2013: Day 15 – Favorite Discoveries of 2012

Well as I still acclimate to this freshly minted 2013, I thought it was a good time to look back at 2012 and reflect on my own personal favorite and new discoveries of 2012. So here is my list in no particular order:

  • Kashi Raisin Bran Breakfast Cereal

  • Discovery of the work of Lord Edwin Weeks at the Richmond Museum of Artedlordweeksml

  • The Walters Art Gallery

  • Texas Roadhouse in Durham, NC

  • The Charlotte, NC skyline

  • The Spider novels and writings of Norvell Page:2012’s Norvell Page obsession , and my mad dash to collect all his books, only equaled by earlier years Cornell Woolrich, Beksinski, Robert Duncanson and Marc Olden obsessions. spidercouncilofevil

    :Browse Norvell Page Books Here!

  • Sidebar Podcast

  • Victoria

  • 11oclock Comics Podcast

  • Spy Smasher movie serialspywithmachinegun

  • And in a rare case of the popular choice actually being my choice, THE AVENGERS was my favorite movie theater experience of the year

  • James Jean Rebus

  • Dark Horse Creepy Presents BERNIE WRIGHTSON

  •   Dark Horse Creepy Presents RICHARD CORBEN

    Browse great Dark Horse Creepy Books Here!

  • Numerous writers, among them Derrick Ferguson and Richard Gavin

  • Rich Yancey’s MONSTRUMOLOGIST series audio books

    :Browse Richard Yancey Books Here!

  • Joe Hill’s Short Story POP ART (from the collection 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS) stands out as one of my favorite, if not THE favorite, short story reads of 2012

  • 20thCentury_hc_c

And these were a few of my favorite things! :)

Holidays in December! or ‘Santa you gonna Pay what you owe!!!’

Rosa Parks Day Dec 1

National Day – United Arab Emirates Dec 2  – I have problems with Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates. Mostly being that much of American tax dollars is funneled into this pleasure palace of the ultra rich. I think the rich are robbing from America, to set up a deluxe retreat from which they can sit out America’s fall. The fall they are pushing us to.

Anna’s Day Dec 9 – A Swedish holiday, celebrating people with the name Anna? That appears to be a good amount of the population. :) .

Human Rights Day                                        Dec 10
Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe             Dec 12
Winter Solstice & Yule Festival                Dec 21
Boxing Day Dec 26
Kwanzaa                                                            December 26 – January 1
Jose Rizal Day                                                 Dec 30

Wait— did I forget one? Oh yes—Christmas. The Mass of Christ- Dec 25

Here’s the thing about the Mass of Christ.

There is no evidence of the month or year of the birth of the person referred to as Christ. And indeed the modern construct of Christmas, is very much that… a construct. A product of crass commercialism, the date 25 December, having historically nothing to do with the figure of Christ.

What we do know is there was a celebration the Roman’s performed, on December 25th, to their pagan gods. That holiday would seem to be what we are, with television’s help, still celebrating, but have simply renamed their pagan god, with a christian appellation.

The truth of this, you can take, or you can leave alone.

If the holiday brings you a moment of true brotherhood that’s fine. But largely it’s not. Bombings and invasions of other countries by America’s Industrial War Complex tends to ramp up around the holiday seasons, while Americans are sidetracked stuffing their faces, and trying to buy things they can’t afford, and generally making lip service to a man of peace, while following men of war, into spreading blood and gore and death around the globe.

Merry Christmas. :).

My friend who is a huge Christmas fan could not disagree with me more. And that’s her right. If Christmas or anything brings you true joy, that’s fine. I’m all for it. I have no problem with ritual and myth.

I enjoy a midnight mass as well as a Buddhist temple or a Mosque or a Synagogue or a Vodun Temple. I enjoy anyplace where people genuinely seek something higher, something better, something sincerely sacred.

But make it something sincerely sacred.

Something without too much hypocrisy, and not built on mountains of lies and greed.

Don’t lose the meaning in the merchandising.

Happy Holidays, however you choose to meet the end of the year.

Gary Johnson Romney Obama Ron Paul Stewart Alexander and the Lesser of Evils

“I’m an old lefty. I believe the government must do for people, what people cannot do for themselves.”
— Green Arrow courtesy of Dwayne McDuffie’s excellent JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED

I’ve been watching classic episodes of JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, a show that remains animated television at its best, and for most of its run the love letter of producer/lead writer Dwayne McDuffie. The recently departed Dwayne McDuffie who followed up his stellar work at Warner Brothers Animation, with unfortunately editorially sabotaged work at both DC COMICS and MARVEL COMICS.

