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Sunday, January 15, 2017

War is a tragedy, no matter who wins

The tragedy of war is enormous.  Civilians, soldiers, prisoners of war, and the animals and environment all are damaged, if not destroyed as a cost of war.  However glorious war might be, it is a path that requires destruction. 

The reason I like "what ifs" is due to the cultural currents that surround me.  Many people assume in this instant gratification world that everything that happened was meant to be.  Inevitability accompanies the mindset of people who stare at their screen, listen to their music, and communicate with others only when necessary and via text.  The belief in inevitability is a result of the victory, ironically enough.  The people who never went to war, or never had to pay such a cost as those who did during World War II do not comprehend the effort given, nor the sacrifices made, to help defeat the greatest enemies of democracy ever known.  Nazism and Japanese Militarism could have won the war, if various events had not happened as they did. 

The true power of Alternate History is in the ability to show what was at stake, and how various pivots were essential for the original event.  Had the Allies fallen the world of the present would be far different, and for me knowing that, makes me feel obsessed with a need to know what needed to happen in order for the right ending.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Hibernation Readingnation

It is pretty lousy cold here in Minnesota.  And for a few months I've been shivering.  It seems these below zero temps are Wintery.  Well that just makes me want to go to sleep.  And cuddle with my cats.  And read many books.


The Alien franchise has been my favorite since the very beginning.  That it has branched out is ok, that it has been linked to other works, and has been extended, is all my pleasure.  I was introduced to it by scary as hell trailers and advertisements, then I read the book, then I went and saw it in Minneapolis during summer, in a nearly empty theatre, with only me and a huge theatre of nothing to protect me.  Alan Dean Foster's work made the fear tolerable, and took nothing from the film.  It added to it for my sake.

Sigil is a comic series from the long lamented passed CrossGen comics, who sought to write and create more than superhero comics.  What they did was create a fictional universe and created a universal event or power, the 'Sigil', that linked them.  But the book Sigil wasn't a confluence of many different works, it was a space opera, and it was pretty damn good.  And the art was even better than the concept or writing.  Scot Eaton was a genius, creating science fiction effects that only comics could do.


And then there is poetry.  Wordsworth-editions are cheap editions of great literature.  If you like poetry but think I like this or that, well, they cover most of the best of the past.  If you like poetry of the present then these might be older than your taste, but their quality is unquestioned.

I love epic fantasy.  Homer, Robert E. Howard and Lord Dunsany all wrote poetry.  They also wrote of amazing events in ways that carrying you along in ways you might not expect.


The 47 Ronin story is one of the greatest of all time.  It captures the course of events following a confrontation between a lord and his subject.  When loyalty is tested, seppuku is the result.  But the samurai of the lord who has been betrayed carry out revenge, leading to insight into the story of what the life of a samurai is worth.

Comics about samurai all celebrate the values of the warrior caste of Japan.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Big G, Giant Monsters, Friends, Foes and Robots

Godzilla is my favorite monster.  He is big, bad and hard as nails.  He fights good guys, he fights bad guys, kicks much ass and moves along.


His two best friends seem to be Rodan and Anguirus




Some of my favorite movies in the series




 There are giant robots...



There are defenders of the land


 Villains of the series





And one who is neither hero nor villain.




Friday, December 9, 2016

More answers to questions asked


I wrote a recent blog entry responding to questions.  It received a lot of views, and apparently inspired people to ask me what they had brewing in their minds.  So here are more answers to many questions from readers and friends and twitter followers.

1) What did you think bout that election?  (Asked by many folks)

It sucked, but I knew it would.  I am not amazed by the result, in fact, I'd told numerous people to stop being so overconfident regarding their candidates because that makes other voters complacent.  When Trump won I was not worried any more than if Clinton would have, but, while I am not a fan of Trump as a human being, I am not a fan of Clinton as a politician.  I don't know what she does with who she does or where she does in private.  I don't want to know.  The same goes for Trump.  But I do know that regardless of preference in who you might want, the things people argued against Trump for were often foolish.  The reasons for supporting Clinton were often just as foolish.  I believe that Clinton's emails were a bad sign, her and her husband's foundation was riddled with false premises and there were obvious examples of lying with her.  Trump lies all the time.  I expect it from him.  The difference wasn't that I was accepting one and not the other.  I hate both as candidates.  And as an elected official I think the policies of both will suck.  Lies happen, in politics, I get that, but both SUCKED.  Clinton however did it often as an elected official.  Trump just did it as an asshole running for office.  One is proven the other is bound to happen.  Both suck.


