Best Comment Ever

 

Reading the news online is sometimes an exercise in dismay at the level of idiocracy that masquerades as ‘thoughtful commentary’ these days.    It’s the biggest argument I have for returning to actual books.  You can read something without pages of ridiculous comments following it.

There are, however, a few people out there that occasionally make a comment that is actually rather astute.   This is one such comment.

 

I don’t know who made it.    I don’t know what article it came from… but it really struck a chord with me and so I’m going to share it with you.

Re-typed to correct some grammar (because I otherwise couldn’t have put it any better):

 

First, I’m not a liberal or a conservative; but you religious right-wingers are the worst.   You don’t want the government to tell you what to do, but you want the church to tell others what to do.   You’re pro-life, but pro death-penalty.  You don’t want contraceptives, but no abortions either.   You want unfit parents to have children they can not afford, yet want to cut social funds that would help these people.  Then you want to punish the people who knew they couldn’t raise a baby for not raising their baby.   You are a confused and scary group.

 

I wish I knew where to give credit to on this.   I think its an important message that a sizeable portion of the population would get behind.

 

Awhile back, I saw another comment on some article that declared we so-called moderates lack the intellectual horse-power to actually grasp any of the social issues of our time.   Strange, then, how the stronger your critical thinking skills are, the more you gravitate toward the middle.   Generally speaking I see both points the left and right make on any issue.   Neither side is without its merits, or its fallacies.  Often they are simply extremes of one another, billed as the only two possible choices that could be made.   As Worf would tell you, there are almost always other options.   If a Klingon can figure that out, what’s your excuse?  Hubris will only delay solving the complex social issues undermining the very fabric of our society.    Try some humility instead.   (It tastes like chicken.)  

 

I fully uphold the inherent right of each and every individual to shape their destiny in accordance with the tenants of their beliefs (religious and secular).   I also fully uphold the inherent right of each and every individual to reconcile their religions beliefs with their secular beliefs how they see fit.      So if you don’t believe in contraceptives, don’t use them.    Do not think yourself so hallowed, however, that you can make that decision for anyone but yourself.    You can not maintain a society of equals whilst simultaneously upholding that your belief is any more or less valid than the next persons.     I reject such disparity between people, and much blood has been spilt in support of that ideal.

Words and Phrases I think We Should Retire Before the Campaign Season Really Kicks Off…

Mostly because they’re just meaningless buzzwords that now hint at a deep and utter lack of original thought…   Its a new decade, time for new meaningless phrases to distract from relevant debate.

Liberals / Conservatives;  Left / Right – The world is a lot less black and white than these imply.   I have yet to meet a pure-liberal or pure-conservative…  everyone is liberal on some things, conservative on others.    Its called being American.    Left and Right are directions relative to where you’re standing.    Since the world is round, everyone on the right is also to the left of the left.

Activisit Judges – It’s their job to interpret law, not the people who actually wrote them, and certainly not the general population.   Don’t like the interpretation?   We have many avenues to change the laws… try writing them more clearly and straight-forward to begin with.   (Also, considering the general state of the American education system, you might just want to stick with single-syllable words.)    Don’t like that?  Well we have a few avenues to change the constitutional mandate they are carrying out as well.

Tea-bagging – Let’s keep it clean.   Oh wait, sex and politics go hand-in-hand in this country.

Flip-flop(ing) –  Unless we’re referring to the footwear, of course.   (I went flip-flopping to the mailbox this morning.)

Sheeple  – If you use it, you’ve spoken like a true sheeple.   Also, sheep are probably smarter than you.

The [Insert Qualifier Here] Agenda –  With 300+ million Americans, there are 300+ million agendas.  Not everyone is going to get theirs fulfilled.

Republicans / Democrats – They really are the root of all our problems.   Use these words and you’ve secured my vote for someone else.

Really, folks, we’ve spent almost 12 years now hurling insults at each other, thinking such division is going to fix America and put us into a new golden age.    Instead we’ve seen 12 years of issues getting worse, crisis getting deeper, and well…   ask yourself where you are going and why you’re in this hand basket.

That is all.   For now.

(Got any others you’d like added to the list?   Add em via the comments.)

