Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Thoughts of the Week (2)

It's been a month since I last wrote my Thoughts of the Week, and now I have about four weeks worth of Thoughts of the Week to write. Part of the reason why is because for about two weeks I was trying to get settled with buying a new computer after my old computer began dying on me shortly after a power outage in my area. Thanks to a few generous donations, for which I am very grateful, I was able to get a new computer, but I also had a few financial setbacks that forced me to concentrate more on working to make some extra money. Not wanting more time to go by, I decided to start once again my Thoughts of the Week before I have five weeks of Thoughts of the Week to write about.

Besides working more over the past month, October typically is a busy time because almost daily a new event goes on related to the Halloween season. Every Halloween season I like to do new things as much as possible, and this year the three out of many highlights I would say were:

1. I traveled around mainly to old Protestant churches where silent horror movies were played along with live organ accompaniment. The films I saw in the past month like this were Phantom of the Opera, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Nosferatu, The Scarlett Letter, Hunchback of Notre Dame and a comedy short with Buster Keaton titled The Haunted House. In my personal opinion, the best and only way to see a silent film is on the big screen, with an audience, accompanied by live music, and preferably in a Gothic church.

2. A local theater I am a member of shows a double feature of horror films every year around Halloween in the middle of the woods on a campsite near a lake. This year I was late and missed the first film, but I caught the second film which was the Blair Witch Project. I had seen this movie on opening day back in 1999, and to see it now 20 years later in the middle of the woods late at night in forty-five degree weather was quite an amazing experience.

3. I attended seven lectures with paranormal researchers, which were all very interesting. Probably the most interesting person for me this year was one who I had never seen live in person before: Josh Gates, most famously known as the host of the shows Destination Truth and Expedition Unknown. His story is one of the most fascinating I have ever heard and I would highly recommend attending one of his lectures if he comes to a town near you.

Let's move on to national and ecclesiastical politics. Or maybe not. So much has happened over the past month, that I have no idea where to begin, and things are probably best left unsaid if I can't express my thoughts on anything in any detail. I'll just sum up national politics by saying that Democrats here in America keep on creating chaos in the country trying to divide the nation because they want everything to only go their way and they can't stand the fact that anyone would dare to not think like them, but they have been doing this for a long time now, doing and saying anything to have their power restored, being completely unhinged in the process. Ecclesiastical politics can be summed up as Russia doing the same for the Orthodox Church what the Democrats are doing for the United States.

One thing I hardly ever write about is music, so I'll say a few words about it. In the past month two singles were released by two different artists who are favorites of mine, and both are covers of previous well-known songs. The first release came from Marilyn Manson of the song "God's Gonna Cut You Down". It's been described as a snarling rendition of the folk song made famous by Johnny Cash. Manson, who is a master at covering popular songs and actually making them better than previous releases, does a great job in this version, but his tone is different enough from Johnny Cash that there doesn't need to be a comparison - both are great in my opinion. This song will always be Johnny Cash's song however, and it should be noted that Manson covered this only because fans were asking him to, since he would often sing it in his live concerts. The second single released was by P.J. Harvey of "Red Right Hand", which is a song originally done by her ex-boyfriend Nick Cave. Nick Cave's original is a haunting song with a gothic edge, but P.J. Harvey makes a very different haunting song that is more ethereal. Again, both songs are excellent, but this will always be a Nick Cave song.

I will also make a very brief comment on Kanye West's new album titled "Jesus is King". Recently Kanye started his own church in Los Angeles solely dedicated to Christian music, and it has become quite popular. He also rededicated his life to Christ, and said that he will no longer record secular music. I personally know two people who attended his service this past Sunday, and both said it was a fantastic experience. At the same time, a few weeks ago, his wife Kim Kardashian and their kids went to Armenia and were baptized. I'm not a big fan of Kanye's music, but he does have some very good songs I have liked in the past, enough for me to download a few of his albums. In a way, it can be said he is a musical genius. With his latest album, "Jesus is King", he focuses more on his own Christian experience, with praises to God mixed in. Personally, I was impressed by the album. I expected to at least hear a dozen heresies, but you really don't find anything like that to find it objectionable. I don't typically like Christian or Gospel music, but this album I found to be interesting and listenable. I don't think I will ever listen to it again, but I would give it an overall thumbs up.

I've seen a bunch of movies over the past month, and don't know which one or two to comment on. Perhaps I can say a few words about Terminator: Dark Fate. I won't summarize the movie here, but I have a few thoughts. As I was watching the movie, I was pleased by some of the action scenes, but from beginning to end it tries to appeal to "woke" culture to such an extent that it becomes pathetic in the process. The only thing I could think of during the whole movie was what "woke" concept will they touch on next. Without going into details and too many spoilers, the movie starts out by killing the central figure in the whole series just so they could replace the future hero of the world with a female - a Mexican female at that. Why? Because almost every movie these days coming out of Hollywood wants to depict a strong independent woman, best if she is a minority, who is no less than equal to any man, though in the process they have to feminize or kill off men that get in her way of becoming the hero. In this movie, they kill the male hero right away, and the most masculine male they feminize as much as possible, and this male isn't even human! To top it off, as if things weren't pathetic enough, I personally think the whole point of this film being made was to discuss the immigration crisis in this country and try to show how immigrants are the victims of a fascist border security. The movie is so "woke", that it will put any rational person to sleep. The more I think about this movie, the more I get disgusted by it. Despite my criticism, I would still place this film as the third best in the series.

Not wanting to make this post much longer than it is, I will just end it right here. There is just too much on my mind to write about, that I'll save it perhaps for something in the future. My main goal was to restart these weekly posts, and I hope to write the next one this Monday.

However, I will mention one last thing, to leave things on a cliffhanger, and to explain why I have the photo above posted. I found it to be so weird, that I wanted to write about it before anything happens. Basically, I woke up early this morning from an intense dream about the actor Justin Long. Why I was dreaming about Justin Long, I have no idea. Don't get me wrong, I've been a fan of his for years, ever since I saw him in Jeepers Creepers in 2001, but I never think about the guy unless I see him in a movie. Usually I don't remember my dreams, but I woke up saying his name and having a clear picture of him in my head. The impression was so intense, that I had to Google his name, to see if anything happened to him. I found nothing. A few hours later I was looking on my phone to see what events were going on around Boston tonight. And what do I see? There was a picture of Justin Long, who is making an appearance tonight at a local theater I frequently attend to discuss his new film Safe Spaces. I had no idea this was going on, so when I found out Justin Long, who I had an intense dream about this morning for no rational reason, was in town with a new movie he stars in, I immediately tried to purchase a ticket, but it's already sold out, though there are on call seats available only. I feel like I have to go to this. I'll let you know what happens next week.