God (or the Universe.)

Time to get controversial:

So, I notice this trend going around (and by trend I mean it’s an accepted rule,) of replacing God with “The universe.” In both books and movies.

Even books written by people who claim to be Christians.

What took the cake was something I saw yesterday on a kid’s show in which a character referred to the universe by saying “May the universe have mercy on you…” or something like that. It was clearly a phrase that is supposed to have the word “God” in it.

Now, this is just stupid. There’s  no other word for it. Not even because of the compromise implied here, it’s because it’s as cheesy as substituting all those mythological exclamations for normal ones in modern fantasy. It might be kind of funny, but no one can take that seriously.

The reason I’m complaining about the above incident is that many people are completely serious about this whole universe thing.

Do I have something to say about this? You bet. (Sorry, I’m in a sassy mood.)

First of all, if you want to believe the universe is somehow conscious in some abstract way no one ever defines, that’s up to you, but that is not the same thing as believing in God.

People act like it is. Like we theists need to be pacified with the fact that movies deign to mention the most important fact of life, instead of ignoring it as most do. I mean, they should get the badge of courage right? It’s only something everyone thinks about.

The people of our culture puzzle me. The God-question is by farthe most important one any of us will have to answer, and yet we’ve made it taboo to even admit to wondering about it. Like it’s a weakness.

“Oh Adam’s sons, how carefully you guard yourself from everything that might do you good!”–The Magician’s Nephew.

Can I just say right here, it’s not weak. It’s actually smart to wonder about God. Even Atheists do. (A TV atheist will never admit that; but in real life you get different degrees of each belief.)

But I don’t think my readers will argue with me on that point. It’s a question worth asking, but it’s how we answer it that really matters.

And to answer with “the universe,” is really vague. What does it even mean?

As far as I can make out, it’s supposed to mean fate, things happen because somehow, something causes them to happen, and for some people it works out better than for others, because for some reason, the universe shows them more favor.

At first I  couldn’t see the appeal of this. “Just call it God, people,” I think; but as I pondered it more, I saw that there are some benefits to this point of view.

First of all, the universe has no personality, therefore, whomever it favors, it favors by mere chance. Which means all the horrible things that happen are just accidents, and no one ahs to be blamed for them. No one has to worry that there was a Divine Being punishing them, and they also aren’t’ burdened with explaining why God would allow bad things to happen if He’s good.

This seems way easier to me than Christianity, which often is like a set of contradictions. (So are the best people, I notice.)

But then I thought, if the universe has no real consciousness beyond this vague causing of events, then we have nothing to appeal to.

Think about it, if the universe is just basically pushing buttons on the machine of life, then we’re all basically experiments. And not planned experiments, but experiments that happened as a result of the universe just doing what it does.

I guess that gives us leave to live however we want, knowing it makes no difference in the Grand Scheme of things.

It sounds kind of depressing to me. Complete freedom with complete lack of reason to be free.

I guess that ‘s why so many people are depressed now.

But if we venture to say that the universe does care about us, then we’ve just put a thin veil over something that really is theism, monotheism at that.

It’s nothing new, this universe idea. It’s just another excuse for human beings to live the way we want.

And that’s not even seen as a bad thing any more. “Do what you want,” the movies tell us. Even if it’s tearing your life apart, be selfish, be cruel, be self-centered. What’s the real harm?

I’ll tell you, the amount of disregard for the feelings of other human beings that is portrayed on most TV shows, it’s terrifying to me.

Why do your feelings matter anyway?

If God is the universe, than nothing you feel matters. Why do you feel at all?

But, what if God is actually God? I’ve already listed some cons to that, but what at the pros?

I mean, if God is real, than maybe there is some way to get Him to help you. That’s how all religions start.

But Christianity takes it further and says God is real, and He is so real that He has placed signs all around us to show us who He is. That He has taken pains to make us believe in Him. And even that we have no excuse not to.

The Truth is, sometimes I don’t like what God is doing, but I can’t argue it with Him. Not because He’ll stop me, but because I know better.

What excuse do I have no to believe in God?

(If any of you have a different point of view to offer on this subject, I’d be glad to hear it.)

But as for me, I just can’t accept he idea that the Universe can just have sprung into its own entity. The thing is, we can look at the Universe and know it’s a thing of time. We can measure that. But time had to start somewhere. And the only answer that makes sense to me is that there is Something outside of time. And that’s God.

I’m not ashamed to admit I believe in God.

So, you won’t hear me ever saying “Or the universe.”

Until next time–Natasha.20160426_155712100_44464-26-12 046100_1573 (1)20160625_123317_001cropped-3-forest.jpg100_2914100_1770 (1)

Unique Freaks

I just read a great quote on BeautyBeyondBones, I don’t know who said this but “Speak the truth, even when your voice trembles.”

Amen to that, actually, amen to the whole post. But as much as the idea of alien’s replacing God is interesting to me, it’s not my forte.

To be honest, I don’t really watch or read that stuff. Except for C. S. Lewis’s space trilogy, which should be read more, I think.

I do have something on my mind today.

You know what’s cool now? Being Unique. Being your own self.

You know what’s not cool? Being different.

That sounds like it would be the same thing, but it’s not.

Here’s a trend I notice, it’s okay to be true to yourself, and to have your own tastes, so long as though tastes fit the cultural norm.

A teen can have a unique taste in music, so long as it’s modern music. Or a flair for singing, drama, playing music, sports, art, or academics, and that’s okay; but a flair for leadership, making speeches, writing, reading, or anything religious of any sort, that’s ignored or given a passing nod.

