The Problem with Democracy; an Argument in favour of Utopian Socialism and Self-Government

The Problem with Democracy; an Argument in favour of Utopian Socialism and Self-Government

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The Prime Minister of Canada announced earlier this year that electoral reform would not be achieved in this term of Federal Government.

The news struck many Liberal voters painfully as the campaign promise that suggested a dramatic shift from the notably-flawed “First-Past-the-Post” system in place now, was, in actuality, a mere tease for the fairer democracy Canadians have been craving.

It goes without saying that a complete electoral overhaul of the current system is a daring move, one which cannot be implemented without consideration for every potential consequence down the road but in a political climate that integrates anti-Muslim rhetoric and “Barbaric Cultural Practices” hotlines into election platforms, a daring move may be just what is necessary.

The Problem

The problem with democracy as it stands right now is that it is built on a system that divides its people. By examining your country in a dichotomic election, major world issues become polarizing. Conservative and Liberal ideals stretch themselves to their extremes in order to best encapsulate the needs of their demographics and issues which should be viewed in a state of gray become black and white topics with no real resolve until one side triumphs. Although this system has helped to benefit a significant amount of challenging world issues throughout the years, it still omits those which are perhaps the most taboo of conversations – those being the conversations surrounding race, religion, sex, orientation, and gender, ie: our most identifying physical/mental/emotional features.

Consider politics as an elastic band. You can stretch it left and you can stretch it right. But after a certain amount of stretching in either direction, the elastic is going to give. What you are witnessing right now across the world, be it Brexit, the Alt-Right movement, or the white supremacy movement taking place, is a response to decades of people being stretched too far. It is what occurs when the elastic reaches its breaking point.

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In a way, this is good. Humans throughout history have a tendency of repairing their broken systems as they occur and finding new and innovative ways to move into the future. After all, we didn’t transition from Egyptian pharaohs to where we are today without a few stepping stones along the way.

However, this methodology in itself reflects just how truly unsophisticated we are in our ability to solve problems as a unit. Instead of planning for what may be, human beings are inherently absorbed by the present. Everyone likes to fantasize about what the world could be but no political leader in their right mind would spend time and resources investigating ways to change the system which made him/her the most powerful person in the country.

Which brings us back once again to the initial point of the conversation: What-is-the-problem-with-democracy?

Federal politics as it stands right now (at least in Canadian and similar systems) puts the absolute burden of responsibility for decision-making on our federal leaders (and as John Dalberg-Acton once expressed, “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, but more on that later). In turn, constituencies abandon their own civic responsibility of remaining engaged in political processes. For a long time, this was a necessary procedure. As people lacked the instant communication systems of today, it was impossible for every resident to be involved in politics and live their own lives simultaneously. That all changed in 1876.

Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone revolutionized the world as we saw it. It gave an undocumented power to its beholder which was the ability to communicate with another human being in real time from across the world. The sheer thought of how the device would be perfected to the point of being accessible to any human being in a 3×6” form to fit in their pocket along with an endless supply of information would have toppled the 19th century on its head.

But it is a reality now. And changing realities demand changing frameworks from which we may govern.

As circumstances would have it, this era of enlightenment is occurring simultaneous to another era of capitalist oppression and a war is being fought everyday amongst ourselves to see which side will come out victorious. We call this war the political spectrum and in a black and white democracy, every four years, it is fought again.

It is an interesting tug-of-war to bear witness to and one of which tensions have never been greater but as previously mentioned, at some point, the elastic band must snap.

At the present time, political systems have two options:

  1. Remain with the status quo until the system inevitably breaks and then rebuild. Or;
  2. Plan for a society that promotes the peace and wellbeing of all community members by implementing the technologies that exercise communication strategies of the 21st

It should be said that the first option will get worse before it gets better and in order to work together, we must first bear witness to the increasing resistance of opponents to change. That said, history has a tendency to side with the ideal of progressiveness.

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The second option is significantly more optimistic. It involves social activeness and long-term planning far beyond the 4-8 year terms we usually see from our political leaders… a minimum of 60 years into the future, in fact.

