angelqueen04:

I’ve always had some serious, massive thoughts and feels about this scene where Obi-Wan watches the hologram of Anakin slaughtering the Jedi, kneeling at Palpatine’s feet, and everything else that followed.

To begin with, I don’t think Obi-Wan had any idea of what he was about to see. Yoda said he would only find pain if he watched, but Obi-Wan said he “had to know.” To me, he meant, “I have to know how my son/brother/BFF/lover/whatever died.” Because such was Obi-Wan’s faith in Anakin Skywalker that it never occurred to him that Anakin would commit such atrocities. In his mind, Anakin’s body is lying somewhere in the Temple, surrounded by over a dozen dead clones and the younglings he was seeking to protect. He needed to see Anakin’s fate so that it would be real for him, otherwise he’d always cling to some delusional hope that Anakin was somehow still alive.

Then he sees the truth, watches Anakin slaughter their brethren, but what next catches my attention is the moment he watches Anakin kneel before Palpatine. My headcanon is that Anakin has always had some serious issues about kneeling before anyone, going back to his life on Tatooine. Watto may not have been the type to have Anakin or Shmi kneeling in subservience, but Anakin very likely witnessed other slaves being forced to do so before their owners, and it was something that sickened him. That feeling was likely something he carried over into his life as a Jedi, and he may have actually been able to communicate it to Obi-Wan on some level. Hence why Obi-Wan looks like he’s trying not to vomit as he stares at Anakin on his knees before Palpatine. He knows that Anakin despises that sort of posture and behavior – so what has happened to make Anakin go back on that? How did things change so much since he left for Utapau?

This is quite possibly the origin of Obi-Wan blaming himself for all that happened. Obi-Wan clung so tightly to his faith that everything was hunky-dorey that he didn’t see that something was clearly wrong with Anakin, that he needed help. He knew that there was the problem of asking Anakin to spy on Palpatine (see the novelization where he basically tells the Council off for being morons on the subject), but he had no idea of the other issues that were crushing Anakin under their collective heels (the nightmares of Padmé’s death, etc), in part because Anakin didn’t confide in him but also in part because Obi-Wan did not ask. Fanon likes to think that Obi-Wan figured out a long time ago about Anakin and Padmé (because subtle they are not), but he never came out and said anything about it. Perhaps he came to believe that if he had actually sat Anakin down and talked to him, gotten him to share his burdens, then he would have been able to help Anakin before he drowned. We know Anakin did go to Yoda for help about Padmé but got the singularly unhelpful advice of “someone dies – have a party, you should, for one with the Force they are!”, but one would think that Obi-Wan’s advice might have been a little more practical, say something like “Have Padmé get checked out by a few healers, ones who specialize in pregnancy and childbirth, to head off any potential problems.” And that’s just one example.

To continue: Obi-Wan watches his brother/BFF/lover/whatever systematically slaughter their people, and then is told by Yoda that he must destroy him to save the Republic (never mind the fact that the Republic was dead long before all of this went down, but that’s a rant for another time). Yoda maintains that Anakin is already dead, and all that remains is Darth Vader who is basically possessing Anakin’s corpse. In all honesty, I think Obi-Wan kind of went on autopilot at this point, which is why he sounded so wooden and vacant when he kept telling Padmé what a threat Anakin now was. He couldn’t bring himself to believe it, not then.

In all honesty, I don’t think Obi-Wan really believed that this was all happening until he saw Padmé be Force-choked on Mustafar. Because the real Anakin would have sooner gnawed off his remaining flesh arm than do anything to harm Padmé, and Obi-Wan knew that. That’s why he looked so utterly horrified when he stared down at Padmé’s crumpled form (besides the fact that, you know, she had just been choked and that could very well kill her and her baby). That’s when it finally hit home that this was Darth Fucking Vader and not Anakin Skywalker. And I’m pretty sure what was left of Obi-Wan’s heart just shattered.

marmolita:

houndsheart:

snubbingapollo:

So, your queer history lesson for the day:

Everyone’s heard that pirate’s call each other “matey”. What you probably haven’t heard is that the word matey comes from “matelote”.

In the Caribbean this word was used between buccaneers to signify a life partner. Matelotes could inherit from each other, shared space, fought together, could speak for each other when one was incapacitated or absent, and more often than not the relationship was romantic and sexual.

That’s right folks. Pirates had a term for their gay life partners.