It seems to be this whole follow your dream idea is pretty exclusive when it comes to examples.

But that’s not even the real problem.

What I see is that these sources all seem to suggest that teens are all the same. They all care about these things, the few who don’t usually will. Though sometimes that’s a whole story in of itself.

I also notice that while we’re encouraged not to care what anyone thinks of us, that is completely flipped around when the person in question is opinionated. That person always needs to lighten up, seems to be the message. After all, no one likes someone who goes around challenging the people are around them. It’s just a party killer. And we all know, parties are more important than whatever lame issue the uptight person is concerned about. (Can you feel the sarcasm in my words?)

There are those who can never be pleased with anything, I’m not talking about that type of person.

I mean the forgotten man. The person who had deep beliefs and is deeply moral, and who is just trying to live up to that.

Actually, according to these media sources, living up to standards set by someone else is actually a bad thing. (It couldn’t just be that some people set unreasonable standards and should be challenged on that.)

Well, the Youth of America at least have bought this crud. Like most bad ideas, it’s a good idea with a little bit pf poison mixed in. But that poison has spread.

If you so much as express a different point of view, you will get shut down with “Everyone’s different.”

Which is another way of saying no one is. As Dash points out.

Of course, if being special really is the cause of all society’s problems, then it’s a good thing we’re teaching everyone that no one is better than them. Even if they’re monsters, they’re still as good as anyone else. (Heck, they’ll get their own TV Show about it.)

But I just have to ask, if we’re telling all the kids that they each deserve the same thing, then isn’t that probably the reason they all feel so entitled to things they never earned.

Some things cannot be earned: Love, Mercy, the right to choose our attitude. The right to be happy. These are given.

But those are about it. The rest of life is about what you put in being what you get out. To say otherwise is to lie to people.

Even more than that, the lie itself is really two lies. Not everyone is different just because they are unique.

IT is true, no two people are just alike. But whether someone is actually different is up to them.

The ideal world would be one where we were all the same in regards to how good we were, and all different in regrades to how we expressed ourselves.

But right now, it’s not like that. WE are not all the same in what we deserve. We are not all different from each other in how we choose to live.

See, the normal state of our culture is to be pluralistic and progressive,  than the different people are the ones who hold that there is one truth, and that the older ideas of it were closer to the mark.

Nobody feels like they fit in, according to statistics. And I think that no one does, because we’re all made for a oerfect world. This world isn’t it.

But listen carefully: Jsut because you dont fit into to this world doesn’t mean you auotmatically fit into the other.

We all have the same problem, we are all born for heaven; we all deserve hell. That’s what the Bible teaches.

It’s apparent in how we cry out that we deserve all this stuff, but we don’t live like we do.

All that stuff own’t make us happy anyway.

My real concern on this Earth is not to make it better, though I’ll do that too, but to help other people get ready for the real place we all should be.

Which is why, though I want us to improve as a society, I only want that because it would hopefully mean we’re returning to truth instead of personal preference.

My world view will never ever be the popular one–until Jesus comes back.

But, if I really am supposed to not care what people think, then why should that bother me?

You see, it’s hypocritical to teach that, but teach that it only applies to the people who fit within your idea of what’s acceptable.

We should empower people to do what’s right, that’s all that’s worth doing in the long run.

Because, people don’t care what food they ate thousands of years ago, or necessarily what they’ll eat a thousand years form now. They don’t care who slept with whom. Or who killed someone else.

But what people never stop being curious is aobut is what people thought about God, morality, and the purpose of life, all throughout the ages.

So, I take it, that’s what lasts. That’s what we’ll be remembered for even when no one knows what our clothes looked like or what sports we watched. Or even what people we knew. But what we did because of our faith, or lack thereof, that they’ll still talk about centuries after we;re gone.

Don’t they?

That’s what makes people different.

Until next time–Natasha.

Tech Crisis.

 

How about Wall-E?

You may have seen this Disney film from a few years back, I was just having a conversation with someone about it a few days ago. We were thinking about how technology is changing us. Not a new subject, I know, but have you noticed it’s one people seem constantly concerned about?

Well, at least they’re concerned, that’s a start.

I don’t think I’m at all misinterpreting the movie when I say it’s about how technology cripples us in the long run. It’s funny, when the movie fist came out, I wasn’t as aware of the Tech Crisis (I’m calling it that now) as I am today, but now that I’ve seen it firsthand, it’s all too clear. The human beings in that movie are all sitting around on their duffs, 24/7, watching their little holographic screens. Doing whatever the ship’s computer voice instructor tells them. They’re all so fat (no nice way to say it) they can’t even stand up by themselves. We’re shown later that it’s the time in space’s effect on their bones, they’ve lost a lot. ( I wonder if that’s actually symbolic of a loss of backbone, but I can’t say for sure on that.)

I’v heard that we’re a materialistic society, but the way I see, we’re more and more a people who are materialistic without the materials. I’ll show you.

Look at your phone right now, or your computer, or whatever. It’s probably small enough to be held in your hand. It weighs less than a pound. Now picture what’s inside it. A little micro-computer. Metal, chemicals, battery, and whatever else they make phone out of.

Believe it or not, that is all the physical material that many of us are obsessed with. The rest of it is all just images and ideas in our mind.

The actual material of on-screen transactions is very minimal. Nothing like the obsession with wealth that we used to term materialistic. That’s still a thing, but the other is far more common.

So, you see, we’re materialists without material.

And what’s more, even the mental material is often not really that. There’s plenty of indoctrination going on through TV, but the bulk of what we watch is completely useless to our minds, even as deception. The real deception is that we think it’s funny.