With the 2012 US Presidential election nearly upon us, the take away from my watching of JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED is that line, and the idea that only in a country as monumentally effed up and corrupt and mismanaged as America, could anyone consider either of the television approved candidates, Obama or Romney, steeped as they both are in the blood and oil and pus and complicity of big business, as viable people’s candidates.

You are a fool if you believe Obama is, and has been, in his tenure anything more than Bush-lite. He has rubber-stamped policies, in the past four years, that have destroyed civil and economic liberties domestically and expanded the endless war abroad.

And to make his conservatism seem liberal, he is contrasted with a malicious madman in Romney, though both candidates are more alike than they are different, taking money as they are from the same masters. But this illusion of conflict is played up in the media, to give the American people once more… the illusion of choice; a choice between the lesser of two evils, the choice between big business crafted puppets, between Mussolini or Hitler if you like, which is to say… no choice at all.

I voted for the ‘lesser of two evils’ four years ago, and I’ve regretted it since, with every bill or shredding of civil liberties that Obama has signed into law.

In many ways I think we would be in a better place if the obvious madman Mccain, had come to power 4 years ago, because people would have rallied against his obvious butchering of civil liberties, rather than this death by inches thing that has occurred under the cult of personality, which is the presidency of Obama.

He has been as ‘republican’ a president as you could hope, with all the negative connotations of that word, but his every action has been defended (or ignored) by people who see his labels (Democrat, Black, Liberal) rather than his actions (Republican, Conservative). And Republicans, conservatives become more conservative/republican to keep/enforce this artificial feud (which serves no one but big business), this artificial division of them and us.

So I’m not inclined to be backed into a corner again this year, this year I’m voting for a candidate whose views intrigue me, and whose background and history gives me reason to feel… justified.

Candidates on the ballot or write in candidates not sanctified by big business are few and far between, here are a few such candidates:

GARY JOHNSON- The former republican, and two time Governor of New Mexico, now running under the Libertarian ticket, has me very intrigued for his anti-big business stance, and his history of not raising taxes,

STEWART ALEXANDER -
http://stewartalexanderforpresident2012.org/- I’m also intrigued by the ticket of Alexander and Mendoza that is running for the Socialist Party. Their stances on the issues is the about face from the “give big business our first born” dance the American people have been on, though their lack of any documented political experience and lack of endorsements is a bit of a concern. As is the general sub-par nature of their web-site and presentation. But at this point in America’s history, I’ll take the well meaning amateur, over the slick big business approved trained seal… any day.

RON PAUL- I can’t really figure out from day to day if Ron Paul is running or not running for the Presidency, however it’s an impressive site the 75 year old has, and the stances he pays lip service to, you can really get behind. Give it a read, and should his name show up on a ballot, I don’t think anyone would have an argument picking him over Romney or Obama.

So where is the candidate who will do for the people, rather than for big business? Well he may be one of those above, take a look for yourself and decide.

You only have one vote, and despite what any one tells you, it is not wasted if you go against the majority or the ‘sure thing’, it is only wasted if you go against your conscience.

When the record shows that 99.99999999% of the population voted for the lesser of evils or established evils, be not afraid to stand alone as that man or woman who voted out of hope… rather than fear. One of the votes I’m proudest to have cast, was a ‘losing’ vote, was for Ralph Nader. And I’d cast it the same way today, given those same candidates and situations.

I’d cast it for the attempt to make things better, rather than the certainty and fear of keeping them the same.

Here endeth the Lesson

Justice League: The Complete Series DVD! Buy your copy here and earn some pennies for this blog post. Easiest way to show your appreciation for a post. Thanks!

WHAT IS HOT and WHAT’s NOT on TV for FALL 2012!!

I don’t have cable. I jumped off the band wagon years ago, and really have not been seriously tempted to jump back on. I’m content with waiting for products to hit DVD, and in the interim there are a lot of great shows out there on DVD to try.

I did that with both season 5 and season 6 of Doctor Who. Watching the shows over a few nights rather than the dubious experience of lengthy waits over several months, to invest in a story that may end with a whimper rather than a bang.

Which is how I tended to feel about Moffat’s Dr. Who seasons. While an imaginative and talented writer of “done in one” episodes or two parters, as a season wide story arc writer, his work tends to be swiss-cheese and disappointing.

So the ability to find that out by renting the DVDs over a couple nights, rather than an investment of months of ‘live’ watching, suits the way I like to view seasons.

