Friendships/Allegiances/Allies: Bashem, Mosddiq, and Petrolia....all to a certain extent. In the end his only true allegiance is to himself.
Nemesis: "That weak arrogant Capitalist Rushfield"
A little background: Ivan was once one of the most respected (out of a sense of pure fear and intimidation) kids on the playground. The only opposition to him yielding absolute rule was Rushfield. The two were engaged in a constant struggle for dominance and favor with the other children. You were either with Rushfield or you were with Ivan...pick a side. Ivan subjugated his "friends" using fear of physical harm and bullying. Then the unimaginable happened. Over a summer when all the other kids grew 2-3 inches and participated in summer athletic camps poor Ivan sat at home eating cookies and ice cream. He remained the same height as the previous year and lost his physical prowess. As a result no one feared him and his "friendships founded on fear" began to crumble. He longs for the days of past playground dominance and is trying to reestablish his rule by bullying younger kids.
T-Shirt (Historical Reference) : Tragedy 142-H What is 142-H?
142-H Dissolution of the Soviet Union https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_the_Soviet_Union
Friendships/Allegiances/Allies: Rushfield, Pertolia. These "allegiances" are luke warm. Mimi's family having been mistreated by most has led her to view others with a dose of healthy skepticism.
A little background: Mimi's family has been mistreated for the vast majority of their history. Her great-great grandparents migrated to the neighborhood with almost nothing. Through hard work, piety, self reliance and an emphasis on education and martial arts her family defied the odds. Her family has gone on to make contributions to the medical field, technology, and arid water usage technology. Not to mention each of them has attained at least a 2nd degree black belt in Krav Maga...Her philosophy is simple, "let me live in peace...deprive me of my peace I will deprive you of your life"
T-Shirt (Historical Reference) : 1st Philosophy of Zionism What is Zionism?
Friendships/Allegiances/Allies: None ... "Submit to me or be subdued"
Nemesis: Mudros Mossadiq Bashem Petrolia Rushfield Ivan Mimi...In essence everyone but has no desire to engage with those capable of fighting. Doesn't like to admit it but terrified of Mimi.
A little background : Although Cain came from a tough home life (the sixth of thirteen unwanted/unplanned children) Cain once enjoyed all the prestige with being the de facto man in charge of a large part of the playground until that fateful autumn two years ago. Rushfield had long since supported Cain academically/socially and through his support Cain was able to maintain his image and keep the ambitions of Mudros and her old friend Mosaddiq in check. Suddenly Rushfield withdrew his support and with Mosaddiq's return Mudros made a power grab for her part of the playground. Without Rushfield's support Cain fell behind in school and had to repeat a grade or two. With Mudros pushing him further away from any form of playground respectability and Rushfield's dismissal Cain lashed out the only way he knew how.
T-Shirt (Historical Reference) : Skull and Crossbones (death and destruction)
ISIL/ ISIS/ Daesh https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant
Friendships/Allegiances/Allies: Allies for the time being: Petrolia, Mimi Lesser of two evils occasional allies: Mossadiq, Bashem and Mudros.
"I am willing to help anyone on the playground who is committed to the idea of equality and fairness... provided those acts of equality are in line with my notion of absolute control of the playground." Nemesis: "Cain and (off the record that power hungry Ivan)"
A little background: After achieving ultimate playground supremacy due to the fall of Ivan, Rushfield was in bit of a quandary. "Whom to fight now?" His greatest fear was that if there is no one left to vilify and galvanize the masses to rally against how do I maintain control? No longer living in fear allowed previously Rushfield dependent children to thrive and develop a sense of autonomy. Rushfield was losing his grip on the playground. After reading the book 1984 by George Orwell he realized: "It does not matter who in particular is the enemy we are fighting as long as there is an enemy we are fighting." With that as his playground policy he embarked on his consolidation of power leading the children against whatever entity he deemed the "greatest threat to playground safety and equality". Perhaps Rushfield's Achilles is his inability to take a multidimensional approach to analyzing and planning. His approach is best described by the late 20th century philosopher Tupac Shakur as "Bomb First"
T-Shirt (Historical Reference) : Pentagon and a cross ...Semi-Religious (Crusades/WW1) overtones to some of the Pentagons policies.
