MCMLXXVI Rock and Roll Heart

Happy holidays! I am not very sure there is a great deal I could consider that hasn’t been investigated by different bloggers about how 2020 has been. It’s been a revolution.

Courts declared this week that Microsoft is defeated at the moment, in a lawsuit concerning the price of their systems and office software suites between the years 1998, and 2010. I don’t want to say the digital revolution was like 1995, or 1998, or 2010 or 2020 or any clearly-stated signpost like that. By revolution, I just mean it’s a lot easier now to be taking to the streets, with the Internet in place.

Photo by Kristin Hardwick from StockSnap

I trust your Christmas is a cheerful one this year. I experienced what has been like moments of rage this weekend (after I’d written the best part of this post).

I got to feeling torn up. I don’t know why.

One evening, the other day, I’d got to feeling, oddly, like how I did when I was an unfulfilled young person, feeling regret at letting time go, without, you could say, stopping to smell the roses.

Also this week, the YouTube channel for the Star Wars movies commemorated forty years since Episode IV The Empire Strikes Back made its premiere in 1980, although something tells me it was a springtime premiere. The next day the channel continued to remind people that Star Wars is a big tradition, VII The Force Awakens in 2015, VIII The Last Jedi in 2017, and, IX The Rise of Skywalker a year ago now.

Darth Vader and the Death Star

It was kind of weird to think about The Rise of Skywalker being in theatres an entire year in the past. Things have certainly changed.

Now, with Christmas right around the corner, Song Lyric Sunday is here, a great blog hop organized by Jim Adams, for like-minded bloggers. For Sunday, December 20, Jim’s prompts include a circle. https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/the-shape-im-in-2/

Song Lyric Sunday is itself a circle, what I think of as a blog hop. A blog hop is when bloggers post at the same time on the same subject, like when college kids do a pub crawl, where they go from bar to bar, to have drinks.

Jim has blogged this year a little about the impact of a blog hop (versus what I’d term an award crawl). His thoughts were couched in the language of how it is that an award crawl can be a little useless.

By award crawl, I mean when bloggers nominate each other to share an award, and to express appreciation. It’s a phrase I’m using to describe how that is.

A blog hop is effective because it isn’t just commending one another. A blog hop is a social experience, a little fun if you blog.

About music, to be a famous musician is a powerful fantasy. I regard exciting music or any sort of expert musicianship. On Wednesday this week, Rolling Stone published an article saying that music journalism on TikTok might be more and more important in the future. Rolling Stone pointed out that Generation Z kids in 2020 listen to music on Spotify and TikTok.

Jim’s prompt circle reminded me of the late, great Lou Reed’s song Vicious Circle, on the album Rock and Roll Heart. In 1976, Reed’s first album with Arista Records followed the records he did for RCA after The Velvet Underground ended, and was kind of immediately enjoyable for a casual listener, though Reed seems to flirt again on Rock and Roll Heart with self-destruction, not unlike what a depressed but notable musician can be like. A couple of times I’ve watched a TV interview with Reed in Australia recorded 1975, not all that long before Rock and Roll Heart, where Reed seems unhappy.

Reed tries a joke about the tyrant Adolf Hitler, calling him a great organizer. The question energetically admonishes him. I think Reed was obliquely referring to Andy Warhol, who managed him as a musician before Reed made an album.

A few people can’t avoid that zeitgeist, and for me, also, it’s enchanting. Reed is a championed rock guitarist and singer who is seldom rivalled, given the influence of his personality.

He is gone, but when I was in college, one long-haired, heavyset history teacher taught us a little about him, calling Reed, “the godfather of punk.” In the library, I found a little book about subculture, music subculture in the nineteen seventies, and I put energy into understanding it.

Lou Reed’s New York

Because, with the impact of Warhol, in the nineteen sixties, of the acclaim of The Velvet Underground, that was after they ceased making music together, as a group, but, regardless, songs of theirs began to be popular.

