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Charlotte Kemp Muhl
2016.08.17 21:24 KeeKee666Charlotte Kemp Muhl
Charlotte Kemp Muhl is an American model, singer, and musician from Atlanta, Georgia
Welcome to Los Angles very own foodie community! Focusing on the LA food scene, this is a place to share your favorite places to grab a bite to eat, share your dining experiences, show off your culinary prowess, or maybe find a business partner to start that grilled cheese truck you always dreamed about!
Godless is an American television drama series created by Scott Frank that is slated to debut on Netflix. The seven-episode limited series began production in Santa Fe in September 2016 and was released on Netflix globally on November 22, 2017.
2020.09.21 09:14 BertisOkay0001 - In The Wee Small Hours - Frank Sinatra
Hell my name is Bert and welcome to my insane journey. I have decided to embark on the adventure of listening to and dissecting every album on the list of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. I hope this post is welcome here, as it seems there is no other discussion currently taking place, if not i will remove it and take it elsewhere. I hope that someone will join me on this journey as I discover or rediscover some of the most revered and coveted albums of all time. My goal in this exercise is to broaden my musical horizons and open my eyes to albums I would otherwise not give the time of day. Now, without further ado, let's talk Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours. First, let's start with some context: In The Wee Small Hours is the 9th studio album by New Jersey born singer, actor, and producer Francis Albert Sinatra AKA Frank Sinatra. His third offering from Capitol Records, ITWSH is the solidification of the comeback era for Frank and started his string of legendary albums that cemented his legacy as one of the greatest of his era. When he released his first album in 1946, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, his fame was already at it's peak. The so-called 'Sinatramania' swept across teenage girls of the time and it showed on the charts, rocketing his debut record to the top of the billboard charts. His single releases leading up to his second album were also peaking at the top of the charts, and the album Songs by Sinatra hit the top 10. Following his second album Columbia records saw fit to release a Christmas album (which is always a solid career move) which only lead his fan base to drift further away. With some press negativity in his personal life, and 3 poor performing albums following the Christmas debacle, Frank was released by Columbia. This and a messy divorce led Sinatra into financial difficulties, causing him to turn to Las Vegas residency as a gig to get by. Joining the Rat Pack, Sinatra solidified his more mature stylings in his music and his personality and started the stages of a comeback. After the release of the film From Here to Eternity, Frank signed a deal with Capitol records and started recording again, this time with a renewed sense of enthusiasm in his music. Recording two albums, Songs for Young Lovers, and Swing Easy!, Frank was definitely shooting right back into the main stream with multiple singles from both albums charting in the top 10. However, emotional turmoil was not a stranger to Sinatra, and another messy divorce caused a significant pain on his heart. This, and his past experiences assembling album after album, lead him to build what is considered by many to be one of the first concept albums. In the Wee Small Hours. On with the Album: ITWSH has 16 tracks and clocks in at 48:41. Wikipedia labels it's genre as Vocal Jazz/ Traditional pop and i feel like those labels are appropriate. As I stated earlier, it is considered by many as on of the first concept albums, and by the pure definition of the term, it definitely has a concept. Which is to say, it's a break-up album. Frank clearly chose songs that all focus on the theme of loss, heartbreak, depression, failed relationships, and loneliness. Starting with the opening track, In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning. Frank bellows about always thinking of a girl that he misses, so much so that he can't sleep. While he is singing in his trademark deep voice the strings in the background provide the necessary tension that is backed up by the other lyrics, "You'd be her's if only she would call". You can almost feel the single teardrop down his cheek as he signs the last line. Mood Indigo, follows the theme further. Finding a more clever way of saying he is feeling blue, Sinarta is singing again about being lonely and crying over this woman who left him and feeling as if no one cares for him. Almost leading to thoughts of suicide at a point, he feels the need to tell you that you don't know how bad it feels to lose the love of this special person. Glad to Be Unhappy changes the mood a little, coming at this from a person who is in denial. Feigning happiness at the feeling of unrequited love, calling himself a fool and feeling like the but end of the joke. All over what sounds like a cheery laid back instrumental, I feel like this adds to the denial or almost sarcastic feeling of this song. I Get Along Without You Very Well, again follows the previous track with the sarcastic denial of his sadness. Saying that he's doing okay when every little thing reminds him of this person. Saying that he's forgotten when the only thing he can do is feel the pain of losing the love. Then during the bridge he breaks down and contemplates calling her again, but remind him self that he's doing "okay" without her. Deep in a Dream is a briefly cheery song, where Sinatra is literally dreaming of his lost love coming back and them being happy again. Feeling the touch and love again in his dream, he admits that he still loves her to himself and to the dream girl. Suddenly he is woken by being burnt by his cigarette he was smoking when he fell asleep (that's a fire hazard for sure). His heart is broken again as he feels the loss as if it just happened. I See Your Face Before Me is more of the same from previous tracks with a twist, as we see Frank trying to convince the girl (or maybe himself) that if she knew how much he loves her that she would instantly fall in love with him again. Can't We Be Friends is Sinatra singing about his lack of self confidence, with him saying that he knows any girl he goes after is not romantically interested in him and only wants to be friends. (I think the last two songs prove that even Frank Sinatra could have been an incel with the power of the internet) When Your Lover Has Gone picks up on the lack of confidence again with Frank asking what the point in having any romantic attachment is if they are always doomed to fail. Obviously the sadness in this coming from his two divorces he has experienced by this point. What Is This Thing Called Love is Frank showing his confusion and frustration in the process of romance. Demonstrating that he doesn't understand why love can make you feel the highest heights but also the lowest lows. Last Night When We Were Young has Sinatra fawning over the memories of teenage puppy love. When love was as simple as if you like kissing each other was enough to show your love. Again showing his confusion and frustration with how it used to be so easy and now that he is older he doesn't know how to love. I'll Be Around is Frank hoping that the next romantic partner for this woman will not work out and him saying that he's always ready to fill in that spot in her heart. It's another case of showing that Frank hasn't moved on and can only focus on this girl. Ill Wind is the first song on the album that has Sinatra saying that the depression that he is feeling needs to go away so he can focus on something other than his breakup. Especially saying "You're only misleading the sunshine I'm needing" and "Let me rest today" essentially meaning that he knows that his thoughts aren't healthy and he's tired of thinking them. It Never Entered My Mind talks about how he always thought they would be together forever. He never even gave the idea of not having this person any thought at all, which I feel adds to the heartbreak of the song, although I do admit the line " Now I even have to scratch my back myself " is very silly. Dancing in the Ceiling is pretty much a redo of the opening track, talking about being kept up at night with visions of his loved one on his ceiling. There's not much else to say about this one other than the instrumental on this one feels extra bare for some reason. Not that there has been a lot to say about the backing lines, but this is the first time I've noticed them lacking. I'll Never Be the Same is Frank reflection on how profoundly changed he was by the experience of his relationship with this person and especially the feeling of the heartbreak. I feel like this is definitely carried over from earlier tracks and reinforcing the thoughts before the final track. This Love of Mine feels like a very appropriate closing to this album as Frank doesn't actually come to a solid conclusion. He ends on the fact that he feels as if he will always feel love for this person and he doesn't know how he will get over it, which has been the consistent message this whole album. Going back and forth between denial and acceptance, and landing on neither. The unknown. Which is where he feels this love has gone, on and on, into the unknown. FINAL THOUGHTS This was the first full album I've ever listened to by Sinatra and I have to say I enjoyed it more than I thought I was going to. On my initial listen I couldn't get over the samey instrumentation on most of the album, but after a few more listens I really learned to focus on the story Frank was telling. Especially upon learning the context of the recording, I feel like I could hear him more sad than I could before. One thing I want to touch on briefly before I give my rating is the idea of the concept album. When I first read that this was a concept album I was kind of blown away, I guess because from a modern standpoint I was looking for a deep story or something. This album definitely changed my perspective on that though, presenting instead songs that all were about the same idea, and not an over arching story. RATING Overall, I enjoyed my listen, but it definitely is not my favourite. I don't foresee myself coming back to this album in particular, although I do feel like I appreciate Sinatra more now than I did before. 5.5/10 What do you think about this album? I'm curious to know if my interpretations matched yours, and why you liked or disliked it more than I did. I hope to do this with every album on this list eventually, although that will obviously take a very long time. I don't have a set schedule for posting this, although I would like to do at least once a week. Next time will be #2 on the list, Elvis Presley by Elvis Presley. Thanks, -Bert
I met a girl who is perfect for me in December of last year. She's literally everything I've ever wanted in a partner, but she's a Japanese citizen living in Japan, and I'm an American citizen. She flew out to meet me for two weeks in March of this year, right as everything was beginning to lock down, and we had the best time of our lives. She had to leave early as Japan was closing the border. Since then, we've decided to be in a relationship, and we've been on video chat nearly every day. The plan was for me to come to Japan to visit her around July. Long term plan (2 years), she will come to study English in America and to live with me. Pandemic really screwed the plan to visit her. The border still remains on lock down. Initially, only Japanese citizens could cross the border. Now people with Japanese residents can cross, or family members. They released guidance that says even foreign professors can cross the border if a class would be canceled without them. They allow "special exceptional circumstances", but the LA embassy doesn't think someone not married can see their significant other as an exceptional circumstance. They even have strict guidelines for travel including COVID tests before and after departure, and a 2 week quarantine, which I'd be happy to do. But they only people who can authorize this is the Immigration Agency of Japan, and the department I need to talk to does not offer help in English. The culture of Japan is one of obedience towards the government, and asking for an exception is not something my girlfriend is comfortable doing on my behalf. On top of this, she's been having a tough time with her mental health, as she's had to endure sexual harassment at work, and difficulty maintaining motivation. I want to be there for her as a good boyfriend should be, but there's nothing I can do. She's having difficulty studying English because of her depression, and she feels shame because of that, and that shame makes it painful for her to hear my words of affection. I just signed up for a course to learn how to teach English so that I can help her out, but that won't take place for another month. What can I do? I feel defeated and helpless. She feels distant and empty. I just want to be with her, and no amount of money or hard work can help.
