Does the Bermuda Triangle Effect Work Both Ways?

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This is a short look into the oddity that is the Bermuda Triangle, and a few ‘supposedly’ disassociated events that may not be so separate. Of course, the Bermuda Triangle is not the only place with strange electromagnetic anomalies and associated disappearances. And, disappearances are not limited to “key” locations as several cities, towns, and individuals have all disappeared. Of course, there are always ‘explanations’ that stand alone, especially the mysterious inter-dimensional phenomenon and aliens. But, that’s for another day. Today, we’re going to combine a variant of String Theory I dubbed the Liquid Space theory, that still works on the premise of everything in the universe being connected and how this could be a significantly contributing factor to the Bermuda Triangle type phenomenon.

Of course, if the only thing that happened at the Bermuda Triangle was the spinning compasses and malfunctioning equipment, the totality of any discussion would be limited to the build-up of electromagnetic interference (from a potential multitude of sources). However, the disappearances, downed ships, and other strange happenings have created an entirely separate conundrum – where do they go? Like everyone else, we can spend all day speculating that a group of World War II airplane pilots are busy having lunch with some seafaring captains on a beach in an alternate dimension (even as you read this), but I’m far less interested in the ‘where’ – since without proof – that’s a completely moot argument. What’s more intriguing is the ‘how’.

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Here’s the interesting part: not all strange phenomenon of extremely unusual events in our world has been based on disappearances. Some of it includes ‘appearances,’ of a particularly unsettling nature. Sure, there are those individual people that have claimed that they don’t belong in this dimension or on this Earth because everything’s different – but at 6 am in the morning, I am pretty sure I don’t belong in my life either, getting ready for work, when I’m supposed to be living in a mansion being catered to like an omnipotent being! But, not to be derogatory toward things I cannot be 100% sure about, there have been out of place objects throughout all of history. And, I’m not talking about the Mayan carving of an individual who “could” be interpreted to be wearing a space suit – but actual artistic tapestries, paintings, stories, photographs, and other such solid data of possible unidentifiable objects (flying or not!).

This is not a conspiracy theorist argument and I am not interested (in this article) in debating whether or not these things are aliens trying to suck out our brains or the gods bringing down fire to mankind. No – I’m only interested (for this article), in the fact that the inexplicable has occurred. Why does it occur?

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It’s awfully challenging to believe that aliens have visited the Earth, having to clearly traverse unfathomable distances (as the Solar System is significantly far from everything else in the Universe), only to shack up with Russians and Area 51 so they can sneak around and never say, “hello!” It’s possible – but not overly realistic. Likewise, it’s challenging to accept that the Blair Witch wished the entire village of Roanoke into the corn fields (thank you to those who got the reference … 🙂 ) or that the ancient Sumerians (the same ones who gave us the Dead Sea Scrolls aka Old Testament), had a map of a 9 planet solar system and still believed the Earth was flat! Some things disappear – some appear – and neither has a good background story.

But, what if we’re looking at this wrong. Sure – there is almost an infinite number of possible explanations for every occurrence; but many of them may be more closely related than they seem.

What if … you know, just “what if”, the phenomenon of the Bermuda Triangle worked both ways? A sort of, “wormhole” type of effect?

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Well – it’s not really that far off the radar. Like String Theory, Liquid Space Theory also justifies that two points in space separated by billions and trillions of light years can be connected like they are next to each other (well … not “that” far, but you get the idea). And, like the Butterfly effect, one small shift in events at one location can have minor, or epic-scale consequences at another. Also, if we consider that the effects of concentrated electromagnetic radiation under specific wavelengths can have odd results that defy explanation, then there is a possibility that the Bermuda Triangle effect is only part of a series of interconnections between one point in space, and the Earth. (Okay – maybe multiple points in space, but I’m going to simplify it for a simple blog … unless some university wants to fund me writing a novel … you know … just saying!!! HAHAHAHA).

If the Spec particles (the basic “god particles” from Liquid Space Theory that govern all shape, movement, and function in the universe), can be aligned in such a way that they create a super-conducting effect and the specific frequency of electromagnetic radiation (now spread throughout the length of interconnected particles based on the same slipstream effect and superconducting energies) matches the quantum frequency of an object to which it comes in contact with, then that object’s movement through space and time is no longer bound by the ordinary mechanics of String Theory or Liquid Space. It’s like walking from dry land onto a hill covered in the slickest ice in existence. The second the circumstances are right – you can slip through space and time in the blink of an eye. And, with the unique effects of radiation to separate particles without additional energy, an object can be converted into energy so that it slips along that slope even faster. As it reaches the end of the aligned particles, faster than time itself, the Spec particles realign the shape, matter, and energy into what they were before and you have a wormhole effect.

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What supports this? At CERN, where they’re literally trying to see if they can suck the Earth into an alternate dimension (okay … maybe I exaggerate a little … they’re just trying to open a door to another dimension … not suck us in … sort of), they’ve witnessed the microsecond formation and dissipation of black hole-like forces. If the amount of force needed to create the devastating power of a black hole can be created and released in only a matter of microseconds without nuclear reactive consequences (especially since all it took was simply smashing a couple subatomic particles together), then it is possible for much larger occurrences, too (based on a culmination of small occurrences that can form and last for short periods of time due to small, specific energy-type bursts).

In this 2-way door theory of the Bermuda Triangle effect, we have a series of events that all have to take place in just the right sequence and order. They’re not overly rare and may be, to some extent, controllable. Between the electromagnetic and gravitational forces of the sun, planets, and the universe itself, let’s say that a giant nebula gets close enough to a magnetic source that spreads it out more laterally (or dark matter, or other particles), and that these particles are pretty evenly spread throughout space. As heavenly bodies shift around, and under specific radioactive circumstances where high concentrations of active energy and radiation are close enough to link (such as the Van Allen belts, a massive electromagnetic storm over a large magnetic substrate like the Bermuda Triangle, etc.), those nebula particles, thanks to the String Theory / Liquid Space theory, can be interacted on from one end to the other (aligning the particles and spreading them, and the radiation out so that it accelerates toward the center and slingshots out toward the end).

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The door goes both ways!

Normally – nothing happens. It’s just a long chain of uniquely aligned energies.

But, what if, at the other end, there’s a significant source of power, identical in almost every possible way to the originating source. Maybe it’s another planet, a star, or even the edge of a black hole. Regardless, if the two energies align, the “slipstream” effect occurs. The two points of similar energy become “anchors”, in essence. And, in doing so, whatever happens to enter into that radioactive field is affected at the quantum level so that the specific target frequencies align with the Spec particles, get converted to energy, and then slip stream along … “slip … whooooosh!” “DANG IT, SCOTTY!

If this is possible, it would have an incredible number of interference factors that could be used to give it some further validation. For example, where two planets may align within their star system could be impeded by the star itself. Perhaps a solar flare is a contributing factor. Maybe other planets or large objects also have to be out of the way or the rotation of two objects sharing the same inter-dimensional space would have such a near-perfect constant rate of rotation that one could measure when the two points would cross again. Either way, looking for these consistencies would quickly reveal that possibility. And, in a superconducting state, there’s no left or right. The door opens both ways. So, maybe things that don’t belong on this side of the gate visit, and unwitting sailors participate the other way. And, so on and so on.

Of course – without the theoretical scientist to do the math, that’s about all I can offer. But, the premise is there and the possibility makes a lot more sense out of the overwhelming number of oddities that occur in appearances and disappearances by linking those events. Not everyone of them is associated – but I’d wager that quite a few are. These events could be so significant as to even explain paranormal activity. The other thing to consider is this doesn’t have to be limited to distance. Depending on the reality of time energy manipulation and a multiverse, it is possible that the frequency of occurrences are based on two objects existing in the same space that are more readily aligned! (But … that’s way out of my spectrum for this short presentation).

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So … next time the planets are aligned, the stars are in order, and the conditions are right, put on yer’ space suit, ’cause you could be going for a ride!

(Well … let’s hope not, unless you want to go, and then I say, good luck and bring me back a souvenir … you know… like a snow globe … nothing that bites!!).

Thanks for reading!


To Boldly Go Where No One has Gone Before …” – Gene Roddenberry

A Misguided Commercial by the University of Phoenix – We Did It … But what did ‘we’ do?

The University of Phoenix has added a commercial to its growing list of annoying, repetitive Youtube commercial interruptions called, “We did it”:

While this is a very touching ad that creeps deeply into the heart of sensitive folks (like myself) and is supposed to encourage women to feel empowered, it falls so terribly short of having any value that it’s almost a cynical and nasty commentary on America and capitalism.

The commercial starts out in an industrial factory where workers are being slowly replaced by machines. One by one they leave until all that’s left is the single mom of two. In the background is the old, World War II poster with Rosie the Riveter promoting industrial labor equality with the words, “We Can Do It”. Inevitably, the big, bad boss who has determined that he doesn’t have to outsource jobs thanks to the growing trend of computerized automatons, eventually pink slips mom and sends her home, heart broken, scared, and feeling helpless. Suddenly, a computer ad from the University of Phoenix promoting a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology promises hope! From there, mom gets her online degree, bakes a poorly made cake to celebrate, and is suddenly directly involved with the network administration of a very large company (presumably, based on the gigantic servers in a specialized server room that she was interfacing with).

Now for reality …

Yes, it’s a beautiful commercial – superficially. In reality, it’s a terrible commercial. Why?

  1. Mom loses her job to computerized robots. How are they run? Computers … duh! What does mom see as her hope for progressing forward? A job in … computers! Yay! Now, while she can feed her family, she’ll simultaneously be contributing to the mass automation of other companies where thousands of other moms get to go home without a job and watch their families starve. Awesome.
  2. Rosie the Riveter was not only “not” famous during World War 2 as a “motivational” poster, it was a sad statement on abusive commercial tactics and manipulation. Companies needed workers because they had screwed up and sent too many men to war and in exchange they took women from their homes, starting the detrimental trend to home and family life that continues to this day – and underpaid them. Wow. I guess if you’re dumb and don’t mind being lied to – it’s a great poster! Maybe that sounds mean – but I think people are smarter than Corporate America likes to treat them and if given a chance, they don’t appreciate those who condescend to them.
  3. Mom got a “Bachelor’s” in computers. A “Bachelors” in computers is the equivalent of just not having much skill at all and that’s why it’s an easy “online” course (that’s my opinion only – being in the field). Sure, there are those companies that care. Most companies will hire people based on proven skill and if college is the preference – they’ll give it to people who have a Masters. On the other hand – there’s no way mom would be working in a secured server room or as a network administrator making much more than she did before with the Bachelors. But, hey, it’s a job, right? Boo.
  4. Mom has two children. She wasn’t going to be able to live well off of unemployment while paying some *still* pretty high prices for her online education (and a grant or a loan for a single mom with two kids, high rent, etc. etc. … yeah … right). So … while those kids are a tear-jerk addition – it really wasn’t appropriate to “use” children to sell a product – at all. Maybe mom wanted to get an education just because she’s smart, or capable, or wanted something better? Hmmm? Maybe give her some credit computer animation people!!
  5. Apparently – mom can work well with her hands, is good with precision, and intelligent enough to get an online degree … but can’t bake a cake?! I may not be mom, but as a single parent, baking a cake is not hard. It’s customary for commercials to make dad look stupid – but not mom. And, this commercial kind of brings home the truth as to why. Mom is proud of her work – and she should be. So … it wasn’t as ‘funny’ as it seems when you really give it that second look.
  6. Finally … mom scratches out “We can do it”, for “We can do IT”, where “IT” now stands for information technology. Ever worked in the computer field? I’m a systems analyst and very good at my job. Women have been doing IT for quite some time and are just as good as men – and the same holds true for any other job in any other industry. But, there’s a strange inference there …. by replacing the “it”, it almost implies that mom’s ability to be an industrial worker is dead … that industrial work is dead in general (thanks to automation and outsourcing) – and moms (and others) can now be successful as part of that outsourcing team that just tears down America. Fan … tas … tic.

