Culture

Glee: Words of Hate A Moment of IDIC

I was so amazed and proud of Burt Hummel Kurt’s father in Glee ep. 120 Theatricality.  He says so succinctly the problems of using words of hate and the hope for a new kind of dude.  Watch the clip of the scene Below.

Why can't you work harder at blending in

This is a softer question of hate.  Denying who we are lessens us as a whole.

The person who is “working harder at blending in” is spending most of their energy on that instead of creating a better life for themselves, their friends and family and for their community.  It’s like saying mow the lawn but we want you to work harder while doing it so use a push mower instead of a riding one.  By the end of the lawn one is more tired from the extra effort and does less in their day for it.

Then there is the psychological damage.  Knowing ones true self is an amazing liberating thing that opens up so many opportunities to experience life.  This is after all what we all seek, moments of being truly alive.  Denying one’s self is the opposite of that.  The person in denial misses those experiences of being alive. This leads to depression, increased drug use to get the feeling of being alive and suicides which is a major problem in the gay community.

Words of Hate

I was so proud of Burt for not tolerating Finn using the word Faggy.  In addition to that he really puts the word into it’s true context as a word of hate.

Saying a word of hate toward an inanimate object when it is meant for an individual in your head is still saying it at a person.  The hate is still there.

He asks Finn “Do you use the N word?”  “Do you call Becky (the girl with down syndrome) a retard?”

Words of hate don’t loose their hate just because it’s against a different group of people.  After all it’s really what’s behind the words hate and that is the same from word to word.  That is the poison that hurts the one spouting it and those who come into contact with it.

Before you use a word, think: ‘Does this word come from a source of hate?’  ‘What am I really saying when I use the word?’

New Kind of Dude

“I thought you were some kind of new dude who was cool about it.”  The disappointment in Burt’s voice was so poignant.

It’s always about evolving, growing both as people and as a society as a whole.  We all benefit when removing hate from the situation.  Finn could have addressed his lack of comfort with Kurt, his need for a more private room, and been more engaged in the decorating coming up with a productive solution if he would have left hate out.

Gene Roddenberry is a great example of the new kind of dude that Burt talks about.  His concept of IDIC is a great example of that

IDIC comes from Star Trek meaning Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination.

The New kind of dude:

  • Celebrates our diversity as a cultural strength
  • Knows ones self and continually seeks to know ones self
  • Stands up against hate and it’s poisoning effect.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Race Bending Missing The Point

A lot of discussion has stirred over M. Night Shyamalan's casting for the up coming movie The Last Airbender.  SCI FI Wire came out recently with posts for both the YES position and the No position.  I applaud them for putting forth conversation on both sides and would love to spend several posts refuting points of issue in those posts but we must keep perspective.

The Conversation to this point has boiled down to this:

  • Shyamalan cast white-skinned heroes and brown-skinned villains for the movie based on a show which has distinct ethnicity in its characters except for the Avatar.
  • He claims that his casting was color blind and those actors & actresses were the best that showed up for the role.

The main arguments have hit a point of impasse until we watch the movie and see how the acting pans out.  If the acting is brilliant then maybe it was just an unfortunate set of events that caused the casting to be the way it is.  That helps with most of the arguments except it still does not deal with a particular problem that fandom is very much against.

The Real Beef

Speculative Fiction for all of its progressive thinking tends to fall short when it comes to cultural sensitivity especially on the topics of race, gender, and homosexuality.  This sensitivity is best described by Gene Roddenberry.

Humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day they begin not just to tolorate but to take a special delight in difference in ideas and differences in life forms.

We tried to say that the worst possible thing that could happen to all of us is for the future to somehow presses us into a common mold where we begin to act talk think and look alike.

If we can not learn to actually enjoy those small differences, take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind on this planet then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that's almost certainly out there.

Avatar The Last Airbender is an incredibly culturally progressive SF show.  Instead of going for characters with no particular cultural background they featured many specific cultures.  It celebrated the cultures even of the Fire Nation demonstrating an amazing level of cultural sensitivity.  The movie's casting erases that entire level of the show.

Blind casting in this case is an attempt to press all of us into a common mold, wiping away those cultural diversities that should be celebrated.

Inaction is still a choice just as harmful as action.  A lack of cultural diversity is still distilling a society down to one common race.  We need to embrace the cultural diversity and celebrate it.  Avatar the Last Airbender is a brilliant example of how you can have villians of a particular race and still celebrate their cultural diversity.

As for me I will watch the film and hopefully find the performances brilliant to distract me from the show's lost opportunity.  Maybe by the second movie M. Night Shyamalan will be able to put back in the celebration of different cultures.