So, sadly, I stayed home.  I could not bring myself to vote.  I believe in voting, I registered, but, when I got sick, I realized, I'd be going in to do something that didn't matter due to the system, 3rd party candidates cannot win, votes in Minnesota will be Democrat, thus the electoral college will be against anything I do, and there was a good chance of me crapping myself due to the constant gut issues I have and was dealing with.  It sucks.  If you love Clinton, by all means feel bad.  If you loved Trump, hey way to go.  What I read with the wikileaks and my frustration over the treatment of Bernie Sanders meant to me that I was not who this election was aimed at anyway.

2) What in God's name do you mean, you don't regret various romantic inquiries, aren't you supposed to love your wife and no others?  (Asked by a Born Again Christian woman who has had a long online history of writing to me when she believes she has detected evidence that I am morally flawed)

Well, no, I don't regret anything I did, because I didn't do anything.  I received interest from various people, due to my work, and that is it.  Due to the fact that I am a poet people seem to assume that I am a fruity nancy boy, or some sort of Don Juan.  I emotionally understand love.  My poems reflect that.  But I am not, by any means, in pursuit of anything or anyone outside of my vows.  I joke that my wife scares me, but what really scares me is eternal condemnation and loss of all I love.



3) What do you read for pleasure, not reviews, not research, not bath room reading?  (Asked by a lovely friend from Facebook.)

I do love reading poetry.  I love the works of Albert Camus.  I love reading about military events.  I like a lot of different genres, formats and subjects.




4) Where would you most like to visit outside of your home state?  (Asked by a good friend, on Twitter).

Japan, Greece, Italy and, if I am forced to choose, I have to choose the Baltics, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Ukraine.  For reasons I don't altogether know.  I think my ancestors must have walked there.


5) What is your favorite food?  (Asked by a friend who thinks I am insane, on Twitter)

Sushi.  Sushi, and more sushi.  Mostly when shared with my wife Beth and son.


6) Shower or Bath?  How often do you like to bathe or shower?  (Asked by a very lovely lady from Texas).

Bath.  Almost every night, often with my cat Katya walking along the edge, putting her feet in the water, and jumping on and off my chest.  It becomes a hoot when bubble bath is added.  She hasn't figured out what those bubbles are yet.

7) Why do you not have a Patreon page?  (Asked by people whenever I sell books or my books in deals and announce them on Twitter or Facebook.)

I hate it.  It seems like begging.  The same for Kickstarter.  It is that simple for me.


8) How can you believe in God but not UFOs, Loch Ness Monsters, or Bigfoot?  (Asked by a person who had read my Sasquatch story in Josh Howard Presents Sasquatch, and asked a buttload of questions about my beliefs regarding Cryptids and odd events.)

I don't DISbelieve in those things, but I consider belief to be an active thing.  I know from experiences that I've met and know something I consider God.  It is more than a thought, or a firm belief, it is active, I believe, not possess a belief.  I think UFOs probably exist, but most are natural or normal things mistaken for others, unknown technologies that we are not supposed to know, or in a very few tiny tiny amount of cases, something really different probably on the level of UFOs and aliens happen.  I don't really worry about them, if they exist, they'll let us know.

I do think Bigfoot has some authenticity regarding the issue of primates and evolution.  They would seem to be ancient and intelligent, and if they exist damn right they want to be hidden.  We'd turn em into fur coats, eat them, or display them in museums or carnivals.  Or elect them president.

Loch Ness monster might itself not exist, but I think there are a ton of things in the oceans we have yet to experience.  Maybe they are giant eels, or sea snakes, maybe not.  But I fear sharks so there is no way I am going swimming to find out.


9) We know you adore your son, what do you and he do?  (Asked by a gorgeous friend on Facebook).

He and I collect comics and books and movies, we listen to screamo, metal, alt rock, and punk.  He and I love a variety of anime and sci fi movies.  We eat sushi.  We talk about women.  And, we used to play hockey on xbox.  He was so good he got bored with that.  So I taught him to play another game.  I taught him first edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.  I did it because it is an exercise in creative collaborative story telling, and sometimes it takes a while to find the right group to play with.  In my experience one asshole is one asshole too many.  So I wanted him to experience fun with intelligent friends.  And my best friend Russ adventures along with us.