Colorado and the News and Monsters

“The Quest is the Quest.”
DR. WHO: UNDERWORLD

Colorado.

I’ll be brief, as the media has flapped their lips much, and as always said little. Nothing of use. And I have spoken before on Americans massacring Americans. The unchecked carnage and irrationality, of a population that cheers the death of people and nations it does not know, coming home to roost.

Machine men
with Machine minds
Killing in these Machine times

I was traveling when the news of Colorado intruded.

That’s the only word for it.

The 24 hour news machine/propaganda agenda… lives nowhere as well, as in places we go to… travel away. Lives nowhere as completely as plane, train and bus stations. Almost like an oft repeated mantra of programming to blunt any true travel, a mantra of… ‘this be the world… forever…there is no escape’.

Something oppressive about the 24 hour news cycle, I have always found.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be informed of tragedies such as Colorado (What a beset state), and immediately informed.

What I am saying is the media seems to want to inform us of nothing else. In a day when pilots averted plane crashes, and good Samaritans saved hikers, and countries at war found moments of peace, none of that good news rated even a footnote.

I’m saying the news is not the world, it is selective showcasing of the world, and perhaps if that selection sought to gleefully make stars of something beyond tragedy and mass murder, there would be less sad, pathetic young men, seeking to make their mark with the media… by giving it what it wants.

Murder.

I’m saying I listened to reporters almost salivating over every detail of a dozen dead and dozens more maimed and scarred and changed for life.

And I did not hear the victims in all that endless parade of lipsticked Fox whores and well quaffed CNN pimps, putting on their sincere faces as they sought to poke wounds for blood and wring eyes to elicit tears. I did not hear the victims at all. I heard ghouls, almost vibrating with the joy of a juicy, salacious story.

Vibrating with the joy of a new boogie man and court case to make their names with. Perhaps book deals and made for TV movies for all involved.

I am saying one man chose to change many lives, do not let him change any more. Do not give him… the stage. And reasons? I do not care of reasons. Reasons do not raise the dead, or replace eyes or limbs or livers. I do not care the reason people cross the line, it is enough that they cross the line.

And that they must answer for it, in such a manner as to make the next man see naught but misery in the repetition.

And the talk of insanity is and has always been an invalid one. All crime is insanity, so it is never a case of innocent by reason of insanity, it should always be a case of guilty by reason of insanity.

And in no way should monsters profit from their crime.

No book deals, no interviews, no made for tv offers. Make it illegal to profit from a massacre, whether you are the perpetrator, or a tv station, or a movie studio.

Sure you can write or create a documentary etc, but any profits go into a fund for the victims and their families. NO one profits from a massacre, least of all the perpetrator, becomes the new law of the land.

His name is removed, is vilified, is lessened, his likeness done away with, and everything he was reduced to a bland label such as: ‘”pathetic impotent eunuch BH” stands trial for his crimes.’

And throughout history, that is the name and the manner of man that shall be remembered.

Do that, and then see how many will seek that path for glory!

We must stop glamourizing mass murderers, those who take the easy road to their media promised minutes of fame and infamy. Because to continue to glorify and profit from such massacres is to be complicit in the crime, and worse to be complicit in future crimes, by continuing to romanticize a society of monsters.

All that went through my head in the 15 minutes total, over the course of a weekend that I could stomach to listen to the news whores and pimps, in their glory. And to my horror I found them, all the reporters, far more sickening than the man who walked into a theater… to get their attention.

America will not have ground to stand on with any other country, in judging their atrocities, till this country first owns up and manages our own boiling over evils.

I wish for those affected, an end to the monster that caused their pain, but more than that, I wish an end to the monster-makers… which our news media is no little part of.

Here endeth the Lesson.

POSTER ART : THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY! Post 2 of 3!

I had a five-way tie for the good. It includes a DKR poster, and while I have very little interest in the film, that’s a really good poster:

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These great images courtesy of the excellent site IMP AWARDS.