The internet is the tool necessary to unite people and create a system of government which is free from the burden of absolute power, absolute control, and of, course, absolute corruption.

In order for a self-governing system of politically minded citizens to work, however, citizens must first be politically minded enough to put aside their differences and agree that the will of the people is greater than the will of the powerful. In order for that to occur, the education system is in dire need of a revival, as well, to train our future decision makers on civic responsibility and world diplomacy.

We can do it, although the elastic band is tighter than it has ever been. Will it snap or will we take this opportunity to take a chance on something new? So begins the next great tug-of-war.

 

-per amicus

2017: A New Hope

2017With the just recently announced deaths of Star Wars actress, Carrie Fisher, along with her mother, famous actress, Debbie Reynolds, it seems that 2016 just couldn’t get any worse, right?

This has been an iconic year in the sense that social media has perpetuated the thought that the year is to blame for all of its own shortcomings between the mass amounts of iconic celebrity deaths, strange political movements, and just overall turmoil within our nations.

However, with the new year ringing in tomorrow, I do have a firm belief that things will get better. Picture almost any movie, novel, screenplay, short story, etc. When does the “worst” moment occur? Usually, immediately before the turnaround when the hero triumphs.

What if 2016 was just our darkest moment before people decide that they deserve better?

I get it. Life isn’t fiction but I like to believe that people want it to be and that’s why we enjoy watching and reading such novelties.

Things look bleak now in a variety of manners. The majority of Americans are upset about a misogynistic cheetoh potentially ripping the rights away from Muslims, PoC, LGBT groups, planned parenthood groups, etc, etc. Black people are being murdered by police officers in the streets and rapists are abusing their privilege to get off scot-free in our courts of law. And a gorilla was shot causing the internet to implode on itself (less relevant but somehow I feel this required inclusion).

People know they deserve better than this and with the ending of what has been deemed an awful year (whether it’s the year to blame or just the circumstances surrounding it), I have a firm belief that people are ready to change things for the better.

In 2017, don’t make new years resolutions. There’s nothing more important to resolve yourself to than fixing our current social climate before our descendants look back at history books and mock us.

Advocate your officials to care about climate change – better yet, do something yourself to help the environment like purchasing an electric vehicle or starting a vegetable garden.

Advocate your officials to fix our skewed electoral system in which a minority of a country can elect a majority government – better yet, challenge yourself to come up with ways that can make us do better.

Advocate your officials to stand up for human rights – better yet, lead by example and challenge those who remain ignorant to societal progress in the name of “humour” or “comfort-zones”. Don’t sit blindly by as our friends and families are mocked and thrown under the bus for being who they are but because some arrogant pricks believe that sensitivity and taking a moment to consider other people’s views is too much work for their already, cumbersome daily lives.

We, alone, have the power to dictate our future. Make 2017 great because of the shortcomings we faced in 2016 and refuse to let 2017 get any worse. It’s the only way the human race can get any better.

Happy new year to all. And I wish you the best in 2017. Because you deserve it.

-per amicus

America: What next?

America: What next?

Donald Trump has been elected the President of the United States in a close but definitive political race. And while the rest of the world may have stared on in awe and shock, many Americans knew where they were casting their vote on November 8th, 2016 and it wasn’t for Hillary Clinton.

Arguing the details of what Mr. Trump’s presidency will accomplish in the next four years is unpredictable. But his win is iconic of something greater – America is a very different place than it once was, particularly on the political side of things. And there is quite a bit that they, along with the rest of the world can learn from such an upset.

  1. You don’t need to be a politician to become a nation’s leader anymore.
  2. Scandals mean nothing.
  3. The future of progressiveness is going to slow down
  4. Us vs. Them mentality is still alive and strong.
  5. There is a clear disconnect between Urban and Rural communities that is not being addressed.

Let’s start with the simple one.

You don’t need to be a politician to become a nation’s leader anymore

Hillary Rodham Clinton came into the mix with an impressive resume of political experience – 30 years spanning First Lady of the United States, Secretary of State, a New York Senator, etc.