Every destiny has an end…

Except when its Stargate.

This is a long over due blog post. News of SGU’s cancellation has been a bit hard to swallow, despite having some predictive indicators that that was where things were heading.

SyFy is not to be trusted. Indeed I haven’t graced their network with my viewership since they announced the cancellation. There are still 5 unwatched episodes of Caprica on my DVR. Another show killed without giving the production a chance to wrap it up.

On the one hand, I fully appreciate the realities of television. Shows are not produced simply to entertain me. They’re produced to make money. Its the way of our world. Mostly I’m okay with that. I understand that a show I really enjoy may not translate to mass-appeal. It may well end before its run its natural course. So be it.

The problem I’m finding is in the shift toward more serialized television. The days of self-contained-episodes is drawing to a close. Shows where each episode are stand-alone are becoming an endangered species. We have reality television which got us hooked on following a ‘story’ week over week. Then we got shows like 24 and Lost that were huge hits, and mandated tuning in each week to follow along. Casual viewers really don’t have a lot of options these days. I have to pick and choose what shows to invest myself in.

Shows such as SGU or BSG require more than a casual commitment. There are big arcs that spread over multiple seasons. Such shows call for a deeper investment by its audience. Investment. Investments are risky, and the more investment a show requires of you, the bigger the potential pay out. The bigger the disappointment too. I get a much richer story experience out of them. Its why I make that investment.

I understand the networks make an investment into the series they broadcast as well. Sometimes those investments don’t pay out the way they would like. Its not wise to keep pouring money into something that isn’t performing to expectations. You can retool, but if its television, you have a bit of a wait before you can analyse the results of your tweaking. Sometimes the wait itself is just too costly.

What annoys me though, is that networks are making the decision to enter into riskier formats of television without altering how they mitigate that risk. The industry is not adapting to how people like me consume their television anyway. The old formulas simply do not work anymore.

They’d like to blame the DVR, but they overlook its predecessor. When I was moving back in December, I cam across a box of my old VHS tapes. All my weekly rotations for my VCR to record all my shows, so I could watch them at my liesure. (Kinda interested to know what’s still on them… must find a working VCR.) This viewing habit may have skyrocketed as DVRs became more and more prevalent (no more needing to remember to put the tape in), but its a viewing behavior that is now 20 years old. We were doing it in the 90s, we’re doing it today. Why isn’t the industry catching up to its consumers’ behaviors? Talk about capitalism being broken.

Yet this doesn’t play into ratings. We don’t get counted unless we tune in live AND have a nelson-box. For serialized television shows, the liklihood of delayed viewing over a DVR increases. Its not uncommon to queue up several episodes and have a mini-marathon over the weekend. Especially with something like BSG or SGU that always ends the episode with a ‘now what’ moment. You’re hooked and you want more. A sign of a successful episode, really. What got me into shows like the Sopranos was viewing it on DVD, which may well then lead me to tuning in on television (often by subscribing to a premium channel).

The downside, potentially, to making such an investment of yourself into a story is that by becoming a dedicated (vs. casual) viewer, you’re investing more than just your time. Every week you have a group of characters come into your home. As you identify with and relate to them, you’re getting emotinally entangled (sometimes without realizing it). Sooner or later all shows must come to an end. What does that mean when you’ve forged a connection with it?

When BSG reached its conclusion, I literally went through a period of mourning. I recall having to force myself awake one morning because (having some degree of lucidity in my dreaming) I realized my dream was about BSG and it was making me sad. Really sad. I needed to get out of that and into something happier or risk having a moody day. The characters you have come to know (and perhaps love) are not coming over to visit anymore when a show is done. Its as if you had a group of friends who were all in a freak accident together and got killed. That can be a bit devastating if it were the real world.

We can thankfully console ourselves that we’re mourning fictional people, but it only takes some of the edge off it. That anyone would experience this over a TV show, probably sounds silly. Though anyone who mocks me over it is someone I would likely find to be a very sad individual. How disconnected they must be from life to not be able to relate to some degree. Basically, to have me choked up over a TV show just means the people who wrote it did their jobs right. Its supposed to touch you on an emotional level. Its what makes it worthwhile. (Mind you, I just don’t enjoy mindless entertainment, which kills most television for me.) Its what also makes it annoying as all crap when that cancellation order comes in.

