Castle Grayskull Is Weird, Right?

How many of you out there are He-Man and The Masters of The Universe fans? I bet a lot of you are. If you aren’t, maybe our society projected genders interested you in She-Ra: Princess of Power. She was kind of a stage stealer wasn’t she? Just a solo act name that didn’t give her band any credit. Anyway, that isn’t what I wanted to talk about. Castle Grayskull is the topic at hand.

It’s weird, right? The appearance of Castle Grayskull is totally badass, but not befitting of a place where good guys hang out. A huge skull chiseled from stone with an entire castle around it. Seems like a place where an evil wizard that would really love to be supreme ruler of the world would live. In Dungeons & Dragons terms the facade would seem to be lawful evil. Grayskull doesn’t sound like a place any lawful good character would inhabit except to kick said evil wizard’s ass and loot the place blind.

So why do the heroes operate out of there? According to the wikipedia, the appearance was to keep the castle protected over the hundreds of years it took for He-Man to show up. A little something to scare people away. Some spell that the sorceress and her retconned BFF’s put together way back in the day. He-Man showed up and the castle kept its eerie appearance.

It didn’t really seem to do its job though. From what I remember, everyone was trying to get into it or stopping by to hang out. All of Eternia seemed to know about Castle Grayskull, hell everyone knew the name!

Oh sure, the denizens of eternia didn’t come around, but they didn’t seem to venture out in the countryside much or exist at all. Much in the same manner that Skeletors henchmen were one of a kind, the only member of their race. Except for the snake men. Who were seriously a handful of snake people living in a cave under Snake Mountain. There were seven males and no females. Which could be why their numbers had dwindled. Speaking of which, how are Eternia’s numbers doing? I can think of four women that live there. Something is seriously awry in the world of Eternia. Maybe it is a by-product of the magic of Grayskull.

Regardless, Grayskull looked like a badass castle the entire time. It housed the powers that would turn Prince Adam and Cringer into He-Man and Battle Cat. If fear of its discovery was so high, why not hide it completely? Turn it into a rock, put it on another plane of existence.

I think it speaks volumes about the astuteness of Eternians that they couldn’t figure out that He-Man was their prince in a furry loincloth. At least Superman had the gumption to take off his glasses and futz with his hair. Why go through all the trouble of casting a spell? Seems like the Castle Grayskull custodial staff could have just put up an out of order sign and called it a day.

Our World, Right Now.

I am so frustrated I just want to scream and pound on my keyboard. Why is it that anytime the world actually tries to take a step forward for team humanity, there are lugnuts that drag their feet and eventually throw themselves down in the dirt and throw a huge temper tantrum. Conservatism. There are a few pieces of it I get. I lean left, but sometimes all these leftists get on my nerves. Always trying to protect everyone from everything by employing politicians and bill writing interns. However, when the world is obviously in trouble! When there is scientific data proving, beyond a doubt that glaciers are melting, weather is becoming more severe, and climates are changing. When it is obvious that the terrorists want us to be terrorized. To be divided by hate and ignorant fear. It boggles my freakin’ mind.

Look, I know that those terrorist bastards are scarey. However, if we are scared, the terrorists are winning. If we are spreading hate filled and fearful rhetoric online, we are helping the terrorists. If we are closing our doors because we are scared of every single outsider just because they don’t look or pray like us, we have already lost.

Reach back in the muck of that brain of yours and dig up the memory of one of those dreams where you are running from something and you are trying to get help from someone. They won’t budge! They can’t hear you! They won’t help you! You thought they would. They seem to help everyone else all the time, but they just ignore you. Remember how scary those kinds of dreams were?

Now empathize a little bit. Take that fear and magnify it. Bring it into the real world. Put yourself in a boat crossing a body of water so rough, so dangerous, that your chances of survival are actually worse than they were on land. Put yourself outside in the cold, in the dirt, in the mud. Put a lot of people around you. All miserable. Ousted from their homes by evil bastards. Their fates lie completely at the will of the people who have taken in refugees.

Take yourself away from your computer, tablet, or phone. Get away off of your couch, bed, toilet. What those people are leaving behind isn’t cushy first world life. They have known nothing but decades of war and strife. War right outside their front door, not on the television! Paris happens all the time there! Soldiers come and soldiers go. Dictators are killed and what rises from the ashes is even more truly terrifying. Why? Because it is the most broken, twisted, and destitute of people. People who have known only war. People who have nothing to lose. People who have nothing inside, but anger, twisted words and views of an organization. An organization that isn’t representative of an entire religion.

These people have twisted your religion. They enforce the most extreme views. Kidnapping, enslavement, executing at will. You have no freedom. There isn’t a standard of living. You are screwed, your life forfeit.

That is what you are running away from. So there you are in a land you have never been to. Cold, dirty, tired. Your journey began with friends and family and now you are alone. Some of them died along the way and others were separated along the various camps. There is not one familiar face, just faces with familiar stories. Surrounded by armed people speaking a language you do not understand. Overworked and fearful, they aren’t nice.

You didn’t come here for the hell of it. You came here because this is better than where you came from. You need help. You need somewhere else to go. Remember this feeling.

What happened in Paris was terrible. Casualty wise, it was like combining some of the six most recent mass shootings carried out on U.S. soil by white people. For the sake of avoiding an argument, I am going to exclude any shooter that wasn’t white or christian. The only difference between what those shooters did and what took place in Paris is they were white, christian, and solo. Could you imagine if all those single gunmen were united? If all six of those shootings were compounded into one? Then there would have been an attack that rivals Paris carried out on U.S. soil by white people.

With that in mind, do I think all white people are going to kill us? No. Do I believe that all christians are extremists? No. Why would I want to draw conclusions about an entire group of people based on such small and limited pool of reference?

There are sick and deranged people all over the world. They come in every color. They pray to any god or none at all. But for every single one of those people, there are thousands of good people. People who don’t want to hurt anyone. People who want to help others. No matter how uncomfortable it makes you. No matter how difficult it is. Be one of those people.

 

Twitter, I Will Not Favorite the Like.

Today was my first day of actually seeing the heart. I had read it was happening. That the excellent, versatile, and contextually sensitive favorite star was being replaced by the low brow, easy entry, noob friendly, lowest common denominator, facebook migratory sign, the like with heart button. I do not like it. It isn’t that I am resistant to change, far from it in fact. However, I am resistant to devolution!

The favorite star was great for several reasons. For starters, both word and symbol don’t have an overwhelmingly positive context. Both were content neutral and could be used for liking a hilariously happy tweet one moment and terrible news about a national tragedy next. It wasn’t based on positivity which the word “like” and the heart symbol are. When tweepers and readers get down to the knitty gritty, they won’t be able to hit that like button on the latest dour news. Well they can, it will just look weird that news of the latest mass shooting has hearts underneath it.

Other social media sites can get away with the like. Who isn’t going to like a photo on the all you can eat buffet of optimism over on instagram? The whole site is photos, what isn’t to like? Over on Facebook, the like button has been in use the whole time, and yet it is somewhat limiting. People can like the happy stuff, but when it comes to terrible news things get awkward. So much so that Facebook has been talking about adding a dislike button.

It is worth to mention to Facebook that the favorite star is up for grabs. People are smart enough to figure it out and it adds so much versatility to the culture. It isn’t just hearts, love, and optimism. It’s excelling, important, and worthy of noting. Don’t be the pandering shareholder types over at Twitter who believe that one little icon is going to bring the facebookers over in droves. It could quite possibly have the opposite effect. I hear Google+ has a context neutral +1 button.