Inspired by Time Out's deeply flawed (but very fun) top-50 list, Kohl Glass wrote his "Top 10 Underrated Animated Film List".
Wanting to get in on the fun, I've combed the Thteed Family Film Collection and curated a list of my own.
First, only animated films that are clearly features were deemed eligible. We own hundreds of animated shorts, some of which are among my favorite films of all time, but that's too hard a task, combing through those babies. So a film had to be animated, a feature, and excellent to qualify. And owned by the Thteeds. Those are the criteria. Then came the narrowing down to a blogger's dozen.....
Which was really hard. Getting from 15 to 14 was the hardest part. I love some films that didn't make the final cut. If I'd made this list a day earlier, it would have been a different list. Same with tomorrow. So I didn't bother ranking them --- this is just alphabetical order.
(The links go to the films' Wikipedia pages. My comments are in the rollover text.)
An American Tale: Fievel Goes West
A Boy Named Charlie Brown
A Goofy Movie
The Iron Giant
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
My Neighbor Totoro
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Toy Story 2
Free bonus! The other animated features we own are listed below to help you kvetch that I chose the wrong fourteen. Again, when possible, I linked to the film's Wikipedia page. If there was none, then IMDb.
Alice in Wonderland
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman
A Bug's Life
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
The Curious Adventures of Mr. Wonderbird
Jungle Emperor Leo
Kiki's Delivery Service
Lady and the Tramp
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
It’s Inktober! What is Inktober you ask? It’s a month long appreciation of the art of drawing in ink and the practitioners that embrace that art. To celebrate I’m posting one ink drawing a day for the entire month. No pencils, no water colors, no photoshop, just the unadulterated black and white beauty of thick black ink on crisp white paper. Drawing with ink means commitment. There’s no hemming and hawing as to which pencil line you’re going to use, no sitting on the fence of values, no pussy footing with color. When you make your mark you better mean it. It’s black and white. True or false. On or off. And that’s what Inktober is all about. (original source) (inktobery rendering)
So even though I am by no means an artist of Inktober-founder Jake Parker's stripe, I do enjoy me a bit of a draw now and then and I thought I would give it a go. I clearly had good intentions or my sole Inktober entry would not have been given a number. But even if I didn't really play, I did watch others play (Brandon Dayton, for instance) and I enjoyed the artist links Jake provided.
One artist Jake references is Bill Watterson:
I sometimes don’t realize what an impact Bill Watterson’s art has had on me. I used to clip the Sunday strips from the paper and study them (I still have that little stack of strips filed away somewhere). Sometimes I’ll pull out a Calvin and Hobbes book and I’ll be looking at a panel or a character pose and it will hit me: So that’s why I draw eyes like that, or a running pose like this.
I'm currently reading the first volume of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and I'm amazed every time I crack it how strips I still have memorized after years of neglect can make me lol all over.
But did Watterson affect my drawing style? No question I pored over those lines endlessly, particularly the more contorted faces (But surely you could try harder than this! / Yes, but you face? Doesn't that hurt? / I came from Sears? --- Money! Wealth! Power! I can buy anyone! --- I didn't look these up, but you fans know which faces I'm talking about.), and it's the faces where I can see his influence most of all. When I look at all these drawings I made this month, they are a) mostly faces and b) generally contorted.
But the drawing I do is not based on Watterson's style.
So my subconscious has been considering this problem of who the greatest influence on my drawing style has been. And an answer has been found.
Could anything be more obvious?
I read all his books in high school and I drew hundreds and hundreds of Thurber dogs like these two:
No question my drawing style is more influenced by Thurber than anyone else.
Which is kind of hilarious when you realize he thought about as much of his drawings as I do of mine. And he was blind.
Once he was asked to reillustrated Alice in Wonderland but he said the Tenniel illustrations were fine --- let him rewrite the book.
But the most shocking thing occurred to me as I was writing this post. In addition to copying Thurber dogs all over my high school notebooks, I also practiced his signature. Including....this one:
"My drawings have been described
as pre-intentionalist, meaning
they were finished before the ideas
for them had occurred to me.
I shall not argue the point."
We're down to one month in Preseason Oscar Game play. And participation, which I, in my optimism, expected to be up this year, is down. Very down. I mean, in other words, so far it's just me. That's it.
So.... Maybe I won't have to give out a prize this year after all.
But I don't want that to happen. So please consider the movies (you already know more than I did, like, for instance, Amelia is apparently really really boring --- so use that) and put together your entry.
095) Rift by Todd Robert Petersen, finished October 24
- The last line of the epilogue knocked me into a big sloppy smile.
I'll be posting my review on Motley Vision soon. That link to Mansmansylvania* will be added to the comments of this post once it's up.
about twenty days --- can that be right? that slow?
094) Book of Mormon Stories illustrated by Jerry Thompson and Robert T. Barrett, finished October 8
- These scripture comics the Church puts out are remarkably good at covering all the major plot points. Certainly of the better known stories. Any kid versed in these books is ready for Sunday School. They aren't particularly, ah, dynamic or anything, but they're fine in most respects.
One this about this particular volume though that's rather troubling is its stark cowboys-v-indians art. Anyone trying to prove the Mormons-are-racist rumor is going to love this book because the good guys are generally from London and the bad guys straight off the res. When a story demands that not be the case --- stripling warriors, Samuel the Lamanite --- the artists zip back to the whitegood/brownbad dynamic with whiplashy speed. It's . . . disconcerting.
Another thing I don't like is how wickedness is generally represented by sitting around with rough-hewn mugs laughing. Makes being bad look like a lark. Meh.