Donald Trump entered the picture as an underdog. Yes, he had a following still accrued from his days as a reality TV show personality and billions of dollars as a businessman, but he lacked the political savvy one would expect from a future President of the United States. He did not conduct himself in the professional manner of his colleagues, he did not “politic” his answers to avoid confronting the darkest side of himself, and he did not hold back from expressing his most offensive thoughts. And it worked for him.

People liked the change. Since the days of Abraham Lincoln, those hoping to become the leader of the United States had to walk a very careful tightrope, watching their words and monitoring their actions lest one slip-up cause the country to turn. But this approach was the antithesis of that. And it reflects how Americans felt about their political system.

There is no doubt that future aspiring-presidents (particularly Republicans but Democrats as well) will make a note of this success and learn from it.

After all, if Donald Trump can become president, why not other celebrities with an interest in leading the country and a platform of pre-existing followers? Beyonce could lead a civil rights movement for the Democrats in 2020. Anne Coulter could build off of Mr. Trump’s success and finish building the wall he proposed by her campaign in 2024.

Ellen Degeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck, or maybe even Arnold Schwarzenegger could follow through after his proven “governator of California” shtick worked so effectively.

The doors are open and I wouldn’t be surprised if the next 50 years sees wave after wave of inexperienced politicians taking a stab at the role.

Scandals mean nothing

If there is one thing that Donald Trump mastered throughout this process, it was the ability to manage scandal after scandal unscathed. Between his “pussy grabbing” comments which leaked less than a month before the final vote- – which all but positions him as an abuser of power – and his refusal to supply his tax payments – which when leaked, revealed that he had contributed next to nothing to the same government he proposed should help the working class people who rallied to his cry – nothing seemed to slow down his momentum.

Inversely, one scandal that did not go unnoticed was that of Hillary Clinton’s mysterious deleted emails. Though federal investigations showed no criminal interference, the scandal labelled Hillary as “crooked” and a liar.

So what was the difference between these two competitors?

Well, Hillary took the high road. Though she could have played Donald’s game of rolling in the mud and do it quite effectively, she thought herself above that which was admirable. On the opposite side, Donald Trump slammed Hillary on her emails every chance he had, even when it wasn’t relevant to the question he was answering. It might have looked and sounded ridiculous to the Democratic voters, but it certainly made a splash with his supporters, like a war cry to excite them into ending her candidacy.

There is certainly more at play here which can be discussed at length including Mr. Trump’s abhorrent white, male, straight, cisgendered “All-American” privilege being contrasted with Hillary’s most plain and simple weakness moving into this campaign, her gender, but I digress. Those attitudes are to be figured out by Americans, if and when they feel they are ready to risk a presidential race on evolving progressive ideologies again. Which likely will not occur again for a very long time.

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The future of progressiveness is going to slow down

The democratic party has, in the recent future, been recognized by its increasingly progressive ideologies. President Barack Obama marked a turning point in demonstrating that American voters were ready to support a black, male candidate – the first seen in American history. Americans showed readiness for “hope” and “change” and the last 8 years of the United States certainly attempted just that, legalizing same-sex marriage across the country and invoking affordable health care for residents.

America seemed ready to take the leap into pushing down the walls of what had yet to be achieved and Mrs. Clinton being elected president would have marked another turning point of the first female US president. Regardless of whether or not that was the reason for her failure, Mrs. Clinton’s loss in what was seemingly a “sure thing” against a completely inexperienced political leader will set back both the Democratic and Republican parties immensely.

Future politicians will look to Mr. Trump’s racist and sexist rhetoric and understand that neither of these qualities can stop the momentum in a presidential race. What’s more is that they will exploit this racism again in the future, realizing that it actually benefited Mr. Trump’s campaign.

Children are learning from his example and will continue to learn from it for the next 4 years, marking a new generation of voters who will be okay with these discriminatory attitudes, thus perpetuating the problem into future decades.

The Us vs. Them mentality is still alive and strong

Civil rights have come a long way in the last 70 years and it is particularly in the last 15 that key problems in society have been really identified and challenged.

