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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

FAV FIVE Science Fiction GOOD GUYS/GIRLS


After my last post I decided I could not resist giving the contrasting heroes and heroines a fair shake. Sounds easy enough right? Then I began compiling my list of protagonists and realized this was going to be a harder task than I had originally envisioned. When thinking of bad guys it was easy to pick out the ones you  love to hate the most. There are SO many good guys/girls out there how do you determine which top the “good list"? Giving a generous scope to the Science Fiction genre, here are some of my favorites.


5. Michonne: I have become a huge WALKING DEAD fan recently. Rick Grimes is a pretty damn good hero, but his morals have wavered often in the later episodes of this epic thrilling piece of doomsday science fiction. This show is rich with great good guys (and bad), but one character who has always remained chivalrous and has stuck to her guns (samari sword) is the enigmatic character named Michonne. She is a bit short on words but what she lacks in dialogue she makes up in action. This woman, despite being shunned, remains steadfast in her judgement of character and chooses to fight for good. She has become quite the bad-ass.


4. MadMax: Sticking with the “end of the world” theme; the Mad Max series of movies gave us a view of a post apocalyptic world that has been engrained occult-like into our culture. Max Rockatansky started out as a policeman in Australia’s Main Patrol Force who exacts violent revenge upon a biker gang in the first Mad Max movie. He came into his heroic role within the second installment Road Warrior, becoming a futuristic cowboy-like figure who preferred muscle cars over horses (I read this on www.denofgeeks.us.com and couldn’t resist using this analogy). "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."

3. Ripley: This futuristic heroine started out as a lowly warrant officer with a prejudice against senthetic lifeforms aboard the space ship Nostromos in 1979’s Alien. When we happen onto her character in 1986’s Aliens she has been hardened by a society she cannot seem to fit into. When the company comes calling on her expertise she finds renewed purpose in her life. As the mission deteriorates Ripley finds her inner warrior as her maternal instincts take over and she finds great inner strength. She is able to overcome the aliens after her armed battalion of escorting space marines are decimated by the enemy. She is the toughest Science Fiction heroine I can think of.


2. Captain James T Kirk: This guy. What can I add that hasn’t already been said time and time again. The Swaggering Starfleet Captain always had the wellbeing of his crew and the sacredness of human principals as his primary concern as he travels in through alien space (except when it came to the wooing of green alien women). He always had a way of bending the sanctity of the Prime Directive to accomplish these endeavors. Also, he always seems to remain in control, especially when faced with the NO WIN SCENARIO. And lastly, but not least….KKKAAAAAAHHHHNNNNN!!!


1. Han Solo: This champion was the idyllic Swashbuckling heroic NERF FURTER this galaxy (and that one far far away) has ever seen. He completely eclipsed the films main protagonist in every characteristic; looks, bravery and boldness. AND, he had the coolest space ship, the Millenium Falcon, and the best sidekick in Science Fiction history, Chewbacca. I would bet that every kid who grew up in my generation would choose to be Han Solo over Luke Skywalker.


What are your FAV FIVE HEROES/HEROINES of all time in Science Fiction?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Racing Legend



I have always been into sports, but, this being more a Sci/Fi blog, I usually don't post on the subject. But, a few years back I was lucky enough to meet my soul mate and by luck of fate her Father happens to be an amazing character. At 75 years of age he is a continued successful drag car racer in the ProMod division in the South Eastern United States. Below is an article I wrote two years back.

The powerful engine roars to life rattling bones within the staging area. The chug chug of raw power pounds at the eardrums as the car slowly makes it toward the head of the track. The back wheels settle into the water box as onlookers hold their collective breath. The white haired driver lets the 2,000 plus horse power engine free and in a cloud of smoke the car shoots down the track a couple hundred feet before the driver reins it back in.

An acrid smell of burnt rubber stings the nostrils as the purple and yellow car slowly backs up being guided to the starting line. The PA system suddenly cracks to life.

“Now coming to the line,” the announcer’s excited voice echoes throughout the stands, “the legendary Sonny Tindal!”

