WordPress Discover: Open

Great news, I saw this evening, the WordPress Discover challenges are back.  Every day of April 2020, there will be a Discover prompt to help people keep blogging when there is so much consternation about them, and throughout the world.

The Discover prompts invites bloggers to give their handle on the idea of “open,” when something you wish open is in fact closed.  I guess that sounds obvious.

I have a persistent interest in what’s happening behind the scenes at Disney.  I was there once as a kid, in 1991, with my mom and dad and my brother and sister.  As you probably suspect, both Disneyland and Walt Disney World are closed.

I hear Disney talked about on YouTube, and actually, the channel Clownfish TV talks about Disney quite a bit.  I take it the two Clownfish TV hosts are into movies and that kind of thing.

Photographer:
Brandon Mowinkel

Actually, the other day, they reminded their audience that they have taken no interest in watching The Rise of Skywalker.  To me, that’s strange because a general interest in Disney would usually include an interest in Star Wars, but they are just so discouraged at Clownfish TV with the sequel trilogy that they have zero anticipation for at last seeing Episode IX.  They said it didn’t get the greatest reviews, but for me, it’s hard to relate to the idea that they could just never see it and live happily after.

I just like to think about how nice it must be spending a day at one of the Disney parks and that kind of thing.  I don’t believe much that I’ll ever return to Disney World, and perhaps to them at Clownfish that reality might not be a reality, that they could possibly relate to.

I was really surprised by some people afoul of the Star Wars backlash, which I presume will never end.  I thought the worst of the incalcitrant attitude to what happened with the sequel trilogy might fade away, but maybe that won’t be the case.  To be more honest, I imagined that the backlash would rear its head occasionally when new Star Wars stories were put to film and video, but it really is a pervasive phenomenon, I think now.

I am glad for the Discover challenges to have reopened, and I just wanted to say that the businesses I would have most liked to overcome the difficulties posed by the crisis are the Disney theme parks.  It just wasn’t possible, it is clear.  I hope to get in on the Discover challenges some more, while we continue this quarantine.

Why Holden Caulfield Thinks Social Media Jobs are Phony

This title was devised with the help of Portent. The story is true, that the girl quoted Salinger in her second or third letter to me. I thought I was lucky I got that far, because in the Y2K era snail mail was already rare.

I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful. If I’m on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I’m going, I’m liable to say I’m going to the opera. It’s terrible.

– J. D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield in Chapter 3, in the wake of deceiving.

    When I was in my early twenties, a little ahead of Y2K, I think, I paid a visit to Kingston, Ontario, where I noticed a girl, dressed like a punk rocker, sitting up on the curb, asking passerby’s to spare change.  She was pretty, if I do say so myself, her hair dyed bright blue that matched the fishnets not doing a whole lot to keep her legs warm in the winter night, petite, and completely on her own.

    I thought I would say hi to her.  She must have seemed out of her mind to most everyone else, or perhaps just innocuous, but Kingston is a college town, and there are bright young girls everywhere.  I think this particular girl was a singer in a band, or would be soon.

    We chatted, we watched the street, we met a couple people.  I would have liked to get off the streets, but where were we going to go?  I’d just met her.

    It took every ounce of confidence I had to keep up what I was passing off as charm, given the circumstances.  It became a sort of a nice time.  I probably should have taken her to the arcade up the street.

    By morning I got from her an address for her mom, in Scarborough, from where I suppose it counted she had run away from, and although there weren’t even all that many letters from her, I think it was probably the second one from her to me where she put in ink the above quote from The Catcher in the Rye.  All I could think when I got that letter was that the girl probably literally was a liar.  Almost everybody lies, except maybe devout Buddhists, or others with that kind of mindset.

    Since The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has become a symbol for insubordination and tension and now remains among the most significant characters of twentieth-century American writing.  The excellent TV character Jughead, in Riverdale, mentions in Season 4, Episode 8 The Catcher in the Rye, to Mrs. Burble.  Following Archie’s lead, Jughead likewise hasn’t applied to any schools, and when he stops by Riverdale High to get his transcript, he gets a meeting with Mrs. Burble, regardless of his “Holden Caulfield stance on phony small talk.”

The CW Network

    I wonder how Holden would feel about Facebook if he were an adolescent in the year 2020.  Well, actually, I guess I know–he would hate it.  Possibly if the issue was working it, he would abhor how Generation Z doesn’t have a similar eagerness for it that Millennials have.

    Millennials are youthful enough to feel strong and astute, and they’ve been on the internet since right back when they were youngsters.  Would Holden hate the specific act of asking a street girl how she was doing given that she might experience distress?  Even that I guess he would, for the suffering that young girls go through when they run away, for an economic system necessitating that some young girls go on the run, for the fact of a college town itself even existing given that the tools of education are extensively available.

