All posts by Jack Ralston

About Jack Ralston

Jack Ralston is a up and coming new writer, brimming with ideas and wanting to share them with the world. From his yet-to-be-published sci-fi novel to his growing blog, fresh, exciting ideas are in store.

How to train your dragon 2 Review

As they loom through the cloud torn sky, the wind wreathes around their heads and wings, sending with it’s mighty roar a peace and excitement.  Then, shattering the tranquility, the dragon’s rider falls to one side, plummeting through the air, gravity giving immaculate haste to his descent.  But this one is prepared.  A wing suit flashes out at the last second, sending him soaring with the birds and fluttering wings of dragons, albeit at a lower altitude than he had been.

Released four years ago, the first How To Train Your Dragon was met with rave reviews by critics and was simply loved by children.  But this isn’t that film.  This is the sequel, and as we all know, sequels always try to go bigger, but not often do they try to get better.  This film attempts both, which as you’ll see is both a good and bad thing.

Let me start out with simple sensory subjects.  Technically, this HTTYD2-Footage-3movie was audacious.  Landscapes seemed to pile one on top of another at first, with some shots approaching (if not reaching) the beauty of a Pixar film. Particularly, one scene with a fortress that has been blasted by icy breath as a backdrop is fairly spectacular looking.

Not only did the shots of landscapes look great, but the dragons did too.  Hundreds of them often fit into a single scene, with the gargantuan Alphas towering over them all.  But as always, there’s a downside; part of the fun of the first was learning about specific dragon types during Hiccup’s training, and with so many dragons, that level of storytelling detail is lost.

And here is where it gets interesting.  The voice acting was just as spot on as last time,  but much of the fun dialogue, however has been replaced with darker and more brooding material.  Laugh out loud character moments have been replaced with action and melodrama.  Not that the action’s not cool.  Any film that can pull of having two mega-dragons duel, while two warriors duel, while thousands of men attack hundreds of dragons is going to be kind of awesome.  But is it worth it?

Actually, yes.  The film continually focuses on moving the story forward, while paying enough homage to the past that you never feel like you’re lost in the strange, new lands Hiccup is constantly exploring.

And now, before we go any further:

SPOILERS WARNING!!!

How to train your dragon

 

Well, the fact that Hiccup’s mother is in the film shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s seen the trailer.  For the most part, her reentry into Hiccup’s life was handled pretty well, with some legitimate emotion thrown in for good taste.  But it didn’t go far enough.  For someone who never knew his mother to have her jump out of the blue at you and know more about dragons than anyone else is a little strange, making Hiccup’s attitude of taking-it-all-in-stride rather distracting.

Regardless, the best part of the film is the moment when Stoick, Hiccup’s father, is reunited with his long lost wife.  That was touching.  Then, when they danced together for the first time in twenty years, my friends with me were crying like children.

Which makes it all that more painful when STOICK IS KILLED BY TOOTHLESS!!! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!?!?!

Looking back, I can see exactly why they decided to turn the story down that darker path, in keeping with the ‘gotta be bigger’ deal with sequels.  For me though, it cast a dark cloud over the rest of the movie, and now when I conjure up this movie in my head, all I can think about is Stoick dying.

It ruined the only good love story in the film, it gave unnecessary menace to one of your favorite characters, and it ruined the climax, because after that it seemed like everything went downhill. Except for one moment.

Toothless’s redemption.  Well done DreamWorks, well done.

And that’s how this movie resembles the skydiving and wing suit I mentioned earlier.  It starts off great, takes a risk for more excitement, falls down, but at the last minutes it flies, soaring lower than the first.

 

 

 

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Pink Ping Pong Balls and…Survival!

There are times that you tend to remember far better than you ever thought you could.  For me, this was one of those times and I would love to share it with you.

It was hot, blazing hot, and our packs weighed heavy on our backs.  We had been out in the wilderness for seven days, with nothing but what we had taken with in the backpacks.  No buildings, no toilets, no chicks…it had been a long time since any form of civilization.

But today was the final day!  After this we would be back, basking in the glory of fast, greasy food, luxuriously cushioned seats, and schoolwork!  (Okay, some things we weren’t looking forward to.)dsc_1105

But that was still five miles away.  We had been hiking since 5:00am, and had traversed eleven miles already.  The camp was barely in sight, but we still had five miles to go!  It was starting to drive some of us slightly berserk.

