Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Why "Save-the-World" Stories Are Usually Boring

   In all this craze of superhero movies, most of the movies we see nowadays are about saving the world. In fact, many, many, many books, movies, and TV shows are about this very subject: Lord of the Rings, Makilien Trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 & 2, Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Thor: Ragnarok, Iron Man, Thor: The Dark World, The War of the Worlds, Independence DayStar Wars, Doctor Who: the Movie, Tomorrow Land, Harry Potter, Superman, Dreamlander, Armageddon, War Games (and almost every other Cold War movie), the Lunar Chronicles, the Ilyon Chronicles, Batman Begins, 24, Star Trek IV, Raiders of the Lost Ark, about half of the books in the Fantasy genre, and of course, many, many more. With all the diversity of fiction on this list, what is the most common theme between all save-the-world stories?
   Most of them are boring.
   Why, though? Shouldn't saving the world be something we all care about? After all, every one of us lives in the world. It should be the ultimate relatable story.
   Far from being the ultimate relatable story, however, save-the-world stories are often the ultimate unrelatable story. After all, few if none of us have ever been in a position where the entire world is in danger. All of us, however, have probably been in a situation where our country was in considerable danger, which marks the big difference between save-the-country stories and save-the-world stories.
   It's very easy to understand why a protagonist would want to save his country: because he loves it (or because he lives in it; you know, practicality and all that). Though there are some people that do not love their country, I'm willing to bet there are many more that do. Most protagonists of save-the-country stories attempt to save their country because they love it, they live in it, they desire to defend their home, or they just don't want them and their family or friends to die. Very relatable.
   However, most protagonists of save-the-world stories attempt to save the world "because it's the right thing to do."
   Excuse me?
   Exactly how many times have you done something simply because "it was the right thing to do"? That's right. Never. Even Christians don't do the right thing because "it's the right thing to do," but because we love the Lord. Right for right's sake has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.
   This is why, even though I love Captain America, a lot of people think he's boring. Because everything he does is because it's "the right thing to do." (I contend that he does the right thing not for the sole virtue of "the Right", but because he loves freedom and his country and despises bullies, but that's neither here nor there.) Contrast this with the Guardians of the Galaxy:

   Guardians of the Galaxy was far from boring. In fact, it was wildly successful beyond Marvel's biggest expectations. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is definitely because someone was finally saving the galaxy for a relatable reason.
   **Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War ahead**
   Avengers: Infinity War is pretty much the ultimate save-the-world story. Thanos wants to destroy half the population of the universe and the universe's mightiest heroes do their level best. Yet none of the characters, superheroes no less, seem to be doing it because "it's the right thing to do." Thor tries to stop Thanos because Thanos murdered every one of his people (including his brother). Bruce Banner joins the fight to stop Thanos because he witnessed the murder of the Asgardian people and can't stand that happening to Earth. Tony Stark, Dr. Strange, and Spider-Man try to stop Thanos because their city is attacked by a giant alien spaceship. The Guardians try to stop Thanos because he's committed planet-wide murder in their galaxy for a long time, he's the stepfather of Gamora and she's learned all his plans, they came across the murder of the Asgardians and realized Thanos is fianlly trying to murder half the galaxy, and they have a healthy wish to not die.
   So if you want to write a save the world story people will actually care about...
   Make. It. Personal.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dagger's Sleep Review and Interview of Tricia Mingerink

About the Book
A prince cursed to sleep.
A princess destined to wake him.
A kingdom determined to stop them.
High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.
A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?
One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of Tallahatchia’s mountains to the hall of the Highest King himself, their quests will demand sacrifices neither of them could imagine.

   My review  
 This book is so amazing! First of all, what a refresher to find a fantasy world not based on medieval Europe! I absolutely loved the native American feel to it and the settings. Seriously, all the canoes and stuff...wow. And when I say the princess can paddle her own canoe, I mean it quite literally. :)
   The characters, of course, are amazing, though since I couldn't spend as much time with them as with the Acktarian characters, I didn't fall quite as much in love with them. Daemyn and Alexander are both lovable, but they're not as adorable as Leith.
   I just loved the way the fairies were done. There's something about the way most fairies are done in stories that I just don't like, and that wasn't present here. It seemed so believable and real and like it actually fit in with the world.
   Even more amazing was the allegory. Seriously, I don't know if I've seen a more beautiful allegory. I can't go into details, but it was so beautiful.
   This book was seriously amazing and everyone needs to read it. The lessons and the themes, the characters, the settings, and of course, the amazing allegory all make it so worth it. I can't wait to spend more time in this world. (Of course, I will always be a little peeved I shipped the wrong ship, but oh well. I can't have everything, I guess.)

