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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world

I'm guessing you guys have seen this:



The original twitter release with plenty of angry right wing fan reaction (you can click on the square pic to play it):


It’s amazing that any artist thinks that attacking Trump will do anything other than confirm him in his supporters’ minds.

I think it does matter. As the consensus goes so do the sheep. Since the wolves cry wolf all the time, and the fox supports the wolf, and the shepherd is not entirely innocent in predation, wolf must be cried. Ignore the villagers boy, cry wolf at will! 

October 14, 2017, 05:09:49 PM
Re: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey It would be hard to even come close to being true to the era to not have religious practice be a predominant feature. Your story does not need to be theological, but the language and idioms should be dripping with such.

The first thing to do is read the Koran. It is not that long a read. The next thing to read some of the hadith or teachings of those who knew the Prophet, peace be upon him, and came after. This will tell you what their points of view were. Most schools of Islamic understanding follow the hadith despite instruction in the Koran to deny the value of all hadith. (This (Quran) is not fabricated hadith, but an authentication of what is with you, a detailed account of all things and guidance and mercy for people who believe. 12:111) Also do not ever mention the Prophet, may peace be upon him, without saying may peace be upon him.

As far as customs go, the most important is to greet people. In that day and age, good people, Christian, Jewish and Islam considered wishing God's peace on someone and blessing their house in the same manner a required act. Shalom aleichem was said by Jews and it was advised to be said and said by Jesus. (Mathew 10:12)  The Talmud explains that "The entire Torah is for the sake of the ways of shalom." The Quran tells you that Allah rewards your using full and formal greetings. Wishing the peace and prosperity of Allah on people you meet, regardless of their faith is best. With, of course, a few caveats added to the Quran for dealing with rude Jews who deny the value of the Quran. The Arabic version of the greeting is As-salamu alaykum with the response, wa?alaykumu as-sal?m. In English this translates to "May the peace of God be with you." This has the response, "And also with you."

As far as fantasy goes, you may once more, be crossing the border into religion. To repeat a discussion I had on Islam with a fairly liberal and open minded practitioner of the faith, "No one who practices Islam, denies the existence of the Jinn." Surah 72 is titled Al-Jinn and is about the Jinn. It is mostly an affirmation by the Jinn saying that this Quran is the truth and it's enemies will burn in hell. Sadly it does not give much detail on the Djinn so you will have to resort to hadith to get more feel for the beliefs of the time.
The following may give you a bit of the feel you are looking for,


October 16, 2017, 10:27:47 PM
Re: Winoc the Traveler - Free Web Fiction Well written. I enjoyed it.
October 16, 2017, 10:44:01 PM
Re: If you were made into a homunculus today...
So the Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood version of homunculi are a bit more badass than the 16th century stuff, but equally creepy (their source was a bit like a creature in a bottle, but it pulled what it believed to be 7 imperfections from itself to create the 7 dwarves I'm referring to...)  FMA was rated the second best anime of all time by myanimelist, but obvi it's really the best.  But that sloth is really cute!

I do love Fullmetal, and it belongs near the top, but not at the top.
While Fullmetal is is pretty great, it pales into insignificance when put up against "Princess Tutu."

First off the main character is a duck transformed into a girl who transforms into a ballerina to battle enemies to epic fantasy classical music themes.

"Princess Tutu," is twee with twee sauce set in a Fairy tale village. Glimpses of a grimdark scenario show through the holes in the setting. Behind that grimdark setting is an even worse grimdark setting. Throughout the series it is hard to tell who is a good guy and who is horrible. Except of course for Princess Tutu. She is all good.

Just don't watch it dubbed. Great anime dubbed is a sin.

P.S. probably Pride.


October 17, 2017, 03:27:47 PM
Re: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey George Lamsa argued that the Arabic culture was remote and largely unchanged from the time of Jesus until WWII. This was part of his discussion of why a translation from the Arabic Bible was likely to be closer to the original than a translation from Greek. His argument was that the idioms would be unchanged. George Lamsa translated the Lamsa Bible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamsa_Bible

This would mean two things for you. One is that the culture is stable or at least stagnant. No real changes from grandfather to son. The other is that your sources don't need to be terribly ancient. Any old sources of information could be useful to you.

October 17, 2017, 09:20:35 PM
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
No. The fact that his mental maturity, and indeed, capacity, appears quite low is entirely separate. I've met full-blown narcissists heaps more sophisticated than him. They can be tremendously scary if they have the mental acuity to better cover their tracks. Especially if they are also socially apt, and not blundering fools. As bad as he is, be very grateful he's not one of them.

Yes. That's basically my dad.
He's a very charismatic narcicistic pervert. He will manipulate, steal and guilt trip you, and whenever you try to defend yourself, act wounded and pretend you're a sick, manipulative person. If you don't keep written track of what comes out of his mouth he may well make you believe you're crazy.
And after I ran away from home, I had the surreal experience of talking to some of my cousins—men my dad's age, while I'm close to their sons, my cousins germains as we say—about my family life and experience of my dad's behaviour, and they could not recognise the man I spoke of. To them he was that genial, friendly, loving family man.
To me he was an abusive man, sometimes violent, definitely never caring. Surreal. And this normally works because those perverts divide their world so much. They totally isolate their victims.

I have known narcissists and my greatest guilts in life directly relate to things I said, did and believed under their influence. Even after knowing and escaping influence, I have behaved as a fool. I still have an image in my mind of someone I grew up with who was close to me.  Someone that I dearly love. Sadly that person is in reality a narcissist. The person I dearly love may not have ever existed. I never found a good opportunity to apologize to those that I wounded. How do you say that you were wrong when the victim is a narcissist enabler? Bringing things up to someone in that position will only cause more pain. It is easy enough to forgive their transgressions but it is never easy to forgive your own.