Black Lives Matter is a great example of this; Black Americans saw an inherent problem in the specific instances of violence from police and they began a campaign to bring awareness to the item and work toward its resolution. Though the problem is still far from being fixed, it looked like it was connecting with people.

The same can be said with Islamophobic ideologies presented in the post-9/11 world that came to be and the marriage equality act. America was looking like it was catching up with the rest of the world in supporting the idea that all people should be treated equally, with respect and dignity.

With Mr. Trump’s victory, however, it is clear that at least half of Americans do not appreciate these efforts as much as it once seemed. There is a clear divide in Americans which can arguably be said about any other country in the world who has yet to see a political candidate such as him bringing the debate to the forefront.

Us vs Them still exists and it is indicative of a greater problem which can easily be seen by analyzing both Democratic and Republican victories and the areas in which they occur.

There is a clear disconnect between Urban and Rural communities that is not being addressed

Which leads to the final question: What is the inherent difference between urban and rural America that is leading to these immensely differing ideologies?

There are hundreds of reasons of what it could be but the plain and simple answer is that it boils down to the disconnect rural communities feel with those living an urban lifestyle. It is the ultimate Us vs. Them. Americans no longer feel united. They believe that a leader is either on the side of Urban voters with their progressive ideologies, technological development and dismissal of religion, or they support the rural lifestyles which are typically god-fearing, simple pleasured, working class Americans.

It is the old versus the new. Those who prefer the old fear that their lifestyle is being ripped away from them at the very root and those who prefer the new feel that progressiveness and change are healthy and good.

Neither is wrong but they simply want to live in a country where their very way of life is not threatened by who is elected as their leader. However, in a presidential election as polarizing as this one, there is no surprise that the two mindsets came head to head with little overlap.

Only time will tell how these demographics will continue to shift but the one thing for certain is that the educational system remains the most important part in shaping the minds of future voters. It will be interesting to see just how that paradigm sways in the upcoming years.

 

 

Things I Learned from Falling in Love

Things I Learned from Falling in Love

Being exposed to one other human being for a long time encourages the mind to grow.

Love is patient, love is kind, and love must learn how to comprehend the human mind in order to survive.

Not everyone gets the opportunity to share their life with someone else and not everyone needs to. But sometimes it motivates us with just the right kick in the pants we need to learn from our surroundings and wrap our heads around just how delicate human nature can be.

For example,

1) You’re Never Going to Agree on Everything

There is so much pressure in this world to find that perfect person. You’ve seen it in movies, heard about it in songs, and it’s been the emphasis of every Disney story since you were a child.

The concept has been romanticized and embellished so much to the point that upon first signs of a struggle, you start to question whether or not you were meant to be at all.

Let’s be honest for a moment.

Fights break out more and more over time. It’s not a sign that things are unstable between the two of you, it’s more a friendly reminder that you’re still two (very) different people.

And that’s okay.

Disagreeing is natural. It’s a sign of maintaining dialogue and it opens the door for compromise which will spark a long and healthy relationship when you’re open to it.

The honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever. We need to forget about this notion that we need to blissfully overlook one another’s flaws and spend our days in la la land in order to be happy – the real world’s not like that, anyways.

Embrace your differences but learn to respect that as much as you might feel your opinion is the better one, so do they.

2) Agree to Disagree

There are many people in your life that you won’t agree with. Thousands. Maybe millions. So my next suggestion might sound a little insane at first: Stop arguing with them.

No, you’re not admitting defeat. No, you’re not going to become a quiet little punching bag in the corner (unless you allow yourself to be).

It’s human nature to want to prove someone else wrong and have them see the world your way but it’s not ever going to be the case because as easy as it is to say “why can’t you ever see things from my perspective?”, chances are that they’re thinking the same thing. And you’re not.

True empathy is incredibly difficult to achieve, particularly when we’re angry and feeling that our voices aren’t being heard. And your partner might be there or they might not but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to put an effort forth.

Swallow your pride – if only just for a moment – and try to understand that maybe the way that they were raised conditioned them to think in a different way about a certain topic than you. And that’s okay.

Sometimes the best and most mature way to approach an argument is to revert to the sidelines, accept that they have a different opinion and find a positive way to move forward despite those differences while ensuring your own voice is heard.

