Casino Slots 7 Fondant Cookie Cutter and Stamp #1491 eBay

Youtubers should be shamed for taking Raid: Shadow Legends sponsorships.

The game's a literal virtual casino, cookie cutter game with little to no gameplay. A so called gotcha game made to get kids addicted. Made by a company that normally sells slot machines.
No matter how desperate you are for money, any sponsor other than raid is better.
submitted by KaaZ_The_white_cat to unpopularopinion [link] [comments]

Do you really like your beer, or are you just a victim of Capitalist Propaganda? How you can learn how the free market works while you guzzle some suds, and how beer can help you to understand the vast conspiracy that is slowly degrading America.

TL;DR - I use the craft beer industry as a way to understand Capitalist Propaganda, how Capitalism and Socialism are inextricably linked to each other, and how through the use of propaganda, companies use the "illusion of choice" to coerce you into believing that you prefer the products that are most favorable to them. In order to change this into the consumer's favor, you need to be an informed consumer in the free market, and raise class consciousness to overthrow the tyranny of Capitalist Propaganda, that is called "Marketing".
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You can't understand Capitalist Propaganda unless you have a solid understanding of what Capitalism is beyond the literal definition of the word, which is just an abstract ideal. Propaganda plays off of the discrepancies between the ideals of Capitalism, like the free market, which is another abstract ideal, and the reality of Capitalism in practice in America, which can be characterized as Trickle Down Economics. Capitalism sought to be a pragmatic alternative to its economic predecessors, a fact which drives Capitalist Propaganda. However, through layers of abstraction throughout the years, it has become more of a religion, as critics refer to the increasingly ideological concept as "Supply Side Jesus", meaning you give all the money to the rich, it'll trickle down to the poor, and they can "vote" on the actions of the capitalists through monetary interactions in the free market.
Capitalist Propaganda is engrained in America, because at the time of our founding, Adam Smith wrote "Wealth of Nations", which is considered the Bible of the Free Market. This groundbreaking work utilized Newton's Laws of Physics, which were en vogue at the time, to describe how interactions in the marketplace would balance each other out, just as the laws of Newtonian Physics do.
The very noble purpose of Wealth of Nations was not create the oligarchy we have today, but to do the opposite. He wanted to describe a system that would protect individual freedoms and be truly democratic. Just as Lenin and Stalin bastardized the works of Marx, so too have capitalists in America bastardized the intentions of Adam Smith.
Capitalism and Socialism are best learned side by side, in my opinion, to avoid falling into the trappings of either ideology that our brains like to do. Which one is better? It depends on the market, but the answer is almost always somewhere in between.
Through learning how Socialist concepts can be applied to problems in Capitalism, you can cut through the propaganda and will see for yourself that these problems can be solved if we just drop the labels and do what's best for society and the individual. The problem is always finding the proper balance.
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WHAT? CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM ARE JOINED AT THE HIP?
Yep. You can never live in a pure economic system. Purity is always an illusion. If you want something to be pure, you have to put a lot of energy into making it that way. Nature likes to mix stuff up. This is why ideologies around racial purity and fascism always fail. There are people who want a "pure" economic system, but they are usually the people at the top and would only get richer from more purity while the rest of society loses freedom and slowly starves.
In a nutshell, Capitalism promotes laws that benefit those with money, while Socialism promotes a safety net that benefits everyone. Every single human is born into Socialism. As a baby, you need food, someone else works for it and gives it to you, but then at some point, you are expected to exchange labor for capital, and buy your own food. See? The two are forever bound as the yin and yang. You can also grow your own food, but for that you need land, which is capital.
These interactions are very tricky. I only want to tell you enough so that you can start to see Capitalist Propaganda, because right now, you're like a fish in water that can't see water. I often use this line to describe a person who can't see their own homegrown propaganda. The best way I found to study Capitalism is by relating it Socialism, the "air" above the "water" of Capitalism, if that makes sense.
I always find it best to look at a microcosm to understand these concepts. And today, that microcosm is beer.
Mmmm....Beeeeeeeeeerrrrrrr.....
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CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND THE ILLUSION OF CHOICE
Before I poison your mind with my own propaganda, picture you're on vacation and you walk into a bar and want to order a beer. If you really want to understand the power of propaganda in your own life, really think of this before we break this all down. Really think, what makes you decide which beer to order? Do you like to look at the labels on the tap or bottle? That's obvious propaganda. It has absolutely nothing to do with the taste or quality of the beer itself, but sways your opinion toward logos you've seen before, which is why you see so many beer advertisements, which means that money that could've gone into quality is instead going into propaganda, and you're already biased towards an inferior product. Interesting. You really can't help being swayed by marketing, but at least you can be conscious of that fact, and that's important in order to be an informed consumer.
Do you ask the bartender for a recommendation? Why would you do that? You don't know the bartender any better than the beers in front of you. How do you know they aren't paid more to offer you a beer that sucks and is 12 years old and the owner wants to get rid of it? Do you ask for a certain style of beer? Do you ask for a local beer? And once you finally narrow it down to a few choices, do you ask for samples so you can make up your own mind? You should always do this. Then we get into "flavor propaganda", which we'll discuss later. Jeez. Did you every realize there was so much complexity behind being an informed consumer and just ordering a simple beer? Maybe you'll give in and just tell the bartender to pour whatever. Choice is difficult sometimes.
If you really visualize this and take a minute to let this sink in, you'll start to understand how external forces hijack the processor in your mind to manufacture desire through the illusion of choice. However, your health and enjoyment of the beer is not the goal for these external forces, they only want you to purchase. The perfect example is fast food. They know their product sucks, but they know you'll keep buying it, but that doesn't keep them from lying about how delicious it is in their ads. There is far more at play behind the curtain. There is a science behind addicting you to things, this is reinforced by a corporate tax and subsidy system that contorts the free market pushing centralization of production through homogenization and use of chemicals to hide the homogenization, and simply because there is more than one option, they make you feel like you have choice. This, in a nutshell, is how the illusion of choice works in the free market. It's not about what YOU want. The producer manipulates you to think you want what they have. Through this, they deceive Americans into buying products with a list of ingredients that a person would never freely choose to consume. So if you want to order a beer with no shit in it, then you're shit out of luck in America. You could in Germany, but we'll discuss that later.
While you're standing at that bar, you aren't conscious of the fact that your interests are in direct opposition to those of the bar owner's. Capitalists hide this fact with their perfect smiles, but Marx described this in detail. You want the best beer for the cheapest price, and the bar owner wants to sell you the cheapest beer at the highest price you'll pay. It doesn't stop there. The bar owner flips roles in the same situation with the beer distributor, who does the same with maybe another level of distribution, and continues to the brewer, then goes to the brewer versus supplier, supplier to farmer, and even though you'd think it stops there, the farmer has to deal with suppliers of equipment and seeds, and on and on.
Add to this list their auxiliary staff of HR, drivers, managers, brewers, bottle/keg makers, and of course owners, none of them care whether you actually like the beer you're drinking as long as you keep buying more. That's the big driver here.
Did you ever realize that every time you buy a beer, your own capital is partially responsible for creating and sustaining all of these jobs involved? You, my dear beer drinker, are the true job creator. Budweiser can brew all they want, it means nothing without buyers, who are the true engines of capitalism. Instead, you're treated as a rube by suits in a boardroom somewhere.
Capitalist Propaganda tells us the billionaires are job creators, but this is a lie. Jeff Bezos can't drink enough beer to sustain all these jobs. So why do we let him hoard all the money? Wouldn't the economy do better if we spread out Jeff's money so more people could buy more beers and more jobs would be created? According to Socialist Economics, yes. That's actually, quite simply, a Socialist Free Market. Did you even know that existed? The power hungry greedy people who are too lazy for manual labor go to such great lengths to make sure you don't learn it. They want you to think that only Capitalism allows you choice in the market. I'm sure you can guess why they say that.
Capitalism maintains itself by exulting the wealthy who use their economic power to punch down. The only way this system won't fall into fascism and fail is if the consumers start to punch back. Where Marx envisioned the Dictatorship of the Proletariat as they usurped power from the Bourgeoisie, a modern alternative is just teaching people to understand the system we live in, so that we can just start making changes in the way we live and to whom we give our money.
See that? Capitalism and Socialism can get along nicely, so long as the consumers are informed.
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CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE ALIENATION OF LABOR CAUSING LONELINESS IN SOCIETY
What I described within the previous section is what Marx called "Alienation of Labor". Each step in the process of making your beer is isolated from the others, so no one feels ownership over the end product or a true connection to the consumer, or job creator. Even the bartender selling it is alienated from the profit of their labor in serving the beer, so they only focus on the service aspect of giving you the beer, because that is where they earn their tip. They can't really fix anything about a shitty beer other than to offer you a different brand. The capitalist owner is usually not there. Their only interaction is setting the rules for everyone in the bar to follow, and pay themselves more than everyone who has to follow those rules. This is part of the conflict between the classes. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I'm just pointing it out. The bar owner themself has to spend money on propaganda to attract customers that could be spent in other places, so has to find ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, they buy cheaper beer...and this is why you end up with IPAs. No one is connected to the products, so they only look at prices and find the cheapest, passable product. This is the race to the bottom of Capitalism.
Compare this to when brewpubs were a new thing. The brewer would come out and talk to you about the beer, you would give feedback that could effect future batches and it connected everyone to each other through commerce. It makes business "social" and I think nearly everyone enjoys that, but it is losing out in competition with chain breweries that enforce isolation and make cookie cutter propaganda and cookie cutter business models so they can turn owners into managers and suck all the profit back their corporate headquarters and offshore accounts. They kill the experience and make everything transactional. And all the kitsch they hang around their cookie cutter chain bar is just to hide the fact that no one in that place cares about anything other than not getting fired. Everyone is effectually alienated from everyone else. It's worth a read to check out this page on Marx's Theory of Alienation.
This alienation is the root of a lot of misery in society. Humans are communal animals forced to live in a society of individuality and alienation. As they mope around, they seek an escape. And that is why advertising is so nefarious. It seeks to manipulate you in that state. Imagine driving home from your alienating job to you empty home, but looking up and see a billboard with bunch of actors laughing and drinking beer. They take pictures that make these actors look like friends. It's just for show. They aren't selling beer to those laughing people in the picture. They're tempting lonely people to drown their sorrows. Capitalist Propaganda is used so your brain doesn't understand what it wants. It wants friends, then sees the words Bud Light. So when the bartenders asks...Make it a Bud Light. Look at how much money they spend to manipulate and capitalize on people's suffering.
Propaganda in Communist countries is controlled by the government, so it's clear who the enemy of your freedom is. Capitalist Propaganda hides behind the layers of complexity of the same economy you rely on to survive, so you never know what's propaganda or where it's coming from. Marketers find every way imaginable to get their disinformation in front of your eyes, even enlisting your friends on Facebook in annoying MLM schemes. Propaganda invaded everything that can be legally monetized. It's in the media, and not just commercials anymore. There's product placement, stories injected into the news, and even movies and social media created an entire industry of "lifestyle propaganda", telling you how to live your life and indulge in overconsumption. It's REALLY hard to get away from Capitalist Propaganda. There is so much money and research behind it and so much depth, even this long post is only barely scratching the surface. I just want to open your eyes to it.
I can't make you see all this. No one can. I can only describe it as best as I can. What you will experience when you understand this is what I call "Economic Enlightenment", similar to what Marx called "Class Consciousness". Once it happened to me, the world looked amazing, and the shitty propagandists selling us false hope all look like clowns in a very odd circus of vanity, despair and mediocrity.
Once I understood this, I saw clearly how we are increasingly trapped in a form of Corporate Slavery, led by seriously ridiculous oligarchs like Mark Zuckerberg, who thinks he's the reincarnation of Augustus Caesar or something. That's why he has that haircut! This is a guy who stole a company and hired "screen psychologists" from Las Vegas to get you hooked on Facebook the same as casinos do with slot machines. He wants to be the funnel for propaganda throughout the world. He wants to be the kingmaker, decide what people buy, who they like, what views they hold. He can only do this because so many companies spend so much money to put their propaganda on that platform. They can only have this much money because the free market is not actually free. It's bought and paid for on platforms like Facebook and Amazon. The money that was supposed to "trickle down" is instead being spent on Capitalist Propaganda on these platforms, to get the proletariate to trickle their money up through endless, nonsensical online purchasing and local businesses who send the town's money to people who can't do anything with it but buy up properties that increase your rent and cost of living.
When people get drunk on the power of propaganda, they forget the lessons of the past. Propagandists always fall prey to their own delusions over time. In reality, your life is better without Facebook. There isn't anything on there that is healthy. Even if you just want to talk to a few friends, you are going to fall for the propaganda there. You can't help it. And if your bar advertises on Facebook, just think, that money could've gone into purchasing higher quality beer then sold at the same price, instead of going to Mark Zuckerberg so he can drop $30 million to buy the houses around him so no one can spy on him while he spies on you. You really gotta watch out for a guy who combines spying and propaganda all into a single app and thinks he's going to bring 200 years of peace to America. History is littered with knuckleheads like that. It's best to get off Facebook and encourage everyone else to do the same. Zuck only wants to lead himself to the Promised Land, and he's using your ignorance to fuel his own delusions by deluding you into thinking you want what he has to offer.
Let's get back to beer.
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IPAs AND THE FREE MARKET VS THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM
I like beer. When I worked in Germany, it was easy to walk into a bar and, like Farva, just order a liter o' beer. Often, there would only be two choices, light color or dark. As a matter of fact, even at the most famous beer festival in the world, Oktoberfest, people mostly drink the same standard type of beer, and no one complains about the lack of choice. It's quite easy. You can order with one finger. No need to see a menu or ask what's in it. It's simply beer. This worked for centuries. Consumers are fine with it. Prost! Have you ever shared a story like this and people say, "Oh, that would never work in America. Americans want choice." Yeah. Because we are flooded with Capitalist Propaganda.
So if consumer choice isn't pushing for a selection, why would a free market call for it? Imagine there are two bars and one of those bars says "30 beers on tap" and the other doesn't. You're more likely to choose it, and the other bar will have to compete in some way, often by copying. This forms trends, and people mistake this for something customers wanted. Trends are always marketing. Don't believe me? What happened to fidget spinners? So now you have a bunch of beers that no one asked for, yet will now demand. Competition creates more Capitalist Propaganda to create demand for something you never even wanted, but makes you think you do. And that's the best propaganda. You think you are thinking for yourself. This is the fallacy of consumer choice.
If you want to understand just how important that last paragraph is, consider this, "consumer choice" is the same propaganda they used to get you to carry around a device that spies on you 24/7 and sends that data to people you don't know, and you can't stop it, can you? You chose that. You wanted it. Not only that, but you paid $1,000 for the device to opt into their spying program, for the privilege of being mind controlled by the propaganda their AI selects for you. Did you read the Terms of Service? As bad as you may have thought Communist Propaganda was, Capitalist Propaganda is far better, and far stealthier. You believe you have freedom of choice. But your only choice is usually take it, or leave it. Oh, you need it for work? Maybe find a different job. Or just succumb to mass surveillance, and next year, you can drop another grand on a device with a marginally better camera.
There is a way to free yourself. You just have to understand the nature of propaganda. It took me a while, but I eventually broke free. Under Socialism, there would be laws against the exploitation of consumers. Capitalist Propaganda tells you that this takes away your freedom. This is a lie. Regulations give you the freedom to not have to worry whether the beer you're drinking has poison in it.
Germany has a lot of regulations on beer. It has the Reinheitsgebot (purity order), a law passed in 1516 that states that beer can only consist of water, hops and barley. Note, this is a different use of the word "purity" from earlier, as beer is itself a mixture of things. Historically there have also been regulations where beer could only be sold regionally, so no matter what part of Germany you were in, you only got a certain brand of beer at the bar, but it didn't matter because they all had the same ingredients. They could make wheat beers or unfiltered, but they were generally variations of pilsners and lagers. One meaning of the word "Lager" in German is "storage", meaning the beer was brewed in a way that it could be stored, allowing them to brew in bigger batches and store it.
Lagers use a more complex brewing process, so only larger breweries would make them, but this worked because of protected territories. America has a similar system, because each state has its own regulations on alcohol, but this is changing as corporate lawyers fight to homogenize the rules favorable to them, but the consumer loses control. Big brands tend to be lagers as they have general appeal to a wide audience. Did you notice this is the second time I pointed out that corporations create homogeneity? Without regulations, corporations create Fascism. That is why I tell people that we already live in the NWO but corporations rule the world instead of governments. Why do you think so few conspiracy theorists make this connection? Propagandists are paid a lot of money to keep even our small community confused about the reality of what's happening. Now, check out conspiracy and you'll see what I mean. They are spreading propaganda for the NWO over there and don't even know it. I tried to point that out and they finally banned me. Oh well. They'll figure it out in their own time.
In America, in 1978 it became legal to brew beer at home. This is what led to the explosion of new beers in the US decades later. Americans don't have purity laws, so could test new recipes. But people didn't generally like IPAs before, so how did they become so popular that they control 30% of the market? Marketing, of course. Create the market and tell people what they want.
IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It was invented by the British as an easy way to make a beer that they could drink in India. People only drank it out of necessity, as the other beers couldn't make the trip. IPAs are very easy to make and very forgiving, because if you mess it up, it already tasted bad anyway. As people started trying to get into microbrews, they often didn't have the capital to make lagers at small scale, and also wanted a simpler process so they didn't have to hire or train expert brewers, IPAs are cheap and easy to make at smaller scale.
In order to make it drinkable, brewers experimented with many different flavorings. This created a cult following of craft IPAs, where people would drive hours to stand in line for hours to try the newest concoction. The trendy nature of the craft beer world kept people training their palate to adapt to the taste of an IPA, making people start to actually like them. The flavorings made people think they were different, so even if they didn't like it, marketing tactics kept people coming back to try the latest blend. Your palate can adapt A LOT. Swedish people love Surströmming, but watch this video of Americans trying it for the first time. They tried to get me to eat it several times, but I would rather sit in a sauna until Tuesday to avoid smelling it while watching them eat it. It really smells that bad.
IPAs enticed people with popular, aromatic ingredients like bananas and pineapple. This is what I call "flavor propaganda". It's not bad in and of itself, but it can be easily misused to cover issues with quality or hide the taste of preservatives. Since we don'e have laws like Germany, you're left to rely on the knowledge and honesty of the bartender to find out. They don't make this info readily available, which is another form of Disinformation.
So if you think you actually like IPAs, just remember, you are just like a Swede eating rotten fish. A lot of propaganda went in to making IPAs popular, but it's the cheapest, easiest product to make that can be sold at the highest price, so they become popular. This is what business students call a business plan. To overcome the bad taste, IPAs were marketed as "classy" to shame you if you choose the more expensive to produce and more appealing pilsners and lagers, which were given a bad name due to being associated with major brands like Bud Light. This makes it harder to market microbrew lagers, which can only fetch a certain price due to association. And this is what is referred to as the "race to the bottom" in Capitalism.
Instead of trying to innovate ways to produce the beers you want, they just figure out how to get you to pay more for an inferior product, just like they do with BBQ. They make you think you want it. From this you can understand why "food" is full of junk that you wouldn't feed your dog. Whatever legal poison helps cheapen the product is considered "smart business", another propaganda term designed to hide the reality of doing immoral and harmful things to other humans for profit. If you make money on it, it's good. As if there aren't better choices we could come up with if there truly were a free market with an informed consumer.
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STRENGTHEN THE FREE MARKET BY BEING AN INFORMED CONSUMER
We don't need a Communist Revolution to make positive changes, so take off your ski masks and put your Antifa flags down. I like microbrew culture and still enjoy IPAs, but understanding the marketplace is how I do my part as an informed consumer and job creator to help create the world that I want to live in. I encourage you to do the same. Vote with your dollars. Don't let the Zuck-type sociopathic, corporate people in a distant land decide what you consume by looking at ads on his platform. Visit local breweries and talk to the brewmaster. Don't reinforce alienation from labor. Connect with the people who make the things you buy. Support independent entrepreneurship. These are the paths to a brighter future where we share in the abundance of wealth.
Discover Economic Enlightenment for yourself and realize that We The People are ultimately in control. Wealth inequality is greater than it was in France before the French Revolution. Don't let this train take us into the depths where another Lenin will arise and spend the night shooting people.
How you choose to spend your money today is what decides what will become the society of tomorrow. And remember, you always have the choice to buy nothing at all. I never saw a billboard that said that.
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LET THEM DRINK BEER!
I hope this gave you a glimpse behind the curtain of Capitalist Propaganda. Propaganda isn't just political, it has invaded everything and it's at full blast right now. I hope you can piece together how Capitalist Propaganda is actually designed to make you subservient by controlling what you want so they can maximize their own profit and teach you to accept whatever they offer, the homogenization of choice. However, your life is your own and you should remain in control of all aspects of it, including your desires.
Richard Wolff is an economist who studied at three elite universities in America and discusses how he was not able to even learn about Socialist Economics in the ivory tower, even though Capitalist Propaganda calls universities leftist. He found no department in America that is even willing to teach it or study it. Capitalist Propaganda censors these ideas, especially at the university. People in power don't want the serfs to learn about themselves. Check him out on YouTube. You'll realize that unchecked Capitalism leads to Fascism and Slavery, which is why they want to get rid of the minimum wage, so that we can return to sharecropping which is already increasingly happening in America under different names, like "student debt", "mortgages" and "insurance". Don't you think it's odd that a person has to go into debt so they can generate profits for corporations who really ought to be paying for this education themselves? If you have to go into debt before they'll hire you, it's much easier to negotiate against you.
If you want to see other examples of propaganda, check out this random tweet from one of America's Top Capitalist Propagandists. These are very odd pictures, and the only thing I can see in them is that they must be promoting those outfits, likely the blue dress, maybe those men's outfits as well. One thing you know is that she didn't become a billionaire by letting any single opportunity to enrich herself at the expense of others pass her by. I didn't look it up, but I am certain they sell that blue dress, or whoever does paid her to post this.
That's the main reason celebrities use social media. It's marketing. Their whole schtick is to sell garments made in a sweatshop in a foreign country by people who can't even afford a beer to Americans who are facing bankruptcy and homelessness themselves.
Read the replies of the tweet. These people have influence that vastly outsizes their understanding of their impact on the world. There are guillotines in the comments. There usually are. I'm seeing them a lot lately.
This type of propaganda is everywhere. And it's destroying America. Just like propaganda led to the demise of Nazi Germany, we could be looking at the same thing, but worse. It could start off as famine.
If you're having trouble deciding between the beers you are being offered, it's probably because you don't want anything at all, in which case the proper choice is: nothing. Or, try tap water. Maybe you're just thirsty. Now ask yourself, when you envisioned yourself at a bar, did you ever think to order water instead? Did you entertain the idea that you didn't even want a beer. That's the power of suggestion.
What if the rest of the world just cut America off from the means of production outsourced to areas with cheap labor? We would have our own famine and likely war. And if we have a revolution here, with the masses in the country being so disinformed about everything and not having any sort of class consciousness at the moment and instead stuck in alienation, the leader that rises here will likely lead to something horrifying. And we censor ourselves from pointing out the simple fact, that the only way America will survive is to tax the deluded royalty like Kim and Mark back to reality, so they can't indulge their reckless, childish delusions by selling off the very fabric of our nation to the highest bidder.
That doesn't make me a Socialist, that just makes me honest.
Enjoy your beer!
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Thanks for reading and I hope I helped you understand how you can empower yourself. I'm excited about the one I wrote for Election Day tomorrow to keep our NOPOL spirits up while all the politics clouds the airwaves. Cheers!
submitted by SchwarzerKaffee to conspiracyNOPOL [link] [comments]

