Friday, June 29, 2012

Pretend

Sometimes I think that the world of "pretend" is so far away. Life becomes too complicated too fast. Maybe we should all just take a lesson from A Bug's Life and return to the world of "Pretend" often. I hear it's a source of great stories. :) Too much reality is a real downer anyway.

I shall be taking next week off. See you the second week of July and have a great Independence Day!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

With regard to genre, are you an elitist snob?

If this dragon rode in a spaceship,
is it still fantasy? What if the
spaceship was headed to Eden?
is it still fantasy even though now
it is infused with spirituality?
According to sci-fi super magazine io9, San Diego Comic Con 2012 is set to be overwhelmed with fantasy picks this year, chief among them are legions of George R.R. Martin fans followed closely by Hobbit buzz which is filling in the gap for Star Trek 2 (which is absent this go around).

Now, I started to look at the titles of all the things that are going to be there, and I saw the following list:

List of Fantasy at Comic-Con 2012:

MOVIES:
- The Hobbit
- Breaking Dawn
- ParaNorman
- Evil Dead Remake (not confirmed)
- Maleficent (not confirmed)
- Oz: The Great and Powerful (not confirmed)
- R.I.P.D. (not confirmed)
- 47 Ronin (not confirmed)

TELEVISION:
- The Legend of Korra
- Game Of Thrones
- True Blood
- Once Upon A Time
- Vampire Diaries
- Adventure Time
- Dreamwork's Dragons: Riders of Berk (the TV show version of How to Train Your Dragon)
- Teen Wolf
- 666 Park Avenue
- Supernatural
- Once Upon A Time
- Beauty And The Beast
- Grimm
- Merlin
- Being Human
- American Horror Story (not confirmed)

It gave me pause to think...what exactly is fantasy? Is science-fiction just another flavor of fantasy in which there is pseudo-scientific techno babble instead of pseudo-Latin sounding spellcasting? Can "Twilight" be called a fantasy? What about the "Evil Dead" remake? What about the fairy tale shows like "Once Upon a Time" and "Grimm"? Maleficent is a dragon but it's also a repackaging of the "Sleeping Beauty" fairy tale.

"Merlin"...yes that's a fantasy. So is "Game of Thrones" and "The Hobbit". But none of these others seem to fit the type of fantasy that I have in my mind. The kind that has a medieval setting with knights, wizards, and dragons yet tries to hold to the authenticity of a world and is not structured from anything written by the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson.

I struggle with genre labels. I labeled my own book as science-fiction because it has techno babble galore, and some spaceships, and super cities, and some neat gadgets. There is no magic in it though. But you could kind of call what Jordan does as "magic". However, I use scientific mumbo jumbo to explain why it's happening so that makes it more science-fiction, right? The protag is 17 so that counts as young adult right? But not really, if you see what happens to him in the story.
When we talk fantasy do we mean this?...
...BUT NOT THIS?
One elitist snob on Amazon that absolutely hated my book said, "Now I guess if the reader likes a lot of spirituallity mixed up with their science fiction, it may be just fine. But to me it just sounded ridiculous and pulled it down..." I wanted to respond to this person and ask, "What exactly do you think science-fiction is? What exactly do you think fantasy is?" I'm sure the response would have been "Science fiction should only happen where the main characters are a man and a woman and in space (and barring that please god don't let them get together and get busy because it's blasphemy I tell ya...)"

Humor aside...I think that there is a strange kind of nonsensical, non-logic that flows through the minds of some of the elitists of science-fiction and/or fantasy. It's similar to the kind of nonsensical, non-logic that occupies the minds of those who oppose gay marriage. Maybe the writing and plots have gotten so weird and crazy as authors and writers seek to distinguish themselves with an original idea, that boundaries in fiction essentially no longer exist with the lone exception being that of the obsessive compulsive elitist with boxes clearly labeled for organization and consumption of stories.

In other words, I think that "Twilight" and "Being Human" are now as much science-fiction and fantasy as "Ender's Game", "Dune", and "Foundation". "Harry Potter" IS science-fiction. "Battlestar Galactica" IS a fantasy. They are two sides of the exact same coin.

As for me, I'm going to keep churning out stories for the time being that infuse spirituality with scientific techno babble that no one understands anyway. I'm going to do it until I grow tired of it and then move onto something else.

