Op-Ed: May the Farce Not Bewitch You

first_imgDon’t trust your feelings on this one. For 40 years, the Star Wars industry has been pushing a worldview that just can’t hold up to scrutiny. Time to escape to reality.by David Coppedge, EditorEveryone likes a good story. Without question, the Star Wars movies deliver fun stories, augmented by stunning visuals, incomparable scores by John Williams, great acting and lots of action. As The Last Jedi plays itself out in IMAX theaters, viewers are getting their senses overpowered with special effects, storytelling, awesome sounds, epic battles — and fake religion. From the first episode in 1977, viewers empathized with young Skywalker as the Jedi master told him, “Trust your feelings, Luke.” Now, the elderly convert despairs at teaching his new apprentice the appropriate use of the magic tricks of the Force. It’s all about balance, he advises her. The light side and the dark side of this inexplicable Force must be kept in balance. The Force can hurl objects (and actors) through the air and manipulate minds. Joe Moviegoer, though, at the end of the adventure, leaves the theater with his feet on the ground, unable to make even his keys fly to the car. And if he had seen the producers and actors at work, he would have seen them stuck to the reality of gravity, too. These aren’t the humanoids you are looking for.If the unexamined life is not worth living, as Socrates taught, the unexamined religion (or worldview) is not worth believing. Let’s examine this ‘religion’ of the Force that sprung from the imagination of George Lucas by asking some pertinent questions about it. My goal is not to be cynical or spoil a good piece of intelligently-designed film-making. On the contrary, I have enormous confidence, from personal experience, that escaping to reality and living in the light is actually much more satisfying—even invigorating—than relying on dark myths about unexamined fantasies.Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. Psalm 119:73Think about this teaching of ‘balance’ between the dark and light sides of the Force. Even Luke in his senior years seems to get the hopelessness of it. The best of all possible worlds, in this fake religion, is to hope for ‘balance.’ What this implies is that good and evil must always co-exist. You don’t want to be too good, because you will upset the balance. Balance: good. Imbalance: bad.But as the dark side can never fully destroy the light side, the light side needs the dark side to keep the balance— implying that evil is actually a good thing! How does that make any sense? It’s like saying that Truth needs Lies to be kept in balance. How does that motivate the Rebellion to keep up the fight? How does it inspire the kiddies in the final scenes of the movie, who will presumably be the next freedom fighters in Episode IX, to follow the example of Master Luke, their action-figure hero?Another consequence of this doctrine is that you can’t really tell which side is light and which side is dark. The evil emperor believes he’s on the right side of history. The rebels are evil and must be squashed. Luke and the ‘good guys’ that the Star Wars industry tries to get viewers to sympathize with could be the demons; who could tell? It’s all relative to which side you are on. The only argument Luke, Leia, Yoda and all the rebels could make would be to appeal to an independent, unchanging, moral standard—like God.You can be sure that the Dark Side scoffs at the idea of balance. They lust for full and complete totalitarian control. They’re like the Comintern, whose goal was to eliminate capitalism and establish global communism. For all Luke’s longing for balance, he will be like the freezing man negotiating with the hungry bear for a fur coat. Think about the compromise they reach.Credit: LucasfilmProbably the worst aspect of the Force farce is its impersonal nature. Perhaps George Lucas wanted to avoid controversy by refusing to identify a god-figure with a name in his stories. (He has the ultimate Yoda Complex.) But his solution was worse than any problem he envisioned. A mindless force (which none of the films quite get around to identifying with any scientific or philosophical clarity) is amoral unless imbued with a moral standard ordained by a personal Being who can not only define good and evil, but hold sentient beings responsible to it.In Christianity, we have a power like prayer that God hears and can answer according to His sovereign will. But that’s not a ‘force.’ It is a communication between persons, not manipulation of some mindless whatever. You don’t see Luke praying to the Force to be merciful and gracious. Luke is not responsible to the Force; the Force is responsible to him. He is the ‘god’ in this mythology. Some god, who presumably evolved like the other puppet creatures in the fake worlds on the silver screen, but grows old and dies.The Star Wars story line is good for movie magic. It’s just stupid as a philosophy, that’s all. Think of this analogy: flying carpets. They have a top side and a bottom side. Flying carpets can be manipulated by their riders. Some will choose to fly on the top side, others on the bottom side. Epic battles ensue; imagine the special effects and dramatic music that could make this mythology into a blockbuster! All for what? Nothing. Which side of the carpet is right-side up depends only on environmental context and user preference. In Star Wars, who’s to say that the dark side’s tie-fighters are less righteous than the light side’s star-fighters? Both are blowing each other up with passion. It’s like football; the good team depends on whether you rooted for Georgia or Oklahoma yesterday. Nothing moral about it.Maybe George Lucas invented his fake religion for a galaxy far, far away, but not for ours. Does that make it a Local Force? Does each galaxy have its own laws of nature? If so, that’s pretty hopeless, too. Nothing moral about that, either. A satisfying religion or worldview needs to encompass all of reality. It must be true to the Universe, not just to a place or time. The Force farce actually resembles witchcraft. Witches and wizards earned skill, brooding over ancient texts of incantations, to control the forces of nature with their minds. It’s as old as the Devil. Don’t let the Force farce bewitch you.And remember: there is no evidence of space aliens anywhere. As far as we know, that galaxy far, far away has lots of hydrogen, but not much else.Speaking of space aliens, we want to remind you to buy your tickets for CMI’s excellent documentary, Alien Intrusion: Unmasking a Deception. It’s coming to theaters around the USA for one night only, Thursday, January 11. Visit AlienIntrusion.com to find a theater near you and buy tickets in advance. Take a crowd if you can. Half of human beings believe in space aliens (see 12/10/17). This is a timely “reality” movie to shed light on the dark side of unexamined worldviews.Watch the trailer here: (Visited 719 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA leaders’ tributes to ‘father of the nation’

