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Twitlonger Post: Even The Greys

In the season finale of Tokyo Goul there is a scene in which the protag is forced to choose between saving one of the lives of two lovers. That choice being pick one to die and the other lives. Pick none of them and they both die. The viewer then, can also be implied to make the choice in their own heads, which I had done. Now here’s where things get interesting. The instant the antagonist had set the terms my immediate and initial choice was to say nothing. This same exact situation when presented hypothetically has a much less loaded examination “on paper”. It was also deemed as being the correct choice in episode 2 of the 2011 Hunter x Hunter. The protag in Goul reasons to himself that he could never make such a choice for someone else. This coupled with the idea that if both are dead, and if killed at the same time, then no one is left to have to mourn the other over a choice that hadn’t been made themselves (along with escaping the guilt of situational murder). For its logical appeal the choice of saying nothing seemed to hold the most weight. However all of this instantly gets thrown out of the window once the antagonist grabs the woman first and makes a display of choking her to the man. The instant this started happening it violated the option of saying nothing and suddenly the weight/logic behind not making a choice paled in comparison to willingly have a man be forced to watch the murder of someone he loves. This new weight becomes multiplied when considering the man’s eagerness to die in her stead. A trait much more commonly attributed to males in the most general of senses. However out of fear (or weakness) the protag still clings to his ultimate logical reasoning and let’s them both die.

Here is where the actual topic starts and it’ll get more serious later on and delve into the whole SJW thing, but bear with me cuz I’ll be all over the place. There is a popular adage that says not everything is black and white. There are gray areas also (or something to that effect) This implies that not everything is right and wrong in the most plain sense. Which is true due to the subjective nature of right and wrong. But if this adage is made with respect to personal choice or the process of thinking leading to a choice as per the protag from earlier, then it is mistaken. All of the choices we make have a black and white ‘binary nature’ of cause and effect. Both mentally and physically (that’s why it’s called a choice). To that effect our brains work in the same way math does. For example, I may choose not to eat. This could be because I can’t afford food or because I’m not hungry or a mixture of the two or for some other reason like fasting. Now I’m not going to actually write that in a mathematical sentence but the gist still stands. Our brains run on a cause and effect reasoning and this can be expressed in numbers, variables, and constants. If we couldn’t express this then we’d have a problem. But this isn’t the point here. The point is that what powers the whole logic process in the first place is our emotions. As it stands (and as it should stand) logic’s usefulness as a whole is dependant on emotion. You may need the scientific method to determine the truth of something but it is your emotions in wanting to do so that allows you to apply the method in the first place (i.e. If you don’t give af about space you aren’t going to bother trying to understand it.) With this in mind it can be said that logic is simply a tool. Problems ensue when logic is applied for logic’s own sake, undermining and perhaps even demeaning the role emotion plays. When this happens we get the cleverly coined term (as popularized by No Game No Life) “Empty Headed Academic” in which logic and it’s pursuit in knowing becomes a type of masturbatory process that cares only for own ends and means no matter it’s cost or application. THIS is the true appeal of the black and white adage. It is made as a warning to those who pride logic over emotion. Because if it is not adhered to the result can end up looking very much like the protag from TG who clung to his moral “black and white” even when the gray pleaded right before his eyes.

So what is this leading to? In real world terms the abuse of logic constantly dances between the lines of useful and offensive in extremely serious ways. But for now I’ll focus on one. In review of the 2009 film Antichrist, a blogger stated that the coldness and inability of “He” to properly diagnose “She” was a statement symbolizing woman’s emotional indifference to the calculating otherness of the logical male. Now. This is saying a lot. But more simpliy what is being entertained here is the idea that men in general tackle their problems vicariously through logic, unlike women who can feel more alone by tackling them with their own emotions. For now I’m not going to get into anything about sexism or biology but I’m going to use this idea to piggy back into the whole Listen & Believe issue. With regards to SJWs they feel themselves as being defenders of “The Grey” with respect to the black and white. They are the “She” that feels emotionally indifferent to the calculating otherness of the logical “He” which has the potential to abuse his logic. As a movement they feel alone in light of this. And like I stated before in a previous tweet

[I guess at its core gg is a battle between objective and impartial correctness vs. moral and subjective correctness.]

Only in this case SJWs view all their “logical opponents” as empty headed academics. To then attempt to fight them on their own logical terms could be equated to ‘not negotiating with terrorist’. And all of this is done as a defense against the potential abuse of logic. Without context this is admirable. But to include context puts SJWs at a disservice with regards to balance in how they compensate in order to combat “the binary other”. Why? Because at the end of the day what is being ignored is that logic when not abused is simply a tool powered by emotion. And if the emotion behind that logic is one aimed towards peace or understanding then the fight becomes one in which there has to be a dehumanizing of the enemy in order for it to seem justified. And so far that’s exactly what this fight has lead to.

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Bodies of Fear Part 1: The Divide

To walk in the dark is a frightening thing, and man is unaccustomed to such powerlessness. With a desperate and enduring ferocity he reaches out the length of his palms, cursing his eyes as he searches for an anchor. This was not of his choice. And he grows ever bitter at the thought.

“I have been blinded against my will! I have been denied a means of sight! In this darkness my heart has cause to wail but no one answers.”

Left to his own devices he begins to see no worth in his plea. For he is alone. Selflessness his only saving grace.

In defeat he calls out.

“My words bring me no peace and I have been too quick in cursing my eyes. For a time I have used my hands but to no avail. Surely they have become my prison. And in it I found a comfort less unsettling than the dark that haunts me. From this I will learn.”

And learn he did.

And so man gains back his control. No longer content with his weaning. Even in the dark his eyes are his light.

Taking him where his hands cannot reach.

This post is going to be about fear and its going to be really really long. What I’m going to do is establish the terms and concepts I plan on using and then I will apply them to a very important and controversial topic and trend. Let’s start (remember I’m long winded).

Okay. When most try to objectively define fear it usually looks something like this:

“- a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus which is perceived as a risk of significant loss-“

And they’d be right. These are the bare bones of fear. It is still a response whether learned or instinctive. And for the major part of human history it has been used as a signal to let its host know that it is either in danger or in the way of some form of immediate or prolonged harm. Fear has mostly been painted in a negative light as it has the capability of impeding our actions and thoughts, seizing us in place. In this manner it is usually viewed as a type of wall that is meant to be climbed or torn down in order to act clearly without any sense of dread. When considered within a fight response instead of flight response, fear is not a good thing. But in the preemptive sense fear is everything. This is what I’ll be talking about. In this case fear can be related to classical conditioning. Being shot causes pain. Pain hurts. Whenever we see a gun being aimed at us we anticipate the pain that goes along with being shot. That anticipation is either fear itself or causes fear in us. That same anticipation, that same cause of fear can move us to either run or attempt to dodge. The act of running and dodging has the potential to save our life. In a sense fear moves us to take actions which can keep us from experiencing pain. Fear helps to protect us from pain. This is one of the major principles in this post. But not all pain is physical. There are far more frightening things than bullets entering our flesh (for instance the person who shot us). And for all those non-physical things there is still need for a protector. Fear still works in the same way.

In this picture we can say that the castle represents  fear and that the enemy soldiers represents the unknown. If there were no castle then it would be much easier for the unknown to consume us without a second thought. The castle in this case serves as a protective barrier giving us the chance to avoid harm. It may not fully protect us but it still gives us the chance. This can be likened to old horror movies where there is a dark and ominous set of steps leading into the cellar. Our fear is a protector in that it gives us the chance to tell us that "something is wrong", "we shouldn't go down there" or "just turn around and leave". Bravery on the other hand, it what the knights above are doing. Going outside of their castle in order to confront the unknown despite still having fear.

In this picture we can say that the castle represents fear and that the enemy soldiers represent the unknown. If there were no castle then it would be much easier for the unknown to consume us beforehand without a second thought. The castle in this case serves as a protective barrier giving us the chance to avoid harm. It may not fully protect us but it still gives us the chance. This can be likened to old horror movies where there is a dark and ominous set of steps leading into the cellar. Our fear is a protector in that it gives us the chance to tell us that “something is wrong”, “we shouldn’t go down there” or “just turn around and leave”. Bravery on the other hand is what the knights above are doing. Going outside of their castle in order to confront the unknown despite still having fear.

 I’m going to proceed with this using multiple ‘pairs’ of concepts and acronyms. We already illustrated the first to some extent but the upcoming concept is where the meat is:

Fear as a protector from dangers of the body.

Fear as a protector from dangers of the heart.

Now when I say dangers of the heart I don’t just mean feeling pain after someone has died or had a break up. I mean the anticipation of all the types of pain that exist within the mind and have a heartfelt sense, instead of a physical “ouch that hurts” sense. Fear as a mental and emotional protector comes into play in a range of instances.

  • Fear of going to school and not doing so in order to avoid getting bullied.
  • Fear of being rejected and not talking to someone in order to avoid the potential “failure outcome”.
  • Fear of public speaking and withdrawing in order to not be judged by the audience.
  • Fear of being critiqued and not allowing for user comments on a personal work or post.

The list goes on. Acting on our fear of such things can protect us from the things themselves. But we can always end up growing too reliant on our protector. Becoming too comfortable in our feelings of being emotionally safe. A dependency then builds on our relationship with our protector and in this case our protector is fear. Soon we grow too comfortable in avoiding the dangers of the heart. We then make a type of home within our fears, not wanting to deal with the troubles of the outside. An good example of this can be illustrated in an analysis written by Hylian Dan for Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. In it he describes how the themes and structure of the world illustrates how people deal with both their fears, and senses of comfort. It is just like the castle example above but instead of going out to fight what if the knights just stayed inside and relaxed, assuming that the unknown couldn’t get in? This same point can be illustrated with islands.

‘Tis a peaceful place, this here island…

The people here would never even dream of leavin’ their little paradise and settin’ sail on a voyage at sea, know what I mean?

Why, this town is full of faces that don’t even show the slightest interest in the sails of a ship. Are we sailors the only ones? Has no one else set out on the Great Sea?

—Kane, the Sailor

One of the most memorable features of The Wind Waker is the design of the game world: small islands and vast oceans. This design does more than simply set up the gameplay and story, however. It conveys a certain way of seeing the world. Sometimes we have solid ground beneath our feet. At other times we are on our own, and nothing but our own resilience is there to keep us afloat.