For more read:

Space Monkey's Song For the Divine Mother of the Universe

Check out the video above for Ben Lee’s music video: Song For the Divine Mother of the Universe.  The video is titled Space Monkey.

This is a nice moving video.  It starts out sweet then uses a dystopian warning to move me into action.  Not only do I get the ecological importance from the video but it also has two other warnings: the dangers of global war and the importance of our space program.  After all this is our only planet for now, the space program and humanity spreading out into space would increase the odds of us as a people surviving global catastrophe.

I really like the  Planet of the apes feel to the video as well.

...developed in collaboration with the World Wildlife Foundation Australia to “raise awareness of the devastating impact the human race could have on the planet, unless a more meaningful, healthier and sustainable way of life is adopted to help preserve its future.”

(via /Film)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Learn to Live in the Present Moment

Ocean Lake and Alamere Falls Image by brothergrimm via Flickr

To a large degree,the measure of our peace of mind is determined by how much we are able to live in the present moment.Irrespective of what happened yesterday or last year,and what may or may not happen tomorrow,the present moment is where you are --always.

Without question,many of us have mastered the neurotic, the art of spending much of our lives worrying about a variety of things --all at once.We allow past problems and future concerns to dominate our present moments,so much so that we end up anxious,frustrated,depressed,and hopeless.On the flip side,we also postpone our gratification,our stated priorities,and our happiness,often convincing ourselves that ‘someday’ will be better than today.  Unfortunately,the same mental dynamics that tell us to look toward the future will only repeat themselves so that ‘someday ’never actually arrives.

John Lennon once said,‘Life is what’s happening while we’re busy making other plans.’When we’re busy making ‘other plans’,our children are busy growing up,the people we love are moving away and dying,our bodies are getting out of shape,and our dreams are slipping away.In short,we miss out on life.

Many live as if life were a dress rehearsal for some later date.It isn’t.No one has a guarantee that he or she will be here tomorrow.Now is the only time we have,and the only time that we have any control over.

When our attention is in the present moment,we push fear from our minds.Fear is the concern over events that might happen in the future--we won’ t have enough money,our children will get into trouble,we will get old and die,whatever.

To combat fear,the best strategy is to learn to bring your attention back to the present.Mark Twain said,‘I have been through some terrible things in my life,some of which actually happened.I don’t think I can say it any better.

Practice keeping your attention on the here and now.

Your efforts will pay great dividends.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sue Sylvester Recipe For Success

Being Beautiful

Everyone shares in a desire to be accepted by their piers, to be beautiful.  This creates a lot of pressure to become what others want you to be rather then who you are.  Glee episode Home is about finding that recipe for success.  What is real beauty? What does it really mean to be beautiful?

Sue Sylvester's Recipe for Success

[reus name="Glee season 1 iFrame"]
  1. Water
  2. Add maple syrup for glucose
  3. Add a lemon for acid
  4. Add cayenne pepper (1 tablespoon) to irritate the bowls.  For fun there is a BBC article on how Cayenne Pepper Kills Prostate Cancer Cells
  5. A dash of ipecac (pour in several tablespoons) for a vomiting agent.
  6. Optional add sand.  This modification is thanks to Brittany

This is hilarious drink that makes me think of many of the other diet drinks out there that are just as outlandish but the real message is sharp and true

The amount of crap that we put ourselves through to be acceptable for others consumes us and changes us.  Like the drink we become other things but not beautiful:

  • Too sweet and empty.
  • Too bitter and sour becoming corrosive to everyone around us.
  • Too irritable that we burn those closest to us.
  • Too volatile that even the smallest interaction causes an explosive situation.

Change yourself to be like what others want you to be... Thankfully Quinn becomes the voice of reason.   "If I'm willing to eat right for my baby then why won't I eat right for me?"  Do it for yourself.

Be who you are that is how one becomes truly beautiful.

Real Recipe for Success

Mercedes sings it best.  Watch the Glee clip of Mercedes singing her cover of Christina Aguilera's song Beautiful above.

When it's hard to breathe, getting insecure from all the pain and shame remember you are beautiful no matter what they say.  Words can't bring you down.  You are beautiful in every single way.

Animation Verses Prejudice

Trade paperback cover of Buffy: Season Eight V...
Image via Wikipedia

John The Rogue Demon Hunter asks:

With all the Buffy and Angel cast getting older, would the fans being willing to accept further adventures in the animation style of Star Wars: The clone Wars?

Fans would be willing to accept further adventures of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly in an animation style.  The bigger question is would the general public accept further adventures in animation style?  Would the studios have the patience to back and distribute further adventures in animation style?

