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Delays…

Hi, Readers! Sorry I haven’t done a review in awhile. I have been in the process of moving and finally have everything moved and unpacked, so this week I should be back doing reviews, especially on Mouse, which is an awesome, crazy show. I’ll also have a brief review of a Regency romance by Julie Klassen–she is currently one of my go to authors if I want untacky Regency, and will maybe have a few thoughts on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. Happily, I’m on to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and am fascinated by the fact that if anyone mentions a wardrobe in America–which we don’t often do–that person or someone else has to mention Narnia. Or maybe it is only I who feels compelled, compelled, I tell you! Live by water sometime in your life. It is greatly calming and also makes life seem more epic. It will be interesting to see if my writing improves at all with a new view. Speaking of that, I haven’t read A Room with a View in quite awhile and it’s calling my name, along with about fifty other books on my shelves…

Get All the Jabs: When reality is stranger than fiction

Hello, all. I wasn’t sure if I would post today, but a friend recently asked about a story I was writing up until about spring of last year. Not sure exactly when I gave up on this story, but it was somewhere around the time when all the toilet paper went missing and everyone lost their minds thinking a cloth or paper mask can protect you from a severe cold or flu. We are now at the point where people think wearing more masks and getting multiple jabs is the answer. Basically we are living in a reality that is weirder and stranger than the dystopian fictional story I came up with.

Get All the Jabs was my try at something like 1984, which is a book I read in China of all places. This is a first draft, unfinished. You will find plot and character inconsistencies, and typos and grammar issues galore. The last half has the middle end missing as I really, really didn’t know how to present the argument against vaccines well. There’s so much information that’s been hidden, purposefully, from people, and so, so many lies that have been told. The beginning, I think, represents the unthinking religion around jabs well enough. Anyway, have a read if you like and if you have any ideas on how to end it, leave them in the comments. And, yeah, the magical flying box. Really don’t know where that came from. But it’s not weirder than health professionals telling us to restrict our breathing to fight off a virus that affects one’s respiratory system. And, yes, this story is set in Minnesota. California’s got nothing on us at this point. We are the epitome of lemmings who refuse to question the status quo.

Guys, the Science is safe, the Science is sound, the Science is settled. Right? Please pray for the world to wake up from this madness and to turn to God and real science again, that of facts and observation, not of ideology.

Maybe someday I’ll finish this story, but I doubt it, not when what’s happening right now in real life is a far more horrifying tale, because it is so very real. We are in a tyranny of moral busybodies, and as C.S. Lewis says, “those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” God, help us all. We are all under the figurative thumb of Miss uppity, pink, what’s-her-name from Harry Potter. Where are the Weasley twins when we need them? Rebelling against evil is not a bad thing, not at all.

Hold the Line

And that line is faith. At the end of the day our just and loving God is only one we can truly lean on. He saved us from the tyranny of sin and death in a way we can barely comprehend, and loved us and still loves us, though we are wholly undeserving of it.

These days, for many who love America, times are bleak. It appears as if all the forces of darkness are aligned against anything good, free, or true. And in many ways, that’s a legitimate assessment. But that does not mean all is lost. God is for us and always will be, and he wants us to trust in him now more than ever. If we get out of this, it will be God’s doing, not man’s, and that is exactly what all those people Q, Gen Flynn, Powell, Wood, etc., have been saying for awhile now. Look to God. Pray to God. He hears our prayers.

Also, know that things aren’t always what they seem. Even if the cheaters seem to have won, they’re certainly not confident in their power. They have to censor and rule by fear because otherwise they couldn’t rule at all. They don’t have the people on their side and they know it and we know it. In all of those totalitarian/dystopian movies we grew up with, they are the real life representation of those bad guys and they know it. Deep down, they know it. The people gleefully turning in their family, friends, and neighbors for going to a political rally, all we can do is pray for them and pity them.

No news is good news. Yes, it’s a trite cliche, but it’s true, especially these days. Most news is bad news and sometimes one just doesn’t want “news” at all. If we’ve learned anything from President Trump it should be that the “news” doesn’t really matter, because all too often it’s just a pack of lies. He’s shown us time and time again that journalists are often just liars. No news means also no facts to be twisted out of proportion.

Something big is coming, we can all feel it. And as great as it might be, it may also be awful to behold for our country. Whether the something will come from those above or from the people, I cannot say, but our leaders who love America continually say look to God. There is nothing more important than holding the line of faith right now. Faith in God and freedom to worship him is at the core of our country. If we do not hold that line, then our country will truly be lost. Pray, praise, and give thanks. God will work everything and anything out for our good. He can enact moves we can barely imagine. He became flesh in his Son Jesus Christ, and suffered hell for we sinners, a spotless, innocent, lamb punished for our sins. Now, that’s a crazy kind of love. But God didn’t stop there, because death had to be defeated too or everything that came before wouldn’t have mattered. Jesus descended into hell, and on the third day, rose from the dead, signaling his complete and utter victory and domination over sin, death, and our accuser, the devil, the father of lies.

