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Josh runs The Friday Blog. There’s an undercurrent of wit about this blog that I really like, a sort of omnipresent sideways grin.

A nomination for an award, for me?! Firstly, many thanks to B.G of Getting Through Anxiety for nominating me – if you haven’t already done so then please check out her blog – it’s really good!

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So, as per the rules, I need to nominate 12 other bloggers for this award.

Firstly, I nominate Getting Through Anxiety, and not because she nominated me. The blog is both insightful and thought-provoking, as any good blog should be.

The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise is not only the title of the next site, but a humourous and passionate insight into feminism in the modern world.

The Bookmark Chronicles is a good site to visit for both quizzes, and for frank discussions about race.

What is it like to be an Englishman living in France? Just Merveilleux has the answer, and reminds us that same-sex couples are just like anyone else.

Tom from Shouts from the Abyss is the self-styled Guru of Negativity. One look and you’ll know why.

The author of Anger Spread Thin is punchy, spirited and eloquent. Please check out what she has to say.

Next up is the Nudge Wink Report. In truth, this is a group blog (one that Carla, Tom and I contribute to), but it’s the brainchild of Blogdramedy, so she gets the credit for this one! It’s all about humourous observations, and it’s very funny!

Next up is a more unusual choice. I can’t say I agree with everything he has to say, but Paul of Blogging Theology certainly offers interesting conversation!

Playing Chess with Pigeons is a funny yet factual site that picks apart creationism.

David Ellis is another contributer to Nudge Wink. He’s an author and I like what he says on his blog.

There are five questions to answer too. Here Goes:

Why did you start a Blog?

I don’t know if I can pinpoint an answer to this. Originally Meerkat Musings started as a site, with a blog attached to it, but the blogging aspect of it quickly became the dominant theme. I guess why I do it is because I can share my experiences and perspectives with other people, on an almost daily basis if I so choose. I enjoy that.

What is your favourite Book?

Another tough question. I can point to many books that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed down the years, and I honestly don’t know if I could name a favourite. I really enjoyed ‘Old Man’s War’ and ‘The Last Colony’ by John Scalzi. ‘The Reality Dysfunction’ by Peter F. Hamilton is another really good read.

What do you dislike the most?

I can’t stand needless aggression and digs made at people. There’s usually no need for it and it irritates me. I for one don’t respond well to snappy remarks and gestures – it’s inclined to make me respond in kind, or ignore the person making the remarks completely.

What is your favourite food item from the mall?

At my local shopping centre there are many options, and they all tantalise me. Taco Bell is different to the usual burger joints, whilst there’s a fish and chip restaurant that I thoroughly love.

I dare say though, it’s Burger King and the bacon double cheese burger that claims victory.

What is your favourite pastime?

Ooooh. Erm. I don’t think I can pick one! I enjoy writing, I play video games, I watch movies and I read books. Sometimes I like to stretch my legs and go for a walk. I’ll listen to music whilst going for a walk. Swimming is another enjoyable activity. Don’t ask me to choose!

Two people have asked me recently why my site doesn’t have the option to ‘like’ posts – the honest answer is I don’t know! If viewed via the WordPress reader, you can like posts of mine without having to comment – but if via going directly to the site, that option is gone. I’ve asked WordPress – now I just have to wait for their answer!

Also, I’ve recorded three more videos (yes, three) for my site – I need to edit them, and then they’ll go up. The topics up for discussion are – Captain America: Civil War, How I feel about Character Assassination and The England Squad. Look out for them over the next few days.

Not for the first time since my little sparring match with him, the author of theologyarchaeology.wordpress.com (I’m not turning it into a hyperlink anymore, as frankly I don’t see why my site should point directly to his) has come out and demonstrated his misunderstanding of how a fair and equal society should work.

