YGO CoP 2: Duel 6 – Waiting builds pain… but upon release…!

Only three days remained before the World Championship would begin, when the greatest of all competitions, the grandest theater of war, would ruthlessly commence. Every duelist knew in his gut all too well the gravity of fate, anticipating the far off coliseum where the goddess victory would smile on one man and bestow upon him absolute glory. What did Seto Kaiba and Pegasus J. Crawford do, the colossi, the leader and father of Duel Monsters? They played golf while settling a few business deals with some important guests.

That was how Pegasus described it. Kaiba didn’t play golf, nor would he ever bother to learn. Such a “sport”, if you could call it that, was an insult to any true duelist. No competition, no crucible to test your worth, no enemy to stare down as you match your skills against his, as you collide your fighting spirit with his. Golf was a “sport” that glorified nothingness and ennui, displaying vanity and sophistication as something “charming” when it was mere weakness.

“Oh, dear Kaiba-boy, please join us to play some golf with us. It’s quite refreshing, really. Oh, look!” Pegasus pointed at Takeshi Uchiyamada, the chairman of Toyota. He struck the golf ball with his club, sending it whizzing more than half way to Hole #6. “Look at him go! My dear Uchiyamada, you are a natural!”

“Save your flattery to yourself.” Kaiba couldn’t believe Pegasus, the very creator of Duel Monsters, would stoop this low, wearing short shorts while trafficking with car and oil companies.

Kaiba was a tall and thin man over six feet, with a long, angular face, his features often contorted into a scowl. A combed mass of brown hair crowned his brow and shadowed his piercing, ice blue eyes. Combined with his tall, angular body and his proclivity for wearing white, his features made him look dark yet august at the same time.

Pegasus was a bit different. He was only a couple of inches shorter than Kaiba yet had the mature frame of an adult Kaiba never fully received, and none of it interfered with his disarming debonair charm and grace. Kaiba knew better. He knew that behind the silly, foppish recluse, with his long, white hair, frilly red coat, and ridiculous mannerisms, lurked a serious and sinister man. He had enough painful memories from dealing with him.

Kaiba scanned every golfer and assistant around him, analyzing them so as to sort them out as allies or enemies. Before the business meeting he memorized a list that was as formal and tedious as it looked:

Ken Kobayashi, CEO of Mitsubishi
Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of Toyota
Rex. W. Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobile
Marvin E. Odum, president of Shell
David Cameron, Prime Minister of Britain
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England.

None of those weasels deserved a name, let alone a tedious title to memorize, but boring tasks like shaking hands with every variety of sewer rat was something even Kaiba had to do. They wanted to extend their influence in the dueling world, to exchange stocks, shares, and bonds with KaibaCorp and Industrial Illusions. At the same time they sponsored their fair share of duelists, owning them the same way George Bush owned the Texas Rangers. It was sickening.

Kaiba made up his mind. He approached Uchuyamada and Kobayashi, the owners of Toyota and Mitsubishi respectively, and settled some trivial matters. He pushed his own demands for the stock trade just enough to get what he wanted while not dissuading them too much. Both businessmen objected but after a little heckling Kaiba got what he wanted. Yes, Kaiba had to heckle people, as if he was dealing with a peasant Egyptian selling cheap merchandize. Even to admit that to himself was a painful sign of weakness.

After David Cameron finally claimed hole #12 (his golfing was as terrible as his politics, Kaiba observed) the business party took turns on a laptop. They scrolled through all the different duelists they sponsored, each a special protégé they bet their money on winning the Championship. Tournaments were just another investment. Dueling itself was just another investment. For this reason alone Kaiba never sponsored a duelist.

Pegasus must have had a keen sense of smell since he could apparently sniff out Kaiba’s mood as if it was a stench. It did make up for his missing left eye. “Don’t be a grumpy bear, Kaiba-boy. Why don’t you check out the youthful protégées of the new generation?”

Uchuyamada and Kobayashi pointed to a picture of a 15 year old boy with artificial blond hair, gelled into spikes. Otherwise, the boy wore a suit that made him look as if he was groomed for success from birth. “Akira Ryu is the current World Champion.” The businessmen eagerly pointed out. “He graduated really early from the best Duel Academy in the world, one right from the coast of Japan.”

Kaiba scanned the image of Ryu. The boy thought he was lion, a king of the beasts, when in truth he was merely a house cat, spoiled by doting owners, petulant, weak, sheltered, never let beyond the house. He never dueled in any uncomfortable situation, one where his pride was truly on the line. This made sense, as Kaiba knew wealthy families sponsored Duel Academies to groom their children to be champions from an early age. There was only one King of the Beasts, and that was Kaiba himself.

Kaiba glanced at a few more faces. The short man with dyed, flaming blond-red hair was Maximus, an arena commenter who would participate in the World Championship. He had no sponsor. Come to think of it, he was pretty mysterious. Kaiba knew nothing about him. Micheal Gould, the Canadian Champion, was a different story. He thoroughly belonged to Exxon Mobile and Shell. He looked classy enough with his suit and fedora, though Kaiba suspected he was just another weasel underneath.

Stella and her team were an interesting lot, a progressive group of “deviant” duelists who played outside the metagame. They had a strong feminist streak to them, which Kaiba found interesting. They were like a pack of lionesses, completely sufficient for their own sustenance. He passed a similar Judgment to Indira Misra, the Indian Champion. Her sponsorship came from scholarships and government grants.

He found Marina Bozovic, the swarthy, dark-haired woman with narrow eyes. She was a strange one, an upstart who came out of nowhere, took Matthew’s Nationals title from him, and kept it her own for four years. She, this serpent, wasn’t just a “deviant” duelist like Stella was. It was like she was trying to strike at the heart of the very dueling world, to transform the very game itself…

“Well isn’t that a colorful character?” Pegasus interjected, disturbing Kaiba’s thoughts. “She seems to have a lot of potential, though I would cut that mane of hers, in both the literal and not-so-literal sense.”

Kaiba folded his arms. “She’s just another dreg, one of those dirty anarchist vegans who disrupt civil society when they’re not too stoned to groom themselves properly. She’s a wondering lone wolf, a rebel without a cause, but like all wolves she is murderous, hungering for the chance to devour her prey. Be glad she didn’t find herself a pack to join yet.”

“Oh dear. Do you like any duelist, Kaiba-boy?”

“Don’t get me wrong, Pegasus, the game stagnated ever since Yugi and I retired some eight years ago. We’ve seen the same boring cards and the same boring duelists. I’m glad there’s greater diversity and new blood entering the game, especially at this speed.” Kaiba smirked in a smug, boastful, self-satisfied way, a trademark of his personality. “Even if some duelists are unsavory, if they’re strong and do the game justice with their skill I will at least acknowledge them as duelists.”

And finally, Maria. Kaiba’s heart softened, even at gazing at a mere picture of her. Her pale skin, fair hair, and deep blue eyes penetrated him, while her voice rang inside him, like a very old memory he barely remembered but knew in his heart was important. It was too pitiful how she was chained to David Cameron and the Bank of England.

“Maria”, Kaiba thought. It was like he had spoken her name instead. Just before Kaiba’s boring meeting with Pegasus he got to see her one last time. Maria would soon return to England to prepare herself for the World Championship, rally up her team and everything. He wanted to take her under his wing as her sponsor so badly, but he couldn’t. He wanted her to learn and grow on her own and become as good as he was. He affectionately caressed her hair with his fingers before laying his palm on her cheek. “Promise me you’ll be careful.” He said. She nodded.

“Oh, and my protégé, Sophia, is participating in the World Championship. You know the story, Kaiba-boy. I take orphans around the world and raise them to be great gamers and businessmen. Don’t worry, I’m a benevolent father figure, unlike your father.”

Kaiba clenched his hand into a fist. His cruel stepfather cast a long shadow in his life. No matter how much Gozaboro had shaped him he would never look back. He looked to the light of the future, not to the darkness of the past. “I predict the winner of this tournament will be the duelist who breaks the most barriers and faces death to make the ultimate sacrifice.”

It was now Pegasus’s turn to take on hole #18. He gave his club a hearty swing, nearly tripping over his feet. His ball sailed across the sky in a long arc…

And landed in a pool of water.

“OHHHH NOOOOOO!!” Pegasus cried in playful exaggeration. “I’ve never been the sporting type. Crockets, will you please be a dear and retrieve my ball for me?”

Crockets, a weary, grey-haired man with a mustache, his eyes always covered in shades, hesitated. It looked like it was the worst day of his life.

“Yes, you, Crockets, please get my ball.” Pegasus demanded.

Crockets reluctantly wallowed in the pond, wetting his fine suit in the dirty water. He presented his master with the object that caused him such discomfort. Kaiba smirked quietly from a distance. He wasn’t above gloating at other people’s misery, not by a long shot.

Pegasus bounced in joy. “Thank you so much! Wonderful!”

—————————————————————————————————

“Hey guys, I’m home!” Stella placed a few groceries and a computer program on the common room table. “I got you guys some one of those accelerated learning programs! You know, so we can speak Arabic for our trip to Egypt!”

She found Maya and Yukio playing music together. Maya took the lead on the piano while Yukio supplemented whatever she played on the guitar. The music they wove together was beautiful, except “beautiful” was a way too generic description. Sometimes Maya and Yukio were indeed graceful and lofty. At other times they were dark and dramatic or bouncy and quirky, taking the risk of making the music “ugly” to fulfill some other definition of beauty. The music seemed to be an interesting combination of classical and jazz. Maya had a penchant of using sharp dissonances and chromatics, making the music more poignant. Perhaps, Stella thought, magic was a better way of describing the music. It created something out of nothing, or to put it more accurately, brought something down to Earth that didn’t belong there.

“Hey, Maya.” She gently poked Maya, who didn’t pay attention. Something in Maya’s eyes was not human or earthly. Was she alright? “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Yukio warned, but Stella didn’t listen. She poked Maya again.

Maya jumped out of her seat so suddenly and violently the piano crashed an ugly dissonance and bench toppled over to the floor. She looked completely bewildered, like a frightened animal, and like a frightened animal she looked like she was about to strike Stella! But she must have noticed Stella’s horror and confusion and came back to Earth. “I- I’m sorry! I didn’t see you! Are you OK?”

Stella’s bright pink eyes shone fiercely, first in anger, then in laughter. She too looked like she was about to get into a big fight but soon laughed it off. “I’m fine! I just came back from the store!”

Maya grew red with embarrassment. “I didn’t mean to frighten or bother you. This kind of thing just happens.”

“No, no. It’s fine. I understand. Yukio lives with me after all.” Stella noticed a notebook near the piano. “What’s this?”

“The music I’m working on, twenty five variations on Salieri’s march. You know, the one from Amadeus. What you just heard were some fantasies on it. I want to build a better piano. The grand piano we use hasn’t changed much since the 1870s. The notes on a concert grand are sterile compared to a period instrument, where each note has a warm tang and the different registers suggest different orchestral sounds. I want to make the grand piano even bigger, but more importantly bring back all the different orchestral sounds, even add more pedals to give the player more options. That’s a very brief description of what I want to do.”

“Well, good luck with that.” Stella gave Maya and Yukio the computer program. “We can all learn a bit of Arabic with Rosetta Stone.”

“In just a week? Challenge accepted, I guess.” Maya pointed to two brand new passports on the table. “Yukio and I got Icelandic passports earlier today, and we have a guest.”

“Hi!” A woman standing only at five feet and four inches, with hair and lips as dark red as her skin was white, greeted Stella. She pulled a golden card out of her purse. “Did any of you guys get an entry card, for the World Championships?”

“Yeah, of course.” Stella, Maya, and Yukio produced entry cards of their own. “They each have pictures of the Millennium Items on them.” Indeed, this was fact. Stella’s card depicted the Millennium Rod, Yukio’s depicted the Millennium Puzzle, while both Maya’s and Sophia’s depicted the Millennium Ring.

“You guys formed a team?” Stella asked. “Ours it Outbound Flight. What is yours?”

Maya winked at Stella and high-fived Sophia. “Team Baby Blast Furnace.” (Yukio crossed his arms in a huff. “Not my idea. Never was.”)

“Guys, look at the time.” Maya pointed to the clock. “It’s 8pm. Kaiba and Pegasus will announce the World Championship on any time now.” All the people of Outbound Flight and Baby Blast Furnace gathered around the TV.

REAL DUEL TV – THE TV FOR REAL DUELISTS

“GREETINGS EVERYONE! I AM MAXIMUUUUS!” The short man with flaming hair booms, followed by a cheering audience track. “To my left and right are none other than PEGASUS J. CRAWFORD and SETO KAIBA, the designer and leader of the dueling world themselves! All three of us welcome you to the YUGIOH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2009, the 13TH BATTLE CITY!”