Why do you care if Avengers, or Dark Knight Rises, or Prometheus in Imax 3D makes a boat-load of Money?

As I’m wont to do, I tend to keep abreast of the entertainment news, specifically film. One thing I’ve been hearing quite a lot in the wake of the Avengers film is talk of it making over a billion dollars. And I listen to the fervor and sense of ownership all these writers and pod-casters are going on with about this financial mark. And I have to ask ‘Why’?

I mean I enjoy the Avengers movie, as much as anyone, arguably more than most people will in 6 months. By that I mean it’s an interesting hive mind approach that occurs in popular films as well as other things, where people’s steadfast belief in whether a movie is good and bad fluctuates with the slightest derision or the popular opinion of the day.

AVENGERS was and is a great movie full stop. Pacing wise, action, wise, story wise. But now barely two weeks into its release you hear a few people say, “oh well the first half was slow”, and people I heard broadcast not even a week ago how great the film was, begin to backpedal and parrot “Oh well the beginning was a little slow”. We live in a monopolized society where the individual is so scared to have an unpopular opinion, to the point that a lot of their opinions generally are not worth the breath they take to say it, or the paper they take to write it.

They have the spineless nature of slugs.

Same change of opinion (but to both a lesser and greater degree) happened to the Bryan Singer film SUPERMAN RETURNS. First week, people came out raving and loving that film. The Airplane scene, the bullet to the eye. It was a solid very good movie. But less than a week later, people began picking up the mantra of ‘why’s the kid there’ and ‘lex again’ and ‘Lois’. And you could see the ship of public opinion so to speak, turn. And people who initially were overjoyed about the film, started backpedaling, “Well, yeah I didn’t really say it was good.”. Until now a few years later people routinely call that movie awful and one of the worst.

It’s something I’ve noticed, Something that is not just American, because I’ve listened to enough British pod-casters do the same thing. So many are seemingly so afraid to hold an opinion derided or frowned upon or be seen cherishing something not embraced by their ‘friends’ or even their ‘enemies’.

It’s a lack of conviction, to anything you believe. Obvious symptoms of a propagandized population, so used to embracing any lie, that will keep it from having to alone, look at uncomfortable truths.

So yeah, when I say I enjoy the AVENGERS more than most people will in 6 months, that’s not me having you on, it’s just a fact. I’m not swayed by the mob.

I thought SUPERMAN RETURNS was a fun, solid B movie when I first saw it, and I still think so. I think AVENGERS is a brilliant, surprisingly so, Grade A movie today, and will think the same thing 5 years from today, when most of you have been pushed far afield of any opinion you may have had on the film.

I mean there’s nothing wrong with changing your opinion, if it’s your change, your growth, your adaptation. But that’s not what’s happening. What’s happening is a propagandized population taught by the media to have no constants, no ideals, no values, that will not be torn down; have learned to make their opinions on shifting sands, always ready to be remade at the slightest rise of the tide.

Superman Returns [Blu-ray] 2008 Remastered Version

Which brings us back to the original concern. Why are you celebrating or in any manner cheering the AVENGERS making over a Billion dollars?

Beyond just financial interest, I could care less if the movie breaks even, does 400 million, or does a billion. Honestly I don’t really have a stake in it if it loses money.

Of course liking the film, it’s nice if it doesn’t bomb, for the simple fact it would be nice to see more films by a competent director like Joss Whedon.

But it’s not a passion, I don’t have a dog in this fight. If I’m the studio, or someone with a percentage share in the film, hell yeah I’m celebrating every dime it makes. Or in the days when people from your neighborhood actually owned movie theaters and that blockbuster money actually cycled locally, rather than just getting funneled out of the community to make fat cats fatter, I might be happy.

But none of that is the case. I don’t personally know a single person who is in any way going to profit, by making a monopolized studio and theatrical system a billion dollars richer. All this did is take a billion dollars from a lot of little pockets, and put it into a very few big pockets.

