From the maple leaf to a majestic eagle and everything in between; when it comes to national symbols, our attention is almost solely focused on the animals and flags that represent countries around the world. However, there’s one very important symbol of a country’s identity that is always forgotten; the national motto. They can tell a lot about a country as they often express the values of the country as well as what they are most proud of. They are often very historical and vary in their significance (as well as their awesomeness) but for whatever reason, they are always pushed aside into the background. To bring them back into the light, here is a Top 10 list of the greatest mottos of all time.
Liberty. Equality. Fraternity. More than just a motto for the people of France.
#10 – Luxembourg: Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn (Luxembourgish, We wish to remain what we are)
Probably the most honest national motto in existence, while other countries predominantly use grandiose phrases like peace, justice and freedom… but Luxembourg simply just wants to stay the way it has always been. This micro-nation is pretty tiny, but it is obviously quite comfortable with that and it is this honesty that puts Luxembourg on this list.
#9 – Swaziland: Siyinqaba (Swati, We are the fortress)
Taking a more confident and defiant stance on their national motto, this small south African kingdom is telling the world that they’re not going away any time soon. Although “We are the fortress” sounds more like the name of a indie rock band, you cannot deny how great this motto is. The country doesn’t mean fortress in a brute force militaristic way; different interpretations of the motto include “We are a mystery/riddle” and “We hide ourselves away” making their motto more of a statement on their elusiveness than their prowess.
Indonesia’s obligatory eagle themed coat of arms… which is pretty awesome in and of itself.
#8 – Indonesia: Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Old Javanese, Unity in diversity)
This is a motto that should be familiar in meaning to any multicultural state. Choosing this motto was much more of a practical decision for the Indonesian state, where it was used to ease conflicts between religious groups in the 1950’s. Today, the country is 86% Muslim and the motto continues to articulate the diversity that shapes and unites the country. This theme is common amongst national mottos, even to the point where their translated motto was taken practically word for word by the European Union as their own.
#7 – Spain: Plus Ultra (Latin, Further beyond)
Quite possibly the most vague yet strangely significant motto in existence, the Spanish motto makes the list not only because it has the word “Ultra” in it but because of its ability to conjure ideas of reaching out to new frontiers without limit. The motto has its roots with the Pillars of Hercules that were built according to Greek mythology were built near the Straits of Gibraltar and marked the end of the known world with a warning that said “Nec plus ultra” or “Nothing further beyond”. King Charles V of Spain adopted the current motto as a challenge to this myth, pushing himself to surpass the known boundaries of the world for Spain. It’s the kind of motto that would probably be more at home on a NASA space mission badge, but “Plus Ultra” absolutely deserves a spot on this list.
#6 – Scotland (Unofficial): Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (Latin, No-one provokes me with impunity)
Although motto isn’t the official motto of Scotland, one of the origin stories of where they got this unofficial motto is actually pretty interesting. When the ancient Scots were being invaded by Viking raiding parties, the attackers would step on the famous scotch thistle with a scream which alerted the Scots to their presence. “No one provokes me with impunity” actually referred to the thistle itself, which because of this stories like this became a symbol of the Scottish people and it’s military. If you’ve ever seen Braveheart you’ll know that this motto is practically the plot of the movie, making this motto one of the greatest of all time.
You’ll never look at this flag the same way again.
#5 – Greece: Ελευθερία ή θάνατος (Eleutheria i thanatos) (Greek: Freedom or Death)
This is absolutely one of the most visceral national mottos in existence today. Mottos of this variety have been used by nations all around the world Revolutionary groups fighting for freedom including the Greeks, but that phrase later became the official motto of the state. In fact, it is one popular theory regarding the use of 9 stripes (for the nine syllables of the motto) in the Greek flag.
#4 – South Korea: 홍익인간 (弘益人間,Hongik Ingan) (Korean, Benefit all mankind)
This is one of the few mottos that actually doesn’t focus inwards, but actually sets out a solid mission for the country and reaches outwards to all of mankind. It is quite honourable that they chose this motto, and it surprised me that there were not many national mottos like this. For the most humanistic motto of all time; they deserve to be on this list.
This kind of “Three Word” motto is incredibly common amongst countries today, but the historical roots and the creation of this motto during the French Revolution is so powerful that it has to belong on this list. These three ideals form the bedrock of democratic ideals and is a motto that will be eternal for the French people. The style of this motto is the inspiration for many others; which is why the French motto belongs on this list.
These self evident national mottos are quite powerful, because you can put as many flashy words as you want in a motto but it won’t amount to much unless practiced. Truth is an incredible value, and it is something that Ghandi treasured while he was struggling for Indian independence from the British. This motto doesn’t try to blind you with nationalist fervor, but simply tries to remind others that the truth will set them free and that it is a value that should be held in a high regard by the whole of humanity.
LOL. It’s funny because it’s written on a penny.
#1 – United States (De-facto): E pluribus unum (Latin, Out of many, one)
In my opinion, this is the greatest national motto of all time. It is an awful shame that the American experiment turned out the way that it did, but looking at the founding of the country it is hard not to see what could have been. It is an awful shame that “In God We Trust” was later named the official motto, because that motto is about as significant as the song “Jesus Take the Wheel”. “E Pluribus Unum” never had to be legislated into acceptance because everyone knew exactly what it meant and why it was important to keep in mind. The almost certainly unconstitutional “In God We Trust” had to be legislated and was implemented in the 50’s as a slight to the Soviets. Their original motto was strong, self evident and resolute; out of many we are united to a single purpose.
Honourable Mention – North Korea: 강성대국 (强盛大國, Gangseong Daeguk) (Korean, Prosperous and great country)
Nice try North Korea. You get an honourable mention for simply being incredibly dishonest. Claiming you’re powerful, spending countless amounts of money on their military despite the massive amounts of starvation within the country. In fact, putting on a show is probably more North Korean than anything else; making this motto very appropriate.
The average adult American IQ is 98, the lowest of all developed nations.
46% of American adults prefer the theory of creationism over evolution.
The United States has never gone a decade without a military conflict.
Wal-Mart is a $260 billion American company that profits from selling Chinese products – while the US owes trillions to China.
Most Americans believe that the United States is the biggest, toughest, smartest, richest and best-looking country in the world – with almost religious conviction.
And yet, 2 in 3 Americans is incapable of naming a single Supreme Court Justice.
