Cloak and Dagger.

My mom says Summer shows are ones the producers don’t think will go over well so they get them out of the way in Summer and launch major shows in the fall.

If that’s the case I understand better why Marvel launched a show about virtually unheard of teen heroes this year, but I thought it looked kind of cool notwithstanding. I wan’t concerned about it being smaller scale, honestly I thought Marvel could use a welcome dose of moderation…unfortunately I did not get that with this show.

If you happen to have heard of it and been curious, I can tell you all you need to know about it to decide not to watch it.

I can’t really list any positives with this show other than the main characters are good actors, and the special effects on on par with Marvel’s other movies, there was one episode that was truly good, number seven, it’s the only one I could recommend. But you’d not understand it without seeing the previous ones, and they are not worth it.

In addition to the standard creepy voodoo and unnecessary sex scenes, this show features one of the worst characters ever: Tandi. The girl lead.

Oh my gosh, Tandi is the worst.  She makes Deadpool look like someone with moral consistency.

Throughout the course of the season Tandi establishes herself as a gifted liar, a thief who drugs rich kids after faking going to have sex with them and then takes their valuables, a drug addict who hates her mom’s boyfriend, and a homeless girl with suicidal thoughts.

If that wasn’t enough to make you dislike her, she constantly lies to and manipulates Tyrone, her only friend, who she met by scamming anyway. Tyrone actually cares about her, but with seemingly no concern and some apparent satisfaction Tandi steals from him and hi parents after faking coming over out of concern for him on the anniversary of his brother’s death. She doesn’t bother to return the stuff after she’s done using it for an investigation, and Tyrone remains blissfully unaware of it. Poor fellow.

Tandi is a selfish jerk and no mistake. Tyrone can always rely on her to fail him when he needs her most. She’ll make the selfish choice and then run from the consequences. She has the gall to chew him out for his own issues, and her apology later seems to be just to get him to do as she wants.

To make matters worse, for whatever bizarre reason, Tandi is one of the two chosen to protect the world with her gift, a shimmering dagger and the ability to touch people and see their hopes. You’d think this would give her sympathy for people, but she uses this gift for her own purposes to try to find whoever was responsible for destroying her dad’s good name. (Tandi’s life being defined by losing her father in a tragic accident.) She sees all sorts of people’s hopes, some of them quite repulsive I might add, and takes a kind of sick delight in being able to intrude.

When Tyrone suggest that that might be crossing a line Tandi responds with “The world has been stealing from me my whole life, it’s time I stole some of it back.”

At this point I wanted to slap her. “Oh yeah Tandi, you have a house, you had a boyfriend before you ditched him, you had a car, you have food, and if you had wanted you could’ve earned your way through school because anyone with your skill at lying to people to get hired could get a freaking job! But no, you’ve lived by drugging and stealing from people who never did zip to you! And the world has stolen form you!? Get over yourself!”

Seriously, her dad’s death was an accident and was partly his own fault anyway, people survive worse tragedies without becoming psychos. As Tryone points out “Would your dad be proud of what his little girl has become?”

To top it all off, Tandi finds out her dad sometimes smacked her mom around, and immediately decides to forget about clearing his name and to cease to believe in him and to feel justified in being selfish because clearly she can’t trust anyone.

Talk about a victim mentality.

Tyrone is a lot more likable. He does kind things and is a better friend to Tandi than she’s ever been to anyone. He’s the real hero of the show, and sadly if you’re familiar with his comic story, he’s actually stuck with an instability due to his power that would make him go to the dark side if it wasn’t for Tandi’s power counterbalancing. Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if she was the type of person I could picture caring about him.

Now, the show really wants you to believe that there’s more to Tandi than meets the eye, even after she’s repeatedly proven that she’s a terrible person, but it has other problems. The overall tone of the show is way darker than most of Marvel material, and that’s with a lower body count. It has this theme of hopelessness, and nobody on it really being truly good, though Tyrone does come through most often. But from cops to parents, the show screws everyone’s rose colored image of the people in their life, and for what reason we don’t know. the show just believes people are incurably evil.

Which as someone who believes in original sin, I might have to agree with. Without God and love, people are incurably selfish. But people still have goodness int hem, and when any show or movie is determined to erase all traces of that by giving everyone a Freudian selfish reason for whatever they do, I question whether it’s really trying to be about heroes.

This show seems to be cash-grabbing by using Marvel’s name as an excuse to let their own sick minds run wile. Because who the heck comes up with stuff like this unless their own world view is skewed?