2020.09.21 01:34 WinesburgOhio1986-87 Celtics: The most snakebitten "shoulda been champs" of all-time
BACKGROUND: The 1985-86 Celtics are often mentioned as one of the two or three best teams of all-time (info), and are still occasionally listed as the best team of all-time over the 2016-17 Warriors. That Boston club could do everything on offense and defense, had tons of great players (5 of whom are HOF-ers, and 6 of whom became NBA head coaches), went 50-1 at home throughout the regular- and post-season (40-1, 10-0), and were 18-2 against teams that were 49-33 (.598) or better. Which rivals could stand between this amazing Celtics team and another title? The great Sixers teams of the early-80's were fading, and the great Pistons & Bulls teams of the late-80's weren't quite ready. In the West, the Lakers dominated the decade, except in '86 they were wiped out by the Rockets with 2nd-year big man Hakeem Olajuwon and 3rd-year big man Ralph Sampson (Houston snuffed out LA 4-1 despite Magic and Kareem both being 1st-team NBA that year); LA's domination over the weak West appeared to be over since they couldn't guard Houston at all, and the Celtics dispatched Houston in the Finals easier than the 4-2 series score indicated. So who stood between the C's and another title? No one. Going into the next season (1986-87), Boston returned all of their top-8 players: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Bill Walton, Scott Wedman, and Jerry Sichting. Not only that, they held the #2 overall pick in the 1986 draft due to a 1984 trade with Seattle. They seemed locked and loaded for the next season! TRAUMATIC DEATH: The new season started horribly, leaving a cloud of sadness and loss over the franchise. The Celtics selected forward Len Bias with the #2 overall pick in the 1986 draft, and two days later he died of a cocaine overdose. He was supposed to be the guy to give more rest to Bird, McHale, and Parish, and his unreal athleticism was simply another dimension that would have been added to this historically great team. Larry Bird said at the time of the draft he thought “We’ve finally gotten a player who can give me a break”, but within days those thoughts turned to “Len’s death was a tragic loss to everyone” (all his quotes in this post are from “Drive”). MAJOR INJURIES: For starters, this is the first season when Larry Bird started experiencing his well-known back issues. His back went out on him at home near the end of the year in March (the morning of this game, shortly before the playoffs), and he said “I was just not the same player for the rest of the season.” Kevin McHale was having the best season of his career (1st-team NBA, 1st-team Defense, #4 in MVP voting), but Larry Nance stepped on McHale’s foot --breaking the navicular bone-- near the end of the year in March (during this game, shortly before the playoffs), but he kept playing on it and ended up spraining his ankle in the first round vs. Chicago, and then twisting his ankle in the second round vs. Milwaukee. McHale was now in really bad shape by the third round vs. the Pistons, and it was throughout this series that professional asshole Rick Mahorn repeatedly stepped on McHale’s broken, sprained, twisted foot; he was pretty well screwed by the time they limped into the Finals. The third starter on their brilliant frontline, Robert Parish, badly sprained his left ankle in Game 5 of their second round series with the Bucks, so he ended up missing some playoff games and playing hurt & poorly in plenty of others. Boston’s back-up center in 1985-86 was HOF-er Bill Walton, who was so good in a reserve role he was the ‘86 6th Man of the Year. Well in ‘87 he was back to his peculiar brand of unfortunate and unbelievable injuries: he broke his right pinkie in a pick-up game shortly before the season started, and then fractured his right ankle while riding a stationary bike during rehab for his pinkie. He had surgery and was unable to play until March, barely appeared in 10 regular-season games, got reinjured in the second round against the Bucks, and ineffectively gutted his way through a few more playoff games. That was the end of Walton’s career. The fifth and final regular player on the ‘86 Celtics frontline was Scott Wedman, but he had two operations on his left heel during the year, only allowing him to appear in 6 games in November and that was it; like Walton, this was the end of his career. The starting backcourt was not immune to health issues in the playoffs; starting guard Danny Ainge badly sprained his knee in Game 7 of the second round against the Bucks. He missed some playoff games and played hurt through the others. MAJOR DISTRACTIONS DURING THE PLAYOFFS: Remember this entire year started with the death of Len Bias, which was a huge distraction and problem for the team all season long. But there were three major distractions for starters on the team during the playoffs, as well. Right before the 6th game of the second round vs. Milwaukee, there was a report out of Phoenix about drug use by several current & former Suns, including Dennis Johnson. The report said he had used marijuana 7 years prior when he was on the Suns (it was the 80’s; this was “bad” for those times). Bird said “When you know you are not guilty and they bring up stuff like that, it just destroys you. It really hurts.” The much larger distraction regarded their main star, though, and it hit the team right at the start of the Finals. After the hobbled Celtics barely got past the up-start Pistons in the ECF, rookie Dennis Rodman said that Larry Bird was only considered as great as he was because he was white. The press jumped all over it, asked captain Isiah Thomas for his thoughts, and he simply agreed with Rodman. The press went crazier, so when the Celtics landed in LA for the Finals, the first thing Bird had to do was go be in a packed press conference with Isiah to try to put the issue behind them. It was a HUGE deal -- so huge many of us are quite familiar with it. Larry said “Here we are, trying to prepare for the finals against LA, and all anyone wanted to talk about was what Isiah Thomas said about what Dennis Rodman had said about me. It was completely crazy.” Not only that, reporters figured out early in the series that Kevin McHale was playing on a broken foot (not just sprained or twisted), and they clamored for quotes from McHale and Dr. Silva, the team physician. Dr. Silva said “I don’t know whether Kevin should be playing or not.” Now the press wanted quotes from Bird, which created even more of a circus around Boston’s locker room. Bird said “By this time it wasn’t easy to concentrate on the job, which was to beat the Lakers. I’m not saying I didn’t think we could win, but it was difficult to get in the right frame of mind, given all the distractions.” THE PLAYOFFS: This post is much longer than I intended it to be, so I’ll get this wrapped up. The Celtics had a BRUTAL path through the playoffs, first facing the 40-42 Bulls who had Michael Jordan on the roster (averaging career-best 37 ppg) so we all know he could combust at any point, then facing the 50-32 Bucks who had numerous good-to-great players (Moncrief, Sikma, Cummings, Pressey, Pierce, Lucas, Hodges), and finally the upstart 52-30 Pistons who were the NBA's best team over the next 3 seasons. The Celtics were obviously super injured by the second round, and both their ECSF and ECF series slogged out the full 7 games, with numerous fights and chippiness and physical play in the Detroit series. In the West, the Lakers faced the easiest playoff path of all-time, easily dispatching the 37-45 Nuggets, 42-40 Warriors, and the 39-43 SuperSonics. What about those Rockets who embarrassed LA in '86? They self-imploded; Sampson's back went out and their 3 best guards were off the team before the '87 ASG due to drug & personality issues. It was such a cakewalk for the Lakers in the West compared to the meat grinder the Cetlics went through in the East, LA enjoyed a 13-day rest between their final WCF competition and Game 1 of the Finals, the longest rest a Finals team has ever had. They used all of these advantages and smoked the war-weary Celtics, right? Nope, the Finals went 6 games before the Lakers prevailed, but even then it needs to be mentioned that HOF ref Earl Strom said in his book that he and partner ref Hugh Evans blew Game 4 in LA’s favor (they won 107-106), meaning it should have gone to a Game 7. Wanna read more about the snakebitten '87 Celtics? Here's a newspaper article from the time about all the things that dogged the Celtics (link), and here's the "What Happened?" post about the '87 Celtics (link).
2020.09.21 01:14 SamueleDelPapaIl dogma più forte la paura
2020.09.21 00:17 First_AideHow to make money as a nanny in a seasonal tourist town?
I am moving to a small tourist area(Outer Banks NC, beach town). I currently make $20/hr but I live in a decently sized city with stable jobs. The obx's economy heavily relies on the tourists they get during the summer. I have many family members that live down there and they basically live off of the money they make from April-August. They are always understaffed on doctors, nurses, etc because it's hard to be a year round resident down there. I can't imagine that I will be able to find many families that will pay $20/hr. So I'm trying to brainstorm how I can jump on the 3-5 month pay schedule. I came up with being a vacation nanny. I would possibly try to get a job as a lifeguard for 1 summer before I offered these services so parents could feel assured that I am qualified for beach excursions. I guess the premise would be that I am available to family's down here on vacation who want some time child free or need extra hands at the beach. I'm thinking I could try to sell it to big families who have age gaps. I could be on hand to care for the little ones while the parents taken older ones out. Stuff like that. If I could make this in to an actual business, I was also thinking I could have a "a la carte" menu where parents can buy custom itineraries for their vacation. This would be marketed as being especially useful to families who are visiting in the off season and have trouble figuring out which activities are open and which are seasonal. I would love if I could partner with travel agencies to get my services out there because otherwise, I'm not sure how to market my services. Any advice about being a nanny in a tourist town would be appreciated!
2020.09.20 23:46 ReynaRolandKissSteady guy in my life.
During this quarantine I discovered I’m in to crossdressing now more than ever. I know it’s different for everyone but for me it’s a very sexual way to express my bisexuality. It’s been forever since I had a guy in my life that I could share that with. My first sexual experiences were me dressed in my mother’s clothes, with a guy friend who stayed cis role in our sexual interactions. He would pitch, I’d catch, and it was heaven, but we both went on to try and live straight lives. So here we are, I’m way into dressing but all alone in LA and wishing I’d get that life experience again. I do like dating sites, I’m back on the lookout for a playmate. Any ideas how to find a male partner that gets it? Good Dating Websites I might have missed?
2020.09.20 23:44 ReynaRolandKissSteady guy in my life.
During this quarantine I discovered I’m in to crossdressing now more than ever. I know it’s different for everyone but for me it’s a very sexual way to express my bisexuality. It’s been forever since I had a guy in my life that I could share that with. My first sexual experiences were me dressed in my mother’s clothes, with a guy friend who stayed cis role in our sexual interactions. He would pitch, I’d catch, and it was heaven, but we both went on to try and live straight lives. So here we are, I’m way into dressing but all alone in LA and wishing I’d get that life experience again. I do like dating sites, I’m back on the lookout for a playmate. Any ideas how to find a male partner that gets it? Good Dating Websites I might have missed?
2020.09.20 21:45 DesperateRevolutio4 years dating my (26m) GF(26f) and not sure what to do with career paths changing
We've been dating almost five years now. We have a good relationship with ups and downs. We communicate well, we do fight occasionally. Recently she started taking acting classes and wants to move to LA to pursue a career in acting. I think she has a lot of talent and I don't doubt her ability to make it. I have a good paying career in Seattle and it will put my career on the back seat if I move to LA. I understand the remote work side of things but this is a career that has high potential and growth in-person. My growth opportunities would stall remote. I expressed this to her and we had a fight and she was visibly very upset. I'm not sure if I'm ready to make the sacrifice to move to LA since my family and I worked really hard to get to where I am. An acting career in LA also has a lot of uncertainty associated with it. I don't want to ask her to sacrifice her dream of becoming an actor. But she wants me to move since remote work can make it eligible. I'm not really sure what to do. We are also talking about moving in together here in Seattle until she's done with her acting classes. Another angle to this is I'm also only staying here to be here for her as she goes through her acting classes. I'd much rather move out of here, save money, and be home and hangout with my parents. I feel like this is a unique opportunity to be home with parents and also save money until the pandemic ends. Parents live in the mid-west. But I also want to be here for her as a partner. My heart says stay here with her but my head says do the rational thing that'll help in the long-term. I also don't want to resent staying here and not spending time with my parents who I love very much. Breaking up seems like the easiest option but we worked so hard on our relationship to understand each other and get to where we are. I love her and she'll be heartbroken. We understand our anxieties our childhood troubles. She really gets me. If we breakup, the process of healing, finding someone, all takes so much emotional energy and effort. I'm at a crossroads where I need to make a decision on my career or my relationship. I also don't want to make a decision rooted in fear. I'm just looking for some perspective I guess. Any advice/perspective will help. tl;dr GF wants to move to LA and pursue acting and I don't want to give up my career growth for that but I love her a lot. So idk how to proceed and I'm stalling out of fear of losing her.
2020.09.20 20:48 SamueleDelPapaPlutocrazie liberali o meglio dire di austerità
