Want to check out a cool, funny, cute kids graphic novel? Check out Death & Sparkles by Rob Justus! Death himself teams up with the last Unicorn on earth (who is also a huge social media star) and things get as crazy as you would imagine! Multiple trips to the unicorn afterlife, reptilian aliens who want to save the world from climate change, turtle hoarding, video games, rainbow unicorn vomit, eating bugs, and LOTS of cupcakes make this a ridiculous but fun read.
First off, I think this is a great film to really make you think about society and some of the true causes of violence and group anger. This movie can be interpreted many different ways and honestly can make you forget that it has anything to do with the superhero universe. It is gritty and realistic. Phoenix gives an amazing performance, just as everyone has been raving.
Now, on to my actual thoughts and feelings. The first 3/4 of the movie or so is just incredibly sad. I was actually relieved when it started turning to senseless violence because it was a break from the sadness, even though you knew the violence stemmed from that abuse and pain shown in the earlier parts of the movie. My heart ached for this man’s mistreatment at the hands of others all his life, partly because I have also experienced abuse and trauma for much of my life.
This movie brought to the surface many questions I have asked myself my entire life about accountability and assigning fault. In the Joker’s case, he has obvious mental health issues, seems to have suffered severe brain damage as a child, and would likely score sky high on the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) test. The brain damage, trauma, and abuse together may have not allowed this man to have any other kind of ending than the tragic one we see.
Think of it this way, we know that trauma can dramatically change an adult’s personality (think of veterans with PTSD). We also know that brain damage as an adult can make a kind, loving person cruel and abusive (think of athletes who have suffered severe brain damage and underwent entire personality shifts). Now, imagine these things happening to the brain of a child while the child’s brain is still developing. Also, imagine that the child doesn’t get medical care for the injury or illness quickly as the athlete or veteran hopefully would, so there is no hope of minimizing damage or healing appropriately. How much damage can that do to the child’s brain and personality?
It also makes me think about family legacies where abuse, malignant personality disorders, and mental illness have reigned for generations (much like my own family and probably Joker’s from what little we can see in the film). I’m fairly positive that most of my “ill” family members developed their personality disorders in very early childhood as is believed to be the case in psychology. From childhood they never developed empathy the way they should have. They never grew out of the petulance of the 2-3 year old attitude. Although they seemed terrifying to me when I was a child, I almost feel sorry for them now because they are permanently stuck in immaturity.
I wish they showed empathy, but I ask myself how I can expect someone to show something that they have never had. How can I realistically ask them to be something they could not be even if they wanted to be? Some might think this way of thinking is defeatist, but I simply see it as realistic. It does help keep my hopes from getting too high only to be dashed yet again.
Today my husband and I finally have the time to go see the Joker movie. I am really excited. I hear it is quite dark and nihilistic, similar in some ways to the Heath Ledger version of the Joker from The Dark Knight movie. I know it probably doesn’t help my depression, but I love dark, bleak movies like that.
Maybe I relate to them because of my depression. I have too much empathy for people to become a mass murderer or abuser, but I must admit that there are many times that I feel like life is pointless, everything we do is pointless, happiness is pointless, pain is pointless, etc. I feel like that most often when in a severe depressed state. I think that is why I look up to artists like Kurt Cobain, Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Sylvia Plath, etc., because they expressed similar feelings at times.
This week I also have been catching up on the tv show American Horror Story and watched the 8th Season called Apocalypse. I loved this season! They brought back the witches from the Coven season which was one of my favorites, and I always love an apocalypse-themed story, but my favorite part of the season was Michael Langdon. Partly because I found him kind of hot, and partly because I found him often hilarious as the Antichrist. The poor guy showed us how uniquely stressful and confusing it could be to try to figure out how to bring about the end of days! Why doesn’t this “son of satan” stuff come with a guidebook???
Did you watch any of the Democratic debates the last two nights? I watched and thought I’d share some of my thoughts and opinions. Most of my feelings of who I already somewhat liked (Bernie, Yang, Gabbard, Warren) haven’t really changed, even though I think some of them did better than others at the debates. Yang didn’t get to speak much and wasn’t high energy, so didn’t stand out to me in the debates, but if you listen to his longer interviews or read his book, he has some very important issues to bring up whether you agree with UBI (universal basic income) or not.
Bernie was Bernie as he always is. I think he did ok, although I’m not sure I entirely agree with just scrapping all medical insurance at once and forcing people onto Medicare. I think most people would choose Medicare over their high priced commercial insurance, but I don’t like the idea of forcing people to give up their insurance if they actually do like it.
I personally prefer the idea of a public option beginning the transition to (hopefully) a single payer system eventually. If you try to force Americans to do something, even something for their own good, many will likely hate it. Getting medical insurance off the backs of companies would be a good thing though and hopefully lead to higher wages if the companies don’t have to shoulder the health insurance burden.
Warren did ok too. I like Warren some, but she often comes across to me as one of the weakest leftists who too easily bows to the pressure of the system. I don’t trust she will fight for us like Bernie would, although I hope I am wrong, especially if she does somehow end up with the nomination.
I thought Gabbard and Harris both came across well in the debates. I like the show of strong women. I do have issues with Kamala’s past record on poor criminal justice reform and her support of the private prison system. If it weren’t for those things, I would likely warm up to her more. She does seem intelligent and confident, which is appealing.
Biden didn’t do himself many favors, at least in my opinion. Part of the problem of having such a long history in politics is being held responsible for your past actions and words, which can often make Biden look pretty bad. The accusations of past support of racists were especially interesting (coming from Kamala). Biden’s involvement with the Obama administration can be both good and bad, depending upon the subject, but since I don’t buy into the “Saint Obama” narrative, I see some issues there too.