3) People will Always Look at Things from their own Experiences

Whether it be a romantic partner with a differing perspective of how to raise kids or a racist acquaintance on Facebook you sometimes wonder how you became friends with, sometimes you just-won’t-get-it.

“How could they possibly think that?”

“What’s the matter with them?”

“I was raised this way and I turned out great so…”

Not everyone had the same childhood as you. Not everyone may have had the same shortcomings, the same challenges, or even the same lifestyle.

One is not better than any other and if you wind up falling in love with that person, there’s a reason for that regardless of where you’re from.

That’s why meeting your partner’s family is always such an adventure. And the bigger the family, the better the picture it paints.

The family is almost always the first set of people that someone is exposed to at length and more often than not, the one’s they remember the best since they’ll almost always be around.

See who they respect, who they get annoyed by, who they’re comfortable around and how their habits change around them.

These are the impressions that paved the way for who they are today and while sometimes it might make you uncomfortable, to them, it’s home and it used to be an everyday reality. Embrace it because as hard as you want to love someone, you can’t change their past. It might even give you a better perspective as to how you can best go about loving them more.

4) Get over yourself

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There are over 7.4 billion people in this world. And not one of them will be the same as you.

While this tagline might read like a motivational quote to be the best little snowflake you can be, that’s the exact kind of thinking you should try to get away from.

Stop thinking about the 1/7,400,000,000 snowflakes that is you and start thinking more about the 7,399,999,999 snowflakes that are other people.

About 7.4 billion other people in this world and every single one of them is going through their own challenges, their own successes, and their own separate lifestyle from you. It’s hard to imagine but if you were to drop a pin somewhere halfway across the world and follow any random man or woman from inside their own mind, you would see them interact with people – and it won’t be the same way you would – solve problems  – and it won’t be the same way you would – and get frustrated at things – and, surprise, it won’t be the same way you would.

Now what of your romantic partner?

You two might be inseparable, two sides to the same coin, a yin and yang of kindred spirits but even when you’re feeling on top of the world, until you learn that you’re not the only person whose happiness is important, you might not see the small things that could be going on inside your partner’s head.

How was their day at work? Who made them happy or sad or angry or frustrated? How much of that is still replaying in their head even when they get home? How might that manifest within their interactions with you? Maybe 9 days out of 10, they really don’t care that you don’t use a coaster but today their experiences have aggravated them to the point to say something.

There are a million different scenarios that could be playing and responding to the situation with “Well that was rude, you didn’t use a coaster last week!” isn’t going to make a situation lighter.

The same goes with people you might not see every day of your life.

That customer who feels the need to yell at you may have gotten home hoping to surprise their teenage son with a new shirt only to hear he hated it after taking the tags off and is now feeling defeated.

Or the guy who cut you off on the highway may have just been cut off by three other people.

These situations do not justify poor behaviour but they do help you to understand and empathize with where it’s coming from. And in only focusing on how these situations might upset you only helps to perpetuate the cycle of negative responses.

5) Keep it Positive

No relationship can be happy all the time. At some point, we will always feel the need to express our own frustration. That said, it’s worthwhile to make an effort to push positivity back into the room and convince your significant other to do the same.

A healthy relationship is one that keeps the feelings of goodness in the air moreso than the bad.

Celebrate your partner’s successes. Compliment them on how they look. Do things to surprise them. Tell them how much you love them. Recognize when they might need cheering up more than you and share the weight together.

And better yet? Convince them to do the same.

One person showering positivity while the other loathes in self-misery will only result in one person feeling undervalued and overworked and looks more like a one-way relationship. Two people doing it is a team.

6) Communication

They say it in every single self-help romance book and I’m saying it again now.

If you don’t learn how to communicate important concepts with your partner, you will always feel like you’re missing something.

Keep an open-dialogue. A part of that is making sure that both you and your partner feel safe to express whatever is on your mind without fear of starting a fight.

