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2023.05.28 17:34 Gargus-SCP Related Works - Wesley Dodds as The Sandman (Jan-Jul 1941): Troubled Sleep

After a 1940 defined by gathering strengths and refinement across the feature, the early months of 1941 bring a few troubling portents behind-the-scenes for Fox's affectionately termed Grainy Gladiator. Nothing ruinous in itself, but signs of an upcoming radical shift away from what the character represented to start.
For one, the April issue of Adventure Comics (#61) brings with it a new cover feature, Ted Knight AKA Starman, courtesy writer-artist Jack Burnley. Already the second lengthiest entry in the book at nine pages, Starman quickly managed what neither Sandman nor Hourman could during their respective years as star attractions and upgraded to a full thirteen pages by his third appearance in #63. For context, Sandman only went from six pages to ten with its upgrade, while Hourman has remained rockstaedy at eight pages, and neither took down another non-superhero supporting feature to justify the page increase like Starman did Barry O'Neil and Mark Lansing. Moreover, from Starman's second appearance on, he is only drawn by Burnley; writing duties now belong to the Sandman's own Gardner Fox.
Which loops in with two other issues at play over Wesley's tossing, turning figure. Starting with issue #61, available online sources no longer fully agree who wrote what for the Sandman feature. You must understand, outside superstar figures with major pull like the creators of Superman or Batman, very few creative teams are properly credited in these Golden Age comics - my credits the last few posts have all been crossreferenced across numerous wikis and databases who owe their credits to investigative work by fans like Jerry Bails back in the 1960s. Such work was sadly not exhaustive, and while a few places (like DC Continuity Project and Wikipedia) state or else imply Fox stayed on as writer for the next few issues, from June to November there is no consensus as to who penned the stories.
I shouldn't be surprised if Fox's involvement terminated with the March issue, for April also saw All-Star Comics shift its format slightly, with Fox writing all nine interior stories for the 64 page mag in addition to his duties on the longer Starman feature. Man would have to work double time to keep pace, even if Sandman didn't drop to eight pages with #62 in May. Either way, Fox is certainly gone following #64 in July, as that issue features the final story drawn by regular artist and co-creator Creig Flessel, who departs to work on Shining Knight later in the year. As I say, things are changing fast for Sandman, and not all changes seem necessarily for the better. Best, however, to take the stories on their own level before drawing any final conclusions!
Coverage note: This entry goes to July rather than June for the sake of my sanity. If I stopped midway through the year, I'd only need cover seven features here, but the back half of '41 would require coverage of eleven. A nine-nine split feels much more feasible.
Orchids of Doom - Gardner Fox, Creig Flessel, Chad Grothkopf
Once again, a socialite friend to Wes and Dian is at the center of a minor mystery with big implications - namely, how can Pedro Nogades, father to Carla, rightly claim he breeds otherwise purely wild orchids in captivity? Investigating as the Sandman, Wes and Dian find a dead man in the Nogades greenhouse with his head stripped to the bone, and in following another fellow who sniffed an orchid before promising a shipment of such to some ruffians on the bad side of town, see his own face dissolve to bare skull. A visit to the police chemist reveals the orchids on the dead men's persons were laced to release a deadly flesh-eating gas on exposure to natural air, which is enough probably cause for Wesley to enlist Carla's boyfriend Bill in staging a raid on the Nogades manor. Some close shaves and fisticuffs end with the group discovering a diorama of the local coast, laid out to assist enemy agents in an invasion. Pedro is put away and the orchids revealed as concealing microfilm copies of the coastal plans, but how do we square the mystery that started it all? Simple: Nogades was no botanist, and called the flower by the wrong name when concocting his cover story!
An alright yarn to kick of the calendar year. As per usual when Fox tries for a somewhat complicated mystery, he's no adequate means of tying off loose ends other than large blocks of text, but it's lively and keeps the situation evolving with decent justifications for mid-story action and dragging Bill along for further fisticuffs. Hooking the entire mystery on, "Oh, the bad guy misspoke," is a tad lame, if understandable in the context of Fox's passion for slipping general knowledge flexes into his stories. Flessel and Grothkopf get some good mileage out've the skull imagery that crops up whenever the flower kills, and I rather like the brief bout of fisticuffs towards the end. The minor social awkwardness when Bill gets in the car with Wes and Dian is pretty good too, and I'm sorry to report I can't add this story to the "Wesley getting shot" count, as the bad guy only plugs his hat. Kinda funny having a Golden Age Sandman story involving orchids given Neil's own pre-Sandman work with Black Orchid, innit?
The Story of the Flaming Ruby - Fox, Flessel, Grothkopf
There exists a ruby of blazing red, which has driven men to rage and madness wherever it appears, and today it sits in the hand of a young man in the local jeweler's shop, who flashes it cross Dian's vision. Later in the evening, she wakes in a trance consumed with the urge to kill her father, stopped only by Sandman as he rushes in from investigating a similarly queer case. A bank teller friend from his private life has found himself driven to steal from the vault and deliver it to some crooks on a lonely road every night, all after one of those men flashed him the ruby. Wes and Dian are unable to stop this night's transaction (on account of the ruby briefly turning Dian against Sandman), but seeing the gem in action gives Wes an idea on how to counteract its effects, and go into battle during the next drop armed with blue cobalt glasses. A brawl puts down all the blackmailers except one, but Wes opts instead to go after the head of the operation, knocking him out and lurking in the dark to catch the last as he reports in, revealing the bank teller! Turns out the ruby DOES have hypnotic properties and was used to assist their robberies, but the teller - hoping by playing at the victim to lure Sandman into his cohorts' midst and rub him out - spoke as if he remembered the whole experience, where Dian forgot herself on every exposure. Oops!
Same basic mystery structure and resolution type here as last month, complete with overly-wordy explanation, although I find the hook of pitting Dian and Wesley against one another gives it a minor leg up, as does the relatively straightforward nature of the criminal operation compared to planting microfilm in deadly flowers. There's a more even balance between the rush in bust 'em up style of crime-fighting the feature has developed and the stealthy skullduggery I think suits the character best, with nice action art to match each. Dian has some silly faces whenever she wakes from her hypnosis, and the four panel sequence of Wes halting her murder attempt works pretty well. This is, unfortunately, the final pencil-inking collaboration between Flessel and Grothkopf, and much as I've kvetched over the second man's solo work, I'm sorry to see the back of him in this capacity. When the two were in proper tune, they were the best artistic team Sandman enjoyed yet.
(Stop dodging bullets, I want to see you gunshot.)
Mystery at Malay Mac's - Fox, Grothkopf
Hey, a rare post-Hourman, pre-redesign cover appearance! That's always nice. "Hello, officer? Yeah, coupla chucklefucks right here, the alley off Fourth, can't miss 'em."
What's this? Dian breaking into a notorious criminal slumlord's safe in the bad part of town? A safe, as Wes discovers after he scares the lady off, filled to the brim with poison gas! Evidently not, as Dian is sound asleep when Wes arrives at Belmont manor to investigate, and a subsequent visit to Mister Mac reveals the only person who'd know the safe was booby-trapped is a local kidnapping organizer. Some blind, flailing fists turns up the girl, Dian's perfect duplicate, snatched from out of state to replace Dian and gain leverage over the cops. Too bad the kidnapper's made of strong stuff, knocking out Sandman and taking both woman for a ride to get back at Mac. Fortunately, Dian leaves Wes a trail of jewelry out the window, enabling him to follow and take down all the crooks with one throw of his gas pistol, revealing in the process 'twas Mac himself who tipped Dian's duplicate to his safe, in hopes of spoiling his rival's big plot.
Art-wise, this is probably Grothkopf's best work for Sandman to date. His tendency to exaggerate is translated into some properly goonish faces for the villains and really, really strong action poses, with some properly atmospheric shots sprinkled in for good measure. He cannot draw the gasmask for piss, but there's such an improvement I almost thought this was a Flessel joint before checking the wiki credits. Makes me wish we could see what he'd do if he kept on as a solo artist - free from the impulse to treat the feature as a cartoon, he produces damn fine work. As a story, this makes good time to mention my misgivings with Wesley's tendency to burst through windows and start swinging long before he thinks to use his sleeping gas. While it's great fun to describe and hype up as the mark of a madman who's even cooler as the badass normal than Batman, it also encourages a faster degradation in the character's identity. I'm sure you'll notice it's been yonks since lurking in the shadows and thinning the ranks by knocking them out in advance has factored into the stories. That Wes handles the bad guy by literally clonking him over the head with the gas gun rather than pulling the trigger speaks to the influence other, punchier superhero features have exerted over the strip.
The Menace of the Metal Gun - Fox?, Flessel
From aboard a mysterious aircraft, a madman fires upon the city with a metal-melting ray that dissolves the skyscrapers into slag! Alerted to Doctor Borloff's activities, Wesley meets with swift defeat when the rogue scientist melts his gas gun and escapes in his cylindercraft to terrorize afresh. There IS a bright side, as seeing the ray firsthand gives Wesley some idea how to counteract its effects, and he sends Dian and her father warning for the local airforce to coat their planes in sand as a silicate buffer against the ray. Alas, only one officer heeds his message, leaving Sandman alone to get aboard the machine via his new wirepoon gun and defeat Borloff from within. For his brawling process, a good midflight fight is nothing if the hero gets tossed out an open door, but fortunately he can grapple onto the lone surviving plane, recover his bearings, zip back up, and put a stop to Borloff's dreams of world conquest once and for all!
Action is the name of the game here, and even without Grothkopf's inking enhancements, I think Flessel does a fine job on his own. I'm wary of the wirepoon in the future, as by year's end it will completely replace the gas gun as Sandman's sidearm of choice in further drift from the original Christman concept, but taken as a neutral in its debut, giving Sandman greater aerial mobility does lead to some cool shots and enhance the sense Wes goes stark bananas in the mask by pulling some stunts that would almost certainly pull his arms from their sockets in real life. There are, however, some particularly stiff action shots, and in one panel Flessel cocks up the design on the mask worse than Grothkopf last ish. Based on the opening vignette, Borloff decimated millions of innocent lives in addition to all the planes he melted out of the sky, making him easily the deadliest foe Wes has faced to date, and in turn making the "We did it, gang, everything is bright and peachy again!" ending sorta offputting. They'll have to organize mass funerals tomorrow, Wes. Show a little respect.
For America and Democracy: The Grey Shirts - Fox, Grothkopf
In the top-level story, the JSA learn of their mission for the FBI: a group of Nazi insurgents known as the Grey Shirts are plotting subversive and destructive activities all across America, and are now posed to badly destabilize the nation in a series of disruptive attacks. Each is assigned a mission at critical points cross the nation, though given the widely-ranging disparity in their powers, their usefulness to the cause varies equally wildly. The Atom humiliates some goons spreading Nazi ideology at a single college, Hawkman barely prevents the destruction of an aviation plant in California, and Hourman's defense of an Oklahoma oil field ends with him toppling one of the oil towers to stop his quarry. Meanwhile, Green Lantern detonates a zeppelin secretly jamming radio transmissions nationwide, the Spectre casually annihilates some otherworldly vampiric globes sympathetic to Hitler's cause, and Doctor Fate uses his magic to out every single spy on the eastern seaboard. Uneven efforts or not, the group converge on the Grey Shirts' ringleader, and with a little help from Johnny Thunder, turn him over to good ol' J. Edgar Hoover's custody. Alas, Wesley does not get the blood he's thirsting after.
(Also Doctor Fate alerts Wesley to the identity and location of the ringleader before his mission starts rather than letting him figure it out on his own like everyone else. Prick.)
For his six-page leg of the assignment, the Sandman is off to El Paso, Texas to assist a local newspaper under threat from the Grey Shirts for printing pro-democracy and anti-Hitler editorials. Of course, this being Wesley Dodds on the job, he gets this information by roughing his way into the newspaper offices, then acts on it by beating on the guard at the Grey Shirts' camp and pounding down a band of brainwashed young men to prove he's a better American than them. After sending the wannabe Nazis for a whirl by running their bomb shipment off the road, Wesley doubles back to completely break the recruits' spirits, daring them to prove their hard enough by shooting an unarmed man in Hitler's name, chiefly himself. When none can cut the mustard, he marches them back into town with collars strapped to his car, and inspires the lot to join the Army to a few shirtless bars of "God Bless America."
Cripes but jingoism produces some heady results, doesn't it? I'm not sure I can rightly condone the ridiculous levels of patriotism on display here, even against such classically anti-American enemies as Nazis, yet at the same time, look at this and tell me it isn't the hardest shit you'll see all week. Again, though I've my misgivings about Wes as a brawler no matter how entertaining the results prove, there's something endearing about him being so raring for a fight his first move is to altercate the receptionist at the place he's assigned to defend. On the whole, Grothkopf's final Sandman contribution also shows refinement from his earlier works, the broader, thicker elements of his linework now tempers on a somewhat more grounded approach. Certainly the Sandman himself keeps a consistent look better than he does in any other issue published thus far this year. I DO notice he reused Flessel's design for the District Attorney wholesale on the newspaper publisher. Since he's going and heading out on a job well done, let's not hold it against him, eh?
The Purple Death Ray - Fox?, Flessel
At the nightly planetarium show, a member of the audience screams and falls down dead, stricken by a litany of strange symptoms with no obvious cause. Wesley, believing the man was killed by a death ray, examines the auditorium's projector, only to find no obvious alterations or fault. Undeterred, he purchases himself a seat next to the murdered man's for the next show, which is now occupied by another fellow who received a last-second courtesy invitation. Acting quickly, the Sandman reexamines the projector from the shadows and finds a replacement bulb screwed into the socket pointed directly at the man's chair. With assistance from his wirepoon, Sandman swings down and wrenches the man from his seat just as the show starts, the bulb bathing his seat in deadly radiation. On learning the man is a former judge and the deceased a former DA, it's not long before Wes ferrets out the killer; it's the cashier, a former scientist sent to jail for misappropriating university funds years ago, out for revenge and now stopped cold.
See, while I'm skeptical about the growing presence of science-fiction elements in the series, they make fine fodder when they play to Sandman's strengths. Lurking high above a crowd of people seeking the answer to some deadly mystery is exactly Wes' bag, and plus or minus some strange mask drawings, Flessel captures that thrill of closely examining a big deadly machine in secret before it fires. I'd submit the page where Sandman saves the judge from the beam as an easy contender for best of the year thus far, and the shot where Wes pushes Dian away from the killer's bullet is another fine piece of work. My memories of this one before sitting down to reread and write were a lot chillier, probably because I wish the series remained in crime pulp rather than raygun pulp, but a good outcome is a good outcome. Seriously, though, why is the mask going so bobble-eyed of late?
The Voodoo Sorcerer - ???, Flessel
As Dian and Wesley tiff over his interest in an exotic dancer they know through a mutual friend, the woman's tail-lashing dance is interrupted when she sees a great glowing triangle materialize before her eyes. With the shock straining her bad heart, the Sandman brings her to boyfriend's house, where he reveals the triangle is a voodoo witch doctor's means of accusing someone of murder - just as news comes over the wire that the man the woman lashed with her costume tail has died! Smelling a rat, Wes rushes to the scene of the crime to find the taile barbed with poison quills, only for the titular sorcerer to bumrush him out the window. It's a big misunderstanding, thankfully: he's as shocked by the murder as Sandman, and only summoned the triangle on suggestion from an acquaintance, forgetting the dancer would know its significance through her partner. By happiest coincidence, this provides Wesley the solution to the mystery right quick, for only his friend's chauffeur would have motive, opportunity, and knowledge to frame his employers and their associates for the murder of a stock broker who owed them money.
Hmm, ah, see, on the one hand, it IS nice that the voodoo guy is innocent of everything except a lapse in judgement and the real twist is an unassuming little man exploiting the mystery and fears around the craft to cast suspicion off his person. On the other hand, eek, yike, zoinks! None good. Bad, even. Outside unfortunate depictions of non-white persons from the 1940s, the story's pretty weak for a murder mystery, as numerous elements are evidently known to the characters well in advance, yet only made clear to the reader right before they become relevant, like the exact identity of the murdered man. It's only eight pages, so there's little opportunity to piece information together on your own time, and as such it is heavily reliant on narrative cheats to generate cheap surprise. About the best thing here is the big page-dominating panel of Wesley swinging through the city on his wirepoon, unconscious woman tucked under arm. Kinda hard to convincingly raise my dander about what it means for the character and his feature when it's successfully operating on the long-standing principle of "masked mystery men swinging on a wire through skyscrapers looks really cool." S'like a solid fifth of the formula behind why Spider-Man is so enduringly popular.
(Also not a big fan of how Wes dismisses Dian from participating in the case without any adequate reason why. She calls him out over it, even, and nothing in the story justifies his decision to fly solo on this one.)
The Unseen Man - ???, Flessel
Dian's purchase of paints from a local hobby shop includes quite the unusual accidental item: a paint that turns anything and everything invisible on contact. Determined to solve this mystery on her own, Dian investigates the shop with the dealer's cooperation, only for the dread Unseen Man to get the drop on her. Fortunately, Sandman is there to save her because he won't let Dian do anything on her own; unfortunately, Dian doesn't know Wes can see her attacker through his blue cobalt lenses and pulls him away, thinking him mad and letting the Unseen Man go free. As reward for her screw up, she's targeted in her home the next night, only for Wes to barge in again, having anticipated the only possible secret identity for the crook would make him likely to strike back at Dian. It is, unsurprisingly, the hobby shop owner, who Wes turns over to the police before heading out to patent his invisibility paint with the United States Army.
Alright, it's definitely not Gardner Fox writing anymore, because I cannot imagine Fox treating Dian so poorly. I gave her some dignity in summary, but this story is plain dumping all over her as a fussy, incompetent tryhard who fails at investigating on her own on account her womanly ways. Just look at the sheer antagonism between her and Wes; you two are partners, she's saved Sandman's skin like a dozen times, worn his costume and wielded his gas gun to do it once, even! Don't try to BS me into thinking Wes would run this paternalist "let me handle it, Dian, I wear the pants in this relationship" crap on her. You're only alive because she's worn your fucking pants. Otherwise, 'nother instance where the story and art alike don't give me much of note. I reckon Flessel was about done with the series with Fox gone and sorta phoned in his last few assignments. They're nowhere near the standard of his early solo artistic duties on the title. There IS another good wirepoon swinging shot, if one counterbalanced by a crummier instance with yet another weirdly-proportioned mask.
The Mysterious Mr. X: The Kidnapper's Union - Fox, Cliff Young
The Justice Society are bored. Bored, bored, bored. Why are they bored? There is no crime. Not a single ruffian or scoundrel or roughneck lawbreaker anywhere in the city! Where did crime go? Crime has taken an enforced vacation, courtesy the plans of big crime boss Mister X (hats off), as prelude to his scheme for taking out the JSA and putting all his criminal enterprises back on easy street. It's quite the collection of rackets out against the superheroes - an arsonist ring for Flash, a jewel snatching gang for Hawkman, leader of the phony fortune teller underworld against Doctor Fate, even hard-pressing gym membership shakedowns for the Atom! Naturally our heroes triumph, though every one also encounters a strange little man idly strolling through their battlegrounds. He's so omnipresent despite his mousiness, he's even there when they convene at the police station to organize Mister X's (hats off) arrest. Except this unassuming slip of a man? He IS Mister X (hats off), and with the Justice Society having taken all the fun out've crime, he's turning himself in to live comfortably on the state's dollar in jail. WHOOPSY-DOODLE!
For his six-page part in the game, Sandman must contend against the kidnapper's union, who naturally enough have abducted Dian to get his attention. Not only have these lowlives taken Dian hostage (though she doesn't particularly mind), they've taken out phony accident insurance claims against themselves should the hero injure any of them en route to his untimely death! Nobody quite expects Wes to avoid the sniper-guarded roads to their remote hilltop hideout, though, and a quick wirepoon swing over the canyon (complete with Mister X - hats off - sighting) puts him right in the criminal den. From there, it's a simple biff wham boom to take down the punks and disarm their supporting fire. Alas, Sandman is once again only in the loop on the true nature of the threat against the JSA because someone notifies him from their own investigation, this time Flash via telegram. Let him do his own detective work, you pricks!
Right. You see these panels? You see Dian being calm and collected in the midst of a kidnapping operation? You see Wes trusting her with a submachine gun to keep watch on the fools who mean them harm? Yeah, THAT'S Fox writing Dian. Whoever's writing the Adventure feature at this time ought've taken notes. Artistically, Young makes a fine replacement for Grothkopf and Flessel in Adventure - he can match the first for goons, the second for action, manages a nice turnaround effect before Wes swings on his wirepoon, and even gives us a by-now all-too-rare heavy shadow shot on Wes and Dian. I'm a big fan of the lead kidnapper who calls the JSA the "Justiss Sassiety," and find this instance of Mister X (hats off) the second best in the book, behind only his appearance in the Hourman story, which I think speaks for itself. Probably the only time I'll express preference for something Hourman related over Sandman.
The loss of all three major contributors to the Sandman feature across early 1941 and the crunch down to eight pages has certainly made the Adventure Comics side of the Sandman line a rockier experience. It's still possible to derive enjoyment from the wonky mysteries and higher-concept criminals, but one must accept atmosphere and and particularity have been near-entirely sacrificed for generalized bombast and louder appeal. Don't misunderstand, I've become a fan of Wesley Dodds, Fist-Swinging Bullet Sponge, and my past praises for him aren't diminished by the realization of what this has done to his integrity as a character circa today's stopping point. The trouble is, while I enjoy this half-mad, impossibly reckless read on the character, it simply no longer bears any resemblance to the early days' lurking and creeping through the seedier parts of town. There's a great series of justifications running through the Sandman concept - he's no powers, so he uses the gas gun, so he needs the gas mask, which hides his identity so perfectly it frees him to wear the ordinary business suit, which highlights his vulnerability. Fling him around like a ragdoll who knows no fear of injury or death, although I'll clap for the bravado of it all, I must object if it means any notion he should be sneaky or cautious degrades.
Especially if it means the gas gun vanishes from the character. It hasn't met its final end just yet, but for this seven month block it's proven a very perfunctory aspect of the strip, hung by his side and occasionally brandished without acting as an integral part of the action or storytelling. The wirepoon has subsumed its function as the sidearm, and while I must stress there are plenty aces shots of Wes swinging that fully justify its prominence, taking precedence over the thing that makes him the Sandman, Crimefighter What Fights Crime By Putting The Criminals To Sleep plain rubs me the wrong way. Be awful nice i we could have both without the new toy putting the old out to pasture, y'know? It's not led to anything I'd full-throatedly object over just yet, but... ach, you'll see next time. Speaking of...
Next time! 1941 comes to a close as Wesley picks up another feature to his name, and also a stupid, ugly new costume!
(Previous write-ups: 1939, 1940 pt 1, 1940 pt 2)
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2023.05.28 08:16 SolidBuilder4136 Closure