Suggestions/Impressions After My First Playthrough

I wrapped up my first full playthrough today and I truly enjoyed the experience. It wasnt as fleshed out in some areas as I would have hoped but it was better in other areas than I would have thought. For my first playthrough I decided to play as the Vice Kings (Daniel Jackson) and I loved the roleplaying aspect of being a community oriented gangster. I also played on Boss difficulty and started my save after this recent patch. To those struggling to enjoy the game I'd like to suggest a few things to improve your experience.

  1. Play on Boss difficulty. Part of the criticisms people have of this game is that it's too easy. A great way to improve that is to not play on easy. In all seriousness I found the game more challenging because of harder Safehouse fights and more constant gang wars in Boss difficulty then Underboss.
  2. Consider not using the DLC guns. They're too good, I personally used them but if you're looking to up the challenge (and therefore engage more deeply with the content) this will help.
  3. Dont go out of your way to exploit the game via teleport safehouse ganking. These fights will be harder but you if you follow step one. That being said I did go for the kill so to speak once I had a clear victory over my opponent.
  4. Sell loot that you collect. On Boss difficulty I found in the mid game that I was desperate for cash because I needed to maintain high security on all of my rackets. This is EXPENSIVE and selling all those hard earned weapons that you were never going to use is a great way to keep the revenue propped up while you handle business.

For the devs I do have some feedback/suggestions. In no particular order:
  1. Overall feedback. I enjoyed the game and I look forward to seeing the content expand and the expansions. As a fan of mobster games you guys did alot right, far more right than the things I think that were "wrong." Thank you for making my time quarantined more enjoyable.
  2. One of the best things about the game is the uniqueness/rpg style of the main bosses. I personally loved the reasonable variance between each bosses special ability. I think this could be enhanced by embellishing the cookie cutter gangsters more. Perhaps giving each gang a preferred weapon or unique ability/upgrade/stats.
  3. This probably will be suggested a hundred times but for the love of the Crusader Kings add in an auto resolve. Cleaning out derelicts with my 8 person squad was capital T Tedious. The main reason I resorted to safehouse ganking in the end game was so I didnt have to go through 30 sure thing fights to reach the one fight that might get interesting.
  4. A way to enhance the economy would be to limit customers in a neighborhood. There doesnt seem to be any reason not to just pump out every racket I can and way over saturate a neighborhood. 20 casinos shouldnt return maximum income.
  5. Create a fear modifier or something. Gangsters werent just constantly dropping bodies it would be nice if gang members had a chance to run away. If I do a great job defending my speakeasy with 2 guys, it would be nice if 3 of my attackers ran away after I killed half of them rather than coming down the meatgrinder of a hallway I created.
  6. Slow down the quest content. I felt like the game was pushing me to accelerate too quickly. I was constantly being given missions and it made me feel like I had to fast travel everywhere rather than slowly expand my empire. This would make missions more novel, but it might create boredom for some players I dunno. It just didnt "feel" great when I had like 9 missions to run plus maintaining my businesses.
  7. More activity from the police. They seemed like such a non factor, it would be nice for there to be more extreme consequences when killing a cop (and ways to still win the fight with out dropping coppers). The most meaningful thing the cops did was soak up damage while I was defending my rackets.
  8. A way to assign named gangsters to smaller missions. It would be nice to be able to order my men to go scout or to defend an area. Maybe they could even lead a squad of minions. Most mob bosses werent directly murdering guys in the street every 5 minutes, theyve got people for things like that. This would go a long way to making the strategy more meaningful.
See you "businessmen" on the streets.
submitted by Swol_Braham to EmpireofSin [link] [comments]

I'm being told by someone that the program engineer who shared his knowledge after reverse engineering TIKTOK is/was wrong. I'd like to share his response to me for other programmers to compare who's opinion is more accurate?

I don't know how to crosspost so I'm just simply copying this individuals response. I suggested he create his own post here instead. For now, this is the response I received when he told me that the other guy who reverse-engineered TIK TOK is inaccurate, and would like to hear comments from other engineers or programmers.
I'm a software developer by trade and because I'm honestly sick and tired of people treating this comment as gospel because it's 150% scaremongering for non-technical people, here you go:
Let's preface this, by TikTok openly stating what data they gather: https://www.tiktok.com/legal/privacy-policy?lang=en. I know privacy policies are boring, but most complaints about TikTok's data gathering is perfectly written down in their privacy policy. TikTok is an absolute disgusting data gathering piece of software and even admits it above, and I don't recommend anyone use it from that aspect, geopolitical issues aside.
so here we go:
TikTok is a data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network. If there is an API to get information on you, your contacts, or your device... well, they're using it
Phone hardware [...]
Other apps you have installed [...]
Everything network-related [...]
[...]
They set up a local proxy server on your device for "transcoding media", but that can be abused very easily as it has zero authentication
nothing here is outside of the standard Android API:s. To make this work you, the user, have to to agree to the app:
reading your contacts full network access retrieve running apps so right from the get go, he's listing things that you know, we already know by Android telling us so.
on the topic of setting up a proxy server - it's a very standard practice to transcode and buffer media via a server, they have simply reversed the roles here by having server and client on the client, which makes sense as transcoding is very intensive CPU-wise, which means they have distributed that power requirement to the end user's devices instead of having to have servers capable of transcoding millions of videos.
The scariest part of all of this is that much of the logging they're doing is remotely configurable
this is standard programming dogma, detailed logging takes a lot of space and typically you enable logging on the fly on clients to catch errors. this is literally cookie cutter "how to build apps 101", and not scary. or, phrased differently, is it scary if all of that logging was always on? obviously not as it's agreed upon and detailed in TikTok's privacy policy (really), so why is it scary that there's an on and off switch?
They have several different protections in place to prevent you from reversing or debugging the app as well
once again, standard practice. source code is trade secrets, end of.
App behavior changes slightly if they know you're trying to figure out what they're doing
this sentence makes no sense to me, "if they know"? he's dissecting the code as per his own statement, thus looking at rows of text in various format. the app isn't running - so how can it change? does the app have self-awareness? this sounds like something out of a bad sci-fi movie from the 90's.
There's also a few snippets of code on the Android version that allows for the downloading of a remote zip file, unzipping it, and executing said binary
so here's the thing, TikTok as an app, continuously downloads files i.e video files, it's kinda the whole point. there's nothing "odd" about being able to download and extract zip files, the odd thing is delivering executables via zip. however, this is a non-issue and honestly a red herring, why?
well, because as the author already has stated, TikTok does not readily allow inspection of the code base. any executable code delivered via zip (why zip? you can download binaries just fine, the year is 2020...), can be part of TikTok by default.
on top of that, you can in runtime inject code into android applications. there's tons of legitimate use cases for that such as applications that have functionality controlled via a web interface.
so all in all, I highly consider this a non-issue.
HTTPS for the longest time. They leaked users' email addresses in their HTTP REST API [...] if you MITM'd the application
yeah have to agree here, their bad and completely unprofessional. however this is also a very hypothetical scenario, and if you install a keylogger on the Android device you'd have access to way more, in the world of "what hypothetical attack vectors is the application vulnerable to", and he is really talking about hypotheticals here.
They provide users with a taste of "virality" to entice them to stay on the platform.
pure speculation (the likes would 100% be provided from the server, not the client, thus he can't see if this is actually the case), but this is a very common method in gamified systems. example online casinos typically have you win your first games to make you believe "wow, this is so easy" instead of quitting being frustrated about not having won anything.
Oh, there's also a ton of creepy old men who have direct access to children on the app, [...] 40-50 year old men getting 8-10 year old girls to do "duets" with them with sexually suggestive songs. Those videos are posted publicly.
a "think of the children"-argument, and while factually correct, the user obviously has an agenda with the way he phrased this, as every user has access to every other user outside of the in-app methods to deal with access, such as blocking. as such, I think this is another red herring and adds nothing to the discussion about the app itself, this is pure propaganda. on top of that - TikTok does not allow users younger than 13 to sign up, so the argument can also be made that from TikTok's perspective, it is hard to prevent this happening if the users try to bypass their rules.
they don't want you to know how much information they're collecting on you, and the security implications of all of that data in one place, en masse, are fucking huge. They encrypt all of the analytics requests with an algorithm that changes with every update (at the very least the keys change) just so you can't see what they're doing. They also made it so you cannot use the app at all if you block communication to their analytics host off at the DNS-level.
more scaremongering - see the earlier privacy policy linked. TikTok is very open about the massive amount of data gathering they do, and have to be as per GDPR. as previously stated, I do not agree with apps that do data gathering on this level, but TikTok by no means try to hide the amount of data they gather, and interestingly enough to snoop on this data being sent you would have to to a man in the middle attack, an attack vector the user complained about being possible earlier. so obviously he is not consistent in what he believes the app should protect against, and I read this as just another misleading statement.
For what it's worth I've reversed the Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter apps. They don't collect anywhere near the same amount of data that TikTok does, and they sure as hell aren't outright trying to hide exactly whats being sent like TikTok is. It's like comparing a cup of water to the ocean - they just don't compare.
mind you, he hasn't actually said what data outside of the above that TikTok collects, and if we compare TikTok's privacy policy with Instagram's data policy we get very much the same kind of data being openly admitted to being gathered. so to summarise, "because I said so".
and that's the end of his comment. you can take my comment as you wish, and I definitely do not condone of the standardisation of pervasive data gathering being the price to use apps - but his comment is not a revelation in any regard on how "bad" TikTok is, it is just very specifically worded to scare people.
as a side note, this took me well over 10 minutes to write. there's a reason people don't debunk this, it's tiresome.
submitted by vanteal to tiktok_reversing [link] [comments]

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If you’ve ever read any of our other reviews, you know that we don’t hold back. If we see something we don’t like or want to see improved, or we’re even just having a bad day, we will let a site have it. We want you to be able to trust the information you get from our reviews so you can make a more educated decision about where you want to play.
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Ratings Breakdown

Overall

We were pleasantly surprised with the Ruby Fortune casino as they not only exceeded the quality of their sister sites, but they also had high enough quality to be considered a real player in the industry. Game selection was really good with a lot of high quality branded slots and an incredible amount of table game variations (more than most top sites). The site’s user interface needed work, but the user interfaces of the games were great. The site lost points, though, because their bonus promotions were near nonexistent outside of a few initial deposit bonuses. They also need to do a better job of posting limits and time frames on their banking options. Small changed, but still, things we want to see improved if they want to improve their rating score with us. Overall, this is definitely a site that slot players and table game players who like game variations are going to like.

