Monthly Archives: September 2011
THERE IS NO FREEDOM OF PRESS IN THIS COUNTRY ANYMORE. Corporations own everything.
Yesterday I did a piece for Eric Swett’s Progressively Me blog “Do You Know About Occupy Wall St.?“ Please click on the link to read it. In it I talk about the current protest that’s been going on on Wall St. for over a week now and how the mainstream media is not covering it. I don’t believe it is a matter of them not covering it. I know it’s a matter of them being told not to cover it.
I go to Huffington Post for my news, not anymore. This morning every inquiry I make on its forums as to why they are not covering the Wall Street protests is immediately deleted. I’m not cussing in these inquiries, I am simply asking a legitimate question. Why is Huff Post and the rest of the mainstream media not covering Occupy Wall St.? Fifty Tea Bagging nut jobs gather on some obscure corner of America and there is street wide press pandemonium. THOUSANDS GATHER IN LOWER MANHATTAN to decry the foul play of the big banks and Wall St. and “The Man” (what else can you call it when one unseen entity has control over all the ostensibly independent media organizations) passes down the executive order to ignore it.
I’m getting worried for the protestors, the cops are getting antsy (not enough doughnut breaks I guess.) Without the media covering this there is too much room for the police force to act in unscrupulous ways. Unless you’re a millionaire in this world you count for nothing. Your vote means nothing. It seems the police, the military, the government and the media are here to protect the wealthy and the wealthy are laughing at you America.
They say a corporation is a person, let one take an empathy test and prove it.
At this point I’m still excited about this story, the writing is still flowing fluidly and I have a clear path in sight to the ending, though some middle parts are missing and/or hazy (like the next chapter.) I’m reading everyday now–somewhat at the cost of my physical exercise and completely at the expense of my gaming (haven’t been enjoying gaming much lately anyway)–and I believe that it’s really helping me here. Deep down I’m still hating what I’m writing, that little nagging voice just loves to tell how much I suck, but dimly I realize it isn’t that terrible. The writing sessions get better when I am able to push these thoughts away. Duh, right? People say a mind is a terrible thing to waste, I say my mind is a terrible thing! That’s why I don’t Twitter, most of my thoughts are just better off left inside my head. Anyway, the purpose of all the exposition is to not just get me thinking, it’s to get you people thinking too; so let me know what’s going on with you in the comments.
I introduce more elements from the novel here. Isidore is the J.F. Sebastian of the novel and I touch a little on Mercerism, a religion based on empathizing physically with Wilbur Mercer–an old geezer ascending a barren hill while being pelted by rocks–by grasping the handles of an empathy box. In the novel it was illegal to have sex with androids, they through that whole concept out the window in the movie (‘your basic pleasure model’~Bryant); I chose to follow suit. The writing is also being influenced by current events, namely the onslaught against the working and middle class, the systematic dismantling of unions, the re-institution of slavery in Georgia via the Georgia Works program, etc.
Fiery The Angels Fell, Part 2
by AJ Beamish
John Isidore released the handles of the empathy box still reeling from the phantom rocks that had been pelting him. He stared blankly at the screen for a moment. Wilbur Mercer continued to walk up the barren hillside without him and yet, even though disconnected, John still flinched when the rocks hit Mercer. He knew Fletcher did not approve of traditional use of the box. Either you have empathy for your fellow man or you don’t, he would say in his calm tone and soothing cadence, you shouldn’t need some digital religion to teach you empathy John, life teaches you empathy, your experiences and the experiences of those around you. And yet he would not begrudge any of his people from using the empathy box, even though he contended with its concept. You are free to do as you wish, for good or bad, he would say. John always looked forward to Fletcher’s council. A shadowy figure stepped into view from the right side of the screen, threw another rock at Mercer then turned and waved at John and promptly disappeared. John waved back knowing full well that Fletcher couldn’t see him, he punched the screen off and began to get ready for his shift.
He thought about what he had just reported to Fletcher, about that new andy he saw on the Zong’s hanger bay yesterday. The way it had lifted that ordinance skid with ease. The effortless speed and grace it showed as it ran the decks perimeter, gliding through the ever changing chaos of the decks battle ladened activities as though the bedlam was little more than orange cones laid out on some static obstacle course. There was something else he noticed as well, unlike the vacant stares of the older andys, its eyes were bright and attentive, they seemed to be soaking in everything they saw and the fucking thing had sweated. Sweated!