Joss Whedon has already transitioned those settings and characters into a comic format.  There is great acceptance and love for the continuation of the series in print comic form.  This leaves a short step to move from print to animation.

The current success of animated shows both on TV and in the direct to DVD markets also support the plausibility of doing more animated shows.  Clone Wars had a rocky start getting accepted though most of it was due to the new style they used in animation that took some getting used to.  The Simpsons had a lucky start with "bartmania" that still gets large ratings decades latter.  Both DC and Marvel’s direct to DVD animated movies prove both quality in animated projects and how they can cater to the adult market.

We face several problems that are hindering future projects.

General Public Prejudice

The general public in the American market has a prejudice against animated shows.  When first approaching an animated show they presume it is for children not adults.  Many don’t even bother to give those shows the time of day unless they are bringing their kids to watch it.

Though this public prejudice has decreased some in recent years it is still rampant.  I could not count the number of adults that give subtle nonverbal clues of disdain when they find out I’m watching Clone Wars or Planet Hulk.  Others still voice their prejudice by replying “I thought that was a show for kids?”

Many creators of animated projects have their demons to wrestle with too.  First, before the project is even done they have to admit they won’t win any prizes for the work due to the prejudice in viewing it as less no matter how brilliant and deserving.  Look at Avatar, the movie would have been better going full animation but instead it went with live action parts so that it could be a “movie with cool special effects”.

This prejudice holds back studios from giving a green light to an animated project that is not targeted toward the children / young adult markets.  This forces many good projects to include in kidsey elements and to remove some of the better adult elements.  Clone Wars season one is a great example of this problem.  The show was so much less than it could have been.  Once they got past the prejudice it got better in season two.

I Find Their Lack of Faith Most Disturbing

Because of the prejudice against animated projects they tend to take longer before picking up larger audience share.

Studios have been trending toward a less lenient policy when it comes to new projects.  They have been quick to cancel projects that don’t show immediate success.

This is a recipe for failure by proclamation instead of giving the project time to get over the inherent hurdles.

A New Hope

I hope that the American public continues to learn from the Japanese, and Korean animated markets.

I hope that we continue to see the trend in the decline of prejudice against animated projects.

I would love to see the continuing adventures of Firefly and Buffy the vampire slayer in animated format.

I've always wanted a Faith The Vampire Slayer series and wrote up a series outline. Maybe one day I will hook up with some animators.

I hope John finds some animator to help him with his Faith the Vampire Slayer project and that they then check in with us for many more projects.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Missouri House declares state sovereignty, dark ages follow

A woman makes her support of her marriage, and...
Image via Wikipedia

Isn't this how the Civil War started?

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House members have given preliminary approval to a constitutional amendment that asserts the state's right to reject federal actions.

The measure says that Missouri will not enforce or recognize various federal policies. Those policies would cover subjects such as hate crimes, gun control and allowing civil unions or same sex marriage (KFVS12).

So the right of someone to beat up or kill a Faggot, keep us from having equal rights, and ready access to guns are so important that they have to be enshrined in the state constitution... and why are they mixed together like that... that doesn't make me feel very good...

Since the Nullification Crisis of the early 1800s, the US has recognized the supremacy of federal law over state law.  This is one cycle from the past we can skip... ugh

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Most Captivating, Useless Machine Ever: DIY Instructions and Video

Titled:  The most useless machine ever!

Though it may be useless it's really captivating.  I just can't take my eyes off the image.

Update: Video and instructions to make your own

Thank you very much SaskView from SaskView.com who was inspired by a video of the machine made one of his own and shared the instructions on how to build it with everyone!

Build It Your Self

SaskView's instructions consist of 9 steps.  I love how he takes the first step to cover the background on the project, how he got into it and who built the original.  The second step goes into the how it works which is great because this gives the understanding to help with not only building but for the builder to add their mods and personal touches to the process.  The remaining 7 steps gets into the meat of the instructions.  Get all the steps here from Instructables

Video of the machine

(via FFFFOUND!)

Alien King As Life Size Steel Sculpture

Words can not express how badly I want a 2.4 meter tall Alien King sculpture! Made from recycled parts and welded together.

I went to Robosteel site where there are more awesome pictures of the Steel Alien sculptures and the worse thing ever happened.  They are actually for sale... *drool*

alien-king-steel-2

(via Fantasy SF Blog)

Star Wars Fans Flashmob Live Lightsaber Fight

In Bristol, England a bunch of Star Wars fans put together a flashmob for a huge lightsaber fight on February 13th 2010.  Watch the video below. I love how this video has a Star Wars type intro though they left out the scroll which would have been a perfect place to put in the back story for the flashmob or to create some story to set up a bunch of Jedi and Dark Jedi fighting in Bristol, England.