Now I’m not making a deal on that. I went to see the movie like everyone else, but you can be damn sure I’m not celebrating this state of affairs either.

AVENGERS makes a billion dollars, okay. I accept it as a fact. But honestly, until such time as those funds and profits get distributed to real theaters and real people (a billion dollars, hell you can afford to hire real projectionists, pay the ushers, and ticket takers a real wage, get real popcorn and healthy drinks, etc, etc…but you’ll drop dead waiting for that money to trickle down. In fact all the studios can talk about is reducing costs at the local level and maximizing profits by digitizing everything), I have no interest in celebrating billionaires becoming bigger billionaires.

Beyond a movie breaking even to keep a good director or actor I like viable, that’s where my interest in what a film makes or does not make… ends. Some people were complaining because TRANSFORMERS:DARK OF THE MOON was a box office success. Who cares? I personally don’t get the Michael Bay hate, but as we’ve established I don’t follow the crowd.

Michael Bay is a talented director who puts bodies in seats. Some films of his I like, some I don’t. I loved his first film BAD BOYS, and loved his last film DARK OF THE MOON (which the end of the AVENGERS was more than a little like) and in-between like any other director he has been hit and miss. But even the movies I don’t like I don’t wish them ill at the box-office. What sense does that make?

If you don’t like a movie, does that mean everyone has to wish it ill and hate it as well? Does that mean you have to begrudge it its success?

I personally hated Nolan’s first Batman movie, and thought his DARK KNIGHT while better, was still flawed and over-hyped. So not really a Nolan fan, but I don’t begrudge his films their success. As stated, what Billionaires do or don’t make.. not concerned.

When some of that tremendous profit begins cycling back into the communities, well then that will be something to feel pride and ownership of.

MONARCHS OF MAYHEM: AN INTERVIEW WITH MAURICE BROADDUS

Maurice Broaddus is the editor of the acclaimed DARK FAITH anthology (Nebula, Bram Stoker, and Black Quill nominated, with the 2nd one on the way)as well as the writer of the THE KNIGHTS OF BRETON series. He in addition is a prolific short story and non-fiction writer. And given all his responsibilities he was kind enough to play hooky long to provide the following great answers to my inane questions. Enjoy!
— HT

And for those of you new to Maurice Broaddus he has a pretty wild bio. It’ll put a smile on your face. Here’s part of it:

“Maurice Broaddus is an exotic dancer, trained in several forms of martial arts–often referred to as “the ghetto ninja”–and was voted the Indianapolis Dalai Lama. He’s an award winning haberdasher and coined the word “acerbic”. He graduated college at age 14 and high school at age 16. Not only is he credited with inventing the question mark, he unsuccessfully tried to launch a new number between seven and eight.

When not editing or writing, he is a champion curler and often impersonates Jack Bauer, but only in a French accent. He raises free range jackalopes with his wife and two sons … when they are not solving murder mysteries.

The way he sees is, as a fiction writer, he’s a professional liar.”


That’s only the beginning, it gets a lot better, read the whole thing at his website bio link listed at the bottom of this post. It’s hilarious. Now without further ado, onto the questionnaire…

HT: What is your favorite genre or genres?

MB: I’m a huge fan of the crime genre. Walter Moseley, Elmore Leonard, George Pelecanos, when I’m reading for fun, this is typically what I’m reading.

HT: What is the favorite thing you’ve written?

MB: The favorite thing that I’ve written might be a story called “Dream Weaver”. It was among the first five stories I ever wrote. It’s completely unpublishable. I’d have to rewrite it from scratch for it to even see the light of day. But I have an odd fondness for it. As for stuff actually published, it’s all upcoming. A three way tie between “The Cracker Trap” (in an upcoming issue of Shroud Magazine), “Under a Concrete Hill” (in an upcoming issue of Bull Spec magazine), or Lyta’s Dance (a children’s fantasy book that is currently being illustrated).

HT: Name 5 classic or genre writers who inspire or impress or influence you?

