How I Forgot About My Table of Contents for a Whole Five Weeks

Hi!  I don’t think there’s any reason to be shy.

People let go pretty easy, especially among businesses like websites and billboards for visitors on WordPress.  I remember when the fantastic Beauty Beyond Bones blog was discussing the ill-fated Fyre festival that was documented in a couple of different movies, including one on Netflix.

https://beautybeyondbones.com/2019/02/18/dumpster-fyre-festival/

Beauty Beyond Bones is the greatest.

Photo by thr3 eyes from StockSnap

The summer this year has been made more than a little difficult, as you know.  I didn’t have an opportunity to make any kind of heroic effort of going anywhere, myself, last month, but what was exorbitantly cool was John Boyega in Hyde Park, in London in the UK.  The TV news reporting what he said moved many writers–John Boyega has an impressive film credit, Imperial Dreams, that is about having been apprehended by police and about wanting to write.

(Of course, he’s an actor in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.  John Boyega’s the Rebel hero, Finn.)

Maybe the world in 2020 doesn’t know where it wants to stop.  A few days into June I lucked out, with the fun chance to “read” a film challenge written by three Twitters, and a week in, I began the challenge, intending to start watching a film each day, for the rest of the month, a little fun.  I will try not to make any of the days a Star Wars movie if it can be helped.

I am including the challenge in this post, and if you don’t want to start now two weeks into June, you can wait until July if you like.

I saw that Ms. Satta Sarmah Hightower wrote How to Write More: 5 Techniques to Boost Your Output.  Just write, Ms. Hightower asserts   https://wordpress.com/go/content-blogging/how-to-write-more-5-techniques-to-boost-your-output/  This next section is where a new table of contents starts.

Surely, it does not usually work that way, but I will dive in a bit and Botox wherever the five-year plan has got inefficient.

Photo by Wilfred Iven from StockSnap

New Wrinkles:  ten years older than you were

The Name’s The Thing:  findingenvirons

Verbal Confirmation:  Assigning a Speech Label

These posts began with WordPress prompts.  Actually, that same Ms. Hightower has in her essay similar advice.

Narrowing My Blog’s Focus  I wanted then to go from just starting out, to having something a bit meaningful.  I took part in writing exercises to make a strategy, but I don’t want to get into that.

I am presenting here quite a few old posts that may draw a few visitors.  I think I am presenting over thirty-five posts below.  They were all intended to be free.

Lofty Ambitions are Nothing But Daunting, At the Start https://findingenvirons1.blog/2016/11/13/lofty-ambitions-are-nothing-but-daunting-at-the-start/

It’s the beginning of the New and the Time is Noted

Photo Challenge Entry, Ambience at Our Quiet Church

The Heritage of Louth United Church in St. Catharines and Maple Lawn Cemetery

I thought I would make notes about my work.  After ten years, I have considered whether I should withdraw, although the time I would be abandoning is a tough thing to turn my back on.  My mother has also asked me not to quit.

What Might Have Been Adventure Can Show the Rust

Thinking I Have Been Misguided [?mis’gid?d]

What Will Trends Be Like in 100 Years?

Content is cheap, no doubt, and while possibly only possibly mass-produced reading/viewing material, media companies inundate their readers with it.   It’s a lot of work if that’s your hustle, but I would think nice work if you can get it.  “We are really excited to announce a ton more Content coming your way this fall!”  

Photo by Serpstat from StockSnap

#content

I did learn about content avenues available, but I have nothing doing.  

#information

#version  These next posts are more of what I’ve enjoyed putting up here.

Devising Content that Stands Out from the Crowd

Whether Sincere or Can We Challenge Ourselves

Attack of the Video Content

But Not to Automate Ad Nauseum

Twitter Refreshing How the Platform Looks and Making it Easier  https://www.adweek.com/digital/twitter-is-refreshing-how-the-platform-looks-and-making-it-easier-for-people-to-use/

Best to Sell Your Elevator Pitch

Be That You Would Rather Risk Temporary Shelf Life

May 30 Weekly Photo Challenge: All-Time Favourites https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/06/02/may-30-weekly-photo-challenge-all-time-favorites/

A New Challenge:  Blogging Photos and Miscellanea

10 Guidelines for Charitable Giving Facilitated by the Government

Showing Photos Past the End of the Challenges

Pausing to read The 4-Hour Work Week

Secret Tip  My favourite advice that Tim Ferriss provides in his book The Four Hour Work Week is the guideline to check your email twice a day, once at noon, and once at four in the afternoon.  The reason is, if you are operating in the EST zone, at noon the west coast is just at nine o’clock, the United Kingdom is calling it quits at five and Australia has folded its last call.  At four the same principle of time is true:  the afternoon’s work is beginning on the west coast, the United Kingdom has comfortably already had dinner and Australia is looking forward to the start of the next day.

