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[Ocean's Eleven] Terry Benedict is an intelligent, thorough owner of casinos with state of the art security systems and competent staff. How did he or his security not notice Turk and Virgil returning several times to his property in different uniforms but no other disguise?
The bickering Mormon Brothers Turk and Virgil were part of the heist crew and their roles seemed to be the guys on the ground (getting Yen into the vault, blocking a camera, helping Saul with the briefcase, etc.). They don't really disguise themselves much other than with a different uniform of casino staff or police. There's even an instant where they just leave their room service outfits and silverware on the floor of an elevator! For a guy as ruthless as Terry Benedict, with his attention to detail, how did he not notice these two guys on the cameras returning several times to his casino? How did the staff not report it to him? They argued almost every time they were doing the con, did that not stick out to anybody?
In Ocean's 13 (2007), Turk Malloy stands with his back turned towards the real casino evaluator while posing as hotel executive because he has seen Turk's face earlier as a server in Ling Su restaurant.
Jan/3/2021 news: __ Top-10 anti corruption charges of 2020 __ POW & search __ Russian aid __ Refugees return __ Protecting the church __ Artsakh's international recognition __ Oil & gas news __ Chess & soccer events __ Guinness World Record __ Importing more Iranian products __ Syunik borders __
Your 7-minute Sunday report in 1743 words.
10 notable anti-corruption cases in 2020
10) SIS concluded the investigation of former president Serj Sargsyan's alleged embezzlement of ֏500 million in agricultural subsidies in 2013. Serj appeared in court as a defendant in February. The case continues. 9) ex-HHK MP and ex-Soccer Federation Chief Ruben Hayrapetyan (oligarch Nemets Rubo) was charged with large-scale embezzlement. In February, he was charged with embezzling $1.5 million-worth lands belonging to the Soccer Federation. (he was earlier implicated in the case about organizing the kidnapping, extortion, and torturing of a man who allegedly stole from his restaurant) 8) ex-Yerevan Mayor and Transport Minister HHK Gagik Beglaryan was charged with embezzling ֏230 million in state property. He was also interrogated as part of a ֏23 billion embezzlement in the North-South highway construction project. His brother is implicated in a ֏85 million embezzlement case. 7) ex-Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosyan (wanted) and ex Israel Ambassador Armen Smbatyan (paid a bail) are charged with using an offshore scheme to embezzle the state property. 6) Serj Sargsyan's brother Alexander was a defendant in the case of the 14 stolen paintings by Martiros Saryan. Pashinyan announced that Alexander's $30 million bank account was frozen. Alexander agreed to return the funds to state coffers. $26 million was recovered. $7.5 million was recovered as part of Martiros Saryan's painting case. Another $19 million was recovered -- or as he says, "donated" -- for the army modernization. 5) Powerful Churchman Archbishop Kchoyan (Bentley guy) was charged as part of an investigation of the forceful appropriation of another businessman's property by using an offshore firm, which was run by several individuals, including the churchman and allegedly the former Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan. More on that here. 4) Felony case was launched over the purchase of $42 million in weapons that turned out to be dysfunctional. Pashinyan mentioned this on several occasions, blaming the former regime for "wasting resources instead of developing the army." More recently, Pashinyan criticized General Movses "Mosi" Hakobyan, saying the waste took place under his administration. 3) Serj Sargsyan's chief bodyguard Vachagan Ghazaryan and his alleged accomplices had their felony tax-evasion charges dropped after compensating ֏3 billion ($6.3 million) to state coffers. 2) Serj's son-in-law Mikael Minasyan (Povar Ishik) was charged by IRS in March after the "revelation of an unprecedented level of corruption in modern Armenian history". Minasyan is accused of illegal enrichment. The investigation continues. Minasyan is residing in Russia, which won't extradite him due to close connections. Details on Mishik's case here, here, here, here (laptop recovered with 9000 files), here, here, here, here, maybe here, definitely here, here, here, 1) BHK leader Gagik Tsarukyan was charged with organizing an election fraud during 2017 and financial crimes by his casino Shangri La. The investigation began in late 2019 after a construction firm, with ties to Tsarukyan, paid a bribe to a Yerevan official in an unrelated incident. Tsarukyan likely learned about the pending charges against him and launched a major opposition campaign against Pashinyan, to then frame his charges as "political persecution" for being critical to the government. https://www.civilnet.am/news/2021/01/03/2020-ի-10-քրեական-գործերը/414983 https://www.evnreport.com/politics/the-political-rise-and-fall-of-tycoon-gagik-tsarukyan
Armenia will import 2250 types of products from Iran instead of Turkey, amid the 6-month ban on Turkish product imports. "This will be a good opportunity for Iranian producers. In the next step, [Armenia] will supply its required raw materials from Iran," said the chief of the Iranian trade agency. The govt had earlier met Chinese representatives to discuss the replacement of other Turkish items with Chinese ones. https://en.mehrnews.com/news/167965/Armenia-to-import-2-250-goods-from-Iran-instead-of-Turkey
border "demarcation" process continues in Syunik
The process to install Armenian and Azeri troops continues on the new borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan, in the Syunik province. The border was formerly Syunik (Armenia) - Qashatag (formerly Artsakh). Syunik's Shurnukh and Vorotan were built on the immediate internationally-recognized border, and some of them were on the Azeri side. As a result, a dozen buildings will go under Azeri control. Shurnukh village mayor complained about losing several houses and Azeris being too close. Syunik governor said border guards have been installed in areas surrounding Shurnukh. Russian and Armenian guards are placed in certain parts of this 21 km border. https://factor.am/325886.html
European Court for Human Rights has approved a petition by Armenia to implement emergency measures to require Azerbaijan to share information about the conditions of 23 POWs. "So far, such petitions were approved for 80 POWs, 18 of whom have already returned home," said Armenia's representative in Court. Armenia's HR Ombudsman Tatoyan criticized Aliyev for calling Armenian POW soldiers "terrorists" and for keeping them arrested, which delays the swap process. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039433.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039480.html
New Years Eve memorial concert in Yerablur Pantheon:
... in the Fizuli region that went under Azeri control during the war. Azeri prosecutors launched an investigation. In turns out, some Azeri civilians visit these areas without allowing the sappers to clear the areas from landmines first. So far, 10 Azeris have died or received injuries from such explosions after the ceasefire. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039473.html
They built the second rapid-deployment modular mini-town in Getavan, after finishing one in Stepanakert earlier. Another one will be built in Berdashen this month. The blocs will house 300 peacekeepers. They will have access to various convenience shops. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039452.html
Russian humanitarian aid in Artsakh
Russia sent 5,000 m2 glass for window replacement, 70 tons of metal parts, 34000 bedding items, to Martuni and Martakert cities. Earlier they sent 20 mobile electricity generators to help the areas that were cut off from the main electric grid. Russian doctors have so far treated 1044 Artsakh residents with various complaints. There are medical teams that travel in rural areas to provide care, including mental health services. The doctors received New Year's gifts from the medical administrator Oleg Bagayev. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039453.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039463.html
Ara Ghazaryan from Los Angeles built the world's smallest chess and made it into the Guinness World Records book. It's 8x8 millimeter. "Ara Ghazaryan is an Armenian American artist who uses jewelry to express his art and formerly held this record title. The chess board itself is made from 18 k yellow and white gold with Armenian apricot wood and rests on a frame made of platinum, 18 k yellow gold, rubies, and diamonds. The figures measure in height from 1 mm for the pawns to 2.4 mm for the kings." Photo: https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/78603-smallest-handmade-chess-set https://factor.am/325695.html
The All Armenia Fund has transported 600 Artsakh children and their parents, residing in various provinces of Armenia, to watch performances in Yerevan's Tumanyan Puppet theater. Santa, Dzyunanush, and the Elves surprised the children with gifts in the end. The Foundation will help thousands of children by the end of January. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039451.html
[OG+REMAKE SPOILERS] I'm Gonna Do It, I'm Gonna Talk About The Cat. Part 2 Theory.
