Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The Legacy of Skywalker

I hadn’t planned on doing another post about the Star Wars saga. For me, as I said in my last outing on this subject, my Star Wars fandom is firmly rooted in the past triumphs of the IP, and I have no interest in whatever Disney has created for the galaxy far, far away beyond the top notch Rogue One. However, on occasion when I’ve run out of gaming news to read, I’ll do a quick search on the subject to see what others around the Internet are saying because, quite frankly, it actually can be more entertaining than the movies themselves. What has struck me, now that the final outing for the Skywalker Saga has been completed is how there are so many out there, fans and critics alike, who consider the conclusion an epic failure for the series. What makes this so ironic is the fact that the movies have brought in over a billion dollars each, world-wide. It’s incredible to see that in today’s world we can have billion dollar failures. That’s the current state of Hollywood for you, I guess. But the thing that has struck me the most, reading all these opinions on this trilogy, is that fans, critics, and the Disney suits alike really just don’t get it.

As I mentioned previously (and to avoid rehashing some of my arguments, I encourage everyone to go ahead and take a look at my previous blog entries on Star Wars if you haven’t read them already), I had no interest in seeing Episode IX. However, through my readings, I have read through the plot, and must say that I am just as glad that I skipped watching the conclusion to the trilogy as much as I wish I had done the same for Episode VIII. I didn’t think that the absolute crap writing of The Last Jedi could be matched by Rise of Skywalker, but it seems J.J. Abrams managed to do just that. And as a result, it has become painfully obvious that there was simply no overarching plan or plot for this trilogy of movies other than to sell a product and rake in associated merchandising tie-in money. Kathleen Kennedy’s statement that the plan to bring back Palpatine all along is not only a joke, but an outright lie, as evidenced by the plot of the original script written by Colin Trevorrow. I mean, wow, talk about no captain being at the helm of a ship. And the complaints or suggestions that Episode IX would have been better served story-wise by being split into two movies, so some backstory can be shown in one is just laughable. Once again, this was a trilogy of films and part of the job of one film is to set up events in the next. Episode VIII and Episode IX essentially have nothing that ties anything resembling a coherent story together. They are two separate films on two separate topics and that is an utter failure of management on the part of those in charge.

Naturally of course, the reviews for the final outing reflect just the opposite of what we saw with the previous film. Fans liked this one as much as the critics did the last, and vice versa. But for me, they were both equally badly written movies. I will restate this – it’s obvious the filmmaking mantra is just to go from one visually impressive storyboard moment to the next with no real rhyme or reason except to show off the technical visual effects and make people go “Wow!” in their seats in the theater. But let’s get back to the root of the issue, because, at the end of the day, the failures of Rise of Skywalker all hinge upon the failures of The Last Jedi. It’s also ironic that fans of TLJ have the same complaints and are saying the exact same things about how TROS is bad and ruined Star Wars as those who made those exact same statements about TLJ two years ago. But everyone complaining two years ago were wrong and just anti-inclusive. Funny, now that the shoe is on the other foot, how all of those complaints are now legitimate. Let’s take the Holdo maneuver for instance. I mentioned this in my previous posts on The Last Jedi, and the problems it posed for storytelling past and future in the Star Wars universe. Fans of TLJ and the scene in particular don’t care about that. It just looked cool. But in The Rise of Skywalker, the maneuver is retconned to be nothing but a big ole luck of the draw lottery hit. Those same fans, who see this as a major detractor to Holdo’s sacrifice don’t like the fact that the maneuver was retconned in such a manner. But they have absolutely no issue with the maneuver retconning every single Star Wars space battle that came before, and necessitating the need why the maneuver can’t be done in every space battle hereafter. Very interesting, and probably the one key point to just how poorly The Last Jedi was written.