Join In The Fun! Join In The August 2018 Tea Party!  https://thelittlemermaid09.wordpress.com/

I was perchance one day in 2018 reading the Beauty Beyond Bones blog and a second blogger saw that I had a decent comment going, who was The Little Mermaid, getting bloggers going on writing in a tea party.

Mermaid’s August 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Mermaid’s October 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Mermaid’s November 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Amusing!

Photo by Shopify from StockSnap

The Sunshine Blogger Award  –I received the friendly notice of a nice Sunshine Blogger Award.  It is just something passed around, to establish some friendly interaction.

Resolution for 2019 https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/30/resolutions/

Star Wars Celebration on YouTube: Where’d You Go? Chicago  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPIyVPlwBL4

A reference to this post became my pinned tweet on Twitter.  I was thinking then more frankly how and what I meant, and about a question that Robert Persig put forth in his 1973 novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:  What is quality?

The late but certainly talented musician Lou Reed put it another way:  What’s good?

I wasn’t sure I knew.  Okay, I published all kinds of compositions.  🙂

A Rock Musician’s Death

Drifting Down the Inclination to Abnormal  https://findingenvirons1.blog/2019/08/29/drifting-down-the-inclination-to-abnormal/

Why Our World Would End If A Daft Misconception Disappeared

Take Steps to Infuse Life With The Ingredient of Maturity

Impressions of Edits on TikTok, the Force Notwithstanding  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM1Vi-JZAFQ

The Less Flummoxed Companionship of the Child’s Imagination, Echoed in Dreams

Secret Tip #2  #lifelesson A Monkey on Your Back  

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=monkey%20on%20your%20back

My father took an uncharacteristic interest, in a story that I think he meant to assist me by.  I wrote a post given what the story was, but it did certainly weigh on me.  What had he meant?

It’s about bearing a monkey on your back.

A Difficult St. Patrick’s Day

By now, with the lockdown, no matter what, these days would be difficult.  That didn’t mean I wouldn’t want you to think I had broken communications with you.  I have a little left to say today.

Why Holden Caulfield Thinks Social Media Jobs are Phony  https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/post/why-holden-caulfield-would-probably-think-the-internets-full-of-phonies-too/2013/01/22/5304c13e-63d9-11e2-889b-f23c246aa446_blog.html

The 19 Best Resources for Feeling Less Like Facebook is an Empty Hq

I am beginning to wrap up the better ideas I put together, and this, I think, is good.  I saw that WordPress, in April, reopened its Discover challenges.

A few WordPress bloggers wrote for every day of April in an atmosphere of daily sweat and tears.  I don’t want to be trouble for those individuals, but I came up with a culmination the start of June that was a fresh page:  

For Critical Thinking and an Equivalent, Creativity

I appreciate the freedom to do all this.  It hasn’t been efficient at generating leads for my dad’s business or anything like that.

When someone does follow the dots, and takes an interest in the last ten years, first, I buy a lottery ticket (j/k), and then I start to wonder if they got on our site here:

http://www.maplelawncemetery.org/24701.html

That’s the website for my parents’ business, which we’ve been operating with the help of my Uncle Dave.  That about wraps up everything I wanted to say, after five weeks now, but it’s the meat and potatoes.  Oh, and what was I saying?

Here are some additional contact links if you require me for any reason.

https://twitter.com/findingenvirons?lang=en

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Coholan

https://findingenvirons1.blog/category/uncategorized/

I think that’s alright.  That’s the blog, then, in fourteen hundred words.My dad’s business is on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

WordPress Discover: Scent

The month of April 2020, WordPress has reopened daily Discover challenges, hosted this week again by Ben Huberman.  Today’s theme is the word “scent.”  I thought of food that instantly makes me hungry:  pancakes.

P1000321

For many years running, my family ate a Sunday family breakfast of pancakes, after returning from church.  It was nice.  Sometimes there would be a cassette tape of music playing, and sometimes there would be for me a cup of tea, as I didn’t drink coffee until beginning in my mid-teens, I think.

