Culture

Behind the curve on Bleeding Fool

The publication of Long Live Death left me a bit distracted, so I forgot to link to my two latest posts over at Bleeding Fool.

Those who remember my fondness for North and South will be amused to see that I've broached the topic over there - albeit in a shorter, funnier format.

Going back almost a month ago, I did a fun nostalgic romp on Zardoz.  Embrace the strangeness while you still can!

Apologies to anyone who missed out, now you can catch up!


A very snowy Veterans Day

Today I will continue my tradition of playing "Taps" out at Veterans Memorial Park (that's the big monument in front of the Hall of Justice).

It's never a good performance because playing a brass instrument in the COLD is tough.  Doing it with snow flying only adds to the degree of difficulty.

Still, the forms must be observed, and I'm honored to do it.  In fact, I started playing "Taps" while a student at MSU and it never occurred to me when I was doing it back then that I'd be a career military guy.  Strange are the fates.

I encourage my fellow vets to avail themselves of some excellent deals today, and of course - thank you!


Mark Hamill and the death of fandom

My latest column is up over at Bleeding Fool.  The response has been sharply divided, which is not unexpected, but discouraging.

It seems everything in political now.  I try to keep this blog away from such things, but unless people are willing to stand up on principle - even for people they might disagree with politically - things are only going to get worse.


Battlestar Galactica revisited

My next article for bleedingfool.com will take a look at the two versions of Battlestar Galactica.  I'm still putting the finishing touches on it and I just realized that the original series went off the air almost exactly 30 years ago.

Geez, I'm old.

As part of my research, I've been re-watching it, so I may come back to the topic from time to time, since I'm going to go through it at a leisurely pace, rather than binge-watching.

I'll have more to say in the article, but I have to say that even with the limitations of the special effects, it's pretty good and far from being a Star Wars clone, it uses some concepts that later Star Wars movies will borrow.  Even stuff that I've long thought of as a cheesy sop to the audience (the little kid and his robot dog), make more sense as an author, since they allow the writers to have more space to be creative.

Plus, children would be an issue when looking at a refugee fleet.  Everyone hated Wesley Crusher because he was insufferable but also because warships shouldn't have nurseries.  

But it makes sense on the Galactica, which is now the capital of a floating city.  And the plot line of broken and rebuilding families is an important one.  In fact, having watched the pilot/movie, I have to say it's a lot darker than I remember.

In the first 30 minutes or Adama loses his wife, younger son, and civilization.  Pretty rough and they don't soft-pedal it, either.   Yet it was still viewed a highly kid-appropriate.  I guess we were tougher back then.

Anyhow, I'll post a notice here when I finish and it goes live.


No, I didn't like The Matrix at all

My latest column is up at The Bleeding Fool - a withering remembrance of The Matrix, which turned 20 years old this year.  How time flies.

I don't have much to add other than it seems like the perfect metaphor of style over substance.

Strip away the special effects and the red pill/blue pill metaphor, and there's not much left.  In fact, I think the interesting thing about the pill thing is that younger folks probably aren't even aware where it came from.