Before getting on to business, I invite you to bask in the glow of this recent celebrity endorsement that made my day:
The next day, Shelly and Sheldon were gone and I feared that my friend had finally snapped and murdered them. But they returned a couple days later and all appear to be getting along swimmingly once more.
This week, on the 25th, Star Wars officially had its fortieth birthday, which is more significant than its thirty-ninth or forty-first birthdays because humans worship multiples of five and ten. I've been acquainted with it for less than half that time, when Lego released its first Star Wars sets from the original trilogy prior to the release of "The Phantom Menace" and I saw them in the catalogs and magazines I was subscribed to. This was the first non-original franchise translated into Legos, and I thought at first that Star Wars was in fact a Lego movie. This was where I got my first gleanings of information about it. Hmmm, I thought after reading about the "Rebel Blockade Runner" set, it sure sounds like the Empire are the bad guys, but I know from church (specifically the song "Book of Mormon Stories") that "rebellious", of which "Rebels" is obviously a root, is a bad thing too... so are they both bad guys? I'm confused. And while looking at the "Millennium Falcon" set: Hey, this furry guy Chewbacca has the same name as cousin Emily's cat. What a coincidence.
It must have been around this same time that my parents watched "A New Hope". This was a long time ago, so they went to this place called a "video rental store" and rented it on this thing called "VHS". From that occasion I only remember Artoo and Threepio arguing, the cantina aliens, Jabba the Hutt (it was the Special Edition and my parents were like "I didn't know he had a tail"), and being unable to tell Han and Luke apart. My memory was astute enough that when I saw an action figure of Tey How from "The Phantom Menace", I knew she hadn't been in the cantina and I was like "That guy wasn't in Star Wars" and my mom was like "Yes he was" because they went to see it but didn't let me because they thought it might be too scary. And she indicated one of the Jedi on a lunch box and was like, "That one dies at the end" and I was like Dang it, I want the other one to die instead because he doesn't look as cool. Somewhere along the way I got a Jar Jar Binks action figure and an R2-D2 art set and several pairs of Darth Maul underwear. My sister got Queen Amidala underwear and I wanted some too, but no.
The next year I actually watched "The Phantom Menace" at the neighbors' house, and at one point they let us borrow it (again on this "VHS" thing) and as implausible as it seems now my mom let me watch it thrice in one day. She explained how this was the first one and they were being made out of order, but I didn't get it. I thought it was a remake and called it "the new version of Episode I". Did I understand what was going on in the movie? No. Was Jar Jar Binks a comic genius whose every line I adored? Yes. Was Natalie Portman the most beautiful creature in the universe? Duh. And lightsabers were the coolest things ever. I gave up on having any sci-fi daydreams without lightsabers (or "space swords") because they just weren't as cool and that's all there was to it. And the opening theme music, that was epic beyond belief. I don't remember when or how fast it took place but by third grade I was kind of obsessed. My friend Trenton and I sat together on the bus and parted ways at school with "May the Force be with you." When he moved away, his cousin became my new Star Wars buddy and we validated each other in our geekiness.
In fifth grade, my obsession reached its peak as I awaited the release of Episode III, a day that seemed as mysterious and far off as the Second Coming. I talked about it all the time, wrote Star Wars quotes all over my homemade paper bag textbook covers, and through the school book order subscribed to the monthly "Star Wars Adventures" magazine/book club and started trying to collect all the Star Wars books that existed, which I soon realized was impossible which is just as well now that they're all non-canon. My obsession was one of the contributing factors to me being a social pariah. My classmates thought that Star Wars was for little kids, and all the cool people were into "Lord of the Rings" instead. I was baffled. How could they not see that Star Wars was awesome? Granted, looking back I see that I viewed the prequels through the same rose-colored glasses that old people reserve for the original trilogy. As embarrassing as this is to admit, I was so naive that I thought "Attack of the Clones" had romantic dialogue. And now I can't even watch it without skipping the fireplace scene.
