Tag Archives: hero

And We Keep Going

15 Sep

Yeah, it's back.

Okay, so I just felt like updating you on everything that’s going on. Things have been moving in the right direction for me. I can imagine it’s been the same for you. If not, cheer up. It’ll be okay. Yeah, yeah, “It’s just getting worse and worse. I can’t take it anymore. To hell with the mortgage.” I know, I get it, trust me. But if you keep thinking about the Prequel Trilogy, the Originals are going to pass you by (to those who didn’t understand that, here you go).

Anyhow, this is pretty cool, or something. No, but really, I’m psyched for what’s coming. Working with Pendulum in Action is a blast and an honor, and I’m looking forward to continuing this relationship. Also, Michael Drew and Roy H. Williams are geniuses. They offer profound and practical social and cultural insight, which you should all take advantage of.

Last but not least, I’ve updated the Here Lies KNOWLEDGE page. You should take a look at it. I know you’ve read it already a million times, but just do it again, because you can.

A’ight, that’s everything. I’ve got a train to catch. Be seeing you.

 

~D.

“Man of Steel” Was Terrigood

2 Aug

It sucked. It was great.

Yeah, it’s late. I didn’t time this with the release of the movie. Why? Because I’m busy, ya hear? I’m working. I talk to you when I feel like it. Some day I’ll do it more often, but for now you’ll just have to be patient. For now, you’ll have to deal with whatever crap I throw out, whenever I throw it out.

Anyway, yeah, Superman, Man of Steel, pretty good movie. It could use some work, a lot actually. But more on that in a bit. First the good stuff. And yes, this is chock full of spoilers, so for those who don’t want any, here’s my review to you: go see it, make up your own damn mind. Sound good? Great. Let’s fly on over to Krypton for the opening scene.

Russel Crowe is a good actor.

THE BEGINNING: The opening of Man of Steel is good, if a bit brief. Krypton is dying, General Zod has launched a coup against the planet’s government, and Jor-El, father of Kal-El, is making a desperate attempt to keep his naturally born son alive. What you have to understand is, on Krypton, natural births aren’t normal. Children are bred for very specific purposes, and so they do not have the mental faculty of choice. Therefore, they are wholly determined to do whatever is necessary in order to further their “programmed” purpose. Kal-El, due to the nature of his origin, can make his own choices. This is what makes him unique. He could be a hero or a villain, a savior or a conquer, a liberator or a tyrant, or a nobody who never becomes an important part of history at all. He has a choice, and, even though we know what he’ll decide to do in the end, it’s still interesting to see how he goes about making that “life choice.”

But more about the opening. Krypton is a beautiful place, and I was surprised by how much time we spent there. Even though it’s dying, it still has this life to it that comes across great visually. The creatures and weaponry, as well as the communication devices, are all really unique in terms of design, a credit to the effects team and Snyder.

As for the actors, I thought Russel Crowe and Ayelet Zurer did a great job as Jor-El and Lara. I don’t this whole thing on Crowe being “bland and monotone.” I mean, he seemed pretty natural to me the entire time. He was just being a normal guy from Krypton, getting angry and smiling when it made sense for such things to occur. I think some critics just want everyone to have too much emotion nowadays, when, in truth, some people just don’t work that way. Some people are actually, you know, normal.

As you would imagine, being a Superman reboot, Kal-El is fired away to Earth, Jor-El dies (killed by Zod here) and the coup is put down. The coup’s participants are imprisoned while the planet burns. Now, I know a lot of people think this doesn’t make sense, but honestly, I have to disagree for a number of reasons. To me, watching your entire planet swallow itself whole is a fate worse than death. To be forced to live in darkness forever while the place you were bred to protect rots away is a terrible thing. So, for me anyway, that wasn’t a problem.

Now, Earth.

The boy who lived.

THE LIFE OF CLARK KENT: Okay, so we cut right to a mature, bearded “Clark Kent,” working on a fishing boat. He sees a burning oil rig in the distance and swims there, busts in and saves a bunch of people. And here’s where my first problem comes in: they all see him doing supernatural things. The reason this is a problem for me is the fact that, later in the movie (earlier in Clark’s life), we see him hold back on using his powers because his father wanted to keep them a secret, because he thought the world wasn’t ready. He was obeying his father’s wishes, being a good son. Now, that’s all fine and dandy, but then why THE HELL is he using them RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN to save a bunch of STRANGERS? IT MAKES NO SENSE, and it completely negates to reasoning behind his previous sacrifice. Why didn’t he just say, “Screw it,” and do the same thing for his father when he had the chance? And why is he having a debate later on in the movie about showing the world his powers? He seemed pretty okay with it not long ago!

