Are you doing everything you can?

This morning I thought about a man that I haven’t remembered in a while. Back in the days of my old blog I wrote about him once or twice and he deserves to have his story told a little more often, or at least, to have my part of his story told.

His name is Jim Heller, and he was an artist. He was also almost completely paralyzed; anything from the neck down was immobile, except for very slight movements in his right hand.

It was those movements that allowed him to become a precise artist. I got to see him work every now and then because we went to church together, and our ward would divide up service assignments to help him out.

On the 2nd of every month, my brother and I would ride our bikes down to his place and make him dinner. This was always a bit of a process because Jim was a slow eater. He would wheel his electric chair into the doorway of his kitchen and tell us what to pull out of the fridge or the cabinets, then have us nuke it in the mike.

We had to cut everything up for him and feed it to him one small bite at a time. He had to tell us every time he was ready for another bite, or a drink through the straw. It took a few hours.

Not that it was an imposition or anything; he was very easy to talk to and we had great conversations. Jim loved movies too, so we would put on a John Wayne flick, or a cheesy sci-fi, or a WW2 film. I watched Anaconda and Tora! Tora! Tora! while feeding him. The only time I’ve ever seen The Ghost In The Darkness was while I was spooning peas into Jim’s mouth. (Awesome movie, btw.)

In my teens I didn’t have a lot going on that wasn’t scheduled for me by my parents. Go to youth activities at church, go to piano lessons, go to Boy Scouts, go go go. When I had time to myself, I spent it ignoring my homework so I could sit at my drawing table while blasting KoRn or Offspring on my CD player.

The lack of a full schedule made it easy for me to visit Jim. I don’t remember seeing it as an imposition or anything, because what else was I doing with my life? Goofing off and daydreaming about girls who would never date me because I was the weird kid?

No, go take one night in thirty and feed someone. That’s a kind of service I don’t do any more. I’m too busy, too dialed in on my own stuff. Plus, obviously, I’ve got a wife and kids now, it’s just different.

But back then, I think it was really good for me to see up close the life of someone who had to rely on others for absolutely everything. Jim had a nurse come by who helped him with his medical stuff, his pill sorting, his bathing and dressing, getting in and out of bed, all that. He always had to have his remote on his tray and his LifeAlert right next to it.

One night he called his neighbor at 2AM because there was a bug chewing on the soft skin under his arm and the pain was excruciating. Jim tried to ride it out without calling and it just got to be too much.

Think about that next time you have an itch and you scratch it and it goes away. Think about a life where you couldn’t do that for yourself.

I never once, in the three or four years that I regularly visited him, heard Jim gripe about his condition, or pity himself. Dude got diagnosed with whatever had put him in a chair in his 20s. Doctors said he would probably die in his 40s. He made it to his 60s.

And to the utter extent that he was able, he worked to support himself.

Every time we came by, we wrapped up the night by setting his art supplies out on the tray on his wheelchair. Pencils and brushes with long sticks attached. Paint pallets with just a drop of this color here, a slight mixture of these two there. Throw some water droplets on to loosen up this shade here, I don’t need much.

He painted scenery, animals, westerns, faces. Indians and mountain men, cowboys and pioneers. Wolverines battling wolves for a kill. Lynxes in the wild. Temples. Christ. His friends.

A few times a year we would load his stuff into his big old van, then help him onto the ramp so he could get inside. Hook his chair to the floor with ratchet straps and drive him to convention centers so he could sell prints and originals. It was heavy and repetitive, and tiring in the Vegas heat.

Yet the whole time you’re doing it, you’re saying to yourself, what am I going to do? Cry about it to the guy who can’t walk? Can’t take a leak without help? Come on, man. Even when I was just a low-ambition punk@$$ from Henderson I could figure that part out.

There are still times that I feel bad about not being there when he died, in July of 2001. I had missed our appointment on the 2nd of that month because I finally had things on my calendar. I had a job (tire tech) and a sport to train for (cheerleading).

He called our house and asked if I was coming. It was 6:30. I apologized profusely, I can’t even remember what I was doing that night but I was busy. He said NBD, he would call his niece, she was over there all the time.

I said I would make it up to him next month. He died about two weeks later.

I made it a point to sing at his funeral. Felt I owed him that.

Often I make the mistake of assuming that everyone has had the same life experiences I have, that they’ve known the same kind of people and have shaped their expectations of life accordingly. I have to remind myself that that isn’t the case.

