Ackbar Postmortem


(Thanks, Bart)

Don’t Cry


I got this poster in e-mail today. I don’t know where it came from originally, but I rather love it.

When I Fall


Welcome to autumn!

I wrote a post last year about it being the first day of fall, and wanted to do so again this year.

In fact, I considered just republishing last year’s post, but it just didn’t seem right.

Oh, sure, there’s all that good sciencey stuff explaining about the first day of fall being the autumnal equinox when Earth’s subsolar point crosses the equator. And my basic feelings about fall (which were also the subject of a Reconstruction post earlier this year) as, moreso than spring, a time of fresh starts and new beginnings still apply this year as well.

That said, yeah, this year, I’m just not feeling it yet. And I think a good bit of that is literal. There’s a particular sort of day I associate with the beginning of fall — sun shining, weather cooler, a slight crisp breeze — and so far, we haven’t had a day that just really struck me as being fall.

And that may be the reason that I’m just not in the same place emotionally, either, but I’m not. It’s harder at the moment seeing this as a time when new beginnings are right around the corner. And that’s not a bad thing at all, I’m going into the fall at a place where I’m actually pretty content with the status quo; I don’t feel quite the need for something new that I did the last three or so autumns.

Who knows, the weather may change soon, and I may get that old fall feeling again.

As it is, I’m just looking forward to seeing a little more color.

Time And Again


Though I’ve never seen it, I bought a copy of Wall Streeton Blu-Ray this week.

I’ve heard it’s a good movie, and rather significant, and all that, I’ve just never really cared enough to watch it.

I bought it because the sequel is coming out this weekend, and I want to watch the first one so I can watch the second.

That said, my feelings about the sequel are really not that much different than the first. It looks rather interesting, but I don’t know that it’s really something I would, for its own merits, be in a big hurry to go see.

Either movie individually, I’d be somewhat blasé about. Put both of them together, and I’m extremely interested.

Basically, it’s less the plots of either movie that I’m interested in, than the passage of time between the two. Between the two movies is a span of 23 years, and I’m a sucker for long-term storytelling like that.

I watched the original Rockyon DVD, but, while I’ve seen bits and pieces of the next four Rocky movies, I’ve never watched any of them all the way through. I never had any desire to do so. Rocky Balboa,I watched the weekend it opened. I loved the idea of the character being revisited 16 years after the last movie, and 30 years after the first.

I’m also a sucker for aging for some reason, and can easily get into movies that deal with that subject. It wasn’t as long a gap since the first movie, but that’s part of why I love Star Trek II,which is a meditation on the aging of Kirk and his crew, 16 years after the beginning of the five-year mission. It’s fascinating to see them deal with being past their prime, a theme that was even more prevalent in Rocky Balboa; you never see movies about action heroes after the action ends. This was one of my disappointments with the latest Indiana Jonesmovie, I would have preferred it deal a little more with aging and the passage of time. (One of my disappointments.)

To a lesser extent, Kevin Smith dealt with this in a different way in Clerks II;his characters are still young, but at an age that they should no longer be the man-children that they were in the first film. I’m intrigued by the rumors of a third Bill & Ted movie for the same reasons. I have a hard time envisioning a real-time-aged Bill and Ted.

And, oh, sweet Tron: Legacy. Old Jeff Bridges and young Jeff Bridges in the same movie? Yeah, count me in.

What about you? Do you have any favorite long-delay sequels?

The Hell, You Say?


This is the latest in my series of blog entries taking a fresh look at a variety of topics over the year. I’ve set up a page on the blog explaining the project and linking to my entries. This post’s topic is “Hell.”


Dante's Gates of Hell

Image by Stuck in Customs via Flickr

Today’s post is going to deal with heresy that I think is actually a bit too far out there for me.

These are some things that I have trouble accepting myself, that I don’t see as being Bibically-consistent, but that raise some interesting questions or possibilities to use as diagnostic tools for examining what I do believe.

Because, you know, really, hell is a difficult subject.

I’m empathetic to the question of why a loving God would send people to hell. I disagree with it — I don’t believe God sends anyone to hell — but I’m empathetic to it. I believe He allows people to choose hell. He doesn’t want them to, but will let them if they’re so inclined. He throws us the rope to escape it, but won’t make us grab it.