But this is not to come down on any particular genre or person. I think though that our concern needs to be followed up by action.

I can make myself pretty unpopular among the people around me when I actually have a problem with this kind of stuff, but if I allow that to change my mine, I have no backbone either.

Now, I freely admit, I use technology a lot. For this blog, I have to. And for typing anything, because I tried a typewriter, and I’m nowhere near accurate enough to make it worth the time and effort. (Plus you can only print one size and on font and that just doens’t work for me.) I do use smart ohones and tablets to look stuff up. I use dictionary.con instead of an actual dictionary often enough.

None of that is bad, and it’s not wha tI’m talking aobut.

I recognize that technology is helping us get soemthings done more effciently. And that using it to relax with isn’t a bad thing, in moderation.

But I think I overuse it too often. Binge watching stuff isn’t healthy. (Unless you have no other choice because you can’t keep it another day.)

Just to be positive for a moment, I’ll also say that without the internet I wouldn’t have found some of the books I love, been able to buy my favorite comic book, or found my favorite speakers. In all those ways, technology has been a blessing to me.

When I say I hate it, it’s not the items themselves, it’s the idea of it and what’s it’s turned us into.

I am an introvert, I won’t say I’ve never preferred being holed up, with YouTube, in a room by myself, to hanging around other people, but I rarely choose to do that. I have one simple reason:

I want to be the kind of person who prioritizes people over things.

Who actually tries to hang out with their family.

Who is available to their friends.

Sometimes technology is an aid to that, but I’ve found nine times out of ten that a good book works far better. Plus, it shows more of your priorities with what you read than with what you watch (other than watching stuff itself.)

It’s a bit cliche for the person at the other end of the screen to urge you to turn it off, but hey, it’s your call.

One more thing about Wall-E:

It’s a movie about learning how to be human.

Wall-E has overtime developed human feelings by watching their old movies and exploring their stuff. Their real stuff, I want to point out. He’s surrounded by materials that people used up until they went away and became reliant on their tech. The reason they did was because Earth got too messy to live on.

Wall-E, in true Blast form the Past style, falls in love with Eve, another robot. But Eve is more like a robot than he is, at first. Over the course of the film she starts doing more and more things that she wants to do, or are right to do, instead of just what she’s programmed to do. She develops a human personality as well.

You know how when someone seems checked out as a human being we’ll refer to it as auto-piliot? Well, the villain of the movie is Auto, the piloting system that has also developed it’s own consciousness, but a controlling, deceptive one. Intent on keeping power by keeping humanity stupid and dependent on himself. He doesn’t want to be turned off.

A great moment of the film is when the captain, after learning about Earth thanks to Wall-E, finally stands up to Auto and yells “I don’t want to do nothing! That’s all I’ve ever done is nothing!” He finally succeeds in turning Auto off and taking aback control of the ship.

They go back to Earth to take care of it, accepting their responsibility as people.

That’s the movie, in a nutshell. Rediscovering what it means to be human. Through a robot.

Ironic.

Until next time–Natasha.

Why I write and Read.

Hello readers, sorry for not posting. I’ve been busy.

I’m super excited about finishing up some of my books. Maybe if I ever get one published I’ll leave the title in a post.

I just hope my writing makes sense.

You may find this hard to believe, but I actually write more fiction than non-fiction. This blog is maybe 20% of my writing time.

But I love fiction.

I love fantasy.

I love making it up even more than I love reading it.

There’s something magical (ha ha) about world building.

And you know, this is worth bringing up here, because I do pray about what I write. Yes, I want it to change people’s lives. And I might not be there yet, but someday I hope what I have to say will matter to someone.

I hope that one of my books will be like C. S. Lewis’s and Hannah Hurnard’s writing is to me. I hope that people will get caught up in it like I got caught up in the PErcy Jackson series. And won’t have regrets later about how I ended something. I hope people will be inspired like “Carry on Mr. Bowditch,” and “The Enchanted April,” inspired me.

I know that reading is now taking second place to movies and shows, but it will always be the better choice. Though it is the harder one. I myself find it easier to watch something that takes little effort and little imagination, then to read a book that requires both. Currently I’m reading Jane Eyre, and the language is a bit of a challenge even for me–and I read Shakespeare. (I promise it gets easier the more you do it.)

I notice folks are a lot more picky now aobut their stories. I blame the lack of imagination in movies for it. I don’t mean people who make movies aren’t imaginative (though some… you know what I mean.=,) I meant hat your brain really doesn’t have to fill in any of the blanks when it’s all right before your eyes.

A good movie is like a great view. It can be soaked up and inspiring, but it’s not going to challenge your mind in the same way thinking of a great scene will.

Words are as important to our mind as food is to our body. (That’s a paraphrase of what Miss Sullivan says in The Miracle Worker.)

Frankly, when books let you do some of the work yourself, they are treating you with respect. Authors are not concerned with showing us things, they are concerned with making us see. Different form movies.

Now, it’s fine to be shown things, but it will never give you the maturity learning how to see for yourself will.

For instance, my favorite movie showed me a lot of things about myself, but it was the book I read before watching it that had made me able to see those things.

It’s great when you can balance those things out, I hav enothing against drama. But only drama, only movies, only shows, that leaves you only with what youve ben told. Not what you’ve discovered.

This is the real problem I see with people my age, they believe what they’re told, but they don’t know how to figure out for themselves what something means. They think something can mean whatever they want.

