Friday, July 19, 2013

As to why sub-culture is a vanishing concept.

Hello, and long time no see. Blah blah been busy (translation I suck at social media and spend too much time playing video games).

Anyway, so the San Diego Comic-Con is going on now, and looking at how incredibly popular it is, and how much money comic book movies make, I think it is fair to say that geekdom is no longer the province of anti-social teenagers playing Dungeons and Dragons in their parents basement.

Also... not a rip, because I still play Dungeons and Dragons, and if that makes me a geek, gtfo. Not really (Dungeons and Dragons is weird and silly now, so I play Pathfinder and Shadowrun. Much better imho).

I digress. So my wife and I have just finished watching all of Freaks and Geeks, and it was a really good show, but not for the reasons most people like it. Yes, you got to see Jason Segel and Seth Rogen and James Franco before they got HUGE, but more importantly it was a pretty good look at how kids, if given the chance, actually can evolve and mature and grow.

Not going to preach, but I will strongly advocate for episode 18 in particular, how James Franco's character is forced into the A/V group and ends up playing D&D with them and loving it, is a pretty awesome argument for my own theory that kids really do just want to be accepted and respected by their peers.

Hell, adults too for that matter. Being judged sucks, whether socially, professionally, academically, or by your family.

Anyway, with the bazillion dollars Marvel (now Disney, who also owns Lucasfilm, which makes Mickey Mouse gatekeeper to at least 90% of my entertainment quota) is making on comic book films, contrasted with the tanking of The Lone Ranger this year and John Carter last year the indication to me is that comic books are not only "cool" but they are a Juggernaut (sorry) of commerce and success.

Geeks: and I do mean to just skip #1 because that's weird and not relevant, but 2 and 3 I think can be dismissed as no longer being pejoratives.

Hollywood has finally figured out that things that used to get "geeks" beat up for ten years ago are now so awesome that they are worth billions of dollars and are universally appealing (unless you are A.O. Scott... and also a delta bravo). They figured it out with Tolkien, they figured it out with comic books, and Star Wars and Star Trek have always been titans of commerce.

So why is it still geeky to like this stuff, when from all appearances... most people do?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter is coming too quickly this year.

Just wrapped up St. Patrick's Day festivities (by wrapping up I mean finally tossing out all the bottles). My oldest is sick with what appears to be a case of far too many chocolate gold coins from the Leprechauns, so home sick with the kids today.

Was thinking quite a bit about Easter this morning, mostly because it is going to be in March again this year, and I seem to recall it being in April a lot more when I was a kid. Less than two weeks now, and I had to scramble to get it off from work. I digress.

So Easter made me think of Catholicism, which in turn made me think of the new Pope. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, or Francis I seems like he's a pretty genuine guy. I like that he is visibly less preoccupied with the pomp of the office, and more in touch with his constituents. Good luck to him. However, I can't help but feel very strongly that this was another missed opportunity for the Vatican. Francis is another conservative Pope, and with the church in such trouble and turmoil lately, this feels like a selection that will promote further disconnect. Maybe I'm mistaken.

In science fiction, frequently the church is portrayed as the bad guy, and although I feel that one of the main reasons for that is because it is such an easy target I also think that a lot of people, writers included, feel a strong sense of alienation from an organization which, in theory, is supposed to be welcoming and inclusive. I can't think offhand of any good examples of the church portrayed in SF as a primarily benevolent organization dedicated to goodwill and promoting positive aspects of human nature.

By "the church" I don't necessarily mean Catholicism, but rather any large state religion with significant similarities. It just seems like the church is forever seen as antagonistic in this genre of literature, and I don't think it's because all SF writers hate God. I think, as mentioned earlier, that it is just a symptom of the Vatican continuing to move backwards rather than forwards with the modern times.

Anyway, Happy Easter to anyone who celebrates it, and to anyone who doesn't have a nice Sunday, March 31st.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Introductory Post

Hi everyone, James here. This is my first blog entry for The 13th Archive. While I will use this blog for occasional self promotion, I will spend most of the time on it talking about various aspects of subculture. Fantasy, science fiction, post apocalyptic stuff, etc. Zombies, Jedi, comic books, TV, movies, and actual literature are all fair game.

I have published a novel, my first in a series of three. Hell's Reaping, book one of the Apotheosis Trilogy is currently available on a bunch of eStores including Amazon and smashwords. The first edition is the one you will see for the next little while, while a second edition will be available soon under the name of my actual publisher who (yay!) decided to pick me up.

I'm a thirty-three year old married father of two boys. I have a degree in political science (worthless, btw), but the classes I actually liked in college were mythology, religion, and writing classes. I do not consider myself religious, nor do I espouse any particular religion. I hate the word "multicultural" but it actually applies to my writing and my beliefs about entertainment. My book draws from all three of the main branches of western religion, but I also utilize significant amounts of eastern philosophy and spirituality.

Check it out if you want, it's rad. No really, it is completely awesome. One of these days it is going to blow up, but until then comfort yourself in knowing you could be among the few who got in and discovered it before it was huge.

Again, I won't use this primarily for self promotion, just thought it prudent to mention that I am an author here. My next entry will not involving any pimping. Promise.