But on the other hand, it looks like Ether's having a good time:
about a month
093) Invincible: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, finished October 5
- Note that I skipped the first, oh, quarter of this book as it was the same content I read and reviewed here. This volume is discussed in brief at Fob Comics.
092) The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye by Kirkman Walker Ottley Crabtree, finished October 5
- More on this volume at Fob Comics.
091) The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance by Elna Baker, finished October 2
- You can read everything I've said about Elna by clicking on the word marfluious, which is not a word one hears everyday.
at most two weeks
090) Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1, Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, finished September 30
089) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, finished September 24
088) Tales From the Bog by Marcus Lusk, finished ~September 18
087) The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970 by Charles M. Schulz, finished September 13
086) Crush by Murphy Hall, finished September 1
085) Full Color by Mark Haven Britt, finished August 31
084) Manhunter: Forgotten by Marc Andreyko et al, finished Aug 25
083) Glacial Period by Nicolas de Crécy, finished August 20
082) House of Mystery primarliy by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges, finished August 19
081) The Portable Frank by Jim Woodring, finished August 19
080) Runaways Vol. 3: The Good Die Young by Brian K Vaughan et al, finished August 15
079) Runaways, Vol. 2 by Brian K Vaughan et al, finished August 13
078) The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, finished August 10
077) Runaways, Vol. 1 by Brian K Vaughan et al, finished August 10
076) Essex County Volume 1: Tales From The Farm (Essex County) by Jeff Lemire, finished August 8
075) A Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare> by Jeremy Butterfield, finished August 8
074) How Sex Works: Why We Look, Smell, Taste, Feel, and Act the Way We Do by Dr. Sharon Moalem, finished August 6
073) We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson, finished August 6
072) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, finished July 29
071) The Left Bank Gang by Jason, finished July 22
070) The Juggler of Our Lady by R.O. Blechman, finished July 22
069) Waterwise by Joel Orff, finished July 22
068) The Saga of the Bloody Benders by Rick Geary, finished July 22
067) 10 Books That Screwed Up the World (And 5 Others That Didn't Help) by Benjamin Wike, Ph.D., finished July 21
066) We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson, finished July 11
065) Hooper Haller by Dean Hughes, finished July 18
064) Stay (MS) by Moriah Jovan, finished July 15
063) The Question: The Five Books of Blood by Greg Rucka et al, finished July 14
062) Daisy Kutter: The Last Train by Kazu Kibuishi, finished July 13
061) Gravity vs. the Girl by Riley Noehren, finished July 11
060) The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy, finished July 1
059) Letters from a Nut by Ted. L. Nancy, finished June 21
058) The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling, finished June 21
057) Lowboy by John Wray, finished June 16
056) One silent sleepless night by Spencer W. Kimball, finished June 14
055) Blue Beetle: Boundaries by Sturges/Albuquerque/Coelho, finished June 6
054) [title in flux] (MS) by B.G. Christensen, finished June 5
053) Invincible Volume 1: Family Matters words by Robert Kirkman, pictures by Cory Walker, finished June 3
052) Der Ostwind (MS) by Kohl Glass, finished June 2
051) The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde, finished June 2
050) The Bible Salesman by Clyde Edgerton, finished June 2
049) Superman / Madman Hullabaloo! by the Allreds, finished May 29
048) Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting by Jim Posewitz, finished May 26
047) Brave and the Bold: Demons and Dragons by Mark Waid et al, finished May 20
046) Atonement by Ian McEwan, finished May 20
045) Love and the Light: An Idyl of the Westland by Orson Ferguson Whitney, finished May 20
044) Tales Of The Batman: Tim Sale by Tim Sale and some motley group of writers, finished May 17
043) Catwoman: The Dark End of the Street by Ed Brubaker et al, finished May 13
042) Aztek - the Ultimate Man by Grant Morrison), Mark Millar, Keith Champagne, Steven Harris; finished May 11
041) Cypher by Brad Teare, finished May 7
040) My Faith in Frankie by Mike Carey, Sonny Liew, Marc Hempel, finished May 5
039) Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg, finished May 5
038) Batman: R.I.P. by Grant Morrison et al, finished May 4
037) 1000 Steps To World Domination by Rob Osborne, finished May 4
036) 110 Per¢ by Tony Consiglio, finished May 4
035) Mendoza in Hollywood by Kage Baker, finished May Day
034) All Star Superman, Vol. 2 by Grant Morrison, and Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant, finished April 22
033) All Star Superman, Vol. 1 by Grant Morrison, and Frank Quitely and Jamie Grant, finished April 20
032) Bound on Earth by Angela Hallstrom, finished April 19
031) Batman: The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul by Grant Morrison and colleagues, finished April 18
030) Madman Atomic Comics Volume 2 by Mike Allred with Laura Allred, finished April 14
029) For a Good Time by K. Voss, finished April 11
028) The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told, finished April 11
027) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, finished April 6
026) Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey by Karen Wilkin (essay) and Edward Gorey (art), finished April 5
025) Owly: A Time to be Brave by Andy Runton, finished April 1
024) Blue Beetle: Endgame by John Rogers and Rafaele Albuquerque, finished March 29
023) Blue Beetle: Reach for the Stars by Rogers, Torres, Albuqerque; finished March 26
022) The Complete Peanuts 1967-1968 by Charles M. Schulz, finished March 25
021) Blue Beetle: Road Trip by various, finished March 25
020) Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, finished March 18
019) Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block, finished March 17
018) The Proviso by Moriah Jovan, finished March 16
017) An Ensign to the Nations: History of the Oakland State by Evelyn Candland, finished March 7
016) Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, finished February 27
015) Batman: The Black Glove by Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel and J.H. Williams III, finished February 23
014) The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston, finished February 22
013) Lex Luthor: Man of Steel by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, finished February 19
012) Blue Beetle: Shellshocked by Keith Giffen and Cully Hammer, finished February 18
011) The Joker by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, finished February 17
010) Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, finished February 18
009) Superman: Red Son by MJR&M, finished February 11
008) The Best American Comics 2008 edited by Lynda Barry, finished February 9
007) The Blot by Tom Neely, finished February 6
006) JSA: Darkness Falls by Goyer, Johns, et al, finished January 28
005) The Road by Cormac McCarthy, finished January 24
004) Poor Sailor by Sammy Harkham, finished January 19
003) The Waitress was New by Dominique Fabre and translated by Jordan Stump, finished January 19
002) Stagger Lee by Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix, finished January 12?