A familiar and very excitable tune called Passionate Duelist plays in the background. It was so pervasive on television it could be called the Yugioh Theme. A montage of different duels happening in all sorts of different places around the world flashed quickly behind him. Usually they were duels of previous world champions, each flashing their favorite deck archetypes and monsters while pummeling tough opponents, all the way from Yugi Moto to Akira Ryu.

Maximus brandishes his new duel disk. “This tournament is gonna’ be BIG! The BIGGEST tournament in over a decade! Perfect to take this game into A GREAT RENAISSANCE! We invented new GENERATION 3 DUEL DISK to commemorate the event. They look just like before except no clumsy separate slots for Monster and Spell Cards. Just a single, black board you place all cards on. But don’t worry, because these new duel disks are extra light and small so its main body doesn’t intrude on the board like in previous models. To balance against the board more of the main body is closer to you. The Graveyard is parallel to the Deck and behind it. To banish a card, simply put in the Graveyard face down. The Extra Deck is a small slot just on top of the Graveyard. The Deck will shuffle automatically before your duel and if you need to search a card, the duel disk will just pop the card out for you. SIMPLE! EASY! FUN! AWESOME!”

Pegasus took center stage, his hair as bouncy as his mood. “Let it be known around the world that the name of the game has been officially changed to Yugioh, in honor of the first World Champion and King of Games himself! Version one, running from 1993 to 1996, was called Magic and Wizards. Version two, running from 1996 to 2009, was called Duel Monsters. Version three, Yugioh, is the game we have now. As expected, we changed the rules slightly to make things even more exciting! Read your guidebook that came with your Entry Card for more details!” The montage changes to a series of simple CGI figures and cards for the purposes of illustration.

• Players start the duel with 8000 Life Points
• Monsters cannot be Normal Summoned face up in Defense Mode. They must be Set.
• Each player’s Graveyard and Banished Zone are open knowledge to all players. You must even show cards you discard.
• If you activate a Field Spell Card while your opponent controls a Field Spell Card, both become active. Both effects apply.

The montage changes to rapid images of Egyptian monuments. “For our 13th World Championship, we will be hosting the tournament in none other than Egypt! Is there a better way to get duelists to connect with their dueling spirit than fighting where the shadow games originated? Not just Cairo, but the entire nation is your battleground! Participants will have twelve days to gather all the Millennium Item cards, and make it back to Cairo to make it to the finals. Even better, a revolution is broiling in Egypt as we speak. Some political turbulence is just what we need to spice things up a bit! If you’re easily bored though, don’t you worry! The finalists will be absconded from Egypt to an undisclosed location, and I guarantee you you’ll love the change of scenery.”

It is now Kaiba’s turn. He always looked the same. He hadn’t changed a bit since Battle City. Same dramatic white trench coat. Same uncompromising pride. Same scowl. The montage once more changes to simple CGI figures, cards, and maps to illustrate the new roles. “All right listen up because I’ll only say this once. Each duelist worthy enough to participate in my tournament received one Millennium Item card. You’ll need seven to reach the finals but each card must be different. For instance, you can’t make it to the finals with seven Millennium Eye Cards. You must ante at least one Millennium Item Card per duel and forfeit them to the winner if you lose. If you win a Millennium Item Card with the same name as another one in your collection that’s too bad. Be smarter the next time you choose to duel someone.”

Maximus resumes his role as head commentator he is best known for. “But all is not lost. Each Millennium Item Card has a special power you can activate by putting it on the duel disk while not dueling. What special power does each card have? YOU will have to find out! But there is a catch. NO ONE can enter the tournament alone. Duelists MUST compete in teams of at least two players, and each team can only start out with one Millennium Item Card. Use a black light on the back of your card to reveal a secret code. Log on the registration page of duelingnetwork.com with your secrt code to register your team.”

Maximus and Pegasus shout together, “GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY DUELING!” Fireworks explode everywhere in the TV as sugary, victorious music wraps up the announcements. A very bland voice spoke so quickly it is impossible to understand. “sponsoderedbykaibacorpindustrialillusionsexxonmobiletoyoya
mitsubishimicrosoftchevronapplegeneralmotorsdellsamsungandtoshiba.”

“I guess that settles it.” Stella said. “We‘ll prepare our decks and everything.”

“Hmm… I’m thinking about the new rules.” Maya brooded. “We now have 8000 Life Points. The new advantages we have are that we can plan bigger combos and more farsighted strategies. The disadvantage is that once the power creep sets in people’s decks will be so broken, so powerful and fast, having 8000 Life Points won’t mean anything anymore. Furthermore, because we’ll be dueling in an entire country, duelists will be scattered everywhere. Duels will be scarcer and carry more weight. We’ll have to take much more time to plan our duels.”

Yukio nodded silently. “We’ll need to adapt, and quickly.”

Maya gave her final thoughts. “Honestly, people make this game into such a reality TV show. A duelist is like a star from Jackass, American Idol, or the Jerry Springer, grabbing their fifteen minutes of fame only to thrown away. I expected a little more foresight from Kaiba and Pegasus. What were those fools thinking, putting people in Egypt, a country torn apart by war and revolution? Are people’s lives just cheap entertainment to them, to pass away the ennui of being a corporate billionaire? You want a spectacle of death, you idiots? You’ll get one! I’m coming after you both! Before the decade is over I’ll take both of your lives!”

Advertisements

YGO CoP 2: Duel 5 – What are the keys to open the door of darkness?

We’re perched headlong
on the edge of boredom
We’re reaching for death
on the end of a candle
We’re trying for something

That’s already found us
~Jim Morrison

Matthew Howard Carter grimaced as he tried to decipher the pages upon pages of documents of classified information stacked on his desk, his face twisted into a scowl. He strained his eyes for days on end trying to decipher them. With their small printed text and black censor strips they looked more like hieroglyphs than any form of English. He at least could read hieroglyphs. Grandfather was one of the only hundred or so people in the world that could and taught him since he was ten.

Grandfather was the reason he dug himself into so much research. Poor grandfather was brutally murdered when he was only fifteen. He never saw his body at the time of murder but could only imagine the anguish, pain, and betrayal on his once noble features. He saw his grandfather laid in his coffin for the last time, draped in palm leaves, face noble and serene.

Matthew felt the frustration seep into his nerves again. He hired the best agents he could with father’s considerable wealth to dig up everything they could. Still, nothing. Father used the family fortune to drift away from curating Egyptian artifacts to make a company for intellectual property and children’s software. He replaced high culture and history with lawyers and brokers, men of antiquity with children of modernity. To make things even worse, father had no intention of leaving his position of CEO of the company anytime soon.

Matthew had no power. He could recall his duel with Maya four years ago like it was yesterday, the bitterness of his loss still stinging his lips. He remembered every word she told him, “Oh, you think he was a saint among mere mortals, but he was not an innocent man. I dug up quite a lot of filth about him. To say your old man had a lot of unsavory dealings with the Ghouls is an understatement. He controlled a big chunk of the Ghouls in America to the point where he had a partnership with the boss. He had to. How else would he have driven his rivals out of business and preserve your family wealth?”

The words still shocked him, their bitter impact still flaring him up with wrathful indignation. “Silence your LYING TONGUE, witch!!!” He shouted to the empty darkness. But if she was obviously lying why did he spend years researching grandfather’s history? The classified files stacked in front of him didn’t lie.

“Matthew, please come to bed. It’s late. You’re ruining your health.” His fiancé, Alexis Burkeheart, draped in a white bathrobe, leaned wearily against the wall. She looked the worse for wear. Her black hair, usually sleek, was a tangled mess. Her icy blue eyes were drowsy and red with blood vessels.

Matthew looked at his own slightly bulging stomach. His skin had decayed from a solid tan to a wispy pail. His weight had suffered as well. “I will once I get to the bottom of this mystery. Grandfather did control the gang of Ghouls in New York, the biggest and most powerful American gang. But get this. The Ghouls seem to be serving someone higher up the food chain. Sometimes the bosses seem to get orders from someone but no one knows who.”

Alexis was in no mood to listen to another dreary speculation about who the Ghouls served. “I’m going to bed.”

“Do whatever you want. Just leave me in my solitude.” Matthew growled as Alexis stormed off. Matthew didn’t mind her leaving. Better than being hen-pecked by an uppity woman. His frustration swelled inside him until it finally climaxed. He shouted in the air, “I would sell my soul to the Devil to find out who the Ghouls serve and why!”

KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK…

What was that? Matthew’s blood froze into ice. That was way too soon to be a coincidence.

KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK…

“Butler! Butler! Open the door!” Matthew called. He forgot the butler was asleep this late. “Alexis! Get the door!” No answer.

KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK…

Matthew had no choice but to open the door himself. He dressed up in a brown bathrobe as brown as his scruffy hair and eyes. Working up the courage, he went to the darkness downstairs and opened the door.

Two complete strangers came in without hesitation. One of them was a man monstrously huge, made even more intimidating by his large black coat. The other was a woman, small and porcelain, hardly over five feet tall. The huge man shook Matthew’s hand with his own hand, which looked big enough to crush his skull. “Good evening and a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Carter. I am Gernand and I know everything about your grandfather.”

“Matthew? Who are they? – Don’t let them in! I don’t trust them!” Alexis just started going down the stairs but recoiled right after. Matthew didn’t heed her warning. Finally someone had all the answers. He let the strangers in to the drawing room, over a cold hearth.

The woman glanced around, noticing the paintings of Matthew’s ancestors, the small iron gates around the hearth, the furniture carved from rare and comely wood. “Is this your vacation house?”

Gernand waved his hand at the woman dismissively. He wouldn’t be bothered by such trifles. “I will now tell everything about your grandfather. Ten years ago, while in Egypt he discovered an artifact more devastating than all the Millennium Items combined, in fact, the very book consulted by those dark, shrewd priests of the Amenhotep Dynasty to murder the treacherous grave robbers in their own village and infuse their flesh into gold to create the them.”

“Grandfather discovered the Millennium Tome!?” Matthew couldn’t believe his ears. “According to Egyptian myth it was penned by none other than the goddess Isis herself. It is the oldest, most fundamental surviving text of magic in the world.”

“Indeed it is. You certainly did your homework.” The woman affirmed, smiling gently.

“Your grandfather was wise to not display the oime in public.” Gernand continued. “Instead he kept it in a vault deep in his mansion, which is, I believe, this very house.” He must have noticed a restless light shine in Matthew’s eyes for he then said, “Do not be naïve and reckless, boy, the Tome is long gone from this home. As you probably know by now, he controlled the New York Ghouls but the boss on top, resentful at serving the old man and rapacious for the latent powers of the Tome, sent a gang to murder your grandfather in cold blood. Your grandfather, with his acute intuition and wisdom, sent the Tome to Pegasus J. Crawford, the very creator of Duel Monsters, shortly before his murder.”

The floor under Matthew’s feet started to whirl behind him and Matthew clasped on to a coffee table to keep himself standing. It was too much information to process in one moment. He gave himself a few minutes to breath until the shock died down a bit. “Is Maya a Ghoul? She raided grandfather’s tomb.”

“Oh no, my dear boy. The girl is uncongenial and has a small criminal record, but she could never be that foul. A Ghoul raided your grandfather’s tomb beforehand, sent by the boss to find the Tome, unaware that Pegasus really possessed it. He only found a precious case of your grandfather’s Duel Monsters cards. The Ghoul, annoyed not finding the Tome, dumped your grandfather’s body down the well out of spite. As the Ghoul was making his escape with his consolation booty, a policeman caught him. They pierced each other with bullets. The Ghoul, his hand and body shot, dropped the case in the well before fleeing while the policeman, also wounded, tried to reach a hospital. Both criminal and officer quickly died from their wounds.”

Alexis listened to Gernand’s story the whole time. Now she came downstairs and pulled Matthew up, who was still recoiling from the devastating news. “You know the truth. Now we can finally put this behind us. Please Matthew. Let’s go to bed.”

But Gernand wasn’t finished yet. “I have an offer, boy. Do you not wish to avenge your grandfather’s death? Do you not wish to discover the Millennium Tome, broaden your knowledge of Egypt and her mysterious people, and master magic so secret only a handful of men in all of history learned it?”

“Tell me now!” Matthew demanded, his voice shaking from the shock but still authoritative. His burning desire for vengeance was in his eyes. No one could deny it.

The smug grin on Gernand’s big lips was awful to look at. “Very well I shall. The 2009 World Championship starts in a week from now. Due to your prestigious reputation you probably received an invitation. Both you and Alexis will participate and win your ways to the finals. Pegasus is a vain and flamboyant man, self-absorbed, a nostalgic child, forever bonded to the game he created and the gaming culture that spawned out of it. He wouldn’t miss a chance to see the greatest tournament since Duelist Kingdom and Battle City unfold without him.

