THEN HE BIT ITS HEAD OFF. BEING BEST FRIENDS WITH GAMZEE MAKARA IS GOING TO SEND ME TO AN EARLY GRAVE, I SWEAR TO GOD.
there are honestly tears in my eyes because everything after stage five is so funny
you all laugh but this is so true and i think it’s a fabulous sensation! the more surreal and abstractness we allow the better we will be
okay i feel legit bad i started laughing only at stage five i’m postmeme trash throw me a goddamn ditch to rot
As a child, Leela Hazzah would spend her summer nights lying on the rooftop of her family’s home in Egypt.
Her father and uncle had told her stories of their childhood, when they would sleep on the same rooftop and hear lions roaring.
"I used to lay there, listening for those same sounds. But I didn’t hear anything," Hazzah said.
Hazzah’s father finally got the courage to tell his young daughter that she would not hear lions roaring because they had long since gone extinct in Egypt.
"That was the moment when I decided I knew what I wanted to do," Hazzah said. "I wanted to hear lions roaring."
Hazzah, now 34, has since devoted her life to lion conservation. While earning her master’s in conservation biology, Hazzah’s research led her to Kenya. She lived in a tree house and began seeing firsthand the rapid decline of African lions due to habitat loss and human-lion conflict.
Now armed with a doctorate in environmental studies, Hazzah has found one solution to help the lion population grow. Her nonprofit turns Maasai warriors — who have a tradition of killing lions — into lion protectors.The organization employs 65 Lion Guardians throughout East Africa. Their ultimate goal: reduce lion killings.
"The lion is iconic," said Hazzah, who started Lion Guardians in 2007. "If there are no lions left in Africa, it will have a significant effect. … We could lose a lot more than just the lion."
Changing a culture
Hazzah spent a year living among the Maasai to understand their relationship with lions and why they were killing them.
For one, young warriors receive their lion name when they first kill a lion, a sort of rite of passage.
"It brings a huge amount of prestige to the warrior who kills a lion," Hazzah said.
The Maasai also live a mostly pastoral life and depend on their livestock. They use it to feed their families; they use it for currency. Livestock is also a status symbol.
"Livestock are the core of their culture. … It’s their main source of livelihood," Hazzah said. "When they lose their cows, they don’t have anything left. So they retaliate, and they kill lions."
Hazzah’s idea for Lion Guardians came together while living in the community and spending time with the warriors.
"They started opening up and telling me stories," she said. "That’s when it clicked."
Hazzah realized that Maasai warriors, the leaders and protectors in their community, would be the best ambassadors for lions. She began teaching them the benefits of protecting lions, with an emphasis on preserving their culture. In turn, the lessons began rippling through the entire tribe.
"Maasai have a very close-knit relationship with lions. It’s very much a love-and-hate relationship," Hazzah said. "They dislike them because they eat their livestock, but they also admire them tremendously because they are just beautiful animals."
From hunter to guardian
Today, protecting lions is a full-time job for a guardian, who earns around $100 a month.
Hazzah and her team teach the guardians a number of methods to reduce human-lion conflict in their communities.
If a guardian hears about a lion hunt, he intervenes. He helps the individuals understand the importance of keeping lions alive, including that lions draw tourists to the area, which provides jobs.
Guardians also help farmers strengthen corrals where they keep their livestock. They also help find and safely return lost livestock. These measures have prevented livestock deaths and, more importantly, retaliatory lion killings.
"Becoming a Lion Guardian is a rebirth for (the Massai). They gain even more prestige than they would have from killing a lion," Hazzah said.
Most Maasai warriors come to Lion Guardians illiterate, having never attended school. Hazzah and her team teach each one how to read and write.
They also learn how to keep data on the lions’ movements and population changes, a part of their job. The group’s director of biology, Stephanie Dolrenry, provides the technical field training and equipment the guardians need to track lions.
For Hazzah, watching the transformation of young Maasai warriors has been one of the most rewarding parts of her efforts.