The truth is, no good artist (of any sort) sets out to tell the world something ambiguous. There truly is a right way to understand them. In some cases, we know too little about the person to be sure, but in many others people choose to see different things in their work.

Which isn’t wrong, but it would be wrong to then say that’s what the artist meant.

Also, it’s better to take best things out of something than it is to take the worst out of it.

I can’t tell you how many times I talk to someone who seems to be a nice, intelligent person; and then I realize they beleive only what the culture aorund them had taught them.

If we exposed ourselves to more books, older books, ones not subject to our modern ideals, we would find very different points of view. And maybe if we didn’t jsut assume they were wrong right off, but actually opened our minds, we’d be shocked by how much sense they make.

I get that I’m old fashioned, but heck, who says that’s wrong?

The problem with being completely modern is that every age is prone to certain defects, certain wrong ideas, and if you allow yourself to be propelled along by what’s modern, new, popular, then you will be caught in the good and the bad of it. Human nature being what it is, you’ll probably more caught in the bad.

Like for instance, being bad, rebellious, a rule breaker is kind of nodded at in our culture, as you’ve no doubt noticed. I want to know who decided being selfish, rude, inconsiderate, and reckless was the new face of cool. (Oh Jane Austen, where have our Edwardian values gone!)

I respect the idea of being yourself to certain point. It’s healthy to be honest and unique. It’s not cool, however, to use that as an excuse for not being accountable for your behavior to other people.

Which, if we read more books, and were more open to them, we might realize. There used to be this thing called manners, and standards, and it used to be considered right to adhere to them.

The fact is, it does matter what you do. It does matter whether you are on the right or wrong side. And the world to lie to us, and say that you can be bad and still be making an impact for the greater good, why, that’s the most idiot idea ever heard!

No folks, it’s not the bad ones who are bringing anything refreshing to the table.

And that’s what books taught me.

Until next time–Natasha.

Happy is as happy does.

I notice that I talk about problems a lot on this blog, and not a lot of solutions. I know I didn’t start off that way. I used to blog about mostly positive stuff.

And I notice more people read my blog since the change happened.

It’s a simple fact that negativity sells.

Not that that’s why I write about it, that’s just what’s on my mind a lot. But I do wonder if it’s quite healthy.

I think about how in past centuries, or even decades, there’s been plenty of hardship to go around, and there were people then who couldn’t say enough about it.

It’s not like venting, where after two or three times (or if you’re more mild than me, once,) you  can move on, get over it. Be cheerful again.

No, nay saying and foreboding is never satisfied. We’ve all met that cynical person, a lot of us live with one, you know the type, they can never stop talking about what’s wrong with people, the world, the country, etc.

And it’s a bit of a downer to say the least, but it’s even worse if you start thinking “I’ turning into that person.”

That’s the last thing I want.

You see, my siblings and I, we have a thing where if someone in a story morphs into a villain, or is defeated in a deeper way than just losing their live or health, we say they gave in to the darkness. They lost to it. Most often this means they turned evil, but it can just mean they gave up the fight.

And when this happens, we feel as if they died. More than we’d feel it if they really had. Death isn’t really just the end of life, it’s the end of vitality in life. IF that makes sense.

And we all have our personal battles with this type of loss. It is recoverable from, but it’s difficult if you’ve let yourself get to that point to even want to come back.

It’s like C. S. Lewis said, some people like happiness, and others, for some reason, don’t.

And the thing I notice is that cynics, they really don’t like feeling happy. They don’t trust it. If they feel glad for a day or two, or an hour, they always find something that will put them out of sorts again, and they go back to comfortable pessimism.

People who like happiness, on the other hand, may go through times where they emotionally can’t feel it, but they will push through that until they find it again. PR they’ll adjust until it’s not so hard. There is a downside to this, they may be more focused on happiness that on doing what’s right (ultimately compromising their own goal) but overall, I think they are more satisfied than the other type.

A person who likes happiness can forgive themselves quicker than someone who doesn’t, because they don’t want to feel down about something for too long. I notice that the ones who don’t like happiness tend to dwell on their own faults, and on rectifying them.

They will perhaps say that they don’t deserve happiness, but it really it  because they don’t trust it that they avoid it. Human beings really have no trouble accepting what they don’t deserve.

Which is fine, I think God made us that way so we could receive his gifts, no gift is given because it is deserved, then it would be a prize.

And Christians who don’t like happiness will always, always, treat salvation like it’s a prize instead of a gift. Trust me, if you’ve known any one of these folks, it’s part of the reason people don’t like Christians as a whole. Not the main reason, but part of it.

Like Peter Quill (Guardians of the Galaxy) says of the townspeople in Footloose, these are the kinds who have sticks up their rear ends. They can’t have fun.

I knew how to have fun once, I still have it every now and then, but I don’t have it often enough I think. It’s mor ein my nature to be happy, or at least ot want ot be and not ignore it, but often the people I’m surrounded by and the circumstances I’m in seem to prevent it.

Which isn’t right, I ought to rise above such things. But it is difficult.

Misery loves company.

I know that I’m more cynical than I used to be, it seems to happen with age, and with the knowledge of more and more problems that you will have to deal with as you get older. Like taxes; ageing; and voting; to name a few.

And the amount of things that just tick me off about this culture.

But all that is temporary after all, and happiness can’t really be built off those things.

It works like this, if it’s foolish to build your happiness upon something, like money, or fame, or even family and friends, then it it foolish to lose your happiness over that thing. Permanently. Grief is fine to feel for a time, but not the hill you want to die on, if you get my mixed metaphor.