Ruby Fortune Game Variety

We actually expected this to be the exact same as all other Palace Casino Group sites (good but not great) but in fact, this site had a TON of games to choose from. All games were high quality and available for free play without even creating an account to allow you to test them out. Many of these games were branded as well which is typically the highest quality of games available. The site also had a ton of table/casino game options and even several live dealer game options. As you’ll see when we get deeper into this review, game variety is on point.

Ruby Fortune Banking

The site had a bunch of different deposit and withdrawal options which was great to see. This included all the big player options like debit and credit cards, PayPal, Skrill, and more. Our 4/5 here is not one that we firmly stand behind because we have a lot of incomplete information from the site. They post the different deposit and withdrawal options (and the options are great), but they don’t mention any fees, limits, or processing times. We’re led to believe based on the reputation of the company that everything is good, but we want to make sure that you’re aware you may want to get a little more information from support before choosing which method to withdraw with.

Ruby Fortune Bonuses

Frankly, this might be a little generous. The bonus promotions are extremely weak with nothing more than a match deposit bonus on your first three deposits. After that, there are no bonuses or VIP programs ever. The play through on these bonuses is also very high at 50x, so it’s going to take you a bit longer to clear them. While play through is the industry standard, 50x is not. This, unfortunately, is par for the course for a PCG family site. Maybe one day they will hire someone to improve their bonus structures company-wide. Until then, we’ll at least be happy they are offering some free money for playing.

Customer Service

The site had all the options we want to see with customer service with live chat, email, and toll-free phone service. Each option was available 24/7/365 which should make it a 5/5. The reason we docked a point is that on a few pages on the site there was a glitch when trying to access the live chat. It works from most areas of the site, but the small glitch was enough for us to need to dock a point.

User Interface

The user interface at Ruby Fortune is good, but not great. There is absolutely nothing glaringly wrong or anything that anyone without a nitpicky eye like ours is going to see. Most people would probably rate them a little higher here, but we’re in that nitpicky category and proud of it. The games are organized and laid out well, though, there are some small tweaks they could make to make finding the games you want a little bit easier. When you actually get to the games, though, they are from Microgaming, so the quality of the game’s user interfaces is high.

Slots

The slot offerings at Ruby Fortune were MUCH better than they were at their sister sites and were also much better than most of the industry! They had a ton of different options which included a bunch of branded games (games designed after TV shows and movies). These weren’t knock off branded games like Jurassic Dinosaur Park Slots, but the actual Jurassic Park with the images and characters from the movie. Sites love to try and pawn off garbage copies, but these are the real deal.
The slot offerings are not all on one list but are split up into a few categories. By clicking the Games tab, you are taken to a page with their short list of recommended games for you to play. These were all slot games when we checked but we assume at times you may see casino games on here as well as they are all housed under the Games tab.
On the right-hand side of the screen, there are 11 different category options, and it looks like three of them deal with slot machines. The games are all neatly organized in the middle of the screen with their logos. One thing they didn’t have were the names of the games in plain text under the logos like you would see on most sites. This isn’t necessary but is a nice perk because some of the game names are so artistically drawn on the logo that they are tough to read. Trust us on this one; we had to type them all out, and there were several times we had to get a few inches away from the computer screen to make sure we could read them correctly.
This also prevents you from being able to sort the games alphabetically. There was a search function that did work well when we tested it in case you’re looking for a specific game. For your convenience, we’ve included all the games here. If you do start playing on this site, you may want to keep this list handy or bookmark this page so that you can copy and paste game names into the search, so you don’t have to click through 15 tabs to find the game you want.
All games were available to be played for free money without creating an account. This is an awesome way to test out the games before you make a deposit to make sure you’re going to enjoy them. You will need to make sure that you have Flash installed on your computer before loading the games.

Other Casino Games

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Something else that was a little odd with the organization was when we clicked on the Live Casino tab we only saw one game offered which we thought was strange. However, when you click on the individual game tabs like Roulette or Blackjack, you see a bunch more Live Dealer options there. It looks like they maybe forgot to list the games again in both sections which would be the correct way to do it.

Ruby Fortune Banking Options

As is proving to be par for the course with PCG casinos, they have a ton of great deposit and withdrawal options but don’t provide much information in regards to limits and fees. From our understanding of the company, most options are fee free, but there are some limitations on the amounts and time frames you can withdraw. The site also requires documentation to withdraw (which is completely industry standard). We only mention this so we can suggest that you take care of this paperwork as soon as you open your account, so you have zero delays when you’re ready to cash off your winnings.

Ruby Fortune Bonuses and Promotions

As with most of the PCG family of sites, the promotions department is weak. Ruby Fortune had deposit bonuses available only for your first three deposits. This is better than some sites (including some in the PCG family) where they only have a first deposit bonus or no bonus at all. The amounts were smaller on these bonuses, but you can always make three deposits right off the bat if you’re looking to put a lot of money on the site. Make sure, though, if you go to do this that you check with support to make sure that there are no stipulations that you have to wait a certain period of time or anything between deposits. We doubt that is the case, but you should check just to be sure.
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Ruby Fortune Customer Service

On the surface, the customer service options look great (exact same for all of Palace Casino Group sites), but we actually had a small issue with their site that we will mention in just a second. Options wise, they had live chat, email, and toll-free phone numbers that were all available 24/7/365. When we went to test out the live chat function, the link opened a pop up that didn’t work. Upon further testing, we realized this was only from one specific page, though, and it worked from the rest of the site. If you need live chat and have trouble accessing it, try clicking the link from a different page on the site, and you should be good to go.

Conclusion

To be completely honest, we weren’t expecting to find such an awesome experience when we reviewed BitStarz. We expected them to be another cookie cutter, run of the mill casino that offered Bitcoin, end of story. What we found was a casino that has hired the right staff and the right developers who have created a really nice product in a tight little package. It’s hard to snuff your nose and super high-quality games, free withdrawals, and creative promotions that are spelled out well and don’t require opt-in.
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Flatten the Curve. Part 14. Rotten Egg & Mystery Smell. They've been smelling it everywhere and a lot of people have gotten sick. Has it happened to you?

Part 13 is here. If you have anything relevant, please share your thoughts in the comments
I found an article by Robert Scribbler describing what is starting to transpire here on earth. Awakening the Horrors of the Ancient Hothouse
It's by far the best written explanation that I could find. Give it a read.
Look folks, I know this all is really hard to believe. Trust me, I do. Most of you are at least open to this as a possibility, which means you will be more cognizant and critical of future news reports. But there are some who aren't willing to get by their programmed cognitive dissonance and will only accept the answer that gives them the least amount of physical discomfort.
That's not good.
This is happening. We don’t know how bad it will get. We don't know how bad it is. All I can do is show you what I've found, it's up to you whether or not choose to believe it.
I do believe some governments know. At this point I do believe this wasn't foreseen. This was their worst nightmare, a black swan event. They knew we would be facing abrupt climate change, I don't think they conceived of toxic gas in that scenario. Their are too many variables in play when it comes to our biosphere. I believe this is why the sudden acceleration has occurred to get 5G operating and get Artificial Intelligence operating. They view it as the savior to our problem. An intellect so capable that it can equate all the variables and come up with a solution. This is why every single major tech company and University is working with the government and the military. This isn't a conspiracy. Google, Facebook, and Microsoft employees have actual positions on boards within the military.
Let that sink in. Why do you think all of these companies had antitrust lawsuits vanish? They strong-armed them into cooperation. Go look at the timeline for the Microsoft antitrust. It ends in 2001. And then this starts happening.
Gates Foundation Buys Stakes in Drug Makers.
By David Bank and Rebecca BuckmanStaff Reporters of The Wall Street Journal.
May 17, 2002.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has purchased shares in nine big pharmaceutical companies valued at nearly $205 million.
With the aforementioned in consideration, please remember, the driving philosophy will be, survival of the fittest.
Now that I've given you a small part of complicity to cooperate on keeping this knowledge of possible impending events hidden from us, I'm going show you proof that the warning signs have been here for a while.
Do you remember all the tourists getting sick in the Dominican Republic and the other islands? Of course most of you won't, because they have done a masterclass on distracting every single one of us. But it happened. Taken on it's own as an anomaly, it looked harmless. After all, unexplainable events happen all the time. This wasn't one of them. It was the canary in the coal mine.
https://www.cnn.com | After deaths, more tourists to Dominican Republic say they were stricken with illness.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk | Mystery surrounds American deaths in Dominican Republic
As usual, there is more. I don't have the necessary resources to spend the time linking everything. The information is there for you to dig further.
But people get sick there all the time. Maybe they drank the water?
Nearly 70 tourists to Dominican Republic reported illness since March - New York Post 2018.
That's up from just 10 reported illnesses in the country for all of 2018, according to iwaspoisoned.com. In June alone, 52 tourists reported symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and fever. More than 45 of them identified themselves as guests at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana.Jun 10, 2019.
It wasn't normal. But maybe it was new normal.
https://www.foxnews.com California man died in April at Dominican Republic resort after drink from hotel.
While saying little publicly, however, teams of experts and inspectors from several international agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, conducted tests Thursday at the Bahia Principe properties where U.S. tourists died. It was unclear whether they inspected other resorts. The FBI confirmed to Fox News on Friday it was assisting Dominican authorities in investigating the deaths.
The testing and the FBI's involvement marked the first public indications that officials in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic have considered the possibility of something other than natural causes.
“It’s a complete fabrication,” Felecia Nieves, Sport's sister, said, “that you could have as many people and they all have the same cookie-cutter outcome. It’s impossible.”
Ok. CDC and the FBI. Gotcha. If I didn't know better we're watching one of those disaster porn movies. Now we just need that guy that discovers it by accident, and the hero who's going to save the day.
But maybe it was a one time thing? Possibly? Hopefully?
https://www.ctvnews.ca | Families report more cases of viral illness in children who visited Dominican resorts.
https://www.wigantoday.net Wigan dad demands answers after mysterious illness 'ruins' Dominican Republic holiday.
But maybe it was Covid-19! That's it! That's the ticket! They were warned not to go there on March break, and they didn't listen! Serves the Covidiots right!
https://www.garda.com Dominican Republic: Government confirms first COVID-19 case March 1.
Crap.
So what was the mystery illness? Who knows? Seriously.https://www.cbsnews.com › Dominican Republic deaths: Mystery deepens after new autopsy results.
They gave so many possible answers that you couldn't begin to figure it out, because the authorities were being unreliable narrators. Because here's the canary in the coal mine, you can build up a certain degree of tolerance to hydrogen sulfide exposure. This is the one constant in the narrative, the locals didn't get sick, only the tourists. And there are sources of hydrogen sulfide outgassing on the Caribbean Islands that I will explain in more detail at a later post.
Ok. You get it now. No problem. Just don't go to the Dominican Republic. Good as done. I'm safe and sound. Time for some Netflix and Doritos. Thank God that's done and over with.
Wrong. Let's look deeper.
www.komonews.com › news › local 'Foul odor' sickened more than a dozens students & staff.
https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk › Mystery smell in Blaby investigated as stink makes residents feel sick - Leicestershire Live.
https://www.wtsp.com › Mysterious odor causes nine to fall ill at Largo Medical Center.
https://www.stuff.co.nz › Mystery of the smell and sickness at Carterton school lingers for those affected.
Again, do your own research, there are more cases out there, and the search algorithms are designed to keep the majority away from you. This isn't an accident, it's by design. You have to constantly vary your search terms to keep getting results.
I had a couple of dissenting remarks over the toxic gas emission from our planet, and my subtle suggestion linking it to Covid-19. I truthfully can't address these doubts on an individual basis. I don’t have time. But the connections are there, and I will be posting the information in the future. Why don't I just jot it all down at once?
Because I can't. There is too much background that needs to be established for one post. I'm not using my imagination and engaging in entertaining 'what if' scenarios on this matter. I saw a possibility, and when I looked deeper, the concept that this could be real only grew. My only concern in life was to live well, fall in love, and be happy, and those were accomplished. It certainly wasn't a goal to be spending hours a day looking into a subject with deadly implications if it turns out to be true.
I will leave you with these last two internet headlines. If you can draw the obvious parallel, leave your thoughts in a comment. If you can cast doubt on this link, definitely leave a comment. I'm not trying to be right. I want to be wrong. The main goal here is to figure out whats happening, and what's true or false.
Now here are my final links.
https://www.abc.net.au | Anosmia: Nasty viral infection leaves woman without her sense of smell or taste - ABC News 2018.
Hmmm, what else makes you lose your sense of smell?
https://www.theguardian.com | Thousands of Covid-19 cases missed due to late warning on smell loss, say experts.
But not all the time.
https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk | Lost your sense of smell? It may not be coronavirus. | National Geographic
And look at that, in some people the symptoms keep going after their viral infection is over.
https://www.ft.com | Mystery of prolonged Covid-19 symptoms adds to unknowns | Financial Times
Do you know what else causes smell loss?
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a dangerous gas. Hydrogen sulfide can “paralyze” the sense of smell and workers can lose the ability to smell.
And.
The effects depend on how much hydrogen sulfide you breathe and for how long. Exposure to very high concentrations can quickly lead to death. Odor threshold when rotten egg smell is first noticeable to some. Odor becomes more offensive at 3-5 ppm.
That's all for today. I need to stress this hasn't reached a level of where it poses an imminent threat. There is too much that isn't known, but i honestly believe if the threat was imminent, you would be seeing a vastly different reaction by the security apparatus. And this isn't a constant effect. At the moment it appears (except in locations where the outgassing is dependent upon other biomass factors, like the Dominican Republic, and even then they've developed a natural tolerance to the gas) to be occurring in isolated water emissions, and anything closer is weaker in strength and is quickly diffused into the atmosphere.
Upcoming more information that you have read but not given the real explanation for.
June 11th | Geophysical evidence for this occurring that you have read online.
June 12th | Hydrospheric evidence that our governments are actively hiding.
Take care. Be safe. Stay aware and be prepared.
submitted by biggreekgeek to conspiracy [link] [comments]