"We never imagined when we first started Lion Guardians that we could transform these killers to the point where they would risk their own lives to stop other people from killing lions," she said.
Hazzah said the Lion Guardian program has had great success in the Amboseli region of Kenya. When used alone or with other conservation programs, the program was 99% effective in stopping lion killings.
"I know we’re making a difference," Hazzah said. "When I first moved here, I never heard lions roaring. But now I hear lions roaring all the time."
Want to get involved? Check out the Lion Guardians website at www.lionguardians.org and see how to help.
(The images in this should be collapsed to begin with because, well, one of them is a plate of raw meat that Steve is presumably eating for breakfast. The last image is a gif. Contains discussion of illness, treatments, ableism and eugenics. I should point out first that I don’t have any of these conditions other than asthma.)
So many fics focus only on skinny Steve’s asthma and portray him as being as minimally disabled as possible. Let’s just remember that according to all the various sources (the Disneyland poster, the form Steve hands in to enlist in the film) that Steve:
- Had astigmatism - so he’d’ve had poor eye sight. I’ve also seen sources that say Steve is colour blind although I couldn’t find them again for writing this or to check what kind of colour blind Steve could be - it could be anything from red-green colour blindness to trichromatic colour blindness, but I’m not sure.
- Had scoliosis - this is where the spine bends in a way that isn’t part of the typical S-shaped curve, so his spine would’ve bent to the side. It’s not a life threatening condition but it can be quite noticeable and I’ve not seen a single fic that’s taken it into account.
- Was partially deaf. Again, I’ve never read a fic that mentions anyone speaking up for Steve to hear.
- Had arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat; he also had heart palpitations, high blood pressure and the more generic heart trouble. I’ve also seen something saying he had angina, chest pain caused by restricted blood supply to the heart muscles.
- He also had rheumatic fever at some point which causes red ring-like rashes on the limbs and can affect the brain, joints and heart - which given Steve already had heart problems is not a good thing. It affects older children up to the mid teens. It is treated with aspirin - which is hard on the stomach and unfortunately for little Steve, he also has:
- Stomach ulcers. These are extremely painful and can be caused or made worse by drugs like aspirin. Stomach ulcers can be very dangerous if complications arise.
- Another stomach complication Steve had was pernicious anaemia, which until the 20s was basically a death sentence. It’s a condition where an enzyme necessary to absorb vitamin B12 is not produced and the patient becomes progressively more anaemic until they suffer complications such as neurological damage or simply die (hence the word “pernicious”). Until 1928 the only treatment was to drink copious quantities of the juice from raw liver (more than a pint a day) or eat half a pound of raw liver a day, which contains the enzyme (cooking would destroy the enzyme). From ‘28, Steve was presumably relieved to hear, a liver extract was produced so that the quantity of liver juice one had to drink was 50x less and was also cheaper. The other symptoms were pretty much the same as other kinds of anaemia.
What do you mean you aren’t hungry?
- Steve also had flat feet (less serious but with everything else this kid isn’t running anywhere)
- He had scarlet fever as a child, which causes a sore throat, bright red rash, and can kill - especially as it can cause heart complications.
- Steve’s mother was diabetic- his admission form states that he has a parent or sibling with diabetes, and since it’s automatic disqualification from the army and he has no siblings, that means it must be his mother (unless you don’t think Steve’s dad served in the army at all and he’s just lying to serve with Bucky.) Steve has a higher risk for diabetes. This in itself isn’t going to limit him at this stage in the proceedings, but it doesn’t make him popular with eugenicists either.
- Generally his respiratory system is struggling - he gets sinusitis and frequent colds to go along with his…
Asthma can be pretty dangerous especially for someone with a heart condition, since symptoms of a severe attack can include arrhythmia. In the 1930s, inhalers were difficult for one person to use (especially if that one person was having an asthma attack), but asthma cigarettes were easily available, considerably cheaper, and hallucinogenic. They did work to a degree, but were nothing compared to today’s relievers. There were also dry powder inhalers, and if you could get hold of one, atomizers and electronic nebulizers for delivering medication.
