I find many many characterizations in "Lord of the Rings" to hit me in personal areas. Inspirations of who and where I want to be and dealing with life that, while not involving a Ruling One Ring, can still be quite ominous. Eowyn has such moments and these are why.
In many movies, characters that are perceived as background placeholders because they're not the front and center are seen as undesirable. They're expendables or there to make the hero look good. "Lord of the Rings" is not one of those movies, and I expound why Gimli exemplifies this.
Just because you move forward doesn't mean you forget. Not if those memories and people meant something to you. From time to time, a person who was very important in my life comes to mind. With all the joys and regrets it brings. And despite my mistakes, would not change it for anything.
Rurouni Kenshin is a series I've followed since it came out in America years ago. And the live-action franchise is one of the best anime adaptions ever made. The final movie explores his past as an assassin and relationship to Tomoe. A relationship I believe that defines the series overall.
Most martial artist I know got involved because they saw either a ripped Bruce Lee or buffed-out Jean Claude Van Damme on screen kicking ass. That spectacle of the idealized human body coupled with empowerment helped reinforce a long-time idea in martial arts of conditioning. But what is it now?
As with many trilogies, the second movie of the Blade trilogy, "Blade II," was the best. A primary reason is the final battle of Blade and Nomak.
In the West, sword fights and Japan are usually synonymous. Yet they often communicate an unspoken story within a story. A subtlety that many Western action movies lack because of an over-emphasis on appearance. One of the best examples of this art is from the movie, "Rurouni Kenshin: The Final."
"Gundam" is famous for its giant robots and larger themes of war. However, no series goes as in-depth into it as "Iron-Blooded Orphan" from 2015. I just recently discovered this series and I am both surprised and not surprised how I've never heard of this show till now.
I hate quitting something I put my mind to. Especially if it was something that was a long-held goal. Studying JKD is one of the. I was drawn to it seemed different and had to study on my own for awhile. When I finally found a teacher though, I also found out how much it was like other styles too
The end of the popular series "Attack on Titan" has been controversial. But it doesn't stop me from pondering the doomed relationship of its two main protagonists, Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackermen, with its depth and tragedy.
There's a lot of tropes in marital arts, with many being incredibly exaggerated, but some being grounded in reality. One of them is the classic battle between the young, up and coming student with the established and conservative teacher.
Movies usually present us with idolized or false representation of characters or societies. But every once in awhile, a movie will not only present something accurate, but socially apt in reminding the viewers of of a truth that may have been forgotten.
While soccer is a religion for the most of the world, freedom is the religion of the United States. That's not just for the conservatives either, but the left and the middle as well. While where we apply those freedoms is varies, all sides share an equal passion or even fanaticism regarding it.
There are certain words that when mentioned automatically brings conjures multiple images and ideas to the average mind that they picked from pop culture. Among them is the term, samurai, and it's global recognition is the result of a 76 year-long fascination blended in myth and fact.
One doesnt grow up in America and NOT be indoctrinated with the greatness of capitalism. Depending on what circle you're in here, you may also here the rising criticism of capitalism in the form of socialism. There are lots of circles that I frequent and I wanted to share some thoughts on the two.
Most superhero and action movies are about the protagonist rising to the occasion and saving the day. While the "Batman" trilogy looks like it follows that formula on the surface, I would argue it actually does the opposite.
Any art is known for its subjectivity. Two people will look observe, listen to, or read the same piece and get a different perspective from it. Even if only a minor one. So it was with how I saw some of Tolkien's characters in his stories. Hope you find it interesting.
I've been re-watching some scenes from the last season of "Game of Thrones." Overall, it's still convoluted, but I've found bits and pieces of some really good stuff. Among them being a quiet but loaded encounter between two of its main characters.
There's a difference between a legacy and a flash in the pan. In the moment it can be hard to tell, but those that go beyond the confines of their stories through its audience can be a indicator. Certain objects and weapons have reached this status.
The anti-hero has been a staple of Marvel comics for decades. However, its cinematic universe is just starting to touch on this as fans debate the ethics of John Walker, formerly known as Captain America and now known as the US Agent.