When I went into the HMV store in New York City, HMV the chain of CD shops where you went if you wanted music, in the days when you bought music on physical media, the Velvets were well-advertised, as in giant letters the store announcing, “The Velvet Underground.” You knew it was their town.

Related

HMV owner’s dramatic Christmas warning: ‘Let’s all use high streets – or Amazon will be the last shop left’

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-8972967/Use-high-streets-Christmas-urges-owner-HMV.html

Years before I was born, Lou Reed had a Top 20 hit, contributing to the new popularity of both Reed, and consequently the Velvets. The most popular song by Reed is a song I first heard on FM radio, cruising the streets of my town, probably for no particular reason, or for no good reason.

Lou Reed a Life by Anthony DeCurtis

I didn’t know who that singer was, on the radio, until I heard the song again, as though it were still 1972, in some kind of Doctor Who-type parallel universe. I still didn’t know whom it was singing like that, but eventually, a friend of a friend listened to me describe the song, and he knew who it was, given a moment (between thought and reflection).

I was in a circle, then, being a kid in high school, dealing with pressures that are specific to what I think is most kids’ experience. It wasn’t vicious, by the way, just sayin’.

The song Vicious Circle could be about having social pressures, like specific patterns ingrained in you to run up against a wall. The song is less uptempo than most of the songs on Rock and Roll Heart. I am not sure the better part of Reed’s listeners would embrace music like his, if they didn’t feel, at least from time to time, that the intrigue about the music was coming from a place touched by despair.

There are stories about Lou Reed, when he was the frontman of the Velvets, like that he played Woodstock in ’69, but nobody could hear the sound. I don’t think the Velvets did play Woodstock. They broke up amid tension.

The third and fourth of the Velvets’ records were more straightforward as rock albums than the first and second albums. I believe in 1968 they performed in Hamilton, Ontario, but that might have been the Velvet Underground’s only show in Canada. Even though you may not know I’m Canadian, I in any case get spellbound by performers who made it (or said they did).

Lou Reed’s hit in 1972 includes the B-side Vicious (not Vicious Circle). Four years after that, after Reed was through with RCA Records, Reed with Vicious Circle was possibly pointing to his choice of making a livelihood as a rock singer, because Vicious Circle points to the song Vicious, and the 45 itself is circular in shape, music being on vinyl discs, records. There is a hint of weariness in Vicious Circle.

There is a Bowie song, too, with the word circle in its title, and I know there’s a reference about him in the title of Vicious Circle, in all likelihood, but how can I know for sure?

Reed had a great sense of humour, I read in college, the Velvets’ drummer Moe Tucker remarking on that about Lou Reed.

Photo by Jens Mahnke from StockSnap

Reed expounded on experience transparently in his music, including thoughts about sex and culture. Reed did much of his very best music with the Velvets, who were John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Moe Tucker, and Doug Yule.

Everything Lou Reed did music-wise is very acceptable, I think. The Velvet Underground is a legendary band. Many an amateur rocker knows whom the Velvet Underground are, and get feeling good about songs like What Goes On, and Sweet Jane, west coast surf type stuff.

God knows I’m not a resident. I used to wonder what Reed intended for the fate of his music.

I think with Rock and Roll Heart Reed was trying his hand at again being a straightforward rock musician. I would venture to guess that he was a pretty hot musician, having just conquered AM Radio with Coney Island Baby, but had simultaneously conveyed the ability to fail with his 1975 noise opus Metal Machine Music.

Metal Machine Music sort of seems easier to take all these years later, as an experimental ambient noise album, but I take it fans of the artist would have wanted more rock songs, not something altogether weird like Metal Machine Music. Wikipedia says, “In 1979 Reed said ‘Saying ‘I’m a Coney Island baby’ at the end of that song is like saying I haven’t backed off an inch. And don’t you forget it.'”