“Stop it!” Dale yelled at me.

“Stop what?”

“Breathing!  Cut it out, will ya!”

As confused as I was why he would turn on me when his own breathing was horrendous, (gasping in, then gasping out, heaving with each breath, not to mention the slobber drooling from his cracked lips) I cordially ceased inhaling.  Shortly after, I passed out.

I woke up with the hope that my buddies would have carried me the rest of the way, but did they?  No.  Instead they thought it would be a good idea to slap my face until I woke up.  Selfish imps.

“I can see that things are starting to deteriorate,” Bryon said, as he continue to slap my face giddily, despite my cries of “I’m awake!” and “You’re dead to me!”

“Let me tell you all a story,” he said as I leaped to my feet, helped by my friend Dale. “It’ll help pass the time.”

A sour feeling, almost a premonition, passed over me.  I knew I should have said something, but unfortunately all my doubts about Bryon’s stories had been lulled in the back of my mind by all his other bad decisions over the last several days.  (The following story is that tale, shortened, censored, and made comprehensible by yours truly.)

“Once there was a boy whose parents loved him very much.  Maybe.  Okay, at least a little.  Maybe more than a little…”

“Get on with it!”

“…and he didn’t say a word to his parents until his seventh birthday.  On that day, he asked for a pink ping pong ball.  His parents didn’t know why, but it seemed to make him happy, so they did.”

“After that he didn’t say another word for five years, until his twelfth birthday, when he asked for a case of pink ping pong balls.  His parents didn’t know why they shouldn’t, since he had been so good, so they got the balls for him.  As soon as he got them, he mailed them off to somewhere, but his parents couldn’t find out where.”

“This went on for years, and he’d always ask for more pink ping pong balls, then he’d ship them off.  His parents asked, pleaded and begged him to tell them where, but it was no use.”

“Finally, on his twenty-first birthday, he asked for a ping pong ball factory.  Because he hadn’t shown interest in anything else throughout his life, his parents took out a mortgage on their house and bought him one.  All day, every day, he would sit in the factory, making thousands and thousands of pink ping pong balls, and then he would send them off by the shipload to somewhere.”

“At last, when he had turned fifty, there was an explosion at the factory.  His parents heard it from their house and ran as fast as they could towards it.  When they arrived, pink plastic was everywhere.  Their son was lying on his back, his arm burned by the hot plastic, and his legs blown off by the explosion.”

“Weakly, he motioned for his parents to kneel down by him.  As they did so he gasped, ‘The ping pong balls…the pink ping pong balls.  I sent them to…Blah!’  And he died.”

Eagerly, we waited for the punchline.  Confused, Bryon looked at us saying, “That’s it.”

We could have strangled him. That story had no purpose, no reason for existing and had  wasted 30 min of our lives! It kind of reminds me of this post.

But Bryon’s story did pass the time, because we were almost back to civilization and bison burgers!  And that is the only reason he is still alive today. (See why it’s a story of survival? Sideways, winky face!)

In the Hands of Yahweh: Dahveed

dahveed-yahwehs-chosen-terri-l-fivash-paperback-cover-artRaging giants!  Mentally handicapped monarchs!  Berserker shepherds!  Not to mention fiery vortexes of demonic darkness!  Sound familiar?

Probably not.  This is the story of David.  Oops, I should probably say “Dahveed”.

Dahveed is a series of six books (four published, two still to come) by Terri Fivash, which details and expands upon the Biblical account of David.  It starts out when Dahveed is still a boy, describing with gusto the atmosphere of ancient Bethlehem and Israel, and continues until presumably his death. (At least that’s my guess, because it’s not finished yet.)

As this is a series, I will only briefly touch upon aspects of it instead of doing a full out review.

The adherence to the source material (a.k.a. the Bible) is exemplary, as the author never changes and deviates from what happened. (Something the Hobbit films could learn from!) However, the books do differ from other widely held opinions such as Jonathan and Dahveed being the same age, and Goliath being actually nine fee tall.

The main theme of the first three books is all about how Yahweh is preparing His Mashiah, or anointed one, to become king over a currently disjointed and shattered people.  Dahveed must go from being an unclaimed son and lowest among his clan, ignorant and despairing of value in himself, to being a man who trusts wholly in his God.  Only then can he lead the people of Israel.

