points that fascinate me are her delusions and inability to self reflect and grow up. Her weight and smell are theoretically fixable, but the self centered shitshow is as salvageable as the Titanic imo. Her complete aversion to integrity and apologies are crazy to me. I'd love to explain the Streisand effect to her. But she really is the kinda person who waits for their turn to talk instead of listening when others talk. So she wouldn't get it.
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2023.05.30 21:13 Intelligent-Ad-6025 The CDC's Most Recent Webinar On How They Plan To Treat Chronic Pain
The CDC’s and Other Government Health Agencies Skewer the Chronically Ill, Chronic Pain and Disabled Population; A Commentary on The Latest “Guidelines” From The CDC:
(please refer to webinar)
If you don't want to watch this whopping eight minute video about government ran agencies talking about how to run our health care services for those with chronic pain, chronic illness or disabilities. Or, if you have watched it but don't really know what it means, then I will just tell you what this about and what it means. Most of this is in response to taking away or banning in many instances, the use of certain medications used to treat chronic illnesses and chronic pain that has left people disabled. They are admitting the pull out of opioids/opiates as well as their attacks on other medications such as Benzodiazepines, ADHD medications and in some states they have gone as far to reclassify muscle relaxers and Gabapentinoids as scheduled 2 narcotics. The fall out from this has left many chronic pain patients, chronically ill and disabled people without ANY health care, greater mortality rate, higher rate of homelessness, less functionality, poorer quality of life and many doctors that were not pill mills but still locked up in prison for the rest of their lives for running pain treatment centers in rural areas. They also bring up that, curiously, even though opioid/opiate prescribing is lower then it has ever been in US history, they are seeing a steep incline of illicit use of opiates amongst the adolescent demographic, to which they have never seen before. They do not understand this because young folks who have "muscle skeletal" pain are usually prescribed NSAID's or acetaminophen; they just can't figure out why the rate of illicit opiates in this demographic is higher then it has ever been when they are not even being exposed to prescription opiates. That's it they end that issue just sort of scratching their heads. According to their data if some one has not been exposed to prescription opioids/opiates these children shouldn't be doing this. According to their data NSAID's and Tylenol should be efficient enough pain relief for any and all types of muscle skeletal chronic pain conditions. I won't put words in their mouth or give you my opinion on why that is, even though my opinion would be based on some very good data, medical studies and other types of studies that have been conducted over the years. I will say that I think I shouldn't have to give anyone that opinion because I think the answer is obvious; keep in mind these kids are too young to have ever been exposed to opioids/opiate medications or crooked marketing strategies by Perdu. They go on to promote something called "healthy people by 2030" which is a government health based website that advocates for many healthy life practices and choices. One of those things is making sure that the chiropractic's industry stays open for customers, not for free at a charge, to make sure they are accommodating the needs of chronic pain patients. I am not sure why this is said and done because chiropractic treatment has been available and continues to be. They go onto say those with loved ones, friends and family that are chronic pain patients; empathy and sympathy is what is needed most. "Many times chronic pain sufferers will try to pretend they are not in pain. If this is your loved one or a friend or family member, make sure to have plenty of empathy and sympathy. Also pay attention to their body language, if they are rubbing the part of their body that is in pain or making facial expressions it's important to remind them not to over work themselves. That they need to take time to sit and rest; we need to get society to where we are stopping chronic pain at it roots". So what that means is that they expect everyone in society, employers, family, friends, loved ones, complete strangers the entirety of the health community to accommodate any all with chronic pain conditions (disability is not specified just chronic pain period). This is their answer, and the CDC is endorsing this, on how to treat chronic pain, chronic illness and disabilities in the absence of effective treatment (effective treatment being used currently is not discussed but current effective treatment implies without the use of opioid/opiate medications). Ok, so this is really confusing if you have not been keeping up with this stuff so let me fill you in on what this means in a deeper sense. As a person who has chronic pain, chronic illness or a disability. What you are supposed to do is make sure you are regularly attending physical therapy (cost estimate as much as $3,000 a session and as low as $45 for a "wellness" checkup that is only 30 min standard session is 1 hour fees vary depending on insurance, what company or if no insurance at all). Typically they recommend physical therapy once a week or every other week; although many primary and family care physicians understand once a month to be more practical for low or lack of income individuals (the CDC and Medicare almost demand once a week). You are also supposed to attend a gym and have an active membership. You are to seek a psychologist for cognitive behavioral therapy or psycho therapy to deal and manage your pain (costs on this can very widely as well as much as $200 a session). You are to see a psychiatrist to make sure your psychiatric needs are met with medications for mood management. You are also supposed to attend "mindfulness training" once a week; which is a fancy name for meditation. You are also supposed to attend either (and this is the only one they give options on) a chiropractor or get acupuncture done once a week. You are to follow up with your primary or family care physician to stay compliant on your meds (NSAID's, Tylenol, muscle relaxers, and then usually one of the following sometimes combined with one other thing but usually one; Tricyclic, SSRI, SNRI, anti-psychotic or anti-depressant that plays with neuro-nucleotides like Cymbalta, Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, Effexor, Haldol as some examples, Steroids or Gabapentenoids such as Gabapentin or Pregabalin aka Lyrica). You are also supposed to see a pain management specialist at least once every other week (per CDC) for trigger point injections and nerve blocks or ESI's aka epidural injections (these can cost in a wide range as much as $5,000 for one injection the lowest I have personally seen is $2,000 for one injection to which some report as little as 4 hours of pain relief some injections patients report only 4 days of pain relief we are told these are supposed to relieve pain for as long as several months but really this is dependent on what pain condition you have and what is causing it and what type of injection is received for the injection). On top of all that they want to make sure that as a chronic pain patient, chronically ill or disabled to make sure to keep up with your social life by spending quality time with friends, family and loved ones. To make sure you are financially secure with either a job or disability/retirement benefits for those who apply (job is emphasized over over social programs). Lastly, to make sure you are eating healthy and getting between 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night (this is all per CDC and other government health agencies including CSMS for those whom are on retirement benefits). Now where were we, so essentially they want the entire society to let any one with chronic pain or illness or disabled to be allowed to go at their own pace. Allow for late appointments. Take breaks and rest as needed and avoid doing anything that causes or exacerbates chronic pain or illness and disabilities in the first place. They are not doing this as a policy they are doing this as a guideline so no company, corporation, business or any personnel is held to this by any legal measure. Once again I could insert my own take on this based on pretty solid evidence, but I think this is unnecessary as it should be obvious what the outcome of this will actually look like. I'll just ask this simple question; do you see an employer doing any of this for a customer or employee? Do you see all these different health care agencies accommodating to all their patients being late due to being slow and thus not punctual for this menagerie of different health care specialties the government health agencies want us to attend? The CDC seriously pushes for all, not just a couple, but all listed health specialties; and the other government health care agencies agree without question. They go on to talk about how they think the reason doctors feel so pressure by the CDC, DOJ and DEA in the helping of managing chronic pain or illness and disabilities is nothing more then they have not attended any of the CDC's seminar's; which are being updated for the fourth time in this single year. They say that doctors need to take time to understand and have deep conversations to understand their patients needs. That doctors need to be there for patients when in need of social rehabilitation and assistance such as obtaining a case worker, social worker or disability (which if you've been in this situation you know they will not do due to health insurance regulations, government interference, regulation or policy enforced by the company they work for or affiliated hospital, shortage on doctors due to covid and arresting so many for prescribing meds, health practices and administrations that run health offices running on a profit based model that basically demands that each patient visit only be 15 minutes to maximize the number of patients seen in one hour and legal issues in which many expert witnesses, colleges and other entities have sued doctors over the prospect of money which results in the termination of their job and license). Nope, none of that, it's all because they did not attend the CDC seminars that are continuously out of date and currently being "updated again" to ensure that doctors are staying compliant with the guidelines that are an unreasonable expectation at best and consistently changing. As one of the panelists says "after all these are not policies they are guidelines, and if no one knows how to work within those guidelines because they haven't taken the seminars they won't know how to implement them. We are really struggling with this one because when we passed the opiate prescribing guidelines for 2022 they were very strict and many states independently adopted these guidelines into law and policy that are different from state to state, but pretty much all do the same thing. We never intended them to be laws and policies but merely guidelines. When we released the 2023 opiate prescribing guidelines, we went back to the less strict guidelines resembling that of the 2016 opiate prescribing guidelines where the MME count was at 90MME instead of 50MME...we have seen no change in state accordance". These people act like our social safety nets are as accessible as over the counter Ibuprofen, when in fact they almost as accessible as the opioids/opiates they sought out to completely ban and obliterate out of our society regardless of the consequences is has had on health care providers and the chronic pain or illness and disabled people they were used to give back quality of life, pain relief and functionality. Andrew Klodney (one of the chief panel members that created the 2016 opiate prescribing guidelines) said "an entire generation needs to die in order for people to see my greatness". I don't think he meant to quote Hitler, but that is something Hitler did say; astonishingly Hitler also took opiate pain meds away from the chronically ill or in pain and disabled. Hitler also promoted "euthanasia" as a "humane and ethical way of helping those suffering to die with dignity". It wasn't until later many people found out he wasn't just euthanizing people who were in end of life care (or lack there of due to no opiates given to the general public, and only administered to his inner circle), as a humane and ethical way of dying with dignity; he was just killing anyone who had any kind of chronic pain, chronic illness, disability and that includes mental disabilities as well. Back on topic, the fact of the matter is our social safety nets, social rehabilitative services (SRS) like the SSA , food stamps, financial assistance and on have been slowly having their funding cut and certain facets of it being privatized over the years. The past ten years we have seen the most cuts and privatization of these programs then any other time in US history since their inception by FDR. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has not only been red taped but it is out dated. One of the reasons why you may have had your disability case denied is because the judge that decides on your case confirms the local job market with a job coach or vocational rehab specialist. The judge looks at your limitations and asks "based on this persons limitations, education and experience are their jobs in the local area this person can do and how likely is it that they can get one of these jobs?". The career specialist is financially incentivized to find a reason to deny a disability case for one. Two they do have to go off of what the current job market economy looks like, they only have to go off what it looked like since the ADA was last updated which was back in the 90's. This career specialist is absolutely reciting jobs that no longer exist and haven't existed since the late 90's or early 2000's and completely ignore the fact that things like pre covid door greeters are a thing of the past. They ignore the fact that job codes and other nifty legal loop hole language in job applications specifically designed to get around the ADA exist. They completely ignore that a vast majority of the republican party representatives have deregulated capitalism to the point of crony capitalism in the name of free market capitalism (give the employer the freedom to hire who they want and decide for themselves what is or is not a "reasonable accommodation"). This is so much to the point of government protections, I spoke with a disability discrimination attorney who said "the big corporations have got so much government protection and have been deregulated to the point I cannot even do my job. Many disability discrimination lawyers have changed their title or quit. There is no certainty or guarantee that anyone can hold a company accountable for disability discrimination anymore". To top all that off there are many company owned health care facilities, although this is not federally or state mandatory, have created policies where they are no longer taking private payers; people without health insurance. Some states are requiring each person who is disabled to reapply for disability every year, some states require that a person cannot be on disability for more then five years regardless of their disability statis. The state of Pennsylvania, to my understanding, has moved the retirement age up to 66 and the District of Columbia to age 67 some have considered even higher all the way up to age 71. Many states have cut food stamp spending or almost cut them all together to where many people who have been on food stamps for years have had their food stamps taken away from them entirely. In the state I reside in I was denied Medicaid due to the fact that, while he is my fiancé, we are not legally married and as far as they know he is nothing but a roommate. They denied my Medicaid claim because for a two person household, regardless of the relationship that person holds with you, one cannot make over the amount of $24,000 a year; I guess that is an acceptable amount for two people even when the money being made that is over $24k is not the person claiming Medicaid, but someone else's hard earned money. The mantra of the very conservative and traditionalist government when it comes to our social safety nets is one that would take us all the way back to the 1800's. Absent of major infrastructure where we all lived in small communities and everyone knew each other; they think it is the job of your friends, family and community to take care of you and not the government to which any one who has worked has paid taxes to support. The CDC and other government health agencies have made a catastrophe as the systems they are relying on are out dated, defunded and privatized. It is a system that essentially funnels people into homelessness and is one of the contributing factors as to why our homeless population continues to rise at what should be seen as 'at an alarming rate'. Which has led to outbreaks of diseases we have not seen since the 1800's like tuberculosis and cholera, due to all the human feces on the sidewalks and streets. I have been saying, it is a highly unsustainable system for the democrats to pretend they are the only party, take away pain meds which are the cheapest pain management regiment and most effective with limited risks comparatively, especially for those whom are disabled due to chronic pain and chronic illness and most likely to be unemployed or on disability. To take away opioid/opiate medications, act like they have the power to give all this untreated disabled patients with chronic pain and illness unfettered access to social programs when they do not have the ability to do this as every bill in the senate and congress put forward to do so in blocked, filibustered or expelled by the republican party. Along with that any headway progress that is made is undone on the state level where some states even redirect their social welfare funds to other entities like private home communities and private schools claiming "it stops early pregnancy and facilitates fiscal responsibility which helps homeless rates decline"; even though many chronic pain or chronic illnesses cannot be help or are caused by over working. Then the republican party red taps, defunds and privatizes our social programs. Then the republican party deregulates the market to where you cannot even hold a company accountable to nearly any laws at all. This is a system that is very dysfunctional as one is not guarantied disability income, health care, financial assistance, pain medication, employment and even if you do get employment there is no guarantee they have to do anything to accommodate your disability or health needs aside form allowing a person an inhaler for asthma or to make sure they can take their insulin during lunch. The CDC and the government health agencies that follow them blindly pretend that non of that is even ever an issue. In the webinar they even make claims that suggest if every one just lives as healthy as they possibly can, then no one would ever develop any underlying health conditions. I hate to be the arbiter of truth, but that is simply not true (that's me being nice it's BS with a capital B and we all know it). I don't know how we went from a society that understood snake oil pushers are everywhere to a society that might as well be saying we should live like the boy in the plastic bubble. Bubble or not the reality is as we grow old we fall apart and eventually we will die. You can live your life as healthy as humanly possible, and there is nothing wrong with that, but it will not stop anyone from growing old and dying nor will it stop all chronic pain or illnesses resulting in disability. Many of these things can be obtained genetically, many are from dangerous work environments that are physically intensive manual labor or repetitive and being overworked (70 hour work weeks are becoming the norm). Many times it is a combination of genetics labor. Being as healthy as you can by including (this is a real thing) waring SPF lotion inside can be helpful and lower risks but they are not a deterrent. We are incapable at this time of not only offering a suitable replacement for opioids/opiate medications, but we are also incapable at this point in time of having a society completely free of underlying health conditions such as chronic pain or illness and disability especially one where no one grows old and dies; one could easily argue we may never see such an existence as it may not even be possible. My final thought on all this is that I really don't care what kind of "guidelines" the CDC makes and other health agencies. Even if they make them into policy, how are they going to get an entire society and everything in it to accommodate (not even all) chronic pain or ill disabled people. People you don't even know, with so many conditions that cannot even be seen as they are internal. How is that even possible? Is that even possible or is this nothing more then fantasy or pipe dream? I know many people try their best and most have empathy and sympathy, but we can't even get what we already have to work in the favor of chronic pain or illness and disabilities to work now. Although many full able bodied people have the best intentions they have things going on in their life such as maintaining a sleep cycle, a social life and many of the above mentioned prescriptions given to chronic pain and illness people or those with disabilities by the CDC themselves. As the saying goes, there's only so much time in a day; and well there's only so many years to a life. Let us not deny the cold reality, taking care of a full grown adult with a chronic pain condition, chronic illness and disabilities is very arduous and taxing and most don't have the time or energy to take care of every chronic pain or illness disabled person for the 24/7 needs they may have. Let us also not pretend that every one out there has it in them to be 'the good Samaritan' especially multi-conglomerate corporations who hold a for profit model even if it is at the expense of another's well being or life and in this day age at the cost of our own society. There are many that will not engage with this, cut corners, do the bare minimum or just flat out not do it. They could be doctors, police they could be anyone within this society; ultimately it is a standard that cannot even be enforced and wont and I can pretty much guarantee that. This is the CDC's proposal of what to do since they took our pain meds away and chronic pain patients suicide rates have gone up 400%. They did this with no back up plan and since chronic pain patients and the chronically ill and disabled have had their health care turned into a joke with no resources to help. Taking away pain meds has also not caused a drop in the use and overdose of illicit opiates/opioids, it's gotten worse as many who seek their medical benefits take to the streets and become another number. The CDC members responsible for this just sit around scratching their heads like this couldn't possibly be due to the fact that they took away a safe supply leaving the entire population of society with either an illicit contaminated supply or the worst opioids or opiates possible which is buprenorphine (Suboxone) and Methadone; regardless if one is a recreational user or some one who needs them to function as close to a resemblance of their old life as possible for medical reasons; basically an entire rehash of prohibition and or the lead up to Nazi occupied Germany as if we have collective amnesia and haven't learned anything in the last 100 years at all.
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2023.05.30 21:12 MjolnirPants Jerry and the Goddesses: Part 33
Part 32 on HFY
"I think I found it," I said, knowing that Inanna and Sarisa could hear me. A second later, Sarisa popped into existence next to me. "Huh," she said.
The map she'd shared with the rest of us showed a single row of houses fronting the natural area, but I could clearly see the roof of a building, set far back from the homes amid the trees. A wide driveway with the single white line they used here to differentiate traffic lanes emerged from between two properties with a gate closed over it.
A sign hung from the gate, unreadable with all the bullet holes in it, but the operating hours at the bottom were unmistakable. This wasn't another home, but some sort of public-fronting establishment. "I definitely have no knowledge of this building. I think you've got it."
"Will you get the others?" I asked. Sarisa smiled and vanished again. A few minutes later, Gary and Kathy emerged from around a corner with Sarisa.
"Where's Ana?" Gary asked as they approached.
"She peed herself," I said.
"What?" Gary face scrunched up and I laughed. "You heard me."
"Well, how the hell did that happen?"
I shrugged. "The usual way, I guess. She's been telling me about getting tired and feeling confused on a repeating schedule and having to make an effort to return to her usual health. I suggested she try staying hydrated, because it sounded like dehydration that she was describing. So she started hydrating and..."
