Friday, June 24, 2011

These Are The Thoughts That I Have

Written on: June 24, 2011

Possibly the first in a series. This is for when I'm in a writing mood, but have no real idea what I want to write about. Right this second, even I have no idea what I'm about to say.
So let's get started with this.

At the moment, I'm listening to Itunes on random. It's very interesting. I just now heard Hello – Evanescence, immediately followed by My List – Toby Keith. Interesting. And people think my thought connections are thin.

Today I did my linens and cleaned the fish tanks, simply because I didn't want to say “the most profound thing I did was throw a rubber ball, bounce it off the ceiling and then get hit in the head with it when it came back down”. Yeah. I did that.

Before I did that, I was feeling lonely and depressed, so I listened to sad music and drank a mocha coffee thing. After that, I no longer felt lonely and depressed.

Granny told me one of those stories about me – AGAIN. I was about three at the time, it was before they moved in. I asked Grandpa where he was going. He told me he was going home. After that, I said “you're supposed to be getting me out of this place”.
Yep, everyone laughs. Have fun. I don't care. I've heard it too many times to be embarrassed.
Anyway, it occurred to me: that's about how I feel most of the time.
Either I'm sick of seeing the same four walls in a very real sense, or I'm tired to seeing the same places in a metaphorical sense. I'm sick of doing the same things over and over.
I guess, in a way, maybe I'm thinking “God, you're supposed to be getting me out of this place!”.
That was meant as humor, not to depress y'all. I certainly wasn't depressed when I was thinking it.
I thought it was funny anyway.

Speaking of “y'all”, that's a really interesting word. I've seen it spelled both y'all and ya'll. I guess it depends on how you think about saying it. If you're thinking of it as “y'all” you're probably thinking of the 'a' as being part of the “all” in “you all”. Whereas, if you're spelling it “ya'll”, you're probably thinking of it as the “ya” in “ya all”. Plenty of people say “ya” in place of “you”. It's not that strange.
And then, of course, there are the people doin' it wrong who actually spell it “you all”. That is wrong.
I dunno why that is, since “you guys” and “you folks”, “you girls” and “you people” are all perfectly acceptable. I think we should start a trend and say “y'olks”. Ehehehe.... okay, not really.
I mean, people would think we were talking about the yellow part of an egg. And who wants to be called a runny yellow gooey thing?. Much less a plural of said gooey thing?. Ew.

Went to find a snack. Omigoodnesss!!. Wheat Thins!. I lurf da wheaty tins!. YAY!. *chomps Wheat Thins*. Ahem... yeah, I dun see dem often. Dey is all expensive for very little product per box. I treasure my Wheat Thins.

Anyway... so I was watching this movie from 1989 called Twister.
It was supposedly a comedy. Yet I couldn't find a trace of anything that even looked like it was SUPPOSED to be funny until the last thirty minutes of it.
Even then, that was brief and by then you just couldn't laugh.
Why?. Because the situation, characters and plot were so depressing that nothing could possibly be funny in the film. About forty minutes in, I wondered “I wonder if this would be funny if I was really drunk. After all, most of the characters are drunk, smoking or actually loony tunes. There must be something to this”. If I ever become an alcoholic, blame this film. Actually, no. Let's not be cruel. Blame the idiots who thought it was a good idea to make this film.
(Note: do not worry about the alcoholic thing. I've never tasted it, but it smells utterly gross. And thinking about how it's made out of food so old it ceased to be food makes me feel kinda sick. Besides, I think I'm tipsy enough without beer. I also wake up with headaches sometimes. So all the ill-effects, without the whole “drunk” thing!. YAY!. Wait... no)

Earlier when I typed “ Ehehehe”, my spell check wanted to know if I was looking for the word “Bethlehem”. What?. No. “And Mary rode a donkey to Ehehehe”. Fail.

While I was cleaning the fish tanks, Keiko (our smoky calico cat) looked on in horror. She firmly believed that I was plotting to flood the house. Or at least chase her down and give her a bath (because I've done that so often... like... all of... never :P). She's still peeking in nervously now and then, just to make sure I'm finished with all that evil plotting.

Speaking of feelings about tank cleaning:
Shadow (my newest Betta. I've had him just over a year) is still hiding, Cloud (the middle one. I've had him a year and a half) is frilling at the sight of me and Bluey (who I've had for just over two and a half years) is absolutely thrilled.
Yes, Bluey, your tank is clean. Yippee.
No, Cloud, I haven't stolen any of your stuff. Stop inspecting your rocks. They're all there.
Shadow, it's over. Stop being such a coward and eat your food.
Also, to show his displeasure, Cloud has repeatedly knocked his filter off the tank wall “yeah, I'm mad. I'm so mad I'm gonna smash my face into this filte- ahhh, it's leaped off the wall and is attacking me!. Help!. Help!!!”
Genius. Sheer genius. Then again. Cloud has always been a bit hyper-active.
And now he's showing me how macho he is. It's always funny when he hides and then sees me noticing him being a coward and he suddenly gets all puffy and mock-charges.
So he's not the brightest fish in the bucket. He's pretty and really very friendly, once he's done trying to prove how much more awesome he is than you.