001) The Arrival by Shaun Tan, finished January 8
the first five, 1-5
the second five, 6-10
the third five, 11-15
the fourth five, 16-20
the fifth five, 21-25
the sixth five, 26-30
the seventh five, 31-35
the eighth five, 36-40
the ninth five, 41-45
the tenth five, 46-50
the eleventh five, 51-55
the twelfth five, 56-60
the thirteenth five, 61-65
the fourteenth five, 66-70
the fifteenth five, 71-75
the sixteenth five, 76-80
the seventeenth five, 81-86
the eighteenth five, 87-90
Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as he is with you. ---Oswald Chambers
I've been thinking a lot about this issue lately, in part because of my Elna Baker posts and in part because of friends of mine and in part as I reevaluate my own thinking, and rediscovering the above quotation has gelled it together for me.
When I speak to people who are mildly or severely disenfranchised with faith, they often blame that disenfranchisement on the affliction called Other Believer's Expectations for True Believers.
Often, as humans, we make the mistake of believing that we are in fact the center of the universe, that we are in fact the archetypal human, that we are in fact perfectly average and merely typical. All of these assumptions are varieties of the same sin, an accidental, almost negative version of pride.
About ten years ago I was plotting a book written for teenaged Mormons about sex. Because I had figured out what I had needed to know when I was a teenager and I was going to take my wisdom and lay it out for the next batch of teenagers.
I'm glad I never got more than a few paragraphs written down, because the hubris of the concept appalls me now.
The whole point of this life is to figure some things out for ourselves (within doctrinal guidelines if possible, but those things are rather vague if we're being honest). If there was a single correct answer applicable to every question, we'd have nothing to figure out.
And when we do figure out an answer it feels so good that of course, being good people, we want to share. And that's when we make our mistake: assuming that the answer God has shared with ME is also therefore the same answer he would share with YOU.
Why in the world would he do that?
The reason that answer felt so good was because it was, of all possible answers, the best one for me. And I am not you.
We can also make this fallacy in regards to ourselves. Learning at age 15 that X is a huge error, then assuming that X will be an error of equal magnitude at age 45, does not necessarily hold true. Sometimes, sure. But the subtle details of life are everchanging and God knows what we need.
So the solution?
Be open to God's will for you now.
Expect God's will to differ for others.
Don't presume to judge the quality of God's various answers.
Or, at least, that's the answer I seem to have today.
What thinkest thou?
I've just noticed that many of the lowest moments of my life share one thing in common and it makes me wonder if I brought these low points upon myself. Tell me what you think:
When I was sent to the principal's office
My friend Jon dropped him pencil during a test and it rolled under my desk, so I leaned over it to pick it up and hand it to him. My teacher saw this and came over to ask if I was cheating. So I stabbed her.
Receiving an incomplete in AP Lit my final semester of high school
I had been sick for most of May and when I came back, I was struggling to read Riddley Walker and process it and write a decent paper about it. When Mr Richards, ten days before graduation, suggested that I rewrite the conclusion to match my thesis, I stabbed him.
Getting stranded in Baker, Calif. in the middle of the summer
One time my roommate and I decided to skip Friday classes, hop in his car, and spend the weekend in L.A. We stopped to have some of that famous Mad Greek food. My roommate had watched Zorba the Greek as part of his film class and so he made a comment about the poster next to our table. The cute waitress and he then talked about their favorite parts. I listened for a while, then stabbed them.
Failing my renewal license test
I had too many tickets to just renew my license by mail, so I had to go into the DMV and take a driving test. I did the three-point turn and the backing up and the merge and everything. I was doing very well, the guy said. On our way back he patted my dashboard and said he was happy to see classics like this still on the road. I knew what he meant. So I stabbed him.
Sleeping on the couch for two full weeks
She'd burnt the toast three mornings in a row. Of course I stabbed her.
A gnat flew into my ear. It tickled so I stabbed it.
Online gossip rags
Just because Barbara Boxer's my senator or related to the Clintons doesn't mean I'm going to let her kiss my baby.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK
Oh, no, wait --- sorry --- just a threatening piece of lint.
If you're not on Twitter, one question: Why not? Join me.
This week I'm going to be doing some tweets regarding works of mine that are available online. They'll include the hashmark #1st112chs and a link to the work and the first 112 characters of the story or play or poem or essay.
Sure, it's totally selfpromotional, but it should be fun. the first one's coming up soon. Something for the Halloween season.
From Wikipedia: The Pittsburgh Pirates reached a new low in futility on September 7, losing to the Chicago Cubs, 4-2 clinching their seventeenth consecutive losing season, breaking the all-time low set by the Philadelphia Phillies between 1933 and 1948.
