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Are You Afraid of the Darkness?: A Hopepunk Explainer – Den of Geek US

This feature originally appeared in Den of Geek's NYCC 2019 print magazine.

When author Alexandra Rowland (AChoir of Lies)first posted to Tumblr in 2017, "The opposite of grimdark is hopepunk. Pass it on," she had no idea how intensely that sentiment would resonate with the platforms community and beyond.

"Initially, I was just vaguely bemused that anyone was listening to me," Rowland says, "but at the same time, I understood intellectually why hopepunk was resonating with people. Simply put: they were hurting, and hopepunk was a thing that helped comfort the hurt."

What is hopepunk? It depends on who you ask...

Rowland, quoting her essay One Atom of Justice, One Molecule of Mercy, and the Empire of Unsheathed Knives, says: Hopepunk is a subgenre and a philosophy that says kindness and softness dont equal weakness, and that, in this world of brutal cynicism and nihilism, being kind is a political act. An act of rebellion.

To understand hopepunk as a concept it helps to understand what it stands in contrast to. Grimdark is a fantasy subgenre characterized by bleak settings in which humanity is fundamentally cutthroat, and where no individual or community can stop the worlds inevitable decline. Hopepunk, in contrast, believes that the very act of trying has meaning, that fighting for positive change in and of itself has worthespecially if we do it together.

read more: Autuonomous Robots, Love, and Identity Under Capitalism

I think it's a reaction against the overwhelmingly nihilistic, dystopian slant to a lot of stories in the world right now, says author Annalee Newitz (The Future of Another Timeline). For Newitz, hopepunk isnt a subgenre but rather a reason to tell stories, a motivation, or maybe a narrative tone.

The idea is to tell a story where there are hopeful elements or maybe a hopeful resolution to the characters' struggles, Newitz says. I don't mean to suggest its all about having a happy ending, because you can have a pretty ambivalent, broody ending that still conveys hope. Hopepunk is really about showing readers that we can make it through even the most difficult situations. Even if your hero dies, hopepunk suggests that someone else will be there to take up her torch and carry on.

Hopepunk is Curtis blowing up the train at the end of Snowpiercer, or Max and Furiosa deciding to risk everything and go back to the Citadel at the end of Mad Max: Fury Road. Its Naomi choosing to open the Rocis door to let in as many desperate Ganymede refugees as possible in The Expanse. Its believing that humanity may not be inherently good, but were not inherently bad either, and that giving people the chance to prove themselves compassionate is a worthwhile choice.

At Uncanny, we tend to think of this as radical empathy or radical kindnesschoosing to do the good, kind thing, even when the system doesnt encourage that, as an act of courage, say Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damien Thomas, the editors of Uncanny Magazine.

read more: City in the Middle of the Night Review

The Thomases contextualize hopepunk as a marketing term, one that has gained prominence in the last few years but that has been around much longer: There have been veins of hope (as opposed to grimdark hopelessness) across literature for hundreds of years, and for decades within the SFF genre.

If hopepunk, by some definitions, is nothing new, it is a cultural lens seemingly on the rise after a pop culture period ruled by cynical stories, like Breaking Bad and The Dark Knight, and in a real-world environment that has become increasingly distressing.

We can retreat into paralysis, and pretend that's somehow pragmatic or realistic, says Newitz. Or we can say, fine, this is a horrible problem, let's get together with other people and try to solve any small part of it that we can. Those are the two pathways we can take through a narrative, too. We can tell stories about people who try to fix things, rather than rejoicing in their splendid destruction. Its a way of showing other people that just because things arent perfect, doesnt mean they cant be better.

Has the definition of hopepunk changed since Rowland first coined the term?

The heart of [my original definition] hasn't changed at all, but my efforts to remind people of the angry part of hopepunk definitely have grown, she says. The instinct is to make it only about softness and kindness, because those are what were most hungry for. We all want to be treated gently. But sometimes the kindest thing you can do for someone is to stand up to a bully on their behalf, and that takes guts and rage.

read more: How Red, White, and Royal Blue Hopes For a Kinder America

In 2019, hope can feel impossible. If the past few years have taught us anything, its that the struggle to create a kinder and more just world is one that will never be linear and will never be over. It is bigger than any one of us, and longer than any lifetime. If hopepunk is the stories that keep us trying in the long shadow of that reality, then it is a vital ingredient to the recipe for change.

So what is hopepunk storytelling? Its whatever you need it to be... as long as what you need it to be is a way forward in the darkness.

In hindsight, Rowland says, I'm just very happywhen so many people find a philosophy like hopepunk meaningful and compelling... it sorta restores a bit of your faith in humanity, doesnt it? Maybe all is not yet lost if there are enough people around to say, Oh. Yes, this.

Novels

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine AddisonSaga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona StaplesUprooted by Naomi NovikParable of the Sower by Octavia ButlerThe Future of Another Timeline by Annalee NewitzThe Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette KowalA Choir of Lies by Alexandra RowlandThe City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane AndersTrail of Lightning by Rebecca RoanhorseThe Expanse by James S.A. CoreyWayward Son by Rainbow RowellThe Sol Majestic by Ferrett SteinmetzThe Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison

Other

Our Opinions Are Correct Podcast, Episode 22hosted by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders

Uncanny Magazineedited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damien Thomas (recommendations:"Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse" by S.B. Divya,"Sun, Moon, Dust," by Ursula Vernon, and"Packing" by T. Kingfisher)

Due to the nature of print media, I was unable to include as many of my interviewees' insightful thoughts on hopepunk as I would have liked to.Here is a guide to the full interviews from various speculative fiction authors and editors. I highly recommend clicking through to read them in their entirety.

An Interview with Alexandra Rowland, Author of A Choir of Lies

Excerpt: "By telling hopepunk stories, we necessarily have to be asking questions like, 'How do we care about each other in a world which so aggressively doesn't care about so many of the people in our communities? Who do we consider community, and is that definition too narrow? How do we fight back against the people who want to make us sit down and shut up?'"

An Interview with Annalee Newitz, Author of The Future of Another Timeline

Excerpt: "I think hopepunk is the opposite of apathy. In so many stories these days, characters are (literally or metaphorically) lighting cigarettes and enjoying the end of the world. They may look cool doing it, but it's profoundly anti-social and toxic. As soon as your characters don't give a shit about anything, you're leaving hopepunk behind."

An Interview with Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damien Thomas, Editors of Uncanny Magazine

Excerpt: "We think that the world can always use more radical empathy and radical kindness. Culture is, fundamentally, a mix of people giving in to their most kind and least kind impulses, and much of our storytelling comes from that inherent conflict. We'd rather encourage the former, personally."

An Interview with Ferrett Steinmetz, Author of The Sol Majestic

Excerpt: "I loved it the moment I heard it. I'm an old punk who knocked around some of the Nazis that the Dead Kennedys decried in 'Nazi Punks F**k Off,' so the idea of punk utilized for something other than some Hot Topic-style cynicism flooded me with joy."

Note: The title of this article comes from hopepunk musician Frank Turner's "Blackout."

Kayti Burt is a staff editor covering books, TV, movies, and fan culture at Den of Geek. Read more of her work here or follow her on Twitter @kaytiburt.

Read and download theDen of Geek NYCC 2019 Special Edition Magazineright here!

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Are You Afraid of the Darkness?: A Hopepunk Explainer - Den of Geek US

‘Midway’ review: Celebrating heroism with an epic | Movie-reviews – Gulf News

MID_D36_11971.NEF Image Credit: Reiner Bajo

Midway is so square, so old-school and old-fashioned, it almost feels avant-garde. Ambiguity is not its goal, nor is nihilism its motivating philosophy. It aims to celebrate heroism, sacrifice, determination and grit, and if you dont like that it really does not care.

Though its appearing some 70 years after the epochal Second World War battle it re-creates and more than 40 years after a Hollywood film with the same name on the same subject this Midway, as directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Wes Tooke, pays no attention to the notion that times have changed.

This is a film where men stand on top of bars when they have important speeches to make, where dialogue like thats the bravest damn thing Ive ever seen and lets take it upstairs to the old man is thick on the land, and an officer who neglects his wife to help fight the war promises he will spend the rest of my life making it up to her.

Though it is unlikely to win any awards for its words, Midway has two things going for it. Its based on the exploits of real men who did truly heroic things in a battle that changed the direction of the Pacific War, and it has Emmerichs gift for epic images.

A director best known for science fiction extravaganzas like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow (though he also helmed the Revolutionary War historical drama The Patriot), Emmerich knows his way around stirring visuals.

Led by cinematographer Robby Baumgartner and production designer Kirk M Petruccelli, the Midway visual team managed to convincingly re-create nautical action, complete with swooping planes and massive aircraft carriers, on a soundstage surrounded by blue screen walls.

Although the 1976 Midway boasted many stars including Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Robert Mitchum, Toshiro Mifune and more this years version takes a different tack.

The bigger stars on the marquee do cameos as Navy bigwigs (Woody Harrelson is Admiral Chester W Nimitz. Dennis Quaid is Admiral William Bull Halsey) while solid young actors including Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Nick Jonas and Mandy Moore carry the brunt of the dramatic action.

Also noteworthy is that the filmmakers have taken pains to present the Japanese in as even-handed a way as possible. In fact Midway begins with a 1937 heart-to-heart chat that starts in subtitled Japanese between Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Etsushi Toyokawa) and Tokyo-stationed US Naval Intelligence officer Edwin Layton (Wilson).

Japan is at a crossroads, the admiral, whose life has been threatened for being too moderate, tells Layton. Dont push us into a corner.

Cut to 1941 December 7, to be exact where the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and, in particular, the sinking of the battleship USS Arizona are re-created with considerable oomph.

At sea nearby is the massive aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, home base to hot dog pilot Dick Best (Skrein), a gum-chewer from New Jersey whose gifts as an aviator are overshadowed by a hot-headed desire to throw caution about the Japanese fleet to the winds and put a 500-pound bomb down their smokestack as soon as possible.

While Best, aided by ever-understanding wife Ann (Moore), has to learn to moderate his temper to become a better leader of men, Layton, now stationed at Pearl, has to convince his dubious superiors he knows what hes talking about when he insists that the Japanese are up to something involving the tiny but strategic atoll known as Midway.

Though the exploits of the Navy pilots, particularly the remarkable ones of the real-life Best, are at the heart of Midway, the film also finds the space to include both submarine action and the raid on Tokyo led by Army Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle (Aaron Eckhart.)

In fact, in an attempt to convey multiple stories, Midway introduces so many characters it can be difficult to track who is who and hard to figure what the exact story of the battle is.

The fact that heroes were involved, however, is the one thing that does come through loud and clear, and that, Emmerich and company no doubt feel, is the thing that really counts.

Midway is now showing across the UAE.