As this song goes:

I will build my life upon your love, it is a firm foundation. And I will put my trust in You, oh Lord, and I will not be shaken.

Love is the only things worth building your life on, and with love, truth. Those things never change, and never will. They can’t be taken away by our culture, or the people around us, not unless you let them take it.

And he is a fool who lets that happen. (We all do it though, so we’re all fools together, but it’s more important who ceases to be a fool than who starts off as one.)

Those are my thoughts for now, until next time–Natasha.

Justice League: Batman, part two.

Yes, I know. Part two.

Since I already got into the Batman/Superman dynamic on the show, which I like a lot better than in that awful Dawn of Justice flick, I’ll move on to his other relationships.

I know Batman and relationships sounds like an oxymoron, but again, that’s what made this show great. The superheroes were really each other’s friends and family.

I want to talk more about the Batman/ Wonder Woman thing.

According to the directors of the show, it was practically non-existent, even in their minds; but boy did it work.

Like I said, the first thing in her favor is that she recognized him, but in that episode they work exclusively together, and it rocks. Not just because I ship them, but because they’re characters play off each other so perfectly.

And not for a comedic effect, but for my money, it’s even better when you can have two characters working together and it’s just fun to watch even if they aren’t being funny.

The main thing about this episode is actually about Wonder Woman and respect. you’ll never hear it in the episode itself, but it’s the one that really establishes Diana as someone who should be listened to.

At first she and Bruce aren’t exactly working together. He’s in Paris to investigate some suspicious activity (and to do some Bruce Wayne stuff also,) she’s just there to have fun. (Cue the dumb song.) But after Diana saves Princess Audrey and kicks the crud out of the guys attacking her (all while Bruce just sits back and enjoys the show; another important thing to note,) she decides to party with her as her personal body guard. After they become new best friends, Batman decides to drop in on Wonder Woman in her apartment. After a line or two of banter, he tells her that Audrey’s father is suspected of being involved in some shady business. (I’m really sorry that I can’t remember, but it’s been four years since I’ve seen the show.) Wonder Woman sticks up for Audrey, but agrees to ask her about it. Which she does, and Audrey tells her there’s no possible way her dad is involved. Wonder Woman excepts this, but then gets the shock of her life when Audrey introduces her to her fiance, Vandal savage.  Actually, his grandson who looks just like him. (But it really is the original.) To Diana’s credit, she is not entirely convinced it really is his grandson, but she also behaves pretty ungraciously, to Audrey’s annoyance. Bu they patch thing up quickly and Diana talks to Savage alone, making it clear she suspects him. (And she overhears part of a phone conversation also.) After this, Wonder Woman gets on the phone with Batman, and while they’re talking they hear a news bite that Audrey’s father has just had a serious–and convenient–stroke. Wonder Woman leaves immediately to warn Audrey, while Batman says “Meet you there.”

To make  a long story short, Wonder Woman gets creamed by a freaky guy with a conic blaster embedded into his vocal cords. (Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds.) Batman finds her after she’s been knocked out and tells her Audrey is getting married. She recklessly decides to go crash the wedding, in the process breaking some law about intruding. Batman kind of smiles at her way of doing this, but then she gets herself captured, and gets Audrey really worked up by her accusations. Diana really starts to lose patience with her friend here, since Audrey refuses to listen to her, and thinks she’s a lunatic. Then acts like a spoiled brat.

Batman tries to call in help, but the only three members available have to go take down the space weapon Vandal Savage has set up that can destroy entire cities. (It’s not really that much like the Death Star.) So Batman decides he and Wonder Woman will have to fend for themselves. he proceeds to free her, she punches someone while he’s doing it. Then jumps in front of him to block bullets with her bracelets. The two of them proceed to storm the castle and ruin Savage’s plans. (I love the part where Batman runs up to him with a chair and says “You’re in my way” then pow!) They also free Audrey, who has since discovered the truth, not very cleverly I might add. (I like her and all, but she should have listened to Diana.)

The episode ends with Wonder Woman alluding to their dance, and Batman denying it because, secret identities; but she says “You’re still taking me dancing.”

And that’s the episode. There’s a lot more with them in it, and confession-ally, I watched all their episodes many, many times. (I was on the edge of 14 when I quit the show, okay.)

The reason these two work so well is because they are evenly matched. Diana keeps up with Bruce not by being as smart as him, analytically speaking, but by being intuitive. She’s not stupid either, but she definitely is more impulsive. But it generally works for her, and Bruce only seems to admire her for it. He once said that she was a remarkable woman, a devoted friend…and standing right behind him, wasn’t she?

To Diana, their relationship makes perfect sense, but Bruce would never commit to it.

He used the excuse that his enemies would get to him through her, and Diana pretty much just crushed some stone as if to say “Are you kidding me?”

he also thought he had too many issues.

Actually, it was kind of sweet in a way that he seemed to think she could do better, but she didn’t want to.

It’s funny, Batman seems pretty humble for a guy who has so many trust issues, and the truth is, he’s a mix of pride and humility.

He really doesn’t want to lose more people he care about, but he still allows himself to care, just not to show it. It’s like he’s really just afraid of them knowing he cares and thinking he’s vulnerable.

Diana understands this and defends him even when the others are kind of frustrated with his lack of communication. But we see that in his own way, Batman is trying to do his best by them. He just doesn’t like being on a team.

It grows on him though, first through working with Diana and coming to see her as an equal, then eventually with all the others too. That’s why I think he and Diana are so great together, because they make each other better.

I couldn’t say that for any of his other love interests (save in the new Lego Batman movie.)