Even in these dark, uncertain days, we Christians have so, so much to be thankful for, and we should be continually comforting those around us with God’s words and promises. He will never leave us or forsake us. God uses tribulation and hardship in our lives for mostly one thing: to get us to turn to him in prayer. He wants us to lean on him and to ask him for things, and to ask for his intervention. Our prayers are heard and God is just waiting to bless our lives in ways we cannot comprehend. Hold the line of faith, and no matter what happens, God will not disappoint. He has told us in his word that all the world is against us, against the light, against the truth, and at no other time in at least my forty some years has that felt no more true than today. We have trouble and will have trouble in this world, but Jesus asks us to take heart, for he has overcome the world.

Much love,

Pixie

The Courage of Ordinary People

The Courage of Ordinary People, that is what America or the USA is really all about. When was it that we forgot that we are the government of this country? The petty tyrants on display only have power over us because we allow it. We allow their unjust mandates and decrees to dictate our lives, and, yes, I’m no better standing up to them than you probably are. I have gone into a couple of stores without a mask on, however, and how liberating, how cathartic is it to breathe and smile freely! And smiles are definitely contagious. I highly recommend it and hope I have the courage to do it more and more often as winter settles in.

This post is going to be a bit of a stream of consciousness about current events going on today. How appalling that the media is barely covering all of the important hearings and things going on in the country! Most “normies” as people who don’t follow alternative news are often called, have no idea how much our republic is at stake. And it’s hard to tell them, because they either are apathetic about it or put it into a “conspiracy theory” category because the news is not covering it.

I encourage you, however, to seek out this information. Go to sites like theconservativetreehouse.com and Right Side Broadcasting and watch the hearings that Giuliani is holding in Michigan and other states. Watch the awesome rally that Sidney Powell and Lin Wood had in Georgia yesterday. Watch the many witnesses to voter fraud this November give their testimony. These people are awesome and many clearly smarter than our supposed representatives listening to them. This is the courage of ordinary people standing up for their country, and it’s puts me to shame that some of them are immigrants, immigrants testifying to our fellow countrymen’s blatant disregard for the law. How awful to leave a corrupt country only to find yourself in one that is inarguably worse, for we want to pretend it isn’t so. Follow codemonkeyZ on Twitter, who is reading through the Dominion handbooks and really driving home what these machines are for: one thing and one thing only: to cheat. Hey, follow your President, President Trump on Twitter! Watch his speech from yesterday, or if you don’t have time, find where the text is available. Voxday.blogspot.com has it, as does the The Conservative Treehouse.

Have a look at The Great Awakening Group on Gab. Have a look at Gab in general. They won’t censor your political views as Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube will. Many of these people are Christians. Many of these people are also Q followers, and if you don’t know about the information dump of Q from the past four years and want to know what Q called on people to research, read the posts yourself at qanon.pub. Read how people theorize this is all connected to General Flynn and give him a follow. In the Michigan hearing, watch Jenna Ellis’s closing statement about the Constitution. It is a sobering speech for all of us.

Again, these ordinary people have extraordinary courage and are doing something to save our republic. Watch the feeds of those who went down to film in Georgia where they are trying to get rid of the election fraud evidence. These people don’t have to do this, but they care. They are not crazy, they care about our country and not living under Communist Chinese rule. Yes, that’s who’s ultimately behind this, but the patriots’ anger is mostly for the traitors in our midst, for the enemy is the enemy and they are going to do what they’re going to do, but Americans are supposed to be loyal to this country. Sadly, many are not.

Watch Amazing Polly on Bitchute, she’s got a lot of opinions on mask wearing, and a great, great video of strangeness going on with selling things online, specifically Wayfair. She also has a lot of research on the WHO, Fauci, the CDC, and the lot of corrupt bureaucrats who are basically grifters and not health professionals at all. Really let the news sink in, and it’s a lot of news that you maybe never heard before because the regular news doesn’t cover it. They don’t do their jobs and basically they are the ultimate enemy, gaslighting us into believing things we otherwise would not.

Again, check out the hearings and the evidence presented. Did you know that witness testimony is evidence? It is, though the media would keep telling us it is not. These people signed affidavits to what they saw, and there are hundreds of them. They are putting their lives and well-being on the line for this. They could go to prison if they are found to be lying. Again, these are regular people who are your neighbors, people who cared enough about our election integrity to be out in the figurative field of battle on election day. What they saw and witnessed should horrify every one of us. As President Trump says, this corruption has to be fixed or we simply will not have a country. General Flynn and others are murmuring about martial law. With the staggering amount of corruption, Trump would have a good case for implementing martial law and restoring the rule of law and order in this country. He would absolutely be right to do it, in my opinion.

But there is also another way: We the People! We are the government of this country, the government of the people, by the people, for the people! We have the power to stand up against this ourselves! Really think about it. I am almost every day at this point. God is calling for us to stand up to the truth, to testify to it. What good is it if we Christians proudly proclaim the truth of our Savior Jesus Christ, but then deny the other truths around us. What message does that send? God cares about all truth, he is for the truth, he is the truth. If I sound too passionate for you–good! I live in Minnesota where most of us are wimps, not all, but most of us. We believe in being “nice,” and all that often means is not telling the truth when we should. I have no doubt our state was also stolen in the election, but it is the other, more passionate states, the Pennsylvanias and Georgias that are leading the way on this. Still, even in Minnesota there are signs that people are getting to the end of their figurative ropes. More and more people are not wearing masks here and there and also at least talking about how oppressive the mandates from our governor are. Minnesotans for years have known that our state is not “blue.” It is only the Twin Cities that are, and I have to wonder for just how many years the Democrats in MN have been cheating. Maybe the Cities aren’t really “blue,” either.