Cait. Sith. Is. Valid. Also, buckle up, this is a long one. For those who dont remember, Cait Sith is a playable character in FFVII who appears as an anthropomorphic black and white cat wearing a small red cape and a gold crown. In later installments, he has a Scottish accent and no longer rides on that huge moogle robot thing. Cait Sith is a character that is tied directly to Reeve Tuesti, his creator and the man who is able to assume control over him from time to time. In so many videos and articles and such, Cait is often pinned as the "worst thing about FFVII" or "the most useless Final Fantasy character". As for me, personally, I actually like Cait, but I have come up with a few ways to get more on the fence people to warm up to him. Behold, my FFVII Remake Cait Sith Theory/Speculation. First things first, all of those people who think Square will entirely cut Cait out of the game are wrong. No, seriously, he's already in the Remake. He made a short cameo when the Sector 7 Plate fell. So many people were confused as to why he seemed so upset. One person, I don't remember who, wondered "Why would Reeve make Cait be all dramatic like that???" So, firstly, I thought it was common knowledge that Cait wasn't entirely remote-controlled, but oh well for the sake of this theory I'll have you know that I'm looking at it as though Reeve is not puppeteering Cait 100% of the time. He has an AI, at the very least, but for now, AI does not mean sentience, by the way. But Cait has a programmed personality, voice (the reason that Cait has a Scottish accent and Reeve doesn't), and movements. He may or may not become sentient but that's a story for another time. Also the reason Cait would have a personality and programmed "emotions" is so 1, he can calm people who are distressed during a crisis so they can get to safety, 2, he can further convince people of things using emotion in his voice to appeal to their sympathy, and 3, I dunno Reeve wants him to be more than just a robot. Now, this programming is the reason he spies on the group. I doubt Reeve has the time to sit and watch everything that happens, so maybe Cait sends a sort of report to him about any important info he gets in the day, if any. The thing is, maybe you can have a few scenes where Cait is showing uncharacteristic reluctance or regret over being a spy. Making him more sympathetic. The reason Reeve would even use Cait as a spy? Well, Avalanche is still the cause for the plate falling. If Avalanche hadn't bombed the reactor, Shinra wouldn't have viewed them as a threat, the plate wouldn't have been dropped. Reeve most likely doesn't know about the reactor being Shinra's fault moreso than Avalanche. You can see that Heidegger and President Shinra are the only ones in the room during that scene. Now, Reeve was in the room for the plate falling, he knows Shinra caused that, and he attempted to stop the President (to no avail). By the way, it is my theory that during that conversation or immediately following it, Reeve dispatched Cait to go to the pillar to stop the Turks, or maybe to issue an evacuation. Reeve was not controlling Cait at this time, so Cait's despair was his own, he was upset that he failed his mission and failed to save Sector 7. Another reason why he has programmed emotions, so he can have determination and investment in his mission, and the regret experienced when failing will make him figure out a different way to solve similar problems. So, while Reeve knows Shinra caused the plate falling, he probably does not know that Shinra caused the reactor 1 bombing to be much more deadly that it would have been. So, in Reeve's and subsequently in Cait's eyes, Avalanche is a threat just as much as Shinra is (and you could say that's kinda true, looking at being a threat to people, not the planet btw). Both hurt innocents. So Reeve could be trying to help the Turks get Avalanche out of the way so he could focus again on trying to mitigate the damage Shinra causes on it's own. Also, maybe it just isn't up to Reeve. If he refuses to do what Shinra wants him to, he will lose his job. You would think that losing your job could be survivable, but with Shinra and Reeve's position in the company, actually it isn't. Reeve knows company secrets, so he would be a very major threat. The Turks would probably have to either assassinate him or imprison him somewhere where he can't spread the truth. So, with that being said, there's your motives for Cait being a spy. Now, onto making Cait himself more likable and more useful. Firstly he can have a manipulate ability. In OG, he joins the party with a manipulate materia, though that materia never really became useful. I think, in Remake, manipulation can be simular to that thing Aloy can do in Horizon Zero Dawn. Basically, Cait can make monsters fight for us for a period of time. So using one monster to kill the others for you or distract them while you are healing or running away. That could have some use, especially in the Remake. Now, Cait fights by using a giant moogle as a sort of... mech. He rides on top of it and shouts commands... using a megaphone... This concept is pretty goofy and kinda cute, but I don't really think they should keep it in the Remake. So, remove the moogle mount. Now, what to do with his weapon? Sure, you can still kinda make him fight with a megaphone but why would you do that? So, inspired by an original concept (so it's not that far fetched), Cait can fight using whips and/or cards. The way this can work is when you purchase weapons for him, the name will be something like "Iron Whip" and the card deck that comes with it will be grey cards. Basically, the cards will be a color, the whips will be of different materials. But when purchasing, it'll just name the whip, the cards aren't named. That is thinking that the cards will even change. Maybe Cait can equip different whips. And the cards part of it will be abilities/movesets. Like, an ability can be named after a card game and he can fling a bunch of cards at the enemies simular in style to 1,000 needles. His abilities can be themed after casino based things and slot machines and all that, but they aren't actually slot machines. Example, his limit break, Slots, isn't randomized. It does the same attack every time, like Cloud's Cross-Slash. But the animation involves a slot machine. A slot machine appears with a bunch of fancy lights and Cait hops onto the switch, the slots roll, all three land on Cait's face, then I dunno, it explodes onto the enemies or sends projectiles at them or something. Another idea I had for his "Dice" attack could be him rolling a bunch of dice, and flinging them at the enemies, the dice exploding on impact kinda like grenades or something. Another thing to make him better in the eyes of those who dislike him, he can have some minigame uses. When at an inn or resting place, and all of the characters are just chillin, doin their own thing, you can walk up to Cait, and when you talk to him, after his dialog, there's an option to play a game. When you click it, Cait hops up all happy and more options pop up. You can unlock mini games as you progress, so there can be things like darts. They can do a card game as a reference to Tetra Master and Triple Triad (from FFIX and FFXIII, respectively), a memory game, anything really. So, there you go, another use for Cait Sith. In regards to level design, Cait can actually come in really handy. He is a robot created by someone in Shinra, so he would be able to hack into some Shinra tech to open doors and proceed through dungeons. This could come into play in part 3, or whenever the party gets arrested by Shinra and are brought to Junon. So, he's a hacker. Nice. Aslo, Cait is a lot smaller than the rest of the party, so he could squeeze into spaces that the others couldn't. Just a thought, and also another reason why he shouldn't have the giant moogle. Okay, now, this is a lot, but I have one last thing to talk about. His intro. So many people don't like Cait that I really don't think anyone would mind if his intro would change. Unlike the points people made in my post about Vincent, where some people pointed out that a lot of fans feel an attachment to his OG introduction, there's not much thats really... iconic about Cait's. Yes, I know, the way he joins the party is supposed to be sudden and weird because he's a spy and your supposed to be all like "oh that is... that's suspicious". But hey, I just wanna see who else thinks a new intro could be nice. This is purely for funzies and I don't actually think they're gonna introduce him like this. It's too specific for a theory so this is more of a "hey wouldn't it be cool if" kinda thing. Alright, for the sake of this, I'm assuming Remake part 2 goes up to at least Gold Saucer. Long story short(er), we find Cait in a casino. Maybe he runs the casino, maybe he's a prominent member. Anyway, he claims that you can win a better amount of GP (special points that work as currency in Gold Saucer) by playing his card game then with any other game. So, Cloud sits down to play. After you play the game, or maybe it's interrupted, there's some commotion at the entrance of the casino. Cloud looks over and almost everyone has stopped playing to look as well. None