NEW PANTS! Less shiny! Red boots are back, which is probably a plus, but I suspect that even a legion of Amazon costumers could not save this show from suckage. On the downside of all this, it looks like maybe they bowed to Republican fuckhead pressure and shot some stars down her outseam. Also, can you guys tell from the video which one is the actress and which the double? I assume the double is the one that mounts the minivan at the end there.
While watching this, my daughter asked me if this was "the REAL Wonder Woman" in the video. I was able to confidently answer, "no," then asked," what do you think of the Wonder Woman in the video?" The answer was that she was "too beautiful, the real Wonder Woman would be tougher."
She's not even five, Hollywood.
I know that there's a wide Judeo-Christian / Buddhist / Zen / Pacifist / UU / gracious / forgiving / nicer than me stripe of you that would recommend, if not an infinite number of chances, then something pretty close to that. I don't think that helps anyone, though - at some point, when someone's a prick, you're enabling them by tacitly condoning their behavior, giving them a whole bunch of chances like that. Part of becoming a mature, responsible adult is the recognition that you're a prick, and that you'd better give back as least as much as you take so that you fill the you-sized hole you make in the world with things worth having. Love, happiness, safety, humor, joy - these are what we have and cherish, because they are rare and beautiful and inherently valuable. It is our responsibility to make more of these things for ourselves and others.
When you've reached a clear point where a person is bringing a lot more chaos than joy into your short life, you have begin to extract yourself from their sphere of influence, I don't care who the hell they are. You can give them chances forever, but each chance takes a little of you with it, and eventually, there'll be nothing more of you to give, and you might have been able to do a lot of good for a lot of other people if you hadn't been focused on the draining drama queens who need all the fucking chances.
It's my classic "egg" argument for Jess, Jesse, and Eric; I will let you carry my eggs across the kitchen. I will trust you not to drop them. If you do end up dropping them, I will become increasingly reluctant to give you my eggs to carry. I might first watch to see how you handle your own eggs before I let you carry mine again. I have a finite number of eggs; I have looked in the fridge and done the math - this can't go on forever, and at some point, you can't carry my eggs anymore if you keep breaking them all the time. In addition, I expect you to clean the floor, and how and whether you do this affects my overall judgment of the situation.
Cutting someone loose isn't just about you, of course, it's also about them, and I think guilt and misplaced responsibility is often what keeps us in these relationships. Simple chaos vs. joy equation, and nobody has more accurate scales than you do.
So this is the new Wonder Woman costume, obviously more than inspired by last year's re-do of the character's threads in the actual comics. I am initially bothered by the shininess. Wonder Woman is an Amazon warrior who can kick Superman's ass should the situation call for it, so if her costume's gonna be shiny, it should be because of armor. The dominatrix bustier bothers me a little bit, too - that basic shape's always been there, yeah, but it seems like the fetish / corset element's been punched up a little in this version. We already have rope; no more BDSM is required. I am glad that they ditched the little glovelings and the stupid jacket from the other redesign. Finally, while Adrianne Palacki's very attractive, I always thought of WW's physique as more like that of Laila Ali, or at least Zoe Bell.
None of this is what inspired me to sit down and blog about this in the first place, though. There are 2 disturbingly stupid things connected with this picture that are not visible in it.
One is David E. Kelley's attachment to the project. All I know of David Kelley is the ridiculous Ally McBeal and a bunch of stuff I've never watched, and I'm not sure I can deal with Single Female Superhero the Show, and that is what this thing sounds like.
The second is the fact that conservative fuckwits have once again opened their noiseholes in the mistaken apprehension that they have something to offer this discussion, and have declared that this new costume strips all the American patriotic elements from the old uniform. This is a giant steaming crock of muleshit for many reasons, not the least of which is that any opinion advanced by conservatives is invalid simply due to point of origin. What passes for your thoughts passes through my rectum on a regular basis, conservative America, so stop discharging your DOA "thoughts" onto the rest of us. In addition, Wonder Woman's not American. She's Themysciran, from a mythological fucking place. She doesn't cheer for America during the World Cup, she likely goes for Greece. She was sent here to what her people called "patriarch's world" to see if we would maybe stop raping Mother Earth for two fucking seconds and try to get along - the Jesus thing, ambassador for peace and all that.
So she's a big peacenik, you dumbshit conservatives; you probably wouldn't want her wrapped in Old Glory anyway. Also? Communist. Superheroes are totally about "from each according to his ability" or they wouldn't do what they do. And, and - bisexual. There's only wall-to-wall chicks on Themyscira, and even though WW's had a thing with Batman and a separate thing with Superman, you can't tell me she arrived virginal in "patriarch's world." I'm just not buying it. It's a rope, not a chastity belt. So - to sum up: Commie pinko deviant peacenik tree-hugging bisexual foreigner. Still want her wrapped in the flag?