I also had the privilege of asking Tricia a couple questions. Check it out!

Who is your favorite fictional character (your own don’t count)?
This is a really hard question! It is really, really hard to choose. There are SO many characters that I’ve loved throughout the years. I think it might be Halt from Ranger's Apprentice. Or maybe Will's horse Tug. Really, why do I only have to pick one favorite character????
Ha, I get your struggle. I do love Tug. 

What is your favorite fairy tale?
Beauty and the Beast. I was obsessed with that fairy tale when I was growing up. I rewatched the Disney cartoon all the time and read all the different picture books and fairy tale versions of it I could get my hands on. My grandparents gave me an illustrated fairy tale book and I was so excited when not only was Beauty and the Beast the first story, it was also the one they used for the cover art.
That's one of my favorites, too! 

Marvel or DC (and please don’t say “neither” or “both”)?
Marvel. I tend to like action movies that are balanced out with a good deal of witty humor and not too dark, so that’s why I’ve always liked Marvel better. Though I’m really hoping they aren’t starting to go darker with the latest couple of movies…
 I'm not sure it's possible for Marvel to go completely dark, given their obsessive love of quips.

What piece of writing advice has helped you the most?
That would probably be the advice I got from my 7th through 9th grade English teacher who told me writing was a series of baby steps. You don’t have to worry about trying to master it all at once. Start slow and work on mastering the next step.
That's really great advice!

How does it feel to be known as an evil author?
Ha, ha. As long as that is always said fondly, I don’t mind. 
And we couldn't say it any other way but fondly. Though I'll never completely forgive you for the cliffhanger at the end of Deny.

About the Author
Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn't writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog.

About the Book:
Freedom begins with finding the truth.
Amidst the turmoil caused by Smyth’s arrest, Celeste is stuck in limbo, stripped of her citizenship, with no choice but to flee to a peaceful Kyraenean hideaway with the tumultuous Amaya Mason.
When bounty hunters threaten the local orphanage, Celeste and Amaya must work together and fight. Even if it means risking what they cherish the most.
His plans in tatters, his career in jeopardy, Mick Haynes is forced to leave Kyraenea with the enigmatic Torrance Kyle, the agent he still can’t trust.
Torrance is good at lying, and even better at hiding his pain, but is he strong enough to deal with the consequences of betraying his own father?
Can Celeste accept the truth, accept her place in the Haynes family or will lies chain her to the past and destroy her chance at a new life?

Dissociate is available for sale on Amazon here. The first two books in the series Disowned and Dissemble are also available on Amazon.

About the Author:

Sarah Addison-Fox is a New Zealand-born home-schooling mother of two who loves action-packed fantasy with strong heroines. She has an astonishing amount of nail polish, has all her creative writing credentials shoved in a drawer somewhere, and has a husband who, after 27 years, can still make her blush. When she’s not working on her Christian YA fantasy series',  she can be found fangirling on Goodreads or sending GIFs on Twitter.

To celebrate the release of Dissociate and Dagger’s Sleep, Sarah Addison-Fox and Tricia Mingerink are hosting a day-long Facebook Festival. There will be plenty of games and giveaways, not to mention Serena Chase, author of the Eyes of E’veria series, will be the guest of honor. It’s a party you won’t want to miss! You’ll be able to stop by any time during the day to join the fun, no matter what time zone you live in!

Link to the Facebook Festival: https://www.facebook.com/events/244246872802075/

Sarah Addison-Fox and Tricia Mingerink are each hosting a giveaway for their books for the blog tour.

Sarah Addison-Fox is giving away a paperback set of the first three books in the Allegiance Series. The giveaway is open internationally where such giveaways are permitted and where Createspace ships. The books may or may not be signed depending on where the winner lives.