We live in relation to islands and oceans. This is one of the key philosophical points of The Wind Waker. Islands represent comfort while oceans represent hardship. Many of the people who populate the Great Sea spend all their years within the confines of a single island, clinging to a personal little paradise. To them, the sea is too vast and dangerous and it is better and easier to remain at home.

________________

Nevertheless, there are others who do not feel any need to step past their limited comfort areas. They are happy with life the way it is, and they do not want it to change.

Minenco was dubbed Miss Windfall forty years ago, and she relishes that status every day. She refuses to believe that her physical beauty will ever fade.

My skin will always be beautiful! Hoo hoo hoo! Not even the younger girls look prettier than me!
—Minenco

There is also Manny, a fan boy who is content to wander the Nintendo Gallery in awe. The Nintendo Gallery is a series of rooms that Link and a sculptor named Carlov gradually fill with figurines.

Listen… Please try not to interrupt me as I gaze upon my figurines…in supreme bliss. All I want out of life is just the chance to hang out and gaze at my figurines… My life is soooo good.
—Manny

The allegorical content here is thinly veiled. Manny is happy to live life in a bubble, a world of hand-made figurines in place of real people. It is a world not unlike the Zelda universe: an artificial escape from reality. Manny wants to stay in this paradise forever.

______________

Islands tempt people with their beauty, with their safe familiarity, with the easy life that they promise.

But beneath the illusion of paradise, there is a cage.

Missy the elderly lady is a prisoner of Windfall Island. She is unable to perceive any crack in the wall leading to freedom. As the years of her life slip away, she gazes past the bars of her cage and says, “If only…”

Paradises are places of beauty, but those who live in paradise must be able to let go of it lest it become a prison cell. It is a shame to spend all one’s time in a small, confined space when there is a great wide world out there, waiting to be experienced.

“Ahh, do you not feel the grand romance of the wide open skies? The roaring invitation of the wind? The soft call of the clouds?

You are a boring, boring creature.”
—Willi, the Bird-Man

Can you see the relation? There’s a reason why I’ve posted so much of the article. Many of the points will be shown in depth later on. But for now we can see that growing too relaxed for whatever reasons (be us afraid or content) can be dominating. It even has the potential to clash with those who long for independence and are not tied down to their islands or comforts in fear. Looking at things this way however should not give the idea that everyone needs to be brave in the absolute sense and have no fear or need for protection. Our protectors are vital and important. Dismissal of a protector could easily mean the abandonment of our lives. Just as someone with no fear whatsoever can walk into a minefield without feeling any impeding sense of dread or need to leave. In truth there are different ways of being dependent. Let’s separate these ways into 2 types of dependency on a protector. There’s:

Dependent Dependency (DD)
and
Independent Dependency (ID)

Dependent Dependency is much like what was described in the Zelda examples and can be alluded to Dependency Need but is illustrated within the emotional sense and in regards to protection from the dangers of the heart:

Dependency need is “The vital, originally infantile needs for mothering, love, affection, shelter, protection, security, food, and warmth.” (Segen, 1992) A dependency need is thought to be characterized by two components: (1) It is a real need of an organism, something that must be present in order for the organism to be able to thrive, (2) It is something that an individual cannot provide for him or herself.

The “It is a real need of an organism, something that must be present in order for the organism to be able to thrive” part is what is being depicted here by the term above but it is meant to be aimed in the direction of the state of the organism instead of the need itself. For example; A mother provides warmth for her child because the child needs it and can’t provide it for themselves. Thus the child has a dependent need on their mother. Which is fine because they are a child. The fact that the child exists in a manner in which it can’t provide for itself means that they are in a state of dependent dependency (DD). Dependency need is the need for the child’s mother while Dependent Dependency is the fact that the child can’t do it themselves (* There are better words and concepts for DD but this is just my flawed way of making it fit in with the rest of the topic). DD is fine when discussing the relationship between a mother and child because we all have to start out somewhere. But outside of that context the state of that child is simply a type of parasite with a mother for a host/protector (in the most stoic of senses). Before I dive into Independent Dependency I need to stress that I am still talking within an individual’s mental framework with regards to fear. A DD has a complete parasitic type need for its protector in order to survive (Just like the old lady and her island). A DD will never be shown stepping outside of the bounds of its protector and will never make any displays of courage to circumvent the protection that it gives.

On its own, the flood from the Halo series could not exist and would ultimately die if their were no toher lifeforms around on which to feed which induced 343 Guilty Sparks solution of complete annihilation. Thus the flood itself could be considered to be in a physical state of DD

On its own, the flood from the Halo series could not exist and would ultimately die out if there were no other lifeforms around on which to feed. This induced the fore runners and 343 Guilty Spark’s compliance of complete annihilation as a solution to the floods destruction. The flood’s “protector” is its insatiable, unconscious and desperate/innate need for survival. That is what keeps it alive. Thus the flood itself could be considered to exist within a physical state of DD. A literal parasite plain and simple.

Kagari Izuriha (Chariot) from the animated version of Black Rock Shooter had a psychosomatic need for Yomi's (Dead Master's) attention and care. Her state of "helplessness" is depicted with a wheelchair that she no longer needs and only uses to draw guilt from Yomi in order to keep her near. Opposite from the flood she is an example of an mental/emotional DD

Kagari Izuriha (Chariot) from the animated version of Black Rock Shooter had a psychosomatic need for Yomi’s (Dead Master’s) attention and care. Her state of “helplessness” is depicted with a wheelchair (while in the real world) that she no longer needs and only uses to draw guilt from Yomi in order to keep her near. The attention Yomi gives is her “protector” and she fears being alone. Opposite from the flood she is an example of someone existing within a mental/emotional state of DD. This aspect is what I’m focusing on for now.

For the DD its protector serves as its island

Islands represent comfort while oceans represent hardship. Many of the people who populate the Great Sea spend all their years within the confines of a single island, clinging to a personal little paradise.

Islands tempt people with their beauty, with their safe familiarity, with the easy life that they promise.

The protector/island in this case has the potential to be idolized by the DD. And the DD does this to the point of always placing its own worth and value within the perspective of its protector (“our castle is so strong that they can’t get in” or “this ship will never sink” type thinking). Because it always exists behind the shield of its protector it can’t imagine anything beyond that. In a sense it willingly makes itself a slave to its own protector out of fear. Things then start to get confusing. Because a DD clings to its own protective fear out of fear of being outside of its own comfortable state. Fear then turns into a regressive cycle depending on which perspective one is speaking from.

An ID or Independent Dependency type is much different. Instead of assuming an active and parasitic relationship with its protector, it assumes a passive and balanced one. An ID isn’t hopelessly reliant on its sense of comfort and has no problem abandoning it and sidestepping its protector in order to do so. However because it is still dependent it still has its needs, but only when there exists an actual need.

An ID is exactly like a cell phone. A cell phone will always have a need for its charger but it doesn't need to be constantly hooked up to one in order to work. It is dependent on its charger when it is in need for it but it is still fully functional when it is on its own. Thus the term independent dependency (ID).

An ID is exactly like a cell phone. A cell phone will always have a need for its charger but it doesn’t have to be constantly hooked up to one in order to work. It is dependent on its charger when it is has a need for it but it is still fully functional when it is on its own. Thus the term independent dependency (ID).

Could you imagine a new phone that could only be used if it were hooked up to a charger? This is what a  DD is like. If the cepacitence on a bettery is extremely low it will have a parasitic and completely dependent need on its charger. This is Dependent Dependency (DD) and this is how some people behave with the comfort their fears give them.

Could you imagine a new phone that could only be used if it were hooked up to a charger at all times? This is what a DD is like. If the capacitance on a battery is extremely low it will have a parasitic and completely dependent need on its charger in order to function. This is Dependent Dependency (DD) and this is how some people behave with the comfort their fears give them.

To get the point across more evenly a DD is a DD because they abuse their relationship with their protector. And an ID is an ID because it respects its relationship with its protector.

This same concept is true of the protectors themselves. Let’s do the same as before and separate the 2 types of protectors. There is:

Overly Protective (OP)

and

 Respectfully Protective (RP)

In most ways it mirrors but is also the same as DD & ID.

But before explain any further you must be asking; “I thought fear was the protector? How can fear, which isn’t a person, be deemed to have qualities like being respectful or overly protective?”. And you’d be right. Fear itself can’t have these qualities, but in this OP & RP example we’ve transitioned from the mental protector within our own mind to an external protector that looks after us. This could be a parent, teacher, guardian, friend, sibling whatever. Any person other than ourselves who we have a “they look after me” relationship with. Before when we were talking about fear being the protector we were staying inside the mental framework of a single individual. Now while we’re talking about DD & ID and OP & RP we are still including that individual but are now talking about that same individual’s relationship with both an internal and external protector. Everything still applies but the concept is different. This becomes more important later on.

So let’s go on. An overly protective (OP) protector is also motivated by it’s own fear. It could be a fear of not wanting to see a loved one get hurt, not wanting to see a student fail , or not wanting to see a friend get depressed. On their own these are normal things, but just as with the DD the OP abuses it fears. The OP has usually experienced and or seen a lot of bad things in its life. It may even have a deeply damaged heart and doesn’t want the things it felt to happen to the people it cares about.

dogtooth

The Greek film Dogtooth paints a vivid and otherworldly picture of the lengths an OP type can go when it comes to being powered by fear when “protecting the ones it loves”. The OP can become so deluded in its fear that it can even destroy what it’s protecting without knowing it. In this case the OP’s own personal fear goes from balanced to irrational to an extreme degree.

Tekkonkinkreet.full.873194

Black from Tekkonkinkreet had an imbalanced protective view in his relationship with White, which eventually leads him towards a equally imbalanced and reckless,violent depravity upon their separation.

Excluding the extreme cases, this mainly does not pertain to the selfishness of not wanting to feel hurt by seeing another hurt. It is  usually a case of selflessness in that the person is using their own individual fear/protector for the sake of another (Giving the person you care about your castle). This is all well and good and can be beneficial if done with a proper sense of balance. But the problem is that each individual has their own fear/protector and it may not be the same or it may not agree with the one being given. Everyone personally has something they’re afraid of. That something may not be in common with everyone else.

An RP is just the Protector version of an ID. Just like the ID it only protects when there is a need. It also knows its dependent (whomever its protecting) very well and it can tell, even without using words, whether its help is needed or not. It also has a developed sense of trust with its dependent. This trust allows mutual knowledge of each others limits and prevents the overstepping of boundaries. Ideally the perfect relationship that can be had between a protector and a dependent is between an ID type and an RP type. There is no abuse of power or respect in this type and it allows mutual freedom, growth, and communication without bias between the two parties. “I need you and you need me.”