I did feel bad for a few of the candidates that barely got to speak, but I know they try to give the most time to those who are polling higher (or who the establishment wants to push). Do you have a favorite of the bunch?
It took all day for this video to upload onto YouTube lol, but I wanted to share in case anyone wanted to see what I got in this particular subscription box this month. It is the first time I’ve gotten this particular new age/spiritual box and I did enjoy it, although their past boxes looked a little better to me overall. Will definitely give it at least one more try though.
I love the tv show House. This medical drama, based around the character of a doctor with Sherlock Holmes mystery solving abilities is often smart, informational, and amusingly ridiculous. The main character (House) is often a total asshole, but he is so lovably grumpy, enormously flawed, and irresistibly outrageous that I can’t help but like him.
Last night I finally caught their episode that features an Ehlers Danlos patient, an episode I had been looking forward to seeing for a while. Unfortunately, I was really disappointed with the portrayal. First off, very little of the episode actually had anything to do with the woman with Ehlers Danlos. It focused more upon her husband for the first half at least.
When she was finally introduced into the storyline, she was presented as someone with a horrible mental illness (hoarding), which a casual viewer could easily think was due to her forthcoming Ehlers Danlos diagnosis. The last thing those of us with EDS need is to be confused with mental illness conditions even more.
Also, the only symptoms that are even discussed to be related to EDS in the show (and thus lead to the official diagnosis) are the fact that the woman’s heart responded badly to some medication and she had suffered several miscarriages. That was it. Yes, EDS can contribute to miscarriages, but it is far from one of the hallmark symptoms of many EDS sufferers. Nothing was mentioned about hypermobility, chronic pain, dislocations, joint issues, gastrointestinal issues, autoimmune issues, bruising/scarring, loose skin, etc.
Overall, a very disappointing experience as a viewer and EDS patient.
I got my first OwlCrate Jr subscription box! This book box is for middle grade books and each month a theme is chosen revolving around that month’s book. This month the theme was “Birds of a Feather” and the book is The Simple Art of Flying by Cory Leonardo. I chose OwlCrate Jr instead of the regular OwlCrate box because I thought I might enjoy the middle grade books better than the YA books. I do love YA books as well, but well-written middle grade fiction holds a special place in my heart.
Here is what came in the box:
– The book (obviously lol)
– Author-signed bookplate
– Letter from the author
– OwlCrate Jr monthly magazine
– National Geographic’s Ultimate Explorer Bird Field Guide
– Pineapple scented tropical birds stickers
– Flamingo gel pen
– Mini owl plush toy
– Parrot keychain
– Spoiler card and card for next month’s theme (which will be “Crack the Code”)
I loved this first box and am excited to see what else they send in the future! I’m halfway through the book and love it so far. It is a sweet, sad, and funny story about a pair of brother and sister parrots living in a pet shop. Right now I just got to the part of the story where the siblings are split up when one is adopted and it is breaking my heart a little.
I love the bird field guide, the owl plushie, and the flamingo pen. Plus, I’ve already made a couple ACEO collage artworks with the stickers:
(Art available for sale on my Ebay store!)
Admission: I’m one of those crazy folks that likes to prep for the apocalypse lol. Whether it be an economic collapse, climate change fallout, war, grid breakdown, or natural disaster, I want to be prepared, so I decided to try a new subscription box called SHTF Survival. This was my first box from them. Almost $60 worth of stuff for $20, so not bad:
Included in this month’s box:
First Aid Emergency Tourniquet – $9.99 (retail)
USMC Pocket Knife – $19.99
12 in 1 Octopus Keychain – $6.99
7 in 1 Whistle Compass – $6.99
Bug Out Solar Lighter – $4.99
Gun Sock – $9.99
I must admit I was hoping more for stuff like survival food, but some of this stuff was neat. The pocket knife is really good quality. The tourniquet could certainly come in handy in an emergency, as could the solar lighter, the whistle/compass/thermometer combo, and the octopus keychain which can do everything from opening a bottle to working as a screwdriver of many sizes and types and even adjust bicycle spokes (even though I don’t have a bicycle lol).
I think sometimes that being chronically ill makes me feel even more vulnerable were there a catastrophe of any kind, so trying to be prepared for worst case scenarios can make me feel a wee bit better. Honestly, I don’t know how to hunt or do much of anything outdoorsy even if I were healthy enough to do it, but luckily my husband does have those skills 🙂
Lately I’ve been trying random book subscription boxes just to try to figure out which one I want to get on a regular basis. For January/February, I tried the following two boxes:
This first box was the January Book Drop subscription. I picked the middle grade option, although I was torn between that and the young adult option. This subscription box sends you one book per month (along with a card about the book and little extras like bookmarks) and is pretty cheap (about $10 including S&H for this shipment). The Book Drop is run by an independent bookstore, which makes buying it even better since I like to support small businesses.
The book they sent this month was Winterhouse by Ben Guterson. I really enjoyed this mystery novel! The main character is a book nerd and loves to do puzzles, just like me! I did figure out the plot of the book pretty early on though, so the mystery wasn’t all that hard for me.
Here is the second box I received, this one in early February:
This box was from Kids Bookcase Club. It cost $9.99 plus S&H. You get three kids books a month. This was the 7-8 year old box. Out of the three books they sent, my favorite by far was Terrific by Jon Agee. This picture book is sarcastic and hilarious! I love the grumpy old man who is the main character! The Very Fairy Princess was a cute picture book, but not exactly my taste. The Animal Planet Dolphin Rescue book was a young reader chapter book and it was cute and interesting, but obviously a simple read. For next month’s box, I decided to up the age to the preteen box to see what kind of middle grade books they send.
For the upcoming month I am also trying out the Scribbler subscription box for writers and the SpearCraft Book Box (which comes with all kinds of cool reader goodies)! So stay tuned!!!