It is amazing how good at manipulations a narcissist can be. I can look at idiot narcissists without skill or art that have those around them convinced entirely. Being smart and perceptive does not prevent being gullible. The stories of vampires are true and they are much more frightening than the ones that have been written.

People like Trump are sometimes hard to write about. There is a point where the audience will pitch the book. No one could possibly still believe that he can keep getting away with all of the lies. Everyone knows he is an idiot liar and yet they still place his statements on the scale as if they deserve weight. His comments don't even relate to the issue and they are given weight. Anything you write will come out Kafkaesque.

You might as well bring a Magic 8-Ball to an interview with Trump. It is a more reliable source of truth.
"Magic Eight ball, can snakes blow up like balloons?"
"Reply Hazy, try again."
"How about you, Mr. Trump?"
"Don't listen to the Eight Ball. He is conspiring with the snake. My balloon is bigger that the snakes balloon anyway. It is classy. I only have the best balloons."
"I was asking if snakes can inflate and float around if they swallow enough air."
"That's false news. Snakes fly, they don't need to float. I have better numbers than snakes. Mr. Eight ball only has an eight, I have billions."
"What do you think Magic Eight Ball?"
"Better not to tell you now."

October 19, 2017, 04:18:41 PM
Re: The King's Paws (with one holding a bottle of Peri Peri sauce.)
Meanwhile, in Iceland...


I hope that goes well for them. In the USA we seem to be trying to pollute every water source and poison the wells. I am glad that someone is thinking long term.

October 21, 2017, 03:49:44 AM
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world The problem ends up being the one sided economic war. On one side, money can be spent to try and steal a fortune from the poor, helpless, weak or just some place that hasn't been destroyed yet. If they lose, then the money they spent still lets them influence politicians and keep the scams going.

On the other side we have brave caring individuals who can band together to try and put off the robbery and destruction. Often these brave individuals find themselves attacked from every direction.

When the money side loses a battle, they just have to regroup and be careful in the next battle. They don't really lose the money, they still managed to gain influence.

On the other side, when they lose, they lose homes, clean water and beautiful places that have existed for millions of year and will only now be completely destroyed and poisoned.

What a wonderful game. Everyone antes up. The hand is played and the money either goes into the pot or gets taken by the dealer. At the end of the night the dealer gets to light the house on fire after barricading the rest of the players inside.

October 23, 2017, 10:29:19 PM
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
I was just wondering... are we at maximum Trump?

I mean... he is now attacking the widow of a recently killed soldier. Seriously. And John Kelly, who has been viewed for a time as the one good guy in the White House, doing the dirty, unpleasant job of keeping it from slipping into utter chaos, has been dragged down with Trump, backing up Donnie's bullshit on camera

What depth is left? It's like he combines all the worst aspects of humanity into one person. He has come to invoke a unique contempt in me. I can at least acknowledge that Ted Bundy was clever, or that Hitler was good at making speeches, but Trump has no qualities whatsoever.

Cannibalism and child molestation are the only lines he's not confirmed to have crossed yet, and I wonder about that second one. How can anyone observe this and see anything other than stupidity and weakness? How can seemingly functional people lower themselves to working for him, and make excuses for the inexcusable?

Sadly, I don't think we are anywhere near the tipping point. Until the conservatives, here in Texas, start asking questions, I expect the status quo to remain.

30-40% of the U.S. populace see things with an authoritarian view. They absolutely love and defend the strong, wealthy and powerful. Even though Trump is obviously no good at anything and evil to boot, they see him in a different light. They know that their love for him makes them pure. Logic and evidence have never supported the adulation of the wealthy. All countries suffer from this. In the U.S. we seem to be suffering acutely.

Logic is not the strong point for 30 to 40% of the U.S. populace. Where I live, I am surrounded by  flag waving racist secessionists who consider themselves true patriots. Recently they have become fans of Russia. Several years back they started hating the French. They know that brave people carry automatic weapons and some day soon they will have to go on a shooting spree to protect the nation from people who do not have guns. If you talk with them, you will find out that only cowards and traitors don't have guns.

They will go on an on about conservative values. If you ask them to name one, you get a blank stare. Just like they know that climate change is bunk, solar cells don't work, and lead in the water never hurt anyone.

October 24, 2017, 05:29:14 PM
Re: [Oct 2017] - Find the Story in the Picture - Submission Thread As I am reading the rules, it appears that only one story can be submitted, but multiple poems are allowed. This is patently obvious to anyone obnoxious enough to twist the rules and ignore intent.

So in my second attempt to disqualify myself, here is a poem.  196 words.

Spoiler for Hiden:
A hundred years is enough and more to forget the wounds of old.
Where man does not persist, his things soon turn to mold.
Life weary dies, Life persistent thrives, the enthusiastic spread.
And poisons foul are soon ignored by those who are not dead.

Oceans team with newfound things after old things fade from sight.
New monsters rise and it seems as if they were always in the night.
Two hundred years and all those fears are legends on their own.
What loves were held so long ago are remembered just by stone.

A tradition of nearly a hundred years seems eternal and oh so long.
but ships come in and ships go out and die when men do wrong.
Labor, craft and simple joys will make work and strife anew.
But in a few short hundred years memories memories left are few.

The circus that came and never failed seems sad when it is gone.
But sadder still is the chemical spill where once was tent and lawn.
Old things select and may seem the same unless sulfur cycles change,
Then man will have finally gone to far, no more deck chairs left to arrange.

Consider this entry unsubmitted.  Now it must go and join it's brethren in the land of the lost poetry.

October 30, 2017, 06:43:46 PM