Photo by Emanuele Bresciani from StockSnap

I have a theory that if Reed had clear success with Metal Machine Music, it would have meant a lot of change as far as music fans’ interest in what’s viable goes. Enough about that for now.

Reed lived a long life, until October 27, 2013, passing away at the age of 71. In college, I didn’t believe Reed’s image as a street-weary rock musician, compared to who he was. I don’t have any acquaintance with it all, however.

Thanks to Jim Adams for the December 20 word prompt circle. Have a great Christmas, Jim, and to everybody who sees this ahead of Christmas. You’re welcome to like my post, to comment and/or to follow my blog.

https://www.facebook.com/findingenvirons

https://about.me/patrickcoholan

Vicious Circle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfceMTlEq7s

You’re caught in a vicious circle
Surrounded by your so called friends
You’re caught in a vicious circle
And it looks like it will never end
‘Cause some people think that they like problems
And some people think that they don’t
And for everybody who says yes
There’s somebody who’s staring, saying don’t

You’re caught in a vicious circle
Surrounded by your so called friends
You’re caught in a vicious circle
And it looks like it will never end
‘Cause some people think that it’s nerves
And some people think that it’s not
And some people think that it’s things that you do
And others think that you were cold, when you were hot
They think that that is what it was about

You’re caught in a vicious circle …

Surrounded by all of your friends

What the World Would Be Like If Fringe Opinions Didn’t Exist

Trump administration appeals yet another TikTok ruling —https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/28/22203284/trump-administration-appeal-tiktok-china-bytedance

CNN tech reporter — Brian Fung

The news came in the end of September that Donald Trump affirmed the takeover of TikTok by firms Walmart and Oracle.  An eleventh-hour victory is how the website CNET put it that evening. It was an exciting day.

The issue that Trump made of TikTok’s conduct is that ostensibly TikTok was opening a doorway for China to collect unwarrant data on American TikTok users which would put the States at risk given a perceived interest in China gaining a foothold on Big Tech, at home in Silicon Valley. It was a highlight of Big Tech drama and in the months ahead, eventually the States’ FTC made the move of demanding clarity on what is going on with user data.

FTC orders ByteDance, Facebook, Snap and others to explain what they do with user data https://techcrunch.com/2020/12/14/ftc-tiktok-amazon-facebook-social-media-study/

Photo by Markus Spiske from StockSnap

For perspective on the deal moving TikTok from China to the U.S., I watched someordinarygamers, who was doing videos about it.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

someordinarygamers: https://www.youtube.com/user/SomeOrdinaryGamers

About what people say on the Internet, so many people communicate on the Internet about fringe.  someordinarygamers is into things like playing retro videogames, but he also looks at a lot of Internet issues that sometimes are only superficially related. The channel is often funny, meaning Mutahar has a sense of humour, whether navigating Minecraft, or a particularly cringy Twitter thread, as much as he can make himself heard on has YouTube, which is pretty large given his success. That’s his name, right, Mutahar? The emcee at someordinarygamers

You can see the difference between, say, an ambitious young TikTokker aiming for fame, and a fringe TikTokker just kind of shouting out to whoever.  It isn’t a subtle distinction.

That said, someordinarygamers does have a pretty good YouTube channel.

Related

Epic Star Wars Concept Art Shows Rey Taking On A Ton Of Stormtroopers https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2555166/epic-star-wars-concept-art-shows-rey-taking-on-a-ton-of-stormtroopers

Do you enjoy Star Wars? The inveterately well-known movie, the first one, released by Twentieth Century Fox in 1977, can be quoted with the following.  “It was as if a million voices cried out in pain/And were suddenly silenced,” Obiwan, played by the late Alec Guinness, laments to Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, and to Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, aboard Han’s ship, the Millennium Falcon, during their search for Princess Leia, played by late Carrie Fisher. Darth Vader, played by the departed David Prowse and voiced by James Earl Jones, having kidnapped her.

