There has been a parade of mind-numbingly similar dystopian films out of Hollywood. Here’s one from Russia that would give them a run for their money. Abigail takes the typical dystopian scenario and infuses it with fantasy and a bit of steampunk. Not sure why they filmed this in English only to dub using different English, but impressive film nonetheless. Especially with a budget a tiny fraction of the typical, over-priced, dull fest we’re used to.
Let’s face it, when many people take a position on one issue or another, they often don’t put a lot of thought into it. Instead, we go with whoever sounds the best, ignited our emotions, happens to agree with our philosophy, worldview, or politics — these are the lazy reasons we employ in allowing others to buy our allegiance. Yes, we’re all busy, so much to do, but why take a stand without digging a little deeper? Why not pause, allow the emotions to calm, and think with the goal of finding the truth?
One topic that could use this wisdom are the debates on climate change. Is man causing the climate to change, or isn’t he? You know what I found? Most people — anointed experts included — leave out the overwhelming majority of climate data, yet try to convince us of their model. Let me explain.
Need a virtual vacation? Go exploring in the wide expanses of the Pacific and learn about the cultures that learned how to travel thousands of miles across open water, centuries before GPS, using the stars, wind, and waves.
There are three sorts of people; those who are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea. – Anacharsis
When Land-O-Lakes began to remove the Native American woman from its products, they talked around why, only saying it was to better represent their farmers and customers. Most people suspect it was also in response to activists claiming the image was racist, and perhaps the American Psychological Association’s Fake Science claiming such images have “a negative impact on the self-esteem of American Indian children.”
Turns out the artist, Patrick DesJarlait was a Native American himself. He painted the iconic woman, named Mia, to represent a real native. His son, who has protested other images and icons that he felt weren’t a positive reflection of natives, also confirms Mia is not racist or a stereotype.
He also noted,
Mia’s vanishing has prompted a social media meme: ‘They Got Rid of The Indian and Kept the Land.’ That isn’t too far from the truth. Mia, the stereotype that wasn’t, leaves behind a landscape voided of identity and history. For those of us who are American Indian, it’s a history that is all too familiar.
The madness continues (6/20/19)…
Quaker Foods is removing the image of the woman from its Aunt Jemima brands, stating, “We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.”
However, the original Aunt Jemima on the products was freed slave Nancy Green. Green has been called a “trailblazing corporate model,” a “talented entrepreneur” and “transitional symbol.” Green also “transformed Aunt Jemima from a strictly racist, commercial cipher into a symbol of friendliness and hospitality.”
Just as with Land ‘O Lakes erasing the Native American woman from their products — even though she was drawn by a Native American to honor his ancestors — more companies are choosing to give in to false claims of racism. “Aunt Jemima” began as a racial stereotype, but symbols can change, and Green changed it.
Mia, the native woman, wasn’t a real person, but Nancy Green was. Both, however, have had their stories whitewashed from society.
Isn’t that ironic?
I keep wondering why people don’t take all viruses as seriously as covid-19. We (the public in general) treat the many influenza, pneumonia, and cold viruses, and other bio-organisms, as they are mere annoyances. They are very dangerous to the elderly or people with other conditions. People would be appalled if the media gave a daily death count concerning these. Covid-19 is scary because it’s new, not because it’s introducing a type of threat we’ve never seen before. We need to address covid-19, but be aware of collateral damage. What we do should be rooted in our knowledge of the virus, how it threatens, and who it threatens. Surgical strikes are needed, not a blanket approach that could throw society into chaos that make the past week or two look normal. Then we will see the medical system, and much more, collapse. What will the death toll be then?
I found it odd when a school said it was going to disinfect their rooms and buildings over the weekend. I was wondering, “Why don’t schools take those precautions all through flu season? Why do we just choose to suffer through yearly flu and cold outbreaks?”