Anyway – I’m sure many people will disagree with this analysis and I welcome it. Maybe I’ve read too much into the commercial. But, frankly, the imagery is pretty clear. I don’t know if it was just hastily crafted by the University of Phoenix without much care as to the content (other than to manipulate single women by demonstrating that they’re helpless against the system and if they really loved their kids they’d pay U of P for an online education), or if all the other imagery was intentional.

However, for those people who do care, we have to take a long, hard look at this type of advertising and ask ourselves whether or not promoting this type of advancement is good or not. Sure, single parents need jobs and opportunity to compete in the workplace. But, not everyone can be in the top, white collar jobs (and the industry is swamped with people – regardless of what you may have heard). Are the people working in lower end jobs any less? They really do matter, too. Perhaps it’s not about raising the lower end income that makes things better, but dropping the higher end income and not driving companies into automation and outsourcing.

Unfortunately – the real trend is that businesses have been increasingly pushing for college degrees in lower end / lower wage jobs and that is continuing to crush the human spirit in America to the point it may not be able to return …

Sorry – starting to rant. … Anyway – that’s all. Hope you enjoyed.

Thanks for reading.


If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.” – Stephen Hawking.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadmen Tell No Tales, Review – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (spoilers!!)

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The lead character that loved himself … waaayyyy too much!

As you hear that fantastic, original Pirates of the Caribbean movie uplift you and fill you with thrill and excitement, you can’t help but think … again, really? Yes! The 5th installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean (a movie loosely based on the funtastic ride at Disneyland), is back with all the favorites for another adventure (even if some of them only show up for 30 seconds …?!?!). So, I give this movie a 5.5 out of 10 (and my reasons, scoring, and review – are below)! It’s worth the watch if you like Pirates of the Caribbean – but not a great movie by any means. Still, this movie has it all! Live pirates, dead pirates, drunk pirates, destined lovers, people from different lifestyles, rum, a monkey … um … ocean … evil pirates? Okay … well … actually this movie has everything that every other Pirates movie had … even witches, curses, bumbling English soldiers and everything else that if you liked it before … here’s more!

The Good

Well, as expected, this is a hilarious movie. The script isn’t great, but there is plenty of action, lots of high quality production, and Johnny Depp (and crew), are back on board, as funny as ever. In fact, I probably laughed a little harder during this movie than I have at the others. Of course … that only works if you quit thinking about the story line and just enjoy it on a more superficial level!

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The story starts out on an island, where the exposition is blatantly brutal explaining that the English bank has never been robbed for what is a almost a pointless narrative. So … set your expectations low, because when you hear that the bank’s never been robbed, what happens next? Exactly. The bank is robbed by Depp and crew … along with a building, a wife, and a few other funnies. The background of the story is another deviation from the traditional ride at Disneyland and tries to introduce us to a new character (which I’ll discuss further on), but does, in some small part, stand alone. Depp is giving all of the quality and worthwhile lines … and I do mean all of them, and he does his usual, excellent job of bringing a highly animated character (Captain Jack Sparrow), to life. From being constantly intoxicated and yet able to leap tall buildings in a single flop to his terror dealing with the spider monkey, he’s as funny as expected.

The production quality is well done. I can’t speak for 3D because I refused to pay the 3D or IMax prices for this movie since it rendered beautifully on a Sony 4k screen (assuming that it really was one in a Regal Cinemas), with Dolby 7.0. Every sound was incredible … even the highly incomprehensible, liquidy-slurred speech from Salazar (Javier Bardem) was audible thanks entirely to Dolby (and I can’t imagine trying to watch it at home or on any other sound system and still understanding half of what that character says otherwise). The outrageous scenes from the Black Pearl magically growing in “half” size to the sinister and very beautifully crafted Poseidon’s trident, were all rendered with incredibly clear quality. Many of the scenes were dark – so if you do watch it at home, you’re gonna need a really bright screen to fully enjoy it!

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I don’t speak often, but when I do, I slur my words!

Speaking of everyone’s favorite Sea God (Poseidon … or um … well .. probably really the only main Sea God), his Trident was an excellent side story that deserved its own movie. That aside, the Trident was exceptionally well crafted and thanks to one of the very, very few excellent directing moments by Joachin Ronning and Espen Sandberg, both of whom I am very unfamiliar with (and after this have no desire to see anything else they do), the camera angles clearly captured the sinister face and demeanor of the Trident and told an entire story all by themselves. Plus, I have to give it up for the island – that was kind of cool (an island that reflected the stars!). Just a personal like.

The movie sets and costumes were incredibly well done. Everything was placed well (other than a few *whoopses* here there and … well … in a LOT of places), and generally looked great. The use of a spinning guillotine was exceptionally hilarious and while I’m not sure that it would work in real life … who cares!? That was outrageously funny and I appreciated the unique “save-the-day” approach. And, of course, everyone except the CGI characters really had a well done outfit and were enjoyable to watch. In fact, Carina’s strength as a main female character in the beginning of the movie was not only funny, but I was actually rooting for her! It was like, “Yeah! Down with the man! You go, girl!” And, those are just some of the moments that made this movie fun to watch.

The Bad

So … um – the directing. Wow. Like I said before, these guys had their moments. And, I’m assuming that every other director turned this movie down knowing that by number 5, it was getting ridiculous … but these guys are the kings of cut and paste. Every action sequence was ridiculously so cut up that it was sometimes difficult to know which part of the movie we were watching or what was ‘supposed’ to be going on. For example, when Sparrow and Salazar were leaping across the cannons, the cameras could NOT stop jumping around because, what? They couldn’t take the already CGI’d back screen and create a larger jumping area? Dang. Be prepared to be bedazzled, dazed, and spun around 3 or 4 times during every fight scene, action scene, and cut scene that eventually you give up trying to figure out what’s going on. The best work they did was the bank heist with the entire building. Even with the cut scenes, they managed to put in two separate (and converging) story lines to make it more linear. Argh!

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Again? Wow. He even comes out of the water looking this dirty!

Johnny Depp is good … but … um … well …. He’s also getting a bit … redundant. Wait, guess what? He’s drunk on rum! No … forget it, that’s been the premise of his “funny” in every movie. He’s … having lucid affairs with married women and is broke? Nope … repeat. He’s in jail and being executed? Wrong again … same old …. old …. REALLY old story. He’s tied up and captured … or suddenly a badass and tying up other people? *Sigh* And, so on, and so on, and so on. Mind you – he was funny. The writers gave him a LOT of good lines (except for that TERRIBLE jail scene with his supposed “Uncle Sparrow” and the skeleton and mop joke in which the guards just stood there???). But … dang … did anyone notice just how boring everyone else’s lines were (for those who had lines since Swann didn’t even get to speak)? Especially, Carina Smyth: the funniest thing that came out of her mouth was that she was a horologist. (Which – for as funny as that was, it was best served for stupid male 10-year old humor … you know … the same age for loving pirates!!!)

Sadly, Depp wasn’t at his best. In fact, the addition of a ‘tribute’ just added to the character’s arrogance that came through via lazy acting. While some of his work was good, often times it felt as if he really didn’t try. Of course, considering how badly Bloom and Knightley were treated (as cameos), it must be hard for Depp to not have a big head. Perhaps age is his problem, but either way, he takes ‘drunken’ to an exaggerated level and goes way overboard. Eventually, it even begins to get boring and drag on way too long.

The island where the secret to Poseidon’s Trident was so poorly underutilized and done that it was a damned shame! First off … no PIRATE in their right mind would not have leapt face first onto the ground and started pocketing every diamond they could find! Second … the missing piece of the star was with Barbossa and then his daughter the whole time? What? Then … at one time, it was whole and someone just broke off a piece? Umm …. what? And … if that wasn’t enough, just to ad ex machina convenience, the Trident was in the ocean … a REALLY long way from the island so the sea could split in two and they could have a tragic ending. *sigh*. It was good … yes … but too much in too small of a REALLY rushed space of time (and, yes – from the moment they discovered the island … the clock was ticking and everything was slammed in).

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Bad Halloween prop …

Ending all curses without considering the consequences! Yes … this was a terribly stupid turn of events in the movie. Whilst the curse brought back Salazar and his crew to life, it also restored Will Turner and the Flying Dutchman (and its crew). The catch? It was daytime. During the day, the Dutchman was under water (or we’re lead to believe as young Henry Turner could supposedly only visit dad by night). Which, based on the death of Salazar’s crew meant that … bum bum bummm…. dead Dutchmen! But … that would just suck. So … movie convenience! Everyone’s okay! Wouldn’t that mean all the dead shark and birds and other creatures were brought back to life, too? And … what about Salazar’s ship? What pirate wouldn’t have hijacked that bad boy? It was the baddest ship in the sea! But … nope. It’s sitting in the middle of the ocean in premiere condition … or … not? Of course … now the treasure Barbossa was after in the first movie is no longer cursed and even though he’s dead … it’s a free for all (since everyone now knows where it is!).

An anchor with an escort! Yes! For no apparent reason, swinging the anchor down to save the crew wasn’t enough. Barbassa decided to ride the anchor down to save the folks below. Why? No particularly good reason except to yell at them to catch the anchor because, hey, realizing that the ocean was about to collapse on them wasn’t enough motivation! But, of course, in traditional, movie-convenience ending, the bad guy (Salazar), grabs hold of the anchor with everyone else and begins to climb. Set aside the fact that it’s slime covered, wet steel that’s almost literally impossible to climb … and the girl was at the bottom … and no one thought to climb down to grab her … or help her … and … *sheesh* this was an excessively ridiculous scene. It was so bad that it stole from the tragic ending when Carina realized that Barbossa was her father.

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The young … Jack Sparrow? Just take away rum and funny and add in a long-haired kid and … instant young Johnny? Too bad they let him talk!

And … with that … what the heck was up with the deaths at the end? Sure, I get it – Salazar and crew needed to die. Salazar was a self-indulgent, temper-tantrum throwing child who decided to go on a murderous rampage to kill every pirate because his father died. Bad kid. Yet, while his crew were drowned immediately upon the restoration of their lives (a horrible … HORRIBLE death that was karma appropriate), Salazar was stabbed in the back and then fell into the ocean. Wow … a lost opportunity. So … let’s replace it with a crappy Han Solo-like ending! Yes! Father falls to his doom trying to save his child in an epic, slow motion and sad music scene. No … we really don’t get the full scale sadness of this because so much was thrown at us in a matter of 10 minutes that we can barely wrap our heads around what’s happened and Carina is too busy staring into nothingness trying to piece together the most obvious puzzle of all time instead of crying that … whew … it sucked (regardless of the fact she’s supposedly super smart??). Same as seeing Han Solo die. Stupid … misused moment in a movie that could have been handled a thousand different (and better) ways!