It is not a real race, just a test run day, so only a small number are huddled in the metal bleachers. The onlookers cheer excitedly for this is the man they are here to see. The infamous pro-modified drag car, the same that adorns the huge billboard outside the main entrance of the track, settles onto the starting line.

The 2,000 plus horses rev ready to lunge down the glue covered asphalt. The lights on the tree before the shaking chasse flash down to green and in a burst of thunderous sound and puffy white smoke the drag car streaks down the strip fishtailing slightly a quarter of the way down the track. Years of experience allow the seasoned racer to settle the powerful vehicle avoiding a brush with the concrete wall.

Twenty minutes later Sonny Tindal is back at his rig with walls decorated with over fifty years of racing memorabilia. Most 74 year olds are miffed by technology, but Sonny stares intently at a computer screen displaying multi-colored lines on a graph.

“We lost vacuum pressure here,” he points to a pale blue line. “Also, we need to adjust the clutch.”

He swivels in his chair and does a few calculations on his pad then points to a number. Josh Hartley, one of Sonny’s crew members nods and is out the door with tools in hand. Robin, Sonny’s daughter, has already unbuttoned and removed the front end of the car and is filling it with fuel. In an hour the skilled crew will have the famous purple and yellow car back on the starting line.

Within the trailer the pictures on the wall tell a poignant story of a career spanning over fifty years, the entire time supported by his wife Debra at his side. She was there at the very beginning.

“In 1955 Daddy got a new F-8 red Ford truck,” The Pro-modified driver explains. “He let me drive it to haul brick. I painted the front bumper silver, wrote on one side DEB and the other SONNY. Everyone knew what I liked, fast Ford truck and my girl Debbie.”

“One night I was taking Deb home after a date,” Sonny relays a story in his mother’s 53 Chevrolet . “We were going up hwy 178 toward Fairview when I looked in the mirror and saw someone right on my back bumper. It was the 1952 Ford of a friend, Joe King. I thought he was picking at us, so I put the pedal to the floor and left him. I got up the road a piece and turned onto a dirt road, looked over and saw the area highway patrolman we called Little John. I really took off then and went around a curve, hit a mud puddle and went straight over the bank. Little John pulled the car from the muddy bank and followed us to Deb's house. Deb's mom did not like that."

“Little John then followed me home to Pelion,” Sonny continues, “where we left my car. He then carried me to jail in Swansea (Pelion did not have a jail back then). Daddy came to Swansea and got me out and told me not to let Little John catch me again, but don’t get hurt trying to keep him from catching me.”

The purple and yellow pro-modified car is towed to the staging area for its second run of the day. Sonny stands outside of the car and is assisted by his daughter.

“We have a routine,” Robin explains, “before I buckle him in and snap the window shut. It has become quite personal between Daddy and I. One time, when my own Daughter Brittnee had a horse show, I was running late to the track. Daddy was already within the staging lane when I arrived, but he refused to approach the line until I buckled him in. I was on the starting line still in my dress and sandals.”

Once again the powerful Pro-mod car is ready to pounce off the line. The tree flashes down and within the blink of an eye Sonny launches down the track. His uncanny ability to beat competitors off the line has earned him a respect amongst his peers. His name has become feared by other ProMod drivers. This talent has won him countless races earning him legendary status among his class. This day would be no exception.

The crew climbs onto the golf car to head to the end of the track to tow the car back to the rig. At the end of the strip they collect a ticket displaying speed, time of the trial and reaction time off the line. Sonny had mentioned at the Lizard Thicket this very morning he would not race another year the day his reaction time off the line could not be competitive.

“Well,” the crew jokes with Debra, Sonny’s wife, upon arriving back at the truck, “it looks like we will be racing another year!”

Debra Tindal playfully rolls her eyes in response to Sonny’s .007 reaction time off of the line. The car may have not been perfect this day, but the legendary 74 year old drag racer has not lost one bit of his edge.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Freakily Familiar


I know this is a subject that has been delved into all over the internet, especially back when James Cameron’s movie Avatar first came out. I am really disappointed I did not get to see this movie in the theaters; I waited until it came to cable TV. I remember watching it for the first time and getting an incredible sense of Déjà Vu. I had seen this incredible world before, through the fantastic imagery of British born artist and designer Roger Dean. You may remember his extraordinary album covers for the arena rock bands Yes and Asia. Dean's career in art began in the late sixties, when Cameron was roughly fourteen years old.



