Deeper meaning in Dumbo

I haven’t seen Dumbo since I was quite young, so when I rewatched it for my Disney marathon today it really struck me, watching it with adult eyes.  Now I’ve heard people criticize it for being outdated, racist, etc.  But I have never seen a better representation of special needs children than Dumbo.

Almost every struggle little Dumbo faces is one faced by a special child.  The snickers, the condescension, people trying to use them for publicity. It’s really the story of circus performers, but they focused on an elephant.  Because circus performers of old were usually the odd and outcast, the hunchback, the ones with a peculiar physical debility that others could capitalize on.

But back to Dumbo being the greatest representation of special needs, there’s the struggle of a mother whose “friends” can’t deal with how unusual and special her child is so they turn their backs on her, leaving her alone and unsupported to raise him, and then blaming her child for all the hardships she faces.  There’s the struggles of not fitting in.  And the hero who comes along and believes that what others make fun of you for is the very thing that makes you wonderful and special.  I was just really struck by how a movie most people who currently cry out for representation in Disney features would deem offensive solely because one of the crows’ name is Jim is the best representation of special needs children and their struggles.  This cartoon is seriously underrated.

Knock it off with the knockoffs!

Alright 21st century knockoff culture rant starting in 3… 2.. 1! Blast off! (can’t say I didn’t warn you!)

I want to know where creativity has went? We’re resuscitating B rated movies from thirty years ago because our culture is so dead.  I mean seriously the only thing that made the original Red Dawn bearable was Swayze and Sheen’s duo, and even with that it was a dreadfully campy movie! Every third movie is a reboot or continuation of something that came from thirty or more years ago.  They’ve tried to relive the glory days of film by doing Biblical epics (like Noah) but they don’t respect the sanctity of the work and they cut corners that were never cut before and expect to equal the splendour of what came before.  Where has imagination went? they just take old films and add more sex and violence and think that makes it better.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Star Wars! I really do, grew up with starry eyes for Luke Skywalker! but leave the continuations to the fanfiction writers and leave well enough alone.  Stop beating a dead horse.  Think up something new!  We just had a Creed movie after how many Rocky movies? it’s getting silly and almost insulting to the original works.

We can ask where originality went, more than likely it got drowned in a cinema culture that’s saturated in violence and sex and gaudy special effects with no substance.  I want to see a Renaissance where inspiration is found in the classics, not the need to redo, continue, or modernize them.  The artists of the Renaissance didn’t rewrite Homer and Virgil, they were inspired by them to create works of art of their own.  Statuary and painting, poetry and philosophy, they flourished in the 15th through 18th century, spanning Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment, because they were inspired by the past, not determined to take it, rewrite it, modernize it for their times, and essentially drag it through the mud.

We want to glorify the wrong things in today’s culture, sex is our new god and thought is discouraged in favour of self-seeking pleasure, vicarious living of our wildest vices are fed to us by Hollywood and we plunge head first into a world where nothing is noble and pure because our flesh is weak and then we excuse it as just a movie.  Everything that is sinful is glorified and all things pure are put down as lame and uncool or at the least unbelievable and unrealistic.  No one waits for marriage! no one resists the temptation to take advantage of someone else for their own gain! Cinema has taught us to be selfish.  And has done so at a low cost, simply taking old movies that had some quality (at least some of them) and making cheap knockoffs with less quality and less moral and more vice and more gaudy special effects with little or no substance.

There goes Johnny

Johnny Manziel, Heisman winner, leader of the team that beat Bama, professional quarterback, and walking disaster.

The boy ends up in my news feed every other week it seems, he’s always up to something stupid and damaging to his career.  And while there’s no excuse for acting out like he does, there are some reasons that in conjunction with his immaturity make a combustible situation for Johnny Football.

I sympathize for the boy, I almost pity him for the riches he grew up in, easy living leads to lack of determination down the line.  And as a college age kid I really feel what is driving him.  Adulthood is hard, like really hard.  I honestly can’t imagine what it would be like to be my age and thrown under all the pressure that he is with all the opportunities for vice just laying out there.  When he joined the NFL at the end of his Sophomore year a child got thrown into a candy shop and asked to be responsible.  I said it then, and I’ll say it again, he should have stayed in college another year.

