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Homophobia In Sappho's Ode To Jealousy - 1635 Words Bartleby
Synastry: sexual attraction Aestrotex Signing
Sophos is Cybersecurity Evolved. Advanced Endpoint Protection and Network Security Fully Synchronized in Real Time. My partner and I travelled on Sunday 26th July from Bristol Temple Meads station, hauled by the steam train 'Royal Scot' with Premier dinning. Prior to commencing our journey in the weeks before, I was very impressed with the information provided on you web site with regards to the safety measures for Covid 19 which where put in place within ... In my reading of Anne Carson’s translation of the poems of Sappho, If Not Winter: Fragments of Sappho, I noticed that there are frequent instances where Sappho directly addresses or mentions Aphrodite. While Sappho references many other deities in her poems, Aphrodite appears the most frequently throughout her poetry. As a result, Sappho demonstrates many… Sophos Central is the unified console for managing all your Sophos products. Sign into your account, take a tour, or start a trial from here. ~If you want to have a comprehensive (E)book about Sexual Attraction Synastry, I published an Ebook that covers the whole aspect of Sexual Attraction Synastry and is an updated version of the meaning, including the explanation of the use of love asteroids in your interpretation!~. 1. Magnetic Attraction – (You’re a Magnet for me, baby…) Look for person A’s birth planets sign ... Sappho, also spelled (in the Aeolic dialect spoken by the poet) Psappho, (born c. 610, Lesbos [Greece]—died c. 570 bce), Greek lyric poet greatly admired in all ages for the beauty of her writing style. She ranks with Archilochus and Alcaeus, among Greek poets, for her ability to impress readers with a lively sense of her personality.Her language contains elements from Aeolic vernacular ... The profiles at PlanetSappho have been specifically designed to enable you to achieve maximum compatibility when you're searching for a new partner; whether you're seeking a genuine relationship, friendship, flirty chat or some fun, casual encounters, you'll be able to search for other women who are looking for exactly the same as you are. Sappho’s legend has taken on a life of its own; like a snowball rolling down the hills of time, every successive generation that reads it adds on a new layer of meaning. And that’s the thing about literature—once it leaves the writer’s soul and enters the hands of readers or listeners, it becomes whatever they want to make it. Sappho of Lesbos (c. 620-570 BCE) was a lyric poet whose work was so popular in ancient Greece, and beyond, that she was honored in statuary and praised by figures such as Solon and Plato.Very little is known of her life and of the nine volumes of her work which were widely read in antiquity only fragments survive. Sappho’s “Ode to Jealousy” challenges homophobia by relying on the readers knowledge of social norms within the era the poem was written. ... boy, the relationship is acceptable. At this time in Greece, a socially acceptable relationship required an active partner and a passive partner. Men were classified as active partners whereas women ...
"You can see it in their eyes" When grandma met my girlfriend
2020.08.02 20:32 YourQuirk"You can see it in their eyes" When grandma met my girlfriend
My partner´s family tried to start fights with me again, so today I felt like sharing a short, positive story of Sappho and her girlfriend! I was about 16 and my very first real girlfriend was finally going to meet the larger family at our celebrations of the midsummer´s eve holiday. She had made her special lemon cake and I ... was there too. My family is usually progressive in every way but it was as if no one really knew how to deal with grandma. She was so very...old.. people thought. At one point I stood among a big group of people and was about to say "This is GF. My girlfriend from "insert city*" Suddenly an uncle - stuntman style - swooped in and with the head towards my grandma who happened to stand close by shouted: "Isn´t she nice?! YourQuirk´s friend from school?!" GF and I shrugged and kind of didn´t give a shit so we left it at that. That night I got a report from a cousin who had ended up alone with our grandmother during the dances. They sat silent there, in wilting flower wreaths, for some time. But suddenly grandma said: "Well. What do you think of YourQuirk´s new girlfriend?" "Oh. It´s her girlfriend? I didn´t know." "Come on stupid. You could see it in their eyes."
2020.06.05 22:58 cammywhitelmao(FxF) (DMxF) Trying again after a long hiatus from roleplaying..!
Hi there, I'm looking to write some lady love that would make Sappho proud. Somethings I'm looking for:
Novella/Literate Style - Right now, I'm particularly in love with the idea of juicy details and us playing multiple characters each. I ask my partners at least provide two paragraphs at the very very least. I like long-winded thoughts, feelings, background information, world-building, and the likes.
That being said, quality over quantity. If you need time to write, I understand. If you need time off because of school or work, I get that.
18+ simply for maturity's sake.
The roleplay should not be smut-centered.
I'm curious about playing a dungeon master again. I haven't done that since high school. If you want me to play DM, then I will probably ask a writing sample or further question you. Don't be offended, I just want to see if we're compatible.
Okay! Now on for the genres. I like to hear my partner's ideas and come up with our own story.
Western is always a yes from me. Outlaws for life. I really need to get back into RDR2.
Slice of Life is a 7/10 unless the characters really stand out.
Sci-fi is something I've been curious to try but never have had the opportunity.
Fantasy is always yes. I love playing as knights, paladins, thieves, clerics. All that nerdy stuff.
2020.05.27 20:12 ChazzyphantFragments: A powerful craft store mogul, a controversial scrap antiquity, a MacArthur Genius Grant, and the fight over the "real" New Testament. Is a new discovery a fraud, overzealous academics wishful thinking, or real? An antiquity mystery
As any of you who recognize my user name, I really like mysteries around antiquities and art rather than missing people or murders. Especially with world events being what they are, we can all use a bit of a "palate cleanser" sometimes! This one has a personal connection in a way. I was raised in a fundamentalist cult as a child and I had very little contact with the secular world. One of the few pleasures I had was receiving a new issue of "Biblical Archaeology Magazine" in the mail. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up and thrilled to the idea of proving or deepening the details of my favorite Biblical stories and becoming a scholar and an explorer. The other shoe dropped early in the game when I realized science was a major part of being an archaeologist, something I have little natural aptitude for, but I still remain fascinated by all things ancient. This mystery is around the finding of a papyrus that purports to be the "real" or oldest copy of the Gospel of Mark. "On the evening of February 1, 2012, more than 1,000 people crowded into an auditorium at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The event was a showdown between two scholars over an explosive question in biblical studies: Is the original text of the New Testament lost, or do today’s Bibles contain the actual words—the “autographs”—of Jesus’s earliest chroniclers? "On one side was Bart Ehrman, a UNC professor and atheist whose best-selling books argue that the oldest copies of Christian scripture are so inconsistent and incomplete—and so few in number—that the original words are beyond recovery. On the other was Daniel Wallace, a conservative scholar at Dallas Theological Seminary who believes that careful textual analysis can surface the New Testament’s divinely inspired first draft. They had debated twice before, but this time Wallace had a secret weapon: At the end of his opening statement, he announced that verses of the Gospel of Mark had just been discovered on a piece of papyrus from the first century. As news went in the field of biblical studies, this was a bombshell. The papyrus would be the only known Christian manuscript from the century in which Jesus is said to have lived. Its verses, moreover, closely matched those in modern Bibles—evidence of the New Testament’s reliability and a rebuke to liberal scholars who saw the good book not as God-given but as the messy work of generations of human hands, prone to invention and revision, mischief and mistake. Wallace declined to name the expert who’d dated the papyrus to the first century—“I’ve been sworn to secrecy”—but assured the audience that his “reputation is unimpeachable. Many consider him to be the best papyrologist on the planet.” The fragment, Wallace added, would appear in an academic book the next year." Side note: Go down the Gospel of Mark Translation Rabbit Hole with this great article Grok this quote:
"The New Testament, after all, is not a store of ancient wonders like the Hebrew Bible. It’s a grab bag of reportage, rumor, folk memory, and on-the-hoof mysticism produced by regular people, everyday babblers and clunkers, under the pressure of a supremely irregular event—namely, the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ."
(Gives you some insight as to what the fight is over). Glitter and Glue Money But as so often happens with the revelation of a newly discovered antiquity that conveniently aligns with the beliefs of powerful entities or ruling political parties, there was big money moving levers behind the scenes: "Though he didn’t mention it onstage, Wallace had recently joined something called the Green Scholars Initiative. The program was funded by the Green family, the evangelical billionaires who own the Hobby Lobby craft-store chain. It gave handpicked scholars access to the thousands of artifacts the family had collected for their Museum of the Bible, a soaring $500 million showplace that would open a few years later near the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Wallace’s ties to the Greens made it easy for observers to connect the dots: The Mark papyrus had to be one of the manuscripts the Greens had bought for their museum. And the papyrologist who worked out its first-century date had to be the world-renowned classicist Dirk Obbink. The Greens were known to have hired him as a consultant during their antiquities buying spree."--- Atlantic magazine Hobby Lobby has had its share of dubious, and even downright illegal, dealings in their frenzied quest to build the Museum of the Bible. "Beginning in 2009, representatives of Hobby Lobby were warned that artifacts they were purchasing were likely looted from Iraq. The purchases had been made for the Museum of the Bible, which they were sponsoring. In 2018, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York directed Hobby Lobby to return the artifacts and pay a fine of US$3,000,000. Hobby Lobby returned over 5500 items in May 2018. Among these, were nearly 4000 tablets supposed to be from the lost city of Irisagrig which had been delivered to Hobby Lobby marked as "tile samples." In April 2020, the centerpiece of the Museum of the Bible's collection, the fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, were declared to be fakes. After its authenticity was questioned, the museum removed the display of a miniature bible which a NASA astronaut had purportedly carried to the moon. In a further blow to the Museum of the Bible's credibility board chairman, Steve Green, who is also president of the Hobby Lobby stores announced the museum will be returning over eleven thousand artifacts to Egypt and Iraq. The collection includes thousands of papyrus scraps and ancient clay pieces. Manchester University papyrologist Roberta Mazza stated that the Green family "poured millions on the legal and illegal antiquities market without having a clue about the history, the material features, cultural value, fragilities, and problems of the objects." The "Gilgamesh Dream Tablet," containing part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, was discovered in Iraq in 1853, sold by the Jordanian Antiquities Association to an antiquities dealer in 2003, and sold again by Christie's auction house to Hobby Lobby in 2014 for $1.6 million. The auction house lied about how the artifact had entered the market, claiming it had been on the market in the United States for decades. In September 2019, federal authorities seized the tablet, and in May 2020, a civil complaint was filed to forfeit it." --Wikipedia Rummaging for Treasures "A tall Nebraskan with a mop of sandy hair, Obbink was in his mid-40s in 2001 when the MacArthur Foundation awarded him a half-million-dollar genius grant. His technique for reassembling papyrus scrolls carbonized by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in a.d. 79 was a feat of three-dimensional puzzle solving. Sought by universities and cultural institutions the world over, Obbink taught at Columbia before leaving, in 1995, for Oxford, home to the world’s largest collection of manuscripts from the ancient world: half a million papyri that a pair of young Oxford scholars had excavated in Egypt a century earlier. Obbink’s post as a general editor of the collection—the media sometimes called him its “director,” though officially no such title exists—made him one of his field’s most powerful figures. Wallace had not overstated his qualifications. But years passed with no news of this “first-century Mark,” as the phantom manuscript came to be called. There was no book in 2013, no exhibit when the museum opened in 2017. Wallace’s blog filled with hundreds of comments. “It has been 5 years,” readers complained. “Hurry up!” One man simply quoted from the Book of Proverbs: “Expectation postponed makes the heart sick.” Yet in 2018, when Obbink finally published the fragment, it made certain hearts even sicker. The Greens would see their dreams of a first-century gospel dashed. The University of Oxford would be thrust into the news in a labyrinthine case of alleged antiquities theft, cover-up, and fraud. And one of the most illustrious figures in classics, though protesting his innocence, would find himself at the center of a trans-Atlantic investigation. Dirk obbink had rummaged for diamonds in the rough since his boyhood in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2002, the year after he was awarded the MacArthur prize, his mother, Dorithy, told Smithsonian magazine that as a child her son had haunted thrift shops and the town dump, coming home with “a bunch of junk.” His fascination with other people’s trash carried into his years in New York, where he took his daughter dumpster diving. That papyrology called to him was perhaps little wonder. Papyrus was the ancient world’s paper, a disposable medium made of reeds harvested along the Nile. Its 1,000-year heyday as a writing surface coincided with the Greco-Roman era, the fall of the pharaohs, the birth of Christianity, and the advent of Islam. Obbink taught students how to mine the brownish, jigsaw-puzzle-like fragments for lost works of Greek literature and philosophy. Deciphering the texts is so laborious—and oversight so strict—that just 1 percent of the fragments have been published since their discovery. As a decoder of crumbling, half-vanished manuscripts, Obbink was “an absolute master,” his friend David Sider, an NYU classicist, told me. (The Atlantic reporter and writer) One night in November 2011, two American evangelicals walked up a flight of stairs in a Gothic bell tower on Christ Church’s central quad. Scott Carroll and Jerry Pattengale had been friends since their days together in a different Oxford—the city in southwest Ohio, where they each earned a doctorate in ancient history, at Miami University. Both had taught at Christian colleges and advised well-to-do collectors before Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby, hired them to lay the intellectual foundations for a national Bible museum. Carroll was put in charge of acquisitions, a post that played to his self-image as an impresario called by God to summon texts from the farthest reaches of the globe. His cellphone’s ringtone was the theme from Indiana Jones. A promotional photo, captioned great scott!, depicts him in shorts and a fedora, swinging through the jungle on a rope. The more sober-tempered Pattengale was named executive director of education; his job was to establish the Green Scholars Initiative, recruiting world-class academics to mentor the students the Greens would invite to research their fast-growing collection. At the top of the stairs that evening, Dirk Obbink opened a black door and let the two men into his office, a suite of rooms with a kitchen, a bathroom, and a pair of mummy masks that gazed at visitors from across a pool table. By then he’d been on the Hobby Lobby payroll for about a year. For Carroll, he vetted manuscripts that dealers across the world were clamoring to sell to the Greens. For Pattengale, he would teach papyrology to Green Scholars at summer seminars. They spent an hour discussing Obbink’s latest work. Then, as Carroll and Pattengale stood to leave, Obbink called to them, as if stopped by a stray thought. “Well, wait a minute,” he said. “I have something here you might be interested in.” He padded behind the pool table and opened a manila folder. Inside, in plastic sleeves, were ancient pieces from each of the four New Testament Gospels. Obbink tweezed out a fragment of Mark—a small, hatchet-shaped papyrus with verses from the gospel’s first chapter—for his visitors to see. The shape and strokes of certain letters, he explained, were hallmarks of first-century handwriting. Obbink described the fragment as part of a “family collection” and, according to Carroll, “offered it for consideration” for Hobby Lobby to buy. Pattengale felt momentarily paralyzed, while Carroll paced the room, delirious. Everything they’d worked on up to that point seemed to suddenly pale. Go even further down the rabbit hole with this article written by Pattengale about this whole thing
"Like the Harry Potter “moving staircase” at Hogwarts, filmed across in the Bodley Tower viewable from Obbink’s window, what was to unfold over the next several years would seem illusory for outside scholars and became sensationalized in the press. The sudden appearance of these manuscripts was dizzying even for the experts and owners, temporary and otherwise."
