Friday, August 31, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
I looked forward to it the most because it's based on a Harlan Ellison short story, and he not only wrote the teleplay but also had a cameo in it as a misfit mutant. Let's just say I wasn't happy with the episode. Ellison's thumbprint was all over it.... but the sometimes tedious dialogue actually detracted from moving the story forward. At times I was so distracted by the hideously deformed mutants that I forgot to listen.
I felt two things: A sudden longing for the Friday nights of long ago when I would plan my life around the X-files. And... number two, which is harder to define, but I miss Harlan Ellison. I read him when I was too young to understand him. At times his breadth of knowledge and his obscure references went over my head, but yet I was still able to sense the passion in his words. He was clearly a man of wit and temper, compassion and lust, and oftentimes pure unadulturated hate. I remember him characterizing himself as a cross between Jiminy Cricket and Zorro.
Maybe it's all too deep, Harlan. People need hit on the head these days. Or right between the eyes. Subtle social commentary disquised in fantasy/science fiction stories doesn't translate well to the masses for The Glass Teat (what you once called television).
Right at the end, though, I got a reward for watching it all the way through. Stephen Hawking recited one of my favorite Eric Hoffer quotes:
"What monstrosities would walk this earth, were some people's faces as unfinished as their minds."
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Got that bestseller on your nightstand--- half finished? Uncle John's Bathroom reader by your throne? Stephen King stashed by the couch? You are a dying breed, my friends. I read another depressing study last week that revealed, to no one's suprize, that one in four adults read no books at all last year. The people who do read are older people and women.
Anyhow, today I'm starting Wayne Dyer's new book on the Tao Te Ching, called Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. I caught him on PBS last weekend and got interested in learning more about the Tao, a book that's been on my shelf basically unread since I got it in college. Dr. Dyer meditated on the verses in the Tao, and attempted to relate its message in the context of modern times.I've read most of Dr. Dyer's books. My favorite is Your Erroneous Zones. In there he talked about Guilt and Worry. Two completely useless emotions. Spending your time feeling guilty about anything will not change the past, and sitting there worrying about the future only wastes your living moments right now. It will alter nothing in the future. Only action-- taken right now in the present can do that.
The change your thoughts, change your life mantra is no new territory for Dr. Dyer. He said all along that you become what you think about. Imagine yourself in the situation you want to be in and live as if it is already there. It makes sense to me. If you want to be thin, imagine yourself as thin and behave as a thin person does. Exercise, eat right, pass on the dessert--- do that every day.... and one morning you will wake up and be thin! Of course, it won't be tomorrow. But, as trite as it sounds, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
You see, all this is pretty elementary. We all just need to contemplate more.
It is a dying art.
Now, pass those potato chips.
Naahhh, forget it. I'm contemplating thin-ness.
( I know... good luck with that.)
His memorable riffs and guitar solos will live in my head forever. I know them better than the words to some of Queen's songs. His guitar solos .... combined with all that overdubbing... made for a sound so different and unique that you knew Queen instantly. Even before Freddie Mercury's voice kicked in. For the longest time they boasted "NO SYNTHESIZERS" on their album covers.
It was a badge of honor... to boast their musicianship over cheap studio tricks. Musical brilliance is rare these days. I lament it everyday. I kid myself that I play guitar. I actually strum and pick a bit. But I take comfort in the fact that although I will never duplicate the Brian May guitar riffs I hear in my head, the world needs people like me who can appreciate those riffs, and the talent to make them come alive.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Saturday's Masters of Science Fiction feature, Jerry was a Man is based on a 1947 short story written by Robert A. Heinlein, originally called Jerry Is a Man published in Thrilling Wonder Stories (October 1947).
From the ABC website:
Set in the future, the world's seventh richest couple, the van Vogels, find their lives changed forever when they acquire an anthropoid named Jerry.
This show will on air on ABC TV at 10 pm.
Don't you just love the covers of the old Sci- Fi Pulp Magazines? Here's a gallery to check out if you want to see a few.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I don't know if I'll phrase this exactly right, but, as anyone who has toyed with writing will agree, it's humbling to read something that is so thought out, so researched, has such great characters, and a truly unique plotline--- yet can be enjoyed by such a wide age range. It's impossible to name an equal, unless you look toward the classics... Huck Finn maybe?
Rowling said it took 17 years to write Harry's story. Where do you get that kind of inner strength? Stick-to-it-tive-ness? Compare that to those among us who can't
fully commit to much lesser projects? Or to the imbecile TV writers who, in their quest to appeal to the lowest common denominator, alienate or offend just about everyone at some point with their obligatory sex jokes and references every 2.5 minutes, in lieu of striving for real emotions or character empathy?
Thanks J.K. Rowling for showing us how to do it. She took us with her to her imaginative world of wizards and muggles, witches and goblins, and made us care about them.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
The second episode, "The Awakening" stars Terry O'Quinn and Elisabeth Rohm. Based on the short story by Hollywood Blacklist author Howard Fast ("Spartacus," "Citizen Tom Paine"), the episode opens outside Baghdad, where U.S. soldiers discover a mysterious casualty - one they can't even identify as human. William B. Davis ("The X-Files") guest stars as the President of the United States. Michael Petroni ("Till Human Voices Wake Us") directed from a script he wrote, based on the short story by Howard Fast.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Starting Saturday night, more toward Sunday morning and for the next couple of days, it is that time again in August to watch the sky for the Perseid Meteor Shower. Some years are better than others, but experts are predicting a good year this year, and locally it appears the weather will be okay.
You really don't want to miss them. If the sky is dark, and there are few clouds you can see as may as 60 'shooting stars' an hour in a good year.
And if you do see a falling star.... don't forget to make a wish or two!
- Find a friend who lives in the country and go sit outside... or at least away from the city lights.
- Give yourself about 20 minutes in the dark for your eyes to adjust.
- Look to the northern part of the sky... though they could appear anywhere really.
- Best time to watch: Sunday morning, late Sunday night and Monday morning before dawn.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
The early Greek poets posited various cosmogonies. The best-preserved is Hesiod's Theogony. In this hymn, out of the primordial chaos came the earliest divinities, including Gaia (mother earth). Gaia created Uranus, the sky, to cover herself. They spawned a bizarre menagerie of gods and monsters, including the Hecatonchires, monsters with 50 heads and a hundred hands, and the Cyclopes, the "wheel-eyed," later forgers of Zeus's thunderbolts.
Next came the gods known as the Titans, 6 sons and 6 daughters. Uranus, despising his monstrous children, imprisoned them in Tartarus, the earth's bowels. Enraged, Gaia made an enormous sickle and gave it to her youngest son, Cronus, with instructions. When next Uranus appeared to copulate with Gaia, Cronus sprang out and hacked off his father's genitals! Where Uranus's blood and naughty bits fell, there sprang forth more monsters, the Giants and Furies. From the sea foam churned up by the the holy testicles came the goddess Aphrodite. Later, Cronus fathered the next generation of gods, Zeus and the Olympians.
Sheesh.. this makes eating a forbidden fruit not such a big deal. Imagine if Eve was told *not* to use the sickle. :)
Saturday, August 4, 2007
* Chrome-plated tip breaks the window
* Stainless steel blade cuts the seat belt strap
* Pointed metal tip punctures the air bag
* Mini-light helps you see your escape route
Cars are designed to keep you safely inside on impact, but power locks, seat belts and air bags can make it difficult to get out, especially when you're in a hurry. This potentially life-saving device helps you or other trapped passengers escape before help arrives. Uses 2 "AAA" batteries (not included).