He looked over at his motionless andy, to say it was a basic pleasure model was an understatement. He took out his data pad and added K-Y gel to his shopping list, the list would get sent to the Company Store and should be ready for pick up at the end of his shift. He started digging through his laundry basket for the cleanest set of coveralls and socks he could find. Looking around his room he supposed he might have done better to have selected a service andy instead of the turned off pleasure unit slunked in the corner of his hovel. He could activate it and have it at least throw the garbage away, do the dishes and maybe organize some of the kipple but pleasure units used more energy than service units and he was already in debt up to his ass to the Rosens. Power cells, like everything in Rosen Mining, cost money, and thanks to a deck accident two months ago that saw his ankle broken, a month without pay and medical bills to boot, he was deeper indentured than anyone else on the ship. Still, he did not regret his decision. Pale and lanky with a big bulbous nose that shadowed his face–which was a good thing because it drew attention away from his rotting and missing teeth (dentists cost money too)–John Isidore simply was not much to look at. The type of guy prostitutes charge extra to do, his shift supervisor had said once when he thought John was out of earshot. His shift supervisor didn’t know about the hearing implant, no one knew about it but John, Fletcher and the colony surgeon that had installed it. He sighed and resigned himself to the fact that he would have to clean up his shit-hole first thing after his shift. The laundry would have to wait, what little he had left to expense he needed for sustenance, he supposed he should take the K-Y gel off the list but sadly the andy was the only connection he had on the ship. His liaisons with the robot were the only thing that reminded him he was still human, that he was something more than a worn down, disposable company tool. The K-Y stayed on the list.
The following is some Blade Runner fan fiction I was inspired to write when I heard that Sir Ridley Scott will be doing another Blade Runner film. I was pretty excited when the idea hit me. Spent two days on research and made some notes. I wanted to draft together the mythos of Dick’s masterpiece with Scott’s interpretation of it and draw my own depictions over it. I wanted to explore how the replicants escaped the off-world colonies, drawing inspiration for the story’s theme from Roy Batty’s line in the movie, “Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave!” I also wanted to develop a story that was a little more poignant to our society these days; is a corporation a person? What would happen if a corporation took the Voight-Kampff test?
Part one isn’t exactly a first draft nor is it a polished piece either. I am currently stuck on part 4 or 5 of the story and the way I write is to begin my session by going over and editing the last thing I wrote on the previous session. Being that this is a short story I have touched this first chapter up 4 or 5 times now. Also consider that because I am putting this up before the story is complete it is open to plot inconsistencies down the line.
Keep in mind while reading this that fan fiction (IMHO) is an exercise in self-indulgence, a caressing of one’s own fanatical awareness of the subject matter and, in my case here, with a little folly thrown in for even more self-satisfaction. Regardless, I hope you enjoy it.
Fiery The Angels Fell, Part 1
by AJ Beamish
January 8th 2016
Location: Betelgeuse (off the shoulder of Orion)
Klaxons shrilled loudly across the Zong’s hanger bay.
Wounded incoming. Clear the landing areas. All medical personal report to bay 3.
He woke slowly to a pair of steeled eyes peering out from behind the clear shielding of a combat helmet examining him. Glow from the helmet’s data readouts danced on the face. Markings on the cheek identified his scrutinizer as ‘TODD O-POS 3465.’ He tries to move but he is restrained in an upright position.
“Report Sergeant.” The face looked away from him and stood at attention.
“Sir.” Todd saluted to someone outside his field of vision. “The terrorists masked their fleet in the nebula. They took Admiral Walker’s attack ships by surprise. No way down to the Prefect mining colony, sir. Not with a large force.”
“I see. Ms. Rosen is this thing operational yet?”
“Coming on line now Captain Church.” He sensed the female voice was talking about him.
Todd stepped back and another face invaded the space in front of him. From under a mop of wild blond hair, crazed blue eyes scanned him up and down like he was some sort of anomalous exhibit.
“What is it, sir?” Todd’s question was directed at the officer in front of him but was answered by the unseen Ms. Rosen instead.
“The latest and greatest from Tyrell Corp. Nexus 6, superior in strength and agility to any andy produced thus far.”
“It looks real,” Todd said still standing stiff at attention.
“More human than human. That’s what Tyrell’s marketing department says at least.”
“Maybe your father should buy a bunch of these replicants and have them do the mining,” Church said over his shoulder.
“That was the initial plan, turned out to be way too expensive. After the colonies outside the range and influence of Tannhauser Gate failed, there was a surplus of human labor,” Ms. Rosen said with a smile. “Even with the occasional miner backlash, indentured servitude is a whole lot cheaper. My father got the government to pay for this one and a few others, which is why they fall under your command Captain Church.”
Church grinned. “I was told to take my orders from you Ms. Rosen.”
“Indirectly, but let’s not tell the serfs.” She smirked back. He could see her now. An hourglass figure in a grey pinstriped suit sauntered towards him. Raven hair tied back into a tight bun.
