Saturday, July 30, 2011

3 Things

1. I appear to be losing my mind. This is not a drill. Warning: I'm about to discuss my toilet. So if just the idea of that grosses you out, go away. I'm not being gross at all here. It just gets mentioned. So. Earlier, I went to the bathroom. This is after cooking dinner, eating and cleaning up the kitchen. I make my pit stop before going to play with the dogs and when I get up, pulling up my pants and turn around to flush, I discover that there is a hot pad floating on top of the water in the toilet. On top of the toilet paper! So it had just, *just* been dropped in there. Where in the hell did it come from? I don't remember having it in my hands, and you'd think that'd be something I noticed! So, either I'm losing my mind and was carrying it around. Or, I'm losing my mind and had shoved the hot pad down the back of my pants. Or...I don't know. It's freaking me out...

P.S.: that hot pad was thrown away. Because, EW.

2. I fit into a size 14 dress today. Go me!

3. *facepalm* I've said it before, but it bears repeating. Insanity runs in my family. So does stubborness and the rock solid belief that we are always right. No matter what. My parents drove my grandmother to the airport today, she's up in Ohio visiting family. Well, they come back and my mother wants to know if I want to know the big family secret. So, duh, I swear to secrecy. It's all very light hearted, so, you know, nothing really serious. Apparently, my grandmother took my oldest cousin, when he was a year old and got him baptised. Secretly. Against his parents wishes. And she's never told anyone, not even my grandfather, who would have been mad at her for going against my uncle and his wife's expressly stated desires. So when she dies, she wants to be sure that he gets his baptismal certificate. Let's all pause and reflect on the levels of wrong involved here...

And now I'm going to go write about a 1,000 more words to finish my Camp NaNo project, yay! And watch this documentary about a bunch of families who are preparing for doomsday. Interesting...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I wish more people I know read the Dresden Files. I have this urge to start a book club kind of thing with only the DF as material! Because I want to analyse them over and over again. Which, okay, I do that anyway, all on my own.


Don't judge me.

Is it next year yet?

In other news: the world needs more Marcone. This is a fact. Marcone needs his own series!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ghost Story

I'll be over here. Grinning like a loon and trying to figure out all the implications of everything that I just read.

In ongoing news, Jim Butcher = actually evil. But in such a delightful way we keep coming back for more.

I saw someone speculate, jokingly, that Butcher was really a Wampire and that he fed on our emotions as we waited for and then read his books. I'm not so sure it's a joke anymore... long until Cold Days is released?



And Harry, you're a psychotic ass sometimes. Really. I just...the thing with Molly? Yeah. Not cool. Like Mr. Sunshine said, saying 'let the world burn' is a hell of a lot different from saying 'let Molly burn', especially when they amount to the same thing!

In other news, Lea is still too cool for words.

And I want to know what the hell HWWB was doing with Harry! What are his PLANS!?!!?

Cripes. The flashbacks to Justin and the training...*makes grabby hands*

Augustus - I mainlined the rest of the book

Title says it all. I was pacing myself and then Antony and Octavian started trying to kill one another and it was all over. Let's see...

Antony's over in Egypt with Cleopatra, making motions that looked a whole lot like putting Caesarian in a position to be hailed as Caesar's legitimate son. Octavian, back in Rome, starts pushing the facts about Antony's misbehavior with Cleopatra, playing on the Roman prejudice against mixed marriages.

They snark back and forth for a while, insulting one another. The thing with Octavian calling Antony a sexual deviant is that Octavian was hardly a model citizen in that respect himself. He had his affairs, just like every other Roman male. Here's one of Antony's replies to Octavian's insults:

"What's come over you? Is it that I am screwing the Queen? But she isn't my wife, is she? It isn't as if it's something new, is it? Or has it actually been going on for nine years now? What about you then? Is Livia the only woman you shag? Good luck to you if, when you read this letter, you haven't also shagged Tertulla or Terentilla or Rufilla or Salvia Titisenia, or all of them. Does it really matter where and in whom you insert your stiff prick?"

But all the personal insults really served to highlight the fact that the alliance between Antony and Octavian was at an end. Political disagreements at the time were often expressed through slanderously personal insults and attacks.