The Featherlight Transmission, Ch. 3

A little while later, I'm in Sector Seven, home of fancy restaurants, galleries, theaters, casinos, and the kinds of whorehouses that get called “social clubs”. I’m already in the general area, and I’m hungry after being harassed with forms for an hour and a half. There’s a place I like here.
It's colorful, clean, and loud in Sector Seven, with a wide-open circular plaza in the middle. Music always in the air, and all kinds of signs begging you to come look, come see what we've got going on tonight. The funhouse of the single-digit folk. You can come to Sector Seven, but remember - you gotta pay if you wanna play.
Being in the Inner Ring, you generally don't see many of my kind in Sector Seven. Most people milling around here are those with heavy purses, and the kind of leaky generosity that for some reason only reaches the hands of politicians and others of their kind rather than hospitals or schools. These kinds of people generally don't like looking at slabs, because we track mud all over the carpet and sometimes accidentally eat their dogs, so we tend not to be welcome in the establishments here. However, the unavoidable fact is that while slabs are definitely ugly and gross, the rich skinnies up here sure as sugar aren't going to be cleaning, fixing, or lifting anything heavy anytime soon, so even here you'll see some of us mixed in with some other poor skinnies that come in from the Outer Ring to do the dirty work.
But of course, everyone's gotta eat. So, if us grunts can't come and spill beer all over the nice white tablecloths, we'll just have to take our credits somewhere else, thanks. And that's where Gulder's Grub enters the picture.
In an alley off the side of Circle Seven, there's a shadowy little spot for people like me. It's not big, but it's an oasis in the middle of a desert of glitzy places that ask an entire month's rent just to come in. A little corner for the ones that actually do all the work. A couple little shops with everyday necessaries, a dingy bar or two, and some diners, all in the shadow of the great towering monuments to that goddess of Sector Seven: Pleasure.
The main (and only) attraction here is Gulder's. It doesn't look like much, just a metal shack with a clapboard menu and a window, but the nosh that Gulder slings is so good that there's always a line, and sometimes you'll even see people in fancy clothes standing in it. You can get a slab-sized sandwich so tasty it'll make you cry, and you can get it without having to take out a third mortgage.
I’ve built up a grave appetite, of a magnitude that only Gulder's is mighty enough to slay. I'm standing in line, behind a skinny in oil-stained overalls. It's nearly lunch, so I've got a while to wait before I get to the front.
The people here are either too tired or too depressed to pay me any mind, which suits me just fine. It’s one of the reasons I like coming here. It’s a misfit shelter. I even know a few arcanists that are willing to come out of the woodwork for one of Gulder’s sandwiches. Believe me, you’d be willing to risk your skin too, if you knew what this alley smelled like. The heavenly aromas bring out all kinds of hungry crazies.
Speaking of which, here's a squirrely-looking slab boy over by some tables that's decided to take his face out of his sandwich and aim it toward my face. I lock eyes with him. Or try to, at least. He can't keep his straight. He's a sizable bit of product, somewhere between six and a half and seven feet, maybe around five hundred fifty pounds. Average enough by our standards. Judging by his lack of clank, jittery eyes, hairless head, and general air of frothy paranoia, I'm guessing he was kind of a shrimpy fella before his procedures.
Those are the dangerous ones. These cats are why every Watchman carries a canister of slabkiller gas when they're out on patrol.
Take a little guy who, let's be honest here, was never destined for great feats of academic achievement. Now put him in a desperate situation. Traumatize him. Make him grow up poor. Give him a tiny dick, make sure he gets plenty of bullies to deal with, both in school and out. Kill his parents, or make them hate and abuse him. Tell all the girls, or boys in some cases, not to look at him. Fire him from his job. Maybe give him a terminal illness, or fill him up with so much unprocessed rage that fire comes out of his nose every time he sneezes. Box him into a corner, put him in a cage so nasty that the only way out is to get slabbed.
It'll work, the cutters at the slab lab say. You're prime material, just what we needed, they say. But he isn't. He's scrawny, malnourished, unintelligent. A sad mess in the shape of a young man. But hey, slabbers need meat. And here it is, direct off the streets. It's not like actual people would ever volunteer for something like this, so we'll make do with the kind of guy that needs the money. So they'll give him some cash, put him on the table, and chop him up anyway, knowing full well that his unimpressive body and sub-average brain won't be able to take it. And he'll come out the other side a twitching, confused, angry kid, with hormones leaking out of his ears and more mental and emotional scars than physical ones, living inside the body of a giant.
You haven't taken him out of that cage. You've just made him strong enough to drag other people in with him.
I zoom in on him and sure as sunrise, he's got an aggression inhibitor bolted to the side of his head, wire running down to meet up with the back of his neck. It's a big one, too. This kid must have some bad habits. Without it, the hot sludge running in his veins would send him into a psychosexual meltdown of nightmarish proportions. Within fifteen minutes he'd either collapse and start seizing until he swallowed his own tongue, or cave to the voices in his head and start raping people to death until someone shot him.
He's still trying to look at me. Hard to maintain an intimidating glare when your eyeballs keep slipping off whatever you're trying to stare down. I think he's jealous of my own eyes. My implants, that is. My old pair are probably fertilizing some grandma's apple tree somewhere.
I never got nystagmus like a lot of these kids do. Years after my change I could see as well as I did when I was a teenager. That’s the main freebie biomancy gets you - an unnaturally healthy body, even after enough experimental surgeries to make the most puritanical Brotherhood zealot sweat. My body just mutates around additions and edits, keeping me extremely alive whether I have any say in it or not. Pyromancers get to shoot fire out of their nose, hydromancers get to make the fountains dance, heiromancers get to write laws that reality itself has to obey. My only trick is being too alive to kill, among a couple of other fun things. But hey, if you’re gonna have one trick, not dying is a pretty good one to have, I think.
This kid has no clank at all other than his inhibitor, fitting with my observation that his vitae is weak as fuck, despite all his implants and injections. Red, and very low, like a lonely coal. His brain was barely holding itself together after basic slabbing, so there's no way he'd be able to tolerate any kind of optional features. Probably doesn't even have bone reinforcements. He's got maybe five years before he's a twisted-up pile of slime. If he doesn't kill himself or get executed first.
I smile and give him a little wave. He scowls at me, still trying to meet my eyes. Defiant. Cute.
From here, there's only two options, depending on his personality and how well that inhibitor is working. He'll either burn one of his last synapses to realize that I'm bigger and smarter than him by a pretty significant margin and go back to eating his sandwich like a nice little porkbrain, or decide against all logic that I'm a bit too uppity for his liking and I need to be taught a lesson. I'm about halfway through the line, so I figure I've got enough time to share some of my wisdom before lunch. I keep smiling at him.
Yep. That did it. The sandwich, which right now should be the most important thing in this guy's short little life, has been laid down. I am now his entire universe, and I couldn't be happier. He stands up from his table and starts stomping his way over to me. He's doing the thing all these gutter slabs do when they want to look extra scary and impressive*.* Squaring his shoulders, pushing his chest out, holding his chin slightly up, and flexing all his muscles at once, so his veins stand out under his skin like bridge cables. Personally, I always thought this pose made a guy look like an erection throwing a temper tantrum, but hey, what do I know? Maybe that's the point. I know I probably wouldn't try to tussle with a giant, throbbing, foul-tempered penis in work boots and coveralls. Who knows what kind of fluids you'd get on you?
Now he's within smelling distance. The delightful melange of grease, sweat, and testosterone wafts over me, and suddenly I'm reconsidering lunch. The rest of the line has done a curious thing, bending away from me to form a comfortable and distant semicircle. People around here know the drill - they're pretty much on autopilot. Once you see two trains crash head-on multiple times a day for a few years, you learn to just step calmly out of the shrapnel zone.
He lines up on me, about ten feet away. Close, but not so close that I could grab him. Smart. Not the first time this guy's taken exception to someone's behavior. His vitae is flaring, but it’s still sort of pitiful - just a kind of weak reddish glow, like a spoon accidentally left on a stove.
The palooka does his best to get me in his wiggly sights and grunts, “Got a problem, fuck?” His voice is hoarse, like sandpaper rasping over gravel. Probably smokes a lot of scrub to dampen the pain in his joints.
Most skinnies he does this to are probably wetting themselves by this point, so, considering he has somehow mistaken me for one, he probably expects me to do the same. Instead, I do what any respectful predator does when he meets one of his own kind, and show him my teeth. All fifty-eight of them.
I opt to leave the eloquence at the door, guessing this meat pie probably wouldn't appreciate it anyway. “Yeah. You're really, really ugly. You look like a butt. And you smell like what comes out of a butt. You should take a shower. Smelly.”
Okay, not exactly award-winning trash talk. But you try making your insults dashing and stylish using only words with two or less syllables. It's hard!
His pink face screws up in an expression of both pain and skull-popping fury, making his hairless head look like a wad of used chewing gum. His inhibitor is shocking him, telling him to cut it out. But he doesn't. He's angry enough to push through the pain.
I can understand that.
He lets the rage out of his chest with a roar, then puts his head down and charges me, very plainly trying to tackle me to the ground so he can turn my face into mince. I do what a slab almost never does.
Dodge.
This probably wouldn’t work in most other situations, because I’m huge and not very maneuverable, but so is this guy. I step around him as cool as you please, and he steams past me. He keeps going for a bit, but then catches on to the fact that he hasn't hit anything for a suspiciously long time, so he skids to a stop and whips around.
He's way past words at this point. He's getting shocked so bad I can see smoke coming from his implant. It'll blow if I don't tuck him into bed quick.
I don’t even need any magic for this. He’s making it way too easy.
Chunky charges again, but this time I don't move out of the way. I plant my back foot, then thrust my hand out right as he reaches me, mashing my palm right into his nose. He stops cold in his tracks with a sad little whimper, arms stretching toward me pitifully.
Fortunately the kid's got a weird tiny head, so I'm able to get a good grip on it. Thumb on his right ear, fingers wrapped nicely across his jawbone and temple. I lift him up a bit for leverage, then throw his head into the pavement like a bouncy ball. Being connected by a neck, the rest of his body follows suit. His chin makes a fun crack when it hits, and his neck bends at an angle that four out of five physicians probably don't recommend. He stops moving.
I bend down and wipe the sweat and spit off on the back of his shirt, then check his breathing. Feel around his neck vertebrae. His vitae is still there, but even dimmer. He's fine. Way sleepier than he was a minute ago, but alive. He'll wake up in half an hour wondering why everything above his shoulders feels like it got run over by a cargo train. And if he's lucky, he'll find he's gained some perspective on pointless violence, especially when aimed at one of the only guys in the city that outweighs him. If I'd been a Watchman, he'd have been sprayed with slabkiller and packed off to Sector Seventeen for recycling so fast he wouldn't even have time to notice how dead he was.
I stand up and give the line a coy smile and a wave. A couple nod at me in respect. I saunter slyly back over, and the guy I'd been ahead of lets me back in my spot.
Most gutter slabs are like a bottle of fizz in the back of a truck on a bumpy road. Over time, the pressure builds. The drugs, hormones, and supplemental brain tissue needed to integrate and coordinate the extra muscle result in a boiling pot of blind, directionless rage. For most, working hard all day doesn't let enough steam off. The extra starts to collect. With society saying that other ways of release aren't acceptable, while telling them they have to stay in line and put up with all the looks and comments, they reach a point where they pop. Usually all they do is smash up their own apartment, or fight it out with another slab in the same predicament.
But sometimes, when they're right on the edge, and another little kid screams at them like they're some kind of monster... they become one, for one horrible moment. And once you're a monster, you can never be anything else, ever again.
So, out of a sense of obligation to my dumb, angry brothers, I keep an eye out for the ones that look like they need a hard, thorough bit of percussive recalibration. I throw some goofy words at 'em, they fall for it, then I give 'em a nice whack on the head. They go to sleep for a bit, wake up with a few bruises, feel stupid, and remember what it is they need to be focusing on. Or at the very least they remember my fist in their face, which is enough to take the hot out of anyone's sauce, in my opinion. And then they stay out of trouble. Better for them to get a couple ouchies from a real monster than to cross that line themselves, I think.
I’m a mage, but I’m a slab too. It’s hard work being this distinctive and altruistic.
After about nine hundred years, I'm at the front of the line. I check the time. Almost noon. Yippee. I'm almost starting to feel it, too. The thought of quietly enjoying my meal at home and then taking a nap after the day I've had is almost enough to bring a tear to my eye. Metaphorically, that is. My tear ducts are cauterized shut.
The guy in front of me gets his order. It's a slab-sized sandwich, which I find strange, because it's almost the size of his thigh. But then I remember that skinnies can just slice a slab's sandwich like a cake and feed an entire family of four for a day or so. He's probably got kids at home. Pretty economical, when you think about it.
He tucks his monster meal under his arm and goes away, and I step up. I've got to take a knee in order to give my order, on account of how the shack's window only comes up to somewhere around the middle of my chest.
I peer into the greasy dollhouse and there's Gulder, the man himself, right in my face. I like Gulder. He serves enough slabs and weirdos every day that my awful mug suddenly appearing in his line of sight doesn't give him a heart attack. Everyone he sees, no matter what shape or sort, is just a receptacle to place a sandwich into, and I can't help but respect him for that. He's kind of a funny-looking fellow. On the short side, but borderline spherical from sampling the fruits of his labor, with no hair and a big black mustache like a push broom. From a distance he looks like two pink circles with a wide black line drawn through the top one.
He catches the green glint of my eyes and his caterpillar eyebrows go up. “Hey! This guy! Long time no see, Tiny! How you been? Keepin' outta trouble?”
See, the joke here is, Gulder calls me Tiny because I am, actually, a remarkably large person. An appellation that unexpectedly juxtaposes against the reality of the situation, in an example of what is sometimes referred to as “irony”. This is technically humor, but it's difficult to recognize after it's had its skull caved in with a lead pipe, wallet stolen, and left for dead in an alley somewhere. I'm so sorry, Humor. You deserved better.
I reply, “Oh, you know. I try to keep outta trouble, but trouble just can't keep outta me. It's 'cause I'm so handsome, y'see. Trouble just can't resist.”
He laughs. “Oh for sure. Pretty boy like you probably has more than his share of attention.” His smile melts off. “Hey look, thanks for cleaning up that mess over there. That one comes by pretty often, but he was starting to make me nervous. Times is hard enough without a puffed-up bully harassing my customers. Now he knows you come by here sometimes, maybe he'll cool it. I'm buying your lunch today.”
I wave a paw and scoff, because that's what you do in situations like this. “C'mon, it was all the work of twenty seconds. You probably could’ve given him a firm poke with a spatula and he would’ve fallen over, guy was as stable as a castle made out of cookies. It wasn't nothin'.”
He shakes his head and holds his hands up insistently. “It wasn't not nothin', champ. You went outta your way when you didn't have to. You spend twenty seconds showing a creep the inside of his own face for me, I spend twenty seconds making you lunch. Fair's fair, I insist.”
There's no point trying to shout him down. He's a Sector Seven man with a business that prints its own money, but I can tell he's not from here. Probably grew up in one of those Outer Ring slums where generosity is as rare as rain and being paid a favor is something that simply cannot be tolerated without swift, righteous vengeance. These cats are trained from childhood to treat an act of kindness like a declaration of war. Try to out-nice one of these slum knights and you'll both end up bankrupt.
“Alright, pal, I'll let you foot the bill this time. But only because I know you'll beat me up if I don't.”
He brandishes his spatula at me very seriously. “You bet your stitched-up ass I will. You want the deluxe with the works and extra mustard, right?”
“Yes I do, and you might as well throw in a basket of fried squash too, seeing as how you're paying and all.”
“You got it, champ. Be just a minute.”
About a minute later, I've got my bag, and I say my goodbye. I'm glad I stopped by. Not just because it's the best sandwich someone else's money can buy, but I also got to box a disaster waiting to happen. Can't have the riff-raff messing around and giving one of my favorite joints extra headache. And the whole possible prevention of senseless death thing, et cetera.
Now I gotta get back on the train. Hopefully I can get home before this bag gets cold, but who am I kidding, you could leave Gulder's stuff in a gutter for a week and it'd still be tastier than half the food in the city.
I step on the ostentatiously ornate Sector Seven platform, scan my ID, the alarm goes off, people give me dirty looks and clear out of the way, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t even care. I’ve got a greasy brown bag of heaven and they don’t, so there. This sandwich means I win today, citizens.
Interestingly, one person doesn’t clear off of the platform. He’s an old, old man, standing on the steel plates a distance from me. He’s a little bent, and holds a simple wooden cane. Very weathered, browned skin, like he’s worked in the sun his entire life. White beard, wild wispy hair like snow being blown off a mountaintop. I can’t get anything from his facial expression, he almost looks half asleep. I didn’t hear the system go off before me, so he’s not an arcanist. Maybe he didn’t hear the buzzer?
His vitae is… weird. You ever see diagrams of magnetic field lines? The two fields of concentric loops wrapping out and back from the poles? It looks like that, kind of. Long, lazy loops of gray energy, radiating out in steady pulses from the center of his chest and dissipating once they get a good ten or so feet away. There’s something else there, too. The lines closest to him have this sort of yellow shimmer that fades as they go out. The whole web smells… almost like ozone, or electrically charged metal.
Like I said, weird. Gray is a really rare color in vitae, like silver, gold, white, or black. And he can’t be an arcanist, even though that’s what this kind of weird pattern usually suggests. Unless he just didn’t scan his ID? He’s playing with fire, if that’s the case.
The train arrives, and I get on. The old man steps on too. He sits down gently on a seat toward the front of the car, and I stand a respectful distance away in the back. He crosses his spindly arms around his cane, leans his head forward, and falls asleep, apparently. Just like that, his long robe/coat thing wrapped about him like a blanket.
This isn’t totally unheard of. Most people get off the platform when an arcanist scans in, but a very few just ignore it and get on anyway. Something tells me this dusty tomcat isn’t exactly late for anything, so he must be too old to care. It’s the first time I’ve had any company on the train in months.
I’d like to talk to him, but I’ll let him sleep. Far be it from me to wreck up an old-timer’s rest. He’s probably earned it.