That’s the huge deal with all of this, and it is a huge deal! Right now we can have no trust in our voting and electoral process! There is NO indication that your vote actually counts as it should. And it really makes me angry that the news, the MSM, is not covering all of these topics like they should. One good thing to me, is that maybe they are covering some of the bad sides to vaccines, because they have TDS or Trump Derangement Syndrome, so everything he promotes, they try to discredit. That part is good when it comes to vaccines. I do think vaccines are poison and that it’s ridiculous to even have a vaccine for something that has a 99+% recovery rate for most age groups. If you’re interested more in the vaccine stuff go to thehighwire.com and give Del Bigtree and his team a watch. Do you know and understand that any company that makes a vaccine has zero liability? They don’t. If something goes wrong, you have to go to the government, to the USA’s vaccine court. That’s how great vaccines are, that’s how confident these manufacturers are in their product: They blackmailed the government in the 1980s, saying if they had to deal with all the lawsuits and money they would have to fork over in recompense, they would go out of business. They refused to make more vaccines unless Reagan said they could be exempt from liability. Yes, that Reagan. He, like, me at the time–okay, I was just a kid having to take the vaccines–believed them to be good, almost a cure for a disease. They are not, they absolutely are not. A vaccine is not a cure, not at all, and if they are the least bit good or helpful, they pale mightily in comparison with one’s own God-given immune system.

Ok, I’m all worded out now. Whatever happens in the next few weeks is going to be epic, either for bad or for good. We will lose our country or keep it, I don’t know which. Either way, it’s certainly not boring times and God is again blessing us by giving we ordinary people opportunities to stand up and be counted for truth and justice. It’s a great time to be alive, and the more things happen, the more I consider how I am willing to fight. What am I willing to lose for the sake of the truth and our country? What have these witnesses already lost in the fight? What has our President lost? Much. Much and so much and for our sake. Again, these people are Christians, they follow a God who gave up everything, who gave his own life, his own Son, to save us. It is not only the simple truth of the Gospel that will split families. No, other truths do and can as will. Truth is a sword, as Jesus once said. It is the sword that shapes the world.

Is This the Biggest Sting Operation Ever?

Reading and watching all the news about Dominion and election fraud, I have to wonder, if all that is really true, did we as Americans just participate in the biggest sting operation ever?

The fraud is so over the top. The criminals overplayed their hand because at the last minute they had to made up sooooo much difference between the two candidates. Way more people voted for President Trump than they anticipated. Probably, they started to believe their own lying polls.

With the prime feature–it’s not a glitch–of electronic voting/counting machines to change votes from one candidate to another, how in the world did Donald J. Trump win in 2016? No wonder Democrats had massive meltdowns. At the time someone, at some site online, I don’t remember where, had said that all the good guys did was make sure that key swing counties could not cheat. Now, I am thinking, maybe that is what actually happened and the criminals were too rattled or too stupid to realize it.

Who could stop cheating in that fashion, so specifically? It would have to be someone in government who planned it out, and they planned it out that way because they wanted the cheating to continue. I think November 3rd, 2020 was the biggest sting operation in history. The good guys wanted these people to get caught and eventually prosecuted. But they had to wait until now, until President Trump had drained as much of the Swamp as he could, until more honest judges could be put in place, until more and more of the regular people woke up to the lies around them and didn’t want to participate anymore.

Politics has its own history and story and that’s why I follow it, because I am all about having A Life of Story. How I wish more people would understand just how much it matters who our leaders are at every level. It matters if they are people of integrity. What they do affects our everyday lives, something we were given a very good lesson on this year with the COVID crisis. Real or fake, whatever your opinion on it, it revealed just how power hungry many of our leaders are, how eager they are to suppress our freedoms and to even steal food from our children’s mouths by not allowing us to make a living.

Sometime this weekend I will have a review of The Meaning of Everything, but let me leave you with a key quote from lexicographer James Murray:

I think it was God’s will. In times of faith, I am sure of it. I look back & see that every step of my life has been as it were imposed upon me–not a thing of choice; and that the whole training of my life with its multifarious & irregular incursions into nearly every science & many arts, seems to have had the express purpose of fitting me to do this Dictionary… So I work on with a firm belief (at most times) that I am doing what God has fitted me for, & so made my duty; & a hope that He will strengthen me to see the end of it … But I am only an instrument, only the means that He has provided, & there is no credit due to me, except that of trying to do my duty; Deo soli gloria.

Letter from James Murray to the politician Lord Bryce, 15 December 1903, p.134, The Meaning of Everything by Simon Winchester.

The Truth Will Out

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1

For the sake of ten righteous people, God would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Sadly, those cities did not possess even that.

Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:2

In the hopes that Judah would turn from their evil ways and repent, God sent the prophet Jeremiah and other prophets to tell of the coming destruction. He gave Judah 40 years to repent. They did not.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His love endures. forever. To him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. Who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. Who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever. Who made the great lights–His love endures forever. The sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. The moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:3-9

For love of sinful human beings who deserved nothing from their Creator they so spit upon and despised, God sent his one and only Son, sacrificing himself in order that they would be saved. Sadly, many have and will reject that sacrifice.

