Monthly Archives: November 2015

Five Tips for Battling a Dark Side Day

Okay, first I do apologize for the title. Point is, Bad days happen to all of us, yes, even Jedi. So a few things to do when you find yourself having a day turning yourself less like Master Kenobi and more like Lord Maul.

Step One: Turn to the Tunes. A good soundtrack makes an impact and can help turn your entire day (or week) around. Personally I like to indulge a bit with some mood-reflective music and then change it (a well-crafted playlist to make it gradual) more where where I’d like my mood to go. Some good inspirational music should be available at all times.

Step Two: Get the blood flowing. It may be the last thing you want to do, but it is probably one of the first things you should do. It gives time to allow the mind to reflect while needing enough focus to keep you from completely getting lost in your thoughts. Also chemically/biologically speaking exercise releases feel good chems into the system that help improve the mood. An increase in oxygen and blood flow definitely can help turn a bad day around.

Step Three: Write It Out. Write that e-mail. Write that text. Write in a journal. Blog it. And then never publish/send/tweet/ or otherwise distribute it. Simply write out what you are feeling. Why you are feeling that way. Say exactly what you want to say and what you feel you need to say. Maybe send it to a very close and trusted friend if you feel you need it out there. Or have an anonymous blog specifically for those moments when you want to vent and maybe say not so nice and politically correct things. So you can just get your feelings out there to your pretend audience. I have a lot of deleted e-mails and blog posts. Just getting it out of your head does wonders.

Step Four: Dial-a-Friend. Hang out. Get dinner or lunch or a cup of coffee. Go watch a comedy. Put on a bad movie and laugh together at it. Play darts or go fishing. Whatever. Just take some time to distract yourself temporarily. And this is best done with a good friend. Don’t isolate yourself for long. Social interaction can help us adjust our mood.

Step Five: Meditate and get your reflection on so you can get to bed early and allow the bad day to end. Remember that tomorrow is a new day. Problems don’t disappear, but a good night’s sleep can help put things into perspective. Allowing us to remember that in a week, a month, a year, in a decade things will be different. Life continues on and our mistakes serve to help us grow and be better for the future. So let the day end and be ready to tackle a new beginning in the morning.

You Have Accomplished Nothing (Personal Rant)

My heart is broken in the face of the stupidity of my species.” – Joni Mitchell

A sad reality is that senseless violence happens on a daily basis. The rates of murder (around 45 per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), rape (around 800 per rainn.org), and severe accidents (90 fatal accidents per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) in the United States alone are high daily numbers. Taking a world view, there is someone out there dealing with a very horrific life-changing event. Even with this, we do our best to change the world and provide a bright spot. We encourage people to chase dreams and find happiness. Because Human Beings are creatures of hope. They are strong and resilient. But it seems this constant struggle against the dark side of humanity isn’t enough.

Yesterday attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad added to that tragedy and ugly side of humanity. Which I’ll never understand the purpose of. It has to just be senseless violence for the sake of it. Because any end game or desired outcome surely is not happening. Because despite these horrific acts which take loved ones from our lives humans tend to shine in the dark. They stand together, they stand proud, and see they are not alone. They grieve, but continue on unwilling to be broken by senseless bullies who have the IQ of a brick. Attacks like these don’t divide us. They remind us that the Human Experience does not adhere to imaginary lines. It does not adhere to skin tone, belief, or gender (or any other glass wall). Whatever the intended message was – it is now clearly, Solidarity and Unity. One person’s heartbreak is all of our heartbreak. Empathy, Compassion, and Sympathy is there and being given by the buckets to the survivors (I include family members of victims as survivors of these things, because they have to live with the results). And we see that our petty differences mean jack crap. Violence begets violence. Bombing and shooting people resolves nothing and certainly doesn’t send any damn message. Except maybe the message of – You didn’t win, this won’t break us, and despite our heartbreak we will continue on.

So this is a big F* You to the cowards of such attacks. You have broken and scared no one. Watch as humanity rises together. You have caused tears to be shed, but you have changed and stopped nothing (thus why you have an IQ of a brick). If you actually cared about whatever cause you supposedly fight for, you’d understand that you did nothing for it. Death and “terror” don’t get your point across. It just makes people want to see your life ended (thus the cycle continues). You might get people to ask why – Why do this – and you’ll get a chance to spout your non-sense. But there is no reason good enough for the acts committed. There is no justification to be had. And you only continue to ensure more people will die (most likely the ones you profess to fight for – as is often the case). Because you hide behind your cause. You hide behind your justifications and use them as a shield. You stack up the people you fight for and then use their tragedy for your own sick hate. You are a cancer to humanity, but you will not kill humanity. You will not break humanity, you have done nothing but show the true value of our species. Standing together and overcoming the moronic acts of a select few abnormalities. We are better and stronger than you thought. And we will continue to get better. And continue to show the newer generation that our strength comes from our unity as the human race.

