The Tiny Light

So long it seems
So long ago
We met and forgot
Forgot one-another

We found each other
Once again, years later
So tiny, so unique
I knew at once, and I cared

A new friendship
So different from all the others
Unlike nothing I’ve ever felt before
I felt so alive, with her

Time passed
The friendship grew
The bond became stronger
Yet also strange

We’re so different
So unlikely
Those few things in common
They helped nurture a bond like no other

It grew on, getting stronger all the time
Something more developed inside
Unsure at first
Didn’t want to admit it

More time passed
Feelings got stronger still
Feelings of light
Feelings of love

I had fallen in love
I didn’t know how to say it
Wasn’t the time
You were involved

Another chance came
We tried
Didn’t hit
Love lost, love missed

You found another
A new way of life
A new way of being
One we couldn’t follow

Then chance arrived
A chance we had prayed for
You were open to us
You wanted to try

We got a place together
We got a life to live
At first, it was amazing
But there were old ghosts

Ghosts of a love before
A love that was not us
A love that didn’t go away
We didn’t know what to do

We were still new
It had been so long since
Since the time we were in love
Could we do this again

Finally, the day comes
We are ready and eager
We change our Facebook status
The dawn was filled with hope again

And just like that, it fades
You want out
You are unsure
Why?

You don’t live here anymore
I cry, as I haven’t done in a very long time
You never know what you’ve lost
Until it’s gone

I want to say these words
Want to say them to you
I love you
I miss you

I wish you loved me too

Peace out,

Maverick

2014: The Year of Religious Film

I just did a review of the latest in this year’s interesting string of films that are all about religion.  All of these films seem to have a defining feature – they are almost all about how religion is so persecuted.  Neat fact, that was the title of the last film I reviewed – Persecuted.  A film that is so blatant with its message that it even got Gretchen Carlson to come on and do a fake news story about how oppressed Christians are.  I am getting a sense that the Christian-right of this country is feeling a little lost lately.  How do I know this?  Well, let’s just look at the highlight films in this year of Christian propaganda.

The first is “God’s Not Dead.”  A film about how a good Christian boy goes to college and finds out that it’s a liberal bastion of atheism and that any professor who teaches there is an atheist.  Yeah, that sounds accurate, right?  It is a film that told the audience who is into it EXACTLY what they wanted to hear.  And in case that was too subtle for you, there are side-characters all going through their own story arcs with issues that the film believes it also has to jackhammer into your brain.  Oh?  What’s that?  All that still too subtle for you?  Well, you’re an idiot, but let’s not get hung up on the negatives.  The film ends with a bunch of news articles showing how the Christians in this country are so oppressed.  I know, right?  That level of subtlety is just masterful.

Next up is probably one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a while – “Heaven’s For Real.”  Based on a book by the same name, written by a pastor whose son went through pretty much what the main character of the film did, it tells the story of a boy who nearly dies and sees heaven.  He comes back and tells his daddy all about it, thus incentivising him to bring his relationship to God even closer.  It was apparently falling on hard times.  Again, just so subtle!  I have a friend whose psycho religious mother took her to see it for Mother’s Day.  She talked about how her mother became so enamored with the film, to the point of tears.  Both of us found that funny because it shows how the people who these films were designed for, they love them!  Not in the “well, it is their belief” sort of way.  This is to the point where they are making it into an obsession.  This is everything to them.

And finally, there is “Persecuted.”  This film is even less subtle than the other two.  If the faux-Clinton and the EVIL mission to unite all the faiths as a means of making world peace is too subtle for you, then Gretchen Carlson conducting a fake interview where she asks why the good preacher man is fighting his fight and how the true, Tea Party Christians are being oppressed might give you your fix.  This was a movie that exists for the singular purpose of telling Tea Party Christians that they are right and that they are being brought to heel under the boot of liberal atheist douchebags like me.  Oh, and it’s also really racist, having the good preacher man be seduced and exploited by a sultry black girl.  Yeah…that’s weird.  Just putting that out there.

So why are all these religious films coming out?  Why is defending religion becoming so popular?  Why is the conservative-Christian movement so desperate to feel like they are being oppressed somehow?  Well, I think it all comes down to the fact that the non-religious and atheists (like me) are becoming so many and so outspoken.  Where once the non-religious and atheist crowd was simply a funny little addendum to the quirks of life, we are now part of the many.  We are a crowd that has grown to the point where we can’t be ignored anymore.  Wave after wave of people is saying that they are either unaffiliated with no religion or not the Christian one.