other than Elena of the Turks walks in, spotting Cloud. She is obviously looking for Avalanche, and has found them. (Also you can assume that Cait pretty much set up this whole thing.) They get ready to fight, when Cait springs up and says "Wait, you can't fight here, there's not enough room! You'll break things or hurt people! If you have to fight, do it in the Battle Square!" So, you go to the battle square and beat up Elena (also yay! She gets a solo boss fight! Next is Tseng getting a boss encounter and we'll be able to fight all of the Turks solo). When your about to defeat her, reinforcements arrive and... yeah, there is just way too many of them. Then suddenly, a smoke bomb goes off, and Cait rescues Cloud. They regroup at that Haunted Hotel, and Cloud explains everything. Everyone decides that it would be a good idea to leave, but then they hesitate. Where's Barret? Tifa says that he could be at the battle square, where else would he go? So, reluctantly, the group moves back to the battle square, avoiding the Shinra troops that are now crawling everywhere. The park has a completely different vibe to it, the music is no longer blaring, and instead someone from Shinra is on the speakers telling everyone to keep a lookout and report any strange individuals. Once we get into the Battle Square, we see that all of the Shinra infantrymen that were in there are all dead. Shot to death, each one. Then Barret runs in. So it wasn't Barret? Anyway, Dio, the owner of Gold Saucer, emerges, blames you for the deaths of not only the soldiers but a few staff members as well, and throws you into the desert prison, also notifying Shinra of your presence. This leads into Dyne's story and eventually Cait will convince Dio to let us go, or maybe we highjack a Shinra vehicle and escape the prison that way. *long exhale So, to wrap this all up, Cait has a good reason to be a spy, he can make enemies fight for him, he fights with whips and cards, when talking to him at an Inn or resting place you can play minigames like a card game similar to Tetra Master from FFIX or darts or maybe a memory game, and lastly he has a more interesting and memorable intro at Gold Saucer. ALL RIGHT! I'M DONE WOOOO I'M TAKING A BREAK!
Hosted by Travis Scott and Chase B Episode starts with Travis explaining the story that T-Pain was seen telling on his Twitch stream. For anyone else who missed Travis's quick explanation of the T-Pain situation, he basically said he was exhausted from being fucked up all night per usual (his words), and before finalizing Astroworld for good wanted to meet with T-Pain to see if they had any last minute ideas. Him being hungovecomedown with no sleep plus a third-party studio with supposedly strict volume restrictions led to travis being cranky then falling asleep. Doesn't get into ignoring him the days following but glad he got into it. (u/RioChalmers) summed it up better than I could Set List Good Life (ft. T-Pain) by Kanye West Got Money (ft. T-Pain) by Lil Wayne Maybach Music 2 (ft. Kanye West, T-Pain and Lil Wayne) by Rick Ross Buy U a Drank (ft. Yung Joc) by T-Pain The Boss (ft. T-Pain) by Rick Ross Can't Believe It (ft. Lil Wayne) by T-Pain Bartender (ft. Akon) by T-Pain Cash Flow (ft. T-Pain & Rick Ross) by Ace Hood Go Hard (ft. Kanye West & T-Pain) by DJ Khaled Chase B and Travis are back talking about how this is Season 2, hopefully more frequent episodes coming Wavy by Lil Keed Reality Check by Swae Lee We Paid (ft. 42 Dugg) by Lil Baby The Blinding (ft. Travis Scott) by Jay Electronica Turks (ft. Travis Scott) by NAV & Gunna Dropout by OMB Bloodbath & Maxo Kream Bird Call (ft. El Train) by Sauce Twinz, Sauce Walka & Sancho Saucy Too Comfortable by Future The Scotts by The Scotts (Travis Scott & Kid Cudi) Yea Yea by Pop Smoke Rockstar Bikers & Chains by Gunna Been Turnt by 42 Dugg Solitaires (ft. Travis Scott) by Future Hard to Choose One by Future Travis is back talking about COVID in Houston and how people can try to do better Wash Us In The Blood (ft. Travis Scott) by Kanye West Donda by Kanye West Strung Out Over You by Mavis Staples & William Bell Mercy Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye World We Created by Giveon Just To Say by Kacy Hill Casino by Ashton Travis & Chase B 3AM by HAIM Kerosene! by Yves Tumor New House by Toro y Moi Zen by Big Sean Lithuania by Big Sean Escapism album on the way Cafeteria by Chase B and Don Toliver White Tee by Travis Scott and Young Thug
Howdy everyone, welcome back to Album of the Year 2014, our daily writeup series on records from the first year of this subreddit throughout the month of September. Up on day 5 we've got iamdarkridge's take on FKA Twigs' debut record, LP1. August 6, 2014 - Young Turks Listen: Spotify Apple Music Youtube Background FKA Twigs AKA Tahliah Debrett Barnett is an English singer-songwriter known for her intimate and personal brand of music blending hip-hop, electronic, pop, and soul influences. Growing up in Gloucestershire (a rural county in england) Her interest in music as a child and into her teenage years largely came from her family. Her mother was both a gymnast and a dancer; while her father worked as a jazz dancer. Her interest in dance led her to move to London at age 17 in order to pursue a career in dance. Including for a time she went to the BRIT School, but left after her request to transfer from dance to music was denied due to a lack of “skill” before finishing her education at Croydon College. This transition for Twigs from the country to the city was largely a positive one. Although she has fond memories of Gloucestershire she never really fit in and felt it contributed to a deep feeling of isolation Throughout the beginning of the 2010s she began her career in the spotlight largely as a backup dancer; most notably in the Jessie J songs "Do It Like a Dude" and "Price Tag." During this time she also got her start as an artist writing music seriously in the attempt to become someone known for their music rather than their image. Her first two projects were released in 2012 and 2013 as EP1 and EP2 which both received widespread acclaim from critics for it’s unique blend of trip-hop and art-pop. EP2 also saw Twigs future collaborator Arca who would help create glitchy sonic production that would help define this era of Twig's career and would continue that into her 2014 full length debut LP1. Review by iamdarkridge: Introduction After the release of Magdalene in 2019 the vast majority of discussion and praise around FKA Twigs’s music has revolved around Magdalene, despite my love for that album LP1 is the album I feel most strongly about being her best album as well as one of the greatest art-pop album of all time. This praise certainly isn’t light, but I certainly have my reasons for it. LP1 tells a story that myself and I’d imagine many others can relate to. Themes of isolation, and self-hatred, and pressures associated with growing up sprinkled throughout the album give a vignette into the life of Twigs whose confidence continues to wane as both her love life and career become unstable. Anxiety over her future takes hold and throughout the album its existence is palpable:
I love another, and thus I hate myself
I view Twigs' appearance on the cover as someone who tries as hard as they can to be beautiful to the ones they love, but despite that effort their (metaphorical) bruises of self-hate still show. The cover to me is an expression of her inner self; striving for beauty but her difficulties with loving herself for who she is without acceptance from others leaves her inner-self a mess as those around her begin to show apathy. This sentiment is expanded upon on the opening track Preface. “I love another, and thus I hate myself” is repeated over and over throughout most of it’s 1:50 runtime. Offering itself as a first look into the themes of the album and a fantastic introduction to both the themes of the album as well as what I’d like to discuss here. These eerie words are repeated throughout the track Preface. A dark and harrowing opening to the album, and it works exceptionally at setting the tone and gives a glimpse into the darker spots later within the album. I view the album as existing in three separate acts. The opening tracks including Lights On, and Two Weeks, and Hours tell a story of intense love at the level of near obsession. Lights On marks the beginning of this relationship. The relationship with her lover has gone to the point where she’ll “turn on the lights” in the relationship revealing less flattering aspects of each other’s personalities. At its core, it’s just an incredibly catchy, sensual, and intimate track, but within the context of the rest of album it does somewhat foreshadow many of the struggles Twigs deals with as a person in terms of her own self-esteem and alluding to the fact that she has a side that she hopes people don’t see. Two Weeks and Hours are tracks that both explore love within the relationship, but they are somewhat dichotomous. Two Weeks is a confident extravagantly produced song where her focus is getting someone to fall in love with her in two weeks. It’s forceful and confident, but that is in contrast to a much more submissive track with darker and more minimal production on Hours.
