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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Are We Like The Ants?



Dear Readers,


In my last couple of postings, I briefly wrote about a book I recently read- ZOO by James Patterson. In a different annotation, not in terms of thriller novel and at the present time, there seems to be a "zoo" plot of its own emerging in today’s society. If one keeps up with daily happenings and proceedings, one can get the general feeling there is a certain amount of tension, or anxiety intensifying in this country. From anti-police riots to the homosexual agenda sweeping the nation, we are in for quite a ride.




Principally, I am speaking about the anti-police riots, gay agenda, anti-Confederate flag, and what other offending thing, or fad ruling is prevalent at the given moment. When there are uprisings, either anti-police, anti-establishment, or bigotry disturbances, the most common type of rioters are the poor, seemingly oppressed, and rebel “peace-love-tolerance lovers”.

 These protesters, are fueled by racial, and or bigot rage wrought upon by the select influential few. This recaps the point made in the Patterson novel:  The animals blindly follow their abnormal instinctual behaviour, resulting from a mixture of outside sources.

Take this example and apply it to the Ferguson and Baltimore riots, and other forms of brutality directed towards police these last few months. I am sure that there are abuses that happen within police departments, but destroying a city to protest such things do not impress anyone to believe in and which to further their “cause”. It just means that they can act silly as an unruly child towards their parents.

Another prime example to note is the ‘across the board’ gay marriage ruling.


In another post, which you can read here, but I’ll share a part of it:


American culture screams tolerance towards these alternative lifestyles. While these "groups" maintain their "right" to free-speech and to other "implied freedoms", this debacle is hypocritical in nature. Whenever a Catholic politician, Christian business owner, citizen, etc. upholds their Godly convictions publicly, they are blasted as being hate-mongering, racist, a bigot, intolerant…”
I don’t know what is more ironic, or illogical? Many mainstream individuals don’t want religion interfering with their personal freedoms, more importantly of one who can love, or not love, and how one participates in it. BUT, they’ll graciously have the all-almighty American Government to decree and secure these “rights”. It’s another example of the State controlling the lives of its citizens, if ever so overtly. 



One last point I would like to make is the Confederate Flag fiasco. I didn’t know a flag could anger so many people. The most racial tension began when our beloved President Obama began talking cleverly about racial bigotry and insinuating motives for these “police brutalities”, and the “oppressed” minorities. Haven’t my readers noticed that he is quite clever in speech? He appeals to all.


The sign of a wound healing is by not picking at it or digging deeper, but letting it heal and applying salve to it. Obama is a race baiter, and he is picking at the unfavorable wound more and more, causing more hurt, more pain, and more infection, which is indeed spreading rapidly throughout the body. 
That is why American Society has so much racial trepidation these days, not to mention other worries. Whites are pitted against African-Americans and vice versa. The common American is pitted against each other. Time-honored values are scoffed by the status quo. 
Traditional marriage (i.e. 1 man and 1 woman) is evermore cheapened by a Supreme Court Ruling, and mocked its hypocritical constituents. Anything goes


Apparently it is more important to enforce the “rights” for gays and lesbians, and to abolish the Confederate Flag than it is to protect America’s sovereignty and morality. Are we that insane?


The Catholic Church is made to look like a fool. God is mocked. God-fearing folks are persecuted in deviant ways. We have a Pope who
The promotion of a selfish, narcissistic, and self-gratifying way of thinking is currently happening.


Why are we blindly following the status quo? Have we become lemmings and sheep, dumbed down by our own folly?



No restraint. No self-control. No soberness. No sanity. No thinking. No accountability. No responsibility. No God.


Do what YOU want. Do what makes YOU happy. If it doesn’t affect ME, I don’t care what YOU do. Do what makes YOU feel good. I can marry who I want. I can love who I want. I can act how I want.



I don’t need any rules.


 I am free!


The slogan of today. 
 
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The dream of the death spiral. The ants I saw once in Costa Rica. There was a circle in the sand. The squirming black whirlpool. Thousands and thousands of ants, all running together in an endless circle. Blindly, they follow each other, each one locked onto the pheromone trail of the ant in front of him. Running themselves in circles, circles. Running themselves to death. A closed loop. A snake biting its tail. A symbol of futility. Locked in their loop, the ants run around and around in circles-desperate, stupid, doomed."


 - James Patterson, Zoo
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jurassic World



Having been a fan of the Jurassic Park movies, I was a bit skeptical and concerned if Jurassic World would deviate from the charm of the magical greatness which the Jurassic Park movies originally emanated.
Only one of the original cast came to reprise their role, a Mr. Henry Wu who was the chief geneticist of InGen. The movie-goer may recognize him, but he is much older in this film. Jimmy Fallon also stars in this movie and also as himself.
Being an enthusiast of Sam Neil, I was hoping he would reprise his role as the archaeologist with "common sense", but it looks like Chris Pratt somehow reprises Neil's unruly, enigmatic and debonair character, as Velociraptor trainer/expert -Owen Grady.
I like Chris Pratt as an actor. His debut in Guardians of the Galaxy, reeled me into his "bad-ass" and chivalrous character portrayal. However, he did an OK pseudo-reprisal of Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic World, whether that was intentional, is left up to speculation.