"Each triumvir claimed that he stood for a restoration of the Republic, and the other for tyranny by one man. Neither was telling the truth. Ten years after the murder of Cicero, the Republic was a thing of the past, irretrievable. The choice was simply between two kinds of autocracy - tidy and efficient, or laid-back and rowdy."

Time rolls on and Octavian's forces and Antony's (and Cleopatra's) have their showdown. The battle of Actium decides things, though Octavian follows Antony and Cleopatra on their retreat back to Egypt. Both of them eventually commit suicide. Antony falls on his sword, a traditional Roman method. Cleopatra's death is a little more questionable. The traditional story holds that she had an asp brought to her in a basket of figs and caused it to bite her.

The problem with that being that asps are kind of large and noticeable, even in a basket of figs. Oh! of interest: she spent her last days locked into a mausoleum. At first it was her hide out, but once Octavian came it became her prison. Some people speculate that two courses of action are likely: 1) Octavian had people drop hints around Cleopatra of what he intended to do with her. Namely, drag her off to Rome and humiliate her, driving her to suicide. 2) He had her killed and the story spread around that she killed herself. Both seem likely enough. Taking Cleopatra back to Rome was risky and more trouble than it was worth.

Octavian had Caesarion and Antony's only adult child killed, taking the others, including the children Antony and Cleopatra had back to Rome with him and gave them into the care of his sister Octavia. They were too potentially useful in future marriage arrangements to discard just yet.

Once Octavian was the victor, and he owed that victory to his friends, especially Agrippa, stories began to be spread around the Republic of all sorts of signs and portents that had followed Octavian since his birth. A nice little bit of retroactive prophecy. Now, Agrippa. Octavian, in the beginning, was a terrible military commander. Because of his health, he'd never gone off to any battles as was usual for a young man in his position. Agrippa was the one who kept Octavian from failing spectacularly and getting his men killed in the beginning. Octavian learned military proficiency, but Agrippa remained the better of the two at military strategy.

Right. So, three years after he's 'saved' the Republic from Antony's autocracy, Octavian (at 36 years old), abdicates his power. He returns power to the Senate, sets up a constitutional blueprint and announces that he's retiring. It's a huge gamble, but he does it because he's learned from the mistakes of his 'father'. One man can't seize power. People will always resent him as a dictator, no matter how benevolent he may believe himself to be. But if you make them dependent on you, presumably within the bounds of the law and propriety and then leave, they'll beg for you to come back if they're still feeling uncertain enough of their futures. Which is what happened.

He was renamed Imperator Caesar Augustus, called princeps as a title, and was 'persuaded' to take governorship of Spain, Gaul, Syria and Rome. Augustus made the people make him emperor without them realizing what they were really doing.

Through various technicalities and sneakiness, he grew his power and maintained it, sort of behind the scenes for the rest of his life. The people all thought that the Senate ruled, but in reality, it was Augustus. It was just that no one knew the extent of his involvement. Which was in everything.

In 23 BC, when Augustus had been secretly reigning for eight years, there was a flood and a food shortage in Rome. The people, seeing the Senate as ineffective, wanted Augustus to take absolute control. Seeing as how he pretty much had it, only without the trouble of being seen to have it, he rejected it. It was illegal. And just asking for someone to come after him later on as a tyrant.

"When facing disgrace a Roman would tear his clothes in public, and this was what the princeps did to dramatize his refusal to be moved. He went up to the crowd, bared his throat, and swore that he would rather be stabbed to death by its daggers than accept the appointment."

Augustus took control of the food supply and put an end to the shortages, sometimes paying to make up any shortfall out of his own pockets.

Augustus kept trying to reform the Senate system, trying to get the number of Senators down to a manageable level. The Senate was so large that they couldn't ever get anything done. He never quite managed that, but his own powers continued to grow, out of sight of the Roman people. There were, of course, one or two assassinations. People who were inconvenient.

In public, in Rome, Augustus and his family lived very austere lives. This was in keeping with Augustus' platform, a return to traditional Roman values. In private, out of sight, he had a palace built on an island thirty miles or so west of Naples where he could take close friends and family.