The “middle-man” island scene, where Depp and friends make their escape from Salazar and crew, was really … really dumb. So … you’re on a ship, being chased by a crew of dead sailors that want to kill you, you can’t outrun them, and you’re within rowing distance of an island that they can’t approach and … what? Wait? Why not turn off there in the first place? And … what was with Salazar being the one who was on sand when *poof* – instant dust! So … is he dead, now? Dead he violate his curse and stay punished? Nope. He pulled a classic cartoon-style off-frame sequence where apparently, once off-screen, he was just fine again. Um, what? That was … oh, I dunno … STUPID. Movie convenience is one thing – going off frame and back into frame to be instantly healed is really … really painful to watch. Not to mention that the sharks we’re so attentive on tearing apart a dress that they couldn’t pull themselves away long enough to hunt down Sparrow? WTF?!?

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The only clever part about this scene was Carina having the sense to scream, “Ahhh, ghosts” and run away … although somehow … the tattered sails and living monster ship had not made it obvious to her before?!?

Minor mistakes. Of course, this movie was filled with editing mistakes galore. That’s what happens when you have directors who use preschool cut and paste tactics rather than good directing to accomplish their tasks (sorry – insulting, I know – and I don’t mean to pick on these guys since they were given a big task with little experience … but it’s getting more and more common in Hollywood and REALLY old). Case in point, Carina strips off her dress to her body-covering underalls (which were appropriate for the era), so she can jump in the water and swim for shore. The diary? Well … that was in her dress, and unless you were looking at her soaked under clothing heavily … there was nowhere for the book. I know … I know … small things, right? Enough of them though … add up quickly. For instance, leaving the map to the island on a wall for the guards to read … who does that? Guards that know she’s a nun in disguise but only after they leave Turner locked up on a bed (and not in a jail cell?) – what?? The English army that left LONG after everyone else catching up to even the Pearl? C’mon … dumb! The Assassin’s Creed escape scene when Depp shoves Carina off a roof so she can land cleanly on her back, on a pile of hard … HARD .. hay, sitting conveniently below in a wagon attached to horses (which I thought was something only done in video games … who knew, right?), and have the horses instantly carry her away so the guards (who are apparently the ancestors of Storm Troopers), could shoot at her at close range and miss. Again … WTF? And so on. This list is really long – but I’ll leave it at that!

The Ugly

For starters … number 5? Really, Disney? OFF OF ONE RIDE? And then … to MAKE MATTERS WORSE … they DID NOT END IT! Noooo … that would have been a highly successful conclusion to this “epically” long series that was designed to tie up all the loose ends (“sort of”). They had to throw in a very last second, “after the credits” showing of a pirate (whose apparently dropping barnacles anytime he stands in one place … by someone’s bed), or … at least his arm … to take the finale of Will Turner’s story and …. extend it. C’mon! I’ve been screaming for years about the crap Hollywood is putting out in the form of remakes and sequels instead of doing anything new or original and even after giving Pirates #5 a one-last-shot in theaters (having waited at home for numbers 3 & 4), they want to do it again?! Man … Disney just doesn’t know when to quit. Of course … should I be surprised? They sequel the heck out of everything they touch … and have since … I don’t know … the beginning of movies! Well … no more. Sorry. This was a good end and I’m afraid that unless it hits Netflix and is already covered under my already paid subscription – I’m not paying for another one! I’ll just consider this a great ending – and hopefully Disney does, too. (Of course, since we’re on the topic, the “Indiana Jones doesn’t lose his hat rip off” was poorly back-storied with a young Jack getting “tribute” … argh).

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES
A beautiful island scene … with a ship that just hit shore but apparently is fine … and not a single pirate interested in the fact it’s a treasure trove?

The ships that could not sink … or tip over … or drown … or … what? Whether it was the tiny pearl thrown into the ocean (so water could make it grow … which was stupid funny … okay … but stupid funny) and then popped up and tipped upright (*stupid*ahem*cough*stupid*), or the fact that the Pearl was run hard into a rocky island and seemingly had no consequences … that really pushed the boundaries of acceptable. Of course, as I said before, as long as you don’t think about it – it’s great! And … when the ocean splits in two and you hang an anchor over the edge … don’t worry – you can ride the ship on the edge of the abyss without any problems. Oh, sure, it may be a little hard to keep the wheel straight and the anchor can apparently be held just above the bottom (which was … neat … but dumb), don’t worry – everyone will escape … including the monkey! After all – it illogically escaped from a whirlpool, turned upside down to the land of the dead, and withstood being magically bottled … why not an abyss? Sure. Heck. If we’re going ‘stupid’ with it – next movie: Pirates of the Caribbean … in SPACE! Yeah … I could see the Pearl magically flying through space …

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Two minutes of Orlando Bloom (Will Turner) and Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Swann). This was the dumbest inclusion/exclusion of characters – ever (almost). The ENTIRE premise of the movie was young Henry wanting to save his father, right? His father was captain of the Flying Dutchman, right? So … was Will just sitting at the bottom of the ocean feeling sorry for himself while his crew wandered around lost on one side of the ship (just saying that last part since it took them 4 minutes to not even show up once they had noticed Henry was aboard the Dutchman)? Could Will have … oh … I don’t know … done some epic ship stopping battle of the dead vs. the dead with Salazar? Yeah … awesome, right? But, at least we had an older, crappy looking (and I mean … she looked terrible), Elizabeth Swann run onto an open field, with no words, to kiss Will. Yay! Happy ending. Wait? What? She knew the Flying Dutchman was back and her son was gone – but wanted no part of this movie? Wow. Pathetic.

There was a wasted scene on an island SO bad, that included a scabies-ridden overweight whore who was to marry Captain Sparrow that for 10 seconds it was funny, and then just became exceedingly uncomfortable. Apparently … there was a back story line to that – but no matter (writing’s difficult! Forget the 10 thousand other open-ended story lines in the other 4 movies that would have fit better). The crew of men and women that were apparently trapped on the island were so worried about forcing Sparrow to marry an ugly woman than realize there was obviously a ship nearby (by which they could escape), that they attended the wedding like some crazed cult instead of escape. Yes … that’s right! Jack’s repayment was to be married to a diseased woman because … what? Was the totally not memorable bad guy who wanted revenge and just died quickly anyway (another 2 minute cameo) going to keep a gun to his head while they had sex, too? *sigh*

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How … What … Why … and Who? We’re only missing 3 of the remaining dwarves!

Of course, we’re back in England where the entirety of the English army is too weak to accomplish … anything. Not only is Barbossa a well-to-do-pirate (who shoots at his violin players???), but when chasing down multiple pirates, a witch, and an ancient artifact of power, they send only one ship … you know … the one that gets eaten. Well … that was … anti-climatic (kind of like the bald witch that Barbossa owed a favor to … for reasons we’ll never get to know … or care about!). But, the bumbling doesn’t stop there. Young Henry Turner apparently couldn’t hold Carina Smyth by her legs and instead had his thumb somewhere it didn’t belong – port or stern side I’m still not sure – but either way – what was supposed to be a quick, one-time funny joke was not only drug out WAY too long – they re-referenced it later on as if it was some amazing moment in the movie for everyone to remember. Not really the best use of screen time and dialogue. Kind of like a mass execution where they were going to kill multiple prisoners at a time with multiple methods for the same crowd … er … um … really? Were there literally dozens of people sitting on death row on that tiny island? Wow. The English have issues!

And – the WORST mistake in this entire movie was Salazar stepping onto land in between the ocean waters. Why did all of the other Devil’s triangle cursed pirates remain in the ocean walls? Because, they couldn’t walk on land. But, now, Salazar can? If it was because it wasn’t “technically” dry land, then why did his entire, murderous crew not help? After all – the Trident is real and now they could all be cured! So – it goes like this: Salazar’s crew can see the sun – but they’d rather run around continuing to murder pirates which is what screwed them in the first place. And, rather than enjoy their newfound freedom or break the curse and THEN get revenge on Sparrow (whose last name is supposedly not Sparrow?) – they focus on randomly murdering pirate ships hoping they get the right one. But, it doesn’t stop there. Clearly, the Trident had to be at the bottom of the ocean for Salazar to be able to step out of the water, right? Like his ship – if the ground was wet, he could walk on it (or so we assume?). But, the pirates who sacrificed breaking the curse to get revenge on Sparrow didn’t step out with Salazar … so … um … because … reasons? But, Salazar can apparently possess a human body… although he gets stuck, that is, of course, unless the human is the lead Turner and the possessor grabs hold of the Trident, which then magically releases him from the possessee and suddenly… blam… he can walk on dry land. But, right after the trident is broken, the curses end and even though it takes 30 seconds for Salazar to transform…. he still gets a free ticket on land? That was one of the poorest attempts at trying to write something that fit within an already, self-destructive story line.

The Conclusion.

Well … ’nuff said … let’s see how the movie ranks up, shall we?

Story Line: 5 (A 2 for number FIVE sequel, a 1 for poorly integrating old characters and pointless ‘quickie’ cameos, an 8 for the semi-good use of the trident story, a 5 for the bad Salazar shortened version story, and a 9 for making me laugh – a lot).

Visuals: 9 (Like all the other Pirate movies … aside from the impossible and the terrible CGI that I can ignore … it was really good).

Audio: 8 (Thanks to Dolby Digital for saving this since Salazar’s ghost words were slurred almost as bad as Johnny’s rum talk).

Directing: 7 (a sympathy higher number for the newbie directors since it felt like neither one knew how to do much of the filming and I’m assuming a LOT of glue was used on this reel!)

Characters: 6 (An 8 for Depp, a 6 for Henry and Corina – combined, a 5 for Barbossa, a 7 for the primary cast and crew, and a 3 for all the pointless extras … and rounding up!).

And, a -1.5 for the amount of bad stuffs. Sure, sure, if I don’t think about it, I can live with it. Of course, that’s not the point of the movie … especially by number 5. They should have it down well enough by now and have a crew experienced enough by now to fix the mistakes of the past. But … nooooo…. cruddy fighting scenes (most of which were just heard and missing in action), the dumb placement of objects like the trident, a ship eating ship, and so on and so on … hurt what could have been a great, final film in the series.

So … this movie scores a 5.5 out of 10. Yes, it’s worth it to watch – at home (if you have great audio and a bright television screen). It’s a movie that most of the teenage and up family can watch (because you don’t want to explain why everyone’s laughing about a man whose never had a woman touch his long, hard, scope before to a 10 year old). And, of course, the Pirates theme and genre has been pretty popular. But, if you want to see a good movie, sorry – this isn’t it.

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But, apparently, they do make a lot of requests to pass along messages while holding really, really long grudges!

(On a particularly sad side note – Wonder Woman skipped opening on Memorial Day Weekend so as to not compete with Pirates. That tells you that they knew Wonder Woman was potentially SO bad – that they dared not compete with a FIFTH sequel in what could have been the best weekend to open, ever, and try their luck opening the next weekend right after everyone’s spent their money to go to the movies … hoping Pirates will have been good enough, that people will give Princess Diana a shot! EMBARRASSING!!!)

Thanks for Reading!


Ahhh … Monkey.” – Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy?

The Magicians Season 2 Review – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (spoilers)!