To him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever. And brought Israel out from among them His love endures forever. With a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever.

Psalm 136: 10-12

The Living God of the universe is a God of love and of justice. He is patient with sinners to the point of it being ridiculous; but then, love can appear crazy sometimes, as it’s something out of this world. The world witnessed God’s absolute commitment to love and justice and his own holiness in the person of Jesus Christ. The world fell into sin and payment had to be made. No human could ever make up for that sin and because he loved us, God intervened, himself living up to the holy standards we could not. Himself being placed on the cross as punishment for the sins of all of mankind. Justice was satisfied, but it didn’t end there, for God also proved love does conquer all by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, bringing life everlasting to all who believe in him.

To him who divided the Red Sea asunder His love endures forever. And brought Israel through the midst of it, His love endures forever. But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; His love endures forever.

Psalm 136: 13-15

If you don’t think a reckoning is coming for the election fraud on gleeful display this week, you underestimate God’s commitment to justice. God will not be mocked, and he is all about law and order, so much so, that he did not go against his holy nature when those he loved sinned. Instead he gave his one and only Son to become human and live a holy life in the sinners’ place, and then die and pay for their sins, an atonement once for all. One man died for the rest, an innocent man at that. If God did not spare his own, innocent and holy self, why would he spare those openly defying him and the law, order, and justice that are a complete part of himself? Repentance is necessary; faith is necessary, as it bestows righteousness on the believer.

To him who led his people through the desert, His love endures forever. Who struck down great kings, His love endures forever. And killed mighty kings–His love endures forever. Sihon king of the Amorites His love endures forever. And Og king of Bashan–His love endures forever. And gave their land as an inheritance. His love endures forever. An inheritance to his servant Israel; His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:16-21

God is our Savior, our ultimate knight against the dragon. He fights on when in our weakness we fail and despair. He never gives up hope on repentance, faith, and salvation. He is always open to prayers, and many, many times in human history has in his lovingkindness interfered on behalf of good due to those prayers. If you love God, holiness, righteousness, law and order, truth and justice, God is asking us to get down on our knees this week and pray in repentance for deliverance, and he hears us.

It is no accident that President Trump held up the Bible in front of the church that day. It is no accident that he is also a fighter and is for truth, justice, law, and order. God is holding him up as an object lesson for us. God is calling us to repent and believe. Calling us to throw away despair and fight on. He is calling us to live in joy and freedom against the evil that clearly worships lies, chaos, and wretchedness. He is calling us to not be lukewarm or apathetic in the face of this blatant fraud taking place in America right now. Those who have the power to do something: This is your chance! God is on your side and he will bless your efforts.

It is God who choses the rulers of this world and for his purposes. He put Trump in place for just a time as this. It’s insanely ridiculous when one thinks about it, how feeble a candidate Biden is, unable to even think, unable to even stop himself from saying he was planning to win by fraud. God is giving us a huge neon sign right now, and it’s been burning for at least four years. This is our chance. Do we have ten righteous people? Do we love law and order or would we rather live under lies and tyranny? God will bless us if we pray to him, if we do the right thing and hold to the truth.

To the One who remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever. And freed us from our enemies, His love endures forever. And who gives food to every creature. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:23-26

This isn’t over, not by a long shot. This is just the beginning of a very fierce battle for America’s heart and soul. Americans, please pray for your country and that our leaders will hold to the truth. Our friends, please pray for us that we put on the armor of God, as Q, prophetic in nature, has so often reminded us to do. Pray we walk the walk and not just talk the talk of wanting true justice, God’s justice, in this country. Pray that those who think winning by cheating will lead to a good end, will become sober of mind, and realize that all sin without repentance leads to death. Pray that America’s leaders that still have a conscience would do what they can to prosecute and punish those responsible for trying to steal an election. They are stealing against their fellow Americans and human beings. They are stealing not just a physical vote, but our very futures. God’s reckoning will come for that certainly in the next world, but here and now, God’s giving us an opportunity to have a reckoning on earth as well. The truth will out! God’s love endures forever! He is merciful and loving, patient and kind, and rejoices when we repent and turn to him. Thank the Lord for this opportunity! He is good and His love endures forever!

One more thing: It’s Redemption Season! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV_uXnL2DVM

Those D’Urbervilles: A Review of Tess of the…

Thomas Hardy just may be my new favorite writer. Somehow I missed reading Tess of the D’Urbervilles in school and am sorely sorry I did. What a crazy, wonderful book. There’s much to love and hate about the story and that’s kind of why I like it–Great literature often produces polarizing views and opinions.

Because Hardy is writing in a time of more censor in art and entertainment, the scenes regarding the rape were unclear to me. Not that I wanted to read violence or anything, it’s just he wrote it in a way that even Tess herself didn’t understand she was raped. But Hardy makes it very clear she doesn’t like Alex D’Urberville, especially in the last part of the story. More spoilers ahead.

Tess is a sad, sad story, but it’s not a boring sad story: It ends with a cathartic, pathetic climax of both horror and ecstasy. I do not like the story itself, nor many of the characters, but it reminded me of another much hailed horrible story: The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald. Both of these books are somewhat the horrors of their times on display, written in gorgeous prose. Most of the enjoyment is in the writing itself, but as with Gatsby, there’s much to learn from Tess about the times in which she lived.