A good relationship between an RP type and an ID type can be shown in the summoner class from the Final Fantasy series. When threatened, the summoner is dependent on and relies on the summoned spirits power. However he/she does not need them at all times in order to stay alive. Likewise the summoned spirit only helps when called and isn't constantly around attempting to protect the summoner from each and every thing. There is a respect of balance despite dependence in the RP&ID type

A good relationship between an RP type and an ID type can be shown in the summoner class from the Final Fantasy series. When threatened, the summoner is dependent on and relies on the summoned spirits power. However he/she does not need them at all times in order to stay alive and function properly. Likewise the summoned spirit only helps when called and isn’t constantly around attempting to protect the summoner from each and every thing out of fear of harm coming to him/her. There is a respect of balance despite the mutual responsibility contained in each individuals role. The RP&ID type makes use of that balance. The summoned is dependent on the summoners call while the summoner is dependent on the summoned’s power.

Now that we’ve set up the terms and concepts lets hop into the relationships between them and kick things into a higher gear (it gets heavy and it gets confusing but it’ll make sense if you take it slow and think about all the terms. I’ll refine it to a more comprehensive form later).

Remember when I said:

“But the problem is that each individual has their own fear/protector and it may not be the same or it may not agree with the one [protection] being given. Everyone personally has something they’re afraid of. That something may not be in common with everyone else.”

This is very important. This has been the spark that has destroyed many Protector/Dependent relationships. It can be seen in lots of places. In a monarchy a princess might be afraid of being put into a relationship without love while her father may be worried about the future of the bloodline. A leader might be afraid of potential conflict while his subordinates might be afraid of being silenced or loosing their freedoms. The list goes on and on throughout the ages on many different personal and national scales. If a dependent is not afraid of the same things the protector is afraid of it will begin to feel constricted. It will then long for its own independence and it will try to break free of the protector’s fears at the expense of the protector itself (rebellions, revolutions, uprisings, etc.). This case only happens if the relationship is at first unbalanced and the protector has taken on the traits of an OP like I explained above. The dependent’s personal sense of fear and need of protection doesn’t fit with the OP’s offering of protection. This lack of cohesion and “I want to break away” reaction from the dependent can easily cause the protector to view the dependents actions as a lack of love/understanding when in fact it is just an incompatibility due to its own overprotective nature. The two parties are not fearful of the same things. In order to avoid this there needs to be a communication between the two. An understanding. Actual love, in place of fear, helps with this. When love is there it does not break away from the OP’s grip in a self concerned manner despite its discomfort. Instead it attempts to communicate its lack of compatibility with the OP. But the dependent can only communicate its own fears just as OP can only do the same (“One can only speak what they know.”). How well each party understands itself in the end is determined by how well each party does when presenting its own case to the other. But know that the OP is attempting to argue something the dependent isn’t concerned with, or has a good understanding of (This is why there is tension in the first place. Because their fears/protectors are different). The eventual split between them then becomes inevitable. However the OP just used it own protector for another who now has no need for them. This is why it hurts more in the protector’s case. The OP had made itself vulnerable for the sake of another so it is definitely at the most risk while the dependent had two protectors (its own personal one and the one the OP had given. Which results in OP being left without a “castle”). If the dependent doesn’t see value in trying to understand OP’s actions (no matter how well OP can communicate those actions), then they will either leave out of disappointment or spite or whatever other feeling was used in the exchange if it wasn’t love.

Why then is the love aspect so important? Love helps us know the heart of an individual and helps them to communicate their abilities, limits, fears and dreams. When the protector knows these things it can properly judge and or trust that its dependent’s fear/protector can either work for itself, or isn’t ready for what is actually out there (the difference between rearing a child and rearing a teenager). That understanding is the glue that can keep an RP&ID type together for so long. Surprisingly enough, love in the way I just described can act as the main conversion factor between both D&I and OP&RP’s. And it works in the exact same way for each of them. Anything other than love however can contaminate it which leads to the bitter aftertaste after having an argument or split.

But there is always the point of the protector’s protector. The ‘Who watches the watchmen?’ bit. Where does all this crap begin?

This is the easier part. At the start of everything the protector’s protector is its environment and how well it observes it and understands it.

“Any time one isn’t familiar with something, it all looks the sameKnowledge and education are required to properly judge a thing.”

The more we understand the less we fear. And the more we understand our environment the better it can serve as our protector. The Native Americans obviously had a pretty awesome application for this concept and understanding. Once we understand we can decide how to act based upon the judgement we made (enter the scientific method). Our own personal protective fears of the unknown can still keep us from making a proper judgement, but reaching for that understanding out of love can help us brave this and exit our castles, islands, and comfort zones. Lack of understanding means lack of communication. Each individual has their own protector. That protection is independent and forms itself out of personal experiences or personal hurt. It is a protector that is custom made for each of us. We all fear different things. We may fear the same things but for different reasons. Being brave in spite of those things helps us to work around those barriers. But letting those pains and experiences dwell on us is the difference between becoming an OP or an RP when it comes to our own fears.

Well that’s it for all that. Confusing as hell I’m sure. “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough” keeps playing on repeat in my mind right now. But let’s just get the thoughts formulated and written down first.

By now you’re probably wondering about the controversial thing I mentioned at the beginning. Let’s get to that right quick. What I’m going to do is apply all the terms, concepts, and relationships above and run them along side the atheism vs. theism fiasco. HOWEVER all of the following is specifically addressing the difference between the gnostics and agnostics of both sides (it is very important to not get confused between the two).

As it is, I do not view agnosticism as a viable stance on it’s own. I view agnosticism as an accessory to both theism and atheism. Much like this:

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People have heard this being said before many times over, just as people have seen that pic many times over. But no matter what’s said, each side that feels absolute in itself (claims proof exists) also has difficulty in being critical of itself. What I mean by this is that neither of the two gnostic stances by themselves are wholly capable of developing an unbiased yet observant perspective. You can ultimately hold either (belief/non-belief) stance at your core. Either one is fine. But when attempting to grasp reality for what it is you need skepticism of your own position in both cases (this is actual open mindedness). “I have an idea about the way things are but I also know that I have the potential to be wrong”. Thus the accessory of agnosticism.

The purpose of this part of the writing is to at least cause a spark that allows one to become more critical of their personal positions. A segment (but not all) of gnostic theists take their fuel from fear based teachings without knowing it. When fear is at the root then there is no room for reason or any sense of practicality no matter how logical the appeal, just like confronting the OP and DD types. Likewise a segment (but not all) of gnostic atheists are just a reactionary by product of the fear based teachings that the gnostic theists had taught. When a position is based on a reaction it has the potential to retain a bitterness towards what it has separated itself from and amplifies the ‘guilt’ of that other side within its own mind.

The difference between the two absolutes is balance in how each feels about the observations it has made about its own environment (its personal protector from that which it feels has the potential to harm it).

Keep in mind this my train of thought on digital paper. Not my arguing for a certain side. Me explaining why I’m on the side I’m on is for part 2 of this post. Anyways, let’s get started.

Gnostic Theism first. Let’s take a look at a speculative situation:

> A church is made after someone finds a book that says bad things will happen if other people don’t believe it or take some form of specific action (This is attempted understanding of ones environment as a protector. It is the origin of this cycle just like from before.)

> The church takes to heart what the book says and becomes fearful of the eventual outcome it describes (this can be a conscious reaction or an unconscious one)

> This fear then serves as a protective tool to move it to act in a way that keeps it from experiencing the bad things the book talked about (This is fear as a protector. Some would call this or mislabel it as Fear of God. In this case it is the same as seeing a gun and becoming fearful of the anticipation of being shot. Most equate the power God is said to have with his potential ability in punishing them for whatever they think they’ve done.)

> But the church sees the protective actions it takes as noble and cares for other people. It then turns the prospect of everyone avoiding a bad fate into a movement, a cause, and a dream (exactly like the Vanguards for Equality from my previous post) and it gets comfortable in its stance (castles and islands example). It then passes down and teaches to each generation the art of dodging and running from a disastrous fate (which is like the bullet in the gun example). But because the churches initial understanding was based upon a fear, that fear translates into the ways it tries to help other people (Obey God or burn forever type thinking). Thus the church itself ultimately becomes an OP type organization (Overly Protective) whether it meant to originally or not. This can be shown in what the people take away from the teachings or how they view others who don’t share their beliefs.

> Since the arts of dodging and running themselves are based on fear within a flight response, they have the potential to reach any radical measures necessary by whatever extreme means in order to protect itself (this is where we get ‘Don’t watch Superman he represents Jesus, Don’t watch Star Wars, the force mocks holy spirit” all the way to ‘Let’s go start a crusade’. It’s all the same and comes from the same response type). And so you get parents who believe in the church’s methods (because its all that this church may have or maybe its what the church places priority on) and then attempt to instill those OP type methods within their children (even amplifying them in some cases).

> As a result there is a reaction when it comes to the children. And this happens:

“But the problem is that each individual has their own fear/protector and it may not be the same or it may not agree with the one [protection] being given [by the OP]. Everyone personally has something they’re afraid of. That something may not be in common with everyone else.”

> And after that happens, this happens:

“If a dependent is not afraid of the same things the protector is afraid of it will begin to feel constricted [islands have the potential to turn into prisons]. It will then long for its own independence and it will try to break free of the protector’s fears at the expense of the protector itself (rebellions, revolutions, uprisings, etc.). This case only happens if the relationship is at first unbalanced and the protector has taken on the traits of an OP like I explained above. The dependent’s personal sense of fear and need of protection doesn’t fit with the OP’s offering of protection. This lack of cohesion and “I want to break away” reaction from the dependent can easily cause the protector to view the dependents actions as a lack of love/understanding when in fact it is just an incompatibility due to its own overprotective nature.”

> And after all this has happened the offspring of the OP will either accept the methods presented or refuse them. One who believes and one who doesn’t. Which then brings us to this:

*I’ll address the actual questions posed in part 2. Note I’ve seen his other vids and even though he isn’t the perfect poster child for what I’m getting at here (I was looking for a gnostic), I had a hard time finding ones that put stances side by side in this way. 

*If he reads this, sorry ahead of time for using you as an example

Now, you must be saying to yourself that the break away case isn’t because of the OP’s once overprotective nature but because of an incompatibility of beliefs. However note that one can still “not believe” and continue to reside within a congregation. One does don’t cause the other but the first (OP’s nature) is what makes the dependent uncomfortable enough to the point where it can act or break away in the first place.

