Elementals Cards for MSH   
Here are cards for the Indie super-group, Elementals.
For use with the Marvel Super-Heroes RPG.



          Guardians of the Galaxy (and Frenemies) for MSH   
Here are some new cards.
This time for the Guardians of the Galaxy.

These are for use with the Marvel Super-Heroes RPG by TSR.

I also added a few extras: I made a card for Moondragon using an image of Lt. Ilia from Star Trek. And I threw in the bounty hunters from Star Wars.

Enjoy!

BTW- The full stats for the bounty hunters were from Ty States' old website. I'll be re-posting them here tomorrow for those that are interested.



          MSH - New Group: The Enforcers   
Here's a group for Marvel Super-Heroes that is reminiscent of 80s Action TV shows.
The Enforcers can be used as a mercenary group like the A-Team or a covert operations team like Mission: Impossible.

And their tokens:


          MSH - Batman Family   
Here are cards with base stats for Batman, Robin and Batgirl for use with the Marvel Super-Heroes RPG.
I based these on the '60s TV show versions so they may appear a bit weaker than other stats floating about the 'net.

Their tokens-

And some villain tokens-
(Note: These are not all traditional Batman villains. I threw in some Golden Age DC villains that I thought would fit well with a Batman campaign.)


          MSH Cards - X-Men, Phase 1, plus Danger Room   
Here are cards for the first and second generation X-Men.

Their tokens:

And...
The Danger Room from the Nintendo X-Men game...
It's 14 squares wide by 24 squares long. I would suggest dividing the length into two 14 x 12 segments for purposes of random trap placements.

The two corridors (2x3 each) are not counted. you could also add traps there by using a 1D6 on each.

The best resources for the Danger Room for me has always been the piece in Children of the Atom and the Dragon Magazine feature.
Also, if you have Mutants & Masterminds, there's some nice Danger Room material in it, too.


          Marvel RPG- King Comics   
Celebrating the launch of King Comics next month, here's Flash Gordon, Mandrake, The Phantom, Prince Valiant and Jungle Jim.
I only made stats for their abilities. It shouldn't be too hard to get the appropriate skills and weapons for them.
To create their stats, I cross-referenced two or more similar characters and then adjusted the stats to what I thought would work best.


          Marvel Super-Heroes Basic RPG Cards Bonus   
Bonus card for the set...
Black costume Spider-Man.

And his token.


          Marvel Super-Heroes Basic RPG Cards   
For use with the Marvel Super-Heroes RPG, which can be found at ClassicMarvelForever.

These are the characters that were included in the Basic Set.

For powers and abilities. the earliest stats for each are as follows:
Captain America: Time Trap/Avengers Assembled
Captain Marvel: Avengers Assembled
Spider-Man: New York, New York
Wolverine: Project: Wideawake
Human Torch: Murderworld
Invisible Woman: Murderworld (Invisible Girl at the time)
Mister Fantastic: Murderworld
Thing: Murderworld

Bonus:
Here are the separate portraits, which can be used as map counters/tokens for the characters, also.


          Superfriends Cards   
JLA/Superfriends cards to use with either Marvel Super-Heroes or DC Heroes RPGs.
Would make a good starter set.
For these I used just Alex Ross art for the figures to keep them uniform.


          Random Superhero Adventure Generation   
These are from a couple old DC Heroes books.
First we have a random generator for adventures from the 1st Edition Gamemaster book.
Worth noting is that it needs some modifying to be perfected.

First, the villain list. Obviously, you'll want to put villains in that are appropriate for your campaign. Whether Marvel, DC or others. And then of course, ones that are the right power level. However, you also may want to ditch that chart altogether and make your own.
Why?
Because it's 2D10. Which means the ones in the middle will be more recurring and #s 2 and 20 will hardly ever appear. It's best to use 1D20, a percentile (1D100) chart or a chart with multiple 1D6 or 1D10 sub-charts.

Second, you may want to change the locations.
I recommend using Adamant Entertainment's Modern Dispatch #42: Pulp Adventure Generator for businesses and/or crimes.
Also, Adamant put out several other random generators in the Modern Dispatch, including one for Superheroes. Constructive GMs can utilize it with this to make some exciting adventures.

Something else I prefer to do is on the villain power list, roll 1D10: on a roll of 1-9 randomly select from any powers, on a roll of 10 randomly select two powers. These would be the main powers. Then do it again for secondary powers. This opens up more powers to use.

If your using DC Heroes, just put higher APs in the first set of powers. If you're using Marvel Super-Heroes, you may want to use two separate charts to randomly determine power levels. For instance, for primary powers, use one that ranges up to Amazing or Monstrous. And for Secondary powers, you could use one that stops at Excellent or Remarkable.

Plus, this is a random chart for urban crimes that appeared in Night in Gotham. The book, itself, is quite useful as it has a treasure trove of adventure seeds. The chart is set up with each district of Gotham having its own percentages for certain crimes. This could easily be translated into any large city like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. Or a fictional city from the comics or one you create, yourself.

And here's a random crime chart that appeared in an issue of Dragon Magazine. It can be inserted in to replace the DC Heroes crime list.


          Marvel Knights   
And because I also like the other extreme... Here are cards for the street level characters of Marvel.
These could be used for starter set of characters for a Marvel Knights campaign.


          Marvel Cosmic   
My fave adventure books from the classic Marvel Super-Heroes RPG was the cosmic series - Cosmos Cubed, Ragnarok and Roll and Left Hand of Eternity.
Probably one of the biggest reasons I developed a fondness for Marvel's cosmic characters.

There are stats in the books but there were no cards, which would've been pretty cool.
So here are some I put together for the game.
The books, and the core rules, can be downloaded from ClassicMarvelForever.


          Avengers ID Cards - the Backs   
For use with the Marvel Super-Heroes RPG. Stats are taken from the original Handbooks. Just slap them on the back of the cards from the previous post.

          Avengers ID Cards   
I made these for use with the Marvel Super-Heroes RPG. Stats would be on the back for easy reference.

          Sci-Fi Gaming Resources -Updated   

Note: Sadly, the best resource, Solo Nexus, has been removed from solo players.

The Yahoo Groups appear to still be out there somewhere. I'm still getting e-mails from them. However, it looks like Yahoo's changed their links and I haven't gotten them updated, yet. Here's the updated list of links, with several new ones-

Traveller
Traveller at Mongoose Publishing
Mongoose Traveller resources at RPGNow
Spica Publishing Resources for Traveller at RPGNow
All Traveller resources at RPGNow
Mongoose's Signs & Portents Magazine at RPGNow
Freelance Traveller
Into the Deep
The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society
Far Future Enterprises -has a nice guide to Understanding Traveller
Spica Publishing
SFRPG Message Board
Random Traveller System Generator
Traveller: Heaven & Earth -great world building software
Travelling Alone -nice optional solo Traveller flowchart
How to make a Traveller Sandbox

Other
Shadowrun resources at RPGNow
Elektra for Shadowrun
Sci-Fi resources at RPGNow
Alternity resources
Star Smuggler resources
Star Frontiersman
ClassicMarvelForever.com
Marvel-Phile & Other Marvel Dragon Magazine Articles
Seventh Sanctum -lots of random generators
Paper Friends -printable character standups for every genre

OpenD6
D6 Space
D6 Adventure
D6 Fantasy
Westward
Polgarus Games D6 Resources
Star Wars D6 Holcron
Random Star Wars D6 System Generator
Star Wars D6 Community on G+
Into the Shadows

Mythic/Solo Play
Mythic
Shaun's Solo Traveller

Broken/Abandoned
MGT-Aids · Fan Aids for Mongoose Pub's Traveller
Guide to Traveller UPP (Universal Planetary Profile)
DC Heroes - Blood of Heroes - M.E.G.S. Yahoo group
Doctor Who Solitaire Story Game
Mythic Fan Club/Resources
Solo Nexus

          I Love 9/11   

NEW YORK—If it's true that the better speech-giver wins in presidential elections, then it's going to be Bush in a landslide. In his speech accepting the Republican nomination for the presidency—particularly the powerful final third—the president provided the eloquence that the times demand. It's too bad he doesn't have the presidency to match his (or Michael Gerson's) rhetoric.

The inspiration the president provided, however, was overshadowed by the disturbing nostalgia for Sept. 11 that preceded it. The phenomenon of "faster nostalgia" keeps accelerating, and the decades we reminisce about grow closer and closer to the present with each passing year. But the two political conventions this August must be the first recorded instances of nostalgia for the 21st century.

During the Democratic convention, too many speakers looked back to 9/11 with fondness. They didn't recall the months after the worst foreign attack in American history as a sad and tragic time. Instead, they appeared to remember those days as a warm-and-fuzzy time of national unity, now lost because of Republican partisanship. But the GOP's wistful look back at the tragedy as a marvelous occasion that somehow justifies the re-election of President Bush was even more stomach-turning. The convention's final night had the air of a VH-1 special: I Love Sept. 11.

Before President Bush came out to speak, the convention's image-masters aired a hagiographic video, a 9/11 retrospective that was Field of Dreams as told by the narrator of The Big Lebowski, with a dash of the David McCullough sections of Seabiscuit. (Like The Dude's rug in Lebowski, 9/11 really tied Bush's presidency together.) The reason to re-elect Bush, actual narrator Fred Thompson implied, is not the foreign-policy actions he took after being saddled with a historic tragedy. No, Bush merits re-election because of his performance as an Oprah-like healer in chief. He placed a deceased New York cop's badge in his pocket. He jogged with a wounded soldier. And most of all, he went to a baseball game.

"What do a bullhorn and a baseball have in common?" Thompson asked, and soon we were told: The defining moment of the Bush presidency came not only on Sept. 14, as previously thought, when Bush stood at Ground Zero and proclaimed that the terrorists who struck New York and Washington would "hear from us." It also came a month later, when Bush marched to the mound of Yankee Stadium and boldly, decisively, resolutely tossed out the first pitch of the World Series. "What he did that night, that man in the arena, he helped us come back.That's the story of this presidency," Thompson said, as I wondered how many takes it took Thompson to do this without giggling. You keep pitching, no matter what, Thompson said. You go to the game, no matter what. "You throw, and you become who you are." The delegates went nuts. Remember that time Osama chased Bush's slider in the dirt?

The absurd film was actually Bush's second introduction. The first had come five minutes earlier, when New York Gov. George Pataki finished his speech, a repugnant politicization of Sept. 11. At first, like the video, Pataki's use of 9/11 was just laughable, such as when he took a moment to thank the good people of the swing states Oregon, Iowa, and Pennsylvania for their generosity in New York's hour of need. The despicable moment came later, when he blamed the Clinton administration for the terrorist attacks.

After 9/11, "The president took strong action to protect our country," Pataki said. "That sounds like something any president would do. How I wish that were so." Instead, Bill Clinton shamefully ignored the attacks on the World Trade Center, the embassies, and the U.S.S. Cole. "How I wish the administration at that time, in those years, had done something," Pataki said. "How I wish they had moved to protect us. But they didn't do it."

But, wait—didn't President Clinton strike at Osama Bin Laden's training camps in 1998? And didn't Republicans criticize him for doing it? I think it's misguided and pointless to discuss whether 9/11 was preventable, and it's a waste of time to ponder who is more blameworthy, Bush or Clinton. But since Pataki brought it up, isn't the fact that President Bush presided over the most catastrophic attack on the U.S. mainland in American history a strike against him, not a point in his favor? If it was so obvious that the nation needed to attack al-Qaida more forcefully in the 1990s, why did President Bush take nine months to pay attention to the threat? And didn't the Clinton administration disrupt the planned millennium bombing of Los Angeles International Airport? Wasn't that a move to protect us? Nothing Zell Miller said Wednesday was as loathsome as Pataki's speech.

There was an honest case to be made for war with Iraq: Saddam Hussein did not possess nuclear weapons, but he was pursuing them and needed to be toppled before he acquired them. President Bush never made that case, preferring instead to exaggerate the nature and immediacy of the threat and to link al-Qaida with Iraq in the public mind. This convention continued that disgraceful record, muddying the distinction between 9/11 and Iraq, conflating the war of necessity the nation faced after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with the war of choice in Iraq, and repeatedly telling the lie that John Kerry wants to wait until the nation is struck again before crushing al-Qaida.

The president's defenders say he invaded Iraq with good intentions, and I believe them. But if President Bush didn't mislead us into war, he's misleading us during one, and he deserves to be defeated for it.


          Kolkata Chapter Begins :-)   
This would be the longest stretch when I didn't blog, since I started blogging, but it's like that, and that's the way it is. First I was stranded, disconnected at Jaipur for a while, which now seems like pretty comfortable setting.. sigh. Then, once I touched base at Kolkata, things got hectic, and I didn't have a computer for a while. Now that things have more or less settled and I've bought my self a rather sleek Compaq Presario v3000, it's about time I resume blogging.

First things first, Kolkata and the neighbourhood, looks totally amazing from air, after first few days of showers. From my SpiceJet flight, I was gawking, spellbound, at the marvellous view below.. lush greenery, numerous big & small canals and all! Then we hit the ground (pun intended). Let's just say, for someone new to the city, it's not very tough to not like the city, going by the first impressions. The IIM Calcutta campus is good 90 minutes from the airport! The area neighbouring IIMC, it's called Joka, is rather unimpressive to say the least. However, the campus is breathtaking with its 7 lakes and lush greenery. My hostel room, I found is more comfortable than the room I had in IIT Bombay. It's bigger, better planned and it has a balcony which opens to the patch of jungle behind my hostel. I haven't clicked snaps of the campus, but I intend to do that pretty soon. The downtown Kolkata, essentially Park Street area, is light-years away from the campus and it takes huge effort to make it to there. Till now I've been there only once, and even then it was disappointing as we couldn't catch any movie! The movie buff in me is still very pleased to be here; the LAN is virtually full of movies! My new 250 GB external HDD might getting full to the brim, is looking like a possibility.

The academic load looks manageable. I have five courses, all of them interesting. Especially the Organisational Behaviour course, which has interesting mix of Psychological studies in it, pretty impressive! Then there is Indian Economic and Political History, which is also pretty interesting to study. Midterms are still (just?) 2 weeks away and things are chill (as we say here).

I guess, I'll start with such banal posts; it should take time to get back the flow for blogging :-)
          The Covenant and the Cargo Cult, Part 1   



Sir Ridley Scott's long-awaited prequel to Prometheus opened this week in certain countries and is set to open in America next week. For those waiting for a continuation of the storyline from the last movie- when crew member Elizabeth Shaw and the head of android David taking off to invade the Engineer homeworld- well, I hate to say it but you're out of luck. 

The Prometheus story is referenced only as exposition, apparently.  I hope I'm not giving away any spoilers (it feels like half the movie has already been posted to YouTube in the form of trailers and excerpts) but it is what it is.



Of course, the bit with Elizabeth and David's disembodied head from Prometheus is yet another one of those bizarre and inexplicable references to John the Baptist that tentpole sci-fi movies are so fond of. Remember that John's mother was named Elizabeth*, who had her own covenant with an extraterrestrial entity (the Archangel Gabriel, in this case). 

But I digress. If you've been following the previews and the various puff pieces in the media you'll suss out that Alien: Covenant is more like a remake of the first Alien film than a sequel to Prometheus. In much the same way as the JJ Abrams' Star Wars it's meant to act a jumping-on point for the Alien franchise for post-Millennials:
If Star Wars: The Force Awakens led the way in merging fan-service universe-building with fresh heroes, stories and themes for a new generation, Alien: Covenant grabs the reboot ball and runs with it. 
Director Sir Ridley Scott has said himself how much he was impressed by Disney's handling of Star Wars' renaissance, and it's clear to see why this similarly iconic '70s sci-fi world is equally ripe for a life-extending overhaul.
The film apparently references the AAT of Prometheus but also taps into the current anxieties over AI and robots and their potential to do away with the rest of us, kind of like a more ambitious HAL 9000. Scott apparently 86'd the idea of more direct sequel to Prometheus after reading some of the negative reviews dumped on the film, which he called "a mistake":
What changed was the reaction to ‘Prometheus’, which was a pretty good ground zero reaction. It went straight up there, and we discovered from it that [the fans] were really frustrated. They wanted to see more of the original [monster] and I thought he was definitely cooked, with an orange in his mouth. So I thought: ‘Wow, OK, I’m wrong’.
Well, somebody thought Scott was wrong, "somebody" almost certainly being a Fox accountant or three. However, one SF fansite accused Scott of "selling out" by not following up on the Prometheus story and I'm sure a lot of other fans will disappointed the story was dispensed with so easily. Either way, Scott continues to make eyebrow-raising comments about aliens in the press, referring to them recently as "superior beings."
Alien creator Ridley Scott has said that he is convinced that there are extra-terrestrials out there – and one day they will come for us. The veteran director said he believed in higher beings as he prepared to release the sixth episode of the sci-fi horror series, Alien: Covenant, next month. 
“I believe in superior beings. I think it is certainly likely. An expert I was talking to at Nasa said to me, ‘Have you ever looked in the sky at night? You mean to tell me we are it?’ That’s ridiculous.” 
“So when you see a big thing in the sky, run for it,” he joked.“Because they are a lot smarter than we are, and if you are stupid enough to challenge them you will be taken out in three seconds.”
Which makes you wonder about the whole "Covenant" thing, doesn't it? 

The term is essentially religious ('contract' is more commonly used to describe written civil agreements), dating back to the Old Testament.  And seeing how that covenant was made with a god who flew around the sky in a pillar of smoke and light, and needed a special environment built in order to interact with his subjects, you do start to wonder what the implications of all this happen to be. 

Well, start with this. Like Jack Kirby (whose Eternals so inspired the first Alien film),  Scott seems to have been bitten by the ancient astronaut bug and bitten hard. I don't know what the current status is on the project but back in 2014 it was reported that Sir Scott was developing an AAT series for HBO called Pharaoh:
Scott has signed on to serve as the executive producer and director for this project, which was created and sold to the premium cable channel by David Schulner. The Hollywood Reporter explains: 
The drama explores an alternate explanation for the foundation and ascent of the ancient Egyptian empire — one in which greatness was bestowed upon us by beings from another world, calling into question what it means to be a “god.” The project was co-created by Giannina Facio and Colet Abedi, who will exec produce alongside Scott and David Zucker for Scott Free. 
His film Prometheus was partially inspired by the writings of Swiss author Erich von Daniken who is known for his books like Chariots of the Gods? and Gods From Outer Space. Von Daniken is also a regular talking head on History Channel’s Ancient Aliens.
Again, I'm not sure where Pharaoh stands today but according to an October report from Omni the project was still on. It may be why the planned Stargate reboot was reported as being put into turnaround in November. Which, if so, strikes me a bit curious. The mighty Devlin and Emmerich nosed off their turf by Sir Scott? Huh.


But there's an interesting little visual cue in one of the trailers that suggests that Scott takes AAT very seriously. The Covenant crew lands on an alien planet and discovers a familiar sight. From io9:
This alien planet that looks untouched by human hands is growing recognizable wheat, which very much has been touched by human hands. This plays into the Alien mythos that there was a race of “Engineers” that were the progenitors of humans—they’re similar to us, why wouldn’t their food be similar? And if they were traveling around, why wouldn’t they carry seeds like we do?
Why is wheat so significant in the context of the Prometheus teleology? The late Lloyd Pye explains: 
Many have "wild" predecessors that were apparently a starting point for the domesticated variety, but others--like many common vegetables--have no obvious precursors. But for those that do, such as wild grasses, grains and cereals, how they turned into wheat, barley, millet, rice, etc. is a profound mystery. 
No botanist can conclusively explain how wild plants gave rise to domesticated ones. The emphasis here is on "conclusively". Botanists have no trouble hypothesising elaborate scenarios in which Neolithic (New Stone Age) farmers somehow figured out how to hybridise wild grasses, grains and cereals, not unlike Gregor Mendel when he cross-bred pea plants to figure out the mechanics of genetic inheritance. It all sounds so simple and so logical, almost no one outside scientific circles ever examines it closely.
Modern wheat is one of those innovations that scientists revert to ontological arguments to explain. The wheat we know obviously exists so it simply had to have been the product of long-term domestication. How exactly the domestication of an essentially-inedible wild grass was domesticated into a modern foodcrop-- over the span of centuries, mind you, if not millennia-- by illiterate Stone Age farmers is never exactly made clear. Pye again:
 On the other hand, those New Stone Age farmers who were fresh out of their caves and only just beginning to turn soil for the first time (as the ”official” scenario goes), somehow managed to transform the wild grasses, grains and cereals growing around them into their domesticated ”cousins”. Is that possible? Only through a course in miracles! Actually, it requires countless miracles within two large categories of miracles.  
The seeds and grains were maddeningly small, like pepper flakes or salt crystals, which put them beyond the grasping and handling capacity of human fingers. They were also hard, like tiny nutshells, making it impossible to convert them to anything edible. Lastly, their chemistry was suited to nourishing animals, not humans. So wild varieties were entirely too small, entirely too tough and nutritionally inappropriate for humans. 
They needed to be greatly expanded in size, greatly softened in texture and overhauled at the molecular level–which would be an imposing challenge for modern botanists, much less Neolithic farmers.  
Despite the seeming impossibility of meeting those daunting objectives, modern botanists are confident the first sodbusters had all they needed to do it: time and patience. Over hundreds of generations of selective crossbreeding, they consciously directed the genetic transformation of the few dozen that would turn out to be most useful to humans. And how did they do it? By the astounding feat of doubling, tripling and quadrupling the number of chromosomes in the wild varieties! 
Domestic wheat and oats were elevated from an ancestor with seven chromosomes to their current 42–an expansion by a factor of six.”
Remember that the cultivation of wheat brought about the rise of the Sumerians, who had oddly intimate relationships with their gods (the Anunaki, of course). The ancient Greeks were certain that wheat was the gift of a god; Demeter, in this case. It was the final "mystery" in the dramas put on at Eleusis. The Egyptians credited wheat to Osiris, the star-sailor.  So its inclusion in this film hardly seems incidental. On the contrary; it looks as if someone were doing their homework.

Now, longtime readers of The Secret Sun realize that nearly every major SF franchise of the past 50 years (starting with 2001: A Space Odyssey) is centered around ancient astronaut theory in one way or the other. 

Star Trek, Doctor Who, Star Wars (arguably), Battlestar GalacticaAlien (of course), Stargate, The X-Files, Transformers, Indiana Jones and the entire Marvel and DC Universes all established their creation myths, in varying degrees, as the work of advanced extraterrestrial interlopers. Does that seem coincidental to you? It certainly does not to me.

There've also been a ton of less-visible but still-signficant TV shows and movies that have done the same, like Jonny Quest, The Phoenix, The Man from Atlantis as well as Childhood's End, Cocoon, Hangar 18, countless American and Japanese cartoons (even the hugely-popular cardgame/anime property Yu-Gi-Oh). So much so that you can't help but wonder if there's not a very powerful cargo cult at work behind the scenes in Tinseltown.


Bearing all that in mind, as well as the Ancient Aliens cable show (now in its 12th season), researchers might be forgiven for believing this was all part of some long-running conditioning program. You know, kind of like the one suggested by the Brookings Institution report back in 1960. 

Or exactly like it, actually.

Researchers would be especially forgiven in light of this recent blockbuster news story:
Was our solar system once home to an advanced civilization other than our own — perhaps one that predated humanity by hundreds of millions of years before being wiped out by an asteroid impact or some other cataclysm? 
There's no evidence for such a pre-human indigenous technological species, though people have been speculating about one since ancient times. But a respected space scientist points out in a provocative new paper that if the existence of home-grown intelligent space aliens has never been established, it's never been ruled out either. 
And if a race of smart and perhaps spacefaring aliens did make their home in our solar system, traces of their lost civilization might still be out there somewhere in the system just waiting for us to find them.
Quite a "synchronicity," don't you think?

UPDATE: Check out Gordon's review on Alien: Covenant on Rune Soup.



TO BE CONTINUED...

* Elizabeth is often traced to Elisheba but you can also frame it as a contraction of Eloah-Isis-Beth, or "House of Isis, the Goddess."

          Kingsley Amis: A Wit, and a Bit of a Shit   
For Kingsley Amis lionized novelist, acclaimed wit, English sophisticate — one of the happiest moments of his life arrived while he was in Champaign-Urbana, IL, just a few miles north of here.
In March 1959, while spending a year at Princeton, the novelist traveled to the University of Illinois to lecture on the topic The Angry Young Men and After. Amis was often an anxious traveler and a heavy drinker, but not this time.
“On the afternoon of his lecture, after a single drink at lunchtime, ‘I reached a state of dazzling euphoria, as has happened to me only three or four other times in my life, and never since,’” his biographer Zachary Leader wrote in The Life of Kingsley Amis.
“At the lecture itself, and the party afterwards, ‘I was at the apex of my form.’ As the party finished, Amis overheard one faculty wife ask another, ‘How much do you think there is in national character. Have you ever met a reserved Englishman?”
---
Pleasure seemed to be the point of the Amises’ year in Princeton.
“As a couple, the Amises ‘inspired a whole year of husband- and wife-swapping,’” Leader wrote. “Amis made passes at every attractive woman he saw, regardless of marital status. He propositioned Betty Fussell while she stood in the bathroom washing out a nappy. He made a pass at Mary Keeley, at Gene Davis, at Liz Moynahan, at Jan Richardson, at Phil Fraser, all married to friends. ‘It was compulsive,’ remembers Keeley, but ‘if you said no it was all right … he wouldn’t press it with people who would have a problem, but otherwise he never gave up.’
“‘You had to look to your wife,’ Russell Fraser remembers. ‘What he said to me when I bristled at him was ‘Nothing personal, Old Man,’ and in a very extraordinary way that must have been so.’
“A number of the passes led to affairs, several of them serious. ‘There was no scandal left in who had slept with Kingsley,’ Betty Fussell wrote. ‘Who hadn’t?’”
Amis wrote a poem about a fairly typical day in which his narrator returns home after a “fearsome thrash with Mrs. No-Holds-Barred” to find that his wife has kept his dinner warm.

Nice bit of haddock with poached egg, Dundee,
Buckets of tea, a light ale or two,
And ‘Gunsmoke,’ ‘Danger Man,’ the Late Night Movie
Who’s Doing Better, then? What about you?
---
In Leader’s biography, Amis comes off as talented and honest but repellently selfish, something like his character Roger Micheldene in One Fat Englishman: “Of the seven deadly sins, Roger considered himself qualified in gluttony, sloth and lust but distinguished in anger.” Amis displayed something of an only child’s greed, saying more than once that he wanted “more than his share” and that before anybody else got served any.” His childhood also left him a legacy of fears. He wouldn’t fly, and he had an absolute horror of the dark, and of being left alone. 
---
In Leader’s book, George Orwell is quoted as saying, “It is probable that many people who could consider themselves extremely sophisticated and ‘advanced’ are actually carrying through life an imaginative background which they acquired in childhood.” Amis had a flair not only for comic literary invention but also for recognizing the good qualities of popular culture. To that end, Amis wrote the first and best of the James Bond novels not penned by Ian Fleming himself, Colonel Sun.
This sophisticated novelist also wrote a book-long analysis of Bond, and had a lifelong affection for jazz and science fiction.
“Leader begins by asserting that Amis ‘was not only the finest British comic novelist of the second half of the 20th century but a dominant force in the writing of the age,’ wrote Andrew Motion in the Guardian. ‘He then outlines the six themes that shape his book: the influence of Amis’s early upbringing, ‘the aggression which is so marked a feature of his character and writings,’ his ‘astonishing energy,’ his sense of ‘writing as a craft or profession,’ his ‘hostility to distinctions between high culture and low,’ and his ‘lifelong obsession with egotism, selfishness [and] inconsiderateness.’’
No wonder he became a right winger.
“It’s easy to think of other lives that have turned to comedy as a means of coping with anxiety, but in Amis’s case the solution was remarkably bold,” Motion said. “To start with, he took his cue from jokey relatives, relishing extravagant stories and turning himself into a brilliant mimic: it was an effective way of making friends and influencing people. Soon, though, he sharpened his wit into a device for cutting people down to size, and for characterizing an entire epoch’s hypocrisies and silly self-deceptions.”
---
Amis had a rigorous early 20thcentury education at the City of London School, a day school for boys on the banks of the Thames near the Millennium Bridge. And he excelled at it.
“When Martin Amis became a writer, he and his father often talked late into the night about literature and other matters,” Leader wrote. “The son would marvel at the father’s memory: ‘My God, he knows all English poetry.’ Ten lines here, twenty lines there, of Shakespeare, Milton, Marvell, Rochester, Pope, Gray, Keats, Wordsworth, Byron, Tennyson, Christina Rossetti, Housman, Owen, Kipling, Auden, Graves and of course (Philip) Larkin.”
---
Here’s an example of the kind of teaching novelist Kingsley Amis got, in this case from the Rev. C.J. Ellingham at the City of London School, who said: “Vigorous English is not merely to be used when you are excited or angry. Any English which does its work well, and shows exactly what the writer means, is vigorous. Feeble writing leaves the reader to do all the work.”
Ellingham went on to say: “Do not try to bluff the reader. It is your work to describe, and if your words are inadequate, no verbal device will make the reader do your work for you. If you are describing a sunset, and feel that ‘the sunset was beautiful’ is not enough, it is a bluff to write ‘the sunset was amazingly beautiful.’ You have not avoided the duty of describing the sunset. You have made your task harder, for now you must show that it was amazing as well as beautiful.”
---
“‘All Old English and nearly all Middle English works produced hatred and weariness in nearly everybody who studied them,’ Amis recalls. ‘The former carried the redoubled impediment of having Tolkien, incoherent and often inaudible, lecturing on it.’ (Tolkien, he wrote elsewhere ‘spoke unclearly and slurred the important words, and then he’d write them on the blackboard but keep standing between them and us, then wipe them off before he turned around.’)”
---
In a poem, Amis described the qualities that attracted him to Hilary Bardwell, the girl who would become his first wife.

In ’46 when I was twenty-four
I met someone harmless, someone defenceless
But till then whole, unadapted within;
Awkward, gentle, healthy, straight-backed,
Who spoke to say something, laughed when amused…

It helped that she was unintimidated by him and that she understood his fears, for example of walking home alone at night. She also recognized his adolescent streak of selfishness, apparent in what Leader calls his “….ambivalences, the sort that led him to argue Hilly first into and then out of bed, then to be angry with himself for having done so. ‘Women appear to me as basically dull, but as basically pathetic too,’ he writes… ‘and while this makes us annoyed, it still doesn’t allow us to say rude things to them, about them, It is one’s very indifference to their feelings that turns one’s anger into pity a-bim a-bom a-bem-bammy-bum.’”
---
Amis and Hilly were hurried into marriage by a pregnancy, after strongly considering an abortion. Philip Amis (named for Amis best friend Philip Larkin) Aug. 15, 1948, and Amis wrote this to Larkin: “My little son has very fair hair and a conical head (it will not stay conical, they said), and a face like that of an aging railway porter who is beginning to realize his untidiness had meant he’ll never get that ticket collector’s job he’s been after for 20 years. His weight, they said, would be about eight pounds. I don’t know what this business is supposed to make you feel; I feel just the same as before. Hilly is very happy and glad, as I am, to have something to name after you.”
Larkin and his girlfriend Ruth Bowman visited the Amises a couple of months later, and Ruth noted that while they seemed happy together, she cast a cold eye on Amis’s “detached viewed of marriage and fatherhood.”
“Amis and Larkin spent most of the visit closeted together ‘playing jazz records, drinking and having a thoroughly and exclusively masculine good time,’” Leader wrote. “Ruth liked and admired Hilly but felt sorry for her. She seemed ‘permanently tired out,’ yet ‘accepted her new life placidly enough, and put me to shame with her even temper and unfailing good humor.’
“Only once did Ruth see Hilly angry. On a fine afternoon she and Hilly set out to walk to Witney, leaving the baby in Amis’s care. The sleeping infant was put in his pram in the garden and Amis was instructed to bring him in immediately if the weather turned. In the middle of the walk, there was a sudden, heavy thunderstorm and Hilly, worried, insisted they return home straight away. On opening the front door, the two women were hit by the sound of jazz at full volume, ‘but of pram and baby there were no sign. Poor Hilly dashed outside to find a very wet baby lying in sodden blankets. Kingsley was mildly surprised at his wife’s rage. He assured her he had no knowledge of rain.’”
“Kingsley Amis was a lenient father,” his other son, novelist Martin Amis, later reported. “His paternal style, in the early years, can best be described as amiably minimalist — in other words, my mother did it all.”
At age 20, pregnant with Martin, Hilly found and read Amis’s journal. “She was bored and couldn’t stop herself,” Leader wrote. “It contained explicit references not only to other women but to how he hadn’t wanted a child. There was detailed description of a pass he made at Hilly’s best friend, which she resisted at first but finally succumbed to. There were pornographic passages. There were also passages about Hilly, including tender and tormented passages. ‘Why is Hilly crying as if her heart would break? I can’t bear to hear somebody break her heart like this.’
“Hilly knew told Amis she’d read the journal and never said anything to the best friend, but she half suspected Amis knew. ‘He’d leave it around with private written on it,’ she recalled; ‘he quite liked torturing me in a funny way.’”
---
Amis wouldn’t fly, but traveled extensively by land and sea. “Jane remembers the train journey from St. Louis as ‘splendid;’ it took three days and two nights to reach Mexico City,” Leader wrote. “Here Amis experienced his first earthquake, a 40-second tremor. ‘No damage,’ he reported to the Conquests on 5 February (1968), ‘but by Christ I thought the old coronary was upon me.’
“The touring began with a trip to Acapulco, which everyone hated and where Amis’s suitcase was stolen from the car roof-rack within 30 seconds of arrival (the suitcase contained nothing important to Amis, only every item of expensive tailoring he possessed). The one good thing Amis had to say about Acapulco was that it supplied him with a possible opening sentence for a James Bond story: ‘Bond had never liked Acapulco.’”
---

“Sex is a momentary itch, love never lets you go.”
— Kingsley Amis

“It is no wonder that people are so horrible when they start their life as children.”
— Kingsley Amis

“Self-criticism must be my guide to action, and the first rule for its employment is that in itself it is not a virtue, only a procedure.”
— Kingsley Amis

“Outside every fat man there was an even fatter man trying to close in.”

— Kingsley Amis

          Thursday, June 29, 2017 - The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.   
To read the texts click on the texts: Acts 12:1-11; Ps 34:2-9; 2 Tm4:6-8, 17-18; Mt 16:13-19

There is an old story about the death of St. Peter in Rome during the persecution of Nero. Peter heard about Nero's plan to burn the city and blame the Christians. He figured as the one who presided over the church in the city he would be arrested and put to death. So he did the sensible thing - Peter was always a sensible man - he got out of town, and at night. The Appian Way was dark for awhile as Peter snuck down it. However, as the night wore on the sky was illuminated by the flames rising from the city. Peter hurried on and eventually was far enough away from the city that it was dark again. Then he saw someone coming in the opposite direction, someone who even at night seemed familiar. It was the Lord himself. What was he doing out at night and walking towards Rome? “Where are you going, Lord?” Peter asked him. “To Rome”, Jesus replied, “to be crucified again in your place”. Peter turned around and returned to Rome and according to tradition was crucified there.

Though this story does not agree with what is narrated in the first reading of today from the Acts of the Apostles, in which we are told that Peter was imprisoned, it does agree with what the Gospels narrate about Peter’s denials, and brings out an important facet of the meaning of the feast: Jesus did not choose strong, brave and courageous individuals to continue the work that he had begun. He chose weak, frail and cowardly humans. He chose individuals who would falter and fail. This is the Peter who confessed Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” and to whom Jesus handed over the “keys” of the Church, knowing full well that there would be times when the lofty confession would turn into a base denial.

Paul’s conversion story is narrated twice in the Acts of the Apostles and Paul himself speaks of it in some of his letters. His commission as an apostle of Christ began with a divine revelation of the identity of the Lord Jesus. He reports the events surrounding his recognition of Jesus as the Lord of glory and his appointment as apostle to the gentiles. Felled to the ground by a brilliant light from heaven and hearing a reproachful voice addressing him by name his first need was to know who it was who broke into his life with such awe-inspiring power. Just as Jesus told Peter that he would assign to him the charge of leading his Church once Peter recognized his master's true identity, so also Paul's task was given to him only after Jesus revealed himself as the glorified Lord.

The apostles' mission thus grew out of their loving knowledge of the person of Jesus, the Son of the living God. Their work, indeed their whole life, was to follow from this surpassing knowledge of Christ which became the basis of all their dealing with others. They were given to the whole Church to teach us not only what Christ revealed and taught but also how to live as he himself had put into practice the things willed by the Father.

Today we marvel at the transformation of these previously weak human leaders. Peter’s newfound passionate commitment to his Lord and to the fledgling church resulted in his imprisonment. Paul too was jailed. He did not see this as failure, but as the destiny that was his in consequence of his commitment to the Gospel. He had fought the good fight, he had run the race, and he had kept the faith. He faced death, and he knew it. That was the price they had to pay for their commitment and fidelity to the Lord.

Their personalities were very different, their approaches to spreading the Faith were very different, and their relationships with Christ were very different. Although the two were both Apostles, there were moments of disagreement and conflict between them. And yet, they are bound together on this single feast, as they were bound together by the one Faith, confessing the one Lord, shedding their blood for him and his mission of peace, justice and love.

Within the recent past, the church has been tossed to and fro in storms of controversy. Not one storm, but many storms, and not in one country, but in many countries. It has been the target of fierce persecution from without, and it has also allowed evil to corrupt it from within. Whether in circumstances of harassment or scandal, the lives of many have been diminished, their confidence undermined and their faith tested.

Without minimizing the suffering in our current situations, we should remember that dire trials are really not new to the church. From its very beginning it has faced opposition. The first reading for today’s feast describes one such situation.

Despite its trials, however, the church has survived and even flourished. This is not due to the strength and holiness of its members. Though Jesus told Peter that the church would be built upon him, the church’s real foundation was and continues to be Jesus Christ its Lord. He is the one who commissioned Peter; he is the one who assures the church of protection. He is the one who stood by Paul and gave him strength to bring the Gospel to the broader world. The church may have been built on Peter the former denier and spread by Paul the former persecutor, but it is the church of Jesus Christ, and it will endure because of his promise.


Today we celebrate the fidelity of Peter and Paul, sinners like us all. Initially, they were both found wanting. When they eventually repented, they were forgiven by God in Christ. Though they were victims of persecution, their commitment to Christ and to the church made them heroes. Their victory is evidence that the gates of hell shall not prevail. Their victory is evidence that we shall indeed overcome.

          Read Download Apocalypse Wow: A Memoir for the End of Time Ebook Full   

0 - Download Ebook Apocalypse Wow: A Memoir for the End of Time Free PDF Online





Alternative Download Link - Apocalypse Wow: A Memoir for the End of Time


Gratuit Apocalypse Characters Marvel.com Powers. Apocalypse's full extent of powers remain to be revealed, especially to the extent of which powers have since been augmented by alien technology. Apocalypse Definition of Apocalypse by Merriam Webster Define apocalypse: a great disaster : a sudden and very bad event that causes much fear, loss, or destruction apocalypse in a sentence Apocalypse Wikipedia An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: apoklypsis, from and , literally meaning "an uncovering") is a disclosure of knowledge or ... Apocalypse definition of apocalypse by The Free Dictionary apocalypse ( pk lps) n. 1. a. Apocalypse Abbr. Apoc. Bible The Book of Revelation. b. Any of a number of anonymous Jewish or Christian texts from ... Apocalypse Define Apocalypse at Dictionary.com Apocalypse definition, (initial capital letter) revelation (def 4). See more. X Men: Apocalypse (2016) IMDb After the re emergence of the world's first mutant, world destroyer Apocalypse, the X Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan. Read/download Apocalypse Wow: A Memoir for the End of Time ebook full free online.

          Download Free Dude, Where's My country? Ebook PDF Free   

0 - Free Dude, Where's My country? Ebook Download Full





Alternative Download Link - Dude, Where's My country?


Gratuit Jeff Bridges IMDb Jeff Bridges, Actor: The Big Lebowski. Jeffrey Leon Bridges was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California, the son of well known film and TV star Lloyd ... What are Your Celiac Disease Symptoms? Gluten Dude Dude Note: Based on your awesome responses below, I have created an infographic of your celiac disease symptoms that has spread like wildfire. Check it out. Lucky dude fucking busty Katerina Pornsharing.com Yummy Katerina is busty and fuckable. She shows off her gigantic natural tits as long as she enjoys dude's hard dick in her shaved pussy on the bed. Big titted euro ... Products Page The Worm Dude US or Canada shipments available on Redworms. Worms are taxable for in state purchases, as are all non food items. Out of state purchases will have tax Dudetube Last week Bel Ami launched their 16 part epic series Summer Break. This week there's a new behind the scenes documentary and an action scene starring Justin Sarandon ... Outdoors Gifts DudeIWantThat.com Unique outdoors gifts from DudeIWantThat.com ... Know what needs a Great. Big. Hug? Your bag of kitty litter. Your bag of BBQ charcoal. DudeIWantThat.com A Geek's Gift Guide of Gadgets, Gear ... Dude I Want That brings you the latest gear and gadgets, unique gift ideas, cool products and everything else you can buy on the web. Vitamix Models: A Comparison Guide blender dude Hello Blender Dude, After buying my own Vitamix used in pristine condition I decided to find used units on Ebay to give away to family members. Dude Looks Like a Lady TV Tropes The Dude Looks Like a Lady trope as used in popular culture. Whether it is due to their gorgeous hair, delicate features, snazzy dressing, or fey nature, 21 Things You Might Not Know About 'The Big Lebowski ... Youre a Lebowski. Im a Lebowski. These days, pretty much everybody loves The Big Lebowski. But it wasnt always the case. Since its release and modest ... Dude Perfect YouTube 5 Best Friends and a Panda. If you like Sports + Comedy, come join the Dude Perfect team! The Big Lebowski (1998) IMDb "The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it. Any Major Dude With Half A Heart Having played the megabytes out of the first Any Major Night mix as I did with the Any Major Morning mixes (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) it is time to go nocturnal again. Nomadic Matt's Travel Site LEARN HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR NEXT TRIP Hi! I'm New York Times best selling author Nomadic Matt. If you're overwhelmed by all the travel information on the web ... Dude, Where's My Horoscope? The Atlantic Dude, Where's My Horoscope? What happens when astrological forecasts come in late? Inside the business of the extremely popular AstrologyZone.c om. What happened to Santa Cruz surf icon Kevin Reed? Santa Cruz surf icon to homeless beach bum: The fall of Kevin Reed The Board Dude's Cork Board Tile michaels.com Post all your important announcements or keep yourself organized with this unframed cork tile. Put a group of them together to create a large bulletin board on your ... Nickelodeon Picks Up 'The Dude Perfect Show' for Season 2 ... Nickelodeon has picked up The Dude Perfect Show for a second season of the comedy sports series, TheWrap has exclusively learned. Big Beautiful Woman TV Tropes The Big Beautiful Woman, or BBW for short, is an aversion of Hollywood's usual standards of size and beauty and is accompanied by Beauty Tropes or Milf Samantha Lee takes dude;s dick willingly ... Sex starved mature blonde Samantha Lee with huge breasts has sex with hot young guy. She loves his rock hard cock and takes it in her hot mouth. Dude catches his GF with a girl and fucks them both in a ... Sit back and enjoy this amazing fucking scene with two beautiful naked girls. This brunettes boyfriend made her swear shed never cheat on him with another man ... Hull Lifesaving Museum EXHIBITS AND COLLECTIONS : Permanent Exhibits Schooners and nor easters, shipwrecks, and rescues! The maritime history of Boston Harbor abounds at the historic 1889 ... Google Founder Disguised Himself During A Driverless Car ... This is neat. For several years, Google heavily invested in efforts to build driverless cars, with a separate subsidiary named Waymo now entirely focused on it. Thanos Marvel Universe Wiki: The definitive online ... One by one, Thanos collected five other Soul Gems, combining them all in a huge, single, synthetic Soul Gem. He then began to extinguish the very stars themselves ... Haley Ryder Porn Videos Pornhub.com Choose Pornhub.com for Haley Ryder naked in an incredible selection of hardcore FREE Porn videos Learn Microsoft Excel Online About Chandoo.org About Chandoo.org Excel and Charting Tips site blog. About the author Purna Duggirala (Chandoo) Read/download Dude, Where's My country? ebook full free online.

          The Young Irishman   
A new MP3 sermon from New Covenant Baptist Church is now available on SermonAudio.com with the following details:

Title: The Young Irishman
Subtitle: A Pastor's Sketches: Volume 1
Speaker: Ichabod Spencer
Broadcaster: New Covenant Baptist Church
Event: Audio Book
Date: 7/30/2016
Bible: Psalm 99:1
Length: 89 min. (64kbps)