When Pattengale flew home to Indiana the next day, “I told my wife, Cindy, ‘If this proves to be first-century, I may be involved in researching one of the most important pieces of the Bible ever discovered." Undue Influence? A Patron's generosity seems to hold sway over a formerly neutral historian "something happened in the presence of his [Obbink's] new patrons. He fawned over the Greens’ aspirations, writing to Scott Carroll in January 2010 that he looked forward “to the flourishing of your commendable undertaking.” He closed emails, as his new benefactors did, with the sign-off “Blessings.” And according to a devout former museum official, he bowed his head and prayed before meals in so “theatrical” a way that, even among evangelicals, he was “the most visibly pious person at the table. Though it wasn’t publicly known, Obbink served as more than just an academic consultant to the Greens: Josephine Dru, a former papyrus curator for the Museum of the Bible, told me he was one of their biggest suppliers of papyri. From January 2010 to February 2013, Obbink sold the family more than 150 papyrus fragments—for a total of between $4 million and $8 million, according to a source who has seen the figures and described them to me as a range. (Jeffrey Kloha, the Museum of the Bible’s chief curator, didn’t dispute those numbers, but estimated a total closer to the low end of that range.) Scott Carroll may have claimed that Obbink had “no agenda whatsoever,” but in fact Obbink had several. He was acting as a scholar, an adviser, and a seller: The first owed allegiance to the truth, the second to his clients, the third to his own bottom line. Show me the Money: Is this just another case of plunder for profit? "n early 2014, headlines appeared across the world: Obbink had discovered a pair of breathtaking new Sappho poems—on a piece of papyrus salvaged from a mummy mask. “For a couple of months, it was just me and a girl named Sappho—nothing between me and the text,” Obbink said on BBC Radio. “It was like being shipwrecked on a desert island with Marilyn Monroe.” But Obbink declined to name the papyrus’s owner or to release its provenance paperwork. In a New York Times op-ed, Douglas Boin, a historian at Saint Louis University, called Obbink’s secrecy “disturbingly tone deaf” at a time of “catastrophic” looting in the Middle East. The next year, Christie’s produced a 26-page brochure offering the two Sappho poems for sale “by private treaty,” a transaction in which an auction house quietly approaches prospective buyers rather than hosting a public sale. Obbink eventually told a convoluted tale about an anonymous London businessman who had bought cartonnage at a Christie’s auction in 2011, dissolved it, and brought extracted papyri to Obbink, who discovered the two Sappho poems. The businessman then put some 20 small scraps that had also been pulled from the cartonnage—“being not easily identified … and deemed insignificant”—on the market. By chance, an intermediary dealer sold them to the Green Collection, where Obbink picked them out as yet more Sappho. Brent Nongbri, a Christian-manuscripts scholar, has identified no fewer than six different accounts of provenance put forward by Obbink, Carroll, or Bettany Hughes—a British broadcaster who has featured Obbink on several of her TV and radio shows. None of those accounts included the one detail witnessed by a large group of people: Simon Burris’s identification of the smaller Sappho pieces in Baylor’s crowded classics-department lounge in 2012." "In november 2015, a video appeared on YouTube, filmed on a smartphone from the pews of a church in Charlotte, North Carolina. From the pulpit, where he was addressing a conference of conservative Christians, Scott Carroll spoke of seeing a Gospel of Mark from the first century “at Oxford University at Christ Church College … in the possession of an outstanding, well-known, eminent classicist … Dirk Obbink,” who thought the papyrus might date to as early as a.d. 70—the same year most scholars think the gospel was first composed. This was no longer Daniel Wallace telling a vague, secondhand story on a debate stage. This was an eyewitness with names, dates, and places. The video so unnerved the Egypt Exploration Society that it began a review of all its unpublished New Testament papyri. It learned that one of Obbink’s researchers had found a small fragment of Mark in its collection in 2011, a piece photographed by a curator as early as the 1980s but never before identified. Was this the discovery that Wallace had announced at the University of North Carolina—and that Carroll had confirmed in the church video nearly four years later? Confronted by the EES, Obbink admitted to having a fragment of Mark from Oxyrhynchus in his office and showing it to Carroll. But he insisted that he’d never said it was for sale. The EES instructed him “to prepare it for publication as soon as practicable in order to avoid further speculation about its date and content.” Obbink could no doubt foresee the consequences of publication: The moment images of the fragment became public, Pattengale, Carroll, and Wallace would recognize the papyrus as the one he’d allegedly offered to the Greens half a decade earlier. They would notice he’d published it in the official book series for EES papyri—exposing it as never his to sell. Perhaps most distressing, they’d see Obbink’s new dating: In a book of serious scholarship, he’d assign their supposed “first-century Mark” to the late second or early third century, making it far less remarkable." "In june 2019, Michael Holmes, who replaced Pattengale as the director of the scholars initiative, flew to London to meet with leaders of the Egypt Exploration Society, who remained skeptical that Obbink, whatever his other shortcomings, might have sold Oxyrhynchus papyri. Over lunch at a private club, Holmes pulled out a purchase agreement between Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Dirk Obbink. Co-signed by the Oxford professor on February 4, 2013, it showed that Obbink had sold the company not just the Mark papyrus, but also fragments of the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John. In the contract, Obbink describes the manuscripts as his personal property, vows to “ship/hand carry” them from “Oxford Ancient,” and dates all four to a historically unprecedented “circa 100 AD,” making each a one-of-a-kind worth millions." Stolen....and maybe fraudulent fragments "When EES officials saw the contract, Holmes told me, “any uncertainties they had evaporated very quickly.” They banned Obbink from the collection. The Museum of the Bible began sending to the EES images of every papyrus the Greens had purchased—from any seller. Comparing them against the society’s own photographic inventory, EES officials spotted 13 of its biblical fragments. From written descriptions provided by Hobby Lobby, it identified four more: the gospels that Obbink’s sales contract dated to the first century, though none, the EES said, were in fact that old. Fifteen of the EES’s fragments had been sold to the Greens by Obbink, for more than $1.5 million, a source who has seen the figures told me. Among them was the Romans scrap Carroll pretended to pull from a mummy mask at Baylor in 2012. The Greens bought the two other EES fragments from the family business of Alan Baidun, a Jerusalem dealer who appeared to have acted as a middleman for Obbink. (Baidun did not answer multiple emails and phone calls, but has previously denied wrongdoing through a spokesperson.) The EES soon discovered another half-dozen of its papyri in the collection of a wealthy California collector named Andrew Stimer, who had previously sold the Greens four Dead Sea Scrolls that the Museum of the Bible later deemed forgeries. (Stimer disputes the museum’s forgery findings.) The practice of dissolving mummy masks in search of manuscripts had been all but abandoned before Scott Carroll and Dirk Obbink announced astonishing finds. Stimer, who leads an evangelical ministry called Hope Partners International, said he purchased two of the fragments in 2015 from a “Mr. M. Elder of Dearborn, Michigan,” a seeming match for Obbink’s business partner. When scholars saw images of those fragments—from Romans and First Corinthians—they realized the Museum of the Bible owned adjoining pieces from the same leaves. Someone appeared to have cut up scriptures that, according to EES photos, had been intact at Oxford. “Mr. M. Elder” had sold one pair of cuts to Stimer, and Obbink had sold the other to the Greens. (Mahmoud Elder declined to comment, invoking what he called a “client non-disclosure agreement.”) For most of the stolen papyri, the EES’s corresponding inventory cards and photographs were also missing. The thief, it seemed, had sought to cover his tracks by erasing evidence of the papyri’s existence. In a collection of some half a million pieces, perhaps they’d never be missed. But the thief miscalculated: Copies of the inventory existed in various locations, including University College London. Drawing on such backups, the EES said it has so far identified 120 papyri that “appear to be missing, almost all from a limited number of folders.” In what might well be British understatement, it warned “that a few more cases may emerge.” On November 12, the EES reported its findings to the Thames Valley Police. On March 2, the police detained Obbink for questioning on suspicion of theft and fraud. As of press time, no charges had been filed. "In march 26, Steve Green announced that he was giving 5,000 of his papyri to Egypt. It was an admission that virtually every papyrus in his collection lacked sufficient evidence of not having been stolen, looted, or acquired by other improper means. For the same reasons, he said, he was repatriating 6,500 clay relics to Iraq—on top of the 3,500 Iraqi antiquities Hobby Lobby had surrendered to settle a 2017 federal smuggling case. Green and his museum have sought to portray themselves as chastened by their early stumbles and determined to make amends—both by coming clean about their failures and by making institutional changes. “I trusted the wrong people to guide me,” Green said, “and unwittingly dealt with unscrupulous dealers in those early years.” Scholars have praised the latest reforms. But Green’s efforts to deflect blame have rung hollow in some circles. In 2010, early in his collecting blitz, Green had attended a presentation that Hobby Lobby commissioned from Patty Gerstenblith, a DePaul University professor who is one of the world’s foremost experts on cultural property law. “I warned him,” Gerstenblith told me, “and he proceeded anyway.” With hundreds of millions of dollars of spending power, Green had all the leverage to ask hard questions about provenance—and to order investigations—before handing his money over to dealers. But he never did. In the Obbink case, Green and his representatives have cast themselves as the unsuspecting dupes of a mastermind. Green told me he’d failed to see the conflict in Obbink’s dual roles as adviser and seller because of his “stellar reputation and standing in the scholarly community.” He added, “I would never intentionally buy anything forged or stolen.” Green has returned the stolen Oxyrhynchus fragments to Oxford, and in 2018, he told me, Hobby Lobby asked Obbink to refund the money it had paid him for the four “first-century” gospel fragments." "Until Oxford, the EES, or the police reveal more, many questions will remain unanswered. But in the eyes of some devout critics, the last chapter of this saga will be written by a higher authority"---Atlantic article This is mostly taken from a longreads article that has a LOT more information about how Obbink got caught up in a shady process called "dismounting" that allows for fraud---essentially soaking the wrappings off mummies and pretending that they are fragments of historical important artifacts such as poems by Sappho, and the network of thieves and shady dealers through which artifact smuggling and forgery thrives. A great rabbit hole to go down especially if you are interested in archaeology and artifacts. Hope you enjoy!
2020.05.15 19:30 lordberricThe Myth of the Heterosexual Wo
The Myth of the Heterosexual Woman CW: Homophobia, rape Preface To preface this, I want to clarify a few things. The first is that this is a discussion of institutions. Personal definitions, especially in regard to labels of sexuality, are not relevant to the discussion, and in making this clear I hope to preempt any feeling that I am attempting to invalidate anybody’s identity. This is a discussion of the way that patriarchal/male chauvinist society has denied and suppressed female identity, to the point that using any terminology constructed within such a society to describe any woman is, in my view, reductionist. This is also not a formal essay; it is merely my attempt to put my thoughts into words. This is a test of ideas, a result of three years of concepts I've encountered being shoved together, and many may fail to hold up to further scrutiny. I welcome critique in any sense of the word and hope to further my own understanding of the concepts within. With all that being said, I will begin. What is Sexuality? I do not believe in straight women. Nor do I believe in lesbian women. Bisexual women, pansexual women, asexual women, any woman with any level of sexuality, I do not believe in. This, in my mind, is because sexuality is a thing of agency. The theorized lesbian is a woman who directs desire at another woman, but within the paradigm of patriarchal/male chauvinist society, this cannot happen. Taking a step back, it is important that we understand the construction of sexuality. As pointed out by Brandon Ambrosino in The Invention of ‘Heterosexuality’, concepts of heterosexuality and homosexuality originate in the industrial revolution - there was no such thing as a heterosexual until 1868. “The invention of heterosexuality”, Ambrosino explains, “corresponds with the rise of the middle class”. Simply put, one cannot be heterosexual in a world where sex was the act of procreation to maintain a certain lifestyle. You did not have sex for enjoyment, you did not cohabitate for love, these were economic acts. But enter capitalism, enter industrialization, enter the prospect of being able to survive entirely on one’s own income (if you are a man, that is), and sexuality becomes possible. When sex happens for reasons besides procreation, sex can happen between partners who cannot procreate. So, sexuality begins to exist. Heterosexuality, sometime between 1923 and 1934 changes from being defined as “morbid” to being considered “normal”. But sexuality is still something of men. Partially because, as previously mentioned, women cannot yet live without the support of a male earner, but also for other reasons. Namely, the denial of female sexuality. Early laws making homosexuality illegal were very specifically targeted at men. Similarly, to how rapes legal definition is often framed in terms of male penetration of women, homosexuality was defined in terms of male sexual acts. In no way was the possibility of female sexual agency considered. This is not some big secret. While stories of Queen Victoria refusing to legislate lesbianism because she would not believe that “women did such things” are false, the fact is that lesbian relationships were not legislated against. But that was the past. What about today? Today, we see the same thing, though in slightly different ways. Female sexuality has been reconstituted, but it has not been acknowledged. Male Appropriation of Female Sexuality To start off with, lesbianism is not a female sexuality. There are two worlds that lesbians exist within. The first is the perceived world of a lesbian, of women engaged in a romantic/sexual relationship. This is, while acknowledged as a relationship, not acknowledged as a sexual relationship, as one of desire. There is no perception of a woman directing desire at someone. We can see this in typical homophobic responses to lesbians – “which one of you wears the pants”, “which one of you is the man in the relationship”, the question implicit here is “which one of you is capable of directing desire”. A lesbian relationship can only exist if one member of that relationship is not a woman and is therefore an agent of desire. The flipside of this is the “Sappho and her friend” construction of female homosexual relationships, where a female sexual/romantic relationship is labeled as platonic, often citing societies perception of women as especially willing to express emotions towards each other label romantic expression as platonic. The second world is that of male sexuality. Lesbian porn is, by and large, made for men. There are a number of more qualified people who talk about this, but one can simply ask almost any lesbian and they can explain how “lesbian” pornography’s depiction of lesbian sexuality is almost entirely incidental, occurring only in the small overlap between “what men think lesbians act like and find attractive” and “what lesbians actually act like and enjoy”. In this world, lesbians are a construct of male desire, consisting not of two subjects directing desire at one another, but of a single object for a male to direct his desire at. Now, there is a third world that lesbians exist within, which is that of a genuine queer expression of desire among women. But as mentioned before, this is a discussion of institutions, and institutional definitions. This world is not a part of patriarchal/male chauvinist society, while the first two are. Furthermore, I would argue that the first world, that of the inaccurate perception of lesbian relationships, is almost a sublimation of the second. An excuse, perhaps. It is a way of hiding the existence of the third world, by claiming to recognize it through a perversion of it, so as to retain typical patriarchal/male chauvinist conceptions of sexuality while having a shield for criticism. The straight male can watch lesbian porn while comforting himself in the knowledge that he has already answered the questions that proposing the existence of female desire asks. This is all to say that lesbianism – referring here to the patriarchal/male chauvinist construction of lesbianism that dominates our society – is merely a reframing or contextualizing of male desire. It exists purely within the space of a reimagining of male desire (which one of you wears the pants), denial of the absence of male desire (those two women are such good friends!) an object of male desire (lesbian porn), or an obstacle to male desire (see discussions of “flipping” lesbians, something rarely, if ever, directed towards homosexual men, excluding the separate discussion of conversion therapy). I would expand on this and say that all sexuality is male desire. Heterosexuality from men is male desire in its purest form, male homosexuality is both male desire towards men and a lack of male desire towards women (more on male homosexuality later), and homosexuality from women, as explained before, is a reframing or contextualizing of male desire. This leads us to ask… What is Female Heterosexuality? It does not exist. Heterosexuality cannot exist without a homosexuality to negate, and female homosexuality is not an object in itself, it is merely male desire reconstructed. Female sexuality within patriarchal/male chauvinist culture as a whole is a myth. It plays no active role within any dominant construction of society. Female agency in romance and sex is for the most part denied, given lip service on the surface while disappearing from view on any deeper ideological level. For male desire, female sexuality is irrelevant. Male desire can be directed at any object because all sexuality is constituted within male desire. When I say, “female sexuality is a myth”, what I mean is not “women are not sexual”, but that the category of female sexuality has no material impact on society. So, the question is, why? Simple. It removes the inherent threatening power of female sexuality. I am not the only one who has discussed the importance of homophobia to modern western society – John D’Emilio in Capitalism and Gay Identity and Nancy Fraser in Contradictions of Capital and Care both do a great job of explaining the ways that homophobia and misogyny as ideologies cover for the inherent contradictions between capitalism and the family. Capitalism creates the individualism that allows for its subjects to live without needing to reproduce, but it also requires reproduction in order to recreate and expand its workforce. As such, it must enforce procreation through ideologies of sexism and homophobia. Each construction of lesbian identity has this power. “Which one of you wears the pants” asserts heteronormative constructions of sexuality, turning lesbianism into an aberration that mimics heterosexuality rather than diverging from it, “they’re such good friends” asserts the necessity of male desire for a relationship to transcend the category of platonic, objectification of lesbians commodifies lesbian identity for heterosexual consumption, and views of lesbian identity as an obstacle to be overcome empowers male desire as dominant over any female agency. It is for this reason that explicit lesbian romance is much more common in media than gay romance. Obviously, this is not without exceptions, and there are a number of examples of gay male relationships in mainstream media. However, gay men are more often sidekicks, their sexuality acting as a character trait rather than an expression of desire. While gay relationships are portrayed, they are rarely erotic. Sex scenes between men are rare, while sex scenes between women are more common. But the eroticism of those scenes is in the context of the male gaze, made to appeal to the male viewer rather than a lesbian audience. Lesbians can be portrayed in media because that portrayal can happen without presenting any real threat to the dominant ideology – lesbianism is not a negation of male desire; it is a feature of it. And again, for female heterosexuality to exist, it would have to negate female homosexuality, but there is no female homosexuality, there are merely different flavors of male desire. The heterosexual female has no role to play, her sexuality incidental to patriarchal culture. When a straight man asks a woman for her number, he is not assuming she is straight, because she is not. She has no sexuality. She is an object of desire, and her sexuality is not an expression of agency but a facet of his own desire. But women do have sexual and romantic desire, and they do express it. A woman’s attraction towards another woman, in its pure form, is not constructed by patriarchy/male chauvinism. It is an expression of desire just like any other. For women within society, their sexuality exists in two forms, that of their own understanding of it, as a valid expression of desire from a position of agency, and that of societies attempt to reconcile their existence with necessary constructions of heteronormativity and the assumed non-existence of female sexuality. In Conclusion I will end this by restating my preface. This is by no means a denial of female sexuality. I hope my last paragraph made that quite clear. Female sexuality, and desire directed by a woman at another woman, man, or any person of any gender, is entirely valid and does exist. This is an analysis of the construction of female sexuality within dominant culture. As we have seen, sexuality has been constructed. Labels like gay and lesbian do not refer to something innate in humanity, but to something that exists within our culture. I use lesbian in this essay generally to discuss constructed lesbian identity, rather than individual lesbian identity. While the second refers to lesbian as a term to generally describe the existence of a woman who directs desire at another woman, the first refers to the much more specific attempt by society to define and explain someone who’s actions have the potential to challenge heteronormative ideas. As I mentioned before, I am not only open, but hoping for criticism. This piece is less a result of any dedicated research, and more a culmination of a number of concepts that I’ve encountered in the last three years. Through writing this and encouraging reaction to it, I hope to gain further insight on the subject, and to push my understanding forward.