Critical complaints about the conclusion of the saga rest upon the fact that it pays homage to the past outings of the series and essentially is a fan service movie. It’s seems that movie critics really hate fans of franchises because they never seem to like a movie that actually appeals to them and makes them want to go spend money to see that movie – especially when those fans are primarily white males it seems. I guess we’re just supposed to go spend money on things that don’t appeal to us. But that’s side-tracking down another path we have already discussed over the past year. But, let’s also remember that it is all of those fans that actually kept the universe alive and going for decades after it ended. It was because of this fandom that George Lucas finally decided to make the Prequel Trilogy. Star Wars is only relevant today, and worth a $4 billion buyout because of those fans. But fuck them. They don’t matter. That’s just great, isn’t it? So, the critical darling of the series is such because it was bold and subverted expectations, and Rise of Skywalker is bad because it walked back on a lot of those decisions. But what exactly was bold about The Last Jedi?

It was already pretty much established from the first six movies that anyone can be a force-user, and thusly train to become a Jedi. A farmboy. A slave. A princess. Then there’s the whole slew of Jedi we get to see in the prequel trilogy. As far as I know none of them were actually related to a Skywalker or Palpatine in any way, we can presume they came from all walks of life. So there was nothing bold about that idea. And the fact that everyone seems to be related to a Skywalker or Palpatine in the last movie is a bit of a hyperbole to say the least. But let’s remember that this series of movies is about the Skywalker family. I don’t know, but I mean I would think that there ought to be at least one or two main characters that should have something to do with that, right?
But really, what else was bold in the movie? Luke was a grumpy old man waiting to die? Snoke was a red herring? Hux was slapstick comedy relief? Women were in charge in the Resistance? Lest we forget that Women were in charge in the Rebellion as well. Two strong, competent women as I recall. Well, it guess it was bold the make the women in charge in this one incompetent leaders. Wouldn’t really have a story otherwise, would we? I haven’t really seen anything that really explains what was so bold about the decisions made for The Last Jedi. Like I said before, as much as The Force Awakens (and The Phantom Menace) were rehashes of A New Hope, this one was a poor writing attempt at rehashing The Empire Strikes Back, virtually beat for beat. The only expectation that seems to have been subverted (aside from all the asinine fan theories that were put forth – Rey a Kenobi, Jesus, get with it people) was going to see The Last Jedi and expecting another great Skywalker Saga story, and instead we get poorly written fan fiction. So let’s take this bold and subversion of expectations things to a couple of other areas here as a comparison.

What would be considered bold to me? Stephen King writing a Romcom. AC/DC doing an album featuring Arias. Heck, both Pat Boone and Christopher Lee (yes the actor) released heavy metal albums. I find that kind of bold. For some reason critics seem to hate formulas. Perhaps they were just bad at math and chemistry and only had creative writing to fall back upon as a career so they are a little salty about not actually being able to be an astronaut or rocket scientist despite how people tell their kids “you can be anything you want.” Sorry, that’s not reality. But I digress. Stephen King writes horror. That’s what he’s good at. AC/DC makes riff centric rock n’ roll. That’s what they are good at. The James Bond movies follow a formulaic plot in each and every one. That’s what a James Bond movie is. Stephen King isn’t popular because he went out and subverted expectations. AC/DC continue to be popular and well-liked by their fan base because they keep doing what they do, as repetitive as it may sound. People go to a James Bond movie expecting to see a certain style that they get enjoyment out of. That’s why they go spend money to see the movies. Sometimes the old adage actually does ring true – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If you don’t like the Star Wars movies following a certain formula or retreading certain themes and ideas, perhaps you simply don’t like Star Wars movies about the Skywalker family. That’s actually OK. You don’t have to. But don’t go complaining about it. Don’t complain that AC/DC doesn’t do anything different and that they need to be bold and do something different. They don’t. They got to where they are because of what they do. And there are a great many people who like that. Why does that need to change to suit the fancy of someone who clearly is not a fan? That’s just asinine.

The current iteration of Star Wars movies are billion dollar failures, not because of the long time fans. They are not billion dollar failures because of the lore and the history of the universe established in the previous outings. That’s like saying it’s too hard to write a history novel because the North won the Civil War. There are a hell of a lot of compelling stories that can be told by staying true to real life history, and the same goes for made up histories in things like Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, and every single deep and long running franchise. I’ll say it again, any writer who complains they are hamstrung by the load of lore and history in a universe is simply an unimaginative writer and not very good at their craft at the end of the day.