In light of this, I present to you a new alternative for significant other and partner. Bring back matelote.

(You can learn more about the practice of matelotage in: The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies by James Niell)

Arrr! Matelotage was such a great idea!

In an age when the English Navy ran on “rum, sodomy and the lash,” (as noted in many writings of the time), homosexual relationships were punishable by death.

The result here was that in the English Navy, relationships went underground. Very often, they became forced, often between a superior and a subordinate. When English crews went on the account, becoming pirates, they looked for a way to legitimize relationships of honest affection.
Matelotage [French; meaning ‘seamanship’] , now used as an English word, became a term for a legal marriage between two men.

[…]

In pirate society (and only pirate society) two men could “marry.” They would exchange gold rings, and pledge eternal union. After this, they were expected to share everything.  Plunder and living spaces were obvious, but couples in matelotage were also known to share other property, and even women. If one of the partners was killed in action, pirate captains were careful to make sure that the surviving member received both shares of plunder, as well as any appropriate death benefits.

Simply put, homosexual relationships had been kept under wraps by people in fear for their lives because of draconian laws. Among sailors who had practiced this form of release themselves, it lost its sense of being alien, and so became accepted and legitimized as soon as they (by turning pirate) gained the right to make their own laws. {X}

There’s actually a series of gay pirate romance novels where I first heard about this.

The World’s Oldest Library Has Reopened

papinianista:

ishtargates:

Bit of a correction, not the world’s oldest library but the world’s oldest university’s library.  

The University of Al-Quaraouiyine was founded in 859 by a Muslim woman named Fatima al-Fihri and since it’s founding it has hosted scholars of different subjects from all parts of the world.  However, in the 21st century the library had greatly decayed so an architect named Aziza Chaouni was commissioned to help restore it.  Chaouni agreed immediately because she did not want a historical site to fall into ruin.  And now she has completed her task 🙂

~Hasmonean

“Chaouni made sure to use as authentic as possible materials in fixing the site, and what she couldn’t repair, she simply recreated. In addition, she took special care to make sure that the library is actually usable to researchers and scholars as well, adding new furniture and solar panels for sustainable power.”

i tend to keep my screaming in the tags and indeed i have ADDITIONAL screaming in the tags but ahh hh h h h hyou guys this is one of my favorite, favorite historical institutions– first university, also: Maimonides studied here. Ibn Khaldun studied here. Leo Africanus studied here. It is unspeakably distinguished.

(The library isn’t as old as the university– it’s from the 14th century, actually! But it is still very ancient and contains an incredible collection.)

It’s in Fez. I am so incredibly jealous of Fez.

The World’s Oldest Library Has Reopened

papauera:

queereowyn:

remus is a living link between the first and second wars (which is hard to find considering how many people died in the first war), and yet his role in the first war is rarely spoken of even though that could illuminate important backstory. he is a werewolf and therefore represents an aspect of wizarding society that is rarely shown in the series, and yet he is presented as being somehow unique among werewolves (the rest of which are generally all depicted as monsters). he is financially destitute and spends a great deal of time living on the streets and/or in muggle society, which means that he could provide an alternative insight into wizard and muggle relations and into social inequality in the wizarding world, and yet the topics never come up when remus is around.

remus knew lily and james well and still grieves for them as much as sirius does, and yet his relationship with them is never mentioned, and harry—even after finding out that remus knew his father and mother—never once asks remus about them despite the fact that he is otherwise desperate for information about his parents. remus manages to come out of the first war and more than a decade of grief and isolation not only alive and functional but also as a figure of great strength, calm, and deeply held moral beliefs, and yet his guidance is never offered or asked for, he is never seen taking care of sirius even though that role should logically fall to him (no one takes care of sirius, actually, except harry, who is the one who should be the least responsible for sirius), and remus’ only role in the order is to liase with other dark creatures, because that’s the only value that dumbledore—and jkr—sees in him.

so i think it’s quite easy for me to say that jkr dropped the fuckin ball with remus lupin and that i’m never going to be over it

  

whenanangelfalls:

The Picnic Scene – IT’S NO PICNIC!

The picnic scene in AOTC inspires such backlash and huge amount of criticism – some say the scene doesn’t even feel like SW and its only aim is to show Harlequin-type of romance to appeal to the female audience, others argue that it basically shows Anakin having facist tendencies and it’s the moment Padmé should have run away from him. It’s such a pity because there are so many things going on in that scene – the symbolism, the political and social commentary, all the things it reveals about Anakin’s personality and motivation,… – and it has many different levels.