So yeah, the rig scene kind of pisses me off. My guess is either Jon Peters stepped in and said, “We need more explosions and superpowers in the beginning,” or story writer Christopher Nolan went all Dark Knight Rises on us and forgot that doing things just because they feel “more dramatic” isn’t always the smartest thing to do. That’s one thing that concerns me about Nolan. I’ve praised him in the past, but I’m starting to get a George Lucas vibe from him, like his ego may be getting to him. We’ll look at his future films and see what happens.

Now, even though I just freaked out about how crappy this section is, the next bit is pretty good. We essentially get a back and forth between present Clark and young Clark, watching him grow older, and watching what his growth has led him to. One of my favorite scenes in the movie has got to be when Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) is showing his son what he really is. When he shows the boy the ship, and they have their back and forth about how big everything is and how small everything is and all that boring philosophy and whatnot, it’s really touching. And I know this line’s in the trailer, but I still love it every time I hear Kent say, “You are my son.” Chills, every time.

Next, we get a bit of a weird coincidence. The homeless hitchhiker, Clark Kent, SOMEHOW manages to get a job with the exact team that is looking for frozen Cold War subs in the exact same place the Fortress of Solitude is (I know it’s a little different in this, but I’m still calling it that), that ALSO happens to have Lois Lane working them. Okay, I’m well aware that in real life strange coincidences like this happen, but that’s a LOT of things that we’re just expected to be all like, “Eh, okay,” about. Thank God Richard Schiff is here to save the day. He’s playing a scientist because, you know, he’s fucking Richard Schiff.

Clark discovers the Fortress, and has to save Lois from some robots. He does so, and the Fortress flies away so Ghost Jor-El can get through some exposition. It’s actually pretty cool, learning Krypton’s history and all, and also learning how our villains will come into play. After that Clark basically becomes Superman. Which leads us to our next section…

KNEEEEEEEL!

METROPOLIS: So, Superman come home, and it’s all good, but then Zod’s all like, “Let me tap into every T.V. screen in the world and show you how awesome I am.” And, honestly, this scene gave me chills. The way they left this eerie static hanging for a while before the message actually began was chilling. And the way it began with that simple phrase repeated over and over, “You are not alone,” was haunting. So yeah, Zod’s entrance was pretty cool.

Now, here’s where another problem comes in. In order to gain advance about what to do here Clark decides, instead of talking to Ghost Jor-El, who knows everything about what Zod is capable of and how to beat him, he’s going to go see some random priest we neither know nor care about for advice. This leads to a gigantic battle wherein nearly all of Metropolis, the main city in the Superman series, is destroy and tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of people, are killed. The entire last half of the movie could have been prevented had Clark gone to Ghost Jor-El. Instead we get more of this Jon Peters nonsense with a forced, awkward romantic scene between Lois and Superman as Zod arrives, and both of them turning themselves in.

So, Lois, through the use of this little metallic key (if you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about), talks to Ghost Jor-El. And, WOULDN’TCHA KNOW IT, he knows how to beat Zod. So, while Superman escapes (with Lois) and fights Zod, she and the military get a phantom bomb ready to lock all the bad guys away.

The action here LOOKS badass. The effects team did an excellent job making the destruction and death appear realistic on screen. However, it became too much for me after a while, and I started going, “Okay, I got it, buildings collapse when you fly through them. Can we move on?”

Anyway, Zod gets his turn Earth into Krypton machine set up and the phantom bomb is almost ready. Now, to those who think Zod’s an idiot for wanting to turn Earth into Krypton instead of trying to rule it with his newly acquired superpowers (he gets them from being on Earth), you obviously need to take a better look at Zod psychologically. Remember how everyone on Krypton was practically brainwashed into a certain behavioral pattern? Well, Zod was bred to protect and defend Krypton at all costs. After watching it burn, he failed to do so. However, in turning Earth into Krypton, he would be fulfilling that purpose, the very one which was basically drilled into his brain at birth. It’s an insane thought process to us due to our ability to choose. Zod has not choice, and that’s what makes him, to me, such a compelling character. I actually sympathized more for him than I did Superman in this movie. All he wanted to do was save his home, and he  couldn’t do ANYTHING else with his life.

