I write short stories and screenplays mostly in the horror genre. Several of my short stories have been published including one about a Kumiho (Korean Werefox). I regularly blog about writing, the horror genre and reviews at https://www.facebook.com/davidjenkinswriter
Review of We Can Improve You edited by Brian Marshall, Alex Davis
Blurb- We are all born with the potential to be great, through the wonders bestowed upon us by nature. But, as technology advances, why should we settle for those simple gifts we were born with? Why shouldn’t the future see humanity become more?
We Can Improve You explores the theme of augmentation, and what happens when science and technology combine with flesh and blood. Often surprising, sometimes startling, occasionally funny but always thought-provoking, We Can Improve You brings together a range of stories that might just become real some day…
This collection has a great cover and I enjoyed at least 10 out of the 13 stories. Before I deal with specific stories I like, my general view is that a lot of stories focused on improving ones brain capacity and the problem of technology- viruses and breakdown of equipment but managed to do so in different ways. The feeling of isolation runs through several tales and it makes me wonder if increased technology would isolate us more and lead to even more problems for humanity.
My three favourite stories were-
‘Driver Not Found’ by Gavthrope which demonstrated what would if there is a hardware problem and everything including opening doors, calling people, socialising etc. is dependent upon a chip in your head. The repeated reference to the exact amount of seconds it takes the main character to think or do something neatly demonstrates how technology has took over.
‘The Future Embodied’ by Rose Taylor, which dealt with the exclusion of not being able to improve oneself with technology and how as the girl progresses it, becomes even more problematic. At four pages long is probably the best flash fiction piece I have ever read.
‘Outbreak’ by Bryan Nickelberry has a great narrative voice warning us what went wrong. He demonstrated each mistake made like people taking a drug to change into animals and each mistake seems like it could be what this big warning is about until the final reveal.
Overall I would highly recommend this collection not just because of the great stories but for the messages they give about our potential future.
P.RAJA (October 07, 1952) a son of this divine soil, Pondicherry, India famed for its spiritual heritage, writes in his chosen language, English, and also in his mother tongue, Tamil. More than 5000 of his works – poems, short stories, interviews, articles, book reviews, plays, skits, featuresand novellas – have seen the light through newspapers and magazines that number to 350 in both India and elsewhere. He has 30 books for adults and 8 books for children in English and 14 books in Tamil. Apart from contributing special articles to Encyclopaedia of Post-Colonial Literature in English (London), Encyclopaedia of Tamil Literature in English, and to several other edited volumes, he has also written scripts for Television (Delhi). He broadcasts his short stories and poems from All India Radio, Pondicherry. He was GENERAL COUNCIL MEMBER of CENTRAL SAHITYA AKADEMI, New Delhi (ENGLISH ADVISORY BOARD -- 2008-2012) representing Pondicherry University. He is EDITOR of TRANSFIRE, a literary quarterly devoted to translations from various languages into English. His website: www.professorraja.com
A FEAST AT DEAD OF NIGHT
Somehow I’ve developed a fascination for fat volumes as I have for buxom women. I am of the opinion that the latter serve as feast for the eyes, while the former for the mind. It is not that the slims fail to serve such a purpose, but the fat ones have something more to tell. I have a harem of fat ones in my study, and all of them have a pride of place on the reference shelves.
Whenever I am inside bookshops, be it new or used, my eyes greedily look for the fat ones because most often they turn out to be reference volumes, sometimes very rare ones.
Once my eyes stood riveted on a huge pile of bulky volumes in a wastepaper godown. Expecting a treasure trove, I began to read the titles printed on the spine. In the process, I stood, I sat, I craned my neck, I stooped, and did all sorts of gymnastics. But to my dismay, I found that most of them were Directories meant to please the businessmen by lessening their burden of income tax and sales tax. Amidst those books with exquisite jacket covers, slept conveniently quite an unattractive black spined book. Since it looked quite odd in that pile, I strained my eyes hiding behind thick glasses to read those tiny faded out letters on its spine: Poetica Erotica.
Joy surged within me. Wow! Erotic poetry! What a treasure find! As I jumped for joy, a doubt began to haunt me. Is it in English or as the title suggests, in Greek? I pulled it out and riffled through its pages and then heaved a sigh of relief. Yes. The book was in English. The heart within me stirred and I asked the shopkeeper “How much should I pay for this book?”
“Anything you like…That book was lying there for long. Who ever wants to buy a book of poems these days? Give me anything you like,” he said.
I wanted to pay him magnanimously for that book. And so I pushed my fingers enthusiastically into my shirt pocket, with the noble intention of giving him whatever money came into my hand. I did pull out but what did I find in my hand! My identity card, a couple of my visiting cards, a foolscap size paper folded eight times, containing the long list of grocery items my wife wanted me to buy on credit, a five rupee note and two twenty-five paise coins.
The shopkeeper took the five-rupee note from my hand and said contentedly: “Thank you. This is enough for that book. Keep the change”. He then looked at me as if I were an idiot willing to pay more than the book really deserved.
Poor fellow! He never knew that he gave me a treasury of the best erotic poems in English and in western classical languages in an admirable English translation.
Edited by T.R.Smith and published by Liveright, New York in 1927, the work Poetica Erotica, a collection of rare and curious amatory verse, was issued in a limited subscription edition so that “it may possibly not reach the over-fastidious or the coarse minded ones who secretly admire what they pretend to dislike; people quite incapable of appreciating literature for its better qualities.”
What strikes the reader at the first instance is that this fairly comprehensive and representative collection of erotic verse is quite different in character from the unusual love poetry printed in anthologies. The editor really deserves our applause and a pat on his back for selecting such poems that possess charm, passion and humour. He had conveniently brushed aside those poems that would stoop to the merely vulgar and obscene category. While ‘What is vulgar?’ and ‘What is obscene?’ are still debatable, a reading of this book makes it clear that, at least from the point of view of the editor, nudes are obscene and vulgar, but when they are draped with see-through tapestries they look charming. No Bowdler or Comstock would raise a finger.
Here is an excerpt from a poem titled “The Wonderful Grot” published in 1783 and whose author is unknown:
“Beneath a chalky cliff is found
Nor in the air, nor on the ground
A Grot! There cupid keeps his court.
There Venus and her nymphs resort.
Close shaded, it on pillars stands;
Pillars ne’er raised by mortal hands,
No marble can so polished show,
Whiter they than alpine snow,
From hence proceeds a magic dew,
That gives all things a glossy hue
To glittering stars it gives their birth,
With dewy gems it spangles earth…
Most strange it is, a thing so wild
Should choose a mate that storms more wild
Well! Not a single vulgar word; not a single obscene line. Yet we can find both only if we can read between the lines. And that reminds me of a saying: “Naked dogs are obscene; mating dogs are quite decent” for the two vulgar parts are hidden from sight. Is not Fanny Hill, the best erotic novel in English, though its author John Cleland , did not use a single four-letter word in it?
