My First Post of 2017
Resolutions and Politics
New Year's resolutions would make more sense if we did them on our birthdays, would they not? Because that's when the real "new years" of our lives begin. Of course, feeling a need to wait until the beginning of a year to make changes in one's life is completely irrational, but I get it, I'm a human too and my mind isn't ruled by rationality either. I've never deliberately set out to make New Year's resolutions but this time around the hype has gotten to me and I've become more resolute about one that I started pondering some time ago. I want to become like Debbie, the sweetest, kindest person I've ever met. Ultimately I should aspire to be like Jesus, but this is a more manageable-sized interim goal and a major step in that direction. I'd like to think that I have a good heart and I just want to be kind and loving to everyone, but sometimes my contempt for much of humanity gets in the way. Debbie has an advantage over me in that she loves all of God's children and I don't. There are a great number of people that I wish would do the world a favor by holding their breath for about ten minutes. Looking down on them makes me feel better about myself, so it's hard to give up.
I've therefore started somewhere easier by developing an unconditional love for my co-workers who, with very rare teensy little exceptions, give me no reasons to dislike them. One lady was rude to me when I got paired up with her and she was also rude to me when I was consciously nice to her, but now she just stares blankly at me, so I see that I've already had a positive impact on her life. Debbie has another advantage over me in that she's female, so she can be as nice as she wants without the opposite sex labeling her as a "nice girl" as a thinly veiled code for "unattractive and uninteresting person who is obviously just being nice because she wants us to like her". Since I'm not female I feel a constant nagging pressure in my mind to hold back and not be too nice. I'm striving to ignore it and let the chips fall where they may. I asked myself just the other day, "What would Debbie do if she were here?" And then I said back to myself, "You make it sound like she's dead." And then I replied to myself, "She may as well be." Long story.
And it's a pure coincidence that this is happening near the beginning of the year, but I've decided to resign my Republican Party affiliation. Let me be clear: I have felt for years that the Republican Party was more or less equally corrupt and responsible for everything that's wrong with this country as the Democrat one, and never considered myself a Republican. However, Utah's stupid law required me to join one of those two parties in order to vote in the primaries, and since I leaned more conservative I chose that one. It did me no good because, thanks to the absurdly undemocratic way that the primaries work, their 2012 nominee was already chosen by the time Utah got a turn to weigh in. Granted, it would have chosen him anyway. This time around Utah had more of a say in it, but since the Republican Party chose a man as abhorrent as Drumpf and forfeited every ounce of its moral high ground, I no longer want anything to do with it.
Utah has already been growing less Republican without a corresponding increase in Democrats. That trend makes me very happy and I plan on contributing to it. Most Utah Mormon Republicans think they're Republicans because that party's platforms are more in harmony with the gospel, but the truth is that most Utah Mormon Republicans are Republicans because, after decades of resisting the Republican Party's attempts to crush the LDS Church for practicing polygamy, their Mormon ancestors became Republicans so that the Republican U.S. government would let Utah become a state. It worked. Now, thanks to confirmation bias, many descendants of long lines of Utah Mormon Republicans perceive their party as being more in harmony with the gospel and find it baffling that any Mormon could be a Democrat. President Uchtdorf denounced this kind of thinking a couple of General Conferences ago and the people who needed to hear that the most are of course the ones who decided it didn't apply to them.
Also, is the MoTab performing at Drumpf's inauguration still causing a stir all over the place, or just here in Utah? I'm pretty dang tired of hearing about it.
I imagine most people who want to see "Rogue One" have seen it by now, but if not, it shouldn't be too much of a spoiler to mention that Grand Moff Tarkin is in it as a CG character. Or, to be precise, as an actor with a similar build and voice to the late Peter Cushing, digitally altered to look like the late Peter Cushing. The result looks quite fake, but this kind of a stunt would have been unthinkable a few years ago and will probably be perfected a few years from now. Exciting stuff. Some people think it's unethical to recreate a dead person like that. I don't, but then I couldn't care less if someone urinates on my corpse and feeds it to wolves after I die, so maybe I'm not the best person to ask. According to the New York Times, ILM's chief creative officer John Knoll has dismissed the notion that this will open the door to a lot more dead-person-resurrecting:
“I don’t imagine that happening,” Mr. Knoll said. “This was done for very solid and defendable story reasons. This is a character that is very important to telling this kind of story.” He added: “It is extremely labor-intensive and expensive to do. I don’t imagine anybody engaging in this kind of thing in a casual manner.” If “Star Wars” films are still made in 50 or 100 years, Mr. Knoll said audiences would probably not see likenesses of Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford playing Luke Skywalker or Han Solo.
Erm... you realize that in 50 or 100 years, a seven-year-old will be able to do that with her phone, right? And Disney will keep making Star Wars movies until they start to suck so bad that no one will pay to watch them anymore. I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, this is a whole galaxy with a multi-thousand-year history we're dealing with here, offering infinite story possibilities without retreading the same ground over and over. On the other hand, I feel like the "light side vs. dark side with lightsabers and space battles" concept will nonetheless start to get pretty stale after a while. But in a worst-case scenario, no matter how redundant or terrible future movies may become, they won't negate or detract from existence of the good ones. I've seen/heard at least a couple people mentioning that there are now eight Star Wars movies. This is incorrect. As much as some may wish it to be otherwise, there are at least twelve and possibly as many as eighteen Star Wars movies, depending on the strictness of your criteria. The four indisputible pre-Rogue-One non-main-saga movies are:
The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) - I can see why people want to forget this one.
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984) - I can see why people want to forget this one, though it's much better than "The Star Wars Holiday Special".
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985) - I can see why people want to forget this one, though it's much better than "Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure".
The Clone Wars (2008) - I can see why people want to forget this one.
In addition, some episodes of the 1985 animated "Droids" series, the 1985-86 animated "Ewoks" series, and the 2003-5 animated "Clone Wars" series (not to be confused with the more recent CG animated "Clone Wars" series) were edited together into movie-ish formats for DVD release, adding six more to the total if you choose to include them. Of all these things, however, only "The Clone Wars" movie had a theatrical release and is still considered canon since Disney took over. But even if you only count that one and pretend none of the others exist, there are nine total, not eight. I'm not even embarrassed about knowing this stuff.
Shout-out to a good friend who has been very supportive of this blog and also has one of his own. In his latest post he writes about the women in his life (kinda). You should go read it.
Gigi D'Agostino - La Danza del Sole
I'm just sharing this remix of "Bla Bla Bla" because I've been listening to it lately and I like it. I have nothing profound to say about it. I have no idea what he's saying.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.