This is where many ex-dependents are at today. Since the kid in the video is an atheist (not sure which one but I’m going to assume agnostic) he is asking these questions from outside of the incompatible over protection of his previous “spiritual protectors”. He, just like many others, have asked these questions once before while still inside of the OP’s relationship. But what usually happens (I’m breaking away from the kid in the video now) is that the OP couldn’t answer because the OP originally made its own protection based on fear which inhibits its ability to relate to others who don’t feel how it feels. This just means that he/she can’t communicate with what it didn’t have in the first place. This however is in no way saying that the OP type parent doesn’t have love for their child. This is saying that the love the OP attempts to communicate for its child is separate from the feelings it has for the teachings of the church. In this instance the parent can’t love the child through the church’s teachings but can only appeal to the child with how it feels about the church’s teachings. As a result the OP can only try to communicate its own reasoning through the fear that was passed down. These reasoning’s then seek fear based justifications. In a sense both the justifications and the reasoning’s themselves are just forms of cowardice in light of objective understandings (I’m talking about the extreme end of things here).

You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep seated need to believe. [Dr. Arroway in Carl Sagan’s Contact (New York: Pocket Books, 1985]

In the quote above, what Carl Sagan is describing is an OP type gnostic theist. Fear is at the core of this. The quote can help sum up why the OP type parent can’t explain anything to its child in regards to the churches teaching without the influence fear has had on it. I’m sure everyone can come up with their own example of this be it their own or someone else.

Now let’s look at gnostic atheism. This is going to be a lot more in depth because the reasoning it is based on is contingent upon observable reality, which as we know is very reliable when dealing with real time cases. The gnostic atheist feels that taking the absolute stance of “There is no God” is the only true objective way of gaining an unbiased view of ones environment and circumventing the overprotective fear that is so readily associated with religion and belief.

The question [Do you believe in God?] has a peculiar structure. If I say no, do I mean I’m convinced God doesn’t exist, or do I mean I’m not convinced he does exist? Those are two very different questions. [Dr. Arroway in Carl Sagan’s Contact (New York: Pocket Books, 1985), p. 168.]

This quote is just an examination of the difference between gnostic and agnostic atheists. One professes an absolute while the other can still retain skepticism of its own belief (thus the convincing bit). Let’s explain this more then attempt to illustrate it. [*Note that this is just a continuation of the previous example. not an assumption that all gnostic atheists are ex-theists]

> After a dependent has refused an OP’s protection and chosen to become a non-believer, he/she then has to step outside of the OP’s jurisdiction before it can relieve itself of restriction

> Once outside of the OP’s protection it can then see what the OP couldn’t: It’s ex-protectors fear of the unknown. The once dependent now turned Independent Independent (II). Takes on a new sense of freedom upon tasting absolute independence for the first time, something it couldn’t do when behind the OP’s shield. (Though not in all cases, this carries potential for condescension)

> This freedom can be euphoric in its appeal. However this same feeling can cloud the way the II views those who still base their personal protection within spiritual teachings. (Very few can look back favorably upon time spent in prison)

> When this happens we get this:

What we’re currently seeing more of in regards to disbelief is not a movement of awakening based upon a new found sense of reasoning, but a movement based upon the retaliation of the formerly oppressed. The so called new found reasoning has existed for as long as man has. But now that reasoning serves a purpose in becoming a fuel source for the bitter and neglected. Those who felt they were lied to, or betrayed. Those left behind to fend for their own answers in regards to the spiritual dream that the church had bestowed upon them without their consent. What was once a simple stance has now become a weapon in the hands of the dismissed.

> When thinking like this is used the goal no longer becomes one of reaching an objective understanding of what’s around us and the way the world works, but an attack and criticism on those who still retain belief. The stance becomes a tool.

If I am a human on Earth limited only to examining the observable universe, and another human (who’s just as limited as I) comes up to me and says there are stars outside of our observable universe then I would have no choice but to take his claim as a belief because there is no way to examine it. Even if there are a legion of stars in our visible area, we have no way of knowing what lies beyond that point without seeing it for ourselves. The so called burden of proof would then rely on him to provide only if I were to challenge his claim with respect to the claim itself. I would be putting him and his claim on trial and not the actual state of reality.

But if I pursue his claim with respect to the actual state of reality, then there is no burden on anyone. What was once a challenge and trial simply turns into each of us seeking the true nature of things from a neutral stand point. Most would agree that science is neutral. It doesn’t exist to purposefully disprove someone. This is obvious.

What’s the first step of the scientific method? Make an observation or formulation of a question? Something along those lines. In any case, only the one using this process can determine if its implied use is; for something, or against something, or void of any pro/con stance but aiming at prediction. Most often such stances are reserved for the hypothesis step.

Ex:
Step1: Why does the sky appear to be blue?

Step2: I don’t believe the sky is actually blue, but is really x.

[or]

I believe the sky is blue because x.

This is a very simplified and crude example but the point remains the same. If you are simply putting to the test a stated observation or claim, then it’s not about believing whether something someone else said is or isn’t true. The whole point of going through the process in the first place is so that actual observed reality and not belief can be used in taking a stance when coming to a conclusion.
Stuff like refusing to believe a claim stems from and exists to fuel arguments. Of course people can disagree about a claim or observation, but the actions one takes afterwards determines ones true motives. The whole way this ties into the first example is that the claim made, whether about Outer Stars or God, is unable to be tested or observed (even if at the moment). When this is the case, the scientific method is of no use when forming an absolute conclusion. This means that every argument, used for and against, is simply the tossing about of evidence and likelihoods. But proof forms conclusions, not evidence and likelihoods. No matter how weighty they may be. And so in our current situation mental justification reigns as king for both sides.

 

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The fact that many fail to see how this makes sense illustrates how personal bias interferes with mutual understanding.

Many people’s reasoning for gnostic atheism stems from current observable reality. Lack of evidence for miracles, lack of evidence for deities, the vast multitude of prescribed deities, etc. This approach is based in how we see things now and how we’ve seen them to be in the past. The problem with this is that we can grow expectant and comfortable of a constant normalcy. Observational reality then becomes an island and those more entrenched have a much more difficult time escaping it.

For the first time in 100 years Cairo had snowfall. Let's build off of this. Let's say there's a local who has lived there for 40 years. They are completely isolated and have known nothing else but the lay of that land their whole lives. One day a weather meteorologist comes up to this person and says: "Next week clouds will fill these sky's and frozen crystallized water droplets will fall from them." Of course the local feels the weather man's claim is ridiculous but the weather man tries his best to explain. "All your gadgets and graphs are too confusing." he says. "I'll believe it when I see it." This is blindness when it comes to our observational reality. Skepticism is important when it comes to the seen and unseen

For the first time in 100 years Cairo had snowfall. Let’s build off of this. Let’s say there’s a fictional local who has lived there for 40 years. They are completely isolated and have known nothing else but the lay of that land their whole lives. One day a weather meteorologist comes up to this person and says: “Next week clouds will fill these skies and frozen crystallized water droplets will fall from them.” Of course the local feels the weather man’s claim is ridiculous but the weather man tries his best to explain as logically as he is able to. “All your gadgets and graphs are too confusing!” the local says. “I’ll just believe it when I see it.”
This is blindness when it comes to our observational reality. Skepticism is important when it comes to both the seen and unseen. It opens us up to doubting the comfort of our own islands of visual understanding.

But you must be asking how this can be a bad thing considering that everything we do is based within observational reality? Well that’s exactly the problem. Everything we do is based within observational reality but everything we use that basis for may not exist within that reality. In fact some of the most important things to us, like our future, can only be guessed about or predicted with what we know now and have known. The best we can do when addressing that which we cannot observe (like the weather) revolves solely around educated speculation and predictability. The checks and balances system of gaining a level headed understanding resides in our ability to equalize:

  1. What we can see (awareness in observation)
  2. How we feel (awareness in emotional relation to what we’ve observed )
  3. And how we think (awareness of own our own thought process when doing the former)

Absolute reasoning with the first step alone upsets this balance. Things get out of wack when more weight is placed on only one of the steps. Observable normalcy becomes our protector. And everything that violates this normalcy can’t even be entertained as being true unless it crosses within our observable vision and bears proof of itself (the exact same is true of gnostic theists who refuse scientific evidence. The importance is the dependent dependency concept that allows this to occur in the first place). When the situation of judging the skeptical cannot come about, we can get frustrated in our lack of a definite and testable answer and we can default back into our perceived certainties.

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We then have to mentally justify any violations of this in order to stay safe within our castles. Current reality then becomes an island just like fear became the churches island. This is mirror image of the theists extreme case. Another side to this is seeing potential violations, but dismissing the importance of those violations ability to cohere with actual reality in a way that makes sense. When this is ability is dismissed anything can be viewed as viable no matter how crazy. This is yet another extreme. The key is balance in how we treat our Islands/protectors. Here is an illustration I wrote to symbolize that balance:

“When a soldier is in battle, his life is at stake and he needs to consider every possibility of a threat in order to preserve it.

When coming up to a hill to which he cannot see the other side of, in order to prepare himself, he simultaneously exercises belief in observation and belief in faith.

In effect he says to himself;

“Based upon past observable experience, I will put belief in my past observations that there is a high and likely possibility that the enemy is on the other side of this hill. However in this particular situation, because I cannot prove or disprove this, I have no choice but to use belief in faith in order to ASSUME that the enemy is in fact there. That way once I reach the top of the hill I am prepared for whatever comes. Even if my assumption and belief in faith turns out to be incorrect my life is still better preserved because of it.”

Mankind is on that hill. However, at the same time mankind also hasn’t been given proper and stable reasoning to rely on belief through faith. So it approaches the peak with what it feels safest with and with what it can agree with. And that is with what it can observe.

Yes. Belief through observation. Which is the most fundamental and basics statutes to physics, and from the start of life till now. When living in a physical world whose existence itself is completely dependent on what our body can feel, touch, smell etc. Choosing belief through observation is safe and logical, especially when your life and the life of others is at stake. Not only does it make sense, but it also works every time. To some this is enough. It avoids constructive dogmas and allows freedom in the ultimate sense. It side steps interpretation and instead replaces it with the definite and concrete sensations that we all can agree on and have known to be true since our births. When using belief through observation, it is possible that you can get most everyone in the world with properly functioning bodies to agree that getting hit in the head with a large rock hurts (whether they’ve been hit or not). However when using belief through faith, convincing everyone that the same rock has the potential to grow legs, get up, and walk away is practically impossible. We can’t prove or disprove its impossibility with or without belief through observation, but we can apply our common sense that we’ve known for all our time here on earth and reason that it cannot happen. In a sense it is the perfect sanctuary for the troubled mind. When belief through faith grows shaky and starts to dissolve, mankind sensibly leans on what it knows. After some length of time it cannot see things any other way and it then grows complacent.