 

Later that day we would go around to my mother’s parents’ house and have a visit.  The smell of pancakes remains quite pleasing for me.

 

Last night was the last quarter of the moon, my wall calendar tells me.  I know things are hard.  My readership for the blog is small but consistent.  I have benefitted in terms of expanding its reach, from reading the daily Discover essays this month, and many days writing in response.

 

It interests me to read where the blog’s visitors say they are coming from.  In these days of social distancing, WordPress is among the best socializing I enjoy, as far as interacting with new people goes.

 

My present routine, to publish, discover, and comment, has helped me with the focus I have for writing in my blog, and for feeling better organized to be interested in it and to work at it.  While it is purely for interest’s sake, I am part of a small business that my father operates together with me.

 

We take care of a small cemetery, usually every week.  We are on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

 

Although I have temporarily shelved my editorial calendar, owing to the emergency, you do have the option of visiting me on Facebook and following and commenting on this blog post.  I appreciate your time and I wish you well during this spot of bad luck.

WordPress Discover: Light

Ben Huberman again has the reins of the April 2020 WordPress Discover challenges. Today’s theme is light.

I think of feeling light when I look at the effect upon myself by something as kind as a few words on the Internet, from a person I respect, as is the case with the blogger behind the Beauty Beyond Bones blog. Her blog is one I enjoy reading, perhaps paying her a compliment at times when it is more appropriate, to someone who is a talented writer and who gives back time. She is a proud Catholic blogger, as well, and, as today is Easter Sunday, I know this will be a challenging day, given the circumstances of the holiday this year.

Her blog is about her experience in life celebrating Jesus, and she sometimes recounts current events and her response to those, or sometimes how life continually gives back to her and what she, with her perspective and intent, makes of it. There are qualities in her that I admire, and some of the design elements of her blog appeal to me when I look at what she thinks to assemble. Her blog is here:

https://beautybeyondbones.com/

I want to also include a found photo of the hospital located in Fort Erie, not too far from where I live, in Canada. You can see the light about the place. It is an alternative interpretation of the word light and a symbol of triumph, all the more so south of the Canada-U. S. border, where, the news is saying, the crisis is mad.

found photo of Fort Erie hospital

I hope that the blogger who writes Beauty Beyond Bones gets through unscathed, as I hope every American who I think is the bee’s knees likewise manages to pull through the current troubles without being afflicted.

You may comment and/or follow, of course.

#lifelesson A Monkey on Your Back

I’m looking forward to the weekend, as Sunday is the Ides of March, a day I’ve before celebrated, and to get serenity I needed to utilize a little ingenuity. Many individuals like this season. Of course, this year is upsetting for reasons I am sure that you know, from the news, but my father pointed out something to me, and coming to an understanding about this, I found myself wanting to add the idea.

I tuned in to what he said, two or three weeks prior, in his truck as we drove up the road, and I had a morning doughnut. In the next few days, I thought to compose this essay. This is how I would represent his idea–it isn’t all that much work. You’re welcome to make of it what you will.

My dad Peter is typically a calm man. The nature of our business is a cemetery, which we’ve operated together for eight or nine years. My dad managed a municipal cemetery for many years before he retired from there.

He decided he loved Maple Lawn when he learned its board of trustees no longer desired to maintain it. A week and a half ago, Dad unexpectedly gave me a life lesson, something that had moved him during his career with the city. He said a business speaker ignited a connection for him, a long time previously, something I didn’t think about him.

The speaker discussed a monkey, an issue, which I deduced implied a method for dealing with stress.

The speaker had said that another individual might bring you a monkey on the back. That person already has his or her monkey on the back, and sharing that load with you is reduced in intensity for the person being unburdened, but the problem remains, now shared with you. Now there are troubles for you, for you to bear yourself.

My dad said the message stayed with him. The story reminded me of the late Wayne Dyer, the writer of numerous books about otherworldly thinking, spiritual issues, that is, like negativity, to which I am occasionally subject. My father was venturing to propose I compose this essay, which I figured I could do, keeping in mind Dad’s convictions.

The disbanded church at our cemetery

Dad cautioned me not to let the burden, of letting a monkey take hold on my back, ruin what I have, for myself, in my life. I felt for an instant pity wash, like bathwater, all through me, and I needed to take a quick glance out the window not to surrender to tears. I feel like that when I take a gander at myself in a light that I will never again find sensible.

