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Enemies of Humanity: The Lamp and the Apple
Well, here it goes. Before you start reading, I'll give you a warning: this post is so damn big. So, if you don't want to waste your precious time reading a lot of text, you are free. But I would like it if you stayed and wasted your time reading this. If you find any flaws and failed sentences, know that English is not my first language. I decided to make this post because I saw this theory on a Facebook page. A guy named José Ignacio deserves all congratulations for dedicating his time to write this theory. I hope you like it. So, let's start! Chapter 122 was one of the most important chapters in the entire Attack on Titan manga. This chapter reveals the past of the Founder Ymir. On the other hand, this chapter puts on the debate what the aforementioned “pact with the Devil of All Earth” really meant… The pact that is mentioned for the first time by Grisha's father in chapter 86. When later, in chapter 88, Krueger comments that in reality there is no correct version of things, it all falls to whoever is disseminating his version of the truth. Even so, these comments indicate an option that seems to be the one that most coincides with the “idea” of origin that chapter 122 leaves us. I refer to the contact with the origin of all organic matter. Although this chapter maintains the enigma of what was that spinal creature which gave the powers to Ymir, it agrees quite well with Krueger's words. Now the interesting thing is that even with that said, Krueger tells Grisha that what Gross said about the past of the Eldian empire was a FACT. Therefore, it is implied that the story that is transmitted in Marley's book (that book with which Grisha was instructed) told the most reliable truth. What happens with the "pact" then? While there is a clear intention to “demonize” the history of Eldia, which could end up misrepresenting the history, the said pact may be metaphorical if it has the truth of a key moment of said empire. Rather than talking about the origin of the Titans, we could talk about a version of the origin of the Subjects of Ymir, two radically different things. If we look closely at the composition of the well-known image that represents this pact, it may be a clear metaphor for the moment we see in chapter 122, where the first king of Eldia says that the “prize” Ymir will receive for her great accomplishments in the war is that he would be the father of her children. Let us understand then, logically, the origin of the Subjects of Ymir is related to the first generation of children with Ymir's blood. That is the origin. The characteristics that indicate that is the representation of the "Devil" as a horned figure, consistent with the helmet worn by the Eldians of that time, including the king and that like him, his eyes can be seen completely in the dark. The representation of Ymir as a girl receiving an apple (it's him who gives the apple). The apple is a symbol of sexuality, love, fertility, among other things, therefore, it is understood that Ymir is physically giving herself to the king (her "virginity"). Furthermore, we can see how the devil looks at the girl smiling and the position of the claws indicate a kind of depredation, understood as sexual depravity, very typical also for almost all demonic figures. We can even say that Ymir was basically raped by the king since the abuse of power is applied towards the one who was a servant to him until her death, his slave. Hence, we understand that pact as a pact of slavery, where Ymir sooner or later would end up locked in the Paths, slave for the royal bloodline. Let's also say that Ymir looks very indifferently at her daughters; even when they are born, she does not seem to form a bond of attachment to them, and even when they are crying when Ymir is pierced by a spear, she simply lets herself die. I mention it because it reinforces the idea that her daughters were basically an imposition because of her status as a slave. So this is where the “new version” of said pact appears, the one that appears along with the changes created by Karl Fritz after his escape to Paradis. After lifting the Walls, abandoning the history of the Fritz and beginning the history of the Reiss, a book appears among the royalty's belongings. A book that appears to tell the same story that Grandfather Jaeger's book told, but with different characters. The first time we see this book is in chapter 54. This book was one with which Frieda taught Historia read. Chapters before, the name of the new protagonists to this new version of the pact had already been showing to us. This time, the devil is replaced by a figure with a face similar to Eren's Attack Titan, wearing a hood such as the one that Eren has, and this one now has his hands full... In particular, he is holding a lantern. Consequently, it is understood that this time the apple is not delivered by him, this time the apple is being offered by the figure that replaces Ymir, who, although remaining as a female figure, the name is changed by Krista. Although the manga has not provided a specific reason to justify the change in this "new pact", it has differences that distance it almost radically from the "original", especially the context in which it occurs. One as a symbol of slavery, and the other as a symbol... of freedom. Everything about it falls on the female figure and how she seems to have power over the apple and she voluntarily decides to hand it over. Consider the similarity of how the figure holding the lamp is composed with Eren and that Krista, who holds the apple, is something with which we would relate to Historia, we can almost understand this book as a "vision of the future", of a pact that's yet to happen. The one who started everything represented by slavery and the one who would end everything represented by freedom. Something that adds to this comparison is to answer the following question: Why would Eren be represented with the Attack Titan and Historia simply with a woman? The answer to this could be found in a smartpass, specifically in the "Good Night, Dear and Sweet Dreams”(canon content), from Eren and Historia. These smartpass present dreams of the characters, and in the particular case of those mentioned, they are presented as nightmares. I leave the most important parts of each one, but I would still recommend that you read them all if you have the opportunity.
Historia: Before her, stood a familiar figure wearing an expression so hideous that she couldn’t bear to look directly at it. “…! You are…me?” The figure curled its lips effortlessly into a twisted smile. “No, I’m not Krista. The real you…is an empty shell; she has nothing but—” “Stop!” Krista screamed. She couldn’t bear to listen on. She struggled, trying to stand up and escape. “Running away now? I bet you are. You enjoyed being 'Krista’, didn’t you?” “No. You’re wrong! I’m just…” “If you’re a good girl, everyone will be kind to you, won’t they?” 'Krista’ couldn’t get away from the figure showering her with words she didn’t want to hear. The girl trembled, and tears formed in her eyes. The figure continued. Eren: When he looked up, he noticed the shadow of what must have been a 15-meter-tall Titan above him. “…You’re–!!” He realized that it was his own form after transforming into a Titan, as was seen in the records. The seated boy reached for his Vertical Maneuvering Equipment, then froze. “You, too, must disappear from this world.” “Stop it! I, I…!!” Eren couldn’t stop himself from closing his eyes when he saw the gigantic fist that he held out, and– “Huh?!” Eren woke up in a dim underground room. He had been ordered to sleep there out of fear of his powers… He was alone and isolated.
If we take into account these nightmares, where we witness which are the figures that terrify the characters, we would understand why the pact is represented by a figure similar to the Attack Titan and a female figure similar to Historia. In addition to everything, they would be representing both characters taming their fears and accepting themselves as they are. Now, going more to how this moment is "cultivated", we must elucidate the question of what the lamp and the apple mean, specifically within this version of the pact, and expose how these objects are related to the history and development of the characters. Let's start with the lamp, which is held by the character representing Eren Yeager. This object is perhaps what most marks the difference between the two events since it is unique from the one we see in Frieda's book. What does it symbolize? No concrete answer can be given, but I interpret it as the "light" that comes into the characters' lives, that illuminates them, that one that allows them to see their own path and protects them from sinking back into darkness. This already marks something interesting, since this "lack of light" in the Fritz pact explains in a certain way why the characters of that time were with their eyes in the dark (it doesn't mean that they didn't have eyes as many interpret). Following the same thread, how that light is reflected in history is through a kind of acceptance, of recognition. Where through accepting another person for what she is, you can "rescue" her and illuminate her life. More explicit case of that is Eren and Ymir Fritz, who after he recognized her as a "simple human" without chains, and free, we could appreciate her eyes for the first time, very detailed and illuminated. It should be remembered at this point that within the original pact as well as the new one there is a pregnancy represented by the apple, therefore, it is not valid to conclude that Ymir, in this new pact, continues to participate. That said, if we go further back, we have to identify this “rescue” in the characters of Eren and Historia, where Eren is the one who carries the lantern since it is he the first to bring that light to the link between them. More specifically, everything we see during chapter 54 so that later it is Historia that would do the same with Eren in chapters 65 and 66. It is necessary to do a little review of the history of the characters and how this need to be "saved" is developing. Both characters grow up with the same problems... the feeling that they are not enough for us, the hatred of their true nature (the fears represented in their nightmares), and perhaps the most important of all, loneliness. Historia in chapter 52 tells that the first stage of her childhood was lived with normality justified in her ignorance and innocence. As time went on, she learned to read and recognized her own misery. She identified herself as an abandoned, isolated girl... a girl who was denied receiving any kind of love and also the opportunity to give it. Both the first time she spoke to her mother and the last time, she received the idea that her life, her birth, was a mistake, a mistake that condemned her mother's life. Which in turn had made her believe that her existence was what caused the disgrace of everyone where she lived. That was the perception that Historia was creating about herself. Having said that, if she was to act like her true self, she would never be accepted. Therefore, when Rod spared her life and gave her a new name, "Krista", Historia believed that she should act as another person to be accepted. We understand then that the fear of Historia is embodied in "being herself", and that is why in the nightmare we practically see a mirror of Historia which was effectively what we see throughout the manga until we see everything that happens in the Utgard Castle. In this particular arc, it was revealed to us about Ymir, the Jaw Titan and the real name of Krista... Historia. What we assume to be Historia as that apathetic girl has no relation to reality since a key point that helps us understand that facet that we see in Historia is that as she herself says in chapter 51, after all the reveal of Historia to Ymir and the promise to live by themselves together, Ymir decided to abandon her and choose to go with Bertolt and Reiner completely devastated her. Historia finishes confirming that nobody "prefers" her free, that nobody prefers her being herself. Therefore, what we see in this apathetic attitude is not the true story... it is depression. This is where Eren begins to have a bigger role in Historia's life as if it were a coincidence that he appeared at the moment when she needed him the most. We enter the moment when Eren brings the “bluff”, during chapter 54. Historia during her conversation with Eren tries to justify the prejudice that he would also despise her for having stopped being “the good girl” with the idea that nobody really loved her.
“But Historia Reiss… Historia's parents never loved her. Nobody did. Quite the opposite. No one wanted her to be born. Her story isn't even especially unusual. There are lots of kids like her in the underground… So? They are all disappointed, aren't they? ”
Eren answers something directly opposite to what Historia was saying... For the first time, in her eyes, someone liked to see her being free, being her true self. Someone was embracing Historia's fears.
"No, that's not true. I don't know about the others... but I didn't really like the old you. It felt like you always had a forced expression on your face… It was unnatural. A little creepy, honestly. But... there is something I like about you now. You're just normal. Just a normal girl who is absurdly honest."
Something that, if we think about it thoroughly, it is curious because it implies that Eren didn't hate what Historia was before, it is not that he hated the facet of "good girl". In fact, on the contrary, Eren was the only character that observed her so much that he managed to identify that she was lying. Neither Ymir, who knew it because she heard some people saying it, nor Armin (who is super perceptive), Jean and Reiner, who had explicitly expressed interest in her. What Eren didn't like was the “little naturalness” that he saw in Historia. So, in Isayama's words "Eren was happy to be able to understand Historia." It's not that Eren likes apathetic people (something that doesn't represent the true Historia either), but Eren could now identify behavior that expressed the true feeling of Historia, a transparent behavior. Regardless of what that behavior was, that was what Eren meant by "Absurdly honest". Eren saw her free. Those words meant a lot to her. She herself in chapter 65 says so that Eren said that she liked that now she was just normal made her happy at a time when she was surely sinking into darkness. Those words of Eren were the light that Historia needed. But... sometimes the person you need may need you even more. On Eren's side, we understand the level of reciprocity that exists in this bond when in chapter 130 he expresses that Historia was the girl who saved him, and that's why he was entrusting his plan to her... a plan that will leave him as the one who destroyed all of humanity outside the Walls. We know that the phrase "the worst girl in the world" is referring to what happened in the cave, more specifically, what happens in chapter 66. But just as we did with Eren, we must review how we got to that point where Eren needs to be rescued by Historia. From the beginning of the manga, we are specified that Eren has always been someone with a difficult personality, one that according to Grisha prevented him from having more friends than Armin. It is understood that before this, Eren had no one but his parents. In fact, when Grisha tells him that it would be good if he became friends with Mikasa, he does not go with the best disposition. Eren since childhood was a person who was not taken seriously and was quite ignored by the other children, especially after Mikasa became part of the group since it overshadowed the little presence that Eren had. After Carla's death, this feeling became much more radical, since he lived firsthand what Hannes faced shortly after... his weakness. During his days as a cadet, although Eren remained as someone in Shadis's words, he did not excel at anything. In fact, he was still ignored by Mikasa's performance in training during that time. Still, he remained determined to achieve his goals. The character's greatest psychological blows begin when his facet as a Titan Shifter appears, the one that we would later see representing his fear in his nightmares. After they found out that Eren is a Titan, they begin to look at him with contempt, like a monster, as we see for example in the scene of the cannon, and unfortunately, this is how he begins to see himself as he mentioned during his first trial. It is during this period also where we begin to see these constant internal conversations of Eren, where he begins to question basically everything about him. Is a kind of indication that a distance was beginning to be marked between him and the other people, Eren was being himself, alone with his thoughts, and outwardly he was practically acting as an object or as he was more widely known within the military... as a weapon. A weapon that little by little began to feel more and more isolated, more lonely, and more feared by his companions, as we saw in the period when he was into Levi's squad. A weapon that, as much as it was considered to be, was still a 15-year-old boy. A child prone to making mistakes, and that it was being, as we see in the Female Titan arc, leaving him the responsibility of making decisions that put other people's lives on his shoulders. Eren was blamed for his decision to kill all the other members of Levi's squad. As a weapon, as a titan, he was still useless. So we can interpret that the weight that Eren had as a Titan Shifter was the one that was consuming him. Even if we are already going to the point where he has that conversation with Historia in 54 and generates all the impact that we had already mentioned before, he apologizes to her for failing as a Titan by not being able to bring Ymir back. So curiously, at the moment when Historia was being rescued, Eren was inadvertently proving that he needed it too. Later, during Chapter 65, having recovered some memories of his father's past and what happened with Frieda, we see Eren at his worst. Where all the points that were seen were damaging Eren, they reach their climax in a scene, a scene where Eren tearfully expresses his desire to die.
"...Never needed to happen... Me... My dad... If my dad hadn't done what he did here five years ago... your sister would have been able to take care of everything, right? Just because my father and I stole the power of the Titans from its rightful place... so many people died... Armin's granddad... Thomas... Mina... Mylius... Nac... Marco... Everyone in Levi's squad... The residents of Stohess District... The soldiers who tried to rescue me... Mr. Hannes. And so many more I don't know... I... could never atone for all of that... It never needed to happen... All of those days we spent training... All those dreams about what could be... past the Walls. I... never needed to happen. Do it... at the very least... I want you to end it all for me. Historia… eat me… and save humanity .”
Historia connects so well with Eren's sentiment that she cries alongside him shortly before questioning Rod Reiss' words, destroying the syringe, and going to free him from his chains. This is where he, through stripping himself of the responsibility to save humanity, begins by saying one way or another that he is no more worthy of power than that of the Founder. To assign this responsibility to Eren by the one who has the royal blood is basically to completely deny that his existence should never have happened. When Eren asks for reasons for the actions of Historia, she responds with that regardless of whether she is the enemy of humanity, she continues being his ally. Breaking also the feeling of abandonment that he had... All the impact that the words of Historia have on Eren's feelings is summarized in the last dialogue of the chapter before he jumps to become the Titan that would crystallize the place in order to save everyone. "Let me believe in myself." In fact, it is very interesting that it's Historia that finishes explaining to everyone in Eren's presence that his existence and that he is the one who bears the Founding Titan has a radical reason for being. Eren's existence is the key to saving humanity from Karl Fritz's ideology. Historia gives Eren a reason to appreciate his own existence and to find his way. Historia now became Eren's light. We understand this resurgence of both characters as something that relates them intimately, also coincides with Isayama's own statements within one of the guidebooks.
So, the only one who really came out of an endless abyss was Historia? Isayama: “My entire existence, from beginning to now, completely depended on my father’s decisions.” Within this despair, when Eren witnessed the very similar Historia releasing herself from the Reiss curse, he decided that he must do the same. Everything must be done for his own good - when you think about things this way, it’s easier to understand Eren.
