Boldness of The Skywalker Saga: Where’d You Go?

Dedicated to a love of Star Wars, Celebration this month in Chicago flabbergasted fans.  The assembly included panel discussions and all manner of Star Wars exhibits, and also celebrity appearances, a teaser for Episode IX, along with trailers for EA’s game Jedi:  Fallen Order, The Clone Wars S7, and The Mandalorian.  The celebration also took a look back at The Phantom Menace, embracing the sci-fi franchise once again.


StarWars.com

I took in some of it owing to its availability on YouTube.  Celebration, I recall, is nine years in the running, and in 2019 it highlights Episode IX.  Celebration revealed the title of Episode IX, and a teaser trailer.  There is excitement in the business sector of the entertainment industry, being the introduction of Disney+.  Disney+ is making available animated features from Disney’s history of films, along with Marvel Cinema Universe titles from the last ten or eleven years, and the Star Wars films, of which by now there are several.

The reason I enjoy Star Wars is that when J. J. Abrams directed The Force Awakens, I felt the excitement that Star Wars was again back speaking to me.  It seemed to again be a film series to be passionate about.

The response following Celebration did not completely line up with the positive outlook of the fortunate people who went to Celebration in person.  While most everybody there loved what’s going on, some of the YouTube channels who discuss Star Wars have mixed feelings, to say the least.  Geeks + Gamers criticized the teaser for Episode IX, The Quartering was dismissive, and a union of voices on the Internet ridiculed reactions that were exuberantly emotional.  All that is best measured against the outpouring of support for the franchise.

It is almost as if there is a guilty conscience about being part of the Fandom Menace and hating The Last Jedi, but still wanting to see what Episode IX is about.  I am sure the average fan does not feel this way.  I waited for The Last Jedi to go to Netflix, but I enjoyed it.


Photographer:
Tim Mossholder

The influence of Star Wars is hard to comprehend, but there is a war indeed between the feelings a fan has for Star Wars in the nineteen seventies and eighties, and equivalent satisfaction with the new trilogy, however much it taps into your experience of Star Wars and however deep it runs within you that the original films were perfect.

Rian Johnson directed The Last Jedi, and while that film was a commercial success, the popular response to the movie, as, for example, those voices on the Internet made known on Rotten Tomatoes, divided the fans.

None of this will be settled until December, but there will be a lot of excitement that grows this summer and fall.  As is typical of hot takes, animosities, apprehension, and outrage for Star Wars will be evident in the backlash that is going, “to battle,” for whatever reasons.

Publishous this month presented the Where’d You Go writing prompt.  Publishous is an 11,000-strong Medium newsletter which presents and highlights Christian writers who seek to make it, in the sense that they are writing because of the compulsion they feel to do so.  Although I’m not a member of Publishous, I look over articles they present, which provide some inspiration to blog in light of their writing prompts.

I am also a volunteer at a cemetery, Maple Lawn Cemetery, and I am their SMM.  You can find out more about us here: http://www.maplelawncemetery.org

Thank you, and please feel welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.  All the best.

SciFi Fandom Pride: Where’d You Go? “He tends to say whatever comes into his circuits.” – Cassian Andor, Rogue One

The Force Awakens

To think about pride, like for me familiarity with popular science fiction, it is true that in 2015, enthusiasm for the Star Wars films, Star Wars fandom, soared nearly beyond measure when Lucasfilm presented the Star Wars film The Force Awakens.

The realization was great that appreciation for the popular trilogy of films of the nineteen seventies and eighties was “striking back,” an achievement again like the success of Star Wars in the spring of 1977.  George Lucas nearly didn’t get his 1977 film made, according to accounts of what happened, and even though it is true that most film projects whether original in scope or not fail to get made, it is an endearing success story that Lucas made the movie.  The phrase “success story” lacks the weight behind what Star Wars actually did to Hollywood cinema, which was as expansive as what became of the Star Wars galaxy a long time ago and far away.


Photographer:
One Idea LLC

The fervor for Star Wars returning in 2015, helmed by J. J. Abrams, was awe-inspiring.  In fact, Star Wars’ ability to create awe is what gives it such a punch.  For The Force Awakens, original cast members from 1977 joined a new cast for a continuation of Return of the Jedi.

