Archive for the ‘Space’ Category
The Emperor is coming to the biggest Star Wars party in Europe, July 26-28, 2013 in Essen, Germany.
Ian McDiarmid, the actor who unforgettably played the evil galactic mastermind and the ultimate villain of the Star Wars Saga, will make a rare convention appearance at Star Wars Celebration Europe, appearing on-stage and signing autographs.
This summer’s event will mark the first Celebration in Europe at which the highly sought-after actor will appear to sign autographs and chat on the Celebration Stage, offering attendees a rare opportunity to hear about the making of Star Wars from his perspective.
In 1983, McDiarmid embodied the full depth of the dark side as the Emperor in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, his face hidden under intensive makeup and his eyes concealed behind yellow contact lenses. When his true face was revealed as the apparently kind and helpful Senator Palpatine in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999), he projected a different kind of evil – a subtle manipulator of galactic events, a villain hidden in plain sight. As the prequels progressed, so too did Palpatine’s plans until finally, in Revenge of the Sith (2005), McDiarmid got to play evil at its fullest, and revealed the true power of Darth Sidious.
Star Wars Celebrations bring fans of all ages together, from all points of the globe, to celebrate the pop-culture phenomenon that is Star Wars. From its young fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars to die-hards fueled by the nostalgia for the original Star Wars trilogy; curious, casual followers; gamers, readers, costumers or collectors — there’s something for everyone at Celebration.
Tickets available now at http://www.starwarscelebration.eu/
In the small political battles of our day—the ones over which idea is better than the other, I see such conflicts to be minor squabbles in the scheme of existence. I prefer always the long view of looking at big things with much distance between myself and the object so I can see the situation clearly. When I have to engage against competing tribes of political view who attempt to interrupt my enjoyment of the long view I am all too happy to display their conquered scalps as trophies of war, but I am very aware that such things are small insignificant victories upon the tapestry of living. When battles are raging around you, political or otherwise, there are only two choices, win or become a victim. Choosing not to play is a choice towards becoming a victim.
I will have to thank my friend over at the Atlas Shrugged site Galt’s Gulch, Dr. Brett for being the first to break the news to me that Lucasfilm had been sold to Disney for $4 billion dollars. As any who read here clearly know, I think a lot of Star Wars, and specifically George Lucas, so the news that Lucas has officially hung up a company he built all his life as a sole proprietor was very sad for me, almost as sad as losing a loved one to a death. I respect deeply the creative environment that Lucas utilized to build Star Wars into one of the most recognizable names in the entire world. I respect all the companies of George Lucas because he maintained his ownership of them the way he should have, and he never yielded to pressure to make his films into anything but what they are. He reserved his right to make films like Howard the Duck which were bombs, but he also made wonderfully powerful films like Tucker: A Man and His Dreams, Willow, and of course the Indiana Jones series which has changed dramatically the entire field of archaeology and anthropology. But it was and is Star Wars that made all those films possible, films that couldn’t be made by anybody else no matter how big the studio or the personalities behind them were.
It might seem that no amount of news could eclipse the massive Hurricane Sandy that had shut down the eastern United States, but news that Star Wars was now under the tent of the Disney Company eclipsed the tragedy of that event–even of the presidential elections. The news that Star Wars was now owned by Disney and that the company fully intended to make more Star Wars films rocked the world of Twitter, Facebook and news organizations all over the world with shock and awe.
I grew up with Star Wars; I raised my family on Star Wars. Star Wars is one of the great sacred bonds that my wife and I share. We love it, have watched the movies thousands of times, and read all the books. In fact, she has read every single Star Wars book ever written. They take up an entire section of our home. I enjoy watching Family Guy primarily because of all the parodies that Seth McFarland has done as a tribute to Star Wars. I get along most with Star Wars geeks and adults who aren’t afraid to admit that they love the films. My father-in-law and I have always shared an intense love for Star Wars. My nephews and I have stayed up entire nights playing Star Wars video games, and those memories still bond us as busy adults. Star Wars is always a dominate topic at every Christmas and Thanksgiving Dinner on both sides of the family. It is also the most commonly given gift for birthdays and Christmas in my family on both sides for over 30 years now. For me the love of the films are not an immature reach for eternal youth and fantasy, but rather, the long view at philosophy and life in general that they offer against the backdrop of fantasy in a far away time and space that allows ideas to reside in neutral territory. I find it repulsive when some fans accuse George Lucas of turning Star Wars into simply a cash cow, or that he sold out to the big and powerful Disney—allowing his sole creation to be turned over to some evil empire of the Disney Company. They simply don’t understand the situation and how the dots connect.
I have spent considerable time explaining at this site Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom why some people believe making money is bad—where those ideas came from, and actually how they hold society back. This is why I propose that Ayn Rand’s ideas are far more relevant philosophically for mankind than Karl Marx and that if one idea must be refined philosophically over another it should be those of Rand over Marx. Those reflections can be heard clearly in the opinions of Star Wars by the general public, but one thing that Star Wars does is unite people who would otherwise not be able to talk politics.
For instance, many of the writers of The Huffington Post who might argue with me about the merits of socialism versus capitalism share a love and passion for Star Wars. Many who believe that Star Wars is just a movie don’t understand why it is such a phenomena, but Star Wars is not just a movie intending to make money, but a tool that George Lucas has utilized to create the most important, and powerful mythology human civilization has ever known and it is intended to take Earth from a .7 Type Civilization that it is now, to a Type 1 Civilization on it’s way to an accelerated Type 2 with an intent to become a Type 3 and still have a basic philosophy that will hold up to such an expansion. For people who think Star Wars is just a silly movie, they do not understand that the foundation blocks of any civilization is its basic philosophy that is reinforced by its mythology, and Star Wars created by George Lucas is intended to be a giant mythology. Disney as a company envisioned by Uncle Walt was created to interpret and communicate mythology to the world, not to just make money. What most people miss due to the fact that they have been taught to hate money is that Lucasfilm and the Walt Disney Company have billions of dollars of value between them because they offer a very good product—but the value of that product is cultural enrichment through mythological creation that improves the general philosophy of all human beings. While it is true that Star Wars is geared for children, the messages within that mythology contribute greatly to the improvement of world-wide philosophy. Lucas and Disney both as heads of their companies have managed to perfectly bring together two important attributes necessary to human survival, the ability to produce wealth, and to use that wealth to dramatically improve the living conditions of mankind.