    I am certain the young lady would have liked herself on Facebook if she met herself as another, and I am certain the girl felt as brilliant as those strolling past her.  It didn’t appear to get her down.  She had good karma.

    I believe being a runaway underground rocker was what she needed to be, notwithstanding that it was unthinkable, I assume.  I finally cried when I returned home the following day, as it truly seems to be a merciless world.  Nothing was wrong, though, other than that twenty years later I’d be writing the story in a post inspired by Portent.

    I’d had a comforter in my backpack.  When I noticed the cold, I let her wrap it around her shoulders.

    We went into the Burger King with that around her.  There were muddy tracks on it from the slush on the restaurant floor when we left.  Those mud stains came out in the wash.

    In the nineteen nineties, we didn’t have Facebook.  However, I wish I’d considered PCs in the school other than the negligible business I learned when I got around to signing in my last time in a study hall.  It took me years beyond the nineties to cross that finish line, by the way.

    Years later, while it was appalling that the confidence everybody had, to translate their lives into Facebook status posts and business page numbers, ended with what happened between the White House and Cambridge Analytica, I think the popularity of Facebook will return.  The Wall Street Journal ran an idiosyncratic feature for its tech segment this week.

Joanna Stern

    At least one American journalist is trying to rekindle the same enjoyment we had with Facebook up until the present administration in the White House.  I am a modest Canadian, yet I needed to reproduce the experience for the individuals who see this.

Christmas Eve 2019

My nephew’s twenty-first birthday was five days ago–he let my mom and dad know he was getting by.  I wish him all the best.  

The family business where I’ve been working has a Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

A Difficult St. Patrick’s Day

It’s the end of March and two weeks ago was St. Patrick’s Day for 2020. The weather in Southern Ontario was reasonable in light of expectations. I found myself spending less time on Facebook. My sister telephoned me a couple of times.

A cousin of my mother, Cathie, along other lovely people, with a hobby of genealogy, ending with a nice account of the Irish my mother’s side of the family has. It looks like this St. Patrick’s Day, 2020, I’ll be a little less Irish.  It looks grim.

Photographer:
Tiago Almeida

change

the act or instance of making or becoming different.

I wish a lot of things were different, but I never would have chalked up the possibility of experiencing our pandemic catastrophe in my own life.  I read of environmental warnings, like that there could be, say, eight years until the damage to the planet caused by humans becomes irreversible, or that global warming will cause sea levels to rise, however active God is on the picture at large. I don’t know how human beings will fare.

To consider attacks between warring groups the world over, hellbent on decreasing each other to iotas, to very small pieces, I think also police and military unfairly treat peaceable citizens, because the police loathe the skin colour or addiction, behaviour that doesn’t toe the line for the safety of the public.  I think about these now and again, yet I hadn’t thought of what really descended three months ago. It is hard to contextualize that.

I always do my best to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, as so many do with aplomb and style.  I welcome the end of winter. We are all called on to be, not so much Godfearing, as instead socially distant from one another.

Good on us all the same, that we can find solidarity in separating from one another, in a fashion that, like the lot of the unlucky addict, is no fault of our own.

Photographer:
Peter Hershey

We will have to come up with new measures to survive, and we have to do it at a time when I am sure many of us would be happier celebrating St. Patty’s in the usual fashion, wearing the colour green, and staying out late.  We’re told to stay out of bars and restaurants and nightclubs and still young people want to go to those kinds of haunts. I want to be young myself, but not to the extent I want to risk sacrificing growing old.

I wanted to think about a superb St. Patrick’s Day, and although I recall it every year, I don’t know I could say that any specific March festivity was better than some other.  A number of them were beautiful and left me feeling blessed. I am grateful to The Lord.

1998 occurs to me, becoming 21 years of age.  However, against how this spring is going, I don’t think the excitement of taking a visit back in time is going to especially cause me to feel better. I like to enjoy speaking a kind word at certain times, because a little kindness sprinkled in the mix, while not reversing the uncertainty that we’re facing, does help temper the darkness.

I would like to wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day, dreadful or not.

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t to be overlooked, obviously.  Go with the luck of the Irish! Let’s have a safe spring!

You’re of course welcome to comment and to follow.  All the best to you, and to your loved ones.

Find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

We’re also on Twitter https://twitter.com/findingenvirons

I enjoy social media.

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!

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

There is no pain you are receding

A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.

You are only coming through in waves.

Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying.

When I was a child I had a fever

My hands felt just like two balloons.

Now I’ve got that feeling once again

I can’t explain you would not understand

This is not how I am.

Comfortably Numb

(Gilmour, Waters)

http://www.pink-floyd-lyrics.com/index.html

564 x 376

What did you want to talk about, as a child?