You came back into my life, and once again, we immediately came back to this natural connection. You told me you loved me, again, and that when I was having anxiety thoughts, I should bring them up with you, instead of sitting on them. After I trusted you, again, and did that, you basically cut contact with me until we talked again. At that point I explained to you I recognized I had gotten a bit too caught up in having you back in my life. That wasn’t it though. You and I had a great thing going, and you freaked out, and pulled back without any communication whatsoever. You left me guessing, and in pain, without any understanding. You seem to think you’re a good person. You’re not. You’ve demolished me, TWICE. You claim that through therapy, you think you did something “human” by cheating. TWICE. All you did was prove that you can’t be trusted. You’re a narcissist, whether you choose to believe it or not. You feign care for other people. The fact is, you’re only concerned with yourself. You always will be. You’re a terrible person. I gave you my fucking heart twice. Edgar gave you his heart. He’s an awful person too, but neither of us deserved the treatment you gave us. You say you love deeply, but the fact is you’re incapable of it. You’re a fucking sociopath pretending to understand emotions, and trying to convince yourself you’re not. FUCK YOU.
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2023.05.27 20:34 smirkingmoon Request - This text

I will love you with no regard to the actions of our enemies or the jealousies of actors. I will love you with no regard to the outrage of certain parents or the boredom of certain friends. I will love you no matter what is served in the world’s cafeterias or what game is played at each and every recess. I will love you no matter how many fire drills we are all forced to endure, and no matter what is drawn upon the blackboard in a blurring, boring chalk. I will love you no matter how many mistakes I make when trying to reduce fractions, and no matter how difficult it is to memorize the periodic table. I will love you no matter what your locker combination was, or how you decided to spend your time during study hall. I will love you no matter how your soccer team performed in the tournament or how many stains I received on my cheerleading uniform. I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday. I will love you if you cut your hair and I will love you if you cut the hair of others. I will love you if you abandon your baticeering, and I will love you if you retire from the theater to take up some other, less dangerous occupation. I will love you if you drop your raincoat on the floor instead of hanging it up and I will love you if you betray your father. I will love you even if you announce that the poetry of Edgar Guest is the best in the world and even if you announce that the work of Zilpha Keatley Snyder is unbearably tedious. I will love you if you abandon the theremin and take up the harmonica and I will love you if you donate your marmosets to the zoo and your tree frogs to M. I will love you as the starfish loves a coral reef and as kudzu loves trees, even if the oceans turn to sawdust and the trees fall in the forest without anyone around to hear them. I will love you as the pesto loves the fetuccini and as the horseradish loves the miyagi, as the tempura loves the ikura and the pepperoni loves the pizza. I will love you as the manatee loves the head of lettuce and as the dark spot loves the leopard, as the leech loves the ankle of a wader and as a corpse loves the beak of the vulture. I will love you as the doctor loves his sickest patient and a lake loves its thirstiest swimmer. I will love you as the beard loves the chin, and the crumbs love the beard, and the damp napkin loves the crumbs, and the precious document loves the dampness in the napkin, and the squinting eye of the reader loves the smudged print of the document, and the tears of sadness love the squinting eye as it misreads what is written. I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship, and the passengers love the lifeboat, and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale, and the sperm whale loves the flavor of naval uniforms. I will love you as a child loves to overhear the conversations of its parents, and the parents love the sound of their own arguing voices, and as the pen loves to write down the words these voices utter in a notebook for safekeeping. I will love you as a shingle loves falling off a house on a windy day and striking a grumpy person across the chin, and as an oven loves malfunctioning in the middle of roasting a turkey. I will love you as an airplane loves to fall from a clear blue sky and as an escalator loves to entangle expensive scarves in its mechanisms. I will love you as a wet paper towel loves to be crumpled into a ball and thrown at a bathroom ceiling and an eraser loves to leave dust in the hairdos of the people who talk too much. I will love you as a cufflink loves to drop from its shirt and explore the party for itself and as a pair of white gloves loves to slip delicately into the punchbowl. I will love you as a taxi loves the muddy splash of a puddle and as a library loves the patient tick of a clock. I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and as a range loves braes. I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong. I will love you as a battlefield loves young men and as peppermints love your allergies, and I will love you as the banana peel loves the shoe of a man who was just struck by a shingle falling off a house. I will love you as a volunteer fire department loves rushing into burning buildings and as burning buildings love to chase them back out, and as a parachute loves to leave a blimp and as a blimp operator loves to chase after it. I will love you as a dagger loves a certain person’s back, and as a certain person loves to wear daggerproof tunics, and as a daggerproof tunic loves to go to a certain dry cleaning facility, and how a certain employee of a dry cleaning facility loves to stay up late with a pair of binoculars, watching a dagger factory for hours in the hopes of catching a burglar, and as a burglar loves sneaking up behind people with binoculars, suddenly realizing that she has left her dagger at home. I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a secret loves to make a person gasp, and as a gasping person loves a glass of brandy to calm their nerves, and as a glass of brandy loves to shatter on the floor, and as the noise of glass shattering loves to make someone else gasp, and as someone else gasping loves a nearby desk to lean against, even if leaning against it presses a lever that loves to open a drawer and reveal a secret compartment. I will love you until all such compartments are discovered and opened, and until all the secrets have gone gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled. I will love you until every fire is extinguished and until every home is rebuilt form the handsomest and most susceptible of woods, and until every criminal is handcuffed by the laziest of policemen. I will love you until M. hates snakes and J. hates grammar, and I will love you until C. realizes S. is not worthy of his love and N. realizes he is not worthy of the V. I will love you until the bird hates a nest and the worm hates an apple, and until the apple hates a tree and the tree hates a nest, and until a bird hates a tree and an apple hates a nest, although honestly I cannot imagine that last occurrence no matter how hard I try. I will love you as we grow older, which has just happened, and has happened again, and happened several days ago, continuously, and then several years before that, and will continue to happen as the spinning hands of every clock and the flipping pages of every calendar mark the passage of time, except for the clocks that people have forgotten to wind and the calendars that people have forgotten to place in a highly visible area. I will love you as we find ourselves farther and farther from one another, where once we were so close that we could slip the curved straw, and the long, slender spoon, between our lips and fingers respectively. I will love you until the chances of us running into one another slip from skim to zero, and until your face is fogged by distant memory, and your memory faced by distant fog, and your fog memorized by a distant face, and your distance distanced by the memorized memory of a foggy fog. I will love you no matter where you go and who you see, no matter where you avoid and who you don’t see, and no matter who sees you avoiding where you go. I will love you no matter what happens to you, and no matter how I discover what happens to you, and no matter what happens to me as I discover this, and no matter how I am discovered after what happens to me happens to me as I am discovering this. I will love you if you don’t marry me. I will love you if you marry someone else – your co-star, perhaps, or Y., or even O., or anyone Z. through A., even R. although sadly I believe it will be quite some time before two women can be allowed to marry – and I will love you if you have a child, and I will love you if you have two children, or three children, or even more, although I personally think three is plenty, and I will love you if you never marry at all, and never have children, and spend your years wishing you had married me after all, and I must say that on late, cold nights I prefer this scenario out of all the scenarios I have mentioned. That, Beatrice, is how I will love you even as the world goes on its wicked way.
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2023.05.27 05:34 Thr0w4w4y4cc0un79090 I cannot help staying mad at my wife after she saw a very uncomfortable friend

A little context. Brace yourselves because this will be a long text.
My wife (F38) and I (M39) dated and broke up between 2018 and 2019, we went back together in 2021 and married on 2022.
The reason we broke up was because we let people get ideas in our heads and the person in question, who will be called Edgar.
None of us did things right. I let myself be influenced by these people who, for some reason, didn't like her and she not being straightforward to Edgar about having a boyfriend.
When we started dating it eas a valentines day, a Wednesday. She used to go play board games with Edgar and that time told him she was working late instead of telling him she was going out with me. When I found out I got upset because of the love and told her I had no issue with her being her friend if he had no issues on us being a couple.
A couple of months later she asked me about a time he behaved jealously. A bit long to tell here and kind of out of context, but a red flag was raised because it was a behavior I had myself towards a woman I felt attracted to before.
I asked her again if he knew she had a boyfriend and she said no. When I asked her why and was told she didn't want to lose his friendship. I reminded her my position and told her if it is grounds for ending it he's not her friend, he's a suitor.
Time passes and he'll broke loose. On one of those games he kissed her, it ended right then and there, when he questioned her about her it wasn't a direct no, just a maybe. I was furious about her not being direct. She decided to limit her relationship with him, but I was left with a thorn on my side.
During that time she assured me they didn't go out, I believed her. Until one day she accidentally sent a meme alluding oral sex. Not her, it was a dong shape cake that threw cream at a girl.
I asked again if there was any contact and she told me that apart from Facebook nothing.
Couple of days later and with the ideas I had in my head from these awful people I went through her phone. I know it's wrong. I found a message, nothing incriminating, but in a tone of "see you later".
When I confronted her, and deserving, the discussion went to the me going through her phone part and not the supposed limited contact.
I already had Edgar's number and told her to call him, when she refused I called him the next day when I was alone.
Don't know if he said the truth or if he lied trying to get something, but long story short: he didn't know who I was, that we were dating for over a year already and told me they went out once or twice a month.
When I confronted her the discussion went on me and defending Edgar. I saw the situation as he lies or her does. When she didn't do anything to deny or confirm anything we broke up.
2021 comes, during the time we split y dated someone else and she knows. We talked again and dated.
During that time Edgar reappeared and she told me she wanted answers about what happened in 2019. I expressed my discontent, but she went anyways.
He tried to get into her head. He stalked my and my ex's social media to look for pics of us together and told her that if he showed her I was cheating she would change her mind. He refused to show her the pictures.
My wife started doubting me and I showed her I dated no one else. She insisted Edgar showed her the pictures and they were my ex's. Nothing relevant.
Things went well until I proposed. She wanted to invite Edgar and I opposed, she said it was the last opportunity for them to remain friends.
Things went south when she tried to invite him. He told her she was afraid of being single, that she was only doing it because she wanted children. That she was afraid of being a spinster and looked for the first one that was into her.
I was pretty sure that was the last time we would ever hear of him.
We married, all good, ups and downs, but enjoying it all.
Until las Monday. Edgar calls my wife to her work and says he needs psychological support. She works as one and starts having a dilemma.
She told me she knows I'm very much against it, but as a professional she had the duty to help and at least refer him to someone else.
I opened up and told her I wasn't going to be objective, that there was no reason to meet and I wished no good to him. She asked another friend and he told her she was married, but he understood her need of answers.
She spends Tuesday and Wednesday deliberating if she should go or not.
On Thursday morning she told me she hadn't made up her mind and I told her "if it's up to me, I wouldn't give him the time of day". She told me she couldn't decide unilaterally, that we are a team and cares about my opinion.
Hoping I was clear, but not prohibitive the day went on. I get a message at 5:20 telling me she will go, trying to justify her decision and that she was taking a friend in case things got awkward.
I hot the message when I was at the gym. Cut it short to avoid drama. Tried to calm down with no success.
Went home, bathed, walked the dog, trying to think about something else. Nothing.
Aside from two relapses I quit smoking 2 years ago. She went ballistic when she found out and we had an agreement to at least tell her if I smoked again. I bought a pack and went walking aimlessly trying to calm down.
I send her a message "Just to let you know. I bought cigarettes and went for a walk. If I'm sill anxious in 20 minutes I'll smoke. If I'm still upset in an hour I'm not spending the night here".
Past 20 minutes I smoke my first cigarette, then another. I get a message asking me to get snacks ready, she's coming home, then she apparently read my message.
Told her not to come back, to watch the game (big soccer match). She told me that's what she's coming back to. I stayed at a park, sitting on a bench, thinking if I should pack up for a couple days and look for a room.
She comes back, messages me, calls me and I go home
When I come back she asks me what's wrong. I told her that even married I'm second fiddle to Edgar. That he barely shows his head and she comes running.
She tells me the people that got ideas in my head had done some damage and I didn't trust her. That it was only a consultation and if she treated the person in question (his son) would imply having contact with him.
Rest of the night was normal. We went to sleep and today I was not in the mood of having breakfast with her. She took my cigarettes when I was in the bathroom.
Later she sent a message hurt because I didn't trust her. I replied I didn't think something was going to happen, but having that history with Edgar, how he wanted to split us, his lies, the things he said when she invited him and she still decided to see him. How she ignored my feelings and the half advice her friend offered her for her personal satisfaction. That in those days she was reluctant she was looking for someone to say yes to her to do something she knew was wrong.
Finally I told her she didn't care about her family, that she had no qualm on setting it aside to satisfy her personal curiosity.
I don't feel better writing this. I revive my anger and sadness for how easy it was to set aside what was behind to get answers from someone that was no longer in our lives. Answers she finally didn't get.
submitted by Thr0w4w4y4cc0un79090 to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 01:06 KillerOrangeCat Three True Never Told Scary Stories VOL 1

Three True Never Told Scary Stories VOL 1

Number One: The Backyard

This happened to me when I was a pre teenagers ( I would say tween, but I kinda hate that word). I was still very interested in things like scouting and camping and getting all muddy with by friends. I hadn’t quite gotten to girls yet but I that a coming along pretty soon.

But at the time, I loved any kind of camping. And although this wasn’t an official scouting get together, I wanted to do a camping out in my parents’ backyard.

Now, I wouldn’t say we lived out in the country, because we really didn’t. But we had an enormous backyard. Hell, with all of the places I have lived since, I am still in awe of how big that yard was. It was great for playing with the dogs, playing baseball with my buddies. It was just great altogether.

So this was in mid summer when we were beginning to get somewhat bored of the time off from school. The days were long and monotonous. So I asked my parents if we could have the campout in the backyard. We were all scouts and had done this before and my parents had no problem with it.

Now, one thing we did was that everyone had their own tent. I sort of preferred sleeping alone in mine anyway. But anyway, this is pretty important to tell the story.

We did all the usual camping things. We indeed had a small fire, as we had little stoned off area that my family used to make fires. We had smores. That is really what made me decide to tell this story, seeing someone buying things to make them in the store today. And, then eventually, after talking about all of the things that 12 year boys find important, we went to bed.

I didn’t know what time it was. I read a little bit my flashlight before finally going to sleep. And I fell asleep pretty easily. The fire had been small and we put it out before getting into our tents, so there wasn’t light to keep me awake.

I am not sure what woke me up at the time, although nowadays I think it was the sound of the zipper on my tent being lowered. My head was foggy and I couldn’t see much of anything. But I noticed that there was a figure at the entryway to my tent. I immediately guessed that it was either one of the other boys, or maybe my dad had come outside for some reason. So I immediately grabbed my flashlight in flashed it over at them to see who it was. I was good enough with the light to shine under their head so the light wouldn’t completely blind them in the darkness.

It took me less of than a second to realize that the man who was coming into my tent was absolutely not my dad and way too old to be any of my scout mates. He was, up to that point, the scariest looking person I had ever seen in my life. He had long hair, the most insane eyes I had ever seen and a look on his face that I can simply describe as crazy.

The man was on his hands and knees and he took one crawl toward me. He then put one of his fingers up to his lips, as if to indicate to me to not talk or make any noise. For nearly a moment, I didn’t. But it had everything to do with fear, not that I was listening to his advice.

He made another crawl toward me and that was all that it took. I began yelling and screaming bloody murder like you couldn’t imagine. I faced the other wall and of the tent and did everything I could to get out of there.

But of course I wasn’t going to get out of there and I didn’t see any lights in the house go on right away. Fortunately, however, my scout mates all woke up right away. I began screaming at them, “There’s someone in my tent! There’s someone in my tent!”

Now, I didn’t know exactly what had happened right away. I could see light through the tent but it was too opaque for me to make out exactly what was going on outside. But one of my friends went running to the house to get my parents.

But what I quickly became aware of were the other kids who quickly came to my rescue. They all attacked the guy who was trying to get to me in the tent and who had actually gotten to my foot. However, he quickly let go of that when the kids attacked him.

I couldn’t tell if the kids pulled him out of the tent, or he tried to force himself out of there despite what they were doing. But the only thing I was happy about was the fact that he was out of my tent.

Next thing, I heard a gunshot though. And there was a lot of commotion and even some yelling from some of the other boys. I still didn’t come out of the tent though, until it was my older brother coming in to get me. He rushed me and the other boys back to the house while my dad held the guy to the ground with his rifle.

The police came and arrested the guy. He was found guilty of attempted kidnapping before being extradited to another state where he was put on trial for a completed kidnapping. I don’t know what happened to him, but if he died in prison, I wouldn’t mind so much.

I didn’t go camping ever again. I just can’t be in a tent after that.

Number Two: Sleepover

I had a really frightening experience with a friend of mine when I was really young. I recall being around him a lot younger when he had an imaginary friend that he used to get teased about by other boys. They saw having an imaginary friend as something that only little girls did or really young boys. So at even a very young age for a boy to give up an imaginary friend, he took quite a bit of torment about it from the other boys.

I kept being his friend because I liked him. I never had an imaginary friend of my own. I never held it against him though. In fact, I sometimes wished I had the imagination to have had one at any time during my life. We liked a lot of the same toys as each other and things like that, so we got along fine.

But during the whole period of teasing, I do remember it getting a little bit too much for him, I suppose. And it was then that he quit talking about his imaginary friend. I got to mention earlier that my friend’s name was Brian and his imaginary friend was named Billy.

So, I guess we were maybe seven years old when Brian just stopped talking about Billy. And after that, I stopped thinking about it. That is, until around the time that we were 11 years old.

I remember playing over and Brian’s house that day and he seemed a little upset about something. I never thought to ask him what was wrong. I don’t recall really doing that back when I was that young. But we were playing with his Nintendo and he kept dying really easily when it was his turn to play. That was just really unusual for him. But I don’t remember mentioning it.

Brian, on the other hand, asked me if I wanted to spend the night over at his place that night. This was something I was always up for, actually. I liked his house a lot more than mine and my own parents would never allow anything like a sleepover. So I readily accepted.

The evening went pretty well. I always enjoyed Brian’s family. Plus his video games were in his bedroom, so we could play them as much as they want to. He seemed to be a whole lot in a better mood than he had been before.

When bedtime came around, we got ready for bed. Brian had twin beds in his bedroom. I never quite understood why, unless it was for sleepovers. He never had another brother and I know that none of his sisters slept in hs room. They both had their own rooms.

So while we were talking, I was surprised that Brian if I remembered Billy. Although I had not thought about him in a long time, I immediately knew who Brian was talking about. I knew he meant the imaginary friend and not anyone we actually knew.

I let him know that I did. But I didn’t say much more about him.

Then Brian told me, “He started visiting me again.”

I think I was quiet for a few moments before I uttered out an “Oh?”

“Yeah, but he’s not like how I remembered him,” Brian explained. “Before, he was nice. He played with me a whole lot and he was pretty cool.”

Brian was quiet for a few moments. I have to admit to being a little afraid for the few moments of quiet. But I didn’t let on that I was scared at all.

“Now, he just hangs out under the bed at night,” Brian said, sending a chill down my spine. “He keeps telling me that he’s going to grab me and pull me under the bed when I fall asleep.”

I paused again before asking the question that frightened me most. “Under your bed or mine?”

“Mine,” Brian responded.

I thought I would feel relieved that it wasn’t mine. I didn’t. I was simply terrified. So I responded, “Why don’t we both sleep in this bed then?”

I barely had the word out of my mouth before my friend had jumped over to the bed I was in. It was just a twin, but we were small and scared so it worked.

We didn’t get a whole lot of sleep that night. We talked through our fear until we fell asleep.