I wouldn’t mind my shows being cancelled so much except for how SyFy goes about it. Repeatedly they’ve ordered full seasons, allowed them to all get written, filmed, and be well into post-production when they say, “Sorry, but you’re not coming back for another season.” Caprica, Stargate Alantis, and now Stargate Universe. Three strikes for SyFy, and I’m out. Each one cancelled without affording the prodcution the opportunity to even try and wrap the story up.

Now I’ve seen a few shows over the years where they were given this time, and frankly, the ending was a bit rushed and clunky. But at least they gave it an effort to resolve the story for me. A bad ending is still and ending. I’d rather have that than a story that stops in the middle. (Of course then we have things like the X Files that ran longer than they should have… that ending should have come sooner.) But that is not to be with SyFy.

So its with sadness that I tune out of Caprica (with five episodes to watch) and SGU (with ten episodes left to air starting in a couple of weeks). I suppose in the end, I’ll probably pick it all up on DVD and eventually watch them. I watched Crusade knowing it got canned before its first season was up. Left me a lot of unanswered questions in the Babylon 5 universe, but at least filled me in on some things I was unaware of in that playground.

With Caprica and SGU, it doesn’t feel like a freak accident ended the lives of my fictional ‘friends.’ It feels like SyFy murdered them. That’s harder to cope with. I genuinely feel like a crime was committed and justice will not be done.

The impact for SyFy may be more dire. I’m hoping this is antoher trend I can set. But i am resolved to NOT watch Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome. Despite my fanaticism for the BSG series, and my deep desire to explore the first cylone war… I’m not doing it if SyFy is involved. I can’t trust them to order their episodes and make their decisions in a coordinated fashion with the production studio. I don’t want another great story to start and cut me off just as I become inextricably hooked.

This also means I won’t be returning for Sanctuary (this one, at least, I’m taking myself out of the investment before SyFy ends it without a conclusion). Haven, which got off to a slow start, was kind of picking up in the end. It interested me, though perhaps not as deeply as some other shows. Certainly makes me want to read the book its based on. But I’m not tuning in for the second season of that either. Eureka? Warehouse 13? Shows that are great fun (and a bit more geared for casual viewing) and that I really like and that will not be getting my viewership.

I’ll stick to my video games to get my story-fixes. And books. At least those all have a begining, middle, and end. No one is putting out a half-written book, or a half-finished video game. Its either complete, or not for sale. One day, television will be this way too.

Rise up, oh masses, and herald the new era sooner, rather than later. Oh, and don’t watch SyFy. They should be punished harshly. Really, thats what its about for me. Boycot them. Doesn’t matter that they still have some shows I really enjoy, and some stories I’d like to finish. Burn me, and I will excercise all my power as a consumer by making my investments with your competitors. I encourage all of you do follow suit.

Or maybe instead of just abandoning my stories, I’ll just start picking them up on DVD instead. SyFy gets no revenue off that unless they happen to own the show outright (most they license the show from its true owners). For Stargate, my DVD money goes to MGM who has been staunch supporters of their property.

In closing, I wanted to share what really is one bad-ass little fan video showcasing my beloved Stargate franchise. If you’ve never seen any of the Stargate shows, then I’ll be particularly interested in hearing from you after you’ve watched this. I think this vid is sure to peak your interest in Stargate (unless you’re just boring).

A message for conservatives…

 

The interweb is abuzz with political chatter on just about everything.    Print may be dead, but at least one can still read a book without enduring hundreds of comments exposing stupidity and simple-mindedness.

So much of it isn’t even discussing the issues.   Its attacking each other instead.   Now that we’re in the Obama years, its a whole lot of so-called conservatives making attacks on their fellow-americans who identify as liberal… except most of the time they didn’t self identify… they just have a different opinion so they must be liberal (because afterall there are only two possible conculsions anyone could make and they neatly fall into opposite extremes).  

Well before the conservatives bemoan the liberals again, lets remind you of something.