di Alessandro Pascale [INTRODUZIONE - Quello che segue è il capitolo 15.7 di A. Pascale, Il totalitarismo liberale. Le tecniche imperialiste per l'egemonia culturale, La Città del Sole, Napoli 2018, pp. 454-464. Nel periodo seguente l'uscita del libro, alcuni commentatori hanno ritenuto un controsenso affiancare i termini “totalitarismo” e “liberalismo”. Il testo che segue, uno dei punti chiave dell'opera, è dedicato a loro. Può inoltre risultare utile anche didatticamente per ricostruire la genesi politica del concetto stesso di “totalitarismo” nell'epoca della guerra fredda, ragionando criticamente sul nostro presente. Alessandro Pascale, 15 settembre 2020] «Voglio essere chiaro: la nostra intelligence continuerà a spiare i governi di tutto il mondo, lo facciamo per conoscere le loro intenzioni, per motivi di sicurezza I nostri alleati però possono stare tranquilli perché noi siamo dei partner leali». (il Presidente “democratico” degli USA Barack Obama, gennaio 2014) Askanews, Obama difende la Nsa: continueremo a spiare i governi stranieri, Youtube.com, 17 gennaio 2014, oppure si veda un servizio statunitense: Press Tv Videos, Obama says the US intelligence will continue to spy on foreign governments, Youtube.com, 19 gennaio 2014. Probabilmente tra molto tempo gli storici si domanderanno come sia stato possibile che la nostra epoca sia rimasta tutto sommato silente e inerte, risultando incapace di ribellarsi di fronte a quanto stesse accadendo. Oltre a subire un peggioramento relativo (e spesso anche assoluto) delle condizioni di vita, a seguito della crisi economica del 2007-08, a detta di molti la più grave crisi capitalistica dai tempi del 1929, le nuove generazioni cresciute a cavallo dei due secoli hanno scoperto di essere vittime di un colossale inganno. Questo il merito delle denunce fatte da Julian Assange ed Edward Snoden: grazie alla loro opera conosciamo le costanti e più palesi violazioni dei diritti umani perpetuate tutt'oggi dalle classi dominanti occidentali. Julian Assange, che ha disvelato i segreti delle diplomazie segrete mondiali con Wikileaks, parla apertamente del rischio di «una forma postmoderna di totalitarismo», caratterizzato da uno scenario macabro: «Se volete una visione del futuro», scrive, «immaginate occhiali di Google promossi da Washington e legati a volti assenti – per sempre». E ancora: «Ci sono chiari segnali che la civiltà globale stia andando verso una distopia». In che cosa consisterebbe questa distopia? «Il modello di business di Google, la sorveglianza, colpisce miliardi di cittadini, ed è raccogliere più informazioni possibile sulle persone, immagazzinarle, indicizzarle, usarle per creare modelli che prevedono i loro comportamenti e venderli ai pubblicitari. Essenzialmente lo stesso modello di raccolta massiva dei dati che ha la Nsa. Il che spiega perché la Nsa si è garantita di accedervi. Google come compagnia e Larry Page hanno una visione totalizzante dell'azienda, che prevede un futuro in cui chiunque indosserà occhiali di Google così da poter intercettare perfino il nostro sguardo, i luoghi, gli appuntamenti, controllare le automobili e i consigli su cosa fare e non fare. Tutto nel nome di ciò che sembra una massimizzazione dell'efficienza, senza alcuna considerazione per il sistema totalizzante che è stato costruito». Eppure per Assange c'è una speranza: «La domanda è: che possiamo farci? La risposta è che ci sono un po' di rimedi - possono essere sufficienti o meno, ma sono tutto ciò che abbiamo. Uno è l'educazione politica di massa che ha cominciato a verificarsi su Internet in risposta e che sta continuando. La capacità dei giovani di imparare e adattarsi a ciò che altrimenti sarebbe un sistema diretto verso il totalitarismo elettronico non dovrebbe essere sottovalutata». In una recensione del film Snowden Francesco Boille, scrivendo per Internazionale, afferma: «potenzialmente è tutto pronto per una dittatura orwelliana globalizzata. Magari, la domanda può venire legittima, con la spinta crescente della marea di poveri e profughi, è possibile che arrivino al potere con voto democratico governi autoritari. Non vogliamo spaventare troppo: le cose sono sempre più imprevedibili di quanto si creda, come dimostra proprio la vicenda qui raccontata. Ma è un pericolo potenziale. È evidente che nel mondo di oggi, in cui è forse legittimo temere che un voto democratico porti al potere un governo autoritario, altre tematiche trattate dal regista come il tentativo di individuare i reali mandanti dell’omicidio di Kennedy, sembrano poca cosa. Non perché meno gravi, ma perché quanto rivelato in Snowdenrivaleggia con la fantasia. Non sembra realistico eppure è la verità». Eppure, occorre ribadirlo, il tema non è all'ordine del giorno nei dibattiti pubblici in Occidente. Diventa a questo punto utile confrontare le definizioni che sono state date del concetto di totalitarismo, considerato una realtà del passato incomparabile con il mondo odierno caratterizzato dalla libertà e dalla democrazia liberale, provando a spiegarsi perché non vi sia consapevolezza del suo carattere attuale. Simona Forti spiega come «riferito soltanto ai regimi del Novecento, esso designa un universo politico in cui un unico partito ha conquistato il monopolio del potere statale, ha assoggettato l'intera società, ricorrendo a un uso capillare e terroristico della violenza e conferendo un ruolo centrale all'ideologia». Apparentemente questa situazione non ha nulla a che fare con il nostro presente. O forse sì? Se si associa la democrazia al sistema liberale del pluripartitismo non si potrà che respingere l'associazione dei modelli, ma ci si può chiedere che senso abbia il pluripartitismo in un contesto in cui i partiti che si alternano al potere siano fautori del medesimo sistema di produzione capitalistico giunto alla sua fase imperialista. Il pluripartitismo è la forma più “liberale” della dittatura della borghesia, la quale mantiene, così mascherata, un costante controllo sui settori sociali, più o meno organizzati, rischiosi per il mantenimento e la salvaguardia della struttura economica. Tra gli Stati che hanno potuto godere di tale sistema politico si può constatare nell'epoca contemporanea una progressiva perdita di sovranità dovuta all'espansione del potere economico-finanziario. Qualunque Stato in cui si sia avvicinata o sia giunta al potere una fazione della società che abbia messo in discussione la struttura economica, ha visto cadere l'illusione democratica, subendo una dittatura borghese esplicita, violenta, terroristica, fascista. Nella visione astratta e formalista della Forti non importa la classe di cui fa gli interessi il partito al potere. Una lettura di classe concreta e materialista suggerisce invece che non un partito, ma un blocco sociale, ha conquistato il monopolio del potere statale: la borghesia. La borghesia ha assoggettato l'intera società, sfuttando dopo il 1989 il crollo delle organizzazioni proletarie. Ha ottenuto questo risultato al termine di una feroce lotta di classe su scala mondiale svoltasi non solo contro le organizzazioni interne ai singoli Stati (partiti comunisti, sindacati di classe) che ne contestavano il primato politico, ma anche contro quegli stessi Stati in cui il proletariato era riuscito a giungere al potere, attraverso le proprie avanguardie politiche. In questa lotta non ha esitato a ricorrere ad un uso capillare e terroristico della violenza. Le bombe della Strategia della tensione in Italia ne sono un esempio tra tanti, che passa comunque in secondo piano in confronto con quanto fatto dal braccio militare dei borghesi nel resto del mondo, dove gli stermini, i genocidi, le guerre brutali e l'asservimento schiavistico sono rimasti la modalità ordinaria di gestione dell'esistente. Tutto ciò in nome dell'ideologia del libero mercato e della proprietà privata dei mezzi di produzione, da sempre i pilastri intoccabili, i totem religiosi. Non certo per feticcio, ma in quanto essenza del potere di classe della borghesia. Oggi viviamo in un mondo che sembra rispecchiare la visione di Goebbels: «uno Stato totalitario che abbracci ogni sfera della vita pubblica e la trasformi alla base»,al fine di«modificare completamente i rapporti degli uomini tra di loro, con lo Stato e con i problemi dell'esistenza». La grande novità riguardo alle esplicite affermazioni naziste è caratterizzata dal fatto che tale uniformazione non viene imposta con la forza, ma con la persuasione occulta, sfruttando i meccanismi di alienazione e di controllo sostanzialmente totale dei mass-media classici. I dissenzienti da questo ordine non vengono sterminati, perché non hanno abbastanza forza da poter incidere effettivamente sull'ordine vigente. I rapporti di forza sono talmente a favore della classe dominante che essa tollera sacche di resistenza culturale, banalizzandole e ridicolizzandole, ma tenute in vita come controprova della propria liberalità. Totalitari sono anzi definiti tutti coloro che, accettando la logica marxiana dello Stato come forma di dittatura di una classe su un'altra, pongono il tema della conquista rivoluzionaria del potere. Un tema questo iniziato nel '900 nello stesso campo progressista dal “trockijsta eretico” Victor Serge, che non si è limitato a denunciare il totalitarismo sovietico di epoca staliniana, ma ne ha retrodatato la genesi all'esordio della Rivoluzione stessa, «con il suo clima di inquisizione ideologica e la statalizzazione dei sindacati e delle cooperative». Abbiamo già visto a lungo come gli intellettuali “di sinistra” siano stati i migliori alleati dell'imperialismo nel corso del '900, restando tutt'oggi spesso i più acerrimi difensori di un'emancipazione universale che viene fatta coincidere con la prosecuzione della gestione elitaria del potere da parte della borghesia. Il concetto di totalitarismo è stato ampiamente usato in maniera strumentale dagli intellettuali borghesi. Prendiamo Raymond Aron, noto collaborazionista della CIA. Ben prima che questa esistesse egli aveva identificato i quattro punti nevralgici per giungere a formulare tale concetto: «a) la critica alla filosofia della storia deterministica e teleologica […]; b) la relativizzazione del primato della sfera economica a favore della centralità della sfera politica; c) il riconoscimento del momento rivoluzionario che oppone il totalitarismo alla democrazia, caratterizzata, invece, da un'istanza conservatrice; d) un'indagine delle ideologie totalitarie in relazione al processo di secolarizzazione». Aron, come ogni grande reazionario del mondo culturale, patteggia per il relativismo, l'agnosticismo e il dubbio, rifiutando di dare uno statuto epistemologico alla disciplina storica, rifiutando insomma ogni proposta politica conseguente ad un'analisi serrata del passato. Accettare ciò significherebbe dal suo punto di vista cadere nel determinismo. Evidente l'attacco alla concezione del materialismo storico. Terribile per Aron che la politica controlli l'economia. Il suo mondo ideale è quello attuale in cui una multinazionale dispone di poteri assai maggiori rispetto a Stati ricchi e tra i più sviluppati del mondo. Il terzo punto si spiega da solo: il concetto stesso di rivoluzione è un male. La democrazia è invece conservatrice dell'ordine esistente, in cui vige il dominio del Capitale. Chiunque osi diffondere un'ideologia diversa che metta in discussione l'assioma della “naturalità” di un simile mondo viene accusato di propagandare una nuova “dottrina religiosa” intollerante che offre «un orizzonte salvifico temporalmente differito, realizzabile tuttavia grazie al regime instaurato». La strumentalità di tale paradigma è palese. Ricordiamo qui le tesi sul totalitarismo del politologo Zbigniew Brzezinski, che nel 1956 scrive con Carl J. Friedrich l'opera Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy in cui si introducono 6 misure per distinguere il totalitarismo: 1) un partito unico di massa guidato da un capo; 2) un'ideologia cui consacrarsi ciecamente; 3) il monopolio della forza bruta, degli strumenti di polizia e della lotta armata; 4) il controllo centralizzato dell'economia; 5) la penetrazione dello Stato-partito in ogni settore della società e in ogni dimensione della vita quotidiana; 6) il monopolio da parte del partito dei mezzi di comunicazione di massa di propaganda. Sui primi quattro punti ci siamo già soffermati a sufficienza. Si può constatare come l'ideologia dominante sia oggi effettivamente penetrata in ogni settore della società e in ogni aspetto della vita quotidiana. Un nuovo Capitale, inteso come il capolavoro di Marx, oggi non potrebbe che ripartire dal primato pressoché totale di cui gode la merce, con la conseguente sussunzione dell'ottica mercificatrice del complesso della realtà. Ciò è stato possibile anche grazie al controllo non monopolista ma oligopolista da parte dello stesso blocco sociale dominante, quello borghese. Cambia la forma insomma, ma non la sostanza. Brzezinski, 10° consigliere della Sicurezza Nazionale degli USA nel periodo 1977-81, conosce bene la differenza tra le dichiarazioni formali fatte all'epoca sui “freedom fighters” afghani in lotta contro l'invasione sovietica e la realtà di un appoggio ad organizzazioni islamiche terroristiche (in cui era presente anche Osama Bin Laden) tese a rovesciare una repubblica democratica laica e socialista giunta autonomamente al potere, ben prima dell'intervento sovietico. Negli anni '60 i modelli totalitari come quelli di Arendt o di Brzezinski erano accusati «di non rispondere a modelli descrittivi, ma di piegarsi alla necessità ideologica della condanna del comunismo, perseguita attraverso la costruzione di ideal-tipi ad hoc, che fanno emergere a contrasto i meriti delle società liberal-democratiche». Da chi erano sostenute queste tesi sul totalitarismo? Da riviste liberali come Preuves, Der Monat, ma anche Encounter, Forum e Tempo presente.Esattamente le stesse che abbiamo già identificato come finanziate e controllate dalla CIA, grazie alla poderosa ricerca di Frances Stonor Saunders. Eppure sarà il progressivo revisionismo, con conseguente cedimento ideologico, a far entrare questo cavallo di Troia nel campo del blocco proletario, colpendo proprio nel suo punto nevralgico di maggiore resistenza, il blocco socialista: «se nel decennio successivo alla morte di Stalin gli intellettuali dell'Est mostrano una forte avversione nei confronti del concetto, dall'invasione della Cecoslovacchia in poi si assiste a una riscoperta di tale nozione: “totalitario” e “totalitarismo” entrano nel lessico corrente, e il termine diventa il comun denominatore degli scritti politici della dissidenza. La domanda che ci si pone all'Est durante “il disgelo” non è molto diversa da quella che inquietava gli intellettuali marxisti dell'Ovest: vale a dire se gli indicibili crimini staliniani fossero una deviazione patologica di un percorso storico sano o se invece rappresentassero l'inevitabile esito di un sistema politico e ideologico viziato in partenza.» Senza la destalinizzazione del 1956 e la vittoria del revisionista Chruščev, che ha dato inizio alla disgregazione del blocco socialista avviando in parallelo la rovina dell'URSS, non si sarebbe assistito a questo impressionante cedimento ideologico il cui termine ultimo è la situazione odierna, caratterizzata dall'attribuzione incontrastata, perfino nei manuali scolastici, del paradigma totalitario al comunismo. Siamo quindi di fronte al rovesciamento della realtà: un totalitarismo borghese è riuscito a prevalere su una dittatura del proletariato, trasformando quest'ultimo in un regime demonizzato all'estremo. Eppure le contraddizioni rimangono e perfino un anticomunista come il filosofo Jean-François Lyotard ha parlato in tempi recenti per la nostra epoca di un'inedita forma di totalitarismo: «post-moderno, post-democratico, retto dall'incontrastato dominio economico e massmediatico, entro il quale l'Occidente sta continuando a vivere. È un totalitarismo “soft” che, come l'universo adorniano “dell'industria culturale”, opera attraverso la sistematica riduzione dell'altro allo stesso, disattiva l'alterità tramite un continuo processo di inclusione ed esclusione, di omologazione e di rifiuto. Se il totalitarismo propriamente politico nega la singolarità dell'evento dichiarandola un inutile accidente di cui sbarazzarsi, l'altro tipo di dominazione totalitaria, senza terrore e senza un'ideologia conclamata, la dissolve nella rete di una globalizzazione affacendata che, votata alla perenne innovazione, ha tempo soltanto per il profitto, per la vendita e per il consumo». Per gli esami di Maturità 2018, il Ministero dell'Istruzione italiano ha scelto la seguente traccia per il saggio breve di ambito storico-politico. Si tratta di un estratto da un saggio di Giulio M. Chiodi: «il concetto politico di massa è stato giustamente giudicato appropriato ai regimi totalitari, di tipo fascista, nazista, comunista del secolo scorso (per vero, non mancano nel presente esempi assimilabili); ma anche oggi possiamo parlare, a ragion veduta e provata, di massificazione a larghissimo raggio, che trova il suo terreno d’espansione