My question to you is, would you agree that paranormal, cyberpunk, medieval fantasy, science-fiction, steampunk, horror, dark fantasy, and countless other similar genres are now all blended and stuck on the same coin?

With regard to genre, are you an elitist snob?

How do you categorize what you write?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Start spreadin the news cause Laura Eno is top of the heap with WRAITH


Pssst...I have an announcement :).

Today is the worldwide launch of Laura Eno's Wraith. You may see it everywhere. But if you somehow live under a rock and have missed it, here's the amazing blurb!

Someone wants them dead. Another wants them captured. No one can be trusted. Secrets, lies, and revelations await Raven and Mikael as their search for Mikael's missing friend leads them to Wraith, a mysterious moon owned by Jeffrey Hamilton, cybernetics genius and Ben's creator. How much of the Oracle's technology does Hamilton possess and where did it come from?


Raven's nightmares from the past threaten her sanity, while Mikael's guilt slowly consumes him. Ben's in more danger than anyone as they race to find the answers to uncertain questions—questions which could lead to death for them all.

Available for only .99!
AmazonUS
AmazonUK
Nook
Smashwords

As a bonus you can download the first book, Raven, for free today only! Click here and enter the code PU65D to download your copy in multiple formats, including PDF.

Visit Laura Eno at any of the below places to get to know her better!



That is all. Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Will McAvoy stole the words right out of my mouth

On Sunday night following this week's episode of "True Blood", HBO launched "The Newsroom" with a one-hour premiere episode. You can watch this pilot for free without subscription on the HBO website.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the man behind this endeavor, Aaron Sorkin, he is the one that gave us the frank and sometimes disturbing movie "The Social Network" and the presidential drama "West Wing".
The opening title montage of the Newsroom is a throwback to nostalgia, looking back on an era of idealistic news broadcasters like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite.

The show opens with a tirade from Jeff Daniels who is in quite a departure from the role he played in "Dumb and Dumber". I have to say that I like this new role for Mr. Daniels. Now the afore-mentioned tirade I spoke of is sparked when Jeff in his role as Will McAvoy (in front of a room of journalism students) is asked to answer the question, "why would you consider America to be the greatest country on Earth?"

Here is the transcript of the answer in the form of a tirade. I have to say, that Jeff Daniels stole the words right out of my mouth, because I have been thinking these very same thoughts for some time now.
"And you—sorority girl—yeah—just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know, and one of them is that there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy, twenty-seventh in math, twenty-second in science, forty-ninth in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies. None of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are without a doubt, a member of the WORST-period-GENERATION-period-EVER-period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about?! Yosemite?!!!"
So why would I say I've been feeling this for some time? Well, despite my love for popcorn television, I'm also dismayed by the fact that some of my friends don't know who the vice-president of the United States is. I'm dismayed that Christian fundamentalist textbooks tout the Loch Ness monster as proof of Creationism and that these kids will become adults and believe this hogwash. You can find that article HERE if you don't believe me. I'm dismayed that there is a universal decline in literacy in this country and that we've gone from a country that used to support poor people to one that now attacks them. I'm dismayed at the partisan divide which has grown so wide, it is difficult for me to see how it will ever be fixed. I'm dismayed that we have the best colleges in the world, and Americans can no longer afford to attend them.



I'm looking forward to many more scenes like the opening of Aaron Sorkin's new drama on HBO because he has a proven track record of filming intelligently written dialog that will cause you to reflect upon the narrative piping in over your television every night. He also knows how to pick out and create memorable characters. This cerebral "popcorn" television may do nothing to ease any of the troubles that plague the United States (economy aside), but I can tell Will McAvoy is being written by someone who feels just like me.


Below you will find an embedded video of Neil DeGrasse Tyson expressing perfectly how I feel regarding the state of education within the United States right now. If you have time, please watch.
So...did you watch the Newsroom? And are you as frustrated as I at what is going on in our country right now? I look forward to reading your comments.