Overview: What is knowledge- Where lies the seat of all power in the universe- Is God's existence and power over us a certainty, or fancy- In this first episode of Ichabod Spencer's -A Pastor's Sketches-, Spencer vividly depicts his encounter with a young skeptic who is nearing death- with marvelous wit and candor, charity with force, and the grace of God, Spencer deeply engages the whole heart and mind with the truth of the Gospel.
          'Legion' Is A Fun, Fast-Paced TV Adaptation Of The Marvel Comic   
There are two things viewers should know right from the start about Legion , which premieres Wednesday night on FX. One is that it doesn't look, or feel, like a drama based on a comic book — it's more like a next-generation version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , as filtered through H.P. Lovecraft or Edgar Allan Poe. The other is that it comes from Noah Hawley, who managed to take an already great movie — the Coen Brothers' Fargo — and use it as inspiration for a couple of equally terrific Fargo miniseries. Hawley's TV versions of Fargo are all about character and acting, and plot twists, and deliciously rich visuals. The same is true of Legion — especially about the visuals. Now that I think of it, that's the third thing you need to know about Legion in advance: You have to watch it. I mean, really watch it. No multi-tasking. I don't think I've ever seen a TV series that demands you watch it more attentively — or rewards that effort quite as much. Images come so fast and
          2017年香港迪士尼樂園必玩攻略|鐵甲奇俠飛行之旅、絕地聖殿武士特訓 X 盡情享受歡樂的親子時光   
歡迎按讚『洛基小聿媽Miniko X 黃金獵犬吳洛基X 歡孩吳小聿』  與我們一起吃喝玩樂,一起討論寵物毛小孩與小孩的生活點滴 // 香港迪士尼樂園是距離台灣最近的迪士尼樂園,搭飛機1小時即可到達, 很多人說園區不大,但我們這趟實際玩下來耗費了整整一天,還玩不過癮!! 這趟親子旅行,安排入住迪士尼探險家度假酒店三天,盡情享受歡樂的親子時光, 悠閒愜意又可以近距離與迪士尼卡通明星們接觸,大人小孩都開心無比 香港迪士尼於2016-2017年新增了不少遊樂設施,建議親子家庭一定要安排三天兩夜, 將迪士尼樂園玩透透之外,也可以開心體驗酒店內親子設施與活動! 香港迪士尼門票購買-->請點我 說真的帶著小孩,整天來回在樂園穿梭、玩遊樂設施、看遊行、看表演, 需要走上不少路,小朋友排隊時間太久哭鬧、發脾氣,不但讓玩樂心情掃興,也影響旅行的興致! 所以洛基小聿媽媽強烈建議親子家庭一定要選擇入住迪士尼樂園的專屬酒店, 避免舟車勞頓,搭配遊樂設施優先入場證,可以悠閒地帶著小朋友享受美味的早餐, 在漫步到迪士尼樂園,10:00提前入場 以下四種帶小朋友可以節省排隊時間的方式,提供給各位朋友!! 1.配合香港迪士尼樂園官網訂房,入住迪士尼樂園任一三間酒店,就可享有遊樂設施優先入場證  2.下載香港迪士尼樂園手機app,可隨時獲取樂園最新資訊、遊樂設施等候時間,  掌握迪士尼朋友現身地點、時間,迪士尼樂園餐廳預訂座位! 3.購買香港迪士尼快速通行卡,鋼鐵奇俠飛行之旅、星戰極速穿梭、小熊維尼歷險之旅均可快速通關,  免排隊之苦!就可以先玩其他設施,等到快速通關卡上面指定的時間,再回來遊樂設施處 4.香港迪士尼樂園專人導覽觀光服務,直接享受園內設施、預留劇場表演位置、  安排最佳迪士尼巡遊遊行位置,專屬的體驗(賓客服務中心預約)  上一趟我們來香港迪士尼是三年前,小聿二歲多,能玩的遊樂設施不多, 只能走馬看花,這趟小聿已經滿五歲,身高也超過112cm,園區內幾乎所有設施通通都可以體驗了!! 所以這趟香港迪士尼旅行,我們幾乎全園區最刺激、好玩的通通都玩過一輪, 非常值回票價!先來看看我們這趟的行程攻略 香港迪士尼樂園目前共有七大園區: 美國小鎮大街、反斗奇兵大本營、幻想世界、灰熊山谷、明日世界、迷離莊園、探索世界 這次我們的重點在明日世界,香港迪士尼2016-2017年新增了鐵甲奇俠飛行之旅、 絕地聖殿武士特訓、史達科技旗艦店…,讓身為MARVEL、星際迷的我們一次大大大滿足, 早上10:00優先入園到美國小鎮大街後,可以先逛半小時的商店街,看看最新最夯的迪士尼商品、伴手禮! 當然這時已經有許多迪士尼朋友出來與遊客們見面拍照了!!我們超幸運和可愛的達菲熊拍照❤️ 10:00前,大家都在城堡前的這個廣場等待,逛逛迪士尼商品 10:30準時開放遊樂設施後,我們一路衝明日世界,準備搶搭鐵甲奇俠飛行之旅   鐵甲奇俠飛行之旅 身高限制102公分 開放時間:10:30~20:45 鋼鐵人東尼史塔克在香港迪士尼設立總部,排隊過程中,可以欣賞到史塔科技展, 接著搭乘特製的鋼鐵鐵甲車,展開鐵甲奇俠飛行之旅,我們衝出迪士尼樂園打怪, 跟隨鋼鐵人英勇對抗惡勢力,過程刺激驚險,大人小孩都覺得非常好玩!  小聿出來後,一直說我們是不是從這裡衝出去打外星人的XD 10:30到達時排隊的人潮不多,鐵甲奇俠飛行之旅目前是香港迪士尼樂園最夯必玩的遊樂設施  鐵甲奇俠裝備展  鐵甲奇俠裝備展是一個非常難得可以跟鋼鐵人見面的機會  鋼鐵人出場時,我整個超級興奮的!!(畢竟媽媽我就是MARVEL迷)    小朋友可以和帥氣的鋼鐵人拍照、互動,小聿親眼見到鋼鐵人一整個興奮激動呀  史塔科技旗艦店、鐵甲奇俠模擬裝甲 裏頭有販售鋼鐵人、MARVEL漫威英雄(蜘蛛人、美國隊長⋯)的各種商品, 媽媽我在這裡噴了好多錢😭呀   史塔科技旗艦店內還有一項設施-鐵甲奇俠模擬裝甲,小小朋友絕對不能錯過! 小朋友站在模擬器上,穿上模擬的鋼鐵盔甲,飛上天射擊,一整個滿足小朋友化身鋼鐵人的夢想   火箭餐廳(鋼鐵俠餐廳) 一連串體驗了鋼鐵人多項設施,小朋友也飢腸轆轆了, 火箭餐廳內有英雄漢堡、鋼鐵人鬆餅、還有販售鋼鐵人水壺、爆米花桶! 我們點了三份英雄漢堡,嗑了起來! 鋼鐵人造型的爆米花桶、水壺是火箭餐廳限定販售的! 小朋友們都吃的好開心 香港迪士尼飛天巡遊 接著吃飽飯,我們參加了13:00的迪士尼飛天巡遊遊行, 可以看到超多可愛、動感十足的迪士尼明星,熱情四射的表演,不能不說迪士尼的遊行真的一定要看! 可以讓我們瞬間忘記煩惱,讓我們感受到歡樂無限、幸福滿滿 小飛象可愛的迎接遊客們! 歡樂的旋律、繽紛的色彩、夢想洋溢的香港迪士尼飛天巡遊,超級精彩,親子家庭絕對不可錯過 大街上隨時可以見到有趣的表演! 接著我們前往探險世界,準備欣賞下午2:00的獅子王慶典表演  獅子王慶典(原野劇場) 超華麗震撼的舞台劇精彩表演,精緻的道具、動人的舞蹈、超酷炫的特技、 還有噴火、旋轉火把等精彩演出,呈現原汁原味的獅子王慶典,是非常適合闔家欣賞的豐富表演 表演時間:中午12:00  下午2:00 4:30 晚上6:00 自製絕地武士光劍 小男生必玩的自製絕地武士光劍DIY 位於太空驛站設有光劍DIY專區,可以從26個光劍零件中,挑選6個零件組裝出擁有個人特色的光劍, 其中分為四色,包含了光明與黑暗原力面的藍、綠和紫色、紅色 小聿想要一把光劍,從日本回來吵了非常久, 這次讓他自己親手做自己屬於自己的光劍,才會好好愛護呀! 看他拿著光劍和菜肉包對打,真的好有趣! 光劍價位198港幣起 太空驛站在還有販售不少香港迪士尼樂園限定STAR WARS商品 絕地聖殿武士特訓(需提前到太空驛站招募處預約報名) 每日活動場次時間:1245、1400、1530、1645、1800、1930 出發前,我一直跟小聿說,絕地武士邀請乖小孩,到迪士尼參加特訓,你要聽話,你是被選中的! 果然那陣子小聿都相當乖巧(這招真好用) 小朋友會穿上絕地武士的斗篷, 拿著光劍接受絕地武士的原力特訓,動作訓練、原力等等! 小小絕地武士真的好可愛唷! 接著配合劇情,黑武士會出場與小朋友一一對打   平常小聿拿著光劍打打殺殺,看到雄壯威武的黑武士,整個嚇傻了😂😂😂,光劍拿著不敢動,  後來下來後說我以為我的手會被他砍斷😂(顯示媽媽幸災樂禍),  整套訓練宛如一場精彩的表演,超刺激(連媽媽我都被黑武士的黑暗力量震憾)  星戰急速穿梭 身高限制102公分以上 開放時間:10:30~20:45 在黑暗中高速穿梭,好像置身於星際大戰的激烈戰火中 雖然沒有高低起伏,但是高速的行進跟急轉彎還是非常刺激, 就像STAR WARS電影中的飛行員一樣,我們一家三口玩的非常驚險 香港迪士尼樂園有不少這種可愛造型的蛋!非常有趣味 與白武士拍照,不用排隊,是讓白武士自己選擇要與誰拍照!超級有趣 星際大戰。指揮站 在這裡可以前往星際大戰反抗軍秘密基地,和BB8 見面!   還可以體驗開星際戰艦的駕駛艙 小熊維尼歷險之旅位於幻想世界,在森林中播放著小熊維尼的故事!和小熊維尼一起冒險 (沒有身高年齡限制) 開放時間10:30 -20:45 米奇幻想曲是一場3D立體的電影,由唐老鴨帶領進入奇幻的幻想曲中 有米奇、米妮等超受歡迎的迪士尼好朋友精彩演出 (沒有身高年齡限制) 開放時間10:30 -20:45 小飛象旋轉世界,和小飛象一起翱翔天空 (沒有身高年齡限制) 開放時間10:30 -19:45  幻想世界有一個睡公主城堡,這裡充滿了童話故事中的場景,穿過超夢幻的城堡,讓我們童年的夢想成真, 非常適合小女生們來完成當公主的夢想, 園區內的童話園林也是2017年的最新的設施,原汁原味呈現童話故事中的場景、故事! 開放時間10:30 -19:15 反斗奇兵大本營,有可愛的胡迪、巴斯光年,來到這裡,彷彿置身在玩具樂園中,充滿童趣的世界! 轉轉彈弓狗 體驗彈弓狗瘋狂旋轉的刺激快感 (沒有身高年齡限制) 開放時間:10:30~19:45 衝天遙控車,體驗刺激快速的在跑道上奔馳的快感,聽說此遊樂設施也是必玩的! 身高限制120公分 開放時間:11:00~19:45  玩具兵團跳降傘 位在反斗奇兵大本營區,身高限制81公分 開放時間:11:00~19:45 不敢玩大怒神的你一定要來試試玩具兵團跳降傘 雖然高度不算很高,但下降時還是讓你忍不住大聲尖叫, 好像跳傘一樣跳下降落,小聿最後還敢放雙手玩!超有趣 迷離大宅 位於全球獨一無二的迷離莊園內,只有香港迪士尼樂園才有的遊樂設施 (沒有身高年齡限制) 開放時間:10:30~19:45 搭乘電磁廂車探訪神秘的藏寶箱, 不但可以欣賞到奇珍異寶的,奇幻感管刺激神秘的歷險,推薦必玩! 灰熊山急速礦車 位在灰熊山谷區,身高限制112公分 開放時間:11:00~19:45 這這這實在是太刺激、太好玩了,在縱橫交錯的礦洞奔馳穿梭,高低起伏、俯衝、高速的快感,讓人想一玩再玩 小聿跟吳老大坐在第一排,刺激尖叫好玩極了!這趟旅程完成了吳老大和兒子一起搭乘雲霄飛車的夢想, 迪士尼不但是小朋友的夢想,更完成了爸媽們小時候的夢想與期待 吳老大跟小聿居然坐第一個座位,兩父子走出來炫耀的表情,一直嘲笑媽媽我不敢玩XD 灰熊山谷佈置得充滿了美國西部風情! 森林河流之旅,位於探險世界,搭乘探險船進入神秘的河流,過程有趣,還可看到可愛的動物們!  (沒有身高年齡限制)  開放時間:10:30~19:45 香港迪士尼樂園遊樂設施眾多,說真的要一天全部玩過一次,根本不可能!! 建議大家依照時間選擇想玩的遊樂設施,如果可以安排三天兩夜,好好玩過一輪, 不但輕鬆也不會累過頭! 我們決定要在樂園內用餐、看夜間遊行、星緣奇夢煙火表演, 加上我們實在也走不動了,就漫步回美國大街小鎮!結果忍不住又走進商店街血拼了起來XD 只能說香港迪士尼樂園無敵好買!! 晚餐建議大家可以預約位於美國小鎮大街的大街餐廳,維多利亞式的建築,提供豐富的美式料理, 這也是全香港唯一一間coca-cola主題餐廳,當然除了好吃的美式料理, 餐廳也有提供異國美食讓遊客選擇,餐廳的位置是欣賞夜間遊行、城堡煙火絕佳位置,非常便利!! 雖說是美式餐廳,但店家也有推出新加坡沙嗲料理、日式料理,讓旅客多種選擇!! 新加坡沙叻麵無敵好吃,淡淡的辣味,一整個喚醒了我們的食慾 美味的達菲熊芋頭糕,經典香港點心搭配迪士尼造型,超可愛又好吃! 飲料的部分,推薦大家一定要喝看看創意飲品,粉紅菲菲甜蜜的莓果味,真的非常爽口!! 美式烤豬肋排,外酥內軟,多汁讓人回味無窮,果然是美式經典佳餚! 兒童餐牛肉丸搭配烤飯,還有豐富的蔬菜、水果!營養滿分  全球首創的香港迪士尼樂園夜間巡遊,非常閃亮炫麗,宛如來到夜店一般超high 結合光影、繽紛色彩,搭配迪士尼好朋友載歌載舞,精彩奪目,大人小孩目不轉睛 接著香港迪士尼樂園星夢奇緣煙花表演, 更是 璀璨奪目、夜空被煙花以及睡美人城堡燈光秀照得艷麗迷人! 讓我們驚呼連連,撐到最後一刻果然是值得的!!   香港迪士尼樂園官網:https://www.hongkongdisneyland.com/zh-hk/  香港迪士尼樂園粉絲頁:https://www.facebook.com/hkdisneyland.tw  香港迪士尼門票購買:https://goo.gl/lJdVmy   (想要了解更豐富的行程介紹、飯店推薦,請鎖定洛基小聿媽部落格)    (粉絲團天天持續更新,歡迎加入掌握最新資訊)  你們的點閱與按讚、都是洛基小聿媽咪努力的動力唷   加入洛基小聿媽媽社團、官方line帳號,旅遊、團購訊息不漏接! 洛基小聿媽愛團購:http://ppt.cc/pKnyw 和狗狗一起去旅行社團:http://ppt.cc/vRmZs  鑄鐵鍋、陶鍋、荷蘭鍋、露營料理社團:http://ppt.cc/S2XUl 食物乾燥機.蔬果烘乾機食譜社團:http://ppt.cc/Ju94u  日本親子旅行go: http://ppt.cc/8QpSs  親子旅行社團:http://ppt.cc/utudb   洛基小聿媽團購、美食、友善寵物民宿訊息不漏接 請點選下方的連結,或是於LINE、LINE@的ID搜尋中以「@meq2465v」 須包含@)搜尋後將設為好友   https://line.me/R/ti/p/%40meq2465v     
          1901-02-13 Joe Gans W-DQ5 Wilmington Jack Daly [Eureka Athletic Club, Music Hall, Baltimore, MD, USA]   
1901-02-14 Baltimore American (Baltimore, MD) (page 4)
GANS WAS TOO MUCH FOR DALY.
--------
COLORED LAD WON DECISION IN FIFTH ROUND.
--------
Smashed Almost Into Unconsciousness, the Wilmington Man Persisted in Breaking the Rules by Fighting in Clinches, Holding and Wrestling, and Was Disqualified, So that Joe Won His First Battle Since His Defeat by Terry McGovern--Dusky Boxer Proved as Great a General as Ever, and that He Has Lost None of His Powers Either as a Defensive Fighter or a Hard Hitter.
--------
Joe Gans was given the decision over Jack Daly in the fifth round of a singularly fierce contest at the Music Hall last night. After two minutes and five seconds of the fifth round Referee Charley White sent the men to their corners and announced that Gans had won because Daly had been disqualified for holding, hitting in clinches and wrestling, all of which were violations of the rules, for which offenses Daly had been warned both by the referee and the police officials. In holding and in every way violating the rules of the combat Daly simply practiced a subterfuge to save himself from sure defeat.

As their previous performance had led people to believe, Gans and Daly made one of the very best fights ever seen in this city. It was Gans' first appearance since he was knocked out by McGovern. The colored lad had prepared faithfully for what he considered the beginning of another series of battles, to lead to another contest for top honors. Jack Daly, although he has been on the turf many moons, was also in excellent condition. The men were out to fight pure and simple--a fact that gave the contest its great value from the standpoint of a vicious struggle between veteran ringmasters who spar not for the beauty of the movements, but to do as much damage as possible to their opponents. They were aggressive, and wasted no time in fiddling or waiting for openings. Daly is notorious as a rough fighter, while Gans has an excellent reputation for living up to the rules.

Referee Warn Them.

Before the men started Referee Charley White, who had come from New York to run the mill, called them into the center of the ring and explained clearly that the bout was to be with clean breaks, no hitting in clinches, wrestling or holding. This was considered something of a handicap for Daly, who is credited with being best at infighting. Daly agreed, but from the start of the contest he continued to hold, fight in clinches and wrestle. Gans was willing enough to break at the word of the referee, but when Daly continued to chop on his kidneys, Gans sent in a few short arm-hooks that had terrible force and made Daly wish he had tried some gentler method. All through Referee White had a struggle trying to break the men. He forced his way between the struggling pugilists several times, and once warned Gans. He repeatedly warned Daly, but it did little good. Gans had the better of the battle all through. His quick, tigerlike movements seemed to defy Daly's well-known quickness of eye, and the dusky lad whipped his fists over Daly's defenses and landed blows on the face and body that would have completely knocked out a boxer of less strength than Daly. Gans was himself again, and his blocking was splendid. Daly made furious rushes, but Joe warded off the blows with neatness. The men were quickness personified. Daly's leg movement was fine, but even at sidestepping Gans outpointed him. Both were aggressive, and Daly stood up to his gruelling as all who knew him thought he would. He kept boring into Gans, and sometimes made the colored lad break ground, but it was not for long, as Gans was as eager to smash as was Daly.

Daly Refuses to Break.

From the start Daly rushed into clinches, and then almost refused to stop holding, and all the time he was trying to chop up Joe's kidneys in the way Wolcott defeated Fisher in this city. At long-arm fighting Daly was not in it with Gans. The colored man's hitting powers were tremendous, and the blows that he rained on Daly's eye, jaw, mouth and body continued to convince Daly that he might hold and wrestle to save an entire defeat. Although constantly warned, Daly continued these tactics until in the fifth round Referee White gave it up and sent the men to their corners, declaring Daly disqualified and Gans the winner. That Daly continued to hold to save himself was proven when, after the fight, he told Mr. White that the decision was a just one. At the time Daly was very groggy. He had withstood an inordinate amount of punishment, but he was growing weak, and his legs were going back on him. There is no reasonable doubt but that Gans would have knocked him out, as the colored man was his superior at the game in every respect--at blocking, hard hitting, judgment of distance, foot work, the use of his legs and his equal in aggressiveness.

Value of Good Police.

There was absent from the contest any symptom that would give the slightest suspicion of a fake, and it was refreshing to go through a battle in which no wise Willie sent out his voice in the land to flatter his own powers of observation by declaring the set-to a fake.

Between the rounds Deputy Marshal Farnan talked to Daly, evidently warning him against roughing it. The reason that boxing shows can take place in this city and are prohibited in many other places is because of the intelligent police supervision of such men as Deputy Marshal Farnan and Captain Cadwallader. By prohibiting hitting in clinches, roughing it and holding, the police here have succeeded in cutting out much that is bad about pugilism, so that it is tolerated here under proper control and regulations. The men fought from the tap of the gong, and being veterans and in good condition they gave such a genuine battle as is pleasing to the oldest ring enthusiast and that first inoculates the novice with that germ which makes him, in time, a veteran. During the battle Daly tried his famous chop blows, but Gans blocked every one of them and would always counter with terrific long-arm jabs. After the contest Gans said that the stomach blow that he gave Daly in the second round and the right-hand wallop on the jaw in the fifth made Daly so groggy that he knew he was facing a knockout, and wilfully violated the rules to save himself.

The Fight by Rounds.

The following account of the battle by rounds gives an excellent idea of how the blows were delivered.

First Round--Daly leads left and ineffectually swings right and clinched. Daly aims left and right, but Gans side-steps out of harm's way. They clinch and fight hard for each other's kidneys. Daly sends left to Gans' nose. There is fierce infighting, and Referee White had great difficulty in breaking them. Gans gets best of infighting and smashes Daly hard, long rights and lefts.

Second Round--The sparring opens easier. Gans lands left on face and has best of a short exchange. Gans lands hard right on body and stomach as they come to clinch. Daly leads and Gans blocks. Round closes with a clever exchange. No advantage.

Third Round.--Daly leads left and they make a clean break. Gans blocks left and right and they fight viciously with short jabs. Daly crosses left to jaw and Gans counters on wind. Daly slips forward and just misses getting a right uppercut that would have put him to sleep. They make rapid exchanges of long arm blows. Out of a mix Jack scores on nose, but Joe soon makes good with a wallop on body. At the end of round Gans shows the master and that he can handle Daly.

Fourth Round--Daly leads straight lefts; Gans blocks. Gans misses left straight; leads and lands hard right swing on face. Clinches follow. Daly follows Joe to ropes and lands right on body. Both punch hard in a clinch. Daly slaps right hard over Joe's kidneys as they clinch. Daly strong, but Gans shows to the good.

Fifth Round--Both come strong, and at once clinch. They clinch again, and White has trouble separating them. Daly whips left to kidneys. They collide and fight while hanging on ropes. Gans lands smashing right to jaw. They repeatedly clinch, and White fails to break them apart. White sends Daly to corner, and gives fight to Gans for Daly's holding and clinching. Gans wins.

Daly's seconds were Kid Howard, Billy Whistler and Scotty McIntire. Gans' seconds were Al Herford, Herman Miller and Harry Lyons.

The Two Preliminaries.

The first preliminary was between Joe Howard and George Leonard, colored lads. Howard won by outclassing his opponent. Herman Miller and Tom Wallace are running a serial-fight contest. Last night was their fifth attempt to smash each other into submission. After eight rounds Miller was given the decision. Miller is certainly a better boxer than Wallace at the present time, but Wallace keeps away from Miller's fists enough to keep alive. After the bout Wallace challenged Miller for a 20-round bout, and offered to bet $100 and put up a forfeit of $25. Miller now has affairs on with Wallace and "The Texas June Bug." Miller protests against the appellation "Highlandtown Duck," explaining that he is no longer a resident of Highlandtown, and that he is not a duck, but declaring his great desire to again jump on the "June Bug," just the same.

It was announced last night that the next contest would be between Tim Callahan, of Philadelphia, and Harry Lyons, February 28, at Germania Maennerchor Hall.


1901-02-14 Baltimore Morning Herald (Baltimore, MD) (page 4)
DALY DISQUALIFIED IN THE BOUT WITH GANS
--------
Wilmington Man Repeatedly Violated the Rules, Holding in the Clinches, and the Fight Was Given to the Baltimore Boy in the Fifth Round
--------
The Gans-Daly bout, scheduled for 20 rounds last night at the Music Hall, came to an untimely end in the fifth round, when Daly was disqualified for holding in the clinches after being repeatedly warned.

Up to that time the battle had been all Gans' way. At no time did the Wilmington lad have even a look-in, and when he resorted to foul tactics in the fifth he was virtually out of it. Another round would have finished him. The men were to fight under straight Queensberry rules, and were so instructed by the referee, Charley White, but Daly began to violate the rules from the start and the referee's patience was sorely tried all through the bout. Finally, in the fifth, the violation became so fragrant that there was nothing left for the referee but to order the men to their corners and give the battle to Gans.

The fight while it lasted was fast and furious enough to satisfy the most exacting critic. Jack Daly has the reputation of being a rough and aggressive fighter, and he fully lived up to it last night. He started out like a whirlwind, and attempted to carry the war into Africa from the word go. But he found in Gans a tough customer and soon realized that the colored lad could do a little rough fighting himself. After the first two rounds the steam was taken out of Mr. Daly, and instead of being the aggressor he had all he could do to stand Gans off.

The Baltimore champion showed up in fine form. He had all his marvelous skill in leading and blocking, and besides a fierceness and aggressiveness that have not generally been credited to him. Whenever he landed a blow it told, and he landed too often to suit Daly.

The first round opened with fast fighting. Daly began rushing tactics at once, but all his leads were cleverly blocked and in the end he was met with a succession of left hooks which staggered him. The men fought furiously throughout this round, and the referee had his hands full separating them in the clinches.

The second round was a repetition of the first for speed, and ended with Gans ripping a stiff right in Daly's wind.

In the third Daly began to back away from those sharp left hooks, and it began to be clearly apparent that the Wilmington man was outclassed.

The fourth round opened with aggressive tactics on Gans' part. He went right after his man, and at the close staggered him with a hard right on the jaw.

When the bell sounded for the fifth the men came together, and there was a season of fierce infighting in which Gans showed up like a past master. Daly was done for and kept holding in the clinches. The referee cautioned him and tore the men apart, but the Wilmington fighter paid no heed. He was holding on like a drowning man to a straw, and there was nothing to do but to disqualify him. The decision was an eminently just one, and Daly admitted after the fight that the referee was right.

Gans was seconded by Al Herford, Harry Lyons and Herman Miller. In Daly's corner were Kid Howard, Billy Whistler and "Scotty" McIntyre. Charlie White, of New York, refereed.

This was the fourth meeting of the men. In one bout Gans was given the decision, while the other two were draws. Tomorrow night Gans will go to Hartford and meet Jack Downey.

As a curtain raiser to the evening's entertainment Joe Howard and Geo. Leonard, two colored lads, boxed five rounds, Howard getting the decision.

Preliminary to the star bout Herman Miller and Tom Wallace met for eight rounds. The bout was a pretty one and pleased the spectators. Wallace started off well, but at the end Miller wore him down and was given the decision.

Wallace afterward made a public announcement that he would meet Miller and stop him in 20 rounds for a side bet of $100. Miller promptly called this bluff and deposited with the sporting editor of the Herald $25 as a forfeit to bind a match. This money will be up three days for Wallace to cover if he means business.


1901-02-14 The Sun (Baltimore, MD) (page 6)
GANS IN FIVE ROUNDS
--------
Referee White Stops Daly For Hitting In Clinches.
------
HE HAD NO CHANCE TO WIN
------
Many Believed He Would Have Been Knocked Out A Few Seconds Later On--The Preliminary.

There were nearly 1,000 persons in Music Hall last night to see Joseph Gans and Wilmington Jack Daly box a 25-round match. It lasted less than five rounds, Daly being disqualified by Referee Charles White, who had come from New York to officiate.

There was no dissent when the referee sent Daly to his corner and awarded the battle to Gans. The referee gave as the reasons for his decision Daly's continuous holding and hitting in clinches, despite numerous warnings.

The fifth round lasted 2 minutes and 5 seconds, and it was the general feeling that had the round gone the full 3 minutes' limit Gans would have stopped Daly, despite the latter's tactics. Daly did not object when the referee sent him to his corner, but two minutes later he objected to the decision which awarded the fight to Gans. Then Daly said Gans had been doing as much foul work as he had done. On the other hand, Gans said he had taken much of the fight out of Daly in the second round, by a punch upon the abdomen and early in the fifth round a stiff left on the jaw had put Daly at the mercy of the enemy. Daly knew this, said Gans, and showed good judgment in getting disqualified, instead of waiting for an inevitable knockout.

Baltimorean's Good Shape.

Gans was in good shape, but Daly did not appear to be trained for a contest that was to last over three rounds. At 3 P. M. the men weighed. Daly tipped the scale at 135 pounds, but Gans did not raise the beam. As soon as the weighing was over Daly remarked that he had only weighed 134½ pounds an hour before when he emerged from a Turkish bath. Then Daly was handed a pint bottle of something that looked like strong beef tea, which he drank. He dressed and started off with his trainers for a hotel, where it was said he slept until 9 P. M. Gans dressed leisurely and went out for a short walk.

Gans appeared confident of winning. He was much interested in his trip to Hartford, Conn. He said he would start for Hartford this morning with his manager, Al Herford, and would there tomorrow night box Jack Downey. There was nothing to prevent his leaving on an early train today, as he escaped any sort of hurt last night.

When Gans and Daly entered the ring last night Referee White called them to the center and explained the conditions of the fight. The guaranteed purse was $1,000. The winner was to get $750 and the loser $250. The men were to box 25 rounds; the boxing was to be under Marquis of Queensbury rules, but with clean breaks and no hitting in clinches.

Daly had "Kid" Howard, "Billy" Whistler and "English" Scotty in his corner. Gans had Al Herford, Herman Miller and Harry Lyons. Ernault Gebhart was official timer.

The battle by rounds was as follows:

Daly's Fierce Start.

Round 1. Daly started in fiercely and forced Gans to a clinch. It was the one clinch in the fight in which no hitting was done. They broke at command of the referee, but Daly was back at Gans like a flash, and a quick, fierce mix at short-arm work ensued. During part of this neither man had but one free arm.

The referee butted in and sent the men to their corners. he cautioned them about such work and again repeated the main conditions of the fight--that neither was to hit in clinches. They both verbally assented to the ruling, but had not faced each other for 10 seconds before a second mix ensued and rules were thrown to the winds and the referee was kept busy breaking the clinches.

Gans showed in this close work that his boxing away from home, where he has had to protect himself when hitting with a free arm was permitted, had made him clever at this work. Daly was aggressive, but he did no hurt.

Gans' Straight Blows.

Round 2. Gans tried left straight blows for Daly's jaw. Daly took several of these, but now and then succeeded in doing what few boxers had done--reach Gans' body good and hard. Gans shifted his tactics and Daly did the leading. This was Daly's error. Gans blocked him neatly, and, though Daly succeeded in landing three blows on the face and head, Gans, who had awaited his chance, shot his right into Daly's abdomen and the blow did much damage.

Round 3--Daly did not profit by his sad experience, but again started to lead for Gans' face. He landed lightly twice and thought he had a mark he could reach. He aimed a half swing for Gans' jaw. It was what Gans was waiting for; Gans moved about two inches, Daly missed. Gans was prepared to cross Daly, but when Daly missed he slipped to the floor. Gans had to change his blow from a straight counter to an uppercut. He did it, but not in time or the battle would have been over then and there.

Daly laughed, but Gans, while Daly was getting to his feet, struck one glove against the other and looked a picture of a man who had let a good thing slip by. Just before the end of the round Gans got in a good hard one on Daly's body.

Tried Finish Too Soon.

Round 4--Daly again started to lead, and after a second futile attempt Gans got a left on Daly's jaw that turned the Wilmingtonian's head toward home. Then Gans started in to finish matters, but Daly was right there and got in a couple of facers. They were not strong enough to do much damage, and Gans of all men knew it.

He went at Daly fast and strong, but the gong prevented his ending the matter, as he looked determined to.

But This Ended It.

Round 5--Gans started in to finish the work left undone in the fourth round. Daly went to a clinch and did some wrestling. Every time Gans led Daly went to a clinch and jabbed and hit whenever he could get a free hand. The referee showed much patience. Several times White forcibly broke the men apart. There was not much fight left in Daly, and his method of losing was one that an old ring general like he would naturally resort to.

Gans and Daly have fought four times. Gans had one decision before last night's. The other two were draws.

The Curtain-Raisers.

The first preliminary was between Jos. Howard and George Leonard, colored, featherweights. It was billed for five rounds, but Manager Herford stopped it in the middle of the fifth round, after Howard had knocked Leonard down, and he awarded the set-to to Howard. Neither was much hurt.

The second preliminary was between the old-time rivals, Herman Miller and Thos. Wallace. They had met three times previously. Twice there was no decision and once the decision was given to Miller.

In last night's 8-round set-to Miller had the battle well in hand from start to finish and at the end of the bout was awarded the decision.

Wallace then challenged Miller for a 20-round fight, and Miller posted $25 to find the match for a side bet of $100.
          Blade Mungkin Akan Sertai Mcu Tidak Lama Lagi   

Sebaik sahaja Marvel keluar dari muflis filem pertama yang dihasilkan dan diterbitkan adalah Blade pada tahun 1998 kemudian diikuti X Men dan Blade II pada tahun 2002 Blade adalah filem superhero pertama yang dihasilkan oleh Marvel Enterpri...
          Marvelous cunnilingus session (5:05)   
Marvelous cunnilingus sessionMarvelous cunnilingus sessionMarvelous cunnilingus sessionMarvelous cunnilingus sessionMarvelous cunnilingus sessionMarvelous cunnilingus sessionMarvelous cunnilingus sessionMarvelous cunnilingus sessionMarvelous cunnilingus sessionMarvelous cunnilingus session
          Rant: Mark Millar's Trouble   
There was a lot of hand-wringing and anger when Mark Millar's Trouble first came out a few years ago....some of it justified, mostly not. People were angry because: 

1. The covers featured photos, not the usual drawings, of girls that look like teen girls acting sexy. Although I understand the criticism the photos are less racy than any fashion magazine and, really, than the art in a lot of superhero comics. Plus I think they were going for the whole Gossip Girl crowd.



 

2. The story features teenagers in the early 1960's having (gasp!) sex! Sure, you can call this a bit exploitative but let's face. Teens have sex. Or at least a lot of them do. Plus if you bother to read to the ending you'll see their sexual activities end up having real consequences (pregnancy, hurt feelings, loss of opportunities in life) that they are left to deal with for the rest of their lives. 

3. I think the real reason comics fans reacted so strongly to this is because Millar made this a complicated love mixup romance between May, her friend Mary, Ben and his brother Richard. If those names are familiar to you it's because they are the same names as Peter Parker's (you know, Spider-man) parents and Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Essentially, May cheats on her boyfriend Ben and gets pregnant by Richard, who is Mary's girlfriend. For reasons not worth getting into here friend Mary decides to lie for May and take the child for her own. So not only does it portray Peter Parker's nice old aunt as being a tramp in her teenage years, it also sets her up as his real mother, which all pretty much smacks comic lore right in face. And there's no way to get the ire of the comic book world faster than to write a story that even suggests something different than the known canon of superhero lore. Honestly, I thought it was kind of funny. 

Don't get me wrong. This is not a great graphic novel/comic book series. It's an entertaining older teen romance story  and it reminds me of a lot of the half-baked romance/comedies I grew up with in the 80's like The Flamingo Kid, but it's nowhere near bad. If you want to hate a series, fanboys, get over yourselves and at least hate it for the right reasons.



Excelsior.

          Out Of The Woods - Episode 192 - Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast   

Episode 192 - It’s Diane’s turn for Taylor Talk Classic… Out of the Woods! In Episode 192, the hosts relive how they marveled at the masterpiece that is “Out of the Woods,” a song off Taylor’s album, 1989, co-written by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff. Taylor said this song is about the “fragility” of a relationship and tried to make the music match the frantic feeling of wondering if the relationship will end tomorrow or continue on. You know the hosts loved the song (now and forever), but what do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts. Happy listening!

 

Highlights from Episode 192 of Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast

Main Discussion: “Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff

– Jack Antonoff, co-writer, calls this song “one of the most important things I’ve ever been a part of.”

– What were your initial reactions when you heard the song? Diane’s was one word: WHOA

– We predict that Taylor Swift will single handedly revive the Polaroid brand.

– Is the chorus too repetitive? No. This is repetition with a purpose.

– We admire Taylor and Jack’s mastery of the English language. “Built to fall apart” is amaaaazing.

– What’s your favorite song lyric? Can you pick just one?

– We compare “Out of the Woods” to some of Taylor’s other songs. All Too Well 2.0 anyone?

– If Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift can create a song like this when they’re so young, imagine what else they have in store for us down the road.


          Clean - Episode 162 - Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast -- Swifties Are Also Listening To Imogen Heap   

Episode 162 -- Just because you’re clean don’t mean you can miss Taylor Talk! In Episode 62 of Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast, we discuss what Taylor Swift calls the most important song off her 1989 album, “Clean.” For Taylor, the song is about moving on passed a bad relationship, but you could also apply it to getting over any sort of tough situation. What do you think of the incredible imagery in “Clean”? We welcome your thoughts. Happy listening!

 
Highlights from Episode 162 of Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast
Main Discussion: “Clean” Song Analysis
– What is “Clean” about to you?
– We marvel at the imagery in nearly every single lyric in this song.
– It’s raining and she’s drowning, but she can finally breathe. What does this meeeean?
– What is the purpose of this song being the last song on 1989?
– Keep your fingers crossed that Taylor will perform “Clean” on tour!!
– We imagine what the music video for “Clean” could look like. 
Other Topics:
– That awkward moment when Taylor Swift sells more albums in her fifth week of 1989 than some artists ever sell.
– Don’t miss the 13 Days of Taylor deals at store.taylorswift.com!!
– You know you’re a Swifty when Sami gives you a lesson on how to sneak your headphones on in class. Hey, it’s a perfect (and secretive way) to listen to Taylor Swift!
– Swifties are listening to Imogen Heap, Taylor’s cowriter on “Clean.”
– This episode is dedicated to two very special pups, Hershey and Cooper.

          Out Of The Woods - Episode 155 - Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast --- Swifties are also listening to Strange Desire by Bleachers   

This episode is one day late from our normal schedule… are we Out of the Woods yet? I hope y’all forgive us, because this song is AMAZING! In Episode 155 of Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast, the hosts marvel at the masterpiece that is “Out of the Woods,” a song off Taylor’s upcoming album, 1989, co-written by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff. Taylor said this song is about the “fragility” of a relationship and tried to make the music match the frantic feeling of wondering if the relationship will end tomorrow or continue on. You know the hosts loved the song, but what did you think? Feel free to share your thoughts. Happy listening!


Highlights from Episode 155 of Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast
Main Discussion: “Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff
– Jack Antonoff, co-writer, calls this song “one of the most important things I’ve ever been a part of.”
– What were your initial reactions when you heard the song? Diane’s was one word: WHOA
– We predict that Taylor Swift will single handedly revive the Polaroid brand.
– Is the chorus too repetitive? No. This is repetition with a purpose.
– We admire Taylor and Jack’s mastery of the English language. “Built to fall apart” is amaaaazing.
– What’s your favorite song lyric? Can you pick just one?
– We compare “Out of the Woods” to some of Taylor’s other songs. All Too Well 2.0 anyone? Maybe... Maybe not.
– If Jack Antonoff and Taylor Swift can create a song like this when they’re so young, imagine what else they have in store for us down the road.

          SHAKE IT OFF - 1989 - SPECIAL EDITION - Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast - Episode 147   

Episode 147 -- SHAKE IT OFF - Taylor’s using album five to take us back to 1989! On August 18th, Taylor held a Yahoo LiveStream event to announce a new single, “Shake It Off,” her new album “1989 (available 10/27!), and a new music video!! Taylor’s live stream was a massive unload of a bunch of new, exciting information, and your hosts are SO excited to unpack it all! We give our initial thoughts about the theme of 1989, how we love that “Shake It Off” is a complete dance party, and we marvel at the music video. Feel free to share your thoughts about the direction Taylor’s taking her new music. Enjoy the show!Highlights from Episode 147 of Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast

Main Discussion – New Single “Shake It Off” And New Album 1989

- We should have know the polaroid pictures were a clue!

- Taylor was inspired by the late 1980s for her new album, a time period only Steve remembers.

- Want to meet Taylor Swift? Enter Swiftstakes (like sweepstakes, only “annoying”) for a chance to win concert tickets and meet and greets! Details to follow on taylorswift.com.

- Debate: “fake” vs. “bake.” What’s the verdict?

- The hosts conclude that “Shake It Off” is hella good.

- Swift fact: Taylor believes you can tell a lot about a person by how willing they are to dance. She even asked fans to dance with her in the “Shake It Off” music video!

- I don’t know about you, but the “Shake It Off” music video gave us SO many costume ideas for the 1989 Tour!!


          Stay Beautiful Song Analysis - Episode 144 - Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast -- Swifties are ALSO Listening To Mother and Father by The Broods   

Episode 144 - Hey, by the way… the newest episode of Taylor Talk is out!! In Episode 144 of Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast, we discuss one of the die-hard Swifties’ favorite songs: “Stay Beautiful.” Although this is a song Taylor wrote when she was in her teenage years, in light of a recent Instagram post, she still believes in the selfless of unrequited love. Be sure to share your thoughts on the song. Happy listening!

Highlights from Episode 144 of Taylor Talk: The Taylor Swift Podcast
Main Discussion – “Stay Beautiful” Song Analysis
- Taylor probably wrote this song about her fourth grade crush: Cory Robertson referenced in the Target commercial.
- We decipher how someone could possibly “smile like the radio.”
- Have you ever had such a huge crush on someone that you couldn’t talk to them? Adam says he hasn’t. I think he’s lying.
- We marvel at Taylor’s continued poignant admiration of unrequited love, most recently in an Instagram post.
- For some reason, Adam and Sami break into a short rendition of "Summer Lovin" from Grease.

Others Topics:
- Sami found her wings in New York City too!
- Fun fact: if you tell Taylor it’s your birthday in Central Park, she may buy you dinner!
- Taylor Swift is performing at the iHeartRadio Music Festival! We assume her newest single will be out before then :)
- You know you’re a Swifty when you pay your siblings to be quiet when you’re listening to Taylor Talk :’D
- Swifties are listening to “Mother & Father” by Broods.
- Please leave Taylor Talk a GOOD voicemail! A lot of them are creepy….


          Marvel Week+ (06-28-2017)   

Download Marvel Week+ (06-28-2017) with direct download links from HabeEvil.com,  Download the latest Marvel’s comics of the Week with direct download links. List of Included Comics:  All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy Annual #1 Amazing Spider-Man #29 Ben Reilly The Scarlet Spider #4 Black Panther #15 Cable #2 Deadpool Vs The Punisher #5 (of 5) Defenders […]

The post Marvel Week+ (06-28-2017) appeared first on HabeEvil.


          How do you earn the right to perform in Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue? Make a left at Magic Mountain    

Millions of people work in the entertainment industry. And of those folks, thousands of them make a living as actors. And of those thousands, hundreds of these performers are employed by theme parks. And of those hundreds of performers, only a couple of dozen actually work at Disneyland.

I bring this up because I want you to understand how long the odds were back in the late 1970s. When I initially set my sights on becoming a performer at that Anaheim theme park.

But wait ! The odds get longer still. I didn't want to be just a run-of-the-mill performer at Disneyland. I had my heart set on playing one specific role in one particular venue. A part that -- I should add -- had virtually no turn-over.

Back then, I wanted to be Wally Boag's understudy. I wanted to be the traveling salesman while Wally was otherwise engaged. I wanted to play Pecos Bill, spitting out those dried-lima-bean teeth, while Boag had split for parts unknown.

Mind you, it's not like I hadn't done any preparation for this role. At this point in my fledgling career, I had made dozens of trips to the Golden Horseshoe to watch Wally work. Marveling at the way that this veteran performer (who had literally performed some of these same gags tens of thousands of times) kept his traveling salesman & Pecos Bill routines feeling so fresh & new.

And what I learned from watching Boag ... I then applied to a character that I'd just been hired to play at Magic Mountain. One Prof. Samuel J. Spillikin, B.S., M.S., PhD. (“You know what B.S. Is? Well, M.S. is More of the Same, and PhD. is just Piled Higher & Deeper”).


 A young boy listens to Professor Spillikin's pitch at Magic Mountain

The Professor spent his days lurking around Spillikin Corners Crafts Village. Where he'd then try & convince the good folks who'd come out for the day to Magic Mountain to come buy a bottle of Grandma Spillikin's Herbal Cure & Indian Elixir.

The character of Prof. Samuel J. Spillikin? He was obviously a crook and a scoundrel. But a crook and a scoundrel with a very entertaining line of patter. Which is why I'd invariably draw a crowd as I launched into my Medicine Pitch.

And each day that I worked at Magic Mountain, I tried to improve my performance. Find additional ways to engage the crowd. All with an eye toward gaining the experience that I needed so that I could someday trod the boards at the Golden Horseshoe.

Now working at another theme park may seem like an odd way to win a headliner's role at Disneyland. But over the years, I have learned that the very best way to get a job at Disney is to already excel at the job before you apply. And in order to be able to fill in for Wally someday, I first had to become as strong a comic performer as possible.

That Medicine Pitch opens a lot of doors for me. I start picking up convention work and private parties. And since the whole act fits into one large traveling case, I can go just about anywhere.


 Bud Abbott (L) and Lou Costello (R) performing their
signature routine, "Who's on First?"

For example – Poppy's Star Restaurant. At that time, Poppy's was this new party place that had just opened in Canoga Park where the waiters, managers and kitchen staff are all musicians and variety performers. Working as a seater, I not only hone my "sales skills" with rowdy diners, I collaborate with many talented performers in a wide variety of formats. Partner Mitch Evans and I perform such classic variety turns as "Niagara Falls" and Abbott & Costello's "Who's on First?" Lou Costello's daughter Chris even praises our performance!

Alright ... It's 1979 and I've been pitching snake oil at Magic Mountain for 4 years when my sister happens to notice a small ad in Variety:

"Auditions for Golden Horseshoe Revue – Comics and Dancers needed for Disneyland's 25th Anniversary Celebration"

At last all my years of practice might now pay off.

The next time I'm at Disneyland, I sit in the Golden Horseshoe watching Wally and wonder what I should do for my audition. And I realize that the thing to do is my Medicine Pitch. That routine was different enough from Wally's traveling salesman bit to be reminiscent without seeming like a complete rip-off.

Wally's act always ends with his turn as Pecos Bill, in which he gets 'slugged' by the male singer and starts spitting out teeth. Dozens and dozens of teeth. It's a very funny bit, accomplished by using dried baby lima beans concealed in his cheek. On a whim, I catch one as it whizzes by me and put it in my pocket ... for luck.


 Photo courtesy of Davelandweb.com

On a December night in 1979, I check in at a backstage rehearsal hall in Anaheim for the cattle call auditions. About a hundred of the most beautiful women you can imagine are there in leotards and dance shoes to audition to be can-can dancers. After learning a dance routine, they all line up and -- one by one --jump into the air and come down on the floor in a full split. We comics just sit there, wincing noticeably.

At the auditor's table sit Wally Boag and Sonny Anderson, the then-head of Talent Booking for the Disney theme parks. When the dancers finish, they greet us funny guys warmly.

(Over the years I've attended dozens of auditions, and this is something I've always appreciated about Disney. Before they start seeing people, the folks in charge will welcome everyone and discuss candidly what they're looking for that day and what to expect at the audition. They answer questions and greet the folks they've seen before. Not every company does this, unfortunately. But it makes the whole experience that much less frustrating and frightening.)

Finally it's time to start seeing the comics. We all stay in that one room, so everyone will have an audience.

Everyone seems aware that Wally had been a mentor to Steve Martin, who was then at the very height of his fame as a stand-up comic. A few of the comics show up in Steve's trademark white suit with an arrow through the head and juggling balls and do his act. Some do one-liners or impressions. I begin to wonder if these guys have ever seen the Golden Horseshoe Revue.

I arrive in my traveling salesman rig with my medicine bag and bamboo cane. When my name is called, I start toward the front of the room. And as I pass the front table, I hear Sonny say to Wally “This is the kid I was telling you about.”

 
Photo courtesy of Davelandweb.com

That's what those four years at Magic Mountain had bought me. By building my reputation at that other theme park, I had not only prepared myself for Disney. I had prepared Disney to hire me.

Today's moral: Stay where you are and do good work. The way to get that dream job with Disney (or anywhere else) is to start doing your best work somewhere else. So that when opportunity knocks, you're really ready to answer the door.

I ace the audition, because I'm able to show them exactly what they're looking for. And at the point in my act where my cane slips and I 'accidentally' strike myself on the head, I shake it off and spit out that dried lima bean that I'd caught earlier at the show. Wally fell off his chair, laughing.

Three weeks later, a letter arrives from Disneyland talent booking. “We're sorry to inform you that we have nothing to offer you at this time. Thank you for auditioning.” Ah, well. I had my shot.

Three months pass. It's the morning of April 15th. Summer is approaching and -- resigned to another year at Magic Mountain -- I'm about to head north to search for an apartment in Valencia. But I never make it out the door.

At 10:30 a.m., I get a call from Mike Davis at Disneyland Talent Booking, inviting me to start training the next day for the comic's role in Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue. Supressing my glee, I tell Mike that I'm free.

The very next morning, I show up bright and early and giddy-as-hell at the Disneyland Administration Building. Where Mike welcomes me and ...

I'll tell you the rest of this story next week ...


Image courtesy of Ape Pen Publishing

Speaking of next week ... On March 29th, Ape Pen Publishing will be paying tribute to Wally Boag with "The Golden Horseshoe Dinner Show & Celebration." Which will be held at the Sheraton directly across from Disneyland. There are literally only a handful of tickets left for this event. Which will feature performances by Dana Daniels, Dick Harwick and many of the other entertainers that Mr. Boag has inspired over the years. Plus -- of course -- an appearance by the great man himself. So if you'd like to get in on the fun, you should fire off an e-mail off to themagicmakers@charter.net ASAP

As for Mr. Schneider ... He's still hard at work on his memoirs, "Themes, Dreams & Schemes: 40 Years Behind a Nametag." Which should hit store shelves by the late Fall / early winter of 2008.


          Nokia MWC schedules are out. Time for a new PureView Flagship ?!?   
  The time has come for the World’s biggest Mobile Manufacturers event to kick off. Nokia have scheduled a press conference on first day of MWC Feb 25 Monday, at 9:00 A.M . Last Year Nokia set a milestone in Smartphone Imaging with the marvel Nokia 808 PureView. Nokia redefined the smartphone imaging experience with the whooping 41MP Camera and […]
          My review of the movie Everest.   

Click here for movie trailer

I saw Everest last night at the local IMAX. Here is my take on the movie: We went with the 3D option and there were a few parts where that effect was used in fun ways, but all in all I think your money is better spent on the 2D version. 
First of all, the movie implied a greater number of climbers than actually existed on Everest during the 1996 season. 50 climbers attempted Everest that season, a number then considered dangerous and unsustainable. Krakauer's book should have scared climbers away, but instead ignited the imagination of adventure seekers world wide. 800 individuals attempted Everest in 2013, the year I climbed it.
The movie showed drinking and dancing going on at the camps. While that may have been the case then, I saw none of that when I was there. Today's Everest climber is a serious athlete who has trained hard for months and wouldn't think of giving away any physical advantage.
There were scenes where tired climbers struggled into camp 2 (21,000) and strapped on an oxygen mask. We didn't see bottled O's until camp 3 (23,600).
That said, the entire depiction of the route was spot on. No doubt much of the footage was genuine, but scenes up high would have to have been built out in a studio and/or incorporated computer generated imagery. I was stunned by the accuracy of the Tenzing and Hilary steps. Even the slope of accent at each leg of the route was genuine. Big kudos for that. If you see this movie you will quite accurately see what an Everest climber sees on the south side route.
The storyline is well known to readers of Into Thin Air. But the script seems to also consider the sometimes contradictory account of climber Anatoli Boukreev as told in his own book The Climb. I appreciated this aspect as it allowed for Boukreev's heroics ,which are well documented outside of Krakauer's book, and Krakauer's failings, which were omitted in his own account.
The acting is solid. Josh Brolin should take home some awards for his portrayal of Beck Weathers, the brash Texan who was three times left for dead. Jason Clark did justice to Rob Hall, Kiera Knightly was fantastic as ever, Emily Watson did a excellent job of handling some of the heaviest drama as Helen Wilton, and Elizabeth Debicki played a marvelous Dr. Caroline MacKenzie .
The musical score worked well with the varying levels of intensity, the script was true to the kind of dialogue you would hear in any climbing camp, and the parts where conjecture had to fill for lack of any survivors' account seemed fairly speculated.
Two thumbs up!




          It's the weekend and I'm going junking.   
by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

And so it's the weekend again (I don't know about you, but my weekends start on Friday morning). Mr. L and I have four garage sales we're going to check out today, but I thought I'd tell you about some of the stuff I've picked up since my last post about junking about a month ago.



This little sugar and creamer came from Goodwill and goes pretty well with a cup I'd found the week before.


When I first saw this cup, I wasn't sure it went with the saucer, it was so brown. It wasn't tea-stained, which is easy enough to clean with a little baking soda (or salt) and some elbow grease. The cup, inside and out was stained so badly that it was tan in color. I soaked it in straight bleach for two days to get it back to pristine. It will go into my catch-and-release program. I've been giving away teacups for a couple of years now. I like them to go to loving homes, and they've made a lot of my readers happy.  : )

And here we have a pile of mostly BAD movies. Okay, not terrible, but not watchable more than once. Return To Me ... oy. Not badly acted, but just a dumb story. (Man's wife dies, new girlfriend got her heart and she's too chicken to tell him.) I Am Sam ... eh, okay. Superior acting (top-notch cast), but uncomfortable subject matter. A Wrinkle in Time? Must have gone straight to video.  The marvelous Alfre Woodard was totally wasted in this flick.  I know I'll like Shrek the Third, so I'm saving that one. The Great Homes of Canandaigua (from our local PBS station) was boring. But the documentary they did on the history of Canandaigua was enjoyable to watch. Mr. L thought the Twilight Zone too dated to watch, but I might go through a few more episodes. Still haven't gone through the rest, but most are heading straight to the catch and release program (this time: a yard sale).


 I rescued these vintage pins that I will try to find a new home for. Aren't they pretty?  Women used to wear pins like these every day ... but I was told by a very good friend that "only old ladies wear pins." That's not true. My friend Lisa (younger than me) was a trend setter in high school and she wore pins like this all the time. This picture was taken before the pins were cleaned and they (especially the blue one) sparkle like crazy now.

And this is the best.  But don't let me just show you a picture, let me tell you in my own words about this beautiful teacup. (Uh, it's only my 4th video. I'm sure I'll get better at it.)




So, what do you think of my junking finds?
          Reminiscing    
This was written back in November.


Dear Grandma,

It seems like I am missing you more than usual this week. I keep wishing I could call you up and hear you ask how the babies are. I long to sit in your living room and watch your face light up as you marvel at the little ones. We could sit at your counter and share a lunch together or spend an afternoon out.  Last night we celebrated Alyssa’s and Bria’s birthday at Carolee’s. When Grandma Marsala arrived, Alyssa called out, “Hi Grandma!” My back was to her, so for a moment my heart leapt with excitement thinking that it was you. I knew you weren’t there (at least not that we could see), but I wanted you to be. I want to wrap my arms around you and embrace just one more time.

You would just love Ginny. She is such a sweet and happy baby. If her smiles were any bigger I think they would burst! Although she is only three and a half months, I can already sense she has a special mission to fulfill. Of course, I’m sure you already know this. Please watch over her when I can’t. Please keep praying for us. Pray that we can stay faithful. Pray that we will meet again. 

All my love,


Danina








          NYCC wrap up   
NYCC 2016 ended a few weeks ago and I had a couple prints debut there that are now available online for sale while supplies last. First up was a officially licensed screenprint for the show "Rick and Morty" with Bottleneck Gallery available HERE.



Also did a few more official Marvel screenprints, Punisher and Daredevil in both 1st appearance yellow and classic red costumes, that debuted at the con with Grey Matter Art available on their website HERE.





          Is he strong? Listen bud...   
He's got radioactive blood...

Here's a look at my officially licensed Marvel Amazing Spider-Man print I did for the cool cats over at Grey Matter Art available on their site HERE.

This was a lot of fun to work on, Spider-Man is easily one of my all time favorite superheroes. Growing up I loved watching reruns of the old 60's cartoon and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends from the 80's.  Spidey always had such a great supporting cast of characters and villains, it was tough to narrow it down to just the 24 that are featured on the print.


The Amazing Spider-Man
12" x 36" 6-color screenprint on Cougar Natural Paper
Limited edition of 250

© Marvel 2016

          New look and a new post   
Gave the ol' blog a fresh coat of paint and posting a buncha stuff I never got around to...


"Take me out to the ball game..."
NYCC 2015 exclusive • 12"x36" 6-color screenprint


"The Wind in the Willows" Book Cover Design
Rock Paper Books • Kickstarter campaign for artists reimagining classic book covers


"Le Chat Orange" • Garfield screenprint
Sold Via Bottleneck Gallery • 18"x24" 3-colors on French Banana Split Paper
Limited Edition of 100
© Paws All Rights Reserved


"The Frighteners" • screening at the Hollywood Theater in Pittsburgh, PA
Sold via Cinema 412 • 18" x 24" 3-color screenprint
proceeds benefited the Michael J. Fox Foundation



"Riley and Bing Bong's Sing Along"
Sold Via Cyclops Print Works • 10"x 20"  7-color screenprint on Stardream Crystal 285 gsm paper
Limited Edition of 250
© Disney/Pixar

 

"Meet our Crew... Leela"
Sold Via Dark Ink Art • 12" x 24" 4-color screenprint
Edition of 250
© 20th Century Fox

 

"Meet our Crew... Bender"
Sold Via Dark Ink Art • 12" x 24" 4-color screenprint
Edition of 250
© 20th Century Fox
 
  
"Archer"
Sold Via Dark Ink Art • 12" x 36" 6-color screenprint
Edition of 250
© 20th Century Fox


"Team Zissou Activity Sheet"
Sold Via Spoke Art Gallery • 12" x 18" 2-color screenprint
Edition of 50


"Merc with a Mouth - Since 1991"
Sold Via Grey Matter Art • 12" x 24" 4-color screenprint
Edition of 150
© Marvel


"Pulp Fiction"
Sold Via Upper Deck • 12" x 36" 6-color screenprint
Edition of 250
© Miramax


"The Descendents"
Sold Via Rockabilia • 12" x 24" 3-color screenprints
Edition of 77 on each colorway

          One sorcerer supreme pizza with a side of vengeance...   
These are two officially licensed Marvel screenprint editions I got to do with the fine folks over at Grey Matter Art, continuing my "superhero adjective + since year" series. First up is everyone's favorite neurosurgeon turned sorcerer Stephen Vincent Strange... AKA Doctor Strange available for sale HERE


12"x24" 4-color screenprint on natural paper
edition size: 225 • $45.00

Followed by the supernatural stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze... AKA Ghost Rider avaiable for sale HERE


12"x24" 4-color screenprint on natural paper
edition size: 225 • $45.00

© Marvel 2015

          You wouldn't like him when he's angry...   
HULK SMASH!!! Here's a look at my latest officially licensed Marvel prints being sold over at Acme Archives Dark Ink site. The regular in everyday green Hulk and a run of variants in classic first apperance Gray Hulk.



Incredible Since 1962
Size: 12"x24"
Medium: 4-color screenprint on Cougar Natural 100 Cover
Edition Size: 250 signed and numbered
Price: $50.00


Incredible Since 1962 (Gray Variant)
Size: 12"x24"
Medium: 4-color screenprint on Cougar Natural 100 Cover
Edition Size:  62 signed and numbered
Price: $50.00

© 2014 MARVEL

          A Yankee Doodle, do or die   
This is my latest official licensed Marvel print being sold through Acme Archives Dark Ink starting this Friday, April 4th @ 10:30 PDT, just in time for the release of the movie Captain America: the Winter Soldier which I am very excited to see.



Patriotic Since 1941
12"x24" 3-color Screenprint on Cougar Natural 100 C
Signed and Numbered Edition of 250
          Sexism in Comics   
I've been itching to write some sort of commentary on the recent explosion of discussion about women in comics, but it seems like a subject that needs a careful approach, so this essay has been a long time in the imagining.

To talk about "women in comics" is to cover the experiences of every woman who has ever worked in comics, not something that can be done easily or quickly. Any concise opinion can't possibly be adequate to the task of speaking for so many people at once. Experiences are unique to each individual and diverse by consequence, so when accusations of prejudice are made, there will always be people to disagree. The debate is often loud, and sometimes aggressive.

There's also a tendency for people involved to see their own experience as more than just a single snapshot. Social events like conventions and social networks like twitter enhance this effect by providing a huge sense of connection. When combined with the compelling idea that the comics industry is a small one in which "everyone knows everyone", it's easy to imagine that your experience, plus everything you hear and everyone you know ads up to a very complete picture. The more connected you are (or feel you are), the stronger this feeling will be. You know what things are like.

Argument from experience is a common form of debate, and it can be a powerful and persuasive one. Unfortunately it's also notoriously inaccurate because regardless of gender, we're all subject to some human biases that are hard to escape. Behavioural studies have shown that the majority of people are far more likely to believe a story they hear if it supports their own beliefs - something known as the confirmation bias. We also have a tendency to make close connections with people who are in similar situations to ourselves, meaning that we're more likely to encounter events and individuals that support our beliefs in the first place! This doesn't just effect beliefs, it also acts on social movement, including your career. It's the conservative force behind nepotism that if left unchecked tends to preserve any social divide it touches.