The limits so far with Star Wars is that George Lucas has been the “brand” of his company. He has become so big that anything done in Star Wars as a story, because they are so important mythically speaking to so many millions of people, is distracting, even limiting. I believe Lucas being the “way ahead of the curve” kind of guy that he is has recognized this and has positioned his company, its employees, and the product of Star Wars itself through the television experiment of Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network to make this move with Disney at a very reasonable price. Disney, as a giant company with no direct face that is the “brand” can take Star Wars to places it could not otherwise go being headed by George Lucas. Disney has the ability to build an entire Star Wars park so visitors can actually walk around in the Star Wars Universe. They can expand on the television, the movies, even the video games. Disney has the power to take Star Wars from a household name and make it a room to room name within that household.
To understand why I think this move to Disney for Star Wars might have a severe impact for the positive it would require knowledge of George Lucas as I have, so to know what he is most likely thinking. Back in the 1990’s George Lucas was a board member for The Joseph Campbell Foundation who was being carried on by Campbell’s wife Jean after Campbell’s death of which I was also a member. Lucas has always been interested in using Star Wars to bring young people to the study of comparative religion and world mythology studies. Few people know it, but Lucas always wanted to be an Anthropologist and books like The Golden Bough and The Hero with A Thousand Faces had a powerful impact on him as a youth and he has always planned to use Star Wars as a way to introduce youth to higher philosophical concepts. To understand to what extent Lucas has been committed to this just look at his company Lucas Learning. I would bet everything I have and everything I ever obtain on the notion that Lucas has intentionally planned to inspire young people to reach for the stars with the stories of Star Wars in fields of science, medicine, politics, art, virtually every aspect of society, and Lucas has done this as an anthropology/archaeology enthusiast, not as a film maker. Lucas, never really wanted to be a film maker, but instead used film making to communicate his interest in cultural studies. It is his interest in anthropology that gives the Star Wars Universe such a rich texture, that far exceeds any other science fiction endeavor so far to date. And I believe the result of this investment Lucas has made in civilization will be the necessary mythological tool that is needed to continue the social evolution into a Type 1 Civilization where religious barriers, scientific limitations, and politics get in the way of arriving at these necessary human advancements. This was why George Lucas made Episodes 1 through 3 the way he did about Galactic Republics and the demise of governments in spite of the efforts of the noble Jedi Knights. Lucas solved the political problems of his galaxy that has embraced laissez-faire capitalism but is not regulated by untrustworthy politicians, by using Jedi Knights who are governed by a deep commitment to philosophy, not crony capitalism that goes on between gangsters, pirates and politicians, to maintain order.
In a 1964 article on searching for extraterrestrial civilizations, the Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev suggested using radio telescopes to detect energy signals from other solar systems in which there might be civilizations of three levels of advancement: Type 1 can harness all of the energy of its home planet; Type 2 can harvest all of the power of its sun; and Type 3 can master the energy from its entire galaxy.
Based on our energy efficiency at the time, in 1973 the astronomer Carl Sagan estimated that Earth represented a Type 0.7 civilization on a Type 0 to Type 1 scale. (More current assessments put us at 0.72.) As the Kardashevian scale is logarithmic — where any increase in power consumption requires a huge leap in power production — we have a ways before 1.0.
Fossil fuels won’t get us there. Renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal are a good start, and coupled to nuclear power could eventually get us to Type 1. More info can be found at this article.
Nothing ever starts until the human mind can behold the concept. From there, invention and personal innovation will bridge the gaps. Currently, politically, our global societies are locked between a struggle between individualism and collectivism as political systems of all types are struggling to maintain the former power bases of class society indentured to resources controlled by the very few, whether that few are crony capitalists, socialists, pirates, thieves, looters, or kingdoms. The future is moving away from these kinds of regionalized controls and the internet is the first step in that particular direction. But there are still religions that are standing in the way of life expectancy and medicine, and governments that are restricting space travel as the human race is pushing violently against the limits of the past. Star Wars is a giant leap forward, but at the same time, into the past so to join in the minds of mankind with the possibilities of now. In Star Wars the galaxy they are living in is coming close to a Type 3 as they are able to travel across the entire Galaxy through hyperspace routes that are like intergalactic highways through worm holes in space. Such a concept is scientifically viable and scientists are beginning to seriously think about such things—because of Star Wars. And the utilization of the religious aspect of Star Wars, which is the Force follows many aspects that are just being discovered in quantum mechanics and presents them in story form in ways that human minds can find a practical use in the randomness of ideas. I could literally go on and on about this type of thinking, but in short, Star Wars is a big galaxy that has a lot of very fresh ideas in it from communication devices to propulsion systems, and those scientific concepts are quickly finding their way into the everyday lives of our current civilization.
Further, Disney as a company is about to do something that I think Walt Disney always fantasized about–it is about to take a bold step forward from a market driven motion picture market place and become a truly world power that will benefit the lives of the entire planet. For instance, China because it is a communist country only allows 10 foreign films to show in their country per year, which is actually a big step for them. The people of China are already looking forward to the next installment of Iron Man that is gearing up for a tremendous 2013 release—again another property by Disney who is uniquely positioned to take such a powerful mythology as the Marvel Comic properties and present them to a world hungry for the ideas in those stories. This is greatly helping China become more and more prone to the free market in all manners of business, slowly but surely brushing aside the kind of communism that has held those people down for over 60 years now. Star Wars has the potential to communicate those types of messages to a mass audience perhaps 10 times more powerfully, because the texture and depth of Star Wars is so deep and engrossing, and if Earth is to become a Type 1 Civilization, the same idea has to be held in the mind over most of the world. In other words, the people of China cannot think so much more different from those in The United States. But the lifestyle of The United States cannot be brought down just to level the playing field globally, but the rest of the world must be brought up to the level of America. The best way to do that is to export American ideas, like Star Wars to those countries so they can understand what they should be doing, and how to do it.
