While Waiting for Life to Happen—Free Verse #W3

The duration separating two events

Like each small step forward in a concessions line

Like popcorn through the halls of a theatre

Like salt and butter and regret.

And a movie you didn’t like

And didn’t want to watch.

And now, you are halfway there.

***

I wrote this poem in response to the Wea’ve Written Weekly prompt on Skeptics Kaddish. This week’s prompt poem is “Decision Time” by Britta Benson if you would like to read her poem or participate in the prompt visit the post here: https://skepticskaddish.com/2022/05/11/w3-prompt-2-weave-written-weekly/

Every Superspy’s Resumé

I have a very specific set of skills. I would elaborate

On what those skills are, but the writers haven’t quite decided just yet.

One of these skills is the ability to say perfectly normal things

In a spooky, self-assured, authoritative tone then twist them some.

Here’s a few quick examples. I hope you don’t mind my improvising.

I ate Alphabets cereal this morning every bite said CIA.

I went dancing last night. I find that peoples’ faces make great tap shoes.

They won’t talk to you now. I pulled their tongues out through their butt holes.

I hope you have a position open in your superspy network

That will accommodate a man of my age with vaguely undefined skills.

Or I will hunt you down and find you. Every single last one of you.

And your dentists will not even be able to identify you

Because they have all lost your dental records, and you will never know

That I did this to you except that I just told you I would. Damn it!

I always mess this last part up. OK, please hire me. I’m desperate.

R.I.P Carrie Fisher *Spoilers* Star Wars: The Force Awakens *Spoilers*

star wars tfa

Before you read my post, you should read this post by Nerdlingstale. My post is a response to this one: http://www.nerdlingstale.com/2015/12/22/star-wars-theories/

 

I loved the movie. I was so afraid that it was going to be another stinker like the prequels. Episode VII gave me all the right emotions in all the right places, And I agree that Kylo Ren is exactly what I wish Anakin had been. I was able to thoroughly enjoy this movie even with its issues.

Finn’s crisis of conscience happened too early. He turned away from the ‘dark side’ before we knew enough about his character to even care. If we had followed him through half the movie before he turned, we would have felt the enormity of his choice to run away, but instead, it was one of those scenes where you know you are supposed to feel joy for him doing the right thing and sorrow for the pain he feels yet you don’t care.

Han and Lea’s reactions were wrong. Han was afraid to see Lea but when they met they acted like it was just some happy family reunion instead of two former lovers that have a shared tragedy. And when they spoke of their son they spoke like he was just away at camp. I know that parents can often see beyond their children’s wrong doings, but their son was complicit in killing billions of people with his ‘not-death star’ uh… (What should I call it?)… Death Star.

And probably the biggest problem with the movie is that the plot is driven by a search for Luke Skywalker. This is a plot with no stakes. If the good guys find him. we get a cameo of Mark Hamel being a teacher, and If the bad guys find him we get a cameo of Mark Hamel as a captive. Either way, it is a win for the fans of the original trilogy that like being pandered to, but the fate of the universe does not hang on who finds him. so when Rea found Luke at the end all I thought was: “Now what?” But just the same, I loved every moment of the movie and I am dying to see the next one.

And for fan theories, Finn is force sensitive and will be training as a Jedi before the trilogy is over. The reason he was able to defy his storm trooper programing was because he had ‘force strengthened’ willpower. And the reason that Kylo Ren noticed him, knew his, serial number, and knew he was the one to run away was because he felt the force flowing in him. Also, with absolutely no light saber training Finn was able to hold his own with Kylo Ren who had years of training. Finn did eventually lose the fight but he was not cut down like a normal nobody would have been.

Rey will turn out to be Darth Plagueis. In The Knights of the Old Republic game from 2003, a young adult with no memory of his or her past was left alone on a planet, and as the story goes on the person starts to get force powers without having to train for them. This person eventually finds out that he or she had been the leader of the Sith until the Jedi council caught him or her and erased his or her mind and blocked him or her from the force. After the force block breaks down he or she gets a second chance to choose the light or dark side of the force.

Rey’s force abilities seem to jump out of her fully formed without any training when Anikin and Luke both had to learn to use their powers a little at a time. So over the next two movies we will learn that Luke and young Ben Solo (Kylo Ren) worked together to defeat Darth Plagueis and worked together to wipe her mind, and this is why Kylo Ren seemed so worried when he heard that a girl was seen with Finn and BB-8.

We will, then, find out that it was Darth Plagueis’s (Rey’s) supreme control of the dark side of the force that first tempted Kylo to the dark side. By the time he met Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo was easy pickings. And Kylo will tempt Rey to join forces with him to kill Snoke and rule the galaxy together as father and son… ahem… I mean partners. In the end, Kylo will sacrifice himself to kill Snoke and save Rey’s life, the rebels will destroy the new Death star before it becomes fully operational, and the Ewoks will have a dance party in their treehouses while the ghosts of Anikin, Obiwan, and Yoda look on.