As with anything social, the whole picture can only be seen by stepping back, but how do we see the wood when the trees fight back? The thing to bear in mind is that no matter how loud and angry they are, experiences aren't the same as evidence. When one person says they've encountered restrictions or barriers, and another says that they haven't, it's not the same as one person declaring that rocks fall upwards whilst the other insists that they fall downwards. The industry can comfortably contain both people who have, and people who haven't experienced sexism.

So what are things really like? When one person says there are no women in comics, others leap in with a ready list and a reassuring word. We’re told that it’s not as bad as we think - DC, Marvel and other “mainstream publishers” (an odd phrase when you consider what’s mainstream outside of comics) may have a bit of a problem with female representation, but the rest of the industry doesn’t. Being honest, that’s what I tend to think as well – I imagine the gender balance on my own shelves, it seems about 50/50, and I’m reassured. However, a list or a mental tally isn’t enough for our purposes because there’s another human quirk involved here: most of us can’t handle statistics well at all! If we’re confronted by a list of 20 women in comics, we struggle to think of 20 men on the spot, and our limited data suggests an illusion of parity.

So, I decided to stop relying on rhetoric and actually count the creators on my shelves (which consist of my collection and Kate Brown’s combined), hoping they might offer a positive image of gender in comics. The results were 2% uncertain/ungendered, 26% female and 71% male! That’s a much bigger majority for men than I had expected from a collection that I’d imagined as gender neutral.

Not satisfied with the informal picture my shelves painted, I decided to collect some more numbers in town. We have two good comics collections in Oxford, one in Blackwells Art and Poster shop (that consists almost entirely of indie titles from across the board) and one in Waterstones (which has a large DC/Marvel shelf alongside a decent indie collection). The results from the indie section in Waterstones were 3% uncertain/ungendered, 9% female and 88% male. The results from Blackwells were 6% uncertain/ungendered, 16% female, 78% male. That’s an even less representative ratio than my personal collection! Not only are these percentages dominated by male creators, but I noticed while counting the Blackwells results that a large chunk of female representation came from SelfMadeHero’s Manga Shakespeare range (which they no longer commission) along with Nelson and Nobrow 6 (both of which are anthologies). If I discount those results the new percentages for Blackwells are 84% male, 11% female and 5% uncertain/ungendered!

This is not a good picture. I would have expected more diversity from publishers like SelfMadeHero, Top Shelf and Jonathan Cape that were very well represented in the stores I looked into. It’s also rather telling that I should find a higher percentage of women where the money and exposure involved were lower. SelfMadeHero especially surprised me in this respect. Their first titles, the manga Shakespeare range (one of which I drew) consisted of 6 female artists to 7 male, but since then their ratio has dropped to 20% women.
(EDIT: I originally reported the SelfMadeHero statistic to have plummeted to less than 10%, which turned out to be a figure skewed by limited data. Doug Wallace pointed out on twitter that "across the 67 titles published between Feb 2007 and July 2012, 30 involve a female author or illustrator". This prompted me to do a full count of their website, which showed (discounting Manga Shakespeare and their gift book range) a ratio of 85% men to 15% women, but with translators and foreign creators removed to keep the results representative of English speaking comics creators, that count went to 80% men and 20% women. It's interesting to note that the first count I did of titles actually on the shelf should be so much lower, although that may be a fluke.)

Following up on a suspicion, I dived into my giant pile of self-published comics collected at conventions over the years to find percentages of 47% male, 49% female and 4% ungendered/uncertain – an almost perfectly representational proportion. Are we seeing a picture of equal representation at grass roots, but mostly-male where the money and jobs are? These statistics suggest that the answer is yes, and although the data is limited I made sure to use a sample that, if anything, should provide a more representative image than a true survey might. Remember also that these figures ignore DC and marvel, who if included could have easily taken non-male representation to percentages lower than 10%. I encourage everyone to count their own shelves, along with the shelves of their local shops in order to improve this data!

(EDIT: It's worth noting that in order to make sure that the data reflects the market for western creators and the companies that employ them, I skipped over any translated manga in my count, and would encourage you to do the same if you count yours! The manga industry is a very different beast with its own quirks worthy of a post this long dedicated to its own gender issues and balances!)


So what does this mean? A quick tally makes it seem like there’s an imbalance in almost every sector of the industry except the amateur one. Are we knee-deep in a business that harbours terrible sexism?

As befits the recurring theme of this essay, I have a feeling that the first thing that someone might think of when they contemplate sexism is personal behaviour. We’ve seen a glass ceiling and we’re all wondering who holds it in place. Perhaps it's a man in a position of power refusing a woman a promotion. Perhaps it's male to female sexual harassment, or derogatory jokes about women. In most cases, it's very hard to think about a social phenomenon happening without thinking of an agent (a person or group of people) acting deliberately (with agency) against another person or group.

I believe this to be the reason that gender discussions can blow up so easily. It’s very hard to suggest sexism without being seen as making personal accusations. If you say that the comics industry is sexist as a whole, you're seen as saying that creators and fans across the board are individually sexist. If you say that DC or Marvel are sexist companies, you're seen as saying that their owners, editors and staff are all individually sexist. It's no wonder that people get up in arms about it, because it's a gender issue, and no one can escape being personally implicated in some way. “Sexist” has become a vicious insult and unfortunately it seems impossible to use it without wounding prides and egos.

I'm sure some people would say at this point, “let them be wounded!”, but I'd argue that there are larger issues and bigger truths being obscured by debates that quickly go ad-hominem.

Whilst personal examples of sexism in action are by no means insignificant, they're very much like symptoms of a larger social problem with a much greater reach. It's possible for an industry at large to be “sexist” (in the sense that it restricts access to women) without a single individual being deliberately aggressive or inconsiderate towards women.

In order to understand how this happens, it's important to first establish that when you study large groups of people in the modern, English speaking world, trends appear that separate women from men in occupation, behaviour, income, tastes and appearance. Just like the observation that flipping a coin produces 50% heads and 50% tails is no basis on which to say for sure what the next result will be, these statistical differences between men and women are by no means a sure method with which to predict the behaviour of an individual. There's nothing to stop a woman possessing “masculine” traits or vice versa. Instead, they're observations that form an unfortunate but unavoidable long-distance snapshot of modern life.

The argument as to whether behavioural gender differences are social in origin, genetic or both is fascinating and highly politically charged, but thankfully for the purposes of this blog entry, it's also academic. What matters for this discussion is that regardless of what we'd love to be the case, right here and now, the products you buy, the stories you enjoy and the stories you write are most likely (if not always) influenced by your gender.

So, where we might imagine sinister businessmen in board rooms enjoying a sexist joke whilst they reject perfectly good material coming from talented women, the reality is most likely well-meaning people trying to do their best whilst running companies with pre-established audiences. This is evidenced strongly by the comment that might well have been a major catalyst in this debate: Dan DiDio saying We’re just trying to hire the best people-, after a panel in which he received a question about female representation in DC titles.

This is in a way the perfect response with which to illustrate what's going on here. DC have an audience that they've built up over decades who have come to expect specific output from them. This audience has been attracted by material produced almost exclusively by male creators with particular ideas and a particular audience in mind. Consequently, this audience are also mostly male, and naturally expect more stories and art of the type that made them fans in the first place.  The fact that DC's output consists largely of franchises that have used the same characters and universes for decades only enhances this effect: a vicious cycle of creation, audience, and demand. Steering DC is analogous to steering a cruise-liner through financial icebergs: it would take consistently applied, unhesitating and risky pressure to change the make-up of a large audience on whom you rely, especially when you're fighting against the public perception of comics as superhero stories for adolescent boys! And the statistics I gathered earlier show that this isn’t just happening at DC and the superhero brigade, it’s happening across the board.

So when powerful people in the comics industry look for “the best”, they really do. Only it's not “the best” in an objective sense, it's the best for their personal tastes, and the best for their company, and for the reasons above they're unlikely to find that from women at the moment.

THIS is how a glass ceiling works – invisible and inescapable. This is sexism at its most powerful, not in the hands of an individual or group to whom it's easy to point a finger, but perpetuated by social momentum, financial conservatism, and that social impulse we all have to gather in groups of similar people. Everyone who buys, reads and creates comics unwittingly colludes in it, regardless of their gender or their predilections. From the editor who goes with that style they've always loved, to the man who decides to work for the company who pays them best, to the woman who decides that another career might be more lucrative. I'd wager that only a small fraction of the people involved in maintaining a male majority behave in a sexist manner on a personal level.

Unfortunately this means that pointing the finger has a slippery effect. When you examine individual events, most people seem to be polite and well meaning, or at the very worst speak before they think too hard.

Perhaps because of this it seems that many people, both women and men, wish they could make the women in comics debate disappear. It raises the hackles of men who feel accused, it makes women upon whom the spotlight is turned by merit of their sex instead of their work feel patronised, and it makes many people who dislike conflict uncomfortable. However, I believe that despite the raised voices and capslocked comments it tends to cause, the debate is absolutely central to the continued health and diversity of comics. We're talking about the involvement of half the world's population here after all! When we consider that almost every publisher in comics seem to have built themselves businesses that unwittingly exclude female creators, it's no wonder that comics struggle to attract a wider audience and gain recognition as a “worthy” storytelling medium!

In most industries, large companies have the most clout, but are the least mobile. This is obviously true for comics, but we're beginning to catch glimpses of an industry augmented by the increased availability of cheap printing, digital distribution and a direct creator-to-audience link facilitated by the internet. All of these things make for much more lucrative and mobile small business models, and hopefully as comics continue to expand their audience, there will be more consumers to support new publishers and creators. I think this is where we need to look in order to address gender parity in the future! DC and Marvel are in a way a statistical fluke – huge companies catering to every last scrap of a tiny niche – and clumsy to steer as they are, I don't think they can be relied upon to redress the gender balance.

There's no limit to what comics might create, to the stories that they might tell, but until we reach gender parity in both creators and audience, half that potential will remain unexplored. I call upon smaller publishers with more mobility, and new creators with their careers ahead of them to give all this serious consideration. If comics are to continue to grow, you’re the publishers and creators who will make that happen. You’re the people with the power for change.

This issue needs to be hammered hard, and hammered consistently, but with a hopeful message. One of the things that consistently makes change hard is the feeling that it’s futile. If creators walk away from the debate feeling hopeless, it only perpetuates the imbalance. Thankfully, the subtle mechanics of sexism work in our favour here. We’re not dealing with an industry of bigots who will only publish men. We’re not dealing with an industry in which there is an imbalance in the genders of new and hopeful creators. We can say “there is a problem” and “it doesn’t have to be a problem” in the same breath.

          THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROCK   
I have been in and around Gibraltar for 20 years so when the Gibraltar Tourist Board recently asked me would I like to go on a tour to see some sides of the Rock perhaps I wasn’t aware of, what was my reaction?


For the answer to that question you have to go 1,000 miles north to my native London. As a child I walked every part of the city, West End, Westminster – you name it, I went there. Yet if you speak to the average Londoner whilst they rattle off the names of all the historic sites and attractions, they will then look guilty and say: “actually I have never been to the Tower of London”. Hence my immediate response to the GTB’s kind offer was an enthusiastic yes!

There are numerous ways to arrive on the Rock but probably the three main groups who visit Gibraltar are: tourists from the Costa del Sol who come by coach on a day trip; residents or holidaymakers who come by car and those who fly in and stay at one of the Rock’s hotels.

If you ask the majority of them what did they see their answer will be the airport because you have to cross the runway to get in or out, Main Street plus Casemates Square, the Cathedrals, the Trafalgar Museum, many will have done the Rock tour and seen the various tunnels dating from the years of siege and World War II, been out in the bay to see the dolphins plus of course visited Gibraltar’s famous apes or rather macaques.

I have done all these things numerous times myself often in the company of visiting friends and family. I have also been round the back streets and harbours but I didn’t realise until Gail took me on the tour the numerous places I have missed or was simply not aware of.

Gail is a former Miss Gibraltar and also a very fine artist yet at heart she is a Gibraltarian with a great pride in her Rock; the fact she works for the tourist board is almost incidental. I have yet to meet a Gibraltarian who wasn’t an ambassador for the Rock. We drove around for nearly four hours so what I saw would fill a book rather than an article. Here I will list just some highlights.

Devil’s Tower Road is not the most glamorous place on the Rock. It is an industrial zone which is now being beautified which may mean that in years to come the cave behind the buildings will become more accessible. It was here in 1848 at Forbes’ Quay they discovered the ancient skull of a woman. Eight years later in Germany they discovered an identical skull from the same period. That is now universally known as Neanderthal man but the world should really be talking about Gibraltar woman.

A non-Gibraltarian would never think of Gibraltar as a beach destination. It is a giant rock with harbours and the odd patch of sand over by the Caleta Hotel. The reality is very different with a splendid Eastern Beach but many others hidden away. Actually they are simple to find – you ask the tourist office.

When you used to drive along the eastern side of the Rock you passed an engineering marvel. The catchments literally caught the rain and it ran down the huge corrugated sheets into reservoirs in the Rock. Now they have gone but what is left is even more extraordinary. Once when the Med was land locked it was a desert and the winds blew the sand against the Rock face. The result was a huge sand dune now many millions of years old but which remains intact and newly planted with native species. Incidentally the Rock of Gibraltar is Jurassic limestone dating back some 200 million years but what you see is inverted because in the seismic activity it was turned upside down before the Atlantic roared in and created the Mediterranean.

Everybody knows that Gibraltar is British having been ceded by Spain in perpetuity by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Prior to it being under Spanish rule it became part of the Muslim empire in the seventh century – its name Gibraltar coming from the Arabic Jebel Tarik – Tarik’s Rock. It was named after the Berber chief Tarik Ibn Zeyad who took if for the Moors. So logically there is British Colonial, Spanish and Moorish architecture to be seen. However apart from the Greeks, Visigoths, Phoenicians and Romans all passing through the modern day people of Gibraltar also come from Genoa, Malta, Portugal and numerous other places and that influence can be seen in the houses and buildings of the Rock, especially those in the myriad of side streets.

Queensway Quay has long been popular with tourists but there are now many other marinas in Gibraltar. Perhaps the pride of place goes to Ocean View with its stunning development of top of the market apartments which hide the harbour. Apart from a 24-hour casino it is packed with bars and restaurants on pontoons – some with live music. It is the first port of call for Gibraltarians on a Friday night. The weekend starts here.

I think for me the highlight of the visit was the new King’s Bastion Leisure Centre. The King’s Bastion is a key part of Gibraltar’s heritage because it was from here that the Spanish siege was finally defeated. So expect an old fort inside the thick stone walls of which are displays of its historic past. However in the centre is a totally new glass building with a bowling alley, cinemas, ice rink, gym, kids and adults disco, a restaurant, snack bar, pool tables, internet centre plus much more. Security is a top priority so Gibraltar’s youngsters (and young at heart) can relax and enjoy themselves in complete safety.

I have merely scratched the surface of the Rock here because there is much more to see and do. However whether you spend a day on the Rock or visit for longer please do contact the Gibraltar Tourist Board. Their main office is in Casemates Square but there are others at the border, cruise terminal, coach park and so on. If you don’t you’ll still see the Rock but you’ll miss out on so much of the Gibraltar experience. Like the ghost of the nun at the Governor’s official residence – The Convent. Ask the tourist office, they’ll tell you all about her tragic story.

Gibraltar Tourist Board

(The pictures of the Gibraltar aerial view and the King’s Bastion are the copyright of Gail Francis Tiron. To see more of her work visit her website at www.gailfrancistiron.com)



          4 reasons Chrysler should survive   
Your favorite Detroit ex-pat here, with a few reasons Chrysler should survive. I admit I’m a romantic “car guy” of sorts, one who has never owned a Chrysler product. Yet I’m affectionate toward the brand, and I hope and expect they will survive in some form. Here are four reasons why:










#1 - Vintage Styling
I will never forget visiting some family friends with my parents in the early 70s. Barely fitting in Uncle Ted's garage was Chrysler’s luxury standard, the Imperial. The breadth! The weight! I had never seen a push button transmission before. Uncle Ted gracefully maneuvered the long, wing-finned road yacht with its square steering wheel. That skipper's wheel was a physical marvel. It should not have worked. But it did.










#2 – the 1968 Dodge Charger
Muscle car defined. Deep. Throaty (with Hooker headers and Thrush mufflers). Square-edged like a man. One almost killed my cousin David, who was driving at the time. Dangerous. Wonderful.









#3 – the Dodge Ram pickup
I like the cowl. I like hood lines. Its sales followed the Ford and Chevy, but the Dodge Ram didn’t look like every other pickup. It looked classic when it was brand new.









#4 – the Dodge Viper
Ooh mama! Cute and fast, a real life “Lightning McQueen.” We saw Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway driving one around town when he was a car dealer. When the Viper came out, it hit the market like the Ford Pantera (at $10k in the early 70s). If you could have one, you grabbed it. It’s still sweet and fast.





Honorable mention: the Dodge Caravan / Chrysler Town & Country minivans.
Ugh. The minivan empowered countless American families, and may be single-handedly responsible for the growth of suburbia in the 1980s. The minivan may have also emasculated countless family dads who sacrificed horsepower and machismo for domestic duty.


Honorable mention: the PT Cruiser and Prowler
Again, number 3 of the Big 3 gets big time style points. Again, poor engineering and an inefficient engine (which typify too many Chrysler products) made it hard for otherwise cool rides to roll to the rescue for Chrysler.

Honorable mention: the Jeep
Thanks for saving the good-time, manly brand after American Motors went away. It was always a strong visual brand out here in the West, and it always exuded adventure. Driving is dangerous. Hitting the road is an adventure. At least the Jeep looks like it’s up to the task.

Today’s bankruptcy is not necessarily fatal for the new Chrysler-Fiat conglomerate. (I love the Fiat transmission box, by the way.) I hope the market continues to refine the brand, but keep those body engineers! They’ve got what makes American cars … American.














          Twitter Custom Cards: Cosa sono e come i Brand le utilizzano in comunicazione   
Ecco alcuni casi in cui le Custom Cards di Twitter sono state utilizzate dai Brand in modo efficace. Twitter ha introdotto le Custom Cards all’inizio del 2015, moduli integrati in Twitter versione Web e Mobile con i quali stimolare azioni ai nostri follower o ingaggiarne dei nuovi. Queste particolari Custom Cards si possono attivare solo con il supporto di Twitter, quindi se segui delle aziende che vogliono investire su Twitter in modo originale, queste funzionalità potrebbero fare al caso tuo. Vediamo insieme alcune tipologie di Card e casi di studio. 1. Poll Cards La Card Pool Custom permette di creare un sondaggio visivo, utilizzando delle fotografie come risposta da selezionare. Qui possiamo vedere il caso di @SkyTG24 che utilizza questa specifica Card per stimolare le persone a partecipare ad un sondaggio politico. Ogni immagine, una volta selezionata, genera un tweet automatico da pubblicare sul proprio account. Il tweet pubblicato aumenterà il gradimento del sondaggio per quella specifica scelta e stimolerà i propri follower a partecipare al sondaggio. Una modalità davvero più ingaggiante dal classico pool testuale su Twitter. 2. Flock To Unlock La Card Flock To Unlock permette di sbloccare un contenuto video dal numero di tweet ricevuto dagli utenti. Il canale Twitter @MarvelNewsIT è ...
          Indiana Jones 5 Release Pushes Back One Of Marvel’s Mystery 2020 Movies   
none
           Your next adventure: Heavenly island hopping trip    
Can’t decide where to go? There’s no need to pick just one holiday spot with one of these marvellous multi-island trips, such as exploring the vast Greek archipelago - the original home of island-hopping.
          Happy Holidays! A 2015 Holiday House Tour   
Just a few quick pics of this year’s Holiday fun! I hope you are having a marvelous Holiday and that your New Year is the best one yet!
          Chinese Coins – Singing Praises of the Song Dynasty – Cast Gold   

By Heritage Auctions - (Thanks to Moyun Niu, Heritage's Asian Art specialist, for much of the information)........   A marvelous cast gold ingot, will be offered Friday December 11th in Heritage's inaugural Hong Kong auction, cast in the form of the ubiquitous "cash" coins of China, and made during the early decades of the Song […]

The post Chinese Coins – Singing Praises of the Song Dynasty – Cast Gold appeared first on CoinWeek.


          BWW Review: Valley Youth Theatre Presents THE WIZARD OF OZ   

I can't be sure when Valley Youth Theatre's THE WIZARD OF OZ had me securely in its grips. It was either the uplifting choral rendition (voices of teen angels!) of Somewhere Over the Rainbow when I felt transported into the church of BoBB Cooper, the company's visionary artistic director. Or, it was when twenty-four adorable and energized 8-12 year old Munchkins commanded the stage. (Oh, for an encore by such darling acts as the Lollipop Guild (Quinn Heim, Cody Rooney, and Elliot Thompson) and the Lullaby League (Bali Bare, Vivian Nichols, and Molly Prefling)!

In any case, for the duration of the play, the audience and I reveled as Dorothy (Kendra Richards of full and lustrous voice) and her steadfast companions, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion (played with grand éclat by Jared Barbee, Asher Sheppard, and Steven Enriquez) skipped along the yellow brick road to the Emerald City.

VYT rightly boasts of 58 talented young actors in the current production of THE WIZARD OF OZ. Each one deserves a shoutout. For the moment, let me sing the praises for the following singular performances: Tiana Marks (Glinda), Alexis Harris (the Wicked Witch), Sam Brown (the Emerald City's gatekeeper), and Ethan Maxwell (the Wizard). Glory, what personality, definition of character, and stage presence they bring to their roles!

What makes the appearance of these young talents so distinctive and worthy of commendation is that, when they're on stage, finally alone in the limelight, they're performing like pros ~ a testament to Cooper's watchful guidance and instruction. There is no doubt in this reviewer's mind that among these thespians are some future stars who will join the ranks of VYT's distinguished alumni. (Take note, Emma Stone!)

There is glamor as well in this marvelous production. All the characters are bedecked in Karol Cooper's beautifully detailed and colorful costumes. The sets (provided by The Music and Theatre Company) are enchanting and ooh-inspiring, especially the evil witch's chamber and the vivid and very green entrance to the Emerald City. The orchestra, under the direction of Mark Fearey provides full, rich and balanced accompaniment to the on-stage action.

And this review would not be complete without acknowledging the performance of cute-as-a-button Rickie Marie Cooper as Toto. What staying power and discipline this 10-year old Yorkshire Terrier demonstrated!

VYT's production of THE WIZARD OF OZ opened on June 9th and runs through June 25th at the Herberger Theater Center's Center Stage. Here's a show perfectly suited for the entire family and guaranteed to fix a permanent smile on their faces.

Photo credit to Cliff Cesar


          BWW Review: Arizona Broadway Theatre Presents BEAUTY AND THE BEAST   

Happily ever after is a wondrous place to be ~ as fine a sensation as you'll feel when the last rose petal falls in Arizona Broadway Theatre's captivating and spirited production of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

The fairy tale romance of Belle and the Prince who is trapped in the body of a beast is all too well known to be repeated here. To wit, the musical on stage and on film is having a commercial heyday!

Nor is it necessary to remind you of its everlasting and universal theme, proclaimed in another classic song ~ that "the greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." True love requires reciprocity!

What I want to emphasize here is Clayton Phillips's astute directorial choice to let the story be told without the intrusion of overwhelming special effects.

Paul Black's sets look like they've been plucked out of the pages of an old story book, simple but elegant cutouts of village life and a daunting castle.

As big a venue as ABT is, the show radiates with intimacy and charm, thanks to standout performances by Jill-Christine Wiley as Belle and Tony Edgerton as Beast.

A marvelous supporting cast infuses the tale with gaiety and whimsy. TJ Nelson flexes his talent as well as his muscles as the narcissistic Gaston, the persistent pursuer of Belle's affection. Jon Gentry is grand as Maurice, Belle's eccentric father. As Beast's servants who have been turned into household objects, Ben Stasny (Lumière, a candelabra), Zachary Spiegel (Cogsworth, a clock, Melissa Jones (Babette, a feather duster), Gerri Weagraff (Mrs. Potts, a tea pot, and Corban Adams (Chip, a teacup) conspire to deliver a delicious dose of fantasy and fun to the castle drama.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will complete its run at ABT's home venue in Peoria on July 2nd after which it will be featured at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix from July 7th through the 16th.

Photo credit to ABT Marketing Department


          Comment on Hello world! by youth hostel accommodation   
Good day I am so glad I found your web site, I really found you by accident, while I was researching on Bing for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a marvelous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the fantastic job.
          Disney Artist Spotlight Campaign   

#<hashie::mash> A series of 30sec. "promo-stitials" I concieved, wrote, produced and directed that wrapped around a marathon of previously aired Star Wars Rebels episodes on Disney XD. The pieces focus on the artists who participated in "Project Legion"; a Walt Disney Company Corporate initiative (Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Feature Animation, Consumer Products & Television Animation) to create unique and unseen "takes" on the classic "Storm Trooper Helmet".


          Топ-10 кроссоверов в искусстве   

2016 год оказался очень урожайным на всевозможные противостояния. Некоторые развивались в пределах одной вселенной (Бэтмен против Супермена, Капитан Америка против Железного Человека), другие же затронули сразу несколько миров («Звонок» против «Проклятия», известный в нашем прокате как «Проклятие: Противостояние»). А тут еще и Marvel vs. Capcom 4, похоже, не за горами. Мы решили вспомнить в нашей очередной Десятке самые известные кроссоверы прошлых лет, а также рассказать о тех кроссоверах, которые нам представят в скором будущем.

10. Бешеный против Лютого

Бешеный против ЛютогоПоследнее место нашей Десятки является шуточным выбором. Серия «Бешеный против Лютого» Виктора Доценко и Федора Бутырского – классический образчик российских детективов в мягких обложках, которые в изобилии продают на вокзалах. Тем не менее, возможно, кому-то будет интересно узнать, что даже в этой сфере возникают иногда кроссоверы. Авторы серии «Бешеный против Лютого» свели в поединке двух борцов с преступностью, делающих словно бы одно дело – вот только один из них был внедрен в российскую мафию, тогда как другой разрушал ее «снаружи». Неудивительно, что однажды им пришлось столкнуться друг с другом… Ужасное чтение, но если больше нечем забить пару часов в электричке – почему нет?

9. Фредди против Джейсона

Топ-10 кроссоверов в искусствеВ далеком 2003 году кинематографистам хорроров (традиционно низкобюджетного и малопопулярного жанра) пришла в голову гениальная идея – столкнуть в схватке экранных маньяков Фредди Крюгера и Джейсона Вурхиза. В результате появился весьма динамичный слэшер, насыщенный рукопашными схватками (что весьма непривычно для жанра). При этом картина идеально укладывается и в мифологию «Кошмара на улице Вязов», и в мифологию «Пятницы, 13», задействуя характерные черты обоих титульных персонажей. «Основное блюдо» – схватки маньяков, выглядят как настоящее мясо, где два обозленных суперзлодея буквально кромсают друг друга на части. Фильм получился очень удачный, так что не удивительно, что он вскоре получил и новеллизацию, и даже комикс-сиквел – «Фредди против Джейсона против Эша», в который втянули также и Эша Уильямса из вселенной «Зловещих мертвецов». Если интересны качественные хорроры с морем трупов – что фильм, что комикс вас не разочаруют.

8. Чужой против Хищника

Топ-10 кроссоверов в искусствеВоистину легендарное противостояние, что примечательно, зародившееся не в кино и не в играх, а в комиксах: первая графическая история о битвах Чужих и Хищников появилась на свет в 1990 году. В комиксах битвы монстров вообще бушевали очень странные, часто затрагивая других героев, таких как терминатор, Бэтмен и Супермен. В литературе была целая серия книг, действие которых перенесло войну Чужих и Хищников в далекое будущее. В кино мы имеем два фильма (действие там уже происходит приблизительно в наши дни), а в играх – множество игр на разных платформах, опять-таки, с сеттингом будущего. И везде море крови и огромное количество трупов. Официально «Чужой против Хищника» – это фантастика, но на самом деле эти фантастические миры очень близки к хоррору. Если выделять темную фантастику как отдельный поджанр, то, пожалуй, наряду с Warhammer 40К и Dead Space сюда также попадет и «Чужой против Хищника».

7. «Звонок» против «Проклятия»

Топ-10 кроссоверов в искусствеИли «Проклятие: Противостояние» в нашем прокате. Уже третий подряд хоррор в нашем списке, на этот раз с ярким японским уклоном. Традиционные японские демоны в виде девочек с длинными волосами вступают в жестокую схватку друг с другом. Один из демонов привязан к проклятой видеокассете, второй – к проклятому дому. Экранизация противостояния Садако и Каяко появилась на свет в 2016 году. Фильм получился довольно слабым, тем не менее, драка двух демонов имеет место быть, и уж хотя бы ради нее одной посмотреть «Проклятие: Противостояние» все-таки стоит.

6. Шерлок Холмс против…

Топ-10 кроссоверов в искусствеНаверное, самые необычные кроссоверы в жанре адвенчур – игры «Шерлок Холмс против Арсена Люпена» и «Шерлок Холмс против Джека Потрошителя». В первой игре Холмсу противостоит знаменитый французский джентльмен-грабитель, во второй – страшный маньяк-убийца, терроризировавший Лондон в конце XIX века. Обе игры являются довольно неплохими квестами, но гораздо интереснее, что у обоих проектов есть свои литературные прототипы. Роман Мориса Леблана на русском языке представлен как «Арсен Люпен против Херлока Шолмса» (возможно, имя знаменитого детектива было изменено для того, чтобы не очищать авторские права на персонажа), на русский переведена и книга Эллери Квина «Шерлок Холмс против Джека Потрошителя». Оба романа – очень увлекательные детективы, однако с играми их сюжеты роднят только названия.

5. Годзилла против Кинг Конга

Топ-10 кроссоверов в искусствеНа этот раз мы имеем дело с целым японским сериалом о кайдзю – огромных мифических существах, устраивающих друг с другом битвы на землях Страны восходящего солнца. Годзилла сражалась с огромным количеством монстров, среди которых были и радиоактивные мутанты, и пришельцы из космоса, и механические творения человеческих рук. Однако один из главных поединков Годзиллы – схватка с Кинг Конгом, знаменитой огромной гориллой с далекого острова. Если вы хотите увидеть их схватку в оригинале, то непременно посмотрите фильм «Кинг Конг против Годзиллы», который вышел на экраны в 1962 году. Другой вариант – дождаться 2020 года, когда состоится релиз картины «Годзилла против Кинг Конга». Но так или иначе, можно не сомневаться: если вы любите картины об огромных монстрах, обожающих избивать друг друга, оба фильма вам пропускать не рекомендуется.

4. Namco x Capcom

Топ-10 кроссоверов в искусствеНе стоит удивляться, что первые три места в нашей Десятке будут отведены файтингам – как-никак сам по себе жанр такой, что сам Бог велел делать кроссоверы. Однако сейчас мы представляем вашему вниманию полноценную тактическую RPG от двух компаний, специализирующихся на файтингах. Namco x Capcom для PlayStation 2 открыла сериал Project X, включающий множество игр-кроссоверов. Известным мирам снова угрожает опасность, и два новых персонажа, придуманных специально для этой игры, отправляются в далекое путешествие, в котором они повстречают множество героев вселенных Namco и Capcom.

3. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Топ-10 кроссоверов в искусствеПервый опыт кроссовера серии Mortal Kombat с полностью новой вселенной. Трехмерный файтинг, в котором персонажи «Смертельной битвы» выходят на бой с воинами вселенной DC. Схваток много, привычной жестокости нет, зато радует множество дополнительных персонажей, позаимствованных из популярнейшего мира комиксов. В дальнейшем разработчики Mortal Kombat стали все чаще добавлять в свои игры персонажей других вселенных.

2. Super Smash Bros.

Топ-10 кроссоверов в искусствеОчень известная серия файтингов, в которой отношения друг с другом выясняют персонажи игр компании Nintendo. Где еще вы сможете увидеть, как Марио сражается с Линком из «Зельды», а Луиджи вовсю лупит Самус Аран? К тому же файтинг сам по себе очень простой и веселый: маленькие персонажи прыгают по различным платформам, удары сопровождаются красочными спецэффектами, а на уровне присутствует огромное количество героев.

1. Marvel vs. Capcom

Топ-10 кроссоверов в искусствеНа первом месте – игра, которая по праву считается одним из самых популярных кроссоверов в мире. Серия Marvel vs. Capcom уже насчитывает три полноценных, очень красочных проекта. Обе вселенные просто огромные, потому недостатков в бойцах не наблюдается: можно увидеть всевозможных супергероев и суперзлодеев из комиксов, а также персонажей Devil May Cry, Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Darkstalkers и многих других популярных игр. Вполне возможно, сейчас в разработке находится Marvel vs. Capcom 4 – вполне логичный шаг после релиза Street Fighter 5.

Samael

№205
          Nasi Ayam Periuk Besar   
Nasi Ayam Periuk Besar BKE

Over the weekend, we went out for lunch with good friends Shahid & Aini. We decided to drive down in search of good food in Kulim area.

After driving around for some time, with some shops closed and 'missing' we've discovered one of the new branches of Nasi Ayam Periuk Besar (Large Pot Chicken Rice). This restaurant has carved its name in the northern region, regarded as one of the best Chicken Rice. Well read on for the verdict!


Chicken rice Shop


The shop is largely visible from the highway exit, and very accesible. This is a branch to the original restaurant. The original restaurant usually runs out of food after lunch time. We were lucky here as even though we got there after 3pm, though they ran out of the chicken rice they were in process of cooking more food. We were told we would have to wait for a while to enjoy the chicken rice.




Mee Kari (Curry Mi)


So we decided to try the Curry Mee (Mi Kari) first, since we were really hungry. And the mee curry was delicious. Really nice! The curry was flavourful and noodles tasty. So for those non nasi ayam fans, going with their friends to this place do have other options.


Proof of how tasty the curry mee was? Just look below...



Finished Curry Mee


And finally the Chicken Rice arrived! And was the wait worth it? YES definitely. There are many attributes that make this one of the best chicken rice.


Firstly is the chicken itself, it is nicely flavored. The rice is not just plain rice (though you can choose to have plain white rice). The yellow coloured rice goes superb with the chicken. And the final touch to perfection? It was the sauce. You have a few choices of sauce, try all of them.




Getting there. Take the Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (BKE), heading towards Kulim if you are from Penang, and exit at Lunas. the building should be visible. Click here for the google map. They actually have quite a number of branches


Final verdict? Really tasty, good and moneys worth.


ps - As this place is located in Kulim, expect flies as Kulim has alot of chicken farms and thus flies. The place itself was rather clean.


          Best Cases for the OnePlus 5 (So Far ...)   
Keep your OnePlus 5 protected with a case! After months of hype, the OnePlus 5 is finally here! Whether you're waiting for your new phone to arrive in the mail or you've got it in your hand, we're sure you're marveling at it's gorgeous, all-metal design. If you're hoping to keep your OnePlus 5 in immaculate condition, your best bet is a quality case. At launch, OnePlus itself actually offers the best cases available, but we've rounded up a few cheaper options from Amazon. We'll be sure to keep this list updated as more cases become available OnePlus protective cases Assuming you bought your phone through the OnePlus website, you would have seen some of what it has to offer for OnePlus 5. As expected, you can buy some pretty cool style swap covers, which are essentially shell cases designed by OnePlus which are available in Sandstone, Ebony Wood, Carbon Fiber, and Rosewood finishes. The are super slim cases that add little bulk to your phone, offering just enough around back to...
           Mother's Day as a Celebration for Peace   
I did as most people in the U.S. did, that is celebrate Mother's Day with my mother.  I traveled to my mother's home, brought her flowers and took her to dinner. Every time I visit with her, I learn something new about who she is, what she wants, and what she sees as her life moving forward. Though my father died last December, she is still a vibrant woman who loves life. At age 82 she still has that openness and agility to accept whatever life may bring her way. I must admit I admire that immensely.

Mothers Day as we know it today was founded in 1908 by Anna Jarvis who wished to commemorate the memory of her mother through small rituals performed in church and in towns. She later wanted to expand it across the U.S. What propelled the celebration forward was getting the financial backing of John Wanamaker, a wealthy Philadelphia department store owner. It took years of campaigning, until 1914 when Presidentt Woodrow Wilson finally signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Soon after Wilson's signing, commercialization of the holiday became the norm and, in later life, Anna Jarvis tried to get the day removed from the calendar because it had morphed into such commercialization that she no longer believed it served the purpose she had conceived.

Julia Ward Howe

However, I would like to talk about an earlier idea for the celebration which was initiated in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe, an abolitionist and suffragette. Her idea for an official celebration of Mother's Day in the U.S. was not as a day for exchanging cards, going out to dinner, or sending flowers--not even as a day of memory for mothers. But rather it was a day asking all women to exercise their moral and political responsibility and stand up for peace. She exhorted them to use their minds and will to find a way to stop war by convening an international congress of women to actively look for ways to bring peace.

Howe, also a poet, was the author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic used in The Civil War. She was devastated by all the death and destruction of the war and wrote a passionate appeal to women, popularly called the Mother's Day Proclamation.  She requested that June 2nd be the designated day of the international congress of women. Unfortunately, this day was celebrated most in Boston each year and did not ever have a chance to become an official holiday. As you can imagine, in 1870 women were still not allowed to vote and held little power. Yet, I marvel at her belief and consistent activism in trying to make a difference.

In reading her proclamation I can hear her voice bemoaning the carnage of war, and her belief that women had both the political and moral responsibility to stand up and find a way to stop it.


Here are her words:

Again, in the sight of the Christian world, have the skill and power of two great nations exhausted themselves in mutual murder. Again have the sacred questions of international justice been committed to the fatal mediation of military weapons. In this day of progress, in this century of light, the ambition of rulers has been allowed to barter the dear interests of domestic life for the bloody exchanges of the battle field. Thus men have done. Thus men will do. But women need no longer be made a party to proceedings which fill the globe with grief and horror. Despite the assumptions of physical force, the mother has a sacred and commanding word to say to the sons who owe their life to her suffering. That word should now be heard, and answered to as never before.

Arise, then, Christian women of this day ! Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears ! Say firmly : We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country, to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says: Disarm, disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence vindicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of council.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, man as the brother of man, each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient, and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace. 

—Julia Ward Howe
 Julia Ward Howe (September 1870), "Appeal to womanhood throughout the world.", An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera (Library of Congress)


Today many women still celebrate Mother's Day with a march for peace. As we continue to live in separateness from one another--to not understand or even try to understand other races, cultures, belief systems, then I fear we will continue to support violence.

I believe that woman around the world have more reason than ever to make a difference and have the unique ability to do so. I do pray that one day we do find a way to stop war.



          Georgia on their minds: Hollywood speaks out against anti-gay bill   
Disney and Marvel were the first major entertainment companies to speak out against Georgia's recently passed anti-LGBT legislation. Viacom followed. Time Warner, 21st Century Fox, Lionsgate, Starz and Comcast quickly did as well. Apple, Twitter and Turner are among those joining the protest. The list is growing.
          Keeping the Faith (or Not)   

I think most families, especially large ones, have histories that are far more legend than factual.  Kernels of truth - sometimes as little as coincidence of surnames on the old family tree, or some ancestor having lived in the same locale as a celebrated figure - grow into luxurious vines of mythology: "We're related!"  "Great Grandfather knew him!"  Added to this tendency, I think, is the practice of parents or older relatives to sanitize or simplify complex situations into tales fit for young ears.  

It was an object of faith in my family - and still is among some of my cousins on the Warren side (my mother's family), especially the Protestant ones - that "Grandma was kicked out of her strict Catholic Irish family for marrying a Protestant."  This, too, was what I had believed - until in her later years, when I think she sensed she was sinking into the dementia which finally overcame her memory entirely, Mom told me what I assume is a more accurate version of events.  The Catholic/Protestant version of my mother's story paired nicely with a reverse story from my father's side whereby my Uncle Henry's wife was disowned by her strict Lutheran family when she married my Catholic Irish uncle (I wouldn't be surprised if the Irish aspect was worse than the Catholic one) and, when this Aunt Laura died giving birth to her second child, "they didn't even come to her funeral."  This second story seems, also to be less than accurate.  For instance, it turns out that that child and Laura are buried in her (Laura's) family plot.  Incidentally, the child of this birth was named Hedwig and died eleven days after her mother, no doubt having realized what a handicap growing up with the name 'Hedwig' would prove to be.  

The story of my grandmother being disowned was true, and it apparently was also true that her picture was cut from her family's photographs, since we learned the latter detail from cousins who discovered our kinship when a cousin of mine and her employer noticed that they had similar names in their ancestry.  "We always wondered what she had done," they told my mother, when they finally met.  However, as my mother later explained, my grandmother Elsie met my Protestant grandfather Ephraim after she had already left home.  The new story has some suspicious details, which I will point out but, I think, it is substantially accurate.  

Elsie had graduated high school and had taken a job at a local hospital, which she evidently enjoyed very much.  She still lived at home and, I gather, was either the eldest daughter of the family or else she was the oldest girl still living at home when her mother died.  Not too long after she began working, her mother passed away.  Since the family was a strict Catholic Irish family, there was, of course, a passel of kids younger than Elsie who were still in school and in need of a parent substitute devoted to the domestic chores involved in raising children around in the first decade of the 1900's.  My great grandfather, who by all accounts was a son of a bitch, was not about to take over these duties, nor to pay someone else to do it (I gather the family was comfortably off, though not wealthy).  The suspicious details (because they sound a tad melodramatic) of what followed are these:  it was just before Christmas, gifts were already wrapped and the names of the recipients were attached.  Great-grandfather removed Elsie's name from her gifts and readdressed them to her younger sisters.  He then led her to her late mother's closet and told her she was to quit her job and that henceforth these would be her clothes, and that she was to stay home taking over the duties of keeping house for the family and of raising her younger siblings.  

By all accounts, Elsie was a girl who, though an extremely strict parent later to her own daughters, loved a joke and loved a good time.  By this I don't mean to imply she was in any way loose, but just that she was not ready to give up her independence and probable future happiness to become a domestic slave.  She had vacationed the previous summer with a cousin in Geneva, NY and had had a marvelous time there.  Upon being faced with a dreary future at home, she packed her bag and as soon as she got the chance, left home and fled to the cousin, who took her in.  With a single exception, she never saw any of her family again; her siblings were forbidden to mention her name and her face was cut from all the family photos.  The one sister she did see again was Great-Aunt Daisy who, after she grew to adulthood, tracked Elsie down and re-established a relationship with her.  My mother remembers Aunt Daisy's visits as great treats; Daisy always came to visit laden with gifts for the children.  By leaving home and later marrying my grandfather, Elsie Warren left the middle class and became firmly embedded in the working class, in which every one of her daughters remained and among which which they chose their spouses.  

Not too long after she left home, Elsie met Grandpa Ephraim at some social affair - a village dance or festival of some sort - and in short order the two wed.  Grandfather was from an Appalachain mountain family that was spread along the New York Southern Tier and the Pennsylvania Northern Tier and, believe me, even today that is country.  At some point in his youth, Ephraim lived in Elmira, NY and family legend has it that he was "friends with Sam Clemens", who is, of course, better known as Mark Twain.  I doubt they were friends, (there would have been quite an age difference) but he may have known Clemens, in passing, as a fellow Elmiran.  Perhaps more likely, he just knew Clemens by reputation as his city's most famed inhabitant at the time.  Or possibly they weren't even there at exactly the same time, merely about the same time.  However, I do recall that I once mentioned "Mark Twain" and Grandpa (who didn't like me a whole lot anyway), frowned and thundered, "His name is Sam Clemens!"

I suspect the basic truth about Elsie is that she was a rebel from an early age.  She was probably a bit of a 'handful', and I wouldn't be at all surprised if her father disliked her a bit.   These legends of people being cast off for marrying outside the faith may be technically true as to the specific timing of the family decree that they be removed from the family, but my guess is that more often than not, if the religion is not one of those few cults that practice shunning, the marriage is the only last in a long line of small rebellions against the parental strictures.  The child who is thus cast off naturally feels that he or she is on the right side of the equation and is likely to pass on to the following generations a tale told from her point of view.  The parent depicted as overly strict probably would, in turn, describe the child as overly wild or naughty or willful.

I knew Grandpa Ephraim Warren (my only grandparent who had not died before I was born), and as I say, he didn't care for me too much.  As a man who had brought up eight daughters, the younger ones of whom he had to raise without Elsie's help, Grandpa wasn't terribly fond of boys in general.  Elsie died at 49 from complications from epilepsy, just months after Mom's high school graduation; Mom's two youngest sisters either did not recall their mother at all, or had only one or two vague memories.  My mother was raised very strictly, and she herself was not at all a rebel, although a couple of her sisters were somewhat more rebellious against the family norms than she.  Mom and her sisters grew up in a series of small country towns; Grandpa worked in the lumber trade, which required him to move occasionally.  In addition to those requisite moves, Elsie had some variety of wanderlust which caused her to change houses every couple of years even if Grandpa's work did not require a move.  Elsie never returned to the Catholic church, but she made sure her daughters attended whichever Protestant church was nearby.  

My mother so hated moving about that she made owning their own home from the start a condition of marriage to my father, and he and she chose and purchased a house in the city before they married.   Mom always wanted to be a "city girl" and she absolutely hated being a stand-out in any way.  She was the farthest thing from a rebel, yet fate conspired against her.   She became a Catholic, the only one of her sisters to do so, although no less than four of the others married Catholics.  She grew up thinking boys were somehow nasty, and those of her sisters who had children before she did dutifully had only daughters.  Mom broke the family tradition by having me, and then compounded her apostasy by having seven more boys.  And the whole City Girl thing went by the wayside when my Dad's brother Bernard developed a heart condition that rendered him unable to continue working on the family farm which he had inherited.  When I was three, Dad swapped the house in the city, which contained a rental flat upstairs, for the family farm and thus Mom became a farmer's wife as well as mother of eight boys (and of my only sister, Lucy), for neither of which activities she'd had any practical preparation.  "No one will ever know how often I was faking it," she confessed to me a few years ago.   It was strange to hear, since I always remember her as a serene presence, and as calmly expert in any matter that arose.  And you better believe, with nine children and a bipolar, alcoholic husband, plenty of unusual matters did arise.  

I have been thinking about the unreliability of so much of what I "know" lately, as I find out more and more things I was sure were true are actually highly doubtful.  There is so little we actually know about the past; we often find that even the events we witnessed are remembered differently by others who were also present.  Although I really try to be truthful when telling about my past or my family's history, the fact is that much of the nuance, at least, could be better labelled, "my story" than "my history".   It really is true that the older one gets, the less one knows.  Or at least there is so much less about which one can be certain.  It gives me quite a different perspective on history, which, besides being written by the winners, is even more likely written in service of mythologizing and bowdlerizing the past to fit the tellers' prejudices.    

Put another way, there is so little of what actually happened that matters to any individual life.  What one believes is true is the sole determinant of the impact of the past upon one's life.  

Yikes! we are even more rudderless than I thought!

          Good alternative comics suggestions?   
Let's say I want to read some comic books... Like Warren Ellis style comic books or the walking dead or Alan Moore (I'll take suggestions for good Ellis and Moore books as well). In other words the stranger ones, not Marvel and DC so much, but also not I was a teenage indie rock moper, sci-fi and horror mostly. More like graphic novels, new and strange and good. Can you all make some suggestions? Thanks.
          Mixed-signal and Low-power Demo -- Cadence Booth at DAC   

DAC is right around the corner! On the demo floor at Cadence® Booth #2214, we will demonstrate how to use the Cadence mixed-signal and low-power solution to design, verify, and implement a microcontroller-based mixed-signal design. The demo design architecture is very similar to practical designs of many applications like power management ICs, automotive controllers, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Cadene tools demonstrated in this design include Virtuoso® Schematic Editor, Virtuoso Analog Design Environment, Virtuoso AMS Designer, Virtuoso Schematic Model Generator, Virtuoso Power Intent Assistant, Incisive® Enterprise Simulator with DMS option, Virtuoso Digital Implementation, Virtuoso Layout Suite, Encounter® RTL Compiler, Encounter Test, and Conformal Low Power. An extended version of this demo will also be shown at the ARM® Connected Community Pavilion Booth #921.

For additional highlights on Cadence mixed-signal and low-power solutions, stop by our booth for:

  • The popular book, Mixed-signal Methodology Guide, which will be on sale during DAC week!
  • A sneak preview of the eBook version of the Mixed-signal Methodology Guide
  • Customer presentations at the Cadence DAC Theater
    • 9am, Tuesday, June 4  ARM  Low-Power Verification of A15 Hard Macro Using CLP 
    • 10:30am, Tuesday, June 4  Silicon Labs  Power Mode Verification in Mixed-Signal Chip
    • 12:00pm, Tuesday, June 4  IBM  An Interoperable Flow with Unified OA and QRC Technology Files
    • 9am, Wednesday, June 5  Marvell  Low-Power Verification Using CLP
    • 4pm, Wednesday, June 5  Texas Instruments  An Inter-Operable Flow with Unified OA and QRC Technology Files
  • Partner presentations at the Cadence DAC Theater
    • 10am, Monday, June 3  X-Fab  Rapid Adoption of Advanced Cadence Design Flows Using X-FAB's AMS Reference Kit
    • 3:30pm, Monday, June 3  TSMC TSMC Custom Reference Flow for 20nm -  Cadence Track
    • 9:30am,Tuesday, June 4  TowerJazz   Substrate Noise Isolation Extraction/Model Using Cadence Analog Flow
    • 12:30pm, Wednesday, June 5  GLOBALFOUNDRIES  20nm/14nm Analog/Mixed-signal Flow
    • 2:30pm, Wednesday, June 5  ARM  Cortex®-M0 and Cortex-M0+: Tiny, Easy, and Energy-efficient Processors for Mixed-signal Applications
  • Technology sessions at suites
    • 10am, Monday, June 3    Low-power Verification of Mixed-signal Designs
    • 2pm, Monday, June 3      Advanced Implementation Techniques for Mixed-signal Designs
    • 2pm, Monday, June 3      LP Simulation: Are You Really Done?
    • 4pm, Monday, June 3      Power Format Update: Latest on CPF and IEEE 1801  
    • 11am, Wednesday, June 5   Mixed-signal Verification
    • 11am, Wednesday, June 5   LP Simulation: Are You Really Done?
    • 4pm, Wednesday, June 5   Successful RTL-to-GDSII Low-Power Design (FULL)
    • 5pm, Wednesday, June 5   Custom/AMS Design at Advanced Nodes

We will also have three presentations at the Si2 booth (#1427):

  • 10:30am, Monday, June 3   An Interoperable Implementation Solution for Mixed-signal Design
  • 11:30am, Tuesday, June 4   Low-power Verification for Mixed-signal Designs Using CPF
  • 10:30am, Wednesday, June 5   System-level Low-power Verification Using Palladium

 

We have a great program at DAC. Click the link for complete Cadence DAC Theater and Technology Sessions. Look forward to seeing you at DAC!     


          Iron Man Shows Off Some New Armor in 'Avengers: Infinity War' Set Photos   
There are a few things you can always count on in a Marvel movie: Post-credits scenes, superheroes played by handsome men named Chris, and, if Tony Stark’s involved, you know he’s going to be sporting some new Iron Man armor. And thanks to a fresh batch of set photos, you don’t have to wait until Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters in 2018 to check out Stark’s sleek and shiny new upgrade. Continue reading…
          Marvel’s Iron Fist || Tanıtım   
Netflix‘in Marvel serisinde daha önce Daredevil, Jessica Jones ve Luke Cage ile tanışmıştık. Şimdi The Defenders öncesi son kahraman ile yani Iron Fist ile tanışmaya sıra geldi.  Dizi ilk sezonu … devamı
          Thor: The Dark World Trailer   

If you get bored this long holiday weekend, please do check out some of the other oddities of invention from our archives!

Other Stuff We Can't Believe Really Exists


          Tickling The Right Balls   

This week:

Captain America 2
Alohaland
Red Flags
New Liefeld
CoD Advanced Warfare

Music for the show provided by Reed Love.


          Deviations   

This week:

Only God Forgives
Justice League
Marvel Netflix
Game Of Thrones

Music for the show provided by Reed Love.


          Serial Killer Archie   

This week:

Defiant Shuttle
Agents Of SHIELD
Rapture
Archie
Sam Kieth

Music for the show provided by Reed Love.


          Captain America 2   

Today on the 5: After seeing Captain America 2 a second time, I'm more impressed with what Marvel done.


          China Miéville talks to Handshake about the ‘endless, accelerated cycle of monstrous creation’ in RPGs, world-building   
Last week at C2E2, I was very fortunate to run into the incredibly talented and humble British author China Miéville after his spotlight presentation, which included a reading of his upcoming book Embassytown. Aside from creating worlds that go beyond what any single genre can encompass (in his "asymptotic" quest for the "completely alien Alien"), Miéville is currently slated to publish a new book every year until 2014 and is currently in talks with Marvel Comics to author a graphic novel as well. At the same time, some fans of his work are working to produce an RPG based on Bas-Lag, the semi-fantastic setting for three of his novels (Perdido Street Station, The Scar and Iron Council). But you can't find any of this information on his Tumblr. There Miéville only posts artworks/found items he appreciates, terse observations about British politics and artistic (either drawn or written) renderings of his thoughts. In my interview with Miéville, I attempted to explore the motivations behind his world-building and the RPG influences that go into his works. Here is the result:
          Earth X   

Today on the 5: In 1999 Marvel published Earth X, which began as a response to Kingdom Come. My review of a very different version of the Marvel Universe.


          sunday inspirations...thought diversity   
We don't all think alike. We don't all view the world in the same manner. We don't all like the same things. Is that wrong? I, of course, think not. It is that diversity of thought - that diversity of who we are that gives us the foundation to become better. Diversity is not something to be feared; but rather embraced as we travel this road called life.