With all this said, we understand Eren's words in 130 differently during his conversation with Historia. That was misinterpreted as a form of manipulation. The Eren we see in that situation is no longer the same as before, but it is one that is once again sunk in an abyss, perhaps that is why it remembers so exactly what happened in the cave because it is a similar situation... And now that abyss has a more terrifying name than anything else, and it's the consciousness of predestination. This is the Eren we see there. The Eren who reveals his plan to Historia without any potentially necessary reason, and tells her that his only options to prevent the Military Police from getting their mission done are to face them or flee... together. Having said that, we as readers already knew that Historia's forced pregnancy would not really happen because Yelena had already covered everything with the wine plan. Not for helping the queen, but for saving Zeke, which is her priority. So it's time to ask why Eren would look for Historia... and the answer is as simple as humanly irrational considering predestination, and that is that Eren simply seeks to have Historia on his side. If we remember something from Chapter 70, perhaps what I am saying will make more sense to you. While Eren and Historia walked, she asks him what he wants to do regarding the situation of Bertolt and Reiner, to which Eren responds with a very empty expression of feelings that he must kill them. We understand that Eren is actually assuming a responsibility... a duty. Historia insists, asks if that is what he wants, to which Eren replies that he must do it. Eren's expression drastically changes when Historia mentions that underground children have begun to smile, and that indicates that what they are doing cannot be wrong. Historia without realizing it's giving Eren a reason to do things, a reason to want to do them. Historia transforms your duty... into a wish. And it is something that we see almost confirmed in chapter 82 when Armin, during the battle to retake Wall Maria tries to revive Eren, and the memory of Historia appears on the farm. Perhaps the Eren we see talking to Historia in 130 is an Eren who knows that everything he has to do he will do because that is how it should happen, and that is how he saw it in his memoirs. That is the future... But perhaps it is also an Eren that seeks in the person that he surely trusts the most, to receive a reason for doing what he will do, a reason that once again turns his duty into a desire. It's at this point that we leave behind the meaning of the lamp within the new pact and we begin to explain the meaning of the apple. Hoping to give context to three things: the phrase "make a family", the pregnancy of Historia, and... the true meaning of Krista. As we all already intuit, this pact must include pregnancy as the first because, although the first does not include the lamp, if we see a common object, the apple, which we have explained that symbolizes fertility and on the other way "sexual meaning". Now, this time this pact must have a different tint than the first, you can't continue making the same mistake that would end up condemning millennia of slavery to humanity. This difference is referenced in the chapter mentioned at the beginning of this analysis, chapter 122. The chapter is introduced with that conversation between Historia and his older sister Frieda, the one we had originally seen in chapter 54. Mainly because this is where the meaning of Krista's "character" is discussed. We are told that this girl is someone happy who always helps others and that she is also happy to receive help from the rest, she is said to represent “femininity”. But... what really makes it such an imitable ideal? That's where the big explanation comes in, and it's the contrast it makes as the introduction to Ymir's life, who supposedly precedes Krista. Ymir, as a character that seems to be the antithesis of Krista. If we see it that way, what most represents her story is the null freedom that she lives throughout her physical life, and also during the millennia in which she is within the Paths available to the following bearers of the Founding Titan. We would be saying that basically we had been misinterpreting what "Krista" means, since more than being a stereotype of a good girl, what it really means is... an ideal of freedom. That if you want to be a good girl or a bad girl, you do it because you want to be. Although up to this point nothing confirms that Krista in the book was free... but there is a key point that would confirm it, since during chapter 54, in the memory of Historia with Frieda, after the talk about being female, Historia links these words with what she sees in her older sister. Historia believes that Frieda is a "Krista", and tells her that then she wants to be like her sister, to which Frieda is surprised and says of course, that she can be. But after the laughter, we see how Frieda's gaze turns sad, to later erase the memories of Historia. This basically means that Frieda does not really fulfill what it is to be Krista, not because she is not "a feminine woman", but because she is not free. And that means being Krista. Within the same arc, we are revealed that Frieda had a dream that she could never fulfill having carried the power of the Founder and being dominated by Karl's ideology, which we also saw caused her depression and panic attacks. That is why when we see Historia in chapter 70, in its freest version... without realizing it, Historia was being more Krista than ever and that is why the chapter takes its name, in reference to Frieda. "The dream I once had" In fact, few consider that it is confirmed again that what made Eren reject Historia before was her lack of freedom, of the desire to do things. She did not reject the idea of being a good girl because this Historia, the free Historia, is basically fulfilling the same characteristics that it previously repudiated from its previous facet. Live to help the rest. And it's one thing that Eren now recognizes... to the point of praising Historia for what she's doing. Because if she is doing it now, it is because she is like that... she wants it.
“One of the reasons Historia made the decision to become queen... was to do this. She looked everywhere, from the underground to every corner of the Walls... She gathered the orphans and the people in need she found there, brought them to this farm, and started taking care of them. She's using the royal family's budget and the assets seized from politicians to run this place and help the poor. (...) I don't think she'd thought it out quite this far... but she said he was going to find people in trouble, no matter where they were, and go save them. This is what Historia wanted to do..."
It's that freedom that Eren sees in Historia, the one we see constantly protected by her. And I reiterate, his concern is in freedom, not in the actions she takes. Many people, through Eren's dialogues, come to think that he flatly refuses to let Historia have children as if the birth itself was synonymous with freedom when it has nothing to do with it.
"If it means paying for our lives... with broken walls, trampled land, and children bred and killed like livestock... I will absolutely not accept Zeke Yeager's plan."
This is an indirect response to Historia accepting to get pregnant. Eren is against a forced pregnancy and therefore this should be considered a way to violate her freedom. When we are really ignoring the fact that it is a response to Historia accepting a request/imposition of pregnancy.
“They want you to… give birth to a child whose only purpose in life is to become a sacrifice for this island. They want to keep forcing parent and child to eat one another. I won't let them. "
In fact, it is curious because from what Eren declared, in chapter 107, the only thing that he really protected until the end was the freedom of Historia. Because if we talk about broken walls and trampled earth... well, there's not much to say today. Going back to chapter 130, what does it mean? Historia's pregnancy? From the beginning, it already coincides with the pact as such because it is Historia itself that brings the topic of pregnancy to the conversation, be it a warning or a proposal (since there are still doubts if this is a dialogue that occurs later). Since it symbolizes that Historia is Krista, she is offering the apple, she is now sovereign of her own body... she is acting in freedom. That, if we think about it realistically, Eren could only agree with those conditions. Let's say that believing that the farmer is the father interferes with the construction of the pact, which includes Eren with Historia doing it for freedom because it is known from the past and the way she currently looks at him that she does not love the farmer. Finally, there is no real strategic reason for it to occur. Is it born out of love? It is risky to say it, but I dare to say yes. On the one hand, it is consistent with what they mean to each other, and with the intentions with which Eren talks with Historia, seeking to create a reason to want to do what he is doing. What would that reason be… basically the one that Krueger started with as a condition to prevent the same error from happening over and over again… “to form a family” to protect. The thing that has a lot of conceptual strength, about what it means to fulfill a mission being a Yeager. Bringing on his shoulders the sins of his family, both his grandfather and Grisha... who, in their eagerness to fulfill their role, ended up betraying their own children. Eren with the rumble, under the idea of family, is the first Yeager to fulfill his mission, not sacrificing, but protecting his family. If we think about it from that point of view, certain things are explained... Eren's change of mood is explained from how we see him in Paradis to how he arrives at Marley, with a much more melancholic facet, it is explained because Eren becomes so sensitive with the family from the Middle East and why he gives his father the last smile, explains why he sought to psychologically harm, for no apparent reason, his grandfather by mentioning his regrets regarding his family... and also why Eren in his conversation with Zeke changes his expression from false apathy to sadness after remembering the subject of pregnancy and mentioning the few years he has left. Which, if we remember correctly, makes sense when we see Reiner in chapter 117 telling him that, for those same reasons that he has four years left, that there is no point in continuing to fight, that he must rest, that he has nothing to keep fighting, that he has nothing left, that there is no real purpose in living a little longer... Now, Eren has a reason for wanting to do things because... although the intention of doing everything for the well-being of his friends, this falls on the duty, Eren is not within the end of his actions... that's why it is Historia that once again changes his duty for a desire. In fact, as a curiosity, and to finish, it is very interesting that it is Historia back in the training days who tells Sasha that she is the only owner of her life and that she does not have to feel ashamed of being who she is, which that she remembers when she returns to her homeland. It's interesting to see, since we see Sasha in her maximum naturalness, falling in love with Nicolo. Sasha is impressed with Nicolo and his dishes. This only showed that the relationship between Sasha and Nicolo was responsible for exposing the prejudices that exist between both nations. On the one hand, we have a Marleyan who falls in love with an Eldian from Paradis, and he even reiterates that love in chapter 111, and on the other hand, we have an ethnic conflict between two nations. How ironic... their relationship is basically an antithesis to the prejudice that exists between Marley and Eldia... they use the most taboo theme in AoT... Love. Something that saved him from this "stupid worthless war". Consider the pact that will end everything in AoT... as one that represents freedom, one that occurs between characters who, for better or for worse, have always been in that discussion... and whose development is closely linked to it. The enemies of humanity, ending it, giving them the opportunity of a new dawn, where now... they are free. If you manage to get here... CONGRATULATIONS! I hope you have enjoyed it. It really took a long time to finish this. Original text by José Ignacio. Thank you for reading.
Hamilton's problem with vehicle noise (modified muffler/exhaust)
**EDITED*\* (edit notes at the top, for visibility) EDIT 1: It's been brought to my attention that this post reflects a relatively privileged perspective (given the more serious problems so many people are facing), and that some of the language used is immature and unhelpful. I'd like to acknowledge that both of these are true. In the case of the language, I believe (hope) that it reflects temporary frustration more than actual immaturity. So while I stand behind the tone and general content of the post, I am somewhat ashamed of some of the wording choices. EDIT 2: Regarding "car culture" — I have no problem with it, and in certain ways it's quite interesting. I will admit to not properly understanding it. But my view is that we shouldn't need to. Most of us don't understand knitting culture or beekeeping culture or skydiving culture either, but this lack of understanding isn't problematic, as none of these cultures are nonconsensually injected into our daily lives. Car culture is a bit different in that sense. So the argument is not against car culture, or even against the simple existence of modified vehicles; it's against selfish behaviour, and it's about the impact of this behaviour. (For this reason as well, whether an exhaust system is 'legal' or not has no bearing on the discussion.) And the post speculates (perhaps misguidedly; Hanlon's Razor likely applies here), about the reasons for the behaviour. ----- Oh, this may go a bit long. (TL;DR at the end.) Apologies for length, but I have so many thoughts & questions about the vehicle noise problem in this city. (And an unreasonable amount of free time today.) The proposed initiative by city council to target drivers with modified mufflers/exhaust systems is long overdue. It's a step in the right direction. But the actual problem starts long before a vehicle's exhaust is actually modified, and this is what I hope to end up discussing here, along with whether or not it's a real problem for Hamilton.(Although the adult discussion follows a bit of a rant, if you'll entertain it...) Example: HDB In our neighbourhood, there is one guy a few of us have come to refer to as the Head Dbag (HDB), if you'll forgive the salty (while perfectly fitting) nomenclature. In my mind, at least, when all the DBs gather, HDB brings the meeting to order, collects DB dues, proposes key motions, reprimands lower-tier DBs for being too quiet or too thoughtful, and so on. Frankly, I don't envy the responsibility. Anyway, he is dubbed the HDB because his car is the loudest car. Excluding official vehicles with sirens and various commercial aircraft and those rock crushers used in diamond mining pits (though, to be fair, at this point we're toe-ing the 'vehicle' line pretty liberally), it is easily the loudest vehicle I have ever heard. The volume is almost magnificent in its ridiculousness. He wins. HDB completely wins. If you live around here, you know him. You've heard him. He drives a Mustang (because of course), which he paints seasonally, likely whenever he feels his personality has gone stale. Currently bright orange, though in the past it's been bright blue, black/white, camouflage (because of course; war is cool), other colours. Not only will you know when he's in your neighbourhood, you'll know when he's on the nearest highway. And he gets that sweet puppy from 0 to ~90 (my guess) on the residential streets around here within about 4-5 seconds. Every single time. Really, every single time. Because true morons have this wonderful superpower — they're capable of being entertained endlessly by the exact same thing. I can only imagine he plays a solitary Michael Bay movie on infinite repeat at home. Anyway, I have no idea where he goes, but I know he is needed there fast. I imagine either Taco Bell coupons are expiring faster and faster these days, or the courthouse closes early a lot. Hamilton cops of reddit: If you want to bag (or re-bag) a prime DB trophy for your mantle, sit near the intersection of Mt. Albion Rd & Greenhill Ave on any weekday between 7:30 & 8am. I can guarantee a speeding violation, and likely a number of other violations as well. Listen for the sound of an angry, coked-up lawnmower. When you hear it, you'll have at least 3 minutes to compose yourself, prep the radar gun, stretch your ticket-writing hand, and so forth. Then be on the lookout for a bright orange prosthetic ween in the shape of a Mustang. You're welcome. (And then return the next morning to repeat, please.) This guy doesn't strike me as the fast-learnin' sort, but once we get up into double-digit demerit point level, the light may start to dawn. Anyway, I digress. This isn't really about HDB. He's one of hundreds of such dimwits in the city. So it's about the problem in general. And in fairness, I suppose we should assign these people a better acronym. Perhaps not all of them are true, card-carrying DBs? We'll use the less judgmental GwMM ("Guys with Modified Mufflers"). Are you a GwMM? So many questions... (if you'renota GwMM, scroll way down below for the adult discussion) Let's turn the tables for a moment. A genuine curiosity: GwMM, if you lived next door, and I consistently practised my yodeller's rendition of Mongolian throat-singing at 180dB, outside every morning at 3am, what would you do? What would you want me to do? Really, try to imagine it: You've just polished off the last Coors. You've flipped off the TV after watching the evening's top-rated MMA fight. You're all caught up on your Fox News feed. Your tracksuit and gold chains have been removed and set aside for the night. You're exhausted. You finally drift off to sleep, and are mid-dream (you know, the one where you're being interviewed on E! for your world-renowned pickup artistry skills), and then BAM! — I interrupt you at 180dBs. Every f-ing night. Sincerely — what's your move? What would you do? Who would you talk to about it the next day? Which authorities would you involve? Something must be done, right? It can't go on! If you're one of these people, a GwMM, do you... almost get it? Kinda-sorta? (Yes, I know most of the actual GwMMs won't read any of this, or will read it but won't be able to absorb it. But maybe it reaches just one GwMM, a guy who's modified his exhaust but is otherwise on the fence between being a normal adult and a flagrant purveyor of doucheism. Maybe just one person.) GwMMs, you should understand something — the impression you think you're creating, and the one you're actually delivering, are vastly different. As you drive by, here is what most of us think about you (a non-exhaustive list):
You need attention. This is the easy one, the most obvious, and I would think the most inarguable. You need it badly enough to actually pay for it — with your time or your money, or both. Those mufflers aren't free, and they don't install themselves. Know that the need for attention is a weakness. Watch American Gangster. There's a great scene in which Denzel's charater explains that "the loudest guy in the room is the weakest guy in the room". It's a weakness because you're always in need of something from other people: you need their approval. But in your case, GwMM, you don't just need it from your family or friends or colleagues, which is relatively normal; you need it from absolute strangers, from everyone you pass as you drive. This is unbearably sad. The need for attention makes you desperate, and therefore to be pitied.
You're compensating for someting. This one writes itself. You may or may not be. But you should know that many of us strongly suspect this, as you drive by. I would bet on it being one of the highest factors. In fact, I bet it would have actual predictive value in a formula. The higher the number, the more likely to be a GwMM:
none (i.e., female) = 0 (I know, I know; more on this below)
large = 1
medium = 2
small = 3
teensy = 4
"button on a fur coat" = 5
You're emotionally under-developed. You are using toddler-level social signaling tactics. You're flashing your loud, shiny toys around in a bid to earn friends or mates. Trust us on this: As you roar by, there are precisely zero women thinking, "Ooooooh, get me an Uber, I am just way too wet to walk home right now. I need to bear your offspring! Enter me now, I require your seed!!" And so on. Also, no man is thinking, "I need to be friends with that guy, like, yesterday!" You may, admittedly, be impressing the odd teenager.