Speaking of proving awesomeness, that reminds me of something involving Ricky a few years back.
A few years ago, there was this doe in our deer herd who was super aggressive. She trampled other does fawns and chased the yearling deer around. She was really very nasty.
Well, one day she took it into her head to chase Ricky. So she put her head down, flipped back her ears and charged. I expected Ricky to head for the nearest tree- which is what he started to do.
But then he whirled around suddenly and swiped right across the doe's nose.
The doe pulled up short, looking rather stunned. This... this... thing, small than a fawn..... YEOWCH!.
After that little incident, the doe made no further attempts to chase Ricky.
And, oddly enough, the fawns and yearlings suddenly seemed to REALLY like Ricky.
Which was fine by him, as he spends most of his time running with the deer herd (I think he believes that he really is ONE). Fortunately, the aggressive doe disappeared by the next year.
I suspect that the Big Buck chased her off. He was a very sensible fellow and always knew trouble when he saw it- and dealt with it accordingly.
And the one thing he would not tolerate was someone messing with his does, especially his favorite and the lead doe whom I called Flicka and her sister Faline (who actually always paired up with a much smaller, less impressive buck. For whatever reason, Big Buck didn't seem to mind. Perhaps because they were friends. They could often be seen hanging out together. I have no idea if any of this is normal for deer, but I firmly believe Big Buck was one of a kind. Although his son, Boulder, is a lot like him, though younger and less experienced).

Just now, about an hour after I finished cleaning their tanks, Shadow has finally come out of hiding.
Cloud is doing a funny dance to tell me how awesome he is.
Bluey.... well... he's acting pretty much normal. Or, at least, as normal as fish get.
I also just finished listening to Held – Natalie Grant, which has been followed by Perfect World – Simple Plan. Yep.... those are related.... somehow. Or not.

This year for my birthday, I mostly received Breyers. Which is fine, because they are awesome. I got a Traditional which came with a dog and cat (all of which are pretty and awesome) and a set of Stablemates (can't have too many of those). I now have two -I repeat TWO- foal Stablemates.
And it's about time too. Oddly enough, they're actually the same mold (that's the shape, not the color).

I feel awesome now. I was singing along with Praise You In This Storm – Casting Crowns when I left the room to put in another load of laundry. I continued singing and when I came back, I found that I was actually still in perfect sync!. I feel super now :D (even though all that means is that I can pace myself with the song).

I can't actually think of any more thoughts at the moment. So enjoy this picture of Ricky being superior to all of you:

Friday, June 10, 2011

And This Is Me

Written: June 10, 2011

Because it is my birthday, I have decided that today I shall talk about a hitherto unexplored subject: myself. Why?. Because I am completely, totally and undeniably self-centered.
And because I currently have no other topics in mind.
Now, I won't go around with the I like this and this and this and hate this and this and this lists.
Those are strictly copy/paste and should be restricted to profiles and FB notes.
And we're off!.
Expect lots of these XD

A Short History of Myself
Now, I'm just going to skip the specific events area, as that particular history is rather uninteresting and really best avoided unless you are me or were otherwise directly involved.
It is here that I wish to explain my earlier statement that I am undeniably self-centered.
So let's get right on that then.
From the day I was born I, like all other people, believed that I was the very center of the universe and thus everything should revolve around me.
This feeling of all-importance was sometimes muddied by friends and family whom I spent a great deal of time around. When I was with them, they were with me and our wants and needs usually went along the same lines. This confused the whole “me center” I had. I frequently became confused and believed that it was my friends who were the center of the universe.
But, when they were gone, I once again realized that I was the true center and always had been.
As I became older, I experienced the fact that other people existed. And the vast majority of them not only disagreed with my opinion of myself, but considered themselves to be the center of all that mattered. I'm not letting myself off the hook, but said people were jerks >:(
Anyway, so I eventually determined that I must be off to the side of the universe and dedicated large quantities of time to trying to help whoever actually was the center of the universe stay there. This largely involved the silencing of my own opinions and blindly agreeing with other people.
With disastrous results. At long last, I realized that I did still have opinions. And, when crushed for too long, they revealed themselves without my consent in often unpleasant ways.
It was around that time that I realized that I was the center of a universe. MY universe.
Not only that, but everyone else was also the center of a universe too. THEIR universe.
So long as I understood and respected that, all went along smoothly.
Well, as long as they realized I existed and didn't run into me by accident :P.
However, I'd spent so much time trying to be someone else's opinion that I couldn't seem to quite remember what exactly mine were.
Which is where I started to develop my nasty habit of opening my mouth when I shouldn't and going on long, unrelated rants about completely random and unrelated things. Like these:

I could elaborate on my point, but I think it's been made.

Forcing My Opinions On Others
If I were well-known (or if people who read these posts actually bothered to comment –. –), someone would eventually be asking “where do you get off forcing your opinions on other people!?”. don't, actually. Unless of course you live with me or choose to spend time with me of your own free will (you strange person, you), in which case you should be accustomed to my behavior and should no longer be bothered to care. Or at least you think of me as a kitten that just shredded your drapes. You'd love to kick me, but you're afraid you might hurt me and then the ASPCA would hit you with sticks and confiscate your video games (though I personally prefer to think of myself as a parrot: cheeky, noisy and slightly destructive, but well-loved nonetheless. That's my world though, not yours).
Anyway, if you don't live with me or choose to associate with me, I'm not forcing you to do anything.
And, really, if you choose to associate with me, I sure hope there's something in my totally unlikable character that you find remotely appealing. Though I've no clue what that might be, unless it's making the cat happy.