The following quotes and video pretty much say it all.

"It were not best that we should all think alike;it is difference of opinion that makes horse races." Mark Twain

"We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams." Jimmy Carter

"Variety is the spice of life." Proverb

"Life lies in diversity, not in monotony." M.K. Soni, from LIFE IS LIKE A MULTIFACETED PRISM

"If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity." John F. Kennedy






"Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another's uniqueness." Ola Joseph

"At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time." Friedrich Nietzsche

"If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place." Margaret Mead

Source

Sunday Inspirations, is the meme created in honor of my Mother for Mother's Day 2008 and is just one way to help get us through the week ahead, the trials we may face, and yes, to say Thank Ya and testify! I hope that you participate and share with us your Sunday Inspirations. Your weekly contribution may very well be the inspiration that someone else may need and has been looking for.



Obliged to you for hearing me,
and now old SjP ain't got nothin' more to say...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Black News Junkie ~ ~ Technorati ~ ~ Del.iciou.us ~ ~ Digg This! ~ ~ StumbleUpon ~ ~ Twitter ~ ~ My Good Towels ~ ~ FeedBlitz ~ ~ Email SjP

          Limited Aspect Sets   

Random thought while on the treadmill today that entails a drastic change in how aspects work in Fate, but which reflects a slightly different emphasis. Breaks down as follows:

  1. There are only scene aspects. Yes, you have aspects on your character sheet, and those matter (more on that in a second) but you can’t use them the same way. Basically, an aspect must be on the scene to be useful.
  2. There is a limit to how many aspects can be on a scene, possibly as low as three[1]. If the scene is full up, then you must remove an aspect to open it up. Removing an aspect is mechanically similar to adding one (and with s sufficient success, you can replace it).[2]
  3. You can make a personal aspect into a scene aspect (effectively copying it onto the scene), and if you do, take a +2 bonus to place it AND the difficulty of removing it is +2. However, there are three limits on this. First, each “side” of a conflict can only have one personal aspect in play, and second, this speaks directly to the stakes of the conflict. By bringing in a personal aspect, you are making a statement regarding what the fight is about to you. Third, the bonus applies only the first time you bring an aspect into play.
  4. The fight may start with anywhere between 0 and 3 aspects in place. For a duel, this will often be one aspect from each combatant, plus one for the environment or situation.
  5. Boosts still work normally, but need to be used by the next time you act, or they go away. No boost stockpiling.

This totally needs testing, but the potential I see in it is that it could drive more back and forth in the fiction centered around changing the factors in play to things that the player can take better advantage of. If the other guy has brought his “strong” aspect to play, then the fact that you can potentially take it off the table (rather than just let him hit it for as long as he has FP) totally intrigues me.


  1. This is even more drastic than it seems, and it reflects a certain sort of cinematic sensibility that only so many factors are in play at any given time, but those factors really, really matter.  ↩

  2. This works particularly well with Marvel Heroic style initiative, since it provides a real setup for teamwork, with one player creating an opening for the next.  ↩


          Silly Name, Fun Idea   
So, the Marvel Heroic RPG has one of the most clever initiative systems I've ever seen. For the unfamiliar, it basically breaks down as follows - someone goes first, and after they're done, they choose who goes next. Repeat this pattern until everyone has gone. This idea (which I call "pass-around initiative") is pretty simple, and while specific implementations need to answer specific questions (like, 'who goes first?', 'how can I interrupt?' and 'how do you reflect faster characters?') the core idea is portable to many other game designs.

This was on my mind when I encountered another very common RPG occurrence - rolling to determine who to do something bad to.

You've seen it before. A monster makes a surprise attack, rocks fall, a god smites - something bad is going to happen and you need to decide which player it's going to happen to. Hell, when everything is going OK, then it can be doubly important to do something nasty to keep things going. The questions is always who to do it to. GM's want to be fair, so they tend to use rules or randomization to make these choices (since just picking someone could be seen as mean) but this can produce uneven results.

So, I was struck by an idea for handling this inspired by pass-around initiative, and thus the doomball[1] was born.

So, at the start of the game, give one player the doomball (Ideally in the form of some physical token). How you decide which player is totally arbtrary, and if you want to use a classic method (like randomization) feel free. My suggestion is to give it to whoever was holding it at the end of last session (or to whoever missed the last session), but there might also be mechanical systems in the game that might help with this too; Amber DRPG has "Bad Stuff" which might be a great way to determine this, for example.

The player holds the doomball until the GM comes to a point where something bad needs to happen to someone. In this case, the GM targets the player holding the doomball, and once she's done, the player passes it to another player. The only rule about the handoff is that no player can get the doomball until everyone else has had the doomball.

How often the doomball gets passed depends a lot on the game. Combat brings up the possibility for a lot of passing, but it shouldn't necessarily be used for every attacks. Enemies often have specific logic by which they determine their attacks - a logical choice doesn't invoke the doomball, but an open choice of targets might.

This can certainly be the end of it - its a simple determinant to resolve issues as they come up - but there can be more to it. It's easy to build mechanical hooks into the system, such as abilities that make you take the doomball or allow you to pass the doomball early. Hell, this may be a more useful way to reflect luck-based effects (like blessings and curses) than the usual bonuses and penalties to attacks because this feels more like luck.

Anyway, it's a slightly silly name, but the idea is pretty usable, so feel free to go nuts with it.


1 - The name was inspired by the tvtrope of the idiot ball
          Walking A Fine Line   

Today on the 5: In advance of the Thor 2 crossover episode, I still have doubts whether Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can survive as a series.


          Review Film: Kartini (2017) - Sisi Lain Kartini   


Sebelumnya produksi film Indonesia berhasil membuat film yang beraliran biopict yaitu film tentang B.J. Habibie (Habibie & Ainun - 2012; Rudy Habibie - 2016) dan Soekarno - 2013. Kali ini di tahun 2017, diproduksi film biopict yang disutradarai oleh Hanung Bramantyo berjudul "Kartini". Dari judulnya sudah bisa ditebak kalau film ini akan mengangkat kisah dari tokoh pahlawan nasional Raden Ajeng Kartini, yang diperani oleh aktris Dian Sastrowardoyo. Aktor dan aktris terkenal lainnya yang ikut berperan dalam film ini yaitu Deddy Sutomo, Christine Hakim, Acha Septriasa, Ayushita, Reza Rahardian, Djenar Maesa Ayu, Adinia Wirasti, Denny Sumargo dll.

Disamping dari para aktor dan aktris terkenal yang menarik penonton untuk menonton, film ini dirilis pada 19 April 2017 didekat Hari Kartini. Sehingga feel menonton film ini semakin bisa didapatkan. Hanya saja, sayangnya gue baru sempat menonton seminggu setelah film ini dirilis, tapi setidaknya gue sudah kesampaian untuk menonton film biopik dari salah satu pahlawan nasional Indonesia ini. Sebenarnya film ini sempat tertunda selama setahun yang direncanakan rilis pada tahun 2016 kemarin, tetapi karena keperluan data yang belum cukup, maka film Kartini ini ditunda supaya dapat membuat script yang lebih matang.


Sinopsis
Secara singkat, film ini menceritakan kisah perjuangan Kartini di zaman tradisi Jawa Kuno yang masih sangat kental untuk memperjuangkan emansipasi perempuan, supaya memiliki kesetaraan hak seperti laki-laki untuk mengenyam pendidikan. Kartini tumbuh dengan melihat langsung bagaimana ibu kandungnya, Ngasirah menjadi orang terbuang di rumahnya sendiri, dianggap pembantu hanya karena tidak mempunyai darah ningrat (bangsawan). Ayahnya, Raden Sosroningrat, yang merupakan Bupati Jepara juga tidak berdaya melawan tradisi tersebut.

Kartini sangat tersiksa dengan kehidupan tradisi dimana perempuan tidak bisa bebas dan hanya terlahir untuk menikah dan menjadi istri laki-laki. Karena sejatinya, Kartini hanya ingin hidup bebas serta mengenyam pendidikan tinggi seperti kakak laki-lakinya, Raden Mas Panji Sosrokartono yang dapat belajar ke negeri Belanda. Kartono yang iba pada penderitaan Kartini akhirnya memberikan sebuah kunci kepada adiknya itu. Kunci tersebut merupakan kunci lemari Kartono yang berisi buku-buku berbahasa Belanda yang membuat wawasan Kartini berkembang. Disinilah awal mula kisah perjuangan Kartini dimulai.

Sepanjang hidupnya, Kartini memperjuangkan kesetaraan hak bagi semua orang, tidak peduli ningrat atau bukan, terutama hak pendidikan untuk perempuan dan orang miskin dengan mendirikan sekolah untuk kaum miskin dan menciptakan lapangan kerja untuk rakyat di Jepara. Film ini juga menceritakan Kartini bersama kedua saudarinya, Roekmini dan Kardinah, yang disebut sebagai Trio Semanggi.


Review
Filmnya sungguh diluar ekspektasi, sangat bagus dan bisa menyaingi atau mungkin lebih bagus dari film Habibie & Ainun. Film ini benar-benar menanamkan banyak makna dan pesan moral kehidupan. Dari film ini juga, gue jadi sangat terpesona dengan sosok Kartini, hal tersebut karena peran Dian Sastro yang sangat maksimal dan total memerankannya. Aktor dan aktris lainnya seperti Deddy Sutomo (Raden Sosroningrat), Christine Hakim (Ngasirah), Acha Septriasa (Roekmini), Ayushita (Kardinah), Djenar Maesa Ayu (Moeryam), Denny Sumargo (Slamet) dan Adinia Wirasti (Soelastri) juga memerankan tokohnya dengan baik. Cuman disayangkan, tokoh Kartono (Reza Rahardian) hanya tayang dalam waktu yang cukup singkat. Namun dalam hal akting, gak perlu diragukan lagi, karena semua aktor dan aktris dalam film ini adalah juara akting.

Hanung Bramantyo mampu merangkum kisah Kartini menjadi cerita yang sangat elok, sehingga dapat ditangkap dan dinikmati para penonton. Di film ini juga memperlihatkan sisi lain Kartini yang agak tomboi yang selama ini belum kita ketahui dalam buku sejarah. Setting tempat dan tata rias yang lengkap dan tepat membuat penonton benar-benar terbawa pada suasana Jawa di tahun 1800-1900. Secara garis besar, selain ceritanya yang mengagumkan, film ini ditampilkan dengan sinematografi yang apik, serta diiringi musik dan artistik yang indah.

By the way, official soundtracknya keren lho! Judulnya "Memang Kenapa Bila Aku Perempuan?" yang dinyanyikan oleh Melly Goeslaw & Gita Gutawa:


Gue yang menonton film ini sungguh terharu dan hampir mau nangis melihat perjuangan Kartini. Dari film ini selain mengenal sosok Kartini, kita juga menjadi lebih mengapresiasi sosok perempuan pada kehidupan kita.


Namun disayangkan, peminat dari film ini masih sedikit. Seperti dikutip di Instagram Hanung Bramantyo, dimana dalam 6 hari film Kartini hanya mampu mencapai 300.000an penonton.

Padahal gue rasa film ini seharusnya lebih banyak ditonton, karena mengisahkan tentang salah satu tokoh pahlawan nasional Indonesia. Tapi disayangkan, karena sepertinya para penonton Indonesia lebih tertarik dengan film beraliran komedi, action, romansa atau horror dibandingkan biopik. Hal itulah yang mungkin membuat film ini sulit mendapat penonton.

Persaingan pula bertambah berat dikarenakan dirilis berdekatan dengan film Marvel "Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2" pada 26 April 2017. Selain itu, kurangnya penonton pada film ini kemungkinan karena isu gosip yang menerpa aktris Dian Sastro sebagai pemeran tokoh utama pada film Kartini, yang katanya "menepis" tangan fans di salah satu event. Namun disamping hal itu, film ini perlu lebih diapresiasi, karena memang kisah dari filmnya ini yang overall bagus.


Menurut gue, film ini wajib ditonton oleh seluruh kalangan maupun perempuan atau laki-laki. Dijamin gak bakal nyesel deh nonton film Kartini ini!


Ibu Kita Kartini, Putri Sejati, Putri Indonesia, Harum Namanya...
Sungguh besar cita-citanya, bagi Indonesia!
          “Faster, Higher, Stronger!” The Olympics challenge us all to raise the bar.   

"Faster - Higher - Stronger." As you sit back in your living room marvelling at the athletic brilliance of those in London in the days ahead, take a moment to think about what it is that you are willing to work toward that will inspire you to dig deeper, work harder, and excel. Not for a Gold Medal, for glory or wealth. But simply because it is a goal worth pursuing; a goal that honours the best of what you have to bring to the world, regardless of how fast you can run, how high you can jump, or how strong you can lift.

The post “Faster, Higher, Stronger!” The Olympics challenge us all to raise the bar. appeared first on Margie Warrell.


          5 Second Villains   

This week:

World War Z
Thor 2
Charmin
Marvel Netflix
Akira

Music for the show provided by Reed Love.


          Marvel's Villain Problem   

Today on the 5: I saw Thor 2 over the weekend, and I was reminded of the one thing Marvel keeps getting wrong in this films.


          Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.   

Today on the 5: The newest Marvel foray into television, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., debuted last week. My review of the pilot.


          Civil Harder   

This week:

Days Of Future Past
Age Of Ultron
Ant Man
Death Of Superman
Dredd 2
Superman Vs Batman

Music for the show provided by Reed Love.


          I Robot 2070   

This week:

Iron Man 3
Daft Punk
Almost Human
Agents Of SHIELD
Riddick

Music for the show provided by Reed Love.


          Things I'm Not   

This week:

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Homophobia
Marvel Movies

Music for the show provided by Reed Love.


          Thought Barriers   

This week:

The Falcon
Lucasarts
Daft Punk
Sneakers

Music for the show provided by Reed Love.


          Batwedgie   

This week:

3rd Person View
Planet Hulk
The Brood
Dredd

Music for the show provided by Reed Love.


          With Buckets of Ice, Fighting Sleep   

I think of this mad rush of technological innovation and reapplication we are currently experiencing, this digital cramping in the gut, this redrawing of our world to fit within such tiny, invisible parameters, every day bringing an addition to the addition, each device growing thinner and smaller before our open hands, and I can’t help but relate it to other, more limited moments in our commercial history, those times when a product demanded a momentarily intense turnaround, a frantic dance to keep supply level with demand, changing its face over night, bending to an intangible will, the whims of a commerce-driven zeitgeist – the future always ready to be sold in the morning, the advantage of the new rising with the rooster, sending us forward with its anxious clarion.

The comic book industry was once this way, as unlikely as that might sound.

During what is commonly referred to as the Golden Age, comics were turned out with alarming frequency and number, favorites like Captain Marvel selling millions every month. It’s within the panels of the comics from this era, and the subsequent Silver Age, that I find the mysteries of mass production – those bizarre, almost unconscious images and dialogue that seem to have been born of a fever, running the hot brow of obsessive publishers turning the wheel day and night – of artists sitting at their desks, their feet in buckets of ice, fighting sleep, moving ink onto paper – an endless bailing of line into a sea that devours, but never returns, its intangible tide caressing the shore of an invisible nation.

The lurid charm of these cheaply-printed screams and shouts – socks and pows, biffs and bams, giggles and laughs – it still hangs in the air about us, but is now relegated to media far more integrated into the circuitry of the blinking circus we call civilization – Billy Batson having become a cipher in an overheating video game.
     What was once a furtive escape – adventure rolled into a back pocket, to be savored on a rooftop, or up a tree – is now a system of rote instructions and hand motions requiring achievement, a pyramid scheme of accomplishment and gratification, seeing that we all busy ourselves devouring entertainment, fulfilling our job as consumers, supervised by the unblinking Eye of Providence, God the money counter, lining the back of a dollar bill.

Just as the early comic book industry routinely pillaged the newspaper cartoons for already-existing material to fill its product, so too has the digital demand forced a new industry to assimilate its tangible forbearers, Kindle seeking to close the books on the print-bound publisher, iTunes burying the needle of the record business, EBay silencing the auction house, Expedia grounding the travel agent – all dragging their kill back to the cave, talking it apart to replicate its bones for the generation to come, a people evaporating into themselves – even as they expand the perceived gulf between what is man-made and what is God-given.

As our grandfathers traced traffic, their noses deep in the latest issue of Captain Marvel, so do we tread the ground, our eyes and ears glued to the devices that define the cutting edge of the present, the heralds of tomorrows, the shapes of things to come, gadgets and widgets born at the aching wrists of code-writers and programmers, sitting up late in their screen-illuminated cubicles, drinking Red Bull and Vitaminwater, dreaming of their beds, numb in the cathode light.
          Infinity Gauntlet   

Today on the 5: After I finished Mutant Massacre, I decided to revisit the Infinity Gauntlet miniseries. Seeing as Thanos is clearly going to factor into future Marvel films, I felt it was a relevant storyline to review.


          Comedy in a Casket   

Upon the recent death of Jim Carroll, revisiting his seminal rock-punk classic, 1979’s Catholic Boy, I couldn’t help but recall how funny I used to think that album’s most popular single, People Who’ve Died, was, and, I’m afraid, still is – even after Mr. Carroll’s sad passing.

The 5:07 song is a literal roll call of people in Carroll’s life who reportedly did die, each one seemingly in a more onerous, chilling, Gorey-like manner than the one before – all so bluntly described, the spirit of Raymond Chandler animating Carroll’s cadaverous prose.
     It is this deceptively clinical approach to a subject a lesser artist might have softened with the padding of metaphor – or simply approached as a tear-stained ballad – that makes Carroll’s manifesto so powerful, so lasting – and so damn funny.

Teddy sniffing glue he was 12 years old/Fell from the roof on East Two-nine/Cathy was 11 when she pulled the plug/On 26 reds and a bottle of wine/Bobby got leukemia, 14 years old/He looked like 65 when he died

Isn’t that terrifyingly intimate?
     So clearly written in deference to the harrowing punches these deaths must have delivered to the poet/singer?
     And isn’t that what makes this song so good – so very good it all but becomes a parody of itself, its colorful, Marvel Comics-like parade of names, trumping each other, building the heavenward arc of the song’s emotional architecture?

G-berg and Georgie let their gimmicks go rotten/So they died of hepatitis in upper Manhattan/Sly in Vietnam took a bullet in the head/Bobby OD'd on Drano on the night that he was wed

It’s this tangible itch, one the song never fails to deliver, that made me see the comedic possibilities in transferring it to a skit featuring a high school cheerleading team practicing their interpretation of the song for a charity fund, one founded to honor (what else?) students who have died.

Like my old associates in high school, one who, only a week before graduation, perished in a motorcycle accident that left him all but indistinguishable from a stretch of dark country road just a mile from my house – Johnny Blaze forever now Ghost Rider – the other, eaten from within by cancerous cells.

Jonny took a dive from his bike/Joey caught something his body didn’t like

Despite the presumably unintended gallows humor of the lyrics, it’s Carroll’s mortuary voice that gives his song its universal connectivity – sounding like Lurch reading the contents of his mother’s will.
 
This is what I would exploit in my high-octane comedy skit, a “guaranteed-hilarious” send-up of small town morality – and mortality.
     Each death would receive its own series of mimed motions, Bobby OD’ing with Drano on his wedding night – summed up with a subtle slide of a ring onto a finger, followed by a smooth lift to the mouth with the drain cleaner – and then back into the repeating chorus, where each girl crosses her heart and prays, before falling backwards, dead as a cartoon, mimicking crosses on her eyes, right into the arms of the girl positioned behind.
     Of course, all of this has to be performed with the sincerity of Soupy Sales tending a custard pie – to break from such would ruin it.
     Add to this a lovingly out-of-tune head cheerleader – Olive Oyl at the opera – an overly-enthusiastic, effeminate male coach – Richard Simmons playing Richard Simmons – and a plethora of poms-pons – and you’ve got comedy platinum.
     I kid you not.

Mary took a dry dive from a hotel room/Bobby hung himself from a cell in the tombs/Judy jumped in front of a subway train/Eddie got slit in the jugular vein

Jim Dennis Carroll.

What a funny fucker.

Born to spew lavender – all the anger and mistrust a world has to offer – with all the mannered pomposity of Bob Newhart – playing God – picking through the dead, describing the depths of a Catholic Hell.


          Syntax   

This week:

Mat Honan
LendInk Lynched
Steam Evolves
Whedon's Marvelverse
Arcades Bounce Back

Music for the show provided by Reed Love.


          RoboKnight   

This week:

Marvel Does Gay Marriage
DC Does Gay Prominently
Blade Runner Sequel
The Avengers
Thor 2
RoboKnight

Continue the discussion in our forums!
Music for the show provided by Reed Love.


          Hireman Hit   

This week:

Skypesoft Official
Bushido Blade
Avengers Trailer
RAZR Redux
Paul Rand

Continue the discussion in our forums!
Music for the show provided by George Carpenter.


          SLIDING CLOSET DOORS   
Adding sliding barn style doors to create a focal point to your interior room is an innovative, functional, and modern way to design your space. In Addition to their uniqueness and rustic charm, sliding closet doors, wood and glass sliding closet doors might just be the marvelous space saving solution for your area. Adding even […]
          Things To Come: A Timeline Of Future Technology #Infographic   
Things To Come: A Timeline Of Future Technology
"The times," someone once said, "they are a changin" - and nowhere is this truer than with technology. But any technological forecast of the future is a shaky sort of structure, at best-built on a quicksand foundation and liable to collapse at any time. With that caveat firmly in mind, we've assembled this speculative peek around the corner, to glimpse just a few of the many marvelous things to come.

          Nic Cage As General Zod   

http://asset-server2.libsyn.com/show/k-0b5995a6237c12b4/assets/ShowPost.png

In this week's show:

William Gibson
Apple Cube
Geeks Versus Hipsters
Zack Snyder's Superman
Wolverine In WW2

Music for the show provided by George Carpenter.


          Mecca Time!   

http://asset-server2.libsyn.com/show/k-0b5995a6237c12b4/assets/ShowPost.png

In this week's show:

Scott Pilgrim
Sam Kieth
Coop
The Value Of Experience

Music for the show provided by George Carpenter.


          Unstable Molecules   

In this week's show:

Inception
Handy Light
The Flash
Unstable Molecules
Left 4 Dead

Opening Music: "Alive WIP v2" by George Carpenter
Closing Music: "On The Side" by The Shift


          Detonation In Downtown   

In this week's show:

Sniper Hat
Mad Max 3.5
X-Men Die (Again)
Behold, Odin!
Predators Trailer

Opening Music: "Alive WIP v2" by George Carpenter
Closing Music: "On The Side" by The Shift


          Noticias del mundo de la historieta (05.04.12)   
Cómic europeo

 'Nietzsche', un cómic que indaga en la fascinante personalidad del filósofo alemán.

Frans Masereel: sin palabras. Un libro rescata la figura del autor que, a partir de postulados expresionistas e izquierdistas, se convirtió en el precursor de las novelas gráficas sin texto.

«3 segundos», un cómic que revoluciona el punto de vista de la narración. La nueva novela gráfica de Marc-Antoine Mathieu reta al lector a reconstruir varias historias a través de un mudo viaje visual.

Cómic hispano y latinoamericano

Paco Alcázar se ríe con "maldad" del cine actual en su último cómic.

Un futuro de alto riesgo: David Sánchez se ha convertido en un experto de las atmósferas inquietantes.

Entrevista a Ramón de España. Su regreso al mundo del tebeo.


Cómic USA

'La explosión Marvel', cómo la editorial de cómics se convirtió en la más importante del mundo.

'Supercrooks', de Mark Millar. ¿Y si los 'súpervillanos' miraran hacia Europa y no hacia Estados Unidos?

Stan Lee, el Cicerón de superhéores alienígenas en su nuevo comic.


Necrológica

Fallece Antonio Mingote, el gran ilustrador de ABC.

Fallece Antonio Mingote, maestro del humor español.

Muere Antonio Mingote, figura central del humor en España.

D.E.P.


Otras noticias del mundo del arte y la historieta

Primer vistazo a Johnny Depp y Armie Hammer en 'The Lone Ranger'.

El robo del cómic de Nicolas Cage, al cine.

Se publican tres títulos imprescindibles de tres genios del cómic Seth, Joost Swarte y Mahler.

Comics olvidados en Facebook 

Notas:

Fuentes: material propio y traducciones efectuadas por el administrador del blog; webs, editoriales y/o revistas y periódicos mencionados o enlazados en cada reseña; youtube, dailymotion, wikipedia, imdb, lambiek, bedetheque, neuvieme-art, kingdomcomics y the comicbookdatabase.

Las imágenes y/o vídeos se usan únicamente con fines de ilustración, y los derechos pertenecen a su(s) creador(es).

Se ha habilitado la moderación de comentarios: los que contengan "spam" no serán aprobados. El administrador del blog no efectúa subidas de material a la red. Por favor, absténganse de solicitarlas.

Base de datos cómic francobelga
Base de datos Editorial Novaro
Descargas legales (licencia Creative Commons)
Portafolios

          Noticias del mundo de la historieta (23.01.12)   
Cómic europeo


¿Cuál es el mejor álbum de Tintín? Puedes votar en esta página.


Cómic hispano y latinoamericano


'Mamed Casanova. El hijo de la ira', un cómic sobre el último bandolero romántico español. Es obra del guionista Manolo López Poy y el dibujante Miguel Fernández. Valle-Inclán y Emilia Pardo Bazán ya reflejaron sus andanzas.

Miguel Brieva analiza con ironía la crisis económica y ecológica en 'Memorias de la tierra'. "He querido imaginar escenarios de salida de la crisis", y asegura que "Podemos vivir mejor consumiendo mucho menos".

Estas son las novedades de Ediciones Glénat (España) para febrero de 2012.

'Malefic time'. Un universo apocalíptico para un año de profecías. El historietista e ilustrador Luis Royo y su hijo Rómulo inician un proyecto multimedia. Avalanch crea la banda sonora.


Cómic USA


Marvel apuesta por un nuevo Spider-Man multirracial como el presidente Obama. Miles Morales, el nuevo hombre araña hijo de una puertorriqueña y un afroamericano que vive en el barrio neoyorquino de Brooklyn, es un reflejo de la diversidad étnica de Estados Unidos.

Peter Bagge: "Nunca me divertí tanto dibujando como lo hice con 'Bat boy'" y 'Los apelativos con los que me califican se quedan cortos'. La Cúpula acaba de publicar en España sus tiras de 'Bat Boy'.


Otras noticias del mundo del arte y la historieta


Antonio Mingote cumple 93 años.

Cartel oficial del Salón Internacional del Cómic de Barcelona.

Gila: sin miedo a hablar con el enemigo. Una biografía reivindica la trayectoria del humorista y dibujante.

Las viñetas de El Roto en Nueva York. Se exponen para tratar de "aclarar el pensamiento social", dijo el dibujante, que también señaló que pueden permitir a los espectadores que entiendan lo que les perjudica.

Mazinger, rey del Salón del Cómic de Barcelona. El autor del robot y una exposición sobre los 50 años de Spiderman, atractivos (es un decir, en la humilde opinión del administrador del blog y, sobre todo, comparándolo con los eventos monográficos del Festival de Angulema 2012) de la 30ªedición.

Spiderman y los robots colonizarán el Salón del Cómic de Barcelona. La cita contará en su 30 aniversario con la presencia de Gó Nagai, célebre creador de «Mazinger Z».


Notas:

Fuentes: material propio y traducciones efectuadas por el administrador del blog; webs, editoriales y/o revistas y periódicos mencionados o enlazados en cada reseña; youtube, dailymotion, wikipedia, imdb, lambiek, bedetheque, neuvieme-art, kingdomcomics y the comicbookdatabase.

Las imágenes y/o vídeos se usan únicamente con fines de ilustración, y los derechos pertenecen a su(s) creador(es).

Se ha habilitado la moderación de comentarios: los que contengan "spam" no serán aprobados. El administrador del blog no efectúa subidas de material a la red. Por favor, absténganse de solicitarlas.

Base de datos cómic francobelga
Base de datos Editorial Novaro
Descargas legales (licencia Creative Commons)
Portafolios

          Jubblies   

This week we're running free range once again, and we start with the more symptoms of the ruination of cinema. After that, we remark on the deft writing required to gradually turn a protagonist insane without losing the sympathy of the audience and the questionable decision that sometimes gets made to attempt to finish the unfinished work of a dead author. Speaking of questionable decisions, we discuss the recent news that Disney is attempting to buy Marvel Comics, and while we're on the topic of comics we present a mini-review of the new Batman game. Talking about games gets us lamenting the loss of arcades, and the everlasting importance of jiggliness in the design of video game women. Finally, speaking of women leads to take a moment to bask in the magic of Milla, who I suppose I would call my muse. And hey, Mysterious Universe has relaunched! Enjoy!

Opening Music: "Alive WIP v2" by George Carpenter
Closing Music: "Born Under A Bad Sign" performed by The Great Oglee Moglee Blues Band


          Origin(al) Sins   


Oh boy, ladies and gentlemen, you'd be well off getting a full hazard suit on this week because we're really going to be swimming in some muck. We're boldly charging into the dark and moldy basement of badly written comic book origins. We're hitting both DC and Marvel with our ire as both are equally guilty of allowing truly substandard creations to exist in their houses. Don't swallow any of the water from this swamp, kids, it's truly disgusting.

The list:

Black Manta
Mandrill
Gorilla Grodd
Shocker
Dr. Psycho
Captain Boomerang
Demolition Man
Prism
Brother Power The Geek

Opening Music: "Fire In The Sky" by Dave London
Closing Music: "ET" by Peplab

 


          2007: THE YEAR OF THE FRIKI   
Puede que sea por el examen de Hiragana (sip, he tenido que repetirlo), pero hoy tengo el día friki¿Cómo si no voy a llamar un año en el que estoy aprendiendo japonés y alemán en Suecia, donde encuentras mangas en las bibliotecas, tienen una sección entera de la Casa de la Cultura dedicada a los comics y el Teknik Magasinet está por todas parte ofreciendo curiosidades (desde el cañon de aire al Clone-A-Willy)?
Bueno, el examen de Hiragana ha salido bastante decente (todavia tengo que currar en la traducción romanji-hiragana), y cuando estaba de vuelta en casa, sentado frente al ordenador, me ha dado por comprobar el numero de peliculas inspiradas en comics que van a salir o están en preproducción.

Primero fue el motorista fantasma. Este viernes, Spider-man 3. Y dentro de nada, vuelven los Cuatro Fantásticos: Mr. Fantastico, la Mujer Invisible, la Antorcha Humana y la Cosa. Y en el otro lado del ring....Galactus. No os hagais ilusiones, que no hace aparición "directa". Aqui os dejo con el nuevo trailer. Y esto no se acaba aqui, en el 2008 llegan Iron Man y Hulk...Qué grande es el cine (friki).



          Battle Royale (Part 1)   


This week we're delivering a double-sized show where we debate some dream fights. Comics, movies, literature, history, we hit all the angles as we discuss and debate a variety of dream matches. Because we had so much to say, the show is split in half to make the listening a bit easier, and each segment has the fights we cover listed with it.

First Round:

James Bond "Goldeneye" Match
Vision vs Martian Manhunter
Wolverine vs Manji
Marv vs The Maxx
Angel vs The Rocketeer
Gandalf vs Darth Vader

Opening Music: "Fire In The Sky" by Dave London

 


          The Good, The Bad And The Underused   


Show 17 is a wild ride through the Marvel Universe as we spotlight seven out of the many characters that the comics giant has mangled or just never used to their potential. It's not all bad, though, so we finish up with three characters that we think Marvel has done very well.

 


          Daydreams - Sogni ad occhi aperti   
riadattamento al testo originale di Jack Kerouac

looking for a parallel world, cercare un mondo parallelo,
food for our soul, cibo per la nostra anima
every day is one life, ogni é giorno una vita,
every night a new journey, ogni notte un nuovo viaggio,
in this wonderful world of dreams in questo meraviglioso mondo dei sogni


I lie on my back at midnight,
earing the marvellous strange chime,
of the clocks, and I know it’s midnight,
and in that istant the whole world
swims into sight for me,
in the form of the beautiful
sworming mutt a worlds.
Everything is happening,
and all’s I got to do I will write,
all the talk of the world,
leaving open parentheses sections,
for my own accompanying inner Thoughts

Giaccio supino a mezzanotte, ascolto il meraviglioso strano carillon degli orologi,
SO CHE È MEZZANOTTE, E IN QUELL’ISTANTE IL MONDO INTERO
MI SI PARA DINANZI GALLEGGIANDO,
SOTTO LA MERAVIGLIOSA FORMA DI MONDI IMBECILLI.
ACCADE TUTTO,E TUTTO QUELLO CHE DEVO FARE LO SCRIVERÒ,
TUTTE LE CHIACCHIERE DEL MONDO INTERO,
LASCIANDO APERTA UNA SERIE DI PARENTESI,
PER I PENSIERI SEGRETI CHE MI ACCOMPAGNANO
          Europe's Politics of Victimology   

Europe today finds itself trapped in a posture of moral relativism that is undermining its liberal values. An unholy three-cornered alliance between Middle East dictators, radical imams who live in Europe, and Europe's traditional left wing is enabling a politics of victimology. This politics drives a culture that resists integration and adaptation, perpetuates national and religious differences, and aggravates such debilitating social ills as high immigrant crime rates and entrenched unemployment.

As one who once championed the utopian state of multicultural bliss, I think I know what I'm talking about. I was raised on the ideals of the 1960s, in the midst of the Cold War. I saw life through the lens of the countercultural turmoil, adopting both the hippie pose and the political superiority complex of my generation. I and my high school peers believed that the West was imperialistic and racist. We analyzed decaying Western civilization through the texts of Marx and Engels and lionized John Lennon's beautiful but stupid tune about an ideal world without private property: "Imagine no possessions/ I wonder if you can/ No need for greed or hunger/ A brotherhood of man/ Imagine all the people/ Sharing all the world."

It took me only 10 months as a young student in the Soviet Union in 1980-81 to realize what a world without private property looks like, although many years had to pass until the full implications of the central Marxist dogma became clear to me.

That experience was the beginning of a long intellectual journey that has thus far culminated in the reactions to the Mohammed cartoons. Politically, I came of age in the Soviet Union. I returned there in 1990 to spend 11 years as a foreign correspondent. Through close contact with courageous dissidents who were willing to suffer and go to prison for their belief in the ideals of Western democracy, I was cured of my wooly dreams of idealistic collectivism. I had a strong sense of the high price my friends were willing to pay for the very freedoms that we had taken for granted in high school -- but did not grasp as values inherent in our civilization: freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and movement. Justice and equality implies equal opportunity, I learned, not equal outcome.

Now, in Europe's failure to grapple realistically with its dramatically changing demographic picture, I see a new parallel to that Cold War journey. Europe's left is deceiving itself about immigration, integration, and Islamic radicalism today the same way we young hippies deceived ourselves about Marxism and communism 30 years ago. It is a narrative of confrontation and hierarchy that claims that the West exploits, abuses, and marginalizes the Islamic world. Left-wing intellectuals have insisted that the Danes were oppressing and marginalizing Muslim immigrants. This view comports precisely with the late Edward Said's model of Orientalism, which argues that experts on the Orient and the Muslim world have not depicted it as it is but as some dreaded "other," as exactly the opposite of ourselves -- and therefore to be rejected. The West, in this narrative, is democratic, the East is despotic. We are rational, they are irrational.

This kind of thinking gave birth to a distorted approach to immigration in countries like Denmark. Left-wing commentators decided that Denmark was both racist and Islamophobic. Therefore, the chief obstacle to integration was not the immigrants' unwillingness to adapt culturally to their adopted country (there are 200,000 Danish Muslims now); it was the country's inherent racism and anti-Muslim bias.

A cult of victimology arose and was happily exploited by clever radicals among Europe's Muslims, especially certain religious leaders like Imam Ahmad Abu Laban in Denmark and Mullah Krekar in Norway. Mullah Krekar -- a Kurdish founder of Ansar al Islam who this spring was facing an expulsion order from Norway -- called our publication of the cartoons "a declaration of war against our religion, our faith, and our civilization. Our way of thinking is penetrating society and is stronger than theirs. This causes hate in the Western way of thinking; as the losing side, they commit violence."

Inconvenient facts. The role of victim is very convenient because it frees the self-declared victim from any responsibility, while providing a posture of moral superiority. It also obscures certain inconvenient facts that might suggest a different explanation for the lagging integration of some immigrant groups -- such as the relatively high crime rates, the oppression of women, and a tradition of forced marriage.

Dictatorships in the Middle East and radical imams have adopted the jargon of the European left, calling the cartoons racist and Islamophobic. When Westerners criticize their lack of civil liberties and the oppression of women, they say we behave like imperialists. They have adopted the rhetoric and turned it against us.

These events are occurring against the disturbing backdrop of increasingly radicalized Muslims in Europe. Mohammed Atta, the 9/11 ringleader, became a born-again Muslim after he moved to Europe. So did the perpetrators behind the bombings in Madrid and London. The same goes for Mohammed Bouyeri, the young Muslim who slaughtered filmmaker Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam. Europe, not the Middle East, may now be the main breeding ground for Islamic terrorism.

What's wrong with Europe? For one thing, Europe's approach to immigration and integration is rooted in its historic experience with relatively homogeneous cultures. In the United States one's definition of nationality is essentially political; in Europe it is historically cultural. I am a Dane because I look European, speak Danish, descend from centuries of other Scandinavians. But what about the dark, bearded new Danes who speak Arabic at home and poor Danish in the streets? We Europeans must make a profound cultural adjustment to understand that they, too, can be Danes.

Another great impediment to integration is the European welfare state. Because Europe's highly developed, but increasingly unaffordable, safety nets provide such strong unemployment insurance and not enough incentive to work, many new immigrants go straight onto the dole.

While it can be argued that the fast-growing community of about 20 million Muslim immigrants in Europe is the equivalent of America's new Hispanic immigrants, the difference in their productivity and prosperity is staggering. An Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development study in 1999 showed that while immigrants in the United States are almost equal to native-born workers as taxpayers and contributors to American prosperity, in Denmark there is a glaring gap of 41 percent between the contributions of the native-born and of the immigrants. In the United States, a laid-off worker gets an average of 32 percent compensation for his former wages in welfare services; in Denmark the figure is 81 percent. A culture of welfare dependency is rife among immigrants, and taken for granted.

What to do? Obviously, we can never return to the comfortable monocultures of old. A demographic revolution is changing the face, and look, of Europe. In an age of mass migration and the Internet, cheap air fares and cell phones everywhere, cultural pluralism is an irreversible fact, like it or not. A nostalgic longing for cultural purity -- racial purity, religious purity -- easily descends into ethnic cleansing.

Yet multiculturalism that has all too often become mere cultural relativism is an indefensible proposition that often justifies reactionary and oppressive practices. Giving the same weight to the illiberal values of conservative Islam as to the liberal traditions of the European Enlightenment will, in time, destroy the very things that make Europe such a desirable target for migration.

Europe must shed the straitjacket of political correctness, which makes it impossible to criticize minorities for anything -- including violations of laws, traditional mores, and values that are central to the European experience. Two experiences tell the tale for me.

Shortly after the horrific 2002 Moscow musical theater siege by Chechen terrorists that left 130 dead, I met with one of my old dissident friends, Sergei Kovalev. A hero of the human rights movement in the old Soviet Union, Kovalev had long been a defender of the Chechens and a critic of the Russian attacks on Chechnya. But after the theater massacre he refused, as always, to indulge in politically correct drivel about the Chechens' just fight for secession and decolonization. He unhesitatingly denounced the terrorists, and insisted that a nation's right to self-determination did not imply a free ticket to kill and violate basic individual rights. For me, it was a clarifying moment on the dishonesty of identity politics and the sometime tyranny of elevating group rights above those of individuals -- of justifying the killing of innocents in the name of some higher cause.

The other experience was a trip I made in the 1990s, when I was a correspondent based in the United States, to the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. There I wrote a story about the burgeoning, bustling, altogether vibrant Russian immigrant community that had arisen there -- a perfect example of people retaining some of their old cultural identity (drinking samovars of tea, playing hours of chess, and attending church) while quickly taking advantage of America's free and open capitalism to establish an economic foothold. I marveled at America's ability to absorb newcomers. It was another clarifying moment.

An act of inclusion. Equal treatment is the democratic way to overcome traditional barriers of blood and soil for newcomers. To me, that means treating immigrants just as I would any other Danes. And that's what I felt I was doing in publishing the 12 cartoons of Mohammed last year. Those images in no way exceeded the bounds of taste, satire, and humor to which I would subject any other Dane, whether the queen, the head of the church, or the prime minister. By treating a Muslim figure the same way I would a Christian or Jewish icon, I was sending an important message: You are not strangers, you are here to stay, and we accept you as an integrated part of our life. And we will satirize you, too. It was an act of inclusion, not exclusion; an act of respect and recognition.

Alas, some Muslims did not take it that way -- though it required a highly organized campaign, several falsified (and very nasty) cartoons, and several months of overseas travel for the aggrieved imams to stir up an international reaction.

Maybe Europe needs to take a leaf -- or a whole book -- from the American experience. For a new Europe of many cultures that is somehow a single entity to emerge, as it has in the United States, will take effort from both sides -- the native-born and the newly arrived.

For the immigrants, the expectation that they not only learn the host language but also respect their new countries' political and cultural traditions is not too much to demand, and some stringent (maybe too stringent) new laws are being passed to force that. At the same time, Europeans must show a willingness to jettison entrenched notions of blood and soil and accept people from foreign countries and cultures as just what they are, the new Europeans.


          babies and things.   
there are so many things i should be doing right now... my kitchen is a mess, costco purchases need to be put away, refrigerator needs to be organized, and a nap would be nice. sometimes it's kind of nice though to just look at it all and think, "yeah i'll take care of you later." it's very freeing. you should try it.

it's safe to say that we had a perfect weekend-- the sun gods decided to shower us with some major sunshine and i swear i felt like a new person! it's amazing what a little warmth and light can do for the soul. we literally spent the entire day outside on friday. we live in an apartment, so we basically set up shop on the sidewalk outside our door and pretended it was our backyard. chalk, bikes, popsicles, friends-- it was such a dream. we headed to the oregon coast on saturday, and although it was kind of windy and chilly, the sun helped keep us warm and our kids loved playing in the sand and water. my poor annie was sick that day, which was really sad, but she trooped through the drive. what a girl. then sunday came, and the sun disappeared. the rain started again last night, and it's been drizzling all day today. that's probably why i'm feeling so unmotivated today-- i wish the gray didn't affect me, but it does. however, i am going to do my best to push through and be productive. afterall, the bachelor finale is on tonight and i don't want anything in the way of THAT.


in other news, annie turned 2! can you even believe that she is 2 already? it kind of blows my mind. she's been very cuddly with me lately, and i've sort of been babying her only because i don't want her to grow up. we had such a fun birthday for her and she loved the attention. i just love that annie so much--she truly is the sweetest.




and the last news of all is that i'm expecting baby no. 3! we're very, very excited in this house to add another little cutie pie to our brood. i'm due sept. 22. goldie is convinced it's a girl, and that her name is callie. ha! i guess we'll just have to wait and see, won't we. i've been feeling mostly good... been sick here and there, and tired. but really i've had a lot of energy and this has been my easiest pregnancy i've had. annie doesn't really understand what's happening, although she does see pictures of the ultrasound and asks to hold the baby (cute, huh). goldie is really excited though--she loves babies more than any other 3-year-old i know. today she laid her head on my belly and said, "i'm going to love this baby all day long." pretty sweet things happening over here with these sisters. i feel very blessed.

 
speaking of babies, what are your favorite baby products? i feel like so much has come out since i had annie, and for the first time i feel VERY out of the loop. help!

hope you're having a marvelous day.

          Comment on The Crazy Saga of Marvel’s Miracleman by Moeez Siddiqui   
Great summary, makes me want to buy all the Miracleman comics. I only knew about issue #15. So what's being released in 2016, Silver Age or Dark Age?
             
I've worked on Marvel Heroes too. For Wii of course :) I made the level of Asgard.












          Tips & Tricks on hosting your very own 'Fashion Hackathon'   
On Saturday 25thApril I was fortunate to be involved alongside Love your Clothes at  Clotho’sfirst ‘Fashion Hackathon’. Although I’ve been upcycling for many a year now the concept of a fashion hackathon was new to me. The Clotho girls informed us that they had drawn inspiration from computer ‘Hackathons’ they had attended , where computer wizards and hobbits gather in a large room and form teams that then build programmes, apps etc together in 24 hours! Their idea was to take all the clothes that they were unable to list on their clothing exchange website due to rips, broken zips, unravelling hems etc and for participants to turn them into new and beautiful items in a ‘sustainable sewing factory’. 
  
So I set up my machines and boxes of threads, scissors, haberdashery and we set design challenges – theme of festival fashion, labels to be worn on the outside (as to think about where and by whom the original garment was made) Working collectively, creating change / transformation and the teams set to work!
It was a lively day and participants fully embraced the challenges, coming up with really inventive ‘fashion hacks’ and working together to realise their designs.

So I thought I’d encourage you to have your own fashion hackathons at home!
  Here are my tips and tricks to consider when approaching your own ‘Fashion Hacks’:

- Make the most of existing fasteners
- Holes & wear are an opportunity for transformation!
- Mix & match and fuse different items together
- Create ‘multifunctional’ garments
- Play with pattern

Re working your old clothes is fun and personal. It’s important to tap into your own creativity and sense of style. Recognize the potential and look at your old clothes from a different perspective! Some basic sewing skills are necessary. If you have no experience or are new to sewing, I offer lots of accessible classes at my studio Fabricationsin Hackney, East London.

Thank you to Fabrications students for allowing me to share your creations!

Here are my tips and tricks to consider when approaching your own ‘Fashion Hacks’:

- Make the most of existing fasteners
- Holes & wear are an opportunity for transformation!
- Mix & match and fuse different items together
- Create ‘multifunctional’ garments
- Play with pattern

Re working your old clothes is fun and personal. It’s important to tap into your own creativity and sense of style. Recognize the potential and look at your old clothes from a different perspective! Some basic sewing skills are necessary. If you have no experience or are new to sewing, I offer lots of accessible classes at my studio Fabricationsin Hackney, East London.

Thank you to Fabrications students for allowing me to share your creations!
 

 

Making the most of existing fasteners……I love working with men’s shirts. Not only is the fabric stable and easy to work with they have lots of buttoning!  Often buttons on shirts are set to similar spacing, so you can button different shirts together to make a new garment or a bell tent if you keep going! Fortunately I reigned myself in to this ‘cut & paste’ collaged dress and stuck to 3 shirts! Cutting on this dress was minimal; the shaping is created through a belted gathered waist band and elastication half way down the sleeves. You could add darts on the top shirt for more fitting.


Holes and wear n tear are an opportunity for transformation…..Appliqué (or patching) is my friend. I have a number of favourite jeans that are works in progress, as another hole appears on goes a new patch! This can be done discreetly with similar fabric or show off - make your patching stand out in a crowd! I enjoy making patches from other old clothes or textiles to create motifs or ‘cheat embroideries’.
I tend to machine on my patches using a ‘3 step zig zag’ (this is stronger than a regular zig zag) or a ‘Free motion’ / quilting foot so I can sketch / squiggle around and over the patch. If using a lightweight fabric as your patch, tack some other fabric on the back to reinforce.  Take off the removable front part of the machine to give you a narrower working area. Trouser legs can get tricky and on skinny jeans you may have to open up the seam for access and then stitch back together!


Mix & match and fuse different items together…..Sometimes you might have 2 garments that just aren’t working for you or they are a bit tired and worn out! Think about combining them! Louise took an old jumper and cut it down the front and cut off the cuffs and border from an old cardigan and over locked the components together to make a new 2 tone cardigan! If you don’t have an over locker use the ‘overcast’ or stretch stitch on your machine or slip one over the other (for a thicker cardigan!)
It is possible to mix different fabric textures and weights but it does require more care and preparation tacking etc to help prevent movements!


Create ‘multifunctional’ garments….My friend and colleague David Mumford is a very clever garment upcyclist. (He also mentored at Clotho’s Fashion Hackathon)
Here he is at Fabrications teaching students the marvels of sewing and upcycling (using men’s shirts)  He used to design with the fashion brand ‘Junky Styling’ who were well known for their clever garment reinventions. Garments that can be worn in different ways are likely to be used more often over a longer period of time. 

   
Play with pattern……is also a lot of fun! Sometimes the most unexpected combination of pattern designs harmonises and works!
Here is an idea from another friend and colleague – Tree from Stitchless TV’. Take 2 vintage tourist scarves to make a raglan Prada style top. (pictures taken from summer workshops at Fabrications) Tree has a unique talent in taking high fashion ideas and simplifying them down into accessible ‘speed stitching’, free style cutting projects for beginners and other home sewers. Many of the projects on her TV channel use old clothes – well worth checking her out!

I hope you are feeling inspired to host your own ‘Fashion Hackathon’ at home. Please share your creations with us,we’d love to see what you re-make! 

          Interview with Alan J. Porter   
Image courtesy of Alan J. Porter
I had a chance to meet Alan J. Porter, author of the CARS line of comics from Boom! at Staple a couple of weeks ago.  He was kind enough to volunteer and answer some questions for the blog and sign a copy of CARS: The Rookie for Henry.  It was Henry's first exposure to Alan's work and the CARS line of comics and he enjoyed it and is ready for more!

Alan has a broad and very impressive resume in comics and beyond.  For more on him visit http://alanjporter.com or follow him on Twitter at @alanjporter.

Given your diverse background in writing, what are the challenges and rewards writing for a younger audience with your CARS line?

In writing anything for younger audiences I just try an tell good stories that anyone, irrespective of age, would enjoy reading. While I try and keep the language age appropriate for the audience, I also like to make sure its something of a challenge too, not enough to block reading and enjoying the story, but have at least the occasional word that a young reader may not be familiar with but could figure out from the context of the story, or by reaching for a dictionary, or asking a parent. I learned a lot of my vocabulary as a kid from comics, and I'd like to pass something of that joy of discovering new words on.

The biggest challenge of writing CARS is that at first pass they are just that, cars. Writing for what are essentially two ton boxes of metal with limited movement can be a challenge. What I did before each script was put the movie back on, and lie down with my eyes shut and just listen to the dialog and interplay between the characters, that helped me visualize them as distinct personalities rather than objects. Plotting the action could also be a little tricky as cars basically just move in a horizontal plane, they can't really jump about too much, or go up and down stairs etc. So I got to play around with my die-cast CARS toy collection as I moved vehicles around my desk plotting out races moves, or action sequences. - Which was pretty cool - getting paid to play with toy cars!

The rewards? Oh they are numerous. Writing an all-ages comic has been a wonderful experience. The look on a kids face when they see a comic about one of their favorite characters is priceless. I also love hearing from parents who tell me they read the books to their kids as a way of sharing a love of reading. I've also been told about kids being spurred to want to learn to read because of  the CARS comics, and that is perhaps the greatest reward.


As CARS  is a beloved and well-known franchise, did you feel a lot of pressure to please the loyal fans of CARS? Did the fact that the characters were well-established help or hinder your creative process?

I didn't really feel too much pressure at the start, but then I discovered there's this whole CARS collectors sub-culture. The collector community were great in welcoming me in, and very appreciative of the work I did. But when I saw a blog post on a CARS forum discussing what had basically been a throw-away gag in one panel, I realized just how closely they were reading the books. 

I'm a big fan of the movie myself, as well as a gear-head in general, so I always tried to stay true to the characters, as well as to the motor sports aspects of the story, and the various ways that things work in the CARS world. I took it all very seriously as the slightest deviation would be picked up.

While the characters were well established within the confines of the movie, there are still a lot of stories you can tell using them. I have a habit, that when watching a movie, of asking myself how did a particular character get there in the first place, or what happened next to them? That can be a springboard for a lot of ideas. For instance in the CARS movie, Lightning McQueen is often referred to as "The Rookie Sensation of the Year." Wanting to know why he was called that, lead to the ideas that formed the first CARS comic story arc "The Rookie."

If you had complete creative control, what direction would you like to take the CARS line?

Wow, that's a big question. I would want to expand the motor-sports part of the world, and bring in cars from other series (as they seem to be doing in the new movie), but also follow the revival of Radiator Springs - maybe have some of the old residents return. I'd also thought about doing something where as the town grows and prospers, the old-time residents start to see the new prosperity of something of a double edged sword as the influx of new residents means that they start to lose that feeling of community that kept them together.

I like the fact that they are doing an adventure spin on the movie too (I actually did a small four-page Mater spy story in one of my comics), and I think Mater's fantasy life (as shown in the Tall tales shorts) would be fun to explore more.

If you could write a comic about any character from your youth that inspired you, who would that be and why?

Doctor Who. Growing up in the UK, Doctor Who was a constant inspiration both on TV and in the various British adventure comics I read. The great thing about writing stories for The Doctor is that they can be about anything, and set at anytime. Science fiction, historical, whatever you want.


Do you have any other items in the works for your history of comics line?