When I marched in the George Floyd protests, the common slogan was "no justice, no peace". One year later, some justice has come around, but came about as a result of violence rather than peace. It falls into the old question of American politics of does violence work more than civil disobedience?
Empathy may be a vital part in any type of counseling, but it's also the hardest to do. Many who start the process soon breakdown not long afterwards because of the requirements and their own emotional baggage binding them to that place.
I have two big passions: learning and martial arts. There's much to be learned through them for myself and the world around me. I recently joined a HEMA school of fighting. The insights I have gleaned have been many.
I was raised in a military family and had trained in martial arts for years. So the term warrior was often batted around. So much so that it be became generic to me and didn't really mean much. When I looked into ancient history though and read about it, it somehow felt different than today.
Episode four of "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" has been one of the best and most shocking entries in the entire MCU franchise. Its depiction of someone in the hero's uniform of Captain America beating a man to death is as disturbing as it is powerful.
Once seen as a jingoistic archetype, the image of Captain America comes into its own in "The Falcon and The Winter Soldier" series. The writing of the story not only looks to the future of the mantle, but to the past as well with the man who held it.
Human beings are not logical or even moral creatures. We have prejudices and biases that affect when we see something as an injustice and when we see it as acceptable or to be ignored, no matter how severe the injustice is. I think the reaction to the Britney Spears documentary brings this out.
Captain America and Black Panther are two fan-favorite characters in the MCU. Their strong convictions and morality are inspirational and much of this comes from their upbringing. As the films progress though, this is turned upside down.
Attack on Titan from the beginning has shown itself to be a different kind of anime. While having its blend fast pace action, extreme violence, and strong character development, it has also increasingly indulged deeper questions: the biggest being began the Titan War between Paradis and Marley.
I am reluctant to join factions or go along with media stereotypes. A movement needs to have a certain level of self-awareness.
The afterlife scene in the 2018 Marvel Studios film "Black Panther" serves as a foreshadowing and warning. Here's why I find that scene's message relevant to today's progressive movements.
The main protagonist in "Attack on Titan" is now becoming the antagonist. Many people are saying that Eren Yeager's character is regressing back into his angry, younger self. However, I'm not so sure.
Some fans criticize how "Game of Thrones" season seven almost pitted the Stark daughters against each other. Here's why I felt it was needed, both as an exposition on the two characters and to conclude the Stark story arc from season one.
Did you know that "Attack on Titan" takes a different approach to highlighting indoctrination? While this idea seems obvious to avoid in real life, this animated series shows how easy it can be to embrace and uphold it.
This essay may contain light spoilers for future episodes. "Attack on Titan" is not only a dark fantasy show. It presents ethical and philosophical questions through its characters to the audience.
How many times have you ever watched a science fiction thriller that begins with a typical day on Earth of people squabbling? Then a new threat arises, alien invasion or zombie affliction arises. We start hearing epic speeches of the need for humanity to unite? Yea I use to believe that too
Most people would agree that racism is evil, whether they unknowingly harbor unknown biases or not. But all racism is not the same. People can be prejudice against each other for many reasons. And healing that prejudice may depend on why they hate in the first place.
Our modern language has become full of catchy words that are used to call out others we deem to be on the wrong side. Words so potent that just using it once shuts down all hope of dialogue and peaceful solution. Gaslighting is one of those terms, yet also exists for a good reason.
Nature or nurture? Is Maeglin the child of a bad marriage, or just evil in waiting by design? These are the questions that the character brings to mind when addressing his upbringing and later actions during the fall of Gondolin.
Here's how the 2019 Cinemax original series "Warrior" had a unique portrayal of racism through the character of Leary, an Irish bar owner who was also a patriot and terrorist.
I'm a pretty active person and I do what I can to stay that way, yet not become too consumed by pressures to meet a certain image. I've done well in that regard yet there is one aspect that still annoys me.
To many people, American exceptionalism conjures the image of egotistical people telling other nations what to do or refusing to acknowledge that the world has changed. For others, though, it creates the image of opportunities to become what you want to be in freedom and without oppression.
