Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thought of the day: truth

There is only one truth, there are just a lot of gaps between it.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Noncomformist: a Slave Against Convention.

Some people say: "The real nonconformists don't care about whether they're conforming or not conforming." Then they are not noncomformists. I'd go one better and say that NOBODY should whether they are or aren't conforming. Would that person who truly doesn't care be a nonconformist? No. A nonconformist cares about conformity and reacts against it.

It is not admirable, not in any way, to be a nonconformist. There is no courage of convictions in it, because there aren't any convictions involved.

Neither nonconformity nor conformity involves anything more admirable than a concern for what the crowd is doing. Conformity itself is neither black nor white nor red all over. To mindlessly shackle one's self to whatever the crowd is not doing is no more admirable than to blindly shackle one's self to what the crowd is doing.

Nonconformity has no value except where the norm is wrong: where you can see and say why it's wrong. Where to conform would be offensive or unjust. The question is whether there is a real reason to recoil from a given norm. Where there is, you recoil from it - but unless you're some convention-obsessed nonconformist, you're not recoiling because it is the norm. You're recoiling because you can see and say why it's wrong.

A given normative trend or trait, habit, course of action or point of view may be good, bad or indifferent. Where the norm is good, conformity is good. Where indifferent, conformity is meaningless, and so is nonconformity. It would be a matter of pure taste and preference, with no real reason to embrace the thing or to react against it. Nonconformity is not "good for its own sake," except in areas of no import, of frivolity, fashion, and pose.

It is only where we can say and show the norm is bad that nonconformity can be admirable. Just so, conformity is good and admirable where you've chosen to conform for a reason, because the norm is something you can see is right. Either one of these takes convictions to steer by and courage, to act. To a person of convictions, in neither case will it matter whether it's the norm.

A person of convictions evaluates behavior based on convictions, not conventions.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Little Red-Haired Girl: A Ginger Enigma

There’s a Peanuts movie out, and I understand they show the Little Red-Haired Girl in it. Apparently a cartoon or two has been done over the years where the LRHG makes an appearance as well, but this character was never once shown in the comic strip. Shultz himself didn’t consider those animated depictions canonical. What was he trying to tell us?

I suspect this is one of those Fight Club type deals, where it turns out the character is a projection of the protagonist’s subconscious mind.

I bet if I tried I could write a nice treatment on that theme, packed with Peanuts erudition and deep psychological angles.

Friday, November 13, 2015

I've Decided to Become Mysterious!

I've decided that from now on I'm going to be mysterious about all sorts of things. My sexuality was the first thing I thought of, but also about whatever else comes up that hits that hint of mystique and fascination. Mysterious in general. An air of mystery! There's so much depth to me I haven't even plumbed at this point, one assumes having never really thought to try. It seems I've been saving it up - saving it up for something mysterious, no doubt. A mysterious purpose, perhaps, or even a mysterious event. Perhaps a coincidence or something! There's got to be all this mystery in me for some reason.

At least if there isn't - same thing, right? Can't plumb what isn't there. It ends up being mysterious by default.

But I've always suspected I might have a deep, lurking subconscious. Somewhere, deep inside. Under the surface. Beneath the ego. Craftier than most peoples', perhaps! Having gone all thus far in life keeping quiet, stealthily and not tipping its hand (assuming its got one). Time to lean on that a little bit, craft a bit of mystery. As Sarah McLachlan might very well have described the process: "Yeah you're working / building a mysterrrreeeeee / holding onnnn / holding it innn," and that about sums it up for me these days.

So many things to be mysterious about!

Am I heterosexual? I know I've said I am, but am I really? What if I'm just afraid how gay I might secretly be? Pretty sure I know the answer to this one. Do you? See, that's the heart of THAT little mystery. I assure you, I've heard a lot of people are putting on an act. If they are, it stands to reason other people might be, too. Things that make you go "hm."

How do we even know I'm a man?

I mean okay, sure, I know. Figured that one out pretty early - interesting story, actually! But how do we know? Aha, not so easy to answer! Pretty mysterious all of a sudden.

And what about:

Am I to be trusted? This is a little-more clear cut. How the hell can you trust someone so clearly mysterious?

And then there's my criminal record. Do I have one? What's on it? A lot of internet sidebar ad come-ons would leave you to believe they hold the secret. Check it out. Look into it. The mystery deepens.

And what about as-yet unsolved crimes? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'd say this is another great place to seek mystery out where it lives.

Privacy is important to we mysterious types. Go ahead poke and pry! What sort of mysterious answer do you think you'll get?

There's plenty of mystery in life. You just have to know where to look. In case you don't, though: RIGHT HERE.

The mystery is RIGHT HERE.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thought of the Day: Ambition

There is nothing left in this world except failure.

I will achieve that.

Open Letter to Zooey Deschanel: Your Eyes Are Pretty

Dear Zooey Deschanel,

I've noticed that you, more than any other actress, have been typecast as the girl who gets fallen in love with. That's got to be kind of fun and weird! In a story-book kind of way, wouldn't that have to be almost the most wondrous archetype-sculptural mold into which the molten wax of one's heated professional persona could be poured to cool? Of course, sometimes the stories themselves don't live up to the part you could play in them. And even when they do, many artists find the idea of being cast in a certain mold, or as a certain type, to be itself limiting. Disappointing. Less than they signed on for, maybe. I get that. But I suspect what type you get cast as has got to count for something! Also, whether you created and blazed your path to it yourself, or were stuffed and forced into it.