To this eye it appears much of the imagery is eerily similar. James Cameron has continued to argue that his vision of Pandora was not inspired by the creative artwork of this talented artist. Below are posted some pictures to review. You folks decide whether there is a connection. I hypothesize there was probably a large sum of  monies exchanged to avoid a law suit.

notice the landscape similarities  above and below
 
the reoccurring theme of floating mountains
Avatar vs. Roger Dean
 
I would urge you go check out the work of Roger Dean as soon as you can. His body of work spans over forty-five years and is quite ubiquitous throughout the internet. The images here are just but a small sampling of the wondrous worlds and landscapes of an extremely creative and artistic mind. What are you waiting for? Go Google him. :)
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chronological Chaos



Upon talking about yesterday’s blog with a co-worker earlier today the discussion took the inevitable turn all conversations about time travel do.

“I would go back to the late 1930’s,” he said proudly oblivious, “and take out Hitler before World War 2 started.”

“I would jump to tomorrow night,” another added, “and find out the winning numbers to the Powerball drawing. Then I would come back and buy a ticket.”

Which one of these scenarios is the most nobel? Before you answer that question, think on it.

Going back into the past and averting WW II is a dignified cause indeed, but, when you follow the chain of events, what would be the consequences? At the time the war broke out the US refrained from joining the confrontation for quite some time. As a nation we could not endure such a strain on a weak economy. We quickly came to the aid of the English when Germany began bombing London, but we did not gear up for battle until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December, 7th, 1941. The next day the United States declared war on Japan. It was only three days later did we declare war on Germany.

Think about that a moment. At that time Japan had a superior navy, in numbers and skill, to any other in the world. Germany was a military juggernaut with massive numbers of tanks and men. America, spurred by great feelings of nationalism, could no longer stay out of the World War. Everyone from youngsters to famous people like Elvis Presley, were signing up for the war effort. Everyone was buying up war bonds to support the cause. The nation’s economic machine switched into high gear and within a year and a half the factories across the States were churning out ships, tanks and planes unlike any industrial nation had done before in the history of the world. As one Japanese Admiral put it, “we have awakened a sleeping giant.”

We all know the results from there. Without World War 2 the United States would have never become a superpower. Not only a superpower, but we would have never gone as far into space as we have. Why do I say this? Follow the line of reasoning. After the war the US brought over Nazi Scientists in Operation Overcast to begin engineering military and scientific rocket systems. At the head of the project was Wernher von Braun, the German Scientist who developed the V-2 rocket that killed so many allies and civilians within the early part of WW2. As a result the Apollo rocket system was born out of the ashes that war.

Scientists called this the butterfly effect.  “In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before. The death of Hitler and the nonexistence of the world conflict would have changed the course the United States was put upon. Would the nation be the post war country it became? How would the political and economic landscape have been affected?

The thing is, and everyone of the younger generation of our society should learn from this, every action has a consequence. Today’s youth does not grasp this concept because they live in a world removed from the physicality those of us older grew up with. When we communicated, we were face to face (or ear to ear). We could not post thoughts in virtual space and reach the audience these folks do today. Not having true physical proximity to our audience injects certain bravado into some people’s attitude and the consequences become a mere oversight after all is posted and published.

I digress…

Let us revisit the co-worker who wanted to win the lottery by finding out the numbers beforehand using our Time Machine. Although his intentions seem much less scrupulous than the murderous employee who wanted to off Hitler, this man wanted to go forward in time leaving set history untainted. The consequences of this suddenly wealthy man’s trip would be far less devastating to our nation. The best part of the whole scenario is the fact that I am this coworkers newest friend.





Monday, May 13, 2013

If I Had a Time Machine


If you had a time machine, where and when would you go? Would you walk with Jesus, or would you stride with the dinosaurs? If you thought these events might affect the belief system that helps you cope with the modern day world would you reconsider your destination? Because we are all individually different in our fundamental theologies, beliefs and interests many of us would want to see the origins of our faith, whether it be based in scientific evolution or in spiritual conviction.