But the next year when "Revenge of the Sith" finally came out, everyone was suddenly into Star Wars and acting like they had been all along, which continued to this day. Ugh. Anyway, my dad took me to see it on my twelfth birthday, and it was the first Star Wars movie I ever saw in the theater and I assumed it would be the last. I didn't know that at age eighteen I would take a lesbian friend to see "The Phantom Menace" in 3D on what was then the closest thing I had been on to a date, or that at age twenty-two I would win free tickets to "The Force Awakens" from Kool 103.9 and bring another friend to that as payback for taking me to "Tomorrowland" and "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation". Why was I so obsessed with Star Wars in my youth, and why does it still hold such a place in my heart even though I now acknowledge its flaws? Quite simply, I think, because a galaxy far, far away so often feels more like home than Earth, and aliens so often feel more relatable than my own species. The most popular online community for autistic and Aspie people is called "Wrong Planet", and I think that really says it all.
As I've discussed before, another awesome franchise that's woefully underappreciated is the original incarnation of Bionicle. This one is original from Lego but has a deep and complex storyline that goes far beyond selling toys - in fact, its complexity got out of hand and that was one of the main reasons for discontinuing it. I also became obsessed with it for a time and discovered a fan forum called "BZPower", where many of the (mostly preteen) members made comics about sprite versions of themselves. I didn't really understand but I copy-pasted hundreds of them into a Word document to preserve them forever. Most of them didn't deserve to be preserved. Most of them relied on inside jokes and random weirdness in lieu of actual humor. And that works great for "Homestar Runner", which somehow translates that kind of stuff into actual humor, but most of these kids hadn't developed that skill. Ah well. I don't begrudge them for having fun and and I was a terrible writer at that age too. I hope they've gone on to accomplish great things.
But anyway, some of them were surprisingly good and I picked out a couple that I always intended to share at some point, and I decided to do it today because I couldn't think of much to write about and only anticipated having one paragraph about Star Wars.
I don't know why I think that punchline is so brilliant, but I do.
This week, Mackenzie and co-worker "Jaycee" both tried to persuade me to break my seventeen-month and counting moratorium on dating. I can't win an argument with Mackenzie and Jaycee didn't know all the backstory of why I have almost PTSD about it and I didn't have time to explain and didn't feel like arguing with her either, so I gave it some consideration. Jaycee figured out that I liked this other co-worker just because I mentioned being shy and hiding behind a clipboard when she walked by, and she was like "You should ask her out; you can double with me and my boyfriend." And that really seemed like a non sequitir to me, not to mention eerily similar to how I was tricked into dabbling in this awful stuff in the first place.
"I barely know her," I said.
"That's what dating is for!" she said. "To get to know people!"
That's what I used to think, I thought, but most girls in Utah act like one date is a ------- proposal.
I had no intention of doing it, but then I told Mackenzie about this and she was like, "Grow up. Try. Feel things. Get hurt. Cry. Repeat." And I think that sounds like a really crappy life, but I can't win an argument with her. And this person is pretty dang amazing.
"So, um," I told Jaycee, "I may be kind of thinking about leaning toward the possibility of reconsidering your offer."
"Yeah, anytime, my boyfriend and I are here all summer," she said.
"Let's just make a few adjustments," I said. "I would be much more comfortable if we call it 'hanging out' instead."
"Hanging out is lame," she said. "You don't get to know people the same. Dating should be about getting to know people. I mean, I'm dating for marriage right now, but that's because I've already gotten to know a lot of people."
I didn't say this because I try not to be super argumentative, but I thought, Getting to know "people"? Then shouldn't I go on dates with guys too? Are they not worth getting to know? Actually, I got to know a couple guys pretty well by hanging out. We watched "Crocodile Dundee" and some Popeye cartoons, ate pizza, and talked about our histories and feelings and aspirations and stuff. Lately, I just play Super Smash Brothers with some guys every Tuesday evening and admittedly I still don't even remember all their names but we have fun and I feel a kinship with them and maybe that's more important, or maybe it isn't; I don't claim to be an expert. "Why can't you get to know people by hanging out?" I persisted.