So while there is no excuse for what Johnny Stupid is doing now, my heart bleeds for him, because he’s got a hundred times the pressure on him that I’ve got on me and at the same age, and not gonna lie, sometimes the stress in my life makes me want to snap and lose it, I can’t imagine what it’s like living the life he does, with all the extra responsibilities on shoulders that are only six days younger than mine.  I mean I feel I did good when I get the dishes washed every two days, I can’t imagine doing two-a-days to earn my pay and then having more money than sense to go squander.

So we shouldn’t be heaping condemnation on the poor wayward Texas boy, he needs prayers, because only Jesus can save us, and Johnny is about to turn into Johnny Tragedy if he doesn’t hit his knees and sober up and stay out of trouble.

#prayforJohnny

Love’s Labours Lost in the 21st Century

Love has always been a confusing conundrum.  Scientists tell us it’s just a chemical reaction.  Poets tell us that it’s the sum of all life’s pursuits.  Soldiers die whispering the name of their sweethearts.  No one it seems is immune to this universal blessed plague.  King’s catch love as quick as the homeless beggar on the street corner.  History is full of wars and peace and alliances made and broken for this thing that no one can fully describe.  It confused the philosopher’s of old and is about forty times more confusing in the time we live in now.

A hundred years ago there were rules, you could gauge a little better where you stood with the opposite sex when it came to their feelings for you.  If you held long conversation with a single woman and were yourself a single man, at some point you would be considered bound by your honor to make her an offer.  The friendzone as the modern terminology would call it was a near non-existent place.  Men knew the rules, you don’t talk to a lady at length unless you have plans of courting said woman.  Women knew that their reputation could be endangered if they had long private talks with a man, at the very least they could get caught up in an unwanted engagement.  Now the water is muddied by friendships mixed with deeper feelings and even further confusion is added by the whole part of our culture that believes in “friends with benefits” as if the deepest act of intimacy can occur between two people and it not affect their previously platonic friendship.

We have compounded the confusion that love was a hundred years ago, and before, by eroding morality.  The rules that have stood for hundreds of years existed for a reason.  They weren’t there to make people miserable, they were there to protect men and women alike from hurting each other.  Women were regarded as precious, not because they were thought to be helpless, this is a huge myth.  Women of the 19th century worked, sometimes harder than men in their same class.  They were farriers and factory workers, fishmongers and tailors.  The idea that women could not work any occupation besides that of prostitute is a huge misinterpretation of history.  There have been dairy maids and housekeepers since the upper class decided they didn’t want to do these jobs themselves and became civilized enough to think slavery below their dignity.

Were things perfect in the past? by no means, but love was a little easier to navigate than it is in the current time.  A man had to prove he could provide for the family and wife he wished to gain by marriage.  The modern problem of men being without work while their woman slaves at two jobs was exceedingly rarer.  The problem of mothers without husbands was also much less common, men knew that consequences would be swift if the woman had family, and if they had any conscious they knew the woman without family would suffer immensely if he left her unwed.  There were rules, and they weren’t to enslave men or women to a rigid morality of the time, they were there to protect both parties.

Now love is turned upside down, people have children for all the wrong reasons, we have “anchor babies” and “welfare babies” and don’t treasure the precious life of babies.  Infant mortality has drastically decreased since times gone by, but in it’s place we have climbing rates of abortion because human life, and it’s worth, have been degraded and drug through the dirt.  Evolution being taught brought man down to the level of the animal, rather than a divine masterpiece.  Then from evolution sprung the idea that as animals we have no need of conscience, does an ox have a conscience? or a mare a morality? and so mankind decided to live like animals, and we reap the fruits of this folly now with infants murdered in the womb and parents seeing children as offspring to bring in money, rather than precious life.  Love is just a word now, a word with little meaning, we use it for our house cat and we use it for our sneakers, our favorite candy bar and our best dress.  A hollow word that no one believes and everyone uses.  There is no promise behind the utterance of the word any longer.  We say it to manipulate people, to placate them, but it’s lost its sanctity.  Along with every other part of life that our 21st century society has decided to degrade.