Back in university, I made a promise with my friend Athy that, if we were both single when we turned thirty, we’d just marry each other. To be honest, it was just a joke at first. She was so pretty and fun to be with, I thought the only way she’d ever be single was by choice. As for me, well, I was the romantic sort who assumed that, by thirty, I would basically be set for life: job, partner, house, dog. However, the last decade hasn’t been so kind to me. I should mention at this point that I am a woman interested in women. More accurately, I seem to be a woman interested in straight women or women in committed relationships, and one tipsy time I was (unknowingly) interested in an effeminate man… who still rejected me. I’m awkward around new people, yet not any better around people I’ve known for a while either. Even my attempts at online dating ended after a few messages. Anyway, back to my friend. Every year when we met up for my birthday, she reminded me of the promise. I was the younger one by a few months, so it would come into effect on my thirtieth rather than hers. What had once been a joke gradually become more real. For my twenty-fifth birthday, we spent a half-drunk evening planning a honeymoon around Europe; my twenty-seventh, after a particularly brutal string of rejections, I whined about those women and promised her I would be a faithful and doting wife; my twenty-ninth, we went house hunting for the day, just to see what kind of one bedroom apartments we could afford on a double income. She’d been single all those years too. If I ever asked, she had a reason. At university, she was focusing on her studies and, as a fellow computer science student, she had her programming projects on the side. Then she was focused on her career, and then she was too busy making a game in her free time (and dragging me into it, not that I was unwilling), and then… I stopped asking, afraid that I would see her one day with an engagement ring on her finger. With how she brought up the promise every year, it can’t be helped that I had a sliver of hope, right? I mean, I knew it was wrong to think of a friend that way, yet, by the end, I often joked to myself that it was her fault I went after straight women. A false hope, but it brought me comfort on the loneliest nights. I was glad to know that she would always be with me as a friend. For my thirtieth birthday, we got together at my place after work and both downed a glass of wine before ordering pizza. I’d not even had one in the last year, my war against tummy fat perilous and liable to turn upon the loss of a single battle. However, she loved pizza, so we had pizza. We ate a lot and drank some more, turned down the lights and sat close together on the couch as we made fun of the latest romcom, laughing so much we had to pause at least ten times because my stomach hurt. The promise was still on my mind, had been for at least the month before, but it was more out of curiosity than anything, wondering what she would say about it now. I thought she might suggest we find a two bedroom place and live together, or we would put up a jokey message online, changing our relationship status to married, or maybe she would start calling me wifey nicknames. After the movie, she had me sit at the small dining table and sat down opposite me. Then she lit a candle and turned off the light and served the tiny cake she’d brought. Finally, she gave me my birthday present: a small, wrapped box. “Ooh, what is it?” I asked, turning it around in my hands. It wasn’t heavy, but it felt sturdy for its size. I couldn’t think of anything to do with computers that matched, or any fashion accessory either, her gifts usually falling into one of those two categories. “Can I open it or do I have to guess?” She softly shook her head, and she said, “You can open it.” My gaze flickered back down to the box and I slipped my nail into the neat wrapping paper, prying off the sellotape. With that bit undone, I could tear off the paper and reveal the box inside. It looked pretty posh, certainly for jewellery, and I imagined there was a beautiful necklace or bracelet inside. Still, I could tell it wasn’t cheap and said, “Come on, you shouldn’t have. I’m happy with whatever you give me, so don’t waste your money.” She sighed in response and loosely gestured at the box. Understanding what she wasn’t saying, I pried it open, and I sort of broke a little bit. It was a thin ring, silvery, with a small aquamarine on it. I tried to remember when she had asked what my favourite gemstone was, but it must have been back at university. Honestly, I didn’t have one, yet at that time I saw one on the webpage she was showing me which reminded me of her eyes; that seemed as good a reason as any other to make it my favourite. “Will you marry me?” she asked. I was too shocked to notice back then, but her calm voice had quavered and, if I had looked closely, I would have seen the worry hiding behind her eyes. Instead, I fell victim to my insecurities. “If this is a joke, it’s not funny,” I said, head bowed as I didn’t trust myself not to cry. “I’m not laughing,” she said, and she reached over, resting her hand on top of mine. The next day, we went down to the register office and gave notice. Since we had to wait a month before we could get married, we went to look at apartments again—single bedroom ones—and we made an appointment at her bank to see what kind of mortgage we could get, and we went to furniture stores, looking at everything from plates to beds. It sort of felt like I had imagined it: two friends deciding to live together. Yet, whenever I thought about it like that for too long, I remembered the ring on my finger. At my age, months already went by quickly, but the day of our ceremony came up in the blink of an eye. Neither of us had wanted to make a big deal of it, so we just went back to the register office. For our two witnesses, she brought her older brother and I brought my cousin; they were thankfully relaxed about the situation. When it came to the vows, well, I’m a romantic who has been working on my vows since I was like ten years old, and yet those vows were like they were written for someone else. Standing in front of her, I ended up saying whatever came to mind. “I can’t put to words what you’ve been to me all the years I’ve known you. But, when I think back, it seems like every smile, every bit of laughter, every moment of happiness… has you in common,” I said as I stared into her soft eyes. At that point, I felt like I couldn’t say any more, choking up as the memories flooded back to me, only to settle when she gently took my hands in hers. Her touch reminded me of why we were there and, after a couple of breaths, I carried on. “Although I don’t know what the future will bring, it’s enough for me to know that you’ll be with me.” They were, altogether, pretty simple vows, shallow even, but they were… honest. I felt like I could have said those words any time since I’d met her and meant them with all my heart. And even though I hadn’t exactly vowed anything, I knew she understood. She always understood me. Looking into her eyes, I could see she knew that I truly did want to spend the rest of our lives together in whatever form our relationship took. Her turn to speak, I felt my heart beat faster. “If I had to say what I love most about you, it’s that my home is by your side. The sense of peace and comfort and security you give me is what gives me the strength to try my best no matter what comes my way. Knowing that I will be by your side for the rest of our lives, I will try my best to give you peace and comfort and security, and to make my side your home.” She said it all with practised ease, yet there was a noticeable strain in her voice. Upon finishing, she tried to smile, but her lips wavered and eyes teared up. Repaying the favour, I reached out and held her hands, lightly squeezing. After giving us a moment to compose ourselves, the registrar asked us to exchange rings. She went first this time and presented me with the engagement ring—I wouldn’t let her go and buy another one when that ring was already perfect. When it came to my turn, well, a ring with a brown gemstone didn’t look great, so I went for a sapphire instead. It was a bit convoluted, but she’d first nicknamed me Saffron because of my very red hair, and that became Saffy, and then she started calling me Sappho after I came out to her (but she only called me that in private); since it’s close to sapphire and the colour went well with my aquamarine ring, I thought it was a good choice. The way she looked at the gemstone when I slid the ring onto her finger, I knew she understood my thoughts. Of course she did. From our research beforehand, only the vows and witnesses were actually required, but, when we spoke to the registrar at the start, we asked him if we could include the exchanging of rings, and we also asked him if we could include one more thing at the end. “With their vows and rings exchanged, if the bride and bride would seal their oath,” the registrar said. I looked at her, and my heart that had never settled after the start of the ceremony managed to beat even harder. Since our engagement, we hadn’t kissed, as if that was the line. It was stupid because I was sure that, before all this happened, if we got drunk and kissed, then we could have brushed it off and carried on being friends. Even if we’d slept together, I knew we would still always be friends. But this wasn’t an accident. More than that, it wasn’t a mistake. I wanted to believe that. Slowly, she reached up to cup my cheek. Her hand was cold. I hadn’t noticed earlier, I guessed because my hands were also cold; anxious as I was, my hands were definitely clammy. After touching me, a second passed and nothing happened. I almost burst into giggles. It was too funny to watch as her eyes fluttered closed and she stayed there, waiting for me to kiss her—she was the one who proposed to me! Then I realised it was probably because she had proposed that she now waited for me: I needed to give her my answer. I leant forwards, her face filling my vision, her hand a gentle pressure that never tried to push me away. At the last moment, I closed my eyes and kissed her. It was not my first time kissing someone, but it was the first time that kissing meant something to me—my first time kissing someone who meant something to me. A tame kiss, timid even, which didn’t even last a full second, yet I knew that we’d crossed the line. While I pulled back, I watched her eyelashes flutter as she opened her eyes, and saw the blush dying her cheeks, and how her lips were slightly parted. I’d always known she was pretty, but I’d never seen her look so beautiful. We didn’t have long to cherish the moment. The registrar handed us our marriage certificate and our witnesses were all too eager to pull us away for questioning, their cooperation to be repaid with answers. I wasn’t privy to what she and her brother spoke about, but my cousin wanted to know if I would tell my parents and things like that. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any real answers, so I got an earful until Athy rescued me. On the bus ride back to her flat, we sat in silence with our hands entwined. As our vows had said, that was enough for us. Things didn’t really change, except when they did, which I know is a weird thing to say. What I mean is that we acted and spoke like we always had, but now we really snuggled together when we sat together on the couch, and we would hold hands when walking together outside. We didn’t kiss again, and we still lived in our own flats while we waited for the mortgage to go through; it didn’t seem worth it for me to move into her flat (or vice versa) and then move to the new place when it should only be a month. So it was a state of being similar but not quite the same. However slowly we moved, the world didn’t wait. I had told my cousin it wasn’t exactly a secret, and Athy seemed to have told her brother similarly, soon both of us bombarded by our respective parents. That was fair enough, likely few parents happy to hear they’d missed their daughter’s wedding. In my case, even though I’d been out for a long time, my parents didn’t know. That was mostly because I’d never managed to start a relationship, so it was like, “Can I really call myself lesbian?” I mean, to put it lightly, it was more to do with me not having the best relationship with them. I had always been enough of a disappointment without also being a lesbian, so it seemed better for them to just think I was incapable of getting a husband—at least until I was in a serious relationship. Ignorance is bliss. On the other side of matters, I’d known her family semi-well for as long as I’d known her. Her older brother was also in the computer sector, albeit IT, so we had common things to talk about, and they were otherwise close, so he’d joined us for dinner before (well, I guess it was more like I’d joined them for dinner). As her university housemate for two years, I had met her parents back then and they had invited me along for dinner whenever they visited. I’d seen them a few times since university, about once a year. They seemed nice and treated me well. But with how she looked, I thought they weren’t exactly congratulating her either. I didn’t want to pry because I didn’t want to tell her what my parents were saying. Coming to a mutual agreement on the matter, we went to visit her parents on the weekend, holding hands the whole taxi ride there. The closer we got, the harder she squeezed my hand. We let go of each other’s hand when we knocked on the door, and her mother welcomed us in, yet I could tell it was a strained welcome. Her father was already sitting at the table, and he put his phone down as we walked over. Our chairs had been spaced apart, but I moved mine closer as we sat down. Her mother asked us if we wanted anything to drink, but we both declined; she excused herself for a cup of water anyway and left us in silence for half a minute or so. With her back, I felt the mood start to shift, the fake smile melting away. “We know you two have been close for a long time, but you didn’t even tell us you were dating and we missed our daughter’s marriage—please imagine how humiliating that is for us,” her mother said. It didn’t stop there, though, one sentence after another coming, and I felt an unease growing in the pit of my stomach. Athy offered quiet sorries. By the tone alone, I knew to reach out to her under the table and hold her hand. Her mother kept replying by saying she didn’t want an apology, yet she kept talking in that manner. Eventually, my feelings crystallised, and I realised what was agitating me. I tried to interrupt by saying, “Um, if I—” only to be cut off by her father. “We’re talking to our daughter,” he said sternly, and then gestured for her mother to continue. Rather than silence me, that sort of amplified my feelings, making them sharp enough to cut through the awkwardness that usually stifled me. My voice tinged with righteous anger, I said, “No, you’re talking to my wife, and unless you talk to her with respect, we’ll be leaving.” I couldn’t say any more than that, unwilling to trust my voice to maintain that kind of brave tone. However, for her sake, I squarely met her father’s stare and didn’t give an inch. My whole body tensed, instinctually trying to shy away and even apologise, yet I fought it, desperately with all my might. After a few seconds, she spoke quietly but with a certain conviction. “Whatever you think, whether or not you approve, we are married. And that’s something between me and Saffy. We’re not joining our families together or anything like that, we’re just doing what makes us happy.” Her words resonated with the feelings I had for her, a sense of comfort replacing the knot of anxiety. The uncertainty of the situation became almost meaningless as I knew without a shadow of a doubt that we would eventually walk out of there and carry on our lives together. Before anything else could be said, the doorbell rang. Her mother glanced at her father and then excused herself. “We’re not late, are we?” her brother loudly said from the doorway. I turned to look and his wife and children were with him—a young girl about six and a boy about four. Although I’d never met them, he and Athy had told me a lot about them. She stood up to greet them, so I did too, and I let go of her hand only for her to grab it again. I looked at her to make sure, missing that her niece ran over. “Aunty Athy!” she said, hugging her around the waist, and then she turned to me. “Are you really Aunty Saffy? Daddy told me you got married and he showed me a picture, but why wasn’t I there? Jamie went to her uncle’s wedding and even got to be a flower girl.” I again looked at Athy, this time entirely unsure what to say or do, yet all she did was smile and softly nod. So I looked back at her niece—our niece—and I smiled and nodded. “We didn’t have a wedding, but we can still have a party and get you a pretty dress—is that okay?” She grinned and gave me a hug too. “Yeah!” she said. With the children around, her parents didn’t say anything else on the matter. My new niece is very much a tomboy princess, long hair often full of leaves and twigs, and my new nephew is her biggest fan, often stuck in bushes or up trees as he tries to keep up with her. And for whatever reason, she kept dragging me to play. I thought it was just me being a novelty as someone knew, but Athy later told me that her favourite movie was Brave and I had a bit of a Merida look—kind of curly red hair. Her brother’s wife was nice and I felt like she didn’t have any problems with our marriage, either with how sudden it was or it being a same-sex marriage, the way she talked with me like old friends who hadn’t seen each other in a long time. Not to mention that she actually congratulated us, something the parents hadn’t done at any point. We excused ourselves after an hour. I was thoroughly exhausted, and she seemed to be too. However, I couldn’t stop thinking, thoughts new and old swirling around. When the taxi dropped us off at her flat, I walked up to the front door with her. She put the key in and turned it, and she stepped inside, and then she noticed I hadn’t followed, looking at me with a questioning gaze. “Can I stay over tonight?” I asked. Some colour came to her cheeks, muted from the makeup she’d put on for the visit, and her hands came together to fidget. Yet she didn’t look away from me. “Okay,” she quietly said. To me, our engagement had been a surprise, but she had gone out and picked a ring and mustered the courage to ask that special question. Her vows had sounded like they were written with me in mind. And after what happened with her parents, I thought she probably felt insecure. So I stayed with her through the afternoon, went out with her for a nice meal. In the evening, I had a shower and changed into a spare pair of her pyjamas, snuggling with her on the couch until we were both nodding off. Then we both squeezed into her single bed, unable to not touch each other. Despite it being hot and cramped, I didn’t feel restless, and I held her hand. “G’night,” I said; leaning over, I gave her a little kiss. “Goodnight,” she murmured, squeezing my hand. I wanted to stay the next night as well, but my work clothes were at my flat and she said we should wait for our new apartment. Still, I called her in the evening to say that single word, and I kissed (just in front of) my phone, which she reciprocated. The week felt so much longer. I spent my free time when travelling to and from work and in my breaks thinking about her. The momentum behind a decade-long friendship wasn’t easy to change, and I still didn’t know what she wanted out of this new relationship. My feelings hadn’t really changed. Whether we were lovers or if we only shared goodnight kisses, I could build my happiness around her. I did want more, but I wasn’t going to take more than a small step each time, carefully finding the boundaries of this murky relationship. There was no need to rush. Friday evening, I picked up some clothes from my flat and then went to hers. The next day, we went to a restaurant for lunch… to meet my parents. I’d been anxious all morning, told her a hundred times we didn’t have to, but she insisted that we make things clear for them, and that she would be there for me. Despite arriving ten minutes late (on purpose) we still got there a good five minutes before my parents. They were neatly dressed, their affluence thick in the air. I could barely breathe. We weren’t exactly in a crop top and jeans ourselves, yet any onlookers would have thought my parents sat at the wrong table. Though, that had as much to do with how they looked at me as it did with how we were dressed. None of us spoke until the waiter came over for our order, and Athy ordered for me as if she knew I couldn’t speak. There was a knot in my stomach, echoes of distant memories bouncing around my head. I couldn’t focus well, any thoughts interrupted by my body complaining, everything sounding a bit muffled, everything looking a bit distant, even my hands feeling rubbery, clumsy, worrying me that I wouldn’t be able to hold the cutlery. As if they were waiting for me to reach this point, my father finally spoke. “So this is the woman you… married.” “Yes,” I said, forcing the word out. “What was that? I didn’t hear you,” he said coldly, his mouth resting in something like a diluted snarl, the top lip ever so slightly pulled up. I swallowed the lump in my throat, yet it didn’t budge. My every muscle tensed, ready to flinch. In my mind, I played over how the conversation from here would go, how it had gone so many times before, the way he gradually raised his voice, asking me if I was dumb, or hit the table when I tried to speak, scaring the words away. The last time, he’d even loudly asked me if I was drunk, and I’d felt the judging stares of everyone in the restaurant. Yet I didn’t dare invite my parents to my flat or visit them at home. Trapped in the twilight of past and present, I could only lower my head and hope I wouldn’t cry. And I blamed myself. If I’d told her the truth, she wouldn’t have made us come. I didn’t want to be humiliated in front of her like this, but I’d hoped that it would be different. I hoped that they wouldn’t treat me like that in front of someone else, or that they would have realised I hadn’t met with them in years because of how they treated me. And then I realised that they might treat her like that. I pushed through everything and clearly said, “This is my wife, Athy.” For a moment, I thought he would still insist he couldn’t hear me. However, he simply grunted, and it became my