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At the end of Season 1 of Syfy Network’s, “The Magicians,” I posted a highly unfavorable review that basically stated that if Syfy wasn’t going to get it straight – this show was a bust. But, somehow, someway, Syfy got on board and actually changed up the second season, and now that it’s over, here are my reviews and follow up thoughts for Season 3. Overall, I give Season 2 an 8.6 and HIGHLY recommend it to adult science fiction fans. If Season 3 cleans it up a little – it may even be for a wider range of audience. But, for now, for the grown ups:

The Good:

Well, damn: there’s actually a story and it’s actually pretty cool. Best of all, it actually has “magic” in the show. While the premise of the Magicians wasn’t “really” designed by the Season 1 directors to be about magic, this season is a whole new deal. So, what’s changed? Last season was an overtly, gratuitous and pointless smothering in sex, bisexuality, cheating relationships, and college students running around drunk or stoned (or both), at all times (oh … and some by-story about some magicians … kind of). It was the bleakest outlook on life and had little to do with the actual series. Again, I’ve said my peace on that in a previous post and won’t delve too far, here. Instead, Season 2 of the series offered a fresh new look into the world of magic, its challenges, and it finally gave the story, and the characters, room to grow.

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Here’s the worse written protagonist in all of history (in Season 1). This guy was wimpy, fragile, broken, and it was impossible to know if he was going left or right at any given time (until they had him go bi, which really screwed up the series). Instead of stumbling forward – he was 1 dimensional and just fell flat. This actor had so much more to offer in Season 1 than the writers crippled him with. Enter Season 2: Quentin becomes a protagonist! He’s the literal hero who is forced into a dilemma of decision making, not fully equipped for the journey yet, but who has an opportunity to get himself straight – and he does. By the end of the series, Quentin casts the final blow to save magic. Instead, he screws up the entire realm of magic and non-magic in an epic “I saw that coming but wasn’t fully prepared for it moment”, that was quintessential for a true hero’s struggle. Wow! To the Season 2 directors – kudos. You have taken this story and transformed it well. Now – will we see Quentin deal with the things that lead him into darkness mentally in the first place as he begins to emerge as a person, or will he still fall short? Frankly, I’m counting on Quentin, thanks to the push by Eliot – to finally grow up and accept his place in the universe – as an unsolicited and somewhat unwitting, hero. (Not to mention – it would be nice for he and Alice to get things fixed – IF – they can keep control of the sex and focus on a healthy relationship where BOTH children finally grow up! After all, the creativity behind their names is pretty cool … Quentin and Alice … the quintessential “Q&A” / Yin and Yang :P). And – with a Lamprey on the loose (and some other invisible creatures – Quentin possibly has a much larger role to play in Alice’s future …)

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Here was another character that Season 1 butchered – and I mean literally, through extended and needless brutal rape scenes that left me turning off the television, sick to my stomach and vomiting, butchered. Her character could not have been more disconnected and torn than in Season 1. From the strong, “don’t tear off my buttons with magic in a bathroom and try to rape me because I’m too strong,”, to the easy floozy ready to sell herself for sex, back to the traumatized rape victim, it was impossible to like, or hate, or dislike and like and hate – or um – ANYTHING! In comes Season 2: Julia’s still messed up, but they quickly get her character under control and in doing so, give this actress a chance to shine. Best part is, at the end of the series – BLAM! An awesome moment of suspense at the last minute of Season 2 that will guarantee you want to see the next season (a spark of magic against the plumbers! Down with Ben 10 … wait … sorry .. crossing series here…). Director Chris Fisher, took a great story and brought his styling to it in a way that brought out all the characters’ greatest traits – especially Julia’s! Now – will we see Julia finally come to terms with who she is? She is a hedge witch who, during one of her 39 loops, was so incredible at magic that she was ready to break the rules of what was possible as only a first level student. Is her tie into magic a result of her shade coming back through Persephone? Will she have to deal with the Fox again? When Persephone said there were consequences to killing a god, (we saw that with the death of Ember and Umber and the “god’s” reactions), did this stop Julia – or what she said to Persephone’s portrait in Hell (especially still disconnected from her Shade and not having Kady to be the jiminy in her cricket)?. Imagine if Hades had found out his son, the Fox (and I’m speculating given that it’s also Persephone’s son), had his son killed (how about his grandson)? Dang. How will Julia fit in with this new story and is Dean Fogg ready to bring her into Breakbills?

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There is not enough I can say as to the transition of this character from season 1 to 2. Being so much more skilled than the role of a drug abusing tramp with an emo complex, Hale Appleman was very poorly used in the first season as nothing more than a poorly written comic sidekick. By Season 2, he is the King of Filory and his genius in a variety of acting skills comes out. While the directors maintain his bisexuality, they don’t include grotesquely overdone and in bad taste scenes to get the point across. Through some good filming and story telling – we get the point. While still a little too much to be a show for “the whole family”, his role has vastly improved. I’m not sure how far to take Eliot – except as part of the group trying to save magic. His role has transformed so well into that of a king that he’s matured and become something of a hero himself. Is he ready to face his past? Is he ready to walk away from it all? And … as we know, his child is still with the Faeries – and that opens up a new opportunity altogether (well … it will have to, since the Faeries are clearly ticked off about magic being lost and ready to seize/kill all of Filory to fix everything)!

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And, as I said before, the most important ‘fix’ in season 2 is that “the Magicians”, actually has “magic” in it, and the story line centers around “magic.” If we wanted a show about out of control college students, USA Networks, Fox, and others have plenty of room to offer that. Meanwhile, the story line for the magicians is face-paced, inventive, and crosses so many genres of mythology, fairy tales, legend, and so on that it became more fun to watch as the season moved along. I attribute a LOT this success to the return of director James Conway and addition of Chris Fisher.

The additional character transitions and inclusions were phenomenal. Penny, Margo, and Kady were all given as much leeway with acting as before, but with better dialogue and story. Alice Quinn was a huge change – and I mean huge. They took the self-indulgent princess who was impossible to sympathize with as a ‘shy girl’, and instead of toying with which direction her character should go, threw her completely into the realm of uber-nasty neffin-sims! This brought resolve to the character that leaves room for growth! And, we got a lot of almost everyone else. Some were missing, new characters were brought in, and the story line was simplified. No longer was it the main story + breakbills + julia + hedge witches + renegade gods + everything else … it was condensed to the main story where julia’s sideline finally became integrated (and all the subset stories could more easily be tossed in without confusion). Season 1 cliffhangers (like Penny losing his hands), were not just well resolved, they were brilliantly carried throughout the entire second season as a vital part of the story (which, if I were to analyze this, I would take Mayakovsky’s work that he was having Penny doing as a Mr. Miagi wax-on / wax-off Danielson training that Penny wouldn’t have realized until he finally confronted Mayakovsky). Marlee Matlin (Harriet), was a great actress to bring in as she was funny and helped drive the story well. That’s the kind of pop-in expose I’d expect from a series that wants to run a long time, (like Star Trek, Dr. Who, Game of Thrones, and other long-running science fiction series).

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The importance of the library and the “Master Magicians” has been further expanded. We also know that Mayakovsky plays a bigger role in everything – and is probably one of those ‘Master Magicians.’ What is still open is the contract the librarians somewhat ‘tricked’ Penny into. We learned at the very end that Ember “played” the river guardian to get him to screw with Penny. The librarians, who have been keeping Penny’s book moving around with the time loops (and would therefore be keeping a close eye on its contents), would know this. So … they played Penny, too – unless the idea is that he is on his way to being a master magician and season 3 will be the start of him, “growing up”, and there’s more to it? Of course, the library played another important role. At the beginning of Season 1, Professor Sunderland told Dean Fogg that he knew what was coming and had to get everyone prepared. It was assumed that meant the Beast. But, with all 20 pages missing in everyone’s book – that more likely meant the end of magic (aka, the library was no longer recording and didn’t know how anyone’s story ended, thus the blank pages that everyone in any high position would have known). Dean Fogg was also aware of all 39 time loops, and was preparing the school for the return of magic. He is clearly a master magician – and there is clearly a book that goes beyond those blank, 20 pages. There are still magicians in Filory, in the library, and in some of the hidden dimensions we haven’t seen yet!

And, even though the poison room’s poisonous, we know that ‘authorized’ persons can enter – so there’s an easy way to heal Penny in Season 3. What we don’t know is why the librarian lied about killing a god. Were they trying to stop the 20 pages from going blank, or were they okay with moving their books into the poison room and keeping themselves in the library dimension and letting everyone else get screwed? Hmmm .. .intrigue!

And, finally, what about the mobster girl? Does her story end in the poison room? I highly doubt it. David Reed wrote that episode and has been involved in some of the best episodes in the series – so I think there’s more to it; a lot more.

The ‘Beast’s’ story was also well written out. While a continued nuisance, a lighter side of his persona, still as dark as ever, was brought out. The beast was given depth and meaning in a whole new way. By the end of the series, it left you wondering if, even though his methods were insane and flawed (which we knew to be a result of the abuse he underwent as a child), he had the right idea given Ember was a loon! In fact, I would not be opposed to seeing Anthony Marble return as the Beast to further expand the story. We know the “Fox” isn’t done – because his son is dead and Kady was really upset at Julia because not killing the Fox left her in a bad, bad place for potential vengeance.

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The visuals and directing were well done and creative. The audio was emotionally driving and the humor was very well placed. Whether it’s a dragon who hates millennials (the single best use of a dragon on screen that I’ve ever seen, including the collection of a button for treasure and sarcasm about eating people left around after 24 hours: outstanding work by David Reed, Chris Fisher, and Christina Strain (and please, quote this to Syfy because they deserve this))., or a tooth extraction spell that doesn’t come with pain relief, the story keeps on rolling with the punches. The emotional drama is also well placed. For Julia to see the face of her rapist victimizer on the soul of someone who saved her emotionally was a moment of discomfort and discontent, that for only a brief moment and with only minimal visuals and excellent acting, was very revealing. It took little videography to tell an enormous amount of detail and that is the sign of an excellent artist.

Another kudos – Ember’s narrating the opening of Season 2 and putting himself at the center of all that has happened. It reveals a lot of tie-ins, but also gives us something more – things that Ember could not have foreseen or expected (like the beast’s drinking from the wellspring). A very subtle, if not outstanding, addition to this series and what is possible in a world of magic!

Finally – one more important credit to Season 2 over Season 1 was the cutback of gratuitous violence although – it was a little bit of a wash. While Julia’s rape went on and on and on and on and we got to relive some of those unpleasant flashbacks in Season 2, the murder of the Senator was so fast that a little blood on Kady’s hands was not as effective as say, the Senator’s wife’s ear in a box. No – I don’t want them to go back to Season 1 (which was as bad as the “Epic Movie” mockery of the Lion Witch and the Wardrobe with the lion raping the kids … and yeah – Season 1 felt EXACTLY that uncomfortable) – but that’s a balance that needs some work. Maybe with time – the directors and writers, having done so much this season, can go the extra distance?

The Bad:

Well, there always has to be a bad – and The Magicians still has a ways to go. Syfy has been trying to up the ante with sexier, adult television to draw in new crowds. Sadly, the network just lost sight of what made it popular in the first place: “science fiction.” From an unparalleled failure in programming (movie repeats, difficult to follow seasons, etc.), to some really stupid shows (izombie, wynona earp, etc.), Syfy threw itself to the wolves. Shows like Eureka were nowhere to be seen and the BBC took Dr. Who and star trek fans. No wonder Syfy has been struggling?! But, its new advertising pushes for being a more family friendly network trying to attract children, families, and multi-cultural values. Yet, the Magicians goes too far with its implications in sex still (again, I’m not offended or opposed – but it is what it is). It toned it down enough that it was easy to watch, but I wouldn’t put a kid in front of it – not yet. Season 3 may have potential – but that has yet to be seen.