first_img “His departure represents a very sad moment of grief for his family. But it also constitutes a personal loss for us because over many decades, he served both as our guide and one of our fathers. “President Mandela, Madiba, and his generation of freedom fighters walked their long walk and made enormous sacrifices which eventually led to our freedom in 1994. His passing signals the end of an historic era represented by the heroic deeds of his generation.” A pall hangs over Parliament – National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu South Africa’s flags will remain at half mast until after Mandela’s funeral. Madiba taught us how to come together – Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu “Earlier tonight, my wife Zanele and I learnt with immense distress and profound sadness of the passing away of one of the greatest sons of our people, Esteemed Member of the Order of Mapungubwe and Nobel Peace laureate, Isithwalandwe President Nelson Mandela,” Thabo Mbeki said in a statement late on Thursday night. We all have to learn from his example – Neren Rau, CEO of the SA Chamber of Business “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father,” South African President Jacob Zuma said when he announced news that Nelson Mandela, the country’s beloved icon of reconciliation and peace, had died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg on Thursday night. We should be inspired by his life – film maker Anant Singh “Sacci wishes to add its voice to calls from numerous quarters that South Africa should honour Mandela’s life by reflecting his legacy of nation building and companionship across all walks of life,” Rau said. “We all have to learn from his example to make this world better for all.” “The pain of letting go just seems too great. But in the end, we have to stop thinking about ourselves. After this man gave us so much we have to let him rest.” “Mandela will be remembered as a political visionary who remained concerned with the everyday issues of his fellow citizens,” Neren Rau, chief executive of the SA Chamber of Commerce (Sacci), said on Friday. A “real pain chills all who work in [Parliament’s] precinct”, National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu, the son of one of Mandela’s best friends Walter Sisulu, said on Friday. “It is a pain we share with millions of people throughout our land, our continent Africa, and beyond. “Living in South Africa has been living with him inside all of us. And so it’s so hard to say goodbye,” Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said. “I think we fooled ourselves into thinking that Madiba could live forever. We wanted him to stay alive for us. “After Mandela’s release from prison in February 1990, he promised during his first address at the Cape Town City Hall to place the remaining years of his life in the hands of the people. “It was a promise he fulfilled in countless ways,” Sisulu said. “It is a promise, to which we, the elected representatives of the people, must recommit ourselves, if our mourning today is not to be reduced to mere maudlin.”center_img “Over the past 24 years Madiba taught us how to come together and to believe in ourselves and each other. He was a unifier from the moment he walked out of prison,” Tutu said in a statement. “The sun will rise tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. It may not appear as bright as yesterday, but life will carry on. As we enter the mourning period, as a nation, we do so with the greatest dignity and respect, because that is what we owe Madiba and ourselves.” 6 December 2013 South Africa has lost its father, an exceptional human being and a hero to the world, film maker Anant Singh said. “There has never been anyone quite like him and there will never be. We should be inspired by his life and celebrate him with our love. We will all miss him dearly.” Heroes never die – Zelda la Grange, Mandela’s personal assistant Mandela’s passing marks the end of a historic era – former president Thabo Mbeki Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu lauded his compatriot and fellow Nobel peace laureate Nelson Mandela on Friday as the man who taught a deeply divided nation how to come together. Sisulu said that a special joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament would be held soon to reflect on Mandela’s life and legacy. It’s so hard to say goodbye – Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille It would be wrong not to celebrate the life he lived – Fedusa general secretary Dennis George “Tata Madiba is undoubtedly the biggest icon ever to emerge from South Africa, and his contribution to South African history can never be sufficiently emphasised,” Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) general secretary Dennis George said. “Although we are mourning the passing of Madiba, it would be wrong not to celebrate the life that he lived.” “As sad as it makes me that I will never walk into a room again and see his generous infectious smile … I have come to terms with the fact that Madiba’s legacy is not dependent on his presence,” Zelda la Grange, Mandela’s long-serving personal assistant, said in a statement. “His legacy will not only live on in everything that has been named after him, the books, the images, the movies. It will live on in how we feel when we hear his name, the respect and love, the unity he inspired in us as a country, but particularly how we relate to one another.” He embodied our hopes and dreams – Brand South Africa chairperson Chichi Maponya “Madiba embodied our hopes and the realisation of our dreams,” Brand South Africa chairperson Chichi Maponya said. “We are in deep mourning following this loss of indescribable magnitude which is today reverberating across the world.” Maponya said “one of the greatest gifts [Mandela] has bequeathed to this nation is the courage and strength to believe in a tomorrow that is better than today, a tomorrow in which our people live in dignity and prosperity”. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