But the journey is difficult.  King Shaul is possessed by demons, Philistines are constantly raiding and the inner turmoil which has plagued him all his life does not stop instantly.  But Yahweh knows what he is doing.  Jonathan is a man willing to sacrifice his family, his throne and his life for Him, and Dahveed will need such a friend.

The turmoil of Jonathan presented through these books is one of the most interesting and gut wrenching parts.  You can feel his shame for his father’s actions burning inside him, alongside a fierce love and desire for approval.

But Jonathan will not hesitate to do what is right, even if it means betraying his father, an action that pains his soul like no other.

But this being the Old Testament, what is right is not always clear.  Is it right to kill a man for showing disrespect? Or sell a man and his family to pay off his debts? What about harvesting two hundred Philistine foreskins as a bride price? Multiple wives and concubines?!

Yes.  Back then in the covenant between God and the Israelites, it was, and the author does not shy away from such things.

Battle is an integral part of the story, and Dahveed transforms from a shepherd training  with Habiru, to general of Shaul’s armies.   Hundreds are kill in pitched battles, more in ambushes, duels, and raids.  Despite the violence, this book does not feel violent or gory, but merely shows events back then as closely as possible as to what would have actually happened.

Which brings me to a different type of darkness.  Demons.

As it is said in I Samuel, King Shaul is in fact possessed by an evil spirit.  This series does indexnot shy away from that fact, and more than once has the power of Yahweh stretched to battle that demon through Dahveed.  Obviously no real match, but still terrifying for Dahveed and Jonathan.  Additionally, the Moabite god Kemosh is shown to be another demon, one that a character worships and makes sacrifices to.

Nothing offensive is shown, although Jonathan does take a concubine and later a wife, while Dahveed, shy, humble, bashful Dahveed, marries several women.  Ugh.  As can be expected, no swear words of any kind make it into this story.

From a literary standpoint, Fivash has an enticing and easy reading style, making for an enjoyable book.  However, like many good and enjoyable authors, her books take too long to get where they need to be, and especially in the first two books, seem to repeat themselves to often.

Character, not plot, is her strongest asset, but occasionally the responses of characters (usually during happy times or events) seem forced, not earned.

Another problem is the names.  They’re all Biblical names, and sometimes one name is assigned to multiple characters.  (Not her fault, that’s how it is in the Bible.)  Once Dahveed starts assembling his outlaws, the names come flying too fast and thick to believe.  Remember, this is coming from a guy who can read The Silmarillion without batting an eyelid.

Enjoyable and overall enlightening was the conclusion that rose in my mind after completing book three, which, by the way, is my favorite of them.  At times different from what i had imagined, but so true to what it should be.  But the ultimate end of it is to show how ordinary people, lowly, hurt people when resting in the hands of the Lord can acheive marvelous, spectacular things.  Honor that comes from man may be stripped away, but honor from Yahweh is eternal.

As an aside, Terri Fivash has another book, Joseph, that I will be reviewing later this summer.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review

Let me start out by clarifying my stance towards the Star Wars franchise.  It’s fun.  Diehard, I am not.  Avid enthusiast , I am not.  But I enjoy the movies, (the original trilogy more than the prequels) and some of the video games such as Knights of the old Republic.

That being said, I was reasonably clear-headed when I heard that a new Star Wars movie was coming out nearly six years ago.  And it was going to be a cartoon?!  The idiots.

Years passed, during which my family somehow acquired Netflix, allowing us to watch movies and TV shows online.  (Seriously though, if you don’t know what Netflix is, what are you doing reading online blogs?)  And just this last March, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, movie, TV show and all, became available for instant streaming via Netflix.

Once again, it may have passed unnoticed by myself if I hadn’t have had my wisdom teeth removed last week.  However, because of the surgery I had ample time to writhe in pain, gnash my remaining teeth and watch TV.  For some odd reason, I ended up watching The Clone Wars.