Tricia Mingerink is giving away a paperback of Dagger’s Sleep. The giveaway is open internationally where such giveaways are permitted and where Createspace or the Book Depository ships. The book may or may not be signed depending on where the winner lives.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday – May 22
Laura Grace – Author Interview
Reading Anyone – Book Review
Jaye L Knight – Book Spotlight
Quirky Faith – Book Reviews and Author Interview

Wednesday – May 23
Allyson Kennedy – Author Interview
Sam H. – Book Review
Addyson Huneke - Book Review and Author Interview
Ivie Brooks - Book Reviews

Thursday – May 24
Shantelle Mary - Book Review and Book Spotlight
Brie Donning - Book Review and Multi-Character Interview
Blooming with Books - Book Review and Author Interview
Julian Daventry - Book Review and Author Interview

Friday – May 25
Faith Thompson - Book Reviews and Author Interview
Hannah Gaudette - Author Interview
CM Williams - Book Review
Chloe Parker - Book Reviews

Saturday – May 26
JM Christian - Book Review and Multi-Character Interview
Abigail McKenna - Book Reviews
Liv Fisher - Author Interview
Book Wolf - Book Reviews and Author Interview
Liz Koetsier – Book Spotlight

Monday – May 28
Jessica Dowell - Book Review and Author Interview
Lila Kims - Book Reviews
Marie Elrich - Book Reviews
Faith Potts - Book Review and Book Spotlight

Facebook Festival begins 5PM EST May 24th through 9PM EST May 25th with special guest Serena Chase

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Liebster Award

   I've never actually done the Liebster Award before, so when my lovely sister Morgan left her Liebster Award post open for takers, I jumped on the opportunity of doing it instead of actually finishing one of my blog post drafts or reading more about the British during the Revolution for my research paper. Thanks, Morgan!

The Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you

Answer the 11 questions they gave you

Name 11 facts about you

Nominate 11 bloggers to do this tag, and let them know

Give them 11 questions to answer

1. What is your favorite song?
You mean I have to pick? You evil person! Let's see... *scrolling through my "Favorites" playlist on Spotify*  Currently it's a tossup between "SHERlocked", "Song of Captivity and Freedom", and the entire Ratatouille soundtrack. Also "That's What Friends Are For (The Vulture Song)", "The Breaking of the Fellowship", "The Ellie Badge", and "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer". I'm indecisive, okay?

2. Do you play an instrument? If so, which one, and if not, which one would you like to learn?
Yes. I play the piano. I've been taking paid lessons since 2008, with just a little gap the year we moved. I was my first teacher's first student.

3. Which book have you reread the most?
I'm not sure, but it's probably one of the Ilyon books. They are my comfort reads, after all.

4. What is your favorite day of the week?
I don't know. I'd say Sunday, except Sunday comes right before Monday, so it's a tossup between Sunday and Saturday. I also like Friday, but Friday generally contains school or work, so ick.

5. What is your favorite vacation place?
Disney World. Hands down. It is the happiest place on Earth, after all. I only wish I could go more. And that I could visit all the other Disney resorts.

6. Do you like spending time outside?
No. I would if there weren't so many stupid bugs outside, but I can't handle being in their home territory. Plus, the growing things want me to die, or at least lead a very miserable life. And I'm a wimp about extreme temperatures. But I do enjoy being outside, when the weather is mild and I'm all caught up on allergy meds and the bugs are away. Or it's winter. I do like winter. But chances are, I'd probably choose being inside over being outside.

7. What household chore do you dread most?
It used to be putting out pine straw and mowing. But we don't use pine straw in our landscaping anymore and our yard is too steep for anybody but my dad to mow (and occasionally my mom, if she goes a certain direction down the hill with the mower). So I can honestly say I don't know. Maybe doing dishes, but I don't hate it all that much.

8. Do you like driving? If you don't have your license yet, are you looking forward to getting it?
Yes, I do, when it doesn't terrify me. But no, I'm not looking forward to getting my license. Why, do you say? Because having your license means you have to pay for gas. And insurance.

9. Do you like sweet tea or dirty water (unsweet tea)?
Gross. No. Yuck. I hate cold tea. The only good tea is hot tea with plenty of milk and sugar. I refuse to pick a side in this culture war.

10. Are you registered to vote, or planning to register as soon as you are eligible?
No, I am not registered to vote. (Muahahaha!) I am counting down the days to after this year's election so I can register. I'm just upset there won't be anything to vote for next year.

11. What is the saddest movie you have ever seen?
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. That was the worst movie on the planet. The worst thing about it was it wasn't even plausible. SO WHY RIP VIEWERS' HEARTS TO SHREDS LIKE THAT???

