One Faith, Many Paths: Alyssa Huber

alyssa

This month for my One Faith, Many Paths series, I have decided to interview Alyssa Huber. She is the main admin of the Facebook group Christians With Asperger’s and also has her own YouTube channel, where she has films that she has made to help others understand autism.

1) What was your childhood like? Like a dream world, in my opinion. I was always in my own head and very imaginative. I was obsessed with aliens, superheroes, and cats.  I would pretend the fort my dad built was a spaceship, and I made a little “hotel” for my alien toys in the sandbox. My supportive family (mom, dad, and two brothers) accepted my oddities. My bane was social confusion (mostly as I got older), stubbornly refusing to socialize (more people means less time in my world) and sensory problems like having to wear itchy clothes or tolerate noisy/busy environments.

2) When were you diagnosed with autism? 12 years old, in middle school when my teachers noticed I was “odd”.

3) What evidence can you give for God’s existence? I feel him in nature. I can give no evidence sufficient enough for humans, who are we to understand?

4) What inspired you to use YouTube as a means of advocacy? I wanted to make a documentary on Asperger’s to simply share my experience, and it got bigger than I ever expected it to. I realized by the reactions of viewers (Aspies, undiagnosed aspies, NT’s related to/friends with Aspies, etc.) that it has been quite helpful and much-needed, and I could do more of that on my channel by continuing to make videos on Asperger’s Syndrome.

Continue reading “One Faith, Many Paths: Alyssa Huber”

Farewell, Adam West

adam west BatmanI never needed to say I was Batman. I just showed up.”–Adam West in an episode of “The Big Bang Theory

This is a post I’ve been dreading even though I knew I’d have to do it eventually. With the news last week, I knew I’d have to make a tribute to Adam West. This was a person I would have to make a tribute post for because he was an important part of my childhood.

When I was in fourth grade, a new TV network started in New Orleans, WNOL-38. (It eventually was bought out by Fox and currently the WB/CW network) For its first two years, it was your basic channel that had syndicated reruns. One of these was the Batman TV series from the 1960’s starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin.

It was this show that introduced me to Batman, the Dark Knight. Each weekend, they would air both parts of the original episode back to back. Each week had a great old movie star or TV personality guest star as the villain. There were famous comic book villains such as the Riddler (Frank Gorshin), the Joker (Caesar Romero) or Catwoman (Julie Newar, Lee Meriwether, and Eartha Kitt) . The show even had its own villains like King Tut (Victor Buono) and Egghead (Vincent Price). It was fun and action-packed. I loved how the fights always had sound effects printed on the screen, just like a comic book.

Continue reading “Farewell, Adam West”

Film Freak: Star Wars 40th Anniversary: The Phantom Menace

phantom menace

The prequels are often considered the worst part of the Star Wars saga. In fact, many fans would like to pretend they don’t exist. As I said in my review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, fans don’t get to decide what’s canon. The films exist and it’s time someone said something positive about them.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way because they’ve been said to death. Was Jar Jar Binks annoying? Yes. Was Jake Lloyd bad? Yes, but so was everyone who treated him so badly afterward. Hate the film, that’s fine. but don’t tear down a kid like that in the process. Were the midichlorians a bad explanation of The Force? Yes, actually I would’ve preferred no explanation at all. The Force is magic, and magic isn’t cool once you explain how it works. It ceases to be magic at all.

Continue reading “Film Freak: Star Wars 40th Anniversary: The Phantom Menace”

Bookworm: The Outsiders

outsiders

Last year, I did anniversary posts for the Adam West Batman TV series and my top 10 best and worst Star Trek episodes in celebration of their 50th anniversaries. 1967 is also a great year for pop culture. Pink Floyd started off their career with Piper at the Gates of Dawn. The Beatles released their landmark Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Peanuts gang debuted on Broadway with You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. And in Tulsa, Oklahoma, SE Hinton published her debut novel, The Outsiders. It would be followed by That Was Then, This is Now, Tex, and Rumble Fish. All of these encompass what I personally call the Ponyboy saga, because he’s in all four books. (although in the “sequels”, he’s not as important as he was in the first book.