'Cause now I do.
"Spiritual without being religious."
What I think you mean is: you have a sneaking, ethereal feeling that there's something out there - be it cosmic watchmaker or angel or primal force or elemental - that connects us. That there's something beyond just us, and whether you have a good bead on what it is or not, you've probably realized by this point in your adult life that showing up in a building every week to sing or dipping your kids in water has nothing to do with it. You have landed on the game space where you can lead a good life without consulting a flawed and self-contradicting ancient codex that must be deciphered to be followed. You've probably also looked at what passes for religious discourse in this world - everything from evangelicals and tracts to jihad and repression to "God Hates Fags" - and decided that you want no part of any of it. That those actions, indeed, don't represent anything about the religion that you've embraced for what are probably emotional reasons.
So you're "spiritual without being religious." You don’t go to church a lot, and you don’t harangue others about matters of faith. This creates kind of a pickle. An internalized ethicality is hard to transmit; essentially, one becomes an evangelical for one's own outlook, which works great if all you're trying to do is instill your own progeny with enough tools to not be horrible people when they grow up, not so hot for getting other adults to behave in a way that doesn't agitate and annoy you, and which you probably believe is bad for our shared experience. Without the ultimate authority of godhead, the majority of people simply will not listen - and why should they? You don't need them and they don’t need you; they're pretty incidental to the equation once you form your internal spirituality of one, anyway. Community can self-create without temples and such, so simply being decent will get you by on this one. Transmitting a fully created set of ethics without ritual is tougher - temples reinforce through repetition, songs and stories. You can go there, or you can pass out situation-specific or seemingly disjointed advice and let your kids gather all the experiential data they can without actually injuring themselves. You can guess which way I've gone.
What remains in the way of normal interpersonal interaction at this point is the brick wall of faith, which makes me feel like I can’t get at the person behind it, and for better or for worse, also sends me running for the same tools I use to deal with the mentally ill. Some people of faith would prefer that the wall wasn’t there, of course, but the vocal many/majority/minority/whatever keep adding bricks all the time. When the Pope lamley begins a dialogue with people he previously labled “dangerous atheists,” or Bill O’Reilly patronizes thinking people with his “the moon works, it’s that simple” bullshit, it drives rhetorical wedges. Astrology and tarot cards can be just as awkward as a Jehovah’s Witness knock, and it takes getting at the people behind the beliefs to overcome that stumbling block. The biggest one of these would have to be Christians praying “for” the faithless. Just makes me tired. The explicit implication that the praying Christian has some direct line to what’s good for you is arrogant and unnecessary. Just do it secretly, at home behind closed doors – where you insist most behavior you don’t agree with must take place.
Debate between people over beliefs about gods and the afterlife is destined, always, to become a nasty and angry thing if people of conviction are involved, because the lives of believers are absolutely pinned on them being right about what they’re saying. Normal discussion isn’t usually an option, as too much is balanced on the outcome. Why do we have to argue about where Mosques can go? It’s not just hatred and intolerance and yes, racism, though those are certainly hanging around, it’s a fucking holy war, and those have no space for give and take. People of faith don’t arrive at their convictions through a process of questioning and point-to-point travel. At some point, there’s a leap, and you have to decide to leap – it’s a voluntary action, and once you do it, doing it again becomes easier, and returning to the normal process of arriving at a point by figuring things out probably seems like an onerous and pointless exercise. “I can just leap. Belief without facts is fine – it’s based on emotion, and that’s just as valid as facts, right?”
Wrapped up in a decision to believe is an admission that the fundamental principle - that which is to be believed - is not fact, because if it were, a decision would not be required; the point of belief would have been arrived at by a natural process. I choose to believe things all the time: That things will be better, that my kids and wife and friends will do fine. Intellectually, I am choosing to believe in a future outcome, mostly for the sake of my emotional well-being. What you call belief, the process of faith, I call hope. I'm pretty sure it's the same thing. Hope is an emotion, however, and not a set of principles upon which to base action that affects others.
Of course fundamentalists and evangelicals believe that certain lifestyles are a choice, for two reasons - one, if God made you gay (for instance), then he made you a sinner by nature, and they don't believe that, they think original sin is something to be denied and rejected, our fault from Eden, not God's fault. Secondly, their whole system is based on a choice they make; to pray and accept and decide to be someone else. It's the fulcrum of the future for them, and it leads to eternity, and so they project their self-changing choice onto everyone else, which is a common human mistake I could be making right now. By contrast, I don’t accept that belief can be based on choices; it should be based on proofs and nothing else. Otherwise, it’s called hope.