Not even we could find the location of the World Championship finals. However, we can ascertain that Pegasus will probably host the finals near Pegasus Island if not at Pegasus Island itself. The finals will be your chance to sneak into Pegasus Island and take the Millennium Tome. His defenses will be low. He will be distracted while he entertains the entire dueling world.”

“And what if the finals aren’t near Pegasus Island?” Matthew asked.

“Then we will have to find another way. In either case, we will compensate you for your time handsomely. And why shouldn’t you participate? Do you not want to reclaim your honor, your ‘duelist’s pride’ as they call it? Ever since your swarthy, prickly friend humiliated you in front of the world, you have hardly dueled, at most winning a few prestigious regionals. Meanwhile, your rival has only grown stronger over time, more audacious and impudent to the idiot governors of the culture that shackles her.”

Alexis took Matthew’s arm forcefully and tried to escort him to bed. “Thank you for your time, Mr. Gernand. We’ll think about it. There’s the door.”

But Matthew wrenched himself free from her clutches. “I accept, Gernand. I will do anything to avenge grandfather’s death!”

Alexis instantly put her hand on Matthew’s mouth as if by doing so she could take back his words. “No! You have no idea who these people are!”

The woman approached Matthew and placed her palm on his heart. “You have a powerful Ka burning inside of you. I needed to lend Ka to a lowly man like Heishin, but you have a dragon of your own crying to be set free. Most people need to train hard to fully realize their Ka. We don’t have time for that, so I can release him prematurely. However, you will be bound to me by a pact, which you can release by fully training your Ka.”

A Ka, as Matthew knew, was a spirit monster that people of antiquity willed into being through magic. A Ka sprang from the unfathomable depths of the Ba, or soul, the well that is the life force of each person. As such, the Ka reflected your nature, whether as a good spirit or evil monster, at least as far as the Egyptian texts go. A modern philosopher would probably call it your creative spirit. Matthew’s Ka was…

“Horus the Black Flame Dragon, take flight from the blackest part of your heart! May you rise with the rising sun on the horizon! May you come forth by day, by every day, wearing a crown of white!”

Matthew burst as a being of light, flames erupting out of him as if coming out of some primeval fountain. He felt a powerful force pushing beneath him pushing him upward as if he was caught in a huge warm updraft. His chest expanded, light and fire shooting out of him, his crown growing infinitely skyward, crowned by light and fire. Somewhere, deep inside him, he was a fiery bird, a fledgling just escaping the nest, flying through a dark cave to the light at the end.

Matthew came down to earth and observed the room around him. None of the priceless furniture was damaged, as Gernand cast his own spell to protect them. His chest hurt, blackened by a burn the shape of the woman’s hand. Alexis clung on to him, almost wanting his protection. He could see why. Dozens of sinister men shrouded in black cowls surrounded them. At last he knew who the Ghouls answered to.

Gernand was completely content. “Do not be upset, boy. I didn’t order for the execution of your grandfather. His death was a sad and unnecessary loss caused by a lowly, greedy boss who couldn’t even fulfill his base, selfish appetite. You should be pleased to know that I dispatched him in the quickest and most brutal way possible. Now, boy, look on your army and become a man. Every thief, bootlegger, cheater, liar, drug dealer, and trafficker in New York and Egypt falls under your command. Fighting your way to the World Championship finals should be easy with such a barbarous legion.”

Matthew was at a loss for words for the third time. The light and fire in his heart evaporated, leaving only darkness and ashes. Grandfather’s murderers were the men Matthew now commanded, and he couldn’t back out. Dread, shame, and despair flashed inside of him so quickly and strongly he couldn’t even process it. He couldn’t even scream.

Yugioh Analysis and Critique

Bakura

Yugioh is the Journey through the Duat
The main arc of the original Yugioh franchise is the journey of the diseased pharaoh Atem. He dies when he seals his soul in the Millennium Puzzle, resurfacing 3,000 years later as “Dark Yugi” by possessing Yugi’s body. Atem forms a deep friendship with Yugi and his comrades as he overcomes many tests through the form of games. Eventually, he recovers his lost memories and overcomes his final test by losing to Yugi in the Ceremonial Duel. With all his tests finished, Atem passes on into the afterlife.

Atem’s entire arc is the journey a dead person makes through the Duat, the celestial realm/underworld, to reach the afterlife, the Field of Reeds. In Egyptian religion a dead person had to pass through many different tests of purity. In order to pass, a person needed to recite spells and summon creatures to protect her. When encountered the Guardians of the Gates she needed to recite their names in order to pass through them. Once she passed through the final test, the Weighing of the Heart, she could enter paradise.

Atem’s journey is very similar. The Shadow Games he routinely plays are tests of purity. This is especially emphasized in the early manga chapters. A Shadow Game is a high stakes game that uses dark magic make game pieces come to life, or at least cast the illusion of them being alive. The magic of a Shadow Game reveals the true nature of the players. If a player is wicked, his dark emotions like jealousy or greed will seep out and cause him to lose. The loser then faces a penalty or enters into oblivion. In Egyptian religion, the heart was the seat of a person’s consciousness. When it was weighed it would reveal the sins a person committed. If a person was deemed wicked, he faced oblivion.

For Atem, the spells and servants he used to aid his journey were the Spell Cards and Monster Cards in Duel Monsters. The monsters of the game itself come in a huge variety of forms, from beasts, to demons, to spirits, to aliens. The Duat of Egyptian religion itself contains such a diversity of creatures, some helpful to the deceased, some malevolent. It is not difficult to imagine that the many monsters in Yugioh are in fact creatures in the Duat, summoned to the human realm through magic.

The final demon Atem faces is Zorc Necrophades, the ultimate evil entity that represents all human evil. He represents Apep, the great snake, the primordial Egyptian god of evil, darkness, and chaos. According to some accounts, Apep was the first god to form from the Nun, the primordial waters. Then from Apep formed Atum, the ancestor of all the gods. They waged a battle, Apep tried to swallow Atum back into his being, but Atum won and went on to create the world. Each night, Ra (the pharaoh) and his servants would ward off Apep, cutting him into pieces. But Apep would always return, needing to be warded off again. Evil and chaos was an ever-present threat that needed to be beaten every night. In many religions around the world, a primordial serpent or dragon of darkness needed to be defeated before the creation of the world could take place. Zorc is that serpent.

Atem’s final battle was the Ceremonial Duel, where he dueled against his Yugi. He played to his fullest potential and lost. Like the Weighing of the Heart, this was the final and greatest test he needed to pass. This test was the culmination of his life, where he traveled down the straight and narrow path to his final judgment. By losing to Yugi after playing his hardest, he proved he was ready to move on to the afterlife. The Wadget Eye that oversaw his duel with Yugi judged him worthy and thus let him pass through the door to the afterlife. This reflects a primitive form of Egyptian religion from the earliest dynasties. A deceased king simply needed to walk through a magical door.

Dark Bakura’s Identity and the Nature of Evil
The identity of Dark Bakura was never stated clearly and even now is contentious among fans. Yugioh Wiki simply states that Dark Bakura is a shard of the soul of Zorc. TV Tropes goes two ways, either saying Dark Bakura is a fusion of Thief King Bakura and Zorc (which seems to imply he is made of two equal halves) or saying Dark Bakura is Thief King Bakura with a shard of Zorc inside of his soul (which implies he is mostly Thief King but corrupted).

In my personal opinion, Dark Bakura is just Thief King Bakura corrupted by Zorc. He does call himself “Zorc”, but so does Akhenaden after he makes a pact with Zorc. Zorc seems to be a gestalt entity or hive mind that assimilates people into his being by corrupting them. When a person is fully corrupted they become a part of Zorc and identify themselves as part of the hive mind. In that way, Zorc is a lot like Sauron and the One Ring in LOTR. Dark Bakura and Akhenaden are like Nazguls, so corrupted they have little identity outside of Zorc.

Someone may point out that Zorc sealed a shard of his soul in the Millennium Ring, but this is not so special because Zorc sealed a part of his soul in ALL of the Millennium Items. Pegasus said they were all part of an evil intelligence. That means that even Dark Yugi himself had a shard of Zorc in him. As a Tumblr OP (imaginative-spirit) pointed out, that is probably why Dark Yugi was such a psycho in the beginning of the series. Yugi and friends helped drive away that shard but even still Dark Yugi always had dark streaks in his personality, mainly his fatal flaw of pride. It’s not until Dark Yugi passes through the Millennium Arc and into the afterlife that he is fully purified of evil.

So I can conclude that both Dark Yugi and Dark Bakura are Atem and Thief King respectively corrupted by a shard of Zorc inside of them. But they went through two very different ways. Dark Yugi was Atem with a shard of Zorc but eventually completely purified himself of evil. Dark Bakura was Thief King with a shard of Zorc but went in a downward spiral until he became a minion and part of the hive mind.

Also, remember than in Ancient Egypt the soul wasn’t a single, whole entity where “all of you” resided. People were thought to have multiple souls, multiple shards or selves that combined to form the whole person. (Ka, Ba, Heka, one’s shadow, one’s heart etc.) When Thief King Bakura was sealed in the Millennium Ring, a shard of Zorc became one of his many selves. Eventually, that shard completely corrupted him.

The Nature of Evil
This topic opens a discussion of how evil is depicted in Yugioh. Evil is a part of darkness and chaos, a malevolent entity that surrounds the world and always threatens to swallow it. In the early manga and anime, people simply acted evil because parts of them were evil. However, as we move later into Yugioh we often see characters turning evil because they were corrupted by darkness or brainwashed in a certain way. In these cases evil is presented as not being a natural part of humans. It is something that corrupts people from the outside.

I explained before how Bakura was Thief King corrupted by Zorc into being part of the hive mind. Evil is especially portrayed this way in Yugioh. It is a monster that steals a person’s identity. It doesn’t just corrupt them morally. It eats away the most essential parts of who they are. They become absorbed, dissolved in dark chaos until they are merely a minion of the darkness and an enemy of Ra. As a person slips more and more into evil she loses more and more of her humanity until she is barely human at all. This is reflected by the fact that the most evil Yugioh characters are literally insane.

Throughout Yugioh moral conflict is played as a sharp black-and-white contrast between good and evil. (Technically it’s really a black-and-grey contrast as most protagonists are antiheroes.) The forces of friendship, love, and hope are pitted against hatred, despair, and envy. Unsurprisingly, friendship, love, and hope win most of the time. Takahashi said the black-and-white portrayal had more to do with the medium he was working with, the manga, but it draws its roots from Egyptian religion. Egyptian religion portrayed morality in stark black-and-white terms of the gods and light versus chaos and darkness.

Dark Bakura Character Development
As a fanfic writer I sometimes wonder how to write a certain character out. Sometimes I do criticize Takahashi’s work as well as praise it. Because he lives the crammed and exhausting life of a mangakan I can understand if he doesn’t develop characters their fullest capacity. My fanfic writing is not my profession. No matter how much dedication I put into it it’s part of my leisure time. So I have all the time in the world to develop my characters. I didn’t write my first Yugioh Children of Prometheus chapter until five years after I first thought up of the idea.

If I was the one to write Dark Bakura’s character, this is what I would write…

Dark Bakura’s character development is fundamentally a slippage from a rowdy tomb raider and brigand to a minion of Zorc. In Ancient Egypt, Dark Bakura (as Thief King Bakura) was a hot-blooded risk-taker and swashbuckler. He was the sole survivor of the Kul Elna massacre and as such his primary motivation was revenge. He also had a Bart Simpson streak in him, loving to cause chaos, steal, gamble, and do dangerous things for the sheer thrill of it.

In a twisted way, Dark Bakura was even noble at this time, because he wanted to avenge his family killed in the massacre. Regardless, the loss of his family in a brutal massacre made him into a deeply scarred person, both physically on his face and emotionally as someone who can’t understand loyalty and friendship. Like Satan from Christian religion, his pride, unfailing arrogance, and inability to comprehend good becomes his downfall.

Dark Bakura makes a pact with the great evil god, Zorc Necrophades, and from then on his life is bound to Zorc. Dark Bakura, Akhenaden, and Zorc wage a great battle against Dark Yugi (as Atem) and his priests. In a desperate move to stop the battle, Atem shatters the Millennium Puzzle, taking Akhenaden and Zorc with him. Dark Bakura seals himself in the Millennium Ring to save his soul while Zorc splits bits of his soul in all the Millennium Items.

Both Dark Yugi and Dark Bakura lost their memories. However, while Dark Yugi couldn’t surface until the Millennium Puzzle was put back together, Dark Bakura could still wander the earth through different hosts. This gave Dark Bakura a big edge over Dark Yugi because he had more time to peace back together his memories. However, this gave him much more exposure to the fragment of Zorc to corrupt him. Dark Bakura was no nice guy beforehand, but Zorc just made him worse.