You know what would have been bold and launched the final trilogy in the Skywalker saga forward? Rey and Kylo Ren joining forces and becoming Grey Jedi at the end of The Last Jedi. That would have been something fresh, exciting, and truly subverting expectations. What fans, critics, and Disney itself failed to see with this trilogy is that the most compelling character in the whole thing was Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren. The killing of Snoke was a shock, but it was the perfect set up to tell the tale of the fallen Jedi, Ben Solo, and would have been the perfect jumping off point to create a really engaging story with the interaction and conflicts between Kylo, Hux, and Phasma as they vie for power and attempt to defeat the Resistance lead by the strong female leader of Leia Organa (something else the PC crowd tends to forget when they bash the white male fans – we had no problem with the competent leadership of the rebellion being two intelligent and strong women as opposed to the incompetence and weak leadership of Laura Dern’s character). But of course, Hux was relegated to being a Stooge and Phasma was unceremoniously killed off. What a waste of compelling supporting characters.

And that’s where Rise of Skywalker ultimately fails. The Last Jedi failed the Star Wars franchise as a whole, and the conclusion only cemented the failure by taking away agency from the most compelling and important character in the whole damn trilogy. There was absolutely no need to throw away the ending of the original trilogy to bring back what amounts to as a deus ex machinima to try to have some big baddy to fight against in the third movie. Even without the team-up of Kylo and Rey, we have the silver platter with Kylo and the Knights of Ren right on it for Christ’s sake. And the dynamic of Kylo and Rey pulling and pushing against one another as each battled with the Light and Dark within themselves? What better and brilliant story could have been told, while keeping Rey’s parentage either meaningless or shrouded in mystery?

Mismanagement and amateur writing are the true culprits here in the billion dollar failure of a forty year old franchise. You want to take the IP in bold new directions? That’s great! There’s plenty of opportunity to do so in things like The Madalorian and the Anthology movies, and all the new series that are, or were, planned. Those are the perfect stomping grounds to build upon the legacy that is Star Wars. It’s truly a shame that Disney really doesn’t get what made the Skywalker Legacy so great, and that even carried over into the first trilogy of books written by Chuck Wendig (who got the job because he tweeted out that he wanted to write a Star Wars novel. Wow. Just … wow) that were the tie-ins for the new trilogy. Two of those books sit, unread, on my bookshelf because I simply cannot enjoy reading them due to the narrative style chosen for the books. I don’t know if this is Wendig’s usual style, or just an experiment for this trilogy of books, but it’s just bad. I could barely get through the first novel, and it took a long time for me to finally finish it. This type of experimentation is not what you do for a long-running story like the Skywalker saga – in book or film. We could have had an awesome series of movies that brought the story of this family to a satisfying conclusion. But whether it’s because of hubris or just plain incompetence, we get what amounts to the worst possible ending to a storied franchise. Sorry Kathleen, JJ, and Rian, but you guys really blew it, and it’s sad that that will be your legacies.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

A Leap in Time II

We have arrived at yet another February 29th. And that means it’s time for my second quad-annual reflection on the recent ongoings here in the Outhouse and the world at large! At least this time I don’t have to describe the brief history of how Leap Day came into being – you can check out the premier post on that from way back in 2016. A Leap In Time

So let’s get started and find out what’s going on in 2020!

This year’s summer Olympics is being hosted by Tokyo, Japan. People are hoping that the games can help the ongoing rebound from the massive earthquake that hit the country way back in 2011. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 10 years since that disaster. This time around on the disease front, we are talking about Coronavirus, and how it’s starting to make its way into the US from China, and at this point across the world. This could be the first real pandemic we have faced since the Flu outbreak in the 1900's.

We are also taking about the upcoming presidential election of course. We have survived four years of President Donald J. Trump. New this year is the unsurprising Impeachment Trial – it just took this long to finally catch him doing something that could (purely along partisan lines of course) bring this about. In a complete reversal of the 2016 election, however, the Democrats are the ones with dozens of candidates vying for the primary nomination while Trump is still the Republican Golden Ticket. And Bernie Sanders is once again in the running! I ended up writing in Bernie four years ago after the Democrats railroaded him in favor of making a Glass Ceiling the most important thing about the campaign. Unfortunately, lessons are not learned by American Politicians.