Clone_Troopers_kaminoAt first, I was kind of entertained, but unimpressed.  It was fun at times, with episodes such as “Rookies” or “Lair of Grievous” being very enjoyable, but it also had too many moments of “Ugh!”.  The animation was good looking, as long as it kept to droids and action sequences (these always being small, pitting an army of ten battle droids versus a “huge” battalion of five clones).  However, facial animation was rotten, the dialogue was worse, and the voice acting was noticeably less than par, albeit with a few exceptions.

Then I moved on to season two.  And it got better.  Then I moved on to season three.  And it started to get good.  Then in season four, it was good.  By season five, I pretty impressed by what the creators of this show were able to accomplish onscreen.

Sparkling animation that would look beautiful on any big screen, story lines that involved, surprised and delighted anyone with a hint of Star Wars geek in them, and direction that made 20 minute episodes fly by in a few seconds.  Battles became larger, lightsaber duels cooler, and small steps that added up to overwhelming detail abounded in most environments.  This season also includes the coolest looking explosion in Star Wars history, bar none.

Any of the major lightsaber battles of the last two seasons are much, much more entertaining than the ones in the original Star Wars movies.

Perhaps that is why I liked this show, even more than any other reason.  With each season, the creators attempted to do better in every respect, and they succeeded.   By the time I reached the end of the series, it was hard to believe that I was not watching animated cinema, but a TV show created for kids.

But then again, it never tried to be a kids TV show, except maybe some in the first season.  And while that decision brought about overwhelming excellence, it came at a price.

Clone Trooper Season 4

There is a dark side to everything Star Wars, (except maybe Jar Jar Binks) and it does not hesitate to show itself here.  Stomach clenching moments in the later seasons abound, not lessened by the fact it’s animated, but the opposite.  Face it, (pun) you don’t expect to see disembodied heads rolling around on a cartoon show.

Season 4 is especially noteworthy.  People are blown into blood clouds underwater, heads are ripped off, men are squashed, shot, decapitated, dismembered, electrocuted, blasted apart, eaten, incinerated, and killed in ways innumerable.  More than a few battle sequences would be easily rated PG-13 if in a live action movie, and at least one even if it was in an animated film.  Season 5 and 6 do attempt to down the darkness, but it is still present.

Overall, it is immensely enjoyable for any age that doesn’t dislike Star Wars or cartoons, or feel that the combination is faulty in and of itself.  And if you choose to watch it, do so in order.  Not only do most episodes run in story arcs, but I do not doubt at all that the later season seem so excellent largely because of how low it started.

Why the Differences?

Let me start out by saying that I am both an avid reader of books, and a movie watcher ofbooks[1] great enthusiasm.  Strengths are individualistic to both, and both are good forms of entertainment and instruction.

Furthermore, I sincerely enjoy watching movies based on books.  The Lord of the Rings is my favorite film trilogy of all time, just as The Lord of the Rings is my favorite book.

My only question is why do the Hollywood film makers feel that they need to differentiate movies from the books they’re based on?  So many unnecessary changes that benefit no one.  Seriously?

First off, what are some book adaptions that were successful, and why were they so well received? Instantly, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter film series and the Hunger Games spring to mind.

Obviously, on those series in particular, the production budget wasn’t exactly sparing, a critical factor in adapting large scale stories to the big screen.  But also an adherence that bordered on fascination to the exact wording of the books they were based on.  Praise and critical acclaim were lauded upon them not for creating original material, but for bringing the inspired books they were based on accurately to the silver screen.

However, some changes were made.  With the possible exception of Harry Potter, practically all of the unnecessary major changes to the books weren’t given a single, positive reason for their existence.  Instead they were disliked, and well nigh declared against by avid fans of the series and new comers alike.409702_1270102481369_full

Who enjoys watching the darkened character of Faramir, or the petty, weak-minded Denethor of Jackson’s films?  The Elves at Helm’s Deep are simply too cool to complain against, but what about Gandalf appearing weak and being defeated by the Witch-King of Angmar?  Frankly, I always skip the part in RotK when Gollum convinces Frodo to send Sam away.  That particular change sickens me.

Regardless as to how much each of the changes were in and of themselves disliked, the films above were for the most part quite true to the text and spirit of the books.  What about those films that deviated much further?