This is where we see Dark Bakura’s character development take place. As Zorc eats away at him, he loses more and more of whatever humanity he had left. His corruption becomes so severe he abandons any human identity at all. He becomes a dark spirit and part of the Zorc hivemind and, as such, identifies himself as Zorc. His personality changes from a hot-blooded, audacious thief to a cold, calculating sadist. His bold cunning as a ruthless tomb raider and fierce fighter transforms into the cold cunning of a master manipulator. He no longer desires personal revenge. Instead, he is purely power hungry and evil. He simply wants to unleash dark chaos, the Zorc hivemind, unto the world. He “ices over”.

However, in spite of all of Zorc’s corrupting, he always holds some human spirit left. Yugioh, in spite of all of its macabre elements, is optimistic in its comments on humanity. People are fundamentally good and can always make the right moral choice and redeem themselves. I have intention of having Dark Bakura redeem himself. However, I want to add with my own comment. Even the humanity of someone as damned as Dark Bakura cannot be fully erased. Some things from his past life as a tomb robber always carry on.

Because Dark Bakura witnessed the massacre of his entire family and village, he has PTSD. It makes sense given the horrors he witnessed. However, if I ever was to write a fanfic about Dark Bakura, I would make sure to do my research into the disorder and to be accurate and sensitive in my portrayal. However, do not mistake this as me being sympathetic with Bakura. I have no intention of making him into a misunderstood woobie or someone to pity, as bad fanfics tend to do with characters. The man is a complete bastard. However, even complete bastards have vulnerabilities. Dark Bakura is a tragic character, which I think all villains are to some extent or another.

While he was a Thief King, Dark Bakura did have a lover, the woman who would eventually become Dark Necrofear. Dark Necrofear was originally a witch who lived in a remote area near the Valley of the Kings. Dark Bakura and Dark Necrofear originally formed a partnership with each other. Dark Bakura would present her with gifts he took from the tombs of diseased pharaohs. Dark Necrofear, in turn, would teach him the dark arts and how to strengthen his Ka, Diabound Colonel. Eventually, their relationship bloomed into a full love affair and Dark Necrofear became with child.

On the eve of an especially dangerous raid, Dark Bakura persuaded Dark Necrofear to leave the country for her safety. After his raid, he couldn’t find her. He desperately searched for her for months. When he finally found her, she had died. Their baby girl died at the same time when she was only a few months old. In the present day Dark Necrofear watches over Dark Bakura. Even though she doesn’t always agree with his decisions she is still loyal to him.

Dark Bakura and Ryu, his modern day host, hardly have a relationship. However, there are bits of feelings they have for each other. Dark Bakura is mostly coercive with Ryu, controlling him completely whenever he wants to. Whenever Ryu is without the Millennium Ring, Dark Bakura coerces him to put it back on. The Millennium Ring is itself a dark artifact, which causes an addiction in Ryu, which is why he keeps looking for it and needs to put it on. However, Ryu has sympathy for whatever shred of humanity Dark Bakura has left. This still doesn’t stop Ryu from studying the occult, trying to find a means of exorcising himself of the dark spirit.

Aftermath
Dark Bakura is defeated by Dark Yugi in the Shadow RPG game, and thus faces oblivion. Ryu is finally free of the malevolent spirit’s influence. Shortly after Yugioh ends, Ryu travels to Egypt to learn about Dark Bakura’s past life. While there, he meets Marik, who tells Ryu about his experiences with Dark Bakura. The two become attached because they both knew it was like to be unfairly possessed and coerced by malevolent personalities. They form a relationship.

Ryu returns to Domino City. Marik follows him, bidding farewell to Ishizu and Odion who stay in Egypt. Eventually, they adopt a child and start a loving family. The child is a reincarnation of Dark Bakura’s and Dark Necrofear’s child. Marik loves riding motorcycles, so he came up with the idea of Turbo Duels. Why not play Duel Monsters while riding a motorcycle? Marik gets a sponsorship from KaibaCorp, allowing him to perfect the game. It becomes a huge hit, which is why it’s so prevalent in 5Ds.

Sources (where I got my ideas for Bakura’s Character Development and Aftermath):

http://yu-gi-oh-headcanon.tumblr.com

http://phoenixsoul13.tumblr.com/post/113358422244/on-the-debate-of-yami-bakuras-identity-some

Lost Zodiac Abridged

calendar

Preface
In the past I wrote a lengthy blog post called The Lost Zodiac. I intended to “rediscover” astrology as it was originally practiced by looking at classical sources and modern sidereal astrologers who have largely remained faithful to the old sources. At the same time I needed to rectify inaccuracies present in most forms of tropical astrology, especially regarding the signs. My intention now is to rewrite my Lost Zodiac, making it even smaller and simpler so people can easily access it.

Introduction
Astrology or “study of the stars” is a method of divining events and people’s character by mapping where the planets are in the sky and the patterns they form. Most people read of their “star sign” in the newspaper, which casts very general predictions that could apply to anyone. Your “star sign” is simply which sign the Sun was in when you were born. It is considered one of the most important parts in determining your personality. However, it is only one of the many “planets” to be found in your natal chart.

However, most modern astrology readings are inaccurate. The signs have shifted backwards in the sky due to the procession of the equinoxes. So most people’s true signs are actually the signs before. Most “Capricorns” are really Sagittariuses, and so forth. The astrology most people follow is called tropical astrology, which was founded by Ptolemy, which uses the seasons to cast the zodiac. However, astrology was originally formed in Egypt and Babylon, which both used the constellations to cast the zodiac. Originally, astrology was based on literal stargazing, which most astrologers hardly do today.

As a result many astrologers lost their foundations. The descriptions of the signs and planets we have today are not “pure” but mixed. The tropical sign Taurus, as most people describe it, really has mixed traits of Aries and Taurus. The planets that rule Taurus, Venus and Moon, are also described with mixed traits. Furthermore, some of these mixed traits are arbitrarily exaggerated. This is how we have the modern signs and planets as we describe them. What I do in this blog post is show the signs and planets as they were originally described.

The Planets
For simplicity’s sake I refer to all celestial bodies as planets, even the Sun and Moon, which technically aren’t planets. Originally the planets were given the biggest importance in astrology, not the signs. The biggest factors in a natal chart were the positions the planets had in relation to each other. (Conjunctions, oppositions, squares, trines etc.) This also determined which planets were the most prominent at a given time, which determined the course of events.

Moon
The Moon traditionally rules over realms dealing with the mother, nurturing, the home, the family, the mistress of the house, and legitimate partnerships. Other prominent areas of governance are the masses like the town gathering, as well as meandered wanderings. The Moon generally indicates the casual parts of a personality, including personal mannerisms, pleasures, idiosyncrasies, and adapting to the environment. The Moon rules over feelings, dreams, imagination, and memories. Strangely enough, research shows the Moon influences people to have aggressive “masculine” professions such as business executives, military careers, and politicians. People under the Moon’s influence also have strong creative personalities, such as people who are writers, painters, conductors, and engineers. The Moon rules the left eye, the stomach, the breasts, and spleen. The Moon is phlegmatic and its element is water.

Sun
The Sun rules over traditionally masculine realms, such as the intellect and mental perception, as well as rulership. Such archetypes are the king, the judge, the master, the authority over the masses, noble personages, and high priesthoods. The Sun also rules dignity and formal gestures, public reputation, and honors commemorating an individual. The Sun influences people to take public performance occupations such as actors and pop singers, but at the same time people ruled by the Sun show occult behaviors such as tarot card readers, cult followers, and UFO sightings. The Sun rules over the right eye, the heart, spiritual faculties, and the nerves. While the Moon seems to betray an aggressive and strong character the Sun by contrast appears passive and delicate. The Sun is choleric and its element is fire.

Mercury
Mercury rules over areas of mental faculty and education, such as communication, embassies, marketing, accounting, management, and banking. Mercury also rules over a broad range of other professions from doctors to temple builders, and modelers. Prominent themes are that of youth, childhood, and games, as well as gambling, and slight of hand. Mercury dominates a chart where traveling is involved. People influenced by Mercury show a variety of different occupations, from a wealth of sports professions to real estate agents, social workers, cartoonists, and journalists. There are also a high number of mental illnesses like manic-depressives, psychotic people, and suicidal people. Mercury rules the hands, shoulders, joints, intestines, ears, and tongue. Mercury is leukemic and its element is earth.

Venus
As a benefic body Venus bestows many blessings to those under her rule. Venus rules over cheerfulness, good companionship, generosity, and the exchange of gifts. Venus rules over the fine arts and beautiful things like sweet singing, music, painting, dyeing of clothes, ornaments, craftsmanship, and embroidery. It represents appreciation, pleasantness, social interaction, gentleness, and asceticism. Venus influences people to be peaceful, sensible, and cooperative in a variety of fields from TV personalities, textbook writers, diplomats, counselors, and therapists. However, there are some anomalies such as rapists and sex offenders. Venus rules the face: the neck, lips, sense of smell, the lungs, and front of the body. Venus is phlegmatic and its element is water.

Mars
A malefic body, Mars is significantly darker in tone. Mars rules over crime and violence, such as theft, murder, plundering, prostitution, insurgency, imprisonment, torture, lawsuits, and exile. It also rules over misfortunes regarding relationships such as rape, abortion, sadomasochism, abuse, the death of wives, and alienation from the family. But Mars does rule positive things, such as campaigns and leadership, fire, craftwork, masonry, governing, and hunting. Mars represents aggression, competitiveness, and strong energy reserves, as well as conviction to defend one’s values. People governed by Mars tend to lead conflict-ridden lives such as thieves, executed people, prisoners, murderers, and drug dealers. Also prominent are people who fight against injustice such as political activists, revolutionaries, and critics. Mars rules over the head, blood, the genitals, the body’s back and underside, and the elimination of waste. Mars is choleric and its element is fire.

Jupiter
Like Venus, Jupiter is a benefic body and as such grants abundance to those under its rule. Jupiter rules over forms of gain and flourishing, such as childbearing, engendering, cementing friendships and political ties, trust, inheritance, the deposit of money, and securing of bonds. Jupiter also rules religion and social order, such as offices and ranks, and the relief of troubles. Jupiter represents generosity, optimism, and gaining people’s endearment, as well as propriety and the striving for superiority. Jupiter influences people to otherworldliness and passivity, opposite of Mercury’s activity and communication. Such occupations include mystical experiences, being spiritual founders, mediums, and near death experiences. Jupiter rules the thighs and feet, the sperm, uterus and egg, and liver. Jupiter is sanguine and its element is ether.

Saturn
Like Mars, Saturn is a malefic body, and as a result also rules over misfortunes. Saturn rules over the obstacles in life such as unemployment, failures in business, imprisonment, unremitting lawsuits, bereavement, loss, and childlessness. Saturn also rules over things related to farms such as serfs, farmers, and profit. On the bright side Saturn rules over positions of eminence such as supervisors, the managers of property, heads of business, and being the father of others’ children. Saturn is inhibiting and withdrawn, marks self-preservation, frugality, and hard work. It limits and restrains what it touches. While the Sun and Moon signify creativity and originality, their opposite, Saturn points to work that is tedious, manual labor, and “mass mentality”, such as porn stars, sex symbols, scriptwriters, actors, and farmers. Also included are people of great education, philosophers, and researchers, positions that potentially lead to long and dull work. Saturn rules phlegm, the bladder, kidneys, the tendons, the skeletal system, and the lymphatic system. Saturn is melancholic and its element is Air.

Sources:

Papretis Research on Rising Planets and Signs
https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=41F3091B2F821499!141&app=WordPdf&authkey=!AGMKnat_DHG_WsQ

Soluners Planetary Crib Sheet
http://solunars.net/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=96

Valens on the Planets
http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/Vettius%20Valens%20entire.pdf

Overview of the Signs
As I said before, the constellations were originally used to plot out the zodiac, which is how sidereal astrology today does it. However, the signs themselves are each equal 30-degree regions. Some constellations like Virgo are extremely big while others like Cancer and Libra are small. So the sign of Libra includes the constellation Libra as well as the feet of Virgo. The most prominent signs in your natal chart are the signs your Sun, Moon, and Mars were at your birth. Other astrologers consider the Ascendant just as important as any planet.

Shorthand
A shorthand, easy way to think of the signs is simply to think of ruling planets, or planets that express themselves most strongly when in the “right” signs. At the same time the signs also have planets that are debilitated of their influences when in the “wrong” signs. A shorthand way of thinking of Taurus is to say it is like-Venus and like-Moon while unlike-Mars.