I have had discussions with the publishers for a couple of other ideas to follow the James Bond and Star Trek comics history books, and it looks like we are close to an agreement on what the next project will be; but contracts aren't signed yet. 

On the comics front it looks like I will be doing some work on another licensed all-ages book later this year, and I'm looking forward to that.

And of course it's fantastic news that the new Disney*Pixar Presents magazine to be distributed by Marvel will be kicking off with some of my CARS stories. I have also been talking to them about some new story ideas, so hopefully I might get the chance to return to Radiator Springs at some point in the future.

MNB

          Doctor Strange – AYJW064   
Marvel's Doctor Strange lays a fertile ground for discussion on a variety of Christian subjects including humility, the process of sanctification, and death.
          Póster de “Capitán América: El soldado de invierno”   
[tabs slidertype=”images”] [imagetab] http://moonfleet.es/wp-content/upLoads/capitan_america_soldado_invierno_01.jpg [/imagetab] [/tabs] Lo sé, Lo sé, a veces da la sensación de que me he ido definitivamente pero como me resisto a que así sea hoy me ha dado por compartir con vosotros este póster para España de una de las películas que la Marvel nos tiene preparadas para el año … Continuar leyendo "Póster de “Capitán América: El soldado de invierno”"
          The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) – AYJW030   
The Amazing Spider-man is an action-packed fun ride for fans of the Marvel comics superhero. Eve Franklin and Chris Jones examine the morality and pseudo-science of this blockbuster from a Christian worldview.
          Captain America: The First Avenger – AYJW021   
The all-American hero from Marvel was chosen because of his inner strength and compassion. But what does Captain America really say?
          Talent Pool   
I am directing a show for a community theater in Wisconsin and I've run into a new problem; not enough auditionees. This is a new experience for me. Well not completely. In my 11 years working in Chicago, occasionally there was trouble finding appropriate age or character types, but then you would put out calls to friends and bring in a coupe people who might not be a great fit for the role, but they will work. Here I don't have that luxury - I haven't built a network yet and the company I'm working for is pulling out all the stops trying to get people in but they don't seem to be having any success.

The show we're producing is a musical that has 22 speaking roles and chorus (I'll let you try to figure out the show by those numbers). Now you expect having trouble trying to find an adequate number of men, especially young men, but in two days of auditions we've seen 14 actors. And yes, this community theater does have enough people to pull from; two years ago they did a show with over 50 people. And yes, the show we are trying to cast is a big name show that often does well in community theaters.

That's my problem. We have another night of auditions so my producers and I are making some calls and keeping our fingers crossed. But what I really wanted to talk about is talent level.

Coming from the Chicago store-front theater scene, I'm used to seeing over 100 people in two days for a show that needs maybe 6-8 actors. The talent ranges from actors who in a couple years will be working for the regional houses downtown or shipping off to New York, to people who are doing this after work as a hobby, to people who have no business auditioning in the first place and within two years probably will have given up. That's a wide range.

Here I may not have seen any equity level talent, but everyone was competence and passionate there with a smile on their face and willing to give it their best shot. Because they get to be in a play. What a marvelous notion. And unlike Chicago, there aren't 20 other auditions they could sign up for this week. This is their one chance at doing a play in their community this fall. They want to be here. They know it's fun. There's no ambition beyond that.

Just like the Chicago actors, these are people who work a day job and come to rehearsals afterwards. For both it's an escape. The difference is in Chicago, the actor will introduce themselves as an actor and downplay their day job. Here they are contractors, teachers, office managers, and many other walks of life and then they get to go and be in a play after that. What could be more joyous than that. It's fun. It's a community experience - everyone comes together to see your work at the end of the process. They appreciate both the talent and the effort. Everyone is happy just to be there.

It think some of the professionals lose that. It's a different passion that drives them - and if that isn't fulfilled it can be frustrating and depressing. You take roles just to be working so you don't have to face the fear of not working and the boredom that comes with it. But that can suck all the joy out of the work. Plays become less about playing and more about working. And you can tell the difference. You can't give your full self when that's happening. You fall back on your training and you start making "interesting" choices. But that is not the stuff that life is made of and the productions lose a certain vitality.

Community theater is as grass roots as it gets. It's theater by the community and for the community. Perhaps you won't see the earth-shattering plays that ask the probing questions of our time (and yes, those are super important) but what you will see is a celebration of neighborhood, identity, and a true love of the game.
          Gazillion Announces Removal Of Fantastic 4, Silver Surfer From Marvel Heroes — Then Removes Post   

Yesterday, a post was made on the Marvel Heroes forums announcing that after July 1, no players would be able to purchase certain Fantastic 4...

The post Gazillion Announces Removal Of Fantastic 4, Silver Surfer From Marvel Heroes — Then Removes Post appeared first on  - MMOBomb.com.


             
I really miss this space.

I miss coming back to this blog, this tiny little bright, cozy corner of the Internet that was all mine and was such a big part of my life for so long.  I miss taking a few minutes out of my day to pull up my laptop, drink a glass of wine (or 3) and keep track of the big things in my life, and the little things in my life, and the completely mundane things in my life that would have been completely forgotten about had I not recorded it for posterity.

Wading through the sometimes pointless, sometimes obnoxious, and often cringe-inducing (what is with the third person references, Lulu?!) posts in these archives allow me to look back and really marvel at some of the things I've done in this short life of mine.  Sometimes I sit at a stoplight in my 2011 Town and Country minivan, The Adventures of Peabody and Sherman blasting from the travel car TV behind my head, and can't believe there was a point in my life where I lived in New York City for 3 solid years.  

I'm happy that Instagram is a "thing", and that is allowed me to microblog, if you will, over the last few years to capture some day-to-day snapshots.  But I came back to this page for the first time in a looooong time- it's been almost a year since I even typed in the URL-  and am sad I didn't take the time to recap my trip to visit Ryan when he lived in Prague during grad school.  I'm sad I didn't rehash what it was REALLY like to semi-solo parent a destination wedding trip to Mexico with 2 small toddlers (newsflash: mostly not very vacation-y).

I'm not the journal writing type (good Lord, you should SEE my handwriting in real life), and I'm not good at keeping up on photo albums in this digital camera/camera phone age (the kids don't even HAVE baby books yet, which makes me feel guilty on a regular basis).  This has always been that little space in the world I have to catch little snippets of life and save it for later.

But bringing yourself to actively start blogging is a hard thing to bring oneself to do these days- there's this self-imposed pressure to have the most bright, clear, professional photos and the most spectacularly styled house and curated closet; a second-guess that the post you want to put together on your favorite recipe is somewhat "less than" because the cutting board is sitting on the brownish-greenish-grey granite of the house you rent, instead of on the crisp Carrera marble counter of that modern farmhouse of yours people can't seem to stop pinning photos of.

But that's just not who I am- I don't spend piles of money at Resto Hardware, and I can't DIY crown moulding into my rental house.  I can't do seasonal posts on the greatest new children's clothing, because right now I only shop for the kids once a year.  Nobody is going to be moved by my fashion posts because a) aloof fashion poses were never my strong suit (my modeling career abruptly ended at the age of 8 after a few print ads and a commercial for the local cable company), and b) I've mostly transitioned to a capsule wardrobe so I wear similar versions of the same thing each week.  Part of me feels like if I'm not doing those things to the Nth degree, or if I don't have a gimmick or some focused blog theme than I'm a mess and have no business posting on a public website.

But I'm kind of a mess- I'm trying to navigate this messy world just like all of you are, and I like weird, disparate things (I'm pretty sure I'm the only person on earth who was gifted the new book from Dita Von Teese AND a book on soil composition called Teaming With Microbes).  I'm ready (again... I think...) to get back to putting my chaotic, messy, awesome life back on my website, and have a place to come back to in 6 months or 6 years and cringe and laugh some at more.



          Happy First Birthday To My Son   
On The Night You Were Born
by Nancy Tillman

On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder

DSC_0015

DSC_0035

That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”

DSC_0056


Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.


DSC_0425

So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
That they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.

DSC_0032

It sailed through the farmland
High on the breeze…
Over the ocean…
And through the trees…

DSC_0189

DSC_0393
DSC_0234

Until everyone heard it
And everyone knew
Of the one and only ever you.

IMG_0148

Not once had there been such eyes,
Such a nose,

IMG_0215

Such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.

DSC_0519

When the polar bears heard,
They danced until dawn.
From faraway places,
The geese flew home.

DSC_0489

The moon stayed up until
Morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.

DSC_0505

So whenever you doubt just how special you are
And you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
Listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)

DSC_0492

Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely…it’s whispering your name again!)

SAM_5060

If the moon stays up until morning one day,
Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…

DSC_0473

For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
Has the world ever known a you, my friend,
And it never will, not ever again…

DSC_0437

Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.

IMG_0238

Happy first birthday, our sweet baby boy.



          Happy First Birthday to My Daughter   
On The Night You Were Born
by Nancy Tillman


On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder

SAM_4333
SAM_4331

That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”

DSC_0004

Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.

DSC_0096

So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
That they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.

Hospital Room Board

It sailed through the farmland
High on the breeze…
Over the ocean…
And through the trees…

DSC_0113 DSC_0118

Until everyone heard it
And everyone knew
Of the one and only ever you.

DSC_0110

Not once had there been such eyes,
Such a nose,

DSC_0263

Such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.

DSC_0093

When the polar bears heard,
They danced until dawn.
From faraway places,
The geese flew home.

DSC_0142

The moon stayed up until
Morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.

DSC_0241

So whenever you doubt just how special you are
And you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
Listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)

DSC_0302

Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely…it’s whispering your name again!)

DSC_0266

If the moon stays up until morning one day,
Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…

DSC_0211

For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
Has the world ever known a you, my friend,
And it never will, not ever again…

DSC_0167

Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.

DSC_0235

Happy first birthday, our sweet baby girl.

          E3 2017 - auf einen Blick   
Die Electronic Entertainment Expo, kurz E3, ist eine der weltweit größten Messen für Videospiele und Computerspiele.
Auf ihr präsentieren Spieleentwickler und Publisher aktuelle und kommende Produkte. Die Messe ist Fachbesuchern und akkreditierter Presse vorbehalten.

Alle E3 Neuheiten mit brandneuen Beschreibungen, Screenshots und Trailern zusammengefasst:

Microsoft
Xbox One X (Scorpio) (7. Nov.) 4k60p Gaming
Anthem
Ashen
Conan Exiles
Crackdown 3
Forza Motorsport 7
Metro Exodus
Playerunknown´s Battlegrounds (2017)
State of Decay 2

Bandai Namco
Project CARS 2 (PS4/X1/PC - 22. Sep.) + Japanese Car Pack + Steelbook

Bethesda
Dishonored: Der Tod des Outsiders (PS4/X1/PC - 15. Sep.)
DOOM: VFR (PS4)
Fallout 4 VR (PS4)
Quake Champions (PC)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Nintendo Switch - 13. Okt.)
The Evil Within 2 (PS4/X1/PC - 13. Okt.)
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (PS4/X1/PC - 27. Okt.) + Collectors Edition

Electronic Arts
A Way Out (2018)
FIFA 18 Fan Edition (PS4/X1/PC - 29. Sep.) + 14 DLCs + Steelbook
Need for Speed Payback (PS4/X1/PC - 10. Nov.) + Car Pack
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (PS4/X1/PC - 17. Nov.) + Jedi Pack + BETA

Square Enix
Life Is Strange: Before The Storm
Kingdom Hearts 3

Ubisoft
Assassins Creed: Origins (PS4/X1/PC - 27. Okt.) Zusatzmission + Collectors Edition
Far Cry 5 (PS4/X1/PC - 27. Feb.) Doomsday-Prepper-Paket + Collectors Edition
Beyond Good and Evil 2 (PS4/X1)
Skull & Bones (PS4/X1/PC) + BETA
The Crew 2 (PS4/X1/PC) + BETA
Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Nintendo Switch) + Collectors Edition
Starlink: Battle for Atlas (PS4/X1/Switch)

Warner Bros. Interactive
Mittelerde: Schatten des Krieges (PS4/X1/PC - 10. Okt.)

Capcom
Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite (PS4/X1 - 19. Sep.)
Monster Hunter: World (PS4/X1)

Sony
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4 - 23. Aug.)
Days Gone (PS4)
God of War (PS4)
Bravo Team VR (PS4)
The Inpatient VR (PS4)
Detroit: Become Human (PS4)
Spiderman (PS4)
Shadow of the Colossus (PS4)
          More than grassroots because    
There has been a lot of ballyhoo recently in relation to selling items on eBay. A lot of individuals to this day have not even been to this encampment accept it or not. Despite this fact, it is real that the flea market is prodigious. There are billions of group browsing the goods on eBay from intersectant the sphere day-after-day. Many entrepreneurs have managed to brainstorm a way to knead this to their ability. There are whatever nation who use drop-shippers, quite a few culture provide digital items, spell even much unmoving deal in the material possession they discovery at garage sales!If you are an individual looking into merchandising items on eBay as a company in attendance are many an holding to keep in be concerned. First of all, label yourself mindful that eBay does insinuation to situation your bridge a moment ago close to a grouped ad. Also, you have to be a trusted purveyor past buyers will even brood over making a purchase. One closing spine to call to mind is that if you have somatogenetic article of trade to move, you will call for to be business enterprise items yourself.There are abundant society who have marvellous glory perusal garage sales and antique stores and mercantilism those items for a remarkable commodity on eBay. This can decidedly sort someone a flawless profits. For these products you essential remind that you will unremittingly have to find things to market. This may mean disbursement your weekends going all ended town to breakthrough something price merchandising. Not to mention, you will stipulation the cremation to acquisition the item, residency the item, and cruiser the point. Like I said, it is a serious way to sort business but there is a lot to it.Post ads:windows phone intercept sms / how to record keystrokes in windows / tapping mobile phones in australia / who is owen cheating on christina with / telefono espia microfono gsm / atlantic records phone number uk / she keeps cheating on me / dreams of unfaithful spouse / record incoming call on blackberry / wall listening audio spy device / surveillance device crossword clue / mobile phone conversations recorded / cheater in mw2 / how to deal with cheating husband without losing him / jasmine spy calls / telephone voice recorder computer usb connector / spy tracking device carMany empire use drop-shipping employment to provide items on eBay. What this consists of is a membership to a drop-ship corporation. A drop-shipper essentially warehouses and ships items that you vend on eBay. These companies on average pleading a notable strong views fee to initiate. From that point, you list any portion that they propose on an eBay auction. Once you have quite a lot of sales, the drop-ship organization will pack and cutter the portion straight to the consumer. This is in spades more accessible than the latter prescription but you will stipulation to be able to spend the drop-ship bias fees.
          იქს–ადამიანები: აპოკალიპსი (2016) / X-men Apocalypse (2016) / Iqs adamianebi apokalipsi (2016)   
Marvel-ის ერთ–ერთი ყველაზე ცნობილი და გახმაურებული ფილმის იქს–ადამიანების კიდევ ერთი საინტერესო გაგრძელება უყურეთ ექსკლუზიურად იქს–ადამიანები აპოკალიფსს ჩვენს საიტზე
          Pumpkin Zucchini Bread   
Pumpkin Zucchini Bread Recipe
If theres one thing I know that signifies it is really fall, it's when I make my pumpkin zucchini bread! I've been making this recipe for many years, and I have yet to meet someone who'd doesn't just love it! While I can't technically call it healthy, there are lots of healthy aspects of this delicious treat, and in a season where everything is loaded with sugar, calories and pumpkin, having something that is a little lighter on the waistline is always a good idea! I've been making this recipe for so long, I actually don't remember where I initially found/saw the pumpkin zucchini bread recipe, but I know it's delicious! And today, I'm sharing the recipe with you!
Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup melted butter (substitue 1/2 cup of applesauce for healthier option)
1 Tsp. baking powder
1/2 Tsp salt
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups shredded zucchini
Handful chocolate chips or other topping (optional) I added streusel topping to a few of my mini loaves. 

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread Recipe
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°
2. Shred and dry two large zucchinis (I use a cheese grater & remove excess water with cheesecloth or paper towel)
3. Combine sugar and eggs, lightly beat together
4. Add pumpkin, vanilla and butter to wet mixture.
5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
6. Slowly add dry mixture to wet mixture, mixing well.
7. Stir in zucchini and optional add-ins.
8. Fill two greased 9x5in loaf pans. 
9. Bake for 40-50 minutes. (I used mini loaf pans so my cook time is different).
10. Let sit in pans for 10-15 minutes.
11. Move to wire rack to cool.
Pumpkin Zucchini Bread Recipe






And there you have it! That is my marvelous Pumpkin Zucchini Bread! If you aren't feeling this fab fall dessert, you have to check out my pumpkin snicker doodle recipe! They are equally delicious in their own way!
What is your favorite thing to make during the fall season?

          Verizon To Sponsor Digital Companion To ABC’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’   
The super-agents who track superheroes in ABC’s new ‘Avengers”-themed program “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will star not only in the program that debuts on the Walt Disney network tonight at 8 p.m,, but also a weekly digital program aimed to maximize fan chatter. Every Monday morning, ABC is set to run “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D:... Read more »
          ‘NCIS’ vs. ‘Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’ Among New TV Season’s Big Showdowns   
As people increasingly watch favorite television shows on their own timetables and platforms, they are less beholden than ever to a network schedule. But timeslots still matter in the business of television, and where a show resides in a lineup can still be a key factor in its success or failure. In a sure sign that... Read more »
          Review: ‘Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of SMASH’   
With the acquisition of Marvel and Lucasfilm, Disney XD — the Disney Channel satellite aimed at boys — has a whole new super-powered arsenal at its disposal. Still, mining those libraries with an eye toward moppets has gotten off to a rather rocky start, with its latest series bearing an unwieldy title, “Marvel’s Hulk and... Read more »
          TCA: Producers Hope ‘Agents of SHIELD’s’ Secrecy Brings Back ‘Urgency’ to TV   
Without a doubt, ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” is the show kept most under wraps for fall season. During a lunchtime screening of the pilot during the Alphabet’s TCA session, ABC employees walked up and down the darkened aisles in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton to confirm no one was filming the episode with... Read more »
          TV Review: ‘Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’   
Marvel/ABC pilot picks up where "Avengers" left off, but doesn't pack quite the same punch.
          WATCH Trailers for All of ABC’s New Shows Including MARVEL’s ‘Agents of ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’   
ABC has released several clips of upcoming series to debut this fall, including "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and the Alice in Wonderland drama "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland."
          TRAILER: ABC and MARVEL’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.   
Directed by Joss Whedon and starring Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton and Chloe Benett, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." premieres this fall on ABC.
          The Reason for the Season, Jesus Christ Our Saviour   
Merry Christmas! God Bless you all and may your new year bring you many wonderful blessings.

Pastor Ron

Luke 2: 1-20

1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
          Today, We are Chosen!   
1 Peter 2:9 (New King James Version)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

What a wonderful word of encouragement this is. Proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light. My friend of many years Bro. Hank Dunkerson prophesied today that praising him openly will open up Heaven and His blessings will come down. Hank saw an escalator going up with the Praises of His people and Blessing and Mercy and Grace and Riches were coming down. I believe that is a beautiful revelation of the reality of what God does when He hears our voices or sees our voices (in print) as Sis. Judy Warner expressed.

There is no doubt, that with all that is happening in the world today and right here in our own country. The global and national economy, unemployment, H1N1, poverty, government socialism of the banks, automakers and soon health care. We are certainly a Chosen Generation for sure. But we must realize that we are chosen for a purpose. Each of us must find our purpose and be obedient to His call on our lives. Let us together examine the four parts of this verse together.

1. A "Chosen Generation", I believe we will see the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Prophesied and promised for all generations but we are the chosen generation that will experience the Gifts of the Spirit, Miracles, Restoration and Renewal. Faith will be our guide as we seek His will in the Holy Scriptures. His Word is alive and speaking to all who will open it's content and receive. Chosen, to bring the message of deliverance and salvation to all the world beginning at home first. As for me and my House we will serve the Lord!

2. A "Royal Priesthood", I believe we are God's children and Jesus is our Brother and this gives us a priestly privilege with the gifts of God and His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. God is not selfish nor is He withholding a portion for a rainy day. God has made us a joint Heir with Jesus and we can participate in His spending plan. TARP Funds? Stimulus Plan? Bailout? No! God's supply in our lives is not temporary or short term. There are no loans with interest due, just a free flowing outpouring of all that He has and all that we can receive. You can not out give God. He said that He would cause men to give unto us. I have a need that God has already answered and I am remaining obedient to be able to receive the blessing. I will walk in the Royal Priesthood that God has established for us all, will you?

3. A "Holy Nation", I believe that this nation was established to be the epicenter of evangelism to the world, but it seems as though that we have lost sight of that. We are constantly at battle to keep prayer in our schools and government meetings, the sanctity of human life is diminishing. Atheism is prevalent everywhere and we act as though we have "IT" all going on. The church as a whole is expressive of the phrase "having a form of Godliness, but denying the Power thereof". We pray in tongues, lay on hands, preach the word, baptise in water and nothing is changing. People are leaving their "Houses of Worship" and they are still not healed, they are still broken, they are still lost, they are still needful, and we do not know why. I am brought to remember what Jeremiah asked " is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no Physician there? Surely you know that Gilead was where the physician was and the balm to heal their wound. But Jesus is the great Physician and His supply of Balm is plentiful. This nation must return to the Word of Truth and not just preach the word, but let it come alive in the lives of those who read and hear. John said in Revelations "blessed is he who reads these words" understanding is not a requirement to be blessed, Faith unwavering in the Word is though. A return to Truth will make us a "Holy Nation" once and for all and bring healing to the church. It was once said "so goes the home, so goes the church. So goes the church so goes the nation. I will dwell in His Word and allow it to be alive in my voice. Again as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

4. His own "Special People". That really sums it all up, but most of us do not realize how special we are. Jesus gave His life on the Cross for us. He gave, so that we can receive. We are Special. We are set apart from the world, we are only in this world (passing through) and not of this world. We are aliens in an unfamiliar world and we need to realize that God has chosen us to be His own Special People. I thank God that He chose me. and as you read this, I hope you will realize that He has chose you as well. You are Special!
Your in Christ Jesus,
Pastor Ron
          The True History of King Richard III - part 1   
This is something I have wanted to write for a long time. I did think about doing it as a book, but in the end I have decided to make it a serial on this Blog. Of course, it is all based on the best sources (More, Shakespeare, Weir) apart from the bits I make up. Well, if Sir Thomas, a saint, could make things up about Richard, so can I. And you get all this free...

Fotheringhay Castle October 1452.

The Duchess of York - aka the Rose of Raby - was not feeling very rose like. Unsurprising, as she had been pregnant for two whole years. I mean, you know how big some women get after nine months, so after two years she was big. With a capital B. And awkward, and uncomfortable, and all the rest of it. She was also bored with receiving the physicians and midwives who had travelled from all over Christendom to inspect her. Because you see, the word had got around. No one had ever known a woman be pregnant for two years before. Some thought it impossible. But here she was.

It was all the more amazing in that Thomas of York - who had sadly died - had been born in either 1450 or 1451. No one could quite remember when, not even the Duchess. But somehow this other baby had remained in her womb and continued to grow. Eventually a particularly learned physician - a Saracen with a beard and a crescent on his robes - suggested that maybe this new child was a sort of twin who had somehow been retained. However, he admitted he had not seen anything like it, not even in Damascus.

The Duchess was beyond caring. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the labour eventually began. And it went on a long, long time. It was lucky that the Saracen doctor was handy, as they ended up having to cut poor Duchess Cecily open, and usually when they did this in those days the mother was already dead. And if not she soon would be. But so skilled was the doctor that not only did Cecily live, she survived until she was quite old. What's more, her husband was even able to persuade her to have another child, a daughter called Ursula, who only stayed in the womb for the usual nine months. What marvellous chaps these Saracen physicians were!

Anyway, to return to the baby of 2nd October 1452 - he had a full set of hair and a full set of teeth. And the women crowded round the bed, who were all capable of foreseeing the future, said that he was going to bite the world. And when the Countess of Warwick - who was there in her role as amateur midwife - opened the baby's fist, she found that he was clutching a little silver dagger, which he'd be using to stab his mother for the past two years. No wonder she'd had such an uncomfortable pregnancy!

So they took him along to the big church next to the castle, and baptised him with the name of Richard. This was his father's name, and they chose it because he looked just like the Duke of York, which none of the other children did, as they took after their mother's side, the big blond Nevilles. Because of course no Plantagenet had ever been big, or blond, in all the years since 1154. York was a bit shorter than most Nevilles and had darkish hair.

Naturally, he peed in the font. The baby that is, not the Duke of York. Luckily the Duke was the patron of the church, so none of the priests made a big fuss. Instead they went off to the castle in procession and had a big feast, with boars' heads and stuff. And people threw bones over their shoulders and spat on the floor.

The Duchess had hers on a tray, as she was still a bit sore.



          This Thursday Tickets Go On Sale For The D23 Expo 2015!   


TICKETS FOR D23 EXPO 2015: THE ULTIMATE DISNEY FAN EVENT, GO ON SALE THURSDAY, AUGUST 14, 2014

Early Bird Discounted Tickets Available for a Limited Time

D23 Members Enjoy Additional Savings and Member-Only Benefits

BURBANK, Calif. – August 6, 2014 – On Thursday, August 14, at 10 a.m. PT, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will begin selling tickets for the next D23 Expo, which will take place August 14–16, 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The largest Disney fan event in the world, the D23 Expo celebrates all the wonderful worlds of Disney entertainment, uniting all parts of The Walt Disney Company under one roof, including The Walt Disney Studios (including Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm); Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; Disney Consumer Products; Media Networks (including ABC, Disney Channel, and Radio Disney) and Disney Interactive. D23 Expo 2015 marks the fourth bi-annual event held in Anaheim.

More than 65,000 Disney fans from around the world gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center in 2013 for the third D23 Expo. Once again, the Expo will celebrate the past, present, and future of Disney with live events, celebrity appearances, panels, presentations, sneak peeks, and immersive experiences. D23 Expo 2015 marks the return of fan favorites including the Disney Legends Awards, honoring the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy; and Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, which spotlights costumes, props, and set pieces from Disney’s rich history.

As in previous Expos, D23 Expo 2015 will showcase all of the latest stars in the Disney universe. In 2013, celebrity appearances included Angelina Jolie, Chris Evans, Billy Crystal, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston, with performances by Idina Menzel, R5 featuring Ross Lynch, and a once-in-a-lifetime concert with Disney Legends Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken. Disney executives and creative talent came together to deliver special presentations, announcements, and experiences to Disney fans throughout the three-day extravaganza.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2015 are available at a discounted price for a limited time. From August 14–December 31, 2014, tickets are $61 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $52 for a one-day adult admission and $37 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $268 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for members and general admission, visit D23Expo.com.

In addition to these special advance-purchase savings, an extremely limited number of D23 VIP Sorcerer Packages will once again be available. Based on fan feedback, even more benefits have been added this year including exclusive opportunities in the Walt Disney Imagineering pavilion and Mickey’s of Glendale.

The SORCERER PACKAGE includes:

  • Three-day admission ticket and commemorative Sorcerer credential 
  • Reserved seating at all presentations in the main hall, Stage 23, and Stage 28 
  • Limited-edition D23 American Tourister boarding bag 
  • Pre-Expo tour of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit 
  • Special tour of the Walt Disney Imagineering Pavilion 
  • Exclusive shopping time in the D23 Expo Dream Store, Disney Store, and Mickey’s of Glendale 
  • Tour of the D23 Expo show floor the day before the Expo is open to the public 
  • Welcome Reception on Thursday evening 
  • Exclusive entrance to the Expo each morning 
  • A voucher for an appointment with an on-site massage therapist 
  • Exclusive D23 Expo gift pack including gifts from D23 and the rest of The Walt Disney Company 
  • Saturday morning Meet and Greet Coffee with a special Disney guest 
  • “Fond Farewell” reception on final day of Expo 
  • Plus, access to the Sorcerer Member Lounge and other benefits


Sorcerer Package tickets are available exclusively to both Gold and Silver D23 Members at $2,000 per ticket. Members have the option to purchase up to two Sorcerer tickets. Additional details and benefits are highlighted at D23Expo.com.

D23 Gold and Silver Members are entitled to early admission to the Expo show floor and D23 will once again give a special thanks to D23 Charter Members, providing them special access to the Expo’s Charter Member Lounge.

Visit D23Expo.com to relive some of the extraordinary experiences from the first three Expo events and get a peek at what’s to come in 2015.

About D23
The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts, and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold, Silver, and Free Membership levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow us @DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.


Cooking with Mickey Fans
Follow on Twitter
Like on Facebook
Subscribe to the YouTube Channel


          Play Dr. Doofenshmirtz's Waffle-inator at D23 Expo 2013   
Waffle-inator Challenge at D23 Expo 2013

FANS CAN BEHOLD AND THEN PLAY DR. DOOFENSHMIRTZ'S MOST
GRANDIOSE INVENTION YET, A 40-FOOT TALL WAFFLE-INATOR
DEBUTS AT DISNEY'S D23 EXPO

"The Phineas and Ferb Waffle-inator Challenge" Celebrates Disney Channel's "Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel" TV Special

Marvel Universe Stars Adrian Pasdar, Drake Bell, Fred Tatasciore, Roger Craig Smith, Bumper Robinson and Laura Bailey to Meet Fans at D23 Expo Friday, August 9

BURBANK, Calif. (July 26, 2013) – Dr. Doofenshmirtz is primed to take over Disney's D23 Expo…and the Tri-State Area with his most wacky "-inator" yet -- "The Waffle-inator" -- a spectacular 40-foot high interactive game, combining physical and digital worlds -- and simulated waffles -- in an epic showdown to free Agent P from the clutches of Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Kids, tweens and families can hop aboard and wield the life-size invention to play "The Phineas and Ferb Waffle-inator Challenge," over three days at Disney's D23 Expo, the ultimate event for Disney fans, at the Anaheim Convention Center FRIDAY, AUGUST 9–SUNDAY, AUGUST 11.

The Waffle-inator is depicted in "Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel," the highly anticipated event episode of the #1 animated series for kids and tweens, premiering FRIDAY, AUGUST 16 (8:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel and SUNDAY, AUGUST 25 (10:00 a.m. ET/PT) on Disney XD. In the storyline, Phineas and Ferb, team up with the Marvel Super Heroes to help them regain their powers and defeat Marvel Super Villains and Dr. Doofenshmirtz, in an epic battle of good versus evil, where the dastardly delicious device "The Waffle-inator" comes into play.

Stars from Marvel Universe – Adrian Pasdar, Drake Bell, Fred Tatasciore, Roger Craig Smith, Bumper Robinson and Laura Bailey – will join the line-up of stars across Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior who will meet fans at Disney's D23 Expo, including "Teen Beach Movie," "Phineas and Ferb," "Shake It Up," "Jessie," "Gravity Falls," "Good Luck Charlie," "Liv and Maddie," "Kickin' It," "Dog With A Blog," "Lab Rats," "Crash & Bernstein," "Wander Over Yonder" and "Sofia the First." Fans can also catch live performances from Hollywood Records' recording artists Bridgit Mendler and R5 featuring Ross Lynch, and meet favorite characters Princess Sofia ("Sofia the First"), Doc McStuffins, Jake ("Jake and the Never Land Pirates"), Spider-Man and Iron Man.

Popular radio personalities Ernie D, Morgan & Maddy, Jake and Candice from Radio Disney will join in the fun with prizes and activities to entertain Disney fans of all ages.v
To play the "The Phineas and Ferb Waffle-inator Challenge," fans are invited to man one of four colorful, full-scale "Waffe-inators" to unleash flying foam waffles and to move Phineas and Ferb up a towering screen, while outmaneuvering Dr. Doof's evil creations, to free a trapped Agent P before time runs out. "The Phineas and Ferb Waffle-inator Challenge" will be located in the Grand Plaza near the D23 Expo entrance for fans to enjoy Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tickets to the D23 Expo are available at http://www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 Expo, including the Disney Legends Ceremony, and can be purchased for single days or for the full three days of festivities. Admission is $47 for a one-day adult ticket and $37 for children 3-12. Three-day passes are $136 for adults and $106 for children. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will receive a discount for up to four admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 Expo for themselves and their guests.

About Disney Channels Worldwide
Disney Channels Worldwide is a portfolio of over 100 kid-driven, family inclusive entertainment channels and/or channel feeds available in 166 countries in 34 languages, spanning Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Disney Cinemagic, Hungama and Radio Disney brands. Through cable, satellite and digital terrestrial television channels and a strategic partnership with Disney-ABC-ESPN Television for the third-party distribution of Disney-branded kids’ programming across the globe, Disney Channels Worldwide reaches hundreds of millions of viewers. Disney Channel properties continue to rapidly expand into new markets across the world, playing a key role in introducing the Disney brand to new consumers.

About D23 Expo 2013
The D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing attendees with unprecedented access to Disney films, television and theme parks. For the latest D23 Expo 2013 news, visit www.D23Expo.com. To be part of the D23 Expo conversation, make sure to follow @DisneyD23 and tag your tweets with #D23Expo.

Cooking with Mickey Fans
Follow on Twitter
Like on Facebook
Subscribe to the YouTube Channel


          Age Defying Neck Treatment   
Your neck is one of the first areas to show the tell tale signs of ageing. This marvelous treatment will help lift and firm your delicate neck area turning back the clock for a more youthful look.Duration: 20 minPrice: $35in conjunction with any other facial $25
          Guilty: Glenn Ford & Marty Stroud   
To: Senate Judiciary, Committee C

cc: Governor John Bel Edwards and staff
Louisiana House and Senate
Justices Louisiana Supreme Court
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and staff
Louisiana District Attorneys Assoc.
Louisiana Sheriff's Assoc.
Louisiana State Troopers Assoc.
All Catholic Diocese, Bishops and staff

Media throughout Louisiana
Editors, Bureau Chiefs, Directors, Managers and government/crime reporters

Subject: Guilty: Glenn Ford & Marty Stroud

Re: How bad? Marty Stroud's Testimony, Senate Judiciary Committee C, SB 142, April 26, 2017

From: Dudley Sharp

Preface

The committee has an obligation to make sure that A.M. "Marty" Stroud takes personal responsibility for his testimony of April 26th. Stroud, proclaimed Glenn Ford an innocent that he, as a  prosecutor, with ill intent in his heart put on death row.

That obligation extends to setting the record straight to show respect for Isadore Rozeman, the innocent robbery/murder victim, the Rozeman and Glenn Ford families, as well as for the committee.

In 2015, Marty Stroud described his 1984 self as "arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic", "full of myself",  "totally wrong", interested more in winning than justice, "I was not a nice person" (1), "win, don't care about the costs","don't care about the victim" (2), "I did something that was very, very bad." "It was a train to injustice, and I was the engineer."(3), particularly, in the context of his being a prosecutor in securing the 1984 death sentence for Glenn Ford, for the robbery/murder of Isadore Rozeman.

Unlike the 1983-84 and 1988-2012 Stroud, in "avoiding" a search for the truth, Stroud's 2017 testimony, as well as his statements, from 2014 through today, had a whole bunch of evidence which he, intentionally suppressed, in avoidance of that known evidence.


What Stroud Left Out of His Testimony -  2017

Stroud: "in the motion to dismiss the case, the prosecutor's office said "if we had known the evidence that they knew at the time of the prosecution he probably wouldn't have been arrested." (4)

Sharp:  That is very odd. The evidence in the 1984 trial was overwhelming, with regard to Ford committing multiple felonies, inclusive of being a principle to the robbery, which led to the additional circumstantial evidence proving, beyond a reasonable doubt,  that Ford was guilty of capital murder, in the case of innocent murder victim, Isadore Rozeman.

That same evidence exists, today.

There is, overwhelming, support for Ford's guilt within both the 2015 (5) and 2016 (5a) reviews of the case evidence, by six judges, all of which Stroud is aware of but, intentionally, left out of Stroud's 2015-2017 statements, inclusive of Stroud's 2017 testimony.

Even though Stroud claims he desires "all of the story that should have been disclosed" (1), his 2015-2017 examples are "hiding" all of the story that Stroud should have disclosed.

Take a look:

Glenn Ford's Guilt

In 2013-14, the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office stated that it had obtained credible evidence that Ford "was neither present at, nor a participant in, the robbery and murder of Isadore Rozeman," and filed a motion to vacate Ford's conviction and sentence. On March 10, 2014, the trial court granted the state's motion. Ford was released the following day after spending nearly 30 years on death row. (5a)

The facts are that Ford, by his own admission, was a principal participant in the robbery/murder, that he was, at the least,  guilty of second degree murder. Ford cannot be excluded from actually murdering Isadore Rozeman, that murder being a capital, death penalty eligible crime, for which he was found guilty and sentenced to death.

(2016) Justice C.J.  BROWN,  "The evidence as presented supports Ford's guilt of second degree murder and that his connection was certainly not "tangential." (5a)

The 2013 "credible evidence" for Ford's 2014 release came from a reliable informant, who remains anonymous.

Reliable informants are known to be unreliable, occasionally. Informants are only as reliable as their sources, which was, allegedly, Jake Robinson, who, allegedly, stated, to the informant, that he (Robinson)  was the shooter of Isadore Robinson and that Glenn Ford was not there. Robinson is a career criminal, who no one trusts.

Glenn Ford, at his 1984 trial, did not deny being at the scene of the robbery/murder and he cannot prove that he was not (5a) Nor can he be excluded from committing the murder.

The record reflects that, at the time of the filing of the 2014 instant petition (to release Ford), two other individuals, Jake Robinson and Henry Robinson, were being prosecuted for the robbery and murder of Mr. Rozeman. (5a)

Those charges, which originated from that informant, have, now, been dropped, for lack of evidence, in this case, as well as others'.

That doesn't mean the informant was lying, although, such may be the case.  The informant's information could not be confirmed in quite a few cases.

We know that Ford was released, based upon information that could not be confirmed.

The evidence of Glenn Ford's guilt is overwhelming, yet, he was released.

The iron solid case is that Ford should have been convicted of second degree murder, at least, and that with all of the other involved crimes, Ford would have been sentenced to life in prison and that Ford should never had been released.

(2016) the five justices, Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Second Circuit: "The (informant's) statement of the district attorney is not evidence, nor has Ford produced any evidence that he was not concerned in the commission of this crime. We find no manifest error in the trial judge's (2015) conclusion regarding Ford as a principal to this crime." (5a)

2016: Justice J. DREW: " . . . it is accurate to say that the trial court (2015) found that Ford committed armed robbery. Even if not present at the moment of a crime, a person can be convicted of that crime, if otherwise involved as a principal." (5a) " . . . Ford arguably committed second degree murder arising out of the facts of this case. Had he actually been convicted of that crime, in a petit jury trial conducted in accordance with the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Ford would have never been released from prison." (5a)

Justice would be served had Ford remained in jail.

Anti death penalty folks attack informants, mercilessly (6), when they report the guilt of murderers, but love them if they report the innocence of murderers.

Stroud was very aware in 1983/1984 that the Robinson brothers were involved in the crimes, as well as all of the other facts, detailed, based upon all of Ford's statements, as well as those of other witnesses.

There wasn't enough evidence to try the Robinsons in 1984, nor was there at any later date, through today.

One wonders what evidence Stroud avoided, in 1983-84 and 1988-2012, that the police, the investigators and the lead prosecutor also avoided in 1983-1984.  Was there any?

Defense counsel Stroud's prosecutorial self flagellation tour could be attributable to his ingratiation himself into anti death penalty circles, where such "self destruction" is celebrated, as with The Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project honoring Stroud with its annual Champion of Justice Award in 2016.

Justice redefined.

Remember Isadore Rozeman

======
Also see
Glenn Ford Must Be Denied Compensation
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2017/05/glenn-ford-must-be-denied-compensation.html
======

2) District Judge Katherine Dorroh, in her nine-page ruling (2015) denying Ford's request for compensation from the state for being "wrongfully incarcerated", concluded that Glenn Ford  (5, 7):

---  " knew the robbery of jewelry Isadore Rozeman on Nov. 5, 1983 was going to occur
---   did nothing to stop it
---   attempted to destroy evidence by selling items taken in the robbery and
---   attempting to find buyers for the murder weapon used by those he implicated in the murder." (5, 7).

3) At the very least, Ford knew about the robbery, in advance, was involved in the conspiracy with the Robinson brothers, did nothing to stop it, was an accessory to armed robbery,  after the fact, pawned items stolen in the robbery/murder, the day of the robbery/murder, and had, additional,  items, stolen from Isadore,  in Ford's apartment, was trying to acquire a pistol the morning of the murder and attempted to sell a pistol, the afternoon, after the murder (5, 5a, 8).

Ford admitted to all of that, and more, as Stroud well knows.

Detective Gary Pittman who testified that Ford admitted to him that he and Henry Robinson had been at Mr. Rozeman's house on the day of the murder (5a).

Also found were items stolen, the month, before, from Rozeman's house/shop. Those items were connected to Glenn Ford. (9)

Who planned the robbery? Ford was the only one involved who knew that Izadore Rozeman had valuables to steal and who knew of Rozeman's security. How? Ford worked for Rozeman (8,5,5a).

Not only does Ford have blood on his hands, figuratively, he, likely, had blood on his hands, at some point, actually.

Ford cannot be excluded from gaining access to Rozeman's home, to facilitate the robbery/murder, nor can he be excluded from being the triggerman (8, 5, 5a).

Ford had gunshot residue on his left hand. The residue was of such small amount that it could neither be confirmed nor denied that he fired a weapon (8, 5,5a).

There was a partial fingerprint on a paper bag, at the crime scene, which appeared to be used as a glove, likely to hold the gun, a method to avoid  some gunshot residue and avoid fingerprints on the weapon.  That fingerprint did not exclude Ford, but could not be matched to him (8). That partial fingerprint excluded the other suspects (8, 5,5a).

4) Isadore Rozeman was the robbery/murder victim in the Glenn Ford case.

All public quotes from Isadore Rozeman's family (2015). All their facts are supported by the record (5,5a).

"We know that Glenn Ford was intimately involved in this crime that, eventually, led to the death of our uncle. Much of this was due to the relationship of Uncle Prince (Isadore) with Glenn Ford." (10,8)

"It is undisputed Mr. Ford was involved, having sold the clocks and watches obtained from the shop during the robbery. It is undisputable Mr. Ford was shopping for a gun days before Nov. 5, 1983, and selling the weapon days after the murder." (11, 8)

"In the compensation hearing (2015), for Glenn Ford, District Judge Katherine Dorroh found that Mr. Ford "committed many crimes, including possession of stolen goods, accessory after the fact to armed robbery, and principal to armed robbery." (11)

The Rozeman family that found that those charges may resulted in "a sentence of 30 years to life without parole. Mr. Ford served 30 years in prison." (11)

They are correct, as detailed, above, and here (5a).

"What has been lost in this discussion is the real innocent victim." (11)

Sharp: Never in his testimony nor in his apology letter, did Stroud, once, mention the name of Isadore Rozeman.

"That innocent murder victim was our uncle, Isadore Rozeman, raised in Shreveport and served our country as a plane mechanic at Barksdale during World War II."  (11) "He had a shop in his home on Stoner Avenue and spent his adult life repairing and selling antique watches and clocks. (11).

"On Nov. 5, 1983, (Isadore) opened the back door and people rushed into (Isadore's) home/shop. They knocked him down, broke his glasses and then put a gun to the back of his head and pulled the trigger." (11)

Multiple witnesses had Ford near or on Isadore's property near the time of the robbery/murder (5,5a,8). Ford had, himself, in Isadore's home/shop.

None of Ford's alleged alibis could be confirmed in court (8).

"Our uncle (Isadore Rozeman) was an innocent victim. (11, 5, 5a)"

Sharp:  Stroud called Ford an "innocent victim" (1). Such would be an incredible, bizarre declaration, if we were not aware of Stroud's self confessed ethical problems.

The "innocent" and "exoneration" deceptions, by anti death penalty folks, are standard, every day occurrences (12), just as their making up false confessions are (13).

"It is also undisputable to our family that my uncle (Isadore) did not open any of the four or five locks on his back door to anyone he did not know. We all spent the night with our uncle and knew his habits. At the time of the murder, the door was not broken down." (11)

"We will never know for sure who got our uncle to turn the locks and open the door, but the most logical choice was someone who had a relationship with my uncle and who benefited from the robbery. " (11)

"Glenn Ford fits both counts while the people now felt to likely be the shooters did not have a relationship with our uncle." (11)

Sharp: It is important to note that those other people were seen with Glenn Ford both, before and after the robbery/murder (7, 5a).

"In February police interviewed Marvella Brown, Jake Robinson's girl friend. She stated that Ford arrived at her apartment around noon the day of the offense, and asked the Robinsons, "Is you still going?" The three left, she said, returning around 3:00 p.m. with a sack containing jewelry. Ford carried a .22 pistol, and Jake Robinson had a .38 (8, 5a)"

However, she recanted:

Finally, when asked if she had lied to the court, she responded, "I did lie to the Court.... I lied about all of it." (8)

The issues are that her claims of involvement fit the time line of the murder, include the stolen items, as we know was the case, and folks who were well known criminals, all of which suggest the credibility of her original witness statement.

Brown's recantations is much more suspect, as countless people in the community were intimidated by the four Robinson brothers, which would explain the recantation. (14)

Brown's recantation is, additionally, rebutted by the fact that Ford stated that one of the Robinson brothers asked Ford to sell the gun, which witnesses stated Ford was trying to sell, the same afternoon as the murder and also gave stolen goods to Ford to sell, those being stolen goods from Isadore Rozeman.

Sharp: Glenn Ford has not and cannot be excluded as a participant in the actual robbery/murder.

5) From the 2015 hearing (5):  " 14) After being asked to participate in the robbery of Mr. Rozeman by Henry Robinson, Mr. Ford went to see Mr. Rozeman and asked him if he had any work he could do (p8, 5).

Sharp: I suspect Ford made that up to explain why he was seen in the vicinity of Rozeman's house, before, after and at the time of the robbery/murder, which, I believe,  was Ford's real job, that day.

6) with all that evidence, what does Stroud say?

Stroud: “The audacity of the state’s effort to deny Mr. Ford any compensation for the horrors he suffered in the name of Louisiana justice is appalling." (1)

Sharp: Mr. Stroud, the audacity is all yours. As Stroud must be aware, for the judge to have awarded compensation to Ford would have required that judge to break the law (5). The judge would have had to find Ford "actually innocent", a finding which is, actually, impossible (5,5a).

Mr. Stroud, what of the horror of Isadore Rozeman's death?  Stroud didn't mention it. 

The foundation of Ford's horror was, of course, Ford himself. But for Ford, Isadore would, almost certainly, neither have been robbed nor murdered.  All of Ford's confessions, alone, should have resulted in Ford never being released from prison.

To paraphrase Stroud: "Ford did something that was very, very bad." "It was a train to horror, and Ford was the engineer."

To paraphrase Stroud, from his 2015 apology letter (1): "I apologize to the committee in not having been more diligent in my duty to ensure that the proper disclosures of Ford's involvement in the robbery/murder was presented to the committee."


Defense Counsel

Contrary to Stroud, first chair for Ford's defense, Paul Lawrence, had, previously, taken several civil cases to trial. Lawrence had, also, clerked for La. Supreme Court Justice Albert Tate, which involves both criminal and civil cases.

Lawrence states that he "had lots of coaching before and during the (Ford) trial from experienced members of the criminal defense bar in Shreveport, including, specifically, Wellborn Jack, Jr. and his partner Rebecca Hudsmith, who is now the Federal Public Defender for the Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana."

Lawrence: " I did work very hard to master all the evidence and to draw every possible inference that could be argued to support a reasonable doubt of Ford’s guilt and I believe I did a quite respectable job of that, the jury’s verdict notwithstanding." “It was my job to provide Ford the best defense I could provide under the circumstances, regardless of his innocence or guilt, and I believe that I did that to the very best of my ability."

The appellate courts do not disagree with Lawrence.

Lawrence takes no stand on the death penalty or Ford's guilt.  (All from Sharp's discussion with Lawrence, May, 8, 2017).

Most legal folks know that civil law is much more complicated than criminal law.

While this was Lawrence's first criminal and capital trial, it was also Stroud's first capital case, for which Stroud was second chair, not lead counsel, as some misrepresent.

7) Note this very important context, from Stroud's 2015 NPR interview (15):

Interviewer CORNISH: At what point did you actually really feel guilt about what happened to Glenn Ford?

STROUD: I felt within four or five years of the verdict.

In 1984, Stroud tells us that he could, hardly, care less. From 1988/1989-2013, Stroud, allegedly, cared and still did nothing.

Which is worse? Neither could be called  . . . better.

More from the Rozemans

8) All public quotes from Isadore Rozeman's family (2015):

"We loved our uncle as we did my daughter's husband, Clint Dobson. One was killed at the age of 54, the other at 28. They were both innocent victims. However, those involved in their violent deaths are not innocent victims." (11)

"What our family learned from both (of these innocent murder victims in our family)  is that we live in a society where evil exists. There are people who do not have a moral compass and these events bear out that truth. Between society and this evil is law enforcement and those in the criminal justice system. We are thankful they stand in that gap." (11)

Sharp: What does Stroud think of Louisiana prosecutors?

Stroud: "out to win, whatever the costs." "They don't care about the victim. " "They care about their record." "The ends justified the means". (2)

Sharp: With the exception that prosecutors MUST care about their record, my guess is that, with about 95% of prosecutors, reality would condemn Stroud's slanders. And Stroud?

Doesn't it sound like he is describing himself?

We want prosecutors to care, a lot, about their record. All taxpayers and all justice loving folks want prosecutors to make the correct, responsible decisions for cases to go to trial, to plea cases when appropriate and to know when best to drop charges. Prosecutors want that to be as close to a 100% accuracy record, as possible, and so do we all.


The Rozemans continue:

"Without the accountability imposed by law enforcement and criminal justice, we would live in chaos. Because of this, we disagree with many who describe law enforcement and criminal justice as a broken system. We differ with those who wish to lessen personal responsibility, accountability and punishment for violent criminal behavior." (11)

"Our family believes in God's grace and mercy but neither of those things negate the multiple Bible stories that reference personal responsibility and personal consequences for individual actions." (11)

In Closing

The Committee should hold Stroud responsible for his testimony and should shoulder the personal responsibility that both the committee and Stroud have to Isadore Rozeman, the Rozeman and Glenn Ford families, in setting the record straight.

Don't forget Isadore Rozeman.

======

As per the Death Penalty Information Center's normal absurdities, Ford is listed as no. 144 on their "innocent" or "exonerated" from death row list.

======

Footnotes

1)  A.M. "Marty" Stroud III letter, Lead prosecutor apologizes for role in sending man to death row, Shreveport Times, 3/20/2015
http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/opinion/readers/2015/03/20/lead-prosecutor-offers-apology-in-the-case-of-exonerated-death-row-inmate-glenn-ford/25049063/

3) 30 Years on Death Row, CBS 60 Minutes, 10/11/2015

4) I used this video because it isolates Stroud's testimony:

5) RULING ON PETITION FOR COMPENSATION FOR WRONGFUL CONVICTION AND IMPRISONMENT, IN RE: Glen Ford, Docket #126,005 - SECTION 1, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, CADDO PARRISH, LOUISIANA, March 27, 2015, http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/Ford_Glenn.pdf

5a)  STATE v. FORD, No. 50,525-CA., 193 So.3d 1242 (2016), STATE of Louisiana, Plaintiff-Appellee v. Glenn FORD, Defendant-Appellant, Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Second Circuit, May 18, 2016.

6) There are countless articles about distrusting informants. Just do a GOOGLE search.

8) STATE v. FORD, No. 85-KA-1039.489 So.2d 1250 (1986)
STATE of Louisiana v. Glenn FORD. Supreme Court of Louisiana.
March 31, 1986.   Rehearing Denied May 30, 1986.

9) from a reliable source, who stated it's "on police reports and either the bond hearing or preliminary examination testimony." I have not located the citation.

10) Dr. Phillip Rozeman speaks out on Glenn Ford case, video interview with Vickie Welborn, Shreveport Times, 4/10/2015, http://www.shreveporttimes.com/videos/news/2015/04/10/25590423/

11) Rozeman family: 'Glenn Ford is not an innocent victim', by Phillip Rozeman Shreveport Times, April 8, 2015 | Updated April 10, 2015


12) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy
READ SECTIONS 3&4 FIRST
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-innocent-frauds-standard-anti-death.html

and

The 4.1% "Innocent" on Death Row: More Nonsense


13) Innocence Project Invents False Confessions: 150% fraud rate in "confessions"
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-innocence-project-invents-false.html



14) CPSO detective committed to solving cold cases, Vickie Welborn, Shreveport Times, July 21, 2014,




15) Prosecutor Apologizes For Putting Innocent Man On Death Row, All Things Considered, NPR's Audie Cornish, March 23, 2015,
http://www.npr.org/2015/03/23/394906514/prosecutor-apologizes-for-putting-innocent-man-on-death-row#

          Glenn Ford Must Be Denied Compensation   
Glenn Ford Must Be Denied Compensation
Dudley Sharp

Remember Isadore Rozeman

I review why Glenn Ford must be denied compensation, based upon his "wrongful release", as follows:

I. Glenn Ford's Wrongful Release
II. The Evidence of Glenn Ford's Guilt
III. Ford Must Be Denied Compensation

Nearly all comments are from:

STATE v. FORD, No. 50,525-CA., 193 So.3d 1242 (2016), STATE of Louisiana, Plaintiff-Appellee v. Glenn FORD, Defendant-Appellant, Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Second Circuit, May 18, 2016.

