Saturday, September 29, 2012

Roger Williams

So I've been reading about Roger Williams in my online AP US History class (taught by the amazing Mrs. Richman), and have taken a bit of a liking to him. Williams was first an English Anglican, then a Puritan of Massachusetts, then a Separatist, and eventually (after almost being banished from America for his radical ideas, but instead sneaking to modern day Rhode Island, which he would later co-found) became so exclusive that he only believed himself and his wife to be holy enough to participate in his own small church as communicants. To his friend John Winthrop, founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, he said: "Abstract yourself with a holy violence from the Dung heap of this Earth". But later, he experienced an extraordinary change. Realizing he had taken his ideas too far, he completely turned his life upside-down, and was soon welcoming all into his church, saints and sinners alike. This fascinating blog series tells the story better than I can.

I chose to write a recent essay based on his "A Plea for Religious Liberty" an interesting document written in 1644. Below is an excerpt from my response. I think it features an important idea, as well as having a bit to do with some stuff my sis over at Goldenfeet is going through with some fallacious and logically impaired commenters, so I thought I'd share:
The subject of religion greatly affects (as well as fully permeates and ties together) politics, economics, and sociality in this time and place. Few could be a more inspiring and striking example of religion in action than Williams, with his radical 180 degree turn from obsessive perfectionism, to the humility needed to realize the point of his preaching. This turnaround represents, to me at least, much more than the good, but ultimately secondary (not to mention highly corruptible) message of "toleration". As a Catholic, an important part of my religion is the idea that, in addition to striving for one's own salvation, one must also try to bring as many other human beings as possible with him also. To try to reach salvation alone would make as much sense as an arm trying to crawl away from its body. Thus, simply telling someone "you are not worthy" and walking away, is ultimately pointless. Christ ate with tax collectors and prostitutes, not because He "tolerated" their lifestyles, but because He cared about them enough to spend some time with them, in the hope that, later on, He might spend eternity with them. Humans always seem to get it wrong, either stumbling into the "Don't Judge!!" ditch, or else slinking our way through life wearing the "O Thou Unworthy Wretches" mask. We need to find the middle. I believe Williams realized this, and was willing to completely change his life because of it. I could well learn from him.

You Learn Something New Every Day!

So I find this cool comic page:

And then I notice they call him "Kent" instead of "Dent"… Well, here's what Wikipedia says…
As mentioned above, Harvey Dent does return as Two-Face in the 1970s. With the establishment of the multiverse, however, the Two-Face of Earth-Two (i.e., the character seen in the original Golden Age stories) is said to be Harvey Kent, who had not relapsed following his cure. The last appearance of this version of Two-Face was in Superman Family #211 (October 1981), depicting him as a guest at the marriage of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle (Catwoman). He meets Lois Lane and Clark Kent, and his shared name with the latter creates confusion.
Well then.

Also, did anyone notice that "Kent" is talking about some "Dr. Ekhart"? Sound anything like a certain "Eckhart" we know? Coincidence? I don't know…*cues Twilight Zone music*…

A Bit of Wisdom From Peter Kreeft

This is an excerpt from "Angels (and Demons): What Do We Really Know About Them?"
Aren't angels irrelevant today? This is the age of man, isn't it?

Yes, this is the age of man, of self-consciousness, of psychology. And therefore it is crucial to "know thyself" accurately today. The major heresies of our day are not about God but about man.

The two most destructive of these heresies—and the two most popular—are angelism, confusing man with an angel by denying his likeness to animals, and animalism, confusing man with an animal by denying his likeness to angels.

Man is the only being that is both angel and animal, both spirit and body. He is the lowest spirit and the highest body, the stupidest angel and the smartest animal, the low point of the hierarchy of minds and the high point of the hierarchy of bodies.

More accurately stated, man is not both angel and animal because he is neither angel nor animal; he is between angels and animals, a unique rung on the cosmic ladder.

But whichever way you say it, man must know angels to know himself, just as he must know animals to know himself, for he must know what he is, and he must know what he is not.

Friday, September 28, 2012

I Discovered This…

…and my life truly became more beautiful.

No words right now… I think I have to go cry…

You Think That Nothing Could Be Better Than This…

Until you read one of the top comments:
There once was a boy named Draco, destined to be a thug, his parents were chill with Voldemort, who gave him an awkward hug.
This gets all the wins.