Pull out your incisor, give me two weeks you won’t recognize her Mouth open, you’re high
Am I suited to fit all of your needs? Master of all of your needs
These songs coming right after Lights On being so different in tone I think is meant to differentiate the facade of confidence put forth by Twigs early in the relationship (on Two Weeks) and her submissive side (Hours) which had been alluded to on Lights on. The submissive side of Hours makes up the core of the album’s narrative. Throughout the second act within the album we begin to see that side of Twigs primarily. Focusing largely on her lack of confidence and the negative effects it has for her goals in life as well as her newfound love. After Hours we begin an era of anxiety within both the relationship with her lover and herself. Pendulum, Video Girl, and Numbers speak on Twigs’s deepest insecurities. Pendulum and Numbers speaking directly to this feeling of never being good enough for the one she loves. Carrying with her anxiety over isolation and a longing for affection within the relationship that seems to no longer exist. Throughout the track Pendulum there’s a constant banging sample that plays intermittently throughout adding to the anxiety like a robot malfunctioning. Her anxiety and lack of self-confidence is breaking her, and that continues even outside of the relationship this album has spent so much time on. Video Girl gives us a peek of life outside of the relationship. Her struggles with being recognized for her musical ability and being typecast as the “video girl” referring to her previous work as a backup dancer in music videos.
The camera loves you, ain’t that enough you’re craving for the whole universe So nothing’s gonna get in your way You’re gonna get yourself broke one day
This in many ways this mirrors what we have already discussed in her background and dealing with her time spent in college. Being seen as nothing more than a background dancer is a running theme throughout much of her life. A constant struggle with herself and society; longing to reach new heights as those around her ask her to be complacent. Being told both by herself and those around her that she isn’t good enough. Closer marks the beginning of the 3rd act and is an important moment on LP1 and the growth of Twigs as a character on the album. The production begins to smooth out with slower, more airy production that continues throughout the last few tracks of the album. The change in production marks a shift within Twigs as a character. A moment of revelation where she begins to recognize that her low esteem led her to push away those she loved. It moves away from its prior dark, depressive, and anxiety fueled lyricism seen through the middle of the album for one resembling a choral arrangement with lyricism focused on honesty and freeing oneself from unnecessary negative feelings.
I’ll return i’ll live my life Forever loving you
This and the next track Give Up exist as a moment of clarity where she begins to realize that she’s in control of her own life, and whether it be relationships or her career as a musician she can take the initiative to live the life she wants. This confidence continues onto the closing track Kicks. While she continues to love her lover she no longer feels bound in the same way she previously had.
When I’m alone I don’t need you I love my touch Know just what to do
Obviously this is a not so subtle allusion to masturbation, but it’s existence in the track and specifically the closing track is an important one. She still cares for her lover, but Twigs has more importantly begun to love herself. It’s an excellent conclusion to the narrative put forth by Twigs throughout LP1 and her growth as a character leaves an immense feeling of satisfaction during a listen. Very few artists are able to write in the same compelling and relatable way Twigs does. While much of the review so far has had a majority focus on the themes presented by Twigs it would be a disservice to not recognize the stellar production throughout. Twigs previous work on EP1 and EP2 although incredibly well done lacked a level of experimentation and pure polish on display throughout LP1. Twigs produces/co-produces 7/10 tracks on LP1 along with help from Dev Hines, Arca, Sampha, Clams Casino and others. The diverse cast of producers leads to each song having its own take on the glitchy sound. Whether it be quite distorted background vocals adding to the anxious feeling throughout many of the early tracks or what sounds like wind on the track Give Up, each track’s production feels incredibly rich and leads to LP1 never feeling stale. A truly unique sonic experience that no other album in art-pop has ever truly matched. Although not without her influences like Björk, Aaliyah, and Kate Bush, Twigs is able to masterfully build upon those influences to make a sound all her own. LP1 is a truly special album from one of modern music’s most interesting minds. Like the all time great art-pop artists that came before her with the work of collaborators she’s able to elevate her past work into something above and beyond what had been done prior. Building upon the raw and sensitive topics of her previous work and crafting a story that is as relatable as it is satisfying. One that explores the depths of insecurity and uses it as a way to express the feelings of relief when one is able to strip away self-doubt and use confidence as a stepping stone for success. This coupled with some truly stunning production that helps differentiate herself from any other singer songwriter making music that has not only aged incredibly well over the last 6 years, but will continue to do so far into the future. Favorite Lyrics:
How does it feel to have me thinking about you? Wishing my words were enough to consume you
Break or seize me If the flame gets blown out and you shine I will know that you can not be mine Live or leave me
Tell me why I act this way Tell me that I’ll change some day I’ll be the one that can satisfy you If I can rectify the Few things I’ve got to change The few things in my way Ok, so I’ve said it before and I won’t imply that You’re not too close to the fact
What is your favorite Twigs era? [EP1/2 / LP1 / M3LL155X / Magdalene]?
Where do you see Twigs in the current art-pop landscape? How does she compare to artists of the past?
Are there any specific details within the production that you’d pick out as particularly intriguing
Where do you see LP1 fitting within the growing catalog of FKA Twigs?
Which direction do you hope to see her go?
What are your thoughts on LP1 as a whole?