Taurus: +Venus, +Moon, -Mars
Gemini: +Mercury, -Jupiter
Cancer: +Moon, +Jupiter, -Saturn, -Mars
Leo: +Sun, -Saturn
Virgo: +Mercury, – Jupiter
Libra: +Venus, +Saturn, -Mars, -Sun
Scorpio: +Mars. –Venus, -Moon
Sagittarius: +Jupiter, -Mercury
Capricorn: +Saturn, +Mars, -Moon, – Jupiter
Aquarius: +Saturn, -Sun
Pisces: +Jupiter, +Venus, -Mercury
Aries: +Mars, +Sun, -Venus, -Saturn

Taurus (May 14 – June 14)
Taurus is the nocturnal home of Venus and the Moon is exalted in this sign. As such Taurus is peaceful, gentle, modest, valuing the simple life. She is noble, toilsome, loves pleasure and music, devotional and sensitive to her friends. She abhors coarseness and violence, her speech without sarcasm or reproach. Her sexuality is in extremes, either totally absent or excessive. There is no middle ground. She is affectionate, especially doting on children. She needs intimate, close contact to be comfortable around people. Intellectually, she is a late-bloomer but when she does her intellect is concentrated and profound. She has a deep appreciation for nature and life, searching to uncover their hidden meanings. The physical world, love, and sex are entire worlds to her. She is especially drawn to liebestod, or tragic love, enacting tragic themes to reach a romantic ideal, even if it means self-sabotage.

Gemini (Jun 15 – July 15)
Gemini is the diurnal home of Mercury. He is an intellectual and scholarly character, pursuing a wide range of fields with his versatile talents from education to journalism to advertising. In Gemini’s presence the laborious callings of life, the arms of war, and gloom of old age are banished. In their place he ushers in joy, love, and music making. He is courageous, unhesitant to speak the truth. He is rather nervous and will drink alcohol or take sedatives to calm himself down. A prominent theme for Gemini is the need for companionship and the fear of alienation. He feels loneliness deeply, needing affection, a connection, a playmate. Unfortunately, he is also easily alienated, having difficulty conforming to other people’s expectations.

Cancer (Jul 16 – Aug 16)
Cancer is the home of the Moon and Jupiter is exalted in this sign. Cancer has been associated with traveling the seas and mercantilism since Mannilius. A grasping spirit and unwilling to serve others, she journeys to the far edges of the world, distributing her goods and establishing commercial ties. She is ambitious, glamorous, and public, with a decisive political bent. She is deeply insecure, and so seeks validation by being the center of attention. She is a strong storyteller, with a brilliant imagination, and strong memory, and likewise has turbulent, changing emotions. She also possesses dark, shadowy qualities. She is attracted to the mystical and magical. She often involves herself in the occult and is numb to nomothetic viewpoints. She strives to build complex imaginative structures while at the same time is driven to uncover and disclose problems.

Leo (Aug 17 – Sept 16)
Leo is the home of the Sun. He is distinguished, noble, honest, and beneficent, with lofty thoughts. The dignity of the human soul is his primary purpose of living. Possessing a deep moral nature, he shuns flattery, hypocrisy, and wastefulness. He needs eminence and centricity, to be the center of others. However, he possesses a natural dignity, neither noisy nor flagrant. He can be overbearing and righteous, possessing a fearful temper. Natural in a position of authority, he easily becomes society’s mainstay and, when he ages, becomes a “symbol” of his respective field. He is a mellow character and thrives in the status quo, at least as far as cultural mores are concerned.

Virgo (Sept 17 – Oct 16)
Virgo is the nocturnal house of Mercury. She is industrious and modest, trained in a diversity of the learned arts, from historians to reporters to editors to analysts. Her mind is as powerful as it is versatile for she is just as adept in repairing a child’s toy as she is in leading a military campaign. She is shy, bashful, and modest. Rather than holding a position of authority she instead prefers the role of secretary. She is highly logical to the point of perhaps being mechanical and functions best following a routine. She has a definite humanitarian bent for she has a great concern for the common people and expends much effort to social progress. She has a strong eye for details but also has a very nervous temperament.

Libra (Oct 17 – Nov 15)
Libra is the diurnal house of Venus and is the exaltation of Saturn. He is debonair, peaceable, and beauty loving. He would rather negotiate; find a compromise than quarrel or cause bloodshed. As such, he is acquainted with the law and excels in legal professions. He is the supervisor of crops, vineyards, homesteads, and estates. He has a heightened sense of aesthetics, both image-conscious and sensitive to disfigurements. However, he can be shockingly insensitive to actual pain caused to him. The idea is always worse than the real thing. He is righteous, concerned with justice and fair play, and can be very judgmental. He is also covert and secretive. Women are comfortable under Libra, acting as if the world was already female-dominated, while men flounder with their masculinity.

Scorpio (Nov 16 – Dec 15)
Scorpio is the nocturnal house of Mars. This serpentine sign has carried a loaded reputation since antiquity. She is ardent for war and active service, for even if there is no war to be fought she finds for herself enemies to attack. She loves danger and risk, impulsively or fearlessly tackling any difficult situation. She is barnstorming and revolutionary, redressing the wrongs of the world. Musical expression to her is the sheer realization of life, which is why so many musicians and composers have been born under her. Both imaginative and mathematically minded, she tends to synthesize various disciplines, often fusing politics with art or science. Thus she leans towards the idiographic sciences. She doesn’t say anything without a specific reason, slow to expose any weaknesses, but secretly collects others’ weaknesses. As such, she has a keen analytical mind, hidden motives rarely escaping her attention.

Sagittarius (Dec 16 – Jan 14)
Sagittarius is the diurnal house of Jupiter. He can rightly be described as a king with the common touch. He is noble, just, and magnanimous, superior to his enemies. He seeks a noble reputation, or some other form of high regard or social status, and to be a prominent benefactor. He has a proclivity for taming the wild animals from lions to elephants. An optimistic person, he continually strives for self-improvement, if not of his social status than of his personal qualities, climbing higher and higher. In spite of his many qualities, however, he does have self-image problems, for in his mind he never quite makes the mark. He is hierarchical in his thinking, stratifying people according to what he perceives to be their rank. As such, he is very judgmental, eager to play God.

Capricorn (Jan 15 – Feb 12)
Capricorn is the nocturnal house of Saturn and the exaltation of Mars. As a manifestation of Pan and the Sabbatical Goat, she is both austere and puckish. Her childhood is her worst time, suffering at the hands of her elders, and is toilsome to the present day. She is fond of jokes, though, her sharp wit is used as a means of warding off melancholy. She is generally a reserved person, with a combination of blasé boldness with exterior coldness. She is an aloof individualist who tends to work better alone than in groups. Though she is generally congenial, she isn’t deeply forthcoming. She is a workaholic, with a strong sense of responsibility and duty, and can be just as stubborn in her views as she is tenacious. She is economical in her speech and motion, creating maximum effects with minimal effort.

Aquarius (Feb 13 – March 14)
Aquarius is the diurnal house of Saturn. He is gentle, soft, and sentimental, ready to lend an ear or arm to a suffering person. He is prone to suffer many losses in life, which in turn makes him worry a lot and be self-effacing. However, he is wise, with a strong understanding of human nature. He is honest, lofty in thought, altruistic, and idealistic. He is scientific, inventive, analytic, delight in investigation, avidly absorbing information from books and the like. As a humanitarian, he ignores the social barriers of race, class, gender, or age. He has a strong sense of individuality and is loathe giving up his autonomy. Thus he may be misunderstood as being noncommittal in relationships. He is pragmatic, working hard to make life easy.

Pisces (March 15 – April 13)
Pisces is the nocturnal house of Jupiter and the exaltation of Venus. She is possessed by a powerful wanderlust, gravitating to foreign affairs and the unfamiliar and vague. As such many explorers and missionaries have been born under her, and her skills in navigating the world’s seas and oceans have been noted since antiquity. She is fundamentally a mystic, with a visionary, romantic, subjective approach to life. She is sociable, amiable, suave, pleasant, but also shifty in her loyalties, slipping from one camp to the next. She wants an idealistic, storybook relationship, and if her relationship isn’t the ideal off she goes at once. She has a strong, sensuous sex drive, indulging in good food and wine. But she is also strong, her strength proportionate to her emotional attunement.

Aries (April 14 – May 13)
Aries is the diurnal house of Mars and the exaltation of the Sun. He is pragmatic, utilitarian, analytical, and resourceful, with an immediate hands-on approach to his tasks. Wherever he goes, he will disrupt the status quo, and will mince not words in his polemics to do so. He is the political sign par excellence, active, dynamic, impatient, striving to secure himself positions of power. His emotions are cyclothymic, a roller coaster of ups and downs, heights and dumps. He is skeptical and agnostic, and as such few diviners are born under him. He can also be rather insensitive, inattentive to other people’s feelings, but is himself sensitive to criticism and loathe in acknowledging his mistakes. He has a strong sense of family and takes great pride in his children.

Sources:

Garth Allen’s notes on the sidereal signs:
http://solunars.net/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=34

Manillius on the twelve signs
http://www.constellationsofwords.com/Constellations/Taurus.html
etc.

Soluners: Jim Eshelman’
http://solunars.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7#p27

Valens on the Twelve Zodiac Signs
http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/Vettius%20Valens%20entire.pdf

Deconstructing the Tropical Zodiac Signs

0f4be0_4418051

See Lost Zodiac Abridged for full context.

Most modern astrology readings are inaccurate. The signs have shifted backwards in the sky due to the procession of the equinoxes. So most people’s true signs are actually the signs before. Most “Capricorns” are really Sagittariuses, and so forth. The astrology most people follow is called tropical astrology, which was founded by Ptolemy, which uses the seasons to cast the zodiac. However, astrology was originally formed in Egypt and Babylon, which both used the constellations to cast the zodiac. Originally, astrology was based on literal stargazing, which most astrologers hardly do today.

As a result many astrologers lost their foundations. The descriptions of the signs and planets we have today are not “pure” but mixed. The tropical sign Taurus, as most people describe it, really has mixed traits of Aries and Taurus. The planets that rule Taurus, Venus and Moon, are also described with mixed traits. Furthermore, some of these mixed traits are arbitrarily exaggerated. Astrologers expected to see Taurus traits (+Venus, +Moon) in a person, but really saw Aries traits (+Mars, +Sun) in them. Thus they mixed the traits together. That combined with vulgar commercialism resulted in the tropical stereotypes that people know of the most.

Tropical Taurus
The stereotype of Tropical Taurus is slow, plodding, indulgent, ambitious, stubborn, good with money, practical, solid. These are really the traits of Aries (+Mars, +Sun) mixed with Taurus (+Venus, +Moon). Aries is ambitious, stubborn, hands-on, and with a fearful temper (Mars), as well as aspiring for social prestige, and authority (Sun). Taurus is gentle, artistic, indulgent (Venus), as well as casual (Moon). Astrologers expected Taurus but really saw Aries, so they cloaked Aries traits with “earth traits” emphasizing solidness and predictability. This is where astrologers’ double-speak comes from. “Peaceful, gentle, slow to anger, but watch out when you do!” Taurus is not a conservative businessman, but purely a lover, artist, and tragedian: “liebestod”.

Tropical Gemini
Tropical Gemini is mercurial, communicative, affectionate, flighty, and shallow. This is really Taurus (+Venus, +Moon) mixed with Gemini (+Mercury). Taurus is sociable, romantic, affectionate, doting (Venus). Gemini is intellectual, skeptical, and a marketer (Mercury). Astrologers expected Gemini but saw Taurus. They misunderstood Venus and Moon traits as mercurial. Hence they came up with the stereotype of Gemini having shallow emotions and being noncommittal. Thus the double-speak goes like this, “affectionate and humanitarian, but only as long as it doesn’t interfere with his comforts”. Gemini is not a fickle lover, but a versatile tradesman, traveler, and scholar.

Tropical Cancer
Tropical Cancer is a mix of being touchy, sensitive, nurturing, reclusive, but also glamorous and political. We really see Gemini (+Mercury) mixed with Cancer (+Moon, +Jupiter). Gemini is touchy, sensitive, and can be peevish (Mercury), but also associated with children and youth. Cancer is extravagant, imaginative, motherly (Moon) as well as political (Jupiter). Astrologers mixing Gemini with Cancer created the soft, sensitive dreamer that is Tropical Cancer. This is where the double-speak of “shy and introverted but also sociable and brilliant” comes from. Cancer is not a soft, touchy stepford mother but a showman, politician, and Great Mother.

Tropical Leo
Tropical Leo is glamorous, showy, extraverted, colorful, magnanimous, noble-hearted, a born leader. We really see Cancer (+Moon, +Jupiter) combined with Leo (+Sun). Cancer is showy, tough, individualistic, a showman and politician (Moon & Jupiter). Leo is magnanimous, a leader, dignified, honest, without pretentions (Sun). Astrologers combined Cancer with Leo, which is where the glamorous but noble born leader comes from. Thus, we see double-speak like “extravagant and creative but also overbearing and well-organized”. Leo is not a sparkling showman on center stage but a righteous king sitting on his throne.

