Came across a thought experiment that might be fun. Not yet sure how I’d answer.

If you could change any one thing in history, what would it be?  A specific, single event. So no “I would make World War II not happen” but you could say “Have Hitler’s mom decide on a timely abortion.”

Shorty Hitler
Could you have denied the world this image? Actions have consequences.

The tricky part becomes “what are the repercussions of that?” If there is no Hitler, what is Germany like in the 1930s? Was the problem Hitler himself or did he fill a Fuhrer-shaped hole that would have been plugged by someone else had he not been there? And what happens to the rest of the world without WWII? The German scientists who fled Germany because of the Third Reich might not do so.  No Wehner Von Braun might mean no U.S. flag on the moon (at least not first).

Also, without the Nazis, Einstein probably doesn’t warn FDR about the German attempts to build the first atomic bomb, so the Manhattan Project doesn’t start when it did. If Germany, still smarting from WWI, gets the bomb first, then someone like Goebbels or Goehring or some other ethically questionable person manages to get in charge, would we now be wondering what it was like to have a London?

I don’t mean to fixate on WWII (and FWIW, I think a world sans Hitler is likely a net gain even if it is much different), but that’s an example of what I’m talking about. You are free to bump off Stalin too.

Do you try to prevent 9/11 and the two wars and all the nonsense that’s happened since? There are lots of ways to do it, but that keeps the U.S. off-guard and maybe the next attack is worse.

Do you keep JFK from being shot? Or MLK? Or RFK? Or Gandhi?

This occurred to me while watching the new Cosmos.  Do you keep Carl Sagan from getting cancer? Or do you drag Jim Henson to the hospital a month sooner with a note penned to him that says WARNING: STREPTOCOCCUS PNEUMONIAE?  Both are tempting. Twenty more years with either of them would have been nice. I think Carl would have enjoyed seeing the pics from Cassini.

Maybe something more personal? If you have a parent/spouse/friend/sibling/child who died tragically, do you undo that instead of risking the big move that might make things worse? If you yourself are in the grips of something awful, I don’t think anyone would judge you harshly for fixing that. The ghost of Gandhi would forgive you.

And how many Bama fans do I have to show this to before this gets undone?  Three?

It still makes me laugh

Like I said, I’m still thinking through it. Having a difficult time finding the right balance between being purely selfish and risking a major butterfly effect that ends all of humanity in a blaze of fire and pain and terrible music.

But I’m still curious if anyone else has ideas. Also, I’m going to go last to re-fix history undone by the Bama fans.

I have an important goal with this post: verifying my RSS feed is working after messing with it all weekend.

But also, I want to know something from you. If you were going to recruit one combat-ready organization to aid you in some military goal, which would you choose: Ewoks or Stormtroopers?

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I feel odd writing about this.

On Tuesday, Emily Yoffe at Slate wrote an article suggesting college girls shouldn’t drink so much if they don’t want to get raped. I’m sure it got a lot of hits, which was probably the point. As usual, it got a lot of people annoyed. And the people getting annoyed got a lot of different people annoyed. Then we all end up exactly at the same place every goddamn time.

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By now, anyone interested has seen Neil deGrasse Tyson’s slaps at Gravity’s science. There are other space nerds who have done the same. Leroy Chiao notes that Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are far too attractive to be astronauts, which is actually unfair — Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are far too attractive for almost anything.

I Googled "sexy astronaut" and got this. We are a terrible people.
I Googled “sexy astronaut” and got this. We are a terrible people.

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My apologies if this comes off a little macabre. You know how I am about sharing new experiences, and this was definitely a new one.

I promise I’m not going to keep going on about this. Maybe I need to see a nice, stupid movie to talk about…

You’re all aware of what happened with Arrow. I’ve had a lot of dogs in my life, but for whatever reason, this is the first time I actually had to make the hard choice. Sometimes they died unexpectedly, as with Vandal a few years ago. Other times it was my mom who made the decision because I wasn’t around or was too young.

Having now made that impossible choice, there are things I wish I’d known beforehand.

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It’s not like we weren’t warned this was coming.

Those of you who follow me here or on Facebook have seen me post about my dog Arrow. Specifically, the medical issues he’s been having for the last few months, mostly caused by being 16 years old. Arrow’s life had been growing increasingly burdensome, as it ultimately does for all of us who get very old.

This morning, it was clear he’d had enough. We quietly and peacefully set that burden aside.

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I said on Facebook that I was eager for the new royal baby to show up because he or she has no connection to the George Zimmerman business. I think we’re all ready for a not-short break from that.