I, on the other hand, would hold onto my sacred viewpoint and intrigue myself with humanities greatest and most mysterious achievements. This may be because of my Science Fiction mindset, but, my first stop would be Atlantis curious to whether Plato’s accounts of the mythical society were true. Did they possess electricity? Had they harnessed the power of flight? Exactly where was the Island Kingdom located; within the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean or was it somewhere in South America?

Then I would spin the dials to an era when the Ancient Library at Alexandria was untouched by devastating flame. I would spend weeks, maybe even months (if I could read the languages of antiquity) pouring over the long lost history of the primeval world. Can you imagine the inspired stories that would come out of such a session? How would today’s world be reshaped if such vanished history was rediscovered?

Finally, curiosity would thrust me into the future. I want to observe the day our species takes that first baby step into a bigger cosmos. How will our first contact with an alien race come about? With the discovery of so many extra solar worlds within recent history the notion we are alone in this great big universe is absolutely absurd. Would these non Earth cultures welcome us with open arms to a peaceful life amongst the stars, or will we awaken the attention of blood thirsty hordes hell bent on stealing our Mother Planets natural resources? These are questions Science Fiction has been asking since the creative minds of Jules Verne and Isaac Asimov ignited the dreams of our little Earthbound race.

Where would you take your time machine? And more importantly… why?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Visual Overstimulation?


Modern Science Fiction is very action driven, but lately have some scenes been too over stimulating for the older pallet? I remember going to see the second Transformer movie a few years back and saw some pretty cool fight scenes. There is no doubt that modern special effect techniques have come a long way since the Rebel attack on the Death Star back in 1977. The advances have been
absolutely amazing and modern movie makers can pull off so much more than their pioneering predecessors.   After awhile, though, there was so much happening at once I got lost on the screen. Maybe it’s because I have become too seasoned for the younger generational attention spans, but many of the action scenes  were way too busy to the extent they caused me virtual vertigo. I experienced a degree of sensory overload to the point my brain gave up on keeping track of who was fighting who. I just took a look at the first trailer for the next Transformers movie and, though it looks very slick, it gives me the same impressions all the Transformer fight scenes give. Visual overstimulation.

I found the same true during the opening scene of Star WarsEpisode III Revenge of the Sith. Although the scene was visually stunning, there was so much going on to grab my focus it became hard to comfortably follow the heroes within the sequence. I felt the same way, to a slightly lesser extent, about the fight scene in Iron Man when Tony and Obadiah fought on thehighway in the final climatic sequence.
Maybe youngsters these days are exposed to so much stimuli at such a fast pace they are able to process it visually much more efficiently than this middle aged Science Fiction writer. Am I just getting too old or am I way off base here? What to you folks think?

 

 

 

 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Modern Era Fortune Tellers


When growing up I lost myself in the great works of the Science Fiction masters. Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C Clark and H.G. Wells were some of my favorites. I would thrust the limits of alertness of my ravenous adolescent mind into the wee hours of every summer morning devouring the futuristic imagery these masters painted upon the canvas of my imagination.


I remember how excited I became when I read in Bradbury’s Farenheit 451, “And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind.” As the words played across the page before my weary and blurry eyes my brain pictured a Walkman, the same make and model of the one that lay beside me, as I read by dim night table lamplight. My tired brain did not make the connection until much later that this man had predicted the invention of my little hand held radio in 1953 over a quarter of a century before the first model was ever assembled. Within the same work Bradbury envisioned the death of newspapers and the ubiquitous presence of television screens everywhere, all of which is taking place in our modern day society.

That was the night my twelve year old mind formed the epiphany; Science Fiction writers are the fortune tellers of our age. I read Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon the summer after and I was captivated at the precise predictions he made about the first Apollo Moon Mission over a century before the first rocket launched from Cape Canaveral. This Science Fiction prophet predicted the United States would launch a ship made of mostly aluminum from the Florida Peninsula carrying three spacemen into orbit. This book was published in 1865. He correctly envisioned the feeling of weightlessness these men would feel after escaping our planets gravity. He then went on to predict their capsule splashed down into the Pacific Ocean where it was recovered by a U.S. Navy vessel. Kinda eerie is it not?