I feel sorry for some of my fellow adults who share my age, but not my youthful optimism. They truly believe that Star Wars is just another movie like everything else designed to make money for Lucas, or Disney. In fact in the days after this big announcement of Disney buying Lucasfilm that was the first thing that most people said to me, “Looks like Lucas just got even richer.” Those same people rush their kids to soccer practice while they update their Facebook accounts religiously and po-poo anything that isn’t rooted in the reality of their current busy lives. Their kids feel the magic on Christmas morning hoping they get a new Star Wars toy, or on Halloween when they get to dress up like a Jedi Knight. The parents feel the magic just a bit when they walk down the isles at Target and look at all the Star Wars toys designed specifically to massage the mind of young people by the toy makers in a plot Lucas hatched decades ago to expand the consciousness of the human race by beholding in their minds all of life’s potential.
When I was a little kid, I wanted the full-sized Millennium Falcon from Star Wars for Christmas like nothing else. This would be way back in 1980. But my parents couldn’t afford it, because it was really expensive. So I built my own Millennium Falcon out of a card board box that I played with for years. Once I got older and could afford to buy it myself, the toy had been off the market for a number of years, so I was never able to get it. But in 1995, prior to the Special Editions in 1997 Lucasfilm released all the old toys only updated with new manufacturing techniques complete with the “battle worn” condition made so popular in the films. That year for Christmas my wife bought me the new electronic Millennium Falcon with the updated paint scheme and everyday since that Christmas I have proudly set it next to my bed where I engage the engines every night before I go to sleep. Every night. And what’s strange is that it still has the same batteries in it from 1995, and they still work. Call it the FORCE! When I have had to fix a number of complicated problems around the house from broken dishwashers to electrical problems I have sometimes stared at that toy for hours pushing the buttons and thinking about the problem at hand which often frames the answer for me with perspective. The toy for me is a symbol of innovation and technical marvel, so it often elevates my logical trouble shooting thinking. That magic has stayed with me my whole life so far and doesn’t appear to be abating. And I know I’m not alone.
Under Disney, these toys, the books, the multiple nick-knacks will flood the marketplace and without question a sector of the population who hates money will call the whole ordeal a symbol of capitalist excess that is just making a lot of money for Disney and its shareholders. But the estimates from people like George Lucas are that the money drives the product and allows more people to experience such magic, and even the most hardened skeptic against capitalism or fantasy stories knows that they too feel a little of that magic when the media blankets the release of a new film, or they hear the famous tune to Star Wars which indicates to the ear that something great awaits the witness of the story at hand, they feel the magic. Lucas has attended many of the Star Wars Celebration events that take place each year, and he has seen the multitude of grown adults who share with their children love for a mythology that makes more sense to them than the reality of their daily life. With Disney now pushing the mythology machine of Star Wars, these events will explode with interest by even more people. Already the Star Wars weekends at Hollywood Studios in Florida that take place from May to June is so packed that the visitors have to use the parking lots at Epcot Center and Animal Kingdom to hold all the extra Star Wars fans. That was before Disney owned Star Wars. Now, it is certain that the parks in Florida will have a continued and much, much larger presence during the entire year and new generations will catch the fever even more than in the past, because if Disney does with Star Wars what they did with The Avengers the possibilities for how big Star Wars may become is immeasurable.
I have my doubts that the new Star Wars films will be as good as Episode 4 and Episode 5. But I have no doubt they can be as good as the other four. The proof is in the Cartoon Network episodes of The Clone Wars currently on television every Saturday morning at 9:30 AM. With that in mind, Disney could make Star Wars movies for centuries, because the material is that rich, and is so vast that the plot lines are literally infinite. I believe that with Disney at the helm of Star Wars, the ideas contained within it will find their way to every corner of the globe and in that way, will put every human being on common ground for the first time since the Tower of Babel separated all human beings with foreign language. That is what it will take to move Earth to a Type 1 Civilization, and Star Wars is the best hope for getting there.
So, in a lot of ways the news announced on October 30th 2012 has seismic consequences for every human being on planet Earth. Star Wars is not just another movie, and it is not just another product of Hollywood. It is modern mythology that surpasses the work of the Iliad, all the Greek classics, the Book of the Dead from Egypt, War and Peace, or all the works of Shakespeare, anything ever done in literature. It is the next step put into visual form what human beings are supposed to be working toward and they weren’t created superficially by whim from the mind of George Lucas, but are mythic characters dusted off from past stories and placed into the future for all to see with common eyes transcending language, political, and sociological backgrounds. That is the magic of Star Wars and the potential impact that the decision to move Lucasfilm under the umbrella of Disney can explode into uncharted waters never before seen by–anybody.
So I’m a fan of the move even though it does sadden me. The sadness is a selfish one, which I wish to preserve what Star Wars meant to me growing up, wanting to freeze-frame those films in time for my own enjoyment and memory. But I see the strategy and like Lucas I want the same thing. I want to see a world that embraces capitalism, embraces technical advancement, embraces philosophy, and never losses its belief in the limitless potential of the human imagination. There are only two directions possible at this juncture in history one where societies regress backward, or one where they move forward into space, colonizing the moon, Mars, and planets beyond with the effortless propulsion utilized in Star Wars. And the inventors of those future technologies are probably not yet even born, but will grow up in a world where Star Wars entices their minds with sounds and images plunging their imaginations into fantasy yearning for a Christmas toy under the tree to open and play with while they work out all the problems of advanced propulsion systems, gravity manipulation, and medical miracles performed without the added complication of losing their very souls to a shackled embrace of institutional imprisonment which always threatens to cast the mind of man back to the creation of fire.
That is what the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm means, and why it is very good. Also as a side note to George Lucas, when he enrolled in Modesto Junior college to become an anthropologist, and a philosopher he succeeded as both and those titles many years from now will come to describe him once all the concept of filmmaker is lost to the scrolls of time. Not only was he successful in studying the past and developing an expertise of history, but he has also changed the future for the better in ways that are subtle, yet unfathomably powerful for a civilization that is teetering on the brink and may yet survive thanks to Star Wars.
I appreciate the support my readers here provide by clicking on the pictures below. The support expands life in ways that will ultimately create the means to boundless imagination. For a sample of such projects, click here and witness one of my ever reaching projects.
