Points of Ponderation…Episode 8.16

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

 

Family, friends, & citizens of The Manoverse know that my relationship with the ol’ home state of West Virginia has been…ambivalent…at best. Not a day goes by that part of me doesn’t regret taking off for greener pastures while I was young & fearless, yet this is home and I am content to be near family, basking in a boring, uneventful, slow paced, Mayberry-esque way of life. Let me take this opportunity to say how proud I have been these past few weeks watching the people of WV rally around those affected by devastating floods. I have observed all kinds of businesses, churches, & other organizations collect donations wvand travel down to the flooded areas to distribute much needed food, clothing, & supplies. No one asked, and certainly no one forced these entities to put in the time & effort to help communities of strangers over 100 miles away, but they did it anyway because that’s how we roll here in The Mountain State. For the most part we’re not the wealthiest, most scholarly, thinnest, or sexiest population, but we understand what it is to be neighborly and take care of those less fortunate or facing tough times. Please continue to say an occasional prayer for the flood victims, and understand that their lives won’t magically be back to normal in a couple of weeks or months. Many people lost everything and don’t have a trust fund or hidden bank account in the Cayman Islands to buy new houses, clothes, automobiles, etc. I am sure there will be assistance available, but I’m also smart enough to know that it won’t be adequate. I can’t even fathom the devastation.

 

 

 

Unlike some I wasn’t the least bit surprised that the FBI decided not to indict Hillary Clinton. The outcome was expected, although I was a bit surprised by how foolish liberty_in_shamethe powers-that-be made themselves look in the process. I wish I could be more optimistic, but more & more it feels like the fix may be in as it pertains to the 2016 Presidential election. The media has done a wonderful job glossing over Mrs. Clinton’s “imperfections” while amplifying Donald Trump’s liabilities, to the point that otherwise intelligent people sincerely believe that she is a better choice than him. However, just because the result of the “investigation” was anticipated doesn’t make it any less sad & frustrating. I’ve watched this country continue to dive further into the abyss on a daily basis the past several years, yet it continues to be an incredible process to witness.

 

 

 

Okay kids, it’s review time. I know I have kvetched about this before, but please allow me to educate as well as entertain. A person’s wheelchair is a very, very, very important piece of equipment. It’s more than just an apparatus…it’s a lifeline. So please…please…unless you honestly know what you are doing don’t try to “help” an experienced wheelchair user. I’m not talking about someone who broke their leg and might be stuck with crutches and/or a chair for a few weeks. I am referring to a person (like myself) who has a disability and therefore deals with stuff & situations on a daily basis. Do I sometimes need help?? Yes. And I have had to learn to put my pride on the shelf and accept assistance on occasion. There are times that I truly appreciate the kindness of others. Having said that, if I need help I will usually ask, or if someone really wants to be polite & supportive I hope they atleast ask first. Do NOT just come up to me, say “Here let me help you” and grab my wheelchair. Would you just walk up and latch onto someone’s private area?? Would you randomly fondle a stranger’s breasts?? Grabbing a person’s wheelchair is similarly offensive. What frequently happens to me is that people want to lift my chair into the extended cab of my truck. The problem is that’s not how it is done. I end up arriving at my next destination with my wheelchair brakes locked and having to twist myself into a pretzel to unlock them before I can easily back the chair out of the truck. Recently as I was leaving work I received some “help” from a lovely young lady. It was 7am and I was tired. The woman was being nice and she was kind of cute. I didn’t argue. Unfortunately…and hilariously…she somehow placed my chair into my truck completely upside down. I honestly have never seen that before, and the whole way home I just kept thinking “How in the heck am I going to get it out of there??”. Luckily it wasn’t as difficult as I feared, but it could have been a complete disaster. I’m glad that there are caring, neighborly folks in the world. There are times when I am very thankful for a helping hand. But exercise caution…ask yourself if you are really being useful, or if maybe…just maybe…you may be getting in the way.

 

 

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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I was so looking forward to the next Star Trek film, set to hit theaters in just a few weeks. But now I think I might just skip it. It has been made public that the character of Sulu will be an out-of-the-closet gay man in the movie, complete with child and male “partner”. It is obviously a nod to George Takei, who portrayed Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series and first six feature films and came out as gay several years ago. The issue is this…Sulu was never homosexual before. As a matter of fact he has been previously shown as having a wife & child. Now, it is true that the series was on television a half century ago, and it is also true that these new movies take place in an “alternate time line”. That’s all well & good…creative license & all that jazz. It is also said trek2that in this new film, called Star Trek: Beyond, Sulu being gay is shown as no big deal, which is fine. However, I’m just not a fan of this movement toward PC appeasement in pop culture. Ghostbusters was remade simply to have an all-female cast. There is currently a TV version of the classic film Uncle Buck that features a black cast. Annie was remade awhile back with a black cast, as was Steel Magnolias.  The same thing was done a few years ago with The Karate Kid. Harry Potter fans got their knickers twisted recently when a new stage play written by JK Rowling was cast and the adult version of Hermione Granger is now suddenly black. Rowling’s previous low class existence & mindset came roaring back when she whined that fans bothered by the casting choice must be racist. An Ocean’s Eleven reboot is in the works with an all female cast led by Sandra Bullock, although it might actually work because the lead character is allegedly the sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean, so atleast they are acknowledging the original (well okay…those films were remade from a 60’s Rat Pack film, but you get my drift). The revived Star Wars franchise seems to be back only so that Luke Skywalker…or a hero that is a close facsimile of him…can be a girl now. I’m not a comic book aficionado, but I am given to understand that Iron Man is now a teenage black girl, Spiderman is an hispanic dude, Thor is female, Ms. Marvel is Muslim, & Captain America is black. Such changes may be more organic in comic books though, especially if new characters take over the superhero role from someone who is now retired or dead. At any rate, people are already tired of Hollywood’s lack of originality, and it feels extra lazy to just recycle an idea with the big twist being that previously white/ heterosexual/male characters are now black, latino, gay, and/or female. Call me all the names you want…closeminded, bigoted, racist, misogynistic, homophobic…because that’s the playbook these days. Just know that I speak truth. I am sure that the powers-that-be pat themselves on the back for being inclusive and embracing diversity, but the fact is that instead of creating new stories with strong characters that are female, black, etc. they are simply putting a superficial façade on the treasured memories of the masses and giving insulting lip service to the issues they allegedly care so much about. Even George Takei thinks it’s stupid to make Sulu gay at this stage, fifty years into the character’s history…and of all people shouldn’t his opinion carry more than a little weight?? Anyway, I watch movies & TV and read books to escape from reality. Can’t we just enjoy a good story without being preached to and indoctrinated with ideology?? Is that too much to freaking ask?!?!?!??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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