Monday, November 27, 2006

Harry Potter

I recently watched the fourth Harry Potter movie for the first time. I wouldn't say that I'm a fan, but I like them enough to watch them, although I've never read the books, and never really plan on reading them.

I thought the first movie was quite good, the second was good, the third was worth watching, although I did really like the plot twist in it. This movie, however, was a waste of two hours. There were several places where there were holes in the plot line that you could drive Darth Vader's star destroyer through. My biggest problems with these movies is that the villain always has something to do with the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. He's other the villain, abducted by the villain, a good guy with a dark secret, or an idiot....but the plot always revolves around them being a major complication for Harry and his chums to overcome. How ridiculous is that? Can we please get some plot variety at some's all becoming far too predictable...

Monday, November 20, 2006


Over the weekend, I went to the newly remodeled Denver Art Museum. In some ways, it was quite impressive. They've always had a great collection of American Indian, Pre-Colombian, and Mesoamerican pieces...I could spend days in just those sections. I was somewhat put off by the fact that there was an odd painting of John Wayne in the Native American section with a quote from him stating that what the white man did to the Indians was justifiable because the white man needed the land. This struck me as more than a bit odd considering that if you look around the corner, you can see a picture of a group of what might be Cherokee at the end of the Trail of Tears. That just didn't make sense to me.

The new section of the museum also has a large collection of Contemporary Art, which I have to admit I don't always get. I'm not sure how a bull's head stripped of skin and sitting in formaldehyde is art...if you can explain that one to me, please try...I probably still won't get it. I've never been a fan of Jackson Pollack, and a lot of the contemporary stuff is just cheap knock offs of his work. I'm thinking about soaking my cat's paws in paint and letting her run around on a canvas...I could call it "A Cat's Perspective on Life." Who knows? I might never have to work again.

There was one piece that really struck me. It was an "update" of the Madonna holding Jesus. In this piece, Jesus was actually Hitler as a baby, and he was surrounded by the SS. That piece really hit home for me...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I've been reading The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Vol. One 1929-1964. There are quite a few stories that I've never read, but I really have to say that so far, my two favorites are the two I read long ago...Mimsy Were the Borogroves by Lewis Padgett and of course, Nightfall by Asimov.

I'm amazed how well Nightfall stands up more than 60 years after it was written. Aside from one glaring mistake at the end, the story would sell to a publisher today. That can't be said for most of the stories in this collection. Although most of them are great, several of them are quite dated. Let's face it, The Roads Must Roll by Heinlein is a great story, but if someone wrote that today, it probably would never sell. Night fall would! The science still works, the voice works, and Asimov does some of his best ever characterization in this story. It's still a masterpiece.

If you really want to examine the roots of SF, I strongly recommend this book. There's even a link on my homepage where you can buy it through Amazon...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The logs are gone

All of my logs for my homepage have vanished. Most likely it's just a glitch with my webhost, but given the people who have been visiting my website...I really have to wonder...

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Book

Well, I've just put the finishing touches on the novel, and now I have to decide if I'm going to submit it, or just put it in a box and forget about it. I had very high hopes for this book, but as I was working on these latest revisions, I realized that there were some things I didn't like about it. Maybe I'm being overly critical...or maybe I'm just sick of this damn story, but the novel seems to be lacking.

First of all, I'm not really happy with the actual writing of the book. Anyone who has read my work knows that I'm a fairly straight-forward writer. I don't waste a lot of time on hyperbole or description. As I always say, "If the sky is blue, it's blue!" However, in this book I tried to simplify my writing even more, basically trying to make it as easy to understand as I possibly could. Why would I do that, you might ask. The reason is simple...the underlying idea of the book is that we can't really understand anything, and that when we understand that we can't understand...that's when we truly understand!

I'm sure that anyone who was raised completely in the Western Philosophical schools just said "What the *&$#?" However, from a Taoist perspective, that statement actually makes sense...although I could have phrased it better. Come on, it's almost one in the morning, and I've been working off and on on this book for the last 12 hours...cut me some slack.

The point I was trying to make was that I wanted a very simple and easy to understand writing style to act as a juxtaposition against the underlying theme. I'm not really sure that I pulled it off.

The second problem I've encountered with the book is that most of my longer works really jerk the readers around, or at least they have parts that really jerk the readers around. Anyone who has heard one of my readings of The Opium of the People will understand. I really like to make the reader uncomfortable when they read my work. I use torture, rape, pillaging, baby killing, whatever I feel like will get a reaction out of the reader. It's not actually does contribute to the story. In this book, there's none of that. Even when I kill off a friend of the main character, his reaction is rather subdued (although that is in character for him.)

So, what will now happen with this book? I'll probably submit it, but I don't have high hopes for it...however, I have been wrong before...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

If you can't find me, look for me in Guantanamo

I posted something about this on the Sam's Dot board, but I thought I'd mention it here as well...just in case...

Lately I've been noticing an abnormally high number of hits to my website from government servers, this has even included several hits from one or more FBI servers. Maybe they've overheard my comments that a sub-title for The Opium of the People could be "What Would Happen if Bush Could Run For a Third Term."

So, if I suddenly disappear, you'll have some idea of where to look for me, although given the current administration, I don't know what good that would do any of us...