An interesting study on the subject comes from the film series The Chronicles of Narnia.  Look no further than the movie review Rotten Tomatoes site for a prime example of what deviations can cost the film companies.

chronicles-of-narnia-desktop-wallpaper-free-10The first movie, deviating very little scored a 76% approval rating, a high number from time tested critics.  Prince Caspian, deviating a little more, scored a lower rating of 69%.  And the one that deviated most, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, just happens to be the one with a “rotten” rating of 49%.  Coincidence? I think not!

The more the movies deviate, the less they are enjoyed, because no matter how creative the filmmakers are, they can’t equal the brilliance of such authors as Lewis and Tolkien.

Which leads me to my last topic.  You all saw it coming.  The Hobbit trilogy.  WHY GOD, WHY?!!!

I love the book it’s based on, and I was no less than ecstatic when I heard they were making a film of it, and better yet they were going to flesh out what happened in the appendices of the Lord of the Rings during the time period of The Hobbit.

Is that what they did?!  Did they stay true to the book?!  Did they even attempt it?!  Did they even try?! HBT2-fs-140204.DNG

NO!!  They deviated like crazy and what did it accomplish?  A second-rate trilogy, lacking in character, realism, depth and greatness.  They made up entire plot lines, flung the appendices to the wind, gave Saruman a side of the ridiculous, and reduced the dwarves to a ramble of wandering clowns.  Worst of all they added in…a love story between dwarf and elf!!  AAUUGGHH!!!

And what did these changes accomplish?  A better film that could, due solely to the director’s vision, take its place alongside masterpieces such as LotR?  Not hardly.  Instead they made a pretty little film that had moviegoers nodding and smiling dumbly, “Yeah, that was alright, I guess.”

When will filmmakers learn?  Certain changes may be necessary in any type of adaption, but be warned! The further you deviate, the lower the quality of the film.

Heaven

I’ve been thinking a lot about heaven recently.

“What’s the matter with you? Are you suicidal or something?”

No, of course not! Stop interrupting!

“But you’re the one typing this.”

Cut it out, you’re breaking my train of thought.  Anyway, to be thinking about heaven isn’t even close to wanting to die.  It’s just looking forward to an event that is going to be awesome!

First off, why do people think that heaven is going to be a small bunch of clouds, cramped together with nothing to do but play harp and contemplate the molecular structure of your halo.  It’s as if they thought Heaven was going to be boring or something.  Idiots.

Heaven is going to be fantabulous!  (No, that word is not shorthand for getting fat off soda.) Dinosaurs, no pain, (“Watch me jump off this cliff!”) eternity to fly into space, all your Christian buddies to hang out with day after day…it’s a dream come true.

And it’s going to be humongous!  The capital city is going to be 1,400 miles wide, long and TALL!  That’s some skyscraper!  I guessing that we can expect everything to be bigger, and by that I mean a whole lot bigger.

“But how could they build anything that tall?  That’s ridiculous.”

Oh really? By what, earth’s standards?  Face it buddy, that’s not in Kansas at all!

Honestly, one of the things I’m most looking forward to is heavenly pizza.  I imagine it to be eight feet wide, four inches high, the crust stuffed with gorgeous cheese, pepperoni and bacon, and not a vegetable within miles of it.  And guess what?  The Bible says I can’t even begin to imagine how great it’ll be.

PepperoniPizza-full
Think this-only bigger, greasier and MORE CHEESE!

Let’s face it, we’ll eat.  And our bodies will be so amazing that we can keep eating as much as we want and never get fat!  (The local hotdogs should also be excellent.)

Heaven  is a spectacular thing to daydream about, but it’s also a great reason for living.  What is it that allowed prophets, priests, missionaries, and and ministers to keep the faith, despite the brutal attacks waged against them? (And no, the answer is not pizza.)  Was it solely their love for Christ that kept them going?

Yes.  But another very legitimate reason to follow Christ, is the reward of Heaven that was waiting for them.   Even Moses had faith because, “he looked unto the recompense of reward.” (Hebrews 11: 26)  I’m not saying that Christians are selfish pigs who when they die are going to stand before God and say, “Okay, I did what you wanted, so now gimme, gimme, GIMME!!!”

But it’s still a motivator.  When confronted by earthly temptations, it’s often easy to forget why we say no to them.  But there are reasons.

Reason #1: God could get angry and easily blast you to smithereens with a lightning bolt, and send you to hell in less than a nanosecond.