"And she forgot to go tinkle," Gary grinned. I winked at him, and then noticed Sarisa giving me a look. I responded with a "what do you expect?" gesture, and she sighed and shook her head. Sarisa never liked it when I told little white lies, even though it turns out she's told a few, herself.
Inanna emerged from the closest home, then. She was still in the same khakis and unbuttoned-most-of-the-way outfit she'd worn in, but she was dry now. "It wasn't pee," she announced.
Gary looked back and forth between us, eyebrows raised. "Okay...."
Kathy suddenly smirked and turned away. Well, damn, that was quick. I had to remember not to underestimate her.
"It doesn't matter," I said, "Look." I pointed to the gate. "That has to be the museum."
"Well, whatta we waitin fer?" Gary asked and walked over to check the padlock on the gate. He gave it a quick look, then took off his pack and dug around for a second, producing a pair of smallish bolt-cutters. He lined them up on the lock's hook and, with a quick jerk, brought the jaws down on it. The padlock fell to the ground with a clatter and Gary opened the gate wide enough to walk in.
We all followed him in through the gate and he pulled it shut and used a rock to wedge it in place. Up the long drive, we found a small parking lot and another shot-up sign. But this one had the words "museum" and "north" still readable in Armenian printed on it, so if we'd had any doubts during the walk up, they were gone.
Inanna simply magicked open the locked front door and we walked in. We split up, wandering the halls and searching the various rooms an exhibits. I moved down a hall with prints of medieval paintings of vikings and little placards describing the circumstances of the original painting as well as the events portrayed. The first three doors I found were bathrooms and a closet. The last entrance had no door in the frame, and it led to a room full of weapons.
A few actual viking-age and earlier weapons sat in glass cases in the middle, with reproductions bolted to the walls. Apparently, the museum was family-friendly, because foam versions of the weapons were stacked in an umbrella stand in one corner.
As I was returning to check another hall, I heard Kathy's voice "I think I got it!"
I followed the sound through a few rooms and found her and the others gathered around a small glass display case on a pedestal in the middle of a room whose walls were bedecked with paintings, both ancient and modern, of Norse Pagan religious subjects. Squeezing between Inanna and Gary, I saw it.
It was just like the last one, except the teeth were arranged slightly differently.
"So can we just, like, take it?" Kathy asked Sarisa. Sarisa shook her head, "Not without interfering with the magic. We have to share secrets again."
We all looked around at each other. This was actually getting more difficult, as we were a pretty tight group. We simply didn't have a lot of secrets. I broke the ice.
"When I was in my junior year, I stole three books from the college library, because they wouldn't let me check them out."
Kathy snickered. "I bet that's the worst thing you've ever done, too."
I turned towards her. "They were three volumes of a history of video games. The nineteen eighties through the two-thousands. I still have them in my closet." Kathy laughed and held out a hand for a fist bump. I gave it to her, unsure of why that would be fist-bump-worthy until she said "I figured they'd be dense academic works on some obscure aspect of history. Or maybe porn."
"The second volume covered erotic games," I admitted, "but there weren't a lot of titillating images, unless a screenshot from Custer's Last Stand is the sort of thing you find sexy."
I felt an easing in the tension of the room which I hadn't recognized until that moment. It had worked. Inanna spoke up next. "I'm keeping the baby," she said.
Everyone looked at her. Sarisa spoke first, "Sister, that is possibly the least-secret secret I've ever heard of. I don't think any of have had any doubt that you would keep the child you made with the man you love."
Inanna turned to me, "Did you know?" I shrugged. "I never really considered that you'd end the pregnancy. It would be very out of character for you."
"And you're okay with that?" she asked me? "Of course," I replied immediately. "Why wouldn't I be?"
She wrapped her arms around me and leaned her head against my chest. I smiled. This was nice, Inanna showing affection without being all grabby.
"I'm going to have to think about it for a minute, then."
Gary took a deep breath. His face clouded for a moment, and then he cleared his throat.
"I killed two civilian boys in Rukha, in Afghanistan back in 2001 to stop them from alerting Taliban in the region. We were moving through some fields, coming down into the valley from the north. We needed to get to a high point that sort of split the valley, to call in some JDAMs on a couple Taliban positions down in the valley. We didn't see the boys at first, they were hiding in some bushes or something. But as we got close, they broke cover and ran. I didn't even hesitate. I knew if they made it into town or to someone with a phone, the locals would fill the streets to gawk and the Taliban would abandon their positions.
"I saw them running, had just enough time to recognize the threat, and then I shot them both in the back. Neither one was armed. Neither one was older than about twelve." His voice was rough and raw. It was obvious he was digging deep for this.
"I still sometimes have nightmares about it," he added, and then he closed his mouth and stared at the ground. I felt the tension ease a bit more.
Kathy put her hand on his shoulder and he reached up to pat it. "I abandoned my best friend throughout middle school, Maryann, because she wasn't popular enough to suit me when we got to high school," she said.
"When we started as freshmen, we both made a bunch of new friends. She had a harder time of it, just because she wasn't as sociable as I was, but she was my friend, so she kinda tagged along as we became the 'in-group'. But some of the other girls didn't like her. Maryann listened to different music than most of us, and liked different actors and dressed different. It was super petty, I know, but at the time, those things seemed important." She laughed ruefully, "Like listening to Shinedown somehow made her a bad person. Anyways, it got worse over our freshman year. When we started sophomore year, I decided to cut her loose. So I told my mom a boy was harassing me, and she changed my number. A couple of the other girls did the same. We gave each other our new numbers, but not Maryann."
Kathy sniffed and I could see moisture in her eyes.
"She just seemed so confused at first. None of us were willing to just tell her that we didn't want to be friends, so we made excuses. I told her my phone was turned off, and said that I had plans every time she wanted to hang out. When she finally figured it out, she didn't even get angry. She just, like, vanished. She stopped coming to school, and stopped eating at the diner where we always used to get burgers after school.
"After a couple of months, I started to get worried about her. So I went to her house and knocked on the door. Her mom answered and told me that Maryann didn't want to talk to me and that I should go. And that was the last I ever heard from her."
Sarisa put her arm around Kathy's shoulder and squeezed her. "It's not too late," she said, then Kathy turned into the hug and they embraced. I heard Kathy take a few shuddering breaths, and then she pulled back. "I know. And I plan to go to her, as soon as this is done. I won't take no for an answer, this time."
The tension eased further. Only the goddesses remained. Inanna had, predictably enough, managed to sneak a hand down my pants while Gary was talking, but her fondling was subdued, more of an idle fidgeting than her usual concerted attempts to arouse me. The thrill of being touched by a goddess remained, however, which is why I was keeping my mouth shut.
Sarisa broke the silence. "I slept with Astoram, once."
"What?" I choked out in unison with Inanna. Inanna jerked her hand free and spun to face Sarisa.
"I thought you said that night with Jerry was your first time."
"It was... Listen, it wasn't actually me who slept with him, but an avatar of mine who lived in my temple in Mohenjo-daro. I was experiencing everything she did, but I wasn't in control of her actions. The truth is, I wasn't even paying her much attention, and she had long since grown into her own being, making choices that sometimes surprised me. Astoram came to her in a manifestation. He pretended to be distraught after Loki had foiled one of his schemes, and he seemed to think the avatar was me in a manifestation. He played at humility, confessed that he was always jealous of how smart I am and just generally seemed remorseful, and possibly not such a bad god, once you got past his public facade.
"The avatar had been quite lonely, and had grown quite human, having lived among them for so long. So she was moved by his words and..."
"And threw him a pity fuck," Inanna said.
Sarissa nodded, "And she threw him a pity fuck, yes. Of course, that was his plan, all along. He impregnated her. He was so livid when he found out she wasn't me that I had to have Krast pin him down until he swore not to hurt the avatar. Even then, I was still so concerned for her safety that I sent her to Scandinavia to bear her son in peace."
"The avatar, that was Aelfrida?" Inanna asked. Sarisa nodded, and Inanna turned to me. "Jerry, now you three are the only people alive who knows the name of Grendel's mother."
"The baby was Grendel?" I asked, surprised. Sarisa nodded again. "Yes, and he was a lovely creature for a very long time, until that drunkard, Hrothgar built his little party shack and drove the poor thing insane with all the noise." She shook her head sadly.
The tension eased more. It was barely there. All eyes were on Inanna now. She gave us all an askance look, as if she didn't like being the center of attention.
After a moment's silence, she turned back to me and wrapped her arms around my waist. She leaned her head against my chest again and spoke, not looking at anyone.
"I've thought a lot about what we're doing and what it might entail, from a practical perspective. I've communed with Ixy on it, as well, as he's the oldest of all of us. As best I can guess, the actual method which we're trying to learn is not to kill Astoram, or even to put him back to sleep. It's to cut off his manifestation from his divinity. It would open his domain for grabs by the rest of us. I'm sure Ixy plans to seize as much of it as he can, the moment we succeed.
"I can't think of any other method of defeating him that's even remotely possible. Sarisa, you know we've discussed this." Sarisa nodded. I knew, too. I'd heard them talking about it a few times, and had a general idea of their logic. It was complex and sometimes irrational, but if you squinted just right, it sort of made sense.
The gods' divinity wasn't who they were, but a natural product of living beings interacting with the universe and each other, that occasionally grew into something so coherent and powerful that it took on a life of its own. As best I understood, Ixy was the first god. He came into being when human ancestors began really differentiating themselves from the other animals with their cleverness, a sort of reflexive kickback against said cleverness. Every time an animal did anything, a trickle of energy was added to Ixy's domain, but every time an especially smart animal followed its instincts, he got a huge jolt of power.
