Children's Book: A Glass Full of Rumors: Children's Picture Book About Bullying

Children's Book: A Glass Full of Rumors: Children's Picture Book About Bullying

4.67 out of 5


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Have you ever noticed your child repeating a rumor?

  • Have you ever suspected that your child has been a victim of gossip?
  • Wouldn’t it be great if you could teach your children the consequences of spreading rumors at an early age?
  • If I could provide a simple tool to help your children understand those consequences, by developing their critical thinking skills, while enjoying a fun, heartwarming story, would you be interested?

The main lesson to be gained after reading this book is best expressed in this inspirational quote by the great Greek Philosopher Socrates, “If what you want to say is neither true, nor good or kind, nor useful or necessary, please don’t say anything at all.”

For the full Triple Filter Test of Socrates - get your copy of the book today!


"This is another educational and heartwarming story by author, A. M. Marcus.. Your child will learn how to deal with brand new emotions. Pain, bullying, harmful rumors, insecurity, fear, societal differences and the loss of a close friendship . The words are real easy to read and understand ( I do agree a copy of this book should be required reading in grade schools ). Kudos , again to Elisa Bindi for her wonderful, cute , bright and colorful illustrations. At the end of the story the author includes questions to engage your child into a discussion with parents.

The paperback copy was made very well. There are 71 pages to the actual story. My daughter loved this book and is adding it to her growing collection."

- Robin Lee, TOP AMAZON REVIEWER , professional Cardiac and Psychiatric RN, Bayonne, NJ, United States

What happens when Mya moves away? What is the Socrates Triple Filter Test?

This is an EXCELLENT book for children. (Adults can learn from it also!) A very important lesson is taught and learned (great ending). It is well written and illustrated. A keeper in this house and most highly recommended.

-Richard and Liz, TOP AMAZON REVIEWERS, Parents

“The illustrations are modern and clean looking, yet not antiseptic or disengaging. There is a warmth to this book. Speaking as a graphic designer, the illustrator did well here.

A Glass Full of Rumors deals with bullying, a topic my daughter knows well from the vagaries of middle school. We both read the book with interest to the end. The subjects of gossip and philosophy really engaged us, and we honestly liked the characters of Mya and Michael. We could relate to them and their close early and then long-distance friendship is an inspiration. Thanks also to Socrates as well for his ever-present wisdom. ;)”

- Kort Kramer, TOP AMAZON REVIEWER, GRAPHIC DESIGNER, Boca Raton, FL, United States

“This is a wonderful, fun, educational story that I recommend for all children. Heck, even a few grown-ups might learn from the morals of Socrates.

Beautifully illustrated, interesting story that assists parents in their efforts to guide children and equip them with a moral compass.”

-Bill Anderson, TOP AMAZON REVIEWER, Quality Engineer, North Dakota, United States


*** This children's book features Kindle Text Pop-Up for reading text over vivid, full-color images (double tap on the text).

Scroll up and grab your copy of A Glass Full of Rumors today!

  • Emanuel Toy

    I was also really happy as a child. Really carefree and full of energy. During my teenage years I had a lot of family issues and bullying in high school, which resulted in a lot of anger and bitterness. I don't think I've ever recovered from it. There's a part of my life which has no images. From around 1 till about 13 there were pictures taken of me. 13 - 18 is just a blank space due to me wanting to be left alone.

  • Jeff Will

    Sign of bullying in second picture: she was tricked into not bringing underwear.

  • Adela Nienow

    I'm the child in the story. _Note: This turned out much longer than expected; I apparently needed to get it off my chest. Sorry for the wall of text._ Me and my dad have either gotten along swimmingly or not at all. According to my childhood memories, it was a roll of the dice whether he was in a good mood or not, but I could be oblivious to things I did to cause it. Can't be sure, I guess. At best, we would be joking around constantly. At worst, we'd literally be at eachother's throats. I have currently severed contact with him completely because of how bad the bad parts got. I know that my dad didn't want a child when my mother got pregnant with me. She considered terminating the pregnancy but my grandparents convinced her to base her decision on what _she_ wants, and she did want a child. Growing up, I remember my dad being very disconnected from me, by intention. He would refuse to sign any document for school, that was my mother's work (that includes the two weeks where she was in hospital). He didn't make my lunch. I have no memories of him ever being present when me and my mom went to buy clothes/toys/school stuff/... for me. We needed to buy tickets for hot lunches at school, but you needed to buy them on Monday for the whole week. When I woke up, my mom had forgotten to leave me the money. My dad worked shifts then, and luckily he was home. I carefully woke him, asked for the money, he refused. I asked if his wallet was in his pants (on the chair right next to him). He grumbled and gave me the money, and this was later brought up by him at a family meeting as completely unacceptable. So I guess it's accurate to say that he didn't want to be involved. But then we get to the contradictory part. Even though he refused to do any administration for my school, he was the one who took the lead during PTA meetings, interrupting or correcting my mother as he went. He is the one who judged me on my report cards. If he ever found out I got a punishment in school (e.g. write 10 lines for mouthing off, à la Bart Simpson), he made me do 4 full pages extra just because he felt the punishment wasn't adequate. I always hated reading books (fiction at least). Never been a fan. I came home one day with a book that actually captivated me. This was just before the start of the summer break, which lasts 2 months. Within an hour of me getting home with the book, he had decided that I needed to read 6 to 8 books over summer and hand him written reports about all of them, at least one every week. Failing to do so would result in punishment, I was told. What small chance there was for me actually wanting to read books, he quickly extinguished that. I don't remember any of my dad's involvement ever being in my benefit. My memories can be skewed because of what has happened between then and now between us; but all I can remember is how I dreaded whenever he got involved as a kid. I spent my life trying to go around him as much as I could. The thing that got to me the most was that he considered me an assistant. He renovated our entire house; and he needed my help with it. However, he would never teach me anything (drill a hole, saw a plank, _anything_), I would only be there to hold the vacuum cleaner when he drilled the holes; or hold the plank as he was sawing it. This started around age 8 and I still hadn't sawn (?) a single plank by the time I was 18 and still helping him. As a trained carpenter, he was diligent in measuring. He would take 10-15 minutes between cutting planks because he put so much effort in being accurate. However, he would work in complete silence and lose track of time; and forgot that I was standing there for those 10-15 minutes. I wasn't allowed to speak because that interrupts him (no music either, and **definitely** no headphones). If I sat down, he would berate me for being lazy. If I stared out the window, he would comment that he should teach me some politeness the hard way. If I walked outside of the room, he reminded me that I needed to ask for permission. he would make a point about denying that permission after he reminded me. Even if I just needed to go to the bathroom. If I accurately sum up our experience working together renovating the house, he always refused to teach me how to do the jobs that he prided himself on doing well. I could help with the inferior auxiliary tasks, but that was it. When I was a 15-something teen, he openly mocked me around family and friends that I wasn't a real man because I didn't know how to do any house work. I replied that he's to blame for not teaching me, I got the response that I wouldn't do the work up to his standards anyway so there was no point. No one present (basically my whole family) spoke up, and this wasn't the first time that no one corrected my dad. I grew up thinking that I was the one to blame. Not too long ago, I went through my childhood photo albums because my girlfriend wanted to see them. She has only known me since I've severed contact with my father, she doesn't really know him except through my mother and me. In the first 5-7 years after I was born, he's the one in most pictures with me. He's the happy dad playing tug of war with a biting toy for me as a baby, he's the one teaching me to watch TV, etc. Same goes for holidays, him and me were thick as thieves. Even my grandmother (mom's mom, who _hated_ my dad with a passion) admitted that he was very dedicated when I was a baby. He would check in on me every hour. To give some context: I was a quiet baby who slept absurdly long, and my dad has lost two younger brothers to crib death. So I can completely understand checking in on me. But between one album and the next, there is a stark contrast. He never appears in a picture beside me anymore; with the exception of family group pictures. I think (so does my gf) that he lost interest in me when I was old enough to start talking back and being my own person. He has never really accepted me for me, but rather as an extension of him. I'm his Mini-Me, so to speak. This ramped up as I got older. By the time I was able to talk back, he would get verbally abusive and would give me random punishments until I yielded. By my late teens, I was confident enough to stand up to his bullying and manipulation, and then he just turned violent whenever he couldn't win. Ever since I realized how manipulative he is, I've wondered how many of my memories are proof, and how many are skewed because I'm furious at him for how he raised me. However, the photo albums confirmed what I already suspected, and the difference in pictures as I grew older is so very noticeable. My girlfriend is skeptical of my approach to sever contact with my dad completely, but even she still acknowledges that the pictures tell the story that I'm seeing.

  • Carter Champlin

    4chan, maybe Stormfront.

  • Nina Bernier

    Have you read Spengler? Your first paragraph reminds me (in a good way) of Spengler's notion of culture dying into civilization. The money spirit replaces everything once held sacred. Believers look like hicks to the godless matter-of-fact big-city civilization man. Spengler reads Buddha, Epicurus, and even Socrates as nihilists. Nietzsche was one of Spengler's great influences, but he saw what he called "ethical socialism" still haunting Nietzsche. I see it in your post and I'd say that it was the element in Nietzsche that I myself needed to overcome. Basically it's a sort of generalized evangelism. An individual is lit up by a vision of freedom and greatness and naturally projects it outward. In Nietzsche's most grandiose moments, he thought there was history before Nietzsche and after Nietzsche. Nevermind that Nietzsche is already in the sophists. Nevermind that Stirner (a long footnote to Hegel) preceded him. Of course Nietzsche was a great prose stylist, so there's that, but as great as he is, he's still something like Wittgenstein, which is to say an anti-philosopher who stayed within philosophy and therefore became famous. I suspect other godless men just kept their mouths shut and used the prejudices of others for worldly success. I suppose Nietzsche could best vent his power through writing. To be clear, he's one of my favorites. Your comments on art are fascinating. I'd just add that images of Christ are in a sense already images of the superman. Existentialism or the self-as-God is arguably just the finale of the Incarnation myth. Of all people, Nietzsche writes the most beautiful interpretation of Christ that I'm aware of: > I can only repeat that I set myself against all efforts to intrude the fanatic into the figure of the Saviour: the very word impérieux, used by Renan, is alone enough to annul the type. What the “glad tidings” tell us is simply that there are no more contradictions; the kingdom of heaven belongs to children; the faith that is voiced here is no more an embattled faith—it is at hand, it has been from the beginning, it is a sort of recrudescent childishness of the spirit. The physiologists, at all events, are familiar with such a delayed and incomplete puberty in the living organism, the result of degeneration. A faith of this sort is not furious, it does not de nounce, it does not defend itself: it does not come with “the sword”—it does not realize how it will one day set man against man. It does not manifest itself either by miracles, or by rewards and promises, or by “scriptures”: it is itself, first and last, its own miracle, its own reward, its own promise, its own “kingdom of God.” This faith does not formulate itself—it simply lives, and so guards itself against formulae. To be sure, the accident of environment, of educational background gives prominence to concepts of a certain sort: in primitive Christianity one finds only concepts of a Judaeo-Semitic character (—that of eating and drinking at the last supper belongs to this category—an idea which, like everything else Jewish, has been badly mauled by the church). But let us be careful not to see in all this anything more than symbolical language, semantics[6] an opportunity to speak in parables. It is only on the theory that no work is to be taken literally that this anti-realist is able to speak at all. Set down among Hindus he would have made use of the concepts of Sankhya,[7] and among Chinese he would have employed those of Lao-tse[8]—and in neither case would it have made any difference to him.—With a little freedom in the use of words, one might actually call Jesus a “free spirit”[9]—he cares nothing for what is established: the word killeth,[10] whatever is established killeth. The idea of “life” as an experience, as he alone conceives it, stands opposed to his mind to every sort of word, formula, law, belief and dogma. He speaks only of inner things: “life” or “truth” or “light” is his word for the innermost—in his sight everything else, the whole of reality, all nature, even language, has significance only as sign, as allegory.—Here it is of paramount importance to be led into no error by the temptations lying in Christian, or rather ecclesiastical prejudices: such a symbolism par excellence stands outside all religion, all notions of worship, all history, all natural science, all worldly experience, all knowledge, all politics, all psychology, all books, all art—his “wisdom” is precisely a pure ignorance[11] of all such things. He has never heard of culture; he doesn’t have to make war on it—he doesn’t even deny it.... The same thing may be said of the state, of the whole bourgeoise social order, of labour, of war—he has no ground for denying “the world,” for he knows nothing of the ecclesiastical concept of “the world”.... Denial is precisely the thing that is impossible to him.—In the same way he lacks argumentative capacity, and has no belief that an article of faith, a “truth,” may be established by proofs (—his proofs are inner “lights,” subjective sensations of happiness and self-approval, simple “proofs of power”—). Such a doctrine cannot contradict: it doesn’t know that other doctrines exist, or can exist, and is wholly incapable of imagining anything opposed to it.... If anything of the sort is ever encountered, it laments the “blindness” with sincere sympathy—for it alone has “light”—but it does not offer objections.... In the whole psychology of the “Gospels” the concepts of guilt and punishment are lacking, and so is that of reward. “Sin,” which means anything that puts a distance between God and man, is abolished—this is precisely the “glad tidings.” Eternal bliss is not merely promised, nor is it bound up with conditions: it is conceived as the only reality—what remains consists merely of signs useful in speaking of it. ... he life of the Saviour was simply a carrying out of this way of life—and so was his death.... He no longer needed any formula or ritual in his relations with God—not even prayer. He had rejected the whole of the Jewish doctrine of repentance and atonement; he knew that it was only by a way of life that one could feel one’s self “divine,” “blessed,” “evangelical,” a “child of God.” Not by “repentance,” not by “prayer and forgiveness” is the way to God: only the Gospel way leads to God—it is itself “God!”—What the Gospels abolished was the Judaism in the concepts of “sin,” “forgiveness of sin,” “faith,” “salvation through faith”—the whole ecclesiastical dogma of the Jews was denied by the “glad tidings.” The deep instinct which prompts the Christian how to live so that he will feel that he is “in heaven” and is “immortal,” despite many reasons for feeling that he is not “in heaven”: this is the only psychological reality in “salvation.”—A new way of life, not a new faith.... ... If I understand anything at all about this great symbolist, it is this: that he regarded only subjective realities as realities, as “truths” —that he saw everything else, everything natural, temporal, spatial and historical, merely as signs, as materials for parables. The concept of “the Son of God” does not connote a concrete person in history, an isolated and definite individual, but an “eternal” fact, a psychological symbol set free from the concept of time. The same thing is true, and in the highest sense, of the God of this typical symbolist, of the “kingdom of God,” and of the “sonship of God.” Nothing could be more un-Christian than the crude ecclesiastical notions of God as a person, of a “kingdom of God” that is to come, of a “kingdom of heaven” beyond, and of a “son of God” as the second person of the Trinity. All this—if I may be forgiven the phrase—is like thrusting one’s fist into the eye (and what an eye!) of the Gospels: a disrespect for symbols amounting to world-historical cynicism.... But it is nevertheless obvious enough what is meant by the symbols “Father” and “Son”—not, of course, to every one—: the word “Son” expresses entrance into the feeling that there is a general transformation of all things (beatitude), and “Father” expresses that feeling itself—the sensation of eternity and of perfection.—I am ashamed to remind you of what the church has made of this symbolism: has it not set an Amphitryon story[13] at the threshold of the Christian “faith”? And a dogma of “immaculate conception” for good measure?... And thereby it has robbed conception of its immaculateness— [13]Amphitryon was the son of Alcaeus, King of Tiryns. His wife was Alcmene. During his absence she was visited by Zeus, and bore Heracles. The “kingdom of heaven” is a state of the heart—not something to come “beyond the world” or “after death.” The whole idea of natural death is absent from the Gospels: death is not a bridge, not a passing; it is absent because it belongs to a quite different, a merely apparent world, useful only as a symbol. The “hour of death” is not a Christian idea—“hours,” time, the physical life and its crises have no existence for the bearer of “glad tidings.”... The “kingdom of God” is not something that men wait for: it had no yesterday and no day after tomorrow, it is not going to come at a “millennium”—it is an experience of the heart, it is everywhere and it is nowhere.... >

  • Alfonso Pfeffer

    We all ask each other a lot of questions. But we should all ask one question a lot more often: “What are you reading?” It’s a simple question but a powerful one, and it can change lives. Here’s one example: I met, at a bookstore, a woman who told me that she had fallen sadly out of touch with her beloved grandson. She lived in Florida. He and his parents lived elsewhere. She would call him and ask him about school or about his day. He would respond in one-word answers: Fine. Nothing. Nope. And then one day, she asked him what he was reading. He had just started “The Hunger Games,” a series of dystopian young-adult novels by Suzanne Collins. The grandmother decided to read the first volume so that she could talk about it with her grandson the next time they chatted on the phone. She didn’t know what to expect, but she found herself hooked from the first pages, in which Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in the annual battle-to-the-death among a select group of teens. The book helped this grandmother cut through the superficialities of phone chat and engage her grandson on the most important questions that humans face about survival and destruction and loyalty and betrayal and good and evil, and about politics as well. Now her grandson couldn’t wait to talk to her when she called—to tell her where he was, to find out where she was and to speculate about what would happen next. Other than belonging to the same family, they had never had much in common. Now they did. The conduit was reading. We need to read and to be readers now more than ever. We overschedule our days and complain constantly about being too busy. We shop endlessly for stuff we don’t need and then feel oppressed by the clutter that surrounds us. We rarely sleep well or enough. We compare our bodies to the artificial ones we see in magazines and our lives to the exaggerated ones we see on television. We watch cooking shows and then eat fast food. We worry ourselves sick and join gyms we don’t visit. We keep up with hundreds of acquaintances but rarely see our best friends. We bombard ourselves with video clips and emails and instant messages. We even interrupt our interruptions. And at the heart of it, for so many, is fear—fear that we are missing out on something. Wherever we are, someone somewhere is doing or seeing or eating or listening to something better. I’m eager to escape from this way of living. And if enough of us escape, the world will be better for it. Connectivity is one of the great blessings of the internet era, and it makes extraordinary things possible. But constant connectivity can be a curse, encouraging the lesser angels of our nature. None of the nine Muses of classical times bore the names Impatience or Distraction. Books are uniquely suited to helping us change our relationship to the rhythms and habits of daily life in this world of endless connectivity. We can’t interrupt books; we can only interrupt ourselves while reading them. They are the expression of an individual or a group of individuals, not of a hive mind or collective consciousness. They speak to us, thoughtfully, one at a time. They demand our attention. And they demand that we briefly put aside our own beliefs and prejudices and listen to someone else’s. You can rant against a book, scribble in the margin or even chuck it out the window. Still, you won’t change the words on the page. The technology of a book is genius: The order of the words is fixed, whether on the page or on the screen, but the speed at which you read them is entirely up to you. Sure, this allows you to skip ahead and jump around. But it also allows you to slow down, savor and ponder. At the trial in which he would be sentenced to death, Socrates (as quoted by Plato) said that the unexamined life isn’t worth living. Reading is the best way I know to learn how to examine your life. By comparing what you’ve done to what others have done, and your thoughts and theories and feelings to those of others, you learn about yourself and the world around you. Perhaps that is why reading is one of the few things you do alone that can make you feel less alone. It is a solitary activity that connects you to others. So I’m on a search—and have been, I now realize, all my life—to find books to help me make sense of the world, to help me become a better person, to help me get my head around the big questions that I have and answer some of the small ones while I’m at it. I know I’m not alone in my hunger for books to help me find the right questions to ask, and find answers to the ones that I have. I am now in my mid-50s, a classic time for introspection. But any age is a good age for examining your life. Readers from their teens to their 90s have shared with me their desire for a list of books to help guide them. People have always received life-guiding wisdom from certain types of nonfiction, often from “self-help” books. But all sorts of books can carry this kind of wisdom; a random sentence in a thriller will give me unexpected insight. In fact, novels and works of narrative nonfiction can do something extraordinary that most self-help books can’t: They can increase our capacity for empathy by engaging our imagination as they introduce us to new perspectives. I also believe that, to paraphrase the Roman lawyer Pliny the Younger, no book is so bad that you can’t find anything in it of interest. You can learn something from the very worst books—even if it is just how crass and base, or boring and petty, or cruel and intolerant the human race can be. I’m not a particularly disciplined or systematic seeker. I don’t give a great deal of thought to the books I choose—I’ll read anything that catches my eye. Most of the time, when I choose what I’m going to read, it has absolutely nothing to do with improving myself. Especially when I’m at my happiest, I’m unlikely to search for a book to make me happier. But it’s often during these periods of non-seeking that I’ve stumbled across a book that has changed my life. Sometimes these books have changed me in relatively trivial ways at first, but then in more significant ways later. When I was 5 years old, my parents read to me E.B. White’s 1945 classic, “Stuart Little,” the story of a remarkable mouse born to a human family. The immediate effect was to make me feel that the thing in life I most desperately wanted was a pet mouse. After much pleading, I was given a gerbil for my birthday. (It soon bit me, and I was so upset that I packed a suitcase and ran away from home; I made it 50 yards before I decided to turn back). Now, when I reflect on “Stuart Little,” I realize this extraordinary tale taught me some powerful lessons. One of them is this: Stuart’s human family doesn’t care a whit that he is a mouse. It’s a tale of radical acceptance—you can be whatever or whoever you are born to be and not risk losing your family. Every child is in some ways different from her or his parents—even if not so different as Stuart is from his. While my parents gave me some of my earliest favorites, teachers guided me to many of the books that would shape my life. In middle school, we read Julius Caesar’s “The Gallic War.” This was the start of my learning a great truth: History is long, and I was short. Caesar accomplished more than I ever could and had written about it in timeless works that would be read as long as people read. There was no chance I would possibly leave a mark on the globe that measured up to Caesar’s. Not a bad lesson in humility for a seventh-grader. In high school, I read “The Odyssey.” It taught me a lesson very different to the one my teachers might have expected, yet one that was in a way a corollary to the lesson I’d learned from Caesar: that you should never be ashamed of being mediocre. Of course, “The Odyssey” is one of the greatest works of all time. But in telling the story of a very flawed hero, it opens up a different lens on greatness. Even Odysseus himself would have had to admit that he didn’t do a terrific job getting home. Others managed to come right home after the war chronicled in “The Iliad.” It took Odysseus a decade. But he does eventually make it. Coming home was essential, and what’s important is that he managed to do it. Odysseus was superlative at many things, but getting home wasn’t one of them. He was mediocre at that. The beauty of accepting or even embracing mediocrity is that it helps you appreciate excellence. College introduced me to some of the most astonishing books I’ve ever read, as it should. The experience of reading and studying and revisiting a contemporary masterpiece like Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon” reminds me how thrilling true greatness is, whether in literature or other aspects of life. At the heart of this novel is the migration of a character named Milkman Dead from north to south, the opposite of the 20th century’s “Great Migration” of African-Americans from the rural south to the cities of the north and west. I will never forget the images of flight that are present throughout—flight as escape from peril and as a symbol of freedom; flight by foot and through the air. I envy anyone who has yet to read “Song of Solomon.”

  • Joe Kuhn

    #Across the aisle: No questions please, we are patriots ___ [IMAGE]( ___ Police investigate the encounter site at the hillocks of Acharpura village after the STF killed 8 Students of Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists who escaped Central Jail killing a security guard in Bhopal on Monday. (Source: PTI Photo) Police investigate the encounter site at the hillocks of Acharpura village after the STF killed 8 Students of Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists who escaped Central Jail killing a security guard in Bhopal on Monday. (Source: PTI Photo) A new social and political code is in the making: Don’t ask questions. It is the exact opposite of the ethos that was considered absolutely necessary in a democracy and which led to the enactment of the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) — that transparency and openness are the hallmarks of a democracy and that information, with few exceptions, must be available to the public. The RTI Act has made a world of difference to the process of decision-making, reduced arbitrariness and exposed corruption, and is a great weapon in fighting injustice. In the past, governments had got away with plain lies because there was no way to call their bluff. (Courts did intervene occasionally but they were constrained by the lack of judges, backlog of cases and paucity of time. The sheer volume of work has overwhelmed the judicial system). The RTI Act has been a game-changer. WATCH VIDEO: Here’s Why Bhopal SIMI Jailbreak Could Be An Insider’s Job Tradition of questioning The same principle informs the Question Hour in Parliament. Ask a question and the minister is bound to answer, truthfully, within 14 days. Supplementary questions can be put to the minister on the floor of the House and she is bound to answer. Many ministers are caught out in Question Hour. A minister who has provided a wrong answer is liable to be hauled up for breach of privilege. A vigilant Prime Minister, if he sits through Question Hour for a whole session, can separate the wheat from the chaff among his ministers. If questions had not been asked, the world would be flat, homosexuality would be a disease, and the woman alone should bear the blame if a couple were childless. Gravity would not have been discovered, relativity would be a crazy man’s tale and flying would only be for the birds. Socrates told his pupils to question everything and a good teacher will tell the same thing today to her class. Thomas Becket, canonised later by a Catholic Pope, questioned his king; Martin Luther questioned the Catholic Church’s dogmas. Vishista-advaita was born because it questioned the philosophy of advaita. Mahatma Gandhi questioned the professed authority of the white man to rule over the Indian people; 50 years later, Martin Luther King questioned the professed superiority of the white citizen over the black citizen. Deng Xiao Ping questioned the Communist-Maoist orthodoxy and ushered in economic liberalisation in China; the Maoists question the inequality and inequity aggravated by economic liberalisation in India. Every war — Vietnam to Iraq to Syria — has been revisited and questioned. The Henderson-Brooks report questioned the conduct of the India-China war of 1962. The new code The great tradition of asking questions is under threat. The rules of the new code are: 1. Do not ask questions. 2. If you ask questions, you are anti-national. 3. Your question will be turned on its head to mean something totally perverse. 4. Your questions will be met with irrelevant questions. 5. The irrelevant questions will be answered, not your questions. There are other gems that have not yet been elevated to the status of rules but they may soon be. Here are two: Asking questions is not good culture (Mr Kiren Rijiju). Asking questions is cheap politics (Mr Venkaiah Naidu). In the last year, there has been a determined attempt to shut out questions and shut up people who asked questions. When Akhlaq was lynched by a mob, the question was who gave the mob the right to kill him. That question was replaced by ‘Did Akhlaq’s family keep beef in their house?’. Socrates would have asked, ‘What has the family keeping meat of any kind got to do with the criminal act of a mob playing the role of judge, jury, prosecutor and executioner?’. When Rohith Vemula explained in his last testament why he took his own life, all questions were brushed aside. The only question that was allowed was ‘Was Rohith Vemula a Dalit or a non-Dalit?’. The judge answered dutifully that he was not a Dalit. Socrates would have asked ‘Did the answer throw light upon the fundamental issues of discrimination and oppression raised by the young scholar in his last letter?’. Taking refuge in lies Questions were asked about the chest-thumping over the cross-border action by the Army. They were turned on their head as if the questions were about the Army’s competence and truthfulness. The new rules took over and those who asked the questions were branded anti-national. There are questions about the veracity of the official version (or versions) of the Bhopal jailbreak in which eight prisoners escaped after brutally killing a head constable, Ramashankar Yadav. Hours later, the police claimed that all eight had been killed in an ‘encounter’. Was it true or fake? The people of India have, regrettably, tolerated encounters of both kinds. It is the law that does not tolerate fake encounters. Even in the case of a genuine encounter, the law obliges the government to register an FIR and hold a thorough and independent inquiry. The government of Madhya Pradesh is stoutly resisting an inquiry and employing every trick and lie to forestall one. Sample these: ‘Accused’ in cases of terrorism have become ‘terrorists’. Undertrials have become convicted prisoners. Prison food has become chicken biryani. But let me tell you, the law will catch up and there will be an inquiry. I cannot say whether the truth will come out of the inquiry but, at least, the questions will be asked. ___ ^Version ^: ^0.5b ^| [^Changelog]( ^Function ^: ^I ^post ^the ^article's ^text ^as ^a ^comment ^if ^the ^website ^is ^adblocker ^unfriendly. [^I ^accept ^commands!]( ___ ^Powered ^by [^newspaper3k](

  • Tatum Hessel

    here's some stuff to cheer ya up... "To begin with, long before 25,000 BCE people in northern Africa, the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia (Iraq), the Levant (eastern shore of the Mediterranean: Israel, Lebanon, etc.), Anatolia (mostly Turkey today), and southern Europe and Russia practiced religions that depicted their world view through female deities. These deities were generally cast as a trinity, marking a connection between the three phases of the moon (Waxing, Full, and Waning) and the three phases of a woman's life; Maid, Mother, and Crone. The divine female was seen as the supreme being who had the powers of Life-Giving, Death-Wielding, and Regeneration (rebirth) (Gimbutas 316).. With in this trinity we find our prototype for our modern day witch: The Crone or Hag. As the Goddess of old age, death, and regeneration, the Crone represents winter and the waning moon. As the overseer of cyclical life energy the Goddess as Crone was depicted as an old, shriveled hag, who had the power of death and rebirth (Gimbutas 209-211, 319). Her flying broom is directly related to the old European/Anatolion bird of prey and vulture goddesses dating back over 10,000 years. Her wings where drawn as a brush or comb. Today, in parts of Europe, the comb or broom are used as protections against evil and decease (Gimbutas 189, 299-300). In Egyptian Hieroglyphics, and some other languages, the symbol, or word, for mother is vulture. Hekate (Greek), Morgan (Celtic), Eresh-Kigal (Sumarian), and Kali the Destroyer (Hindu) are only some of the Goddesses depicted as The Crone aspect of the trinity. She is the mother of time, as well as the Goddess of Wisdom: Minerva (Roman), Athene (Greek), Sophia (Greek/Gnostic), and Medusa (Libyan) are but some further examples (Walker 187). But where do toads come into this? Remember Shakespeare's "MacBeth": "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and, cauldron bubble ...Eye of newt, and toe of frog, wool of bat, and tongue of dog..." Toads are a symbol of both death and regeneration, many of the Death-Wielding Goddesses have toads associated with them, such as Hekate (Greek), the German Goddess Holla or Hell, and many others (Gimbutas 255-256). Through the ages these Goddesses often became demonized. The Goddess Diana, who was the Crone (Huntress/destroyer) aspect of the Roman "Queen of Heaven" trinity, was declared "Queen of the Witches" during the Inquisition. Torquemada, the infamous Spanish inquisitor, declared that Diana was the devil (Walker 233-234). The Bitch Category: Woman as Animal. In ancient Greece, Artemis, who in Rome became Diana, was known as "The Great Bitch" (Conway 86). Her priestesses were known as the alani (or hunting dogs) and as her sacred bitches...Son of a Bitch originally meant a follower of the goddess Diana/Artemis (Conway 86). Today, when we think of a bitch deity, we envision a being such as the one depicted in the movie "Ghost Busters." There we are shown a powerful and evil female deity, flanked by hellish hounds, who tries to destroy the world. She is a caricature of the Uber Bitch: painfully thin, hard angry face, and dressed like the classic dominatrix. A far cry from the multifaceted and more complex images of Artemis/Diana in ancient Greece and Rome. There she was Goddess in the image of she who is both Life-Giver and Death-Wielder (the prelude to regeneration and renewal) (Gimbutas 316); Goddess of fertility and childbirth; virgin huntress of the wild places (Carlyon 152, 186). The pairing of dogs with images of hell are not confined to Artemis/Diana. Majria Gimbutas, the world famous archaeologist and linguist, states in her book Language of The Goddess, that the Germanic Goddess Holla, or Hel, escorts the dead to the other world and her wolf-like dogs nip the flesh of the corpse" (197 & 208). Ishtar was a goddess of childbirth, just like Artemis and Diana (Harding 156). She was also "The Great Whore of Babylon" and the Mother of Harlots (Walker 820). In the temples of Ishtar and many other Middle-Eastern goddesses, the women who dwelt within where known as prostitute-priestesses. Every Babylonian woman, by Amorite sacred law, was required to prostitute themselves at the temple before they could marry (Walker 819-820). One of the main functions of the prostitute-priestesses was to dispense the Grace of the Goddess to the populace. They were known as Charities or Graces, and dealt with the unique combinations of: beauty, kindness, mother-love, tenderness, comfort, mystical enlightenment, and sex. A whore priestess was to the ancient world what a minister and priest is today. Both act as intermediaries between the populace and the divine. Their methods are different, but their functions are the same. In many Middle-Eastern temples these "Sacred Harlots" performed dances called "The Dances of Time." These harlots were known as the Hours: horae in Greek. Their dance kept the hours of night, just like Christian monks later kept the hours of the day with prayer. Barbara Walker, in her book The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, claims that "the Oldest authentic Hebrew folk dance is still called {the} hora after the circle dances of the sacred harlots" (821). These ancient harlots often commanded high social status and political power. They were revered for their learning and taught great people like Socrates and Pythagorus (Walker 820). Even in later years prostitution was still considered a benefit to society. St. Thomas Aquinas declared prostitution "a lawful immorality." He said "Take away prostitutes from the world and you will fill it with sodomy." He believed that prostitution prevented men from sodomizing each other (Walker 823). " Why I pray to a female God(dess), and I gotta tell ya: SHE GETS STUFF DONE. unlike you know who. ehehe

  • Garret Ruecker

    **Let me explain why people don't believe this theory with "The Allegory of the Cave"** In the dialogue, Socrates asks Glaucon to imagine a cave, in which prisoners are kept. These prisoners have been in the cave since their childhood, and each of them is held there in a peculiar manner. They are all chained so that their legs and necks are immobile, forced to look at a wall in front of them. Behind the prisoners is a fire and between the fire and the prisoners is a raised walkway, on which people can walk. These people are puppeteers, and they are carrying objects, in the shape of human and animal figures, as well as everyday items. The prisoners could only see these flickering images on the wall, since they could not move their heads; and so, naturally enough, they presumed the images to be real, rather than just shadowy representations of what is actually real. In fact, Socrates claimed, the images on the wall would be so real that the prisoners would assign prestige among each other to the one who could recall the most detail about the shapes, the order in which they appeared and which might typically be found together or in tandem. Of course, Socrates would point out, this was hollow praise, since in fact the images were not real. Then Socrates offered a twist in the plot - what if one of the prisoners were to be freed and made to turn and look at the fire? The bright light would hurt his eyes, as accustomed as he was to the shadows, and even in turning back to the wall and its flickering images (which would be only natural), the prisoner couldn't help but notice that they weren't real at all, but only shadows of the real items on the walkway behind him. If the prisoner was then taken from the cave and brought into the open, the disorientation would be even more severe; the light of the sun would be much more brilliant than the fire. But, as his eyes adjusted, the newly freed prisoner would be able to see beyond only shadows; he would see dimensions and reflections in the water (even of himself). After learning of the reality of the world, the prisoner now sees how 'pitiable' his former colleagues in the cave really are. If he returned to the cave and rejoined them, he would take no pleasure in their accolades or praise for knowledge of the shadow-figures. For their own part, the prisoners would see him as deranged, not really knowing what reality is and would say of him that he left the cave and returned with corrupted eyes. Socrates' (and Plato's) point is that, once we understand what reality is (the forms), it is the job of the informed to lead the ignorant 'out of the cave' and into true knowledge. This means, of course, that those who still are uninformed will resist, since, after all, the cave is all they've ever known. But, this doesn't change the obligation of the enlightened philosopher to try (and keep trying) to help his fellow citizens.

  • Marc Hackett

    > Do they not suggest that Hinduism and so called Egyptian mythology and so called Greek mythology are the products of fallen angels being worshipped as deities by mankind? I do not know about the Books you are referring to (it has been quite a while since I last read the Bible !), but what is clear is that : _Greek philosophers, or at least the most important ones (Socrates/Plato/Aristotle) ackowledged the Oneness of God. They had a huge impact on the Greek mind by introducing the concept of Logos, that is fundamental in Christianity (see the beginning of the Gospel of John). And also, Greek philosophy powered Christianity and Islam (and the Baha'i Faith and Judaism). They permitted the development of Christian theology and gnosis, they permitted the development of Islamic legal science (fiqh) thanks to their treatises on Logic, and they permitted the emergence of meditative Islam (sufism) through Platonism and Neo-Platonism. They also laid ground to Christian and Islamic philosophies. The Semitic and Hellenic wisdoms combined perfectly in thinkers of the like of Maimonides (Jewish scholar), al-Ghazali, al-Farabi, Avicenna, etc. These people helped the rebirth of Europe (Renaissance). _Hinduism has elements of monotheism that were restored by Buddha and the Sikh Gurus, who both updated the Hindu wisdoms while purifying it through the abolition of idol worship. I advise you to inform yourself about Sikh philosophy for that matter. _Egyptian mythology is centered on the concept of Resurrection (the Egyptian people was extremely pious and devout, and was obsessed with the idea of death : you already know about mummies, pyramids, etc.). The figure of Osiris, a chief God that was killed, cut into pieces scattered across the Universe, and resurrected by his wife seems like a preparation to the figure of Christ. Also, the Egyptian mind was inhabited by the [Cross of Life]( (Ankh) centuries before the coming of Christ. Also, according to Herodotus, the Egyptians practiced circumcision, banned the use of pork, were very pious, invented the concept of immortal soul, etc. We owe this people traditions such as alchemy and the exchange of rings on the wedding altars. > Consider words here and compare? The Book of Enoch is to be used with care, because only the Ethiopian Orthodox Church consider it to be a canonical writ. The Fallen Angels here look like the ancient pagan gods of the Middle-East ! > Buddhism might be as much philosophy as religion and the result of a non-Israelite before the first century who grew weary of the world, but what's perfectly compatible with Vedic religion let alone Abraham religion? There are some incompatibilities because Buddhism is a reform of Hinduism, in the same way that Jesus reformed Judaism. There are points of "compatibility" between the Dharmic and the Abrahamic wisdom through the Teachings of Christ. Also, keep in mind that a religion is a character, and that each people of the Earth was designed by God to refine a part of the human character, so it is normal that there are differences between the Patriarchal wisdom of the West and the more feminine wisdoms of the East. > Whether or not he had some virtues and teachings we can take something positive from, do you think יהוה or Moses would condone people making giant graven images of people they adore? And did the Buddha condone it ? Idol worship was introduced into it after his death, and are in complete contradiction with his doctrine. Some Japanese schools of Buddhism (noticeably the Zen movements) have purified Buddhism and freed it of statues and images. > Zoroastrianism might have lots of stuff associated with truth as a partial result of how close ancient Persia was to Mt Ararat and Babel and general access to pre flood history or something like that, but what's perfectly compatible if you look into details? The Prophet Zoroaster : _eliminated idol worship and converted several pagan nations to monotheism, around the time of Moses _eliminated slavery, developped agriculture _his followers helped the Jews (Cyrus rebuilt the Temple of Jerusalem !) and are presented as allies to the Christians in the Gospels (the Magis visiting infant Jesus) _is the first prophet to introduce the concepts of : duality (Good/Evil), free will, Judgement Day, Heaven and Hell. Read the Gathas to know more. _announced Jesus Christ (the Saoshyant) > Who knows how true the Gospel of Thomas is for sure We can't know, but the coincidences are promising. > but do you think that women don't deserve life and will only enter the kingdom of heaven if they become male? This is not be read litterally. Jesus spoke in metaphors. He here speaks of an inner transformation. Male is Yang and Female is Yin (just as in Taoism). The Synoptic Gospels are full of such metaphors. > What does end of times and coming of Messiah stuff prove in and of itself if Yahushua suggested that there would be a great deception shortly before His return that involved one or more false Messiah? The Deception is here. Materialism, atheism, idolatry, it's all here. On the other hand, other religions are forces that oppose darkness and get ready for the Day. > Do you think there will be a false Messiah who tries to unite members of various religions and usher in a golden age? I don't know, but if that happens, it would not be golden at all, don't you think ? > What if there's about to be an extreme amount of deception in the world involving a public arrival of fallen angels masquerading as good angels or benevolent aliens or both? Trust in God then. But Aliens ? We don't need Aliens. It sounds pretty superficial. Why are you talking about sci-fi stuff like that ?