MB: Toni Morrison. Neil Gaiman. Michael Chabon. Kelly Link. Jeffrey Ford.

HT: Name some current or new writers, whose work you’ve recently read or discovered and that blew you away.

MB: N.K. Jemison. Saladin Ahmed. Ekaterina Sedia. Genevieve Valentine.

HT: Name 2 or 3 of your favorite horror short stories.

MB: Jack Ketchum’s “The Box”. Gary Braunbeck’s “Rami Temporales”.

[I had never read either of these stories, but you can read Gary Braunbeck's story here!]

HT: Anthologies are usually theme based, so you have your Poe anthologies, or Lovecraft etc. If you could do a short story for such an anthology, if you could decide/choose, what would the anthology be about?

MB: I actually have the luxury of doing an anthology. Dark Faith (Apex Books) explores the intersection of faith and genre as I had fantasy, horror, and science fiction authors write stories that turned on the idea of faith (no matter what that looked like). After the success of the first one, I’m currently putting together Dark Faith 2.


Dark Faith: Price Your Copy Here!

HT: Name 5 Favorite films, horror or otherwise.

MB: Do the Right Thing, Pulp Fiction. L.A. Confidential. Big Fish. Blazing Saddles. Amelie, Good luck trying to piece together my personality based on that list!

HT: What do you think can or should be done to get more writers of color producing genre fiction?

MB: I think we’re on an exciting cusp of writers of color exploding on the scene. As I was coming up, I could point to Chester Himes, Charles Saunders,Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany, or Tananrive Due. But as I look around, we see the success of N.K. Jemison, Chesya Burke, Wrath James White, Nnedi Okafora, L.A. Banks, Linda Addison, Kaaren Lord, Nisi Shawl, (and I’m just scratching the surface). As more folks see that it can and, more importantly, IS being done, more will pursue it.

HT: While book sales have been steadily declining, specialty presses such as Subterranean and Centipede Press continue to sell out of their lavishly illustrated, high quality tomes/reissues of writers of weird fiction. Proving that even in the age of ebooks there is an unlessened demand for collectible books with spot illustrations and/or art-books. So keeping this in mind a/what are some of your favorite book covers and b/what artist would you like to do a cover and spot illustrations for one of your books?

MB: I’ve been blessed to have artists like Steve Stone (the Knights of Breton Court urban fantasy series) and Steve Gilberts (my horror novella, Devils Marionette, as well as the art accompanying my story “Rainfall” in the recent issue of Cemetery Dance) illustrate my work. That being said, I’d love to have a cover done by John Picacio.

[Steve Stone's cover for KNIGHTS OF BRETON COURT III is fantastic!!]

HT: And finally in closing with a little less than 11 months left in 2012, what are you looking forward to?

MB: I’m such a fanboy, I’m looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers movies!

MB, Great answers! Thanks for taking the time to provide these informed and insightful responses. Lots of stuff even I haven’t tried. But I’ve created a bunch of links to get myself and other interested readers up to speed. Thanks and look forward to reading your upcoming stories and books!

Oh and one more bit from MB’s bio:

“Speaking of which, he’s married to the lovely Sally Jo and spends as much time possible with his two sons, Maurice the Second (giving him an excuse to retroactively declare himself “Maurice the Great”) and Malcolm X (named before realizing his son would be blond and blue eyed).”

Come on! That’s hilarious! :)

To read his complete bio, and more hilarity go here!

And to purchase any of his books in e-format go here!

Unless you’re an old fashioned paper guy like me, in that case go Here to buy his books!

And tell’em HT sent ya! And HELLS COMING WITH ME!!! oh… sorry. Just re-watched TOMBSTONE and I’m all hyped up! :)

p.s. the schedule for the other MONARCHS OF MAYHEM has changed because these posts take a LONG DARN TIME to do! So yeah will need to space these out a bit more. But keep your eyes peeled (what exactly does that saying even mean?!) for the next wacky, fun, hernia inducing installment!!

Later Gator!!!