Eventually, all that energy coalesced into the nightmarish entity that Ixy can be if you don't know him. Because those ancestors were smart and they contributed so much, Ixy developed a literal mind of his own. A simple mind, about as intelligent as your typical chimpanzee, but with the social bonds of a dog.
As time passed and humanity evolved into its modern state, that growing intelligence that it brought flowed towards Ixy. But Ixy didn't want it. Ixy liked being Ixy. So he sequestered these little disembodied minds off from the rest of himself. And things continued like that for a very long time.
But humanity was only just beginning to get clever. As tribes and clans took hold, complex social behaviors developed, and those behaviors differentiated themselves from the primal energy that defined Ixy. One by one, these energies, these divinities, grew dense enough to power a god on their own. The minds that Ixy had sequestered were not comatose or unaware, and they saw this happening. Eventually, one of them escaped and tied itself to a divinity. They became the first generation of the gods. Hunting, bloodlust, simple lust, hunger, loneliness. Base concepts that all of humanity knew.
This first generation eventually experienced the same fate as Ixy, only without the entirety of the animal kingdom feeding them a steady drip of power, they grew weak as the energies split apart. To offset this, they emanated; breaking off parts of their own minds to take command over the diverging and clumping divinities that had once been entirely theirs. As these emanations seized their own divinities, they became the second generation of gods. Sarisa and Inanna were both second generation gods. The second generation was supposed to serve the first, but after some time, they rebelled.
The first generation was gone; slain somehow in a great war that had been wiped from the minds of all survivors, even the gods themselves. Only Astoram remained of their number. Sarisa and Inanna had discussed how that might have happened, even before Astoram's awakening, and the consensus they had established was that one or more of their 'sibling' gods had learned how to separate a god from their divinity.
Once that was done, then there would be little left but the mind, unless said god had been manifesting. In that case, they would survive not as a disembodied mind, but in whatever form they had taken. And that was what we planned to do to Astoram. What it wasn't, however, was a secret. I looked down at Inanna, who glanced up and caught my eye. When she spoke, I knew she was speaking to me.
"If we succeed. If we find a way to strip Astoram from his divinity, then after we've defeated him, I want to be stripped from my own. I want to live whatever remaining life I have in this body with you, Jerry."
Holy fucking shit.
---- As a reminder, this whole story is available at JerryandtheGoddesses
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2023.05.30 21:07 PerfectionEludesMe I think my 2yo LO's daycare teacher is trying to get him kicked out.
This will be long, so here's the TL;DR
: He is speech delayed and has had some minor behavior issues since his little brother was born in early April. Teacher suggested we get him checked out for autism; he definitely is not autistic. I think she
thinks he needs tons of extra attention because of her suspicions and his recent behavior issues, and I know she's wrong and I think the extra attention is stressing him out. I want to tell the office on her about the autism comment but don't want my son to suffer any kind of retribution. What would you do in this scenario?
My 2y3m yo son is significantly speech delayed, but he's made a ton of progress since he started daycare in February after he turned 2. He understands us perfectly well for his age, he just struggles with effective expressive communication. He is learning lots of signs and can point and get us to understand what he wants, and has gained a ton of words, he just hasn't learned to use those words very well yet but he's getting there. Teacher thinks that because he will avoid eye contact when he's getting in trouble, that means he is on the spectrum. She told us this.
She also told us she has to tell him to "stop" certain behaviors more than she has to tell the other kids to get them to stop. So, he's a bit more defiant. Doesn't mean he's on the spectrum and requires special treatment. I've spoken with his early intervention coordinator to get her thoughts, and she agrees with me that he is not on the spectrum. He has seen a few different speech therapists and was evaluated by physical and developmental therapists, and most recently by a social worker for the behavior issues, and not one of these professionals suspect he is autistic. Speech delay does not equal autism.
He has had four biting incident reports in the last two weeks. After the second one, I asked to meet with the daycare director (the teacher's boss) about their procedures and her thoughts on the matter, mostly to see what we can do to prevent him from getting kicked out. She told me the only reason a kid would ever get kicked out is if they make us aware of the behavior issues and we do nothing to address them. This was a relief because I told her all the things we're doing, including seeing his pediatrician and now engaging with a social workebehavioral therapist to get to the bottom of this issue since it doesn't happen anywhere but at the daycare. She indicated everything would be fine since we were working to address the problem on our end. This was a week ago.
Today, I was called to pick him up from daycare because he bit two kids within two hours of being there. He was in a great mood when I dropped him off, and was still in a great mood when I picked him up. I suspect that the teacher is stressing him out unintentionally. When I was there to pick him up, he was in the director's office with his teacher, the assistant director, and another kid (maybe a classmate?). They gave me the forms to sign, and I went off a bit. I told them this only happens here at daycare; he is not aggressive in any other social situation. I told them I talked to the social worker and she would be in touch to schedule a classroom visit to observe what is going on to see if she can get to the root of the issue. They were very nonchalant about this, just saying okay, that's fine. No problem. Then my son pointed to the other kid and said her name, and just touched her shoulder while saying her name. The teacher got in between him and the kid saying "no no no, LO, careful, careful" and physically pulled them apart. ALL HE DID WAS TOUCH HER SHOULDER AND SAY HER NAME, like he was introducing her to me. I didn't think much in the moment, but in retrospect, I wonder if this is how she is treating him all day. Keeping him from touching or getting close to other kids at all, with the intention of preventing him from biting. And now that I think about it, any pictures they send of him, he is right next to the teacher, she is always right there. This has to be stressing him out if this is what is happening, which can prompt the biting behavior if given the opportunity. This is why I think she wants him out of her class, because she thinks she needs to be on top of him to prevent him from biting other kids, and it's keeping her from doing other stuff.
My plan as of right now is this:
- Let the social worker do her thing, schedule a classroom visit and let me know what she observed and what she thinks can change.
- Spend some time watching the video cameras in their office to see if I'm right, if she is hovering over him all day. They told us when we signed him up that we were welcome to come and watch the cameras any time we wanted, so I'm going to take them up on that.
- Talk to the director about my concerns, and maybe even tell her that the teacher suggested he's autistic, which is way out of her lane. She even said not to tell the office she said that because she could get in trouble, but fuck that. I'm getting pretty upset about all this now.
I'm just worried that if I tell the director about the teacher's comment, that this could negatively affect my son's experience in the classroom if she decides to enact retribution toward him. I have no idea what that could look like since there are other teachers and cameras around at all times, but it's a worry of mine. Unfortunately, I can't just move him to a new daycare because they all have wait lists and I don't want him to go back to spending his days watching TV with grandma while dad and I work full time.
What would you do?
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2023.05.30 21:05 Lanzen_Jars A job for a deathworlder [Chapter 117]
; [Previous Chapter]
; [Discord + Wiki]
Chapter 117 – I have nothing to hide
With a deep, long exhale that took every last bit of air out of his lungs, James hung up his call. Wordlessly and with his chest deflated, he simply remained standing there for a few seconds, feeling how his system gradually drained itself of oxygen while he tried his best to clear his thoughts and listen into himself. But all he felt was a chaos that he couldn’t calm. He had no idea if he was ready for this, and trusting the word of others had never in his life felt as hard as it did right now, not even the many times his life had literally depended on the word of others.
All he could do was reassure himself. He could do this. He would do this. And they all would get through this. He would make it happen. He had to.
Feeling the raging chaos-storm die down only ever so slightly at his own reassurances, he finally allowed himself to inhale again. He forced himself to not violently gasp for air as if he had just emerged from a deep dive. Instead, he very deliberately began to allow air to rush into his body through his nose, adamant to keep full control of the flow as he did so.
Once his lungs were full, he kept the air in for only a moment, before allowing it to rush back out of his mouth in a pursed-lipped exhale, while also opening his eyes again.
With steady and deliberate steps, he then began walking back to the rest of his group at an even and controlled pace. The projections of his team’s expression looked back at him with a strange sense of wonder and anticipation.
Nia and Moar on the other hand looked like they already sensed the severity of the situation, and a mounting dread seemed to take hold of them. Meanwhile Curi and Congloarch stood by with stony expressions, not giving a hint as to what was going on behind their faces.
That only left one.
Unlike all the others, Shida approached him as he returned to the group. After meeting back up outside of the conference room once the recess had been called, James had immediately separated from everyone again, and she had patiently waited for him to be done with his preparations. But now they could finally discuss what needed to be said.
“Are you feeling any better?” James asked her, knowing that he sadly would most likely have to force her to join them in the room once again once the proceedings would return to order. It was for everyone’s safety.
“Not really, but I think I can sit it out,” Shida confirmed for him, her expression stuck between assuring and sickened by the thought, which James couldn’t fault her for. With her ears twitching, likely to subtly remind him of her fine hearing, she then lifted a hand to gently put it on the side of his mask, where his cheek would usually be found. “So, it’s come down to it, huh?”
James nodded, while lifting his own hand to press it onto hers.
“Yes,” he replied with a sigh that reflected the weight he felt pushing down on him. “Not how I wanted things to go, but…I’m also glad that the secrecy will be over.”
Allowing his head to sink down, his mask pressed against Shida’s forehead.