There shouldn’t be a choice between education and incarceration. Generally speaking, one prevents the other. The United States leads in the one that should have been prevented, and falls behind in the one that could have prevented it. Well, at least we still have “the brave” since “the free” live somewhere else now.
We wonder why we are stereotyped the world over as fat, stupid, ignorant, violent, greedy, selfish, and sanctimonious. We ponder this question, but cannot bring ourselves to research the Supreme Court.
We’re actually more likely to Google “Why do people think Americans are stupid?” than “Who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?” This is because we are also extremely vain on top of all that other awesome stuff.
I get accused of being an ingrate, of being “anti-American” because I have the sheer gall – THE AUDACITY!! – to point out flaws in our delusion. Maybe I’m tired of being lumped in with all the rest of the idiots who love nothing more than turning my beloved country into a festering cesspit of ignorance and superiority. Ever think of that??
Clearly, these things do not apply to all of us. So those of us that are not part of the problem should try being part of the solution, as are myself and many others. You can, too! As an American: If you think Americans are stupid, go get an education. If you don’t know how or when something in history occurred, look it up. If you think Americans are fat, start working out and eating better. If you think Americans are arrogant, be a little more critical. It’s not un-patriotic to try to fix your country, for the good of your country. Quite the opposite.
And you have to admit the rest of the world has a point. Maybe if we weren’t so rich, powerful, and loud, it wouldn’t matter that we are also stupid and self important.
My cousin interned at a hotel in Provence and would tell me about typical American customers who would pointedly order the fanciest, most expensive, highest quality wine on the menu… And a glass of Coke. Are we trying to experience the culture or aren’t we??
We like to travel and mingle with the rest of the world, meaning that the rest of the world is forced to mingle with us and our obnoxiousness in exchange for our dirty, sweaty cash… Mingling which has to be done in English because we can’t be bothered to learn anything that doesn’t have to do with America.
So when the rest of the world complains and throws insults, epithets, and facts our way, can you blame them?
For instance, they call us violent warmongers and accuse us of fighting wars of ideology all over the world. We obviously take offense at this. In fact, in addition to not having ever had a decade of peace, we haven’t even had a year of peace since 1872. (Before that was 1869, 1850, 1834, 1826, 1811, and 1796-7) That’s 8 total years of peace in a 229-year history. It’s amazing to think we come off as trigger happy to the rest of the world! Simply astounding!
Compared to Canada who didn’t have a single conflict anywhere in the world between 1902-1914, 1922-36, 1946-50, 1953-1969, and 1971-1989, (almost 60 years of peace, just in the last century) maybe it makes more sense. This is why the world hates us – and us specifically. We won’t accept our faults, even and almost especially when they’re facts.
Usually, we try to deflect attention away by saying something like, “Oh, and I bet the education system in Eritrea is so great!” or “Yeah, but Syria’s problems are way worse.” As if those countries were comparable as equally powerful nations. (They are equally *valuable* nations, but no nation on earth is equally powerful, or has a population whose choices impact the rest of the world quite as much.)
All of these people are dead, and you have no right to share in their brilliance. Get over it, and go do something great yourself. Also: Sorry, Canada. Bell’s one of ours.
We somehow think that our past actions carry over to the present day. We were the world’s top producer during the Industrial Revolution, therefore, it must still be true! This is where so many of the world’s greatest things were invented, so we must all be as clever as the individuals who invented them! We have the best universities, therefore we must have the smartest people! Without us, the Allied Forces could not have won World War II – therefore, America won World War II and saved the world from the Nazis!
If this doesn’t make any sense to you, given the reality of… well, reality, then perhaps you can now see America from an international perspective.
We are loud in countries where calmness is custom; we are curious about the world, yet we will not taste its delicacies or learn its tongues; we are good people, but prefer to believe we are the best.
So I may come off as a bit critical at times, a bit preachy. But maybe it’s because I care about the whole world more than just my own country. Maybe it’s because I realistically believe in the fallibility of an infant nation. Maybe it’s because I love my country and I hold it to a higher standard.
And maybe, just maybe, it’s because we enjoy an internationally-accepted position of power, and have a corresponding responsibility to NOT be a bunch of dogmatic, conceited morons who believe in nothing more than our own righteousness.
– THE DUEL CITIZEN
Besides, we’re all forgetting the one thing that makes America greater than anywhere else. It’s not our people, our spirit, nor our legacy.
“The Bible said they were wise men… It didn’t say they were nice.”
So teases the brilliantly animated trailer for Seth Grahame-Smith’s most recent contribution to literature, Unholy Night, the newest from the author who brought the world Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
The story delves into the mystery behind the three wise men of legend – about whom history has little to say – who so famously delivered unto the newborn king gifts of golf, Frankenstein, and mirth.
Sorry – gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Just as random.)
It reads like a… Well, imagine a mash-up of an unwritten chapter of Game of Thrones, the most intense theological conversation you’ve ever had while stoned, and um… The Bible, obviously.
And Assassin’s Creed.
Plus, since it’s Grahame-Smith, it contains a good deal of his particular brand of flippant, slightly sarcastic, pulp movie campy drama — meaning some of the language and behavior seem out of place, but somehow only manage to add to the wonderful atmosphere that the author likes to create in his worlds — that feeling that you’re walking through an unfamiliar chapter of history, but it’s okay because you always belonged there. It’s an unsettlingly anachronistic sensation at times, like stepping from a time machine and seeing someone with an iPod, but it is a literary invention that Grahame-Smith has perfected and does not allow to distract from the brilliance of his storytelling. It only makes it more enjoyable.
A huge departure from both the world of Jane Austen’s early nineteenth century, and Abe Lincoln’s time half a century later, Unholy Night transports the reader to a land much more distant and strange, to a place and time many people think about and perhaps even try to relive every Sunday, but could never hope to truly understand. He injects the excitement of sword-fights and chases and executions and grave robberies into the reverent tale of justice coming to a cruel king, of freedom coming to wise men, of a savior being born to an oppressed world.
It is a wild ride – often on the back of an exhausted camel – through everything you’ve ever known about the birth of Christianity, with a few scenic pit stops of embellishment to inspire the imagination. What if these men were no kings at all, but thieves and villains? Join the infamous “Antioch Ghost” and the other two “wise men” as their tale unfolds, which sees them first captured then escaped from Herod’s dungeons and racing across the desert with a familiar young couple and their oddly well-tempered newborn child, to find out.
