Friday, January 29, 2016

Sheep


If you are one of many and do nothing to distinguish yourself from the herd, you might be a sheep.  Try something new.  Be yourself.  Ignore public opinion.  Do what your conscience demands.

“I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe that I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different.”   Jean-Jacques Rousseau

 “Giving style” to one’s character - a great and rare art! It is exercised by those who see all the strengths and weaknesses of their own natures and then comprehend them in an artistic plan until everything appears as art and reason and even weakness delights the eye.”   Friedrich Nietzsche

the NFL: No Fun League

THE SAGA OF THE DANCING QUARTERBACK

photo copyright the respective owner


















I am not a fan of the Carolina Panthers, nor is their
quarterback Cam Newton one of my favorite players. 

There have been many voices complaining about the manner of celebration carried out by the Carolina Panthers, and particularly by Cam Newton, on the way to the Superbowl.  They crushed most of their opponents, and showed amazing form both sides of the ball, crushing the opponent on defense, and scoring freely and often on offense.  When Cam Newton is the scorer, he dances.  And some think it is a case of Newton mocking his opponents. 

Since about 1975 or so, players have been growing more outrageous in their celebrations.  And the league penalizes too much celebration.  It is common to see players dance in celebration, even of a simple catch or first down, let alone a touchdown.

So why does it bother so many people that Cam dances?  I have to say, I think there are two things involved.  It is taunting or mocking, and that is unbecoming of a professional in sport.  Illegal or not, the celebration seems to taunt the defeated foe.  The second thing involved, I am afraid, is racism.  Cam Newton is a large, powerful, handsome, intelligent African American at the position of Quarterback, and that is a position that is the final bastion of white reason.  They say black quarterbacks want to run and not pass, and can't read defenses.  And here comes a black QB who is good in many ways others are not, including many white QBs.  His dance is mocking the opponent maybe, but it is truly mocking a stereotype.  And for that reason alone, I say, Dance Cam.  Dance all you fucking like.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

"International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is an international memorial day on 27 January commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. It commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jews, 2 million Gipsies, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, and 9,000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 60/7 on 1 November 2005 during the 42nd plenary session."  Source: Wiki




"Close your eyes and listen. Listen to the silent screams of terrified mothers, the prayers of anguished old men and women. Listen to the tears of children. Jewish children, a beautiful little girl among them, with golden hair, whose vulnerable tenderness has never left me. Look and listen as they walk towards dark flames so gigantic that the planet itself seemed in danger."

Elie Wiesel





Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cabin Fever Comics: Horror

It might come as a surprise to some, but Cabin Fever Comics is one of my most requested feature here.  I am written to asking for recommendations, what I like, and what would be good for various genres in comics.  I might do more than one edition this year, but more because I have a lot in my noggin going on and I like sharing.

2015 turned out to be quite awesome for me.  I finally rose up from a 4 year long depression that began when my mother passed in 2012.   I, of course, still miss my mother, and the other person who died in 2014 who added to my sorrow.  But life is a combination of joy and sorrow, and life does not allow retroactive edits.

I chose the following books because some people told me they like the ideas of Poe, Lovecraft and the other folks I write about, with regard to their prose, but they don't have time to read books, whereas comics, oh hell yeah.  I cannot promise availability, or price, but I can promise that the Graphic Classics are damn good.

If you are interested in a genre and what I think is best, feel free to contact me here.  Or at Alexanderness63@gmail.com

THE COMICS I AM TAKING TO THE CABIN

Edgar Allen Poe, Bram Stoker, and HP Lovecraft write in ways that are especially adaptable to comics.  They are visual and emotive writers and their works can be perfect if the artist understands the nuances of the stories.

The stories and poems of HP Lovecraft and his circle of literary friends are often NOT adapted well when the publisher tries to expand short stories into large comic series.  (Not naming names of those publishers.)  So the original G/Ns of the stories in comic form here that are nearly the length and size of the prose story are rightly aimed, and I think do a good job.  Not all adaptations and expansions work, but these did.

Anne Rice's language use is so lush, I don't need something in any other form, but some people prefer illustrations and movies to words.  These books are good, and I think do a good job adapting the works.  I will say, some of the magic is lost but, I love Anne Rice so everything more is good.

Stephen King's Dark Tower is a work that does not suffer in translation to comic form.  There is an issue though.  Well not an issue.  Jae Lee the illustrator is amazing, and perhaps the translation is so good because of his master brush.  Anyhow, for horror/adventure/weird tales, Dark Tower works on a number of levels, and I liked it.

Graphic Classics and Classics Illustrated Horror


Graphic Novels of HP Lovecraft and his Circle of Friends


Adaptations of Anne Rice novels


Stephen King's Dark Tower series adapted for comics


Saturday, January 23, 2016

When the Forest becomes a Character in the book

 “A forest ecology is a delicate one. If the forest perishes, its fauna may go with it. The Athshean word for world is also the word for forest."   

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Word for World is Forest 


“Forest! They seek your trees to sleep among,
With their long sentences hung. Forest!”
― Rainer Maria Rilke


“Tree is a soldier, forest is an army! 
nd let us wish that all the battles 
against this army are lost!”   

Mehmet Murat ildan



“The cloudless day is richer at its close;
A golden glory settles on the lea;
Soft, stealing shadows hint of cool repose
To mellowing landscape, and to calming sea.