It’s March now, and spring will break in about seven days. My birthday is on the Ides of March. This year it follows two days after Friday the 13th, today’s date, seldom real lucky in anyone’s book.

I will check whether I can slip this on. I unquestionably want to.

When my Uncle Rick’s brother, the artist, was alive, he hung a toy monkey on a store mannequin. The man who thought of that was a craftsman, and dress store administrator. My grip doesn’t quite coordinate the same energy.

Craig’s mannequin, with a monkey on its back

Be that as it may, I discovered his craft intriguing, after his passing. My father said I should refer to the non-literal monkey. I tried to value the proposal.

Don’t let a monkey hang off of your back. I am a flawed human being, but I believe that you need to take care of yourself before you can do much for anyone else.

http://maplelawncemeteryorg.ipage.com/oldchurchcemetery/24701.html

https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

How Not Knowing Where to See the 2021 Ball Drop Makes You a Rookie

Sometimes, when I want to write a blog post, I turn to a random generator to help develop an idea.  While it’s not wise to let go of a secret, it shouldn’t be too big a surprise that such a tool is helpful.  By far almost everything I think to write springs from my beleaguered self.

    I know no writer wants to be called a plagiarist.  I am steadfast of the belief that “everything is a remix” and go from there.

    I do take a few liberties assembling content.  Be that as it may, I am not making a solitary dollar from composing this.

    Years ago, when my godmother was visiting us here in town, she observed that “it’s all been done.”  She also admonished me not to tweet.  I took to heart neither of this advice, although I am sure that the dear lady is far more capable than I am, like it or not.

    I also think she would neither remember any of that conversation over dinner nor would she cop to saying anything like that.  Life works like that sometimes.

    Her mom, my grandma, an even longer time back, each year, on New Year’s Eve, would keep an eye on us, while my folks were out celebrating the New Year.  As I am the oldest, I enjoyed the privilege of staying up with my grandmother and watching the ball drop at Times Square.

    We would have a cup of tea together.  It’s been about twenty years since she passed on.  She was a stunning old dear.

    Valentine’s Day is here in eight days, and it appears we are in a period of development, it should be obvious.  I was reading a blog Monday night, by an NYC blogger, Beauty Beyond Bones, who reflects on everything Jesus does for her.

Photographer:
Jeremy Bishop

    The Beauty Beyond Bones blog goes live three times a week, I believe, both Monday and Thursday evenings, which are her regular event, and Wednesdays, her recipe-sharing.  Good eating is one serving of Beauty Beyond Bones’ expertise.  I doubt she would have it any other way.

    Monday, the Beauty Beyond Bones blog pointed out that while, characteristically, astrology and the Law of Attraction tend to pull in people who are searching for answers, that may not be The Way, to put a Taoist label on that kind of struggle.  I wouldn’t be above joining such a movement, as I am in my forties and without question, there is a brigade of more youthful and fit men loaded with moxie against who I don’t know I can pull in more than I have.

    Beauty Beyond Bones put up a link Monday to an awesome webcast where she typifies her biography.  You may see her blog for yourself:

https://tinyurl.com/w6prnvu

    I enjoy the Internet and just this year I chose to get a Tik Tok account, after discovering that my sister and her husband had done a little video on the website. On the first of February, I put up a photo that I soon thought better of.

    I care for a cemetery, but does that necessitate I represent myself not unlike the host of cult TV item Tales from the Crypt?  Presumably not, while in a snapshot of what I thought would be motivation, I chose to risk the picture.

    I imagine it would frighten people with certain sensibilities.  Rookie move.

    There are no fixed rules to social media, except to go ahead and do it.  I am sure everybody is prone to the odd bad decision when tackling that kind of thing.  It’s Tik Tok, anyway, not eHarmony, the dating service.

Photographer:
Burst

    It did occur to me that, if anybody noticed how I was handling myself, there was a good chance that I would not know that person much longer.  There were aspects of the image that I liked, and there were aspects I didn’t.  I presume, regardless of how much development I appreciate, I will consistently have that sense to want to be a crypt keeper.

    When I was a boy and had a different sense of the theatrical, I liked to be the Dungeon Master.  There is no shortage of folk interested in games like D + D.  Better believe it, the game’s monsters, the undead, and Medusa.

    It’s difficult to clarify to anyone who became an adult playing Super Mario Brothers, Nintendo’s mammoth game.

