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.
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.
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Yesterday the website ZDNet reported that researcher Sam Thomas speaking at the Bsides technical security conference in Manchester alerted attendees that WordPress has been rendered vulnerable to a bug for the entire duration of the last year. While the situation hasn’t been exploited by attackers, Thomas sounded a concern with WordPress that will require a patch. This is the first, I believe, that it has been reported, which is a fact, I suspect, that lends itself to the possibility that there could be an upset connected to this WordPress bug and the suggestion of vulnerability
In a different light on what’s happening in the blogosphere, I would like to say here that I think of myself as a reasonably well-informed individual. I have an interest in being active with a blog, with Facebook, and with Twitter.
What’s come up is that the seventeenth of August, 2018, is a celebratory day for nonprofit businesses. Despite the caveat at the start of the post, it can be said that if you’re unaware of the significance of August 17, 2018, it is that this is National Nonprofit Day.
I thought I would write something to mark the occasion. I personally am part of a business that has a not-for-profit status.
About nonprofits, National Nonprofit Day recognizes people who contribute to organizations who generally rely on charitable funding to keep going. There are a lot of needs that would be underserved if it weren’t for nonprofits. Funding for not-for-profits helps with needs that otherwise would go unmet, which is great because it helps deal with active problems.
I help care for a not-for-profit cemetery that is small but pretty, named Maple Lawn.
Here is a recent photo. Me, my dad Peter and his brother, my uncle, Dave, run the cemetery.
We don’t specifically receive funding for what we do. We got involved a few years ago when Peter opted to take responsibility for a cemetery whose trustees no longer wished to care for it. Since then we have opted to care for the grounds and to handle burials.
My dad worked for many years at the municipal cemetery in the city. We generally attend to the cemetery grounds once a week, on Wednesdays, and we do additional work as needed.
There’s a church on the cemetery grounds. The United Church of Canada congregation which filled it disbanded from this church of ours in 2006. It may sound like we’re carrying out a selfless endeavor, but there are a few advantages, in addition, that I can think of.
Running the cemetery doesn’t require a huge amount of input or direction. I am on hand to do some of the grounds keeping, and I also put it in time doing research and the like as the cemetery SMM. My dad does a lot of the work that requires expertise tied to the particulars of operating a cemetery.
While many not-for-profits would operate on a fulltime basis, we write our own hours and we mostly look in our own pockets for what we need to spend. I recently returned to the popular 4 Hour Work Week book by entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss for the third time now and you can view, if you like, my thoughts on it as the following blog post I wrote
I remain partial to the notion that if I write a blog there will be a little additional interest in what I say.
I look at Twitter, https://twitter.com/findingenvirons …because of Twitter’s use as an information tool. I don’t limit my interests on Twitter to what we do at the cemetery. I explore a variety of interests outside what would otherwise be confined to a very limited niche.
Cemetery operation is too specialized, I think, to confine a Twitter account to that sole purpose.
I don’t feel that time is lost carrying out service at the cemetery. The time that’s devoted to being part of a small not-for-profit rather than working in a career in sales or the like is meaningful and, even better, enjoyable. I feel that limiting one’s energy to a volunteer position is time invested in oneself.
With the trade-off of what might be a better living secondary to time invested in the cemetery, I feel like I have something personal to me that I do, although I know a lifestyle like this is certainly not for everyone. I continue to look at the work from the standpoint that it is a lucky opportunity. There are drawbacks but I don’t want to emphasize them here in this post.
Furthermore, I appreciate that National Nonprofit Day celebrates nonprofits, people who work hard to make a difference. When Maple Lawn highlights for people what we’re doing, such as on our Facebook page for the cemetery, we often get positive responses for the care we take to keep the cemetery looking nice. Visitors to our Facebook page reward us that way.
People who work in not-for-profits may not always feel that benefactors give them the credit that they deserve, but it doesn’t mean not-for-profit employees don’t find satisfaction in what they do. I am sure that among not-for-profit personnel, many of them welcome August 17 and celebrate their work accordingly, and that’s what I’m writing about in this post. I usually represent what we’re doing at the cemetery in positive terms, which is how I try to frame it.
That is to say, I think of myself as an optimist rather than as a pessimist, despite the solemnity of the atmosphere of a cemetery. If you relate, you’re welcome to “like,” to “follow,” and/or to “comment.” In November, I will try to respond specifically to the occurrence of Giving Tuesday, the day that charities work especially hard to raise funds.
I realize there may not be such a sense of urgency that a cemetery like ours needs additional assistance, but you never know unless you ask if there is some unknown avenue to improve the standard of work in our hands. It is probably the right idea to look into getting additional help at the same time that similar organizations are delving into the same. Autumn is the time of year for it.
I hope to continue working at the cemetery while playing the additional role of nurturing Facebook and Twitter, writing here on WordPress, and otherwise keeping a hand in at our not-for-profit. Thank you for visiting my blog.