Brexit is here. The United Kingdom has now officially left the European Union. Only time will tell what the future will bring on this front. There have been more school shootings and more children murdered in the US as a result and the endless debate about gun control carries on. In a surprising turn, there has been action to begin to weaken and overturn Roe v. Wade over course of the previous several months. It seems society may finally begin to realize that murdering unborn children should never be a viable option for a lapse in judgement.

The weather continues to be wacky here. Probably one of the mildest winters we have had in a long while with constant fluctuations of temperatures every single week. We get some 60 degree days followed by 30 or 40 degree days and so on and so forth. No snow to speak of this year, however.

On those personal notes, I am still working my retail job, although I am enjoying far less than I did six years ago. Changes to procedures at the corporate level and less than thrilling management at the store level has me seriously considering a change of pace. Hopefully we can finally work our way towards moving a little further west to the Lancaster/Hershey area within the next year or two which will allow me to transfer to another store in that area and begin a search in earnest. The real big change came with Shannon, when the ever present Toys R Us ceased to exist in 2018, forcing her to find a home with a new company. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise as, though it’s still retail, she’s in a much better spot with the new company than she was with the old, even though she’s not a store manager anymore.

Our 5th grader, Erin, is now a full-fledged teenager with all the teen angst, worrying her way through Freshman year at High School. Erin and I will be heading over to jolly ole England in July to celebrate my sister’s wedding, and we look forward to her coming back to the states with some of Jeremy’s family in May. Five and a half year old Abby likewise dreads her days at “School” which is a day care/pre-school we had to get her into despite the financial hit so she can be fully prepared for real school in just a scant six months. It’s sad to read back four years ago about my update with the family pets. At the time, Willy had passed away, but we still had Marley and Flash. Little did we know that Flash was going to leave us not too long after I posted that entry four years ago. At least he had lived a long full life, but it was still one of the toughest things I had to do. Another tough one was the decision to put Marley down back in July. He had been suffering from Addison’s Disease for several years now, but he had gotten sick very suddenly, most likely from eating something he shouldn’t. That coupled with his age and other issues forced us to have to make that tough decision. I still miss that dog a lot. We still have Hershey, though she’s gotten even more ornery over the years. She still has a lot of alley cat in her. Buddy the turtle has since been renamed Shelby and she’s still a turtle!

Our bathroom and kitchen updates from four years ago came out great. Everything still looks good. This year, however, we ended up having to get a new roof. With our street being a wind tunnel, and the age of the previous roof caused some shingles to break and come off, which lead to a big leak in the kitchen whenever we would get a heavy, steady rain. Our new Biscayne Blue shingles really look great, and I am liking the look of the exterior of our house because of it, at least for now.

I have indeed, gotten the clean up and declutter complete in the basement … somewhat. It’s certainly more organized and less cluttered than it was four years ago. Still have a ways to go though, especially if we want to make that move west a reality. I’ve amped up my livestreaming and Extra Life fundraising over the last four years, and am actually making a modicum of money with my content. I hope to continue to build up my audience and dream of perhaps even making content creation a part time, or even full time, occupation. But dreams are still dreams. We’ll see what the next four years brings.

And finally, I dubbed 2016 the Year of Star Wars, so how apropos that 2020 is the Year that Star Wars Ended. At least in terms of the Skywalker saga. Unfortunately, the end came out much worse for the wear than the way it began with Episode 7. The Last Jedi was the movie that broke Star Wars fandom, and Rise of Skywalker has done little to redeem it, despite all the fan service present in the final episode. And no, I haven’t seen it, nor do I have plans to ever watch the movie. It turns out that Rogue One was the best of the bunch. But of course, I already have several blog posts detailing the more of that – so go check them out already!

