I’ve just come home from seeing Rogue One and I am incredibly impressed by it. I liked The Force Awakens enough, but it felt horribly focus grouped and geared towards evoking nostalgic glee and selling toys. Rogue One is a war movie with Akira Kurosowa’s DNA all over it.
I think this film might be the best of all of them because it’s about the sacrifice and heroism of normal people. This is a film about soldiers and what must be done for evil to be defeated. Mass graves are still filled with the bones of real people like these fictional heroes who gave everything to triumph over fascism, totalitarianism, and communism in the 20th century. To see this poison return in our time is a horror and all right thinking people should steel themselves against it.
The culture is rewarding personal degeneracy and laziness in a host of new, insidious ways while simultaneously allowing forces that want to destroy it to grow. Every night spent watching a show or movie that’s just ok, every moment you check in with what a Kardashian is doing, every toxic meal you eat, every unkind word you say, every urge to loserdom you give in to will be weighed and measured against you at the most inopportune of times. This is the time to hit life hard. It is the time to stand and be counted.
This week I didn’t ask for any questions or remind anyone to send them. Next week I’ll return to the usual silliness. After all, there are just a handful of these columns left. On February 16th I will have finished this year of blogging and will be moving on to another set of challenges. Most of them are going to be kept private because I’ve come to mistrust the mechanism of public accountability. What I want to accomplish next is difficult and I don’t want any energy sapped by the attention seeking urge of social media or voices of concern.
I believe we are entering a time where action will matter more than intention and that is essentially all the advice I have to offer today. So here’s the question, and what follows
What should we do this year?
Don’t hold back any of the love you have to offer. Show up when you are invited. Resist the urge to eat and consume things that weaken you. Show young people how to do things. Don’t let the television tell you what kind of year you’re having. Be quick to laugh and slow to anger. Learn how to fight better, not for your own ego, but for the defense of the defenseless. Stop using the words “actually” and “problematic.” Don’t bitch about the War on Christmas unless you actually give a shit about Christmas. Stop joining in fights between made up camps of enemies like “social justice warriors” and “the alt-right.” Read more. Go outside more. Talk to old people. Bring someone hungry a sandwich. Meet your neighbors. Dance more. Sing more. Tell jokes. Lose or gain as much weight as you need to feel good about yourself, but not because of a magazine’s idea of who you should be. Go online half as much, then in a month, half as much as that. Resist the urge to start watching a new show. Make this season of The Walking Dead your last.