Thanks again to iamdarkridge for the writeup!!! Tomorrow we've got pearlsquared talking about post-punk vets Protomartyr's sophomore record, Under Color of Official Right! Full schedule is down below in the comments
Following his release from prison, Danny Ocean violates his parole by traveling to California to meet his partner-in-crime and friend Rusty Ryan to propose a heist. The two go to Las Vegas to pitch the plan to wealthy friend and former casino owner Reuben Tishkoff. The plan consists of simultaneously robbing the Bellagio, the Mirage, and the MGM Grand casinos. Reuben's familiarity with casino security makes him very reluctant to get involved, but when he starts to think of it as a good way to get back at his rival, Terry Benedict, who owns all three casinos, he agrees to finance the operation. Because the casinos are required by the Nevada Gaming Commission to have enough cash on hand to cover all their patrons' bets, the three predict that on the upcoming night of a highly anticipated boxing match, the Bellagio vault will contain more than $150,000,000. Danny and Rusty recruit eight former colleagues and criminal specialists: Linus Caldwell, a young and talented pickpocket; Frank Catton, a casino worker and con man; Virgil and Turk Malloy, a pair of gifted mechanics; Livingston Dell, an electronics and surveillance expert; Basher Tarr, an explosives expert; Saul Bloom, an elderly con man; and "The Amazing" Yen, an accomplished acrobat. Several team members carry out reconnaissance at the Bellagio to learn as much as possible about the security, the routines, the behaviors of the casino staff, and the building itself. Other members create a precise replica of the vault with which to practice maneuvering through its formidable security systems. During this planning phase, the team discovers that Danny's ex-wife, Tess, is Benedict's girlfriend. Rusty urges Danny to give up on the plan, believing Danny incapable of sound judgment while Tess is involved, but Danny refuses. On the night of the fight, the plan is put into motion. Danny shows up at the Bellagio purposely to be seen by Benedict, who, as predicted, locks him in a storeroom with Bruiser, a bouncer. However, Bruiser is on Danny's payroll and allows him to access the vent system and join his team as they seize the vault, coincident with activities of their other team members in and around the casino. Rusty calls Benedict on a cell phone Danny dropped in Tess's coat earlier and tells him that unless he lets them have half of the money in the vault, they will blow it up; Benedict sees video footage confirming Rusty's claim. Benedict complies, having his bodyguards take the loaded duffel bags to a waiting van driven by remote control. Benedict has his men follow the van while he calls in a SWAT team to try to secure the vault. The SWAT team's arrival causes a shootout that sets off the explosives and incinerates the remaining cash. After affirming the premises otherwise secure, the SWAT team collects their gear and departs. As Benedict arrives to examine the ruined vault himself, his men stop the van and find the bags were only loaded with flyers for prostitutes. Benedict studies the video footage and recognizes that the flooring in the vault on the video lacks the Bellagio logo, which had been added only recently to the vault. It is shown that Danny's team used their practice vault to create fake footage to fool Benedict. Furthermore, they themselves were the SWAT team and used their gear bags to take all of the money from the vault right under Benedict's nose. Benedict goes to see that Danny has seemingly been locked up in the storeroom throughout the heist and thus innocent of any crime. As Tess watches via CCTV, Danny tricks Benedict into saying he would give her up in exchange for the money. Benedict, unsatisfied with Danny's plan to get back the money, orders his men to escort Danny off the premises and inform the police that he is violating his parole by being in Las Vegas. Tess leaves Benedict and exits the hotel just in time to see Danny arrested. The rest of the team bask in the victory in front of the Fountains of the Bellagio, silently going their separate ways one-by-one. When Danny is released after serving time for his parole violation, he is met by Rusty and Tess. They drive off, closely followed by Benedict's bodyguards.
Two Views of Survey Data: The Modal Motte User | A Ranking of Everything, From Scott Alexander to Stalin
A few survey results are still trickling in (you can still take it if you'd like; I've yet to formally close it and upload the csv file), but it's reached about 1/10 of the subreddit subscribers at this point, which should be more than enough to begin to draw some conclusions and have some fun with the data. To begin the process of analysis, here are two of the simpler ways to look at it: A Ranking of Everything On the survey, I included an interminably long set of questions inviting everyone to rank a wide range of people and topics on a five-point scale as compared to others in similar positions. Now that I have that data, I thought it best to blatantly misuse it to compare the incomparable. If you've ever wanted to know whether the Motte prefers the furry fandom or an increased military budget, or what it would choose between gay rights and the Wall Street Journal, here's your chance. Presenting: A Ranking of Everything, From Scott Alexander to Stalin. The other half of this post is a more straightforward reading of the data, a view of exactly the sort of person this place attracts: The Modal Motte User The modal Motte user is a 29-year-old, right-handed straight white man with a Bachelor's degree, a US citizen who lives in California. He has finished his formal education and now earns around $65000 a year, though his net worth remains under $10000. He is single with no kids for now, but he plans on having 2 kids eventually. He is not affiliated with any political party. He was raised Catholic, but now considers himself an atheistic humanist. He considers himself a capitalist, a libertarian, and a classical liberal. He got 800s in both SAT-math and SAT-verbal, but despite this scored only a 1500 overall. He scored a 33 on his ACT. Per the MBTI, he's on the border between INTJ and INTP, which breaks out more clearly in the OCEAN model with very high openness to experience, average agreeableness and conscientiousness, slightly below average extraversion, and low negative emotionality. He's worn glasses since childhood, had a hundred books or so in his childhood home, and mostly read for pleasure as a kid, though he also enjoyed video games, TV, and playing outside. He went to public school, but didn't like it. Now, he spends 8-12 hours in front of a screen daily, reads hours of longform text each day, and generally also watches videos and plays games. He sleeps about seven and a half hours nightly, and has not had the pleasure of a lucid dream. He lives in a city, but hasn't yet been convinced of the joys of living in a cyberpunk dystopia and prefers outdoor activities to city ones. He is convinced the dress is blue and black and the voice says Laurel. He used to be a Star Wars fan but has never liked Marvel or Game of Thrones. He's been known to watch anime on occasion. He has never been to a Renaissance Faire, a Comic-Con, or a video game tournament, and has no desire to do so. He's also not a committed enough anthropologist to attend a furry convention. Catcher in the Rye is his least favorite book. He cooperates in prisoner's dilemmas, would offer a stranger a fair split of found money, and would take the stranger up on their offer even with an unfair split. He's oddly reluctant to participate in the Stanford Prison Experiment. At least he knows how much a pile of cucumbers weighs, though. He thinks it's only acceptable to shoot a stranger who's broken into his house if they pose a clear threat to his life or those of his loved ones, thinks cannibalistic shipwrecked sailors are immoral but should not be punished, and might gossip depending on circumstances. According to him, "racecar" is a good palindrome, though when it comes to pangrams he's more partial to sphinxes of black quartz, and he turns towards Rudyard Kipling for good poetry. In 2016, he voted for Hillary Clinton, and in 2020 he plans to vote for Joe Biden, though if he were in the UK he would support Boris Johnson. He believes his country should not increase immigration rate, but should move towards freer trade. He thinks the current abortion laws are more-or-less reasonable and his country should consider moving towards single-payer healthcare, though he's not adamant about it. He hopes to avoid stricter regulation on tech companies and budget increases for the military or education, strongly opposes gun control, wants looser IP laws, and hopes to see fewer legal restrictions on drug use. He believes we have done enough for gay rights at this point and strongly believes we do not need to do more for trans rights. He is ambivalent about a need to support religious freedom. He sees a need for aggressive action against climate change, supports further investment in public transport, and is generally in favor of higher taxes on the wealthy. He's