  • Sandy Fadel

    I think you're probably wrong in that first paragraph in the sense that philosophers don't just "come up with" their own ideas about things. All of philosophy is a history of ideas that build on one another. Aristotle and Plato have very different takes on the world, for instance, but they both had the same starting point, i.e. Socrates, and the majority of Western philosophy is rooted in parsing out the differences there. But of course you have to know what others have said if you're going to discuss what they've said. "What is art?" has been taken seriously *since* Plato and Aristotle, along with all the other serious questions, so no, it's not the '70s. In fact, if you look at Piet Mondrian's "Broadway Boogie-Woogie" (1943), he was clearly challenging assumptions, as did Picasso before him, and Van Gogh before *him*. The fact that there was a lot more, academic-wise, in the '60s and '70s is only due to there being a surge in college attendance, so more people were writing about it in popular publications, not because it was just then being taken seriously. And Magritte's *The Treacher of Images* isn't about "This is Art!"; it's about not being fooled by images as reality, that the pipe in the image isn't really a pipe, but a representation of one, just as a pretty picture isn't the thing it physically represents, but an idea that it points to. The difference with the socks is that it's perhaps a little more basic than Magritte's pipe, but it is no less art—your assumption being that, once someone has done it, then no one else can do it meaningfully, but that is patently false—look at Vermeer's milkmaid and Waterhouse's pink-dressed woman in his painting *Narcissus* (1912); both suggest what the ideal woman is, but both take different forms and suggest their particular culture (1650s v. 1910s). Likewise, Magritte's pipe is not so relevant today as a pair of socks. In that regard, this image of socks *does* bring something new to the table, a comment about where we've come from since *The Treachery of Images,* so, yes, it does bring something new to the table. By your own definition, the socks are valid—and if you only see them as socks, the problem is with you, not with the art.

  • Adelia Mayert

    > Antinous - Greek mythological figure. Alefantis is Greek. Maybe he likes the story. Maybe he just likes the statue. Who the fuck knows, but using a statue of a Greek statue (all Greeks had different views on love, by the way. People exhalt Socrates as well, for fucks sake). This is nothing. Antinous - One of the most prominent historical examples of legitimate pederasty >Lolita - An EXTREMELY popular book/multiple movie adaptations...the first version was directed by one of the most respected Directors in history, Stanley Kubrick. The book is read in schools. Also, the images for Lolita were associated with someone else's Instagram account. This is nothing. Nothing at all right, because this has nothing to do with pedophilia either right? >Date rape drugs? The only source for "Alefantis date rape drugs" I can find lead back to you retarded Pizzagate Redditors who assume that the name "Caris" refers to a drug by the name of Carisprodol. "Caris" is apparently actually the name of the little girl in many of the pictures. The ones tagged "#carisjames." Additionally, upon further research, Carisprodol wouldn't be very effective as a date rape drug. Nope, it's the literal bottle of date rape drugs posted on his Instagram page. Pingpong in London probably sounds tempting to you too ay? >Code speak - What code speak? The entire theory of the "code speak" originated based on some shit only /b/tards would know about. The only people who refer to CP as "cheese pizza" came from 4chan. Not surprising that they saw a fucking PIZZA PLACE and let their warped little minds run with it. It's fucking retarded You gonna tell me the captions and comments make any sense to you? You must have a pretty fucked up head. This guy's fucked up Instagram page is just one tiny piece to this puzzle. Pedophilia and Washington isn't a conspiracy theory it's an unfortunate fact proven many times over. Just want to give a special fuck you to all the people defending these pigs. Did you check out Pedo-esta's Twitter yet? Is your opinion the prevailing one? LOL.

  • Maddison Jacobson

    Gotta be a stickler. The only Accidental Renaissance images listed here are Nosebleed (lighting or not, the figures and emotions are perfect), Pure Joy, Passion of the Cruz, and Preparation for the Feast. While Preparation for the Feast and The Baker Breakfast are clearly from the same environment, The Baker Breakfast doesn't work in the same way. Preparation for the Feast is much like a [Vermeer]( painting, even down to the strange angling of the box in the lower left-hand corner. (Or is that just me?) Many are too like Post Impressionist (Breakfast in Brighton) or Romanticism ( A horse rears in the crowd - [source]( and Refuge in Lesbos [source](ÉODORE_GÉRICAULT_-_La_Balsa_de_la_Medusa_(Museo_del_Louvre,_1818-19).jpg) ) And then, like so many submissions in this sub, there are several images that should just be removed without consideration. (My awesome brother, Republican Marches in France, Socrates Lecturing).

  • Nicola Klocko

    /u/Struxx is right, font size needs to be decreased for the nav bar. Also the spacing between all the elements are kind of cramped. As i scroll down I get the feeling that I'm zoomed in to the web page and everything is far too large and too close together. (kind of like looking at the phone for a middle aged person who has increased their phones font size.) Also lose the technical skills section. 7/10 Javascript doesn't mean anything when you are the one deciding the scale. Also your technical skills should be represented via your projects. *I'd also elect to remove the paragraphs before this section as well, but that's a preference.* Your project section has images of the framework/technology you're using instead of pictures of the project itself. That seems back asswards to me. You should have an image of the project with perhaps a title and then small icons for all the technologies that went into it. Also I should be able to click anywhere on the card not just on 'Show Me'. Also your Contact section seems entirely unnecessary. When I'm scrolled to it, I end up seeing the same three icon links in three different places all on the same page. It's overkill and clunky. Lastly get actual projects on your portfolio rather than class assignments or tutorials. Outside of all the negative stuff, the webpage is better than most from people in your position. The color scheme is nice. Prob like a 6/10 design wise (losing points for unnecessary content, UX, and spacing/font size issues) and like a 3/10 project wise (losing points for linking tutorials and class assignments and not having any real world applications) You do have Socrates which is live but it has a lot of issues so not worth too much.

  • Annamae Labadie

    I haven't forgotten a thing. Antinous - Greek mythological figure. Alefantis is Greek. Maybe he likes the story. Maybe he just likes the statue. Who the fuck knows, but using a statue of a Greek statue (all Greeks had different views on love, by the way. People exhalt Socrates as well, for fucks sake). This is nothing. Lolita - An EXTREMELY popular book/multiple movie adaptations...the first version was directed by one of the most respected Directors in history, Stanley Kubrick. The book is read in schools. Also, the images for Lolita were associated with someone else's Instagram account. This is nothing. Date rape drugs? The only source for "Alefantis date rape drugs" I can find lead back to you retarded Pizzagate Redditors who assume that the name "Caris" refers to a drug by the name of Carisprodol. "Caris" is apparently actually the name of the little girl in many of the pictures. The ones tagged "#carisjames." Additionally, upon further research, Carisprodol wouldn't be very effective as a date rape drug. Code speak - What code speak? The entire theory of the "code speak" originated based on some shit only /b/tards would know about. The only people who refer to CP as "cheese pizza" came from 4chan. Not surprising that they saw a fucking PIZZA PLACE and let their warped little minds run with it. It's fucking retarded. Here's the cold, hard truth: the only people attributing anything sexual (outside of normal adult boundaries) to this pizza place or pictures that friends and customers of the pizza place have posted, are idiots like you. Therefore, your mind is sick, and you are obsessed with sexualizing children.

  • Melvina Hills

    Decided to finally contribute with a mourning related painting, so, after some thinking, here is what I have: [Composition: The Death of James Dean]( - John Minton, 1956 Unlike The Death of Socrates which Textual_Aberration posted, this Minton painting demonstrates a somewhat different kind of mourning, as it is a result of depression more than any other emotion. Today, Minton is remembered mostly as an illustrator, but he had worked in other areas of art and was primarily a figurative painter. However, the interest for his work wasn't so big because interest for abstract art was starting to become a thing in the mid-twentieth century - abstract art which Minton felt so distanced from - this feeling of being an outcast in his medium and a history of depression led Minton to commiting suicide in early 1957. The Death of James Dean is the last painting he finished, when he was beginning to lose interest in art in general and, ironically, is the only one of his paintings which bears a value that is somewhat abstract, or at least surreal. The dark tones weren't strange to Minton, but it is the composition and the very depiction of James Dean, a teenage movie star who died in a car crash in 1955, with who Minton probably identified with, lying lifeless in an almost empty setting, except for few people tending to him, that make this painting stand out from the rest of Minton's work and make for an amazingly accurate representation of Minton's state of mind at the time - mourning, over his work, over the art world, over his end he might have felt approaching.

  • Mireya Langosh

    You're right from [this article]( // Socrates would have a number of comments to make about social media. Social media could be likened to Sophistic speech, where it is shallow, superficial and presents what seems to be the case but in fact might not be reality. Furthermore, both Social Media and Sophistic Speech are one version of the truth, framed in a particular manner. Sophistic Speech uses powerful language and persuasion to influence their audience, and Social Media uses image saturation filters to exacerbate colors making images more appealing, and less exciting and interesting aspects of life are mysteriously left out. So it appears that both mediums lack the substance of what they are trying to portray. Sophists do not possess excellence, (in a Socratic sense) and Social Media is not a representation of real life. //

  • Audie Graham

    > Fortunately I'm not talking about violence. Well, that's hopeful. I've been encountering that a lot lately, so I may be making too many presumptions when it comes to what people mean when they talk about "removing" people from power. My apologies for assuming this is what you meant. >I just have to destroy their ability to take power and ruin anyone else's lives. We can do that if we can remind people of the devastation they create whenever we give them this control. Well, you're preaching to the choir, in that case. I think we should call it as we see it, but still be careful not to lump all Republican citizens in with the worst Republican lawmakers. Perhaps I'm also incorrectly assuming this is what you meant. >They started this war and we'll finish it. Non-violently. I think when we contextualize it as a war, we automatically attach certain more violent images and ideas to the situation, that shape the way we think about our actions. Have you seen the movie, Arrival? I highly recommend giving it a viewing if you haven't. It's opened up my perspective a bit, along with my recent study of Dr. King, Gandhi, Mandela, Socrates, Plato, and others. Anyway, I think we're closer together on things than we are far apart. I don't reject anything you're saying, just want to add onto it. Of course, you don't seem like a republican, so I wasn't really putting this article out for you. I hoped to reach some of them, but I know this might not be the best venue. I was banned on r/conservative for suggesting taxation might be helpful to pay for our needs. So, maybe you are more right than I'd like to admit.

  • Blair Bruen

    People have suggested Plato and Socrates, but really the only resemblance is that they look like they could be two ancient Greek men. They do not look like the typical renditions of those two persons ([Plato](, [Socrates]( any more than they look like any other two ancient Greeks. One of them has one hand showing, which might be significant. The other one has a trimmed, tightly curly beard. Their faces look more Roman than Greek, but they are modern images not done in a classical style, so who knows.

  • Mason Wolff

    >Really? Is that why as every day passes, they rise in followers Calm down, Socrates. I meant they banned anyone who pointed out their exclusive picture from inside the White House was from Google Images. >In the past week they have gained 200,000 followers. Fake News can be interesting. How many alt-righters believed that Pizzagate bullshit? Before one of their own walked into a pizza parlor with an assault rifle. >They have also tweeted about at least three things before they were made public. Allegedly. They were very close to Politico or another outlet legitimately reporting the story every time. >I don't think we can discount them yet. I can, actually. They're insinuating that Trump is fucking Kellyanne Conway now. This is absurd. This Twitter account is bordering on farcical, at this point. Trump is doing enough in real life to warrant opposition that we don't need to believe this make-believe bullshit.

  • Dock Raynor

    Right, like I said in a comment before, most of this stuff is required by the assignment for the portfolio. I have a few side projects that I'm working on right now but don't have the time to invest in them with school wrapping up and working part time. I'll likely remove them later. You make a good point about the images, I'll definitely mix that up once I have real projects, and I was already thinking about removing the contact section so you just gave me even more of a reason to do so. Thanks :) Oh, also... One of my side projects is re-writing Socrates from scratch as I've learned so much at my job now that it irks me how poorly it is built.

  • Coby Block

    They have! But I don't think they experienced the types of rapid growth in technology and lifestyle changes as we have seen over the previous 20 years. For example... [obesity]( has skyrocketted during this time, too, which I believe is a part of this. And Socrates was not speaking of every child in Greece because most did not enjoy servants, etc...

  • Gabriel Simonis

    It's simply because the tools we use reflect our personality. Give Socrates' written work to monkeys, they will probably just play with the paper. Give the internet to an idiot crowd, they will post minions images about how you need to be yourself in life. It's true that the instant access to terabytes of information has the potential to educate us but it's the people's attitude that need to change as well.

  • Kayden DuBuque

    One of the post compelling paintings I've ever seen, depicting the [death of Socrates](

  • Sim Stehr

    Perhaps slightly awkward that when Socrates talks about "images of beauty" he is almost invariably talking about boys.

  • Olga Zulauf

    >First, I have not defended the actions at the Milo event, i have only said that it is a natural phenominon given the circumstances. I think you have emphasized this multiple times, but I find it sort of suspicious not to hear a condemnation of their actions coupled in with that. >Secondly, if I haven't made it obvious, let me assure you that I do not make my values conform to the status-quo. Mass opinion is simplistic and easily manipulated. I think you misunderstood the point I was trying to make there. I just meant to illustrate that because your opinion is an unpopular one, you should not be expecting it to go down easily with everyone. I was purely responding to your claim that your "simple and obvious arguments" were getting pushback, which you seemed to think was improper. >I suspect that you have not read any articles published in brietbart. I have, but I find it troubling that you would say this, as if you would expect that anyone who has read a particularly bad article on Breitbart would immediately hold that against everyone who writes for them. I read a few Milo articles when I was first exposed to him, and found them to be very characteristic of him. Obnoxious, provocative, factually dubious (but not necessarily concerned with that), basically intellectual fast-food for people trying to confirm their own biases. The occasional snappy line, I guess. Me admitting that his articles and his organization suck still leaves you a **long** way from justifying what happened in Berkeley (which you claim not to be defending, but also don't seem to disavow as unequivocally as I would in your position). I have certainly not made a concerted effort to look for the most objectionable articles by other Breitbart writers, but given how ready everyone seems to be to look for everything bad about Breitbart/Bannon etc (and rightly so), I assume that if anyone called for a race war or systematic bullying of minorities, Hillary would have used those headlines to prove her point, and not "birth control makes women crazy" or whatever. >Wait, it seems like you are arguing that Milo should not be allowed to speak. nonononono. I'm saying I don't like him, or what he says, or the political direction he'll lead people into. That *does not* mean he shouldn't be allowed to speak, which seems to be the main area of disagreement between us. >Don't just push back, dig in deeper. You have to push back against every idea though. Subjecting ideas to scrutiny is how you find out how well they hold up. >Like I've said, i think that you can't grasp what it means to live here. You have no bannon, no trump, few guns, no brietbart calling for a christian government. Maybe you're right, but this doesn't seem like a very convincing argument. There are hundreds of millions of Americans. Some of my closest friends are Americans, living all over the country. Yet in spite of how many people are ostensibly experiencing what you're experiencing, only a tiny fraction of people seem to align with your personal beliefs on this Milo/Breitbart issue, even if they're not right wingers. >It's not about Milo. It's about breitbart's advocation of racist, secular ideology. He is speaking in order to 'white-wash' or 'sugar-coat' breitbart's ultra nationalist agenda. I just don't know what to do with this statement of yours. It's pure conjecture. That doesn't mean it's *necessarily* incorrect, but it's certainly not enough to proceed as if you're 100% correct. Milo could be doing what you're saying he's doing. He could also be a person who wants to do his own thing and happens to be employed by Breitbart. Or just someone who's opportunistic and trying to make a quick buck. Or someone who really enjoys all the attention he's getting. Or someone trying to get in the spotlight to bring attention to his upcoming book. Or a little bit of all of these things. And while I think Breitbart is as close to "fake news" as it gets, I don't even agree that if someone came out to just recite Breitbart articles, he should be stopped from speaking. Yes, Breitbart spreads inaccurate information, but are they really as dangerous as you're suggesting? I'd be more inclined to believe you if I had not previously seen people on the "far left" (which I'm not necessarily trying you group you in with, but I know antifa in general is) exaggerate the severity of just about every right-wing position or policy in the book. I actually just did a quick search for the worst Breitbart has to offer. Apparently some of their worst article headlines are: >POLITICAL CORRECTNESS PROTECTS MUSLIM RAPE CULTURE Pretty average right wing politics combined with trying to turn "rape culture" against the "SJWs", premise probably inaccurate but not a big deal >THERE'S NO HIRING BIAS AGAINST WOMEN IN TECH, THEY JUST SUCK AT INTERVIEWS Pretty blatant sexism, seems to be tongue-in-cheek (at the *very* least intentionally phrased provocatively) but I'm happy to continue on the assumption that it's not, still don't see a giant problem with this though. I think everyone who would write something like this is a sexist asshole, but many people are. Many PUAs are, but I definitely don't think they have to be stopped from speaking either. There's no latent danger here, at worst it'll just turn a bunch of already sexist assholes into slightly more sexist assholes. I personally wouldn't even take this as a serious opinion though. >RACIST, PRO-NAZI ROOTS OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD REVEALED Blatantly ridiculous, but isn't it telling that Breitbart is trying to use "racist" and "pro-nazi" as pejoratives to make Planned Parenthood look as bad as possible? This is obviously a bad thing to be doing, but is this really what you would do if you were secretly an admirer of Hitler and an enemy of non-whites, or presumed your audience to hold those opinions? >BILL KRISTOL: REPUBLICAN SPOILER, RENEGADE JEW This one seems like the one worst of the bunch, at least potentially. Went to take a look at the actual article to see what's going on here. The article is - as expected - a mess of right wing propaganda. The claims it makes seem borderline slanderous if not flat-out slanderous. It does not turn out to be a Nazi-esque anti-semitic article though, considering the fact that the author of the Breitbart article himself is Jewish and is making the case that Bill Kristol's political decision puts Jews in danger with respect to Islamic terrorism/violence. It reeks of the typical right-wing anti-Islam sentiment, nonetheless. If you have better examples of truly nasty shit from Breitbart I'm all ears, but this is the worst I could find and while it was the opposite of what I'm looking for in a media outlet, it's not something I'd feel the need to shut down. >Why not? They advocate genocide, and engage in terrorism and murder. Punching seems so minor. Maybe that's a cultural difference between us also. Okay, so let's get one thing straight before we proceed: The argument about whether or not it's okay to punch Nazi's will now concern those who "advocate genocide, and engage in terrorism and murder". People who do none of these things are left out of the picture and are not to be punched, can we start off by agreeing on that at the very least? For instance, even if you think Milo is going to drive people to Breitbart which might drive people to [insert gateway to nazism] which might drive people to Stormfront, concede that unless you can prove that is exactly Milo's intention, you do not get to punch someone like him. Now on to the actual discussion of whether or not it's okay to punch someone who does fit this description. I think that in a vague sense the answer is yes, this is okay, but only by the strict description you used. If someone is inciting violence (especially in the form of a genocide), is engaging or planning to engage in acts of terrorism or murder, then yes - punch them. If someone has "Nazi sympathies", but does not advocate violence and is not engaging in physical violence himself - **no matter how shitty of a person this makes him** - I maintain that you do not get to use violence against this person. It's possible to be a non-violent person with truly despicable political opinions, but that's not enough to respond with violence. Even in the strict case where I concede you get to (or perhaps *have* to) punch Nazis, the purpose of punching them is not to make yourself feel better for inflicting physical harm to the Nazi. That's not how civilized society works - even if the Nazi himself has no plans to partake in civilized society. The purpose of the punch would be a direct action to try to minimize the Nazi can cause. It's not some sort of vigilante justice, although I'm sure it'd feel fucking good in the moment. When the police catches and handcuffs someone like Anders Breivik, I'm sure they wish they could kick the fucking shit out of that guys messed up head for doing what he did. But they can't do that. I insist they shouldn't do that, even if that guy is as reprehensible as any Nazi you'll find in 1940s Germany. It's just barbaric and unbecoming of a society that purports to be civilized to use violence in a situation where it isn't strictly required.

  • Cathrine Gaylord

    I found the third arc to be the least impressive out of three. I strongly suspect that for first three arcs there’s a simple rule in action: if you find out everything it had to offer way before you were presented it, you would be without a doubt not impressed. This is how it went for me: [3rd](#s "I started suspecting Maria from her second scene. Second. As you may guess, the whole surprise fell flat in these circumstances. I have to admit that my initial suspicions were *wrong*, but the direction where to look was the same, so the same answer was reached quite quickly. I thought that Maria had an affair with Jacopo. When that shortly was proved to be not true, the theory changed that she wanted to break Jacopo and white-haired girl off so she could take him for herself. Well, in the end it was just a quest for more misery just for the giggles, but you can see that these ideas are not too far from each other. And without this surprise, all that was left was drama sitting on a premise of people unable to just sit and talk it through – a thing I particularly dislike, bullying white-haired girl – which I found to be quite unpleasant to read, and Maria’s cackling. Not the best combination, even if it made that last bullet all the more satisfying."). But what it had was *style*. This arc was simply gorgeous. This also seems like an appropriate place to say that changes to the mansion, style and even interface itself between arcs were a very pleasant sight to see. Next I’d like to talk to talk about meta. Yeah, these portions that happen between the doors. They’re distinctive, memorable and important to the whole picture. Really, as the story went beyond the third door onwards, my appreciation of these moments only grew and grew. Really, there was not a single missed moment. [2nd](#s "The scene in the church in the black mirror the atmosphere is practically visible, and you somehow know that it’s has some special meaning.") [3rd](#s "The bedroom scene – that was probably the happiest, the most cheerful moment in the novel so far. Exploring that mansion alone *felt* melancholic, and every single scene was on the point.") The 4th door… Well, you’re probably know about [4th](#s "the backlog shenanigans"). I missed them. I missed *all* of them. As you can imagine, this led to completely different experience. As such, [4th](#s "I was briefly confused by the Maid’s words at the end. I even thought that it was rather funny – if the protagonist was indeed the white-haired girl, Maid used one of few words that are gender-dependent to address him, and yes, I know this is a translation. More than that, Michel’s words about it not having a speck of soul or something made no sense to me at all. Looking from the retrospective, that probably was meant to convey that this portrayal cheapens the real events. But without that knowledge… I was confused, because the only thing in the tale that could be called artificial was the white-haired girl, since she would pass all the angel tests if they existed, really too good for this world – and that would apply to all other stories, too, which did not make any sense. I figured everything out afterwards during the 5th arc, and even checked the red a bit later when I was informed about it being there, but at that point it no longer served any purpose. Well, that’s what you get for not checking the backlog.") The fifth arc… [5th](#s "or ‘what really happened’. Before getting to the big stuff I’d like to say that what really shines in the beginning are minor discrepancies between the two stories, small details that differ in the same situations now that the girl is a proactive Giselle and Michel is nowhere near as nice and apathetic. Really makes them alive, in a sense. I had no problems with accepting the 4th arc, but it’s here that you compare them and say ‘yeah, this one looks way more believable’. Gradually increasing tension and suspicions, a couple of stupid decisions, and we arrive at the boiling point which, once again, was handled quite nicely. However, I’d like to step back a little and return to the point of knowing in which manner it’s going to end. As I said, it comes with its advantages, but I think it’s the fifth arc that was hurt by this the most. Let’s call the ending a note, by knowing that note and what you have already read, you can sketch the dynamic of what’s going to happen next. It hurts the impression of importance of current events when the events don’t fit. For example, when Giselle leads the mob to the mansion, you know this is not *it*, it’s not where it’s going to end, here things are going to get better before they get worse. This is meta thinking, similar to how you can deduce that some grand operation or whatever is not going to work, as it’s only the middle of the book. This may be a bit unhealthy for the enjoyment, but it’s incredibly difficult to control. That being said, even with the flow of the events being rather obvious, it was very interesting to follow that rollercoaster of emotions that Giselle experienced during her tribulations. Motivations and reasoning of characters, their circumstances hold an extremely important place in "The House in Fata Morgana", they create this greyness, moral ambiguity of certain actions and words that give them that realistic air about them. Would you blame Giselle on selling out Michel to the villagers considering what treatment did she get at the manor and what situation she found herself in? Would you give the same answer if you did not know those things? I wouldn’t. What’s even better is that actions have consequences, intended or not. ") I have a bit mixed impression about how things went after [5th](#s "chasing out the mob. Talking things through is great, but I found it a big stretch that everything turned 180 so quickly, especially Michel’s character. After that talk ‘old’ cynical Michel leaves, never to be seen again. ") [6th](#s "Giselle’s slow journey towards becoming the Maid was interesting to follow, especially during that very long period before the first door. But – of course there’s a but – I personally disagree with the final notion that ‘maidification’ of Giselle does not matter, it’s still the Giselle he knew. Perhaps ‘insulting’ would be a bit too strong word to use here, but it’s definitely looking down on centuries worth of emotional baggage. Centuries, compared to a single year.") What makes it even worse is [Final](#s "the complete reversal to ‘original’ Giselle in the final door, like nothing else even mattered. And if you think that wasn’t enough, there’s even an example in Morgana, who did not just suddenly ‘drop’ the issue – you can clearly in her conversations with the shadows – just decided to move forward. There’s no such thing in Giselle’s case, just a plain old switch ‘go back to self’, as if the rest of her story is not part of that *self*.") But I guess that’s just personal view on the matter, if you want something closer to the story itself, then I have a couple of questions, like [6th](#s "why didn’t Giselle use the fifth door to reconfirm her memories? Because it was painful? Because in my view between the choice of forgetting everything about Michel without pain or the reverse Giselle would choose the latter.") Or why [Final](#s "in all those centuries she never encountered Georges? You’d think keeping your sanity in check would be a lot easier with a person you have some connection with, heck, who’s there for a reason similar to yours.") If I tried to put everything I think about the next chapter into words, I’d probably spend a few more pages of paper and at least a week of time, so let’s just say that it was yet another example of what Fata does best – not the intricate plot weaving, mind you, making characters alive. I’d argue that this is an accomplishment not of ‘twists’ per se, it works on a much lesser scale, smaller things that can be separated down to small details which have at least *some* backing behind them. It’s a great feeling when you’re reading something, and then it just clicks with something that you’ve seen before, without specific emphasis or some other form of handholding. The final arc was an interesting case. Like, realistically, [Final](#s "you know it’s not going to change anything: given three days, even if this was some kind of magical time travel, Morgana would still have plague,as would happy blood-drinking citizens. Still, Michel tries his hardest, and it’s a bit ironic, really, because in this what-if scenario he interacts with the world without being looked down upon for the first time in his life. Which gives off a sign that this was just that – what-if scenario, since all the citizens seem to not care at all about his appearance. It being a tale not redemption, but rather clarification, not forgiveness, moving forward. In this sense it’s a nice touch that Morgana’s curse was in a same manner applied to herself – in the form of white-haired girl. ") Probably my last opportunity to point out a minor discrepancy: [Final](#s "with Didier stalking the mansion - and it was foreshadowed at least thrice! - it would be impossible to escape it in the ‘reject Maid’s offer’ ending.") I mentioned the lack of voice acting in the beginning, and I’d like to clear that up a bit. Perhaps there are ways to implement this, but honestly, I don’t see how it can be done [Final](#s "without outright lying to the reader, rather than tricking him. By that I mean that then Giselle and the Maid would probably have different voices or at least really different impressions of them, the merchant and Yukimasa would share the voice, as would young Michel and white-haired girl.") You know, at this point I don’t even know what impression my ramblings give off, so I want to underline that I enjoyed this novel immensely. It was an incredible journey, totally worth all the time spent on it.

  • Eldon Sipes

    Full article for those who can't get past the paywall: This is the story of a young man who overcame the red-tape and sclerosis of a state that pays lip-service to liberalism but really only exists to make life hard for those trying to make a rupee . It’s the story of a man who… admittedly… had to cut some corners, and maybe some throats, along the way. It’s the story of a man who learnt that violence is fine but cash-based coercion is better. It’s the story of a man who wanted to control his destiny and his supply chain. And the story of a man who knew the value of keeping ‘the people’ on his side while he did so. It’s arguably the story of India’s criminal-political nexus. And it’s from Milan Vaishnav’s new book on how crimes pays in an Indian polity rife with criminals. You see, to begin with the criminals and strongmen were in the service of the political parties and politicians — they provided the muscle and money to keep politicians elected. In return they got protection from prosecution and their rivals in a reliable fashion. As Vaishnav describes it, there was a reliable political landscape in India, dominated by the dynastic Congress party, up until the 1970s. But as that broke down — for various reasons, mostly associated with the personality politics of Indira Gandhi — the criminals started to take matters into their own hands. After all, greater electoral competition left them vulnerable. What if they party they had a ‘contract’ with didn’t win? From the book, with our emphasis: >**In the wake of uncertainty prompted by chaotic “client-shifting,” a rational solution to this challenge was for criminals to move from out-sourcing political protection to doing it in-house. In other words, the solution rested in becoming politicians themselves.** By directly contesting elections, criminal could reduce the uncertainty associated with negotiating (and renegotiating) with politicians, all the while retaining the benefits they had previously depended on Congress to deliver… >The alleged gangster Ashok Samrat, who contested elections in north Bihar, summed it up best: **“Politicians make use of for capturing the polling booths and for bullying the weaker sections… But after the election they earn the social status and power and we are treated as criminals. Why should we help them when we ourselves can contest the elections, capture the booths and become MLAs and enjoy social status, prestige and power? So I stopped helping the politicians and decided to contest the elections.”** >**Once the vertical integration process took hold, it was difficult for it to be undone.** Criminals now had both the status and the power; having invested in building up their local electoral machinery, they found that the costs of reversal far outweighed the benefits… Of course, to continue Vaishnav’s market metaphor, there is a demand issue here too. Why do ‘the people’ keep voting these guys in? According to Vaishnav’s stats above, 21 per cent of politicians in India’s lower house faced charges of serious crimes in 2014. You can blame some of that on so-called voter ignorance perhaps but surely not all of it or even very much. Vaishnav’s main explanation for the continued electoral success of criminally tainted politicians is quite simple: They provide services the state does not. In short, the state has failed to keep up with its voters’ expectations and that failure — of the rule of law along with many basic services — has allowed criminal politicians to serve in lieu of the state: providing protection, social welfare of a sort since the state makes it hard to get even a drivers license without paying a bribe, dispute resolution in the absence of a functioning court system etc. As Vaishnav says, the corrupt politician becomes “the crutch that helps the poor navigate a system that gives them so little access” in the first place. More so, these politicians use their criminality as a badge, as a way to signal their credibility to the voters. If anything, the more voters know about the criminality of a candidate, the better that candidate will do. That, under Vaishnav’s formulation, will be particularly true when ethnic identity is at play, as it often is in India between castes or religions. A chunk from his book, do note the mafia-echoes: >**In addition to wielding a potent mix of strong-arm tactics and caste politics to construct an impressive political base, Raja Bhaiya also used his position and his alleged criminal support structure to simultaneously substitute for, and subvert, the state apparatus.** Asked why he has been able to monopolize political power in his area, Raja Bhaiya once explained: “Anyone can say he is your representative. And occasionally, he will tar a stretch of road, or add a few streetlights, or get a new well dug… **What the people need is someone to intercede for them when they get into trouble with the police; someone to speak on the behalf to government babus [bureaucrats] and get their word done. Someone to solve their problems.** And another: >In no time, **Dagdi Chawl became ground zero for Mumbai’s notorious underworld. From his fortress-like compound, Daddy dispensed patronage, protection, and even justice to local residents.** Journalists who came to interview Gawli wrote of the hundreds of men and women — unemployed youth, ageing widows, aspiring gangsters, and established politicians — who queued up on a daily basis in front of the iron gates of Gawli’s compound just for a few minutes of face time in the hopes of being showered with Daddy’s munificence. **They came seeking building permits, ration cards, welfare payments, employment — a things the state was meant to provide but was either unable or unwilling to.** So, “a reputation as a matabhare (literally, ‘heavy handed’) person is considered to be an asset” in India because the state is so absent in so many ways. Quite obviously that’s not a position India should want to be in. As Raghuram Rajan, ex-RBI governor, once put it: >The poor need the savvy politician to help them navigate through rotten public services. The politician needs the corrupt businessman to provide the funds that allow him to supply patronage to the poor and fight elections. The corrupt businessman needs the politician to get national resources cheaply. And the politician needs the votes of the poor, who are numerous enough to assure him reelection, no matter how much an idealistic middle class may rail. **Every constituency is tied to the other in a cycle of dependence, which ensures the status quo prevails.** As Rajan says, this is an entrenched problem and one that is impossible to separate from the huge amount of (mostly black) money needed to even run for election in India. The ocean of money needed to get elected dictates who can afford to put themselves up for office and it sets the terms for how they run — you are expected to buy votes, to show your largesse, and if you don’t you can take yourself out of real contention. There’s an obvious circularity to that which will over time drive good politicians out of the picture. It also dictates why political parties run candidates who are best described as dodgy: they tend to have the cash to, you know, win. As Vaishnav says again: >When it comes to campaign cash, candidates willing to break the law have a distinct advantage: they both have access to liquid forms of finance and are willing to deploy them in the service of politics. In some cases, money comes from illicit, rent-seeking business activities; in others it comes from deep-rooted patronage networks or simple extortion. **Either way, parties value ‘muscle’ (serious criminality, in Indian parlance) because of the money that comes along with it.** A case in point here might be Modi’s ruling BJP party. After all, he campaigned heavily on a promise to kick corruption and criminality out of politics. Yet his party garnered 282 MPs and 35 per cent of them faced ongoing criminal cases: “12 of the BJP’s suspected MPs would eventually find their way into Modi’s first cabinet, including 8 legislators with serious cases”. There is clearly an incentive structure at play that is hard to break down. More so since even if the criminal politicians fail to win, the resources they bring to the table will act as subsidies for the rest of the party. Vaishnav’s solutions to the problems are varied, and include a crackdown on the murkier avenues of campaign financing, but the real solution is to fix the functioning of the Indian state so that strongmen — often pushing ethnic identity — have less space to operate it. Making them less essential may be the only way to get rid of them. The book — When Crime Pays, Money an Muscle in Indian Politics — is out in January in India and the US, and out in the UK in March. It’s recommended.

  • Alexa Streich

    Full article for those who can't get past the paywall: This is the story of a young man who overcame the red-tape and sclerosis of a state that pays lip-service to liberalism but really only exists to make life hard for those trying to make a rupee . It’s the story of a man who… admittedly… had to cut some corners, and maybe some throats, along the way. It’s the story of a man who learnt that violence is fine but cash-based coercion is better. It’s the story of a man who wanted to control his destiny and his supply chain. And the story of a man who knew the value of keeping ‘the people’ on his side while he did so. It’s arguably the story of India’s criminal-political nexus. And it’s from Milan Vaishnav’s new book on how crimes pays in an Indian polity rife with criminals. You see, to begin with the criminals and strongmen were in the service of the political parties and politicians — they provided the muscle and money to keep politicians elected. In return they got protection from prosecution and their rivals in a reliable fashion. As Vaishnav describes it, there was a reliable political landscape in India, dominated by the dynastic Congress party, up until the 1970s. But as that broke down — for various reasons, mostly associated with the personality politics of Indira Gandhi — the criminals started to take matters into their own hands. After all, greater electoral competition left them vulnerable. What if they party they had a ‘contract’ with didn’t win? From the book, with our emphasis: >**In the wake of uncertainty prompted by chaotic “client-shifting,” a rational solution to this challenge was for criminals to move from out-sourcing political protection to doing it in-house. In other words, the solution rested in becoming politicians themselves.** By directly contesting elections, criminal could reduce the uncertainty associated with negotiating (and renegotiating) with politicians, all the while retaining the benefits they had previously depended on Congress to deliver… >The alleged gangster Ashok Samrat, who contested elections in north Bihar, summed it up best: **“Politicians make use of for capturing the polling booths and for bullying the weaker sections… But after the election they earn the social status and power and we are treated as criminals. Why should we help them when we ourselves can contest the elections, capture the booths and become MLAs and enjoy social status, prestige and power? So I stopped helping the politicians and decided to contest the elections.”** >**Once the vertical integration process took hold, it was difficult for it to be undone.** Criminals now had both the status and the power; having invested in building up their local electoral machinery, they found that the costs of reversal far outweighed the benefits… Of course, to continue Vaishnav’s market metaphor, there is a demand issue here too. Why do ‘the people’ keep voting these guys in? According to Vaishnav’s stats above, 21 per cent of politicians in India’s lower house faced charges of serious crimes in 2014. You can blame some of that on so-called voter ignorance perhaps but surely not all of it or even very much. Vaishnav’s main explanation for the continued electoral success of criminally tainted politicians is quite simple: They provide services the state does not. In short, the state has failed to keep up with its voters’ expectations and that failure — of the rule of law along with many basic services — has allowed criminal politicians to serve in lieu of the state: providing protection, social welfare of a sort since the state makes it hard to get even a drivers license without paying a bribe, dispute resolution in the absence of a functioning court system etc. As Vaishnav says, the corrupt politician becomes “the crutch that helps the poor navigate a system that gives them so little access” in the first place. More so, these politicians use their criminality as a badge, as a way to signal their credibility to the voters. If anything, the more voters know about the criminality of a candidate, the better that candidate will do. That, under Vaishnav’s formulation, will be particularly true when ethnic identity is at play, as it often is in India between castes or religions. A chunk from his book, do note the mafia-echoes: >**In addition to wielding a potent mix of strong-arm tactics and caste politics to construct an impressive political base, Raja Bhaiya also used his position and his alleged criminal support structure to simultaneously substitute for, and subvert, the state apparatus.** Asked why he has been able to monopolize political power in his area, Raja Bhaiya once explained: “Anyone can say he is your representative. And occasionally, he will tar a stretch of road, or add a few streetlights, or get a new well dug… **What the people need is someone to intercede for them when they get into trouble with the police; someone to speak on the behalf to government babus [bureaucrats] and get their word done. Someone to solve their problems.** And another: >In no time, **Dagdi Chawl became ground zero for Mumbai’s notorious underworld. From his fortress-like compound, Daddy dispensed patronage, protection, and even justice to local residents.** Journalists who came to interview Gawli wrote of the hundreds of men and women — unemployed youth, ageing widows, aspiring gangsters, and established politicians — who queued up on a daily basis in front of the iron gates of Gawli’s compound just for a few minutes of face time in the hopes of being showered with Daddy’s munificence. **They came seeking building permits, ration cards, welfare payments, employment — a things the state was meant to provide but was either unable or unwilling to.** So, “a reputation as a matabhare (literally, ‘heavy handed’) person is considered to be an asset” in India because the state is so absent in so many ways. Quite obviously that’s not a position India should want to be in. As Raghuram Rajan, ex-RBI governor, once put it: >The poor need the savvy politician to help them navigate through rotten public services. The politician needs the corrupt businessman to provide the funds that allow him to supply patronage to the poor and fight elections. The corrupt businessman needs the politician to get national resources cheaply. And the politician needs the votes of the poor, who are numerous enough to assure him reelection, no matter how much an idealistic middle class may rail. **Every constituency is tied to the other in a cycle of dependence, which ensures the status quo prevails.** As Rajan says, this is an entrenched problem and one that is impossible to separate from the huge amount of (mostly black) money needed to even run for election in India. The ocean of money needed to get elected dictates who can afford to put themselves up for office and it sets the terms for how they run — you are expected to buy votes, to show your largesse, and if you don’t you can take yourself out of real contention. There’s an obvious circularity to that which will over time drive good politicians out of the picture. It also dictates why political parties run candidates who are best described as dodgy: they tend to have the cash to, you know, win. As Vaishnav says again: >When it comes to campaign cash, candidates willing to break the law have a distinct advantage: they both have access to liquid forms of finance and are willing to deploy them in the service of politics. In some cases, money comes from illicit, rent-seeking business activities; in others it comes from deep-rooted patronage networks or simple extortion. **Either way, parties value ‘muscle’ (serious criminality, in Indian parlance) because of the money that comes along with it.** A case in point here might be Modi’s ruling BJP party. After all, he campaigned heavily on a promise to kick corruption and criminality out of politics. Yet his party garnered 282 MPs and 35 per cent of them faced ongoing criminal cases: “12 of the BJP’s suspected MPs would eventually find their way into Modi’s first cabinet, including 8 legislators with serious cases”. There is clearly an incentive structure at play that is hard to break down. More so since even if the criminal politicians fail to win, the resources they bring to the table will act as subsidies for the rest of the party. Vaishnav’s solutions to the problems are varied, and include a crackdown on the murkier avenues of campaign financing, but the real solution is to fix the functioning of the Indian state so that strongmen — often pushing ethnic identity — have less space to operate it. Making them less essential may be the only way to get rid of them. The book — When Crime Pays, Money an Muscle in Indian Politics — is out in January in India and the US, and out in the UK in March. It’s recommended.