So here we are, wrapping up another Leap Day post. It’s been an interesting look back. When you think about it, there was a lot more going on than when I initially starting thinking about this blog entry. And it seems that the next four years, if all goes well, will provide even more things to reflect upon. Erin will be planning High School graduation, and Abby will be a 3rd Grader. Perhaps, the third episode of this series will be written on another new computer (I upgraded last March, but still have that laptop I wrote the first piece on sitting next to me) in my office space in a new house. Only time will tell.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Dinosaurs in Heaven

The Afterlife is something that has been ingrained in our psyche for nearly the entire existence of the human race. There are stories of people seeking the means towards achieving immortality – the Fountain of Youth. But every single religion past and present gives us this immortality in one form or another through the existence of our Living Spirit. Many religions base the nature of this everlasting life upon our deeds in mortal flesh – either Eternal Bliss or Eternal Damnation. But when it comes to actually describing how it all works, things get more than a little fuzzy. It seems it is simply beyond our ability to understand, despite the fact that we have been able to come to understand a great deal about the universe we live in up to this point in time. We’ve even been able to detect the possible edges of the universe. Yet, the ability to detect anything remotely like Spiritual Energy or this alternate plane of existence is still lacking. Where is the evidence for it? How it is determined who and what can enter this plane of existence.

People will point to near death and after death experiences as the proof that there is something beyond our current mortal existence. Yet those are only anecdotes, and they are anecdotes from a point in time where tremendous trauma has been incurred by the person experiencing them. It is certainly no mystery that there are a great many things that affect our perception and how our brains interpret our experiences. Our experiences and desires most certainly affect our dreaming on a daily basis, so these brushes with death must certainly have an impact on what people perceive to see in such a state. At the end of the day, it is just as likely that any notion of an Afterlife is just the typical human condition of trying to understand something which is beyond our understanding.

For centuries the human race has come up with things to try to explain how the universe works, and to interpret our experiences within the confines of our knowledge at the time. Current science has disproven our ancient concepts of how the planets move, or what controls the elements on our world. We once believed that things were the result of Gods or Magic. We now know that there is a set of mathematical laws that govern the existence of our planet, sun, and stars. So it’s no surprise that lacking any concrete scientific evidence, we must attempt to explain the notion of non-existence in the form of an Afterlife, which negates any concept of non-existence.

What we are is the sum of all the things we experience during our lifetimes. We know of no other way than experiencing this form of Existence. The concept of not existing is completely foreign to us because our brains cannot grasp a concept that we cannot experience. There is no way for us to experience true non-existence because by its very nature it is a complete lack of experiencing anything. We can catch glimpses of it. I imagine that coma patients feel that sense of non-existence from the point of their last memory to the point of their first reawakened memory. I have felt flashes of it during periods of sleepiness – when I look at the clock, and then check again a few minutes later only to find an hour or more has passed. But we are aware of those moments only because we “exist again” after that period of timelessness.

So in order for us to avoid facing the fact that each and every one of us will cease to exist at some point in the future, we have to create this concept of the Afterlife, in which our consciousness – that sum of all of our experiences – continues without a physical body. We still cling to this notion despite the fact that all the power of our science has yet to be able to detect one iota of this otherworldly existence which breaks the current known laws of the physical universe.

But it goes beyond that. Despite the fact that we believe in Eternal Life, we still have an instinctive fear of Death and try to avoid it at all costs. In addition to that, we are so emotionally torn when someone, or something, we care about deeply can no longer avoid Death, that we continue to ascribe further stipulations to our concept of the Afterlife. We are all young looking in the Afterlife and even our beloved pets join us in this new plane of existence. And that’s where it all begins to break down.

What exactly determines who and what is “allowed” to pass over into this separate plane of existence and continue to exist as we are ad infinitum? God? Well, which God then? Humankind has believed in many, many different forms of God over the centuries. How do we know which is the right one? Simply because one form of God is the most popular today doesn’t necessarily make it the right one. The Greek and Romans Gods were the most popular during their time, and according to our modern reasoning, they were incorrect.