Here is the weird thing, he never ever mentioned Billy again. It was somehow like that one night exorcised the entire fear from him.
The House on Chicot Road (Final)
Pronounced: Chee-Ko Road
Cat B
April 11, 2023
For all our differences, my elder sister and I were very adventurous. Anything out of the ordinary called to our souls. We were both into horror and scary stories. We'd read Edgar Allen Poe, Ambrose Bierce, HP Lovecraft, Alfred Hitchcock, Algernon Blackwood, Daphne Du Maurier, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. At the time of our adventure, I was all of 13 and my sister (whom I'll henceforth refer to as "J") was 16.
That day, our mother had gone out, with a gay friend, and the warm spring afternoon soon allowed us to delve into a mischievous and somewhat dangerous excursion into the home of a recently deceased widow. Her husband had died some years earlier and any children she'd had lived out of state. She died alone.
I was close to my elder sister in those early years so when she asked:
"Hey cat, let's go check out that empty house," I was all for it. We presumed the house was empty of at least any living occupants. Long before the demise of the widow, the house had a reputation for being haunted by the widow's deceased husband.
Still, any chance to get out and go exploring was something we could not pass up. Besides, the widow was also known to have never locked her front doors, so it was a perfect invitation to get in without having to break in which we were loath to do.
Whenever I looked deeply into my sister's baby doll blue eyes, I saw her usual undying mischievousness shine through. This time, she was serious and so was I.
"Okay. I said. Let's go."
And without another word, we headed out the front door and into the woods of the 60 acres my uncle owned in Little Rock, AR. Just before we let out, "J" grabbed my wrist and said grinning:
"Wait a minute stupid, we need a flashlight."
"Oh yeah," I mouthed absent-mindedly. In my haste, I'd nearly forgotten. But then, she was older so she was supposed to have remembered anyway.
When my mind began to work instead of being on autopilot, I realized that "J" was right, there would be no electricity. Her family we'd learned from our aunt, would only see her on occasion, so we knew they would probably not show up anyway if they showed up at all.
As we walked the mile and a half to the house, we first had to traverse a long dirt road that would take us further away from the paved road but get us to the old house sooner.
We heard birds of all sorts: Mockingbirds, Blue Jays, Scarlet Tanagers, and Ravens. In the ditch along the way, we saw a family of Kildeer, both mother and father with chicks running along beside with their quick steps and thin legs that carried them from one end of a culvert to the other, their nest somewhere along the ground. I smiled at their inventiveness, the father acting like he was wounded, hopping along with a feigned broken wing, to distract and draw us away from the nest area. "J" didn't appreciate nature the way I did.
Following along, I already missed my Shilo; a chocolate cream tortoiseshell cat. She was asleep now but would be awaiting me on velvet paws upon my return. That cat owned me. Everything was about her until that is, my sister "J" said those magic words that would take me from her for at least a few hours.
After our little adventure, we planned on rewarding ourselves by walking another half mile or so to the little run-down mom-and-pop store (MacMillans) for a cold soda. We always called them cold drinks no matter what the drink was. And no matter what kind of cola, we always called them "Coke." That was just what we Southerners called it back then. I never liked Coke so I always got something else.
The warmth of the sun shone down on us as we made our way off the dirt road which in a few years would have a few horrors of its own for Shilo and me, but that's another story.
"J" drew me away from my thoughts of "Shilo" which they were never far from when she said:
"Gotta' go this way." She turned to the left onto the narrow treelined Chicot Road. Dense woods lined the concrete paved two-lane road leading to the widow's house. A scattering of homes littered the landscape along the way as we moved enjoying the blooming bushes, wildflowers, and trees.
Breathing deep the richness of early summer, lost in my thoughts of what we might find, and taking in the shapes of the clouds that blended with a robin's egg blue sky, I barely noticed when the wind picked up; a portent of a storm later in the day.
Marching along, flashlight in hand, "J" told me and herself, she too was lost in thought, that we would be going into a dark house and some dark places and thus, the reason for the flashlight. She was more scared than I thought.
It seemed like it took forever when I finally recognized the slight turn that preceded the front of the house. Before we rounded the corner, I asked "J" if we should take the woods to cut across the yard instead of walking in front of the house. She paused and thought about that for a moment and then finally made up her mind with:
"No cat." She said. "It's all right. No one knows we are here anyway. No one ever comes here." Immediately, I looked into her eyes. They appeared a little clouded indicating she was afraid.
"It's just cause you're scared of the woods," I teased.
"Just shut up and come on." I dismissed that as, big sister syndrome. Then, I smiled adding:
"Okay dummy!" a face-saving jab at her earlier calling me "stupid." She just glared.
We moved on almost directly in front of the huge two-story house.
Finally, we stepped off the road, thankful for the cool of the grass. It was pretty warm. In those days, that far out in the country, there were few sidewalks and little to no shoulders on Chicot Road.
A second later, a car swerved a bit too close reminding us that if we didn't pay more attention we could become permanent residents of the house on Chicot Road too. I saw an image of both of us face-planted in the road.
As we moved swiftly onto the property, we looked at one another with nervous laughs. We stood for a moment to take in the excitingly ominous sight of the house. It looked like something out of a horror movie.
Gnarled, grotesque, and twisted shapes that would haunt your nightmares, moved with a sudden wind. It was as if they moved of their own accord, sometimes taking the shape of creepy dark human figures. The sounds they made were just as strange as if they were inhabited by the spirits of the dead. Their eerie and sad howlings rose and fell as they were stretched and bent by the wind into long drawn-out moans. Suddenly, it dawned on me where the musical category "woodwinds" probably came from. I always loved the sound made by Pan's reed flute. Pan was a Satyr in Greek Mythology.
As we moved carefully across the huge unkempt yard, twigs and sticks of old fallen branches snapped and popped under our feet, hidden by the long grass, giving us away to anything that lurked there. If the spirits were uncertain about our presence before, they were certain of it now.
"J" shivered. I sure as hell know I did. Of course, I didn't say the word "hell" out loud, just in my head. Cursing was strictly forbidden. But of course, "J" did. Following her lead, I echoed the forbidden word out loud as well. I felt a bit nervous yet liberated doing it.
The house stood completely alone surrounded by woods. Interestingly, only around the house were all the trees dead. Further back, it was lush and green. Upon closer inspection, we had only ever seen it from the road and realized that it was more run down, and dilapidated, than we'd thought.
Grabbing my shoulder again, "J" startled me with a perfunctory:
"Come on! Let's go!" Her left hand was firmly on my shoulder almost pushing me ahead of her. Naturally, I resisted and she quipped that she was sorry and loosened her grip. I don't think I had ever seen her this nervous.
The house seemed to yawn at our presence as a sudden gust of warm air came seemingly from within the house. It gave our young faces a fresh scare as our excited fright whisked our blonde hair high into the air with unseen fingers while another wind seemed to gently usher us to the stairs that led up onto the porch.
Stopping momentarily, we gazed out across the tree-strewn ravine and lake, when another sudden gust of wind blew across us and seemingly through us accompanied by a sudden noise behind. The sound caught us both completely off guard, unnerving and hastening us onto the porch. It seem the spirits were impatient at our hesitance, we'd come this far...
Carefully, we moved up the creaking stairs; the old wood too, moaning an invitation as we mounted the porch. An old porch swing hanging from one anchor still affixed to the ceiling squeaked out a half-tempting 'SIT, IF YOU DARE!' Our heads jerked at the sudden sound and then back to the door.
"J" moved ahead of me letting go of my shoulder just long enough to grasp the knob and slowly turn. More groans of creaking wood amid disquieting squeaks and desperate scratchings entered our young fertile imaginations and settled there as a strong musty smell of old furniture, clothes, and dust invaded our nostrils.
Still, it must have been a quite lovely house, I thought. Even at my age, I could appreciate the once-fine architecture of this old house. It certainly must have been grand, in its day. Glancing around the huge living area, I could see even in the gloom the still solidly built floor that rose on one side to a low mezzanine upon which sat a small table and 4 chairs in the corner of which sat a white baby grand piano covered in thin dust.
The aged ivory keys were partially exposed, turning them a lighter shade of grey. I was then and now a music lover. The thought of the elephants it took to make them turned my stomach. Before my sister punched me softly on my arm, I too spied the stairs on my left that led to a second story and from there a third, or so we were told.
"C'mon, let's go." Cautiously, I agreed.
Tiptoeing across the broad hardwood floor, Black Oak, I assumed, we again heard the squeaks and saw a few fearless mice run across the floor, somehow knowing they were safe in our presence. One came so close that its twitching nose sniffed the toe of my shoe while in mid-stride. Slowly, I reached into my jeans pocket and pulled out a treat I had intended on giving to Shilo but had forgotten in my rush to get there.
The little grey mouse knew my intentions and took it eagerly from my thumb and forefinger and ran halfway across the floor and then, as if to say thank you, stopped and turned to look at me, its little black eyes glistening. It winked in approval. I smiled as it squeaked and ran hurriedly with its prize to its lair under the musty dust-covered couch.
I reflected that it was probably a good thing that my cat Shilo wasn't with me after all because she would have had all the mice presented to me as gifts in a matter of just a few days depending on how many there were. And hearing quite a few squeaks and seeing quite a few tiny fuzzy gray bodies scatter as we entered the house, she would have certainly had her paws full. There was no way I would ever bring her here just to kill mice, even if she was the best mouser ever known to Catdom.
Before I knew it, "J" was already at the piano. She just had to touch everything, she simply could not resist doing so. I shook my head:
"Oh come on "J" really?" She stopped just for an instant and looked at me with that huge mischievous smile of hers. Tucking the faded white key cover further back into the piano exposing the dust-free keys, I joined her just as the felt hammer struck a single string and rang out an off-key tang into the quiet solitude of the room. She giggled softly and then moved towards the single door in the middle of the far wall that we thought was another room. It turned out to be the balcony. She opened it slowly.
As soon as we retreated outside, we heard footsteps moving down what sounded like the stairs. The dark gloom of the house suddenly seemed to close in tighter around us. I now held the flashlight as instructed by "J" whipping it in the direction of the sound. First, up and then down and then widely about the room itself as if expecting to catch a glimpse of... something.
Instead, the light caught "J's" widened and very frightened eyes, her pupils shrinking to tiny pinpoints. Quickly, her hand came up grabbing the flashlight whispering harshly:
"Get it out of my eyes dumbell!" And with that, wrenched it out of my hands turning it off at the same time. Then, the door to the balcony slammed shut. Standing perfectly still, I looked toward "J" and she back at me, our eyes wide trying to figure out how? The wind couldn't have done that, could it?
They say there is a fine line between a genius and an idiot. My sister "J" was brilliant at times but I quickly deduced that her decision to hang out on the balcony with only one exit clearly put her on the complete and absolute idiot side of the equation. Of course, there was still the bedroom window, except it would be quite a drop should we need to escape that way.
My mind told me it couldn't have been a ghost. But I was the first to move to the door because we, in our suddenly clouded state of mind, were decidedly screwed in this situation should it be anything worse. We could not drop from the balcony, the incline of the hill it was built on proved to be too steep and the small black water lake was a little too close for comfort. Taking the lead I whispered:
"C'mon "J" There's nowhere else to go." Meekly, she nodded.
Slowly, I twisted the knob, and suddenly "J" was right next to me as if in a protective state. Or she just wanted to get back into the room first. She stood at the opened end of the door. It creaked slightly. We expected it to do as it had done when "J" opened the door before. But this time, instead of drawing it out long and slow, she swung it open so quickly, it hit the side of the wall with a slight thud.
After quickly surveying the threshold and the surrounding area, we both sighed in relief. There was nothing there. Emboldened, "J" grabbed my left wrist, and with her right, pulled the door completely closed. She always had to do everything first. We were back inside again. Some moments later, our eyes having accustomed to the dark, she again got up the nerve to move at first towards the stairs and then towards another door on the far end of the mezzanine.
"C'mon", she ordered. Rolling my eyes in vague protest as if: make up your mind I nonetheless followed.
Taking a sharp left, we marched right up to the door closed firmly against our entrance. Hurriedly, yet stealthily, she opened the massive oak door and then entered the room. It seemed darker and more ominous than the living room outside. It was the Master Bedroom. We both almost lost our nerve and backed out, as the gloom seemed to envelop us in a strangely thick murk. It was suddenly harder to breathe as if something or someone had painted the walls with mildew that tainted the air.
Directly to the left was the walk-in closet our aunt told "J" about. It housed hundreds of very old dolls. It was the real reason my sister wanted to come here in the first place and was determined to stay, despite the growing warnings to get out. "J" however, was still not so easily convinced.
Entering the closet while holding the flashlight, "J" turned it back on again and started scanning past the old hung clothes and onto the dolls above that were in a jumble on the shelves stacked to the ceiling. Our aunt had been there previously and had gone through them. It was then that we heard something in the direction of the stairs again. "J" turned off the flashlight waiting.
After some moments of hearing nothing further, she shoved the flashlight into my hands and instructed me to shine the light on the dolls so she could go through them. The moment the flashlight was in my hand, we heard a sudden thud somewhere in front of us. Turning the light back on, swinging it wildly in search of the source of the noise, and seeing nothing, "J" said matter of factly:
"It was the wind."
I swear, she must have thought I was the most brainless younger sister on the freaking planet to have tried to convince me and herself that the wind had suddenly materialized in the closet and caused the noise. What she didn't know, was that I had seen a doll earlier when she was scanning the closet, that had been hanging from the shelf and was now lying on the floor. It had been hanging by a thread of its hair and had decided at the most inopportune moment to fall. Either that or... Why it, or whatever it was, chose for it to fall at exactly that moment was anyone's guess. When I told her 'whatever', she just glared.
After all, being the older sister, she was supposed to be the one to make that discovery, not me. But then, I was the one that read a lot of Sherlock Holmes so I fancied myself to be the detective who would notice those finer things during an adventure and she, like the pompous Inspector Lestrade, would usually characteristically miss them.
Satisfied at the cause, I slowly scanned the vast collection of dolls with their many shades of colored glass eyes staring eerily back at us. One, in particular with a single sapphire blue eye, caught my attention. Long auburn hair covered it, making it seem almost alive. Some of the older dolls were known to have actual human hair. I wondered if any had actual human skin. I would have sworn it blinked at me.
Holding the flashlight while keeping an eye out "J" used the single-step step ladder and began searching the collection of dolls. Hearing the noise, I shook my head, my eyes blinking incredulously in disbelief because here we were again, blocked from escape; one way in, one way out. Again, I was distracted by the growing apprehension I felt standing in this claustrophobic place while seriously trying to decide if I was going to stay with her or run like hell out of there. The answer would have come swiftly enough if "J" hadn't grabbed my arm again.
At the same time, she grabbed me, she grabbed the doll that she'd all along come to get. I suspected then that I was just someone she needed for backup. That was when we both again heard the sound of footsteps on the stairs moving up to where we were. Slow and methodical, stopping on each riser as if whoever or whatever was intently listening between the steps.
We made not a sound, we were frozen in fear. I silently shut off the flashlight. The small amount of light that spilled in through the open door was coming through the waning sunlight of the window. What little light that could seep through, afforded us just enough to look out through the open door.
"J" and I suddenly got the same idea at the same moment. Moving swiftly, yet silently, she reached out with trembling outstretched fingers and closed the closet door. Both now of the same volition and in perfect unison moved back deeper into the inkiness of the walk-in closet until our backs touched the wall.
All the dolls in there with us made it even spookier. I felt like a cat, in the position of knowing there was only one way out. "J" took my right hand in hers and held it tightly as if holding on for dear life. Either that or she knew that if anything happened to me, Mother would probably kill her. I could feel the already almost unendurable tension building. The waiting turned out to be both terrifying and exhilarating.
The footsteps moved from the stairs to the floor and were now moving slowly in our direction, still stopping occasionally as if listening for the slightest sound. The only other sound I heard was my own ragged breathing. Reflexively, I put my hand across my mouth and breathed through my nose. After a few moments, I noticed that it helped to calm me down.
"J" took notice and did the same thing. Still, my heart thundered in my chest. I could feel each beat move my body. We were rooted to the spot but mostly hidden in the darkness at the very back of the closet as the steps moved closer nearly unhinging our minds in terror and anticipation.
Barely resisting the fight or flight reflex, we knew we must remain still and quiet, becoming like the dolls themselves. Time disappeared completely as our breathing slowed and our thoughts languished in an almost torpid state of indifference and fear until we both heard the doorknob of the closet starting to turn.
Involuntarily I gasped, and it was then that the door was flung open so violently, it banged against the opposite wall and very nearly closed in on itself. Then it was suddenly and even more violently flung open again.
A scream caught in my throat leaving me speechless. "J" threw up her hands to cover her eyes and stifle her own but it was clear, that whatever it was, knew we were in the closet and was only yet, toying with us. We stood there in near complete darkness, frozen in place, and hypnotically watched the door after it banged off the wall for the second time, almost close, and then slowly open again to reveal... nothing. There was nothing there. No gut-wrenching, mind-numbing horror. No bowel loosening half decomposed papa zombie freshly arisen from the grave coughing out a: "Honey, I'm home." Not even some urban legend cryptid proving once and for all that they really do exist just before they eviscerate and then decapitate you. Nothing.
"J" her prize doll in hand, (she got what she came for) decided that it was time to finally get herself the "hell" out of there. She bolted. At first, I was still cautious expecting at any minute that we would come face to face with some other-worldly terror, like in the movies, but there was, thank God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Muhammad, Buddha, Yahweh or any other God, Godesses or Gods you can think of, or if you're an atheist: the void, nothing there.
Feeling emboldened, and now free from "J"s vice-like grip on my wrist, her hand drenched in sweat, we ran for the steps. I, however, being much more agile, chose a shorter route. I turned a sharp left and leaped from the mezzanine, just missing an overstuffed chair, and landed with a solid thud, on the hardwood floor like a thoroughbred finishing first place at the breeder's cup steeple chase tournament in Foxfield, MD.
Not only had I the nerve to take the shorter way, but I was much faster than "J" ever was. I grabbed the doorknob, turned it and swung the door open in one smooth movement and hit the ground running before even hearing "J" behind me running down the steps yelling:
"Cat, slow down!" Yeah right, I told myself, as I sped across the yard jumping over and zig-zagging around fallen branches, dead Privett Hedges, and broken picket fencing. Hell, I'd already reached the road and was doing my victory lap when "J" was just exiting the front porch steps.
As I was bent over catching my breath, she finally arrived bitching about how I'd abandoned her when she knew she was the one that left me. Projecting again. It was then that the front door to the house suddenly slammed violently shut with a bang like a rifle shot as though saying:
"And stay out!"
"J" finally shutting the hell up, turned and ran as I'd never seen her run before, (and yeah, I did say the word "hell" out loud) not even looking back as we peeled up the road to home. I easily kept pace loping along like a strong steady quarter horse and she, like some deranged lunatic having escaped with her doll, the local sanitarium. No offense to any of the insane that happen to be on the loose out there in the world.
It was almost dark when we got out of there. We both knew we had tarried too long but the flashlight gave us some comfort and helped to calm our frazzled nerves. Once we'd calmed down, we discussed seriously what had happened and I found myself shivering more than once, even though the heat from the day was still emanating off the concrete on Chicot Road.
A black friend came along in a pickup, with his dad, listening to Al Green on an 8-track. I sang along while they gave us a ride the rest of the way. We were pretty close friends. Elijah jumped in the back with us and we told him all about our adventure in the House on Chico Road. He ended up staying the night on the living room couch, and we, in our beds at the back of the trailer.
"J" didn't seem to be as scared now that she had her prize doll. I, on the other hand, had my Shilo who was, my best friend, there to meet me. As we talked, we came to the same conclusion that whatever was in the house was of the paranormal kind; our not having seen anyone, save the mice when we entered. And as far as I knew at my young age, mice didn't turn doorknobs or slam doors with the strength of a Sasquatch.
Could it have been the husband who'd died before that still haunted the old house? And was the invitation we received to enter the house and then enter the closet and the falling doll, the widow who also, after death, took residence there? It took some time for me to reason that out before the sound of that last slam finally stopped echoing in my skull.
Still, I could not understand how "J" could have selfishly bolted for the door leaving me there alone, although, in hindsight, I was glad she had. I guess it was the only thing she could do when overcome with blind fear, calculating that at least one of us (her, she hoped) might get out of there alive. I guess our mother threatening to kill her if anything happened to me, was a risk she was willing to take. Fortunately for both of us, (I never told) there wasn't more to it than that. Later on, warm and cozy in bed, my Shilo curled up in the crux of my arm, it revealed something to me (and probably to her as well) that when it came right down to it, it wasn't the "we" that mattered to her nearly as much as the "me." We weren't nearly as close after that.
I prayed to Christ and thanked him for helping me and "J" get out of there in our time of need and for Elijah and his father being there to help get us home before the storm hit.
Shilo purred as I prayed to never be tempted to go into that house ever again for any reason, especially if it was just for some silly adventure or because "J" wanted an old doll and was willing to sacrifice one of us to get it. If the risk of life and limb somehow wasn't enough to keep us out, I thought, then an overly protective fucking house ghost sure as hell ought to be.
submitted by KillerOrangeCat to killerorangecat [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 01:51 RipMcStudly Rifftrax Deal Of The Week Buyer's Guide: Savage

Content warning: deeply unnecessary nudity, male and female.

Get ready for a weird impotent power fantasy in Savage! When a man (Olivier Gruner, character's primary name is just Savage) witnesses the slaughter of his family, he goes catatonic, until strange circumstances awaken him and drive him to a cave near his former home where he is strangely transformed into a super human savage!
Normally I'd explain more, but honestly, I feel like that sentence is more than enough. It's not the whole thing, of course. The fact of the matter is that the Savage's land had some sort of ley lines bullcrap that aliens used to wield unimaginable power, until they caused the biblical flood. After that, they abandoned such pursuits, until tech lord Reese Burroughs (Kario Salem, mainly a writer and apparently partially to blame for fixing Fast and the Furious) discovered it. Together with his chief evil lieutenants Marie Belloc (Kristin Minter, female lead from Cool As Ice, and one of the McCallister cousins in Home Alone) and Edgar Wallace (Sam MacMurray, sidekick Lance from Stone Cold and easily the best actor in the movie), Burroughs wants to digitize the world, or at least himself. The Savage is intended by the aliens to stop him, but all he has for help is plucky nepo baby cop Nicky (Jennifer Grant, daughter of Cary Grant and Dyann Cannon). It's an uphill battle.
And frankly, the whole movie is a battle. There's not a lot of explaining done here, at least not good or helpful explaining. The Savage barely speaks, Burroughs' exposition is completely caked in so much "IM EVIL" crap that it's hard to follow, and what you do catch is too generic to care. Usually in a movie like this, they know those flaws exist, and cover it up with a ton of punching, but honestly, though this movie does have shooting and punching, none of it is especially noteworthy, so the flaws can't hide. Instead, you're more likely to notice more flaws, like how ill suited McMurray is for his chief thug role (dude was Herman Munster for awhile, he's just too amiable) or that one of the prison thugs is Peter Tuiasosopo, who played E. Honda in the best Street Fighter movie. Or maybe you'll notice that in the biggest shootout, the actors all seem horrifically surprised by how much kickback their guns have. Or maybe you'll just spend the whole movie upset because we see entirely too much of Kristin Minter to be in anyway justifiable. We're talking excessive by the standards of most 80s/90s movies nudity. Also, you do see a few hints of Savage schween. Movie's a rough slog, is what I'm saying.
The guys do their level best with this one, though, and I'd say they succeed pretty well, though this is definitely on the darker side of riffs. They begin strong, calling out the movie's protracted "look how happy this family was" opening, before it plunges into barely focused madness. For the most part they roll with the punches and stick mainly to reaction riffs, though the movie gives them some themes in Jennifer Grant's direct to video level performance, the extremely grating villain or some of the things the movie just CANNOT help repeating, such as vicious overuse of "Amazing Grace" or its obsession with the two VR games that the bad guy's company apparently makes, both of which are probably available on the Vive now. Throw in a handful of hockey jokes and references to excessively 90s crap, and you overall get a GOOD riff of a bad movie, probably a bit better of one than you could ask for, seeing how hard some of these movies can be to find purchase in.
Get Savage if you like: ass grabbing, terrible hair cuts, or silly violence.
Skip Savage if you don't like: unnecessary nudity, one of Rifftrax's most tediously useless villains, or dog murder.