Sex is king and love is an outdated notion.  Marriage is bondage and children a nuisance to be avoided.  We should seek pleasure and our own desires regardless of the state we leave others in, after all, it was their fault for getting attached.

These are all things our world throws at us.  Lies to drown out the voice of our divinely gifted conscience.  They throw the clatter of lust and supposed freedom into our head to drown out the responsibility we should be feeling for those that we mistreat, by loving and leaving or by not loving and misleading.  We do owe those around us a measure of clarity.  We shouldn’t leave them in muddy waters, and we shouldn’t mislead them.  A clear conscience is to be strived for, not ignored responsibility and selfish pleasures.

A conscience is something you have to live with all your life and take to your deathbed.  It’s not to be abused.  Because long after lovers die and children grow and move away, inheriting the morality of their parents and mentors, there, in the dark, abused and tattered and sometimes nearly silenced, there is still a conscience.  The only thing that can kill it is psychopathy.

We have loved and lost, but how did we treat love when we had it? Was it lost by lack of commitment or was it lost only by death taking it from us? How guiltless will we stand when our love life is examined in the light of Truth?  Did we mislead others just so we could have companionship, allowing them to hope for more than we intend to occur? did we mislead others just to satiate our desires? did we treat the word love as a truth, not just a word to be used and abused as often as we liked?

Love’s labours may have been lost, but did we lose them by our own folly and faulty 21st century morality?

 

 

I want Jesus. But, also a husband. And kids. And a job. And an apartment. And, maybe a dog.

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I want Jesus to come back.

I want to see Him, unveiled, face to face.

I want to live in the Kingdom illuminated by His glory and paved by streets of gold.

I want to experience Jesus’ perfect goodness, His deeper goodness.

But, I also want to get engaged. I want to experience the moment when that guy gets down on one knee and pops that long-awaited question, “Will you marry me?”

I want to get married. I want to plan my wedding, I want to pick out my dress, the flowers, the bridesmaids dresses, and I want to walk down the aisle, and finally say, “I do.”

I want to have kids. I want to experience pregnancy and pick out baby names and decorate the nursery with light blue or gentle pink.

I want to tell my kids about Jesus and treasure the sweet moments of tucking them in…

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The Road to Destruction… is paved with hedonism

Doom and gloom is something I try not to do too much of, but it is a bit overwhelming when you look at how little people care anymore.  There are folks out there who are concerned for the future of mankind, or their fellow man.  But it is shocking how many people don’t stop to help those in need of help, even if it’s just asking if they’re alright after a fall or something.  They just walk on.  One time at work there was a guy in the middle of the chip aisle, convulsing on the floor, his face red, having some kind of seizure, and people were doing everything short of stepping over him to get to the Fritos! Caring nothing for the concerned wife who had to anxiously stand there and wait for the Emergency services to arrive.

I see how civilized society is declining.  Not by neglect but by people purposefully turning their back on everything that came before and formed society.  We have first world humans dressing worse than the uneducated illiterate street urchins of a hundred years ago or the barbarous cannibals that Cook encountered.  People have no concern for those around them.

Women bare it all as they walk down the street in little more than hose and an undershirt not caring what impure thoughts they’re inspiring in men.  Rather than using the freedom that has been granted us in the last hundred years for good we think it a fine plan to go and treat men worse than they ever treated us because we’re entitled to do so is the theory.  Not taking the higher ground and leading the way in a world where both genders respect each other and all is fair, they want to keep a war alive that was supposed to die with women gaining rights.  Women dress like hookers and claim that they have the right to be comfortable… but do you really? I’m sure there are a lot of people who would find running around nude more comfortable than clothes, but that doesn’t entitle them to do so and most wouldn’t out of RESPECT for those who have to see them and might be made uncomfortable by the sight of their nakedness.

And women aren’t the only people group to use their new found freedom for vengeance rather than peacemaking.

The respect for nature has gone.  We may make a fit over a dead lion or an endangered bird but we don’t go out into nature anymore.  We don’t seek out the wise words of the silence of the woods and see life around us and how special humans are in the wide world but how beautiful the rest of the world is.  We let nature die without ever listening to what it has to tell us and taking in all the splendour of a world unsullied by human hands, and going back to our lives with that in our soul.