The use Duel of the Fates for the soundtrack is a perfect choice for a bunch of lightsaber fighting.

(via /Film)

Rep. Rick Boucher Presses NBC About Hulu Practices Toward Boxee

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 4:  Comcast Chairman...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

During the Congress hearing examining the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal Rep. Rick Boucher Presses NBC About Hulu Practices Toward Boxee.

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): What about Boxee? Mr. Zucker you probably are in a better position to answer that. Did Hulu block the Boxee users from access to the Hulu programs?

Zucker (NBC): This was a decision made by the Hulu management to, uh, what Boxee was doing was illegally taking the content that was on Hulu without any business deal. And, you know, all, all the, we have several distributors, actually many distributors of the Hulu content that we have legal distribution deals with so we don’t preclude distribution deals. What we preclude are those who illegally take that content.

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): “Well would you have negotiations with Boxee upon request?”

Zucker (NBC): “We have always said that we’re open to negotiations.”

I’m overjoyed to see congress pressing NBC about their issues with Boxee and Hulu.  They have had past issues with streaming content online and now with Comcast set to take over I fear those issues will only get worse.

Boxee uses a web browser to access Hulu’s content – just like Firefox or Internet Explorer. Boxee users click on a link to Hulu’s website and the video within that page plays. We don’t “take” the video. We don’t copy it. We don’t put ads on top of it. The video and the ads play like they do on other browsers or on Hulu Desktop.

The big difference between boxee and other browsers are that boxee took the effort to make their product available on other platforms that connect easily to the TV.  This is unfortunately perceived as a threat by those studios who don’t get the change in the way audiences want to consume their media.  We go into more detail on Speculative Fiction Today #405 “Many Mini Chucks”.

Zucker’s response makes me cringe because it sounds like the health care debate all over again.  One side says hey lets negotiate on this and the other side says they are more then willing to negotiate yet their actions shows no intention of doing so.

(via Boxee Blog)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Ghost Sighting In St Bathans Post Office Window

Ghost-picture-st-bathans-up-closeAndrew Watters took a picture of what appears to be a ghostly apparition.  The picture is of the old St Bathans post office near Alexandra. Could this picture be proof of the afterlife, a more natural phenomenon like clouds or is it faked?

For most they will believe what they want.  For me the value in a picture like this one is it’s inspirational value.  To dare to dream that ghosts walk amongst us.  That phenomenon beyond our current science knowledge occurs all around us. The questions it raises is what makes it worth sharing.

ghost-haunting-st-bathans-post-office

(via The Southland Times)

Odd: Live to 100, Just Take a Pill

Breakthrough pill to help people live to 100

The pill is based on immitating [sic] the effects of three super-genes that make people 20 times more likely to live to be 100 and 80 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or other similar diseases. The new pill is expected to be ready for testing within three years.

This would be awesome!  Not only give a nice extension on ones lifespan but to reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s or other similar diseases.

Sounds too good to be true?

Possibly, The quest for the philosopher's stone goes back for millennium and shows up in speculative fiction in many forms.  My first reaction to this is to sigh and think ‘ah, another snake oil salesman.’  What is fun with this pill concept is that they gave it some credibility by tying it to the longevity effects of genes.

There is ongoing research into human longevity.  Most of the successful results are tied to tweaking the subjects (mostly worms) genes.  A while back I watched a fascinating news piece on the longevity research and it’s results.  They were successful in extending even doubling the life span but there was a catch.  It doubled all of the lifespan which means twice as long as an infant, puberty twice as long, and the declining years taking twice as long.  Would this extension and payoff for the extension of life really be any increase in the quality of life?

The ethical questions raised were fascinating.  If one could live longer what quality of life would they get for it?

Would you be willing to take a pill to extend your life to 100 years?  Would you still be willing to take a pill if it had to be taken on a regular basis?

(via Unexplained Mysteries)

To Dare to Dream: Castles in the Sky

The tale of SeymourPowell’s Hydrogen Airship.

As I sit listening to the Biography Channels piece on H.G. Wells I came upon a fun article about the rebirth of hydrogen powered airships.  Samsung Corporation and London architectural design firm SeymourPowell created a video to share the vision of a floating hotel concept.

To Dare

This was picked up by many including CNN.  What is sad about the whole story is how many are concerned with the reality of the concept video or if CNN didn’t do their homework.  CNN is clear that the video is a concept proposal not an actual project.