The Berkeley Ward has its own legend: J. Ed Johnson, who stood on his head.
He stood on his head at funerals, in testimony meetings and, most famously, at a Berkeley City Council meeting where his antics won the ward the permission to build a modest parking lot next to the building.
He did a lot more than just stand on his head of course, but just being a stellar Saint might not be enough to ensure legendary status. You might also need to stand on your head.
This is our stake's 75th anniversary and we've had a variety of theses and thatses to celebrate, Today, at our our Priesthood/ReliefSociety/YoungMen/YoungWomen meeting following a Stake Sacrament Meeting one of J. Ed's granddaughters showed slides of him standing on his head in cemeteries and national parks and spoke of his diligence.
So when we speak of creating a spiritual legacy for your dependents, yes provide for the widows (another Johnson trademark) but also come up with some grand, photographable quirk. Because that's the stuff of legends people. Then people will remember you.
(And if your example was in the right things, then they will also remember He whom you served.)
Occasionally I realize that I've written something perfect for McSweeney's Internet Concern, but by then it's been on my blog for weeks. Today's post, however, I realized I could submit before posting it. So I sent it in. When the reject it, I'll throw it up here, but until then, it's in the ether.
I read a blogpost today that lacked some clarity but seemed to suggest that his writing group gives out a prize to the person that collects the most rejections each year. Which is awesome, of course. Writers collect rejections and display them like war wounds, but sometimes it's hard to not think that maybe I'm just going around this all wrong.
Most boilerplate rejections I've seen contain a variation on "it's just not right for us" --- which, while obviously a euphemism for You Suck, is also a clear message to the skilled writer that maybe they need to research a bit better.
But how do you motivate yourself to research a mag that will at best pay you enough for a dozen donuts? So much shorter writing is only done for love and while any decent writer subscribes to a few literary mags, no one can afford to subscribe to all of them.
And so what?
Because it is entirely possible to have something incredible and worthy that genuinely is "just not right" for anyone --- the world doesn't provide publishers anxious to publish one of every sort of everything. That's not the way things work. So what do writers do --- particularly those so far from any stream that mainstream sounds like a myth?
In the modern world, connecting the monotype author to the (very few) appropriate readers should be possible.
How do you think we're doing?
And how can we do better?
It's that time of year, folks! Time for a terrible photomashup and speculation on the best movies we haven't even seen yet! We live for this kind of thing, in Thutopia--- What could be more exciting?
Here are the rules:
1. Your goal is to predict that a movie will be nominated in a particular category (not that it will win).
2. You may only make one nomination per award.
3. You may nominate a movie in only one category. If you nominate a movie in more than one category, only the first will count. (In other words, you can't choose Barking Up the Wrong Leg for Best Picture and Best Actress and Best Director and Best Art Direction. And if you do, only the Best Picture guess will count. Because it came first.)
4. The winner will be the person who makes the most correct nomination guesses.
5. In the event of a tie, the tied player who posted first wins.
6. Categories marked with an * require the name of a person or a song in addition to the movie title.
7. Categories marked with an * can receive half a point even if incorrect. For instance, if you thought Dave Adonis would be nominated for Best Actor for his work in Bully Boy, but he was nominated instead for his role in Death in the Midwest, you will receive half a point. Similarly, if instead of Adonis, Marlon Muirin is nominated for Best Actor for his work in Bully Boy, half a point. But! if Muirin is nominated for Bully Boy and Adonis is nommed for Death in the Midwest, you still only get half a point. You were wrong after all.
8. All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by the last minute of November (note that the comments will timestamp your entry California time). Part of the preseason fun is the impossibility of having seen every movie eligible.
9. You may research your answers anywhere you like except in the comments section of this post. Looking at others' guesses before posting your own makes you illegible to win. Honesty is our policy. That and garroting filthy cheaters.
10. You do not have to take a stab at each category to qualify. But, obviously, the more complete your survey, the better chance you have of winning.
11. Don't rearrange the nominations' order. That'll just confuse me. And I reserve the right to disqualify anyone who rearranges them if I'm running low on time.
12. So here's what you do: the categories appear below. Just copy them and paste them into the comments box, then fill them in.
13. REMEMBER: NO LOOKING AT OTHERS' SUBMISSIONS BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR OWN.
14. After the real nominations come out, I will do the math and announce the winner.
15. The winner will get a cool prize.
16. So please beat me so I can give it to someone this year. (I am, after all, still undefeated.)
Go forth. If you would like to see last year's competition, to get a sense of how the game works, here's the link.
COPY AND PASTE CATEGORIES THEN FILL 'EM IN AND POST 'EM
Best motion picture of the year
Best animated feature film of the year
Achievement in directing
Performance by an actor in a leading role*
Performance by an actress in a leading role*
Performance by an actor in a supporting role*
Performance by an actress in a supporting role*
Best documentary feature
Best foreign language film of the year
Best animated short film
Best live action short film
Best documentary short subject
Achievement in film editing
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)*
Achievement in art direction
Achievement in cinematography
Achievement in costume design
Achievement in makeup
Achievement in sound editing
Achievement in sound mixing
Achievement in visual effects
But I need to give credit in a future post to two images I've combines, and since I can't link one image to two sites, I will cite the sites here.
If you're not following Thwitter, you're missing out, folks. Not because I tweet such interesting things, but the conversational nature of Twitter is a marvelous way to build relationships and knowledge. Dandy stuff.
