Poetry: In the Name of the Eagle

In the Name of the Eagle

Today we honor those who have fallen in the name of freedom.
Today we bless those whose loved ones have perished.
Today we salute the fighting spirit of the wounded.
Today we remember the old soldier beside us.

Today an eagle soars above a windswept canyon…

…tis’ the bond between his feathers…
that gives the strength unto his wings.

Ralph G

Review X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse

Disclaimer: This review has been published for your reading pleasure by a person who has not, as a rule, followed the X-Men series from the very beginning. I do not collect comic books, and am not a super fan of all the Marvel characters and story lines.
Having said all that. let me say this: I really don’t think you need to have a full history of mutants to enjoy this movie. One of the things that I love about the X-Men series is the potential for unlimited characters. I mean the writers can actually make a mutant that’s special powers are anything under the sun; the possibilities are literally endless. The whole idea of mutants, I find really interesting. Just imagine a mutant porno, “The Rise of the Real X-Men.” Please excuse me for that, my digressions are habitual. Maybe that’s my special power, I’m a mutant digressor…how terrifying. Anyway back to the flick. It’s long–time wise, not mutant wise. At least your getting your grubby dollars worth of entertainment value. The special effects are truly…well…special, and in 3D. I am also impressed by the difficulty of making the film, as well as the difficulty of keeping all the weird and unusual characters from getting in each others way. The one really bad mutant dude, who wants to destroy the earth then rebuild it under mutant rule, does a convincing job of presenting himself as not just ugly–but super mutant ugly–and pretty darn scary too. Jennifer Lawrence is hot, even covered in blue. Being a mutant didn’t make her boobs any bigger, but she was still totally do-able even as a glorified smurf. Oops, there I go again. Overall it’s a good movie, entertaining, well put together, I am quite certain anyone who decides to check this one out is not expecting something really profound and deep, so those in that group won’t be disappointed. There is the unpredictability factor that only a true mutant can bring. Wolverine does a cameo as weaponized mutant. The fight scenes were not over done and did not consume the entire movie like some super hero films of late. The story line was well thought out, with some old original crusty ass weird mutant guy, who was presently unknown, returning to life to try and reclaim his title as supreme ruler of the known world–Kind of like Donald Trump (Orange Mutant) running for president–it doesn’t work out so well in the movie, we will have to wait and see about the real world.
The Smyth has Spoken.

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Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

This is a movie that knows what it wants to be when it grows up: A COMEDY. What I like about it is it is not trying to pass itself off as something other than what it really is. It doesn’t bore us with bogus deep plots that don’t work. I appreciate the honesty. Loaded with racy one liners and bit sketches that are equally offensive (in a fun way) to all races, creeds, and sexual orientations. A true mockery of political correctness, that tries to be politically correct by laughing at all groups equally. If you are expecting to see college girls half naked, you are only half right. As much as I love hooter shots, this movie doesn’t rely on them, or even need them, to be entertaining. Don’t get me wrong here, there is plenty of college girls in bikini’s, it’s just that the comedy holds up on all on it’s own without the need to cheapen itself with blatant skin. Sexism is a constant theme explored from several different and very funny perspectives. Even the dick jokes have been replaced by dildo jokes–but they work. This is a perfect movie if you aren’t in the mood to think too much, and if you just want to watch something lighthearted and fun. The acting–let’s face it nobody is getting an academy award here, nor do I suspect they expected to.

The Smyth has spoken.

Of Old Barns And Empty Streets

Of Old Barns And Empty Streets

Like the one they found Claudia in the night she ran away. We knew where to look. The children. This was our tongue and groove, hand hewn, dusty dirt floor playground. The “web” we knew, was a design delicately strung across the corner, home to the big green wolf, or the black and yellow striped guy. Claudia was more scared to go home to that drunken abusive witch who adopted her, than she was of any spider, bat, or little gray field mouse. The rain fell.
We told her to run. Some nights you could hear the screams of the wretched witch half way home, and down a hill. Her parents adopted two, Claudia and Thaddeus, before finally rearing one of their own. The adopted ones were tortured, the other treated princely, that’s why we told her to run. But she had no place to run to…except one of those old neighborhood barns.
Those barns were our wonderland. We were Admiral Perry, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Lewis and Clark, all wrapped in one. This was Timbuctoo, this was the North Pole, this was the haunted castle, or the lost dutchman’s mine, it didn’t matter to us. The only “post” we “liked” was attached to a beam, that held up a piece of American history. They smelled of lime, of hay, or the scent of weathered wood from days long past. At the ground beneath our feet, the soil darkened from the blood of big red machines; once they tilled natures pennies from the earth; now an empty space for a neglected girl, and the echo of America’s farmers forever lost to progress.
It didn’t take long to find Claudia. The children knew where to look. In those days nobody ever asked why she ran. We knew. Eventually she grew up and moved away from the monster. Eventually the neighborhood grew up, and one by one the old barns were torn down, replaced by houses or commercial development. Tiny pieces of American history ripped from their moorings, to make way for shawdy soulless testaments to greed and excess.
Progress is a lie. It’s a lie that parents tell children, that governments tell citizens, it’s a lie that people tell each other because they can’t tell them the truth. The truth is too ugly. The truth is, most Americans want more stuff, not because they need it, they don’t need it, they want it so other people will want what they have–so they can feed their sensitive ego’s and feel special.
Claudia never felt special. The children don’t need to play outside anymore.