So yeah, I like Zod. And I like his machine. And I like how it’s set up at opposite ends of the world, splitting our leads apart. Yeah, Lois going on the mission with them makes no sense, but that’s Jon Peters again (if not Nolan). “We need tension with Lois! GIVE HER A MILITARY UNIFORM AND LET HER RIDE THE AEROPLANE!” Superman beats the bolts out of this tentacle monster thing (weird) and destroy the first half of the doomsday device, leaving the last bit in Metropolis.

In the city, Richard Schiff saves the day with the phantom bomb and Lois is falling. Kal-El catches her and leaves her on the ground so he can have a final showdown with Zod.

I would like to interject, before I go on, that this chick

Her...

is pretty cool. Okay, moving on.

The showdown with Zod is cool, but the point where he explains his motives, to me, is unnecessary. That’s all stuff I got just from the fact that he was doing what he was doing. It damaged the subtlety of the conflict a little. What made up for it? When Superman killed him.

Yeah, he kills Zod.

I know this is a topic of hot debate, but I’m personally on the side of, “He was forced to do it, but those people could have easily gotten out of the way.” He would’ve eventually had to kill him though, because Zod wasn’t locked away in the phantom bomb’s blast. He wouldn’t have stopped. Something had to be done.

So yeah, I’m for the death of Zod. Bring on the hate mail.

Right, or easy, your choice.

OVERALL: I realize that I’ve been switching between past and present tense throughout this. It’s late. I’m tired. Forgive such minor flaws in the face of my final verdict: Man of Steal was “terrigood.” I liked it. I’d see it again with friends (not alone). There were many problems, big problems even, but that doesn’t stop me from realizing what good there is throughout the film. When that final moment comes in and Jonathan Kent sees his boy donning that red cape, I get chills. So much care was put into that little moment, that little bit. It gives me hope that the next one won’t be so bad.

It’s not perfect, but it’s art, for sure. It may not be a classic, but it’s still a Superman movie worth watching. Go see it. Make your own damn mind up.

By the way, how in the hell is Batman going to even lay a finger on this guy? What, is he going to team up with Lex Luther and use Krypto…

…no way. That’s not a bad…

Him and Him?

~D.

No

6 Jul

[Insert esoteric metaphor here.]

Let’s not get into it. I don’t want to talk about it. No, stop. Really, guys, I don’t want to talk about it. It’s just something I need to handle myself, okay?

Hey, I asked you what you were doing first, so tell me. No, come on, tell me. What if I tell you what I’m doing afterwards. Still? All right, then I guess we’re keeping secrets from each other now, okay, makes sense, it happens.

Oh, COME ON! You’ve got to tell me what you’ve been UP TO! Writing? Baseball? Bowling? Why don’t we go bowling some time? Scared I’ll beat you? I’ll admit that I’m pretty good with duckpin, but I’ll need to practice more if I’m going to take you out at standard bowling.

No, I’m NOT telling you. Go eat breakfast. Maybe we’ll talk later tonight.

What, you think I’m being selfish? TO HELL WITH YOU! You’re damn right I’m being selfish, and I like it THAT WAY! You’d rather I gave you more? Well, tell me what you’ve been up to.

Okay, so you’re working out. That’s nice. That can’t be all though. How’s that friend of yours? They okay? Staying safe? No? Hospital? Ah, bummer. But I ain’t pitying you, no sir. I’m keeping my mouth shut until you tell me what’s really going on.

AHA! Finally, some @nswers! So, you’ve gotten tired of reading my stuff, eh? Oh, hush, you know you love it all. You’ve just forgotten how much you loved it because it’s the norm now, it’s not quite as “fresh” and “hip” and “tubular” as it once was. You need it to be “rockin'” and “sweet” and “clutch” and all those fancy things you use to call something “radical” nowadays.

Well, I’m not changing. If you don’t like it anymore, leave now and never come back.

 

 

 

 

What? You’re still here? What, this? Oh, it’s just a story I’m working on. Hey, listen, about what I said, I was just, you know, being, you know, dumb.

That thing you wanted to know, it was just me thinking about stopping, about not posting anymore. I was just thinking about is all, not saying I’d do that. I’m not stopping, you know that. I can’t stop. Well, I can, but I won’t.

I just sometimes feel like nobody’s there, you know? And I know you’re there, I check the statistics every day, and they look fine. I still get messages from you guys. But it still feels like you’re just here because you’re obliged to, because you’ve been here so long you feel like leaving would be rude or something. I’m okay with rude, I’m fine with rude.