Monday, June 25, 2012

My list of the awesome things I saw in Brave

Here is my list of the awesome things I saw in Brave:

1) Merida's flaming red hair. You just have to see it.
2) At last, a female protagonist in the Pixar line of movies. I guess "Elastigirl" kinda/sorta counts, but Merida is better.
3) I saw animated haggis!
4) I saw a witch who used a cauldron as an answering machine!
5) The queen's hair with the two pony tails looked really cool.
6) And the lesson that the most important thing between a parent and a child may be communication. In other words, both sides need to really just stop and listen and then comprehend.
7) Bagpipes. I love bagpipes. More please.
8) Pixar animation. It gives me goosepimples.
Cutest baby bears ever!
"A Lady does not leave her WEAPONS on the table!" Remember that ladies!
Have a great Monday!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Stories that deserve to be made into movies and a little rant

J.K. Rowling has been talking with Warner Brothers this last year about rebooting the entire series
with an all American cast to see how that works (instead of an English one).
How do you feel about that? 
"The Great and Powerful Oz" is an upcoming prequel being filmed by director Sam Raimi. It stars James Franco (Oz), Michelle Williams (who plays Glinda), Rachel Weisz (Evanora), and Mila Kunis (Theodora). The three ladies play the witches that Oz has to deal with in the takeover of the yellow brick road. I know nothing about the plot other than that. Oh and it's supposed to come out in 2013.
The first promo picture for The Great and
Powerful Oz. Franco seems like he's trying
to hard to look sexy which is not what I
associate with the Wizard of Oz.

If you aren't familiar with Sam Raimi's work, you need look no further than the show "Drag Me To Hell" (sucks) or the Evil Dead series (good if you're drunk and with stupid friends--IQ 80 required). You'll either love him or hate him. There is no in-between. But for the record, I think Spider-Man 2 was a masterpiece.

Anyway, this is where I shake my fist at Hollywood. Why are you going to ruin a classic? A prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" is going to lead to a sequel which is basically...a REBOOT of "The Wizard of Oz".

Judy Garland is the only person I can see playing Dorothy. And her singing of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" still makes me pause every single time that I hear it.

And yes, as I discussed earlier this week, Lion's Gate is already planning on rebooting "Twilight" with a whole new cast and "Breaking Dawn, part 2" hasn't even been released yet. Plus you have a reboot of "The Hunger Games" being discussed and the Batman franchise has already been greenlit for a reboot after Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" hits theaters this summer.

Enough already.

There are so many stories that are so amazing that have not been given a silver screen treatment.

Here are just a few on my list:

1) David Eddings' Belgariad could become five blockbuster fantasy movies. As a side note, I hate that Christopher Paolini endorses Eddings on the cover. Eddings is 100 times the writer Paolini will ever be. I tried to read Eragon...what utter crap. Yet it got a movie treatment. R.I.P. Eddings...you did good. I will miss your stories.
2) What about Neuromancer by William Gibson? It won both the Hugo and the Nebula in the year it was released? Talk about the king of cyberpunk, why the hell has this not been made into a movie?
3) For the vampire enthusiasts, how come the Anita Blake series hasn't ever been cast or discussed? This story by Laurel K. Hamilton is superior to the one by Charlaine Harris in my opinion and she is repeatedly a New York Times bestseller.
4) Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.
5) The Dragonlance books by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis. Holy cow...this would be incredible!
6) Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality. The story in this was brilliant.
7) Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber. Again, just absolutely mind-blowing in his world-building.
8) Lloyd Alexander's Prydain chronicles. Disney screwed over The Black Cauldron...please, someone with talent make these five books into movies.
This is what I hate most about what capitalism does to art. The artist in me longs for a socialized art/movie industry that uses taxpayer money coupled with money from a fund setup to receive all the profits from successful movie projects to continue to back new projects. In other words, to make the entire movie industry break new boundaries in film.
When this is all that matters, you have to dumb down your
product so that it appeals to as many people as possible to
make the biggest return on investment. To appeal to so many
different tastes in my opinion causes artistic expression to go
out of the window and into the trash can. Hence why Madagascar 3
continuously beat Prometheus in theaters. One is G-Rated and the
other is rated-R. But Ridley Scott took more of a risk with
Prometheus...a thing for which I am thankful. And he made a
far superior and more artistic creation.
In my socialized art/movie industry, we would say "No. 'Twilight' has already had a run. It's very successful and generated two billion dollars for the fund. We will not be rebooting it with a new cast. Instead, we are using the remaining funds after all invested parties have been paid handsomely to invest in a book that has never had a movie treatment. An entirely new story if you will. I'm sorry if that disappoints you."

Anyway, that is my rant. I'm just tired of how we are being spoon fed more of the same. Here comes another Snow White movie...here comes another reboot of "Total Recall"...

Do you have books in a list that you keep in your head for which you'd like to see a Hollywood treatment? If so, please say so in the comments.