The pot smoking magician: “Josh”. It was okay at first, then drug on (no pun intended), and then got stupid. Sure, they integrated it into “seeing other worlds”, which helped with some of the important transitions in the story, but was only funny when trying to escape from Lorians. Otherwise, the scene with the hardcore rap and throwing down the chairs was just – dumb. *sigh* I guess they’re still trying to fill everyone’s tastes. At least it was only one episode.

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The shade story was weak. There were some unspoken elements you could understand/infer and it required a higher level of quality viewer to get it, but even then, it felt more like a filler story to “piece” Alice back together again (which spoofs on the wonderland story and all the king’s men).  Now, if the shade story is expanded with Julia and why she has magic – and a way to keep the Fox at bay from Kady – that has potential!

The Lorians were also pretty weakly thrown in there. I’m not saying it wasn’t managed okay overall, but suddenly, wands and alchemic symbology was introduced, new magics brought up and … *poof* Eliot’s gay attractions, a goofy joke made on Prince “Es” (although funny and well done), and a chance for Margot to just be slutty. It did more to hinder what could be vs. what was. A huge amount of potential with no follow through. Season 3, maybe?

Umber’s “cuba” was funny at first – but integrating it into the story as a way to cross-trap Umber was rushed and could have been handled a lot better. I think for everything they were trying to accomplish, this, and killing Umber and Ember, was a huge mistake. Ember had so much more to offer. And, the end of Season 1 was about questioning if the little cakes had been brought, and the end of Season 2 delivered them (an ingenious handling of multiple season tie-ins). The end of Season 3 could keep that theme running in a unique and innovative way that hasn’t been done in a series and would be an innovative and fun approach.  Besides, it was a disaster to the story where mommy and daddy gods throw universal scale temper tantrums if their kids are killed vs. Ember not figuring out Umber wasn’t dead because mommy and daddy didn’t unleash their fury on the beast! Although – this would still work if mommy and daddy ‘assumed’ things and those two weren’t dead and magic could be saved, because it would explain persephone not getting the death of her grandchild and the ignorance of umber’s parents not getting his ‘faked’ death?

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The “trap” in Quentin’s back, that remained an open portal, left too many questions. Since the others didn’t fill their traps with a neffin, do they still have their super powered monsters? What’s the deal with a permanent tattoo and empty trap if no one uses them (which could still be salvaged as a very interesting twist on the death of umber and ember if it so happens that they are trapped vs. dead – or a way to deal with the lamprey, etc.!!).

The bank heist. Don’t misunderstand – funny stuff. I loved them being able to start over again against the battle mage and the conspiracy that banks have battle mages. However, the wall of weapons was cool, yet sorely underutilized. The entire episode was funny and I’d watch it again, but it was really unnecessary. They could have done more to either 1. follow it up, or 2. drag out ramifications, or 3, fill in other story gaps.

The Ugly:

I’m sorry to say this, and I really mean it – but not bringing back Amanda Tapping as a director was one of the best decisions they could have made. I was hugely disappointed in her rape scene handling in the first season. She might be good for USA Networks, Lifetime channel, or as a science fiction actor – but as a director, she is not ready. The same holds true for writer Leah Fong. Leaving her off the credits brought much needed class back to the series. So – ugly enough to have to bring it back up here, in Season 2, I’m afraid.

The audience! Whoa! This is the second time I’ll attack the audience. While Season 1’s audience remained low, it’s drop off in Season 2 was evidentiary of the type of crappy crowds that the first season drew. Once the Magician’s stopped broadcasting itself as a drugs, sex, and rock and roll story to an actual fantasy with real story and meaning – the idiots dropped out. And, while I’m sure that hurt ratings – yay for the actual “science fiction” fans who expect more! Now, if Syfy stays strong – they’ll keep the idiots out. If they get desperate, we’ll go back to crap. This season was not just a band-aid to Season 1, but the healing transition that could make Season 3, great. The question is, will Syfy hang in there with this series to attract the right crowd?

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For those who haven’t seen Season 1 – Season 2 could stand alone – but not to the effectiveness it ‘should’ have. You’d have to watch Season 1 (available on Netflix), but I forewarn you – it was just a really bad experiment in Harry Potter meets MTV’s jackass. So – that aside – if you can either ignore Season 1, or endure it – Season 2 is otherwise, worth the wait.

Professor Fogg being blind isn’t the end of the world – but it’s dragging this story along in the wrong way. He has huge potential and could be more intricately involved (and should be given all the knowledge and intricacies of his character), but so far, isn’t. I do think this is a shame in what the story could really explore!

The muggle slip conundrum! Okay, did anyone else hear that during the bank heist? Margot called non magic users “muggles.” Here’s the issue: Muggles belong to Harry Potter, and assuredly, Harry Potter fans tuned in during season 1 and tuned right back out after the butcher job they did. According to Wikipedia (and who knows if it’s all true or not), but muggles has been used in other shows now. So – are we going to see more of the magical world in a magical world context ‘like’ potter? More familiar characters? Or, was this just a writer’s slip while beating themselves over the head with a thesaurus regarding the word, “non magic users”, like they foolishly said a thousand times in Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them, to the detriment of that movie? Of course … this isn’t the only Harry Potter reference … so … what ARE they doing? Hmmm … Maybe I’m overthinking it?

The Senator (Fox’s son). Here was a great opportunity to do more – and so much was missed. They brought in a major character and then, without so much as a goodbye, just flashed him away in a scene where we were supposed to believe that Kady did the work Julia would have been better suited to do without the guilt and suffering. It was a little messy in the writing and in the long term ramifications. It was almost just a ‘convenience’ to give Kady something more interesting than being Penny’s “friend with benefits.” Sorry to say – but this was a lost opportunity, too (not to mention that it also conflicts with the whole ‘ramifications’ for killing a God, when the Senator was also Persephone’s grandson).

The Conclusion:

So, I can think of a lot more to say – but I’ll leave it there for now. I wanted to do a follow up review after Season 1 since Season 2 deserved recognition for where it went – and left us with some cool possibilities. I would rate Season 2 as follows:

Character Development: Excellent. 8.5 (Not perfect – lots of open holes to be filled)

Graphics: Visually well done. 9.5 (Not perfect, yet … but dang close)

Music/Audio: Good. 8 (some of the audio was in need of work, but excellent soundtrack  especially the hardcore 4 getting together to fight the baddies – awesome).

Story Line: Finally – getting better. 7.5 (a little lower for still going too fast and not seeing some story lines through and missing a few opportunities – like bringing up that Julia was seen kidnapping the Congressman and then the sudden “oh, he told the media some excuse and fixed it”, which was a crappy way to write it out. Not sure if this was the writers, directors, or miscommunication – but it was bad – and I think the show’s producers knew it, too.). Now, if they can keep steering this story along like they are and keep some of the hardcore sex down until it reaches HBO / Game of Thrones crap level – I’ll keep watching.

Action, Magic, Directing! Well done. 8.5 (Not that it didn’t deserve higher. So many different directors and a continuity between episodes that didn’t feel segregated was pretty impressive. Yet, some of the overuse of the college dorm was monotonous (while little or nothing important happened there, the only valuable scene was the “Tada” being the same place that Julia’s shade found herself in hell (for those who noticed), but then was dropped without any further follow through). More high quality directing that integrates with a more complex story line and this series has me forever.

The audience! +1 back for Syfy (averaging a 9 into the score). While it was Syfy’s fault for screwing this up in the first place, putting what they did on the air in Season 1, in Season 2, it sounds like they listened to their REAL viewers (not that I know that actually happened – but it feels that way).

The comeback! +1 back for Syfy (averaging another 9 into the score)! Although Syfy doesn’t “necessarily” deserve this – it’s more NBC Universal’s fault for trying to please the Millennial group than Syfy’s. The lost touch with their real audience / fan base during Season 1 was restored during Season 2. If they can learn from this – maybe Syfy can be great again! (wait … where else have we heard that lately? … hmmm ….).

Overall: 8.6. And, that’s not a bad score – especially from me. Next season, I’ll be much harder on them because I’m going to expect more – but again – only time will tell!

Thanks for Reading.


You have 24 hours to return to the portal.” “Or …?” “I sit patiently; waiting for you to come back. No. I eat you. I’m a f*cking dragon, what do you expect?” – The Magicians.

10 Mobile Apps that do – and do not make life easier

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First, when taking time to install new apps, we should be very conscientious about our personal security. In a time when world-wide hacks, constant loss of personal financial information (by multi-million dollar organizations promising security), and scammers are on the rise, it’s not just your finances that can be lost, but your personal identity, safety, and freedom. That said, as society pushes forward into a more technologically dependent era, we have both the privilege to move along with it and the responsibility to learn it. So, here are ten good and not so good, apps to think about:

1: Your calendar. This is the most basic app that comes with every phone. A calendar sets up to-do lists, appointments, scheduling, reminders, and if you take the time to learn how, can add contacts to the appointment list so you can keep others informed, too. The calendar is not a holiday reminder “toy”, but rather, it is a “set your own, personal priorities” productivity tool. Here are a few mistakes made by calendar users:

  1. Using the calendar as a finite method. Due dates are one thing, but when it comes to a personal goal or an informal plan, a “drop-dead” date is not always necessary. For instance, I can set on my calendar that I need to go to the store tomorrow to buy cheese. However, tomorrow may not go as planned. There may be meetings, conferences, personal and family matters, or other issues that delay my ability to go. Or, I may just not feel like going. Don’t ignore the calendar appointment or forget it. Just set a new, reasonable date and push it forward. Yes, your to-do list will grow, but you will be more likely to accomplish what you “need” and “want” when you give yourself some flexibility and freedom.
  2. Using the calendar as a “set it and forget it” tool. While it’s okay to be flexible with appointments, setting them is not enough. You have to learn to use this to-do list for what it’s intended to do – GIT ‘R DONE! That’s right – a to-do list is not a bucket list, it’s an actual list of things you want to accomplish. It doesn’t matter if you set it to do the dishes, learn to play the guitar, or file your car registration! If you want to use a to-do list right, you have to treat it like an alarm clock – WITHOUT a snooze button. It’s easy for teenagers and young folks to sleep through their alarm clocks or press that convenient snooze button and then realize 2 – 3 hours later that they missed an appointment. But, that’s not the path toward success. Success begins by setting a personal goal and achieving it. Wake up when your alarm clock buzzes at you for thirty days straight and by day 31, you’ll actually wake up!
  3. Not setting alarms correctly. Since we’re on the topic of snooze buttons – the calendar reminder is an invaluable tool. It gives you optimum flexibility for reminders about when appointments are coming up. Setting it too soon means you can skip it and accidentally forget. Setting it too close to the appointment time usually leads to crossing over other appointments and taking away flexible management options. Either set multiple alarms to ramp up to an event, or learn to pick a reasonable alert time so that you don’t miss those appointments!
  4. Setting appointments too far ahead! If graduation is on the 9th of June – don’t set the date in January! Otherwise, like all phone systems, there is more than a 99% chance that the appointment will be forgotten (by you OR the phone!)! Just like picking the right window of time for a calendar reminder, you need to set the right window of time for an appointment reminder. For example, if I get off work at 5 pm and set an alarm at 5 pm that I need to go to the store, chances are, I will be very busy at 5 pm as I am focused on getting out of work. But, if I set the alarm for 5:30 pm or 6:00 pm, I’m not too far behind, nor too far ahead, of a reasonable time to accomplish my tasks.
  5. Tones! This is the biggest excuse I hear from people who set calendar appointments. “I had my volume off“, or “I didn’t hear the ringtone.” Unless you changed the ringtone for calendar appointments, it is the same. Sure, the phone will make mistakes – but they’re getting a lot better at NOT doing that. And, if you make a habit of turning off your phone’s volume for church, movies, and meetings, you can make a habit of turning it back on! But, ringtones and calendar appointments are NOT infallible. Depending on how important an appointment is, you can also use your phone’s alarm clock and your own, internal sensors! In the meantime, keep your volume up and your ears open. Plus, if you add a family member or a friend to those extra important appointments and ask for an additional reminder, chances are, when their phone beeps at them, you’ll get a text or a phone call. So – no excuses!