Religion’s response to this was as messy as it was miscalculated.  They decided that they would go back to basics with the threats of hellfire and damnation.  But it didn’t work.  The people who weren’t religious kept being non-religious.  In fact, that just sent more people into our arms.  People were tired of being told how evil they are and how unworthy they are.  They wanted a live and let live approach.  If they lived that, why should they believe something else?  Instead of becoming more tolerant and open-minded, large chunks of religion in this country doubled-down on their bigotry and flaws, believing that the believers would be on their side.  However, it isn’t working, and the faithless keep coming.

I have not gotten on religion nearly as much as I originally did lately.  But this latest string of films and the growing outspoken religious crowd has lit a fire under my ass to preach my gospel of how religion is bullshit with renewed vigor.  Is that a good thing?  Maybe not.  We shall see.

In the meantime, the Tea Party right has made some hilarious films that are all worth watching, for the humor factor.  For real, you won’t regret it.  Enjoy.

Until next time, a quote,

If you believe that death takes you to an eternal paradise, why are you wearing a seatbelt?” -Doug Stanhope

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Openly Gay Characters of Childhood Fiction (that we never noticed were gay)

You ever notice as a kid that there were some characters who were a little off?  You noticed little things about them that made you think that they were different.  Then, as you get older you look back and you realize – I get it!  Not all of these character decisions were intentional.  I doubt that we will ever know which ones are and which ones aren’t.  Some of these characters are old, some are new.  This is all interpretation, and you may see my interpretation as wrong.  Feel free to argue with me, if you are of a mind to.  I would welcome the debate.  These are the top 10 characters who, with all the character I saw in them, said one thing to me – they are SO gay!

Prince John10. Prince John
Robin Hood
Before you say that the fact that this guy is an effeminate character does not make him gay – I know!  I am not going after him just because he is a flaming queen.  I am going after him because he is a flaming queen and he’s SO married to his sidekick, Hiss.  Listen to the dialogue between those two and they such a married couple!  It’s almost funny how they sound like a middle-aged and constantly arguing husband and wife, with Prince John as the beaten-down husband and Hiss as the nagging wife who is constantly belittling him for his actions.  Their fights seem like they are married, their dialogue sounds like something two married couples have and aside from the fact that they almost never seem to have any resolution, they get on like a middle-aged couple.  So yeah, these two are married, plain and simple.

Pinky and the Brain9. Brain and Pinky
Pinky and the Brain
Remember all the reasons I listed for why Prince John and Hiss are a married couple?  Well, double that for these two.  Just like them, Brain and Pinky have the dynamic of an older married couple.  There is one crucial difference – there is affection between them.  There are times when Brain actually hurts Pinky’s feelings and goes out of his way to make up for it.  Granted, he also treats him like nothing more than a pain in his ass sometimes, but he still does try and do right by his mate.  It’s not cool enough for it to be friendship.  They have little report in that area.  But it does feel real in respect to what married couples do.  Also, there is emotional intimacy between them.  Pinky feels for Brain constantly and consistently wishes to make him happy, even to his own detriment.  It’s the level of compassion from his would-be husband that makes Pinky wish to be a kinder partner to him.

Ingrid Third8. Ingrid Third
Filmore!
Much like someone much higher on the list, this character and her orientation became clear to me once I actually thought about it.  First, Ingrid is consistently the outcast in her school.  They make it out to be the fact that she wears all black and seems to do her own thing.  However, there are a lot of little subtle clues that that isn’t what it is about.  First, whereas you see Filmore and many other characters who have romantic attachments to various other characters, Ingrid never seems to do that.  In fact, she is very detached from other students, romantically.  One could argue that she has a thing for Filmore, but I don’t think so.  The first sign of attraction is in the episode where she goes undercover in the club the Ladybugs.  The leader of the organization becomes a mentor to her, and you do see the two of them emotionally bond.  There are points where it almost feels romantic.  It’s written all over Ingrid’s face that she has feelings for someone that she knows she has to betray.  So yeah, I doubt that it was intentional on the part of the people who made the show, but there it is.

Princess Bubblegum and Marceline7. Princess Bubblegum and Marceline
Adventure Time
Now, this is a somewhat controversial choice, given all the argument that has been made about it.  For my own part, I watched the episodes that people believe hinted at these two characters having a deeper connection than just friends, and I gotta say – there is a definite argument to be made.  Much like the rest of the show, it isn’t shoved in your face what you should believe.  This series is known for letting viewers come to their own conclusion about what all the madness means, and the relationship between these two was no exception.  If you disagree, I understand.  For a show that seems to be about madness and a lack of logic, this make just as much sense as the rest.  Still, I agree with those who say that there was something between these two.