Your relationship, if you have one, isn't going well. Because of a combination of the three points above, it simply can't be. When you're that self-focused, there's no mindspace left to give your partner what they need. When your need for attention is that high, any relationship will be lopsided. And in general, most halfway intelligent women have little interest in being with emotionally needy, socially embryonic 'men'.
You're uneducated (or under-educated). There is nothing inherently wrong with this. I'm sure you've done the best you could. But it's not something most people are eager to shout from the rooftops (/tailpipe). And feel free to be angry about the assumption, and the stereotype, but let's be honest — your average pediatrician, for example, isn't driving a Civic Type R with a plastic 6ft spoiler and 150dB-tuned exhaust, or a lifted pickup with six chrome XXL tailpipes for "performance"\. We know you could tell us your favourite athlete but not your favourite author or documentarian. We know you think a Monster Energy Drink and a hot dog is a valid adult meal. In short, you're a halfwit. And halfwits, well, tend to be poorly educated. And again, while there's nothing *necessarily wrong with this, it's a sad thing to want everyone to know, as you drive around the city.
\* I hate this argument. GwMMs, you can stop pretending you need the modified exhaust for better "performance". I don't doubt the improved airflow can maximize horsepower or whatever, but for what purpose? You're not rescuing a herd of Chechen refugee infants from a burning orphanage; you're trying to meet your bros at Jack Astor's before all the 'good' sides get defrosted and sold out.
You're probably not doing well financially. This is related to the one above, but isn't quite the same. When you put a $2,000 aftermarket exhaust on a car worth $8,000, you're signalling to most of us that you're probably a financial moron. When you drive a lifted $90,000 truck with an obnoxiously loud exhaust, we know you've financed it at 7.99% over 96 months and can barely afford the payments (and we think that before we see you idling it outside Cash Money) — because low-grade behaviour in general usually correlates with dumb financial behaviour. As with the item above, doing poorly in this area shouldn't be a source of shame for anyone, but you should know that when you rev by at 150dB, you're undermining your attempt to look 'money' in that $90k truck.
You're on your way to do something imbecilic. I promise you, no one is left with the impression that you're racing off to perform surgery, or to re-test your lab results, or to refine the last chapter of your treatise on human rights abuses in Malaysia. We know you're racing off to pick up Skyy vodka and a tub of hair gel.
You're an asshole. Or, less dramatically, but no less critically, you're selfish. This should bother you more than it might. If you can't stretch cognitively enough to see why this is a bad thing for others, and for society at large, consider that you'll probably (continue to) have a terrible, striving, unfulfilling life. Until you calm down and recalibrate your viewpoint, you will remain in that desperate, cringy mode in which most assholes of a certain particularly douchey variety seem to be stuck. And yes, as you scream by, we all know you're in that place — that hustling, scraping, gonna-get-mine place that almost no one ever climbs out of. So you're sad. A sad, unenviable asshole.
(non-GwMMs, have I missed anything?)
And again: These impressions created with your loud 'performance' exhaust would otherwise be fine, not so bad at all, in fact, if you weren't tryingso goddamned hard to create impressions painfully opposite to most of these. So you're wasting your time, energy, and money. Sad. GwMMs — more to consider:
Someone woke up today and thought, "During the peace summit this afternoon, we must tailor our opening commentary so as not to alienate our counterparts in Belgium, the country closest to switching their vote on this important resolution."
Someone woke up today and thought, "The protocol for freezing leftover genetic material in our lab needs to change. The last experiment's results were invalidated due to the material being degraded just a hint beyond the acceptable temperature threshold, and this is an unacceptable waste."
Someone woke up today and thought, "The code needs to be rewritten to use atomic rather than non-atomic loads; the thread calling the primary variable is competing with a thread on a different core."
Someone woke up today and thought, "If we're to have any chance of enacting behavioural change in this patient group, we'll need to examine the collective antecedents of their self-efficacy beliefs."
You woke up today and thought, "I'm gonna be the loudest, fastest fuckin' guy on the way to the jobsite! (/mall/salesroom/etc.) They'll all fuckin' know who the boss is."
You see the difference, right? You're a moron. But that's not even the core problem. The core problem is one of focus: Most of the thoughts above are about solving a problem, making a contribution, being an adult member of society. Your tiny-brained thoughts are mainly about yourself, about getting yourself noticed. They're low-level thoughts. You probably drove past people today in your screaming micropenis-mobile who were thinking thoughts just like those above. You didn't notice them, though — in part because your brain was occupied with whether they were noticing you — but more to the point, because many of them were driving practical, nondescript, quiet cars. But why? Why would they do this? How could they make this mistake? Don't they know they should drive the best, fastest, loudest phuckin' ride they can get their hands on?? They must not be able to afford one, right?! Er, no. It's because they don't source their self-esteem from their vehicle. You didn't notice them because they don't need you to notice them. They're not as weak as you are. And they have adult brains, which allow them to focus on others at least as much as on themselves. Hopefully you'll get there someday. (Alright. At this point if you're a GwMM and you're still pretty sure of yourself, and aren't convinced that you are indeed a low-functioning twat, I beg you, look up the Dunning-Kruger Effect.) Non-GwMMs: Why should the rest of us care, beyond the temporary bouts of noise? Is this a real problem for Hamilton? I think it is. The Y-Combinator venture capitalist and essayist Paul Graham has an interesting piece about the "message" a city sends. For example, New York, by its collective actions and values and signals, 'tells' you that you should be richer; Los Angeles tells you that you should be in better shape; San Francisco tells you that you should be healthier and/or in tech; Cambridge (MA) tells you that you should be smarter. And so on. Part of the impact of these messages is that citizens will naturally tend toward the mean of that message over time — and so a city as a whole continually becomes "more like itself". I've lived in a fair number of cities, in Canada and abroad; some sophisticated, some less so. I had so hoped Hamilton would be "the one". But it can't be, at least not for me. Hamilton's ADBpM (Audible Dbag per Minute rate) is comparably quite high — I'd peg it at somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5, in most areas of the city. In other words, the sound of an obnoxious, low-grade human, usually a GwMM, enters my auditory field roughly twice per minute. At this rate, it becomes a 'constant', something reliable; a perpetual reminder of the type of people I'm surrounded by. And so at least for those attuned to it, Hamilton's tone is largely 'off', at least for the city it claims to want to become. The message it sends, as Paul Graham might put it, through its ADBpM and a few other factors, is to be tougher, louder, more aggressive. The GwMMs embody and reinforce that message. Now, some of you may be proud of that. (Though I'm guessing anyone who's read this far is likely not.) I've noticed a trend here, a collective defense mechanism really, of referring to the city as "gritty", or "down-to-earth", or (my favourite so far) as "keeping it real". None of these are proper synonyms for the aggressive dudebro culture incubated and enabled here. The proper term would be 'dumb', or better, 'underdeveloped'. The feel is of being in a cognitively adolescent place. It's obviously nothing to be proud of. The cities that prize blatant aggression are those in which no developed person wants to live. Fort McMurray and Gary (IN) come to mind — teeming jockstraps of aggression, with predictable results — higher rates of alcohol & drug abuse, domestic violence, and violent crime in general. Any thinking person wants their city to have the opposite of these phenomena. The GwMMs don't, of course, have these effects directly. But they do reinforce the vibe. And if aggression and/or general doucheyness is the (or a) pervasive vibe in Hamilton, this is a giant turn-off for all sorts of people who might otherwise move here and make a contribution. So, intelligent, progressive contributors will leave, or will avoid the city. Not all, but certainly some. Possibly many. And the Troglodytes will stay, because they feel at home, especially as their behaviour goes unchecked. The city may thereby, over time, become more like itself. Of course, Hamilton is in many other ways a wonderful place. But in any "on the cusp" or "on the way up" or "improving" city (do we agree that's what it is?), there is always a sort of invisible balance between civility and rampant douchebaggery that could tip in either direction. And the tipping factors aren't always perfectly obvious. Large, dramatic factors like affordable housing and business grants and infrastructure get most of the attention, as rightly they should. But resolving a mishmash of seemingly small other factors, of which I think the GwMM issue is one, can have a large impact as well. All of this to pose a serious question: As mature, intelligent Hamiltonians (non-GwMMs/DBs), what should we actually do about the problem? Do you think Council's initiative will make a difference? If not, what would you propose? A coordinated social-shaming effort? Vigilante action? Nothing?Something else? ** GwMM HELP SECTION *\* Are you a GwMM enraged or offended by this post? Allow me to assist. To save you time, I've taken the liberty of crafting several predictable answers, and translating them into the dudebro vernacular. Modify or copy & paste directly, as you prefer:
"go back for Toronto you leftweng snoeflake, fuck yor self!"
"did you even look at a Mustang b4 you post this LMAO!!"
"elistist phart, prolly wear a covid mask too"
"I get 468 HP in my ride bro you cant compeet your golf cart sucks ass lol"
Okay, this did go a tad long. TL:DR - When you modify your muffleexhaust to be louder than the original, you reveal to most of us that you're weak, sad, likely mini-penis'd, un- or under-educated, emotionally underdeveloped, lack a personality, and are generally a selfish asshole. Of course, if this is the impression you're going for, by all means, continue. TL;DR, polite version - We really do have a problem with vehicle noise pollution in this city. What should we do about it? TL;DR, honest version - I have a recurring dream wherein I learn that all of the clinically retarded philistines in this city have somehow passed away, all at the same time, each by crashing their [Mustang/Ram1500/InfinitiG35*/CivicTypeetc.] into a separate lamp post. If your catruck/SUV/etc is purposely extra loud, you are a certifiable Grade-A douche, and you should be aware that you are among the lowest-functioning members of society.
\* about which — what a shock to learn that that poor woman and her three daughters were killed in Brampton by a 20-year-old male in a bright blue Infiniti G35 with black rims and blacked-out windows. I know I was shocked. At first I guessed maybe a 60-ish woman in a Corolla. But no — I was way off. Incredibly, young guy in a modified Infiniti G35. (Worthless douche, may he rot in prison with others of his ilk.)
- - - - - Footnotes I'll later regret:
Motorcycles — In my head somehow, the motorcycles are a separate issue, despite often being even louder than the modified cars & trucks. It's an old, embedded culture, with the choppeHarley-type bikes typically being ridden by diabetic old men. That fight is lost. That group is largely beyond change, so it's a waiting game (for a traffic accident or lung cancer or cirrhosis or the elegant cascade of symptoms that comprise metabolic syndrome, or a nursing home; whichever). This, and I suspect many cops are (reasonably?) fearful of pulling these guys over.
The "police crackdown on yahoos" — Another reason I'm less than optimistic about this working is because I suspect a Venn diagram of cops and GwMMs may be narrower than we'd like. Dudebro culture in both camps.
The gender thing... <giant sigh> It appears that a few people in earlier discussions have managed to contort their thinking enough to view this issue through a 'gender-equality' lens, as they no doubt view virtually every issue these days. It's not that this isn't adorable; it most certainly is. But it distracts, and threatens to prevent us from getting to the root of the problem. The 'data' aren't hidden, in this case — just look in the cars, and use your counting skills. This is overwhelmingly a guy thing. These are mostly males (or if you prefer, individuals who would appear to be of the sort that traditionally possess a penis) and are usually on the younger side. As humans we are pattern-spotters; we are hard-wired to spot patterns in our environment, in order to make sense of it, and to reduce cognitive load. We can't help it. So yes, most of us will notice that the loudest, fastest cars are driven by traditional males. If you claim not to have noticed this, I have a polygraph machine here and $10,000 with your name on it, should you hardly move the needle when I ask whether you've noticed it. You've noticed it. And (traditionally-)male insecurity leading to aggression is a well-known, well-studied problem. But, reasonably enough, you may point out that male vs. female isn't really the issue. And I would agree. Masculinity, specifically toxic masculinity, as one of our councillors pointed out, is more to the point. I would agree with that as well. But it so happens that most toxic masculine behaviour is exhibited by those who are traditionally male. Is this really a controversial statement?? Will knowing it (under the decidedly safe assumption that it is true) help with vehicle volume enforcement? No, and nor should it. Let's target the behaviour, not the driver, when the behaviour happens. But might knowing (acknowledging) the heavy male-masculine correlation help in getting to the root causes of the aggressive, asocial behaviour, possibly before that behaviour occurs? I think it might, as it hints at who may require help/treatment/intervention/education/etc. We have neither the time nor the resources to address the problem entirely at random, in the name of political correctness.
The Internet replaced my ability to think independently (and in consequence took away my sense of Self). This is my advice with 15 years of experience on the Net, and why you should run away from it.
Disclaimer: I'm not only describing my experience but also offering down-to-earth-not-bullshit advice on how to beat this addiction. There will be a TL:DR at the end of this post because I respect your time, but if you take the effort to read the whole thing, you may understand your problem, break the chains and say no to this crap, like I am doing. Enjoy. Introduction Yeap. It happened. I realized about it while I was l laying on the bed with my phone binging Reddit and Netflix when the battery went off. And there I was. Feeling a void in the space, without nothing to do and a breath of dispair cheered around my corpse. And then I could understand that I was not breathing well. I took a deep one of those and let it out entirely, letting my brain heal. Again. And again. Then I heared the neighbor's dogs bark outside, the bugs annoying noise and the snors of my father next door. There I was, with an emptiness of mind. I did understand what was happening, but my brain did not want to. My story The journey on the Internet started since I was a little kid. I remember having a low speed connection around 2005 when I was 7 years old, binging around many games on the net trying to entertain me while my parents worked all day and took responsibility for the house's chores. Then Youtube came over and however I wasn't too deep into it, I remember that my main means of communication was MSN Messenger with my school peers. Then was Facebook. Then was Whatsapp. Then Instagram. The name changed through time but the medium stayed exactly the same. I was always the "quiet kid". This definition continued during high school, even college. Not really quiet, but the better word is "numb". A synonym? Ingenuos. I never related well with my peers and always thought they were making fun of me whenever and wherever I went. Today I also feel this way. But it is not their fault. Why? Because I turned the Internet my main mean of communication. My journey on Reddit and why it is the most addict site on the Web (even if we don't want to accept it) And then I discovered it: Reddit. Oh boy. I discovered this platform in 2017 when I was looking to build a PC. By surprise it was really helpful! I owed it one. But then I discovered the front page. Hours, dozens, maybe thousands? of hours wasted on it, coming upon every subreddit I could find. Do you want to know the fun part? It is 100 times more entertaining than Facebook or Instagram. For every interest I had there was a subreddit for it. Be it food, be it kittens, be it the last game I played. Every single day I had new content hitting my door for me to watch it. Lets be clear: This was happening while my college friends were hanging out but I decided to do just one thing: Surf Reddit. The main problem with Reddit is that, as it has anything you could ask for, it also replaces every single thought you may have. It doesn't matter which topic, it doesn't matter by how much, in the end it fulfills that objective. Even with motivational subreddits as selfimprovement, lookingtobebetter, etc , you just read that stuff one day and do not take action. Why? Because you're there for the message, not for the enlightment. Then you come over the other day asking for more advice. And the next day more, creating a vicious loop of frustration. Porn, social media and videogames. I was always a porn addict. It's a sentence, a reality. I will not share my story around this topic because (not gonna lie) it's very similar to every other one. What I will tell you is the secret of why it is bullshit and how it affected me. You will always remember and be happy about your sensual and sexual interactions with people, but porn videos you watched in the past? They will never come to mind when thinking about satisfing feelings. I realized this some months ago when I went to sleep. I dream about my sexual experiences because they were the richest I went trough all my life before. The connection you feel with the person next to you is astonishing and bets every other image or video you could watch. The lost dreams Imagine the amount of time you spend watching porn and jerking off (it also applies to every single activity on the Internet). Imagine it. I spent around 4 hours a day since I was 10. On the Internet 8+ hours a day. Today I am 23. Even If I will be graduating soon from college and have a job (grateful about it by the way), you can't even imagine the opportunities I lost of experience many many things. My dreams. I wanted to start a Youtube channel, I wanted to become a musician, I wanted to become a web developer or a game developer. I wanted to form new friends but in the end I could not mantain a single one. I do feel empty and lonely. Landing on earth and reality I did a mindfulness course some years ago. It explains that the only real time, the one that truly exists is the present. If you are constantly hurt and depressed you are living in the past and if you are anxious and fear of what's to become next, you're living on the future. The only way to have peace of mind and coming to terms with yourself is to accept the world as it is and act consequently. Advice #1: Live in the present moment. Like I said, you can always say no to the Internet, but only in the present moment. You cannot undo what you did or recover the time lost. The only thing you can do is to be grateful to be alive. Be happy. You're alive. Right now. You know? Did you even consider it? I'll repeat it, You are alive. Advice #2: Your body is not digital. Have a deep breath. Again. Now close your eyes. Open them. Move your arms around like a helicopter. Stand up. Sit down. (Sorry if you are on a wheelhair). Go to the kitchen and serve a glass of water. Drink it, feel it your gut. I don't know if you about Maslow's hierarchy but what you only need is water, food and a shelter to be alive. Did you think about it? Advice #3: Your dreams will NEVER be fulfilled by surfing on whatever website you encounter. Your dreams will take two things from you: Time and effort. The approach is this one: Lets say you want to become a web developer (point B) but today you know nothing about it (Point A). You want to go from Point A to Point B. Okay. Now what will happen if you spend your time on Reddit (for example) and take the effort of seeing every kitten video possible). You lost time and effort. Simple as that. Did you accomplish your dream of becoming a web developer? No you not. Don't waste your time in shit and waste it in activities you consider worth it. The end I will be honest. I NEVER hoped I could write as much as I just did. I have also written the TL,DR right now. There was always this thought inside me for a very long time and letting it out was cathartic, it was awesome. When I finish writing, it will be my truly last time around here. I have no interest in continue this path of lies but to recover and embrace the bright future that is waiting behind the door in front of me. Thank you for the ride. I had a good time around here, but now I have to leave this platform in order to grow and reach my dreams. Thank you. TL,DR: The Internet will replace your identity completely. You will shape your views of the world based on a computer screen. You will not even think about if you are breathing properly or not. Ladies and gentleman, if you say yes to the 21st milennia best-spread drug you will live a life of unfulfillment and regret. But there's hope. Realize you're a human being (like this subreddit's first rule. remember the human, yourself) and become the person you always dreamt of. The clock is ticking, make it worth it. Thank you.