The Force Awakens was a giant success and seemed to bring with it the promise that Star Wars would be once more returning with aplomb and dedication.  Despite unravelling the plot of the original Star Wars films by undoing the Rebel Alliance’s success destroying Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and failing to bring Harrison Ford, the late Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill together in The Force Awakens, it was implied that untied ends and more importantly the reunion between the actors from the original movies would appear in Star Wars Episode VIII in 2017, directed by Rian Johnson.

Discouragingly, Johnson’s film about Star Wars horrified and divided the Star Wars fandom, by dismantling thoughtlessly a trove of Star Wars lore, failing to shoot what would have been an extremely important reunion of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo, and, also front and centre, bringing identity politics into the movie.

There has always been a deep-felt pride in Star Wars and while I’m a Canadian, I felt pride when Star Wars returned loud and strong in 2015 with The Force Awakens.  Then I felt that pride evaporate when I realized that The Last Jedi is potentially ruining Star Wars, which sounds catastrophic and yet is indeed a possibility.  There is every chance that the best science fiction, at least science fiction on film, the best of the entire twentieth century, will be undone if Episode IX fails at the box office.

The rest of Star Wars will be history.

There are voices on the Internet, the fandom, divided by The Last Jedi, that organized and presented a call to Disney to save the glory of Star Wars by insisting CEO Bob Iger and Kathleen Kennedy do the work to successfully market Episode IX, for which we have not yet heard a title or seen a trailer.  Star Wars Celebration is in a few days, helping Star Wars on its way.  Youtuber and filmmaker Star Wars Theory has promised to upload video he’ll shoot at Celebration.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8CbFnDTYkiVweaz8y9wd_Q

In the event that Episode IX is good, the Star Wars fandom will unite, and pride will spread throughout.

If the film flops, Star Wars will go to that great “clearance bin” in the sky.  I hope very much for pride but chances are it is through.

You are welcome to click “like,” to follow the blog, and/or to comment.

Every #spring a St. Patrick’s Day

2018-032-15

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m a Canadian every other day of the year.

When I was a boy, my godmother bought me a coffee table book celebrating Ireland.  It followed that in grade school, I thought to turn a work assignment about other countries into homework on the subject of Ireland.   I flipped through the book to do the research (that I could do at that age) for the teacher.

2018-032-15
St. Patrick

The photos in the book illustrating Irish women helped shape my attitudes to the fairer gender, as well.  I briefly visited the UK in the fall of 1999, but I didn’t go to Ireland.

There is a friend I know whose parents are Irish.  This friend is not fond of the English, despite what I know from grade school about the role the English played shaping Canada.

At the same time, this person has a different understanding of how the Irish fared in history than I have got.  That said, when my mother asked me the other day whether I am prouder of Dublin or Belfast, I found myself answering Belfast.  Until then I didn’t know I felt that way.

I was born in 1977, two days before St. Patrick’s Day.  My mom and dad named me Patrick, after my father’s late brother Patrick.  This uncle died when he was a young man, in a motorcycle accident (he was riding).  My name remembers this Uncle Patrick of mine, and of my brother and sister.

My mom and my father’s mother had a bond.  When my mother was young, the two women would speak to each other privately having a coffee or Coca-Cola together or the like.

Another time In grade school I was instructed to ask questions about the family line. I brought to my paternal grandmother the question of the origin of our name.

I never knew my paternal grandfather.  He’d died before I was born.  I suppose I assumed we are an Irish family.

My grandmother let me know that the surname she took when she married is Welsh, of all matters.  At that age, I was not aware that Wales is a principality of Britain, or otherwise knew anything about it.

Many years later my brother took a strong interest in the Irish.  He went backpacking there with one or two of his friends.

He later researched our family line, and he learned of many of our living relatives in Ireland.  I am sure it is an Irish family, whether the surname is Welsh.

I work for my father as a cemetery groundskeeper.  When we were at the cemetery yesterday, handling a funeral, for which we were responsible, to my surprise, as we wrapped up our clean-up, we saw a hailstorm!