Anyway, bit of background for those of you who merely observe the Mormonness of this blog with a bemused eye, but last week was the Church's semiannual General Conference (my blog notes, response to my twitter notes). For that moim we get together worldwide and leadership speaks from Salt Lake City. It's covered by a goodly number of tv and radio stations and is streamed online). Anyway, it's kind of a big deal. That's my main point.
Watching Conference and taking my notes and then being on Twitter at the same time was an unusual experience. On the one hand, all these things distracted me for the other things. On the other hand however, it was a great way to find other Saints also watching #ldsconf. (Well over 10000 tweets over the weekend.)
I had been mulling a post over the so-called Twitter Stake experience, but I got busy and didn't type anything up.
So I'm going to take my cues from Tyler and make this week's svithe a response to his blogpost on #ldsconf. (Or, more accurately, a reply he made to a comment left for him.) Specifically, he was discussing how Saints can bear (t)witness during the #ldsconf offseason:
I don't think it needs to be anything excessive or overbearing, such that we become twitness bearing zealots. For me, as on this blog, that means not being afraid to discuss spiritual/religious matters when they come up or when I feel compelled to share some experience I've had with God. In the past, I've tried to implement a weekly svithe (a neologism combining seven and tithe) as Theric (also know as Thmazing) and others have done---and that I really should pick up again---as a means to devote one post in a week to spiritual/religious matters. Perhaps a #twitness hashtag (though I see it's already been co-opted for other purposes; let's take it for ourselves!) or some such label might encourage Mormon tweeters to do the same, to share their resolve to live and share the Gospel in real time, to be a support system for other Twitter-day Saints.
Adding a hashtag is the easier way to draw attention to a regular occurrence on Twitter and we have a few options here. One is #ldsconf although that seems necessarily limited to references back to Conference (as if that were a bad thing.
Another is #svithe which I am leery of promoting. Although I'm always happy when someone finds svithing a useful concept, promoting the concept to others seems self-promotional somehow.
The third is #twitness which has hardly been strongly used by anyone to this point --- it could certainly be repurposed. The problem I see is that bearing witness is a phrase less used by Mormons than bearing testimony (though #twestimony is kinda lame).
Anyway, I'm not promoting any particular concept, nor am I convinced the Twitter Stake had enough mass to make something like this a solid phenomenon. But I do think that Mormons (or any serious religious denomination, for that matter) should think about their presence online. And that's best done by the plebes, not the hierarchy. So it's worth discussing and experimenting with and figuring out.
That's all. Dicuss. Here or on Twitter. Remember, I'm @thmazing.
last week's svithe[tacular]
It's important to tell jokes. We all have a moral responsibility to tell jokes and really, I fear hell for not being more consistently funny. Which is to say, if you don't laugh at the joke I'm about to tell you, I fear for my very soul. So before you choose not to laugh, ask yourself: Do I really want the stain of a lost Theric upon my conscious? I'm assuming the answer is no. So listen up and prepare to laugh heartily.
So there was this girl, right? She was a looker of course, because I want you to stick with me to the punchline and I'm not sure you have enough depth as a human being to stick with an ugly girl. No offence, but you sort of give off that impression.
Anyway, she was walking down the street and since it was a hot day she was jogging --- not because it was a hot day, but because she wants to stay hot. Get that? Bit of a pun to keep you going. And so she's wearing shortshorts and one of those trainer top things only the kind they wear in magazines that are cut a little lower. And she's sweaty. A thread or two of her hair hanging down onto her face.
So she's jogging down the street, right? Jogging with all the motions and stuff, arms and legs and so forth. That kind of thing. Keeping healthy. And as she turns to head up the hill that will take her home and into her shower, she sees this shiny green thing off the side of the road in the weeds, just before this little bunch of trees, so sort of in the shadows kind of, only before the shadows get that deep because it is daytime, you know. Not safe to jog alone after dark.
So she slows down and jogs in place to look for a while and after a second the green thing hops up and over towards her in the street and it's this sort of iridescent frog thing. I mean, it is a frog, but iridescent frogs aren't exactly natural, you know. So she's surprised of course and says, what? and the frog says, what yourself! and she laughs because she's the kind of girl who laughs when she's surprised.
And the frog hops closer and she stops jogging in place so she can crouch down and check it out.
The frog says he's a prince and the girl says that's crazy. the frog says, why? and she says, we live in a democracy, and the frog says, well maybe I'm not from around here, and she says, well then you have no domain anyways and what's a prince without a domain anyways? so the frog gets all huffy and says, fine if that's the way you're going to be then maybe I won't let you kiss me! and she says, ew like I was going to kiss you anyway! and so they're at an impasse.
Which is too bad of course, from the point of view that we should all try to make sincere honest connections with others while we're on the earth, but ignore that because I don't want you to be sad when we get to the punchline and we're almost to the punchline and when you get to it, it's really important that you laugh. Don't forget.
So they're at an impasse and the girls says that she guesses she should maybe get going but the frog says, wait! so she waits because she feels bad about saying, ew.
The frog gets himself up on his hind legs and they look each other in the eyes and then the frog says, aren't you going to ask me why I'm glowing?
So she says, sure I guess why are you glowing?
So he kind of smirks and says, you'll never guess what you have to get a witch to do to become a frog in the first place.
And that's the punchline. I'll admit that it needs some tightening up and probably I could tell the same story and end with a more weekend-appropriate punchline but I think you'll agree that with the vampire rage coming to an end, amphibians are apt to be the next hot thing with teenage girls and I got to start now if I want to break that market.