It’s amazing what the mind can do with a little mystery. One built around one of the most significant, and most disputed, events in human history? Too good an opportunity to pass up for some storytellers – and the world of literature thanks Seth Grahame-Smith for his answer.
To the men: I realize you stopped wanting to hear about vaginas the second you popped out of one, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t worry about them — all the time. Monthly, at least. It’s like asking a disabled person to stop taking wheelchairs so seriously. Or, (because having a vagina is far from a disability. If anything, my vagina makes me feel superior to others,) it would be akin to asking men to stop making such a big deal out of their penises – as if that could ever happen. It is ridiculous. This is a part of us. Literally attached, 100% of the time. We can’t just remove it whenever we want to so we can be free to sleep with anyone that comes along and seems willing — you know, like a man is.
So I’m glad that you guys don’t have the ability to get pregnant arbitrarily, but some of us do. Is this enough of a reason to be punished? Furthermore, if you’re not calling them “punishments,” per se, but rather “restrictions” for the sake of social morality, decency, and responsibility, (topics on which it is not your job to legislate,) then the same fetus-defending rules that apply to birth control, vaginas/uteruses, and abortions should apply to Viagra, penises, and vasectomies…
And if you have a problem with any of this, you’re probably just PMSing, so shut up, nag. This is how (even female) Republicans see women.
An idea that was in fact ignored entirely when Michigan Rep. Barb Byrum (D) brought it up, men even speaking over the top of her to keep her silent. Shame on her! Typical woman, speaking without being spoken to. In fact, similar things happen whenever female legislators propose this type of bill or amendment. It is the wonderful new Republican trend, along with “coming out of the closet” and “being a total dick.”
As for the women: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!
I understand being pro-life, but don’t pretend anyone in this world is “pro-abortion.” Some of us happen to be “pro-choice,” but that’s because we believe in having the freedom to control one’s own body. And to Republican women, whom I assume appreciate small government and personal autonomy, that should make sense.
But, apparently I’m mistaken. Instead, this is what the world is becoming.
Legitimately elected individuals are denying other legitimately elected individuals their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights to free speech simply for using anatomical terminology and proposing measures in the interest of fairness.
This is a land where women fear the mention of the very thing that makes them women, where strict constructionists ignore the First Amendment, and where truly intelligent people still argue against the existence of gravity by pointing out how plants grow upwards.
Civics: 1. The Campaign
Children should know how the political field works in their country. This… well they’re calling it a satire… is so true to life that after 2 hours, your kid could probably pass the AP US Government Test (probably not with a 5, but not everyone has Jeremy Adams and The West Wing to teach them; some people just have Will Ferrell). With the amount of immaturity, ignorance, stupidity, and total and utter wrongness exhibited by these Southern candidates, coupled with the sheer number of people who are senselessly offended by it, I have seen few truer political films. I honestly don’t think that any more accurate political films even exist. Actually, you know what? This isn’t a comedy. It’s a docudrama with A-list actors. You want a political comedy? Ides of March.
Biology: 2. Prometheus
In these highly-charged political atmospheres especially, it is important to posit possible theories that will give equal opportunities to creationism theorists as well as smart people, in the interest of fairness (also known as “affirmative action” but don’t tell them that). For instance, it is always possible that we came from a race of marble-skinned Dr. Manhattans who create life ad infinitum until one creation eventually goes wrong and destroys them. Makes perfect sense, right? It explains evolution (not really) while also leaving room for a creator. After all, and as mentioned in the film, how do we know who created them, “the Engineers?” It must be God. Or maybe some race of golden Iron Men. Who knows? It’s open to interpretation! Just like the science of biology!
Runner Up: Dark Shadows. Because Johnny Depp mentions Chloe Moretz’s “womb” at one point. Besides, kids can learn a lot about their bodies from vampires, witches, ghosts, and werewolves. And Alice Cooper. Like the fact that they can never, ever be immortal, no matter how hard they try.
And I’d just like to say that I expected this film to be relatively lame, and ended up loving it. You may get frustrated with him for being creepy all the time, but Johnny Depp is damn good at what he does.
Math: 3, 4 & 5. Jack the Giant Killer, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Snow White and the Huntsman
Show these films to your children so they may learn how to take one or two relatively weak, but still beloved storybook characters and end up with thousands upon thousands of casualties. The little boy whose failed business model of trading a cow for beans suddenly becomes an epic butcher; the two future diabetics who couldn’t keep their grubby paws off other people’s property become a two-person Salem; and the girl who takes apples from crones, the traditional version of candy from strangers, decides to grow a pair herself – but not a pair of apples (Ba-dum-chh!). Are these good messages to send the children? No worse than telling them it is “improper” for 1 to be on top.
American Literature 6. The Great Gatsby
They’re going to have to read it anyway. (Even though, in my beloved Fitzgerald’s defence, This Side of Paradise is a far better piece of literature, all things considered.) And this way, they know to expect the ridiculousness of some vapid bimbo weeping on a bed and screaming “THEY’RE SUCH BEAUTIFUL SHIRTS!” – a courtesy I was never afforded.
P.E. 7. The Dark Knight Rises
I don’t really think there’s anything they could learn from this, but good luck trying to stop them from seeing it. That’ll be YOUR physical education for the day.
U.S. History 8. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Speaking of well-known figures who never used to be known as violent, ass-kicking white ninjas before but are now, Abraham Lincoln gets a bold new makeover that’s even better than the fantasy built around his historical legacy. And by “better,” I mean “far more imaginative.” Instead of “Great Emancipator” he is now a “vampire hunter” (because “slayer” would have sounded ridiculous). Older children will benefit from seeing snippets of real speeches and historical events like various monuments’ construction, while younger children will be indoctrinated with the proper fear of Abraham Lincoln that we all should have enjoyed. The violence can be explained the same way you do with video games: it’s not real.
Then you roll the dice and hope your kid doesn’t become a serial killer.
Music: 9. Les Miserables
Children need to be taught the price of theft. A functioning economy can only be so called if everyone contributes and enjoys their fair share, when no one individual or group possesses any more bread than another without having earned it fairly… Oh, wait, never mind. That’s apparently called “socialism” now. Whereas when I grew up, it was just called “common decency.”
Also, I guess the huge dose of French history couldn’t hurt their little brains… Unless you’re one of those people that hates the French for no good reason.