Louth United Church and Maple Lawn Cemetery

The spring solstice ahead:  it doesn’t feel like it.  Last week my father reminded me of the old expression, “In like a lamb, out like a lion.”  That’s what my father was predicting for the month of March here.

About Ireland, I know it is hard when times are tough, and I am empathetic of others experiencing suffering.  If you are Irish or love the Irish, God bless you.  It’s your chance this day, as it is every year, to be Irish.

I hope you’re having a great day.  Naturally, you are welcome to “like” this post, to follow my blog and/or to comment.  Thank you for having an interest.

The cemetery where I work with my father is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited  My duties for the work I do are nominally tied to the posts I publish in this blog.

#spring dst and its usual sleep deprivation

The Monday after the change to DST

The Saturday 3/9 edition of the National Post, one of the papers that my parents get, carried a big story by a Sharon Kirkey on A3.  The paper included the rather off-putting headline “Heart attacks and other risks of daylight savings” https://t.co/hU0Wp67UVx

I don’t worry about sleep-deprivation, but my father said last night after I read the Sharon Kirkey story that I could point out what she wrote about DST safely.  Kirkey’s conclusion to her story in the National Post is the wonderful words LOST SLEEP ALSO MAKES US SLACKERS

Before the ninth of March, my mother was already pointing out to me that Daylight Savings Time was here Sunday at 2 a.m.  I got a normal night’s sleep the Saturday, the ninth, and in the morning I changed my alarm clock, my answering machine and my microwave oven to DST.

The computer adjusted automatically.  I was fine.

My mother and father

I was pleased my mother thought to remind me of such business, as this pragmatic reality might have gone right by me and caused inadvertent confusion.  I see the effects of sleep deprivation everywhere, but many perspectives we take are a matter of our consensus about what’s true.  In any case, there is presently no option except to join in Daylight Savings.

I subscribe to the email newsletter Publishous, which just moved into the top four hundred publications of writers on Medium.

In the month of March, Publishous readers are writing about #spring.  The intention is that writers reading Publishous should pass on their work to the Publishous editors for consideration, but I am doing no such thing.

I am only glancing at Publishous to see if there is anything I find splendid and want to read.  I do draw inspiration from it independent of the need to participate in writing for their eyes, although any are welcome to read me as I am putting the ideas together in this blog.  I just don’t want to bat out of my league.

Sharon Kirkey’s story is grim, but I am pleased that my parents thought to provide me with advice, when I explained to them what I had in mind to blog.  My dad is also my boss–we operate a tiny cemetery http://www.maplelawncemetery.org

You’re welcome to click like, to follow my blog, and to leave a comment.

Good luck recovering from any impact you yourself felt from the change to DST.

11 Perfect (And True) Loves Found and Lost

It’s Valentine’s Day, and in the spirit of the occasion, a spot of research has led me to Well-known and Famous Couples in History, by Madhura Pandit.  It’s an expository piece from which I chose ten of the most dynamic romantic figures ever known, in Madhura’s estimation.  I added an obvious eleventh, with thanks to scholaradvisor.com for the example.


Photographer:
Clem Onojeghuo

Nine of these people are based in history, and the last two are the stuff of legend.

Historical Couples

Julius Caesar and Cleopatra and Mark Antony

Cleopatra and Mark Antony are both associated with Julius Caesar.  Mark Antony discovered beguilement with Cleopatra’s greatness.  Cleopatra, in turn, might have discovered a feeling of strength with him, since he was getting to be a standout in Rome.

She found in him the chance to reestablish old wonder.  Mark Antony had attributes not the same as that of Julius Caesar, yet the equivalent political stature.

The gathering after Julius Caesar’s demise demonstrated scented blooms in Cleopatra’s boat, where she dressed like the Roman goddess Venus when they met in 41 BCE.  The dinner awed Mark Antony in that he needed to outperform such marvelous planning; however, he hopelessly fizzled.

With extraordinary cleverness, he figured out how to keep considerate about it.