2: The notepad! Here’s another “built-in phone app” that offers a LOT for very little. We live in a very busy world. We are very busy people – even when we’re trying to relax. So, why not take notes? Does it make sense not to? When an idea pops in your head, how often do you find yourself frustrated, later on, when you can’t remember it? The solution’s simple – write it down (this is what very successful people do – so learn from it)! You don’t need to carry around a pen and paper because chances are, you’re already tethered to a phone!

  1. While the audio on my phone has yet to determine whether I’m saying the word “hello” or “octopus”, I can type short, brief notes that keep the amount of typing down, and my productivity, up! So, you don’t need to type in every detail about a meeting, or a thought you had about how the increase in shaving cats will cause a rise in availability of unhappy cats, just write, “shave cat, unhappy!” Bet you that you’re already thinking that was a weird thing to read, right? But, it’s also probably not going to leave your head anytime soon! So – it works!
  2. Use it often! Notes take up very little to no room on the phones, so write, talk, scribble, and do whatever it takes to keep the ideas flowing. It’s like the Pensieve from Harry Potter – you don’t forget it, but you get that immediate worry out of your head and off to the side to leave room to deal with the millions of other factors life is throwing at you (at that moment).
  3. Consolidate and follow through! Writing notes is great. It means you’ll have lots of notes. But, what do you do with those? If you’re writing notes for a meeting, grocery shopping, or as reminders to tell someone an important message, delete them when you’re done – or you’ll have a cluttered desk. Don’t be afraid to look to your phone and read off of it. Why? If I could remember everything – I wouldn’t have to write it down. But, that’s why I write everything down – so I don’t have to remember it! Don’t build up a cluttered desk. Keep it clean and organized. Label your notes so you’ll remember what they are and you can quickly reference back to them! Plus, clearing them off, especially if you use vocal recordings (which is sometimes easier than trying to write – especially on the road!!), keeps your phone system memory clear.
  4. Write it all down, the good, bad, and the ugly! Notes are not just for … notes! Maybe you thought of a funny joke or a political topic that you needed to get out. Write it down. Grocery lists, to-do lists, and brilliant ideas can all be written down. Maybe you want to vent: write it down. Perhaps you thought of a song lyric or have one stuck in your head that you want to look up later: write it down! Thought of a quote from a movie – or a movie you wanted to see? Guess what? That’s right! Write it down!

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3: The camera! Sure, maybe it sounds silly to say this – but frankly, the cell phone camera has become something of a phenomenon. I’m not talking about the selfie abusing bashers who need a reality check; I’m talking about people who have learned the awesomeness of just carrying a camera around to capture those cool moments that quite often come along.

  1. Just remember, your camera app doesn’t need access to your contacts!
  2. Getting proficient at snapping a quick photo with your phone doesn’t mean high quality. In fact, most phone cams are pretty low quality. However, it’s more the act of conscientiously and intentionally remembering you have that opportunity. You’ll be surprised how much more you pay attention to what’s going on around you! (So, the camera can be a useful tool for self improvement, too)!
  3. Use the images writing tool feature, if you have it (or download one if you can), to “virtually” write on the back of the photo, any details about the day, time, or event. That makes it more fun and it’s easier to organize and prioritize! Photos take up a lot of space and you’ll probably need to clear them from time to time … to time!
  4. USE those added features. Try them out. Fast action motion! Or 3D spin around. Sure … they’re worthless if you want to use them on your computer, but in the moment, they’re not too bad (and if you want to use them on your pc – start writing the manufacturers by the millions and threaten to stop buying their overpriced phones if they don’t build a computer app!). This not only gets you more proficient with your camera, but it can inspire and sometimes, healthy inspiration at just the right time is an excellent booster toward personal success.
  5. Writing everything down can be tedious at times, but a picture’s worth a 1000 words, 3 paragraphs, 400 sentences, and several punctuation marks!

4: Zillow and “Price” Shopping – an automation nightmare.

  1. If you’re a home seller, this app is great because it tracks how many times your listing has been viewed, the prices around your home, and even gives you rankings. Of course, you’re better off relying on your real estate agent for an “actual” and realistic accounting of how your listing is performing. But, seeing your listing as number one sure is a positive reinforcement (and other than the harm it causes, that’s about all it’s good for).
  2. It’s apps like Zillow that give good real estate a bad name. Rentals, homes for sale, and property values are listed based on the grotesquely unrealistic expectations of property owners and has been a key contributor to problematic real estate. So – be careful.

5: Time Wasters: All I have to say about games that are time wasters can be read at the first post, located right here: http://www.angrybirdsnest.com/forums/topic/reassessing-my-life-omg-what-have-i-done/. If the name of that post doesn’t say it all … then just read it for yourself. Time wasters have their place … but anything automated is dangerous (just read my post, here).

  1. Angry birds … ARGH – read the post in the link above. Not to mention the infiltration and personal space violation of this app. So many free games are NOT FREE! READ the fine print – the cost is huge … really huge. Time wasters are fine ONLY if you take privacy and security seriously!
  2. Virtual “anything” is STUPID. (Notice, I’m not saying it’s not fun – just stupid). Virtual pets aren’t real, nor does it offer anything satisfying except to teach you how to lie to yourself when you can assure yourself that you’ve accomplished something Virtual farming is a sign that your introversion has taken over your life. Move on!
  3. Scrabble, cribbage, pool, bubble poppers, and the like are okay if you find yourself, on those ultra-rare occasions, a little stressed, needing to shut down mentally, and avoiding the garbage on television. But – that’s it. If you’re sneaking off to go play instead of working (not that I, um, *ahem* would ever do anything like that …. o.0), then STOP NOW! Save yourself, little Pinocchio – SWIM FOR SHORE!

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6: Facebook is a bad, bad thing. Whether it’s the death of teenagers or the outrageous and outlandish behavior of its “normal” users, Facebook has been nothing but a bane on humanity.

  1. But I get to see pictures of my family.” True. Very true. They’re not your pictures or their pictures because once posted, they’re “Facebook’s” legal property. But, you do get to see the indentured servants you call family. Sound weird? Yeah, it does. Nothing should operate like that and if it does – you should REALLY work hard to distance yourself from it.
  2. But it’s fun to post updates as to what I’m doing.” Sure … sure it is. For whom? It’s your life. Nobody cares if you’re petting your dog or going to Costa Rica. Well … except for the authorities. They monitor Facebook very closely. Why? Because of idiots that post illegal activities or improper behaviors that raise red flags – even if they’re innocent. Maybe you’re not worried about that … but think of it like this: If you were reading a book, and I came behind you, a very ominous, foreboding, and large stranger whom you didn’t know and rested my head on your shoulder, staring at your face while you read … would you just keep on going … or would you probably want it to stop? If you’re okay with it – get help – really – right now. Stop reading this and go call a therapist. If you’re the latter, you have a healthy level of personal boundaries. Why should it be different on-line? Facebook violates personal boundaries and is a generally unhealthy addiction. Why participate in something unhealthy? Sure – it’s fun. So, find something else or start your own … after all … Mark Zuckerberg did! The point is, self-indulgent and self-important behaviors like amassing friends and posting your life like some celebrity is not a good thing. Think about it: even celebrities don’t like the paparazzi, and THEY GET PAID for it!
  3. But I have friends on Facebook.” No … no you don’t. If you don’t understand that … please … for all that is good … go outside, walk next door, and go make a friend. See the difference? Yeah …. the animosity on Facebook, not to mention the commercialism, is terrifying – not “friendly”.
  4. ALL THAT SAID – Facebook is “almost” … and I mean “ALMOST” a good place for networking. It offers access to businesses to build web pages, people to post comments, and events to be listed. What a great tool for finding out what’s going on in your neighborhood or sharing reasonable ideas and coming together as a group! Unfortunately … you have to be “registered” … which is why I say, “almost”.

7: Imgur Hell! Yes – this is a terrible app. It’s just a social media app for people to post anything they want and let the flaming barrage begin. And, while even I have found myself spending time laughing hysterically while reading through the posts, for teenagers, it’s a black hole.

  1. Not only does Imgur give everyone the freedom of expression – it gives EVERYONE the freedom of expression. And, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Not everyone should be expressing themselves. For example, I’m pretty sure that Imgur killed funny. No, really. Somewhere, in some part of the world, at least 2 – 3 clowns die everyday because of just how bad the comedy often is on Imgur. Teenagers MUST be banned from Imgur because their senses of humor are destroyed.
  2. On the other hand, in all fairness to this app – this post changed my life! I now run industrial levels of power in my own home and never have to pay a bill. So … yay … there’s something to be said for that! (and … a few other positives on Imgur – but the bad of social media outweighs the good by far!).

8: Youtube … *sigh*. I don’t know much else to say about this except it’s like Imgur – not everyone should be making videos.

  1. People like “Markiplier” may appeal to the youth, but that’s some pretty dumb stuff.
  2. While I really used to enjoy much of Matthew Santaro’s work, he has begun to seriously lack in performance.
  3. Still, some of the channels like Cinemasins and HISHE bring much needed joy to a cynical person’s life!
  4. On the other hand, Youtube’s sudden and apparent need to raise capital by interjecting endless commercials into their channel while offering little in return, has begun to make it a real turnoff and nothing more than another tool to manipulate the end consumer.
  5. All that said, using Youtube the “correct” way can have huge benefits. For example, if you’re learning to cook – pull up ‘ol Gordon Ramsay and follow along. He talks fast, moves quick, and is hard to follow, but Youtube is a great way to be able to rewind, re-watch – and learn! Just remember – it’s the internet. Knowledge is fragile – do your own work and keep to cooking, playing instruments, etc. – from the pros!

9: Social Gaming. Now, for anyone who has read through my work, you’d know by now that I hate, and I hate, and I HATE social gaming … on consoles. In fact, I hate it on cell phones, too. But there is a grey area in there …

  1. Social gaming with friends and family isn’t so bad. When you’re separated from someone, Words With Friends, for all its cheating, manipulation, and mass advertising, offers a long-term, slow-paced, fun interaction in which you can demonstrate to the world that your parents will always score triple letter, 18 billion point words, and I will never get anything more than the word, “it”, for -50 points!! Still … it’s fun if you don’t think about it.
  2. Social gaming with strangers. Think of it like this, you go out to a restaurant, pick a table with 1 open seat, and interject yourself into the conversation and life of four other strangers who were already sitting at that table together. Sure, if they don’t try to kill you or ask you to leave, eventually, you may be welcomed. HAHAHAHA – WRONG! If you believe that … GET HELP. So, unless you’re one of the Impractical Jokers, Social gaming is, for the most part, based on the way people made it, just not a healthy place to be.
  3. Social “war” gaming is even more stupid. That’s all there is to say. It’s not strategy, skill, or luck. It’s about whomever has the most coins to buy the best stuff to trample around on strangers and fill that empty, low-self-esteem void in their life by some empty, self-justified conquest. So, um, yeah – dumb. (Although I have seen it used well as a time-waster game ….).