Those founding fathers you cream your jeans over?    Radical Liberals.   All of them.    Liberals established this nation.   Liberals paid in blood to secure the liberties you now enjoy.

No taxation without representation?    Radical liberalism in the the late 18th century.

All men created equal?   Radical and liberal as well.

Certain inalienable rights?    Only those handed down to you by your sovereign… which was the King, not God.     Those who believed they had inalienable rights from their creator?    Liberals.    (And radicals at that.)

A government that governs by the consent of the people?     Absolute crazy talk!

Do you see a pattern developing here?   

And this was well before our beloved constitution.    But then we ratified that and followed it up with the liberal agenda known now as the Bill of Rights.

Liberalism is what changed the face of the world and (arguably) made it a better place.

But what was liberal in 1776 may well be considered conservative in 2010.     Just remember who it was that got us here before you start taking jabs at your fellow patriots.     Liberals love your country as much as you do.    

The infighting needs to stop.    By and large we are all in agreement on what the issues are.   Its really the strategies to resolve those issues that we have differences of opinion on.     It is vitally important for each and every American to remember this… conservative or liberal, we maintain that we are all equals.    Equals!!!!   This means that your opinion and point of view are no more, and no less, valid than your liberal counterpart’s.     When you levy personal attacks on them just for having a different opinion you’re ultimately reducing your own credibility in the argument.   So much of the comments I read on news articles and such are just blatant smear.    No one is having an adult conversation anymore.    

Except the moderates, like me… but we generally keep silent.    Our liberal and conservative brethren seem to have completely unhinged themselves from rational thought and we’d just rather not engage people who favor simple-mindedness over critical thought.

Of course you just lament that we moderates are too clueless and out of touch to know anything.    Again, such sentiments appear to put you in the category of being of the mind that there are only two possible points of view to be had and they must fall on one extreme or the other.     Believe that if you must, but the reality is that the moderates in the nation have a much better handle on the issues than you do.   They’re not ignoring valid points simply because they’re coming from a liberal  (or a conservative since the liberals tend to dismiss any conservative argument even though they have their share of valid ones too.)

The reality is we’re all in this together and any solutions to our problems needs to work for all Americans.    To accomplish this both the left and the right need to move to the center.     Its the only way to govern a population of equals fairly.

Critical thought is the only way out of this quagmire.  The simple-minded thinking so rampant on the internet is directly in opposition to this grim reality and serves only to bolster the barriers to ‘fixing’ the nation.

As for you liberals… keep in mind that the above does apply to you as well, just in reverse.   Today’s conservatives aim to protect the liberal values of yesteryear..  they want to preserve all that wonderful liberal activism that our nation was built upon.   You need to give them a break as much as they need to give you one.

Just keep in mind… true and pure conservatism holds society in place.   Liberalism is what has historically advanced society forward.   Its only with a careful mix of both conservatism and liberalism that we can advance society in a manner that truly benefits the people of that society.    Its kind of like the tortoise and the hare.    If we are pure liberals, we work like the hare.  We make all these leaps and bounds but ultimately fall short of the goal.     Mix in some conservatism and you get the slow, but steady pace of the tortoise.    We all know who won that race.

Ours is an imperfect nation.    The US Constitution aimed to establish a more-perfect union but remember that is a relative.   It is more perfect than what came before.   Our founding fathers left a lot of work undone in the constitution.    Later generations carried on that work and today’s generations are carrying it on as well.     Treating each other as adversaries won’t bode well for America or her people.    We all love our country and want to see it do right by its people.    

So lets start having the adult conversations our elected representatives seem incapable of having.    Lets let civility rule us.    Lets treat each other with the love and respect a fellow American – nay, a fellow human being – deserves.    If you’re really a conservative, try conserving the particular value that all men (and women) are equals and as such  you’re not so special that your opinion has greater weight.

So sayeth the Stryse.  

A MultiPost

 

Several unrelated blog entries, all in one.

In other news…

Last night was the first of what will be several nights all alone.   Gabe is safely in Oregon, where he is installing a new fire alarm & intrusion detection for his sister.    Then he’s off to his mom’s to do some work on her place.     I have at least two more weeks of living alone to go.    I foresee much Xboxing in my immediate future. 