We’ve all had unique struggles, they just happen in the same vein sometimes. And there will always be someone who has it worse than we do–not that it’s a competition. The point is that someone else’s trials can help you realize not only your blessings, but the limitations you are putting on yourself.

Especially today, in the age of competitive victimhood, with social media being such an easy platform for you to scream your hardships into the void of the world, looking for validation.

When that temptation arises, think of men like Jim. He dealt with those demons at some point in his life, I’m sure of it. That kind of stoicism is usually a destination, not a starting point, and he got there.

I for one am very grateful that he did, and for what he taught me in our short time together. Men like that ought to be remembered.

Learn from that. And get back to work.

State of the Dread: August 2020

The Podcast

The BTBC came back last month and I’ve been getting a steady flow of content for the new mailbag section! Thank you to those who have written in, it’s my favorite part of the show.

Apple      Spotify      Anchor

WTTF continues strong and we’re past the halfway point, it should wrap up late Oct/early Nov.

Apple     Spotify      Anchor

But the real gem is the launch of the DPAH, coming next month 🙂 I’ll draw the cover art for it then.

The Writing

Edits are humming along for WITH ANSWERABLE COURAGE. I am fighting distraction because I keep getting ideas for other stories. The best thing for those ideas is to just let them percolate, because they’re not ready if I’m not actively working on a story.

I’m glad that I have finally embraced the short story model. Lots of my ideas will work better that way.

Funnily enough, after I read HOMEWORLD to Schaara, she suggested I write a full-length treatment from one of the other character’s POV. That one is percolating. Dunno when it’ll happen, but it just may.

The Artwork

Still plugging right along. I fell back on a lot of puns and stuff in July, what I need to do is change it up and do more structured exercises. I have an anatomy book I’ve been meaning to dig through, however…

The Reading

…as I get ready to homeschool my kids with my wife (she’ll be doing most of it, but I’m not going to be a bystander), I have to read some other preparatory materials, and that’s getting my attention.

Also I’m getting bored with fiction generally. That’s a weird feeling. Nonfiction is finally entertaining me more.

The Fitness

I’m doing over a hundred pushups a day, every day. With my schedule, that’s all I can manage. If it changes, I’ll let you know.

The Rest

Please understand, from the bottom of my heart, that I do not care about anyone’s panicky opinion about what’s going on in the world. I wash my hands of it. It only serves to hold me back from conquering my own corner of this island Earth.

Onward and upward, peeps.

 

As of 2019, “Gladiator” has achieved Secondhand Superhero status.

Gladiator (2000) - IMDb

Y’all know Gladiator, that awesome flick from 2000 that was mostly ahistorical but still an excellent story.

Well starting in 2013 it became a Secondhand Superhero candidate, and last year it fulfilled the minimum threshold of 4 actors.

Russell Crowe as Maximus (Jor-El)

Did Gladiator really deserve the best picture Oscar? | Film | The ...

Why We Didn't See Jor-El In Batman V Superman, According To ...

In 2013, Crowe played the father of Superman in Man of Steel.

Djimon Hounsou as Juba (Korath the Pursuer/Wizard)

Gladiator, a movie review | Ms M's Bookshelf

Captain Marvel and Korath – Why is Carol Danvers teaming up with ...

SHAZAM! Movie Concept Art Gives Djimon Hounsou's Wizard Shazam A ...

Hounsou actually has a foot in each major comic universe, as he was a hunter in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)/Captain Marvel (2019) and a powerful wizard in Shazam! (2019).

Connie Nielsen as Lucilla (Hippolyta)

Connie Nielsen Shares Her Favorite Memory From Ridley Scott's ...

Hippolyta: Sit Down with Wonder Woman's Connie Nielsen

Nielsen was Diana’s mother in Wonder Woman (2017).

Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus (The Joker)

Going The Extra Mile - Joaquin Phoenix's Craziest On-Set Antics ...

Joker' Joaquin Phoenix had a love/hate relationship with the role

Phoenix earned himself an Oscar for playing Batman’s most formidable villain.

There’s one last actor who deserves a shout-out: Spencer Treat Clark, who played young Lucius. He also played Baron Von Strucker’s son on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but I felt like I was reaching with that one.

Gladiator 2: release date, cast and everything else we know about ...

