Notes: These new panelists were just added this year. Whenever UFC launched the update that made it difficult as fruck for fans to actually find the panelists individual ranking lists. Conclusions: After researching all of the journalists to make this post I'd say the most suspect is Romain Cadot(Vladusport) - which doesn't appear to be a real person. Christoffer Esping is also suspect, as he owns a shoe company - that is it. Brian Hemminger of MMA Oddsbreaker is also suspect, as he works for an actual Oddsmaker - that is such a clear conflict of interest that there might actually be some legal implications that the UFC could get caught up in if the rankings can ever be proven to directly impact betting lines. This is such a giant oversight I can't believe that the UFC legal team hasn't already nixed this. I'm not even saying that Brian's rankings are corrupt or unreasonable - just that him working for an actual legitimate MMA oddsmaker is a big "How The Fuck Did The UFC Let This Happen" moment. Both of the MMA Weekly guys seem to be trolling their rankings - or they are just that inept. Jeff Cain didn't even bothering updating his rankings for this week...and he rarely ever does, maybe he'll update once every other month or so, and sometimes he'll rank fighter who have been cut, retired, or inactive, meanwhile Ken Pishna is a fucking UFC shill who did exactly what the UFC told him to do in their little sparknotes memo!
In High School I was the weirdo - always reading classic literature, hair dyed, listening to punk and ska etc. I had a small group of like minded friends but other than us it was a very straight, white school filled with very closed minds. Until the arrival of Mr X... Mr X was different to all of the other teachers. His clothes were unkempt - but in a cool, edgy sort of way. His hair was long and scruffy and he had an air of rebellion about him. He was, of course, an English teacher - and immediately we became ‘friends’. I say ‘friends’ because I’m now old enough to know how inappropriate that was. But I’d spend lunch times in his room talking about Oscar Wilde, Mary Shelley, feminism etc. We’d listen to cool music and talk about concerts we’d been to. He’d often say things like “I can’t believe you’re only 14...you’re so mature!” - I was flattered and felt like he truly saw me for who I was. Writing this 20 years later I feel embarrassed as hell but that’s how it was! A few months after he joined the school, something changed. Mr X started sitting too close to me during our lunchtime hangouts. He began asking me to meet him at a local nightclub (famous for letting underage girls in) and I started to view him less as a lone wolf Jack Kerouac character and more as a bit sad and desperate. His conversations turned sexual - little comments like “no one could ever call you flat chested!” and “I bet you’re more experienced in the bedroom” etc. and any air of mystery or intrigue I’d previously believed he had soon disappeared. Eventually I stopped hanging out with him and moved on. I would think about him occasionally but more with a shudder than anything. Two years later, I open the local newspaper to see Mr X’s face on the front page! He had been discovered hiding in school, in a female student toilet cubicle with mirrors glued to the tops of his shoes...he would basically upskirt whoever was in the next cubicle! Added to that, he was discovered to have recordings and photos of numerous students, all taken without permission. I have no idea if any involved me - but there were thousands of them found. The Police arrested him and he was put in jail for ten years. The slight irony is that I am now an English Teacher! The love of Literature never went away in spite of his creepiness! Anyways, although he is probably a free man out there now, Mr X - LETS NOT MEET.
The Mani Ratnam Rabbit hole Part 6(a) - Raavan(an)(2010)/ Thalapathi (1991) - The Epic Adaptations - The Antagonist Perspective
𝟭. 𝗥𝗮𝗮𝘃𝗮𝗻/𝗥𝗮𝗮𝘃𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗻(𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟬) If you retell a story - you write it, tell it, or present it again, often in a different way from its original form. A new account or an adaptation of a story: it could be a retelling of a Roman legend, Greek legend or in this case an Indian legend. Sometimes, in the retelling, something new emerges, something that previously everybody has overlooked. The essence of Indian mythology is obviously beyond the simple good vs evil trope. If you care to dig deep, there's an interesting story at every step. We learn our first lessons of right and wrong from epics and it forms the base of our character for the rest of our lives. However, as we grow up, the complexities of the epics we grew up reading and listening to attract our attention. As grown ups, we realize that it’s hard to departmentalize the aspects of life into boxes of white and black. We look at the epics in a new light and this time, with a little less judgement. One such character of the Indian epic, Ramayana, was that of Raavan, a person whose finer sides had always been less known. Ravan played his role as a villain, but it was that of a much-needed villain, that brought balance to the equation. There are many people in the world, who still worship him. Thai, Lankan, Buddhist, Indian & several other Asian texts have different versions of Raavan's story. As legend goes, Ravan was one of the most learned scholars to have ever lived. He had a keen interest in music and was a highly accomplished veena player. The story goes that after shooting the fatal arrow on the battlefield of Lanka, Ram told his brother, Lakshman, “Go to Ravana quickly before he dies & request him to share whatever knowledge he can. A brute he may be, but he is also a great scholar”. Lakshman sat beside the dying demon-king and learnt from him important lessons in statecraft and diplomacy. Keeping in theme, Mani Ratnam does it again, presenting anti-establishment narratives through retelling of epics. (𝘎𝘰 𝘵𝘰 𝘍𝘪𝘭𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘞𝘪𝘬𝘪𝘱𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘢 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 2 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘮𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦) Abhishek as Beera/Vikram as Veeraiya 'Veera' meaning Brave, a gangster in a rural area. He is nicknamed 'Ravan' since he is seen as a hero by locals but as a villain by outsiders. Govinda as Sanjeevani KumaKarthik as Gnanaprakasam, A forest ranger who has worked in the jungle for 25 years and he helps Dev find Veera's gang. He enjoys joking around. Hanuman served as an inspiration for this character. Aishwarya Rai as Ragini, Dev's wife who is kidnapped by Veera and kept in the jungle for 14 days. Her character is based on Sita. As per Ramayan Sita is considered an avatar of Goddess Lakshmi. Raagini is another name for Lakshmi. Vikram/Prithviraj as SP Dev Sharma/Prakash, Superintendent of Police who wants to shut down Veera's crime empire. His character is based on Lord Ram. Dev is an Indian name derived from Sanskrit देव (deva) meaning "God". Ravi Kishan as Mangal/Prabhu as Singarasu, Veera's elder brother who supervises everything in the gang. He also loves to eat & sleep like the character of Kumbhakarna in Ramayan. Priyamani as Vennila, Veera's half-sister who wants to marry Velan. On her wedding day, Veera was shot by Dev and the police forcefully brings her to the police station where she is brutally raped. She eventually commits suicide, prompting the events of the film. Her character is loosely based on Shurpanakha. Nikhil Dwivedi/John Vijay as DSP Hemant & the main perpetrator in Vennila's rape assassination. He is Dev's trusted deputy. His character is loosely based on Lakshman. (𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘤𝘬 𝘸𝘪𝘬𝘪) 𝐁𝐞𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐰𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐬 𝐀𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐲𝐬𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐲 𝐇𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐫𝐢 In the era of intellectually lazy film making Raavan is a superior modern exploration of psychological interactions. The reason why it has possibly disappointed the masses is because it is not a kidnap-rescue story or a terrorism story (just like Kannathil Muthamitaal was not a story about the Sri Lankan war; like Roja and Dil Se were not about terrorism). Raavan(an) like the rest of Mani Ratnam's stories is about complex human emotional relationships. The already much praised visual poetry is apparent all the way through, hats off to Santosh Sivan. What is also true is the effort put into every frame by every actor. The physical effort is also very visible all the way through. Having said that, it is out and out a director's movie. Mani Ratnam has given his personal twist to the Tamil Dravidian version of the Ramayana. The gist of that version & some parts in the Thai version goes like this - Sita is Ravana's daughter & the destiny is that if they lived together Ravana's entire clan would die; hence Ravana plants Sita in Janaka's gardens to ensure that she grows as a princess that she is; when Sita is living in the forest being constantly attacked by various demons it is to rescue her from a terrible situation that Ravana takes her away - father's love to protect offspring. Perceptions overtake reality, honor overcomes reason and Ravana dies. This is a version that remains unacceptable for most Indians including Tamils. Using cinematic license with the Dravidian Ramayana threads, Mani Ratnam uses the theme of 'protection' while changing the relationships. Another excellent use of artistic liberty is the reversal of 'Indru poi naalai vaaraai' situation. Bad heroes prevail and good villains perish, makes one wonder if good and evil are really as polarized as we always thought it was. When the Stockholm syndrome or reverse Stockholm syndrome (Lima syndrome) is denied or portrayed in men or foreigners it would have been acceptable to Indians. But in the case of an Indian married woman and that too a policeman's wife and a forest brigand with its social class differences along with some shades of romance thrown in, is obviously too hot to handle even when implied and anathema when explicit. So understandably the mental resistance to see the film with the usual suspension of disbelief is very high much before the titles are shown. Get over it, grow up and Raavan(an) becomes actually enjoyable. A particular genre of Indian commercial film consists of uninteresting variations of the formula in which melodramatic metaphorical people hanker after committed yet confused birds right up to the altar, mistaking their exaggerated puppy crushes for love which is spewed out as a psychotic roller coaster of songs, hyper-hormonal dancing, trashed villains and repeatedly predictable endings in international settings. That is enjoyable too, if one wants to switch off from their busy lives and tune into some mind-free movie viewing. The problem is we are used to doing this too often that when a movie is made like it ought to be made we are losing the ability to recognise it. If you did not like Raavan(an) & are wondering why it did not rock the box office, look into the mirror and not at Ratnam. Raavan(an) is for grown ups. 𝐀𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐛𝐲 𝐒𝐚𝐧𝐣𝐮𝐤𝐭𝐚 𝐒𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐦𝐚 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐭 From the very first scene, Raavan is a visual whirl. In hippy language, trippy. In one of the earliest sequences in the film, Raagini (Aishwarya) is on a boat alone in the middle of a ferocious river when an eagle swoops down. She looks at it, the bird looks at her (a nod to Jatayu bird?). And then she looks up, to where her predator Beera/Veera (Abhishek/Vikram) is staring menacingly at her. Thick, misty air; howling waterfalls; barren trees; pouring rain; gigantic, ancient Vishnu statues surrounded by deep green trees—the forests where the film is shot make for our own natural Na’avi land (from Avatar). The film is a visual paean to Lal Maati, the fictional place where nature is beautiful and inscrutable. But the technical inventiveness, unparalleled in Indian cinema, is a waste. In stylistic terms, there are some inventions. Visuals convey Ragini’s thoughts in one of the scenes. Intercut between a scene where she is lying inert on a damp, mossy gorge, is a scene of her crying out to her husband, standing by the river, to be rescued. There are a number of scenes like this, where desires, thoughts and imagination get translated into visuals. But how much can visuals speak the creator’s thoughts? Ratnam’s heroes are Santosh Sivan and V. Manikandan, the cinematographers of Raavan. Set in a forest inhabited by a tribal community, the demon is Beera/Veera. He is a terror. The village is his fiefdom and he is both loved and hated by his people. His foe is the local superintendent of police Dev (Vikram/Prithviraj), who is posted in the district. Ragini, Dev’s wife, is a dance teacher who is besotted with him. Beera and his band of men are armed goons who are fighting the establishment to avenge atrocities on them. Beera kidnaps Ragini, and Dev’s efforts to rescue her and kill Beera propel the rest of the story. While in the forest, Ragini is defiant, refusing to give in to Beera’s growing interest in her. Ratnam turns the Ram-Ravana-Sita triangle around, giving it a radical twist. The subtext is, of course, Maoist rebellion. The tribal men are plunderers who, Ratnam suggests, turned violent after years of injustice. The government’s armed forces can’t get to them, although they are shown making constant inroads into the thick jungles. Ratnam has treated the forest with reverence. There are certain rules here, and some logic-defying situations. Human beings here can read thoughts and understand what another human being needs. Often, Raavan is ghostly, vanishing from a place in a fraction of a second. 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒔 𝒐𝒏, 𝒍𝒆𝒕'𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒈 𝒅𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝙋𝙖𝙥𝙚𝙧 𝙤𝙣 𝙎𝙪𝙗𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙊𝙪𝙧 𝙀𝙥𝙞𝙘𝙨: 𝙈𝙖𝙣𝙞 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙣𝙖𝙢’𝙨 𝙍𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙍𝙖𝙢𝙖𝙮𝙖𝙣𝙖, 𝙗𝙮 𝘼𝙢𝙞𝙩 𝘽𝙖𝙨𝙤𝙡𝙚 Ratnam’s film Raavan depicts the contradiction between the adivasis and the State through the framework of the Ramayana. The film, however, deviates from the message of the Ramayana & raises the disturbing possibility that our myths of morality & bravery are someone else’s stories of rape & conquest. The recasting of Raavan as the wronged subaltern & Ram as the scheming agent of imperialism brings to mind similar reinterpretations of other Hindu legends by Phule, which completely subvert the orthodox interpretation. In the context of the ongoing struggle between the tribals & the State, one hopes that the movie Raavan might stir this debate up once again. Ratnam’s Raavan, starring Abhishek , Aishwarya, Vikram, Ravi Kishan & Govinda has received generally bad reviews & was a failure at the box office as well. It also suffers from some flaws such as bad acting & complete lack of attention to details. Yet, from the social & political standpoint the film’s grafting of the Ramayana on the conflict between adivasis & the Indian state is well worth thinking about. In this review we explore this dimension of the movie. 