 

 

My Seeds of Discontent are Sprouting!

I feel somewhat vindicated as I hear more and more ‘news’ like the following article out there in Americana:

http://www.lvrj.com/news/poll–voters-wish-for-other-choices-101631283.html

At least some people are coming out of their hibernation.   

Since I am a devote non-partisan (more accurately a devote anti-partisan), it would appear that the senate race is mine to decide.    Mwa ha ha ha ha.     

What I find appalling is that the people polled seem to be of the mind they don’t have another choice already, that they must choose between two candidates they don’t really want.    (As though the ‘anyone but [insert today’s devil here]’ campaigns have proven wildly successful over the past decade.)  

Let me clear something up for you Nevadans of the mind you only have two choices for US Senate.    We have several other alternatives for you to choose from… and you still have a couple of months to vet them out  (where available I have their names linked to their campaign sites to get you started on that process):

In addition to one Sharon Angle, running against Harry Reid this year are the following (in no particular order than what they were listed in when i copy/pasted the list):

Tim Fasano (IAP)
Businessman & Navy Veteran

Scott Ashjian (Tea Party)  (I thought they were trying to avoid being an actual party)
Businessman

Michael Haines (Independent)

Jesse Holland (Independent)
Metallurgical Worker

Jeffrey Reeves (Independent)
Teacher & ’08 US Rep. Candidate

Wil Stand (Independent)

I doubt you’ll find any of them are battier than Angle and Reid.    So while we may still be relegated to nut-jobs, at least we have a number of nut-jobs to choose from.

Hilarious Picture Time:

wp95422704 (I knew the Pope looked familiar.. this is actually from one  of those nutty ‘alternative-choices’ we Nevadans have.   But is he so nutty?)

While the rest of you are ‘stuck’ without ‘real’ choices, I get to enjoy having six candidates to choose from.  (Still undecided amongst the six, but at least I have choices… if any of you six are reading, stopping by my house to meet with me will all but seal the deal for you.)  Smaller, more local elections, you often do end up having two (non) choices, but in a race as big as the US Senate, you can count on having alternatives to the two-party system destroying the very foundation of the country.

Silly Nevadans.   You don’t have to vote for Angle just because you believe (as many of us do) that Harry Reid needs to exit the Senate.    The argument that not voting for the two party system is wasting a vote is silly, more than a little simple-minded, and ultimately comes down to being a self-fulfilling prophecy.     

Here are my campaign slogan for whatever race I one day might end up in:    

VOTE NO CONFIDENCE.   VOTE AGAINST A TWO PARTY SYSTEM.    SEND A REAL MANDATE TO WASHINGTON.     OUST BOTH PARTIES.      DEMAND YOUR GOVERNMENT BACK.    (vote for me)

Except I have my eyes on a judicial posting.   I’ll spend most of my time on the bench dismissing cases for being silly and a waste of tax-payer time and dollars.

 

Happy Friday!

“Shark attacks on humans are very rare. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to be attacked by Charlie Sheen than a shark.”

-Jimmy Kimmel on Live!

 

Sci-Fied

The count-down is on.   We have one month to go and its all-new Stargate.    When that’s done… its all-new Caprica!      Sadly Eureka doesn’t seem to be showing signs of fixing its time-line, so I guess I should get used to Fargo being the head of GD.   I think it would be good if next time Carter is in charge of GD.   Or Sarah.   But I digress.   SGU is returning and some big reveals are coming our way.   What is the Destiny’s mission?  What is that awesome new set?    What will get Rush and Young on the same page?    Oh, and now Telford is actually onboard!  

What has been interesting to me about SGU is the speed in which the pay-offs keep coming from the teases.    {SPOILER ALERT}

For example, when Young left Rush on that desert planet, I figured it would be toward the end of the season before we found Rush back onboard the Destiny.   Instead, it was pretty immediately worked out.   Not that I mind.  It pleases me to be surprised as Stargate had become a bit too predictable, and SGU has consistently surprised me in the pace of developments.   It helps too that with each pay-off comes another ‘now what’ moment.    Serialized television.   Its interesting.    🙂

 

Bacon!

