Seeking The Truth And Smallfoot

**If anyone throws out the Zendaya is Meechee meme. I will end you. :)**

**There are spoilers**

**sorry**

**not really**

**oh well**

Yes, I was so taken by the theme of a (good) animated film that I decided to do a blog post on it. Honestly, movies maybe not be the best kind of media, but there’s some seriously good things to get from them, just saying.

Family movie night has always been and will always be a thing in our family. Smallfoot was a recent  (*cough cough* like since January recent) watch, and I found myself commenting so much on the theme and characters and idjit humans (yes, I said that and if you watch the movie, you’ll get why) so much the first 30 minutes in my exasperated dad told me to sit down and just watch the movie. Which I did.

So glad I did. Because Smallfoot addresses something very important that people seem to forget- okay, scratch that, it address so many things that gives me some hope for animated films. And people should not forget these things. Not in the slightest. Le’ go.

See the source image

Theme 1, asking questions and being curious

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For those who haven’t seen the movie, basically yeti with very human cultures don’t believe in smallfoots (hint hint: humans) and are promptly shook when the MC, Migo, says he found one.

channing tatum lol GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

Chaos ensues.

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Why? Because the stones (some weird rock thingies with pictures that are supposed to be translated into rules for living) say there are no smallfoot! *crowd gasps*

Anyway, the good citizens of yeti-land (not real name) are told time and time again not to question the stones- or question in general, because questions are bad. And Migo is fully heartedly behind that, no questions about it. Until he gets kicked out for defending what he knows is true and therefore has to ask a question which isn’t the ultimate question but which leads to the ultimate question: Questions are bad?

Meechee, the Stonekeeper’s daughter (more gasps) and her rag-tag bunch, the SES- Smallfoot Existence Society- think differently. That’s why everyone except Meechee was expelled, of course. Because they.. well. were thinking differently. And by differently, they believe that smallfoot exist and have evidence to prove it AND have actual working theories to show for their crazy (in Migo’s eyes, anyway) idea.

“All these questions that we always have/ all we are is curious/there’s nothing wrong with that” Meechee explains in song form (how original)to Migo a few minutes later. The SES soon convince Migo and later, everyone else, that asking questions is the way to knowing the truth. Which is 1. not very mentioned in stories, especially not a girl, let alone a princess, as her motive for science, and is therefore applauded by moi and 2. the next theme in this unusual mix of themes.

Theme 2, seeking the truth

channing tatum lol GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

Truth is hardly ever mentioned in kids’ stories, let alone stories in general, so it was really refreshing to see it mentioned and portrayed. (Also, geek self insists on mentioning that I was studying the Age of Reason at the time, and was irritated that Smallfoot managed to compress and explain the concepts of the Enlightenment while my history teacher took like 4 hours. Which is my way of saying they taught some pretty weighty concepts)Anyway. Poor old Migo knows he saw a smallfoot, but according to the Stonekeeper, he didn’t. Why? The stones say there are no smallfoot, duh. And the stones never lie. Right? I mean, like, they’re the stones.

channing tatum no GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

It might pass by a little kid’s head, (which I am, but let’s ignore that) but Smallfoot’s message was wonderfully clear: Truth. is. important. Even if someone says it’s true, you must find out for yourself. You can’t just take it on someone’s word. Migo, our good yeti homie, has some problems with this because.. well, when you know the truth, it has consequences on everything else. Such as, what, the sun isn’t a giant snail that comes out when you ring a gong? Why do we need gong ringers then?

The truth is, the truth changes your life. And for these uninformed furries, that’s a rather drastic change. Why?