Managing Expectations

Managing Expectations

This is one of the most important things I ever learned in life. Yes, that is a big statement, but it is simply the truth. For me the epiphany came when I began to think about the things that really stressed me out the most, the things that brought to me the most unhappiness. I wasn’t interested in the feelings themselves, but the most common source of those type of feelings. I am talking about anger, angst, anxiety, distress, malaise, depression, and also all the negative impressions of other human beings. Really we are not all that different from each other–and I knew that.
I thought about the things that made me pass judgement on others, because I knew to reach the point of unconditional love for all peoples in all circumstances, I would also be giving myself the gift of freedom. Freedom that only forgiveness and compassion can bring–the freedom of the enlightened ones.
I had plenty of time to consider this query; I was doing an eighteen month sentence in a level five prison cell. My life was a series of regimented patterns with very little variation from day to day. My bond was 500k and I was facing forty years. My best friend and co-defendant had just married my girlfriend who at the time was the love of my life. That story will be told in detail in the upcoming book “Confessions of a Scrap Metal Junkie” do in the spring of 2017. To find forgiveness and compassion for me was not even about them anymore, it was about me and my future, it was about the person I wanted to be. As I considered all the things and all the events that had brought me to this point, I also had to consider what constitutes freedom. I began to realize that freedom was not a place, not a destination, but more like a point of view, a perspective if you will. The things they had done may have been wrong, but the reality was they were not totally unexpected. I saw the clues and chose to ignore them, that part I had to own.
That is when it hit me. The one thing that takes my journey straight down the path of misery every time, is really very simple. It is disappointment. I despise being disappointed. Disappointment brings me to a negative place every single time it happens, without fail. With this I had to also understand that a person can only be disappointed if they have unrealistic expectations. A snake is a snake, don’t expect it to act like a rabbit.
The second part to this was equally important. Of course, I am not saying anybody should try to go through life without expectations. It is a natural human response. To be able to have unconditional love for all people, you must be able to manage your expectations. By evaluating your expectations, by having an awareness of them, you can give consideration to whether or not they are reasonable. By keeping your expectations reasonable, and maybe even somewhat flexible, then you can maintain a level of happiness that no outside influence can affect. Own your expectations and you will find peace, love, compassion, and forgiveness, instead of anger, resentment, depression, anxiety, and bad health.

This is “The Wisdom of the Smyth.”


Money Monster

Let’s get right to it, this is a damn good movie. I give it a whole bucket load of stars, spoons, gummie waffles,  smiling imoji faces, or for that matter, any symbol you prefer for your movie rating system. It’s a pretty decent flick, the entire staff (me) here at the loop-hole.com actually agreed on this one– you  should check it out. George Clooney does a very convincing job as Lee Gates, the narcissistic stock adviser with a television show. While Jack O’Connell performs brilliantly as Kyle Budwell, the man who takes over the show with a handgun and jihadist style bomb vest  he forces Clooneys character to wear. I have to admit the whole shit-show takes a very unrealistic turn, when they all go marching down Main st. in search of the C.E.O. douchebag who ripped off stockholders for 800 million bucks. But hey it’s not a documentary, because in real life the police would probably fuck things up a lot worse and a whole bunch of innocent black people would get killed….or maybe not. Anywhoo, the movie is good, you should check it out, especially if you are like me and just plain ole’ tired of watching grown ass men in tights doing a lousy job of pretending to be really pissed off at one another–sorry, that’s a different movie for a different review. Let’s get back to this one. I did enjoy the plot twist, and the incorporated social commentary about greedy Wall St. assholes, about trigger happy police, about mass media, and about the public’s ability to forget things very quickly, those are all worthy topics which is exactly why I really liked this movie. I give it three bloody band-aids and a tampon.