Thursday, June 28, 2012

For Those Still Opposed to "Obamacare"

For those Americans still so opposed to "Obamacare", and crying "big government" over the supreme court's decision to uphold the 2010 Affordable Care Act:

It seems to me that some Americans want an America the Free where we let the sick go uncured, where we let the injured go untreated, where we let those without insurance die of treatable, curable conditions.

The rest of the civilized world doesn't seem to have a problem with universal health coverage. Why does a certain segment of the good ol' USA have such a problem with it?

"Obamacare" doesn't nearly do enough, it's far from perfect, but it's apparently the best we get here in the USA. I'm starting to think that there are a number of Americans who don't really give a damn about other Americans. Perhaps selfishness isn't restricted to the very rich in this country. Perhaps selfishness is endemic in the USA as a whole.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Bluebell Spell" Accepted for Publication in parABnormal Digest

Today, I received word that my poem "Bluebell Spell" has been accepted for publication in the upcoming issue of parABnormal Digest. I'm glad this one is finally getting published. It has been bouncing around for a while now (since 2007, in one form or another). At least, it has bounced around those times it hasn't been held for one of my various ill-fated collections. I'm glad I dusted it off and sent it out once more. Now I await the contract, to make it all nice and official.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Some Thoughts on Ridley Scott's Prometheus

The film Prometheus seems to be generating a lot of discussion. It's rather polarizing in the way it seems to be splitting movie goers into two camps. Some people like the film, in spite of its flaws. Others can't get past the dodgy science and the stupid choices made by several of its characters.

Here are some of my thoughts on Prometheus...

Firstly, regarding the stupidity of the characters in Prometheus, they aren't any stupider than some of the stupid people I've known! If I wrote fiction based on the true stories of stupid people I've known, it would be criticized for being too unrealistic. If I wrote such tales as non-fiction, I would be accused of making it up. No one would believe anyone could actually be that stupid! And education doesn't necessarily equal practical smarts. Sometimes, even smart people do really stupid things. Sometimes, even educated people do stupid things when faced with stressful situations.

Secondly, regarding the dodgy science in Prometheus, it's a science fiction/science fantasy film, not a science documentary. Let's not forget the fiction part of science fiction, or the fantasy part of science fantasy. Or, to use the broader term speculative genre, let's not forget the speculative in speculative genre.

Thirdly, thinking about art as a product of its time, Prometheus may be the product of now, when the History Channel regularly airs the program Ancient Aliens, when genetically modified organisms are in farmers' fields, when genetically modified foods are on grocery store shelves. Looking at it from that perspective, some of the storyline choices may start to make a bit of sense (from an artistic point of view, if not a scientific one).

Personally, I liked Prometheus well enough. I found it to be entertaining, if flawed. However, I do feel it pales in comparison to Alien. Looking at what movies were like back in the seventies and eighties versus what most movies are like today, I think it would have been near impossible for Ridley Scott to recapture the magic of the first Alien film. Alien was a product if the late 1970s, just like Prometheus is a product of today.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Battle Beneath the Mere" in

Everyone can finally see my depiction of Beowulf battling Grendel's mother! My fantasy artwork "Battle Beneath the Mere" has been published in Issue 19 of Check it out!

Even though "Battle Beneath the Mere" is a fantasy piece, I tried to draw Beowulf as if he were a historical figure. The Geatish hero is armed in mail byrnie and boar-crested spangenhelm, armour that could have been worn by a real Dark Age warrior. Hrunting, the noble sword discarded upon the ground because it proved useless against Grendel's mother, is based on early medieval swords with gilded hilts and pattern-welded blades. The giant's huge blade that Beowulf wields to behead his fierce opponent is an exaggeration of a migration-period ring-sword.

I even went so far as to give Grendel's mother a knife resembling a seax, a Saxon fighting knife. I figured her knife might be something like a seax, especially since she is supposedly a formidable fighter.