The Last Post of July 2015
Perhaps our culture's romanticization of pirates isn't as undeserved as I thought. I went to a museum exhibit about them today and learned that they didn't kill many people, had a democratic and sort of an egalitarian society amongst themselves, and just wanted an alternative life to the hell that awaited them in legitimate maritime occupations. Many black people were pirates, and it was basically their only alternative to slavery. Of course they were still bad guys, but now I have to kind of admire them along with everyone else. (I mean that everyone else admires them, not that I admire everyone else, as I most certainly do not.)
I was surprised, though, to learn that pirates actually did use the Jolly Roger and variations thereof. I thought that was a myth/Hollywood invention, since going around broadcasting the fact that they're pirates doesn't seem like the brightest idea. I think it was just during raids. I don't remember because there was a lot of stuff to take in.
Speaking of surprising historical accuracy, "A Knight's Tale" had much more than I anticipated when I watched it recently. Looking at the box I assumed it was a totally and deliberately anachronistic comedy along the lines of "Shrek" (though presumably with fewer talking animals). However, the only glaring anachronisms were the late-twentieth-century pop songs, and the rest were mainly along the lines of "we didn't bother to research the difference between fourteenth and sixteenth-century fashions". I had hoped that despite its anticipated lack of seriousness the film would provide some inspiration for my own fourteenth-century project, but it was set in 1370s Western Europe while mine is set in 1350s Eastern Europe, so not much luck there. It was still thoroughly enjoyable, though, if a bit confusing, but I shan't get into that because it would be a spoiler.
I will just say this. There is a part where the hero tries to win back his ticked off love interest with a poem, which is actually pieced together from the suggestions of his compatriots. She loves it and ceases to be ticked off, but when they meet in person again she demands to hear more poetry on the spot, and he's all like "Oh crud." As a decent writer, albeit not much of a poet, I just want to say that this would have been a highly unreasonable demand even if he really had written the poem himself. There are surely some people who can spontaneously compose beautiful poetry, but they constitute a very small minority. Writing takes time, thought, rearranging, and editing. The words don't usually just flow out like magic. Granted, for me it is much easier than speaking. The great dating guru Arianna Rees once said not to write things that you can't say in person, but if I followed that advice I would have to dumb down my writing about a thousand percent.
Still, there is room for improvement, as I started using the "Grammarly" tool recently and discovered that my grammar isn't as great as I thought. In most cases, though, I don't care, because as long as one is intelligible, writing with an authentic voice is more important than being a stickler for every little rule. Just imaging how boring Douglas Adams would have been if he followed all the rules instead of being witty.
I learned a new word recently: humblebrag. It means "to make an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement with the actual intention of drawing attention to something of which one is proud." For example, my boss told me that the guys across the street said that I'm a whiz kid with social media. How ironic it is for me to be considered good at anything with the word "social" in its name.
I got to help stomp out an Idaho grass fire yesterday before it spread out of control and destroyed who knows how much terrain and property. It was already pretty big and took about three minutes to stomp out with four other guys. So that was exciting. The moral of this story is: Dear cigarette smokers, give yourself cancer if you insist, but please have the decency to not throw your butts out your car window. Not only is it littering, which is despicable in and of itself, but it can lead to a bunch of destruction and then saying you're sorry won't fix anything.
Usually when I talk to people about deep stuff the most I can hope for is to be validated. If I'm lucky I can be understood. If I'm really lucky they not only understand but agree with me and say that things that I was thinking but never said, thus revealing that perhaps a few things about me aren't completely abnormal. It takes a lot of trust to discuss these things; trust which in one case I am now betraying by mentioning it up here. This person said: "Butts are super gross. The problem I have with them is a lot of guys['] and girls['] butts look the same. So why am I attracted to one and repulsed by the other[?] Context. Haha. That is the only difference."
Hormones: saying "screw logic" since about 450 million B.C.
That actually happened. The rest of this I made up. That night, he received an unexpected visit from a representative of the Hormone Mafia, hereafter referred to simply as a goon. "Look, amico," it said, "if you wanna reproduce then I suggest you don't question our judgment, capiche?"
"But -" he began, but the goon cut him off.
"No buts," it said. "And no pun intended. If you know what's good for you, then you're gonna like what we tell you to like, whether you like it or not, capiche?"
"Yeah, I capiche," said my friend, causing the goon to noticeably cringe at this butchering of the Italian language. "I just don't like this cognitive dissonance, that's all."
"Ha!" said the goon. "You really should have thought of that before you evolved critical thinking skills. We were here first. On that note, tell your buddies in the parietal lobe that next time we're taking no prisoners, capiche?"
In closing, Planned Parenthood is still in trouble as more behind the scenes videos are released. Some have disputed that any profit was being made on the fetus parts, but even if not, they are clearly still in violation of other laws. Who can expect any less from an organization that has already been caught in so many legal and ethical violations? One wonders if they will ever go too far, or if the government and the nation will continue to turn a blind eye for eternity. It isn't as important as a lion being killed in Zimbabwe, after all.
Some actual good news: "Cosmopolitan" finally being recognized and treated as the filth that it is. So, yay! And in other good news, I fixed my disk usage problems (mostly) so that now it is usually under fifty percent and often in single digits, but Google Chrome is still slow as death. Heavy sigh.
In closing for real this time, there may have been a time when I confined my posts to one or two topics rather than jumping all over the place all the time, but that time is evidently past, at least for the time being. To anyone who doesn't like it, I'm sorry. To anyone who does, you're welcome. See you next time.
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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.