So what did I mean by belief in observation and belief in faith? All that we have right now is all that is around us. Unfortunately this alone isn’t very reliable. We need belief in being sure that what I can see and touch is what it actually appears to be. Both in the visible and invisible sense. Whether it be the words on the pages of a book or the light entering a telescope. True blindness is having unequivocal and unchallenged trust in both our senses and the feelings in our heart. Nothing is what it seems. Question everything. Trading gnostic theism for gnostic atheism is simply the switching of cells within the same prison. Both stances place blind trust in the seen and or the unseen. True balance is much smarter than that.

I’m going to end part one with yet another illustration. When it comes to how I see things this is my bread and butter and it’ll serve as the segway into part two:

CPR

You and a loved one are out and about enjoying time with one another. All of a sudden your loved one falls ill and becomes incapacitated, then drifts into unconsciousness. Immediately you start to perform CPR. While doing so, a stranger comes up to you and asks if you need assistance. You say yes and the stranger then proceeds to call 911. However all reception in the area is dead or down for one reason or another.

When the stranger relays the status of the situation to you, a sense of worry falls across your face. However after seeing this the stranger then informs you that he has a relative in the army who is supposed to be heading this way on foot.

You nod your head in agreement and continue to perform CPR in order to resuscitate your loved one. While doing so another stranger approaches after seeing the events unfold from afar. When the new stranger is let in on the state of the phone reception  he proceeds to try and comfort you by informing everyone that he too has a relative in the military who is a Marine and who is supposed to be headed this way in a Humvee.

By now these relatives are seeming more and more skeptical. But you shake it from your mind. Nod. And continue with the CPR.

As you continue more and more strangers appear. And more and more relatives of military background are said to be on approach. Helicopter. Fighter jet. Even a submarine! Pretty soon the strangers begin arguing among themselves over which method is best, growing louder and louder in the confidence of their relatives.

But by now you have had enough. You are not even sure if your loved one is in mortal danger or not. Whether all these suggestions are worth it or not. But there is one thing you are sure of. The person you care about needs help and they need it now.

________

Did you get some of the symbols? In this illustration the reader is the one performing CPR. Mankind is our loved one that is in need of help. The strangers represent the religious. Their relatives represent their Gods and 911 represents absolute truth.

There is much more to this but this is all I’m pointing out for now. What all this has to do with my own personal viewpoint and stance will get addressed in part 2.

 [To Be Continued]

Vanguards for Equality

Let’s avoid reason and discussion.

Let us toss aside critical analysis and self examination.

Let’s instead pat ourselves on the back in wake of opposition.

Our cause is just.

Our cause is honest.

However blind the innocent react.

Surely its pureness is its crown.

Surely the dark will come to join us in sight.

We do not see our failing or the fault in our steps.

Our path is forward.

And towards it we march.

With us you ride.

Or by our hand, you die.

It takes a certain type of strength and pride to fight for what’s right. It’s a virtuous and honest thing. Truly something to be revered. But as we know what can be viewed as ‘what’s right’ differs with each person and everyone has the potential to view themselves as the hero in their own story. And for every hero there is a bad guy. Let’s look at a man.

This man
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He is the hero in his own story. And this man –

Image

Is his bad guy.

What we have here is a battle. A battle that looks like this:

Image

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I took caps so the link wouldn’t die but I couldn’t get everything

Can you smell the conflict? This is the fight for equality as defined by the vanguards. And this is but one battle among many:

> Racism
> Sexism
> Classism
> Conflict of beliefs

The problems may be numerous but both the cause they’re fighting for and the enemy that opposes them each run under a singular banner:

“To fight for equality for all against the opposition of intolerance.”

Such modern paragons are always at the ready. Using the powers of their words to shape ideals and movements. True agents for justice in body and soul if there ever were such ones. But the conflict shown above is just a small part. Such exchanges for the sake of equality can be seen all over the world. Heated arguments and bitter comments pepper the blogosphere and news outlets. The scale of this clash is so grand that summarizing it to be a war maybe met with little who would disagree. In truth it really is; “The War for Equality”. But a war is still a war. And with every war there are elements that create it and maintain it. And each side is recruiting zealous volunteers. But for some there is an inherent part of “joining the military” that can heavily discourage. And that part has been voiced succinctly in a single quote:

“A soldier who sees the humanity of the enemy makes for a troubled and ineffective killer.”
— Chris Hedges

Brandon Ambrosino is one of those soldiers. But you must be thinking how irrelevant this example is. How a person who

  • Restricts the rights of others
  • Lets ignorant and privileged notions fester within themselves until they’re expressed in either the most outright or underhanded ways
  • Has been born raised and feed on condoning universal injustices

can possibly be assumed to have any humanity? Besides no one is actually being killed.

heart

Something along these lines. But something that is also more grounded within realistic expectation. Something that has seen how badly a human heart can be destroyed and does not make light of it when attempting to appeal to it. The reflection illustration is fitting but at the same time, incomplete.

I’ve written about this before in a PDF (now post) called Why I Write Female Characters. In it I try to illustrate a case for character possession. The idea that people do not always equal their actions no matter how harsh they may be. The idea that some of the choices others make reflect the nature of their emotions and not the nature of their value as a person:

Here’s an example:

You’re at work and with a childhood friend. You laugh and talk and stuff. Real good buddies. Well unknown to you, your friend eventually receives a phone call that scares them half to death. Afterwards you leave work and encounter that same friend with a gun/bat/crowbar/fists pointed at you. They are visibly distressed and could react at any time. Is your true enemy your friend? Or the fear that possess them?

This is how an understanding starts. What you fight against is fear. What you fight against is what has possessed a people, not the people itself. You are fighting:

“Disincarnate entities [that] take control of a human body, resulting in noticeable changes in health and/or behavior.”

And though this is a good start, it’s vitally important that you can identify between the cause of possession and the effect of a possession. When you fight the spirit of something you DO NOT FIGHT HATE. Hate is just the by product. When you say you are fighting against hate you are saying that you are fighting against that which you don’t understand and cannot relate to. This dehumanizes and makes an ‘other’ out of your fellow human. But when you say you are fighting against “the fear that causes hate” you make a connection to the human part of that other which allows for progressive communication. Whether communication is available is another story.

Does the “fight hate” part seem familiar? If anything it resonates with the goal of these vanguards but approaches things with more subtle words like intolerance. And if the human experience has anything to show for itself, it’s that we have a hard time disassociating the feelings and actions of a person with the person itself. It’s a “a bully bullies because they were bullied” type situation. But you can’t fight against an emotion without putting in effort to discover what powers it. And because this takes too much time the more expedient and instinctive approach is taken. We start to stereotype. We decide to make our enemies and friends based upon the faces that hold those emotions. When this happens we make blanket generalizations. Men become rapist, women become bitches, blacks become lazy,whites become devils, the right becomes stupid, and the left becomes arrogant. This works in reverse also. With this exact same mindset men become confident, women become strong, blacks become brothers & sisters, whites become charitable, the right becomes patriotic, and the left becomes progressive. When you look to similar faces and opinions that resonate or agree with your own, you are only reaffirming your own personal perspective that’s based on an experience or emotion that not all humans share. When this stance is taken, opposition to your opinions and experience shows up and war breaks out. It’s the situation we’re in now.

The vanguards however feel and know that their side is justified. It is even back up by the constitution and the moral just of natural law as defined by inherent rights. What the enemy is doing is simply trying to hold on to their own fantasy. A fantasy that was realized at the great expense of everyone who didn’t fit within it. And this is very true. And it can be seen all around us and throughout history. But ones pain and current position can easily make one despise their oppressor. It can make them bitter and resentful. Maybe not in an outright and explicit way. But in very subtle ways. Ways that show how we actually feel. In private places where we can be ourselves among others who share our ideals without fear of retaliation:

death

death2

death3

And pretty soon we end up using the same methods that our enemy used to oppress us. But there’s a problem here. A massive problem. Everything I’ve mentioned up until now pertains to the individual solider’s personal reasoning and justification. But you can’t have a war with just soldiers, you need a unifying force and a spirit to drive those soldiers. A dream.

We’ll call this: The Dream of Future Equality

manifest-equality-e1267868635914

But there is something to be said about dreams and the power that they contain, good or bad. Here is an excerpt from Berserk where the ambitious Griffith is reflecting on dreams and the power that they have over individuals. This same power allowed him to move on after he had seen firsthand how his dream caused the death of a young solider who had followed him and believed in him. It is taken from a conversation with a princess named Charlotte:

G: Why is it that men enjoy little more than shedding blood…? It could certainly be that men possess that savage side. But that is a tool by which they secure and protect a precious thing… I suppose it is a double-edged sword.

C: …Precious thing? Like family… or a sweetheart…?

G: There are some like that. But for a man… Perhaps he must come upon one other precious thing before he can obtain those two…

C: One other precious thing?

G: For no other’s sake. To accomplish it for him… for himself. A Dream.

C: …Dream

G: One who dreams of world domination. One who devotes his whole life to the thorough tempering of one sword. If there is a dream which takes one his whole life to find… There are also dreams which, like storms, devour tens of thousands of other dreams.

With no relation to social status, class or background. Whether it suits them or not, people yearn for a dream. Sustained by a dream, hurt by a dream, revived by a dream, killed by a dream. And even after being abandoned by a dream, it continues to smolder from the bottom of one’s heart… Probably until the verge of death…

A man should envision such a lifetime once. A life spent as a martyr to the God named “Dream”.

Unlike the solider itself who fights, that unifying dream does not possess a physical body and cannot be killed. It is the intangible power source of all the soldiers. And it has the power to move waves of people towards a cause and goal. Good or bad.

protest

Protesters greet those from Westboro Baptist Church in St. Charles

But there always is a dark side to this. As before in my last post I wrote:

 -the scale becomes so large that the oppressor [/progressive] loses its personification. It becomes a type of “big businesses are not people” situation. As compensation my enemy [/friend] then becomes fear [/the dream] itself. Not the person.