Hi! This is a little list of materials that I have used throughout studying Japanese so far that I felt were useful or interesting. They range from stuff fit for beginners to stuff for advanced learners. These are just my personal recommendations and thoughts about the materials, so feel free to elaborate your own feelings about them, or provide alternate materials. I provided links to all of the websites, and all of the books are from either the US Amazon page or Japanese Amazon page (any books that seems hard to obtain via the US amazon I posted with the Japanese Amazon) I am not recommending you buy them from Amazon if you don’t want to, but just for ease of browsing the related items, I posted those pages. I tried to list these in order of what I felt was most impactful to my Japanese learning, but just take that with a grain of salt. I’m providing a couple pictures on imgur of my books and materials, mostly as a “wow look at all of my books” boast. Shameful. There are a couple things in the pictures that are not introduced. Those are things I felt weren’t worth investing time in, after taking the picture. Lastly, I am an iPhone user, so the apps I introduce are for iPhone. I'm sorry, android users... If you have any questions, let me know ----- Coscom Online Text This is the main text that I used to learn Japanese. I’m surprised it's not talked about here that often. I wish I could explain all that this online-text has to offer. First things first: It’s in English, and I credit this as the main thing for helping me understand the fundamentals of Japanese grammar, as well as progressing through to intermediate. There are several “corners” within the website, from Audio and text dealing with various topics about Japan, Hiragana and Katakana exercises, Basic word lists and exercises, Frequent updates with new information, etc. The most important one though is “Building Up Conversation” Through this course of over 50 lessons, one is taken through the super basics of Japanese up to learning about the conditional form and te-form, volitional form, Expressing purpose, honorifics, expressing effort, etc etc etc I mean I can’t list them all here, but just with this course I am 100% confident you will be able to converse in Japanese. I’m not trying to sell it to you, but I urge you to at least check out the website. Cannot recommend this enough. Great for anyone from complete beginner to intermediate learner. The thing that really sold me was that it seems geared towards adults. With Genki and such it seems much more “college student” and “group-work” based, but this text is BUILT to be self-studied. Wanikani This is hands down the best purchase I made in my time learning Japanese thus far. A SRS system based around Kanji that introduced them through radical, then kanji, then vocabulary containing said kanji and the various readings it has. It took me 4 years to reach the final “level”, because I didn’t want to rush, and just had so much other stuff going on. But I can confidently say that this program, while only one of many (and admittedly I have only tried this method) was THE catalyst for my Japanese learning from toying around with hiragana to totally recognizing and reading kanji all over the place. Very very highly recommended. I know lots of people are all about RTK here, and I don’t have anything to say for or against that, having not done it, but I love that Wanikani taught me how to READ. (In the past year or so I’ve become comfortable reading regular novels and essays and news, and cannot express enough the joy of simply reading. I feel like I’m 6 again!) Midori (iOS English-Japanese-English dictionary. No Android version! :( ) This dictionary continues to astound me. It often has entries that even the 大辞林 does not have! Bookmarks are a breeze, and you can see which words have been bookmarked already, can be bookmarked into multiple lists, and all of these bookmarks can be studied as flashcards, including with an SRS option. Not only these, but example sentences attached to the entries can ALSO be bookmarked and studied in the same way. Several search options via handwriting, radical, SKIP system, etc. Wild-card search is also possible. Searching by English or Japanese is possible, as well as searching via “romaji”. It also has an insane amount of Kanji entries, including animated diagrams for every. single. one.This is THE dictionary to have if you have iOS. Among everything I will introduce here, this is the one thing any iPhone user MUST buy IMHO. Making out in Japanese Series 1 Making out in Japanese Series 2 These two books are full of casual phrases from first meetings to going out and partying to dating to having sex --quite graphic, at that-- to getting married and getting pregnant to meeting parents to breaking up. I mean what else are you learning Japanese for?? The kind of silly chapter order aside (the list in the previous sentence is pretty much the chapter order), the content is very good and very casual. This isn’t stuff you would say at work or with your boss, but with friends or romantic interests, people your (adult) age. It has the English on one side and romaji + kanji on the other. It also denotes what would be more suitable for a woman or man to say, as well as extra explanation on the nuance for many phrases (A classic being the marriage proposal “Would you mind making my miso-soup every morning?”) There are two books. I think the “more” making out in Japanese is a little more up-to-date, in not a little more liberal in its content. If you can find it around it’s fun to look at from time to time, and definitely helped me out in the beginning of my studies when I was tired of saying です、ます all the time. A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar Three very great dictionaries of grammar. It’s written in English with ample examples and explanation. The thing I like most is the vast majority of entries include a section of “related” grammar points that have the same general idea, but differ in nuance. It goes into impressive depth in describing the differences. The Basic and Intermediate one are indispensable I feel, not only because of the content but because of the appendices attached, explaining things like metaphors and newspaper grammar and compound words and counters, etc. The Advanced one, unlike the first two, uses examples from the real world as opposed to the author’s own writing, which gives them a little more weight. (These grammar points DO exist! haha). The other nice point of the Advanced one is that the reference list of entries in the back contains ALL the entries from all three books, with page numbers. There is also an English-meaning reference section where you can look up an English turn of phrase and see if there is a Japanese equivalent. Definitely recommended for anyone seriously learning Japanese. 日本語を楽しく読む本 (Fun Reading in Japanese) I’m surprised I don't see these books mentioned here that often (or at all?) As the name suggests, they are work books that are made to make reading Japanese fun. Ideally they would be used in a class setting but can be used alone as well. The first book is short exercises and word puzzles, with the latter half becoming actual stories. The 2nd and 3rd book take existing texts and abridge them, and provide reading exercises and problems to solve based on the readings. (the unabridged forms of the texts are listed in the back of the book). The texts themselves are all fairly fun to read, and I credit these books as the main bridge for me between studying from textbooks to reading real books in Japanese. Absolutely highly recommend them to anyone interested in reading Japanese, but isn’t quiiite ready/confident to tackle a complete novel. They are written entirely in Japanese. Japanese Stories w/ audio recordings Hukumusume is a website full of kids stories and things that mostly a young girl would be interested in, but this page has a Japanese story for EVERYDAY OF THE YEAR, and most of them are accompanied with a reading or two. Most of them are relatively short, and it's great for a nice little break from "text" studying. The readers read the stories at a natural pace, so they are great to get a good feel of the rhythm of the language, as well as pick up a bunch of vocab! New Penguin Parallel Text Japanese This is the next book that I credit with me gaining courage to read complete Japanese novels. Parallel text means the left page is a translated English version of the right page, which is the original Japanese. They are all short stories of similar length but varying degrees of difficulty. The selection is excellent, and each story has a very unique atmosphere. The authors also range from famous people like Murakami Haruki and Yoshimoto Banana to those not quite known. Kodansha's Kanji Learner's Dictionary the kanji in this dictionary are ordered using the SKIP system, which is a way to order kanji based on their general structure and stroke-count. Pretty innovative. The kanji from grades 1-6 are denoted in red, and there are also many kanji from the name list as well. Each entry for the Joyo kanji has a stroke order. Each entry also has various words included that use said kanji. A nice thing about this dictionary is that it includes words that don’t START with that kanji, but simply include it. (some Japanese kanji dictionaries only include words that start with the kanji entry. Very limiting). The word lists are also divided up into the various meanings of the kanji. I know many dictionaries on phones now have all sorts of features like this, but I personally like the feel of a real book sometimes. It’s strictly vocab though, so there isn’t any help with the usages of the words listed. It can be useful in discovering different meanings of kanji, so you can figure out why 卒業 (graduation) and 脳卒中 (stroke) both have 卒. Or why 先週 means the previous week, but これから先 means something in the future. Kodansha's Kanji Synonyms Guide This is an interesting dictionary. It divides kanji up into groups (with English names), and then provides example vocab and and meanings about their subtle, or not so subtle, differences. I often find myself confused about words that when looked up in an Japanese-English dictionary have the same meanings (investigation, climate, temperature). This guide allows you to look up those key words and then see how the kanji used are different between usages (a criminal investigation, an investigation into a problem, simply searching for something, etc) Ninjal online collocation search engine This website is listed in Koichi’s article on Tofugu about what he uses to study Japanese. This website is insane. You type in a word and click to its page, and it searches a huge corpus of web pages for that word and divides and ranks them in different ways based on their usage and frequency. So you can type in a new word that maybe you’ve never seen before, like 乖離 for example, and see immediate that three idiomatic ways that 乖離 might be used is 乖離を埋める , 乖離が生じる and 現実の乖離. This is not to say that these are the only ways to use this word, but that through looking at a vast amount of examples, these types of usages occur time and time again, so they must be idiomatic. This website is exceptionally useful when you encounter a new word but aren’t sure how it is supposed to be used in normal language. Monokakido's dictionary app (iPhone… sorry Android!) This app is a parent app, through which you purchase the main content, the main content being DICTIONARIES. They have a plethora of dictionaries available.
J-J dictionaries, the NHK Pitch-Accent dictionary (with audio recordings!), Japanese thesaurus, Old Japanese dictionaries
English-Japanese/Japanese-English Dictionaries, straight up regular English dictionaries, Chinese-Japanese dictionaries, Korean-Japanese, French-Japanese, German-Japanese, Italian-Japanese, Spanish-Japanese, Portuguese-Japanese, Russia-Japanese.
I personally have bought 6 (some through sales): the Daijirin (standard massive J-J dictionary), Shinmeikai (J-J dictionary with “new” (i.e. somewhat more nuanced and or relatable) definitions to words, plus pitch-accent entries), Sanseido (Very simple definitions), Ruigigo (Japanese thesaurus), NHK Pitch Accent Dictionary (appendices are also very informative), and Sanseido’s Kobun Dictionary (able to also search for a Kobun word via “new” Japanese. Wowza). One amazing feature is that you can search a word via every dictionary you have purchased and swap through the different dictionaries very easily to compare entries. very nerdy indeed. If I would recommend anyone to anyone, it is the NHK Pitch accent one, and the Shinmeikai. The others I don’t use as much hahahaa….. Nihongo Kentei Official Workbooks Nihongo Kentei Official Practice Test This test is made for Japanese natives. The Nihongo Kentei is a sister test of the much more known Kanji Kentei. Like the Kanji Kentei, it is separated into several difficulty levels, the lowest being 7, up to 1. While the Kanji Kentei is focused mainly on Kanji (stroke order, radical, reading, homonyms, etc), the Nihongo Kentei tests the examinees mastery of Japanese on a more general level. That being said, there is no listening, speaking, or writing portion. The test is like the JLPT in that it is largely multiple choice (though some questions ask the examinee to look at some word in context written in kana and change it to kanji, meaning physically writing the kanji). However, I think it’s not only more practical than the JLPT, it is also significantly harder because it tests many more aspects about Japanese, including correct Kanji usage in words and synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, as well as keigo and idioms. I read somewhere that Level 7 of the Nihongo Kentei would be JLPT3, and Level 4 would be JLPT 1 level, but they cannot be compared so readily. Nihongo Kentei Level 7 is made for 3rd grade elementary school level, and level 4 is for middle school graduates, while level 2 and 1 are for college graduates and professionals, respectively. Nihongo Kentei Texts These books are all in Japanese, and are in-depth looks at Japanese, with particular focus on the 6 areas (Kanji meaning, Kanji usage, Vocab breadth, Vocab meaning, Grammar, Keigo) that are tested in the tests. Frankly these are not necessary to buy. But they do have some interesting insight into Japanese as a language and it’s structure. 言葉の歳時記 This isn’t a study book, it’s just a regular book ahah. It’s a “devotional”, meaning there is an entry for each day of the year. The author is Kindaichi Haruhiko, a Japanese linguist from a linguist family. He is famous (?) for his anecdotal approach to writing about the language, so rather than saying “Japanese must be this” he often writes in a way that sounds like “isn’t it fascinating that some Japanese people say this, and others say that?” and really treats it as a living, morphing language. Each entry is 1 bunko-page long, and very often deals with some seasonal subject, or seasonal word. The topics range from Japanese festivals to various Japanese dialects to Japanese nature (birds and flowers are recurring themes), to musings about the connection between words. Not for beginner readers, but definitely an interesting read and every single time I read an entry I find out some new nugget of linguistic knowledge. Great for anyone interested in Japanese poetry, culture, anthropology, and linguistic カタカナーシ This is a card game. Each card has a numbered list of 6 katakana words on one side, and a random number of 1 to 6 on the back side. From the whole stack of cards the first player draws a card and looks at the list of Katakana words (not showing anyone else). The number on the back of the next card in the pile determines which katakana word the player will choose. The play must then describe, entirely in Japanese, the katakana word, WITHOUT USING ANY OTHER KATAKANA WORD AT ALL. so if you have モニター you cannot say “パソコン。コンピューター。スクリーン。テレビ。” and so on. The first person to guess correctly what the player is describing receives that card. The first player to collect 8 cards wins. There are also challenge cards, such as “in a rap-style” and “with no daku-on” (meaning, no sounds with the “ mark like がぎぐげご or the ° mark like ぱぴぷぺぽ) Very fun game and forces you to rely on your “true” Japanese knowledge. 舊漢字 (Kyuukanji) This book deals with OLD KANJI. After WWII, the government was like “let’s make Kanji easier” so they simplified a ton of kanji to make them easier to teach. However, this means that any books you find that were printed right at that time and any time before will all be printed using at least some of these kanji. The book doesn’t cover every single kanji that was changed -- some where altered only by one stroke, or just the angle of the stroke -- but focuses on those that are fairly to significantly different than their new counterparts （ex 旧⇔舊 体⇔體 ). What’s more, just for kicks the author of the book included diagrams to aid in writing these older kanji. And to top it all off, the entire book is written using 歴史的仮名遣い, so you will see things like だらう and 思ふ. Each entry is two pages long, and most go into the structure of the kanji, and its origin. Essential for any kanji-nerd. Z-KAI Kobun Series Along my Japanese learning journey I found out about Kobun and decided to give it a go. Kobun is old Japanese. After researching a bit and purchasing a few workbooks on it, I think this is the best best for learning kobun from scratch. The texts are all in Japanese, as they are meant for high schoolers studying for college entrance exams. I actually started (and am still slowly working through) 古文上達 45, but plan to do the other two books soon. They are not related, though I believe starting with the 入門 or the 上達４５ would be your best bet for learning. The merit with these is that each chapter introduces a very small grammar point or vocab list, and then immediately has the reader start reading Kobun. There are copious notes throughout each entry to aid in your reading, as well as exercises to guide you in your understanding of the text. The answer booklet attached has a complete translation of the text, as well as a summary, and some cultural points about the time period. I would not recommend this book to anyone not fairly confident in their Japanese reading ability, but is hands down the best thing out there to get your hands dirty with Kobun. Z-KAI Kanbun Series Inevitably, I also became interested in Kanbun. Kanbun is an old Japanese style that is written entirely in Kanji (so before hiragana/katakana). These are the only books I haven’t yet used that I am introducing, but like the Kobun books I introduced before, they introduce Kanbun and some history of it, then the first lessons introduces a foundational grammar point, then immediately has the reading tacking some real Kanbun. Again, it's just being lost for the first several chapters, but as one progresses through the lessons, and through re-reading the past entries, one becomes able to read the Kanbun confidently (or at least, I hope. It looks pretty dang similar to the Kobun one’s though so it should be okay) ----- Anyway, I've been wanting to do this for a while because I'm a nut for Japanese learning materials and felt that these really helped me learn.