[this story has over 30 posts now, which you can find through my reddit profile. hundreds and hundreds of pages of ol' Featherlight. and i update pretty much every week, so you can look forward to more ♥]
[you can read this story on Royal Road too, if that's the kind of thing you're into. reviews would be greatly helpful for a new guy on the scene ♥]
[if you think this story is good enough to pay for, why not flip me a tip? i'd appreciate it ♥]
[and thanks for reading ♥]
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"Chillwave" turns 10 years old today

Chillwave turns 10 years old today. Chillwave is curiously well-known among indieheads as a term but also somewhat misunderstood, maligned, and neglected. In the wake of this anniversary I began writing about it’s origins, it’s run from 2009-2011 and it’s subsequent influence on indie electronic music and indie music overall since.
Part of this plan was to highlight the big four - not three - artists key to it’s sound: Washed Out, Toro Y Moi, Neon Indian and Memory Tapes. In particular I wanted to set forward the case that Dayve Hawk’s run as Weird Tapes/Memory Cassette/Memory Tapes was not only crucial to the genre but arguably encapsulated it the best. I also wanted to flesh out the tangled web of various artists and genres closely related and essential to chillwave emergence instead of the usual focus of the handful of core musicians mentioned above that so many features have relied on. Phillip Sherburne’s 2010 article is a good example of what I mean by expanding on the list of music related to chillwave.
Ian Cohen’s amazing feature on chillwave from June 25 took much of the wind out of the sails of my motivation to write about chillwave, but I nonetheless wrote out an grand overview of sorts which I’ve posted below. It would of been the first part of a series of more detailed and likely less verbose essays broken up in sections: proto-chillwave music before 2009, a section on each of the ‘big four,’ another with notable mentions, and a section about everything since 2011. If you are interested I can write and post these over the next few weeks or months, along with playlists.
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Exactly 10 years ago “chillwave” was established as a genre, coined July 27, 2009 on the infamous blog Hipster Runoff in a quintessentially snarky yet borderline insightful post by Carles. It was a flash-in-the pan moment, albeit a substantive one long enough to sustain itself for over a year, culminating in SXSW showcases and the “summer of chillwave” in 2010. Discussion of chillwave online outlasted the overt participation of it’s core artists: in 2011 Memory Tapes, Toro Y Moi, Washed Out, and Neon Indian effectively bowed out from the genre’s main tropes, each releasing a ‘post-chillwave’ album of sorts as they moved on into their own artistic directions.
Only in hindsight can it be said that chillwave occupies a truly unique existence as a genre, an existence that can not be compared to earlier scenes or movements nor expected of trends to emerge in the years ahead. These musicians were united under a genre they neither embraced nor rejected. There was never a “scene” in any geographical manner, or even in a virtual sense as there has been with vaporwave. It was never as vague or nebulous as the “glo-fi” or “hypnagogic pop” style descriptors that have aptly been applied to artists that have both preceded and succeeded chillwave. In terms of legacy it was neither unfairly dismissed, despite its influence, the way witch-house was, nor is it a all-but-forgotten microgenre footnote in late 00s / early 10s history the way seapunk or wonky are.
It can be argued that at its core chillwave is a contrived label, a means of distinguishing it’s artists from it’s underground cousins glo-fi and hypnagogic pop and likewise arbitrarily categorizing specific musicians who fall under more comprehensive genres of synthpop, and electronic, and even broader styles of “dream pop” or “indie electronic.” It's no coincidence that an earnest effort by Pitchfork to dedicate a website, Altered Zones, to the varied yet broadly related minutiae of such underground artists and labels, was similarly doomed from the start, lasting just over year. The dilemma of genrewave. In fact if there’s one incessant footprints of chillwave it’s the ushering of vague hashtag styles, everything from Spotify’s ham-fisted “fluxwork” and “escape room” nonsense to lofi chillout hiphop beats to study to youtube playlists.
The real legacy of chillwave’s moment in the sun from 2009-2011 was bridging the gap between unabashed lo-fi weirdness of underground scenes and bedroom producers and more established producers making slick, more cautionary electronic pop and dance music. Before 2010 pop tended to be retro-informed, not explicitly retro-styled. The novelty of overt retro sounds of past music, especially from the late 70s to late 80s era chillwave drew from, were no longer cheap style nods made in the name of irony or gimmick but instead sincerely embraced by chillwave artists. There were plenty of 90s and 00s retro-minded music projects delving into overtly “summer” sounds but they worked within confines: ambient house groups KLF, The Orb, and Global Communication, l the critically acclaimed yet leftfield IDM projects Boards of Canada, Casino Versus Japan, and Freescha, Beck’s cheeky and gimmicky postmodern pop, Bjork’s diverse song stylings on her debut album, the shimmery warm ambient sounds within shoegaze and dream pop like later era Cocteau Twins and Slowdive or Yo La Tengo’s “Today Is The Day”, exotica and lounge music revival via Stereolab, Pizzicato Five and the Ultra Lounge compilations. The list goes on. It wasn’t until Panda Bear’s Person Pitch in 2007 and a string of releases by Sun Araw, L.A. Vampires, and Ducktails (many via the L.A. area label Not Not Fun) in the same timeframe that proto-typical chillwave took form as it did across the Atlantic via neo-disco and Bearlic Beat influenced bands Air France, The Tough Alliance, Studio and The Embassy. While not directly influencing the core chillwave artists directly (for the most part, Memory Tapes was contacted by Air France and later remixed them) they warmed up indie audiences to the vibe so central to chillwave’s general sound.
Despite the litany of precursors and influences, it was nonetheless the core chillwave artists that firmly and finally injected unabashed retro and vintage aesthetics and styling into indie music. Part of it was a lack of commercial liability in terms of appeal - mp3 blogs and social media pages cut the middleman of distro and major indie PR and let bedroom production and it’s DIY ethos get buzz far more immediately. They didn’t try to work within existing genres. They didn’t just drawn on old samples for a melodic hook or one-off song, they made it core to their musical output. The tape warbled, lo-fi samples of Boards of Canada could be coupled with pop vocals. Tropical sounds and instrumentation didn’t have to be in the form of instrumental downtempo electronica or chillout rave music. The utter experimental tendencies of hypnagogic pop like James Ferraro or Ariel Pink could be dialed down without losing any of its core weirdness and retro-sylings. It’s no coincidence that Best Coast - Bethany Cosentino’s surf rock-tinged summery garage rock project that paralleled chillwave’s emergence in 2009 - split off of Pocohaunted, another lynchpin in LA’s hypnagogic pop scene.
In other words the vast treasure trove of past music to sample or emulate was truly opened up as a viable option for indie musicians without hesitation or constraint. It help revitalize psych rock and dream pop. It’s not a stretch to say acts like M83 or Tame Impala would not have produced their unabashedly retro-tinged albums of the last decade. There wouldn’t be such mainstream appeal of media like Stranger Things and it’s soundtrack. The entire scope and direction of EDM in the 2010s toward a blender of genres it is now would have likely remained stratified and categorized in specific styles and tempos à la house, trance, techno, drum and bass, etc. as they were in the 2000s and earlier.
Chillwave isn’t alone in bearing responsibility for this, but it certainly stands out as a key example. One other genre comes to mind in it’s similarly rise and fall and subsequent pollination of vast influence and derivatives: dubstep. It bubbled within the electronic music communities and, ironically, already moving past it’s core sound when it exploded in popularity around 2009-2010. “Post-dubstep” and “bass music” succeeded it with much longer lifespans. Quirky and (and in the case of ‘brostep’ controversial) offshoots like wonky, future garage, future bass, etc. developed into their own subgenres and launched successful careers and scores of releases, niche, labels and flourishing live scenes. It’s the sea of divergent styles and trends that dubstep and chillwave released that make them so important, because once seen in the confines of their own limited scope in terms of time and place they seem far less significant. It’s often a mixed legacy as well, for every critically acclaimed song or album in the wake of dubstep and chillwave there’s a plethora of competent, decent yet nonetheless cookie cutter, middle of the road derivative tracks and releases, complete with equally slick and homogeneous imagery. EDM and major indie electronic acts with crowd-pleasing “bass drops” and “chill vibes” are undeniably appealing, even if their music might fall flat of brilliance or progression.
The meta-cultural discussion of chillwave previewed a decade or instantaneous commentary on music and the seamless injection of public reception on the same level as established media outlets. Fan hype outdoing PR marketing, a formerly published review getting less online traction than twitter memes. Despite perception of dismissal or eyebrow-raising chillwave spurred features and think pieces, and then subsequent features about chillwave features and think pieces, many of which came out years after the genre died out. It had one foot in the dying days of mp3 blogs and nascent social media pages like myspace, and another foot in social media outlets like instagram and twitter. This kind of transition occurred in other ways: Washed Out’s cassette release of High Times in 2009, a literal nod to retro aesthetics, foreshadowed the unexpected revival of cassette tapes years later, bringing it from its role as a cheap niche format for underground noise and experimental acts into a vinyl and CD alternative for many a major indie label label. It’s a fitting physical parallel to chillwave as an ethos - tape hiss, wow and flutter, dropouts, etc. were embraced for their warmth and nostalgic appeal and incorporated into music that where laptop DAWs like Ableton and immediate online samples could be gleaned from the internet. The fusion of vintage sound with modern production has been a key part of retro-fetishim and the embrace of physical analog media in indie music has brought it full circle.
The most striking thing about chillwave may be the fact that it’s still considered a genre at all. I don’t mean this flippantly or in regard to its merits but rather it’s extremely unusual place in recent music history. It may very well be the last music genre to be coined, adopted by successor artists, well-publicized and hyped, and subsequently cited with a concise but nonetheless clear timeline. Everything post-2010 has been either relegated to microgenres coined by journalists and fans, self-described more broadly as a vibe or style or movement or collective (cloud and mumble rap, deconstructed club, PC Music) or simply lumped as experimental or progressive acts within well-established genres and scenes. It could be argued Vaporwave holds this title, and notably it kicked off with Daniel Lopatin’s ‘sunsetcorp’ youtube videos in the same summer of 2009 (albeit with much less initial traction), but it has been a far more open-ended, broad, and perpetually redefined scene and movement with far more indirect influence and less mainstream awareness. It’s more of a nascent internet / virtual scene, a “post-genre” music movement even. Perhaps chillwave itself is “post-genre,” after all, as mentioned earlier it had no firm geographic center, not one of its original artists openly embraced the term, and it’s rise and fall was arguably a completely contrived narrative by the collective internet hive mind of artists, fans, and journalists. Regardless of what chillwave was, is, and will be - fad, trend, genre, movement - it can’t be denied or downgraded from it’s infamy and place in 21st century pop music, a window into the shift from postmodern pop remaining stratified and categorized in the 90s and early 00s to the rise of healthy niche microgenres and underground scenes...and, hopefully, truly hybrid and even inscrutable styles of progressive and groundbreaking pop music being produced in the decades to come. Or maybe not, and if so we can at least appreciate the fact that we can throw on “Feel It All Around” for summers to come.
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Some discussion questions:
When did you first hear about chillwave?
Favorite artists / releases?
Favorite of the 'big four' ? (Memory Tapes, Neon Indian, Washed Out, Toro Y Moi)
Is chillwave still a "genre" and apt style descriptor for music made in 2019?
What are some underrated / overlooked artists or releases indieheads should check out?
Should I keep writing about chillwave? (FYI this was the most abstract essay, I plan to write more informal guides / overviews about the music itself.)
Edit 1: THANKS FOR THE GOLD!
Edit 2: THANKS FOR MY FIRST PLATINUM!
Edit 3: THANKS FOR SILVER! I feel like a reddit Olympian or something
submitted by joshuatx to indieheads [link] [comments]

[Event] Dash to the Future Megaproject

Dash to the Future Megaproject

As teased by President Lim, the Legislative Yuan finally put a rubber-stamp on his teased Dash to the Future megaproject. The project is slated to cost $100 Bn, with the goal of launching Taiwan over the $1 Tn GDP mark and well towards the next trillion, to be the largest economic overhaul of the nation since its rise as an East Asian Miracle in the 80's and 90's. The Legislative Yuan has placed a soft completion date for the project around mid 2038.