In this example hate then becomes a legion. And just as with any emotion, goodness can become a legion also and the sentence still stands even with the words swapped. The effects of a legion in the sense of an accumulated force can be negatively seen all around us. Banks. Corporations. Traders. Religious Organizations. Even Charity groups. All exist on a plane that is higher than any one person. Thus we get ‘too big to fail’:

too-big-to-fail-cartoon

The point is that all of these legions, movements, causes, and dreams no longer have a personal point of view, but an impersonal survival type point of view. It becomes a machine when it doesn’t realize the power that it holds. It is the origin of Google’s “Don’t be Evil” mantra. But as with any type of dream or cause or big business, it has to survive before it can reach it’s goal. That is the bottom line. And when the primary goal is survival then nothing is sacred when trying to stay alive. Including the value of the individual. Be that individual an enemy or friend.

It is this sense of desperation that can readily become its own downfall. The same principle can be applied to a good cause. It also has the power to surpass the presence of the individual. Growing into a storm that devours all other dreams, the dream of equality has taken a survival point of view. It is “the survival of equality within a world of injustice”. And just like its negative counter part, it is also desperate. And when it is desperate we get things like the occupy movement

img_3671_student_protest_11

And Anonymous

2110923

20121123-we-are-anonymous

who happen to be the perfect example of what I’m attempting to illustrate. Using words like “legion” and not to forgive and not to forget. They are the end result. A faceless movement which is powered by individuals but does not have an inherent need for the individual (in the personal sense) in order to reach its goal. This is a desperate survival method in its most pure form.

In turn the enemy soldiers: the intolerant, the racists, the homophobes, the bible thumpers. They are feeling this. They are feeling the weight of fighting a losing war. And they also grow desperate because the survival of their own dreams are at stake. And so like a cornered beast they lash out, frantically and incoherently. And when they lash out some of their hits land. And when their hits land, others suffer with the pain. But it takes two ‘sides’ to have a conflict. And after one side has been wounded it can either decide to fight back or it can check for the figurative “nail in the lions paw”

Image

Image

Black woman saves racist from mob

Checking for that figurative nail is something a legion can’t do. It is up to an individual. And it is no easy task. You can identify a person who can see the humanity in their enemy. They are the ones who make a constant effort to look for the nail. No matter how many times they’re slashed and no matter how great their wounds.

https://twitter.com/chobitcoin/status/415678832046141440

The nail in this case is the possessive type fear that I illustrated in the co-worker/friend example. And once that possessive fear is out, seeing another’s humanity then becomes much easier. The biggest problem facing the ‘good guys’ is how hard this nail is to find. Especially when the paw it’s on is moving about and is capable of hurting you. And like I said before you can only remove the nail when on a personal level. Trying to do so when on a higher level makes it so difficult that the amount of work that is put into it doesn’t seem worth the effort when compared to reaching the actual goal or dream. When this becomes apparent it is usually the path of least resistance that is taken to reach that dream. Which in turn means less time to wait.

HardWalking

In this illustration we can say that the spiked ball represents those whom we disagree with or who oppose us. The Dream of Equality is at the top of the hill. However the ball we are dragging along has the potential to wound and hurt us. On top of that it is also slowing us down. So natural human instinct tells us to let the ball go. Let it roll back down the hill because the goal at the top is more valuable in the end. And it must be reached with haste. Everything will be better once we get there.

Look at the caption under the illustration. In order to let the ball go you first have to dismiss the importance of your fellow man. To actually convince yourself that they are better off at the bottom you need mental justification. More specifically consequential justification. “End justifies the means.” This justification has to be more powerful than the value you place on another human being. Because “A soldier who sees the humanity of the enemy makes for a troubled and ineffective killer.”

The choice part of this can be illustrated vividly in the White Phosphorous level from Spec Ops the Line. In it Captain Martin Walker and his three man squad  are crossing through the sands of Dubai in order to reach a Colonel Konrad. Along the way they are met with heavy opposition. After a grueling amount of fighting they all reach, what at first glance, looks to be an enemy camp. Captain Walker then decides to take the initiative and attack first, basing his decision to do so only on an assumption that what’s before them is in fact the enemy. Little does he know, and after already executing the strike, the camp turns out to be allies who were attempting to hide civilians. But by then its too late. The moral of this scene purposefully violates one of the main rules of shooters: “Everything wants to kill you”. The rule of “everything wants to kill you” is grounded within the survival point of view that I was talking about earlier. Captain Walker was running on this same view. However as shown below, his squad mate Staff Sergeant John Lugo, is running on a personal point of view that conflicts with Walker’s actions. Walker truly viewed his goal as being noble. And it was for the most part. He also would’ve done anything to reach it. Even tossing aside his humanity. However the possession/obsession of him actually reaching that goal ends up costing the lives of others and forfeiting the trust of those who obeyed his orders yet disagreed with his choices.

[GRAPHIC VIOLENCE WARNING]:

You can see the conflict on his face towards the end as his spirit as an individual grapples and eventually loses to the grander spirit of the goal which in this case can be interpreted as the spirit of the dream. No matter how good or just that goal might be in the long run you have to use the consequential aspect of reaching that goal in order to overturn and justify the dismissing of another individuals worth or opinion or reasoning. Despite the scale of consequence that is shown in the game the principle that allowed his justification to reach that scale in the first place is the main key of focus here. There are different ways of reaching equality. There’s the Walker way of getting to the goal no matter the cost or “perceived opposition” and there’s the Lugo way that is able to see the humanity in the enemy and looks for a choice in everything. This very same principle can be seen all over the internet in arguments. For each of these everyone argues with the assumption that their rightness is more valuable than understanding one another. This then becomes an excuse to generalize and dismiss anything that can be viewed as opposition. Leaving one ignorant of any perspective other than their own and generalizing anything else to be commonplace or typical.

“Any time one isn’t familiar with something, it all looks the same. Knowledge and education are required to properly judge a thing.”

This quote is true even of opinions that one may not agree with. Which I had the pleasure of experiencing firsthand

bigo1

bigo2

bigo

After my last tweet she left and a series of sub tweets ensued which served as a call to arms for her follows. Looking back I should have asked “why” she thought I was wrong instead of responding rashly to her “Nah” reply. Whether she would have actually continued into a discussion has yet to be seen. Regardless of pointing out her fault in assuming myself to be yet another criticizer, I still consider this to be a failure at communication on my end.

When it comes to the vanguard it is a true battle of virtue ethics vs. consequentailism. And this can be seen in the first man we talked about: He wants his dream of absolute equality to come true but he’s at a loss when it comes to putting in the actual work that it takes to make it come true in a way that includes even the people he’s fighting against (assuming of course that he wants everyone to have equality). He uses virtue ethics to justify his reasons for disapproval in others:

testag

barf2

No matter how good or kind is the important part here

But he also uses consequentialism when trying to power the wave that motivates his soldiers:

Notice the "Do we really have any other choice" bit? This is reminiscent of a certain Captain Walker

Notice the “Do we really have any other choice” bit? This is reminiscent of a certain Captain Walker

Surprisingly enough the whole of what I’ve written can be illustrated perfectly in a single jpeg. This is the main response to the article I first brought up. In it a user at least tries to use reason and is aware of the humanity of the other. But the response he gets dismisses the heart of what was written due to a survival perspective and an opinion formed out of personal pain.

Image

Just the words alone paint my case so well. When the program I use for screen caps asked me to name the file, I entitled it;

The Wise and The Wounded.

*Bike being the wise and Kent being the wounded of course. Also note that the whole of what I’ve written can be applied to any cause or movement. THis includes both the religious and non religious. 

[shoot me in the face now]

Rant about Female Characters

So I write. I love to write. I love trying to create stories the best way I can. And even still some of the stuff I do is usually rushed, convoluted, poorly described, vague and uninteresting. Yet none of those things make me stop. Aside from that though there is one consistent feature that rides alongside the vast majority of everything I put on paper. And that is FMC’s (female main character). Whenever I do something that takes some kind of effort to put into, the protagonist almost always turns out to be female. Why? Well for a while I didn’t even think about it or notice it myself. I used to mentally dance about it before but it never really stuck. But then I recently stumbled across this, starting @ the 2:39 mark:

…..Yea. You see most young people nowadays (I’m pretty young myself I guess) will see that and instinctively cheer and roll out the praise for a conviction that strives towards female equality. Keep in mind I do the exact thing he does. I’m not at all famous for it, or even good at it, but I do it. And I do it for different reasons. And I can tell you right now after watching that, I didn’t cheer or even give praise despite agreeing with some earlier points. My reaction ran kind of along the lines of “Dafuq is this shit?” Does that mean I’m evil and anti-equality or anti-women? No. In the sense of what feminism actually fights…, no I’m not. Let’s look at this from a different POV so I can try not to seem as crazy.

Whenever I do end up posting something I’ve finished, I go and upload it to an amateur online writing community whose demographic mostly consists of younger girls (I know it sounds weird but stick with me). There are some guys up there but the majority is female. But aside from that I have a fellow female writer from Mexico (she’s bi-lingual and awesome) who I practically worship. Not in the writing sense, but in the honest critique type sense. While in an open forum she brought up how she hates FMC’s and that her MC’s are almost always male. Well this caught my attention because I
was her mirror opposite. So I asked her why, and this is what she said (And I quote):

“If you’re asking why I hate them, it’s a long, complicated story. Let’s try to make it short: They tend to be either pussies or machos with vaginas. Most of the time they’re not memorable or powerful because of hard work, but because they’re The Chosen One or they’re gifted or privileged at some shit, or someone did something to them (Witch & Wizard, Maximum Ride, The Shadowhunters Series). If not, they’re damsels in distress, [period] (Twilight).

All their struggles and victories come from external shit. They don’t do anything of their own; sometimes they need the author to break the whole universe so they can be the heroes (Graceling).

Basically, they don’t build their own destiny;

They’re just lazy-ass characters who act like martyrs and let their authors do the dirty work for them.”

*Insert tears of joy here*

Now when I read that I immediately went into ‘o shit’ mode and rushed back to my own works. Since I write FMC’s I didn’t know if she went and read my stuff and had already judged it to be what she hated or what. But when I actually skimmed over my stuff, it didn’t seem to fit in with what she had described and she reassured me that what I had done was fine (maybe just to get me to shut up). Naturally I asked myself why. I knew what she meant and since then have been consciously trying to avoid it. Why is it that some FMC’s make me want to either laugh or vomit, while others end up getting plastered in 1920×1080 on my desktop?