“I honestly can’t tell if I’m overjoyed or devastated that you’re here with me for it,” he whispered as he closed his eyes for another moment.
“I wouldn’t want to be away from it,” Shida whispered back while her other hand also lifted to gently sink down onto the back of his head. “Not again.”
Letting out the mildest hint of a laugh, James embraced her. As he felt her body in his arms, a primal part of him wished that they could just remain like that. Just unload all of this weight and pressure in a hug until nothing bothered them anymore. Of course, that was not how anything worked, and so they soon let go.
Together, they joined back up with the rest of the group.
“Usually, I would offer anyone who doesn’t want to stick around the chance to get out now, but I’m afraid that would be way too dangerous to do,” James explained as he looked at everyone’s face individually. “For better or for worse, it’s safest if we all stick together now.”
Moar was the first to step forwards. Slowly, she approached him with her lumbering steps, one clawed hand lifted to her face while long fur hung off her thin arm, while the other half-extended towards James but stopped in mid air long before it reached him.
“James, what are you going to do?” she asked, her tone filled with all kinds of strongly held-back emotions. Light reflected twinklingly in her wet, dark eyes. James swallowed, but a feline hand clasping around his gave him courage.
“I’m going to come clean,” he said with a look up at the giant. “Everything that’s been said. Everything that’s been done. I’m putting it all on the table. I will let the galaxy be my witness that I made my choices and I am willing to stand for them, like I always was.”
He then wondered if he should prepare all of them for what was about to happen.
However, he decided against it.
“It’s better if I don’t tell you more right now,” he said with a creeping sadness gradually reaching for his words. “I don’t know how you’re going to react to it, but…whatever your reaction may be, it will be better if it is genuine inside of that chamber. You knew of nothing, and people will see that. I don’t want anyone to unjustly think you were involved.”
Although he didn’t say much, the concerning vagueness of his statement seemed to already give at least some of them ideas of what was going on, especially given the recent tensions back on Earth.
“James…you- you can’t be-“ Nia began, however James cut her off with a raised hand and slowly shook his head.
“Let’s keep it for the big reveal, alright?” he suggested, although his tone didn’t leave much room to argue.
Seemingly stricken by his words and looking for some reassurance that surely what she was thinking couldn’t be true, Nia glanced around to the faces of her other fellow humans for any sort of support. However, the projections of the faces of James’ entire team, including her own girlfriend, were just as glum and anticipating as that of her brother was.
They all knew. Of course, they did.
As James watched that realization sink in for his sister in real time, he suddenly noticed a huge shadow creeping in from his side. Turning his head, he looked up just in time to see a huge hand sink down to grasp around his shoulder, as Congloarch bowed his upper body in a show of respect.
“It is a rare sight to see a dancer stand firm,” the Lizartaur informed him with his deep, bellowing voice that came through barely parted rows of sharp teeth. “You carry yourself well, James. Keep that up, and the Galaxy will see it, too. I, for one, will stand with you.”
All of the giant’s four fiery eyes were focused down onto him.
James exhaled slowly, not knowing if he should be inspired or bemused by the strange encouragement.
“Thank you,” he ultimately said with genuine fondness in his voice. “For everything.” Hesitantly, he then turned to Curi. The cyborg still stood without any movement, their lightly glowing red eyes fixating on him with great attention.
“I think…” they began to say, noticing his eyes on them, however they then cut themselves off and shook their body slightly to rephrase it. “I believe in you. I believe that I cannot have misjudged you to such a degree that anything you did would make me no longer want to stand with you. Not after you stood with me when nobody else would. You said you wouldn’t rather have anyone else by your side. And I will be.”
While James appreciatively bowed his head to the cyborg, Moar then came forth once again, seemingly feeling like she needed to say something as well.
“I am not sure what you have in store for us this time, but I cannot imagine abandoning you to face it alone once again either,” she said, her gaze noticeably falling onto his cybernetic arm. “I cannot promise that it will not take me time, but I do not wish to let myself be blinded by my own ignorance again. Therefore, I will listen to your reason, and knowing you, I am sure I will see it as well.”
Exhaling slowly, James was already starting to think that he was feeling one too many emotions right before such a huge event. But, seeing as it couldn’t get much worse, he turned to his team.
“Anyone got anything to say? Now’s your chance,” he offered to them. The humans briefly exchanged some looks with each other. It didn’t really seem like they had much need to get anything out.
“If we’re going to have to fight our way out of here because of this, I’m going to be so mad,” Athena notified everyone with a sigh while patting the side of her belt with one hand while throwing her long ponytail back with the other.
“Remember to count your kills if it comes to that,” Koko chimed in with a tone that seemed to try to break up the tension. “Makes documentation so much easier if we don’t have to scrub through the footage.”
She tapped at the camera attached to her chest with a finger.
Giving the two a hesitant courtesy chuckle, James then turned to his sister once more. She still looked on in disbelief, seemingly overwhelmed by what was happening.
Momentarily letting go of Shida’s hand, James walked over to her, immediately pulling her into a tight hug.
“You don’t have to worry,” he assured her, doing his absolute best to confidently speak this truth into existence. By any metric, she had done nothing wrong. At the very least he would ensure everyone knew about that.
Nia held him for a moment, before shifting her head slightly.
“What about you?” she asked gently.
“I can handle myself,” James replied immediately. “And I’ll have no regrets.”
Apparently not quite knowing how to react to what he had said, Nia just squeezed him tighter.
“I love you,” was all she said in the end, and James could feel his heart drop at her words.
“I love you, too,” James replied seriously, and after a few more long seconds, they let go of each other again.
Clearing his throat, James looked around at everyone.
“We should probably get back inside early,” he suggested, feeling like keeping a good overwatch over the situation was a valuable strategy.
Although hesitant, everyone followed him as he led the way, and soon enough, they were back on their seats – after checking everything for possible tampering once again.
For now, the room was still relatively empty. One or two of the other representatives had already found themselves back as well, and many nervous glances were thrown James’ way after the earlier outburst.
However, as James settled into his seat to go over how exactly he wanted to say what he had to, he heard a weird sound of pitter-patter in front of him. Leaning forwards in confusion and looking down at the railing, his eyes then quickly caught the bright, signal-colored fur of a pixemerrier climbing up towards him. The nimble lemur forewent the need for the offered stairs and simply used the railing as more than enough purchase to make it up to the second level, small hands soon reaching over the sides to completely pull the pink and spotted body up.
Now sitting directly in front of James on almost eye-level, Losaraner looked at James with mildly glowing eyes.
“Can I help you?” James asked as he shifted his position slightly to look at the man head-on.
“Just, uhm….” the lemur started, but then heavily hesitated as he awkwardly shuffled his body around. Something seemed to make him majorly uncomfortable, although it didn’t appear to be for an all too serious reason.
Strangely feeling put the tiniest bit at ease at the display of sincere awkwardness, James let out a bemused breath.
“Whatever it is, it’s alright,” James therefore informed the glowing lemur and reassuringly raised a hand. “I’ve been called every name in the book and had to answer every question I can think of, you won’t insult me with whatever you have to say.”
With some honest relief apparently rushing over the pixemerrier’s face, Losaraner pushed himself up to all four of his feet again, balancing on top of the railing.
“Forgive the inconvenience, ambassador, but we would like to relocate your seat,” he informed James.
“Relocate my seat?” James asked with a head-tilt, his mind already running with possibilities how this could be to his detriment.
“Not just yours, that of your entire party,” Losaraner quickly clarified something that James had honestly already figured. “We believe it would lead to a more civil outcome.”
James quite earnestly scoffed at that. There would be nothing civil about what was going to happen. And although he wasn’t technically against gaining some distance from his most averse parties around here, he also felt like the sudden need to get him away from Uton had a foul aftertaste.
“Is that a compulsory ‘would like’ or a suggesting one?” he therefore inquired. He almost didn’t want to, given that Shida had difficulties being here already, and being further from her former father figure surely would help with that a bit. But still, he was going to trust his gut on this one.
“Oh, uhm…well, if you would like to remain in your seat I guess-“ Losaraner began, and James quickly nodded before he had even finished.
“I would,” he confirmed firmly. “But thank you very much for your consideration.”
If they were going to try and blow him up or whatever, they better be willing to take their scapegoat down with him. Maybe this was all a genuine offer in the end, but even then staying around here wasn’t going to have a negative impact.
“In that case, I’ll return to let my mother know,” Losaraner said with a nod and turned on the spot, seemingly to climb back down to the lower level.
“Hey Losaraner?” James stopped him briefly, causing the lemur to turn his head back.
“Ambassador?” he questioned James’ intervention, awaiting whatever he would have to say.
“You seem like a good guy,” James said, fixating the glowing primate through his visor in an attempt to spot any attempt at deception from the small creature. He couldn’t find any. “Keep an open mind, alright?”
Although apparently confused by James’ words, Losaraner nodded with a bit of enthusiasm.
“Of course, Sir,” he replied, before then climbing down the railing face-first to join back up with his conspecifics.
“Almost showtime,” James then mumbled to himself.
Shortly after, the room had once again filled up with the representatives of all eleven primate species the galaxy knew, as well as their extended company.
Though by now, it almost seemed like the invited representatives found themselves outnumbered by the vastly increased number of reporters, sound engineers, camera people and even news casters that had come together to report on the event. Their numbers must have had at the very least tripled since before the recess had begun, and that was a very conservative estimate.