Cleopatra, on the other hand, could engage Mark Antony by being next to him constantly.

https://www.scholaradvisor.com/essay-examples/cleopatra-relationships/

Napoleon and Josephine

Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine were hitched when he was a general in the military, and she a rich widow.  They went separate ways as Josephine couldn’t deliver a beneficiary, and Napoleon remarried.

Despite enormous ambition, Napoleon’s life ended in exile.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

As the music career of The Beatles gave way to solo careers for the four musicians who were members, no one knew that John Lennon had scant little time left alive.

That being said, John Lennon and Yoko Ono arranged a seven-day “Bed-In for Peace,” in the Presidential Suite of the Hilton lodging in Amsterdam, as a challenge against war and savagery on the planet, March 1969.

Lennon’s life ended when he was shot in the street outside his home in New York City.

https://www.vogue.com/article/john-lennon-yoko-ono-relationship

Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley had set their sights on enjoying a weekend writing competition, to see who could write the more impressive story, when Mary dreamed of events she would novelize as what ultimately became the book, Frankenstein.  Mary Shelley’s novel would be instrumental in science fiction.  In future years, many times various filmmakers would adapt it for the silver screen.

Frankenstein probably exceeded the talents of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley.  Percy Bysshe Shelley later succumbed to madness.

Legendary Couples

Lancelot and Guinevere

Sir Lancelot was a knight in King Arthur’s Round Table, who went gaga for Queen Guinevere.  Their mystery prompted terrible capital punishments for the two, divided the Knights, and debilitated Arthur’s kingdom.

It is not known whether Arthur’s kingdom ever existed, but it has been written about for centuries.

Adam and Eve

In the book of Genesis in The Bible, there is an account of The Lord creating our world and making Adam and Eve the first people who would live here.  The lives of Adam and Eve were idyllic, until Satan, in the guise of a snake, led Eve to eat an apple from The Lord’s Tree of Knowledge, filling her consciousness with all manner of realizations.  Eve quickly had Adam do the same.

Enraged by the betrayal, The Lord declared that all of man would from then on endure untold hardship.

Many of the devout feel that these events occurred roughly four thousand years ago, in the Garden of Eden.

Prince of Peace

With thanks to Madhura Pandit, vogue.com, and http://www.scholaradvisor

An Exhaustive List of Well-known and Famous Couples in History can be found at https://historyplex.com/famous-couples-in-history

You’re welcome to “like,” follow, and/or comment if you feel me.

Weighing What’s Next in 2019

Dimensions: 4818 x 5346
Photographer: sasint

This month I reached two hundred followers with my WordPress blog.  I am satisfied with the achievement, and I am grateful to the people following this blog for spending the time they do.

Publishous is a newsletter reaching several thousand subscribers and counting.  I began reading it in December.

The writing’s pretty good, I agree, articles published on Medium.  Medium introduces newcomers to a few free writing selections each month.  Then, you either need to wait for the next month or to move up to a paid membership.

Soon I noticed the newsletter delivered writing prompts.

Writing for prompts feels like a shared experience.  I miss the Daily Prompts organized by WordPress.  I had thought Publishous could be a great new opportunity for quality blogging.

An example of the style of blog post I write can be found at the following link:

https://findingenvirons1.blog/2017/08

Since the last time I wrote, I received two more editions of Publishous.  I enjoy them, but I have not seen another writing prompt.  The newsletter exploded by 1500 subscribers in only several days.  Did they abandoned their prompts?  Or the prompts are not weekly, contrary to an assumption I made.

I feel like I’m getting behind.

In 2019 there are a lot of posts being written, I’ve long known.  Expert and YouTuber Neil Patel suggests quality over quantity.  He pitches one post a week or once a month.  

Neil Patel is a gentleman with an ad agency, but I don’t want to wait the span of a month between posts.

#NeilPatel #ContentMarketing #Blogging

I’ve never tried tips such as Patel’s, but they could help.  I try to think how I could deliver a better post.

If I’m fortunate, Publishous will again include a writing prompt.  I will handle it as though I am alongside great people.

I’m ending with a question, one of Patel’s tips.  Do you blog?

You’re welcome to “like” this post and/or subscribe.