After my article a few weeks ago on the soft drink, Mello Yello the marketing team noticed and contacted me to let me know they appreciated my dedication to their product. You can see their comments from that first contact at the bottom of that posting.I have only ever drank one kind of soft drink, and that is Mello Yello, so I was particularly impressed to come home on Friday to a box from the Coca Cola company in Atlanta, Georgia. Inside the box were a number of Mello Yello marketing items that the company had sent me that made a good day even better.
They sent me a T-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a hat, a pen, a notebook, and a thank you note, which meant a lot coming from a company that I have silently been very loyal to for a number of years. I had just enough time to open the box and scan through the items before getting ready to take my kids and their significant others out to the movie theater to see the long-awaited Prometheus. So I put on my new Mello Yello T-shirt, and my Mello Yello hat, and I grabbed the Mello Yello notebook with pen to give to my oldest daughter, and we left for the movie.
Of course I looked like a walking billboard for Mello Yello when my daughter let me into their townhouse where I gave her the notebook. She tends to write almost as much as I do, so I knew she would put it to good use. I also knew my kids would get a kick out of seeing all the Mello Yello gear, because in our family, it’s well known my love of Mello Yello. We don’t all get together as easily as we used to because we all have busy lives, so getting the Mello Yello clothing in time for our long-planned movie was a nice addition to a wonderful evening.
For Prometheus my wife wanted to see it on the IMAX screen at Showcase Cinemas in Springdale, which I think is the best movie screen in the Cincinnati area. Of course the film was in 3D like they all are these days, just like film producers promised when they flew me out to Los Angeles a few years ago to do a fire whip sequence and prove out the use of a 3D camera system for Real D 3D with Peter Facinelli. I had at that time a lot of skepticism that audiences would flock to theaters to put on 3D glasses and watch a movie with just a little extra thrill factor. Women who go out on dates spending a lot of time fixing up their hair just right I didn’t think would be interested in putting on glasses that would smear their make-up. People who naturally wear glasses have to now look through two glasses to see anything in a 3D movie, which is a pain in the neck. But Hollywood was committed to the idea of 3D just prior to Obama becoming president because they were pushed by theaters owners all over the United States to justify their investments in state of the art projection systems, giant theaters, and comfortable seating.
Hollywood like the education industry is facing the same kind of economic bubble that the housing industry has already experienced, and it’s bursting. In Hollywood, it was the films of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg in the 1980’s that set the modern idea of what a “blockbuster” was. Every year since the release of E.T. and the last of the original Star Wars films Hollywood has tried to copy the box office numbers of those films by pushing for larger stunts, larger and louder explosions, and faster paced film techniques driven largely by the music video generation created by MTV. Most of the films Hollywood produce each year falls short of executive expectations, but the pressure has been on for quite some time to get larger box office totals as the entertainment unions have driven up the financial expectations higher and higher. Leading actors now for a picture make between $20 million to $30 million, so budgets for a typical summer blockbuster are now up over $150 million dollars routinely. Hollywood has increasingly had to rely on overseas sales to complement their box office take domestically in order to justify their massive up front investments. Revenue streams are changing for the industry as well, as ticket prices have went up to compensate the increasingly high budgets for films, technology has made it so people can often watch films at home more comfortably than at a movie theater. Just the other day I was at Wal-Mart where I looked at a beautiful 70” big screen LCD television that was just over $2,000 dollars. Hollywood now has to find a way to give people an experience at the theater that they can’t get at home, so 3D is their solution. And it’s failing.
I say 3D is failing not with pleasure in my voice, but sadness. I love the movie theater experience, which is why I made a tremendous ritual of taking all my kids to a movie and spending $100 on tickets that cost over $15 each to see Prometheus with my Mello Yello gear on to create memories that will last a lifetime. I wanted them to have a great night out at the movies where going to the theater is like going to a sacred mythic temple as modern mythology is bestowed upon the moviegoer.
Prior to our film beginning I watched the previews for the newest rendition of Spiderman, and Batman, and half a dozen 3D extravaganzas that I could see will end up in the same scrap heap as Battleship and John Carter. It’s not to say that those films are bad, or don’t have a market niche to fill, but studios are forced to spend over $100 million to make those films because of expectations, and ticket prices are simply too high, most people will wait to watch those films on video, or Netflix. Every movie cannot be Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, or The Avengers. Most Hollywood producers are fearful to attempt these days to develop original material because the risk is simply too great. Even a popular book like John Carter may not be enough to guarantee success. As I watched the previews prior to Prometheus, I knew that 75% of those films would be box office disappointments. They were dead before they have even arrived, because of the laws of quality described in Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The Hollywood producers and entertainment agents more than ever are chasing dreams like the founders of California’s gold rush. They are digging for gold where it’s been discovered instead of looking where nobody has discovered it yet, because they are functioning in the back of the “train” so to speak.
Needless to say the film I took my family to Prometheus was spectacular, and it should have been for $100 bucks. I had no regrets in seeing that movie especially since everyone enjoyed the film tremendously. But as I stood in the lobby of Showcase Cinemas afterward in my bright yellow Mello Yello gear a wave of sadness swept over me realizing that the financial structure that made the whole movie theater business run was about to bust. Prometheus represented the best that Hollywood had to offer, and at $15 dollars a ticket, it barely seemed worth it. I can’t image paying that kind of price for a lesser movie, yet the movie industry is counting on it, and they will be disappointed.
The same holds true in the movie industry as it does with President Obama not understanding that European economic models built around socialism is the cause of their failure, and The United States allowing for a mixed economy of a little socialism here and there sprinkled with bits of capitalism is what has caused Obama’s failed economy during his presidency. He’s as clueless as the typical film executive who will find themselves out of a job in a couple of years because their films failed to meet the market expectations. Hollywood is looking for the Justice League to fill the market void of George Lucas retiring. That was on my mind because just a few days before Mello Yello sent me all that merchandise I received a press release from Lucasfilm stating Lucas was officially retiring, and that Kathleen Kennedy was stepping in to help fill the void at that billion dollar film company. Kennedy is a long time assistant to many Spielberg films and now she’s going to work full-time at Lucasfilm. This is a serious indication that Hollywood’s creative core is aging, and moving on to other things, and the next generations of Hollywood filmmakers and other above-the-line talent are functioning from the back of Pirsig’s quality train, and will fail under the heavy expectations.