"It's just not the same," she said. "You just talk and stuff and if it's not going well you try again another time."
"How do you know if it's not going well?" I asked.
"You can tell."
"You can tell, you can read their faces and how they're acting..."
"I'm an Aspie."
"A person with Aspergers."
I really didn't expect that to be as much of a conversation killer as it was. During the awkward silence that followed I imagine she was processing the fact that none of this gung-ho optimistic stuff was applicable to me after all. (Ever seen one of those "The Many Moods of Vader" T-shirts where the joke is that they all look exactly the same? It's kind of like that.) Or maybe she thought I had said "ass burgers" and was stupefied. When it became obvious that she wasn't going to start talking again, which is very out of character for her, I started talking again. "I can't ask with any sort of composure, anyway," I said. "I'd stutter and stammer and not look her in the eye..." (Partly out of nervousness and party out of the feeling that I'm being inauthentic, reciting words that I would never dream of saying on my own from someone else's script just because they decided long before I was born that I'm "supposed" to.)
"Practice on me," she said. "Pretend I'm her. I'll even say no, so you can get used to her saying no, but I don't think she will because every girl likes ice cream."
Unable to take this seriously, I began "Hey, sugar lips..."
Because this person is so dang amazing I decided I would ask her out after all if she was single because, you know, we weren't actually sure on that and I felt like it was kind of important. There really should be a relationship equivalent of wedding rings to make that more obvious. Nothing fancy or expensive, just a little fashion statement that says you're taken, or allows you to pretend you're taken without actually lying. Half my female co-workers have wedding rings and that's really convenient for me to know that if I crush on them I'll go to hell. Of course there was one who decided not to wear hers because she was afraid of losing it, and still remains unaware of the problem this caused. Anyway, I asked a couple people and they were like "I think she's single but I'm not entirely sure" and of course that wasn't good enough. I hesitated to ask her best friend because I didn't trust her to keep it to herself but I figured that was better than asking everyone in the warehouse, so I did and she said "I'm sorry, she has a boyfriend. Do you like her?" No, I'm just taking a survey. I miss my call center job... NOT.
Conflicting emotions of disappointment and relief battled for a quarter hour or so and then settled down. I figured if I was sad when I got home I would numb it by purchasing an album. As impulsive and unhelpful to the root causes as such an action may be, I knew I wouldn't regret it later. Twenty years from now I wouldn't be like "Gee, I wish I'd never bought this music that I still have and can listen to whenever I want." Music is love, music is life. I wasn't sad when I got home, but I purchased an album anyway.
King - She's into Star Wars
I've shared this before but I'm sharing it again because of Star Wars!
Recently on the way to work, walking alongside the highway, I spotted a turtle that seemed to be contemplating the prospect of crossing it. I couldn't believe my good fortune of being there at just the right time to prevent a disaster. Of course, there was a chance that he could survive the crossing if every single driver coming through was observant enough to notice him and compassionate enough to care. In other words, he was screwed. I approached him just as he was taking his first couple steps and picked him up, carefully avoiding his head in case he happened to be a snapping turtle. He apparently wasn't and just retracted into his shell. Oldest trick in the book. I could have just thrown him onto the ground until his shell smashed and been like "Didn't see that coming, did you? Thought you were so smart, didn't you?" But that would have defeated the purpose of saving him in the first place.