The Reason You Aren’t Being Hired to Sell

first_imgWhat will you read here is straight talk. But it comes from a good place.A lot of people are looking for work in sales. They send me their resumes, even though I don’t place salespeople. They send me InMails on LinkedIn to tell me and everyone else that they are looking for a new position. And then these job-seeking “salespeople” post their resumes on job boards and “apply for work.”The problem here is pretty fundamental: the people looking for work in sales are supposed to be salespeople.A company hires a salesperson to win new business. The first step in that process is reaching out and developing a relationship so that you can create that opportunity. Prospecting is what salespeople do every day. Except it appears when they want a job. When they want a job, they email people, post their resumes, and sit and wait by the phone. Or laptop.If you are the kind of salesperson who emails people and patiently prays for a call, then you aren’t establishing that you are the kind of salespeople people need. You are projecting that you are exactly the kind of salesperson that most sales managers and sales leaders avoid hiring.What should you do if you want to be hired to sell? Pick up the phone and call the hiring manager and book an appointment. Call them and ask them to interview you. Demonstrate that you have the exact skills they need. You will prove that you know how to prospect. By calling directly, you will have proven that you can sell. More importantly, you prove that you will sell—instead of waiting around for someone to read your resume and call you. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now How close to your prospecting plan is your plan to get a new job?What are you projecting as a salesperson while you are working on finding work?If you were hiring a salesperson, how would a job-seeker distinguish themselves?last_img read more

Ajay Alok quits as JD(U) spokesman

first_imgFirebrand Janata Dal (United) leader Ajay Alok has resigned from the post of party spokesperson stating that he does not wish to cause “embarrassment” to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who also heads the party. Although Mr. Alok, one of the most visible faces of his party, didn’t elaborate on what might have “embarrassed” his political mentor, there have been murmurs of Mr. Kumar being upset over his party spokesperson going overboard in his criticism of the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal and the illegal immigration problem in that State. He shared his resignation letter, addressed to the party’s State unit chief Bashishtha Narayan Singh, on his Twitter handle late on Thursday night.last_img read more

Boxing chief ‘understands IOC concerns’ over troubled AIBA

first_imgTrending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations “The former leadership of AIBA left our organization in a complete mess, not only financially but also in terms of governance, anti-doping and refereeing,” he claimed.Boxing’s Tokyo fate depends on the outcome of an investigation into the AIBA by the International Olympic Committee.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe IOC has presented the body with a list of 41 questions via audit firm Deloitte, who will then report back to the IOC.Rakhimov boasted that under his leadership the AIBA has “improved dramatically on all fronts”. View comments US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “AIBA members and boxers from around the world should be proud of this,” he added, declaring that the organization “is healthy now and in better shape than ever before”.He urged the IOC to end the uncertainty over boxing’s presence in Tokyo.“Our boxers are waiting, they need to know when, where or how to qualify for the Olympic Games next year. They must be the priority of everybody!”Relations between the IOC and AIBA were hit hard at the 2016 Rio Olympics when 36 officials and referees were suspended amid allegations of bout fixing.Rakhimov’s election in November also caused friction as the US Treasury Department has linked him to “transnational criminal organizations”, a charge he vehemently denies, calling his presence on the list “a mistake”.ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga towncenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Hotshooting Cignal-Ateneo dumps Go for Gold-CSB in PBA D-League opener Xiaoli Yang of China (in red) reacts after her win during the +81kg category final fight at the 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi on November 24, 2018. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP)Boxing chief Gafur Rakhimov says he “understands” IOC concerns over the troubled AIBA which has led to a freeze on the sport’s preparations for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.The Uzbek businessman laid the blame for “an extremely serious” situation squarely at the door of previous president Wu Ching-Kuo.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