Season 2 - Bubble buddy 007 (15)6. Squidward
Spongebob Square Pants
This was a hard choice.  I could have just as easily gone with Spongebob and Patrick.  Cthulhu knows that they certainly do look and act like a couple.  However, the one who I believe was openly gay was Squidward.  There is probably no more miserable character in children’s television, with the exception of Eeyore.  Squidward hates pretty much everybody and doesn’t have any desire to get outside of his little world.  This implies that something has crawled up his ass pretty far.  I think it is him having to live in something of a closet.  He wants to be as open as his neighbor and his life-partner, but can’t.  He isn’t brave enough to face who he really is.  It doesn’t help that he is also stuck in a job he hates and has a neighbor who is an insane lunatic from the asylum.  So yeah, lot of stuff going on up in that head.  Gotta wonder how he keeps it together.

Sulu5. Sulu
Star Trek
Now, before I talk about this, let me say that this is NOT because the actor George Takei is gay.  Not at all!  This has nothing to do with real-life connection.  What it does have to do with is the fact that this guy is such a flaming queen in the series.  I mean, for real, WHO can watch the scene where he is fencing without a shirt on and not think – wow is that guy gay!  Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with it.  But still, totally blatant.  Not to mention – in a series that was all about talking about culturally harsh issues, like when Kirk kisses a black woman on national television (which was a HUGE thing back in the day).  Maybe they were quietly talking about gayness as well.  Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised, but that’s just me.

Luna Lovegood4. Luna Lovegood
Harry Potter
Much like Ingrid Third, this is a character who I came to realize what was her business when I really thought about it.  And it is rather complicated.  Much like the girl herself, nothing is simple.  Part of the reason that I like her character so much.  But think about this – Luna is perpetually bullied by almost the entirety of the student body.  Her stuff is consistently stolen and she is ostracized by the student body at large.  The books say that this is because she is kind of odd, but does it make sense to you that she would get as much abuse as she does simply because she’s different?  Doesn’t make much sense to me.  Then some of the blanks started filling in.  First – she shows absolutely no interest in guys.  She gets excited when Harry asks her to Slughorn’s party, but that is simply because a friend has never asked her to do anything.  Ever.  She has almost no friends, except those she made in Dumbledore’s Army.  She also forms a close bond with Neville (who I also suspect of being gay, which could make sense why they are friends – both of them get each other).  What’s more, Hogwart’s education is terrible.  They are being taught a 15th century form of education.  Who’s to say that they don’t have that mentality as well?  I mean, how many kids are openly gay there anyway?  It makes sense when you think about it critically.  Say that I’m over-analyzing, but I think I’m on to something here.  Of course, I am only talking about the novel versions of this character.  The films totally effed her up!

Shang3. Shang
Mulan
When I posed this idea to people, I got a surprising amount of negative feedback.  Maybe it’s because it’s a Disney film and people don’t want the primary love interest to not work out.  But come on, people!  First, Shang was starting to form a romantic attachment to Ping.  He had no idea that it was Mulan posing as him.  Sure, as far as guys go, he’s an effeminate guy, but Shang still saw her as a man.  And he was becoming romantically drawn to him.  It really isn’t a stretch to believe that part of the reason that he became when he found out that she is a woman is because he now was incredibly confused.  If he already knew he was gay, then he is left to wonder what his orientation really is.  If he didn’t, then he is still equally confused, but with a self-loathing side that might now be blaming himself for wanting a man.  Either way, this isn’t me pulling at strings.  It’s all right there.

Dumbledore2. Albus Dumbledore
Harry Potter (series)
This one seems like a given, right?  On the one hand, JK Rowling said that he was gay, so we could just take her word for it.  But let’s look a little deeper than that.  In-text, it is pretty clear that he is totally gay.  For starters, he has never had a wife, and shows no interest in getting one.  And if you think about what I said in respect to Luna, if my theory is correct and the LGBT community hasn’t gained large-scale acceptance within the wizarding community, he may have faced just as much persecution because of it.  Were it not for his contributions to the community and his status among them, he might not have gotten anywhere near as far as he did.  Plus, when you see him bond with Harry, especially when he’s older, and Dumbledore can see some of himself in Harry.  Did you ever notice how he never, and I do mean never, asks Harry about his love life?  The two talk about relationships between random characters, but often Dumbledore seems like an outsider to it, like the loves that other characters have are a mystery to him.  Always in mysteries, Dumbledore kept even his romances close.