But I thought about it while pounding on the treadmill. (That’s what you do to treadmills, right?) I think there’s a better option.

Prince Trayvon Juror B37 Middleton-Windsor

This is the perfect name. Sure, Trayvon is a boy’s name and Juror B37 is a girl’s name, but we only have one data point for each. The royal couple can be trendsetters.

Keep Calm and Smoulder On
Keep Calm and Smoulder On

King Trayvon (or Queen Juror B37, whichever) will be the most popular British monarch to Americans of all time — even more than that really hot one in The Tudors.

Maybe Prince William is playing a deeper game. Think how his father and grandmother will react. The Queen will simply explode (though more for the Middleton-Windsor part than anything else) and Charles will have a Rage-O-Cardial Infarction. William could become a father and the next king all on the same day.

The only danger is if Charles gets his hands on William’s throat before he has his coronary event. Kate would become a widow, she would skip the whole “Queen Consort” thing*, and jump straight to queen mum for the newborn King Trayvon. I don’t know if she would be regent until he turned 18. “Reached his majority” I think is the term. That should give her time to behead the shit out of some people.

For example, she could behead Prince Harry.  She would have to, because he would raise a rebel army with the battle cry “I say, chaps! I am bloody well not dipping the codgers to someone named Juror B37, toodle-pip!” We would have the first British dynastic wars since the mid-15th century.

Back in America, a civil war in England would be devastating. President Obama would frown a lot. Lindsay Graham would blame it on Benghazi. John Boehner would vow to condemn the bloodshed but then fail to get the House votes to do so. John McCain would get an erection so powerful he would literally turn himself inside out.

That is going to be some great television. And the whole thing would fall apart if Charles or the Queen got wind of it before the birth. They could have William drawn and quartered, making Harry only the third naked/drunk/Nazi-uniform-owning royal heir in British history. And we thought they weren’t telling us the name only to fuck with the media — admittedly, a good enough reason.

I will be very happy. Hail to the king, baby.

* As things stand now, Kate will be queen when William ascends the throne. She’ll be queen consort, which is a different bucket of peasants from what Elizabeth is (queen regnant). As the queen consort, she has the title but none of her husband’s power. Sort of like Prince Philip — except Philip can’t get the “king” title because he can’t be ranked above the queen in the actual line, since the people who thought the system up were big ol’ sexists.

Like all of you, I am thrilled to be alive in an era where we have learned that a fetus can masturbate at 15 weeks.

We owe a huge debt to Texas congressman Michael Burgess (R-Onanism) for this discovery.

Don't look sad, Michael - take a few minutes and go prove you're alive
Don’t look sad, Michael – take a few minutes and go prove you’re alive

Armed with this knowledge, I am starting a petition to change the United States Motto to Unum de multis (“out of one, many’). It makes more sense than the old E pluribus unum or even the more modern Pro se quisque (“Every man for himself”).

In Michael’s own words (and pay attention — he’s an obstetrician):

This is a subject I know something about … Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?

That is obviously ironclad reasoning, but I think Representative Ruboneout needs to re-think one thing: this particular proof-of-life technique isn’t a boy’s club. The ladies can also… ummm… slide into home. The GOP has its problem with women already; no need to exacerbate it by telling girl fetuses they can’t… er…. work out at the Y.

Normally, when a Republican dumbass starts speaking about reproduction issues, lots of people (including myself) beg to have the idiot removed from office. But I hope we get to keep Michael the Milker. (Maybe we can remove him from the vice chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Health though?)

You keep being you, Michael. I’d offer you a high five, but… not this time.

Warning! Huge spoilers for both the new Man of Steel movie and the Superman movie from 1978.

The new one isn’t bad. It’s better than its Rotten Tomato score, which I guess evens the scales. The new Star Trek movie isn’t as good as Rotten Tomatoes would have you believe. Henry Cavill does well, even after shaving his mustache.

"It's not a truck company. On my world, it means 'Mustache Rides $1'"
“It’s not a truck company. On my world, it means ‘Mustache Rides $1′”

There’s one thing that troubles me apart from the internal inconsistencies that I guess I have to live with. (Seriously, Hollywood — there are talented writers who know and love this character. You don’t have to keep hiring the same hacks.)

Flash back to 1978 or whenever you punk kids saw the original Christopher Reeve Superman. After the opening scene on Krypton, we meet Superbaby’s Earth parents.

I'm Glenn Ford. You might remember me from not being in Waterworld.
I’m Glenn Ford. You might remember me from not being in Waterworld.