mother’s turn to twist the knife. “Are you keeping her as a pet, then? She keep the place clean and cook you dinners? Goodness knows how desperate you are, I suppose anything would do.” What I hated most about my parents was that, horrible as they were, they were happy. They loved each other and had friends and hobbies and money and slept easily night after night. The only thing they didn’t have was an obedient daughter married to a doctor or a lawyer, and even then they were all too happy to play the victim to their friends and indulge in their sympathy. Maybe they had once loved me, back when I was a child and still conformed to what they wanted, but I could only remember struggling through my adolescence. I knew they didn’t love me, that the sole reason they came was because I had some use to them. At that moment, the reason was to torment me, to find pleasure in punishing me for not being the daughter they wanted me to be. But I don’t think they could ever understand just how successful they were being. Even though my mother degraded Athy like that, I was too broken to say anything, and I broke all the more for saying nothing. My silence compounded just how much I had failed her. Never mind as my wife, as my best friend for a decade, I shouldn’t have been able to let anyone talk about her like that, to reduce her to a thing, and yet whatever righteous anger I might have been able to summon was suffocated by the layers of fear and shame wrapped around my childish heart. Lost, I couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, the world reduced to the painful thumping in my chest, violent and restrained. Yet, when she spoke, as if her voice came from inside the walls surrounding me, I clearly heard her. “Since Saffy never talked about you, I thought you were terrible parents, but you’re both utterly insane. It’s no wonder she struggled to get on with other people. Really, I’ve stepped in dogshit with better personality.” In the following silence, I realised it wasn’t just our table that was silent. I looked up, and my parents both had expressions I’d never seen before, too alien for me to even try and recognise. As long as it felt, I think it was only a few seconds, my parents surely not the type to be so easily cowed. My father turned to me, his eyes more intense than I’d ever seen, and he asked me in a loud whisper, “Are you really going to let this bitch talk to us like that?” I looked back at him, and I was confused. I was really, really confused. What did he think I would do? Like, did he want me to make her apologise? I knew they lived in their own, twisted reality, but did they really think I cared about them more than her? Or was I supposed to be afraid of them? Because I was so focused on that, it was like I forgot that I was supposed to stutter and mumble, so I loudly said, “Yes, I am.” I noticed then that other people were looking at us, some with their phones (not so) subtly out, and… it didn’t bother me. Even if they were judging me, the only person there I cared about was on my side. No doubt worried a fight would start, the waiter served our drinks then; I had to praise his composure, able to say, “Enjoy,” with a straight face. Of course, my parents were far from finished. However, whenever they started speaking, Athy would hold my hand under the table, and she would simply ignore them and talk to me; I had to listen when she spoke, my brain wired to hear her voice. We’ve been close for so long, I can pick her voice out on a crowded train station, and in fact I have some four times? Maybe five? Anyway, she kept doing that, and I couldn’t really hear my parents any more. I answered her questions and asked my own, smiling, laughing. My neck started to hurt from turning to face her, so I shuffled my chair round a bit. Still, my mother knocked over a glass of wine and spilt it on Athy’s dress, but Athy laughed it off and didn’t even leave the table. She had me dab at the stain, which so happened to be around her upper thigh, and someone wolf-whistled at us for it. Rather than upset or annoyed by that, I had to giggle. I mean, it must have looked very suggestive, right? Me vigorously rubbing another woman’s thigh. With that in mind, I left her to finish drying it herself. I don’t really know what my parents did after that. With people watching, I guess they couldn’t be loud enough to get my attention. Well, our food arrived and she kept having me try hers, and so I had her try mine as well, constantly on the verge of giggling as we must have looked so silly feeding each other. We’re thirty-year-old women, not teens. When we finished, she ordered us dessert and coffee; I hadn’t noticed how much I’d drunk, but maybe that was why I felt so giggly. Somewhat sobered, I remember clearly how, at the end of the meal, she helped me stand up and then said to the waiter, “My parents-in-law will be paying,” and tugged me out. In summary: she called them worse than dogshit, ignored them for half an hour while flirting with their daughter, and then had them pay for dinner. I wasn’t exactly happy on the way home. I mean, I was happy, but it was more a feeling of contentedness. It’s like, having seen how she treated them, I realised that I really had loved them all this time in the way that hatred is still a form of love. Maybe it’s better to say that you can hate someone you love. There’s not really a good way to say it, but I guess an example is that I thought I had to answer the phone if they rang me; I realised then that I could block their number. Otherwise, she didn’t apologise for insisting on the meeting, and I didn’t want her to. I didn’t thank her for what she did, and I didn’t think she wanted me to. It’s probably strange, but, when it comes to us, we only apologise or thank each other over small things—if we’re late or bump the table, or if we’re given a cup of tea. If I broke her laptop, of course I would be sorry and pay her to replace it, that’s obvious. And when she buys me an expensive present, I chide her for wasting her money, but of course I cherish it, it just goes without saying. We got back to her flat midafternoon. I was as tired as after visiting her parents the last weekend, but I also felt a lot better without the threat of my parents hanging over me. Once we’d taken off our shoes and hung up our purses, I pinched her dress and tugged, making her turn towards me, and then I hugged her. More than that, I embraced her. She was a little cold, not really the best weather to go out in only a dress, but I felt her cheek heat up against mine, so I snuggled my chin between her shoulder and neck. Her arms lightly held me at first, yet my show of affection made her pull me close, almost painful. My breath must have tickled her, because she shivered after I let out a long sigh. I relaxed my hold on her, and she did the same, the two of us slowly coming apart. Yet, when I could see her face, I went in closer again and kissed her. This time, it wasn’t just a peck. I didn’t really know what I was doing, sort of trying to pinch her top lip with both of mine, and I gently sucked on her lip, which made bizarre and wet sounds that were almost, but not quite, erotic. We had a long way to go. Moving on, I kissed along her jawline, coming all the way to her earlobe. And I stopped there, pulling her into a hug as I whispered, “I love you.” We had a long way to go, and a lifetime together to get there.
2020.04.18 16:34 BurningBernie559A story from my high school years.
So, I'm in English class, and we're covering the topic of 'Classical Poetry'. Now, we were allowed to make small talk related to the lesson because our professor was normally really cool, so I say something along the lines of, " Yeah, I'm pretty sure every single poet in that era was gay, or at least bi. I mean, everyone was having homosexual affairs left and right!" To which my professor responds, "Oh, they weren't necessarily doing it because they were gay, they were doing it to show their opposition to their oppressive government and leaders!" Like, how far of a reach do you have to have to equate gay sex with 'rebelling againt the system'? It's not even SapphoAndHerFriend anymore, it's SapphoAndHerPartnerInTheRevolution!
East Asia In East Asia, same-sex love has been referred to since the earliest recorded history. Homosexuality in China, known as the passions of the cut peach and various other euphemisms, has been recorded since approximately 600 BCE. Homosexuality was mentioned in many famous works of Chinese literature. The instances of same-sex affection and sexual interactions described in the classical novel Dream of the Red Chamber seem as familiar to observers in the present as do equivalent stories of romances between heterosexual people during the same period. Confucianism, being primarily a social and political philosophy, focused little on sexuality, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Ming Dynasty literature, such as Bian Er Chai, portray homosexual relationships between men as more enjoyable and more "harmonious" than heterosexual relationships. Writings from the Liu Song Dynasty by Wang Shunu claimed that homosexuality was as common as heterosexuality in the late 3rd century. Opposition to homosexuality in China originates in the medieval Tang Dynasty, attributed to the rising influence of Christian and Islamic values, but did not become fully established until the Westernization efforts of the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China. South Asia The Laws of Manu mentions a "third sex", members of which may engage in nontraditional gender expression and homosexual activities. Europe Classical period The earliest Western documents concerning same-sex relationships are derived from ancient Greece. In regard to male homosexuality, such documents depict an at times complex understanding in which relationships with women and relationships with adolescent boys could be a part of a normal man's love life. Same-sex relationships were a social institution variously constructed over time and from one city to another. The formal practice, an erotic yet often restrained relationship between a free adult male and a free adolescent, was valued for its pedagogic benefits and as a means of population control, though occasionally blamed for causing disorder. Plato praised its benefits in his early writings but in his late works proposed its prohibition. Aristotle, in the Politics, dismissed Plato's ideas about abolishing homosexuality ; he explains that barbarians like the Celts accorded it a special honor, while the Cretans used it to regulate the population . Little is known of female homosexuality in antiquity. Sappho, born on the island of Lesbos, was included by later Greeks in the canonical list of nine lyric poets. The adjectives deriving from her name and place of birth came to be applied to female homosexuality beginning in the 19th century. Sappho's poetry centers on passion and love for various personages and both genders. The narrators of many of her poems speak of infatuations and love for various females, but descriptions of physical acts between women are few and subject to debate. In Ancient Rome, the young male body remained a focus of male sexual attention, but relationships were between older free men and slaves or freed youths who took the receptive role in sex. The Hellenophile emperor Hadrian is renowned for his relationship with Antinous, but the Christian emperor Theodosius I decreed a law on 6 August 390, condemning passive males to be burned at the stake. Notwithstanding these regulations taxes on brothels with boys available for homosexual sex continued to be collected until the end of the reign of Anastasius I in 518. Justinian, towards the end of his reign, expanded the proscription to the active partner as well, warning that such conduct can lead to the destruction of cities through the "wrath of God". Renaissance During the Renaissance, wealthy cities in northern Italy—Florence and Venice in particular—were renowned for their widespread practice of same-sex love, engaged in by a considerable part of the male population and constructed along the classical pattern of Greece and Rome. But even as many of the male population were engaging in same-sex relationships, the authorities, under the aegis of the Officers of the Night court, were prosecuting, fining, and imprisoning a good portion of that population. From the second half of the 13th century, death was the punishment for male homosexuality in most of Europe. The relationships of socially prominent figures, such as King James I and the Duke of Buckingham, served to highlight the issue, including in anonymously authored street pamphlets: "The world is chang'd I know not how, For men Kiss Men, not Women now;...Of J. the First and Buckingham: He, true it is, his Wives Embraces fled, To slabber his lov'd Ganimede"
2019.11.04 16:54 MarleyEngvallmatriarchs has been created
By John Lord, LL. D. PAULA. A. D. 347-404. WOMAN AS FRIEND. (i.) THE subject of this lecture is Paula, an illustrious Roman lady of rank and wealth, whose remarka- ble friendship for Saint Jerome, in the latter part of the fourth century, has made her historical. If to her we do not date the first great change in the social relations of man with woman, yet she is the most memorable example that I can find of that exalted sentiment which Christianity called out in its inter- course of the sexes, and which has done more for the elevation of society than any other sentiment except that of religion itself. Female friendship, however, must ever have adorned and cheered the world; it naturally springs from the depths of a woman's soul. However dark and dismal society may have been under the withering influences of Paganism, it is probable that glorious instances could be chronicled of the devotion of woman to man and of man to woman, which was not intensified by the passion of love. Nevertheless, the condition of woman in the Pagan world, even with all the influences of civiliza- tion, was unfavorable to that sentiment which is such a charm in social life. The Pagan woman belonged to her husband or her in the discussion of Cleopatra, she was universally regarded as inferior to man, and made to be his slave. She was miserably educated; she was secluded from intercourse with strangers; she was shut up in her home; she was given in marriage without her consent; she was guarded by female slaves; she was valued chiefly as a domestic servant, or as an animal to prevent the extinction of families, she was seldom honored; she was doomed to household drudgeries as if she were capable of nothing higher; in short, her lot was hard, because it was unequal, humiliating, and sometimes degrading, making her to be either timor- ous, frivolous, or artful. Her amusements were trivial, her taste vitiated, her education neglected, her rights vio- lated, her aspirations scorned. The poets represented her as capricious, fickle, and false. She rose only to fall; she lived only to die. She was a victim, a toy, or a slave. Bedizened admiration or of cold neglect. The Jewish women seem to have been more favored and honored than women were in Greece or Rome, even in the highest periods of their civilization. But in Jew- ish history woman was the coy maiden, or the vigilant housekeeper, or the ambitious mother, or the intriguing wife, or the obedient daughter, or the patriotic song- stress, rather than the sympathetic friend. Though we admire the beautiful Rachel, or the heroic Deborah, or the virtuous Abigail, or the affectionate Ruth, or the fortunate Esther, or the brave Judith, or the generous Shunamite, we do not find in the Rachels and Esthers the hallowed ministrations of the Marys, the Mar- thas and the Phœbes, until Christianity had developed the virtues of the heart and kindled the loftier senti- ments of the soul. Then woman became not merely the gentle nurse and the prudent housewife and the disinterested lover, but a friend, an angel of conso- lation, the equal of man in character, and his superior in the virtues of the heart and soul. It was not till then that she was seen to have those qualities which extort veneration, and call out the deepest sympathy, whenever life is divested of its demoralizing egotisms. The original beatitudes of the Garden of Eden returned, and man awoke from the deep sleep of four thousand years, to discover, with Adam, that woman was a partner for whom he should resign all the other attachments of life; and she became his star of worship and his guardian angel amid the entangle- ments of sin and cares of toil. I would not assert that there were not noble excep- tions to the frivolities and slaveries to which women were generally doomed in Pagan Greece and Rome. Pagan- ism records the fascinations of famous women who could allure the greatest statesmen and the wisest moralists to their charmed circle of admirers,——of women who united high intellectual culture and physi- cal beauty. It tells us of Artemisia, who erected to her husband a mausoleum which was one of the wonders of the world; of Telesilla, the poetess, who saved Argos by her courage; of Hipparchia, who married a deformed and ugly cynic, in order that she might make attainments in learning and philosophy; of Phantasia, who wrote a poem on the Trojan war, which Homer himself did not disdain to utilize; of Sappho, who in- vented a new measure of lyric poetry, and who was so highly esteemed that her countrymen stamped their money with her image; of Volumnia, screening Rome from the vengeance of her angry son; of Servilia, part- ing with her jewels to secure her father's liberty; of Sulpicia, who fled from the luxuries of Rome to be a partner of the exile of her husband; of Hortensia, pleading for justice before the triumvirs in the market- place; of Octavia, protecting the children of her rival Cleopatra; of Lucretia, destroying herself rather than survive the dishonor of her house; of Cornelia, inciting her sons, the Gracchi, to deeds of patriotism; and many other illustrious women. We read of courage, forti- tude, patriotism, conjugal and parental love; but how seldom do we read of those who wee capable of an exalted friendship for men, without provoking scandal or exciting rude suspicion? Who among the poets paint friendship without love; who among them ex- tol women, unless they couple with their praises of mental and moral qualities a mention of the delights of sensual charms and of the joys of wine and ban- quest? Poets represent the sentiments of an age or people; and the poets of Greece and Rome have almost libelled humanity itself by their bitter sar- casms, showing how degraded the condition of woman was under Pagan influences. Now, I select Paula, to show that of friendship——the noblest sentiment in woman——was not common until Christianity had greatly modified the opinions and habits of society; and to illustrate how indissolubly connected this noble sentiment is with the highest triumphs of an emancipating religion. Paula was a highly favored as well as a highly gifted woman. She was a descendant of the Scipios and the Gracchi, and was born A. D. 347, at Rome, ten years after the death of the Great Constantine who enthroned Chris- tianity, but while yet the social forces of the empire were entangled in the meshes of Paganism. She was married at seventeen to Toxotius, of the still more illustrious Julian family. She lived on Mount Aven- tine, in great magnificence. She owned, it is said, a whole city in Italy. She was one of the richest women of antiquity, and belonged to the very highest rank of society in the aristocratic age. Until her husband died, she was not distinguished from other Roman ladies of rank, except for the splendor of her palace and the elegance of her life. It seems that she was first won to Christianity by the virtues of the cele- brated Marcella, and she hastened to enroll herself, with her five daughters, as pupils of this learned woman, at the same time giving up those habits of luxury which thus far had characterized her, to- gether with most ladies of her class. On her conver- sion, she distributed to the poor the quarter part of her immense income,——charity being one of the forms which religion took in the early ages of Christianity. Nor was she contented to part with the splendor of her ordinary life. She became a nurse of the misera- ble and the sick; and when they died she buried them at her own expense. She sought out and relieved distressed wherever it was to be found. But her piety could not escape the asceticism of the age; she lived on bread and a little oil, wasted her body with fastings, dressed like a servant, slept on a mat of straw, covered herself with haircloth, and denied herself the pleasure to which she had been accustomed; she would not even take a bath. The Catholic historians have unduly magnified the vir- tues; but it was the type which piety then assumed, arising in part from a too literal interpretation of the injunctions of Christ. We are more enlightened in these times, since modern Christian civilization seems to solve the problem how far the pleasures of this world may be reconciled with the pleasures of the world to come. But the Christians of the fourth century were more austere, like the original Puritans , and made but little account of pleasures which weaned them from the contempla- tion of God and divine truth, and chained them to the triumphal car of a material and infidel philosophy. As the great and besetting sin of the Jews before the Captivity was idolatry, which thus was the princi- pal subject of rebuke from the messengers of Omnipo- tence,——the one thing which the Jew were warned to avoid; as hypocrisy and Pharisaism and a technical and legal piety were the greatest vices to be avoided when Christ began his teachings,——so Epicureanism in life and philosophy was the greatest evil with which the early Christians had to contend, and which the more eminent among them sought to shun, like Atha- nasius, Basil, and Chrysostom. The asceticism of the early Church was simply the protest against that ma- terialism which was undermining society and preparing the way to ruin; and hence the loftiest type of piety assumed the form of deadly antagonism to the luxuries and self-indulgence which pervaded every city of the empire. This antagonism may have been carried too far, even as the Puritan made war on many innocent pleasures; but the spectacle of a self-indulgent and pleasure-seeking Christian was abhorrent to the piety of those saints who controlled the opinions of the Christian world. The world was full of misery and poverty, and it was these evils they sought to relieve. The leaders of Pagan society were abandoned to gains and pleasures, which the Christians