Greater Taipei

With population in Taiwan climbing, and already having metropolitan spill over between Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Keelung, the Ministry of the Interior has included as part of the Dash to the Future Plan a major overhaul of these areas that include full integration into a new smart megacity called Greater Taipei. As part of this integration, the entire city will be called Greater Taipei, but Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, and Keelung will be the new Super Districts while still having jurisdiction of their already existing districts. With the exception of New Taipei City, most of these new Super Districts are extremely old. While there are newer, overhauled areas, most of the residences are small high-rises that have been there since Japanese colonialism and slowly updated. Electrical wires run from street transformers directly through windows into buildings, the same could be said about the internet. Being the oldest part of modern Taiwan, it is no surprise it is the last place on the island that remains this way, and this will have to be addressed when creating Greater Taipei into a smart megacity.
Massive digging projects will begin to streamline the electricity management of Greater Taipei by placing it underground and integrated into each residential and business structure as overhauled in the Housing Boom subproject. The same will be done with the internet as well, to provide fibre optics to every residential building and business. All current sewage piping, and water piping will be completely redone to connect sewage to waste water plants to clean out the waste and filter the cleaned water towards the interior where agriculture is present.
To make Greater Taipei into a world class city like Tokyo, or Seoul, it will need to be clean. While trash has never been an issue with Taiwan’s dominant recycling regimen and daily trash routines, streetside food vending is not only violating health regulations, but looks unsanitary. The Ministry of Interior acknowledges that night markets are an important part of Taiwan’s culture and tourism background so they decided to build several specific large mall-like markets with multiple floors. Vendors will rent out space from the Ministry of Interior, and will be given a license to operate within the lease date so long as they pass the health inspections.
After the Port of Taipei was damaged by the People’s Liberation Army, the Ministry of National Defense was quick to dispatch CSBC Corporation to repair the damage, however the port is important to the northern economy, and President Lim has been vigilant to include it in the Dash to the Future Megaproject. The container port is going to be expanded to service 20,000 TEUs and up to 52 container berths. To do so, the quay length will be extended 15,500 m with 190 quay cranes and 178,000 m2 of warehouse. The Taiwan Heavy Industries Shipyard at the Port of Taipei will also be subsequently expanded to provide a larger away of civilian and business vessels to feed Taiwan’s monstrous trade regimen. The facility expansions will focus on crude oil tankers, oil and natural gas drilling ships, LPG carriers, offshore oil and gas rig vessels, semi submersible heavylift ship barge, and superlarge freighters. Most of these will service EVERGREEN’s growing need for vessels as Taiwan’s economic influence expands across Africa and the world, to service LNG and petroleum drilling operations in Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Philippine Sea.
The Ministry of Interior plans to move the central government from Taipei to Tainan so Taipei can focus on finance, business, and tourism rather than politics. All current government buildings such as the Legislative Yuan, Presidential Office Building, and others will be turned into the Taiwan Smithsonian, so that citizens can visit the historical monuments for free.
Roads in the city will be expanded to feed the growing population and updated to modern standards. The highways will be expanded to ten lanes, while roads will be expanded to eight lanes. The roadways and the highways across Taiwan will be armed with speed and traffic cameras for enforcement of laws by photography and speed signalling. The Ministry of Interior has set their goal of 99% of Taiwan’s roadways to be enforced by camera policing to not only make driving safer, but cleaner. Sound barriers will be added around the freeways, highways to minimize sound.
Having long been delayed, the Taoyuan International Airport, the island’s primary airport is going to undergo extensive remodeling as part of the Dash to the Future Megaproject. With the large-scale international recognition of the Republic of Taiwan, many previously off-limits routes are now available to Taiwan, meaning the airport will have to accommodate the increased traffic. Already a busy airport, they have decided to market themselves towards being the hub to South Asia from North Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas. Meaning that flights headed to South Asia will be directed through Taoyuan International Airport. Two more runways are going to be added, each at 12,467 feet made primarily of concrete. The airport has a target of around 100,000,000 passengers served annually, which is 20,000,000 more than the current 80 million. All of the terminals will be upgraded to be on a loop to the highway so that vehicles can pull up, and drop off relatively quickly.
The integration is expected to cost $20 Bn over the course of the project.

New Capital City - Tainan

The central government has decided to jump ship from Taipei to the old ancient capital, Tainan. Tainan was the original capital to the island government when ruled by their own people, and seemed like a fit for the Republic of Taiwan. Additionally, the transition to Tainan will bring with it a large amount of investment and repurposing of the city from stagnant industry, to bustling political center. A building for each ministry will have to be constructed, as well as a Legislative Yuan, and a Presidential Building. The site for the construction of the new seat of government has been selected in the Annan District of Tainan, mostly abandoned farmland and right on two scenic rivers, right across from Anping Old Fort. All of the ministry-level headquarters will be built in a similar ancient Taiwan palace-style along a single road called Independence Way that connects to Road 17. Taiwan’s new presidential building will be called the “Green House” denoted by its green-colored roof to be as pictured at the end of Independence Way with each Ministry building at its North and South. (See the Green House, pictured center, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pictured left). The area around the structures will be maximized for the growth of vegetable and fruit gardens. The paddies around the buildings should also be preserved as much as possible to maintain the healthy natural image. The Environmental Protection Agency has stated the buildings on Independence Way will be entirely powered by renewable energy, like 80% of the country.
The construction and overhaul of the area to prepare for the transition of the seat of government should cost $5 Bn.

Housing Boom

The island has already built over most of its non-mountainous areas with houses since the early 1900’s. As noted above, the new focus will be about building new, and higher than ever before. While most of Taiwan’s buildings, especially in Taoyuan, and Taipei are very aged, the new push is to build tall and build new. As part of a great urban renewal project and residential housing project, Continental Engineering Corporation has been provided the contract and subsidies to undertake the massive housing project. All of the structures will be replaced with large multi-use skyscrapers. This will allow the ground floors to be used by stores, and restaurants, while the remaining floors can be used for apartments. Electricity, water, sewage, gas, and the internet will run to these buildings. Each unit will have its own integrated HVAC system, a considerable upgrade for Taiwan. These high-scale cookie-cutter apartment complexes will be dotted across the island, replacing the old. These apartments will be sectioned into units of 10, and that will consist of a neighborhood that has a secure vehicle and foot entrance on two sides. Using the home key to swipe at the security gate they can gain access to the neighborhood and to their building. Guests can check in at the security gate by providing their National Identification Card. A section for visitor parking by the security gate will be allotted, while residence parking will be camera detected by parking pass, and will remain underground in the neighborhood. At the center of each neighborhood, will have a park and common area for community activities. The security entrances will be manned by uniformed, unarmed, volunteers to the National Police Agency as part of their new Community Safety Office. They will not have the authority to arrest anyone or detain anyone, but could assist with situations until law enforcement arrive if serious, solve communal disputes, report suspicious activity, and general community outreach activities like helping a child find their home, get into their building, assisting people carrying groceries etc.
Likely the most important piece of the project, and the largest arm of the project, it is expected to cost $50 Bn in upgrades and construction across the island to completely modernize housing and implement the safe neighborhood system.

Connection Penghu

The islands of Penghu, still on Taiwan’s continental shelf, are in shallow waters, easily accessible, and within 10 miles of Chiayi County on the island of Taiwan. A series of bridged highways have been proposed in a loop to link Penghu County and its respective islands to each other which will be linked by a long over-water bridge to the coastal Highway 61. As part of the loop there will be two connections across to Penghu, the first will connect the Hwy 61 to Penghu’s 202 at the Huxi Township. The other connection will connect Dongjiyu Township to the 61 by Jiangjun District. This plan will effectively connect all of the islands of Penghu directly to each other and to Taiwan proper. The connection will be called the Penghu Causeway, and will cost $20 Bn.

Gambling Laws and Tourism

As Taiwan gains a taste for luxury life and culture, the Legislative Yuan decided to generally legalize gambling across the Republic of Taiwan. Previously, gambling was only legal in designated areas, however no areas were ever designated. After the passage of this law, gambling and e-gambling will now be legal in Taiwan. Specifically, the Legislative Yuan has targeted Yilan County’s coast for specific gambling and resort build up on the Eastern Coast. White sands will be poured over Yilan’s coast and allow the targeted foreign resort and casino investment into the area. The Ministry of Interior will be conducting a $5 Bn construction and infrastructure build up of the coast to cater to construction of prospective resorts and casinos. This will include the clearing of the new coast, extending of power lines and water lines, and carving out areas for resorts and casinos, while preparing the white sand beach.
Taiwan will now allow the hosting of e-gambling services, including Simplified Chinese to suck money out of China’s rampant addiction to online gambling that the government can’t seem to crank down on. Currently, the Philippines manages the monopoly for e-gambling in South East Asia, but as an easy market to get into and a sector dominance of Chinese-language, the barriers to entry for Taiwan are extremely low. With the technological prowess of Taiwan, the Legislative Yuan expects it will not be long until most e-gambling could be regulated through Taiwan’s government, and all the digital transactions and gambling fees raking in more revenue from overseas players to Taiwan. The Legislative Yuan hopes that this broad legalization will drive further business, and will make Taiwan one of the first in South East Asia to do so.
submitted by Erhard_Eckmann to Geosim [link] [comments]