Now where to take him? I thought about running across the road and just taking him where he was trying to go in the first place, but all I saw over there were buildings and corn fields. I figured he didn't have a particular destination in mind. Later I noticed the almost empty stream that ran under the highway and realized he was probably following that, but if so, his decision to climb up onto the sidewalk and across the road instead of going through the culvert was a spectacularly stupid one, unless he was afraid of the dark, but as soon as I wrote that I realized it's got to be dark inside his shell, not to mention claustrophobic, so that shouldn't be an issue. But I knew a better place anyway. There just so happens to be a pond right next to the warehouse where I work, and I knew that it was a suitable habitat for turtles because it already had turtles living in it. When the weather was nice, they were always out sunning themselves on the log that drifted slowly through the middle, and if I got anywhere near the edge they jumped into the water despite me being at least three meters away. Surely they had room for one more.
As I carried him the remaining four blocks I felt really bad, knowing that he was probably terrified and had no idea where we were going. I talked to him, trying to soothe him, knowing it was silly and he couldn't understand a word I said but wanting to try anyway. Isn't this like how sometimes God rescues us from disaster and takes us somewhere better but we can't understand what the heck is going on? I considered running to minimize the amount of time he had to be carried by me but assumed that would feel even scarier, as moving quickly is not a natural state for turtles to be in. Other worries occurred to me. What if he was, in fact, a tortoise? Well, no matter, I wasn't gong to throw him in the water because I'm not a freaking idiot, so he could just wander off again and there was still plenty of wide open space for him to not get run over in. But what if the other turtles didn't welcome him? What if turtles, like ants and chickens and humans, mercilessly attacked outsiders who stumbled into their group? Well, he would still be better off dealing with them than with cars and pickup trucks and tractor trailers.
We arrived at the pond and I looked for a spot to set him down. There's a ring of cement around the whole thing and then it slopes down rather steeply to the water and almost the whole slope is covered with thick and tall vegetation, but I found a nice little flat and bare spot where I could set him down and he could then decide at his leisure whether or not to get into the water. I set him down, took several steps back, and waited. He sat there motionless inside his shell for so long that I began to worry he had died of fright or something. Then, very slowwwly, his head and feet came back out. He stared at the pond for a good long while, taking in his new environment. Then he turned his head sideways so he could see me behind him, and stared at me for a good long while. Then in a flash he pushed himself into the water and was gone.
The next day when I came back, he was sunning himself on the log alongside the other two. They jumped into the water as usual, but he didn't. He looked at me and I looked at him and he stayed right where he was. The same thing happened the next day and the next day and so on. One day he was in the water and I just saw his head poking out in one spot and he looked at me and I looked at him and he stayed right where he was. Now I don't know how much he comprehends and I'm sure he doesn't recognize the certain death I saved him from, but I'd like to think he understands that I didn't try to eat him when I had a chance and that I brought him to this wonderful place, and that he likes me for it. I think I'll do all right on judgment day after all if a turtle is willing to testify on my behalf.
Alas, I soon wondered if I had actually done him any favors by putting him there. It became clear now that the other turtles in the pond are of a different species, as they're smaller and differently colored. There are only two of them and they appear to be mates, if not in the sexual then at least in the Australian sense. One day he was on the log and they were right next to him - it was plenty big for them to give him some personal space, but no, they opted to be right next to him - caressing each other's shells in what I can only assume was an affectionate manner. This other turtle, my friend turtle, was third-wheeling like a boss. I don't actually understand the expression "third wheel" because it always makes me think of tricycles, which are supposed to have three wheels, but people use it so I use it. It's actually supposed to be "fifth wheel", which makes a lot more sense, but as happens all the time it's become corrupted and lost its original metaphor and people continue to mindlessly repeat it without exercising one iota of actual brainpower. But I could care less. (See what I did there?) Anyway. Turtles. Third wheel.