At that moment in the film, the Empire, under the command of Vader and of Grand Moff Tarkin, played by the also departed Peter Cushing, has just destroyed her home planet, with the power of the Death Star, and Obiwan knows it, thanks to The Force.

“oh no!”

That’s how it would have been in the eventuality that the Trump administration banned TikTok (my tie-in).  The greatest issue is that the Chinese government would have picked up a lot of data, about TikTok, trading off U.S. security.

Photo by Lenharth Systems from StockSnap

Related

The Four Benefits of Data Mining: Google’s Side of the Data Story  https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/next-gen-infosec/four-benefits-data-mining-google/

In the late eighties, I had a tape duplicate of 1977’s George Lucas-directed Star Wars.  The story of the Rebel Alliance appealed to me very much, the way it does for so many.

The nature of social media is to turn user ideas into content.  Idly put, the site Portia’s Content Generator helped turn this subject into a workable draft idea. Since then, I’ve worked out some stronger ideas–more on that to come.

Often, like on Facebook, a social media post can be a photo (or several), an emoji, or a hashtag, all of which are elements that add up to a status report, a post.  In Silicon Valley, Facebook was like the best idea in the world in 2007, something that earned a fortune, and had an impact on people’s behaviour all over the world.

The 2010 David Fincher film The Social Network, all about Facebook, is a terrific movie, a masterful film.  It may not contain an account of the devastation of the planet of Alderaan, but with The Social Network you get some appreciation of how Facebook has the capacity among people, around the planet, to favour constant unequivocal activity.  Anyone with a social media account can be a keyboard warrior.

When a gallant Jedi Knight, Darth Vader was tempted, turned into a Sith Lord, and drove the Empire’s annihilation of the Jedi Order

If Facebook tossed a rulebook of dictator guidelines at its users, I can’t help thinking about how media would become in a “scene” like that.  Ha, well, it would be Orwellian, if it isn’t already.

Orwellian alludes to being of a dictator nature.  If you don’t know, an algorithm is a mathematical formula, in the purest sense of the word, and when you put the word into a social media context, the word means the method of delivering content of specific interest to you.  That is why social media is addictive.

I surmise that an autonomous voice relies upon that if it needs to communicate itself, in any shape.  Without autonomy, it would be, I think, a market with only the dullest of billboards to show, nothing to write home about.

Goods consigned and a surfeit of the ordinary. Should news info should be professionally-packaged, light on ads, accurate and not misleading, and properly researched and based in reality?  That is all well and good, but it implies that a beginning blogger may not reach the starting gate without being subject to specific, and somewhat arbitrary, rules of conduct.

I’ve heard, like on someordinarygamers, on YouTube, that the component of the Internet which is your most valuable currency is data. In fact, again today Mutahar put out a video that explores what Facebook and Instagram are doing with user data.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEgmvdrQXG0

There is a call for public news and music industry Top 40 hits, yes.  However, every stipend ought to be made for periphery who have a right to speak as freely as the most prevailing of media.

Everyone who likes YouTube videos experiences this hiccup.  Trying to make a living as a YouTuber, when creators on YouTube aren’t getting through to viewers, the views on their videos begin to slow down.  Some YouTubers talk about that, contending with the algorithm that holds back videos.

“oh no!”

We all should practice diligence using social media.  I am not sure we need to delete Facebook and Instagram, as Mutahar encourages, but his note of caution is worth giving a listen. I wouldn’t mind if someordinarygamers looked again at how TikTok’s new corporate structure will turn out.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled program.

Happy new year, and good luck.

opps

A typical spelling of the outcry “oh no!”

Opps! I tYpOed agAiN!!! lololololo

“oh no!”