And in that nobler, gentler, lovelier light,
The soul to sweeter, loftier bliss inclines;
Freed form the noonday glare, the favour’d sight
Increasing grace in earth and sky divines.

But ere the purest radiance crowns the green,
Or fairest lustre fills th’ expectant grove,
The twilight thickens, and the fleeting scene
Leaves but a hallow’d memory of love!”

― H.P. Lovecraft





“I was conscious of that moment of stepping into the woods and leaving everything else behind. That one instant when all the sounds of people, of traffic, of doors opening and closing, were suddenly gone, swallowed up by trees and ferns. It was like a curtain falling on a stage, and I waited for that moment every time. My heart opened just a little bit wider."  

 Lynn Thomson, Birding with Yeats: A Memoir


“Going up that river was like travelling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest. The air was warm, thick, heavy, sluggish. There was no joy in the brilliance of sunshine. The long stretches of the waterway ran on, deserted, into the gloom of overshadowed distances."  

Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Space Exploration: Remembered in Comics


At one time humans were trapped upon their planet.  They didn't have any way to travel beyond their atmosphere, and the world they inhabited was glorious, but an intergalactic prison, of sorts.  The people of earth could not even reach out to their moon, who hovered in orbit, watching over them, since the beginning of memory.


Jules Verne imagined our adventurous outreach.  And some others did too, but few did so with a scientific outlook, most looked upon it as an adventure.  Surely it was that too.  But what makes our world interesting, is always the struggle between pragmatism and romanticism.  We love heroes, but we need precision and science.

Photo copyright NASA
Many of the problems of the present seem insurmountable.  But, as John F. Kennedy said, landing on the moon seemed impossible, so we should try to do it.  We did it because it was a challenge, and because it represented something that we could build from.   It also had other ramifications that would keep America at the top of the food chain, regarding leadership of the West.


Some people view space exploration as a waste while their are humans living in poverty.  That isn't a false concept, but, Christ said, there will always be the poor, so, you must make the decisions for the greater good knowing that our whole of society will move forward.  I believe that the feeding and sharing with the poor can be done, along with any massive effort towards space.  But, this isn't about my hippie views.

I will say, however, that the race to the moon, as well as outer space, came about due to the Cold War, and the desire to achieve an edge in the battle of wits and superior weaponry over the Soviet Union.  When the Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik into orbit, the need to be on the moon was paramount.




Our move past the moon into further space seems distant, but Mars is necessary to reach before we expand.  Will humanity make to space before it destroys itself with war, or destroys the planet with pollution and global warming?  I don't know.   


Comics have not fully embraced the amazing story of space, at least recently, but if you look you can find some.  Some are even good.   We are an amazing, frustrating, devilish, glorious, wonderful, fucked up species.  Space exploration allows us to take a look at some of our finer moments.




Sunday, January 10, 2016

They are BACK!!!!!!!!!! The Universal Monsters are on their way!

UNIVERSAL MONSTERS REBOOTED

The monsters: Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, & The Invisible Man are ready.  They've been waiting since the 1950s.  Their stories have been told, in pieces but not in real form for over 60 years.  That will change.


My favorite monster is The Mummy.  The reason for that is that it comes from a factual basis and the fear comes from the real reaction to the existence of embalmed and preserved mummies.  I love Ancient Egypt History, I read a lot of it, and for me the Mummy is mostly well done, and even when the movies became silly, they were still really fun.  The first, with Karloff was amazing and frightening.  The second was scary but less so.  And the rest with Lon Chaney Jr. were fun, silly and nonetheless a great way to entertain yourself while trying not to work.


I was not a fan of the Brendan Fraser series of the Mummy, but I do agree, it was not a bad series of movies.  I was far too attached to the original series to enjoy it though.




Monday, January 4, 2016

First the comic, then the Movie or TV Series


Some people haven't the time to try to understand what is going on with Powers.  That is the only thing I can imagine is their problem with it.  Because it does what others have tried for decades.  The comic, written by Brian Bendis and illustrated by Mike Oeming, tells a story that features police officers dealing specifically with the crimes of people known as Powers.  But, the thing is, however real other books have tried to be, powers don't exist for us but in POWERS they do, they are normal in the sense of known and seen daily, so the depth of emotion and consequence of the stories is insanely powerful (no pun intended).  If there were people who could do this, do that, and we knew, they'd be seen as being just short of Gods.  But also, while exciting, people without powers would eventually come to fear or distrust those with powers.  What other comics try to show, Powers deals with every issue.  It is among the best comics I've ever read.  At the very least, it reminds me of why I love comics with every issue I read.

And now, after a determined effort to bring the work to television, a misfire or failed pilot behind them, they've completed a first season of POWERS the television series.  And it is a miracle.  Critics can shed tears over characters and bloodshed, but I promise, if you are a comic book fan, and especially if you've read and loved POWERS, the series is amazing.  I accept that there are people who won't like it for one reason or the other, but I promise that people who love the series are involved in it, and it shows.  The only quibble I have isn't worth mentioning because, honestly, this isn't a review, but a notice for people who haven't been aware, that they need to be. 

Playstation Network shows first run episodes, but the first season can be seen on Crackle.com.  And thank you Crackle.com.  I don't watch television.  But my son and I chose to try this show because of my love for the comic, and we both are now deeply ready for season 2.