[The Featherlight Transmission] - Ch. 3

A little while later, I'm in Sector Seven, home of fancy restaurants, galleries, theaters, casinos, and the kinds of whorehouses that get called “social clubs”. I’m already in the general area, and I’m hungry after being harassed with forms for an hour and a half. There’s a place I like here.
It's colorful, clean, and loud in Sector Seven, with a wide-open circular plaza in the middle. Music always in the air, and all kinds of signs begging you to come look, come see what we've got going on tonight. The funhouse of the single-digit folk. You can come to Sector Seven, but remember - you gotta pay if you wanna play.
Being in the Inner Ring, you generally don't see many of my kind in Sector Seven. Most people milling around here are those with heavy purses, and the kind of leaky generosity that for some reason only reaches the hands of politicians and others of their kind rather than hospitals or schools. These kinds of people generally don't like looking at slabs, because we track mud all over the carpet and sometimes accidentally eat their dogs, so we tend not to be welcome in the establishments here. However, the unavoidable fact is that while slabs are definitely ugly and gross, the rich skinnies up here sure as sugar aren't going to be cleaning, fixing, or lifting anything heavy anytime soon, so even here you'll see some of us mixed in with some other poor skinnies that come in from the Outer Ring to do the dirty work.
But of course, everyone's gotta eat. So, if us grunts can't come and spill beer all over the nice white tablecloths, we'll just have to take our credits somewhere else, thanks. And that's where Gulder's Grub enters the picture.
In an alley off the side of Circle Seven, there's a shadowy little spot for people like me. It's not big, but it's an oasis in the middle of a desert of glitzy places that ask an entire month's rent just to come in. A little corner for the ones that actually do all the work. A couple little shops with everyday necessaries, a dingy bar or two, and some diners, all in the shadow of the great towering monuments to that goddess of Sector Seven: Pleasure.
The main (and only) attraction here is Gulder's. It doesn't look like much, just a metal shack with a clapboard menu and a window, but the nosh that Gulder slings is so good that there's always a line, and sometimes you'll even see people in fancy clothes standing in it. You can get a slab-sized sandwich so tasty it'll make you cry, and you can get it without having to take out a third mortgage.
I’ve built up a grave appetite, of a magnitude that only Gulder's is mighty enough to slay. I'm standing in line, behind a skinny in oil-stained overalls. It's nearly lunch, so I've got a while to wait before I get to the front.
The people here are either too tired or too depressed to pay me any mind, which suits me just fine. It’s one of the reasons I like coming here. It’s a misfit shelter. I even know a few arcanists that are willing to come out of the woodwork for one of Gulder’s sandwiches. Believe me, you’d be willing to risk your skin too, if you knew what this alley smelled like. The heavenly aromas bring out all kinds of hungry crazies.
Speaking of which, here's a squirrely-looking slab boy over by some tables that's decided to take his face out of his sandwich and aim it toward my face. I lock eyes with him. Or try to, at least. He can't keep his straight. He's a sizable bit of product, somewhere between six and a half and seven feet, maybe around five hundred fifty pounds. Average enough by our standards. Judging by his lack of clank, jittery eyes, hairless head, and general air of frothy paranoia, I'm guessing he was kind of a shrimpy fella before his procedures.
Those are the dangerous ones. These cats are why every Watchman carries a canister of slabkiller gas when they're out on patrol.
Take a little guy who, let's be honest here, was never destined for great feats of academic achievement. Now put him in a desperate situation. Traumatize him. Make him grow up poor. Give him a tiny dick, make sure he gets plenty of bullies to deal with, both in school and out. Kill his parents, or make them hate and abuse him. Tell all the girls, or boys in some cases, not to look at him. Fire him from his job. Maybe give him a terminal illness, or fill him up with so much unprocessed rage that fire comes out of his nose every time he sneezes. Box him into a corner, put him in a cage so nasty that the only way out is to get slabbed.
It'll work, the cutters at the slab lab say. You're prime material, just what we needed, they say. But he isn't. He's scrawny, malnourished, unintelligent. A sad mess in the shape of a young man. But hey, slabbers need meat. And here it is, direct off the streets. It's not like actual people would ever volunteer for something like this, so we'll make do with the kind of guy that needs the money. So they'll give him some cash, put him on the table, and chop him up anyway, knowing full well that his unimpressive body and sub-average brain won't be able to take it. And he'll come out the other side a twitching, confused, angry kid, with hormones leaking out of his ears and more mental and emotional scars than physical ones, living inside the body of a giant.
You haven't taken him out of that cage. You've just made him strong enough to drag other people in with him.
I zoom in on him and sure as sunrise, he's got an aggression inhibitor bolted to the side of his head, wire running down to meet up with the back of his neck. It's a big one, too. This kid must have some bad habits. Without it, the hot sludge running in his veins would send him into a psychosexual meltdown of nightmarish proportions. Within fifteen minutes he'd either collapse and start seizing until he swallowed his own tongue, or cave to the voices in his head and start raping people to death until someone shot him.
He's still trying to look at me. Hard to maintain an intimidating glare when your eyeballs keep slipping off whatever you're trying to stare down. I think he's jealous of my own eyes. My implants, that is. My old pair are probably fertilizing some grandma's apple tree somewhere.
I never got nystagmus like a lot of these kids do. Years after my change I could see as well as I did when I was a teenager. That’s the main freebie biomancy gets you - an unnaturally healthy body, even after enough experimental surgeries to make the most puritanical Brotherhood zealot sweat. My body just mutates around additions and edits, keeping me extremely alive whether I have any say in it or not. Pyromancers get to shoot fire out of their nose, hydromancers get to make the fountains dance, heiromancers get to write laws that reality itself has to obey. My only trick is being too alive to kill, among a couple of other fun things. But hey, if you’re gonna have one trick, not dying is a pretty good one to have, I think.
This kid has no clank at all other than his inhibitor, fitting with my observation that his vitae is weak as fuck, despite all his implants and injections. Red, and very low, like a lonely coal. His brain was barely holding itself together after basic slabbing, so there's no way he'd be able to tolerate any kind of optional features. Probably doesn't even have bone reinforcements. He's got maybe five years before he's a twisted-up pile of slime. If he doesn't kill himself or get executed first.
I smile and give him a little wave. He scowls at me, still trying to meet my eyes. Defiant. Cute.
From here, there's only two options, depending on his personality and how well that inhibitor is working. He'll either burn one of his last synapses to realize that I'm bigger and smarter than him by a pretty significant margin and go back to eating his sandwich like a nice little porkbrain, or decide against all logic that I'm a bit too uppity for his liking and I need to be taught a lesson. I'm about halfway through the line, so I figure I've got enough time to share some of my wisdom before lunch. I keep smiling at him.
Yep. That did it. The sandwich, which right now should be the most important thing in this guy's short little life, has been laid down. I am now his entire universe, and I couldn't be happier. He stands up from his table and starts stomping his way over to me. He's doing the thing all these gutter slabs do when they want to look extra scary and impressive*.* Squaring his shoulders, pushing his chest out, holding his chin slightly up, and flexing all his muscles at once, so his veins stand out under his skin like bridge cables. Personally, I always thought this pose made a guy look like an erection throwing a temper tantrum, but hey, what do I know? Maybe that's the point. I know I probably wouldn't try to tussle with a giant, throbbing, foul-tempered penis in work boots and coveralls. Who knows what kind of fluids you'd get on you?
Now he's within smelling distance. The delightful melange of grease, sweat, and testosterone wafts over me, and suddenly I'm reconsidering lunch. The rest of the line has done a curious thing, bending away from me to form a comfortable and distant semicircle. People around here know the drill - they're pretty much on autopilot. Once you see two trains crash head-on multiple times a day for a few years, you learn to just step calmly out of the shrapnel zone.
He lines up on me, about ten feet away. Close, but not so close that I could grab him. Smart. Not the first time this guy's taken exception to someone's behavior. His vitae is flaring, but it’s still sort of pitiful - just a kind of weak reddish glow, like a spoon accidentally left on a stove.
The palooka does his best to get me in his wiggly sights and grunts, “Got a problem, fuck?” His voice is hoarse, like sandpaper rasping over gravel. Probably smokes a lot of scrub to dampen the pain in his joints.
Most skinnies he does this to are probably wetting themselves by this point, so, considering he has somehow mistaken me for one, he probably expects me to do the same. Instead, I do what any respectful predator does when he meets one of his own kind, and show him my teeth. All fifty-eight of them.
I opt to leave the eloquence at the door, guessing this meat pie probably wouldn't appreciate it anyway. “Yeah. You're really, really ugly. You look like a butt. And you smell like what comes out of a butt. You should take a shower. Smelly.”
Okay, not exactly award-winning trash talk. But you try making your insults dashing and stylish using only words with two or less syllables. It's hard!
His pink face screws up in an expression of both pain and skull-popping fury, making his hairless head look like a wad of used chewing gum. His inhibitor is shocking him, telling him to cut it out. But he doesn't. He's angry enough to push through the pain.
I can understand that.
He lets the rage out of his chest with a roar, then puts his head down and charges me, very plainly trying to tackle me to the ground so he can turn my face into mince. I do what a slab almost never does.
Dodge.
This probably wouldn’t work in most other situations, because I’m huge and not very maneuverable, but so is this guy. I step around him as cool as you please, and he steams past me. He keeps going for a bit, but then catches on to the fact that he hasn't hit anything for a suspiciously long time, so he skids to a stop and whips around.
He's way past words at this point. He's getting shocked so bad I can see smoke coming from his implant. It'll blow if I don't tuck him into bed quick.
I don’t even need any magic for this. He’s making it way too easy.
Chunky charges again, but this time I don't move out of the way. I plant my back foot, then thrust my hand out right as he reaches me, mashing my palm right into his nose. He stops cold in his tracks with a sad little whimper, arms stretching toward me pitifully.
Fortunately the kid's got a weird tiny head, so I'm able to get a good grip on it. Thumb on his right ear, fingers wrapped nicely across his jawbone and temple. I lift him up a bit for leverage, then throw his head into the pavement like a bouncy ball. Being connected by a neck, the rest of his body follows suit. His chin makes a fun crack when it hits, and his neck bends at an angle that four out of five physicians probably don't recommend. He stops moving.
I bend down and wipe the sweat and spit off on the back of his shirt, then check his breathing. Feel around his neck vertebrae. His vitae is still there, but even dimmer. He's fine. Way sleepier than he was a minute ago, but alive. He'll wake up in half an hour wondering why everything above his shoulders feels like it got run over by a cargo train. And if he's lucky, he'll find he's gained some perspective on pointless violence, especially when aimed at one of the only guys in the city that outweighs him. If I'd been a Watchman, he'd have been sprayed with slabkiller and packed off to Sector Seventeen for recycling so fast he wouldn't even have time to notice how dead he was.
I stand up and give the line a coy smile and a wave. A couple nod at me in respect. I saunter slyly back over, and the guy I'd been ahead of lets me back in my spot.
Most gutter slabs are like a bottle of fizz in the back of a truck on a bumpy road. Over time, the pressure builds. The drugs, hormones, and supplemental brain tissue needed to integrate and coordinate the extra muscle result in a boiling pot of blind, directionless rage. For most, working hard all day doesn't let enough steam off. The extra starts to collect. With society saying that other ways of release aren't acceptable, while telling them they have to stay in line and put up with all the looks and comments, they reach a point where they pop. Usually all they do is smash up their own apartment, or fight it out with another slab in the same predicament.
But sometimes, when they're right on the edge, and another little kid screams at them like they're some kind of monster... they become one, for one horrible moment. And once you're a monster, you can never be anything else, ever again.
So, out of a sense of obligation to my dumb, angry brothers, I keep an eye out for the ones that look like they need a hard, thorough bit of percussive recalibration. I throw some goofy words at 'em, they fall for it, then I give 'em a nice whack on the head. They go to sleep for a bit, wake up with a few bruises, feel stupid, and remember what it is they need to be focusing on. Or at the very least they remember my fist in their face, which is enough to take the hot out of anyone's sauce, in my opinion. And then they stay out of trouble. Better for them to get a couple ouchies from a real monster than to cross that line themselves, I think.
I’m a mage, but I’m a slab too. It’s hard work being this distinctive and altruistic.
After about nine hundred years, I'm at the front of the line. I check the time. Almost noon. Yippee. I'm almost starting to feel it, too. The thought of quietly enjoying my meal at home and then taking a nap after the day I've had is almost enough to bring a tear to my eye. Metaphorically, that is. My tear ducts are cauterized shut.
The guy in front of me gets his order. It's a slab-sized sandwich, which I find strange, because it's almost the size of his thigh. But then I remember that skinnies can just slice a slab's sandwich like a cake and feed an entire family of four for a day or so. He's probably got kids at home. Pretty economical, when you think about it.
He tucks his monster meal under his arm and goes away, and I step up. I've got to take a knee in order to give my order, on account of how the shack's window only comes up to somewhere around the middle of my chest.
I peer into the greasy dollhouse and there's Gulder, the man himself, right in my face. I like Gulder. He serves enough slabs and weirdos every day that my awful mug suddenly appearing in his line of sight doesn't give him a heart attack. Everyone he sees, no matter what shape or sort, is just a receptacle to place a sandwich into, and I can't help but respect him for that. He's kind of a funny-looking fellow. On the short side, but borderline spherical from sampling the fruits of his labor, with no hair and a big black mustache like a push broom. From a distance he looks like two pink circles with a wide black line drawn through the top one.
He catches the green glint of my eyes and his caterpillar eyebrows go up. “Hey! This guy! Long time no see, Tiny! How you been? Keepin' outta trouble?”
See, the joke here is, Gulder calls me Tiny because I am, actually, a remarkably large person. An appellation that unexpectedly juxtaposes against the reality of the situation, in an example of what is sometimes referred to as “irony”. This is technically humor, but it's difficult to recognize after it's had its skull caved in with a lead pipe, wallet stolen, and left for dead in an alley somewhere. I'm so sorry, Humor. You deserved better.
I reply, “Oh, you know. I try to keep outta trouble, but trouble just can't keep outta me. It's 'cause I'm so handsome, y'see. Trouble just can't resist.”
He laughs. “Oh for sure. Pretty boy like you probably has more than his share of attention.” His smile melts off. “Hey look, thanks for cleaning up that mess over there. That one comes by pretty often, but he was starting to make me nervous. Times is hard enough without a puffed-up bully harassing my customers. Now he knows you come by here sometimes, maybe he'll cool it. I'm buying your lunch today.”
I wave a paw and scoff, because that's what you do in situations like this. “C'mon, it was all the work of twenty seconds. You probably could’ve given him a firm poke with a spatula and he would’ve fallen over, guy was as stable as a castle made out of cookies. It wasn't nothin'.”
He shakes his head and holds his hands up insistently. “It wasn't not nothin', champ. You went outta your way when you didn't have to. You spend twenty seconds showing a creep the inside of his own face for me, I spend twenty seconds making you lunch. Fair's fair, I insist.”
There's no point trying to shout him down. He's a Sector Seven man with a business that prints its own money, but I can tell he's not from here. Probably grew up in one of those Outer Ring slums where generosity is as rare as rain and being paid a favor is something that simply cannot be tolerated without swift, righteous vengeance. These cats are trained from childhood to treat an act of kindness like a declaration of war. Try to out-nice one of these slum knights and you'll both end up bankrupt.
“Alright, pal, I'll let you foot the bill this time. But only because I know you'll beat me up if I don't.”
He brandishes his spatula at me very seriously. “You bet your stitched-up ass I will. You want the deluxe with the works and extra mustard, right?”
“Yes I do, and you might as well throw in a basket of fried squash too, seeing as how you're paying and all.”
“You got it, champ. Be just a minute.”
About a minute later, I've got my bag, and I say my goodbye. I'm glad I stopped by. Not just because it's the best sandwich someone else's money can buy, but I also got to box a disaster waiting to happen. Can't have the riff-raff messing around and giving one of my favorite joints extra headache. And the whole possible prevention of senseless death thing, et cetera.
Now I gotta get back on the train. Hopefully I can get home before this bag gets cold, but who am I kidding, you could leave Gulder's stuff in a gutter for a week and it'd still be tastier than half the food in the city.
I step on the ostentatiously ornate Sector Seven platform, scan my ID, the alarm goes off, people give me dirty looks and clear out of the way, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t even care. I’ve got a greasy brown bag of heaven and they don’t, so there. This sandwich means I win today, citizens.
Interestingly, one person doesn’t clear off of the platform. He’s an old, old man, standing on the steel plates a distance from me. He’s a little bent, and holds a simple wooden cane. Very weathered, browned skin, like he’s worked in the sun his entire life. White beard, wild wispy hair like snow being blown off a mountaintop. I can’t get anything from his facial expression, he almost looks half asleep. I didn’t hear the system go off before me, so he’s not an arcanist. Maybe he didn’t hear the buzzer?
His vitae is… weird. You ever see diagrams of magnetic field lines? The two fields of concentric loops wrapping out and back from the poles? It looks like that, kind of. Long, lazy loops of gray energy, radiating out in steady pulses from the center of his chest and dissipating once they get a good ten or so feet away. There’s something else there, too. The lines closest to him have this sort of yellow shimmer that fades as they go out. The whole web smells… almost like ozone, or electrically charged metal.
Like I said, weird. Gray is a really rare color in vitae, like silver, gold, white, or black. And he can’t be an arcanist, even though that’s what this kind of weird pattern usually suggests. Unless he just didn’t scan his ID? He’s playing with fire, if that’s the case.
The train arrives, and I get on. The old man steps on too. He sits down gently on a seat toward the front of the car, and I stand a respectful distance away in the back. He crosses his spindly arms around his cane, leans his head forward, and falls asleep, apparently. Just like that, his long robe/coat thing wrapped about him like a blanket.
This isn’t totally unheard of. Most people get off the platform when an arcanist scans in, but a very few just ignore it and get on anyway. Something tells me this dusty tomcat isn’t exactly late for anything, so he must be too old to care. It’s the first time I’ve had any company on the train in months.
I’d like to talk to him, but I’ll let him sleep. Far be it from me to wreck up an old-timer’s rest. He’s probably earned it.

[first chapter's over here if you missed it] [and here's the previous one] [thanks for reading ♥]
submitted by CadaverCommander to redditserials [link] [comments]