cautiously against a universal basic income, is ambivalent about the need for a more comprehensive safety net, and would like to see the government shrink. As far as personal beliefs goes, he thinks people should perhaps eat less meat, but sees no ethical issue with consuming animal products. He has moral qualms about late-term abortion, but not most drug use. He believes strongly that socialization is not the primary cause of differences between men and women and that there is no need for greater gender balance in STEM professions, also holding with a bit less certainty that we should not aim for greater gender balance among schoolteachers. He believes that prejudice against Christians, women, men, and minorities are not serious problems in the US today, though he's less confident about the later groups on the list. He is extremely confident IQ tests measure something real and important and confident that intelligence differs between ethnic groups, though is uncertain whether they are primarily genetic in origin. He does not believe we should limit immigration from countries with low average IQ. He is weakly confident that sex and gender are distinct, and more certain that there are only two genders. He does not consider trans women to be women, but believes you should use someone's preferred pronouns if requested. He is confident gay marriage is morally no different than straight marriage, but believess with equal certainty that a baker should be allowed to refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding. He sees promoting the family unit as important for a healthy society, is conflicted but ultimately weakly against polyamorous relationships, and sees nothing wrong with consensual pornography. He's torn on the morality of casino gambling but ultimately feels it's not a moral concern. He is certain that anthropogenic climate change is occurring, and weakly confident it is a catastrophic problem. He feels strongly that capitalism is the best economic system available and is largely ambivalent on regulation, ultimately weakly opposing it. He is skeptical of centralized government and ambivalent about religion, seeing it as a weak force for good. He thinks human genetic engineering is a good idea and rejects the idea that people in developed countries should have fewer children, but agrees that people in developing countries should do so. He sees a problem with consumerism in our society, believes modern architecture is worse than traditional architecture and modern art is worse than traditional art, and thinks the West is in decline. He believes we are no more or less moral now than at any point in history, but is certain we are better off than ever before, and thinks humanity's future is bright. He hates Donald Trump, dislikes Mike Pence, and is largely ambivalent but weakly against Mitt Romney and Joe Biden. He likes neither Mitch McConnell or Nancy Pelosi, hates Elizabeth Warren, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Hillary Clinton, and is torn on Bernie Sanders but leans towards dislike. He likes Andrew Yang quite a bit and sort of likes Tulsi Gabbard. As far as past presidents go, he likes Obama but not Bush, is ambivalent about Clinton, Bush the Elder, and Reagan, dislikes Nixon, doesn't care about Lyndon B Johnson, is torn but ultimately favorable towards FDR, is ambivalent about Herbert Hoover, likes Theodore Roosevelt, loves Abraham Lincoln, hates Andrew Jackson, likes Thomas Jefferson, and would march into battle for George Washington. What about world figures? He's ambivalent about Boris Johnson but quite likes that Cummings chap who advises him, strongly dislikes Jeremy Corbyn, is ambivalent but weakly against Macron, ambivalent towards Merkel, against Netanyahu and Modi (though he doesn't know much about the latter), and is aggressively against Putin, Xi Jin Ping, Nicolas Maduro, and particularly Kim Jong Un. He carelessly has no opinion yet on Tsai Ing-Wen. Rather predictably, he unconditionally hates Stalin, Hitler, bin Laden, and Mao. He likes Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill, loves Lee Kuan Yew but hasn't yet learned just how great he is, is ambivalent but weakly positive towards Thatcher and weakly negative towards Blair. The only cultural commentator he really likes is Scott Alexander, but he's also favorably inclined towards Bryan Caplan, Paul Graham, Eliezer Yudkowsky, and Freddie deBoer--if he thinks about them at all. He kinda likes Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson, and Sam Harris, but doesn't feel strongly. He doesn't really like Ben Shapiro, can't stand Richard Spencer or Alex Jones, mostly dislikes Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart, and likes Hitchens. Many other figures labor in obscurity even in this obscure corner. Those who know about Moldbug are torn on him but weakly favorable, the fewer who know about Bronze Age Pervert are largely against him, and Steve Sailer gets weak positive ratings and a lot of uncertainty. He's not too keen on Contrapoints or Tucker Carlson, and doesn't like Steven Crowder assuming he thinks about him at all. If he's heard of Nick Fuentes, he can't stand him. News organizations don't fare much better. He only really likes FiveThirtyEight, The Economist, and the Wall Street Journal, and he'll give a weakly favorable shrug to The Atlantic. He's not keen on the NYTimes, Washington Post, The Guardian, or The Intercept (if he cares at all about it). Everything else, he can't stand: CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Vox, Breitbart, Jacobin, Chapo Trap House, The Young Turks. He doesn't often think about Drudge Report, OANN, or BreadTube, but he hates the lot. And what of movements? He dislikes Black Lives Matter, the trans rights movement, gender-critical feminism, gun control, the pro-life movement, the furry fandom, and open borders. He can't stand intersectional feminism, white identitarianism, antinatalism, or social justice. He is ambivalent about animal rights and ambivalent leaning towards positive about the gay rights movement, second-wave feminism, and the pro-choice movement. He kind of likes the religious freedom movement and likes gun rights. He strongly supports Effective Altruism and would march in Hong Kong with the protesters there if he could. He's participated in the Motte since the days of the SSC Culture War Thread, at least three years now, and thinks it's stayed pretty much the same since then. He sees himself as rationalist-adjacent though wouldn't personally identify as one, likes and regularly reads Slate Star Codex, and comments on the Motte occasionally. He's never been warned or banned, but then again, he doesn't often comment. He thinks the rules are neither overly permissive or strict, sees them as generally clear, effective, and consistent, and doesn't see a left or right bias in moderation (...well, he says, maybe a tiny leftward bias). Meanwhile, he sees the culture as friendly and ideologically diverse (if right-biased), and thinks it provides accurate information, but sees it as a bit repetitive. He mixes zontargs and zortlax up even though zontargs has since left for greener pastures. Alarmingly, he has not yet stopped beating his wife.
[OG+REMAKE SPOILERS] In remake chapter 12, how did AVALANCHE...
In both versions of FF7, how did AVALANCHE know that Shinra was planning to drop the plate on the Sector 7 slums? Cloud, Tifa and Aerith all find out about Shinra’s plans from Don Corneo and rush back to Sector 7 in case it is true. When they arrive they find that Barret and AVALANCHE are already on the pillar, engaged in a fight with Shinra soldiers. How did AVALANCHE know that Shinra was planning to drop the plate? Surely the Turks could have flown their helicopter to the top without anyone knowing and engaged the disconnection sequence without anybody noticing. This is a plot point I always wondered about in the original that could have been addressed in the remake, but as far as I can tell it wasn’t. I don’t really consider this to be a plot hole since there’s plenty of possible explanations, but I feel that leaving it unexplained cheapens the significance of the Don Corneo section of the game. If Barret was able to figure out Shinra’s plan on his own, then the Don Corneo section basically becomes irrelevant filler (reminds me a bit of the casino planet plot from Star Wars episode 8). It is worth noting however, that later on the remake says that Don Corneo is in hiding because Shinra blames him for AVALANCHE’s success in saving the residents of Sector 7, so maybe it really wasn’t all for nothing. In Advent Children Cloud owns a mobile phone, so I suppose it is possible that Cloud and friends could have called Barret to warn him. Alternatively, maybe Shinra purposefully kicked up a battle with AVALANCHE on the pillar in order to frame them for dropping it. What do you guys think?
In the beginning of Oceans 11 (2001) Rusty tells Danny they will need "a Boesky, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros and a Leon Spinks, not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever!" These are references to old cons from the 20th century and Rusty just gave away how they will rob the casino.