Now, you may wonder, would someone who likes darker stuff like this show?

No. Unless your really really like dark stuff. Even if you’re a fan of evil characters, this show would not satisfy you; if you like antiheroes, it won’t satisfy; and if you like heroes, you definitely won’t be satisfied.

I’m serious, it’s not even worth it to make fun of it. Just avoid this show, it deserve to go under, but I do with Tyrone’s actor the best of luck making it into an actual Marvel movie.

Until next time–Natasha.

The difference between men and women-1

I’ve spent years trying to figure this one out and I finally have my answer: I don’t know what it is.

Well, I do and I don’t.

I can’t understand why people ever started saying men and women are equal or the same, and I really don’t know why they say “a girl can do anything a boy cand o.”

My dad always responds to that by saying “except pee standing up.”

Guys laugh at that and girls roll their eyes.

I could think of a few other things men can do that women can’t…and vice versa.

You’d be surprised how many men don’t even know what a menstrual cycle is, other than it makes girls super emotional.

And not all girls, and not all the time, I only get emotional sometimes. Other time sI hardly notice.

You know I find that if I pick any one trait and think “men are more this than women” I immediately have a few examples come to my mind of men who defy that generalization.

My dad is by far the most emotional person in my family, my mom might go through a whole week or month without yelling more than once or twice, my dad can rarely go through two days.

My mom is one of those people who smile more than laugh, my dad laughs all the time even in negative conversations.

Men are supposedly better drivers and better at math, my mom beats my dad at both those things.

My parents are both exceptional anyway, but that’s just the two of them. I know other boys and girls who defy stereotypes. I know guys who like to knit or sew or cook. I know girls like me who prefer self defense to ballet. That’s not so uncommon anymore.

The point is, if I pick any one thing, I can’t generalize. Both men and women participate in every activity you could think of. From the best things to the worst. Some things it would be nice to rule men out or women. It would be nice if it was true that women don’t sleep around and go from man to man like they were sampling them, and that men are never emotionally needy and clingy. But it’s not.

If I listen to any given conversation around my campus I’ll have proof of this. Boys can be just as emotional and annoying about it as girls, and girls can frankly be just as inconsiderate as boys are more reputed to be in relationships.

And boys can be sensitive and caring,  I don’ know why every genre except chick flicks and the rare kids’ movie seems to not get this. In some cultures a man might be more likely to cry than a woman in some situations. It used to be unladylike for a woman to demonstrate too many motions in public, now it;s weird for a man to do that.

Social fads never mean much anyway, people are too diverse.

I can’t trace he difference between men an women to any hobby or personality trait in particular. Humor can be one consistent difference, but not always. I laugh when people get slugged in movies if i feel it was merited. Even though violence isn’t supposed to be funny to girls.

Sometimes I wonder if I am mannish because I like things girls aren’t supposed to like that much. But I don’t consider myself odd given that I grew up with no brothers and a father who’s main way to enjoy playing with his kids was to buy them war and weapon themed toys. When you’re a girl and your dad is into very masculine stuff, you adapt and become flexible.

Now, true to the expectation, my mom couldn’t care less about that stuff, so I ended up with diverse interests. I am one of many girls or boys that did.

It’s not like boys never learn to do more homemaking stuff from their mom, or even their dad.

This isn’t about what we do, really, it’s not about how we feel. Men and women feel pretty much the same about things. The only difference I notice, and this difference is slight at best, is men seem to feel embarrassed for feeling as much as they do and they deny it, giving the wrong impression that they don’t care.

While girls only feel embarrassed about certain feelings.

Guys will downplay excitement, enthusiasm, sadness, and compassion into “guy” terms. Actions, and short sentences. (Usually, but you’ll have your Shakespearean poetic fellow now and again.)

Girls tend not to downplay positive feelings to each other, they might around guys. But they will downplay negative feelings a lot of time.

I think being bubbly and glad is perceived as a girly thing, so after a certain age most men drop it and hide their good feelings, while women only bring out those feelings, or else resort to being business like.

Again, this is still subject to personal choice. There are exceptions. That’s the only general rule I’ve seen to really apply however.

I will give men a tip here, with girls if you don’t express positive feelings she’s going to assume you feel negatively, or worse indifferent. Indifference is worse, at least to me. If you’re negative I can fight with you at least. Anything is better than stagnation. Guys usually think women are reading into it when they assume the worst, but that’s imply how we communicate.

Conversely, I’ve learned that if I have a spat with my dad I’ll fix things a lot sooner by doing something then by just saying I’m sorry.