Military Industrial Complex https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military-industrial_complex
Friendships/Allegiances/Allies: Mudros, Bashem ...families are intertwined via marriage between grandparents. The 3 boys are cousins who longed to be reunited and now they are finally together.
Nemesis: "Pertolia, Mimi, and Rushfield"
A little background: Mossadiq and Rushfield were once close friends but due to Rushfield befriending Petrolia and choosing to start a lucrative lemonade stand with her Mossadiq felt abandon and left to fend for himself. They parted ways and Mossadiq made new allegiances based on bonds other than commerce. Now he has returned as a major player on the playground with some powerful yet somewhat disconcerting allegiances/family. He and Rushfield tolerate one another but due to their checkered history they view each other’s motives with a dose of skepticism and distrust but neither wants to incite a battle for playground supremacy.
T-Shirt (Historical Reference) : The Shah Of Iran ...US backed dictator that overthrew a democratically elected Prime Minister.
953 Iranian coup d'etat https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_Iranian_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat
Iran – United States Relations : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-United_States_relations
Friendships/Allegiances/Allies: Rushfield Wealth often brings privilege and favor...Pertolia has used her family's wealth to influence playground policy.
Nemesis: Mossadiq, Bashem, Cain, Mudros and Mimi...Petrolia is a follower of the Trump doctrine, "I am really rich, I don't need to seek your approval."
A little background: Pertolia family is unfathomably rich. Her great grandfather was one of founders of the Standard Oil Company...needless to say her family carries a large amount of influence. She does as she likes knowing full well that few will voice their displeasure with her actions out of fear of her reprisal. The first week of school when the children were picking their seats the child in front of her selected the chair she wanted. Pertolia asked the teacher, Mrs. Kissenger to let her have the seat. The teacher said no that would not be right. Petrolia told her parents and her father bought the mortgage to the teacher's house (the house had been in the teacher's family for 120 years). The next day Petrolia returned to school and told the teacher how nice her house was and it would be shame to see it destroyed. She then showed the teacher the paperwork related to her mortgage ...Pertolia got her seat and the teacher saved her house and even received a reduction in her monthly payment.
T-Shirt (Historical Reference) : Oil ...Black Gold...Power
Saudi Economy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Saudi_Arabia
Friendships/Allegiances/Allies: Mudros, Mossadiq Ivan and until recently he was tolerated and on occasion cooperated with Rushfield...who is now a sworn enemy.
Nemesis: Cain, Mimi, Pertolia
A little background: Playground enforcer who ruled with impunity. The victims of his abuse were typically younger children incapable of defending themselves. His influence and impact was negligible so his actions were often tolerated. On a few occasions he got a bit overly confident and incurred the wrath of Mimi who did not hesitate to put him back in his place. The younger children grew tired of his antics and have now began to rebel. He has also lost the passive lack of disapproval of Rushfield who is also now a vowed enemy. Cain has also taken the opportunity to seize control of what was once Bashem's part of the playground. Only with the support of Mudros and Mossadiq has he been able to cling onto what remains of his playground dominance...The question is for how long.
T-Shirt (Historical Reference) : USA wants Assad to out, ISIS wants Assad out but USA doesn’t want ISIS, Large part of Syrian is rebelling, some in Syria want Assad to remain, Rebels don’t want ISIS or Assad
Syrian Civil War: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_War
Friendships/Allegiances/Allies: Bashem and Mossadiq (distant cousins) ...silent partner Rushfield
Nemesis: Cain, Mimi, Pertolia
A little background: Mudros is a victim of her own success. On the playground where every child is in a constant struggle for getting an upper hand she became the de facto leader of a large portion of the playground when she inadvertently dispelled the reigning strongman with the help of Rushfield. She was not prepared for the chaos and the demands of all the varied groups on the playground and was conflicted by her loyalties. Should she only support her fellow kickball team mates? What about some of her friends that played for another team? Then with the introduction of her cousins to the mix (Mossadiq and Bashem) does family now come before lifelong friends? Chaos ensued...
