Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Clone Wars -- "Point of No Return" (Ep. 5.12)

-- You must trust in others or success is impossible.


[Remember, you can sign up to join the Clone Wars Project at any time by clicking this link.]
[Well, actually, considering that we're into season five, now, probably no one new is going to sign up, BUT! Hop over to The Armchair Squid for his take on the current episode.]


Is it over yet? I'm so ready for it to be over. It's not me; it's you. You, Colonel Meebur Gascon, or the frog general, as I call him. I'm so ready for you to be out of my Clone Wars.

His name is a joke, by the way. I suppose I could have mentioned that earlier, but it doesn't make it any better. It means "braggart," basically. One who believes himself to be more (bigger) than he is, which is why he's small, to exaggerate the point. heh

On its own, this episode might not be so bad but, after three episode of Gascon, this one already starts with really low marks. Especially since it starts by making a point of Gascon's worst quality (yes, even worse than talking big all the time), that he never does the right thing unless he's forced to. He wants glory without the effort. So, when Gascon and droid company find themselves on a booby trapped ship heading toward a Republic security conference, Gascon's first impulse is to abandon ship and allow the bomb-laden vessel to travel on to its destination. It's only when he finds he cannot get off the ship that he decides he needs to do something about the fact that it's going to blow up.

Of course, it's R2-D2 who really does all the work and, yes, saves the day, but he couldn't save this story arc.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Day 17 (a future history)

Monday, February 5, 2018

Christ on a cracker! They made us watch stupid Trump and his stupid special TV broadcast at school today! We had to do it as a big assembly in the auditorium on a big projection screen. AND WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO IT EVERY SINGLE DAY! EVERY DAY!

No, I mean it. Every day. Even on the weekends. It’s mandatory for everyone so they can tell us how the war is going. Or something.

Is this what a war is? I want to say that it doesn’t feel like a war, but how would I know what a war feels like? Whatever it is, it certainly doesn’t feel normal. Life feels weird now. All of it.

We eat almost the same thing every day now.

There’s no TV.

There’s no Internet.

People are disappearing from school.

Everyone is going to be issued a special ID status card.

Oh, yeah, the cards. They’re going to make us carry ID cards that we have to use to check into the daily broadcasts. And we won’t be able to buy anything without them. Or go anywhere very far. They’re going to check the stupid cards for everything!

Maybe it does feel like a war. Just without any fighting. At least any fighting here. Trump said there is fighting in New York. With the Chinese. And THAT doesn’t make any sense. Why would the Chinese be in New York? Wouldn’t they be in California or something? But he said we’re fighting the Chinese in the streets of New York.

He also said there are a lot of traitors in the military who are refusing to fight against their own people, and that doesn’t make any sense either. If it’s the Chinese and they invaded New York, why would the Army be refusing to fight? People at school are whispering about it really being a civil war, but no one is saying it out loud. The teachers won’t talk about it. My parents won’t talk about it other than that my dad says that’s crazy talk then goes off on a rant about the Chinese and their horrible commie propaganda.

But that’s the only thing that makes sense to me, and that’s the scariest thing of all.

Except for the Russians, because Trump has asked the Russians to help take and hold New York.

He just went on and on about how great our friends the Russians are especially after they helped us take over Syria. Or we helped them take over Syria, because Russia got Syria.

And now they’re gonna get New York. Because that’s what happens. Syria. Korea. Afghanistan. Russia “helps” us, then they get to have the country. I don’t want to be the United States of Russia!

If it is a civil war, then I understand the thing about going to California, now.  Or any of those places. They must be the places fighting against Trump.

I don’t understand why no one is talking about what’s going on and why none of the adults will talk about it. Except my dad. HE believes Trump. The idiot. He's made at Trump about the TV, but he still believes every word that comes out of his mouth.

But my mom just shushes me when I try to ask questions, and none of the teachers will talk about anything that’s happening.

Oh, the principal said they’re going to be bringing in special counsellors for any students who need to ask questions or have someone to talk to. I don’t know why they think I would want to go talk to someone I don’t even know, though.


If this is what war feels like, being scared all the time, I don’t like it.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Truth, Justice, and the "American Way"

No, this is not a post about Superman. Except, maybe it is a little bit. Or a lot.