One of the few things that marred Augustus' reign and must have pissed him off mightily was that fate kept interfering with his plans for his successors. He had several adopted sons and grandsons, boys that he raised to be his perfect successors. He doted on them and gave them every advantage he could think of. Unfortunately, all the ones that were best suited, theoretically, died before they could assume power. In the end, Augustus was left with Tiberius. Not a bad choice, but not his first, second or third.

"It was not Augustus' fault that fate kept unpicking his arrangements for the succession, but his ruthless rearrangement of the lives of his close relatives led to one after another refusing to serve and perhaps even conspiring against him - Agrippa perhaps, Tiberius, Gaius, the two Julias, Agrippa Posthumus. The consequence was the almost complete destruction of the divine family as an effective, mutually loyal group. The only survivors were the patient wife and her suspicious son."

Augustus died at the age of 76, only a few months short of his 77th birthday. He ruled the Roman Empire for 44 years. There is speculation about his death, of course. Some stories hold that he arranged for his beloved wife, Livia, to poison him to help ensure the smooth transference of power to Tiberius. Others believe that Livia poisoned him all on her own. Livia, deserved or not, was accused many times through her life of killing people who got in her way by poison. There is, of course, always the possibility that Augustus, having never been a particularly healthy man, simply died of old age.

One of the last things he did - it was actually carried out after his death - was, presumably, to order the assassination of his own grandson. There are, as always, theories as to whether or not it was on his order, but the other suspects are Tiberius, who ordered the Senate to investigate Agrippa Postumus' death (not the action you'd expect if he'd had him killed), and Livia. Who, as a woman, would have had a hell of a time getting soldiers to obey her. The most likely and capable person to have had it done is Augustus himself. Again, presumably, to ensure that there were no further battles for his empire.

Final analysis: Augustus was a magnificent bastard. And I love him for it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Augustus - Roman Sexual Attitudes

Another interesting thing: I think we tend to romanticise the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra. It's nearly always portrayed as this huge passionate love affair that got them both killed.

Except it really wasn't. Cleopatra and Antony were two powerful politicians who enjoyed one anothers company on occasion. But they also didn't see one another for years on end. They had two children that were illegitimate in *both* of their cultures together, sure. But their alliance was mainly one of political strength and convenience.

Anyway. I found this little aside about Roman sexual mores interesting:

"The Romans took an unsentimental view of sexual relations. Romantic love, as we know it, was rare. Public displays of affection were frowned on, as was excessive sexual activity. Marcus Porcius Cato the Censor, who lived in the second century B.C., set the standard for conventional good behavior when he expelled a man from the Senate for kissing his wife in the street.

"A Roman man, almost invariably locked into a marriage of convenience (although second or later unions often permitted a freer choice), did not suffer feelings of moral guilt about sex, nor did he feel necessarily bound to any particular sexual object. He would not have understood modern terms such as 'heterosexuality' or 'homosexuality,' which categorize people as sexual types. What he did was the issue, not what he was.

"To judge by literary sources, it did not greatly matter whether the randy husband fancied a young man or woman. The poet Horace was not untypical of his age:

When your organ is stiff, and a servant girl
Or a young boy from the household is near at hand and you know
You can make an immediate assault, would you sooner burst with tension?
Not me. I like sex to be there and easy to get.

"According to Suetonius, Horace had his bedroom lined with mirrors; he brought hookers or rent boys there and enhanced his pleasure by turning his own sexual experience into pornographic imagery.

"Two chief concerns governed sexual conduct. First, a free male citizen should be the one who performed the penetrative or insertive act, who was the 'active' rather than the 'passive' partner. For him to be sodomized was shameful, a betrayal of his masculinity. Anyone who was known to enjoy being buggered was scorned. This was why Julius Caesar deeply resented the story that in his youth he had been the catamite of the king of Bithya, and the gibe of a political opponent that he was 'every woman's man and every man's woman.'

