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I admittedly lead an unusually event and adventure-filled existence.

I tell my eight year old Emma Jo that the sort of thing you’ll see in the video below are things I do daily at “work”.

I will admit that a few of them remain on my bucket-list (especially the running on water).

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I’ll warn you now… A certain and extremely popular movie’s story-line will be spoiled if you continue to read this post. However, along the same line-of-thinking you’ll likely need to watch the film to make sense out of this post, altogether. Oh… And, maybe have some awareness around the Bible, Dante (Inferno) and God, in general.

There is the movie Toy Story brought to you by those hearty and ferocious cinemeisters (I made that up!) Pixar. But, there are also two sequels (that did very little for Tim Allen’s acting career). But, as well-received, and, and lofty, I’ll add, as the original effort was, and remains, the third film in the Toy Story series is the most dogmatic to date. In fact, it’s the story of mankind’s relationship with God, and our collective position relative to the way beings, human, and otherwise, relate to the almighty couldn’t be more clear (to me any way). It could be argued, and I will, that the script may as well have been written by John Calvin himself.

God, cast as God (or, Andy):

God, or the God, in this movie is referred to as “Andy” to throw off the less focused. The film begins as God (heretofore: “Andy”) is preparing to move on to a new universe (rather like Babylon 5 and the “Old Ones”), leaving behind the realm he has long ruled. Andy’s current universe is populated with toys that he has loved and cherished throughout a period of his existence (consider my prior post: How Long Is Seven Days?), and before he can leave he apparently has to decide what to do with them. Although why God has to do anything, other than be satisfied with what he’s both wrought, and set into motion, is not made clear. To wit… He has four choices: he can take them with him to his new domain; he can hand them over to a different god [small caps because there is, in my current view, only the one almighty] (so okay, maybe the script isn’t as Calvinist as I laid-claim to above); he can consign them to a purgatory also known ominously as “the attic”; or he can send them to …Hell. He chooses the third option for all the toys except his favorite, Woody, with whom he is well-pleased. So, we also have Paradise Lost, in play (well past the Adam and Eve part, mind you).

Woody, the Arbiter (in form, if not name):

Woody is a sanctimonious prick who spends his entire life reminding all his colleagues of Andy’s greatness and infallibility – and, generally bossing people around like a fifth grade hall-monitor. When Andy decides to send the rest of the toys to purgatory (heretofore: “the Attic”), Woody supports Him totally – and, we can reasonably assume that had Andy decided, instead, to send them straight to Hell, Woody would be quoting Romans 3:10 /1 as justification, and telling them to suck it up because the ‘potter can do whatever he wants with his clay’ […].

All that said, and thusly, nonetheless, when, by mistake, the mother of Andy (work with me, here, because this obviously deviates from any context of the Bible) sets the toys on a path towards Hell, Woody sets-out to save them.

But why?

Is it because he’s concerned for his people (all Moses-like), or because the (or, a) law as established by his Lord has been interfered with? I think it’s probably the latter, because Woody is a dick (just like almost every power-hungry fifth grade hall monitor you ever met).

The Other Toys, cast as “the Fallen”:

When the toys realise that they’re destined for Hell they (understandably) become rebellious and elect to reject Andy and go off to find other gods (just a reminder, this would be children) to, in effect, serve. Woody remonstrates with them, telling them they should remain faithful, and that it was all a mistake; but under the leadership of the female temptress Jesse (naturally a Barbie Doll with Eve-like qualities, and who shall realize redemption), the others won’t listen to him. As far as they’re concerned whether their deity has abandoned them to Hell or Purgatory makes little difference; the issue is that they’ve been abandoned, while Woody has not. So, the rage is thusly, tinged with jealousy, as well.

The plot gets really interesting when they arrive en masse at a kind of Paradise for toys; a place where they will be played with all day long (which after all, is what they were designed for), Woody is still in the throes of righteous indignation, and insisting that they return to Andy’s house, and get themselves up into Attic-that-is-Purgatory, where they belong, while he waltzes off to whatever earned and exciting new place Andy is making for. However, the other Toys choose to ignore him, looking forward to a new life of hedonism… So, there is the Pinnochio element here, as well.

And this, of course, proves to be their downfall. The loss of grace, or the perception thereof, as it were, is so devastating, eh.

Lotso Bear

The paradise they think they have discovered, and will ultimately lose, is in fact ruled by an atheist! This dark angel is an evil, strawberry-smelling bear who has rejected all gods and has set himself up as a mortal god on earth. He’s a pink furry Joseph Stalin (I’ll need to revisit the film, but I coulda sworn he was referred to as “Uncle” at one point. How apropos.).

In any event, the message is clear: if you reject the god that owns you, you have only yourself to blame if you end up being tortured in a totalitarian gulag.

The film could have ended here, but audiences may have been left with a view of God as cold and unconcerned with his universe, so the story carries on with rescue and redemption promised and gamely [sic] afoot. All the while, Woody continues his righteous quest to be reunited with his Master, but then he gets distracted by feelings of compassion for his friends. Foolishly, it would seem, he tries to help them, not realising that by attempting to interfere with destiny he’s only going to make things worse.

Woody’s fateful efforts lead the toys to the very precipice of Hell (oh, the inferno!), which they only escape by means of a ludicrous plot device (that also serves to remind us that this is a children’s first movie). The atheist Lotso, of course, who has by now been exposed and proved his evil atheist character beyond a doubt, is not so fortunate, and is consigned to an eternal punishment direct from the mind of Dante.

And as it should be, once the atheist villain has been disposed of, the film can end nicely with the redemption of not only foolish Woody and the ungrateful toys but also Andy, who is finally shown indulging his merciful side.