And the top character(s) who we all never noticed was gay is…

Bert and Ernie1. Bert and Ernie
Sesame Street
These two are the oldest gay couple on television.  That is a fact!  I don’t suppose I have to go into what makes them a gay couple.  I mean, you’ve seen Prince John and Hiss, Brain and Pinky.  Just like them, these two are like two married couple who is well into middle age.  Ernie is much more youthful than Bert.  You can almost see the two of them having a much wilder history that at some point Bert grew out of, yet Ernie retained.  Despite the overwhelming differences between them, their love stays strong mostly due to the level of dedication that both of them put into the relationship.  While Ernie is the more outgoing of the two, Bert still has his romantic moments where he tries to be kind to his husband.  Say what you will, but it’s hard to deny the fact that these two are a gay couple, and have been for a LONG time.

So, any other openly gay characters you grew up with who you didn’t notice until you got older?  Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time, a quote,

“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”  -Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Persecuted

PERSECUTED - In theaters July 18th.  (PRNewsFoto/One Media LLC)Before my friend sent me this movie, I hadn’t even heard of it.  This film.  The fucking movie.  Oh my god.  What a treat.  What an absolute treat.  This is the best bad movie that I have ever seen!  For real, this movie is just awesome!  It’s literally the most blatant propaganda for right-wing Christianity that I have enjoyed watching.  In case you don’t believe that, they even got Gretchen Carlson to come from Fox News and to pander the films thrown-in-your-face message to the viewers who obviously are being told EXACTLY what they want to hear.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Part of me is so excited to be telling you all about this movie.  I just can’t hold it in!  Let’s get down to business.

The plot of the film is that a guy who looks and acts so much like Bill Clinton that I’m surprised that they didn’t just put a Clinton wig on him is introducing new legislation that would effectively combine all the world’s religions into one.  How that works is never really explained.  They seem to be counting on just how small the attention span and intelligence of their audience is when they thought up this plot.  However, the hero of the film, unfortunately played by the guy who played Dexter’s adopted father in Dexter, is a preacher man who refuses to join part in this plan.  He says that there isn’t any other way than the true way to believe in Gawd, so he is not going to be a part of it.  Since he won’t bow to pressure, faux-Clinton decides to send a black girl to drug him and take scandalous pictures with him (which, if you think about it is kind of racist and creepy, but remember the audience for this movie).  The good preacher wakes up and the girl is dead and he has been framed for her murder.  He must unravel the conspiracy and clear his name, or else.  How original.

This is normally the part where I choose whether to praise the stuff I thought was done well or castigate the stuff that I thought was bad.  However, since this entire movie was absolutely terrible in all technical respects, I can’t even go there.  Instead, I am going to talk about just how awful and how much fun this movie is.

Everything that is awesome with this movie reflects on the acting.  There isn’t anyone even approaching A-list or even B-list.  This is D-list actors and it shows.  My favorite role was faux-Clinton, played by the man who played Senator Kelly in X-Men.  He’s just so Lex Luthor brand of evil that you can’t help but love him.  It’s like, he is so convinced that he is the good guy.  He’s likeable and charming.  Naturally, the conservative audience that this film was meant for will hate what a do-gooder liberal he is.  After all, he is trying to make the world come together in peace.  The nerve!

That brings us to the main character.  I never knew that James Remar was a Fundie Christian type.  Or maybe he is just an actor who will take any job he can get.  Either way, it’s funny.  A lot like the main character in another Christian-propaganda film I reviewed, “God’s Not Dead,” this guy is such a good innocent who is being used by the EVIL people who wish to distort God’s truth into something kind and loving.  The nerve!  And of course, this good man is going to stand up to those unholy bastards and make sure that the world knows that Gawd is the way that the Fox News pundits say he is.

Which reminds me – Gretchen fucking Carlson?!  Really?!  Like the message of this movie isn’t blatant enough?!  You had to go and get a stand-in for you-all’s values system to come and do a melodramatic interview to push the message more.  It just wasn’t enough that this film is about as subtle as a freight-train.  No, no, you had to make sure that we understood about how persecuted traditional Christian values are from the liberals.  Yup, we got the message.  I mean, it was kind of hard to miss.

This film was a real treat.  This seems to be a year that has religious film after religious film that seem to be pushing the same message – that Gawd and his people are in such danger and need defending.  Kind of lit a fire under my ass the way it hasn’t been seen in a while.  I kind of got off going after religion, but now it has seen fit to come to me, and bring the worst propaganda it could find.  Which brings me to the Final Verdict.  On the one hand, this is a TERRIBLE film that should never be applauded.  On the other, it’s just so fucking terrible that it has to be admired.  I have to give it two Verdicts.  Watch it and decide for yourself.