Which is the 2016 appellate opinion upholding the denial of compensation for Ford and his immediate descendants.

The (X) footnote refers to that opinion.


I. Glenn Ford's Wrongful Release    In 2013, the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office stated that it had obtained credible evidence that Ford "was neither present at, nor a participant in, the robbery and murder of Isadore Rozeman," and filed a motion to vacate Ford's conviction and sentence. On March 10, 2014, the trial court granted the state's motion. Ford was released the following day after spending nearly 30 years on death row. (X)

The facts are that Ford, by his own admission,  was a principal participant in the robbery/murder, that he was, at the least,  guilty of second degree murder and Ford cannot be excluded from actually murdering Isadore Rozeman.

(2016) Justice C.J.  BROWN: "The evidence as presented supports Ford's guilt of second degree murder and that his connection was certainly not "tangential." (X)

The 2013 "credible evidence" for Ford's 2014 release came from a reliable informant, who remains anonymous.

Even reliable informants are known to be unreliable, occasionally. Informants are only as reliable as their sources, which was Jake Robinson, who, allegedly, stated, to the informant, that he (Robinson)  was the shooter of Isadore Robinson and that Glenn Ford was not there. Robinson is a career criminal, who no one trusts (1).

Glenn Ford, at his 1984 trial, did not deny being at the scene of the robbery/murder. Nor can he be excluded from committing the murder.

The record reflects that, at the time of the filing of the 2014 instant petition (to release Ford), two other individuals, Jake Robinson and Henry Robinson, were being prosecuted for the robbery and murder of Mr. Rozeman. (X)

Those charges, which originated from that informant, have, now, been dropped, for lack of evidence. 

That doesn't mean the informant was lying, although, such may be the case.  The informant's information could not be confirmed.

We know that Ford was released, based upon information that could not be confirmed.

The evidence of Glenn Ford's guilt is overwhelming, yet, he was released.

2016: "The (informant's) statement of the district attorney is not evidence, nor has Ford produced any evidence that he was not concerned in the commission of this crime. We find no manifest error in the trial judge's (2015) conclusion regarding Ford as a principal to this crime." (X)

2016: Justice J. DREW:   " . . . it is accurate to say that the trial court (2015) found that Ford committed armed robbery. Even if not present at the moment of a crime, a person can be convicted of that crime, if otherwise involved as a principal." (X) " . . . Ford arguably committed second degree murder arising out of the facts of this case. Had he actually been convicted of that crime, in a petit jury trial conducted in accordance with the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Ford would have never been released from prison." (X)

======

False claims of "innocent" and "exonerated" death row inmates are a standard, every day anti death strategy (2).

=======



II. The Evidence of Glenn Ford's Guilt


Detective Ashley testified that a neighbor of Mr. Rozeman's had told investigating officers that he had seen Ford and Mr. Rozeman having a discussion a few days before the murder and that Ford appeared to have been upset over a debt related to the lawn mowing service. (X)

"From (Deming, a friend of Ford's), the police also learned that Ford had discussed purchasing a handgun, the night before or morning of the robbery/murder)." (X)

Alice Smith, Ford's landlord, also testified. On the morning of the robbery and murder, Ford advised Ms. Smith that he would be able to pay her rent later that day. Sometime in the late afternoon, Ford brought the rent to Ms. Smith. (X)

Ford stated that he and O.B. (Henry Robinson) went to Mr. Rozeman's neighborhood, the morning or early afternoon of Nov. 5. (X)

Ford stated that he saw Rozeman at 1:20 the day of the robbery/murder (X).

"Heidi and Spring James, two young neighbors of Mr. Rozeman, had seen Mr. Rozeman's yardman (Ford) in an alley adjacent to his property at approximately noon. Another neighbor placed (Ford) in the vicinity at between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m." (X)

Detective Ashley confirmed that there were several witnesses who placed Ford within one city block of Mr. Rozeman's house on the day of the murder (X).

Ford stated " . . . that the Robinson brothers had told him of their plan to rob Mr. Rozeman and asked him to join them, but that he declined to do so." (X)

That is contradicted, by Ford, who admitted going into the neighborhood, with Robinson, the day of the robbery/murder (X),

 . . .  further confirmed by  Detective Gary Pittman who testified that Ford admitted to him that he and Henry Robinson had been at Mr. Rozeman's house on the day of the murder . . .

and that Robinson had asked him about selling a gun, with Ford having spoken with two potential buyers about the .38. (X), the caliber used in the murder and presumed to be the murder weapon.

"In February police interviewed Marvella Brown, Jake Robinson's girl friend. She stated that Ford arrived at her apartment around noon the day of the offense, and asked the Robinsons, Is you still going? The three left, she said, returning around 3:00 p.m. with a sack containing jewelry. Ford carried a.22 pistol, and Jake Robinson had a .38." (X).

".  . . (customer) Ebrahim had spoken to Mr. Rozeman, he said, at approximately 2:30 p.m. (Nov. 5, 1983) and had arranged to meet him later that afternoon. (X) The timeline suggest he called him earlier.

The timeline indicates that Ebrahim discovered Isadore Rozeman's body around 2:45 pm.

The testimony of Heidi James, Chandra Nash, Joseph Nash and James Spring placed Ford at or near Mr. Rozeman's house on the day of the robbery and murder", inclusive of Ford still in the neighborhood when the ambulance arrived to pick up Rozeman's body. (X)

"Jake Robinson's girlfriend, Marvella Brown also testified at trial. She stated that Ford (who she called "Long Hair") was at her house the evening of the crime. Ford asked the Robinsons "if they were going," or "are we going?" Ms. Brown then testified that she saw the three men together a few hours later. She then stated that she saw Ford with a gun, that was not a .22 caliber. Ms. Brown then related that Jake Robinson showed her items of jewelry and a pocket watch and let her keep two of the rings, which she said she "was hiding" after she found out Mr. Rozeman was dead." (X).

In the punishment phase of the trial, Brown recanted all her testimony, stating that she had lied about everything. Based upon all the other evidence, including her original witness statement, above, it is most likely, that she was, originally, telling the truth and that her recantation was perjury. There was no reason for her to lie in the first place and very good reasons for her to lie in the second, as all knowing people were, rightly, afraid of the Robinson brothers (1). In addition, Brown's original statements fit with the timeline and the evidence.

The 5 appellate judges, in this 2016 opinion (X) didn't even mention her recantation. Why? They viewed it as having no credibility. They did, however, mention both her original witness statement and her testimony, confirming their belief in it.

Shortly after the robbery/murder, pawn shop receipts confirmed Ford had sold jewelry, confirmed as that which was stolen from Mr. Rozeman's shop (X). "(Ford) said he received these items from O.B. (Henry Robinson) and pawned them at his request." (X)  "(Police) found demitasse spoons, a cross, gold chains, a pill box and shirt studs, all similar to items customarily sold by Mr. Rozeman.",  later confirmed as those stolen from Rozeman (X).

The pawn tickets dated the day of the robbery and murder were introduced at trial and handwriting exemplars matched Ford's signature. Detective Gary Alderman testified that a search warrant executed on Ford's hotel room produced an antique spoon, gold chain, cufflink and four studs, which bore the same markings as studs found in a bag belonging to Henry Robinson. Richard Moore, an employee of the pawn shop, identified Ford as the individual who sold certain items (determined to have been from Mr. Rozeman's shop) at 5:00 p.m. on the day of the robbery and murder. (X)


Detective Ashley confirmed that Ford had stated that Henry Robinson  asked Ford to sell items connected to the robbery — which Ford then sold to the International Pawn Shop, at approximately 5:00 p.m., just two hours after Mr. Rozeman's body was found. (X)

From "Pouncey and White (friends of Ford's)",  . . . "the police also learned that Ford had attempted to sell a handgun that afternoon (the day of the robbery/murder)". (X) " (Ford) admitted to trying to sell (a gun) on behalf of O.B. (Henry  Robinson). (X) Alvin White and Clarence Pouncy each testified at trial that Ford approached them after the robbery and murder about purchasing a .38 pistol (X), the caliber of pistol used in the murder and, presumed, to be the murder weapon.

Ford had gunshot residue on his left hand. The residue was of such small amount that it could neither be confirmed nor denied that Ford fired a weapon (3).

There was a partial leaving fingerprints on the weapon.  That fingerprint did not exclude Ford, but could not be matched to him (3). That partial fingerprint excluded the other suspects (3).

"On November 11th Ford gave a fourth statement, implicating Henry and Jake Robinson in the murder." (X)

"In January of 1984, Donnie Thomas, a co-defendant's brother-in-law and Ford's cellmate, related to police that Ford had discussed with him the details of the robbery and murder. According to him, Ford was able to gain access to Mr. Rozeman's shop because he was recognized by his employer." (X)

The Rozeman family, as well as customers, confirmed that Isadore Rozeman used multiple bolted doors for security.

Trial commenced on November 26, 1984. The defense was alibi (X).

None of Ford's alibis could be confirmed.

 Ford testified at his trial. Ford did not deny (X):

-- "being with the other perpetrators of the crime, either before or after the murder; 

--  being at Mr. Rozeman's shop at the time of the murder/robbery;

--  attempting to sell a .38 caliber pistol;

--  pawning items taken in the robbery.

Ford told the jury that he did not commit 52 prior burglaries to which he pled guilty (X) . . . , likely, destroying any credibility that he may have had. (X)

Depending upon jurisdictions, only about 3-20% of burglaries are solved, indicating, by average, that Ford may have committed 472 burglaries at the time of his guilty plea. 

==================
Also review   
Guilty: Glenn Ford and Marty Stroud

http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2017/05/guilty-glenn-ford-marty-stroud.html

=================


III. Ford Must Be Denied Compensation

Ford has to prove his "actual innocence". Such is impossible. Ford is included in 3-4 felonies in this cases, which could, easily, have resulted in a life sentence and Ford cannot be excluded from being an actual participant in the robbery/murder.

And folks think Ford deserves $330,000? Incredible. If anyone deserves it, it is the Rozeman family, if justice means anything to you. 

"It is clear from a reading of the statute that the burden of proof in this case is on the petitioner. Ford must prove his factual innocence by clear and convincing evidence." " . . . the entire burden is on Ford to prove that he did not commit any crime based upon the same set of facts used in the original conviction." (X)

"The argument that Louisiana's statute is inherently unfair is misplaced and misleading, especially when comparison is made to the other jurisdictions that have analogous statutes." (X)

Read this carefully, from the 2016 ruling:

" . . . at the (2015) compensation hearing, Ford did not refute or explain these assertions (against him)  . . .   glaringly significant  . . . an adverse presumption exists when a party having control of a favorable witness fails to call him or her to testify.  . . .   Ford's failure to testify, and potentially explain that he was not involved in other criminal activity on the day of the murder, and for some time before and after it, corroborates Ford's actual commission of other crimes. Ford had no privilege against testifying, constitutional or statutory . . . Ford committed other crimes . . . confirmed by Ford's resounding silence at the compensation hearing." (X)

Ford failed to disprove that he committed the crimes of possession of stolen goods, accessory after the fact and being a principal to the armed robbery. In fact, he admitted to them.

 "  . . .  the overwhelming evidence of Ford's knowledge of and involvement in the criminal activity that day and night: his participation in selling the stolen property from the robbery; his acting as a lookout; meeting with Jake Robinson and Henry Robinson before and after the crime; and his attempts to procure buyers for the probable murder weapon." (X)

"The testimony of Ms. Brown that Ford was with the Robinsons prior to the robbery and murder and asked if the three "were going to go," coupled with his presence at Mr. Rozeman's on the day of the crime and activity around the shop, could be construed as "casing" the shop. These actions could easily be construed as showing Ford's knowledge of the planned crime." (X)

Ford admitted his prior knowledge.

"The evidence clearly establishes that Ford took the stolen items and sold them at the pawn shop. Ford's argument that there is no evidence as to how he came into possession of the items is without foundation. . . .  Ford failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he was not in illegal possession of stolen things." (X)

"Ford was aware of the plan to rob Mr. Rozeman. . .  agreed to sell some of the stolen items in his name, which he did  . . . agreed to procure buyers for the .38 caliber pistol  . . . the trial judge concluded that the evidence "clearly established" that Ford was trying to help the Robinsons avoid arrest. Accessory after the fact, which — in this case concealed the identity of murderers — may well be the type of crime which the legislature contemplated as a crime unworthy of compensation. She stated that Ford's "willingness and attempts to find a buyer for the weapon used in the crime" added to the fact that he was assisting the Robinsons. These conclusions are well supported by the record and we agree with the trial judge that Ford's assertion that he did not know the items were stolen is unbelievable. We find no manifest error in the finding that Ford failed to carry his burden of disproving his commission of accessory after the fact." (X)

"Henry Robinson had told Ford of the plan to rob Mr. Rozeman. Ford also emphasizes the state's assertion, in its motion to vacate, that he was "neither present nor a participant in the robbery and murder of Isadore Rozeman." First, the overwhelming evidence in the record before us supports the conclusion that Ford was concerned in the commission of this crime. Despite his purported absence, Ford aided in its commission in several respects." (X)

" . . . the evidence also supports a finding that Ford was engaged in a criminal conspiracy . . . the uncontroverted evidence shows that Ford knew of the plan to rob Mr. Rozeman and committed an act in furtherance of the crime by his presence around the shop prior to and after the crime and agreeing to sell the stolen items and murder weapon . . . Ford committed criminal conspiracy. Yet, Ford presented no evidence whatsoever to rebut such a finding." (X)

" . . .  Ford failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he did not commit any crime based upon the facts used in his conviction, as required . . . the trial court was clearly correct in finding that Ford is not entitled to compensation for wrongful conviction under the subject statute." (X)

"As a final note, in light of our holding that Ford is not entitled to compensation, we pretermit any discussion of the heritability of the wrongful conviction compensation cause of action." "For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the trial court denying the petition of Glenn Ford, through Andrea Armstrong, the executrix of the estate of Glenn Ford, for compensation under La. R.S. 15:572.8 is affirmed at the cost of petitioner/appellant." (X)

Justice J  DREW:  "In this civil case, the trial court ruled that Mr. Ford was not entitled to compensation, finding that he failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he did not commit multiple felonies emanating directly from the facts of this robbery/murder. The burden here was on Ford, not the state." (X)

"The (2015) trial court produced sound and organized reasons for judgment . . .  The court's hard work, diligence, and fairness are noted and appreciated." (X)

"This record reveals that the defendant committed at least two felonies arising from the facts of the robbery/murder: illegal possession of stolen things and accessory after the fact to first degree murder. Besides these two crimes, the compensation court also found that Ford was a principal to the crime of armed robbery." (X)

Why would, anyone, find that this career criminal deserved compensation? It's just foul.

Give the money to the most deserving Rozemans and/or to some of Ford's 52 known burglary victims.

Remember Isadore Rozeman

======

As per the Death Penalty Information Center's normal absurdities, Ford is listed as no. 144 on their "innocent" or "exonerated" from death row list.


======


1) CPSO detective committed to solving cold cases, Vickie Welborn, Shreveport Times, July 21, 2014, 

2)  a) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy
READ SECTIONS 3&4 FIRST

    b)  The 4.1% "Innocent" on Death Row: More Nonsense

   c)  Innocence Project Invents False Confessions: 150% fraud rate in "confessions"?

3) STATE v. FORD, No. 85-KA-1039.489 So.2d 1250 (1986), STATE of Louisiana v. Glenn FORD. Supreme Court of Louisiana. March 31, 1986. Rehearing Denied May 30, 1986.
http://www.leagle.com/decision/19861739489So2d1250_11479/STATE%20v.%20FORD

================

Victim's Voices - These are the murder victims
www.murdervictims.com/Voices/voices.html


          Fuck With A Marvelous Blonde Girl With Small Tits And Nice Ass   
Watch Fuck With A Marvelous Blonde Girl With Small Tits And Nice Ass at XXXPorn.rs - best free online XXXPorn videos for you to enjoy.
          25 Summer Movies We’re Dying to See, From ‘Alien: Covenant’ to ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (Photos)   

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and scene stealer Baby Groot picked up right where they left off in this sequel to the 2014 Marvel movie.

“Wonder Woman”

It only took 75 years, but after making a huge splash in last year’s “Batman v Superman,” DC Comics Amazonian Superheroine finally headlines her own superhero movie this summer. Starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins.

“The Mummy”

Tom Cruise headlines in this updated take on the classic Universal monster. The remake tells us the story of an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) “whose destiny was unjustly taken from her.” She is then “awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.”

“Baby Driver”

“Baby Driver” has moved up from an August 11th release date, and will now compete against some stiff competition by coming out on June 28th. From director Edgar Wright, the film revolves around a young but talented getaway driver named Baby, played by Ansel Elgort.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” 

After being introduced as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe last year in “Captain America: Civil War,” Tom Holland returns as the web crawler in his stand alone film to face off against Michael Keaton’s villainous Vulture. Robert Downey Jr co-stars as Iron Man.

“Atomic Blonde”

Charlize Theron’s bisexual spy thriller from “Deadpool 2” director David Leitch follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. Theron’s Agent Lorraine Broughton is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery.

“Snatched”

CinemaCon attendees got to see some extended footage of the comedy starring Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer, who play mother and daughter who go on a vacation together and get involved in some unexpected criminal activity. It looks hilarious, and the movie marks Hawn’s return to the big screen.

“Alien: Covenant”

Fans of the “Alien” franchise have been looking forward to the new film which welcomes back Michael Fassbender as both Walter/David, as well as new cast members Danny McBride, Katherine Waterston, James Franco and Demian Bichir.

“Baywatch”

Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach and Priyanka Chopra star in this comedic feature film take on the iconic TV series. The trailers we’ve seen so far just make fun of Efron’s character, and the whole movie is basically just eye candy for men and women alike.

“All Eyez On Me”

The Tupac Shakur biopic has excited fans since the announcement of the project, and further casting notices including that of Kat Graham and Danai Gurira have enticed fans further to look forward to its release on June 16.

“Rough Night”

The first trailer for the film previously titled “Rock That Body” was full of sex, drugs and yes — murder. It’s no wonder then that the comedy starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon and Zoe Kravitz is on our most anticipated summer movies list.

“Despicable Me 3”

Steve Carell plays not one but TWO characters in this movie — Gru and Dru. And the two brothers hilariously team up for one last heist, and of course, the minions are BACK!

“War for the Planet of the Apes”

The third movie in the reboot series, “War of the Planet of the Apes” has Matt Reeves, aka the director of “The Batman,” helming the project. And Woody Harrelson is the film’s main antagonist, which combined with the franchise’s epic CGI apes, should make for a solid sci-fi summer film.

“Dunkirk”

CinemaCon attendees also saw footage of Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” which stars Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Harry Styles. Nolan fans and Styles fans are sure to flock to the theaters to see this WWII drama.

“Girls Trip”

Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah reunite 20 years after “Set It Off” along with Regina Hall. The ladies go on a girls trip to New Orleans, which obviously turns wild.

“The Dark Tower”

CinemaCon goers got to see some first footage of the movie based on the epic literary series by Stephen King, and it did not disappoint. Glimpses of a highly-stylized, scorched-earth epic was screened.

“Annabelle: Creation”

The follow up to 2014’s “Annabelle,” David F. Sandberg directs (while James Wan produces) the film which follows a couple who just lost their daughter — but as soon as they invite a nun and some orphans into their home, some unexplained things begin to happen.

“Hitman’s Bodyguard”

Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson make a great duo in this hilarious action comedy. And Salma Hayek adds another layer of laughs to the movie, which follows a bodyguard (Reynolds) who must get one of the biggest hitman’s in the world to The Hague. Obviously, the two have history.

“Transformers: The Last Knight”

Michael Bay returns for his final “Transformers” movie and intends to go out with quite a bang – literally. Mark Wahlberg also returns and Sir Anthony Hopkins star in the latest installment which sees humanity at war with the Transformers while Optimus Prime is gone.

“The Beguiled” 

Sofia Coppola’s drama follows a girls’ school in Virginia which takes in a wounded soldier. Soon, sexual tension and jealousy takes over the school. It stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning and Colin Farrell.

July 7: “A Ghost Story”

Hot off his Oscar win for “Manchester by the Sea,” Casey Affleck stars in “A Ghost Story” alongside talented actress Rooney Mara, the film follows Affleck’s white-sheeted ghost who unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as the woman he loves slowly slip away.

July 7: “Step”

Buzzy Sundance doc “Step” follows a girls’ senior-year high school step team in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland as they strive to become the first in their families to go to college.

June 23: “The Big Sick” 

Kumail Nanjiani’s “The Big Sick” was one of the hottest titles at the Sundance Film Festival and follows the true story of his relationship with his now-wife, Emily Gordon. When she gets sick with a mysterious illness, he must team up with her parents to overcome the crisis.

August 4:  “Detroit”

The project marks Bigelow and producing partner Mark Boal’s highly anticipated followup to their acclaimed 2012 drama “Zero Dark Thirty.” It also has rounded up a stellar cast, comprised of John Krasinski, John Boyega, Will Poulter, Jason Mitchell, Anthony Mackie and Jack Reynor.


          Warner Bros Pushes ‘Aquaman’ to Christmas 2018   

“Aquaman” will not swim into theaters until Christmas 2018, Warner Bros. announced on Thursday. It’s a minor push from its previously announced date of October 5, 2018 to December 21 that same year.

The Jason Momoa-led standalone film is directed by James Wan, and will see the popular “Game of Thrones” star square off against villains Black Manta (“The Get Down” actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson).

The project tells the origin story of the popular DC Comics character. Oscar winner Nicole Kidman is still in talks to play his mother.

In addition to the superhero shuffle, WB put dates down for the Chris Hemsworth war film “Horse Soldiers,” and the new Owen Wilson comedy “Bastards.”

Read the full announcement with additional dates:

AQUAMAN in 3D moves from 10/05/18 to 12/21/18 (from Untitled WB Event Film 12/25/18)

HORSE SOLIDERS will be released on 01/19/18. This will also be released in IMAX

BASTARDS will be released on 12/22/17 (from Untitled PG13 Comedy)

Related stories from TheWrap:

History's New Slate Includes Marvel-DC Comics Origin Stories Doc 'Superheroes Decoded'

Rachel Maddow, DCReport Sites Crash Under Barrage of Trump Tax Traffic

Adam Carolla Lauds 'News Girl' Gina Grad, Walks Us Through Grueling Podcast Schedule

Atlanta News Men Slip Biggie Smalls Lyrics Into Broadcast on Anniversary of Death (Video)

11 DC Comics Superheroes and Villains Who Deserve R-Rated Movies (Photos)


          BOOM! Studios Graphic Novel ‘Polarity’ Optioned for Television by Fox 21 (Exclusive)   

In advance of New York Comi Con, Fox 21 has picked up the rights to the BOOM! Studios graphic novel series “Polarity” for a television adaptation, The Wrap has exclusively learned.

The “Polarity” pilot is to be co-written by Max Winkler and writing partner Matt Spicer, who were recently tapped by The Walt Disney Company to write the reboot of “The Rocketeer.” Winkler will direct the pilot.

Ross Richie and Stephen Christy will executive produce for BOOM! with Jason Carden executive producing for Winkler’s Walcott Entertainment and Josh Levy (“Backstrom”) co-executive producing for BOOM!.

The graphic novel is written and created by Max Bemis, the frontman for rock band Say Anything, and illustrated by Jorge Coelho. It follows Timothy Woods, a bi-polar artist living in Brooklyn who discovers that when he stops taking his meds he is able to manifest super-powers. It is based on Bemis’ own experiences with bi-polar disorder.

Max Winkler just directed the indie film “Flower” for Rough House Pictures, and has directed episodes of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Casual,” “New Girl,” and “Fresh Off the Boat.” He has a first-look deal at 20th Television.

BOOM! controls the largest library of comic book titles outside of Marvel and DC. Their first feature film under their 20th Century Fox first-look deal, the supernatural thriller “The Empty Man,” is currently shooting in South Africa.

BOOM! also has in development at the studio “Irredeemable” with Adam McKay attached to direct, “Lumberjanes” with Emily Carmichael attached to direct, and “Malignant Man,” based on the comic book by James Wan with Brad Peyton attached to direct.

Winkler is repped by CAA and Management. BOOM! is repped by UTA.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Kevin Spacey and Fox News' Megyn Kelly Team on Fox 21 TV Adaptation of 'The Residence'

Fox 21 Pays $6M for Renee Zellweger 'Cinnamon Girl' Pilot for Lifetime (Exclusive)

Craig Wright Signs Production Deal With Fox 21


          Why DC Comics Fans Shouldn’t Panic About Future Movies Like ‘Wonder Woman’   

The re-launch of DC Comics movies has been anything but smooth, particularly for fans of the original comics.

Both March’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and this month’s “Suicide Squad” recorded steep box office drops in their second weekend of release — and an anonymous open letter to Warner Bros. Entertainment chairman Kevin Tsujihara emerged last week claiming  trouble behind the scenes for next year’s “Wonder Woman” starring Gal Gadot.

But those alarm bells may be premature — since the cavalry is on the way (and not a moment too soon for some nay-sayers).

What that cowardly letter posted to Pajiba failed to point out is that DC Films has a very big ace up its sleeve in Geoff Johns, who has won numerous awards as a writer for his excellent work in comics like “The Flash” and a beloved “Superman” story with the villain Brainiac.

In the wake of the reception from fans to “Batman v Superman,” Tsujihara smartly promoted Johns from DC Comics’ Chief Creative Officer to co-president of DC Entertainment with longtime studio exec Jon Berg.

That alone should get fanboys excited because the duo serve as co-producers for the upcoming DC Films, including the “Justice League” movies (along with new onscreen Batman Ben Affleck).

Johns and Affleck are currently co-writing the screenplay for a stand-alone “Batman” movie, directed by and starring Affleck, and he’s credited as co-writer (with Alan Heinberg) on director Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman,” due next June. He also gets a story writer credit for “Aquaman” with director James Wan.

Here is the kicker: Geoff Johns was recruited by the filmmakers themselves to work on these movies, according to sources close to the studio, and didn’t pitch or assign himself to the projects.

The fact that three different filmmakers asked for Johns’ input should speak volumes for fans since a comics-savvy guy will play a critical role in shaping the upcoming DC movies — even if he’s arriving too late to influence this year’s two projects, which have taken a drubbing from critics.

So before fanboys hit the panic button, the studio is giving Johns the opportunity to emerge as the fan-centric playmaker who can successfully go on offense and create a Marvel-style shared universe for Warner.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Man of Steel 2': The Top 5 Superman Villains We Hope To See in the Sequel

Warner Bros. Puts 'Man of Steel' Sequel Into Active Development (Exclusive)

Inside the Fight for 'Suicide Squad': Director Pressured to Lighten Dark Vision


          Summer of Scary Movies: ‘Lights Out’ Quadruples Budget on Big Opening   

It’s official: 2016 is the summer of scary movies.

New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. made another big win this weekend with PG-13 horror movie “Lights Out.”

Made on a small production budget of just $5 million, the movie more than quadrupled that with its huge $21.6 million opening in 2,818 theaters. To compare, it narrowly beat Fox’s “Ice Age: Collision Course” sequel, produced for 21 times more than the scary movie with a big $105-million budget.

“It’s friggin’ awesome,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. Executive Vice President of domestic film distribution. “Whenever you can gross more than four times your budget on the domestic opening weekend, that’s a grand slam home run,” he told TheWrap.

Produced by master of horror James Wan (the “Saw” franchise), Goldstein emphasized New Line’s expertise in the genre, which dates back to 1984’s “Nightmare on Elm Street” and its subsequent sequels. He also credited the movie’s marketing campaign with its better-than-expected opening.

The film, starring Teresa Palmer as a young woman who fights off a supernatural entity that has attached itself to her mother, represents the directorial debut of David Sandberg.

While Goldstein hadn’t yet run the numbers on the movie’s profit margin, he did say, “It’s on a path to scoring big profit.”

And that margin is already pointed at a higher percentage than the hugely successful “Conjuring” sequel, also by New Line and Warner Bros.

As TheWrap has previously reported, scary movies sell tickets more reliably than almost any other genre — big-budget superhero movies included.

Not only that, the revenue margins — and profits — of horror movies are higher since production (and marketing) costs are typically much, much lower.

“If we were to reconfigure box office charts based on profitability, movies like ‘The Shallows’ and ‘The Purge: Election Year’ would be right at the top,” comScore senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian said.

Add “The Conjuring 2” — and now “Lights Out” — to that list, and you have movies that represent the highest revenue margins of the summer. That says a lot as the season has been sluggish compared to past years.

Just compare the highest-grossing film of the summer — “Captain America: Civil War” — to the highest-grossing horror film of the season, “The Conjuring 2.”

The Disney-Marvel action sequel was made for $250 million and has grossed $406.8 million domestically. The New Line-Warner Bros. scary movie has made $101.6 million in grosses so far and was made on a production budget of $40 million.

Factoring in an assumed 50 percent in marketing costs, the domestic revenue margin for “The Conjuring 2” is nearly 40 percent. By that same math, the percentage of return for  “Civil War” is about 8 percent.

Another example of a horror movie propping up a studio’s tent: Blumhouse-Universal’s “The Purge: Election Year,” which grossed $43.7 million in its first week on a mere $10 million production budget. Its strong opening put it at a revenue margin of 63 percent, or $25.5 million. Having now earned $76.6 million domestically, that margin only went up.

“To make the budget back on opening night — that’s a wonderful thing,” Brad Fuller, executive producer on all three “Purge” films, said. “There’s always been an audience for horror movies. The great thing is they’re generally not as expensive as other tentpoles, there’s more wiggle room.”

Universal’s president of domestic distribution, Nick Carpou, told TheWrap that the film’s big opening is “not coincidental,” crediting the success of the film, in part, to the series’ concept.

All three “Purge” movies revolve around a day when it’s deemed legal to kill fellow citizens. “It taps into very primal fear that’s very relatable,” Fuller added.

“Horror films are always bankable unless they’re flat-out awful,” Dergarabedian added. “Sometimes the simplest concepts are the ones that resonate the strongest.”

When it comes to “Lights Out,” Goldstein shared, “$17 or $18 million would have made us happy. To do $21. 6 million is extraordinary.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

11 Movies That Could Save the Summer (Photos)

'Stranger Things': 21 '80s Relics We've Spotted So Far (Photos)

'Stranger Things': Here's How the Netflix Hit Plays With Fans on Twitter

'Lights Out' LAFF Review: Haunted House Spookfest Is More On Than Off


          Can Warner Bros Make Its DC Comics Superheroes Fly Straight?   

Following the critical pans and underperforming box office of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Warner Bros. has switched things up, putting executive vice presidents Jon Berg and Geoff Johns in charge of it DC Films unit, according to an individual familiar with the studio’s operations.

It’s easy to read that as an informal demotion for Zack Snyder, whose direction of “Man of Steel” “BvS,” and 2017’s “Justice League” had — until now — made him the de facto overlord of Warner Bros.’ DC Comics movies. At the very least, it is a retreat from the auteur approach that worked well for the studio with the Christopher Nolan-directed “Dark Knight” trilogy. (Though studio sources maintain Warner Bros. remains focused on a filmmaker-centric approach.)

“That’s a great strategy when you have Chris Nolan,” said one senior film executive, who spoke to TheWrap on condition of anonymity.

The executive noted that the approach also worked for Marvel’s first two “Iron Man” films, which were directed by Jon Favreau, who further proved his abilities with this spring’s Disney hit “The Jungle Book.”

But aside from Favreau and Joss Whedon, director of the first two “Avengers” movies, Marvel has not placed its superhero properties in the hands of any lone filmmaker to the extent that Warner/DC has. The auteur approach is especially risky given how much Warner Bros. depends on DC Comics for key tentpole movies.

“They know they have a problem,” the executive said. “They have way too much riding on the DC movies.”

The fate of Marvel’s heroes lies not with individual directors, but with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who oversees an elaborate, overlapping cinematic universe in which individual directors are offered limited autonomy. Now Warner Bros., like Marvel owner Disney, seems ready to put more power in the clutches of executives.

Berg will be president of DC Films, while Johns will remain DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer, but also jointly run DC Films — a move that suggests that the studio has decided to inch closer to the Disney-Marvel model without diving in head first.

Reps for Warner Bros. declined to comment for this story.

News of Berg and Johns’ evolved focus comes a month after Ben Affleck, who took on the role of Batman in “Batman v Superman,” was named as an executive producer on the upcoming “Justice League” movies. He will also direct a standalone Batman movie.

So how did the studio find itself in need of a new approach?

It could have been as simple as luck of the draw. Marvel took a huge gamble on Joss Whedon to direct the first “Avengers” movie, which was then set up at Paramount. But it paid off with a hit that grossed $1.5 billion worldwide.

There’s no understating the risk: At the time, Whedon had a bomb with the 2005 sci-fi adventure “Serenity.” And while Whedon had built a loyal cult fan base with TV hits like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the genre-mixing space Western “Firefly,” he was far from a household name.

Similarly, Warner Bros. bet big for “Batman v Superman” on Snyder, who had a few bombs of his own to live down. The director had a hit with the stylized 2006 Grecco-Roman war film “300,” but he also directed flops like 2009’s “Watchmen,” 2010’s “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” and 2011’s female-driven action movie “Sucker Punch.”

Neither his 2013 “Man of Steel” nor “BvS” have come close to the high billion-dollar-plus watermark set by movies in the Marvel universe. While “BvS” has grossed $870.1 million worldwide so far, that’s far short of what many analysts expected.

The movie’s performance is particularly crucial since Warner Bros. is ramping up production of additional DC Comics movies at a breakneck pace, with the supervillain mashup “Suicide Squad” due in August, two more movies hitting theaters in 2017 and three a year slated beginning in 2018.

That kind of output could be a serious change for the studio, which has released only four new DC Comics movies in the last five years: the misfire “Green Lantern,” Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Man of Steel” and “B v S.”

In that same time, Disney’s Marvel has released three Captain America movies, two Thors, “Iron Man 3,” “Ant-Man,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and two “Avengers” blockbusters — all of them hits.

The test for Warner Bros. is whether that kind of creative output is possible under a model that puts just a handful of directors in charge, and how much authority Berg and Johns will be able to exert on shaping a growing slate of overlapping properties.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Willem Dafoe Joins Cast of 'Justice League'

'Batman v Superman': Meet the Future Justice League (Spoilers)

'Batman v Superman' Won't Be Joining $1 Billion Box Office Club


          SONIC TALK 260 - Anechoic Massage   
Back from Musik MESSE with a flurry of new releases and videos, we start with the Propellerheads Rack Extensions, then move into a synth-fest with the StudioLogic Sledge polysynth, then finally we marvel at the Zynaptiq Unveil - a tool which allows removal and manipulation of ambience around the original signal - truly a Melodyne moment.

          New Era Captain America Marvel baseball sapka több - Jelenlegi ára: 3 990 Ft   

New Era Captain America Marvel baseball sapka több
Jelenlegi ára: 3 990 Ft
Az aukció vége: 2017-06-29 00:47
          Sonic TALK110 - Live - Dont Forget The Feta   
PJ Tracy, Dave Spiers, Nick Batt. Our first moments are spent marveling in the wonders of Ad Jingles and their creation, with blasts from John Parr and Jonathan Hodge, then we discuss the recently announced Moog Taurus pedals reissue. Then a quote from Blixa Bergfeld on Disquiet gets us onto the topic of originality, then we talk about Raysgigs.com - a site where Ray Morrissey lists over 5000 gigs he has attended and made notes on many occasions - a real goldmine of information and impressions. And thats it for this week.

          Sonic TALK101 - Post Centennial Rant   
As this is episode 101, we indulge our grumpier sides and talk about things that really annoy us in the studio world, but not before we marvel at Matt Mahaffey's amazing rendition of classic AC/DC track Back in Black on drums and Omnichord, then we discuss the recently delayed release of the Linn Drum II and the availability of Dave Smiths new Mopho desktop synthesizer. Then we discover who are panel would like to meet or work with alive or dead - which was one of the topics we didn't get around to last week (no surprise!).

          A Visit to a Steampunked Home   

ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum started ModVic (Modern Victorian) Home Restoration in June 2007 and have now moved onto steampunk Home Design. ModVic's mission is to authentically restore historic Victorian homes (1850 – 1910) to their original beauty and richness while completely modernizing the home’s systems, functional layout and conveniences for the family of today (sound familiar?). Bruce and Melanie also love the steampunk design aesthetic of combining the best of Victorian high design and craftsmanship with modern functionality and usefulness.
Bruce's home is a Craftsman style Victorian built in 1901. It has a great deal of history associated with it and Bruce has filled it with unusual Craftsman era antiques. But we're interested in steampunk here rather than the merely historical so I'm going to gloss over almost all of that and get to the mods and the steampunk art!
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
We'll start the tour in Bruce's kitchen with a lovely Victorian heater restored by David Erickson, a local craftsman and restorer of antique stoves who's workshop is just down the street from my own. David did a fabulous job restoring this wonderful old stove, repainting the iron and cleaning and re-plating the nickel brightwork. In addition, he added a firebrick lining in places so the stove will continue to burn well and should  last for decades to come.
Bruce designed and built the fire-back and hearth to compliment the stove and installed the back-lit stained glass windows to brighten the entire kitchen.
The hearth is cultured stone done by Brendan Mostecki of Cultured Masonry. The look of the stone matches closely to the real fieldstone on the outside of the house. The stain glass was salvaged from a home in New York that was being demolished. The panels are from the entryway of the home and Bruce turned them on their sides to fit above the fire back.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
The center of the kitchen is dominated by an antique printer's bench topped with engineered quartz stone. The bench wasn't quite large enough to fit the space so Bruce found a salvaged pedestal from a girl’s school near Boston and used it to extend the bench.  The pedestal is actually the dog’s food storage bin. The wide flat drawers of the bench were already ideal for kitchen utensils and have just been repartition into appropriate sized sections for cutlery and sundry implements.
Quarters where a bit tight and I had to crouch in the corner to get this shot, as I was taking it I felt something poking at my backside and turned in time to catch the perpetrator! A big fluffy pup--one of two big white Samoyeds named Zasha and Kolya--nosing in through a doggie door!
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
Many of the features of Bruce's kitchen were designed with the pups in mind. At the lower left below are a pair of stainless steel doggie dishes in a cast iron bracket that nicely matches the cast iron bar stools.
The bar stools look to be Victorian, but they are actually 1940 reproductions of  stools from the late 1800s. I guess even reproductions can someday turn into antiques!
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
Next to the stove (below) is a copper water heater tank. In the past, tanks like this would be connected to a heat-exchanger in the stove and a day's cooking would produce a nice quantity of hot water for the household.
Here the cast iron base from a second antique water heater has been fittied with a copper bowl for the afforementioned doggies refreshment and the hot water tank has been modified with a water filtration and purification system to fill the copper dish for the pups.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
The stove itself is another restoration form Erickson Stoves and has been fitted with a hi-end electric Miele halogen cooktop so there's no longer a need to stoke it with firewood.  Two electric ovens have been fit into the body of the stove as well.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
These switches imediately caught my eye as I have always loved this style of toggle. What's particularly neat about these is that, while the switch in the background is original to the house, the one in the foreground is actually a modern dual switch/dimmer combination!
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
Another small feature that caught my eye was this antique timed set-back theromstat! Bruce tells that it's fully functional and his heating technician had little trouble integrating it into his modern steam heating system.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
Throughout the house there were wonderful pieces of art and craft, this clock being a fine example, it's been assembled from various vintage bits that Bruce has collected, notable a steam whistle, fire hose nozzle and an old hat and coat stand.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
The fire hose nozzle forms the base of the clock and the steam whistle is at the top.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
In Bruce's living room I found this mantle piece with a plasma TV installed in place of the mirror. The mantel was acquired from an architectural salvage company and then modified by adding a few inches to the mirror frame to accomodate the TV. Bruce's carpenter did a marvelous job seamlessly stretching the frame. See if you can figure out where the additions were made.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
Below, a late 1800s fireplace insert from a coal fired train station heater in Kansas has been installed to contain the electronics and sub woofer for the surround sound installation. The insert has been restored – but Bruce was able to save the original faux marble paint that was part of the original design.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
The mantle piece and stove front both swing out to allow access to the electonics and the system's wiring.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
Bruce works from his home and the pièce de résistance of this steampunk house is the office in what were formerly the servant's quarters on the third floor. This is the view from the doorway as you enter the room.
The wainscoting is galvanized tin (not wood) and was likely salvaged from a restaurant or government building. Bruce’s craftsman had to cut the wainscoting down about 10” inches the fit, and painted it with Benjamin Moore Bronze Metallic paint. He also used leftover outside porch balusters to make the separators between the panels.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
A ships binnacle guards the view from the window, the binnacle I'm told will eventually contain the household file and media server.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
Above the binacle is an example of another of Bruce's passions, a Puffin - this one steam-powered and on the wire!
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
Moving to the other side of the office we find the door to the file room and a display shelf for some of the steampunk artwork Bruce has collected.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
There is something about this door, every time I looked at it I heard the theme from MYST in my head and imagined that it lead down a long coridor to a machine room of some sort rather than to a file storage closet. The lock wheel is functional and the signal light over the door illuminates along with the interior lights when the door is opened.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
To the right of the door is a World War II battleship telephone that he found at Old Chicago Telephone, a fully functional one too.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
And below the phone this exquisite model Bruce found on eBay of the contraption from the movie adaption of the classic H.G. Wells novel The Time Machine.
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
A vintage optician's instrument is cleverly positioned to give you a closer, and fully adjustable look!
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home
The project that I travelled out to Bruce's house to see is not yet complete, so I have not included any photos of it in this article. It will be a truly magnificent mod, judging by the portions that have been completed to date and I'll give you a hint as to what it is by showing you this keyboard which Bruce acquired from the maker Brian Arieno to serve with--well you can guess what.  But believe me when I tell you, the reality of it is going to blow you away! Stay tuned we'll have a full set of pictures here for you when it is complete!
ModVic - The Modern Victorian Steampunk Home

          The Critic as Artist by Oscar Wilde   


THE CRITIC AS ARTIST: WITH SOME REMARKS UPON THE IMPORTANCE OF DOING NOTHING



A DIALOGUE. Part I. Persons: Gilbert and Ernest. Scene: the library of a house in Piccadilly, overlooking the Green Park.



GILBERT (at the Piano). My dear Ernest, what are you laughing at?



ERNEST (looking up). At a capital story that I have just come across in this volume of Reminiscences that I have found on your table.



GILBERT. What is the book? Ah! I see. I have not read it yet. Is it good?



ERNEST. Well, while you have been playing, I have been turning over the pages with some amusement, though, as a rule, I dislike modern memoirs. They are generally written by people who have either entirely lost their memories, or have never done anything worth remembering; which, however, is, no doubt, the true explanation of their popularity, as the English public always feels perfectly at its ease when a mediocrity is talking to it.



GILBERT. Yes: the public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius. But I must confess that I like all memoirs. I like them for their form, just as much as for their matter. In literature mere egotism is delightful. It is what fascinates us in the letters of personalities so different as Cicero and Balzac, Flaubert and Berlioz, Byron and Madame de Sevigne. Whenever we come across it, and, strangely enough, it is rather rare, we cannot but welcome it, and do not easily forget it. Humanity will always love Rousseau for having confessed his sins, not to a priest, but to the world, and the couchant nymphs that Cellini wrought in bronze for the castle of King Francis, the green and gold Perseus, even, that in the open Loggia at Florence shows the moon the dead terror that once turned life to stone, have not given it more pleasure than has that autobiography in which the supreme scoundrel of the Renaissance relates the story of his splendour and his shame. The opinions, the character, the achievements of the man, matter very little. He may be a sceptic like the gentle Sieur de Montaigne, or a saint like the bitter son of Monica, but when he tells us his own secrets he can always charm our ears to listening and our lips to silence. The mode of thought that Cardinal Newman represented--if that can be called a mode of thought which seeks to solve intellectual problems by a denial of the supremacy of the intellect--may not, cannot, I think, survive. But the world will never weary of watching that troubled soul in its progress from darkness to darkness. The lonely church at Littlemore, where 'the breath of the morning is damp, and worshippers are few,' will always be dear to it, and whenever men see the yellow snapdragon blossoming on the wall of Trinity they will think of that gracious undergraduate who saw in the flower's sure recurrence a prophecy that he would abide for ever with the Benign Mother of his days--a prophecy that Faith, in her wisdom or her folly, suffered not to be fulfilled. Yes; autobiography is irresistible. Poor, silly, conceited Mr. Secretary Pepys has chattered his way into the circle of the Immortals, and, conscious that indiscretion is the better part of valour, bustles about among them in that 'shaggy purple gown with gold buttons and looped lace' which he is so fond of describing to us, perfectly at his ease, and prattling, to his own and our infinite pleasure, of the Indian blue petticoat that he bought for his wife, of the 'good hog's hars- let,' and the 'pleasant French fricassee of veal' that he loved to eat, of his game of bowls with Will Joyce, and his 'gadding after beauties,' and his reciting of Hamlet on a Sunday, and his playing of the viol on week days, and other wicked or trivial things. Even in actual life egotism is not without its attractions. When people talk to us about others they are usually dull. When they talk to us about themselves they are nearly always interesting, and if one could shut them up, when they become wearisome, as easily as one can shut up a book of which one has grown wearied, they would be perfect absolutely.



ERNEST. There is much virtue in that If, as Touchstone would say. But do you seriously propose that every man should become his own Boswell? What would become of our industrious compilers of Lives and Recollections in that case?



GILBERT. What has become of them? They are the pest of the age, nothing more and nothing less. Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography.



ERNEST. My dear fellow!



GILBERT. I am afraid it is true. Formerly we used to canonise our heroes. The modern method is to vulgarise them. Cheap editions of great books may be delightful, but cheap editions of great men are absolutely detestable.



ERNEST. May I ask, Gilbert, to whom you allude?



GILBERT. Oh! to all our second-rate litterateurs. We are overrun by a set of people who, when poet or painter passes away, arrive at the house along with the undertaker, and forget that their one duty is to behave as mutes. But we won't talk about them. They are the mere body-snatchers of literature. The dust is given to one, and the ashes to another, and the soul is out of their reach. And now, let me play Chopin to you, or Dvorak? Shall I play you a fantasy by Dvorak? He writes passionate, curiously-coloured things.



ERNEST. No; I don't want music just at present. It is far too indefinite. Besides, I took the Baroness Bernstein down to dinner last night, and, though absolutely charming in every other respect, she insisted on discussing music as if it were actually written in the German language. Now, whatever music sounds like I am glad to say that it does not sound in the smallest degree like German. There are forms of patriotism that are really quite degrading. No; Gilbert, don't play any more. Turn round and talk to me. Talk to me till the white-horned day comes into the room. There is something in your voice that is wonderful.



GILBERT (rising from the piano). I am not in a mood for talking to-night. I really am not. How horrid of you to smile! Where are the cigarettes? Thanks. How exquisite these single daffodils are! They seem to be made of amber and cool ivory. They are like Greek things of the best period. What was the story in the confessions of the remorseful Academician that made you laugh? Tell it to me. After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own. Music always seems to me to produce that effect. It creates for one a past of which one has been ignorant, and fills one with a sense of sorrows that have been hidden from one's tears. I can fancy a man who had led a perfectly commonplace life, hearing by chance some curious piece of music, and suddenly discovering that his soul, without his being conscious of it, had passed through terrible experiences, and known fearful joys, or wild romantic loves, or great renunciations. And so tell me this story, Ernest. I want to be amused.



ERNEST. Oh! I don't know that it is of any importance. But I thought it a really admirable illustration of the true value of ordinary art-criticism. It seems that a lady once gravely asked the remorseful Academician, as you call him, if his celebrated picture of 'A Spring-Day at Whiteley's,' or, 'Waiting for the Last Omnibus,' or some subject of that kind, was all painted by hand?



GILBERT. And was it?



ERNEST. You are quite incorrigible. But, seriously speaking, what is the use of art-criticism? Why cannot the artist be left alone, to create a new world if he wishes it, or, if not, to shadow forth the world which we already know, and of which, I fancy, we would each one of us be wearied if Art, with her fine spirit of choice and delicate instinct of selection, did not, as it were, purify it for us, and give to it a momentary perfection. It seems to me that the imagination spreads, or should spread, a solitude around it, and works best in silence and in isolation. Why should the artist be troubled by the shrill clamour of criticism? Why should those who cannot create take upon themselves to estimate the value of creative work? What can they know about it? If a man's work is easy to understand, an explanation is unnecessary. . . .



GILBERT. And if his work is incomprehensible, an explanation is wicked.



ERNEST. I did not say that.



GILBERT. Ah! but you should have. Nowadays, we have so few mysteries left to us that we cannot afford to part with one of them. The members of the Browning Society, like the theologians of the Broad Church Party, or the authors of Mr. Walter Scott's Great Writers Series, seem to me to spend their time in trying to explain their divinity away. Where one had hoped that Browning was a mystic they have sought to show that he was simply inarticulate. Where one had fancied that he had something to conceal, they have proved that he had but little to reveal. But I speak merely of his incoherent work. Taken as a whole the man was great. He did not belong to the Olympians, and had all the incompleteness of the Titan. He did not survey, and it was but rarely that he could sing. His work is marred by struggle, violence and effort, and he passed not from emotion to form, but from thought to chaos. Still, he was great. He has been called a thinker, and was certainly a man who was always thinking, and always thinking aloud; but it was not thought that fascinated him, but rather the processes by which thought moves. It was the machine he loved, not what the machine makes. The method by which the fool arrives at his folly was as dear to him as the ultimate wisdom of the wise. So much, indeed, did the subtle mechanism of mind fascinate him that he despised language, or looked upon it as an incomplete instrument of expression. Rhyme, that exquisite echo which in the Muse's hollow hill creates and answers its own voice; rhyme, which in the hands of the real artist becomes not merely a material element of metrical beauty, but a spiritual element of thought and passion also, waking a new mood, it may be, or stirring a fresh train of ideas, or opening by mere sweetness and suggestion of sound some golden door at which the Imagination itself had knocked in vain; rhyme, which can turn man's utterance to the speech of gods; rhyme, the one chord we have added to the Greek lyre, became in Robert Browning's hands a grotesque, misshapen thing, which at times made him masquerade in poetry as a low comedian, and ride Pegasus too often with his tongue in his cheek. There are moments when he wounds us by monstrous music. Nay, if he can only get his music by breaking the strings of his lute, he breaks them, and they snap in discord, and no Athenian tettix, making melody from tremulous wings, lights on the ivory horn to make the movement perfect, or the interval less harsh. Yet, he was great: and though he turned language into ignoble clay, he made from it men and women that live. He is the most Shakespearian creature since Shakespeare. If Shakespeare could sing with myriad lips, Browning could stammer through a thousand mouths. Even now, as I am speaking, and speaking not against him but for him, there glides through the room the pageant of his persons. There, creeps Fra Lippo Lippi with his cheeks still burning from some girl's hot kiss. There, stands dread Saul with the lordly male-sapphires gleaming in his turban. Mildred Tresham is there, and the Spanish monk, yellow with hatred, and Blougram, and Ben Ezra, and the Bishop of St. Praxed's. The spawn of Setebos gibbers in the corner, and Sebald, hearing Pippa pass by, looks on Ottima's haggard face, and loathes her and his own sin, and himself. Pale as the white satin of his doublet, the melancholy king watches with dreamy treacherous eyes too loyal Strafford pass forth to his doom, and Andrea shudders as he hears the cousins whistle in the garden, and bids his perfect wife go down. Yes, Browning was great. And as what will he be remembered? As a poet? Ah, not as a poet! He will be remembered as a writer of fiction, as the most supreme writer of fiction, it may be, that we have ever had. His sense of dramatic situation was unrivalled, and, if he could not answer his own problems, he could at least put problems forth, and what more should an artist do? Considered from the point of view of a creator of character he ranks next to him who made Hamlet. Had he been articulate, he might have sat beside him. The only man who can touch the hem of his garment is George Meredith. Meredith is a prose Browning, and so is Browning. He used poetry as a medium for writing in prose.



ERNEST. There is something in what you say, but there is not everything in what you say. In many points you are unjust.



GILBERT. It is difficult not to be unjust to what one loves. But let us return to the particular point at issue. What was it that you said?



ERNEST. Simply this: that in the best days of art there were no art-critics.



GILBERT. I seem to have heard that observation before, Ernest. It has all the vitality of error and all the tediousness of an old friend.