Lunch: 10. The Hobbit
Hobbits love food. Kids can learn from the good example they set by neither avoiding it nor vomiting it back up after consumption.
U.S. History: (because you obviously failed the first time) 11. Django Unchained
Kids will have to be warned of potentially disturbing rape scenes, but other than that, this movie offers charming insight into the plight of the slaves who worked for Southern plantations in pre-Civil War America (and Leo in period dress). Many of them did get free, and would try to return for their families. Most of them were unsuccessful, due to the abundance of bounty hunters and racists in general who would report them. Those that were not, like those led by Harriet Tubman, were quite brave, formidable figures upon whom the annals of history smile. But primarily, I believe that Tarantino should be an integral and quintessential part of any well-adjusted childhood.
Sociology 12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This is the only time I’m not joking. Take your kids to see this movie, and the documentary about bullying, and all other things that seem overly serious and kind of pretentious. There’s a reason people describe them that way, and that reason is because they are true and alarming things that are actually occurring, but because no one brought attention to it a million years ago, we’re pretending it’s not a real thing and psychologists just invented it to make money. Bullying is a problem; peer pressure is a problem; a lack of sexual education in classrooms is a problem; sexual repression is a problem (that can lead to self abuse if a person think there’s something wrong with them); simply having a low self image is a problem. Because no one should. Watching films like this educates people, and education makes everything better (FACT). And also, Emma Watson with an American accent will be worth the cost of admission.
Home Economics: 13. Killer Joe
Ok, the whole point of school is to teach children the things they will need to know in order to function in life. Well, I can think of nothing more appropriate. Some of them may need to know this stuff! See, this guy’s debt is getting crazy and he knows he will inherit his mother’s money and life insurance when she dies. So what does he do? He goes about coming up with ways to kill her and collect it, like any normal/rational person would. Talk about your valuable life lessons!
World Politics: 14. The Dictator
It’s important for children to understand that people who rule Middle Eastern-sounding countries are insane, trigger happy, cruel, racist, ignorant, rich, and stupid. This way, they too will grow up believing in the God-given ultimate sovereignty, righteousness, and moral infallibility of the United States Armed Forces. See Battleship for further details. And for Rihanna’s attempt at acting. There’s also this bit at the end wherein some very interesting connections between modern-day America and the average dictatorial regime are made; it’s an awkward moment of simultaneously hilarious and alarming truth.
Physics: 15. The Amazing Spider-Man
I would have put this in with Biology, (or made you re-take biology since you failed pretty hard the first time, but you’re already re-taking US History) but the physics are far more disturbing. Not only is he part-spider, but his webs can do things no spider’s can. For instance, a single strand of the stuff that comes out of his wrists can hold up extremely heavy things; spider silk can hold spiders. He can climb up the side of the building – while carrying another human; spiders generally only take responsibility for number one.
Also, the technology, I guess.
(Extra-Curricular) Sports: 16. The Avengers
If nothing else, they’ll learn about teamwork.
There you go, so many movies from 2012 that can (and should!) be enjoyed by the whole family. Who says the modern media have nothing to offer our children?
There are a great many children’s movies coming up in this year and the next. Obviously, I am so unreasonably excited. And while most people are not like me, perpetually stuck in an age somewhere around 6, perhaps you too should be lining up for these movies anyway. Each children’s movie contains some element from which adults can benefit as well, be it a lesson in love or friendship or family, learning how to tell right from wrong or what to do if you’ve made a mistake; but that’s all been done before. Modern movies have adapted to the changing times and now must teach very different lessons, lessons today’s adults really should heed…
The story of an impetuous ginger (does Disney know any other kind?), Brave contains lessons for us all. First, in all seriousness, this will probably be a visually stunning film, albeit digitally animated, so even if you don’t want to learn anything, it will probably still be worth your money. It will probably also be funny, clever, full of loveable and relatable characters, and very successful at the box office. It’s Pixar, so all of this is to be expected. The content is what really matters, though. The story is about a young Scottish princess, Merida, who does not want her life decided for her. So she crashes an archery tournament and turns her mom into a bear. (Teenagers, eh?) Then she feels bad about it and has to fix it – which is when the bravery comes in. As heartwarming and inspirational as all of this is, I think the most important thing to remember here (and when watching Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games) is this: little girls are often great with a bow and arrow, so if you ever see one, just assume she is a skilled archer.
2. Wreck-It Ralph
I’m not even sure where to begin describing the awesomeness of this movie to you, but I’ll try. Basically, the bad guy in a video game (Wreck-It Ralph) decides he is tired of being a bad guy and decides to explore other video games in his arcade. Through the power cord, he ventures to the world of a first-person shooter and a racing kart game made of candy. There, he discovers the entire arcade is in danger and he must save everyone from the problem he accidentally started – finally becoming the hero in the end. The lesson to be learned here is that it’s possible to change yourself if you truly want to; it’s possible to be something greater than what the universe tells you is true, to be the person you want to be, to be the hero… Ah, who am I kidding? There’s no lesson. BUT THIS MOVIE IS GOING TO BE AMAZING.
The creepy small town of Blithe Hollow (great name) is under the spell of a wicked witch, which is causing an invasion of the undead that only a weird little boy with the ability to speak to the dead can stop! Man! As frustrating as it is when Hollywood has to keep remaking scary things like Dark Shadows and The Munsters and Footloose, you have to give them credit when they come up with original material. Well, ignoring Battleship. Because sometimes, like this time, they hit it out of the park. Ignoring the pure entertainment value that is guaranteed by words like “ghosts,” “zombies,” and “witches,” the fact that the plot is centred around a gifted little boy gives it a valuable message as well. Kids are often more perceptive about things in real life, not just kids’ movies, as they see the world in a different way than adults do. Furthermore, this movie offers a whimsical way to deal with loss, or to perceive death: if you would prefer, just imagine that all of your deceased loved ones are technically still here with you, but they can only be seen by strange children.
Based on, or perhaps an extension of, the 1984 short stop-motion film of the same name, also directed by Burton (you can usually find it in the Special Features section of your average Nightmare Before Christmas DVD), Frankenweenie is the tale of a distraught little boy who couldn’t bare the loss of his beloved dog, the aptly-named Sparky. You can probably guess the rest. It is a very Burton-y homage to the classic 1931 Frankenstein film (and I like to think also Young Frankenstein). The only lesson to be learned here is that Tim Burton is indeed capable of making a film without the use of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
But not without Christopher Lee.