Do animals feel loneliness? Despite the risk of anthropomorphizing them, I think it's a reasonable assumption that they do. It must be one of the basic sensations instilled by them in evolution that keeps them going. When they are low on energy, they feel hunger telling them to eat. When they are injured, they feel pain telling them to avoid further injury. When they are confronted by a predator, they feel fear telling them to run and/or hide from it. So when they are without a mate, I imagine they feel loneliness telling them to get (at least) one. I'm put in mind of the Tropeognathus in "Walking with Dinosaurs" who, if memory serves me, made a long and arduous journey to the mating grounds every year, and failed to get a mate every year, and had less and less chance every year as he grew older and weaker and his colors more faded. Spoiler alert: he died of exhaustion and was devoured by the offspring of the more successful Tropeognathuses. That was so sad when I was a kid and actually it still is.
But maybe this turtle isn't that desperate yet. Maybe he's in no rush. "Yeah, I'm only five," he might say if he could understand and speak English and I asked him about it. "I'm still discovering myself and enjoying the bachelor life. My mom keeps pestering me to settle down, but I'm like, mom, you abandoned me when I was an egg and you have no business butting back into my life now. Lonely? Nah. Maybe if I ever get bored of sleeping and eating, but I don't see that happening until I'm at least seven. Yeah, those guys are kind of annoying with their PDA but I understand they're just happy someone's finally here to watch them because their relationship doesn't seem valid unless it has an audience. The fish and frogs and ducks just ignore them and it drives them nuts. But they share the log, so it's whatever. Now if you don't mind, I have some more sleeping to do. Bye."
Granted, I don't even know if he's male and I've just been using a masculine pronoun because anything or anyone of indeterminate sex gets lumped in under it. If he's a female, then maybe the conversation would be different. "Oh, I'm just waiting for Mr. Right to come along," she might say. "I was actually going out to look for him myself when you picked me up, and now I've come to my senses and realized that taking initiative like that is highly dangerous and stupid. But he's bound to find his way to this pond eventually, isn't he? Unless he's too stubborn to ask for directions. That's probably it. Ugh, males."
"Maybe he's just shy," I would say. "Maybe he needs some time to... come out of his shell."
"Get out of here," she would say.
"Maybe he's had negative experiences with mating in the past," I would continue. "Maybe he's... shell shocked."
"We're not friends anymore," she would say.
"Fine, my shift starts in a few minutes anyway," I would say, turning to leave. I would look to the air bubbles where the other two turtles had disappeared at my approach as usual. "Tell Shelly and Sheldon I said hi," I would add.
So maybe, immediately after saving his/her life, I ruined it. That would be about par for the course with all my other efforts to accomplish good things. But since Milo died, he/she is the closest things I've had to a pet, so it turned out pretty awesome for me at least.
Kermit the Frog - On My Pond
A song about a pond, because off the top of my head I don't know any songs about turtles except for the "Franklin" theme song. I see a lot of Franklin books at work, and for some reason every single one of them is from Chick-Fil-A.
I would like to apologize to the world for how terrible my previous post was (insert your own quip about all my posts being terrible here). It never should have seen the light of day, but that's just an inevitable cost of my commitment to publish something every week whether I feel like it or not. When I do feel like it, and put more time into it, I'm able to flesh out and expand on half-formed ideas, revise the wording a few times, and just generally make the posts less terrible. This time around none of that happened because I didn't have much to say and put it off until Saturday night when I forced myself to say it anyway. I am a bit more enthusiastic about what I have to say this time around, though some people probably won't be.
I've gotten quite tired of the widespread and inexcusable ignorance surrounding American tax law as it relates to religions. Usually I just roll my eyes to the back of my head and scroll past it, but this meme, which has been liked and shared by thousands of people, was the last straw.
My first thought is hey, that building looks familiar. My second thought, glossing over the minor detail that this meme doesn't cite any actual math or give me any reason to believe that its creator didn't pull this percentage out of his butt, is that if we want 3% taxes a better solution might be to actually lower taxes by getting rid of a bunch of the useless crap our government spends them on. Granted, if it somehow cut its expenses to zero it would still have the small matter of a ~$20,000,000,000,000 debt to contend with, but I'm pretty sure we've all just agreed to act like that's not a thing, right? Anyway, more to the point, I decided to play their own game and make a meme of my own, which won't reach nearly as wide of an audience because a. I'm invisible and b. people hate the truth, but it stands a better chance than just plain words.
