Through a series of ridiculously contrived circumstances, I have been without my laptop for nearly seven weeks during the busiest semester of my life. It would be difficult to overstate how much of an inconvenience this is, especially on Fridays when all the campus labs and city library close early while I'm at work so if I have a paper due at 11:59 pm I actually have to finish it by 2:30ish. This is also a significant factor in my sharp decrease in blog post quality this year. In its absence I have oscillated between rage, grief, and broken-spiritedness. I'm counting down the hours until I get it back tomorrow. But at least I had a phone to watch Star Wars fan films on over spring break. I need to do a really long post about Star Wars fan films. Some of them are unbelievably good. But that will have to wait.
USU had its elections recently. I haven't seen any results so I don't know if they're out yet. To be honest, I really don't care about the results because I'm only going to be here for one more semester unless I fail something. If only I could get away from Drumpf so easily. During the election, candidates put up signs with clever slogans or attempts at clever slogans and have people stand outside trying to solicit votes. For a week or so I have to take circuitous routes to avoid them. Outside the music building where I have to go for a science class for my English major, some art senator candidate or something had a sign with her big toothy smile and a few streaks of paint, I guess to symbolize artsiness. But because the paint was white it looked like birds crapped on her face and she liked it. The executive vice president candidate was running unopposed and so didn't bother with all this publicity, but I didn't want to vote for her, so I wrote in the name of someone I respect even as I realized that if this latter person won through some freak accident she would not be happy about it.
I have an enormous place in my heart for addicts. Now, I realize the American thing to do is demonize them and treat them like subhumans for trying to escape their pain, but I've decided to channel the Portugese bit of my ancestry instead. I imagine that if I go twenty years without succumbing to addiction, I will not be healed but merely an addict who hasn't relapsed for twenty years. A recovering addict has come to my congregation a couple times. She recently got out of prison, so I can rest easy knowing that the government has adequately punished her for trying to feel an emotional connection somehow. Just knowing that she's an addict makes me feel an incredible love for her and perhaps a small taste of how God feels about His children when they make poor choices. I will do anything to provide her with an alternative to drugs. Except jump out of an airplane, which I won't do for anyone under any circumstances. Unless it's still on the ground.
I tried to be a fount of supportive wisdom, saying for example that "a lot of things normal people do are stupid so they're not worthy of emulation in all aspects." But she topped that with stuff like "Alienating people is most likely due to your unique character. Which is their loss. Heaven forbid someone has an original thought or tells it how it really is. Too many people are close-minded and conditioned to be thoughtless, heartless tools. It's sad." All right, so she doesn't need my wisdom. If she sees human society for how it truly is, then no frigging wonder she feels driven to drug abuse.
I was mucking about on Wikipedia and happened to read about Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. They frequently played alongside each other as Dracula and Van Helsing, respectively, becoming dear friends despite their onscreen antagonism, and went on to appear in separate trilogies of Star Wars. Peter Cushing was Grand Moff Tarkin in "A New Hope" and recently came back from the dead to reprise that role in "Rogue One". I feel a kinship with him. Like me, he portrayed an enormous douche but in real life was the most perfect gentleman you could ever hope to meet. Carrie Fisher found it difficult to simulate her character's hatred for his character. Also, she was so nervous about talking to this great veteran actor that she accidentally mimicked his British accent in that one scene, which has been reasonably explained away as Leia mocking Tarkin. Anyway, in his Wikipedia article I found these words that simultaneously warmed and broke my heart. It's an interesting sensation. I share them now to reduce the amount of actual writing I have to do.
"In 1971 Cushing's wife died; they had had been married since 1943. The following year, he was quoted in the Radio Times as having said, "Since Helen passed on I can't find anything; the heart, quite simply, has gone out of everything. Time is interminable, the loneliness is almost unbearable and the only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that my dear Helen and I will be reunited again some day. To join Helen is my only ambition. You have my permission to publish that ... really, you know, dear boy, it's all just killing time. Please say that."
In his autobiography, Cushing implies that he attempted suicide on the night of his wife's death by running up and down stairs in the vain hope that it would induce a heart attack. He later stated that this had simply been a hysterical response borne out of grief, and that he had not purposely attempted to end his life; a poem left by Helen had implored him not to die until he had lived his life to the full, and he had resolved that to commit suicide would have meant letting her down. Although not conventionally religious, Cushing maintained a belief both in God and an afterlife. Cushing's colleagues of that period commented on his faith and his conviction that his separation from his wife was only temporary.
The effects of his wife's death proved to be as much physical as mental. For his role in Dracula A.D. 1972, Cushing had originally been cast as the father of Stephanie Beacham's character, but had aged so visibly and lost so much weight that the script was hastily re-written to make him her grandfather: it was done again in the last Dracula film from Hammer, The Satanic Rites of Dracula. In a silent tribute to Helen, a shot of Van Helsing's desk includes a photograph of her. He repeated the role of the man who lost family in other horror films, including Asylum (1972), The Creeping Flesh (1973), and The Ghoul (1975)."
Helen? More like Helluva Lucky Gal. Fortunately her husband only had to suffer for twenty-three and a half years before rejoining her. I suppose I can wait one more day to get my computer back.
Michael Giacchino - Operation Sea Lion
I haven't shared any music for a while. Let's fix that. Here is what I regard as Michael Giacchino's finest composition ever, from the game "Secret Weapons Over Normandy" and hijacked for the game "Thrillville: Off the Rails" which is where I encountered it.
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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.