It is not that English literature, original and in translation, lacks in any way pornographic specimens. One may find a cartload of them as in any other language. The Drollery Books of the 17th century, Pills to Purge Melancholy (1707) and Merry, Facetious and Witty Songs and Ballads Prior to 1800 (1890) contain in them the best examples of such coarse and obscene poetry. As one who had enjoyed reading these books in the study of a fortunate bibliophile, I doubt if all these volumes put together would outdo the salacious verses of Aristophanes and Juvenal. Perhaps that is the reason why this anthology includes only the sixth satire of Juvenal and plays blind to Aristophanes.
Since the editor was keen in not allowing the words that would rhyme with ‘duck’ and all such words that continue to be taboo to the modern mind, only Eros and Aphrodite rule this anthology that starts with the “Song of Solomon” and ends with “Songs Written for the Entertainment of My Lady Joan” authored by the 20th century American poet, Francis Page.
Poets down the ages, round the globe found nothing much to write about man, except his ‘dildoe’. But they found in woman God’s plenty. And so throughout this anthology women rule the roost. Good news to feminists.
To Andrew Marvell, the metaphysical poet, one lifetime was too tiny a period to praise the beauty of his woman. And so here is what he said “To His Coy Mistress”(1681):
“…An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore to each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart;
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.”
Sensual poets (not to be confused with sensuous poets like John Keats and others, who have no place in this anthology) didn’t live long like William Wordsworth and make a nuisance of themselves. As they were aware of “Time’s winged chariot hurrying near”, they recorded for posterity in sizzling verse their impressions on the alluring beauty of women. And this anthology serves as ample testimony to the fact that the woman’s beauty is but a vague reflection of God’s formless beauty.
The subject matter may be the same in all these charming poems found in this pillow like book. But what makes the difference is the point of view. If Anacreon, the Greek lyric poet (c.572-488 B.C.) likes to look at his beloved starting from her hair “as black as bright” and proceed to her “alabaster brow”, and then to
“Her dark eyebrows so dispose
That they neither part nor close
But by a divorce so slight
Be joined, may cheat the sight”
And finally to the rest “that hidden may be guessed”, another Greek poet likes to portray his girl from the foot up:
“O fairy foot! O shapely leg! O tempting taper thigh!
O comely back! O clipsome waist! With ivory which vie;
O shoulders soft! O budding breasts! O neck of swan-like fall!
O lovely hands! O lustrous eyes! For which I madden all,
O gestures of transcendent grace!…”
and ends with:
“…O kisses! Sweeter far
Than nectar, and, o voice! To which my senses are-”
And King Solomon in his “Song of Songs” (from the Bible) enumerates the female charms in both ways, that is from head to foot (chapter IV) and from the joints of her thighs to her head (chapter VII). Well! It is a question of taste, as some would like to take a peg of whisky on rocks, some with soda water, some with tap-water, some simply raw, and some with a dash of lime.
William Shakespeare described the sexual act as “making a beast with two backs”. And Ovid, who lived some sixteen centuries before Shakespeare, had put it in a couplet:
“Both bodies in a single body mix.
A single body with a double sex.”
And Shakespeare is known for his “little Latin and less Greek”. Several such descriptions pepper the pages of this anthology. A lad tells his neighbour’s willing wife to put her husband to sleep by giving him wine, so that she could be his on that afternoon. But look how he warns her:
“Let not they neck by his vile arms be prest,
Nor lean thy soft head on his boisterous breast.
Thy bosom’s roseate buds let him not finger,
“Chiefly on thy lips let his lips linger…
Mingle not things, not to his leg join thine,
Nor thy soft foot with his hardfoot combine.”
Perhaps he wants her fresh at least on that day. And when the husband began to snore “oppressed with wine and sleep”, the lucky lad and the luckier lady were fully awake. And here is a secret the lad likes to share with the readers:
“Stark naked as she stood before mine,
Not one wen in her body could I spy.
What arms and shoulders did I touch and see,
How apt her breasts were to be pressed by me,
How smooth a belly under her waist saw I,
How large a leg, and what a lusty thigh.
To leave the rest, all liked me passing well;
I clinged her naked body, down she fell:
Judge you the rest, being tired she bade me kiss;
Jove send me more such afternoons as this!”
Here is someone who likes to enjoy all sorts of women, for he believes that every woman has one purpose or the other to serve in bed:
“If she be tall, she’s like an Amazon,
And therefore fills the bed she lies upon.
If short, she lies the rounder, to say troth,
But short and long please me, for I love both.
A white wench thralls me, so doth golden yellow,
And nut-brown girls in doing have no fellow.
A young wench pleaseth, and an old one is good.
This for her looks, that for her womanhood.”
And here is a different man with a different taste:
“Fat love, and too much fulsome, me annoys,
Even as sweet meat a glutted stomach cloys.”
Now pity the man who is in love with two women at once. Poor fellow! He loves both women equally and hence could not make any decision:
“Both are well favoured, both rich in array,
which is the loveliest it is hard to say:
This seems the fairest, so doth that to me;
And this doth please me most, and so doth she;
Even as a boat tossed by contrary wind,
So with this love and that wavers my mind.
Venus, why doublest thou my endless smart?
Was not one wench enough to grieve my heart?”
God save him, for we, the married know for certain what great chaos, catastrophe and havoc await the man with two wives.
In yet another case, two women fall in love with one man and a war of words ensues between the two. It goes on until the man himself puts an end to their quarrel by saying that he loves neither of them, but loves another “dear creature with everything in its proper shape and order”. A lusty youth married to a “blithe and bonny lass” with “rolling eye, and forehead high, and all good parts Nature could give her” learns to his utter dismay that “she could not keep her legs together”. Imagine the plight of the discontented married man.
Love is a bold man’s affair. Yet cowards too couldn’t resist the temptation. And what could a coward do, other than record his thoughts:
“To touch her hand, her hand binds thy desire’
To wear her ring, her ring is Nessus gift,
To feel her breast, her breast doth blow the fire,
To see her bare, her bare a baleful drift,
To bait thine eyes thereon, is loss of sight,
To think of it, confounds thy senses quite”.
It need not be construed that it is only men who express their desire for the female body. There are also maids “full of longing thoughts” who are more open and frank than men are. And here is a maid who is very adamant that she
“…Would not die a maid, because I had a mother
As I was by one brought forth I would bring forth another.”