A Boesky: Saul playing Lyman Zerga. This is a reference to Ivan Boesky, a big-time trader on Wall Street who got caught committing securities fraud. The con is about a wealthy bankroller who has insider information. A Jim Brown: the confrontation between Frank Catton and Linus Caldwell, staged to distract Terry Benedict so that Linus can lift the security codes to the vault. Named for the famous American football player A Miss Daisy: references the SWAT truck our con men used as their getaway car. 'driving miss daisy' is a movie about a woman who has to get a chauffeur to drive her around. under the guise of the SWAT truck, Danny, Rusty and the gang can escape without a hitch. Two Jethros: refers to the Malloy brothers, Turk and Virgil. The two jethros are the 'hillbilly, gear-headed types" who are hired to look after miss daisy. In the movie, they provide general two-man work like the distraction they pull with the balloons covering the security camera on the casino floor so Livingston can get into the video surveillance room. Leon Spinks: the distraction in the form of disrupting the boxing match. there was this episode of NCIS once where the director went home to Chicago to investigate the death of his boxer friend. in the episode, they mentioned this boxing match where Leon Spinks beat Muhammad Ali, and it was a total upset that no one expected. no one expected the power to go out in the middle of the match in the movie, either, and it created absolute chaos, which was great for our con artists. Ella Fitzgerald: the idea to loop a tape of a robbery over Benedict's security system, a robbery which had actually been staged the previous night as a distraction while the real robbery takes place. it comes from a commercial for memorex i saw in my ad production class the other week where a recording of Ella Fitzgerald's voice breaks a glass, then the voice over says, "is it live or is it memorex?" the concept is that Benedict doesn't know if the robbery he's seeing is the robbery that's actually happening. Source: Quora https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-names-and-meanings-of-all-the-cons-in-the-Oceans-movie-trilogy
The Ending(my opinion on what really happened on the last two mins of darkness)
Hello everyone I know SUPPER late on this show but just wanted to point out I initially post this on a comment on a reddit post but I decided to post it instead.. I remember seeing my parents watch this show when it was still running.. never caught my attention but I love mob films (Casino, Goodfellas, a Bronx Tale). I was pleased to to see numerous actors in those movie come out in this show. Ill have to admit best show I've ever seen. Its the kind of show you just can't explain to a friend you just have to say " dude just watch it then we'll talk". I started this show a week ago today.. I know I know what can I say it really caught me. But the reason I'm here today was to talk about the ending and what I noticed about subtle clues dropped throughout the seasons. The big question.. Is Tony Dead? I personally don't want to believe it but the clues are there. I've always been fond with analyzing a scene and what struck me the second Tony took off his black leather jacket was the same shirt he had on when Uncle Junior shot him. Not the exact one of course it would have blood and a giant tear assuming once he got to the hospital they cut it open to stop the bleeding and such but its the same shirt. Also how the camera made us look at very single person in the room expect the people next to them but it began to suggest anyone of these people could be packing heat expect the little leaguers and their coach. AJ quoted his dad about "enjoying the good things" although Tony didn't say like that he said “Someday soon, you're gonna have families of your own and if you're lucky, you'll remember the little moments like this, that were good.” This leads us to believe that nothing bad is going to happen.. at least for me it made me contradict what the shirt Tony had on meant when I first saw the finale. but I feel the misquote from AJ didn't exactly have anything to do with what lead up to Tonys demise but the show has always had superstitions about small things like with the Cat staring at " Chirstophurr''s portrait and Paulie not liking the cat cause "in the Old Country the oldtimers thought a cat would suck the air off babies". David Chase used music creatively, effectively, and somewhat ironically all throughout the show. So, my theories, using Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”: He’s ALIVE: The title of the song. Believe that everything is okay. It was just another night out to dinner with the family. Believe that some way or another, this family will muddle through the dysfunction and make it out okay. He’s ALIVE: The lyrics “Payin’ anything to roll the dice, just one more time” . Tony’s cheated death before, and he will again. He’s ALIVE: The lyrics “Oh, the movie never ends, it goes on and on and on and on ...”. Life - and life in the mafia - is going to go on for Tony and family as usual. He’s DEAD: The lyrics “Hiding somewhere in the night”. Tony’s assassin, though not hiding exactly, is blending in with the other diner patrons. He’s DEAD: The final “Don’t STOP” falls just as the screen fades to black. In fact, you hear the “STOP!” and then darkness. Life has stopped for Tony, and possibly Carm, Meadow, and A.J., too. And Bobby Bacala(My favorite Character GodRestHisSoul), reflecting on what death might be like told Tony, "At the end, you probably don't hear anything, everything just goes black." This is sorta supported when Sil is having dinner with some guy Im not sure who exactly it was but he was assassinated in front of him and Sil isn't looking towards him then it happens but he doesn't hear the initial shot its just ringing and first notices the blood spattered on his face until he turns and the hitman and the following shots.. But what really made me think was the position of where the shot would've came from..the fatalshot that would take down our beloved mod boss. This is something that was dropped since season 2, I believe, but what Juniors top guy ,Mikey Palmice, said to Christophers "trip to hell" when he was shot by his wannabe followers you know the two guys that wanted to show they have balls by killing a top guy. his3 o' clock..his right side where the guy in the members only shirt walked towards the restroom. I feel like It’s an homage to Tony’s favorite scene in Godfather I. Michael goes to the bathroom to retrieve the gun planted behind the toilet tank. He goes out and shoots Sollozzo (The Turk) and McCluskey. but this is what I've been able to came up with today I just finished it 5 hours ago Ill add more specs if I notice more but I hope you can agree although truly I wouldn't want you too cause it'll make Tonys death seem much more plausible.. Thank you for hearing me out and Godspeed.
I had a family of them spend an awful lot of time and effort trying to recruit me when I was younger, cos while still drunk from the night before, I answered the door to them and discussed scripture for a bit. They sent me Bible study guides, invited me over for dinner, all sorts. Shit was fucking weird, took me a while to twig what was going on and find polite ways to disengage with them.
I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. I bought into everything they said hook, line and sinker for the first 25 years of my life. After a while, they were teaching me things that just weren't adding up. At first, I kind of shrugged it off but, over the years, things started to become a little much. Then they started introducing go-bags. Sort of a bag of essentials for when the end of the world comes. They wanted us to have enough supplies to last several weeks so we could escape civilization and live off the land. I honestly thought they were playing a prank on us and it would be revealed as a hidden camera joke. Nope...they were serious. I decided that day that being a JW was not going to be in my long-term plans in life. No fucking way was I going to be a doomsday prepper. Peace out!!!
Raised a JW as well until my parent got kicked out for a third time when I was a teenager. One of my parents is still in it and high ranking. The irony is how seriously the currently active JWs are taking the current state of things in the world because they believe it was all prophesied in the bible, its all currently coming true in their lifetimes, Armageddon and paradise on earth is juuuuust around the corner. You know, the same claim they've been claiming for the past hundred plus years. *super deep eye roll*
Yeah I was a true believer having been raised in it. Similar thing happened where as I matured and started to reflect I found things didn't add up and found myself disagreeing with a lot of teachings. I also was struggling believe in God because I never felt his presence in my life; just coincidence. By then though, the cost of leaving was unbearable so I tried to pretend but it was short lived. The cover up of CSA was overwhelming so I stopped going. I was even accused of being under demonic influence for questioning things! The difference between a religion and cult is what happens when you try to leave. I'd say JW's stripping away your family and community and tarnishing your reputation makes it fall into Cult category amongst other things.
Raised as Jehovah’s Witness and was disfellowshipped at 26. 30 years have passed and it still affects me it has made such a mess of my life. My parents cut me off at 25 when I was disfellowshipped along with all of my “friends” as they were all JW’s. I don’t have anything at all from my childhood it’s like I never had a childhood. Though married and settled now it still affects me mentally and the way I am in so many ways and on many days. I still have nightmares of dying at Armageddon and Covid has made it even worse. Imagine your parents cutting you off and never wanting to see you unless you returned and got gods forgiveness. One of them is dead now whom managed to see 3 times in 25 years by intimating I was interested in getting forgiveness. The other is alive and I see her occasionally but honestly it is out of a sense of duty as she is elderly as she is still a JW and if my Dad was still alive she would still be refusing to see me. The whole religion is sick and twisted. I loathe, hate and despise every last thing about that religion. I wish I could sue them for every last penny they have for the mental scars they have left deep inside me. I will never forgive them for what they did to me and my relationship with my parents or to my mental health.