soprattutto nei processi della cosiddetta globalizzazione. Ciò richiede una precisa distinzione. La massa governata dai regimi totalitari, diversamente da quella odierna, era una massa omogeneizzata dall’ideologia del conflitto. La massa che si costituisce ad opera delle ideologie dei regimi totalitari, come quelle esemplificate nel secolo scorso, combatte l’individualismo ma fa conto sull’individuo, a condizione che quest’ultimo sia stilizzato e rigorosamente uniformato ai dettami del regime, assolutamente pronto al consenso plebiscitario. Anzi, viene precisamente tratteggiato dal regime un modello ufficiale di individuo da imitare e riprodurre, descrivendone perfino prescrivendone la sua tipologia di pensiero e di azione, onde ne vengano interiorizzati acriticamente i dettami, annullando la personalità, sotto la guida di principi aggregatori, nella massa ideologicamente plasmata». Tale traccia, oltre a mostrare supinamente l'appiattimento verso la narrazione che equipara nazismo e comunismo come realtà totalitarie (un cliché che ormai comincia ad essere introiettato da sempre più intellettuali progressisti, compresi gli insegnanti liceali e universitari), introduce un elemento sottinteso di critica del presente, tanto che il Corriere della Serase ne è lamentato immediatamente denunciando i tentativi di accomunazione della nostra epoca alla realtà totalitaria: «un’altra perplessità nasce anche dal parallelo proposto, nei testi, tra i totalitarismi e i nostri tempi caratterizzati dalla globalizzazione. Non è pericoloso/pretestuoso appaiare le due tematiche e i due periodi? L’approdo a una sintesi troppo facile (anche la globalizzazione rappresenta un possibile aspetto di un totalitarismo contemporaneo) è lì dietro l’angolo. E forse richiederebbe maggiori materiali per affrontare una corretta analisi». Il filosofo italiano Ferraris, fautore del ritorno al “realismo”, sostiene che viviamo nell'epoca della postverità, e che questa costituisca «l'essenza della nostra epoca, proprio come il capitalismo costituì l'essenza dell'Ottocento e del primo Novecento e i media sono stati l'essenza del Novecento maturo». Ferraris in questa maniera inverte i rapporti causa-conseguenza riguardanti l'ambito socio-economico, non avendo probabilmente sufficienti dati materiali per identificare che all'interno della relazione capitalismo-media-verità giochi ancora un ruolo preminente la struttura economica, ossia quel capitalismo giunto alla sua fase dell'imperialismo. Tale realtà si diversifica dall'imperialismo del primo '900 avendo fatto proprie molte lezioni del nazifascismo ed essendo riuscita a mascherare il proprio dominio di classe e il suo controllo sempre più totalitario sulla società. La potenza del Capitale è stata capace di riscrivere la Storia all'insaputa dei più e mantiene tanta potenza di fuoco da poter confinare in maniera “liberale” ai margini del potere tutti i dissenzienti. È riuscita a fare ciò avendo per molti versi una conoscenza più adeguata degli insegnamenti di Marx e Gramsci, rivolti però non contro la classe dominante bensì contro la classe dominata. La fase di apparente sconfitta storica del socialismo conseguente alla caduta dell'URSS ha favorito una controffensiva ideologica che, combinata al sempre più accentuato controllo sociale e politico delle masse, ha consentito non solo di garantirsi contro nuove rivolte proletarie, ma anche di coltivare l'ambizioso progetto di eliminare una volta per tutte dalla mente degli individui l'idea che ci possa essere una società diversa rispetto a quella capitalistica. La vera e profonda caratteristica del totalitarismo sta in questo aspetto: la sussunzione dell'ideologia della classe dominante nelle masse è tale da favorire il mantenimento al potere della borghesia sul proletariato, dei pochi sui molti, dei ricchi sui poveri, per un periodo di tempo indefinito. L'ideologia falsamente progressista, quella “liberal”, con cui si intende guidare questo nuovo ordine mondiale, si appaia alla battaglia per la re-istituzione di un dominio neocoloniale sempre più attivo, il che però si scontrerà con l'ascesa di altri Paesi che rifiutano l'asservimento all'imperialismo occidentale. Tra questi Paesi, quello più potente e importante, che sta già contribuendo a emancipare progressivamente dalle proprie disgrazie il “Terzo Mondo”, è la Repubblica Popolare Cinese, uno Stato guidato da un Partito Comunista. Sbaglia quindi, peccando in astrattezza, anche Jacques Lacan, affermando che il totalitarismo contemporaneo, postmoderno, sia «privo di gerarchie e di centro». Il totalitarismo contemporaneo non è altro che una forma raffinata di controllo esercitato dalla dittatura della borghesia giunta ad esercitare un dominio su scala globale, in un contesto cioè di dominio di un capitalismo diventato imperialismo. L'imperialismo non è un ente astratto, ma ha dei suoi centri di potere ben precisi e ben localizzati geograficamente. Il principale centro di potere imperialista è dato ancora dalle politiche della principale potenza imperialista mondiale: gli Stati Uniti d'America. Dice bene Fabio Galimberti: «le nostre democrazie […] non sono governate con lo strumento del terrore, semmai con lo strumento del benessere». Gli si può ricordare che a seguito del trionfo delle politiche liberiste tale benessere sia sempre più relativo e restrittivo perfino nelle società occidentali, ma soprattutto occorre sempre ribadire che tale benessere è fondato storicamente e attualmente sul controllo, sul dominio e sul conseguente sfruttamento intensivo, in vari casi tale da perpetuare una vera e propria schiavitù, della gran parte dei popoli e del proletariato mondiale. Ma abbiamo già visto come l'Impero non ami parlare di sé stesso, partecipando all'omissione sistematica della natura imperiale della globalizzazione dominata fino ad oggi dalla borghesia statunitense. Copia e incolla
2020.09.20 20:47 stitches_dc[OC] A statistical look: Houssem Aouar
tldr: A statistical analysis of Houssem Aouar to try to get an objective perspective on his performance last season. Quick summary of my findings in the comments. tldr of the tldr: Don't kill me but Aouar may not be worth the high cost. Since the end of last season, I've been working on data analysis on players we're interested in or good value names to provide some objective insights. After initially focusing on "creative" players, I've now started focusing on midfielders As such, this post is going to focus on Houssem Aouar, someone of great interest to this sub. Past Analyses:Thomas Partey, Emi Buendia, Willian, Coutinho ,Luis Alberto, Ruslan Malinovskyi, Marcel Sabitzer, Christopher Nkunku, Raphinha, Mounir Chouiar Quick disclaimer: stats are never the whole picture - they can be inaccurate, be made to be misleading, and are best used in conjunction with watching game tape. To the extent that I can, I will try to cover the stats in a holistic way. METHODOLOGY: Simply put, I compiled a database of all available statistics on players from the 5 big leagues (via fbref), then used the data to create a peer analysis. Once you determine your peer groups, you normalize each player's stats so that it's relative to the peer set. By doing that, I can see in what percentile a player is in relative to that data set by using the mean and standard deviation of that set. The peer group: for Aouar, I'm comparing him to two peer groups - midfielders and "creative" players as, from what I've heard, he may fit either profile.
Midfielders: classified by fbref with over 810 minutes played - a total of 349 player fit this category. I used this set to determine the underlying distribution analysis for this peer group. Some defensive mids were categorized as both "MF" and "DF" on fbref, so I retroactively compared those players to the distribution of the pure "MF" set to catch any players who may have fallen through the cracks, raising the total number of players to 428.
"Creative players": in this case, refers to players categorized as FW/MF (both, not either or) by fbref - 270 player fit this and have played more than 810 mins last season. I used this set to determine the underlying distribution analysis for this peer group. Similar to the Midfielders peer group where I retroactively added back dual "MF"/"DF" categorized players, I retroactively added back all attackers and midfielders to this data set to catch any "creatives" who may have fallen through the cracks. This brought the total number of players to 922.
CONCLUSION: This specific ranking system is not supposed to be my main takeaway as it's a somewhat arbitrary way of combining stats, however, I include it as it provides a succinct way of getting my message across. Taking the average percentile across MANY stat categories, Aouar ranked as:
259th out of 922 players
142nd out of 428 players
Deep Lying Playmaking (Mid)
229th out of 428 players
392nd out of 428 players
As there are many different midfield roles, I tried to determine how the midfielders I analyzed would perform relative to the different roles. This is tough to determine, as fbref doesn't parse midfielders into sub-categorizes, meaning I can only determine stat percentiles of all midfielders, not percentile per type of midfielder. To work around this, I took each player's individual stat percentiles and weighted them differently for each midfield role (you can find the weighting of each stat here). It's not really as applicable for Aouar since he's more of tweener between an attacking mid and creative, but I wanted to show it nonetheless to see maybe how good a fit he would be in a deeper role. As you can see, these overall ranks are somewhat shocking given the reputation of the player. I understand if you're skeptical of these output, so from here on in my post, I will break down in details some of the metrics that went into the above rankings. Key takeaways from the detailed breakdown: - Aouar mostly occupies the middle to attacking 3rd areas. - An aggressive dribbler when it comes to direct take-ons, his success rate is actually around net average. This differed from the impression others gave me on him - he's a good dribbler, but doesn't seem special. He also gets dispossessed a lot, average at best if looking at him on a per carry basis. - Above average passing and creation ability, albeit not elite. Attempts a large number of passes and completes them at a strong rate. A very good progressor of the ball, while also providing average to slightly above average ability to deliver incisive passes. Depending on what lens you view him from, his assist metrics are average at worst and range up to being very good. - Tough to determine exact goal scoring ability due the range of outputs from the peer groups - what I can say is that he attempts a decent number of shots, gets them on target more often than others, with the ability to covert some into goals at an average to above average level. - Average at best as a defender, with the potential to be a liability if you play him too deep. Really bad at taking on dribblers directly and will often let them past him. Not a great presser either, below average both in terms of attempts and success rate. If you play him higher up the pitch, his negative aspects here won't look as bad, but like said, would look average at best. - The stats also indicate pretty clearly that Lyon was better with Aouar off the pitch than on, but I take this with a grain of salt. - OVERALL:
Aouar seems like someone who should be the classical 10 due to his weaker defensive profile. He could be an attacking 8, but would likely need defensive-minded midfield partners to cover from him there. That should be fine for a lot of teams, but Arsenal doesn't have a defensively strong midfielder apart from Torreria and we're shipping him out because Arteta needs all his mids to have some on-ball ability. I suppose you could try him in the wing a la what we did with Ozil in the past (and my analysis actually says that they're similar player types), but that's effectively avoiding the goal of this purchase - to help fix the midfield. And I definitely don't see him in a midfield 2 as he could be exposed as a defensively.
I'd have to say, this statistical analysis shows Aouar to be not be as good as I was led to believe. I'm not doubting that he is a good player and has certain impressive qualities, but does not seem to be elite in any one area, while also presenting some significant weaknesses. And that makes me squeamish at the projected ~£50moutlay it would take to get him (I think the very small sample size from his Champions League performance has upped his cost far too much). Positionally, he doesn't give you a lot of flexibility with Arsenal's current grouping of midfielders and it seems like you'd need to bring in a player like Partey with defensive ability in the midfield to make up for Aouar. Don't kill me, but based on the player profile, team fit, and projected cost, I'm relatively skeptical about getting Aouar.
DETAILS : In this section, I want to look more closely at specific aspects of Aouar to breakdown strengths/weaknesses and see how the stats hold up to public perception. Also, some asked me to include the data on Arsenal players from last season to help make the numbers I provide more relatable - I've provided data here. These are vs the midfield peer set. Note #1: Read "94.0% (10)" as "in the 94th percentile for the stat, ranking him at 10th out of the x players in the data set" (x = 428 for mids, 922 for creatives). Note #2: The lower the percentile, the worse it is. The smaller the rank, the better it is. Note #3:Some percentiles have a bit of skew in the underlying data. If I refer to a stat with some skew, I include an * to flag it (typically ~5-10% variance in the percentile; rank unaffected). Possession:
% of Touches in Def Pen/ Def 3rd/ Mid 3rd/ Attacking 3rd/ Att Pen
Dribbles Attempted p90* ; Dribble Success %:
84% (57) ; 67% (424)
98% (4) ; 33% (284)
Dispossessions p90* ; Disposs. per Carry*
18% (848) ; 61% (555)
2% (422) ; 8% (391)
What this tells me about Aouar:
Viewed as a midfielder:
Average amount of time/touches on ball, but spends more of his time in the attacking areas and middle 3rd relative to the peer set, while his presence in defensive areas extremely below average.
An aggressive dribbler - high amount of take-ons, however, his success rate is below average. It is likely too negative a view in the midfield peer group, as most midfielders are typically facing less pressure on the ball. Aouar is very visibly more advanced than most mids, so he likely faces more pressure on the ball.
His dispossession stats look terrible for a midfielder.
Viewed as a creative:
High amount of touches, with time spent in the middle 3rd outsizing other creatives, while the rest of the areas are a bit below average. His possession stats seem more illustrative of a creative than a mid.
Dribbling seems much better when looked at as a creative - high take on attempts, but above average success rate. Potentially a bit too positive a picture here, as he plays more centrally than most creatives, however, his overall possession locations seem more balanced here than the midfielder view.
Raw dispossessions p90 still looks quite bad, however, on a per carry basis it's much more in-line with the average when viewed as a creative.
Bottom Line: It's tough to determine exactly since he's a bit of a tweener between midfielder and creative, with each telling opposite stories here. However, given his '% of Touches' by area of the field, I'd say it leans a bit closer to the creative side. Pretty heavily concentrated in the middle 3rd relative to his peers, with a healthy amount of presence in attacking areas. Quite the direct dribbler, with mixed success rate (likely average to slightly above average). Ball security is an issue, but is more bearable on a per carry basis if looking at him as a creative.