Also, I feel like this should go without saying, but absolutely do NOT go look up butt grabbing VR games. Nothing good can possibly come of that.
submitted by RipMcStudly to Rifftrax [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 01:34 TrueClassroom8313 [WTS] Modlite PDW-OKW, Rhino 2, Ferro slingster, 509T ADM mount and more

Timestamp: https://imgur.com/a/rlZlXHP
Modlite PDW-OKW w/ Surefire tailcap. Comes with battery and charger. $200 shipped
Rhino 2 dovetail mount grey. $50 shipped
Ferro slingster M81 not cut or altered $40 shipped
Modlite Modbutton lite crane/laser $50 shipped
ADM 509T: $50 shipped
Edgar Sherman design EFG $20 shipped or if all items are purchased altogether thrown in for free.
submitted by TrueClassroom8313 to GunAccessoriesForSale [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 00:36 ControlPlusZ FCM Presents to Independent Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) - Usona Credits Director of Clinical Development (not Robert Barrow) with achieving Usona's Breakthrough Designation for Psilocybin

FCM recently presented to ISS and a copy of their presentation has been filed with the SEC.
ISS will listen to presentations from both MNMD and FCM and issue recommendations to their clients. Merck, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and others have referenced and sought the opinions of ISS on proxy matters.
More information on ISS is below.
(ISS) is a proxy advisory firm. Hedge funds, mutual funds and similar organizations that own shares of multiple companies pay ISS to advise (and often vote their shares) regarding share holder votes. It is the largest such firm, with over 61 percent of the business.
A copy of the FCM presentation is below as well.
One of the more interesting slides shows that while MNMD has stated in their proxy that Barrow was responsible for Usona's psilocybin breakthrough designation, Usona's press release credits someone else with getting this accomplishment.
While their presentation is not as "pretty" as MNMDs, the institutional side is more interested in data and a plan of action and I think this hits the mark.
FCM has spent comparatively little vs MNMD and I think that is a good thing. Their plan includes cost cuts (including pay cuts) and getting rid of RSUs while INCREASING spending on core R and D.
Their 100-day plan and budget are also outlined.
ISS will issue a recommendation shortly and MNMD should have a deck posted publicly soon as well.
submitted by ControlPlusZ to shroomstocks [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 21:05 VixinXiviir Exploiting the Ladder - Top 150 Mythic with Bo3 Standard Mono-Black Midrange (featuring Exploit!)

Exploiting the Ladder - Top 150 Mythic with Bo3 Standard Mono-Black Midrange (featuring Exploit!)

Greetings Arena goers!

My name is Vixin, a veteran player looking to share a fun (and surprisingly strong) deck I recently played to #131 Mythic in Standard.

Mono Black has always been my favorite deck to play. Mono Black devotion in Theros standard way back when, Mono Black aggro in the early days of Pioneer, I've seen it all. So despite the fact that Fable may be the best card on Arena right now, I rolled up my sleeves and started brewing and tinkering--and lo and behold, not only did some unorthodox card choices take me to my first time hitting Mythic in Constructed, it catapulted me to top 150, a result I never would have expected. I've included the list below (as well as a screenshot), and I'll discuss overall deck aims as well as specific card choices. Hope you like it!

Main Deck:

Creatures: (20)
4 Concealing Curtains
3 Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia,
2 Tenacious Underdog
4 Fell Stinger
3 Sheoldred, the Apocalypse
2 Sheoldred
2 Phyrexian Fleshgorger

Non-Creature Spells: (14)
2 Cut Down
3 Go for the Throat
3 Reckoner Bankbuster
2 Invasion of Innistrad
4 Invoke Despair

Lands: (26)
24 Swamp
1 Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
1 Blast Zone

1 Go for the Throat
1 Cut Down
3 Pilfer
2 Sheoldred's Edict
2 Glistening Deluge
2 Graveyard Trespasser
2 Liliana of the Veil
2 Breach the Multiverse

Deck Overview:

Mono Black midrange, as opposed to Rakdos or Grixis, leans slightly more toward being the beatdown than other decks. You have a lot of resource generation, of course, but your top end is a little more lacking in raw power. There aren't as many powerful bombs in black (like Chandra, Hope's Beacon), and since your early threats are super efficient (Jadar is just an infinite conga line of dudes), curving out often gives you more edge than your opponents. Thus, your optimal opener would probably be something like 3 Swamp, Jadar, Fell Stinger, Curtains, and Sheoldred. A curve like that is incredibly difficult for any opponent to deal with, and so your mulligan strategy should look to play a solid curve in the early game and let your value/disruptive threats in the late game stymie your opponent while you take the win. As an added bonus, you have a suprising amount of burn for a Mono Black deck, something I'll discuss a little more in the individual card section.

Notable Card Discussion:

Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia
Jadar is probably my favorite card in Standard right now that has unfortunately been overshadowed by other cards and stymied by the lack of a good home for him. This deck aims to make full use of Jadar as simply an endless source of value. Whether you're using the endless pile of zombies to attack for 2 each turn while still holding enough power to crew a Bankbuster, or sacrificing the fodder off to fuel your Fell Stingers (an subtly backbreaking play), Jadar is exactly the kind of efficient two drop an aggro/midrange deck is looking for. Bonus tip: When playing Jadar on 2 into open mana, go to main phase 2 before casting him and click auto-pass as soon as you've played him. 99% of the time your opponent won't have set a stop for the end step and you'll get the trigger, even if they were planning on using a Cut Down or something similar. That's value!

Fell Stinger
Another Innistrad card I loved that is criminally underplayed, a draw 2/lose 2 on a 3/2 deathtouch body, if you can find fodder for it, is just so unbelievably absurd that I couldn't ignore it. What did surprise me was the sheer flexibility of Fell Stinger. It's a draw spell that isn't vulnerable to Duress, it's a brick wall for larger threats, it's an aggressive attacker, and above all, it can be lethal burn damage. Remember, you can target your opponent with this thing! If you've got a Sheoldred out and opponent is tapped out, you can burn your opponent for 6. If they don't have instant speed removal and they get to their draw step, that's 8 points of burn. Couple that with some menace threats and Invoke Despair and you can close out games incredibly quickly. Absolutely fabulous card that needs a little more respect.
For Players facing this card: Use your removal BEFORE I sacrifice a creature. I see this way too often, the opponent lets me sacrifice a zombie token and trigger the draw 2 and THEN uses Cut Down on the Stinger. This is incorrect! If you Cut Down the Stinger with the exploit sacrifice on the stack, I DO NOT get the draw trigger because the Stinger isn't around to see that it exploited something. Don't make this mistake!

Concealing Curtains
It was either this or Evolved Sleeper. I tested both extensively, and I decided on Curtains for two reasons: first, it's actually a defensive card with no mana investment (Sleeper needs mana in it before it can effectively be offense OR defense), and two it can easily pivot to being a disruptive threat when you've got mana to spend (Sleeper obviously can as well, but that fourth point of toughness and menace on Curtains is a huge deal). The first is useful against fast Rakdos starts or the occasional aggro matchup (mono-red primarily), but the second is a massive deal against arguably your worst matchup: 5c Domain Ramp. You're not a pure aggressive deck, so they usually have enough time to throw up some defenses and go way over the top of you, but Pilfer isn't a good enough card to main deck. Sleeper is horrendous in the ramp matchup, as it's just too smallball to compete with their hefty late game. Curtains actually gives us a fighting chance against Ramp game 1, since going Curtains -> Jadar -> Flip Curtains is both a lot of damage and you rip their best card out of their hand. Due that game changing effect as well as moderate usefulness in the Rakdos matchup, Curtains won out over Sleeper and I haven't regretted it.
Note: the biggest criticism I've heard from people about Curtains is that the opponent can just kill it in response to the flip trigger. My response to that is simple: YOU choose when to flip it. If you think your opponent likely has removal, don't flip it! You have lots of ways to spend your mana, so only flip it if you either have no other choice or it seems like the best move even given the risks. I've found that, a lot of the time, people will kill it with Cut Down before turn 3 just to use mana efficiently. or they've used their removal on your Jadars and such so that Curtains can cleanly flip. But a key skill in this deck is knowing the right time and matchups to flip Curtains. Sometimes you don't! Sometimes you get to turn 3 and just sacrifice the Curtains to a Fell Stinger, never even trying to flip it. There's flexibility to when you should or shouldn't flip it--learn how to identify it.

Invasion of Innistrad
This one is probably the most suspect "weird card" in this list, but I've stayed on it over the course of my climb and I think it's worth the slot. Firstly, it's functionally unconditional removal--occasionally you hit a threat that you can't kill with Go for the Throat and you need to kill it. But not only is it big removal, it's big removal with upside, which is really the key here. Having removal spells that also do other things is a huge deal in a Midrange world--when your cards are both removal and threat (especially in a deck that puts up a bunch of dudes to attack the battle), you have an edge over the decks that are just playing Throat, Abrade, etc. It's obviously a bit clunky at four mana, but the ability to flip it pretty easily means I'm comfortable having two of them. The fact that flipping it gives you more fodder for your Fell Stingers is really just gravy.

Tenacious Underdog
I only have this at two and I side it out often because it just doesn't do enough. There's a ton of Graveyard Trespassers flying around in the format right now, as well as exile based removal from the White decks, so more often than not you'll never Blitz this. It comes up just enough (maybe once in half a dozen matches) that two is fine, especially since there's not really a better alternative, but man do I hate this card, even to the point that I'm wondering if Tribute to Horobi would even be better (with Curtains, you can block the rats without killing them), but I digress.

Phyrexian Fleshgorger
This is really just a flex 3-drop slot, but I've found Fleshgorger is an optimal choice because a) it dodges Go for the Throat, b) it transitions to a massive problem later in the game, c) getting it off Breach in post-sideboard games is hilarious, and d) some extra lifegain to offset the times you shoot yourself with Fell Stinger is welcome. You could probably run something else like Liliana or Gix in this slot, but I've liked Fleshgorger the most out of those options.

Blast Zone
Useful card, almost forgot it was in Standard. Since you're mono Black you don't have a ton of ways of removing all permanents, so Blast Zone can shore up some weakness against specifically artifacts and enchantments. A useful flex land at 1 (plus I didn't have the wildcard for Mirrex for a long time, and this land lineup just sort of stuck).


Rakdos Midrange - Even/ Very Slightly Favored
As expected, this is by far the bulk of my matchups. The trick with Rakdos is to recognize that in game 1 you're generally the beatdown. A lot of these decks are playing Etali and Chandra mainboard, and you don't have a ton of ways to go over the top of them in the first game. Look to curve out and hopefully close the game with some well timed burn.
Games 2 and 3 are a completely different story. Most Rakdos opponents will correctly assume you're an aggro deck in game 1 and side in removal, sweepers, etc. But thats when you hit them with the Sideboard--shave off a few Jadars, Underdogs, and Curtains for Breach, Liliana, and the last Go for the Throat and surprise them with the fact that now YOU go over the top of them, and since you're more prepared for it, you've got just that much edge over them in post-sideboard games.
Don't get me wrong, this is still a very close matchup. You've got to manage your resources well, mulligan intelligently, and identify when it's necessary to wait and when it's necessary to try and push for lethal. With all that, midrange battles are the most fun Magic can be, and I can't deny that here.

Mono-White Midrange - Even/ Slightly Unfavored
Mono-White is to you what you are to Rakdos. They have a lot of token generation and a lot of aggressive starts (more than you), so you're quickly put on the backfoot. Sheoldred and Fleshgorger become very important in this matchup, stonewalling aggression and giving you the life you need to nickel and dime them back into oblivion. Knowing when to hold Invoke Despair to hit a Wanderer (either Eternal or Emperor) so as to not get drowned in planeswalker advantage is a big deal in this matchup. Curtains can shine here, staving off early damage and sniping a planeswalker at the right moment.
Post-sideboard things can get a little easier with Glistening Deluge to sweep as well as edicts to hit walkers and Breach to steal them, but this matchup can be tough sometimes. Good luck.
Note: There's been a few Orzhov variants ranging from a light splash for Breach to full color combination with the Markovs joining the fray. The former is alright, the latter is devastating. You simply don't have the resources to kill Edgar Markov, so pray you can snipe him with Curtains or Pilfer.

5c Domain Ramp - Unfavored
This matchup is your boogeyman. There's no way you can go over the top of them game 1 and you're not fast enough to just aggro them down. Game 1 is a tight dance of disrupting them with Curtains, holding Invokes to hit their Ossifications and Leyline Bindings to get your threats back, not overextending into Sunfall, and burning them out with Fell Stinger and Sheoldred. It's a super tough ask and requires a fair amount of luck on your part. Cut Down is essentially dead here, so all you've got is Go for the Throat to try and stop their Topiary StompeInvasion of Zendikar play, which is terrible if they pull off.
Sideboarded games get a little better. Cutting removal, bringing in Pilfers, Liliana, and Breach helps even the playing field a little with disruption of top-end, but it's still a difficult matchup at the worst of times. Luckily it's not too prevalent on ladder, it was likely my third most common matchup (after Rakdos and Mono W).

Mono Red Aggro - Favored
Game 1 is dicey for sure, probably more so an even matchup, but games 2 and 3 are just so favored it almost doesn't matter. Most of the red decks I faced were the hyper linear kind, and your removal and blockers are just so good (especially in post-sideboarded games) that they need a lot of luck with burn you drawing poorly to come out on top. Curtains and Fleshgorger shine here, and Sheoldred is just lights out. Side in removal and Trespasser (to deal with Phoenixes and a little lifegain) and you're good to go.

Overall thoughts:

If you need a change from "Bloodtithe / Fable piles", this one's for you. With Jadar and Fell Stinger you've got a unique play style and resource loop that can feel fresh in a world of Bankbuster and Fable. Who knows what will happen with the banlist on Monday, but I suspect Jadar and Fell Stinger will be just as strong as they were before. Have fun with it!


submitted by VixinXiviir to MagicArena [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 20:28 gaterooze Are Republic Investors Owed A % From Amico Home or BBG's Ports?

First: I am not a lawyer so this is just a layman's speculation for fun.
These are two very different questions but they both relate to the agreement between Fig (originally, now Republic - so will be using Fig & Republic interchangeably here) and Intellivision, which can be found here.
Background: Republic's crowdfunded investors are owed "25% of all Revenue derived from Purchasable Games" (which starts to decrease after they've earned 300% of the investment, i.e. $35m, meaning $140m of game sales - which ain't happening any time soon). But does that cover games purchased elsewhere?
Let's look at the Amico Home situation first, because that it more clear cut to my eyes.
Amico Home is being touted as a "system" where you download an app onto a mobile phone, which essentially makes it act as an Amico. That phone casts to a TV, links other phones (or Amico controllers) as controllers, allows you to buy/download Amico games and play them just like you would have on a real Amico. To work on Apple or Android phones the app would need to be sold in the App Store or the Play Store (let's be real, they're not going to make any money if it needs to be side-loaded).
Some people may think this circumvents the Republic revenue share, since it is not on the Amico console, is on a third party platform, and uses in-app purchases or a subscription service instead of buying games. Let's look at what the agreement says though:
“Revenue” means all amounts derived from exploitation of the Licensed System received by, credited to or otherwise accruing to the benefit of Developer or any Affiliate of Developer (“Gross Revenue”)
Okay, so it's pretty broad - covers all types of exploitation. They expand on that with some examples:
For purposes of clarity, “Revenue” includes (i) all amounts derived from commercial exploitation of the Licensed System, including through in-app purchases, advertising and subscriptions and any amounts received or credited by Third-Party Publishers or Distributors
So it covers in-app purchases and subscriptions, and covers other publishers and distributors. So that would definitely include Amico Home on the App Store. But wait. This is all for the "Licensed System" - isn't that just the Amico console? Nope:
The “Licensed System” means the hardware and its related software, and each updated version of the such identified on the cover page hereto for each of the Licensed Platforms, including, but not limited to, interim and early builds, updates, enhancements, special-editions, de-contented version, expanded versions, in-game micro-transactions and DLC.
It covers all "Licensed Platforms", not just the Amico console. This is further reiterated:
“Third Party Publisher” means any other party granted a license to exploit the Licensed System on any Licensed Platform
And to make it very clear that the agreement seeks to cover other consoles:
Intellivision Amico console, including (whether together or in separate parts) its hardware (“Hardware”), and software and associated video games that can be used on the aforementioned hardware, and all bug-fixes, updates, upgrades, and new versions released during the Term (the “Licensed System”). Developer represents and warrants it will not license, sell or otherwise the Licensed System’s software through other hardware manufacturers, distributors or providers without Fig’s consent, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld by Fig.
Some notes on that. It specifically says "can be used on" the Amico hardware, not that it must be used on it. This is deliberate language so that it doesn't limit the definition. That's backed up by positing that the software CAN be ported to other hardware, although Republic needs to approve it (more on that later).
So I think there's quite a lot of evidence that yes, they would owe the investor share on Amico Home. What do you all think, have I read this wrong?
Here's the thing. If they owe this 25% of gross to Republic, it really destroys any hope of profitability for Amico Home - especially when you consider they will also need to pay Apple or Google 30% as well. (note they can have this discounted to 15% for the first $1m they earn)
Side note: there is ambiguity over whether the 25% is calculated from the sale price or after the app stores take their cut. The default position seems to be it is off the top:
any amounts received or credited by Third-Party Publishers or Distributors
Revenue shall include or add back any amounts deducted by any Third-Party Publisher (as defined in the Terms and Conditions) prior to actual receipt by Developer unless otherwise agreed to by Fig; for purposes of clarity, the intent of this provision is to ensure that the Fig Share is not subordinated to a Third Party Publisher’s revenue share without Fig’s approval pursuant to Section 2.3.3(d).
That last bit does suggest Fig might agree to subordinate their share if it would render things unsustainable not to. But that is their choice to make, not Intellivision's.
Let's do a quick calc to see what the best and worst case scenarios are. So we have 30% to the app store, 25% to Republic, and reportedly the original developers were receiving 50% for games funded by Intellivision - otherwise industry standard would be about 70%. This last bit all depends on whether Intellivision included in their contracts with the developers that any third party revenue share (or language that would cover the Republic situation) would be deducted prior to calculating the developer's cut. I assume they would have to cover third party distributors like the App Store, but the rev share is a more unusual situation and it's possible contracts done prior to the crowdfunding might not have anticipated it.
For our best case, we will assume 30% is taken out first, then 25% of the remainder, then 50% of what is left goes to the developer. So for a $10 game, Intellivision is left with $2.63. And remember, this is for games THEY funded, usually for $100k or more. So they'd need 40k in units sold just to break even on them. Seems... unlikely.
In the worst case, both the 30% and 25% is off the top, and the 50% is taken from 70% of the gross. This would result in Intellivision receiving only $1 from a $10 game. But I tend to think the result is going to be closer to the best case than the worst case - probably the medium case, which would be $2.25.
Still, it's... meager. They're going to need to sell a lot of games to even support any staff, let alone make enough money to manufacture the Amico. And consider, the mobile market has notoriously low sales for paid games, especially anything near $10 - they'll probably need to drop that waaaay down. Plus there's the general discoverability issue - they're going to need to spend BIG in marketing for this to ever get noticed on mobile.
Once again, the Republic deal has screwed them.
But I got sidetracked there. We still need to look at whether the Republic agreement would allow any % from the BBG ports of Astrosmash and Shark! Shark!. This is different because it's not a Third Party Publisher or licensing agreement as such - BBG acquired the IP outright. That means they are probably not remitting any revenue to Intellivision for sales, so there is nothing for Republic to take their % from.
However... Republic had some bargaining power if they wanted to demand a cut of the acquisition payment itself. Look at these clauses:
Developer represents and warrants it will not license, sell or otherwise the Licensed System’s software through other hardware manufacturers, distributors or providers without Fig’s consent, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld by Fig.
Developer has not and will not, for a period commencing on the Effective Date and continuing through the first anniversary of the commercial release of the Licensed System, cause or allow any liens or encumbrances to be placed against, grant any security interest in, or otherwise sell, transfer, bequeath, quitclaim or assign, the Intellectual Property Rights in and to the Licensed System, without Fig’s prior written consent
It seems perfectly reasonable for Republic to have demanded 25% of the IP sale to allow it to proceed. Did they do that, or did they just allow it for nothing in return? Did they demand the compensation was used to "complete the console"? Were they even consulted? Who knows. Maybe their next SEC update will clarify the situation.
submitted by gaterooze to Intellivision_Amico [link] [comments]

2023.05.24 18:34 steveisblah I just discovered this show and watch all five seasons in less then a week! Here are my thoughts.