Tropical Virgo
The Tropical Virgo stereotype is detail-oriented, a worrywart, cautious, practical, refined, studious. We really see Leo (+Sun) mixed with Virgo (+Mercury). Leo holds aristocratic reserve but also can be overbearing and moralizing (Sun). Virgo is tactical, quick, cunning, and never misses a detail, with a diversity of talents (Mercury). Astrologers expected to see quick and cunning Virgo but saw Leo instead. Thus they created the stereotype of a cautious, detail-oriented worrywart. Thus we see the double-speak, “cunning and quick-witted, but also with aristocratic reserve”. Virgo is not a scolding old maid but a youthful girl.

Tropical Libra
The Tropical Libra stereotype is debonair, refined, diplomatic, compromising, aesthetic, and fair. This is a mixing of Virgo (+Mercury) with Libra (+Venus, +Saturn). I admit parsing these two out is hard to do, because in antiquity Virgo and Libra were similar. Both were considered the fairest of all signs. Virgo is sharp, multitalented, and communicating (Mercury) while Libra is diplomatic, aesthetic, compromising (Venus) but also sullen, austere, and righteous (Saturn). Astrologers saw the traits of Virgo but masked them under Libra. Thus, we see only Venus with Tropical Libra, and not Saturn. Libra is not only a debonair and diplomat, but is also dark, austere, and shrewd.

Tropical Scorpio
The stereotype for Tropical Scorpio is intense, secretive, profound, powerful, magnetic, tenacious, and sensitive. What we really see is Libra (+Venus, +Saturn) mixed with Scorpio (+Mars). Libra is refined and appreciates beauty (Venus) while also reserved, contemplative, judgmental (Saturn). Scorpio is powerful, courageous, querulous, fiercely independent, never giving up (Mars). Astrologers expected to see the forthright character of Scorpio but observed Libra instead. They assumed fiery Mars lay “deep within”, hence the myth of being mysterious and profound. Thus we hear double-speak of “placid exterior but seething intensity just beneath the surface” and “intense sensitivity”. Scorpio is not mysterious or profound, but is a sharp-witted, dynamic, honest warrior.

Tropical Sagittarius
The Tropical Sagittarius stereotype is gregarious, philosophical, carefree, imaginative, blunt, and opinionated. What we really see is Scorpio (+Mars) mixed with Sagittarius (+Jupiter). Scorpio is a blunt, opinionated, clever trickster, but is also excessive in his behavior (Mars). Sagittarius values highly his social status, is optimistic, focuses on self-improvement, and is associated with religion, philosophy, and academia (Jupiter). Astrologers expected to see Sagittarius but really saw Scorpio. Thus they distorted Mars through “Jupiter lenses”, giving Mars a lighthearted and comical spin. We see the double-speak, “independent, rebellious, fighting for the underdog, but also snobbish and conventional” and “Always bubbly and optimistic, yet prone to deep depressions”. Sagittarius is not a happy-go-lucky clown, but is kingly, and an eminent scholar.

Tropical Capricorn
Tropical Capricorn is described as very money-conscious and practical, traditional, ambitious, a social climber, a bit stiff. What we really see is Sagittarius (+Jupiter) mixed with Capricorn (+Mars, +Saturn). Sagittarius is conscious of social status, prestigious, associated with academia and philosophy (Jupiter). Capricorn is pessimistic, has a troubled childhood, economic in speech and motion (Saturn). Astrologers expected to see Capricorn but saw Sagittarius instead. This is where the snobbish businessman out for the bottom line comes from. Capricorn is not an Ebenezer Scrooge but is a melancholic, ascetic sea-goat.

Tropical Aquarius
Tropical Aquarius is quirky, unconventional, sociable, detached, intellectual, and aloof. What we see is Capricorn (+Saturn, +Mars) mixed with Aquarius (+Saturn). Capricorn is the quirky, unconventional, bad boy (Mars) but also is humanitarian and seeks the esoteric and profound (Saturn). Aquarius, however, is “pure” Saturn: detached, aloof, nursing grievances, focused on the facts. Astrologers expected to see Aquarius but found Capricorn instead. That is how the idealized and progressive Tropical Aquarius came to be. Aquarius is not the ideal humanitarian, but is a morose, brooding contemplative.

Tropical Pisces
The stereotype of Tropical Pisces is dreamy, romantic, washy, nostalgic, reclusive, easily hurt. We see Aquarius (+Saturn) and Pisces (+Jupiter, +Venus) mixed. Aquarius is reclusive, easily hurt, and contemplative (Saturn). Pisces is indulgent, pleasurable, with a definite libertine streak (Venus) as well as being a medium (Jupiter). Astrologers, seeking to find Aquarius in Pisces, added on the traits of softness and sensitivity to the dreaming Pisces. Though Pisces is truly a dreamer and chameleon, he is not melancholic and austere, but excessive, imaginative actor.

Tropical Aries
Tropical Aries is described as the leaders, pioneers, explorers of the zodiac, harsh and quick in action, a libertine lover but also fastidious, optimistic, sensitive, caring for the underdog. What we see is Pisces (+Jupiter, +Venus) mixed with Aries (+Mars, +Sun). Pisces is an explorer, peering over the horizon, but not a pushy way. Rather Pisces is an explorer with wanderlust, the missionary, the pilgrim, and charitable to the poor and destitute (Jupiter). Pisces is also a libertine and sensitive (Venus). Aries, on the other hand, is bold, rash, uncompromising (Mars) while also concerned with their own personal advancement (Sun). By expecting Aries but really finding Pisces, astrologers created the contradictions in Tropical Aries. Hence they use the double-speak, “bold and harsh, but also sensitive” and “concerned with personal advancement, but concerned for the underdog”. Aries is not sensitive or libertine, but a hands-on leader and social climber.

FTK Exodia (YGO World Championship 2005 Game)

rare hunter

1x Exodia
1x Left Arm
1x Left Leg
1x Right Arm
1x Right Leg
3x Sangan
3x Witch of the Black Forrest
2x Fiber Jar

3x Pot of Greed
3x Graceful Charity
3x Upstart Goblin
3x Painful Choice
3x Dark Hole
3x Premature Burial
3x Monster Reborn
2x Card Destruction
2x Thunder Crash

2x Backup Soldier

The Ghouls’ Hideout is a realm in YGO World Championship 2005 that has no restrictions on what cards you can use whatsoever. This Exodia Deck is guaranteed to destroy your opponent if not in one turn than at most two turns. How do you beat it? By getting lucky enough to go first and banish an Exodia piece in the first turn.

I have only one copy of each piece of Exodia. Having two or three copies clogs the deck very quickly, reducing its speed, making it actually harder to assemble all five pieces of Exodia in the first turn. Sangan and Witch are obviously staples here. I have one Fiber as an insurance policy if I lose Exodia’s Head. It can also be searched by Sangan and Iwtch.

I have the usual 2005 contemporary draw engines: Pot of Greed Graceful Charity, and Upstart Goblin. Painful Choice exists for two strategies. 1) Sent Exodia pieces to the Graveyard so I can return them to my hand with Backup Soldier. Backup Soldier is a trap, so I need to set it first and wait a turn, which I don’t like. Unfortunately, Dark Factory of Mass Production and Makyura the Destructor aren’t available for this game.

2) I sent copies of Sangan and Witch to the Graveyard. I revive them with Premature Burial and Monster Reborn, then kill them off with Dark Hole and Thunder Crash. This lets me search for Exodia pieces.

Card Destruction lets me easily toss away Sangans and Witches in my hand and, if necessary, Exodia pieces too. Usually I refrain from discarding Exodia pieces because I want to win on my first turn, not on my second. But I am practice enough to realize this doesn’t always happen, so I prepare myself for the chance it doesn’t.

Our Public Intellectuals

cornelwest

I am considering pursuing a career as a public intellectual. My esteemed professor advised that I do research so I can map out all the different public intellectuals out there and the various schools they follow. I am unsure about how truly complete my list is but this is what I’ve been able to assemble.

So many intellectuals, especially those who work in anthropology, politics, and social justice, also involve themselves in public education and activism. This is why my lists are so long. The stereotype of the armchair intellectual or professor doesn’t hold water most of the time.

The schools of thought are ordered based on what is important to me, and what I personally think should take the highest precedence in people’s minds if we are going to be a more intelligent, creative, and fulfilled species.

Black Feminism – One of the most important developments in feminism because it uses intersectionality. In other words, people experience many different social disadvantages that add on top of each other and make life harder. A good example is a black woman who has to endure the hardships of being black and being a woman. One can also be privileged in some ways but oppressed in others. A white queer woman has many privileges for being white yet still has disadvantages for being a woman and for being queer. Intersectionality is extremely important because it has the potential to unite different social justice groups who all suffer from the same status quo.

The theory womanism deals exclusively with the racial and gender oppression of black women. Triple Oppression describes classism, racism, and sexism.

Ida B. Wells
Bell Hooks
Angela Davis
Audre Lorde
Patricia Hill Collins
Alice Walker
Cornel West
Melissa Harris-Perry
Anita Hill
Clenora Hudson-Weems
Patricia J. Williams
Claudia Jones
Katie Geneva Cannon
Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw
Audre Lorde
Barbara Smith

Black Civil Rights – Deals with the plights of racial minorities, especially those of African Americans. The history of black civil rights in America is truly a long one, so my list has people spanning a long period of time. Thus black civil rights has many different intellectual traditions. The most modern term is critical race theory. As the name suggests it takes critical theory to break down the ways racial minorities are oppressed worldwide in order to help minorities.

Olaudah Equiano
Frederick Douglas
Soujourner Truth
Booker T. Washington
Marcus Garvey
Zora Neale Hurston
Langston Hughes
Melissa Harris-Perry
Malcolm X
Martin Luther King Jr.
Henry Luois Gates Jr.
Cornel West
Anita Hill
Patricia J. Williams
Derrick Bell
James Baldwin
Michael Eric Dyson
W.E.B. DuBois
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw
Audre Lorde
Robin Morgan

Anarchism – Comes in many different strains from anarcho-communism, to anarcho-capitalism, to green anarchism, to anarcho-feminism. All strains of anarchism share a few things in common. These include abolishing hierarchical states, and replacing them with voluntary self-governed societies. As expected, anarchism has deep strains with critical theory, feminism, and civil rights. It is also not surprising that many anarchists have devoted a lot of their time for social justice.

Noam Chomsky
David Harvey
Voltairine de Cleynre
Emma Goldman
Peter Kropotkin
Alexander Berkman
Lucy Parsons
Margaret Sanger
Mother Jones
Max Weber
Mikhail Bakunin
Max Sterner
William Godwin
Rosa Luxemburg
Howard Zinn
Paulo Freire
Antonio Gramsci

Deep Green Resistance – I will also include Green Anarchism here, since I feel environmentalism isn’t being taken as seriously as it should.

Lierre Kieth
Derrick Jenson
Henry David-Thorough
Elisee Reclus
Leo Tolstoy
Murray Bookchin
John Zerzan
Jacques Ellul
Kevin Tucker
Leopold Kohr

3rd Wave Feminism – Arose partially as a response to the perceived failures of 2nd wave feminism and the backlashes against it. As such, 3rd wave feminism broadens its aims especially to queer and nonwhite women. Women are of “many colors, ethnicities, nationalities, religions and cultural backgrounds”. However, unlike 1sr and 2nd wave feminism, 3rd wave feminism is not as unified. Rather it is a patchwork of different feminists who share similar common goals. They still have their conflicts and differences of opinion, such as their differences regarding porn and prostitution.

Jessica Valenti
Naomi Wolff
Rebecca Walker
Alice Walker
Germaine Greer
Martha Nussbaum
Judith Butler
Amy Richards
Mari Matsuda
Rebecca Goldstein
Gloria E. Anzaldua
Sylvia Walby

Older Feminists – Such as radical feminists, but no less important.

Andrea Dworkin
Gloria Steinem
Gail Dines
Kate Millet
Nikki Craft
Catherine MacKinnon
D.A. Clarke
Rosetta Reitz
Florence Rush
Audre Lorde
Helene Cixous

Critical Theory – Though critical theory is used by a lot of the people I listed above, the people I list now are those who spent more time forging critical theory as a philosophy. Critical theory is critiquing societies and cultures; especially in the ways they oppress people, usually using the social sciences and humanities. Critical theory has been extremely influential in forging 20th century philosophy and the culture today.