Since the idea crept into my head, it hasn’t left… so I think I’m going to go for it.   The first annual Radcliffe Bacon Party!     I’m picking 9/29 for the event, for no other reason that its my brother’s birthday.  I have no idea what his culinary leanings are like, so I hope he likes Bacon, because its what’s on the menu as I observe his holiday.

Bacon Party:    Bring a dish that involves bacon in some way.   Preferably a creative, really?!-you’d-put-bacon-on-that? kind of dish.    Then we’ll spend the evening in fellowship whilst sampling some bacon delicacies.

You have a month for that too, so start trying recipes.  

My Hit List

 

I’m not taking any hits out on anyone, and any actual violence toward them will be severely frowned upon by yours truly…

Nevertheless, these are the entities I would like to see go the way of the dinosaur.   I feel they do more harm to society than good:

Wal-Mart

Facebook

Wikipedia

When Good Jedi go… Human?

 

Not that they weren’t human to begin with…   but I guess I have come to expect more from those who have taken the mantle of Jedi to heart.

Its hard to talk about the real-life Jedi these days without mention of the Church of Jediism in the UK.    This Church has been making some waves of late, that have gotten media attention on an international scale.

Over hoodies, I might add.   Its a bit of a contentious issue amongst Jedi.   Some debate is going on in various corners… some good debate, others not so much.     According to the Church of Jediism’s own doctrine, members of the church are encouraged to wear a hooded sweatshirt, if not actual Jedi robes, preferably with the Church’s logo on it, at all times while in public.   It has come to light that this is more a suggestion… as they don’t enforce it…  which translates as:  It’s still Doctrine on their part, and not Dogma.    Basically they want their members too do it, but they won’t punish you if you don’t.  (If only more Church’s stuck to Doctrine and avoided Dogma.. we’d all be better off.)

Although I’ve not received any answers that I found satisfactory on just why members of their church should do such a thing.. other than for self-promotion reasons…   in the end what do I care?   I’m not one to really get up in arms over what people decide to wear, and when they decide to wear it.   Even if I do view spandex as a privilege and not a right.   I’m even less inclined to weigh in if you tell me whatever you are doing is for a religious reason.   I’ll just give you the benefit of the doubt and be on my way.    Whatever floats their boats is generally fine by me (just don’t sink my boat).

I knew sooner or later, though, this hood thing would find itself challenged.   One could say I’ve been eagerly awaiting it.  I foresaw the implications of that piece of doctrine very early on.     Sooner or later, someone would be called out for wearing the hoodie.    Sure enough it happened, with a second incident following on its heels.   (Force premonition perhaps?  Or just history repeating itself?)

In the first incident, the CEO of the aforementioned Jedi Church went into a Tesco, with hood up.   Apparently Tesco has some rules about their customers concealing their faces or something.    All in all, I can understand their reasoning.   They’ve not doubt had some past experience that keeps them wanting to see everyone’s faces… I suspect more for the benefit of their security cameras than anything else.

Ordinarily I’d expect a Jedi to say, Okay, and take the hood off.    On the other hand, though, we have some Jedi who are religious in their path, and believe very strongly that they should be allowed to wear their hoods.   They even provide justification for their beliefs.   I may not understand them, and why they are so insistent, but my own values dictate that its their right and that it falls under the same category of religious expression that is practiced by Muslims, Jews, a host of indigenous religions across the planet, and even Mormonism in some regards.     I’d have a hard time believing Tesco would tell their Islmamic customers to remove their headdress.    But that’s a long-established religion with centuries of tradition to support the custom.    No religion under the broad umbrella of Jediism can really claim that.    Most are a decade old or younger.    Those that predate that aren’t generally of the mind that they are religions (although I have my own ideas on that…)

I knew it would happen eventually, and it did.   The Church of Jediism decided their religious rights had been infringed upon.    I actually agree with them on that stand.  

The Jedi Order of the Sacred Flame’s official response on it is that the right of all Jedi to express their religious affiliation is affirmed by the order.    The order also affirms that the belief outlined in the Church of Jediism’s doctrine on wearing a hood is a valid one (valid as any other belief anyway), and that in places where religious expression is freely permitted, that accommodation should be made for new religions, as well as those that have been established for centuries.