Well after a few naps on the couch and some long walks with headphones later, I think I’ve nailed down my own feelings as to why I do what I do and love what I love when it comes to FMC’s. And the result covers a lot. It is also long winded, somewhat dicey and painfully monotonous. So here it is. One word: Possession. That’s right. Possession.

Spirit possession is a paranormal or supernatural event in which it is said that animas, demons, extraterrestrials, gods, spirits, or other disincarnate entities take control of a human body, resulting in noticeable changes in health and/or behavior. The term can also describe a similar action of a spirit taking residence in an inanimate object, possibly giving it animation.”

Now when I say this, it’s not in a literal sense but in an illustrative/figurative (yet strangely tangible) one. So what do I mean by it? Well if I were to write down my thoughts as they come, this is what it would read like. The thesis statement:

“To me, the allure and strength of a female character lies within her ability to abandon her perceived womanhood and humanity. Simply put; her strength rests with how well she can transcend her very consciousness and identity. The entirety of the self for the sake of what she values. All without help from the external.

Does she treasure her desire or goal to the point where she is willing to abandon the whole of her being (sacrifice)? To let a spirit besides her own take control over her (possession)?”

That last sentence is the key to all this. And the sacrifice part is even more alluring when given in the most mortal, human, and relatable of states. Not the part of us that wishes we had super powers. I’m talking about the sacrificing of the IRL version of us. And when I say abandoning her womanhood I don’t mean abandoning her womanhood for manhood, I mean abandoning her womanhood only.

But we need to expound on this before we get any deeper. Set some much needed foundations.

What possesses a character? Well, female or not obviously the same things that can possess a male character. Longing, truth, revenge, etc. Everything is fair game. But why is the air different when a female does it? Why is it that the heroine gets more scrutiny? Is it the systematically controlled and bias male dominated social structure/age old patriarchy? If you say yes then I’ll laugh in your face. Why? Because that’s the ever popular and lazy reasoning that your typical teenage internet feminist uses to fight her sexist opposition. So is there really a systematically controlled and bias male dominated social structure/age old patriarchy? Well, there used to be (There isn’t anymore but that’s a whole other blog post and discussion). But there is an amazing difference between fighting with the obvious current setting aimed at getting awareness and fighting with an actual future solution aimed at equality for everyone. When you think like and fight with the former, you are making an enemy of men whether you mean to or not. Whether you mean well or not. You will always be perceived as someone who puts down in order to lift another up. Even if that isn’t the actual case or intention.

As a black man, perceived social subjugation is a way of life. We practically swim in it. Looking back at history and even looking at the current media, it’s an extremely easy task to hate white people. But I don’t. And I mean this in a blanketed way, not just on an individual ‘look at my best friend’ basis. When I see whole races, even ones beside my own, crippled at the hands of another, the scale becomes so large that the oppressor loses its personification. It becomes a type of “big businesses are not people” situation. As compensation my enemy then becomes fear itself. Not the person.

Here’s an example:

You’re at work and with a childhood friend. You laugh and talk and stuff. Real good buddies. Well unknown to you, your friend eventually receives a phone call that scares them half to death. Afterwards you leave work and encounter that same friend with a gun/bat/crowbar/fists pointed at you. They are visibly distressed and could react at any time. Is your true enemy your friend? Or the fear that possess them?

This is how an understanding starts. What you fight against is fear. What you fight against is what has possessed a people, not the people itself. You are fighting:

Disincarnate entities [that] take control of a human body, resulting in noticeable changes in health and/or behavior.”

And though this is a good start, it’s vitally important that you can identify between the cause of possession and the effect of a possession. When you fight the spirit of something you DO NOT FIGHT HATE. Hate is just the by product. When you say you are fighting against hate you are saying that you are fighting against that which you don’t understand and cannot relate to. This dehumanizes and makes an ‘other’ out of your fellow human. But when you say you are fighting against the fear that causes hate” you make a connection to the human part of that other which allows for progressive communication. Whether communication is available is another story.

All of this side tracking is the neutral foundation for the illustrative possession which attracts me to writing FMC’s. Possession doesn’t always have to be a negative. But it is extremely powerful. What we have is a longstanding disconnect between the sexes and possession + ambition (along with mis-communication) are at its root.

Even though so far I’ve laid out the meaning of possession I haven’t laid out the reasoning in relation to women. So let’s do that.

I once wrote about traditional gender roles a long while ago. There is a type of math to this. When I wrote this I expected it to be immediately denounced and shot down. It’s an argument in trying to understand a “modern relic”. But what I’m going to do is modify it to fit this topic. My point in inserting this is to show the ‘setting’ behind my writings and the old power that houses my characters. Overall it’s pretty lengthy so stick with me. Let’s call this an origin story:

___________________________________________________________________________

So we’re changing tracks and making a hard turn here.

Let’s go way back in time and look at a family. An old nuclear family. A typical idyllic old school “American dream family” with the fence n’ stuff. A mother. A father. Two kids, (a boy and a girl). + The family dog. Keep in mind this whole whoopla is just an example with the purpose of exposure. I’m not preaching here.

r1

We have the man of the house, the father.

  • He loves his family
  • He houses
  • He provides financially
  • He protects physically from the external
  • Handles bills, intruders, whatever

And we have the women of the house who is in the same boat but runs a different part of the ship.

  • She also loves her family
  • She provides sustainability
  • She nurtures
  • She protects everyone mentally from the internal

Solving problems. Being an ear for listening and a shoulder to cry on. Etc.r2

The kids and dog are irrelevant so we’ll skip them.

But all in all these are the roles that everyone is talking about. THIS is the straight laced Judeo-Christian “Hey look we’re normal!” standard that everyone means when they say ‘traditional gender roles’. But even with its perceived restricting conformity and potential for societal discord, it’s still a pretty solid and legit system for what it is. You won’t hear me rooting for its destruction just because it doesn’t fit with everyone. Because no one thing fits with everyone. But that’s not the point here. Here I want to emphasize on a hypothetical possibility using this same system.

In the basic structure the man protects the family from the physically external. Even having to leave his own house to do so. Even if it means being away from them for long periods of time. Even when under threat of his own life when in situations like war. This is illustrated in characters such as Breaking Bad’s Walter White or The Count in the early chapters of Berserk. The bottom line being that a true man does anything and everything, even separating or removing himself from his own humanity just to protect his family. The venue may change, the environment may change. You could be working at a desk answering phones, fighting with a spear to kill a mammoth, or having another man killed in front of you while sitting in a meth lab. But no matter the field…

r3A man provides. And he does it… even when he’s not appreciated, or respected, or even loved. He simply bears up and he does it. Because he’s a man.” – Gus

And he will go to great lengths to do it. The media, and everyone else, seems to love it too. Featuring characters such as these guys:

a

b

c

All with similar themes and similar beards (it’s symbolic facial hair at its best). But with each representing a different battlefield that every man with a caring family faces to some extent despite their individual range. A battlefield which can eventually cost a man his very soul, turning him into a monster. Or even worse. This guy:

d

From This

e

To This

Selling your soul for those you love can take a lot out of you or put a lot in you. But in this sense the man can take on any form, human or not (from a physiological standpoint), to take on any threat. Even his own sense of morality isn’t required to accomplish the task of protecting the core, which includes his wife or the other members of his family. It’s his Raison d’être. His job. His purpose as a husband. It’s the same spirit that allows Hugh Jackman to keep turning on that hot water and allows Ryan Gosling to stomp a man to death in an elevator via le Drive.

But here’s where the differences begin when it comes to “the system”. Even though the shell can change shape and form to fit the occasion, the core remains the same for the most part despite having equally taxing responsibilities. The core can intensify in strength and in radiance but it is ultimately restricted to remaining within the shell for protection (as long as it’s in the system itself). The core also expends energy in order to stay in tune with the shell. Even protecting itself from sudden or jarring motions or transformations. Just like this character:

r7

“Someone has to protect this family from the man who protects this family.”

If the core and shell are not synchronized in their movements then the whole system can fail. And without proper communication it readily does.

But communication isn’t what I’m getting at here directly. It’s a sub factor. What I’m getting at is dissatisfaction or envy as a result of mis-communication with regards to the two parts.

In some cases (emphasis on some) the core may find itself indifferent to the shell’s ability to fight without its soul and its means of changing shape to fit its environment. The core can change too but it doesn’t have to set aside its being in the process in order to gain more freedom in self extension and flexibility. The system can allow for the core to have this choice. But the shell has no choice. Its external duty/purpose is ingrained in stone. The core also has its duty to the family set in stone but it doesn’t have to change environments or its humanity to do so unless the shell fails at its job or steps down or leaves.

Waltz with Bashir (2008)

Waltz with Bashir (2008)

Nevertheless the shell isn’t rapidly changing form because it wants to. It’s doing this as a means of defense. Attacks from the external are coming from every which direction and the shell has to meet each attack as it appears. It’s doing this so that the core doesn’t have to know what fighting without a soul feels like. It’s not only protecting the core from outside attacks, it’s also protecting it from knowing what it’s like to defend all those attacks. It’s a kindness in protection.

However the shell HAS to communicate this kindness with the core or else the movements will fall out of sync. And the core has to communicate the kindness it does for the sake of the shell or else it too will fall out of sync. Because the system depends on two people, if the system fails then that means two people have failed.

None of this however undermines the cores responsibilities. The core has its own battlefield and its own risks in managing the family and keeping the shell in check. This system in its purest and most honest form is not one sided or bent in men’s favor. Abuse of the system bends it in men’s favor. And it is no joke, as P&G and personal memories of our own mothers like to remind us:

r9

But the difference is the environments in which these responsibilities are carried out. Strictly speaking from a traditional perspective as I’ve laid out before. A mom should never have to blow another man’s brains out in order to protect her child. Though she is completely more than capable of doing this, it has traditionally been the man’s job to make sure she never has to experience it. I am aware the genders can be reversed because my mom practically carries my dad on her back. Her willpower is a million times stronger than his. I am aware that the man can always be in a situation when he needs protection from his wife. But I am talking about a specific. I’m talking about a particular and major part of family dynamics that has been cruelly manipulated. There will always be fights within our families but sometimes we need to try and explore why.

_________________________________________________________________________

Ok. Moving on. I know it seems we’ve strayed but stick close.