Michael Foucault
Arnold J. Toynbee
Pitirim Sorokin
Carl Schmitt
Jacques Derrida
Stuart Hall
Louis Althusser
Herbert Marcuse
Adorno
Max Horkheimer
Northrop Frye
Jurgen Habermas
Gyorgy Lukacs
Walter Benjamin
Slavoj Zizek
Karl Marx
Antonio Gramsci
Erich Fromm
Noam Chomsky
David Harvey

Conservative Political Philosophy – Unlike the many leftist schools of thought, some of them I listed above, conservative schools of thought are not be easily grouped into distinct ideologies. (Like “black feminist” or “anarcho-communist”.) Conservatism is less involved with forging new ideas or pushing an agenda forward to achieve certain goals. Rather it is a form of social critique and skepticism. It doesn’t necessarily value the past over the present but it does question whether human problems can be truly solved. Since conservatism is so broad a lot of people I list can even be considered liberal or a classic liberal.

Leo Strauss
Hannah Arendt
Martin Heidegger
Oswald Spengler
Theodore Darlymple
Peter Hitchins
Melanie Phillips
Frederich Hayek
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Barry Goldwater
Russel Kirk
Thomas Sowell
Edmund Burke
Francis Fukuyama
Samuel P. Huntington
Allan Bloom

Atheist Movement and Science Education – The general trend of these movements is liberal. They especially focus on promoting science and education while at the same time debunking pseudo-science and religious fundamentalism.

Neil DeGrass Tyson
Bill Nye
Carl Sagan
Richard Carrier
P.Z. Meyers
Rebecca Watson
David Fitzgerald
Matt Dillahunty
Robert M. Price
Daniel Dennet
Christopher Hitchins
Paul Davies
Richard Darwkins
Sam Harris

Anthropology and Biology – These intellectuals are most noticeable for their studies of humans, regarding anthropology and biology.

Margaret Mead
Steven Pinker
Stephen Jay Gould
Jarred Diamond
Eric Wolf
Anna Tsing
Ruth Benedict
Zora Neale Hurston
Franz Boas
Clifford Geertz
Claude Levi-Strauss
Mary Leakey
Diane Fossey
Marshall Sahlins
Alfred L. Kroeber
Sidney Mintz
Ralph Linton

Reactionary & Fascist – These political ideologies are usually very nationalistic and antagonistic to what they see as “liberalizing” influences. The milder types seek a restoration to what they see as their national heritage and privileges. The most extreme types seek to completely cast aside all forms of modernity, which they see as decadent.

Benito Mussolini
Aleksandr Dugin
Oswald Mosley
Adolf Hitler
Julius Evola
Warren Farrel
Philip Rushton
Alain de Benoist

United Nations Conference

10523354_10153462778331996_2579554447455298159_n

Two weeks ago I went with my friend Rory Mondshein to United Nations conference at the very UN Headquarters itself. It was very cold that day and security was as tight as if we were in an airport. The conference room was really big. Every table had a microphone and an earpiece for translations. Everyone was formally dressed. I met two of Rory’s other friends Abu and Emily.

Originally I was skeptical about how effective the UN is. Now I my skepticism is only partly satisfied. The conference began with its top leaders like Peter Yao, vice president, congratulating themselves and the UN. “We have done so much last year but there is still so much to do. This year is the year of bold action. We have a small window of time to make a difference but we can do it!” Honestly I don’t mind this, as pep talks are necessary to keep members going.

The conference did touch on many global issues that should be at least acknowledged as a reality by even people who aren’t UN members. Their first agenda was addressing global warming and reaching some sustainable development goals. Because of the polar vortexes called by global warming, Lebanon’s people endured their first winter and, because of their poverty, had only makeshift shelters to endure the cold winter. The UN promised that it would create a cleaner, healthier, safer world for all. It sounded like a pretty big promise to me and there was little talk about how they would go about their plan. All they did was briefly mention renewably energy like solar panels and electric cars.

Their second agenda was to address global poverty. Many of them rightly pointed out that global poverty existed because of endless conflicts in the third world, conflicts caused by first world countries occupying them and stealing their wealth. The third world of poverty and endless war is a nursery for religious fanaticism, genocide, and hate crimes. They proposed addressing all the different systems that cause such widespread poverty, unaware that our nation is the system, or at least one of the major systems. They promised to end global poverty within a generation. Once more, I am a bit skeptical. They also addressed women’s rights, LGBT rights, and POC rights, a problem they closely associated with worldwide poverty.

All the different speakers then addressed these issues in more detail and provided their own insights into possible solutions.

H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General, said the UN couldn’t exist without supports from other nations, including America, the most powerful nation and authority in the UN. He mentioned how tens of thousands of young men and women from the UN rescue people oppressed in North Korea. South Korea might not even exist without their help, another claim I found to be exaggerated. We must fight against racism, anti-Semitism, islamophobia, hate crimes, and war crimes, he insisted. Why do people do such heinous things? His answers were bad governments, failed leadership, inequality, and desperation. Why is there inequality? Because of war, which marginalizes people and causes them to be sick.

He addressed female POC, which he called a minority among minorities. He brought up a speech by Obama, which he summarized by saying people kill because of ideology, not because of religion. He is not completely right, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt because I’m sure he was merely simplifying the speech. Nevertheless, I am relieved my president understands that warlords in the third world kill each other because of ideologies, extreme poverty, and geopolitical pressures put upon them by the first world, not only because of religion.

He concluded by saying we have the plan to end global violence and poverty, we just need resources. He is wrong. We do have the resources. America is the most powerful country in the world. What we don’t have is the initiative to make global change. What we do have is a fat and corrupt country run by capitalists interested only in their short-term gains.

Jackson Cougan pointed out how about half of all US spending is on it’s military. Instead, we should move to spending more on climate change rather than national security that is hardly threatened. The reason we don’t do so is because we don’t really comprehend how devastating global warming will be if we don’t heed the warnings. A previous panelist (I don’t remember his name) showed how global temperatures rose from 1900 to 2000, a trend that drastically went out of hand since the 1980s. He even said that people born after 1987 would never experience the Earth’s average temperature since the last ice age. Jackson Cougan also addressed nuclear waste, how we need to create signs so that even people ten thousand years later will understand them.

Jeanne Betsock Stillman, President of UNA-USA Southern New York, discussed feminism and intersectionality. Poverty has a woman’s face and violence against women is worldwide. Women worldwide face sexual harassment, even in schools, and in countries like Saudi Arabia have acid thrown in their faces for going to school. She asked all the women in the conference who have been molested in high school to raise their hands. More than half of them did. But men aren’t born perpetrators, she insisted. Men taught these behaviors by mothers, fathers, teachers, and coaches. They are molded into being unreflecting, angry, and entitled. Regarding all people’s rights, another speaker stated that religious fundamentalists kept scapegoating marginalized, vulnerable people. It really has nothing to do with the people themselves. It has to do with wanting to stay in power, and reacting to perceived losses. She said it was almost like a ritualistic bloodletting.

Jessica Stern of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Convention addressed LGBT issues, actually LGBTQI as to not exclude transsexuals, gender queer people, and intersex people. Just the fact that she can speak openly about LGBTQI rights without fear is very meaningful. When we get dressed we don’t think about whether we will come home tonight alive. This is a privilege many LGBTQI people worldwide lack. In many parts of the world LGBTQI people risk their lives for their activism. The UN, for many LGBTQI people, is a miracle. They can’t get their voices heard by their local governments, but they can have their voices heard in the UN.

Padmini Mini was the last speaker I remember. She addressed the issue of global health. There are many physical and mental illnesses around the world due problems within the city such as poverty, environment degradation, and infrastructure problems. Thus it is necessary to promote human health around the globe. The first few generations of people who populated the Earth to over six billion people are now beginning to age, so a new challenge will be to create a safe environment for them. Diseases affect the poor the most of them can’t access vaccines or medicines. Diseases like Ebola should not concern only Africa and the US, they should concern the world. They are global issues.

Tour of Brooklyn Heights

19508_10206240332672549_3681597829321056773_n

Brooklyn Heights was an illuminating as well as enjoyable experience… besides my ears and nose freezing off. I met a group of people who looked like undergraduates led by Professor Panetta. I met the group at noon so Panetta took us on a tour of the Heights. He would stop every now and then and lecture on the buildings’ and on Brooklyn’s history. It was fascinating because the buildings from different eras all had distinctive looks. Panetta was like a geologist digging through strata of earth with Brooklyn itself being the earth.

He stopped by two buildings I remember in particular. One had a Greek design around the front door. It was a communal building holding, I think, eight families. The other was based on Gothic architecture. That particular building had a drawing room that protruded out of the building so everyone could see it. It had an old grand piano made of brown ringed wood.

Panetta took us to the Heights above the harbor. We saw a complete view of the city during the afternoon. Even tourists were there, which isn’t surprising. He showed us the massive dirt mounds that damped the sounds of the harbor and the ventilation buildings that told you a connecting tunnel were under them. We saw a plague on the sidewalk of the skyline and a 9/11-memorial picture.

Then we went to the Brooklyn Historical Society. It was very old because a lot of things were made of wood inside, which is also how Alexander Robinson School looks, an old private school from the 18th century I used to attend. Artifacts from the past were displayed on glass cases and there even was a small museum on the first floor. The library itself was on the second floor. It was warm and cozy, but it had strict rules. You had to write with a pencil and you couldn’t take out any books. A lot of them were old and falling apart anyway. Good luck carrying a historical artifact in your backpack. The librarians are kindly and helpful, especially the one named Joanna.

Utopia (A Satire)

jonathan-swift

Great civilizations rise and fall, but they all leave a legacy behind. No legacy was perhaps greater than the Aryan Nation. It rose from the ashes of its predecessor, what was formerly known as the United States of America, prospered briefly, and finally fell. However, what the Aryan Nation left behind is an astonishing testament to human will power and social engineering. Join Dr. Maya Angelou Natumba as she examines the ruins of this once mighty civilization. This is her account:

————————————————————

The Lost Gilded Age: An Essay on the Aryan Nation
July 26, 2594

The mighty Aryan Nation rose from the ashes of America. While no one can know with finality the exact causes it seems that I can make a few tentative guesses. During the 21st century America declined economically on the world stage, threated by China and Russia. With America’s decline fear and superstition arose among the people, causing them to reject most forms of bureaucracy and government as well as most forms of science, philosophy, and academia. Out of this chaos rose many Leaders, each promising solutions to the world’s problems and a return to a golden age free of decadence. They all jockeyed for power. One Leader, who we only now know as the Superman, defeated the rest, as he was the most extreme in his beliefs and was most willing to make any sacrifices necessary to win.

In exploring the fascinating culture of the Aryan Nation I will follow the life of one Aryan who lived during the Nation’s golden age. Thousands of surviving records and recordings document every aspect of his life in detail. His name was Quintus Apollo Beldevire, and this is his story: Quintus was not born of a woman, but grown in an artificial womb, for the Aryans believed that any prolonged contact with a woman, let alone gestating in a womb, would lead to female contamination and decadence. Quintus’s genetic makeup was long predestined, chosen over one template over a few dozen. Differences among the templates were minor, as every Aryan was tall, well built, white, and had blond hair and blue eyes.

The fates of the Aryan people were long predestined from birth. Had Quintus been created as female, he would have been sequestered away from all society and would have lived a very different life. The lives of Aryan females will be elaborated on further. Quintus’s class was also long predestined. While all Aryan males were white with blond hair and blue eyes some were designed to be more fit and smarter than others. Thus the Aryans maintained a strict caste system. Social mobility was strictly prohibited; no matter how diligently one worked, for they believed changing social castes was decadence.

It is important to note that there were as few names as there were genetic templates. There were so few names it took a computer to identify and account for even a hundred Aryans. The Aryans solved this problem by giving their children numeric first names; the most Aryans could do to give a child a given first name. Thus many children were called “Quintus”, “Sextus”, “Septus”. The Aryans strongly condemned any conscious form of individuality, because they associated it with American liberal values and thus found it to be decadence.

Quintus was what we would today call “elite”, as he was predestined to be “upper class” and a “soldier”. Both words “average, “upper class”, and “soldier” were forbidden among the Aryans for they associated them with America’s bureaucracies, and thus they were decadent. Nevertheless, bureaucracies supported the back of the Aryan Nation. However, bureaucrats themselves did not exist, as the very thought of a bureaucrat was considered decadent. So all work involving money was given to computers instead. This gave the computers near total control of the lives of each Aryan, as the computers were rarely monitored. Just to do so was considered “bureaucratic” and thus decadence.

Typical of his caste, Quintus was put in a specialized crèche school, training him for his role as a mighty warrior from five to eighteen. In spite of the specialized differences, all schools had a common basic cultural training that was applied to each Aryan equally. Quintus was taught first and foremost the ideals of masculinity, which were closely associated with the Superman. These included values such as uprightness, truth, heroism, meritocracy, obedience, and hardness. Everything not masculine, not “good”, was feminine and therefore “bad”. Such traits included all forms of weakness, ambiguity, lies, individuality, and moral lacking. Even more important than being masculine and a Superman was avoiding being feminine and thus decadent at all costs.