We stopped taking influenza serious (and viruses in general) even though most influenza strains are dangerous to people whose immune system are compromised by other factors, or if they are elderly (much like the current corona virus strain). Our anti-viral medications are no where near the level of advancement they should be. One would think these would be high-profit drugs for companies to produce. With all the money politicians take from Big Pharma, maybe they should expect more out of them than vacation junkets?
Having said all that, I think the many people quoting high mortality rates for the corona virus (covid-19 or SARS-CoV-2), may be causing unnecessary panic.
First, don’t get me wrong, we should be taking steps to squash this disease outbreak. Would our efforts be so drastic had we already had a more serious perspective on diseases as I mentioned? No, probably not. Certainly not with the economic and social havoc that has been occurring.
Ken Burns’ series, The Vietnam War is possibly one of the best, and most important, documentaries I have seen.
Knowing our history — and I repeat myself — is critical in one’s understanding of the world they live in. The Weight of Memory left to us by our collective past teaches, guides, and warns us.
Nearly fifty years have passed since the end of the Vietnam War. Sadly, those who have been born since really don’t know as much about that era as they think, and this is a danger.
The Medieval era has always been a fascinating time to study. This is where the modern era was born. Our industry and commerce, our government and arts, our science and technology, all took root in those days. The myth of it being a “dark age” didn’t come until later, from revisionists trying to make their era look better.
With the corruption and malaise of Rome — that only served to maintain the elite — swept away, progress had begun again. Then, and now, calamity befalls the people when they don’t keep its rulers in check, when they cease paying attention to what conspiring their leaders are engaged in. Too busy accepting handouts like the Roman citizens, only to be surprised at the barbarians at their gates. Turns out the barbarians weren’t so barbaric. They built a resilient new civilization better than the last. The fall of Rome was a long time coming, just as our leaders didn’t begin their downward spiral yesterday. Continue reading
No matter how many data breaches there are, personal data stolen, and stories about hackers and government spying, it seems many people still bury their heads in the sand about security in the electronic world now embedded in our lives.
Here’s a couple tips to protect yourself and thwart corporate Big Brother from tracking your every move:
First, get yourself Firefox web browser and use its Enhanced Tracking Protection features (set on custom).
Second, activate its Facebook Container add-on so Facebook can’t snoop on you while you’re off FB.
Then enable HTTPSEverywhere which turns on HTTPS encryption automatically on sites that support it.
Finally, install duckduckgo as your default search engine, one of the few that doesn’t collect personal information, ever.
Of course there are other basic tips, like spending some money on a strong security package, but remember this: Don’t expect someone else to protect you, certainly not the government who spies just as much as the companies they pretend to regulate.
And do yourself a favor, buy Kevin Mitnick’s book, The Art of Invisibility. The notorious hacker who went legit, details in his book what goes on in the shadows of the internet and every smart and connected device you own. If Mitnick’s book doesn’t convince you to pay attention, I’m not sure what will. His tips are priceless for protecting yourself from intrusion, and for those who wave off privacy because they have nothing to hide, consider this:
You may not have anything to hide, but you have everything to protect.
Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R. Tolkien, and the person in charge of his father’s literary estate, passed away at the age of 95 on the 16th of January. After his father passed away in 1973, Christopher began a massive, decades-long project of publishing his father’s unfinished Middle-Earth histories:
In 1977, he collected and published The Silmarillion, a work that Tolkien had intended to publish, which explored the origins of Middle-earth and set up the conflict that he explored in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
In the years that followed, he continued to produce new volumes of Tolkien’s unpublished writings, releasing Unfinished Tales in 1980, the 12-volume History of Middle-earth between 1982 and 1996, and edited and completed a number of longer narratives and translations of epic poems, including The Children of Húrin (2007), The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (2009), The Fall of Arthur (2013), Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, (2014), Beren and Lúthien (2017), and The Fall of Gondolin (2018).
As Gandalf said,
…the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it. White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.