Spencer Treat Clark | Agents of shield, Marvel agents of shield ...

Then again, I used Lois & Clark as a qualifier, so maybe that’s ok.

“Knives Out” is a Secondhand Superhero story

Knives Out (2019) - IMDb

Last week I watched Knives Out with the DreadWife. Fun movie, gets a little bogged down in overthinking itself, and the lefty stuff was way heavy-handed, but the acting was great and the mystery was well-done.

A few days later I dug into the cast on iMDB and realized that it meets the threshold for a Secondhand Superhero flick. Most times I prefer a movie to have four actors in it that played in superhero movies. Other times I make exceptions.

The best example is Stardust, which has Superman, Catwoman, Daredevil, and Sinestro in it. An example of a reach is Star Trek: First Contact which features Professor X, Dum Dum Doogan, a minor character from Captain America: Civil War, and a nameless scientist from Thor: The Dark World.

Knives Out isn’t as much of a reach, but it’s not so clear-cut either. Here’s what we’ve got:

Chris Evans as Ransom Drysdale (Captain America)

Knives Out: Top 10 Best Quotes From Ransom Drysdale | ScreenRant

Captain America's Best Moments In The MCU, Ranked - CINEMABLEND

While the movie doesn’t have an obvious main character, he’s one of the top three.

Michael Shannon as Walt Thrombey (General Zod)

Walter Thrombey from Knives Out Costume | Carbon Costume | DIY ...Man of Steel' Actor Michael Shannon Has No Problem With General ...

Walt is in the second tier of characters for this ensemble film.

Katherine Langford as Meg Thrombey (Morgan Stark)

Knives Out's Thrombey Family Is Terrible - But Which Member Is the ...

Avengers : Endgame : the cut scene of Katherine Langford (Morgan ...

This is where we start to reach, because Langford’s only appearance in the MCU comes from a deleted scene in Avengers: Endgame right after Tony snaps Thanos. She plays an older version of his then-young daughter.

K Callan as Wanetta Thrombey (Martha Kent)

The Knives Out Family Members, Ranked By How Horrible They Are | GQ

Farewell to a Hero's Father—A Tribute to Eddie Jones

And the biggest reach of them all is K Callan, who plays a woman of indeterminate age (though she would have to be in excess of 100 years old.) Callan played Martha Kent on Lois & Clark, the Superman TV show in the 90s.

Bonus points for having Martha Kent be General Zod’s grandmother.

Anyway, we’re just getting deeper into the rabbit hole, proving that everyone in Hollywood is attached to a superhero project in one way or another. This game is more fun than the Kevin Bacon one.

 

Cancellation was the best thing to happen to #Firefly

Been a minute since I rewatched this classic, which is now old enough to vote in the US. Yes kids, 18 years since Firefly aired, and 18 since it got booted from Fox.

That shouldn’t shock anyone. Ask The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. just how well Fox supports good westerns.

Anyway, I’m partway through the pilot and still loving it. The characters, the dialogue, the speed of the story, it’s no wonder the show continues to find new fans even after all this time.

One thing that aids that? Its cancellation.

The brevity that was heaped upon it when Fox pulled the plug has helped to keep the overall story tight and tidy, especially with the conclusion that the movie Serenity provides.

It’s the same principle that makes 8-episode streaming series so successful. There is a such thing as too much.

Just ask The Hobbit trilogy.

Plus the perception of injustice–“How could you cancel something so great?!”–gives it the oh-so-coveted victim status that the new century thrives on.

There are comics that continue the story, and some of them have been good, but they run into the Hobbit problem after a few issues.

Too much of a good thing isn’t still a good thing. Too much is just too much.

Something to keep in mind with my own work. It’s why I’ve taken a liking to shorter pieces. Satiate the appetite and move on.

Get back to work.

The 1619 Project is a bad joke.

90 minutes well-spent, put together by the Claremont Institute in California.

Short version, the 1619 Project is a political tool disguised as a history project that is trying to establish institutional racism in America–the thing they claim to be fighting against.

This is the kind of thing that happens when people mistake “Hamilton” for actual history. We’re better than this, don’t fall for it.

Why do we read a series? 5 observations.

Hello, DreadHeads. The newest Dresden Files novel dropped today, after five years without a full-length adventure in magical Chicago. We’ll get another one in September, so Butcher is rewarding our patience.