In our travel in this realm of erotic gold, we meet a lusty lady (and there are several others too) who cajoles a “courteous knight, to lay her body flat on the ground. This done, she held her legs so wide for the young knight to slip between. The knight, good at storming castles with his “battering ram”, did succeed with “her hairy castle” too and the lady in ecstasy murmurs:
“…There is no such comfort
As lying with a man”.
In yet another poem titled “Blame Not a Woman”, most probably written by a woman, (this anthology contains a lot of poems by anonymous poets) the poetess appeals to men not to blame women for their lewdness, instead praise them for they are entitled to it. The entire poem seems to ask men: “What do you lose when women use something that belongs to them?” And be not baffled at the following excerpt from the poem:
“But if women should not trade, how should the world increase?
If women all were nice, what seed should then be sown?
If women were all coy, they would breed men’s annoy;
Then blame them not for using of their own…
If any take offence at this my song,
I think that no good manners he hath known,
We all from women came: Why should we women blame,
And for a little using of their own?”
Perhaps that is the reason why a jealous husband says, “Beneath each female robe a lover lies”. In a good number of poems, we see women “rutting endlessly, lewder than sparrows in the lusty spring”, and take eight husbands in five years. A prostitute caresses “a gouty impotent old man” and says “it’s all for money”. And a wife who allows her father-in-law to make a cuckold of his son says, “Well! It’s all for the pleasure of cheating the husband.” What then you expect the poor husband to do but grumble when he comes to know of the affair:
“She is an adulteress by form of law;
By a more straight-forward prostitute
I am offended less…”
We encounter a daughter who has willingly lost her virginity to a false man. Her mother consoles by saying that she too was the target of a “rude spear that could easily make a virgin shed her sacred name”. But the girl is quite conscious that her would-be would definitely detect it on their wedding night. And the mother promises to teach a method to cheat her would-be, a method she adopted to cheat her husband on their bridal night.
Juvenal, the Roman satirist, who studied women for several years, made his research known to the public in his sixth “Satire”:
“Women, in judgement weak, in feeling strong,
By every gust of passion borne along,
Act, in their fits, such crimes, that to be just,
The least pernicious of their sins is lust.”
Well! That’s woman. And by pointing an accusing finger at the weak spot of both men and women, the poets make the readers merry. A series of droll ballads included in this anthology make us all the more merrier. Three virgins who stake their maidenheads in a game of dice and lose them all to a lucky young man, at last learn their lesson:
“…That maidens fair
Might have a care,
And play no such game…”
In another ballad, we meet a wench involved in a clandestine love affair. She brings him home in the guise of a tinker “to clout her cauldron”. The “job over” she pays him a fee for “doing his work exceedingly well” and sends him away with a request to come and “view the cauldron”, every quarter of the year. Her husband too agrees.
While a couple of ballads tell us about the dowry system prevalent in those days, several highlight the “false flattering tongue of young men” that lead the young and charming girls astray, which only ends up in:
“Her belly got up to her chin,
And her spirits quite down to her heels”.
No wonder a clever old woman advises a Scotch lass thus:
“First marry then you may be sure,
Your child shall have a father.”
Coy wench with virgin eyes, mild wench with sweetly speaking eyes, mad wench with swimming eyes and wild wench with killing eyes parade this anthology. Black girl with marble breasts, white girl with snowy breasts, yellow girl with swollen breasts, red girl with high breasts delicate, and a bevy with panting breasts exhibit their bounty in this anthology. “Those dear concealed delights below the waist” and “those parts, which maids keep unespy’d” find their pride of place in this anthology. At times, the smell of sweat from “over-laboured loins” assails our nostrils. And when the lover boy’s “…ink was run; his pen was done”, we hear the insatiable lady say:
“Now let me roll and rub it in my hand!
Perhaps the silly worm had laboured sore,
And worked so that it can do no more.”
“Simple love poetry but it must emphasize the sensual” is what is said of erotic poetry. But whatever may be its content or form, its aim is to entertain and make the readers have their belly laugh. Erotica is not written with any malice towards women or men. And a joke, as we know, is always at other’s expense. Martial, the most entertaining Roman writer of epigrams begs his readers thus:
“This is the rule assigned to jocular poems,
To be unable to please unless they are prurient.
Wherefore lay aside your squeamishness,
And spare my pleasantries and my jokes,
I beg you, and do not seek to castrate my poems”.
Thanks to the editor of this anthology for not being a “prude’ and for publishing the uncastrated version of the poems. And our mind that has so far wandered at will in the “hills and dales” and entered the “grottos and forts of love” says with Lucretius:
“The more we still enjoy, the more we still desire.”
And after the banquet, here comes the beeda for us to savour and munch, and if possible to chew and digest. It is a bawdy riddle:
“Thou thing of subtle, slippery kind,
Which women lose, and yet no man can find.”
Angel Edwards from Vancouver BC is a member of SOCAN, BMI and VMA and she owns a small music publishing company.She currently performs as a solo acoustic electric singer songwriter guitarist.
Her poems are included in two international poetry anthologies "Mind Paintings" and "Between Earth and Sky" from Silver Bow Publishing and her poetry and stories have been published in dozens of literary magazines in several countries.
Her poem "Morning Flight" was published in The Long Islander Newspaper in "Walt's Corner" April 23 2015.
Angel is preparing her first poetry, short stories book.
The eyes were an animal 's eyes but they carried a human expression. Wisdom he had,of a kind for he knew himself and accepted the fact that he could never be anything but a monster. Sadly this awareness sprang from the human side of his nature.
The animal half pined for animal companionship.
The creature's mind's eye caught glimpses of beautiful pictures while he slept.These images frightened his beast heart but the human part within his spirit longed for them with a pain filled yearning.
In dreams,the Minotaur clasped some other being close to his own body and he would awaken with his seed spent and his desire unsatisfied.
The beast was idle and indolent. His sole source of physical activity involved the nightly hunt.He was born without a conscience and therefore he suffered no remorse for the taking of so many tender lives. He devoured male virgins and female virgins with delight.
Their terrified screams heightened the appetite and spiced their first just to his liking!
Part of the minotaur's curse was the inheritance of being the forced guardian over vast amounts of treasure.There was no dragon heart here.
He occasionally played with his jewels,favoring the rubies and garnets but the Minotaur had no genuine fondness for their hard nature.
He did not enjoy his confinement and resented the responsibility thrust upon him.
The creature was never taught to speak yet he had a voice. His own bellowing frequently roused him from deep slumber. Inevitably he developed the ability to howl and shriek in imitation of his hapless victims.
Inside the slow thinking mind, this being thought of himself as a god and indeed in his own singularly horrific way he truly was.