Again, we come to the problem of a woman in being young and beautiful. Here, my sympathy is roused, as Tess faces not only a rapist who impregnates her, but who, after encountering her later on continues stalking and pursuing her. Because she is poor and her husband who could have helped her has abandoned her, she has little defense against him. The story is intended to show how hypocritical society is towards young women who have been wronged in this way. The rape part aside for a brief moment, even still today a woman that sleeps around is reviled, where a man that does the same is often lifted up as having many conquests. Why this is the case, I’m not sure, but it has largely to do with the differences between the sexes, and there are many.

This is shown a bit in the story: Tess and three of her friends all are in love with Angel, our almost hero. One gets the impression that at least her friends would have all been perfectly happy to be in a harem with Angel. Maybe they think it would be better than nothing. Tess herself seems genuinely sad for them that they don’t get the desire of their heart. They also are genuinely happy that Angel chooses her. This is may be a bit of a fantastical view of women from a man’s point of view, but it is true that at least some women don’t seem to mind sharing a man. Men seem far less likely to agree to share their woman with another man, and a man who would, would automatically go down a few notches in a woman’s perspective of him.

I think the dichotomy between the sexes comes largely due to the fact that men are and should be the pursuers when it comes to romance. It just doesn’t work out when the woman is the one doing the pursuing, and that is the implication that comes to mind when we hear of a women having many sexual partners.

However, this is not our dear, beautiful Tess! In this story, Tess is an innocent teenager who has been raped. Society should have compassion on her; sadly, in those times, it often did not. Hardy doesn’t really show society’s rejection of Tess in full force. He shows it through one man: Angel Clare. Like his name, Angel is a fanciful head-in-the-clouds kind of person. He doesn’t take the religion of his parents seriously, has the luxury of being well off enough to have time to think and dabble in farming, considering making it his occupation. Being able to study, think, and write is really a form of wealth all on its own. Tess is quite a thinker herself, but she has to do it while doing physical labor or while making treks of miles and miles across Wessex, Hardy’s fictional English county.

Angel Clare is essentially modern society at the time, throwing off religion and taking up fanciful views of the people who work the land. He is a man who imagines himself to be very liberal minded, but when it comes down to it, it is the Christian love and forgiveness that would have served him far better than any liberal attitudes. Not that Tess really has anything to forgive. It was so, so hard to read the chapter when they finally got married and on their wedding night she still hadn’t told him that she wasn’t a virgin, when lo and behold, he suddenly brings up the topic. Angel, too, is no virgin, having had a fling one night. He is anxious that Tess would forgive him for this and her soul soars because she, too, has a similar sin to confess, and is thrilled thinking they will both forgive each other and that will be the end of the matter.

But as will people who profess to be tolerant, often one finds they are not. So it is with Angel. He rejects her almost instantly. Does he understand she’s been raped? Does society understand this about the incident? Tess’s mother certainly does, but she seems to be the only one. Tess is so in love with Angel, that she agrees to be a martyr, to take whatever punishment he meets out. Hardy says she would have been far better to act more the emotional women, to beg and plead at his feet, as then he would have been won over and relented. Hardy is referring to the fact that men are moved by women’s genuine tears; and to their credit, they so often are. We love that about men. Hardy also states that Angel’s father who is a preacher and very religious is far more full of forgiveness than the irreligious son. It is true that society so often promotes the judgmental church, that it forgets the church is also and much more so about forgiveness and love, and being able to start over no matter what–all things are possible with God.

Tess’s behavior in willingly letting Angel walk all over here is pathetic, but it comes from an unstable mind: It is unclear in the book until the end that Tess understands that what Alex did to her was wrong, though she is afraid of him and talks about doing him harm if he keeps showing up in her life. It is also clear that Angel’s rejection is merely a picture of society’s rejection of her. At this time Tess would be perfectly happy to die at Angel’s hand as punishment for her sin. This foreshadows her death at the hand of society for another, worse, sin. Tess really has no outlet for sharing her sorrows, for the guilt of the rape is placed on herself, i.e., she never should have put herself in that vulnerable position. While it’s true that sometimes young women don’t use common sense in dress and behavior that encourages unwanted attention, I don’t think it’s fair to blame them for a man raping them. Even Alex continually says it’s her fault for being so attractive! Is this belief genuine, from Alex, from society, and from Angel? It seems to me a good way not to deal with the actual problem: Alex D’urberville is a dangerous predator who should be tried and charged.

Happily, Angel eventually wakes up from his stupidity, realizing a year or more later that he does love Tess and does forgive her. Sadly, there still is little self-reflection on his own sin. Aside from his confession on their wedding night–a confession in which there was no question in his mind that Tess would forgive him–he thinks little of it. What hypocrites we humans are: We commit the same sin (though I wouldn’t call it a sin on Tess’s part) and ignore it in ourselves, yet see it as unforgivable in other people.

Angel and Tess are reunited for a few good nights of passion, but this comes at a cost: Tess murders Alex D’Urberville. Because Angel takes so long coming back to her, and she and her family are so down on their luck, Tess becomes prey once again for Alex. Although he is loathsome, when someone wants to step in and provide for you and your family that are on the brink homelessness and starvation, that’s hard to turn down. She also believes his lies that her husband will never come back to her, and it is those lies that actually cause her to stab Alex.