1. I've never broken a bone or been stung. *knock on wood* I was not a very rambunctious child. And was banned from climbing trees because my mom thought I would hurt myself. I am accident-prone, so she was probably right.

2. I have walked into the wall before. PSA: Don't watch TV and perambulate.

3. I used to love The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror until it made me sick on my last Disney trip. Now, I refuse to go on any rides that drop straight down.

4. I have watched the National Dumpling Day Parade, the only parade that goes both ways at once, the only parade that spends zero dollars on floats, and the only parade that you don't know you're in until you hear them talking about you on the radio. Visit Disney's Hollywood Studios today and you can probably catch a similar parade in honor of Dinosaur Day or National Chocolate Chip Day or Straw Hat Day.

5. We used to have a "pet" green tree frog that always stuck around our house and sat outside on our dining room window at nights during the summer. He moved with us to our old house living in our grill. We named him Preston. But he died a few years ago.

6. I went door-to-door for Barry Loudermilk when I was three years old. He was running for state house and my dad and older sister were always going door-to-door for him. My sister and I would rather have actually gone door-to-door than sit in the car and watch other people do it, so my dad took each of us to a few houses. I wanted to keep doing it, but my parents wouldn't let me.

7. Gagging yourself doesn't quiet you. Neither does putting Scotch tape over your mouth. I would know, since I've done both.

8. I once asked my family to tie me to a post in case I was the next Harry Houdini. I wasn't.

9. I have legitimate arachnophobia. I stepped barefoot on a daddy long legs when I was three and have been uncontrollably terrified ever since.

10. I don't like getting dressed. I'd rather just wear pajamas. Getting dressed involves too many decisions.

11. I hate Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Luke Skywalker is my hero and it is not okay to portray him like that. He refused to kill his own father when his father was Darth freakin' Vader and you expect me to believe that he tried to kill his nephew when he just saw hints of darkness in him? NO. #NotmyLukeSkywalker (other things I hate about it: Rey's "big reveal" about her parentage, Snoke's death and Hux's consequent non-reveal as a big bad Sith Lord, green milk, Carrie Poppins, the whole Finn and Rose side-plot, and Admiral Holdo for starters. Finn and Rose are my NOTP.)

I'll try and nominate eleven bloggers, but unless they read this blog post, they probably won't find out about it, because I'm super shy and will not reach out to them and tell them.
Kendra Ardnek (you probably won't do this, but I'm nominating you anyway)
RhoXie Mans (did I spell it right? anyway, you know who you are)
Jaye L. Knight (you're probably super busy, but I'm doing this anyway)
Melanie Crone (you've done this before, haven't you? I hope you won't mind doing it again)
J. Grace Pennington 
Jack Lewis Baillot (I don't mind if you only get around to doing this in a year or so)
Tricia Mingerink
Maddy Crone (except you have a photography blog, so I don't know if you do stuff like this)
Aaaaaand that's all the people I know. Welp. At least I tried.

1. What's your favorite breed of dog?
2. What, in your opinion, is the worst movie ever?
3. Did you see Infinity War? If so, what did you think (especially of the ending)? If not, what outdated piece of technology are you sad is now obsolete?
4. Who is your favorite president?
5. If you found a magic lamp, what would your three wishes be?
6. Did you see The Last Jedi? If so, did you love it, hate it, or somewhere in between? If you didn't, how and why have you escaped for this long?
7. What upcoming movie are you most excited about?
8. What is your favorite childhood memory?
9. What is your biggest pet peeve?
10. Most favorite and least favorite things about growing up?
11. On a scale of one to becoming an isolated hermit, how disgusted are you with your generation?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Robin Hood Problem