Juan Zapata is a student at Alabama A&M University on a full scholarship. He currently studies Criminal Justice and endeavors to join a federal agency in the future. When he is not writing, he dreams incessantly of becoming a Jedi. Help Juan build a Twitter empire: @ZapataThe1
Letter from an Omniscient Racist
(Previously Published in 13th Floor Magazine)
You come from a land of strife. A land that is broken and ruled by fear---dead men, women, and children hang from bridges and streetlamps. Gunshots are heard outside the home and people get beheaded for sport. Drug lords and their fiends come by and ask for payment for their "protection". They gun you down should you refuse. And what about the police? Forget it, they're paid off. Your home country's soldiers are no better than those men either. They seize the innocent at random stops in public. They remove them from their cars and slam them on the unforgiving pavement, breaking teeth and faces. They point their assault rifles down and scream. They violate your rights, but you dare not report them. They'll murder you, and how could you even report them? They wear masks of black, their faces bereft of all emotion, yet a sinister evil lurks beneath. And so what do you do? Or rather, not you, you're a child---incapable of even a semblance of complex thinking. The decision falls to your parents, your guardians, your protectors. What do they do? They grab you and pack their belongings quickly and they flee. They flee to another land…..but don't hold your breath. The storm isn't over.
"Work hard in school!" they say. "Give it your best!" they say. They give you a stern look and tell you that education leads to a successful future. Ha----what liars, what deceivers, what fools. They screw you from the start and they know it, however good their intentions are. You have no future, it is destroyed the moment you leave your home country, the moment you are dragged across a patch of land. Why? Because they drag you here and turn you into a criminal. You don't have any say---any choice---how can you? A mere child. But don't put on your innocent face! No one cares. You're a swine.
You do everything they ask. You are intelligent. You are talented---gifted. You have drive, fire, and passion. You've done everything close to perfection----a top student. Teachers praise your work ethic and say you will go far. And you, like a fool, get caught up in their words, start living a delusion. You are patriotic, you are strong, you are an athlete. You score high, colleges seek you, people are proud of you. You have everything! You have your part done, you followed orders. But despite all your accomplishments, you utterly failed. Why? Because you were screwed the moment you were brought into a country illegally as a child.
You see your friends, your peers, and many others alongside you begin to rise in the world. You are just as talented as they, if not more, but it doesn't matter. You can't rise with them. You become nobody. Nothing. Why? Because as an illegal you can't enroll into a university. As an illegal you can't be hired anywhere, not even in a petty McDonald’s. If you fall into poverty, that's too bad, you can't get welfare. Who are you to get it? You're an alien. You don't belong here. You don't exist. And pray incessantly, little illegal, that you never get an injury, for the price will be too high to pay. You have no medical insurance. You can't have any. Wetback.
They call you a rapist and a murderer. A thief and a swine. The very name of the place you come from is uttered with such hatred and disgust, it becomes derogatory. To be associated to your birth country becomes an insult, and stings like a slap to the face. Why? Because they don't have a shred of compassion and they believe anything they're told. They are gullible, most of them, and they view you as an enemy. Everyone's woes are blamed upon you---the vagrant who takes away their jobs, yet you can't even get one. And even if you're lucky enough to get one, it's not something one of the born-privileged would ever soil their hands with.
They blame their incompetence on you. They blame their insecurities on you. They blame a murder, not on the murderer, but on an entire people----on you. They hate you. But that's not the worst part. The gut-wrencher in this fiasco is that you love them. You love the place you were brought to. You love their language, their customs, their traditions. You love their culture, their mannerisms, their livelihood. This is all you know, this is your home…..in your heart. For it will never be that in the real, cold world. Remember that, illegal cur. Keep your head low, swine, or you'll be tossed back from whence you came.
Perhaps it would've been better if you'd been left behind in your country of origin. At least there you were an equal to those alongside you if you didn't get killed first. There you had a shot. This place you call home, you have nothing.
I write short stories and screenplays mostly in the horror genre. Several of my short stories have been published including one about a Kumiho (Korean Werefox). I regularly blog about writing, the horror genre and reviews at https://www.facebook.com/davidjenkinswriter
Dead Leaves by Andrew David Barker review
Plot - The year is 1983, Scott and his friends are drifting though life drinking, talking about girls, and watching horror movies. But that all changes when the ‘Video Nasty’ panic starts, in their search for a copy of The Evil Dead they discover what is truly important in life.
A famous critic once said it’s hard to review art without something similar to compare it to and this is quite true here. This story is about the quest of three lads to watch Evil Dead against the background of the 1980s and video nasties therefore the only similar things I have seen (not read) are Detroit Rock City and Monty Python’s Holy Grail. This type of story hangs on the obstacles that stop the characters from succeeding and the relationship between the friends more so then other genres which have a stronger plot.
So first of the obstacles come in shape of girlfriend woes, Video nasties, drunks, unemployment and nagging parents most of which we can relate to. All of these obstacle are presented in realistic ways and occasionally build upon each other to frustrate the characters even more. The characters are also relatable from the serious guy older than the others with a job and pissed off at people who haven’t got one, to the disgruntled youth who reckons there’s no point getting a job and finally the dreamer who has people constantly on his back to get a job. These are people we knew when we were young and maybe they are the people we were. Another positive is the language used in the book is accurate portrayal of youth, with bits of Derby slang thrown in which adds to the realistic tone of the book. I like the black comedy in the book including the occasional one sentence chapters like end of one chapter- this wasn’t going to end well. Next chapter- It didn’t. Although it was getting a bit repetitive towards the end. Lastly on the positive front I’d like to say the special edition of the book with its VHS box sleeve is a nice touch although I didn’t understand the cover; Is it a camera on a leaf, the colours used are effective though.
There were some things I didn’t enjoy though. The portrayal of police where they are publicly just blind sheep (nod to 1980s Thatcher police) but in private they are working against the system is cliché. Spoiler I don’t think it’s realistic that Police invite them to where the films are stored at the end, particularly as they’d just been brawling a few pages before. Another problem is with ’Dead’ in the title I expect some more horror scenes and apart from getting battered in a deserted shopping centre and found by druggies there’s nothing. The ‘Leaves’ part of the title is good though with its reference to autumn setting and I think it’s a metaphor about how the youths have no control of their lives really and are just being blown away by stronger forces. The plot (quest for Evil Dead) goes missing at some points to show how bad their lives are which is interesting but makes it seem more like a memoir rather than fiction.
Overall, as a memoir type story for what it was like to be a kid in the 1980s this is a good story with nice doses of humour. But the plot and character portrayal goes missing at points and I expected more horror from the story and for that reason I’d give it a 3/5.
