most, I remember the years of maturity coming into adulthood,
reaching your late teens, and then beginning your twenties, I
remember experiences of those years more favorably than other times.
I sometimes remember those years more favorably than, indeed, they
may have been.
I remember one night, the summer of the year 2000 it could have been, that I decided a change of scenery would do me good. I sneaked off to Toronto for a night of bands and the like, being then a smidgen wilder then than I am today.
night was unique, for different reasons, but wouldn’t you know that
when the witching hour was upon me, I had begun to make friends with
a couple of other young guys, cool to me for their moxie–would you
say there’s a three-letter-word for that? The two young gents told
me where we could get something to drink, to keep the night lively.
For nothing too expensive, we could keep having a good time.
were enjoying another band, where I’d never been, with a glass of
moonshine and the two of them the same, until one of the boys told
me, awfully, that some other patrons had brought a gun, and we should
go. That unnerved me, unfortunately, so caution prevailed.
I bid the two a polite goodbye, leaving them with my number back home in the suburbs, this being only the year 2000 I recollect. It was my parents’ number, for a later time to summon me to meet again.
last few remaining hours of the night I spent, sadly, like a
derelict, waiting for the morning transit. What is memorable,
though, I twenty years later is that of the times I made a commute
like that, this night, the one I am recounting, and some other nights
like that, are typical of what shape my favorite memories of that
time in my life.
It’s a brief story–you might not believe it. However, I think I could recall, maybe, a thousand specific experiences from those years. It is interesting what people interpret as memorable. I wanted this morning to touch base with those folk I connect with on WordPress.
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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The summer of 2011, Jun 3, 2011, the movie adaptations of Marvel’s X-Men continued with X-Men First Class. To many fans’ delight, it turned out to be both well-executed and of substantial interest. Film history website IMDb identifies that Jennifer Lawrence is “the most successful actor of her generation” https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2225369/
Beneath is a link to a scene from X-Men First Class.
X-Men: First Class (2011) – Charles Xavier & Raven Darkholme
Jennifer Lawrence in X-Men First Class is Raven. She tackles the question of what it means to be beautiful and what it means to be normal. She is the shapeshifter.
You might say it’s ironic that the name of the mutant team, the name “X-Men,” implies that the X-Men should be male, but Raven ranks among them as an important character who is female. Jennifer Lawrence was the highest-paid actress in the world in 2015 and 2016. Her casting in the film reflects her strengths as an actress, in addition to X-Men First Class’ effectiveness exploring gender, and ever-elusive equality.
In 2019, the next Star Wars film is struggling with a backlash among fans given woes with the previous film in the franchise. The 2019 film I’m referring to is Star Wars Episode IX, coming in after the disastrously written Star Wars Episode VII: The Last Jedi. Star Wars Episode IX has its work out cut out for it.
The Last Jedi Opening Weekend USA box office was $220,009,584, 17 December 2017. The X-Men First Class USA Opening Weekend was $55,101,604, 5 June 2011, twenty-five percent of the former.
While box office returns mean that both films were successful, the Marvel Universe remains hotly anticipated with a trailer for Marvel Avengers Endgame just airing in the Superbowl broadcast yesterday, while Star Wars Episode IX may fail.
Star Wars is suffering some major troubles, with entries like Episode VIII The Last Jedi savaged by fans to who Star Wars is close to the heart.
Solo A Star Wars Story failed financially last year, and an animated television series from Disney, Star Wars Resistance, is arguably receiving relatively little enthusiasm among viewers.
These fans are the “fandom.” In fact, the Star Wars franchise is suffering greatly owing to problems with The Last Jedi, which, while returning an economic gain for Disney, is failing to ignite the same passion in the hearts of Star Wars fans that the original trilogy generated, as did (again, arguably) Episode VII The Force Awakens in 2015.
What Jedi Mind tricks are afoot? I think essentially both X-Men: First Class and Star Wars Episode IX calculatedly use a sense of the past as an aspect of the setting. However, the two movies address gender and gender equality rather differently.
In X-Men First Class, the mutant Raven struggles with her self-image in a very literal sense. Contrast that with The Last Jedi. Here the female Jedi apprentice Rey, Daisy Ridley, is problematic for many viewers of Star Wars in that Rey lacks a distinctive character arc. In other words, she is without a back story that can make sense in viewers’ minds.
Rey’s origins are unknown, but she masters aspects of The Force which were previously established in Star Wars lore as being impossible. Rey’s mentor Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) struggled to achieve his status as a Jedi Knight under both Obi-wan Kenobi and Yoda (in the 1977 and 1980 Star Wars films). The late Alec Guinness portrayed Obi-wan Kenobi in the original trilogy and Ewan McGregor was Obi-wan in the prequel trilogy.
This is a link to a jovial Mark Hamill speaking of Daisy Ridley.
Mark Hamill Living Like Yoda Wishing Daisy Ridley Happy Birthday
Like it or not, what’s hot about Star Wars is that the backlash to Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is a compelling drama in its own right. I see it everyday on YouTube.
YouTube channel Geeks + Gamers has taken for itself the responsibility of taking to task the folk at Lucasfilm. To restore the glory to Star Wars, Geeks + Gamers feels Lucasfilm lost this by sacrificing so much of what had been established about Star Wars.
Jeremy at Geeks + Gamers thinks through and through that Lucasfilm is reducing the importance of something special to him and to legions of other fans of Star Wars. Jeremy and many others feel that Lucasfilm is insisting that identity politics control the creative process instead of the requirement for writers to come up with sensible new entries for the sci-fi titan Star Wars.
That said, Star Wars needs success now the way that the X-Men franchise needed a success following X3.
Disney, Lucasfilm and the future of Star Wars are an exciting drama. If you’re interested, and you believe that Star Wars needs to go forward proper, instead of what it’s currently doing, maybe you would like Geeks + Gamers, if you aren’t already watching Jeremy and his friends.
I don’t feel too invested in the backlash, although I think of it virtually every day. Star War Episode IX has a release date in December. Geeks + Gamers don’t exclusively address the situation with Star Wars, but Jeremy’s dismay for Lucasfilm is often-stated, with a commitment to giving subscribers fireballs.
Marvel Avengers Endgame has a release date in April. It’s the sequel to Marvel Avengers Infinity Wars.
You’re welcome to click “like” on this post, to follow my blog, and/or to comment.
Beneath is a link to a Geeks + Gamers video in which Jeremy names his favorite X-Men titles.
“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.