Quintus was taught other basic values as a child. He was taught to hold the strictest vigilance against all form of superstition. Everything was to be seen through scientific lenses, especially through the lenses of the natural sciences. He was equally taught to avoid any form of religion, as it was considered a form of indoctrination. Furthermore, religion was associated with women and thus decadence. He was also discouraged from using most forms of technology unless absolutely necessary, for they believed technology made one weak, female, and decadent. They were fierce advocates for nature, and despised social engineering of any kind, associating it with leftist ideologies and decadence.

As a warrior and ruler, Quintus was given a lavish and full education. When he was thirteen he entered the Lyceum, where he was taught history and philosophy. Intellectual honesty, depth, and critical faculties defined a man. Thus Quintus learned mostly by memorizing quotes, aphorisms, and manifestos from great intellectuals and then reciting them back to his teachers. Adoration of all things masculine and of the Superman while condemnation of all things feminine and decadent were the positions almost unanimously held. Critiques and open-ended answers were viewed with suspicion, as were making an argument and extensively justifying it, since doing so showed doubt, ambiguity, and questioning of absolute, objective truth. Thus it was decadence.

All of their writings were in tracts stored in computers or at most laminated paper. The Aryans did not print books. Books were associated with decadent universities, which they condemned for leftist, feminist historical revisionism and destruction of the West’s culture. Thus all books were burned and almost all literature was digitally erased. The Aryans strongly advised against reading or writing for lengthy periods of time. Reading atrophied the muscles and the brain, they believed, which made one feminine. They equally condemned using the imagination too much and writing fiction, which they explicitly associated with the “modern” women of the past. “Like a modern woman in college!” was a frequent insult given to young Aryans by teachers and peers.

The Aryans taught history in the same way, by having students memorize quotes, aphorisms, and manifestos and then recite them back to the teacher. History lessons didn’t linearly begin at one time and nor follow a chain of events to another time. Rather, history was disjointed, skipping from one time and event to another. Nevertheless, I could piece together a curriculum to uncover many of their most central ideas.

In the beginning, they taught, were the Greeks. The Greeks were first and greatest civilization. – By the time Quintus arrived in the world, the Aryans did not know of the Pyramids of Giza or the Persepolis of Babylon. The Aryans destroyed both and then obliterated any memory they had of them. – The Greeks were the golden age of humanity. Literally. Their buildings and streets were paved from gold. The Greeks themselves were almost golden, for they all were tall, had blond hair and blue eyes. An average Greek could throw a javelin farther than an American Olympic champion and run faster than an American Olympic champion.

Then everything changed. From the depths of the black earth in Africa rose Hecuba the Black Jew Witch. The Aryans blame her for everything bad in the world, all forms of decadence. Originally all humans were white and male but Hecuba introduced women, blacks, Jews, Asians, and Indians in the world. Hecuba seduced a Greek and copulated with him, producing Socrates, the first black Jew transsexual. According to the Aryans this is why Socrates was so ugly. Socrates poisoned the youth of Athens, by seducing them to question their elders. Socrates was condemned to die and Hecuba slain by Perseus, but by that time it was too late. Hecuba and Socrates had together spawned hundreds of black Jew transsexuals who all infected the world.

The next great evils to emerge to threaten mankind were the Marxists, postmodernists, and feminists. The Aryans blame them for the modernity that infected America and the West. Karl Marx was a black Jew transsexual, as was Theodore Adorno. All feminists were black Jew women, or men made into to black Jew women. Out of this chaos role the last great heroes of mankind, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Julius Evola. All had blond hair and blue eyes, and were fiercely masculine traditionalists. However, not even they could stop the feminizing decadent wave of modernity. This necessitated the rise of the Superman, who put the West in its place once and for all.

In the Theater, Quintus experienced limited exposure to art. Art was barely tolerated among the Aryans. They thought it was a necessary part of human expression, but believed it lead to softness, ambiguity, feminization, and decadence. Thus artistic subjects were extremely limited, often depicting very masculine subjects, most often the Superman, doing a great deed. Almost always the great deed was some form of conquering, banishment, or destruction of something considered feminine. Music was completely banned from the Aryan Nation because music was seen as irredeemably feminine and decadent. Aryan teachers pointed to their youth of the scores of musicians of the past. All of them, they taught, were homosexual decadents. Even great composers of the past, like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Chopin, and Liszt, were derisively called “long-hairs” and considered homosexual decadents.

Along with his artistic training Quintus was sternly instructed to control his emotions. For in the creation of art, the Aryans believed one faced a grave risk in losing control over their emotions. In doing so, Quintus faced a grave risk of becoming feminized, especially with emotions such as sadness, sympathy, and self-reflection. To drive out such emotions, Quintus was instructed to let himself be taken by anger, indignation, and sternness. Humor was especially not permitted since they believed humor made them weak, soft, and “silly like a woman”. Since the Aryans had such an emotional makeup, constipation was one of their most frequent illnesses and laxatives were never in short supply.

Even worse, the Aryans thought art would lead to “originality” and “individuality”, which they condemned as not really existing and being a legacy of Western decadence. By Quintus’s time the Aryans strongly considered with doing away with art all together. They would entrust all illustrating and sculpting to computers who ran no risk of becoming feminized.

When Quintus became eighteen, he graduated and the government provided him with a house. At any time Quintus could go to the Agora and take any accessory he wanted, including women. It is at this time that the story of the Aryan Nation’s women can be told. Women had no rights at all. They were not allowed to have any form of personhood. They couldn’t even have real names. They were given what we call “pet” names or “stripper” names. Women too were considered as pet animals, not considered human, and wore a shock collar with a nametag at all times. Women weren’t even called “women”, because the Aryans thought it gave them too much person. Women were called “girls” at best.

Women were grown in artificial wombs like men, but with much more diverse genetic templates. This allowed women to come in all different races and body sizes. Do not mistake this as any sign of tolerance or diversity. Races were treated as fetishes and accessories that made a woman sexy to the Aryan who bought her. Names such as “black” or “Asian” or “Mexican-American” were not used. Such words were considered politically correct. Thus they referred to races as “nigger”, “chink”, “gook”, and “beaner”. Even “woman” was considered too politically correct. Instead women were called “girl”, “cunt”, or “cumdumpster”. The Jewish race, or “kike”, did not exist under any circumstances.

As soon as a female baby was fully grown, her voice box was surgically removed so she could not speak. She was then taken to special raising centers sequestered far away from any city or town. Aryans ran all the centers for they wouldn’t even allow a “madam” to run the place. Running these centers was a very stigmatized job, and Aryan men condemned to run them were of one of the lowest classes. When an Aryan with such a job reached thirty-five, he was executed to prevent other Aryans from becoming feminized.

Young girls’ education was extremely limited. Girls were not taught to read, write, or even basic survival skills. All of their action, they were taught, was to made in sexually pleasing a man. Thus a girl would learn first and foremost how to put on make-up, dye her hair, and learn how to please a man sexually. A woman was not allowed to leave outside an enclosed space or taught to think or do anything substantial. The Aryans believed women were born to be shallow and liars. They believed anything a woman mentally tried to comprehend would become contaminated and feminized.

When a woman became ten, she would from then on be periodically be taken to the Agora to be sold, hidden in a cell away from everyone except customers. An Aryan could then buy her. Anything “customizations” he wished in a woman had to be fulfilled. Thus it wasn’t uncommon for a woman to undergo extensive “bimbofication”, such as starvation and cosmetic surgeries to make her more desirable. Some Aryans even went as far as having women’s limbs amputated to serve their fetishes.

The Aryan who bought a woman would give her a name that was hers forever unless a different Aryan owned her. Throughout their rearing women were not allowed to wear any real clothes, at most wearing “sexy” or “stripper” clothes to be pleasing to a man. These rules were no different once a woman lived in the house. Women were kept chained in the house, usually in the Aryan’s bedroom. Kitchens did not exist in an Aryan home, since cooking was considered feminine and decadent. Women usually weren’t given any tasks to do in the home, because Aryans believed women would even mess up cooking and cleaning.

If an Aryan wounded or killed a woman, he was to pay a fine to the woman’s owner. White women with blond hair and blue eyes were considered the most beautiful and were bought the most. While buying women of different races was considered fine if an Aryan bought had sex with such a woman too many times he was in danger of being contaminated. The Aryans believed that prolonged contact with a person with a different race would rub off on them and downgrade them genetically. Even having sex with women too much was considered bad because the Aryan risked becoming feminized. Even though Aryans frequently bought more than one woman they had to be careful not to buy too many for a similar reason.

At eighteen Quintus joined the army where he was subjected to the rigid lives and regiments considered brutal even by non-soldiering Aryans. Originally, soldiers were allowed to rise above the ranks, the only exception – and a shocking one! – to Aryan society. However, by later on, even that was viewed as decadence. Army ranks were from then on fixed at birth. Quintus was unfortunately born into the lowest rank in the army, that of a foot soldier or “private”.

The Aryans were in constant war, for they believed all strife was good, no matter how destructive or how many lives were lost. Any desire for peace or aversion to warfare was seen as a sign of weakness. No matter which nation the Aryans battled, the countries in Africa, South America, or Russia, the Aryans characterized their enemy as black Jew transsexuals. What if their enemies were pale-skinned? They explained it away as them having skin diseases that made them look white. No outcome to their constant wars ever came to pass, or was even desired. No matter what truly happened on the battlefield, the Aryan Marshals and kings told their people the same narrative, “The Enemy has encroached on us and is eroding away our kingdom, and thus everything good and noble in the world. But fear not! We have begun a mighty resistance to the Enemy’s tyranny and already we are putting them on the ropes!”

Quintus’s records stop here, for he was slain in his first battle. His killer was the female resistance commander Talia the Dancer. Talia was born in the Aryan Nation as FG-1346780 with a Greek genetic template. When she was bought her Aryan owner named her “Cinnamon”. She earned her name “The Dancer” because she was often ordered to dance exotically to please her owner. Talia eventually escaped from the Aryan nation. She nearly died trying to survive in the wild but she succeeded and endured. She was one of the first women to escape the Aryan nation and she and her comrades’ secretly freed many other women. Talia kept her nickname “The Dancer”, for she made her dancing talents a genuine part of herself as a human being. She was a great dancer both in entertainment as a mighty warrior, as fast, agile, and graceful as she was deadly.

As time went by, an army of female rebels and Aryan sympathizers, ostracized by their own kin, began to develop. Men and women from other nations also began to populate their ranks. Over time, an entire nation and army of resisters grew. They were small but they were forceful, intelligent, courageous, and adaptable. Everything the Aryan Nation was not. Talia was one of the highest leaders of this small nation, a position she held until the end of the war.

At first the Aryans had a huge advantage but as the Resistors learned more about the Aryan’s battle tactics the more they were able to take advantage of the Aryan’s weaknesses. Women’s insider’s knowledge of Aryan society probably helped. Thus the Aryan’s huge initial advantage was lost very quickly, and since then it was a downward spiral.

What weaknesses did the Resistors exploit? Perhaps the largest one was how culturally and biologically stagnant the Aryans were. The Aryans were groomed to except a rigid set of intellectual ideas, social mores, and moral codes as absolute truth. The Aryans completely lacked any ability to be original or deviate from their dogma, since to do so was so vilified. This was true even on a genetic level for they were practically inbred, and thus vulnerable to diseases and biological weapons. Perhaps it was also because their thinking was so restricted in black-and-white absolutes, and false ones at that, of masculine/good and feminine/bad. Worst of all, the Aryans couldn’t learn from their mistakes, because to do so would give credence to their “black Jew transsexual” enemies. To give the slightest acknowledgment was horror and anathema to them.

Talia did not burn the Aryan nation to the ground nor did she sow salt on their fields. She learned from history of the evils of completely occupying and destroying another nation. She allowed the Aryan Nation to live as long as it did not attack the new nation of Resistors. The Resistors developed their own nation, a decent one at least. While the fledging nation was certainly not perfect it did not have the brutalities, ignorance, and ignorance the Aryans had. Each person was respected on a fundamental level as a person with dignity and the power to lead their own lives. Meanwhile, the Aryans faded out of existence. Talia and her armies didn’t destroy the Aryan Nation. The Nation died because it simply couldn’t function for too long. It’s own culture prevented it.

As I look over the ruins and records of the once great Aryan nation, I recall history’s ephemeral nature. I recall how an egotistical person can rationalize xirself into silencing their consciousness and commit heinous evils. I recall how when people are frightened in a mass and abandon reason they tread a road to greater and greater disasters. I recall that demagogues pray on the fearful and ignorant. I recall that when you dehumanize people, treat them as objects, as means rather than ends, you open the door to heinous deeds. I recall that humans live to their greatest, with truth, dignity, and happiness, when they can flower according to their own natures as long as they not infringe on another human being.