In 1914 H.G. Well's  book Set the World on Fire accurately prophesized nuclear weapons. The author knew a little about radioactive decay but had no idea man would figure out how to blow it all up at once. In this novel he actually coined the term "atomic bomb" decades before the first uranium bomb was tested. He also imagined the aftermath of a detonation in this following passage: "In the map of nearly every country of the world three or four or more red circles, a score of miles in diameter, mark the position of the dying atomic bombs and the death areas that men have been forced to abandon around them. Within these areas perished museums, cathedrals, palaces, libraries, galleries of masterpieces and a vast accumulation of human achievement, whose charred remains lie buried, a legacy of curious material that only future generations may hope to examine."

We all know the modern notion of Star Trek predicting the cellular phone. Pretty impressive yes, but, did you know that Mark Twain predicted the internet in 1898? His Adventures of Huck Fin and Tom Sawyer over-shadowed his dabbling in Science Fiction, but, in a short story titled From the London Times of 1904 Twain wrote about a device he called a Telelectrosope, “…the daily doings of the globe made visible to everybody, and audibly discussable too, by witnesses separated by any number of leagues." Another passage within the same short story read, “Day by day, and night by night, he called up one corner of the globe after another, and looked upon its life, and studied its strange sights, and spoke with its people…” Sounds a lot like social networking to this modern day ear.



In my own Science Fiction Trilogy (got my own plug in), The Morian Trilogy, I predict in 300 years in the future that human beings will have an INPUT (Individual Personal Uplink Terminal) implanted behind their left eye. It is "tuned in" to their brain wave frequency and gives them access to a Planetary Database called Mother Earth. The device projects an image screen before his or hers eyes only visible to the user. In this future world we use this interface for everything; watching movies, calling a friend, checking the news.

What do y’all think? These are just a few examples from my childhood reading and my own writings. I would love to hear of any predictions you folks have encountered over the years of reading Science Fiction.












Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Best Science Fiction Monologue

Repost from 5/17/13
 
In my forty-five years of life I've seen a lot of Science Fiction movies. From Armageddon to Zombieland there have been a lot of memorable scenes that stick out in my mind. For instance, I will never forget the cargo bay scene in Aliens when Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley suits up in the Cargo-loader and fights the Queen Egg-layer. Very cool. Or, when the space marines stumble onto what is left of the original colonists. Terrifyingly tingling.

Another great scene is the trench warfare in The Empire Strikes Back harkening back to the first World War in a galaxy not so far far away here on Earth. Speaking of trences, in the first Star Wars movie the Xwing attack on the Death Star. Unforgettable. I remember sitting on the edge of my theater chair giddily drinking in every moment within that battle sequence.

The Predator was another great movie. The first time we see the red eyes flash through the murky blurriness of the alien camouflage suit. Delightfully eerie. Then seeing the creature rip out the spine from the dead soldier’s body. Unsettlingly disturbing.

I also will never forget the day I went and saw John Carpenter’s version of The Thing. That movie freaked me out so bad I didn’t sleep well for over a week. When the disembodied head sprouted legs and crawled out of the room I nearly peed my pants. This movie created a paranoia that rivaled the movie Alien from three years before.

It would take days to relive all these great moments in a limitless number of wonderful films. As I thought back over the years I also recalled all of the great monologues contained within these Science Fiction movies. There was the unforgettable Khan in the second Star Trek motion picture with his “buried alive” speech that prompted Captain Kirk’s unforgettable response: “KKKHHAAAAAANNNN!”

Additionally, the opening monologue in the 2005 remake of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds  was incredible. It was brilliantly articulated by the phenomenal voice talents of Morgan Freeman. I had chills from that speech.

Looking back over the years there have been countless of these dialogue driven moments in numerous movies, but one sticks out in my mind above them all. Here it is in all of its poetic glory, and we as a species should take note of it’s message. Enjoy.