  • Stephan Luettgen

    Okay, so I'm going to give you a play-by-play as I read your story. From the first few paragraphs, I get a good handle on how this character talks and thinks but it does leave me wondering, why the 3rd person narration? If you bend the 3rd person so much to this character's perspective, why not just make it their perspective? First-person from the POV of Ryan. Also, I want to hear more about why those people are fakers. Moving on, your initial description of the girl is a bit boring. "She was beautiful" is a classic *show-don't-tell* moment and her hair being yellow like the sun just feels a little stereotypical. Try a few other descriptions out, like "her hair, a mess from the fall, glittered like golden confetti or the loose threads of a particularly nice hand towel." This might not be the image you want, but you get the idea. Be a bit more unique in your descriptions. Okay, the interaction between Ryan and this girl leading to him carrying her feels a bit forced at times and could use some more description. I might be alone with this, but I think describing a groin punch in excruciating detail is a great way to get a laugh out of a reader. I think adding a bit more banter and back-and-forth between them would make the scene feel a bit more real and give us a good sense of the chemistry between these characters whereas right now, it's a bit empty. Also, "he felt stupid." As a rule of thumb, try never telling the audience what a character feels about a situation. Unless you're in first-person and your narrator is thinking it. Also, why does the girl go from "enjoying the challenge" to telling him to carry her? I feel like there needs to be a bit more of a transition there. "They probably looked cute together. If they really played it off, laughing at each other’s jokes, they could convince the world they were dating. But Ryan was no faker and the girl probably wished he’d drop dead. The feeling was mutual." This entire paragraph is my evidence that you should write this in first-person. If you want your narrator to comment on how they probably look cute together, make it Ryan commenting on it. Also, *show-don't-tell* for this entire paragraph. Give me a scene, don't describe for me a scene that may or may not be happening. Moving on, when Ryan runs into some high school acquaintances, I get bored. Like really bored. Rather than just saying "he ran into some people he knew once," try making a scene out of it. "Ryan stopped dead in his tracks. "Well fuck me," he says, "Fucking fuck me straight to goddamn--" "What?" the girl asks, "Did you leave your dick back by the bike?" Ryan ignores this, stating, "Shut up and don't make eye-contact with either of the two walking pork chops we're about to pass."" Give your readers a sense of progression and work with this walk too. Ryan is carrying a girl to the hospital on his shoulders. Make the reader feel like he's walking. How long has he been walking when he ran into Jerry and Greg? Is he tired? Is the girl in danger of passing out? Oh and speaking of Jerry and Greg, they're boring in general. It feels like you copy-pasted them from a book on stereotypical high school bullying. Try giving them a history with Ryan that gets brought up more or at least give them entertaining banter with each other. Also, do they not notice that the girl is bleeding? Has she stopped bleeding? Has her blood stained Ryan's pants and back in any noticeable way? Honestly, this whole interaction with Jerry and Greg feels very stereotypical and forced. Why not have a little more fun with it? Your end point seems to be to establish Ryan as smart but a bit of an asshole and then show character growth through his apology to Jerry (or was it Greg? They're literally the exact same character just twice at this point.) I would either rewrite this scene to give us a more sympathetic view of Jerry and Greg and have Ryan's apology come from a place of actual understanding that other people, even the ones you don't like, have value rather than fear of retribution for being an ass. Okay so the interaction between the girl (ASK HER NAME, RYAN, GEEZ!) and Ryan after this is pretty sweet. I'd extend some of the descriptions of their body language and give the reader a picture of how far Ryan has walked and how tired he feels, but besides that, I like it. Oh, and when Ryan says, "It’d be lame if I let you off here. Carrying a girl to a hospital makes me a hero. Leaving her on the sidewalks makes me an asshole," I kinda want the girl to giggle but respond with, "you *are* an asshole, though," and then for the two to share a laugh, but that's just an idea I thought would be a nice addition to an already nice bit of character interaction and growth of a relationship between these two. I want more reaction from Ryan when the girl says she was running away from home. That's some heavy shit to drop on someone and I want the story to react accordingly. I also want more description of the hospital. Is this a nice hospital? Why is the fat lady here? Why is she a faker for reading about weight loss? I feel like if anyone needs to read about weight loss, it's a fat person. Who thinks the man in the suit is getting an STD check? Is it Ryan? Why aren't we hearing it directly from his perspective? Also, add a third person. Rule of 3 and all that. It also makes more sense when you say, "fakers, the lot of them." since that implies a slightly bigger group. Ryan suddenly starts whispering to himself. Most people don't do this in public. Either make a point that Ryan doesn't usually do this or make it an aspect of his character and being a loner in general. The introduction of Cameron Rockfell has way too much telling and not enough showing. The thing is, with other characters that appear, you give really great (although a bit short) descriptions. Describe Cameron Rockfell the same way you describe all the fakers. Pick out parts of his suit or his stern face or his eyes or anything really. Make them come alive. Describe other characters' reactions to him more. You can even embed the exposition about his political and business career in that description of his appearance. Right now, he may as well be a stone statue that someone rolled in and everyone is just treating like a person as a game. Okay, I'm going to put this really gently, but the ending is really not great IMO. I just can't believe that a politician and businessman would beat his daughter in a hospital where nurses have already checked her and would obviously notice a new bruise. The fact that he beats his daughter is not unbelievable but the connotations of making him a politician are that he is, at least to some degree, conniving and smart. I would change it to Ryan walks in and witnesses him hitting her bruises, or threatening her with a beating later or something that implies that this character at least cares about himself and isn't just an awful person for the sake of being an awful person. SUMMARY: Your story has a lot of potential. The two main characters are interesting and their interaction is nice. Your side characters could use some work and the framing of Ryan's perspective on the world being backed up by an omniscient 3rd person narrator make the story feel a bit like it's desperately trying to validate Ryan's often shitty behavior. I'd change to a first-person perspective or Ryan and change around a few of the side characters to be more interesting as well as giving more context to Ryan's idea of what a 'faker' is.

  • Easter Kiehn

    > As I stated before, and you seem to ignore. Traditionally marriage was a religious and church issue. It became a government issue when they used it for taxing and inheritance on a federal level. That's where the government got involved and perhaps should be where they get out of the picture. Churches and states were wrong to involve the federal government in a thing that should be a religious issue and should have remained that way. Nope, I didn't ignore, it's simply a fact today that government has gotten involved and has done such reprehensible things as, say, restrict partners from visiting their mates in hospital. I agree that government and churches shouldn't interfere in that regard. > Ah. You're an atheist. So be it. Don't really care. I'm conservative Jewish. If I want to call people who screw each other in the anus while being misogynist woman haters or Lesbians who hate on men and love to be freaks, perverts, so be it. They are perverts. Agnostic-slash-atheist, yes. There we go with that ad hominem crap. Meanwhile your lot lops foreskins off infants and rabbis suck away the blood like eager mosquitoes. Whatever, you believe whatever you want, but in my book you're an asshole for holding such views (not that it matters; if we ever met in person I'd more likely pop you in the face than make friends anyway, so it doesn't matter to me in the slightest). > No idea what you are rattling on about. I'm not interested in being with a woman and have no need at this point in my life to have someone tell me how to think. See, a true friendship doesn't involve someone dictating how you think, unless YOU allow them to. If you actually had true friends (which I am beginning to doubt) you'd understand that a partner will stick with you through thick and thin. As Dr. Seuss might've said (but I'm not certain), "those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind". It's a mutual relationship, not some weird "mom vs child" unilateral interaction you might be subject to as an infant. > Ah. So I'm not truly American if I don't care deeply about a couple of ass freaks. Sorry. Not interested in that logic at all. Also not interested in their happiness. America is about pursuit of happiness. It's not a right. It's a pursuit. Get it? No one has a right to be happy. Pursue it all you want. So I guess "promote the ***general*** welfare" doesn't include the gays? That's not how I and a lot of other Americans see it. You don't have to stand on a streetcorner holding up a rainbow flag on their behalf, but I would simply encourage you to speak out against the kind of tyranny that would sooner escort them into a gas chamber on the perceived order of their God than simply live and let live. > I'm different from you. You claimed I wasn't American if I didn't care about gays and lesbians. Ya right. I don't see how gays having a right to "marriage" is about a right to life and pursuit of happiness. I already stated my position on it. You obviously don't get it. I really only "get" what I get, I can't crawl into your head, I only know what I know about you based on what you say (and so far unfortunately it's a bit ugly, to be honest). > Heterosexual marriage in the goal of fostering and promoting families is in the best interest of Government. That's as far as it should go. Homosexual relationships have nothing to do with that. A civil union to recognize a tax status should be as far as it goes. Beyond that, it's just semantics and brow beating. That's a pretty utilitarian view of a loving relationship between two people. I mean my wife and I are married, she's retired but worked her whole adult life, and I continue to work, but we haven't spawned new offspring to continue churning out tax dollars for the government. I agree that government shouldn't interfere beyond providing similar tax and inheritance handling for straight or gay or whatever couples, but at the same time government should NOT curtail those based on influence from religion. > No one did that. Your paranoia is a bit much. Geez. You should give it a rest. It's an old and boring topic. [*Licensed to Kill*]( explores the plight of some gays murdered for being gay. Just think if government looks the other way toward that sort of violence, it might become more mainstream, go viral even. I have nothing to fear, but my fairy friends certainly do. You ought to acquire a healthy sense of paranoia about government, not all people on this earth have your or anyone else's best interests in mind. > Wow. Like a true liberal. Went for the hate and name calling. Nice to see the real you. Not really. You seem to be taking this personally, whereas there's really no dog of mine in this. The only real me you see is tempered by the struggle exemplified by [this]( native American folklore. I honestly try to do right by people unless they try to do wrong by me. > Trump never paid people to go beat up Hillary supporters the way your side did. BTW, my experiences with gays has been that they have assaulted me repeatedly for telling them to back off and keep their hands off me. One actually tried to kill me with a steel pipe. So ya, I'm not real fond of gays after stuff like that. I did meet one gay who was decent and didn't cause trouble. He was the only one. Another came after me with a sword after he propositions me and I let my friends know that he was gay. We were in HIS apartment. After police were called he ran away. There was a warrant for his arrest as multiple people saw him chasing me with a sword through the apartment complex. After he ran off and could not be located there was a standing warrant out for him. He never came back. We took over his apartment lease with permission of the manager and handed his furniture over to his brother. He did call me to ask what was up and I had a good laugh trolling him over the phone while he shouted obscenities. In the end I reminded him that he was the queer who wanted to settle things with a Katana that the police did recover for evidence. Dude, WTF?? I can understand you feeling anger toward a gay person for doing that to you. I sincerely hope you work with law enforcement to find justice. That simply isn't right what you say happened to you. All I'm trying to say is, for gays at face value, it's wrong for politicians and government to discriminate against them based on their sexual preference. Certainly if some person assaults you, that is clearly wrong, and I'd be in *your* corner against them for perpetrating that! If you haven't already, maybe consider talking with somebody anonymously [here]( or with a professional in a counseling capacity. I've been a victim of bullying as a child AND as an adult, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that such can color your worldview in some bad ways. If you can work with someone to put your experiences in perspective and deal with them, you might find some solace and be able to distance yourself from the trauma and rethink some of the kneejerk reactions you've expressed here so far. In that, I wish you luck; I still struggle with my own demons and I have good days and bad. Another good reason to have a life partner, they can be there to support you in tough times and offer a shoulder to cry on if/when needed.

  • Chris Price

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  • Stephania Weissnat

    I've missed the discussion for the last 7 episodes and posting this a week late because unfortunately I got caught up in a lot of personal issues + being busy around Christmas/New Years. Everything seems to be in order now, so I apologize in advanced for jumping into this re-watch and not being able to commit 100%. I went ahead and binged the rest of the show though :) Everyone covered everything about the final episode, so I just want to say this arc was probably my favorite arc so far (only other strong contender being the manga arc because of how much pure enjoyment and laughter came out of that one). I felt like the only thing missing was a little more backstory on Watashi and that's exactly what we got. It was really great to see where she developed her snarky attitude from, seeing her come in contact with a fairy for the first time, and more importantly, seeing her break down from bullying and admitting she was feeling lonely. That moment really humanized Watashi for me and made me really appreciate her as a character a lot more. Also seeing Y and their relationship back then was just a plus. My least favorite arc was definitely the timeloop arc. I felt like it could have been shrinked down to one episode and the banana joke was overdone just a tiny bit. With that said, the payoff was still worth it because of the development for Watashi's grandfather. Seeing him as the Ringo Kid was entertaining and it really gave a lot of depth and character to him and why he is his current self (especially all the guns on the wall). The assistant finding his "personality" was something I really wanted from the show since I was always interested in the assistant, and his silent nature, from the get-go. Really had a lot of fun watching this and I'm glad I found a reason to finally pick it up. The setting sounded really dark and depressing, but was very upbeat thanks to the picture book feel and the super fun cast. It gave a lot of personality to the characters: Watashi with her school backstory, the grandfather and the assistant in the timeloop and even the fairies during the standalone episodes 9 & 10 got a lot of development; They're fast and efficient with every task they do, they're sweet and a lot of fun on the surface but are also shown to be very cruel and depressing beneath everything. A show like this could have really flopped without a great cast, but fortunately that was not the case x) Thanks again /u/Queen-Maki for hosting this! I wish I could have contributed more discussion with everyone, but it seems the timing was not in my favor for my first re-watch on r/xxanime. I hope to make that up in the future and I am very much looking forward to the next one taking place :) <3

  • Rosemarie Medhurst

    I have family in 3 European countries and also in the US. I dont know what your experiences are and your "extensive travel" but i what you say is nothing than the Europe i know. What i said about Italy is not 60 years ago, it was 9 years ago and from what i know nothing has changed. The same experiences are shared by all my other family members in the other European countries, except my family in England and the USA. I can write a book of how people here perceive things differently. There is no education about sex, or maybe a 30 min video showing the different stds. I learned about genitals from life/friends/parents. I really dont understand what is scientific in understanding how to appropriately have sex and how your penis works. How scientific does it have to be to tell a kid that he can get viruses if not using a condom? From all the people i know it did not take more than 5 minutes to make them understand the importance of being safe. What science do you speak about? And from what i know kids know that by just having friends. All my friends understood that and i knew that from a very young age, the school did not "educate" us on that. All it takes is one picture showing a disease effect and it goes viral among friends and within a day all the kids know this is real and serious. I really have no idea what your talking about. I will tell you the differences though of my transition to the USA. When i came here i realized my same age family members were pussies. One cousin used to tell me he has psychological problems because his mom beat him up "1" time, "my parents abused me". And when i laugh and called him crazy he was confused. Kids get beat up all the time down there, you do something stupid, your parent gets outraged, you take the beating, you laugh it off with your friends and go do something stupid again. Literally one time my friends parent was looking for him with the shotgun 😀 not that he was going to shoot him but he was that outraged. They hide to drink alcohol or to smoke weed and can get in deep trouble with the law if busted, for god sakes they arrest you for peeing on a public place even if no one is around 😁 Some family members told me that had issues because of bullying at school, lol 😜 Really?? Well you should be glad you're in the US then because you'll feel is hell overseas. Kids bully each other all the time overseas, and i'm talking in way more extreme ways than here. You know what your parents or school will tell you? Grow some balls and defend yourself. If you dont stand up then people will always take advantage of you. So after 2-5 times, you might feel sad, depressed or whatever but at one point you say enough and stand up, then they "magically" stop and find someone else. I literally stick a pen on a guys hand when i decided to defend myself, guess what? He never came near me again. Let the victim learn to stand up and the bully to take the damage, this way they all learn. And guess what? I did that while in school and the teachers did nothing, and i assume his parents beat him up if they saw or learned what happened. Overall the differences are too many that i can write a book on them. This is reality for me. This is the reality i know people share in at least 3 European countries. So i have no clue what you speak about.

  • Johnpaul Hermann

    Mean Girls was actually based on a pop psychology book, *Queen Bees and Wannabes*. The book is something of a self-help guide (if you can call it that) for adolescent teenage girls and how to navigate hostile social situations which pop up a lot in high school. It's generally a pile of trash, but there are actually some pretty strong points in it about social aggression from young girls. TrollX is a very special kind of stupid. They glorify hook-up culture, alcoholism (the posts about them literally shaking while chugging whole bottles of wine after the election were hilarious), aggressive social bullying, threatening behavior, obesity, and sexism against men. I found it very funny that they chose Cersei as the picture for this. A lonely, psychotic, alcoholic woman who cares only for herself and what other people can do for her. A pretty good representative of that board.

  • Velva Howe

    JonBenet Ramsey! I can still remember the first time I checked out a true crime book from the library -- IIRC it was a big picture-book-style illustrated volume that also did an overview of OJ, etc. After that I was really into Jack the Ripper and other child deaths that went part and parcel with chatting with JBR "fans" online. (If you ever think it's weird talking on reddit about favorite cases, favorite Does, etc. -- it could totally be weirder, just saying. I remember lots of pastel graphics and pixel tributes.) One of them was Tempest Smith, a young girl who committed suicide due to bullying in 2001 -- reading about her death now there's another thing that I can't even remember if I knew at the time, that she was bullied at least in part because she had two moms. If I did that might have been the first time as a weird morbid gay boy I encountered that concept. Anyway, it made an impression on me, even though there's no mystery whatsoever to that one. Another vote for Unsolved Mysteries also.

  • Cierra Robel

    The tattoo of the shooters that was posted yesterday got me watching a documentary about Columbine. I remember it happen, but I was too young to undersand fully, I remember the aftermath more. After watching the doc, it just solidified that I hate anyone who idolizes those two, especially Eric Harris. I try to be tolerant, and I may regret saying I hate them, but those fucking guys killed innocent kids so they could feel special. And this idea that they were fucking loners who were pushed to the edge by bullying is bullshit. ["I saw the year book picture, there were six of them, I didn't have six friends in high school"](

  • Emmalee McGlynn

    I feel like Reviewbrah's political views are an enigma. He has a [picture of Obama]( taped to the back of his computer monitor... but he also prominently displays right-wing nut [Ben Garrison's book]( in the background of several of his videos (although I think that's more because Ben's book is about dealing with cyber-bullying/trolling). Does he ever discuss his political views on VORW? This is something I've kinda wondered about for a while.

  • Scarlett Padberg

    Right, this is gonna be a long one, sorry haha. I really hope some of you guys'll give it a read! :) When I was born, I was, like you'd expect, just like any other baby. I didn't really have anything "special" going for me, aside from the fact that I apparently liked to look at/in books a lot, and was very interested in the alphabet from a young age (about 2 y/o). But while it's possible not all kids had those interests, it didn't really make me stand out from the crowd in any significant manner. However, as a few years passed, and I started going to kintergarden, my familiy and the caretakers began noticing some significant ways I differed from the other kids. Long story short, based off the little knowledge my parents actually had about autism at the time, they concluded I had shown a lot of symptomps that people with autism, that were around at my age, also had a tedency to show. So I was brought to doctor/psychiatrist/whatever, and, trough measures I can't recall, I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at age 3. From there, my "quirks" continued to become even more noticeable, as time passed. Based on what my parents have told me, as well reading trough numerous "parent-caretaker" notebooks (don't know if that's a thing in other countries), I can confirm that I had problems as a kid. Not rage-induced tantrums or violent tendencies, but more something along the lines of frustration and sadness. I often had a hard time communicating and connecting with, getting my thoughts trough to, and, in general, interacting with, other people (I actually kind of remember this, some of it rather vidvidly tbh). I would either speak too loudly, too fast (ie stumble over my words too often--but i wasn't stuttering per se, I was just too eager at times) or simply behave in ways that, while not making people cry or get angry with me, often just caused them not to understand me. They'd just walk away, or ignore me, because to them I made no sense, and potentially came across as indtimidating. I often displayed my frustration to my "special-needs" caretaker as well as my parents, and I was often angry that few people got me. But not only did I often leave my fellow kintergardners confused, I often also felt the same way when the kids were talking. I wouldn't call myself slow, but it took me a hell lotta years to actually have a decent conversational flow. It never came to me naturally, this flow, so keeping up with the otherkids could be a problem at times. So sometimes i felt lonely. Now this probably sounds like doom and gloom, but, to be honest, most of the time I had a blast during kintergarden. I still had friends, a few good ones I became very close to (I still keep in touch with a few of them), and, when you're a kid, you're happy most of the time. I loved the Lion King, Pirates of the Carribian, LEGO, and Star Wars, and, luckily, so did my friends. I also began to draw, which, while I had done that since being a baby, this was when it morphed into my first passion. Cause if there's one thing aspies often are, regardless of their interest, it's that they're passionate about something. For me, it was drawing, the alphabet, and cars. Hell, I can barely name more than 5 car logos off the top of my head but back then the situation was different. I loved cars and I must have driven my parents insane with all my talk about Toyotas and how their logo looked like a silver Voltorb or something. It's safe to say that I would NEVER had been where I am today had it not been for my wonderful parents. Their devotion to helping get trough my struggles are paramount to my fucking life balance, no joke. My parents told very early on in my life (I must have been 5 or younger) that I had aspergers, and that made me a little different from other kids in a few ways. I love my mom for her effort in trying to help me better understand me and my aspergers, but also, very importantly, to REFLECT upon my acts and THINK about how to improve. Or in other words, helping myself by learning how I need help. I've always felt really confident in asking for help troughout my life because I've been surrounded by people willing to accept me for who I was/am. While this mentality of open-ness was still only blooming when I was 6, I already knew a lot about my strengts and weaknesses, and, as time passed, I got a more firm understanding of how they actually were in detail, and how I could influence and understand them. 1: Stress makes everything shut down for me. I find it extremely hard to concentrate, everything becomes 1000% harder to cope and handle atpm and I generally feel awful. Everyone disklikes being stressed, but I probably disliked it even more. Here's the the really annoying part: 2: I become stressed very easily. If things don't go as planned, or if there is a change in a routine, or lack of one in general, I really start to get stressed, confused and sad. However, if everything goes according to plan, the opposite could sometimes happen; I could be kind of euphoric if nothing was out of whack. 3: I needed to attend a school in a place where there were people who specialised in teaching special needs students. 4: Kinda unknown to me at the time, but I was also really socially akward. 5: I didn't like places with too many people or too much noise and general, they made me feel bad. Realising point number 3 was quintessential to my well-being and happiness with/in school, my parents ditched our initial schoolpick, and I was instead relocated to a new school, much closer to home (a delight for me since traveling and being on the move could be uncomfortable for me). Here, I was placed in a special needs class along with only 8 other people, a luxury I never realised had a huge imoact on me until much later. I got to know all the kids really well, and the teachers had time to tak care of all of us, since we were only 9 in total. I made my first real friends here, and, while I didn't nesscesarily evolve a lot during those 2 years, I became accustomed the school system in a good way. I'll never forget the day I opened the door to the classroom and all the other kids practically swarmed around me like curious bees. I remember one of them saying "We'll always be your friend", and another said "There's room for everyone here". Damn. In retrospect, while these kids without a shadow of a doubt had problems (in one case a very serious one unfortunately), I was greeted extremely well by a bunch of kids, that, like me, also had social issues, yet managed to give me a warm welcome. Bravo Y. Some things don't last forever, though. After 2 years of being in Class Y, the kids in it were faced with a choice (this was done to make room for new Class Y pupils): either stay at the school, and shift to one of the normal classes the school had, or find a "special-needs-school" (as this was just an ordinary public school with a class for newcome pupils with autism and the like). All of my friends choose to attend the special-needs schools, but my parents and the school board (they worked closely together) thought I should stay at the school, as I apparently seemed socially competent enough. I agreed that it was for the best, and I was dumped into Class 2X. Oh, boy, Class 2X. These kids must've been 8-9 years old when I started. Nothing bad happened while I was in this class, only personal development and progress. Nothing. No bullying, no wierd looks, just acceptance from my peers. Being outside my safety bubble for the first time, I was given a little corner to retreat into once in a while, but, as the years passed, I used it less and less, until 6th grade, where it was taken away. Aside from that, I stayed away from P.E at times due the noise levels and stress. Otherwise, I just kept on growing, got new friends and interests and became more socially aware than ever before. By 6th grade, I decided to finally fully grasp the social norms and be more social with people outside my immediate circle. This class, and its people, were a gift to me. When the governemt cut special- needs teachers for indviduals, I was strong enough to carry on. I became very active in how we (me, my parents and the school board) looked and dealt with my problems. I felt like I was on equal footing with them. Slowly, my special needs disappeared. I met my best friend while he was playing Nintendo one day, and we traded games. If I had moved to a special needs school, I would never have known him and that makes my heart ache (no homo). Nearing 9 years of friendship, I'd feel pretty empty if he hadn't been there in my life. In 7th grade, all 7,8 and 9th graders in the local vicinity from four different schools were put in one school, exclusively for the aforementioned. Nearly all of my classmates followed along, but we were mixed and matched with the other schools' pupils and I made plenty of new friends, many who are among my best now. I no longer have any special needs, most people don't even known or regognkze that I have aspergers, I've futher reshaped my image in a positive way and my grades aren't half-bad. Overall things are looking good, and I'm looking forward to see what life throws at me. So I wanna thank my loving and supportive family, my loyal and understanding friends and the patient and willing teachers who've taught in inspired me :) Thanks, you guys! So just know this, to all aspies out there: It may seem like your autism is in control of you, your feelings, indeed your very life, but, in truth, the moment you accept it as part of you, and live with it, while not accepting its dominance over you, it simply becomes a part of your personality, YOU. And THAT's what what we needto strive for: let our personality be at the dominant force, and let your autism shape part of who you are. :)

  • Ashton Herman

    I do not see the point of maintaining relationships with people. I understand that this mindset is abnormal. But I simply do not enjoy spending time with people. This is not to say that I don't like, respect, or trust some individuals. But it is to say that, given the choice, I will never voluntarily choose to spend time with someone. # Some backstory: I'm in my late twenties. I am not particularly shy. Historically, I had many friends, some closer than others, and a handful of relationships. But maybe about 3-4 years ago I decided to consciously stop being social (shut down social media, changed my phone number, etc.) and I finally started doing whatever I felt like doing instead of fulfilling social obligations. The reason for this is because I felt like I was not enjoying these relationships. The transition happened gradually, but now I'm at the point where I am not remotely social. I never speak to my former friends or even my family. Like at all. Not even once per year. Completely shut off. I find my life to be easier without others in it. This was supposed to be a temporary experiment, but I realized that I liked this state so much, that it is now the default. I'm not complaining, to be clear. I don't feel lonely, or isolated, or upset. I'm just writing this so I can get others' thoughts, either from people out there in my shoes or people that think they can help me understand myself better. The extent of every social interaction that I have nowadays is some variation of, "Hi. How's your day been? Great."    # The reason **why** I want to have no meaningful relationships in my life: The root of the problem is that I don't enjoy socializing. What does a relationship consist of, mostly? Well, talking. Socializing is the backbone of every relationship. I don't like small talk. I also dislike talking about myself and my life because I don't think my life is eventful. Please note, I'm entirely happy living an uneventful life; I just don't see the point in talking about it. I don't like talking about someone else's life because I probably don't think their life is all that interesting, either. Okay, so we talk about this album that we both like or that tenet of Freud that we both find interesting. I may be mildly interested but I become uninterested after a few minutes. Even speaking about things that interest me seems to be a chore after a little while. So the main reason why I don't spend time with people is simply that I don't find socializing enjoyable. One way to put this is like so: I have only ever felt boredom when I am with other people. While alone, I have never once—in my entire life—been bored. I understand that for many people, it's the opposite. I don't enjoy going to restaurants, bars, concerts, parties, etc. You would never know this about me, because I generally like to appear happy and pleasant. E.g., if I am spending time with somebody, they would think that I am enjoying it, because I don't want them to think I don't like spending them with them personally. I know that I sound like a total buzzkill. It's not so much that I dislike doing those things, as much as I would rather be doing other things. What I do enjoy doing are simple hobbies. Everything that I enjoy doing falls into one of four categories. * Analyzing & appreciating art: Listening to music, playing music, reading screenplays, reading novels, watching films. * Education: Reading non-fiction books (on economics, sociology, psychology, English grammar, history, art theory, audio recording, basic philosophy, government policy, and random how-to books), reading news articles, studying Wikipedia entries, watching documentaries. * Exercising creativity: Writing music, writing poetry, writing (screenplays, fictional stories), photography. * Life simplification: Home improvement, home repair, DIY projects, cleaning or organizing my living area, programming basic automation scripts, analyzing data that I collect about myself in order to maximize my efficiency. Now that I currently have zero real relationships, 100% of my free time is devoted to the activities listed above. I love it. I think the other root of the problem, separate from not enjoying socializing, is that I place a very low value on "experiences," which I understand most people live for. I have no desire to seek "experiences" out. For example, I don't have any desire to travel. I have lived my entire life in the same city in which I was born. While I characterize myself as a very curious person, that curiosity does not extend to travel. (I have travelled many times before, from neighboring cities to distant continents. I just found it to be kind of stressful and not very enjoyable. The whole point of travel is it's supposed to serve as a form of vacation, but it didn't feel relaxing to me.) # Some of you may think that I am a freak of nature. I'll preemptively respond to expected inquiries: *"Do you ever get lonely?"* I have no idea what loneliness feels like, because I've never felt it. The definition of loneliness is "sadness because one has no friends or company." Why would having no company make someone sad? There are so many things you could be doing without any company! What are you waiting for?! *"Why go completely cold-turkey? There is a nice middle ground where you can have minimal interactions and a couple relationships, instead of absolutely nothing at all."* You may not realize the extent of this, but every relationship in one's life requires great subconscious and conscious real estate in your mind. While it may not be "stress" in the sense of working overtime at the office, it is "stress" in the sense that you are expending energy on something. For me, that "something" does not really offer me any sort of pleasure in return, and freeing up my mind has allowed me to spend more time on hobbies that I do find rewarding. *"What are your life goals? What are you trying to accomplish? Where do you see yourself in 10, 20, 30 years? How do you view the meaning of life? Don't you want to start a family and everything else that most normal people have or desire to have?"* I don't have any desire to be married, or even be in a romantic relationship. Considering how much effort it requires, how little I think I would enjoy it, and how there are no real getaways for years and years of childrearing (if you wanted to do a good job, of course), I don't have any desire to have kids. Which is good...because of my whole no-desire-for-a-spouse thing. I don't really care about acquiring a surplus of money at the expense of my free time. I would absolutely hate fame. Hence, I do not identify with the ideology of careerism. I guess my "life goal" is simply to find inner peace. Being alone accomplishes this.    # Now, I will speak to common assumptions and possible theories: I am obviously an introvert. Loners get a bad rap. People jump to conclusions about loners. Allow me to clarify some of my feelings a bit further: * I do not hold hateful or distasteful views about humans and society. * I do not feel some sort of remorse or bitterness towards others for my being alone—it is solely and deliberately caused by my actions. * I also do not feel that I am "above" anyone else and I'm too "good" or "smart" to spend my time with them. *"You spend all your time alone, because you are socially inept."* I have fine social skills. Maybe not perfect, but I am definitely not socially inept. I don't feel awkward in conversation. I don't put my foot in my mouth. I generally get along with almost everyone. Again, I've made many friends in my life and generally have done so with ease. I just don't enjoy it, that's all. *"You just haven't met people you truly like, or can relate to. You have to find the "right" people for you, which may be harder to find."* I've met kind, smart, funny, interesting people, people that I've got along with great and people I've had a lot in common with, and I do not have a desire to form any sort of real bond with them. I don't appreciate the value and benefits of having people in my life, in the way that everyone else seems to do, irrespective of how compatible I am with someone. *"Spending that much time alone will result in you developing sociopathic, violent, or immoral views. Your way of life is unhealthy."* I don't really see why it is unhealthy. If I am happy, and as long as I display respect for and kindness towards others, I don't see the problem. Despite being emotionally detached from any and all of my personal relationships, I am a very sensitive and positive person. I don't believe that I have somehow become cold and mean-spirited by not spending time with others. That's not how my brain works. I mean, for God's sake, I downloaded a browser extension several years ago that automatically hides all YouTube comments. That's how much I hate bullying, negativity, cruelty, bigotry, and incivility. I am not the typical person you might think of as being a "loner." *"You're a narcissist. You are completely obsessed with yourself."* Every human is motivated by self-interest. I am no more narcissistic or selfish than any extrovert. Why does an extrovert spend time with others? Because they personally enjoy it. Why is that intrinsically holier than spending time alone because one happens to enjoy that? Anybody who charges me with NPD does not fully understand the traits and actions of someone with NPD.