Anyway I feel a little bit better now for making you laugh and staying one more day away from damnation. Hit me up next week for another. I've got some real guffaws in the works. I'm serious. I've got a joke about a frog and a pony (not sexy) and a frog that dies by unicorn (too sexy for my blog). Just got to tighten the old screws a bit.
Big shoutout to my man Mark Twain before we go! I'm pretty sure stuff like this is what he had in mind when he told that gag about the ghosts and the gold leg or something. He really had some laughs, that guy.
I'll tell you something. I'll tell you
I got something to say. You listening, buddy
I need to get this off, uh, off
Look, it's like this:
It's kinda like
You were just
Give me a second
I said give me a se
Just a second
Just one seco
It's really important
- Five new temples. I was fighting the computer, so I only caught Brigham City, Chile and Sapporo. I'm sure I could check Twitter though.
Lady Steed's Mac won't kill the hiccupping video feed so we've got two off feeds going at the same time. Still, it's better than my laptop. I was going to take notes there, but the keyboard doesn't work.
His blessing for us as we listen.
Elder Richard Scott
- What can we do to enhance our capacity to be led to correct decisions in our lives?
Father in Heaven knew we would be faced with decisions beyond our capacity to choose correctly. Ergo, Holy Ghost.
Use the HG consistently --- that's what God wants.
There's no consistent formula to be guided by the Spirit.
Spirituality yields two fruits: inspiration to know what to do, the power to do it.
Those come together.
Beware those who choose to impress rather than become a conduit for inspiration.
"Is there more I should know?"
Best to write down inspiration as it comes.
Big O holds the baby. The baby cries. Elder Scott should really either give us a minute or at least Speak Up a Little!
No porn, folks
We can learn the principles of being guided by the Spirit
and thus live lives of great peace and happiness
Didn't catch who this lady is---40m later, via Twitter: Sister Matsumori
- The missionaries stop at one last house, a home teacher calls someone he had just visited, a YW decides to ditch the party
How did they know to do that?????
The Holy Ghost!
She cops to not feeling different immediately upon being baptized or confirmed.
It takes time to understand what and when the Spirit is.
Trying to find a still small moment in our edays is not easy.
a warm blanket
Thanks to Twitter, we know this is Elder William Clayton
- firewood in burlap, rope around forehead
now for metaphysical burdens
some no fault of our own
whatever the burden, from heaven's perspective, last but a short while
cursed is the ground for our sake
work a continual burden for our sake
if we are compelled to be humble, well, blessed are we
Twitter says.....Russell T. Osguthorpe?
Missionaries like doctors.
Sunday classes not about pouring in info.
Are overintellectualized Sunday schools becoming a big problem or something?
teaching that teaches about then shows how to take action
He's a recovered giverupper.
Elder Bednar (twitter is awesome --- wish I'd thought of it earlier to fill my temple and speaker gaps)
- ExPRESS LOVE
We know we should, but do we do?
"such love is the desire of the soul"
bear testimony in the home
When did you last?
we should look for and create opportunities to bear testimony
testimony creates light out of the dark
some lessons will fail, but CONSISTENCY is the greatest lesson
Comparing what's getting tweeted with what I'm hearing, I'm about five minutes behind.
President Dieter F Uctdorf
- What do people think of Mormons?
Geez. Mormons are weird.
Baby screams, boy sings, I can't hear anything.
love of good things the source of joy
love of the notsogood the source of notjoy
since God is love, the closer we approach him, the more profoundly we experience love
an earnest desire to become more like Him because we love Him
thus becoming born again, cleansed in the blood
How can we hear the Father's voice?
He will answer us.
As you read the scriptures, or conference or are in the temple or at church, listen for his voice. In nature, listen. In daily interactions with others, in a hymn, in a child's laugh, listen for his voice.
His voice will lead you on a course to the pure love of Christ.
Love the path to consecration.
What should be THE defining attribute of members of CJCLDS?
Let us be known as a people that love our God and love our neighbors as does Jesus Christ.
And as we do, we become aware of what it truly means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
- Sorry. Further computer issues. Trying to get caught up.
Basically, true love doesn't take hostages and sometimes life sucks, but God still loves us no matter what you think. (Basically.)
The general consensus on Twitter at the moment is that if Elder Oakes is talking about the connection between love and law, then, as he is particularly qualified to do so, we should listen.
This is a different take on the God-is-like-unto-your-own-parents simile. It's an interesting exploration he's taking. I'll definitely need to reread this more closely in future weeks.
plug for agency
"courageous confrontation" --- love often requires that, rather than giving in to indulgent self-destruction of the beloved
love of children does not require rejection of God's laws
- Belief in God --- why is it so important?
Why did Jesus say that life eternal is to know God and the christ he sent?
I think Elder Hales is missing a chance here. Atheism is becoming a more layered and positive philosophy. Rejection of God is not a clear connection to a lack or morality anymore. It would be good, I think, not to reject atheism as an error outright but, as we do with other faith systems, say bring what you have and let us see if we cannot add more.
The reality and physicality of God.
"we know the father and the son have feelings for us"
The god-weeping verse needs more discussion. I recently learned that Joseph Smith may have intended to remove that from Moses.
"according to the dictates of our own conscious"
"and allow all...the same privelege"
"worship how where and what they may"
if we do not yield to the gentle influence of the HG we risk becoming like Korihor
seek a testimony of God now
these lessing to your family forever
- If you keep my commandments and endure to the end, you shall have eternal life.