Chance Creation / Passing:
Assists p90* ; xA p90*
68% (225) ; 53% (303)
86% (68) ; 83% (73)
Passes Attempted p90* ; Completion %
86% (254) ; 94% (166)
49% (204) ; 70% (150)
Key Passes p90
Completed Passes Into Final 3rd p90
Completed Passes Into Penalty Area p90
Completed Crosses Into Penalty Area p90
Completed Progressive Passes p90
Passes While Pressured
What this tells me about Aouar:
Viewed as a midfielder:
Very good assist metrics, in the top quintile for both assists p90 and xA p90. This is likely too rosy of a picture, as the midfielder peer group average for assists is likely dragged down by more defensive midfielders.
Average passing volume, but above average passing efficiency. The efficiency is probably a little more impressive than the 70th percentile would indicate, since he does play more advanced than the average mid and is likely making passes with a higher concentration of defenders around him.
Good "danger" passing metrics - above average in most all the metrics, and the only one that isn't (crossing) shouldn't really be a massive negative and may just mean he mostly plays centrally as opposed to the wings.
Viewed as a creative:
As creatives are more offensive, you can expect that the average for assists and most "danger" passing metrics should be higher (meaning Aouar's percentiles should likely be more muted in these categories), while the average midfielder is more involved in distribution and attempts "easier" passes, meaning the average creative should have lower pass attempts and passing efficiency.
Aouar's assist metrics are still a bit above average in the creative peer group.
"Danger" passing metrics are mixed - as I mentioned above, you'd expect that the danger passing percentiles would drop from the midfielder to creative peer group and that is the case for key passes and passes/crosses into the penalty. However, passes into the Final 3rd and progressive passes went up - this also should intuitively makes sense because Aouar spends more time in the middle 3rd than most creatives, affording him more chances to progress the ball up the pitch.
Passing volume and efficiency are both very high for the creative peer group - again, likely a little more rosy than actual since he plays more deeper (in the middle) than most creatives, so will get opportunity for easier passes.
Overall, he's average to slightly above average in terms of creativity for this peer group.
Passes while pressured doesn't paint a complete picture since it's a raw attempts number without completion % data, but what I can draw from his 58th and 75th percentiles above is that it indicates that he's at least somewhat comfortable with, or used to, making passes while under pressure. With Arteta's insistence on making a man commit to you before making a pass, this indicates that he should at least theoretically not be a terrible fit for that part of our system.
Shot Chance Creation p90
Goal Chance Creation p90*
The first stat documents the number of shots the player directly helps create through buildup play (by making a pass, dribbling past an opponent, drawing a foul, or trying to take a shot which ricocheted off someone and led to someone else getting a chance to shoot), where as the latter stat does the same but only tracks actions which actually resulted in goals (not "goal worthy" chances). What this tells me about Aouar:
Above average at creating chances. Particularly great when viewed as a midfielder, but still solid when viewed in the "creative" peer group.
When digging a little more deeply, his shot creation from dribbling, passing, and his shots rebounding to other players are all above average. However, his goal generation was far lower from those generated via dribbling (passing and rebound shot was still high in terms of goal generation).
Bottom Line: Overall, slightly above average creative/passing profile when looking at his stats for both peer groups. Good amount of volume in passing with strong efficiency via his completion percentage. Trying to condense his danger passing metrics is a bit tough here, but I interpret it as he's more of a progressor of the ball (at an above average level), but is also able to chip in with some of the more incisive passes to the attacking area to generate chances at an average to above average level.
Goals p90* ; xG p90*
37% (454) ; 36% (386)
85% (77) ; 90% (30)
Non-Penalty Goals p90* ; Non-Penalty xG*
46% (428) ; 40% (354)
87% (66) ; 93% (21)
Shots p90* / Shots on Target p90*
52% (315) ; 63% (273)
89% (33) ; 92% (18)
Shot on Target %
Goals per Shot on Target*
What this tells me about Aouar:
Viewed as a midfielder:
High volume shooter, with shots on target p90 at a slightly higher percentile than shots p90. This relationship is also reflected in his high Shot on Target % percentile. Independently, these stats don't tell us a ton about his shooting efficiency. For example, an average volume shooter will likely have higher shots on target volume if his shots are from closer to the goal, whereas a long distance average volume shooter likely will have a lower shots on target volume. As Aouar gets more advanced than the average mid, you'd think that he'd be shooting fewer long distance shots as a percent of all his shots (and vice versa when looking at him in the "creative" peer group). However, I can't say with certainty with the data I have.
High performing goal scorer for a mid - again, likely as should be expected when compared to this peer set as he plays more advanced than the average mid and considering that you have a lot of defensive mids with 0 goals in this peer group bringing the average down.
Viewed as a creative:
Average volume shooter, but slightly above average at shots on target for the peer group. Considering that he plays deeper than the average creative, I actually think this is quite impressive.
Below average goal scoring when compared to the creatives peer group - somewhat expected given that he plays deeper than most
Bottom Line: A great goal scorer for a midfielder, but below average for a creative - tough to get a real solid takeaway here, so I'll simplify it and say that he can provide you goal scoring ability. Average to above average shot volume, but is able to get them on target at a higher rate than his peers.
Tackles Attempted p90 ; Success Rate
43% (577) ; 61% (350)
10% (390) ; 61% (160)
Dribbles Contested p90 ; Success Rate
31% (650) ; 5% (861)
4% (403) ; 1% (424)
Pressed Ballcarrier p90 ; Success Rate
39% (526) ; 44% (603)
29% (273) ; 24% (331)
Blocks p90* ; Interceptions p90*
18% (758) ; 49% (544)
3% (412) ; 9% (384)
Areal Duels Won p90 ; Success Rate
33% (322) ; 67% (155)
What this tells me about Aouar:
His percentiles paint him to be much worse defensively than the perception I had of him.
Viewed as a midfielder:
Among the lowest in terms of take on attempts.
Average success rates on tackle attempts, but exceptionally poor success rate when taking on a dribbler directly.
Solidly below average at pressing, both in attempts and success rate.
Decent at areals, below average in his attempts, but above average success rate.
Viewed as a creative:
Average tackling ability, but still terrible when taking on a dribbler directly.
His pressing is closer to average, but still looks a bit below.
While blocks and interceptions looked very bad for midfielders, that was due to defensive and more central mids raising the average up. I don't think you expect much out of him by way of blocks anyway, but looks average at interception when evaluating him as a creative.
Bottom Line: At best, a below average defender, and that's if you're playing him in a more attacking/"creative" role. His defensive ability, or lack thereof, should all but eliminate him from playing in a midfield 2.
Team Net Goals (+/-) While On Pitch p90*
Team Net Goals (+/-) While On Pitch vs Off p90
Team Net xG (+/-} While On Pitch p90*
Team Net xG (+/-) While On Pitch vs Off p90
What this tells me about Aouar:
I generally hesitate to draw major conclusions from this section, but will make mention it as the stats paint a consistent picture.
Team net goals and net xG both indicate that Lyon were a good, albeit not great team while Aouar was on the pitch. But these stats don't independently tell us a lot as a high percentile here could be due to having great teammates/coaching around him.
Team net goals on-off and net xG on-off help paint a better picture of what his impact on the team is. However, and very surprisingly, the stats would strongly indicate that Lyon both scored fewer goals / conceded more goals with him on the pitch vs off and generated fewer goal scoring opportunities / concede more goal scoring chances with him on the pitch vs off. And this pattern was observed for both peer groups. Even more so, his on vs off was even more negative for both stats the previous season.
Bottom Line: Shockingly, the stats pretty clearly say that the team was more productive without Aouar on the pitch. I try not to make too much of this stat because it ignores the situational details, however, I'd be lying if I didn't say this was somewhat disconcerting.
SIMILAR PLAYERS / HIGH CORRELATION: Taking the main stats (percentiles, not raw) I made reference to, here are the players with the highest correlation to Aouar (on a scale of -1 to 1, where 1 is perfectly correlated and -1 is perfectly inversely correlated). Note, even bad players can have high correlation to Aouar. I understand high correlation in this case to mean that they have similar play style or overall strengths/weaknesses, but the quality of each strength and weakness can vary.
"Creative" Peer Group
Midfielder Peer Group
Martin Ødegaard (Real) - 0.78
Martin Ødegaard (Real) - 0.91
Ross Barkley (Chelsea) - 0.68
Ross Barkley (Chelsea) - 0.85
Luis Alberto (Lazio) - 0.63
Florent Mollet (Montpellier) - 0.81
Isco (Real) - 0.59
Luis Alberto (Lazio) - 0.80
Julian Brandt (Dortmund) - 0.57
Seko Fofana (Udinese) - 0.77
Manuel Lanzini (West Ham) - 0.57
Piotr Zieliński (Napoli- 0.75
Jonathan Bamba (Lille) - 0.57
Mesut Özil (Arsenal) - 0.75
Since I started with my conclusion near the beginning of my post, I'll end by thanking you for reading all the way to the end!
One of the interesting narratives to come out of this years playoffs is the idea that winning a title as “the man” with multiple teams is somehow harder and more meaningful than winning multiple titles with a single team. First, most of this came out of the possibility of Kawhi winning with the Spurs, Raptors and Clippers , and recently I’ve heard the same thing about LeBron winning it the Heat, Cavaliers, and now potentially the Lakers. While I can understand the novelty of it, especially with today’s player empowerment movement, I don’t believe that it should be considered “greater” than winning in one place such as Jordan, Magic, or Bird. By changing teams, players circumvent many of the natural and organizational barriers to multiple championships. Most teams that win two or more face one, or more, of the following problems: Aging Superstar Partners (Kareem with LA), Disgruntled players (Pippen with Chicago), Losing Key Players (Pistons losing Mahorn to expansion Draft), Constantly Changing Cast (Spurs), Post- Champion Hangovers ( Olajuwon Rockets), and/of the general apathy that comes with multiple successes (KD/Curry Warriors). Moving to a new team resets that: Teams usually haven’t exhausted their possible cap maneuvers, teammates usually still get along fairly well, and there is a hunger to “prove doubters wrong” that just isn’t there for an organization that has recently won. Winners are also, usually, the target, even beyond the need to beat a particular superstar. Moving to a new team relieves some of the pressure that comes with being favorites; with exception of the 2011 Mavericks, 2019 Warriors and 2020 Raptors, at least SOME of the overriding pressure goes to the defending champions. Overall, the evidence seems to suggest that winning multiple titles with one team is, at the very least, slightly more difficult than winning a title with multiple teams That being said, I’m open to arguments for the other side. Note: I do not believe that LeBron or Kawhi’s legacies are hurt by joining different teams and winning. Each championship is a plus, and it’s just a different era than the 90’s and 80’s. That being said, in a vacuum, the challenges faced by winning multiple championships seem to outweigh the challenges of restarting over and over again. That being said, would love to hear your thoughts on this!
2020.09.20 18:49 SunsetPickleLandlords are way too restrictive nowadays
My current lease is month to month, my partner and I are ready to live on our own without roommates so we’ve been looking for a place of our own. I’ve been on my own since I was a teenager so I’m used to renting more from private owners than apartments and honestly, I prefer it. Apartment living is fine, but not for us. We’ve had some wild experiences. So we’ve been looking for a place for MONTHS with little luck, because every time we find something we love there’s too many restrictions from the owners. I get it, it’s your property you can make your own rules and restrictions but damn. Some of the craziest things I’ve been coming across — 1. “Must keep rental clean at all times to the owners standards. They owner has keys to all locks and will be stoping by randomly to check-up on property” This bothers me because I know it’s true. My friends MIL does this. She goes into her rented out property when the renters are out and cleans and goes through their stuff because it’s not to “her standards” and she doesn’t like the smell of the products they use so she brings her own products. This is a major violation of privacy for me. I’m clean, you can knock and come over anytime but coming in behind my back is crossing a line. 2. 1 person only & no guests no exceptions Most people I know can’t afford to live on their own. And couples who are married are being shamed because they can’t afford to buy a proper house. To the no guests thing, I get it, covid, but there are precautions that can be made and I need my dr to come by 2-3 times a week for 1 hour but the owners are unwilling to budge. 3. No pets I live in LA, pets are more popular than children (and in some cases better cared for). My cats are way better behaved and quiet than all my neighbors children who are running around screaming all day and cry all night long (not an over exaggeration). They have never been an issue and I will not just “rehome” my babies. I’ll pay the pet rent and pet deposit. there’s a bad stigma on cats and it sucks! 4. Must have a full-time job OUTSIDE THE HOUSE this one is so weird for me especially with so many jobs going remote due to covid. I’m willing to pay higher utilities since I work from home, it’s only fair I pay my share but unfortunately it’s been a deal breaker for them. This lady was yelling at me over the phone, panicking because “needs her space” when I was preparing to rent her detached with private entrance, 1-bedroom back-house At this rate I’ll never find a place!
2020.09.20 17:54 secretymologyPossible Explanation For Australia’s Apparent Police State Meltdown. “State of Victoria Sold Out to the Soros-Backed Strong Cities Network (SCN) with Privatised Police.” UN Communitarianism alert (from Computing Forever)
2020.09.20 17:48 SuperHotUKDealsCorona Extra Beer 18 X 330Ml £12 @ Tesco
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Chapter Fourteen – ’eeYOB [Job] is dejected [משוחח, MeShOoHahH] upon shortness [of] the life
“The whole of this chapter is directed to God alone; in no part of it does he take any notice of his friends.” (Adam Clarke, 1831, p. II 768) “Verses 7-9 and 10-12 are parallel strophes… 14:13-17, 18-22… two parallel five–line strophes.” (Murphy & MacKenzie, 1990, p. 476)
-1. “ ’ahDahM [man] is born of woman, cut short are days and sated [with] trouble [רגז, ReGeZ], -2. like a sprout emerged [יצא, YahTsah’] and pruned [וימל, VeYeeMahL, “clipped, circumcised"], and it flees like shadow and does not stand. -3. But [אף, ’ahPh] upon this you open [פקחת, PahQahHThah] your eyes, and me you bring into judgment with you.