  • Julian Thiel

    I think when it comes to learning, kids nowadays have more advantage when compared to what I experienced as a kid back in the 80s. For example, back in the 80s, the moment I first played video games on the NES and Atari, I immediately had the desire to learn how to make games. If the internet were only available widely to the public back then, I would've been able to research it on my own even if I was younger than 10 years old. If you can read, you can learn. Plus if I didn't know what a word meant, I always asked mom or consulted the dictionary. That task would also have been way easier if the internet was present. My knowledge of game programming and computer science took many many maaaany years to develop because back then, everything was usually communicated via word of mouth. If you wanted to learn something, you needed to find the book itself from a library or find someone willing to teach you. In my old living area, resources about computer science were very scarce. Nowadays, you can learn almost everything as long as you have the time and the desire for it. I'm not talking about the common youtube videos although they do help, I'm talking about being able to find other sources for copies of books and software to learn from that the real professionals use in the industry. Back then, I learned QBASIC when I was in highschool during my early teenage years, which is usually the starting point for most programmers to get accustomed to the basics. Only in college did I learn the others like Turbo Pascal, Assembly, C, and C++. Today, I find kids who can already program in C++ or C# and they're just in elementary or starting highschool. There's really a huge difference in the availability of learning material from then and now. When it comes to entertainment, kids have it better today as well. In the toys category, I used to only have those [3 1/4 inch toys]( that were very small and only had very limited articulation. They were more like mini-statues than actual toys! Nowdays, you have very [realistic 6 inch to 12 inch toys]( that can be posed in all sorts of ways :D My love for toys that died in the 80s got revived this decade lol :) Although there are many benefits for kids in today's modern world, I also see many problems, most noticeably when it comes to emotions, bullying, and coping. It's just so easy to run away from real life and then drown yourself in social media now such as Facebook. It's normal in a person's life to want approval, but when your life starts revolving around trying to fish for "Likes" on Facebook, even if it harms you, then that's no good at all. I think social media can make kids emotionally weak and easily manipulated. For example, during the phase when they're looking for attention or a feeling of belonging, they're going to be inclined to do something that is considered popular no matter how dangerous or dumb it is. We have seen that in the form of planking, twerking, dabbing, sharking, cinnamon challenge, and other "challenges" or activities where you have to post yourself doing something, often in embarrassing or dangerous situations. People do it for likes. The more likes they get, the more they think that's all they need to keep friends. When the time comes when you get in trouble, none of the random people who gave you those "likes" will really be there for you. You'll be on your own to deal with your problem that was caused by your desire to get attention and approval. As easy as it is to get "likes" on social media, it's also easy to get "haters" and online bullying. When you don't have a toughened sense of identity, you're going ot be very easy to victimize. In your mind, it'll always be "I have to do what is popular to be liked!" and so when the time comes that you do something popular but you get trolled or confronted by people who are fooling around to make you feel bad, you won't have the ability to just ignore them because you have given so much importance to these social media "likes" that not having them would feel as if your life's meaningless. Back in the 80s, you had to rely on actual friends or yourself when you had a problem. When you're being bullied, you either fought back alone or with your friends. If you didn't have friends, you had to be strong anyway otherwise you'd always be bullied. If you're not prepared to deal with it alone, you always had the choice of getting help from your family, guardian, or someone who was close to you. People who had some kind of personal connection to you. Because of social media today, I think it's very hard for the younger people to truly "find" themselves. The reason for this is that they are constantly being shaped by so many outside factors. Should they get a nose ring just because lots of people on Facebook have it? Should they get a tattoo? Should they get a certain hairstyle? Normally, these things require a very personal decision making process, most especially since these changes may be permanent or long lasting. It's very easy to get pressured into doing things nowadays simply because everyone on Facebook is doing it. There is this constant push to be with the "in crowd". It's very easy to fall into the "wrong" type of group. There is definitely a horrible lack of privacy. For example, since almost everyone in the modern world is expected to have some kind of social media, it's definitely harder to HIDE from people when you need ALONE TIME. When I was a kid back in the 80s and 90s, whenever I wanted to be alone, I simply hid in my room and didn't answer any phone calls. Having some alone time meant I had the time to pursue my own personal interests and not just things that other people enjoyed doing with me. For example, studying musical instruments. If I didn't have alone time back then, I wouldn't be as good when it comes to playing the piano. If I didn't have alone time, I wouldn't have been able to study other things that I wanted to learn about. These days if you're on the net (or even your phone), there's a high chance that you'll somehow automatically be connected to a social media account, lots of people will be able to easily contact and disturb you. It's really harder to have some alone time now. People will "demand" of you to chat with them or hang out on the net simply because you're online. If you say you need some alone time, they might take it in a bad way and not talk to you anymore. There is a constant pressure to act as a group and not as an individual, this is why I think it's hard for the younger people these days to truly know what they want and what makes them happy on a personal level. One thing I personally find very unhelpful to the younger people is that they are being treated like weak babies. For example, instead of thinking "I have to compete hard in order to become the winner and get the best results!", there is now a mentality of "Nah, it's cool whatever I get, as long as I have fun, I'm a winner just like everyone else!". I remember this news article a long time ago where a school stopped giving recognition to the kids who got the top grades because they fear that giving them recognition would hurt the feelings of those who didn't do so well. This is one of the reasons why I see some younger people have no motivation to improve themselves or even fight for a better situation in life. Adults are also to blame for this because adults think that everyone has to be a "winner" so as to not hurt a kid's feelings. The problem is, life is a competition. If there's only 10 positions for a certain job, the company will only hire the 10 best candidates. They won't simply hire whoever the 10 first applicants are. They'll definitely pick the 10 applicants who are way above the rest. I think the spirit of competition is dying in most of the younger people today. They become too complacent with social media likes and being part of a group (some kind of tribal mentality) that when it comes to helping themselves get a move on in the adult world, they get stumped and unable to deal with the true nature of how things are. A simple job rejection sends them into a spiral of despair and lose any will to try again, simply because that's not how their childhood of "everybody's a winner" was like. Those who get hired might do a subpar job because "Meh, that's good enough, at least I tried" is what they grew up believing in. There's no more striving for excellence because they grew up in a life where everyone's equal no matter how much effort you put in. "Everyone's a winner". Anyway my break time's over so I'll just end it here. Today's world is good if you are someone who wants to learn all sorts of things and you have the desire to really go for it. Today's world is bad if you have weak emotions because there are all sorts of ways you can fail and get criticized :)

  • Geoffrey Heller

    I was being civil. But you're obviously not going to return the favor. > I think sub-continent Asians are also toss into Asian by the Whites in the US. So that supports my argument quite well. Thanks. North America sees Asian predominantly as East Asian. So no. It doesn't support your argument at all. > The Nigerians, interesting, but unfortunately they are so small in number they don't really shift US perceptions of African Americans in a positive light. My point wasn't the perception of African-Americans. It was that the E. Asian immigrant success story wasn't unique. > Probably not. If they wanted their child to be just White in the US sure. But if they wanted to raise an actual Polish American, they didn't really do a good job. > Asians, well the politics of our skin sort of keeps at this unauthentic American level of perception still. So if you want health Asian American, you probably need to teach them some of their mother tongue to keep in sane in this toxic US environment. You're just throwing out labels at this point. So is a non-Polish speaking "White American" Polish kid not a "Polish American"? On the flip side, is a non-Polish "White American" who can speak Polish de facto a "Polish American"? I don't really see your point. Also, your writing is odd. I don't care about a few missed typos, but phrases like "keep in sane" has no usage in common parlance. > Now I know you're not Chinese. You know how painful that movie is to watch for anyone fluent in Chinese. Not to mention most Chinese people see that as a total American Production with Imported Chinese Stars. I saw that movie well over a decade ago. I might've felt that way back then but looking back now I only remember it as a watershed moment for E. Asians in popular cinema. I guarantee you most White Americans feel the same way. Non-Asians (and most Asians) probably won't give a shit about its lack of authenticity. > Damn you are some weird unwoken Asian or just not Asian. Hero is a complete PRC production. Zhang Yimou was so pissed that the western world accepted that piece of shit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon that he went off and did what he believed to be a proper wuxia film. Once again no Asian Americans in that film. Unless you consider Donnie Yen to be an Asian American. Your original point was that the West doesn't have an audience for Asian media. I brought up Crouching Tiger and Hero as counter-examples. I don't care if the cast is Asian-American or Chinese-American or Taiwanese-American or Hong-Kongese-American or Chinese-Chinese or American-American. I care about the fact that a movie, with good actors, who have Asian facial features, rocked the box office. That's all. And if you care about Asian soft power, that's the only metric you should care about as well. Because nobody's going to bother teasing out the intricacies of nationality / identity / ethnicity when we all look Asian. > He gain his popularity in the west because he's a negative Asian male stereotype. To the west he was a polished kpop version of William Hung. Psy's not a sex symbol, but at least he breaks apart the stuffy, inexpressive, poker-face Asian stereotype. Besides, a lot of his music videos do have a sexual edge to it. In some cases he's even the desired male. That's infinitely more than what William Hung brought to the table. > This is the only example of an Asian American that developed his career in the US. Everyone else developed their careers in Asia and cross-over to the US. This is the most legitimate point in this conversation. I do agree that growing up in the West as an Asian male socializes you to be "beta" (for the lack of a better word). If you look at the top CEOs (Google, Microsoft, Nvidia), and top actors (Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan), and musicians (Psy, etc...) many of them spent their teenage (or even adult) years in Asia before coming over to USA. I do think that growing up as a teen in N. America as a minority is very, very bad. That's something that most people (including Asian parents) don't realize. It's not a simple issue of knowing English and all will be well. The West provides boundless opportunities for Whites to grow up into multi-dimensional people. But most of those opportunities are flat out not there for minorities. This is why it's important for 1) Asian parents to realize this and provide a proper emotional cushion (and NOT hound their kids for grades all day / all night), and 2) Asians in general need to consume and create Asian subcultures. Think of it as cultural ammunition. That's why I brought up the fact that E. Asians need to attach themselves to K-pop, or something Asian really, so Asians are not just seen as "pretending to be White" or "pretending to be black". >Don't you see that's a real problem in the USA. Only if your a Jeremy Lin bless with top 1% IQ, and one of the top 5 right foot first step drives to a right hand lay up in the world are you even considered an NBA material as an Asian. Whereas the rest of the NBA players are room temperature IQ and role players, but automatically get more respect because of the color of their skin. People like Lin cause he's an underdog in every sense of the word. They love the story of him sleeping on the couch before the breakout game that catapulted him into the history books. They couldn't care less about his IQ or Harvard pedigree. > Now I'm pretty sure you're not an immigrant either. What? you think in the 60's and 70's during the first wave of Asian immigration after the lifting of the various exclusion acts when they increased the quota for Asian immigrants, there were wide spread news in Asia about the various level of racism in the US against them. Did it stop them? Nope. Did it motivate them to teach their kids self-defense skills and verbal skills to deflect bullies? Probably another nope. I really don't understand how you can not see my point. Do you think all the media attacks / bullying / fetishization of AF / etc... can happen to another race? Look at the Muslims. How come politicians / the media doesn't go after them? How come Islamophobia is an accepted term, but Sinophobia / Yellow Peril is not even taken seriously? Muslims arguably face way more racism than Asians. Are you saying that Asians just happened to end up in this position because they're inferior? Unlike you, I'm actually trying to figure out the root of the problem. You keep going on about how Asians know this and know that. But how do you explain this subreddit? How do you explain what you see out there in Western society? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Asians haven't got it all figured out. And if your core argument is that the West is just so fundamentally and ideologically racist and antithetical towards Asians that NOTHING will help, then are you telling Asians they should just pack up and leave? Again, I'm not seeing your point. > That's so insightful you must be a very successful parent with such deep views on American immigrant experience. > Do you just make new accounts to troll Asians and reveal how ignorant you on these issues? > But thanks for illustration that you are the exact example I was alluding to about internalizing racism against FOB Asian parents with your entitled American views. Yes, I am totally an ignorant troll with internalized racism against FOB Asian parents with my entitled American views. That's the only possible explanation when someone civilly disagrees with you.

  • Karen Murazik

    Harry was wary. Kids milled around everywhere. Harry had no idea what was happening other than he'd fallen into the wall. Now he was somewhere else. A huge blue train loomed ahead, gray steam pouring from a spout atop its iron body. Harry looked for a friendly face. He saw an older teen sitting reading a magazine popping gum. She was pretty, with brown skin and wild curly hair. Next to her was a young girl his age, wearing thick glasses. Her hair was done up in braids cascading down her back, her skin was a warm mahogany. Her mother was fixing her robes. The woman, with her hair in a neat bun of kinky hair, looked tired but warm. Her husband was leaning on a cart. So Harry approached them. "Um... excuse me?" he said. The woman looked up and smiled. "Oh hi baby. You look lost..." she said glancing around. But she smiled. "Whatcha need?" Harry smiled too. "Is this the train to Hogwarts?" he asked. The teen laughed. "Um boy? 'Is you blind?' Reparo." she said, pointing her wand at Harry's face. He flinched but the tape on his glasses whirled around until it vanished, leaving his spectacles perfectly fixed. "Belinda!" Her mother scolded. "Wow thanks!" Harry said, turning them around. The older girl smiled ever so briefly before frowning again, shrugging her shoulder as teens are wont to do. Harry smiled a bit. The mother's face fell in comparison. "Oh. No this is the train to Domorae School of Wizardry." The younger girl looked shyly at Harry. "It's 9 and 3/4 you want Harry Potter." "How did you—" The girl pointed at his forehead. "I'm Khadija Wilkins. Hi." Harry shook hands with her. Then Khadija grew serious, tilting her chin up a bit. "Right... you'll be wanting to go through the other gate. This school... It's public, for other folks. Who don't have the money to go to Hogwarts. It's not free when you add up ALL the costs. We can't all be personally scooped up by Dumbledore." Harry wasn't sure if that was directed at him, but he didn't mind. "Hush now baby," her mother warned. Khadija shifted her mouth in poutiness. "Harry we will take you to the right platform." Harry looked at the students. He saw groups of girls standing around chatting, popping gum. He saw boys playing dice on the ground. He saw graffiti on the walls in the station. The teachers broke up a fight further down near a row of carts. The boys separated and stalked away like wild cats. Older kids smoked weed in corners. A group of goths utterly fascinated Harry as they gathered near a food cart, hugging each other and listening to dark wave music on a large radio. He saw a group of boys of all ethnicities talking about Dungeons and Dragons. They were rowdy and adamant. Harry saw some black girls playing complicated jump roping games. Double Dutch he thought it was called. The platform was a buffet for the eyes. Harry was pleased that "muggle" stuff was used here commonly. It all felt so familiar. He asked about it. Mrs. Wilkins looked skeptical. "Honey. We don't have the luxury to only work in one world. I have two jobs. One at a shop in Diagon Alley and at a cafe not too far from here. We have a whole underground system of currency exchange. And secrecy. Ways around everything Harry..." Harry was relieved that people could have a dual life. He got the feeling that they were meant to be segregated by law. Harry wondered how Domorae was then. "Do you study regular stuff?" he asked. "Oh yes! Well I'm just starting but we will study geography and maths along with arithmancy. We study politics, chemistry and potions, social science..." Khadija went on and on. It seemed that Domorae students studied all subjects from both worlds. "Hogwarts only teaches Wizard subjects because them pussies was always scared of Voldemort old Hitler ass." Belinda cackled. "Belinda. Watch yo mouth," Mr Wilkins said for the first time. He rubbed his weary brows. "Alright Harry?" he said. Harry shook hands. Harry considered the education systems of both schools and wondered whether the poorer aspects of his old school would carry over to the wizarding world as well: He had had the "fortune" of going to a private school like Dudley. Consequently he had been teased and beaten about every day. "Do people get bullied a lot here?" Harry asked as they walked toward the wall. "Bullying? Like stuffed in lockers?! No way, not really." Harry was confused about that. He'd always thought people did that at every school. Khadija put her hands in front of her. "Don't get me wrong. There's fights and stuff, catfights too. Illicit potions and drugs. Sex. Kids don't pay attention and disrupt the classes. People skip." "That's exactly like regular school!" Harry laughed. "Exactly!" Khadija laughed. Harry grinned. Then the girl looked proud. "But if you take the entrance exams when you enter Domorae you can skip all of that. That's what I am going to do. And then I'll be in the Domorae Honors Society Program. It is much better that way because it's preparatory for Shard School of Further Studies." "Wow. Good luck Khadija," said Harry. She beamed. "Dumbledore is smart and shit, but he a slimy motherfucka," Belinda suddenly said. Harry looked at her, whose magazine had fallen to her lap. She looked very grave. She pointed a sharp painted nail at Harry. "I got friends at Hogwarts Harry. He be getting real chummy with students. Don't trust him Harry Potter. He a old pedo." "Watch yo mouth Belinda," Mr. Wilkins snapped, although his eyes were warily glancing around. Belinda rolled hers. "If I was you I would get in good with Snape. Make sure he don't tell his dark lord nothin bad about me. And Harry..." She leaned forward. "Don't forget what I said about Dumby Harry," she warned, popping her gum. Harry nodded... Mrs Wilkins and Khadija ushered Harry away from the loudness of the platform. They walked back through the barrier. Khadija and her mom walked Harry just next door and into the wall. Harry noticed the difference immediately. It was brighter and more orderly. The train was huge and red, gold trimmed and glorious. Even the steam was brighter. The students were cheerful. Some things were the same, others with subtle differences. People wore colored accessories. They were separated by color. They played with trading cards rather than dice. They talked of books and studies. They had prefects. Everyone wore the same robes. Everyone seemed to be sure of themselves. "What's with the colors?" Harry asked. "Oh. Hogwarts has 'Houses.' They segregate their students like some kind of dystopian society–" "Khadija!" her mother snapped. Khadija folded her arms. Harry noticed she looked irritated. "Don't go to Slytherin though. Green ones. They're worse than anything at my school. They're a terrible, privileged lot. Avoid them." "Okay," Harry nodded. "Harry go on now. Find you a compartment and be safe." Mrs. Wilkins gave him her address. "Send us an owl when you get there safely okay?" "Okay I will," Harry said. He put the slip of paper away. "Uh... okay. Well. See you around Harry Potter," Khadija muttered. Harry saw past her defiant facade, seeing her disappointment. She was almost tearful. He realized it might be awkward for her as she seemed to want to go to Hogwarts. Harry frowned. "See you Khadija. Thanks for everything ma'am." "You're welcome baby." Harry waved and walked very slowly toward the train. But somewhere in his heart he wanted to go back next door. He stopped. Turned around. He saw Khadija who was halfway through the barrier. She waved her hand at him as if to shoo him toward the train. Then she vanished through the bricks. Harry stared at the wall after her. Harry addressed his owl. "Hedwig... what do you think? Should I go to Hogwarts or Domorae? Hoot for Domorae." Harry snickered at the absurdity of it all. But when Hedwig hooted... He stared at the red train. He stared at the wall. He had second thoughts.

  • Nathen Schroeder

    Pre-post edit: Saw your update and you've addressed a few things here, but I'll post it anyway. Hope you can take something from it. I am you. 4 boys: 9,6,2,10mo. I wanted 2, she wanted more, we settled on three. That was my limit. I actually said the words: "I don't know if I can be a good person if we have another kid." Then, like we somehow forgot how babies were made, had our unexpected 4th boy. Your time is drained and it's time to get your older kids involved with the daily running of the house. You can't dump everything on them all at once, but starting now they help clear the table and load/unload the dishwasher. Garbage should be the job of the 13 year-old; vacuuming for the 9 year-old. Or vice-versa, whatever. Do that for a month, then give them something else; cleaning the living room, helping (and eventually doing) their own laundry, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, cleaning bathrooms, etc. This should begin with a real discussion with your older kids about how much work there is in a home and how it is the job of the *entire* family to help. Not for allowance, not for reward, but as a duty to the family being able to do more fun stuff together (and mommy and daddy being happier). If your 13-year-old can't be bothered, maybe it's time to try to connect with her a bit. Teenagers are a totally different ballgame (I'm a teacher of teenagers). Best advice is to try to get her into something that requires her to empathize; volunteering at the humane society, helping with the little kids/babies in Sunday school/ joining Girl Scouts, a band, choir, anything and puts her into a structured group of kids who have expectations put on them by a non-parent. But listen, if you suggest it, she will decide it's stupid and never do it. Ask another adult or older teen to suggest it, anyone she looks up to or seems to like to hang around. A suggestion one week will seem to go nowhere, and then two weeks later, she may be asking for a ride to her new thing. Start connecting with the 9-year-old NOW. Find a common game, hobby, TV show, anything. I play the Pokemon card game with my older boys and it's some of our favorite times together. Board games. Video games. Geocaching, anything, anything, anything!! Connect now before he's 13 and it's too difficult. That's step one. Step two is splitting up the kids. My wife more often takes the younger ones and I take the older ones. We go to a minor league baseball game, explore the broken down dam on the edge of town, go to a nearby city and get sushi, whatever. Let them choose but put some limitations on it with regards to money/travel/etc. It doesn't matter how stupid you think it is, if we expect them to be open-minded we have to be the same. It's okay to give them two or three options of your choice and let them pick one. If they say "I wanna do ______" and you can't, tell them why. It's too expensive, it's too far (would take 3 days) etc. But if you can do it (i.e. there is a 3 day weekend coming up) go ahead and do it! Better you take a trip or visit something or do something you don't care for and your 13 year-old loves, than the other way around. You can handle it. She can't. She's a teenager (i.e. narcissistic sociopath). My wife finds time with the younger ones to be much more enjoyable than I do, and I hold her to that. She knows it's difficult for me and helps me out by letting me take the older boys places, just the three of us. Do take time with the littles too, but they're in total mommy mode right now and it will give your wife time to focus on them and you time to work with the older kids. Maybe see if you (or someone your daughter thinks is cooler than you) can convince her to spend time with the older boy, or at least show him the cool stuff. Books or music or whatever she likes could be passed on to the 9 year-old. Step three is continuing to try to talk to your wife about it. My wife has come to understand the burnout is real. My personality has changed and I'm still trying to get it back to the way I was before kid #3. I was happy-go-lucky, carefree, super-cool dude who enjoyed every second of life. Now I'm moody, scowl all the time, and snap at the kids before I spend the evening working on homework stuff and going to bed. If you need to suggest counseling, please do. Not marriage counseling for the marriage, but because you need a third party to help you both communicate and you need to (with your wife) come up with ways to de-stress yourself. It's likely that you will have to go see someone for a few sessions first before you bring her in. Of course, this depends on how she responds to the suggestion of counseling, but if you're just a hair away from walking out yourself, then you have to do it. Also, seriously consider starting to read many various parenting books for ideas. There are many out there and some are great. Some are garbage. Go to Amazon and find the best general ones or ones that deal with your specific issues, then go to the library and check them out (or get them through inter-library loan). Read them or listen to them on audiobook and keep a notebook of stuff you want to try. Some are written by psychologists, some are by parents with 8 kids, and most will have at least one or two things you can bring into your own parenting. BUT - keep your wife in the loop on it. She has to see the benefit and agree to parent in the same style as you do. Also, it will go a long way if she sees that you are doing everything you can to make a bad situation better. She would have a legitimate argument if you gave up and she came back and asked for any evidence of what you did to try to make it better. Step four: clear your schedule of extra stuff. I don't know your job, but I would have to drop my committee work, my extra-curricular coaching, any TV shows you watch, etc. Focus on yourself and keeping calm with the screaming starts. Don't physically manhandle them. It's easy to say "I'm not hitting them!" when you push them around physically. They will still see it as bullying and resent you for it. When you have the urge to get physical, pick them up and take them into the other room (this is for the twins) and take a moment to be calm with them. Get them to give you a kiss or a high-five or sing a song or whatever it is they've been doing lately. Connect with them now. Take a few breaths, then rejoin the chaos. In your talks with the older kids, let them know you've got to make a signal. My boys and we have a code. My wife and I, when they are getting snotty or hurtful towards each other, say "Remember respect," and the older kids take a breath, and say "I will remember respect." Then we have to hug. It doesn't count without the hug. Sometimes it works, sometimes we have to do it 19 times before it sticks. Sometimes it's timeout in their room for an hour. Sometimes they miss time with their friends or lose screen time. Make sure you tell them you love them ALL THE TIME. It's not just for them; it's to help you remember that too. We make sure we tell them we love them, even when we're disciplining them. We (you too) can't take it personally. They're kids. They're spastic and sensitive and clinically insane, but we're the people who have to help them grow out of that by demonstraing how sane, rational people operate. I feel for you brother, I really do. Even if you just focus on the 9 year-old, you might see the value in them, even if you don't experience the joy you've been told all your life you should. It will get better. Christ, it'd better! Analyze how you respond to them and adjust accordingly, because they are mostly incapable of doing the same. Take care of yourself.

  • Buford Schroeder

    All of it? Hoo, this is long, buckle up kids cuz we're going for a ride- My biological father was awful to my mother, and he kidnapped me multiple times. So many things I "wouldn't remember because [I was] too young"- moving around a lot, my mom crying, him doing drug deals at the house. I remember the first three years of my life very well and it was extremely fucked up. This is just one little thing, not even the worst he did, but it really stuck with me. When I turned three, he got me a puppy. I _loved_ that dog. I loved her so much, she was small and fuzzy and black and she was my best friend immediately. She was smart. I, being three, thought that eating toothpaste would be smart. It tasted good! While my mum was at work and he was watching me, I ate a whole tube and then puked all over the couch. He was _furious,_ screamed at my mother for hours, and got rid of my dog. My puppy was so sad. She didn't like him much and she cried and cried and cried when he picked her up. He took her and left and came back and she wasn't with him and I cried and cried and cried, too. I knew she was gone and she had to be scared, she was always with me. I was so worried for her. I know, I know, three year olds shouldn't have concept of complex logic or of other things being conscious beings and such, but you can ask anybody in my immediate family, I've always been extremely empathetic and good at connections. Like, I hate when people say "I'm mature for my age!" but I'm actually just... old for my age, largely due to trauma and not getting to have an actual childhood lmao. I was left with my grandparents a lot. I love them, but they have smoked a pack a day each as long as I've been alive and my granddad is a bonafide schizophrenic and a pothead to boot. He has very classic delusions about government surveillance and the like, and would talk to me about it often. Guess who, at fifteen, was diagnosed as schizoid with paranoid and avoidant tendencies? Meeeeee! I was three when my mum divorced my shithead sperm donor. We moved around a lot then, didn't have much money, she was always working. I was alone a lot, but I taught myself to read! I was four when she officially reconnected with her high school sweetheart and they've been together ever since. Honestly, that was the best thing that happened in my childhood. I love my dad so much for everything he's done. Like, he was twenty five and in his prime, he didn't have to give up his awesome party bachelor life, but he did. He did and then he worked his ass off to build a better life for mum and me because he loves us. Not to brag but my dad is a badass dude. I was a really quiet and withdrawn child. I wouldn't say it to her face, but it's because as a baby/toddler, my mum would pop me on the back of the hand if I spoke too loud or cried at all or didn't stay exactly by her side in public. That shit _hurts_ and I learned real quick to just... be quiet and docile. To observe a room and the people in it very quickly and _very_ carefully before expressing anything. To not speak to anyone or ask for anything. And she wonders why I still have extreme anxiety about speaking to people or asking for necessary help? I went in to kindergarten able to read on a second grade level and left outreading my dad, which wouldn't be impressive if he was average, but he's not. I was a "prodigy" in several subjects, and while that's cool, it's doesn't exactly make you popular among other first graders. I was also unusually small and very verbose. I loved fairies and books and drawing and math. Bullying! Bullying abound! I know people put down bullying as a regular childhood experience but... it was bad. I tried to kill myself at age seven because I didn't see a point. The school wouldn't do anything. At nine, I could've started high school. My parents thought it would socially stunt me. At nine, I also developed a severe eating disorder and started experiencing hallucinations and extreme suicidal ideation. I was dismissed out of hand when I attempted to get help. Girls will be girls, right? Being sad and starving is just what girls do! My depression and inability to ask for help lead to me neglecting science homework and getting a B on my first progress report in sixth grade. I was grounded from all electronics for a year. Understand, all of my positive social interaction was internet based. I'd been using kid sites like Neopets since I was four, and was easily passing as a teenager online during elementary school. I didn't have real life friends who weren't awful to me. From there, it spiraled. I was failing everything, I had no motivation, I had no friends. Midway through the year, I switched schools. At twelve, I got into a relationship with a girl at my new school. She pressured me into sex before my thirteenth birthday even though I insisted on waiting. She pushed me into doing a lot of things, actually. That... shitty arrangement dragged out for two years. Emotional manipulation, yay! At thirteen, an older girl sexually assaulted me in the name of bi experimentation- while we were both dating other people and I told her I wasn't okay with being her "try it." Woo! An older guy in high school, like four years older, regularly felt me up on the school bus on the way to and from school. But we were friends, right honey, so it's fine, right honey? That went on till he graduated. I self harmed extensively during that time, attempted suicide multiple times, and was incredibly restrictive in my eating. At fourteen, I started homeschooling. Then Crohn's disease came along and hit me hard. Like, four months of extreme internal bleeding, six weeks in a hospital, lost twenty pounds in a week, three days in the icu, five surgeries, eighteen months of an ostomy, missing a good two feet of my intestines hard. That whole thing was rough. Maybe the worst was not sleeping for four days because when I wasn't consciously breathing, I wouldn't breathe enough at all, an my pulse ox would go off like crazy. Or maybe the icu, I was supposed to be in an induced coma, but they woke me up with my stomach still cut open, and I was intubated so I couldn't tell anyone that I could still feel things. Whoooooo! So, uh,,, yeah. Sorry to vent and I'm even more sorry that this is the condensed version, if I went over every little detail I could probably fill a few books with it. It, uh, kinda sucks to deal with? Some days are really good and some days I can't move. I still have flashbacks and nightmares and paranoia and all that fun stuff. It's tough to get close to people who haven't been through similar things, because while I can act really chill and normal for strangers, I can't do it all the time. People aren't really understanding about why I freeze up at loud noise, or why I prefer lowkey hangouts, or how my health doesn't allow for me to be active all the times, or how I get nonverbal when I'm scared. Now I'm seventeen and just doing what I can. Medically, I'm kinda fucked- fibromyalgia, juvenile arthritis, the worst Crohn's in the region, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, nerve damage, and headaches nobody can quite explain. But I'm keeping an alright hold on it! I'm done with high school, getting ready for college. I'm holding down four jobs and working through my cPTSD, bipolar depression, anxiety, ED, and everything else. I'm making real friends who actually treat me well! I'm making a life doing things I love! Again, sorry to vent, I'm trying to be less shy about myself and I had a sudden burst of _fuck it_ so hey!!!

  • Mariane Barton

    I like you trying to avoid looking at the world from monochrome perspective of good and bad. Let me add some colours to that. As a person with the background of living in ex-USSR world for few decades (and especially in Russia) and few years in [let’s call it real global modern-world], I don’t want to argue over baddies or goodies… as everyone knows, it may take lots of time and nerves, and may be completely useless, leading the post to be just locked. I just want to mention one very simple fact, and leave everyone reading my comment to mediate over that. Here it is: From the very start of the USSR there was a huge extinction of the intelligence. For almost a century. *** Just imagine what that could do to a society. Let’s dive deeper over the fact and the disasterous effects of that cruel action, if you please. It all started with the idea that all people are equal, and people don’t need such a thing like money. That was an idea of communism as an opposition to capitalism, if saying very basically. In words it was a good idea (maybe, I myself don’t believe in that), but in real world that experiment didn’t worked out well, at least in the countries of the ex-USSR world (I know about China, which still has communism there. I am not competent enough to talk over them, but when I was in Hong Kong and was talking to locals I’ve been told there is a waaay better in Hong Kong then in China). Let’s dive deeper and talk about two concepts: money and equality of people. **Money** Money, as a concept is “numbers for which you may buy yourself anything”. But in USSR that was completely fucked up for generations. I see mostly two types of people here in the ex-USSR world: 1. Those who are poor and think only about money, because they don’t have the money. That is difficult, as the number of jobs is very limited and the society is still trying to understand what capitalism is. 2. Those who are rich and think only about money. Because they never had money before and cannot understand that having a gazillion number of money won’t help them to live longer (in most cases, on a global scale), won’t make their kids safer (in most cases, on a global scale) and won’t make their life better (in most cases, on a global scale). It is almost impossible to met a person who don’t care about money that much. Sure, you can find a different person, but that is what I saw mostly. **Equality** I hope someday the world will come to a simple concept: every person is unique, not equal. Maybe everyone needs equal rights, I guess that is a good idea, but that is a long talk and I'm not going there now. But as a proof of an equality here — in post-USSR world — it’s almost impossible to find people who think about those with disabilities (unless they or their relatives are), almost impossible to find people who are really cared about older generations, find people who really cared about nature around them, not even talking about the world as a general. I didn’t mention their own kids, because I do believe that is a talk impossible to discuss in a comment, but… Just what I saw is people who punish their kids for being out of the masses. People who punish their kids for wasting a very little money away, people who punish their kids and abuse them for a great number of reasons. Just a simple note for those who are gay or have a gay friend: while it's officially accepted in the U.S. it's officially blamed in Russia. They argument they don’t want their kids to become gay (they really believe that is a thing a person may take from the people around). There are huge number of examples of what is happening in ex-USSR world right now (I would even say "right fucking now" and let me explain why a little bit later), which are worth a book, not a comment. But let’s go back to the concept of killing all the intelligence. Imagine a world where being intelligent is a weakness, not a power. That was made by those who started the USSR a century ago and that is still a reality in this part of the world today. I know, the world is similar everywhere and the facts I wrote may be found anywhere, and in the U.S. as well. But here is one more thing again: the system. It works for smart people in the U.S. more or so. If you work hard, if you educate yourself you have all the chances to become anyone you want. You have those abilities. But that doesn’t work in ex-USSR, again. You have to befriend with “right” people, you have to do the "right" things and so on. I am not saying “it's easy there and it's too difficult here”. Not. Just the systems, they are very different. It's way easier to live in the U.S. if you're educated and skilled enough. *** The language. Another topic which isn’t worth a comment about, but rather a book, but just a very simple note: Russian language is very difficult, so it comes to the situation where masses don’t speak that Russian, they invented another one, much simpler, which consists mostly of the negative (so-called “bad”) words. It’s very common thing in Russia, just ask anyone from there. *** One more argument: how many people you know who emigrated from Russia (and any other ex-USSR world also) to anywhere, especially to the U.S. And how many people do you know who emigrated from the U.S. (actually anywhere) to Russia? Even Edward Snowden, who was forced to move there isn’t happy about living in Moscow, ask him. Secondly. Look what all the countries did for the world and what Russia did. Seriously, what do you use is made in Russia? Except gas and oil, which isn’t their labour, but just geographical position. (Let’s not joke here about women, please.) *** Originally I am the one from the part of the world which is called Russia and the more I know about the world the more I understand what is happening anywhere, but Russia. My opinion, I afraid, original commenter is completely right and looks like the U.S. more good guys than those in Russia. If you are looking from a perspective of intelligence, not those who bullying them with “force”. *** *My world view is formed by many good books of a great people, of my observations from a number of travels and surely is just my humble opinion. If anyone interested in the theme I mentioned, I highly recommend to read [the book of Ayn Rand which is named “We the living”](We the Living That is the world she tried to describe (semi-autobiographically) from a perspective of the ones who are outside of the system.*

  • Yessenia Douglas

    (throwaway because of reasons) tl;dr: Being bullied over the course of my high school years has completely fucked me up, put me in a spiral where I would make things worse and worse, and has left me with depression, occasional panic attacks, and an inability to properly "connect" to other people over a longer period of time. In the small rural town I grew up in, I was one of the smart kids - and quite full of myself because of it. A little self-absorbed know-it-all who "quickly gets bored with things he's not interested in" as one of my elementary school teachers put it. I didn't connect to other kids very well even back then, but I didn't really care, I preferred playing with my Legos at home anyway. Things took a turn for the worse when my family moved to a bigger city when I started high-school. I actually met people I wanted to be around, shared hobbies and interests with, people I wanted to be "friends" with. I was "tolerated" by a couple of kids from my neighborhood, but I never really felt "accepted" or even "wanted". I was just the sweaty, fat kid that they allowed to tag along, to trade computer games with, etc. I was often the butt of jokes, and of course I took that with a smile, because that's what friends do, right? Trying to be really one of them, I would try to one-up them, making ruder jokes (that were somewhere between just plain weird and offensive), making up stories to seem interesting - which would of course be called out. It was quite the train-wreck. I grew quite disillusioned and cynical about that whole friendship thing, and found my joy in books, games, and other forms of escapism, just as I had done as a child. But the damage was already done, my (admittedly stupid) behavior had already painted a target on my back, and high-school kids love themselves an easy target. Aside from "accidentally" bumping into me in PE, etc. it was never "physical" bullying, I was never beat up or something, but it was constant psychological bullying. They let me know I wasn't one of them, I was just some wannabe. Make fun of me when I do, read or listen to something that's not cool, because then I was a weirdo. Also make fun of me when I do, read, listen to something that is "in", because then I was just a pathetic try-hard faker. Stuff would go missing from my backpack and magically reappear in the trash bin. They even went out of their way to ruin the books I read during the breaks for me - those assholes casually spoiled the Red Wedding (you know, the "Game of Thrones" one) back when the book came out. And then of course there was the "running gag" of "the smell". As I said before I was one of the sweaty fat kids, and I grew quite conscious about having clean cloths, deodorant, etc. (on hot days I would pack an extra shirt to change, etc.). But it didn't matter if I was wearing the freshest cloths and came straight out of the shower, "uh, do you notice that smell guys?" was the go-to insult the "core" group of the bullies had. It just wouldn't stop. You try not to react, but then back at home you spend your allowance on all kinds of anti-sweat stuff (which back then wasn't really good for your skin) in the hopes it would finally shut those guys up. These screwed up high-school years have left a big mark. I mainly stick to myself, I feel uneasy around people and have a hard time making friends. And even if I do make friends, I have a very hard time keeping this friendship alive, because I have this constant feeling of not being wanted/accepted but merely being tolerated. Burned by my childhood/teen mistakes I absolutely suck at making jokes (always fearing to offend somebody), or telling stories (I tend to stuff them full of unneeded details to make sure it feels "real" and I won't be called a lying try-hard again). It's almost like saying "Ok, so I made a friend. Let's better not have too much contact with him/her, you will just screw everything up again. Just file them under "friend" and leave it at that." Also this whole fucking "you smell, dude" thing has burrowed so deep into my head, that I regularly use way to much washing soap for my cloths (not good for the cloths, not good for your skin), use too much deodorant, etc. Luckily it has never gone so far like with those people that wash themselves until they bleed, but it still isn't really good. I trust my own judgment so little that, when there is an important occasion, instead of properly cleaning my cloths, (if I have the money) I would buy new ones and wear them fresh out of the package on that day to make absolutely sure they are clean and don't smell. Being an outcast I have missed a lot of things "normal" teenagers would have experienced. My "social skills", which started already pretty bad, never really had a good chance to improve all that much. I miss a lot of subtle social queue. I absolutely suck at (and actually despise) small talk. I have few things to tell that are interesting to most people. I avoid social situations that could benefit me out of reflexive fear of being the butt of the joke again. I have always been a bit more "chubby" than other kids my age, but eating has become one thing I do that gives me short-lived satisfaction (followed by long-lived self-loathing and health problems). Last, but certainly not least, this whole mess has not made me a more caring, empathetic person. Oh, I probably can spot bullying better than most people, and I probably can relate to the victims a lot better, too, but that doesn't make me a particularly caring or peaceful person. I'm a cynic, a bitter person who tends to expect bad things from other persons unless they have proven to be decent human beings. I love taking stupid peoples' "arguments" apart in online discussions, because it's one of the few things I'm really good at and it gives me some little satisfaction and feeling of being on top for once. I don't like that behavior of mine, but at least I'm actively engaging in something. I have spent so much time telling myself "just don't care about it. It doesn't matter" that I have grown quite apathetic towards a lot of things (ironically of course not towards the things I was bullied with). So, has being bullied had a negative effect on me as a adult? Let's say it didn't particularly help....

  • Chet Miller

    >If not Oh. Are we doing this now? I'm gonna need a drink. Hokay. I'm really not a Christmas person. I like the lights, and I like the music, and I like the cold? Being home is interesting. It's nice in some ways? I spent pretty much my whole life in this town, so I have a lot of hometown pride/attachment, but for some reason, being back here for Christmas usually reminds me of a lot of the things I was running from when I moved to the city. __________________________________________________________________ My sister got surgery the day I got back, and everything was fine and the recovery process was going smoothly. She needs a lot of help from my parents, so I actually kind of spent a lot of the past two days kind of doing my own thing. We get along really well now, but for some reason it's just digging up these feelings that I didn't even remember I had, when I was a kid and she was born, and... I don't think my parents really knew back then about how to balance attention between two kids. Just usual older sibling stuff, I guess. Nobody did anything wrong, I just used to feel... less significant? Neglected? Neglected might be a strong word, but I think I used to feel that way, and I'm an adult now and I'm fine on my own and it totally makes sense given she's recovering from surgery, but it's just a bit weird to be thinking about those feelings. I've been talking to a professional about the how I act and what my sense of self worth has to do with it, and I was asked to think about things from my early life that might affect how I feel about myself, and this is something that I... guess I forgot about. I remember my parents told me that they started to figure it out, and they kind of compensated by just... buying me stuff? Which is like, not inherently a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. Sometimes it kind of pushed me further into being by myself. Books. Lots and lots of books. The way they explain it to me is that I taught myself how to read when my sister was born, which is kind of a cool story, but I guess a bit sad when I think about it. Lots of board games. Which is weird, because... I didn't know, growing up, that there are 1-player board games. So there was a lot of sitting around and playing board games with myself and pretending that I had people to play with. Videogames started happening not too long after that, and those did wonders for my introversion. So it's just. Weird. Kind of having those feelings, I guess? Of loneliness? Which doesn't even make sense, because at the end of the day I still had two parents who cared about me a lot. I guess it was just in... more material ways, and small child Avalon didn't really know what to do with that as much. ____________________________________________ Along with that early life self worth discussion came a lot of... growing up at the bottom of the food chain. Some bullying. I'm big now, so I'm a lot harder to bully. Every time I come home, I wonder what would happen if I ran into my childhood tormentors. I'd be able to take them! I'm six feet tall now, and in the past year I went from running a marathon to benching my body weight, and I have a well-paying, enjoyable job in a big city far away from Bumblefuck, Pennsyvlania, where a lot of those kids are still stuck. The high school football and soccer glory days are over for them, and I'm physically stronger than I've ever been, and... ...and it doesn't really matter anymore. We're adults now, and adults don't solve their problems by shoving each other around or tossing each other's books on the ground. And being back here, like I am now, it bothers me a little bit, I guess. Feeling like I became this way too late for to be able to save my past self \^\^; And it bothers me a bit that... that stuff still kind of affects me. Not so much the getting pushed around so much as... I haven't forgiven those people, and don't see myself really ever doing so. So it's kind of just... a cloud that hovers over me when I come back here. ____________________________________________ I went to church today. My old church actually actually shares a building with another church that actually owns the property, so their Christmas service was on Christmas Day this year, which was today. I used to be really active, but a few years after leaving for college, I stopped going for a lot of reasons. I don't think I believe in the same things that I used to. Or. Rather. I guess I figured out that I was believing in the right things for the wrong reasons. So there's that issue. And then there are just... a few people I really dread seeing. Not because we don't get along, it's just... the same thing as a lot of "home" things for me. Not really really terrible or anything, they just bring up old thoughts that I don't like. My second relationship was with a girl at church. Things got hard for both of us. I was getting kicked out of school and her dad was getting laid off. It was too much for her to handle all at once, so she wanted to break up. Coincidentally, she'd been spending a lot of time around my best friend at the time, who was basically like a cooler, more aloof, less awkward, better dressed and groomed version of me. So it didn't take a whole lot of deductive reasoning, even for a pretty socially challenged kid Avalon to figure out that she basically ditched me for the better model. Which. I mean. The leaving is fine. We were both going through a lot and she wasn't obligated to deal with that if she didn't want to. The going out with him was... okay. I mean. Again, not really something that I have any say in at that point, even if it was... a lot to have to handle watching. And, I mean, he was the cool one. So I can't really fault her for going after him. I think I rationalized it by telling myself that I wanted her to be happy, but at the end of the day, I guess I wasn't really happy about the situation.