Final Verdict on film quality
1 out of 10

Final Verdict on enjoyment
9 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

The Europa Mystery: Part 3

I’ve never been a fan of offworld shuttles.  The g-forces are always sucking me back into my seat.  With inertial dampeners, it’s gotten a lot better.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to be one of the old-school astronauts who used to be put in a machine to make them go in a circle until they threw up.  Seriously, what sick bastard does that to a person?
In any case, we get out of the atmosphere and I look down.  Mars looks so different from the old pictures I saw when I was younger.  Veins of water now flow on the planet.  The discovery of vast caverns that were filled with the equivalent of oceans of water changed everything.  Once those were set free, the landscape changed.  Terraforming had now been made possible because actual soil could be cultivated.  Those underground oceans made Mars habitable.  It looked so much like Earth now, except a lot more red than blue.  There was irony there.
Lucas couldn’t shut up about all he wanted to do.  Like me, he had been briefed on what his duties would be.  He would be assisting the science teams on their various projects.  It would be more errand work than anything, but he would be getting hands-on experience on how the work he wants to inevitably do is done in the field.  That’s something that one can’t underestimate.  I was looking at my own assignment.  Operating drones.  I could even learn how to operate a submersible!  The potential for that was beyond cool.  I didn’t know what to think.
We get far enough above to see where we were heading – Orbital Station Artemis.  It was one of two Orbital Stations above Mars.  They were as the name describes – massive stations that orbit the planet and have space-faring vessels dock on them.  Ships that were too big to go planetside would dock at these and wait for whatever reason.  I could see several cargo ships and a few cruise ships as well.  Ships that would take you to Mars via a two-week journey where you could wine and dine and be as merry as you wanted to be.  I had been on one when the family went to Earth.  It was overrated.
Then I saw the ship we would be heading too.  It was big.  Really big.  It looked long and rectangular, like the cargo ships, but this one was different.  This one had guns on it!  A few barrels could be see sticking out of the hull towards the front and rear.  Were they expecting trouble?  Granted, this ship was headed through the Asteroid Belt.  Any ship that went out that way usually was prepared for trouble.
Pirates were a growing occurrence.  Where once the average pirate was on the Net, trying to steal ways to attack other people or companies on the Net, a new breed decided to take the utmost advantage of the growing trend of mining and wrangling asteroids to take back to Earth to mine.  With the new elements discovered by the mining process, being a pirate was a very lucrative business.  A typical mining colony within the Asteroid Belt had a couple of warships protecting it, as did all major Orbital Stations and colonies that did business with mining operations.  From what I understood, the growth of space-born military was becoming a rather heated issue back on Earth, with the Colonies wanting independence from the Confederacy of Allied Nations that represented the planet’s interests.

We docked at the Orbital Station.  I had forgotten how massive the place was!  Inside was like a giant marketplace.  There were mining companies, private security firms, weapon and starship manufacturers.  The dim lighting made the entire inside of the ship look like an old Asian market.  Given the number of languages represented here, that wasn’t a huge stretch, either.  We were the cleanest of the bunch here, aside from the suits and the men and women in uniform.  It was kind of off-putting.  Our group had a security detail, but still.  Lucas kept huddled up to me.
It was then that I noticed an older woman who also was keeping close to the two of us.  She would routinely check back and make sure we were keeping up.  She had hair that was starting to gray, but appeared to take good care of herself.  The primp and proper academic look had a more hard edge to it.  It was rather intimidating, yet comforting at the same time.
We walked through the facility and it was such a fascinating world.  In addition to selling weapons, tools and ships, there were more radical sales as well.  I caught sight of a facility that was selling cybernetic augmentation.  Another was selling programs for various cranial augmentations.  Something Mars saw very little of was the insane cybernetics crazy that had swept the Colonies and was now making its way down to Earth.  It wasn’t unusual to see someone with glowing eyes walking the corridors.  There was a man smoking a cigarette (ah, the wonder if filters to keep this place from blowing up), holding it with an artificial hand.  It was a crazy new world.  If you could dream it, there was an augmentation for it.
There was a corridor that we avoided where I saw some less engaging things.  Women who stood like dolls, with glowing patches on their necks.  Augmented slaves.  It was a dirty trade that was kept on the down-low.  Given how many space pirates there were roaming the stars, it was a reality that there was dirty dealings.  So long as fights didn’t break out, they could conduct their business here as they saw fit.  It kept the peace.  And part of that was doing work that others deemed horrifying.  Lucas saw it too, and the both of us decided to just keep moving.  The woman who was keeping close to us looked back at me.  There was something in her eyes.  A cold look of anger and pain.  She didn’t like pirates.  That much was clear.  Just who is this broad, anyway?