“… man’s insignificance does not justify God’s sharp scrutiny (vs. [verse] 3; cf. [compare with] 7:17-19). The shift of person from such a one (vs. 3a) to me (vs.3b) shows once more that Job cannot dwell on the general without soon falling back on the particular. However, the LXX [Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible], Vulg. [Vulgate, the authorized Latin translation of the Bible], and Syriac read ואתו [Ve’oThO], and … him (RSV [Revised Standard Version]), rather than the M.T. [Masoretic Text, the standard Hebrew Bible] ואתי [Ve’oTheeY], and … me (KJV [King James Version]).” (Terrien, 1954, p. III 1009)
-4. “Who gives pure from defiled [מטמא, MeeTahMay’]? No one.
“A quite obscure verse; possibly some words are missing. The NAB [New American Bible, American Catholic Version] (like most translations) paraphrases. Some Church Fathers, relying on the OL [Old Latin] or Vg [Vulgate] versions saw here a reference to original sin, but it is not justified by the Hebrew.” (Murphy & MacKenzie, 1990, p. 476) “… the idea of mankind’s uncleanness may have been brought to the poet’s mind by the formula of vs. 1, man… born of a woman, since the thought it represents is akin to that of Ps. [Psalm] 51:5 (cf. Ps. 14:3). Job, like Eliphaz (4:17), acknowledges the universality of man’s impurity and thus makes an implicit plea for God’s understanding: his own case is not different from that of his fellow human beings. No more than the text of Ps. 51:5 does this line refer to any ritual impurity involved in the act of conception itself (against the paraphrasing of Vulg., de immundo conceptum semine [“conceived of unclean seed” – DRBO.org]); it merely points out the corporate solidarity of the human race and the deep connection of its sinful nature with universal death.” (Terrien, 1954, p. III 1009)
-5. “With determinations [חרוצים, HahROoTseeYM] [of] his days, count [of] his months with you, his limits [חקו, HooQahV] you made, and he cannot pass over. -6. Look away [שעה, She`ayH] from upon him and he collapses [ויחדל, VeYehHDahL] until he is wanted; like a hireling [כשכיר, KeShahKheeYR] is his day. -7. For there is to a tree hope if it is cut, and more it will sprout [יחליף, YeHahLeeYPh] and its shoot [וינקתו, VeYeeNahQThO] does not collapse. -8. If ages in [the] land its root, and in dust dies its stump [גזעו, GeeZ`O], -9. from scent [of] waters it flowers and makes a branch as if [כמו, KeMO] planted. -10. And a brave dies, and weakens and expires [ויגוע, VahYeeGVah`] ’ahDahM, and where is he [ואיו, Ve’ahYO?] -11. Evaporates [אזל, ’ahZahL] waters from a sea, and a river parches [יחרב, YeHRahB] and dries, -12. and a man lies down and does not rise until there are no skies. They will not awake [יקיצו, YahQeeYTsOo] and they will not rouse from their sleep.
“7-12. Religious rites and beliefs in the ancient Near East cultivated the hope of a resurrection after the grave. Job polemizes bluntly against these attractive illusions: Man lies down and rises not again (vs. 12a). In vss. [verses] 11 and 12b (cf. Isa. [Isaiah] 19:5) the poet may be thinking of Egyptian ideas about the afterlife, and thus contemplating for an anxious moment the possibility of a new existence after death. The determination with which he rejects this hope betrays the fascination that such beliefs exercise on his mind. He rejects them, but he cannot help dwelling upon them a little longer in the lines following.” (Terrien, 1954, pp. III 1010-1011)
-13. “Who will give, in Sheol [abode of the dead], my hiding? Will you hide me [תצפנני, ThahTsePeeNayNeeY], conceal [תסתיראני, ThahÇTheeYR’ayNeeY] me until returns your fury, set to me a limit [חק, HoQ] and remember me?
“Job here supposes a remarkable duality in God: He would hide Job – from his own wrath.” (Murphy & MacKenzie, 1990, p. 476) “Doubt arises immediately after the specific denial. Not as a result of intellectual speculation but as the fruit of religious groping in prayer… Once again Job has risen from the level of meditation to that of warm and intimate dialogue.” (Terrien, 1954, p. III 1011)
-14. “If dies a brave, can he live? All [the] days of my service [צבאי, TseBah-eeY] I would wait [איחל, ’ahYahHayL], until comes my passing away [חליפתי, HahLeeYPhahTheeY].
“This call from person to person enables him to restate his wildly imaginative hope in the form of a question, If a man die, shall he live again? (vs. 14a). Philosophical skepticism usually undermines in a negative way the acceptance of a positive dogma. Job’s doubt, on the contrary, spurred by a prayer which will not let God go, undermines a negative certainty to prepare for an affirmative faith. The question of vs. 14a is not asked by a thinker observing the human situation but by a lover preimagining his partner’s attitude.” (Terrien, 1954, pp. III 1011-1012)
-15. “You call and I will answer you; to a making [of] your hands pine [תכסף, TheeKhÇoPh].
“This is not merely the hope of an afterlife. It is the certainty of the unbrokenness beyond physical death, of a communion which unites God and man on earth (cf. Ps. 73:24-26[?]). If Job knew that at the end of his service (vs. 14b) God would call (vs. 15) then, not unlike Jacob serving for Rachel, he would gladly endure his present ‘forced labor’ and would answer the divine invitation. The question of life eternal is not asked here or elsewhere in the Bible on philosophical or ethical grounds; it is raised by the love of man for God, and the response of man to God’s desire or longing for the work of [his] hands.” (Terrien, 1954, pp. III 1012-1013)
-16. “For nowmy march you count, do not guard upon my sin,
“This verse is translated in two conflicting ways: (a) The KJV, followed by the ERV [English Revised Version], ASV [American Standard Version], Amer. Trans. [American Translation], and many exegetes, considers that the initial words כי עתה [KeeY `ahThaH], ‘but now,’ establish a brutal contrast between lyrical fantasy and present realities. Vs. 16a is thus rendered, For now thou numberest my steps: A pejorative expression, suggesting the sharp watchfulness of a spy (cf. 7:20b…). Vs. 16b, however, reads lit. [literally], ‘Thou does not watch over my sin,’ which for the sake of consistency is either interpreted as an interrogative sentence (KJV) or corrected into an affirmative clause (by deletion of the negative לא [Lo‘]). The difficulty may not have been sensed by the translators of the LXX, for they read, ‘Thou doest not overlook any of my sins'… (b) The RSV and several modern exegetes consider that vs. 16 continues the picture of intimate harmony with God delineated in vss. 13-15, and thus interpret the initial words of vs. 16a... as referring to the future, For then. In this way the rendering of vs. 16b would be quite satisfactory: Thou wouldest not keep watch over my sin, but vs. 16a would have to be understood in a good sense: For then thou wouldest number my steps (with loving care), an interpretation which is not supported by other usages of the same idiom… However, vs. 17 most probably indicates that Job's turn of thought has already fallen back on the dark present, and consequently the first interpretation of 16… seems definitely preferable.” (Terrien, 1954, p. III 1013) ’
-17. “seal in a parcel [בצרור, BeeTsROR] my crime, and patch [ותטפל, VeTheeTPoL] upon my iniquity. ’
“Another obscure text; in any case, not a confession of guilt (cf. 13:23).” (Murphy & MacKenzie, 1990, p. 476) ’ “An allusion to the custom of collecting evidence of state transgressions, sealing them up in a bag, and presenting them to judges and officers of state to be examined, in order to trial and judgment. Just at this time, July 1820, charges of state transgressions, sealed up in a GREEN BAG, and presented to the two houses of parliament, for the examination of a secret committee, are making a considerable noise in the land.” (Adam Clarke, 1831, p. II 770) ’
“18-20. In the second strophe, Job returns to sad reality.” (Murphy & MacKenzie, 1990, p. 476) ’
-18. “*and rock is removed [יעתק, *Yeh`eThahQ] from its place; -19. stones are worn [שחקו, ShahHahQOo] [by] waters, are swept away [תשטפ, TheeShTayPh] [by] her freshets [תשטף, TheeShTayPh] [the] dust [of the] land, and hope of a person you perish.
“Thou washest away the things] Alluding to sudden falls of rain occasioning floods, by which the fruits of the earth are swept away; and thus the hope of man (the grain for his household and provender for his cattle,) is destroyed.” (Adam Clarke, 1831, p. II 770) “18-19. Thee verses are absent in the Coptic Sahidic version; they are marked with asterisks in Jerome’s recension and in the Syro–hexaplaric version; the present text of the LXX has been supplied from Theod. [Theodotion1 ]; the initial word ואולם [Ve’OoLaM], ‘but on the contrary,’ indicates some disturbance of the original text.” (Terrien, 1954, pp. III 1014-1015)
-20. “You prevail [over] him [תתקפהו. TheeThQePhayHOo] to eternity [לנצח, LahNehTsahH], and he walks, you change his face, and you send him away.
“Thou changest his countenance] Probably an allusion to the custom of covering the face, when the person was condemned, and sending him away to execution. See the case of Haman, in the note on Esther, chap. [chapter] vii.8.” (Adam Clarke, 1831, p. II 770).
-21. “Honored are his sons and he does not know, and they are diminished [ויצערו, VahYeeTs`ahROo] and he does not understand why. -22. Only [אך, ’ahKh] his flesh upon him hurts, and his soul upon him you lament [תאבל, The`ehBahL].”