You can leave any time you want. I’m not leaving. Someone will come by and replace you. It always happens. Everyone gets replaced. Except me. I’m not getting replaced. If God ever asks me whether I want to be replaced, you know what I’m going to tell him?

Actually, let’s not get into it. I don’t want to talk about it. No, stop. Really, guys, I don’t want to talk about it. It’s just something I need to handle myself, okay?

 

~D.

STEEEEERIKE!

My Top 12 Favorite “Game of Thrones” Moments

20 Jun

Forever, my father.

We all love it. We all hate it. We all want more. We all wish it would just end. We all got our friends to watch it, then reconsidered our decision to do so after the Red Wedding. We love it because it’s intelligent, because it’s real, but mostly because, unlike most stories told these days, it’s a game.

There are many players in the Game of Thrones. Once they enter the Game they have two options, as disclosed by Cersei Lannister early on: win or die. Opting out has been tried, but proven unsuccessful thus far. My advice? Don’t join unless you plan on being the victor.

Game of Thrones has been an exciting, powerful series thus far, filled with highs and lows, twists and turns, incredible battles and unforgettable characters. Today I’m going to talk to you about my favorite moments in the show hitherto. Note that I’m writing this prior to the release of Season 4. I may update it, I may not. For all we know the fourth chapter in the series could suck thanks to rising egos in the cast and crew (I’m not saying it will happen, I’m saying it could).

In case you’re in the middle of watching the show and are worried about spoilers, I’ve labeled each moment with their respective season and episode. That being said, let’s dive right in with…

Don't worry, you'll be possessing fucking wolves soon.

12. The Fall of Bran (Season One, Episode One)

If one could pinpoint the exact moment when Game of Thrones announced itself as “the show where anything can happen,” it would have to be Bran’s fall at the end of the first episode. I remember seeing him break his promise to Catelyn and thinking, “Good boy,” not at all aware of the potential negative ramifications of him doing so. Suddenly, as he drew closer to the tower I thought, “Wait, the music changed. Something important’s about to happen.” And then there they were: Jamie and Cersei  Lannister getting busy. I wasn’t all that shocked that there was incest going on, nor that it was incest between those two. However, I was shocked when Jamie grabbed Bran by the collar and uttered, “The things I do for love,” before tossing him the ground far below.

In most stories, especially in the case of TV shows, children are left undamaged. It’s sort of an unspoken rule regarding television, cinema, etc. Game of Thrones doesn’t play by conventional rules, it has its own.

"What is dead may never die."

11. The Dreadfort Assembly (Season Three, Episode Ten)

Let’s face it, as pissed as we all were at Theon for betraying Robb, cutting off his “favorite toy” was a bit much. I was among his many sympathizers during his time with Ramsay Snow, and even now I hope he’ll be okay in the end. My hope was strengthened after the most recent episode in the series, wherein his prized possession was sent to Balon Greyjoy, his father, as a threat.

Balon was asked to give up the lands he’d invaded recently in exchange for his son’s safety. He refused, calling the boy a disobedient “fool” who should’ve followed orders. Theon’s sister, Yara (called Asha in the books), doesn’t give a damn whether Theon made a mistake or not.

“I’m going to pick the fastest ship in our fleet,” she began. “I’m going to choose the fifty best killers on the Iron Islands. I’m going to sail up the Narrow Sea all the way to the Weeping Water. I’m going to march on the Dreadfort. I’m going to find my little brother…

…and I’m going to bring him home.”

"That was all I wanted."

10. A Golden Crown (Season One, Episode Six)

To me, this is the moment where Daenerys became a badass. Throughout the entire first season, up until this point at least, Viserys had been a real dick to his sister, and I mean a REAL dick. He’d beaten her, threatened to have the entire Dothraki Horde and their horses have sex with her, by force if necessary, and done all sorts of things that just left me thinking, “When does he die?” Seeing sweet justice exacted was more than appreciated, especially in such a gruesome form.

But the pouring of gold wasn’t what made this moment terrific. It was Daenerys saying, “He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.” And then I understood how important she actually was, for she was the dragon Viserys claimed to be.

I miss him.

9. The King in the North (Season One, Episode Ten)

After a very significant event occurred (further on down the list), the Northerners were left without a Warden. And so, because of this, a new nation was formed, with a new king chosen by its people: Robb Stark. Robb is probably one of the top five best characters in the entire series, and his “badassery” skyrocketed after his new title was granted.

"Valar morghulis."

