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What is the Actual Best Post?

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
As somebody who grew up in a conservative family and actually bought the GOP's crappy "if we allow same sex marriage people will want polygamy and bestiality next" argument for at least 24 hours in college, that post seems about right.


Time to provide a "best" post in response to that.

In studying both liberal arts and STEM at "prestigious" universities, I've learned that while lib-arts professors do not indoctrinate anyone as in the pulpy musings of Orwell etc. (I agree with Exposition Owl that natural "inertia" prevents this, although I would call this resistance healthy and the only true source of a pluralistic society, rather than anything else), they will certainly reward students that confirm their respective will and worldview, or punish those that utterly reject it due to "irreconcilable differences"; and that this is much less relevant in STEM, intrinsically -- you can imagine why.

There is at least one professor at my polytechnic university who is most probably left-leaning and environmentalist, but has mentioned his support of geomancy, spiritism and the Anastasia movement during lectures -- a movement which you've never heard of until now. I don't think he's met with much success, but that's besides the point. Incidentally, the one lecturer that I think was socialist was a kind-hearted Chilean who never spoke of politics (there's only one clue I picked up that seems rather definitive; I think it's best to avoid details), just to dispel the boogeyman of all left-leaning professors using university as a training camp, which is likewise absurd.

Obviously, if you believe that most things cannot be fruitfully discussed, and not every good judgment acquired -- if, in other words, you reject "dialectics" both in the Socratic and Hegelian senses -- you are already at a disadvantage in liberal arts (not so in STEM... or if you are an actual artist, which is where the qualities resulting in such beliefs also seem to help). I vividly remember getting insight* into an Abitur assignment which asked the student to judge an excerpt of Nabokov writing about Kafka in Lectures on Literature (compiled from his academic lectures at Cornell U). The "grading key" given to the teachers dourly pointed out that anything but a "nuanced evaluation" rejecting Nabokov's views, i.e. the student eagerly listing the banalities about how Kafka's writing is full of "father figures" and "religious allusions", how it "predicted" totalitarian bureaucracy and industrialized dehumanization (as if neither had yet been invented in his lifetime), "if only more people had read him earlier!", should get the student docked points. I should note here that Nabokov wrote a lot against totalitarianism and industrialized dehumanization which he knew from the country he had to flee, and another country that he settled down in (Cloud, Castle, Lake was published in Berlin, 1937)

Thus, the federal subject's Ministry of Education demanded that the young adult student support a "centrist" and perhaps artistically infertile stance on an issue he/she probably doesn't understand as well as V. V. Nabokov some 50 years into his life. Of course, I can't imagine that any sane teacher ever followed a "grading key" to the letter (again: healthy resistance), and I remember getting away with derisively slamming Gerhart Hauptmann and "realism" in a similar exam and scoring A* (or German equivalent) -- but if it was followed anywhere, then this foregone decision on what a nominally open discussion should produce is nothing, if not indoctrination. Or the jealousy of lesser writers and critics, weaponized in such a way that they do not have to acknowledge it as jealousy, or a weapon. (Schönberg wrote likewise about teachers in his Harmonielehre -- which did not make his own teaching style, in that book, less intellectually rigorous, or less demanding, but he always pointed out the value of questioning any "basic laws" that seemed to present themselves as context-free, and the value of deeper study and the obstinate detail contradicting, thus refining the rule.)

And I imagine that the writing "style" and its unspoken directives and philosophical foundation that I'm using right here, right now, was, if not ingrained, then at least encouraged by this entire rotten system in my years of greatest ignorance and malleability; and I'm not particularly fond of it.

In brief: I believe that "academic" education is shit, and not at all "peaceful" (perhaps Nabokov is apt to quote here: "to build an ivory tower, one must first kill a few elephants"), not at all a respite from the supposed or real terrors of corporate economy. I've heard agreement from not a few and quite "diverse" professors (again, both in STEM and lib arts, and with all kinds of "cultural backgrounds"-- though I'm not as sure about the diversity of their philosophies, which would matter far more) when I brought this up to them. There is a bias marring this lesson, of course, because these were the professors I dared mention my dissatisfaction to in the first place.

In any case, many people I look up to, if they ever studied or taught at university -- whether I really knew them, or had to settle for biographies -- seem to have gone on record with the same, and nearly no-one with the opposite, so I assume it's not solely attributable to "Bologna" (what a heinous misappropriation of the great legacy of the Middle Ages). I wonder why that is. But no, not really.

(Since a reader might tacitly chalk this up to my supposed failure at performing at university: I promise it''s not that; by grades, I've been "pretty good" at school and university. This means nothing right now; I expect that it will mean the world soon -- and shortly thereafter, it will mean nothing again for the rest of my life. In other words, even the effects of university indoctrination by grades on the workforce are somewhat dubious.)

* They might well have been publicly accessible. I've long since forgotten.
I've never been to college, but my impression from talking to anyone who's taken a serious round of liberal arts courses is that the most revered professors are the ones that grade you mainly on how well you support your argument, rather than on you arriving at a predestined conclusion.

Usually it turns out that talking points from Fox News and Megachurch preachers are much more difficult to support satisfactorily, though I can't imagine why.


My experience is that college professors run the absolute gamut on levels of both professionalism and temperament, being human beings and all

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption


It is, and I wish I hadn't, if I'd known a better way to convince people that neither the "progressive" nor the "conservative" standard narrative about this matter seems real to me.

edit: The rationale btw was that it's obvious that I wrote it some sentences in, and anyone who doesn't get that far (or misses this) is someone I don't care whether they read it in the first place.

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
I was wondering how long it was going to take for someone to make something like that.

Longer than I thought, really

Exposition Owl

Always Be Swooping
Note that, if you click on that Alex Hirsch tweet, you’ll see sound files of prank calls that he recorded as Soos and Stan Pines.


Find Your Reason
Holy crap, I hadn't realized he used the Soos voice for that first one! It's like getting to reopen a gift all over again! XD


Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
Regarding the COV-19 virus and its effects:

Things are frustrating, and confusing, and scary. People dream up conspiracy theories to help make sense of things. They're not helpful, though, and only serve to make the world more confusing and scarier.

We're not going to have that here. If there's new information to be shared, share it, but cite your information to a reputable source. And we swear to God, if anyone comes in here and starts spouting off QAnon bullshit about COVID-19 or literally anything else, you are going to get permabanned so thoroughly that your grandchildren won't be allowed to post here.
What is the best mod post.


Power is fleeting, love is eternal
An old classic:

The interested reader should consult What Tolkien Officially Said About Elf Sex, the most extensive guide to elf sexuality I’m aware of. Also, be aware that I haven’t read Silm and anything in here contradicted by Silm is a result of ignorance.

The bits I find interesting are that (1) elf marriage is defined as being sex— the party is considered a good idea, but strictly optional, (2) elves don’t commit adultery and (3) elves can apparently tell from the way someone moves whether they’re wed or unwed. Now, this may just be that elves are Good Catholics, but are you kidding, there is an opportunity for my favorite tropes. I propose: elf hypermonogamy!

(I actually totally thought elf hypermonogamy was canon until I was researching my answer for this ask. GODDAMMIT TOLKIEN.)

Elves are universally demisexual: they literally do not experience sexual attraction to people they aren’t in romantic love with. Elves are only capable of being in love with one person at once. It takes them a long time to get over love; it’s quite common for a rejected elf to never fall in love again, and most of those who do go centuries before they do.

So, how does that affect my favorite ships?

I feel like Legolas/Gimli is super-more-awesome if Legolas was literally never sexually attracted to anyone before Gimli and has no idea what this emotion is. So he is all like OH GOD THIS DWARF IS SO ANNOYING :mad: :mad: :mad: I JUST WANT TO THINK ABOUT HIM ALL THE TIME. BECAUSE HE’S ANNOYING. I WONDER WHAT HIS HAIR FEELS LIKE. And eventually this gets to the point where even Mr. They’re Taking The Hobbits To Isengard starts wondering if something’s up.

and then at Lothlorien he seeks the advice of Galadriel and Galadriel is like “Legolas, you’re in love” and Legolas is like “???!???!!!!!!”

and Galadriel thinks to herself “JESUS CHRIST, Legolas, Luthien and Arwen are one thing, human boys are sort of cute, but DID YOU REALLY JUST FALL FOR, OF ALL PEOPLE, A FUCKING DWARF”

(and then he does the hair thing and she’s like “well, at least he has good taste”)

and then he ends up having sex with Gimli. Now, dwarves totally have a culture of warrior homosexuality. (Also: everything homosexuality????) So Gimli is all like “ah, yes, manly men blowing off some steam in a manly way after battle, this surely does not mean Feelings” and Legolas is like “:( :( :( I will go stare at a river and write love poetry in Quenya more beautiful than the hearts of Men can bear” but he totally doesn’t let Gimli know because he doesn’t want to Pressure Gimli Into A Relationship and also because he will Take What He Can Get

and then at some point Aragorn is sadly singing to himself about Luthien as is his third-favorite hobby (behind beard growth and still not being king) and Gimli is like “why the hell would she give up her immortality anyway, dude, it’s fucking immortality? why can’t she marry an elf instead” and with one thing and another Aragorn ended up telling him about the Elvish Facts of Life

and then Gimli storms up to Legolas and is like YOU KNOW USUALLY I LIKE TO BE INFORMED WHEN I’M MARRIED TO PEOPLE

and Legolas is like “…I’m… married to you but you’re not married to me?”


and Legolas was like “I am sorry, I understand if you will never speak to me again” and he is mentally drafting, like, the world’s saddest poem, like, it will win the Saddest Poem contest Elrond holds every year


and Legolas is like “oh. Oh!”

and then he ends up smuggling his boyfriend into Valinor, I assume by just sort of shoving him into the luggage. “Dwarf? What dwarf? I don’t have a dwarf. What, no, my bag isn’t wriggling, you’re seeing things. Gosh, there are weird sounds on the sea, that one sounded almost like the word ‘fuck’.”

also I feel like this whole thing makes Elrond and Arwen infinitely more amusing

Arwen: NO I WON’T
Elrond: …fuck. You’re right.
Arwen: (looks smug)
Elrond: you know Elros really had the right idea, immortality is awesome but at least HUMANS HAVE THE CONCEPT OF SERIAL MONOGAMY


????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Then he showed up at CPAC looking only slightly like a trenchcoat filled with mescaline-besotted prairie chickens propping up a genetically altered muskmelon with Art Garfunkel’s gently used merkin stapled to it.


Geno Cidecity
I should probably start this out by saying that I’m not a fan of bland white dude villains, or “morally grey” ones because I find that often they are underdeveloped and based entirely on society being ingrained to give them more of a chance to be likable than anyone else. Any hint of an anxious lip bite and people want to wrap them up in a blanket and protect them. I have a lot of other Thoughts about how bad this type of thinking is for society (teaching us to always find ways to justify and excuse bad behavior from white dudes and prioritizing their ability to be redeemed over the people they've hurt) and how books like this are extremely harmful but that will have to wait for another day. Any other groups as complex villains? Sign me the fuck up, most of those stories are more understanding and compelling. The villain/love interest in this book? No thanks. But I should have known considering I have absolutely no sympathy for Kylo Ren, and the author seems to be a big fan of that type/that character particularly. Take Kylo Ren and create even less of a backstory/reasoning for him, and you get this mess.