Theme 3, people are gullible and tend to believe whatever a higher trusted source says is true

yeti what GIF by Warner Bros. Deutschland

Smallfoot took a real life phenomenon in our culture and portrayed it for little kids so perfectly it’s a wonder that we “older and wiser” can’t see it for what it is: if you just get the right people an the right audience, people will believe anything you tell them. Case in point, the furries yeti. It’s shown in a humorous way (and even better, a great plot point), but it shows something that’s true: we humans tend to rush in headfirst toward opinions and things we believe are true, just because someone/thing/yeti says so. Which is terrible, because even though the yeti started asking questions, even though the truth was right in front of them, they were still persuaded by the Stonekeeper, simply because he was right. Right? Wrong. And it led to more chaos.

scared scary stories GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

 

Theme 4, Integrity

And here I must actually write a paragraph about the idjit humans.

no way omg GIF by SMALLFOOT Movie

Well, just the one idjit human. This guy, who *used* to be a naturalist who was all about saving extinct animals by filming himself talking about them, but now just does it for the ratings- and money, of course. Which makes him so desperate he buys a yeti suit for the sake of one epic YT video.

Yeah, not much integrity. And his assistant leaves him because of it.

Aw, hand me a tissue, what a down-on-his-luck- charrie- not. And he knows it.

This character who shall go unnamed because I’m too lazy to actually google it grows a lot through the movie- and learns, as well as the audience, that integrity isn’t about making sure you’re on top. Sometimes you must put yourself out of the way for others. A good lesson for everyone to learn.

And thus concludes this ridiculously long post, for a movie that was as meaningful as it was ridiculous. And while I still have a bone to pick with some elements (such as the challenging of the stones, namely, that just like in the Age of Reason, people decided to question and eventually walk away from the Bible because, like the stones, it mighta just been a wonderfully concocted and too well trusted set of rules. Post for another time.) I popped the movie out of the dvd player surprisingly refreshed by the lessons Smallfoot teaches- and related to Fleem on a personal level.

Image result for fleem smallfoot gifs
the tiny dude.

life is a highway, Jo

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How Comic Books Helped Me Understand Real Life

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**WARNING: While this post puts comics in a good light, I am in no means encouraging you to check any out or saying that they’re pure goodness and are essential to a person’s TBR. They’re not. There are much better books to read XD We good? Great!**

I’ll say it once, and by good gracious I will say it again. Fantastic Four was better in the comics than in the movies.

Fight me.

I have no clue where on earth our FF copy went- but I do know that it, along with a number of others- was picked up and read by a rather naïve little reader who wanted a good story. I was a little too young to get all of it- just like I was with the others taken home and pored over- but looking back, there’s some connections made that have actually been influential in helping me understand things? Which is weird, I guess, but it really did.

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*sighs* I remember being squished with four other people over a copy of Civil War- or at least I think it was Civil War. We had ZERO clue that not only would we have to read Cap and Tony fighting- but only a few years later, we’d actually see that play out. We didn’t even know Spiderman could be that deep. That comic taught me something that’s stuck: that when you give the power to any one person, it can affect millions more. Nobody here on this earth has the ability to have all the power and use it for good all the time. No one government, no one union, no one thing. And that trying to take away the freedoms of those who fight for freedom to fight for it- that takes away the freedoms of those who can’t fight for it too. That was a tongue twister but it’s true. 😛

So fast forward a few years later, heading about stuff like trade wars and borders and what country is doing what, and what comes into my head is Spiderman trying to revoke the Registration Act. My brain is weird. But it worked.

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Heard on the news about overpopulation and euthanasia and how the world is following a path of destruction and pain, and Reed Richards’ attempts to change the future make sense now. I get why he tried to do that.

But I also get why that’s wrong.

I learned how to be brave from Peter Parker. That sometimes in the fight for good, you will lose, and lose, and lose what you love and it will hurt. Bu you gotta do it anyway.

I learned that more lies and more deception NEVER end up good. Seeing Black Widow and The Winter Soldier trying to sift through what’s real and not real- watching as people in real life had to do just that- as I had to do just that- it clicked. I got that.