Finally, we got to the docking bay where the ship that would be taking us to Europa was.  Once the airlock opened I breathed a little easier.  This ship was immaculate!  White interiors that had the cleanliness of a science lab, yet the orderliness of the crew like a military vessel.  I got the feeling that the biggest backer of the project was the IDF.  Since this ship had guns on it, they clearly had some plans for military application.  I wasn’t surprised.  If the goal was to expand to the outer planets, then they would need to have outposts that could defend themselves.  This was a mission that required a lot of money.  Take help where you can get it.
Since we were already in space, we didn’t have to strap in or anything when we took off.  The crew was asked to gather inside of the hangar.  My Band had schematics uploaded.  All I had to do was point my wrist at the floor and a beam would come out and display a path on the floor for a certain distance.  It was quite nice.  Lucas and I grabbed seats as close to the front as we could.  The rest of the group was friendly enough.  Like the two of us, they were all excited to get there.  They were being paid a small fortune, after all.  The woman from earlier grabbed a seat near to us.  I took this opportunity to grill her.
“So, is there a reason that you are constantly sitting near me?  ‘Cause I’m gonna be honest here – it’s getting a little weird.”
She sighed and smiled a bit.  “I’ve been tasked with watching out for you.  We’re in the same department, after all.”
That got my attention.  “What department is that?”
“Vehicle Operations, of course.”
That name, I liked it.  “Cool.  Well then, nice to meet you, I guess.”  We shook hands just as a man came to the front of the room.  I heard a soft hum as loudspeakers came on.  The room had quite a few people in it.  No surprised.  This ship was big and I didn’t expect that it would be only a few people on the mission.
The man came into the light and I saw that it was the guy who had come to my house!
“Greetings all, my name is Lieutenant Commander Jordan Lewell.  I am the commanding officer of this vessel.  As you already know, our destination is going to be the facility on Europa.  Now, the bulk of you are going to go into cold sleep for the duration of the trip.  What will almost be a month to us will be just a few minutes to you.  We have divided you each into various departments.  Your Bands have been updated with where your department’s cold sleep pods are.  Once you have stowed your bags, several technicians will assist you in getting into the pods.  If you have claustrophobia issues, make sure to let them know.  To the crew of the ship, we are going to be activating the LR boosters.  Stand by your stations for launch.  Dismissed!”
Everybody got up.  Lucas and I were headed in opposite directions.
He looked at me, a little nervous, but also smiling.  “Well, guess I’ll see you there.”
I put my hand on his shoulder.  “You know it!  Don’t get too miserable without me.”
“Fuck you!”  The two of us shared a laugh before shouldering our bags and heading to where we were to sleep out this trip.

I followed my in to the department, who I found out was named Maribelle, or just Mari, for short.  We got to a room that was filled with large pods that appeared to be rather padded.  It looked cozy enough.  There were several people in white uniforms.  These people weren’t military.  I could tell that much.  They had the look of lab technicians.
“Welcome, everybody!  Now, we have special outfits for each of you.  Don’t worry, they are already sized to fit.  You’ll find them in your locker, where you’ll leave your bags.  We have dressing rooms for each gender, so get changed and then meet us back here.”  Nice enough people.
I opened my locker and did indeed find a suit inside that looked like it was already fitted for me.  It was white, with several sensors attached to it.  I could tell that it was wireless tech, most likely used to monitor vitals.  After getting dressed, I walked out and to a pod that my Band told me was mine.  Mari was standing there, watching me arrive.  As I did, she leaned in close.
“You’ll wanna take off that necklace of yours.  If you don’t, it’ll freeze to your skin and really fuck you up once you thaw.”
My hands immediately reached for it, clutching it tight.  It was underneath my suit.  How had she known?
“Don’t worry, it ain’t like it’s going anywhere.  Just put it in your locker.”
The idea of taking the necklace off, it felt bad to me.  But I didn’t want to risk injuring myself.  It took a lot of effort on my part to close the door to my locker when I had the necklace off.  Once I did, I knew that I was committed.  A tech was instructing us on how to safely use one of these machines, on the off-chance that we would have to go into emergency cryo-stasis.  Come to find out – you can use these things without the suits, they were just there for our safety.  So long as no metal was touching your skin, you were perfectly safe.
Once the lecture was over, the lot of us got inside.  Our suits lit up and we saw the pods closing.  I was a bit claustrophobic, but part of me could already feel my body getting weaker as the door shut.  It was like a sudden intoxication fell over me and I didn’t want to stay awake.  They told us about this.  It was a gas that would put us under.  I knew that when I woke up, I’d be at Europa.  Part of me still wished that I had Angie’s necklace with me.  I felt naked without it.  My eyes closed, and I felt the effect in action.