My Rebuttal to The Recent “Debunking of my post" by u/SteliosRotas
The next paragraph of this post is just a quick little introduction and explanation about this post and why it’s just a little late, you can skip to the paragraph after it, if you just want to see my rebuttal to u/SteliosRotas’ accusations. All that I ask is that you please keep an open mind and read my entire rebuttal, before you pick any sides or make any decisions. Hello, everyone, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted or commented anything on this account. For starters, I want everyone to please keep an open-mind and read my defense to SteliosRotas’ accusations, before picking any sides, as I’ve already had quite a few people DM me insulting me and shaming me for supposedly having faked all of this (I've also gotten 2 DMs from respectful and nice people, so not all of them were bad, but most of them were.) Although it came very late, I suppose that this is the hate that I had been trying to avoid when I made an alt specifically for the purpose of making my original post. As you can imagine, I’m not very active on this account or SakiSanobashi at all, and it’s only because I happened to check this account today (I try to log-in at least once every 2 weeks or so, only to check my notifications, as I sometimes get DMs from people who want to ask or tell me something about my original post) that I even learned about the existence of SteliosRotas’ alleged “debunking” so I’d like to apologize that this reply is 3 days late. Like I said in my original post, I don’t have any concrete evidence of being the OP of Saki, (If anyone has any ideas for proof that I can provide, please DM me and I’ll be more than happy to provide it if possible) so I’m not trying to make anyone believe me, all I can do is provide you with the facts and evidence that I do have and let you make your own conclusions from there.
Anyways, when we finished the interview, I lost hopes. Then, I noticed something weird. When I asked him if he could provide any more evidence, he said that he didn't have any more evidence than the Dies Irae scream. In case you didn't know, original OP shared a scream in Vocaroo where he said that that's what one of the girls sounded like. That recording was from The Shining OST called 'Dies Irae". Original OP high pitched one part of it where there was a scream and said that what's how the girl sounded like. I was looking for that scream for months because I wanted to hear it. When you click on the Vocaroo link original OP provided, the recording was deleted. No one had the recording. So, when I heard that SakiSanobashiOP had the actual recording as evidence, I was excited because I wanted to hear it. Plus, when he said that, I believed him more. I downloaded the recording and immediately noticed that something was wrong. Here's the recording in case you haven't heard it: https://voca.ro/iZsaxqmTuS1 Also here's the recording in Google drive in case it gets deleted: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1M9hxJx1spTAPxTQRT1nAa94rAPxFnoY6. If you heard it you will realize something shocking. The recording is not high pitched. Original OP said he high pitched it. When I said that to the Discord, people said that it was high pitched. Someaverageguy24 found this video: https://youtu.be/uH8y6v9WSX4. He also found that the timestamp of the recording SakiSanobashiOP gave was in 2:20. So, I took Audacity and compared the two sound files with a spectrogram: Here's the comparison: https://imgur.com/gallery/PKu9X2V. As you can see, they are identical. So, SakiSanobashiOP didn't change the pitch like the original post.
I’m going to be completely honest, it’s very possible that SteliosRotas is correct here, the only audio editing that I’ve ever done was for my original post, so it’s very possible that I messed up the editing of the sound and didn’t end up actually changing anything, or changed something else by mistake, Sloop234 (who I think is the same person as SteliosRotas, as Stelios says that he’s the leader of the Discord, and Sloop is the leader of the Discord) actually asked me about this, I’m assuming that this is the reason why Sloop asked me if I had any experience editing music, but if that was the reason that he asked, then why wouldn’t SteliosRotas include it in his post? I don’t want to throw around accusations, but I’m pretty sure that he neglected to include said information, because it would help defend me, which is quite scummy, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he just made a mistake. I’m also not going to pretend like I know how to read a spectrogram, but the two images that SteliosRotas included have quite a few differences, that don’t seem to be able to be explained away as a quality difference, I would assume that a quality difference would simply result in the details getting fuzzier and the colors maybe blending together a bit, or something along those lines, but like I said before, I don’t know how to read spectrograms, so I can’t really confirm that this is an actual change that I made, though it does seem to me like I at least changed something. Here is my comparison between the 2 images.
Someaverageguy24 insisted that the recording of SakiSanobashiOP was different and there was a pretty small difference. There was only a quality difference, but that was it. So, I tried comparing the file with a video that was made in 2017: https://youtu.be/H9lB3JZfnSA. That video features the music from the actual movie. But, when I searched for the timestamp to compare it, there wasn't any identical time of the song that featured that recording. When we compared the 2016 video Someaverageguy24 gave me and the 2017 video which was from the actual OST, we noticed that they were completely different tracks. When Someaverageguy24 checked on the description, he noticed that the 2016 video he gave was a cover of the Dies Irae soundtrack. It was a cover by a Brazilian group named Amazarak and it was from an album called "Commando Blasfemia". Here's the whole album: https://youtu.be/ZyOGgFn6FHE. The first song of the album is named "Intro" and it's a cover of the "Dies Irae" soundtrack. So, yeah, SakiSanobashiOP didn't use the Dies Irae scream from the original soundtrack of the film. Now, you will say that original OP might had mistaken it as the original. But, no. The song "Intro" might have been made in 2005, but it wasn't uploaded online until 2017. So, in order to get it, you had to buy it with money. The "Intro" song was first associated with "Dies Irae" in February 22nd 2015, when it was uploaded: https://youtu.be/g_nsZ8yt1KA. The problem with this video is that it was uploaded one day after the original post, so original OP couldn't use that version of the soundtrack.
First of all, SteliosRotas completely contradicts himself here, he first says that “"Intro" might have been made in 2005, but it wasn't uploaded online until 2017.” And he immediately after provides a link to a video that shows that it had been uploaded in 2015, Sloop actually showed me the video that SteliosRotas links here during our interview and I stated that it wasn’t the same video, so the difference in the upload date is irrelevant, as I never claimed that this was the video that I used.
A lot of things here are false, or misrepresented. For starters, if you follow the second link, you’ll see that the Vocaroo post had indeed been deleted at the time of the Reddit post, as the OP says:
-First hieroglyph 先 can be read as "saki". I'm guessing OP misremembered the title. Are there any synonymous phrases that start with that 'saki'? -In response, he got- OP, is there any chance that it was actually 先延(さき)のばし(saki no bashi)?- I'm willing to bet that the person who called it Saki Sanobashi was either lying or misremembered. Remember that this wasn't the same guy who saw the anime, just some random anon on /a/. It's a good placeholder name, but I would recommend sticking to "Go for a punch" if you want to find the correct title He also went into detail describing some characters and even how they sounded like, which he actually did post in a vocaroo file a recreation of how one of the girl's screams sounded like. The file is not around anymore but i remember hearing it -those audio files are not available right now, If someone has it, I would appreciate it being published-
As a result of this, we know that OP didn’t listen to the recording himself, this is later developed in more detail here:
Sorry to make this post such a long thing, but we have an update to do. First of all, the new thread is this one. We started to dig deep into the name Saki Sanobashi. It is not what we should do, but incredibly the what was found was very particular. Let's take a moment to talk about the soundtrack, a few threads before we had some Vocaroo files to listen. It was apparently just a fragment of the track 'Dies Irae' from The Shining's OST, but it was pitched up to make it sound like a girl's voice, used in order to ejemplificate how sounded part of the original footage. Here's the link. Listen it starting from 2:42.
Op mentioned that English wasn’t his native language later in the post, which explains his weird wording, but it sounds like he’s trying to say that someone on the (now deleted) 4Chan thread that he linked said that the Vocaroo recording was from 2:42 in the official soundtrack of the movie, so, to summarize, SteliosRotas’ evidence for where the recording was “actually from” is someone who says that someone on 4Chan who claimed to have listened to the recording before it was deleted claimed that it was from the OST at 2:05, and later changed his story to say that it was actually at 2:42, also, the video that he linked isn’t even the OST, it’s a clip from the movie, so his timestamps most likely wouldn’t even be correct if we were to go to them on the actual OST. It’s equally possible that the 4Chan user who claimed to have heard the Vocaroo, actually just looked up the OST (which would be my fault, for saying that I got the clip from the OST, rather than from a cover, my bad, but I’ve never watched The Shining and I’m pretty sure that the video that I watched claimed to be from the OST) and assumed that the first scream that he heard was the sound from the Vocaroo clip, and then corrected himself to say that it was at 2:42, since that scream sounded better, I don’t see how he could have confused 2:05 and 2:42 otherwise, as they sound completely different.
Well, we posted all of this research in the general channel. Anyone can just say they are interested and have access to the general channel. So everyone could access it and see our research. I even gave SakiSanobashiOP an invite, so he already had one. When the second small interview happened, we asked him about the Dies Irae scream. His response was this: What he actually said https://imgur.com/gallery/q5D7TrL. In other words, he said he recently saw The Shining and read the book and he said that he didn't like it. He said that when he heard it, he thought that the music that plays in the beginning (the Dies Irae soundtrack) wasn't the same as the one he heard 5 years ago. He even said that the track he chose could have been a cover. This is nonsense. I remember listening to both songs in the same day and I couldn't see a difference. It took me and Someaverageguy24 a while to figure out that they were different versions. And SakiSanobashiOP listened to something 5 years ago and he remembered that it was a different version he heard while he was seeing a movie. If he has that supernatural memory, why didn't he tell us what the exact search terms he used to find the song. He said he searched for "songs with screams" or something like that, as he said. So, he did remember a 2 minute music he listened to 5 years ago, but he didn't remember a search term he did, or a creepypasta that he read? I don't know if you see my point, but everyone knew he used an alt account on the Discord server. Even people who believed him said that he was spying on us.
Saying that I need to have “supernatural memory” in order to notice this is a reach, and trying to pretend like it’s definitive proof that I’m lying is an even bigger reach, here’s the version of the song that I used for my original post, or at least a very similar version, and here’s the version from the movie, if you listen to them, it’s very obvious that they’re different versions of the song, I highly doubt that it took him and Someaverageguy24 more than 5 minutes to find out that they weren’t the same version, unless both of them are deaf.
So, he did remember a 2 minute music he listened to 5 years ago, but he didn't remember a search term he did, or a creepypasta that he read? I quoted this section again, because I want to focus on it in particular, I didn’t remember the whole song exactly, but I did remember the general feel and sound of it, I’m sure that many of you can also remember at least a few superficial details of songs that you listened to a long time ago, but most importantly, what really gave away the fact that the versions were different, is the fact that the excerpt from the song in the Vocaroo recording (which I had last listened to much more recently, in last December, when I uploaded it for my post on this Subreddit) doesn’t appear at all in the actual movie. When I watched the movie, I did keep an ear out for the scream that I used for my original post, out of some random curiosity for where the scream was actually from, when I didn’t hear it anywhere in the movie, I listened to the Vocaroo clip again to confirm that I hadn’t just missed it due to misremembering the scream, but I didn’t remember hearing it in the movie at all (even with a pitch difference, the scream still would have been at least recognizable) this led me to believe that the version of the song that I took the scream from May have been an alt version or a cover or something my wording is much different than SteliosRotas’ summary of what I said, in which me makes it sound like I told him plainly that it was definitely a cover. Also, I did remember quite a few details about the Creepypasta (and told them to Sloop, as seen here) that I read, I just didn’t remember the title, and just because I remembered the general sound of a song and the basic plot of a Creepypasta that I read a few years ago, (I’m sure many of you also remember basic information about stories, movies or games that you’ve seen years ago) doesn’t mean that I’ll remember a random Google search that I made 5 years ago word for word.
As for the completely baseless accusation that I used an alt account on his Discord, I’m not very active on this account, or on my SakiSanobashiOP Discord account, which I’m sure that SteliosRotas and other members of the Discord can testify to, as my replies to their messages often came a few days late, as it took a while for me to see them, do you really think that I would have created an alt account in order to spy on them and know the questions that they were going to ask me ahead of time? Also, if I had managed to convince them to let my alt account into the Discord and now had access to all of their behind-the-scenes work, why would I then delete my alt account, wouldn’t it make more sense for me to keep the account in the server, so that I could continue to spy on them?
And finally, he talked with no grammar or spelling, which is the opposite of SakiSanobashiOP. Plenty of people talk/text without correcting their grammar or spelling, I could probably find hundreds of them in any random Discord server, am I all of those people too? This is barely even passable as supporting evidence, much less as your only evidence. He said that the video he got the scream had an axe in the middle with the title of the movie above and the background was black. The post he made https://imgur.com/gallery/MvWVvjx There isn't any similar poster of the Shining that we could find. Usually, YouTube users who upload songs, usually put the poster of the movie in the background. Why would someone go out of their way to make a brand new poster.
Plenty of people also create fanmade images for their videos, I made the image that I provided by googling “Axe clipart” “The Shining title” and mashing them together on a black background in like 5 minutes, anyone could do it. Maybe they made it because they wanted their video to be unique, or because they thought that it would look cool, or maybe they didn’t want to use an official poster out of fear of having their video taken down for copyright infringement.
Something that doesn't make sense is that he uses an Android instead of an iOS as seen in his screenshots. If you look his data on Discord, you will find that he uses Discord with a Samsung as seen in this screenshot: https://imgur.com/gallery/rNLH5g5. When you look at his "evidence" is that he uses an iOS. His gallery is 100% on an iPhone. We still don't know why would he fake his phone, but we still have theories. This part is very easy to disprove, for starters, the “screenshot” that Stelios cites is the same screenshot that he used for the alleged “alt account.” So he has absolutely no evidence to support this random claim, maybe he can respond with the correct screenshot after seeing this post, but I don’t even know how he would get evidence about the device that I’m using, and why that “evidence” would suggest that I’m on a Samsung, as I am on an iPhone X, and can prove it, here are some photos of it, with a paper that has my username written on it. Now, this part is also confusing, so stay with me. u/SisterToSleep suggested that SakiSanobashiOP would upload the image data of the Batman screenshot. SakiSanobashiOP shared this screenshot which tells the image data of the screenshot: https://m.imgur.com/a/fiNtWtk. In that image, I noticed 3 weird things. First is the filename. Whenever I try to download the Batman screenshot, I download the file: 1424552517071.jpeg. While, in SakiSanobashiOP's data, it shows "I typed the first thing that popped up in my mind.png". This happens, because when you upload something on 4chan, the image converts to JPEG. It converts to JPEG because JPEG is known for compressing images into a smaller size, so 4chan decided to upload those photos in JPEG (and also change their name to the post number). Many people thought that the screenshot with the data that SakiSanobashiOP provided was true, since it was the full name of the actual image, as seen here: https://imgur.com/gallery/0TTwtMp, and it was PNG. This is stupid. I don't know if people know this, but there is a little button where you can download the actual image the exact name and the exact filesize as the original from OP's computer. So everyone can access it. Now, the thing that caught my attention really hard was the filesize of the image data SakiSanobashiOP provided. If you look closely on the image data https://imgur.com/gallery/XcX7C1E, you can see that the filesize of the image is 416 KB. When you look at the 4chan post, you will see that the filesize of the image is 485 KB https://imgur.com/gallery/aANT1o7. But, just as I said before, because 4chan uses JPEG to save memory, that 485 KB isn't the original filesize of the image original OP uploaded. So, when you download the image via the button, you will see that the image will be in PNG and the filesize would be 496 KB https://imgur.com/gallery/TanQJtt. So, original OP made a screenshot of the Bing player with the name "I typed the first thing that popped up in my mind" and had the filesize of 496 KB. So, if the original picture was 496 KB, then why is SakiSanobashiOP's image 416 KB? If it was 416 KB, then (because it was in PNG) 4chan would compress the file into a smaller size, not a bigger one. Not to mention that SakiSanobashiOP used Windows 7, which is one of the easiest ways to modify EXIF data.