There is the side story of Claire's visiting nephews who come with the all too common family drama, and the seemingly cooler, but rude and distant older brother, versus the kid-brother. Somehow it takes almost being eaten to really appreciate your family and to disconnect from the "online" world to the real one, hence the story's depiction of the older brother's reluctance to adventure and wonderment and favoring instead, to bury his head into his phone with a disgruntled murmur towards his excited younger sibling.


Bryce Dallas Howard is  Claire Dearing, the John Hammond-styled control-freak opportunist and park operations manager of Isla Nublar.
Jurassic World is rebuilt 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park. Everything in Jurassic World  screams with Jurassic Park references from the in-movie discovery of its distinctive ruins to the statue immortalizing John Hammond, then the quick cameo of the Mr. DNA. It was refreshingly sentimental.
Jurassic World's plot, progression of events, and character resemblances were strangely reminiscent of and coincided with Jurassic Park. J. World's base line echoes the ludicrous possibility of controlling dinosaurs to the whims of special interest parties and InGen, which often goes horribly wrong. In this movie, instead of horribly wrong, it was provocatively catastrophic.


InGen cooked up the first GMO dinosaur hybrid named Indominous Rex. GMO dinosaurs are prevalent on this Island, but this one tops them all. I. Rex surpassed their expectations to the point of it being a highly intelligent being, probably more intelligent than its creators themselves. In these movies, dinosaurs have a knack at proving the-powers-at-be to be utterly wrong at their greedy control of nature. Candid satire, if you will.

Owen Grady [Chris Pratt], a Velociraptor expert and trainer who trained his Raptors to respect him enough to not eat him exhibited a sense of a beloved-pet-and-his-owner relationship. When I.Rex escaped its "paddock" and began to terrorize Isla Nublar, Owen with much reluctance obeyed Vic, the head of park's security, to use the raptors to track down and kill I. Rex.

Owen set his raptors free to track down the dinosaur hybrid so the humans can destroy it, until I. Rex "ordered" the tracking raptors to attack the close following humans. Then, it was mayhem. Vic is eventually killed off by a raptor, as he is caught stealing dinosaur embryos for his master plan of creating dinosaurian super-weapons.



Owen, Claire and her two young nephews fled to the now deserted, but once populated park's "main street", if you will. Owen, now re-asserted himself as the alpha over his raptors, engaged his animals to attack the I. Rex, with all but one raptor being killed. With the situation becoming increasingly dire, Claire somehow escapes and frees T. Rex. When T. Rex comes out of his "paddock" following Claire to eventually defeating I. Rex- somehow, it is an emotional experience for me.

Nostalgia?

Sentimentality?

I have always liked T. Rex, and seeing him (or her?) barely defeating I.Rex with the help of the lone surviving raptor and the watery Mosasaurus, was iconic at its best. After all, T. Rex and the raptors made up for their destruction in Jurassic Park. 

Consensus? I was pleasantly surprised. 







Friday, June 12, 2015

While You Were Out: Zoo, Avengers: Age of Ultron, And More

Now, now, dear readers, I finished reading the newest James Patterson novel, Zoo, which is by far the most thrilling, suspenseful, and blood-rushing sci-fi novel I have read, in second to: A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller (it wasn't quite as bloody graphic). 
It is quite literally, the worst-case scenario of a widespread savage attack on the human population. The perpetrator? Bloodthirsty animals.  
In reality, these creatures are not acting in relation to what their species dictate. They have transformed to a hive of murderous and capable attackers resulting from an accidental and tragic hybrid of unique things humans take for granted. The characters and plot developed rapidly and clearly. It's the first book I have read from the author, James Patterson. Be it controversial in nature, regardless, it kept my attention to the end. 

 "...I panned the camera, following his gaze. In the grass about thirty feet away, surrounding the truck, was a circle of tawny heads. All the lions had manes. They were males. Two dozen male lions.... They seemed like trained soldiers, coordinated, choreographed, synchronized...the grass in front of the truck opened up and a golden blur streaked in front of the camera."
-James Patterson, Zoo

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 I saw the recent Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. It was action-packed. The movie was ok, though not the most exciting superhero movie I have ever seen. There were some questionable parts in it, but over all it was decent.








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For the last 5 days I was busy with a Girls' Camp hosted by the SSPX Sisters at Camp Howard in Sandy, Oregon. The camp itself was a great experience. I was a Counselor. My team consisted of 9 girls ranging from ages of 8.5 years to 15 years. I am glad it only lasted for 5 days. The camp location was super. We had a scenic view of Mt. Hood! It was quiet, except for a passing airplane or the rumble of the car belonging to the camp manager. The weather was nice and it wasn't too hot or too cold.
 My girls were well-behaved, for the most part. We did all sorts of activities planned by the Sisters, and we all followed a set schedule. We had Mass and the Sacraments every day. I was literally worn out by the end of camp and am glad that it is over.
The drive to the Camp was in part an adventure in and of itself. The windy, hair-pin turns and the bushy, exquisite hamlets remind me of the small European French towns, which I had walked through while on my pilgrimage. All in all, it was nice to have a break from the rat-race of the world.
 