If you are interested, you’re welcome to “like,” “follow,” or comment.  Good luck with your blogging.

substance ought to be: steady, helpful,

pertinent, unique, exceptional, new, educative, client and network driven, intriguing, interesting, to change, to be easy to peruse and share it

through media, to have

viral power and give positive

“buzz,” just as that more

content is fundamental

Online, you should always be kind to a beginner.  You will acquire everything by recognizing you are deficient and subject to God. 🙂

WordPress Discover: Hidden

Today’s WordPress Discover theme is the idea of “hidden,” organized by Ben Huberman.  Last night on Twitter, I saw a tweet that included a landscape by fantasy painter Boris Vallejo.  The landscape is Cloud City, the Star Wars locale where the Sith’s Lord Vader captures Han Solo in preparation to return the smuggler and hero to an otherworldly gangster who Solo owes.

The Empire Strikes Back

    The landscape of Cloud City, the carbon freezing chamber which Vader utilizes to hold Solo without fail, is painted hidden by steam, except for the sight of Solo’s friends and the traitor Lando Calrissian.  Cloud City is hidden in the painting much as Darth Vader is hidden underneath his Sith mask.  The Sith Order is an ancient order of Force-wielders devoted to the dark side of the Force, as starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Sith explains.

    The Force is an energy field that is wielded by Jedi on the side of good and Sith on the side of evil.  An enduring saga, the timeline for this hidden landscape of Cloud City refers to the culmination of events in the 1980s The Empire Strikes Back film.  Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia swears her love for Han Solo.

    Billy Dee Williams, as Lando Calrissian, does his best to rescue the Princess from Darth Vader, but at the cost of surrendering Solo to Vader, and Anthony Daniels as droid character C-3P0 is in pieces, having been shot by a laser blaster when he strayed around the wrong corner a few scenes earlier.  Fortunately, C-3P0 is mechanical.  C-3P0’s master at the time of events in The Empire Strikes Back is incongruously absent from the painting.

It would be Jedi apprentice Luke Skywalker, who comes to the realization that his friends are in terrible danger from Vader and that he has precious little time to train as a Jedi.  The order of Jedi is a counterpart to the evil order of Sith.

Today Disney explained on Twitter that they have an interest in taking advantage of May the 4th tweets with the hashtag #maythefourth. May the 4th is a long running day that commemorates the Star Wars film franchise with the idea that the Star Wars toast “May the Force be with you” translates to “May the Fourth be with you,” as is well known as Star Wars fans. Disney announced today that hashtagging a tweet with #maythefourth, while making it eligible to be celebrated by Disney on Twitter, automatically makes that tweet the property of Disney themselves.

It isn’t a doable contingency. Clownfish TV on YouTube explained today that while Disney does own the trademark “May the Fourth,” the trademark is only guarded where apparel and events are concerned. There is no protection for Disney when Star Wars fans tweet #maythefourth about their love of Star Wars.

However, Disney clearly is trying to get protective of the trademark with the idea of putting their authority to use in the face of anyone who would tweet #maythefourth. Even that idea that Disney would like control of the hashtag #maythefourth could be enough to dispel an interest in tweeting the hashtag. The recognition from Disney would be nice, but implying that Disney has control of the hashtag isn’t right when they really don’t.

I would hope that Disney’s posturing to defeat tweets that don’t meet the bar that Disney would like to hold presents the idea that the sequel trilogy of Star Wars films, while fine movies I think, is somewhat irresponsible when it comes to respecting the film fandom. Clownfish TV didn’t even watch The Rise of Skywalker.

The Empire Strikes Back

WordPress Discover: Orchestrate

social distancing

Today’s Discover challenge, by Michelle Weber, is about the word “orchestrate.” The last piece of music which moved me is the song battle born by The Killers.


The Killers

Up against the wall (Up against the wall) There’s something dying on the street When they knock you down (Up against the wall) You’re gonna get back on your feet Cause you can’t stop now (Cause you can’t stop now) Did they break your heart? (Did they break your heart?) And did they cause your soul to mourn Remember what I said Boy you was battle born

While The Killers are a great band, I didn’t initially have a strong positive reaction to this song of theirs.  Eventually, though, it began to move me the way a piece of music does, giving me the odd moment of pause while relevance in the song hits home with me.