would fain re- buke by a lofty self-denial,——even as Stoicism, the noblest remonstrance of the Pagan intellect, had its greatest example in an illustrious Roman emperor, who vainly sought to stem the vices which he saw were preparing the way for the conquests of the barbarians. The historian who does not take cogni- zance of the great necessities of nations, and of the remedies with which good men seek to meet these necessities, is neither philosophical nor just; and in- stead of railing at the saints,——so justly venerated and powerful,——because they were austere and ascetic, he should remember that only an indifference to the pleasures and luxuries which were the fatal evils of their day could make a powerful impression even on the masses, and make Christianity stand out in bold contrast with the fashionable, perverse, and false doc- trines which Paganism indorsed. And I venture to predict, that if the increasing and unblushing mate- rialism of our times shall at last call for such scathing rebukes as the Jewish prophets launched against the sin of idolatry, or such as Christ himself employed when he exposed the hollowness of the piety of the men who took the lead in religious instruction in his day, then the loftiest characters——those whose example is most revered——will again disdain and shun a style of life which seriously conflicts with the triumphs of a spiritual Christianity. Paula was an ascetic Roman matron on her conver- sion, or else her conversion would then have seemed nominal. But her nature was not austere. She was a woman of great humanity, and distinguished for those generous traits which have endeared Augustine to the heart of the world. Her hospitalities were boundless; her palace was the resort of all who were famous, when they visit the great capital of the empire. Nor did her asceticism extinguish the natural affections of her heart. When one of her daughters died, her grief was as immoderate as that of Bernard on the loss of his brother. The woman was never lost in the saint. Another interesting circumstance was her enjoyment of cultivated society, and even of those literary treasures which imperishable art had bequeathed. She spoke the Greek language as and English or Russian nobleman speaks French, as a theological student understands German. Her companions were gifted and learned women. Intimately associated with her in Christian labors was Marcella,——a lady who refused the hand of the reigning Consul, and yet, in spite of her duties as a leader of Christian benevolence, so learned that she could explain intricate passages of the Scriptures; versed equally in Greek and Hebrew; and so revered, that, when Rome was taken by the Goths, her splendid palace on Mount Aventine was left unmolested by the barbaric spoliators. Paula was also the friend and com- panion of Albina and Marcellina, sisters of the great Ambrose, whose father was governor of Gaul. Felicita, Principia, and Feliciana also belonged to her circle,——all of noble birth and great possessions. Her own daugh- ter, Blessella, was married to a descendant of Camil- lus; and even the illustrious Fabiola, whose life is so charmingly portrayed by Cardinal Wiseman, was also a member of this chosen circle. It was when Rome was the field of her charities and the scene of her virtues, when she equally blazed as a queen of society and a saint of the most self-sacrificing duties, that Paula fell under the influence of Saint Je- rome, at that time secretary of Pope Damasus,——the most austere and the most learned man of Christian antiquity, the great oracle of the Latin Church, sharing with Augustine the reverence bestowed by succeeding ages, whose translation of the Scriptures into Latin has made him an immortal benefactor. Nor was Jerome a plebeian; he was a man of rank and fortune,——like the more famous of the Fathers,——but gave away his pos- sessions to the poor, as did so many others of his day. Nothing had been spared on his education by his wealthy Illyrian parents. At eighteen he was sent to Rome to complete his studies. He became deeply imbued with classic literature, and was more interested in the great authors of Greece and Rome than in the material glories of the empire. He lived in their ideas so completely, that in after times his acquaintance with even the writ- ings of Cicero was a matter of self-reproach. Disgusted, however, with the pomps and vanities around him, he sought peace in the consolations of Christianity. His ardent nature impelled him to embrace the ascetic doc- trines which were so highly esteemed and venerated; he buried himself in the catacombs, and lived like a monk. Then his inquiring nature compelled him to travel for knowledge, and he visited whatever was interesting in Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor, and es- pecially Palestine, finally fixing upon Chalcis, on the confines of Syria, as his abode. There he gave himself up to contemplation and study, and to the writing of letters to all parts of Christendom. These letters and his learned treatises, and especially the fame of his sanctity, excited so much interest that Pope Damasus summoned him back to Rome to become his counsellor and secretary. More austere than Bossuet of Fénelon at the court of Louis XIV., he was as accomplished, and even more learned than they. They were courtiers; he was a spiritual dictator, ruling, not like Dunstan, by an appeal to superstitious fears, but by learning and sanctity. In his coarse garments he maintained his equality with princes and nobles. The the great he ap- peared proud and repulsive. To the poor he was affable, gentle, and sympathetic; they thought him as humble as the rich thought him arrogant. Such a man——so learned and pious, so courtly in his manners, so eloquent in his teachings, so indepen- dent and fearless in his spirit, so brilliant in conversa- tion, although tinged with bitterness and sarcasm—— became a favorite in those high circles where rank was adorned by piety and culture. The spiritual director became a friend, and his friendship was especially valued by Paula and her illustrious circle. Among those brilliant and religious women he was at home, for by birth and education he was their equal. At the house of Paula he was like Whitefield at the Countess of Huntingdon's, or Michael Angelo in the palace of Vittoria Colonna,——a friend, a teacher, and an oracle. So, in the midst of a chosen and favored circle did Jerome live, with the bishops and the doctors who equally sought the exalted privileges of its courtesies and its kindness. And the friendship, based on sym- pathy with Christian labors, became strengthened every day by mutual appreciation, and by that frank and genial intercourse which can exist only with cultivated and honest people. Those high-born ladies listened to his teachings with enthusiasm, entered into all his schemes, and gave his most generous co-operation; not because his literary successes had been blazed through- out the world, but because, like them, he concealed under his coarse garments and austere habits an ardent, earnest, eloquent soul, with intense longings after truth, and with noble aspirations to extend that religion which was the only hope of the decaying em- pire. Like them, he had a boundless contempt for empty and passing pleasures, for all the plaudits of the devotees to fashion; and he appreciated their trials and temptations, and pointed out, with more than fraternal tenderness, those insidious enemies that came in the disguise of angels of light. Only a man of his intuitions could have understood the disinterested generosity of those noble women, and the passionless serenity with which they contemplated the demons they had by grace exorcised; and it was only they, with their more delicate organization and their innate insight, who could have entered upon his sorrows, and penetrated the secrets he did not seek to reveal. He gave to them his choicest hours, explained to them the mysteries, revealed his own experiences, animated their hopes, removed their stumbling-blocks, encouraged them in missions of charity, ignored their mistakes, gloried in their sacrifices, and held out to them the promised joys of the endless future. In return, they consoled him in disappointment, shared his resentments, exulted in his triumphs, soothed him in his toils, administered to his wants, guarded his infirmities, relieved him from irk- some details, and inspired him to exalted labors by in- creasing his self-respect. Not with empty flatteries, nor idle dalliances, nor frivolous arts did they mutually encourage and assist each other. Sincerity and truth- fulness were the first conditions of their holy inter- course,——"the communion of saints," in which they believed, the sympathies of earth purified by the aspirations of heaven; and neither he nor they were ashamed to feel that such a friendship was more pre- cious than rubies, being sanctioned by apostles and mar- tyrs; nay, without which a Bethany would have been as dreary as the stalls and tables of money-changers in the precincts of the Temple. A mere worldly life could not have produced such a friendship, for it would have been ostentatious, or prod- igal, or vain; allied with sumptuous banquets, with in- tellectual tournaments, with selfish aims, with foolish presents, with emotions which degenerate into passions, Ennui, disappointment, burdensome obligation, ultimate disgust, are the result of what is based on the finite and the worldly, allied with the gifts which come from a selfish heart, with the urbanities which are equally showered on the evil and on the good, with the graces which sometimes conceal the poison of asps. How un- satisfactory and mournful the friendship between Vol- taire and Frederic the Great, with all their brilliant qualities and mutual flatteries! How unmeaning would have been a friendship between Chesterfield and Dr. Johnson, even had the latter stopped to all the arts of sycophancy! The world can only inspire its votaries with its own idolatries. Whatever is born of vanity will end in vanity. "Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness." but when we seek in friends that which can perpetu- ally freshen and never satiate,—the counsel which maketh wise, the voice of truth and not the voice of flattery; that which will instruct and never degrade, the influences which banish envy and mistrust,——then there is a precious life in it which survives all change. In the atmosphere of admiration, respect, and sympathy suspicion dies, and base desires pass away for lack of the accustomed nourishment; we see defects through the glass of our own charity, with eyes of love and pity, while all that is beautiful is rendered radiant; a halo surrounds the mortal form, like the glory which mediæ- val artists aspired to paint in the faces of Madonnas, and adoration succeeds to sympathy, since the excel- lences we admire are akin to the perfections we adore. "The occult elements" and latent affinities," of which material pursuits never take cognizance, are "influences as potent in adding a charm to labor or repose as dew or air, in the natural world, in giving a tint to flowers or sap to vegetation." In that charmed circle, in which it would be difficult to say whether Jerome or Paula presided, the æsthetic mission of woman was seen fully,——perhaps for the first time,——which is never recognized when love of admira- tion, or intellectual hardihood, or frivolous employments, or usurped prerogatives blunt original sensibilities and sap the elements of inward life. Sentiment proved its superiority over all the claims of intellect,——as when Flora Macdonald effected the escape of Charles Stuart after the fatal battle of Culloden, or when Mary poured the spikenard on Jesus' head, and wiped his feet with the hairs of her head. The glory of the mind yielded to the superior radiance of an admiring soul, and equals stood out in each other's eyes as gifted superiors whom it was no sin to venerate. Radiant in the innocence of conscious virtue, capable of apprehending any flights of genius, holding their riches of no account except to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, these friends lived only to repair the evils which unbridled sin inflicted on mankind,——glorious examples of the support which our frail nature needs, the sun and joy of social life, perpetual benedictions, the sweet rest of a harnessed soul. Strange it is that such a friendship was found in the most corrupt, conventional, luxurious city of the empire. It is not in cities that friendship are sup- posed to thrive. People in great towns are too pre- occupied, too busy, too distracted to shine in those amenities which require peace and rest and leisure. Bacon quotes the Latin adage, Magna civitas, magna solitudo. It is in cities where real solitude dwells, since friends re scattered, "and crowds are not company, and faces are only as a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
2019.09.06 06:13 jksjayA year of Decriminalisation of Section 377
A year ago, on September 6th, 2018, the supreme court of India struck down portions of a law dating to 1861, which penalised any form of unnatural sex. The scrapping essentially meant that it was no longer a crime to be gay in India. This June, for Pride month, I wrote an article outlining LGBTQ+ history, with a focus on India. It is by no means complete, but I feel I have glossed over a few of the important bits and pieces. I thought I would share it here on the anniversary of the scrapping of Section 377. September 6, 2018, was a monumental day for a significant portion of the Indian populace. Portions of the archaic Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises any form of carnal intercourse against the order of nature (the order of nature being peno-vaginal intercourse), was scrapped. This, in conjunction with a 2017 ruling that upheld individual privacy, meant that being gay was no more a crime. A time of jubilation for the LGBTQ+ and allied, as well as the supportive families and friends, these people form a considerable portion of the Indian population. June 2019 is the first LGBTQ+ pride month the nation gets to celebrate, so it is worth remembering the history of this unconstitutional law, and the struggles that activists had to go through, both in India, as well as other parts of the world, to effectively repeal its effects and ensure equality for all. Ancient Indian literature and Vedic texts describe gods and demigods transcending the gender norms, and manifesting combinations of sex and gender. Transgenders were accepted from prehistoric dates, and alternate sexuality was sometimes considered even sacred, with Ardhanareeswara and Shikhandi being cited as examples. Other parts of the ancient to early medieval world had an accepting or neutral view about homosexuality, with the “Two Spirits” from the Americas, Pharaohs of Egypt taking male lovers, the men of Siwa Oasis in Egypt openly engaging in homosexual acts, euphemisms such as passions of the cut peach in ancient China. Ancient Greek texts have the earliest recorded history of homosexuality being accepted, and the term lesbianism and sapphism has been coined after Sappho, the lyrical poet born on the island of Lesbos. Roman emperor Nero married two men, Pythagorus and Sporus, the former taking the place and manners of a man and acting as Nero’s husband, whileSporus had been castrated, and was the bride at Nero’s wedding. The mid first millennium AD saw the rise of justification of famines and earthquakes as caused by increased activity of homosexuals, as accused by Christian emperors such as Justinian I. The Caliphate of the Middle East, and the Mughal emperors in medieval era India condemned homosexuality, but this was the time when Arabic, Persian and Urdu poetry describing homoerotic acts flourished. It is known that the sultans of the Delhi Sultanates themselves established relationships with men, even though it was prohibited by the Sharia law. The earliest condemnation of men lying with men was in Assyria, where sexual acts between brothers in arms resulted in castration. Homosexual acts were seen as an abomination in the Torah, and the Bible, as can be seen from Leviticus. Persecutions against homosexuality rose in the Middle Ages in Europe, with the theologian Thomas Aquinas instrumental in the linking of condemning homosexuality, linking it with the violation of the law of nature. The Renaissance period saw immense oppression to homosexuality from the Catholic Church, with the act being penalised with death in most parts of Europe. Victorian era Britain condemned homosexuality, and enacted a stronger version of the Buggery Act, which penalised any act of penetration against the law of nature with death - this was the precursor to the Section 377, and most of the similar sections, at least in British colonies around the world. The United States had two periods when homosexuality was condemned, for a few decades before the end of the Great War, and from late 1930s to the early 1970s. In the 1920s, the urban regions of the USA was coming to terms with alternate sexuality, with innuendos about the same becoming common in literature and movies of that era. France, in 1791, was the first country in the western world to have decriminalised sodomy, and the laws of consent and homosexual acts in public were repeatedly amended in later years. Many countries in Europe followed suit, but Britain was one of the few nations that removed the death penalty to imprisonment for life. Molly houses in 18th century London, where crossdressing men could find potential sexual partners, is probably a precursor to the idea of a gay bar. It is to be noted that non-European nations/ non-colonial nations, had varying views on homosexuality, and in many cases, they were part of the cultural norms of the society, such as in the oriental countries. It is reported that some tribes of Papua New Guinea (Etoro, for example) even condemned heterosexuality - and a man and a woman had intercourse only for the purpose of procreation. The 19th century saw a rise in the number of countries decriminalising homosexuality, and sodomy. James Pratt and John Smith, who were executed in London in 1835 were the last people to face death penalty in Britain, for sodomy, but death penalty as a punishment for sodomy was repealed only in 1861. Gay men were prosecuted and were imprisoned for a period from 2 to 10 years, with heavy fines also implemented. One of the prime examples of this is the arrest of Irish playwright and poet Oscar Wilde, after he accused the Marquess of Queensberry for libel. Wilde was convicted of sodomy as he dropped his prosecution and served term for two years, after which he was released, and fled to France, where he lived till his death. 20th century saw waves of changes, both good and bad. The usage of the term ‘faggot’ to mean a gay man, became prevalent in the 1910s, while in Russia, the October revolution repealed criminalisation of sodomy. Pre WW II, Nazi Germany made the pink triangle mandatory - similar to the Yellow Star that Jews were forced to wear - on those who they identified as homosexual, in the concentration camps; an identification of crime, but currently used as a symbol of protest against homophobia. The Holocaust killed around an estimated 3000 - 9000 homosexual men, but post WW II Berlin saw the first gay bar in Berlin. Though, at the end of the war, when the prisoners of the concentration camps were liberated, many who had a pink triangle on their pocket were imprisoned again, and their nightmares just continued. 