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education

Setting the record straight: altruisms a go-go

I have always had a problem with this whole 1 Corinthians crap. This is the truth of the sappy, drippy, wovey dovey crap that people lie about when they take their vows. You may disagree with me… but really… how is this flawed?

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Love is war, early off it is a battle for the attention from the other. It is an ongoing battle afterwards, when the war is won, to quell the envy of others who want what you have. It becomes your duty to ward off predators by showing off your victory to prevent alliances from being made.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Once finding Love, we find it becomes a constant battle with the other to seek compromise and sign treaties of cease fire. Though these parcels of victory are often practiced, occasionally they become lost in bureaucracy, thus creating new skirmishes.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Often, when a skirmish arises, the parties in question must choose the lesser of two evils.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Once the treaties have been signed and agreed upon, it is up to the parties in question to prevent border wars from other nations who wish to usurp natural resources.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Don’t be a douche!


World War Z or How to miss the point when making a movie (SPOILERS)

wwzLet me begin by saying that I am both a reader and a film buff. Having read the wonderful book that Max Brooks produced has been a pleasure, and learning that it was being adapted to film blew my mind. Upon learning production was delayed piqued my curiosity all the more. I should have known better.

Let us begin with a synopsis of the book. Max is a reporter who interviews many of the heavy hitters in the post war on Zack. He learns of many people who had the will and courage to make difficult decisions when the chips were down and tells their story. The humor, logistics, and strategic foresight show that Mr. Brooks really did his homework. The book is a complete and undeniable triumph in the genre. Not only is it compelling, it also shows the ineffable spirit of the human condition to survive against all odds.

The movie follows a former military operative and his family, a whole new story in the WWZ universe. It begins in Philadelphia, the man and his family on a drive to the unreachable “grandmas house.” All hell breaks loose when our hero finds the 12 second count for the virus to spread from bite to complete infection. Later, his daughter has an asthma attack and the parents have no backup inhalers. They raid a grocery store, have a Mexican stand off with some dude behind the pharmacy counter. Once they leave, they find an apartment building where a nice latino family take them in. The latino family dies, save their little boy who is adopted by the hero and his family. Not a bad start, a little weak in the pathology department and the preparedness of a mindful father who is ex-military. Already we find holes in the compared plots. I was still hopeful.

The movie goes on, people die and dismembered fingers move. We then begin to see the Zack swarm move like a tidal wave… yes I know it is not literal… the imagery is striking. Then the emaciated Arab boy sits unharmed and unnoticed among the swarm. Foreshadowing!
Anyway, our hero then goes to a CDC or WHO or whatever building, where he is welcomed and finds the “cure” by injecting himself with Hepatitis. The whole idea is that Zack can tell if someone is “terminal” and is therefore uninterested and unable to turn the victim. Thus saving the human race by having a stronger viral infection than the Z virus.

What are the key differences? The the book, humanity made a mad dash toward survival by doing what we do best… surviving. We fight tooth and nail for survival and find ourselves nearly wiped out but in better shape than we began. It shows the human condition, it shows tenacity and strength. Nothing breaks us in the end and we go from being our own worst enemy to being our own strongest ally. Though altruistic, very well done and inspiring.

The movie shows us that though it takes a minute for blood to circulate the whole our bodies, the virus can replicate and destroy us in 12 seconds… 12 SECONDS?! The book made it about a day or so. It also shows us that humanity is doomed since the only way for us to fight Zack is by giving everyone in the world an STD… YAY! Who cares about the will to survive? Who cares about the hard fight in a world where only the terminal survive? Let’s not forget the wiggling finger on a charred corpse, yes it is for cinematic fun time, but it is not Return of the Living Dead… a finger cannot move it there is no tendon or sinew to attach itself to the bone.

All in all, the movie was fun to watch, but had little to nothing to do with the book and should have been a stand alone. Fun, exciting, and all around entertaining… but again… NOT WWZ! Not even close.


Firearms: How to breed a fear monger

We all heard of the recent events on Connecticut. We all now hear how both sides of the fence are creating a schism. But what is the real issue here? Many people blame violent video games, violent movies, and violent cartoons… but are these the real issues?

As A child, I was raised on Loony Tunes. I watched Elmer Fudd fire his shotgun at Daffy Duck with no consequences. Here were anthropormorphic people being shot, blasted into oblivion, and falling off of cliffs; yet no one was hurt in the long run. What did this teach me as a child? Cartoons are funny. My parents took the effort to show me that in life there are real life consequences.

In my childhood, I was also introduced to games like Corridor 7, Doom, and Rise of the Triad. In these games you shoot your way through monsters, nazis, and a plethora of other nasties and be labeled a hero. What did this teach me as a child? Games are fun. My parents took the effort to teach me that games were not real life.

One of my favorite movies growin up was The Shining. Here you get to watch Jack Nicholson go crazy… classic. What did this teach me as a child? Movies are fun. My parents taught me the difference between reality and fiction.

Way back when, I remember playing Cowboys and Indians. We would go around and fire cap, rubber band, and water pistols at each other. What did this make me think as a child? Playing with friends is a great time to be had. My parents taught be how to be careful with real weapons and how to protect myself.

Did I grow up to be a violent psychopath who went through Malls, Schools, and other public places with a few hundred rounds of ammunition? Those who know me know the answer to that… but the answer for the rest of you is NO. I am a relatively useful member of society, I pay my taxes, I am married, and I am a pacifist my choice. Furthermore, I own a firearm and so does my wife. For V-Day one year I bought my wife a fully functional crossbow. She herself was raised in many of the same ways I was, but without the video games. Is she a violent psychopath? Not as far as I know.

Simply put, a craftsman does not blame the tool for his mistakes as society should not blame the gun for a mentally ill person going on a killing spree. In China, on the same day as the Connecticut shooting, went through a primary school and slashed 22 children. The point being that if someone wants to hurt someone, they will find a medium to do so. Why don’t we try educating our children rather than placing them in front of the TV so we can play on our phones? Why don’t we nurture our children with social interaction?

Is any of this too much to ask? I don’t think so. Maybe we should start focusing in on the real issues by making mental health not such a stigma. Maybe we should start making education a priority. Let’s stop teaching our kids to be victims, let’s make this world better by making our children self sufficient and intelligent.