For the past 30 years or so this has been the modus operandi of too many westerners.The thinking is if you do not like the way things are being done, sue and get rich quick or force your ways upon others. We do not feel that the motive behind a majority of lawsuits is for the benefit of society.  In this day and age, when alternative preferences, whether they be gender identity or homosexual issues, the strategy has been to sue and ruin other people.

Emphasis mine. It’s true that frivolous lawsuits exist and they would make any right-minded person sigh with exasperation. However, his complaint about homosexuality and gender issues underscores his lack of comprehension on this issue.

What exactly is being forced upon TA (and anyone else of any given faith) by obeying the laws of the land? I imagine his reference about lawsuits concerns gay couples having to force public businesses to abide by laws that apply equally to everyone. Whether he likes it or not, a business is not a religious institution and cannot arbitrarily refuse service to a customer based on their sexual orientation.

This is not the first time TA has suggested that equal treatment equates to homosexuals forcing their views upon others – the irony being that he would expect them to accept being treated in accordance with Biblical principles and can see nothing wrong with religious interference upon business law. I am also reminded of his not-so-subtle editing of a comment of mine regarding anti-discrimination laws (he claimed businesses could reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, and removed a huge portion of my post where I proved him wrong).

I can’t work out if they believe that the faithful should be free to practice whatever laws they wish, regardless of how this might affect others. If religion is to make law, then whose religion, and what interpretation of that religion, and what do we do where people of differing faiths clash? Divide up countries and even cities on the basis of who believes what? Separating government from religion is the only way to ensure law and order is applied equally to everyone.

Before I delve too deeply into this particular rabbit hole, I feel compelled to issue a few caveats. I do this knowing full well it might perpetuate a mini feud – I also should mention that, unless the person I am passing comment on gives me cause to do so, I won’t make any further responses to them – though should we wind up on the same page, discussing the same video/post/whatever, I make no promises that I will withhold my opinion of said video or post. What this individual needs to realise is that whilst they can indeed control their own board/blog/profile, they cannot silence alternative opinions to their own elsewhere, and if they make statements that directly (or indirectly) are confrontational, they can expect a response in some way shape or form.

Hence why I issued a reply to their thinly veiled jibe about my parenting skills, all because I would let my daughter watch a certain movie. I was not impressed by the sudden and inflammatory post (made even though as per a ‘truce’ made a couple of years ago we had agreed to leave each other alone), and naturally sought to defend myself. I exercised my freedom of speech, I did so without directly referring to this person (and I shall continue to not refer to them directly, unless they give me cause to do otherwise), and I will continue to exercise my right to respond to anything and anyone I please.

So, with all that said, what is it I am aiming to say with this post? To answer my own question, let’s take a look at what I am specifically responding to:

Hey Titan A.E. fans, you should be grateful that I do not harass you over it, I just seek to have my say, avoid arguments, and be left alone about it! 

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The suggestion that anyone should be grateful not to be harassed over liking a movie is pretty ironic given their stance on bullying and harassment. Wanting to be left alone is fine, but if you’re prepared to make public posts on a public site, you need to be prepared to deal with conflicting opinions and ideas. If you’re prepared to drop hints that I’m not a good father because I’ll let her watch a film you have an irrational hatred of, you had better be prepared for a pointed reply.

There is more:

I have very strong feelings about it for good reason.  Titan A.E. is the ONLY fictional movie that is so evil, so toxic, so destructive, and so repugnant that it has earned my permanent wrath and hostility.  I will not allow anyone to defend the evil idea of the Drej blowing up Earth in Titan A.E. since it drives a knife through my heart to even defend the idea.  Titan A.E.is the ONLY fictional movie that I am one-sided against.

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It’s a movie. Granted, people can dislike films (there are a fair few that I don’t like), but the idea that someone can be so blinkered they actually hate a film to the point where they ‘will not allow anyone’ to defend it is a sign, in this writer’s opinion, that someone has a seriously skewed sense of focus and priorities. This is only emphasised by the jibe about parental skills (it’s not like I’d let my little girl watch Deadpool, for crying out loud!)