I don't recall Clint Eastwood complaining much about the kinds of roles he was expected to play, for example. You seem to have a pretty good sense of wonder and humor, and gratitude for the opportunities you've made magic of, and - at the risk of missing your ass entirely with such poorly-aimed kisses as these - it seems to me you bring that wonder afresh every time and are, in some way, maybe a diametrically diagonal female Clint Eastwood, of sorts.

You're not even my favorite actress! Just one of those people you wish endlessly well, you can't help but wish them well, you know? I'm sure you know people like that.

I'm not really sure who I would even cite as my favorite actress, to be honest. To rate and rank a work, a performance, that seems only fitting! Seems weird to rank human beings.

Okay. We now come to the difficult, and perhaps awkward, point of this open letter: its purpose, arguably. At very least, its pretext.

I don't know if you got my previous Open Letter to you?

If not, please disregard. It was primarily a lambasting of the media, over their insensitive and ham-handed handling of coverage in previous life events of yours, which frankly were not then nor ever would be the media's or the public's business. And which frankly I was like "butt out!"

Yet now I eat crow for some reason. I feel as though I must be a hypocrite, and I need to ask you - am I off-base on this? Or would you back me up, here? Because let me tell you, I was just dumbstruck happy-as to hear the news of your recent, love-based conversion experience. Not because such a leap is necessary to love, but because - well, especially coming after the tasteless and tawdry coverage a couple years back, when things were not so storybook, this news just washed over in a glow of welcome, breathtaking waves of restored faith in humanity, in life, restored faith in love and the possibility of love, renewed trust in what futures can be when shared fully, and a celebration of covenant. I'm a sucker for romance in general, but ritual forms of woo are a special weakness. I love love sealed and stamped, perhaps ceremoniously. Some say all that stuff doesn't matter - and they're right. Which is their loss.

I don't say it's super-important, obviously! What's between two is everything, and some folks don't happen find that stuff congenial, is all. Most people, it seems, don't. So it's just that unexpected extra bit cool, and hushed and sacred when some do. It adds something that is much more than ambience - for me it does, anyway. I always love seeing it, when someone takes a leap for love - unless of course you know both people and they're totally wrong for each other, and the whole thing's fucked up already before it even gets out of the gate - ugh. Not cool. But most of the time, if you're not privy to that level of detail, why assume the worst? Why not assume one can walk into the storybook tale. Such tales we tell ourselves, they so often fail and people so usually give up. Which makes it forever for them a lie. To assume one has entered the storybook, and to act in good faith as if, is the only way it ever comes true. So when people take some extra-devotional leap into togetherness, it just makes me step back and realize. Be reminded of what can be, and where you can land, given the occasional blind leap: breath caught, footing found. The horizon expands in glows of gold and rose, a love that will dawn forever. Or feels like!

Plus, if I may say so, in broader, cultural terms - this is a huge coup for Jews.

I digress, though. The point is: what am I, a hypocrite? Good news gets trumpeted and rings throughout the world, and everyone is happy to be part of it or hear it, no one curses the media. But then bad news comes.

Can I be right to blast the media for considering themselves entitled to the good and the bad?

Anyway, it's something to think about. It kind of just struck me.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

A Christian Accepts God's Judgment

A Christian accepts God's judgment is not his.

Or hers, naturally. But that's rarely if ever a problem, is it?

This has been your regular God Blog Theology Sunday blog post!

Friday, November 06, 2015

Comparative Analysis: Classic Archetypes of Myth Pt.2: Hercules V. Thor

I feel like Hercules would tear Thor's head off pretty easy. I mean, not in the Marvel Comics versions - they pretty much evened them out to about the same relative strength level, and from there Thor is going to win it due to that damn hammer, and his broader power-set. But in the actual myths, I feel like you've got to give Hercules the edge. Thor doesn't really come off as being on the same level, based on sheer feats of strength exhibited. But don't take my word for it! Read deeply into the original Norse and Greek myths, see what you think. I'm not the authority here. If anybody has some meaty counterexamples to share from verified, documented myth, I'd love to discuss.

The problem with the internet is that it's hard to zero in on pure Thor-Thor with all the Marvel Mighty-Thor material out there. Which is, in fact, the problem with the internet. As I've said.

I think the best way to settle this would be - well wait, first a bit of backstory. We all know Hercules was at the very least bi-, right? He definitely had a thing for boys - or maybe it was just the one boy? He totally missed out on the quest for the Golden Fleece when he abandoned the Argo chasing after his boy who had wandered off on unauthorized shore leave! Really, this was a case of narrative necessity. Hercules was simply too powerful. With him along, the quest would have been a futile exercise in deus ex machine, only without the machine. Dramatic tension-wise, don't bring a demigod to a knife-fight - even if there are living skeletons involved.

And on the Norse side of things, we also all remember the famous episode in myth in which Thor dresses up disguising himself as a bride. For various reasons. We need not go into those, here.

So what about creating a sitcom where the premise is Thor and Hercules end up as a COUPLE, due to a series of Three's Company style "misunderstandings"? Awesome!

Maybe that would need to be a 1-shot telemovie. I'm not sure that premise spools out indefinitely. It's going to peak and resolve, at some point.

Anyway.

I think a treatment like this would be a nice counterbalance to all the testosterone-heavy superhero-style god bombast we get today, in our theaters. Why not bring the emphasis back to some of the kind of shit that REALLY went on in the old days, mythology-wise? Almost all of which has been by now glossed over by antsy media barons and REVISIONIST PRUDES.

It could be called...it could be called... the god couple? I dunno, we gotta be able to do better than that. Some kind of pithy and clever title, anyway.

Leave your suggestions in the comments.

On the Objectionable: Ladies

Some people find LADIES offensive.

I'm sorry, but if it's offensive, then it ain't ladies.