A Kansas City Chief in King Peyton’s Court

Other than a short period of insanity in the 1990’s when I was swept up in fan mania for both the Dallas Cowboys (America’s Team) and the Tazmanian Devil, I have always had the purely objective understanding that my hometown, Kansas City, Missouri, had the greatest football team in the NFL. This is a matter of science and logic. 

Kansas City is the best, therefore, things from Kansas City are the best. The Chefs are from Kansas City. Therefore, the Chiefs are the best.

See, irrefutable logic.

Now, this was all well and good when I was living in Kansas City. Even during my years in Springfield, where most people are loyal to the evil municipality of St Louis, life was easy for a Chiefs fan. You could watch the games on television, every Sunday.

But now, I live in Montana.

Montana doesn’t have a professional football team. Montana doesn’t have professional sports of any kind. Well, that’s not true… there are several minor league hockey and baseball teams. But, there are definitely no professional football teams. Not even a minor league team. (Does the NFL have a minor league?)

This leaves Montanans with a choice between the incorrect but, ultimately, acceptable Seattle Seahawks and the dangerously misguided decision to show support for the Denver Broncos.

You’d be surprised at how often Montanans make the wrong decision here. It happens often enough to put this firmly in Broncos Country. You can probably imagine how much worse it was when Brock Osweiler was at the helm. At least then, I understood. The tribal association is difficult to overcome. Osweiler is a Montanan. Montanans are programmed to support each other.

So, now, this is definitely Broncos country.

Everywhere I go, blue and orange horses. BLUE AND ORANGE! I’m not really a horse person, but I don’t think blue and orange horses actually exist. It’s annoying.

The worst part, despite my obvious superiority (see logic above regarding things from Kansas City being inherently the best), they absolutely refuse to accept their lifestyle choices as being invalid.

Being a Denver fan is unnatural and wrong… like eating carob chip cookies.

So, much like Twain’s Yankee, I find myself in a backward land of superstition and Papa John’s pizza franchises, surrounded by barbarians who still worship their backwards football deities. And, like Twain’s Yankee, it is my duty to use my superior knowledge and skill to lead them to a golden age and introduce them to soap.

It won’t be easy, but I’m up to the challenge. After all, six months ago, I had a hard time convincing them of the superiority of the Royals, too.

(Mark Twain was also from Missouri, even if it was the wrong side)

My Obligatory Star Wars Post

So, yeah. I went and saw Star Wars.

I’m not going to spend too much time regaling you with my thoughts on the entire movie. I’ll just say, it was good. Very good. In my professional opinion, any negative reviews you may read (and I’ve read several) come entirely from a place of contrariness. Since they all make the same meaningless points, I won’t spend any time elaborating on why they are wrong. Simply know that anyone who tells you there is anything wrong with The Force Awakens is wrong and not to be trusted.

In fact, if anyone tells you anything other than, “I can’t wait to see the next movie,” punch them in the stomach and call a responsible adult. You are in stranger danger.

Now, I can probably spend fifty or sixty thousand words describing why I enjoyed this movie. I’m sure there will be plenty of people who do. I imagine there will be thousands of dissertations dedicated entirely to comparisons between The Force Awakens and A New Hope. I know I would like to tackle that particular subject with more depth than “It sucks that the both follow the Hero’s Journey model–also the lead is a girl.”

Sorry, I didn’t mean to have that judgemental statement in there… It just slipped out after reading so many poorly written negative reviews of the movie.

The fact that A New Hope and Force Awakens are similar (though not as similar as some people would have you believe) is actually a strength. Both follow a proven storytelling model used by all the best action/adventure films (and books and stories and myths) ever. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Joseph Campbell scholars have only been talking about it for fifty years.

What do I know?

Of course, that is not to say that The Force Awakens is by any means perfect. I have some issues. Mostly with beholders and John Boyega accuracy with firearms.

Sorry, I suppose those were both spoilers in a fashion.

My biggest problem might turn out to not be a problem at all. It might be a theory.

Rey’s accent.

Ignoring for a moment that we do not see her interacting with anyone who speaks English Basic for the majority of her life and yet she stills speaks exclusively in that language, She is also clearly the only person around with a non-American accent.

Accents are funny things in the Star Wars universe.

As a general rule, I believe accent is used to determine social status. The more British you sound, the higher social background you are assumed to have. This is why Moffs are all from England, but Storm Troopers (and whiney blondes from the desert) are all Americans.

Now, I might be reading too much into this. The exception to the rule in the original trilogy was Leah, who despite being a Princess lacks the magic royalty accent.

You don’t have to take my word for it:

Accents

Dialects in English correspond to different in-universe accents in the movies. Ewan McGregor’s and Ian McDiarmid’s faint upper-class Scottish accents are, for example, Coruscanti accents in the movies. As a general rule, Imperial characters speak with RP-like British accents while Rebels usually have American accents. However, it would seem that this is perhaps a representation of social class, as stormtroopers and other low-ranking Imperials are heard to speak with American accents, while some Rebels speak with British accents (Mon Mothma, for instance). There are several exceptions to the rule: several high-ranking Imperial officers clearly have American accents, such as Admiral Motti and Siward Cass. (Indeed, in A New Hope a slight majority of Imperial officer accents heard are American.)

Source: Galactic Basic Standard – Wookieepedia – Wikia

But, now we have Rey.