8. Everything with Jaqen H’ghar (Seasons One and Two)

I know this is kind of cheating, but, pardon my French, I really just don’t give a fuck. Jaqen H’ghar is a baller the like of which has not been equaled in the series thus far (I’m sorry, I think he’s cooler than Daenerys). His stealth and precision are unrivaled and his ability to change faces the way he does is literally perfect. I hope Arya trains under him next season. And by the way, nobody send me anything about it, but I think Jaqen and Syrio Forel are the same person, for various reasons which I’ll talk about another time.

Valar morghulis.

Spiders and Ladders

7. Everything with Varys and Baelish (Seasons One, Two and Three)

Okay, okay, this is the last time I’m cheating. But honestly, it’s so hard to choose the best of these back-and-forths between the two. The Spider and Little Finger always have the best discussions regarding the condition of Westeros. If I had to choose one that stood out, I might pick the “Chaos is a Ladder” speech that Baelish gives Varys. In every other discussion, they are equal to one another. In that one in particular, Baelish actually outwits Varys, a character I personally believed to be invulnerable.

All in all, these two always steal whatever scene they’re in, unless Tyrion’s in it. Speaking of which…

What is dead may never die.

6. Ned (Season One, Episode Nine)

I don’t think I have to say much. To some, he was a fool. To others, he was the last honorable man in Westeros. To me, he was both. He didn’t play the Game properly, but he was a good man nonetheless, a strong man, a courageous man. Too trusting though. He didn’t walk softly enough. He didn’t control his pieces the way Daenerys and Tywin did. He played it the way a soldier would, and, unfortunately, soldiers don’t win the Game.

Long live Ned Stark, the true King in the North.

"Halfman!"

5. Halfman (Season Two, Episode Nine)

Although he isn’t my favorite character (and I know he’s everyone else’s), Tyrion has had some of the most epic moments in the series, the Battle of Blackwater being full of them. One of his best scenes involves a speech wherein he tells his soldiers very simply and bluntly, “Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let’s go kill them.” Soon after, chants of his alias, “Halfman,” resound through King’s Landing, immortalizing Tyrion as a legend of Westeros.

500,000

4. Jamie’s Redemption (Season Three, Episode Five)

Okay, now I know most people still hate Jamie, but there are those out there who, like me, have forgiven him for his acts of evil in the past. After hearing what he did for the people of King’s Landing, how he saved five hundred thousand people from being burned alive, I was absolutely blown away, realizing that everything Jamie ever does, no matter how ruthless it may seem, is done because he truly believes it’s for the best.

It’s not just the story itself that makes this moment so incredible. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau should win an Emmy just for this scene on its own. He tells Jamie’s tale so beautifully and brings it to life in such a powerful way that I, a former die-hard Jamie HATER, was able to sympathize for the man I believed to be one of the main villains of the piece. Congratulations, sir.

Sorry Bran, but I have to give credit where credit is due. The Kingslayer is now a hero in my book.

Fucking dragons.

3. Birth of the Dragons (Season One, Episode Ten)

After Ned’s death I was certain there was nothing bigger they could throw at me this season. And then I remembered those eggs, and how our girl here can’t be burned, and although it didn’t surprise me all that much, the birth of the dragons was one of the most impressive bits in the series. It’s the first real appearance of magic in Game of Thrones, and it gave me hope that things would get better from here on out, that the bad guys were toast and that, soon enough, all would be well in George R.R. Martin’s world.

And then, of course, Robb Stark had to go and break his oath…

Fuck the Freys

2. The Red Wedding (You Know the One)

Okay, if you seriously don’t know what this is, stop reading, because you’re about to read what I think may be the biggest plot twist in a television series, EVER. On the night of a beautiful wedding merging the Tully and Frey houses, Lord Walder Frey executes what might be the most sickening, dastardly, gruesome, villainous betrayal ever put on a screen. I know that sounds like an overstatement, but if you’ve seen it, and you watched every episode prior and grew attached to—nay, to love the characters involved, then you probably agree. The Red Wedding is messed up beyond belief, with the loss of Robb, his wife, their unborn child, and Catelyn all in less than ten minutes.

But, as horrible as it was, you have to admit…

I BET she's going to die.

1. The Unsullied Liberation and Mhysa (Season Three, Episodes Four and Ten)

Yeah, remember what I said before? Well, I never said “I promise,” so I’m not worried about my choice here. I simply couldn’t decide between these two because, in a sea of depressing moments, these two are some of the more inspiring scenes in Game of Thrones.

