Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Four-Year Glimpse Into the Future of America

Recently I helped deliver some predictions on what 2013 would bring to Mormondom. In the same spirit,  I'm casting my net a little wider here. With ongoing political clashes between Democrats and Republicans, a sluggish economy, and increasing ubiquity of trashy TLC reality shows, people are concerned with what the next few years will bring. Luckily, my powers of perception make me uniquely qualified to foresee the future, so I now present to you a timeline of America's next four years (sorry, international readers, you're on your own. Just watch out for Lesotho; that's all I can say). Plan accordingly.

-Economic recovery slowly continues, unemployment approaches 7%, and the Dow-Jones reaches record highs.

-Democrats and Republicans have various showdowns that unfold in entirely predictable ways.

-Alabama wins its third consecutive BCS National Championship.

It gets worse before it gets better

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Emmylou Harries and Patsy Feline; Or How Allan Became a Deranged Cat Lady

I, Allan Davis, perhaps lacking both a sound mind and body, attest today that I, despite what I consider a long--nay, a life-long--commitment to my self-expressed dog-person identity, have of late turned to the ways of the cat lady. I here both confess my own lapse in prudence and accuse the culprits who have so surreptitiously undermined my sanity. And so, with a heavy heart but necessary fortitude, I press forward: J'accuse Emmylou! Et tu, Patsy!

Pictured: The Shadowed Silhouettes of Feline Felons

It all started five months ago when I moved into a house with three of my friends. Sara brought the kitties. Their names are Emmylou Harries and Patsy Feline; named, respectively, after Emmylou Harris and Patsy Cline. (Sara has remarked that if she ever got a male cat, she'd name him Steven Se-claw.)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

All I Wanna Do Is Pew Pew Pew Pew: Guns and GIFS

Several times now I've started and then stopped writing a post about the big issue of the day: Football stars' fake girlfriends guns. But I've held off for a few reasons. One, I don't really have any solutions to offer, just the same observations and complains made by others more eloquently elsewhere. Two, the thoughts that I do have are somewhat muddled and incomplete. So instead of a reasoned, intelligent series of arguments, I decided to fall back on every blogger's favorite pageview magnet: GIFS! Here, then, are my reactions to some of the most common arguments I keep hearing in the gun debate. For best results, wait a minute for everything to load.

Americans have constitutional rights to firearms

Saturday, January 12, 2013

On Fairy Tales and Netflix

A few days ago, I returned to Maryland from my Christmas break in Florida. I found most of my vacation rejuvenating if for no other reason than because I spent most of it in bed with the cold that would not end. I was not stuck in bed long before I decide to renew my Netflix account. Originally, I planned to spend my time in Florida learning how to drive and possibly taking a test to get my driver's licence. Instead, I worked through three seasons of Doctor Who in two or three days (it's hard to remember exactly because there was a lot of coughing, spitting up phlegm, and watching Community as well). I was not in a state to spend much time with anyone in a meaningful way, but the desire to recuse myself into the comforting realm of episodic narratives probably devoured more hours than it needed to as 2012 drew to a close. These circumstances--as well as behaviors in the past that inspired me to delete my account a few weeks ago--prompted my desire to articulate a New Year's Resolution that addressed my addiction to Netflix marathoning. 

However, on the penultimate day of my trip--a point by which I had felt better for a while--I used my Netflix account for good. I introduced my six-and-a-half year old niece to Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. Notes on my niece and Sondheim's masterpiece are important. Stella lives with my parents and has enjoyed a Disney upbringing. From seeing her Christmas presents and room decorations over the years, I can assure you that Disney has more to offer girls than their stock princess line. In fact, they almost design the princess model for an older aged girl, the age Stella is becoming now. Prior to that there's a big emphasis on fairies--Tinkerbell and her cadre of friends. It's the line of products that comes before the princess parade. Which now that I think of it is genius not only for marketing purposes (I think three to five year old girls would be inclined to like fairies more than princesses) but also for consumption--the switch will mean that the same customer will be willing to buy a new line of merchandise since they no longer are interested in the previous permutation you sold to them. Well, there's Uncle Allan and his jaded but realistic understanding of the Disney corporation's economic agendas. The point is Stella is a child of the Disney demographic and is getting ready to enter her era of the princess. As a card-carrying feminist, I have my feelings about the princess persona which are fairly predictable; so I don't feel like I need to rehearse them here. 

Pictured: Spice Girls Reunion Tour Poster

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Lord of the Weekend

Ice and shadow descended upon the land. Long was the winter, cold the days. It was as though some malevolent enemy had spread its dark will across the earth, covering the ground with frost and snow, obscuring the skies in a blanket of grey, forcing men inside where the only respite was found in Netflix and ever-increasing power bills. In the fourth day of the first month I strode through my living room fortress and beheld the desolation before me. "It is too cold to go outside. Darkness has taken from me the will to leave," I said to my wife, Lady Brooke.

She nodded. "Troubling have been my thoughts of late. The apathy and ennui of these days weigh heavily upon me." She paused. "And yet, even in this dull hour, all hope is not lost. Did we not recently commemorate the birth of the celebrated Tolkien of old? Can we not find reason to further celebrate his honorable life?"

My brow furrowed as I stared intently at the entertainment center. "Perhaps," I whispered. "Perhaps." A thought began to form, beginning in the deepest parts of me as something primal and unspoken, until it spread through my entire being. Below the television, in the DVD stack, were the Chronicles of Tolkein, in their extended glory. But did I dare? For I knew that once began, the Chronicles had the power to ensnare our minds and capture our attention span to the exclusion of all other activity. Sleeping, eating, shopping: all of these would be lost forever until Tolkien's creation freed us from its grasp. And yet I knew that it was meant to be. The burden was ours to bear. "We will watch the Chronicles," I declared. Brooke nodded in solemn agreement. And so it began.