"Second, an adulterer or fornicator was meant to restrict his attentions to noncitizens and slaves, as in Horace's case; freeborn boys and women were out of bounds. Although there is plenty of evidence that this was a custom honored mostly in the breach, it was essential that there should be no doubt as to the identity of a Roman citizen's father. This was why Octavian ordered a favorite freedman of his to commit suicide after he had been convicted of adultery with Roman matrons. In addition, foreign genes should not be permitted to enter the Roman gene pool; only citizens could marry citizens, and to wed a foreigner was frowned on; if not illegal, such a union was unrecognized by the law, especially when it came to acknowledging heirs in a will.

"What all this signified as far as Antony was concerned was straight-forward: he could not marry Cleopatra, who was as non-Roman as they came, but if he wanted to conduct an affair with her it would be odd if anyone complained. Roman women, such as Octavia, well understood the conventions; her husband's extramarital dallying did not strain her loyalty to him. It was her brother who could not stand the idea of her betrayal by Antony's entanglement with an eastern temptress." - p. 149 - 150

In case you didn't know, Antony married Octavian's sister, Octavia, in a bid to cement the two families together and stop some of the fighting. It only worked marginally. Antony and Octavian were rivals forced to work together until all their other enemies and rivals were gone. Then they would turn on one another.

Also, Octavian couldn't let Cleopatra and Antony join forces, or at least not for long. Cleopatra, after all, was the mother of a blood child of Caesar's. Caesarion. While illegitimate, since his father had been declared a god, Caesarion represented an untenable threat that would have to be removed. Let's keep in mind that Caesarion, at this point, was only 11. But he was already technically co-monarch of Egypt, with his mother.

You can probably guess, from the way history talks about Augustus and *not* Caesarion, that this story does not end well for Caesarion.

self control. i do not have it.

I will not stalk the local bookstore in hopes that they will put Ghost Story out early.

I will also not get my friend to get her nephew to try and get me a copy. Even though he works there and you know damn well they have them. Right there. In the back. In a box. With no one reading them. *whimpers*

I will NOT read spoilers. I won't. I will be strong!

Damn all of you who have read it!

*runs off to stalk the internet for spoilers*

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Prayer in Schools

I've read some articles recently about a school...up north somewhere I believe, that has Friday jumah prayers at the school. The issue, as I understand it, is that some people are claiming that having the female students who choose to attend praying behind a barrier behind the boys is sexist. Which, we'll leave that argument alone because it's not my fight and it's only the fact that reading the articles reminded me of my own school experience that makes me bring it up.

I don't know if many of you will recall, but I went to middle school and part of high school at a 'non-denominational' Christian private school. 'Non-denominational' turned out to be code for 'Southern Baptist' and it explains many of my issues with that group. :) (My apologies to Susanne, who has slowly been teaching me better...)

There was, because it was a Christian school, of course, mandatory Bible classes and prayer at the beginning of the school day. Seeing as how I was not, even then, a Christian, I read the Bible and asked questions that confused and annoyed many of my teachers and I tucked my head when everyone else was praying and thought about vampires or something else more interesting. And I felt uncomfortable, but that was to be expected. It was something to get through and then have it over and done with.

But what I didn't really expect was, when I switched to public school for the last two years of high school, the Christian groups on campus made me even more uncomfortable. And it's nothing that any of them did! I want to make that clear. It's not like they were militantly obnoxious or anything, though they were on the outs a bit since they tended to want to restrict what everyone else saw as harmless fun, like Halloween. And, of course, there was the clash between them and the LGBT teens who wanted to start their own 'club' on campus. When I say they didn't *do* anything, I mean they weren't screaming at people in the halls, throwing paint on them, spitting on them or anything like that. They were, even in disagreement, very polite and friendly as far as I ever saw them.

Only, they kept getting together in groups between classes, or at lunch and praying. And it made me uncomfortable, because they were doing it out in public. I can't explain *why* it made me uncomfortable, it just did. Maybe because I thought that religion was a very private matter and one of those things that belongs...'over there'. Away. *waves hands in that direction* And they met before school, and it just happened to be in my home room! So if I got there early, which I always tried to do so I could get a good parking space, I either had to sit out in the hall or sit in there and listen to them.