"I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I've realized that you are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment. But you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague. And we are... the cure."
 -Agent Smith in The Matrix

Why not share some of your favorite scenes or monologues in Science Fiction over the years?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Nightly Ritual

An older Short Story of mine from Darkside of the Planet. Sometimes Horror can be almost poetic.

She walked the street unaware of my presence, for I was but a ghost flitting through the darkness that longed to reveal its gloomy secrets from beyond the sodium light of the halogen street lamps. Though I moved silently, I playfully shuffled a stone or perceptively moved a branch every so often to darken her soul with an urgent fear of self preservation.

Her pace quickened and her heart raced. I reveled in the dark images that ran through her panicked mind. Excitedly, I fed on their colorful richness trying to fill the dark void within my black soul. The spark within her spirit awakened something deep within me, something I had lost touch with in a life long forgotten. I desperately grasped at the scarcely remembered sensation but it was too fleeting even for my heightened perceptiveness.

She rounded a corner and I cut through an "L" shaped courtyard, thick with overgrown ivy and prickly weeds. My dark gift afforded me such stealth that I managed to overtake a mangy cat without the creature noticing my approach. As my slender fingers curled around the surprised animal's neck, talon like fingernails ripped into the pungent smelling hide bleeding life away in one swift move, breaking skin and bone simultaneously. An exquisite warm stickiness ran in heavenly rivulets over the cold flesh of my hands and arms, but I could only allow a moment's indulgence for my real prey lay just a few feet beyond on the other side of a rusted iron gate. I peered around the brick wall and up into the beautifulness I had stalked for weeks.

I had come to know every contour of her face, from the sprig of auburn hair that jutted over her wrinkle-free forehead, to the elegant curve of her lovely neck that fell away milky below her slender slightly cleft chin. My carnivore eyesight saw the artery pulsing beneath the thin soft flesh with the excited pace of her racing heart, and my body tensed as she fumbled with the keys to the heavy wooden door. She longed for the desperate refuge from the fear that was beginning to boil away just under her skin, flushing her cheeks and forehead. Her breath came in heavy, uneven gulps as her frightened fingers refused to locate the appropriate key.

Suddenly, the haunting long lost feeling energized my aching soul as I grappled with the incarnate urge to feed on the sweet blood coursing through those tender veins only a foot away from my salivating fangs. Over eons my hunting skills had become keen and this moment of attack culminated in the frenzied need to satiate my never-ending hunger. It would be over in the blink of an eye. The moment came upon me, my muscles coiled ready to spring as the atmosphere electrified with anticipation.

Then, as had happened every night since I began stalking her, the faintly familiar feeling disarmed me. As she passed beyond the threshold, my entire body felt strained and spent. I knew I would collapse in exhaustion. Then I would dexterously climb the tree outside her bedroom window and watch as she slept on the other side of the glass convinced she was free from harm. I would linger dangerously close to dawn endangering my own existence, thirstily drinking in the sights, smells and emotions of her dreams. My soul yearned to understand the alien sensations emanating from her slumbering soul.

The chase continued almost every night for several years and the odd sensation always stayed my hand at the point of attack. When dusk came I risked hunting while the sky was still a blazing flame so that later in the evening my hunger would not impede the sensations I felt from her hapless soul. I felt no remorse or guilt, for I was unable.

As is the nature with my kind, we move through ages and countless generations unchanged and primal, as the human world evolves around us. The mystique slowly seeps from each age leaving us as it's only tenants, moving unnoticed amongst humankind – lonely souls distracted by petty concerns and lofty ambitions. We have faded into folklore and legend and are only remembered through romantic tales.

Thus, the inevitable day came when the chase lost it's fascination to me just as the human world lost its own enchantment with my kind. As I crouched in the alleyway looking up into a face that once awed me with its beauty, I saw years of age had passed unnoticed. The sprig of auburn hair had turned gray and the forehead was no longer soft with glowing skin. My eyes moved over her face with indifference until I focused upon her once smooth neck. The wrinkled skin was transparent and the artery underneath glowed red, triggering the carnal impulse to pounce without inhibition.