“Tyrell said he modeled one of these things after me. Told my father it was a special one,” the decks emergency lighting flickered off the gloss of her lipstick. She held a scanner up to him. He could feel its electrons penetrating his skin, communicating with his central nervous system. She flashed a light in his eyes, causing him to blink. “Imagine me, more human than human,” she quipped.
“No, I can’t,” Church said bluntly. Neither he nor Todd registered the comment as anything more than a simple statement. “Tough crowd,” Church said after a quick scan of the faces around him.
Ms. Rosen’s face became stern and her eyes rolled into the back of her head for a second. “Roy, can you hear me?”
“Something wrong with your voice?”
Roy shook his head.
“Then answer me. Can you hear me?”
Roy took a moment to look around the ships hanger deck and lingered on the yellow beacon lights near the hanger bay’s portal. There was something appealing about the color to him. “I can hear you,” he said after a few seconds. Ms.Rosen’s eyebrows raised and she tilted her head a little to the side.
“Good. I’ll unlock the shipping restraints and let’s see what you can do.” She reached behind him and pressed something, there was a whipping noise and Roy found that he could finally move. He stepped forward as everyone around him stepped back. He strode over to a munitions skid and lifted it with ease.
“Where do you want it?” He asked innocently.
“Just put that back down, gently!” Church said quickly. “That skid weighs 500 easy,” he added shaking his head in astonishment.
“Run a few laps around the deck, Roy. Make sure your motor skills are fully functional,” Ms. Rosen ordered as she studied the read out on her handheld. Roy started off. “Hold a minute,” she demanded. He walked back to her and she clipped a recorder to his chest. “Better wear this, between the damn nebula and Betelgeuse’s gravity wells we can’t get a stable ship wide network.”
Roy turned and started his run around the ships deck, passing the open Tyrell corporation’s container in a few long strides, another crate, similar to the one that had held him but labeled Hodge, lay next to his. He left the three humans behind him and sped towards the bay’s huge space portal. Betelgeuse’s red glow was half framed behind its containment shield, a storm of rainbow nebula danced behind and around it blocking out the black of space and Admiral Walker’s attack ships floated, torn and lifeless, enveloped in the glow of the nebula’s gasses, glowing bright as magnesium as if they were on fire.
I don’t know, school bus special maybe? Taking a cue (and inspiration) from my blogging buddy Eric Swett I’ve started to let my mind and my writing wander a bit more. Remember that novel I said I was trying to push through? Yeh, well I pushed it aside for no other reason than my prose just isn’t cutting it, even for a first draft. It was depressing me.
I have this terrible habit of not finishing anything I start, especially when it comes to writing. I finished one short story in my 20′s and the ending to that is so rushed and harried deus ex machina couldn’t suss it out. I figured I’d try and break through this barrier and push through that novel, after all, it’s all plotted out and just needs to be put down on paper. But while my blog writing flows easily my fiction is stilted, clumsy and awkward. A lot of it has to do with me not reading much lately, ever since Graham (our cockier-spaniel) passed away so suddenly I have not read much at all. I was reading Brent Weeks’ Night Angel trilogy at the time and it provided me an escape from the horrid reality of losing our best friend. I really enjoyed that trilogy, but every time I went to read something after that it somehow reminded me of Graham. It took me a year and a half to read Star Trek Academy Collision Course.
So anyway, I’m reading again, I’m jotting stuff down in my writing journal again, and I’ve just started to write things. Anything, many things… Whenever a scene enters my head now I sit down and write it out. I don’t care if it’s part of a bigger story I have in mind or not, I just put down what my razoodocks dictate.
Something happens with my brain after I get a bit into a project. It freezes. A form of writers block, I guess. I thought I could push through it. I couldn’t. I’m trying a different approach now, if my brain freezes on something I’m going to write something else and try to come back to the unfinished things when my muse feels like it or my id allows me. And that’s how I’ll deal with my novel. I’ve never been much for structure and giving myself deadlines anyway.
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” ~ Douglas Adams
So what’s this special thing coming? Because of something Eric said to me, I’ve been playing around with some fan fiction lately. The idea of writing fan fiction always bothered me. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’m uncomfortable with the idea of messing with another’s vision. Maybe it’s because so much fan fiction is really amateurish and largely self indulgent. Mostly it’s because energumen can be a bunch of fickle bitches. But the prospect of another Blade Runner movie got me thinking and like I just told you, I’ve been writing down what I’m thinking lately. I’m also thinking I might share this fan fiction (along with the some other things) with you, a little at a time. I can’t promise such a commitment as Eric’s daily 100 word challenge entries. But I will be focusing more of my blog pieces on writing.