𝐀𝐥𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐌𝐚𝐨𝐢𝐬𝐦? The opening sets the overall tenor with a montage showing police parties being attacked by adivasis even as Beera, the adivasi leader celebrates by playing on the drum. But the narrative really starts with the abduction of Ragini by Beera. Ragini is the wife of Dev, a police officer who is posted as the Superintendent of police (SP) to a place called Lal Mati to deal with the notorious adivasi outlaw, Beera Munda. One assumes that Lal Mati is a district town somewhere in India, since SPs are not posted to villages, but the movie is not clear upon this point. Lal Mati is largely out of police or State control and is run by the writ of Beera, who is shown to be brutal and violent but at the same time to be loved and respected by the locals. One can only wonder if Lal Mati (Hindi for Red Soil) is a reference to the fact that the soil is controlled by the Maoist party. There is no other explicit reference to Maoism in the movie. The first half of the movie passes without the viewers knowing the reason behind Ragini’s abduction. Rather there is some shuttling back & forth between a purported adivasi village & the forest. One need not dwell too long on the authenticity of the adivasi village or for that matter the adivasi song & dance. Suffice to say that these affirm faithfully to a citydweller’s idea of what such villages may look like. Intriguingly the forest is the only substantial location in the entire movie. No city, town or village is shown long enough to create an impression. Thus the feeling is one of placeless-ness & this perception is complemented by the confused accents. Ravi Kishan, the Bhojpuri movie star who plays one of Beera’s brothers of course does a good job with his Bhojpuri accented Hindi. Further, the relationship between Beera’s adivasi village & the town of Lal Mati is never clarified. Confusion of place is compounded in the second half when Beera’s sister is shown as getting ready for her wedding in a large rural dwelling which is certainly not in the adivasi village and the location of which is not made clear. Instead, most of the script is occupied in developing the relationship between Beera & his captive Ragini. The movie moves to a climax with the police getting the better of Beera & gunning him down to the protestations of Ragini who has begun to see Raavan’s side of the story of the Ramayana. 𝐀 ‘𝐇𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐧’ 𝐑𝐚𝐚𝐯𝐚𝐧 Aside from the stunning visuals, the socio-political resonances are strong and it is these I will now explore. The story recasts the highly politically relevant contradiction between the adivasis and the State, as represented by its police force, into the framework of the Ramayana. Almost all the main characters of the Ramayana, viz, Ram, Sita, Laxman, Hanuman, Vibhishan, Kumbhakarna, Shurpanakha & of course the eponymous Raavan, have their counterparts in the script. However the essential message of the Ramayana is turned if not on its head, then at least sideways. Ram is no longer maryada purushottam (the ideal man in complete control of his senses & actions), nor is Raavan the unreconstructed demoniacal figure of popular understanding burned every Dussehra. Conventionally Raavan has been humanised by citing his devotion to Shiva, his learning of the Vedas or his playing of the veena. Here he is human because he has suffered injustice and oppression at the hands of the State and has decided to fight back. His sister, an adivasi woman who dares to love and seeks to marry a brahmin boy is apprehended in a raid conducted by Ram even as she is getting married. She is later gang raped inside a police station. Laxman (also called Laxman in the movie), a cop, assists in this “cutting off of Shurpanakha’s nose”. She subsequently commits suicide. Raavan(Beera) who is already a force to reckon with in his community, a king for all practical purposes, seeks to avenge this act and abducts Sita. Independent of this particular aggravation at the hands of the police, Raavan is a rising threat to the State which Ram represents. Beera the adivasi is openly challenging the authority of the police in his neighbourhood. The cop, Dev Pratap Sharma, has been sent to quell this adivasi who is a Munda, the same tribe that claims the famous Birsa among its members. The symbolism is thus simply crammed into the script. 𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐎𝐧𝐞, 𝐄𝐯𝐢𝐥 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐀𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 Despite, or perhaps because of its bluntness, the movie challenges some deeply held beliefs on the nature of good & evil in Indian culture. The epics, and in particular the Ramayan still occupy a place of prominence as fables of morality. The Ramayan in its popular version is free even of the moral ambiguities to be found in the Mahabharata. Raavan raises, in very clear terms, the disturbing possibility that our myths of morality and bravery are someone else’s stories of rape & conquest. Our heroes are villains in stories told in other places, not in faraway countries, but in our own heartland. And our villains might just have been people whose only fault lay in not submitting to our rule. The confusion that we are thrown into as a result of this reversal of viewpoint is clearly (& amusingly) on display in a brief review of the movie I read in the Banaras Times. The author of the review describes Lal Mati as “A town where the word of law is not the police but Beera, a tribal who has, over the years, shifted the power equation of the place from the ruling to the have-nots of the area.” Further, the reviewer notes that the police seek primarily to bring order & not justice. Thus “Dev knows that the key to bringing order to any place is to vanquish the big fish; in this case – Beera.” At the end of the review, in describing the nature of the fight between Beera and the SP, the reviewer says it is a “fight between good & evil” with good being represented by the SP. The review of the movie’s Tamil version does admit that the lines between good & evil get blurred. That part was left out in the newspaper review. Thus wittingly or unwittingly the reviewer has captured perfectly the dissonance that such a reinterpretation creates. The fight between Ram & Raavan must of course be a fight between good & evil, but it also cannot be denied that Raavan has made the have nots stronger. The message is clear: it is evil to defend the poor & good to defend the rich & the ruling class. 𝐀𝐥𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐇𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬/𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 This is of course not the first time that timeless tales have been retold from the opposite viewpoint. In reinterpreting history from the rakshasa point of view Mani Ratnam is in the august company of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, the anti-caste thinker & activist of the 19th century. A retelling of the Ramayana which casts Raavan as the wronged subaltern & Ram as the scheming agent of imperialism brings to mind similar reinterpretations of other Hindu legends by Phule. 𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐠 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐛𝐢𝐬𝐤𝐞𝐭.𝐜𝐨𝐦 𝐛𝐲 𝐏𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐚 𝐓𝐢𝐥𝐚𝐤 This Study Of The Characters In Mani Ratnam’s “Villain” Tells You Why It Is A Misunderstood Epic! How do I start talking about this epic film? To a lot of us, it is very clear that, Ramayan is the underlying theme in Raavan/Raavanan/Villain. But, to a very few, it is not known. But, I realized that, knowing the underlying theme or not knowing it does not affect the experience in any way if you’re not watching it clearly. Raavan is that film which requires a lot of concentration and a lot more serious viewing. Because, in here, more than Ramayan, the 3 characters of Ram, Raavan and Sita are explored. Explored to a greatest extent. Explored in an unexplored format. And explored more than beautifully. I’m aware of the fact that, this film did not do well at the BO. I’m not even arguing about that. All I want to share is our immature way of looking at a cinema. Raavan, as a film, opened up my mind on how to watch something that is told to me so many times. It actually changed the way I look at films. Because, Raavan has a perspective of MR’s own. He narrated a new story from an old story. So, the movie opens up with this visual. Veera/Beera standing on a hill top. He pushes a small stone into the river that is flowing underneath. Intercuts happen between Veera jumping into the water and police people being attacked by Veera’s followers. And immediately Raagini is on a small boat. An eagle lands on Ragini’s boat and Ragini just stares at it. Then, a bigger ship comes closer to this boat & the shadow of that ship is on her face. Her face is occupied by the shadow & the Ship hits the Boat. After she is kidnapped, the very first dialogue she utters to Veera and his people is “Naku nuvvante Bhayam ledu”. Not only that one instance, there are so many scenes in which she says that, she’s not scared of Veera. Veera holding a gun in out focus and Ragini’s face in the background. Let me tell you the reason for mentioning all this in detail. Raavan/Villain is all about that shadow changing its place from Raagini to Veera, gun changing its position from Veera’s hand to Raagini’s & Veera jumping off the same cliff he was first shown standing. Take a look at these images. (𝘚𝘦𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘭𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘴) MR tried to tell us that, Ram & Raavan are equally powerful. To justify that, he reveals the backstory of both the characters that led them to the opening sequence through intercuts. Dev, driving his jeep goes back to the first day of work in that city. Through his perspective, Veera is established. All the bad deeds Veera had done & his reason to arrest Veera. That 1.5 minute sequence is shot & cut very interestingly. The camera movement is so subtle. When Dev starts off to reveal the crime history of Veera, camera movement is slow. When he goes on with the narrative, camera movement gradually catches up speed. That camera movement alone is enough to establish the intense rivalry between a cop & a criminal. Simultaneously, it establishes, Dev as the good guy & Veera as a bad guy. But, not to forget, both are equally powerful. In this film, MR did not want to tell Ramayan in that exact setup. He just wanted to talk about the grey side of Ram & White side of Raavan. Though, we all know that it is not true, he still wanted to put forward that perspective. But, why? I think that is what a poet does. Talking about the dark side of the light & the bright side of the night. And after having that clarity, just look at the way he took these characters to the end. 𝐑𝐚𝐦 – 𝐃𝐞𝐯 – 𝐏𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐯𝐢𝐑𝐚𝐣/𝐕𝐢𝐤𝐫𝐚𝐦 : So, I told you that, MR wanted to explore the dark side of Dev’s character. But, how do we reach the dark side without being really dark? I think, it is possible only by taking that character & dipping him in the white, slight grey and complete grey cups. Because, that way it is gradual. It is convincing. It looks like a story being told. To mark those 3 color cups, there were few scenes. Talking about the white, he is introduced as someone who is strict and sincere at his job. In fact, throughout the film, he’s on duty. Sincere & honest. To add to that, remember the scene where he interacts with the guy who piloted the boat? This one. He asks him about Raagini. He even offers him water to quench his thirst. But, when the movie flows, he reaches a similar situation where he come across another guy with one hand cut, to guide them to Veera. Just look at the way he behaves with him. His hand was cut and put in the other one. Yet, this “White” Dev will not be bothered about his pain. The first question he asks is about Veera. See the shift in there? That shift from asking about Raagini to asking about Veera? That shift from white to partial grey? That is what I call as cinematic magic. After this, he goes on to explore the grey part further. To justify his shift to complete grey, there is a scene where he kills the messenger of Veera. That shapes Dev in to a full-grey-man. Not only this, even the way Veera grows on Dev is so artistically told. Just look at the scene once again. In this, Dev holds the photographs of Raagini & Veera and turns them around. It gradually catches up speed. And finally stops at Veera’s photo. That brilliantly & poetically reveals Dev’s state of mind. It says that, more than his wife being kidnapped, he is occupied with Veera. Ram is not worried about bringing back Sita in this adaptation. Ratnam tried to see the possibilities in that context. Just took 3 primary characters & put them in the premise of Ramayan set up in this world. 𝐑𝐚𝐚𝐯𝐚𝐧 – 𝐕𝐞𝐞𝐫𝐚 – 𝐕𝐢𝐤𝐫𝐚𝐦/𝐀𝐛𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐤 : This character interestingly starts off with a grey touch & converts into almost white. Similar to the graph of Dev’s character, Veera’s graph is also subtle, gradual and convincing. Whenever Dev steps into a grey cup, Veera steps into a white cup. Right before he kills the messenger of Veera, there is this scene. Veera listens to the messenger & is actually ready to let go of his fight/grudge on Dev. That is the only reason for sending that messenger to talk to Dev about the compromise. Right before Dev inquires about Veera’s stay with Venu, Veera avenges his sister’s death. According to him, Venu was one of the reasons for his sister to commit suicide. So, he believed that it is right to take off Venu’s hand. That is his partial shift towards righteous deeds. And in the opening sequence of the film, Veera orders his men to attack the police. The reason for it is just his natural vengeful attitude. And abducting someone’s wife makes him completely evil. This graph of the characters is what Raavan is all about. After we’re told that Veera has shifted to a whiter space and Dev to a greyer space, Mani Ratnam wanted to test our intellect once again. In the climax fight, where Veera’s intent is purer than Dev’s, look at the costumes they wear. To our surprise, Dev wears white and Veera wears black. 𝐒𝐢𝐭𝐚 – 𝐑𝐚𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐢 – 𝐀𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐲𝐚: More than Ram(Dev), Sita (Raagini) is focused on in the film. After a point, the film seems to be talking about the relation between Raagini & Veera & Dev looks like an outsider. That is a very conscious decision in the writing. In fact, Raagini’s character is more like the thread that hangs between Dev and Veera. It just keeps elongating and turning. As this thread turns and stretches, the rivalry between the persons at the opposites (Dev and Veera) increases. Raagini is like a catalyst in a chemical reaction. It boosts up the process. Raagini’s character starts off as someone who is devoted to her husband. Fearless. Independent. In fact, the very moment she expresses her fearlessness to Veera is when he starts to develop feelings for her. Her strength is so much that, it seduced the antagonist. When she starts to understand the positive side of Veera, she slowly shifts towards him. It is also very gradual. When Veera expresses his feelings for her on a spinning coracle, notice the costume of Raagini. She wears a saree of a villager. It marks her shift towards Veera. (There is even a dialogue about the costume in that scene) When, she’s on the verge of loosing the anger against Veera after listening to his story, she goes to a Vishnu statue and asks him for strength. Begs him to give her enough courage to not loose her love towards her husband. Beauty in that scene is the location and the setup. So, to conclude this character, she shifts from being bold enough to stay strong when she was kidnapped to being scared and sensitive when she’s set free. A strange shift. I know that I didn’t cover a lot from this epic. I even know that, I wouldn’t be able to cover everything about these characters. Because, Raavan is consciously shaped that way. It is intellectual & constantly questions the viewers’ intellect & perception. It is very easy to be disconnected from anything. But, if you stay connected & understand these kind of films, you grow. Grow as audience. Grow as intellectual person. Grow as human being. 