Actually, not all people who leave are shunned. Of all the people I know that have left, only one is shunned by their family. My experience may be anecdotal, but I'd say it's the exception rather than the rule. I'm actually very close with my family. I was actually very scared of my familiy's reaction to my leaving. I probably would have left five year's earlier. I simply reached a point where I was living a lie by pretending I believed in their teachings. I disagreed far more than I agreed. I actually drove to the Kingdom Hall one Sunday and contemplated my life. I sat in the parking lot for about ten minutes and watched people go inside. I couldn't think of one reason to go inside that didn't involve what other people think. So I turned around and went home and never looked back. I told my mom several weeks later that I was done. If she didn't want to talk to me, that was fine by me. She actually took it well. She asked me a few follow up questions and that was basically it.
In 1998 I got involved (in a very light manner) with a cult. That was a time where I was living in UK and I was feeling very lonely. I was working in Kingston as a developer, just by the river and I loved the job. But I was so alone and without any help from anyone at that point in time (I had just broke up with my fiance too), that naturally, I needed to find comfort and friendship. I don’t remember how I met that young Polish woman, but I think she approached me in the train on the way to work. We talked about some things and then she asked me if I was a Christian etc etc. To make the long story short she explained to me that she was a member of the International Church of Christ (ICC) and she asked me if I would like to go to Church with her on Sunday or to do Bible study together. While I was frequenting Catholic, Orthodox and ‘Church of England’ masses when I felt like doing so, I knew that the ICC was a cult of sorts, so I told her “why don’t we start with Bible study in our lunch breaks, and then we will see if I will come to your church”. And so we did a few times. Basically, they use the same Bible as other Christians do, but they are all about discipline and following the word of the Bible to the letter. So even if Christ or St Paul might have used allegory or being sarcastic (or even funny) about something, they would take the meaning literally. They were black and white in their belief and I also really disliked their “requirement” of giving 10% of your annual income to their “Church”. Despite this, I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and follow her in their church once, somewhere in the south-east of London. The mass was pretty nice, there was lots of singing and socializing. The people there all felt to me as being genuinely good people. Nothing really abnormal in them or even in the way the mass was performed. But when the time for getting the communion came (a sort of dry bread IIRC), the basket that was passed around fell off my hands! Of course, I felt really silly and bad about this, but on the other hand, I took this as a sign. In the Orthodox church, which is how I grew up, spitting out the communion or dropping it, is a major offense. IF God exists and wanted to give me a pointer as if I should have joined ICC or not, he would have chosen exactly this: me, throwing down the communion, even if it was by mistake, because he would know that I would react on this. Despite this again, and of course, with the untiring effort of my friend to get me in their cult, I agreed to visit a house in South London with her to do Bible study with some other ICC members. It was me, her and two more women present in the house, and for about 30 minutes we read the Bible. So far, so good. Then, one of the women there suggested to… baptize me. Of course, I was already baptized in an Orthodox church, but ICC claims that baptism from any other church does not count, because it had happened without the consent of the follower in that early age. They also claim that you can be baptized by any other Christian, not just by a priest. This actually does makes sense, because this is how the first Christians in the 1st and 2nd century A.D. were doing it too (ICC tries to recreate the first Christian life up to a point). But I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do that. Getting “baptized” by them, it would mean that I would become one of them. I needed time to think… I asked if there was a bathroom around. I visited the bathroom, and guess what: my period had just arrive. And while I have a very steady cycle of period throughout my adult life (28 days), this period has arrived just within 15 days of my previous one! And this is another major pointer for me, because again, according to the Orthodox Church you can’t be baptized, or get communion, or kiss the pictures of the saints if you have your period. Sure, it can all be a coincidence, and it could all be my own subconscious ordering my body to do things it wouldn’t normally do because of my underlying objection to cults. But no matter if it was all a coincidence, or my subconscious or God himself, I didn’t need another pointer. I did not get “baptized” by the ICC members and I never went to their mass again. Of course, the Polish friend did not stop trying to get me back (aka “bothering me”)… I decided to give her faith one more chance, but this time I was the one who was doing the preaching. One Sunday afternoon that we met up I told her a little story and asked her opinion on it. The story was a 300-year old Greek story about Saint Cosmas o Aitolos (aka ‘Cosmas the Aetolian’). During that time the Greeks were under Turkish occupation. St Cosmas was living in a mountain, in his monastery and he had the respect of both the Turks and the Greeks for known to be being a wise man. One night, a man knocked on his door and he said “Father Cosmas, please hide me! The Turks are after me, I committed a crime in the village at the planes… I killed a man tonight”. Cosmas replied “who did you kill?” and the man replied with a name. True enough, a few minutes later the Turks were banging on the door of St Cosmas. Cosmas hid the killer, and the Turks didn’t even bother to look at the monastery, as they were trusting the monk with his word because of his good reputation. Then, I asked my Polish friend what did she think about what Cosmas did. And she replied that what he did was wrong to give refuge to a killer and that according to the Bible he should have given him to the authorities. Then I told her the remaining part of the story: the man that was killed was Saint Cosmas brother, and yet, the monk forgave the killer in an act of immense love and care. She replied that this is not what the Bible says that we should do. That was the last straw, I politely told her that I don’t want to see her again. Through this parable and her reaction it was obvious to me that these people are making “dry readings” of the Bible and they don’t even understand the most basic Christian values: love and forgiveness. For the record, I'm an atheist these days.
They “expressed concern” that I was dating a non member, then told me to stop a bible study I was hosting at my house because I wasn’t “fully trained” yet, and might take away people from coming to the church sanctioned studies. I’m an atheist now.
I was a child and this was in 2001. I have HEARD that some of the blood rules changed but I don't know. The facts I have are from the adults involved including my dad and my moms sister (who is STILL a JW of course). She planned to have surgery so the elders gave her a blood transfusion refusal card to keep in case she was incapacitated and something happened. Something went wrong. My dad respected her wishes and the cult and made the decision she would have wanted. She died. Technically it was her choice, but again, CULT. She was disfellowshipped after she had my older brother because he was an accident, no marriage. She lived in Hawaii which was and still is VERY expensive. Her entire family cut her off and she had no one. My older brother got sick around the time she was dating my dad casually. He was in the military so he claimed my brother as his own for the medical care. Then I popped up so they got married. All was well until her mom got sick and she found out incidentally. She went to visit and got wrapped back into everything. I was in prek when she joined again so it was all I knew. My dad never joined which made it easier for me to leave. I found out about the RAMPANT sex abuse and payoffs after I joined reddit. Thats when I started doing more research and everything I found disgusted me. They dont want woment to work outside the home or have a higher education. That type of system clearly leads to abuse because the women have no way to take care of themselves if they leave. There are ACTUAL publications that have testimonials from women who were BEATEN by their husbands and encouraged to stay. Eventually, these abusive monsters ALL become JWs and that makes it okay. I'm still broken behind those people. Fuck every last one of them.
Ummm...geez, I don't really remember. It was five years ago. I think it was something along the lines of what I believe in now and where I'll turn to for spiritual guidance and fulfillment in life. Something like that.
this would be an amazing AMAIA
Haha, I appreciate your enthusiasm. I don't think my story is terribly unique. There are probably tens of thousands who have completed the fade. If you're interested in similar stories/experiences, you could mosey on over to exjw. There are many people there with similar experiences who would be glad to share their stories and answer any questions you may have.
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