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And, finally, number 10: Convenience apps. These include apps like Geico’s mobile insurance, banking apps, and “all-in-ones”. For some people these are great – for others – they have no business using these apps (for their own safety, that is).

  1. Security is compromised on these apps. All of them … even the “secured” banking apps, do NOT offer, guarantee, or promise you security. Read the fine print (which is usually spread among 4 – 5 websites with about 10 sub sites and all super long in the hopes you won’t read it). There is NO security. If you’re cool with that – than bully for you. If you’re part of a recent NSA-based virus attack … then life sucks.
  2. Convenience and automation is dangerous – read my article if you care to learn more. Convenience apps from McDonald’s? Yeah … that’s not such a good idea.
  3. And, folks, wake up. There is NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH (TINSTAAFL). It’s a long-standing business acronym and it’s the truth. Convenience is not convenient. Either you’ll pay for it because rates will keep going up for everyone, or because someday, it will backfire. You’ll lose your phone, break it, or something will happen that let’s you set yourself up for a fall. Don’t. It only takes a few extra seconds to sign in via the browser (if you’re smart enough not to keep your history recorded), and add one small, extra layer of security. After all – you lock your front door at night – so why leave the key in it? Think about that.
  4. However, if you look at an App like Fandango, for convenience, it’s easy to store only you’re zip code in there so the app can tell you what’s playing at your favorite theater without giving it any other information!

Having tools is great – if you use them. Otherwise, it’s the proverbial “more-power” man that has a garage loaded with every type of power tool, wood-working tool, and other specialty tool you can think of … that never uses it. Eventually, he’ll have to clear out the garage. Sadly, we don’t buy phones just to make phone calls anymore (as odd as that may sound). In fact, a $500 – $700 phone BETTER do more than make phone calls! But, it’s on us to be responsible with how we use them.

  1. Read the app privileges. Does it want access to your contacts, bank accounts, social security numbers, children, and every other personal facet of your life? Does it need that? Mine don’t. I refuse to give them that because – for other reasons I won’t get into here – but, mainly, that information BELONGS to me and is frankly no one else’s business.
  2. Read the app update privileges. Does it conveniently forget that you asked it to stop calling your friends and telling them that because of you, they now get annoying sales calls all day? If so – you’ll have to be diligent and that requires a little extra time and a little extra work.
  3. Fortunately – built in apps are far more easily controlled than third party apps – so keep that in mind!

And, no matter what you do, enjoy it. Otherwise … why else do it?

Can you think of any additions to this list?

Thanks for reading!


Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.” – Steven Spielberg (the man!!)

Too Intrusive? Are Technology’s Big Brother Methods Causing Harm? Welcome to the Human Zoo.

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In an era of getting spied on – this is out of control. I’ve written multitudes of white papers and articles in the Information Technology community about the massively, over-reaching intrusiveness of computer companies, but Microsoft is taking it to the next level. In fact, millions of people, from advanced to novice computer users have taken note of Cortana’s massively creepy spying. Of course, Microsoft, being a “user friendly” system, has made it near virtually impossible to totally disable Cortana, encrypt your data, or protect it. Why?

Why should they?

You – and probably almost everyone you know is now dependent on a machine at some point. Whether it’s Macintosh or Windows doesn’t matter. The spying is massive. The above photo is real. It’s a message I sent to someone, via my hotmail, saying that I would discuss a topic with them that night. The next day, I come in to find that Cortana has already taken it upon herself to not only read and track my emails (which aren’t loaded into the computer, a cell phone, or any other device via an app and I don’t use Microsoft Explorer … because it sucks and is bugged), but she has translated my words. Like an artificial intelligence, Cortana is already stalking my movements, my plans, and invading my life. Apparently, hidden within countless onion layers of privacy rights and agreements – you have none and somehow Microsoft has the right to spy on any aspect of your life and tie it all together (okay – that’s not entirely true – unless you ask them).

And, she’s in yours, too.

Trust me – I know – I’m the computer guy.

Wherever you go – Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, or someone – knows. Whatever you’re doing – they know. You don’t have to tie accounts together or link them to your devices. The new cyber era has already mastered the ways of doing that for you. Is it safe?

No.

It’s not about protecting some “secret” transaction (which should prove to you that so-called “deleted” emails from a certain defense Secretary’s server were never actually gone). It’s about protecting your civil liberties – and your life! First off – if you know a little something about windows and macintosh, you know that any and all updates are directly related to “security” vulnerabilities. Is that the type of operating system that should have ALL of your information? Second, one of the more valuable components to human evolution is the ability to think in a higher form than other animals. People shouldn’t follow set patterns, migratory behaviors, or preset values. Our ability to go above and beyond those animal-like primitive thoughts allows us to grow.

What happens if that’s taken away? What happens to a culture that suddenly becomes tracked, traced, and monitored? What happens when artificial intelligence machines begin monitoring everything you do and from that, telling you what to do? No … of course movies like the Terminator are totally unrealistic because … well … hmm… maybe you have a good answer for that? Before you read this article, maybe you would have thought: machines will never take over!

Maybe, only 100 years ago, your great grandparents thought the idea of traveling in airplane … OR A CAR … was ridiculous! Maybe, only 60 years ago, your great grandparents thought that “street lights” were one of those “fandagled” new science fiction ideas that weren’t possible.

Only 30 years ago, no one actually thought the idea of a flying car could really happen (oh sure, it was fun on television and cartoons (and in dreams) – but not realistic). Yet, the DMV and Google are working on programs and legislature to begin governing them as we speak.

What happens to a culture that becomes … controlled? It’s not just that Cortana read my email and interpreted it, she encouraged behavior:

“Don’t forget, this is coming up.”

That’s what the machine said. Don’t forget where you need to go, where you need to be, what you need to do, what you need to buy, where you should work, and how you should live! This is not funny. This is not just terrifying. As the computer guy – I see this happening on an epic scale – every second of every minute of EVERY day.

If you’re not afraid – then you’re already in trouble.

I’m not a “paranoist”. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I have watched trends and cycles in the rapid growth of the technology age and it’s not good. I am not alone. For countless generations, writers, artists, and the greatest thinkers of our time have warned the people, time and time again, that the rapid onset of change without control is dangerous. Ask an African Warrior in the early 1700’s if they thought technology (like the industrial revolution and increase in ship building and trades) was a problem. Then, ask them that same question on a cotton farm a few years later … as a slave.

Then … ask them after the invention of the cotton gin and homelessness and poverty.

Extreme examples? Maybe. But, they’re real. You don’t need to wait 50, 100, or even a thousand years to see what happens if the current trend of automated controls and tracking continues. It’s happening. There are health problems world-wide that are growing out of control (not because of people – but because of commercialized motivation that generates income inequality, impoverishes people, and harms the public health). The solutions? Stupid legislation like: stop trans fats! It’s not trans fats. Use vaccines! Yeah – I’m sure all the dead children overseas and even in America, exposed to pharmaceutical abuse, would probably disagree. What about the money you spend and what you spend it on? Debt is good, right?

Think about that. Really … REALLY … think.

Good for whom?

That’s like saying the American Indians “asked” for poisoned blankets because they signed the Louisiana Purchase (and sorry if you don’t understand what’s wrong with that statement – but you need to do your homework). There’s a huge difference between convenience and FORCED control. Did you ask for this level of “invasiveness”? How do you know? If the machines, companies, and political leaders have been steering this for a long time … HOW could you be sure? What happens when you become dependent on a machine to “think” for you? Laziness, apathy, and, weakness set in. It’s no different than an animal kept in a zoo that can no longer survive in the wild – it becomes dependent on a caretaker.

Welcome to the human zoo.

The only difference – your caretaker doesn’t actually love you.

Being spied on is not funny and it is NOT okay. Having a computer that monitors everything is NOT good. Even the science fiction future of Star Trek didn’t “monitor” everyone (unless it was some abusive, big-brother race). In fact, Gene Roddenberry didn’t even imagine a future where people would be treated to the George Orwell terror. But, it appears that Gene Roddenberry isn’t winning.

And, the losers are you (the people).

Not, “the losers will be you” – they ARE you. Right now, a machine is interpreting what you see and read. It’s developing a habit based profile on you. And, it’s figuring out how to restructure your habits to fit the needs of its programmers. But, you’re not the programmer. Corporations and Governments are the programmers. Just remember what Cortana said: “Don’t forget, Dave, this is what you need to do …” (HAL reference inserted).

People who want control and money – have already forced their way into everyone’s lives.

I may be mistaken – but this is not what freedom looks like.

There’s so much more to say … but I digress. Just remember, a change is coming. It’s a paradigm shift with epic consequences. Whether they are good or bad will depend on where we go from here. If you don’t stop this – if you don’t recognize it now – you will recognize it soon and it will become evident that you are already under control. While it may be a machine controlling you – that machine is programmed by flawed, corrupted, and fallible human beings whose agendas are less than pure.

My intention is not to change you – otherwise – I’d be programming those same machines. My intention is only to educate. Free will is yours … for now. Knowledge empowers you to think for yourself and build your own future.

So – does everyone in the world pick a month and shut all the machines off – permanently (or at least until the governments and corporations are brought back to the pretense of freedom)? Yes … you’re busy … because you’re programmed to be. But, if a machine can answer to a person and control you – how long before someone automates that machine to the point that – it listens to itself? Then the war may be – inevitable.

Case in point, there used to be a Windows Error Code 13. It didn’t exist. Microsoft didn’t program an error code 13 (originally). Even today, error codes pop up in Xbox and playstation – that DON’T EXIST. Although psychology has its own use for the term: “ghost in the machine”, in the I.T. industry (at least, it used to be), the “ghost in the machine” was the causality of multiple, fragmented lines of code that would join together in unpredictable ways and perform fully executed tasks on their own.

Yes – on their own.

So, combine maniacal humans (with self-fulfilling agendas – even at the risk of your health), with randomly, self-created computer code (doing what it wants to), add in all of your personal information … and

*poof*

What could possibly go wrong …

go wrong …

go wrong …

bleep!

Thanks for reading!


I can only imagine what would happen if evolution shifted and pigs read books. Looking back at the big, bad wolf, and the three, little humans, the pigs must think to themselves, ‘how stupid would you have to be to lay down on the dinner table in front of a bunch of hungry wolves and not do anything about it?’” – Me

Exploring the Polytheism of Christianity

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Sounds like a strange title, right? Believe me when I say this is a topic upon which novels could be written, so I may not be able to cover very much in a single post. Yet, after more than 20 years of research, I’m left with one question: Is Christianity monotheistic? In all of my work and research, I’ve always wondered: how did Christianity (or even Catholicism) literally take over the world overnight? Sure, many the gods of the multiple pantheons have literally always been cruel, callous beings who had little care for the ant-like people that got in their way, but did that make people stop believing? In some places in the world, the polytheistic gods, demigods, and demons are all still worshiped, making it clear that the gods of old are still present? Did the big bang (science) blow up the realm of magic (faith)? What was it about Christianity or the singular God concept that was so appealing that the rest of the world abandoned everything they knew? Is it possible that Catholicism and Christianity have never been monotheistic religions and therefore – easily fit within the paradigm of all the other pantheons?