So I’ve torn my Achilles tendon and now have a LOT of time at home to kill. Somehow I stumbled onto this show and became supremely obsessed (maybe bc I went through a break up not too long ago, feel like a shorty human being, and like being told there’s hope for me yet). I loved the quirky edgy humor, the indie pop punk feel, and the acting was genuinely some of the best. Seriously, the performances had me cackling at some points, something I’ve really needed lately.
Any way I have a few final thoughts before I go off to fill the void this show has left now that I finished it.
K, those are my thoughts. Thank you to this show for giving me a reason to go on for a week more with this recovery. It’s been THE WORST.
submitted by steveisblah to YouretheworstFX [link] [comments]

2023.05.23 22:14 Dr_Occisor The 1936 Election - PSUS History

The 1936 Election - PSUS History

Map of the United States, c. 1935
A summary of the Second Term of President Herbert Hoover
President Herbert Hoover (1929-1937)
Vice President Calvin Coolidge (1929-1933), Quentin Roosevelt (1933-1937)
Secretary of State Grace Anderson (1929-1937)
Secretary of the Treasury Henry Ford (1929-1933), Alf Landon (1933-1937)
Secretary of Commerce Jay S. Crawford (1929-1937)
Undersecretary ofCommerce for Labour Al Smith (1929-1930), John L. Lewis (1930-1937)
Secretary of Defense Omar Bradley (1929-1931), Patrick Hurley (1931-1932), Leonard B. Trumbull (1932-1937)
Undersecretary of Defense for Army Affairs Patrick Hurley (1929-1931), Dwight F. Davis (1931-1937)
Undersecretary of Defense for Naval Affairs Charles F. Adams III (1929-1937)
Undersecretary of Defense for Aerial Affairs Mason Patrick (1929-1937)
Undersecretary of Defense for the Marine Corps George Barnett (1929-1937)
Attorney General William D. Mitchell (1929-1937)
Postmaster General Frank B. Kellogg (1929-1937)
Secretary of the Interior Robert Henderson (1914-1923, 1925-1937)
Bureau of Agriculture William N. Doak (1929-1937)
Secretary of Health Henry Goddard (1929-1937)
Secretary of Transportation Ray L. Wilbur (1929-1937)
Secretary of Education Carl C. Brigham (1929-1937)
Federal Bureau of Investigations J. Edgar Hoover (1929-1937)
National Health Service Guy D. Goff (1929-1937)
United States Mint Odgen L. Mills (1929-1937)
The 1932 Election & 1936 Democratic-Labour Primary & 1936 Liberal Primary
“And we can now call the state of Michigan for Herbert Hoover, the President of the United States. The new total stands at 574 for the President, none for the Senator”, were the aghast words that rang out from the mouth of New York Times Reporter Hugh Richard, into the homes of every American in the country. Former President Eugene Debs sat in silence, his trembling hands covering his mouth from screaming at Senator Thomas Pope, the party’s nominee for President, sitting adjacent to him. Al Smith sat next to him, comforting the Senator as he looked down with his hands in his head. Former President Upton Sinclair had already downed a full bottle of Jack Daniel’s, passing out on the sofa next to the campaign staff. Speaker of the House William Green had to refrain himself from strangling every man in the room, while Andrew Lattimore sat quietly in the corner of the room, laughing to himself. For, President Herbert Hoover had not only won, he had won 54 of the country’s 55 states, the largest landslide in American History. The Liberals had taken back the House and Senate with sizable majorities in both chambers, state governorships, and had flipped states thought unflippable.
“I swear to god, Tom, if you lose Sauk, you are banned from this goddamned party” Debs warned the now terrified Senator. Richard’s voice returned on air, the words he stated only horrifying the men in the room even more. The state of Sauk, the most Democratic-Labour state in the Union, where over 76% of the public identified with the party, was to go to a recount, as only 82 votes separated President Hoover and Senator Pope. The men retired to their rooms --except for Sinclair, passed out on the couch-- awaiting the news of the recount in the morning, although none actually slept. Luckily for the party, the recount proved to be in their favour. It was announced in the morning that Senator Pope did indeed receive the electoral votes from the state, winning by a margin of just 100 votes, the final tally standing at 574 to 12, the single largest landslide in American history, the President receiving 57.75% of the popular vote. Pope received just 28.34%.
When, in December, a reporter asked the President for his Christmas time wish, Hoover responded “In my opinion, Sauk would have been nice”
In the shadow of two back-to-back landslide losses, one of which being the largest in history, the 1936 Democratic-Labour Convention was bleak. Al Smith, a rising star in the party who had served as the Mayor of New York from 1925 to 1929, was the party’s nominee for Vice President in 1928 before abandoning the ticket. He had been the presumptive nominee since the moment Pope’s embarrassing defeat was announced nationwide. While still a part of the mainstream left wing wing of the party, Smith was by no means a radical. With all three moderates the party had nominated all losing in landslides in 1920, 1928, and now 1932, members of the more radical Sinclairite wing, who had carried the radical former President to his narrow victory with 36% of the popular vote in 1924, pushed for a less mainstream candidate. They found their man in Earl Browder, the Governor of Illinois and figurehead of the radical wing.
Charged by the events of 1932, Browder and Smith remained incredibly close in the polls leading up to the primary, Browder behind by around 5 points. Marion Butler and Harry Baals, members of the southern and moderate wings respectively, trailed the two candidates. Smith, however, backed by the majority of party members, pulled ahead, receiving 99 delegates and 36.4% of the popular vote. Browder came second, with 86 delegates and 30.9% of the vote.
The gloomy convention served as an affirmation of the unifying support for Smith, now the Governor of New York, having been elected in 1934. However, with the party nominee now given the authority to choose the candidate for Vice President, the question remained of who would occupy the second half of the ticket. In the end, despite passionate speeches from Representative Francis E. Woodman in favour of Marion Butler, Smith ultimately chose primary opponent Harry W. Baals as his running mate.
Over at the Liberal Party, there were ultimately no doubts over who would be the nominee. President Hoover, still widely popular among the party and still marginally popular among the public, was easily renominated over primary opponent and personal adversary Bryan L. Whitman. The question of the Vice President, however, remained open. Quentin Roosevelt, the incumbent, still suffered the effects of the 1932 Vice Presidential Controversy, and with the merger with the Federalist-Republicans, the anti-Roosevelt base grew within the party. Nevertheless, President Hoover still supported the Vice President, and chose him as his running mate for confirmation. As per Liberal Party procedure, the delegates would have to vote on the nominee for Vice President and confirm him or her with a majority vote.
During the vote, the anti-Roosevelt coalition consolidated, successfully getting a majority of the party’s delegates to vote nay on the confirmation of the Vice President. Panic arose, especially among Hoover and the rest of the establishment. Fearing a split in the party, leading figures such as Senator Ulysses S. Grant III and Senator Nathaniel Richardson reached an acceptable deal, in where Roosevelt would receive endorsements for President in the open year of 1940. Hoover would choose Secretary of the Treasury Alf Landon as his running mate, and the party confirmed him for the position.
The 1936 Democratic-Labour Primary, Smith in red, Browder in purple, Butler in blue, and Baals in yellow
The war in Madagascar
Throughout the Roosevelt administration, anti-semetic remarks and attacks continued to rise, ever since William Jefferson’s 1884 bid for President, where he received 16.7% of the vote and 37 electors, and Herbert Hood’s 1872 burning of several synagogues. This fact led to the passage of the New Zion Act, a program to build a jewish settlement on northern land on the U.S. colony of Madagascar, which it had been granted during the Berlin Conference of 1890.
Fast forward over three decades. The Jewish population of the island had grown to a whopping 250,000 thousand, with many coming from Europe in tandem with Americans, and although not as high as the native Malagasy population, the so-called “Allenites”, named for jewish President Bartholomew Allen, held significant power among the legislative proceedings of the island. The Allenites, led by Mayor Chaim Weizmann of New Zion, a devout zionist, differed on their opinions on the status of the city. Some called for separation into a new territory, some called for independence from America, however, all united around the common enemy of the native Malagasy. Led by Radama III, the claimant to the Merina throne, the Malagasy had united behind the claimant to resist their common enemy, the United States. Unlike other colonial powers, the United States made no attempt to subjugate or oppress their colonial citizens, treating them under the same law as the mainland. As such, ideas supporting independence, freedoms, and revolution spread across the island state. Hatred for the new northern neighbours, who had taken the city of Antsiranana and made it their own, was chief among the ideas to spread.
Tensions between the Malagasy and the Allenities grew throughout the decades. After President Hoover proposed an act to separate the two regions into two new territories, the Senate struck it down, demanding different goals. With an apparent deadlock between the Executive and Legislative branch, many presumed the resolution of the Madagascar conflict would come from violence.
Soon after, a bill proposed by Thomas Pope, that would have made Radama III a monarch from within the United States as a compromise, was vetoed by the President, to the significant dismay of the claimant of the throne. In order to consolidate power for future independence movements, Radama III began the deployment of private militia officials across the south of Madagascar with the intention of providing protection to the local tribes and deporting Allenites to the New Zion settlement.
In retaliation, Mayor Weizmann announced his intention to increase the size of the New Zion settlement, into neighbouring territory controlled by the Malagasy, citing the rapid population expansion of the city due to mass immigration from European Jewish settlers as reason for the move. Fearing increased Allenite influence over the island, Radama III sent 5 militia regiments to the border of New Zion, Weizmann responded by placing the entire New Zion Defence Force on the border to “protect Allenites on the outskirts of the city”.
It is not entirely known who fired the first shot, both sides claiming it was the other, but conflict between the groups soon arose. In the end, the NZDF, in home territory, emerged victorious, claiming the lives of 63 Malagasy militia while losing 39. The Malagasy forces retreated to a nearby village.
After news of the Malagasy defeat reached Radama, stationed in the south, the furious would-be King reportedly stated to his advisors “They have left me one option”. Radama immediately called for the drafting of a new constitution and proclaimed the formation of a new, independent republic. Activating his reserves across the island, Radama subdued the dissident from the local tribes, reluctant to support the claimant due to fearing American retaliation. Mayor Weizmann responded by stationing the entire NZDF on the border, and openly advancing into Malagasy territory.
Both of the men’s actions violated the Madagascar Oversight Act, which required committee approval from Congress for any action either territory could take. The Government immediately declared a state of emergency on the island. However, wishing to avoid further conflict between Madagascar and the United States, the Government authorised negotiations for peaceful secession of the Malagasy State from America.
In the eventual treaty signed by both parties, the to-be-established Malagasy State would become a puppet state of the United States, with Congress having control over foreign policy and economic decisions. The Malagasy State would also recognize the hard border President Hoover had advocated for, and support the existence of New Zion. Many in Madagascar, especially those who had been removed from their homes by the Allenites, condemned this treaty, however, with support from both President Hoover and the soon-to-be King Radama III, the treaty passed the House.
However, the proposal would not be in place for long. In 1933, documents pertaining to the finances of Radama III were leaked to the public. In these documents, it was revealed Radama III had been stealing millions of dollars in public aid money to Madagascar to fund his militias, his bid for control over the island, and his personal lavious lifestyle. The treaty was immediately voted down by the Senate and condemned by President Hoover, stating it would “give a claimant the keys to the Kingdom”. An investigation into the documents was conducted, proving their legitimacy, and Radama III was arrested, being taken to the mainland to stand trial.
As of 1936, the future status of Madagascar is still unknown. With the cancellation of the treaty, and the arrest of Radama III, the local tribes of leaders have usurped control, using the remnants of Radama’s once centralised militia to defend their territory. Conflicts wage across the border with New Zion, as America works to draft an alternative solution.
Madagascar Crisis, 1932
End of the Haitian Civil War
In 1865, the government of the state of Haiti was overthrown by a US-backed militia led by James F. Reed. After bringing in 10,000 white civilians to the island, Reed instituted programmes of slavery and segregation, becoming rich on the backs of exploitation of the people of the island, an estimated 800,000 dying from starvation and disease by 1875, over half of the island’s population.
In 1878, President Rockefeller negotiated for the Haitian island to join the union as a territory, however, Reed would remain on as dictator of the island and illegal slavery continued. Giving himself a 12 year long term, Reed would lose re-election in 1890 to J. C. Foley. Foley would end the practice of slavery, end segregation, reduce the term length, and begin working to integrate Haiti as a state, a dream that would be accomplished in 1892 upon Haiti’s entrance into the Union. However, in 1894, James Reed rigged the election to regain power, starting the First Haitian War that saw the short lived independence of Haiti before Theodore Roosevelt worked to reconquer the territory, which resulted in the 9 year long Second Haitian War finally ending with integration back into America in 1917.
Unlike Cuba, or Culiacan, or Ontario, Haiti never integrated into the United States. The thousands dead under the thumb of an American ruler and American compliance in the near 30 years of genocide, and the two invasions, kept the idea of fully joining the United States from popularity. For the past few decades, support for independence has averaged 68% popularity in the territory. One radical group, seeking immediate action, turned to political violence. Under the command of Darrel François, the 37-year-old son of a plantation worker and Second Haitian War veteran, the Haitian Liberation Organization spread their message of radical, immediate secession across the island territory. However, the mainland refused to consider the island as a threat, relying on the fear of further panic and chaos to keep the land in check.
François was not deterred by the threat of American invasion. The weak and disorganised Haitian army managed to keep the American’s at bay for 9 years, and with proper organisation he thought, actual independence was achievable. However, François’ biggest advisory would not be the United States, but his own people. The Haitian populace, fearing ramifications for revolt, supported efforts of peaceful secession from the Union, like that of the Philippines in 1898. François’ no-compromise immediate revolution was not popular, especially due to his heavy socialist leanings, an ideology in decline on the island after the United States assisted private organisations in creating hundreds of jobs in the territory.
The young revolutionary, however, recognized that his initial base of support was enough for some action. In late 1932, while in the south of Haiti, François proclaimed the formation of the Haitian Free State and independence from the mainland. President Hoover immediately condemned the actions of François, replacing the incumbent Territorial Governor, Lawrence M. Judd, with Louis Borno, a native Haitian. Borno worked closely with President Hoover to oversee the deployment of military forces on the island, under the command of General Leonard B. Trumbull. By October, 1933, the war was over for François. Trumbull and Borno had forced the now 38-year-old into hiding, many suspecting the revolutionary fleeing to Colombia after a Haitian vessel was found in a Cartagena port.
The Dust Bowl
With prolonged drought conditions starting in 1932 and the recent collapse of Bison populations in the Great Plains, it was only a matter of time until the region would face a catastrophic environmental crisis. The combination of poor farming practices, prolonged drought, and severe windstorms had left hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland barren and vulnerable to erosion. This, in turn, led to massive dust storms that ravaged the Great Plains region, suffocating livestock, crops, and people alike. A second wave in 1936 only worsened the situation.
With so much farmland ruined and crops destroyed, farmers were forced to abandon their livelihoods and migrate elsewhere in search of work. Many headed west to California, and Culican where they hoped to find employment in the vast agricultural sectors there. Others simply gave up and joined the ranks of the unemployed surfing their dust choked homes waiting for a chance to regain their livelihoods. In response, President Hoover petitioned Secretary of the Interior Robert Henderson, who had been given the power to allocate a yearly sum of $350 Million USD to construction projects under the “Henderson-Hoover Fund”, to use his budget for the year of 1934 to assist in alleviating the effects of the dust bowl. Henderson followed suit, investing millions into sustainable irrigation projects and shelterbelt projects. Hoover, having chaired the Commission for Relief in Bavaria during the Great War, focused on food production, bolstering production in the Mexican breadbasket and importing Eastern grain to keep America’s shelves stocked in the meanwhile. Democratic-Labourites in the Senate, like Senate Minority Leader Harry Baals and Liberal Majority Leader Nathaniel Richardson passed aid and subsidies bills.
The Dust Bowl proved to be one of America’s most unifying moments during the otherwise polarised and divisive past decades, with politicians from all sides of the aisle coming together to assist the American family in ensuring food was brought to the table. However, turmoil abroad would put strain on the feelings of unity.
A photo of a dust storm in Spearville, Gerry. 1933
The Great Crash and the Long Halloween
Following the end of the Great War, the German Empire and his allies enjoyed a period of wealth and excess, with the British Republic also becoming a prosperous European nation. However, out-of-control spending from the German government to maintain his spheres of influence, combined with the decline of the money supply had severely endangered output. Despite the inherent risks of speculation, it was widely believed the market and economy would grow forever, with a sense of invincibility washing over the investors of Germany and Britain. Despite warnings from the German Government about speculation, a small crash in March caused a rapid sale of stocks at an alarming rate. An infusion of $25 million from the Government stopped the crash, but the warning signs did not go away. Production declined, construction lagged, sales began to go down, and debts were accrued with no care as credit was so easy to come by.
Steel Production, construction, retail turnover, automobile registration, and railway receipts hit record highs month after month. In the first 6 months of 1931 alone, the leading 500 Anglo-German companies saw a profit increase of 36.6%, led by iron and steel. A bubble of speculation was created, and because of margin buying, investors stood to lose large sums of money if the market turned downward. Hundreds of thousands of Americans became heavily invested in the stock market, many borrowing money to buy more stocks. By 1931, $8.6 billion was out on loan, more than the entire amount of currency circulating in Germany at the time. However, by late May, the market returned on its unstoppable climb upward, and celebrated a ten-fold increase over the past decade, with the industrial average peaking at 381.17.
The period of events that would spell trouble for the world began with the arrest of Heinz Thyssen, a dual British-German citizen and major investor, who was jailed in late August along with a number of associates for forgery and fraud, leading to a suspension of his companies, weakening confidence in the market and began a chain reaction of instability. As October came around, selling intensified, until Black Thursday, when market values plummeted by 11% within minutes of the opening bell. Leading Anglo-German investors and bankers met to attempt to stabilise the market by placing bids on blue chip stocks well above the current market, the German finance minister assuring the public that “This financial crisis shall be, with no doubt in my mind, resolved by Halloween”. Such strategies had worked in the past, and the slide indeed halted for a while, even recovering slightly. But as the market opened the following Monday, more record losses were felt, and over the course of just 2 days the Average dropped nearly 70 points, 23%. The Anglo-German Financial giants stepped in buying massive quantities of stocks to demonstrate confidence in the market, however this strategy no longer seemed to work. The Industrial Average began a 2 year slide which would culminate in an 89.2% loss in less than 3 years.
By the Monday after Black Thursday the crisis went global. Anglo-German banks suffered runs and ran out of cash, businesses shuttered their doors and suddenly millions were without jobs. And so began the Long Halloween.
The United States, which had been isolated from the Anglo-German market following its commitment to neutrality and refusal to help, which, in the past, had contributed to unemployment averaging 10-13% and GDP growth under 1% throughout the entire Slouching 20s, was left mostly unaffected by the massive crash, having only taken steps to reconnect during the Hoover administration. Instead of a 30% contraction in industrial production, the United States saw a 10% contraction. By no means good, but the United States was left better off than most powers.
The United States banking system also did not immediately collapse, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve Banking Board saving thousands of small community banks from collapse, preventing a major bank run. In order to prevent a bank run among the nearly 2,000 banks across the United States not insured by the FDIC, President Hoover used the Treasury’s $3.5 Billion USD reserve, which had been building since the United States payed off its debts in 1930, and was planned to be used to invest in the economy and deliver tax cuts, to immediately bail out the banks, buying toxic assets from all of them across the nation.
With the beginning of the Dust Bowl, and the economic meltdown of the Long Halloween, many long standing economic issues in the United States came due. Every state was forced to tighten its fiscal belt or raise taxes. Despite the grants and loans from the Government directly to states and the myriad of programs designed to alleviate the worst of the crises, the damage could not be avoided, only mitigated.
West Virginia and the Haiti Territory both declared default in January, and the Treasurer of Alabama reported the same would be occurring very soon, with the Arbiter System collapsing and revenue drying up almost completely. Workers in Textile Mills, already subject to horrific conditions, saw a massive decline in wages and food. Strikes seemed imminent.
As of 1936, the United States is still suffering the effects of the Long Halloween. However, the Hoover Administration and Senator Nathaniel Richardson have gotten the American markets to stabilise, and unemployment has declined by 2% since its peak. The economy and GDP is back to a period of slow, small growth.
New York City in particular has seen several massive waves of crime since the Long Halloween began. Many “Professional Criminals” began and ended their careers in this period such as John O. White, Oscar Dorrance, and William Summerhouse, the latter being involved in a mass shooting earlier this month which led to the deaths of a dozen officers and Summerhouse himself. The crime spree also gave rise to the career of Benjamin Wayne, a New York City detective who successfully arrested several notable criminals and mobsters. Wayne eventually mounted an unsuccessful campaign for mayor of the city on a Law and Order platform, narrowly losing to New York State Attorney Harry Dental.
A line outside a soup kitchen in Chicago, 1935
Annexation of Australia
In 1927, the United States and Britain reached an agreement to have the United States annex the island of Australia and Tasmania in exchange for relieving 70% of the debts owed by the British to America. The United States even managed to convince several Australian politicians to support the measure, promising massive investments in irrigation and harvesting of resources while allowing self governance and the right to opt out of conscription programs. However, Britain, confident in its ability to pay off the debt, denied the treaty.
When the Long Halloween struck Britain, the United States demanded back its outlying debts, totaling approximately $1.2 Billion USD. However, the United States also presented an alternative solution. In exchange for the enactment of a 5% reduction of tariffs and a mutual alliance, the 1927 Treaty would be enacted by Britain. Reluctantly, the Herbert Morrison labour government accepted, and on January 1st, 1936, the islands of Australia and Tasmania became official American land, President Hoover dividing the land up into appropriate territories. Morrison’s acceptance of the treaty helped contribute to his landslide defeat in the 1936 General Election, which saw a Conservative-National Labour Coalition headed by Stanley Baldwin come into power.
Collapse of Arbiterism
The history of slavery in the United States has always been complex. Although the Civil War ended in 1841, and President John C. Calhoun had issued an emancipation proclamation after pressure from foreign powers, the President and the Democratic-Agrarian Party actively obstructed any attempts to extend any sorts of rights. Slavery, as a matter of fact, remained completely legal until the passage of the 10th Amendment in 1848. By that time, over 98% of freedmen from the proclamation found themselves back into slavery.
Even after the 10th Amendment, Slavery as we know it did not end. Southerner’s adopted the policies of “Arbiterism”, a practice where individuals were made to work to pay off a debt owed to a factory or plantation owner, inherited from birth that included all the costs of childhood. Named after Donald Arbiter, the authoritarian Governor of Alabama who used corruption and intimidation, along with electoral fraud, to secure the mansion as a dictator, the workers were often given no wages, and the debt they owed was far greater than what they made in profit. Arbiterism would remain widespread across the South until 1868, when President William F. Sarge and Senator Steve Marshall passed a series of civil rights legislation and regulation that made Arbiterism simply unprofitable. By 1870, all states but one had abolished the practice, the last being Alabama.
Doubling down on his system, the now 77-year-old Donald Arbiter extended the programs of Arbiterism to all citizens of Alabama, the white population included. The punishment for failing to work to pay off your debts was death.
Despite numerous efforts by national politicians to protect the citizens of Alabama, almost all efforts made proved unsuccessful. When Donald Arbiter eventually died, his son, Donald Arbiter Jr, took power, ruling until his own death in 1930. Donald Arbiter III, only the third Governor of the state in 90 years, took power the same year.
It would not be the federal government to bring an end to Arbiterism, however. In 1936, after decades of oppression and violence, the workers under Arbiterism finally rose up, emboldened by the struggling police forces due to the Long Halloween. In what came to be known as the Montgomery Massacre, 97 workers were slaughtered by police forces with weaponry as protests for better food and the abolition of the debt system turned violent. Using the opportunity, President Hoover declared a state of emergency in Alabama and deployed the national guard. As soon as forces arrived in Alabama, the Department of Justice announced that they would be charging Governor Donald Arbiter III for electoral fraud in the 1932 Gubernatorial Election, after a supposed heavy investigation. Other members of the Arbiter family were also charged.
Kicking down the door of Arbiterism, the political machine of bribery and intimidation that had kept the family in power for 92 years had collapsed, and in 1936, the Arbiter family could no longer hold the floodgates of democracy back. Thousands of workers came out in droves to vote, with a new political party, the Workers Party of Alabama, taking the mansion with newly elected Governor Orville Hawking. The state legislature was also taken by the WPA.
While awaiting trial in a DC prison, Donald Arbiter III was executed by a group of prisoners and guards alike, with no prisoner or staff testifying as to who the men were. The Arbiter Family mansion became the subject of many attacks and bombings, several being thrown over the gates of the plantation. Two other members of the family, implicated in the electoral fraud case, were found dead, and Governor Orville Hawking finally ended Arbiterism shortly after the Justice Department found 5 members of the family guilty.
The approval ratings of both parties, now at all time lows due to failure to act the past century, has caused the Workers Party of Alabama to become, by far, the largest and most influential of the Alabama political parties. William Miller, a State Senator, is the party’s nominee for President in 1936, however, is only on the ballot in Alabama
Clash between protesters and Alabama State Police, 1936
Situation in Mexico
Ever since the beginning of the Mexican Civil War back in the Debs Administration, Mexico had faced political turmoil and instability which continues to today. During Fitzgerald's administration, the Mexican Civil War largely ended with the successful intervention of the Golden Circle Company, which installed the Cristeros as a puppet monarchy in the newly established Fourth Mexican Empire. The Empire was an aristocratic, traditionalist absolute monarchy that largely served as a mercantile colony of the GCC. Yet, a socialistic, fascist group known as the Nacionalistas survived all attempts of conquest by the Empire, forcing a ceasefire and treaty that granted it independence as the "Chilpancingo Social Republic".
By 1936, the Mexican Empire was in a weak position. The Long Halloween cut trade and starved Mexico of resources and wealth, while the death of GCC chief Aurelian Shaft sent the company into a succession dispute, preventing it from giving support to the Empire.
Taking advantage of this, the Social Republic launched a surprise invasion of the Mexican Empire, declaring it a "national revolution"; the circumstances have allowed the Social Republic to gain major success, reaching the outskirts of Mexico City. The war is ongoing, and in the Social Republic's favour, by election day. Worries grow as a vividly anti-capitalist, anti-American state may emerge directly south of the United States.
Situation in Mexico, 1936
The Candidates
Herbert Hoover is the 62-year-old incumbent President of the United States, and Liberal nominee for President. Although re-elected in the largest landslide in history in 1932, Hoover’s odds in these elections have been narrowed by heavy campaigning from Al Smith and the Long Halloween. He runs on the “National Recovery Plan”, the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund to invest in businesses and resources, decreasing taxes, opening the economy to “facilitate a global market”, building shelterbelts, continuing massive public works projects, and . With Majority Leader Nathaniel Richardson steering the Senate and championing economic legislation, the party has begun to enact some of its policies, which have seen some successes, unemployment falling by 2% and the markets stabilising back to growth. However, the President has been criticised by members of the Democratic-Labour party for his opposition to social security. His running mate is Alf Landon, the Secretary of the Treasury, replacing Vice President Quentin Roosevelt. Landon is the head of the Federalist-Republican wing of the party.
Al Smith is the 63-year-old incumbent Governor of New York, and Democratic-Labour nominee for President. A champion of civil rights and author of many pieces of workers legislation, Smith runs on a platform of a farm subsidies bill, further nationalisation of key industries such as the railroads, unemployment insurance, social security, utilising the Henderson-Hoover fund for national infrastructure development, and nationalisation of the GCC. Having the support from the party, he has the backing of former Presidents Debs and Sinclair. He is the incumbent chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Minorities, an activist group advocating for the end of segregation and advancement of rights for minority populations, and incumbent chairman of the National Federation of Workingmen, a moderate labour activist group. However, he has been criticised for his stances on foreign policy, especially his hawkish attitude towards Japan, and for some financial troubles encountered by the NFW during his tenure. His running mate is Harry William Baals, a U.S. Senator for Tippecanoe, President Pro Tempore, and de-facto head of the moderate wing of the party.
Other Candidates
Ettore Boiardi is the 39-year-old New York pasta chef, better known as Hector Boyardee. Making his third bid for the Presidency, Boiardi runs with Andrew Lattimore, the former Senator for Louisiana and Democratic-Labour Party nominee for President in 1928.
Written by u/Dr_Occisor, u/u01aua1,
View Poll
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2023.05.23 21:33 PracticalPenalty7899 Client says i gave him "chicken pox" like infection