I thought it was appropriate that I was wearing a Mello Yello T-shirt on a night when I was having all these thoughts. Way back in 1994 and 1995 I wanted to buy a Mello Yello T-shirt, but then frustrated executives at Coca Cola were upset that the soft drink did not perform equivalent to Mountain Dew, so they pulled the drink for a bit and changed it to the soft drink “Serge,” so I didn’t get my Mello Yello shirt. This went on for a while until executives at the Coca Cola Company realized that this would not boost their sales, so they had sacrificed a very good drink just because it arrived late to the marketing gate, and if they had held strong, they might have made real gains through the late 90’s into the next century. Mello Yello made its triumphant return slowly, and is just now beginning to be purchased in the northern states of America. The same day I went to Wal-Mart to see the big screen television, they had three 12 packs of Mello Yello on their shelf. My wife bought all three of them. A couple of years ago, Wal-Mart in Ohio did not carry Mello Yello at all.
Mello Yello has always been a great drink, but it was judged based on the blockbuster success of Mountain Dew, and it suffered as a result. The same thing is about to happen in the film industry. Many films will suffer as film executives lose their jobs in the years to come due to the entertainment bubble collapsing under the enormous weight of expectation. And like Mello Yello, I have my brands of filmmakers that I support valiantly, and Ridley Scott is one of them. When my “brands” make a film that I know they poured their heart and soul into it, I go and see them. The next film I feel passionate about will be Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. I will pay top dollar to see that movie as a kind of vote for what I think success in a movie should be, to help curb the disappointment from an industry that expects too much, and is collapsing under inflated opinions. Twenty years from now, like my previous twenty years of supporting Mello Yello, I’m sure some of these very good film studios will re-emerge from the wreckage that is about to become of the film industry, and I’ll be there to support them as I was to see the great film Prometheus and one of the great offerings of the year from 20th Century Fox.
I proudly put my Mello Yello gear away when I got home that night and contemplated all that you read here today. And because of that, it means more to me than the moment that I opened it. In capitalism, whether it’s a movie, or a soft drink, the idea came from the mind of a capitalist, and millions of people enjoy the results of those thoughts—and every instance is a thing of beauty. I cherish Mello Yello because it’s been through so much as a company and even with all that, they still have the swagger about them to send me a box full of Mello Yello fun on the eve of taking my family to see the film Prometheus. It was an evening of ideas, and capitalism, and crushing expectations. But at the end of the day, it is the ideas that burn not so much brightest, but longest that survive. And Mello Yello survives, in the same way that many others will endure as great minds who think at the front of the train emerge to give great ideas a place to materialize. Each time I wear my Mello Yello T-shirt, it will not be out of blind devotion to a soft drink, but out of reverence to a company that I cherish because it makes a great product, and has had the tenacity to weather the storms of economic betrayal to arrive at a day when it can please the taste buds of millions.
There are very few things that I get really excited these days, and as the news of the world does march on, you must forgive me while I take a brief pause to relish in something truly enjoyable. In fact, I’m so excited about it, that I considered all week whether or not to purchase plane tickets to London and all the expenses that go with it, to see the new Ridley Scott film, Prometheus which opens tonight in England, then in America on June 8th.
For those who have watched that preview and thought that it reminded you a lot of the 1979 film Alien, done by the same director, you would be correct. Except, this is not a retread of an older film, which is being done in great abundance these days, but is in fact a “prequel” to that fantastic, cutting edge science fiction/horror film from the late 1970’s.
Alien and the next film by James Cameron called Aliens are two of my favorite all time films, and I share that sentiment with my wife. We have the massive 15 disk collection of all the Alien films and I personally admire the first attempt by 20th Century Fox to bring two of the greatest film aliens together in the film Alien versus Predator. While many think that AVP was a gimmicky sci-fi thriller, it was one of the first films of its kind to deal with the very controversial topic, but growing sentiment in archeology, and anthropology that human life on earth was seeded from elsewhere in the galaxy, and that the technology of the past on earth was in fact advanced far beyond what we currently accept in science. The evidence is popping up in great abundance all over the world that human history is far more complicated than we are ready to acknowledge.
I have written extensively about these theories here at the OW, and to date, out of all the articles I have written, out of my millions of words produced, one is my most popular—it gets well over a hundred hits every day—it’s called Giants of Ohio. CLICK HERE TO VIEW. I wrote Giants of Ohio based on a paranormal map I found at the Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and was intrigued at how many sites showed up on the map revealing discovered bones of 8 to 10 foot human-like skeletons. These bones have been stuffed into drawers at museums and private collections all over the world because nobody knows what to make of them in science circles. This terrible problem has been articulated well in the great book called Forbidden Archeology. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.
I feel very passionate in discovering what the roots of these bones are and how they fit into our human history. At present, only theories can be offered up, which have been finding their way into films like Alien versus Predator. The evidence is there, but science can’t offer answers otherwise they wreck their current funding mechanisms, so authors and movie makers have been doing the work of theorizing. As young people sit in the movie theater and watch these ideas for the first time, then do their own research and go to college moving into the archeology and anthropology fields to advance science with these theories fresh on their minds to prove, or disprove, our understanding of ourselves improves.
Ridley Scott, the director of Prometheus has set the bar very high for himself, particularly in the realm of science fiction. His films hold up so well, because they work on so many levels, this particular prequel to his great Alien film is particularly stunning as a concept. I was shocked that he took on the project, because he typically doesn’t do sequels, or prequels. He usually makes his movie then advances on to the next project. So for him to revisit this type of film must have some significance to him, which it apparently does.
I would want to go and see this film just to see a science fiction film by Ridley Scott, but as I studied the footage I recognized that he was offering up the events that occurred with the mysterious crashed ship in Alien that had the giant creature fossilized into the gun turret of the destroyed vessel known affectionately as “The Space Jockey.” That caught my interest because I have wondered about that back story since 1979, which was so long ago that ironically it was the same year that Jimmy Carter began the Department of Education. It came to my mind that Prometheus is an offering up a new theory for the origins of mankind as the mystery of “The Space Jockey” is explored in this epic new film.