𝐁𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐰𝐚𝐣 𝐑𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐧'𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐥𝐞: WHEN I HEARD THAT MANI RATNAM WAS SHOOTING an antagonist-centric update of the Ramayana, titled Raavan, in the darkest hearts of distant jungles, I wondered if the attempt was to delineate the villain through his surroundings, like how the untamed moors are a manifestation of Heathcliff’s uncivilised inner life. As it turns out, it’s more an excuse to allow the cinematographers to run riot. No one, really, walks into a Mani Ratnam movie expecting a mumblecore aesthetic, but even by his skyscraping standards, Raavan is a spectacle – perhaps too much so. If there’s a movie that Mani Ratnam could have gone mumblecore with, it’s this one, a psychologically driven art film dressed up as glitzy, plot-motivated commercial cinema, with fussed-over Sabyasachi costumes on a heroine who’s never allowed to look anything less than breathtaking. Even her bruises are beautiful. It takes real effort to pull your eyes away from the sparkling surface and peer deep into the narrative, which reimagines the Ramayana in an intriguingly idiosyncratic fashion. At first, you wonder what more can be done with this musty epic. There have been metaphorical extrapolations like Lajja, which dealt with multiple Sita figures strewn throughout the journey of a repressed Sita-figure rediscovering herself. Then there are the more literal adaptations like Neelkamal & Khalnayak. In the former, a chaste wife is suspected of infidelity, chased away while pregnant, and forced to take refuge at the feet of a holy man until the helpful Hanuman played by Mehmood engineers a deliverance. And Khalnayak had monkeys surrounding the hero and villain locked in mid-fight, along with a proto-feminist Sita who went after Raavan in order to nab him for her Ram. Pinjar, too, dealt with the gradual easing of anxieties between a hapless victim and her abductor, a Raavan who wasn’t a mythological moustache-twirler so much as a life-sized human being whose only blemish was being painted in grey shades. So when we enter Raavan, it’s with the question whether Ratnam is going to do, again, what worked so winningly in Thalapathi, where he retold the Mahabharata without actually reimagining it. It was a straightforward interpretation situated in the modern day. Raavan, too, has its share of parallels with its source material – an exile based on the number fourteen, the villain’s sister being hauled up by the nose, a bridge connecting protagonist and antagonist, the lovable sidekick-monkey (cheerfully played by Govinda, and named Sanjeevini Kumar) who even rattles off couplets styled like the Chaleesa. And once again, Ram (a scowling Vikram, who doubtless had more opportunity to flex his acting chops in the Tamil version, as Raavanan) casts unjustified and uncharitable doubt on Sita-Ragini’s chastity, when she’s attired in virgin-white, no less. But this Ram – named Dev (like the deity that he is), & employed as an SP (like the upholder of dharma that he is) – isn’t beyond torturing an armless man to extract information about his abducted wife’s whereabouts, or shooting a messenger of peace in the back after guaranteeing non-violent negotiations. No wonder the latter scene plays out in the dark of night, as befits the deeds of demons, witnessed only by a mute moon. Beera, on the other hand, is introduced with the sun shining over him, and even when he kidnaps Ragini, it’s in broad daylight (as opposed to the skulking maneuvers of a villain). The fight on the bridge may have these adversaries in their mythical colours – Ram in white, Raavan in black – but the narrative doesn’t paint them so conveniently. Like Ram Gopal Varma did with his Sarkar films – trusting that we know the overall arc of the Godfather saga & therefore do not need to be shepherded through minutely detailed plot points – Ratnam abandons a linear this-happened-then-that-happened story in favour of flavourful highlights that simultaneously replay and reinterpret what we already know. How does Dev, in his quest to annihilate Beera, sniff out the location of the wedding of Beera’s sister (Priyamani)? Or how does Sanjeevini wend his way to Ragini in the midst of her armed captors? These are questions that need no answers. Ratnam knows that we know the answers in our heads, and this liberates him to pursue a level of narrative abstraction we haven’t witnessed since the first half of Dil Se. Because of this approach, the outside-world issues that usually gnaw at us in this director’s films – like the political environment of the town of Laal Maati (Red Earth) – cease to matter. Ragini wonders if Beera is Raavan or Robin Hood, & that’s all we need to know, that this villain is for the exploited & against the establishment. There’s little use pondering if the redness of this earth is an indication of Beera’s communist-Maoist leanings, because the story unfolds at an abstract-mythic level. The more urgent subtext is that of the moral victory of the uncivilised over the civilised. The educated Dev is more savage than the unlettered jungle dwellers – even Sanjeevini, with his halting English, seeks a peaceful resolution to the conflict, while Dev prefers to let his gun do the macho talking. Ratnam hasn’t completely broken away from the homey style we’ve come to associate with him. An interlude with Beera, his sister and her fiancé is a typically endearing example of fleeting characters being established with colourful brushstrokes and too-quippy dialogue. And there are several moments so loaded with pointed detail that they reveal themselves only upon looking back – the rape victim who refuses to uncross her legs even after she reaches home, the poetic justice of a tragedy in water being avenged by an abduction in water, a bird’s eye view of Ragini turning out to be a literal bird’s eye view (and Ragini being associated, later on, with this bird; “chidiya ki tarah phadphada rahi hai”), or the whisper of a kinky sex life in the case of Dev and Ragini, whose bedroom is walled with mirrors. Further familiarity comes from the invocations of images from earlier Mani Ratnam movies – the rains, the mirrors, the cigarette-smoking hero, the gargantuan statue in the wilderness (from Kannathil Muthamittal), the man slinging along huge fish (Aayitha Ezhuthu), the song sequence of boisterous revelers in the rain (Nayakan), the trauma of rape leading to terrorism (Dil Se), the camera swooping madly around a triangular formation of characters (from Thiruda Thiruda; what are the bets that the Jimmy Jib operator ended up with a six-pack after the Raavan shoot?), the song sequence featuring a spouse in an abandoned cottage dreaming of a loved one who dances with children (from Roja), and indeed, the plot of Roja itself, only gender-reversed this time around, the husband setting out in search of the kidnapped wife. But these totemic images apart, Ratnam, in Raavan, doesn’t set out to pleasure his audience in ways we expect him to. There are, naturally for a story of this nature, the derigueur masala moments, like the whistle-worthy scene where Dev burns holes in a newspaper image of Beera and his merry men – but the other must-haves of commercial cinema are glossed over. Ratnam stages AR Rahman’s songs as if they were perfunctory pit stops along the way. Ratnam is not terribly interested in genre thrills either. The action sequences are equally perfunctory, a hazy clutch of hyper-edited movement that registers at a corner of the eye. Even the drama is free of detonations. You expect the abduction to be a frantic set piece, & instead, it’s a serene image of boats colliding on a lake. You expect Dev to come home & find his wife missing & go crazy with worry, & instead he receives the news over a walkie-talkie and signs out grimly, betraying not a flicker of emotion. (In fact, were it not for the snappy happier-times flashback, with those kinky mirrors, we might have wondered about the kind of marriage that Dev and Ragini had, and the stunning climax hints at more domestic trouble.) Even Hanuman’s withdrawal from Lanka (namely, Laal Maati) isn’t through a flaming circus act but a lengthy stretch of grown-up conversation. The most interesting aspect of the narrative, however, is the way it holds back information in favour of later-on revelations that reshape our earlier experience. When we first see Beera, he has a plaster on his throat, but only later do we realise that this wound is a marker of how recent a tragedy was, a fact never spelled out in words. When a gold watch is given to someone, or when his hand is subsequently chopped off, or when a policeman is tonsured and tortured, we are outraged on their behalf, until later events inform us that they may well have deserved their fates. With commercial cinema, the expected style of narration is to establish a tragedy first, get the audience to empathise, and then punish the wrongdoers so that we can rejoice in their being brought to well-deserved justice. But here, our emotions are constantly confounded. Heroes turn villains at the bat of an eyelid, while villains display stoic reserves of heroism. The equally unexpected love triangle is set up in one deft visual. Dev holds out a photograph of Ragini to tribals, asking if they’ve seen her. And slowly, he slides out a photograph of Beera that was hidden behind Ragini’s. Beera, now, has literally come between Dev and Ragini, and his thawing towards his victim is amongst the most extraordinary passages of Raavan. Ranjha ranjha echoes in the background – not the sprightly love song from the soundtrack album, but a lovelorn dirge that sounds as if rendered by a meth-addict whose fix has just kicked in. Over the refrain Jal jaa jal jaa ishq mein jal jaa, Beera is inflamed by Ragini’s attempts to escape – at one point, his hands hover over her chest until sense prevails. And she responds too, for in the next scene, she’s attired like one of them. She asks to be set free, but her request, now, is a statement, not the scream from before. Even she seems unconvinced. That’s why Ragini seeks reassurance that Dev still loves her, that the mere idea of him is still worth hanging on to in the presence of this new attraction in her life. When Beera says that he saw a picture in Dev’s tent, she looks at him expectantly, and her face falls when he says it was his picture. (The line, however, is hilarious: “Raja ke tambu mein rakshas ka photo.”) And later, when Sanjeevini appears just as she’s discovered that her husband may have contributed to her plight, she reacts not with happiness but hesitation. “Woh khud kyon nahin aaye?” she asks Sanjeevini. That’s what she wants to know first, why Dev did not come to claim her. But elsewhere? Imagine Toshiri Mifune in a Noh-styled Kurosawa drama imbued with the gesticulations of a silent-film scoundrel, and hissing like a rattlesnake making furious love to a tambourine – and you have the general idea. (Bachchan’s scenes are often shot with a jittery camera, possibly to highlight how unhinged he is, but this only accentuates how off-putting the performance is.) If the attempt was to be crowd-pleasing in the mythical (or even masala) sense while staying true to character, he might have looked closer at costar Ravi Kishan, who plays Beera’s loyal brother. The latter, with half the effort, achieves twice the effect. (𝑫𝒐 𝒘𝒂𝒕𝒄𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒔𝒌𝑩𝒓 𝑺𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒌 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒅𝒆𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒂𝒍𝒚𝒔𝒊𝒔) 𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗽𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗶 𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗹𝘆𝘀𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗰𝗸 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝟲(𝗯) 𝙇𝙞𝙣𝙠𝙨:
[SPOILERS FOR ALL S01] In-depth breakdown and commentary - S01E06 "The Day That Wasn't"
S01E01 - We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals breakdown S01E02 - Run Boy Run breakdown S01E03 - Extra Ordinary breakdown S01E04 - Man on the Moon breakdown S01E05 - Number Five breakdown Hello, I'm back with another analysis! Unmarked spoilers for all of S01 follow, so last chance to back out. Please, no untagged spoilers for the comics if you have read them - I would like to read them after the show has run its course. Also, now that we're getting more S02 information, please spoiler tag this as well if you are posting about it below. Once again, I'm posting this for discussion, so if you have any insights, corrections, comments, feedback, etc. please post it below! I apologise for the delay in posting - real life intruded and I couldn't sit down to rewatch it. Breakdown for S01E07 will be up on the 8th July, around noon GMT, as I'm planning for this breakdown series to end the week S02 premieres on Netflix. Thanks for taking part! S01E06 - "The Day That Wasn't"
Title meta: you don't know it the first time you watch it, but Five erases much of this version of the 29th of March by time-travelling into their meeting at the start of the day. The sad thing is that it also erases some awesome character development and replaces it with oh-so-familiar angst, pain and bad decisions. These guys simply can't catch a break. Oh well, doesn't mean we can't analyse it into the ground!
The episode opens on the "A Shau Valley, Vietnam, 1968". The Tet Offensive took place beginning of that year, and that was a fucking bloodbath. A quick google says a mission called Operation Delaware took place in the Valley that year, a little after the Tet Offensive, that the US hailed as a success despite losing nearly a thousand troops and North Vietnam reclaiming the Valley a short time later as the Americans withdrew.
Klaus lands right in the middle of this clusterfuck and meets Dave Katz, who is a very decent guy. And also boyfriend material. Klaus called it back in S01E02, he and Dave got together at a disco.
Also, fuck me if Sheehan and the dude playing Dave aren't amazingly hot in this scene. Chemistry fucking everywhere. An absolute pleasure to watch.
And cut to the present day, where Klaus is flushing his drugs as he remembers Dave. Wish he remembered this in S01E05, when he pops a pill sitting in Diego's car near Griddy's. Oh well, at least this scene is before the morning meeting so that it doesn't change when Five comes back.
Lol at Klaus sitting cross-legged barefoot on the floor. At least the gang got him a coffee too.
There's a certain humourous hypocrisy in Klaus calling Five "our little psycho" when he himself is perfectly happy to beat himself and Five (an apparent minor) up to blackmail some dude for a couple of bucks (S01E02).
Just want to point out that Allison's apologised once to Vanya already (S01E04) for excluding her from family stuff because Vanya 'doesn't have powers' in S01E03. Aaaand so she's just gonna do the same thing again with this meeting. Good job, sis.
"Wednesday, 8.15am". So the 29th of March is a Wednesday in this timeline (in ours it was a Friday). So their world ends on Saturday the 1st of April. Makes sense, you wouldn't have a concert like that on a weekday. So RH died on the 21st March, a Tuesday. Five crash-landed in 2019 on a Friday, the 24th. Leonard has his lesson Saturday afternoon. (This could explain why we don't see her teaching privately during the week, she teaches on the weekends and plays with the orchestra during the week. This also means she was late to rehearsal on a Sunday goddamn morning, that's rough and now kinda understandable to be honest. Maybe it was an extra practice because the concert was next Saturday.) The Academy is crashed Sunday night, and Patch dies the next evening. Klaus leaves 2019 Monday night and is back Tuesday morning.
Love the little umbrella title card this episode, complete with a little yelp of surprise from Klaus.
This seems to be the Divine Smiles motel from the window, and Hazel and Cha-Cha have gone from two doubles to two singles to a queen bed. Either way, they're not very happy with each other. Hazel seems to have the most baggage, because now he has something to lose in the upcoming apocalypse - Agnes. Cha-Cha just wants to find the briefcase and get onto the next job, but that will leave Hazel without Agnes. No wonder he's in a tizzy.
As far as I can tell, Hazel's and Cha-Cha's timelines don't change between this episode and the next; it seems to be from Cha-Cha's point of view in this Five-less version of the 29th and from Hazel's in the version with Five. It might be easier to do the bulk of the discussion for these scenes in S01E07's breakdown, otherwise I'll be saying a lot of the same stuff twice.
The Commission's headquarters seem to be in 1955, which fits with the Handler's outfit and even the briefcases they carry. I don't get how you set up a time commission inside time, because time would pass, paradigms would shift, new information discovered and the Commission would be at different stages depending on when you saw them. Unless this is a timeless pocket inside 1955. Oh fuck, I'm getting a headache.
Check out the gas masks in the briefcase room. They're the masks the mooks in the bowling alley (S01E10) were wearing. Commission goons following Five.
