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About Varied / Hobbyist Emma HoneybunFemale/United Kingdom Groups :iconabefanart: ABeFanart
 
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Emma Honeybun
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United Kingdom
I'm an English & Creative Writing teacher from the UK.
My main interests are in His Dark Materials, cyberpunk, Yoshitoshi ABe animes Haibane Renmei & Serial Experiments: Lain, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Discworld and Marvel comics, My Little Pony, industrial metal music, Disney Princess, Street Fighter, Pinky Street and kokeshi dolls...
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Disheartened at how many people are ignorantly moaning at our cause on social media by assuming we all jobless and crap with money. Feel free to share this post:

I'm a teacher and my husband works too (self employed) but it's not enough to cover child care - and that's even with family doing some days for free so others will have more to claim and will therefore be more out of pocket. It sickens me that the worst off who have previously proved they need the most to make ends meet are those who lose the most and get into the worst debt compared to those just losing a little top up.

Within 5 weeks of no tax credits we've used up our little savings, overdraft etc
Being £650 down has been a nightmare - got to pay childcare or can't work and get wages. Got to pay key bills or will be homeless. I've been lucky enough to borrow from family and sell a few bits on eBay so have managed to survive better than some others.
Some won't be able to buy uniforms or fuel cars - what do you choose to cut? I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt like there was nothing we could cut as we already live pretty hand to mouth if you are on tax credits. Cancel holidays or sky tv? Oh no wait, we hadn't been able to afford such luxuries in the first place. Can't cut phone bill or electricity or how will you make those endless phonecalls appealing to Concentrix? I can put off buying the kids winter coats for now. For many, food will be the only area they can cut back on.

#concentrixputtingfamiliesintopoverty
Not all jobless and bad with money
Originally shared on the Facebook group Concentrix mums:

#concentrixputtingfamiliesintopoverty
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Concentrix and HMRC Tax Credits – Science Fiction copycats

An organisation punishes people not on the basis of evidence of crimes they’ve committed but pre-emptively with no warning, evidence or fair appeal system. If you're thinking that sounds a lot like the premise of Philip K.Dick’s ‘pre-crime’ from ‘Minority Report’ you’d be right.

HMRC tax credits have employed American Concentrix to help deal with potentially fraudulent claims. Innocent things can mark you as suspicious –in my case, I was never directly accused but a manager revealed their computer algorithm saw my having two paid childcarers as a threat (despite that being a plausible option on their paperwork let alone a reality many parents face). I had proved the figures were correct last year and again this February yet they sat on the claim, didn’t hand it back to HMRC and didn't send renewal reminders and then in August cut our money off.

They are clearly ripping off Orwell’s ‘1984’ double think too with the way halted claims  can get caught in a weird limbo of being both HMRC’s problem and Concentrix’s so therefore neither of them can help.
And of course why would they help when they are a private company paid by HMRC for each claim they close?
There is an appeal process but that too is with Concentrix themselves and it would not be in their interest to grant these.
How about a complaints process? No, you can't complain to them directly but you can write to HMRC (if you have enough money left for stamps) not that that does anything either. We tried this and got a HMRC manager explaining how awful the system was, confirming we should have had letters but that he was powerless to actually do anything as they can't see, let alone fix, our claim until Concentrix give it back. It is not lost on me that Concentrix’s logo and name bring to mind the inescapable circles of hell from Dante’s ‘Inferno.’

The vogon bureaucrats manning the phones are straight from Douglas Adam’s ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.’ Often you won’t be able to even get into the queue to speak to one as 5 hours of trying sometimes only produces a busy line tone. If you are lucky enough to be put on hold, you are treated to 45-60 minutes of repeated recordings that mockingly apologise for the wait and any inconvenience caused while they help other claimants.
The vogon will promise that the problem is almost dealt with and suggest you call back them back in a few days (on their not-free number of course). Sometimes they will mock you by admitting they've not only not passed your claim back as promised but have had the power to reinstate it in house but instead decided to do nothing at all with it for a week. Today, we found out nothing had happened since the last in a long line of “it's almost fixed” interactions as the last advisor had failed to tick a tick box…

I know it's worse for others who have, perhaps in homage to ‘Star Wars,’ had accusations that they are secretly related to people they never expected or in romantic relationships with family members. Some are apparently in same sex relationships with themselves or even with old tenants of the same address who they have not only never met but, in some cases, have been dead for many years…

This needs resolving before they start taking ideas from other dystopias – are we are heading towards some sort of ‘Soylent Greens’ or ‘Logan’s Run’ scenario?

So, in the interests of sanity and a happy ending, please sign this petition www.change.org/p/philip-hammon…
or better still, write to your local MP.