Though flattered by the depiction of an LDS temple, I opted for a more generic Christian church so as not to imply any ecclesiastical endorsement of my internet activities. (Notice that these people invariably say "churches", not "religions". Somehow I almost get the ridiculous idea that they're only interested in taxing Christianity.) I really, really, really wanted to preface it with "Dear morons:", but I restrained myself because that's not what Jesus would say. I considered instead something like "Public service announcement for the woefully ignorant:", but this meme's length already exceeds the average millennial's attention span by a solid two seconds as it is. I named a specific politically involved nonprofit (albeit one that makes curiously high profits) because just saying "but not any other nonprofits" or "but not secular nonprofits" wouldn't have had nearly the same hypocrisy-skewering impact. I could just as easily have named the NRA, but let's be honest, we all know that the kind of people who support the NRA aren't the kind of people who want to tax churches. Then I wrapped it up by copying society's own bigot-shaming game. I learned from the worst.
While I'm on the subject I'd like to keep going. The phrase "separation of church and state", which appears nowhere in the US Constitution, is paraphrased from a letter from Thomas Jefferson assuring a committee of Baptists that the government had no right to infringe on their beliefs or practices. It is now usually used to mean that churches should be subjected to a double standard compared to all other organizations and that religious (or at least Christian) leaders shouldn't be allowed to express political opinions or do anything outside of a church setting ever. For example, we saw this kind of stupidity a few months ago when President Henry B. Eyring was announced as the commencement speaker for Utah Valley University, and several people griped about this imaginary violation of the nonexistent constitutional principle of "separation of church and state". Because never mind his secular credentials and qualifications; all that matters is he's a high-ranking LDS leader so he shouldn't be allowed to speak at a secular university because reasons. Yet somehow the university survived his terrible speech about "helping and lifting others".
Churches do more to help and lift people than their detractors could ever dream of even if they were into that sort of thing. The Catholic Church is sometimes known as "the largest charitable organization in the world" because it's the largest charitable organization in the world. The LDS Church, which this meme has singled out for criticism, is a small fraction of the Catholic Church's size and thus far more modest in scope, but still provides a lot of humanitarian aid immediately after every major disaster and also on a regular basis throughout the world, including countries where it has no or little presence. Its welfare system is unlike any other. Of course, under the law, none of this is actually necessary to qualify as a non-profit organization, but it is nice. Churches do tend to prioritize spiritual matters over temporal ones (e.g. the expensive temple in the picture) since that's kind of the reason they exist, but that's their business. Each has the basic human right to teach and practice its doctrine regardless of whether you agree with it or not. If it's true then it's pretty dang important and if it's not then we'll all be dead someday regardless, so get over it.
Perhaps I should mention that the LDS Church, which this meme has singled out for criticism, is involved in some for-profit ventures which for legal purposes are handled by a separate entity that... wait for it... pays taxes. These also play an important role in the economy and provide jobs. Maybe someday they'll expand to the point where the Church pays enough in taxes for you to only pay 3%. If that happened, would you appreciate it or would you whine about how churches shouldn't be involved in for-profit ventures? There's no pleasing you, is there? Now, obviously some so-called preachers are all about profit and have abused the law to secure unmerited tax-exempt status, and that's wrong and it should be stopped. John Oliver did a great segment about them. But they're the exception, not the rule, and some secular organizations do the same thing, albeit with far less charisma. Some of them, as crazy as it sounds, actually receive money from actual taxpayers. Imagine the outrage if churches did that. (They do in several European countries, but mostly just from their own members. Mostly.)
In conclusion, I'm not attacking all secularists or all liberals, but the contention espoused in this meme is ignorant and asinine. No wonder it's so popular.
halc & Tuberz McGee - Squidzilla
I can't quite tell if this song is in reference to some Japanese monster movie or something and that would explain some of the oddities in the lyrics, but I think it's beautiful regardless. And it speaks to me.