Reason #2 (the much more plausible version):  You know that the pleasures in heaven are so great that the greatest sensation you can experience now is practically worthless, like the tiniest hint of pure, peanut butter fudge in you brownie.

Reason #3: You love God and simply want to follow all his commandments, you perfect Christian!  (Show offs.)

So that’s it.  Heaven is what helps keep us going in the here and now, by giving us something to look forward to.  No matter how hard of situation we might have to face, it’ll be over in less than a blink of an eye.  After all, eternity is going to last a bit longer than a basketball game.  Or a football game.  Or even a soccer game.  Okay, maybe not that last one.

So as you go about life, minding your own business, I invite you to think of heaven.  Not as a dull, boring thing that should be avoided, but as a fantastical ride that will last forever.  The best description I’ve ever read of it is actually for C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle.  Such beautiful of picture as in the chapter “Farewell to the Shadowlands” you will not find elsewhere.

Patrick McManus: What in the…Outdoors?

Most books of good report tend to be novel length, with a stirring message or theme, deep, three-dimensional characters, and a devilishly exciting or clever plot.  This author has none of that.

“But wait,” you say, “how can a book be enjoyable if it has none of the above in it?” Well, at least that’s what I ask myself every time I see someone reading Twilight. (The mere thought gives me shivers.)  In any case, that’s what’s special about this guy.

Although he does write novel length detective stories, Patrick McManus’s forte is his book-length collections of short stories.  With a sense of humor that borders on the ridiculous (and sometimes obliterates it) McManus’s stories focus on outdoor hunting and fishing, and everything that can go wrong with those two.

In nearly every story, McManus features himself in some degenerating, comical way, spoofing the outdoor’s man in each and every way he can think of! But often the most enjoyable stories are the ones of his childhood as a dirt poor boy in Idaho, hanging out with semi-fictional friend Crazy Eddie and an old, curmudgeonly (if you choose to read these books, you’ll hear that word a lot) mountain man named Rancid Crabtree.  The name says it all.

As far as content goes, McManus seems to fully enjoy hinting at baser desires, (one story with Crazy Eddie and Rancid Crabtree has Rancid attempting to mold a nude woman out of clay, which fails because none of them knows what a nude woman looks like) any actual bad content seems to be missing.

Swear words nearly always appear as dashes, (“You don’t have to use dashes, I know that one,” one character might say to another) and inappropriate humor definitely takes a backseat.  Smoking is prevalent to an extent, as McManus’s stinky old pipe is credited with his success on a few occasions.

Overall, I continually find these books on the top of my must-take-on-road-trip list.  His humor isn’t appreciable by all, but those who get it will laugh out loud more than once.  And most ages who will find him funny will be fully able to handle the slight content there is.

A quick note about those detective stories.  I tried reading one, but not only did it seem to me pushing the bounds of inappropriateness, but it also didn’t seem that funny.  Those I cannot recommend.

The Purpose of Darkness

Despicable Me.  Army of Darkness.  Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Barbie and Friends. Can you tell what’s similar about those titles.

They all share a theme.  Evil.

Why is it that it seems like every modern teen tale tries to glorify “the dark side”?  Vampires, witches, barbies, zombie gore fests…has anyone else noticed that the word “bad” seems to pop up in book and movie titles with alarming frequency.  In fact, when was the last time you saw a true hero onscreen, instead of the omnipresent antihero.

Darkness exists in all story, albeit with the children’s ones getting off pretty easy.  It also exists in real life.  But should we glorify it, putting evil men up on a pedestal and saying, “Boy, I wish I could be like them.”  Or short of that, so much of evil is made out to look ‘cool’.  Whether through savage stylized violence or whatever other means, people walk away thinking how awesome it was.

Now I’m not saying that evil should be ignored in storytelling, but quite the contrary.  Darkness can and should be present in great story, but it should have a purpose, and only one purpose fits the bill.  The only real purpose of evil in life, and what should be the only purpose in storytelling, is in fact to glorify good.

Instead of making the good guy’s negative traits be the what you admire about his character, have his heroic qualities stand out instead, using the undesirable antics of his friends or enemies to help the reader (or viewer) realize just what really is so amazing about that character.