While the Aircruise is only a conceptual proposal, designers have developed a detailed and achievable technical plan for the craft that could allow it to be built in the future. (via CNN )

That misses the point of the whole exercise which is to dream.

To Dream

I’m overjoyed that so many would allow themselves to share in the dream.  To consider what life would be like if we could have floating structures in the sky.  “Castles in the sky may soon be real” is a great article playing in the possibilities and implications.

It is also important to be aware of the concerns in dreaming to help guard from harm.  Asking constructive questions are important.  Like exploring the FAA restrictions on using Hydrogen as a lifting gas in air travel and the obvious aerodynamic complications in the design plus the docking difficulties.  These things are mere points for discussion to possibly come up with a better design.

Being contrary to the tech or position is fine.  To attack or dismiss the conversation is not.  The most important thing is the dream and the conversation about the dream.  That is how we evolve and move forward.

Like H.G. Wells we need to dare to dream to challenge our current existence and to dream of a better future.

SF News Bites: Glee, Merlin, Iron Man 2 and Stone Age Medicine

Glee

Season two brings us hope and promise for Kurt to find a new boyfriend.  I'm excited over this prospect because Glee has a track record of being very respectful in their portrayal of minorities.  In addition to that they have done such a great job in representing Kurt as a gay character especially in the episode when he comes out to his friends and family.  (via 365gay)

Merlin

Merlin Season two will be aired in the US on SyFy starting April 2. (via Whedonesque)

Iron Man 2

For those chomping at the bit to see anything out for Iron Man2 there is a gallery of pictures via Filmonic.  They are stills of the main images represented in the trailer Iron Man 2 Official Trailer and video.

AD/DC has a new album due to release April 19th called AC/DC: Iron Man 2.  It's a collection of their songs to be featured in Iron Man 2.  Preorder your copy here: Iron Man 2 (Deluxe CD/ DVD Package). They have also posted a video of "Shoot To Thrill."  (via AC/DC)

Stone Age Medicine

Bit of Odd news, stone age medicine more advanced than thought.  Evidence found to show amputation performed in sterile conditions (via Unexplained Mysteries)

Clicker Added to Boxee

clicker-screen-captureI’m excited to see that Boxee is going to add the clicker app to it’s software.  This will give Boxee a programming guide of sorts and a search engine for online video content.

While the current implementation is just an app that runs on the Boxee software, the companies are already looking to do a deeper integration. “It’s going to be crucial for us to provide an integrated experience with a search and discovery engine like Clicker,” Boxee CEO Avner Ronen told NewTeeVee. “Having Clicker deeply integrated into Boxee would be very beneficial.”

Clicker is a neat search and discovery tool.  I like that it gives me a central place to peruse what videos are available from all over the net.  Though I wished they would add an option to filter out subscription sites that offer streaming video.

(via NewTeeVee)

Males vs. Females on Social Network Sites

A social network diagram Image via Wikipedia

Royal Pingdom shared an interesting study showing that most social networks are used by women.  The exception to the rule are he social news sites Digg, Reddit and Slashdot which have more male users than female.  Why is this?

The other social networks are focused on social interaction over discovery.  The connection between people and the interaction amongst that connection.  Although all people seek this out, guys tend to find this through a shared activity like gamming online or in-person interaction like work, sports, bars, and other projects.

What is interesting is that the three social news networks are more about discovery and sharing of news connecting them through a common activity rather then socially.  This could also apply to last.fm, delicious, linkedin, stumbleupon, and friendfeed.

What sets the second group apart from the first is the aggressiveness of the environment.  This becomes evident in the tone of what is shared and the tone of the comments.  Thus why the ratio is closer to 50% for the second group.

What does this study show me

When deciding on what social networks to participate in consider:

  • What type of an environment are you looking for:  One that is more aggressive or one that is more supportive.
  • Are you looking for news or personal interaction?

The study is also fun to show support for general marketing and sociological knowledge.

via Podcasting News.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Odd Nature Safety Tip: Remember Friday The Thirteenth

Kevin Peter Hall as the Predator
Image via Wikipedia

It’s another sad story.  A 68 year old man finding his dead wife by a lake in Sweden.  The police arrested him under the suspicion of murder.  They Jailed the man while they underwent an investigation of the scene.  The police latter released him after finding evidence that the moose did it.

The moose did it.

I love going for walks but we should always remember to be safe.  For me I just remember Friday The Thirteenth, and Predator whenever wandering in nature.  Not that I expect to run into an alien or a paranormal killer but I find it helps me keep my guard up.

Nature is what it is and it is not a respecter of persons. We can’t blame creatures for behaving as they normally do we should just be as prepared and mindful as possible.

(via Cryptomundo)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]