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“Hi! Welcome to Gaslight Bookstore, how may I help you?”

“I was here last week and saw ______. I’ve been so looking forward to reading it!”

“We’ve never had that book.”

“Really? Jason put it on hold for me, even though you had lots of copies. He was very helpful.”

“I don’t know any Jason. Are you sure it wasn’t Samantha?”

“I don’t think so. Jason has worked here for years; I know him well. Anyway, can I order the book?”

“This is a bakery.”

“I beg your pardon? This is clearly a bookstore.”

“I think I know the difference between books and loaves of bread. Are you hungry?”

“Well, yes I am, but that’s beside the point. I want to buy a book!”

“Perhaps the hunger is affecting your brain. I can help you with that, but you need to admit that there was never a bookstore in the first place.”

“What…?! I’ve been buying books here forever! Can’t you just give me the book I want?”

“Don’t you mean you want this marble rye? We’re known for your marble ryes.”

“It does look delicious… fine, I’ll have one loaf of the rye and some of these croissants.”

“Ma’am, those aren’t croissants, they’re The Hunger Games series.”

“Please lock me away now.”

Screwbacca

Han Job Solo

Leia Orgasma

Lick Skyfucker

"I saved the world from the Nazi scourge, and I only get to be a Captain?"

“I saved the world from the Nazi scourge, and I only get to be a Captain?”

Some of the greatest heroes the world has ever known have had military ranks. Some of them have actually served in the military, notably Captain America, even though he seems to have been handed the rank of Captain straight away, rather than enlisting as Private America and being promoted, whether through merit or on the battlefield. Others, like the often-overlooked Sgt. Rock and the more-heralded Nick Fury, never got a commission, in spite of fighting their way across Nazi-occupied Europe.

Who appointed Captains Britain and Canuck to their ranks? They always seemed to be lone wolves. Maybe they got drummed out of their respective services for insubordination. Captain Marvel served in the Kree Army before saving the universe on more than one occasion, while the other Captain Marvel got all his powers from a magician and would almost certainly go by the name Shazam if saying the word wouldn’t turn him back into Billy Batson, who’s much too young to enlist.

But the real question is, with all of their heroics and freedom-fighting and leadership, why haven’t any of these heroes been promoted to higher ranks? Why no Major Mexico, Lieutenant Colonel Liechtenstein, Brigadier General Bolivia, or General Germany, for example? Dictators like Qaddafi and Noriega, who by all rights should have been defeated and disgraced by justice-seeking heroes, instead outranked all of them (to be fair Noriega appointed himself General, but if Captain America had ever become President, it’s almost certain he would have humbly remained a simple Captain).

Maybe part of being heroic and risking your life to save your country, the universe, or even just a cat caught in a tree is being modest enough to accept your rank in life, even when you’re more of a man than the rest of the Army put together.

"Why did I agree to do this horrible fucking movie?!"

“Why did I agree to do this horrible fucking movie?!”

Lots of people have said it much better than I ever could, and in many different ways, but Batman vs Superman was a really, really, epically horrible movie.

I could talk at length about why this is the case, but for brevity’s sake, I’ll just offer reason #3182:

You know what the most unbelievable thing about Batman vs Superman is?

It’s not that Superman’s bulletproof or can shoot laser beams out of his eyes.

It’s not the idea that Perry White is the editor-in-chief of a major newspaper but is sending Clark Kent to cover a local football team.

Those are nitpicky criticisms of poor writing or the absurdity of fantasy. I can suspend my disbelief about the laser beams.

It’s the notion that the United States would convene a Senate hearing on the deaths of innocent civilians in a third world country in order to bring Superman to justice. American soldiers kill civilians all over the world without a second thought from the vast majority of Americans. Zack Snyder presents a righteous vision of America that would only be familiar to the most blindly patriotic Republicans, and doesn’t exist in reality. It’s a vision of an America that puts itself out into the world in order to do the right thing every time, and is always looking out for the little guy. In reality the United States does exactly what Superman does: drops into volatile situations it doesn’t understand, throws its muscle around, protects a narrow version of American interests, and leaves without any concern for the chaos, destruction, and death it’s left behind.

The Shepherd

The Shepherd

The Sheep

The Sheep

The Don

The Don

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the story of a humble sheep herder from New Zealand who finds success–and love!–at Oxford’s Department of Mathematics. A misunderstanding brings confusion and hilarity to the staid settings of academia when he brings his favourite ewe to the Fields Prize award ceremony.

With Hugh Grant as the shepherd, Dolly the Cloned Sheep as All the Sheep, and Malcolm McDowell as the crusty Dean of Mathematics who has a secret of his own!

From my upcoming series of picture books designed to introduce children to the great artists of the past:

  • Modigliani, Mo’ Problems
  • Step on the Gas, Degas!
  • Too Many Manet to Manage

I’ve recently invested in a new restaurant with an Classic Movie Western theme. On the weekends, from 10am to 2pm, we feature The Wild Brunch, and dishes include:

  • The Ox-Tail Soup Incident
  • Once Upon a Time in the Water Cress Sandwich
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Paté

 

 

Recently a co-worker of mine quietly said, “Is it bad that I don’t know who Judas is?”

Although I was initially taken aback, I quickly realized that she has no real reason to know the story of Judas: even if Muslims consider Christians and Jews “People of the Book,” they would have little occasion to actually read our holy texts. A lot of Christians, to say nothing of secular Westerners, haven’t read the Bible either. But most of us know the story of Jesus, and by extension Judas, anyway, because it’s become a part of the larger culture.

Relating the story to my colleague, I mentioned Jesus Christ Superstar, which is the source of much of my understanding, and thinking, about Judas–I didn’t have to read the Bible to know the story and, because my knowledge came from an arguably blasphemous source, my take on Judas is tinged with a radical, hippie-flavoured veneer. Whether Judas betrayed Jesus for silver or to fulfil his destiny is one of the great theological debates, and can be had whether you’re a believer or not.

I wonder which universally-relatable stories I’m missing out on because knowledge of the history of Islam and the Qu’ran is as lacking in Western societies as tales of the Last Supper and the 12th disciple are in young Somali-Canadians. Who is Muhammad Ali (not the boxer, but his namesake?), and what could I learn by studying his life?

The story I told her:

Judas and Jesus were best mates at school but Judas was always jealous because Jesus was better at sports and had an easy way with the birds. Still, they went into business together as freelance prophet and disciple. But Judas thought they’d switch off roles as they moved from city to city: being a disciple was hard work while being a prophet was where the real money was. When Jesus started making time with the lass Judas fancied, the disciple had had enough and sold his stake in Salvation, Inc. for 30 silver pieces, intending to set up shop in another town and help the poor there. But when Jesus got nicked by the bill for claiming divinity, Judas was blamed for betraying his old son and, knowing his propheting days were over, packed it in, offing himself in a right nasty way.

Hey, it’s not up to me to spread the so-called truth.

Anonymouse!

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