Anyway...what do you all think of allowing prayer in schools? Prayer of any kind or religion, of course. I'll be honest and say it still makes me uncomfortable, because not everyone shares that creed, or any creed at all. I still feel like it belongs, over there. Like, if the kids want to form groups and have designated times and spaces for it, then fine. That's where it belongs though. Not in the rest of the campus.

we're into the short count...yay!

1 week.

That is all.

Monday, July 18, 2011

When is discrimination not discrimination? - ranty mcrantypants strikes again edited to be 95% less ranty, and therefore more coherent

In the latest instance of, basically, *headdesk*OMGWTFdotheynothearthemselves? We have 'Presidential hopeful' Herman Cain. Who, apparently, used to run a company that made really bad pizza. I don't know. I'd never even heard of the chain until he appeared on the political scene, but everyone seems to think it's the worst thing to ever be called pizza. That, however, is not the issue. The issue is his recent statement that communities have the right to oppose the construction of mosque's based only on the fact that they are mosques, i.e.: places where Muslims will congregate Muslim. And that that opposition is not, in fact, discrimination.

Take a second and let sink in.

It is *not* discrimination to tell a group of people that they cannot, while following all the zoning laws, etc., build their place of worship. Because they're *them*. Because some people, somewhere, who maybe look a little bit like them and are from the same general group did something bad. And therefore all people who claim that title are bad. Well, maybe not. But better not let them all get together anyway. Just in case. But it's not discrimination! Just remember that! Because everyone knows that all Muslims are terrorists. No, no, it's a true fact.

People used to 'know' a lot of things that weren't true and they used that knowledge to discriminate against the 'other'. Take a few minutes and review history. Pick pretty much any period and you'll find some group being discriminated about, or taking the 'punishment' for the bad behavior of a few members of that group.

So anyway...if it's not discrimination for a community to oppose a mosque just because it's a mosque, then I'm going to start getting support to oppose random religious shit. For the hell of it.

New Baptist church? No. Some of them were mean to me once.

New Mormon meeting hall? No. They're weird and I suspect them of things.

New Scientology whatever? No. Again, weird. And they ruined Tom Cruise.

New Catholic church? Hell no. As a matter of fact, I'm just going to blanket oppose any Christian church whatsoever, because of the long history of Christianity oppressing minorities and women. I'm already feeling more oppressed than I did a second ago! There're too many churches in the area! If more of them are allowed to gather, they might steal all of my books and make me stay at home, pregnant. For the rest of my life. And take away my right to vote, seeing as how I'm property and all...and inferior to my first created husband...

And it's not discrimination. Because they scare me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Snape = Love

Okay, so, I wish I were coherent enough and had read the books recently enough to do a character study of Snape and everything about him and Lily and Harry and the...Holy Crap Dumbledore is a Manipulative Bastard that ran through my head throughout the last movie.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter....

I'm going to the midnight showing of the last Harry Potter film.

I am both YAY! and NOES! about it, for obvious reasons. *sniffle* The ending (before the epilogue) is going to KILL ME.


god I love Alan Rickman.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Augustus

I'm slow going through this book because I've been oversleeping in the mornings! Probably because I'm staying up too late!

And I keep getting so caught up in reading the book that I forget to make notes or mark pages or anything. So, general reflections.

I keep being surprise by how sick Augustus was as a child. There's at least half a dozen instances where his weak constitution nearly killed him before he became an adult. His mother, even after he was officially an adult, kept him very firmly under her thumb. Partially, it seems, out of concern for his health and partially out of worries that his great-uncle Caesar's enemies would strike at him.

The interesting part is that Augustus didn't really have anything to do with Caesar until a couple of years before Caesar's assassination. He must have really impressed Caesar with something, his intellect most likely, since Augustus was never in a battle until after Caesar's death and Caesar had a new will written up before his death making Augustus his adopted son (a really common practice back then, to 'adopt' grown sons of other families in order to facilitate peace between them) and his legal heir.

Something I think it's important to remember is that, much as I love Augustus, his reign and everything that he accomplished was built on top of what Caesar did. Without Caesar, there would have been no Augustus.