“At the end of the first cycle of discussion Job has fallen into a slough of despond perhaps deeper than the pessimism of his initial lament. There he looked at death as a state of rest, perhaps of serenity (3:13 ff. [and following]); here he grimly faces an endless continuation of dull pain. There he was ‘half in love with easeful Death’; here he stands alone before ‘the grisly terror.’” (Terrien, 1954, pp. III 1014-1015)
1 Theodotion d. [died] ca. [approximately] AD 200 was a Hellenistic Jewish scholar, perhaps working in Ephesus, who in ca. AD 150 translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Whether he was revising the Septuagint, or was working from Hebrew manuscripts that represented a parallel tradition that has not survived, is debated. In the 2nd century Theodotion's text was quoted in the Shepherd of Hermas and in Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho. His finished version, which filled some lacunae in the Septuagint version of the Book of Jeremiah and Book of Job, formed one column in Origen of Alexandria's Hexapla, ca. AD 240. (The Hexapla, now only extant in fragments, presented six Hebrew and Greek texts side-by-side: two Greek versions, by Aquila and Symmachus, preceding the Septuagint, and Theodotion's version following it, apparently reflecting a contemporary understanding of their historical sequence.) Biblical sources tree The inter-relationship between various significant ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament (some identified by their siglum). LXX here denotes the original Septuagint. – By Fred the Oyster, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35279580An Amateur's Journey Through the Bible
2020.09.20 12:00 LeoAstrologyDaily Leo Horoscope - Sep 20, 2020
A chance to increase your income by participating in an artistic project of some kind could come your way today, Leo. You might take part in the creative work or you could promote it in a business capacity. Whichever it is, you're likely to form some firm friendships in the process. If you're single, one of your colleagues might turn out to be a potential love partner. Enjoy! https://www.horoscope.com/us/horoscopes/general/horoscope-archive.aspx?sign=5&laDate=20200920
A/N:Man, the 40-thousand character limit on reddit is reeaaally forcing me to cut my chapters into pieces here. Oh well, c'est la vie. Enjoy! Previous Chapter Next Chapter --------------------------------------- Adam quietly tugged the cowl of his cloak over his face as he walked the paved streets of the fishing village, though perhaps that was an improper descriptor. Búrin-Hér was small by normal standards: about six miles in circumference and situated on the coast of Lake Greenstills, named so for the emerald green stones at the bottom of the lake. The stones, while worth some value were ultimately not worth the effort to mine, particularly since the green light refracted from the sun through the water acted as a stimulant, improving the spawning rate of many species of fish, and encouraging the fish to grow to an enormous size. The city was well known for its carp analogues, though also sold other seafood such as largemouth bass and crayfish as well. Honestly, he wouldn’t mind stealing a boat, grabbing a fishing pole and lingering on the lake for a day. Maybe even two. Sadly though, that was not an option… Well, not this time. There was always next time though, right? “That’s like the third time you’ve sighed since we got here, special agent Hill.” He was brought out of his thoughts by the commanding and feminine voice of his companion. “Was that out-loud?” he asked in surprise. He’d not thought he was that put out... Maybe he missed fishing more than he thought. Lillith Bucannon looked at him through the opaque visor of her helmet, identical to his own, and he could imagine her glowing cyan eyes crinkling in amusement. That was one thing (among many) he had to get used to. Ever since magic had first been discovered in this world, those exposed to the very ether of this place had begun to change. Magic, mana, prana, od, the energy of the world.... whatever you wanted to call it, would gradually, and without fail change a person in equally gradual though notable ways. For sergeant Bucannon, her changes were in her hair and eyes, both turning to a luminescent sky blue when she drew upon mana for her magic. Despite his incessant curiosity, he never did have the guts to ask if the carpet matched the drapes… “Keep it up, agent Hill and I’ll report you for sexual harassment.” He felt a cold sweat on his neck. “What’d I do?” She turned to him and he could swear he saw her eyes light up dimly behind her visor. “Oh?” She exclaimed. “Are you saying you weren’t thinking about something incredibly inappropriate right now?” Adam frowned and leaned in to scrutinize her just as carefully. “And what would make you think I was? Last I checked, you weren’t a telepath." She turned her head away with a dismissive snort. “Of course not. If I were, that would make me an Evader, and unlike you, I don’t buck the system because it suits my fancy. You know as well as I do that the consequences for possessing an unregistered ability are quite severe, special agent Hill. ” “Oh, perish the thought!” Adam waved his hands exaggeratedly. “Lillith Bucannon break a rule? Armageddon cometh.” He could feel her ire-filled gaze without even looking. Of course, he didn’t believe it himself. He was a realist, and the reality is that everyone is a liar. Humans justify their deceptions with one reason or another, but lies are lies all the same. He had no doubt the woman was hiding something. And he was pathological when it came to figuring out what people lie about. Lies protect secrets, and secrets are almost always dark. Learn a person’s secret, and you wield a power no one else on earth can. But he was in no position to rush things. Truth be told, though he had long been suspicious of what secrets the sergeant might be hiding, he was actually quite fond of her, not that any outsider might think so, given the frequency with which they traded barbed words. Even if he did find out, he was in no mind expose them. Besides, he wasn’t about to antagonize someone who could easily break his arm if he pissed her off; she was, after all, a superb close-quarters combatant. “Oh please, I’ve broken my share of rules. But not all rules are equal, Hill. There are some lines you don’t cross.” She fixed him with a look, their gazes meeting behind opaque visors. “And I don’t need telepathy to feel your eyes on my ass.” A small heat ran through his chest. He suppressed a nervous grin. Guilty or innocent, awkward situations always brought out an unbidden, mischievous smile. "'Fraid you're mistaken. I don’t have the balls to stare at your ass, ma’am.” He felt sergeant Bucannon give him the silent, side-eye treatment for several seconds before huffing. “Hill, you’re an asshole.” He raised an eyebrow. “Asshole? Yesterday I was a dumbass, and today I’m an asshole? I can't tell... Is that promotion or demotion?” “It’s a keep-moving-motion, asshole,” she clarified as they moved along. There was precious little security in the streets of Búrin-Hér. Contrary to popular opinion, not all elves and dwarves hated each other. Just… most of them… So with Búrin-Hér being a dwarven village not far from elf lands, it wasn’t so strange a thing to see two figures of elf-stature like them walking the town's streets. Even so, the less attention they drew the better. The only problem was that while Lillith Bucannon had risen to the rank of sergeant on her own power before being assigned to the 3rd MagiCorp Division and developing her talents in the field of magecraft, Adam Hill had been specially assigned to her unit due to his unique skills. Command took one look at his skillset and said ‘I want that,’ and in their infinite wisdom felt they should hire the man without giving him a lick of military training first. Thus, she had to deal with an undisciplined man-child with no sense of propriety or concern for his or anyone else’s well-being. …In her opinion, of course. Truth be told, she was a little envious of his ability to feel so carefree and relaxed in tense situations. Maybe he was just too stupid to realize how serious the situation was? Not that that exactly boded well for this infiltration mission. But despite herself, Bucannon had to be honest and admit it; when it came down to it (and differences aside) they really did make an excellent team. “The contact's home should be on Ka-… Kan-dur…” She looked the piece of paper in her hand, angling it this way and that. “Kan-dúr-ak road? Ugh, I can’t pronounce this B.S. to save my life. Hey Hill, you’re a nerd. How do you pronounce it?” He felt an eye twitch unbidden at her patronizing tone. “What makes you think I know how to speak dwarvish?” She shrugged her shoulders. “…Because you’re a nerd?” As if it were the most obvious truth in the world. Adam took a pausing breath and spoke in a satisfyingly irritated tone. “Listen here, sarge. Dwarves are a jealous, untrusting people and don’t teach ‘khuzdul’ to outsiders. Ever. So no one outside their race knows how to speak it. If you'd read Lord of the Rings before, you’d know that.” She tried to suppress a snort, but failed to keep herself from laughing quietly. “Nerd.” Adam’s eye narrowed at her. “Uncultured swine.” “Sorry, what was that? I could have sworn I just heard you call me a pig.” She countered, her tone taking a turn for the dangerous. He waved her off. “You must have heard wrong. That would be insulting… To the pig.” Her simmering blood compelled a equally scathing response, which was on the very tip of her tongue when Hill’s arm shot out and stopped her in her tracks. “We’re here,” he announced, all mirth vanished from his voice. She looked at the door frame and squinted. The language was written in common tongue for the benefit of the masses. The address was correct. “So we are,” she agreed, tabling her grievances for the moment. The mission came first, always. She gave a rhythmic knock and took a step back from the door. Hill kept a watchful, if casual, eye on the street. Several seconds passed before the door opened with a creak, a single eye peering from the darkness. “Hello, sir. Interested in a slice of avocado toast?” The door opened fully to reveal a stocky dwarf with a thick brown beard that almost eclipsed the shirt and coat beneath it. “Only every Tuesday. Come in.” The homeowner ushered them in quickly. Giving the street a last careful look, he closed the door behind them. “Speak free here, friends,” the dwarf said as soon as the door was closed and he checked with a device in the corner of the room. “We are safe from prying eyes and ears.” The woman fixed the creature with an all-business look that was lost behind her opaque visor. “Agent Khuzan, I’m sergeant Bucannon, this is special agent Hill. What do you have for us?” The dwarf stroked his great beard and pulled from beneath it a stack of papers sewn at the spine with fine thread. “It’s all right here,” he said as he flung it onto the table between them with a satisfying slap. "Please, sit." The sergeant turned the bundle around with her fingers and slid it in front of her, paging through the report with brief scrutiny as they sat as bidden. The woman's resulting silence left Hill exchanging glances with the dwarf as he continued to stroke his long beard. At last she closed the report and handed it to her companion. “Page seven,” she directed simply. Hill gave her a look before taking the thing and thumbing through to the page in question, spending some time reading before his eyebrows shot up behind his visor. “Command didn’t inform us of this,” he said, returning his attention to the packet and flipping to skim the proceeding page. “No. They didn’t,” she confirmed gravely. She fixed the short creature with a look that this time was not lost on it. “When did you receive these orders, agent Khuzan?” The stunted thing responded with a twinkle in his eye. “Some weeks ago… the twenty-sixth of March I think it was. I doubt they expected me to be so quick to complete their request.” The two actors exchanged a glance, as if in silent discussion. The report indicated that Command had requested a sample of indigenous "human" life from this side of the portal, and so had ordered the dwarf to acquire it in as expedient and subtle a manner as was possible. And Khuzan son of Khubar had done just so. Now, without warning, they would need to escort said specimen from the city and back home, or else return and request a more specialized team to come and perform the retrieval. But then, what would that say about their abilities? “How long have you been in possession of the… uh, specimen,” Hill questioned. “Three days. It is quite domesticated.” They returned their eyes to each other, again communing in silence. Based on their limited knowledge of this world, it was incredibly common for a human, as all humans were considered enslaved from conception, to be found in the possession of an average citizen. Their next question was answered unbidden. “If… erm, what’s the word your people used…” Khuzan mumbled thoughtfully. “Extraction isn’t possible today, it’s no inconvenience to me to keep it for a little longer. It's been taught to sew, and fishing nets always need mending around here.” The sergeant let out a thoughtful breath. “What about you, agent Khuzan? Would people start talking if a slave you just bought suddenly disappeared?” A hearty rumble escaped the dwarf’s chest and he pulled out a chair and sat. “Folk don’t pay much heed to a neighbor’s livestock unless it’s of particular pedigree. Besides, it would be no stretch to claim that it fell over and drowned while helping me fish. Most of their like don’t know how to swim, you see.” “And people would buy that?” Hill asked. Khuzan’s brow wrinkled in confusion. Hill realized his error and rephrased. “People would believe that?” Some colloquialisms just didn’t translate well. “Ah, yes, I’m confident. Though if I were to perhaps buy another and it too went missing, then I’d be hard pressed to explain myself, except with supreme incompetence.” Bucannon turned to her teammate and gave a slow nod, which he returned after some deliberation. “Fine. We’ll do it now.” Khuzan gave a smile, a grunt, and got up. “Very good! A moment then, if you please,” and he stepped over to a doorway which when opened revealed a stairway to some lower level of the building. Perhaps a cellar? The Dwarf gave a call and from within came the soft pitter-patter of bare feet upon stone as they ascended the steps. Khuzan stepped aside and beckoned into the main room. It was not the first time either of them had seen a Child of Marath, though this was the first time they'd had the privacy to unreservedly stare. It, or rather, she was a small girl by Child standards, as short as the dwarf actually. And no older than her middle teens perhaps. Her dirty blond hair was only barely kempt and her clothes were simple rough cloth, a beige shirt with snapped draw strings at the collar and a raggedy patchwork brown skirt that stopped just above her ankles. It wouldn’t surprise them if those two items were all she had to call her own, though even that might not be correct, since Children of Marath weren't allowed to own property. The girl’s breath caught in her throat as her eyes fell on the two faceless and cloaked strangers staring at her from across the room. The color almost drained from her face as she lowered her gaze and approached obediently. “See? Quite docile. She shouldn’t be difficult to handle. But then, most aren’t anyway.” “She’s small,” Hill said matter-of-factly. He'd seen plenty of adult Children before, but never a child Child... Which reminded him that they really needed to come up with a better moniker. Another laugh rumbled from Khuzan’s belly. “Pardon the irony, but I think it’s rather that your kind are just so tall; elf-sized, as you know.” They did. It was why they were able to walk around without too much trouble. The human’s they had seen in this world were at least one or two heads shorter than back home, though for what reason that was no one had been able to guess. Perhaps generations of malnourishment and abuse? Perhaps deliberate breeding on their captors’ part. Maybe they'd always been like that. They were called the Children of Marath after all. “Now, how do you want to do this, sarge?” Hill asked his companion. “Wanna bolt now or wait until nighttime?” “Oh, I wouldn’t wait until night,” Khuzan cautioned. “Security is lax during the day, but at night it’s much harder to enter or leave the town discreetly. Did your predecessors who’ve come before not tell you that?” Well, if they had, it hadn’t been emphasized, but perhaps it was just an obvious observation. Of course the guard would be tighter at night when enemies could easily move in close under the cover of nightfall. “However, if you’re interested, I might have a solution.” A twinkle returned to Khurzan’s dark eyes. “How are you on the water?” --------------------------------------- Though the dwarf had warned against a nightly venture, that was only in the case they traveled by land. Boat was another matter entirely. The midnight trip across the lake was so far uneventful. After climbing onto the dwarf’s fishing trawler and getting far enough from shore to climb out of their hiding spots, the four silently waited as the splashing water filled the silence. No lights were lit, and it seemed to Khuzan that the light of the waning moon went out of its way to avoid the two strangers, leaving them in perpetual shadow, unlike the slave girl who he could just make out in the darkness. He attributed it to their cloaks that seemed to absorb every morsel of luminescence. Greenstills lake was quite large and very deep, though the water was never quite so dark as other similar bodies of water thanks do the iconic stones at its bed. It made night fishing an amusing game of cat and mouse, as a skilled fisherman could find its prey by spying the silhouette of the fish they were chasing. But