ZINN: You see the walls of Minas Tirith up close here. Albert Speer would have been proud. Notice the grand scale, the “great works” emphasis of Gondorian architecture. The fascist uniformity of their battle dress. Compare it to the folk artwork of Orcish armor—their improvisatory use of shrunken heads and Mannish skulls, for instance. There’s something very beautiful about it to me. CHOMSKY: A perfect example of what Ruskin valorizes as the Gothic aesthetic. ZINN: It’s nonstandardized, individual, homespun, bespoke. It’s also imbued with a kind of nature worship that Elves merely play at.

Real good.

This dude is my spirit animal




Here’s another reason from Repair After Next Turn why it doesn’t make sense to get annoyed at hyperbolic “literally”: 

If literally really has flipped, then why don’t we find the reversal in contexts like this? -

A: When I told him the news, he exploded.
B: He actually exploded?!
A: No, of course not. I was speaking literally.

I’m not aware of any evidence that things are moving in that direction.

But what’s going on, then? The speaker who says “He literally exploded” could have made a roughly equivalent claim by substituting figuratively for literally: if the literally version is true (/false), the figuratively version is true (/false). Doesn’t it follow that when they saidliterally they actually meant the same thing as figuratively?

Not at all. In “He literally exploded”, literally intensifies the figurative meaning of exploded: it means something like “He completely exploded”, “He totally exploded”. It’s not saying anything about the literal / figurative dimension. When people say “He literally exploded”, they don’t intend to say “He figuratively exploded”. That is a claim they might be happy to make if they felt the need to, but it’s not the one they are trying to make. [Full post]

I would even go as far as to say its power as an intensifier inherently relies upon the contradictory nature of the word’s usage. It dramatises the verb in the same way “completely” dramatises a verb, but I suggest it also has an entirely different function to “completely”. Where “completely” only serves as an intensifier and possibly connotes that the following verb is figurative, “literally” relies on its original meaning, and asks the reader to imagine the figurative event happening literally. It might be informal language’s closest attempt at creating visual metaphor. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a direct correlation between this century’s increase in emotive visual culture (especially Tumblr?) and the necessity of the graphic function of the word “literally” (and the prevalence of such a word).

I’ve started calling it “hyperbolic literally” to emphasize the fact that if you don’t object to “I could eat a horse” or “if I’ve asked you once, I’ve asked you a million times…” then there’s no reason to object to literally as hyperbole either.

Gonna go argue w/ my Dad now

Sheidlower says you can trace “ax” back to the eighth century. The pronunciation derives from the Old English verb “acsian.” Chaucer used “ax.” It’s in the first complete English translation of the Bible (the Coverdale Bible): ” ‘Axe and it shall be given.’

Go support these guys. Just really great stuff. Roman (the host/founder(?) of Radiotopia, said on 99% that he wants lots of backers more than the money so toss em a buck!

Apple makes an iPistol, Google allies with Samsung, and Walmart steps in (with the Southern Alliance) to stop the violence.

"Or, why you shouldn’t celebrate today"


who am i living for



This sculpture by Issac Cordal in Berlin is called “Politicians discussing global warming.”

reblogging for the millionth time 

(via anarcho-queer)

Full of great bits, including this:

So what’s the lesson you take away from that? History’s gonna be harder to make than I thought.

If you’ve got a few hours to kill and are into documentaries, watch this one.