I have been cutting hair for two years now, I'm super clean so much to the point that everyone in my shop says I'm TOO clean. I've never had any problems in my two years with anyone saying ive givin them anything. But about 2 weeks ago I cut one of my clients who I've been cutting for about a year. A week later he comes to the shop and shows me his face saying I gave him something. It almost looked like "impetigo" but with blisters and pus all over his face and scalp. I asked him what exactly did the doctor say it was, he said hes not sure but its similar to chicken pox? I called my owner outside to take a look and he asked for pictures of the doctors forms that he was given (still none have been sent). After talking for a bit and going back inside, my owner told me he doesnt believe it was from me, as he has been cutting for 17 years and has never seen anything like that, and he kept saying especially it cant be from me cause I'm so clean and I never even do his beard so why is on there aswell, it could've been from anything. And I believe my owner but I also believe my client wouldn't lie. Especially cause he was saying he doesn't want me to get in trouble or anything and he doesn't want any free haircuts in the future. He said he was showing me so I can be aware of what I "gave him" so that I don't give it to anyone else or any kids. So if he just wants to look out for me why would he lie about it you feel? But pretty much I just want to hear what you guys think about the situation and if it was caused from me what else could I do to help prevent that from ever happening again? And yes I went to school I learned how to properly clean everything... or so I thought. Ps. He said it started on the side of his head which I didn't even cut last time because he has an edgar with a blowout. Only thing I could possibly think of is maybe from my blowdryer?!? Idk but I asked all my clients that day if they have gotten anything similar to that and they all said no.
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2023.05.23 11:00 whatisscoobydone Blink-and-you-miss-them jokes that you love?

I remember watching the season 1 praying mantis episode for the first time, which starts out with a Xander power fantasy daydream of him saving Buffy from vampires and then going on stage to do an electric guitar solo. Later, when the praying mantis teacher propositions him to come to her house, there's a quick smash cut to him playing the electric guitar for just a moment. I saw that for the first time thinking "Okay damn that was a really good, like, Edgar Wright moment."
Willow's lightning fast little grin and wave to Oz when she is impersonating Vampire Willow. There's no way half the room didn't just see that but you could not resist saying hey to your wereboy.
Xander proving his affections in Hush, when he thinks Spike has fed off of Anya and then realizes she's all right. The quickest possible halfhearted shrugging apology to Spike, and then the romantic music swells, and Anya gazes into his eyes and then super quickly mimes "we fuckin?" with her fingers. Especially funny when you look at it and see that it was the hole hand that was doing the vigorous work while the extended finger hand kind of sat still.
Also in Hush, Giles having a single projector sheet for a dramatic "but"
Giles trying to distract the EMT during the Buffy/Faith body swap episode by yelling about "tiny tiny babies" and we see his whole row of top teeth for what seems like the first time.
Buffy guffawing uncontrollably at the idea of Harmony having minions.
"She needs backup!" in Once More with Feeling
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2023.05.22 21:05 Fun_Ad_1393 how should i style my hair, ppl been saying i have an edgar cut and stuff i’m trying to go for like a tiktok eboy type style

how should i style my hair, ppl been saying i have an edgar cut and stuff i’m trying to go for like a tiktok eboy type style submitted by Fun_Ad_1393 to Hair [link] [comments]

2023.05.22 20:25 Toastyzxm I like your Edgar Cut

I like your Edgar Cut submitted by Toastyzxm to HyphonixYT [link] [comments]

2023.05.21 14:37 AnderLouis_ Hail and Farewell (George Moore) - Book 3: Vale, Chapter 6

PODCAST: https://ayearofwarandpeace.podbean.com/e/ep1565-hail-and-farewell-george-moore-vale-chapter-6/
Today's Reading, via Project Gutenberg:


It is to Mr Lane's extraordinary enthusiasm, energy, and love of Art that we owe the pleasure of this beautiful collection of pictures, and, that it may not be but a passing pleasure, it is his proposal to collect funds for the purchase of these pictures, and to found a Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin. A few days before the Exhibition opened he came to ask for an article about these pictures but it seemed to me that all I had to say about pictures in the form of articles I had already said; and I did not dare to accept his proposal to deliver a lecture on French Art until it occurred to me that being probably the only person in Dublin who had known the painters whose works hang on the wall, I might, without being thought too presumptuous, come here—I will not say to discuss French Art—I prefer to say to talk about Manet, Degas, Renoir, Pissaro, Monet, and Sisley, and in doing so to discuss French Art indirectly. But before beginning to talk of these great men I must tell how I came to know them, else you will be at a loss to understand why they consented to know me.
When my mother offered me my choice of Oxford or Cambridge, I told her that I had decided to go to Paris. My dear boy, your education—you learned nothing at school. That is why, my dear mother, I intend to devote myself entirely to my own education, and I think it can be better conducted by myself than by a professor. You are taking William with you? my mother asked. I answered that I had arranged that he should accompany me. My mother was soothed, for a valet means conformity to certain conventions. But the young man who sets out on artistic adventure must try to separate himself from all conventions, whether of politics, society, or creed, and my valet did not remain with me for more than six or eight months; for, like Lord Byron's, his continual sighing after beef, beer, and a wife, his incapacity for learning a single word of a foreign language—the beds he couldn't sleep on, and the wines he couldn't drink—I forget how the sentence closes in the letter (addressed, perhaps, to Mr Murray)—obliged me to send William Malowney back to England. But too much love of living was not the sole cause of William's dismissal. I had begun to feel that he stood between me and myself; I wished above all things to be myself, and to be myself I should have to live the outer as well as the inner life of the Quarter. Myself was the goal I was making for, and to reach it I felt that I must put off the appearance of a gentleman, a change that my William resented; and being unwilling to reduce him to the servitude of brushing French trousers and hats, I gave him the sack. He died in Brompton Consumption Hospital.
In the Middle Ages young men went in search of the Grail; today the café is the quest of a young man in search of artistic education. But the cafés about the Odéon and the Luxembourg Gardens did not correspond to my need, I wearied of noisy students, the Latin Quarter seemed to me a little out of fashion; eventually I migrated to Montmartre, and continued my search along the Boulevard Extérieur. One evening I discovered my café on the Place Pigalle, La Nouvelle Athènes! Who named it the Nouvelle Athènes I cannot say; some ancient cafetier who foresaw the future glory of his house; for it was La Nouvelle Athènes before the Impressionists, the Parnassians, and the Realists came to spend their evenings on the Place Pigalle. Or was it the burly proprietor, associated always in my mind with a certain excellent râble de lièvre? The name sounds as if it were invented on purpose. You wouldn't have thought it was a new Athens if you had seen it in the 'seventies, still less if you saw it today, though it still stretches up the acclivity into the Place Pigalle opposite the fountain, the last house of a block of buildings. In my day it was a café of ratés, literary and pictorial. Duranty, one of the original Realists, a contemporary of Flaubert, turned in to stay with us for an hour or so every night; a quiet, elderly man who knew that he had failed, and whom failure had saddened. Alexis Céard, and Hennique came in later. At the time I am speaking of Zola had ceased to go to the café, he spent his evenings with his wife; but his disciples—all except Maupassant and Huysmans (I do not remember ever having seen them there)—collected every midnight about the marble tables, lured to the Nouvelle Athènes by their love of Art. One generation of littérateurs associates itself with painting, the next with music. The aim and triumph of the Realist were to force the pen to compete with the painter's brush, and the engraver's needle in the description, let us say, of a mean street, just as the desire of a symbolistic writer was to describe the vague but intense sensations of music so accurately that the reader would guess the piece he had selected for description, though it were not named in the text. We all entertained doubts regarding the validity of the Art we practised, and envied the Art of the painter, deeming it superior to literature; and it is hardly an exaggeration to say that we used to weary a little of conversation among ourselves, just as dogs weary of their own society, and I think there was a feeling of relief among us all when the painters came in. We raised ourselves up to welcome them—Manet, Degas, Renoir, Pissaro, Monet, and Sisley; they were our masters. A partition rising a few feet or more over the hats of the men sitting at the four marble tables separated the glass front from the main body of the café; two tables in the right-hand corner were reserved for Manet and Degas, and it is pleasant to remember my longing to be received into that circle, and my longing to speak to Manet, whom I had begun to recognise as the great new force in painting. But evening after evening went by without my daring to speak to him, nor did he speak to me, until one evening—thrice happy evening!—as I sat thinking of him, pretending to be busy correcting proofs. He asked me if the conversation of the café did not distract my attention, and I answered: No, but you do, so like are you to your painting. It seems to me that we became friends at once, for I was invited to his studio in the Rue d'Amsterdam, where his greatest works were painted—all the works that are Manet and nothing but Manet, the real Manet, the Parisian Manet. But before speaking of his painting some description of his personality is essential to an understanding of Manet. It is often said that the personality of the artist concerns us not, and in the case of bad Art it is certainly true, for bad Art reveals no personality, bad Art is bad because it is anonymous. The work of the great artist is himself, and, being one of the greatest painters that ever lived, Manet's Art was all Manet; one cannot think of Manet's painting without thinking of the man himself. The last time I saw Monet was at dinner in the Cafe Royal, and, after talking of many things, suddenly, without any transition, Monet said, speaking out of a dream: How like Manet was to his painting! and I answered delighted, for it is always exciting to talk about Manet: Yes, how like! That blond, amusing face, the clear eyes that saw simply, truly, and quickly. And having said so much, my thoughts went back to the time when the glass door of the cafe grated upon the sanded floor, and Manet entered. Though by birth and by education essentially Parisian, there was something in his appearance and manner of speaking that often suggested an Englishman. Perhaps it was his dress—his clean-cut clothes and figure. That figure! Those square shoulders that swaggered as he went across the room, and the thin waist; the face, the beard, and the nose, satyr-like shall I say? No, for I would evoke an idea of beauty of line united to that of intellectual expression—frank words, frank passion in his convictions, loyal and simple phrases, clear as well-water, sometimes a little hard, sometimes as they flowed away bitter, but at the fountain-head sweet and full of light.
A man is often well told in an anecdote, and I remember a young man whom Manet thought well of, bringing his sister with him to the studio in the Rue Amsterdam—not an ill-looking girl, no better and no worse than another, a little commonplace, that was all. Manet was affable and charming; he showed his pictures, he talked volubly, but next day when the young man arrived and asked Manet what he thought of his sister, Manet said, extending his arm (the gesture was habitual to him): The last girl in the world I should have thought was your sister. The young man protested, saying Manet had seen his sister dressed to her disadvantage—she was wearing a thick woollen dress, for there was snow on the ground. Manet shook his head. I haven't to look twice; I'm in the habit of judging things.
These were his words, or very nearly, and they seem to me to throw a light upon Manet's painting. He saw quickly and clearly, and stated what he saw candidly, almost innocently. It was not well mannered perhaps to speak to a brother of his sister in those terms, but we have not come here to discuss good manners, for what are manners but the conventions that obtain at a certain moment, and among a certain class? Well-mannered people do not think sincerely, their minds are full of evasions and subterfuges. Well-mannered people constantly feel that they would not like to think like this or that they would not like to think like that, and whosoever feels he would not like to think out to the end every thought that may come into his mind should turn from Parnassus. In his search for new formulas, new moulds, all the old values must be swept aside. The artist must arrive at a new estimate of things; all must go into the melting-pot in the hope that out of the pot may emerge a new consummation of himself. For this end he must keep himself free from all creed, from all dogma, from all opinion, remembering that as he accepts the opinions of others he loses his talent, all his feelings and his ideas must be his own, for Art is a personal rethinking of life from end to end, and for this reason the artist is always eccentric. He is almost unaware of your moral codes, he laughs at them when he thinks of them, which is rarely, and he is unashamed as a little child. The word unashamed perhaps explains Manet's art better than any other. It is essentially unashamed, and in speaking of him one must never be afraid to repeat the word unashamed. Manet was born in what is known as refined society; he was a rich man; in dress and appearance he was an aristocrat; but to be aristocratic in Art one must avoid the aristocracy, and Manet was obliged for the sake of his genius to spend his evenings in the café of the Nouvelle Athènes, for there he found artists, lacking in talent, perhaps, but long haired, shabbily dressed, outcasts by choice and conviction, and from them he could get that which the artist needs more than all else—appreciation. He needed the rapin as the fixed star needs the planet, and the faith of the rapin is worth more to the artist than the bosom of the hostess, though she thrives in the Champs Élysées. The rapin helped Manet to live, for in the years I knew him he never sold a picture, and you will ask yourselves and wonder how it was that in a city like Paris great pictures should remain unsold. I will tell you. In many ways Paris is more like the rest of the world than we think for; the moneyed man in Paris, like the moneyed man in London, admires pictures in proportion as they resemble other pictures, but the rapin likes pictures in proportion as they differ from other pictures.
After Manet's death his friends made some little stir; there was a sale, and then the prices sank again, sank almost to nothing, and it seemed as if the world would never appreciate Manet. There was a time, fifteen or sixteen years ago, when Manet's pictures could have been bought for twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty pounds apiece, and I remember saying to Albert Wolff, some years after Manet's death: How is it that Degas and Whistler and Monet have come into their inheritance, but there is no sign of recognition of Manet's Art? Wolff answered: The time will never come when people will care for Manet's painting; and I left Tortoni's asking myself if the most beautiful painting the world had ever seen was destined to remain the most unpopular. That was fifteen years ago, and it took fifteen years for the light of Manet's genius to reach Ireland.
I have been asked which of the two pictures hanging in this room it would be better to buy for the Gallery of Modern Art, the Itinerant Musician or the portrait of Mademoiselle Gonzales. Mr Lane himself put this question to me, and I answered: I am afraid whichever you choose you will regret you had not chosen the other. The picture of the Itinerant Musician is a Spanish Manet, it was painted after Manet had seen Goya, but it is a Manet as much as the portrait of Mademoiselle Gonzales; to any one who knows Manet's work it possesses all the qualities which we associate with Manet. All the same, there is a veil between us and Manet in the Spanish picture. The veil is very thin, but there is a veil; the larger picture is Manet and Goya, but the portrait is Manet and nothing but Manet. And the portrait is an article of faith, for it says: Be not ashamed of anything but to be ashamed. There are Manets that I like more, but the portrait of Mademoiselle Gonzales is what Dublin needs. Salvation comes like a thief in the night, and it may be that Mademoiselle Gonzales will be purchased; if so, it will perhaps help to bring about the crisis we are longing for—that spiritual crisis when men shall begin once more to think out life for themselves, when men shall return to Nature naked and unashamed.
The glass door of the café grates upon the sand again, and Degas enters, a round-shouldered man in a suit of pepper-and-salt. Now there is nothing very trenchantly French about him, except the large necktie. His eyes are small, his words sharp, ironical, cynical. Degas and Manet are the leaders of the Impressionistic school, and their friendship has been jarred but once, when Degas came to the Rue Amsterdam and sat with his back to the pictures, saying that his eyes were too weak to look at them. If your eyes are too weak you shouldn't have come to see me, Manet answered. Manet is an instinct, Degas an intellectuality, and he believes with Edgar Poe that one becomes original by saying, I will not do a certain thing because it has been done before.
So the day came when Degas had to put Semiramis aside for a ballet girl; the ballet girl had not been painted before; it was Degas who introduced her and the acrobat and the repasseuse into art. And remembering that portraits lacked intimacy, he designed Manet sprawling on a sofa indifferent to his wife's music, thinking of the painting he had done that morning, or of the painting he was going to do the next morning. If Leonardo had lived in the nineteenth century, I said, he might have painted like that; and I wandered on through the Louvre thinking of the twain as intellectuals, till Rembrandt's portrait of his wife absorbed me as no other picture had ever done, and perhaps as no other picture will ever do again. The spell that it laid upon me was conclusive; when I approached the eyes faded into brown shadow, but when I withdrew they began to tell the story of a soul—of one who seems conscious of her weakness, of her sex, and the burden of her own special lot—she is Rembrandt's wife, a servant, a satellite, a watcher. The mouth is no more than a little shadow, but what wistful tenderness there is in it! and the colour of the face is white, faintly tinted with bitumen, and in the cheeks some rose madder shows through the yellow. She wears a fur jacket; grey pearls hang in her ears; there is a brooch upon her breast, and a hand at the bottom of the picture passing out of the frame, and the hand reminds us, as the chin does, of the old story that God took a little clay, etc., for the chin and hand and arm are moulded without display of knowledge as Nature moulds.
The Mona Lisa, celebrated in literature, hanging a few feet away, seems factitious when compared with this portrait; her hesitating smile which held my youth in a little tether has come to seem to me but a grimace, and the pale mountains no more mysterious than a globe or map seems at a distance, a sort of riddle, an acrostic, a poetical decoction, a ballade, a rondel, a villanelle, or ballade with double burden, a sestina or chant royal. The Mona Lisa, being literature in intention rather than painting, has drawn round her many poets, and we must forgive her many mediocre verses for the sake of a prose passage that our generation had by heart. The Mona Lisa and Degas's Leçon de Danse are thoughtful pictures painted with the brains rather than with the temperaments; and we ask sooner or later, but assuredly we ask, of what worth are Degas's descriptions of washerwomen and dancers and racehorses compared with that fallen flower, that Aubusson carpet, above all, the footstool? and if any one of Degas's pictures is bought for this gallery I hope it will be one of these early pictures, the red-headed girl, for instance, an unfinished sketch, exhibited some time ago at Knightsbridge, the property, I believe, of Durand Ruel.
In the days of the Nouvelle Athènes we used to repeat Degas's witticisms, how he once said to Whistler, Whistler, if you were not a genius you would be the most ridiculous man in Paris. Leonardo made roads, Degas makes witticisms. I remember his answer when I confided to him one day that I did not care for Daumier—the beautiful Don Quixote and Sancho Panza that hangs on the wall I had not then seen; that is my apology, an insufficient one, I admit. Degas answered, If you were to show Raphael a Daumier he would admire it, but if you were to show him a Cabanel he would say with a sigh: That is my fault—an excellent quip. But we should not attach the same importance to a quip as to a confession. Manet said to me: I tried to write, but I couldn't; and we must esteem these words as an artist's brag; I am a painter, and only a painter. Degas could not boast that he was a painter and only a painter, for he often wearied of painting; he turned to modelling, and he abandoned modelling for the excitement of collecting pictures—not for himself but for the Louvre. I've got it, he said to me in the Rue Maubeuge, and he was surprised when I asked him what he had got; great egotists always take it for granted that every one is thinking of what they are doing. Why, the Jupiter, of course the Jupiter, and he took me to see the picture—a Jupiter with beetling brows, and a thunderbolt in his hand. He had hung a pear next to it, a speckled pear on six inches of canvas, one that used to hang in Manet's studio, and guessing he was about to be delivered of a quip, I waited. You notice the pear? Yes, I said. I hung it next to the Jupiter to show that a well-painted pear could overthrow a God. There is a picture by Mr Sargent in this room—one of his fashionable women. She is dressed to receive visitors, and is about to spring from her chair; the usual words, How do you do, Mary, are upon her crimson lips, and the usual hysterical lights are in her eyes, and her arms are like bananas as usual. There is in this portrait the same factitious surface-life that informs all his pictures, and, recognising fashionable gowns and drawing-room vivacities as the fundamental Sargent, Degas described him as Le chef de rayon de la peinture. Le chef de rayon is the young man behind the counter who says, I think, madam, that this piece of mauve silk would suit your daughter admirably, ten yards at least will be required. If your daughter will step upstairs, I will take her measure. Vous pouvez me confier votre fille; soyez sûre que je ne voudrais rien faire qui pût nuire à mon commerce.
Any one, Degas said once to me, can have talent when he is five-and-twenty; it is more difficult to have talent when you are fifty. I remember the Salon in which Bastien Lepage exhibited his Potato Harvest, and we all admired it till Degas said, The Bouguereau of the modern movement. Then every one understood that Bastien Lepage's talent was not an original but a derivative talent, and when Roll, another painter of the same time, exhibited his enormous picture entitled Work, containing fifty figures, Degas said, One doesn't make a crowd with fifty figures, one makes a crowd with five. Quips, merely quips, and there were far too many quips in Degas's life; and I include in my list of quips a great number of ballet girls and racehorses. His butcher's corpulent wife standing before a tin tub was much talked about in our cafe, until Monet returned after a long absence in the country, bringing with him twenty or thirty canvases, a row of poplars seen in perspective against a grey sky, or a view of the Seine with a bridge cutting the picture in equal halves, or a cottage shrouded in snow with some low hills. Pissarro admired these, of course, but his preference ran to Sisley, who, he said, was more of a poet; and should a Sisley come later into this collection, my hope is that it will be a picture I saw years ago in the galleries of George Pettit: the bare wall of a cottage, a frozen pond, and some poplar-trees showing against the first film of light, a vision so exquisite that Constable's art seems in comparison coarse and clumsy.
Monet's art is colder, more external, and those who like to trace individual qualities back to race influence may, if they will, attribute the exquisite reverie which distinguishes Sisley's pictures to his northern blood.
Monet began by imitating Manet, and Manet ended by imitating Monet. They were great friends. Manet painted Monet and Madame Monet in their garden, and Monet painted Manet and Madame Manet in the same garden; they exchanged pictures, but after a quarrel each returned the other his picture. Monet's picture of Manet and his wife I never saw, but Manet's picture of Monet and Madame Monet belongs to a very wealthy merchant, a Monsieur Pellerin, who has the finest collection of Manets and Cézannes in the world. Cézanne exhibited with the Impressionists, but I do not remember having seen him in the Nouvelle Athènes or heard his name mentioned by Manet or Degas. Alexis told us once that he had breakfast with him that morning at the Moulin de la Galette, and that Cézanne had arrived in jack-boots covered with mud and had spent thirty francs on the meal, which was an unusual feat in those days and in those districts. Alexis was struck by the resemblance of Cézanne to his pictures. A peasant come straight out of The Reapers, he said; I thought of Manet, and we congratulated ourselves on the advancement of our taste, forgetful that the next generation may speak of Cézanne's portraits as the art of the trowel rather than of the brush. The word masonry must have been in Zola's mind when he exalted Cézanne in L'Oeuvre, and at the dinner given to celebrate the publication of the book declared him to be a greater painter than Manet. Both came from Aix; both had talent; and both were denied the exquisite vision and handicraft of Sisley and Verlaine.
Within the Impressionist movement were two women, Mary Casatt, who derived her art from Degas, and Berthe Morisot, who derived hers from Manet. Berthe Morisot married Manet's brother, and there can be little doubt that she would have married Manet if Manet had not been married already. I remember him saying to me once: My sister-in-law wouldn't have been noticed without me; she carried my art across her fan. Berthe is dead, and her pictures are very expensive and picture-dealers do not make presents, but Mary Casatt is alive, she is a rich woman, and I take this opportunity of suggesting that she should be asked to give a picture. After an absence of many years I went to see her and found her blind, but talkative as of yore, and we talked of all the people we had known, till at the end of breakfast she said, There is one we haven't spoken about, perhaps the greatest of all. I said, You mean Renoir? And she reproached me with having been always a little indifferent to his art. I don't think that this is true, or if it be true, it is only true in a way. I know of nothing that I would sooner hang in my drawing-room than one of Renoir's bathers, or a portrait of a child in grey fur dressed to be taken to the Bois by her mother. Some of his portraits of children are the most beautiful I know—they are white and flower-like, and therefore very unlike the stunted, leering little monkeys that Sir Joshua Reynolds persuaded us to accept as representative of tall and beautiful English children. I think it was at the end of the 'sixties that Renoir painted the celebrated picture of the woman looking into the canary cage—a wonderful picture, but so unlike his later work that it may be doubted if anybody would recognise it as being by the man who painted the bathers. By the bathers I mean all the plump girls whom he painted on green banks under trees, their fat so permeated with light that they seem like luminous flowers; yet they are flesh, and full-blooded flesh that would bleed. It may be that Manet never painted naked flesh so realistically. His art is less casual, less modern, less actual, than Renoir's. It came out of a different tradition, and upon it is the birthmark of easy circumstances and the culture thereof; whereas Renoir was a Parisian workman; he began life in a factory painting flowers, and his talent was not sufficient to redeem his art from the taint of an inherited vulgarity. Whistler would have cried for an umbrella to hide himself under were he asked to consider The Umbrellas.
The man I see when my thoughts return to the Nouvelle Athènes is a tall, lean man with red in his ragged hair and beard, and his voice has a ring in it. If Renoir had not been an aesthete he wold have been a Socialist orator. Some of his denunciations are quoted in Confessions of a Young Man, and here is an anecdote that a few may think instructive. Money suddenly began to accumulate at his bank, and he bethought himself of a stock of wine and cigars, a carriage, several suits of clothes, or a flat in the quarter of the Champs Élysées with a mistress in it. But turning from these legitimate issues, he went to Venice to study Tintoretto, and on his return to Paris he laboured in a school of art until it became plain to him that his studies, instead of decreasing, were increasing the distance between himself and Tintoretto. I remember his embittered, vehement voice in the Nouvelle Athènes, and I caught a glimpse of his home life on the day that I went to Montmartre to breakfast with him, and finding him, to my surprise, living in the same terrace as Paul Alexis, I asked: Shall we see Alexis after breakfast? He would waste the whole of my afternoon, Renoir muttered, sitting here smoking cigars and sipping cognac; and I must get on with my picture. Marie, as soon as we have finished, bring in the asparagus, and get your clothes off, for I shall want you in the studio when we have had our coffee.
The evenings that Pissarro did not come to the Nouvelle Athènes were so rare that I cannot think of the Nouvelle Athènes without seeing him in the far corner on the right, listening to Manet and Degas, approving of all they said. I remember his pictures, many of them, as well as his white beard and hair, and nose of the race of Abraham. He figures in Confessions of a Young Man, and turning to this youthful book I find an appreciation of him, and, as I think today as I thought then, I will quote it. Speaking of a group of girls gathering apples in a garden, I wrote: Sad greys and violets, beautifully harmonised with figures that seem to move as in a dream on the thither side of life, in a world of quiet colour and perfect resignation. But the apples will never fall from the branches, the baskets of the stooping girls will never be filled, for the orchard is one that life has not for giving, that the painter has set in an eternal dream of violet and grey, an apple orchard with peasants gathering the spare fruit of the mildew collected on a planet's surface. The picture in the present exhibition represents Pissarro in his first period, when he followed Corot; I hope Dublin will acquire it. And having said this much, my thoughts return to the last time I spoke with this dear old man, so like himself and his race. It was at Rouen about six years ago, whither he had gone to paint the Cathedral. For Monet having painted the Cathedral, why not he likewise? Why not, indeed? for he always followed somebody's dream. But though his wanderings were many and sudden, he never quite lost his individuality, not even when he painted yachts after the manner of Signac.
Who had invented Impressionism? was asked when he died, and attempts were made to trace Monet back to Turner. Monet, it was said, had been to England, and in England he must have seen Turner, and it was impossible to see Turner without being influenced by Turner. Yes! Monet was in England many times, and he painted in England, and one day we went together to an Exhibition of Old Masters in Burlington House, and there we saw a picture for which many thousands of pounds had just been paid, and Monet said, Is that brown thing your great Turner? It is true, the picture we were looking at was not much more interesting than brown paper, and I told him that Turner had painted other pictures that he would like better, The Frosty Morning, and he said he had seen it, remarking that Turner had painted that morning with his eyes open. Whistler likes Calais Pier better than The Frosty Morning, for it was more like his own painting, and no very special discernment is required to understand that Turner and Constable could not have influenced painters whose desire was to dispense altogether with shadow. Whether, by doing so, they failed sometimes to differentiate between a picture and a strip of wallpaper is a question that does not come within the scope of the present inquiry. Mr Lane is asking us to consider if a collection of Impressionist pictures would benefit Dublin, and it seems to me certain that Manet, Monet, Sisley, and Renoir are more likely to draw our thoughts to the beauty of this world than a collection of Italian pictures gathered from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
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2023.05.21 00:10 Ct_blades203 Edgar Cole Chimera & NA Skaha 2