I’m about a third of the way through PEACE TALKS and I love returning to familiar ground. That got me thinking about why we enjoy series books as readers, and I have some ideas:

5: Large-scale escapism

Series books that are well-developed tend to give us a huge world where our imaginations can run free. This very real itch is what online RPGs scratch at in the human psyche. Even with their costs and dangers, we prefer them to our own reality, and vacations there are cheap.

Harry Dresden’s apartment, Hogwarts, the Millennium Falcon, these are all great examples. Bonus points if the world has abundant foods that you can recreate. You then get to hold a real piece of this fake place in your hand.

4: The progress of a character

The weak become strong, the ugly turn beautiful, the poor become wealthy…but most important, fools gain wisdom and they learn from their mistakes.

You know. All the stuff that real people never do.

3: The progress of a world

Hunger Games does this one well with regard to the setting as a character. I think in general we are excited by changes in our surroundings and those changes are a lot cheaper to render in a fictional landscape.

This point is connected to the next one, which is…

2: Flipping over stones

Perpendicular to “changing the world” is “exploring the world.” Dresden spends a dozen years in Chicago before he dies and has to navigate the ghost world version beneath it. Then he goes to an island on Lake Michigan, where he learns about monsters from beyond reality. There it’s always something to discover, and with a series you get to see something new all the time.

A point that dovetails nicely into…

1: Delightful anticipation

Don’t you love having something new to look forward to? I do. And while it’s nice to see how a long story comes together in the end, the journey is a long, joyful walk that doesn’t require us to rush.

What do you like about a series?

Bradley’s Eleven: The Disney Job

en]Danny Ocean's 11 vs. Fluent Home Smart Security System | Fluent ...

Me and the homies broke into the Disney Vault over the weekend to liberate a copy of Song of the South. Here’s what you need to know:

Song of the south review | Disney Amino

 

This movie is one of those mixes of animating and live action. If you’ve ever heard stories about Brer Rabbit and the Briar Patch, then you’re familiar with the cartoon characters that make up half the movie. The stories of Brer Rabbit were written by Joel Chandler Harris in the late 1800s.

Joel Chandler Harris (1848 - 1908) - Genealogy

Harris was born in Georgia and was only 13 when the Civil War broke out, so his formative years were steeped in the conflict of ending slavery in this country. Small wonder then that he would go on to write stories about how happy people were in the post-war South, especially considering the improved conditions for black people.

Yes, yes, there was still a lot of headway to be made on that front, calm yourselves. They weren’t exactly living in the same mansions as white folks. They were no longer property though, and their quality of life was improving every year.

Naturally he wanted to reflect that in his writings, and so the character of Uncle Remus came to dominate his pages.

James Baskett-HSB Noticias / Cine

Now, I’ve gotten my hands on some of Harris’ books, and they haven’t aged well. He does that thing that writers are told not to do when it comes to dialects and accents: he writes phonetically, to the point where it tires the eyes as you try to read it. I didn’t make it to even the 5% mark on one.

Apparently that wasn’t a problem in the 1940s though, because Disney still thought there was enough value in the property for them to make a movie out of it. James Baskett (above) won an Academy award for his portrayal of Uncle Remus, and the song “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” also won an Academy award.

This is all kind of interesting when you consider the timeline. The 1940s were only 80 years after the 1860s, so there were still people (although few in in number) who had lived through the Civil War. Plenty of the older generation in the 40s had grown up with parents who saw it all up close.

It’s kind of like 2020’s relationship with World War Two, which is fast approaching the 80-year mark in historical distance. My grandfather fought in WW2, but he was 90 when he died in 2015. In the national conscience it still seems to feel kind of recent, though. The fingerprints are still fresh on the present day.

That being the case, Song of the South was a mark of ideological progress in its day, the kind of progress that tends to jump ahead of itself, look behind at its wake, and say “I’m embarrassed of all that road behind me.”

Disney has all but been outright ashamed of it in the intervening decades. They never released it for home media in the US. They did, in the late 80s, build the Splash Mountain ride around a Brer Rabbit theme at Disneyland, because those animations had remained popular. But they adamantly refused to give Song of the South any more place in their lexicon of entertainment.

There are a lot of things I could say about this, but they’re best left in the capable hands of Disney historian Jim Korkis. He covers it in this book:

17152534

My favorite part of this book was actually the forward, written by animator Floyd Norman, whose career has run from 1959 to to the present. He’s my grandma’s age and his career is as old as my mom. This dude is living history, and he has a lot of things to say in defense of Song of the South.