A plot like that offers a whole range of challenges to our world’s religions, and philosophies to date. That excites me because in those conversations society advances just a bit. A film like Prometheus is not simply a pop-corn eating sci-fi, horror film, but a serious exploration into the idea that earth was not populated by just the sudden emergence of human life evolving from Neanderthals, but was helped along by these giants who used their technology to genetically manipulate the human race for reasons of their own design.
Today what is left of the human being is a distant memory of their origins on other stars and their tendency toward obedience with self-imposed slavery. This impulse is rooted in the collectivism breed into humans at this development stage that only in the last couple of centuries have been challenged by philosophy, most notably the new philosophy of Objectivism. Some of these giants died on earth and their bones were left behind to be buried, and copied by the humans who worshiped them. In myths and legends, the giants became great warriors and gods, and they make their appearance in our own Holy Bible, especially in the story of David and Goliath.
As of this writing, I have no idea if a giant species of humanoid makes an appearance in the new film Prometheus and seed the earth with the first steps of the human race. But, since I was a little kid watching Alien at a drive-in as part 2 of a night of horror starting at about 11 pm at night, I have been fascinated by the giant creature in the gun turret. Knowing what I know now I suspect that this is the case after listening to Ridley Scott talk about his new film in the interview above.
When separate individuals come up with the same basic conclusions after weighing all the evidence, there is merit to the results that are more powerful than results determined through consensus. My hunger to fly to London stems from wanting to know if the creative minds behind Prometheus have arrived at similar theories as I have based on examination of the known evidence.
The names of these species of creatures are unimportant except in the context of the story. But the acceptance that other elements played a part in the creation of mankind is extremely relevant to the understanding of ourselves, as very important decisions will have to be made in our lifetimes about our own mortality, and effectiveness in harnessing the miracles of science. Those decisions will be made by the members of the audience seeing Prometheus, and this makes the film a grand, epic event important to the sustaining culture of the human race.
Science begins with a thought, and that is the merit of science fiction. The concepts created can either be validated or eradicated, but to behold an abstract idea is the first step in understanding. So when the origin of the “space jockey” back story is revealed in Prometheus, a whole new level of mythic interpretation will fill our culture with new questions on a deep quest to be answered, and it is that which excites me to a level unprecedented by virtually any other big screen endeavor I can recently recall.
Many people wonder about my wife, and how she endures many of the antics I get involved with. Well, to convey what type of person she is, I’ll have to report that she is probably more excited about the release of Prometheus than I am, if that tells you anything after reading what I’ve said. The best things are not in diamond rings, fancy dinners, or luxury automobiles. The best things are in ideas–ideas fresh from the mind of the human soul striving forward to understand what has been covered up by millions of years of suppression, and a collective desire to hide from the real history of the human race.
Dan over at Build the Enterprise.org made national news last week when Yahoo News featured his 20 year plan to build an actual U.S.S. Enterprise that costs approximately $50 billion a year for the next 20 years at a total cost of $1 trillion dollars. (CHECK IT OUT!) Even though that is a huge price tag in a country with an already $15 trillion-dollar deficient, he justifies the cost by pointing out that in 2008 the United States spent nearly that much on the controversial Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Most people can agree who are not involved with politics that many of the bailouts the government spent money on during this depression era economy have been a complete waste, and the money was more or less tossed away with no R.O.I., so why not commit our science and military assets to the construction of an actual U.S.S Enterprise to begin an actual jump into a renewed space race?
Dan has it all figured out regarding how to engage in this massive project. His timeline has the first 9 years dedicated to research of the technology needed to build the project, with component testing followed by 11 years of manufacture and construction in space. At the conclusion of this assembly period the Enterprise will be ready for a moon flyby and be perfectly ready to begin routine 3 month flights to Mars. The benefit of Dan’s Enterprise design as opposed to the traditional NASA approach is that this Enterprise version will allow full 1g gravity for its 1000 occupants using ion propulsion electrically based from a nuclear generator to transport from the Earth to Mars and back again in 250 days. This means that the physical deterioration typically endured on the human body during long space flights will be eliminated allowing space travelers to roam about in an environment that is not much different from how they typically work and indulge in recreation today. For many of the U.S.S. Enterprise travelers their residences, work and leisure would be in a kind of giant shopping mall experience. They would eat, sleep and walk about just as they would on earth, and this would solve tremendous duration problems currently experienced by astronauts in zero g environments.
Dan’s plan is fantastic, and should be explored seriously by private investment. This would be a worthy goal for companies like Google, Facebook, and other giant corporations that have been able to generate tremendous amounts of capital. I disagree with Dan on two basic things which he has overlooked, primarily because he’s an engineer and naturally doesn’t deal with political science—that no government should be involved in this endeavor and that taxes should never be raised, which he proposes.
During this 20 year span of building the U.S.S. Enterprise the people of the entire world need an entirely new philosophy from which to think from. A philosophy is a kind of play book like any football player understands–it’s the way a sports player attacks the game as designed by the head coach. The philosophy of the team and its ability to adapt to changing circumstances will often be the exclusive factor between success and failure on the field of play. In the game of life, the same is true.
Currently mankind’s philosophy is rooted in Plato, and Immanuel Kant. This must change to one based more on Aristotle and refined by Ayn Rand. It will take a massive shift in human consciousness to accept these changes and avoid two hundred more years of stagnation, which is our current path because politicians and world governments think that Star Trek is for entertainment and the minds of geeks, as they hold onto their non rationality based philosophies given to them by Kant.
The process of this happening is already underway. The Ayn Rand Institute is publishing the extensive work of Ayn Rand which is selling well. It has taken most of a century already for Americans to finally begin to accept her work, and her philosophy of Objectivism is just the kind of national strategy that would bring about not just one U.S.S. Enterprise, but many. There is absolutely no reason the United States should settle to have just one of these ships, but ten. But to have them we would also have to reinvent the way our current government in the United States operates. We would have to reinvent education, political science; the emphasis on our wealth creation and many other factors for it to work, but ironically the blueprint was already created by Ayn Rand nearly a century ago. Click here for an introduction into Objectivism.