Or, another word for “spiritual.” I suspect.
from the Forks, Washington Forum
At approximately 7:35 AM this morning, Forks High School student Tyler Crowley lost control of his van in the Forks H.S. parking lot, killing one student, 17-year-old Isabella Swan, and injuring himself and two others. At this time, it is believed that Mr. Crowely's van, lacking snow chains, skidded on the newly fallen and packed snow in the parking lot, and that caused him to lose control, crashing into Ms. Swan's vehicle and pinning her against it, killing her instantly. Mr. Crowely and two others whose names have not been released to the Forum at this time were admitted to Clallum County Hospital with minor injuries.
Isabella Swan was the daughter of Forks Police Chief Charles Swan, and a recent transplant to the town of Forks. Her sudden death in the high school parking lot is believed to have prevented a lot of her character's introspective navel-gazing, a global phenomenon of shiny, chaste vampires who commit little to no actual vampirism, 12 to 15 hundred pages of first person narrative, and three amazingly boring films with another yet to be made. Pale intorverts and teenage girls everywhere reacted to the news of Ms. Swan's death with attractive mascara sadness, while others hoped that Ms. Swan could be reanimated as a shuffling, flesh-eating abomination to piggyback on yet another tired pop cultural wave.
Funeral details will be published as they become available; Isabella's father has asked that donations be made to the Mormon Church in Isabella's name, and that Red Delicous apples be sent in leiu of flowers. Further bulletins as events warrant.
Newton Leroy Gingrich (pictured here counting his former wives) is a rat bastard. He's always been a rat bastard, and this comes as no shock to those of us who watched the government shut down on his watch during the 104th Congress, and who read his book about having a Contract On America. I even read his crappy alternate history war novel, 1945, and sang to his answering machine in a famous and well-recieved track remixed by Eric P. For awhile, you couldn't get away from Newt, but apparently, he can always leave you.
Like he leaves his wives. I was already familiar with the first wife, who he left whilst she was in the hospital recovering from uterine cancer. Awesome. Cheated on her, too. 'Cause he's a helluva guy, that Newt. "Want some tongue of Newt? Heh." Then, as I just found out, he fucked around on her, too. I guess because she has MS. He likes his women healthy and of the newest breeding stock, apparently. You remember how Bill Clinton got his cock sucked and lied about it to everyone? That was during Newt's adultery and lying and stuff. Nice, right? It gets better.
See, it turns out that it's okay. God forgave Newt. I guess God never forgave Clinton for messing around during what we can all assume is an open marriage, but God forgave Newt. God took some time out from the natural disasters, disease, war, famine and poverty and forgave fucking Newt Gingrich for being a commandment breaker. But wait, there's more. Turns even further out, it's not even really Newt's fault, he's just so zealous about America that he can't help getting a little bit on you. His Amerection is never just half-cocked: "There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate."
...Just fucking wow. Really? Wow. Balls. I mean, you know he's got stones, but really? I understand that it's easy to think about Americans as a crowd of dumb, angry, easily-led sheep - I get there almost every day, Leroy - but this? How can you pillory Clinton and - no, scratch that - how can you critique anyone or anything; what makes you think that your opinions have any value at all after you behave this way in your personal life and then turn around and attempt to justify it with this ill-thought out rationalization? I mean, MLK fucked around and said dumb shit about it, but he never blamed on his zeal for civil rights. And you're pretty fucking far from MLK, Leroy.
Being alive and in this place at this time is a transitory state, and to dwell too powerfully on that produces a dismal state of mind which renders life pointless and useless. The best one can do, then, is to be decent to the people around you until they prove unworthy of such decency, and then? Even a little while after that. There is no trust or love or obligation wrapped up in such a decision, simply a commitment not to be an asshole to the people around you. Should a person become problematic for you, one is totally justified in cutting them loose for personal and greater good. After all, it will affect your ability to be nice to others if you're always dealing with such a prick. They may even need a good smack.
Doing right by people involves respect, & primary focus on the people within our sphere of influence coupled with the ability to see beyond it. We ought to do right primarily by those that are here, not the unborn or the dead, who can afford to take a backseat, as they represent potential and nostalgia, not life in progress. We ought to respect a person's differences, and recognize the minimal impact their lives have on how we live ours. If someone is gay, it is ridiculous to act as though that affects you in any way. It is equally ludicrous to treat it as though it were a choice; even if it were, who are you to tell them they should have chosen differently? A personally-held passionate faith system is not felt by anyone who does not live inside your head, and so your beliefs in things you cannot prove ought to stay in the halls of your mind. If you run into like-minded people, great. Discriminating against others of different faiths, cultures, colors or origins keeps you from getting to the people themselves, and is monumentally disrespectful. It assumes that you are grander on the stage than they are, and reveals you as a person of limited intellect and depth. Likewise, attempting to rectify large-scale governmental and societal problems using actions that hurt individuals misses the point - it's the people who are the reason you're acting in the first place. That seems to be easily and often forgotten.
