Anonymous said: "It's a metaphor" I have no doubt that you completely understand and stand by this statement that the act of putting an unlit cigarette in Augustus Waters' mouth is in fact a metaphor. But for some folks, we don't see it asa metaphor, we see it as situational irony, or a simple statement. Please explain how it is a metaphor.


Well, a character in a novel saying that something is a metaphor is not the same thing as the author of the novel saying that it’s a metaphor. Gus’s intellectual grasp often exceeds his reach (he calls a monologue a soliloquy, and misuses quite a few of the bigger words in his vocabulary). But I do think the cigarette is a metaphor, albeit a different one for us than it is for him.

Gus’s idea is that the cigarette is a metaphor for illness, and he keeps it unlit and in his mouth as an expression of his power over illness. “You put the killing thing between your teeth but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.” Gus’s thinking here is that HE has the power. This is why he tends to use the cigarette when he’s feeling nervous or powerless. (He’s also using the most famous commercially available carcinogen to make this statement, so obviously there’s a connection there in his mind: Humans can prevent cancer by not smoking; cancer is something we can have power over; your job is not to give cancer the power to kill you; etc.) 

But of course Gus is wrong about all of this, or at least almost all of it. You may have SOME control over whether you die of cancer (you can choose not to smoke), but in most cases humans don’t have control over illness. “You don’t give it the power to do its killing” imagines more agency over illness than we actually have, because in the end much of the fault is in the stars, not in ourselves. So to us, the unlit cigarette is a metaphor for our false perception of control, and our urgent need to feel in control. It’s no coincidence, then, that when Gus’s life is spiraling out of control and he finds himself powerless before fate, he tries (and fails) to buy cigarettes.


"Worst of the American Spirit": Advocates Decry Anti-Immigrant Protests, Urge Asylum for Children

July 11 2014

As thousands of migrants continue to arrive in the United States seeking escape from violence in Central America, this week the Texas town of League City passed a resolution banning undocumented children from entering its municipality. The move echoes sentiments that flared up just before July 4 in Murrieta, California, when police blocked three buses of migrants from reaching a federal immigration facility there. The buses carrying dozens of children flown in from an overcrowded detention center in Texas were then surrounded by demonstrators who chanted anti-immigrant slogans. “A society is judged on how we treat our children, and what we witnessed that day was the worst of the American spirit,” says Enrique Morones, director of the group Border Angels. This comes as reports show Honduran children are increasingly being targeted by gang violence and Border Patrol statistics indicate a strong correlation between Central American cities with high homicide rates and waves of children who come to the United States. “What we need to do is give them, as we would refugees anywhere else in the world, access to territory and access to procedures in order to establish their status and care for them as people who need international protection,” says Shelly Pitterman, head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Office in Washington, D.C. He represents the office to the United States and Caribbean governments.

"And then a protester came out, and then other protesters came out, and of the 50 protesters that were there in total, about half of them eventually came out in front of the bus, as did about 25 or 30 media people. And they were banging—the protesters were banging the American flag against the bus, screaming these racist taunts. And it was horrific to see, because the children inside the bus and their moms were crying. They don’t speak English, but they understand hate. And it brought tears to my eyes, and I even saw some media people with teary eyes, because we saw the worst of the American spirit. Regardless of how you feel about this issue, which side of the political aisle you’re on, these are children. These are children, and we need to embrace and love our children… I believe that that Murrieta moment, it brought me back to Selma, Alabama.”

(via cognitivedissonance)


"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can tough the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginning-less time, darkness thrives in the void but always yields to purifying light."— The lion turtle sharing his wisdom with Aang


"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can tough the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginning-less time, darkness thrives in the void but always yields to purifying light."
— The lion turtle sharing his wisdom with Aang

(via catyuy)


Welcome to Night Vale 2nd Anniversary Show (7/9)

"I… am… glad. That you are there to take care of Janice. And… she could do… a lot worse."
Cecil Baldwin (Cecil Palmer), Hal Lublin (Steve Carlsberg)

(via inkystars)


Summertime Swaggie


(Source: enemapopstar, via perks-of-being-chinese)


this was even bloodier than the red wedding


this was even bloodier than the red wedding

(via dutchster)



This is the greatest knock knock joke in the history of all knock knocks jokes ever told, ever.

I think my favourite thing about this is the poor guy asking them not to do this again. how many times has this happened. he knew what was going to happen at the start. is this a regular occurrence

(Source: shittinggold, via itwasjustunjellify)



it’s so weird that harry potter took place in the 90’s

space jam was being filmed while voldemort was taking over the wizarding world

come on and slam and welcome to azkaban

(via itwasjustunjellify)








How to fix the nursing shortage.

This is the cutest CPR ever.

this fucking baby is more skilled than I am

She even plugged the nose


my heart…

she’ll be a great nurse in the fututre

(Source: onlylolgifs, via itwasjustunjellify)


listening to lana del rey makes me want to buy a giant fur coat and sit in a really fancy chair in front of a fire place while holding a cigarette in one of those long cigarette holder things sipping on a glass of red wine with my legs crossed

(via myprovinciallife)


Literally how can you listen to Welcome to Night Vale and not ship Cecil and Carlos please write me a 200 page essay explaining how.

(Source: cophines, via dutchster)