The death of Boromir is one of the most powerful scenes in the "Lord of The Rings" Trilogy. Here are several reasons why I consider it a memorable cinematic moment.
Women have suffered from being on the blunt end for generations. Recent history is now trying to rectify that injustice, but there has been another side as well. One where the pressures on men to meet a standard has created problems for both genders.
There's a scene in The Return of the King in which King Theoden's niece and nephew get into a subtle debate about war. The theatrical version cuts it short, but the extended cut reveals just how much doing so undercuts the gravitas of the characters and other issues.
Did you know that the anime series "Black Lagoon" and "The Great Pretender" both have characters with dark histories and hard cases? Here's my comparison of Abigail Jones and Revy.
Of the legends mentioned from Middle-earth's First Age, filled with great Elves and their deeds, one is barely mentioned or remembered. Eol's tale is less a tragic one and more disturbing, telling a dark story of an Elf's obsessive nature and its consequences.
Most TV shows tend to address racism in one of two ways: the tongue-in-cheek issue of the week or as a one-dimensional evil that is clearly, if you pardon the pun, black and white. Warrior's approach to it, however, is one of the best I've seen, and here's why.
While being one of the key characters in the Lord of the Rings franchise, Arwen is also treated as one of the most forgettable as well. To many, she appears only to be a crutch to Aragorn's rise to kingship. However, there is much more agency and gravitas than what critics give her credit for.
The willful ignorance of many Trump supporters during his term in office and up to his losing of the 2020 election has astonished many here and abroad. From wild fires in Australia and the American Northwest to supporting groups that blatantly deny scientific facts, no one seems to understand why.
Ever tried explaining to a Non-American the land of the free with the treatment of immigrants along the southern border? Or our respect for human rights while using drones to wipe out whole families to kill one man? Rest assured they are already aware of this, but why the difference?
America is not under attack these days, but is being called out. It is being called out for preaching our image as the pillar of freedom and democracy while equally coming apart at the seems over everything from racism to what someone said on Twitter.
The old saying, an eye for an eye, still persists for a reason. Over the last few years, it has begun to applied to dealing with racist encounters. A recent event in England from my Twitter feed sparked some reflection. All pictures are from my Twitter feed and blacked out.
Turgon is one the most famous characters of the Silmarillion and legends from the First Age, where the Elves were at the height of their power and influence. Yet even through such grace, they could also still be flawed
"This is texas-est shit I've ever heard": Americans have always been proud and boasted of our culture of freedom, independence, and overcoming all odds, even in the face of its failures and a world that barely uses any of our standards of measurements. But is that attitude now becoming archaic?
Does being the better man effect the change we seek in society? Does extending a helping hand to an enemy make us traitors to the cause?
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has touched off a public uprising far beyond what any media expert could foresee. Hundreds of thousands of people across the world are making their voices heard. But Many are starting to resent what they are doing to their national identities.
Comments about morality and the Golden Rule are common in movies based on fiction. So common that they are often glossed over by the viewer. Every so often though, one film comes along that strikes us like a word from the beyond and continues to do so long afterwards.
Fantasy and science fiction both utilize the hero in their stories as someone to progress the series along. Someone whom you both saw the world through and aspired to be. Lately that trope is being flipped and two characters that embody this trend are Jean-Luc Picard and Luke Skywalker.
The trope of an evil force causing global chaos is the most basic of tropes in fantasy. Middle-earth is the most well-known for this template, but who in this universe was its greatest tyrant?
Beren is a name that carries a lot of weight in the universe of Middle-earth: married to an immortal and the sire of a long line of nobility that survives far past his death. Beyond the myth however, the man carried even greater weight.
The benevolent watchmen of Middle-earth, the Valar play a crucial role in early development of the world up into it's Second Age. While benevolent however, their authority is pot-marked with highs and lows: particularly with their relationship to Middle-earth's inhabitants.
The original White Lady of the Noldor, Aredhel has a short story in the Silmarillion, but a powerful presence. She's up front and blunt person in a clan full of proud and angry nobles.