   Everyone knows the story of Robin Hood, the man who stole from the rich to give to the poor, or, if you're more familiar with the tale, the man who stole tax money back from the government when they were oppressing the people. This story is romanticized all over the world, in many forms. Nottingham and Sherwood Forest are popular tourist destinations. Many, many children grow up with Robin Hood as their hero. And most people don't think too much about it. They love Robin Hood, they're familiar with the tales, and they move on with their day.
   Robin Hood, if he ever existed, is said to have had his heyday during the reign of King Richard while he was off fighting in one of the Crusades and his brother, Prince John, had taken the throne. Now, I've always wondered why so many people like Robin Hood so much, and I think a lot of it boils down to one thing. In the adaptations we've seen and read, whether the main antagonist is the Sheriff of Nottingham or Prince John himself, the bad guy is always the government. The hero out sticking up for the people and fighting the evil government is a picture that will always resonate with people. But one day I was reading history about the Middle Ages, in a section dealing with England specifically, and something stuck out to me.
   Most people probably don't know the end of the Robin Hood story. In short, it is this: King Richard I, the Lionheart, returned to England from the Crusades, appeasing the people angry at Prince John. King Richard I died without an heir and the throne passed to his brother John, who was just as awful as ever. Eventually, the people couldn't take his oppression anymore and forced him to sign a treaty or charter protecting the rights of the people of England. This treaty was called the Magna Carta, and without it, America wouldn't be a free country today. But most people don't know about that.
   To the average person, the Magna Carta is just a name they know from history or social studies. But Robin Hood...they've probably seen multiple movies about him, and, even if he isn't their childhood hero, will remember him with feeling as the man who "stole from the rich to give to the poor." Honestly, this somewhat disturbs me. But why?
   What Robin Hood did for the freedom of the people of England was really nothing. He fought the government, but in the end, it didn't affect what happened to the people. To them, it looked and felt like he was helping them. But Robin Hood's actions did nothing to keep the government from sending out their tax men. His actions did nothing to stop John's oppressive acts when he became king or even to set the people in mind for a rebellion. If they had, I suppose we would be more assured of his existence. 
   What did help the people of England was the Magna Carta, not set in motion by the people near Nottinghamshire, all fired up by the actions of Robin Hood, but by the nobility all over England sick of King John I misusing them. The Magna Carta set up Parliament, protected the rights of the people to not be taxed without their consent (sound familiar? This provision in the Magna Carta was one of the foundations of the American colonies' arguments with England), protected the people from unlawful search and seizure, guaranteed them a trial by their peers in their own county, demanded that the people be compensated when the government exercised imminent domain, set up uniform weights and measures throughout the country, and many other things, quite a few of which set the foundation for the birth of America and would be written into our own Constitution. So why is Robin Hood a romanticized legend and the Magna Carta is just a boring event in history?
   This phenomenon is not relegated to Robin Hood and Merrie Olde England. It is common in today's politics as well. There are people in the state and federal legislatures that appear to be doing a lot for freedom, but, even though their hearts are often in the right place, they are doing nothing good at all and sometimes even hurt the situation. And yet they are the ones praised and remembered, and the ones who are actually protecting the rights of the people are forgotten, relegated to a boring part of history, or even mocked and reviled for supposedly destroying the very things they are protecting. So often we praise the ones whose fighting is doing no good and revile the ones who are quietly and peacefully working for freedom. We encourage our people in the government to be more like Robin Hood and less like the people who wrote the Magna Carta. This has caused the ineffectiveness in our government that is infuriating the people.
   There was a man who is passed away now known as John Doe. He was in the state legislature. He had very decided opinions and hated oppressive government, but he wasn't very respected in the state legislature. Why? He voted no on every bill. Every. Single. One. True, there was something not so great in all the bills, but he refused to vote for any of them. He was loved and is very fondly remembered today, but he didn't do much to advance freedom in our state. He appeared to do a lot of good, but was truly ineffectual.
   In all our life, whether in politics or out of it, let's strive to not be a Robin Hood or a John Doe. To choose to fight in a way that will make a difference instead of a way that will just appear to make a difference, and to not crucify those in our government that aren't fighting a battle over everything and voting no on every bill. Let's try to understand that it is the Peters of Winchester and the Williams of Coventry that make a difference and not the Robin Hoods; the John Adams and Thomas Jeffersons and members of the Continental Congress and not the riotous Sons of Liberty. And in doing so, we will truly change the world.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Want Free Healthcare? Might Want to Think Again

   One of the biggest debates in America today is healthcare. I cannot speak for the attitude of older generations towards the issue of government in healthcare, but among my generation, the attitude, at least among the more vocal ones, tends to be like this:

Via Pinterest
   "Free" healthcare. To all those who think it would solve the problems with our healthcare systems, please listen carefully.
   "Free" healthcare is the idea that every medical institution in the entire country is paid for and run by the government. All of the expenses in running it are paid for by taxes, so technically it could be considered free, since the payment for services does not come in the form of a medical bill. But before getting emotional with the claim "Free healthcare is what any decent human being would do and is worth massively high taxes", let's go back to the fact that everything that has anything to do with your health would be run by the government.
   The government. The same government that fails so often, the same government whose failures just recently led to the deaths of many in recent shootings, the same government whose VA health program is infamous in our country for being so terrible...this is who you want controlling your health?
   How do you think it will turn out when you give the government power over your health? Power corrupts. And when the government gets involved in healthcare, innocent people die. 
   In the UK, yet another possibly treatable child is being left to die and the parents and other countries can do nothing about it. You might think incidents like this aren't that common, but an online British newspaper reports that decisions to end children's lives happen frequently in their hospitals, they just aren't usually protested. The doctors insist it would be wrong to let the child suffer, although they won't let other eyes see him to prove his brain is as damaged as they say it is. The judges turned down every offer to get Alfie Evans lifted out to protect the image in the eyes of their people that the government is infallible. Police forcibly led away air ambulance pilots trying to save the life of a child.
   In Canada, waiting has become the primary characteristic of their healthcare system. People wait years to get a family doctor, to be seen by specialists, to start treatments, to have surgeries. These wait times have caused people to suffer considerable anguish and pain, treatable conditions to become chronic, long-lasting, or terminal, and the deaths of between 25,456 and 63,090 Canadian women, and those numbers are just up to 2014.
   There was another famous country that had a nationalized healthcare program. This country also killed children and others that were "suffering" by starvation, then injections, and then...gas. But not every country will become Nazi Germany, you say.
   No. They may become worse.
   Children are frequently killed in Britain by removal of life support ordered by doctors and judges not subject to appeal. And yet, have you heard much outcry from the British people? In Nazi Germany, the outcry against the actions of the national healthcare system forced the government to pretend they had stopped. But in Britain, even the crowd outside Alder Hey cannot convince the government to stop their atrocious actions.
   A "free" healthcare system is essentially putting the power of your very lives into the hands of your government. History has shown time and time again that people will do anything other than lose their power. Do you really want to invite that into your country? Do you really think it will be a good idea to let the government have the power to treat or not treat sick individuals? Do you really think that will turn out well?
   To all those who hope and long for a "free" healthcare system... Just look around you. Look at Canada, at Britain, at Nazi Germany, at our own VA hospitals... Is that really what you want? Do you really think putting the power of your life into the hands of the government will turn out any other way than bad? Just look at this generation's favorite fiction genre, the dystopians... This is how it starts. This is how all those nightmare scenarios start. With these decisions, these surrenders of the people, this blindness to the danger.
   Government is, at its best, a necessary evil. Are they the people you really want to trust with your lives just to save people the shock of medical bills? Our healthcare system needs help, but this cannot be the answer. It must not be the answer.
   If you ask for a free healthcare system, you will get a free healthcare system. Not free of costs, expenses, or unnecessary pain, but free of human dignity, the right to choose, the ability to question authority, and free of compassion and love and saved lives.
   If you really, truly want a free healthcare system...
   Be careful what you wish for.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Disney Parents Theme Song

   I was musing on the tendency of Disney parents to inevitably die and decided to write a parody about it. I wrote it to the tune of The Monkees Theme Song. If you're not familiar with it, I've provided it down below. What do you think of this parody? Tell me in the comments!

Here we come
Onto your TV
We get these suspicious looks from
Ev’ryone we meet

Hey, we’re Disney parents
We’re parents and we’re gonna die
We’re too busy dyin’
And makin’ ev’rybody cry

Nobody ever is safe, ‘cause
They’re Disney parents, too
You don’t have time to get ‘ttached, ‘fore
They’re also dying, too

Hey, we’re Disney parents
We’re parents and we’re gonna die
We’re too busy dyin’
And makin’ ev’rybody cry

We never are diff’rent
We never ever stick around
We’ve scarred all generations
From Bambi all the way down

Any time
Or anywhere
If it’s a Disney movie
We will be dying there!

Hey, we’re Disney parents
We’re parents and we’re gonna die
We’re too busy dyin’
And makin’ ev’rybody cry

Hey, we’re Disney parents
We’re parents and we’re gonna die
We’re too busy dyin’
And makin’ ev’rybody cry

We never are diff’rent
We never ever stick around
We’ve scarred all generations
From Bambi all the way down

Hey, we’re Disney parents
Hey, we’re Disney parents

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

10 Ways to Draw Permanent Readers to Your Blog

   There's nothing the human mind loves more than lists. We have lists for everything. Book lists, to do lists, character lists...lists of every shape and form. 
   Blog posts are no exception. We love being able to click on a blog post and scroll through, glancing at the numbered ways to make your life better. It saves time and is sleek and convenient. There's no way that you read this far into the introduction. Nobody reads this far into introductions to "# Ways" posts. But this post would look fishy if the introduction was small, even though I as the author have nothing more to say in it.
   I like lemons. Lemons make almost any dish wonderful. Lemony food is tasty and magical and summery. It can make any dish sound fancy as well. Okay, I think this introduction is long enough now.