Until next time, a quote,

“That, if I then had wak’d after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me; that, when I wak’d
I cried to dream again.”  -Caliban, The Tempest

Peace out,

Maverick

PZ Meyers, Jaclyn Glenn and the lack of Free Thought

For those who are unaware, I have been an outspoken opponent of a movement called Atheism +, which decided that atheism should no longer be about simply not believing in a deity, but also must be about social issues, angry and passionate “click-tivism” and having those within the atheist community fight amongst themselves.  And anyone who says differently is a misogynist.  Or, if they are a woman, ignorant and stupid and they should behave the way we believe they should because we’re feminists.  For proof of this concept, look no further than PZ Meyers and his response to some comedic criticism from the YouTube vlogger Jaclyn Glenn.

If you aren’t a regular viewer of hers, for starters – you should be.  For another, there was a recent video she did where she made a point about the infighting in the atheism movement due to the nature of Atheism +.  Here’s the video, so you can see for yourself whether or not she was being untrue -

Funny, right?  And I think that it hits the nail on the head pretty well for how unbelievably drama-based and close-minded the people who are part of that movement are.  However, PZ Meyers and his merry little band of professional victims over at FreeThought Blogs didn’t find it funny in the slightest.  Here is a link to his post, so you can check and make sure that I’m not taking anything out of context.  I already anticipate that their little crack-squad of victimhood commandos will come on here and go after me for being totally unfair and awful, the same way that they did when I went after Melody Hensley for her utter nonsense of having PTSD from Twitter trolls.

The sum of Meyers argument seems to be that because she took a comedic stance when talking about these people, she is totally wrong because that just isn’t true.  For real, that’s it.  Because she didn’t do an academic dissertation and talk about their little band of ninnies like a professor of law, her arguments are invalid.  Yes, PZ, she used a wig and hipster glasses for comedic effect.  And not even a huge one.  Have you seen Rebecca Watson’s spectacles?  Or Melody Hensley, for that matter?  This statement that she is wrong simply because she didn’t talk about you in a way that was hardcore professional and dry is pathetic.  What”s more, it shows how you have no rebuttal.

For real, that’s it?  No, “she’s wrong because we are the ones who are right.  It is right to take a position that women who don’t agree with us and don’t identify as feminists are faulty and need correcting (because you are SO all-knowing, right?).  It is right that we should get hung up on every single little issue like whether or not people have shirts with messages on them at conferences.  It is right that we should create division amongst ourselves when we could be actually making real change if we would put aside our differences and come together.”  None of that?  Your only major contention of your short blog post is that she is wrong because she did her video in a comedic way?

He ends his post by “rubbing a little salt in the wound,” like his blog was a perfect refutation and he pwned the shit out of her in the best way.  Oh yeah, PZ, you got her!  By the way, didn’t see a lot of comments that argued against your position.  In fact, I didn’t see any.  Aren’t you advocating for free thought?  Isn’t that the schtick that you are trying to run with?  I’m sorry, but I’m just not seeing it.  Though I’m not surprised.  You all habitually label anyone who doesn’t agree with you as ignorant or trolls.  Case-and-point, your entire post responding to Jaclyn.

I won’t go much further, because there isn’t a whole lot more to say.  This is usual for Atheism+.  They are huge about not addressing criticism or just labeling it as trolling or misogyny (for real, as much as they use that term, I’m starting to think that they don’t know what it means).

As for Jaclyn, good on you!  It’s about time that a woman came up and called them out on their bullshit.  Every time a guy like me does it, we’re just another woman-hating troll..  But when someone who they can’t insult in that way comes up, they instead have to resort to pathetic arguments while allowing comments only from their yes-men and women.  If you ever read this post, well-done.

Until next time, a quote,

“If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.”  -Jules, Pulp Fiction

Peace out,

Maverick

The Failed Apartment

We’re sitting here, waiting for our dinner to finish cooking.  It’s just some fries that we got from the freezer section of the store, but it’s food.  Gotta love being poor, right?  Watching Breaking Bad and waiting for a friend to come over so I can shoot the shit for a while and forget about how unbelievably lonely this apartment is when my roommate is gone.  She’s at her ex’s place, where she will be for the rest of the night.  She’ll be moving back in with him sometime in August, while I am going to be moving back home right smack dab in the middle.  This is the story of the apartment I own and how it all went to pieces.