What would it be that is “dying on the street?” I wonder briefly when I hear it.  There is a Pavement song from 1995, Grounded, that has a similar lyric. Both are interesting songs.

Everything Is Nice: The Matador Records 10th Anniversary Anthology

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.

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!

Mermaid’s December 2019 WordPress Tea Party

   Preparing for an upbeat end to 2019, WordPress blogger The Little Mermaid again has devised a tea party blog hop, to entertain and regale us.  In spite of the fact that I am late to return, after a bit of reflection, I haven’t overlooked all she sorted, multiple times now.  I wouldn’t have forgotten.

    For December, The Little Mermaid is asking about painting and art.  Painting is a huge region, you may put it, of craftsmanship, by and large, and it is untoward not to recognize it.  I haven’t gone to art museums, I don’t think, since college, but I did in that phase of my life, to see paintings and other art.

    I have a picture for this blog, a mockup of abstract expressionism, as elaborated upon in the book `Bluebeard,’ by Kurt Vonnegut.  Bluebeard is a novel that is a suitably handy foray into that style of art.

    Without enthusiasm for craftsmanship, you have far less scope accessible to you, to seek after, than if you have some hunger for workmanship.  You need, on some level, to be aware it’s important.  If I could buy one work of art, to hang, say, where my tinted mirror hangs on the wall, if it fits, I would like Liberty Leading the People.

Liberty Leading the People. 1830. Oil on canvas, 260 x 325 cm.

 Millennials, of who I disavow myself by virtue of my age, and whose influence is rapidly dissolving in today’s world, not only have lost the certainty of what art means in the digitalized world but are also facing a post-photographic eclipse, of the virtue of photography.

    It doesn’t mean an end is coming to pass.  It just implies that the world is evolving.  For all that’s past, I imagine fewer and fewer peeps cherish the methods of how things were once done.  C’est la vie, you might say, but all’s well that ends well.  Everything, I usually bend my will to say, is as it should be.

    Thank you, The Little Mermaid, for another lovely tea party.  All the best in 2020!  Visitors here are welcome to like, follow, or comment.  You can find me on Quora

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

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.

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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.

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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.

Summer Crowds for Disneyland’s Galaxy Edge Fail to Appear

I found a 2019 discussion of Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida

https://www.disneytouristblog.com/star-wars-land-crowd-predictions/

Even if summer crowds at Disneyland were on the “light” side, I have a hunch they have been reinvigorated by Rise of Skywalker on Christmas Day.

Since Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in 2015, I’ve realized it’s very interesting to look deeper into how Star Wars is going. The people who are dismayed by what has happened, The Fandom Menace, observe all manners of affairs characteristic of the unparalelled sci-fi film franchise, and I thought I would point attention here and now to Star Wars Land.

In the summer, Disney theme park enthusiasts were only beginning to look forward to the Rise of the Resistance attraction.

“It’s a trap!” – Admiral Ackbar Erik Bauersfeld dead: Voice of Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars dies at 93

Oliver Gettell 

The Geeks + Gamers vlog showing Star Wars fans embracing the Rise of the Resistance exhibit could well be read as an admission, finding Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker suspect, referring to the likelihood that the film will be wild.

As I understand it, Disney+ includes the existing ten Star Wars films, two directed by master film director George Lucas, seven by others, and the brief series The Mandalorian. If the franchise pales, Star Wars could be more of a hindrance for Disney rather than a gold mine. Never mind Annual Passholder blackouts.

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Photographer: Park Troopers

I wrote a few words about a couple of leaks for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that are kind of characteristic of what the Internet is doing in terms of how perceived discontentment with Star Wars will return to the same passion that other Star Wars have generated.

This is better than eighth grade arts classes. Thanks for reading. You’re welcome to “like,” follow, and/or comment.