now, smuggling these creatures, he felt like every shadow might be a trailing mer-soldier. Not that there were any such folk stationed in the village. Still, his heart beat hard in his chest even as he worked to steady his breathing. “Don’t worry agent Khuzan,” the voice of Hill came from the dark void at the back corner of the boat. “If things go sideways, we’re authorized to protect our intelligence assets.” Khuzan looked toward the voice with a quirked eyebrow and Hill chuckled. “That’s you.” Khuzan ventured a laugh, though he kept it at low volume. “Is that so? That is reassuring. Though I don’t suppose I’d be able to live here anymore if things go… sideways,” he said, repeating the strange turn of phrase. “Quiet, both of you. Sound carries over water,” Bucannon cautioned with a hiss. “Not this far out miss,” Khuzan assured as he directed the boat toward the distant shore. “We’re at least thirty minutes out by my reckoning. A few words, softly spoken, won’t reach anyone’s ears but the three of ours.” But it wasn’t just the three of them, of course. The girl was quietly setting on the floor of the boat, knees drawn up to her chest as she silently stole glances between the three of them when she thought they weren’t looking. Unlike her master, who could be calmed with a few words of assurance, her heart felt like it would burst out of her chest. After she’d been presented to the two strangers earlier in the day, she’d been largely forgotten amidst high minded conversation that she couldn’t possibly understand. But her master hadn’t dismissed her or given her a task, so she remained in the main room of the building. Not that she wanted to. She’d give anything to escape the hidden looks of the two guests. She felt her throat seize up and her heart skip multiple beats every time their helms turned her direction as if sizing her up. What terrified her was that even behind their garb, she could tell they were elves. Only elves could be so tall and slender. And that they chose to hide their faces led her to believe they were some sort of evil people; she’d seen many elves walk the city streets in many different kinds of clothes, but never any that completely hid their skin. Didn’t only thieves and murderers hide their faces? What business did her master have with elves that involved her, if not to perhaps sell her to them? She’d heard enough about the elves’ disdain for the Children of Marath to imagine a hundred foul ends for herself. And out here on the water where she couldn’t swim… if they decided to throw her over for sport, there was nothing she could do. But though that didn’t make sense to her, since it was no crime to kill a Child of Marath in any nation, why did they come all the way out here? Maybe these were some of those cannibal elves that lived to feast on the meat of the still-living. Maybe she was their next meal. Every second that passed felt like she was getting closer to some imagined doom. But in the darkness, at least she could pretend they weren’t looking at her, and could just curl up and try to make herself as invisible to their senses as possible. She spoke no words, moved no muscles and made herself as small as she could. It was all she could do. “So, Khuzan, what do they pay you?” Hill asked as he climbed up on top of the cabin to peer across the water. “Oh, this and that,” the dwarf replied with a smile. “Solid gold ingots mostly. I have a smelter friend in another town that I trust who can craft them into spendable renna. Always at the end of the month according to my contribution. Though it seems to me I’m paid fairly, so I suppose I must be performing satisfactorily.” “Yeah? And how exactly did you end up in our employ?” “Apparently an acquaintance of mine in another city recommended me as a reliable individual who would be, ah, receptive to working with you.” “And now, thanks to your repute, you get paid in solid gold. I guess you’re lucky no good deed goes unrewarded.” Khuzan laughed. “I’ve heard something similar from you fellows before. Except I think it was, ‘no good deed goes unpunished.’ ” Hill laughed as well. “That's also true.” Bucannon was quiet, her eyes on the horizon. Time dragged on until the shining lake’s surface was bisected by the darkened shoreline up ahead, and the boat bounced as it gently struck the sandy beach. “This as far as I go,” Khuzan announced as he left the steering wheel. Hill gave a nod and jumped off the bow, landing with a sandy splash. Turning this way and that, Khuzan bent down and spoke to the cowering girl. “Listen carefully, Child,” he began, making sure that in the darkness her focus was on him. “You now belong to these two. You will go with them, understand?” She gave a firm nod, stood up and tried to look like a good slave in front of the figures in black. “Thanks for the lift, agent Khuzan.” Bucannon extended a hand, which he took with a smile. “Safe and profitable travels, friends,” he replied. As the sergeant turned to leave the boat, the dwarf stopped her. “Oh, one more thing…” He bent down and opened a water-sealed compartment on the side of the boat and withdrew a series of papers and handed them to her. Bucannon held them out against the pale moonlight and leafed through them. “A breed registry?” Khuzan nodded. “She’s now officially your property. What you do with her is your business, but if anyone came across you and challenged your ownership of her, you would need these papers. If you can’t prove ownership, there’s a reclamation reward for finding stolen or escaped Children.” “What if they’re free?” Hill asked, propping his chin over the side of the boat. Khuzan blinked, silent for several seconds before laughing louder than he intended. “Oh dear, agent Hill. You should know by now as well as I do. There’s no such thing as a free Child of Marath. And if there were, don't trust the salesman!” “Yeah, I guess so.” Hill snorted derisively and agreed, reaching over the railing to shake the dwarfs hand as well. With a lift, Bucannon hoisted the girl over the edge and deposited her into Hill’s arms as he took her to the dry shore. With a final farewell, the two gave the vessel a great shove and pushed it back out into the water, where the dwarf sped off to get back to town before dawn. Bucannon handed Hill the documents which he leafed through before placing inside his satchel bag alongside the dwarf’s dossier. As he withdrew his hand, he brought out a black hood and a pair of bindings. He approached the slave girl and she stiffened. “For the remainder of this trip, I’m going to put these on you. Obey, and you’ll be done no harm. Understand?” She gave a fervent nod, not because she was so willing to comply but because she didn’t want to be punished for sounding hesitant. Her hands trembled as he bound her wrists with a long cord that ran back to his waist. That done, he fit the hood over her head, and the dark of the night was blackened absolutely. Then with a sudden surprising movement, she felt her legs spread, her body lifted up, and her hands slipped over the hood of the male’s head as she was placed upon his back. Bucannon pressed a spot on her helm and a glowing sigil flickered and disappeared. “You don’t have to be so grim, you know,” she told her partner, now speaking without the use of the translation mark. “You could just tell her the truth.” Hill pressed the same sigil on his helm and shook his head. “Home first. As long as she cooperates until then, she can have all the truth she can stomach.” He was right, of course; it was convenient to act the harsh master now to keep her from doing anything foolish. That didn't mean she had to like the taste it left in her mouth. "Fine. Let’s go.” She pressed the other side of her helm and another sigil flickered, “This is Gamma team. We’ve passed checkpoint Hotel. Moving to extraction.”
2020.09.20 04:23 CleanBaldyThe Las Vegas rooftop bar
A very handsome man was on a rooftop bar in Las Vegas, 50 stories up, sitting by himself having a cocktail. A beautiful woman came into the bar and sat next to him and ordered a drink. The woman started making small talk with the man and soon they began a night of drinking together and having a great time. A couple of hours later, they were both very inebriated. As they laughed and chuckled together. the man told the woman, “Did you know that the wind up here is so strong that if you jump over the edge of the building, the wind will blow you right back in?” Thinking it was a joke, the woman said “Ha, no way! I’d love to see that!” The man then stood up, “OK!” and started walking towards the open doors to the outside balcony. “No, stop!” the woman pronounced as she drunkenly chased after him. Several people around started to take notice as she tried to stop him by grabbing his clothing and pleading with him to stop! “No, I’m serious!” the man proclaimed, as he made it to edge and stepped out over the railing. People had joined in with the woman and were pleading for the drunk man to come back, but it was too late... He screamed, “Watch this everybody! The wind will blow me right back!” as he jumped up and out without hesitation! An audible gasp could be heard as everyone saw him leap! However, he flew right back onto the balcony and into an empty table. The crowd went silent in disbelief. He stood up with a huge smile on his face and said, “told ya!” Before anyone could muster even an ounce of a reaction, he took a few steps back and did a running jump this time, right over the railing! Again, he got thrown back even harder and I to the onlooking crowd! Clapping and cheers erupted on the balcony for the thing they all witnessed. The woman excitedly said, “I want to try!”, followed by several others in the bar saying the same. They all climbed over the railing and in a collaborated excitement, someone said “on 3, let’s do this together!” “1!” “2!” “3!” They all leaped at once, but instead of being pushed by the wind back to the balcony as expectee, they all fell 50 stories, screaming the whole way down! The rest of the patrons who were watching from the balcony screamed in horror at the top of their lungs, running to the railing and looking down as the horrible situation unfolded. While that was happening, the handsome man casually, but drunkenly, walked out of the bar. One bartender leaned over to the other and quietly said to his partner, “Man, I wish he’d stop unwinding in Vegas. Clark is a real asshole when he’s drunk..” The man abruptly appeared at the doorway and slurring his speech, he muttered just loud enough for the bartenders to hear, “Hey, come on, not cool! I flew down and caught them all. They’re fine.” He was right. They were all complete safe on the ground, confused and looking at each other in bewilderment. “See you next week Larry. I can’t wait to do the exploding glass trick next time!” He then walked off again.
2020.09.20 01:45 TheManIsNonStop[Econ] Making the Best of a Very Bad Thing
November 2030 Well, uh, this sucks. Just a few short months after the Arab States of the Gulf finally unified, the world economy decided to explode. This is what we in the business of economics call a very bad thing. The effects across the FAS have been relatively disparate. The United Arab Emirates, easily the most diversified economy in the region, has been the least heavily impacted (though it's still bad). Diversification programs in Oman and Bahrain have also helped to stave off some of the worst impacts of the crisis, though they haven't been as successful in avoiding the effects as the UAE. Qatar and Kuwait, still almost entirely reliant on hydrocarbon exports, are not happy with this turn of events. Falling global oil prices, though propped up a little by a sudden increase in demand from China, have left their economies struggling much more than the rest of the country, and in desperate need of assistance from the better off parts of the country. One major pain point in this crisis has been the FAS's economic ties to the United States. While most of the FAS's trade is with Asia, Africa, and Europe, the US financial system still plays a crucial role in the FAS. The stability of the US Dollar has long been used to protect the economies of the Gulf using their vast Forex reserves (earned from oil sales) to peg their currency to the US Dollar. With the US Dollar in complete collapse, the value of the Khaleeji is plummeting right along with it, causing a significant degree of harm to the FAS's economy. To help offset this harm (and to decouple the FAS's economy from a country that the FAS is starting to view as maybe not the most reliable economic partner), the Central Bank in Dubai has announced that the Khaleeji will switch its peg from the US Dollar to a basket of foreign currencies (the Euro, the Pound Sterling, the Swiss Franc, the US Dollar, and the Japanese Yen). The FAS hopes that this will help to salvage the Khaleeji's value, better protecting the economy from the collapse of the dollar-based international financial system. Rumor has it that the Central Bank is discussing the idea of unpegging the Khaleeji entirely and allowing it to float freely, but so far, the Central Bank has made no moves towards floating the Khaleeji. Crises suck. They shatter the status quo and throw established norms and procedures into chaos. No one really wins during a crisis. But in another sense, they're a double-edged sword. The status quo is often a repressive entity, reinforcing existing hierarchies and preventing dramatic shifts in the order of things. Chaos breaks that apart, giving the ingenuitive and the entrepreneurial on opportunity to better their lot in ways they otherwise could not. Put differently: chaos is a ladder, and the FAS intends to be the one climbing it. As the largest economy in the Arab World (and one of the world's 20 largest economies) by both nominal GDP and GDP per capita (by a significant margin--it's probably either Saudi Arabia or Egypt in second place in nominal GDP, and definitely Saudi Arabia in second place in GDP per capita, but the FAS more than doubles the country in second place in both categories, so it's sort of a moot point), the FAS hopes to cement its place as the regional economic power. The FAS has announced a new slate of policies intended to attract rich investors, manufacturing firms, and financiers fleeing the new nationalization program of the United States. New free trade zones have been created throughout the country--especially in the struggling, undiversified regions of Kuwait and Qatar--with the goal of convincing fleeing American manufacturers to set up shop in these areas. Attractions include wildly low tax rates (as low as zero percent in some instances), a common law framework (as opposed to the Sharia-based legal system in most of the FAS), highly subsidized land prices (sometimes free), relaxed financial restrictions (making it easier to move money in and out of the FTZ), and, for large enough firms moving enough operations into the country, preferential visa treatment (making it easier for them to relocate foreign employees into the country). Sitting at one of the major crossroads of global trade, moving operations to the FAS offers easy access to both the world's established consumer markets (like the EU and East Asia) as well as to some of its largest growing markets (South and Southeast Asia, East Africa, and MENA). Pair this with wildly high standards of living (for people who aren't slaves Asian or African migrant workers) and established expatriate communities, and the FAS becomes an incredibly attractive option for American and other foreign firms looking to relocate. In addition to manufacturing-oriented FTZs, special attention has been paid to attracting service-oriented firms to new and existing FTZs in the vein of Dubai Internet City, Dubai Design District, Dubai Knowledge Park, and Dubai Media City, with the goal of developing a robust service economy that can capture growing markets in the MENA, South Asia, and East African regions. In advertising these zones, the governments of the FAS have highlighted the success of previous ventures in Dubai, which have attracted the regional headquarters of giants like Facebook, Intel, LinkedIn, Google, Dell, Samsung, Microsoft, IBM, Tata Consultancy, and more. Perhaps one of the most substantial pushes, though, is to attract American financial services and FinTech firms to base in the FAS (particularly Dubai, Kuwait City, Doha, and Abu Dhabi, the traditional centers of regional finance). New financial industry free trade zones have been set up in the four cities, structured in the vein of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). These financial FTZs boast an independent and internationally regulated regulatory and judicial system, a common law framework, and extremely low taxation rates. All government services in these regions are available in English (the lingua franca of international finance), and in events where ambiguity exists in the legal and regulatory systems, the systems are set to default to English Common Law (except for the Kuwait City International Financial Centre, which is hoping to better tailor itself towards American financial firms by defaulting to American Civil Law from pre-2020 rather than English Common Law). Much like in the DIFC, these new FTZs will also run their own courts, staffed in large part by top judicial talent from Common Law (or in the case of Kuwait City, American Civil Law) jurisdictions like Singapore, England, and (formerly) Hong Kong. Using these FTZ, the four cities hope to raise their profile as financial centers. Dubai in particular is hoping to break into the top ten global financial centers--and it stands a good chance of doing so, too, as it sits at number 12, just behind cities like LA, SF, and Shenzhen--while the other cities are just hoping to boost their profile into the 20s or 10s (according to Long Finance, Dubai is number 12 in the world and 1 in the region, Abu Dhabi is number 39 in the world and two in the region, Doha is number 48 in the world, and Kuwait City is number 91).
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