And societies that have existed for millennia die out because people would rather seek lives of pleasure than spend the money they spend on themselves to raise families and keep their culture’s identity alive and thriving.  People care for nothing but themselves and their own personal gratification, as the philosopher Francis Schaeffer points out it is this desire for personal peace and overall apathy towards the world around them that has lead to the fall of every civilization before.  And the worse thing is WE KNOW THIS but no one cares, they have no pride in where they came from, and care not what happens to those that come after.  The philosophy dominant today, especially among those born in the 1980’s and after, the children of the Baby Boomers and beyond, is that of Louis XV “after me comes the deluge”.  They don’t care if chaos and hell on earth.  We have our video games and our drunken orgies so who cares if posterity suffers cruelly, I’ve got mine!

Daughter of Races – A synopsis of my novel for all interested parties

It is the story of Brysaella Stronghand, an orphan of mixed heritage but her looks are predominantly elven and her personality very much the rash nature of man.  She works at an inn in a harbour town called Salmis.  The inn is run by a friend of her father’s who adopted her upon the death of her parents, he also adopted other foundlings after her and they all work at the inn until they apprentice out for other jobs or marry or just move on.  But Bry, despite being around 70 or 80 (she looks about 20 though because of her elven blood) still works at the inn, and she has helped to raise most of her adoptive siblings, the one closest to her being her mortal sister Saveira, who is around 19 years of age.

The action begins when a visitor comes to the inn for the purpose of stealing a violet stone that Bry found on the beach.  She thinks nothing of the stone but in actuality it is an all powerful Mage’s stone.  Purple being the colour of stone wielded by the all-powerful Mages.  Because depending on the colour of stone that indicated the area in which a Mage would be gifted.  Rhyuthan, the only Mage known to be still living had been gifted with a green stone, and his powers had been over earth and stone, but dissatisfied and seeking more power he slew all of his fellow Mages in one bloody night, thinking they were hiding the violet stone that was rightfully his from him.  He found no purple stone, but he did make an amalgamate stone from all of the stones of all of his kindred that he killed.  So upon hearing of a simple hostess at an inn having the stone he hired a thief to take it and also to kidnap Saveira as a prize for the man who had discovered the stone’s location.

But all doesn’t go according to plan, the thief and henchmen lose the stone, which needless to say when they return to Rhyuthan empty-handed save for all but a girl things don’t end well.

Upon discovering that Saveira has been taken by agents of Rhyuthan Bry sets out to go find and save her sister.  A foolhardy decision but Bry’s best friend Anglesey, the voice of reason in her life, has already left on the ship he’s first mate on to go to the elven island colony where his father lives and the main trade partner of the city of Salmis.

So she sets off, her adoptive father giving her a few wise words and instructing her to find a distant relative of her father’s, Rivalen.  So off she goes, finds the man Rivalen, is joined by a friend from the inn and they go to seek the advice of the elves and from there they infiltrate Rhyuthan’s and steal his conglomerate stone but Saveira is not there.  They then have to seek out the Dragon Lords because only dragon fire can destroy a Mage’s stone.  Reason being the Mages are the descendants of the union of Dragon-Lords and the race of Man and so they’re very closely tied to the Dragon Lords, even if the Dragon-Lords have been living in isolation for centuries now, coolly observing the affairs of the other races with no interest or interference.

Rhyuthan’s stone is destroyed, and his power weakened, but his chief military commander seizes control after this, and unlike Rhyuthan, he lacks any wisdom to his evilness and decides to cross the mountains and wage war on all the other races, hoping to dominate all of Taragonia, not just the lands to the west of the mountains.  In fact this man, who had been dabbling in dark arts, trying to learn magic, gets control of Bry, who has been revealed to be descended from Mages and thus has magical powers, he manipulates her through mind control and uses her to help him in his war, fortunately, help comes, she’s freed and rushes to go help defend her home city of Salmis which the right hand man who has no name at the moment, is going to attack by sea and land.

The good guys win and an ongoing almost romance finally blossoms and the bad guys die, the end.

 

 

Unless I write a sequel.