Okay, so Dot was the case manager in charge of the Apocalypse event. (Geez, no pressure.) She was the person who first noticed Five had gone into 2019. (Which means that Five going back to 2019 must do something to the Apocalypse event, even if that something is just a different version of the Apocalypse. It also means that the Commission knew Five was trying to do something related to the Apocalypse, but didn't tell Hazel and Cha-Cha jack shit.)
You know what's funny? The Handler and Dot, at the very least, are walking around with oodles of knowledge about how this dude's sister blows up the world, and Five has no fucking idea. At least he knows that they have this information and he tries to get it off them.
The way the Handler talks up Five, she seems to be stoking up a bunch of office rivalry against him. And she's given him the Hindenburg to blow up on his first day... in this universe, Josef Späh sabotaged the fuel lines until he didn't want to anymore and another method had to be found, when in reality, we have no idea what really caused the Hindenburg disaster.
Here's Vanya letting herself into the Academy the back way. Wonder if she's kinda aware that they're not gonna be a fan of bringing an outsider inside, since they already treat their actual sister like dirt.
That old newspaper on the door is the New York Times. Well, we finally know the place exists in this particular universe - just not whether this place is their version of New York City or not.
I note her blue shirt, purple coat and scarf as she walks in - even more colour! She seems not at all happy to be here - and he seems like the cat who got the cream, finally seeing the place he has wanted to be in for years. Leonard's manipulated her into bringing him here.
"It's just that every time I see them, I come away feeling like there's less of me." Jeez. That fucking sucks. And Leonard's the one who's convinced her to walk back into this.
"The Sonny to your Cher..." They broke up though, didn't they?
"You got first chair. You did it all by yourself." Nope, Leonard murdered Helen Cho for you. You did pass the audition though, but not purely on your own violin skill, but with the help of your massive latent powers. Go you!
So it's Leonard's idea to even invite her family to this in the first place. (After reading what little I could of her book (see my S01E05 breakdown), I understand even more why Vanya went along with it. It's all she's ever wanted, to be seen and accepted by her siblings, and she all but confirms this in the next scene walking down the street with Leonard.) Granted, I definitely think it's a good idea, wouldn't hurt either Vanya or her siblings for them to take the backseat for a while and give her a bit of recognition - if only for it not being pretty obvious now that we've seen Helen's corpse and RH's book in Leonard's attic that Leonard is very, very far from a good guy and may not have the best of motives.
Vanya properly grinning and wisecracking at Leonard. It's just nice to see how far she's come from how numb she seemed to be when she was taking her pills.
They're still undeniably cute and adorkable together. (Insert obligatory complaint about why Leonard had to go and be creepy and evil.)
What's really sad is that the whole purpose of Vanya sucking up her trauma and coming back here was to fucking invite these "assholes" into her life, to share her achievements with her family. And they shrug her off with "It's a family matter". Jesus Christ. Allison, of course, does not want to include Leonard, but Vanya takes it as a slight against her. Which is not an unreasonable thing to do - they should have included her from the start instead of letting her find out they were meeting like this and then letting her walk away like that. (Allison could have also phrased this whole conversation very differently and possibly come out with a different reaction from Vanya. Instead she only succeeds in pushing her away from them and towards Leonard.)
Leonard purposely leaves his jacket behind because he wants an opportunity to go back through the Academy without Vanya seeing him lift the figure of RH that he needs to complete his set.
Vanya's outburst here is very in line with what little we saw of her book from Five's flashback (S01E05).
I must say it was Dad who implemented all of this. He caused my alienation through procedures, through harsh rules that we all followed for fear of the alternative. And to an extent, that's all true. I can't forgive what he did to me, but sometimes I wonder where Dad's actions ended and my siblings' began. When you consider what a mind, especially a young mind, will absorb and harness when put into dire situations, it's not at all difficult to believe that my siblings learned cruelty from Dad until they eventually made it their own. It wasn't just the rules keeping me out of top-secret meetings, anymore...
An "ouch!" from Klaus as Vanya stalks out. It's not even like he's disagreeing, he's mostly ignored by the others as well (it seems that Klaus' future death trying to prevent the apocalypse with the other three Umbrella Academy members, as told by Five in S01E05, might have had an effect on Luther, who is now actively trying to include him in Academy business). Klaus and Vanya actually have similar issues, which makes their lack of any communication with each other for the whole damn season very, very frustrating.
Klaus is once again actively withdrawing. (The sweat's a nice touch.) Ben tells him that he doesn't have to do this alone. Hmm, first time we see Ben with him since before Klaus' little trip to Vietnam. Did Ben go back with him to 1968? I don't know if he did. Is it Klaus' new ability to allow Ben to interact with the living world that allowed Ben to put his hand on his shoulder, de-age and time travel in S01E10 with the rest of them?
With Five not back in this timeline, the Academy falls apart and goes their own seperate ways. (I wonder how Luther managed to stop them running off to do their own things in the timeline where Five sees them all dead together in the rubble of the Academy. It's interesting thinking about how different this season would have been without Five's presence - Hazel and Cha-Cha wouldn't be here, and Patch might still be alive. The only really guaranteed things are Luther investigating RH's death, and Leonard still working his way into Vanya's life, because he finds the book before Five travels back into 2019 from 1963, and possibly to an even greater extent than the timeline that does end up taking place.)
Oh man, the little scene with angry Vanya having a small power meltdown and Leonard being the only one to notice. Not only are the lightposts bending and the cars nearby shaking and creaking, it's literally raining only in this particular area - you can see the blue sky over the rest of the city, and when the rain stops, you see that only this side of the street is wet enough to have been rained on half a minute ago. And oh my gosh, the rain stops as soon as Leonard points out that Vanya could be the one causing the weird stuff. Holy shit, it's getting more and more likely Vanya has some kind of ability to make it rain. How does this even work with her ability to convert sound into kinetic energy? Was this happening even while she was on her pills? (Remember the rain in S01E01 when she finds out RH died?)
Also there's a high-pitched ringing noise reminiscent of the tuning fork RH tried, at the very beginning of this scene, just as Leonard catches up to her.
Back to the Academy, where Klaus is about to enlist Diego to help him sober up. So Diego fucked up his arm and leg in the icecream truck: how did Klaus get out of that without anything to show for it?
Klaus has the shakes here as well. I can't believe he's coherent and even witty at this point. But this means that he must have had drugs in Vietnam as well, not just alcohol, otherwise his withdrawal wouldn't be as bad right now. Makes sense - if the ghosts are this bad here at home, they must have been a million times worse in the middle of the Vietnam War. But if he wants to see Dave again, then he's gonna have to be stone-cold sober.
"I need someone to take away my options." That's what Ben did (technically Klaus did it to himself?) when he managed to punch Klaus and stop him from doing drugs again in S01E09. That's how he saves Diego, and channels Ben's power to fight back against a hailstorm of bullets in S01E10. That's what RH tried to do to him when he was a kid by locking him in the mausoleum. The difference is that now Klaus has Ben. Which is why I don't know if Ben should not be dead in S02. More screen time, for sure. But if Ben returns to life, then Klaus once again loses a lot of his power's increased functionality.
Mr. Five, huh?
My god, these are some weird-ass intimidation tactics that the Handler is employing. Granted, Five did go for the decoy scarlet red file on Dot's table, justifying the intimidation from the Handler's perspective, but the whole TMI on her liquid diet and explaining why she's relieving herself for such a long time,while warning Five not to overstep his boundaries, before looking into Five's stall and inviting him to lunch while he's perched on the toilet - it's very unsettling and super effective.
The beginning of this scene with Hazel and Cha-Cha driving through the forest reminds me of George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men. It feels like Cha-Cha wants to make sure Hazel sees some nature, and doesn't see her shooting him, before she takes him out.
Luther finally finds out RH didn't look at a single one of his reports from the moon. The report Luther pulls out is marked "Day 125 - Day 150" which means that he sent a report back every 25 days or so at minimum, which is about 59 reports over four years, at the least. In S01E01's introduction of Luther, there's a report that has "PLEASE SEND MORE FOOD!" on the front cover. At least that report is at least not prominently visible in this scene. Unfortunately, from Pogo's description of RH, it's probably very likely that RH saw that report begging for food and just stuffed it under the rug without doing something about it.
Pogo describes RH as not "forthright". You're not particularly forthright either, Pogo. Wherever did you pick that habit up?
Luther's entire worldview is crashing around his ears with the reveal that the Moon mission was just busywork. He clung to the idea that he was still doing the right thing by doing as his father told him, that the others were not loyal like he was. He gave up so much, including a life away from the Academy and even his human body, for the man who he thought cared for him in return, had his best interests at heart - but he was wrong. It's heartbreaking how all the parcels are addressed to Dad, from Luther, despite RH's insistence on calling him Number One.
The other thing is that Luther's mutation very obviously shattered his self-image. He's been asking the question "Am I good enough?" ever since. And with the reveal of this meaningless mission, Luther's decided that the answer is no.
"I wasn't a good enough Number One?" Luther has always seen "Number One" as a title bestowed, the first in a pecking order, using it to establish leadership and dominance among his siblings - hence the "a". Unfortunately, he and his siblings were an experiment, numbered off for identification.
Flashback after Allison notices the A+L locket while packing to fly to see her daughter before the apocalypse hits. It seems her impending doom also kinda gets her to think about Luther and what they had before it fell apart.
In the wideshot of the Academy block in the flashback, you can see the observatory intact on the roof, whereas it's overgrown and ruined in present day shots. Wonder what use RH had for an observatory.
Same kid actors for Luther and Allison, I see, but I dunno, I feel like they're supposed to be slightly older here than say, the bank robbery in S01E01, or the dinner scene before Five disappears into the future (S01E02).
The actor for Younger Allison can either do a decent English accent, or is English and puts on the American twang. I'm leaning towards the latter.
The chocolate Allison's brought is called "Munties". Sounds like mint choccy from New Zealand. As far as I know, it's not a real brand I've seen anywhere? Let me know if you have.
Their only free time besides training and saving the world is half a fucking hour on Saturdays? That's pretty rough. How did they score the soft drink cans with so little free time? I feel like RH would never let them drink that. (Although I could totally see Allison rumouring some poor guy walking past the Academy to bring that back.) And I have even less of a fucking clue how Luther managed to obtain a specially-engraved locket. Do they even get pocket money? Where the fuck would they spend it when they don't seem to be allowed out seperately? Ugh, I dunno.
Back to the present, with Diego tying Klaus into a chair. It's actually really nice Diego is sticking around to do this for him, when he's wanting to hunt down two time assassins who could hypothetically be anywhere by now.
What is this room? It seems Klaus came up here to get high and eventually pawned off basically everything in it to support his addictions. In addition, Diego is experienced with the room as well, saying he hates it (perhaps aware that Klaus was using the place to get high?). It seems to be on the same level as Allison's smoking window (S01E02) and Allison's and Luther's cubby (in this episode), but for all we know, it could be on opposite sides of the Academy block.
Haha, Diego seems to be aware of Klaus' BDSM inclinations, more so than Hazel and Cha-Cha were before S01E04 anyway.
This is Klaus running with the idea that Diego suggested while staking out Griddies' last episode - "...at least you can see them whenever you want."
I appreciate Diego's indifference to Klaus telling him it was a guy he loved in Vietnam. Good job, show.
Pan around to Ben watching Klaus and Diego. First (and only) time we see him actually leave Klaus. To do what, I wonder? What prompted his leaving? He stayed to hear Klaus' story, and left when Diego started talking a little about Patch and Grace being gone. (So it's unlikely the siblings know yet that Pogo resurrected her (with her medical directives once again intact) at the end of S01E05.)
I wonder what Ben did when Klaus disappeared off to 1968 Vietnam? He must have been so stressed out, since he was most likely the only one who knew at the time that the briefcase Klaus stole has teleported him somewhere, and had no way of communicating that to anyone who could help him.
This whole conversation between Diego and Klaus is so sweet and such a turning point in their relationship (there's even an implication there that Diego likes spending time with Klaus). It's a massive pity that this gets erased when Five jumps back into the start of this day.
Vanya's back at Leonard's place, watching the news on the lightpost thing that happened earlier. Leonard's 100% sure that she has powers (if I had a book from her dad giving me all the dirt on her powers, I'd be 100% sure too), whereas Vanya is dismissive, saying that she'd totally have been in the Umbrella Academy if she had powers. I can't help but think of RH telling her there was "nothing special" about her in S01E01, and the rumour she was told - "you just think you're ordinary" (S01E08).
Look, I know I've brought this up so many times now, but compare this Vanya to the one we met in S01E01. She's more confident, she has so much more expression, she's showing her sense of humour, she's not fading into the background of scenes like she's used to, she's no longer afraid to exist. Choice of wardrobe for this scene is the simple bright white tee she had under the blue shirt in her previous scene. Whenever she's worn white previously, it's always been with a dark grey or black jacket. I think it also manages to convey a sense of naïvety in the face of Leonard's manipulations.
Obligatory wishing that Leonard wasn't evil - I think this scene is really cute with the little kiss at the end.
Five having lunch with the Handler - Lol, casual throw-away discussion of how the Commission started WWI.
"Bad Twinkie in the apocalypse" story pops up again! Five was telling Vanya about it in S01E02.
So not all of those lollies are actually lollies: at least one of them is a tracker, as we discover in S01E10, and Five just put a handful in his pocket on the way out. "Taste of the 1950's", my ass. The only thing the Commission tech team designed was probably the tracker. The Handler has a very strange sense of humour.
The Handler is simultaneously treating Five like a child and borderline flirting with him. I mean, I know he's a time assassin that's technically pushing 60, and time hiccups like de-aging seem to be run-of-the-mill with these people but now he looks like a kid. It just comes across as creepy and intimidating, which is probably the goal here. Blech.
This is where Five gets the grenades he uses to blow up the pneumatics tube room and the briefcase storage room. (Why would you display live weapons??) But he doesn't palm the grenades here, because there's still the original three on the display when he walks back towards the desk and out of the office. He has to have blinked in later to grab the grenades.
Wonder what Dot showed the Handler about the Apocalypse? Something must have changed with Five's plotting.