So much time and energy are spent on fucking people over, either with malevolent or misguided intentions, and it's frustrating to watch the largest chunk of the world behave like I did at age 16. Being emotionally stunted does not make you the center of the known universe. Maturation requires perspective, and doing right by people isn't even all that hard - it simply requires a person to put themselves second in the interaction equation, and then do their best at the task at hand while realizing that the subjective reality inside their head is invisible to those around them. I wake up some mornings and feel as though I landed on a different planet as I slept; people are positively alien in their nastiness and apathy and selfishness, and I have to force myself to downshift into low rumbly anger just to deal with the news or overheard conversations.
Woke up this Monday from nightmares of dark tunnels and loss and banged my head on the windowsill. Was sleeping on the floor, having been chased out of my bed by my daughter who crawled in with us somewhere between 2 and 3 this morning. I was face down on an accent pillow, wrapped in my black comforter, which I find more comforting because it is black. Got up to find that my brother-in-law, who is staying with us for the next eight days or so until he moves into his new apartment with my father-in-law (who has been living with us for six months and change) had been up most of the night with stomach issues, and my son got up at 4:47 and since been reading Calvin and Hobbes while wrapped in a blanket in my daughter's room. Free-floating sleeplessness was apparently with us last night in spades.
Swallowed six of the orange ones, one yellow and one green, and began to get about the business of making it through March 7th, which has become something of a chore. A little research revealed that I haven't mentioned it here in six years, so some of you may not know what the hell I'm talking about. Read the link. In the lead-up to today, I haven't had the most relaxing state of affairs, but probably wouldn't have cared if it hadn't been the lead-up to today. I always feel off on March 7th - birthdays are celebrations of life, but a deceased person's birthday? A celebration of memory, of feeling, certainly, but also a painful annual reminder.
Have packed up a bag of stuff and am on my way now to the cemetery, to do what I can now. I clean the headstone, listen to music, there is picnicking, and my daughter's taking bubbles to blow. Thinking about anyone else who's in the same emotional boat with me today. Sorry to have ambushed you with the picture.
Over the past few weeks, either as conservative Tennessee legislators have become emboldened by apparent strikes against public employees in other states or as part of a nationally concerted effort to take the country back from the people, several nasty bills have come through the Tennessee state house which attack the rights of teachers to collectively bargain, tenure effectively and within a reasonable time frame, and weaken due process rights, among other things.
Rallies have been taking place here, as they have across the country, and today my family, with my high school teacher wife at the helm, trudged through the rain holding signs to show our support for Tennessee educators. We met together at Bicentennial Mall, within view of the capitol building on the hill, and marched around the hill to gather at War Memorial plaza. There was music and speaking and rain and general good spirits. My son got really into the protesting and sign waving, and was photo'd no less that six times by strangers. "Do you mind if I get a shot of him?" Of course not, that's part of why he's here with a sign. There were lots of good signs - you should check them out in the new photo album over on the left, or on my Facebook page. There were also a couple of Hitler signs, but there always seem to be a couple of those.
According to the Tennessean, there were three thousand of us, filling the streets with feet and the air with noise, doing the great good work of letting teachers know that they were not alone, that they were appreciated, and making the required effort to continue to earn our democracy. Of course, the Stupid Tea Party Fucks were there, making ignorant squawking noises on the steps of the capitol, hundreds of feet away from us, and completely obscured by the main rally. Most estimates put them at 300 or so, but you'd never know that from local Fox and ABC affiliates here in middle Tennessee, who seem to need to paint this as an "us vs. them" set-up. CBS is more tame, but that might just be because they barely reported it. In truth, I noticed three Stupid Tea Party Fucks who I thought were four until it was pointed out to me that one was just a cameraperson. The rest were so far out of my line of sight and apparently broke up and left so early that I didn't even know they were there in big numbers until I got home and saw the news. We did hear from a reliable source that they were being fed misinformation about the TEA favoring abortions. "Whip out the fetus, that'll get 'em on board."
In spite of all of this, there still seem to be people who do not fully understand what it is to be without collective bargaining of any kind. They should maybe check this out. And make a sign to bring to the next rally.