The Jedi Strike Back Against Intolerance

Look, I’m a big Star Wars guy, have been from a very early age.  Watching a group of AT-ATs inexorably march across the frigid plains of Hoth towards the doomed Rebel base left an indelible impression on my young mind.

Over the years, I have contributed to the retirement fund (not to mention the college fund of 2 portly comic store employees) of one George Walton Lucas Jr. in the form of purchases varying from DVDs, cards, PEZ dispensers, figures, posters, puzzles et al.

Yes, like many a Star Wars fan I’ve fantasized about owning a real lightsaber only to be doused repeatedly with the bucket of cold water known as the laws of physics.

I dare say that in some instances, a Jedi mind trick or two would have been nice to have up my sleeve.

Yet, when I first encountered the fact that some kooks in the UK had actually started a religion based on the spiritual ideas of the Jedi, even I thought that was a bit overboard.

What is so weird about a group of people living by the tenets of whatever came out of the head of a USC grad the Jedi Code?  In all honesty, is that much different than upwards of a billion people living by the things that came out of the head of guy from Mecca? Or a few million people living by the machinations of a dude from Vermont?

Worldwide, there are about 500,000 followers of this so-called Jedi Church.

It was only a matter of time before one of the members of this so-called church to pull the “intolerance” card.  It wasn’t just any member of the rank-and-file but the founder, Daniel Jones.  Yes, the  Grand Poo bah himself.

Apparently, Mr. Jones (cue up the Crows) went to a store in the UK in full Jedi regalia (see Obi Wan Kenobi):

Obi Wan Kenobi
Only a Sith deals in absolutes” Guess they didn’t teach logic at the Jedi Temple

Jones was told to remove the hood or leave the store. According to this story,

As a result Jones, who also goes by the Jedi name Morda Hehol, claims he has been ‘victimised over his beliefs’ and left ’emotionally humiliated’ by the supermarket in Bangor, North Wales.

A Tesco spokesperson said,

‘Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood.

‘If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they’ll miss lots of special offers.’

How good is that? Is the spokesperson insinuating that Jones, like the late Emperor, is a Sith? Now that’s a reason to go, and to sue, which Jones is planning on doing.

Incredible. Why couldn’t Jedi Jones, er Jedi Hehol simply mind trick the cruel and intolerant Tesco employees into letting him keep his hood on?

On a side note, I wonder how long it will be until this so-called church gains a strong foothold here in the States.

What is of more interest is whether or not voices such as these,

Therefore, students should be educated about different religions as early as possible. Wouldn’t it be great if elementary school children were celebrating Eid, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and Hanukah (sic) in addition to Christmas each year in the classroom? They would learn about the traditions and cultures found within each religion and realize that each faith, at the very least, deserves to be respected and tolerated. This knowledge stays with each child so that by the time they reach adulthood, we no longer have misconceptions about basic religious beliefs and practices.

will ask for students to be educated about the Jedi Church? All you have to do is watch Episodes I-VI, right?

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Purge

I understand this word means different things to different people (How cool is the one-word title? Rob Bell would be so proud).

There is of course the practice of eating and vomiting so as to meet some twisted aesthetic societal standard.

You have this type of purge, nothing more needs to be said.

Iosef Vissarionovich Stalin had his own purge in which he ordered the arrest and imprisonment of millions of his own countrymen, executing hundreds of thousands of these people. Ol’ Joe made a heck of a Russian, too bad he was Georgian.

There is the Great Jedi Purge in which Emperor Palpatine and his henchman Darth Vader (below) systematically sought to exterminate the Jedi from the face of that ancient and faraway galaxy.

What is this Galaxy coming to?

As for yours truly, the only purges that touch my life with any frequency are my wife’s thorough “stuff purges”.

Fellows, if you have an office/workspace at home it might be a frightful mess but at least you know where everything is at. Then along comes your industrious wife to tidy everything up, but in reality has messed up the perfectly sane disaster you call a desk.

My wife purges everything by exiling whatever is in plain sight to the nether regions of our house. For the last week or so, I’ve been looking for In Your Honor by Foo Fighters (below).

Last time I saw this great album was on our office desk and suffice it to say it is now gone (thankfully all the songs are in the iPod). I don’t know its whereabouts but I do know that I will not see this album until we move.

Estar Guars

America, the great melting pot, where peoples from different cultures come here to have the things which are either forbidden, restricted, or hard-to-come-by in their native countries. Yet upon coming here immigrants face a plethora of problems, some serious some not so much.

One such not-so-serious difficulty is the challenge the English language presents to one whose first language is not English. For example, some Asians have a difficulty with the “L” sound as a Seinfeld episode pointed out (“The rines are crossed”). The subsequent English dialect is referred to as “Engrish”. Some Euros and Indians have trouble with “V-W” (“Go this vay”).

Native Spanish speakers, such as myself, face a different subset of difficulties with the English tongue. The trouble with these difficulties are directly proportional with how old one was when one came to this great nation and presumably picked up the English language.

For example, a challenge we face is “Y-J”. This manifests itself when we pronounce the word “yellow” as “jello”. Another is the “Ch-Sh” as in “I have to go cach my paysheck”.

My personal favorite is the “Es-S”. To my recollection there are no words in Spanish which start with an “S”, the ones you’d think start with “S” actually start with “Es” (“Special” is especial).

So when the native Spanish speaker learns English (especially in adulthood), those words in English that start with an “S” are pronounced with an “Es” (“Stephen” becomes “Estephen”, “Steak” becomes “esteak”).

This nuance, in my opinion, is most gloriously displayed in the t-shirt pictured below,

The shirt is almost as classic as the movie…