Allison's wearing the A + L locket now, the one she said she'd never take off all those years ago, hehe.
Looks like Luther went through and opened every last one of his reports. Can't believe it took this goddamn long for Luther to realise that his adoptive parent is a dickbag. Poor kid.
I guess what kept Luther believing that he was a good leader even after his siblings left was RH giving him missions. With the knowledge that RH sent him to the moon for no apparent reason, even that hope dies. All his sacrifices were for nothing.
So Allison and Luther did do exactly what RH said and never went up to the room again, hence why it's set up exactly as it was all those years ago, down to the drink cans.
So this room is actually in some kind of shed? greenhouse? No idea about the wilted plants on the sides, if you were actively growing plants in there, you'd take the cubby down for sure. Maybe RH boarded it up as soon as he found Allison and Luther in there.
We saw from S01E01 that RH was monitoring their sleep and had cameras in every room to watch their faces as they were being monitored. We can see that he wasn't monitoring their sleep that particular night (no wires to their bedrooms along the floor) but I bet he saw them sneaking off on those cameras, and that's how they were caught.
Aww, Luther's too big and awkward for the tiny space now. And the off brand coke died and went to hell a long time back. But Luther, entirely understandably, is still stuck on what he's lost. "We're not kids anymore." Diego even points out in S01E04 that he didn't leave like the rest of them because he wanted the Academy back how it used to be.
Cha-Cha burning the Commission directive, while thinking about what Hazel said. All of these little flashbacks here are from this same episode: the bit between Cha-Cha turning the gun on him and her in the car is still missing, to be seen in S01E07. As I said previously, I'll do the bulk of the discussion of Hazel and Cha-Cha's timeline over S01E06 and S01E07 in the next breakdown, when we see Hazel's perspective.
Aww, she went to get him doughnuts for dessert cause she knows he likes Griddy's, while she thinks he's off getting dinner. Oof, must feel like a kick in the ribs when she sees Hazel with Agnes.
Diego ties him up and leaves Klaus to it, and he falls straight into a withdrawal flashback, similar to his flashbacks to the mausoleum in S01E04. Except now that he's off drugs, he's got Vietnam to process, not just his crappy childhood.
Huh, Patch and Dave were shot in identical areas. Good icebreaker if they meet up in, I dunno, a ghostly waiting room for the afterlife. Difference being that Klaus got to watch Dave die and Diego didn't get there in time. Still equally shitty for the both of them.
I love how well-timed Diego and Grace's walks are, in order to frame her in the living room doorway as Diego dashes past. It's done so well it almost feels like Diego is hallucinating her. It's the little things, okay?
You can see that this is a different Grace to the absent-minded one that started the season. (It feels that way even in the short scene with Pogo at the end of S01E05.) Not only is she more aware of her actions, she actually wants to leave the house, where previously she didn't (S01E03). And the reason she wants to leave the house? To let her kids know the truth. She's got more guts than Pogo, that's for sure. Ah, but this makes me think of Vanya's theory in S01E03. Is this new Grace an extension of the one who fixed her? Is this really Pogo's unconscious desire to tell the truth? I don't know, but I prefer Diego's theory, that she's evolved beyond her original programming. (I also want to pitch the theory that it was RH who neutered her medical functionality before he died, not caring if the rest of her faculties were affected in the process, whereas Pogo brought her back with a bit more self-determination as well as her full range of abilities.)
So Diego puts aside his vendetta on Patch's behalf to take Grace to the park. That's fucking sweet. I think Patch would have liked that.
Ten fucking hot dogs. Jesus Christ, the dude's got a dumpster for a stomach. And fair enough, he's bloody built, he needs his food. It's just funny imagining little Luther inhaling his food like that - and also disturbing thinking of RH not responding to his pleas for more rations on the moon. Dude should not just be having a dinky little yoghurt pouch for brekky.
Fuck, I am not a fan of the incest, but man do they look good together. And they both look amazing dressed up. Non-mutated, laughing Luther in a suit is A+++. Allison in that beautiful dress with the green lining is A+++. And they dance so damn well!
Moon undertones again with the song. And the fairy lights from the cubby make a reappearance, with a hazy filter to indicate Luther's wishful thinking. Feels like a wedding dance almost. It's silly but heartfelt at the same time, like a combination of both their types of dancing from S01E01 (except Luther is way more suave here. Can I see more of this Luther in S02 please???).
Aha, so the Handler's direct response to what Dot showed her is to send a pneumatic tube directive to Hazel and Cha-Cha, ordering them to protect Harold Jenkins. But Five wouldn't have known about Harold Jenkins if he hadn't stolen the Commission directive regarding him - the very one Dot handed over to Gloria on the Handler's orders. Ugh, my head hurts.
So Hazel being with Agnes is enough to get Cha-Cha to follow through on terminating him. Looking more and more like Cha-Cha had a bit of a crush on him.
So Grace manages to tell Diego at the park that she and Pogo have been lying to all of them. (Is this the same park that Allison and Luther have just left?) We never find out for sure if this version of Diego learnt about Vanya's powers too, but I just wanted to point out how this concluding sequence was edited - Cha-Cha finds out Hazel was directed to kill her, as we watch Five write the directive up in Gloria's typewriter. Now Diego listens to Grace's confession about how Pogo and Grace have been lying - as we watch Vanya find RH's book under Leonard's bed and read it. It seems the implication is that Grace does tell Diego about Vanya and not just RH.
Right, let me try and read this book now.
the title at the top of the page.
"Seven has been [page cut off] method of safety for herself, the other children and the world." "The power she exhibits thus far seems to be unlimited (note: word underlined), uncontrollable (note: word underlined) and dangerous (note: word underlined). It is for the greater good that her abilities should remain a secret. "Methods of limiting her power-" "- Mood-altering medication to keep her sedated." "- Suppress confidence - for independent [unreadable] that cannot be suppressed."
Klaus finally sees Dave. Sad that the dude has been waiting to see Klaus without moving on. Also I really wish they didn't retcon this in the next few seconds.
The Handler looks genuinely sad that Five's double-crossed her again. Well, that grenade probably obliterated the soft spot she had for him.
Five owes a debt, huh? Who to, if not the Handler?
Is Gloria dead now, I wonder? We know the Handler makes it despite being grenaded point-blank, but that perk might just be for high-ranking staff. Five also kills the desk guy outside the briefcase storage room with his second grenade.
Hazel and Cha-Cha's case got TKO'd by Klaus, and Five's blown up all but one of the ones that weren't in use. So only active time assassins have suitcases at this point. And they won't receive communications until the pneumatic tubes are repaired. Goddamn, Five is a one-man army, took out the Commission in no time flat.
Since we observe time going backwards when Five travels back to 8.15am on Wednesday 29th March indicates that there is only one active timeline. Otherwise, there'd continue to be a timeline where Five doesn't arrive back in 2019.
Hi! This is a little list of materials that I have used throughout studying Japanese so far that I felt were useful or interesting. They range from stuff fit for beginners to stuff for advanced learners. These are just my personal recommendations and thoughts about the materials, so feel free to elaborate your own feelings about them, or provide alternate materials. I provided links to all of the websites, and all of the books are from either the US Amazon page or Japanese Amazon page (any books that seems hard to obtain via the US amazon I posted with the Japanese Amazon) I am not recommending you buy them from Amazon if you don’t want to, but just for ease of browsing the related items, I posted those pages. I tried to list these in order of what I felt was most impactful to my Japanese learning, but just take that with a grain of salt. I’m providing a couple pictures on imgur of my books and materials, mostly as a “wow look at all of my books” boast. Shameful. There are a couple things in the pictures that are not introduced. Those are things I felt weren’t worth investing time in, after taking the picture. Lastly, I am an iPhone user, so the apps I introduce are for iPhone. I'm sorry, android users... If you have any questions, let me know ----- Coscom Online Text This is the main text that I used to learn Japanese. I’m surprised it's not talked about here that often. I wish I could explain all that this online-text has to offer. First things first: It’s in English, and I credit this as the main thing for helping me understand the fundamentals of Japanese grammar, as well as progressing through to intermediate. There are several “corners” within the website, from Audio and text dealing with various topics about Japan, Hiragana and Katakana exercises, Basic word lists and exercises, Frequent updates with new information, etc. The most important one though is “Building Up Conversation” Through this course of over 50 lessons, one is taken through the super basics of Japanese up to learning about the conditional form and te-form, volitional form, Expressing purpose, honorifics, expressing effort, etc etc etc I mean I can’t list them all here, but just with this course I am 100% confident you will be able to converse in Japanese. I’m not trying to sell it to you, but I urge you to at least check out the website. Cannot recommend this enough. Great for anyone from complete beginner to intermediate learner. The thing that really sold me was that it seems geared towards adults. With Genki and such it seems much more “college student” and “group-work” based, but this text is BUILT to be self-studied. Wanikani This is hands down the best purchase I made in my time learning Japanese thus far. A SRS system based around Kanji that introduced them through radical, then kanji, then vocabulary containing said kanji and the various readings it has. It took me 4 years to reach the final “level”, because I didn’t want to rush, and just had so much other stuff going on. But I can confidently say that this program, while only one of many (and admittedly I have only tried this method) was THE catalyst for my Japanese learning from toying around with hiragana to totally recognizing and reading kanji all over the place. Very very highly recommended. I know lots of people are all about RTK here, and I don’t have anything to say for or against that, having not done it, but I love that Wanikani taught me how to READ. (In the past year or so I’ve become comfortable reading regular novels and essays and news, and cannot express enough the joy of simply reading. I feel like I’m 6 again!) Midori (iOS English-Japanese-English dictionary. No Android version! :( ) This dictionary continues to astound me. It often has entries that even the 大辞林 does not have! Bookmarks are a breeze, and you can see which words have been bookmarked already, can be bookmarked into multiple lists, and all of these bookmarks can be studied as flashcards, including with an SRS option. Not only these, but example sentences attached to the entries can ALSO be bookmarked and studied in the same way. Several search options via handwriting, radical, SKIP system, etc. Wild-card search is also possible. Searching by English or Japanese is possible, as well as searching via “romaji”. It also has an insane amount of Kanji entries, including animated diagrams for every. single. one.This is THE dictionary to have if you have iOS. Among everything I will introduce here, this is the one thing any iPhone user MUST buy IMHO. Making out in Japanese Series 1 Making out in Japanese Series 2 These two books are full of casual phrases from first meetings to going out and partying to dating to having sex --quite graphic, at that-- to getting married and getting pregnant to meeting parents to breaking up. I mean what else are you learning Japanese for?? The kind of silly chapter order aside (the list in the previous sentence is pretty much the chapter order), the content is very good and very casual. This isn’t stuff you would say at work or with your boss, but with friends or romantic interests, people your (adult) age. It has the English on one side and romaji + kanji on the other. It also denotes what would be more suitable for a woman or man to say, as well as extra explanation on the nuance for many phrases (A classic being the marriage proposal “Would you mind making my miso-soup every morning?”) There are two books. I think the “more” making out in Japanese is a little more up-to-date, in not a little more liberal in its content. If you can find it around it’s fun to look at from time to time, and definitely helped me out in the beginning of my studies when I was tired of saying です、ます all the time. A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar Three very great dictionaries of grammar. It’s written in English with ample examples and explanation. The thing I like most is the vast majority of entries include a section of “related” grammar points that have the same general idea, but differ in nuance. It goes into impressive depth in describing the differences. The Basic and Intermediate one are indispensable I feel, not only because of the content but because of the appendices attached, explaining things like metaphors and newspaper grammar and compound words and counters, etc. The Advanced one, unlike the first two, uses examples from the real world as opposed to the author’s own writing, which gives them a little more weight. (These grammar points DO exist! haha). The other nice point of the Advanced one is that the reference list of entries in the back contains ALL the entries from all three books, with page numbers. There is also an English-meaning reference section where you can look up an English turn of phrase and see if there is a Japanese equivalent. Definitely recommended for anyone seriously learning Japanese. 日本語を楽しく読む本 (Fun Reading in Japanese) I’m surprised I don't see these books mentioned here that often (or at all?) As the name suggests, they are work books that are made to make reading Japanese fun. Ideally they would be used in a class setting but can be used alone as well. The first book is short exercises and word puzzles, with the latter half becoming actual stories. The 2nd and 3rd book take existing texts and abridge them, and provide reading exercises and problems to solve based on the readings. (the unabridged forms of the texts are listed in the back of the book). The texts themselves are all fairly fun to read, and I credit these books as the main bridge for me between studying from textbooks to reading real books in Japanese. Absolutely highly recommend them to anyone interested in reading Japanese, but isn’t quiiite ready/confident to tackle a complete novel. They are written entirely in Japanese. Japanese Stories w/ audio recordings Hukumusume is a website full of kids stories and things that mostly a young girl would be interested in, but this page has a Japanese story for EVERYDAY OF THE YEAR, and most of them are accompanied with a reading or two. Most of them are relatively short, and it's great for a nice little break from "text" studying. The readers read the stories at a natural pace, so they are great to get a good feel of the rhythm of the language, as well as pick up a bunch of vocab! New Penguin Parallel Text Japanese This is the next book that I credit with me gaining courage to read complete Japanese novels. Parallel text means the left page is a translated English version of the right page, which is the original Japanese. They are all short stories of similar length but varying degrees of difficulty. The selection is excellent, and each story has a very unique atmosphere. The authors also range from famous people like Murakami Haruki and Yoshimoto Banana to those not quite known. Kodansha's Kanji Learner's Dictionary the kanji in this dictionary are ordered using the SKIP system, which is a way to order kanji based on their general structure and stroke-count. Pretty innovative. The kanji from grades 1-6 are denoted in red, and there are also many kanji from the name list as well. Each entry for the Joyo kanji has a stroke order. Each entry also has various words included that use said kanji. A nice thing about this dictionary is that it includes words that don’t START with that kanji, but simply include it. (some Japanese kanji dictionaries only include words that start with the kanji entry. Very limiting). The word lists are also divided up into the various meanings of the kanji. I know many dictionaries on phones now have all sorts of features like this, but I personally like the feel of a real book sometimes. It’s strictly vocab though, so there isn’t any help with the usages of the words listed. It can be useful in discovering different meanings of kanji, so you can figure out why 卒業 (graduation) and 脳卒中 (stroke) both have 卒. Or why 先週 means the previous week, but これから先 means something in the future. Kodansha's Kanji Synonyms Guide This is an interesting dictionary. It divides kanji up into groups (with English names), and then provides example vocab and and meanings about their subtle, or not so subtle, differences. I often find myself confused about words that when looked up in an Japanese-English dictionary have the same meanings (investigation, climate, temperature). This guide allows you to look up those key words and then see how the kanji used are different between usages (a criminal investigation, an investigation into a problem, simply searching for something, etc) Ninjal online collocation search engine This website is listed in Koichi’s article on Tofugu about what he uses to study Japanese. This website is insane. You type in a word and click to its page, and it searches a huge corpus of web pages for that word and divides and ranks them in different ways based on their usage and frequency. So you can type in a new word that maybe you’ve never seen before, like 乖離 for example, and see immediate that three idiomatic ways that 乖離 might be used is 乖離を埋める , 乖離が生じる and 現実の乖離. This is not to say that these are the only ways to use this word, but that through looking at a vast amount of examples, these types of usages occur time and time again, so they must be idiomatic. This website is exceptionally useful when you encounter a new word but aren’t sure how it is supposed to be used in normal language. Monokakido's dictionary app (iPhone… sorry Android!) This app is a parent app, through which you purchase the main content, the main content being DICTIONARIES. They have a plethora of dictionaries available.