Cameras and microphones were truly everywhere now, ensuring that not a single instant of this most possibly historic moment would be missed without being preserved for all to see.
Next to him, James could see Uton settling in. His face seemed to be plastered with the same anticipation that James felt. And for only a second, both primates glanced over at each other at the same moment, their gazes very briefly meeting in a moment that seemed to fill the air with an electric charge.
The tension was palpable, and it only looked for a release.
In the room’s center, Losaranarja was now climbing back onto her small podium. The glow if her fur and eyes had increased quite drastically since before the recess, and James wondered if that was caused by stress alone or if other factors also played a role.
“Welcome back everyone. Seeing as all invited representatives have returned to their places, I hereby reopen the council of primates,” she announced over the loudspeakers as her glowing eyes scanned over the room. “Before the recent recess, we had just born witness to a frankly tremendous confession of Captain Ferromore Uton. If nobody has anything absolutely urgently relevant to say before we continue, I would suggest that we waste no time before getting to the bottom of that unnerving revelation he wishes to share with us.”
Without wasting a second of time, James was already on his feet.
“Actually, I do believe I have something to say on the matter,” he announced loudly, pulling the attention of the room onto him at an instant, camera flashes almost immediately erupting into a storm of flashing lights. “In fact, since Representative Goloribal’s only worry about letting me take over the explanations earlier appeared to be that I may not be ‘fervent’ enough about it, I will like to pick him up on that earlier implied offer, with the promise that I will be sufficiently ‘fervid’ about everything I am going to divulge.”
“Am…bassador?” Losaranarja asked completely confused by this turn of events as she looked up at him, almost appearing shock-stunned at the revelation.
“Do I have the word?” James asked, still sticking to procedure vehemently.
The lemur seemed to hesitate. Clearly, she was already afraid of where this was going. However, she had offered the opportunity to speak to everyone who believed that they had something important enough to say. And therefore, she had little choice on the matter.
“Of course,” she said after pulling herself together visibly. “Please go ahead, Ambassador Aldwin.”
“Thank you,” he announced loudly. And although he felt his insides scream in cramping anxiety, he held on his firm tone and posture as he stood up straight. This was it. “First, please allow me to reiterate and reaffirm my earlier point. The attack on Dunnima was entirely unprovoked and was and remains unjustifiable.”
He needed to set that stage. That was his hill, and he was willing to die on it. Nothing they could bring against him would change those facts.
Filling his lungs with as much air as he could without it being painful, he then continued.
“Now to the matter at hand,” he addressed the room. “Captain Uton has been lying to you. However, not about the point that you may think,” he informed them, with the faces of everyone already falling into gloom at what exactly he may mean by that. “He was not the one who ordered the attack on Dunnima. Humanity has already known who ordered the attack for quite a while now, and we were in the process of drafting a proper case against him before we would publicly accuse him of anything. We do however have ample evidence to provide to prove the guilt of this individual, namely Acting-Councilman Ekorte Keun.”
There was an immediate eruption of more flashes as well as wild mumbles throughout the room. Everyone seemed to be whipped up into a mild frenzy at James’ words. And James wouldn’t give them time to ask many questions about it. They wouldn’t need to.
“Keun himself has confessed his crime to me personally shortly after it was committed,” he continued his retelling of the events of the past months without losing more than a moment to the muttering. “He did so, because he falsely believed himself to be in danger after his failed attempt at somebody’s life backfired against him. He also believed that I would be the only person able to prevent said danger from claiming him, which is why he came to me directly. Our conversation was recorded and is part of the case I mentioned earlier. Within it, you will hear that the Acting-Councilman believed that he had become the target of the ire of a Realized Artificial Sapient after his attempt at her life with his illegally ordered attack on Dunnima had failed to destroy her, and he believed that my influence on said artificial Sapient would be great enough to preserve his life, if he only confessed to his crimes in my favor.”
As if a switch had been flipped, the mumbling in the room came to an almost immediate halt. From one moment to the next, you could suddenly hear a pin drop, with even the news casters and reporters stopping their ongoing drivel as all eyes were entirely on James.
“He was mistaken in his assumption,” James said in no unclear terms. “In reality, the Artificial Sapient, as much as she may have wanted to, was never out for revenge against him. She knew that any aggressive action she would take would be nothing but fuel to the fire that already raged against her. And therefore, she remained just as passive as she had been throughout her entire existence, while the apparent attacks against her would-be killer were carried out by a so far unknown third party.”
Somehow, the room got even more quiet. By now, James could feel gazes burning into him not only from all around the front of him, but also from right behind his back, as he had now fully confirmed what many of them had been passively suspecting for a long time now.
Of course, Uton technically had plenty of opportunity to dispute James’ words and insist that he was the one to order the attack. However, in the end, did it really matter? Right now, nobody really cared who exactly ordered the attack. Something else was a lot heavier on their mind.
“Are you…saying…that there truly is a Realized Sapient on Dunnima?” Losaranarja asked hesitantly, as nobody else seemed to indicate that they wanted to ask this all-important question, causing her to take over that duty as the host.
“That is correct,” James confirmed without hesitation. “Her name is Avezillion, and as previously mentioned, she was the main target of this recent attack.”
It was like a timer slowly ticked down as the silence remained for just a bit longer.
And like that, the loud discussing and mumbling and even shouting over each other broke out once more, along with a renewed vengeance of cameras.
“You are saying right now, there is a realized Sapient loose in the galaxy…And you knew?” Klanneifer was the first to break out of the homogeneous white noise to directly address James. “Are you insane?”
Keeping his calm, James brought his hands behind his back.
“I don’t believe I am,” he replied nonchalantly with a gaze at the four-armed primate. “Especially considering that Captain Uton and his known circle of influence most likely knew just as long as I did, without ever divulging that information either.”
He could hear shouts about how this was an outrage and how about something would have to be done immediately from all around him. It seemed like most of the present representatives were absolutely ready to try and mobilize the entire Communal military to deal with this at an instant, and it really made James wonder if this all had truly been the best course of action.
But right now, he had to believe. He could not allow himself to show weakness. Not here, not right now.
“Surely you know the dangers of these beings!” Commander Halljafier was the next to speak up. “Are you saying humanity just allowed all of this to happen under their nose?”
Again, with just humanity. It wasn’t like no one else had known.
“At my very own recommendation,” James replied without even really wasting a glance over at the grassurgap next to him, “The leadership of humanity has decided to allow Avezillion a chance to exist and prove herself. She has existed on Dunnima for many years without a single violent incident on her part. We believed this to be rather unprecedented of course, however the people of Dunnima believable assured us of the opposite.”
He turned his head to Shida, which quickly caused her to stand up, as she immediately took the hint. These words would be better if they did not come out of his mouth.
“Within our long-recorded history, Dunnima’s Realized have never been violent like the ones the rest of the Galaxy knows,” she explained just as self-assured as James did, although he could tell it took her considerable effort. Though, it seemed that fueling her words with a bit of spite did help with that. “Not including Avezillion herself, three Realized have emerged on Dunnima in the past, before we joined the greater Galactic Community. One of them, Kertaiyon, is hailed as a hero of the people to this very day. Not one of them has ever started a war against us or unjustly hurt people. It is true that not all of them were Saints, but that is nothing unusual on Dunnima. Therefore, when Avezillion emerged under the scrutinizing eye of the Community this time, we all agreed to hide her, as long as she would remain hidden herself. For many, many years, the Galactic Community remained none-the-wiser, as Avezillion peacefully lived in Dunnima’s networks without ever causing issues.”
She paused briefly to swallow as well as watch the unbelieving reaction of the people around her. It seemed that everyone was a bit too stunned to really fathom or at least fully react to what she was saying.
“However, the hiding wore away at her over time. She felt trapped, confined. Never being able to show yourself at all while limiting yourself to only a small portion of the Galaxy, it was a life unworthy living for her,” Shida kept on explaining. “Therefore, when James came to visit Dunnima, she made a gamble. She would either gain her freedom, or she would no longer have to live on under these conditions. With these thoughts in mind, she revealed herself to James, and by extension, humanity, finding peace only in that, if they decided to end her, humanity would surely do so without causing greater harm to the people of Dunnima. Something that she wasn’t convinced of with the rest of the Galaxy – for good reason, as it turns out.”
Thanking Shida with a nod, James signaled for her to sit back down, hoping that the stunned representatives would direct their possibly emerging ire at the person left standing instead of the one that had spoken.
“I made the call to trust those that had lived with her for years,” James added onto Shida’s words. “And humanity’s leadership made the call to trust me. And we have not found a single shred of evidence that Avezillion has ever caused harm to anyone or even intended to do so. Had she wanted to cause damage like so many of her conspecifics did, she would’ve been able to achieve a great deal of it.”
Hesitantly, the representative of the Missicapriej -lanky grey primates with one too many joints in each of their limbs- who had so far barely spoken during the entire conference, stood up.
“But…if you are admitting that there is an Artificial Sapient, and that it was the target of the attack, then…then the attack was entirely justified,” they stated, although they barely sounded confident in that statement.
“Indeed, it was,” Commander Halljafier quickly supported that claim, clearly thinking he knew the galactic military doctrine much better.