    At present, I bear a few commitments  https://tinyurl.com/vdwqo88  

I realize that as long as my folks are alive and healthy, I must remain here to show them out, you may put it.  I’m a Catholic and I don’t have much trouble acknowledging my faith.

    Whether I can accommodate various aspects of my mental self-portrait with what is most critical, presently, is something I think about. I am trying to put this in more simple terms than is easy, in pursuit of something intangible.  It’s neither an idea that comes easy nor is language to encapsulate that want easy to write.

    If you blog and you’re on WordPress, that’s wonderful!  It’s a terrific interest.  If you do business for yourself, or you’re of a mind that writing for the public appeals to you, you would do well to get a blog, if you don’t have one already.  You can sign up for WordPress to join for free.

    Get your spot for the ball drop.

Photographer:
Tommy Jepsen

You’re free to like, follow, or potentially remark.  See you soon!

Pull Up a Seat Photo Challenge

Thanks to blogger Ruined for Life: Phoenix Edition, I learned tonight that Xinfu Mama has come up with a weekly blog challenge launched each Friday morning. You can discover Ruined for Life’s post here:

https://smkelly8.com/2020/01/10/pull-up-a-seat-photo-challenge-12/

This morning, the challenge is Pull Up a Seat, meaning a post with a photograph of spots one sits or may sit, or sitting. It is clever, it intrigues me.

Three days prior I discovered craftsmanship about sitting and set it aside. I transferred it to TikTok and put it in a slideshow.

The art is computer art, that shows a seated bearded man, meditating, with a cat as his companion. The cat might be sunning herself. Behind him is where he lives, and a rabbit is taking a gander at the scene.

There is likewise a little canine and a fish. Out yonder, a bear is peering into a tree. The sky is streaked with shades of blue and green and taupe.

Tuesday‎, ‎January‎ ‎07

Although I’m not as old as the man who is meditating, I was pretending that the man was me. I am sure that he is a monk, although he may not be; many people meditate. He must be a peaceful man, as his animal companions are bringing him joy, and the house where he lives looks charming.

I like the size of the artist’s paintbrush, taking into consideration that the artist could have made the scene with a computer paint program. The strokes are easy to interpret, as the objects, animals, nature and the monk himself without any trouble on the part of the viewer to guess what is showing.

The seat itself, which is the theme of Xinfu Mama’s challenge, is a stone bench in the middle of a winding road about the pond. I assume that the whole bequest has a place with the priest.

You’re free to like, to follow, or remark.

Taking Steps to Infuse Life With The Ingredient of Maturity

Toward the end of the year 2004, when I was twenty-seven, and sort of in the routine of a day-to-day lifestyle that worked for me, I happened to find myself listening to a public speaker who was talking about someone I took to be the famous philosopher of relationships, writer John Gray. The man proposing Gray’s books appeared certain about his suggestion.

That year, a lady with who I was likely getting a charge out of a sorry excuse for a tease, had quite recently given me Gray’s blockbuster, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. If you’re sensitive, you’ll have experienced coincidences of that same sum and substance. I chose to peruse Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and I enjoyed it enough to get intrigued to discover what else Gray had.

Photographer: Stephen Rahn

At our library, I found Gray’s first book, What You Feel, You Can Heal. I saw John Gray wrote about surviving homelessness when he was in the springtime of life. He talked with individuals he met en route, asking himself what was genuinely upsetting these individuals. I know everyone has a hard road to walk, but I understand Gray thought he might be able to light the way for those struggling.

Gray thought of life experiences that he felt are universally true. He wrote in What You Feel, You Can Heal that when people reach their mid-thirties, it is time for them to get down to raising a dependent, whether an animal or a person. And come the age of 42, individuals are ready to experience what it’s like to be part of a community, people together more than the sum of their parts.

I was reading my favourite blog last night, the title Beauty Beyond Bones, and I saw she wrote she was just so tired of men who wouldn’t grow up. It didn’t sound like she was having the most splendid time at the moment. I am grateful to the Beauty Beyond Bones blog for its inspiration.

As she is confident in saying, God is good. Beauty Beyond Bones can be found here: https://beautybeyondbones.com/

She is also a Patreon creator. Look here: https://beautybeyondbones.com/support-bbb-on-patreon/

She only asks for a couple of dollars a month, and she draws on the resources she finds, for the purpose of ministry. She deserves the shout-out.