  • Toy VonRueden

    >All children believe their toys can speak to them. I just never grew out of it. > >I was engaged to a man in the city when I was young. It ended in tears, and when I moved back home, I knew I wasn’t meant for that kind of life. So with a small loan from my father, I turned an abandoned storefront on Birch Street into a toy hospital. > >It was never a very lucrative job, but I enjoyed my work. I made enough to furnish the little apartment above the shop and keep myself with a large enough supply of books. The kids in town knew me as “the toy doctor” and always brought treats to the shop when I finished a repair. > >I was good at the work, good at sewing and oiling small gears. I could send a toy back looking brand new. > >I would whisper to them as I fixed them, and they told me their secrets right back. The usual, a teddy bear would come in with half his stuffing missing and an explanation of “we were just having too much fun”. A doll with roller skates annoyed at being stuck inside. > >Sometimes they were sadder. Some kids just didn’t like their toys. Unwanted ones would get thrown down the stairs, brought in by unaware parents. Others spoke of painful sibling rivalry, bullying, or emotional battering by parents. I would try to whisper back support, and advice, to give the owner some strength when their friend was returned to them. > >The first one to make my heart stop was a Raggedy Ann that belonged to a local banker’s six year old daughter. She came in with half of her hair pulled out. I went to fetch the yarn and the needles (Raggedy Anns thankfully use a very common and inexpensive yarn hair). > >When I was threading the needle, I heard her whisper, “Daddy comes into her room at night. It makes her hurt and cry. Mom won’t listen”. > >Face frozen, “That’s terrible” is all that would come out of my mouth. > >“She wants it to stop but doesn’t know how”. > >I steel myself, making the first stitch to her head. > >“Can you ask her to leave you on the stairs one night?” > >She’s quiet for a moment. > >“We’ll get in trouble”. > >“Would having him gone be worth it?” > >She doesn’t respond, so I finish sewing the yarn back on. > >Sally is delighted when she comes to get her, and I notice that she won’t look her father in the eye. > >I found the newspaper article a week later. Found dead in his home, ruled an accident. A fall down the stairs. > >I clipped it, and kept it. Sally’s Raggedy Ann never turned up again, and my job returned to normal. > >Then today happened. > >Most of the time, the toys I fix are brought in by their owners. Children. I know most of the people in town, so billing isn’t a huge deal. My prices are fair. Only rarely does a parent bring in the toy. > >Mr. Markowitz was a science teacher at the local high school. He was a tall, thin man, with slightly too long hair and horn rimmed glasses. He came in clutching the doll in his hands. > >“It was Natalie’s favorite, Susan doesn’t play with it much, but I can’t bear the thought of throwing away something she loved so much. “ > >I nodded. Natalie Markowitz’s death had been a tragedy for the whole town. She had been the well loved town librarian for years. No one knew what had possessed her to drive into the path of oncoming traffic on the highway that night. The library had been closed since. > >I picked the doll up. I recognized her immediately. She was one of the original string-pull talking dolls, I must have fixed dozens of them my first few years working. The same blonde pigtails and neat white skirt and red sweater. They called her Babbling Betty. Treated as a family heirloom, a collectible. Susan Markowitz was nearly a teen, she was unlikely to actually play with her anymore, if ever. > >I pulled the string, only to hear a slow, crackly moan. Luckily, I still had nearly a dozen spares for this, from dolls that turned out to be damaged beyond repair, left in my office for parts. > >When I set aside my tools and pulled the string on the doll’s back, it let out the perky actress’s voice saying “Mama!” > >Then, in a lower, tired tone I would have expected out of a war veteran, Betty said “I can’t do this anymore”. > >“What can’t you do anymore?” I asked, putting away my tools in the drawer and reaching for the washcloth to wipe of the doll’s plastic skin. I expected something about hearing Susan and Mark grieving. I did not expect what I heard next. > >“I kept the shadows away from Natty for so many years. They would come out from the closet, and I would try with all my might, pull my own string and yell out into the night. It scared her sometimes, wake her up. She never saw the shadows scatter when I did it.” > >She sighs. Hearing a doll sigh is a strange thing. It sounded as though she could use a good drink. > >“Then she put me away, in the garage, where I couldn’t even knew if they were still coming for her. When Mark brought me out, they had already gotten to her.” > >Another long pause, as I wiped all the signs of age from her limbs. > >“I thought maybe they were gone. But they came out of the closet again last night. I was on the top shelf, above them. I pulled my string so hard I pulled it loose, and toppled off the shelf. That woke Susan, but when the shadows scattered, I heard one of them laugh when I lay there on the floor. I can’t do it anymore”. > >I never considered myself a very religious woman, but I did believe. I believed as hard as I could as I brought my tools back out and opened Betty back up. > >The small metal crucifix fit neatly into the spot between her voice box and the plastic square covering it that I screwed back into place. > >“When you go back, get onto her bedside. The closer you are, the easier it will be to protect her.” > >Betty looked at me with her solid, plastic dark brown eyes. > >“The shadows might find you”. > >I smiled softly. > >“I have an advantage. All the toys here, they all still tell me what they see at night.” > >Then I fixed her dress, and went to call Mr. Markowitz and tell him the job was done.

  • Darrel Johnston

    **Melbourne high school teacher says she would refuse to teach ‘lewd’ safe schools and respectful relationships program** REBEKAH CAVANAGH AND ANTHONY GALLOWAY, Herald Sun October 29, 2016 11:50pm Subscriber only A MELBOURNE high school teacher says she would refuse to teach “lewd” material in the Victorian government’s mandatory respectful relationships program to be introduced in all state schools next year. Moira Deeming, a teacher and mother-of-three, said she was shocked by the content and would rather be fired from her job than teach such “sleazy, unnecessary drivel” to her students. Ms Deeming, 33, said educating children as young as 12 about porn and getting them to have classroom discussions about masturbation and sex was not appropriate and would not help to stop gender-based violence and discrimination as the program intended. Under the program, children as young as prep are also being introduced to same-sex relationships through children’s books, including Tango Makes Three, a tale about two male penguins who adopt a baby penguin. The book has been banned in Singapore and after parent outrage was scrapped from some school libraries in the UK and the US. It also featured in the most complained about books in America over five consecutive years for “promoting a homosexual agenda”. “I feel that this program is bullying male students and stigmatising and stereotyping them — the absolute opposite to what it is supposed to do,” she told the Sunday Herald Sun. “It really does build up stereotypes. It doesn’t tear them down. “If I was asked to teach it, I couldn’t let it out of my mouth. I’d have to be fired.” Debate has raged about the content, particularly how students are taught about “male privilege” and that masculinity is associated with higher rates of violence against women, since the government made public the classroom resources of its Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program earlier this month. The $21.8 million program, a recommendation from the royal commission into family violence, also offers explicit videos to students entering secondary school giving sexual advice in an upbeat way, including that “you don’t have to have an ‘inney’ and an ‘outey’. You can have two inneys or two outeys” to have sex. Also in the teaching tools for prep students, teachers are recommended to get further information and activities from the learning resource All of Us from the controversial Safe Schools program, which is aimed at much older students in secondary school to teach and increase students’ understanding and awareness of gender diversity, sexual diversity and intersex topics. In this, one classroom activity suggests dividing the students in half and asking one side to imagine they are 16 and in a same-sex relationship; and the other half in a heterosexual relationship, before asking a series of questions, including would they feel comfortable telling their parents about their relationship. Ms Deeming, who is a member of the Liberal party, has joined concerned parents and politicians to call on the Andrews Government to review the age appropriateness of the program’s content. In the upper house this week, Democratic Labor Party MP Rachel Carling-Jenkins said the program focused on a “misguided feminist and gender ideology”, alienating and shaming boys by portraying masculinity as bad and women as always being victims. Metropolitan Region Upper House MP Inga Peulich told parliament it was a “light version” of Safe Schools that targeted younger children. Safe Schools is only mandatory in high school, while respectful relationships will be rolled out to all year levels from prep to Year 12. “Victorian parents are concerned about the age appropriateness of the content being presented,” Ms Peulich said. Opposition education spokesman Nick Wakeling called the program “radical” and said the biggest concern is that parents had not been consulted or given consent. “Parents want their kids to fundamentally learn how to read, write and count. Parents wouldn’t have expected content on transgender as part of a family violence program,” he said. But Education Minister James Merlino stood by the program in its entirety and called on those opposing it to “stop playing politics” so violence against women could be stopped. What kids will learn and when Preps ■ Challenging male and female labels by saying that girls can be firefighters and boys receptionists ■ Reading materials to reflect diverse families, including And Tango Makes Three about two gay penguins who adopt a baby penguin Years 1-2 ■ Games to teach that some kids have two mums or dads ■ Encourage children that whether male or female, you can play football, be a doctor or stay home to look after kids Years 3-4 ■ Understanding the difference between sex and gender ■ Looking at gender norms and stereotypes ■ Examining the effects of gender-based violence Years 5-6 ■ Gender identity and whether gender is “born or made” ■ Learning the difference between same-sex attracted, heterosexual and transgender ■ Taught about power and division between men and women, including unequal pay Years 7-8 ■ Class videos giving sexual advice, including when is the right time for sex ■ Dangers of porn and sexting Years 9-10 ■ Learning about gender, power, violence and respect Years 11-12 ■ Introduced to terms such as gender fluid, pansexual, cisgender and transsexual

  • Darby Mills

    >That's it. That's all the evidence for Tom acting bad or bulling other kids, one women's drunk words. I'm not saying he wasn't a sociopath, or that he doesn't becomes evil later on, but here, in this scene he is a 11 year old boy forced to grow up in a 1920s orphanage, where Mrs Cole is clearly against him. There are a few differences between the movie and the books in Dumbledore and Tom's actual interaction, namely the very start in which Tom is clearly terrified that Dumbledore is going to take him away and hurt him. I never called him a sociopath, I called him a bully. And yeah Mrs. Cole "is against him." He bullies the other kids. He steals their stuff and does strange, magical things. He hurts them because he can. And if you are seriously doubting Mrs. Cole's stories, note that Riddle uses the cave he brought Amy and Dennis to hide a horcrux, and he later says he can make animals do what he wants them to do which explains the rabbit. And Dumbledore is an accomplished leglimens and would be able to tell if she was lying to him. Did Riddle have a tough childhood? Yes, no one claimed otherwise. And in the books Riddle is not scared of Dumbledore, he is angry. I don't care about the movies. >Happy, loved kids don't react like that. Kids who are confident they are safe don't act like that. And Dumbledore doesn't exactly come across as sympathetic to Tom either: I mean even Harry feels he goes to far: Yes, his childhood sucked. Again, no one is arguing that. What is your point? Of course Dumbledore isn't going to be sympathetic to the kleptomaniac bully. He is going to give him a chance to make amends by returning the stolen goods. And he does show Tom trust in thsi scene, by letting him go off and figure out how to get to Diagon Alley and Platform 9 and 3/4 all on his own, as Tom clearly wants to do. Even Harry was surprised at this, but Dumbledore showed trust in Riddle there. >And after the whole 'return the stolen things' conversation Dumbledore basically threatens this 11 year little boy: O please. Saying "don't break the law" counts as a threat? He is a kid, who has clearly broken many rules. He needed that reminder. He even gives him an excuse for his behavior the sentence before the one you bolded. That is giving Riddle the benefit of the doubt. Yet you keep ignoring all the good things Dumbledore is doing and blowing up all the bad things (which aren't actually bad at all). >It's clear Dumbledore always suspected Tom in Hogwarts, even before the Chamber of Secerts opening, despite Tom being a model student, never acting out or bullying anyone that we know of at Hogwarts. Dumbledore claims he was the only one to see Tom for what he was. So why doesn't Dumbledore at least show some interest in giving Tom a chance? He does. He doesn't mention Tom's early bullying to anyone. He doesn't mention Tom stealing other kid's stuff to anyone. He gives Tom a chance to turn over a new leaf. Tom doesn't take it. That isn't on Dumbledore. Here's a quote: >"Didn't you tell them, sir, what he'd been like at the orphanage?" asked Harry. >"No, I did not. Though he had shown no hint of remorse, it was possible that he felt sorry for how he had behaved before and was resolved to turn over a fresh leaf. I chose to give him that chance." Dumbledore later goes on to remark that he "did not take it for granted that he was trustworthy" and Riddle's time at Hogwarts was "marked with a number of nasty incidents" to which he was never satisfactorily linked. Chief among them the Chamber of Secrets. >And going to Hogwarts is not Dumbledore's to give, he is still the Deputy Headmaster, and the money is from the School fund. Its strongly implied that all possible students go to Hogwarts. Going to Hogwarts with a clean slate *is* Dumbledore's to give. And he gives Tom that. >Dumbledore gives Tom no chances at all, he is prejudiced against him from the moment Mrs Cole tells him, while drunk, about two incidences, neither which there is evidence Tom did anything wrong. Again, Dumbledore gives Tom chances. And again, her being drunk means nothing since Dumbledore would be able to tell if there were falsehoods, and Riddle's actions and statements in their meeting were just as worrisome as Mrs. Cole's stories. >As for Tom's own confession, he is clearly trying to impress Dumbledore. He might very well have been exaggerating. Again, Dumbledore would be able to tell a child's boasts. >Sure, it turns out Dumbledore was right, that Tom is irredeemably evil, but think about it, he could have just as easily been wrong. And Dumbledore gives him that chance. That benefit of the doubt. >It could have easily been that Tom just needed someone to listen to him, to teach him right from wrong, to be concerned about his welfare. And there is no reason to say it had to be Dumbledore to do so, but you can't claim Dumbledore is all that is good and just and have him not even try. Voldemort was always described as extremely independent and secretive. He would not go to Dumbledore for help, nor would he accept any help offered. Dumbledore offered to go with him and show him the magical world and Riddle refused. There is absolutely nothing to indicate Dumbledore did not care about Riddle's welfare. And Dumbledore clearly tried.

  • Rosendo Balistreri

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  • Jovan Kozey

    Huh, I had a look in the books again and he does say 'annoy' there, but in the movies he says ['mean to me']( (at about 1:50). Dumbledore does something magical (it isn't really clear, possibly confounds) which makes Mrs Cole very drunk rather quickly, despite being, in Harry's words 'no novice when it came to gin drinking', after which she tells Dumbledore this: > "Billy Stubbs's rabbit. . . well, Tom said he didn't do it and I don't see how he could have done, but even so, it didn't hang itself from the rafters, did it?" > "I shouldn't think so, no," said Dumbledore quietly. > "But I'm jiggered if I know how he got up there to do it. All I know is he and Billy had argued the day before. And then" — Mrs. Cole took another swig of gin, slopping a little over her chin this time — "on the summer outing — we take them out, you know, once a year, to the countryside or to the seaside — well, Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop were never quite right afterwards, and all we ever got out of them was that they'd gone into a cave with Tom Riddle. He swore they'd just gone exploring, but something happened in there, I'm sure of it. And, well, there have been a lot of things, funny things. . . ." > She looked around at Dumbledore again, and though her cheeks were flushed, her gaze was steady. "I don't think many people will be sorry to see the back of him." That's it. That's all the evidence for Tom acting bad or bulling other kids, one women's drunk words. I'm not saying he wasn't a sociopath, or that he doesn't becomes evil later on, but here, in this scene he is a 11 year old boy forced to grow up in a 1920s orphanage, where Mrs Cole is clearly against him. There are a few differences between the movie and the books in Dumbledore and Tom's actual interaction, namely the very start in which Tom is clearly terrified that Dumbledore is going to take him away and hurt him. > "You can't kid me! The asylum, that's where you're from, isn't it? 'Professor,' yes, of course — well, I'm not going, see? That old cat's the one who should be in the asylum. I never did anything to little Amy Benson or Dennis Bishop, and you can ask them, they'll tell you!" > "I am not from the asylum," said Dumbledore patiently. "I am a teacher and, if you will sit down calmly, I shall tell you about Hogwarts. Of course, if you would rather not come to the school, nobody will force you —" > "I'd like to see them try," sneered Riddle. > "Hogwarts," Dumbledore went on, as though he had not heard Riddle's last words, "is a school for people with special abilities —" > "I'm not mad!" Happy, loved kids don't react like that. Kids who are confident they are safe don't act like that. And Dumbledore doesn't exactly come across as sympathetic to Tom either: I mean even Harry feels he goes to far: > The wardrobe burst into flames. > > Riddle jumped to his feet; Harry could hardly blame him for howling in shock and rage; all his worldly possessions must be in there. But even as Riddle rounded on Dumbledore, the flames vanished, leaving the wardrobe completely undamaged. And after the whole 'return the stolen things' conversation Dumbledore basically threatens this 11 year little boy: > "At Hogwarts," Dumbledore went on, "we teach you not only to use magic, but to control it. You have — inadvertently, I am sure — been using your powers in a way that is neither taught nor tolerated at our school. You are not the first, nor will you be the last, to allow your magic to run away with you. **But you should know that Hogwarts can expel students, and the Ministry of Magic — yes, there is a Ministry — will punish lawbreakers still more severely**. All new wizards must accept that, in entering our world, they abide by our laws." > "Yes, sir," said Riddle again. It's clear Dumbledore always suspected Tom in Hogwarts, even before the Chamber of Secerts opening, despite Tom being a model student, never acting out or bullying anyone that we know of at Hogwarts. Dumbledore claims he was the *only one to see Tom for what he was*. So why doesn't Dumbledore at least show some interest in giving Tom a chance? And going to Hogwarts is not Dumbledore's to give, he is still the Deputy Headmaster, and the money is from the School fund. Its strongly implied that all possible students go to Hogwarts. Dumbledore gives Tom no chances at all, he is prejudiced against him from the moment Mrs Cole tells him, while drunk, about two incidences, neither which there is evidence Tom did anything wrong. As for Tom's own confession, he is clearly trying to impress Dumbledore. He might very well have been exaggerating. Sure, it turns out Dumbledore was right, that Tom is irredeemably evil, but think about it, he could have just as easily been *wrong*. It could have easily been that Tom just needed someone to listen to him, to teach him right from wrong, to be concerned about his welfare. And there is no reason to say it had to be Dumbledore to do so, but you can't claim Dumbledore is all that is good and just and have him not even try.

  • Karelle Auer

    **comment content**: Thank you for sharing this story! This will probably be buried at this point but here it goes! I'm a first generation Asian-American from Vietnam, my family came over as part of the refugee crisis after the Vietnam war – we're known as "boat people." If you're unsure of what this refers to, please feel free to [read more here](! I don't forget that over 40 years ago Vietnamese people were also supposed to take [a "toll" on the American people]( and their way of life. Though, if you haven't been paying attention, it seems like everything is now fine and [everyone loves Pho]( Because of this, I stand with the fight against the ban of refugees from a part of the world that is undergoing tremendous hurt. This starts with my father – he played bass in a Beatles cover band in the 60's, loved himself some good history books, and dreamed of a life in Paris. When the war started, my grandfather was shot by the opposing side during his commute back into Saigon where my family lived at the time. Years earlier, my would-have been uncle was killed at the age of 3 while playing in the streets of the city by a bomb. All of this left my grandmother with no choice but to continue on, and widowed with 7 boys. As the war continued on, my father and 3 of his brothers (my uncles) were drafted for the southern Vietnamese army, fighting alongside American soldiers. I've only heard the story once, but my father was also drafted with his childhood best friend, a person he had always relied on and cared deeply about, especially in those days in the trenches after unwillingly being pulled from university. His best friend unfortunately died in his arms early on – and yes, he saw the whole thing happen and tried his hardest to revive him. My father became lieutenant of his unit and eventually was captured by the North in exchange for the freedom of his soldiers. I only heard about this 6 years ago, but turns out he spent half-a-year in a POW camp. He described the moments after his capture and being led through a field of tall grass for what seemed like hours, blindfolded with his hands behind his back and a gun to the back of his head. They led him off the path they were on and told him to get on his knees, he waited for the click for an additional eternity (which he recalls was likely only half an hour), but was led into a hut instead. From here, his mask was taken off and he was asked about the whereabouts of other units – he didn't comply, hence POW camp. He doesn't talk about his time at the camp, maybe he will one day but all I know is that he was hungry, scared, worried about his family, and tried to pass time by talking to others and hearing their stories. This was all before he was 23 years old. My mother, sister, aunts, and cousins waited – when the war was declared "lost" to the north, it was time to escape. Planes and helicopters were out of the question and 5 uncles packed their things, and their families, hoping for a new life in America. Thankfully, my 2 uncles and their families who stayed back are alive and well today. From here, my family made their way to boats, which would ship them off to a refugee camp on a neighboring island in Indonesia. Before they would arrive, they were warned of cannibals, and to give everything to these tribes or else small children and babies would be taken. Their boat was raided, everyone survived and everyone had also lost all possessions of value. After 6 months in refugee camp, my family began their journey to countries who opened their borders. One uncle would go to Belgium, one to Toronto, CA with his wife and kids, and my father, along with our family and 2 uncles would go to America. There were 10 of us – and a Jewish family from the outskirts of Boston volunteered to take us in. We lived in a basement of a home in the suburbs, finally in America. My oldest sister has fond memories of this, in comparison to the hunger, fear, and scarcity she had known previously. Being Asian-American has strongly influenced my personal beliefs and opinions. I have dealt with bullying, racism (both casual, some not so casual), and sexism. I have also felt love, care, and complete openness – something I try to share with others, even when we disagree. We all have identities, we all have differences, but what we have in common is stories like this somewhere in our genetic code. I wish I could extend the graciousness of America to those families in need and will always fight to do so. **subreddit**: blog **submission title**: An Open Letter to the Reddit Community **redditor**: iPvo **comment permalink**:

  • Oren Hand

    Your first sentence was spot-on. Your second is perpetuation of the problem. Punishments, especially harsh punishments, don't teach empathy, compassion, collaboration, or problem solving - they teach just the opposite. They teach kids to think selfishly (what are the consequences to *me*? What can *I* get out of this if I can get away with it?). They teach kids that might makes right, and that if you're having a problem, intentionally making another person miserable is an acceptable "solution" (I put this in quotes because punishment rarely, if ever, solves the underlying problems that were prompting a behavior). They encourage kids to lie and hide and avoid problems rather than acknowledging them and getting help. ^x Punishment is not a real answer. Especially in schools, the research tends to show *negative* effects for punishments; kids who fuck up tend to simply fuck up more because they're ostracized or made miserable rather than having their problems addressed; in the long term, unaddressed problems lead to more problems like lack of motivation and the creation of "problem kids" that, far from getting better, often carry that through into criminal activity in adulthood (i.e. The "school to prison pipeline"). So why do we punish? It's easy (actually solving problems isn't in the short term, though it saves a lot of trouble in the long term). It appeals to our sense of 'justice' (revenge / "he got what he deserved"). It's habit from times before we had evidence for better methods. So what works better for schools than punishment? Programs that teach kids empathy, collaboration and community involvement, social thinking, and problem solving. Giving *all* kids the support they need, and the tools to collaborate with and support one another. The results have been very compelling for these types of programs in the last couple decades, demonstrating huge decreases in violence, bullying, and acting out. These sorts of programs have been gaining popularity, but it's slow going in the face of "but we need to prove to Jonny and the other kids that this is unacceptable" (as if punishment were the only way to do that). This also takes some effort for the initial investment (even if the payoff is big), and the simplicity of punishment (or shrugging your shoulders and doing nothing) is very appealing to a lot of people. At the family level, you can do much the same. Teach your kid to consider other people, and to solve his issues positively and collaboratively rather than by using force to get his way. There are a number of positive parenting methods that are free of artificial consequences and arm-twisting if you just look for them. My personal favorite (though not the end-all be-all) is the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions model, which has [empirical research] demonstrating it's at least as effective as the best behaviorist^+ models, and it uses (and teaches) empathy, collaboration, and problem solving rather than punishment. It's the basis of the popular book [The Explosive Child]( (for "problem kids") and the newer general-parenting variant [Raising Human Beings]( There's also a great article about it [here]( though it focuses on its use in institutional (school/juvie) settings rather than at home. ^x Even if you *do* ascribe to a simple behaviorist (reinforcement/punishment) model of human behavior - I don't, not because these things don't have effects but because human thought and action is too complex to be boiled down so simply - psychological research shows that long-term or harsh punishments are counterproductive; short term, simple punishments work better, and positive reinforcement works best of all. "Grounded for months," like you advocate, is only going to make a kid resentful and more likely to look for ways to do things behind your back. If you're going to parent in a behaviorist manner, Google Alan Kazdin - he's a behavioral paychologist that is the head of Yale's parenting research center and former president of the American Psychological Association, and he has a number of behaviorist-focused parenting books that are backed by very solid research.

  • Derrick Kris

    Thank you for sharing this story! This will probably be buried at this point but here it goes! I'm a first generation Asian-American from Vietnam, my family came over as part of the refugee crisis after the Vietnam war – we're known as "boat people." If you're unsure of what this refers to, please feel free to [read more here](! I don't forget that over 40 years ago Vietnamese people were also supposed to take [a "toll" on the American people]( and their way of life. Though, if you haven't been paying attention, it seems like everything is now fine and [everyone loves Pho]( Because of this, I stand with the fight against the ban of refugees from a part of the world that is undergoing tremendous hurt. This starts with my father – he played bass in a Beatles cover band in the 60's, loved himself some good history books, and dreamed of a life in Paris. When the war started, my grandfather was shot by the opposing side during his commute back into Saigon where my family lived at the time. Years earlier, my would-have been uncle was killed at the age of 3 while playing in the streets of the city by a bomb. All of this left my grandmother with no choice but to continue on, and widowed with 7 boys. As the war continued on, my father and 3 of his brothers (my uncles) were drafted for the southern Vietnamese army, fighting alongside American soldiers. I've only heard the story once, but my father was also drafted with his childhood best friend, a person he had always relied on and cared deeply about, especially in those days in the trenches after unwillingly being pulled from university. His best friend unfortunately died in his arms early on – and yes, he saw the whole thing happen and tried his hardest to revive him. My father became lieutenant of his unit and eventually was captured by the North in exchange for the freedom of his soldiers. I only heard about this 6 years ago, but turns out he spent half-a-year in a POW camp. He described the moments after his capture and being led through a field of tall grass for what seemed like hours, blindfolded with his hands behind his back and a gun to the back of his head. They led him off the path they were on and told him to get on his knees, he waited for the click for an additional eternity (which he recalls was likely only half an hour), but was led into a hut instead. From here, his mask was taken off and he was asked about the whereabouts of other units – he didn't comply, hence POW camp. He doesn't talk about his time at the camp, maybe he will one day but all I know is that he was hungry, scared, worried about his family, and tried to pass time by talking to others and hearing their stories. This was all before he was 23 years old. My mother, sister, aunts, and cousins waited – when the war was declared "lost" to the north, it was time to escape. Planes and helicopters were out of the question and 5 uncles packed their things, and their families, hoping for a new life in America. Thankfully, my 2 uncles and their families who stayed back are alive and well today. From here, my family made their way to boats, which would ship them off to a refugee camp on a neighboring island in Indonesia. Before they would arrive, they were warned of cannibals, and to give everything to these tribes or else small children and babies would be taken. Their boat was raided, everyone survived and everyone had also lost all possessions of value. After 6 months in refugee camp, my family began their journey to countries who opened their borders. One uncle would go to Belgium, one to Toronto, CA with his wife and kids, and my father, along with our family and 2 uncles would go to America. There were 10 of us – and a Jewish family from the outskirts of Boston volunteered to take us in. We lived in a basement of a home in the suburbs, finally in America. My oldest sister has fond memories of this, in comparison to the hunger, fear, and scarcity she had known previously. Being Asian-American has strongly influenced my personal beliefs and opinions. I have dealt with bullying, racism (both casual, some not so casual), and sexism. I have also felt love, care, and complete openness – something I try to share with others, even when we disagree. We all have identities, we all have differences, but what we have in common is stories like this somewhere in our genetic code. I wish I could extend the graciousness of America to those families in need and will always fight to do so.

  • Jamaal Lehner

    I was homeschooled from the 6th grade (about 11) until I went to adult high school at 16 (only reason I even changed was because I needed an actual school to qualify for my learners permit to drive before 18). Pros: 1. I have to say I enjoyed the quiet. I've never been a very outgoing child. I had asthma growing up so active lifestyle was not my thing. I also had club feet when I was born so I couldn't run very well (thanks to Shriners I was and still am able to run and walk just not for long distances). Beyond that though I was always a studier. And I don't mean over a book. I watched. I watch the way a car started. I'd watch the way the wind would cause the grass one the field to move in a wave instead of all at once. I observed everything and it's how I learned. I hated staring at books and trying to understand concepts that way. It drove me crazy. But show me a video on how wind moving in a certain way can make a plane carry millions in the air everyday and I would get it. Or show me how dividing 12 buttons 4 ways makes everyone have 3 buttons. This always had the nasty side effect of me being quiet so I never really talked to people. So I was the weird big kid (chubby and tall) made me the target of bullying. Well the first time I fought back I hurt people. So mom n dad figured this was safer. 2. I always enjoyed working at my own pace. I would finish a year's worth of work in 6 months. Spend two months off and work 6 more months. This way I finished highschool by 16. But I had to take the GED to legaly acquired my drivers license and wait till 18 to walk at the local high school. ( Btw in NC you have to attend classes a certain number of hours to maintain your learner's permit... Unless you pass your GED then you don't even have to attend any classes. Just take the next tests when it is time. For those willing to take an afternoon the GED costs nothing and what's the worse that happens? They tell you what your weak in for next time.) 3. I learned way beyond the middle and high school curriculum. I was learning by doing. Me n dad would spend every Friday finding something new to learn. One day we were fish handlers on a fishing boat. Carpenters for a local handyman. Dishwasher for one of his friends. Truck driver one week. Went to Arkansas and back. Learning through these life experiences helped me learn from the top to the bottoms everyone works. And gave me the ability to walk onto alot of jobs and be able to make a living. 4. NO DRAMA!!! let me yell that again. I SAID NO MOTHER FUCKING DRAMA. No guys wanting to beat you for slighting their girl, no chicks spreading rumors, no gossip, no crap. Oh I can't say how much I am glad I didn't deal with this crap. Because I would have hurt someone. CONS 1. socialization dead zone... No chicks, no friends, no clicks, no sports, no gym, no music, no anything involving more than one... Don't get me wrong some of these I woulden't have wanted to do. But I loved music. I played the clarinet and had lead chair in the Christmas show the year before I left formal schooling. I still have it but it sits dusty in a closet. 2. No big highschool firsts or event. I didn't kiss a girl until I was 17. Seriously. Quit fucking laughing. It's not funny that shit is embarrassing. Still haven't slept with anyone but my standards seem to be a little higher than what others have... No that don't mean I'm waiting for marriage it just means I want someone who knows me not some chick I dated twice the banged. Anyway... No prom, bit football games, sporting events, gatherings, parties. Kind of ties to the social life but this is big to me and bogus as well. I don't see why homeschool kids can't pay and go to a local prom. It's shit. But it is the price we pay to not deal with drama. 3. Friendship. I can't Stress how much of a con this is. If you had a friend in school hang onto that shit with both hands for dear life. I got lucky my best friend followed me to homeschool. My mom usually taught use both unless dad was taking me on a learning trip. The he would have his own assignments to catch up on because he never liked to work as hard as I did. But anyone else fell to the wayside. I even had a girl I kind of liked but after I left school that died a tragic death. So those are my pros and cons of homeschooling. Would I go again... I don't know. I mean school is not like what it was back then. Today beyond a doubt I would homeschool any kids of mine. But back then I missed out on alot of things I wish I had the chance to do. Hell maybe if I didn't leave school I woulden't be a virgin at almost 30. Idk. What I do know is that I woulden't be living the life I am now if I went to regular school. I run a business now. Doing the things my father taught me multiple times over. I'm not millionaire. Nor am I poor. I'm a man who goes to work and comes home every day. I enjoy some of the nice things in life. But I still observe. And still make connections through observation.

  • Mallory Cole

    No, i will never change a thing. If anything, i will worsen it, because this country deserves it. /s Actually, first thing first, we have to train the teachers on how to actually do their job a.k.a. TEACH. There is a reason why Finland keeps on holding "The Best Education System in the World". The teachers there, they have to get a masters degree, and of all the masters students, only 10% of them can become a teacher.. Means the one who can become a teacher is really really know what are they going to share with world. A teacher have to really know what the students need to LEARN, not what the students need to know. I hate it when teachers consider "alright students, this subtopic will enter this upcoming exam" as "teaching". I have met one SUPER teacher in my smk, and I will never forget how he teach. His name is Sayoti and he taught me Bahasa Malaysia for SPM. Everytime he teach, he never use any book, he came in class just with a marker pen. For grammar, he just teach what the students need to learn from a that day's topic (verbs, nouns and stuffs), and then he will ask the questions to each one of us, if one fail to answer the question, he will simply teach that person again and a ask a different question. For essay, on day 1 one of his class, he taught us on how to actually write an essay (the intro, the content, and the closure). After that day, he will give a topic, and he will only ask for the intro, ONE content (perenggan), and the closure.. The reason he asked for one content is he wants to know how we think, elaborate the idea, and how we deliver in writing. Then he will mark it thoroughly and tell us what's wrong (because people learns best thru mistakes). Lastly, the way he teach Komsas (Literature), for this one he just said "Kementerian nak pelajar-pelajar semua baca buku komsas, jadi saya kena laksanakan tugas saya", we respect that and we read it. The next week, after he confirms that everyone has read it, he said to the class on why he don't like his students to read the lit books, because he don't want the authors or poets (if they are still living) knowing that their readers did not read their works to enjoy it, but because Kementerian asked them to. His love for Bahasa Malaysia, i can tell. A teacher too has to really passionate on what are they teaching so that they enjoy what they do . Next, the PARENTS, parents cannot let the teachers do the role on improving the student! Come on! Teachers have to take care 3 classes of 30+ students, parents have to take care about 3 to 4 humans. Lots of the parents think, "I send my kids to school, when they came back, they will be better. If anything I can blame the teachers". How about a big fat juicy NO? But to explain this, I have to write a book on parenting. Then, the Students, there is a reason why students all around the world still cheats in exams, why students did not know what they like, why students did not know which university they are supposed to go, why are they not questioning things if university/college is necessary for them or what are they supposed to do in their life after SPM or graduate from Diploma. Most of the students do what they do because they see all other students do it, not because they want to do it. I know the answers, but to write here, it will be a book. Then, the Racial problem. I came from Victoria Institution, KL. One thing I can tell you, that school never had any racial cases. I think you will never hear one about it, unless you send your son into that school and make one. We used sentences such as "melayu belacan", "cina makan babi", or "roti canai aku mana, ane?" but not as racial statement, but as a joke, because if you observe carefully, it is what each race do.. Malays do eat belacan, chinese do eat pork, and most of indians have their own curry shop, we saw these and we accept ourselves. I am sorry if this one offended you in some way but I can tell you one thing about the victorians, we were united as hell until these kind of sentences are considered as jokes (of course until we can see it is not a joke anymore). Last but not least, the Bullying. This happened in all schools, Victoria included. For this victims, teachers and parents never taught them the informal things such as how to deal with things, how to talk our way out of some situations, or how to defend ourselves physically. For the bullies, their parents should have taught them on how to find a good friend (to prevent them from doing unpleasant things), and on when to use heavy force like an animal instead of talking like a normal human being. Most of the students learn how to find a good friend when they are form 4 or form 5 because of the drama between their friends. I dont want to only complaint and spouting bad stuff about our education system, I want to improve it so bad. I want to improve it so bad that I think I should make my own nation.

  • Cordie Lehner

    A lot of what you said really resonated with me. I started thinking about a month ago, that I think my problem with spending, particularly on makeup, stems from a few factors very similar to yours. I know the factors currently in play are my mom's life and how that effected my upbringing, poor self-esteem, depression, and bargain hunting. My mom was dirt poor. The youngest of 11 kids. There wasn't always a lot to eat; she didn't have nice things, and she didn't really have a lot of things period. While I was growing up, we weren't dirt poor, but we weren't particularly well off either. If the store was having a sale on chicken, we stocked up and ate chicken for a while. It was a mother-daughter activity to sit down and clip coupons from the Sunday paper. We had a pantry fully stocked with canned goods (all with their labels turned just so), and we always had stores of pasta and rice. My mom was borderline obsessive about that pantry. All of my clothes came from Goodwill or garage sales. Because of that, I think that's where the first nail of "snooze, you lose" comes into play. The deals at Goodwill and garage sales were sometimes too good to pass up (I had some God-awful looking clothes, but they were cheap, and they fit), and if you didn't snag it when you saw it then too bad for you. This didn't just apply to clothes. There were mirrors and furniture sets, books and movies, kitchen ware and power tools. My mom accumulated stuff and still does; my parents now have one of those metal shipping containers on their property for storage. I grew up on a ranch outside a very small town. We ran it for whoever happened to own it at the time. First it was cows and oil, then it was exotic game. I loved my parents, and I loved our life...until I went home during summer break while I was in college. I would go up to help my mom clean up after the hunters and seethe. I felt like we were treated as lesser than these people with more money, and I probably rubbed elbows with these peoples' kids in psychology class. Growing up on a ranch, being "girly" just seemed impractical to begin with. I think what might have eventually happened is that I was bullied so much (I was called fat, ugly and stupid from first grade) that I rebelled against what I saw doing the bullying: pretty girls with nice clothes and flawless makeup. I wore boys' clothes; I only ever wore a ponytail, and I did my best not to stand out. It wasn't until one Christmas when my sisters-in-law decided to make me their 'project.' They took me to Kohls and got me a couple of cute outfits, and then took me to Ulta to get my hair done. While we were in Ulta, they even got me a couple of makeup items and had one of the employees show me how to apply everything. I went back to school that fall, and my husband (then friend) told me that he just couldn't believe the transformation. And that felt really, really good. I started paying more attention to how my clothes fit, and I got better about skincare and wearing makeup occasionally. Then I hit this massive depressive episode. I didn't have any money; I hated my job; I still wasn't dealing with a massively traumatic event that happened my junior year of highschool, so I did what I've always done when I get down: I bought things. I can tell you what exactly set me off with makeup: Cherry Dollface. I cannot for the life of me remember why I was looking for pinup looks on YouTube, but I found her. If she used a product in her videos, then I had to have it. She talked about the Too Face Boudoir Eyes being one of the best eye shadow palettes, so I bought it. It was my first high-end purchase. The first time I'd even been in a Sephora. Things fell apart after that. I've been Rouge for two and a half years. I need to get to a point where I don't justify buying new things with the thought that I deserve it because I've had a difficult time lately, or it's on sale, or it's limited edition. Funny enough, I also constantly rearrange my makeup. I used to do it with my books and computer files, too. Constantly trying to find a better way to organize the things I accumulated. I'm not sure about whether I thought the rest of my life would fix itself if I just figured it out, but I can for sure say that cleaning is my way of feeling in control. I've been doing a lot of rearranging lately because I feel like I don't have control over my life and how quickly things are moving. That's also probably why I made Rouge again this year, and I also bought a lot of cross-stitching supplies from my local needlework shop. I think maybe I've rambled on long enough. It is interesting how similar a lot of our situations are.