ERNEST. It is true. Yes: there is no use your tossing your head in that petulant manner. It is quite true. In the best days of art there were no art-critics. The sculptor hewed from the marble block the great white-limbed Hermes that slept within it. The waxers and gilders of images gave tone and texture to the statue, and the world, when it saw it, worshipped and was dumb. He poured the glowing bronze into the mould of sand, and the river of red metal cooled into noble curves and took the impress of the body of a god. With enamel or polished jewels he gave sight to the sightless eyes. The hyacinth-like curls grew crisp beneath his graver. And when, in some dim frescoed fane, or pillared sunlit portico, the child of Leto stood upon his pedestal, those who passed by, [Greek text which cannot be reproduced], became conscious of a new influence that had come across their lives, and dreamily, or with a sense of strange and quickening joy, went to their homes or daily labour, or wandered, it may be, through the city gates to that nymph-haunted meadow where young Phaedrus bathed his feet, and, lying there on the soft grass, beneath the tall wind--whispering planes and flowering agnus castus, began to think of the wonder of beauty, and grew silent with unaccustomed awe. In those days the artist was free. From the river valley he took the fine clay in his fingers, and with a little tool of wood or bone, fashioned it into forms so exquisite that the people gave them to the dead as their playthings, and we find them still in the dusty tombs on the yellow hillside by Tanagra, with the faint gold and the fading crimson still lingering about hair and lips and raiment. On a wall of fresh plaster, stained with bright sandyx or mixed with milk and saffron, he pictured one who trod with tired feet the purple white-starred fields of asphodel, one 'in whose eyelids lay the whole of the Trojan War,' Polyxena, the daughter of Priam; or figured Odysseus, the wise and cunning, bound by tight cords to the mast-step, that he might listen without hurt to the singing of the Sirens, or wandering by the clear river of Acheron, where the ghosts of fishes flitted over the pebbly bed; or showed the Persian in trews and mitre flying before the Greek at Marathon, or the galleys clashing their beaks of brass in the little Salaminian bay. He drew with silver-point and charcoal upon parchment and prepared cedar. Upon ivory and rose-coloured terracotta he painted with wax, making the wax fluid with juice of olives, and with heated irons making it firm. Panel and marble and linen canvas became wonderful as his brush swept across them; and life seeing her own image, was still, and dared not speak. All life, indeed, was his, from the merchants seated in the market-place to the cloaked shepherd lying on the hill; from the nymph hidden in the laurels and the faun that pipes at noon, to the king whom, in long green- curtained litter, slaves bore upon oil-bright shoulders, and fanned with peacock fans. Men and women, with pleasure or sorrow in their faces, passed before him. He watched them, and their secret became his. Through form and colour he re-created a world.



All subtle arts belonged to him also. He held the gem against the revolving disk, and the amethyst became the purple couch for Adonis, and across the veined sardonyx sped Artemis with her hounds. He beat out the gold into roses, and strung them together for necklace or armlet. He beat out the gold into wreaths for the conqueror's helmet, or into palmates for the Tyrian robe, or into masks for the royal dead. On the back of the silver mirror he graved Thetis borne by her Nereids, or love-sick Phaedra with her nurse, or Persephone, weary of memory, putting poppies in her hair. The potter sat in his shed, and, flower-like from the silent wheel, the vase rose up beneath his hands. He decorated the base and stem and ears with pattern of dainty olive-leaf, or foliated acanthus, or curved and crested wave. Then in black or red he painted lads wrestling, or in the race: knights in full armour, with strange heraldic shields and curious visors, leaning from shell-shaped chariot over rearing steeds: the gods seated at the feast or working their miracles: the heroes in their victory or in their pain. Sometimes he would etch in thin vermilion lines upon a ground of white the languid bridegroom and his bride, with Eros hovering round them--an Eros like one of Donatello's angels, a little laughing thing with gilded or with azure wings. On the curved side he would write the name of his friend. [Greek text which cannot be reproduced] or [Greek text which cannot be reproduced] tells us the story of his days. Again, on the rim of the wide flat cup he would draw the stag browsing, or the lion at rest, as his fancy willed it. From the tiny perfume-bottle laughed Aphrodite at her toilet, and, with bare-limbed Maenads in his train, Dionysus danced round the wine-jar on naked must-stained feet, while, satyr-like, the old Silenus sprawled upon the bloated skins, or shook that magic spear which was tipped with a fretted fir-cone, and wreathed with dark ivy. And no one came to trouble the artist at his work. No irresponsible chatter disturbed him. He was not worried by opinions. By the Ilyssus, says Arnold somewhere, there was no Higginbotham. By the Ilyssus, my dear Gilbert, there were no silly art congresses bringing provincialism to the provinces and teaching the mediocrity how to mouth. By the Ilyssus there were no tedious magazines about art, in which the industrious prattle of what they do not understand. On the reed- grown banks of that little stream strutted no ridiculous journalism monopolising the seat of judgment when it should be apologising in the dock. The Greeks had no art-critics.



GILBERT. Ernest, you are quite delightful, but your views are terribly unsound. I am afraid that you have been listening to the conversation of some one older than yourself. That is always a dangerous thing to do, and if you allow it to degenerate into a habit you will find it absolutely fatal to any intellectual development. As for modern journalism, it is not my business to defend it. It justifies its own existence by the great Darwinian principle of the survival of the vulgarest. I have merely to do with literature.



ERNEST. But what is the difference between literature and journalism?



GILBERT. Oh! journalism is unreadable, and literature is not read. That is all. But with regard to your statement that the Greeks had no art-critics, I assure you that is quite absurd. It would be more just to say that the Greeks were a nation of art-critics.



ERNEST. Really?



GILBERT. Yes, a nation of art-critics. But I don't wish to destroy the delightfully unreal picture that you have drawn of the relation of the Hellenic artist to the intellectual spirit of his age. To give an accurate description of what has never occurred is not merely the proper occupation of the historian, but the inalienable privilege of any man of parts and culture. Still less do I desire to talk learnedly. Learned conversation is either the affectation of the ignorant or the profession of the mentally unemployed. And, as for what is called improving conversation, that is merely the foolish method by which the still more foolish philanthropist feebly tries to disarm the just rancour of the criminal classes. No: let me play to you some mad scarlet thing by Dvorak. The pallid figures on the tapestry are smiling at us, and the heavy eyelids of my bronze Narcissus are folded in sleep. Don't let us discuss anything solemnly. I am but too conscious of the fact that we are born in an age when only the dull are treated seriously, and I live in terror of not being misunderstood. Don't degrade me into the position of giving you useful information. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. Through the parted curtains of the window I see the moon like a clipped piece of silver. Like gilded bees the stars cluster round her. The sky is a hard hollow sapphire. Let us go out into the night. Thought is wonderful, but adventure is more wonderful still. Who knows but we may meet Prince Florizel of Bohemia, and hear the fair Cuban tell us that she is not what she seems?



ERNEST. You are horribly wilful. I insist on your discussing this matter with me. You have said that the Greeks were a nation of art-critics. What art-criticism have they left us?



GILBERT. My dear Ernest, even if not a single fragment of art- criticism had come down to us from Hellenic or Hellenistic days, it would be none the less true that the Greeks were a nation of art- critics, and that they invented the criticism of art just as they invented the criticism of everything else. For, after all, what is our primary debt to the Greeks? Simply the critical spirit. And, this spirit, which they exercised on questions of religion and science, of ethics and metaphysics, of politics and education, they exercised on questions of art also, and, indeed, of the two supreme and highest arts, they have left us the most flawless system of criticism that the world has ever seen.



ERNEST. But what are the two supreme and highest arts?



GILBERT. Life and Literature, life and the perfect expression of life. The principles of the former, as laid down by the Greeks, we may not realise in an age so marred by false ideals as our own. The principles of the latter, as they laid them down, are, in many cases, so subtle that we can hardly understand them. Recognising that the most perfect art is that which most fully mirrors man in all his infinite variety, they elaborated the criticism of language, considered in the light of the mere material of that art, to a point to which we, with our accentual system of reasonable or emotional emphasis, can barely if at all attain; studying, for instance, the metrical movements of a prose as scientifically as a modern musician studies harmony and counterpoint, and, I need hardly say, with much keener aesthetic instinct. In this they were right, as they were right in all things. Since the introduction of printing, and the fatal development of the habit of reading amongst the middle and lower classes of this country, there has been a tendency in literature to appeal more and more to the eye, and less and less to the ear which is really the sense which, from the standpoint of pure art, it should seek to please, and by whose canons of pleasure it should abide always. Even the work of Mr. Pater, who is, on the whole, the most perfect master of English prose now creating amongst us, is often far more like a piece of mosaic than a passage in music, and seems, here and there, to lack the true rhythmical life of words and the fine freedom and richness of effect that such rhythmical life produces. We, in fact, have made writing a definite mode of composition, and have treated it as a form of elaborate design. The Greeks, upon the other hand, regarded writing simply as a method of chronicling. Their test was always the spoken word in its musical and metrical relations. The voice was the medium, and the ear the critic. I have sometimes thought that the story of Homer's blindness might be really an artistic myth, created in critical days, and serving to remind us, not merely that the great poet is always a seer, seeing less with the eyes of the body than he does with the eyes of the soul, but that he is a true singer also, building his song out of music, repeating each line over and over again to himself till he has caught the secret of its melody, chaunting in darkness the words that are winged with light. Certainly, whether this be so or not, it was to his blindness, as an occasion, if not as a cause, that England's great poet owed much of the majestic movement and sonorous splendour of his later verse. When Milton could no longer write he began to sing. Who would match the measures of Comus with the measures of Samson Agonistes, or of Paradise Lost or Regained? When Milton became blind he composed, as every one should compose, with the voice purely, and so the pipe or reed of earlier days became that mighty many-stopped organ whose rich reverberant music has all the stateliness of Homeric verse, if it seeks not to have its swiftness, and is the one imperishable inheritance of English literature sweeping through all the ages, because above them, and abiding with us ever, being immortal in its form. Yes: writing has done much harm to writers. We must return to the voice. That must be our test, and perhaps then we shall be able to appreciate some of the subtleties of Greek art-criticism.



As it now is, we cannot do so. Sometimes, when I have written a piece of prose that I have been modest enough to consider absolutely free from fault, a dreadful thought comes over me that I may have been guilty of the immoral effeminacy of using trochaic and tribrachic movements, a crime for which a learned critic of the Augustan age censures with most just severity the brilliant if somewhat paradoxical Hegesias. I grow cold when I think of it, and wonder to myself if the admirable ethical effect of the prose of that charming writer, who once in a spirit of reckless generosity towards the uncultivated portion of our community proclaimed the monstrous doctrine that conduct is three-fourths of life, will not some day be entirely annihilated by the discovery that the paeons have been wrongly placed.



ERNEST. Ah! now you are flippant.



GILBERT. Who would not be flippant when he is gravely told that the Greeks had no art-critics? I can understand it being said that the constructive genius of the Greeks lost itself in criticism, but not that the race to whom we owe the critical spirit did not criticise. You will not ask me to give you a survey of Greek art criticism from Plato to Plotinus. The night is too lovely for that, and the moon, if she heard us, would put more ashes on her face than are there already. But think merely of one perfect little work of aesthetic criticism, Aristotle's Treatise on Poetry. It is not perfect in form, for it is badly written, consisting perhaps of notes dotted down for an art lecture, or of isolated fragments destined for some larger book, but in temper and treatment it is perfect, absolutely. The ethical effect of art, its importance to culture, and its place in the formation of character, had been done once for all by Plato; but here we have art treated, not from the moral, but from the purely aesthetic point of view. Plato had, of course, dealt with many definitely artistic subjects, such as the importance of unity in a work of art, the necessity for tone and harmony, the aesthetic value of appearances, the relation of the visible arts to the external world, and the relation of fiction to fact. He first perhaps stirred in the soul of man that desire that we have not yet satisfied, the desire to know the connection between Beauty and Truth, and the place of Beauty in the moral and intellectual order of the Kosmos. The problems of idealism and realism, as he sets them forth, may seem to many to be somewhat barren of result in the metaphysical sphere of abstract being in which he places them, but transfer them to the sphere of art, and you will find that they are still vital and full of meaning. It may be that it is as a critic of Beauty that Plato is destined to live, and that by altering the name of the sphere of his speculation we shall find a new philosophy. But Aristotle, like Goethe, deals with art primarily in its concrete manifestations, taking Tragedy, for instance, and investigating the material it uses, which is language, its subject- matter, which is life, the method by which it works, which is action, the conditions under which it reveals itself, which are those of theatric presentation, its logical structure, which is plot, and its final aesthetic appeal, which is to the sense of beauty realised through the passions of pity and awe. That purification and spiritualising of the nature which he calls [Greek text which cannot be reproduced] is, as Goethe saw, essentially aesthetic, and is not moral, as Lessing fancied. Concerning himself primarily with the impression that the work of art produces, Aristotle sets himself to analyse that impression, to investigate its source, to see how it is engendered. As a physiologist and psychologist, he knows that the health of a function resides in energy. To have a capacity for a passion and not to realise it, is to make oneself incomplete and limited. The mimic spectacle of life that Tragedy affords cleanses the bosom of much 'perilous stuff,' and by presenting high and worthy objects for the exercise of the emotions purifies and spiritualises the man; nay, not merely does it spiritualise him, but it initiates him also into noble feelings of which he might else have known nothing, the word [Greek text which cannot be reproduced] having, it has sometimes seemed to me, a definite allusion to the rite of initiation, if indeed that be not, as I am occasionally tempted to fancy, its true and only meaning here. This is of course a mere outline of the book. But you see what a perfect piece of aesthetic criticism it is. Who indeed but a Greek could have analysed art so well? After reading it, one does not wonder any longer that Alexandria devoted itself so largely to art-criticism, and that we find the artistic temperaments of the day investigating every question of style and manner, discussing the great Academic schools of painting, for instance, such as the school of Sicyon, that sought to preserve the dignified traditions of the antique mode, or the realistic and impressionist schools, that aimed at reproducing actual life, or the elements of ideality in portraiture, or the artistic value of the epic form in an age so modern as theirs, or the proper subject-matter for the artist. Indeed, I fear that the inartistic temperaments of the day busied themselves also in matters of literature and art, for the accusations of plagiarism were endless, and such accusations proceed either from the thin colourless lips of impotence, or from the grotesque mouths of those who, possessing nothing of their own, fancy that they can gain a reputation for wealth by crying out that they have been robbed. And I assure you, my dear Ernest, that the Greeks chattered about painters quite as much as people do nowadays, and had their private views, and shilling exhibitions, and Arts and Crafts guilds, and Pre-Raphaelite movements, and movements towards realism, and lectured about art, and wrote essays on art, and produced their art-historians, and their archaeologists, and all the rest of it. Why, even the theatrical managers of travelling companies brought their dramatic critics with them when they went on tour, and paid them very handsome salaries for writing laudatory notices. Whatever, in fact, is modern in our life we owe to the Greeks. Whatever is an anachronism is due to mediaevalism. It is the Greeks who have given us the whole system of art-criticism, and how fine their critical instinct was, may be seen from the fact that the material they criticised with most care was, as I have already said, language. For the material that painter or sculptor uses is meagre in comparison with that of words. Words have not merely music as sweet as that of viol and lute, colour as rich and vivid as any that makes lovely for us the canvas of the Venetian or the Spaniard, and plastic form no less sure and certain than that which reveals itself in marble or in bronze, but thought and passion and spirituality are theirs also, are theirs indeed alone. If the Greeks had criticised nothing but language, they would still have been the great art-critics of the world. To know the principles of the highest art is to know the principles of all the arts.



But I see that the moon is hiding behind a sulphur-coloured cloud. Out of a tawny mane of drift she gleams like a lion's eye. She is afraid that I will talk to you of Lucian and Longinus, of Quinctilian and Dionysius, of Pliny and Fronto and Pausanias, of all those who in the antique world wrote or lectured upon art matters. She need not be afraid. I am tired of my expedition into the dim, dull abyss of facts. There is nothing left for me now but the divine [Greek text which cannot be reproduced] of another cigarette. Cigarettes have at least the charm of leaving one unsatisfied.



ERNEST. Try one of mine. They are rather good. I get them direct from Cairo. The only use of our attaches is that they supply their friends with excellent tobacco. And as the moon has hidden herself, let us talk a little longer. I am quite ready to admit that I was wrong in what I said about the Greeks. They were, as you have pointed out, a nation of art-critics. I acknowledge it, and I feel a little sorry for them. For the creative faculty is higher than the critical. There is really no comparison between them.



GILBERT. The antithesis between them is entirely arbitrary. Without the critical faculty, there is no artistic creation at all, worthy of the name. You spoke a little while ago of that fine spirit of choice and delicate instinct of selection by which the artist realises life for us, and gives to it a momentary perfection. Well, that spirit of choice, that subtle tact of omission, is really the critical faculty in one of its most characteristic moods, and no one who does not possess this critical faculty can create anything at all in art. Arnold's definition of literature as a criticism of life was not very felicitous in form, but it showed how keenly he recognised the importance of the critical element in all creative work.



ERNEST. I should have said that great artists work unconsciously, that they were 'wiser than they knew,' as, I think, Emerson remarks somewhere.



GILBERT. It is really not so, Ernest. All fine imaginative work is self-conscious and deliberate. No poet sings because he must sing. At least, no great poet does. A great poet sings because he chooses to sing. It is so now, and it has always been so. We are sometimes apt to think that the voices that sounded at the dawn of poetry were simpler, fresher, and more natural than ours, and that the world which the early poets looked at, and through which they walked, had a kind of poetical quality of its own, and almost without changing could pass into song. The snow lies thick now upon Olympus, and its steep scarped sides are bleak and barren, but once, we fancy, the white feet of the Muses brushed the dew from the anemones in the morning, and at evening came Apollo to sing to the shepherds in the vale. But in this we are merely lending to other ages what we desire, or think we desire, for our own. Our historical sense is at fault. Every century that produces poetry is, so far, an artificial century, and the work that seems to us to be the most natural and simple product of its time is always the result of the most self-conscious effort. Believe me, Ernest, there is no fine art without self-consciousness, and self- consciousness and the critical spirit are one.



ERNEST. I see what you mean, and there is much in it. But surely you would admit that the great poems of the early world, the primitive, anonymous collective poems, were the result of the imagination of races, rather than of the imagination of individuals?



GILBERT. Not when they became poetry. Not when they received a beautiful form. For there is no art where there is no style, and no style where there is no unity, and unity is of the individual. No doubt Homer had old ballads and stories to deal with, as Shakespeare had chronicles and plays and novels from which to work, but they were merely his rough material. He took them, and shaped them into song. They become his, because he made them lovely. They were built out of music,



And so not built at all, And therefore built for ever.



The longer one studies life and literature, the more strongly one feels that behind everything that is wonderful stands the individual, and that it is not the moment that makes the man, but the man who creates the age. Indeed, I am inclined to think that each myth and legend that seems to us to spring out of the wonder, or terror, or fancy of tribe and nation, was in its origin the invention of one single mind. The curiously limited number of the myths seems to me to point to this conclusion. But we must not go off into questions of comparative mythology. We must keep to criticism. And what I want to point out is this. An age that has no criticism is either an age in which art is immobile, hieratic, and confined to the reproduction of formal types, or an age that possesses no art at all. There have been critical ages that have not been creative, in the ordinary sense of the word, ages in which the spirit of man has sought to set in order the treasures of his treasure-house, to separate the gold from the silver, and the silver from the lead, to count over the jewels, and to give names to the pearls. But there has never been a creative age that has not been critical also. For it is the critical faculty that invents fresh forms. The tendency of creation is to repeat itself. It is to the critical instinct that we owe each new school that springs up, each new mould that art finds ready to its hand. There is really not a single form that art now uses that does not come to us from the critical spirit of Alexandria, where these forms were either stereotyped or invented or made perfect. I say Alexandria, not merely because it was there that the Greek spirit became most self-conscious, and indeed ultimately expired in scepticism and theology, but because it was to that city, and not to Athens, that Rome turned for her models, and it was through the survival, such as it was, of the Latin language that culture lived at all. When, at the Renaissance, Greek literature dawned upon Europe, the soil had been in some measure prepared for it. But, to get rid of the details of history, which are always wearisome and usually inaccurate, let us say generally, that the forms of art have been due to the Greek critical spirit. To it we owe the epic, the lyric, the entire drama in every one of its developments, including burlesque, the idyll, the romantic novel, the novel of adventure, the essay, the dialogue, the oration, the lecture, for which perhaps we should not forgive them, and the epigram, in all the wide meaning of that word. In fact, we owe it everything, except the sonnet, to which, however, some curious parallels of thought- movement may be traced in the Anthology, American journalism, to which no parallel can be found anywhere, and the ballad in sham Scotch dialect, which one of our most industrious writers has recently proposed should be made the basis for a final and unanimous effort on the part of our second-rate poets to make themselves really romantic. Each new school, as it appears, cries out against criticism, but it is to the critical faculty in man that it owes its origin. The mere creative instinct does not innovate, but reproduces.



ERNEST. You have been talking of criticism as an essential part of the creative spirit, and I now fully accept your theory. But what of criticism outside creation? I have a foolish habit of reading periodicals, and it seems to me that most modern criticism is perfectly valueless.



GILBERT. So is most modern creative work also. Mediocrity weighing mediocrity in the balance, and incompetence applauding its brother--that is the spectacle which the artistic activity of England affords us from time to time. And yet, I feel I am a little unfair in this matter. As a rule, the critics--I speak, of course, of the higher class, of those in fact who write for the sixpenny papers--are far more cultured than the people whose work they are called upon to review. This is, indeed, only what one would expect, for criticism demands infinitely more cultivation than creation does.



ERNEST. Really?



GILBERT. Certainly. Anybody can write a three-volumed novel. It merely requires a complete ignorance of both life and literature. The difficulty that I should fancy the reviewer feels is the difficulty of sustaining any standard. Where there is no style a standard must be impossible. The poor reviewers are apparently reduced to be the reporters of the police-court of literature, the chroniclers of the doings of the habitual criminals of art. It is sometimes said of them that they do not read all through the works they are called upon to criticise. They do not. Or at least they should not. If they did so, they would become confirmed misanthropes, or if I may borrow a phrase from one of the pretty Newnham graduates, confirmed womanthropes for the rest of their lives. Nor is it necessary. To know the vintage and quality of a wine one need not drink the whole cask. It must be perfectly easy in half an hour to say whether a book is worth anything or worth nothing. Ten minutes are really sufficient, if one has the instinct for form. Who wants to wade through a dull volume? One tastes it, and that is quite enough--more than enough, I should imagine. I am aware that there are many honest workers in painting as well as in literature who object to criticism entirely. They are quite right. Their work stands in no intellectual relation to their age. It brings us no new element of pleasure. It suggests no fresh departure of thought, or passion, or beauty. It should not be spoken of. It should be left to the oblivion that it deserves.



ERNEST. But, my dear fellow--excuse me for interrupting you--you seem to me to be allowing your passion for criticism to lead you a great deal too far. For, after all, even you must admit that it is much more difficult to do a thing than to talk about it.



GILBERT. More difficult to do a thing than to talk about it? Not at all. That is a gross popular error. It is very much more difficult to talk about a thing than to do it. In the sphere of actual life that is of course obvious. Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it. There is no mode of action, no form of emotion, that we do not share with the lower animals. It is only by language that we rise above them, or above each other--by language, which is the parent, and not the child, of thought. Action, indeed, is always easy, and when presented to us in its most aggravated, because most continuous form, which I take to be that of real industry, becomes simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatsoever to do. No, Ernest, don't talk about action. It is a blind thing dependent on external influences, and moved by an impulse of whose nature it is unconscious. It is a thing incomplete in its essence, because limited by accident, and ignorant of its direction, being always at variance with its aim. Its basis is the lack of imagination. It is the last resource of those who know not how to dream.



ERNEST. Gilbert, you treat the world as if it were a crystal ball. You hold it in your hand, and reverse it to please a wilful fancy. You do nothing but re-write history.



GILBERT. The one duty we owe to history is to re-write it. That is not the least of the tasks in store for the critical spirit. When we have fully discovered the scientific laws that govern life, we shall realise that the one person who has more illusions than the dreamer is the man of action. He, indeed, knows neither the origin of his deeds nor their results. From the field in which he thought that he had sown thorns, we have gathered our vintage, and the fig-tree that he planted for our pleasure is as barren as the thistle, and more bitter. It is because Humanity has never known where it was going that it has been able to find its way.



ERNEST. You think, then, that in the sphere of action a conscious aim is a delusion?



GILBERT. It is worse than a delusion. If we lived long enough to see the results of our actions it may be that those who call themselves good would be sickened with a dull remorse, and those whom the world calls evil stirred by a noble joy. Each little thing that we do passes into the great machine of life which may grind our virtues to powder and make them worthless, or transform our sins into elements of a new civilisation, more marvellous and more splendid than any that has gone before. But men are the slaves of words. They rage against Materialism, as they call it, forgetting that there has been no material improvement that has not spiritualised the world, and that there have been few, if any, spiritual awakenings that have not wasted the world's faculties in barren hopes, and fruitless aspirations, and empty or trammelling creeds. What is termed Sin is an essential element of progress. Without it the world would stagnate, or grow old, or become colourless. By its curiosity Sin increases the experience of the race. Through its intensified assertion of individualism, it saves us from monotony of type. In its rejection of the current notions about morality, it is one with the higher ethics. And as for the virtues! What are the virtues? Nature, M. Renan tells us, cares little about chastity, and it may be that it is to the shame of the Magdalen, and not to their own purity, that the Lucretias of modern life owe their freedom from stain. Charity, as even those of whose religion it makes a formal part have been compelled to acknowledge, creates a multitude of evils. The mere existence of conscience, that faculty of which people prate so much nowadays, and are so ignorantly proud, is a sign of our imperfect development. It must be merged in instinct before we become fine. Self-denial is simply a method by which man arrests his progress, and self-sacrifice a survival of the mutilation of the savage, part of that old worship of pain which is so terrible a factor in the history of the world, and which even now makes its victims day by day, and has its altars in the land. Virtues! Who knows what the virtues are? Not you. Not I. Not any one. It is well for our vanity that we slay the criminal, for if we suffered him to live he might show us what we had gained by his crime. It is well for his peace that the saint goes to his martyrdom. He is spared the sight of the horror of his harvest.



ERNEST. Gilbert, you sound too harsh a note. Let us go back to the more gracious fields of literature. What was it you said? That it was more difficult to talk about a thing than to do it?



GILBERT (after a pause). Yes: I believe I ventured upon that simple truth. Surely you see now that I am right? When man acts he is a puppet. When he describes he is a poet. The whole secret lies in that. It was easy enough on the sandy plains by windy Ilion to send the notched arrow from the painted bow, or to hurl against the shield of hide and flamelike brass the long ash-handled spear. It was easy for the adulterous queen to spread the Tyrian carpets for her lord, and then, as he lay couched in the marble bath, to throw over his head the purple net, and call to her smooth-faced lover to stab through the meshes at the heart that should have broken at Aulis. For Antigone even, with Death waiting for her as her bridegroom, it was easy to pass through the tainted air at noon, and climb the hill, and strew with kindly earth the wretched naked corse that had no tomb. But what of those who wrote about these things? What of those who gave them reality, and made them live for ever? Are they not greater than the men and women they sing of? 'Hector that sweet knight is dead,' and Lucian tells us how in the dim under-world Menippus saw the bleaching skull of Helen, and marvelled that it was for so grim a favour that all those horned ships were launched, those beautiful mailed men laid low, those towered cities brought to dust. Yet, every day the swanlike daughter of Leda comes out on the battlements, and looks down at the tide of war. The greybeards wonder at her loveliness, and she stands by the side of the king. In his chamber of stained ivory lies her leman. He is polishing his dainty armour, and combing the scarlet plume. With squire and page, her husband passes from tent to tent. She can see his bright hair, and hears, or fancies that she hears, that clear cold voice. In the courtyard below, the son of Priam is buckling on his brazen cuirass. The white arms of Andromache are around his neck. He sets his helmet on the ground, lest their babe should be frightened. Behind the embroidered curtains of his pavilion sits Achilles, in perfumed raiment, while in harness of gilt and silver the friend of his soul arrays himself to go forth to the fight. From a curiously carven chest that his mother Thetis had brought to his ship-side, the Lord of the Myrmidons takes out that mystic chalice that the lip of man had never touched, and cleanses it with brimstone, and with fresh water cools it, and, having washed his hands, fills with black wine its burnished hollow, and spills the thick grape-blood upon the ground in honour of Him whom at Dodona barefooted prophets worshipped, and prays to Him, and knows not that he prays in vain, and that by the hands of two knights from Troy, Panthous' son, Euphorbus, whose love-locks were looped with gold, and the Priamid, the lion-hearted, Patroklus, the comrade of comrades, must meet his doom. Phantoms, are they? Heroes of mist and mountain? Shadows in a song? No: they are real. Action! What is action? It dies at the moment of its energy. It is a base concession to fact. The world is made by the singer for the dreamer.



ERNEST. While you talk it seems to me to be so.



GILBERT. It is so in truth. On the mouldering citadel of Troy lies the lizard like a thing of green bronze. The owl has built her nest in the palace of Priam. Over the empty plain wander shepherd and goatherd with their flocks, and where, on the wine- surfaced, oily sea, [Greek text which cannot be reproduced], as Homer calls it, copper-prowed and streaked with vermilion, the great galleys of the Danaoi came in their gleaming crescent, the lonely tunny-fisher sits in his little boat and watches the bobbing corks of his net. Yet, every morning the doors of the city are thrown open, and on foot, or in horse-drawn chariot, the warriors go forth to battle, and mock their enemies from behind their iron masks. All day long the fight rages, and when night comes the torches gleam by the tents, and the cresset burns in the hall. Those who live in marble or on painted panel, know of life but a single exquisite instant, eternal indeed in its beauty, but limited to one note of passion or one mood of calm. Those whom the poet makes live have their myriad emotions of joy and terror, of courage and despair, of pleasure and of suffering. The seasons come and go in glad or saddening pageant, and with winged or leaden feet the years pass by before them. They have their youth and their manhood, they are children, and they grow old. It is always dawn for St. Helena, as Veronese saw her at the window. Through the still morning air the angels bring her the symbol of God's pain. The cool breezes of the morning lift the gilt threads from her brow. On that little hill by the city of Florence, where the lovers of Giorgione are lying, it is always the solstice of noon, of noon made so languorous by summer suns that hardly can the slim naked girl dip into the marble tank the round bubble of clear glass, and the long fingers of the lute-player rest idly upon the chords. It is twilight always for the dancing nymphs whom Corot set free among the silver poplars of France. In eternal twilight they move, those frail diaphanous figures, whose tremulous white feet seem not to touch the dew-drenched grass they tread on. But those who walk in epos, drama, or romance, see through the labouring months the young moons wax and wane, and watch the night from evening unto morning star, and from sunrise unto sunsetting can note the shifting day with all its gold and shadow. For them, as for us, the flowers bloom and wither, and the Earth, that Green- tressed Goddess as Coleridge calls her, alters her raiment for their pleasure. The statue is concentrated to one moment of perfection. The image stained upon the canvas possesses no spiritual element of growth or change. If they know nothing of death, it is because they know little of life, for the secrets of life and death belong to those, and those only, whom the sequence of time affects, and who possess not merely the present but the future, and can rise or fall from a past of glory or of shame. Movement, that problem of the visible arts, can be truly realised by Literature alone. It is Literature that shows us the body in its swiftness and the soul in its unrest.



ERNEST. Yes; I see now what you mean. But, surely, the higher you place the creative artist, the lower must the critic rank.



GILBERT. Why so?



ERNEST. Because the best that he can give us will be but an echo of rich music, a dim shadow of clear-outlined form. It may, indeed, be that life is chaos, as you tell me that it is; that its martyrdoms are mean and its heroisms ignoble; and that it is the function of Literature to create, from the rough material of actual existence, a new world that will be more marvellous, more enduring, and more true than the world that common eyes look upon, and through which common natures seek to realise their perfection. But surely, if this new world has been made by the spirit and touch of a great artist, it will be a thing so complete and perfect that there will be nothing left for the critic to do. I quite understand now, and indeed admit most readily, that it is far more difficult to talk about a thing than to do it. But it seems to me that this sound and sensible maxim, which is really extremely soothing to one's feelings, and should be adopted as its motto by every Academy of Literature all over the world, applies only to the relations that exist between Art and Life, and not to any relations that there may be between Art and Criticism.



GILBERT. But, surely, Criticism is itself an art. And just as artistic creation implies the working of the critical faculty, and, indeed, without it cannot be said to exist at all, so Criticism is really creative in the highest sense of the word. Criticism is, in fact, both creative and independent.



ERNEST. Independent?



GILBERT. Yes; independent. Criticism is no more to be judged by any low standard of imitation or resemblance than is the work of poet or sculptor. The critic occupies the same relation to the work of art that he criticises as the artist does to the visible world of form and colour, or the unseen world of passion and of thought. He does not even require for the perfection of his art the finest materials. Anything will serve his purpose. And just as out of the sordid and sentimental amours of the silly wife of a small country doctor in the squalid village of Yonville-l'Abbaye, near Rouen, Gustave Flaubert was able to create a classic, and make a masterpiece of style, so, from subjects of little or of no importance, such as the pictures in this year's Royal Academy, or in any year's Royal Academy for that matter, Mr. Lewis Morris's poems, M. Ohnet's novels, or the plays of Mr. Henry Arthur Jones, the true critic can, if it be his pleasure so to direct or waste his faculty of contemplation, produce work that will be flawless in beauty and instinct with intellectual subtlety. Why not? Dulness is always an irresistible temptation for brilliancy, and stupidity is the permanent Bestia Trionfans that calls wisdom from its cave. To an artist so creative as the critic, what does subject-matter signify? No more and no less than it does to the novelist and the painter. Like them, he can find his motives everywhere. Treatment is the test. There is nothing that has not in it suggestion or challenge.



ERNEST. But is Criticism really a creative art?



GILBERT. Why should it not be? It works with materials, and puts them into a form that is at once new and delightful. What more can one say of poetry? Indeed, I would call criticism a creation within a creation. For just as the great artists, from Homer and AEschylus, down to Shakespeare and Keats, did not go directly to life for their subject-matter, but sought for it in myth, and legend, and ancient tale, so the critic deals with materials that others have, as it were, purified for him, and to which imaginative form and colour have been already added. Nay, more, I would say that the highest Criticism, being the purest form of personal impression, is in its way more creative than creation, as it has least reference to any standard external to itself, and is, in fact, its own reason for existing, and, as the Greeks would put it, in itself, and to itself, an end. Certainly, it is never trammelled by any shackles of verisimilitude. No ignoble considerations of probability, that cowardly concession to the tedious repetitions of domestic or public life, affect it ever. One may appeal from fiction unto fact. But from the soul there is no appeal.



ERNEST. From the soul?



GILBERT. Yes, from the soul. That is what the highest criticism really is, the record of one's own soul. It is more fascinating than history, as it is concerned simply with oneself. It is more delightful than philosophy, as its subject is concrete and not abstract, real and not vague. It is the only civilised form of autobiography, as it deals not with the events, but with the thoughts of one's life; not with life's physical accidents of deed or circumstance, but with the spiritual moods and imaginative passions of the mind. I am always amused by the silly vanity of those writers and artists of our day who seem to imagine that the primary function of the critic is to chatter about their second- rate work. The best that one can say of most modern creative art is that it is just a little less vulgar than reality, and so the critic, with his fine sense of distinction and sure instinct of delicate refinement, will prefer to look into the silver mirror or through the woven veil, and will turn his eyes away from the chaos and clamour of actual existence, though the mirror be tarnished and the veil be torn. His sole aim is to chronicle his own impressions. It is for him that pictures are painted, books written, and marble hewn into form.



ERNEST. I seem to have heard another theory of Criticism.



GILBERT. Yes: it has been said by one whose gracious memory we all revere, and the music of whose pipe once lured Proserpina from her Sicilian fields, and made those white feet stir, and not in vain, the Cumnor cowslips, that the proper aim of Criticism is to see the object as in itself it really is. But this is a very serious error, and takes no cognisance of Criticism's most perfect form, which is in its essence purely subjective, and seeks to reveal its own secret and not the secret of another. For the highest Criticism deals with art not as expressive but as impressive purely.



ERNEST. But is that really so?



GILBERT. Of course it is. Who cares whether Mr. Ruskin's views on Turner are sound or not? What does it matter? That mighty and majestic prose of his, so fervid and so fiery-coloured in its noble eloquence, so rich in its elaborate symphonic music, so sure and certain, at its best, in subtle choice of word and epithet, is at least as great a work of art as any of those wonderful sunsets that bleach or rot on their corrupted canvases in England's Gallery; greater indeed, one is apt to think at times, not merely because its equal beauty is more enduring, but on account of the fuller variety of its appeal, soul speaking to soul in those long-cadenced lines, not through form and colour alone, though through these, indeed, completely and without loss, but with intellectual and emotional utterance, with lofty passion and with loftier thought, with imaginative insight, and with poetic aim; greater, I always think, even as Literature is the greater art. Who, again, cares whether Mr. Pater has put into the portrait of Monna Lisa something that Lionardo never dreamed of? The painter may have been merely the slave of an archaic smile, as some have fancied, but whenever I pass into the cool galleries of the Palace of the Louvre, and stand before that strange figure 'set in its marble chair in that cirque of fantastic rocks, as in some faint light under sea,' I murmur to myself, 'She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her: and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants; and, as Leda, was the mother of Helen of Troy, and, as St. Anne, the mother of Mary; and all this has been to her but as the sound of lyres and flutes, and lives only in the delicacy with which it has moulded the changing lineaments, and tinged the eyelids and the hands.' And I say to my friend, 'The presence that thus so strangely rose beside the waters is expressive of what in the ways of a thousand years man had come to desire'; and he answers me, 'Hers is the head upon which all "the ends of the world are come," and the eyelids are a little weary.'



And so the picture becomes more wonderful to us than it really is, and reveals to us a secret of which, in truth, it knows nothing, and the music of the mystical prose is as sweet in our ears as was that flute-player's music that lent to the lips of La Gioconda those subtle and poisonous curves. Do you ask me what Lionardo would have said had any one told him of this picture that 'all the thoughts and experience of the world had etched and moulded therein that which they had of power to refine and make expressive the outward form, the animalism of Greece, the lust of Rome, the reverie of the Middle Age with its spiritual ambition and imaginative loves, the return of the Pagan world, the sins of the Borgias?' He would probably have answered that he had contemplated none of these things, but had concerned himself simply with certain arrangements of lines and masses, and with new and curious colour- harmonies o
          Miracles Are Meant To Be Shared, Our Christmas Miracle   
The Free Christmas Chapter From Tiny Titan, One Small Gift
Download Tiny Titan, One Small Gift for Kindle here .
Available for FREE at Amazon.com
from Tuesday, December l8 through Saturday,  December 22, 2012
Our gift to you this Holiday season.


Chapter 9
Christmas



I sunk into despair. The holiday was fast approaching and Christmas was the last thing on our minds with Becca critically ill in the PICU and everyone else sick too. There was no money for gifts, and there was no time to buy or make anything. I was sick, tired and depressed over the circumstances we found ourselves in. If the phone rang, I was afraid to answer it because it might carry the news that Becca was worsening or no longer here. The phone was a constant reminder of trouble. It rang with bill collectors waiting for money. It rang when medical personnel had more dreaded news or another crisis for Becca. My emotions rose and fell like tidal waves, up, up, up and down, down, down. I tried not to think; not thinking was how I coped. It was like the stairs I ran at the hospital, up and down, and then I’d stop and sit, empty and mindless. I could not think about my children going without gifts at Christmas, but our lives were impossibly out of control. We had fallen into a dark hole due to no fault of my innocent children. At any moment they were going to lose their new baby sister. They were caught in the tidal wave of catastrophic illness when they needed a Santa most to give them hope. How would I explain to my children that Santa forgot them?

I was used to planning ahead and beginning in July bought two presents each month to cover birthdays and Christmas. Over the years my frugal plan had worked flawlessly. I squirreled away the hottest toys for Christmas gifts with early season purchases. While other families were school shopping Iwas  making wishes come true. It was a challenge to make my kids birthdays and Christmas memorable. I love the holidays and I began to bargain shop for Marissa’s September birthday gift. I budgeted a little each month until Christmas, finding sale and clearance treasures, completing my shopping race under budget. In November we celebrated Jim, Nathan and Ian’s birthdays followed in December by Matt’s birthday, and then Kristy’s birthday in early January. The gifts I bought with Jim’s carpet points guaranteed the boys November birthday gifts. Matt at age three was easy; all I needed was something big. Big for my little kids were exciting and ten dollars went a long way. Other than that I had nothing. We had already used the house payment money to pay for medicine, throat cultures and doctors visits for the kids and me while we were sick.

I was a rookie in the being broke game. I called Toys for Tots and discovered I was too late. They quit accepting new registrations before Thanksgiving. Luckily I remembered buried in the rafters, hidden from my sneaky children I had one gift Ihad purchased before things fell apart. Before Becca was born I had purchased the new pirate ship Lego set that had caught Nathan’s eye. It was an expensive present, and I could put both boys’ names on it. I had already cut out doll clothes and a dance costume for Marissa, but the fabric pieces remained on my closet shelf while I was sick. Now that Marissa was home from kindergarten I would not be able to get the covert sewing done, besides I was still too dizzy to sew my visions for Marissa’s holiday present. My eyes were seeing double. We would share dinner with relatives and I hoped I would have a dish to pass, but my cupboards were as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s. My head spun at the thoughts of a hopeless Christmas and the room took another whirl; exhausted I took some Benadryl and fell back to sleep.

While I slept, Kristy took the picture of Becca from the fireplace and sat alone in a quiet place to cry. It was something I never knew she did until years later. People often think children don’t know what’s happening but they are much more a part of the reality than the adults realize. Kristy never complained and she protected us by caring for the little ones and not adding to our burdens. Iworried sometimes about how this would affect her in the future. Today, she tells me it was the substance that made her strong.

The little elves in my family executed a Christmas plan. Kristy found the Christmas tree in the garage, and she and Nathan, my mechanic, assembled it. Ian and Marissa got busy cutting out paper snowflakes and hung them with dental floss from the ceiling and windows. My little red and green sewing pins stuck six stockings to the mantle. When I awoke, they surprised me with their magical transformation. I had not lifted a finger. They had carefully hung each of their hand made wooden, beaded angel and needlework ornaments crafted by Jim’s parents. Hundreds of hours of love radiated from the tree centered in a carpet of paper snowflake snippets.

I explained to them that Christmas was about family and being together and sharing memories. What was going to be special about this Christmas was that the Yurceks were a family. Christmas is about the baby in the manger who brings hope to a dying world. Our baby was in the hospital and all we had was hope. After spending seven days in bed, I was regaining my strength.

Why did I feel such shame that Santa might not come this year? I prayed, “Oh Lord, How can I find gifts for Kristy, Marissa and Matt? It is already December 23. How can I let my children down?How can I face Christmas morning empty handed? The kids’ baby sister is dying. They need something good to happen.  Please don’t let their baby sister die at Christmas.”

My children were ready for Christmas. I was not. Icouldn’t expect my parents to shower my children with toys; they were struggling with my dad’s recent unemployment. My parents blessed my children with attention, but had no financial resources to give.

Becca was transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) just as I had fallen ill. It had been a very long nine days and finally the kids and I were well. I was healthy enough to see Becca and had been given clearance to drive. I was no longer dizzy.

The PICU had a circular desk, and different beds surrounded it. Off to the side with glass doors were the isolation rooms. One of them housed my Becca, who looked so tiny in the crib in such a big room. She was on oxygen, and they explained to me that she kept forgetting to breathe due to the RSV and pneumonia. The respiratory therapist gave her a treatment to help clear her lungs. She had a blood staph infection, her feedings were on hold, and they were giving her nutrition and fluid by IV. Her heart was in failure. Merry Christmas was far from my thoughts. Bah Humbug! This was not merry, not merry at all. I was dreading Christmas and I was feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge.

Startled out of my doldrums, Mary was standing in front of me saying hello. The nurses had called her to let her know I had arrived. She had something she needed me to sign. That’s all I had been doing, signing, and waiting, and hoping, and praying. Bah Humbug!

She took me to her office. I had no idea where her office was as she always brought the paperwork to me. She opened the door and picked up a large shopping bag. Her smile radiated. “Merry Christmas!” she exclaimed. The nurses had shopped for families who would be without for the holidays. They picked out a present for each one of my six kids. They even purchased the batteries for the remote control car for Nathan. They thought of everything. The bag contained a roll of wrapping paper, bows and even the tape. It’s nooks and crannies were filled with little treats – a box of candy canes and five chocolate Santa Clauses to peek out of the top of the stockings. Miracles really do happen and my wish had been granted. My kids would have Christmas.

Mary told me that the hospital employees often play Santa for families to make sure they would not face the holidays empty handed. She knew that if I were skipping meals to feed the children, there would be nothing for Christmas.

I returned to Becca’s isolation room. She was much too sick to be held. I savored a moment of calm and thankfulness. Slowly I was learning to savor tiny moments of peace and tranquility. I stayed by her side quietly reading before heading home with my miracle sack. I felt so thankful for the graciousness of these kind people. With my ritual kiss goodbye and whispering I love you, I prayed to her angels that she would be here when I returned.

My kids are notoriously nosy and I wanted to surprise them on Christmas morning. I rushed off to pick up Matt and Marissa at Mom’s and stashed the Christmas gifts before the older ones had a clue. While I had been sick, Mom had been busy and blessed us with another surprise. She had sewn Kristy and Marissa new Christmas dresses and my aunt had bought sweaters for the three boys. All my five kids would have new matching outfits to wear for Christmas.

Jim closed the store early on Christmas Eve and helped me dress the little kids for the Christmas Eve service. I told Jim my secret miracle and we smiled eye messages across the heads of our stair step sized children sitting between us in the church pew. We sang for the birth of baby Jesus and our hearts cried out for a Christmas miracle for Becca. After the service the kids played in the manger, Marissa and Matt rode the lifelike donkey proclaiming they were on their way to Bethlehem while I stared down at the tiny doll in the manger and said a quiet prayer for my little baby lying so far away, all alone, in a bed in the PICU. We needed hope in the midst of such incredible sorrow.

Mom invited us for cake and ice cream after the service, but I had other plans. Families are supposed to be together and I was not going to allow Becca to be alone on Christmas. We all went to the hospital to visit Becca, but only Kristy and Iwere able to go to PICU. Jim stayed with the other kids in the lobby while Kristy and I went to say Merry Christmas to Becca. Each child had made Becca a card and the nurse taped the cards to the wall above her bed. I hung Becca’s handmade stocking on the foot of her crib, putting on the Christmas music Kristy had recorded. I made a special Christmas wish, asking for a miracle for Becca. I left her again with a kiss on her feverish cheek and wished her a Merry Christmas and a very blessed goodnight. The walk from PICU to the lobby seemed endless, my heart heavy laden with grief, babies should be home with mommies and daddies on Christmas Eve.

Fresh snow had fallen, and instead of hurrying home on the freeway we meandered past the lighted mansions on Summit Avenue of St. Paul. We passed the Cathedral and the Governor’s manor. The children marveled at the beautifully decorated homes. Matt clapped his hands in joy, while the others argued over which house was the favorite. Ian and Kristy engaged in a competitive battle. Marissa’s face was lit up from the wonder of the lights and its beauty. The kids were enjoying the ride so much that we wound our way home through parks, and lakes, and residential streets for over an hour. It was peaceful and calming. The kids quieted and Matt fell asleep.

Scattered snowflakes were falling and Jim and I listened to the Christmas music playing from the radio. The radio DJ announced that Santa was spotted circling the globe, and Marissa and Ian excitingly questioned how he managed to get all the work done in one evening?

This explanation I left to Jim, it was his turn to try to satisfy his children’s curiosity. His eyes sparkled as he told them Santa was magic and can make anything happen if you only believe. It was a heavenly ride. I reached across the seat setting my hand on Jim’s knee. Jim’s answer had satisfied the children’s curiosity, and Kristy had caught my glare, playing along with the magic of the moment.

It was nearly midnight when we arrived home and the house was pitch black to save on electricity. As we pulled in the driveway, the mini van’s lights shone upon dark shadows lying near the door. Jim hopped out of the van to see what was going on. Then he summoned us as if it were nothing.

As I reached in the back seat to get sleeping Matt, the children shrieked, “Santa came! He came! Santa was already here!”

What were they talking about? I grabbed a confused, groggy Matt. There were nearly a dozen or so thirty-gallon black trash bags left sitting by our front door. Jim and the big kids carried in the bags.

The children tore open the plastic bags to discover dozens of wrapped presents with their names on them. It was blessed chaos. There were tons of groceries, toilet paper, and shampoo. Everything we were out of.  Kristy, Nathan and Ian were stacking the packages by the tree while Marissa and Matt played mountain climbers scaling the huge mounds of packages. Kristy screamed as she caught the tree from falling. Marissa narrowly escaped a plunge from the top of Gift Mountain. Our children were bouncing off the walls, but we finally convinced them that it wasn’t Christmas yet, and Santa required they open presents on Christmas morning like in The Night Before Christmas. They didn’t argue because we had just read the story.

Marissa wondered why Santa left them outside, instead of bringing them down the chimney. Ian, who always had an answer for everything, announced, “he had so much dummy; if he brought the bags down the chimney, he would get the chimney stopped up.” Kristy added “that the house was locked and he could not bring them in the door.” Finally they all scampered off to their rooms and soon were snuggled in beds dreaming of Christmas miracles.

Shortly after midnight the phone rang. It was the resident from PICU calling us to let us know Becca had turned the corner and they upgraded her status to stable. She was improving and was breathing easier so they had removed the ventilator; Becca was now breathing on her own and on supplemental oxygen! Becca was getting better! My Christmas prayers had been answered. And someone, some Santa somewhere had fulfilled my wishes. He or she arrived with bags of toys, and goodies, and groceries. My cupboards would no longer be bare. Jim and I had no means to provide for our family, yet someone, somewhere, knew our needs. I thanked the baby in the manger for this Christmas miracle.

Jim and I put away the much-needed groceries. Two turkeys, packages of hamburger and chicken went into the freezer. We put the canned goods on the shelves . . .apples and oranges, carrots and potatoes, and onions . . . bathroom and hygiene products. There were even a couple loaves of expensive rice bread. Whoever brought this Christmas miracle, had not forgotten anything. They had even picked up a double pack of diapers for Matt who was regressing from his potty training in his upside down life.

The real Christmas miracles were hidden in the tiny details. Buried deep in one of the bags I discovered a brand new pair of much needed white Reebok tennis shoes for me. They fit perfectly. We filled the stockings with candy and small gifts from the bags the kids had not seen. With the gifts from the hospital and the one from us for Nathan and Ian, we had more presents than we had ever imagined. Our room looked like a Hollywood movie Christmas morning scene. Where did all this come from?

Jim and I crawled into bed, hoping to get a few hours of sleep before the kids scrambled upon us to open their presents. They were tired from the late night and for the first time ever on Christmas morning; they slept until 8:00 A.M..

Kristy in her sweats and the little ones in their blanketed sleepers tore into the pile of packages. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, I lost count of the gifts they each received. Nathan screamed pulling out a pair of roller blades, the current hottest trend retailing at $l50 a pair. Who had done this? Ian soon discovered he had a pair too! Kristy found a boom box, a jewelry box, curling iron and music to play. Packages marked to the Yurcek family contained a VCR to replace the one that had been stolen when our house had been robbed and ransacked right before Becca’s birth. There were movies, games, books, colored markers, and art kits for each child. Even Becca was not forgotten. She got new clothes, a diaper bag, several new pink animals and more music. Marissa found a big package with a dollhouse and furniture. She was surrounded in pink heaven. Matt tunneled and laughed through the wrapping paper and boxes. We corralled him to open his presents, a big floppy eared dog, trucks, cars and a train track. The boys tried to set up their new remote control car racing set in the middle of the wrapping mess.

Jim was not to be forgotten and he discovered new socks, sweats, jeans and a belt. He handed me a tiny box from under the tree that he discovered while we were cleaning up and making sure all the tiny toy pieces were not thrown away with the mountain of boxes and wrapping paper. Inside was a solid sterling silver heart necklace with six tiny stones. The necklace was a reminder of hope, a mother’s heart with my six precious children. The six little diamonds sparkled in rainbow colors from our Christmas tree. It was bittersweet to look at as Becca’s heart was slowly failing. But I reminded myself that for today Becca was doing better, and this Christmas we had witnessed a true miracle. Some unknown Santa with a caring heart had done all this for us. But who, how, when?

No longer were our cupboards bare. The kids and I made a fresh fruit salad with real whipped cream. Kristy peeled the apples and Nathan chopped them along with slicing frozen strawberries. Marissa cut banana coins with a bread knife and Ian added one handful of marshmallows to his mouth before adding the next handful to the magical miracle bowl of Christmas fruit.

We dressed for Christmas dinner at my cousins. The family celebrated the day together with aunts and uncles, cousins and second cousins. All were there but one, our Becca.

No longer would we be hungry again. We had food for the next month until our food stamp case opened. The kids had new toys to keep them occupied. We had warm clothing and mittens. I later discovered when our bills arrived, that some unknown Santa paid our phone bill, the utility bills, and our car insurance! We will be forever grateful for the gifts of that year, and we will never forget we witnessed a true Christmas miracle. I have from then on remembered to give back to others as you did for us. Thank you! What you did for us that year was unbelievable! You gave us the gift of hope and belief in miracles.

Buried in one of the bags of the hundreds of dollars in gifts we found a card, wishing us a “Merry Christmas and to all, and to all a good night. You are loved! Santa.”

Those were the same words whispered in tiny Becca’s ear ten days earlier. Was it connected?

Over the next few years, the miracles continued helping us when we needed it most. I tried to find who our anonymous Santa was but we never discovered the giver of the gifts. Whoever it was did not want to be found out. Maybe someday that person or persons will read my writing, and I will finally be able to thank her or him for our Christmas miracle and generosity.

Perhaps, we will never know.



Tiny Titan, One Small Gift is Part 1 of the hard copy publishing of Tiny Titan, Journey of Hope, a Mom's Choice Award Winner for Best Adult Non-Fiction and carries a 5 Star Dove Award.


Learn More about Noonan Syndrome and other Rasopathy Spectrum Disorders 

          Merry Christmas: FREE E Book.... Newly Released: Tiny Titan, One Small Gift   
The Free Christmas Chapter From Tiny Titan, One Small Gift
Download Tiny Titan, One Small Gift FREE here.