But even then, I still struggle with it. People do stupid things. It’s in our nature. It’s unavoidable. And God, being omniscient, knows that. Free will is great and all, but eternal damnation is a high price to pay for making a stupid, human decision. How does a loving God allow us to bear so high a cost for a stupid and, in the context of eternity, momentary lapse? It’s not even, really, an informed decision; we’re called to make the choice without having experience with either heaven or hell or even the cognitive ability to truly understand them.

And I don’t claim to have the answer. Don’t claim to begin to understand. There are times when the most spiritually honest and mature answer you can give is “I don’t know,” and for me this is one of them.

But I’ll share three things I’m not ready to believe that do color my thinking; three fascinating bits of heresy to play with in your free time. Continue reading

Recent Random Pics


Some of these are from my 365project. Others are not.

“For Hate’s Sake” — Angry Birds Fanfic


If you haven’t played the Angry Birds game, you’re missing out. It’s very fun, and rather addictive. That said, it strikes me as the Moby Dick of the modern generation; a tale of an obsession with vengeance so deep that it no longer considers the cost.

From hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.

“We die.”

Red Breast and I watched as Yellow Wing was flung toward the fortifications; the horror that we had once felt now replaced by a dull, shell-shocked emotional aching.

The canaries had proven during the conflict to be the bravest of us all, or at least the most dedicated. Not content with the momentum imparted by the terrible catapult, Yellow Wing mustered the last of his strength, driving himself with all the velocity he could find faster and harder into the walls protecting the pigs. There was a crashing, a shattering, of wood and glass and stone — and bone — and with that, Yellow Wing was gone. His life had been exchanged for that of the mother pig, helmeted and protected deep in the protective structure with her baby before our attack had begun. Earlier sortees had claimed the life of her husband and torn down the walls that were to keep them safe.

And now, it was but Red Breast and I, and the piglet that remained alive in the shattered ruins, protected now not by the walls that had been erected to keep him safe, but by the debris that had fallen during the attack, landing in such a way not to crush him but to shelter him.

The two of us, and a baby pig. Our leaders would say that it was only fair; the life of their young in exchange for ours, the eggs that they had stolen from us that had launched this conflict. But the truth was, it had long since stopped being about the eggs, we had paid a far higher price in our own eggs than they ever had taken from us. My own beloved had dropped three of our eggs, three of our unborn children, on the pigs, using them to knock down walls, to kill our porcine foes, before she finally sacrificed herself bringing down a fort. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

The general said that she chose to give her life because she thought it was the only way to take down the wall. I suspect she could no longer go own killing her own children for the sake of this war; a war she, like so many of us, fought not out of belief in the cause but purely out of loyalty.

This was no longer a war.

This was genocide.

The pigs’ initial attack had been repaid in their blood and our own a hundred times over, and yet still we persisted. The pigs had stopped fighting back, and had turned purely to defense, and yet still we persisted. We killed, and continued to kill, and died in the process. Our generals sent teams that were poorly equipped for the tasks they were given; blue birds died en masse bringing down walls that would have been simple for one blackbird to take down. But the generals didn’t care; they were far more interested in haste, in fighting a war on a hundred fronts than they were in our lives. If they could have shed enough of our own blood to drown our enemies in it, they would have, and gleefully. They would not be content until either all of the pigs were dead, or until we were.

“We die,” Red Breast repeated in empty monotone, as he climbed into the dreadful catapult himself. He launched himself toward the rubble, and toward the piglet hidden inside.

I heard the sick thud and snap of his neck breaking as he hit the wall, splintering it with the force of impact.

As the dust settled, I surveyed the results. The piglet was still alive. Red Breast was dead.

But with his death, he had shattered the last of the debris that protected the baby pig, leaving him exposed.

A child. An orphan. An innocent. A child, not unlike the eggs that had been stolen to start this conflict.

My squadron was eliminated. It was only me. I could leave. Go home. I’d lost my beloved, our children, but I could go home with my life. And in doing so, refuse to take the life of the innocent child before me.

I loaded myself into the catapult.

“Aye, we die.

“But we take pigs with us.”