So I just watched all these Bond films for the first time and ranked them

-UPDATED, ADDED UP TO QoS-
I've seen the Brosnan/Craig era films but I never saw the originals. Currently watching in order, and here's my rankings. Tell me if it lines up with the general consensus. I'm not including the ones I've seen previously that I mentioned. I'm going to rank them when I rewatch them (Goldeneye, Casino Royale, etc.)
Casino Royale - This movie is too damn perfect. I remember watching it once when it came out and I haven't really seen it in full since then, but this time I got to really appreciate how amazing it is. What made OHMSS so great, this movie did better with the Bond/Vesper dynamic. Bond was as human as he could ever be in this movie, ranging from his flaws to his emotions to his mission. Not a single gadget was used in this movie, yet it didn't need any. Bond was as Bond as he could ever be. The homages to previous films weren't forced either like others (*cough*Die Another Day*cough*). I particularly loved the new take on the barrel sequence being Bond's first kill as a 00 agent, going right into the theme song (which is also one of my favorites). There's nothing too crazy in this film, just a good ol' fashion spy film with some good action sprinkled in between. This was the perfect balance of everything that makes Bond, cementing the fact that this is the best Bond film period. And I have to add this in here - "now the whole world is going to know you died scratching my balls" is quite possibly one of the greatest lines in the history of everything, let alone it being my favorite line in this series. Classic James Bond right there, as with everything in this movie. Being that I'm pretty positive at this point nothing is going to top this, I'm going over the scale here. 11/10
GoldenEye - I saw this movie growing up, so I tried to be as objective as possible so that it didn't take away from the following film with my own nostalgia. But as much as I tried to make the case that this wasn't the best Bond film so far, I couldn't. This movie is phenomenal. It is not only one of the best Bond films, but honestly one of the best action films period. Brosnan arguably had the best debut performance out of all the Bond actors before him. You could actually see the emotional turmoil he had for Alec's "death" and the eventual realization of his betrayal. Sean Bean is the epitome of a Bond villain, portraying 006 with perfection. Xenia is arguably the best Bond henchman ever, let alone being a henchwoman. Boris probably the best comedic relief of the series as well, and let's not underrate Gottfried John's performance as General Orumov. An absolute superb showing from everyone involved, in a plot that exemplifies Bond's strengths and weaknesses and highlights the theme M alludes to of Bond being a relic of the Cold War. Natalya wasn't a bad sidekick either, being able to hold her own throughout. The fact that they had to run with a plot completely void of Fleming's influence turned out to be a miracle that it ended up actually saving the franchise. Forgive me if any nostalgia may have gotten in the way of reviewing this, but I can't argue against it being the best so far considering it contained so many "bests-of" of the series itself (006,Xenia,the surrounding cast). Might have to go back and play the videogame when everything is said and done. 10/10
OHMSS - Without a doubt the best film up to this point so far. Great plot and chemistry between the actors. Best Blofeld imo, and so far the best Bond girl. You actually get to see Bond's emotions for the first time, and probably the most down to earth version of him. Loved the setting as well. Lazenby is criminally underrated and wish he stuck around. There's a lot of this movie that I can't really put into words how great it is. Just watch it yourself and you'll see why. 10/10
The Living Daylights - Holy crap, this was an amazing film. Dalton arguably nailed the first impression better than the ones before him. Maryam d'Abo put up an amazing performance as well. This was a film where the girl finally can hold her own and do some ballsy stuff, and actually saves Bond's life a few times. The film was action packed, but it also had some great espionage scenes throughout making this a true Bond film. Nothing crazy, just a few gadgets that are used sparingly and in ways that pay off. To be quite honest, it came really close to dethroning OHMSS. The one thing OHMSS has that sets it over the edge is seeing Bond's human element at his most vulnerable. The chemistry between Lazenby and Rigg was a bit better as well, but nothing to overshine Dalton/d'Abo's performance. Another one of those underrated classics that don't get enough mention, along with the following film after this on the list. Just a superb film through in and out. 10/10
For Your Eyes Only - I've never seen anyone put this movie on a pedestal before or even give it the amount of praise some of the other films received. But wow, this was a hidden gem and just an awesome standalone film, even if you forget it's James Bond. Another movie with great chemistry, albeit I wish Melina's actress could act better. But at least she made for a very competent and awesome Bond girl. It's awesome to see a girl in these films that can handle their own and not have to rely on Bond for everything. Julian Glover is an awesome villain too. Roger Moore was at his peak here imo. I love this movie. 10/10
Goldfinger - I see why people love this film. You got the entertaining villains. Bond's gadgetry really shines here, and it doesn't become overwhelmingly ridiculous like in later films. There's some great dialogue too, so even in the scenes with zero action you still are entertained. Connery was at his peak here and never quite matched it again. Honestly nothing left to say that hasn't already been said about this film. I wasn't entertained by it as my top two though, but probably the closest one. 10/10
The Spy Who Loved Me - There's a noticeable dropoff imo in how much I was entertained by the top three and this film. Still, it's a great film and it has the campy charm of the Roger Moore era while still maintaining a realistic approach. I wish Anya shined more in this film. The first half it had me believing she would be Bond's match but in the 2nd half she clearly played 2nd fiddle to everything and I was disappointed by that. The action scenes were awesome, although the ending was quite anticlimactic. Honestly a lot of this movie has lost potential, but it makes up for it with everything else. Also Jaws. 9/10
Octopussy - Wow. This blew away my expectations, all things considered since this movie was panned heavily by critics and what I thought was the general consensus among Bond fans. This is actually a great film. There was a lot of cliche moments and some cheesy quips by Bond and company, but that aside the movie kept me entertained all the way through. Another one of those realistic plots, this time returning to some nice Cold War action. I mean, aside from the ridiculous Octopussy cult but it's a Bond film so you kinda sort of have to expect that. It also threw me off a few times. From the beginning I thought General Orlov was going to be the big bad, but turns out he was just sort of a pawn for Khan's money making scheme. I appreciate that sort of twist, along with the good amount of memorable henchman in this film. Maud Adams was much better this go around than in TMWTGG as well. And as hilariously ridiculous Bond in a clown suit was, I've sort of grown to appreciate that sort of charm from the Moore era. As long the movies don't focus on these types of antics the entire time (see: Moonraker), it's good for a laugh in-between all the seriousness of the movie. Also Q gets some field time, which is awesome. 9/10
Thunderball - Less campy than Goldfinger and back down to earth like the earlier films, which isn't a bad thing because I actually prefer those types of Bond films. But it sort of drags on. There's some decent action here as well, like the underwater fight scene and Bond infiltrating Largo's villa. But aside from that, way too much water and way too much running around doing seemingly nothing. If they polished the movie a bit more and cut down on some scenes, noticeably the beginning at the rehab and the parade scene...this could have been a fantastic film, because the entire cast is awesome. Loved Largo as a villain and Leiter's portrayal as Bond's sidekick. Domino was one of my favorite Bond girls while watching this (RIP Claudine Auger). Fiona was a pretty awesome femme fatale. Overall still a great movie, just could have been executed a lot better. 9/10
Quantum of Solace - I liked this film a lot. I knew going in it wasn't going to be as good as Casino Royale, and that was okay. A lot of people thought this movie was disappointing, but I couldn't disagree more. It was a satisfying conclusion to the Vesper saga left on a cliffhanger of the previous film. The parallels between Camille and Bond seeking revenge for the deaths of a loved one played out quite well in this movie, allowing Bond to see a reflection of himself in her and eventually giving him the strength to not kill Vesper's boyfriend who turns out to be a member of Quantum abusing women in foreign intelligence to get information. That and also the countless times he needed to be reminded to not kill everybody he sees by M, it all coming together as a growing process for him to become more calculated in his actions instead of shoot first act later. That being said, this movie suffered a deal from the writer's strike. I sincerely believe with more time and dedication into finishing this movie proper, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace would have been an amazing 1-2 punch that could probably have gone hand-in-hand on most people's best lists. The movie seems very rushed at times, and at other times the pace is fine. It's a weird up-and-down roller coaster of driving the plot that kind of takes away from an otherwise good film. However knowing that they did the best they could work with given the writer's strike, I'm willing to give some of that a pass, because as I stated before the plot and themes themselves were fantastic. Overall still on the top level of Bond films, just disappointing we didn't get what we should have gotten. 8.5/10
Licence to Kill - This was a fun film. James Bond going rogue to avenge Felix Leiter? Count me in. Absolutely loved the fact Q got a lot of field work in this film. There were a lot of notable henchmen as well, including a young Benicio del Toro who I didn't even recognise until about midway through the movie. Robert Davi stole the show though, what an underrated villain for the series. There's a lot of good action scenes balanced with some classic espionage throughout as well. All of that being said, it doesn't set itself apart really from the aforementioned films. Dalton was a step down from his previous film, almost acting as if he was already through with the series. A shame, considering how great he portrayed Bond in TLD. The cheesy love triangle between Pam and Lupe was sort of annoying too. And the Scanners bit with Krest's head exploding was honestly so ridiculous that it made me forget I was even watching a Bond film for a few. That's the issue with this movie was that it was more like Die Hard than it was James Bond, which isn't necessarily a bad thing from an entertainment standpoint but in comparison it just comes off as a B-level action movie. This movie could have been executed a lot better, considering the talent and the original plot to work with. 8/10
Live and Let Die - Okay, I'm sort of a sucker for the Blaxpoitation genre and honestly as ridiculous as it was to pair Bond with the height of that era, in a vacuum this movie is actually pretty entertaining. Yaphet Kotto was awesome in this film as the main villain, but so were his henchmen. There's some awesome action scenes in this movie too, and most of the movie is still in the realm of believability so that's a plus too. But that's where this stops. Dear god this movie probably didn't age well in terms of tact. Rosie Carver was the first black Bond girl and she was...yeah she was pretty awful and dumb. The occultism stuff was cringy, especially considering that it doesn't even line up with the region. A lot of the dialogue coming from black characters were clearly written by old white guys that never actually heard a black person speak. Then there's the sheriff...hoo boy. The racial aspect aside, Solitaire's character could have been written a lot better. She shows signs of independence towards the middle of the film but then completely relies upon Bond for everything. Also rigging the deck was probably the 2nd worst thing Bond has ever done, and that's only because he borderline rapes Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. So yeah, forgive me for pandering but a lot of this movie's shining moments is weighed down by its antiquated garbage. Also never bring magic back into this franchise ever again please. All in all, it's still a great movie and I was highly entertained throughout. 8/10
The World is Not Enough - This movie started out strong. Strong enough potentially to be a top Bond film. You had an interesting setup with Elektra possibly being Stockholm syndrome'd by Renard, with Sophie Marceau doing a superb job at portraying a deceitful lover of Bond. Then you had M having a personal involvement in the whole case, showing the consequences of being the "queen of numbers". There's a lot of underlying themes here that callback on previous films, which I like. But then Christmas Jones happens. What the hell was Eon thinking? Denise Richards hands down has to be the worst actress to ever be a part of this franchise, and her "acting" really shows. None of what she says is believable at all and it's hard for me to believe she's a nuclear physicist. And she's not really useful at all if you think about it, because we know from past films Bond can diffuse a nuclear bomb quite well (TSWLM, Octopussy). So clearly she was just thrown in as a deus ex machina for Bond to have another lover while having an excuse for having a sidekick for the mission. Makes me think they wrote her in last minute because dumb test audiences didn't like that the only Bond girl was a villain, which I'm pulling out of my ass which is as equally comparable to how they wrote the 2nd half of the film. Yeah, Zukovsky just so happens to have a nephew as a submarine captain in the one city they need to blow up. Bullion just so happens to work for Elektra and be his chauffeur, as if hiring him wouldn't throw up any red flags in the first place. Let's hand a clock that clearly fell off the floor because of M back to her and that clock can easily be manipulated into a GPS signal with a locator device. There's probably other instances of lazy writing and lucky coincidences that plagues the 2nd half of this movie, but like its script I'm too lazy to recall them. And then we get the infamous "I thought Christmas only comes once a year" line to end the movie, which might actually be enough on its own to drop the score of this movie. Overall if it wasn't for the first half this movie would be a lot lower. It would be maybe a 5 if not for that, but overall it's a 7.5/10
Moonraker - This movie gets a lot of hate. And I understand why, because it is so ridiculous and is just a complete 180 from the beginning Connery days of the franchise. Trust me, I get that. But I'm willing to toss that aside in interest of actually seeing if I would be entertained by this movie and honestly, I was. It is so over the top fun and I appreciate that in terms of separating you from reality. If the film's goal was to be entertaining that maintains a level of insanity that doesn't get in the way of the experience, it pretty much nailed it. I'm not going to rank this movie any higher because it's still a Bond film, and it wouldn't be right to start reviewing this movie as if it was a separate entity entirely. So that's where the faults come in. This isn't James Bond. I don't understand how it got to this point when you look back at what Bond was supposed to be. The campiness is out of control, and while as I mentioned before I can appreciate that as a standalone film, it also just makes me feel like I'm watching Austin Powers. Goodnight is a cool character in premise, but her actress was so terrible I couldn't really get behind her. Drax was sort of cool I guess. The sacrificial lamb trope with Corinne was getting predictable at this point, though. In conclusion, it's an entertaining movie but they should have just focused on making an entirely different film separate from Bond. At least then it wouldn't have any expectations in the way, for better or worse. 7.5/10
A View to a Kill - This is one of those movies of the franchise they have all the right pieces for a great film, and it ends up so poorly executed. Did we really need to spend practically half the movie on a horse ranch? Why is 57 year old Roger Moore banging every girl he sees? What the hell was the point of May Day going to bed with him? And did we need an extra 10 minutes dedicated to a KGB agent attempting to steal a tape from Bond by seducing him only to fail and have it never get mentioned again? And as stupid James Bond going to space was, and seeing him in a clown suit...somehow him dangling off a firetruck and a blimp was more painfully cheesy and absurd to me. Perhaps it was just the fact it was just added in for meaningless action scenes and to pad the movie time, I don't know. And Midge is such a terrible actress and I really wish she wouldn't scream Bond's name so much. So why is this movie higher than the others? Max Zorin. He is hands down my favorite villain so far and I really wish he had more screen time and psychopathic moments. His backstory is cool too. Had I been in charge of the film I would have kept him alive for a future film, like make him a new Blofeld or something. Oh well, this movie is better than yellowface. 7/10
You Only Live Twice - This is when things are sort of getting bad. The first half? I actually loved it. Aki was pretty badass. I loved the action throughout the film so far and it had some great spy scenes as well. And then Aki dies and the film turns into Bond in yellowface blowing up volcanos with ninjas and some random Japanese girl in a bikini who serves zero purpose. I have nothing really left to say at this point, aside from thanking Donald Pleasance for giving us Dr. Evil. 7/10
Dr. No - I appreciate this film a lot. It sets the foundation for Bond and is a superb introduction into his character. Dr. No is an excellent villain and Honey Ryder represents the embodiment of what everyone is accustomed to expect of a classic Bond girl. From a historical perspective, this film means a lot to the franchise in so many ways and I can respect that. That being said, the movie is boring. When the film starts to pick up at Dr. No's island, it still seems like things just take forever. And while it finally pays off with the awesome back and forth between Bond and No at the dining room table, it just turns anticlimactic once Bond escapes his jail cell and eliminates No. The way he goes out is great, it's just I wish there was more interaction between the two. Also did they really need to kill Quarrel? 6.5/10
The Man with the Golden Gun - How did they mess this up so badly? The concept of the world's greatest assassin dueling against the world's greatest spy in a cat and mouse tale is such a superb idea. But instead we got Bond following Christopher Lee around for an hour and a half doing practically nothing aside from getting his mistress killed and fixing the mistakes Goodnight kept making. Also Goodnight sucks, I want to make this clear right now. She's not even in the realm of she's so bad she's funny. Like I'm convinced a producer thought having a dim-witted blonde at Bond's side was a great idea so they wrote her to be as dumb and offensive as possible. And kudos to them, because they pulled it off. Too bad it took away a lot of good from this movie. Like Christopher Lee's performance, arguably the best Bond villain so far in terms of acting. And Nick Nack, who made for a memorable henchman. But yeah, that's about it. Also the sheriff is back. Dear lord they botched this movie so bad. 4/10
From Russia with Love - Come at me with your pitchforks. I've seen this movie get placed as one of the best, if not the best Bond films of all-time. I've seen even a video game get made after it, which is crazy because it was so many years later. People always seem to answer the question of who Bond is to them and they say Connery in FRWL. And I can sort of understand that if you're there from the beginning or are really invested into the franchise, you can probably go back to this film and pick out the bits and pieces that make Bond so great and how Connery nailed it. I'm not arguing against the fact that this movie was important, because it was. But I'm going to be brutally honest - this movie is bad. I've said before I prefer the realistic down to earth take on Bond, but this one was a little too much for me. While the scene between Connery and Shaw on the train is probably one of my all-time favorite scenes of the franchise, most of the movie's dialogue is just drawn out banter between Bond and whomever about stuff that ultimately doesn't even matter. The pacing is so slow and it hardly ever seems as if Bond is accomplishing something. Tatiana goes from an interesting Russian spy to a completely dependent lover in less than two scenes. It's hard to even tell if she's putting up an act or if she really just failed her mission from the get-go and fell for Bond. I guess you could say that would mean she's putting up the deception well, but it's executed pretty poorly if that truly is the case. The gypsy camp part was a useless scene to pad out the movie and throw in some obligatory action to keep the viewer entertained. Red Grant could have been the Russian James Bond but really just stood around for most of the movie doing nothing until he actually meets Bond and then gets killed, so there's more poor execution on that end. The movie finally picks up at the end with the helicoptecar chase and the speedboat chase, but by then it's too little too late. I'm sorry guys, but this movie sucks. 4/10
Die Another Day - This movie is bad. And it's not even atrociously bad like the following films on this list. It's just such a forgettable movie, directed as if it was supposed to be a Fast and Furious film. No really, this movie may as well be part of that franchise. From the ridiculous slow motion and quick fast forward effects you'd see in every action movie of the mid-2000s, to the insanity of some magic gene splicing that can turn a North Korean colonel into an English playboy that can destroy the world with a solar beam while James Superbond drives around in an invisible car surfing on waves and avalanches in his spare time. You'd think with all this ridiculousness it could have some a value as a "so bad it's good" type of movie, but it really has none of that going for it. Because to be fair, the acting isn't too terrible. People gave Halle Berry shit for this movie but honestly she did fine considering what she had to work with. It's the most cookie cutter action film you could pick out from that era, with the littlest regard for it being a Bond movie. So with that in mind, it just comes out to be incredibly mediocre with zero replay value whatsoever. The only reason it's not as bad as the next two films is because the first 30 minutes of the film is pretty promising, along with there actually being a cohesive plot this time. 3/10
Diamonds Are Forever - This movie actually upsets me. One because it originally was supposed to be a revenge film for Lazenby's Bond to avenge Tracy's death. Two because Lazenby decided to leave and Irma Bunt's actress died, so rather than recasting her they decided to just throw Tracy's death into OHMSS as opposed to the intro to this movie and then recast Blofeld for the hell of it. And lastly because Connery puts a stain on his legacy as Bond by completely phoning it in with his performance here. That pain aside, there's no redeeming qualities about this movie at all. Tiffany Case is a Bond girl that barely passes an IQ test, so at least she's better than Goodnight. The movie was poorly edited and cut some many times you can barely follow the plot at times, then again who cares. Blofeld has clones now? So we're supposed to believe the real one was the one who got smacked around by Bond in a crane at the end of the movie? Which by the way, was so ridiculous I ended up laughing not for its intended effect but because of having it settle in how bad this movie was. Mr. Kidd Wint are just...ugh. Is there anything good about this movie? Yeah, Kanye West sampled the theme song and made one of his best songs. That's about it. Screw this film. 1/10
Tomorrow Never Dies - It was really hard for me to pick between DaF and this film as the absolute worst Bond film, but I had to settle for this one. Who wrote this movie, a 13 year old? The dialogue is absolutely terrible. All the forced cheesy innuendo aside, nothing in this script is believable regarding any sort of dialogue between any of the actors involved. The worst of it all was between Brosnan and Hatcher, which I'm willing to absolve their lack of chemistry with the fact that I am convinced a robot must have written the lines in their scenes together. Then there's the ridiculous plot. Yeah, it is scarily realistic now that the media can control so much of the public, but I'm talking about Pryce's plan. It is absolutely absurd to think his "reign" over foreign powers would last anything longer than a week tops. Unless we're living in a world where the entire global intelligence of every country has the IQ of the person who wrote this script, you know what forget it. This review was as physically exhausting as trying to get to the end of this movie was. I'll make this quick - Carver is the worst villain ever, Stamper is the worst henchman ever, and Wai Lin might one of the best Bond girls ever but not even she can save this from being the worst Bond film ever. Wai Lin was awesome enough to save this from being an absolute zero, though. 0.5/10
I'm onto Octopussy next, which I'm well aware of the hate it got. I also know Moore is close to a 60 year old clown in this movie at some point. I'm hoping it at least exceeds the very low bar the movie's reception has set for me.
Maybe I'll watch Never Say Never Again instead to save myself some possible misery.
E1: View to a Kill is next. I'm aware of this being another mediocre Bond film but I'm kind of excited to see Christopher Walken and May Day. It can't be that bad, could it?
E2: That was disappointing, as expected. Onto Dalton.
E3: Blown away by this one. I hear LTK is a noticeable decline from Daylights but hopefully it isn't too bad. Dalton was amazing so I'm looking forward to his 2nd and last entry.
E4: Killed three movies in a row with this one. Amazing, good, and awful. Onto TWINE.
E5: TWINE's done, onto Brosnan's last film and from what I remember, one of the worst Bond films ever.
E6: Almost done, just have Skyfall and Spectre left. The top is pretty much cemented as is the bottom. We'll see where these last two land.
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