If you bottle the small things up your entire life, you’re going to be 60 years old stuck in a routine and feeling ultimately unfulfilled. Find a way to say what is bothering you so you can address it quickly and force your partner to participate in a dialogue. If they or you won’t listen to compromise, there is going to be a problem.

If things are meant to be, the communication should come naturally. If not, there may be deeper issues.

Which leads to my final point.

7) Love Always

This is probably one of the most difficult concepts to wrap one’s head around especially if you are a firm believer in true love. There might be several soul mates in your life.

However, the one you choose to be with is there for a reason.

The two of you fell in love because you saw something in each other. The two of you continue to grow together because you learn from one another. And ultimately, the two of you will stay together because you understand what it takes to make a relationship work.

“Timing is everything” when starting a relationship because you need to be at the right point of understanding in your life to make it succeed. “The One” right now might not have been the right one for you two years ago because maybe you or they didn’t quite learn these lessons yet.

“The One” last year might have realized at some point that one of these qualities was amiss and things fell apart. That doesn’t mean you didn’t learn the other five qualities in the meantime.

Learning to love is a journey and while it might not always be for everyone – either by choice, luck, or circumstance – it does carry an immense benefit of self-awareness.

Love can be intimate or broad. It can be with one romantic partner or with fifty strangers you meet in a day. It’s not limited to relationships, or family, or friends.

We all have the capacity to learn these lessons and probably many more through our own unique experiences. It’s a part of the ongoing pursuit of happiness.

Love always and love often and you’ll learn to appreciate life a whole lot more.

-per amicus

Life is your Favourite Drink

Life is your Favourite Drink

Life is your favorite drink.

You drink it slowly. You want to appreciate every subtle taste; every pleasing texture; all the succulent wonders.

It’s refreshing, it’s relieving. But most of all, it is limited.

And when it’s gone, you’ll be sad.

So you pace yourself, spreading it thinly throughout your meal or evening; watching it sink slowly to the bottom of your glass until nothing remains.

But who’s to say you can’t have another?

“No I couldn’t.” “I’m watching my intake.” “I can’t afford it.” “It was my last one.”

You’re the only one limiting yourself. There will always be the opportunity for another drink.

So imagine that you do have another. It will even better.

So what if you knew? What if you spent the whole time drinking the first one knowing that as soon as you finished, there was a limitless supply just waiting to be drank? Would you have appreciated it any less? Any more?

And would it have changed your perspective at all in how quickly you downed it?

After all, why would you hesitate?

Life is the second glass. It’s also the first.

There is so much goodness in the world and you’ve been conditioned into appreciating what you have so strongly that you limit your happiness to what is right in front of you. You’re allowed to enjoy it all. The only obstacle to overcome is yourself.

Appreciate every sip without worrying about the end.

Cheers.

-per amicus

GoT Fan Theory: Bran Stark is his own Uncle

GoT Fan Theory: Bran Stark is his own Uncle

After this week’s insanely informative episode, all the rules have been chucked out the door for the Game of Thrones.

Spoilers ahead.

Time travel is possible in Game of Thrones. We saw a glimpse of it with Bran calling out to Ned Stark and we witnessed it first hand when the white walkers reached out to touch his arm.

Game of Thrones wouldn’t have showed us something this dramatic unless they had intentions of letting it go somewhere. Otherwise, fans would be screaming for Bran to go back in time and stop any of this happening.

My theory: he does.

He goes back in time and conveniently takes the stead of his uncle Brandon, son of Rickard Stark and brother of Ned.

I realize that this sounds absolutely crazy but the evidence has all built up to this:

  1. A Long List of Brans

Isn’t it a little convenient that Bran is seemingly the ONLY character named after an ancestor that we know of on the show (other than Rickon following Rickard)? And not only one ancestor but several.

Bran is named after his uncle – the older brother of Ned. He also shares a name with Bran the Builder – the founder of House Stark who also built the wall as well as Bran the Breaker – the 13th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch who helped to overthrow the Night’s King. Literary parallels aside, everything seems to add up to precisely what the Bran we know would probably strive towards achieving. And he has all the power to do it too.