I don’t think it is a spoiler that Rey is poor. As in, “does dangerous work for small amounts of food” poor. And yet… accent.

This isn’t simply a matter of “The actress is English.” If it were, why wouldn’t John Boyega’s Finn have an accent?

This means something. My first inclination was to believe Rey must actually be evil. Most of the accents in Star Wars are evil characters. Then, I remembered Obi-Wan was also British.

This does give some credit to the theory my gas station attendant put forth– Rey is the reincarnation of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

I’m not willing to go down any rabbit hole that gives that particular theory any credibility at this time, but I can’t help but feel like Rey’s accent has a meaning. There’s a conscious decision there.

I might have to go and see the movie, two, three, eight more times before I can figure it out.

My Brain Might Be A Little Wacky

My Brain Might Be A Little Wacky

A funny thing happened at work recently. I was introduced to Gregorc Learning Styles by a colleague.

For those of you unfamiliar with Professor Gregorc’s work, the idea is simple. There are four basic ways a human brain processes information, especially when learning. They are split by combinations of two axes, Abstract/Concrete and Random/Sequential.

The Abstract-Concrete quotient tells you how you see information–as either hard facts and physical data or concepts and ideas. The Random-Sequential side tells you how you connect information, one fact or idea at a time or as a giant pile broken Legos ready to be put together.

After being introduced to the new concept, I, of course, took the Learning Web test linked above and found my particular brain pattern:

Matt's Brain on Gregorc Learning Styles

My colleague, an actual Doctor of Sociology (She has a Ph.D.) told me my brain was… unusual.

She’s been a little intrigued with my obsessive need to fill my brain with all of the world’s information for a while now and thinks this test was a great milestone in understanding how I function.

Sidenote: I’m 85% sure she is writing a psychological profile of me in an attempt to prevent me from ever destroying humanity. I might be wrong, but…

What I learned was pretty interesting. Apparently, most people strike very high on one style and average pretty much across the other three. I am the opposite of that. I score very low (I got a 12) on one score and am within 8 points on all of the others.

So, this explains why my blog posts don’t make a whole lot of sense. I’m just not wired to make logical connections in the real world.

To paraphrase Dr. Colleague, “This explains your superpower.”

Wait, I should probably explain my super power because I’m not sure I ever have here on the blog.

I know everything… as long as it is completely useless information.

Let me explain: My brain is a giant sponge of Akashic Records-esque proportions. I pull facts in from every area of the entire universal knowledge and can spout them at any given time, as long as knowing the information in no way benefits myself or anyone around me.

Dr. Colleague says my funny chart explains that. Apparently, Concrete-Sequential is the brain type that can use information stored inside it. I guess to be able to recall information, you need to have some sort of actual way of making it make sense. I don’t possess that for concrete facts.

I don’t possess that for concrete facts.

So, there goes my Jeopardy! hopes. 

At least, I have gained some understanding about what my brain is and how I function in the world (If you can call what I do functioning).

I like to think of it more as existing as a cautionary tale…

 

Anyway. Have a safe and happy winter (or summer you Southern Hemispherians) celebratory feasting. I’ll see you next week with an important update about my toenail health.

It’s Cold… and Star Wars

Conclusion: Temperatures below 10°F are unnecessary.

Supporting arguments: BRRRRRRRR!

It’s been cold and snowy here in Montana, which, despite what you might believe, is unusual. See, in my experience, winter in Montana is either freakishly cold or snowy. They don’t really go hand to hand. Believe it or not, the Helena Valley is pretty close to being a desert, so we just don’t get much in the way of snow.

But, that was before. Now, now we are encased in a Hoth storm much more familiar to me. It’s almost like being in Missouri again… minus the knowledge and equipment necessary to play a freakin’ road.

I’m not going to let it get me down, though. I can’t be bothered by cold and snow. I have things to do. Jedi to see.

So, I will soldier on and go forth into the frozen world.

 

 

Please pray I don’t get attacked by a wampa.

I Found the Greatest YouTube Series Ever

Since moving into my new apartment, I’ve had to look for alternative forms of entertainment to traditional television. Mostly, this has been a mixture of Netflix, CBS.com, and staring aimlessly at walls. Then, I remembered that entertainment is better when it was created by random creative types from all over the world…

Aaand I started watching YouTube videos.

Of course, a few hours into that thought process, I remembered that I was wrong, and entertainment is best when it is made by professionals who have eschewed the greed and formulaic corruption of modern Hollywood in favor of their own genius.

Then I slapped myself for being a pretentious butt-wad and just enjoyed some things I found on the internet.

Which brings me to my amazing and wonderful discovery:

Adam Ruins Everything

 

This is a series of clips from the television show of the same name, spun off of the web series of the same name.

Yes. Web Comedy types are now making television shows. Thank you, internet. May your bounty never cease to be awesome.

Anyway, the entire series is Adam Conover challenging the assumptions of most people with things like facts.

He’s basically my internal monolog. This is what I feel like 100% of the time.

Knowledge is Fun! (Also Power. POWER. POWER!)

MWA HA HA HA HAAAAAA!

But, I digress…

If you are looking for a good way to increase your brain goos, this show is entertaining and full of information that will make you slightly less stupid.

We can all stand to be slightly less stupid.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’m off to stream audiobooks, podcasts, and Udemy courses straight into my brain at exponentially greater speeds in the hopes that learning enough will allow me to develop telekinesis.