In these “system” examples the source of the man’s strength, the power that enables him to so readily change shape, are his feelings towards the core. His need and desire to protect the core is so great and so definite that he can easily and unquestionably abandon his own self (even if he can’t explain it himself). With all of this put together and factored in, the woman now takes on this near ethereal level of value in the eyes of man. A woman’s being and warmth and care and personage/pure otherness then turns into something of a ‘prize’. Goddesses tier even. And this can be seen throughout time. Art shows us this. The form of a beautiful woman is something of the divine and it saturates physical and emotional expressions towards beauty, even synonymizing itself with it.

Type in “Beauty” in the Google search box and this is what you get. Pretty faces and cosmetics for said pretty faces.

Type in “Beauty” in the Google search box and this is what you get. Pretty faces and cosmetics for said pretty faces.

Summer Goddess Final – Davesrightmind (DA)

Summer Goddess Final – Davesrightmind (DA)

The forever boss and always awesome meditative cool girl Natasha Khan wrote a song that could be interpreted to reflect this topic. It probably has nothing to do with it and I could be wrong but….. y’know…

The forever boss and always awesome meditative cool girl Natasha Khan wrote a song that could be interpreted to reflect this topic. It probably has nothing to do with it and I could be wrong but….. y’know…

Trophy 

The trophy that I made for us

In fur and gold

Got into the wrong pair of hands

In truth was sold

They bought it for oh so much less

Than it was worth

And every man that touched it

Found a heaven on earth

Heaven is a feeling I get in your arms

Heaven is a feeling I get in your arms

Heaven is a feeling I get in your arms

Heaven is a feeling I get in your arms

So the embodiment of women is used to personify everything that is awe-inspiring (i.e. Mother Nature/ Venus) and pure. As a whole women are viewed as a true diamond in the ruff when compared to the world and its battlefield. And everyone wants to protect their diamonds. The disparity between men however are their true intentions when doing so. Do you protect out of greed towards an object? Or do you protect out of love for a fellow human being and partner with whom you rely on? Unfortunately the world has shown us that the former is usually the case. And doing things for the wrong reasons gets old quite fast. Eventually women get sick of faux protection and being viewed as prizes. So to combat the status quo women use vehicles like books, other women, blogs telling each other how to get ahead, and how to be happy alone, or how to move on up. Even how to beat men at their own game.  [We aren’t talking about happy single people here. Neither are we talking about men who favor placing their value within a women’s perspective]

But remember what I said earlier?

 “-There is an amazing difference between fighting with the obvious current setting aimed at getting awareness and fighting with an actual future solution aimed at equality for everyone. When you think like the former you are making an enemy of men, whether you mean to or not.”

All those previous vehicles just exacerbate the tension. Why? Because of this:

“The shell went through all the trouble of protecting the core, something that it valued more than its own life (to some extent), only to have the core leave or separate out of the lack of venue for communication (*no blame is being placed on either particular party here). Either way the shell now has no purpose. Though it wasn’t its whole being, the shells main function was to protect and accommodate the core. Since that’s gone, the shell feels useless and indifferent towards the core even if it was his own doing. However the core is now experiencing the same freedom of movement and change as the shell. Relishing it as it goes and showing how capable it is on its own. The shell is hurt. And because the shell is hurt it feels justified in fighting back. And when it fights back it does so with attempted domination. It is the only defense it has when combating the core’s new found freedom. It is with this mindset that the shell becomes desperate and dangerous.”

I could try to expound further but this short film tells it perfectly. It illustrates the father’s feelings of uselessness like a solider trying to relate to society after coming back from war. It can be best summed up as “I became a demon so you wouldn’t have to.” In some cases the dad had to do terrible things for the sake of his family. But if the core splits then it’s at a loss. Please watch the whole thing if you can:

[Go here if the player doesn’t work]

So after all of this what is the point? How does this tie in with the title? Why do I disagree with parts of Joss’s speech?

Well when feminine strength is illustrated in the ways we’re used to and in strong popular fem characters in general, it is shown to be just that. Feminine strength. Just like saying Men’s strength, it is handicapped by its own adjective. It’s why I titled this “Why I write Female Characters” instead of “Why I Write Strong Female Characters”. It restricts itself to strength based within, and seen through, the lenses of the genders. It’s a strength with a mortal humanity attached to it. It isn’t raw in the sense that it can induce actual possession from something higher than our own chromosomes. It is a limiter in that it is simply a reactionary response, like Supergirl or Batgirl. This is where all that other stuff from above comes in.

  • Depending on the raw force of a desire and ambition, a character can become unknowingly possessed by their own dream or goal or desire.
  • Possession is an attractive force that can be induced/caused by fear or love or need. Though mostly portrayed as a bad thing, it can be used for good but sometimes it is abused.
  • Defensive possession for the sake of protection is largely attributed to males because of, but by no means limited to, traditional family structure. There are other reasons why this is but they are not the focus.
  • Women are also capable of possession but are rarely shown abandoning their womanhood to do so because of the status of ‘value’ placed upon them by men (the “can’t have dirty diamonds” type thinking) NOTE { THIS POINT PERTAINS SPECIFICALLY TO CHARACTER PRESENTATION}.
  •  Most images of strong women are made with the purpose of counteracting the gender imbalance in the media and not with the purpose of showing that a women is equally capable of abandoning her humanity and womanhood.

Now I could’ve just done those points alone but that would’ve been too easy. It would’ve made this PDF a whole lot more organized, acute, and professional. But sometimes long unorganized rants can be a good thing. Because there are still some snippets and the last two bullet points are the whole tie in.

Starting with the last point, most FMC portrayals have the woman keep and display her womanhood in order to show that “hey! Look I can do all the things a guy can do except I’m a woman!” But you will never see an accepted popular media representation of a woman murdering an innocent child for the sake of her goal without seeming crazed (and I’m not talking about a teenager approved Katniss here). Nor will you see popular media have a woman committing violent rape or other acts defined as being exclusive to men. However there are many exceptions that have come very close within the public eye. American Horror Story and Game of Thrones are probably two of the biggest and most widely received ones and there are more. But when it comes to the majority most FMC’s are just tools for combating a male dominated field instead of making their own original case.

When I think of female characters I actually truly admire I think of ones like these:

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Now that is one weird ass line up right there. But they are each exactly what comes to mind when I think of possession in a female by something that is beyond her own being. Each one of these characters has abandoned aspects of their own humanity and womanhood in order to achieve a goal or need or even just to survive.

Starting from the right is Patsy from 12 Years a Slave. Her driving force was a spirit of survival. A spirit that still wouldn’t allow her to end her own life despite everything she had went through. And a spirit that helped her persevere as her womanhood and humanity was physically stripped from her by her oppressor. Something that no woman (possessed by her womanhood) with the power to oppose would dare allow. But the spirit that possessed her was beyond her own physical being and her own perception of her tangible self. And it allowed her to keep going. Seeking comfort in the fact that you’re a woman doesn’t help you while getting lashed. Seeking comfort in the spirit in which you place your own value does. A true staple that can’t go without mention in a topic such as this.

Next to her is Senjōgahara Hitagi from the Monogatari series who is arguably one of the most brilliantly written animated FMC’s I’ve seen (next to GitS’s The Major *who has too many incarnations). Though it’s never really said what gives her the spirit she has, it has shown to allow her the means to become dangerously and impressively fluent in expressing herself and her desires to the point where it sucks in everyone around her. Though she has never significantly abandoned her womanhood like Patsy, she has done so with her humanity for the sake of the ones she cares about (non children) and has even calmly stated she would become a murder should anything happen to them. This combined with her humility, even after striking a deal over the phone to avoid instant death at the hands of a god, makes her something of a legend.

Last but not least is The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Known as The Mother of Special Forces within the MGS series, she invented the art of close quarters combat during the age of World War II and the Cold War which revolutionized hand to hand in a style that was before it’s time. When it comes to The Boss her spirit was her sense of duty. And because of that spirit the whole of her life can be viewed as a tragedy. She sets an example for what it means to live under a cause that is beyond oneself for the sake of others. Her leadership, strength, and sheer skill inspired Big Boss who would later grow to become the key to initiating the rest of the whole series. A lingering sign of this is his keeping and wearing of the bandanna that she had always worn on the field.

All of these characters are represented as humans. They have no special powers. They have no assistance from the external. But what they do have is that unifying and otherworldly spirit. A spirit that transcends the connection with its own physical body. THIS is what it means to be strong. An indestructible desire, need, or dream that POSSESSES one to the point that it takes control of their soul and moves out the original self.

It has always been generalized that women only exhibit this same power when it comes to the protection of their child. However there is a difference here. Because the child is involved, the credit of power can still be attributed to her being a mother. Which is tied to her womanhood. Thus her womanhood is still intact and hasn’t been abandoned for the sake of something else. The difference in these stereotypes is that the man can abandon his manhood altogether and it’s not restricted to another or a loved one. It could be towards science, adventure, knowledge, sports, anything in which he places his dreams. Women can and have done the same but it is never illustrated in a way that supersedes opposition from men. It is never shown without saying “Oh hey I’m doing all these cool things but men are trying to keep me down.” It is an “invisible privilege” that men can do everything they do without saying “Oh women are just trying to keep me down.” But this situation and this invisible privilege only occurs when you consider the sex of the other. It only exists when you refuse to view things without placing value on the inconsequential aspects of a human being. True spirit cares not for your sex.

When I write my FMC’s like Rae, Rigel and Elise, it entertains a possibility. The fantasy of the general public that women can abandon everything also. That any human can abandon everything also. But I stick with women because abandoning womanhood is harder than abandoning manhood which has always been expected and taken for granted. It’s not something that is done every day in the public eye despite how little I care for the public eye. Yes, I do it for myself and hope others can relate. What’s attractive to me isn’t the fact that they’re a woman doing guy things with a strong sense of pride and willpower of being a woman or going against the natural grain. Because to me if you still identify as a woman during a transcendent state when you accomplish those things you are not strong at all when it comes to the spirit. You are not truly possessed because you can still sense your body and yourself. No. I write my characters as women who can separate the physical from the intangible. That’s what my goal is.

So I know this is the longest most drawn out and obscure non-sense filled rant ever and that I could be amazingly wrong about my assumption based on Joss’s speech (seriously I just needed an outlet), but the main difference between myself and other FMC writers is that I don’t do it to just include women or throw them a bone in a male field or fight the good fight by representing the underrepresented. I am in no fight. Yes, I admit in some cases I do it because it’s hot. But the main reason is because it’s a dream for me to find different ways of illustrating how humans can lose themselves in order to get what they want. That’s all it is. I stand for humans and their insanity. Last time I checked women are humans too. Freedom of insanity for all. You can shoot me now.