  • Lupe Thiel

    I went through this exact thing! My mother wouldn't let me shave my legs even when I entered middle school and had to wear short gym shorts for P.E. class. The kids were awful to me about it. It caused me a lot of anxiety, low self-esteem... I begged her to let me just shave them so I didn't have to endure even more bullying than I already was (I was bullied severely from grade 6 to grade 8). She refused to let me... One day, I'd had enough of being tormented by the kids in my gym class and having them call me disgusting, that I went home and shaved my legs. My mother, knowing full-well that I was being bullied at school for not shaving and that I wanted to do so to prevent further teasing, would actually hold nightly "leg checks" to make sure I didn't disobey her and shave. She'd make me pull down my pajama pants before bed, and show her my legs to prove I hadn't shaved. Well, the night I shaved, she came to my room for "leg-check" time. I pulled my pajama pants down and there were my smooth, freshly shaven legs. She slapped me across my face so hard... but it was worth it. She tried to prevent me from continuing with shaving them from then on, but I just kept shaving them in the shower. It was worth every single slap across the face I got every time I shaved! Oh, and OP, I want you to know that I went through what you went through with the clothes. My parents controlled everything I wore-- right down the the color. If I wore a color my Ndad didn't like, he'd make me go back upstairs before school and change it, and if I argued or refused, I'd be punished physically... All of the clothing they bought me was from re-sale shops and was outdated by about a decade, and usually stained or torn. I was the scapegoat of my family, and so I was the only child in my household who was forced to dress like that. Every school year, my parents would budget how much money each of us (me and my two younger sisters) were allowed to spend on school clothes. My sisters were given enough money to buy name-brand clothes and shoes-- their shoes alone sometimes cost $100 to $200 dollars from FootLocker or other high-end retailers. They were taken to the mall to shop at Abercrombie & Fitch, The Buckle, The Gap. But I was only allowed about $15 in total. That was for clothing *and* shoes. So I had to go to re-sale shops or the clearance rack at convenience stores. All school year, I'd have about two or three shirts, and one pair of jeans, all outdated and very worn... as you can imagine, the kids tore me apart for that. They also controlled my hair, and used haircuts as punishment. When I was in middle school (mid-to-late-90's), the most common way for girls to wear their hair was just long and straight, often in a ponytail. Just very simple styles. My parents would force me to get these very stylized, short haircuts that required complicated styling routines and lots of product to keep. I wasn't allowed to look like the other girls. If I could go a certain amount of time without pissing my parents off (which is no easy feat living with Nparents), they'd let me start to grow it out... but as soon as I did something they deemed worthy of punishment, they'd haul me to the hair-stylist as I cried and begged, and demand that I be given a very outdated, complicated hair-cut, and they would force me to get up an hour or more earlier in the morning just to style it to their liking. They knew the kids at school were tearing me apart because of my clothing and hair, but they didn't give one damn. It was about control. My Ndad literally told me several times that I was "his property" and that I "wasn't really even a person, and that making your own choices was for human beings, and you're not a human being-- you're an idiot and you're stupid, you're not smart enough to make your own decisions, and that's why I get to own you." I was once physically punished by both of my parents for putting my hair in a ponytail. I was going to go to a basketball game with my friends at school. My parents chased me down the hallway and into the bathroom, pushed me to the floor, my dad held me down, while my mom ripped the hair-tie out of my hair. I was then kicked in the ribs and slapped in the face. They told me that if I ever tried to leave the house with my hair in a ponytail again, I'd get even worse next time, and that no daughter of theirs was going to go out with her hair looking like that... I've been there. The control didn't stop there. It extended to the way my bedroom was decorated, to the books I read, the tv shows I watched, how often and how wide I smiled, even... it was awful. I'm sorry you had to go through all of that, because I know how it feels to have absolutely no say in the simplest decisions concerning your life.

  • Jerry Leffler

    Yes. I was very shy, kind, naive, and knowledgeable for my age. Experienced some slight bullying. Was considered a prodigy by my teachers and family and was the clearly the favorite child. My time was spent with books, animals, computers and games and even then I enjoyed solitary activities a lot. I started school early because I hated certain aspects of kindergarten and demonstrated that I was ready by getting an extremely high score on general knowledge exam that kids usually took at the end of 1st grade, not before they began it. As an impression from a friend, one of my closest friends recalls that one of the things that made an impression on him that during art class(we're talking 1-2nd grade at most) when we were tasked with drawing whatever we wanted, I'd always drawn very odd things like flying saucers and weird alien creatures. That along with my reputation of "the very smart kid" alienated a lot of people. We didn't become friends until much later. That was phase 1, and until it concluded I was the most kind-hearted, naive and peace-loving person you could find. Then at around 6th grade, some people thought that I was an easy target for bullying and decided to focus on picking on me(keep in mind I was a year younger than everyone else and wasn't tall or particularly strong for my age). I withstood a few months of that, before concluding that those idiots could not be reasoned with and in order to be left alone, I would have to communicate in a language that they spoke - violence. So for a few more months, I focused on training and researching how to fight effectively. During that time I also read a book which profoundly influenced me and how I chose to go about getting justice for myself. The change in my personality during those ~6 months was drastic. I became much more serious, much more jaded and much more aware of my surroundings and human behavior in general. I had decided that I would not be a victim of my environment, and would instead shape my environment to my liking. When I figured I was ready, I waited for a good opportunity. I knew that even for an experienced fighter, fighting against multiple people at the same time was very dangerous. So I bided my time and waited for a good opportunity to strike(since like most bullies, they were a cowardly bunch and would only annoy me when together). But when that opportunity came, nobody saw it coming. Not only did I fight back viciously, I knew how to hit and where to hit in order to to the most damage and make sure they understood that should they continue, there would be severe consequences. In school they were together, outside of it, not so much. So I stalked them individually, waited for them when they didn't expect me, and then confronted them when they had no expectation of being confronted, e.g "Oh hi, it would seem I know where you live. You really wanted to fight me earlier today when surrounded by your buddies. Fight me now then, or are you afraid? Just know that I am ready to kill you if you won't stop bothering me". And of course they would make excuses like "Come on man, we were just joking around, you don't have to take it so seriously". I never accepted that, and through words and actions I convinced them that they were making my life harder for no reason, and I was taking it seriously enough to actively work on ruining theirs as much as I could. After a few months of constant confrontations, they decided this a battle that they were winning or that was worth continuing, and left me alone. And I had developed a reputation as the guy that you don't want to mess with. I grew up very quickly due to those circumstances(and other traumatic experience such as a death in the family and a bad divorce at around the same time), and later school years were a breeze, since overcoming that adversity had drastically boosted my self-confidence. I was much more experienced in confrontations than most people that might try something were(I would see them shaking and averting their eyes, and I wouldn't), I carried myself much better and I wouldn't take shit from anybody. I sometimes wonder how I would have turned out if I didn't have to go through those things at that age, would love to meet that version of myself, even though I'm happy with who I am. TL;DR: Yes. Was weird in two very distinct ways through what most would consider childhood. I haven't thought of myself as a kid since I was around 13 due to having to deal with some traumetic events and maturing much faster than most kids have to.

  • Donald Leannon

    Well then your interpretation was incorrect. My belief is that bipartisanship is an ideal to strive to, but not one that was met by either party over the last eight years. I think Obama was antagonistic by being antagonistic, telling Republicans that they had lost and needed to sit down and let him do whatever he wanted, publicly and blatantly implying that anyone who disagrees with him is bought and paid for, and various other incredibly cocky and unprofessional quotes that plagued him through his early years. That is not the behavior of a President, or of someone who is willing to put in a bipartisan effort. The response to that, unified Republican obstructionism, was also not reaching the goal of bipartisanship. I sympathize with them to an extent due to their actions being reactionary rather than aggressive, as well as the fact that they were massively outnumbered. However, they crossed that line several times during the Obama Administration and my sympathy quickly waned. Obama's response to the obstruction was the worst offense in the entire clusterfuck. He had a couple options, the first being to try and negotiate. He chose not to pursue that one, whether it would have worked or not. The second being to take an appeal to the American people, put up incredibly popular legislation with generally strong bipartisan support and try to crush the Republicans even further at midterms. He chose not to do that either, instead pushing through a controversial and complicated monolith of healthcare reform, and as a result Republicans won back a number of seats in 2010. The option he actually chose was the bypass Congress entirely, concentrating power in the Executive Branch and bullying his ideas through regardless. The number and scale of the changes enacted through the Executive Branch during Obama's administration is staggering. What would normally have been a hotly debated Congressional bill was enacted instead through a directive from a Cabinet Secretary, a 'change in enforcement' or those famous executive orders. That is not the way our country is meant to govern, and it blatantly disregards the separation of powers. In an (admittedly shaky) analogy, Obama and the Republican Party are high schoolers. Obama is the big popular star Quarterback that everyone loves, the Republicans are just another kid, a little on the weird side but they seem decent. The quarterback walks up to the kid and does generic bully stuff, shoving him, knocking his books down, calling him mean names. No one is entirely sure why, but boys will be boys and he's well liked so no one really cares. The kid snaps, tackles the quarterback in the middle of the cafeteria and beats the ever loving shit out of him, knocking him around so badly someone calls an ambulance. The quarterback gets up, realizes he can't take the kid in a fight so goes out to his car, grabs a gun and shoots him. Neither one was in the right, the quarterback was being a bit of a douche, but that doesn't justify beating the shit out of him. The kid was way out of line beating the shit out of the quarterback, but that doesn't justify shooting him. Shooting him does far more long-term damage, and not just to the guy who got shot. There's an entire cafeteria full of kids who will need therapy for years, and you're going to go to jail for the rest of your life. Either one could have stopped it by not being petty, vengeful pricks, but only one of them pulled the trigger. (The American people are everyone else in the cafeteria.) Now, here's where my opinion got a little tricky and I can understand your confusion. Now that that precedent has been set? I absolutely think it should be taken advantage of. The Democrats had six years to object to the actions of the administration, they had six years to say "this is wrong". They didn't. To expect the Republicans, who were on the receiving end of those actions, not to use them now that they have the power to? It's stupid. It's the same logic that led to steroids in baseball, if you know for a fact that the people you are competing against are going to cheat? You're dumb if you don't cheat too. I would be a far happier man if neither party were willing to abuse loopholes and broad interpretations of the Constitution to advance their own agenda at the expense of democracy and the American people, but I can't fault the Republicans if they use the power the Democrats handed them.

  • Alejandra Howell

    The comments on my elementary report cards were big red flags. However, back then, most people assumed that ADHD kids would always be hyperactive, which I'm not, and they thought that girls didn't have it, and they certainly do. "needs to apply herself" and "needs to pay attention during lessons" were a common refrain in those comments. Now I'm actually pretty good at listening even if I am pretty bored of the topic or the presentation sucks. However, I often wouldn't be looking at the teachers during the lesson . I'd find or create some sort of fidget-toy to occupy myself while I was listening. The damn teachers had the idea that if the student wasn't looking at you, then they weren't paying attention at all. They would frequently take away my fidget-toy, embarrass me in front of the other students, and generally made me pretty miserable. My Dad got me interested in science before I could even read, mostly by answering my questions about a big heavy book about Egypt and the pyramids, and how they were built. However, my first elementary school was more focused on religion than science, so for a little while I languished. Through a combination of shit going on at home and bullying at school, I ended up getting the idea in my head that the only way things were going to change was if I made them change. So, one summer after a nasty incident in the school playground on the last day of school, I decided I had had it with the school and I wasn't going back. I didn't shut up about it all summer. On the morning of the first day of fourth grade, I made it abundantly clear that I was going to go to the only other elementary school in town and I wasn't going to be forced to do otherwise. My Dad, realizing that I wasn't going to be persuaded to do anything else, decided to go along with it and had my mother take me to get registered at my new school. There were several good things about this new school. One was it was a public curriculum, so the religious stuff that was often used as a weapon by my bullies wasn't part of the culture. Another was science was a pretty big thing there. Another good thing was the teachers were more tolerant of my fidget-listening, because it was pretty clear I was getting something even if I was playing with an object during a lesson. Then there was the classroom structure. There were no individual desks, instead there were tables, and students were pared together. Books and supplies were kept in cubbies at the back of the class, and because the contents of the cubbies were pretty exposed, and I had developed a pretty strong desire to not be seen as messy, I taught myself how to organize my stuff. I'm still pretty proud of it. It was at this school that I was exposed to stories which would set in motion my love of reading. It was in that school library I found the books which revived my love of science. It was also there where a bulletin board illustrating powers and square roots got me interested in math. By the time I hit high school I had harnessed my ability to hyper focus, and I was doing great in most of my classes. For the most part I never really had many problems with tests. Some, like Math, would take me almost the entire allowed time, but I would get them finished. Assignments were a problem, mostly because I would procrastinate until the last minute and then rush to complete them. I also had a perennial problem with messing up the signs on math equations, so I wouldn't get full marks on my tests, but would frequently score in the 80s and 90s. Because I was a messy note taker I would often rewrite my notes on lessons so that they looked good, so I would be accidentally studying as I fussed about the appearance of my work. Due to my home being on a farm where the nearest neighbours were a mile away. I could always find a nice quiet place outside to do my work. I would eventually come to realize that I had an easier time with picking up the material if the teacher was passionate about it, and I had a lot of passionate science and math teachers. My first suspicions about my ADHD were triggered by my much younger brother's diagnosis. Being curious person, I read about ADHD and noted many of the problems I had matched up with the condition, but by that time I wasn't having many problems in school. It was when I went to college and my little problems became big ones that my notions turned into suspicions. The last piece which spurred me to get an evaluation was meeting my ADHD husband and recognizing how many of his ADHD symptoms I had too.

  • Stephanie Goyette

    > Thank you for your well thought out and factual comment response. I'm trying this new thing where I'm not a cunt to people just because I disagree with them on something. I'll let you know how it goes. Maybe if it goes well it will catch on and people can have civil conversations where they appreciate why someone holds a different view. Or maybe I'll just be perceived as a pussy, I dunno. >To me America is the Great Giant Atlas trying to lift the world upon his shoulders to drag all humanity from darkness and mysticism through sheer strength of will. Yes America has her faults and growing pains in her youth, but we as a people have learned and matured. We will get past this current phase, learn and grow. I appreciate the sentiment behind this and I agree that what you describe here is the ideal - a perception pretty heavily pushed, actually. I just don't agree that we're anywhere close to that level of... righteousness. It's more like self-righteousness. If you look at what we're actually doing, what's in our *immediate* history, we're actually a pretty shitty country. And I say that because I love this country, and the *potential* you refer to. We're not number one in anything except bullying other people and probably servicemember suicide. We're not even number one in religious intolerance but we are sure as shit trying hard there. And we're better than that. And we need people in our faces burning the symbols we hold dear to remind us we're not there yet. Go ten miles in any direction and you'll find something *fucked up*. Unless you live in the projects, then just spin around once. >Those who burn the flag in protest are doing so because they wish to provoke a response and everyone acts all surprised when a response, like Fed Ex guys, is forth coming. I'm sure perhaps on a different day things might of played out differently. They are hoping to provoke a response, a reaction, but it's not violence against their persons or actions, it's "Oh, maybe things aren't as rosy as I thought." Did you ever watch Dave Chappelle? I can't remember if this is from his show or one of his standup routines, but one of his bits is voicing a white guy basically going "Honey, have you seen this? Apparently police are shooting black guys like hotcakes!" It's pointing out how insulated practically all of us are. America is so incredibly diverse that our own little corners and our little lives can be tremendously different (and tremendously better or worse) then someone not very far away at all. I grew up in an upper middle class household and was visiting my (now passed) stepfather a few years ago during the height of the occupy movement. He grew up and got multiple degrees in a time when a man could work a summer and pay for books, housing, and tuition for the fall and spring semesters. Then repeat. Until you have a doctorate in chemistry and an associated degree in paper chemistry. He did that, and he was rightfully proud of it. But he did not understand that that is completely, wildly impossible today. I sat down and did the math with him to try to explain why those kids were so angry. Work a summer and you frequently can't even make enough to pay for *books* for two semesters. These kids are graduating with 40k, 80k, 120k in student loan debt and can't find jobs anywhere but starbucks or the dollar store or mcdonalds, because only the service sector has been steadily adding lots of jobs. (true back then when we were talking.) He grew up in a time when you could walk in to a business with a resume and apply, get an interview, get an entry-level job with a pension, work your way up to a corner office. That is all but gone now. If you don't know how to optimize your resume with keywords HR are looking for, a human will never even SEE your resume these days. And work your way up? Company loyalty to people is *gone*. It's 100% about shareholder value now and that fucks employees every day. These are examples of provincial disconnects we all have - just ours are different. And some of the things we don't understand just might be grave enough to burn a flag over. I am not one to pass judgement on that. I'm allowed to have an opinion, sure, but I absolutely will not take away anyone's *right* to make such a powerful statement.

  • Carli Kuvalis

    Everyone has a day they put down their toys and stop doing something. And ever since I can remember, I've been watching Sesame Street. As an adult, now, I can hardly stand the snail's pacing of the show. But when I was a boy, oh how I loved it. I would proudly count to 10, to 20 and even to 100, forcing my parents to listen to me blabber on as I marked off the numbers on fingers behind my back. While I thought I was clever and my parents said it was cute, I'm sure they silently counted faster and hid their frustration. Near the end of primary school, I had my father teach me how to record TV episodes. Piracy, if you will. I would set a timer before school, and make sure I kept the episodes of Sesame Street. The way they taught on that show, it was like having the same teacher your entire life. Just think of how much you trust your parents - that was my bond to Sesame Street. Times tables, big words, books to read. All of it, explained by Sesame Street. Middle school came and went, and while I recorded all the episodes, I didn't watch them all. History was boring, and watching the Cookie Monster talk about baking was far more fun. And though I hated it, without watching the episodes on algebra, I don't think I would have passed. Seriously, and I'm quoting Count von Count here: "Whose great idea was it to put letters in numbers?" I still smile at the memory of that. Count von Count, obsessed with his numbers and only numbers. Big Bird's questions got more relatable, like how to deal with bullying and expectations placed onto kids. And Oscar the Grouch became one of my favourite characters for his extraordinary pessimism. Of course, back then, I was just being an edgy 14 year old. Typical, 'the world hates me, I hate everyone'. And onwards the show went, growing up with its audience as time went by. Christmas specials, holiday themed episodes, they even had a short mini-arc to do with religion and belief systems around the world. Admittedly, atheist me wasn't any more tolerant after watching those episodes. Just a bit more quiet. Still, it bettered me, and for that I thank it. Elmo went through some of the biggest changes. In high school, it was no longer just Elmo's World and his awkward third person self-referential speech habits. He became empathetic to others and the psychological element of the show. Sympathy for veterans, understanding for pets, taking care of others, all of it had Elmo in the centre. Dwindling interest, as high school kicked it into high gear wasn't even enough to stop me watching the episodes featuring Elmo. There was just something about him. Exams hit hard, but I still squeezed in time to watch an episode a week. In my final year of high school, it was my nostalgia trip, once a week. A little revision, as the show maintained its educational genre, but that's about it. Until the last episode I ever watched. I don't want to be dramatic or anything, but it was something about it that struck a cord. For so long I had stared at the screen, detached from the muppets and the people that held them that I forgot all that Elmo had told me. I no longer saw them as human. >"Sometimes..." Count von Count sang, his voice low and somber, "I sit and count all day..." >"Sometimes..." he sighed, head drooped down. "I get..." >Another sigh. "Carried away." >He counted to three, struggling through each number as if it pained him, and stopped. He tried again, the cloth and costumes unable to hide the human pain behind the screen. But the show went on, and he counted to three. Again. And again. And again, until Big Bird came alone and sat by him. >"Count," he asked, hand on shoulder, "How come you're only counting to three?" >"I... I can count to ninety-two, if you want." >"Big Bird asked why again. >"That's how many days she lived." The Count's head hit the table. "Why should I count more than the days my baby lived?" Tears sprung to my eyes the moment I heard it. It was like dark clouds on the horizon, looming and taunting. You knew they would come, you could hear the thunder and the cracks of lightning shake your house's windows. But you hoped, as every human does, you hoped against all hope that the storm would simply pass. Everyone has a day they put down their toys and stop doing something. On that day, I turned off the screen and sat. I didn't move. Just sat. Once a boy learns about death, he sets his toys down. And becomes a man.

  • River Roberts

    "If you are reading this you most likely saw my post on Instagram about my EXCITING NEWS!! As many of you know my latest book Hustle & Heart is packed with not just personal advice but experiences for those making through life’s challenges in not just mix of hardship but motivational messages. If you’ve followed me since 16 & Pregnant you know the challenges I’ve been faced with through the years. Hustle & Heart is a book I wrote for people just like me that have been through marriage challenges, career challenges, sexual assault, bullying, motherhood and more. It’s a reminder that with a little bit of hustle and heart, you can survive anything. If you haven’t had a chance to read the book please do. I got so many amazing comments the other night when I posted about so I wanted to say thank you for the support but also answer a few questions fans were asking. Before you leave a mean comment on my social media take a second to read it. It’s still available for under $10 on and you can purchase the book and coloring book for under $20 — total! You can buy it by clicking HERE. If you are looking to find my past books you can check out the Author page on Amazon HERE too! Make sure you stay tuned for upcoming events like signings for Hustle & Heart – maybe even a fun book party too! In the meantime, I thank you for your continued support! For everyone who has purchased my books and followed me through the years. Before you take judgment on me please realize that this is my life and I am 100% happy; my heart is full. If you don’t know me why don’t you take some time to read my books which is just a peek into my life instead of judging me by the edits made on television. Just because of my decision this doesn’t mean I won’t graduate and my plans have changed. I still will continue to focus on school with my graduation in May, my brand, and my books. If you’ve googled my name the past few weeks, the speculation of so many things have surfaced – no one knows what’s true, what’s false and what really goes on in my day-to-day life. Since everyone can’t wait for the confirmation; here it goes. I am pregnant. I’m sad that I should have known that people in my life would sell me out before I was ready. Like any normal person, I want it to be a happy time. I wanted this to be a private time so I could be excited while not getting chased by paparazzi and bothered with crazy headlines. Please know this was a choice I made, I already know some won’t agree but I’ve been showered with support by the ones I love since I found out. Why did I wait? I’ve had a lot of health complications leading up to this pregnancy and I was not ready to release such private information on my own just yet being that I am so high risk with this pregnancy. I didn’t want to announce just to have another miscarriage and suffer through another grief. Of course, I was filmed on the show saying I didn’t want any more kids but I’m pregnant again. I know so many will have comments on this but here’s the thing — I didn’t want to bring another child into a failing marriage. Shortly after I started having complications, the option of having more kids was almost taken away from me. When I started thinking long and hard, I knew I wanted more. This was the choice I made. This is the baby I thought I wasn’t sure if I could have. I know this isn’t an ideal situation but I know everything will be okay. And like I say in my book — with a little bit of hustle and heart, I can and I will survive anything. Having another child is something I am so happy about and I just can’t wait. My boys are so excited, those who love me are so excited, and I hope that everyone can just be happy for me during this time. Does Jo know? Jo has been aware of things for a while now. He was one of the first to know because we can have adult conversations about things while he respectfully gives his opinions. We always share concerns and move forward. Does Javi know? Unfortunately, I never got to have a conversation with him about it. Boy or girl? While I’m almost half-way there, I’ve decided to wait until the summer to find out! This is an exciting time for me and the ones closest to me. Tweet me baby name suggestions!"

  • Sonia Braun

    I moved schools when I was in year 3 because my sister had gotten into a selective (gifted and talented) class that went from year 5 to 6. I made a bunch of friends, but two I was closer with than others. I felt like we were inseparable, but at times I felt left out because they had all known each other since kindergarten and I was only new. In year 5 we all got into the selective class, one all my siblings had gotten into previously, although it was getting harder to get into every year. Kids came from other schools to be in that class and so our friend group grew. We ended up being known as "Table 10" (because there were 10 of us) but I was still closest to those two. I often felt left out because I was the only person in the class that didn't do tutoring or any after school classes and was never rewarded for being intelligent or getting good grades. My family was also incredibly poor and all the other kids were quite wealthy. Luckily the teachers were basically family because they'd taught all my siblings in the past and had known me since I was a toddler so I got on really well with them and they helped my family pay for camps and excursions. Through the years I thought these kids were my best friends and didn't really take notice when they were mean to me or excluded me. I was naive like that and always pretty happy-go-lucky (I was the class clown like all my siblings had been). But on the last day of primary school (year 6) I went looking for my school books. I was incredibly proud of them, because I managed to get high marks despite not being tutored. I couldn't find them and asked all my friends if they knew where they were, but they just shrugged their shoulders. I started to get upset by then because I had tried so hard all year and put so much effort into my work. So I asked some classmates who I wasn't very close with and they told me my two best friends had torn my books up the day I was absent, given the pieces to the rest of "Table 10" and told them to throw them out, then going home to burn the covers. Obviously I didn't believe my best friends would randomly do some creepy ritualistic bullying behind my back, so I went over and told them this funny story these other kids told me. While I was telling them they looked at each other strangely and whispered to each other "She knows", then went around to the rest of my friends and told them too. I had now realised something was off (bit slow, mini me). I went to my teacher and told him what had just happened, and although he was obviously very busy he immediately stopped, turned around, and basically sprinted to the classroom calling my two best friends out. I guess he must have picked up over the year that they might not have actually been my friends. He asked them about the allegations and while one denied it, the other spilled everything, adding that they were the ones who spread the horrible rumours about me (rumours I'd never heard. I guess my teachers had been protecting me for a while). In the end my year 5 and 6 teachers called their parents who apologised to me profusely (they liked me a lot, and never thought their children would do that to me) and gave their kids' books to me to rip up. I refused, what good would that do? After all that, I missed my bus home and had to walk for over an hour in a bad neighbourhood home. My last day before High School. A 12 year-old girl. In High School I had two new best friends, and they were everything I needed, I really thought we were inseparable, as well as everyone who knew us. But after 3 years they, and all my other friends (about half the grade, it was a fairly small school) got into a selective school, a school my old friends from primary school went to, and they stopped talking to me. They all really are inseparable, and hang out constantly. Meanwhile I was left with no one for the final 3 years of High School, and haven't had a friend since. Sorry about the long post :/ TLDR: My best friends in primary school were turds and lied to me for 3 years, basically ruining all future relationships I would have with anyone.

  • Malvina Vandervort

    That is a really awful article. I recommend reading the comments from teachers that refute it: >What George promotes here is a focus on woolly-minded 'themes' and unstructured group-work. These ideas permeated education since the 1960s, and have contributed to a steady fall in school-leaver literacy and educational standards. I've been lucky enough to work in two schools which showed massive improvements very quickly. They did this by focusing on behaviour and teaching knowledge quite explicitly. Students from these schools were often the first of their families to go to university, and these schools often enabled genuine social mobility. These students were happy and high-achieving, bullying was massively reduced and dealt with swiftly, and we provided a safe and purposeful learning environment. What George writes about it is a utopian fantasy that is unmanageable and lets down the disadvantaged. There is a real literacy crisis across our schools, and well-meaning but misguided columns like this do nothing to help teachers or children. >George, I really love your articles and books, but as a teacher of many years this comes across as amateurish and uninformed: someone with a platform talking about teaching after watching a few Ted talks from Ken Robinson. The really exciting stuff in the profession is happening due to neuroscience now managing to show us how humans best learn. I recommend "Why Don't Students Like School?" By Dan Willingham. For me, he answers the question well and actually shows (with evidence) how learning for all but the most motivated is very hard if you cannot be explicitly taught scaffolds over which to layer new knowledge. Independence in academic learning does not come at five, or nine, or especially during adolescence. As someone who has been very open to progressive arguments, my own practice has gone more towards explicit teaching of knowledge (after which, children's enquiry is FAR better and more sophisticated, due to knowing key concepts and facts to navigate new encounters), and yes, testing. Testing needn't mean high stakes exams, and actually, the process of recall is a key tool in remembering learnt material. After years of thinking kids should be leading the learning and all of that, my classes now are thriving and loving learning more than ever. Oh, and the firmer the discipline in the room, the more they thrive due to having an atmosphere where they feel safe and the instability of self-control at that age is not disrupting opportunities for others to engage fully. >My Y9 History lesson yesterday: 32 kids sitting in rows facing the front, wearing uniform, standing in a calm silence behind chairs at start and end of lesson? George's nightmare, perhaps. What did we achieve in 50 minutes? Probing discussions of the psychological impact of trench warfare, running into considerations of PTSD and the reality of killing fellow humans after the dehumanisation of the enemy by political propaganda. We looked at different testimonies and poetry, tracing themes and imagery - they then wrote an essay in silence for the final part of the lesson. This was a mixed ability group and their learning ought to prove very useful for those dreaded exams, as well as humanising these 14 years olds a little. I believe that we all found the lesson meaningful and for some of the students, highly thought-provoking. this is robot teaching, then bring it on. If we had student led iPad carnage the time for most would have been wasted.

  • Kelley Connelly

    >Consider the case of the friends who think you're annoying, or the parent who doesn't really love you that much: are you really having a genuine social connection with these people? Yes, its true that radical honesty might disrupt the superficial, fake social 'connection' that you have with these people, but is that really a bad thing? In the case of the parents, you definitely are. Every parent has a favorite child. It doesn't mean they don't love you, but I'm sure you wouldn't want to know you were loved the least. That truth disrupts a very real social connection you have. What if you have a crush on someone? You said lying by omission is unacceptable to the notion of radical honesty, so you have to come out and say how much you want to bang them before you have even gotten a chance to really know them. Good luck fostering a new relationship with that kind of start. >On teacher who won't tell you that you're going no where in life: if they all think this, its probably for a reason. They don't all have to think it though for it to have an affect on you. In a sea of praise, the one negative comment, no matter if it is valid or invalid, is going to be all you can focus on. It's incredibly detrimental, especially when you are just a kid in school or getting into an entry-level position. If a figure of authority has no respect for you, why try at all? It happens all the time, and kids who are told they won't amount to anything are less likely to even try. >On men telling me that they want to fuck me: they already do this sometimes, and honestly they're better than the men who just leer at me. Again, I think that information is what will be most useful here. Otherwise I have to deal with feeling uncomfortable while men stare at me, it would at least be nice to acknowledge why. Men tell you they want to fuck you when social norms discourage them from doing so. Imagine how much worse it would be if everyone felt compelled to tell you how much they want to fuck you whenever they think about it? Would you ever have a moments silence at work or in public? >On the boss: again, I think I'm infinitely better off knowing that a boss sexually objectifies me and doesn't value me as a human being. Without radical honesty, he still does this and is still thinking about and staring at my breasts the whole time. With radical honesty, at least I have the validation of that being acknowledged, and that would likely provide me with enough motivation to find a better boss. That's assuming you are in a position where you can leave your job. On top of that, your radical honesty policy would take sexual harassment laws off the books. Bosses and coworkers can say whatever they want about their employees and coworkers. Women would likely leave the workforce in droves. Also think of how much bullying in schools would increase. At 5 or 6, when kids insult each other, they often don't understand the consequences of their words and actions. Now kids have no motivation to be respectful of their fellow students and teachers and as a result an entire generation of kids grows up in a hostile environment. >All of those people sound like people I wouldn't want in my life, and radical honesty would help me identify them so that I could stop maintaining these horrible, fake, superficial social 'connections.' Or radical honesty could turn you into an abuse victim. You assume that you and everyone else will have the same strength in ego, but abusers often use horrible words to break their victims' egos. They feel so worthless that even someone who treats them like shit is ok because at least they love them. In a world where everyone says mean things to each other, abuse becomes even harder to identify. Is the man telling his wife he wants to beat her actually abusive or is he honestly expressing his frustration in the moment?

  • Kay Zboncak

    Always beware the one who never speaks... **How bullies manufacture serial killers** Kids who are different almost always get bullied. Not all of them will turn into mass murderers but some will... But how? Basically, being rejected, laughed at, ridiculed in front of peers, beaten and assaulted cause the bullied individual to harden himself until he can no longer feel. Being constantly the target of bullying transforms a person into someone who ends up believing that one day he will reply in kids. One must understand here that destroying someone's sense of self-worth is the psychological equivalent of killing someone... Imagine for a minute having no friends, being unable to walk around the school without being targeted, having your lunch money stolen, getting your pants pulled down in public WHILE EVERYONE, even the people you thought were your friends, are LAUGHING LOUDLY and "hi-fiving" your tormentor... Imagine being the "reject", being the one nobody wants to be caught dead sharing a lunch table with... At one point, you would end up so angry that ideas of killing your tormentors would start sounding reasonable to you... And when you seek help, nothing happens to your tormentors, if you are a guy, you get told to "be a man", that "it gets better" and other platitudes... You are a victim of abuse but you are offered no justice... After all, it's only your word against the word of 4, 5 or 10 of your tormentors. **Some seek refuge in a inner world** Some victims of bullying will seek refuge in a world of their own making. Many great works of art, many famous poems, many best selling books and many moving musical compositions are the result of a deep inner pain, of sorrow and depression. Some of those seeking shelter in their inner world will become isolated, uncaring, depressed and some will even become mentally unstable. **Some commit suicide** Some just can't take the abuse and end up blaming themselves for being "defective" to the point where they see only one solution: To take themselves out either because they believe nobody will ever love them or because they believe they won't ever fit in. **Some become angry and violent** Others make the decision that they are right and that the rest of the world must then be wrong. They harden themselves by feeding themselves with propaganda that support their views, they grow into their convictions by learning from extremists and end up deciding that they have to avenge themselves or that they must correct the "wrong" they see in society... **Those who make it** Those who make it are those who have a loving family and who end up, for various reasons, being able to make friends or to find love. Sometimes changing school, taking a fresh start, just growing up or working on self-improvement... **No matter the outcome, bullying creates life-ling victims** Nobody who suffered extreme bullying ever forgets about it. This is a thing that you carry for the rest of your lives and that affect your future relationships and can even shape your outlook on life and society. **Why people bully each other?** Some say that it is our animal instincts, that bear cubs, kitten and puppies bully each other in order to establish the pecking order... Some say that children bullies and some adults bullies are just horrible and feel the need to crush others in order to feel better about themselves. **Bullying is real, it causes fragile individuals to be destroyed and then, either to commit suicide or to be reassembled through propaganda into sociopaths.**

  • Bertha Little

    A lot of people have given you good advice here about the N-relationship dynamic. So I'm going to give you some advice about Life, from a 49-year-old's perspective. We learn to "parent" ourselves. And that takes courage, and a willingness to work just a little harder at life, but the rewards are great. Grownupping is like a muscle, the more you work it out, the stronger it gets. 1- You're starting out in life, living paycheck-to-paycheck, so two resources to get you started: read everything you can about frugality. Read the Dollar Stretcher. Take books out on frugality. Follow the frugality subreddit. Get yourself a financial tracker that updates from your bank account and categorize every purchase and then look at it and decide how you can reduce your spending, figure out how you can FIRST automatically put 1/3rd of each paycheck away into savings (and when you build $5000, take half of that and open a brokerage account for a better rate of return.) Read books on smart money management, and if you want a real eye-opener, "The Millionaire Next Door" - it's an oldie but a goodie. 2- Learn how to take care of your things. Home Comforts is a comprehensive encyclopedia of household management. Buy it don't borrow it from a library, it's a reference book. It will improve the quality of your life every day, and help you be more frugal but also live beautifully and well, by creating a well ordered home living system. 3 - Make conscious choices about your personal style and wardrobe. Learn about building a core wardrobe that is timeless and tasteful, and it will serve you for years as well as save you money. There are plenty of pins on Pinterest that will explain the concept of a "capsule wardrobe" - learn them, love them, trust them. You *can* get good pieces in your 20's that you will still wear in your 40's, if you keep them maintained and in good repair. 4 - Cooking is a life skill that can save you, literally, tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime. Forget about celebrity chefs and trendy cocktail pairings... look to master the basic techniques first. Cook so you save money instead of depending on prepared food and takeout. There's a [free cookbook you can download by Leanne Browne for eating for $4 per day](, and speaking as professional chef of over 20 years, it's superb. Nothing helps out a young person starting out by being able to "shop in your parents garage" as you said, but there are websites for free stuff., for example, or look on Craigslist, and also, join all the local Facebook online garage sales for your greater area (these are great because when you have kids it will save you a fortune - both in getting things you need, and getting rid of things ans they outgrow them), get to know your local Thrift stores, and flea markets, and pay attention to garage sales and estate sales. So, start yourself some Pinterest boards for DIY projects, for upcycling, for life hacks, for cooking, for anything that "teaches" you. It's a relaxing hobby, collecting interesting and pretty pins, it's helpful when you want to refer back to them to "look something up" later. You're not holding a grudge, your father is engaging in petulant name-calling and bullying and guilt tripping you. YOU set a boundary. You moved out and moved on with your life, that's what grownups do. Honestly, I wish I had had that strength and courage (and Reddit) 30 years ago when i was your age, it would've saved me a lot of heartache over 3 decades. You're farther ahead than I was, and you got this.

  • Angelo Kihn

    I was referring to 7 years ago in middle school when I spoke about that. Also, its not an advantage that I woke up around 5am everyday and exercised an average of 5 hours a day for 3/4 of the year in middle school. I also started exercise at a young age by myself and for myself because it helped calmed down, helped prevent tantrums, and gave me something to do while the other kids were not bullying me. I got beat up a lot before I was 10. No teacher, family, or nonexistent friends encouraged me or praised it. I started to run 1 mile once a week from age 5. The distance and speed gradually increased. I was slower, weaker, and shorter than the others but I had no choice then. Sports was my only way to work off stress, get people to stop bullying me, and meet new people. I was also so slow at learning and had speech issues that my mom was told numerous times I should be in special ed at a young age. I did not speak until 7 years old. I read over 1000 books because the library was the only place at school i wasnt bullied or beat up because I was stupid and weird. I remember vivdly a group of kids told me not to touch their stuff or talk to them when i tried to play with them. Also once had this guy punch me while I walked home, didn't stop hitting me until I was at my front door. Maybe they saw me have one of my seizures at school or something, idk. I completed entire workbooks for class because I had no friends or anything to do in elementary. Also probably because we were a poor family that didnt even have an antenna for our tv, and other various circumstances. Also, my parents knew nothing about how to help me and just assumed I was special ed. Things were rough then. I'm glad I never got help then now. Its made me a better person. When middle school came close, I had read enough books to be one of the top young readers in the state of California. I had such a good understanding of basic and fundamental math that many thought I was a genius. Noone likes the talk about the 8+ hours I put in everyday before I was the genius. Still my social skills caused me to go to hell and back. In high school my grades were subpar and my fitness was shameful for someone who used to be a year round athlete. It was in high school that I decided I didn't care about academic or sports. It was there I learned to make friends and talk to girls. Of course...the same work ethic went into play here. Still have a few hundred notes leftover that I have yet to delete from keeping track of social interactions. There's a few thousand notes here and there. Hey, I have about 1 or 2 hundred notes from my last jobs as well. Its tough when I'm always causing misunderstandings on a daily basis. Now that work ethic is going towards me building a career and gaining experience. Now I need to find a new job after I move and work hard again. If you work half the amount that I did, and do not surpass me or be even, I would be genuinely shocked. Noone helped me. Noone encouraged me. Noone tried to hangout with me. They just thought I was screwed. Then they all turned around and called me a genius. Being envious of me while never seeing how they could and still can have much more than I ever did. Only one person in my life before high school told me to hang out with him. The only part that may be an advantage is that I have learned to learn after so many years of grinding. Many probably wouldn't be able to imitate my learning style and I theirs. So no. I don't believe in advantages. I don't believe people need others to help. I dont believe in labels. I believe people need to work hard and improve themselves. Tl; dr Work hard or blame it on disadvantages and whatever you want. Its your life. Maybe you had it harder. Then work harder than me. Not easy, simple though.