Qualified To Have Opinions
In the same imaginary world in which I am famous and people actually comment on my blog, someone might ask me how I'm qualified to have all these very loud opinions.
Well, let's put this simply.
I don't know much about art, but I know what I like:
Which would be this. I like this.

If we travel back to my past again, we will find the root of my qualifications.
As a young child, one of my favorite activities was watching ants on the sidewalk.
No, not crushing them or pouring water on them or anything of the sort. Just watching.
I would sit for hours, day after day, just watching them do what they do.
And then my interest expanded to their after-dark activity. It wasn't terribly scientific, as the porch lights were always on. But I did get to see a variety of night bugs that way.
But, no matter how much I watched, I simply could not tell one ant from another.
When we got deer in the neighborhood, however, I could tell one from another.
I spent long hours studying them as well, which prompted me to write Gray Buck, which I have never bothered to show anyone because the writing is bad.
This ability to spend hours doing virtually nothing in silence and by myself served me well over time, though that's completely off-topic so I'll save it for another day.
I grew up loving the channel Animal Planet. Everything from Emergency Vets to Planet's Funniest Animals interested me. Truth be known, animals were all I cared about.
I never liked playing house. In fact, I really hated involving people at all.
To my horror, I discovered one day that I DID play the mommy/daddy/baby games but with horses and cats and dogs etc.
But I am most certainly getting lost and bogged down in unnecessary detail.
So anyway, I had toy animals, as you might have guessed. And I could spend hours studying every detail of them. I also spent about that much time deciding if I liked them in the store XD.
My computer games as well, I would pick apart.
I would play every possible color for my barrel-racing pony and study every nook and cranny of the game world until I knew it by heart.
Even if I didn't like the game, I felt the overwhelming need to explore every possibility before declaring it bad. I simply refused to give up on them.
I found the same to be true of movies, as soon as I learned not to talk during them unless it was with people who found it acceptable.
No movie, no matter how bad, went unfinished.
This provoked a need to dump the badness on someone else. No bad movie can fully be appreciated until you have picked apart all its flaws in front of a live audience. Preferably one which can neither escape nor reach heavy objects.
The final feature which makes my qualifications complete is my Internet experience.
My first unsupervised visit to the internet involved downloading free content from the Zoo Tycoon 2 website (said content is now unnecessary, as it comes with the various expansions).
Not long after that, I began to explore in earnest. Mind you, I was somewhere between ten and eleven at the time and I had never realized the internet even existed before then.
It took me a year or two to encounter actual people. And it was then that I first encountered vulgarities which held no meaning, internet speak and references to websites I'd never heard of before.
These people did not strike me as the type to explain the phrases they used to casually, so I bluffed until I figured out what the strange typings meant on my own.
I actually found that, more often than not, I could completely ignore the alien words and phrases and still know what people were saying.
So my qualifications are these:
  1. Being completely, totally and undeniably self-centered.
  2. Having the opinion that my opinions matter (at least to me).
  3. Being both hard to please and hard to disappoint.
  4. Being impossible to discourage, once I've set on an idea.
  5. Having entirely too much free time.
  6. Having the ability to pretend I know what's going on.
So in effect: personal experience.
I, myself, have questioned my qualifications at times.
I realize I am not an expert. In anything.
I've never held down a job and have no real talents, other than never shutting up once I get started.
But I also realize that I think most experts are morons who should be shot for saying that their personal opinion is an actual fact when it is actually total nonsense.
Thus freed of any qualification question, I am at liberty to have opinions of anything and everything I feel like and nobody can tell me no.
Who said you could do whatever you want!?” you shriek.
Heh, you did” I reply “you and everyone else on the internet. And the people who made the internet. And free blog sites. Yeah, you guys are responsible, not me. I'm just a cheeky parrot who talks too much and destroys your stuff when you aren't looking ;)”

You Contradict Yourself
Noticed that, did you?. Yes, yes, I do contradict myself. Rather a lot, actually.
This is because I'm usually more about the analysis than the actual opinion. I also tend to be thinking about what exactly my opinion is WHILE I'm writing.
Couple that with the fact that I usually stop before I have beaten a subject to the fullest extent of my abilities (which means I frequently leave semi-important details and context out) and you have a recipe for contradiction. But that's okay.
Because, you see, I am not running for Office here. I'm not even getting PAID.
No, I do all of my writing for two reasons:
1. Because I think it's fun.
2. To get these blasted thoughts and ideas out of my head so I can sleep at night.
So heck yeah I contradict myself!.
Actually, sometimes, I'm imitating someone without realizing it as well.
Or I'm explaining the opinion of one of my characters without knowing it because I'm in "character mode".

Your Writing Sucks
Okay, so I'm not Mark Twain. Did I ever say I was? (Aside from the fact that I'm not exactly partial to Twain anyway :P).
 It's not like I'm getting paid for my writing. And, for those of you who want to know, I'm perfectly happy with constructive criticism. The section title is not, in any sense of the word, constructive.
I know I'm a work in progress (like 95% of my stories :P) and so should anybody who actually bothers to read my blog or fiction (all that is made public can be found here: ).
One should also note my earlier statement when reading my work. I work for fun.
If it ain't fun, I'm doin' it wrong. This belief is the number one cause of my writing derailments.
It also seems to confuse people that I sometimes write in what they consider to be "poetry" format, but I am not, in fact, writing poetry (or at least, they don't think so). Hey, guys, I HATE poetry.
Why the *expletive* would I WRITE it!?.
No. Shut up. All of you.
I'm not writing poetry. I'm writing whatever it is I feel like. It's not trying to be poetry.
Likewise, my stories are not trying to be art or great works, they're just trying to be That Stuff I Have In My Head And Have To Write So It Will Stop Being In My Head.
Yes. That is precisely what it is.
On a very similar note (so similar that I decline to give it its own section), if you think the writing I put on the internet is bad, you should see the stuff I DON'T make public.
I refer to these as "bad". There is a level even further down which I refer to as "dead fish". These are stories which I even knew when they were in my head that they had no hope of ever achieving anything good whatsoever. And then there's that level that I do my best to forget even exists because I'm pretty sure I was taking stupid pills at the time that idea hit and just don't remember doing so.
So yeah, I could do far worse than inflicting my opinions upon the unsuspecting public and writing about genetically engineered wolf-people and dogs who don't like lamb or peanut butter.
Just think, I could be inflicting Star Trek: TOS fan-fiction on you. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
You must be terrified. Here, this should reduce your panic:

See how relaxed and happy that cat is?. He's not worried because he knows I would never be so cruel to my adoring ( and also imaginary) fans.

Seriously, What Kind of Person Are You?
I'm that weird type of person which is entirely me. Except when I'm doing impressions of other people.
I'm the kind of person who can be incredibly stubborn and opinionated (as you've noticed) one second and completely agreeable the next. I'm very indecisive about what my opinion actually is though.
My beliefs, however, pretty much never change. Expand, yes. Change, not so much.
I have the long-standing opinion that "facts" should be bullied and scrutinized and smashed with potato mashers until they plea for mercy or show up as worthy to be accepted as "proven facts".
This seems redundant. Until you realize how often people say things are "facts" and then later discover that their "facts" were secretly "opinions" and little things I like to call "assumptions".
Obviously, though, if we all lived only by what we knew to be "proven facts", no one would get anywhere.
General opinions, assumptions and educated guesses are how most of us survive.
So why some people reject the term "faith" (religiously implied or otherwise) is a mystery to me.
The vast majority of us make almost every decision in this manner.
I know I do. I get by almost entirely on the faith that I will either make the right decision or someone will be there to catch me when I fail miserably (as I inevitably do sooner or later).
So far, this strategy has worked. And, if you guys are all still here, it works for you.
That's the kind of person I am.
I believe in "proven facts" and live by "educated guesses" and then I make "leaps of faith" in the hopes that someone will catch me when I fall.
This may surprise those of you who were following up to this point but I am, by no means, a daredevil (although Daredevil is awesome and cool). I don't like unnecessary risks and am really very lazy by nature.
So when all my friends jump off a bridge, I'm gonna be at home watching TV and waiting for them to email me with the results of their experiment.
I'm not sure how to end this. So... here, have a picture of a Breyer:

Note that all opinions expressed are not necessarily accurate or even the opinions I will have by the time you comment (and please do, if you bother to read this. Or at least like the link. Or tell me why you don't like it. Or something. It's lonely in this blog by myself D: ..)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

In A Metaphorical Sense

Written on: June 2, 2011

Just so you know, this isn't necessarily directly movie/TV show related. However, the metaphors I'm going to explore have all been referenced in some form or the other in something I watched.
As a general rule, I find metaphors hilarious, but not always the best form of communication.
Because, quite frankly, the ox being in the ditch doesn't make much sense without the original context.
The person who does not have said context is left with “ox?. What ox?. What ditch?. What does that have to do with why we can't go bowling on Friday?. AAAH!!!”
It also causes the person without context to question the other person's sanity.
By the way, the context of the ox in the ditch can be found in the Bible. Luke 14, if my frazzled brain remembers the correct area. I know that will at least give you a bit of context to work with anyway.
And don't say “but I don't have a Bible handy”. Look it up. You've got a search engine, haven't you?.

Anyway, there was a point to this.... ah yes. Metaphors.
They often make no sense without context, much like references to movies nobody's ever heard of.
But that doesn't stop people from using them, now does it?. No.
Being a person on the Internet, I frequently come across references and short-hand that would be utterly bewildering to the uninlightened people who inhabit the world of actually having something better to do with their time.
And even I am sometimes baffled and have to search high and low for clues as to what that one person was talking about when they said whatever it was they said.
This is normal. We're all weirdos here. It's fine if we reference something no one but the ogres under our bed have heard of.
Now, don't think I've got the terms “metaphor” and “reference” confused. There are, of course, things which are similar in nature to metaphors, but actually aren't. And there are references that are, in fact, also metaphors. They frequently blur together to confuse the heck out of you and infuriate the literal-minded people of the planet (hehehehe :D.).
So, basically, I'm saying metaphors exist. Not only that, but they're everywhere.
Actually, even describing the Internet as a place is a metaphor of some sort, but let's not go there.
So, let's tackle the first metaphor/story/reference/whatever it is on my list.

The Scorpion and The Frog
Yes, it requires bold lettering. Shut up.
So I first encountered this story as a kid on some show who's name I no longer recall. I have sense encountered in several movies and TV shows in various forms.
Sometimes as The Scorpion and The Turtle or The Scorpion and The Fox.
But really, for the meaning of the story to work, it could have been The Tarantula and The Egret.
You should be familiar with at least some version of this story. And, if you're not, go look it up. It's easy. Just type in the title up there ^. You'll find it. I did.
So.... this story is usually told by an older character to a young character who has an affection or friendship with someone the audience knows to be evil. The old and young characters usually argue first, but for some reason the younger character listens in silence as the whole “it's my nature” thing is explained to them in true “Tortoise and The Hare” format (if you don't know that one either, you have been living under a rock and probably aren't reading this).
So... sure enough, one of two things happens.
One: the evil character is (duh!) evil. Because it's his nature. You should feel sorry for him. It's like he had a bad childhood, only he was just born demonically-evil and power-hungry. Give him a bagel.
Two: He overcomes his evilness by way of young character talking him out of it. Because talking always stops serial killers and ax-murderers and terrorists (SH!. Those don't exist!). Sorry (you should be *slap*). Ow. Ahem, moving on. Anyway, he disproves the story, firmly ingraining the valuable life-lesson of giving people a chance into the somewhat sponge-like minds of children everywhere.
For some weird reason, it's been determind that this story should be told as a way of explaining the actions of evil people. Evil people don't need to be explained.
They're evil and want to kill you. Or steal your money. Whichever.
When viewed through this narrow scope, the story also unwittingly reveals that pathological liars are also victims of their own nature.
So what if it's true?. Is this the only possible way to look at the story?.
Sure, the real meaning of the story is pretty much that bad people are bad by nature and will drag good people down just because that's what they do (and, in most cases, wind up destroying both), but chances are there's more to it than that. After all, creative writers often put multiple layers in their stories. And future creative writers sometimes even invent layers that weren't there.
And it's up to the reader to interpret what it is they've read.
So.... let's sift through the obvious meanings first.

  1. Bad people are bad by nature.
  2. Bad people will, in the end, cause their own destruction along with everyone around them.
  3. Liars often believe the lies they tell at the time they tell them.
  4. Bad people will always exploit good people.

Honestly, I'm imposing the idea of morals and ethics just by using the terms “good” and “bad”. But that's really pretty much how it works. Especially where the telling and retelling of this particular story is concerned. Everyone understands the basic concept of good and evil.
And, for whatever reason, scorpions are regarded as evil. On the other hand, foxes often are too. And frogs, for that matter.
But, for the sake of the story, the scorpion is the villain. Even though, in the end, he's as much a victim as the frog/turtle/fox/other version I haven't heard of.
But let's take a step back and think about the scorpion as a cute lion cub who wanted to cross the river to get to his mother but couldn't swim and so asked a helpful gazelle (yes they can swim) to help him across. But, halfway there, his instincts as a predator made him bite the gazelle's neck, dooming them both. It's harder to think of a lion cub as evil, now isn't it?.
Now shut up and bear with me. I do understand good and evil and believe in the whole moral and ethical thing which most people want to ignore entirely.
But I want to look deeper into the story.
What is it telling us about people?. In essence, everyone is fairly similar. We all have thoughts and desires which could be looked at as being evil or in any case, wrong.
Now, we may not act on all such desires. But, sooner or later, we all will act on at least one of them.
Chances are, we do on a regular basis, even without thinking.
So, it's fair to say that any given person could wind up as either the scorpion or the frog, even though nobody wants to admit it to anyone, even themselves.
So let's look at it this way: we all have behaviors which define who we are.
We all have habits and experience and knowledge to help us along, sure.
But science has yet to prove that all behavior is a result of that.
In fact, lately, they've been trying to prove all behavior is DNA (which is stupid by the way).
If one is to be realistic and look at things in a real sort of way, one will realize that people have learned behaviors and born-in behaviors. And probably some behaviors caused by something as yet unknown (because that's how everything works. There's ALWAYS something we don't know).
I could go on about behavior, since I find it fascinating in a real way, though I hate virtually all books about the subject. They're too narrow-minded and interested in their viewpoint, rather than the real in-front-of-you sort of things which most people use to survive encounters with other people.
So what happens when the scorpion meets the frog?.
He comes up with various reasons and assurances that he will not kill the frog.
Because he has no reason to and, in fact, many reasons not to.
The frog eventually believes him and agrees to carry him across.
Yet, the scorpion kills the frog in the middle of the river, which kills him as well.
Because it's his nature?. To be evil?. No.
Switch the scorpion with the cub and the frog with the gazelle.
Is the cub evil because he killed the gazelle?. No.
The nature which is being spoken of is not the nature of evil, but the nature of a predator.
It's why many dogs chase cars and cats hunt birds even when they aren't hungry.
Their nature is to chase that which runs. Just as the scorpion's nature is to sting whatever resembles food or danger in their mind.
Again, I'm not throwing out the concept of good and evil. Nor am I throwing out the idea that the author was writing about good and evil.
I'm just throwing in my own interpretation of the story.
So what does any of this have to do with people?.
Well, most people are stubborn by nature. If they think something, they have the need to argue their point if they feel that someone is “threatening” them by having a different opinion.
Even if their opinion is completely discredited, the person still defends it.
Why?. Because it is in their nature to do so.
People defend what they believe, and I'm not just talking about religion.
Even when it is clearly futile to do so, and often argues against them, still they go on.
This is a generalization for your benefit, not mine.
Everyone has their own “nature” which goes beyond habit and experience.
And they will always follow that nature, even when it's pretty obviously foolish.
Nothing will change their nature, even if their beliefs change and they try to learn to control their temper. They will always be a scorpion, even if that ends up being as obviously bad for them as stinging a frog in a river when you can't swim.
So... now I've kicked this around for awhile and I can't figure out anything new to say, just more ways to say the same thing. And, if you're not following, just think about the story on your own and find some other ways to interpret it. You may be surprised at how many meanings and ways you can see the same story, just by considering it.
On to metaphor two.

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
“You can't have your cake and eat it too” is a pretty common phrase.
So common, in fact, that the average Internet goer has called it into question.
Doesn't everyone want to eat the cake they have?. Don't you have to HAVE the cake to eat it in the first place?. This makes no sense!.
Yet, they continue to use it left and right, and sometimes in contexts it makes no sense in.
I tend to think of the phrase in this way:
If you ate your cake, you would no longer have it.
Thus, you cannot have your cake and eat it too.
You might say “well then it should be: you can't hold your cake in your hand and have swallowed it too”. I would say “yes, you could. But that would sound dumb”.
Thus, it makes sense that you can't have your cake and eat it too.
Because that sounds far less stupid. It actually almost makes you sound wise, just because of how old and commonly used the phrase is.
And it's not like I'm the first person to have come up with this. Apparently, the phrase wasn't English originally (no surprise there) and roughly translated: you can't eat your cake and have it too.
That actually makes a lot more sense, even though it's the same words in different order.

You Can't Burn A Candle From Both Ends
Well, obviously Harpo Marx disagreed. So clearly the statement itself is false, right?.
Not so much. Usually, the phrase is used when convincing a person who's working too hard that they will burn out (ehehe... metaphor ;)...) quickly if they try to keep that pace.
But the fact is, you can burn a literal candle from both ends.
However, the candle will burn twice as fast and, since nobody bothered to invent the kind of holders for both-end burning candles, you'll probably burn your fingers from holding it.
But, if one thinks about it, burning a candle from both ends could probably have plenty of other meanings as well.
I won't bother with it, as it's quite similar to having your cake and eating it too.
Basically, both metaphors are telling you that you can't have it both ways.

And, on that note, I do believe I'll stop. I need to do some stuff before bed and I would like to get an amount of sleep tonight.
And I certainly know I can't burn a candle at both ends.
Even though it's my nature to be a night person ;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Just More of The Same

Written on: June 1, 2011

Awhile ago, I started work on a rant about how nothing ever managed to happen in the 80s film They Live which is outrageously well-known, even though nobody thinks they've heard of it.
“I've come to chew bubble gum and kick ***. And I ran outta bubble gum”
Doesn't ring a bell?. How about sunglasses that make the world turn black and white?.
Signs in the background that say things like “obey”?. No?.
Well anyway, I never finished said “review”. So I decided to do what I did last time.
Chatter about what I've seen recently. The Final Sacrifice gets chucked, just because I watched the MST3K version so you know it's bad.
In short, both films had one thing in common: bewildered looking folks blundering around nowhere in particular for no apparent reason.
Yes. That is exactly what happened. And no, nothing else happened. And no, nobody bothered to explain why (though somehow I doubt it would have helped).
So anyway, upon making this decision, I realized I actually had no idea what I'd been watching lately, other than Due South *drools* and Metajets *pats on head and sends outside*.
So I decided to ask the Wizard of All Knowledge (In this case the Netflix Instant Watching Activity page. The other list would lend no useful information as I've been renting nothing but Due South and Smallville *kicks Smallville's shins and steals its biscuits*).
Apparently, Dad has been watching stuff on Netflix too, as I'm fairly certain I haven't seen a lot of these films. So, after kicking those films off the list, I was left with these.