The first is the liberation of the Unsullied, which me and my brother TOTALLY CALLED the week before (I take credit for calling it first). Daenerys makes what appears to be a stupid trade in order to acquire an army for the taking of Westeros. What ends up happening is a badass coup wherein all of Astapor’s slave master’s are killed and the army of Unsullied soldiers is liberated. When given the option to live as they choose, they all decide to serve the Stormborn Queen, and a great bit of symbolism occurs when she drops the whip that once controlled them and they march over it, their chains shattered.

The second is the ending of the recent season finale, which I honestly think is a beautiful thing. Hope is what I wanted out of the last episode, and hope is what I got. Even though I personally think Daenerys is going to die this coming season, she still makes me think that, even now, this story might have a happy ending.

One of the other great things about the Mhysa scene is how perfectly it symbolizes everything about the show. We have a hero who, because of the potential dangers of the world, is forced to surround herself with shields and pikes. Even when the friendly slaves arrive, there’s this tension about whether they can be trusted, whether anyone can be trusted. The look on Jorah’s face is what I’m talking about. He knows that even the kindest of fellows might stab someone like Daenerys right in the back. But Daenerys isn’t willing to let that sort of thought process go on. She knows that in order the end the clash between fear and love, she must take a leap of faith. And so, when she walks into the crowd, knowing fully well she might be beaten to death right then and there, she is testing whether all men are evil, whether all men must die. And, in the end, she proves that all men aren’t evil, and that there is still good to be found in the world.

That’s why I love Game of Thrones. That’s why you love Game of Thrones. That’s why we love Game of Thrones. Because it isn’t just about betrayal and blood and horror and death and hopelessness. It’s also about righteousness, truth, heroism, love, and freedom. And it will have a happy ending, one way or another.

"Build it and they will come."

And to those still mourning the Starks, just remember…

…what is dead may never die.

~D.

Pickles and Jam

3 May

Sometimes, we just have to sit for a bit, y'know?

Okay, guys. I know I joke around a lot on here, and I know you like that (yeah, I actually read the messages and emails and all that jazz), but I’m listening to Stairway to Heaven right now and, to be honest, it’s making me look back at everything I’ve accomplished. I’m smiling, the reason being that I’ve actually created quite the impact on a few people throughout the past few years that I’ve been doing this. It makes me proud to know I’ve helped a few people, even inspired some. You know, I might go so far as to say that you guys are—naw, I’ll save that one. That one’s important.

But, I do enjoy you all, and I know y’all enjoy me and my work and shtuff. So, the first thing I’m going to do is paste the fully edited version of the first chapter of Ledge on here for you. Now, you may think I’m being lazy, but the point isn’t the chapter, it’s the second thing I’m doing, which comes after the chapter.

So, here it goes. This is for you guys, really:

———————————————————————————————————————————–

CHAPTER ONE: CLINGING

There’s darkness, and then the curtains are drawn back. Time starts. His thumb moves. Click. That’s the sound of the gun’s hammer getting pulled back.

“Still won’t talk, Mr. Adams?”

That’s Greg. He isn’t holding the gun. Mac’s holding the gun. Mac’s seven feet tall, or something.

“Hit him again, Mac.”

Whack! That’s me getting punched in the face by a left hook. The gun’s in his right hand, not aimed at anything in particular yet.

“Come on, Adams. We don’t got all day. Just tell us where your friend is and we’ll let you go.”

My friend is Michael. I won’t tell Greg anything. I think my jaw’s broken anyway. It hurts like hell.

“Adams…”

We’re in a hotel room. It’s got a nice view overlooking Lake Oslana. That wasn’t the lake’s first name, but the owner of the hotel line decided it’d be a nice one to buy. I wonder what it was called originally.

“You know how easy this is. And it’s not like we’re gonna backstab you or anything. Just let us at him!”

I wish Greg would get it over with and have my ass capped already. My favorite suit’s already ruined, and there’s no way I’m exposing Michael—no way. I really hope he doesn’t come in and try to save me or anything.

AGH! GOOD GOD!

“That’s strike one. Next we put a bullet in your other thigh. Might be hard to walk around. Start talking.”

Jesus Christ, it hurts so much! Keep it together, Eddie! Be cool! You’ll make it out of this. Just need a plan.

Greg’s looking over at the other two men in the room, Mac not being one of them. He says something to them, but I can’t hear it very well. It HURTS!

“…and if we’re not quick enough, the Doctor might wonder what’s taking so long!”