The story ends rather epically in the early morning as Tess and Angel are fleeing cross country. They happen upon Stonehenge and decide to rest there, only to be surrounded by the police. As before, Tess is only too happy to be taken away to be tried and executed for her sin. I think Hardy is making it very difficult for society at the time to swallow such a thing as the criminal so eager to be brought to justice. The implication in this is that even in committing murder, Tess did nothing wrong. Again, Christian love, forgiveness, and understanding from the beginning would have been far better, as would have justice against the true villain, Alex, but then we wouldn’t have a story.

For a time, Hardy has Alex himself reform and take up religion, but it is only a sham, for the moment he sees Tess again, he drops God like a hot potato, and picks up his sin of wrongfully pursuing her once again. Alex justifies this by claiming to love her and also to want to take care of her and provide for her, but it’s pretty clear all he’s going by is lust.

What the significance is with the D’Urberville family history in the story, I’m still not sure. Tess is Tess Durbeyfeld, and her family was at one time the powerful D’Urberville tribe, of which her very distant cousin, Alex, is one of the last. The family estates and cemetery plots appear to be all over the county. Tess’s father is a drunken lout, who has no real keening for work. He’s a dreamer and when he finds out that his family was rich long, long ago, he fancies that somehow riches will find his family again, as if by magic. He and his wife send their eldest daughter, Tess, out in search of the leftover D’Urbervilles, putting her in Alex’s way, and there the story begins. So far has the family fallen, that their last remaining heir is a rapist, and Tess’s branch of the family poverty stricken. It’s all great, great stuff, especially Angel’s profession not to care for lofty families, but then being impressed that Tess is a D’Urberville. Maybe the significance is, again, just the ironies involved, or Angel’s inconsistency. It’s easy to forget that he, too, is very young–maybe 25?

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the wonderful writing, and will definitely be reading it again at some point. I take it back what I said about good looking people: It can be a curse for them, just as much as ugly looks can be a kind of curse for others. The good news is that we don’t have to live our lives based on such shallow things. We can choose to rise above them, and with God’s help, succeed. This love and charity Hardy showed best between Tess and her friends. They were only too happy for each other’s success in romance, held no grudges against each other, and continued being friends and giving genuine help, despite their unfortunate fixation on Angel Clare. As for this idea that only women are held accountable when it comes to sex, it’s hard to deny that even today, this is still somewhat true. It may be largely due to the fact that women alone can get pregnant, a nine-month visibility of the sin. Happily today, rape is considered wrong and not the women’s fault, though that’s muddied a bit by some women falsely accusing men of the crime and the feminist push to perceive all men as rapists.

Again, we don’t have to live this way. All women are not harlots trying to trap men and all men are not rapists trying to abuse women. I for one would be happy to see the movements of the sexual revolution and feminism die the agonizing deaths they well deserve. Both philosophies are a stain on humanity and have caused so much grief, sorrow, and torment, especially for women. Nowadays, some men have been so estranged from women that they will gleefully talk about sleeping with them whenever they feel like it, but never about protecting, providing, or loving them. With glee, these men joke about lonely cat ladies, while they eagerly pile on wealth for themselves and themselves alone. Many women do the same, neither caring for or nurturing the men they sleep with, and only wanting their money, quickly divorcing them for the alimony at the first chance they get. Both attitudes keep the cycle of war between the sexes spinning at an impressive rate. How did we get here?

I say, again, we don’t have to live this way. We can choose to marry, to settle down, to have children and family, to have lives full of love and meaning. We can rise above past hurts and still love and care for the opposite sex. Even if for some reason we can’t marry or can’t have kids, we can support those who can, and encourage their prosperity. Families, not single, selfish, lonely people, are the true building blocks of a thriving society. Tess clearly shows that all of Angel’s lofty ideas are but nought if he has not love and charity. This, for me, was the true lesson of the story.

No Coincidences

The older I get, the more I realize that there are few real coincidences. Most of the time it’s God’s providence or timing, some of the time it’s actually man’s plans or timing. Today’s post is just a comment on political events happening right now. Next reviews will be Chicago Typewriter Kdrama, which I’m really digging, and the yet-to-be-read tacky Regency Romance, Monday’s Child.

On to politics: As I’ve mentioned a few times, I follow Qanon, or Q. Q is real, as in someone is making posts to 8kun (formerly 8chan). Q is not a conspiracy theory. It may be a hoax, but it’s more likely not. Q or the Q team are not presenting theories on something. They are disseminating information, specifically regarding enemies to freedom, and asking questions that they encourage readers to take to heart. Many followers of Q have done just that and have amassed a large amount of research showing that much of what Q has shared is, in fact, true.

A lot of Q’s posts center on the Obamagate FISA-gate or spy gate scandal, whatever you want to call it. I didn’t first hear of this information from Q, however. I heard it from Sundance over at The Conservative Treehouse. Whoever Sundance and his team are, they are amazing researchers and have covered Obamagate in a way that puts every MSM journalist to shame. If you want the details on the whole, entire, tedious thing, go to that site and start reading.

When I started following Q, I quickly realized that Q was sharing much of the same information on the treasonous spying the Obama administration engaged in, and I wondered at the time if Q was getting the information from Sundance or if Sundance was getting information from Q. It also was baffling to find out that Sundance didn’t think much of Q and certainly didn’t follow him or them.