Beyond this, in the 30s, 40s and 50s, asthma was considered a psychosomatic condition - an imagined product of mental illness due to the child crying inside the sufferer during an attack - so talking therapy was used as treatment as well. Steve would’ve been considered both physically frail and mentally ill because of his asthma.
- Really, it isn’t a surprise that to go with this he has “nervous trouble" and suffers from fatigue - hell, it’s tiring just to be Steve. It’s also no wonder that he’s so small, given that his body was under so much stress whilst he was growing.
So what does this all mean for little Steve? Pre-serum Steve is chronically ill from birth or childhood, probably due to complications in birth or his earlier illnesses (there seem to be a lot of things happening in his respiratory system and stomach), and some of which is evidence of what at the time would be considered poor genetics.
People often associate eugenics with the Nazis, but its real home is rooted in the 20th century USA, and it was in full swing in the 20s and 30s. Many German eugenics research programs received their finding from the US before the war. Although as a white man living in New York Steve would’ve been safe from forcible sterilisation or euthanasia, public sentiment was overwhelmingly supportive of casting anyone framed as a dependent on the state or a fault in the gene pool cast out.
Eugenics was legal and mandated, and whilst Steve was growing up, thousands of impoverished women and state dependent children, especially women of colour and mentally ill women were forcibly sterilised by the state, and many people living in mental institutions or care homes were allowed to die of neglect.
His mother’s death due to TB would also have made him a target for this kind of thinking - in fact, tuberculosis was used as a method for targeting those with “inferior” genetics (whilst “superior” individuals would supposedly be immune) for euthanasia for eugenics purposes - in one mental institution, new patients were given infected milk to kill off those susceptible.
Ironically, Captain America and the superserum are essentially an experiment in eugenics, which really reflects just how widespread this attitude was in the 40s. I’m analysing Steve for purposes of fic writing and not any genuine critical analysis here, but there’s no getting away from it: they put a chronically ill, disabled man in, and they get a genetically engineered super-soldier out.
Steve actually surviving both rheumatic and scarlet fever with asthma, heart problems and no antibiotics is pretty much a miracle in itself at this stage, and I guess we should all be grateful that Sarah Rogers was a nurse, because things like half decent atomizers to treat asthma were expensive and hard to obtain.
When Bucky is talking about Steve having nothing to prove, he’s not just talking about a small guy who is too sickly to join the army - he’s talking about someone who would’ve been considered an invalid and unworthy among his peers and made to feel like a dependent all of his life. Steve has to prove everything to everyone except Bucky, the only person who values Steve for himself and not against criteria of fitness or health, and most of all he needs to prove to himself that the things he’s internalised about himself aren’t true.
tl;dr: Basically, it’s time to start portraying Steve accurately in fic and stop glossing over aspects of his health that aren’t as fun to write as an asthma attack.
warning for disturbing headcanon wrt eugenics in the US:
youre gonna look so goddamn cool
Disney Princesses as sloths.
Oh my god
As they were loading, I thought to myself, “Surely the Belle one must be the most terrifying, because it’s coming toward the camera at a speed a sloth could not possibly achieve on a rolling ladder, unless someone pushed it. And that doesn’t make the sloth terrifying, it makes the person rapidly hurtling a costumed sloth at me terrifying.”
And then the Cinderella one loaded and I knew how wrong I was.
You know those mornings where you want to make toast but there’s greasy foil left in the toaster oven so you pull it out and start washing the pan, then just say “fuck it” and put the toast right on the toaster rails? Because you’re late to work and if you don’t have toast your blood sugar will drop and you won’t be able to deal with the CEO of one of the two companies you work for maybe visiting the office today? And then the toast somehow manages to burn and stick to the grate, and you have to scape it off with hot dog tongs, and it makes a crumbly mess you don’t have time to clean up and you burn yourself trying to get it out, and now you have to clean the hot dog tongs? And you realize, today just really doesn’t want to be your day…?
Karkat Vantas: genetics lottery winner six sweeps running.