The Doctor: a psychotic crime lord, currently working with the government (strange irony there). Whack! Another punch. The Doctor REALLY wants Michael dead, huh?

“We may have to waterboard it out of this guy,” says one of the other men. I don’t know his name, just some random goon with a gun. I hope Greg doesn’t agree.

“Get the rags,” he says. Now I’m done for. I won’t be able to hold out through that stuff. I hope Michael left the country. It’s not safe here in State 9 anymore, not with all that’s been happening lately.

A lot of time passes once the third man exits to get the rags. I give Greg an indifferent look. He shoots a glare. I give Mac the same look and he just snorts and walks off, dropping the gun on a sofa chair. He talks quietly with the last man in the room (just another goon).

“Why do you care so much?” Greg asks me. I become introspective and really analyze this before I answer, and then I shrug seeing as nothing I say will prove satisfactory. If I told him how Michael saved me, how he was different from the other you-know-whats, he wouldn’t understand. He’d just say I was a nutcase who needed his head examined.

After the course of two or three minutes (it felt like a lot more to me), the rags arrive with the third man. He tosses them to Mac, who catches them with ease.

“Did you bring the bottles too?” Greg asks.

“They’re just outside sir,” the man responds. “I’ll go get ‘em.”

The chair I’m strapped to is made of wood. It is laid across the floor, me now facing the ceiling. This is going to suck.

“You could always talk now,” Greg offers. I remain silent, like a good friend should, and the rags are placed over my face. I toss my head to the left, throwing the rags off. When a hard punch hits me in the—Lord, that hurts!—face I stopped turning. The rags go over me again. I think my nose is bleeding.

One of the water bottles is opening, I can hear it. Here it comes. Mac’s tilting it right now. Get out now, Michael. Get out before they find y—CRASH!

“What the—?!”

The sound of men being tossed about the room echoes through my ears. Bullets fly from Mac’s gun, but it explodes in his hand, causing him to shout in pain. The other two goons fire but are launched into the ceiling, their necks snapping. I can hear Greg being pinned against the wall. Mac is groaning and weeping on the floor as the rags are lifted off my face.

Michael.

“Get out of here!” I tell him. He unties the ropes that bind me and helps me into a sofa chair. There’s Greg, being held against the wall by Michael’s power.

“I couldn’t just leave you,” he tells me, before looking to Greg with an expressionless face. One of the guns of the dead goons soars toward his hand. He aims it at the leader of the group, now begging for mercy.

“To harm an ally of mine is to hang oneself,” the angel says. Then a red mark appears between the eyes of Greg and blood trickles down from it until it reaches his lips. The body falls to the floor, lifeless. Michael looks back at me.

“Are you all right, Edward?”

“Yeah,” I lie, “I’m dandy. You showed up just in time. Although I still think you need to get the hell out of Dodge.”

He puts his hand on my shoulder and says, “We are getting out, not I.”

“I have to see Sally first.”

Sally’s my girlfriend. She’s—she’s beautiful. It’s a long story. I haven’t quite decided whether I’ll marry her yet. We’ve been with each other quite a while now.

“No time,” Michael tells me, causing me further worry. “Those were easy hunters. If they send Lucifer—.”

“I can’t just leave her. They’ll kill her!”

I’m standing now, but my leg hurts too much. I’m trembling as I fall back into the chair. Michael holds a hand to where the bullet is and slowly—YAGH—levitates it out of me. I’m not bleeding too badly. Okay, maybe I AM bleeding too badly. But he’s already ripping a bed sheet apart and wrapping a piece of it around the wound.

“That should stop the bleeding. Raphael will be able to heal you later.”

“Michael, I can’t leave her.”

His face, though without expression, holds weight behind it like you couldn’t imagine. His eyes waver and glow. And then, he understands.

“I will get you to safety first. The others are downstairs with a car. I’ll let them get you out of here, then I’ll get the girl.”

I’m thinking of disagreeing, thinking of telling him I have to be there when it happens. But that’d be foolish right now. I need healing, and Raphael’s always been the quickest at that.

“All right, fine. Let’s go.”

He nods. We depart. Mac looked dead last I checked.

This world has changed since the war. I can only hope that doing what I’m doing will help save it from its own self-destruction. Although, to be honest, when I look outside at the covert dystopia that has come, I can’t help but lose hope entirely.

We’re hanging on a ledge right now. I really hope Man’s fingers don’t get any more tired than they already are.