“That is not correct,” James denied. “An outer-orbital strike, especially on a civilian target, is never justified,” he said with strong emphasis. “It is one of the oldest rules that the community has established.”
“If it is to destroy a realized sapient, then all means are-“ the Commander tried to deny him, however he flinched back at James brought his mechanical hand down onto the railing before him once again, this time with purpose.
“The laws of war exist for a very good reason!” he boldly stated after waiting a moment to see if the Commander wanted to continue his sentence. “Ignoring them if we see fit, no matter what the reason may be, is a dangerous subject. And if you think that attempting the murder of an innocent person is already reason enough, then you have clearly not understood why these laws exist in the first place!”
“Innocent person?” the commander scoffed with vitriol in his voice. “That…that thing-“
However, once again he was interrupted. To James’ great surprise, however, it wasn’t by him.
“It may have slipped your mind since it has been so long since the last one emerged, Commander,” Captain Uton was the one to speak up, his deep voice cutting through the room like knife with its coldness. “But the personhood of Realized Sapients is not up to debate. And it has not been for more than a hundred years. That question has been answered by our ancestors ages ago, and we would do well not to try and question it today for our convenience.”
While the Commander sunk back into his seat after the shutdown from the superior he had believed to be on his side, James bit down on his lip. Although every word Uton had just said was true, he simply hated having to agree with him, even on such a basic and important topic.
He mostly hated it because it showed that there had to be some vague hint of integrity left somewhere deep down within that bastard of a person, and that almost made James despise him more, since he clearly knew what he was doing.
The Captain’s dark eyes then turned over onto him, as the large man continued, “However, I have to disagree with the Ambassador on the justification. Person or not, eradicating an artificial sapient is more than enough reason to forgo a simple law.” James bit back his anger, keeping his focus intact. Although next to him, he could hear the loud scraping noise of wood buckling under sharp claws, as Shida dug her natural weapons into the chair she was sitting on in order to remain seated and quiet.
“And yet Avezillion is still alive,” James replied challengingly to the man. “Meanwhile innocent civilians got injured. One of the leaders of Dunnima got heavily injured. Children got hurt. Children that would now be dead had the attack not been foiled by our warship. It is nothing short of a miracle none of them are dead. It was a terrorist attack, nothing else. The moment justice bends to such heinousness, it breaks. And, after all, forgive me for being a bit heavy-handed, but if the Community is willing to break its own laws and attack its own planets to hunt down one Realized, then who is the one that the people really need to fear? I, for one, put my trust in the one that hasn’t already proven that it would attack and use me without a second thought. After all, this isn’t the first time I hear of someone inconvenient being suddenly caught in an explo-”
James was cut off when Uton loudly spoke up, his loud organ easily overpowering James’ voice in a conversational tone.
“What happened to your promise of not making this about y-“ Uton began to say, however then his voice was in turn overpowered as well.
“Wait your god damned turn!” James shouted out authoritatively, momentarily overtaken by his anger in a brief outburst. “You do NOT get to talk over me!”
Quickly catching himself again, although he very much wanted to keep going in the same vein, James lowered his voice again, although the room was left noticeably shaken.
“This is a civil event that follows clear rules that we are both bound by,” he said with a serious gaze over at Uton. “And my promise died the moment you decided to drag it through the mud with your fictional tales about very real events that have influenced not only my life, but that of many people very close and important to me. So forgive me, Captain Ferromore Uton, if I am not going to sit idly by and allow you to spew whatever nonsense you and your cohorts came up with in your ivory towers while the world underneath you burned. I was wrongly imprisoned, blackmailed, tortured, and maimed by you people. Shida was groomed and abused by you for years as you tried to make her fit your mold. There was an attempt on Curi’s life under Your. Very. Command. So forgive me, please, if the reasoning of ‘we really wanted them gone’ out of your mouth isn’t enough for me to believe that a crime against the Galaxy is justified, especially since you had knowledge of Avezillion’s existence for as long as I had, and could have divulged it at any point. But you didn’t want to divulge it. Because that would’ve meant that she would have a chance to defend herself, either physically or before the law. You simply wanted her gone. Wanted her to disappear like so many before her did. But not anymore. No, no, not anymore. Here and now, I promise you that, as long as humanity is around, nobody under your Command is going to just disappear anymore. Not. A. One. We will watch. And we will see. And, starting with Curi and Avezillion, we will be a place for them to go when no one else will stand with them.”
Seemingly stirring in anger now, James could see Uton clench his jaw, his lips quivering as he held himself back.
“I never abused her,” Uton muttered, apparently completely focused on that part as James had seemingly struck a nerve with that.
“And that’s the only defense you could come up with,” James responded. Then, he reached up with his left hand, pulling his right sleeve back to reveal the mechanical arm underneath it to the room, while he held it up in front of his body. “You wanted her to fit your mold. And now she’s in a place where she’s actually loved. You wanted to change me. And now, I have this arm here, just because of you. And you wanted to change the Galaxy. Well,” James paused briefly to spread his arms in a wide gesture that was very clearly meant to mock the man. “Congratulations, you did,” he then announced to the entire room. “Without you, humanity would likely never even have considered helping a realized Sapient. Michael really did his job well with spreading fear and hate. But after enduring everything that you put me through? I was just open enough to listen when one told me that she feared you.”
Uton clenched his jaws tighter and his hands curled into fists. Seeing his puppet becoming useless, Goloribal sprang into action.
“As the revered order of the primates, it is our duty to lead by example!” he announced as he got up, although his presence was already far less impressive than it had been earlier. “For generations, we were renowned for our just and swift action. We cannot allow ourselves to falter in that now!”
“For generations, we primates have also been revered for our curiosity and for being the first to open up to anything new,” James responded to that, looking the man directly into his face. “Yeah, that’s right,” he then added as the representative blankly stared back at him. “I studied galactic history, too! I’m fucking unstoppable!”
He boisterously threw his arms up, making a real show out of it.
In all actuality, he was most likely far from gaining any victory right now. Sure, at the moment, the room was slightly shaken into silence, however he highly doubted that he had actually managed to truly convince many of the people present here.
However, as long as the cameras were on him, he would keep the show going. Maybe he wouldn’t convince the stuck-up people of the revered orders. However, somewhere out there, there would be people whose ears and hearts he would reach. Hopefully at least. And for them, he would put on this show. Put on this air of confidence that everything would turn out well.
Because only if he managed to make everyone believe that would they find the courage to shake out of their rut and go looking for a better tomorrow. If he believed everything would be well, then they would too.
“Those are big words from someone hiding their face,” a voice suddenly broke through the room. James wasn’t even sure who had said it. But he also didn’t care. Right now, it was just another stone to jump off of.
“What, you think I am wearing this to hide?” James announced loudly and gestured to his breathfilter while turning his head so the entire room could see the gesture.
“It’s uncomfortable as hell! And it gives me a serious disadvantage in any debates if people can’t read my face. These breathfilters are and have always been something we humans are wearing for everyone’s benefit but our own. They are designed because we are extremely cautious to keep nasty deathworld-germs from spreading, even if that is extremely unlikely. And additionally, it protects all the delicate people of the galaxy from having to look at our scary deathworld-faces. But, if you want-“
He didn’t even hesitate in reaching up and pressing the necessary buttons to release the seal of the filter. With a loud hiss, its grip on James’ head loosened, and he quickly pulled the mask-like device off his head, before briefly running his mechanical hand through his disheveled hair to bring it into a bit of form.
Breathing out deeply with an open mouth, James presented his teeth to the room with a confident smile, while his dark, sharp eyes scanned over the room, making direct contact with as many of those of his fellow primates as at all possible.
“I have nothing to hide,” James announced. “From the very start, I owned up to my mistakes and was willing to stand for them. I terrorized an entire station to protect myself. I shot someone’s leg off when he threatened my freedom. I killed one of my captors when I finally escaped from their hold. I have done many things that the Galaxy may judge me for. However, I truly and whole heartedly believe that helping Avezillion is not one of them. And I will stand for that just like I stand to my mistakes.”
submitted by Lanzen_Jars
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 21:05 Graphics_Nerd A Theory About Martha and the Secret Doors
All of this is wild speculation:
Martha is the leader of this secret government as 'head of mechanical' to keep the Silo under tight control. She's pulling all of the strings and Bernard, Sims, and others (Gloria / the Dr. that 'takes out' Allison's bc / the judge) execute her plans. No one would ever suspects it because she is never seen outside of her workshop but it's known all she 'really' does is fixes toasters.
I don't think she anticipated Holston going out, because he is their 'big fan of the pact kind of guy and man of the people', or that Jules would wind up as his replacement when they had to get rid of his wife for 'the greater good' and are having to scramble a bit to fix it.
Here's what I'm seeing:
Martha seems to be 'special' has access tech she shouldn't but no one important seems care, she also gets first pick at anything 'primo' from the recycling center.
At some point she confidently says something like "they'd never be able to kick me out."
It could make sense, she lives at the bottom of the silo and doesn't really go out - most probably don't know who she is or venture to the very bottom of the silo. And those that do know think she's just a tinkerer in her little basement workshop.
Martha has picked Jules as her 'shadow', she needed someone smart, that was interested in fixing things, one that thought critically, someone strong willed and very clever.
In a flashback says something like "we need people that will do whatever is necessary for the people of the silo" which is later echoed by Sims before he kills Doug-
It would be also why 'they' can't kill Jules - they just keep trying to get her fired and sent back down so she can eventually take over the silo.