One of the most lingering aspects to me about "The Silmarillion" was the tale of Numenor, an island inhabited by the best of humanity. Its destruction was so severe, so total, that I had to examine the motivation behind it.
Caranthir is one of the sons of Feanor who gets less attention than his brothers, Maedhros, Celegorm, and Curufin. However I think there's more than meets the eye to him than is given credit for.
Welcome to my examination of the internal relationships between the Elves of Arada and their motivations.
These two brothers are rarely mentioned apart from each other. While "The Silmarillion" contains Elves acting badly, Celegorm and Curufin are perhaps the most infamous. They literally gave their entire clan a bad name on their own, and I think their motivations bear examination.
Though often grouped as shared collective, I think the Elves of Middle-earth are more diverse in appearance and thought than given credit for, even among the separate tribes in Valinor and Middle-earth. These distinctions would not have been as apparent to outsiders, but to the Elves themselves.
The legacy of Luthien is the most famous in the universe of Middle-earth. So much so that it is easy to lose track of who the actual person was and what made her tick.
Ever since The Last Jedi, no matter what people have said, the franchise's fandom has become infamous for its internal battles and mud-slinging. Both sides accusing the other of ruining Star Wars. Now suddenly, that has seemed to change.
Diversity is among the most commonly used and most often divisive words in our language in the last twenty years. It has come to mean different things to different people and whether or not it is beneficial to society or detrimental.
Forty years ago, when you wanted to learn how to fight in some obscure style, you had to either copy it from a movie, buy a VHS tape from a martial arts store or magazine, or buy a book to read up on the steps and use it's pictures. That's all changed since 2005.
When I watched Avengers Endgame, there was a scene where several of the female heroes came together to defeat Thanos. While the majority of the final battle was praised, this was the one scene that I heard cringing groans in the audience. Why the difference?
Why is it that people feel the need to look up to others? Whether they are social activists, political leaders, fictional heroes, or even the local firemen, we feel the constant drive to declare for ourselves an enduring figure, even if we keep them at a distance.
Religious law is something that many Americans detest and have developed an automatic distrust for. We often cite elements like their anti-educational stance and barely-concealed threats to any who disobey—especially in other countries. Yet, to me, it's not dissimilar to American cancel culture.
Disney's run with the Star Wars franchise has seen many debates, but chief among them is using the Force. Some fans have called Rey a Mary Sue for being able to use the Force so quickly, while others supported it. But do you really need it?
The moral sensibilities of Western nations are often hyped up as the best of human ideals. Various countries have sought to preach them in every part of the globe. Yet, many times they fail to take root. If our values are superior, why would they fail to catch on?
One difficulty of living in the modern age is how easily triggered many people on all sides become, and how it quickly consumes everything we see. Some of it seems legit, while some feel pretentious. It seems new because of who's leading it, but it actually goes back some seventy years.
Whether you know or not, philosophy plays a big part we watch, what they tell us, and how we react to them. Since the 1990's, we saw these views as postmodern, but that may not be the case.
When one sees wild painting put up on walls, They may think of it as vandalism or a work of art. But all recognize it as grafitti. Beyond the spray painting and the pictures though, there is can often be a motive behind the art.
When it comes to onscreen heroes, there's a nostalgia for the icons of 40 years ago and a desire for new ones that match today's values. Both sides criticize the other, but what were the changes to heroes and when did they happen?
Conflict can oftentimes warp our perceptions of who or what we are fighting. In the realm of American politics, this is something I've witnessed when talking with both Republicans and Liberals about being conservative.
Both "The Lord of the Rings" and "Game of Thrones" have revolutionized the art of fantasy storytelling, especially when it involves a great quest. Here is how both franchises skillfully show what costs their main characters endure in undertaking them.
Did you know that Boromir from "Lord of the Rings" and Daenrys Targaryen from "Game of Thrones" both exhibit the concept of noble madness? Here is how they both arrive at that point from different places and life experiences.
You know it's bad when you don't see the last movie of a franchise that in the past you would see opening night. Dark Phoenix was like that for me, but as a fan of 'X' since before the movies, where did I drop off the page?
