Monthly Archives: December 2017

Some scattered thoughts on TLJ

I just saw The Last Jedi and I really want to scrawl some random stuff down.

Here’s an unpopular shot across your bow: I’m in love. I have a new favorite Star Wars film.

Spoilers follow. Please stop.

Spoilers follow. Please stop.

Spoilers follow. Please stop.

Actual spoilers follow. Please stop!

“We are what they grow beyond.”

In that vein, deposition is a often necessary component of growth. It’s not abrupt or necessarily bad storytelling (though we can quibble about the execution) – but unseating a chrome dome, slicing a wrinkly birthday cake, and briefly failing to emulate the crew on the HMS Bounty are all characters striking toward something greater.

One exception lingers – our favorite, in search of a parent or two, now having lost what she briefly gained. As exemplified in the cave, though, her greatest struggle is within. She remains unable to do away with her fascination with who she is. She’s not unlike that one punk-ass bitch (was his name Matt?) in this. Her greatest trial is something that is yet to be shown on screen.

The Last Jedi is the first Star Wars film in which I genuinely (and surprisingly) didn’t care at all about the tech. Bio-hexacrypt? Hand-wave it away. Miniature Death Star tech? Another big Maltese Falcon. I seriously don’t give a shit – not in the negative way, but in the sense that I’m going to turn my ears off if somebody’s going to complain about the tech, because to my mind, they are missing the point. Nobody ever read Matthew 4:1 and said “Oh for fuck’s sake, another story of venturing into the wilderness? What a lazy rehash of Exodus 13:18.” I grant you that Starkiller Base was not the best-executed device, but the key point is the same. So it is with the huge battering ram cannon.

To me, Star Wars has always been the following:

  • Egalitarian escapism
  • Opera buffa (of the highest form – no slight to Johnny)
  • Cyclical in nature
  • A story about people coming into themselves

So I think I would only be mildly annoyed of our good JJ undoes Rey Random’s lineage – but I could get over that. Other than that, I see no real constraints on how IX will progress.

Bravo!

J39M

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Get Elon on Azraq and Zaatari!

I remain deeply skeptical and resentful of the Christian Science Monitor for their questionably technical infrastructure and for their abjectly miserable support staff. (I sincerely hope I never have to straighten out anything with either one ever again lest I go jump in a lake.)

That said, I’m also easily distracted and almost as easily placated. The December 5 edition of the Monitor Daily is the best pick-me-up I’ve experienced in a long time. The gorgeous picture of Joseph, Moreblessing, and Meryl Mutsakani is the most beautiful photo I’ve seen all year. Their story is compellingly told and (probably unjustifiably) fills my heart with hope for Zimbabwe. If ever I were to be hoodwinked by emotional journalism, I’d at least want it to be written like this.

Further down, it pains me to read again about the Syrian refugee crisis, but the sudden solar deus ex machina brightens up my day. It’s especially gratifying to see no celebrity appeal in the article; the easiest and flashiest path would have been to consult SolarCity and Elon Musk on how to power the Azraq and Zaatari camps. The UN – perhaps not intentionally – casually showed the wider application and utility of solar power by turning instead to the IKEA Foundation and to the KfW. In the wider context of renewable energy, this is a modest proof that solar power isn’t just a Silicon-fueled conspiracy. If it can provide serviceable power to a refugee camp, it can provide for just about anything.

J39M