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I learned that what makes you a hero or a villain is your heart. We could all be villains deep down. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and even they fail. Even Captain America, supposedly a foundation of truth and everything good- he’s human. He fails. In the end, there is one Hero, and He never fails. (And yes, I just said that. Because it’s true.)

You need to work as a team. Squirrel Girl was enough lesson for me. Kamala Khan, Miles Morales, and T’challa taught me the importance of family. Iron Man taught me to concentrate on today. The Avengers as a whole taught me that life is so much more important that any “greater good”. Life IS the greater good.

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I learned that you are gonna have to find a standard. You’re gonna have to find your code of life, conduct, your reason for why you do what you do, your morals, what you absolutely will not cross and what you might have to. You’re gonna hafta be brave.

Maybe from all the comics, something that resounds loud and clear is that it’s not about you. It. is. not. about. you. Steve Rogers gave his life- many times- for his country. Nat went back to the Red Room, where she’d been broken and torn and made into an assassin, to end it so no other girls would have to go through what she did. Spiderman loses a lot. He loses Aunt May. He wears a mask and fights and still manages to crack a joke because it’s all part of making sure his city’s safe. Need I say more?

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Comics are not perfect. Comics are not clean. There are some really bad things you shouldn’t see, bad elements that are wrong, yes, that’s true. Definitely read with the critical(est) of minds. Marvel isn’t perfect. Far from it- Marvel, DC, and other great comics come from fallen studios churning out stories about fallen people.

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But it’s not fair to say that you can’t learn something from them. You can. Maybe it ain’t in clear black and white, maybe it doesn’t need to be. It’s not fair to say that they don’t teach important lessons. It’s not fair to say that valuing life- at no matter what cost- isn’t a theme worth portraying. Because it is.

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Maybe some of the most important things are displayed in 24 panel art with people wearing Spandex and throwing shields.

I know that’s how I’ve found them.

(not all most important things, mind you, just some. 🙂 )

life is a highway, Jo

 

 

 

Flipping Burgers Is A Noble Profession

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We were talking about this article, my brother and dad and I, that talked about this lady who had been working on McDonald’s for over like… 20+ years? Don’t really remember- but she was in her late 90s, and she’d been one of McDonalds’ longest workers- which is really impressive.

But I’m ashamed to say that after reading the article, my dad and brother laughed. As if working at McDonald’s was an easy job that shouldn’t even be considered a job, and that that lady (who kinda really deserved that recognition?) musta been bored outta her brain.

I’m even more ashamed to say I laughed with them. Just like an ignorant kid who didn’t really know.

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(Gah, sometimes I wanna slap past me. That extends to from 2 years ago to 20 minutes.)

The thing is, I was so, wonderfully, hugely wrong.

Really wrong.

I wish I could find that lady and apologize. For thinking so little of that hard earned role I didn’t think to remember her name.

Fast food workers. Homemaking. Maintenance crews. Bus drivers. School bus drivers. The janitors who clean up the big city stores. Window washers.  These are jobs people need done but don’t think it worth doing. “see this? You don’t do your homework, you’ll end up here.” Like the people who do these jobs are on some bottom rung, and everyone who doesn’t is on one higher. 

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See, last summer my sister starting working in the fast food world- at the ultimate (and superior, tbh) fast food place, Tim Hortons. A few weeks in was all it took to know it wasn’t a walk in the park- and I wasn’t even the one working. It was hard and it was tiring, and ya know what- it was work. Actual. hard. work. It wasn’t like waiting at a lemonade stand waiting for people to show up.

So here’s why flipping burgers is a noble profession. Actually, scratch that. Here’s why the professions we deem “what happens if you don’t study in high school” are noble.

God says so. 

HA. And yes, I can prove that.