So, is it simply a matter of intelligence or consciousness that allows us to continue to exist? We have little understanding on what consciousness is, human or otherwise. But if one subscribes to the fact that humans have an afterlife because we are conscious and self-aware, then that would preclude any other form of life being able to exist after Death. We believe there are several types of animals that are self-aware. Are these animals then also able to exist in the Afterlife? What about those that are not? If we believe all our pets join us in the Afterlife, then certainly there would be quite a few animal types outside of our cats and dogs that would be hanging out there. People have had many forms of reptile, insect, and mammal as beloved pets. Do all join us in the Afterlife? What about those animals in those groups that have never been the subject of a human’s affection – the mosquito for instance. Why would a mosquito not be in the Afterlife, but ants from someone’s Ant Colony would? What about any form of spider that we pretty much fear and detest as humans, compared to a pet Tarantula? What about prehistoric humans? Do they exist in the Afterlife as well? In what form do they exist? What form does the Conscious Energy take in this other plane of existence? Going back even further, what about all these other forms of life that have existed on the planet before Humankind? Some of these creatures were around for millions of years. That’s quite a bit of timed compared to our relatively short existence.

We still don’t know everything about dinosaurs, and never will know everything unless we one day develop the technology to transcend time. We humans have developed a consciousness and self-awareness in our short time on this planet. The dinosaurs had millions of years to evolve and develop. We ascribe simple intelligence to them based only on what we can observe millions of years after they died out, but who is to say that they didn’t develop some form of self-awareness that we have been able to detect in several species of animals today. If that is a qualifier for being able to transcend to another plane of existence – one based on pure energy instead of a physical being, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that dinosaurs also exist in this same plane? After millions of years of evolution, I think it silly that dinosaurs would not have developed at least some modicum of awareness and consciousness. Why wouldn’t there be dinosaurs in Heaven?

This religious notion of an Afterlife doesn’t seem to hold much water if you scratch just the surface of it. Of course all of that is waived away by the notion of God.  He/She works in mysterious ways and makes it all possible. Yeah, and Helios drove the chariot of the Sun across the sky each day. If we are, at our core, beings of intelligent ethereal energy, why have we no memory at all of our existence beyond our mortal lives? I can remember all sorts of things from my time here on Earth, dating back decades to when I was a kid. Certain things I can picture as clear as day in my mind’s eye – just like I’m watching a replay of it on a Blu-Ray disc. Yet there is no memory, no inclination of anything outside of my experiences in the physical world. Nothing else aside from that exists in any form in my mind or memory. All memory and function in the brain are nothing but electrical impulses – it’s some form of energy. Yet this energy maintains no blueprint of itself prior to physical existence.

The truth of the matter is that an Afterlife exists because we need it to exist. Our minds are incapable of accepting the knowledge that life itself must cease to exist. We need something to cling to in the face of despair when we witness life ceasing to exist on an almost continual basis. We simply cannot understand the concept of what it is like to not exist just like our ancient ancestors could not understand the concept of the gravitational forces that make the planets orbit the sun. We have to believe in it, otherwise what meaning or value is there to our experiences in our short lives? Somewhere along the way, we as humans have developed this sense that there must be something more in this life and to life. In all reality it seems that Life just is. Just as a mindless energy driven star is born, lives, and dies, so does our not so energetic flesh. The universe is a slave to Time. So long as there is existence, there is a certain knowledge of its passing. It is a cycle that exists in the most primordial of energies and it will consume all of existence as it has and will continue to consume all those that exist within it. Billions of years have passed before our existences, billions more will pass once we are gone. All within the blink of an eye. We cannot achieve immortality as existential beings because we are slaves to time. It is only in non-existence that we break free of that bond and transcend timelessness.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Unborn Lives Matter

We have arrived at the end of another year. Time marching on seems to be the only constant in our existence. It has done so since long before any human science can trace back, and will continue to do so for millennia after we are long since returned to the Cosmic Dust.

This final entry for this blog in the year we dub 2019 has been in formulation for several months now. But it always seems that Time is the one commodity we possess so little of. Here I sit, though, slicing up the bits of Time I have and willing myself to put a denouement to a series of entries I began more than a year ago. Certainly to be controversial one of the foremost in my mind, but also to (hopefully) make people stop and actually think (a commodity that is even more lacking than Time) about where we are heading as a society. I will leave it up to each person who takes their bits of Time to read to decide whether that has been successful or not. For me, at this point, it feels like it matters as much as shouting at a brick wall does. At least it has been a cathartic process. A process that makes me appreciate each day I have a little bit more.