This divine promise POSSIBLE to ACHIEVE
isn't promise, you know, pretty awesome incentive?
all ye that embark in the service of God, see that you serve him with all your heart might mind and strength
(with all our being)
that we may stand blameless before God at the last day
the command to become perfect as He is *encourages* us to do our best, to uncover our talents, etc
eternal life for all mankind
not requisite to run faster than we have strength
be diligent to win the prize
God cannot expect more than our best nor accept less.
our saviour to whom we owe everything
by grace we are saved after all we can do
faith dedication enthusiasm love --- use all to achieve what is impossible without divine assistance
the most glorious of realities: to live forever with god and our families
Like Paul, to fight the good right, finish the course, keep the faith
Yes! It's possible to be happy now and forever!
- I'm now holding the baby who seems like it might be coming down with a fever. May impact my notetaking.
I'm glad to hear about angels.
- the joy of something (I was interrupted midtype)
repentance a blessing to all of us
"a period of riotous living" lol
do we listen less upon praying?
why does sadness sometimes live past repentance
Why do they always insist that we will remember a story?
- Another truly distinctive voice, even as it ages.
cow, chicken, lots of children
all beings with bodies have power over those who do not
adding to the stage metaphor, P now intoduces a mental delete key
- Every Latter-day Saint an optimist
My family agrees that "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" a homerun Primary song. Who wrote it...?
Love of God leads us to keep his commandments
Love of others is at the heart of our capacity to obey him
Family given as an example of an ideal place
SURPRISE!!!! This talk is about love too! (Anyone catching a theme, here?)
Pray for the love that allows you to see the good in your companion, that makes the less than great things seem small, that makes you want to bear her/his burdens
Orson F Whitney: Promised that parents who stay true, tentacles of divine providence, pray for kids, etc
How nice to be asked about one's family, ah, ah, whip out the pictures, ah.
Gift through loving obedience, great shall be the peace of your children.
THE WAY lies through Jesus Christ
- He and the wife went to the Mormon Miracle Pageant this summer in Manti
15000 in one night! Wow!
Incidentally, in Manti, great little ice cream place. Only licorice ice cream I've ever had.
There's something about facing the lessons of the past that prepares us to face the future.
Embracing the gospel results in a complete change of life
That turn of phrase was confusing. Did he mean they knew it would be barren or that they were used to green hills etc.?
Having converted one desert, get out of here, go to a fresh desert, start over
It is curious, the placement of the Manti Temple. If there wasn't one there, don't you think the best they could hope for today would be a small one? Probably in Ephraim instead?
Use the lessons of the past to meet the future:
shipbuilding leads to roofbuilding
I'm pretty sure this wasn't a new innovation---they already knew this was how to build. They're Norwegian!
- We here at the Thteed house are thinking maybe Primary should be a little more intensive.
"Virtue Traits" the outward manifestation of the inner man
The Ity Virtues, ITY means.....ARE YOU LISTENING HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMEN???
In our society, you never admit to wrongdoing unless it has already been proven beyond dispute already.
Abandoning these Christcentered virtues will be DISASTROUS
could even result in the rule of law being set aside
This isn't a typical Burton talk at all. But I like it.
Shame on the donut scamming little girl.
Did he say that parents suffer more than the children they endeavor to teach? What does that mean?
Integrity is the light that shines from a disciplined conscious.
I am constantly astounded by how little integrity some of my students have. And saddened. You can't play on some kids' sense of honor because they haven't one.
Dignity honesty and integrity are more important that revenge and rage. Another thing some kids just don't know.
I didn't watch what all the lost and forgotten thing was about. Did I miss something or was that just a really weak bit of figurativeness?
May we have humility responsibility opportunity etc. It actually worked pretty well. With a different reading, you might not even notice it.
Sister Dibbs Second Counselor of the YW and allegedly Pr Monson's daughter
- Nothing like a good disaster story to kick off a talk.
Those damages had safety equipment but Chose Not to Use it. I can't imagine what the lesson here is going to be.
PrMonson: Remember: You have access to HFather's guidance.
Hold fast to the rod of iron.
I hear on Twitter that Sis Dibbs never stops smiling and frequently speaks of disasters. I love it.
Use the safety equipment!
She confirms the daughter rumor.
Elder RM Nelson
- "Wireless telephones"?
Prayer has no roaming fees! Awesome! Sign me up!
Illegible midnight genius --- ah, we've all been there
Don't steal, kill, bear false witness. (please)
Some commandments for specific moments (eg, build an ark)
Put off the natural man and become a Saint through Jesus and become as a child willing to submit to all things
Read the story about the son's father and Elder Nelson's prophecy to him
callings not for aggrandizement
line upon line, precept upon precept
TSM the Living Prophet
that we may heed his counsel is my prayer in the name of....
President Thomas S Monson (speak of the, ah, prophet?)
- renewal of the No Retirement theme, this time in medicine instead of church
(but I'm sure they will merge)
Those who lose their lives in service grow and flourish and in effect save their lives.
at our best when losing our own lives for others
How often has daytoday living interfered?
Take a step back and take a good look at what we're doing.
We spend too much time caring for things that do not matter.
We are the Lord's hands upon the earth with a mandate to serve.
The ideal gift to Pr Mons is to serve someone in need
warm fuzzies in a jar
it isn't easy for those who are young to understand when life changes from a time of prep and perf to a time of putting things away, standing on the sidelines watching the procession pass by
you have to live a long time to learn how empty is a room filled with nothing but furniture
When saw we thee hungry and fed thee?
He speaks to you and to me, Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavyladen and I will give thee rest.
For I am meek and lowly of heart and you shall find rest unto your souls.