The story focuses on two gangs–the Socs (the rich kids) and the Greasers–Ponyboy, Dallas, Two-Bit, Soda Pop, and Johnny  (our heroes). Most of the Greasers are orphans, with Dallas being the stand-in parent.

Continue reading “Bookworm: The Outsiders”

One Faith, Many Paths: Jannah Leah

jannah

This is my first interview with an Eastern Orthodox Catholic. Thank you, Jannah Leah.

1) How was your childhood?

Fairly average, I guess. About the biggest thing that impacted me was my parents’ divorce when I was six. I was also bullied all throughout school, which affected my self-esteem. To this day, I still suffer from self-esteem issues.

2) How did you become a Christian?

Really it was a combination of a few factors. I have suffered from depression for most of my life and in some ways faith has aided with that.  I also have an interest in history, theology, etc.  Religion is a subject that I’ve always found quite fascinating despite my family’s own irreligious background.

To give the short answer, I chose to become Christian because the messages were appealing to me.  I also found the historical evidence for Christianity, particularly Orthodoxy, to be overwhelming. No other religion can claim their historical figures performed public miracles.

3) How has your family taken your conversion to Christianity, given that they do not share your beliefs?

It’s been mixed. My mother is of the mindset that it’s a good thing if it’s what makes me happy. Others still don’t really know since they’re not particularly fond of religion.

4) You said that you used to be somewhat of a troll. What led to the change?

I guess the easiest answer would be that I simply grew bored of it and matured.  It also got rather tedious to have to constantly create new Facebook accounts.

5. When were you diagnosed as autistic?

I was fourteen I believe. Somewhere in my early teens.

Continue reading “One Faith, Many Paths: Jannah Leah”

Film Freak: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

fantastic beasts

Back when JK Rowling was originally writing Harry Potter, there were often gaps between books because the books got longer with each volume. During one of these gaps, she wrote two books that supposedly could be found in Hogwarts’ s library: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (writing as Newt Scamander) and Quidditch Through the Ages (writing as Kennilworthy Whisp) Although I wondered what these two “writers” were like, I never thought they’d be a subject of a movie. But here we are, with a new set of prequels for the movies. The movies were a mixed bag as adaptations go, but how would these people fare with an original script?

Some might even wonder why Rowling has gone back to the Harry Potter universe again. My theory is that it’s because The Casual Vacancy, her attempt an adult novel, bombed. So why not use something that actually did make money to pay the bills? And unlike the more hipster-ish fans out there, I don’t think it’s bad that she’s making money again. However, I was among the many that didn’t like Cursed Child. So what about this?

Continue reading “Film Freak: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

40 Years of Star Wars: The Kenner Toys

star-wars-figures
The Entire Star Wars Toy Line From Kenner

Not only did Star Wars change how movies were made, but also how they are marketed.  Remember that while VCR’s and Cable TV were around in the 1970’s, it would be quite some years before either became as prominent as they would in the 80’s and 90’s. In fact, Hollywood was completely against cable television and ran ads in movie theatres (and ironically enough, on TV) telling people how bad an idea Cable Television was. They were worried that more channels meant that cinemas would receive less money from people.  Toy makers saw little value in making toys based on movies. They didn’t have the staying power as TV shows or comics, once the movie was gone from theatre, it was believed the toys would not sell anymore.

George Lucas wanted to change that. He had to, because he’d spent so much money on A New Hope’s effects that he had to find some way to compensate. He did it with licensing. And not just toys, but later, comic books, tie-in novels–all kinds of stuff. It was, as the Star Wars parody Spaceballs famously put it, “Where the real money from the movie [was] made!” In fact, Kenner was the first toy company to even take the risk. I had some of these. I had the Emperor’s Guards (who started working for Skeletor after I got them because I figured “well, they had to get work somehow”), some Stormtroopers, and of course Luke Skywalker, Yoda, and even Wicket. (Yes, I liked the Ewoks, so what?)

Continue reading “40 Years of Star Wars: The Kenner Toys”