This is a topic that I spent very little time thinking about until the controversy started up over the late summer when politicians began working to chip away and overturn the infamous Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, which legalized abortion. I was barely a toddler at the time, so pretty much grew up with this fact of life a natural part of our existence in America. As I got older, and being a male, it was a thing that really didn’t have much bearing on my life. Any thoughts of it were pretty much, “Yeah, less government control of our lives.” Something I have always stood behind, but in my now (hopefully) wiser years, something I realize isn’t simply a black and white issue. In fact, the more I have looked at modern society, the more I realize that we all do actually need at least a modicum of government control in and over our lives. It’s really the only way that a civilized society can exist.

But the events of this summer in particular made me really stop and think about the ramifications of what that decades old decision really means. I am not a very religious person, and certainly don’t believe in any God as described (prescribed?) by any religion, past or present, a topic I covered in one of my previous entries. So I don’t look on this subject with any preconceived notions based on any religious influence. It’s simply based on the science that life exists in all different forms, and that even a basic cell is alive in one form or another. That has lead me conclude that Roe v. Wade should indeed be overturned simply because it has legalized murder, and not only that, but legalized it for entirely selfish purposes.
From the moment of conception a new life begins. It may only be a group of primeval cells, but it lives nonetheless. Heck, we even have laws on the books that the death of an unborn child is considered murder when it occurs during the commission of a crime – the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. People have been convicted of such murders. Yet, here we stand saying that Abortion is not murder. It is simply incredulous to me. Supporters of Roe v. Wade offer up the theory of Choice, and a woman’s right to choose her own outcomes for her own body. Again, something I can stand behind on principle, but at this point not when it becomes a choice to do murder.

If you want to talk about choice, the choice was already made. There’s a choice to keep your pants on and your legs closed. There’s a choice to use any number of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. The choice was made to engage in a distinct act for which the primary purpose is procreation and perpetuation of the species. To legalize murder as a choice when one made a poor choice in a previous instance is simply mind-boggling to me. And of course it just highlights the roots of what is wrong with our society.

Abortion is nothing but a selfish act of murder, not any different than someone committing murder for financial gain, or religious zealotry, or just outright hatred of someone else. Unless the life of the mother is in imminent danger from the results of the pregnancy, any excuse used to have an abortion is simply a selfish and self-centered act. The fact that we have let this travesty continue on for over four decades is equally heinous. It speaks volumes about how far from a civilized society we truly are. It is pure hypocrisy to damn those who murder for any of the reasons I just listed, along with the myriad of others that we bear witness to day in and day out when we still have no issue with people killing their unborn children. A mother will be tried and convicted for leaving a baby out in the cold to die of exposure, but that same mother can walk into a clinic before that baby is born and kill it without anyone batting an eye. If that is not a picture perfect definition of insanity, I don’t know what is.

That being said, however, I do believe there should be cases where abortion is unfortunately necessary. The biggest is the one I just mentioned – the health and life of the mother. If circumstances dictate that it becomes a choice between the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child. Then I do feel that we need to have the choice available that saves the life of the mother at the cost of the unborn child. It by no means is an ideal choice or situation, and one that I hope to never have to make (and I don’t believe it’s one that I would be capable of making), but it is one that should be available. I also believe that abortion should be an option in the cases of rape and incest, though to a much lesser degree, as I believe many people alive today who were brought about by such circumstances may very well have a differing opinion. But again, having choice as one of the necessities, in these cases, the choice was certainly not within the woman’s ability to make. To not be forced into continuing to relive the trauma of such acts through a pregnancy and birth I think is just as important as the physical life of the mother.

But outside of these outliers, I can see and accept no other valid reason to continue to have the murder of unborn children a legalized part of our society. We should be, and we need to be better than this. There has been so much talk about how Black Lives Matter, or Blue Lives Matter, or All Lives Matter. When the hell are we going to start talking about how Unborn Lives Matter just as much?