About a month ago, Sundance explained that if the Justice Department did not start unlocking indictments and getting the process started on the numerous criminal prosecutions that absolutely deserve to happen, he would himself begin to reveal the ongoing investigations to the general public, forcing the department’s hand. The deadline that Sundance and his team chose was mid-August, so, right about now. Sundance says he has been in talks with key players, giving them information that they should know, but don’t. Q, who has repeatedly said they “have it all,” referring to info on criminal actions, has also said indictments are coming and that August would be the start of Movie 1, the spygate scandal.

Now, it would appear that something is happening. Whether that something is due to Sundance’s efforts and hard work, or whether it’s due to the longterm plans of the mysterious Q team who has been silent since 7/31, time will tell. Hey, maybe it’s one for the Justice Department itself, but I really doubt it. It is odd, to the point of surely not being a coincidence, though, that Q said Movie 1 would start in August and Sundance made his deadline for action from the Justice Department also for August 2020. Is Q following Sundance? IDK! It’s just a really strange thing. In any case, everyone welcomes what is hopefully the first step in a very long, thorough prosecution of a band of very terrible criminals and people: a coming to us soon guilty plea by former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith.

At the same time there appears to be a renewed effort by the Masters Of The Universe to unperson all people talking about Q. With Q being brought up to the President during news conferences now, one has to wonder if the MOTU are actually on the Q team’s side. Are they completely unaware that the more they suppress this, the larger it will grow? But then, Q often says, “these people are stupid.” And, really, if Sundance and Q are right, these criminals are truly stupid, for the amount of evidence beggars belief. Well, I’m hoping justice is served, but humanity brings out the skeptic in me. Either way, Q, Sundance, thanks for trying to save our republic in such an entertaining way. We don’t deserve either of you. Now, more popcorn…so I can avoid wearing that totally-not-political-at-all-DNC mask.

The Garden of Words: A Mis-step

With the highly anticipated digital and DVD release of writer-director Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering with You just around the corner, I thought it might be fun to check out another of his anime films, The Garden of Words. Although on the one hand Garden can be considered a great story, it’s also a giant mis-step in storytelling and knowing one’s audience. Spoilers and much negativity ahead.

As with Weathering with You and also, Shinkai’s previously popular Your Name, the artistry in Garden is amazing. Rain, storms, any sort of weather, really, gives the illustrators the chance to really show off what they can do. It is a feast for the eyes. The trouble here is the story, or rather the ages of the people in the story, or rather that it involves a high school student and an older woman…who works at his school.

Let me explain, and I’m by no means the final opinion on this, but sometimes one has to know the waters into which they are dipping their toes. Maybe Japan embraced this storyline and didn’t think anything of it, but for American audiences, this story is a turn off due to not only the age gap, but to the fact that the 27-year-old woman works at the teenager’s high school. Why does she end up leaving her job? Accusations–wrong, but still–accusations of inappropriate behavior with the students. Talk about a storyline in which you are all but assured you’ll be misunderstood.

People are often uncomfortable with relatively harmless stories like Big starring Tom Hanks, a comedy where a kid gets to experience being grown up for a time. Despite the funny, rather endearing story, there’s a serious creep factor involved in having any sort of relationship that’s not a family relationship between a child or teenager and an older person. It’s a truth that cannot be avoided. In the past, sometimes teenagers were thought of as adults, but for many countries they are now considered children, no matter how mature they may be for their age. Artists today continually pick at this boundary, trying to make something palatable in the main stream which should not be. Quite a lot is at stake regarding this. Great harm can come to children and teenagers because of it. Monsters prey on teenagers and children precisely because they are too young to truly understand how they are being manipulated.

Even one of my favorite dramas, High School King of Savvy starring Seo In Guk, weirds people out, though in that he’s the American equivalent of 18, pretends to be ten years older for much of the story, and great pains are taken to show how mature and responsible he his. It would just be a more comfortable story if the character was, say, in college, but then it wouldn’t be as funny. Although the romance was done well, it’s just an uncomfortable story all around.

In the teenage world, even a year can be a big difference. When dealing with teenagers having any sort of relationship with an older stranger, one must consider first that this will be a turn off to the audience, and rightly so. Making the character as young as 15 is not a wise choice. It’s a mis-step, because the likelihood that you and your story will be misunderstood is very high. Again, I don’t know a whole lot about Japan or Japanese culture, but the director here doesn’t help himself in the slightest. He very much makes their relationship romantic–a beautiful rainy garden, facing a storm together, quoting poetry, him tracing her feet, the boy mistaking what they have for romantic love, and so on.

It’s a story meant to show a connection between two strangers. Sometimes when one is extremely lonely, it is a complete stranger who fills that void and becomes a badly needed companion, but due to the age gap of the characters and the fact that she works at his school–I think she’s a counselor or something–it’s just, again, a great mis-step. To his credit, the young man gets rightly angry when he finds out she works at his school and didn’t tell him. Shinkai may think that what he’s asking of his audience is to appreciate a connection of companionship between strangers, but in reality, that’s just not what he presented. A lonely, alienated from both friends and family teenager is exactly who adult pedophiles pray on, and women commit this sin just as men do. I talk about this more a bit further on.