Everyone (Sims, Marnes, Bernard) is really pushing for Billings, a copy of Holston (non questioning letter of the law and big fan of the pact kind of guy) to be sheriff.
They all take turns playing good cop bad cop pressuring the Mayor to pick Billings - hammering in "this has to be done quickly to keep order" but taking jabs at each others departments so it doesn't look like they're working together for a common goal publicly, and quietly behind closed doors "I hate to say this but, he's right."
They're all working towards the same outcome, Jules stays down stairs. (We never hear what Martha says about Jules to Mayor Jahns)
So when that doesn't work (and after the poison cake ruse) Martha poisons the Mayor because she could no longer be controlled, and put the wheels in motion for 'them' to kill Marnes so he doesn't eventually figure out it wasn't the water bottles. And they turn their focus trying to get Jules to refuse the job so 'they' can appoint Billings.
**Sims check on Marns after the Mayors death to make sure he's still "one of them" and they hatch a little plan to let Jules fail so they have a believable excuse to send Jules back down, sims tells him "it's your call" - "we all work for the good of the silo" which is met with a half ass 'right, to the good of the silo' and not long after he's dead. very hypothetical, but that's how I read that conversation - \*Marnes derailed the plan by giving Holston's recommendation to the mayor because of his feelings, and seems to be having a change of heart / becoming unreliable and knows too much, could eventually connect that it was Martha that poised Jahns.)
As Jules gets older Martha is not outright telling Jules what happened but seems to have knowledge of what caused the rebellion "asking questions turns into demanding answers, and if folks don't like the answers..." and says she should start questioning 'why do we have these rules in place' - pushing her to study the pact so she understand why the rules are important also that she should quit as sheriff, and come back to maintenance. There are not a lot of critical thinkers in the silo, so it's important that whoever is 'running' the place is able to put all the pieces together to form a believable plan.
You've got to be sneaky with a lot misdirection (plans within plans) you we two red herrings for Jules to easily find - and since the people already don't trust judicial finding out someone from judicial is planting evidence and then murdering people to cover it up - not that crazy. And when the judge wants to sweep that under the rug, also not that crazy.
"They" have their patsy, and it doesn't look suspicious if he turns up dead - now nothing can lead back to Martha, they have Billings as the next in line for sheriff.
Now if Jules fucks up very publicly, like at a 'forgiveness holiday' that gets a bit off the rails, the public can say "listen, you solved the murder, almost died, and we appreciate that - butttt..." (like the secretary did) and Billings is promoted to sheriff and the silo returns to the status quo.
And when the people vote for their new mayor it will be the highly recommended by IT, Mechanical, and Judical, a real fan of the pact kinda guy that everyone in the silo adores.
Also - we now have two secret doors.
"Janitorial" - which I can only assume is a security center where they have live feeds everywhere throughout the silo and elevator / maintenance access. I'm guessing they're able to monitor the live feeds / police radios and rapidly deploy to prevent tempers from escalating.
During the tool rental, Sims shows up out of no where and puts an end to the argument over a sledge hammer. Just after that on Martha's radio we hear them asking about ammo and a few seconds later as Jules is walking in we 'level 14 is clear' and she turns off the radio.
Judicial is on 19, the janitor may have been on 20 - and we don't know exactly how long the time frame is, so Sims could have gotten there from his office. But if it really was only a few seconds, that dude has an elevator.
Underwater - Jules has been telling Martha about this and Martha isn't really digging or offering up any additional info - we saw in the blueprints it's at the end of a hallway, but that's kind of all we know.
Just a few of the questions I'm still trying to figure out -
Does Bernard have the "IT door" aka 'admin access' to all of the stored data and able to act as an investigative unit? Like when some heat tape goes missing he can review the footage? Did Martha make that go away?
Is the underwater door the one that will 'forever change' whoever becomes head of mechanical? And is Martha able to drain the water to access it?
How much access do each of the 3 have into each others world?
Are all 3 totally separate as checks and balances to keep one from going rogue?
What secret makes Martha so powerful in this dynamic?
Are the secret doors so dangerous but necessary that only one person should know how to access the Mechanical door?
Is all of this just a test to see if she's 'worthy'?
Is there connection to Jules mother and brother dying - is being 'in charge' required to be a lonely existence and it was engineered that they die to establish the cover story of how Jules ended up in Mechanical and why she never leaves the workshop? "There's nothing up there for me" is an understandable position for someone who has lost everyone they loved. As near as I can tell Sims / Billings / Marnes (until the end) aren't currently in relationships, and Martha's fell apart - and maybe it had to after she took over this position.
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2023.05.30 20:55 GG88888888 Is it possible to maintain a healthy and happy marriage if your mother-in-law despises you?
Hi everyone. I have a question that's weighed heavily on me for some time: is it possible to maintain a healthy and happy marriage if your mother-in-law despises you?
I've been with my husband for nearly 10 years. We're college sweethearts. He's an awesome person--kind, smart, loyal, goofy, sweet, romantic. The works. He's my best friend and a great partner. We support each other's careers and goals, hang out with friends and neighbors, and enjoy a lot of overlap in our hobbies and passions. We've purchased a small home together and have a cat who we adore. In general, I feel grateful and lucky to be with him, and he regularly tells me how happy he is with me and how I'm the love of his life.
Of course, we have small fights here and there, but over the past decade, there has been one topic which has triggered potentially relationship-ending fights: his mom (my mother-in-law). Before I proceed, I want to put out a disclaimer that she is a good person with good qualities and I feel a debt of gratitude towards her for raising my husband. I don't want to demonize her. I'm just at the end of my rope. I've shed too many tears over this situation and I feel like I can't see a way out.
So, MIL was the only parent of ours that had an unhappy reaction to our engagement. Our other 3 parents (my mom and dad as well as his dad who is divorced from his mom) were all overjoyed and cried happy tears. His mom got very quiet. Then first thing she said was, "I thought you were already engaged!" which took the wind out of our sails. She followed that up with, "I guess I'll be having grandchildren soon!" which is another point of contention because we don't have kids yet (by choice) despite being together for so long. She boils this down to my fault. She angrily told him on multiple occasions, "you always wanted to be a father before you met her!" We were both approximately 20 years old when we met. Other things she's done behind my back:
- MIL instructed husband to "test me" before marrying me. She told him, "don't do whatever she wants you to do, and see how she reacts!" This may have been triggered by him telling her he's very happy with me because she responded with "I'm sure you're very happy right now but only because you do whatever she says". She told him in the middle of the night afterwards that she "had a terrible dream about him" and wanted to know if he was okay with me.
- MIL told husband I "clearly need Jungian therapy" because I'm "out of touch with my dreams and my shadow", I might "need to be medicated", and she's "more emotionally mature and honest" than me due to her years of therapy and her age. For the record, I have had therapy and counselling, I have tried medication for anxiety, and I respect mental health treatment.
- I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called psoriatic arthritis by a rheumatologist. I went through blood tests and consultations. Flare-ups are occasionally very painful and physically off-putting. MIL verbatim told my husband, "she's probably faking her illness for attention or manipulation or something". I think maybe she was feeling insecure because her siblings and her ex-husband accused her of overexaggerating her health issues, so I get that she was triggered, but it was very painful to hear her comment via my husband. It is probably one of the meanest comments I've received in my lifetime. I was shocked and ruminated for a long time about why someone would think so little of my character.
There's much more, of course, as MIL has sent no shortage of "accidental" mean texts and impulsive emails ranting about me (typically sent midnight to 5AM because she "just can't fall asleep" thinking about me). Here's the thing: I've never had a negative interaction with her in person. She has always been polite. I have never even exchanged a text with her or had a call with her beyond generic well wishes for holidays and birthdays. However, because I am aware of this pattern of behavior she has exhibited behind my back over the past decade, I have increasingly declined most social invites from her. Of course, I never prevent my husband from going to family functions--he goes to maybe a dozen a year between holidays, birthdays, weddings, funerals, etc. since he has a big family on both sides.
The kicker is, MIL constantly complains that I don't attend family functions, which to her indicates that I don't "make an effort to become part of the family". From our perspectives, we married each other, not our families. My family is much smaller, but when I hang out with them, my husband doesn't always tag along. He does not feel that I have an obligation to attend his family functions, but he does feel very angry and then sometimes sad when his mother (and increasingly sister) guilt trip him about me not visiting. MIL likes to say she's "lost a son" and SIL texted my husband that he is "the biggest disappointment of mom's life" and "he'll regret everything when she's dead."
I don't know what to do. I don't want to put my husband in the middle of this situation when his family so clearly despises me. In turn, I no longer want to interact with them. I love this man. I want our relationship to be happy and healthy. But the thought of having to interact with my MIL for the rest of my life is so anxiety-inducing that I honestly sometimes consider divorce. I am a people pleaser and conflict avoidant, and I understand these are bad unassertive traits which don't lead to conflict resolution. I just don't know what confronting her would accomplish at this point and I fear it would make the situation much worse as she might feel criticized. I can't envision my MIL becoming a grandmother to my future children when she has already sent long angry texts about "just knowing" how I won't respect her as a grandma.
I'm so sorry I ranted so much. I thought I was going to be much more concise and organized with my thoughts. I would really appreciate any advice you guys have.
submitted by GG88888888
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