1954 saw one of the greatest mathematical and computational minds of the 20th century, Alan Turing, suicide, due to depression caused by forced administration of libido reducing hormones. When he was prosecuted for homosexual acts in 1952, he was offered a “choice” between being imprisoned for two years or chemical castration. Inquiry determined it as a case of suicide, though the autopsy is also consistent with cyanide poisoning. The latter half of the 20th century saw major changes around the world, with more countries legalising same sex activities. Illinois in 1962, was the first US state to decriminalise homosexuality - it would take 50 years for the US in its entirety to follow suit. The worldwide movement and philosophy of LGBT pride, advocating for LGBTQ+ individuals around the world to be proud of their sexuality, and that it can’t be altered, but rather is a gift, is a sense of affirmation about one’s self and the community as a whole. Following the Stonewall riots of 1969, the first anniversary of the same saw the first LGBT Pride Parade, in June 1970. It was in the late 1970s that the rainbow flag became associated with LGBT+ pride. One must reminisce the activists who paved way for the pride parade - Marsha P Johnson, Storme DeLarverie, Thomas Lanigan Schmidt, and Sylvia Rivera, amongst many others. The 1970s also saw Harvey Milk, the first openly gay candidate elected to political office, out before the elections were held. Shakuntala Devi, a mental calculator, popularly known as the "human computer", in 1977, published “The World of Homosexuals”, a study of homosexuality, the first book of its kind, in India. The book contains data from interviews with gay individuals from India, and abroad. The 1980s saw the spread of AIDS, which was then known as GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency), and efforts to make people aware about the transfer of STDs began in full swing over the next two decades. The red ribbon began to be used as a symbol for HIV/AIDS in the 1990s. In 1992, Lesbian Avengers, a direct action group for the survival and visibility of lesbians and their allies was formed by Anna Maria Simo, Sarah Schulman, and others. As it may have been observed, even amongst homosexual acts, the world has focused mostly on men, and accepted/condemned wherever necessary, the acts of sodomy alone - literature and other sources about female sexuality was rarely discussed, let alone lesbianism. Lesbian sexuality wasn’t explored until the advent of third wave feminist activities, may be with the exception of the analysis of Sapphic literature. References to love between women are sparse, and the Bible explicitly mentions the same only once. Christianity in medieval Europe did take some stand on lesbianism, but records of only about a dozen women exist. The Renaissance period accounts of female intimacy, and accepted it as a cultural norm that women may require pleasure from other women. The medieval Arab World also had a similar view, disposing lesbianism as caused due to heat generated in women’s labia. In early modern Europe, laws against lesbianism, if ever made, were very sparsely enacted, which historians allude to male fears about acknowledging the same. Lesbianism was rationalised in literature and it was alluded that only amongst the lower tier of the society did a lesbian subculture exist. Lesbian visibility in France increased in the late 19th century, both in the public sphere as well as in art and literature. The Nazi concentration camps marked transmales and lesbians with black triangles, to denote that they were being detained for asocial activities. Political lesbianism originated amongst the second wave radical feminists in the 1960s, and Sheila Jeffreys, helped develop this concept. A movement of lesbian feminism, which advocated lesbianism as a logical result of feminism, was influential in the 1970s and ‘80s. Lesbian Avengers may have been formed as a result of lesbians being tired of their issues not being resolved in a world of invisibility and misogyny, both within and outside the LGBT community, according to Eloise Salholz, reporter for the 1993 pride march in the US. The 21st century saw same sex marriage and adoption laws coming up in various parts of the world, and same sex relationships and marriage is becoming more discussed in world media. The last 10 years have seen events such as the establishment of the International Trans Day of Visibility (March 31, since 2009), and more widespread discussion of homosexuality among the nations of the world. In 2018, British Prime Minister Theresa May issued an apology expressing deep regrets for Britain’s role in imposing colonial laws that criminalise LGBT people across the Commonwealth nations - 36 of the 53 still have not repealed the laws, and violence and persecution persists to this day. Early Indian literature and architecture portrayed homosexuality as natural and joyful, and the Kama Sutra describes many different forms of non peno-vaginal sex and sensual pleasures. Modern societal homophobia was introduced by the colonisers, through the enactment of Section 377. The Sultanate era had homophobia in many forms, but some circles, including the Mughals, tolerated fluid sexuality. Even in 2003, it was believed by the Indian government, that homosexual acts would lead to delinquency. The first pride parade in India was held in 2008 in Bangalore, and since then, masks have become an integral part of pride celebrations in the country so as to reduce the chances of being recognised. Only in 2009, did the Delhi High Court decide that Section 377 was unconstitutional, in the landmark Naz foundation vs.Govt of NCT of Delhi judgement. The Supreme court set aside the same in 2013, due to the opposition from the Ministry of Home Affairs. For five years, until 2018, there have been various instances of violence against those who had outed themselves, or were outed, from 2009 - ‘13. With a decision to review the repeal in 2016, and the Supreme court’s rule that the right to individual privacy is an intrinsic and fundamental right under the constitution, which gave hope to the LGBT activists of the country. January 2018 saw the supreme court willing to listen to petitions, and finally deciding that the case would be left to the wisdom of the court. The court unanimously ruled on Spetember 6, 2018 that IPC Section 377 is unconstitutional as it infringed on one’s autonomy, intimacy and identity - and decriminalised homosexuality in India. Transgenders have been traditionally recognised, and were granted voting rights since 1994. In 2014, the Supreme Court, by classifying transgenders as SEBC (Socially and Economically Backward Classes), provided them with more equal footing to the general populace. The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014, was unanimously passed in 2015. The states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu were the first to provide male-to-female SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery) free of cost, and also a transgender welfare policy. 2015 saw Madhu Kinnar become India’s first and only openly transgender mayor, and Manabi Bandyopadhyay appointed as the first transgender principal of a college (Krishnagar Women’s College). In 2019, Narthaki Nataraj became the first transgender person to be felicitated with the Padma Shri award for her contributions to Bharatanatyam. The US embassy in Delhi and Chennai have set up rainbow lights that shine on their buildings, since the US State refused all embassy requests to hoist rainbow flags. The world has come a long way from when homosexuality was seen illegal in many parts to the present, where it is recognised and accepted in over 80 percent of the world. 14 countries still impose death penalty on homosexuality, and only about 27 countries have a same sex marriage law in place.Some nations still don’t provide the rights to the LGBTQ+ community as prescribed by the Yogyakarta Principles, formulated in 2007 - a documentation of basic human rights pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity. Transgender rights are vastly ignored, and bisexuals are misunderstood as promiscuous, even in countries which have legalised and recognised LGBTQ+ rights, and they still seek visibility and acceptance - modes of sensitisation are necessary for the same. LGBTQ+ people of colour, just as a major chunk of people of colour, are treated with suspicion and are discriminated against on more than one count. Even though the repeal of Section 377 has been a landmark decision, there are many other issues that still remain unanswered. Persecution and violence against LGBTQ+ people is still rampant, and anti-discrimination laws are not in place, except for in state or government bodies. Same-sex marriage and adoption (and surrogacy for gay male couples) still remains illegal. Service in the Armed Forces is prohibited for those belonging to the community. Another issue that has partly been dealt with, is how the public view homosexuality. Mainstream media, some even to date, show crossdressing and effeminate behaviour in a derogatory manner, but more and more people are becoming aware and changing media portrayal. A major issue that remains to be tackled is the misogyny within the community, that is rampant to date, all over the world. Equality begets equality, and only if misogyny is addressed can we aim to have a world that is equal on more levels than ever. Find the same article at: https://sopanamtheblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/a-glimpse-of-pride/?fbclid=IwAR1sJ7W63rpSIDN_TpsBkwJZ9gzZKGLKdHYmGgOacDn3rIM0hyr2qlIKOiY References: Wikipedia articles: LGBT history in India, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, LGBT History, Rainbow Flag, Timeline of LGBT history, LGBT rights in India, Homosexuality in India, LGBT culture in India, human rights in India, History of Lesbianism, Yogyakarta Principles, Harvey Milk, Marsha P Johnson, Shakuntala Devi Instagram: @lgbt_history https://www.businessinsider.in/9-maps-show-how-different-LGBTQ-rights-are-around-the-world/Same-sex-couples-largely-arent-allowed-to-adopt-outside-of-the-Americas-and-Europe-/slideshow/66309306.cms https://www.dailyo.in/arts/section-377-from-babur-to-dara-shukoh-homosexuality-was-never-unnatural-during-mughal-era/story/1/26694.html
2019.07.21 00:04 Bitterkraut[CONFLICT] Restoring order in Mexico
In recent times the UK has grown closer with Mexico. It seems that Mexico has deiced to look towards the UK as its main European trading partner. The UK has found itself interested more in the Mexcian economy and trade between the two nations has increased radically in recent times. The collapse of Mexico threatens the interests of the UK and as such, the government has decided to intervene on the behalf of the Annas regime. Objective Restore order to Mexico under the leadership of Anna. Troops Ship of the Line HMS Cornwallis Frigates HMS Pique HMS Crocodile HMS Rainbow HMS Vestal HMS President HMS Stag HMS Cleopatra Sloops and Brigs HMS Griffon HMS Harpy HMS Ringdove HMS Sappho HMS Serpent Steam vessels HMS Alban HMS Carron 2000 Marines 6000 Regulars 1000 Hussars 120 Arilley guns Commander assigned to this army Sir William Houston for the army William Hotham for the navy Funding of the army As the army is a regular force, most of the funding has already been reserved. Any additional costs will be takes as loans from the Bank of England and later transferred to Mexico supply The force will be supplied by trough naval convoys, and once the ground is secured, by the supply of Annas government. Location The Fleet is already in the area and shall gather at Jamaica before striking. The Army will also be gathered there.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. -Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day (Sonnet 18) by William Shakespeare-
Over time, the Bard has been met with a lot of combat improvements, making it a class that proves it can participate in combat just as well as the rest. Yet, there are still some stigmas and problems when it comes to the travelling performer. “My Bard doesn’t deal enough damage.”, “Charisma is useless.”, “Buffing the party isn’t fun.”, “All they do is play music.”, “Bards are supposed to be horndogs.” and so on. It doesn’t seem to end no matter how hard TSR and Wizards of the Coast tried. So this is where I want to give some pointers on how to get a grip on this multi-talented minstrel, to make the best of this warrior-poet, and to break beyond the stereotype of the horny troubadour.
The Bard can go in many ways when it comes to ability scores, so in order to make it easier for yourself, come up with up to three performances that your Bard excels at. Whether it is storytelling, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, juggling, acrobatics, battle choreography, or cracking jokes, adding any three to your Bard’s repertoire will help you out along the line. There is more inspiration for this in the Alternatives and Inspiration sections. All Bards perform in one way or another and that requires confidence and social grace. A Charisma of 16 or higher is a safe bet for any situation your Bard is in. Dexterity is often added for a better ability to dodge attacks but can also help with acrobatics, fancy dance moves, or clever tricks. Having a 16 or higher in this score as well would be ideal unless you want to go a different route. Constitution can help if it’s more about enduring long performance sessions or taking hits. Strength is more for the Skalds who travel, tell tales, and fight along warriors on the open fields. Intelligence is a must for the loremasters and storytellers who can share tidbits of information that they heard from anywhere. Talking at someone might work, but with Wisdom, talking with someone would work better as it shows that you are listening or even pick up some gossip and secrets from a crowded area. (Fun fact, the Bard in AD&D had to have at least these scores: Strength 15+, Dexterity 15+, Constitution 10+, Intelligence 12+, Wisdom 15+, and Charisma 15+. Imagine having to roll these scores with the 3d6-in-order method. The Bard was supposed to be rare.) You can’t be good at all of these scores and methods, so use the performance arts to guide you in what would make sense for your Bard. Secondly, you can look at the following aspects you can let your Bard focus on.
Weapon focused versus spell focused
Single creature versus Multiple creatures
Melee versus Ranged
These are not mutually exclusive sides, they are actually gradient scales. Even if you sacrifice a bit of Charisma in order to increase the physical scores (Dexterity, Strength, and Constitution), you still need spells in order to support your combat style. Otherwise, using only spells might go wrong when you have the wrong ones at hand for the situation, so you want to have a weapon with you just in case. And then there’s the case of having a weapon or spell to compensate when combat is either in the air or on the ground. It’s up to you what you want based on all the choices you made down the line.
Note I am not going to dictate, judge, or recommend specific spells or powers to you. Each edition has different spells with different effects and with the current edition, more new spells will keep coming. Any judgment on spells is irrelevant in my eyes, as some are situational or subjective to the player in effectiveness. I’ll give basic tips and broad outlines, the rest is up to you. Versatility, serendipity, and support are the three keywords for this type of spellcaster. The Bard learns spells by travelling around the world and noticing little bits of magic everywhere she goes. This is why the Bard’s spell choices are all over the place. Some other spells are good for enhancing any performing experience so you could take your inspiration for choosing some of those. When it comes to Cantrips, choose at least one spell that affects the ability to hit. Hitting better for you or your party, or hitting worse for the opponent. If you want to focus heavily on weapons, look carefully if you need these Cantrips to increase your defensive or offensive capabilities to compensate for low combat scores. Specializing in certain spell schools or types is not recommended for the Bard. They are meant to be generalists but their spells are oddly specific depending on the creature, situation, or components. The Bard has to perform to cast most spells; dancing, singing, and playing an instrument with two hands (the instrument is replaced with a conductor’s baton in 4e). Again, look at what you want to focus on. If you see yourself with your hands full of weaponry, you still have your voice to use. If you are able to leave one hand free, you have the other one left for movements (or a horn as it is the only one-handed instrument available). If you want to go on performing and focusing on spells fully, you will have little opportunity to handling weapons other than holding a dagger in one hand and not playing while you are at it. Even if you want to go fully armed with your Bard, you can still choose some spells that are useful outside of combat or support the combat style. Otherwise, if you think you’re not combat effective with weaponry (an ability score lower than 16), do look for at least one Cantrip or spell that deals damage if you don’t like to be a pacifist. As a rule of thumb, to start with a balanced Bard, pick the following types of spells: one that is beneficial for you or the party, one that is detrimental to the opponent, something that helps with social interaction, and something practical that helps with exploration. You can interpret these in any way you like and some of these spells can work in different ways in- and outside of combat. You won’t be able to cover all your bases as there will be situations where some of these spells won’t work. That is where you have to think outside of the box and use a different prepared spell or method to create a beneficial result. When levelling up, you can still use the first set of spells at a higher level, making the base as versatile as how you use it. With the last two editions, the Bard is no stranger to ritual casting. If you want to be stingy on the utility spells, then look for one that is a ritual that you think might come up often.
If you want to fight as a Bard then you will do well if you understand teamwork. You can smooth things out for the group and ease the problems that may arise with little boosts in combat prowess. You might need to remind the group of their additions in abilities from time to time, though. Sometimes the little things get overlooked but can still make all the difference. There’s no guarantee that the boost works, but the effort should be there. Assist those who can shine depending on the battle, making the heavy hitter hit heavier, making the damage sponge take more hits, giving the mage more magical bang for his buck, etc. If an ally is down or has trouble taking the fight well or has a big weakness, you can choose to support that one instead. This is a tactical choice that is up to you. The Bard is often dependent on a group, so if you don’t have a group, you might want to hire some retainers to fight along with you. As mentioned in the Spell section, a lot of the Bard’s spells are situational depending on what is happening and what needs to be done. This requires versatile thinking from yourself as you might want to switch to a weapon if the spells don’t work, or you need to think outside of the box and use a different spell to make the battle easier. You might not be able to massively damage dumb brutes, but an illusion or charm spell might stop them in their tracks. You could have an effective spell at the ready, but the opponent doesn’t have the right requirements to be affected by it, so use a different spell that might exploit that opponent’s weakness. If you are focused on weaponry, there are still ways to get the best effects from the usage of weapons or your combat style. Even if you feel powerless against your opponents when it comes to magic, you can still turn the tables by magically supporting the group in a way that you think is effective. This versatile thinking turns teamwork into a moment of harmony, or a symphony if you will. The Bard can find abilities and spells that allow her to emulate a certain class, but it will never be exactly the same. Embrace the Bard in its entirety rather than the sum of its parts. Any combat role that is missing can be filled up by a Bard who bends that way, but she won’t be able to take it for long. Consider your abilities when trying to position yourself. If you think you can take a direct hit, go to the front, if you think you’re better off at range, go to the back. Stay close to the rest (preferably within earshot) if you want to support them or if you can switch styles quickly. When combat goes well but you’re out of (primary) resources or the group needs that little push, you can break out of your style and positioning to keep going for a round or two. Keep learning from other classes in what they do well and what you can do, too. That way, you’ll excel your Bard’s talents and develop them into skills. Lastly, the Bard is able to learn Countersong/Countercharm at some level. This ability rarely comes up, but can be a lifesaver for the entire group when it does. Keep an ear out for any charming effects that can be created with words or music. Not all monsters are willing to engage in combat, some prefer to defeat the entire group with guile instead.
Who could deny the social charm of the Bard? Some want to play a womanizer, others go for the aspiring artist, and perhaps others want to be that ambassador or spokesperson. In whatever way you want to play one, letting your Bard be social is a strong start. Now, not everyone has the real-life social skills to make their Bard shine and I can’t give an explanation that could do it justice. To keep it brief, social skills are about making a connection with people rather than being a chatterbox. People generally like themselves and like to talk about themselves and meet people who share something with themselves. Those with a strong social understanding are capable of finding things that they have in common at any level with their conversation partners, are able to show that they listen to people, and can have a conversation that is respectable without making it turn into a fight. If this sounds like a high-level challenge for you, try to be generally positive about things and give a compliment now and then. Attempt at some small talk and questions with strangers, practice assertiveness to keep going, and reflect on the tone of your voice when you spoke with someone. Social skills help when combat skills won’t. Strong persuasive skills might convince a king to give his supporting troops. Honeyed words can keep the ancient dragon from turning you into kebab. Convincing a dumb brutish creature that the rocks you are holding are actually candy could give you an advantage when running away from it. Bargaining with a shopkeep can save you a bit of money. An interrogation might go well if done aggressively. Try to roleplay the argument, do speak out and accept the die result if one is necessary. Even if you think it doesn’t matter because it’s based on the roll, you might get rewarded for the kind of social strategy you chose to use. That said, please don’t use intimidation as a cudgel to get what you want. Even when you’re successful, you can still lose the respect of people, especially the ones who were willing to help you from the start. Asking nicely goes a long way and you can’t force people to surrender everything to you just because you rolled as high as you can. Performance, in general, is the bread and butter of the Bard and might grant a bit of money or the adoration of people. The promise of being written in a poem, song, or epic story would be something any person be glad about. Otherwise, other kinds of performances can still give people a good time and a lasting impression. A person who is feeling down might be cheered up with a nice song. This is one of many strengths of a Bard as a hero. Most of the Bard’s magic is focused on spells that support social skills and anything that would enhance the splendor of performances. These spells can help make people more susceptible to your intentions whether they are benign or malignant, obvious or inconspicuous, or for personal use or for someone else. Whichever spell you choose, there can be a way to make good use of it as long as you can figure out how. Do be careful, though. Most people don’t take kindly to being enchanted and manipulated like that.
The Bard can grant comfort and ease for the group. They can make resting and travel go smoother with their performances and are able to keep the group’s morale high. This way, the group will always have an edge when something unexpected starts. This might not work when the group needs to travel quietly, though. You might want to stay quiet when stealth is necessary and use the soothing notes when it’s okay. When something needs to be done that a character is good at, you can be there to give that person a boost, minimizing risk and maximizing travel speed or survival. If such a person isn’t there, you might be a good second choice. The serendipitous skill-tricks a Bard learns in her career makes her better than anyone who doesn’t have any points in a said skill. As they say; “In the world of the blind, the one-eyed person is king.” As with anything, the Bard can use magical spells to make something easier to do. Any supportive spell you chose could have some use when it comes to finding useful lore, opening ways, or leaving a message. There might be an expert in the group that can make something work, but if there is none or if all else fails, magic is a good option to fall back on.