I think this boils down to women wanting to know you feel remorse, and men wanting to know you’ll actually take responsibility for your actions.

However, I still say we all have both, it’s just which one it takes to seal the deal that differs.

That said, the real difference between men and women isn’t something you can diagnose. And people are trying to diagnose it so they can cure it.

I don’t care if men are different from me, if they’ll just stop griping about it. I’d hope they feel the same way. God made us different.

You see, our differences are something in us grater than the sum of our parts. It’s not whether you wear make up or wear cologne that makes you a man or a woman. It’s something in your soul.

One reason i don’t believe that people can be transgender. As I just said, emotionally you cant’ really pinpoint the difference between the sexes, it’s soulful, or spiritual if you will. We kind of just sense that it’s there. If you interact with a man or a woman for nay length of time, you’ll feel the difference.

Ironically gay people may actually be more likely to realize men and women are very different, they’ve just decided they don’t like one or the other.

 

 

 

The Genius of Phineas and Ferb.

So here’s a home-schooled joke, Phineas and Ferb are actually our Math and Science Teachers

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The implication being we’re smart enough to figure out both those things by watching Phineas and Ferb work. Not quite.

But I do think I have one thing in common with Phineas and Ferb, I love to imagine things beyond possible.

Maybe not like them, not now that I got old and realistic and boring. But I still have a very active imagination.

The whole premise of the show could basically being able to do whatever you can imagine doing, every kid’s dream, that you could never get in trouble for it. And you would never get hurt.

Sign me up for that.

What I think really made the show genius though was the combination of blatant mocking and on point subtly.

The show makes fun of everyone. The people on it, the people watching it, the thins we do as a society, the things we used to do. This it does obviously. Almost too on the nose sometimes, you do kind of wince. And roll your eyes.

The subtlety comes in with the characters themselves. Before I watched all the episodes I thought the characters were cut and dried, they were two dimensional, right? (Ha Ha.)

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I was wrong. Overtime the writers developed these characters. The beauty of it was the characters are still basically ordinary people. The dull and boring adults, the anger mismanaged bully, the school obsessed nerd. (Me–just kidding.) The older sister who just wants her brothers to be normal. And Phineas and Ferb themselves are just too little boys doing what they love and bringing their friends along for the ride.

Isabella, the girl with a major crush on Phineas is a normal girl too. Vanessa, my personal favorite, is a moody teenager but with a good heart.

And they all are these average things, but the show makes those things out to be special in of themselves. It may be normal for little boys to have bid imaginations and big dreams, but isn’t that also a astounding thing?

Candace is a  tempestuous teenager, but she can also do amazing things when she’s motivated and proves herself to be dependable where it counts.

Buford is a bully, but he changes under the influence of good clean fun with his new friends, who go from being his victims to being his best buddies over the course of the Summer.

Baljeet becomes less wimpy and more adventurous after hanging out with the others.

Isabella is very girly, but it doesn’t make her any less cool. She does incredible things just like the boys, but owns being a girl the whole time. Unashamedly wearing pink jumpers, hair bows, and going for sparkles and butterflies and hearts.

Vanessa is shown to be able to do any number of cool things, and despite being the moody one, proves to be the most emotionally intelligent person on the show. (Possibly one of the most intelligent period.) and though she seems to have a dark side, int he end she convinces her dad to be a good guy.

My favorite thing about Phineas and Ferb is how they nail touching moments, even while being silly and nonsensical, simply because they themselves are good people, not perfect, but good. Guys you’d want to be friends with.

I also, as a writer and actor, have to appreciate that Jeff and Swampy (the writers) got to let their imaginations go, make fun of everyone, reference all their favorite science fiction/adventure shows and movies, and write songs about stuff no one else thinks is worth singing about in all genres of the spectrum…and get paid for it for 8 years! Then asked to come back for another show.

I want a job like that, man.

Unlike other Disney channel and kids’ network show characters, who constantly disappoint you with making stupid, cruel, or irresponsible decisions. Phineas and Ferb tend to come through for people on the moral crisises, and do it in a fun way.

Sure, it runs a little too far off the deep end sometimes. Sometimes the mockery is too much. But nobody is perfect.

What I think matters is that this show gives you ideas and sparks creativity. And in its own toned down way, it makes me feel more kindly toward the people around me by reminding me that even when they are ordinary, they can be extraordinary.

Which may sound like sap, but it’s really true when you think about it. People around you tend to surprise you.