In the second of the cross-character analysis series, I examine two characters that are both of royal lineage and exiled. Many parts of their arc parallel each other and then go awry, making it fascinating to compare their psychologies.
The hidden king trope has been a classic technique in literature and entertainment for centuries. In the last twenty years, "The Lord of the Rings" and "Game of Thrones" have taken this idea and done very different things with it that are both unique and interesting.
Game of Thrones has made history being arguably the most popular TV series since MASH. Over the course of it's run, fans have had their favorites whom they were looking for to rule Westeros. I believe that the best and most important character is one that has been in plain sight all along.
The final season of "Game of Thrones" offered a unique perspective into two distinct styles of leadership from a pair of characters of the same house: Jon Snow and Sansa Stark. While there are many similarities, there are also a number of differences.
The next subject in my project on in-universe psyche profiles, Melian has been something of a mysterious character for me and difficult to understand. A divine spirit who becomes flesh, forsakes bliss, and binds and involves herself in the affairs of Middle-earth during the First Age.
Once considered the outliers of youthful society, nerd and geek culture has come of age at the turn of the century. From comic cons to tent pole franchises, the comics and movies we made fun of now make millions of dollars. However, that recognition has brought a growing extremism with their fans.
Racism is always a hot topic in America, where people either perk up or tune out whenever it's mentioned. Yet its effects are real and many are trying to deal with that. Reparations to descendants of the victims is one option being worked, yet I find myself unsure of this method.
I think High King Thingol is one of the most complex characters in the Silmarillion. This is because much of that complexity is based around circumstance and legacy. How much of it was intentional and how much of it was accidental?
Of all the sons of Feanor, Maedhros was the most interesting to me because he tries to be the most different. In him, I really felt the tragedy of the First Age.
I read an article about a 1954 letter from Albert Einstein where he tells a friend his opinion of religion and faith. He doesn't seem to think very highly of them by that point. Yet I feel that he and others who share this opinion are missing a very crucial point.
Finarfin is one of the lesser known elves of the First Age. He bookends the beginning of the Noldor saga and its end. However I felt there was enough hints and implications that make Finarfin more than just a bookmark in Middle-earth history.
It's been a while since I started my pet project of doing psych profiles on characters from Middle-Earth I found compelling. So I'm glad to get back to it. These profiles are done from an in-universe point of view and not what Tolkien meant to write. It's long but I hope you enjoy it.
Honor is more than what you saw in "The Last Samurai." An opponent who practices a traditional style doesn't necessarily fight traditionally when the stakes are high. Yet many people often assume that. So what is it?
The average Americans' knowledge of the world is usually limited to knowing nothing at all or a mixture of little knowledge and images presented by media clips. This narrow perspective has contributed both to how prosperous we have been and to our social and national problems.
As different as each generation is from each other, some things never change. And one similarity in particular is their ignorance of predecessors' contributions to social change.
A source of great frustration to me has been the tribalism that currently runs rabid in America. The population is literally spit down two sides and both them can be equally self-absorbed to miss whats better for the greater good. I know the numbers, but have always wanted to know why it exists.
The common trope of seeking glory has been applied for a long time to people going off to fight other wars. Yet this current streak seems more unusual given the day and age it is in. Why?
Fighting systems are often used for entertainment and extreme combat situations. The number of disciplines is as large as the various societies they come from. There is opportunity here that many tools don't offer.
MMA events are the among the biggest money makers in sports with huge fan bases worldwide. Yet many people were shocked by the recent post fight brawl at UFC 229. To me however it was simply the nature of the beast.
Martial artists stereotypically are seen as either people dressed in uniforms doing forms, or human dogs fighting in caged matches. However, I have learned to see it as something else now thanks to two books I've read.
As a kid, one of the things I was told that makes my religion different was that it was about a relationship with God. Yet for a long time, that was something I barely ever saw. And when I did, it did not lead me deeper into that religion.
This isn't a review but a reflection. I do not have many people I would consider inspirations in my life. However Bruce Lee was definitely one of those few. He is considered a martial arts god to this day, but the new biography on him that I read made me redefine how I saw him and heroes overall.