I don’t propose Objectivsim as a personal preference, but as a viable solution. Dan needs a nuclear reactor to provide power for his Enterprise. America and the world need Objectivism as the thought process to build Enterprise deep space vehicles and space stations. It’s simply a thought structure that is needed to execute the sum desired.
As to the design of the Enterprise opposed to other designs, it is the U.S.S. Enterprise that is so well-known to millions and is a part of the public consciousness. It is true that other designs could be created, but why? Science fiction has already done the work of concept building, and society has come to recognize it. It is no different from NASA using Jules Vern’s classic novel From the Earth to the Moon to model their approach to space craft design over 70 years before the first rocket. Using Star Trek as the model for further space development is perfectly acceptable, and highly justified. The country that creates these U.S.S. Enterprises holding over 1000 people per flight to colonize space, manufacture goods outside of earth’s atmosphere, and mines for rare metals and other resources on other moons and planets solves many of our current worldly problems in a very short time. A vehicle the size of the U.S.S. Enterprise could hold not just one manufacturing facility within it, but many. The future of zero z manufacture and science is of utmost importance, and extremely practical.
For all the sci-fi geeks out there who want to see this happen in their lifetime I suggest you read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead just as you’d read any work of fiction for Star Trek. Forget what your teachers and others tell you about Rand, because there are many functioning in our society who are just as scared of the future as there was during the dark ages of Europe. We are about to experience a tremendous breakthrough that hasn’t been seen since 1492 where adventure and discovery will change the human experience forever. But there were many who insisted that the earth was flat and that sea monsters would eat all ships that left the horizon. And ship building design didn’t change at all for another 400 years. The politicians, teachers, and leaders of science currently on a government pension want to keep the world closed off from new discovery because they are functioning from the failed philosophy of Immanuel Kant and this will hold the human race to the earth for another 400 years of imprisonment.
I spend a lot of time at this site showing readers how cancer could be cured right now, how food could never run out, how energy could be properly harnessed if not for the interference of politicians and world leaders who have broken ideas about how life should be because they are functioning from the wrong philosophy. A few weeks ago there was a similar sensation on Yahoo News about the next generation of flying car, which was cool, but didn’t come close to the great design of Paul Mollar out in California. Paul Mollar’s Skycar is a design that has been around for two decades and it works. But he can’t get our government to get behind him because of politics. There is a lot of money tied up in the current automotive industry, and nobody has the political will to upset the apple cart. So a great idea has been put on the back burner until society grows up, and into the idea of a personal car that can take off in your driveway and land wherever you want it to. This is because people in society are functioning from the wrong philosophy. Objectivism is the philosophy needed to expand our technological and mental barriers. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REAL SKYCAR.
The same fate will befall Dan’s fantastic plan of building a U.S.S. Enterprise as has happened to Paul Mollar’s Skycar, the political will is not there because too many people function from the wrong philosophy. Before the first bit of research can be done on the U.S.S. Enterprise, America would have to change its current path of thinking away from Kant and into Rand, or to put it more technically, away from Plato, and more toward Aristotle. That is the key to being able to arrive at a space port in the middle of Iowa to leave earth and arrive at a future U.S.S. Enterprise waiting at an orbiting dock to leave for a Marriott hotel on the planet Mars within the next hundred years. The future is there, and great ideas like Dan’s are springing up and are conceivably possible. But it is our current human philosophy that is the major impediment, and that must change before any new developments can occur on the long human quest to push the limits of the imagination and arrive at a place of new understanding and high adventure!
This is what people are saying about my new book–Tail of the Dragon
Fresh off a full day at my daughter’s house celebrating her 22nd birthday and indulging in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie marathon which was one of her birthday wishes, my thoughts returned to the genius of Walt Disney and his foresight to create the original ride of which that film series is based in his Disneyland amusement park so many years ago. This love of pirate lore has deep roots in American society and for good reason, because pirates are one of America’s parents, and to understand America, you have to understand the role that a pirate plays in the process.
Before indulging in that deep abyss of psychological exploration all one must do to witness the world as it always has been before rebellions of courage have lashed out against tyrannical static patterns of thought, the current Obama administration displays clearly why I have always considered it more important to teach my kids about the value of piracy than the importance of getting a doctorate in medicine, or political science. Because to me, the thieves, the scallywags, and the politicians of this world are those who seek to control others through rules and regulation and they should be fought as an enemy to individuality. President Obama to date has been the worst, yet best example of what such thieves and looters are capable of and why the world should run in the opposite direction of such moochers and social parasites.
Walt Disney knew what few people were ready to acknowledge when he designed Disneyland, then his much larger theme park Disney World. When I was a kid, I marveled at how Disney got away with having a theme ride about rapists, terrorists, and drunken bastards robbing and looting in an aimless life, and placed that ride within a very short walk from the Liberty Tree in Liberty Square as if both sections of his park were equal in some way. I always felt that Walt Disney was trying to tell people something important. Even though he sold the Disney image with Cinderella Castle there was something under the covers he wanted to instruct every American alive of the importance, and the sign posts are everywhere in Walt Disney World.
This became very evident to me about a decade ago when I was at Disneyworld with my wife and most of her family. The Park had closed except to employees and their families at 9 PM after the light parade, so for the next two hours the whole park was ours, since my niece was an employee at the time. So my wife, daughters my niece and two nephews went on a quest of adventure those next two hours that cleared up the whole problem for me. We had free access to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, before Disney reinvented it with the film franchise, and the ghost of Walt Disney spoke to me as we rode that ride 8 times in a row from 9 PM till 10 PM. The line was so short we had it virtually to ourselves. We could get off, get back in line and do it again almost immediately. After 4 times in a row the employees let us just stay in the boat and continue on for the next 4 times.