I write short stories and screenplays mostly in the horror genre. Several of my short stories have been published including one about a Kumiho (Korean Werefox). I regularly blog about writing, the horror genre and reviews at https://www.facebook.com/davidjenkinswriter
Which is better: Film Adaptions vs. Books and Comics
With the ever increasingly popularity of adaptions (especially superhero films) it’s always a topical questions what is better the book or film. Most people I know prefer books to the film adaptions pointing out among other reasons-
• They can explore the motivations of characters more.
• Books can be a lot longer making them more complex.
• They don’t need the protagonist and antagonist to have a personal relationship which most films have (for instance Punisher’s family in the comics are killed during a shootout they weren’t targeted).
• They can use various places and locations to get the story across with little fear of losing people’s interest and upsetting financiers.
However there are some positives in films namely-
• They can make people interested in a book who normally wouldn’t be.
• They can provided a more compact version of a story you enjoy.
• Some books can be poorly written but the idea might be great (Logan’s Run for instance).
After thinking about several film adaptions I have enjoyed I realised that whilst I mostly preferred the book (including World War Z, Howling, The Other Boleyn girl and several comics) it wasn’t always true (for instance The Crow comic, Girl With The Dragon tattoo- the original one and Interview with an Vampire although it’s very close with the last). So that made me think why did I only prefer the book about 70% of the time and the reason is it depends which I experienced first (I’m only including comic book films where they are based on a graphic novel or a miniseries as it’s unfair to pit 30 years of comics against one film). All of the above instances where I said I prefer the film are all examples of when I watched the film first and it cut out some unnecessary parts of the book like the mentions of Swedish industry and economics in Girl With Dragon tattoo. The other point is that films limit our imagination sometimes it’s only slight but it’s there and therefore when we see a certain actor or action in the film we really like we believe that the character/event should have been more like that in the book for instance Lestat dancing with Claudia’s dead mother is a brilliant black comedy moment. My theory isn’t absolute as I can think of two or three instances where I have preferred the second thing I experienced like the Queen of the Dammed book. Although in this case the film significantly departed from the book for instance Marius didn’t turn David at the end of Queen of D (that’s the smallest complaint I can make I could do a whole article on how they learned the mash up of vampire chronicles 2 and 3).
But overall this theory holds true for me what about you?
S. D. Vincent enjoys singing pirate songs while loading trucks at his day job, and can't help but feel that with just the right mix of precision and recklessness one day the pariah will see himself in the looking-glass of the saint.
IN THE HISTORICAL CLOSET: THE RIGHT-WING STYLE OF DENIAL
Cultural history as it begins to be written in the years after 9-11 reveals that the fault-line along the American psyche has become seismically active again. The right-wing is sounding its irrational depths, and suddenly this great National Buddha stirs from its hibernation—out of the blubber of historical lullaby and the sugar plums of paranoia. The collapse of the Twin Towers was a terrible suction event, in which any remaining intelligibility was evacuated from national discourse, like oxygen in a conflagration. An asphyxiation of sensibility has characterized this era, which will be remembered as much for the release of monster trucks from the Coliseum onto public roads as for—back inside the Coliseum—the unexamined veneration of military apoplexy. The right-wing has at last become psychologically incontinent, nursing its inner chickens of fear and chagrin—what’s worse, in public.
Antonio Gramsci wrote that once political problems are disguised as cultural they become insoluble; and in its existential need for historical denial, the right-wing today has taken up what Orwell called the “gangster gramophone” more than ever since its salad days of the 1920s. The crucial difference is that the original home-brewed right-wing understandably perceived its village-agricultural ethos to be imperiled by the “alien invasion” of modernism, a term used interchangeably in those days with Liberalism and atheism. Well, the “aliens” won—long ago; so the arch perversity of the current national rhetoric—made cornpone already by the Scopes Trial in 1925—is its implicit desire, puerile and contradictory, to return to a fixed and static pre-modernity before moving pictures; before the accumulation of great postwar national wealth and military strength; before unemployment insurance, food stamps and Medicare; before the national freeway system and the G.I. bill—before the greatest time of prosperity in the history of the nation (perhaps they have a cyclical view of history). Perhaps before we are finished here we shall apprehend just what it is that the right-wing—and their Tea-bagging brethren—finds exceptional about America.
Dark Satanic Mills
In his 1956 book The Power Elite, C. Wright Mills laid down the cogent observation that in America there “can be no conservative ideology of the classic type;” that, despite what he called the conservative mood then gathering strength, there was nevertheless no authentic conservative tradition passed down from early America. A conservative ideology, he points out, would presume a natural aristocracy anathematized in our nation from its very beginning—pointedly so after the Revolution. Conservatism venerates the past, crystallizing as reaction; Americans in the early nineteenth century looked restlessly forward, not backward. As Richard Hofstadter showed in his classic essay on American political paranoia, early American distrust of Elites and obsession with conspiracy are broadly national features, not creations but co-optations of the right-wing. In fact it took more than a century from the time of the Founding Fathers for a peculiarly American variety of conservatism to acquire its distinctive plumage. What galvanized the right-wing was a sudden awakening to what must have seemed a disorienting modernism. The years between 1915 and 1925 represent a very compressed decade. Unprecedented events like the political rise of Labor and the Bolshevik Revolution; the First World War—and America’s troubling entry into it—and the postwar meteoric rise of wealth based upon our suddenly increased international stature; these events were all the more perplexing in light of the sudden onslaught of the technologies of modernism. Industries based on electro-chemical and petroleum had undermined in a single generation the old ways of life. Suddenly the sense of time was compressed as traditional distances were annihilated, and this disorientation couldn’t help but disturb the peaceable digestion of that second, swarthier wave of immigrants to American shores; a dyspepsia that would stamp the olive-skinned newcomer as an anarchist in the nickelodeon mind’s eye of America.
It was into this technologically-induced crisis of identity that the revivified Ku Klux Klan positioned itself as the “protector of traditional values during the Jazz Age,” and the upholder of an unalloyed, “One Hundred Percent Americanism.” According to the era’s preeminent public intellectual, Walter Lippmann, “The Ku Klux Klan, Fundamentalism, and Xenophobia are an extreme, but authentic expression of the politics, the social outlook, and the religion of the older American village civilization making its last stand against what looks to it like an alien invasion.” Further on, he added, “The alien invasion is in fact the new America produced by the growth and prosperity of America.” (italics added)
During the 1920s, membership in the Ku Klux Klan swelled to over 4 million men, and they boasted of having enlisted 15% of the nation’s eligible electorate. The Klan comprised mainstream, pre-middle-class America; doctors, lawyers, shopkeepers, barbers, bus drivers and clergymen eagerly donned the hood and robe. Klan membership was nearly as robust in the Midwest and Far West as in the South; in Ohio, for example, their ranks had surged to 300,000 by the mid-twenties. In 1924 the KKK succeeded in engineering the elections of officials from coast to coast, including the mayor of Portland, OR, and in Indiana they controlled the machinery of state government. That same year the Invisible Empire assembled 40,000 strong and marched, fully costumed, through Washington D.C. during the Democratic National Convention.