There's a lot of characters I like from Game of Thrones, but one tends to go unnoticed and despised. The High Sparrow seems like he would be a person people would cheer at first but his later actions change that. Here's why he is still one of the best characters the show has ever produced.
The most difficult type of prejudice and racism to tackle isn't the type that is in your face and cursing at you, but the kind that smiles at you but does not trust you because you fit a certain profile. Where does that come from?
While many of Tolkien's stories and inspired media show humans and elves as allies, they also show them as distinct. Of all the stories, direct or inspired the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth goes into the most detail and implications why
Saying 'I love you' is already a hard thing to say to people. Yet for men to say that to each other can be even more difficult because of the tribal, social contexts we live in today.
Actress Kelly Marie Tran's departure from instagram has highlighted a growing problem within the Starwars universe. Is fan base at risk or is it part of a larger issue of fandom becoming toxic?
In 1986, Top Gun soared into the mainstream, leaving a trail of memorable catch phrases and seductive adventure that would mark American culture. It's effect would then go beyond that.
Many in the entertainment industry are championing the cause of diversity. But that is increasingly at odds with their audiences that provides them their careers. While there have been recent successes, their have also been recent failures.
Even though people want to jump onto one side or the other when they see this word, it is more than what they think it's applications and origins are not as clear cut either.
Was Fight Club prophetic regarding the fragility of the social consciousness of American Youth? Or is a pattern that continues to repeat itself?
In the 21st century, killing others on the basis of belief is largely considered immoral and barbaric by most people. Yet one of the biggest problems of the new century has exactly that. Why?
It's that time again and the hype train for Marvel Studio's films is now in full swing. Yet considering how it started out, its amazing how it got to where it is now and how it has franchise film making forever.
For something that is supposed to be comforting and supportive, somehow this phrase has become the very opposite: cold and apathetic. Why and can it go back to being something honest?
When you been with a product long enough you get attached to it. And over time, the reality of what made it what it was gets glossed over. Such is the case with the Expanded Universe. Disney's new direction has left the fandom split, with opponents wanting a return to the fictional world .
Although the idea has already been raised in the old Expanded Universe, the recent Disney interpretations of the franchise have once again broached the question, "Could Leia be a Jedi?" So let's look at it for fun.
The classic route to becoming a world power is to knock off the reigning power from their seat, which usually meant war. However as war with equal or superior powers has become more risky, rivals may have found another way to getting what they want.
It is common in America to make an entire community out as one group rather than acknowledge their individual differences. "Black Panther" hints at some of these differences.
We often look at an idea from a single perspective and assume that to be universal. Yet that is not always the case such as with the issue of feminism.
The strongest heart strings to pull on a person is children. Put those children in areas of conflict or if they have been harmed and it can spark outrage.
There are wild expectations going around for the upcoming and highly praised, newest installment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Among the unique qualities of the movie is where it is located.
With all the opportunities and avenues the internet affords us, it has also become one of the most hostile communities in society that has far reaches beyond the digital realm.
Who defines as success in life? Does it ever really come from ourselves? When we fail these expectations, it becomes easy to become depressed and angry at ourselves and others who seem to have it.
Taking your own life is something unfathomable. That someone could find no other way out of their circumstances than to commit suicide is tragic. Other places can have different perspectives.
All major science fiction and fantasy series that have become successful have created legions of devoted fans. Most are gracious but the recent Starwars movie reveals that are not so much.
If there is one thing I appreciate more than good action and a good story, its action and story weaved well together. The Thor franchise has now become one of those films for me.
Life sometimes wears on us, and we all find different ways to regain that spark. For me at times, it was through my relationships with special women.
International Human Rights Day sounds just like another glorified celebration by bleeding hearts and social justice warriors. But it is much more than that on a much larger scale.
Whats the difference between Wonder Woman and Sarah Connor? Well as of late quite a bit. Like all causes, feminism though justified, can be vulnerable to factionalism, each with their own views.
Everyone also holds at least one belief they think others should obey. How strong that holds up depends on whether the speaker also holds themselves to it. To not do so is to compromise that belief.