And you, that collective you, can make your way from the cinema, or possibly the comfort of your home state-of-the-art theaters, comforted in the understanding that God is great after all, possibly fair – and, made relevant today by his easy interpretation on the silver screen.

…at least to Pixar, anyway. According to Wikipedia.org, The film is currently the highest-grossing film of 2010 in the United States and Canada. /2

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_________________

1/ As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one“.

2/ The film is also the highest-grossing film of 2010 worldwide. In July, it surpassed Finding Nemo to become Pixar‘s highest ever grossing film at the North American box office. In early August 2010, the film became Pixar‘s highest-grossing film worldwide, and surpassed Shrek 2 as the highest-grossing animated film of all-time worldwide. In late August 2010, Toy Story 3 became the first ever Pixar film and animated film in history to make $1 billion worldwide. It is currently the 5th highest-grossing film worldwide of all time.

A story, and an epic one at that, within a story, to be sure.

Many of us run, and daily, to or from, something.

Some of you, from everything.

Others just run.

I’m reasonably fit. And, it’s likely I can outrun, and outfit, just about anyone reading this post.

However, I’ll grudgingly admit that even jumping from airplanes into the Jungles of Brazil, just to see if we can fight our way out is mundane compared to this:

I suppose I should add a warning not to try that without the proper training. On the other hand, it’s trying that makes most points. It’s not little league baseball. It’s okay to win. And, you do that by taking calculated risks.

When I was about ten, Curtis Burton the Third and I lifted his Mom’s new silk sheets and formed a parachute (of sorts). It worked good enough. When I came to, it was under the strain of my own Mothers words to the effect: “If you are okay, baby, I’m going to kill you!”

I always think you have to try. So, does this mean we can run from failure? And, do I fear the result of not giving my best?

Recently, one of my Shockers (soccer) squads had a Mom trying to convince them not to play n a pre-season tournament because they might lose, and confidence would be at risk. I was horrified. …possibly offended. Naturally, from my world view, anyway, we marched upon our opponents with vigor. The girls fought their way into the finals. And, so there you have it.

I always try, maybe that’s the point, here.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

One of my business partners advised me this morning that I remind him, and daily, of the “Dos Equis Guy” – who is apparently “the most interesting man in the world”.

I’m on my third consecutive day of virtually no sleep. Haley Anne’s spider bite and related issues, an international business schedule, and the crisis currently surrounding my Shockers threatens to put me on the ropes.

However, I’m wired to beat the odds, and my DNA more often than not defeats adversity. Character is certianly best demonstrated when tested, eh.

So… In the proper spirit of  this type of man, I’ll without humbleness offer:

“No matter what life throws at me I always win the lottery, even though I’ve never purchased a ticket”.

And,

“I’ll deny sleep it’s own satisfaction, if I must, but only because its the closest thing there is to death. My super powers are so obvious that Mother Nature needs my internal clock to make sure the sun sets, and the birds know when to chirp.”

And, our favorite…

“God has tasked Mother Nature with a new marketing program for evolution called: ‘The Laws of Brian’s Selection'”.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I’ve apparently struck a chord with the news I want to purchase a vineyard.

My preference would be Spain.

I’m not looking for investors or partners.

And, I don’t view this as a retreat. More so a platform.

Apparently, and according to Hemingway, and my Granddad, Spain is easier to defend (more about that some other time). And, the people are like none other on the planet. And, yes, I did predict Spain winning the World Cup. The mountain ranges of Spain influence the climates of many Spanish wine regions (and politics), isolating regions like Galicia in the northwest, and protecting the Rioja region from the rain and cool winds from the Bay of Biscay.

All of this, and it’s import, are things, and critical things, that Prudent and Optimistic Gentlemen understand.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Rowdy is now fifteen months old, and has added boating with his family on Lake Lanier to his repetoire of great experiences.

Rowdy has made numerous new friends of both the bi-pedal and quad-pedal variety along the beach at Sunset Cove, and many of the islands that dot the lake.

He has special privileges on many a marina and boats that include free-reign to board and greet. It should be noted that all tennis balls are fair game.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Friends of ours recently purchased a boat. Their youngest daughter happens to be best friends with my little Emma Jo. In short order we were invited to join them at Lake Lanier for a weekend.

That was fun. A lot of fun.

Emma Jo wanted a floating device that could be pulled from behind their boat (they are quite good friends of ours and such liberties are encouraged).

With the device that offered the best and most “whoo hoo” value with the requisite opportunities (with the pull-rope, for good measure) in hand, Joanne suggested we might want our own boat at some point.

So … I can now add the story of how I bought a boat to go with a water toy to my inventory.

This is a good picture of our boat. However, the people in it are not me, friends, nor family. Loads of other pictures are forthcoming, to include images of real people. These will likely include images of me with a smile splayed broadly across my sunburned visage as I fiercely grip the steering wheel and an icy cold Fat Tire (just in the correct combination, order – and, with due considerations of good judgment and safety).

Rowdy, our fourteen month old Rhodesian Ridgeback sits right at the front, his ears struck out like wings, as he barks and “boofs” furiously into the roaring wind, advising all that care to listen (and others that have little choice) that they are near “his boat”, on “his lake, with “his people”. We can also take him to Sunset Cove where we beach the boat just outside of the Water Park where we have season passes. Hundreds of people already know Rowdy, and adore him (and understand that “no people food” allowed – even hotdogs). He is a good boy.

And, I already know that I both need, and want, a bigger boat. The tug with that is even more powerful than that of elite sports cars. I’d never have though that possible.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman.

brian cork by John Campbell

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"Perhaps victory can be realized best when the heart changes."

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.