In the Jazz Age the Ku Klux Klan exercised an influence roughly equivalent to our modern Tea Party, and many politicians felt compelled to pander to it, while statesmen and judges alike took to the hood and robe. To the early right-wing, Liberalism represented the entire interlocking assemblage of modernism. As such, it was a term of approbation, even treachery; for beneath those overarching banners of progress carried by well-meaning denominationalists—the nation was overwhelmingly Christian—festered even more sinister “isms,” which would produce the torque of our rising, oil-based industrial empire: alienism, labor radicalism and cosmopolitanism. From the passing of the Federal Reserve Act (1913) to the rise of a politically potent organized Labor there existed in the right-wing mind a treacherous cabal which saw to it that, in the words of the Klan’s Imperial Wizard, dentist Hiram Wesley Evans, “the interests of Americans were always the last to be considered, and native Americans were consistently discriminated against, in business, in legislation and in administrative government.” In the same piece Evans concluded that in addition to abetting what he dubbed the “mongrelization of thought,” modernism, that is, the entire enterprise of what would become within a generation the “national interest,” was charged with “nothing less than national, racial and spiritual treason.”
And yet it Moves
The right-wing was suckled on the premise that a consortium of alien interests—alas, modernism—was bent on extinguishing the original and undiluted American way of life. Why this magnetic compulsion toward conspiracy? As W.B. Riley, founder of the Anti-Evolution League, put it in 1927, “God’s creation is incapable of improvement,” based as it was upon absolute values. Static and immutable, then, the divine handiwork could only be altered or derailed by the concerted usurpation of some distant and inscrutable cabal. The right-wing inability to see both the rise and eclipse of its values as the result of a natural historical development—i.e., their a-historical mind-set—is the root of their need for denial.
Biblical fundamentalism was from the beginning the perfect vehicle for this type of rancor. Throughout the 19th century and especially after the appearance of Darwinism, theologians like Charles Hodge of Princeton pondered the immense shadow cast upon theology by the advances of science—for which divine revelation was irrelevant. Hodge was a leading light for the famous Princeton Theology, arguably the biggest influence on ur-fundamentalism. Its central tenet, the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, was in some ways an odd piece of innovation. The doctrine that the Bible was factual in the same way as science—through objective reason—appeared to critics as an attempt to rescue divine revelation from obsolescence by means of the litmus test of its rival—infamously reckoning the earth’s antiquity by counting backwards the generations of biblical action figures. This smacked of chagrin. Also, to insist that the Bible was literally true—every reference, statistic and quotation—was peculiar because the novel act of declaring it inerrant, far from recovering the original sense of the Gospels, added a layer of sophistication that would have made it well-nigh incomprehensible to a pre-modern Christian like Joan of Arc, for whom the notion that God made the Sun stand still would not have clashed with the popular operating system of her time.
The sad utterances of William Jennings Bryan at the Scopes Trial in 1925 highlight the exertions involved in holding spiritual revelation to the requirements of objective reason; all spiritual truths, including that of ancient Christianity, are cryptic and paradoxical, and are lost upon being blanched into rational coherence. The doctrine of biblical inerrancy—in its parroting of modernism—not only forecloses on the original significance of Christianity—the paradox of the God-man—but also reveals itself as a symptom of the ethical malaise of modernism, the very scourge against which Hodge and his brood had cast their prescriptions. Had not Hodge, with his emphasis on reason and facts, thrown ancient religion under the bus? Nevertheless the doctrine of inerrancy turned out to be a savvy gambit. The sheer fact of fundamentalism’s popularity at the centennial of its origins suggests that it was the genius of the Princeton theologians to conceal the modern inability to believe without a prophylactic of facts behind an alleged recovery of the original, undiluted Christianity.
But the cultural takeaway lies in recognizing the fantastic contradiction of insisting upon the historical inerrancy of the Bible while having at one’s core the existential need for historical denial. This psychological disconnect results in a radical lack of self-comprehension that is magnified exponentially by the passage of time into an unbridgeable chasm between who they think they are and who they are, in truth. Thus guilelessly they press forward pettiness as piety, hypocrisy as virtue, until their judgments of others are nothing more than toxic projections; until finally, by some guiding inner logic, their Savior’s injunction to renounce worldly possessions is contorted into a mandate to transfer all of yours to the wealthiest few.
Darwinism, to the early right-wing, was the ultimate “mongrelization of thought,” the presiding spirit over all the technological innovations that suddenly overwhelmed the village-agricultural ethos. It was the most sinister “ism” of them all because it was what was left stuck to the bottom of the cauldron after all the other isms had been steamed away. Darwinism was nothing but Atheism, all gussied-up. According to no less an observer than Walter Lippmann, the campaign against Darwinism was “an attempt to erect a spiritual barrier against the metropolitan spirit.”
Senator you are no Don Quixote
Any examination of the narrative of climate science—its coalescence over decades from separate scientific disciplines in feedback with the power of digital computers—ought to begin by referring to the Ice Ages and the Cold War. These chilly leitmotifs provide dialectical relief to the prevailing curve of warmth now acknowledged by nearly every researcher that hasn’t been turned out by the American Petroleum Institute.
In trying to understand the radical climatic shifts causing the Ice Ages—and the mysterious periods of warming between them—scientists a hundred and fifty years ago learned of the heat-trapping capacities of water vapor and CO2. In 1896 a Swedish scientist had a “Eureka!” moment and decided to calculate emissions of CO2 from industrial sources. It was determined even then that these man-made emissions roughly equaled the natural volcanic output of the gas back to the atmosphere. No one spilled their tea over this; and since early research into greenhouse gasses was conducted by scientists with a geek-like passion for understanding how the Ice Ages worked, a backward glance remained the central focus into the 1950s.
Throughout the first half of the century, then, when a lone voice strayed to argue that after a few centuries the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere might produce some unforeseen consequences, the chorus of scientific consensus would chime in that there was nothing after all to worry about because any added CO2 would be taken up by the oceans and churned into the depths—except of course the oceans operated on an unknown timetable; they were effectively like black holes for all oceanographers in those days understood of their chemical interactions.