J-J dictionaries, the NHK Pitch-Accent dictionary (with audio recordings!), Japanese thesaurus, Old Japanese dictionaries
English-Japanese/Japanese-English Dictionaries, straight up regular English dictionaries, Chinese-Japanese dictionaries, Korean-Japanese, French-Japanese, German-Japanese, Italian-Japanese, Spanish-Japanese, Portuguese-Japanese, Russia-Japanese.
I personally have bought 6 (some through sales): the Daijirin (standard massive J-J dictionary), Shinmeikai (J-J dictionary with “new” (i.e. somewhat more nuanced and or relatable) definitions to words, plus pitch-accent entries), Sanseido (Very simple definitions), Ruigigo (Japanese thesaurus), NHK Pitch Accent Dictionary (appendices are also very informative), and Sanseido’s Kobun Dictionary (able to also search for a Kobun word via “new” Japanese. Wowza). One amazing feature is that you can search a word via every dictionary you have purchased and swap through the different dictionaries very easily to compare entries. very nerdy indeed. If I would recommend anyone to anyone, it is the NHK Pitch accent one, and the Shinmeikai. The others I don’t use as much hahahaa….. Nihongo Kentei Official Workbooks Nihongo Kentei Official Practice Test This test is made for Japanese natives. The Nihongo Kentei is a sister test of the much more known Kanji Kentei. Like the Kanji Kentei, it is separated into several difficulty levels, the lowest being 7, up to 1. While the Kanji Kentei is focused mainly on Kanji (stroke order, radical, reading, homonyms, etc), the Nihongo Kentei tests the examinees mastery of Japanese on a more general level. That being said, there is no listening, speaking, or writing portion. The test is like the JLPT in that it is largely multiple choice (though some questions ask the examinee to look at some word in context written in kana and change it to kanji, meaning physically writing the kanji). However, I think it’s not only more practical than the JLPT, it is also significantly harder because it tests many more aspects about Japanese, including correct Kanji usage in words and synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, as well as keigo and idioms. I read somewhere that Level 7 of the Nihongo Kentei would be JLPT3, and Level 4 would be JLPT 1 level, but they cannot be compared so readily. Nihongo Kentei Level 7 is made for 3rd grade elementary school level, and level 4 is for middle school graduates, while level 2 and 1 are for college graduates and professionals, respectively. Nihongo Kentei Texts These books are all in Japanese, and are in-depth looks at Japanese, with particular focus on the 6 areas (Kanji meaning, Kanji usage, Vocab breadth, Vocab meaning, Grammar, Keigo) that are tested in the tests. Frankly these are not necessary to buy. But they do have some interesting insight into Japanese as a language and it’s structure. 言葉の歳時記 This isn’t a study book, it’s just a regular book ahah. It’s a “devotional”, meaning there is an entry for each day of the year. The author is Kindaichi Haruhiko, a Japanese linguist from a linguist family. He is famous (?) for his anecdotal approach to writing about the language, so rather than saying “Japanese must be this” he often writes in a way that sounds like “isn’t it fascinating that some Japanese people say this, and others say that?” and really treats it as a living, morphing language. Each entry is 1 bunko-page long, and very often deals with some seasonal subject, or seasonal word. The topics range from Japanese festivals to various Japanese dialects to Japanese nature (birds and flowers are recurring themes), to musings about the connection between words. Not for beginner readers, but definitely an interesting read and every single time I read an entry I find out some new nugget of linguistic knowledge. Great for anyone interested in Japanese poetry, culture, anthropology, and linguistic カタカナーシ This is a card game. Each card has a numbered list of 6 katakana words on one side, and a random number of 1 to 6 on the back side. From the whole stack of cards the first player draws a card and looks at the list of Katakana words (not showing anyone else). The number on the back of the next card in the pile determines which katakana word the player will choose. The play must then describe, entirely in Japanese, the katakana word, WITHOUT USING ANY OTHER KATAKANA WORD AT ALL. so if you have モニター you cannot say “パソコン。コンピューター。スクリーン。テレビ。” and so on. The first person to guess correctly what the player is describing receives that card. The first player to collect 8 cards wins. There are also challenge cards, such as “in a rap-style” and “with no daku-on” (meaning, no sounds with the “ mark like がぎぐげご or the ° mark like ぱぴぷぺぽ) Very fun game and forces you to rely on your “true” Japanese knowledge. 舊漢字 (Kyuukanji) This book deals with OLD KANJI. After WWII, the government was like “let’s make Kanji easier” so they simplified a ton of kanji to make them easier to teach. However, this means that any books you find that were printed right at that time and any time before will all be printed using at least some of these kanji. The book doesn’t cover every single kanji that was changed -- some where altered only by one stroke, or just the angle of the stroke -- but focuses on those that are fairly to significantly different than their new counterparts （ex 旧⇔舊 体⇔體 ). What’s more, just for kicks the author of the book included diagrams to aid in writing these older kanji. And to top it all off, the entire book is written using 歴史的仮名遣い, so you will see things like だらう and 思ふ. Each entry is two pages long, and most go into the structure of the kanji, and its origin. Essential for any kanji-nerd. Z-KAI Kobun Series Along my Japanese learning journey I found out about Kobun and decided to give it a go. Kobun is old Japanese. After researching a bit and purchasing a few workbooks on it, I think this is the best best for learning kobun from scratch. The texts are all in Japanese, as they are meant for high schoolers studying for college entrance exams. I actually started (and am still slowly working through) 古文上達 45, but plan to do the other two books soon. They are not related, though I believe starting with the 入門 or the 上達４５ would be your best bet for learning. The merit with these is that each chapter introduces a very small grammar point or vocab list, and then immediately has the reader start reading Kobun. There are copious notes throughout each entry to aid in your reading, as well as exercises to guide you in your understanding of the text. The answer booklet attached has a complete translation of the text, as well as a summary, and some cultural points about the time period. I would not recommend this book to anyone not fairly confident in their Japanese reading ability, but is hands down the best thing out there to get your hands dirty with Kobun. Z-KAI Kanbun Series Inevitably, I also became interested in Kanbun. Kanbun is an old Japanese style that is written entirely in Kanji (so before hiragana/katakana). These are the only books I haven’t yet used that I am introducing, but like the Kobun books I introduced before, they introduce Kanbun and some history of it, then the first lessons introduces a foundational grammar point, then immediately has the reading tacking some real Kanbun. Again, it's just being lost for the first several chapters, but as one progresses through the lessons, and through re-reading the past entries, one becomes able to read the Kanbun confidently (or at least, I hope. It looks pretty dang similar to the Kobun one’s though so it should be okay) ----- Anyway, I've been wanting to do this for a while because I'm a nut for Japanese learning materials and felt that these really helped me learn.
A history of the Peckham Boys - from the Giggs era to Zone 2/Hitsquad (Part 1)
Part 1 of the history of Peckham in south London. From the early Peckham Boys era to Zone 2. Peckham is one of the most legendary ends in London, and probably had the biggest impact on UK Rap music from the 2000s onwards. The history of the Peckham Boys goes back decades, and everything posted here barely scratches the surface of their history.
The Peckham Boys gang originated in the estates of Peckham (SE15), in the borough of Southwark. A large area of Peckham - between the town centre and Burgess Park - is dominated by council estates (public housing complexes). The main cluster is called the 'Five Estates' and consists of the North Peckham Estate, Gloucester Grove Estate, Willowbrook Estate, Camden Estate and Sumner Estate:
Nearby are the Goldsmith Estate, Bells Gardens Estate (Yellow Brick), Acorn Estate, Friary Estate, Ledbury Estate, Southampton Way Estate and several others. The Peckham 'frontline' is the area around Peckham High Street, including local landmarks like Peckham Pulse and the Crackerjack store. The estates of Peckham were notorious and suffered from problems like underinvestment, deprivation, unemployment and crime. The area was termed 'Vietnam' due to the level of violence there, which is the origin of the hood nickname 'Pecknarm' (Peckham + Vietnam).
Evolution of the Peckham Boys Originally, several of the major Peckham estates had their own individual sets: the Peckham Grove Boys, the North Peckham Boys, the Gloucester Boys, the Yellow Brick Massive, the Outlaws and the Acorn Boys. The earliest sets date back to the 1970s, and are the origins of the Peckham Boys gang. By the 1990s those sets had evolved, and the two main sets in Peckham were the Firehouse Crew and the Younger Peckham Boys - also known as Pecky Man Soldiers. Other groups of Peckham included the yardie sets the Sunrise Crew and the Spanglers. Collectively these sets were known as the 'Peckham Boys' . There was sometimes friction between the Peckham sets but it was never deep, and they were united whenever opposition tried to slide on Peckham territory. Alliances and rivalries Peckham's main war was with the Ghetto Boys, a gang headquartered in New Cross and controlling Lewisham borough. Their other major conflict was with Brixton. The decades-long Peckham v Ghetto and Peckham v Brixton conflicts were some of the longest and bloodiest gang wars that London has seen. Peckham's main allies were Dulwich (Circle Crew) and Walworth (Wooly Road), and they often used to roll as one. Legendary members YPB/PMS members included the boss Mad X, Tipsy, Timer, Splash, Joker, Titch, Timer, Rampage, Rage, Temps, Twitch and others. Firehouse Crew members included Rhymer, Mixer, Major, Beans, Breaker, Player, Skipper, Fame and many others. Peckham yardies included the likes of Kirk, Bigga and a bag of others. The Peckham-Circle linkup included names like Mad Danny and Big Lee, legends in both Peckham and Dulwich. It goes without saying that there's many more names from that era of Peckham legends.
In the early 2000s the Peckham Boys had consolidated as a single gang and its sets were structured by age. The most active sets by now were:
the Peckham Boys (PB) set - youngins of the PMS/Firehouse generation
their youngers, the Younger Peckham Boys (YPB) set
their youngers, the Younger Younger Peckham Boys (YYPB) set
Prominent PB members included Knuckles, Raver, X-Fighter, Crimer, Rocker, Giggler, Breaker, Glamour and many others. Prominent YPB members included Killa Ki, Diamond, Timmy, Tiny Ryder, Young Snap, Motion, Taz and many others. Below are very brief examples of what went down in Peckham during this period. Peckham nightclub shootings Peckham had been notorious for gang violence for decades, and this reputation continued into 2000s. National headlines were made in July 2000 when up to 9 people were shot outside the Chicago's nightclub on Peckham High Street:
The nightclub was shut down soon afterwards. Giggs refers to this nightclub in the 2007 track Greaziest Freestyle: "Don't think I'm coming here to rave if you see me 'round the back, big strap inside Chicagos" Death of Damilola Taylor Peckham made international headlines in November 2000 with the murder of Damilola Taylor, a 10-year old boy that lived on the North Peckham Estate. He was stabbed to death by two 16-year old brothers & members of the Untouchables, a small but old set within Peckham:
2003 Peckham Civil War Even though the Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys were involved in a multi-generational war, there were some instances of Peckham and Ghetto members that fw each other. The most prominent example at that time was Spender from Peckham (a younger brother of Giggler) and Younger Kraver from Ghetto (a younger brother of Kraver) - they used to roll together and make money. That type of association was rare though, as the two gangs remained at war with each other. In 2003 the first 'civil war' in Peckham kicked off because the Peckham Boys were divided over the presence of Mender. Mender was from Lewisham sides but defected from the Ghetto Boys and started rolling with Peckham. Some YPB members trusted him and some didn't - claiming that he was still rolling with the Ghetto Boys and even robbed a Peckham member. This caused tension between Peckham members, including stabbings. In September 2003, Mender was stabbed to death while posted outside the Old Kent Road McDonald's by some YPB members:
Death of Tipsy Peckham legend Tipsy was released from prison after doing 3 years of a 10 year sentence for firearms offences. Soon afterwards in July 2004 he was rammed off his motorcycle by gunmen on Camberwell High Street, who then stood over him and gave him five headshots. His murder remains unsolved to this day:
Shootout in the financial district In October 2004 the Urban Music Awards was held at the Barbican Centre. Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys members were local and had a shootout outside the venue, in which 18 shots were fired. This was the first ever shootout within London's 'Square Mile' financial district, one of the world's financial centres:
The Peckham Boys were also known as Black Gang due to the gang's association with the colour black. From the mid-2000s, the main Peckham sets also began going by other aliases:
the Peckham Boys (PB) → Spare No 1 (SN1)
the Younger Peckham Boys (YPB) → Shoot Instant (SI)
the Younger Younger Peckham Boys (YYPB) → Pecknarm Young Gunners (PYG)
Giggs release from prison & first SN1 mixtape In early 2005, SN1 member Giggler - now shortened to Giggs - was released from Brixton Prison after serving a couple years for firearm possession. He had dabbled in music in the past, but his jailtime made him determined to take music seriously. Not long afterwards, SN1 released their first project: the 'Bloody Raw' mixtape.