  • Bert Beatty

    Oh boy, have I got stories. I'm fresh out of college but the annoying high-school-grade headaches still follow me around. Everything from petty administration to legitimate fraud. This is an American public high school in the deep south. --- "The bell does not dismiss you. I dismiss you." Motherfucker, I get *suspended from school* if I'm late too many times because I have to cross a half-mile campus in 4 minutes or less, getting the appropriate books from my locker in the process. Fuck outta here with that shit. --- Cell phones were confiscated if they saw the outline of them in your pocket, or if your purse dumped out in class, or if it fell out of your bag--not just if it made a sound. --- Preferential treatment by administration among art classes. I was in the high school orchestra. The band teacher was universally loved by most band students, but on a 'meh' basis with most orchestra students, because 1. massive superiority complex about the band, and 2. would never, ever, ever allow a band student who played another instrument to partake with orchestra Band students were allowed to skip class by asking to go to the band room when there was nothing to do in whatever class. Orchestra students were not, and were suspended if caught. Also, the band teacher was old enough to have taught the principal of the school in band, so of course the principal did nothing to change this status quo. --- If you so much as smiled at the crowd during graduation, you were denied your diploma in front of everyone. No dancing, no high-fiving teachers or fellow students--walk up to the superintendent, take your diploma, shake the principal's hand, take your seat. Any deviation resulted in embarassment. "This is a dignified ceremony and boisterous behavior will not be tolerated!" My college graduation was less strict and even encouraged funny antics. We paid a small mortgage to go there, after all. --- Guidance counselors were unhelpful. During my early years in high school, I got picked on for being involved in the boy scouts. Kids would follow me around, shove me, and make the three-fingered salute shouting *Scouts honor!* in the hallway or gym. Counselor's solution to the bullying was "Have you tried not telling them that you're in scouts?" MOTHERFUCKER I WASN'T THE ONE TO TELL THEM TO BEGIN WITH The bullying didn't stop until gym class did, for the record. --- Certain kids were caught with alcohol or drugs during prom. The black ones who weren't really close with the administration were suspended or referred for expulsion. The white ones or black ones who were popular/close to the administration/involved in sports were given a two day suspension at worst. --- A kid was injured (spinal compression fracture) in another classroom while he had a hallpass to be there. Teacher who was supposed to be in the classroom at the time was in his office next door, different teacher who issued the hallpass confirmed he had permission to leave. Kid with fracture lost sports scholarships for college. Parents had to sue to pay thousands in medical bills. School was liable, and lied by saying the kid did not have permission to be in the room, and threatening the teacher with his job if he said otherwise. The case was thrown out. The kid did manage to heal well enough to continue playing, but I'm not sure what became of their medical expenses. So, legitimate insurance fraud and a simple cover-up, that too. --- TLDR: Fuck public schools, I'm enrolling my future kids in a good charter school if I can afford it.

  • Troy Hane

    I was counting the seconds until I graduated high school. I didn't find out about it until later in the afternoon when I met up with my girlfriend from another school. There was a minor fire at my school that morning so we were dismissed before it happened and set about doing the kinds of things small town high school seniors do when they get an unexpected day off from school mere weeks before graduation. My initial reaction to hearing the news was "Thank God I am about to graduate. School is about to turn into prison." and that is more or less exactly what happened. Zero tolerance policies, "random" locker searches that somehow always seemed to be the kids who wore metal band t shirts to school, and almost comical levels of scrutiny from the faculty and other students alike became the norm. Suddenly you had to be very careful what you said because any utterance that even casually implied violence or antisocial behavior might be reported and get you suspended. Sometimes it would get reported that you were saying or doing suspicious things even if you weren't. If you dressed a certain way or listened to certain music or read certain books you might just get pulled out of class for no reason and questioned by the principal. Or the police. Or both. I was one of the "weird kids" at my school, but not the kind of weird that was getting all of the negative attention at the time so I was able to finish out my year in relative peace (plus most of the pants-on-head-stupid policy stuff didn't take effect until the following year). I do remember being struck by the stupidity of what felt like a nationwide rush to find some external thing to lay the blame on - guns, video games, heavy metal, bullying - *something* beyond what appeared to be the isolated result of psychiatric problems. Suddenly because of something that happened one time in this one place every school in the country was a ticking time bomb. Predictably all of the ridiculous measures taken only served to further marginalize the people who all of the attention was suddenly focused on and most likely prevented some from seeking help that they needed for fear of what would happen to them if they admitted to feeling isolated or having violent thoughts or suicidal ideations. Certainly it incentivized *not* being friends with the "loners" lest you invite extra scrutiny upon yourself. Additionally the hysterical media coverage made anti-heroes out of the perpetrators which led to emulation (ranging from making "hit lists" to actual shootings). It was one of the first times if not the first that I was paying close enough attention as something like this unfolded to notice as everybody with an agenda to push got in line to hitch their wagon to a national tragedy. It was yet another moment when all the well intentioned people got behind policies that it seemed so obvious would either not help or would make things worse. All in all I remember the whole thing as a giant shitshow. The real tragedy however is that we as a nation seem even more ready today to miss the point entirely when faced with tragic events and go straight to looking for someone or something to blame and calling for sweeping action to be taken before identifying an actual cause. It may very well be related to the coming of age of the generation that was directly affected by this tragedy, or it could just be the continuation of the trend that caused it in the first place.

  • Cornelius Bergnaum

    IT was long long ago... I was in grade school. From 1st grade to 3rd grade i was attacked every given opportunity. I was taller and bigger than most other boys so they kept kicking my ass to prove how bad ass they were. I cried, I told my parents, the principal, all of it. Nothing. My dad only told me I had to break one of their noses. My mom told me not to fight. I really did not want to fight. Then i was a taddle, and even the teachers would tell me that being a taddle was being a bad kid and that I should just deal with it. So a few weeks into 4th grade, I'll never forget. A guy named Aaron was not just bullying me, but my friends. They were coming to kick us all off the baseball field so they could own it. Not because they wanted to play baseball, but because they wanted to make us not be able to play. Anyway that smug fucker was laughing and I just had it. I didn't just hit him, I hit though him. I put that nose of his into the back of his skull. He went down hard, and he went down fast. The other kids freaked the fuck out. His nose was pushed up into his sinus cavity and broken. Lots of blood, for a kid it was a horror show. He got up and RAAAANNNN.. " TEACHER HE HIT ME!" Now all the sudden I was the bully! They were glad that Aaron had told them I did such horrible things! I had to be stopped and punished for this! How dare I? I am bigger than him, I could have seriously hurt him! They all taddled on me instantly. I was in big trouble now! Parents called, and it was one of the few times my dad stood up for me, when sitting in the office he said " They have been beating him up for years, The fact hes waited this long is a sign hes a good kid. You are at fault here, if you don't want him hitting kids, maybe stop them from attacking him." But of course that just got me in more trouble. Suddenly I wasn't allowed to play organ trail, I couldn't read my books, etc. Of course they came at me harder too. I did try once more to have the teachers stop them, but they told me they don't stand up for bullys... So I just started kicking the shit out of them. Pure and simple. If I wanted to be left alone i was gonna have to beat the fuck out of every motherfucker who came at me.. and I did. I was the bad kid now, I was the one who was beating up these other dear innocent children... I was the bully. I figured i was in trouble anyway, might as well do the shit i was in trouble for anyway since punishment was coming regardless. And later... well you have heard the jokes about priest and alter boys... yea another story for another day. The fact is that this zero tolerance and much of these policy's are making it so the real little shits who can troll the rules and cause havoc are protected, while the people who are being victims are either left out to suffer or they have to do what I did and become a fucking violent asshole. I never wanted that life, but It was my only recourse. Worse by the time i started highschool I enjoyed beating the fuck out of people. Luckily i guess i was still friends with nerds and losers, so I only went after the bullys. They were the better targets and I liked being able to do to them what they did to my friends. Fuck em, they deserved it. Least in highschool my violent streak did good and caused people to think twice before picking on the nerds or looser, and band kids. I was also a football player so I had esteem, and could take a lot of my shit to the field and not as much in school. Its shitty, and I really don't like the thought of others going though it, but we gotta stop this nonsense that allows the shit nosed fuckups to stay protected while the good kids get driven to do shit they never would want to do. Sadly I do not have a good suggestion on how to do this, and I hope that someone else does.

  • Marlee Blick

    7k comments. I am sure this will get lost but I'm bored at work so I'm going to type my story anyway. My most memorable moment on the school bus was when she walked on. It was the first day of 11th grade. I was pissed off because summer was over and I had to endure another year of bullying and bullshit. Like I had every single day for the last 2 years, I sat by the window, stared outside and listened to Metallica in my CD player. And Justice for All was the album of the day. One was the song on at the time. The bus pulled to a new stop, so I took myself out of my day dream to see who was walking on the bus. Few guys walked on, some girls, then her. She was gorgeous. Easily the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my short 15 years. She had brunette silky hair, brown eyes and a smile that would pull me out of my loneliest thoughts. She walked down the aisle looking from one side to another, smiling at each person, looking for a place to sit. Other kids never sat next to me. The only time they would is if literally every other seat was taken and they had no choice. Even in those situations, they wouldn't ask, they would just sit and turn their back toward me. I didn't care. Didn't need to talk to them anyway. Metallica kept me company. I thought she would be like everyone else...but, she walked up to me and asked "Can I sit here?" I took my backpack off the empty seat and put it in my lap. For the first time in years, I turned my CD player off, wrapped up my headphones and said, "Hi, I'm Mike." We talked the whole ride to school and it was wonderful. I loved listening to her talk....where she was from, why she moved, what she wanted to be when she grew up. Honestly, she could have been talking about the weather and I would have still been over the moon. She was so nice to me. It was rare for women to show me any attention, let alone one that looked like her and was as nice as her. After the last bell rang for the day, I would power walk to the bus to ensure I was able to get a seat to myself so I could save her a spot. For a few weeks this became my routine. I would get there first, save her a spot and she would sit next to me and *actually* talk to me. I wanted to ask her out, but was too chicken shit. Just kept it very casual. I hadn't listened to my CD player in weeks, which is something to be said because I had listened to it daily for *years*. I had almost considered taking it out of my backpack. One Friday, I followed my normal routine. I would take all of my books that I needed that night to my last class. This was so I didn't have to go to my locker and jeopardize not getting a seat. My backpack was heavy as shit, but I didn't long as I could sit and talk with her, it was worth the hernia. I power walked to the bus, got my seat, reserved her spot and waited. When she came on, I said hi and moved my bag to make room for her. She said, "Actually, I'm gonna sit with them today if that's cool." I turned around and it was some douche bags that had bullied me in the past. The "cool" kids, as it were. I said, "Sure, no problem." She put her hand on my shoulder and said "Thanks, talk to you tomorrow." The touch sent electricity coursing through me. I watched her walk to the back of the bus where they were and before she arrived they were already leering and making snide comments about her. I sat down, faced forward, looked out the window and turned on my CD player.

  • Jeffery Osinski

    I feel like Malcolm in the Middle actually did a somewhat accurate representation of what it was like. The kids were not the exaggerated nerds like in the show but being in the GT stuff felt alienating at times and I started in third or fourth grade. I changed middle schools after 6th grade and I didn't know many people and was rather shy. In the advanced reading class at the new school, one of the kids and his twin sister were in it and it was taught by their mother (my mom also was a teacher at my school but I wasn't allowed to be in her class though this slipped through somehow). As such there were very few students at this brand new school at the GT level in my grade so besides three or four other kids the mom got to choose who should fill the class and she chose her children and some if their friends. The goal of the class was we were going to work on a video project throughout the year with a series of field trips. The kids in this class however seemed to see that I didn't fit in. I was bullied a lot in that class, so at this point I felt alienated from not just the regular kids but the ones in this class too. The teacher didn't seem to notice this though her son and his friends were the main bullies. I started getting sick to my stomach just going to school and I missed a few of the field trips because of how I felt. After half the year had passed, I was directed to a different class room but I knew I was supposed to be in my GT reading class and so I found them in the library. The teacher saw me sit down and pulled me aside to say I had been removed from the class because I hadn't been to all the field trips. It just wasn't fair to the other students if I was getting credit. I felt in a way a little relieved but at the same time hurt. She didn't even tell me before hand that I was kicked out, and I saw the kids staring at me as I walked out of the library, assuming that she had already told them. It was embarrassing and I was already sick of them bullying me under her nose. It also hurt because it made me feel stupid that these kids who weren't supposed to be in GT were in the class and I was back in regular classes (even though all we did during normal classes was read occasionally but otherwise the kids would goof off). I had a graduate student reading level in fourth grade and now I was back to reading kids books. It kind of crippled me socially after that. Later on though, most of the kids in my junior and senior class were in advanced placement classes so I was able to move past it somewhat but I had/have a lot of issues since then. At the same time, it's difficult to be smart in general I think socially at least. When people think you're smart they expect you to be smart all the time. That is, there is more pressure to do well simply because you're smart. Suddenly a C isn't good enough, and it's actually *not* okay if you don't do well on a test or an assignment, after all you're supposed to be smart. Plus, I spent a lot of time in college not knowing what I wanted to do. When you have the aptitude for lots of things, it's hard to pick what to do.

  • Zola Cruickshank

    >And why might they be scared? Could it be that many people consider his policy positions to be regressive and harmful? Yea, they *consider*. But the reality is there is big a difference between thoughts, words and actions. >It could be that he bullies people who speak out against him. Or that he openly attacks any press that criticizes him. He's said and done plenty to get people worried. And? If this is a something 'the left' find problematic then maybe they should think about their own hypocrisy, considering how many people get dismissed as 'racists' and 'nazis', not to mention how much 'bullying' Trump has been the target of due to his 'controversial' views. >To say that people are only worried about what he's said would be wrong. There's such a huge laundry list of things, that I don't even know where to begin. He hasn't released his tax returns, filled his cabinet with billionaires and Goldman Sachs execs even though he promised to "drain the swamp", said that we have to "rebuild our military" even though we have the world's strongest military , is going to spend billions on a useless wall that isn't needed, says we have to expand our nuclear arsenal, has shady ties with Russia. I can go on and on but I'm sure you've heard it all. I wouldn't argue against all this *but* it only looks bad when you ignore the alternatives. Who cares about his tax return, he's already basically admitted to cooking his books, *which is what all rich people do, especially politicians*. Pretending that money laundering is a 'Trump problem' and is somehow inapplicable to Clinton, Obama, Sanders etc. is a joke. I don't like the billionaire thing but it's a complicated issue, it's hard to explain unless you really understand how big business functions. Your military is also complicated, you might have lots of shiny toys, but most of your troopers are kids, the best American soldiers end up as Mercs. Ties with Russia is better than ties with Saudi Arabia and China, but whatever. >This isn't how a president should be acting, though. Exactly, because the way presidents *have* been acting has been terrible for the working class. >Once someone becomes president, they're supposed to be pragmatic and cool-headed so they can help unify the country. Find a video of him yelling at somebody. Pro tip: You won't >All trump has done has fanned the flames of division, and it will only get worse as he continues to be hostile with the media and democrats. This country will only become more bitter and heated as time goes on. People have planned shit years in advance, this 'division' has been coming for decades since the KGB started infiltrated colleges and schools back in the 60s, you're lucky you got Trump instead of some heartless butcher in charge.

  • Marty Funk

    I went to a Catholic private school pre k-12. 1) my grade school heater was garbage so there were days that instead of sending us home, we'd be told to put on our winter coats instead (I went to the poor kids Catholic school in town) 2) food was atrocious. And I mean it was bad enough that 5 y/o me who would eat anything because I'm 5 hated it. 3) I got bullied for basically being the fat smart kid from middle school until graduation. Teachers even watched me cry in class and did nothing. It was horrible, it was honestly the worst years of my life. 4) they constantly made you do fundraiser things. First it wasn't mandatory. Then they became mandatory and if you didn't sell all 6 tickets you had to pay for them yourself. The tickets were 50$ each. $300 was a shit load for my mom to come up with at the time. They did not give 1 single fuck. And there were people with 3-5 kids in the school who got 6 tickets *each* 5) they refused to make a payment plan for my friends family so they had to leave. A new pastor came to be in charge and told them they would not honor the payment plan they had decided under the previous pastor. I had to watch my best friend and her 2 siblings leave school and they were taken in by another Catholic grade school across town who would help them out. Fucking despicable in my mind (the other school was more expensive, and forcing those kids to leave when all their friends and lives are at their original school? How fucking Christian of you) 6) highschool was a Nazi wonderland of weirdly strict rules and even more mandatory theology classes. 7) my highschool cost $6,380 per year when I was a senior. It went up ~$300-$750 each year. I only went because I got scholarships to go. Yes. Scholarships to **fucking highschool** 8) I had to buy my own books in highschool. I'm not joking. And even though I bought my own GOD DAMN BOOKS I had to put book covers on them or get detentions. 9) I got detentions for having holes in my tights and being too poor to replace them fast enough 10) sex education did not happen. We got to watch this movie called *Romance Without Regrets* instead. I asked in my theology class (which is where we watched the movie) when we would learn about condoms and birth control methods? I got told > Why would I teach you that? Having premarital sex is a *sin* and I'm sure you wouldn't want to sin. You wouldn't do that! Graduated no bullying no real issues. Would I send my kids? **fuck no** I left out some bits about how football players got away with everything and how boys got to sexually harass me and nothing happened to them..... And a bunch of other shit. I will not be wasting my money and send my kids to a Catholic school. Or a Christian one. Fuck 'em.

  • Richard Feil

    [Brad Neely]( could do a better re-write but I'll get him started. >Trumpington >Trumpington >6 foot 8 weighs a f___ing ton >Opponents beware >Opponents beware >He's coming >He's coming >He's coming >Let me lay it on line there were two on the vine >I mean[ two sets of facts]( so divine >Left his hotel made of crystal he campaigned the land >With the promises and [goldendoodle]( and his perfect hands >Here comes Don in control >A woman dug his quiff and his amazing bank roll >Tweets in his pajamas and flys in private jet planes >He's coming >He's coming >He's coming >Trumpington >Trumpington >Six foot twenty hiring and firing for fun >Spread Spread comb-over his hair >He's coming >He's coming >He's coming >Sue me if I go to fast but his kids are probably [glad to be rid of their dad.]( >Got a wig for his wig got an ego for a heart >He'll kick you apart >He'll kick you apart >[He'll save children but not the Mexican children]( >[He'll save children but not the Mexican children]( >[He'll save children but not the Mexican children]( >[He'll save children but not the Mexican children]( That's all I got so far. Rapping is hard yo...

  • Eunice Ruecker

    This is a big decision for this dude, so let's all work together! (Feel free to add as you see fit.) >Pros ♡Doesn't approve of killing children. ♡Promotes racial equality for Muslims/opposes bullying and namecalling. ♡Body positive... I think? He's all about that bass apparently. ♡Cares about stimulating the economy by buying extra from the local store. ♡Wants to buy some black men lattes from the best place he can find on Yelp. ♡Hopes Hillary is enjoying herself, even though he's not fond of her. I mean, that takes maturity right? ♡Immune to mind control. Necessary af imo. ♡Offers to pay Hillarys legal fees, even though he thinks she's a Bish. Always willing to lend a helping hand, that guy. ♡Even though he hates like, most people, he does at least hope they party it up in Hell. Always wishing the best for others, that lad. ♡The fact that he's both mentally and physically handicapped, and and yet is still able to be a contribution to, to /r/insanepeoplefacebook, is every little horrible handicapped child's dream! >Cons X He doesn't appear to be fond of homosexuals. X Okay so maybe he sorta kinda approves of killing kids, but like, only if they're gay? Or if Thak the lesbian is watching apparently? X He doesn't have that book. I'm not sure what book, but he doesn't have it. Kids need books. X He thinks the police are sinners, but doesn't even specify which sin. Maybe it's just gluttony? Which really contradicts his love of fat women. So hypocritical. What if someone broke in to that shakey bastards house? We don't wanna teach the babies to fear law enforcement just yet! X Has a weed pen. What if one of the kids starts drawing with it and gets high? Who's gonna teach them D.A.R.E? Not the guy with the weed pen, that's fo'sho'. X Wants the Zodiac Killer to be president. X Seems to have some weird fetish about getting 101 gay men hard in one mim. But they have to be reading BLELE while he does it, whatever that is. I mean, what if it's some sort of smut. I don't think the kids need to see that. Plus that would take up a lot of time. 101 minutes to be exact, and what are the kids gonna do while he's busy? X Cerebral palsy. I know we shouldn't discriminate here, but what if he's working on one of the gay dudes and has to hold a baby at the same time? That's just begging for a head injury. Or a head injury. Or shaken baby syndrome. I might have too much time on my hands.

  • Vivienne McDermott

    >You want children to make their own realizations as long as they aren't taught faith. Make realizations about science because faith is bad. Lol. You don't think you are just biased against religion? Religion shouldn't be pushed on anyone. Science is fact. Religion is myth. That's the truth. >You care about marriage between cousins, polygamy, pedophilia, and much more I am sure. Sex is a public good as much as it can be a public health crisis. Rampant premarital sex within a society will always lead to abortion and having children out of wedlock. If you care about children being raised in stable families, then you will care about premarital sex. Contraception does not stop pregnancy, it merely limits or reduces it. Is your goal to reduce unwanted pregnancies or take a stand against them entirely? Polygamy, whiel not inherently bad creates a sexist and very dominantly patriarchal society. It's bad. Incest is bad because it concentrates diseases and creates a plethora of problems but I don't care. And pedophilia-did you really compare that to gay sex? Gay sex is between 2 consenting men. Pedophilia is between an adult and an unconsenting child, or a child that isn't able to make their own decisions. >Can you name a single country anywhere in the world where the Catholic Church has banned (made illegal) contraception. I can't. Lmao great for you!! >This one is by far my favorite. I don't want a speaker to encourage LGBT agenda issues, so now I want gay people to commit suicide. How do you personally make that leap of logic. Forget about responding to the rest. Please respond to that question specifically. Preventing a anti suicide group seems to do that. Do you know how many gay kids kill themselves every year because of bullying, often due to the church? >Man. If only we had thousands of books on natural philosophy and morality to back up our beliefs and traditions. If only... If only... Man...if only there was any evidence of a god or any evidence proving any of the things you believe in and hold holy, like hell and heaven... if only... Keep living your repressed life, I know the catholic church is dying, and the population is realizing the atrocities commited by it.

  • Deon Jacobson

    So years ago an old friend of mine was visiting from out of town, and we got to chatting about Anne McCaffrey's *Pern* series. Specifically, we were talking about how draconian (har har) she was about her IP. This was in the early days of the web, and she and her son had been trawling about, bullying fan fiction sites into shutting down and generally being pricks. If you went to their website, they even had list of rules, for how you were allowed to _privately roleplay_ the Pern setting in your own home. Ridiculous. So we started brainstorming. What would be the worst thing Anne and Alex (her son) could imagine on the web? In the end, it was obvious: hardcore Pern-themed dragon porn. Pernography if you will. So we created a few fake email addresses, and started sending emails to Alex McCaffrey (he ran their web efforts). They all reported finding this truly awful, graphic, pernography site. And even worse, it says right on the website that it is *officially endorsed* by the McCaffreys! The horror! I'll certainly never be purchasing those books again! We kept a rotating cast of characters going. Some anti-pernography and some pro ("Which book is this from?"). We came up with a variety of excuses for not being able to send him the URL ("What's a url? Is that like an email address?"). He started confiding his frustration to some of our more sympathetic characters. He described how much he hated these dumb kids who think the first amendment protects them. He told us how was spending hours and hours scouring the pre-Google web looking for non-existent pictures of dragons and women having graphic sex ("How does it even *fit*??"). He even posted an announcement on the official Pern website, asking for help tracking the site down. After about a week, we sensed we were losing him and it was time to wrap things up. So we set up a free website on Angelfire (it was like Geocities), with a note: "Thanks to RuthSpoodger for tipping me off. Seems like the heat is on and Alex is looking for us. We'll have to shut down for now, but we'll be back soon. You know how to find us." And we signed it *Anal Lizard*. Good times.

  • Oma Gleason

    All this rubbing shoulders can be good or can be bad. Basically you are saying rich kids can learn empathy with poor kids. Maybe. Or they just bully the living shit out of each other. Poor kids who are more used to tough circumstances generally win the who bullies the other more than the rich kids who are typically soft, so it can be hell for the rich kids. I come from a country where there are few private schools but basically rich - poor school segregation is solved by where you live. And we used to have mandatory military service. At 18, for the first time in their lives, rich and poor boys were forced to mix. The result was not an enriching experiences. It was the tough as nails poor "peasant" boys always taunting the soft rich boys who never did anything beyond videogaming or reading books as you are gay, you are limp wrist, you have no balls, fighting, beating them up, bullying etc. Homeschooling: but ultimately whose job is to judge the results, the state or the parents? Sometimes parents choose wrong, but on the average you can trust them to care, can you trust far away Dept of Education bureucrats to care? I also think you believe too much in education, that you believe it really matters for social mobility. It does not really. Whatever other advantage rich kids have is inherited from parents, which could be anything from connections in powerful places to genetic IQ. Schools matter little and a rich-poor segregate school system just reflects this reality. It does not help much to teach a lot of stuff to poor kids who have no connections to land them a top job or may lack the IQ for it or simply don't know to behave when lunching with suit and tie power people. It gets wasted. Again I am from a different country but saw it so much - poor kid goes to the good business school, does well, but at the end of the day is still just an educated "peasant" while the rich kid who almost failed the business school has the self confidence, the connections, maybe the IQ, and much easier lands a management job, because he instantly connects with the managers.

  • Lera Ryan

    I'm just going to [leave this here.]( Except: > classrooms or communicate to students that they are babyish. This is despite a compelling and rather surprising branch of neuroscience that shows the importance of an area of our brain that “sees” fingers, well beyond the time and age that people use their fingers to count. It's not good to make assumptions about what education works best. The best thing is not to do what you've always done---in this case, read Huckleberry Fin or ban finger counting---but to actually *study* the issue at hand, and continually re-evaluate. To Kill a Mockingbird is an interesting book, and replacing it with any other as a teaching tool about racism would be difficult. However, we live in an era where racism is already widely seen as 'evil', not merely impolite to talk about as it was in the 60s and 70s. This is not to say racism doesn't still exist, but its effects may have been reduced to the point that other sociatable problems aren't being given their due justice in the classroom. Perhaps instead of To Kill A Mockingbird, students should read 'Deliver Us from Normal', a story about the decent from being a middle class family to being the poor 'other', school bullying, and social ostracization. We make the snap judgment that teaching kids about the power of racism is what absolutely needs to be done most of all, but is it? Perhaps we could directly teach kids about the need for gay rights (something almost no middle school curriculum has)? If we do so, what book do we remove and why shouldn't it be To Kill A Mockingbird? ---- My whole point is not that banning books is awesome (albeit no book has been banned here, it's simply not on the curriculum temporarily for a single school). It's that no book is sacrosanct, and any book can be removed from the ciriculum.

  • Lucious Kris

    Stain, and my reason for having really strong memories about it is that I want to a new school in first grade, but had somehow not come into contact really, with the Berenstain Bears books. I had seen them, but when I was in kindergarten, not too many kids were reading them. And I didn't watch the show (mostly because Kindergarten was 1984-1985, it didn't come out until that summer, and I don't even remember it existing until I was in second grade). However, I could read, up to Dr. Seuss Lorax levels by then. So, not hearing about the books and only seeing a few at the library that were below my reading level, and no other human correcting me, I landed on Berenstain, but pronounced more like Berenstən. Like the end of certain. That's even how I landed on it. So in first grade I went to a different school. Catholic school, in West Virginia no less. And the books were all the rage. I trotted out my pronunciation and the kids made fun of me, claiming my NJ accent was making me say things funny. BerenstEEn they said (and to this day all the people I asked in WV how to pronounce it, go there). So I conformed. Thinking it was wrong, the whole time, but I was made fun of all the time for the "weird way" I said things. Well, second grade rolls around, and I move back to NJ. I trot out the corrected pronunciation the WV kids had bullied me into just trying to make friends with a kid who was reading one of the books, and yet again got made fun of for "talking weird because you're from WV". So, it's pretty much tied into my first bullying/othering incidents, twice. In retrospect, even beyond second grade, the kid who made fun of me in NJ was probably insecure to begin with, he was not a strong reader (and never was, I was in school with him for 4 years, in 5th grade he got left back, and he was kind of my constant tormenter until then), which is possibly why he was so mean to me. So I really shouldn't have taken it as hard as I did. But kids, you know. I still pronounce it wrong though (like certain), unless I am actively thinking of how it is pronounced.

  • Myrtle Glover

    I live in a Berkeley, California, a liberal city with generally good schools. However, my son has special needs: aspergers, sensory issues, executive function deficits, and ADHD. He is also gifted at math and science. Public school did very little for him. They were both failing to handle his special needs, while also doing nothing in the way of advanced math classes (our district currently has no honors math program; they claim this is due to common core somehow). Their idea of an IEP to help our son was about 1-2 hours a week with various specialists; of course those people would frequently quit after 1 year, since they can earn better pay working privately. One year, the speech specialist didn't even make it through the full school year before quitting. My son was able to muddle through elementry school, but by middle school, things were starting to fall apart. He was on the verge of failing english class. The teacher didn't give a shit about him reading books in class instead of doing work; this despite a requirement in his IEP that he was to be provided with "verbal prompts to stay on task". He didn't have any friends, and there were signs of minor bullying going on. He got in trouble once and sent to detention; the vice-president had zero understanding of the psychology of autistic spectrum disorders. So we switched to private school, at great personal expense. The curriculum is tailored for high-functioning aspergers kids, with built-in programs to train kids to deal with organizational problems. In 2.5 years, he also skipped ahead 3 years in math. Such schools are also way more supportive of sensory seeking behavior and stimming; in some schools they let kids bounce on ball-chairs. I am supportive of public education; I went to public schools. We tried, and it simply wasn't working. The sad part is that very few poor kids with similar issues and gifts will be able to attend such a school.

  • Jade Wolff

    I too was a Wendi. We lived in the country so our bus ride was nearly 45 minutes each way. A good part of that hour and a half on the bus each day was spent trying to ignore or not cry while the other kids teased me. In addition to being a Wendi, I developed early and learned to eat my feelings. So in addition to being socially backward and constantly terrified, I was fat and getting fatter. Then at school it was worse. Gum was rubbed into my hair, and I was the target of countless paper wads, spit balls, and cafeteria food. I was tripped and teased because I was big and clumsy. My sophomore year I needed crutches during the first week of school. A boy saw me struggling with my books and offered to carry them, only to throw them down the hall and laugh. I hated high school until my senior year when I started hanging out with the stoners, who were happy to hang out with me so long as I had weed. I made sure to always have weed, liquor or smokes, or money to buy it. The day after my high school graduation I moved far away. I created an entire new me who wasn't awkward or fat. I starved myself for months and lost 50 pounds. I joined the Navy so I could be even further away from the Hell that was my home town. That was more than 30 years ago and I still feel that rejection and pain if I think about it. Which I rarely do. I've never told anyone the extent of that bullying and it got worse than what I've written, but I can't put that out here right now. I pray your Wendi finds happiness like I did. I met a wonderful man and we've been married a thousand happy years (okay, 26, not 1000). I went to college thanks to the GI Bill and was able to visit some of the world's most beautiful places thanks to Uncle Sam. I was able to leave all that misery behind and I bet your Wendi did too.

  • Valerie Hamill

    Wow, this is seriously what the kids call bullying these days? Sounds more like dread or teasing to me. Back in my day bullying is when you're given swirlies, pushed while pissing at a urinal, thrown in a trash can, getting your books knocked out of your hands, getting punched in the back of the head when your sitting at lunch, getting things stolen from you (lunch, belongings) and getting humiliated in front of others. This bitch has no idea what bullying is, she sounds like one of those special snowflakes that daddy did everything and gave everything to her. I would have laughed at her story and told her to grow up (if I didn't live with her). I hate bully's too, because I experienced all of the above in school on a weekly basis, but the way you explained it seems very minor. >She was genuinely on the verge of tears after telling me this. Sounds like she is fishing for some sympathy and looking for someone to comfort her and validate her overly emotional feelings regarding her "bullying" situation. "Like OMG this guy I liked started complimenting other girls in front of me, oh my gosh my life is hard and since I'm cute I usually get my way, but this time I didn't". >I told her the guy probably fancied her and was too much of a pussy to show it so he took it out on her like that instead. You came completely to her defense, how sweet. Houston, emotional tampon is a go. What you should have done was not allow the conversation to get where it did. You should have cut her off or walked away when you realized she was opening up to her beta roommate (you). Or another more riskier option would be to allow her to finish her sob story, then make a joke or tease her about it. Attempt to make her laugh to change her negative emotional state to a positive one. However, if you fucked that approach up she would take it personally and probably start leaving her bloody tampons around the house for you to clean up.

  • Orie Senger

    >They also must have very few actual things to worry about. I know this isn't very intellectual..or academic, but in general, this is my problem with SJWs in general..and why I differentiate them from progressives and/or liberals. Think about /r/bodyacceptance for a bit. Standing against bullying? Good. But look a bit deeper, and they end up defending unhealthy lifestyle choices to the point of ignoring medical science, or worse - as an act of rebellion against the patriarchy. Meanwhile - where's the body acceptance for amputees? Women who've lost their breasts due to breast cancer. Birth defects, deformities, and results of everything from war to work accidents. It's whining about yoga pants being cultural appropriation - b/c can't see anything more important. You led such a privileged as fuck life - you can't imagine the struggle of a single mother raising 2 kids of welfare. It's this obsession that feminism has battles to win inside of pop culture ephemera - Girl Ghostbusters! The endless critiques of women in scifi and comic books films, (or comic books themselves). Meanwhile abortion access is being eroded one state at a time, from coast to coast, with clinic after clinic shutting its doors. And the grand crown on this 10 year attack - is that now Congress, SCOTUS and the POTUS, as well as the majority of governors and state parliaments have a very dominant control over our government.

  • Kali Mohr

    Like many others here I was the one who snapped. Bullying. Running gag huh. I was bullied through infants up to high school by the same kids. Small town so it was expected. I considered myself fairly stoic. I found solice in books and in the library where the bullies barely went, but they often made up for it in class. One class was woodworking in High School. Now I loved to make things. If it had painting, or building or any of that stuff I was right into it. Woodworking had us make a small hanging cabinet for a wall. I convinced myself to make one perfect so I could give it to my mother as a present. I worked on that shit for ages. Asked if I could stay back a bit longer to finish up some details or ask the teacher how to do some fancy stuff, which he was delighted to show me. We finished the project and the class put our stuff side by side on display so we could compare before we took them home. Bell rang, teacher leaves and I went to fetch my bag. Come back to find my work absolutely mauled by dents and scars like someone went postal with a wood chisel. I stood there, and across on another table were the bullies giving me that non-subtle 'act like we had nothing to do with it but keep shooting glances to see my reaction' thing they do. I picked up my project, walked up to them and broke the cabinet on the head of the tallest one, sending him to the floor, and then went completely ballistic on the other. I just remember screaming and throwing punches. Teacher comes back in and grabs me off them. I got suspended for a week. One bully had to get stitches for the back of his head.

  • Adan Harvey

    I am the same as you, Bullied throughout primary school yr 1-6, Got to Collage (Yr 7)and oh joy some of my bullies are here as well from my primary school, Fantastic, And now I have new bullies I've never met. I broke during year 8 because my Mum was trying to get me to school and I didn't want to go due to the bullying being so bad I didn't want to go to school anymore. She dragged me to the principals office and I explained through sobbing how I had been bullied for years...response?, NOTHING to the girls or guys who did it, I got sent off to what was known as "The bad kids school". I met rough girls, Got into bad things, Became a professional shoplifter for a while, Started smoking and stealing shit, Good idea right?, I was a bookish nerd before but I became something so much worse at the school supposed to 'correct me'. Sent back to my normal school, It was okay for a week before the usual group tried bullying me and I lashed out, Threw a chair at the bitch, My 'BAD GIRL' Image got around, Apparently I was a feral now because of that. Boy on the bus who used to steal my books and bully me found out first day, stole my book, I went to the back of the bus as he laughed with his friends, ripped the book out of his hands and screamed "THIS IS NOT A GAME FUCKER" None of his cronies intervened. I became "that scary girl who used to be at that awful school" Nobody ever messed with me, I Got friends later in yr 9...good ones who didn't deal drugs and had a great friends-base. afterwards.

  • Javier O'Conner

    I partly agree, at least since 1990 or so, most of nerdity is mythological. These things are, in general, pop culture, and in fact, except for hard core manga fans -- fairly common pop culture. Comic books are made into multimillion dollar movies, most of which are blockbusters. Video games are mainstream, and unless you are actively discounting huge sub genres of games, everyone plays video games. It's a strange phenomenon when liking mainstream things and choosing a mainstream (to the point of endorsements by the sitting president mainstream) marks a person out as an outcast. And as far as the greater narrative, I'm not sure. It fits the nerd movies of the 1980s and that's about it. Once it was shown to be useful to the mainstream (aka you can make money with these computers) most of the resistance to nerdity dropped off. Computer geeks became cool by the mid 1990s, and most of the people who would have shunned nerds in 1985 wanted to be one by 1995. And I think this is the disconnect. Nerds and Jocks have essentially changed places. I think that's why the_donald acts like bullies. They are the Alphas of Revenge of the Nerds. The cool kids bullying everyone else on social media, the ones who can't leave someone who is different the heck alone. It's a fantasy, and they're not oppressed or even out of the mainstream.

  • Enola Williamson

    Same thing happened to me in 9th grade. I watched a documentary on the columbine shooting and developed an interest in it along with true crime in general. I read true crime books and watched true crime documentaries all the time. I was very interested in it, especially columbine. One day, some kids in my class were discussing columbine and they were very uninformed about it so I joined in and told them everything I knew about it. I was one of the quietest kids in the class and they all seemed so shocked that I knew so much about such an obscure topic like that. A couple days later I was escorted to the principal's office by the principle and two police officers. I had no idea what was going on. It turned out that one of my friends told them about my interest, the principal demanded access to her Facebook account to view our conversations, saw that I would discuss true crime with my friend a lot, and saw some texts I sent where I expressed sympathy for the columbine shooters because of the bullying they suffered. I was expelled. The worst thing I said was "tbh, I understand why they did it and I don't really blame them." I never made any threats or had any desire to copy them. I got punished for sympathizing for the columbine shooters and having an interest in the case. I still passed the 9th grade because I had good grades and it was the end of the year. In 11th grade now with straight A's, but at a different school.

  • Shea Harber

    It was me. Lemme see if I can find that old comment... "The last time I snapped was the summer of sixth grade. A girl who had tormented me all summer- verbally, convinced all the kids to not talk to me, threw my books in the mud, and so on, "accidentally" beaned me in the head with one of those giant rubber balls. Hurt like hell- I was a small kid, and it actually took me to the ground. We both knew she'd get away with it: nobody else was around. I'm never gonna forget the smile on her face. Next thing I knew, I had my hands on her neck." Extra context: The next day, I got called into the front office. Her mom gave some sob story about how her daughter wouldn't even touch her dinner, was super quiet all afternoon. "She's such a happy girl! She's never like this!". The girl was suspiciously silent (the hell could she say?), so the lady in charge told me to explain what happened. So I, this little 10yo, went over and said: "We had a fight. I said something mean. I'm so sorry!" Tears and everything, it was crazy. The kid is stunned. Her mom and the teacher all jump me- "Oh, it's okay sweetheart! You apologized! You're such a nice little girl, you didn't mean it!" I didn't rat her out for the bullying, but she never came near me again.

  • Jamel Bosco

    This is where we disagree. We *can* change kids behaviour. When I was a child comic books were seen as the epitome of being a geek, bringing one into school was basically painting a target on your back for bullies. Now...comics are cool. Videogames and technology are cool. There are hot chicks who dressed up as videogame characters who they have never heard of because it gets them internet fame. The generation younger than me is completely unaware of how geek culture used to be treated, people openly play pokemon at age 30 and no one is punching their faces in. Even I, a geek, think playing pokemon is "gay as hell" to quote my bullies. So when you say "you can't change human behaviour" it's a giant cop out. You can change human culture, which is what this whole situation is about. There is bullying in all forms found in all socieities on earth, but the extent and intensity varies from country to country. There is corruption found everywhere as well. Domestic violence. Rape. Murder. There are lots of unpleasent activities that humans engage in, but to chalk it up to "human behaviour" that can't's simply false. Cultures *do* change. Look at how homosexuality had been treated over the past 1000 years vs the last 10. Just because changing our culture is complicated does not mean we should not try.