That said for those of you who do watch TV/cable here are the shows I think you should be watching this fall, ones I’m intrigued in picking up when they hit DVD.

WHAT’S HOT

LAST RESORT on ABC- Why I’m interested? 1/Stars Andre Braugher of HOMICIDE fame. 2/Premise of a naval commander and his sub crew hunted for refusing to commit mass murder, has me incredibly intrigued. 3/One of the few dramas/genre/thrillers on an increasingly whites only TV shows, that has multiple actors of color

TREME- I’ve heard much about this Orlean’s based show. So look forward to catching up with it on DVD.

DOCTOR WHO- While I think Moffat should stick to done and one episodes or 2parters, and give up his attempt to outdo Russell T. Davies with big elaborate universe ending story arcs (Note to Moffat…, you may be a more imaginative writer than Russell, he is the better story arc guy. And your tenure is suffering in an attempt to outdo Davies rather than play to your strengths.

Particularly Moffat’s take leaves a lot to be desired. It gets old, the elaborate universe ending story arcs and over-hyping the Doctor into a God like protagonist. It just reads as bs and failed one-upmanship, and leaving your character no place to go or grow to. It tends to get boring, and while it’s fantasy and some level of inconsistency is inherent, season 5 and 6 have plotholes you can drive a truck through), I am interested in seeing where Season 7 takes the show. If Moffat would play to his strengths, smaller, intimate, done-in-one stories or two parters… the show could be fantastic.

WHAT’S NOT
ELEMENTARY- Sherlock Holmes is a recovering smart-alec drunk, Watson is his Asian female Bodyguard and Watcher, and the setting is New York. Really?!! I’m not a huge fan of the BBC SHERLOCK series, it’s okay, I just don’t think the writing is always up to the strong acting and direction, so my objection to ELEMENTARY has nothing to do with that BBC show. The more great shows the better. My objection is, if you’re going to change everything about it that is Sherlock Holmes, why even call the character Sherlock Holmes? I have no interest in seeing it, the premise just sounds insipid. However I’m willing to be proven wrong. If it makes it a full season and people are raving about it I’ll pick up the DVD, but otherwise this goes in the “What were they thinking’ trash pile.

That’s all for now! Feel free to leave your own recommendations, comments!

TONY SCOTT

“You Writers live too much out of the world.”— THE THIRD MAN

Tony Scott dead?

I don’t really know how to take that in right now, and the speculation of suicide, is also beyond my ability to grasp. Tony Scott as I’ve said often in this blog I consider one of the best Directors working, right up there with Michael Mann. I’m a huge fan of his films MAN ON FIRE, DEJA VU, and UNSTOPPABLE to name a few. Every movie he just gets better.

Still present tense, because I don’t know how to talk about him in the past tense yet.

I’ll have more on Tony Scott later, for now you can go here, for more on the available news.

MOVIE TRAILER RECAP! End of July Edition!

Well been a while, so thought I would touch on a few of the newer trailers I’ve seen.

DREDD- The DREDD trailer really does nothing for me. Following in the footsteps of THE RAID and other such movies it’s a bit of an overused premise these days. Basically video game carnage, (you have to clear and dispatch enemies in a building) with possibly a plot thinly wrapped around it.

Again just going by the trailer, actual film may be great, but the trailer gives me no incentive to find out.

FLIGHT- See my earlier coverage on the upcoming film (the poster is the height of laziness. Their marketing people should be fired), but as far as the trailer… I quite like it. Nothing revolutionary, just an easy drama, but it looks engaging and perhaps morally satisfying, and it has been a bit since I’ve seen that combination. So this is definitely one I’m looking forward to seeing in the theaters


FREELANCERS- It’s a bit difficult to get a read on where this film is heading. I’m not a fan of the TRAINING DAY type of film, but there’s enough twists and excitement, in this trailer to keep me interested. And while I don’t care anything about 50cent starring in this, powerhouse actors such as Forrest Whitaker and Robert Dinero make this one I’m really looking forward to seeing.


AFTER EARTH- This teaser for the upcoming M. Night Shyamalan film, much like the teaser for the upcoming ROBOCOP, looks slick and intriguing, but really gives you no clue as to the quality of the finished product. Post THE VILLAGE, M. Night Shyamalan’s reputation has taken a decided hit, with one derided, and under-performing film after another. So with AFTER EARTH he teams with Will Smith, hoping that the star’s record of box office successes can rub off on this film. Time will tell.