    Maybe it just didn’t seem to be as fulfilling without your imaginary friend, but the fellow sure was a good listener.  He agreed with everything you decided, he brought up things that you might not yourself have thought of, and he was quick with ready suggestions that prevented all kinds of problems.

    There were just matters that needed to be talked through, and the others weren’t really familiar with the notion or just how formidably commanding your friend felt about it.  It was such a vivid feat of the imagination that it had a kind of form to it where it fed back everything you put in.

    That was childhood.  As the years passed and adolescence went to the sincere young man, he saw less and less of his fanciful companion.  He hadn’t learned nearly so much now like yourself, what with the weeks and weeks and months and years of school, where the education was dull in comparison with the empty yard and the imaginary friend among the trees.

    Holding model spaceships with a balled hand and indicating the stretch of the domestic yard around the house could take you from here, inspired by George Lucas’ famed films.  I favoured the Rebel Alliance.

    My concept of life after the Star Wars films galaxies reduced fewer resources, got myself and others out in the yard the same way when the other empty, pithy children were game.  It was always after the events of Episode VI for me, never previous to the destruction of the second Death Star and the corporeal Emperor, settled for good until, incongruently, 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker.

    At the point when I took a gander at the shores of Lake Erie, the lake took Princess Leia in her practical white Cloud City clothing that Lando thought to allow her to wear. She no longer tore such a beautiful image.  Like Anakin said about his disgust for sand in the Star Wars films of the prequel trilogy… It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.    Her dignity.  You’re free to like, follow, and additionally buy-in. It’s February tomorrow!

The Hunger Games Guide to Holiday Shopping

Notable actor Donald Sutherland received one of Canada’s highest honors, I read the other day, on Facebook, in an article in The Atlantic. Sutherland has a role in The Hunger Games. That’s the adaptation of the Suzanne Collins novel, about older adolescents who become tributes to patriarchal figures, for the sake of honor.

“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

Josh and Manda’s son, Mack, though older, is still approximately the age of the tributes, in the film. While we know he is committed to being his own man, I have heard that Mack has taken an interest in theatre, playing stage roles. In his first few months of uni, I saw a video Mack helped do.

I would enjoy buying a Christmas present, for when he returns in late December, but it is tough to think what the boy could want, given that I haven’t seen him in many moons. Was it last year I got him a few issues of comics? Yeah, I got him Star Wars comics.

I could do that again. It would be fun. Younger than Mack is Clara, who I would also like to buy a gift, and at her young age of nine, it will be far easier to get Santa’s approval.

Manda, Clara and Mack

Last winter, I remember, I went to that one beautiful mall in town, to get her a children’s book. A book clerk, who was a pretty young lady, helped me decide which book would be right for my niece, of all the titles in the children’s section of the store. It would be nice to get a number once in a while, wouldn’t you know?

Cough. There is no real Hunger Games shopping guide, but a few remarks can be drawn from the possibility that you’ve read the novel, or you would like to read it. I haven’t myself, so I am in the dark, but I watched the first half of the film, on Netflix, between yesterday morning and today.

Mom’s picture of their backyard after the unusual November snowfall

I’m interested, particularly now because when the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker went up on YouTube, the channel Geeks + Gamers threw away an observation that The Rise of Skywalker looks like The Hunger Games. Geeks + Gamers has dismissed the new Star Wars trilogy completely, while still bringing attention to Star Wars news, often with a very sneeringly critical attitude, but I was interested to hear what Jeremy says about the Rise of Skywalker trailer.

By the way, fans of the films, again this year went out in search of toy purchases, for Force Friday, the shopping day. The original Force Friday event was held on September 4, 2015. Remembering my interest, in a YouTube video, I saw a couple of Star Wars guys find an all-night WalMart and go in to see what toys they wanted.

In the WalMart in the video I watched, the staffers hadn’t yet constructed the display for the new Star Wars toys, and when they began to dig out the boxes of toys, the dozen or so people who were at the WalMart, at midnight, for Force Friday, competed with some heat for the most desirable action figures.

It is to be noted that the games, in the story, in The Hunger Games are part of a competitive honor, and I am sure that the coolest Christmas gifts are sold first and make the best impressions when they are bestowed. I take it, while not having read the Suzanne Collins novels, that patriarchs select tributes for their ability with the range of a bow, and it implies they are wanted for their strength, and also for their beauty. I don’t want to spoil too much more.

I hope the next few weeks are splendid for you, and that you’ll be back to see that all’s well. You’re welcome to like, to follow, and/or to subscribe to.

We’ll see you again during this festive time of year.

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.

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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.

You`re welcome to like this post, to follow the blog and/or to comment.

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