10. Stay relevant

   People aren't going to read your blog if you're just extolling the merits of the Blackberry. They want to hear about important, current things, like David Hogg and the latest school shooting. Oh, snap. This post is already outdated. Maybe I should have talked about Google not celebrating Easter. Or maybe Earth Day. When is Earth Day, anyway, and does anybody actually care? You know what isn't relevant anymore? Twitter. Do you remember when people actually cared about that? Now all people care about is Instagram and Snapchat. And Facebook. Facebook has been surprisingly long-lasting.

9. Don't be afraid to write about controversial topics

   Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Phasellus volutpat ornare purus et ornare. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Pellentesque mollis, mi at pulvinar accumsan, enim arcu aliquam purus, ut rhoncus est augue nec nisl. Phasellus fringilla, augue at lobortis volutpat, turpis quam condimentum lectus, eget commodo justo magna in metus. Donec placerat vitae orci sed mattis. Etiam interdum imperdiet massa quis blandit. Donec ut pharetra arcu, eu rutrum nisl. Ut suscipit mauris nulla, quis egestas quam accumsan eget. Nunc tempor nunc at enim varius pulvinar. In gravida finibus felis et ornare. In placerat pellentesque ullamcorper.

8. Advertise your blog

   Or don't. Rely on word of mouth and faulty Facebook algorithms to get people to notice you. Sure, you'll get a lot of readers. 47 is a lot. And you'll get lots of action, too, every time your grandma comments to tell you how amazing you are. Your mother will probably comment, too. Don't bother paying for advertisements. Nobody cares about Internet advertisements anyway. They just ignore them. Seriously, when was the last time you looked at an Internet ad before closing it? Never, that's when.

7. Post at the right times

   Do I know what the right times to post are? No. But everyone that talks about posting at the right times seems to know what they're talking about, so I'm going to pretend to know what I'm talking about, too. 12:00 to 12:45 AM is the best time to publish a blog post, because all the people up for their midnight snacks will be on their phones while waiting for their snack to prepare. The second best time is 4:00 to 8:00 PM each night, because readers will be at dinner on their phones reading blog posts. Never post on a Wednesday, because everyone is at Wednesday night church at those times pretending to be pious and they won't see your posts.

6. Post often

   What? No, I have no idea why this is on there. I have no idea what posting more often has to do with drawing readers to your blog. At least your readers will know you're not dead. That's always a plus. This paragraph needs to be longer. Bananas are tasty as well, but they have no juice. Seriously, you never go to the store and find bottles of banana juice. It's a real pity, because I think it would be very delicious. I would buy it.

5. Write posts with memes in them

   It doesn't matter whether the memes have anything to do with the actual post. Put them in anyway.

   People will eat your posts up.

4. Write short posts

   People don't have the time to read really long posts, which is why they prefer posts like this. They can read the headers and skip over the word in between. Nobody will read these words except that guy at the NSA looking over everything you say and do. Hey, NSA guy. Totally never murdered somebody. Nope. (Except in a story...that doesn't count, does it?) Also, I'm free on Friday, so if you want to meet at the coffee shop down the street, I'm single and lonely...

3. Identify your audience

   Hi, Mom!

2. Write grabbing headlines

   Like "These 10 Child Actors Wound Up In Jail. Number 9 Will Shock You" or "Drivers in [insert reader's city] Are Furious About This New Law" or "You've just won 10,000,000 dollars!" I always click on them, don't you?

1. Write "(This Many) Ways" posts

   (This Many) Ways posts are some of the most popular blog posts to read. You're reading this, aren't you? Actually, you probably aren't. Nobody actually goes through and reads the descriptions under the headings. But they will read the headings. And they might follow your blog. Well, most likely not. You never know, though. You might get more readers by writing posts like this.

   You made it to the end. Yay! I barely did. Now share this blog post and laugh at all the people who thinks it's a serious blog post.