a month agoChelsea hat-trick hero Abraham: We can do better

first_imgChelsea hat-trick hero Abraham: We can do betterby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea striker Tammy Abraham says there’s more to come from him after his hat-trick at Wolves.He admitted afterwards that there was still plenty for the team to work on, although winning while learning and adapting was the most important thing.”It’s been an amazing day,” reflected Abraham to chelseafc.com. “Coming to a place like Wolves is never easy so the manner of the victory is something we can be very pleased with. We played well, scored goals and got three points to take home with us so it’s been a great day.”Obviously we did concede two goals and that is something we’re disappointed about because a clean sheet would have been fantastic but we will take the positives out of this performance and take it into the next game.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

CBS Announces New Broadcasting Team For This Season’s Final Four

first_imgCBS broadcaster Bill Raftery.There will be some new voices being heard through your TV speakers during the Final Four and NCAA Tournament national championship game this season. CBS announced Tuesday morning that longtime Final Four broadcaster Jim Nantz will announce the two semifinal games and national title bout with Bill Raftery and Grant Hill. Nantz, Greg Anthony and Steve Kerr announced the 2014 Final Four, while Nantz, Kerr and Clark Kellog had announced the previous three. Nantz has called every Final Four since 1991. CBS Sports and Turner Sports name Bill Raftery + Grant Hill game analysts for 2015 NCAA #FinalFour + National Champ, http://t.co/iQT6iITpOR— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) February 3, 2015Raftery and Hill will join team of Jim Nantz and reporter @tracywolfson to call games together throughout 2015 NCAA Tournament— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) February 3, 2015This season’s Final Four will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on April 4, with the national championship game occurring on April 6. We’ll be filling out brackets in no time.last_img read more

ESPN’s Sam Ponder Retiring From Sideline Reporting

first_imgespn's sam ponder on sunday nfl countdownDon’t worry, Sam Ponder fans. The ESPN college football personality won’t be completely gone from your television sets this fall. But late Thursday night, Ponder announced, via Instagram, that she’ll be “hanging up” her sideline reporter flats for Thursday Night Football. Her reason? She no longer wants to take her daughter, Scout, away from her father, Christian, for five days a week. Needless to say, it’s a respectable, mature decision.As Ponder mentions, she’ll still be part of College Football Live, SportsCenter and College GameDay. This year’s college football season starts on September 3.last_img read more

Bell Fibe TV the first Canadian television service available on Apple TV

first_img Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter You can experience Fibe TV on Apple TV first hand with live demonstrations at Bell stores across Québec and Ontario. Apple TV 4th generation 32 GB is now available at Bell stores in both provinces for $199, and you can also purchase through 310-BELL and online at Bell.ca/AppleTV.Since its introduction in 2010, Fibe TV has transformed television in Canada with the best picture quality available, the first 4K Wireless Whole Home PVR, the ability to Restart shows in progress or from the past 30 hours, access to the top 5 most-watched shows in Canada at any time with Trending, control your Fibe TV experience with your Apple Watch, and access to up to 450 channels on your mobile devices with the Fibe TV app.Discover the free Fibe TV app on the App Store for Apple TV or download on iPhone and iPad at AppStore.com/FibeTV. The app will download automatically on Apple TV for users with Automatic Downloads enabled.About BellBell is Canada’s largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with wireless, TV, Internet, home phone, small business and enterprise communications services. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital and out of home media. Bell is wholly owned by Montréal’s BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For more information, please visit Bell.ca.The Bell Let’s Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Fibe TV is now available on Apple TV, enabling consumers to experience Canada’s best television service alongside their music, photos, games and favourite apps on Apple TV 4th Generation.“Fibe TV continues to be the fastest growing TV service in Canada because of our constant focus on delivering new and exclusive features and building great partnerships to make television better,” said Rizwan Jamal, President of Bell Residential and Small Business. “Consumers can access Fibe TV through a receiver, on their computer or mobile device, and now, for the first time in Canada, on Apple TV.”With the Fibe TV app on Apple TV, you can watch up to 450 channels live or on demand – the most of any provider – and see the top trending shows at any time. By the end of the year, you’ll also be able to watch Fibe TV recordings as well as pause and rewind live TV on Apple TV. Advertisementlast_img read more

Subway work irks Indigenous rights advocate in Montreal

first_imgTom Fennario APTN National NewsMontreal is spending a lot money to tear down a subway entrance that offers the city’s homeless shelter from bad weather.The entrance is near Cabot Square, a downtown park popular with Inuit.Some say the money should be spent better.last_img