What SteliosRotas describes here is strange, and confuses even myself, though I think I may have an explanation for what is happening here. For starters, the archive of my original post can be found here if you scroll down far enough to find when I posted this image, you can indeed download it from 4Chan, I’ve done some testing and have found that there are 3 ways to download images from 4Chan, the first, and worst method, is to right click on the thumbnail of the image and select “Save image as” this will result in you saving the thumbnail of the image, which will be very small and low quality, when I did this, it resulted in an image size of 1.53KB, the second method of downloading images is to click on the thumbnail, this should open the image in a new tab, allowing you to right-click it and download the image as you normally would, this will result in the image having a file-size of 484.6KB, the third method to downloading an image is to simply press this button doing so should automatically install the image to your device, doing this will also result in an image with a file size of 484.6KB. I have tried every method of installing an image to my PC and have checked for all ways to see its size, when downloaded correctly, the size of the image downloaded from 4Chan will always be 484.6KB (1.53KB if downloaded incorrectly) not 416KB or 496KB. So, if this is the case, then why was the image that SteliosRotas downloaded 496KB? Well, as you can see in the screenshot that he provides he appears to be on a mobile device, because of the simplicity of mobile devices, I believe that SteliosRotas’ device is displaying the size that the image is taking up on his device, rather than the size of the actual image itself, these sizes can be different as a result of more data being added to the image when it is downloaded, or by the device itself, for example, here are the properties of the images that I downloaded from 4Chan, they all take up more space on my PC than the images’ actual sizes, I believe that the “image size” that you see in SteliosRotas’ screenshot is actually just the space that it takes up on his device. This leaves us with just one last question, why is the image on my laptop smaller than the image in 4Chan? Well, to be completely honest with you, I’m not entirely sure myself, but this doesn’t really provide evidence against me, as even if I had faked the screenshot and downloaded the image from 4Chan, the image size would have been 484.6KB, not 416KB I have two possible explanations for why the size of the image on my laptop is smaller than the image on 4Chan. My first explanation is that 4Chan added more information to the image when I uploaded it, or perhaps small details of the image were corrupted during the upload, resulting in small imperfections (such as slightly shifted colors, or some pixels slightly changing” that could increase the size of the image, this is made somewhat more likely by the fact that the “4Chan post” that is available now, and that I linked isn’t actually the original 4Chan post that I made in 2015, but rather an archive, which introduces more possibilities for small details of the image to have been changed. The second explanation is similar to the first, for context, my laptop is quite ancient, I bought it around 2012, and it wasn’t even the newest model when I bought it, it’s so ancient, in-fact, that I haven’t really used it for some years now (the last time I used it was when I had to grab the Bing Video Player screenshot for my original post) I’ve been using a Desktop PC (which, unlike my laptop, is on Windows 10) for the past 2 or 3 years, because of the age of my laptop, I’ve had to replace the hard-drive twice (once before my original post, as the laptop had far too little storage space, and a second time after my post, because the HDD was starting to die on me and had started to decrease in size pretty quickly) and have had to restore it from a back-up (via an external hard-drive) once, due to the laptop breaking and having to be repaired (which included a complete wipe of all data) although .PNG files are supposed to be lossless, that only refers to the quality of the image, and only applies when saving, uploading and opening the image, it’s still possible for .PNG files to lose some quality through small imperfections when being transferred, or when they’re left to sit in an old and dying HDD, it’s even more likely for them to be compressed (thus reducing in size, with little to no quality loss) during transfers or saves, which would result in the image size somewhat decreasing. Hopefully, this post can help clear my name from the allegations that SteliosRotas has brought up against me. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the evidence that I use to support the fact that I’m the OP isn’t very solid either, but as always, if anyone can come up with any idea that I can use to provide more evidence that I’m the OP, I would be more than happy to provide it (if possible.) Now, I have things that I have to do, so I probably won’t be able to respond to all of your comments right away, but I will try to respond to as many as I can eventually.
[Harry Potter RP] An Ode to Mini Hogwarts: The Saga How One Server's Perpetually Sh*tty Organization Empowered a Sexual Predator
My last post about the train wreck which is the Mini Hogwarts Harry Potter roleplay server was met with generally interested feedback regarding some of the other server hallmark dramas. To quickly address the wizard stock market however doesn't really require a post, it's more a scuffle than anything— albeit one with a blatant disregard for the clear goblin monopolies and wars of Harry Potter canon. Naturally, the creator of the stock market is the server owner and his character profited massively off of it IC, to wizard-Jeff-Bezos-on-crack proportions. If my memory serves me, he also ended up pimping out his character's look after the fact, but considering how there's no standard money system regulating character wealth, the end all be all conclusion was: no one gave a damn. Many of the server patrons are pretty young out of character, and the general consensus was that it was an astounding gift to make magical wizard children roleplay so unequivocally boring. Moving on... I want to quickly say that I don't believe making the first post a mandatory read in order to understand what happened here will win me any brownie points, so it'll probably be a bit redundant at first for anyone who saw the last one. THE GROUNDWORK LAID: As a note before we begin, I'll preface MH by giving credit where credit is due in terms of writing quality. Longform writing is favored, that is to say that high quality paragraph-length tended to be a server go-to in terms of style. Correct grammar and punctuation was almost universal, and even shorter roleplay post lengths had a high degree of quality. Some of the writing I've seen on there is genuinely publishable, and the talent as a rule is high. This definitely contributed to a huge degree of investment in the server from its participants. MH also has a lot going for it, when it all actually works and when the things done get done (thaaaaat's not necessarily a promise, especially as the server has gone on). Outside of a clearly organized system (regardless of whether or not it is a good system) the server boasts real time classes, Harry Potter canon events such as the Christmas and Halloween feasts, and an entirely unique plot run in a fashion similar to D&D. This contributed to a high degree of investment. Players would spend actual hours roleplaying with each other— when summer and winter break hit OOC, the server was swarmed with activity. It wasn't entirely uncommon to see people spend three or more hours on the daily on the server during these periods, if they had shown moderate investment beforehand. This ideally should give you some idea of the degree of community the server experienced. As another note, I'm just going to quickly summarize up some of the jargon, organization and context you'll see/need throughout this story, though some of it is described in greater detail in the previous post:
IC: stands for 'in character.'
OOC: stands for 'out of character.'
MH: stands for Mini Hogwarts.
generation [#]: MH lauded itself on a 'realistic' progression of time. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series has students progress through seven years of schooling from age eleven to eighteen. To have players go through their IC schooling in real time, every OOC day was equal to 4 IC days, and a year of schooling took three months OOC to complete. Every character started out as a first year, and then a period of heavy recruitment took place wherein the newest generation of students was pulled into the server from advertising across associated Harry Potter and roleplay spaces. Stating a generation number gives a good timeframe for events, considering the server is almost fifteen generations in now and has been around for over or close to three years.
Like the last post, I'll be describing how the systems in place lead to something like this happening, though I'll refrain from as much technical detail, as it isn't particularly relevant. This particular story takes place over generation three through the beginning of five, which is approximately from October of 2017 through February of 2018. The Spell Bot: In Harry Potter canon, wizards and witches cast spells across varying disciplines, like Charms, Transfiguration, and Herbology. To add to the factor or server immersion, Cadogan was added to MH. Cadogan was a bot which rolled spell casts in a system pretty functionally similar to the balancing of D&D, but the way that he (yes, he) was designed ultimately resulted in three specific outcomes that ended up being a huge problem in ultimately empowering this predator in an IC way, which in turn gradually translated OOC. As a note, getting any +[number] to a spell modifier was based entirely on lucky rolls made daily.
Cadogan favored activity. If you were unable to (quite reasonably) not dedicate time to writing paragraphs upon paragraphs of writing everyday, then it resulted in absolute personal loss with no way to catch up to more active players. Dice modifiers in individual spells had no catch-up system in place, which meant...
Some players were objectively stronger in terms of mechanics than others. Balancing is always an issue for roleplay in general. However, members of individual generations had a lot more modifiers in spells than some of their peers, and in a canon where dueling and fighting is integral, this was actually pretty impactful.
The 'assistance' dynamic resulted in exploiting older characters. Because getting any points towards a positive dice modifier was inherently based on luck, some systems were put in place to help. You could IC-ly ask a character who had successfully 'mastered' a spell (that is to say, they could cast it and not fail) for help. However, those scenes eventually degraded to pinging someone for help and not roleplaying with them outside of that context, and the victim was often generations one and two characters.
OOC Points: Harry Potter is filled with all sorts of fluffy trinkets, powers and animals which some players are obviously going to be interested in. However, for the sake of balancing, it would be considered ridiculous for every person on the server to have access to that level of IC power. Thus, a stringent application system was put in place, and outside of a few notable exceptions, these boons were paid for with a currency called OOC points. An OOC point were given once a day regardless of whether or not one was active on that day. However, they could also be earned. Efforts to earn OOC points included winning a 'best roleplay of the week' nomination, worldbuilding work, and a few other measures. OOC points were not a system present at server conception. To address the fact that older player characters had been on MH longer, a respec was given to generations one and two. It wasn't necessarily balanced, the number of points gifted left generation one characters with over four hundred OOC points only six months into the server existing. This was almost enough to buy some of the high-tier big ticket items. THE PROBLEM IS SEEDED: When generation three was brought into the server, it was the largest MH had ever experienced. Generations one and two were sitting at about thirty members in each beforehand, and the individuals popping in and roleplaying was more or less delegated to ten to fifteen for each generation. MH advertising had explained in great detail the fact that an established server canon existed, and some of these characters were elevated by being ingrained into the lore of the server. This was established not only in the ongoing plot, but in a TV Tropes page which chronicled some of the best highlights. There were friend groups and in-crowds. Intentionally or otherwise, generations one and two had a certain legacy to new players, and some players even to this day— though maybe two or three are active— maintain a strange sort of reverence for these long time roleplayers, especially when they first meet them. Now I have to clarify that the actual players of these characters are all lovely, and they never inherently asked for this sort of divide to be in place. But many of them were gearing up for big ticket OOC point purchases as well, in addition to having these mechanical masteries. Roleplaying with them always churned out something cool for generation three. And generation three was two hundred strong. It is fair to say that there were probably one hundred regulars in the first three or so weeks. Roleplay was ongoing 24/7 due to the influx, and the sorting ceremony for the characters took almost eight hours of real time. Predictably, some characters emerged from the absolute mass of individuals that stood out more than others, especially as adventures took place. Because you only could participate in adventures or plot by catching them as they start to happen, this predator was always able to participate partially because he was always online. Of these were characters we'll call one Sam, one Saffron, and one Elson. Sam was easily the most popular character of generation three, and after forming a Harry, Ron, and Hermione-esque trio of IC friends, he ended up with the nickname 'Protagonist.' By everybody. A server body with one hundred and fifty active players. Sam and 'Protagonist' became synonymous, and suddenly being around Sam IC was a virtual promise to have something exciting happen, or to hear of something exciting happen. In the first two weeks of his character existing, he'd been on two-three opportunities for adventure. Most characters of generation three, easily 90% or more, had zero opportunity to participate in that aspect of MH. Coupled with the fact that he also was in one of the most hotly watched IC server love triangles, (Saffron and Sam were shipped, and hard) there were a lot of eyes on Sam. It was a fair bet to see any number of his messages with a slew of Discord reactions spelling out 'PROTAG.' Cadogan also played into this. Sam was a friendly Hufflepuff IC, and he knew a lot of those infamous MH characters of generations one and two by sheer virtue of his popular position. By being the supposed protagonist of generation three, he often was in scenes with the old guard MH chars of generations one and two. It was a positive feedback loop of notoriety, as he in turn became a plot link for events his character had not participated in because he was told of them— after all, it was considered metagaming to miraculously learn of plot threads just because you knew of them OOC. But these connections also gave him mechanical benefits, because the assistance dynamic made roleplay with older players incentivized. He quickly also became one of the strongest characters of generation three, which meant that if he entered any fights with his peers, he was almost guaranteed to win. He was even winning IC fights against characters a couple of years his senior. So by the time the last trickles of generation three had joined the server, there was a character that was stronger than everyone else, more interesting than everyone else, he had the 'hottest' love interest, the coolest best friend, and the craziest mentor figures. Roleplays with Sam were quickly filled by people seeking a piece of the spotlight because of these compounding factors. Then came the issue of professors. In the early days of MH making a professor also guaranteed an admin position— and it just so happened that a lot of the notorious characters had players in positions of power. Again, none of the people he had these connections to were inherently bad, but in interviewing other players about these ones and the context of the time, I pretty universally got a lot of responses about being anxious to talk to them or to ask for roleplay scenes. So Sam was a possible bridge between these two worlds, especially as people got more comfortable over time. It also meant he had a jumpstart on OOC friendships in turn. Sam's player, who we'll call Carson, made a separate secret server for his friends. He shared real details about himself and his life to these people, and many of them did the same. So now those friendships had transcended the realms of MH, and he quickly had his own clique of often high-influence friends. Eventually the love triangle split, and scenes with Saffron, Sam, and Elson became a relative rarity. For anyone watching from the outside, this may have seemingly been a natural transition. However, it was the first of many red flags as Saffron and Elson bonded OOC-ly over Carson's strange, possessive behaviors towards Saffron's then sixteen year-old player. He quickly cut Saffron and Elson off after those two characters paired off instead (in an equally popular romance) and found a new IC love interest, which he in turn quickly made a platform for in terms of romantic server hallmarks. The new couple gained similar notoriety, though admittedly less initial fervor as the number of players slowly dropped. Seeing 'Sam x Victoria' was now just as common as messages of 'Saffron x Elson,' because Sam's new IC romance took off very quickly despite the latter being more established. As the months continued, he repeatedly cozied up to individuals who were becoming admins, individuals who were admins, and individuals who were popular either for their wacky, lovable characters or their obscenely good quality of writing. He in turn became a notorious name, but things behind the scenes were increasingly strange as the months started going on and Carson's personal server of MH friends started to grow. Carson spent a lot of time on MH, easily hours every day. It was a promise you would run into him in the OOC general chats. Everyone knew him, and something of a cult of personality formed. Eventually Carson got an OOC boyfriend he met on the server, and that couple followed the same degree of OOC shipping that he'd experienced in-character, despite being openly possessive of a string of other people OOC similarly in prior weeks. It's hard to convey the degree of popularity he experienced, because he was the first of its kind and no one since has been comparable. But in every conversation both in character and out, it was a fair 1/3 chance that he was brought up, and almost universally in a positive light. THE RED FLAGS WERE THERE, BUT NO ONE REALLY REALIZED: Saffron and Elson stopped talking with Carson pretty early on. That was perhaps the first indicator something was awry. Then Victoria's player kept dropping out and in, and her activity waned and came in erratic bursts. She stopped talking OOC in MH. Then Carson saddled up to the most popular characters of generation three, and somehow scenes always involved him kissing those characters for "practice." His group of friends IC started seeding itself firmly in server prominence, intentionally or otherwise. Then his IC friends became OOC friends, and everyone's social status went up. Then, one day, a default bot message displayed about his leaving of the server was up for about two minutes and in the interim a couple of people eyeing the channel had seen it and raised unheard alarm bells. And while there was a grace period where his absence was not noticed for about fifteen minutes, an announcement then went up: "Sam, otherwise known as Carson to those of you who knew him OOC, has been banned for the exchange of pornographic material with multiple minors. Individuals have come forward and there is absolute proof of this fact. We suggest blocking him and leaving any side servers with him in it." As it had turned out, Carson had been grooming multiple MH players 17 and under. While he wasn't that much older than them OOC at 19 or 20, as information has slowly come out about what transpired, it is very clear that he was saying some very disgusting, threatening things to these children, in addition to the exchange of materials previously described. He was secretly a scarily dominant person, and he'd put those he groomed in both IC and OOC positions of social dependance. Many of his victims placed in isolated positions with him in a central orbit. Another aspect of this that made him inherently dangerous was the proof that he had exchanged IRL addresses with a lot of these people, promising to send Christmas gifts. The admin team response as these individuals had come forward in February of 2018 was rapid, synchronized, and left no room for questions. Two of the admins, one of which we'll call Aaron, ended up in the position of distributing screenshots demonstrating that an exchange had taken place. Obviously, none of the nudes were included in these bundles of evidence, but clear exchanges had transpired and these were forwarded to the rest of the admin team. Behind the scenes, everyone rolled out and started preparations to purge him from all the side servers and MH function at once, so he didn't have time to retaliate. This proof was never given to the server at large, because it was obvious that it would have put the victims in unsafe positions in addition to a huge variety of other factors. The way his ban was handled is honestly one of the greatest acts of unity the admin team has ever and will ever experienced, and they acted well. He was banned from three or four MH side servers in a span of two minutes, and Carson's personal server was purged as players with admin privileges deleted everything, purged the members, and then left themselves. THE SERVER F*CKING EXPLODES, AND IN A BAD WAY: No one had seen this coming, except for maybe a minority of two or three players who weren't particularly keen on his powergrubbing antics— Saffron and Elson especially. It was pretty obvious Carson was gunning for an admin position. In the aftermath, everyone felt betrayed, and expressed this openly in an explosion of chatter in the OOC general chats. His name was purged from the MH wiki, the MH TV Tropes page, and his account quickly was deleted. Hundreds of ways that he'd slowly engrained himself into the server were slowly purged, and the universal decision to close off recruitment for generation five was made. No one was coming in, especially since he'd made an obvious alt trying to get back under a new name within a week of his ban. That six month period of no new blood almost killed MH. Activity was waning hard by the time a new recruitment period rolled around. Roleplay was sparse. In being so notorious and roleplaying so much, his writing style became his undoing. It was too easily recognized, and he was found out when a new character was posted under a suspiciously familiar writing style. Long term, measures to reduce any way that someone could amass a title like Sam's "Protagonist" were slowly purged. It had been openly expressed by at least a couple of the victims that they were scared to come forward because of the position of popularity he'd amassed, enabled by sh*tty systems. In edition to the factors discussed in my first post, this contributed in the construction of the new spell bot's design as Cadogan left the server, and helped foster the anti-protagonist mindset of the system which replaced OOC points. His name is almost a taboo to this day, to the point where the newest generations haven't ever even heard of his existing. You simply don't talk about it. The only last detail in this drama post is Aaron. When a couple of victims had gone to him and another admin for help, he apparently attempted to compile a dossier of messages and screenshots with the promise of handing it over to the police of Carson's home country, with the resolute promise he'd go to jail. Hearsay says that the report was sloppily compiled, legally worthless, and it is known that Carson is still just fine today, having really faced no real consequences to his actions OOC.