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MID_D56_17754.NEF Image Credit: Reiner Bajo

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'Midway' review: Celebrating heroism with an epic | Movie-reviews - Gulf News

For Artist Tobias Spichtig, Shopping is a Way of Sculpting – Interview

Should a luxury store design offer shoppers an idealized vision of the human experience? The Swiss artist Tobias Spichtig doesnt think so. Spichtig has taken his series of Gheist sculpturesethereally thin, human-like figures that at first glance may appear to be some sort of demented mannequinto Balenciaga, a perfectly dystopian complement to the stores new design. With tubular aluminum railing, suede couches, and cloudscapes projected onto the ceilings, the new stores carry the aura of a movie set in which a group of models flee a climate change-destroyed earth in a minimalist escape pod.

This strain of Balenciaga nihilism, designed by Demna Gvasalia and Niklas Bildstein Zaar, can be experienced at the stores new flagship on Madison Avenue, the first to include a sculpture by Spichtig. Aside from the flagship, Spichtigs sculptures will also be featured in new stores in Paris and London, among other cities. To celebrate Spichtigs love of the macabre (and luxury goods), Interview spoke with Spichtig over the phone from his studio in Berlin about his sculptures, the art of shopping, and the Grim Reaper.

PATRICK MCGRAW: You once told me that you starting making the ghost sculptures because you felt lonely and wanted to fill your apartment with friends.

TOBIAS SPICHTIG: Yeah, I was living on my own and thought it would be nice to have people around all the time. So I took these clothes that people had left in my apartment after a New Years party. You know that feeling you get when there are all these clothes lying around, that theyre kind of looking at you? Or you think for a second, Oh shit, thats a person? So I made the first one with these clothes and kept making more.

MCGRAW: Did you throw more parties to get more clothes?

SPICHTIG: I eventually started going to thrift stores to get more clothes, so the sculptures were also a bit of an excuse to go shopping. I had always wanted to be into fashion but I didnt really have money. So I told myself I could buy clothes because Im making works out of them.

MCGRAW: So if clothes are the artists materials, then buying clothes is like sculpting

SPICHTIG: Well, if youre doing figurative sculpture, and you want to make a body, the proportions are already built into the clothes. Clothes are also empty, and I wanted them to stay that way. When I started making them, there were mannequins in every museum show. But the ghosts are kind of the opposite of mannequins. Theyre just empty clothes. I wanted them to be ghostly, or like the Grim Reaper.

MCGRAW: Did you shop for a specific type of clothes?

SPICHTIG: Mostly clothes that I would wear. Then theres certain things you cant buy. I mean if you buy shorts, then its going to look like somebody cut their legs off, you know? So its kind of specific.

MCGRAW: And you started pouring resin all over them.

SPICHTIG: My dad built airplanes, and a lot of the parts they used were with this type of resin that you mixed with fiberglass, like for sailing boats or surfboards. I called up this company that my dad used to work with. The best resin to use with cotton is the same resin they use with sports equipment and airplanes. So with the ghosts, Im drenching resin on clothes, whereas with planes, you would drench it on fiberglass.

MCGRAW: Theyve traveled such a long distance from being objects in your living room to being in luxury retail stores. Do you think thats changed the sculptures?

SPICHTIG: In a way, its the success story of the ghosts. First they were from a thrift store, and now theyre luxury clothes. But to me, they havent changed at all.

MCGRAW: It almost turns the ghosts into one big performance. Once they were poor, and now theyve become rich.

SPICHTIG: But theyre still doing the same act. Theyre just annoying and standing around and nobody knows what theyre there for. In a strange way, theyre unspectacular. Because theyre empty. Theyre really empty. I like that.

MCGRAW: How do you think the average shopper is going to interact with the sculptures?

SPICHTIG: I think the average shopper would look at them the same way they might look at any other sculpture, person or clothes. Some people might not even notice them.

MCGRAW: I feel like that would upset most artists.

SPICHTIG: Well of course they would notice them, but the ghosts are like an object, but also nothingBut because theyre nothing, they become more than nothing. People fill them with love because they cant wear them.

MCGRAW: What does it say to show the same works in a store after a gallery? Is a gallery just a store anyway?

SPICHTIG: Yeah, except in a store you cant buy the sculptures, and in a gallery you cant buy the clothes a gallerist is wearing. But its the old question of money and art. And I dont think you can have an opinion on money and art because thats like having an opinion on water.

MCGRAW: Is there a relationship between the fashion of your sculptures and your paintings? They often include things like models, clothes, or sunglasses etc.

SPICHTIG: Yeah, its just whats around. Its what people do, and what they wear. With the sunglasses youre not sure if the painting is looking at you, or youre looking at the painting. My neighbor also has an amazing sunglasses collection. But the painting could just as easily be a flower, but a flower doesnt look at you.

MCGRAW: Do you believe in ghosts?

SPICHTIG: There are all these chapels around where I grew up that are from medieval times, and they all had these bone walls and sculptures of death and monks and so on. All of these sculptures looked like ghosts and they had this crazy presence that came from an emptiness that they had. Not in a scary way, but more in an elegant way. They were also kind of funny actually. So I wanted to recreate that presence, only with sports clothes.

MCGRAW: Humor plays a big part in your work, although I have trouble identifying it directly. Its just kind of there

SPICHTIG: Well, whenever I try to be serious, people think its funny. Serious things are always funny.

MCGRAW: So the Grim Reaper is like a comedian.

SPICHTIG: If you stand on a stage, youre already funny. If you really stand for something, its always going to be comical. And of course, the Grim Reaper is the last one standing.

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For Artist Tobias Spichtig, Shopping is a Way of Sculpting - Interview

"The darkest things are the hungriest" – AdVantageNEWS.com

Doctor Sleep

Rated R

4 stars

Inner demons, in whatever form they may take addiction, ghosts, vampires are a reliable go-to for what really scares us.

In the case of Doctor Sleep, combining all three doesnt bode well, but makes for a good film.

Writer and director Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) was faced with a problem when tackling his newest project how do you make a sequel when the original novel and subsequent film adaptation are so vastly different?

Considering the conundrum, Flanagan chose the only scenario that would work, taking the best elements of Stephen Kings 1977 novel The Shining and combining them with the changes that Stanley Kubrick incorporated into the 1980 film version.

The result is a big-screen attempt at Kings 2013 sequel novel that straddles the fence and courts fans of both versions. Mostly, it works.

Doctor Sleep tells the tale of a grown Danny Torrence (Ewan McGregor), the little boy with the big ability who escaped the evil of the Overlook Hotel as a child. The ensuing years have not been easy ones, as Danny runs from the shadows of his father, the ghosts who continue to pursue him, and the genetic curse of addiction. A young girl (a gifted Kyliegh Curran) with similar psychic gifts (called shining) forces Danny to fight his demons once and for all, personified by a cult of energy vampires known as the True Knot.

While serving as a direct sequel, the films in question are very different The Shining was a straight-up ghost story; Doctor Sleep is a tale of vampire hunters. The Shining was claustrophobic, with only a handful of characters and a boxed-in feeling that grew more magnificently unbearable as the story progressed. Doctor Sleep is much more expansive and has more room to breathe; multiple storylines and characters jump across the country (as well as in and out of the Great Beyond).

As a result, the creeping horror of its predecessor does not permeate Doctor Sleep as effectively. If The Shining is a childs nightmare, then this new film is an inspection and dissection of that nightmare sacrificing terror for the sake of resolution.

That is not to say this film is not scary. The savagery of the True Knot can be downright chilling, and the heartbeat pulsing throughout the entire film tells the viewer that a return to the oppressive Overlook Hotel, and the ghosts that dwell within, is inevitable.

When it comes, the payoff is both satisfactory and frustrating. The sense of nihilism also threatens at times to be too much of a bummer (The whole world is one big hospice with fresh air, Danny says early in the film).

For nostalgias sake, Flanagan revisits Kubricks directing style, along with the familiar soundtrack, without imitating either to the point of redundancy. The acting is less over-the-top, and while McGregor and Curran give fine performances, the real standout is Rebecca Ferguson as the head of the vampiric cabal, Rose the Hat. She truly becomes the films boogeyman unrelenting, vicious, and diabolical.

Doctor Sleep had a myriad of challenges in the transition to the big screen. With a few missteps (mostly in the finale, as is the fate of so much of Kings work), it makes a return to one of Kings most iconic settings a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

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"The darkest things are the hungriest" - AdVantageNEWS.com

Review: Its The End of the World, and Youll Know It – The New York Times

Season 2, which continues the story past the end of the graphic novel, is haunted by those events in a literal way: They keep flashing onscreen, in the jagged, agonized memories of Alyssa and James (yes, hes alive). Its two years later, but neither can move forward from what were the most horrible and, in the unexpected closeness they shared, the happiest moments of their lives.

It might be the biggest spoiler to say that this eight-episode coda involves them finding their way back to each other and figuring out how to express their feelings despite their terminal awkwardness and protective armor of nihilism. But what else would it be about? To complicate the process, Covell introduces a third young character, a woman named Bonnie (Naomi Ackie), who like Alyssa and James has been warped by the harsh indifference and creepiness of the adult world.

Bonnies damage intersects with that of Alyssa and James, and she joins them in a violent misadventure that recapitulates some of the motifs of the first season aimless road tripping through a backwoods British countryside reminiscent of Twin Peaks, severe harm to an adult male who probably deserves it. The shows attitudes and comic strategies are still in place, too, with the not-too-subtle punch lines delivered in an affectless deadpan and the reflexive undercutting of sincerity or sentiment.

Its all still amusing, and the notes of strangled romanticism and just-perceptible nobility are still in place. But the plot doesnt have the momentum and the crazy energy it did the first time around, and its harder to ignore the shows calculating nature: how it uses Alyssa and Jamess interior monologues to tell us what to think, and the constant musical cues to tell us how to feel, and the flashbacks to continually remind us of the stakes. You could make an argument in favor of this, as forthrightly postmodern mediation, but its really just predigestion.

The worst effect of this spelling everything out is the way it boxes in the actors theres not much left for them to communicate, and Bardens relentlessly flat affect, in particular, starts to have diminishing returns. Lawther fares better if only because Jamess cringing neediness is inherently funnier. Ackie, whose face fully registers the tumble of emotions inside Bonnie, dominates the scenes among the three of them.

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Review: Its The End of the World, and Youll Know It - The New York Times

Poet and producer James Massiah remembers the times he’s felt most free – Dazed

To celebrate the launch of Burberrys Monogram puffer collection, Dazed partnered with the iconic British brand to spotlight young pioneers breaking boundaries across the globe. We asked four creatives to make a piece of work which responds to the ideas of boundlessness, weightlessness and freedom.View Massiahs zine and the rest of the work in a digital gallery, here.

Usually found rooted behind the decks or deep on the dancefloor at any given night, poet, producer, DJ, and performerJames Massiah is a boundless force in London nightlife, everywhere and nowhere all at once.

This apparently limitless energy has propelled the poet into proclivity, whether hes hosting ongoing NTS broadcast The Potry Show, penning verses in celebration of Prince Charles 70th birthday or performing Optimism 101, a reading of 101 poems orbiting stoicism, materialism, hedonism, and happiness live at the ICA. Last month, the Dazed 100 alum teamed up with director Ian Pons Jewell on aUKMVA-nominated video for his track Natural Born Killers (Ride for Me), a film which sees the poet and a disparate cast of characters crawling through an uninhibitedly overheated dystopian cityscape in an amoral tale of divine retribution or environmental ruin.