How do you feel about reboots of both Twilight and Harry Potter (with an American cast instead of a British one)? Would you go and see them en-masse if they are released in 2014? Do you think the corporate greed is such that it is destroying creativity by only going for projects that are sure to generate some serious cash?

I honestly think I live in a weird time of human history. I never would have envisioned a time when I thought mass produced entertainment would be stuck on repeat. Don't you people out there ever get tired of seeing the same old thing? Furthermore, can you explain to me why reboots seem to make such huge fists of money? A lack of money is the only thing that is going to kill reboots and make greedy corporate pigs look at investing in other projects and taking risks.

I will leave you with Judy Garland singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", mostly because hearing it brings peace to my mind. If you have time, please go visit Michael Pierce's blog today. He's interviewing me for his Friday Post (and posting a book review of SLIPSTREAM), but at the time of this writing, it isn't up yet. CLICK HERE TO GO TO HIS BLOG.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wherein I review House on the Corner by Andrew Leon

Cover Art by Rusty Webb, a blogger buddy, who simply kicks much ass when it comes
to this kind of thing. My hat is off to you Rusty.
I should have done a review of Andrew's book a long time ago. Better late than never I say, so here it is:

In general, I liked this little yarn spun by Mr. Leon. It took me back to the eighties, had plenty of nerdy D&D references, and really made me remember how cool Star Wars was as a kid. I mean...it was pretty cool (especially the whole Hoth sequence).

I'm 40, single, and don't have kids. This illustration shows what
I wanted to email Andrew during the first 100 pages. But I am
not this book's target audience. However, I stuck with it!
I think that the first third of this book will appeal to people who just like to hang out with screaming kids (let's call it "character building" for lack of a better description). If asked for a synopsis of these chapters, I would say "a family with three loud and annoying kids moves into a house". Personally, I could have done with a hundred less pages of "character building" since the story for me didn't start until Chapter 15 entitled "the imagination room".

That's where the story finally got interesting. The imagination room is kind of like a gateway to another world, similar to the wardrobe in Narnia. And there is magic, monsters, strange food, and Arthurian legends enough to make any kids' eyes pop. Now, I LOVE all things Arthur. As a caveat to the naysayers who groan at Arthurian stuff, I know it's been done to death, and I too borrow from the legend in my own writing. But I never get tired of it. Does any guy NOT like knights in shiny armor and magic swords? If you answer yes to this question then WE CANNOT BE FRIENDS :P. Just kidding, but be careful what you say.
Morgana is a great villain in the show Merlin.That icy stare
sends shivers down my spine. So you better not be dissin'
on Arthurian legends. We need MORE!

Morgana is watching! =====>>>

We find out later that although there is something special about the imagination room, the true magic resides in a very rare bloodline that produces one wizard and one guardian to a mystical tower that has a lot to do with King Arthur, Merlin, and the sword Excalibur (how's that for a kickass legacy). When I was 7-years-old, I wanted nothing more than my own Excalibur. I read bunches of knight stories and wanted so much to see the movie called Excalibur (it was rated-R). My parents refused to take me because it was "smutty".
My parents wouldn't let me watch Excalibur, most likely,
because of this scene which has Uther ravishing Igraine
and includes some pretty hot armor sex. io9 did a
whole article on armor sex HERE.

The book doesn't have any bad language. I would rate it PG-13 because there is a death in it, but only after a nifty fight scene with a troll named Scromb. The book is also written in first person up to Chapter 22. I don't mind reading first person, but Andrew chose to alternate points-of-view in each chapter to one of three children (their names being Tom, Ruth, and Sam) and you never have any idea who is talking until halfway down the first page of each chapter. Then the book shifts into full-blown third person omniscient in Chapter 22 without any warning to prepare the reader. Maybe this is artistic expression? It doesn't work for me. But I think 13-year-olds and younger won't care, and these are the people for whom I believe the book is aimed. And the content of the story is pretty good. You've got magic, monsters, wizards, a spooky house, mysteries, old books, strange neighbors, and a lot of pop culture references, including the old G.I. Joe dolls from the sixties.

So if you're looking for a book that you can read out loud to your class or to your children, you might want to give House on the Corner a try.

I give this book 3-1/2 stars out of 5.

********************

Check out Andrew's blog HERE.

If you want to own House on the Corner, you can buy it on AMAZON. I don't recommend purchasing it on the NOOK at this time as my copy had severe formatting issues. Andrew was kind enough to supply me with a complimentary pdf to read.