- I am very very sad that my, ah, emergency conflicted with the beginning of this talk. I love Elder Holland's talks.
I have never heard this portion of the Martyrdom before. And he uses it to striking effect.
"none of these frankly pathetic explanations for this book" (book of mormon)
No wicked man COULD right it and no RIGHTEOUS man would (unless commanded to) -- JRH's grandpa
You cannot leave this church without crawling over or under or through the Book of Mormon.
It is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to those who wish not to believe in this work.
(can't wait to read pathetic exmo reaction to that line)
Holland is a masterful speaker, both in the writing and the presentation.
His clear clear witness echoes Nephi's: hearken to these words and believe in Christ, or, if you don't believe these words, at least believe in Christ, and if you do believe in Christ, then you will believe in these words.
He will show you that these are his words in the last day.
Elder Quentin Cook
- Hey! Love pleasure more than righteousness? Tch.
Some serve because they believe it is the right thing to do.
While good, a higher motive is when we serve our fellow man because God wants us to.
Said someone, missed who, but that person said the LDSs seem to serve for that latter reason.
We will be accountable for our own sins in our day of judgment.
Two stewardships: ourselves; poor and needy. Those for discussion today.
Keeping up the spring
Restoring the spring
God's standard of morality the same for all his children
We are accountable to God. So how silly to rationalize. Like hiding our eyes and thinking mommy can't see.
managing priorities, what putteth thou first?
religious observance in the home as important as food clothing and shelter
children unaware that they are accountable of the time talents etc at a disadvantage
our stewardship for those in need inspire some of the strongest language in all scripture
some members will always respond, no matter the sacrifices required
No, of course you shouldn't run faster than you have strength, BUT BE DILIGENT
- Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.
The Finnish/Soviet border and one more prophecy fulfilled
NO GREATER WORK no greater call THAN teaching the NATIONS of the EARTH
so leave your fishnets straightway and follow Him, ladies
- heart transplant as metaphor --- avoiding organ rejection
the ultimate operation is a, wait for it, CHANGE OF HEART
It's swiftly become clear that there is not enough room in this bed for all of us.
- easiness and willingness to believe in the word of God
another talk about soft hearts. curious.
I will Go and Do.
Funny turn of phrase. Sounded like God wanted Lamoni's dad's sins. Maybe to try something different for a while.
live worthy of the HG
- The Tower of Babel
we are currently in the middle of many many many familial distractions; these last three talks are a blur
allegory of the olive tree
all nations become members of Israel
"ready heckoning"? LS suggests 'beckoning'
I never realized how much 'married' sounds like 'murdered'. Let's keep but one in the temple, shall we?
- I do not believe there is a double standard of morality (faust) (that is, OUR faust)
disciple and discipline's rootword relation suggests that one leads to the other
moral certainty the foundation of moral discipline
today we need laws to stopgap genteel traditions
unethical conduct led to much of our current financial problems
we can never have enough good-enough rules (or enforcement thereof) to stop bad people from being bad --- so just a reduction or freedom for the good
we would not accept the burden of Christ so we must accept the burden of Caesar
moral discipline learned at home
those who don't want to 'impose' the gospel on their children with the idea that this is a better honoring of agency --- but without knowledge of the gospel, how will they compare it to the devil's hardball proselyting?
curious thing: admitting sins only allowed when the occurred in childhood or were of the most minor-indiscretion type of sin
President Thomas S. Monson
- Phew! Print edition forthcoming!
winds and waves and floods that can destroy
HE is evermindful of us and will bless us as we do what is right
how grateful we are that the heavens have been opened and the gospel restored
We are a blessed people.
And here's one more....
He loves us and prays for us and asks for the same in return.
May God bless us and his promised peace be with us now and ever.
Oh, divine Redeemer!
Thutopia svithe: last svithe
Weekly Svithe: last svithe
The first Toy Story came out the weekend after I entered the MTC. I was very sad. I had been very excited to see it. (And that was without knowing Pixar was behind my beloved Listerine commercials --- just vague memories of a few of their half-seen shorts.)
The first Pixar film I saw in theaters thus became Toy Story 2. And it was brilliant.
I've now seen both Toy Storys many many times, but last night I saw them again for the first time. Something I did not know could happen.
The Big O and I went to Pixar to watch the coming-soon-to-a-theater-near-you Toy Story and Toy Story 2 doublefeature in 3D.
I've never seen the first film up big and I've never seen it on a tv with decent revolution. I had no idea how much I had been missing. I saw so many new details that I had never been privy to before. And similar with the second --- it's been ten years since I say it done large.
And the sound! I had been mishearing many of Woody's lines all these years! The films have much more layering that I had ever realized because I couldn't hear the character's vowels properly!
(I really need HD and decent sound....)
As for the 3D render, it's great. It's almost surprising it wasn't originally designed for 3D projection.
Few more random notes:
1. I'm never going to let Lady Steed get rid of my toys.
2. The new trailer for Toy Story 3? Wow. It's going to be good.
3. And it's surprising that it took them so long to decide what the third movie should be about. The last scenes of the second set it up so obviously, how can anyone wonder what was coming next?
4. Someone stole Pixar's foosball balls during the first movie. Bastards. Not only were my son's intermission plans ruined, but now scores of animators will be falling into deep depression!
5. While I still covet a position at the best studio in the history of American film, seeing the insane hours my neighbors putting in as TS3 comes to a close makes me wonder if collaborative masterpieces that make a billion dollars are really all that better than masterpieces I put together in my few spare minutes a month. Not sure. Still, give me a call, yall. We'll talk.