And do check out this one too:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Arrrr…get up on the deck, ye wobble-legged landlubbers, tis' time to celebrate the finest holiday on the Seven Seas!

Incidentally, it's also Hermione Granger's birthday. Someone should really make a Potter/Pirate pic.

And here's a nice gallery to feast yer scurvy-self eyes on.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

S.H.I.E.L.D. Show News, "The Avengers 2" Release Date, Deleted Scenes, and an Interesting Vision Idea

A few interesting bits of Marvel Cinematic Universe news here:

First off, it has been confirmed that in addition to a possible Hulk TV show, there will definitely be a S.H.I.E.L.D. show, released on ABC, directed by Joss Whedon. There have also been some new developments which you can read about here. Also in this post, you can see that the release date of "The Avengers 2" is May 1, 2015. Yay!

"The Avengers" will be released on DVD on September 25, but some deleted scenes are already available to watch. These include an alternate opening (one I think I might have liked better than the real thing), and some moments of character development for Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner. The Bruce Banner one lets the anonymous security guard (briefly shown in the movie) ask the former some deep questions, while the Cap one reveals that Peggy Carter is indeed still alive, and also shows Steve's introduction to Tony Stark, in way which makes the movie make a lot more sense. It also has a Stan Lee cameo (more yays!).

The last subject I'd like to touch on is an interesting idea that's been being thrown around the web (POSSIBLE AVENGERS SPOILERS). First, a bit of background. The character the Vision was an android created by Ultron, who was, in turn, created by Ant-Man. Ultron was originally supposed to be a servant of sorts, but eventually he turned evil, as intelligent androids tend to do. He created the Vision to serve him, but ironically, the Vision decided to turn against his master and become good, later joining the Avengers. The Avengers decided to put the consciousness of the recently deceased Simon Williams (Wonder Man) into the Vision (to make him more human, or something). Anyway, here's the big idea: Agent Coulson will become the Vision.

It actually kind of makes sense. Whedon has already said he doesn't want to deal with Wonder Man, so if the Vision will be anywhere in the movies (and he'd better) they would have to find someone else's consciousness to put in him. Also, Clark Gregg (Coulson) is supposedly signed on for more movies than he's been featured in, so that should be a clue.

You can read more about that in many places on the web, and hear many more reasons why it might be true. The main reason I wouldn't want it to happen is, I guess, somewhat obvious. In "The Avengers", Coulson's death was supposed to be the event that the Avengers needed to Avenge. To negate Coulson's death would take much of the emotional force out of the founding of the Avengers. But I suppose, if this is what will happen, they'll find some way to make it work. And I'll leave you with some photoshoppers' renditions of Coulson/Vision.

A Neat Tribute

So, as I've shown before, here's the original Avengers Issue 1 cover:

And here's a clever tribute to it:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy Feast of St. Hermione…

…to all HP fans! You can read about her here. She sounds pretty rad. Or you can see her mentioned in Acts of the Apostles 21:9 as one of the four prophetess daughters of Philip the Deacon.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Some Comic Book Awesomeness

Fantastic Four #25-26 are cool for multiple reasons. First of all, it is the first meeting between the Avengers and the FF (taking place between Avengers #4 and #5). Also, it is the first time when the concept of the Hulk getting stronger the longer he fights is introduced.

So some background. Basically, the Hulk's little pal Rick Jones is now hanging out with Captain America; you know, cause Cap's an awesome living legend. The Hulk gets distinctively piqued, and so sets off to smash the Avengers. He starts pointlessly tearing up the town, despite knowing where the Avengers' meeting place is (having been a member). Eventually the FF, who as usual are having some emotional difficulties…

…decide to help out a bit and tackle the Hulk, who easily defeats them. As Hulk leaves the Thing in a chagrined heap, he has this awesome face that keeps making me crack up:

This is the kind of thoughtful intensity I want to see from the Hulk in future movies, people!

Anyway, the FF aren't down for long, and soon the Avengers are on the scene as well. This leads to an awesome fight; check it out in this great Kirby panel:

Here's another cool thing about the Avengers: the Wasp actually helps out for once. As you can see in the above picture, the Wasp is usually nothing more than a stinging example of the Smurfette Principle. Also she seems to faint a lot:

But now she actually plays a key role in defeating the Hulk, in a quite nasty way, no less:

All in all, the story seems pretty cool, you can check out more about it here (read the comments–trolls can be hilarious!). The price of these books together is about $2,600, which is well out of my budget, but oh well.