Far fewer than her, I have two hundred and fifty subscribers, and I don’t know if anyone among those will be available to offer her additional support, but I like reading her blog on Monday and Thursday evenings. She also does a Wednesday evening post, where she shares recipes, but I’m not such a talented kitchen hand.

Photographer: Tim Sullivan

Incongruously, I’ve got an interest in Star Wars. I like cinema, I think Star Wars is absorbing, but it crossed my mind that it might not be the kind of priority that’s too impressive for someone of my level.

I’ve written in my blog a bit about Disney, and about Star Wars, taking inspiration from others who find threads of that kind usable. and I’ve devoted time to experiencing Lucasfilm and their “Star Wars.” Maybe I should have slowed down how many times I turned the focus of my blog back to Star Wars, but, on the whole, I don’t think it changed the overall definition of the blog I’ve done. I enjoyed most aspects of the task–my dear mother reading my thoughts on the Star Wars movies, told me I must be an expert!

On the subject of Beauty Beyond Bones, last night that blog cast back what it’s like going into the 2020s. The author’s a beautiful young lady and I understand why a lot of men might not interest her. Her blog has forty-five thousand subscribers, and of course, she doesn’t need to be concerned unduly with undeserving men.

I like reading her because she’s Catholic, and she lives in the Big Apple, and she has a fantastic amount of charm with which to counter other bloggers who are interested in the conversation. But removing blogs from the equation, I thought of providence, you might say, and I wondered if there was a method I could use to satisfy that need for a community.

Maybe I should go back to reading something that addresses the matter, probably not John Gray any longer, but something that is geared to helping grown-ups get better. I don’t have a straight-up answer to the question, but even starting to reflect on this reminds me that I could ask something about it on Quora, for example, and see if I have the good fortune to attract a sensible response. I would like to change, in light of the number of years I’m racking up, but I do need a strategy to get there (somewhere better, ostensibly).

I usually make a go of Monday’s motivation, the trend. I like YouTube videos about motivation or strategies to make life improvements. Even better, when Monday evening arrives, the Beauty Beyond Bones blog goes live. It is a superb discussion.

Photo: Jonas Svidras @ STEP.CAMERA

Of course, it’s not 2004 anymore, or 1994, for that matter, but sound advice is always agreeable, of course. I am sure it is a positive investment for the time it takes to enjoy it.

I hope that 2020 will be filled with the right opportunity for you. You’re welcome to like, to follow and or/to comment. Do take care and may there be many happy tidings.

Why Skywalker`s Students Should Have Been Afraid

The Stupendous Wave on YouTube said yesterday that John Boyega’s people have said that an official trailer for Rise of Skywalker will air at halftime during Monday Night Football, and go to YouTube at the same time.

I wanted to say something more about the character of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, played in 2017 again by Mark Hamill.

Luke Skywalker wanted there to be more Jedi Masters, heroes of the Light Side of the Force, who help police their galaxy.

The word disciple often refers to people dedicated to learning about The Bible from Jesus Christ, of course. The Last Jedi retells how Jesus could do only so much, as when Luke is unseated by Ben Solo, son of Han Solo, and Leia Organa. Ben Solo has betrayed Luke and murdered the other disciples, becoming Kylo Ren.

This is not that different than the Apostle Judas betraying Jesus to Pontius Pilate for thirty pieces of silver. Unlike Jesus Christ, crucified by the Romans, Luke has enjoyed the freedom to retreat to Ahch-To. He is done with enlisting potential Jedi, at least until Rey seeks him, and tells him what she knows is happening in the First Order, across the galaxy.

The difference between Ben Solo and the other Jedi disciples Luke was trying to train is that Ben is the son of Leia and Han. Luke had known when training Ben, that the young man could be trouble for the galaxy if the Dark Side of the Force continued to grow in him.

Some of the tragedy of The Last Jedi, tragic in the sense that the events of the story are irreversible, and of an ill-nature, is that what Luke could teach caused the apprentices’ demise. The Jedi dedication to the Light Side of the Force could not combat the darkness in Ben. Supreme Leader Snoke has corrupted young Ben Solo, as a transformation into Kylo Ren begins, not too different than the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader, in the prequel trilogy.

Snoke, a new character in The Force Awakens, has origins unclear, and likewise murky in The Last Jedi, but is an evil mentor to Kylo Ren, the opposite to how Luke was a mentor to young Ben Solo.