Please don’t ride me out of town if I mess up this quote, or cite the wrong source, but I believe it was Tolkien, probably in the Silmarillion, (or possibly Lewis, it’s been so long since I read it).   Paraphrased, what the author had written was, “Good will be better for evil having been.” That’s the whole purpose of darkness and evil in stories.  And in reality, that’s the reason God allowed evil to take over for a time.

Eden was perfect, it says that in the Bible.  But because Satan was allowed to be successful in tempting Adam and Eve, when heaven and earth are remade, we’re going to get something better! Better and more beautiful, fulfilling, and joyful than perfect!

But Pity the Geek Who Falls: Part 3

(The following is the third and final part of a treatise on two semi-not-so-secret societies. Read at your own risk.)

Another point of controversy between these two factions is the types of jobs that they will possess as adults.  Since most people regard nerds and geeks as being practically the same thing, they would think that their jobs would be very similar.  Thankfully, they are not the ones writing the comparison essay, otherwise you would learn nothing at all.  Living theirs lives in practical seclusion, both of these species spend their entire childhood without being exposed to the various type of jobs in the world.  The main difference arises when the nerds, at the age of either fourteen or eight, decide to educate themselves about what they would like to do as adults, while geeks are just playing games on their Xbox. 

By the time that nerds start on their journey of having jobs, they have already been preparing for it for quite a long time, while the surprise of being thrust into the industrial world, usually stuns geeks for a few weeks before they are able to function properly again.  An additional aspect is that, for the most part, nerds tend to grow out of their own nerdiness  and become sometimes even slightly (well, almost) valuable citizens, but geeks tend to remain creepy geeks their entire lives. 

Because of this, you will find many more people with nerdiness in their background in the higher class jobs than geeks, considering most geeks tend to remain the creepy old janitor in the science building.  After all, who in their right mind would rather hire a creepy geek over a dashing nerd.

By using the methods of telling them apart, the ways girls treat them, and the jobs they possess is it quite easy to examine the ways in which the two societies of nerds and geeks are alike and unlike.  (It is also obvious that nerds live far better lives.)  However, it could also be said that nerds could not exist without geeks, and likewise for the geeks living without nerds. 

If there were no janitors, there would be no dashingly handsome scientists, and if there were no single society that girls could always  refuse to dance with, they would refuse to dance with anyone. Furthermore, if there were no weirdoes showing up in sci-fi costumes at conventions, it could be argued that the Star Wars movies would never have been made. 

Again, from the nerds point of view, if there were no dashingly handsome scientists making messes everywhere, there would be no need of janitors, and if there were no group that girls could use to regard themselves as having done their good deed for the day, they wouldn’t be able to chew up and spit out geeks as thoroughly as they do. 

It can clearly be seen that these two great societies would not exist without each other.  In light of that fact, a wise man once wrote, “If a nerd falls down, a geek may help him up, but pity the geek who falls and has no nerd to help him up.”

But Pity the Geek Who Falls: Part 2

(The following is the second part of a three part treatise on two semi-not-so-secret societies. Read at you own risk.)

In the same way, another comparison that might be drawn between nerds and geeks is the way that girls react to them.  While this might not seem an appropriate criteria, the study of this topic can prove minimally enlightening, making it far more worthwhile to the reader than say, listening to a political speech. 

Believing that nerds and geeks are both separate species altogether, (a belief held by many others within the higher authorities), females have consistently taken to seemingly unfathomable endeavors in order to avoid both of them, although even their methods can’t rid them completely of their presence. (Well, there was this one girl that blew up a nerd’s building complex, but let’s not talk about her.) 

When the occasion arises that a female happens to collide with one of the representatives of either of those kingdoms, her reactions may be foretold if one is aware whether the guy is a nerd or a geeks.  (There has been discussion on whether females are a separate species altogether, but let’s not talk about that either.) 

For example, when a nerd, who is at, say, a barn dance, goes up to a girl and asks her to dance, even if that girl is not known for kindness, there is an exceedingly small chance that she will refuse him, although when a geek tries the same thing, he will be chewed up and spat out. 

Why the difference?  Generally, nerds are known for being nice guys who just don’t fit in, so out of pity, (nothing else, believe me) the girl will accept, but as everyone knows geeks are creepy.  So while the feminine mind views each them with approximately the same amount of disgust, nerds do get the best of it in the end.