1 Corinthians 10:31 31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Notice the words, “whatever you do, do it all”? It didn’t say “whatever you do that’s in a nice office with plushy swivel chairs, do it all” or “whatever you do that’s in a comfortable work setting, do it all” ” or even, “whatever you do that pays well and has a lotta people seeing the good stuff you’ll do, do it all”. No, it’s whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

That’s a tall order, ‘kay? And yet, that’s what we should strive for in whatever we do. Peter and James and John were fishermen. Paul was a literal tentmaker. Jesus was a carpenter. Dorcas was a tailor- they and many more people, not just from the Bible, but from the rest of history proved that it was indeed possible to do everything to the glory of God. So why people all looking down on these jobs like “seriously, that’s the best you can do?”

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A similar thing kinda happened, but about people in the ministry and everyone who wasn’t in it, that somehow pastors were the ones God deemed saints and regular common people weren’t- that’s messed up and also, not true. *nods head like I know what I’m talking about*

Society needs these jobs, but they’ll never admit it, because society is a weird thing that likes to admit it’s all that when it’s really not.

Imagine a world where the garbage wasn’t taken away from your house every day and you had to get rid of it yourselves. Or imagine a mall you walked into and the halls were muddy from the feet of whoever walked there last night. Or imagine the whole fast food thing never existing. Or imagine going to take a bus, but there wasn’t anyone behind the wheel. Chaotic. Why? Because there aren’t any workers doing the jobs. I mean, don’t get me started on if your mom wasn’t there managing things- and we’re homeschoolers, for the most part, so we should know what that looks like. Oh, and should I even mention moms who work part time? They manage two jobs AND their kids. That’s hard.

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The fact is, we depend so much on the people we deem have “lesser” jobs without even knowing. They’re the engine that keeps things running but isn’t heard if you don’t think about it. These people aren’t paid much to make sure that everyone else has a comfortable time. The least you could do is respect ’em a bit and not talk trash about their job while they’re doing it.

Serving is one of the greatest things you can do, and one of the hardest.

Hey, this can come in all sorts of ways, but how come the commonest ones are hardly ever appreciated?  Garbage truck drivers, bus drivers, teachers, fast food workers- could use a little more appreciation and respect. They’re doing the work so you don’t have to.

They’re people too, y’know. 

My sister and a couple friends I know all ending up working in different places because college is ridiculously expensive here and because experience is a lot and because money is tight. But nobody really cares about that though. Nobody cares that behind the counter is another person trying to make ends meet, just like you. But for you, as soon as you get your burger, you’re outta there. For them, they have to do the same thing all over again for the next person in line. Also, to be honest, some people are really just jerks. A person can only handle so many jerks, y’know?

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Okay, okay, we get the point, whadya want us to do now?

Maybe just to realize this:

I’m not saying just stick with your job, whatever kind of job you have, because it helps society or whatever. If you wanna quit working at a diner to start up a company- go for it! If you think you would rather create music than be an engineer or a welder, do it. if you wanna work at McDonald’s just to save up money to buy a truck and travel cross country around North America taking pictures of everything and falling off cliffs so you can send your pictures to National Geographic, go for it! (Don’t fall off a cliff, but yeah!)

Just don’t look on people who do these jobs. Or who’ve struck a cool balance between them. Fo’ example, there was this infuriating poster once which read, “why be a scientist when you can raise scientists?” and it showed a mom with a couple kids.

Woah.

That’s just broke.

Stay woke, you guys. Why not do both? *gasp* Is it entirely impossible for a mom to *gasps even more* actually do something not kid-raising related while raising kids?

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Uh, no. *shoves Hidden Figures in your face*

*mini rant about moms over*

So here’s to the ones that aren’t in the spotlight. Here’s to the ones who have to clean up even after everyone’s gone. Here’s to the janitors, the late night crews, the bus drivers who have to put up with people and traffic, the moms who stay home and run things, the moms who manage both, the kids who need some money for a future, that lady who worked at McDonald’s for longer than most kids have been alive.

Cause even flipping burgers is a noble profession, whether we realize it or not.

life is a highway, Jo