Please do not be alarmed by the idea that there is a bug in WordPress that could, in theory, render you in jeopardy if you maintain a blog with WordPress. Actually, it has been kept under wraps for an entire year.
There have been no specific problems made aware of that ZDNet reported and there is no indication that the bug will actually be exploited in the name of enemy action, however so easy a target exists. I know with this attention to the issue WordPress will respond with a patch.
“let us remember that ending poverty is not a matter of charity but a question of justice.”
— UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
A few weeks ago Facebook faced a big data breach, which isn’t helping, I understand, in efforts to keep people’s trust invested in the social media platform.
I probably shouldn’t have overlooked the existing structure for receiving donations when I published this post this summer. I meant to say that the volunteers who run Maple Lawn Cemetery, where I work, don’t presently ask for donations on Facebook, because we are only a small page and we don’t have the budget with which to work.
Perhaps in the future, but admittedly unlikely, we could bring onboard someone younger to help with carrying out our operations with the help of Facebook, but at the present I am aware of the mess Facebook has run into owing to its exposed dealings with Cambridge Analytica and what that has done to Facebook’s credibility as a social media platform and to its use for small business (and in recent news the data breach). I want to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt that they will continue to improve their situation and remain effective as a tool for small business. I am optimistic that it will remain a good idea to publicize our work on Facebook.
Now is almost certainly not the best time to try to begin raising funds on Facebook, as the bad publicity is undeniable, I feel, but with Giving Tuesday still ahead in November I do want to keep my hand in the game in case the situation changes for the better. A little more money could certainly serve our needs. I am more concerned that Facebook will continue to grow to mean that the business page for our not-for-profit remains useful… https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited
I am involved with a small business. We operate a cemetery which otherwise has no one to care for it.
This blog is nominally tied to it. I believe blogging is an opportunity to be involved with others who are similarly inclined to write blog posts.
I am the junior employee, and I help with grounds keeping. I also assist work inside the disbanded church which is on the grounds of the cemetery, and provide some of the cemetery’s presence on the Internet (on Facebook, and also here: www.maplelawncemetery.org).
The senior employee is Peter.
Occasionally volunteers lend a hand with the maintenance work. We have had work done by my nephew Mack, by family friends Bill and Gerard, and by my father’s brothers Paul and Dave.
We began in 2012, six years after the church closed its doors for the last time. The cemetery is small.
To write this post, I researched federal Canadian controversies over nonprofits. LIVE WELL, DO GOOD‘s David McConkey has provided specifics about giving or receiving charitable donations.
What he is saying on his website inspired what I thought about making donations.
One of the reasons that we see ourselves a little like volunteers is that, although typically we would accept donations, we are not a registered charity. In Canada, it is my understanding that only donations to registered charities qualify for an income tax credit. This means that there is less incentive for parties interested in what we do to bestow us with any kind of gift.
This isn’t a big problem, as there isn’t a lot of overhead to go with maintaining a cemetery of this size, but it does make campaigns such as November’s annual Giving Tuesday affair somewhat troubled waters. We can’t return the favor of a donation with an income tax deduction.
Statistics Canada has found that almost everyone (ninety-four percent of those fifteen years old and older) makes charitable donations. Sometimes these can be valuable art items.
Despite not being able to provide a tax break, I imagine we would consider accepting donations. While we are a touch cautious about the possibility of a federal audit, I will probably make some noise again about Giving Tuesday come November.
I don’t like to spin my wheels, but nothing good comes easy. Perhaps by repeating an interest in Giving Tuesday, I will start to unlock chains that keep us out of what works about Giving Tuesday. We’re working at a cemetery, which demands solemn thinking and which is literally a retreat for visitors who miss their loved ones.
Statistics Canada has found that donors who plan ahead give more than others. As we are involved year-round with people choosing their final resting place or the resting place of their loved ones, perhaps this is something we could investigate if we were looking at how to raise funds for the cemetery. That being said, to date we have not had a problem caring for the church and cemetery, so we are not under any pressure to need to strenuously keep up the maintenance of the place running smoothly.
CanadaHelps.org is a registered charity that facilitates online donations. They work with thousands of charities. They issue receipts and forward your donation to a charity you specify, less a three percent transaction fee.
Although my dad is a senior citizen, I can foresee us working until any set point in the future. I really don’t know at this time how far into the future we should project, but as helping with the cemetery is the best bet I have for autonomy and independence, I will do the best I can to keep working at caring for the cemetery and for the disbanded church. I also intend to keep an active presence on Facebook, and here on WordPress.
Bill Clinton’s book helped inspire David McConkey’s thoughts on income tax credits and how to take advantage of them. I invite you to visit us on Facebook. You may also ask any question you might have of me here on WordPress, over on Quora, or on Twitter.
If you have a question which I might possibly be able to answer for you, I would be glad to help. I appreciate that you took the time to visit.
To visually illustrate this post, I have included a couple of shots taken myself, and in addition a couple of stock photos intended to better illustrate some of the information, without being verbose. Thank you for bearing with me.