Seventh-day Adventist turned amoral egoist, Massiahs is a purposefully self-deterministic philosophy blending moral nihilism with psychological egoism. Freedom, through Massiahs eyes, Looks like Prince, sounds like funk music and feels like being high. It lives in the endless potential of a night out, in altered states and the sense that anything could happen - if you keep your mind open.

Firstly, can you tell us about the work you created for Boundless?

James Massiah: I wrote a series of poems in response to the theme. I recorded them and collaborated with graphic designerPeter Kent to visualise them for a final digital zine.

The poems themselves, what are they about?

James Massiah:Freedom, essentially. Times I've felt free and situations I've been free in. One line talks about having the feeling that no one else exists. I guess relating to feeling free from the expectations and condemnations of others. Another poem describes a party situation, the freedom that is felt in dancing and being in an altered state of consciousness.

I'm a determinist, so I have some interesting perspectives on the notion of freedom. I think I write a lot about freedom from moral or ethical constraints through nihilism and about the freedom to decide what you want for yourself within the constraints offered by your reality through egoism.

I was definitely thinking about nights out, being in a slightly altered state and enjoying the adventures that come at such times, the feeling of freedom from deadline or obligation or routine.

Freedom, through Massiahs eyes, Looks like Prince, sounds like funk music and feels like being high.

What was your first experience of freedom?

James Massiah:Hard to say. I'm sure at the point of birth there was something like that felt and then at many other points in my early childhood. Playing my Nintendo 64, riding my bike, being told I'm not grounded anymore, the end of Sabbath hours, and so many other instances I could imagine.

Give us an insight into the method through which you make your work.

James Massiah:I try not to think too much, opting for impulse and feeling where possible, just to get started having a simple idea in my mind; a word or a picture or a sentence or an idea. Any hard thinking or fact checking or research comes once Ive got that initial burst of inspiration out of the way, it may or may not return, but I try not to burden or inhibit that feeling with too much concern for 'rightness.

Do you have a typical creative process?

James Massiah:It's pretty straightforward for me. Writing down ideas as they come, generally into apps on my phone. I sat down to try and knock out some ideas in a session, and there was some procrastination and doodling. I watched some standup, listen to some rock music, watched some of my favourite series and then got back to it.

I think people underestimate the value of time in these processes though. It's all about being happy with the work, and that may take a day or an hour or a year. So I left it alone and then came back to it, and found myself cutting a bunch of the stuff I'd written and landed on new ideas that I was happy with having had some time to look away and then look back at the poems with fresh eyes.

I love coming up with ideas in the shower or when cycling. Those two modes really seem to help generating ideas.

Finally, what you are looking forward to seeing next from Riccardo Tisci at Burberry?

James Massiah:I've always been a fan of the trench coat, I'm excited to see how it can be reimagined for the future.

Click here to be transported into Boundless, a weightless digital realm

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Poet and producer James Massiah remembers the times he's felt most free - Dazed

Sandworm and the GRU’s global intifada – Reason

This episode is a wide-ranging interview with Andy Greenberg, author of Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers. The book contains plenty of original reporting, served up with journalistic flair. It digs deep into some of the most startling and destructive cyberattacks of recent years, from two dangerous attacks on Ukraine's power grid, to the multibillion-dollar NotPetya, and then to a sophisticated but largely failed effort to bring down the Seoul Olympics and pin the blame on North Korea. Apart from sophisticated coding and irresponsibly indiscriminate targeting, all these episodes have one thing in common. They are all the work of Russia's GRU.

Andy persuasively sets out the attribution and then asks what kind of corporate culture supports such adventurism and whether there is a strategic vision behind the GRU's attacks. The interview convinced me at least that the GRU is pursuing a strategy of muscular nihilism"our system doesn't work, but yours too is based on fragile illusions." It's a kind of global cyber intifada, with all the dangers and all the self-defeating tactics of the original intifadas. Don't disagree until you've listened!

Download the 286th Episode (mp3).

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As always, The Cyberlaw Podcast is open to feedback. Be sure to engage with @stewartbaker on Twitter. Send your questions, comments, and suggestions for topics or interviewees to CyberlawPodcast@steptoe.com. Remember: If your suggested guest appears on the show, we will send you a highly coveted Cyberlaw Podcast mug!

The views expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not reflect the opinions of the firm.

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Sandworm and the GRU's global intifada - Reason

Pixar’s hyper-existential Soul gets its first teaser – The A.V. Club

Soul, otherwise known as the Pixar film featuring a Trent Reznor score, just got its first teaser, which teases an existential journey not unlike that of the studios Inside Out.

Jamie Foxx lends his voice to Joe Gardner, a burgeoning jazz musician who, uh, dies after landing his dream job. In an alternate dimension, he meets another soul named 22 (Tina Fey), whose nihilism strikes uncomfortably against his own passion for art. The two then embark through cosmic realms to try and bring Joe back to the living world. Whats especially interesting is how the film interrogates the idea of suffering for ones art. For anyone who has a profession in the creative arts, its an almost religious obsessiveness you have to have to have success and a career in the arts, Kemp Power, a writer and co-director on the film, told Entertainment Weekly. At any point, no matter how happy you are doing what you do, it feels like that obsessiveness is detrimental to the rest of your life. Gardner, producer Dana Powers continues, has lived his whole life like he was meant to do this one thing [music] to the exclusion of pretty every other thing. Soul, then, is about embracing the breadth of everything life has to offer.

Pete Docter, the mind behind Inside Out, is also responsible for this existential piece, the creator having emerged as Pixars creative leader in the wake of John Lasseters departure. Questlove, Phylicia Rashad, and Daveed Diggs round out the cast, while acclaimed musician Jon Batiste penned the jazz tunes that serve to accent Reznor and Atticus Ross score.

Of the films afterlife animation, Docter told EW, We talked to a lot of folks that represented religious traditions and cultural traditions and [asked], What do you think a soul is? All of them said vaporous and ethereal and non-physical. We were like, Great! How do we do this? Were used to toys, cars, things that are much more substantial and easily referenced. This was a huge challenge, but I gotta say, I think the team really put some cool stuff together thats really indicative of those words but also relatable.

Watch the gorgeous teaser below.

Soul hits theaters on June 19, 2020.

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Pixar's hyper-existential Soul gets its first teaser - The A.V. Club

Earl Sweatshirt’s Eccentricity on Full Display in EAST – The Heights – The Heights

The enigmatic rapper Earl Sweatshirt solidified his reputation as one of the industrys most innovative talents with the release a strange, disorderly music video for the song EAST on Friday. The video follows the recent arrival of Earls EP Feet of Clay. The EP builds on the discordant, choppy sampling techniques used on his previous project released this year, Some Rap Songs, while Earls lyrics reflect the despondency found on his 2015 album I Dont Like Shit, I Dont Go Outside.

The music video manifests the songs choppy production aesthetic through a visually compelling yet bizarre piece of art that appears fractured and unrelated to the song on first viewing yet ultimately succeeds in reflecting Earls struggling mental state.

The video opens with Earl standing on a beach in slides, Corona in hand, smoking a cigarette and hanging out with friends. A superimposed photograph of the moon floats about the screen, and another smaller video of a man running in a parking garage flipping off the camera pops up in the upper right-hand corner. There is not only a lack of cohesion at this point in the video, but a clearly intentional decision by Earl to offer something utterly original and unpredictable to the viewer. The lyrics of EAST deal with alcoholism and his struggles in coping with the passing of his father. He seems to be forgoing representing the plotline of the song in favor of depicting his own scattered and more abstract feelings of loss of direction and meaning.

Shot on an iPhone, the video reflects the independent ethos of Earls music along with his musics lo-fi production quality. Due to his sparse production style, his lyrics have space to operate outside the constraints of more polished instrumentation. Earl is serious about the content and wordplay of his lyrics, despite how outlandish his personality and nonchalant style may seem.

EAST is benefited by the frenetic, carnival-style accordion loop that sounds almost like the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz are about to appear at any moment. And with the amount of strange images popping up in the video, it was almost disappointing when they didnt. The video ends with Earl walking off camera, leaving viewers just as unsettled and confused as they were at the start and ultimately wondering, What was the point?

This resigned nihilism pervades Earls work and has almost caused him to quit rapping multiple times. Most notably, he talked about his feelings of disillusionment with the rap industry after a return from a center for troubled youth in Samoa on his 2013 album Doris. On the song Chum, he sadly confesses, Been back a week and already feel like calling it quits. Although Earl is certainly still struggling with finding meaning in the commercial rap industry, in the video for EAST he shows that he is channeling these emotions into compelling, utterly original art.

Featured Image by Warner Records

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Earl Sweatshirt's Eccentricity on Full Display in EAST - The Heights - The Heights

Attack On Titan Reveals Horrifying Way Titans Reproduced – Comicbook.com

As Attack On Titan careens toward its finale, in both the manga and the anime, more and more secrets about the world that harbors the war between the nation of Marley and the Eldians are being revealed. One of the biggest is the story of the first Titan, Ymir, and how she managed to pass along her powerful abilities to her children. Since this popular anime series manages to thrive when it comes to its sense of nihilism and despair, Ymir's back story is no different, creating a horrifying method for the power of the Titan to be shared among her bloodline. With this terrifying revelation shown just in time for Halloween, it should be interesting to see if it transfers to the anime as is.

In the 122nd chapter of Attack On Titan, we are given the background of the poor young character that is Ymir. The first ever "Titan", Ymir is a slave that is trapped in a cycle of harsh punishments and constant death. When she is framed for letting a pig escape, the current ruler of the land "frees her", meaning that she will be hunted and put to death. As she ran from the hunters and their hounds, Ymir discovers the power of the Titans and becomes the first of a long line.

As she assists the Eldian people, she is made the wife of the current Eldian king, who decides to give her power to their progeny in perhaps the most horrifying way possible. Cutting Ymir apart and serving her up to her own children, her power is given to the next generation as they greedily eat her severed body parts. It's a grotesque, blood curdling display but it works perfectly for the stark world that has been created in Attack On Titan.

Of course, this is all revealed as Eren and his brother Zeke have been travelling into the past, with the former attempting to use Ymir's power to end the world as it is. The series continues to explore this world of greys, proving that even heroes can stumble along the way.

What do you think of the disgusting method that the Titans were created? How do you see this franchise ultimately coming to an end? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and Titans!

Attack on Titan was originally created by Hajime Isayama, and the series has since been collected into 23 volumes as of 2017. It's set in a world where the last remnants of humanity live within a walled city in order to escape the danger of the Titans, a race of giants monsters that eats humans. The lead character, Eren Yeager, ends up joining the military with his two childhood friends Mikasa and Armin after the Titans break through the wall and attack his hometown. Now Eren, Mikasa, and Armin must survive in a world where they not only have the Titans to fear, but the very humans they are trying to save. You can currently find the series streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Saturday nights on Adult Swim's Toonami block.