It’d be a faithful saying that if you’re a optimist about human nature, human nature will prove you wrong; and if you’re cynical about human nature, human nature will still prove you wrong.

My dad likes to harp on how millennials are stupid and flaky, then he is surprise a lot when he finds one who isn’t.

If you were convinced all young people were brilliant, as some people are, I’m afraid you need to meet some of the ones I know…sorry, we’re not all brilliant. I am, but not all of us. (wink.)

But as Phineas and Ferb shows us, even in stupid people there are flashes of brilliance. Or there may be hidden genius no one ever taught them to use. And int he smartest people there can be total cluelessness. And in humble people just there to help, the truest character can be found. (Isabella being my example here.)

Isabella

I read a book expounding on how the Peanuts could be telling us the message of the Gospel. Phineas and Ferb is very similar to a newer, animated version oft he Peanuts, with less pessimism from the main characters. While I won’t make the claim that Phineas and Ferb was in any way a Christian show, I will say that it had some solid values and I definitely hope to share it with my kids some day.

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That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

[All photos are from Google and I am in no way claiming them to be my own or using them for monetary gain.]

At home in the universe.

Yesterday I had the great opportunity to go to an observatory. I am a big fan of the universe and stars and planets. A friend of mine and I were discussing recently how awesome it would be, after we get to heaven, to just go hopping around the universe.

And it would be, because even the pictures I see of clouds of stars and galaxies are breathtaking. Imagine seeing it in person. It’s no wonder some astronomers are dying to discover the secret of space travel.

You can Google images too if you want to know what I’m talking about. Rainbow clouds, huge whorls of pink galaxies or solar systems. More stars than you can fit into your mind. And it goes on forever. Literally, it’s all still expanding.

Which is proof of a higher power if you ask me. Where did the space to expand into come from? The big bang couldn’t have created it, even if you buy that crud, which I don’t. But the Big Bang doesn’t solve the problem of where everything cam from, it just presets a very long drawn our method of it expanding.

I am getting to the point where I find the Theory of Evolution too ridiculous to take seriously. If you look at what the universe looks like, you’ll see it’s astoundingly beautiful, and it truly is other worldly.

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King David wrote about seeing all the worlds God had made  (You might be more familiar with that in the song “How Great Thou Art.”) I don’t think David meant there was literally other earths out there, like in science fiction, I think he was probably referring to the planets.

I don’t believe in aliens. But I don’t rule out the possibility of other worlds, Not ones that could support human life. I think we’re here on earth for a reason. I don’t expect we’ll ever find anything resembling a life like a life on earth in the universe.

I think that out there, the’re life of another sort. If you look at the pictures of the Galaxy, you’ll feel like it is alive. But not alive like we’re alive. It’s not a sentient breathing being, but it’s not dead. It’s vibrant, it’s magnificent, and there’s so much of it.

Why would God put beauty all over the universe when it is doubtful we’ll ever be able to find it all?

Well, because God is much greater than we can know, in this life anyway. And He does not limit Himself just because we are limited.

Which brings me to something a little less pleasant. The folly of man.

While I was at this observatory I saw a sign (one of those informative ones like you see at museums) that was talking about what we’re discovering about the universe. At the bottom it had the amusing thought to present that because we’re learning abut this “We are finding our place in the universe and feeling at home in it.” That’s almost exactly what it said, but I wish I’d had a notebook to jot it down, my phone doesn’t take accurate enough pictures for it.

Yes, ladies and gents, because we can take pictures of stuff billions of light years away and form theories about things we’ll never touch, we are finally able to feel at home in the universe.

The plaque also said that the reason for this was because we could understand it. BS I say!

We have our theories, we can’t even agree on those. But if we think we are anywhere near understanding the universe we are beyond delusional. We don’t understand DNA, something all around us, on us, in us, and something we’ve studied up close for decades. Yet we think we could understand something we’ve seen only at a great distance.

We can’t predict our own weather with great accuracy, yet we think we know weather on other planets. Do you see the humor in this? And the arrogance.

At home in the universe? Give me a break. Do you feel at home on your block?

When I consider the heavens, like David, I am in awe. And there was a quote about that too. From Griffith J. Griffith talking about the Mount Wilson Observatory.  “Man’s sense of values ought to be revised. If all mankind could look through that telescope, it would change the world.”

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I know that I don’t exactly feel at home in the universe. There is something entirely beyond my understanding even just looking at the photos. Let alone if I tried to study it. See if it doesn’t make you feel the same way. Small.

But I do feel like I differ from a lot of people in one way. The universe does not make me feel unimportant. Unimpressed with man’s attempts to snatch glory apart from God, yes.