Also he’s a black dude. I’d love to sit in a room with this gent and listen to his stories. Fortunately it looks like he’s written a lot of books, and I want to get to them.

Floyd Norman's 9 Wild Stories From the Making of The Jungle Book ...

Back on track though: the movie itself takes place in the Reconstruction Era, which is important to understand because a common criticism is that it depicts “happy slaves.” While the demeanor displayed by the white characters toward the black characters wouldn’t fly today, it was a far cry from the master-slave relationship that blacks were forced into for so long before that.

I’m not going to sit here and pick apart every criticism of it though, because that would be tiresome and a waste of time. The most frequent attack leveled against Song of the South, the attack that has kept it locked in the vault for decades, is that it is racist (a term that loses a little more of its meaning every day based out how people throw it around.)

No, the main problems with Song of the South have more to do with the fact that it is 1) poorly constructed, and 2) boring.

Johnny, the main character, has to stay at his grandma’s plantation with his mom. His dad has to go back to Atlanta for undisclosed reasons. All we know is that he’s writing things in the newspaper and people are pissed off about it. His departure makes Johnny sad.

Johnny finds new friends on the farm though, including a white girl named Ginny and a black boy named Toby. They hang out with Uncle Remus and listen to his stories. That’s…pretty much it, for a while. Eventually Johnny sneaking off to chill with Uncle Remus makes his controlling mother sad, and she tells Johnny not to see Remus anymore.

Blah blah blah, Remus goes to leave the plantation, Johnny takes a shortcut through a bull pen to stop him, a bull tramples him, he almost dies, but Remus comes back to tell Johnny another story and he survives. Johnny’s controlling mother lightens up, and his dad comes back from Atlanta, the end. Remus walks into an animated sunset with all manner of cartoon critters hanging around him.

If that sounds kind of flat, the on-screen execution is a little flatter. Don’t get me wrong, the set pieces are beautiful, the animation is fine, and Uncle Remus has a warm and friendly demeanor. The in-between scenes are just kind of devoid of life and make it a chore to watch. Set this movie in any time period with any cast and you’d have the same problem.

Which is a shame, because there’s a lot you could do with the source material. Too bad Disney will never reboot this and do it better. They’re trying to make more hay out of their “cash cow” animated flicks. They’re even replacing the Brer Rabbit stuff at Splash Mountain with a Princess and the Frog theme.

At the end of the day…eh. I know where to get a copy of the movie, I’m not a hundred percent sure it was worth the excursion into the vault, but if Disney ultimately doesn’t want me to own it, that’s enough reason to get my hands on one.

Get back to work.

 

July 2020: State of the Dread

It’s July!

The Podcast

This week episode 9 of “Welcome to the Faro” went live. It’s the 2nd of a 3-episode arc that covers my time in Tarragona, the hardest stretch of my mission.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts here, or look it up on your preferred podcast app. As of right now almost 20 episodes are recorded, and it will have 25 in all.

The Brother Trucker Book Club Podcast comes back this month as well, airing weekly on Wednesdays.

The Writing

I have two semi-finished drafts of different books, HOMEWORLD and FOOL’S SILVER. Right now I’m reading the former to my wife, and her feedback is helping to tighten it up. She’s been really supportive of my storytelling, going all the way back to our dating days 10 years ago.

When I can, I pick at WITH ANSWERABLE COURAGE too. I’m not in as much of a rush with that one, but I don’t want to dawdle either, as it needs work.

The Artwork

Still drawing every day over on Instagram, and I finished the rough inkwork for the WAC cover (above). Digital art is similar to traditional, different in a few ways, and really crisp overall. I quite like it.

The Reading (and the Watching…)

I’ve been getting more DVDs from the library for background noise, Turn is a really interesting show, if historically inaccurate in spots. Par for the course with the genre, I’m liking it for the most part, it’s just too horny sometimes.

There’s an old flick from the 50s on Disney+ that I started to watch and it mentions the novel JOHNNY TREMAIN by Esther Forbes, which I never read. Grabbed an audio copy of it from the library, and I will read it this month along with BUNKER HILL.

The Fitness

My wife has a subscription to some online workouts that I like so far. Intense stuff but the results are really great. My back is popping a lot more, haha.