Sharp fangs pierced her neck and hot sweet blood funneled into my eagerly gulping mouth. Within that moment our souls connected and our hearts beat as one. Memories came rushing back and in that instant before her heart stopped beating, I realized what the alien sensation that kept me from feeding on her was.

Love.

My fascination for her beauty had given away to love upon seeing her soul. The primeval monster I had become could not fathom this feeling. A single tear slid down my flushed cheek as her warm blood flowed and cooled. Her lifeless eyes stared into mine as the tear slid off my chin and splashed onto her face, her blood within my veins suddenly became as cold as my soul.

That night, the last ember of my human soul was burned out with the fading light within her eyes. Now I have become the beast I was born to be, killing without remorse, or discrimination. I am the monster of fairy tales and the fear within nightmares. I am the dark soul that slides through the shadows unheard and unseen, striking when least expected.

I am vampire…. I am vampire.





Thursday, May 2, 2013

Recognizing Psycho Vampirism


This is a concept I may use in another episode of Bartender Guy...

Having been a bartender for close to thirty years I have met many individuals over the time period. Reflecting upon those years I have met probably thousands of people, some engaging, some quite the opposite. Most that have fitted the mold of normalcy have faded from memory with the passage of time, but like bad memories, some patrons have been etched into the very tissue of my brain matter. Most of these dark and gloomy creatures belong to a special dark modern day coven. Just like the vampires of folklore their metaphorical fangs drip as they wander through our society disguised as one of us trying poorly to fit in. Within every crowd you will find these creatures gathering to feed…and they are always ravenous.

I began, several years back, calling them psycho vampires. Wikipedia defines psycho vampire as “a person or being who feeds off the "life force" of other living creatures.” That is perfectly phrased! That is exactly what these beasts do. Psychologists call this psychic interference. You have probably been fed upon and didn’t realize it. But, fear not citizens, I am here to warn you and point out the signs so you can guard against falling into their gluttonous attacks.

Have you ever had a conversation with an individual that left you drained, not only emotionally, but physically? Has anyone taken joy in making you feel depressed when things are at their best? Then, I’m sorry to inform you, they have already fed upon you. Now, after reading this first sentence you’re probably asking yourself, “holy crap, how many times have I been attacked?” or, “oh my god, is my brother/sister/son/daughter/mother/father/friend/co-worker a psycho vampire?” Do not fret friend. We all have endured their assaults, take comfort, you are not alone. These beasts have taken over many, but we can't let them have our world.

Here is how the feeding process works. The monster is drawn in by positive energy, usually in the form of emotional stimuli such as Joyfulness and happiness which triggers an immediate attack. They swoop in attempting to make you feel bad and they suck up the resulting negative energy left behind. The worse they make you feel, and the more disparaging the emotional crash, the fatter they get. In essence, they make you feel awful so they can feel better (one of the main characteristic of a psy-vamp is that they are pretty much miserable all the time).

NOTE: These creatures can feed off negative emotional stimuli, as long as they can make a potential target feel worse after an attack (see example one below).

The following are phrases to help you recognize a psycho vampire. If someone utters any of these, warn your friends, avoid eye contact with the creature and excuse yourself from the conversation. WARNING: do not try to throw any additional verbal jabs at the beast, you will only provoke and fuel its hunger urging it to feed further. A creature left unfed will move onto greener pastures attempting to find more gullible prey. To associate with a psy-vamp will only encourage it to come back and nourish itself again upon you.

EXAMPLE ONE:

PREY “I just had my finger broken at work. It hurts like hell.”
PSYVAMP: “That’s nothing,” said scoffing, “I had my arm broken in two places last year. You don’t know pain like I do.”
See what happened? That was a blatant attack.

EXAMPLE TWO:

PREY “I just got my first car! How do you like my new Honda?”
PSYVAMP: “My first car was a Mercedes,” said scoffing, “Hondas are for losers.”
Notice psy-vamps scoff a lot? It is like a tiger’s growl upon attack.