Racism is often grouped into one meaning. However each different place has a different history with it, with different elements that made it. While equally wrong and related, they are not the same.
Why do we have such a hard time when we find out unpleasant facts about people we admire? Why do some of us go into denial when confronted with physical proof? We all do it in some form.
Given the backdrop of race issues in the real world, I never noticed until recently how much of that is indirectly reflected in J.R.R. Tolkien's books and movie adaptions, so I wanted to explore that.
NFL fans are furious over their favorite players using TV time to make their views known on the current race issue in America. Even the president has gotten involved. Why are people so upset?
They say you never talk about poltics and religion at the dinner table. They may want to throw in popular shows and movies as well.
Next to Morgoth, Feanor is the biggest catalyst for the events of the First Age of Middle-earth. Though he dies early on, his legacy outlasts him as one of the most controversial of Middle-earth.
Everyone is a businessmen these days. They don't have New York offices or business suits, but a living room, the internet, and an idea. This is a a reflection on when I noticed this trend.
This profile is on the first High King of the Noldor elves and derives from the book, The Silmarillion. He has a long-lasting legacy in the history of the lore and his immediate family.
What is it about looking fat that upsets us so much? Why do we feel less manly if we do not have a six-pack? Who really cares as long as we're choosing that right? So yet why is that not the case ?
This Middle-earth profile covers Nienor, daughter of Hurin and Morwen, and sister/wife of her brother Turin. For proper context, read "The Silmarillion" and "The Children of Hurin."
These are some observations I saw during the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight. I personally enjoyed it, and here are some notes you should consider.
Say the name Bruce Lee and you get the image of a bare-chested man screaming and going through his opponents like a bull in a china shop. I found though that there was more to him than that.
At what point does a Non-White, male character become more than the sum of their appearance? Not too long ago, many called this insulting. Today is it still? Did a negative evolve into a positive?
This profile covers Lalaith, second child of Hurin and Morwen who died early on before war separated their family. Though seemingly as footnote, the child brief life bears quite a bit of weight in her family.
Name the last three movies you saw with big, epic clashes of arms. Then recall in any of the movies on your list how many had some gripping, motivational speech about an upcoming battle.
This is a character profile from JRR Tolkien's Middle-earth. The topic being Turin.
This is a personal review of the play Dionysus in 17. If you live in or near the Rochester area you can Google it at Bread & Water Theater.
This article covers the wife of Hurin, Morwen, the Lady of Dorthonion from the books, The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin.
So, I wanted to do psychological profiles of certain Middle-Earth characters from an in-universe perspective. This one is on Hurin.
Do people who talk about high ideas amount to anything? Do their words accomplish anything in this world? Historically, yes and they still do.
Fear is touted as a martial artist's worst enemy. And we are taught to feel shame if we do feel fear. Should it be as stigmatized?
If you talk to most people about judging others, they will either say its wrong or it is should be on a case by case basis. Yet frequently we are seeing this not to be the case. Why are we shocked?
This article will explore the concept of reclaiming slurs and other insulting phrases and whether or not is right or permissible. (Warning: The content of this article refers to words that are insulting, though blanked out. Please move forward carefully if you continue on.)
Can a friend be as important as your sibling? Can you call someone else your parent who did not give birth to you? The answers I am often seeing to questions like these is 'yes'.
*THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS ABOUT WONDER WOMAN* The fictional character of Wonder Woman is loosely based on the Greek gods of old. It also touches on when those beliefs are challenged.
China has always been hesitant towards its acceptance of mixed martial arts and favored their traditional styles. But a recent match has forced the country to confront this insecurity.
Religion is seen by many as either you believe in superstition or you don't. There is often no in-between, but demythologization seeks to do just that. Can it be done, and what is it exactly?
These two legendary franchises have been around for decades. Why is there still an appeal, and are they more similar than different?
Everyone wants justice, but what happens when it is no longer about justice? What does that look like?
Do you know how to lock up someone in an arm bar or rear-naked choke hold? If so, then do you know about the what those moves do to another person? Or what the law says about it if used?