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Attack On Titan Reveals Horrifying Way Titans Reproduced - Comicbook.com

‘A Serious Man’ came out 10 years ago. Here’s what real rabbis think of the Coen brothers film. – JTA News

(JTA) Its well known that the celebrated filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen come from a Jewish family in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Theyve included Jewish characters in their films throughout their long career, from the titular one in Barton Fink to the bookie Bernie Bernbaum in Millers Crossing to perhaps the most famous Jewish convert in the history of Hollywood, Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski.

But it was with 2009s A Serious Man, which was released 10 years ago this month, that the Coens produced their most overtly Jewish work. Its a film set in 1967 in their Minnesota hometown and its plot, by all indications, is loosely based on the biblical Book of Job.

Following an opening quote from Rashi and a brief prologue set in a 19th-century shtetl, A Serious Man tells the story of Larry Gopnik (played by then-unknown Jewish actor Michael Stuhlbarg), a Jewish college professor whose life suddenly comes apart in Job-like fashion.

Larrys children dont seem to respect him, and an unknown enemy is sending threatening letters to his tenure committee, jeopardizing his career. His wife (Sari Lennick) is leaving him for his former friend, Sy Abelman (Fred Melamed). There are hints that he is developing possibly serious health problems.

I havent done anything is Larrys mantra throughout it all.

Turning to his faith at a time of crisis, Larry appeals to three rabbis and gets three very different responses, none of them altogether helpful. The young junior rabbi Ginsler (Big Bang Theory actor Simon Helberg) offers a humanistic speech about finding beauty in the world. Rabbi Nachtner, in one of the films most recognized scenes, provides a long but not exactly comforting parable about a dentist who finds Hebrew lettering on a non-Jewish patients tooth.

The elderly Rabbi Marshak, meanwhile, wont even meet with Larry. (The rabbi is busy, Marshaks secretary tells him repeatedly.)

Like the best of the Coens work, A Serious Man is darkly comic, absurd and well-acted, and it contends with the huge themes of alienation and nihilism. The rabbi section of the film seemingly makes the point that, as Rabbi Nachtner says, Judaism is not a faith that always provide the easiest of answers.

In 2009, the Jewish Chronicle called the film a Jewish masterpiece and the finest American film about the Jewish experience made for a generation.Others, however, saw the movie in a less positive light, partly for its depiction of Jews.

The Jewish film critic Ella Taylor wrote for LA Weekly at the time of release that A Serious Man was seriously bad for the Jews and likened it to an avalanche of Ugly Jew iconography.

A Serious Manis crowded with fat Jews, aggressive Jews, passive-aggressive Jews, traitor Jews, loser Jews, shyster-Jews, emo-Jews, Jews who slurp their chicken soup, and passing as sages a clutch of yellow-toothed, know-nothing rabbis, Taylor wrote.

Rabbi Benjamin Blech, writing for Aish in 2009, said the Jews in the film were merely lampooned, satirized and stereotyped to anti-Semitic perfection.

Looking for some other opinions much as Larry did the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reached out to some real rabbis for their thoughts on A Serious Man. As you may have imagined, they had differing opinions.

Directors Joel Coen, right, and Ethan Coen, center, with actor Michael Stuhlbarg, arrive for the London Film Festival screening of A Serious Man. (Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

An indictment of American Judaism

Rabbi Joe Schwartz is based in Brooklyn and founded IDRA, a Jewish cultural community. A self-described Coen Brothers stan and an insane fan of the movie, Schwartz is not so much critical of the film itself but rather what he believes it says about strands of Judaism in America.

A Serious Man is the greatest indictment of the hollowness of much of American Judaism ever made, Schwartz, a Conservative rabbi, told JTA.

Larry approaches the rabbis for help, Schwartz said, and each fails him the callow junior rabbi, the garrulous senior rabbi and the Talmid chacham, or revered Torah scholar.

None has the slightest clue whats going on, and none even begins to try to simply sit with Larry and offer him compassion, he added.

For Schwartz, the notable scene in which Larrys son recites his Torah portion for his bar mitzvah while extremely stoned sets off how grotesque and fallow the whole charade is.

A statement about the changing face of the rabbinate

Rabbi Glenn Ettman is the senior rabbi at the Reform synagogue Congregation Or Ami in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia. Ettman, a former theater major at Brandeis, said A Serious Man came up often last year while discussing the Book of Job with his Torah study group.

Its really confusing and challenging, and a good artful attempt at a unique form of storytelling using a biblical book, Ettman said of the film. I really appreciated that it had untranslated Hebrew and Jewish concepts, that kind of gave it that concept of theres something else to this movie.

As for the rabbi scenes, Ettman called it an interesting portrayal, but added that initially he was slightly offended by it.

It wasnt so much that it made Jews look terrible it was that it made rabbis look even worse, Ettman said of his original impression of the film.

More recently, though, Ettman has seen the younger rabbi as the only true essence of a real rabbi, as opposed to a caricature. He said it is symbolic of the fact that the face of the rabbinate has changed a great deal since 1967.

Everyone assumes that a rabbi is an old white dude with a long white beard, Ettman said before mentioning multiple names of classmates who are magnificent, powerhouse female rabbis.

He said the films rabbis can be viewed as caricatures of different generations or denominations, or possibly just divergent views of Judaism. Ettman also compared it all to a point in the actual Book of Job, when Job is visited by three friends, none of whom give him advice thats especially helpful.

What the hometown rabbi thinks

Rabbi Norman Cohen is rabbi emeritus of the Reform Bet Shalom Congregation in Minnetonka, a part of suburban Minneapolis that borders St. Louis Park. In a 2011 essay about the film in The Journal of Religion and Film, Cohen said he was offended by some of its images but that doesnt mean the work doesnt offer plenty to like.

Of all their films, this is the most identifiably Jewish, most potentially philosophical and most troubling theologically, Cohen wrote.

As is often the case when they give interviews, the Coens are a lot like the rabbis in A Serious Man in discussing the Jewishness of the film: Their answers only raise even more questions.

There were Jewish characters, but in regards to whether our background influences our filmmaking, who knows? Joel Coen said on a visit to Israel in 2011, according to Haaretz. We dont think about it. Theres no doubt that our Jewish heritage affects how we see things.

Weve never tried to hide that or tiptoe around [being Jewish], Ethan Coen said in a 2009 interview with The Jewish Chronicle around the films release. Hollywood has always been largely Jewish, although made of Jews who wanted to assimilate. As a friend of ours once said, If the movie business wasnt difficult, God wouldnt have given it to the Jews.

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'A Serious Man' came out 10 years ago. Here's what real rabbis think of the Coen brothers film. - JTA News

Queen reduced to furious frontwoman for grubby election stunt – The Guardian

Her Majestys head rotated through 720 degrees. A stream of green projectile vomit erupted from her mouth. This wasnt so much a Queens speech as an exorcism. A desperate purge of the toxic waste that had been forced on her by a prime minister she had come to detest. A man who had already misled her over one prorogation and was now using her as a frontwoman to deliver an election manifesto. She had had her fair share of grubby moments during her time on the throne the Ceauescu state visit being a case in point but this was almost up there.

There was a large cluster of empty seats amid the ermine and tiaras from Claires Accessories in the Lords. The sense of futility was too much even for some Tory peers. The Queen eyed up the gaps enviously. Shed have given almost anything to have skipped the occasion herself. Anything but let Prince Charles have a go. Her son might be 70 but he still couldnt be trusted not to screw things up. Even an election stunt like this.

The Queen had looked both frail and furious as she sat down in her throne. Her eyes glanced over towards the TV screens as she waited for MPs to make their way over from the Commons. There was the prime minister trying to make small talk with Jeremy Corbyn. Good to see the Labour leader giving him the brush-off. At least he was good for something.

Her Maj then looked up towards the visitors gallery. Surely not? But it was. Stanley Johnson. You just couldnt escape a Johnson these days. Though surely Stanley was the Johnsons prize Johnson. He was like Boriss shadow. How pathetic that he could exist only in the reflected, tainted glory of his son. He probably slept in his own basket next to Dilyn the dog, just outside Boris and Carries bedroom.

Then the lord chancellor handed her the parchment and her professionalism kicked in. My government, she began. My government, my arse. This wasnt her government. It wasnt anyones government. It was just a bunch of shits and charlatans, men and women for whom lying was second nature. That her reign should have come to this. She and the country surely deserved better. Though perhaps they didnt. Maybe the UK was on a one-way ticket to becoming a failed state.

She plodded on, making sure not to let the slightest hint of enthusiasm escape her lips. Not hard. This was a punishment beating for everyone. An exercise in utter existential nihilism. Even if Johnson meant a single word of it something she rather doubted there was no chance of any of it happening this side of a general election.

So the best she could hope for was to be back in the Lords in a couple of months time, spouting the same old shit about providing dignity in old age and improving mental health provision. This from a man who had stripped a 93-year-old woman of her dignity and who had done more to damage the nations mental health than any other politician. Once she had wrapped things up, she slipped a message to the Rouge Dragon Pursuivant to pick up the pace on the procession out. She needed a drink badly. Make it a double.

Two hours later the Commons was back in session to go through the charade of debating a Queens speech that was never going to be implemented, while pretending the really serious business of the Brexit negotiations in Brussels wasnt happening. If this was a war, parliament would have been court martialed for dereliction of duty.

As is customary, two government backbenchers proposed and seconded the debate. These speeches are meant to be a chance to shine. To mix wit and personality with light-touch sincerity. But in Lee Rowley and Sarah Newton, the government had picked two MPs who are completely devoid of charm, barely capable of delivering a coherent sentence, let alone one that grips the imagination. Opera heroines have died a less agonising, less painful death.

Corbyn spotted his opportunity to live down to the occasion. This was the most open of open goals. All he had to do was declare the debate a farce, deliver his own election manifesto, point out that Johnson had now embarrassed the Queen twice within a couple of months, and ask when he was planning on going for the hat-trick.

Instead he rambled on, mistaking the Queens speech as serious policy and getting hopelessly bogged down as he tried and failed to grapple with the lack of detail. No wonder some Labour MPs are now seriously thinking of waving through Johnsons Brexit deal, however crap it turns out to be, and voting Conservative in the next election. Just to get rid of their leader.

Johnson was no more impressive. Pifflepafflewifflewaffle. Rather, he was at his most loathsome. Arrogant and dismissive. Not even funny. Land of hopeless glory. Devoid of detail and morality as he indulged in petty point-scoring. A desperate blob interested more in his own survival than that of the country. As are nearly all Tory MPs. Principles that were once held sacred on both the leave and remain wings of the party are now up for grabs. Sold to the lowest bidder in return for a Brexit deal appreciably worse than Theresa Mays that would make their constituents appreciably less well off.

This was an embarrassment. A parliament of all the talentless. What a time it is not to be alive.