USU graduation last year came on the heels of the first week at my terrible call center job, so now that this milestone has come around again with unreal speed I can look back and feel very good about how far I've come even though I haven't come very far. The weather has been cloudy today, keeping the heat down to a reasonable level, with just a bit of rain for a while that didn't disrupt the proceedings. Debbie has her Master of Social Work now and I'm very proud of all the hard work she put into it while still prioritizing and making time for people. Fortunately she's sticking around Logan and I pray we'll get to hang out all summer like we did all last summer. I wanted to write all about how great she is and what an incalculably profound influence she's had on my life and the kind of person I want to become, but that was a daunting task far beyond my skills so I gave up before I started. Many of the coworkers I have grown to know and love are, alas, going home for the summer. The conclusion I've drawn from this is don't care about people because then they'll always hurt you somehow even if they don't try. I'm kidding, but not really.
Now it is very difficult to find an unbiased source, and I'm not a doctor or anything, but as far as I can tell, Trumpcare is little more than Obamacare with a couple of the bad parts and all of the good parts removed. In any case, it's a testament to the Republican Party's pettiness and hypocrisy. They are not proponents of limited government - just limited Democrat government. And they don't give a crap about the gullible voters who for seven years have supported them and counted on them to get government out of healthcare. In fairness, they are trying to restore much of the insurance companies' unfettered freedom to screw their customers whenever they get a chance, so there's that. Corruption in government = bad; corruption in corporations = fine. Oh, but I'm not shedding any tears over their attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, even thought this could potentially force women to go to any of the thousands of other women's health centers that are available in the US. So there's that.
In last week's post I quoted Bill Nye as saying that "Many, many, many, many more hundreds of eggs are fertilized than become humans", and this wasn't the main point so I just tacked it on to the end with little context. The context, in case you were wondering and/or objecting, was that many fertilized eggs never implant and continue to develop, and for political or arbitrary reasons he and some other people don't consider them part of the human species despite being fully comprised of human DNA. He made this argument in an effort to persuade pro-lifers that they're hypocritical and wrong. In contrast, as I made sure to point out, this time around I made no effort to persuade anyone of anything as far as abortion is concerned. In asserting that these fertilized eggs are human, I was not saying they can think or feel or are entitled to the full rights and protections of a grown adult, and I don't think they are, but I was rejecting Nye's political and moral assertions based on a scientific facade. (Also, someone pointed out that different cultures have had varying ideas on when life begins, but there's a scientific definition of that and they're not entitled to their own facts.)
We are all well aware of the ongoing violence in Syria, largely because of the refugee crisis and the tens of thousands of men, women and children who remain in dire need of whatever help we can offer them. You've probably heard a lot less about the ongoing violence in Central African Republic and South Sudan. The battles and atrocities in these two nations are unrelated to each other, but they're both awful and tragic and the biggest crises going on in Africa right now. Every once in a while I Google these nations in the hope of some happy news, but despite occasional positive developments there just is no end in sight. So that's what I'm fasting and praying for this weekend and I just felt like bringing it up since they don't get nearly as much attention as Syria.
Palette-Swap Ninja - Princess Leia's Stolen Death Star Plans
So, this is one of the most creative and interesting things ever - the entire "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album parodied as the story of "A New Hope" with great faithfulness to the original instrumentation, lyrics, and cadence. I am thoroughly impressed and don't understand why it doesn't have ten million views already.
"Guys. Chris's blog is the stuff of legends. If you’re ever looking for a good read, check this out!"
- Amelia Whitlock
"I don't know how well you know Christopher Randall Nicholson, but... he's trolling. You should read his blog. It's delightful."
- David Young
C. Randall Nicholson
This is where I occasionally rant about life, the universe, and/or everything. I'm a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate me without guilt, but I'm also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual.