Long Live X-Men!
I started Logan again the other day. I immediately felt abashed for ever suggesting it was normalizing violence against children. The first time I watched it, I apparently didn’t pay attention to the words/story.
Before I had a chance to finish Logan, I had an opportunity to watch X-Men Apocalypse and found it extremely entertaining. More so than the first viewing for sure.
Last night I finally had time to finish Logan and it did not disappoint.
Biographical note: I grew up on the cartoon and would fight my mom tooth and nail on Saturday mornings when it always happened to be time to clean right when the episode started. Did she really not know? The cartoon began at the same time every week. Just let a boy finish that one cartoon and he’ll clean his room just fine! But no, it was always as the opening of the show came on, “Peter! Time to clean your room. Enough tv for one Saturday!”
Batman will always be my favorite comic book character. But the X-Men are a close second, Wolverine leading the way.
Logan’s best scene, insofar as it relates to character development, is when the little girl mutant holds his hand in an effort to comfort him when Professor X dies and Logan rips his hand away in disgust. Rage right up to the end. That kind of consistency makes for compelling storytelling. Way to go, folks. Keep it up.
Chappelle Is Toast
I’ve had a change of heart.
I still agree with my last post’s (complicated) assessment, being: the fact that the following sentence will never be uttered reveals why Mr. Chappelle is helping the trans community: “Mr. Chappelle—while thoroughly picking on the trans community—could not but help them—because he is black.” I believe this sentence will never be uttered by anyone of significance, as stated, because I believe the real conflict in our nation (and the world) is between “tranquility” and “morality”. So Mr. Chappelle, in not addressing the immorality of the trans community, is clearly on the “tranquility” side of the conflict—by default.
All that said, where I differ from my opining of a few days ago is that I implied that Mr. Chappelle’s status as a black comedian (which cannot be discussed) will protect him. I have changed my mind. Mr. Chappelle is toast.
So why the change of heart? New facts, or at least a forgotten perspective, have since been revealed to me by my recent reading.
As I think I’ve mentioned, I’m still working through the Great Books of the Western World, via the Great Ideas Program guided reading set. I’m in Montesquieu at the moment, still. (It’s a longer than normal selection.) And I came across this in last nights reading (The Spirit of Laws Book XII, Chap. 5 Of Certain Accusations that require particular Moderation and Prudence):
“The Emperor Theodorus Lascaris attributed his illness to witchcraft. Those who were accused of this crime had no other resource left but to handle a red-hot iron without being hurt. Thus among the Greeks, a person ought to have been a sorcerer to be able to clear himself of the imputation of witchcraft. Such was the excess of their stupidity that to the most dubious crime in the world they joined the most dubious proofs of innocence.”
Don’t mishear me. I’m not saying Mr. Chappelle is being accused of witchcraft. This is clearly no witch hunt. I would even hesitate to say it’s like a witch hunt. But maybe I could be pressed to admit similarities do exist. Instead, the point is that the trans community is out to get Mr. Chappelle and Netflix. It is also clear that the trans community is never going to be satisfied. Moreover, history is full of examples of humans never achieving satiation, no matter how many times they claim they could be. Taking this fact into account, the inevitable consequence is that the accusation will rue the day. Mr. Chappelle is toast. Fini. Finished. Dunsky. Netflix is likewise on the hurt train.
Netflix will likely recover after firing the boss, but we’re operating—not under a time of witch hunts, no—we’re operating within a time of the category that includes witch hunts and “cancel culture”, which Montesquieu rightly and timelessly labels “stupidity.”
To be clear, Mr. Chappelle was stupid, or put more nicely “unwise”, for electing to take on “tranquility” without arming himself with a shield of “morality”. You’ll see soon how his joke only helped the trans community.
All the while, “morality” and “tranquility” battle on. Whose side are you on? In either case, choose your weapons carefully.
Cowboys Vs. Indians, A Review of Yellowstone, starring Kevin Costner
To be honest, this is just a review of the first hour of the first episode. I cannot find the motivation to finish even that one, but rest assured, you can watch everything to date here.
You have to give props to Kevin Costner and all the other thespians who still believe in playing Cowboys and Indians at this late stage in the game. Unfortunately, while they certainly delight in donning the definitive costumes, they fail to remain faithful to the fanciful, if not now forbidden, fun of times past.
I recently picked up Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousands Leagues Under the Sea with the intent of reading it. At the back of the edition I hold is a review of the book by my current beau author, Robert Louis Stevenson, that includes an assessment of Verne which is perhaps best summarized in the Scotsman’s own stinging words, “Of human nature, it is certain he knows nothing.”
The same can be said for Yellowstone’s team. Simply put, there is no hate. The fact is there must be hate (deteste for you Verne loving Frenchies) for these types of stories to work. Fighting over land isn’t enough. The cowboys must loathe the savages, and the savages must truly believe their tomahawks can stop a six-shooter. Put another way, I must be convinced that the cowboys actually believe the blood flowing through the red-man’s veins is an aberration of nature, and that it is their duty to cure the human race through genocide. The land must be secondary. It may be seen as the reward for such a virtuous act, but land itself as goal is too abstract, as grounded as it is, to make for good television.
The audience must learn, alongside the cowboy, to not hate these primitives.
Only if there is hate–then and only then–have they told our story. And our story? That’s one worth watching.
Are Christians Conspiracy Theorists? No, We’re Conspiracy Empiricists.
I feel sheepish. I think I learned “sheepish” from Joseph Heller in Catch-22. Anyway, through an unexpected coordination of similar lessons in my Koine Greek class and my Christian Apologetics class, I was introduced to text criticism last week.
Text criticism is the term for analyzing all things written and copied by hand prior to the invention of the printing press–such as the New Testament. Have you ever heard or thought about this? It’s kind of fascinating if you take the time to dig into it a bit. The reason I feel sheepish after learning about text criticism is because I’m a sucker who fell for the theory that the recently discovered hidden gospels/epistles had something to contribute to (possibly were even able to refute) orthodox Christianity’s claims that God created the universe, Adam and Eve sinned, and Jesus Christ died on the cross and on the third day rose from the grave thereby offering forgiveness of sin, salvation, and eternal life to all comers.
Long story short, I have a friend at work that is a conspiracy theorist. I know, I know. Many of you think Christians are simply conspiracy theorists. But that’s not true. Here’s why. This man is in his 50s, is divorced, and he believes the Illuminati are running the world. He believes that they wrote the Bible and are interested in having the Christians and Muslims kill each other off, after which the Illuminati, themselves, will finally begin overt rule. He shows me websites and proudly reads off lists of unremarkable names as if he’s reading scripture from a pulpit. The other day after a song came on the radio, he began espousing how there is some psychological training facility in England which is funded by the Rockefellers (an Illuminati family) that trains bands to wage psychological warfare on America, bands like the Beatles. I pointed out to him that the wikipedia entry had a paragraph that began, “Conspiracy theorists believe…” about the facility. It had no effect. The reason I bring him up is to illustrate specifically what a conspiracy theorist is. He’s the definition of a conspiracy theorist. They are people who believe profoundly fascinating, yet ultimately baseless theories founded upon theoretical evidence, not empirical evidence.
What about Christianity? The recent archaeological discoveries of non-canonical “hidden” gospels/epistles seem to suggest/confirm the theories that orthodox Christianity is the product of plotting conspirators manipulating the historical record in order to advance their agendas.
Books such as the “gospel of Thomas” capture so much History Channel attention that even Christians themselves need be given some clear guidance about these books and their claims.
Specifically, there is a theory that argues that the church fathers adopted the New Testament canon for their own secret (or apparently not so secret) reasons. The trouble with this theory is that none of these recently discovered hidden gospels were even brought to the church father’s attention for consideration. Put inversely, the church fathers (early Christian leaders) did not consider the “gospel of Thomas” for inclusion in the 27 book New Testament Canon. We know this because we have empirical evidence of the their decisions, which books they did consider and reject, and their reasoning that led to their decisions.
Therefore, it is academically irresponsible and I’d go so far as to say unthinkable to discard the New Testament and its 5300 plus fragments/copies that are nearly perfect matches of each other on the basis of a few fragments of other writings. Does that make sense? It’s simple math. If you have 5300 pieces of evidence for one conspiracy, and 20 pieces of evidence for a competing conspiracy, and no evidence (leaving only a theory) of a conspiracy to ensure these numbers vary so greatly, then in order to favor the 20 pieces of evidence over the 5300 pieces, you must believe in a conspiracy theory, not a conspiracy based on empirical fact. Because the fact is there are no empirical facts that support the theory that early Christians, beginning with the apostles, manipulated the truth. Instead, there is only a plethora of empirical data that supports that early Christians, beginning with the eye-witnesses to Jesus Christ’s resurrection, believed a conspiracy–that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God.
So you have to decide. Do you want to believe/create theories about life on planet earth as conspiracy theorists do, or do you want to examine the empirical facts of recorded human history as conspiracy empiricists–Christians–do?
If you want any empirical books about my claims, comment below or email me.