Emma Henderson is a part time teacher of A-level English and Creative Writing.
She has been without tax credits to pay for childcare for 6 weeks and counting. The hysteria induced by dealing with HMRC and Concentrix has caused her to write in the third person.

‘Ajin: Demi-human’

anime review and further recommendations

 

The premise of ‘Ajin: Demi-human’ is that 17 years before the story is set, approximately 60 immortal beings were discovered who looked just like normal humans but when they died they came right back to life again. These ajin spend their lives in government facilities – the official line is that they are cared for there but the internet contains leaked but potentially hoaxed footage of their sedation and torture in the name of scientific experimentation. There are rumours that the government would give out a massive reward for the capture of any new ajin discovered.

Our protagonist, Kei, a devout student who dreams of becoming a doctor, is learning about the ajin phenomenon in a history lesson at school and is horrified at the assumptions of his teacher and classmates that ajin are not really human so if the rumours of their inhumane treatment are true then it wouldn't matter as they're not truly human anyway.

Soon after, Kei is run over by a truck on his way home from school and discovers he is an ajin. This happens in public in broad daylight so there is an instant manhunt launched to find him. He has no one to turn to but Kaito, an old friend from childhood who risks his own life to help Kei escape the authorities and bounty hunting individuals.

We are then plunged into a maze of mysteries and ethical dilemmas. Is it okay to kill an immortal being if they'll only come back anyway? They still feel pain but the shock diminishes upon each death. If death is no longer your greatest fear, what becomes of your morals and priorities? What exactly are the strange black ghosts that ajin seem to be able to summon?

 

While from the outset, ‘Ajin’ felt like it was going to be a sort of supernatural or religious mystery with the first ajin we encounter being presented as an angelic immortal it actually becomes a combination of paranormal horror and science fiction about identity, prejudice and morality. Thankfully for those of you who are squeamish, the worst of the gore happens off screen or is cunningly hidden from the audience but the fact you can't see it actually helps build the tension.

 

The antagonist Sato, also known as ‘the hat man,’ is an ajin who says he wants rights for ajin-kind but captures the ajin who oppose his plan and sells their organs for money to fund his terrorism. He has a self-proclaimed love of gaming on hard mode and is an ex-military man who gets off on more and more extreme violence, luring out top level security forces for fun. Sato steals the show with a corridor siege scene reminiscent of those in ‘The Matrix’ or ‘V for Vendetta,’ particularly with the creepy vacant smile while he tactically cuts off his own arm after being hit by a tranquilliser to gain himself a few more seconds advantage. He also purposely allows Kei to fall into the hands of the human government so that Kei can be experimented on in order to  learn to hate humans and so come around to Sato’s cause. Think of Sato as a bit of a Magneto figure.

The other major antagonist, Tosaki, is a human working for the secret government agency for monitoring ajin but keeps the secret that his assistant, Izumi, is an ajin too and functions as his own personal spy and bodyguard.

 

There are 13 episodes in the first series. It leaves off on a cliff hanger moment with the protagonist Kei teaming up with another young ajin, Kō, whom previously he had not only refused to help but had in fact deviously poisoned and kept prisoner just in case his presence spoilt the peaceful new life he had found himself. As an audience, we are left to ponder whether Kei has always had this capacity to be so selfish or whether he has simply adapted to a world where he has found both humans and other ajin are quite happy to take advantage of him. Then again, Kei was able to form a very sweet bond with an old lady he knocked over and only belligerently helped up out of guilt but turns out to be more than happy to harbour the young ajin.

 

The soundtrack contains contrast, echoing the juxtaposition between the quiet life Kei craves, often associated with living close to nature, and the fast paced techno metal beats that accompany the superb action sequences. The opening song, ‘Can You Sleep at Night?’ (Yoru wa Nemureru kai?) by Flumpool, is particularly fast paced and catchy.

 

It is an excellent anime in terms of action, plot and character but for those of you who really enjoy a deeper reading, there is much left open to speculation and analysis in ‘Ajin.’ It lends itself to etymological and post-semiotic reading with heavy hints at the theories of Baudrillard’s ‘Simulacrum and Simulation,’ particularly from the mouth of the biophysicist character Oguru. Interestingly, Oguru wears a Tshirt with the phrase “I know nothing except the fact of my own ignorance” echoing Socrates’ ‘wisest is he who knows he does not know’ while Kei borrows a Tshirt featuring the phrase “All men by nature desire knowledge.”

The relationship between the media, rumours and reality is explored. In fact, there is a theme of doubles and fakes throughout: rewards that turn out not to exist, references to redrawing the map and of course doppelgängers in the form of the black ghosts. The anime is filled with paranoia and a thirst for knowledge that the series never fully satisfies as each new piece of knowledge actually just leads to more questions.

