Another shot at redeeming Jar Jar

He’s here to stay, and since my other theory got plastered by Attack of the Clones, we need to go deeper…

Introduce the idea of a parasitic mental force meme in the new movies. It’s a semi-sentient creature of the Force that is structured by the unconscious biases and assumptions of the people around it.

We discover that Jar Jar never actually physically existed but was instead a visual symptom of the corruption suffusing the soul of the Jedi Order.

It’s one of those things that’s presented in a way that convinces you during a rewatch the prequel’s that it was an obvious sign right in front of you that you _should have caught_.

A new upload in the afterlife

The post-death temporal upload completes and the comedienne’s final state-vector arrives in the electronic One True Heaven(tm) somewhere in the future. Stepping into her new ‘body’, her mind works in ways it hasn’t for those last few years. She breathes deep, examines her smooth skin in awe then looks around as the ‘heavenly clouds’ of the eFoyer recede and are replaced by an idealized vision of Hollywood.

In front of her, a fully restored Chasen’s beckons and she walks in. To her surprise, the host immediately escorts her to a table… occupied by Johnny Carson.

“Well, it took you long enough. How’d it go?” He takes a sip of his ice tea.

“Oh my god, Johnny, I thought you were mad at-” he waves his hand and interrupts.

“Joanie, I had to kick you out of the nest. You know it. Sorry it didn’t go smoother, I guess I always figured I’d have more time to patch things up. But tell me, when Leno finally croaked or washed up, how’d you manage the show?”

Joan stares. “Uh, Johnny…”

“You… DID take the show, right? I mean, they didn’t leave Leno at the reins for more than a month after I died, right? What a suck up…”

The comedienne sits quietly. She thinks back to all the time wasted on E, the red carpets and kitschy afternoon fare. She thinks about all the NBC calls she ducked in the late 90s because the goddamn pricks gave her the cold shoulder.

“Oh…. oh Johnny. I think I really stepped in it.”

Carson sits, his lips pursed. “Aw hell, it’s alright. At least you kept your daughter out of the whole mess. You know how entertainment chews up and spits out good people, little Melissa’d probably be totally ruined. Hell, look at what it did to me! So what did she end up doing, anyhow?” That famous smile blasts her.

She swallows.

8 years a redditor? What.

Somewhere along the line, I passed the 8 year mark on reddit.com.  Pre-Diggaspora, I had switched over because of the cleaner interface, better conversation, and increased quality of cat pictures that drive most of my important life decisions.  The other day, I noticed that the ‘badge’ for my account now had me at the 8+ year mark.  What.  The.  Fuck.  Where has the time gone?

redditbadgeThe site has gone through all sorts of changes, good and bad.  There have been attacks by internet bullies, unexpected kindness, stunning art, stunningly dumb comments…  it’s a fascinating and complex microcosm of society and somehow I’ve been on this for the life of a typical US third-grader.

I’ve… seen things you people wouldn’t believe… Cody the dog off the shoals of /r/askreddit. I’ve watched SRS posts glitter in the dark near the /user/Laurelai center… All those moments.. will be lost in time, like tears… in… rain. Time… to post…

‘Dammit’ is spelled wrong

I assert that ‘dammit’ should be spelled ‘damnit’.  Damnit is treated as a misspelling by the spellcheckers I use, but dammit just looks…  ridiculous.  It’s a word with no gravitas, something that dribbles out of someone’s mouth as an almost invisible droplet in a stream of unnecessary noises punctuated by smacking gums and the occasional squirt of spent chewing tobacco spit.

Damnit, on the other hand, can be a heartfelt condemnation of a person, place, or thing.  Not only do I judge X lacking, I call upon the gods themselves to damn it because of the magnitude of the failure.

Damn it, Crom.  Damnit.

Which form of governance is the least broken?

A friend wrote an interesting question on Facebook this morning: “Should the world be governed by one, by some, by many, or by all?”

The answers to questions like this were so OBVIOUS when I was younger, I miss that clarity.  Now, it feels like there are so many points and counterpoints to each that I have more questions than answers.  I took a stab at it and this isn’t my usual wacky hijinx or whatnot so skip it if that’s why you’re here.

All

This seems like the ideal but there are some practical problems.  While our technology makes 100% democracy possible, it only takes a few minutes of browsing Facebook or Reddit to see how finely tuned manipulation of the masses is becoming.