T-Shirt (Historical Reference) : Sect Tripping Borders of Iraq were created post World War I in an area o varying sects not giving any consideration to the tension that would be created.
Creation of State of Iraq: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandatory_Iraq
Sectarian Violence in Iraq: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sectarian_violence_in_Iraq
Friendships/Allegiances/Allies: "No probIem I thank you but can take care of myself"
Nemesis: Suleiman, Bashem, Mossadiq and Mudros
A Little background: Salahdin's family has always been regarded as "a good natured family, very welcoming and accepting of others" and well respected in the community. A very pious family who's manta was "GOD Family and Self Preservation.
His grandfather established a strong financial foundation for the family through his military contracting and through his work traveled the globe and helping the less fortunate when he encountered them through his nonprofit. His nonprofit would setup various self sustaining businesses to help the communities in which they were located in addition to schools, hospitals and other entities that lead to a thriving community. Local oligarchs and corporate entities who enriched themselves by exploiting the poor of the various communities began to hate the work of Salahdin's family and tried to push them out and seize their businesses. Salandin's people galvanized the small business owners and the poor to work together to defeat the major corporations and were able to establish a nontraditional non exploitive self sustaining business empire that had outlasted and withstood the onslaught of various corporate entities trying to attempt a hostile takeover.
Under the tutelage of his grandfather Salahdin has learned the finer arts of diplomacy…but when necessary Kick ASS, Take names, and let them know you are there...
T Shirt (Historical Reference) : Long Live Kurdistan ..Ancient homeland of the Kurds. Historically when wars are ended and borders are drawn there is a lack of attention paid to culture and ethnicity…Hence the Middle East as it is today.
Friendships/Allegiances/Allies: Rushfield, Petrolia, Mossadiq, on again off again relationship with Mimi
A Little background : In the recent past Suleimans family owned a vast multinational corporation, one of the largest in the world, but due to the economic downturn many of the subsidiaries were sold and broke off into their own companies. The family lost the some of the status they had gained and were forced to reestablish themselves financially. Through innovation , process improvements, and cunning business acumen the corporation was heading back to the top of the business world…with their eyes on regaining their foothold atop the Fortune 500…and to destroy the company owned by Salahdin's family as they rebuild the multinational corporate conglomerate to the behemoth of days long since passed.
T Shirt (Historical Reference): The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest empires in history. After joining the losing side of WW I the Empire was broken into independent countries by the Allied Powers. Ataturk , first President of Turkey, felt that Turkey needed to modernize and introduced Western ways of living to rebuild Turkey.
Name: John T. Rump
Friendships/Allegiances/Allies: "Everybody loves me...if they don't I don't care" Business dealings with Petrolia, Ivan, Rushfield
Nemesis: "People love me"
A Little background : John's grandfather immigrated to the US with the hopes of achieving the American dream. John's father achieved that goal and set his son on the path of wealth and prosperity. At a young age John encountered the writings of a late twentieth century leader , Cobra Commander, and eagerly adopted the tenants of his philosophy…"Greed, ambition, and ruthlessness." With the backing of his father's wealth and his self aggrandizing promotion coupled with his cold calculating (some say sociopathic) business acumen he captured the neighborhood youth economy creating a monopoly on all enterprises ranging from lemonade stands, and school fundraisers, to paper routes and leaf raking. Having locked up the neighborhood's financial dealings he has his eye on an even greater prize…Control of the Playground.
T-Shirt (Historical Reference): Trump Clothing, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trump_Organization