5. Hotel Transylvania
Between this, ParaNorman, and Brave, I don’t know which film has my inner kid more fired-up. Following this disturbing trend of Halloween-themed children’s films coming out in relatively rapid succession, Hotel Transylvania is a story about Dracula, the famed villain-turned-hotel owner who caters to the world’s monsters, and how he must keep his 118-year-oldteenage daughter from falling in love with a regular guy who has come to stay at the hotel. With the cast of voices ranging from Cee Lo Green to Molly Shannon to Andy Samberg, Adam Sandler, and Selena Gomez, (and even some oddballs like Fran Drescher and David Spade!!) I have no doubts this will be a very fun film. As for the lesson? The lesson is that kids will inevitably fall for the people their parents hate, so parents should start hating nice people. And the only way that won’t work out is if you happen to be a family of vampires!
Ok, that one was admittedly a bit of a stretch. But it sounds better than “The lesson is to never out-grow Halloween movies.”
6. Rise of the Guardians
Imagine what would happen if the Bogeyman tried to take away the hopes, dreams, and imaginations of all the children of the world, and the only ones who could stop him are a ragtag team of childhood defenders known as The Guardians, comprised of Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, The Sandman, The Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost? If the little kid inside you just gasped and started clapping in a frenzy whilst jumping up and down and giggling, then we’re on the same page. In the film, a little boy named Jamie loses his belief in these heroes, which complicates their attempt to save the day. Therefore, I think the lesson here is pretty clear: never lose that part of you that is still a child, or forsake your imagination. The real world is an important place to be acquainted with, but there is so much darkness, sometimes we need that child in us to keep it from going totally black — as the Bogeyman would have it.
7. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
I love the concept behind this film. It is about a couple who cannot conceive a child on their own, and so they decide to carefully detail the life and personality of their perfect little boy, put all of their ideas into a box, and bury the box in their yard. After a rough storm hits their little town, a 10-year-old boy shows up on their doorstep saying he is their son. As the tagline, “He’s a force of nature,” suggests, the new parents soon find out their son is even more special than they imagined. Given that he literally grew in their garden, he has some… unique… challenges to overcome when it comes to being normal. Though after the initial premise, the action of the film seems like it will be relatively predictable, I still truly believe they’re going to pull it off without being schmaltzy. They really don’t seem to underestimate their audience – neither the adults nor the kids. And again, the lesson is both simple and vital: love is magic.
8. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
These poor animals. It’s quite possible that they will never get home to New York, though you really have got to admire their tenacity! In this whirlwind adventure, terrified that they will be stuck in Africa or something forever, the gang decides to find the penguins in Monte Carlo. Well, as you can probably expect, everything that could possibly go wrong does (while things that should logically never happen will occur without explanation, like how animals can talk to each other, let alone be good gamblers) and after a series of hilarious events, they end up with a travelling circus. Like one does from time to time. There, they encounter many other animals and acts that add to the richness of their globetrotting experience. The lesson: it is extremely entertaining when stupid Americans finally exit the cave. And laughing at (or in my case, cringing at) how Americans behave in Europe is always a good time.
9. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
What happens when a bunch of pirates, trying to win a pirate competition, capture the famous Charles Darwin, who is himself trying to win a scientific competition? Hilarity, that’s what. So while the pirates are trying to plunder the most, and while Darwin is trying to impress Queen Victoria with a rare bird, the Queen is trying to eat said bird and together, the pirates and Darwin must work together to save their beloved friend, Polly the Dodo. The lesson: how the dodo became extinct. I know what you’re thinking, but it wasn’t the Portuguese.
But as for historical accuracy, please, please, please, don’t try to take a lesson from their version of events.
10. Ice Age: Continental Drift
We rejoin our friends – the unreasonably long-lived mammoth, sabre-toothed cat, and sloth who have impressively endured whole epochs of the Earth’s existence during only the span of their own lifetimes, defying the occasional brush with death on grand adventures with their (bio)logically unlikely friends – and this time, the planet has split into continents! What kind of craziness will ensue?! Well Queen Latifah is there, so there’s bound to be some big, sassy creature of some sort. (Also Nicki Minaj for some reason.) And so is Peter Dinklage, which is the only reason I’m going. But more importantly, what can be learned from such a plot? Well, I suppose the first thing is that a block of ice does not for a sturdy seafaring vessel make. And the next is that no good ever came from a squirrel. Let’s not forget that this is all Scrat’s fault. If only he would just forget the damn acorn…
Also, it is worth noting that a Candyland movie is set to be released in 2013, featuring tons of action, adventure, suspense, and emotion – just like the original board game! And while that may sound like sarcasm, remember I’m a child. I could not be more serious. I mean, just try and tell me you’re not excited for hijinks in the Candy Cane Forest or who will be cast as Queen Frostine!
In fact, I’m really in the mood for some peanut brittle now. And molasses.
What do Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Mitt Romney all have in common?
They all should let their wives do the talking.
These rules did not apply to earlier First Ladies. Because being a strong woman was not as important then as it is today, women like Jackie Kennedy did not have to prove anything in the same way that someone like, say, Nancy Reagan would. And the pressure is even greater for political women today, regardless of party affiliation.
Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, and Ann Romney all enjoy greater standing in the polls than their husbands. And while, at first, it would seem that because of their less-significant jobs there is less pressure on them to perform well, and therefore less backlash if they don’t, this ignores another important factor. Statistically, a woman is looked down upon and more people are likely to disapprove of her if she appears too aggressive – meaning “manly.” So, given that these strong, powerful, intelligent women are so popular, it must mean that there is something special about them that takes away from their behavioural androgyny.
Take Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt for example. Both of these women were also strong, highly intellectual, competent, and ambitious women – and perhaps that made all the difference. These two did not enjoy such high approval ratings during their years as First Lady, or even afterwards. Because of their ambitions, these women were perceived as trying to become career politicians, trying to get into the man’s game as it were. With this behaviour came the perception that these women were somehow less feminine than others. And as we all know, as soon as women start acting outside of their gender roles, (and especially if they’re not particularly attractive; Eleanor Roosevelt’s memory STILL has not outlived the comments made about her looks,) their popularity hits an iceberg.
If they don’t start calling you power mad (Clinton), then you’re a lesbian (Roosevelt); and if you’re neither of those things, then you’d better hope you’re pretty (Steinem). Or else the patriarchy reaches for its collective torch and pitchfork.
What Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, and Ann Romney do so well is to find that balance of strength and femininity, and to never appear as though they are trying to overstep. If they walk that very careful line, as women who want to be successful in this day and age are expected to do, then they can slowly start to exercise more powers.
The woman is actually FLEXING — and still looks like a woman.
Each First Lady has their pet project. Barbara and Laura Bush were both really big on literacy, and would go around the country reading books to children and promoting literacy in schools all across America; Ladybird Johnson took on the project of “beautifying America” and went about planting flowers on our highways and such. Hillary Clinton, in a largely unpopular but admittedly ballsy move, attempted to do nothing less than fix the health care system. What Michelle Obama has done is tried to tackle an equally huge (and arguably related) problem but under the guise of something much more innocuous, and therefore less threatening.
Michelle Obama is an advocate of healthy eating and exercise. As an extremely popular figure for women and children – with both Republican and Democratic women – the current First Lady has worked for the WIC program, which helps pregnant women and mothers with infant children afford common food staples by giving special deals on certain items, and the Let’s Move program, which promotes the activity of children in all areas from sports to physical recreation like gardening and learning to cook healthy meals. In this way, she is very much an omni-present force in the lives of many Americans, but in a way that is so non-threatening, and in fact so positive, that people can’t help but like her.
She has now even taken on the second pet project (Shock! This is how you know she’s doing something right. If Hillary had taken on more projects, people would have cried abuse of power) of supporting military families, and bringing their struggles to light. By taking a non-partisan stance on yet another issue facing women and children, she both skirts the perception of overstepping – since she was already working for women and children – and solidifies the affection those demographics already have for her. Well played, Michelle, well played indeed.
Her determination and intelligence, coupled with her charm and ladylike appeal make her the magic bullet for women in politics: the one that everyone likes, and therefore the scary one who could potentially take over the world (with no one noticing).
Camilla meets Dolly. And classes them both up a bit, too, in my opinion.
No one has seen much of Jill Biden. In fact, the rare Jill Biden sighting is much like that of a unicorn, fairy or leprechaun of lore. For, you see, Jill Biden has done something no other Second Lady (her somewhat degrading official title) has done: she has elected to keep working. It’s true! Jill Biden is an English teacher at a community college, where she has been teaching since 4 days after President Obama’s (and, by association, her husband’s) inauguration in January of 2009.
To me, this is extremely impressive. She could have easily chosen to stay home. I mean, when your husband is the Vice President of the United States, arguing that you “can’t come in to work today because you have legitimate reason to believe your life is in danger” would be a pretty easy case to make. Most people would probably understand. But not Jill! She loves teaching, and she loves English, and she apparently doesn’t care to be idle for long periods of time.
Again, these are qualities of strong, capable women (independence, intelligence, a desire for employment) that do not threaten accepted societal norms (she’s a teacher, of English, with no political ambitions whatsoever). She is soft-spoken and pretty, quietly supportive, and yet, still gives off the air of high intellect, confidence, and competence. She, like Michelle Obama, has managed to find that perfect balance between power and femininity that make the new political female so inspiring – and if you’re a male, potentially terrifying.
In its non-threateningness. Irony.
Wife in front of the mics, husband smiling at her supportively… And yet no one questions which of the two of them is running for president. She juggles her roles very well, and you can actually see his love for her in his eyes. That much I believe to be genuine.
I have to give Ann Romney quite a bit of credit here. For one, I have respect for her quickness, her sense of presence, and her media savvy. She knows what she’s doing in front of a camera; she is very, very smart when it comes to tailoring that perfect image.
Take the “scandal” that first really brought her into the limelight, for instance. When Hillary Rosen said she had never worked a day in her life, whether it was the Romney PR people or what who gave her the idea, Ann’s rebuttal was damn good. The woman did raise five sons. And while, no, that does not technically count as employment, and while many American women have to raise five sons while also holding down a job, that does still count as work – and hard work, at that! I’m sure the nannies and babysitters (and tons upon tons of readily available cash) made life a little easier on the Romney household during that time, but raising five kids is no easy task, regardless.
What’s even more remarkable about Ann Romney is that she has really been able to humanize Mitt. In every speech, with every word, and even back in 2008, Mitt Romney has seemed cold, distant, not relatable, and some (many) would even say robotic. But when he’s around Ann, he’s actually a real person! There’s smiling, there’s laughter, there’s – dare I say it?? – there’s even love, by golly! She gets him to tell jokes. She tells cute stories. Together, they appear to be much more similar to the average American than Romney appears on his own. In my observation, this has made a huge impact for him in the polls. In many ways, I believe Mitt Romney has his wife to thank for bringing him (and his campaign) back to life.
And again, somehow, she manages to do this through use of the very things that make her girly. She wears understated makeup, makes sure her hair and clothes are perfect, talks about being a mom, emphasizes romantic things that Mitt does, she injects a bit of physical contact (like an gentle arm grab or a knee touch) here and there – all very feminine things. Because of this, she does not threaten any viewer or voter who might see her; instead, quite the opposite, she comforts them. They know that if she became First Lady, she would neither abandon her husband nor try to take over, a balance in perception which she has achieved by playing up her strengths as well as her femininity, which, thanks to women like these, can no longer be considered a weakness.
You see, as an offset to perceived “strength,” you would think that femininity would have no choice but to play the role of “weakness.” But when you take the fact that these women are enjoying greater power and popularity as a result of it into consideration, that perception doesn’t make much sense. It seems to me that the ability to wield these two things with skill is practically the mark of the modern political warrior princess.
Now, with that thought, contemplate who would win in a fight between Michelle Obama and Xena.
I will attempt to outline why the regulation and legalized recreational use of marijuana can only be a good thing for the United States of America. These arguments will not address my personal opinion of the drug or any benefits or drawbacks of the use of the drug I have personally witnessed. Though, living in Canada, I could tell you a story or two…
This is the hemp plant. It is a plant. Did no one ever stop to think about the ridiculousness of outlawing a plant? How can an entire species be somehow against the law when one is natural and the other is man-made? It would be like outlawing sparrows or grapes! And honestly, sparrows don’t bring half as much to the economy.