Chapter 9
Christmas




I sunk into despair. The holiday was fast approaching and Christmas was the last thing on our minds with Becca critically ill in the PICU and everyone else sick too. There was no money for gifts, and there was no time to buy or make anything. I was sick, tired and depressed over the circumstances we found ourselves in. If the phone rang, I was afraid to answer it because it might carry the news that Becca was worsening or no longer here. The phone was a constant reminder of trouble. It rang with bill collectors waiting for money. It rang when medical personnel had more dreaded news or another crisis for Becca. My emotions rose and fell like tidal waves, up, up, up and down, down, down. I tried not to think; not thinking was how I coped. It was like the stairs I ran at the hospital, up and down, and then I’d stop and sit, empty and mindless. I could not think about my children going without gifts at Christmas, but our lives were impossibly out of control. We had fallen into a dark hole due to no fault of my innocent children. At any moment they were going to lose their new baby sister. They were caught in the tidal wave of catastrophic illness when they needed a Santa most to give them hope. How would I explain to my children that Santa forgot them?

I was used to planning ahead and beginning in July bought two presents each month to cover birthdays and Christmas. Over the years my frugal plan had worked flawlessly. I squirreled away the hottest toys for Christmas gifts with early season purchases. While other families were school shopping Iwas  making wishes come true. It was a challenge to make my kids birthdays and Christmas memorable. I love the holidays and I began to bargain shop for Marissa’s September birthday gift. I budgeted a little each month until Christmas, finding sale and clearance treasures, completing my shopping race under budget. In November we celebrated Jim, Nathan and Ian’s birthdays followed in December by Matt’s birthday, and then Kristy’s birthday in early January. The gifts I bought with Jim’s carpet points guaranteed the boys November birthday gifts. Matt at age three was easy; all I needed was something big. Big for my little kids were exciting and ten dollars went a long way. Other than that I had nothing. We had already used the house payment money to pay for medicine, throat cultures and doctors visits for the kids and me while we were sick.

I was a rookie in the being broke game. I called Toys for Tots and discovered I was too late. They quit accepting new registrations before Thanksgiving. Luckily I remembered buried in the rafters, hidden from my sneaky children I had one gift Ihad purchased before things fell apart. Before Becca was born I had purchased the new pirate ship Lego set that had caught Nathan’s eye. It was an expensive present, and I could put both boys’ names on it. I had already cut out doll clothes and a dance costume for Marissa, but the fabric pieces remained on my closet shelf while I was sick. Now that Marissa was home from kindergarten I would not be able to get the covert sewing done, besides I was still too dizzy to sew my visions for Marissa’s holiday present. My eyes were seeing double. We would share dinner with relatives and I hoped I would have a dish to pass, but my cupboards were as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s. My head spun at the thoughts of a hopeless Christmas and the room took another whirl; exhausted I took some Benadryl and fell back to sleep.

While I slept, Kristy took the picture of Becca from the fireplace and sat alone in a quiet place to cry. It was something I never knew she did until years later. People often think children don’t know what’s happening but they are much more a part of the reality than the adults realize. Kristy never complained and she protected us by caring for the little ones and not adding to our burdens. Iworried sometimes about how this would affect her in the future. Today, she tells me it was the substance that made her strong.

The little elves in my family executed a Christmas plan. Kristy found the Christmas tree in the garage, and she and Nathan, my mechanic, assembled it. Ian and Marissa got busy cutting out paper snowflakes and hung them with dental floss from the ceiling and windows. My little red and green sewing pins stuck six stockings to the mantle. When I awoke, they surprised me with their magical transformation. I had not lifted a finger. They had carefully hung each of their hand made wooden, beaded angel and needlework ornaments crafted by Jim’s parents. Hundreds of hours of love radiated from the tree centered in a carpet of paper snowflake snippets.

I explained to them that Christmas was about family and being together and sharing memories. What was going to be special about this Christmas was that the Yurceks were a family. Christmas is about the baby in the manger who brings hope to a dying world. Our baby was in the hospital and all we had was hope. After spending seven days in bed, I was regaining my strength.

Why did I feel such shame that Santa might not come this year? I prayed, “Oh Lord, How can I find gifts for Kristy, Marissa and Matt? It is already December 23. How can I let my children down?How can I face Christmas morning empty handed? The kids’ baby sister is dying. They need something good to happen.  Please don’t let their baby sister die at Christmas.”

My children were ready for Christmas. I was not. Icouldn’t expect my parents to shower my children with toys; they were struggling with my dad’s recent unemployment. My parents blessed my children with attention, but had no financial resources to give.

Becca was transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) just as I had fallen ill. It had been a very long nine days and finally the kids and I were well. I was healthy enough to see Becca and had been given clearance to drive. I was no longer dizzy.

The PICU had a circular desk, and different beds surrounded it. Off to the side with glass doors were the isolation rooms. One of them housed my Becca, who looked so tiny in the crib in such a big room. She was on oxygen, and they explained to me that she kept forgetting to breathe due to the RSV and pneumonia. The respiratory therapist gave her a treatment to help clear her lungs. She had a blood staph infection, her feedings were on hold, and they were giving her nutrition and fluid by IV. Her heart was in failure. Merry Christmas was far from my thoughts. Bah Humbug! This was not merry, not merry at all. I was dreading Christmas and I was feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge.

Startled out of my doldrums, Mary was standing in front of me saying hello. The nurses had called her to let her know I had arrived. She had something she needed me to sign. That’s all I had been doing, signing, and waiting, and hoping, and praying. Bah Humbug!

She took me to her office. I had no idea where her office was as she always brought the paperwork to me. She opened the door and picked up a large shopping bag. Her smile radiated. “Merry Christmas!” she exclaimed. The nurses had shopped for families who would be without for the holidays. They picked out a present for each one of my six kids. They even purchased the batteries for the remote control car for Nathan. They thought of everything. The bag contained a roll of wrapping paper, bows and even the tape. It’s nooks and crannies were filled with little treats – a box of candy canes and five chocolate Santa Clauses to peek out of the top of the stockings. Miracles really do happen and my wish had been granted. My kids would have Christmas.

Mary told me that the hospital employees often play Santa for families to make sure they would not face the holidays empty handed. She knew that if I were skipping meals to feed the children, there would be nothing for Christmas.

I returned to Becca’s isolation room. She was much too sick to be held. I savored a moment of calm and thankfulness. Slowly I was learning to savor tiny moments of peace and tranquility. I stayed by her side quietly reading before heading home with my miracle sack. I felt so thankful for the graciousness of these kind people. With my ritual kiss goodbye and whispering I love you, I prayed to her angels that she would be here when I returned.

My kids are notoriously nosy and I wanted to surprise them on Christmas morning. I rushed off to pick up Matt and Marissa at Mom’s and stashed the Christmas gifts before the older ones had a clue. While I had been sick, Mom had been busy and blessed us with another surprise. She had sewn Kristy and Marissa new Christmas dresses and my aunt had bought sweaters for the three boys. All my five kids would have new matching outfits to wear for Christmas.

Jim closed the store early on Christmas Eve and helped me dress the little kids for the Christmas Eve service. I told Jim my secret miracle and we smiled eye messages across the heads of our stair step sized children sitting between us in the church pew. We sang for the birth of baby Jesus and our hearts cried out for a Christmas miracle for Becca. After the service the kids played in the manger, Marissa and Matt rode the lifelike donkey proclaiming they were on their way to Bethlehem while I stared down at the tiny doll in the manger and said a quiet prayer for my little baby lying so far away, all alone, in a bed in the PICU. We needed hope in the midst of such incredible sorrow.

Mom invited us for cake and ice cream after the service, but I had other plans. Families are supposed to be together and I was not going to allow Becca to be alone on Christmas. We all went to the hospital to visit Becca, but only Kristy and Iwere able to go to PICU. Jim stayed with the other kids in the lobby while Kristy and I went to say Merry Christmas to Becca. Each child had made Becca a card and the nurse taped the cards to the wall above her bed. I hung Becca’s handmade stocking on the foot of her crib, putting on the Christmas music Kristy had recorded. I made a special Christmas wish, asking for a miracle for Becca. I left her again with a kiss on her feverish cheek and wished her a Merry Christmas and a very blessed goodnight. The walk from PICU to the lobby seemed endless, my heart heavy laden with grief, babies should be home with mommies and daddies on Christmas Eve.

Fresh snow had fallen, and instead of hurrying home on the freeway we meandered past the lighted mansions on Summit Avenue of St. Paul. We passed the Cathedral and the Governor’s manor. The children marveled at the beautifully decorated homes. Matt clapped his hands in joy, while the others argued over which house was the favorite. Ian and Kristy engaged in a competitive battle. Marissa’s face was lit up from the wonder of the lights and its beauty. The kids were enjoying the ride so much that we wound our way home through parks, and lakes, and residential streets for over an hour. It was peaceful and calming. The kids quieted and Matt fell asleep.

Scattered snowflakes were falling and Jim and I listened to the Christmas music playing from the radio. The radio DJ announced that Santa was spotted circling the globe, and Marissa and Ian excitingly questioned how he managed to get all the work done in one evening?

This explanation I left to Jim, it was his turn to try to satisfy his children’s curiosity. His eyes sparkled as he told them Santa was magic and can make anything happen if you only believe. It was a heavenly ride. I reached across the seat setting my hand on Jim’s knee. Jim’s answer had satisfied the children’s curiosity, and Kristy had caught my glare, playing along with the magic of the moment.

It was nearly midnight when we arrived home and the house was pitch black to save on electricity. As we pulled in the driveway, the mini van’s lights shone upon dark shadows lying near the door. Jim hopped out of the van to see what was going on. Then he summoned us as if it were nothing.

As I reached in the back seat to get sleeping Matt, the children shrieked, “Santa came! He came! Santa was already here!”

What were they talking about? I grabbed a confused, groggy Matt. There were nearly a dozen or so thirty-gallon black trash bags left sitting by our front door. Jim and the big kids carried in the bags.

The children tore open the plastic bags to discover dozens of wrapped presents with their names on them. It was blessed chaos. There were tons of groceries, toilet paper, and shampoo. Everything we were out of.  Kristy, Nathan and Ian were stacking the packages by the tree while Marissa and Matt played mountain climbers scaling the huge mounds of packages. Kristy screamed as she caught the tree from falling. Marissa narrowly escaped a plunge from the top of Gift Mountain. Our children were bouncing off the walls, but we finally convinced them that it wasn’t Christmas yet, and Santa required they open presents on Christmas morning like in The Night Before Christmas. They didn’t argue because we had just read the story.

Marissa wondered why Santa left them outside, instead of bringing them down the chimney. Ian, who always had an answer for everything, announced, “he had so much dummy; if he brought the bags down the chimney, he would get the chimney stopped up.” Kristy added “that the house was locked and he could not bring them in the door.” Finally they all scampered off to their rooms and soon were snuggled in beds dreaming of Christmas miracles.

Shortly after midnight the phone rang. It was the resident from PICU calling us to let us know Becca had turned the corner and they upgraded her status to stable. She was improving and was breathing easier so they had removed the ventilator; Becca was now breathing on her own and on supplemental oxygen! Becca was getting better! My Christmas prayers had been answered. And someone, some Santa somewhere had fulfilled my wishes. He or she arrived with bags of toys, and goodies, and groceries. My cupboards would no longer be bare. Jim and I had no means to provide for our family, yet someone, somewhere, knew our needs. I thanked the baby in the manger for this Christmas miracle.

Jim and I put away the much-needed groceries. Two turkeys, packages of hamburger and chicken went into the freezer. We put the canned goods on the shelves . . .apples and oranges, carrots and potatoes, and onions . . . bathroom and hygiene products. There were even a couple loaves of expensive rice bread. Whoever brought this Christmas miracle, had not forgotten anything. They had even picked up a double pack of diapers for Matt who was regressing from his potty training in his upside down life.

The real Christmas miracles were hidden in the tiny details. Buried deep in one of the bags I discovered a brand new pair of much needed white Reebok tennis shoes for me. They fit perfectly. We filled the stockings with candy and small gifts from the bags the kids had not seen. With the gifts from the hospital and the one from us for Nathan and Ian, we had more presents than we had ever imagined. Our room looked like a Hollywood movie Christmas morning scene. Where did all this come from?

Jim and I crawled into bed, hoping to get a few hours of sleep before the kids scrambled upon us to open their presents. They were tired from the late night and for the first time ever on Christmas morning; they slept until 8:00 A.M..

Kristy in her sweats and the little ones in their blanketed sleepers tore into the pile of packages. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, I lost count of the gifts they each received. Nathan screamed pulling out a pair of roller blades, the current hottest trend retailing at $l50 a pair. Who had done this? Ian soon discovered he had a pair too! Kristy found a boom box, a jewelry box, curling iron and music to play. Packages marked to the Yurcek family contained a VCR to replace the one that had been stolen when our house had been robbed and ransacked right before Becca’s birth. There were movies, games, books, colored markers, and art kits for each child. Even Becca was not forgotten. She got new clothes, a diaper bag, several new pink animals and more music. Marissa found a big package with a dollhouse and furniture. She was surrounded in pink heaven. Matt tunneled and laughed through the wrapping paper and boxes. We corralled him to open his presents, a big floppy eared dog, trucks, cars and a train track. The boys tried to set up their new remote control car racing set in the middle of the wrapping mess.

Jim was not to be forgotten and he discovered new socks, sweats, jeans and a belt. He handed me a tiny box from under the tree that he discovered while we were cleaning up and making sure all the tiny toy pieces were not thrown away with the mountain of boxes and wrapping paper. Inside was a solid sterling silver heart necklace with six tiny stones. The necklace was a reminder of hope, a mother’s heart with my six precious children. The six little diamonds sparkled in rainbow colors from our Christmas tree. It was bittersweet to look at as Becca’s heart was slowly failing. But I reminded myself that for today Becca was doing better, and this Christmas we had witnessed a true miracle. Some unknown Santa with a caring heart had done all this for us. But who, how, when?

___________

No longer were our cupboards bare. The kids and I made a fresh fruit salad with real whipped cream. Kristy peeled the apples and Nathan chopped them along with slicing frozen strawberries. Marissa cut banana coins with a bread knife and Ian added one handful of marshmallows to his mouth before adding the next handful to the magical miracle bowl of Christmas fruit.

We dressed for Christmas dinner at my cousins. The family celebrated the day together with aunts and uncles, cousins and second cousins. All were there but one, our Becca.

No longer would we be hungry again. We had food for the next month until our food stamp case opened. The kids had new toys to keep them occupied. We had warm clothing and mittens. I later discovered when our bills arrived, that some unknown Santa paid our phone bill, the utility bills, and our car insurance! We will be forever grateful for the gifts of that year, and we will never forget we witnessed a true Christmas miracle. I have from then on remembered to give back to others as you did for us. Thank you! What you did for us that year was unbelievable! You gave us the gift of hope and belief in miracles.

Buried in one of the bags of the hundreds of dollars in gifts we found a card, wishing us a “Merry Christmas and to all, and to all a good night. You are loved! Santa.”

Those were the same words whispered in tiny Becca’s ear ten days earlier. Was it connected?

Over the next few years, the miracles continued helping us when we needed it most. I tried to find who our anonymous Santa was but we never discovered the giver of the gifts. Whoever it was did not want to be found out. Maybe someday that person or persons will read my writing, and I will finally be able to thank her or him for our Christmas miracle and generosity.

Perhaps, we will never know.

          On Spectacular Theatre   

A few years ago I attended the dress rehearsal of a production of The King and I at the Royal Albert Hall in London. For the most part, it was pleasant, although not being a regular musical theatre goer, I found the echoey effect of the miking on the voices to be distracting. Something else bothered me the whole time, and I couldn’t quite figure it out until late in the performance.

I read somewhere that 3 million pounds ($6 million USD at the time) had gone into the production. Aside from the stars of television and the West End stage who played the King and Anna, and the designers and director, who I know are all paid lavishly compared to performers, I assume the actors, musicians, and techs weren’t paid more than equity wage. It seemed a great portion of the expense went into the set and occasional special effects, which included real fireworks, flaming and fizzing against the vaulted ceiling. To fill the vast Hall (whose rent alone must be staggering) the in-the-round set comprised a convincingly dingy dock and suitably ornate, huge gilt chunks of palace espaliered with silk draping, but the star of the show—the thing most chatted about in the buzzy run-up to opening, was the submerged stage. The entire set perched on beams arising out of real-life, actually-wet, splashable H2O. I couldn’t tell why I resented this, I felt, solecistic bit of reality glistening in the house of make-believe. As soon as I entered the theatre, or arena, more like, before I could swoon over the spectacularity of it all, I had to wonder to myself, “How much must it cost to safely flood the Albert Hall?” But there was something else, unrelated to the display of extravagance which, as an echt poverty thespian I had been taught to disdain, that gnawed at me. It wasn’t even that throughout the whole performance that water was never actually used for anything—not a single pointy Thai model boat made its way through the model canals—thus emphasizing that it was basically a very costly bit of scenery intended to make us go “ooh” and not much else.

No, at one point, Princess Tuptim sat on the dock waiting for her lover, feet over the edge. Her feet didn’t quite reach the water, but she simulated tapping its surface with her toe, in that way that girls do while sitting on docks waiting for their lovers. I realized then why I disliked the set. That actress, tapping the surface of an imaginary pool of water with her toe, was all we needed to know that water was indeed there, to see her watching her reflection corrugate along its ripples, even to hear it lapping. Most theatres have to rely on that alone—the talent of the actor, that is--to make the fake paint-and-plywood world come alive. And part of the thrill of theatre is witnessing that, of recognizing an entire atmosphere from a wave of a hand, or tap of the toe. And in filling the stage with water, making it all so literal, the designers did our imaginative work for us, and robbed us of the thrill of recognition. I emphasize “recognition” because I think that that, as much as any of the beautiful language, music, or profound themes to be found in drama, is what moves us when we see a piece of theatre. What would
War Horse have been with real horses? A very nice play about a boy who loves his horse so goshdarn much, through which we’d all have sat waiting for the inevitable equine hard-on or dropped turd. But with the virtuosic level of fakery of the actors manipulating their skeletal puppets to appear to walk, swing their manes, even breathe like horses, we were able to experience the thrill of recognition. That exact way a colt stumbles a bit while trying to stand on its knobby legs, or that special horsey way that horses sneeze, or that bewildered struggle of a horse not made for weight-bearing, dragging a load uphill, all hoofs and ankles digging into the soil—however beautiful it may be in nature, the artful representation reverberates differently in our souls, points our memory to some platonic form of horseyness (er, Equus?) that the “real thing” allows us to ignore. It may be because I’m not particularly an animal-lover, but I found that bit of fakery more affecting than, well, any actual horse has ever been for me. And judging by the wet faces surrounding me at the National that night, I think other people felt the same.



But back to Siam: fittingly, in the same performance, the famous subversive ballet reinforced my point. Without getting into the story too much, I’ll say it ended with the dancers simulating a mass drowning by unfurling a huge swathe of blue silk over their heads to totally cover them, and at the climax, thrusting their hands through hidden holes in the silk, an instantly-recognizable
symbol. It didn’t take money or complicated engineering to create, just cleverness and imagination (not to diminute the cleverness and imagination that goes into engineering, but considering how many great shows have been put on in crumbling, sub-code earthquake deathtraps, it is perhaps not the “stuff” of great theatre, unless you’re seeing a show here). The audible, and audibly delighted, gasp in the auditorium at that moment, was, I think, a greater triumph than all of the hype about the flooded stage.

And finally, for all the extravagance of the production, the most affecting moment, and one that incited the audience of thousands to clap along, was “Shall We Dance?”—the exuberant polka that prim Anna teaches the King to dance to. Three million pounds spent on a production and the thing that gets people out of their seats is watching a couple of laughing, panting middle-aged actors gallop around the stage. It was a beautiful, joyful moment, and one in which the only sign that more money than normal was spent was her
INSANE DRESS, to which photos do no justice. It was also a moment that did not invite unfavorable comparisons to Yul Brynner (except inasmuch as any comparison to His Bald Majesty in any context must be unfavorable). There’s a famously sexy moment from the movie in which the king insists on dancing as the Europeans do, “not holding two hands”—when Brynner, a masterful physical actor, extends his hand as if it were something else, and fuses it to the corseted waist of the appropriately half-beswooned Deborah Kerr. Daniel Dae Kim seemed to grab Anna’s waist out of pure enthusiasm for the dance itself and his surprise at the suddenly intimate contact, and at Maria Friedman’s visible frisson, made them both for a moment seem like teenagers, and like equals. It had a freshness that can only come from two people standing on a stage, any stage, and allowing themselves to experience something real.

I saw a performance about a year ago at NYU’s summer lab, a workshop for students and alumni of the graduate theatre programs. Everything was as minimal as could be but the talent. It was basically a beautifully written play, acted brilliantly, some of which was due to the talent and skill of the actors and some of course to the director guiding them to make each scene and its place in the story, clear. That was all. Everything else either didn’t exist or had substitutions that were chosen without any attempt at convincing replication at all. Whiskey glasses were jam jars filled with water. Shovels and shoveling were mimed. Bones and skulls were planks of wood and balls of rubber bands. Murders happened with no rupturing of cleverly concealed packets of fake blood. Sound effects were narrated by the stagehand. There was no set, just a stage painted black and a table. It was one of the best, most moving plays I’ve ever seen, and a premier example of how poverty theatre, done well in the aspects that matter (writing, directing, acting), makes a fool of spectacular theatre. I dare any proponent of the hogwash idea that great theatre requires expenditure of fortunes--and that people go to the theatre for the razzle-dazzle, or that cynical, intellectually and creatively lazy cliché, “to escape”—to see something like that and suggest it would have been a more moving experience for the audience if the actors had used real-looking bones and real shovels and real dirt and real fake blood and monstrous set pieces and marvels of engineering and Spielburgian special effects. People who see theatre like this show I saw in the grungy pit at NYU go to the theatre regularly, because it gives them something more substantial than razzle-dazzle (and doesn’t cost $125 a ticket. I’m talking to you, Broadway). People who go to the theatre for spectacle go once a year, because that’s all they need to get their fix of what essentially can only nourish a part of them that doesn’t ask for much beyond the cheap thrill of expensive pageantry. People go to the theatre to be moved in one way or another, and if the only way you are able to move them is with grandiose money-flinging and a literal-minded slavery to realism, you are doing something wrong, and should not be surprised that most people would rather stay at home and watch television.

Unfortunately the production at the Royal Albert Hall was not videorecorded; I would love to include a clip of my favorite moment, although perhaps some of the magic of the live performance would be lost in conversion. So I’m including a clip from the movie. Swoon.


          Gay Characters Might Exist in the MCU, Says Gunn   
Comic Book News- Over the last few years, some adult comic book fans have argued for diversity within the Marvel Macrocosm. Prior to the 2017 announcement that the company would be making "Mysterious Panther" and "El Cap-e-tan Marvel Guy," the stu...
          Brighton Pier   
If you ever make good your promise to take your girlfriend for a stroll around the rather cool city of Brighton, seeing as she’s never been, you may find yourself before long standing outside the Brighton Pavilion. While marvelling at the architecture and its incongruous juxtaposition with the buildings that surround it, you may then […]
          Back Issue Spotlight #034: JLA/Avengers   
John talks with Eric and James of the Kowabunga Comics Kow Cast about the classic JLA/Avengers crossover joint published by DC and Marvel in 2003/2004. Sit back and enjoy a lengthy, spoiler filled conversation on the ultimate DC/Marvel crossover. NOTE: There were minor issues on James’ side of the conversation such as some clicking sounds. […]
          Back Issue Spotlight #033: Issue 400s   
John and Drew discuss a couple of issue 400s to celebrate 400 episodes of the Weekly Comics Spotlight. Time Codes: 00:00 Intro 01:16 DC: SGT ROCK #400 23:28 Marvel: AVENGERS #400 41:27 Other: UNCLE SCROOGE #400 [BOOM! STUDIOS] 52:20 General Discussion 59:10 Wrap up 59:40 End of episode. Links: Sgt Rock #400 @ ComicBookdb.com: http://www.comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=114116 […]
          Back Issue Spotlight #028: Guardians of the Galaxy – Earth Shall Overcome   
Bob Bretall is joined by Paul Spataro to discuss the early appearances of the Guardians of the Galaxy, from their first outing in Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (1969) to their revival as guest-stars in a number of Marvel books in 1974-1975. Links: Marvel Super-Heroes #18 @ ComicBookdb.com: http://www.comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=40009 Marvel Two-In-One #4 @ ComicBookdb.com: http://www.comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=38917 Marvel Two-In-One […]
          Back Issue Spotlight #025: Avengers/Defenders War   
Bob Bretall is joined by Paul Spataro to discuss the first significant Marvel crossover, The Avengers-Defenders War that appeared in Avengers #115-118 and Defenders #8-11 in the summer of 1975. Links: Red Star @ Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Star Avengers #115 @ ComicBookdb.com: http://www.comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=20171 Avengers #116 @ ComicBookdb.com: http://www.comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=20172 Avengers #117 @ ComicBookdb.com: http://www.comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=20173 Avengers #118 @ ComicBookdb.com: […]
          Back Issue Spotlight #022: Marvel Team-Up #80-85   
John and Lin Workman discuss Marvel Team-Up #80-85 featuring Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Clea, Satana, Black Widow, Nick Fury and Shangi-Chi. Links: Marvel Team Up #80 @ Comicbookdb.com: http://comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=28889 Marvel Team Up #81 @ Comicbookdb.com: http://comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=47817 Marvel Team Up #82 @ Comicbookdb.com: http://comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=28892 Marvel Team Up #83 @ Comicbookdb.com: http://comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=28897 Marvel Team Up #84 @ Comicbookdb.com: […]
          Back Issue Spotlight #018: Christmas Comics 2008   
John Mayo and Bob Bretall discuss some more Christmas themed comics: DC Universe Holiday Special #1 by DC, Ant-Man’s Big Christmas by Marvel and Jingle Belle: Santa vs Frankenstein #1 by Image Comics. Time Codes: 00:00 Intro 00:36 Opening comments 01:52 DC: DC UNIVERSE HOLIDAY SPECIAL #1 21:04 Marvel: ANT-MAN’S BIG CHRISTMAS #1 26:02 Other: […]
          Back Issue Spotlight #012: Chronicles of Conan V8   
John Mayo and Bob Bretall discuss the Chronicles of Conan volume 8 from Dark Horse (reprinting Conan the Barbarian #52 to 59 from Marvel) and talk about recent back issue purchases. Time Codes: 0:00:00 Intro 0:00:36 Recent back issue purchases 0:12:03 Spoiler-free review of Chronicles of Conan volume 8 0:25:59 Chronicles of Conan volume 8 […]
          40% Off Marvel Spider-Man 3D Twin Bed   
Includes Removable Guardrails, Reversible Footboard with 3D graphics, and meets all JPMA Safety Requirements.
          From Angst to Enlightenment: Reflections on Radiohead’s “A Moon Shaped Pool”   

Images courtesy of anyonlinyr and Opoterser through Wikimedia Commons. Alterations by JJ Feinauer. 


Radiohead’s latest album, A Moon Shaped Pool, has been out for a week now and continues to unsettle, dismantle and weirdly uplift me. It plays on auto-loop wherever I go, quietly getting under my skin and dissolving my expectations. This seems to be the standard the band has set since Kid A, always 15 steps ahead of the trend, the pop, the easily accessible. The pattern here? Well, for Radiohead, it might be to erase fandom by continually reinventing the formal language of rock, thereby freeing themselves from the shackles of commercial advice. In this pattern I admit: It’s not always easy listening to Radiohead. Their enigmatic sound can be slippery. They often require you to decode what is not easily decoded, and that can mean elitism for those who don’t get their music. At times, listening to them can feel like doing hard work, where you have to dig, chisel and carefully unearth what no doubt has taken hard work to accomplish, even if it means decoding what appears to sound like airless-machine babble.

I get the feeling that A Moon Shaped Pool was hard to make. Hard to not feel like leftovers from previous albums. Hard to not feel like it needed to capitulate to the band’s famed gloominess. And, most poignantly, hard to not feel like it was saying goodbye, as some rumors have speculated. While listening I found myself needing to separate from these preconceptions, throw on a good pair of headphones, hunker down somewhere quiet, and just bathe in the lunar light of this album’s tremendous heart and soul. Maybe this is what good art forces us to do — get good headphones and, in the spirit of Hail to the Thief, learn to “pay attention.”

A Moon Shaped Pool bleeds with an honest ache. I may even consider it their weightiest album to date, but not because it’s self-parody to say so. It seems to venture into new emotional territories like a letter from an old man confronting the effects of age, divorce and death. For example, the band is aging, time is marching, so forming an exit strategy while remaining genius, I imagine, becomes increasingly hard. In PTA’s “Daydreaming” music video, Thom looks tired and threadbare, and more so than usual. His face bears a syringe-shot full of messy experience, the ultimate drug. Bruised and broken, but he’s learned a lot in the process. Maybe how Yoda would look as human, a wise but cryptic Jedi. In addition, Thom’s well-known history with depression makes his split from Rachel Owen last year even denser, his partner for 23 years and mother of two children. The album seems to shoulder this weight, where on “Identikit” Thom sings, “Broken hearts make it rain,” again and again. Later, on “Ful Stop,” he moans, “You really messed up everything.”

The challenge with these interpretations, of course, is that both songs debuted with more or less the same lyrics in 2012, three years before the split. Naturally, separations don’t occur over night, but it’s possible these emotions were already surfacing from Thom’s psyche. I don’t want to dig too deep here, but this feels more like rhapsody than therapy. As my brother recently tweeted, “This is the sound of an old, broken band saying, “We’re at the end of our journey, but can we muster creative reserves for one last classic?”

No Radiohead album really feels complete without an introspective, panged mood. Ironically, this new album somehow manages to swim upstream beyond the existential clouds like watercolor; dripping and swirling like a prolonged version of “Codex.” It glows with a certain warmth and compassion I haven’t heard on previous albums. It basks in moments of profound beauty and deep, enlightened emotion, not too unlike an old man looking back on his life and waxing nostalgic over what was, is or could have been. Think Johnny Cash here covering Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt.”

To make this new feeling of LP9 sink in, review with me briefly the expansive spectrum of Radiohead’s mood. Think about what OK Computerdid to The Bends — it stripped away the stadium elements of guitar-anthem rock and technologized a new textured soundscape that felt more like eerie-spacey science fiction than twangy rock and roll. Think next about what Kid A did to OK Computer — it almost entirely pureed those lovely, immediate space lullabies into soup, adding now a scary electronic palette that experimented more with noise and possibility than with formal hooks, riffs and bridges. While there certainly are hints of both albums in A Moon Shaped Pool, LP9 largely dispenses with alien-angst rock and intrusive, falling apart electronica (a young man’s game). It favors instead a gentle piano and some gorgeous strings. These feel more like the instruments of nostalgia. The instruments of mature men — their memories, pains and joys, and the long roads they’ve walked. We can thank Jonny Greenwood for his tremendous influence here. He stands just as much at the fore as Thom on this album.

With this more personal and enlightened approach, it seems almost strange to have a menacing track like “Burn the Witch” open for the album. The song is terrifically terrifying, one of their best openers I think, even if what it portends is misleading. Bold, dark and brooding, the song is driven by a burst of quick psychotic strings that build to easily one of the best nightmarish climaxes the band has ever arranged. I mean, the daggers of this song. Good night. Listen to that gnashing end-crescendo again and tell me you don’t hear the staccato knife of Norman Bates repeatedly stabbing Marion Crane. Am I right? Like the calm after the storm, “Burn the Witch” perfectly transitions into “Daydreaming” (the album’s “How to Disappear Completely”). It feels like a water-droplet lullaby sliding across a pane of glass, dreamier than its dreary predecessor. The piano is soft and contemplative. The dread is over and we can now recover…well, maybe. I’ve experienced this same shift in moods in previous albums. It’s what Radiohead does best. “Everything in its Right Place” to “Kid A” comes to mind, or “2 + 2 = 5” to “Sit Down. Stand Up.” The pairings are yin and yang, layered then pulled back, spacious then stripped down. It’s not an exact science by any stretch, and sometimes the patterns are self-contained within the songs themselves.

PTA’s “Daydreaming” video also reveals its fascinating connection to “Pulk Revolving Doors.” Thom is seen walking through myriad doors (23 to be exact — a coincidence with his breakup?) where each one seems to move him up and out, higher and higher, beyond the plastic metropolis below, deeper into nature. If this video is any emblem of falling through a series of “trap doors” (maybe Thom’s struggle with depression?) the irony only swells as it nears the end. Here Thom is seen ascending (notice, not descending) a snow caked mountain into a dark, dimly lit ice-cave. The sweat equity he’s purged certainly deserves more than this, yet here he is — alone, cold and ready for bed, as though the higher we climb the lonelier, heavier we become. Completely antithetical to what we’d normally ascribe with moving “up,” climbing “higher,” “ascending,” or “progressing,” etc.

Onto “Decks Dark.” Exclamation point! What an awesome surprise it was to discover this gem, probably their most Radiohead sounding song on the album. This is a brand new track, never even been teased previously, but for me was an ethereal throwback to “Subterranean Homesick Alien” with its marvelously relaxing tempo yet equally spooky nocturnal edges. The piano here is sweet and beautiful, even though what Thom is lyrically getting at expresses fear and paranoia: “In any old life there comes a darkness / There’s a spacecraft blocking out the sky / And there’s no way out … / We are helpless to resist / In our darkest hour.” Following these verses a choral of ghostly voices enter, serenading what sounds like gothic mourning straight out of Edward Scissorhands. Hauntingly memorable. Maybe even magical. Listen up Danny Elfman — you will get goosebumps. Sinking deeper into my headphones I just want to get swooped up in a country lane and hear this song performed live on the moon. Afterwards I want the band to give me a private tour of the Milky Way. I don’t think this is asking for much.

In “Desert Island Disk” a folk-twang, noir-like blues emerges. The song rides on a linear sunset rhythm, already feeling like a classic long distance road-trip groove. I picture myself in a convertible on twilight highways: soft-top collapsed, hair blowing, and sunlight dancing between purple mountains and orange farmhouses. Here, I feel “totally alive in my spirit light.” And from here, it’s an absolute trip to then be gradually preyed upon and seduced by the ominous krautrock-inspired “Ful Stop,” a track that debuted during the 2012 The King of Limbs tour along with “Identikit.” The song feels like it probably belongs on TKOL, too, given its muggy, dark night of the soul detachment, but it’s a sound I’ve grown to relish regardless where it’s placed. Its obscure mélange of synthesizers and space-invader guitars is also a sound the band has been working on for years, and here feels textured enough to be the younger brother of “These Are My Twisted Words,” another krautrock standalone released in the summer of 2009. The mood of “Ful Stop” pulsates with red fever. It drones layers within layers. It buzzes like a fridge, getting dizzying at times, so much that when Thom murmurs, “Truth will mess you up,” the moonstruck will believe him.

There are really no wasted moments or weak tracks on A Moon Shaped Pool, but there are songs that affect me less emotionally despite stirring me intellectually. “Glass Eyes” for example. Did Thom write this in an abandoned cabin while on retreat in Walden Pond? There’s a serious reflection and inwardness here craving escape from the remnants of anything human. It just wants to delve headlong into isolation. Thematically this makes sense for a Radiohead song. It shares familiar ground with certain Kid A and Amnesiac tracks, two albums that exude information overload and alienation. I would compare the mood of “Glass Eyes” with “Life in a Glass House,” only with the caveat that the psychedelic brass in “House” has been replaced with weeping strings. The melody bleakly dialogues between voice and piano, subtly making room for those quivering, glassy strings to peak with somber intensity, then roll over like waves on a shore. It’s a muted poem, a thoughtful journal, and intellectually it’s a fascinating conversation to eavesdrop on. Emotionally, however, it feels too private for me to fully access. It works better as philosophy than music, which makes me think this might be Radiohead at their most impressionistic.

If you don’t agree with me on “Glass Eyes” you certainly won’t agree with me on “Identikit.” The song oddly takes me into nostalgia. Deep 8-bit Nintendo nostalgia, that is. To preface, let me ask a silly question: Was Radiohead at all inspired (even just a tinsy bit) by Megaman 2? Jonny’s a gamer, right? Maybe it’s possible? There’s no immediate connection at first, probably not until the last two minutes, but as the song progresses and Thom’s voice inflects over needle-pick guitar riffage, the spidery but distinct MIDI-theme of Bubble Man emerges. Might even be some Ninja Gaiden in there too, but the MIDI resemblance is undeniable. I mean, the guitar here sounds more like a keytar. It’s just a shame the song ends abruptly right after Jonny’s solo; otherwise, he would have probably ventured into Castlevania. Jest aside: “Identikit” is a standout exercise in sound sculpting minimalism. The trilling choir that washes away Thom’s chant — “Broken hearts make it rain” — reminded of Sufjan Steven’s Age of Adz, where asymphonic echo swirls between eerie electronica and a barbed guitar.

The transition then into the “The Numbers” (formerly “Silent Spring” when Thom played it acoustically solo) is welcomed as perhaps the most robust, balls-to-the-wall song on the album. It’s a different kind of knockout bravado than “Burn the Witch,” wherein bluesy pianos and acoustic guitars careen through lonely, spectral, folk frontiers. It feels like a storm is coming, yet, strangely, with an optimistic promise: “The future is inside us / It’s not somewhere else.” Lyrically, this is the most hope and sunshine Radiohead has offered in years, even though tonally there seems to be precaution. Definitely one of my favorite tracks.

Can “Present Tense” be any groovier than it is? This is a track that dates back to a 2009 solo performance; a later 2013 performance during Thom’s Atom’s for Peace tour reveals a pretty funny moment, too, when Thom literally stops the show to chew out a group of loud, obnoxious fans who clearly aren’t respecting the art. Damn straight, because this song is dead sexy. That shifting samba-percussion, those warm finger-plucking chords, Thom’s angelic sighs — all of this enmeshed with a swooning bossa nova rhythm that splices and layers fragmented vocal loops into a jamming Latin collage. I want to get lost in this song dancing flamenco while high on Spanish Fly. Just “keep it light and keep it moving” feels like a message for our bodies. The song just hangs like that. It is certainly one of the more upbeat Radiohead songs I’ve heard in awhile, maybe since “Lotus Flower” or “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi.”

The bump in cadence then transitions smoothly to another wavy but snail-paced beat, the band’s most verbose track name to date: “Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief.” I will not write that name again. To say the least, the electro bass and cellos in this song steal the show. Twirling like kaleidoscopes against the erotic piano of “All I Need,” the strings take power from the bass as they hover and haunt, duel and churn down Alice’s rabbithole with dizzying magnanimity. This is a song that builds on the steady layering of simple parts to reach its chaotic conclusion, thrust into the static void of a broken record player. Is the album now over?

Not quite. Not without closing out the album with the two-decade history fan favorite, “True Love Waits,” a fragile, star-crossed soul ballad that debuted during the 1995 The Bends tour. The evolution of this song from stage to studio has been a tireless effort. The band’s patience to release it within the right framework certainly reveals their love of the song. Nigel Godrich, the band’s producer and recording engineer, commented in 2012: “We tried to record it countless times, but it never worked. The irony is you have that shitty live version. To Thom’s credit, he needs to feel a song has validation, that it has a reason to exist as a recording. We could do ‘True Love Waits’ and make it sound like John Mayer. Nobody wants to do that.”

I will be honest: I initially had a hard time revising my expectations with this one. Like an undisciplined Radiohead fan, it wasn’t till I heard the song on A Moon Shaped Pool that I realized just how strongly I was attached to “that shitty live version” performed in Brussels in ’95. The recording on LP9 has a very elusive shape, including the way it drifts into nothingness and yearns more for definitive form. Unlike the Brussels’ version, which has clear acoustic chord changes enhanced by a carefree keyboard, this new version abandons those corporeal edges in favor of sparse, ambient pulses. There’s also a riveting but subtle electronic bass underscored by a chaotic piano taking cues from classic minimalism. If you listen closely, you can hear the contrapuntal sound of young puppy love being drowned in a kind of real, visceral love; one that takes its toll on the body as it pays bills, washes dishes and changes diapers. That is the true love of “swollen feet,” a love that decays the body over time, leaving Thom sounding stranded and spiritually aching. The former love is but a fading memory now, abstract without form, without body, making Thom’s final plea “Don’t leave” an utterly enlightened lamentation. It took both versions of the song for me to realize this, but once that happened it hit me like a bomb. This is absolutely soul-crushing stuff, but it works so triumphantly well because it’s true.

A Moon Shaped Pool is an impressive, fully realized album. It has been cared for and loved, given plenty of time to breathe. If this really is a goodbye, I can think of no better way than to grandstand the band for the incredible craftsmanship, atmosphere and enlightened tone they’ve weaved together. Can’t wait to hear how it will translate live come August.

(I originally wrote and posted this blog on Peculiar People)


          Approaching Priesthood: Its Legalism and Generosity   

Fewer topics trouble, challenge and galvanize my soul more than exclusive priesthood authority. In mainstream religion priesthood authority is bedrock. All religions claim divine legitimacy. All profess their laws, rites, rituals and commands to hold heavenly authorization above the next, making it clear that only those duly ordained to their specific church can…

  1. Have genuine contact with the divine
  2. Claim real spiritual power
  3. Qualify for salvation

Priesthood authority in general has inherent tensions that are created by the traditions that surround it. These tensions raise formidable questions that are not altogether easy to answer. What exactly is priesthood? How is it related to church? To ritual? To salvation? To spirituality and spiritual gifts? What can be done with priesthood that cannot be done without it? In Mormonism, these questions are no less difficult to answer than in other religions. Sunday school, for example, might make it easy enough to state that priesthood is nothing more than an exclusive right to act for Christ and to perform certain functions in His name, transmitted by outward ordinances such as the laying on of hands and the temple endowment. But the church’s own historical record and scriptural canon concerning priesthood has been nothing short of revelatory, not to mention complex and richly nuanced.

Significant changes have grown out of distinctive views on priesthood since the early churches — who can wield divine power and such — suggesting that the narratives framed around “priesthood” have not always been uniformly consistent but instead finite, fallible and subject to revision in light of continuing revelation. The early nineteenth-century church, for example, first emphasized charisma and spiritual gifts as evidence of priestly power, only later to stress the necessity of office and ordination. It was Joseph Smith who taught, on the one hand, that we might as well baptize a “bag of sand” if we lack inner spiritual commitment, which seemed to downplay the significance of ordination.[i] And yet it was equally Joseph, on the other hand, who said that through the ordinances “the power of godliness is manifest.”[ii] The interconnection points to a paradox: For Joseph priesthood was both inward spiritual power — and — outward ritual orordinance. One was the key that unlocked the door; the other was the power that enabled you to walk through the door.

This paradox lies at the heart of Joseph Smith’s teachings and is something I’ve fiercely wrestled with for a long time. How could Joseph’s theology on priesthood allow for both a generous dispersal of divine power/authority extending beyond the Saints (reflected in his desire for all people to become prophets, to speak with the Holy Ghost) while at the same time place legalistic bounds and borders upon its usage (shown by his lack of sympathy for those possessed by disorderly, extravagant spirits at the camps)?

In reexamining our priesthood doctrines, we can turn to church history to unpack this paradox of simultaneous legalism and generosity. We can explore the unique qualifiers and discrepancies between what Joseph, the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants each teach about priesthood — and — what some Mormons now believe about priesthood. We will begin by unpacking our previous questions: What exactly is priesthood? How does it relate to ritual? To salvation? To spirituality and spiritual gifts? To the exclusive claim, “only true and living church”?

The priesthood, as Joseph Smith explained, is “the channel through which the Almighty commenced revealing His glory at the…creation of this earth, and through which He has continued to reveal Himself to the children of men to the present time, and through which He will make known His purposes to the end of time.”[iii] Priesthood, in other words, is a passage or conduit through which the divine is made manifest to us. It is the great eternal power and authority of God delegated to humans, authorizing them to preach the divine news, administer the sacraments, establish the heavens on earth, and heal and bless human families.

Foreshadows of “priesthood” in the early nineteenth-century “church” at first existed without being linked to the need for ritual or ordination. The 1828 revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants expressly stated in non-institutional terms what was required of people to not only enjoy divine presence and approval, but to be carriers of divine power and influence. Section 10:67 reads: “Behold, this is my doctrine — whosever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is of my church.” To further confirm that baptism and other rituals were not required for divine sanction, the revelation immediately followed up: “Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.” For early Mormons, it was not ecclesiastical ritual that qualified someone for the Lord’s work. Instead, requirements centered on light-of-Christ righteousness: “Faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work” (D&C 4:5). “Therefore,” the Lord says, “if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work” (D&C 4:3).

The essence of the “priesthood” in the early church, even when it hadn’t yet been articulated or hierarchically structured as such, was predominantly spiritual (less ritualistic) in nature. Joseph would later reveal that the “rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven” (D&C 121:36). Divine authority, in other words, is like the biblical wind. It “bloweth where it listeth,” gives breeze to those who “work according to the faith and diligence and heed” of its direction” (John 3:8; 1Nephi 16:28). One reading of Section 121 might imply that priesthood power is not strictly limited within the confines of the Mormon Church itself. For it “cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness,” and when pride, ambition, or coercion is used to dismiss other true and good traditions, rituals, and beliefs, “in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or authority of that man” (D&C 121:36–37).

The priesthood, or any responsibility within it, cannot be purchased or commanded. The use of the priesthood cannot be compelled by position, office, or ordination status, nor monopolized by an institution by mere membership alone. It is a spiritual power that operates by heavenly law, granted to those who live righteously regardless of race, creed, or custom. We may very well then belong to the Mormon Church, or the Catholic Church, or the Muslim or Evangelical Church, and still not belong to the true church of the Lamb of God if our full-bodied desires — including our heart, mind, and might — are not in the right place. Divine power, and the ability to speak and act authoritatively, is contingent upon personal strivings, or light-of-Christ righteousness. In these teachings, as Paul and Margaret Toscano point out, “Joseph reflected to a certain extent Martin Luther’s notion of a priesthood of all believers.”[iv]

Such an egalitarian view of “priesthood,” however, is not quite sufficient to explain the legalistic framework that Joseph would eventually hedge around this sacred power. Historically, the fledgling scaffold that soon developed, defined and anchored this power would best be understood retrospectively from the ecclesiastical threats that took place during the summer of 1830.

Hiram Page, one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, used a seer stone to dictate revelations that many prominent church members were taken in by, but which Joseph believed “were entirely at variance with the order of Gods house, as laid down by the New Testament, as well as in our late revelations.”[v] Joseph sensed the danger of competing revelations, even though “up to that time none of [his] revelations prohibited other Saints from declaring God’s will for the church.”[vi] In fact, the concept of “prophet, seer, and revelator” among the early Saints was viewed as non-exclusive. All were encouraged to voice scripture and speak with the tongues of angels. Joseph wanted everyone to see and experience God as he did. But the Page incident, as Richard Bushman has rightly pointed out, demonstrated that “acknowledging every visionary outburst could splinter the church.”[vii] D. Michael Quinn put it in similar terms, stating how “non-hierarchical charisma could fragment an institution.”[viii]

Joseph was sensitive to rival revelations after Hiram Page, and soon saw it necessary to establish procedures and leadership structures that would prevent his little church from spinning wildly out of control. It wasn’t much later that he dictated another revelation in 1830: “No one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this Church excepting my servant Joseph, Jun., for he receiveth them even as Moses” (D&C 28:2). Joseph used his priestly gifts to subordinate what he believed were ungrounded expressions of human charisma, binding them within institutional forms. Another revelation firmly announced that “there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until [Joseph] be taken, if he abide in me … none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him: for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead” (D&C 43:3–4).

As sole revelator for the church, Joseph was slowly unveiling that “priesthood” was more than just a generous dispersal of spiritual power. It was also an authorized method of church governance infused with legalistic functions, rights and keys to perform certain services in Christ’s name. “There is no salvation,” Joseph declared, “without a legal administrator.”[ix]The rights and authority of the priesthood therefore — not to be conflated with its powers — became transmitted by specific rituals, such as baptism, the laying on of hands and participation in temple ordinances. The emphasis on the necessity of these rituals were, in Joseph’s teachings, meant to provide continuity and order to our relationship with the divine. They were meant to facilitate genuine spiritual transformation.

Paradoxically, the ritualistic introduction of transmitting priesthood found Joseph caught up in, and yet resisting, certain shifting impulses of revelation. For example, that particular rules, rituals and performances were meant to be obeyed in Joseph’s theology appeared conflicting with his earlier desire to be “untrammeled” by “creeds [that] set up stakes,” and that otherwise constrained divine influence.[x] Upon closer examination, however, Joseph’s legalism might better be understood as his recognition of the stakes and dangers pertaining to cheapened universalism. Terryl Givens has insightfully noted that Joseph’s adherence to law and order should be seen “as a gesture in the direction of putting on the brakes of excessive [freedom]… What at times could appear [to be] legalism, might in a broader context be seen as his resistance to the well intentioned but disastrous illusion of an ungrounded human autonomy.”[xi] Certainly, Joseph was weary of little Hiram Page’s running amok, and so was torn between the impulse to obliterate the creeds yet sanction them within a legalistic vocabulary. He understood that transcending both would require a balance of both generosity and law.

What I find most interesting about Joseph’s generous liberalism on the one hand, including its “untrammeled freedom,” and his uncompromising legalism, with its laws and ordinances on the other, is how replete the scriptures are with examples of those who received the priesthood both with and without the intercession of any human agency. In other words, there exists both inner (charismatic) and outer (institutional) forms of priesthood that have been transmitted to various prophets throughout the ages, and some of those transmissions, as far as we know, have been transferred charismatically without ordination.

The New Testament, for example, mentions no physical ordination for the apostle Paul. Rather, he received an unmediated calling to the apostleship when Jesus Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus. In the Book of Mormon, Alma the Younger similarly did not wait to be ordained by human authority. The text mentions nothing about his ordination, only his dramatic-angelic vision that led him “from this time forward to teach the people…preaching the word of God” (Mos. 27:32).[xii] Alma the Elder is another example, who, without any mention of ordination, was commissioned to baptize others (Mos. 18:12–14). BYU religion instructor Lyndon W. Cook has observed: “these apostles had received their callings charismatically [through vision] rather than institutionally [through ordination to office].”[xiii] The Toscano’s poignantly add: “We must assume that [an] unmediated calling of God is sufficient to transform a false priesthood into a true one.”[xiv] Put differently, a person with no ordination can still be called by God to perform certain services in His name, barring not even outsiders as “partners” unaware in the work of theosis.”[xv]

The existence of a charismatic priesthood authority transmitted directly to individuals by God without mediation has important implications for good, honest, divine-seeking people outside of Mormonism, who culturally have been determined within as having no legitimate priesthood due to their lack of institutional mediation and ordination. This posture is somewhat ironic, not only because there are scriptural examples (like above) that teach the opposite, but because it misses the mark of what specific Mormon rituals have always pointed towards, namely, a genuine spiritual transformation.

Elder David A. Bednar, for example, has significantly instructed that the transmission of divine, priesthood power “does not become operative in our lives merely because hands are placed upon our heads.”[xvi] Outward ordination does not guarantee inward spiritual power, however necessary it might be — “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift?” (D&C 88:33). Although those powers might be conferred upon us, if we neglect the “sacred and ongoing responsibility to desire, to seek, to work, and to so live” for that gift we confuse the performance of outer, perfunctory rituals for inner, genuine discipleship.[xvii] We equivocate our membership in a church for equal membership in the true church of the Lamb of God, which is misguided.

The Toscano’s have rightfully expanded upon this point: “Failure to live the gospel and retain the spirit separates the rights of the priesthood from the powers of heaven so that the priesthood no longer has any spiritual authority.”[xviii] For without the power of the priesthood — the Holy Ghost — the legalistic function of the ordinances are dead, good for nothing. Or, as Joseph taught, we might as well baptize a “bag of sand.”

None of this is to suggest that institutional priesthood is not important, albeit necessary for protecting the church from internal chaos. The Book of Mormon verily teaches that the priesthood is dual-natured, both charismatic and institutional, and that both should operate together. This is suggested through continual examples of prophets being called directly by God, getting ordained with a holy ordinance, and hence establishing a church for members to flourish (Mos. 11–17; Al. 31–35; He. 13–15). However, on occasion prophets with unmediated callings are presented as not waiting for ordination before embarking on their missions; they seem to have been spiritually reborn without the need for outward ordination, though at some point they may need to receive this priesthood as Christ did, having no need of it, in order to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15).

From my personal experience, many members of the Mormon faith seem to conflate priesthood with this outward institutional ordination, and only this kind of ordination. Someone who has received institutional authority (outward priesthood) but lacks spiritual gifts (inward priesthood) can be a common circumstance, if one reason being we don’t typically view priesthood in terms of inward spirituality. This might be due to the fact that admitting that there are many chosen people, many lost tribes, and many promised lands and divinely-inspired records outside our faith contradicts the need for our particular brand of ordination. Or that it opens the door to a kind of cheapened universalism.

While there may be some legitimacy here, we seem to confuse our claim for divine authority with the claim that no spiritual authority or power whatsoever can exist in any other organization. We seem to forget our own history, that the priesthood was restored and established before our church was even organized and can exist independently without an official structure in place. Admitting that other religious and secular traditions can possess inward priesthood is no different from claiming that God bestows spiritual gifts and callings upon all cultures and people.