 

The series on is available on Netflix but there is an extra episode (sometimes known as an OED or OVA) which is essentially a straight to DVD release. This complete side story and prequel is definitely worth checking out as it departs from the core characters and adds a new interesting twist to the concept of what the black ghosts are. The OVA comes with a limited edition bundle of the 8th volume of the manage and another has been promised with the 9th volume – more info here: www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/…

 

The second series will be released in the autumn of 2016. My hope is to find out a little more about the fate of the humans Kei left behind especially his ailing sister and childhood friend, Kaito, who was so pivotal in the early episodes.

 

Already enjoyed ‘Ajin’ and looking for something similar in the mean while?

Other recommendations:

 

    ·         ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ – Another anime linked in terms of the theme of dehumanisation.

    ·         ‘ Haibane Renmei’ – another anime from Yoshitoshi Abe of ‘Serial Experiments: Lain’ fame. It features a group of angelic looking beings who hatch from cocoons into a walled city with no memories of their previous lives. Reki is a potentially amoral character who worries she has no empathy and is not really good as she is only ever kind for her own benefit. This also has a haunting soundtrack and is full of mystery.

    ·         ‘Ghost in the Shell’ – there are many iterations of this franchise but the original film and ‘Stand Alone Complex’ anime series are famous for being cyberpunk science fiction with a focus on philosophy and morals in a world where the development of cyborgs and AI have meant the definition of ‘human’ is rapidly changing.

    ·         ‘The Strain’ - if you liked the combination of horror, science fiction and religious imagery, I’d suggest checking out either the book trilogy or television series by  Gullimo Del Toro, best known for his films ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and ‘Hellboy.’

Ajin anime review
Ajin anime review - some mild spoilers but more to explain and tease the plot.
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New review up on The Good Men Project from me on the Fight Club 2 graphic novel: goodmenproject.com/all-things-…
So, an old acquaintance from college days had been sharing anti-new-female-Ghostbusters paranoid ramblings (the film is awful but only good reviews are being written because bad ones are seen as sexist and the establishment won't let anyone say women are bad). I guessed while there might have been the potential to be some truth in it what really had me confused was his then calling on people to boycott the film. But then how could people form their own opinion? If you're so convinced it's awful then why not let people watch it and confirm your bias??
I ignored this but was stung by his post the next day saying he was outraged he had scored as very sexist on a quiz to see how sexist you are. The outrageous comment that I made the mistake of reacting to was his assertion that "feminists are the most sexist of all." I pointed out that that is the opposite of the definition of feminism which was to bring about equality and that perhaps he was confusing the term with misadronists or so called 'femi-nazis', that the prefix fem- was there because at the start of this anti-sexism movement it was women on the whole trying to get equal rights to pay and voting.
Then both this 'friend' and someone else he knew lay into me saying that men have worse rights, that the sufferegettes had guilt tripped men into going to war, get longer jail sentences even for the same crimes, that women want to be better than men etc. I was really shocked as while I'm happy to entertain a civil discussion (and have myself written for The Good Men Project as part of my interest in male identity) this tirade was nasty and not what you'd expect from two educated men. There were two men telling me women wanted to be better than men while being upset that they had been deemed sexist in a quiz they had sought out, and therefore were hoping to be offended by, ganging up on a woman pointing out facts. The ludicrous turn led me to react in a way I am not proud of as it probably only affirmed their world view that women are angry and don't want to acknowledge the issues men face - I wished them luck with actual research and luck with ever getting laid ever if this was their view of women and promptly deleted and blocked them.

(I also sat the sexism test as he'd posted a link but withheld my gender - I scored lower than average men and women on both malevolent and benelevolent sexism. My criticism of the test would be that it only judged sexism towards women not men which showed a bias in itself. There are also only options to agree or disagree, even slightly or strongly - there is no neutral option to some leading statements such as 'should women be cherished?')


www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/a…

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:icontonnamprathumtree:
tonnamprathumtree Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2016  Professional Artist
Do You Create Azelf Senshi Pls
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:icontexhnolized:
Texhnolized Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hello !
Thanks for the favorite about Lain !

Don't know if fully understanding the anime didn't take longer than the artwork ^^
But isn't such an amazing and uncommon serie ?

Have a nice day !
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:iconkaoshoneybun:
kaoshoneybun Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I loved Lain so much I named my daughter after her!

It is hard to get head around - definitely recommend Haibane Renmei from same character artist
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kaleidoscope-tattoos Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks you so much for the fave :hug:
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PrincessLunalovesme Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconthanksforfaving:
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Iamsheila Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
thank you for the fave ^^
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amberoffire Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Student General Artist
i wanna make you an animated avatar!

Can you tell me what (something simple !) you would like?

I like your pony art!

Its better tan mine ;-;
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Iamsheila Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
hello .w.
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amberoffire Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Student General Artist
HIIIIII
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Iamsheila Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
X3
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