The Crow – 1994
Start-Off: Shut up. Just because it's famous and EVERYONE has seen it doesn't mean I have. As you all should know by now, I'm Nobody. And not in the semi-cool but mostly dumb way of the TMNT character.
The Expectation: Uh... I dunno. Something akin to The Sixth Sense perhaps?. Well... something involving an undead guy and a crow anyway (hehe... I kept thinking “Russell”. If you don't get the reference, go watch Unskippable on The Escapist. You'll have more fun).
The Reality: Huh.... well... not what I was expecting (except for the whole “undead” and “crow” thing). The crow, firstly, is the most awesome character in the film. Why?. Because he's a freakin' CROW!. Flap flap – caw caw and all that. And he has shiny crow feathers. And upped the over-all coolness of crows by... like... a million.
That said, there is no reasonable explanation as to why this movie is famous.
Because.... Bruce Lee's son is in it?. Because said son died before they finished it?.
Ooh... I know. Because it involves revenge. And dead people. But not zombie dead-people.
None of that deterioration and stuff. Invincible undead guy wanders the streets of City-Sir-Not-Important *can't remember name* and kills off all the people who murdered him and his... girlfriend?. Wait, no... I remember. They were going to be married the next day (Halloween :P). I can't give this film too much smashing because 1. I watched it in pieces over the course of an entire day :P and 2. It has the most freakin' AWESOME crow in it! *is crazy supernatural (and natural) animal-loving freak*.
So.... yeah. He kills them with stuff they love in a rather creepy manner (which was completely thieved by The Joker in The Dark Knight. Don't throw stones, I think that movie is awesome. Still, whoever wrote that version of Joker is a total character thief). And he makes a drug-riddled lady go and take care of her annoying kid who has the silliest teen/preteen-girl outfit of any R-Rated film (oddly specific sentence is oddly specific).
So.... it could have gone Horror on us, but decided to travel that thin line that Batman Begins cheerfully jogged along and stayed an Action movie. Actually, in some ways it has a very similar feel.
I find it hard to beat on this movie, since it was an alright film. And, considering their main actor died before they were done.... meh.
The first half of the movie is very dark and captures the feel that one might think most Halloween-themed films should. Utterly creepy (though probably more so at night and in one sitting).
It believed in blood-spatters. But not the common blood spewing everywhere blood spatters. No, they were specific and used entirely to draw you creepily into the scene, rather than shoving you back into reality as red ketchup fountains burst forth from the knife wound in some innocent pedestrians chest.
Actually, there were very few extras in the movie, to its credit.
And there was never a doubt who the bad guys were. Yeah, those *insert many expletives here* guys over there with their weird bullet-swallowing rituals and aim-the-gun-at-the-guy-on-your-left games.
Basically, the bad guys are completely and totally nuts and should die.
Which is exactly what The Crow decides. So it hauls Captain Dead-Guy back from the grave by knocking on his head stone and sends him on a... poetic?. Ironic?. What's the word here?. Killing spree. His only official goal seems to be to kill the four guys who were there the night of his murder. But it grows into save-that-girl and kill-the-banana-behind-this and Russell-er The Crow certainly isn't about to tell you what or why things are happening.
However, the last half of the film mostly consists of “Screw it. Let's just shoot everyone”. Don't get me wrong. Some people DO live. Or... go back to being dead.
I suppose I shouldn't hit it over the head too much. This was, after all, a Comic-Book Movie from the 90s, so I guess I'll let it go now before I've beaten the dead horse too much.
*gives biscuit and lets The Crow go play outside*.

Animal Face-Off – 2004
Start-Off: It was a TV Show. Shut up. Also, I only watched Hippo vs. Bull Shark recently. All the others, I saw back when this series was NEW. And the only one I actually remembered was Lion vs. Tiger. In short: I shall probably be slapping these episodes the most. But that's okay. The whole series was pretty much exactly like this.
The Expectation: Uh.... not very good?. Completely obvious?. Trying so hard to be cool that it feel down and hit its head?. Yeah... that.
The Reality: Yeah. Pretty much.
I'm gonna start with Dave Salmoni. He was on the side of the tiger in that episode in which the lion one through the sheer will-power of people who still believe that King of The Jungle idiocy. I'm not arguing for the tiger, but it was all so FORCED. Especially the rivalry between the person who liked lions and the one who liked tigers. I've seen Salmoni in other things. He thinks Big Cats are awesome!. All of them. And he's great when it comes to working with them. He's also crazy, but that's totally fine because we NEED crazy people working with big cats because sane people sure as hell won't.
In short: Salmoni should be ashamed for even being near this series.
So... basically what happens is strengths and weaknesses and behavior are measured and compared and then they stuff the information into a computer and watch a CGI film in which one creature kills the other. ?. ??. ???. Who thought this was a good idea!?!?.
In all the ones I've seen, they clearly favor one animal over the other. Of course, that's the one that wins in the end. And, usually, the animals are horribly mismatched (Elephant vs. Rhino?. Seriously people?) or at least not of the same element (Wolf vs. Cougar?. Wolves live in packs. Cougars are loners. A cougar could rip a wolf in two, no sweat. But a pack of wolves would tear a cougar limb from limb. Oh, or Hippo vs. Bull Shark. Bull Sharks DO go into fresh water, but they're built for deep water. A full-grown hippo fears nothing except other hippos and MAYBE twenty-foot crocs. UNFAIR!).
The show shamelessly ignores various facts (such as hippos actually EATING MEAT sometimes and wolves living in packs. And... male lions being nearly impossible to provoke without a “queen” lioness present who will prompt them to defend the pride. Who cares about those details?. Throw behavior out the window along with common sense!. WHEEEE!!!!!!!).
The show could have been a bunch of people flapping their arms and shouting out random animal facts they knew and then stirring a big pot of water over a fire at the end for how close to reality it actually was (note: I personally think that would be a fun show and I would totally watch at least one episode, if only to try and guess which animals the various facts belonged to XD).
In short: This series was dumb then, is still dumb now and will stay dumb forever into the future.
Oh yeah, and adult polar bears have been known to kill and eat full-grown and healthy walruses on more than one occasion. It's rather well documented, actually.