I have got to end this now, but I’ll talk a little bit more about Bats when I get to Flash. Until next time–Natasha.

Justice League: Batman

So, I’m finally getting to the big guy himself, aside from Superman. (But after Man of Steel, doesn’t Superman have a lot less fans anyway? Maybe I’m wrong.)

The JLU version of Batman is my favorite. Though I’ve watched the sixties Adam West show, and seen a few clips of the Dark Knight saga (ugh.)

But I think the show’s version of Batman was the best for a variety of reasons.

The first was that Batman had a more balanced personality, he was still too far on the dark side for my own taste, but he also had moments where he loosened up. The Bruce Wayne part of him was not totally absent from the Batman part.

And the brilliant reason behind this was that the other members of the League (the seven original ones I mean) knew who he was.  We see that Superman knew already, (which is explained in the show that was specifically about Superman from the same creators.) But what I loved was how the other characters found out.

We’re never told how Hawk Girl or Green Lantern knew, and the martian man-hunter either read his mind, or else just found out when Flash did. (In the middle of Starcrossed, it’s one of the funniest parts of that super serious episode.)

But we do see how Wonder Woman knew. It’s in that all time favorite episode Maid of Honor, early on. Diana and Bruce both happen to be in Paris, at the same party, which seems to be a complete coincidence. And Diana is getting harassed by a lot of fans…and the press it looks like (pause to acknowledge the sad fate of every superhero if they were real.) Then a handsome stranger steps in to ask her to dance and she jumps at the chance. What’s fun to watch is how through the ensuing conversation she’s slyly looking hard at his face and insinuating that they already know each other.And Bruce (of course it is him) isn’t really denying it. The golden part is that Diana actually doesn’t know his name, but you can tell she recognized the voice.

Can we all just applaud her for a moment? I can’t be the only one who gets annoyed when superheroes meet people they know and the person can’t even place their voice. I can recognize my family’s voices. (Though sometimes they sound so alike I get the wrong person, but I know it’s one of them.) And even if you allowed for the fact that some people just sound alike, the superheros are always dropping hints. Till you want to bang your head on a wall at the stupidity of the person they’re talking to.

Diana subverts that stupid cliche in one conversation! You can see why I like her now.

This is also one of the things that make me think she was the best match up to date for ol’ Batman. None of his other (and often evil) love interests have ever recognized him without his help.

There’s more heated debate about this than you would beleive, but I’m moving on.

So, why this whole secret identity thing is important is because it denotes some measure of trust. BAtman is always critisizd, even by the otehr characters, for one thing:Not trusting nayone.

Superman is actually pretty chill about it in the origin story episode, and explains to the martian, who says “A wise policy.” (I found that idiotic from a guy who could read minds and ought to know how important trust is to our psyche.) But Batman does trust the league, to an extent. I reviewed the JL movie Crisis on two earths several months ago (It’s in a series called “Earth crisis” if your’e interested) and at the end of that when Batman faces off with Owlman, Owlman ribs him for not trusting anyone else to do something, though, he confesses with a laugh, he feels the same way.

I disagree that Superman would have been the better choice in that situation, but the point remains that even if he were, Batman would probably not have trusted him.

And Batman says on the show to Diana “Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me, real hard.” But that was an early episode.

I really have to appreciate how Batman interacts with Superman even so. He’s about the only one who will tell Superman to get over it, and stand up to him. Which amazes people since he’d arguably the least powerful and Superman could crush him. But Superman wouldn’t. Though he does shove him aside pretty hard in the same episode I just referenced, and Batman doesn’t even  hesitate after that.

It’s clear to see that despite how often Superman and Batman disagree, Superman deeply respects him. And Batman admires Superman more than he will ever show. They’re relationship was pretty much summed up by a brief exchange after Superman came back from the future.

Wonder Woman: Don’t let him fool you. He’s just as glad to see you as the rest of us. (I apologize if I remembered her line wrong.)

Batman: No, I just never believed you were actually dead.

Superman: (nonchalantly) I…guess that’s a compliment.

There you have it. They get each other. Actually, it’s partly because of their friendship that I think the League is so good for Batman. He actually gets to help people who are more his equals and who won’t listen to everything he says because they all are just as used to calling the shots as he is. (Versus his relationship with Robin and Alfred and the other kids.)

You think I just mean the idea of it, but there is seriously a difference with how he acts.

He’s actually so complex I’ll have to split this part into two. Sorry, it’s character discussion after all.

Hope to see you then–Natasha.

Growing cold.

I’ll be getting back to my Justice League stuff soon, but today I want to talka bout a verse that has intrigued me for a long time.

Maybe you’ve heard this “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

That verse is from Matthew  24:12

Just for context, that whole chapter is about end times.

Which is a big theme nowadays.

But what most of us who haven’t been in church a long time don’t realiz is that the Bible calls all time after the ascention of Christ the End Times, or The Last Days. We’ve had 2,017 years of the Last Days.

But a fun fact about God is that he says a thousand years is the same as a single day to him, so with that view of it, it’s been two days and a few seconds since Jesus left.

Witht hat perspective, Jesus could show up at any minute.

But this post is not about that, I;m merely setting the stage for my actual topic.

The reasib the context is important is because whenever the End Times are referenced in Scripture, they usually are getting progressively worse. For instance, it is said it will be like the days of Noah, then like the days of Lot. Lot’s days were worse than Noah’s.

What this means is that the cooling off of love that the above verse talks about is going to increase more and more as time goes. It won’t just stop and then plateau.

Whether or not you are a Bible fan, I think you’ll agree with me that there is a big loss of love going on in the world today. And that it has gone on for some time.