In medieval Gaelic and British culture, a bard was a professional storyteller, verse-maker and music composer, employed by a patron (such as a monarch or noble), to commemorate one or more of the patron's ancestors and to praise the patron's own activities. Originally a specific, lower class of poet, contrasting with the higher rank known as fili in Ireland and Highland Scotland, with the decline of living bardic tradition in the modern period the term "bard" acquired generic meanings of an author or minstrel, especially a famous one. For example, William Shakespeare, and Rabindranath Tagore are known as "the Bard of Avon" and "the Bard of Bengal" respectively.
In precise historical terms, the title "bard" applies only to certain groups of Celtic poets who sang the history of their tribes in long, recitative poems. These bards, found mainly in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, filled many important roles in their society. They were store houses of tribal history, reporters of news, messengers, and even ambassadors to other tribes. However, in the AD&D game, the bard is a more generalized character. Historical and legendary examples of the type include Alan-a-Dale, Will Scarlet, Amergin, and even Homer. Indeed, every culture has its storyteller or poet, whether he is called bard, skald, fili, jongleur, or something else.
-2nd edition Player’s Handbook- A Bard is not just a musician but a multi-talented performer. You can go in many ways or come up with variations on what your perfomance and style is. Otherwise, you can give your concept of the Bard a twist by looking at the following examples below.
As a bonus, I’ll add the nine muses and their domains for the sake of inspiration as any artist could use some source of inspiration to work with.
Calliope of epic poetry
Clio of history
Erato of love poetry
Euterpe of song
Melpomene of tragedy
Polyhymnia of hymns
Terpsichore of dance
Thalia of comedy
Urania of astronomy
As the Bard is known for being a musician, it would be easy to fill this list with a massively long line of performers and bands. I wanted to put my favorites in here, but would that do it any justice? I’m sure that you have some favorites as well. However, that would make the list too long and arbitrary. So I’m noting relatively modern performers that have a combination of at least two of the following performance arts: storytelling, song, dance, acting, choreography, comedy, and poetry. Others are names throughout history that are undoubtedly famous or have made a significant impact on performance arts (and some random stuff just for fun).
2019.02.07 14:18 kerosenefiresFeeling awful and guilty about my disabilities and the way they affect my relationship
TW FOR TALK OF MENTAL HEALTH For some background: I am physically disabled and very mentally ill. I've never been able to work and have dropped out of school multiple times, but I should be getting my mature student diploma this year (fingers crossed!). My partner and I have been together for over a year and we love each other very much- of that I have no doubt in my mind. My physical issues include dysautonomia and heavily suspected hypermobile ehlers danlos, and my mental health issues include c-ptsd from childhood trauma, borderline personality disorder, and suspected ocd + osdd. I have a service dog in training, and I know he and my partner love each other. However, he's not a small dog and will NOT sleep on the floor. We've tried leashing him overnight and he nearly choked himself trying to get onto the bed. He's kicked my partner off the bed a few times when they stay over, too. I "shield" them by sleeping at the edge of the bed, and it works. but because of my PTSD, when my sd inevitably gets on the bed, being so sandwiched can cause anxiety attacks. I can't do much in the way of "fun stuff". both my physical and psych issues make that very hard. on occasion we can go see a movie, but we're both pretty damn poor. we sometimes go to the mall and window shop, but it's overwhelming and causes pain flares that are capable of pushing me to nearly blacking out. I feel so BORING. I want so badly to be able to do fun stuff- like go to the fair or go bowling or whatever. I wish I could get a job so I didn't feel like such a mooch. I wish my joints would allow for more cuddling and physical affection. I wish my PTSD didn't fuck so much with our... intimacy. I feel like a sex starved freak and pushy and bossy because there are only certain ways in which we can have sex that will not trigger me badly. I wish I was more interesting and exciting. My partner is amazing and puts up with SO MUCH from me, and I couldn't ask for a better life partner. I have every intention of marrying the shit outta them. I just don't know how to tell them all this without sounding pathetic and making them feel like they should be guilty for not doing more. They don't need to- their love and acceptance and understanding are a gift from sappho herself. Idk. I guess I just needed to get this off my chest. Advice or w/e is cool I suppose. TDLR: I love my GF with my whole heart but my multiple disabilities make me feel like a less than ideal partner and it's really weighing on me
2019.01.21 21:20 OhshitlorecomingTiny Lore – Frogs and Fertility
Tiny Lore – Frogs and Fertility [2/5]
Before I start I want to warn a little about that this topic will address graphic subjects such as sexual violence, rape and incest. You might not agree with suggestions made in this topic. If any of these subjects pose you discomfort it might be advicable to turn away or return in good company.
In this topic we further explore the realms of incest and hubris as well as looking into the background and whereabouts of some of the most ancient beings of Dark Souls.
Mirrah and Gwynevere
‘Cinyras was the son of Paphos, and he might have been counted amongst the fortunate, if he, in turn, had been childless. I speak of terrible things. Fathers and daughters, keep away: or if your mind takes pleasure in my song, put no faith in this story of mine, and imagine it did not happen. Or, if you do believe it, believe in the punishment also, that it brought. If nature, however, allows such crimes to be visible, then I give thanks that the people of Thrace, this city, and this land, are far from the regions where such sin is born. Let the land of Panchaia, beyond Araby, produce its balsam, cinnamon, costmary; its incense, exuded from the trees; its flowers different from ours; if it produces myrrh: a strange tree is not worth such a price.
The poetress Sappho had a rather fascinating way of writing when it came to describing the Greek myth surrounding Myrrha and the birth of Adonis. And we get to explore the her poetry on the Myth of Adonis and the relationship to Dark Souls nation known as Mirrah. It stands to reason that Mirrah is the name of a place that is likely inspired from the strange tree of myth; the myrrh. In the myth Myrrha is falling into a human forbidden love with her father because of the punishment from the goddess Aphrodite. And this subsequently led to the birth of Adonis. In Dark Souls II it is revealed to us that Mirrah was once the source of the Holy Water Urn. Holy water is also source of the Divine Blessing and despite attributed to the goddess Gwynevere, Melfia denies her existence. Although it should be added that Melfia was known to 'refuse reason' and 'distort the truth'. It is time to get to the bottem of this.
Perhaps, just like in myth the princess was turned into a tree for the 'forbidden' love between father and daughter. In Myth it was both punishment and blessing in one. Myrrha wished for a way to no longer be punishable by the laws of man while also repenting for her sins to the gods. Myrrhas sin against life to the gods was her attempted suicide. Suicide was treated pretty severely by both the Greek gods as well as in later Christianity. Dantes Divine Comedy shows a pretty grave and graphic example how 'Self-murderers' are treated arguably even worse than murderers and an argument can be made to not to treat these kinds of sources in this day and age with the same sense of ethics as when these pieces were written. BUT, back to the trees. Is there anything to this story? In DSII the Bloodied Whip mentions a 'purpose forbidden by the gods' and a +7 version of the Notched Whip is found near the Pagan Tree of the sunken city of Shulva. The pagan tree that when hit with a whip repairs equipment. Strange for sure, just like the tree of myth. Is the tree Gwynevere? Are we looking for a different tree, like the Curse-Rotted Greatwood? Is the idea bogus as a whole? Let us explore a few other circumstantialities and see where the journey leads us. Gwynevere is well known for her miracles, Bountiful Sunlight and Soothing Sunlight. Gwenevere, is the name from Arturian legend this is based off. She is commonly known as the wife of King Arthur, the king of knights. The title of king of knights is also shared by Knight King Rendal, suggesting a brother sister relationship if went by the book. Maybe Mirrah was chosen as a name for her kingdom in order to defend against the notion of incest being a bad thing. Little confirmation is given as to parentage for the in game Gwynevere compared to the Gwenevere of legend. The affair with Lancelot, is also associated with her. If incest was a bad thing, an affair with a knight is another. Let us assume for a moment the worst case scenario, that incest and affairs are both punishable by death and that both soil the reputation of the suspected and convicted as well as their families. Let us assume that for some reason the death of royalty would be considered of greater consequence than the death of a knight in service. Not so much as a loss of life, but of political and ethnical reasons. Then perhaps the choice was made to mask the incesteous affair of Gwynevere and the Knight King with the affair with a knight.
Lancelot himself was perhaps well known from 'Lancelot and the Hart with the White Feet' in which he slays seve lions in order to cut off the feet of a hart only to be betrayed by a not well intended fellow knight. The traitorous knight shows up in front of Walewyn whom worries what happened to Lancelot instead. Lancelot is saved and allowed to marry the princess, but he rejects because his heart belongs to Gwenevere. In case of the Ivory King he also was mentioned to have had seven beasts, but with little information about the whereabout of the remaining four. Of course there is still question if the Ivory King and Rendal are indeed the same individuals, but the mention was not for argumentative purposes. Harts and Reindeers aren't the same either but. Farrossa(distant East) and Mirrah(East) are mentioned in similar directions. Midir is also a name used in Arturian legend to be used again for the dragon in the Ringed City in DSIII. Midir was son of the dagda(druids) and the name is derived from 'judge' or midithir. Very fitting for a city full of strange laws, judicators giants and ritualistic magic.
Lot is also a recurring component in names and can also be connected to Arturian Legend. It is part of the Lothian kingdom and also known from King Lot. Lot can be found in prominent examples such as Shanalot and Lothric, but also Ocelot and Lothian are names to consider. There are some arguments to be made for Shieldless Lothian to be connected to the background of Ornstein, Llewellyn and the Dragonslayer Armor. Did the relationship between Oceiros and Gwynevere influence their name choice for their children? Interestingly Lorian and Gertrude appear to be the only exceptions to this lottery.
Now, this is where we come back to incest again. Arthur is at some point set to hunt a monster called the Questing-Beast or Barking Beast and upon his journey he has an affair with Morgause. He does not know that Morgause is daughter of King Lot and his half-sister at this point. Morgause gets pregnant with Mordred from this affair. And after his affair Arthur falls asleep experiencing the destruction of his kingdom and his own death. Upon waking up Arthur encounters the Barking Beast he set out to slay. After killing the beast Merlin informs Artur that the beast was born from a woman out of an incesteous relationship with her brother. The whole ordeal is oddly unsettling of course. After this Arthur is at some point granted a divinition that a child would be born among May that would be destined to kill him in battle. Arthur is set on averting this desperate fate of course. So he orders the May-Day-Massacre in which all newborns are killed. Even his knights are confused and desillusioned by all the killing. Somewhere newborns are set on ships and killed upon arriving upon destination. Mordred however fell off a ship as a child and drifted off as by some miracle made it out alive. After Mordred grows up he manages to prevent Arthur from fully hearing a divinition revealing his identity. Lancelot is revealed to have had an affair with Gwenevere(Arthurs wife) and Mordred uses this information to his advantage to instigate a war, but also leading to the death of Gwynevere. Mordred and Arthur meet again upon the battlefield and Mordred mortally injures Arthur as foretold, but Arthur manages to kill Mordred before succumbing to his injuries. While there are no figures known as Mordred in the game there are some interesting points to look at that are not that well known about Arturian legend as well as a few points that are unseemingly seemingly relevant. One of the lesser known brutalities of Arturian legend is the May-Day-Massacre, which involved the infanticide of Britons newborns and goes against the better known image of king Arthur as a heroic knight king fighting for his people. Despite its brutality it is considered an established part of the legend with a rather desillusioned and sober look at heroism of legend and its contrast to murder of defenseless children. As mentioned before the Gwenevere of legend and Gwynevere of Dark Souls are supposed to be different as Gwynevere is Rendals (half?-)sister, whereas the half-sister of legend was Morgause. Once again incest is a theme although it seems to be used as a justified foreshadowing instead of the common normal that is better known from mythology. Perhaps the creators of dark souls toke note of the similarities between the names Lancelot(the knight of affair) and King Lot with the kingdom of Lothian. It would not be surprising at all if the name Gwynevere was deliberately chosen by the creators of Dark Souls to  hint at the possiblity of incest surrounding the firstborn son of Gwyn and  to create a new scenario in which Lancelots dark souls counterpart (Lothian) takes the blame in order to hide the incesteous affair. The unknown whereabouts of the Queen of Lothric and repeated usage of what seems to be people transformed or transforming into trees suggest that dark souls might use a blend of the stories of Arturian legend and Greek mythology of Myrrha and Adonis. Dispite the clear differences between the stories there is something to say for examining them and coming to ones own conclusions. Both stories concern incesteous affairs and both stories involve how laws handle themes like infidelity and incest as a sin.
Gwynevere did not always exist to Arturian legend. Her first appearance started much later. The works of Chrétien de Troyes elaborate on Guinevere as something else than the wife of Arthur. This was likely because Chrétien's audience at the time. The court of Marie, Countess of Champagne, which was composed of courtly ladies. They played highly social roles. Appearing as Queen Gwendoloena (Gwendolen)(very similar to Gwyndolin from the game), Guinevere has prophetic powers in De Ortu Waluuanii.[Slightly adjusted from the wiki for Gwenevere]
The name 'Greirat' is not quite uninteresting either. 'Grei' is a term used to denote a 'parish' and a 'rat' is also a well known way to describe an 'informant'. The connection to the Rat King superficially also appears very thin, but when looking into the term and the name composition it also becomes a little more interesting. A Rat King is a term based of a folktale about how a Rat King would sit on a throne of rat corpses knotted together with their tails. The term was also in use once to denote leaders who lived off others (parasytes). The Rat King is not shy in making his servants do his work for him while also rewarding strangers for bringing him the former limbs of his own servants. Once one takes the term 'King' under close examination it also becomes clearer why he might be handing out the Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring(a symbol normally associated with the archdrake sect). A 'King' is also a term for a male dragonfly or 'drake'. A good example of how the term interchanges is the contrast between the Nameless Kings mount. In English his name reads as Stormdrake, while in Japanese it reads as Stormking. This term was initially a bit more familiar with players of the first game for describing the 'distant descendants of the ancient dragons' .The archdrake priests at Shrine of Amana only consists of males. Perhaps the term was adapted to describe the connection to dragons. Dragon Apostles believe to one day turn into dragons or gain their immortality from the dragon scales. Nonetheless the covenant appears to have died out around DSIII. The Path of the Dragon exists as a gesture. Yet, strangely there are warnings that ringing the ancient bell ends this same covenant. It is questionable how far Archdragon Peak connects to the events at Shulva but there is something to say for the rattiness of the sect. The Slumbering Dragon Shield suggests the Archdrakes keep watch over keeping the secret of Shulva 'buried'. This goes merely to show how seemingly unrelated covenants and ethnic groups can have potentially a lot in common when displaying their coinceding aspects. Griggs of Vinheim also wears a Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring in DS(I). And yet it should be clear there is not wish to contradict the idea that the Rat King is still a rat in the truest sense of the word. Perhaps players have not forgotton about how conspicious it is that someone like Patches would go and save Greirat the thief. Especially considering that Patches ridicules clerics/the players for their greed. The Ringed City sheds some light on that matter by revealing Shira, Knight of Filianore. Shira means 'white' in Japanese but 'poetry' or 'song' in Hebrew and Patches has a thing for sittng down like a 'frog', better known as the 'Patches Squat' Gesture. Patches also carries the Crescent Axe with him while his weapon of choice is in reality a spear. But Shira, she uses halberds as a weapon. The Demon of Song comes with many frog thematics, the background music is a frog song for example and the Demon is known for its cursed singing. Seemingly unrelated Laurentius of the Great Swamp tells the player about his teacher whom he describes looking like a 'frog'. There are a few ideas that come to mind. The Loyce Knights, Ruin Sentinels for their frog shaped helmets ment for jousting for one. The other would be the Demon of Song. The Demon of Song also has some remarkable similarities to the White Preachers, whom are described as 'unruly' and fittingly Quelana describes Salaman as a little 'rascal'. That being said one can argue that Salaman might have played an important role to the Way of the White before things went down hill and he fell to demonhood. Shulva harbors some froglike creatures known as the 'imperfect' whom have an affinity for lightning and dark attacks. In DSII the Spotted whip is created from the soul of the Demon of Song. But in DSIII the Spotted Whip is described as being a weapon favored by 'women'(plural) from the great swamp. This could suggest there where more of these demons somewhere before Cuculus ventured to Smouldering Lake. What does this mean for Lorian? Greirat sends us looking for 'an old woman' named Loretta. And in DSII there exists mention Shieldless Lothian. When putting the names together we get this. Lor-etta + Loth-ian = Lorian. This suggests that prince Lorian might have been an adopted child. While direct evidence may seem absent as to why Lorian might descent from Shieldless Lothian and the old lady Loretta there is something to be said for how Lothian seems to have lost his Dragonslayer Crescent Axe while Dragonslayer Ornstein is a thing. Ornstein uses a lion symbol on his ring, the Leo Ring. The blacksmiths name of Mirrah is known as Llewellyn, literally 'lion crest'. Then, when DSIII arrives suddenly the only thing the player faces is a Dragonslayer Armor infused with memories, whom very, very coincidentally also uses specially made Dragonslayer Greataxe? Steel is usually a mainly iron alloy and drangleic was partially responsible for the 'bradden' steel armors of Astora. 'Bradden' derives from 'fishscale' suggesting that this alloy would somehow not mix properly. Bradden steel was created in an attempt to recreate heide steel (arguably) because it is the only equipment that has not corroded over time when looking at the Old Knights compared to the Heide Knights. It stands to reason that Vendrick had a very unusual panic fueled fixation with smithing of certain alloys. The giants Vendrick had invading might have been a consequence of whatever Vendrick asked Chancelor Wellager to do. And a 'Chancelor' in religious functions is understood as a 'record keeper' of a cathedral. Wellager was ordered by Vendrick to get Llewellyn a lifetime contract 'at all cost'. It may have been mentioned that Ornstein set out to find the Firstborn, but it is never mentioned if this was not stimulated somehow. Either Vendrick or Aldia was at some point employing Royal Sorcerer Navlaan. Navlaan is selling two different armor sets. The Astrologist set and the Black Witch Set (associated with Zullie the Witch). Blackwitches (as described by the Black Witch Staff) were considered transgressors for attempting to control both the curing as well as the onset of disease. There are some interesting contrasts and parallels to draw when looking at Llewellyn stemming from mirrah which is also the source of Gwyneveres Divine Blessing. Gwynevere was 'loved by all' whereas Zullie was 'as unloving as she was unloved'. Now Aldia is not uninteresting for this matter either, because in Mirrah there exists the Allegory of Quella. In the mentioned allegory Quella the god of dream takes the shape of a shield in order to protect a young boy and Sulyvahn grew up as a little boy in the Painted World. In DSII the red invader covenant is called the brotherhood of blood, guarded by the 'Executioner's' Chariot. On the other hand the Blue sentinels (the only blue invader covenant) is guarded by Ornstein. All of which seems just oddly specific for a coincedence of this level. It is oddly fitting that Navlaan sells equipment from a disease controlling Black Witch when in DSIII Gwyndolin is mentioned to have fallen 'ill' by Yorshka. What can be confirmed however is that at some point Gwyndolin fell 'ill' and Aldritch consumed Gwyndolin eventually after having Sulyvahn feed Gwyndolin to Aldritch. The last knight to remain at the Ruined Cathedral was Executioner Smough. There are still plenty of questions to be answered surrounding what Vendrick was so affraid of. Perhaps Vendrick feared a long drawn out conflict he was about to face (or more like his forces since Vendrick disappeared to the Undead Crypt). It could have been influenced by Nashandra, but without knowing what 'great threat' Nashandra 'warned' Vendrick about there is little to go by. Also, who was the true architect behind all this? There might be too many boxes to check for now.