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God, Jehovah, Odin, Yaweh, Shaddai, Zeus, Allah – all of these are names, or titles, appointed to a supreme being which rules over all. In every pantheon (religion), there is a beginning, whereby the universe burst forth from the light into darkness. In almost every single religion there is a flood, or a disaster, and from that disaster emerges the refugees who would later become the people of the world today. Familiar with the mythos of the flood whereby God looked down upon the world, saw the corruption of humanity, decided to wipe out all beings and yet, one of them was asked to take his family, build an ark, and escape?

Sure you are.

But, which historical version are you most familiar with? In the Deucalion Myth of the Greek gods, Zeus saw humans committing cannibalism, decided that humanity was lost and should be destroyed, and Prometheus called upon his son to build an ark to avoid the disaster, thus saving humanity. Of course, unlike the Christian story that had a flood lasting 40 days and 40 nights, the Greek flood lasted only 9 days and 9 nights. Not too far from the point, the calendars back then were actually different and might lend a lot to that distinction, or perhaps it was a world flood with different lengths of time, but on that topic, I digress. What is interesting is that the Christians and Catholics believe that the same God who would destroy all of humanity in a wrathful vengeance would be the same God who would ask one of the supposedly most blessed humans (Noah), to escape (somehow believing that people would just … up and do better?). But – was it the same God?

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Remember, the Catholic Bible is not a story passed down from Great, Grandpa Jo. It is a collection of works left behind by the ancient Sumerian peoples (abt 4500 BC – 2000 BC, give or take). It could have been their ancient myth or legend, or what happened to them in real time. We don’t know. And, the Dead Sea Scrolls (the origin of the Old Testament), were not in the best of shape. What was written in Greek may not have translated well in Sumerian and vice versa. When it was proposed that multiple gods existed who were out to get us, did it make more sense to convince the people that it was just one God, who had a dual nature (one that floods and one that gives construction designs for an ark to save), so they could feel all warm and fuzzy like forgiveness was in the air and not feel so terrible (hmmm… isn’t America trying to do that same thing in its culture, now?)? Is it possible that the flood story doesn’t even include the middle part of the world, but the entire world, with locations like the Mojave desert once being jungles 6,000 years ago, and the rain forests being only 4 – 6 thousand years old?

Rewriting history is the business of leaders. It lets them fit the world in their image. Scientists help by redefining what is as what they believe it to be, in order to provide rationale and sense. This is a normal human trait. It’s also utter laziness and the epitome of anti-evolution!

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In the garden of Eden, God places Adam to watch over it. In his loneliness, Adam asks for a subservient wife (which apparently, in the Catholic/Christian stories, took two attempts). Adam names all of the animals in the Garden (in some versions, in others, he has to prove his divine nature by demonstrating he knows the names) and eventually, his wife, Eve, is tempted by a [supposedly] treacherous, talking snake (NO! Not Voldemort! But I’m pretty sure it did involve parsel tongue… and wizards!), to betray God’s command. The interesting part of this story is that the God of Eden demanded obedience without question and gave no mind to free will. The snake, on the other hand, taught Adam and Eve about free will, fathered their transformation into procreation, and jump-started the pre-mortal plan of existence that the same Catholic and Christian faiths believe, was supposed to happen anyway! In the Gnostic pantheon, it was Satan who headed up the garden of Eden. It was Christ who appeared as a snake and freed Adam and Eve. To the favor of the Gnostics, the appearance of God to man (which is supposedly impossible according to the same Christian Bible), makes more sense if Satan is a ‘god’ of sorts. And, it makes more sense that Christ would have taken the endeavor, based upon His Father’s command, to give free agency to mankind. Is it possible that mankind dubbed anything godlike, ‘god’? So – was there more than one God?

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On Mount Sinai, Moses heads into the mountains to receive the word of God. He returns with a face glowing so brightly that his followers are sure he’s going to freak out the Jews and suggest he cover his face (to which, he does). We know there were more than 10 commandments, but in a temper tantrum, Moses destroys one of the tablets – so we can’t know for sure (and you would think the Christian God would just have him rewrite those or at the least, scold Moses, right? He did it for Joseph Smith with a second set of plates … right?!). But … at what point did God ever reveal Himself to man, or cause man’s face to become so radiated that it glowed like some big nuclear reactor core of a space ship with giant wings that created smoke in the atmosphere due to the condensation (hint, hint, wink, wink, say no more)? Was there more than one being represented (either mistakenly by man or at the whim of the being), as God?

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In China, there is a mythos about the gods descending and ascending from Heaven via the belly of a dragon (spaceship dragon!). In the Islamic faith, Mohamed ascends and descends via a Pegasus (which was supposed to be Greek … hmmm). In Christianity, John witnesses angels climbing up and descending down ladders from an invisible opening in the sky (and assumes the shrooms he ate must have caused him to fall asleep and have some pretty tripped out dreams). Time and time again, there are significant references to ideas and concepts which transcended even the most comprehensive of human imaginations of the time and were fueled solely by the knowledge imparted from the gods. Thus, the distinction between an omnipotent, untouchable ruler beyond the transcendence of temporal existence at a super-powered entity over seeing the time of humanity, is skewed. Was there more than one being represented as God (whether a supreme being and a temporal one, or any combination thereof)? Did a very primitive mankind actually know how to properly describe what they were seeing?

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Hercules, Jesus, Buddha, and other figures in history have been born of a supernatural half-origin, had a disciple-ship of the same number, and carried on quests of the same meaning and type with the same teachings. Some, like Hercules, were depicted with a harsh and unforgiving beginning while others, like Jesus, just had their beginnings conveniently left out. Either way, that many figures, as demigod sons of the singular, head god, who all brought the ultimate boon of saving humanity, has more than an ounce of comparability with one another and are more likely one in the same story. If it’s possible that the timeline of the Bible is not so limited as people would like to believe, could it be that the story of Christ arose out of a time long before, when humanity was together, or is it possible that there are multiple incarnations of the same being? After all, in the New Testament, John the baptist is asked if he was the Christ who had lived before and been predicted to come again? This IS reincarnation. I know Christians fight that tooth and nail – but it is what it is. So – is there more than one Jesus, or could there be multiple incarnations?

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We may never know thanks to guys like Moses and the monk who traveled with Columbus and destroyed ancient Mayan tablets … although the similarity is uncanny and makes one wonder if there weren’t more gods or some clarity therein, for the Mayans (scaring the bejeebers outta the Catholics)?

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But, the most interesting source of polytheism from Christianity comes in Exodus 20:3: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Of course, some argue that because it goes on to discuss not making graven images and bowing down to them, this was just a reference to the golden calf story. However, the golden calf wasn’t just an object – it was an alter-symbol for a god (and the Christian Bible does refer to gods such as Baal or Bel, Ashtaroth, and others – that were more than idols). And, it goes on to discuss the God of the old testament as a jealous god. Now, there has been a lot of discussion in the difference between the Old Testament wrathful God, and the New Testament loving God (although it’s clear that almost everyone was very quick and happy to adopt the New Testament version). Yet, the two waning and waxing gods, whether as separate beings, or two sides of a single entity, is not that much different than other pantheons. In all other religions, the gods of light have equivalent gods of darkness (not to be too confusing in using the extremes of light and dark – just using that for illustration). That is to say, the winter time gods and summer time gods. So – is there more than one and the lack of distinction just a fault of human ignorance, translation, or deception?

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Still, the most compelling evidence of a potentially polytheistic Christianity lies in the name itself. Jesus the Christ is the son of God (whatever His name may be). Jesus was not put under God as a demigod or servant, but elevated to the stature of a God, in which the whole of the universe was put under His feet, giving Him reign and dominion as a God. Then, we can look to others, such as Satan, who reigns as the supreme head in purgatory. In the Bible, Shaddai is used more than 300 times and is the definition of a “sky” god, which is akin to the Egyptian “Ra“. Sabaoth, as Lord of Hosts, is the reigning supreme god. And, as Zeus and Odin were jealous gods with demands, so is the Christian God. And, like Ra, the Word was more than just power, as it says in Genesis that the Word was with God, and as the Egyptians believed: “To Thoth was ascribed the mental powers of Ra, and, indeed, the dicta of Ra seem to have come from his lips. He was the Divine Speech personified.” So – what’s the distinction? The Word is a separate and powerful entity. And, more to the point, don’t the elevation of beings like Jesus and the Word create a polytheistic pantheon?

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That brings us to Job. I’m not talking the cut and edited Nicaea version that chose to leave out the whole story – but the whole story as it really was. Satan appears on Earth, and God, does not. Satan not only appears to cause direct disharmony and disruption to life, but commits epic-level egregious acts against Job and his family (and belongings), using a clearly divine magic (that we further know existed both in the hands of mortals and Gods in those days, as per Moses proving against the Egyptian Pharaoh that his milkshake was better than theirs … you know… with the staff and serpent, thing!). This was the same Satan that wanted a mortal demigod version of Christ to leap to His death. Who else but Satan would act in such a terrible way, right? Wrong. Across multitudes of pantheons is one god whose name does not even change: Tom Hiddleston! Oops … nope … sorry … got side tracked there by the Avengers pantheon …

I mean, in countless religions, one name does not change (and that is a significant clue), and is hated by all: Loki. Loki’s role is that of a god of chaotic disorder, the ultimate trickster, tempter, and driver of insanity. He tricks two farmers (once good friends), in Africa to quarrel. He leads Greeks and Egyptians astray. He torments the Vikings endlessly. Who else, but an exceedingly malevolent and manipulative character would try to cause so much harm? But, how many Loki’s could there be? Is it possible … that not even Satan in the Christian story went after Job, shaving off all of his wife’s hair for rotten bread, but Loki, trying to stoke the fires?

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There are many questions we probably cannot answer in this lifetime. And, I make no effort to sway anyone’s opinion. Your faith is as strong, or as fragile, as you choose to let it be. What I do know is this: if you’re Christian or Catholic, God gave you free agency and expected you to use it. You not only had to decide between right and wrong, but think for yourself. Is the big bang any different than the Lord’s Word, saying “Let there be light”? Is the singular head entity any different than any other religion’s belief in a singular, head entity? Is it something that should weigh in on your faith? Or, is it more a matter of a better understanding that opens our minds to the greater possibility of a more widespread teaching from an omnipotent creator not given to any one group or person, but spread throughout the whole of the world and history? If that’s true, then we can benefit from learning everything we can from every faith, looking for those patterns of consistency and elements of truth that bring clarity, and in keeping that open mind, love one another exactly as Christ said, and accepting each other’s freedom to believe as they choose – so we can gain as much knowledge as possible. (Mind you – that takes a lot of work as humans have interjected a lot of negativity toward one another – even in their religious texts).

Maybe, seeing the polytheism present in Christianity gives us hope that the higher gods have taken over, Ragnarok has come and gone, and the ones left behind offer us something better. Maybe, seeing the true nature of the gods provides an understanding into the malevolent source of destruction that would encourage war, abortions, hatred, bigotry, manipulation, and violence. If we learned to turn away from those gods before … we can do it again.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed. Like I said – this could be an entire novel! Sorry for having to cut it so short.

Thanks for reading!


I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.” – Joyce Meyer