The long running fight between Antony, Augustus and the Senate is really very interesting. Antony and Augustus were both Caesarians but they had to let the men who had killed their friend, their leader and their family (in the case of Augustus) go in order to secure their own power. But pretty much the first thing they did, when they formed the Second Triumvirate and took power in Rome was to have those who had killed Caesar assassinated. Plus all their political enemies. The funniest part of that is that the assassinations were kind of done in 'broad daylight'. They came up with a *list* of people who needed to be killed, negotiated between themselves, giving up friends and family that one or the other hated in order to get someone they wanted on the list. And then the list was posted in the middle of Rome! So that anyone could take up the job and, upon completion, be paid for it.

It's like writing up a list of people who have pissed you off, posting it on your FB and saying, I will pay anyone who kills any of these people x dollars, no questions asked. And there's no *penalty* for this, because while in office, no one is able to be brought up on criminal charges in the Roman republic (which is already dead and just doesn't know it yet).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

so then...

I think you can need something so badly in certain times, even if you don't recognize that you're using it as a tool to pull yourself out of a darker spot, that you make yourself believe in it. Only after it's over, you no longer feel the need for the tool. You cling to it, because you've created belief within yourself. But after a while it stops feeling real.

I have to put an effort into being conscious of having faith, which probably translates into needing an effort to have faith in the first place. And I'm no longer certain that I need that.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

technology GRRRRRRRRRR

My dvr is fucked up and keeps telling me that it's 'lost the signal completely'. Fab. So they're coming tomorrow to figure out what it is. It's either the box or something with the dish. Whatever.


Happily, I got it working in time to watch Torchwood: Miracle Day. thoughts: GWEN! I HATE YOU STILL!


I miss Ianto. YOU BASTARDS! No, I'm clearly STILL not over CoE.

That is all. Also, Mekhi Phifer. Yum.

Here's hoping it lasts through the second showing of Leverage, since I missed the first one.

Like I said:


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Justice - Ramblies

This had been on my mind lately and it's not really a surprise. We've been glued to the tv around here because of the Casey Anthony murder trial. For those who may not know what I'm talking about, Casey Anthony is a 25 year old Florida woman who was accused of murdering her 2 year old daughter, Caylee Anthony back in 2008. She was found not guilty on the three 'big' charges, where were Murder 1, Aggravated Manslaughter and Aggravated Child Abuse. She was found guilty on four counts of lying to a law enforcement officer, each count carrying a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison, plus a fine. The judge sentenced her to 1 year for each count, to be served consecutively, not concurrently, plus a $1,000 fine, per count. Of course, since she's already been in prison for a year and a half, along with time off for 'good behavior', what that boils down to is that she will possibly be out of prison at the end of July, beginning of August.

It's a rough case, not only because of the age of the victim and the utterly bizarre and unsympathetic behavior of the mother. Caylee's body wasn't found right away. By the time it was found, in December of '08, there was nothing left but the skeleton. No cause of death was ever definitively found and the evidence that the prosecution had to present was entirely circumstantial. While I don't agree with the jury's verdict, I understand that they had to vote the way they did. The burden of the prosecution is to *prove*, beyond a 'reasonable doubt' their case, their assertions. And they did a good job with what little they had. They painted a scenario that made a lot of sense. However, a good, logical story isn't proof. And that was the problem, in the end.

So Casey Anthony goes free, whether it's in a week or in a month or whatever. And we will never know the truth of what happened. Maybe the defense's story is true. Maybe it was a terrible accident and the family, panicking, did some really bizarre things and made an accident look like a murder. Truth generally is stranger than fiction, and I have to say, from what I've seen from the trial, the entire family is unhinged and not quite 'normal'.

But the thing that keeps coming up is people saying that there was no 'justice' done here. And I guess that depends on how you're defining 'justice'.