I also did over 2,000 pushups in June. So that feels pretty good.

The Rest

I have to keep reminding myself not to surrender to malaise, there’s just a lot of it going around. Everything is a matter of perspective though. Maybe I haven’t been tried hard enough or in the right ways. God knows what He’s doing.

Chin up kiddos, the best month of the summer is now upon us. Get back to work.

Character web study: Pirates of the Caribbean

Buscamos ser Diferentes: Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy[2003 ...

Over the last few weeks I have rewatched Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, the last two good movies in the Pirates series.

Parallel to my study of John Truby’s “The Anatomy of Story,” I couldn’t help building a character web in my head so as to chart the collision of motivations each character brought to the table.

In doing so, I realized who the most important character was as far as these two movies go. It’s not Will, it’s not Elizabeth, it’s not Barbossa. It’s not even Jack.

It’s Tia Dalma.

TIA DALMA FROM PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN DEAD MAN`S CHEST ...

Every other character ties to her more than anyone else. How?

Well, remember that she is not just some shack-dwelling Obeah priestess on the isle of Pelegosto; she’s literally the goddess of the sea, Calypso, bound in human form. Davy Jones fell in love with her, she broke his heart, he sold her out to the Pirate Lords.

This happened a long time ago, and all we know of the method is that it involved creating nine talismans (the fake pieces of eight) to entrap her. These were handed down to different pirate lords until two of them ended up with Barbossa and Jack Sparrow.

Everything that happens across the first 3 movies webs outward from this event, and ties the characters together.

Hector Barbossa | Heroes Wiki | Fandom

Barbossa: he was resurrected by Tia Dalma, and wanted to stay alive. To placate her, he needed to rescue Jack and find an answer to the Davy Jones/East India Company problem.

Davy Jones | Pirates of the caribbean, Davy jones, Davy jones pirates

Davy Jones: he was cursed by Calypso/Tia Dalma, as a result of his dereliction of duty to ferry souls to the afterlife.

Lord Cutler Beckett | Villains Wiki | Fandom

Lord Beckett: he had found a weakness in Jones’ curse and exploited it for power in the Caribbean.

Will in a red shirt, I should have known he'd die. | Pirates of ...

Will: This one is a few steps removed, but saving his father from Davy Jones is directly related to Jones’ relation with Tia Dalma. This also forces him to make choices with regard to Elizabeth.

fantasycasting | Pirate woman, Pirates of the caribbean, Elizabeth ...

Elizabeth: while the writing on her character was a bit of a mess, her choices are again a few strands removed from Tia Dalma, but still tied to her. Beckett wants Jones’ heart so he can have power in the Caribbean, and to get it, he leverages Will and Elizabeth so he can corner Jack.

Jack Sparrow's compass | PotC Wiki | Fandom

But it isn’t Jack that he wants, it’s his compass. Which, as we learn from Dead Man’s Chest, *was a gift from Tia Dalma.* If you want power in the Caribbean, you have to go through the sea goddess.

Even the Brethren Court convened in order to release her, and change their way of operation. They had bound the sea goddess for themselves, but it also allowed in the EITC, so they figured eh, we’ll just work hard and create a meritocracy because we don’t think this corporation can hack it when it comes to hard work.

The more I think about it, the stronger the analysis confirms the theory. Pirates of the Caribbean has a strong character web, and at the center of it all is the source of all sea power, Tia Dalma.

DGA Quarterly Magazine | Spring 2016 | Shot to Remember - Pirates ...

Phoenix Downer — Pirates of the Caribbean in Kingdom Hearts 3:...

Snippets of Jack: "I Release You From Your Human Bonds"

Even when her powers were limited, she could still flex. Once she was in Davy Jones’ locker, it was she who dragged the Black Pearl off the salt flats and into the water again. It’s no coincidence that her goddess-form turned into a mass of stony crabs, the same crabs that carried Jack’s ship over dry ground.

There’s a lot for me to learn in studying this.

As much as I didn’t care for On Stranger Tides or Dead Men Tell No Tales, at least the latter paid lip service to this notion with the whole “Trident of Poseidon” thing. They just went with lazy writing and made it into a McGuffin, instead of writing a complex background character that had her finger in everything. (And don’t even get me started on how they butchered the backstory of Jack’s compass.)

Anyway, I thought that was fascinating. Get back to work.