We jump to Clark’s high school years, where Pa Kent dispenses from his Wisdom Faucet about how maybe he shouldn’t worry about playing football. (Why did you even land in Kansas then?) The emotional heart of the movie is set up when Pa dies from a heart attack and Clark realizes that despite all he can do, he couldn’t save his dad’s life. It’s a subtle and important message, especially for a comic book movie.

Later, the message comes full circle when Lois dies. Superman is suddenly getting shit from Marlon Brando about not interfering when he remembers his dad’s death. Then this happens.

I think he could have caught both missiles
I think he could have caught both missiles

Okay, that part was dumb and watered down the message into “Superman can’t save everyone but he will literally move heaven and earth for his girlfriend.” Why he didn’t just fly the planet back a couple of hours and stop both the missiles before they launched is a mystery.

But it’s not as much a mystery has how the new Superman turned out so stable and grounded while being raised by a seriously clueless and deranged Earth Dad.

Look, they used a Duke Boy for the TV show! I was awesome in Tin Cup!
Look, they used a Duke Boy for the TV show! I was awesome in Tin Cup!

Pa Costner here is worried about how people will react to a flying superpowered alien living among them. He even hints that Clark should have let a bunch of kids drown when their schoolbus goes off a bridge. I’d call that a morally ambiguous Daddy Teaching Moment.

What is less morally ambiguous is the dumbest death scene in recent memory. The Kent family is driving along when traffic suddenly stops because a tornado is forming. In Kansas, they don’t know much about dealing with tornadoes, you see. Clark and Pa are herding everyone under an overpass when Ma Kent realizes they left the dog in the car. Pa Kent rushes up with a recently abducted girl child as Clark is about to go save their dog, secure in the knowledge of his perfect safety. Pa hands him the girl instead and goes back to the car himself. He manages to get the dog out (who wisely runs like mad away from the tornado, because that dog is smarter than anyone who appeared in The Postman) and then stands there and waits for the tornado to whisk him off to his doom while Clark watches in horror and the rest of us watch in confusion.

“All my powers, and I totally could have saved him easily. If the tornado hit, I could meet you guys back at the farm and start trying on new glasses and hair dye.”

It was weird to see, and baffling to understand. I’m not sure what it says about us in 2013 where we get a Superman who lets his idiot father die because he’s afraid of the press. It’s two dozen rural Kansas farmers! So you get a blurb in the Weekly World News and funny looks at the feed store. Lex Luthor is going to give you a lot worse than that later.

Not that we had to deal with Lex Luthor.

"Flash! AH-aaaa!"
“Flash! AH-aaaa!”

Ah, Michael Shannon. You are a good General Zod. And I’m glad to know the legacy of obviously crazy characters will continue after Willem Dafoe is gone. But there is only one Zod I’m kneeling before.

Why do you portray me as a howling lunatic when you know I will kill you for it?
Why do you portray me as a howling lunatic when you know I will kill you for it?

One good thing

I did enjoy the movie, and I’ve always liked Superman. One thing I like about him is that he is invariably portrayed as a dog owner. Most often it’s a standard Earth dog, but always a medium to large one. For awhile in the 60s and 70s, he had a superdog named Krypto.

Did they blur that dog's junk? Or is that a scar from Superman's inept-but-necessary neutering?
Did they blur that dog’s junk? Or is that a scar from Superman’s inept-but-necessary neutering?

Always liked Krypto, but he’s kind of an absurd concept. Sure, a humanoid alien with super powers pretending to be a normal man? No problem. A canine alien with super powers pretending to be a normal dog? Too much. But at least Superman has a dog. No wonder he’s seen as morally superior. Does this universe even have cats?

It's probably good that Batman got a cat. He normally just owns Boys Wonder, who tend to not live as long.
It’s probably good that Batman got a cat. He normally just owns Boys Wonder, who tend to not live as long.

Actually, the attempts in the 60s to give Superman a cat didn’t catch on. Streaky the Supercat lives with Supergirl on a different planet in recent comics continuity. I’ll be curious to see if she adopts six or seven more.

Anyhow, the movie is fun. The stupid death scene is good for a laugh if you don’t overthink it too much, although I can’t help myself. I understand they’ve already greenlit the sequel: Superman returns to Smallville, plows up his fields, builds a storm shelter and waits for his father’s ghost to appear. I hear Costner is consulting on the script. In the meantime, watch The Tudors so you can see what Superman looks like when he has an awful lot of sex.

One of these boobs has Kryptonite and I'm going to FIND IT
One of these boobs has Kryptonite and I’m going to FIND IT

Lastly — a quick look at how the original should have ended. Enjoy!