At this time Giggs took part in an SN1 block freestyle in Peckham for the Rap DVD. During the clip Giggs raps verses from the 'Bloody Raw' mixtape. The footage is famous for handguns being shown, and for Giggs not flinching when a handgun is fired:
At a time when Grime was the dominant sound of music on the streets, Giggs's style was very different for its time. Death of Ruthless In August 2005, four YPB members aged between 14 and 16 - Bertz, Tiny Ryder, Timmy and Diamond - stormed a christening on the Wood Dene Estate in order to rob the attendees (and pay back a debt to Big Larry, a Peckham older). During the robbery Bertz shot his gun in the air, and a ricochet bullet hit a woman in the head killing her:
A couple of weeks later, Bertz ambushed Ruthless (an 18-year old high ranking female in Peckham) and stabbed her to death for disrespecting him. Bertz was given a 30-year prison sentence for the two murders. Ryder, Timmy and Diamond were given indeterminate manslaughter sentences for the christening incident, and were deported after their sentences:
Ruthless was a loved person in Peckham. In this 2006 cameraphone footage you can see young Peckham members pay their respects at her grave. In early 2008, Giggs released the 'Ruthless Freestyle' titled in her honour (but more on that track later).
SN1 drop 'The Beginning' mixtape In early 2006, Giggs and other SN1 members dropped the 'SN1: The Beginning' mixtape. This is the first mixtape in which production was handled by their in-house production team at Unit 10 Studios. Their dark sound would go on to have a large impact on the future of UK Rap. A few classics:
Hot September for Ghetto v Peckham In September 2006, a group of up to 40 Shoot Instant (YPB) members went on a rideout to the Woodpecker Estate in New Cross - the main Ghetto Boys block. A brother of Ghetto members Smiley and Kraver ended up getting shot and stabbed to death. Another man was attacked in nearby Deptford but survived:
That murder on Woodpecker remains unsolved, as did five other murders on the Woodpecker Estate within the past 5 years at the time (5 unsolved murders in 5 years on a single block - when people say the 2000s in London was hot, they aren't lying):
Ghetto v Peckham war causes Peckham schools to be evacuated Later in September 2006, police received 'specific intelligence' that the Ghetto Boys would carry out drive-by shootings at Peckham schools at the end of the school day (in order to smoke YPB members as they left). Police decided to immediately evacuate Peckham Academy and Harris Girls Academy in the middle of the school day, before the plot could be carried out. The schools reopened in the following week:
Giggs drops the 'Hollow Grind' mixtape In 2006, Giggs and brother Joe Grind dropped the 'Hollow Grind' mixtape. This is the first of four collaborative mixtapes that Giggs dropped between 2006 and 2009. The mixtape includes several classics:
SN1 and OTB (Wooly Road) collaborated on the track 'Up In The Shoobz', and released a music video for the song. The video was shown on Channel U (a channel for underground music videos) but was blocked from the mainstream channels like MTV Base:
By this time, Giggs and the SN1 movement had a buzz in the streets of London. Giggs was trying to make moves in the music industry but he was blackballed by radio and television (thanks to the police) because of his gang ties/content. He refused to water-down his content in order to blow. Giggs released his frustration on Hollow Grind in 'Fuck Da Industry':
Audio: Giggs - F Da Industry | Track 11 - "Ima give it to 'em raw, so fuck the industry. They won't let us in? We'll be kicking in the door"
Peckham Boys acknowledged by Time Out Magazine In November 2006, Time Out magazine named the Peckham Boys as one of the 100 most influential people or organisations in London: Time Out Magazine - London's 100 top movers and shakers 2006 Time Out magazine is a major international publication, with a circulation of millions, so their inclusion of the Peckham Boys was a big deal. A good demonstration of how 'big' the Peckham Boys were, even in mainstream society.
At this point, prominent members of Shoot Instant (YPB) included Snap Capone, Killa Ki, Nuttie, Butch, Blacks, Billy Da Kid, Taz, Prover, Tem, Capo, Ross etc. Prominent members of PYG (YYPB) included Shocks, Tiny Boost, Young Spend, Young Lap, Jim Jones, Young Killa, Young Butch etc.
Deaths of Javarie Crighton and Michael Dosunmu In February 2007, 21-year old Javarie Crighton and 15-year old Michael Dosunmu were murdered in internal Peckham dispute over money. Members of a group that had successfully pulled off bank robberies were arguing about the split of the proceeds. Michael Dosunmu was shot dead in his bed in a case of mistaken identity, the gunmen had meant to get his older brother (who they believe didn't give them their fair share):
Giggs drops the 'Hollowman Meetz Blade' mixtape In early 2007, Giggs dropped the 'Hollowman Meetz Blade' mixtape in collaboration with Blade Brown. This mixtape continued to advance Giggs' buzz in the streets, and included several classic UK gang/rap tracks. The mixtape is considered a classic in the UK scene:
Sidebar: 'Hollow Meetz Blade' and 'Sink A Boat' were referenced by 67 in their 2016 track 'Lets Lurk': "Like Hollow Meetz Blade, manaman got guns that'll sink down a boat". Peckham boss Raver jailed In July 2007, Raver (SN1) was caught in possession of a Mac-10 submachine gun, 3 handguns, 2 silencers, 379 rounds of ammunition and thousands of pounds worth of drugs. Raver was a Peckham boss and very close to Giggs. Raver is referred to as "Carlton" in Giggs' lyrics. He received a minimum 10-year sentence:
Young Spend jailed for shooting In October 2007, 14-year old member Young Spend (PYG) shot a man in Peckham for disrespecting him. He was convicted of attempted murder the following year and jailed on an indeterminate sentence:
New Cross shootout changes UK legal history In October 2007 there was a shootout widely reported involve Ghetto Boys and Peckham Boys members. During the shootout, a Polish nurse was hit by a stray bullet and died:
The police caught Ghetto member Toner - one participant in the shootout - but they didn't catch the person who actually fired the fatal shot. Toner did not snitch on the person he was having a shootout with. The Supreme Court of decided to convict Toner of murder as if he fired the fatal shot, even though he didn't. In English law, this landmark ruling is known as Regina v Armel Gnango At the same time in SE London, the Woolwich Boys shot dead a man in his car - because he answered "Peckham" when they asked him where he's from:
In Greenwich Borough, Woolwich were beefing heavily with Thamesmead (allies of Peckham). Shoot Instant & PYG drop the 'Blackgang Broadway Vol.1' mixtape In 2007, Shoot Instant and their youngers PYG dropped their first project together: the 'Blackgang Broadway Vol.1' mixtape. With SN1 (Peckham bosses) making noise in the music game, this is the first time that their youngins made their mark. Two tracks from the mixtape:
Giggs drops the 'Ard Bodied' mixtape In December 2007, Giggs (SN1) dropped the 'Ard Bodied' mixtape in collaboration with Dubz. The mixtape included 'Talking The Hardest' and 'Pain is the Essence', which are considered all-time UK anthems, alongside multiple hood classics. A selection of classic Ard Bodied tracks:
Ard Bodied is generally considered the most influential mixtape to drop in the UK scene. It was the first time that UK 'gang' rap (Road Rap) broke into the mainstream, and marked the shift in general popularity from Grime to UK Rap:
Skepta tweet in March 2012: "Still... Till today, Giggs & Dubz's#ArdBodiedmixtape is a uk classic."
Don Strapzy tweet in May 2012: "Free Giggs. Listenin 2 Ard Bodied. I remember this tape shit inspired me to start Rappin. SN1 n dat whole movement der done a lot for UK Rap"
Megaman (So Solid Crew) tweet in November 2012: "All day today i hadARD-BODIEDmixtape pushing... GIGGs shut down UK quickly sssh#GameChanger"
Burna Boy tweet in June 2014: "Dubz/Giggs - Pain is the Essence. This is a song that saw me through the darkest nd hardest times of my life."
Afro B tweet in February 2015: "Giggs - talking the hardest will never die. He don't even need to make another tune. UK Rap general"
It's hard to underestimate the impact Ard Bodied had on the culture. It had youngins in every block wanting to rap that gang shit and rep their block through music. From this point, UK 'gang' rap (Road Rap) - the foundation of the UK Drill scene - started to take off in London.
In 2008 the Shoot Instant set split into two branches:
The S.I. members based on the Aylesbury Estate (Snap Capone etc) remained as S.I
The S.I. members based in the Peckham blocks (Killa Ki etc) formed OPB
S.I. and OPB moved as two different sets within the Peckham Boys, but they were all still brothers.
End of the Peckham Boys v Ghetto Boys war For a few years the Ghetto Boys had undergone major internal divisions, including the murder of leader Sparkz in 2006 by another Ghetto member. These events caused a big shift in the street politics of South London, with Lewisham dividing and fighting amongst itself. By 2008 the decades-long beef between the Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys was over. The end of the beef was publicly 'announced' by Giggs when he dropped the 'Ruthless Freestyle' in early 2008:
That was a major moment in South London street history, with maybe the bloodiest gang war London has seen officially coming to a close. From that moment, it became safe to play Giggs's music publicly in Lewisham 😂
Young Adz (DBE) tweet in April 2012: "When Giggs sed 'Ghetto vs Peckham I aint on dat dead beef' everybody in da hood starting banging Giggs in public lol"
Giggs drops the 'Best of Giggs 2' compilation mixtape In early 2008, Giggs released the 'Best of Giggs 2' mixtape. The mixtape is a compilation of classic Giggs verses from 2005-2007, alongside some new releases. The last track is one of Giggs' best freestyles:
Giggs is banned by police from Lil Wayne concert The Metropolitan Police were determined to stop Giggs career in music. Despite being the hottest artist in the streets, venues weren't allowed to book him, and television & radio were pressured not to play his music. In early 2008, Lil Wayne was arguably the hottest rapper in the world, and in March he had a headline concert in London. Giggs was booked as the opening act for Lil Wayne, and the sold-out crowd were there to see Giggs as much as they were to see Wayne. At the last minute, the police blocked Giggs from performing. The crowd was so angry that they started moving unruly. Lil Wayne was hit with a bottle and stormed off stage, cancelling the show. This footage making shockwaves around the rap world:
SI, OPB and PYG drop the 'Blackgang Broadway Vol.2' mixtape In 2008, SI/OPB and PYG continued making movements in music, releasing the 'Blackgang Broadway Vol.2' mixtape. The mixtape included the classic track 'Gunshot Riddim', which included 8 Bar verses from 10 different members:
Peckham 'Gunshot Riddim' v Brixton 'Bullet Riddim' With the war between Ghetto and Peckham over, the war between Brixton (OC/GAS) and Peckham (SI/PYG) started cracking in 2008. That summer there were back-and-forth shootings between OC and SI members. In one incident, OC rode out on Walworth Road and caught Snap Capone (SI) and Butch (SI) slipping. Snap and Butch ran into the Costcutter store and OC shot at them from the outside, but ended up killing a civilian. That made big media headlines:
Not long afterwards, OC/GAS released a response track to SI/PYG - Gunshot Riddim in which OC members mocked Snap and Butch for running in the above incident: "remember what we flew in Wooly Road" ... "had you running in the shop like you're buying suttin" ... "my dargs only run when they see the riot van" (etc): OC/GAS - Bullet Riddim Gunshot Riddim v Bullet Riddim was the start of the back-and-forth diss music videos between Brixton (OC/GAS) and Peckham (SI/PYG). Cracking on the streets and over Youtube. As I stated before, this era was the origins of what we now call the UK Drill scene. SN1 and Boomblast release 'Welcome 2 Boomzville' mixtape In the run-up to Giggs' debut album, SN1 released the 'Welcome 2 Boomzville' mixtape - entirely produced by SN1 producer Boomblast. The mixtape included various street classics:
Giggs releases his debut album On 4 August 2008, Giggs released his debut album 'Walk In Da Park' through his independent label SN1 Records. The album cemented the rise of Giggs within the UK scene after his run of mixtapes (Hollow Grind, Hollow Meets Blade & Ard Bodied) made him king in the streets.
Ghetto Boys and Peckham Boys linkup In August 2008, Killa Ki (OPB) arranged the linkup of Peckham Boys and Ghetto Boys members for the Notting Hill Carnival. Up to 180 members from both gangs linked up and started making their way to the carnival, but the police stopped them before they could reach it:
Killa Ki addressed the Ghetto-Peckham linkup in the track Krept & Konan feat. SI (Killa Ki, Snap Capone, Nuttie) - Let Em Ave It: "I organised Ghetto linking Narm, I made history. Darg I'm a boss in the Narm. It was a South East Link Up, anyhow we got Carni it would've been nuts" The following video includes news reports and footage of the Ghetto-Peckham linkup:
Flying squad detain Peckham robbery members It was previously mentioned that Javarie Crighton and Michael Dosunmu were murdered in 2007 during a dispute between members of the Peckham armed robbery team. In September 2008, the police arrested seven members of the gang, including the likes of Moaner. Police suspected them of committing 120 robberies and called their criminal enterprise "prolific". It took 150 police officers to conduct the raids on the Peckham Boys and arrest 7 members:
Giggs becomes first ever winner of the 'Best International Act' at the BET Awards In Autumn, Giggs was nominated for as 'Best International Act' at the BET Hip hop Awards alongside grime artists Skepta, Chip and Ghetts (much more established/mainstream artists):
Fans voted for the winner and Giggs won, becoming the first ever artist to win the 'Best International Act'. This was a big deal, because despite the police applying serious pressure to stop Giggs, he was still able to rise to the top. It was also another demonstration of the fall of Grime and the rise of UK Rap. Here's a video of Tim Westwood congratulating Giggs for the win:
Even though Giggs won the BET Award, when he came back to the UK the pressure applied by the police intensified. In frustration, Giggs released the 'Last Straw' freestyle in which he directly dissed Ray Paul (BBC executive) and Jasmine Dotwala (MTV executive):
Younger PYG members start releasing music In late 2008, the younger generation of PYG members started releasing music videos. The young members included Tiny Snap, Young Size, M1, Stigs, CS and others. Most of the bars at this time were disses towards Brixton's OC (now 410) and GAS (now 150/GBG):
_______________________________________________________________ From 2009 onwards, the beef between Peckham (SI/PYG) and Brixton (OC/GAS) became the biggest story on roads and in the UK Rap scene. For the Brixton perspective, check The History of 410. Part 1 is a demonstration of how Peckham gained the notorious reputation it has, and the environment that PYG and Zone 2 members grew up in. The next part covering the PYG and Zone 2 eras will drop in one week. I'll cover Peckham from 2009-present in Part 2 - including what happened to SN1/SI/PYG members and the rise of the Zone 2 generation.
