Building Hope

I’m standing in my new kitchen typing this on my phone. We are building hope here in a new home, and it’s a messy process. In the course of leaving the apartment, I managed to pack half my laptop charger, so the possibility of posting and writing is limited. Which means, I apologize, a meme post.

Make of these what you will!

15 thoughts on “Building Hope

  1. God, I needed this today. It’s been Hell Month for the last six months, and I’m not quite out the other side just yet… and my gut keeps whispering that the light at the end of the tunnel is the seventh damn train in a row…

    And thanks to you, I laughed my ass off…

    Now, of course, it’s back into the tunnel and the dark.

  2. Cedar, check Amazon. There have been several times over the last 24 years as an on the road consultant that they have been able to deliver a compatible charger overnight.

  3. Off-topic for this post but relevant to Mad Genius Club as a whole: here’s a video analyzing the message sent by modern movies as opposed to older movies, and why those messages are lousy.

    Warning: use headphones if you’re at work or there are young children who can hear your computer speakers: there’s some language. Nothing truly crass (just words like s**t and the like), but not something I want my 3-year-old hearing and repeating.

    Summary if you don’t want to spend 11 minutes watching it: he contrasts two pairs of movies, and the same (or parallel) characters from both. The first pair is Mulan from Disney’s animated movie, and Mulan from the live-action Mulan movie from a couple years ago. The animated Mulan has to struggle to overcome her weaknesses, think outside the box, and come up with creative solutions. The live-action Mulan is just naturally good at everything because she was born that way. His conclusion: “That seems like a pretty c****y lesson to apply to your own life. Like, imagine going into every situation firmly convinced that you’re already perfect and you’ll just naturally succeed because you already have what you need.”

    He then contrasts Anakin Skywalker from the prequel Star Wars movies with Rey from the recent trilogy. His comment on the key message of Anakin’s character arc: “Taking the quick and easy route to power and success might give you short-term gains, but ultimately it’s going to lead to long-term losses and disaster. Skill and talent that isn’t tempered by wisdom, restraint, and experience eventually leads to arrogance, impatience, and a dangerous overestimation of your own abilities. […] It’s a cautionary tale that warns us against the dangers of hubris and suggests that the longer, harder road is what builds character, resilience and wisdom: the things that will serve you best in life.” He contrasts that with Rey: “There’s no particular challenge, obstacle, or shortcoming that Rey struggles to overcome. She already has everything she needs to succeed in life, and so there’s nothing in particular to learn from her. Wow, what an inspiring example for all of us! And that’s not even counting all the other horrendous life lessons to be learned from the new Star Wars movies! Such as: You should blindly trust authority figures and do exactly as they command, even if their orders make no sense and run contrary to everything you know to be right.” He then gives two or three more examples of terrible life lessons from the Star Wars movie.

    There’s also an analysis of why Wonder Woman 1984 (the 2020 movie) had a horrible message, but I’m already quoting too much and this post is getting too long as a result. Go watch the video: the whole thing is WELL worth 11 minutes of your time. And, hopefully, will give someone some inspiration for a Mad Genius Club blog post! 🙂

    1. BTW, the same guy has an analysis of one scene from the old Ghostbusters movie vs. the corresponding scene (a pair of scenes, actually) in the 2016 remake, and a very cogent analysis of why the remake was lousy writing, especially in comparison to the tight writing of the original. I won’t link to it since I don’t want WordPress to add *that* one as an embedded video, but the Youtube video ID is jsxa2tOWs6w.

    2. (Nods) I have a lot of complaints about the SW prequels, but while I know that deconstruction is something of a dirty word around here, Anakin’s story is a fantastic deconstruction of the “you just need to discover how special you are” character arc.

      1. Or “you must get in touch with what you truly feel”? [Crazy Grin]

  4. Maria Lucas (the former Mrs. Lucas) did a lot of editing on the first Star Wars movies. I suspect she had a good grasp of the archetypes and the structure of fairy tales.
    Likewise, Ivan Reitman edited the first Ghostbusters script rather firmly. I have a copy of the original and there’s no question he improved it.
    I guess one lesson is, listen to your editor.

    1. Not necessarily. Some editors are fools.

      I’ve been convinced for a long time now that George Lucas never actually understood why Star Wars became one of the greatest movies ever made. The prequel films didn’t originate that belief, but they certainly confirmed it.

      For that matter, I think a lot of writers/producers/directors never understand why one of their works becomes a hit and another one, technically just as good, doesn’t. Sometimes the key is the producer, sometimes it’s the editor, sometimes it’s someone else. ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ and ‘The Golden Voyage of Sinbad’ are great for one reason only, and it ain’t the acting, or the writing, or the editing. It’s Ray Harryhausen.

      And sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw.

      1. My favorite guilty-pleasure author absolutely got lightning in a bottle with her first novel/trilogy. Then she wrote another one, which was plodding and preachy and godawful. Then she wrote a duology, which was…tolerable. They all use the same tropes, but for some reason the first ones *work* and the rest of them went straight to the used bookstore. Always kind of boggled me a bit.

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