At this time I was reading a book I knew populated the libraries of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams with considerable respect, and I knew that it was a key to the wording of the American Constitution. It was also the book that created the very first libel law suit in the history of mankind, so the Founding Fathers being interested in the laws of England were very much aware of its importance. The book was called The Buccaneers of America written by Alexander O. Exquemelin who served under Henry Morgan’s command on those Buccaneer exploits that took place on the Caribbean oceans of the 1670’s. Morgan was a privateer serving the kind of England with the profits from his loot in raiding the Spanish and their hold on Central America. To England, Morgan was a privateer. To every other nation Morgan was a bloodthirsty pirate. Since the King of England Charles II was becoming very wealthy under Morgan’s exploits the English Jamaican colony town of Port Royal was left alone from the long arm of English law and the Governor of Jamaica gave Henry Morgan free rein to do as he pleased. This was the birth of freedom, even though the results often ended in prostitution, drunken orgies, and other decadence, freedom from the laws of kings began in this small Jamaican port.
Well, another important figure to the foundation of the United States also played a part in all this. The very young John Locke who was serving as Secretary of the Board of Trade and Plantations for Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury a very close confidant to the king. Locke was in a unique position to see how the behavior in the far away land of Jamaica influenced the politics of England to the highest rank. What Locke learned in these observations became the Two Treatises of Civil Government which Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would use to modal the Declaration of Independence after. You see, John Locke became a philosopher based on all these observations, the most pivotal in America history up to that point, because John Locke and the exploits of Henry Morgan occurred a hundred years before the American Revolution and set the foundation of thought that would become America. The seeds of rebellion had been planted by Locke and nurtured along by patriots like Sam Adams and Thomas Paine. But the ship that carried the seed for Locke to plant was Henry Morgan.
After Charles the II died, England sought to make peace with the French, Spanish and Dutch, so English heroes like Morgan were suddenly cast into the light of piracy and were hunted down for crimes that just a few short years ago made them wealthy. Fortune hunters who sought to live the “pirate’s life” of Morgan took to the seas and found themselves bandits as the governments of the world outlawed the practice of privateering.
But the new world of America had attracted all the adventurers and discontent of the world’s countries, many of them coming to America to settle in the various pirate towns, such as New York, and especially New Orleans to be free of people like Obama’s contemporaries, they were every bit as alive and well back then let me assure you. Pirate captains like Black Sam Bellamy continued on in the tradition of Henry Morgan for as long as they could. Politics being the nature of static patterns attacked the dynamic social patterns of the pirates by settling the new world themselves, and buffering out the effect of the wild outlaws who occupied this strange new world called America.
But some men, the raw adventurers who would rather die than lose their freedom, even if it was the chains of hell itself they fought against continued to pillage and plunder long after the laws of civilization had pulled tight the noose of control. This is precisely the same pattern that occurred in the American West. Politicians used the adventurous spirit of its wild and wooly class to settle the frontier. Then once the blood of their enemies had been shed they turned on the adventurous and killed them. This is how Black Beard came to be. Black Beard just thirty to forty years prior would have been a hero for England. But in 1718, he was an enemy to the world because he refused to acknowledge the laws of politicians, and proved far too difficult to socially control.
The great classic movie The Buccaneer with Charlton Heston playing Andrew Jackson and Yul Brynner playing Jean Lafitte was about the unholy alliance between Jackson who teamed up with the pirate of New Orleans in Lafitte to fight off the English in the War of 1812. Jackson wisely used the unpredictable static patterns of the pirates around New Orleans to defeat handedly the English troops who occupied the city. Did you not know that Mardi Gras was brought to Louisiana by early French settlers and the rituals of wearing masks and bringing single women to elaborate masked balls was started by the French pirates and prostitutes of New Orleans?
This is why Walt Disney recreated a New Orleans town to place his new ride Pirates of the Caribbean into at the very first Disneyland. Being a natural patriot, who had dropped out of high school, and never had any formal education of any kind, Disney had taught himself, and this is what made him a unique thinker. Disney obviously loved The Buccaneer movie, but during that same period of time the great classic novel called Atlas Shrugged came out, in 1957. In that classic book one of the key characters is the pirate Ragnar Danneskjöld who serves as one of the three main protagonist’s who raids and loots the “looters” of society. In the case of Atlas Shrugged the “looters” were politicians like Obama in the very first clip. Ragnar stole back from the politicians the loot they plundered from those who had originally earned the money. There is no question that Ragnar’s character in Atlas Shrugged, Yul Brynner’s adaption of Lafitte in The Buccaneer, and the many stories of Henry Morgan and how the Founding Father’s adored Morgan and his band of Pirates led to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. So as I was reading at the time of traveling down that boat ride for the sixth and seventh times that night the words of Exquemelin and Locke were clearly written on everything I was looking at.
In those two short years, 1957 with Atlas Shrugged, then in 1958 with The Buccaneer the static pattern of the pirate as a villain, as depicted in Captain Hook, or Captain Flint was suddenly shattered and a new way to look at piracy emerged, which was not shaped on Christian values of morality, but on the true intentions of the human soul. This is why the Disney ride is so popular, and why the movies are so enjoyable.
This is also why pirates are the keys to understanding what America was supposed to be, and what it still can be. This is also why films like Pirates of the Caribbean, and books like Atlas Shrugged are absolute keys to dusting off American Excepetionalism and becoming once again what we were in the beginning, when freedom was an idea created on a pirate ship, written down by a surgeon, witnessed by a philosopher, studied by revolutionaries, and translated for us by artists. It is why we root for blood thirsty killers like Jessie James even though publicly we chastise them. Deep in our hearts we know that the key to our inner desires is to not fall in line with what society tells us to do. The key is to cast off the control of the politicians and their rules, their laws, their meager attempts to control human beings as though they were cattle. The key to American Exceptionalism is in being…..well exceptional……exceptionally free, and living with a passion to protect that freedom, at any and all cost.
We like pirates and outlaws because they have the courage to question the rules that bind the human soul. We may call them unholy, unethical, unpatriotic, but deep inside we call them bandits and mean it as the highest compliment. I have yet to meet a man and especially a woman who doesn’t love a bandit in their lives whether they admit it in the light of day or not. Because the bandit seeks freedom as the highest goal, and adventure is but the vehicle that takes them to their destination. It is the rest of the world who watches in envy as those with courage take their freedom and live each hour of the day by the fruit of their valor. For the rest, they just watch Pirates of the Caribbean and fantasize about a world they could have lived, if only they weren’t such gullible fruitcakes with one foot already in their coffins.
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