2. The Sword of Brandon Stark III

In every way, shape and form, Brandon was named a terrific swordsman. He loved his sword. And at the end of his life, he was said to have died reaching for his sword as a leather cord wrapped around his neck to strangle him.

And then, after Winterfell was sacked and before their escape, Bran IV takes Bran III’s sword from the crypts.

Bran carries the sword of his uncle with him. Who is to stop him from, say, going back in time to the moment of his uncle’s death after being disarmed and attempting to give him his sword back.

Bran III might lose his mind. His sword so close, a chance to live. But in the end, it winds up becoming his downfall.

3. The Reluctance of Ser Jaime Lannister

I don’t believe for a second that Jaime Lannister killed the Mad King. Something seems off. Other characters have insinuated that things didn’t go down quite as predicted. And then midway through season 3 in a steamy hot tub scene with Brienne, he finally revealed some details. He said that Aerys saw traitors everywhere, he kept shouting “burn them all” in his final moments and when he turned to run, Jaime stabbed him in the back.

I’m sure that that’s what he thinks happened. But I bet he also doesn’t believe what he may have seen that day.

Could Bran have been the one to go back in time to see what happened and then, disappointed in the outcome gone on to slay the mad king himself only to have Jaime finish the job? What if the “kingslayer sword” was none other than Bran III’s?

4. The Absence of Brandon Stark III from the flashbacks

This point is more out there but it’s a thought nonetheless. Bran has now seen two famous Stark flashbacks. And he has yet to even insinuate “where is Brandon?”

There is a possibility that he is the dark haired boy watching Eddard and Benjen swordplay as children but it’s strange that he is not named when the other two and Lyanna very clearly are.

Bran III was supposed to marry Catelyn, Bran IV’s mother and it was only after his sad murder that she went on to marry Ned. There is a very strong connection that Bran should have with Brandon and yet we haven’t seen it yet.

There is a chance, however small, that Bran is meant to simply BE his own uncle and fill that void. Perhaps he was an unspoken-for bastard or perfectly alike in appearance or…

5. Brandon Stark III is still alive in present day

Bran took the place of his uncle in the past. After watching his uncle be murdered by King Aerys, he sought revenge and joined Jaime Lannister in his defeat. But not at a price. By appearing full force in the past, Bran became a part of it, doomed to wander Westeros as a nameless man. After all, who would believe he was “Brandon Stark”? Brandon will re-appear at the season finale (with his moving legs) to help Jon and Daenaerys take out the white walkers again and restore the rightful place of the throne to his nephew-brother, Jon.

 

So what do you think? There’s a lot going on here but I think it all adds up. Leave your comments below!

 

Masculinity Off-Script

Masculinity Off-Script

In theatre, we learn to open our souls.

A man grows up. He starts life as a child, innocent and free and unafraid to cry. But as he grows, he learns.

He learns and he listens to the moral guidelines of his world – they tell him “be a man”, “grow some hair”, “beef up”.

They steer him to hate where he should love and love where he should hate.

They teach him that to emote is to fail in manhood. That he should be strong but mostly silent.

They teach him to ‘man’, and he learns it.

That same man can be taught again. He can be taught to love. He can be taught to be unafraid to let himself go once in a while.

This, he does not know.

For no one understands theatre until one experiences theatre.

And when he does, he is immersed in it – it forces him to become someone he is not. It teaches him that there is no need to hold back. But when he stops, it is like ripping a face out of water.

The air assaults him and he is once again returned to his space between his legs.

He may be shy; he may be embarassed; he may say “it was just a one-time thing” or “I may have had one too many drinks.” It is a gay love affair.

It is a marriage to his unspoken femininity.

He is betrothed to his emotions and he has tainted himself forever as his “pussy” self.

And he loves it. He refuses to concede but it was a world yet unexplored. A world in which he gives himself freely in the company of strangers. And he is forced to interact with them. And they dance, and they sing, and they love.

Oh, how they love.

They love like two wet fishers on a damp lake.

They are married, they are widowed, they are brothers, sisters, they are subatomic space particles fighting to succeed.

They are all their hearts can imagine and they are pushed to their very limits just to stretch the skin.

And they return. And their lives will never be the same.