All this was soon to change thanks to one of history’s more satisfying ironies. What would eventually become known as climate science was plucked straight from the rib of the Cold War. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) was keenly interested in the mapping of ocean currents out of concern for the disposal of radioactive debris in the North Pacific. This postwar infusion of funding for military research put paid to some long-held assumptions about the complicated dynamics of ocean and atmospheric circulation.
Thus across the 1950s the ONR was scattering research funds like Johnny Appleseed and one result was that nuclear physicists, in perfecting the heat-seeking missile, were able to make advances in infrared instrumentation that could detect the radioactive isotope carbon-14, created abundantly in nuclear tests. Not only did their data provide the first mapping of the global circulation of air, which disproved the theory that water vapor was already trapping all the heat that could be trapped; it also led a few years later to the epochal knowledge that the abysses of the North Atlantic take some 650 years to turn over—disproving by accident the assumption that the oceans could absorb all of the extra CO2 introduced by human agency.
As physicist and chronicler of climate science Spencer Weart put it, the military had answered a question it had never thought to ask, and by the end of the fifties engaged scientists began to suspect for the first time, without any political convictions or intent—sprung from the rib of the military-industrial complex—that the burning of fossil fuels could introduce a trend of global temperature warming. Apropos to this ripple of educated opinion, in 1957 an oil industry scientist went on record for the first time to deny that the burning of fossil fuels was responsible for any current or future global warming.
In the sixties the sophistication of carbon-14 measurements helped enable the emergence of the first carbon-cycle community—a coral reef of awareness—composed of climatology, forestry, agriculture and geochemistry; and by the end of the decade attempts to represent ocean circulation on computers had begun at MIT. This trend of the increasing sensitivity of instruments, communication between previously isolated disciplines and computer modeling would build over the next few decades into an overwhelming consensus of politically disinterested concern, even as it ran head-on into the neoliberal political machinations of the Reagan Revolution.
By the end of the seventies some public officials were becoming aware that increasing CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels could have serious economic and political effects; coincidently this was also the early spring of deregulation, and the coal and oil industries were now paying close attention. A significant aspect of the Reagan Revolution lay in the sewing of distrust for any activity that might interfere with the interests of business—including scientific research; funding for both NASA and NOAA suffered big hits. It is at this point that the politicization of global warming begins—and not with any data.
During the first Bush administration, the Global Climate Coalition—funded by major corporations—focused a laser beam of public relations on convincing a scientifically-challenged Congress and citizenry that the science behind climate change was flawed. This was about the time that climate scientists lost control of the issue, as the consensus of experts that had been building for thirty years or more was now drowned out by the irresistible leverage exerted by fossil-fuel interests and conservative think-tanks, mobilized by threats to their profits and smelling blood in the water in the era of deregulation.
Another key moment was the 1995 IPCC’s formal declaration, by an assembly of world experts—for the first time officially—that climate change was not only upon us, but on an accelerated schedule; possibly with unforeseen, nonlinear effects. The debate among peer-reviewed scientists was over, they declared. While many large investors took their cue and began considering the risks of global warming to any potential investments, a fusillade of rage and groundless denial ensued, galvanized by talk-radio and the new phenomenon of internet credulity. This circling of the wagons amounted to personal attacks on the integrity of engaged scientists—including death-threats; clearly an existential nerve had been struck. The right-wing characteristically saw this world-wide scientific consensus as a tightening of the noose.
In 2003 Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) stood before Congress and declared that man-made climate change was the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” and this sentiment leads us back again to the historical psychology of the right-wing. A world-wide scientific consensus, based upon the rational interpretation of voluminous data by those qualified to interpret such matters, was to the right-wing mind nothing more than a trigger event, converted by some dim necessity into the concerted leverage of distant and inscrutably corrupt forces bent upon the liquidation of the American way of life. This is either the expression of a circular view of history or a demonstration that the most definitive traits of the right-wing mind are unconscious—the atavistic channeling of their founders from more or less a century ago. These episodic séances exhibit a radical lack of self-comprehension due to the existential need for historical denial, as suggested above. There seems to be a quasi-scientific determinism at work in the interstices of the right-wing psyche—much like the formation of a tornado.
And while it would never occur to anyone to label a tornado irrational…there is something more than mere fatuousness at work in accepting the verdicts of oil-industry scientists and conservative think-tanks as homespun truth in support of Main Street; meanwhile demonizing independent researchers as a cabal of propagandizing elites, politically motivated by the desire for profit. As textbook psychological projection, the interpretation of climate science as “liberal hoax” is a conspiratorial masterpiece of water-tight denial, and its maintenance requires a concerted investment of energy dwarfing that put into any of the white giants loosed by the John Birch Society, once allowance is made for the vastly greater credulity attached to it in the mainstream. This kind of unreason should be hooted and ridiculed into silence, from every possible venue, every possible angle.
It’s easy to see the slippery slope from the denial of man-made climate change to the outright rejection of all science, exhibited of late by an unnamed right-wing celebrity hockey mom, channeling the tribal elders from the Scopes era (transcripts of her recent speeches do read sometimes like séances). What the right-wing can’t resist rejecting is the dialectical movement toward scientific truth—it probably smacks of Marxism—for example the ironic emergence of a carbon-cycle community out of the rib of the Cold War. This process of the acquisition of understanding—its feedback with history and error—is frankly offensive to any fixed, static picture of God’s Creation; and the tacit assumption, at least behind all Natural History, of the earth’s extreme antiquity is provocative to any fundamentalist interpretation of Christianity. The historical development of climate science shows that the realization of consensus requires the input and cooperation of the global community of researchers; as Steven Shapin notes in his 3 December 2015 piece for the London Review of Books, scientists are the “natural cosmopolitans.”
All this was viscerally apprehended by the early right-wing. The original war on science took place in the sweltering trenches of Dayton, Tennessee, in 1925. They perceived the struggle against the teaching of evolution to be a desperate and final sand-bagging against the rogue wave of “modernism.” The fighting was house to house; what was at stake in this clash of civilizations was the total replacement of their village-agricultural ethos, featuring thrift, by a rising, oil-based industrial empire with the ethic of consumption as its centerpiece. It’s important to observe here not only the right-wing associative trinity of Darwinism-atheism-consumerism; but also the right-wing intuition that all technological change is a product of an alien modernism, inasmuch as it was felt to undermine the older ethos. In a 1927 article called “The Faith of the Fundamentalists,” pastor W.B. Riley, founder of the Anti-Evolution League, asked, “Of what value is our boasted accomplishment of mechanical, and electrical, and chemical discoveries if, while they are contributing to our material prosperity they are more rapidly still undermining our morals?”