Kamui is perhaps better known as one of the Blackhand. The Blackhand belong under the secret pillar of Hunters whom directly serve the King(Oceiros). They exist similar to assassins and weed out dangers to the crown that the other pillars can not. Perhasp, if the normal three pillars serve the established law the fourth pillar perhaps serves to assassinate those protected by the law. Those who are 'special', gods, relatives or descendants of royalty, those whose death if made public, would soil the reputation of the crown, those if connected to doing of royal forces could instigate a war. It might be not so surprising Eastern spooks known as Shadows were sent after Oceiros in order to assassinate him. Kamui is already different from this aspect because he does not serve the king but is assigned to the prince(Lothric). In the game it is scrypted so that if the player kills all the other Lords of Cinder something noticable happens. A corpse with visible weapons of Kamui can be found but actually yields items of Gotthard instead, mentioning how Gotthard fled the castle (arguably anticipating the arrival of the unkindled). Kamui was known for his swords Onikiri and Ubadachi. Kamui or Kamuy is a term used in Ainu mythology and while similar in use to spirits and gods Kamuy serve more nuanced purposes. Splitting the name Kamui has rather divided outcomes with no consistent seemingly reasonable ways to read the possible intentions behind it. Japanese symbols are possibly the wises to examine when working with kamui. However, Kamuis name not part of the goalpost of this topic so it is possible that this will be done another time. In context with the giant oni mentioned by the Onislayer Greatbow it might be interesting to know that Onikiri means 'oni cutter'. Perhaps Kamui adapted both the sword and bow at some point. It could be that tales of oni slaying reached the castle of Lothric after which Kamui was recruited for the Blackhand. In context with Greyrat and Loretta it might perhaps be interesting to know that Ubadachi means 'old lady sword' or 'old lady cutter'. Since this second sword was forged (by kamui) at the Undead Settlement; a place where Greyrat mentioned Loretta to reside; one may wonder if it was Kamui whom killed Loretta. In the series one does not read a lot about those who forge their own equipment.
Gertrude is mentioned as being part of the angelic faith of Lothric. Gertrude is 'said to be' another one of Gwyneveres daughters, but no confirmation is given. It is difficult finding any additional clues as to her exact parentage, but it can be wise looking at the components that make up her name. Gertrude derives from 'gaizaz'(spear) and 'trut(maiden/dear)/trutito(strength)'. So arguably her name can be read as 'Spear Maiden'. The series of Dark Souls knows two famous spear wielders, Sir Yorgh and Dragonslayer Ornstein (and Patches if he counts). Gertrude is said to have been visited by an 'angel'. The name 'Sinh' can be written as a single Hebrew letter. When that letter is moved to Arabic it reads as Samekh. Samekh, also known as Samael was the Angel of Death. Pilgrim angels are perhaps their own thing, but there is little information given who it was that Gertrude exactly met. Those who played DSII Crown of the Sunken King might recall how the pursuet of wisdom or truth was one of the main motivations for the seige on Shulva. When examining both the Slumbering Dragon Shield and the Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring there is mention of how from the beginning important places like Oolacile and Vinheim were founded on the false premise of honor and truth. Admitting Sinh was an object of worship would have amounted to something that challenged the pillars of Lothric, in particular the Scholar. Let alone the fact that the real balance between the Priestess, the Scholar and the Knight could easily be questioned by the existence of the Hunter, the fourth pillar. Ironically the most heretic belief in Lothrics belief in dragons was perhaps the belief in another dragon.
After looking into all these children of Gwynevere it remains a point of question why there are no mentions of Rendal/Faraam names. While there is nothing denoting that a name based around a knight king marriage would force Gwynevere to to do the same, perhaps there are second considerations to be made. Perhaps the idea is just so monstrously outrageous that it had to be inaccurate. Perhaps for all the fertility Gwynevere had attributed to her on that note maybe Rendal/Faraam was not up for the task. On the other hand the Eleonora suggests that Alsanna actually had children, but it is not mentioned with whom. Eleonora is comprised of the Provencal 'eleo'(Baltic/Scandanavion/Germanian) Latin 'alia'(from eleo)(the other) and onora(aenor)(riches/fameous) or anor(sun) if going by Tolkien standards. So it suggests a name like 'the other sun'. But perhaps the best source might be the short story of the same name Eleonora from Edgar Allan Poe. The wiki page on the book is fascinating in granting more insight what this 'madness' in Dark Souls might have been about. It is not determined if madness is 'not the loftiest form of intelligence'. Perhaps a reference to parallel how Lordran was founded on the ire of sinh and destruction of Shulva, by the honorable(lofty) Sir Yorgh. Coming with themes of creating a paradise around someone elses death, something that describes the creation of Lordran over Shulva very well. (If one were to take the land of the ancient lords/gods as a measure for heaven that is.) Maybe Eleum Loyce also lends some contribution to this, but overall it seem Eleum Loyce inspires from a mixture of Latin and Slavic with the Latin as a basis to turn Ileum (twisted) in to a slightly similar sounding Eleum(twisted) + Loyce(laws) = 'twisted laws'. Perhaps this is how Faraam and Alsanna communicated, that Alsanna would be forgiven if she found another lover after Faraams death and that it was fine if she contributed to a new place. But perhaps it would be best to not get involved in relationships between to lovers.
Mother of Gwynevere
As for Gwyneveres parents (particular her mother) it is difficult to get a firm grasp on potential background of potential partners of Gwyn for the oldest daughter. My best bet would be Elizabeth. For as far as the Dried Roots provide a measure for whom the trees is, perhaps the effect of the Dried Root is intentionally similar to the Elizabeth Mushroom. They can be obtained from killing the Pagan Tree of Shulva. While on first glance the shrooms and the roots only appear to share hp recovery properties it is also obtained in the same direction. (For as far as Lanafir indeed corresponds with the Oolacile). Gwyneveres spells are known for their 'warm' properties. It could be for this reason that such a spell as Warmth can be obtained below the Curse-Rotted Greatwood as another healing over time spell. Gwyneveres spells are associated with warmth and maybe the answer really was just this simple. Sadly many items and effects share 'warmth' and 'heat' as attributes or properties, which is also the immediate downfall of this singular perspective. Part of why the choice was made to mention this so late was to show some other directions from which the Pagan Tree and Greatwood would fall into perspective as well. Another, perhaps much weaker argument is the name(s) of the Emerald Herald(s). In DSII Shanalot reveals her name relatively late with no real background information as to why to hide it in the first place. Shanalotte could originate from the childrens book 'Lottie and Lisa' by Erich Kastner. They (twins) are called Shanalotte and Luiselotte in the German version. In the Japanese version of the game the Herald refers to her 'manifestation' as 'bunshin' which can mean copy or 'clone' and from a genetic perspective there is something to say that genetically identical twins are also considered clones. It may seem like a stretch but for as far as Lisalotte/Lizalot is real one can argue that this name may have been influenced by the name Elizabeth(Liza-Beth+Lot-hian). Now some would argue that this is wrong because Luise derives from Louise and not Lisa, but for this measure the designers might have favored the English version of these childrens book figures. This is about as much as one can find as to arguments why Elizabeth could be Gwyneveres mother.
In DSII a sidequest granted by Royal Sorcerer Navlaan involves assassination assignments. One of them includes killing Shanalot in which she is referred to as the 'muse'. In Greek mythology the nine muses came to be from Zeus sleeping with the young woman Mnemosyne for (also) nine nights. Likening Gwyn with Zeus and Gwynevere with Mnemosyne portrays another narrative of forewarning. The muses assisted in creation, imagination and inspiration. There can be drawn some parallels with the myth of Myrrha sleeping repeatedly with her father and siring children together.
2018.11.09 11:19 NineBillionTigersA Small Collection of LERFs and Lesbian Advocates Talking Like TERFs and Trans Advocates, 1967-1979
This one goes out to all my nutter trans-inclusive RadFem sistahs us young fools forget existed in the 1960s/70s.
Part 1: LERFs Smear Lesbians
Lesbians are Male Oppressors:
Within the "left" flank of the so-called feminist organizations (in "women's liberation" and "radical lesbians") there were and still are all those incredible claims of groovy and liberated all-female "alternative lifestyles," of women who were so "strong" they no longer "cared" about men even though they were still living in the same world as men, the man's world, in fact.
~Kathie Sarachild and Barbara Leon
The leftist women thought of us as support troops for their dogma; the lesbians as potential sex partners, the sum of these two attitudes - followers, supporters and sex partners - is exactly the same as men's attitudes towards all women.
~Patricia Mainardi (Lesbians as Sex Perverts bonus!)
Because lesbianism involves role-playing and, more important, because it is based on the primary assumption of male oppression, that is, sex, lesbianism reinforces the sex class system.
Feminist writer Susan Brownmiller was asked to speak at the 1970 DOB convention in New York, but she did not appear... Gay women had made passes at her, she said; they were overconcerned with sex and were generally oppressive in their maleness.
~Susan Abbott, Sappho Was a Right-On Woman, pg. 117 (Lesbians as Sex Perverts bonus!) Lesbians Are a Socialist Plot to Destroy Feminism From Within!!!!:
They were using socialism and then lesbianism, and often both together, to replace feminism, or eliminate it, or else chip away at it, dilute it.
So why do such [lesbian-feminist] groups get subsidized by corporate America, while the just plain, non-hyphenated, radical feminist activists are cut off from access to the media and work at regular jobs and go begging for funds, scaring up dues and personal contributions? Because, despite their claims to being more radical than feminism, the socialist-feminists and lesbian-feminists pose no real threat to the Establishment and are even useful to it.
Each time a man sloughs off the woman's movement with the comment, "They're all nothing but a bunch of lesbians and frustrated bitches" we quiver with collective rage... The super-sensitivity of the movement to the lesbian issue, and the existence of a few militant lesbians within the movement once prompted Friedan herself to grouse about 'the lavender menace' that was threatening to warp the image of women's rights."
She [Robin Morgan] contended that those lesbian feminists who advocated nonmonogamy, accepted transvestites and transsexuals as allies, and listened to the rock group the Rolling Stones had adopted a "male style [which] could be a destroyer from within" the women's movement. [^lesbians are just too transsexual everyone *winkwink*^]
~Alice Echols, Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America 1967-1975 (dis book gr8) ...there's so much more y'all have no idea.
Part 2: Lesbian Advocates Respond!
Let's redefine womanhood to make everyone feel better!:
"Dyke" is a different kind of put-down from "faggot", although both imply you are not playing your socially assigned sex role... are not therefore a "real woman" or a "real man"... A lesbian is not considered a "real woman"... Are we going to continue the male classification system of defining all females in sexual relation to some other category of people?... By virtue of having been brought up in a male society, we [women] have internalized the male culture's definition of ourselves... As long as we cling to the idea of "being a woman," we will sense some conflict with that incipient self, that sense of I, that sense of a whole person... we have to develop with reference to ourselves, and not in relation to men... we begin a revolution to end the imposition of all coercive identifications, and to achieve maximum autonomy in human expression.
~A manifesto literally called The Woman-Identified Woman (sounds trans af yo) Fuck this identitarian horseshit, guess lesbians aren't women then:
What a materialist analysis does by reasoning, a lesbian society accomplishes practically: not only is there no natural group "women" (we lesbians are living proof of it), but as individuals as well we question "woman," which for us, as for Simone de Beauvoir, is only a myth. She said : "One is not born, but becomes a woman. No biological, psychological, or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society : it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine." However, most of the feminists and lesbian-feminists in America and elsewhere still believe that the basis of women's oppressionis biological as well ashistorical.
The debate [over lesbianism] became more volatile when leftist fugitive Susan Saxe was arrested in Philadelphia on March 27, 1975. Saxe had been underground since October 1970, when she and four others robbed the Brighton branch of Boston's State Bank and Trust and absconded with $26,000. During the robbery, a policeman was shot and killed... Some lesbian-feminists reportedly argued that they would support Saxe as a lesbian, but not as an accused killer and bank robber. And others completely disavowed Saxe, on the grounds that "anyone accused of bank robbery is not a lesbian."
Alice Echols, Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America 1967-1975 (dis book still gr8) lol since y'all be talkin like we sex perverts I guess we sex perverts then:
Lesbianism wasn't a big thing because virtually everyone was experimenting with it. We'd go away to write something and almost everyone would sleep together. We even drew lots [to determine who would sleep with whom] and then cheated.
~Ros Baxandall lol since y'all be talkin like we usurp feminism I guess we usurp feminism then:
Women's Liberation is a lesbian plot.
Whenever the label lesbian is used against the movement collectively or against women individually, it is to be affirmed, not denied.
In all discussions of birth control, homosexuality must be included as a legitimate method of contraception.
All sex education curricula must include lesbianism as a valid, legitimate form of sexual expression and love.
[also bonus poster: "We are all lesbians"]
~The Resolutions of the self-proclaimed "Lavender Menace" (pace Friedan) Okay everyone that's it for me tonight but there's so much more where that came from, I really recommend Echols's book, it's absolutely hilarious and quite well-written and well-researched and earnest all at once and was what inspired this post and where I ripped most of these quotes k luv u bye
2014.06.04 06:31 Slyfox00May discussion thread: The Essential Gay Mystics by Andrew Harvey
Thank you for reading along with us. Here is the place to voice your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Please be civil, have fun, and enjoy.
Compiled in this volume are the writings of some of the best-known thinkers and same-gender (and bisexual) lovers of all time. Poems and quotes by such notables as Sappho, Sophocles, Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Thoreay, Melville, Cocteau, Virginia Woolf and many more, attest to their same sex muses and partners and their brilliance in elucidating their feelings
Courtesy of nautillina our book selection for May will be The Essential Gay Mystics by Andrew Harvey.
Compiled in this volume are the writings of some of the best-known thinkers and same-gender (and bisexual) lovers of all time. Poems and quotes by such notables as Sappho, Sophocles, Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Thoreay, Melville, Cocteau, Virginia Woolf and many more, attest to their same sex muses and partners and their brilliance in elucidating their feelings
Women Loving Women ~ Sappho Spheric Cinema! - YouTube
Love Sweet Love - YouTube
How to KISS with PASSION - Passionately Kissing a WOMAN ...
YouTube Community Guidelines & Policies - How YouTube Works
8 EASY and PLEASURABLE Sex Positions to Try - YouTube
Overview. Our Community Guidelines are designed to ensure our community stays protected. They set out what’s allowed and not allowed on YouTube, and apply to all types of content on our platform ... Sappho Biography - Duration: 1:49. ... Life Partners Official Trailer (2014) - Gillian Jacobs, Leighton Meester HD - Duration: 2:37. FilmIsNow Movie Trailers Recommended for you. Welcome to this new oneHOWTO video. If you need to improve things with your partner in the bedroom, don't be embarrassed to talk about it. This video for '8 ... Love Sweet Love Claude Martin – Germaine Lemieux [email protected] avc la collaboration de Yvon Girard Musique: Love Sweet Love – Johnny Reid Dan... Here is a glimse into a few amazing Sappho-style films! Lets explore our love for woman through these films and many other avenues found at; http://www.sapph... Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Welcome to oneHOWTO, where we bring you this video for 'How to KISS with PASSION - Passionately Kissing a WOMAN'. Here we explain everything you need to know...