Dimensions: 3200 x 1967
Photographer: Luca Baggio

Not a big surprise, Luke Skywalker is my favorite character in The Last Jedi because of the reminders Mark Hamill creates of the original Star Wars trilogy. Luke`s powerful abilities with the Force, begun in Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, and explored in the next two films, are what fans like about him. For Luke to be teaching the ways of a Jedi Master is great because Luke learned from Yoda, in The Empire Strikes Back, the ways of the Force.

“Pass on what you have learned,” Yoda finally tells Luke in Return of the Jedi.

Dimensions: 4500 x 2981
Photographer: Michal Jarmoluk

The Star Wars audience knows of events in the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens because they have been told to Rey by Han Solo when the two are aboard the Millenium Falcon after Rey leaves home. If Luke`s other disciples had known of Snoke`s influence, on Luke, and his protégés, they would have become afraid. No one facing death would surrender life voluntarily when a pressing objective very much requires the opposite: the objective to become Jedi Masters and to protect the galaxy.

Luke`s remorse is evident. Mark Hamill displays the emotion perfectly.

Dimensions: 4608 x 2592
Photographer: Mateusz Dach

Recollections of the murders are present in The Last Jedi, but that movie would have been better if it were more clear what Luke searched for in his years of travel before the events of The Force Awakens. Luke is a Jedi Master who can deter the First Order if only he can teach Ben Solo the importance of the Light Side of the Force. That can`t be done, not even by Luke Skywalker.

How is it that Luke, with everything he understands about the Force, can make such a dangerous error? Luke has decided, I think, in The Last Jedi that to wield the Force, with as much ferocity as he has, is an act of hubris. If Luke had reached Ben Solo on any other level than of training the young man to become a Jedi, the sway of Snoke on Ben Solo might have been dispelled, with Ben never joining the First Order.

Although the conflict in Ben has made unrest in the galaxy that Luke, Leia, Poe, Fin, C-3P0, R2-D2, and Rose together combat in The Force Awakens, Ben`s path could have taken him elsewhere instead of to the very center of the battle against tyranny in the galaxy.

Appropriate fear is usually an emotion evoked by the Dark Side of the Force on one vulnerable. That same emotion could have prevented tragedy and kept both Han Solo and Luke Skywalker alive. Luke`s powers mostly fail him in The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader confronts him on Cloud City in Bespin, after Jedi Master Yoda has told Luke that he isn`t ready for such an encounter.

In The Last Jedi, Leia has told Luke that she desires for him to teach the Light Side of the Force. If Luke could have drawn insight from what Yoda at the last had to say about teaching with wisdom the Force, long before Ben precipitated the murders of Luke’s apprentices, the drawback of overconfidence in Luke Skywalker could have meant a better outcome for all.

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The Skywalker Saga draws to a close this winter beginning December 20.

Why A Winter’s Night Will Change Your Life

The theatrical release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is two months away and today is Force Friday, a retail shopping day for Star Wars fans.

Dimensions: 1545 x 1024
Photographer: Matt Moloney

The Rise of Skywalker is one of the biggest film releases of 2019, as you probably know. Movie director J. J. Abrams has returned, who in 2015 helmed Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Force Awakens resumes after the original trilogy in 1977, 1980, and 1983, and the Star Wars prequel trilogy, in 1999, 2002, and 2005.

While this is familiar film history, what’s striking is that the Disney company, which now owns the brand, is launching Disney+ in November, when Star Wars will again be newly available. Disney+ is an offering of classic animated features, as well as reboots and the Avengers franchise. Both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi were tremendous hits, but the box office failure of the expensive one-off Solo: A Star Wars Story diminished the profitability of the franchise for Disney, and the success of Disney+ would surely benefit from the continued success of Star Wars.

Disney+ will have much better chances of lasting if Star Wars is reinvigorated by another blockbuster film. There isn’t much question that Star Wars: The Last Jedi divided the fan base. Last Jedi director Rian Johnson dispelled some of the magic of Star Wars by reinventing Mark Hamill’s character of Luke as an old cynical hermit, rather than staying true to the bold Jedi warrior hero who defeats the Empire in Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars fans turned out for Mark Hamill’s reprise of Luke Skywalker after what happened in the original Star Wars trilogy, and instead, Luke in The Last Jedi nearly couldn’t be roused to continue the fight against the Dark Side of the Force.

YouTube’s Looper has tapped into a mega-spoiler: by their account, actor Harrison Ford has returned as Han Solo for a scene in The Rise of Skywalker. It’s understood that Ford had been reluctant to return to Star Wars without a movie script handling his character adequately, as the actor was absent from the cast of The Last Jedi.