15 Ways the Most Youthful Adherent to Video Research is Totally Overrated. Part I

November 22, 2018

By video research, I mean watching video content to gain information about a topic.  To render the inscrutable meaningful, I am trying to re-envision specific ideas I have about video research.  To try to make this fun, I am re-envisioning 15 ways that the progress I try to make utilizing video research actually makes an impact (for me).

This will include examples of why it is I am conjecturing the phrase video research isn’t dropped onto the page constantly.

  1. The first thing that I am focusing on is when I actively became aware of the possibility of video research.  You might say the stars aligned (nearly) and I think it was when I was compelled by my younger friend B. pointing out that I could listen to youths crying out with the Internet.  This is so sensitive.
    In my defense, I both saw I could get into hard-to-tackle specifics with a computer, and also I discarded the idea to pursue B.’s style of research, which is a misnomer, as it wasn’t video being researched, it was more like gamer hack-and-slash.  In B.’s defense, he became a teacher for a living.
    [I hope he is still doing that.  He dropped off Facebook a long time ago (without an explanation).]
  2. With an awareness like that, it has to be tempered with the recognition that humans require respect.  Interesting uses of Internet video express things which are unfathomable and also perhaps too sensitive to extrapolate.  The very most interesting experiences with the Internet, I think, and when outside elements of the world beyond the Internet enter and, I suppose, reflect the viewer experiencing the video, which is hard to concisely explain.
    If there is a simple explanation for this, perhaps from lecture halls or elsewhere, and you know of such a thing, forgive me.  Leave me a comment if you like.  On the simplest level, people can leave user comments for a creator who responds.
    I am pretty sure I have a few variations of that straightforward element of the Internet.
  3. I think in 2018 WordPress turned 15 years old, didn’t it?  A technique for growing your blog readership, if you’re on WordPress, is to leave user comments on other bloggers’ work.  The point is that if you do this respectfully and consistently, eventually sympathetic or otherwise interested bloggers who you have contacted will reciprocate by interacting with you.
    Now you may ask me, and I am prepared for this in the eventuality it happens, “How do you know that?  You don’t seem to have much readership of note.”
    “Yes,” I will reply, not impudently, “but I simply have not devoted the focus to constantly read blogs and interact with them.  My blog, as yet, is an amateur effort.”  At that point, I hope you do not disappear abruptly, although if this is the case, that is fine, as I hope to better strategize in 2019 than I have in the past.
  4. I hope to pursue this as long as it is a possibility.  What I’ve observed is that WordPress techniques are not the same as those on a more characteristically “social” platform.  I would argue that during what I’ve learned, I’ve enjoyed the process.
    I am tempted to leave this point there and then, but even with confirmation bias indicating that if I am predisposed to a set of beliefs that highly values an “art for art’s sake” attitude, the argument I want to make is that this specific confirmation bias is perfectly fine and I want to run with it in 2019.
    How then, what can you, you might ask, do to make your blog more readable?  Well, you can take it on Facebook and ask people you’ve met to read it.  That’s a tactic that can help you start a blog and potentially get results that are interesting for you.
  5. We’re beginning to talk about video research, but the first thing I think of trying to approach something that’s sensitive is some obvious problems coming up right away.  These fifteen points are geared to getting your attention away from what you should do with the video you watch, and what you are already doing with your blog, or how it is you could start a blog.  The conclusion that can be drawn, and it’s not science, but a method, is that you can draw on video research to formulate something that you’d like people to read and you can put it on WordPress.

    I had quite a bit to say just to introduce this, so I am ending this post shortly below and picking up in the next blog post.

This first part of the 15 ways has been about a few generalities that have worked for me and a few tips that could apply to what you are doing.

These first five points are trying to get to the point, saying you can take video, turn it into blog content, get a running start with your blog, and go from there.  I am going to return with what shall be two more posts, aiming to illustrate ten more ways that you can do something more with video than just watch it.

Thanks for reading.

When I last asked my niece to let me have a photo, she was in high gear to play a frivolous game of Candy Land.  She suggested I show her in the midst of unpacking the enduring board game.  My niece is in the third grade.