My next movie review will hopefully be on Jurassic World.

I will be very busy in July with more traveling. I will be attending a seminar in Kansas. Then I will be visiting the SSPX Novitiate in Minnesota.
Oh wait, did I mention going to Kansas? Sorry to fly by that point, but I will be working in MN this school year as a assistant of sorts for the St. Robert Bellarmine Academy in Minnesota.
It will definitely be a complete change from what I am used to, but I sense Divine Providence is pulling me in that direction- no pun intended. 
It is hard, but I am leaving everything up to Him.
At this point, I don't know in what direction my life is going, but I as have blogged in the past about having Faith, Hope, and Trust in the Lord, the hardest is applying those words to my own life. I'll keep my readers appropriately updated.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Culture Hypocrisy


Within the last couple weeks, we have heard of some Christian business owners blackballed and heckled for refusing to offer their services to lesbian/gay persons and/or to their events. American culture screams tolerance towards these alternative lifestyles. While these "groups" maintain their "right" to free-speech and to other "implied freedoms", this debacle is hypocritical in nature. Whenever a Catholic politician, Christian business owner, citizen, etc... upholds their Godly convictions publicly, they are blasted as being hate-mongering, racist, a bigot, intolerant, and the list of ill-famed words continue, all the while LGBTs cry total tolerance.
Courteously speaking, if they practiced what they preached, there wouldn't be a catch to this issue. But, as Catholics and other God-fearing peoples know, the war upon morality is at an all time high.

*Lastly and more importantly, intolerance and hatred towards God is really the agenda for these liberal progressives. They even will go so far as to bypass their hypocrisy to further their agenda. Create fear, intolerance, racism, hatred and paranoia, you then have some of the building blocks for which to control the masses- the aim and end is ultimately demonic. 

During this Easter season and joyful time in the Church's year, Jesus is here with us once again.  He is always with us, "even until the consummation of the world." Thomas' once faithless belief, but now believes when he touches the wounds of Christ. Fide et amore, sacrifice and penance is our only hope in this world. Let us not forget this, even when those in power and in persuasion say otherwise.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vice Vs. Virtue

I found this little info-graphic on Pinterest. It shows the vice and its respective counterpart. We all need to be reminded sometimes.

7 Lively Virtues that BATTLE the 7 Deadly Sins

Monday, February 9, 2015

American Sniper: Movie Review



Today, I saw the critically-acclaimed war movie, American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood. To date, it remains the 3rd highest grossing film of 2014, and the highest grossing war film in North America(Source: Wikipedia). Those who like war movies won't be disappointed.


The movie begins with his family as a young boy. The family is portrayed as being rather conservative and "religious." The years go by, and Chris [Bradley Cooper] is making his living as a cowboy in Texas until the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Navy Seal. He undergoes rigorous training, eventually becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL sniper.

After the attacks of 9/11, he is sent to the Middle East (Iraq). His first kills were of a woman and of a young boy. He was considerably shaken by that experience, but earns the nickname "Legend" for his many sniper kills (160 recorded/255 probable).
Chris sees much savagery among the Iraqis, not only towards the Americans, but towards each other. With each kill and with each barbarous event he is witnessing, it pangs him and he is in constant anguish. He can't help but to bring it home with him. War-it is not a happy sight, nor is it an easy thing to forget.
In the movie, there are many gruesome depictions of soldiers and insurgents being shot and killed, as well some bloody torture scenes. I have seen war movies before, but this was in the category of it-being-too-real-to-be-a-movie.
Despite his respite from each Tour of Duty, he had trouble readjusting to civilian life. He had simply changed. His family suffered as a result of his absence during each Tour and even more so when he came home. He was in denial that he was being affected by the countless atrocities that he witnessed while being over in the Middle East. He ends up serving 4 Tours of Duty before retiring.
He finally comes to terms when telling a VA psychiatrist that he is "haunted by all the guys he couldn't save." The psychiatrist recommends that he should help "save" the surviving veterans back here at home.


In 2013, Chris and his family have moved back to Texas. The family life has drastically improved. Chris has improved. In his time, he gives back by helping veterans, like himself.
One day, when he was out on the local gun range, he and his friend were killed by the veteran he was trying to help. The movie ends with stock footage of the funeral motorcade.

The themes in this movie are God, family, brother-hood, war, torture, PTSD, guilt, military life, choice, life, death.   

All in all, I'd rate the movie a solid B+. If it wasn't for the incessant swearing and a few scenes with provocative innuendo, it would've been A+. The movie is rated -R- and certainly is not for kids.

I really enjoyed the movie overall. Just block out all the sub-par story lines and you have an all-American movie.