What do we see watching a movie based on another country's entertainment, with little to no sign of its people in it? Is our perception right or is it culturally biased? And does it matter?
Movies about superheroes can be very entertaining but can also be very generic and follow set patterns. However, there are some movies that break the norm.
A random, sarcastic comment sparks a very good question: when did we find big butts sex? When did less become bad and more become good? And is this a good trend or a worsening one?
There is always talk today about how people are tired of seeing superheroes on the big screen and that the fad is ready to go. However, 'Batman' always seems to defy that idea and it started in 1989.
If you were born during a time of relative peace, then the idea of accepting people different from you may seem natural. However that idea has not always been there and is possible to lose again.
Where is the line between good satire and inappropriate, offensive humor? And why do we have such a hard time find it?
Donald Trump's war with the media had only escalated during his presidency. But do they and those who oppose him in Hollywood really have that much power?
Most people love a woman who is great fighter. The success of women's' MMA being an example. It's becoming just as big in movies, but doe the ethics surrounding it damage their credibility?
The Riot at Berkley University has caused a debate over the limits of free speech and how far should people protecting civil rights go. And in the process it has brought up shadows of the past
Donald Trump has been associated with the Far right because of their loud support for him and his refusal to dissociate himself. Some have taken this match up to mean that he is a Nazis.
Trump's ban on Immigrants from specific countries ignited host reactions from Americans. They range from outrage and protest, to support and belief that a campaign promise has been kept.
Martin Luther King day usually brings out the usual quotes of freedom and equality from the famous civil rights leader. But given the violence of 2016, it begs the question, are we free at last?
Martial arts is often seen as a competitive sport, entertainment event, or spiritual exercise. Some practitioners feel this has taken away from its legitimacy as combat art.
Has there ever been a time where you asked something of the universe? Or yelled at God for not saving Someone? And have you ever gotten a verbal response? Hypothetically, what if you did?
During the elections, it was said that all canidates escept Berny Sanders had no love or trust in the Millenial population. Older generations, even the rebellious Generation X, distrust them. Why?
We are familiar with the problems women face with meeting a body-type, or being seen as too emotional and unable to do certain jobs. However do men face a similar dilemma?
The international star breaking into American cinema has been done before. But can it last this time around in a more globalized and sensitive world?
He has been a pop culture icon for over 40 years, but now the star of Darth Vader rises again with the release of "Rogue One" as the proper evil villain he always was meant to be. So... why do we like him?
One of the appeals of the Starwars franchise is its simple worldview. Rogue One presents a different picture. What are the ethics in real rebellions? MILD SPOILERS AHEAD.
If you saw a movie with its hero jumping from building to building and lifting huge weights, would you think it was a Western comic book movie, or a Chinese martial arts films?
We all have had that one friend or associate who just seems to want to be miserable. Like he or she rejects anything that is happy. They're not all the same though and there can be a reason.
I love Asian action films, as a veiwer and as a martial artist. But I cannot help but notice some repeated themes in many of their films and wonder if there is more to it.
Just how important is character really to a leader?
The topic of depression has come up several times in the last few years and yet we are still hesitant to deal with it unless tragedy strikes. So why can't depressed people just get over it?
Which would you choose: the right thing to do that may potentially cost you everything, or to survive with a stain on your soul that would never leave for the rest of your life?
The election of Trump has many people scared. They fear for their rights and even their lives and while some are skeptical of those fears, there is a reason for them.
My experience with White women's' fantasizing about me as a Black man is usually falls into two categories.
What does the election of Donald Trump say about our values and how we use them?
This year's election is either looked on as a joke or an insult because of our options. But regardless, because of Donald Trump, there is going to be a fallout from this.
One of the defining characteristics of the 2010's is the explosion of new sexual identities that have appeared. For many, it seems crazy, causing perceptions and concerns that may not be truth.
How a dream inspires reflection and insight into relationships.
There's nothing wrong with more diversity right?
Cinema is coming under the increasing barrage of accusations that it is not as inventive and substantial as it use to be. Is that the case?
MMA's popularity has caused many to believe it is something new and unique to the martial arts world. Is it?