EXAMPLE THREE:

PREY “I just got my Science Fiction book published!”
PSYVAMP: “I have written a book,” said scoffing, “When I get mine published it will be a best seller. I don't read Science Fiction, it's for children.”
Remember, no one has ever done it better or had it worse than a psyvamp.

Remember to stay vigilant. The best way to avoid a complete Psycho Vampire Apocalypse is to keep our loved ones and our friends educated.  I hope I have left you folks a bit more informed on the subject of Psycho Vampires.



















Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ahead of the Curve

Todays Blog is a departure from my usual posts but remains true to the artistic nature and creativity that I try to convey in my writings.

Growing up the son of a bar owner I had a very interesting young adult life as I became employed as a bartender at my Dad’s club, Merlin’s. I had a unique perspective on the entertainment aspect of the business because my father, Mr. Merlin Jones, was the lead singer of the house band. Because of my relation to the owner I got to do a lot of singing myself (luckily, saving much embarrassment, I had inherited some of my dad’s talent).


As my time with Merlins matured the elder Mr. Jones decided to take a break from the stage and began bringing in different bands. Over the next decade my ear experienced some of the best (and worst) musicians the Midlands of South Carolina had to offer. I became quite adept at judging whether a band was good or bad within the first song of a first set.

In the mid-ninties I supplemented my nighttime income taking a job as a graphic artist at Tees Me Screen Printing in Columbia, SC. One summer’s day an amiable Afro-American gentleman with dreadlocks walked into my office bringing me a layout for his band’s newest T-Shirt for their album "No Bones About It".

“This is Walter Hemingway,” my boss introduced him. “He’s lead singer of The Root Doctors.”

I had grown up in the capitol city of South Carolina, spending only my High School years in upstate New York. Every born and bred South Carolinian knew who the exceptional party band The Root Doctors was. They had actually captured the attention of MTV in 1996 after the network taped a frenzied crowd enthusiastically writhing to their music in a concert at Finlay Park. The group was as big a name in the local music scene as Columbia’s own Hootie andthe Blowfish. Shortly after they found themselves playing in front of thousands at a time as they opened up for established acts such as the B52’s, Morris Day and the Time, KC and the Sunshine Band and Flock of Seagulls. Their sound was as diverse as the bands they opened up for.

“Nice to meet you Sir Walter,” I responded shaking his hand.

Don’t know why I added the “Sir” but it did prompt a warm smile from Mr. Hemingway. Maybe it was because I felt I was within the presence of a local celebrity, my thoughts of that day have been lost to time. What hasn’t faded is the moniker. I still hear people refer to the singer as Sir Walter to this day.

The musician had a very congenial air and I found myself instantly taking a liking him. He was untainted by the bands recent famed exposure and I felt as if I was talking to a long time and down to earth friend. On that day back in 1995 I became a huge fan. To this very day he remains very accessible and I am honored to be counted as one of his friends.

These days Sir Walter, in addition to his tenure as lead VOX for The Root Doctors, has put together a new venture. This new band, known by the name Curve, has brought together a plethora of styles and genres performing them with smooth jazzy sophistication and a clean tight sound. From current hits like “Moves Likes Jagger” by Maroon 5 to the classic jazz standard “Summertime,” these musicians play with a precision seldom heard from such freshman efforts. I have seldom heard a band with this abundance of personality nor have I rarely seen this level of energy upon stage. It is as if they have been playing together for decades molding each number into their own unique style and owning it. Anyone who attends a Curve gig will definitely hear something to their liking and become, like me, an instant fan.

Donnie Sowell (Bass Guitar, vox) and Sir Walter S. Hemingway (Lead Vox, Percussion) come from the long-standing Columbia, SC party band, The Root Doctors. Alon Segal (keyboards, vox) is a jazz influenced musician from Israel. James Meredith (lead and rhythm guitars) brings a great jazz tone to rhythm and eclectic styles to his lead improv. Younger members include Rod Johnson(drums) who has a church background and has an extremely musical style. Also introducing diva/songstress Kanika “Kay Kay” Moore. Kay Kay brings a youthful vocal style with flavors steeped in old-school sensuality.

I feel this band has a bright future and is destined to earn a huge following in the Columbia Music Scene in the years to come.