  • Ariane Runolfsdottir

    Ginny was a Mary Sue and in no way a well-written character. James and Sirius' treatment of Snaps didn't sway my opinion of them and I continued to like them, because even though I believe bullying is wrong regardless of who's the receiver, I don't think Snape was as innocent as fans made him out to be. He joined their version of Hitler Jugend and practiced dark magic on younger kids. He was actively planning on killing people when he got out of Hogwarts even at that point. So sorry not sorry, Snape. Hermione is the least likable of the Golden Trio and if anything, she's the one who doesn't deserve Ron and not the other way around. Ron was one of the best characters in the books and the most likable among the trio. Angsty Harry didn't bother me. I'm not opposed to the movies being remade because I'm still angry about Ron's characterization and think there's plenty of room for improvement overall.

  • Kay Barrows

    I'm not even sure this was a "fight." This kid was bullying me. He was way smaller than me, but I had self-esteem issues in high school, I was one of the "weird" kids. People, including teachers, would constantly see him messing with me in the halls (high school) and do nothing about it. One day, I was walking to class, and he got in my way and started trying to push me backwards. This was the first time I actually realized my size advantage. I had almost a foot on him, height-wise, plus I spent my evenings working manual labor at a sawmill. I momentarily lost my shit. I threw my books down and literally picked him up by the neck, shook him like a rag doll for a few seconds, slammed him against some lockers, and dropped him. He appeared to have been knocked out. Funny enough...nobody did anything about it. Everyone stared at me like i'd just given birth to an alien, I picked up my books and rushed away to class. I was never called to the office or anything, which makes me think a lot of people hated this guy, not just me.

  • Noemy Schowalter

    I mean schools will typically select books for reading because they feel the writing itself or the themes within the book bear discussing and have learning opportunities. Harry Potter was a pretty good opportunity for dialogue about things like bullying, child abuse, morality, and also dealing with fame. The fact that you had to read it twice is likely because it wasn't part of a school-wide syllabus, but was due to a teacher decided syllabus, hence the repeat. It was probably also around the time the book was popular, so teachers would have jumped on it as a chance to get kids who might not normally like reading to read something about magic and dragons and be engaged with the subject.

  • Rod Wiegand

    I wish someone had thought to sue my fourth grade teacher. She threw things at both kids in the class who weren't Catholic (we were both sent to a Catholic elementary school because it was down the street and it didn't make sense to bus us across the district to the other school) and spent the entire year menacing us by hitting just beside our hands on our desks *very hard* with a yardstick. The sound of something hitting a desk still makes me panic. That woman killed my love for school and fostered an environment that led to so much bullying we both went to a high school in a different district to escape it. I think she was let go after the following year, when she threw all of a student's books and their chair out the fifth floor window. I tried to look it up but this happened before the days of newspapers having websites.

  • Anjali Schamberger

    And if it's not bullying, it's simply exclusion. Bunch 30 little sociopaths in a room with an alpha-mentality and there will always be a social hierarchy. Not only that but the arts are incredibly shunned by the youths. Kids in band were "band-geeks", males in chorus were either "gay" or "momma's boys". If you read books for fun you were a nerd, if you wanted to spend your time drawing you were anti-social, and pretty much if you focused on a certain clothing style, hobby, or had a hint of social anxiety than somebody else thought you were a weirdo. It's certainly a period for growth but there is so much judgement, fear, and social confusion to wade through.

  • Leonel Krajcik

    Hiding my love of books cause I was part of the cool group. Not being friends with kids whom I had a lot in common with cause they weren't "cool". I was very bright academically but fucked up in school cause I was more interested in wasting time on weed, girls and making money. Losing my virginity to a batshit crazy girl who'd go onto give me stress right up to my 30's. Bullying others. Being a selfish dick. There's so much more. I've tried to find everyone I've wronged and apologised for my behaviour back then but I still sometimes feel shitty when I remember what an asshole I was/am.

  • Austin Windler

    Diagnosed at age 28 while in grad school for biology. Now a neuroscientist who is looking to get into autism research. I was a luckily oblivious kid. I didn't make friends easily and people thought I was weird, but I didn't really pick up on how unusual I was the way some people on the spectrum do. I had a close friend from kindergarten through high school, and that friendship (and the mutual acquaintances it brought) buffered me from the social isolation some experience growing up. It's only looking back and reviewing parts of my childhood that I can see a pattern emerge: I often failed to recognize and comply with social norms, being scolded or publicly shamed in front of other students by teachers for "being rude." But whatever rudeness I was exhibiting was so self-evident that nobody bothered to tell me *what* I was actually doing wrong, and I remained clueless. I don't really make eye contact (though I've learned to fake it reasonably well by now) and have a horrible time recognizing faces or pairing them with names. I depend on other salient characteristics to recognize people, like a prominent nose, particular haircut, or distinctive pair of glasses. My mother often recounts a story of how I reacted to her getting a haircut when I was a toddler: "Well, you *sound* like Mom." She thinks it's funny, but I didn't recognize her without her original haircut. Similar things still happen. I took tens of seconds to identify my graduate adviser after he shaved his beard; he looked like a complete stranger. I once failed to recognize a close college friend because she was wearing large sunglasses. Et cetera. I also engage in some possible stimming behaviors (hand/wrist flapping) when bored, though this was infrequent enough that nobody picked up on it when I was a kid. Socially, I'm an odd duck. When I feel nervous, I tend to smirk. I'm pretty sure I have almost been decked by belligerent drunks who thought I was "disrespecting them" when I was actually only nervous about their behavior. As is common for people on the spectrum, I often misunderstand nuances of communication, including body language, expression, and tone of voice. There's a stereotype about how autistic people interpret everything literally, but I don't find that to be the case. Once I learn the meaning of an idiom, I'll understand it in speech like anyone else. I'm not bad when it comes to higher order theory of mind tests, though I am very bad at empathizing and properly guessing/inferring emotional states of other people based on their experiences. I also tend to be blunt, which can inadvertently hurt feelings. I've learned to cultivate an attitude of playful sarcasm around friends and am frequently critical of them, though I convey crtiicism in a joking deadpan. This has two benefits - it allows my friends to self-select for those who can tolerate my critical statements, and it lessens the impact of unintentionally rude statements. I usually say critical things jokingly, so they are more likely to write off unintentional rudeness as 'ThatGrumpyGoat is just being his usual joking self.' But this lets me be at ease around friends and acquaintances and not worry so much about what I say. In professional environments like school and work, I carefully monitor what comes out of my mouth. At times, this means I miss opportunities to speak, but I view it as a tradeoff to avoid alienating my peers/bosses in the office. I had (relatively mild) sensory issues as well. My parents report an aversion to loud noises when I was a toddler. The hum of institutional fluorescent lights annoyed me, making it hard to pay attention in school. My poor attention span led to hearing tests and repeated requests from teachers that I be evaluated for ADHD, but my family has really internalized the stigma surrounding mental illness and saw these requests as an affront. No son of *theirs* could have ADHD, and hadn't they heard that it was severely over-diagnosed? Luckily for me, high frequency sound perception attenuates as people age (this is the basis for those "adult-proof" ringtones only kids/teens can hear). I have mostly aged out of my worst sensory issues, though some new CF bulbs I use at home do irritate me with their noise. I also had/have some texture issues, and especially as a child I would strongly prefer clothes made from certain soft fabrics rather than coarse denim or scratchy wool. Flickering fluorescent lights (the ones about to die) still really annoy me, but I only encounter them rarely. When it comes to "special interests" exhibited by some autistic people, I've had a few. Most were related to science fiction franchises that were popular when I was growing up in the '90s-00s. I liked Aliens, Star Trek, Star Wars, and others; I still have encyclopedic recall of many aspects of these fictional worlds, despite not currently following the franchises. My longest lasting interest is biology, and I've leveraged that into a career. It began with reading Jurassic Park as young kid (I completely missed the cautionary message about not playing god and immediately latched onto the awesomeness of playing god), and really blossomed in high school as I took more bio courses. Unlike accounts by autistic people like Temple Grandin, I have an extremely poor visual imagination. I can't visualize things, but I can "see" and grasp complex networks of interaction with relative ease and much enjoyment. These are abundant in biology and neuroscience, and I derive satisfaction from engaging with them both on qualitative and quantitative levels for recreation and work. I also have a special love of alphabetizing and sorting my books that borders on compulsive, and I tend to get irrationally annoyed when things in the house are left in disarray. (My wife is naturally the messier of the two of us and my clean-freakery is probably one of the most annoying things for her.) Like many with ASD, mine comes coupled with depression and some social anxiety. The former really manifested in college when I was first separated from my longtime friend, and led to four years of social isolation, poor mood, and suicidality. The anxiety comes from having difficulty reading others reactions and intentions, and therefore not knowing if I'll be judged for something I say wrong or if I'll hurt someone's feelings. My family's views on mental illness kept me from seeking help in college, but I've since found some solid therapists and am on some tasty prescription antidepressants that keep me in a happier state of mind. It was actually a therapist who suggested I get evaluated for ASD in grad school, as many of the issues affecting my depression involved social isolation and miscommunication. I first suspected I might be on the spectrum in '05-06 when one of Simon Baron-Cohen's research papers made a splash in the popular press. It led to his group's autism quotient test being made available [online]( I scored near the threshold and was also recognizing some of my childhood behaviors and depression-related issues as matching up with ASD traits. But I let it go and it wasn't until 8 years later that I get tested after my therapist independently voiced his suspicions about a diagnosis. I was tested in 2013, shortly after the DSM-5 was released. I was told that I had an ASD, and that I previously would've been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. So that's what autism is "really like" for me. I also want to say something about what it's *not* like. I spent most of my adult like thinking I wasn't autistic, and I accepted many of the media portrayals (both by neurotypical and autistic people) uncritically. My resulting view of autistic people was that they thought in ways that were fundamentally alien and unknowable to neurotypicals. I feel like this view is in some ways exacerbated by Temple Grandin's early (and for a long time the only available) accounts of life with autism, in which she highlights the qualitatively different ways she thinks and processes information. Helpfully, more recent memoirs such as Carly Fleischmann's and Naoki Higashida's provide a humanistic contrast to this view. I had to reconcile my stereotypes about autism with my own diagnosis and came to the conclusion that ASD is perhaps best viewed not as a fundamental difference, but as a disability akin to hearing loss or blindness. "Mind blind" has been used to describe autistic people, and it's apt. We may have certain deficits when it comes to intuitively understanding and communicating with others, but we're just people working around these issues as best we are able - just as others with hearing or sight impairment work around their own disabilities to lead fulfilling lives of their own.

  • Anastacio Mertz

    I grew up in a blue collar neighborhood of mostly boys around my age. The only girls were much older (our baby sitters) or much younger so I had no exposure to girls my own age until I started school. I always felt a little different than the other guys but we all played the same things together so I went along with it. In Kindergarten I met two girls who were wearing these beautiful dresses and I immediately knew why I felt different - I wanted to be them! I was always grouped with the boys so I never really got to know the girls throughout elementary school so I did whatever the boys did. I also got picked on a lot for wanting to include girls or be with the girls (cooties and all that). In 7th grade I finally got to be with a girl and made her my girlfriend - got picked on something fierce. I wanted to be her friend and learn all about girls from her but she wanted me to kiss her and hold her hand. I was unaware of her motives and was very confused by her. In 8th grade I met a girl named Nicole and we became good friends. I wanted to be her but I knew that was a secret I would have to take to my grave. She was cute, could be tomboyish or girly girl and slow to develop. We were close to the same size until she got a bra. I was fascinated with it and managed to borrow one once, brought it home, tried it on and fell in love with feeling like a girl. I returned it without her ever knowing but it started my life as a crossdresser. In high school I started imagining myself as 'one of the girls' and withdrew from most of the boys. I would crossdress in mom's old clothes and prayed I could wake up as a girl every night. Loved everything about girls and always wanted to be one of them. Nikki and I drifted apart - I was really smart and she was not, so we had no classes together and I lost my only friend that was a girl. Girls would laugh at me when I tried to join in their groups and the guys thought I was gay. It made for a lonely existence. I tried to see if I was gay so I started hanging around the gay guys in theater. All I learned was that theater was fun and that all guys were repulsive to me. I REALLY liked girls only. Then I realized if I became a girl I would be a lesbian! In 1979 that was not something tolerated. Neither was sex changing. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. So I pushed it all away and started to learn how to be a guy. I found I didn't like putting down girls, talking bad about them or looking at them for sexual purposes. Guys really are gross. I was smart, sweet and kind so I could get some girls to talk to me who needed homework help and listened to their problems. I never could get them to be a friend or anything romantic but I was still happy to have some entry into their world. In college things were different. I decided to be more outgoing and see where that got me. I met some girls at band camp before school started and thought I could be with them. By the first party after school started I had lots of friends but no romantic prospects until this older girl singled me out at the party and pulled me away from the card game I was playing. She was different and I was interested in her for more than just a friendship. I was sexually attracted for the first time in my life. We dated throughout college and got married. I had tried to crossdress a few times while in college but the feeling was gone. I guessed I was not a girl after all. Throughout the early part of our marriage things were great I never felt a draw toward crossdressing but I still wanted more friends who were girls. As a couple we gained a lot of other couples as very good friends and we did everything together. Then we had kids - two daughters! We loved our kids but I knew very little about girls and how to raise them as I grew up with all boys. I started getting worried I would be a poor father so I started trying to read girl's books to understand them better. This started to awaken my crossdressing feelings again which quickly reawakened my desire to be a girl. I went through purges but the feelings kept coming back stronger. As my girls grew I tried hard to just live vicariously through them. The older they got the more I wished I could be a girl too. In 1999 my grandmother passed away, I was looking for a job and I found out my wife had two affairs before our girls were born, with a friend of mine from college and another from my hockey league. My life fell apart. Crossdressing was the only way I could find relief from the stress. At this time I started realizing there was no sexual component to the CDing - I just wanted to be a girl. It just felt right being feminine while being a man seemed all wrong. I tried harder to fight it and maintain the male façade. Got a job, repaired the marriage damage and thought all was going well but looks were deceiving as I was carrying heavy secret. In 2001 I couldn’t bear the weight anymore. I disclosed my CDing to my wife and after a few discussions we established that she could handle me wearing panties and occasionally nightgowns, but male clothes otherwise. CDing became a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy. Transitioning was certainly out of the question. I tried to push the issue but she got angry with me and put her foot down hard. I buried these feelings, burned out on engineering work and became a teacher. I got a job at a middle school and have been teaching there ever since. This was a fine career change with great personal satisfaction and actually a lot more fun than my engineering career. This was short lived as my CDing came back hard and I really wanted more to be a girl. Dealing with pubescent girl’s everyday started to have an effect on my dysphoria making me desire a changing girl body. Over the last three years I have been miserable, realizing I’ll never be a girl like all of my students. Something I have felt since I was their age! This past summer I was becoming overwhelmed with dread at having to return to school facing the girls I so longed to be. I started thinking about and planning, how I could just disappear but not leave my family in need. I put it out of my head when I realized this contemplating suicide! That lasted about a week when the thoughts came back into my head. This was the last straw. I sought out a therapist who could treat my depression, suicidal thoughts and help me sort out my gender problem. I met with her in August and quickly determined my depression was firmly rooted in my Gender Dysphoria. I have successfully processed all my other stressors (infidelities, death, job stress) but that my need to be a girl and all the triggers that surround me are keeping me down. We were able to get me over the pubescent girl trigger so I could return to work in September. Admitting my GD has been releasing but new struggles ahead. I need to transition for my sanity and mental health. Working with my therapist I now have a plan for transition I think I can live with, look forward to starting my HRT and have a positive outlook for my life. I will basically hormonally transition only. I’ll still present as guy in public but under dress to deal with my breasts. I have a kidney problem and a swollen prostate so I can pass off the chest as a side-effect of the prostate medicine. Also, I'm balding so I'll need a wig and my beard is salt and pepper so I'll need a lot of laser and electro to get rid of it. That means lots of $$ that I don't have. Soooo I am comfortable being a man with boobs in public but a girl when I get home.

  • Jon Oberbrunner

    The super weird part of the trouble book is that there's this series of kids books called Wayside School where one of the teachers makes the kids write their names on the blackboard under the word 'DISCIPLINE' and if they get their name on the board once, underline once, and circle it finally, they get sent home after lunch on the kindergarten bus. This teacher in the book is beloved by all the students, but the DISCIPLINE list isn't... like that... isn't supposed to be some brilliant idea that you then tweak and utilize in your own classroom.. the books are meant to be highly ridiculous. There's another teacher in those books that keeps a book full of all the students that pissed her off and holds the grudges against those students for decades afterwards... the trouble book feels like that... and I get a super weird fake vibe from this woman. When I met her at the Meet and Greet before this school year started I let her know that my daughter has had major best friend bully trouble with one of the girls who was going to be in class with her that year as a heads up to keep an eye out and maybe spend some time with the class talking about friendship like previous teachers have done, and she bent down to my daughter and said "If anything bad happens I want you to tell me first, okay?" and then she stuttered and said "Not that I don't think you should tell your mom, but I just meant I want you to tell me first so that I can deal with it here in the classroom, okay?" It was super weird and I've been on edge ever since that meeting. And the best part is that Parent/Teacher conferences are coming up I think in the next week or so and I do NOT want to look this bitch in the eye and listen to her talk about my daughter that she clearly cares for soooooo deeply. Fucking gross.

  • Hermina Aufderhar

    Children are terrible. They're learning power dynamics and in-group policing more than actual friendship. My dad likened children to baby chicks who peck the weak one to death. He said that humans socializing for the first time isn't much different than that pecking order being established. Somehow that helped. It helped to realize kids are mainly operating on insecurity rather than actually choosing people as friends. I can't find the quote, but in one of the little house on the prairie books by laura ingals wilder, she walks up to school the first time, and said out loud that everyone looked like chickens squawking in the yard while swinging her lunch pail, then felt immediately embarrassed of her outfit and outburst. I feel like that's a good description of my kindergarten days.

  • Nicholaus Kozey

    #[Umineko no Naku Koro ni]( (Episode 4 finished) Soo this is it for now. After 73 hours I finally reached the end of the Questions Arc and have to wait for the release of the Answers Arc. Really having trouble remembering everything from this episode and going into details about specific aspects. Honestly, the writing in this one felt like it's all over the place to me. It was switching between times, topics, characters and moods so much that it's kinda hard to make some concluding summary. In a way, this reflects my general opinion of the novel quite well. The good stuff: [Umineko Episode 4](#s "I really loved it when the novel got kind of philosophical with the truth of magic by using Ange and Maria. Maria's story was a fantastic example for the concept of multiple existing truths the novel often started in arguments. When Maria was stating that if one sheet of paper can destroy everything, maybe another sheet of paper can repair it again, I totally forgot about her letter to share her happiness with her mother, and loved how this conclusion turned out. While I personally am totally on Ange's side regarding that discussion, that definitely was a strong scene to make a case for the so-called 'fake happiness'. I also loved how Krauss and Kyrie started working together in this episode and really would have liked to see more of these alliances between the adults in general. Kyrie probably is an audience favorite either way, but I also liked the calculating Krauss. So seeing them joining forces was quite cool and I wish that would have had more impact for the story. Although that also meant my previous assumption that she would be the next mastermind behind things turned out to be very unlikely at least ;). But who knows. As the episode came to its conclusion I also liked pretty much everything: Ange forcing Battler to say he loves her as a sister in red and then telling him everything to get him on track was well executed. Also, Battler finally attacking Beatrice was also refreshing after the eternal passive role he had, although the theories started to become even more unbelievable than magic. Still, it increased the pacing a lot.") The bad stuff: [Umineko Episode 4](#s "The writer is just unable to make me feel what I am supposed to feel. Bullying seems to be a secret favorite topic since this was also in Higanbana a lot, but once again I didn't feel any sympathy, although they really tried with Ange. Same goes for pretty much any other scene that is obviously made to make the viewer cry or filled with joy - it just never worked for me and I doubt I will ever shed a tear in this novel. Not sure if it is the writing or the voice acting or whatever, but somehow I just can't connect with it, and I think that's one of the biggest problems for me with this novel. To expand on the 'writing all over the place', I also just can't stand the more childish/shonen aspects of this novel. The voice acting alone made me skip parts for the first time when the Seven Sisters did their things with Sakutarou and were just messing around. I really can't stand those unrealistically high-pitched voices and those scenes were so filled with it that I skipped a part of a VN for the first time in my life apart from H-scenes (and Muv-Luvs infodumps). In general, I was once again considering to just turn the voices off during this episode, despite being told not to do that all the time. I just can't stand the voice acting of Maria, Sakutarou and the Sisters. Even Beatrice gets on my nerves many times with the overacting, although this is also connected to how shonen-like the scenes are made of course. Combine that with ridiculous parts like where they were talking about multiplying Krauss' power level (it's over 9000!) and I often times cringed while reading. Which is a shame, because the novel can also go into the complete opposite direction and deliver some interesting storytelling with more grounded and mature characters. The sound of rain was often times a sign of hope for me, as it usually meant to get into a more serious part.") What I appreciated even more than before during this episode is the OST: It sometimes kinda falls flat due to the voice acting, but when putting attention to it I recognized how good it actually is. Not necessarily as standalone music, but it works fantastic for setting the mood. Concluding all episodes and considering other comments and opinions about this novel, I have to say it might not have been the best choice for me personally. The reason simply being that I do not want to invest my time thinking and theorizing about games and books anymore. I'm already pretty much drained of all energy from work, learning and sports, so I just want to relax in the remaining time and enjoy a story. Since people put so much emphasis in "solving the novel" regarding this, I feel like I am missing a central part of what makes it so special for most people. Might have liked it more while I was studying... [Umineko Episode 1-4](#s "If the novel was made more like a game this might have been different, but since I cannot choose anything either way I usually just read what Battler does without thinking on my own much - I don't see any point in trying to argue how specific murders could not have been magic or whatever. Going into the broader picture, my biggest issue is that I was annoyed by the magic scenes so many times I think. I don't have an issue with the premise of magic vs. rationalism in general. In fact, I absolutely loved how much the whole structure of the novel mirrors religion or the denial of it. Battler stating how multiple people testified seeing demons and goats while having no contradictions in their statements, for example, almost felt like a direct mirror of the new testament. So this whole 'believe in magic or not' thing quickly turned into a big metaphor for this topic, which was especially cool since I myself am currently interested in that and reading the bible to not just 'be a Battler' and deny it without evaluating the evidence. Quite honestly, I still don't know in which direction the novel will go though. Currently it still seems to me like it will have some kind of 'everything is true depending on your standpoint/information' resolution, once again pointing out every writer's favorite Schrödinger's cat, but on the other hand that topic has been there for so long already that it would be kind of strange. Personally, I'm still on the rational side of things despite everything. Although the magic parts are getting out of hand a bit, I still feel like at its core the witches are just a metaphor for people losing themselves due to being mistreated and not seeing any way to happiness. Pretty much every woman in the novel who is desperate or dissatisfied with her life either becomes a witch or is being used/possesses by one (as Maria always states with her mother). I think Kyrie pretty much is the only one unaffected, and she always seemed to have made peace with herself. Beatrice herself is also already confirmed as an actual person back in the day, and I still feel like Kinzo did something more to her than just an imprisonment in a big mansion, something that started the whole mess. At least it sounded like the family put much pressure on him because of his 'good fortune' due to the six toes, so it would fit if he was also breaking from that pressure, ultimately using Beatrice in a gruesome way. Apart from that, though, she still is a complete mystery to me. I'm starting to wonder if she actually is Battler's mother due to some sick circumstances (since his mother was denied, but Rudolf confirmed as his father IIRC, plus her strange behavior because Battler didn't remember some kind of sin). If that was the case it would at least explain why this lengthy battle between both of them takes place for a rational point of view. And I still can't scratch out Battler himself for being the culprit behind everything and turning out to be an even better actor than Beatrice. Thinking about this, I think there was also a stillborn child of Kyrie mentioned, which I previously assumed to be even more candidates for possible real mothers. Would Beatrice then have some connection to her? Urgh! Still can imagine that somehow Kyrie set everything up after all despite how unlikely it seemed in this episode. She is just too perfect at this point and this still rubs me the wrong way. In any case, before this goes on too long, I'm pretty much clueless and didn't take any notes or anything else to make a good case for any theory. I even forgot about the episode 3 stuff and just remembered that by browsing an old 'What are you reading' topic...") So, uh...I'm having a hard time to summarize this or even give it a rating. Might be something between 7 and 8, since I really was annoyed while reading too many times, but at the same time super curious how things will turn out, which is probably apparent due to the lengthy posts. Nothing is really concluded since this is just the Questions Arc, so I didn't feel like finishing anything. Guess I can just wait until there's an official release for the next one, although I'm really not sure if the journey will be worth it for me. I kinda want to have a conclusion after investing so many hours into it though, even if I will be annoyed 50% or more of the time, especially since the magical parts seem to increase even more ;). Can't get any worse than Muv-Luv though! That was probably the last VN for this year. Time for some games again.

  • Deonte Torp

    I feel like your entire response to my examples is just a continuation of the diminishing or outright dismissing of objectively bad actions taken by the 'heroes' of the story. What you call 'melodramatic' is a pretty straightforward interpretation of the twins' actions. Why else would they choose to attack Quirrell specifically? We never even see him interact with Fred and George, let alone see evidence of any kind of interaction that would *invite* this kind of behavior for them. No, they choose him for a reason. They are bullies, and like all bullies they are jumping on what they perceive to be weak prey. Where Percy is concerned, you're stacking one dismissive letter against a decade of bullying. What reason would Percy have to feel warmly towards the twins? They make his life a living hell, I'm hardly surprised he doesn't go out of his way to shower affection on them. And do you know why people become suck-ups? I'll give you a hint: it isn't because they receive adequate attention or praise as children. >I'm sure that Fred was punished for the spider thing. Does Molly seem like the mother who would let that slide? Does it really matter if Fred was punished for the spider thing? If he was, it certainly didn't do anything to correct his behavior. There isn't any evidence that he was punished. Molly talks a big talk but we don't see much in the way of punishment despite the myriad rules Fred and George break over the course of the series. They're miscreants, serial offenders, but their behavior is laughed off as comic relief and impish shenanigans. It isn't. The same behavior perpetrated by a Slytherin, or by a Hufflepuff when Harry is bitter with them in CoS or GoF, or a student from Beauxbatons or Durmstrang, would be met with an entirely different attitude. Our perception of events in the story is entirely informed by Harry's personal feelings, which means that the default is to be more forgiving towards characters Harry likes and less lenient with his antagonists. This is why it's important to read critically and free yourself from Harry's biases. So does it matter if Fred was punished by Molly for the spider prank or the acid pop? No, because they're brushed off by everyone else in the series. We don't hear so much as a 'what a git' from Harry when Ron tells him about the teddy bear, and the acid pop prank is used by JKR as an anecdote to characterize the twins as impish, jolly pranksters. >Besides, I think the characters are better having a darker side. Most of the "good" characters do morally questionable things. I absolutely agree. The best characters are complex and flawed. But characters should be considered in their entirety. My whole argument here has been that people are willing to dismiss the bad things the twins do because they perceive Fred and George as good. And on the topic of considering the complexity of characters... >Draco gets credit for a redemption off the back of his mother's actions. Does he? The sixth and seventh books afford us a deeper look into Draco's life and motives. Throughout the series we become intimately familiar with Lucius Malfoy's dominating and oppressive presence, but it isn't until the last two books that we see the toll these have had on Draco. Early in the series we perceive Draco as an entitled brat, empowered by his father. But eventually we learn that Draco has just as much to fear from his father as anyone else. I'm not going to flesh out Draco's entire arc here, but it seems pretty clear to me that what Draco earns by the end of the series isn't redemption (on his shoulders or anyone else's), but some empathy. He's made bad choices and done inexcusable things. Many characters do. And in the end, when we are fully apprised of his circumstances and his motivations, we better understand where those choices came from. We understand the complexity of his character. >Snape gets a lot of praise as a teacher that he doesn't deserve. Again, does he? I rarely if ever see him get praise for his teaching skills. What I see and hear is condemnation of his treatment of Neville and Gryffindors in general. Like Draco, I believe that Snape's story ends with an invitation for our empathy rather than his redemption. We finally get a full picture, we finally understand the complexities of his character. His wounds are not excuses for his behavior, and his actions for the side of good don't negate the bad things he's done. There is a difference between appreciating the depths of a complex character and praising them or building them up as a good person.

  • Madeline Green

    >I was wondering if we could talk more about this, I feel like hearing about the experiences of older radical feminists would help me and other women that are new to the movement. Do you wish that you have never taken the red pill? What was the hardest thing you went through during you journey? Do you feel like radical feminism changed your inner world for better or for worse? I am glad to have come to feminist consciousness. The hardest things I went through... Well, the introspection and modification of my behavior has been the easiest thing. The hardest thing is other people. Navigating being a lesbian and learning, to my surprise, that all the avenues for welcoming lesbians and finding a lesbian community have been shut down and replaced with false advertisements with surprise conversion-interrogations and bullying. Secondly, becoming aware that most all sexuality has been tainted by male centrism and rape culture. And finally, being betrayed by anarchists, who were there for me right up until I became a conscious woman; and realizing there's a chance I may always be a misfit, no matter what club I'm in, and may never get anarchists to support radical feminism plus living with the threat that some determined-enough manarchists and brocialists might get on my case and ruin my life. Also realizing that no matter where I go, I can get hassled about being a lesbian. If I'm not hassled about being a lesbian, I can get hassled about being a radical feminist, an anarchist, or a socialist. So I live with full awareness of Orwellian surveillance and repression from ALL sides and trust no one. Lacking community, there is no club to join, not even by compromise; I am walking my own path and must build my own, finding common cause where possible. OUCH, right in the expectations. On the other hand, at least I'm thinking for myself. >And, most importantly: how does one deal with being a radical feminist / gender critical / anti porn & prostitution today? Pick your battles. Put yourself first -- there are so many ways this world can drain your energy. Nurture yourself and figure out what you are called towards. Settle for nothing less than what completes you. Take action yourself. Don't wait for another group to act on your behalf. Learn self-defense, mental and physical. Learn security, technological and social. Read lots of books. Build community and figure out how to combat the patriarchy together. >Do you believe that it's possible for the patriarchy to be fully abolished anytime soon? Not without also abolishing capitalism and racism as well -- they must be taken down at the same time. The problem is it's like a Gordian knot, and they reinforce each other. I don't at the moment know how to begin, as I am still mapping out the problem. So it won't happen ever, until we understand the situation and figure out a workable solution. We're only now at the stage of beginning to understand the situation, because censorship has shut down radical feminists from connecting with each other to weave theories. >How do you find peace of mind when you see the world for what it is? When I get tired of people grating on my nerves, I escape into my room and read a book or browse the web. It's incredibly fortunate that I can connect with other radical feminists with a few page flips or keystrokes. >How does it impact your relationships with other people when you can see things that other people don't? In my case, it means I can't really talk to them or have intimate relationships with them because 1) radical feminist anarchism is my heart, making me uninterested in most people 2) it provokes hostility and threatening behavior, or if I'm lucky, awkward conversations >I've recently read about radical acceptance - does anyone here practice this method? Personally, I feel like I'm always torn between anger, apathy and guilt. Some days I truly believe that we can do it, but then I look at the big picture a bit more realistically and feel hopeless. Then comes the apathy and the tiredness, and then I feel guilty for letting my rage be controlled by pessimism. Some days I have truly horrible thoughts and I'm so angry at people, that I resort to feeling quite passive-aggressive and being like "You don't want this to be fixed and prefer sticking for your comfort? Fine. Go suffer then. I don't care.", which is... obviously not a step in the right direction. Hopelessness does awful things to people, you know? I don't know what radical acceptance is, but I accept what I can't change and change what I can't accept. I reframe this life as the cost of not being a part of the problem. No pain no gain. >I know that the only way to combat the system is through collective actions, and still, some days I think I should just let it go, because the liberation of all women seems impossible. There is definitely a way to solve the problem, or else there would be a very thorough case for women being doomed and exactly why our efforts will never work. Either way, we require rigorous study to uncover the truth. Check out Sonia Johnson's *Going Out of Our Minds* and *Wildfire*. >Oh, and one more thing: have you managed to find balance between being a radfem/gender critical and being in a good mental place? Yes, I put in my activist work which keeps me from staying up at night, and then I do anything else that makes me happy besides that. >How does one not lose their kindness, humanity and belief that there are good things ahead of us and keep their anger and sense of justice at the same time? Anger and humanity are not separate. There is a great humanity in woman's anger, because anger is often required for a woman to get justice. Save your kindness for other women and whomever you find to be allies.

  • Emerald Cormier

    Well here's my theory. And I think if you put enough stock into it it can be used to explain the rise of GG, and, as others have pointed out, the subsequent and linked rise of the alt right. Reddit likes to complain about how "nerd culture" has been commoditized into a "popular" identity. As in, "when I was growing up you were a nerd if you liked comic books and that was bad but now it's popular and everyone wants to pretend to be a nerd!" And as with all identities that have ever existed, people will take it to the extreme and find a way to close the door behind them as they go. So liking comic books makes you a nerd, except now if you are a girl and you post a picture of yourself wearing glasses and reading a comic book on Instagram, instead of it being a sign of widespread acceptance of your niche hobbies by a growing and increasingly diverse community, it's actually just a fake nerd girl posing for likes so she can get all that sweet sweet nerd dick, or something. So how to get more extreme and more /r/gatekeeping? Well, what's *more nerd* than nerd? Persecution complex! So now if you want to be a "real nerd" you have to buy into this persecution complex where life in the 21st century is the same as the stuff from 80s high school movies where the guys with glasses get beat up on all the time. If you haven't faced that then you aren't a real nerd, simply put. Thus you have a generation of idiots who believe they are persecuted, and as with all beliefs are brains are hard wired to see patterns among noise and provide post hoc rationalizations for shit we believe in for purely emotional reasons. This is, in my opinion, how you get a generation of young, affluent, white, American, males, who have the leisure to spend all their time playing video games, to build a culture and belief system that operates around persecution of themselves. And then it just so happens that the conservative hard right has been waving the flag of "we're being wrongfully persecuted for our beliefs and interests!" as a meaningful propaganda tool since like Nixon and so this shit spills over and a perfect storm brews. How else is it that the guys with the persecution complex about bullying sides with the people who were against the anti bullying campaign? So then you have a community of white guys going on twitter saying "I'm being persecuted" and you get black people and women laughing in their face (rightfully so lol fuck 'em) and they turn and look and the other people getting the same treatment becomes their friends. This is how video games become linked with Milo Yiannopolous. How Ghostbusters being remade with women gets a mention on Rush Limbaugh. How the 4chan meme President's biggest cheerleader is Sean Hannity. How "ethics in gaming journalism" becomes code for "hitler did nothing wrong".

  • Guiseppe Champlin

    My memory is very good as well and I agree it's very much a curse. I can read pages of books and remember them so well that I can picture a specific page in my head. I also always remember situations very well, like I can recall very small details that other people tend to filter out because they are meaningless. It alters my thinking pattern a lot. I tend to plan things very carefully, some may call it overthinking but it helps me ease my anxiety. A usual day for me is planning out walking patterns, possible conversations, how to deal with situations accounting all the different variables I can think of and so on. I've also experienced taking into account variables that wasn't even relevant at all for the other person. With this I've figured I want control and I try to bend every different situation into the best possible outcome. I have a lot of empathy, so I often bend it in others favor. I just don't like situations turning unnecessary difficult, even if I have to suffer. I often also try to avoid situations because it's the easiest. I've also found that humans are a very unstable variable. It's hard for me to trust people who I can't control easily, but even if I could I have difficulties trusting them. Especially after dealing with bullying and the lack of attention in my childhood. Humans at this point is simply nothing but an obstacle. I also feel the pain inside your chest you are describing. I used to think it was normal, but my physiologist immediately said that it was not normal and that I had anxiety. I did not agree at first, but after a while I started to accept it.

  • Adelle Kirlin

    It sounds like you may not have a very clear picture of what therapy is actually like, or what working with people who have psychological issues actually is like. For example, the way you describe work in the tech sector: >the egos of my coworkers, the workplace bullying, the busy pace they work at, the conformity and pretending to be happy, their desire for profits, and working in cubicles and open-space environments listening to gossip You can't go into therapy with that mindset. The truth is, you won't actually escape any of those things as a counselor or therapist. What you describe above is, well, normal human behavior that is born out of normal human motivations, imperfections, and limitations. You are going to meet exactly these same facets of the human condition in the therapy room, and you won't be able to solve it by applying the perfect Zen koan or Eckhart Tolle quote. (And I say this as a therapist who practices a form of therapy that draws heavily from Eastern philosophy.) Some therapists work like that, it's true, but they're not very good therapists. To be a good therapist, you have to have to be able to sit with, engage with, and help some very... well, *difficult* people over an extended period of time. People who have long-standing suffering can be hostile, stubborn, selfish, even cruel. And they may be this way for a long period of time before your work together discovers any sort of chink in their psychic armor. Or they may have experienced such heartbreaking thngs -- trauma, neglect, abuse, isolation, fear, etc. -- that you may find yourself overwhelmed by the immensity of their pain. I would look into some of the classic books written on the topic of therapy to make sure this is really what you want. Yalom's *The Gft of Therapy* is oft-recommended, as well as Carl Rogers' *On Becoming a Human*. Look into some actual therapy manual or textbooks, like those of Aaron Beck on cognitive therapy, Steven Hayes on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Marsha Linehan on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Jeffrey Young on Schema Therapy. These will give you a better idea of the nuts and bolts of therapy in actual practice.

  • Jacklyn Wintheiser

    Lmao. Friend's wife posted a pic on Facebook of 10 of us last summer in our Trump shirts. My mother in law's ex boyfriend, who is a complete brainwashed liberal wrote today that, "he fears for the future" and "is disappointed because he thought I was more intelligent." I wrote back that it's ok to disagree with peoples opinions, but I really didn't care what he thought. He told me to go read a book, screen capped it and posted it on his wall saying, 'I'm undefeated, bitches!!" He then called out my wife, who requested for me to not say anything back because she hates confrontation, and started saying her family thinks less of her. I couldn't let that go, so I responded "I've read tons of books, which probably explains why I own a house while you have to ask your ex to do your laundry since your apartment isn't equipped. Also, bullying someone you used to call your daughter, how tolerant." Was blocked pretty fast and now her whole family is fighting over this exchange. All over a 7 month old picture.

  • Marjorie Schuppe

    Growing up, my lack of fascination with those stories kind of made me a pariah. Calvin and Hobbes was huge where I grew up. I had moved so much that I delved into stories where children who were neglected or seldom saw their parents and had to think for themselves (HP series, Hunger Games, Uglies [series]) were more my forte. I really didn't think I had time for 'picture books'. I prided myself on my ability to create my own imaginary friends, so much so that I would continually ask the characters in these novels how they would have handled real life scenarios: bullying, neglect, lack of place. I never had friends, real or imaginary... and I somewhat blamed it on my lack of desire to fit in... reading Calvin and Hobbes perpetuated that for me. So I really don't like them... I read them later, I just ended up feeling sad for the protagonist..

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