I think I forgot to mention that this trilogy is just another retelling of the original trilogy just with different characters. It is directed by J. J. Abrams, and that is what he does. I mean just look at Star Trek II: The Not-Wrath-of -Kahn Wrath of Kahn.

Blind Vengance

The last time that you were holding a discussion in a room full of people and the conversation didn’t swing to religion or aliens, I am sure that someone brought up   the topic of life changing accidents. Shortly thereafter someone else mentioned a person that they knew through another friend that knew a blind person who lives a perfectly normal life, and the next person repeated word for word, “Of course the blind person lives a normal life. When you lose one of your senses your other senses are heightened.” After this exchange, did you stop to think why people believe that being gravely injured and handicapped by the loss of one of their senses is actually preferable to a life with all of their senses? Well the answer is not that people actually believe this, but they want to believe it. They fear what their life would become if something like this happened, and they have been conditioned by society in general and modern media specifically to believe that nothing bad can happen without something wonderful happening in return. The long running film series Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman started in 1962 and its many iterations including the most recent one in 2010, Marvel’s Daredevil starting in 1964 spawning the Ben Affleck disaster in 2003 and the Netflix version in 2015, Blind Fury (abysmally performed by Rutger Hauer) in 1989, and 2010’s The Book OF Eli all portray the blind character as something wonderful and heroic even super heroic.

There is a strange expectation that people have hidden in the old chestnut: When you lose one of your senses the others are heightened. People repeat this line as a way to diminish their fears about suffering a gravely debilitating accident or disease. They do not want to see the reality that bad things can happen without a positive payoff. The heightening of the remaining senses is seen as a consolation for what they have lost rather than as a consequence of paying closer attention to the feedback they were already receiving. Therefore, they imagine that once they lose their vision they will be gifted with super hearing, the ability of echolocation, mastery of kung fu and sword fighting, occasionally excellent sniper skills, and always the undeniable compulsion to fight crime.

But what about people that lose one of the other four senses? What kind of ability do you get if you lost the sense of smell? The ability to fight criminals that have bad gas? Or is it lower rent because you no longer mind living in the sewer tunnels? Where are the swordsmen who have tragically lost the ability to taste their food? After you banish the evil samurai, the town’s people always treat the hero to a lavish buffet of gourmet foods. Won’t he be seen as an ungrateful ass if he cannot honestly complement them on the taste of their food? Where are the gunslingers who have lost their sense of touch? When you save the sheriff’s daughter from the outlaw gang, will you fumble and paw as you try to brush her face tenderly? If you poke your thumb in her eye or bruise her cheek, aren’t you the next on the sheriff’s posters wanted dead or alive? Where are all the deaf kung fu masters? If you get constantly beat up because you can’t hear all of your challengers warning you that you have killed their father now prepare to die, won’t the legend of you unparalleled skill be tarnished?

Since you have never heard of heroes missing any other sense than sight, shouldn’t the phrase be pared down? Shouldn’t it be, “When you lose your sense of sight your other senses are heightened”? Because, let’s face it, to the typical shortsighted ignoramus, sight is the only sense that really matters. People that lose their senses of hearing, touch, taste, or smell can pretty much get along in society as if nothing has happened to them. If you can’t smell, touch, or taste you are not at that much of a disadvantage in the modern world. The senses of taste and smell are there to warn you of poisoned food or deadly fumes in the air, and in the modern world those problems are taken care of for you. Dangerous chemicals are clearly labeled and poisonous foods are not stocked in the local supermarket. And because you are losing you sense after having it most of your life you are already adept at recognizing hot or sharp items without the need of your sense of touch.

But the sense of hearing is more debilitating than the average ignoramus typically realizes. Just because a deaf person does not trip over small items on the floor or bump into walls does not mean that they have nothing to adapt to. Deaf people can walk around the streets of the city seeing exactly where they are going but they cannot interact with the hearing world without an interpreter. Even if they remember how to talk they cannot hear what is being told back to them, and even though their other senses are heightened, the art of reading lips takes many years of practice to master. It does not just appear as a special, magical ability as soon as the person loses his or her hearing. And the fact that you understand that the tripping over small items and bumping into walls is a reference to a blind person, you do realize that becoming blind does not actually give anyone any special powers.

All of this seems to come down to a failure on the part of the language used in the platitude. The saying should be more along the lines of, “When you are unfortunate enough to lose the use of one of your senses you are forced to develop what remains of your other senses if you want to try to maintain at least a small semblance of the quality of life that you had before such a disaster happened to you.” If this was the line that everyone decided to repeat whenever blindness, deafness, or any other lost sense was mentioned, maybe people would understand how tragic it is when someone loses an ability that they were born with.R