Continued here:

Queen reduced to furious frontwoman for grubby election stunt - The Guardian

What’s your number? Chad Schoonmaker may have the answer in his ‘Color by Number’ series – The Advocate

There's The Reformer and The Achiever, The Enthusiast and The Peacemaker.

In all, nine personality types are part of the Enneagram, a model of the human psyche.

Artist Chad Schoonmaker explores those personality categories in his show, "Color by Number," at the Manship Theatre Gallery in the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St.

But there's a kicker Schoonmaker depicted each personality type in abstract, signaling that because people are different, not everyone fits neatly into one slot.

The artist learned that firsthand when he overheard conversations in the gallery.

" People were talking about how they might fit in one category, but they also had traits of another," he said. "It's almost as if their conversations became a part of the artwork."

That's the reaction Schoonmaker was hoping to generate by combining his love for art and people into this series designed specifically for this space.

He provides the descriptions of each personality type next to each of his works. What's your number?

"One: The Reformer": Ones are conscientious and ethical with a strong sense of right and wrong. They are teachers, crusaders and advocates for change: always trying to improve things but afraid of making a mistake. Well-organized, orderly and fastidious, they try to maintain high standards but can slip into being critical and perfectionistic. They typically have problems with resentment and impatience. At their best: wise, discerning, realistic and noble. Can be morally heroic.

"Two: The Helper": Twos are empathetic, sincere and warmhearted. They are friendly, generous and self-sacrificing but can also be sentimental, flattering and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and driven to be close to others but can slip into doing things for others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs. At their best: unselfish and altruistic, they have unconditional love for others.

"Three: The Achiever": Threes are self-assured, attractive and charming. Ambitious, competent and energetic, they can also be status conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be role models who inspire others.

"Four: The Individualist": Fours are self-aware, sensitive and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative and personal but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence and self-pity. At their best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.

"Five: The Investigator": Fives are alert, insightful and curious. They are able to concentrate and focus on complex ideas and skills. Independent, innovative and inventive, they can also become preoccupied with their thoughts and imaginary constructs. They become detached yet high strung and intense. They typically have problems with eccentricity, nihilism and isolation. At their best: visionary pioneers, often ahead of their time and able to see the world in an entirely new way.

"Six: The Loyalist": The committed, security-oriented type, Sixes are reliable, hardworking, responsible and trustworthy. Excellent troubleshooters, they foresee problems and foster cooperation but can also become defensive, evasive and anxious running on stress while complaining about it. They can be cautious and indecisive but also reactive, defiant and rebellious. They typically have problems with self-doubt and suspicion. At their best: internally stable and self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others.

"Seven: The Enthusiast": Sevens are extroverted, optimistic, versatile and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited and practical, they can also misapply their talents, becoming overextended, scattered and undisciplined. They constantly seek new and exciting experiences but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and impulsiveness. At their best: focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous and satisfied.

"Eight: The Challenger": Eights are self-confident, strong and assertive. Protective, resourceful, straight talking and decisive, but can also be egocentric and domineering. Eights feel they must control their environment, especially people, sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating. Eights typically have problems with their tempers and with allowing themselves to be vulnerable. At their best: self-mastering, they use their strength to improve others' lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous and inspiring.

"Nine: The Peacemaker": Nines are accepting, trusting and stable. They are usually creative, optimistic and supportive but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia and stubbornness. At their best: indomitable and all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal conflicts.

Schoonmaker sees himself as a solid Four, though he also bears traces of Seven's traits.

"I am the individualistic type you see in Four, but sometimes I find myself moving toward Seven," he said. "But doesn't everyone want to be a Seven? Or at least be around a Seven, because they're spontaneous and fun."

For more information, visit Schoonmaker's website at cscreates.com.

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What's your number? Chad Schoonmaker may have the answer in his 'Color by Number' series - The Advocate

Coloureds are Africans: We are the indigenous people of South Africa – Daily Maverick

This coloured thing. Shit this coloured thing. This badge of shame, disgrace and ignominy that some want to hang around people like me as they excoriate people in this group for not being fully African, or having feasted on the so-called benefits that apartheid had bestowed on them.

And as these insults rain down on coloureds, it is conveniently forgotten that many of the forefathers of people who have brown skins were the first freedom fighters in this country. In landmark battles, they bravely defended themselves and their land against European invaders in Mossel Bay, as well as Table Bay.

No matter what the twisters and sanitisers of history peddle: they are also South Africas indigenous people. For the record, my lineage goes deep into the Overberg and includes a Khoi kaptein who was deposed by missionaries because he refused to become their vassal. So while I regard myself as indigenous and therefore African I will for the purposes of this opinion piece use the term coloured.

Long before they were conquered in the Eastern Cape, the Khoi also called that part of South Africa home, even if today they are a minority there. Today the descendants of the indigenous people everywhere experience deliberate discrimination according to anecdotal evidence, as well as a recent Human Rights Commission report, which has made certain recommendations to the president.

I did not want to write about this coloured thing. However, sometimes one has to speak up and not hide behind political correctness. The hopelessness and self-hatred, typical of indigenous people that have been invaded and conquered and that comes with being told one is a stepchild in the land of ones ancestors, has reached a tipping point. Ever-diminishing opportunities, Western Cape prisons overcrowded with what can be called the coloured lost generation of males seduced by ruthless gangsterism cannot be ignored anymore. Neither can the nihilism that has taken root.

Then there is the widespread accusation that the Western Cape is not really African. Indeed: this kind of comment is code for actually saying that coloureds are not African; the Western Cape is too coloured and therefore the Western Cape is not African enough. Lets call out claims like this out for what they are: racism. And this must stop.

Coloureds should challenge and reject this deeply flawed narrative, which pushes them to the margins and also slyly wants to impose national demographics on to the Western Cape.

This racism seeps through everywhere: only a few days ago a Sunday newspaper reported about General Jeremy Vearey, who just happens to be coloured, according to old South Africa racial classification categories that conveniently travelled into our new democracy.

The newspaper report, mentioning an unnamed ANC Western Cape source, talked about a coloured cabal backing Vearey. Vearey is a freedom fighter who did not sit in an armchair, nursing an upper-end whisky from the Johnny Walker range, but took up arms and ended up on Robben Island. He was one of the last political prisoners to be freed before, as an MK soldier, he became one of ANC president Nelson Mandelas most trusted bodyguards a person of the utmost integrity.

The Sunday newspaper hatchet job is part of an orchestrated campaign against his bid to become Western Cape Police Commissioner. Many support his candidature because he has a sterling track record of fighting crime. Bringing in allegations of a coloured cabal backing him is simply playing that race card that derides coloureds.

It would seem that now that our joint struggle to end apartheid is over, some of those who once were comrades can be relegated because they are coloured, had had so-called better opportunities and are now only needed at election times. Now that the 2019 elections are becoming a distant memory, it seems like it is time to bring out old resentments about the so-called favouritism that coloureds enjoyed under apartheid.

The National Party government cynically tried to turn different shades of the black community against each other by literally placing them on a ladder of meagre benefits. Those at the bottom were bitter about those at the top.

That resentment can be conveniently used to rally support when the political leadership of parties is decided. It is something that the Western Cape interim political leadership of the ANC has to combat as it sets about rebuilding the party. Promoting true non-racialism and not ethnicity based on discredited racist categories from the old South Africa should drive this process.

Off course, its not only the ANC that has reached out to the majority in the Western Cape for its electoral support. The DA has done it as well. And once they galloped into power on the back of a surge of brown support, the DA relegated this group to the sidelines. Helen Zille was replaced as premier by another white face, and a white male at that, this in a province where whites are in the minority.

A party such as the ANC has found it difficult and almost unbearable to come out and say that employment opportunities in the Western Cape must be based on provincial and not national demographics.

This stance has not alienated what the ANC would call its traditional African base but this has cost the ANC coloured support, dented its credibility and has made it far less attractive than the DA. Many of those coloureds that have voted DA had seen that party as one that would protect their interests against Africans.

As another municipal election is approaching, coloured leaders in the ANC will be forced to say publicly where they stand. Keeping quiet about the clear marginalisation of coloureds will again have radical consequences at the polls if the 2019 general election is anything to go by.

As for the country and its ANC government, non-racialism will be given a crucial impetus once coloureds are recognised as being just as African and intrinsically belonging to this continent as Zulus, Xhosas or any of the lands other black tribes. Those who have had the door that leads to opportunities slammed in their face because they are allegedly not African will turn their back on non-racialism and cynically say that the much-talked-about new dawn is not meant for them. They will continue to say, as theyre doing now, that they were not white enough during the apartheid years and now theyre not African.

We should also be recognised for who we are: the indigenous people of South Africa. That is the national question: how to admit that South Africa had indeed experienced different forms of early conquest, one that saw the indigenous people being dispossessed by other Africans and also Europeans, with both groups laying claim to a country which wasnt initially theirs.

Failing to deal with these cardinal issues will only feed the self-destruction, rage, impotence and disenchantment with the new South Africa present in many coloured communities.

Yet self-destructive rage is short-sighted. All over the world, indigenous people are standing up, claiming their inheritance. We should do the same while vigorously also promoting non-racialism and equality. Our country demands it of us. DM

Dennis Cruywagen was ANC Western Cape spokesperson during the 2019 general election.

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Coloureds are Africans: We are the indigenous people of South Africa - Daily Maverick

The New York Times, NBC, and other outlets don’t trust you to handle the truth – Hot Air

In the original Planet of the Apes movie (1968), the most-fascinating character is Dr. Zaius, the elitist, orangutan in chief who alone possessed the secret knowledge that (spoiler alert!) apes descended from humans. Toward the end of the filmshortly before he warns Charlton Hestons character not to search for the truth because you may not like what you find!he monologues that the hoi polloi (chimps and gorillas in this case) must be shielded from certain realities lest they be driven to insanity and nihilism.

The legacy media are having their Dr. Zaius moment, paternalistically shielding their infantile audience (read: you and me) from ugly images and realities. This is not simply a revolting development but a deeply troubling one that will only accelerate the ongoing loss of confidence and trust the public has in media. According to polling done for the Columbia Journalism Review, fewer than 20 percent of us have a great deal of confidence in the press. The only institution held in lower esteem is Congress.

Yet the media seem happy to keep digging their own grave. Yesterday, for instance, The New York Times reported on what it called a macabre video of [a] fake Trump shooting media and critics that was shown at a conference held at one of the presidents own properties (Trump had nothing to do with the conference or the video, which the White House has condemned). Youd assume the paper would link to or embed the video in support of its characterization. But it refused to, even as its safe to say that it was the Times coverage that helped bring the video to a large viewing audience (thats how I learned about it).

reason.com/2019/10/14/the-new-york-times-nbc-and-other-outlets-dont-trust-you-to-handle-the-truth/

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The New York Times, NBC, and other outlets don't trust you to handle the truth - Hot Air

KLAVAN: Leftists Hate ‘Joker’ Because Joker Is The Left – The Daily Wire

This review contains no spoilers.

Theres been a lot of digital ink spilled over the new film Joker, but whats fascinating to me about it is how much of what the critics said is simply absurd. To be sure, artistic works, like life itself, are open to interpretation, but in both cases works and life youve got to stick to the facts to get at the truth.

Joker is, for all intents and purposes, a comic book remake of the 1976 Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver. Its the story of a troubled loners descent into violence. I should say up front that I dont like comic book movies very much and I didnt like Taxi Driver very much, so I wasnt the films most sympathetic audience. That said, I found Joker stylish, watchable, and well-done with some enriching plot ambiguities. I also found it tonally monotonous and overly derivative.

But the panic the film set off among leftist critics may be the most interesting thing about the movie. To be sure, the films talented director Todd Phillips taunted the leftist Outrage Beast when he gave an interview criticizing the humorlessness of woke culture. The left responded by being humorlessly woke, proving the guys point. After that, Phillips had a target on his back.

But it was the lefts political reaction to the movie itself that was so strangely (or maybe not so strangely) off base. Its an insidious validation of the white-male resentment that helped bring President Donald Trump to power, said Jeff Yang of CNN. Anti-Trumper Max Boot wrote a WaPo piece also linking Joker to Trump and headlined, Joker nails the nihilism and opportunism of populist firebrands.

And in a thoroughly unhinged rant, Richard Brody of The New Yorker called the film a blatant and brazen distortion of the most substantial historical elements at which it winks. Joker is the comic-book Green Book, twisting history for the sake of a yarn.

That last review really is the giveaway. Because, with some caveats (the movie doesnt deal with race at all), the films historical perspective is pretty damned accurate. And that perspective condemns the left where it stands.

No matter how you feel about the movies protagonist, the one thing Joker is not is a Trump voter. Hes a leftist: a self-pitying victim; a hater of the rich; a man who takes no responsibility for his own actions but instead blames the unfairness of society. In fact, all in all, the movie is a thoroughly justifiable satire of leftist talking points. It is not like the excellent Dark Knight trilogy a philosophical kick in the groin to leftism in general. But it does hold the mirror up to leftist culture and the image in the glass is not pretty.

The Gotham of the movie is late 1970s New York, a toilet of pornography and violence. I lived there. I remember it. It was, like todays crap-strewn and disintegrating San Francisco, a city the left made. A city that put the tender loving care of criminals above the safety of decent citizens. A city that would not get the homeless off its streets. A city that would not restrict or condemn pornography and prostitution on its main thoroughfares. Its lawmen were handcuffed by left-wing Supreme Court decisions that made it harder to investigate and prosecute the bad guys. And journalists were silenced by racial sensitivity because a lot of the people committing the crimes were black and no one wanted to seem racist.

So the city went to hell. Leftist hell.

Thats where Joker takes place: Leftist hell. And because Gothams left-wing government does not really care about treating real problems like mental illness, Joker goes nuts.

The movie does depict the rich as insensitive louts. If anyone can be said to represent Donald Trump in the film, its millionaire Thomas Wayne, Batmans father. But the peoples inchoate rage and hatred against the wealthy literally turn them into a mob of clowns. And if mob of clowns is not a metaphor for todays left, I dont know what is.

No wonder the leftist critics feared this film. Its a reminder of who leftists are and what they do when you give them power. You can watch it and know everything you need to know about them and its cheaper and safer than a trip to San Francisco.

See more here:

KLAVAN: Leftists Hate 'Joker' Because Joker Is The Left - The Daily Wire

Nihilism – Wikipedia

Nihilism (; from Latin nihil, meaning 'nothing') is the philosophical viewpoint that suggests the denial or lack of belief toward the reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.[1] Moral nihilists assert that there is no inherent morality, and that accepted moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism may also take epistemological, ontological, or metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or reality does not actually exist.

The term is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realising there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws.[2]

Nihilism has also been described as conspicuous in or constitutive of certain historical periods. For example, Jean Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch[3] and some religious theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity[4] and many aspects of modernity[5] represent a rejection of theism, and that such rejection of theistic doctrine entails nihilism.

Nihilism has many definitions, and thus can describe multiple arguably independent philosophical positions.

Metaphysical nihilism is the philosophical theory that posits that concrete objects and physical constructs might not exist in the possible world, or that even if there exist possible worlds that contain some concrete objects, there is at least one that contains only abstract objects.

Extreme metaphysical nihilism is commonly defined as the belief that nothing exists as a correspondent component of the self-efficient world.[6] The American Heritage Medical Dictionary defines one form of nihilism as "an extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence."[7] A similar skepticism concerning the concrete world can be found in solipsism. However, despite the fact that both deny the certainty of objects' true existence, the nihilist would deny the existence of self whereas the solipsist would affirm it.[8] Both these positions are considered forms of anti-realism.

Epistemological nihilism is a form of skepticism in which all knowledge is accepted as being possibly untrue or as being impossible to confirm as true.

Mereological nihilism (also called compositional nihilism) is the position that objects with proper parts do not exist (not only objects in space, but also objects existing in time do not have any temporal parts), and only basic building blocks without parts exist, and thus the world we see and experience full of objects with parts is a product of human misperception (i.e., if we could see clearly, we would not perceive compositive objects).

This interpretation of existence must be based on resolution. The resolution with which humans see and perceive the "improper parts" of the world is not an objective fact of reality, but is rather an implicit trait that can only be qualitatively explored and expressed. Therefore, there is no arguable way to surmise or measure the validity of mereological nihilism. Example: An ant can get lost on a large cylindrical object because the circumference of the object is so large with respect to the ant that the ant effectively feels as though the object has no curvature. Thus, the resolution with which the ant views the world it exists "within" is a very important determining factor in how the ant experiences this "within the world" feeling.

Existential nihilism is the belief that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism posits that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence. The meaninglessness or meaning of life is largely explored in the philosophical school of existentialism.

Moral nihilism, also known as ethical nihilism, is the meta-ethical view that morality does not exist as something inherent to objective reality; therefore no action is necessarily preferable to any other. For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for whatever reason, is not inherently right or wrong.

Other nihilists may argue not that there is no morality at all, but that if it does exist, it is a human construction and thus artificial, wherein any and all meaning is relative for different possible outcomes. As an example, if someone kills someone else, such a nihilist might argue that killing is not inherently a bad thing, or bad independently from our moral beliefs, because of the way morality is constructed as some rudimentary dichotomy. What is said to be a bad thing is given a higher negative weighting than what is called good: as a result, killing the individual was bad because it did not let the individual live, which was arbitrarily given a positive weighting. In this way a moral nihilist believes that all moral claims are void of any truth value. An alternative scholarly perspective is that moral nihilism is a morality in itself. Cooper writes, "In the widest sense of the word 'morality', moral nihilism is a morality."[9]

Political nihilism follows the characteristic nihilist's rejection of non-rationalized or non-proven assertions; in this case the necessity of the most fundamental social and political structures, such as government, family, and law. An influential analysis of political nihilism is presented by Leo Strauss.[10]

The Russian Nihilist movement was a Russian trend in the 1860s that rejected all authority.[11] After the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, the Nihilists gained a reputation throughout Europe as proponents of the use of violence for political change.[citation needed] The Nihilists expressed anger at what they described as the abusive nature of the Eastern Orthodox Church and of the tsarist monarchy, and at the domination of the Russian economy by the aristocracy. Although the term Nihilism was coined by the German theologian Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (17431818), its widespread usage began with the 1862 novel Fathers and Sons by the Russian author Ivan Turgenev. The main character of the novel, Yevgeny Bazarov, who describes himself as a Nihilist, wants to educate the people. The "go to the people be the people" campaign reached its height in the 1870s, during which underground groups such as the Circle of Tchaikovsky, the People's Will, and Land and Liberty formed. It became known as the Narodnik movement, whose members believed that the newly freed serfs were merely being sold into wage slavery in the onset of the Industrial Revolution, and that the middle and upper classes had effectively replaced landowners. The Russian state attempted to suppress the nihilist movement. In actions described by the Nihilists as propaganda of the deed many government officials were assassinated. In 1881 Alexander II was killed on the very day he had approved a proposal to call a representative assembly to consider new reforms.

The concept of nihilism was discussed by the Buddha (563 B.C. to 483 B.C.), as recorded in the Theravada and Mahayana Tripiaka[12]. The Tripiaka, originally written in Pali, refers to nihilism as "natthikavda" and the nihilist view as "micchdihi"[13][14]. Various sutras within it describe a multiplicity of views held by different sects of ascetics while the Buddha was alive, some of which were viewed by him to be morally nihilistic. In the Doctrine of Nihilism in the Appannaka Sutta, the Buddha describes moral nihilists as holding the following views[15][16]:

The Buddha then states that those who hold these views will not see the danger in misconduct and the blessings in good conduct and will, therefore, avoid good bodily, verbal and mental conduct; practicing misconduct instead[17].

The culmination of the path that the Buddha taught was Nirvana, "a place of nothingness... nonpossession and... non-attachment... [which is] the total end of death and decay"[18]. In an article Ajahn Amaro, a practicing Buddhist monk of more than 30 years, observes that in English 'nothingness' can sound like nihilism. However the word could be emphasised in a different way, so that it becomes 'no-thingness', indicating that Nirvana is not a thing you can find, but rather a place where you experience the reality of non-grasping[19].

In the Alagaddupama Sutta, the Buddha describes how some individuals feared his teaching because they believe that their 'self' would be destroyed if they followed it. He describes this as an anxiety caused by the false belief in an unchanging, everlasting 'self'. All things are subject to change and taking any impermanent phenomena to be a 'self' causes suffering. Nonetheless, his critics called him a nihilist who teaches the annihilation and extermination of an existing being. The Buddha's response was that he only teaches the cessation of suffering. When an individual has given up craving and the conceit of 'I am' their mind is liberated, they no longer come into any state of 'being' and are no longer born again[20].

The Aggivacchagotta Sutta records a conversation between the Buddha and an individual named Vaccha that further elaborates on this. In it Vaccha asks the Buddha to confirm one of the following, with respect to the existence of the Buddha after death[21]:

To all four questions, the Buddha answers that the terms 'appear', 'not appear', 'does and does not reappear' and 'neither does nor does not reappear' do not apply. When Vaccha expresses puzzlement, the Buddha asks Vaccha a counter question to the effect of: if a fire were to go out and someone were to ask you whether the fire went north, south east or west how would you reply? Vaccha replies that the question does not apply and that a fire gone out can only be classified as 'out'[22].

Thanissaro Bikkhu elaborates on the classification problem around the words 'reappear' etc. with respect to the Buddha and Nirvana by stating that a "person who has attained the goal [Nirvana] is thus indescribable because [they have] abandoned all things by which [they] could be described".[23] The Suttas themselves describe the liberated mind as 'untraceable' or as 'consciousness without feature', making no distinction between the mind of a liberated being that is alive and the mind of one that is no longer alive[24][25].

Despite the Buddha's explanations to the contrary, Buddhist practitioners may, at times, still approach Buddhism in a nihilistic manner. Ajahn Amaro illustrates this by retelling the story of a Buddhist monk, Ajahn Sumedho, who in his early years took a nihilistic approach to Nirvana. A distinct feature of Nirvana in Buddhism is that an individual attaining it is no longer subject to rebirth. Ajahn Sumedho, during a conversation with his teacher Ajahn Chah comments that he is "determined above all things to fully realize Nirvna in this lifetime... deeply weary of the human condition and... [is] determined not to be born again". To this Ajahn Chah replies "what about the rest of us, Sumedho? Don't you care about those who'll be left behind?". Ajahn Amaro comments that Ajahn Chah could detect that his student had a nihilistic aversion to life rather than true detachment. With his response, Ajahn Chah chided Ajahn Sumedho about the latter's narrowness and opened his eyes to this attitude of self centred nihilism[26].

The term nihilism was first used by Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (17431819). Jacobi used the term to characterize rationalism[27] and in particular Immanuel Kant's "critical" philosophy to carry out a reductio ad absurdum according to which all rationalism (philosophy as criticism) reduces to nihilismand thus it should be avoided and replaced with a return to some type of faith and revelation. Bret W. Davis writes, for example, "The first philosophical development of the idea of nihilism is generally ascribed to Friedrich Jacobi, who in a famous letter criticized Fichte's idealism as falling into nihilism. According to Jacobi, Fichte's absolutization of the ego (the 'absolute I' that posits the 'not-I') is an inflation of subjectivity that denies the absolute transcendence of God."[28] A related but oppositional concept is fideism, which sees reason as hostile and inferior to faith.

With the popularizing of the word nihilism by Ivan Turgenev, a new Russian political movement called the Nihilist movement adopted the term. They supposedly called themselves nihilists because nothing "that then existed found favor in their eyes".[29] This movement was significant enough that, even in the English speaking world, at the turn of the 20th century the word nihilism without qualification was almost exclusively associated with this Russian revolutionary sociopolitical movement [30].

Sren Kierkegaard (18131855) posited an early form of nihilism, which he referred to as leveling.[31] He saw leveling as the process of suppressing individuality to a point where an individual's uniqueness becomes non-existent and nothing meaningful in one's existence can be affirmed:

Levelling at its maximum is like the stillness of death, where one can hear one's own heartbeat, a stillness like death, into which nothing can penetrate, in which everything sinks, powerless. One person can head a rebellion, but one person cannot head this levelling process, for that would make him a leader and he would avoid being levelled. Each individual can in his little circle participate in this levelling, but it is an abstract process, and levelling is abstraction conquering individuality.

Kierkegaard, an advocate of a philosophy of life, generally argued against levelling and its nihilistic consequences, although he believed it would be "genuinely educative to live in the age of levelling [because] people will be forced to face the judgement of [levelling] alone."[32] George Cotkin asserts Kierkegaard was against "the standardization and levelling of belief, both spiritual and political, in the nineteenth century," and that Kierkegaard "opposed tendencies in mass culture to reduce the individual to a cipher of conformity and deference to the dominant opinion."[33] In his day, tabloids (like the Danish magazine Corsaren) and apostate Christianity were instruments of levelling and contributed to the "reflective apathetic age" of 19th century Europe.[34] Kierkegaard argues that individuals who can overcome the levelling process are stronger for it, and that it represents a step in the right direction towards "becoming a true self."[32][35] As we must overcome levelling,[36] Hubert Dreyfus and Jane Rubin argue that Kierkegaard's interest, "in an increasingly nihilistic age, is in how we can recover the sense that our lives are meaningful".[37]

Note, however, that Kierkegaard's meaning of "nihilism" differs from the modern definition, in the sense that, for Kierkegaard, levelling led to a life lacking meaning, purpose or value,[34] whereas the modern interpretation of nihilism posits that there was never any meaning, purpose or value to begin with.

Nihilism is often associated with the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who provided a detailed diagnosis of nihilism as a widespread phenomenon of Western culture. Though the notion appears frequently throughout Nietzsche's work, he uses the term in a variety of ways, with different meanings and connotations. Karen L. Carr describes Nietzsche's characterization of nihilism "as a condition of tension, as a disproportion between what we want to value (or need) and how the world appears to operate."[38] When we find out that the world does not possess the objective value or meaning that we want it to have or have long since believed it to have, we find ourselves in a crisis.[39] Nietzsche asserts that with the decline of Christianity and the rise of physiological decadence,[clarification needed] nihilism is in fact characteristic of the modern age,[40] though he implies that the rise of nihilism is still incomplete and that it has yet to be overcome.[41] Though the problem of nihilism becomes especially explicit in Nietzsche's notebooks (published posthumously), it is mentioned repeatedly in his published works and is closely connected to many of the problems mentioned there.

Nietzsche characterized nihilism as emptying the world and especially human existence of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value. This observation stems in part from Nietzsche's perspectivism, or his notion that "knowledge" is always by someone of some thing: it is always bound by perspective, and it is never mere fact.[42] Rather, there are interpretations through which we understand the world and give it meaning. Interpreting is something we can not go without; in fact, it is something we need. One way of interpreting the world is through morality, as one of the fundamental ways that people make sense of the world, especially in regard to their own thoughts and actions. Nietzsche distinguishes a morality that is strong or healthy, meaning that the person in question is aware that he constructs it himself, from weak morality, where the interpretation is projected on to something external.

Nietzsche discusses Christianity, one of the major topics in his work, at length in the context of the problem of nihilism in his notebooks, in a chapter entitled "European Nihilism".[43] Here he states that the Christian moral doctrine provides people with intrinsic value, belief in God (which justifies the evil in the world) and a basis for objective knowledge. In this sense, in constructing a world where objective knowledge is possible, Christianity is an antidote against a primal form of nihilism, against the despair of meaninglessness. However, it is exactly the element of truthfulness in Christian doctrine that is its undoing: in its drive towards truth, Christianity eventually finds itself to be a construct, which leads to its own dissolution. It is therefore that Nietzsche states that we have outgrown Christianity "not because we lived too far from it, rather because we lived too close".[44] As such, the self-dissolution of Christianity constitutes yet another form of nihilism. Because Christianity was an interpretation that posited itself as the interpretation, Nietzsche states that this dissolution leads beyond skepticism to a distrust of all meaning.[45][46]

Stanley Rosen identifies Nietzsche's concept of nihilism with a situation of meaninglessness, in which "everything is permitted." According to him, the loss of higher metaphysical values that exist in contrast to the base reality of the world, or merely human ideas, gives rise to the idea that all human ideas are therefore valueless. Rejecting idealism thus results in nihilism, because only similarly transcendent ideals live up to the previous standards that the nihilist still implicitly holds.[47] The inability for Christianity to serve as a source of valuating the world is reflected in Nietzsche's famous aphorism of the madman in The Gay Science.[48] The death of God, in particular the statement that "we killed him", is similar to the self-dissolution of Christian doctrine: due to the advances of the sciences, which for Nietzsche show that man is the product of evolution, that Earth has no special place among the stars and that history is not progressive, the Christian notion of God can no longer serve as a basis for a morality.

One such reaction to the loss of meaning is what Nietzsche calls passive nihilism, which he recognises in the pessimistic philosophy of Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer's doctrine, which Nietzsche also refers to as Western Buddhism, advocates separating oneself from will and desires in order to reduce suffering. Nietzsche characterises this ascetic attitude as a "will to nothingness", whereby life turns away from itself, as there is nothing of value to be found in the world. This mowing away of all value in the world is characteristic of the nihilist, although in this, the nihilist appears inconsistent:[49]

A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning: the pathos of 'in vain' is the nihilists' pathos at the same time, as pathos, an inconsistency on the part of the nihilists.

Nietzsche's relation to the problem of nihilism is a complex one. He approaches the problem of nihilism as deeply personal, stating that this predicament of the modern world is a problem that has "become conscious" in him.[50] According to Nietzsche, it is only when nihilism is overcome that a culture can have a true foundation upon which to thrive. He wished to hasten its coming only so that he could also hasten its ultimate departure.[40]

He states that there is at least the possibility of another type of nihilist in the wake of Christianity's self-dissolution, one that does not stop after the destruction of all value and meaning and succumb to the following nothingness. This alternate, 'active' nihilism on the other hand destroys to level the field for constructing something new. This form of nihilism is characterized by Nietzsche as "a sign of strength,"[51] a willful destruction of the old values to wipe the slate clean and lay down one's own beliefs and interpretations, contrary to the passive nihilism that resigns itself with the decomposition of the old values. This willful destruction of values and the overcoming of the condition of nihilism by the constructing of new meaning, this active nihilism, could be related to what Nietzsche elsewhere calls a 'free spirit'[52] or the bermensch from Thus Spoke Zarathustra and The Antichrist, the model of the strong individual who posits his own values and lives his life as if it were his own work of art. It may be questioned, though, whether "active nihilism" is indeed the correct term for this stance, and some question whether Nietzsche takes the problems nihilism poses seriously enough.[53]

Martin Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche influenced many postmodern thinkers who investigated the problem of nihilism as put forward by Nietzsche. Only recently has Heidegger's influence on Nietzschean nihilism research faded.[54] As early as the 1930s, Heidegger was giving lectures on Nietzsche's thought.[55] Given the importance of Nietzsche's contribution to the topic of nihilism, Heidegger's influential interpretation of Nietzsche is important for the historical development of the term nihilism.