What I never really thought about before was the first half of that verse. “Because iniquity shall abound.”

In the Bible Iniquity is a word used to not just mean sin, but to mean sin that is like a disease, sin that spreads and infects everything around it. (My personal take on it, I don’t think that’s the official definition.)

There’s a lot of iniquity to go around now. Always has been since those words were first spoken.

But did you know that the love Jesus is referring to in that verse is the Unconditional Love that the Church is meant to show?

And by Church, I do not mean a gathering of believers. IT’s great when you can find that, but most often you’ll find that the actual church is only a percentage of the people in the building. The ones who are actually godly and care about living holy lives. That’s who I’m referring to.

So, in summary, the Love of these Christians will grow cold because of all the sin around.

Now for the shocker: I always thought this verse was a warning to those who took their faith too un-seriously. Now I think this verse is a warning to me.

That’s right, me. The person who’s been obsessed with her faith ever since she was a kid.

But lately, I notice I do have a problem with love.

You see, I find sin to be an annoying thing. Not that I expect perfection, but when I discover people are lax about the most basic principles of Christian Living, I get kind of…testy.

I’m just telling you all the truth here. I do have a vindictive personality.

I have high standards for myself, and while I do not hold others up to that level, I do expect more from them than they do from themselves.

What irritates me is that I like it when people expect a lot of me (within reason,) but the majority of folks do not.

How many of you have felt the same way? I know some of you have. You look around and wonder why everyone else has lost their minds, and you seem to be a lone sensible person in a sea of stupidity.

And to make matters worse, these others will constantly tell you that you’re just better than they are, but you shouldn’t expect them to be like that.

At this point, smoke usually starts coming out of my ears.

But even if I’m right to be angry and disgusted, I do face a danger here.

It’s true, many people are less moral than I am. It’s not pride, it’s fact. But that doesn’t mean I get to stop seeing hem as people.

That is the temptation. Once we feel someone is lower than us in some way, we cans tops seeing them as full human beings, who deserve love and compassion.

We’ve all done this, we warn someone about doing something dumb, they do it and come back crying, and we just shrug and say “I told you so.” And don’t help.

Because obviously the fact that we told them so means we don’t need to help them any further.

Well, maybe if people were like dogs, and lived only to do what their master wanted and occasionally get a bone or a toy in return, that would suffice.

But people are not dogs. And when we got he extra mile with them, sometimes it’s only then that they can understand what we were trying to say all along.

Jesus actually said “If someone compels you to go with him one mile, go with him two.”

We’ve all seen it in movies, a person forces another to help them, the other person eventually comes to care about them, and even when they no longer have to help, they decide to stick around anyway.

Life is really no different.

And the hard truth is that even if you go the extra mile, you may never make any lasting change in someone’s life…but they will change yours.

We still need to do it.

And though sin makes it easy to despise people, as I know only too well, it does not make it right. Sin never made anything right.

Christian or not, your life is going to be better if you learn how to show Unconditional Love. Love that can’t be driven off, duped, or disowned. It just is.

I have to go now and get ready for a driving lesson, until next time–Natasha.

While I was gone…

I really couldn’t help not posting for several days, I was out of state and away from my computer.

That’s all my explanation and apology. It was a family tragedy.

It happens to everyone, but as the cliché goes, you never think it’ll happen to you.

I think though that I knew it would happen eventually, I just didn’t know when and I didn’t see it coming. I almost don’t believe it still.

What a crazy week, between visiting the bereaved my family tried to snatch a little bit of the vacation we were planning to have this year because now we can’t do it, and then there was a hasty funeral and long trip home.

Bringing me up to today, when I’m recovering and still trying to process these events.

There’s a few things I think everyone experiences when one of their family members dies. There’s a realization that death really happens, and could happen to you. The immediate response is fear.

There’s usually anger. In this case the cause of death was not wearing a seatbelt and driving too fast. Why was the person so stupid?

There’s shock of course. And most of all there’s regret that you spent less time than you wished with them.

If I’m totally honest,  I admit that people probably spend about as much time with each other as they really want to. The problem isn’t that death cuts it short but that we prioritize the wrong things or just neglect the ones that are more difficult. And the truth is, if it were me who died, other people would feel like they should have spent more time with me.

And maybe they should have, or should really. But I wouldn’t blame them all that much that they didn’t because that’s the way life is. We don’t always get the chance to do all that we think we should. We’re human and we miss what’s right in front of us, or what’s far away from us and yet very real.

This may sound like I’m taking a cynical view of this, but I’m not, I’m trying to avoid the common mistake of thinking that knowing this was coming would have made anyone different. It should make us different anyway, but I’ve never liked the idea of being nice to people because you fear death.

The fact is, death may be a wake up call for some, but for many it’s a shadow. One that will go away in time if we heal in the right way, but one people often cling to as their new normal.

The important thing is not to focus on death and how it’s a possibility, because it always was, and it’ll ruin your life to be always thinking of it.

The thing to think of is how everyone’s life is so short, but no one’s is meaningless.

I didn’t know this person who died all that well, I wish I had, but at least some people did. It is better to find out that someone was an amazing person than to find out that they did no one any good.

What I have learned is that there is more to people than you can know based on a slim acquaintance. Even if you are able to judge one part of their character, there may be another part you knew nothing about. If that makes me a little less quick to assume in the future then that’s a good thing.

But I don’t expect it to completely change my own character, and I’m not foolish enough to try that, only One person’s death can change someone’s character in that radical way.