It’s funny how so many people automatically deduce from the dictatorship conversation that Anakin is twisted and that the relationship between him and Padmé would never work. Everyone is ready to jump on the “inherently evil and twisted” bandwagon just because a 19-year-old man freely voices his personal opinion in a free society which respects the freedom of expression and opinion. They condemn him without giving him the benefit of doubt. It’s a bias stemming from the fact that THEY KNOW HE WILL BECOME DARTH VADER, THE EPITOME OF OF EVIL, ergo him supporting dictatorship makes him already guilty of much worse crimes.

As if “dictatorship” was the most taboo word in the world. Just uttering it makes him guilty in almost everyone’s eyes. It’s much worse than if he said the F-word (actually, if he did it most people would think him cool). However, what people fail to see is that an opinion and actually acting on it are two completely different things. It feels ironic that the same people who accuse Anakin of being written as a moody teenager vilify him for having a mature and relevant conversation about such sophisticated topic as the political organization of society.

Anakin in AOTC is portrayed with naivité that is typical for his age but also cynism of a man who has seen too much too soon, and this combination makes him much more mature than a typical teenager. However, most of all, Anakin is an idealist who he sees the system isn’t working and Padmé sees it, as well. However, when he offers dictatorship as a way of reforming the system, Padmé cannot offer other solution because she doesn’t have one, even though her own belief tells her dictatorship is wrong, and she can only show incredulity. In that moment, Anakin doesn’t defend dictatorship because he wants to rule the Galaxy himself (that only happens after he joins Sidious), but because he sees it as an alternative to a system that has been failing and HE ACTUALLY SAW PEOPLE DIE BECAUSE OF IT, SAW THEIR SUFFERING AS HE WAS HELPLESS TO SAVE THEM. HE BLED FOR THAT SYSTEM, HE FOUGHT EACH DAY WHILE RISKING HIS LIFE TO PROTECT THAT SYSTEM OUT OF LOYALTY, HONOUR AND HIS VOWS BUT IT KEPT DISAPPOINTING HIM OVER AND OVER AGAIN. He had left his mother in slavery for what she’d hoped to be his freedom, but he ended up realizing that the politicians he serves are as corrupted and evil as the criminals on Tatooine. In ROTS it’s strongly implied how he has stopped believing in what he’s fighting for because that very thing has become corrupted. One of the reasons why he wants to go with Obi-wan to Utapau is because with him he feels he is doing the right thing – with him he feels there are still things worth fighting for in the Galaxy.

Another level is that people forget that the real point of that scene isn’t about Anakin showing to be in favour of dictatorship nor it’s about politics – it’s about an argument and a debate, about philosophy, the importance of discussion and a point of view, because there is no such thing as an absolute truth or a perfect system. George Lucas is famous for working with motifs and ideologies in his Saga and that fact is even more pronounced in the Prequels as the conversation between Padmé and Anakin is an allusion to the Greek history and philosophy which gave birth to the ideas of political systems. Aristotle himself, who lived in the democratic Athens and is considered to be one of the greatest thinkers and philosophers of all time, was a passionate advocate of autocracy, which he considered to be the best type of political system, and the rule of a benevolent dictator while he deemed democracy as the worst of all the political systems. The flaw is not in any of the systems, it’s in the people – be it communism, autocracy or democracy (or dynamite), originally they were all noble ideas to help people. However, each time the philosophers and their founders assumed that the people who would hold the power would be righteous and incorruptable and that was their common mistake because the people are weak and greedy and power corrupts.

Finally, about Padmé’s reaction to Anakin’s opinions – it’s obvious it shocks her but it also intrigues her because no man would ever dare to openly and frankly voice his political beliefs which are considered by the general society as politically incorrect. He believes in the same things as she does – the prosperity of people – but not neccessarily in the same methods with which he would achieve it. And why? Because he was shaped differently than Padmé who always had the freedom to shape her own destiny and the possibilities and means to freely fight for her people and her beliefs, but for the most parts she was sheltered and protected from the terrible atrocities of war and social injustice. On the other hand, Anakin, even after being freed from slavery, was never sheltered and as Obi-Wan’s padawan was always in the middle of battles and fights; he could never decide for himself and had to follow the orders of the Council and the Senate, left again to watch helplessly all the people he couldn’t save .