Unpopular opinion: Fibromyalgia/Central Sensitisation is fake, but the patients are really suffering from something unknown. Just so they can treat it as a psychiatric issue!
Now hear me out. Firstly, I believe that these people who are diagnosed, have pain. But their diagnosis is just a fake label they’ve used to make their job easier. So they don’t actually investigate what’s causing the problem! They just say that your nerves are too sensitive, and that you have a low pain tolerance. I have chronic back pain, chronic knee pain, Erb’s Palsy and HAD carpal tunnel syndrome (surgery fixed it). But I’ve heard of fibromyalgia, which has the symptoms: “Pain areas: in the muscles, abdomen, back, or neck Pain types: can be chronic, diffuse, sharp, or severe Pain circumstances: can occur at night Whole body: fatigue, feeling tired, or malaise Muscular: muscle tenderness, delayed onset muscle soreness, or muscle spasms Gastrointestinal: constipation, nausea, or passing excessive amounts of gas Mood: anxiety, mood swings, or nervousness Cognitive: forgetfulness or lack of concentration Hand: sensation of coldness or tingling Sensory: pins and needles or sensitivity to pain Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or sleep disturbances Also common: depression, flare, headache, irritability, joint stiffness, painful menstruation, sensitivity to cold, or tingling feet” These are a collection of symptoms for many different things. The pain could be due to a physiological issue. The gastrointestinal problems could be IBS, food intolerances, allergies or GI tract issues, such as gastroparesis. The mood symptoms could be generalised anxiety disorder, the mood swings could be an endocrine issue, it could be from ADHD or bipolar disorder. The cognitive issues I believe are from the medications. I’ve been prescribed amitriptyline, which put me to sleep. Lyrica highly sedated me. I’m trying duloxetine in 2 weeks, so I’ll see how that goes. Then there’s muscle relaxants and opioids. You’re put on a lot of depressants, that slow down your nerves, slow down reaction times, affect cognition, affect memory. Lyrica reduces the excitability of neurones. So that’s good for seizures in epilepsy or in neuropathic pain. But it also affects normal signals, such as thought. Being alert of your surroundings. Communication with people. Etc. I was on 300mg of Lyrica and 1.5mg of Clonazepam. Terrible combination. I was a zombie. I came off the clonazepam really easily, but it’ll have taken me over a year to come off of Lyrica. I’m down to 100mg, and my cognition is much better. I actually remember things. I don’t have brain fog anymore. I think that’s not a symptom of chronic pain, but simply being doped up with all this s***! Hand coldness could be from old age (older people feel the cold), frail hands with little muscle or fat, poor circulation (decongestants and stimulants such as speed, cause blood vessels to narrow, which reduces blood flow and can cause extremities to die). Then tingling could be neuropathy or carpal tunnel syndrome. Sleep problems are common with all kinds of chronic pain. The body is releasing epinephrine and norepinephrine, as a result of being in pain. Your body is constantly in fight or flight. Which is taxing and generally results in endocrine problems. Actually tackling the source of the pain or reducing the intensity of the pain signals, will help with sleeping. This could also explain the anxiety, as those neurotransmitters are designed to make you feel on edge. Depression could be from clinical depression or the hopelessness, that untreated chronic pain brings. Flares are like acute attacks of pain. So chronic pain has a baseline pain, and then it has flares. So say you have back pain, and you bend over, it may cause a flare, because you’re putting stress on that region. So your pain may go from 4/10 to 8/10. Headaches could be attributed to so many things, I won’t go over it. Irritability: go up to an injured dog and try to pat them. What will they do? Try to bite you? Yep! Someone in pain is in fight or flight mode. It’s an evolutionary adaptation to protect our injury, by fighting off a potential predator. Joint stiffness? Possibly arthritis. Painful menstruation? Possibility of endometriosis. Sensitivity to the cold or tingly feet? Could be poor circulation, low amount of body fat or muscle or simply being frail, low metabolic rate, neuropathy, etc. So they’ve taken symptoms from multiple conditions, and packaged them into one thing. Something else I found interesting, was the similarity to lupus. Now look at the symptoms for lupus: “Pain areas: in the muscles Pain types: can be sharp in the chest Pain circumstances: can occur while breathing Whole body: anaemia, fatigue, fever, or malaise Hair: hair loss or loss of scalp hair Skin: red rashes or scaly rashes Mouth: dryness or ulcers Also common: anxiety, blood in urine, clinical depression, face rash, flare, headache, joint stiffness, raynaud's syndrome, sensitivity to light, swelling, water retention, or weight loss” Very similar right. Now let’s discuss treatment. “The treatment of fibromyalgia can be difficult. Recommendations often include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may also be helpful. The medications duloxetine, milnacipran or pregabalin may be used. Use of opioid pain medication is controversial, with some stating their usefulness is poorly supported by evidence and others saying that weak opioids may be reasonable if other medications are not effective. Dietary supplements lack evidence to support their use. While fibromyalgia can last a long time, it does not result in death or tissue damage.” Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and a healthy diet? Shouldn’t everyone be doing that? CBT is used to treat psychological conditions. Is fibromyalgia a psychological condition? Medications: antidepressants and anti-epileptics are pretty much ubiquitously prescribed for fibromyalgia and chronic pain in general. Benzodiazepines (Valium) and nonbenzodiazepine Z drug sleeping pills (Ambien) are generally not used (due to addiction risk), but may be prescribed short term or long term to elderly patients. These are all psychiatric medications! Then we finally get to pain management! Such as: muscle relaxants, acetaminophen, NSAIDS and (very rarely) opioids. Again, there’s the addiction risk of <5% becoming addicted. They’re also saying that, in general, chronic (non-malignant: non-cancerous) pain shouldn’t be treated by opioids. But especially for fibromyalgia. It sounds like the discrimination between malignant cancer pain and regular chronic pain, is them betting on the cancer patient dying before addiction. Whereas regular chronic pain sufferers live decades, and no doctor wants to prescribe opioids for decades. Oh, and there’s the opioid epidemic, where people are dying from opioid overdoses. But most of the cases are from heroin and fentanyl or illicitly pressed pills with fentanyl inside. Actually, overdose deaths have increased, as opioid prescribing drops. Chronic pain patients are committing suicide at a higher rate, since opioid prescribing has gone down. But we’re not quitters, we know the issue MUST be prescription opioids. Even though patients say that opioids work better than Tylenol or ibuprofen. We’re going to do studies to prove them wrong. We’re going to under-dose the opioids in the study and use extremely high doses of Tylenol and acetaminophen. What we’ve proved, is that 5mg of oxycodone is really no more effective than 1000mg of acetaminophen and 800mg of ibuprofen. So even though we compared the absolute minimum opioid dose to the absolute maximum NSAID dose, like the opioid’s dose could be increased a lot, but the NSAIDS become toxic above that dose when administered at once. So in conclusion, I feel that fibromyalgia is really synonymous with hypochondriac, as far as the doctor is concerned. So we’re going to tell them that their pain is real, but treat them as if they have a psychiatric disorder. Hopefully that pesky patient stops asking for tests, and becomes a good little docile customer, who takes what I prescribe, and won’t mind me putting my fear of the DEA ruining my life, if I prescribed them even 1 Percocet a day.
A navy canvas with flickers of glistening white paint, crystalised into a serenity of stars that blossomed across the Manhattan sky; a reflection of the contestants who had already found this concrete cocoon of luxury to be their home. The focus diffuses from the night sky to the downward ambience of the streets; racing cars, light pollution, dining upper-class men and police sirens. Each speck of neon a star of their own, belonging to the urban nightlife. FLOOR 64 | WEEK ONE Whilst the room was remarkably vast, the corner allocated with the mini-bar and the seating arrangement had become heavily populated with all of the new competitors. They may be sparkling with joy and forming sparks from the collision of glasses and initiation of new friendships, but all cocktail glasses were yet to be filled. A chime of the AB crystal veil dangling from the centre-room chandelier synchronised with the next ping of the elevator; each step of a heel synonymous to the click of each rising level and each golden flare refracted from the salted glass brims reminiscent of the gold luminescence from the floor number declaration - 64. A tall, slim figure strides into the werk room from the elevator in her ash-grey high heel sandals with a bright amber back, face obscured by a megaphone styled like a traffic cone which she held in her left hand, the other perched upon her waist. She wore a latex dress, which ended just below her knees; it caught the light of the room and shone bright in neon orange. A stripe of high-vis material hugged her cinched waist and another lined the bottom of the dress. Mini traffic cones jutted out from each shoulder and pointed to her sickeningly sweet wig. Her pale orange hair in a beehive style featured a prominent, bright white streak which swirled like a scoop of soft serve ice cream. “Alert! Alert! This is an urgent warning to all kings and queens; we’ve heard word of a storm arriving in the werk room. So take cover, because she’s here!” She lifted the megaphone away from her face to reveal a shimmering red lip and oversized eyelashes which emphasised her piercing gaze as she surveyed the room. Amanda Alert had arrived. “A gassy queen, nice.” Frankie declares the first observation of their new arrival. [AMANDA ALERT]: My drag name is Amanda Alert, I’m from Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland of the UK! I’m 22 and I signed up for this competition as all this talent has been cooped up in this tiny country for too long, so it’s time for Reddit to find out what I can do. Whatever that is. I guess we’ll find out together. My drag style in 3 words is performative, dramatic and conceptual. Oh! I do love a good mind game, but who doesn’t? Whether I could actually pull that off is another question. That being said, I have a big heart and I would always stand for what’s right and fair. However, if the other competitors are looking for help, I’m not the one. I’m going to bring drama. Where does the character end and where do I begin? Only a degree in psychology will help you there because I’m not telling, but that’s just part of the story of me that will unfold. Any final words? Dumb blondes unite! “She’s an irish lass too.” Amanda struts over to the group, gesturing to her face and her outfit. A demeanour of confidence which one could die for, now being shared with the other contestants. She basks in the spotlights blasted from the ceiling, framing her face as if to be a covergirl, the distant city skyline her background. “How are we all?” The queen looks left to right, taking in the view of her competitors so far. Tough competitio- [AMANDA ALERT]: I know I look stunning. Some of these contestants could give me a run for my money, but it’s a good thing we’re not competing for money - isn’t it? “We’re doing great thanks. It’s not been too shady yet.” Peach answers, although staring directly at the camera and breaking the fourth wall with a suggestive wink. Amanda had already found her way over to the Jaclyn Hill makeup cases, investigating the crystals on each with her nails as she tapped them in amusement. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but hairy lip sticks are not. We’d assume her sudden frown meant she caught eye of the brand label, followed by her retreat back over to the competitors. “I swear I’ve had a deja vu of this moment already.” Venetia murmurs to herself in the corner, although audibly enough for the approaching Amanda Alert to hear. She bumps into her slightly to purposefully clear way of the closest mirror - “I’m sorry you had to find out you’re going to lose much earlier than everyone else, sweetie.” - attempting to adjust her hair and the confidence of the others with her shade. Even though everyone else had already re-invested into their prior conversations, they also had heard the line, some laughing and not taking her seriously whilst others just glared - whether such expression meant ‘oop’ or ‘she’s a clown’, we may never know. Luckily for us, the awkwardness came to a halt as the next elevator ping was heard. The upward and downward arrows of the elevator flickered in alternating pink colour, the doors finally sliding open as the motion of light diffused. A conundrum of eerie music whistled throughout the open room. The sound comes from the elevator accompanied by the clicking of heels. Sharon turns the corner and appears at the wide doorway, putting her phone back in her small, red clutch. She snaps it closed and looks up, shifting her shoulders to the side and snapping her head straight ahead. Sharon is wearing a cream colored cropped sweater covered in ostrich feathers, giving it a fuzzy look. Her tight light millennial pink leather pencil skirt hugs her padded curves, and her cream colored booties give her an extra four inches of height. Draped around her shoulders is a rust red leather jacket. Her dark hair falls straight down her back, with blunt bangs framing her dark smokey eye look highlighted with reds and shimmer. She wears a white silk ascot around her throat. She grabs her jacket from her shoulders and holds it down to her side as she steps forward. “Like my namesake suggests”, Sharon says, “I tell it like it is. And looking around the room, I can tell you….y’all are not it.” The final step of the ghoulish queen echoed around the penthouse, commanding the attention of all pre-existing contestants to be drawn her way. So much so for the halt to the awkwardness, this queen not only returned with a pulse, but also shade. [SHARON TAINT]: My name is Sharon Taint, I’m from New York City, New York, and I am 25 years old. I’m almost done with competing on the current season of Reddit Dragula Season 6, and my lust for winning brought me over to the light side to compete for the crown on the first season of Fake Drag Race! Sharon’s drag style is current, rich, and influential. She makes memorable pieces that epitomize current trends on and off the runway. Based on my experience in Reddit Dragula, I’d say I will get a villain edit because she speaks the truth, and sometimes that truth can get her in trouble, but deep down I just want the best for everyone and looks forward to being challenged. I’ll be bringing my A Game to Fake Drag Race. I won’t tolerate people half assing things, and I expect the same from all my brothers and sisters. It’s going to take your absolute best to beat Shaeon, so bring it. Sharon takes one last pose in the frame, turning to face the contestants who watched her as she entered. A smug grin spread across her face, although her eyes were empty with care. Her powerful strut only meant one thing; she was here for the crown. “Hey, I’m Sharon Taint, your winner of the season.” “Ooh, get to know her guys. She’s already placing bets on herself.” May looks to the others with wide eyes. Confused? Probably. It was too early to make a fair judgement on whether her statement and confidence were merely an act of delusion or if she was going to live up to her brazen admissions. “This is so weird-” Sharon slides a hand down a glass worktop surface, facing away from the others “- Reddit Dragula was not as boujie as this.” “Ah, so you’ve competed before?” Val asks, catching onto the words Reddit Dragula. Yes, that’sRDragula*.