A Social Justice Society would be a lot more interesting

The other day, I made a long and nerdy social justice warrior post on io9 in response to Evan Narcisse’s article about the hero Nighthawk.

My response doesn’t cover any new ground, and it certainly won’t change anyone’s minds, but I spent some time on it, and it’s as close to writing fiction as I think I’ve got in me these days.

With some revisions, here’s my case for retconning and reinterpreting more characters to have diverse backgrounds:

Continue reading A Social Justice Society would be a lot more interesting

You can’t ‘Just Say No’ to weed because pot smokers are like cat owners

The other day, I went to one of the nearby recreational marijuana shops and got a few things for the house. None of us smoke regularly, but we do host people a lot, and a guest’s recent description of me as ‘quite the homemaker’ is sadly accurate.

When a friend came over later,  I remembered he didn’t enjoy smoking, so I said that if he’d like to try it again some time, one of the strains I’d gotten was 0% THC, high percentage CBD and would be physically relaxing without being psychoactive. I told him how such an edible had helped me when I pinched a nerve and needed an affordable muscle-relaxer.

He declined then mentioned how he’s noticed that weed seems to be the only drug that people will continue to push on a person after they’ve heard you don’t want to do it.

After thinking on it, I think I figured out why.

Continue reading You can’t ‘Just Say No’ to weed because pot smokers are like cat owners

‘You Can’t Win’: A Journal of (Not) Murder

Jack Black is why we have William S. Burroughs.

Burroughs read ‘You Can’t Win‘ as a young teenager. It hit him at the right time and possessed sufficient quality to be one of the transformative creative works of Burroughs’ life, and heavily influenced Burroughs’ semi-autobiographical book Junky.

After reading both of them, you can see it. For Black, his opiate addiction is an ancillary fact of his (criminal) life. As an outside observer, the effect of his taste for ‘hop’ probably motivated him more in his immediate actions than he tended to admit in print, and Burroughs certainly corrected that when he wrote his own book about addiction and the struggle to get free of it.

But Burroughs was a man born into a wealthy family, and he always had that to fall back on.

Continue reading ‘You Can’t Win’: A Journal of (Not) Murder

By 2016, we realize the machines don’t need a war or Matrix to enslave us

The other day, I replied to a forum thread about The Matrix series, and gave a longish response tangentially related to the topic.

But! it captured an idea I’ve often thought about without expressing in writing before: Continue reading By 2016, we realize the machines don’t need a war or Matrix to enslave us

It’s easy to overthink the toy commercials of your childhood

While nostalgia is generally not a good or advisable force to have influencing your opinion of the actual past, its relationship with creative works is more complicated.

The other day, I re-watched the pilot episode of ThunderCats with someone who had never seen it before. Being with an adult watching the show for the first time, the flaws in it were more obvious than I’d anticipated and much of the re-watch involved incredulous exclamations at each new plot progression.

Continue reading It’s easy to overthink the toy commercials of your childhood

The corrective to hagiography is not reductionism

The other day, I convinced some of my friends to watch one of my favorite movies.

‘We’re going to watch The Prestige in honor of David Bowie. You want to join us?’

‘Did you know he was a racist and a pedophile?’ they replied.

That was an interaction that actually took place in real life, but an approximation of it has been filling my social media feed over the past few days.

Continue reading The corrective to hagiography is not reductionism

Fear is the mind killer, so burn brass

I recently read two books back-to-back and ended up comparing them the way you do when things are sort of similar and still fresh in your mind.

I first read Frank Herbert’s Dune. Somehow — or rather, intentionally to make it easier to sell posthumous related-media — the brand of the author has gotten ingrained in the culture enough that it takes quite a lot of effort to state the title or franchise any other way.

It is an amazing work of science fiction, but shares as many elements and tropes with fantasy that when I next read Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire, I kept drawing parallels.

Continue reading Fear is the mind killer, so burn brass

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