You can mark Andrew's book "to read" on Goodreads HERE, if you would like to be supportive.

Have a happy Thursday my bloggy friends :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Do you think these shoes are racist?

I pay attention to fashion trends. Folks that have read my book, SLIPSTREAM, have said that I go into "clothes descriptions" probably a little too much. That being said, at $350.00 a pair, this shoe by Adidas called the JS Roundhouse "handcuff" seems like the perfect accessory for the book Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James.
They hit stores in August and people are getting pretty angry about the shoe, saying that it's racist because it promotes ideas of slavery. You should checkout the Facebook comments on the Adidas page.

Would you be upset to see kids wearing "slavewear"? It's going to happen. They'll probably be the most popular shoe around as boys strut about their high schools in their skinny jeans. I'm saying "boys" because I can't see a real broad appeal for girls in these shoes. But...I could be wrong :)

Opinions? Do you find them insensitive? If money were no issue, would you want your kid to wear these shoes or would you be offended by them?

Have a great Wednesday. I look forward to reading your comments.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I love that I live in the golden age of trash fiction

The website io9 recently did an article on the golden age of trash culture, and I couldn't agree more. You can read the whole article HERE. In the TL;DR version, basically "there is more corporate-funded trash being unleashed on the public than ever before... and meanwhile, there's a huge wave of new-media trash coming as well."

Isn't it glorious?
All the movie adaptation of this book needs is to cast
Alex Pettyfer as the guy. That's it. Ka-Ching. Google
Alex Pettyfer and you'll see what I'm talking about.
With free books and or 99 cent offerings on kindle, we have access to wafer-thin characters in just about every paranormal situation you could shake a stake at. The rise of erotica with such offerings as Fifty Shades of Gray and the subsequent sequels are plain awesome. Plus you can read smutty books on the kindle in the subway or on the train because no one can see what you're reading so you don't have to be embarrassed by the fact that you're secretly into whips and chains or possess bizarre sex fetishes.

On television insanity rules. Basically, nothing is too insane or too out there. Really, writing has broken through a boundary where you can literally string together a story from four random dice rolls (roll twice in the first section) and it seems to work. Example:

1 A guy who gets naked a lot
2 A girl who gets naked a lot
3 A vampire who gets naked a lot
4 A werewolf who gets naked a lot
5 An alien from the planet Shmieldorf who gets naked a lot
6 A ghost who gets naked a lot

1 Don't have sex but falls in tortured love
2 Can manipulate fire but is a cheerleader
3 Can read minds but feels guilty about that
4 Can teleport into a person's dreams and realizes they are actually dead in real life
5 Learns magic at a school for magical peeps
6 Drives a BMW hybrid while listening to Chicago love songs

1 Takes Newt Gingrich to a moon colony.
2 Saves the world from Goatzilla
3 Pimps minors out for sex
4 Finds a duck with super powers and prevents an alien invasion
5 Wins a game show in a post apocalyptic setting
6 Gets married.

Okay my rolls using my trusty 6-sided dice are: 3, 4, 4, 6
My new story plot is "A vampire who gets naked a lot and a werewolf who gets naked a lot can teleport into a person's dreams and realizes that they are actually dead in real life and then gets married."

I don't think these kinds of stories could have ever had a place in the 80's or the 90's because people would see through them. But now...bring it on baby. Just look at True Blood. I'm addicted to this show which has about as flimsy a writing as anything. In Sunday's episode, a guy talks to Bill Compton and gestures at a book. He says, "Do you know what this is?" Bill answers, "It's a Bible." But then goes on to say that it's not "THE Bible" but the "original testament"...you know...the vampire Bible and then they go on to say how vampires came first and were really god's children and how Adam and Eve came later and it just shows how humans were meant to feed vampires.
Brilliantly written dialogue? Alcide is awesome. This really is
the written conversation. Not kidding.
What did I think of that background? It was both brilliant and incredibly stupid trash and I loved it. The mire of bullshit that flows from writers these days is awesome. In our trashy culture...pure bullshit reigns. You can explain anything away in your plot--plausible no longer matters, just make it up. For television and movies, you don't even need to script it. This kind of thinking can be done on the fly as long as it sounds clever. And being random is now king.
Random True Blood baby eater character that got more lines 
than Alcide 
Random characters (like those in the above picture) are key to trashy stories. Have you seen Jersey Shore? Random is that cast's bread and butter. That and tanning, big bewbs, and tequila.