* “Yep! It was great fun, so I thought I’d give this a try.” [VAL KYRIE]: This queen has experience in another competition? If I was her I probably wouldn’t be bragging about that too soon. Cameras turn to face Amanda, who had found her match up. Both confident as hell, competitive and believe that they’re stunning. Ironically this pair had found themselves sitting next to each other, Sharon coming into the frame as she imprints her fingerprints onto the velvet chair, grabbing onto the arm as she drops into it. Enough of big ego rivalries, let’s hope the next queen is a bit more… humble. Whilst we love a cat fight, we also want a miss congeniality this season. A ping is heard - “Another one.” - and the elevator panel flutters with exchanging floor numbers. Time for ejection? The oncoming queen walks into the room from the shaft, she’s wearing high heels with hooves on the front and black fur covering the rest of the shoes and continuing up her legs and stopping at her waist. A revealing deep purple tunic with gold trim covers her upperbody and ends above her midsection. The sleeves cover her arms reaching her wrists and are held in place by thick gold bangles. A gold pan flute with chain wraps around her neck and under one arm rests against her side right above my waist. One light sandstone colored horn rests above each eye followed by a gold circlet crown above. Her wig is black and braided reaching just above the little black tail in the back. She does do a quick spin to show everything off. "Let's hope I'm better than last!" [BETTE LASS]: I’m Bette Lass and I’m from Richmond, VA. I’m 26. I signed up for the competition because I thought it would be fun since I'm competitive and always up for trying something new. My drag style in 3 words would be creative, colorful and loud. I'm thinking I’d be more of a hero as I normally try to be kind, but it depends on how the other contestants are. I’m going to bring my personality and own creative process. I'm full of energy and ready to have fun! Any final words? Let's hope I'm better than last! Bette spins on her heel as she turns to face the current cast, at first bewildered with how many contestants there were - “Oh shit.” - but then grinning, an effervescent smile greeting her sisters and brother as she approaches with rhythm in her step. “Hey! I’m Bette Lass.” “You look happy.” Rose Schwartz observes the queen, passing over a martini glass, surprisingly there’s still one left on the mini-bar. “You look stunning too.” Euphoria pulls Bette into a sudden hug, her glass spilling its contents slightly onto the Peach’s pump. [PEACH]: She did not just drench my very expensive heel with that drink. “I’ll wipe it-” Bette lowers to the floor, using the hem of whatever garment was nearest to absorb the contents “- that’s better.” The camera pans up from the ground, tracing back the fabric of whoevers look she used to wipe it, an evil glare from Amber with steam seeming out of her ears. Her face taints red like her garment drenched yellow. Before the innocent queen gets a boot in her face, let’s distract them. The thick shaft rises level after level, burping up a sparkly presence when at the top of the building’s throat. The queens stop talking as soon as they hear the sound of heels. The camera zooms in on those very heels, which are a shade of magenta and surprisingly tall. Soon the queen comes into focus. She’s wearing a beautiful magenta saree-esque dress covered in large sequins and glitter. The camera then cuts to the other queens who are pretty surprised. Her mug is flawless, her face is beat, and she’s wearing a red holy dot on her forehead. Her wig is a brown human hair wig. Her earrings are big and gorgeous. They look expensive. She as a whole looks expensive. As she walks in on those tall heels, she joins her hands and then utters - “Namaste! Where’s Mike Litoris?” “In my mouth”. Peach responds. Ew. [MIKE LITORIS]: I’m Mike Litoris, originally from India but now living in Portland in Oregon. I am 19 years old, gonna be 20 this August 4th. I always wanted to dress up as a queen and enter the actual workroom, and this seems like a good time during quarantine. My drag style is glamorous and psychotic. I’d enjoy being any of the two, hero or villain, but personally a hero is more celebrated. I’m going to bring to the season my sick moves, and I’m known as the dancing diva. Mike stands like a spectacle of shattered glass; glimmering in the spotlights as each fringe of sequin decorates her figure with sparkles and flares of pearlescent light. The sequins sway side to side and blind the distant queens as she struts over, crossing her heels elegantly and approaching less-aggressively than some of the other competitors. “That dress is stunning,” Armani touches the sequin with permission, drawn to it’s glimmer “are you from India?” “Yep, I was born there but we moved over to America.” “Well, if that’s what Indian fashion looks like then I want to be living that dream, not the American one.” Armani smiles, gesturing to the empty seat behind her. “I’ll borrow that dress at some point too.” Venetia winks at Mike Litoris, only then catching eye of a confused glare from Amanda. “Let’s just wait until we get to a design challenge, then we’ll see how far that questionable taste gets you.” Shade rattles. Amanda was coming for Peach’s gig as a self-proclaimed villain. “You’d do good if C.U.N.T just meant being a cunt, but the only thing you have is nerve.” Venetia flips her hair back, cringing at Amanda’s attempt to be shady again. The one thing about being situated in the city is that the distant diegetic sound of police sirens is ironically suited to the continuity of shade between the drag artists. Whether that momentary exchange offered for an ambulance siren, or one of the police, both sounds were as equally appropriate. And, just like the nightlife below, the same sass and drinks were being shared above - in this workroom. “Don’t worry Bette-” Peach helps the queen from the ground, retracting her heel “- you don’t have to do that.” “I know, it just gave me a reason to avoid whatever tension is going on here already.” The others laugh, Bette finally taking a seat and unknowingly leaving Amanda’s hem drenched. The camera cuts away from the group and back to the platinum doors, a projection of lips slowly opening via a picture frame flickering on the surface, blasting onto whichever queen stood behind as the doors ripped open. Sagittaria struts into the werkroom elegantly and poses in front of the cameras. “Hold on to your briefcases ladies, cause I mean business!”, she says. She raises her briefcase up, showing off her bidazzled initials on it. She opens it up, one side of it falling open and tons of glitter stars fall out. She drops the briefcase to the ground and poses again. Her look is inspired by a business woman, but with a more fashion-forward twist on it. She’s looking beautiful in these flared pants and gorgeous box blazers. She has a fabulous disc headpiece with star fringes attached all over. The color combinations of white, blue and gold and the patterns on her outfit, combined with the star details all throughout the outfit make my look an unforgettable one. [SAGITTARIA T. STARZ]: My name is Sagittaria T. Starz., I’m originally from Madrid, Spain but now live in New York City. I’m 21 years old and I want to sign up for Fake Drag Race so I can express my creative ideas and experience the competing in Drag Race fantasy. I’d describe my drag style as glamorous, conceptual and definitely diverse. I definitely believe I’ll be a hero this season, as I do consider myself a congenial person. I’d always be down to help a fellow queen out whenever they need it. I believe my looks are gonna be the things that stand out about me the most, but I’ll also try and show my more goofy and entertaining side. I believe I’d be a great competitor because I see myself as a fully well rounded queen. Another star added to the race, this business woman commanding social and elite prowess on these hoes, as if she’d just stepped out of her chauffeur car and into her own property. With a swing of the suitcase she turns to face the others, waving. “Hi! I’m Sagittaria.” The queen proudly points to the embellishment of her initials on the equipped briefcase. “Nice detail, this queen is already branding.” Euphoria examines her prop, questioning whether she should’ve branded more. “Welcome to the circus-” Val greets the new contestant “- I mean literally, welcome to the circus. This place has been wild.” Sagittaria places her briefcase down on a makeup station chair after being welcomed, then taking comfort in the nearest armchair besides the others. She’d better prepare herself for the storm of upcoming questions. “So, where are you from then?” Sharon asks, her legs crossed and face stern as if she was presenting her own talk show. “I’m originally from Madrid, but now I live in the city-” She declares, looking around at the others “- anyone else from a different country originally?” “Half of the cast are.” Rose attempts to count on her fingers, but gives up. An ethnically diverse cast with contestants from all backgrounds? Diversity. The spotlights integrated into the floor begin to illuminate brighter, the now completely black skies and fragments of neon light from adjacent skyscrapers the only external source of light. The intensity increases until the room is bright enough to have an ambient glow, but not to a blinding level. A final projector image of a lipstick, as seen on the seasons promotions, flickers on the doors of the elevator before they opened. A dark silhouette was seen in the shaft enclosure, stepping from the shelter and into the drag chaos. A loud cackle is heard as the werkroom goes silent. Then a queen wearing a white blouse, enveloped in a glittery pink blazer and complimented by a skirt of the same description bounds into the werkroom. She has rose gold hoop earrings and is carrying a pink briefcase decorated with a golden S. She is wearing a towering blond beehive wig. Her lips are the same shade as her blazer and her eyes are given a lighter finish. Her brows are thin and high and her lashes are impossible to clock. “Let’s get down to business. I’m here. Now what do I do?” [SHELLY STATION]: I’m Shelly station. I’m 25 years old and I’m from the UK. I’m a glamorous comedy goddess. I have no intention of being a villain but, I will get down if I need to. Fake drag race sounds like so much fun and I can’t wait to see how far I can get! I will try my hardest to bring positivity to the competition and, spoiler alert... I win. A mischievous grin dawns her face, the camera panning closer as she strikes one last movement. The house music beat flutters in volume, eventually fading as the expected greetings from the other queens overtakes. Shelly waves as she leaves the lens to follow her endeavour over. “I’m finally in this damn penthouse-” She sighs, claiming the last chair “- I’ve been waiting in that damn toilet cubicle for hours waiting for your fat asses to get up.” “Production made you wait in a toilet cubicle?” Peach asks, Amber chuckling in the background. “You guys didn’t?” “Nope.” Shelly, now flustered, shrugged the confusion off and proceeded to hug the last queen - Sagittaria. She claimed the last seat, although unsettled having realised that she was likely the final one to enter. And, she was correct, because she was indeed the last to enter Floor 64. The windows on the outward-looking wall instantaneously turn into an opaque black, purple lines glitching across what was thought originally to be the glass surface, each aligning in specific positions before manifesting into a screen that readFake Drag Race, followed by a subsequent roar of an engine and whips of two rising, animated flags. “This is crazy.” Val follows the others who had headed over to the windows, although the screen resolution was wide enough for them to have seen it from the corner. “Is this going to be the first video message?” “I hope so, I can’t wait to get a challenge to kill you bitches.” Amber smirks, looking over her shoulder at a non-concerned Val. The chandelier depicted at the start of the episode dims, the crystals no longer reflecting a natural hue of baby pink light, but instead the pixelation of the window-screen hybrid adjacent. Fourteen silhouettes stood in the light, watching as the logo fades. An elevator ping is heard from behind them, bringing their attention back to the entrance. The ping echoed around the room and reminisced in the vast, open space, the floor lights beaming rays fluctuating in pink and blue as if to be a siren with ambient sounds of ambulances from the nearest street. The doors illuminate red with a supremity of heat, gradually glowing more neon by the second, in perfect synchrony with how close the elevator was to the penthouse floor. A flicker of the number panel declares that it had arrived, the doors gradually opening as if to reveal a godly entity of sorts, or something of fragile content. From the shaft birthed four muscular silhouettes, men brazen with muscle with abs and adonis belts that had been carved like a cliff's edge, dripping in sweat that would glisten like droplets of seawater. They bared gas masks, their face covered completely, but the rest of their body on show - or at least to the extent of which would be safe to be televised. Each muscle was flexed as they held up an emergency stretcher above them, Peach leaning in wafting her hand near one of their pits. Although Frank may have envied her, he grabbed her arm and gently yanked her back, clearing way for the four pit crew members with whatever or whoever sported the stretcher. They stopped near the stairs at the elevated flooring, placing the equipment down and stepping aside to reveal who they brought in with them. A woman, not particularly petite in stature, her long legs unraveling uncomfortably as she spawned from the web of bone cracking in the enclosure of the sealed ambulance surface. Locks of black hair fell as she rose to a full stance, stepping out of the bag and removing the oxygen mask, flinging it to the side. Malaysia Zero, attempted murderer of her drag mother, but also the host for this season. She was decked out in the same styling seen in the original scene, her crystal, lace veil mask still intact and her shades yet to be removed. Decked out in a custom hazmat suit that had been made in excessive black PVC, cinched to her waist but left to bloom in folds on the mid-section of her arms, pulled together by a tight cuff at the wrist. Gloves pulled tight beneath the arm, although the yellow was blended perfectly into her skin, looking as if to be a part of her flesh with the protruding synonymously yellow nails. Malaysia coughs loudly down onto the crowd, Venetia ducking and pulling Amber in front of her to catch whatever slobber fell their way. “There’s been an outbreak…” The competitors stood, confused. The camera cuts to Rose who peers over to Peach. [ROSE SCHWARTZ]: She’s already spread her STDs. We’re going to have to evacuate the competition. “Of fake drag queens and kings!” Malaysia cheers, the stage lights strung from the ceiling intensifying and aiming down at both the cast and herself. “Welcome to Fake Drag Race, season one. It’s a pleasure to have you all, but it’ll also be a pleasure to get rid of you all.” The cast also cheer, but with how evil we’ve already seen some of them to be, we can’t tell whether they’re happy to beat eachother or are just cheering in celebration of the season start. They all turn to face the window-screen as it births fourteen different profiles of the contestants, all equally spread out amongst the surface and glitching intermittently. “Damn, I look pretty.” Armani watches her close-up appear. A leaderboard of sorts, one that would declare who remained after heels had been thrown and contestants had been slaughtered. “There’s fourteen of you, so let’s get into our first challenge. As you can tell, I’m currently wearing my designer coronavirus suit, a big trend at the moment. For your first Fake Drag Race challenge, you will be designing your own looks from the unconventional medical materials that are associated with health, and the protection from the virus.” *** Welcome to Fake Drag Race, you’ve all provided amazing entrances and I genuinely can’t wait to see how you do. With that being said, let’s put you to the test, shall we? For your first challenge, you will be designing looks from the unconventional materials of medical equipment and quarantine supplies, particularly used to protect from this virus and other nasty ones. Although I’m not going to provide you with a full list as this may be relatively self explanatory, he are some ideas:
Cleaning products - e.g. bottles and sprays
Isolation pods (can be deconstructed)
If you have any other items you need to check, please run them by me at PM. You will be presenting these looks on the runway, and you will all receive an example soon after this has been out. This challenge was also made by Smacahoe, the Reddit Dragula 2 winner! Followed by your runway look, please provide a separate confessional explaining what items you used and how they were used. Joining us on the panel this week, at the moment, is Reddit Dragula 3 winner Angie Apathy. Known for her ability to construct and think of amazing looks with her knowledge of fashion and sensibility, she’s a great judge for this challenge. DEADLINE: Thursday 9th April, 11pm GMT. SPREADSHEET:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Q7R26s3hX5LIzJ_N6s3hbjvnENfEVDE0-0dzB8U_Cp0/edit?usp=sharing NOTE: This episode part is going to be edited and redone in due time. Today was the only day I would have had a chance to get this out or written, and so I apologise. You’ll be notified when it has been done so. REMINDER: Ongoings in the chat will be reflected more so from this point onwards.
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