I was then preparing to witness Jedi in action… fighting for an injustice in the way only a Jedi could.    Unfortunately I was sorely disappointed.    Maybe its because this is a Church whose leader identifies himself in terms of being a CEO when I know of no other church whose executive actually goes by that title.    Maybe its because the CoJ seems to be run more like a business than a religious institution.    Whatever the reasons, the CoJ’s response did not live up to my expectations of how Jedi should handle this.    In my opinion, the CoJ destroyed all the credibility they had in their case with their chosen response.   It wasn’t the calm, rational, approach that I would expect Jedi to exhaust before taking more aggressive action.    Aren’t we known for our diplomacy?   Is not diplomacy about finding common ground and also acknowledging fundamental differences?    Right or wrong, they’ve been portrayed by the media in a poor light and its cast a dark shadow over the rest of the Jedi in this world who would like to be taken seriously.    What I see in their response is more inline with a Sith’s philosophy than it is with a Jedi’s.  

So I understand those Jedi speaking out against the CoJ.    Unfortunately, I’m not particularly impressed with their demonstrated level of Jediness in the process.    I know they mean well… wanting to show the world that not all Jedi behave like the CoJ Jedi have been portrayed to behave (and can we honestly believe that all members of the CoJ act and behave the way the handful of individuals we’ve actually seen in the media do?).   But when you’re going out into very public forums like Wikipedia and start labeling the people of this church… your fellow Jedi (whether or not you agree with their philosophies or position in this particular manner)… and calling them idiots and other, even more derogatory, terms…  (and i’m not completely innocent on this either I realized)… that you’re destroying your own credibility as well.    It saddens me because I’ve seen it done by people whom I KNOW are better Jedi than that.   It saddens me because I’ve gotten myself into that camp too.   I know I labeled them a bunch of teenagers at one point.  

Better that Jedi remain silent if they can’t find constructive means of critiquing the decisions of their brethren.    These decisions may affect the whole, but the standards a Jedi are held too are so high as to make me consider name calling and disrespect of another’s religious beliefs, however justified we might feel about it, something that should be kept to ourselves.   

It concerns me that Jedi are not only attacking the CoJ’s response to their perceived injustice, but also attacking the CoJ for holding to its own doctrine…    attacking them for having such doctrine in the first place…    and making light of the fundamental issues at play simply because a few Jedi caused some bad publicity.     Granted, in the minds of the world-at-large… very little distinction, if any, is made between the various sects that fall into the category of our real-world Jedi.     Its true that not all Jedi pursue their path as a religion, but some do, and they have rights.

To label them idiots, to declare their doctrine nonsense… simply because you either don’t agree with it, or worse, can’t be bothered to understand it from their point of view… is not the Path of the Jedi that I have walked (and stumbled quite a few times in the process) these many years.    I call on all Jedi to be better than this, and to live up to the mantle they have taken as their own.   Treat the Church of Jediism with the same respect and courtesy you would any other group of Jedi.. even if you don’t agree with them… especially when you don’t agree with them.   Treat its members even better, for they are individuals with their own minds and you are unlikely to have polled each and every one of them to form your opinion.   This is how Jedi behave.   Not name calling.   Not insults against their religion.  The dark side, if there is such a thing,  would like nothing more than to see the Jedi of the Earth fighting amongst themselves.   Our movement is defeated the moment we do, and our rights as Jedi forfeit the moment we oppose the rights of our brothers and sisters in the Force.

Clearly some of my Jedi brothers and sisters have more training to do.   Really though, we all do, for a Jedi’s training is never complete…   They are rightly annoyed by the events that have taken place, but I fear they are working against themselves in how they’re dealing with their own emotion.    

These incidents are the work of the Force.   Of this I am certain.   Jedi across this globe are being called to undergo the Jedi Trials over this.    There are four such trials and foolish is the Jedi who thinks they undergo them only once on their path.    The Force tests us time and time again.  For many Jedi, these incidents are bringing about more than one of the four trials to face simultaneously.  In the end, who will pass them, and who will fail?  

Jedi are symbols, first and foremost, and we must live up to that symbolism if we are to truly be Jedi.