There’s obviously a science to getting people to do what you want and right now, there’s just money to be made in driving clicks to BuzzFeed and other clickbait aggregators.  Imagine if it was direct power?  Also think of the different witch hunts in the media where tens of thousands of people fill hundreds of message boards with vitriol against people who are accused of crimes and essentially convict them on the spot?  If 100% democracy exists, what victims could there be to the tyranny of the masses?

Many

Right now, I feel I like this one the best.  Local representation with accountability to the voters seems to be a pretty good compromise, but that’s 37 year-old me talking so I wonder what I’ll think in a few years.  City Councillors, Mayors and Governors seem to wobble back-and-forth at a pretty “ok” steady-state of “not being dicks”, but they’re not perfect.  Still, the amount of damage they can do is equally limited so I feel pretty good about that setup but of course there’s room for improvement.

Some

This is what we have when we invest power in the Federal government versus local.  It’s a mixed bag; civil rights often benefit when a top-down prohibition on asshattery and dickery is enforce, but there’s a real danger to having a large power structure that’s responsive to people “over there” instead of in our home towns.  From a practical perspective, large-scale infrastructure and international relations benefit from centralized power, but again, the risks are worthy of vigilance.

One

My least favorite from an idealism perspective, it may also be damningly effective.  Humanity is a mixed bag, and anyone can be a despot or a saint so it’s a crapshoot where everything’s riding on one roll of the metaphorical dice but if they’re not a dick, a single leader could get stuff done.  That said, ‘getting stuff done’ isn’t automatically good so I’d rather not this be the structure.  Lots of folks have tried and there’s something about the process of ACQUIRING this position that seems to bring out the worst in people.  No matter how good they might govern, I’m not sure I could imagine that the roll of the dice could possibly turn out in our favor as a people because of what they would have to do to BECOME that leader.

So…

What’s the One True Answer?  Preferably one that doesn’t put me in charge, I’ve got shit to do and ain’t nobody got time to rule the world.

Dad 1:, Children’s trust: 0

Dad 1:  Children's trust: 0

So, a few days ago I was eating an Otter Pop because, you know, Summer. Well, Summerish. Is it Summer yet? I haven’t taken measurements with my sextant yet so I’ve got to rely on what the MASS MEDIA tells me about the Equinox or Solstice and… no, stay off the conspiracy websites me, they’re not good for you. Anyway, I was eating an Otter Pop which as you may know is a plastic sleeve filled with sugar water that you freeze. They come in exciting flavors like ‘Blue’, ‘Green’, and, (as featured on the cover of this month’s Cordon Bleu Magazine) ‘Red’ and you eat them by cutting (or gnawing) off the end then squeezing the icy mess down your gullet.

I had just finished delicately consuming (read: ‘like a duck, no time for swallowing just spastically gulping’) one of these when inspiration struck. I had used scissors so the pouch had a clean cut at the end and now I had a cunning plan.

After thoroughly cleaning it, I got to work on refilling the sleeve. Using a mixture of three parts Sriracha to one part water, I filled it then fired up the stove. With a little experimentation, I figured out how to melt the end so that the new contents wouldn’t drip out and flash to steam while the plastic flowed. The last part was important because every time a droplet of Sriracha Juice flashed to steam, it basically maced me with the pepper vapors. That wasn’t great, but squinting through tear-gassed eyes, I persisted.

Finally, I had a satisfactory seal on the tube. Holding it up, I could see that it wasn’t perfect, but perfect is the enemy of the good enough and this was good enough. I kneaded it a few times to make sure the mix was uniform, shook it for good measure after making sure it wasn’t going to spray Sriracha all over the kitchen, then popped it into the freezer.

A couple days later, it happened. I had handed out a couple of Otter Pops on request and one of them was the ‘live round’. Our ten year-old Child A ended up with it and I tried not to be obvious as I watched him clip the end off and start eating.

After a couple seconds he stopped…. then turned and walked quickly to the garbage can. As he passed me, he muttered ‘I hate you, Dad’ and never before have those words brought such satisfaction. He started spitting into the trash then threw away the Sriracha Otter Pop. A few seconds later, he reached down, pulled it out again, and tried to casually offer his brother Child 1 a taste. “Hey, want to try?” he asked. Child 1, for once, hadn’t had his nose buried in his phone and had caught on that something was going on. He passed.

With little more than a few cents worth of Sriracha and maybe 10-15 minutes of effort I managed to teach my kids another lesson about how important it is not to trust anyone or thing. Hopefully this lesson will treat them well going forward just so long as I can keep them off those conspiracy theory websites.

But today, just today, Sriracha Otter Pop was actually an inside job.

Life's too short to be nice