This is General Conference weekend! Which means that, as per usual, I will write about it next week instead of this week because that's much easier!
I finished Season Three of "Star Wars: Rebels" last night and I stand by my earlier assessment of the show as being really great. I don't even know what to say about it because the coolest parts involve severe spoilers. I guess I will just say for now that recycling Grand Admiral Thrawn from the jettisoned Expanded Universe was a brilliant move, as was his translation to the screen. His creepy soft-spoken monotone (cough I have one of those too cough) and creepy pipe organ motif, to say nothing of him having blue skin and red eyes and being a token alien in the virulently racist Empire, make him a unique bad guy in good ways. But one episode made me more scared of Hera than of him or any other villain. Avoiding spoilers, let's just say that if I were in the Rebellion and she ever so much as looked at me I'd be like "I'M SORRY I SWEAR I DIDN'T TOUCH YOUR DROID PLEASE DON'T BLOW ME UP I'M SORRY I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING I'M SORRY"
Most pro-choicers have to bend over backwards and upside down to avoid thinking about what abortion actually is, while abortion providers themselves bend over backwards and upside down to avoid letting them think about it. Hence all the rhetoric and euphemisms about "choice", "bodily autonomy", "reproductive health", making sure to always use the word "fetus" instead of "baby", etc. And hence a strong resistance to looking at or allowing people to look at unborn fetuses and find out that they actually look like people. (Many post-abortive women have been horrified to find this out after the fact. Funny how "pro-choice" is so seldom pro-informed-choice.) Perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than in Planned Parenthood's recent cartoons explaining abortion procedures, which depict fetuses as - you can't make this stuff up - white dots. Dots. As stupid as the verbal rhetoric is, it's difficult to see this visual equivalent as anything less than a deliberate flat-out lie. I would call it an insult to people's intelligence, but thousands will probably accept it without question. They've already accepted the "clump of cells" BS, after all.
Fitting then, that in the latest "deceptively edited" undercover Planned Parenthood video (the scare quotes indicate sarcasm) a former regional director comments, "It’s not a matter of how I feel about it coming out intact, but I gotta worry about my staff and people’s feelings about it coming out looking like a baby. We have the people who do our paperwork for the fetal death certificates, they email us calling them ‘babies’. Baby this, baby that, baby so-and-so, and I’m like, that’s creepy!" You don't say?
If you support the right to tear fetal limbs off and suck fetal brains out, own up to it. Don't be a spineless wimp-noodle who hides behind word games and delusions about white dots. And I'm not being as completely snarky as I sound because I do believe that abortion is acceptable, albeit highly regrettable, in a small handful of circumstances that make up a single digit percentage of actual abortions in the U.S. But I don't pretend that those circumstances magically turn living breathing fetuses into white dots. (This is why most pro-lifers do not believe in exceptions. I sympathize.)
I should probably be upset if it turns out, as it looks like it's going to, that Russia messed up the U.S. election. But I would mostly just be impressed that they pulled it off, and hope that with this as practice, they'll be able to start meddling at an earlier stage next time around so we don't end up with a pair of turds to choose between in the first place. What good would being mad do, anyway? It's just one of those things that happens. Russians will be Russians, am I right? That's not racist because they're white. (To quote regional LDS Seminaries and Institutes Director Sergei Seminov on his visit here a couple years ago, "Russians are the scariest white people.") And of course, it's not like the U.S. has ever interfered with another democratic country's elections to support its own interests - oh wait. Never mind. So I say, Mr. Putin, if you were behind this, congratulations on your little prank and thank you for ending Hillary's career. I know I shouldn't like you, but I kind of you, because you're kind of a jerk and so am I.
What did they actually allegedly do? I should be paying more attention to the news. I just know that as of several months ago they were accused of leaking the Democrat Party's shady emails and duping Drumpf supporters with fake news stories. I have zero moral objections to the former because politicians who send shady emails deserve to be exposed, and though I have theoretical objections to the latter I can't really blame anyone for succumbing to the temptation to exploit humanity's mind-numbing gullibility for fun or profit. It's like Andrew Wakefield - sure, he's a slimeball of epic proportions, but is it really his fault that thousands of people still believe in him despite him being thoroughly disgraced and discredited and the lies in his one and only "study" being common knowledge?
Kal Ho Naa Ho
I have yet to see this movie but I know the general story from the music videos. This one is a story in and of itself, and somehow is more beautiful and moving than it would be if I understood any of the words.
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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.