A couple awesome knives available w/ incredible action... NO TRADES but open to offers. Combo deal for both.
PICS/VIDS - https://imgur.com/a/KImkEjt
EDGAR COLE CHIMERA - SOLD $895 - Mint condition, never carried/cut during my ownership but not sure on prior owner.. A touch of copper patina on backspacer.. IMO the Chimera is the single best washer knife on the marker.. Absolutely glass smooth running on washers, yet still fully drop shut.. Super slicey m390 blade with bead blast type finish.. Gorgeous 89v blue/green ano on milled Ti scales/clip w/ copper pivot collars & backspacer... Includes box & COA.. Chimera table price now are $1700+ direct from Edgar Cole & even at that price are worth every penny.
NORTH ARMS SKAHA 2 w/ milled blade - SOLD $250 - Near mint shape, not original owner but doesn't appear to have any significant use or wear... Has the OG Skaha 2 blade in s35vn w/ the stepped milling lines finish they no longer make.. Has one of, if not the best detent in the knife world.. Blade fires open w/ the double click type detent & drops shut action.. Gorgeous CF scales and great ergos.
Price includes shipping to USA only.. Payments accepted: Venmo, Cash App, Google Pay, FB Messenger Pay.. Can accpet PP F&F if absolutely necessary... Will ship internationally at your cost or risk alone.. First to post "I'll take it/ Yolo/etc" will get first dibs generally.. Likely will be cross-posted on other knife selling platforms... Once claimed & we have talked via chat/PM, please make payment within a few hrs or risk having it move on to the next in line.. Any questions/concerns feel free to ask away.
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2023.05.20 21:55 MoonMan997 Killers of the Flower Moon - Review Megathread

Synopsis: Members of the Osage tribe in northeastern Oklahoma are murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s, sparking a major FBI investigation directed by a 29-year-old J. Edgar Hoover and former Texas Ranger Tom White, described by Grann as "an old-style lawman."
Rotten Tomatoes
Critics Consensus:

Number of Reviews Percentage Average Rating
All Critics 22 95% 8.7
Top Critics 17 94% 8.7
Metacritic: 91 from 17 reviews
Sample Reviews:
Killers of the Flower Moon: Leonardo DiCaprio gives the best performance of his life in a frequently great Scorsese epic that misses the mythic sweep of the book but succeeds instead as a toxic love story. - David Ehrlich (IndieWire): Grade B+
This is an utterly absorbing film, a story that Scorsese sees as a secret history of American power, a hidden violence epidemic polluting the water table of humanity.- Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian): 5/5
On paper, this looks like a flatly impossible task for DiCaprio: the film’s central character is neither hero nor charismatic outlaw, but a grasping, biddable , determiningly unreflective stooge, whose actions inspire revulsion and outage. But he meets the challenge with one of the finest, most complex performances he’s ever given. - Robbie Collin (The Telegraph): 5/5
DiCaprio and De Niro are brilliant, but it is relative unknown Lily Gladstone who is truly extraordinary - Clarisse Loughrey (The Independent): 5/5
Gladstone delivers a silently towering performance in the final stretch as Mollie tries to parse out her feelings. And Scorsese reaches an unexpectedly delicate, even masterful conclusion for “Killers of the Flower Moon” after a striking police procedural chapter that features the likes of Brendan Fraser and John Lithgow in explosive judicial parts. It’s a spiritual, personal and deeply human parting note that feels as specific and enormous as the rest of the film, bleeding for the departed in reverberating silence. - Tomris Laffly (TheWrap)
Weaving the Tulsa race riots, the KKK and the Masons into its tapestry, Scorsese’s opus questions the misdeeds of America in the last century while linking them to the pressing issues of today. Addressing racial violence, nationalism, the continued epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and even our lurid obsession with true crime, Killers of the Flower Moon paints a robust picture of a moment in history that invites viewer introspection. As Ernest asks portentously when reading from a book on Osage history: "Can you see the wolves in this picture?" Well, can you? - Jane Crowther (TotalFilm): 5/5
Audiences unfamiliar with Grann’s book — or with the actual history, which draws a parallel early on with the Tulsa Race Massacre — might be at a slight advantage here given that each nasty turn this ugly chapter from America’s past takes makes its depravity more astonishing. Scorsese has made an impassioned film that honors both the victims and the survivors. - David Rooney (The Hollywood Reporter)
Stylistically, this feels like a young man’s movie. It’s engrossing from the get-go, the palpable tension methodically echoed by Robbie Robertson’s steady-heartbeat score. But it keeps going and going until everyone we care about is dead, dying or behind bars, with nearly an hour still in store. - Peter Debruge (Variety)
The script, from Forrest Gump’s Eric Roth, begins to meander badly, dropping in and out of the murder narrative and ultimately saddling us with a villain in De Niro who’s not nearly villainous enough and a protagonist in DiCaprio who’s a borderline moron. - Kevin Maher (The Times): 2/5
Scorsese expectedly ruminates on the imbalance of power in this country before turning in what will go down as one of his most widely discussed endings to a film he’s ever created. - Matt Neglia (Next Best Picture): 4/5
Perhaps a very good, uneven film rather than an unequivocally great one. - David Jenkins (Little White Lies)
Scorsese is focused on capturing the self-justification and -pity of the greedy robber-baron against the beauty of the land they pillage and the people who own it in the middle of a crime story which is almost unbelievable in its reach and mendacity. With the film clearly grounded in Osage culture, every scene is a furtherance of themes which seem cut and dried by the end, but are so much more shaded as you watch. - Fionnuala Halligan (ScreenDaily)
Bolstered by a strong cast and a luscious color palette and landscape, Killers of the Flower Moon is worthy of a watch for those who can look past its romanticization. For those looking for a film that puts Native American voices and characters on center stage or a more comprehensive story, continue moving on, even with three-and-a-half hours, this is not that film. - Therese Lacson (Collider): B
Above all, it’s a Martin Scorsese picture, brimming with reverence for a culture that survived a horrible trauma as it is filled with exhilarating flourishes, film history references, and explorations of the faultline between the sacred and profane. And yes: It’s a masterpiece. - David Fear (Rolling Stone)
It’s also one of the most rewarding projects of his long career, a sign that Scorsese has no intention of fading away—even as the film landscape transforms around him yet again. - David Sims (The Atlantic)
A Twitter thread from former Osage Tribal Chief Jim Gray containing his thoughts on the film
DIRECTED BY: Martin Scorsese
WRITTEN BY: Eric Roth & Martin Scorsese
Based on Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
PRODUCED BY: Dan Friedkin, Daniel Lupi, Martin Scorsese, and Bradley Thomas
EDITED BY: Thelma Schoonmaker
MUSIC BY: Robbie Robertson
RUNTIME: 206 Minutes
RELEASE DATE: October 6th, 2023 (Theatrical)/October 20th (Apple TV+)
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2023.05.19 20:44 Key-Win7744 Your thoughts on "Fun and Fancy Free" (1947)

We're still in the reeds of Disney's anthology features, but Fun and Fancy Free is a cut above those we've seen previously. It's divided into two stories that were originally conceived as feature films to stand on their own; Bongo and Mickey and the Beanstalk. Interestingly, this project marked the last time Walt Disney performed the voice of Mickey Mouse.
Point by Point
In Conclusion
Fun and Fancy Free is overall mediocre, but it's a good step above the likes of The Three Caballeros and Make Mine Music. Though there's nothing special about either of the features presented, I do get the sense that they were crafted with a little more artistry and care.
Current Ranking
  1. Pinocchio
  2. Bambi
  3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  4. Dumbo
  5. Fantasia
  6. Fun and Fancy Free
  7. The Three Caballeros
  8. Make Mine Music
  9. Saludos Amigos
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2023.05.18 22:01 clearliquidclearjar TALLAHASSEE WEEKLY EVENTS, 5/18 – 5/24

Events are listed by the day. Events that happen every week appear first, one time stuff after that. If you have anything you’d like people to know about, comment here or message me and I’ll add it in. If you’d like further info about any of the events, look it up! I usually don’t have any extra to add.
Large Scale, Ongoing, and Multi-Day Events
Local Running, Walking, and Biking Info: https://troubleafoot.blogspot.com/
OutdooFarmer’s Markets:
  • Blue Tavern: Ben & Kirill with special guest Shanice Richards. 5pm
  • Big D BBQ: All Gas No Breaks Outdoor Bike Night. Welcoming all bikers and slingshot riders. Come out and show off your bikes, eat some great food and enjoy some good drinks. Live music by @djlilboy and friends. We will have live crawfish being steamed onsight, get there early for crawfish and beer specials. 6pm
  • Common Ground Books: Thirsty Sword Lesbians Indie Game Night. Do you love role playing games but hate the heteronormativity generally associated with them? We have the game night for you! Join us for a RPG filled with fun, frivolity, and queerness. You do not have to have experience with Thirsty Sword Lesbians or role playing games to join. This will be a repeated event co-hosted with Decolonize the Dungeon. This is a FREE event but still make sure to sign up at https://www.cgbookstlh.com/product/thirsty-sword-lesbians-indie-game-night/2520 to secure your spot. 6pm
  • Oyster City Brewing Co: Open Mic Night! 6:30pm
  • Hurricane Grill: Jonathon Reid. 7pm
  • Midtown Reader: Finish Your Yarns: An Evening of Story and Fibercrafts. Do you knit, crochet, or sew for fun? Do you like to listen to audiobooks (or would you like to try)? Then this event is for you! Bring your work-in-progress to our craft circle, and we'll enjoy each other's company and get some inches done while we preview a new or upcoming audiobook from our partners at Libro.fm! If you like the book, you can purchase the audiobook or hard copy from Midtown Reader and keep going on your own! Questions about this event can be directed to [email protected]. This is not a knitting class and craft materials will not be provided at this event. It's really just a chance to chill and vibe out with other knitters (or crocheters, or sewers, or macrame, or heck if you want to make friendship bracelets the whole time that works too!) 7pm
  • Tally Cat Café: Bingo Night! Join us in the cat lounge for a few rounds of Cat Bingo! Winners of each round have the opportunity to win prizes such as Tally Cat Café merch and cat themed prizes! Includes any drink! 7pm
  • House of Music: Flagship Romance. 7:30pm
  • Blue Tavern: Third Thursday Jazz Session featuring Black Light District All-Stars. 8pm
  • Fire Bettys: Jam Band Extravaganza featuring Strictly Liquid and Jean McQueen & The Man-Eating Machine. 9pm
  • La Casa Inn Bar: Comedy Bingo! 9pm
FRIDAY, 5/19
  • Lake Tribe: Flannel Friday. Flannel Fridays will be featuring a wide range of fall themed 'Pop-up' activities such as food trucks, live music, campfires, s'mores roasting, new seasonal brews, and more! Come dawn your flannel and cozy up to the simpler things in life. Our beers taste like the outdoors feel, let our tasting room be your Friday cabin retreat. 4pm
  • Gamescape: MTG Friday Night Magic. FORMAT: Standard Constructed. Swiss rounds as determined by the number of players with a maximum of 5 rounds. 7pm/$5
  • Hobbit West: Friday Night Dart Tournament. Anyone can Enter! Sign ups at 7:30, Darts fly at 8:00/$10 entry fee
  • Ouzts Too: Karaoke with DJ Nathan. Best karaoke DJ in town. 8pm
  • Club Downunder: CDU X Hip Hop Club Presents Freestyle Friday. Show off your freestyle rap or poetry skills at Freestyle Friday! Doors are at 7:30 with the show starting at 8:00 in Club Downunder! Send an email to [email protected] to sign up! 8pm
  • The Bar at La Casa: Karaoke with DJ FUSION. 9pm
  • Just One More: Karaoke with DJ Rah. 9pm-11pm/21+
  • 926: The Hot Friday Night Party and Drag Show. 9pm/$5/18+
  • Goodwood: Emancipation Day Tours. Join Goodwood Museum for a recognition of Emancipation Day and how the Emancipation Proclamation impacted the lives of those enslaved at the plantation. The day will include tours of the Goodwood Main House (including the typically sealed-off basement), with a focus on four women who were enslaved at Goodwood. Information about Goodwood's Memorial To The Enslaved will also be provided throughout the day; once completed, this permanent outdoor memorial will include the names of all known enslaved persons of Goodwood, and a site for sober contemplation and remembrance. It will also be a site for meeting, teaching, community engagement, and healing. Tours will conduct every hour from noon - 4 PM; there will be no cost for individuals to attend these tours. Reservations are not required. Noon-4pm
  • Blue Tavern: Everett Young. 5pm
  • The Plant: New Moon Market and Show. Come out Friday May 19 to The Art Alleys and The Plant! We will have a market in the alleys behind The Plant and The Wilbury from 5:00-8:00 pm with local artists and makers. There will be a raffle with every $5 spent with any vendor you will be entered to win a gift basket and/or a free ticket to the music show inside The Plant that is from 7:00-11:00 pm! 5pm/$15 for the show
  • The Wine House on Market Street: Steven Brown. 5:30pm
  • The Getaway (2386 Allen Road): One Eyed JAK Rockin' at The Getaway GRAND OPENING! 6pm
  • Common Ground Books: Zine Workshop. Join us for a beginner zine making workshop with Sequoia! This workshop is free, though tips to the instructor are appreciated. All materials will be provided. 6pm
  • American Legion Hall: SAIL Music Ensemble and SAIL Chorus End of Year Concert. 6pm
  • Fish Camp: Guilty Pleasure Band. 6:30pm
  • Blue Tavern: Shanice Richards & Friends. 7pm
  • The Adderley Amphitheater at Cascades Park: Freedom's Eve Emancipation Concert. A FREE, three-part performance honoring Freedom's Eve and Florida's Emancipation Day. Featuring your TSO, TSO Jazz, and Tallahassee Nights Live! 7pm/free
  • Goodwood: The Big Bash Havana Nights. The Big Bash is Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend's signature fundraising gala of the year and directly supports our youth mentoring programs. The event has over 250 guests in attendance annually and is a tremendous networking opportunity for Tallahassee's top business professionals, local community leaders and philanthropists to come together to enjoy an evening to celebrate the achievements of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Guests will enjoy Cuban cuisine, champagne mojitos, cigar & bourbon flights, LIVE music & dancing, classic car photo-opportunity and an exciting LIVE salsa dance performance from 12 community volunteers! 7pm
  • Square Mug: Falls Chase, Zero Shock, and The Fetish. 8pm
  • Duke’s and Dottie’s: Chase McDaniel. 8pm
  • House of Music: Top Shelf Band. 8pm
  • Tally Cat Café: Jackbox Party Night! Join us in the cat lounge for some Jackbox Party games! Winners of each round have the opportunity to win prizes such as Tally Cat Café merch and cat themed prizes! Includes any drink! Bring a fully charged phone or tablet so that you can participate. 8pm/18+
  • Cap City Video Lounge: Humortals at CCVL. 8pm/$5/BYOB
  • Blue Tavern: Mia Borders. 9pm
  • AC Hotel: Allie & Salty. 9pm
  • The Bark: Drag Night at The Bark! Lana Vandal’s Broadway Birthday Bash. * Hosted by Lana Vandal, Co-hosted by Nina Chancellor! Performances by Destiny Iman and Madame K!* 10:30pm/$10/18+/bring money to tip the performers
  • Brinkley Glen Park: Invasive Plant Removal. Join Master Gardener Volunteers at this weekly invasive plant removal event. This is a great way to learn to ID our invasive plant species and how to remove them. We recommend wearing long pants and sleeves, closed-toed shoes, gloves, a hat and mosquito spray. Bring gardening tools such as hand clippers, loppers, trowels, etc. if you have them. We are removing coral ardisia bushes and berries, nandina, tung trees, Tradescantia flumenensis, cat's claw vine, winged yam, Japanese climbing fern, skunkvine and more. Directions: The best way to get there is to take Meridian Rd to Waverly Rd, go to the next intersection and turn left onto Abbotsford Way, then turn left at the next road called Woodside Dr. At the stop sign turn left onto Lothian. Lothian ends in a cul-de-sac and there is a sign that says Brinkley Glen Park. 8:30am-11:30am
  • The Rose Room: The Rose Revue. Performances by your favorite entertainers and special guests! Shows at 8pm, 10pm, & Midnight! A unique cast EACH show! 7pm
  • Duke’s and Dottie’s: Line Dancing Plus Lessons. 7pm/21+
  • Bird’s Oyster Shack: Laughterday Night Fever. This week: Five Year Anniversary Laughterday Night Fever! Join us every Saturday at Bird's Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack for a free comedy show! 8:30pm
  • La Casa Bar: Karaoke With Nathan. 9pm-1am
  • Jubilee Orchards: Jubilee Festival. (Note: blueberry U-Pick will no longer be a part of this event - the bushes will not have enough berries - Mother Nature makes her own plans some years) The day will be filled with hay and pony rides, live music, vendors, demonstrations, and food. You’ll experience a showcase of land management practices, soil enhancement advancements that reduce greenhouse gases, a demonstration of Forest School – an international practice of exposing young children to nature, and more. There will be a shuttle service from area to area at the event - or you may walk and enjoy the exercise! (Due to food safety regulations - pets are not allowed) 10am-5pm/free
  • Knott House Museum: 20th of May: Emancipation in Florida. Join us for speeches and music on the front steps of the Knott House Museum. This year’s program features special guest performances by John Anderson portraying Frederick Douglass, and the Mina String Quartet from the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. After the program, free lunch and activities are available in Lewis Park across from the Knott House Museum. 11:30am/free
  • Avera-Clarke House: Monticello Watermelon Festival Kick-Off Party. We are so excited for our first year joining in on the Monticello Watermelon Festival! To kick-off the festivities, we will be hosting an all day part-ay! This event is open to the public! Noon
  • The Puff: Marauders Market. * Come shop & enjoy vintage, records, local artists, clothing, home goods, food & more!* Noon
  • 5F Farm Event Center: Havana Reggaefest. Autheregae fest, food ,music and family farm fun for all. Noon-10pm
  • Fish Camp: Steven Ritter 1pm - 4pm, Brett Wellman and the Stone Cold Blues Band 5pm until 8pm
  • Blue Tavern: Traditional Irish Session. 4pm
  • Proof: Mechanical Lincoln. 6pm
  • The Wine House on Market Street: Maebh's Mavericks. 7pm
  • Gene Cox Stadium: Battle Lions vs Southern Stars. 7pm
  • Oyster City Brewing Co: Blues Meets Girl. 7pm
  • The Seineyard Rock Landing (Panacea): Free Wheelin’. 7:30pm
  • Blue Tavern: Paddy League’s Miss Mango and Isabel Ruano. 8pm
  • House of Music: Roadhouse 30 Year Anniversary. 8pm
  • The Bark: War & Whiskey, Coffee Stain, Spider Bucket, Brain Dead Youth, and Murder Suicide. 8pm
  • Square Mug: Noxious Aux, No Face, Old Creepy, and Killer Choice. 8:30pm
SUNDAY, 5/21
  • Bicycle House: Sunday Ride. Ride at 10:30 AM from Bicycle House. We will ride the Cascades trail to the St Marks trail and down to Wakulla station and return, about 31 miles. Ride speed is 12 to 14 mph, with periodic regroups. Vernon Bailey is the ride leader. Vernon is a new CCC member who’s been biking for 50 years enjoys riding with small groups and weekend touring. 10am
  • Ology Northside: Ology Jazz Brunch. 11:30am
  • Gamescape: Pokémon League. Come learn, play, and trade with the Pokémon Trading Card Game and the Pokémon video games! We LOVE seeing new players, so come learn how to play! We play both the Trading Card Game and the Video Game casually and competitively. The store offers lots of different seating arrangements to meet our group's needs, as well as food, drinks, and Pokémon products for purchase. We are also hold regular, officially sanctioned tournaments for Pokémon Trading Card Game and Video Game Competitions! 2-4pm
  • Lake Tribe: Colby Scheib. 3pm
  • House of Music: Songwriter Sunday. Songwriters of Tallahassee hosted by Rachel Hillman. Bring your original songs on Sunday - sign up is at 4:30. No Cover Songs please - this is an event celebrating original music. Accompanists and Bands Welcome - you must be able to set up within two minutes, so no crazy pedals or amp shenanigans. No Backing Tracks - Please find someone to play your song with you. 5pm
  • The Plant: Open Jam. All instruments, all players welcome. 5pm-9pm
  • House of Music: Perkins Street Pickers. 5pm
  • Oyster City Brewing: Comedy Night. Come have some laughs with us on Sunday nights! If you are interested in participating in the show, reach out to [email protected] 7:30pm
  • The Rose Room: Synful Sunday. 8pm
  • Tom Brown: TMBA All-Levels Ride. The BeginneAll-Levels Ride this Sunday will be at Tom Brown Park. We will be meeting at the PUMP TRACK for anyone that wants to practice or learn pump track skills before and after the ride. We will ride Upper Magnolia trail to the Tom Brown double track and then explore Loblolly Trail. The terrain will be a combination of single- and double-track with either moderate, sustained or short, intense climbs. Riders of all skill levels are welcome - however it is geared towards beginners. There will be a TMBA volunteer bringing up the rear to make sure everyone makes it to the next re-group stop. Attendees are free to add on to the ride or turn around early. These rides are for you to learn the trails and improve your confidence as a rider. Ride Leader: Kat Sack. Requirements: *Helmet and a bicycle in good working order that is appropriate for riding off-road (not paved) trails. If you are unsure of the status and trail readiness of your bike, please bring it by The Great Bicycle Shop or Epic Bikes for a free assessment. *All riders participating in any TMBA sponsored ride must wear a helmet. NOTE: To participate in TMBA activities, please complete the liability waiver at https://www.eventbrite.com/.../2023-tmba-waiver-release... if you have not already done so for the year. 9am
  • Fish Camp: Top Shelf Band. 3pm
  • Tallahassee Chan Center: Buddha's Birthday and Open House. On Sunday May 21st from 3:30pm - 5:00pm Eastern, we are celebrating Vesak, the day of the Buddha’s birth, awakening, and parinirvana, which is traditionally observed during the month of May. For those of you in Tallahassee, please come to the Center for food, celebration, music, and Dharma talk. For those of you from afar, please join us through Zoom. Vesak is perhaps the most important Buddhist holiday for Buddhists of all traditions, a day that signifies the Buddha’s gift of wisdom and compassion to humanity. 3:30pm-5pm
  • Riverside Café in St Marks: Steven Brown. 4pm
  • House of Music: Lil Man Comedy Show Live Recording. 6pm
**MONDAY, 5/22
  • Just One More: Bingo. 5pm-6:30pm
  • American Legion Hall: Cha Cha - Weekly Lessons. 6:15pm/$5
  • Hangar 38: Bingo. 6:45pm
  • Vino Beano: Tipsy Trivia. 7pm
  • The Rose Room: Karaoke Night. 8pm
  • Oyster City Brewing: The Bachelor Watch Party! 8pm
  • Blue Tavern: Happy Hour with Paddy League. 5pm
  • World of Beer: Poker Night. 6pm
  • The Rose Room: Drag Bingo and Open Stage Night ft. Britney T. Foxx! 6pm
  • Crafty Crab: BOOMIN' Karaoke. 7pm
  • Ology Midtown: Jazz Jam Sessions. 7pm
  • Island Wings: Trivia. 7pm
  • House of Music: Tuesday Trivia & Karaoke. 7pm
  • Burrito Boarder: Karaoke with DJ Roldus. 8pm
  • Blue Tavern: Tuesday is Blues Day. Every Tuesday is Blues Day @ the Blue Tavern and Blues Meets Girl is a Tallahassee favorite. This perfect, intimate venue provides just what you need for both a mid-week break and authentic blues music experience. 8pm
  • 4th Quarter: Professor Jim's Tuesday Night Trivia. Popular for a reason! 8pm
  • Argonaut Coffee: Trivia Tuesday. 8pm
  • 926: Tacos and Trivia. 9pm
  • Fire Betty’s: Comedy Show. 9pm/21+
WEDNESDAY, 5/24 It’s my sister’s birthday! Happy birthday, Sis!
  • Rose Room: Women's Wednesday. Featuring Our Rose Roulettes and drink specials all night long. A night for all of our female-identifying friends to enjoy a safe space and an awesome happy hour! 5pm-2am
  • Blue Tavern: The Wednesday Night Lab Session hosted by Jim Crozier. 5pm
  • Sugar and Spice Tally: Game Night. Join us every Wednesday Night for community game night. Bring your own or use ours! Let me know if you need to reserve space for a large group. Free to attend! 5pm
  • Tara Angel’s Magic: D&D Experience - Adult (18+) Group. Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Candlekeep Mysteries. A one-shot is a D&D event that starts and finishes in the same session, typically lasting 3 - 4 hours. We have pre-generated characters for players to choose from. WHAT TO BRING: Pencils, Dice (can be purchased in store), Mask (encouraged for unvaccinated participants), Enthusiasm! Please sign up in advance to reserve a spot in this campaign. Tickets can be purchased in-store, over the phone, or on the website. For more information, please email [email protected], or call: (850) 878-4555 6pm-9pm
  • Goodwood: Wonderful Wednesday. 6pm/$5
  • Level 8 Rooftop Lounge: Trivia. 6pm
  • The Great Games Library: Open Game Night. 6pm/free
  • American Legion Hall: Sue Boyd Country Western and More Dance Class. Session 2 - Beginner 6:30 to 7:45 pm What: East Coast Swing and Waltz. Cost: $8.00 per person. Wear comfortable shoes you can turn in. 7:45 to 8:15 - Practice dance with paid admission. 8:15 to 9:30: Intermediate - 2 Step and WCS. $8.00 per person or $13.00 for both classes. Vaccines are required. Face masks are optional. Changing partners is optional. 6:30pm
  • Perry Lynn’s Smokehouse in Quincy: Wed Night Open Mic w/ Steven Ritter and Friends. 6:30pm
  • Hangar 38: Trivia. 6:45pm
  • Oyster City Brewing Tallahassee: Trivia. Teams up to 6 players for three rounds with 10 questions and a tie breaker each round. Winners are by round so don’t worry if you need to come late or can’t stay the whole time! Prizes include a round of beer, a 6 pack and a gift card! 7pm
  • Proof: Trivia. 7pm
  • Vino Beano: Wine Bingo. 7pm
  • Fermentation Lounge: Trivia. 7pm
  • The Bark: Oceans in the Sky, Dizzy Bats, and Medians. 7pm
  • House of Music: Open Mic at House of Music. Join us Wednesday nights for open mic in the bar with host Mike Ingram of The Brown Goose. Come early for Happy Hour and dinner! 8pm
  • Blue Tavern: Warehouse Wednesdays Open Mic Night. The open mic night that has run continuously for almost 20 years, once housed at the Warehouse, lives on at the Blue Tavern. Doc Russell continues as the host with the most. Sign up starts at 8pm/free to attend
  • Fire Betty’s: Karaoke! 8pm/21+/free
  • Dukes and Dotties: College Night and Line Dancing Lessons. 8pm
  • The Bark: Karaoke with DJ Nathan. Best karaoke DJ in town. 9pm
  • 926: Dragged Out Wednesday. 10pm

submitted by clearliquidclearjar to Tallahassee [link] [comments]

2023.05.18 17:44 Mimobrok POTW 18 May '23: Mimo's Analysis

POTW 18 May '23: Mimo's Analysis
In this post, I am analyzing the POTW 18 May '23 pack using the Mimo's Rating framework v2. Mimo's Rating is an alternative rating to Overall Rating for a card's ability as a generalist of a position. Here's a link to my compilation of other resources on EFootball Knowledge.
Due to the quantity of questions I get I will be unable to answer questions like 'how does this player compare to that'. EFHub has a very good comparison tool that you should check out.
POTW 18 May '23
1. Eze 91 - A+ Tier
While a significant downgrade from his OP 93-rated version from 13 April, this card is actually still very strong. It's that version that is stupidly strong.
It's unusual for the best card of the pack to be a 91-rated card, but this card is much better than the 91-rating in front of the card. With these stats, the card should have been 96/95 at LWF/LMF respectively.
As you can see he receives crazy stats buff. While he is not particularly fast his dribbling is nice and he is very physical and has good finishing too. Can also cross and pass well. Quite complete for a winger and unwavering form too.
With him being hole player if you wants his playstyle to activate then use him at LMF. As AMF he can run but his passing is quite bad for AMF's standard and no passing/shooting skill so AMF wouldn't really fit.
2. Lewandowski 96 - A+ Tier
I want to note that stats-wise this card is very minorly buff. It's mostly about the One-touch pass skill.
At this point I think everyone is familiar with Lewandowski -- very slow card but very clinical. This version is among the slowest but the introduction of OTP and the buff to passing over base means you have more option now as you can just pass the ball back to other players until he gets enough space.
There have been many Lewandowski cards. I think most of them are quite close together including this one. The two version that stood out are POTW 15 Sep Lewan which is possibly one of the best super-sub CFs in the entire game and the Barcelona Pack Lewan with the crazy 96 OA/94 Finishing and much faster than this version actually. On the bad side, there's Derby Day Lewan which is pretty meh. Apart from those I think the rest of Lewan stacks up with this Lewan pretty well. They might not have OTP but usually will have some better stats.
Overall I think this is still a nice version and quite an upgrade from base, just that it's not his strongest version for sure.
3. Gnabry - A Tier
Position change to CF and playstyle changed to Goal Poacher
Good stats bad skills. These stats are equivalent to 96 rated at LWF/RWF but then the change to playstyle makes him inactivate there. He also doesn't have Double Touch, Pinpoint Crossing, and first-time shot, all quite important skills for wingers.
His stats are quite good though. While not a particularly fast or good at dribbling, he is very physical and can pass/shoot very well.
As CF it's exactly like playing a winger at CF -- he has no CF skills and his OA/Finishing are not particularly high.
4. Baena 92 - A Tier
This is the hidden gem of the pack. While his rating at CMF is only 92, his stats are equivalent to being 95 elsewhere especially at AMF where his stats fit his hole player playstyle quite well.
He is fast, physical, can take headers well and good at scoring. While his ball control/tight possession are abysmal, the rest of his stats are perfect for the hole player run.
I don't think he will be a meta card you need to have or anything like that, but you might be surprised by how lethal he is with his hole player playstyle. Unfortunately, he is average on the creating side and is missing a lot of skills and has standard form though.
5. Doku 92 - A Tier
Fast, physical, good dribbling = unstoppable. He looks like an excellent ball-carrier at RMF and can shoot okay too while not strong at it.
The part that he is weak at is his incredibly low passing both low and lofted. This limits your options with him a bit as he is a little like Leao where you have to cut in and shoot.

Remaining Cards

Igor Paixão 92 - Very physical Roaming Flank winger. Low passing but excellent finishing. Not very good skillset
Bremer 93 - Continues the pattern of POTW CB that is excellent on the ball but very poor defensively. 83 Awareness and 87 Aggression is pretty bad.
Estupinan 92 - Very physical but cannot cross despite being offensive fullback.
Ganso 92 - An excellent passer -- but very poor dribbling/tight possession for AMF. Quite physical but slow and static as his playstyle is Classic No.10. Low balance as well so cannot turn well.
Coates 91 - Very tall but possibly one of the lowest jump for CB. Poor defending stats as a POTW CB.
Edgar Badia 90 - Good reflex and parrying but very very short. Bad reach as well.

Overall Thoughts

There is no doubt that this is a weaker POTW pack. I'd recommend saving coins as Konami usually end a season with very strong packs.
I think the top target is Eze for people who didn't get his godly 93-rated version in April.
The next best targets probably are Gnabry and Baena. Overall I think not really that interesting. Lewandowski is nice to have if you somehow don't have other versions of him but not particularly strong. Doku is a fun card but I would not call him strong as he is a bit one-dimensional.
Fortunately, we also seem to be getting a couple of free cards like Bruno and Napoli Pack. While they are not particularly strong they are free and can be nice rotation for your squad when in-form.
submitted by Mimobrok to pesmobile [link] [comments]