Today, Scott and Shelbyare discussing Manifest Destiny 7, originally released June 11th, 2014.
Scott: As a culture, we love making predictions. The more impossible something is to predict, the more tempting it is to venture a guess. A quick search on Google yields dozens of 2015 Oscar predictions and NFL mock drafts, despite the fact that many of the films mentioned haven’t been released yet and nobody knows which college football players will declare for the draft until next January (or which players will improve markedly, get injured, etc.). Making such predictions is an exercise in futility. And yet, we do it anyway. We talk at length about what we think will happen next on our favorite TV show, knowing full well the show’s writers are working hard to subvert our expectations. Unpredictability breeds anticipation, and anticipation is fun. Predictability, on the other hand, is a near sin. It’s capital “B” boring. Even knowing full well that writer Chris Dingess is likely trying to subvert my expectations, Manifest Destiny is starting to feel predictable, which is the beginning of a very slippery slope towards boring. I predict he’ll need to spice things up fast if he wants his readers to hang around.
Today, Drew and Gregare discussing Manifest Destiny 6, originally released April 9th, 2014.
Hell is a terrible place. Maggots are your sheet, worms your blanket, there’s a lake of fire burning with sulfur. You’ll be tormented day and night for ever and ever. As a matter of fact, if you actually saw hell, you’d be so frightened, you would die.
Miss Albright, “Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment”
Drew: Do you ever get the impression that people are trying way too hard to make hell scary? Fire and brimstone is exactly as generically horrible as harps and white robes are generically pleasant — I understand the gist, but holy crap do those rewards and punishments have no relation to my everyday life. I suppose the reason the over-the-top conception of hell is so frustrating to me is that it ignores a much scarier truth about a life of sin, one that remains true even if you don’t believe in any kind of afterlife: that you may be forever tormented by your own guilt. If you believe you are deserving of some horrible fate, you will spend your days waiting for the axe to fall, while someone at peace with their actions may lead a more serene, contented existence. In that way, Heaven and Hell aren’t destinations we move to at the ends of our lives, but mindsets we create for ourselves as we move through them. These are feelings that tend to lie dormant, but can be brought to the surface by something as big as a loved one passing, or as small as having one too many drinks. Manifest Destiny 6 finds Lewis and Clark confronted by both ends of the spectrum (if you replace the drinks with a potent floral hallucinogen), and shows just how differently they respond.
Today, Drew and Taylor are discussing Manifest Destiny 4, originally released February 12th, 2014.
I’m busier than you.
Drew: I don’t know if it is true everywhere, but when I was in college, scheduling a meeting or asking someone to help with something was basically made impossible by everyone’s knee-jerk insistence that they were SO busy. I absolutely understand the importance of saying “no” when you really are busy, but the implication that someone was unwilling to make time for whatever group project that everyone else was making time for always drove me nuts. It was known around campus as the “I’m busier than you” game, which found its practitioners preemptively complaining about how busy they were in hopes of avoiding being asked to do anything. The best response I ever saw to these kinds of complaints was a friend insisting that he had just run a marathon with knives embedded in both thighs — something so over-the-top to (hopefully) give everyone a little perspective on how silly it is to complain about term papers or whatever. Of course, nothing we could come up with was quite as extreme as single-handedly fighting off a band of monsters WHILE PREGNANT, which is to say, Sacagawea (or at least the version of her that appears in Manifest Destiny 4) would have easily won the “I’m busier than you” game. Continue reading →