It won’t be polished and shiny fiction either, some of it will be first drafts, some of it will be utter garbage. Rather than just throwing up some fiction for you to read I’m also going to share my pensees on the writing. Everything I was thinking, research, inspiration, strategy, process, if the dreaded block hit me and why. I’ll be sharing these thoughts mostly to try and give myself some insight into the barriers that my mind puts up to block me from my goals but I believe this approach may help some of the people reading this blog. After 42 years on this planet the one thing I know for sure is despite all our differences we are all pretty much the same.
DISCLAIMER: No special school buses were hurt or offended during the writing of this blog.
NHL 12 has been out for a few days now and general consensus is that EA nailed a more realistic hockey experience this time around. Gameplay and AI reaction is more solid and people seem to be happy with the new goalie collisions (even the goalies,) though there are some complaints about the hitting.
The game is not without its problems, most them–from what I can tell–involve online play. You have the typical game glitch and freeze complaints that infect all new releases and should be solved by a patch. What really bothers me is the numerous graphical glitches I’ve seen; players bouncing off of each other like pinballs, players flying around the ice like they are caught in a tornado, and players vanishing from the ice altogether. I was going to link you to a slew of videos I saw but those videos were imbedded in a complaint thread on EA’s forums and have been moderated into oblivion by Electronic Arts (fucking Nazis.) To be fair, I believe a lot of these glitches are from the early release version of the game.
I’m getting hit after hit regarding the Electronic Arts server problems so I did some looking around (translation-I Googled it) to see what I could find out. I found out a whole lot of people (myself included on NHL10 and Fight Night Round 4) are having trouble connecting to the EA servers lately, on pretty much every title they have and mostly on the Xbox. I also found out that Electronic Arts is playing dumb, in typical corporate fascist fashion they have completely neglected to mention anywhere on their web site anything about these problems. Way to sock it to the customer EA. I’m starting to wonder if it may have something to do with the season pass scheme they’ve suckered people into buying. Are season pass holders getting priority over non pass holders?
I’ve seen a couple of ‘solutions’ for the EA server problem floating around the net, all allegedly from EA Tech “support,” and all require you to do the hokey pokey, while blind-stinking-drunk, during the third day of a full moon, while sacrificing your first born to Satan; as in the following example.
I called EAtech support and told them of my issue and here’s what they said to try. Power cycle your modem and your router. When they come back online sign out of your profile, go to your settings and reset your clock to 11/15/2005….doesn’t matter the time of day, then open the game without signing in. In the game you will be prompted to sign in and do so then. It should work. It works for me but notice how I said work(s). I have to do this every time I want to play an EA game online. BF:BC2 medal of honor, 1943, you name it. I am searching for the permanent fix. I will say that once you have done this you can play all night it just gets old doing it every time you log on and log off. It has to do something with you refreshing your connection tobxbox live which happens when live realizes your xbox clock is incorrect. 11/15/2005 is some significant date like when you buy your machine it’s the default date and xbox connects you for the first time. Anyways if you wanna play try it….just be ready to do it over and over every time.
Yeh, good luck with that EA. Time to pop Bioshock 2 back in while we wait for MW3 multiplayer to disappoint us. At this rate I have no plans to buy Battlefield 3 or NHL12.
Afraid of letting people see your life’s work for free? Afraid of copyright infringements? Don’t be. Go viddy this post by Katy at Storytelling Nomad. In the video (illuminated to Katy by her friend Charlette at Words about Words) Neil Gaimen talks about the benefits of taking the risk and just putting your stuff out there.
As I mentioned previously someone in my apartment complex complained about the free weights in the gym–the paint on them was chipping–which caused a knee jerk reaction by the management to remove the free weights from the gym all together. And the moral of this story? The whiners and bitchers in this world always fuck it up for everyone else (hear that Tea Party?)
I’m over it now. But not having dumbbells to work with put a dent in my routine. I don’t have the space for and can’t afford a full set of dumbbells, especially those sweet adjustable dumbbells they have these days. I needed to find a solution. Enter resistance bands.
I know, images of middle aged women doing Pilates popped in your head didn’t they? But a quick Google search will show you that resistance bands can provide you with a very rigorous workout. You won’t gain any significant amount of mass with them. Free weights are the best option for this. But you will get stronger, you will get more fit and you will be able to do this in the convenience of your own home or apartment. The P90X system uses resistance bands. Many bodybuilders use them in a pinch when they can’t get to a gym, some even use them as part of their daily routines.
My Weider Total Body Works 5000 sees more action lately. It’s a fantastic, compact home gym that has served me well, now, combined with the resistance bands to isolate muscles like the biceps and triceps I get a thorough and rigorous home workout every time.
- Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set with Door Anchor, Ankle Strap, Exercise Chart, and Resistance Band Carrying Case @ Amazon for $29.99
- Weider Total Body Works 5000 @ Amazon for $149.54
So if you haven’t got the space but would like to be able to get a good workout at home without spending a load of money you should look into these products.