But not unimportant. I do feel small and extremely limited when I think of all the places I can’t reach, but it only makes me realize that one day I will be free of this body “of death” as Paul called it.

I don’t hate my body, but it’s a humbling thing to have a mortal body. It does things that don’t really make you feel all that proud, and it limits you. What Outer space reminds us off is that our body is a very temporary thing.

If you don’t feel at home on earth, I don’t think space frightens you so much as it makes you want to expand. If people are too busy int heir lives to ever look up even at the heavens we can see from here, I wonder if they are just a little too comfortable on this fallen planet.

Nathaniel Bowditch looked up at the stars, his mother said they made your problems shrink if you looked at them long enough.

I think the scariest thing for some of us, and also the most alluring, is that the galaxies are not full of man made objects. They are wild, in a way. Divine in their design.

I hear a man quoting one of those ole shows “Space, the last frontier.”

The frontier we can’t reach yet.

galaxy-sky-stars-Favim.com-192527

Spiral Galaxies Confirm Creationism (A Post from another author.)

I found this other blog post talking about galaxies that I thought was interesting. Check it out.

New Discoveries & Comments About Creationism

The stars were always an interest in my youth, learning about their range in color indicating their surface temperature for instance, the coolest stars are red while the hottest stars are orange. The temps in various stars range from anywhere 3,000 to 40,000 Kelvins.

Stars also have different brightness to them. The way scientists can determine how bright a star is, is by color and size of the star. Blue stars shine brighter than cooler red stars which are of the same size while giant stars shine more brightly than little dwarf stars.spiralgalaxyThe common elements which stars of made of are, hydrogen and helium gas. When you combine all the mass from these elements, it creates a gravitational field much stronger than earth’s which prevents the gas from dispersing out into space. Astronomers who embrace evolution, believe that stars randomly form from a collapsed nebula.

A nebula is an enormous…

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Stuck in Groundhog day.

Groundhog Day. Funny how an ordinary holiday has now become the symbol for having infinite chances.

I think Jumanji turned that on its head though, by pointing out that we only ever have one life. The idea that we could have more is as bizarre as a video game.

Even if you believe in Eternal Life, like I do, we all still believe that what we do on this earth matters. You’ll notice that almost all people have a sense of this, no matter what they believe. We all feel like our days here are adding up to something.

The Bible says “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12.

“Show me, O LORD, my end and the measure of my days. Let me know how fleeting my life is.”  Psalm 39:4.

Our days are adding up to something, but the Bible reminds us to not just mindlessly accumulate them, but to count them, and measure them, and see what we are adding up to.

We do get second chances, but as you all know, not infinite ones to redo our lives. Yet in a way it is true. Every day is a new chance to do the right thing.

The secret of Groundhog Day is time management. If you knew what would happen at any time in the day, you could do anything within reason.

But I am not a machine, I can’t plan my day out so meticulously. You ever wonder why you feel so stupid when you walk out of the house without some important item that you needed to do a major activity in your schedule? (Happened to me yesterday.) How could you forget that?

Teachers can be real hypocrites about this too. Because unless you are abnormally good at remembering stuff, everybody does that. Frequently. have you ever known someone who doesn’t forget that one thing, lose their glasses by putting them on their head, go into a room without turning the light on and then try to turn it off when they leave. We don’t always focus on everything as much as we want too.

And Teachers can be all like “It’s your responsibility, and you really should be more organized. Yada yada.” And you;re reaction is to apologize and feel really dumb.

And maybe you are disorganized. But often I’m thinking “I had the paper/item right there on the table and I walked out of the house without it.”

the real reason is we’re in a rush and I recommend getting everything together the night before if possible, but it’s not always possible is it.

We tend to give ourselves leniency on things that are really important, and beat ourselves up over stuff that isn’t. You ever notice that? It’s like we feel we have to pay retributions to something, but we are too scared to face up to our biggest issues.

But if Groundhog Day really happened, the kicker is, you couldn’t get away from yourself. So the only way to survive is to become selfless. Because in the end it’s our own selfishness and not our situation that makes us miserable.

And I think if you feel like you’ve been stuck in that cycle for a long time, you might really be fed up with yourself. And that’s okay, Jesus can fix that…if you won’t accept that answer, I can’t help you. I don’t know any other way to escape from yourself.

At bottom that’s what all those minor frustrations with ourselves are springing from, from our need to get out of ourselves and do something for other people, and feel like we are connected to something bigger than us in life.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.