A fantastic contradiction thus sits atop the right-wing elephant of denial: when Darwinism was the arch-enemy back in the twenties, the value-system they pledged to defend was ultimately eclipsed by the one they now champion in the war against climate science—yet somehow in their minds they are still sand-bagging for Main Street, that mythological aerie of absolute values and inscrutable turncoats. In reality of course we are all modernists now—and not just in our recent prostration before smart devices. The over-arching value of consumption in America has been unequivocal across all political and socio-economic boundaries for generations, and the right-wing itself has been as hard on the teat of modernism as everyone else since around 1950, when preacher A.A. Allen reported that God had turned some one-dollar bills into twenties so he could pay his bills; this suggested to Allen that maybe He had flip-flopped on consumption and now wanted everyone to be prosperous…
Such hypocrisy only lends nuance to the charges of treason that still echo down the mountain in the bespittled oaths of basement prophets. In the fifties C. Wright Mills wrote that if we were committed to the vision of our nation as a democratic society, then “we must look to the intellectual community for knowledge of the power elite and their decisions. For democracy implies that those who bear the consequences of decisions have enough knowledge… to hold the decision-makers accountable.” Today of course anything of this sort is denounced by the right-wing as the treasonous secretions of “elites.” But considering the right-wing addiction to psychological projection one might ask just who exactly is the traitor in contemporary America, because scholars and public intellectuals—heirs to C. Wright Mills—have assiduously documented the ignominious fact of right-wing complicity in the siphoning of wealth from fellow working people into the coffers of financial elites; four decades running and this machine is more finely tuned than ever thanks in large part to the increasing amplitude of right-wing credulity. This absolute disavowal of self-examination is what is most irrational about right-wing patriotism—it loves Empire, not nation. Driven by the need for self-aggrandizement, it swoons before unfettered wealth and swaggers in the lee of swollen military budgets. As de Tocqueville put it, “National pride resorts to all the petty tricks of personal vanity.” And out of this torture chamber of right-wing cogitation comes the perverse ability to masquerade as Populists while operating as shock-troops for corporate America in the final liquidation of the public square.
Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh using words instead of violence to mitigate the suffering of life in a callous world of redundancy. His primary goal is to help other people. He considers poetry to be a form of philanthropy. When he's not writing, he's volunteering at the Light Of Life homeless shelter on a weekly basis. If you appreciate the man's work, please check out his blog:www.thoughtsofapoeticmind.blogspot.com for his latest poetry and short stories.
IN THE DEFENSE OF THE HIP HOP
In the defense of hip hop: hip hop is in contempt. Those who partake in this seemingly endless display of banality, and blatant rip-off of other talented artists (through the thievery known as sampling) are usually the ones who are close minded when it comes to the exclusion of hip hop culture. The word 'eclectic' holds no relevance, for their ears are shut off to anything that doesn't emanate from a keypad engendering what they call; rap music.
It's a digital sound, easily duplicated, anyone with a few fingers can do it. How hard is it to push a button, make a loop? The word adept does not apply. Musical instruments are collecting dust as keypads are finger banged like a much needed, repressed orgasm. The finished product is a sham, and the trendy morons can't get enough of it. All praise goes to the "producers" as bona fide musicianship takes a backseat in this cliché realm of contemporary culture.
The pseudo lyricism that flows as they like to call it on a digital beat (rap is nothing but talking, anyone with a tongue can talk) is in dire need of tutelage, and a trip to the public library. The use of intellectually adept word play is suffering severely in this imbecilic genre. It leaves no room for interpretation when overusing words like hustle in a lazy way to explain a multitude of common rap phrases. No need for a dictionary app. This is actually working as a detriment to the English language.
I will on the other hand salute the ghetto imagery that manifests after listening to a few tracks that mostly cover the same themes: money, murder, bitches and weed. Words like misogyny, redundancy and monotony come to mind whenever I'm unfortunate enough to be amongst a feeble minded enthusiast listening to this repetitious genre.
The urban dress code affiliated with hip hop is not only satirical, but deplorable. The length of white tee shirts rival that of most conservative dress sizes. Jordan shoes have become synonymous with barbarity and incognizance. Pants hanging below the asshole leaves plenty of room for the flow of fresh air (maybe they suffer from flatulence) and plenty of time for appetite loss if you happen to walk behind them. Formidable tactics are implied by the tilting of baseball hats to a side angle. These alpha males are keen on macho bravado. Although most of them are inflicted with a hilarious Jewish stereotype: the perception of power tools eludes them.
Rap stage names that begin with "Lil" or "Young" are prevalent, and commonplace, whereas monikers like "Gotti" are so slowly slipping behind where they should be since the racial term "white privilege" has come into the forefront. Speaking like an asshole is one thing, but having a paradoxical name is another.
Lauryn Hill and the Wu Tang Clan are notorious for racial slurs. Their enmity towards the white race is out in the open, yet plenty of whites still buy their albums and proudly wear their tee shirts. Is this a product of self loathing or stupidity on the part of the Caucasian? Also, why is this permissible?
Woman have been denigrated and debased to nothing more than sexual objects. Yet the feminist movement remains dormant. Do we really want our daughters learning how to twerk and submit to these so called "lyricists?"
One can't help but conceive that the rap genre endorses the propagation of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. The last thing this turbulent world needs is another dead beat dad. Food for thought, instead of an excess of ranch.
Hedonism has its perks, but it also has its boundaries. Decadence can only go so far before everything deteriorates around it. Rap is self centered, self obsessed. A perfect compliment to capitalism.
What's cloaked in the shadows and undermined by needless self indulgence is benevolence. I'll be so bold as to say these folks need a lesson in Marxism. It's blatantly evident what's transpired in the name of the material incentive. Let's think about community, let's discuss the benefits of the moral incentive. Step outside yourself for a minute. It's not all about you. If your ends are detrimental to the means of society, where's the justice in that?
Hip hop enthusiasts will vehemently oppose these words, and to be honest with you, I can't blame them. They've been dumbed down immensely, indoctrinated if you will, to a mediocre, incognizant existence. Hip hop has become their religion. If you look up to morons who spew shit, chances are you'll emulate it and need a breath mint. This genre has run its course. I see no hope for reformation or originality at this point. Put down the ranch and pick up a book! It's not too late for you. Playing a real musical instrument demands devotion, but once learned, is one of the most rewarding feelings available to man. Heed my advice, assholes, try it. If we profoundly accept this cliché, decadent, talentless way of making music, there'll be nothing new and exciting in the future. Nothing to anticipate. Is that what you want? It's not that far fetched. The rap genre is already on the pathway of banality. Like I said before, once you cross certain paths, there's no turning back. Our minds deserve better. Our women deserve better. We deserve better than this nefarious buffet of filth, that's plaguing contemporary culture.