From the article, io9 points out that Michael Bay is one of the greatest film makers alive. Have you seen a Michael Bay film? All you need are explosions. That's it. Check out one of the greatest moments in last night's True Blood episode. Jessica (the red-head) gave Steve (a former religious pastor) a "Fang Boner" by describing Jason Stackhouse's butt and cock to him and offering to sell him for $20,000.00 since she technically has the rights to Jason's body. How is this at all great television? I have no idea, but I'm glued to the screen like millions of other watchers in America every Sunday with our bowls of Cheetos and our guts hanging out over our belts muttering, "damn...this show is GOOOOOODDDD. Mmmmhmmm."
So writers...WRITE MORE TRASH! WE NEEDSSES IT. There clearly isn't enough. Twilight, as an example, is getting rebooted by Lion's Gate because they don't want to lose their cash cow. Yep, they are going to cast a whole new group of people right after Breaking Dawn, Part Two shatters records this fall.

I can't wait. I hope they get a better looking Edward. #JustSayin

Monday, June 18, 2012

Falling Skies emphasizes the importance of fathers

There may be some spoilers in this blog post. >,<

Three months of in-world time has passed between last season and the start of this one. First off, I love the alien invasion story of Falling Skies, and I was glued to my seat last night for the two-hour season two premiere. If you are a fan of dystopian apocalyptics, then you might want to give this science-fiction drama a try. It has all the elements. People overcoming huge obstacles to ban together to drive aliens who have already conquered Earth back into space, cute boys and girls (there are no fat people in this show and everyone is in shape despite the scarcity of food resources), and computer generated effects galore. The fact that everyone is gorgeous doesn't bother me. I'm pretty much used to it and have grown to accept/expect it in my television.
Drew Roy plays Hal Mason in Falling Skies.
But behind all the glitz of the show's significant budget, good writing, and eye candy, there are solid themes of fatherhood. Noah Wylie plays Tom and the most important thing to him in the world are his three sons. And it's just refreshing for me to see a single dad portrayed in such a good light. On top of that he's an exceptional former school teacher, so he's really smart, reads, and is constantly teaching his sons how to grow into good men with strong moral compasses. The other thing that I appreciate about the show is that it steers clear of religion for the most part. People are conquering their own fears and their insecurities through love, companionship, and dealing with the situations without resorting to on-screen prayer to alleviate despair.
Ben Mason teaching Matt Mason (his little brother) how to shoot skitters (aliens) so that he can defend
himself. I really like Ben Mason. He's probably the most interesting character right now outside of Tom. He's
kind of become a super warrior because he has alien DNA or something inside of him now. He can run
marathons without tiring, can hear and see things no one else can, and is really strong--like the kind
that can bench press a Toyota truck.
They've also borrowed a page from H.R. Geiger and the Alien franchise by using creepy body invasion. The alien conquerors control human children with biological harnesses and then last night, we saw the doctor pull a weird worm thing out of Tom's eye that later turned into a metal ball bearing and later still, a butterfly with teeth sharp enough to cut glass.
I really need to add this button to my sidebar. It's just too cool.
So if you are a fan of science-fiction, join the saga of the 2nd Mass (Second Massachusetts) as they resist the invaders from another world. It's on TNT on Sunday's this summer. I'm so glad I have a DVR so that I can record True Blood (which shows at the same time).

Questions I want answered this season:
1) What's up with Ben? Is he ever going to be truly safe from the aliens?

2) What did the aliens do to Tom? They really screwed him up. Did they put more of those worms in his body?

3) What does the flying butterfly worm thing do aside from cut glass?

4) Why did they let all the people go at th same time as Tom by just dropping them off in a field? Then they massacred them while Tom walked off? It's clear that they did not value the other humans at all, but put extreme value on Tom. I'm thinking it has something to do with his son Ben. It also seemed like they wanted Tom to see that they spared him.

Friday, June 15, 2012

What does 10.11.12 mean?

David the android on the left; the titan Prometheus as sculpted by an artist on the right. I thought
that this was a neat comparison of the two and obviously done on purpose by Ridley Scott.
First off, Cally Jackson put me in the Hot Seat over at her blog today so if you have the time, please go check it out HERE.