Let me take a break to give some background involving a newer phenomenon surrounding pedophilia and what the media calls conspiracy theory. To me, the term conspiracy theory is a made up term created to stop people questioning certain things. One of those things that people really need to start questioning, is what the rich and powerful do with all that money and time. Because many are involved in human trafficking and the sex slave trade.

Have you heard of Q-anon? That whole Q thing is entirely about good people battling the pedophiles. Supposedly President Trump and certain people in military intelligence are breaking up pedophile networks around the world. This is something you can actually look up. Since Trump took office, there have indeed been a very high number of people caught doing these things and there have been many, many children saved, all around the world.

Believe that’s Trump’s aim or not, I thought it pertinent to mention, because the other aspect of this is the still-under-the-radar slow push to make pedophilia ok in the mainstream. This follows on the transgender push for teens–these people know exactly what they are doing. The slow push manifests itself not only in films like this, but continual pedophilia jokes from celebrities and comedians on Twitter, the demanding that young children have the right to choose their gender (and thus consent to sex, right?), and the growing number of articles about the poor pedophiles and their plight. The crimes of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell are only the tip of the iceberg of what’s going on here.

For those who followed Pizza Gate, which was actually not debunked, and now for those who follow Q, there is evidence that those in power, politicians, celebrities, a staggering amount of people, are all involved in human trafficking of minors–and using our money to do it. You don’t have to take my word on that, but if you’re curious, there’s plenty of research to find online–well, the stuff that the “masters of the universe” tech companies haven’t censored yet. I warn you, though, it’s not a happy place to go. The only comfort in the knowledge of the bad going on is the knowledge that whether it’s Trump or the Q team or not, some people with the power to do it have been slowly bringing these monsters to justice.

Back to the film: All that above is probably something that the director wasn’t aware of, but it’s just another angle to the whole age gap that reveals what a poor choice making the main character a teenager, and even a young teenager at that, was, at least for an American audience. Again, I am not sure how the film was received in Japan, but I do know that the director’s other films are wildly popular.

The creepiest part of the story is the fact that the woman works at the boy’s school and the accusations against her. At least in America, we have a very real problem with teachers and school workers preying on their students in a sexual way, specifically female teachers. In the past ten years there’s been way too many new stories about yet another 30+ year old woman teacher having sexual relations with her male students. These true incidents are why a story of this sort is a really difficult sell for Americans specifically: The audience is being bated to some degree to say this is ok. In a story like this, we are being asked to agree that it’s ok for a teenager and older adult to have a friendship like this.

But in reality even a friendship is not ok, because even if the adult sets appropriate boundaries, the teenager is likely to confuse things, just like he did in this story. Teenagers are just figuring out love and the opposite sex, and it’s up to the adults to not put them in situations in which we confuse them more, something the female character absolutely did in this story. She withheld information from him and it speaks volumes for her character that instead of facing her troubles, she goes to the park to drink beer, eat chocolate, and spend time with a student, eerily close to what she’s being accused of. I’m not sure any audience should be feeling sympathetic towards this woman. She’s completely clueless to a degree in which one has to question if she actually is clueless.

I’m sure I’ve now overstated my case twenty times over, but the choices made in this film, visual amazingness aside, were such a mis-step that it begs incredulity. Again, what exactly is the audience being asked to condone and why? It’s hard to believe that the creators of the movie are actually that naive. For those who love the film, perhaps just as I love High School King of Savvy, these stories are really flawed, and maybe it would be better not to admire them–for the children’s sake.

Reset button

If only life came with a magic reset button. Ok, ok, most of us would use it all too often, and would never actually move forward, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish life came with one. Especially when it comes to relationships with others: Imagine being able to reset and take away all of the hurt and confusion and just be good friends or family or lovers or whatever. Imagine that.

True forgiveness is a reset button of sorts, but with true forgiveness we are supposed to forget the hurts or trespasses that happened before. That’s hard for humans to do. We aren’t God who can know of our sins, but not “see” them, and see only the holiness of Jesus instead. I think the hardest part about it is forgiving ourselves. Maybe we really don’t see what the other person did anymore, but we see what we did or how we reacted, or what we said all too clearly. It’s difficult to reset that, and perhaps it’s that it just takes so much time that we don’t have on this earth. Anyway, I’m glad God has a reset button:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. –Lamentations 3:22-23

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” –Isaiah 1:18

That’s as close to a magic reset button the universe has this side of Judgement Day. In this mortal life God never has us completely start over at day one. He helps us through the difficulties more than he erases them. The hurt, the pain, the sin, will all truly be gone in heaven, and that’s what I look forward to.

Still, often I hope that in this life God will grant me a few more second chances, especially with people. It’s not a total reset, but it’s more a chance to really appreciate and experience what you missed the first time around.

Maybe you didn’t really get the full experience of how amazing it is to have kids, because you were busy, tired, and working, but now that you are a grandparent you experience the pure joy of those little children. Maybe you were creative when younger, and as you get older, you find true joy in the same things, but in a way you never understood back then. You also may find more success at it. Maybe in high school you and another person were always as odds or just didn’t connect, but now, years later, you find they are the person you most long to hang out with.

Resets, seconds chances. If only God would help us all see them, for it’s my inkling that he offers them far, far more than we realize. All things are possible with God.