From the dictionary (though there are, of course, multiple definitions, there are the most relevant, imo): '5.
the administering of deserved punishment or reward. 6. the maintenance or administration of what is just by law, as by judicial or other proceedings: a court of justice.'
Given the evidence that was presented, was 'what is just by law' administered in this case? Yes. No one *proved* that Casey Anthony did anything to harm her daughter. Does it *look* terrible that (under the defense's version of events) she helped her father fake a murder and hide the body of her daughter, who had died accidentally in the family pool? Yes. Of course it does. But people do stupid, stupid things all the time. And Casey Anthony is, near as I can figure, a compulsive liar. Lying, when you're like that, is more natural than telling the truth. But none of that proves that she killed her daughter. In which case, the first definition, that of the administration of either punishment or reward, according to the actions of the person in question has also been served. Or will be, once she's served whatever sentence is left to her. So far as I can see, justice, under these definitions, has been served.
It becomes even more clear if you look at a legal dictionary: '1a:  the quality of being just, impartial, or fair justice or injustice…of these lawsScott v. Sanford , 60 U.S. 393 (1857); b: the principle or ideal of just dealing; also : conformity to the principle or ideal of just dealing 2a : the administration of law justice; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to law or equity justice; b : fair, just, or impartial legal process justice —G. Railroad Winters

The key to all of this being 'impartial'. Whether or not Casey Anthony is a stellar or even good or decent human being or not, whether or not she was a candidate for 'Mother of the Year' or not has no bearing on the facts, the evidence. And that's where the case has to be decided. There's a reason that Justice is portrayed as blind and with scales in her hand. Justice, to be impartial, cannot look at the person and see the details, the things that make them different from anyone else. Justice has to look at the evidence and the evidence alone. What matters is the facts - that's what the scale is for. Whichever way the evidence leans, that is the way that Justice has to decide.

The problem, such as it is, is that humanity is limited. We are limited by our knowledge and the circumstances that surround the gathering and interpretation of evidence. Further by the presentation of such. Justice must be served by limited, imperfect human beings. And that grates on us, mostly because we know that it is possible for people to make errors of judgment, even based on good evidence.

So we look to a being who is higher than ourselves, something that is perfect and omniscient. *That* sort of being is not limited, because it knows everything, all the time. That is the only way that the concept of justice can be applied perfectly. And that's what we want. At the heart of it all, we want to know that the guilty will be punished for exactly what they did because their crimes harm the collective community of humanity, and that the innocent will be rewarded for being good, and perhaps for injustices that they had to suffer due to the limitations of justice on earth.

But then there's the problem - if the divine being is perfect and he gives *everyone* the justice that they deserve, and it sent down a set of laws which, let's be honest, no one can keep perfectly, not even the 'looser' rules of non-legalistic faiths, then we will all be punished. We will *all* receive justice, which isn't what we want. Because, I mean, 'compared to them, I'm an angel!'. Right? So we have to have a divine being who is not only perfectly just, but perfectly merciful as well, in order to have hopes that it will spare us the punishment that we perhaps deserve under the concept of perfect justice.

Therein lies the rub. How can there be perfect justice as well as perfect mercy? How does one not get short shrift in service to the other? How is it just for someone who has committed murder to be just as forgiven as someone whose only 'crime' was cursing once, or getting drunk that one time? We categorize and rank 'sins' and 'crimes' down here on earth in order of how much they affect the human community, in order that we can know which deserve punishment and which don't. But we theorize and dream of a 'perfect' level of all of this, and it appeals to our innate desire to see everyone get what they deserve even as it terrifies us because we're afraid that *we* will get what we deserve.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Camp NaNo

Turns out I'm not writing the fill for that prompt I mentioned. Though I'm holding on to that for maybe later.

I decided to do the sequel to another long fill I did called Lost in a Life, where the punishment for breaking the Laws isn't death, but being enslaved by a collar. Harry kills Justin, etc. and winds up eventually being bought by Marcone. The original prompt was for dubcon, but the fill was definitely noncon (in the sense that Harry *couldn't* say no), with mindfuckery, etc. So now I'm writing the sequel to that, where things happen four years after the first one ended and Harry gets part of his control back and John has to deal with that and the fact that stockholm goes both way and then I'm throwing Hendricks in the mix so it's going to wind up as a threesome. *headdesk*

tl:dr - slave au's are awesome and I'm writing more of one
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