Heidegger's method of researching and teaching Nietzsche is explicitly his own. He does not specifically try to present Nietzsche as Nietzsche. He rather tries to incorporate Nietzsche's thoughts into his own philosophical system of Being, Time and Dasein.[56] In his Nihilism as Determined by the History of Being (194446),[57] Heidegger tries to understand Nietzsche's nihilism as trying to achieve a victory through the devaluation of the, until then, highest values. The principle of this devaluation is, according to Heidegger, the Will to Power. The Will to Power is also the principle of every earlier valuation of values.[58] How does this devaluation occur and why is this nihilistic? One of Heidegger's main critiques on philosophy is that philosophy, and more specifically metaphysics, has forgotten to discriminate between investigating the notion of a being (Seiende) and Being (Sein). According to Heidegger, the history of Western thought can be seen as the history of metaphysics. And because metaphysics has forgotten to ask about the notion of Being (what Heidegger calls Seinsvergessenheit), it is a history about the destruction of Being. That is why Heidegger calls metaphysics nihilistic.[59] This makes Nietzsche's metaphysics not a victory over nihilism, but a perfection of it.[60]

Heidegger, in his interpretation of Nietzsche, has been inspired by Ernst Jnger. Many references to Jnger can be found in Heidegger's lectures on Nietzsche. For example, in a letter to the rector of Freiburg University of November 4, 1945, Heidegger, inspired by Jnger, tries to explain the notion of "God is dead" as the "reality of the Will to Power." Heidegger also praises Jnger for defending Nietzsche against a too biological or anthropological reading during the Nazi era.[61]

Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche influenced a number of important postmodernist thinkers. Gianni Vattimo points at a back-and-forth movement in European thought, between Nietzsche and Heidegger. During the 1960s, a Nietzschean 'renaissance' began, culminating in the work of Mazzino Montinari and Giorgio Colli. They began work on a new and complete edition of Nietzsche's collected works, making Nietzsche more accessible for scholarly research. Vattimo explains that with this new edition of Colli and Montinari, a critical reception of Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche began to take shape. Like other contemporary French and Italian philosophers, Vattimo does not want, or only partially wants, to rely on Heidegger for understanding Nietzsche. On the other hand, Vattimo judges Heidegger's intentions authentic enough to keep pursuing them.[62] Philosophers who Vattimo exemplifies as a part of this back and forth movement are French philosophers Deleuze, Foucault and Derrida. Italian philosophers of this same movement are Cacciari, Severino and himself.[63] Jrgen Habermas, Jean-Franois Lyotard and Richard Rorty are also philosophers who are influenced by Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche.[64]

Gilles Deleuze's interpretation of Nietzsche's concept of nihilism is different - in some sense diametrically opposed - to the usual definition (as outlined in the rest of this article). Nihilism is one of the main topics of Deleuze's early book Nietzsche and Philosophy (1962).[65] There, Deleuze repeatedly interprets Nietzsche's nihilism as "the enterprise of denying life and depreciating existence".[66] Nihilism thus defined is therefore not the denial of higher values, or the denial of meaning, but rather the depreciation of life in the name of such higher values or meaning. Deleuze therefore (with, he claims, Nietzsche) says that Christianity and Platonism, and with them the whole of metaphysics, are intrinsically nihilist.

Postmodern and poststructuralist thought has questioned the very grounds on which Western cultures have based their 'truths': absolute knowledge and meaning, a 'decentralization' of authorship, the accumulation of positive knowledge, historical progress, and certain ideals and practices of humanism and the Enlightenment.

Jacques Derrida, whose deconstruction is perhaps most commonly labeled nihilistic, did not himself make the nihilistic move that others have claimed. Derridean deconstructionists argue that this approach rather frees texts, individuals or organizations from a restrictive truth, and that deconstruction opens up the possibility of other ways of being.[67] Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, for example, uses deconstruction to create an ethics of opening up Western scholarship to the voice of the subaltern and to philosophies outside of the canon of western texts.[68] Derrida himself built a philosophy based upon a 'responsibility to the other'.[69] Deconstruction can thus be seen not as a denial of truth, but as a denial of our ability to know truth. That is to say, it makes an epistemological claim, compared to nihilism's ontological claim.

Lyotard argues that, rather than relying on an objective truth or method to prove their claims, philosophers legitimize their truths by reference to a story about the world that can't be separated from the age and system the stories belong toreferred to by Lyotard as meta-narratives. He then goes on to define the postmodern condition as characterized by a rejection both of these meta-narratives and of the process of legitimation by meta-narratives.

In lieu of meta-narratives we have created new language-games in order to legitimize our claims which rely on changing relationships and mutable truths, none of which is privileged over the other to speak to ultimate truth.[citation needed]

This concept of the instability of truth and meaning leads in the direction of nihilism, though Lyotard stops short of embracing the latter.[citation needed]

Postmodern theorist Jean Baudrillard wrote briefly of nihilism from the postmodern viewpoint in Simulacra and Simulation. He stuck mainly to topics of interpretations of the real world over the simulations of which the real world is composed. The uses of meaning were an important subject in Baudrillard's discussion of nihilism:

The apocalypse is finished, today it is the precession of the neutral, of forms of the neutral and of indifference...all that remains, is the fascination for desertlike and indifferent forms, for the very operation of the system that annihilates us. Now, fascination (in contrast to seduction, which was attached to appearances, and to dialectical reason, which was attached to meaning) is a nihilistic passion par excellence, it is the passion proper to the mode of disappearance. We are fascinated by all forms of disappearance, of our disappearance. Melancholic and fascinated, such is our general situation in an era of involuntary transparency.

In Nihil Unbound: Extinction and Enlightenment, Ray Brassier maintains that philosophy has avoided the traumatic idea of extinction, instead attempting to find meaning in a world conditioned by the very idea of its own annihilation. Thus Brassier critiques both the phenomenological and hermeneutic strands of Continental philosophy as well as the vitality of thinkers like Gilles Deleuze, who work to ingrain meaning in the world and stave off the "threat" of nihilism. Instead, drawing on thinkers such as Alain Badiou, Franois Laruelle, Paul Churchland, and Thomas Metzinger, Brassier defends a view of the world as inherently devoid of meaning. That is, rather than avoiding nihilism, Brassier embraces it as the truth of reality. Brassier concludes from his readings of Badiou and Laruelle that the universe is founded on the nothing,[70] but also that philosophy is the "organon of extinction," that it is only because life is conditioned by its own extinction that there is thought at all.[71] Brassier then defends a radically anti-correlationist philosophy proposing that Thought is conjoined not with Being, but with Non-Being.

The term Dada was first used by Richard Huelsenbeck and Tristan Tzara in 1916.[72] The movement, which lasted from approximately 1916 to 1922, arose during World War I, an event that influenced the artists.[73] The Dada Movement began in the old town of Zrich, Switzerland known as the "Niederdorf" or "Niederdrfli" in the Caf Voltaire.[74] The Dadaists claimed that Dada was not an art movement, but an anti-art movement, sometimes using found objects in a manner similar to found poetry.

The "anti-art" drive is thought[by whom?] to have stemmed from a post-war emptiness.[citation needed] This tendency toward devaluation of art has led many[who?] to claim that Dada was an essentially nihilistic movement.[citation needed] Given that Dada created its own means for interpreting its products, it is difficult to classify alongside most other contemporary art expressions. Due to perceived ambiguity, it has been classified as a nihilistic modus vivendi.[73]

The term "nihilism" was actually popularized in 1862 by Ivan Turgenev in his novel Fathers and Sons, whose hero, Bazarov, was a nihilist and recruited several followers to the philosophy. He found his nihilistic ways challenged upon falling in love.[75]

Anton Chekhov portrayed nihilism when writing Three Sisters. The phrase "what does it matter" or variants of this are often spoken by several characters in response to events; the significance of some of these events suggests a subscription to nihilism by said characters as a type of coping strategy.

The philosophical ideas of the French author, the Marquis de Sade, are often noted as early examples of nihilistic principles.[76]

Continued here:

Nihilism - Wikipedia

nihilism | Definition & History | Britannica.com

Nihilism, (from Latin nihil, nothing), originally a philosophy of moral and epistemological skepticism that arose in 19th-century Russia during the early years of the reign of Tsar Alexander II. The term was famously used by Friedrich Nietzsche to describe the disintegration of traditional morality in Western society. In the 20th century, nihilism encompassed a variety of philosophical and aesthetic stances that, in one sense or another, denied the existence of genuine moral truths or values, rejected the possibility of knowledge or communication, and asserted the ultimate meaninglessness or purposelessness of life or of the universe.

The term is an old one, applied to certain heretics in the Middle Ages. In Russian literature, nihilism was probably first used by N.I. Nadezhdin, in an 1829 article in the Messenger of Europe, in which he applied it to Aleksandr Pushkin. Nadezhdin, as did V.V. Bervi in 1858, equated nihilism with skepticism. Mikhail Nikiforovich Katkov, a well-known conservative journalist who interpreted nihilism as synonymous with revolution, presented it as a social menace because of its negation of all moral principles.

It was Ivan Turgenev, in his celebrated novel Fathers and Sons (1862), who popularized the term through the figure of Bazarov the nihilist. Eventually, the nihilists of the 1860s and 70s came to be regarded as disheveled, untidy, unruly, ragged men who rebelled against tradition and social order. The philosophy of nihilism then began to be associated erroneously with the regicide of Alexander II (1881) and the political terror that was employed by those active at the time in clandestine organizations opposed to absolutism.

If to the conservative elements the nihilists were the curse of the time, to the liberals such as N.G. Chernyshevsky they represented a mere transitory factor in the development of national thoughta stage in the struggle for individual freedomand a true spirit of the rebellious young generation. In his novel What Is to Be Done? (1863), Chernyshevsky endeavoured to detect positive aspects in the nihilist philosophy. Similarly, in his Memoirs, Prince Peter Kropotkin, the leading Russian anarchist, defined nihilism as the symbol of struggle against all forms of tyranny, hypocrisy, and artificiality and for individual freedom.

Fundamentally, 19th-century nihilism represented a philosophy of negation of all forms of aestheticism; it advocated utilitarianism and scientific rationalism. Classical philosophical systems were rejected entirely. Nihilism represented a crude form of positivism and materialism, a revolt against the established social order; it negated all authority exercised by the state, by the church, or by the family. It based its belief on nothing but scientific truth; science would be the solution of all social problems. All evils, nihilists believed, derived from a single sourceignorancewhich science alone would overcome.

The thinking of 19th-century nihilists was profoundly influenced by philosophers, scientists, and historians such as Ludwig Feuerbach, Charles Darwin, Henry Buckle, and Herbert Spencer. Since nihilists denied the duality of human beings as a combination of body and soul, of spiritual and material substance, they came into violent conflict with ecclesiastical authorities. Since nihilists questioned the doctrine of the divine right of kings, they came into similar conflict with secular authorities. Since they scorned all social bonds and family authority, the conflict between parents and children became equally immanent, and it is this theme that is best reflected in Turgenevs novel.

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nihilism | Definition & History | Britannica.com

Nihilism | Definition of Nihilism by Merriam-Webster

1a : a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless Nihilism is a condition in which all ultimate values lose their value. Ronald H. Nash

b : a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths

2a : a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility

b capitalized : the program of a 19th century Russian party advocating revolutionary reform and using terrorism and assassination

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Nihilism | Definition of Nihilism by Merriam-Webster

Nihilism – Philosophy – AllAboutPhilosophy.org

Nihilism Abandoning Values and KnowledgeNihilism derives its name from the Latin root nihil, meaning nothing, that which does not exist. This same root is found in the verb annihilate -- to bring to nothing, to destroy completely. Nihilism is the belief which:

Nihilism A Meaningless WorldShakespeares Macbeth eloquently summarizes existential nihilism's perspective, disdaining life:

Nihilism Beyond NothingnessNihilism--choosing to believe in Nothingness--involves a high price. An individual may choose to feel rather than think, exert their will to power than pray, give thanks, or obey God. After an impressive career of literary and philosophical creativity, Friedrich Nietzsche lost all control of his mental faculties. Upon seeing a horse mistreated, he began sobbing uncontrollably and collapsed into a catatonic state. Nietzsche died August 25, 1900, diagnosed as utterly insane. While saying Yes to life but No to God, the Prophet of Nihilism missed both.

Beyond the nothingness of nihilism, there is One who is greater than unbelief; One who touched humanity (1 John 5:20) and assures us that our lives are not meaningless (Acts 17:24-28).

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Nihilism - Philosophy - AllAboutPhilosophy.org


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