5 New Classic Horror Flicks You Might Have Missed

Okay, my last post listed 5 classic horror movies for those interested in such things.

This time, I’m gonna briefly list some more contemporary works that many people haven’t seen, and everybody who loves a good scare needs to. Continue reading

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5 Classic Horror Flicks to Goose Your Bumps

Hey, everybody! There’s a new “Saw” movie out!

You like movies that exist just so you can watch people be tortured, right?

Eh. Screw that crap. I like real horror movies, real monster movies, real thrillers. I have no problem with grue, but it has to be in context, and there has to be a goddamned story. Preferably a good story.

So, for those who might like to watch something scary and good, I figured I’d throw you a few bones. Collect ’em all and you can build a skeleton. Continue reading

Citizen Tim

It’s official:

As of 8:50 am today, I have done my voting for the year.

I stood in line in the morning chill for two hours. I was proud to be there, proud that so many of my fellow citizens were ahead of me in line, proud that many, many more were behind me. It was like I was in some third world country, some fledgling democracy, where people actually give a damn.

I guess eight years of Hell can be bracing for the democratic process. It’s a pity that’s what it took.

I voted for Barack Obama to be President of the United States of America.

I voted for Jim Martin to replace the vile Saxby Chamblis as Senator from Georgia.

I voted for John Lewis to remain in Congress to represent my district.

I figure, if folks keep slapping down the Republican efforts to suppress the vote, they won’t steal it this time, as they absolutely did in 2000, and likely did in 2004.

It’s time for the USA to become a force of good in the world again.

Writing & Those Moods You’re Having

Start writing more. It’ll get rid of all those moods you’re having.
–Ray Bradbury

I used to have this quote on a sticky note stuck to my computer monitor, and it has never lost its wise charm for me. Bradbury is absolutely right: the act of writing, itself, is a great balm for heart and soul, and the gods all know by now I need that balm, these days more than ever.

I’m never happier or healthier than when I’m into a writing project full-tilt, over my head, spilling over. This isn’t to say that the writing is always enjoyable, because often it’s anything but. But the intense application of self  produces satisfaction and engages the brain in wonderful ways and an act of pure creation is a soulful thing.

Writing something can be hard work, but the hardest part is beginning. Oh, and keeping at it. Yes, those are the hardest parts, along with ending it. Other than that, it’s all a breeze. Continue reading

Little Brother

A book came out earlier this year that needs to find its way into every house, every library, and especially every young reader’s hands, though even older folks should read it because it’s one of those works which speaks to its time in very important ways.

The book is Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. It’s about what happens when some tech-savvy teenagers are victimized by the national security cult running the USA these days, and the kids’ resulting stand against that cult and the government itself. It’s bracing, intelligent, important stuff, and it reads like a high-quality pulp page-turner.

Little Brother is widely available in bookstores, and of course on Amazon. But Cory has also made it available for free:

http://craphound.com/littlebrother/Cory_Doctorow_-_Little_Brother.pdf

Check it out. Read a few chapters, and if you like what you read, grab a paid for copy for yourself or some kid you know or a library nearby.

Life on the Road

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.

When I decided to read The Road by Cormac McCarthy, I had no idea I was going to be exploring the landscape of my own soul.

Before I continue, rest assured I’m not going to spoil the book for you. I don’t do that. The quotes I use are from the first few pages. Also, be warned that there’s a movie coming soon, so if you’re like me and prefer to get to a book before the movie comes along and plants all the images in your head, you should read this soon if you’re so inclined.

The novel tells the story of a man and his son, wandering an ashen post-apocalyptic America, scratching to survive. It is not an adventure story, not in the sense that an adventure story is meant to excite the reader, to offer escape. It is not Mad Max.

What it is, is a harrowing vision of living even when there seems to be no reason to live. Living in a world that no longer gives sustenance, a world without sunlight, a world that breaks the body and the heart and the soul every minute of every hour of every day.

The man takes his son onward through this barren, wasted world, mostly alone. Their moments of victory are petty and rare, a dusty sackful of mummified apples, a cup of fresh water, a warm blanket. They live lives without hope or comfort. They yearn for death. But they keep going.

Why?

Then he just sat there holding the binoculars and watching the ashen daylight congeal over the land. He knew only that the child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.

The boy. The man stays alive for his son. His son stays alive because his father stays alive for him. They’re in Hell. They have no hope. They have each other. It’s stark and real and painful, in no way sentimental. It’s true.

He watched the boy and he looked out through the trees toward the road. This was not a safe place. They could be seen from the road now it was day. The boy turned in the blankets. Then he opened his eyes. Hi, Papa, he said.

I’m right here.

I know.

This is my life.