There have been announcements about Star Wars that fans ate up. Prequels actor Ewan McGregor will be in the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, not for The Rise of Skywalker, but a Disney+ series picking up after the events of the prequels.

Disney has also announced that Kevin Feige will do a Star Wars film. Feige’s involvement is good news for people who believe in Star Wars, as the Avengers films largely speak for themselves in terms of popularity and quality. With the promise of a bang-on Star Wars film after the Skywalker Saga, there is more reason to believe that Star Wars will again succeed, and if it does, a future with Disney+ is all the more likely.

The other spoiler from Looper is that, contrary to expectations, at least expectations I had, the Force will redeem the character of Kylo Ren when he gives up his allegiance to the Dark Side. Based on the love-hate intensity of their relationship, I held the impression that in The Rise of Skywalker Rey will defeat Kylo Ren and destroy him. The trailer for The Rise of Skywalker seems clear that the final battle will be highly personal.

If instead Kylo Ren changes his allegiance, it will make for a different future in Star Wars. Although audiences believe that the Light Side of the Force triumphs in Return of the Jedi, this time, in 2019, it is possible to think, the Light Side will, at last, have victory.

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Photographer: Leeroy

If you have the opportunity to enjoy The Rise of Skywalker, I hope you have one of the best nights you have ever had in the company of Star Wars’ villains and heroes. It should be a wonderful occasion. I appreciate you very much thinking about it with me. Maybe I’ll see you again come wintertime as momentum for The Rise of Skywalker continues to build.

Star Wars Celebration on YouTube: Where’d You Go? Chicago

It’s Good Friday, and I’m having browser issues.  Microsoft put up an alpha version of its Edge browser, and I tried, like a web developer, to surf it before it’s finished, and it lasted maybe three days.

Star Wars Celebration went on from April 11 to April 15 in Chicago.  The celebration is an army of devotees sharing a love of Star Wars.  This year Star Wars Celebration premiered a teaser for Episode IX, a preview of Star Wars series The Mandalorian, the cinema for Jedi:  Fallen Order, and a trailer for S7 of The Clone Wars.  It is all interesting.

Being that this year is 2019 and that Lucasfilm put The Phantom Menace, a prequel film to Star Wars, in the cinema in 1999, the twenty-year anniversary of Phantom Menace was observed.


Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace score
S

Five days is a long time to spend with Star Wars, but between Thursday and Monday a viewer watching the events on the Star Wars YouTube channel got to see the panel discussions each day at 12:00 and 4:00 Chicago time.  Celebration, which I think is nine years running, moves around the US, but this year they put it on in Chicago.  Given the audience’s enthusiasm, it seems like that worked well for them.


Photographer:
donterase

Jedi:  Fallen Order is the name of the EA game that is the first new Star Wars game since Battlefront II.  EA is a notoriously difficult game company.  The decisions EA makes are known to send gamers away.

I suspect Disney needs Episode IX in December to be a sensation if they want their investment in Disney+ to succeed.  Disney+ is the streaming service available this fall, in November, when Disney is making available their animated features, along with the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, the Star Wars films, and The Mandalorian.  Disney+ could rival Netflix, and it is expensive for Disney in the short term, so it is reasonable to think that if Episode IX is a major success, it is an indication Disney+ will do well.

It is hard to anticipate what Netflix is planning in response to its rival.  If there is already talk about what Netflix is going to do, I haven’t caught it.

I believe that Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy is leading Lucasfilm for the next ten years, and her decisions to put a lot of roles that are empowering for girls affect her hold on the Star Wars fanbase, because a large number of male fans of Star Wars have made a backlash owing to the perception that they are “toxic.”  A space opera such as Star Wars has a lot of male fans, so the response has been loud about how Star Wars has met its “demise” in the sense that there will never again be a great trilogy.  The next trilogy of Star Wars films is going to be directed by Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

The Last Jedi was the film that divided the fanbase, perhaps deliberately.  That said, there was a backlash to the Star Wars Prequels, which subsided, so the same may be true of the problems facing the Star Wars Sequels, the films The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and now Episode IX, concluding the Saga.  Be that as it may, The Mandalorian, continuing Return of the Jedi from 1983, looks fantastic.  Some of the success of Disney+ is probably going to be affected by whether Episode IX proves to be a giant.

Good luck to Lucasfilm.

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