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The History of the JWS

I recently received an email that deeply hurt me. The author probably didn't mean to insult me. She seemed to be slightly confused about the JWS, and I'm willing to believe that her statements were based more on a lack of understanding than any type of malice. I'll paraphrase a few of the things she wrote.

Isn't wishing on stars satanistic? If not satanistic, then it's praying to idols, at least. There's a Commandment against that, I'm sure you realize. Besides, your club is a cheap, shameless rip-off of Munkustrap Kitty's Guardian Angels. The only differences are that her club is better, and not satanistic.

It went on, but you get the idea. (By the way, can anyone tell me what "satanistic" means? I assumed she meant "satanic," but since I'm not totally sure I decided to use her word for this essay.)

I don't want others to misunderstand my purpose, so I've decided to explain the history of the club - its origins, and reasons for existence.

***WARNING!!!*** Long-winded, neverending speech by Victoria! Feel free to run away! I'll understand! Go Home!

You had your chance.

I'll explain first why I wanted to run a fan club. I discovered Mr. Brent on Christmas day, and he became my hero only a few days later. I pray for my heroes (yes, this cat prays). I had finished my prayers on a February night and wondered, for no apparent reason, how many other people were praying for the same people. I thought it would be neat to create a fan club based on that idea.

Why didn't it happen?

Several reasons.

1) I just couldn't come up with a good idea.

2) People like having something to focus on. Instead of saying, "I'm in a club" they want to say, "This is my [whatever]" or "I represent [this]."

3) Around the end of February, I found the JBGA. I absolutely love the idea and I think Mr. Brent couldn't ask for a better fan or fan club leader than Munkustrap Kitty.

Guardian Angels were close enough to my prayer idea for me to be perfectly satisfied. I didn't care about owning a club, as long as one existed.

So why do I have a club?

He's my hero and my inspiration. I've come a long way in a few months due to his influence. I wanted a way to show my appreciation. Why shouldn't I have a club?

Where did wishing stars come from?

That's almost a funny story. I thought for several weeks with no success. The night before we left for Easter vacation, it just hit me. Originally it was Lucky Stars, and I had the Madonna song stuck in my head for days. I decided I liked Wishing Stars better. What was really great was that I finally had an idea, but I couldn't work on the research because we were leaving. Quite frustrating.

That wasn't a funny story.

I wasn't finished. A few years I kept folders on the subjects that obsessed me. When I returned from Easter vacation, for some reason I decided to go through these folders.

Anthony Warlow - my hero at the time of the folder's creation, and still my hero in terms of voice and singing. What did I find in this folder? A very primitive outline for a fan club - based on members having their own wishing stars.

So I still had a lot of work to do, but the basic idea had been sitting in a folder for two years. Funny?

So you didn't copy MK (directly, anyway). What about the "satanistic" thing?

***WARNING!!!*** After this next paragraph, I mention religion a lot. You'll be warned again.

I'll start this off by saying that one of the things about stars that appealed to me was the fact that it wasn't directly tied to religion. My prayer idea could have alienated a lot of fans. Not every Jacob Brent fan prays. Not every Jacob Brent fan believes in God. *shrugging purrs* I'm not going to judge or discriminate against anyone for their beliefs.

Stars are non-threatening and non-denominational. Satanistic? No (assuming she meant "satanic"). Nineties version of a golden calf? No.

You can leave now, if you want. I'll understand. Home is in this direction.

You're still here?

The rest of this pretty much deals with the religious value of wishing on stars. If you don't want to tie it to religion, then just think of it as a way to sum up your love/respect/admiration for Jacob Brent in one simple sentence. Nothing more. Okay?

Now run away before the speech starts! Go home!

You can stop reading now. You have your answer. No? You want to continue? I warned you...

***MY PERSONAL BELIEF***

When I wish on a star, I am saying a prayer in its simplest form. I'm not directly praying, maybe not even intentionally praying, but I'm still praying, because my God is always listening. As far as "praying to idols" goes, I'm not wishing to the star itself any more than someone praying before a cross is praying to the wood.

But that's my belief. It's my star. Each member has their own star and their own belief. You want to pray to Buddha? That's fine. The Christian God? That's fine. Satan? Well, he doesn't have much of a reputation for doing good deeds...but, hey, it's your star, and I'll never know who you're wishing to anyway.

Perhaps you're superstitious and believe in magic. Or you don't read into things this much, and just take wishing at face value. Isn't it all really the same thing? When I make a wish, I don't think of it as anything more than a cute tradition. Then later I write a speech on the subject (*sighing purrs*), and realize that it was a subtle prayer. God is always listening, isn't he?

Enough religion. You like Jacob Brent? Pick a star, just as something to focus on, and start wishing. Maybe someone or something is listening, maybe stars are just inherently magical, maybe it's just a way for you to sum up your love/respect/admiration for Jacob Brent in one simple sentence.

Anyway, it can't hurt.

It's over? It's over? Is it over?

Yes. And Heaviside help me if I ever launch into a religious speech like this again. This is a Cats website! Anyway! Go Home!