Maybe you were expecting a different post, and for all I know, this just sounds like the typical way people try to comfort themselves after a tragedy, and perhaps that’s what it is.

Perhaps, also, that’s fine because grief is typical in life.

I am not afraid to die myself, I am only afraid to die before I’ve really helped anyone or changed anything, or done something that was important and unselfish and brought God the glory.

I know what kind of person I want to be before I die, but I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near close enough to being her.

And I don’t know how well my family member was satisfied with his life, not too well from what I’ve heard, but he couldn’t see the incredible person he was destined to be.

I guess it’s not where you are now so much as where you’re going to be, sooner or later, and with many bumps along the way.

As many times as I have heard the above said, it’s so easy to forget and think the present is our permanent state of being. It’s not. Things will get worse or better, they will never stay just the same.

Worse or better will alternate, but the overall effect is up to you and what you want to believe in.

And those are my thoughts on this for now. Until next time–Natasha.

Justice League: Superman

I’ll admit upfront The Man of Steel was never my favorite. I don’t have much against him, but our personalities just never clicked.

He kind of reminds me of Mr. Incredible (who is clearly based off of him.) And like that hero, I think most of Superman’s mistakes (and successes) are the type that a dad might make.

There’s more to this than you might think. In the JLU show I’m referring to for all of this, Superman was the one who founded the Justice League. He said he needed more help protecting the Earth. So you might truly say he was the Father of the League.

That is how he relates to it an its members. Even though they are all friends, it’s demonstrated several times that Superman can never forget that he;s the mpst powerful, for better or for worse.

Unlike with Wonder Woman, Superman is someone we have to look at the background of before his character on the show will even make sense. Especially since its referred to several times.

Superman’s worst moments all have to do with Apokalips, if you’ve read my other superhero posts, you’ll know that that is the hellish planet Scott Free and Big Barda hail from.

The trouble is, the writers of JLU didn’t believe in making characters who could be stronger than the evil of Apokalips. Scott is the only one they ever let escape it without help, and that only because they couldn’t change too much about him. (And Scott actually had help originally, so his story got totally rewritten for that show.) Superman gets targeted by DArkseid after crossing the wrong person (I forget exactly who it was.) And brainwashed via machine into forgetting who he is and then attacking earth.

I hated that whole twist, but it creates his central conflict, so I ahve to include it. One cool thing about the whole mess was that Lois Lane, the one without powers or any notable fighting skills, was the one to snap him out of it. She keeps him grounded. (Honestly, it’s the best version of her I know of.) Other than that, the whole thing completely detrys Superman, and he has a hard time picking up the pieces.

This comes into play on the show many times. Darkseid is the one who can upset Superman’s self control (aside from Luthor.) The others have to hold him back from attacking. Batman gives him one hard hitting talk about getting over it. Deserved, I grant you, but as usual Batman has no tact whatsoever and its clear superman is sore and bitter about the whole thing. IT would be hard not to be, if you’ve never forgiven yourself for it, which he hasn’t.

We see in another episode that his greatest fear is losing control of his powers and destroying everything without being able to stop himself. Something I can relate to. Very much the Elsa-complex. And just like with her, superman only feel reassured when he lets someone who loves him reach out to him and help him bear the weight of his own powers.

I’ve heard that we are more afraid of our greatness, our glory, than we are of our weakness. It ain’t kryptonite that gives Kal-el nightmares.

MAybe we could all learn something from the way his friend help him wiht it. My only problem is that he never seems to be cured, which I think he could be. But notwithstanding, they were on the right track.

Some good things Superman does are also fatherly. He gives pep talks. He keeps the Leauge centered and focused, and whenever he cant ake a hit for is friends he does. HE’ll get in front of them to sheild them, or put him self first if they are falling hard, the best time was when he got Batman out of a burning watchtower in the nick of time. I love that scene because Superman is using his invulnralbily and speed without regret or thought of himslef. It’s pure.

No one is afraid of him most of the time, some jokes are made at his expense regarding how he can’t intimidate people like Batman can; but friends and enemies alike are terrified of him when he’s truly angry. Like most mild mannered people, when Superman gets ticked, he gets really ticked.

Even though he starts the league in order to have help, he has a hard time delegating to them. They feel like he doesn’t think they can take care of themselves.

One of the worst episodes (at least if you go by the hardest to watch) was “The Secret Society.” That was the one where the obligatory team split-up happened. The writers had the sense not to ever do this again, and the way they did it was completely annoying.

You’d really expect a team of adult superheroes to be more mature. Frankly, all their problems came out of nowhere. I never understood what Green Lantern was talking about for the first en minutes when he was laying out their problems.

But well-written or not, it did introduce some problems that came back in later episodes. One of them being Superman’s problem with letting other people be in danger.

If I had to say what the best thing about Superman was, I wouldn’t know how to answer. Or would I?

My favorite thing about him was that, except with his three most hated foes, Superman is a very merciful guy. He doesn’t hold grudges against anyone else, he expects the best from people. We never hear him knock any of his friends for being anything but less powerful than him–and not always right.

Superman got made into a complicated mix of proud and humble by the time the show ended, but over all, he’s likable. And he is the League’s fearless leader, and no one else could be like him.

All of them care about him deeply, as is shown in the episode “Hereafter.” And they share how he encouraged them, and set them all a good example. Because most of the time, his motives were pure, and his character more steady than the rest of them.

And I think that says it all.

This is pretty fun, I can’t wait till the next installment, and even if the J.L. isn’t your thing, I hope you’re enjoying this trip down memory lane with me.

Until next time–Natasha.