"Truth, justice, and the American way," as a phrase, has been around for long enough at this point that people don't realize it originated with Superman. They may know it's been associated with Superman but most people think it's its own thing, not what amounts to a marketing phrase for the 50's Adventures of Superman, the Superman show I watched in syndication when I was a kid.

I'm not sure if there was an idea tying truth and justice to America prior to Superman (and I'm not doing the research on that, right now, to try and figure it out),but Superman, since his inception, has been tied to truth and justice. From the early days of the comic book to his days on the radio and, then, in the earlier TV series, Superman always stated that he was here to fight for truth and justice. That's all, just truth and justice. Those, to me, seem like things worth fighting for. I'm not so sure about the "American way."

See, the "American way" was something tossed in during the 50s in the midst of the Red Scare and McCarthy-ism and was less about America than it was about White America: Leave It To Beaver, white picket fences, and Father Knows Best. Probably some Andy Griffith, too. TV in the 50s was all about the "American way," and it's hard for me to dissociate that idea from those TV shows because they epitomize so much of the idea of the "American way."

And I'm not going to try and say that there's nothing attractive about those shows and the, for lack of a better word, ideal they put on display. But it was all a fantasy. Real life America was never like Father Knows Best or Mayberry. Real life America has never been all White all the time in nice little subdivisions with white picket fences. And it's never been about women who wear their heels and pearls in the kitchen while making dinner all day. All of this isn't even a White fantasy; it's a White Male fantasy about how everyone else lives to serve them in their own individual little kingdoms.

It's kind of sick.

It's possible I wouldn't have a problem with the whole "truth, justice, and the American way" thing if truth and justice were a part of it, had ever been a part of it. But the "American way," as it applies here, has always been about white male supremacy. It's why Steve Bannon holds the 50s up as his ideal era of what we need to get back to. The White Male was supreme, and everyone else knew their places.

As for truth and justice? We seem to have culturally abandoned those ideas of late. We've abandoned truth in favor of opinion and, even, outright lies. You can see the evidence of that in the man who was elected president, a man with absolutely no relationship with truth whatsoever. His lackeys display the same break from reality with their "alternative facts" and misrepresentation of historical accuracy. Sorry folks, history is not an opinion. Things happened. Saying they didn't or trying to recast those events in some other light doesn't make them not have happened.

And we've abandoned justice in favor of racial prejudice and allowing the rich more and more power and money. "We" have allowed the Republicans to wave religious dogma at Conservatives to keep them in power so that they can continually enable corporations the ability to take advantage of people, poison their water, and keep them in debt. That Jeff Sessions and Neil Gorsuch are where they are serve as proof that we have shoved justice down the stairs and broken her scales. We have become the money lenders in the Temple, and have elected the worst of them as president.

This seems to be the "American Way": no truth, no justice, just the dream of white picket fences in white neighbors with white schools.

Superman isn't coming. It's time to abandon this "American Way" nonsense as the fable it always was. It's time to stand for truth and justice. Truth and Justice! Which means demanding, all of us, that we have politicians who are knowledgeable, smart, and believe in facts, not money. It means demanding a change to the system so that the system doesn't check our skin color before it decides who gets a fair shake. It's time.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Clone Wars -- "Missing in Action" (Ep. 5.11)

-- A soldier's most powerful weapon is courage.

[Remember, you can sign up to join the Clone Wars Project at any time by clicking this link.]
[Well, actually, considering that we're into season five, now, probably no one new is going to sign up, BUT! Hop over to The Armchair Squid for his take on the current episode.]

The adventures of Colonel Gascon continue this week, and we get a clone thrown into the mix. With amnesia. Generally speaking, I hate amnesia stories, but the story of Gregor has been the best thing about this arc so far. Except for the Russian-sounding sullustan. And it would have been okay if they had just used the Russian accent for a bit of audio-flavor, but he was clearly culturally Russian, including naming the clone Gregor, and that felt a little weird.

So, yeah, I'm tired of Gascon, the frog general. I think the first time I watched the series I found him amusing -- that's my memory impression, anyway -- but, this time, I just find him tiresome. It's the prejudice against droids and his own self importance that does it. Perhaps, though, it's fitting for the time we're in, right now, because there are some analogies that can be drawn from the character. Clearly, he has the attitudes of the typical white male boomer; maybe that's why they made him a frog, which is a thought I am, at this moment, finding amusing.

Not enough for me not to be ready for this arc to finish, though. I'm ready to get back to the real story.


"I hope you have a plan to get us off this armpit."