Chapel of Thanksgiving, DallasI first got this place in April.  Towards the end.  I was living in the dorms at the time and couldn’t have been more excited to leave that place for good.  For real, I’m never going back.  Ever.  I’m done with that.  I only have one semester of college left anyway.  No point going back to that dungeon.  I’m not sure if the parents are going to get a lot more hardcore about me coming back home, but I hope not.  I know that I’ll have to get a new job and everything.  I’m down with that.  I mean to try and get a real job this time around, rather than a job doing retail.  Unless I can get my gig back at the Fred Meyer bakery back.  That was the most fun job I’ve ever had.

The whole thing getting this apartment was fast.  Really, really fast.  We found the place, saw that it was reasonably cheap and had all utilities included in the rent.  But the biggest thing that sold the place to me – this tacky faux-leather couch.  It was already in the place, and damn if it didn’t bring the room together.  The joint was small, but that was cool.

I went looking for this place with my would-be roommate.  Her and I had formed a strong friendship that has recently dwindled some due to current events that are none of your damn business.  She had just gotten out of a relationship that had become very unpleasant, not giving her what she was looking for.  She loved the person she was with.  She still does.  But that didn’t stop it from being an unhealthy relationship.  It just meant that she wasn’t able to be happy in it.  So, since I was looking for an apartment anyway, I thought that her and I could get one together.  She’s my best friend (and one of the few true friends I’ve got left these days), and we’ve stayed in the same place together before.  So, it seemed to be perfect.

Everything happened very quickly.  We looked at the place, got it and moved in in a week.  A couple for me, but still.  Perhaps it all happened a bit too fast.  I don’t know.  I doubt that I ever will.  But I was finally out.  Out of the dorms.  The day I made it official was a good fucking day.  One of the best I’ve had in a while.  I’m never going back.  No point now.  I only have one semester of college left anyway.

At first, the apartment was great.  Since the two of us were cool around each other, none of the awkwardness of rooming with someone of the opposite gender was there.  That was really nice.  To find someone who you can be yourself around is a rare gift that most people take for granted.  Of course, my current job situation wasn’t the best, and I was planning on finding a better one.  After two years, I had gotten all that I was going to get from that job, and now it was time to move on.  But things were good and I was happy.

Flooded TreeA new thing was also happening in my personal life.  I was gradually getting closer with someone and it was going really well.  After so long without love, I was actually feeling really excited to be a boyfriend again.  But, just like all the things in my life, it all fell apart all at once.

See, the roommate couldn’t handle my snoring.  Because she’s an incredibly light sleeper, and I can’t help this little problem, She ended up having to sleep in the other room.  The lack of sleep had her being short with us repeatedly, which was making things more and more unpleasant.  Then, the relationship I had finally built fell apart in an instant.  I had just changed my Facebook status and everything.  But some unresolved emotional issues with the person’s ex and them destroyed things before they began.  I realized too late that I had been a rebound guy.  The fact that I had been unable to see this hurt.  Everything was crashing around me, and then the roommate tells me that she is going to be moving out.  I know that I can’t pay for this place on my own, especially with my current job situation.  Trying to find a new roomie and a new job and a dozen other things, I couldn’t even keep track of it.

With everything that happened, there were decisions to make.  I made mine.  I am returning home.  Moving back in with the parents is not something I am proud of, believe me.  I was finally trying to do this adulthood thing.  To grab life by the horns and be responsible.  Instead, it blew the fuck up right in my face and now I was left alone.  I’m alone at the apartment now.  The roomie is sleeping elsewhere.  I have been enjoying some Mushi-Shi and letting the sad emotions slip out of me.  We also got to have a good conversation with one of our oldest friends.  He came over and we hung out.  It was something that I haven’t gotten to do in a VERY long time, and it was a good night for it.

I am trying not to blame the roommate.  This is a tiny one-bedroom.  My snoring would be an issue no matter what.  And that isn’t the thing that hurts.  The thing that hurts is the personal side, which, as I said before, is none of your damn business.  Maybe you’ve figured it out.  Good for you.  Whatever.  It’s like nothing in life wants to work out for me, no matter how hard I try.  All the things that improved with a roommate are back.  My insomnia returned with a vengeance.  I am listening to the wind outside, wishing I was far away.  Far away at my old bed, with my kitty, listening to the wind and able to sleep.

Me and the roommate’s friendship has survived.  It’s taken a hard hit, to be sure, but it has survived.  I have no doubt that the two of us will be just fine, once all this is done and we have had a chance to let the dust settle.  For now, I think I’ll keep watching Mushi-Shi and wishing I was in that place, where sleep wasn’t such a burden.

Until next time, a quote,

“Maybe I’m too young to know what the world is supposed to be. But it’s not supposed to be this. Can’t be this.” – Huey Freeman, The Boondocks

Peace out,

Maverick