If legalized, accurate information concerning marijuana and its effects on the body and brain would become more mainstream, and eventually common knowledge. As of right now, clear factual evidence of marijuana’s harder-to-find and longer-term effects are not well-known outside of the scientific community (who alone have special research permission and are therefore granted legal access to these substances). We do know that marijuana is a natural and effective pain killer and anti-depressant, and many with speech impediments, sleeping problems, incontinence, brain disorders like cerebral palsy and ADD, and anxiety issues rely heavily on it to function normally in society. Surprisingly, it also contains chemicals that fight cancer. As far as we know, no lasting damage is done by marijuana, according to the results we have from the studies that have been conducted – and that includes damage to the body as well as the brain. This is contrary to most popular assumptions, like those which stipulate that marijuana kills brain cells and causes cancer. (And even those arguments aren’t as farfetched as the ones that claim marijuana contains more tar than cigarettes. Tar is heavy in nitrogen, while marijuana is not. Marijuana is simply a plant that is dried and cut, whereas cigarettes are highly processed; you do the math.) The inhalation of burning plant matter should never be considered a healthier alternative to abstaining, but the smoke itself does not cause cancer – an argument that cannot be made for cigarettes. In all of history, the total number of deaths caused directly by the use of marijuana that have been recorded is zero. No one has ever died of marijuana use. People have died because of marijuana-trafficking gang wars, yes, but that’s quite a different thing. That too comes down to the legal status of marijuana, or else gangs would not be trafficking it in the first place. This brings me to my next point.
By far the tamest of the pictures I could have chosen. Did you know that thousands of bodies have been dismembered and dissolved in drums of acid? Or beheaded and sent back to their loved ones with threatening messages? And those are the ones that weren’t simply shot or stabbed or burned… No? Just something to think about… Along with the idea that those two in the picture were almost certainly killed with weapons purchased legally in America.
CRIME (in Mexico):
MEXICANS ARE DYING. By the thousands. In the streets. In their homes. Pretty much everywhere, and at all times, they are living in fear. And often, they’re doing it about 5 miles from the safety of the American side of the border. Because drug cartels have more power and influence in Mexico than the actual Mexican government, which is too busy playing by America’s rules, our “can’t-let-the-bad-guys-win” strategy, which is only pissing the cartels off, and making them retaliate with greater force. To make matters worse, our sentimental attachment to our firearms means that we are supplying guns to those same cartels. Owning guns is not legal in Mexico, so they buy the guns in America (or pay Americans to buy them) and take them back to Mexico. If you don’t believe this is happening, you are just being silly and naïve. Almost all of the guns in the gangs’ possessions come from the United States of America. Legalizing marijuana will not take away their guns, but it will take away their power.
So, to recap, our demand for drugs (we are the top consumer, worldwide, and that demand is not going anywhere) coupled with our ban on drugs is why there are cartels. In essence, by making a popular commodity illegal, we have necessitated its purchase from black market suppliers. Those cartels then terrorize Mexican citizens with guns we sold them, then we pay taxes for our military to try to defeat the same cartels we have both created and armed. Oh, and then on top of that suck salad, our immigration laws are keeping people from coming here for safety! Disregarding the economic benefits (taxation/regulation of the drug, the reduced cost of enforcing the law and imprisoning dealers/users, the industry of paraphernalia) potential health benefits, and any other argument I may make here, legalizing marijuana would effectively save Mexico from the mess we have made there – since lobbying to change our gun and immigration laws is too much to ask.
Hmm… I don’t see “Production” or “Education” or “Efforts to Stop Being Annoying Self-Righteous Jackasses” anywhere on here! I wonder why that is…
CRIME (in USA):
An alarmingly high number of Americans are in prison. In fact, we’re #1 for prisoners! (Now, there’s something to be proud of, all you flag-wavers and foam finger-wearers who somehow have this delusion that we’re still ahead in any of the good categories.) These prisoners, however, are not to be painted all with the same brush. Some are incarcerated for murder, some for rape, others for theft, many for assault, a few more for child molestation… and entirely too many for the possession of illegal substances. Now, even here, we have some for possession of cocaine, some for heroin, some for ecstasy, for meth, for morphine, valium, vicodin… and marijuana, just to name a few. Now, do you think that those guilty of the most common of drug possession crimes (possession of marijuana) should be made to share the same penal vicinity as those guilty of murder and rape, as though the magnitude of their crimes were equivalent? It just doesn’t seem like the appropriate punishment. A $100 fine and an anti-drug course is even slightly outrageous, given that the course will not do any good for any other users (and the money will just go to paying for the drug war/the incarceration of other marijuana possessors). If we legalized marijuana, the number of people in prison would decrease dramatically, which would make most Americans feel a lot safer.
It is true, however, that operating machinery, working, and driving while intoxicated, under the influence of marijuana, are all intolerable offenses and perfect definitions of reckless endangerment of public safety. But the same can be said of the use of alcohol, which is as much a drug as marijuana. Therefore the rules for both should be the same. However, the difference is that alcohol is highly regulated and there are specific laws regarding its consumption, both public and private – the way it should be with marijuana. Public consumption of alcohol is prohibited, unless in a licensed establishment. You can’t pop open a beer and drink it walking down the sidewalk. It’s simply not allowed. You are more than welcome to enjoy it recreationally, in your own home or on your own property, so long as you are “drinking responsibly;” why is it the government believes us capable of responsibility when it comes to drinking, but not smoking? The same rules should apply to marijuana. No one should have the right to invade the space of others in any way while using their substance of choice. That’s why you can’t smoke outside Starbucks anymore, but you can still smoke in your own home or outdoors where it’s allowed. Imposing such rules on pot smokers would only be fair, and I highly doubt many would object. This skewed perception does bring me to another point, though: marijuana v. tobacco.
READ this article, dammit (by clicking on the photo – not the one you’re already reading). It’s important that people start questioning the rationales of previous generations. This may come as a shock to you, but they were not infallible. Hence why we’re still cleaning their messes, just as the next generation will be cleaning ours. That’s what progress is: human cooperation with time and each other.