Prequel v. Original

In my last post I gave my two cents about the unnecessary conflict people perpetuate. As if people cannot have multiple enjoyments and like different things. Oh! You like Star Wars then you must hate Star Trek. Oh you like Cosplay you must hate Football. You like anime you must hate documentaries. It is an absurd way of looking at life. This automatic dichotomy that one thing automatically excludes another. One big and relevant example I left out was Star Wars itself. More specifically this Original Trilogy versus Prequels thing that seems to keep popping up. As if liking one means you have to dislike the other. And it bothers me, because actors I like, such as Simon Pegg make really insulting comments, such as “I don’t really have any respect for anyone who thinks those films are good.” You judge the respect of a human being on what type of art they like? They is probably the most idiotic thing I have heard and certainly makes me lose respect for someone who should understand that people find value and beauty is all places (and that individual taste should be respected). You don’t have to agree. You can have your own option and it can be completely different than someone else’s. You don’t have to demean people who you do not agree with.

So to be clear. I am not a huge Prequel fan. Not for the stupid reasons I have heard others spout off. Such as them being “bright and colorful.” Because that was actually the point. It was suppose to contrast the state of the galaxy. That the Empire’s reign was in fact cold, dark, and very greyscale machine-focused. It was a decline in the galaxy as the weight of war and the need to assert Empirical rule over a long standing republic took its toll. The colors and feel were meant to serve to contrast. It was not suppose to be the same trilogy. People have decried Jar Jar (one very fun theory aside) which is such a minor thing. Really it is a minor character that, while poorly done in my opinion, doesn’t really take away so much that six hours of Star Wars is ruined forever and ever. That is just over-reaction to good intentions gone horribly wrong. And the whole CGI vs. practical effects argument I find silly since many who use it are fans of heavy CGI movies such as the new Trek movies, the Superhero movies, and so on. And I did not find the CGI use so distracting that it ruined the movie experience. And I really don’t think anyone can logically make that argument. And midiclorians vs. mystical energy field I find a silly thing to miss a trilogy for. I felt it opened new thought for mitochondria and how energy is infused with all life. Just another way to explore some interesting concepts so – meh.

No all the general prequel complaints aside, my issue with the prequels was more Jedi related (surprise, surprise). It was the general plot-holes that have to be filled with, “well the Jedi are arrogant and corrupt”. Which I find insulting and something that doesn’t mesh with how the Jedi were portrayed in the prequels (or trilogy). The fall of the Order is too rushed and vague for it to really feel proper to me. I think there was just too much going on. And often I felt I had to justify scenes with, “well, because of plot.” The Fall of the Jedi and Anakin I felt could have been a much more emotional journey than it was. Something that really broke the hearts of all who watched it. Don’t get me wrong, I think the actors did a great job with what they were given, but ultimately the prequels became the journey of Obi-Wan Kenobi (which I am 100% okay with) – not the Fall of Anakin Skywalker. When I watch the movies I see and feel Obi-Wan’s emotional struggle and journey much more. It seems to me more of – How did this old hermit go from Hero of the Clone Wars  and Jedi Knight to the broken man we see sacrifice himself? And when you watch the prequels you see it. You understand. You see two broken and beaten Jedi tuck their tails between their legs and practice the famed Jedi patience as they watched everything they had known and love burn and die. And go live as hermits on some really tough planets.

So that is why I like and dislike the prequels. Because it could have been more and I have to change perspective of what it was meant to be. I don’t think you should have to switch character focus to make a movie worthwhile. The Jedi angle could have been way more involved and powerful. But whatever, it is what it is. Now here is the main point – This is my personal opinion. And I know many who really identify and love the story of Anakin Skywalker. They really enjoyed the prequels and have no issues with any element from the movies. They like them and felt they did exactly what they were meant to – inspire a new generation of Star Wars fans and encourage their exploration of life and the universe. And you know what? That’s Okay. My issues with the prequels takes NOTHING away from their enjoyment. And their enjoyment takes NOTHING away from my opinion. We can still both take away our own perspectives and still be respectful of our individuals opinion. I am glad people have positive views and experiences with the Prequels. I think that is great! And the fact the Prequels did encourage a whole bunch of new fans? Wonderful and great.

So – if you are not a fan of the prequels. Fine. But don’t shit on the people who do enjoy them. Don’t state definitively that your opinion is truth. Be grateful that new fans have come to the fandom and have embrace Star Wars as a whole because of them. Likewise Prequel fans – please do not dismiss me or disrespect me because I thoroughly enjoyed the Original Trilogy more. Don’t throw me as a “prequel hater” just because I didn’t get the same thing you did out of it. As my previous post said – It is Not a Competition. We can love Star Wars and have differing views and still all embrace the beauty of our Fandom. The diversity of it is a great thing. And I am truly hoping that this new Trilogy will finally provide us all with that common ground. Like the Prequels or not. Like the Original Trilogy or not. But we are ALL excited for the new Trilogy. And hopefully (in a month’s time) we can all agree that The Force Awakens is awesome. If we as fans can show our solidarity maybe we can stop comments like Simon Pegg’s and he can see that we are all allowed to love the art that speaks to us.