Problematic Gender Politics in Jurassic World or An Argument for Its Own Sake

promotional image for Jurassic World featuring Bryce Dallas Howard

I just got back from seeing Jurassic World, the long-awaited successor to Jurassic Park. Movie-goers spent over $208 million in the US, giving the movie the most successful opening weekend ever. It’s not hard to understand why. It’s incredibly fun. Chris Pratt nails his role as a velociraptor trainer. Think of him like the most badass falconer that could possibly exist. Basically that.

Excuse my swoony digression. The rest of this post discusses plot developments from the movie. This is your spoiler warning. Continue reading

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Review – Interstellar (spoiler-free)

I’ve been anticipating Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar since it was announced. The premise is an idea that’s close to my heart: humanity must leave Earth if we’re to persevere as a species. I enjoyed the movie. It was moving and dramatic. It fell just short of the movie I was hoping it would be, though. Continue reading

The Westboro Baptist Church, Soldiers, and Heroes

At the suggestion of a close friend, I spent the afternoon in Corvallis standing as a barrier around a funeral. This barrier was deemed necessary because The Westboro Baptist Church had planned to “peacefully preach” outside this funeral, in their infamous fashion. Continue reading

A Faith Unshaken

click image for source: Amnesty International

On October 9th Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old girl living in Swat, Pakistan, was shot in the head by members of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Malala has already become celebrated in Pakistan for speaking out against Taliban rule and for fighting for education for women.

That morning, as I drove to work, I listened to an NPR broadcast about the shooting and I was sickened and angered and scared all at the same time. Still am, really, when I see her story trickle up in my various feeds.

She has such huge strength. And she was shot with deliberate intent. They stopped her bus, asked where she was, and shot her. Then left her. It is one of the most cowardly, evil acts I have ever heard of.

And yet, my faith is not shaken. It is not the Taliban’s evil that we should focus on, but on Malala’s courage and determination in the face of their terrorism. This story strengthens my faith in humanity because Malala exists and her spark is one that will never be stifled.

news sources:
Aljazeera, NPR

American Healthcare and Capitalism

I have long been doubtful of capitalism. Keep in mind that I did not just say that I have long been anti-America. Based on my research, capitalism is not a core American value, it is merely an American tradition. I think innovation and an ability to disregard harmful anachronisms are key values. And I don’t feel less American for it.

I love this country. I think up until the last decade or two, it was easy for people to say America is the best country on Earth. I think America can get it back. We just need to shrug off the burdens of recent history and look to the future with hope.

Here are my sources for this video:
The Constitution
Frontline “Sick Around the World”