Right, rant over – I am calm!

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It’s quite a satisfying feeling when you realise that you’re right about something, especially if the argument/dispute has been quite bitterly contested. Well, the other day I got to enjoy that feeling.

wpid-wp-1445547821791.jpg(oh yes, lets rub those hands together with glee!)

As anyone who has followed this site and blog is aware, I’ve had a few disputes with a YouTube poster by the name of Idazmi7. In his most recent posture-filled posts, he had been accusing me of deleting posts of his and that I was doing so out of fear of his arguments. Neither allegation is true, and I can’t say I was pleased to see his unfounded accusations. I gave him fair warning to retract them, or else I would have little choice but to report his posts to YouTube for Terms of Service violations. Flash forward a few weeks and it gives me great pleasure to report that his offending comments are gone.

So as far as I’m concerned, this is a victory. Now, if only he would agree to an honest debate, on a third-party site, where he knows neither of us have any power to edit or delete posts!

I shouldn’t be writing this post. I should be walking away from it and saying ‘it’s really not worth it’. Really, for the most part, it’s not worth it. It’s a silly little dig that’s irritated me, made by someone who has (in my humble view) a warped sense of reality and priorities. I should not be giving them my time or effort. Yet, I also know that I will be doing exactly that.

Why, I hear you ask? Because that’s how I’m wired. I don’t like letting ignorant remarks go unchallenged – especially when it comes to the subject of parenting, and the remark in question has come from someone who is not a parent.

What’s the remark in question you say?

3) TPM is barely violent and it is largely kid-friendly.  Titan A.E. on the other hand is extremely violent and is even much more violent than Independence Day!  Titan A.E. is NOT AT ALL kid friendly yet some stupid parents let their tots watch Titan A.E. between the ages of 4 and 7!

I spied it on a long-winded rant someone had written on Deviant Art about Jar Jar Binks and a character called Cale Tucker from a film called Titan A.E. The article’s author has a passionate and (in my view) thoroughly misguided hatred of Titan A.E, to the point where he writes about how the film will be killed by other films (yes, he really does put it in such language.

wpid-wp-1446741446606.jpg(is it even possible to hate a film so much you want it ‘dead’?)

In the link above, I mentioned how I would be happy to let my daughter (four at the time of writing) see Titan A.E. It is not explicitly violent or sexualised, and does not contain bad language. It is far tamer than say, Independence Day (which has people fleeing for their lives in a state of mass fear and panic, not to mention millions killed, whereas it is never established that earth is still heavily populated in Titan A.E, and in fact, the presence of many large colony ships at the end of the film would point to an earlier mass evacuation, whilst the film’s prologue strongly supports a successful large-scale evacuation taking place). It is arguably less violent (if we define violence by sheer body count) than Star Wars, which has featured planetary destruction and large wars throughout the franchise, and even less violent than Star Trek (the Dominion War after all, involved untold millions killed, and the Borg gave billions of not trillions of beings a fate worse than death).

Timon7(wait, my daughter will want to blow up earth because she saw it in a film? Riiiight…)

I am digressing slightly. I for one have no trouble with my daughter watching Titan A.E. I have no problem with her watching Revenge of the Sith (in fact, she quite enjoys it, and she enjoyed The Force Awakens too). She is not about to become a megalomaniac bent on mass murder because of any of those films. Why? Because she is grounded by my wife and I, who are teaching her right from wrong. She is also not daft enough to confuse obviously fantastical films with real life, and can separate film action from the real world already (something most of us can do). If anyone out there is crazy enough to believe that the average kid will confuse sci-fi with reality, that’s down to their own skewed sense of the world, and I would advise them that they are using their anger toward a movie to mask something more profound that they are burying.

Whether they read this or not, I have no idea. If they do, I hope they stop to consider that unless they are a parent too, they are in no way qualified to judge me or any other parent. I know my little girl. I know what the right messages are for her and how to deliver those messages.