In case you are wondering, this is a Prometheus movie post. I apologize to Patrick Dilloway who thinks I talk too much about this movie, but I simply need to get these thoughts out of my head. I will be talking about some things that you could have an opinion about without having seen the film. However, I might "spoil" one or two minor things about the film in an attempt to answer questions that have plagued me for a week now. If you choose to comment, I would appreciate intelligent feedback aimed at the topic I will bring up instead of some smartass snarky thing (glares at Mr. Dilloway).
If you stayed through the end credits of Prometheus, you were greeted with the next stage of Ridley Scott’s elaborate tale. You caught a date – 10.11.12 – and a link to the Weyland Industries timeline. When you scroll down to that date, it reads:
WEYLAND INCORPORATES
Weyland Corporation is recognized as a legal entity and corporation under United States law and receives their Certificate of Incorporation from the Companies House in the United Kingdom. Due to the combined value of Sir Peter Weyland’s various patents and patent-pendings, the company incorporates with a higher fair market valuation than any other company in history.
OCTOBER 11, 2012
There’s a small flag to click on that links you to - http://www.whatis101112.com/ - where you’ll find a new video and book. Each “stage” will be revealed through the various modules.
Sir Peter Weyland
And then there's a new viral video...presumably Mr. Weyland prior to his TED talk which I discussed in this post HERE. The website if you check it out, features a 3D version of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's work Thus Spake Zarathustra which in summary contains a parable on the death of God and the prophecy of the Übermensch (a super human).

Now it has been a long time since I read Nietzsche, but I dusted off my copy of this book and turned to section X of the work and this is what I found:
"Your highest thought, however, ye shall have it commanded unto you by me--man is something that is to be surpassed...live your life of war! What matter about long life! What warrior wisheth to be spared! I spare you not...my brethren in war!"
And this next piece is from section XI:
"The state...where all are poison-drinkers...where the slow suicide of all is called life..."
"There where the state ceaseth...do ye not see...the rainbow and the bridges of the superman?"
And finally from section XII seems to be an address to the Übermensch himself:
Nietzsche in the voice of Zarathustra compares humans to biting flies in a marketplace wanting to suck the blood from the super human. He says, "Even when thou art gentle towards them, they still feel themselves despised by thee; and they repay thy beneficence with secret maleficence...They are unworthy of thee. Therefore they hate thee, and would fain suck thy blood."
Okay...so to my points.

This is the sacrificial "engineer" who like Prometheus of the Greek legend
destroys himself to give something powerful to man. The container holds poison,
but in his death comes life.
1) At the beginning of the movie, we see an alien who could possibly be seen as a super human drinking poison. It slowly kills him and from that presumably springs all life on earth. I'm thinking that Ridley Scott is tipping his hat to Neitzsche in this by stating that the Engineers that created humans had gotten to a point in their evolution that creating life in their own image was the bridge to the next step. In other words, they were becoming gods.
Planet LV-223
2) The directive in section X indicates that man is to be surpassed and that to achieve this requires war. Therefore the Engineers were a war-like race. The planet of LV-223 was found to be a weapon's depot for them.

3) The last passage might serve to explain the motives of the Engineers in wanting to destroy humanity. They believed that even though humans were their children, that humans would secretly grow to hate them and therefore they would eventually need to go to war against them.
Prometheus biological weapons in the Engineer ships
Now to the unanswered questions that have bothered me all week. But first, a few facts for you to consider pulled from the movie:

1) The Engineers created man.
2) All of the bodies on planet LV-223 were two thousand years old. This means they started manufacturing weapons of mass destruction (the bio-matter or black goo) at about that same time.
3) They were headed to Earth, so it's clear that the Engineers wanted to destroy mankind. But it wasn't always this way. They changed their minds 2000 years ago as Shaw clearly points out in her dialogue in the film.

My conjecture:
What event happened 2000 years ago? I got to thinking about this and decided that it would have to have been the birth, life, and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But why would that event have caused the Engineers to change their mind about whether humans deserved to live or die?

Perhaps it has to do with the idea that humans didn't recognize the Engineers as their true Creators. Perhaps they were upset that humans could kill a god and therefore, if one god could die then so could they. Or perhaps they believed that the death of Christ deserved to be punished.

So I ask you, is Ridley Scott saying that the motivation for the Engineers to destroy humanity at all related to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? There is no doubt that at the heart of this film is a huge existential question which I never thought to encounter in an "Alien" franchise film.