———————————————————————————————————————————–

Before I go, I want to tell you a true story about the power of art. There was once this girl sitting in a car on a city bridge. It was night, and not very many cars were passing by at the time. She was crying, weeping actually, because right then, right there, in that moment, she intended, completely and utterly, to drive over the edge of the bridge into the water below. Sweat trickled down her neck and shivers traveled up her spine. Now, this sort of thing happens all the time, and so, naturally, she could’ve just pressed down on the gas and gotten it over with. In most cases, this would’ve been so.

So then there was this nightclub. A DJ (I won’t say who, but suffice to say he’s a pretty big deal in the clubbing world—and a family friend) was playing some killer tracks, and everyone was going wild. The room was electric, truly. You could feel the life pulsating through it, like a heartbeat. Then, after the DJ’s work was done and he was turning in for the night, someone tried to reach him backstage. At first, security tried to shove the person away, but the DJ approved their passage, for they did not seem to be some crazy, drunk fan out seeking autographs or something “intimate.” His guess was right, for it was then that the person told him of the miracle that had been bestowed upon them.

They had just recently gone through some of the toughest trials life had ever thrown their way. In fact, these trials were so punishing and cruel, that the person had been driven to the point where death seemed like the only option. And then, literally seconds before the gas pedal was pressed down and a body was made soulless, a song came on the radio, a song called It’s Gonna Be Okay. It was one of the DJ’s best songs.

Art saved her life that night.

To all my fans who are artists: any time you think maybe your life would be more useful somewhere else, doing what society has told you is “productive,” remember that you’re doing something that actually saves lives. If that ain’t productive—ah, screw that, it’s productive, know it like you know your name. We need more of you out there, because even if you’re never thanked for it, know that you’re doing something badass just by being an artist.

So yeah, that’s why I put random pictures at the top of all my articles. Now, finish the night with this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwAYpLVyeFU

Love,

D.

Laugh.

Short Story: Trenton

22 Aug

Hey everybody! I just thought I’d throw something at you guys real quick. But first, an introduction to this particular piece of writing. I had to do a course in school about a year ago (I was fourteen) wherein I had to make a product and sell it to random people throughout the school. Most people made cookies or some other type of food; I wrote a short story in about four days. I sold quite a few copies and got reviews that ranged from 3/5 to 4/5. So you can call this article a slap in the face to them since you get to read it for free. I hope you enjoy it and if you think I should write the sequel, let me know in a comment. Ladies and gentlemen, here it is (click the link):

Trenton: Part One.

P.S.- If you find any errors, let me know in your review.

My Recent Meeting With Gus Bilirakis

16 Jan

Hey guys! It’s me, Liak (or if you saw the “Oldie But A Goodie” thing you probably know me as Dylan now). I just thought it’d be pretty cool if I told you all about my meeting with congressman Gus Bilirakis just yesterday. It was really cool and he answered a lot of interesting questions.

For one thing, he’s totally against the new Healthcare Bill, saying that if it passes it will be the beginning of a sort of “Socialistic Era” where the government is in complete control of everything. Even though it’s just one part of the country, it is the first step (is successful).

He also told us (being me and my class) about Guantanamo Bay, or “Gitmo” for short, to those of you who don’t know. He told us that when he went there it wasn’t at all what it was depicted as in movies and on the covers of magazines (a lot of those pictures on magazines were actually taken at Afghanistan apparently, and not at Gitmo). It isn’t a dungeon, but really a top notch facility where the prisoners receive proper treatment from their, for lack of a better term, captors. He said one of their favorite DVDs to watch is Seinfeld, and that if ever do they feel depressed they can go talk to somebody about there troubles (sort of like a psychiatrist without the drugs they use to kill their customers and the fake disorders that have no proof of existence. Just the listening to the problems part). He also mentioned that the method of interrogation known as water boarding has only been used twice in American history, though my memory fails me as to whether he said it was used in or out of Gitmo. The method they use there is really just asking questions and getting answers, and that the prisoners who leave and say they were tortured are liars.

He’s also against Cap & Trade for the very same reason as the Healthcare Bill. He said it would hurt small businesses a lot, and he also mentioned that there’s no real proof that humans are what’s really causing this climate change.

He gave us these lucky pennies too with the Bilirakis seal around them. He’s a Greek descendant so it was kind of a part of his tradition. They were cool coins, except whenever I want it to land on heads it lands on tails, and vice versa.

Anyhow, I’m hoping I’ll be able to do an internship in his office this summer. It would help with my writing carrier a lot to know what goes on in the world of politics first hand.

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