Posting the script to a Simpsons episode everyday till I get bored or forget. Day 5. S1, ep5
Do I smell cupcakes?
Ooh! Do I ever! -Uh-uh, Homer.
Lisa's making these for her teacher. Ah. Say no more.
Yum! Don't mind if l do.
Oh, man! Keep your greasy mitts outta there.
These are for Lisa's class.
It's Mrs. Hoover's birthday.
you know, there are names for people like you.
No, there aren't.
Teacher's pet, apple polisher, butt kisser--
You're saying "buttkisser" like it's a bad thing.
Well, you see, boy, it never hurts to grease the wheels a little. I'm not greasing the wheels, Dad. I like my teacher. Sure, Lis. You see how it works, Bart? A cupcake here, a good grade there. Dad, I get good grades 'cause I'm smart and I pay attention and I study hard. Yeah, right, Lisa. It's the three roads to success, Bart: Work, brains and hmm-- Oh, brother.
Uh-oh, school bus. Gotta go.
Yo, Bart dude!
Hey, can you believe it, man? My sister here made a whole pile up cupcakes to butter up her teacher, and she won't give anybody else even one measly little crumb. That's bad news, man. Here, Otto. I made an extra one for you.
Oh, thanks, little lady.
Better let me hold these, Lis.
you sniveling toad! you little egg sucker!
Tell me more.
Back-scratcher. Foot-licker. Honor student! You'll never get one now, Mr. Name-caller. All right, all right. Look, I'm sorry. I-I got upset. In the heat of the moment, I said some things I didn't mean.
you weren't thinking, were you? -No.
-I'm not a sniveling toad, am I? -Not really. I'm not a little egg sucker, am I?
Of course not.
Then what am I?
A beautiful human being.
What do you like best about me?
Well, I'd have to say... your generous nature, your spirit of giving. Well-- Open your mouth and close your eyes, and you will get a big surprise. Ahh! Thanks, Lis. You're the best.
Look, Janey. Cupcakes.
Ah, give me that!
Hey, give those back!
Hey, what's the big idea? That's my sister, man.
So give her back those cupcakes before I knock your block off. Don't, Bart! He's a friend of Nelson Muntz! Ooh! Ooh! Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah! Wha-- Nelson, you're bleeding. Nah, happens all the time. Somebody else's blood splatters on me. Hey, wait a minute. You're right. You made me bleed my own blood! It was an accident, man. A terrible, ghastly mistake. Ask anybody. Uh-oh. A cold wind. Hello, kids. Everything above the board here? Good. Play friendly, children.
Uh-oh, there's your bell.
Come along, now, all of you. No dawdling, now.
I'll get you after school, man.
No, no, no. He'll get you after school, son.
Now hurry up. It's time for class.
Scoot, young Simpson. There's learning afoot. Okay, Nelson, put up your dukes! Whaa! Yikes! Uh-uh-uh! Ha, ha, ha!
Ha, ha, ha!
Lunchtime! Ha, ha, ha!
Lunchtime, Bart. It's lunchtime. I ain't gonna get out of the fourth grade alive. You've gotta tell Principal Skinner, Bart. I can't squeal. It would violate the code of the schoolyard. Hey, everybody! Here comes my brother, Bart the bully-killer!
You're our hero, Bart!
Look, everybody. I would just as soon not make a big deal out of this. I'm not sayin' I'm not a hero. I'm just saying that I fear for my safety. Look out! Nelson, it was all a mistake. This is how it happened, man. Listen up. You may get a kick out of it. My sister was making cupcakes this morning and-- I'll see you at the flagpole at 3:15. And you better be prompt. He has four other beatings scheduled this afternoon. Good-bye, little dude.
He looks so lifelike, man.
The school nurse did a wonderful job... reconstructing his little face after the fight. Good-bye, son. I guess you were right. All that homework was a waste of your time. Thanks, Bart. We got the day off from school for this.
Yeah, and I got the day off from work.
Who wants a day off from work when I'm never gonna see my beloved son again? Oh, Bart! Oh, Bart! That's better, Homer. Be brave. Bye-bye, Bart. You were always my special little guy. Bart, here's that cupcake you wanted. I can't help but think if l had just given it to you in the first place, this whole horrible tragedy could have been avoided. I know you can't eat it now, so I'll just place it lovingly on your forehead. Hey, look. They got food at this thing. Here's one for the road, dude.
Put 'em up.
Oh! Boy, you sure taught me a lesson. Whoo. Thanks, guys. I guess now all that's left is a hearty handshake. Right, guys? I'm gonna get you again tomorrow, Simpson. Is 3:15 good for you? Uh, not really. Too bad. Oh, no. Oh, man, that guy's tough to love. Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad.
Tough day at school, boy?
Bart, what happened to you?
Let's just say I paid the inevitable price for helping out my sister. So, you had a little scuffle, eh? Heh-heh. Hope you won. I'm gonna miss you, big guy. Bart, your mother has the fool idea... that you're upset about something. Dad, I need help. Please. Oh. Now come on, Bart. We don't want your mother to see you crying.
Let me help you dy those tears. So what's the problem, son?
I had a run-in with a bully.
Come on, Marge! I don't bug you when you're helping Lisa. Well, Bart, I hope you're going straight to the principal about this. I guess I could do that. What? And violate the code of the schoolyard? I'd rather Bart died. What on earth are you talking about, Homer? The code of the schoolyard, Marge. The rules that teach a boy to be a man. Let's see. Don't tattle. Always make fun of those different from you. Never say anything... unless you're sure everyone feels exactly the same way you do.
Homer, that's ridiculous.
Bart, instead of fighting, why don't you try a little understanding?
What do you mean, Mom?
This oughta be good for a laugh.
This bully friend of yours, is he a little on the chunky side?
Yeah, he's pretty chunkified, all right.
And I'll bet he doesn't do well in his studies, either. No, he's pretty dumb. He's in all the same special classes I am.
That's why he lashes out at the world.
So tomorrow, instead of bickering with this boy, talk to him. You'll be surprised how far a little understanding will go. Well, thank you very much, Mrs. Maharishi Gandhi. Let's go, boy. Now here's that bully of yours. Show me your stuff. No, no! Not like that! Like this! See that, boy? You didn't expect that, did you? And neither will he. You mean I should fight dirty, Dad? Unfortunately, son, we Simpsons... sometimes have to bend the rules a little in order to hold our own. Amen. So the next time this bully thinks you're gonna throw a punch, you throw a glob of mud in his eyes! And then you sock him when he's staggerin' around blinded!
And there's nothing wrong...
with hitting someone when his back is turned.
And if you get the chance,
get him right in the family jewels. That little doozy's been a Simpson trademark for generations. Thanks, Pop.
Put 'em up!
Ha! Ooh! Remember the family jewels, son. Hmm? Oh, no, boys. Not the can, please. Doh! Bart, you can't go on like this. I know.
Why don't you go see Grandpa?
What can he do?
He'll give you good advice. He's the toughest Simpson alive.
Remember the fight he put up when we put him in the home? Remember the fight he put up when we put him in the home? I'm here to see Grandpa. Half the people here are named Grandpa. Well, Grandpa Simpson then. Second floor, third dank room on the left. Thanks, lady. " Dear Advertisers," I am disgusted with the way old people are depicted on television. We are not all vibrant, fun-loving sex maniacs. Many of us are bitter, resentful individuals... who remember the good old days... when entertainment was bland and inoffensive. The following is a list of words... I never want to hear on television again. Number one: bra. Number two: horny. "Number three: Family jewels."
Bart, what brings you here?
I need some advice, Grandpa. See, there's this bully at school who keeps beating me up. Let me tell you somethin', boy. If you don't stand up for yourself, bullies are gonna be pickin' on you for the rest of your life. Simpson, give me your newspaper!
Why should I?
I wanna do the crossword puzzle.
No, I want to do the crossword puzzle!
I said, give me that puzzle.
Give me! Give me!
Heh-heh-heh. Well, I guess I can't help you, but I know someone who can.
Yep, this is it.
What's the password?
Let me in, you idiot!
Yeah, right you are.
So, Herman, has the large-type edition... of this month's Soldier Of Fortune come in yet? No, not yet.
Can I interest you in some authentic Nazi underpants?
Actually, we came over because I want you to meet my grandson, Bart. Ah. Hello, young American. Hello, sir. Uh, Mr. Herman? Yes? Did you lose your arm in the war? My arm? Well, let me put it this way. Next time your teacher tells you to keep your arm inside the bus window, you do it! Yes, sir, I will. Bart's got a problem with a local young bully named Nelson. I thought you could help him with some kind of strategy. Strategy. Hmm. How many men do you have?
You'll need more.
And you'll need to train them hard! Now, let's see. Ah. Okay. The key to Springfield has always been Elm Street. The Greeks knew it. The Carthaginians knew it. Now you know it. First you'll need a declaration of war. Uh, ah! That way, everything you do will be nice and legal. Okay, I can use this one from the Franco-Prussian War. I'll just change "Otto von Bismarck" to read " Bart Simpson." Psst!
Grandpa, I think this guy's a little nuts.
Well, General George S. Patton was a little nuts. And this guy is completely out of his mind. We can't fail! Psst! Pass it on! So, Mister, what are we doin' here anyway? I wonder where Bart is. Yeah. It's way past 1500 hours. Okay, we all know why we're here, right?
To fight Nelson the bully.
That guy has been tormenting all of us for years, and I for one am sick of it. I can't promise you victory. I can't promise you good times. But the one thing I do know-- Whoa, whoa! All right! Okay! I promise you victory! I promise you good times! I got a " B" in arithmetic I got a " B" in arithmetic Would've got an "A" but I was sick Would've got an "A" but I was sick Aah! We are rubber you are glue We are rubber you are glue It bounces off of us and sticks to you It bounces off of us and sticks to you
What's the matter with you, soldier?
It's my nerves, sir.
I just can't stand the barking anymore. Your nerves? I won't have cowards in my army.
You can push them out of a plane, you can march them off a cliff, you can send 'em off to die on some godforsaken rock, but for some reason, you can't slap 'em. Now apologize to that boy right now.
In English class I did the best In English class I did the best Because I cheated on the test Because I cheated on the test
I can't hear you!
All right, there's your enemy. Now hit him! Hit him! Let's go, next group. Martinez! Steinberg! O'Hara! Chang! Olajuwon! Herman! Die! Die! We are happy We are merry We are happy We are merry We got a rhyming dictionary We got a rhyming dictionary
One more time!
Bring it on home now! One, two, three, four One, two, three, four Nelson's at the Elm Street Video Arcade. Intelligence indicates he shakes down kids for quarters at the arcade. Then he heads to the Quick-E-Mart for a cherry Squishy. Then that's where we'll hit him. When he leaves the Quick-E-Mart, we start the saturation bombing.
We got the water balloons?
Two hundred rounds, sir.
Is it okay if they say " Happy Birthday" on the side? Well, I'd rather they say " Death From Above," but I guess we're stuck. Okay, our main force will be split into two groups. One will circle around this way to cut off the enemy's retreat, the other will drive in this way, closing the trap.
It's a classic pincers movement. It can't fail against a ten-year-old.
Nelson's at the arcade, General.
I feel so alive!
I thought I was too old. I thought my time had passed. I thought I'd never hear the screams of pain... or see the look of terror in a young man's eyes. Thank heaven for children. Hey, good Squishies.
What flavor did you get?
Hey, you two birds! You're gonna be suckin' all your meals through straws if you don't shut your traps. Well, looky here. Little Bart Simpson. Nelson, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to teach you a lesson. Ha! Oh, yeah? You and what army? This one. Artillery, commence saturation bombing! Hey! All right, you kids! Keep it down! Am I making myself-- Heh-heh-heh! Got him! You, up in the tree. The tall gray-haired kid. Get your butt down here right now! Doh! No! Please!
Don't hurt us!
Oh, we surrender.
W-W-We were only followin' orders! Eww! Knock it off! I guess you learned your lesson, so now I'll untie you. The second you untie me, I'm gonna beat you to death, man. Well, if that's gonna be your attitude, I'm not gonna untie you. Ha! You're gonna have to sometime. Uh-oh. He's right. Don't you worry. I was ready for this little eventuality. Armistice treaty, article four. " Nelson is never again to raise his fists in anger." Article five. " Nelson recognizes Bart's right to exist." Article six. "Although Nelson shall have no official power, he shall remain a figurehead of menace in the neighborhood." Wow. Sounds good to me. Okay, I'll sign.
What about you, boy?
All right, I'll sign.
Are you boys through playing war?
Yes, Mrs. Simpson.
Good. Then here's some cupcakes.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, contrary to what you've just seen, war is neither glamorous nor fun. There are no winners. Only losers. There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: The American Revolution, World War I, and the Star Wars trilogy. If you'd like to learn more about war, there's lots of books in your local library-- many of them with cool, goy pictures. Well, good night, everybody. Peace, man.
How to Write an Article (Gain Grade 9 in Language Paper 2)
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