The amount of cigars and cigarettes sold worldwide is absolutely staggering. What’s even more staggering is that “Cannabis is an important crop in some areas, making up 5% of British Columbia’s GDP”. A huge portion of the economy of an entire province is based on an illegal market. The correlation here is that many view marijuana as a replacement for cigarettes, and vice versa. The reason we smoke so much tobacco and think that marijuana makes you stupid is because of propaganda from the 50s and 60s that pounded it into the minds of our grandparents and parents, who spoon fed it to us like perfectly obedient caretakers. This is because the tobacco industry (big, strong American companies from the East coast that inspired images of patriotic Americana and the brilliance of capitalism and good ol’ Yankee ingenuity,) had very strong ties to the government, and the American people as a whole were addicted to cigarettes. Veterans tell how, in the army, every morning you got a pack of cigarettes and a cup of coffee. They were comforting, familiar, convenient, and readily available. A nation in distress turned to tobacco and got close to it. So for decades, cigarettes were the norm and marijuana (which was largely in use, even then) was demonized and made taboo. This strengthened the tobacco companies, and it also strengthened the United States economy.
Then, the news hit that cigarettes were directly tied to cancer, and though they fought it, (watch Mad Men for further details,) the tobacco industries took a huge hit. And they took marijuana down with it. They marketed cancer as the risk you take when you inhale smoke, thus making all smoke-related substances universally harmful. And so it has been perceived for the last five decades.
Finally, there is convincing evidence that the money that is lost from the sales of cigarettes, (which will not have been replaced, as many people are still addicted to them — an affliction from which marijuana users are delightfully free,) will hardly be noticed from the tidal wave of revenue hitting the market from the legalization of marijuana, which brings me to the economic benefits of legalization.
And this doesn’t even show all the pieces (pipes, bubblers, bongs, papers, vapes), baked goods, or actual marijuana that could be bought! And think about the dairy farmers’ delight when the legalization of weed leads to dramatically increased sales of butter!
ECONOMY: Thousands of products, from pipes and bongs to papers to flavors and brand-name edibles, will be introduced to shelves. This is in addition to the already aboveboard, but not widely distributed hemp-based products like paper, textiles, and cosmetics/hygiene products like shampoo. Hemp farming could be a huge cash crop the likes of which American agriculture hasn’t seen since soy beans got popular, and it may well break the United States’ dependency on corn. With less corn obsession comes less corn subsidies, so we stop putting high fructose corn syrup in everything, and maybe eventually solve the obesity epidemic (although, with the rise in munchies, this could be counterproductive – but the inflow of capital is still nice!).
Our founding documents, (that would be the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution,) were written on hemp paper. That’s because hemp is one of the most unreasonably strong plant fibers on the planet, and one of the most useful as well. Allowing farmers to plant hemp would not only boost the economy because drug users would finally be taking money OUT of the black market and putting it INTO the economy, but with uses for hemp ranging from paper to shampoo to fabric, etc. in addition to the active pharmaceutical properties of the cannabis bud itself, there is almost no perceivable end to the money it could bring in or the purposes it could serve. Plus, it would satisfy an ages-old request of the Founding Fathers: “Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!” – George Washington.
Big room full of white people. And if you Google “pot smoker” the first black person (or, in fact, non-white person) that comes up is Snoop Dogg! I mean, even Cameron Diaz is shown before a single ethnic minority! Clearly, this is not a pastime reserved for “certain groups;” everyone likes it.
This country is plagued by a deep and troubling pathology. The truth is, those resentful of the availability of cheap labor and those whose old-fashioned notions of patriotism impair their more human sensibilities, have taken to equating the drug war and high crime rates with the number of illegal immigrants in certain relevant areas. Furthermore, we assume that Mexicans (and I guess black people, too) are the ones smoking the most weed. You know, because they’re dirty, violent, lazy troublemakers, right? [SARCASM.] The numbers correlate, it’s true. But not because of ethnicity; it all comes back to economics. And perhaps it wouldn’t be an issue of illegal immigration if naturalization were an easier process. Thousands of committed, dedicated, and patriotic immigrants have pledged allegiance to our flag, and yet we make them wait outrageous amounts of time for citizenship. Why are we trying so hard to keep people out? Nevertheless, this is not an issue of immigration, though it seems to be one in the eyes of many people. In truth, marijuana is used in high numbers by nearly all demographics.
Plus, if we legalized it, we would need someone to tend to the crops. And this isn’t a racist statement – American farmers NEED these immigrants. They admit it themselves… And then they vote for Republicans who enforce stricter anti-immigration laws. (Yes, it baffles me, too.)
The Case for Marinol: Naturally, when the government can process something, regulate it, AND bring profits to the pharmaceutical companies that own Congress, then the once-“harmful effects” of marijuana are now just “side effects” of Marinol. We can be trusted to pop pills, but not to smoke responsibly – because when we smoke responsibly, the drug companies don’t make as much money.
You should be able to make your own choices when they only effect you. This is a case of the government and advertisers stepping in and basically telling the American people that they cannot be trusted to make the right decisions on their own. They believe that marijuana is a gateway drug that will lead to worse obsessions. (We’ve given them their pot, but now what will they demand?? COCAINE?!!) And while you may look at our cigarette and alcohol dependency as proof of this, remember that the consumption of both of those things have long been touted and celebrated as patriotic traditions, as if refusing to partake in them was somehow Un-American. And also, remember that Americans abuse pretty much every other substance as well anyway, just not legally, which would seem to defeat the purpose of the laws. In fact, it would seem to defeat the very concept of a “gateway drug.” There’s nothing else to get addicted to; we’re already addicted to it. (And we can always get into the plethora of differences between the highly processed substances with few health benefits that constitute the category of “harder drugs” vs. the innocent, arguably beneficial plant that is marijuana, if it comes to that.)
Now, I’m not a Libertarian – see: any other post for confirmation – but that doesn’t mean I think the government should control every aspect of our lives! There are certain things (like what we choose to spend our money on, to ingest, who we choose to have sex with, etc.) that should be our choice alone — provided we use reason; no one is advocating the purchase of assault weapons, rat poison, or pornography, (all of which are legal,) but we should be free to discern for ourselves what right and wrong are. Those of us that miss the mark can then be punished, just as they are when those assault rifles turn against the innocent, or when that pornography exploits a child.
That’s what the criminal justice system is for – bringing justice to criminals – not bringing criminal justice to everyone else…
That’s what George Zimmerman is for.
– THE DUEL CITIZEN
Additional References of Note:
A) The Union: The Business Behind Getting High (2007). Documentary.
B) I encourage everyone to read this page in particular. The author brings up alternatives to smoking marijuana and dispels a lot of myths surrounding marijuana in general, including one of my many theses – that no one has died from marijuana use – and although I considered his argument, I do not believe it to be sufficient to disprove mine.