Big Cat Dairies – 1996-2006
Start-Off: Okay, another documentary. Shut yer trap. Also, I watched this before it was in reruns. I didn't care for it much as a kid. But I grew up with it and remembered it all the way to recently when Netflix waved it at me and said I would think it was the most awesome thing since sliced bread. For nostalgic purposes and because Netflix usually tells me I will think that any and all documentaries are complete rubbish, I took them up on it.
The Expectation: Kinda skippy, jumpy kid-stuff about big cats.
The Reality: Actually a very interesting concept. The crew goes out and films very specific cats (season one example: two cheetah families. One has very young cubs and the other has half grown ones. Two lion prides, one large and one small. And a leopard and her cub) over the course of one week. At the end of the week, they edit all the film together and ship it in as a half-hour episode. Pretty fast-paced and difficult work. Over time, one gets to know the big cats and their general habits. The reason it seemed random and slightly skippy is because it was. With only one week to film, edit and send in the episodes, the relatively small season one crew were hard pressed to make it happen.
Two years later, they came back for a second season with a new cheetah family, the leopards cub and the two lion prides. With a week-after-week approach, you get to see some of the things most documentaries completely abandon because they don't think it's exciting enough. Also, you get to see some truly rare and unique footage that never would have been captured otherwise.
My main complaint is that near-commercial camera flailing. You could give someone a seizure with that. Or at least a headache.
So... mostly a documentary. An awesome one with a rather unique approach, but nonetheless.

Metajets – 2008
Start-Off: It's a cartoon. Shut up. SILENCE!. I kill you!. Ahem... yes. Oh yeah, and for those of you who think it was 2010 *slapslapslap!*.... it was 2008 originally. You just weren't paying attention.
The Expectation: Oh great... why am I watching this?. Why do I do this?. This is dumb. Every episodes the same. These characters annoy me and should die. Kill them all, please.
The Reality: Wow, I actually feel entertained.
Sure, it's a cartoon. Yes, the characters were pulled out of a used character bin. Yeah, the animation kinda sucks and looks a bit stolen from Anime (what do you want, one of the animators WAS Japanese) and the jets keep turning into cheap CGI when you aren't looking. Sure enough, the theme song stinks and its lyrics will firmly wedge themselves into the picture album of your memory forever. Yes, they wave morals and life lessons and political correctness messages at you like there's no tomorrow.
But its okay, because they know what their audience really wants. Awesomely fun to watch dogfights (with jets, moron, no DOGS), unexpectedly delivered cheesy lines and plenty of jokes and puns for all.
I noticed from the start that it was taking lots of its material from Power Rangers and I expected to hate that. Difference being Metajets took their stupid and made it cool.
It has all the token characters.
Token rookie who just happens to be awesome. Check.
Token hot-tempered black guy. Check.
Token military-minded chick who rookie has crush on. Check.
Token weird-hair guy. Check.
Token commander who also happens to be chick's father. Check.
Token transforming vehicles. Also check.
But it somehow managed to make it fun.
The rookie “farm boy” is actually cool and doesn't force his obnoxious personality into every second of every episode and he certainly isn't the only fighter in the field (in other words, he doesn't spend all his time rescuing his team. No. Everyone holds their own but needs saving now and then, including him and gets a fair amount of screen time). And his crush is only painfully apparent in the first and last episodes. Other than that, it just shows through as a joke now and then, almost as if the channel kept nudging the writers to remind everyone that there was romance not going on. But it could be. Not.
I didn't even realize that the black guy was black until he took his helmet off XD. And it's easy to forget that he is. And they never mention it. It's just like “yeah, this guy is a member of our team and he likes fire and thinks he's totally the most awesome pilot ever” with no mention of the whole “race” thing.
Military-minded chick doesn't forget that second part about being a chick. Or was that having a mind?. Either way works. She's actually sort of cool, for a female character (all of which I loath until they prove themselves not moronic).
Weird-hair guy is also a genius. He's quite the problem solver, though he'd rather be playing video games. He's also the resident comic relief, which he takes to with relish. He's not over-the-top annoying and is first-and-foremost, a member of the team.
Really, that's the thing that made it work best. They were Metajets first, characters second. But, unlike most series, they didn't forget to HAVE characters.
They never developed random phobias or suddenly had ginormous egos or anything out of character that annoys the heck outta me in most series.
Like the characters, the series took most of its episodes out of the discard bin.
But it tweak 'em just enough to make them feel refreshing and different.
Actually, the whole series is set on an environmentalist gold mine.
It's in the future and global warning forced people to take to the air (seriously, floating cities and all). The writers could have beaten us to death with how evil and destructive and all people are and how we should recycle and all the other *insert various expletives here* they're teaching kids these days.
But no. Metajets is just like “what?. Who cares?”.
It's a series that caters to the viewer, rather than the channel (which must be why it got shot down in just forty episodes).
There's political-correctness lurking, but it knows what it's really about.
And that's blowing stuff up and cracking jokes.
*pats on head again and then sends it back outside*

So, In Short
The Crow – Alright as an action movie, but has no right to be so famous.
Animal Face-Off – Will make documentary-lovers everywhere cry with sorrow.
Big Cat Dairies – Pretty decent. Just don't expect run-of-the-mill documenting techniques.
Metajets – A cartoon. What do you want from it?. Silliness!. Who cares about the environment or the laws of physics!?!?. Certainly not me as a kid!. WHEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! :D