Friday, July 6, 2012

I recently came across this poem written by the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh that he wrote in the early 1800's. He was a great warrior and leader. His words hold a great many truths for us all.

Shawnee Chief Tecumseh

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion;respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury died at age 91 today.

 An Evening With Ray Bradbury  This is a link to a video of lecture he gave in 2001.

     I found myself deeply effected today when I heard of the passing of Ray Bradbury. Obviously I was not alone, as witnessed by the proliferation of posts on Facebook and Google plus. I started reading for pleasure in my early teen years. A Librarian in my hometown suggested that I read a book by Ray Bradbury. As it so happened I chose his book " Something Wicked this way comes". It is a story about a young boy and his best friend. More specifically about how they were effected by the appearance of a strange travelling carnival that showed up on the outskirts of town one autumn day. The way Bradbury described the feeling of being a young boy in autumn living in a small town resonated with me. To this day when autumn comes each year and a cool wind sends the fallen leaves sailing threw the air, I think of Ray Bradbury and that book is what started my love of reading. It also spurred a love of Science Fiction that has continued into my adulthood.
      To this day when I see a heavily tattooed individual it brings me back to his wonderful collection of short stories titled " The illustrated Man". When I see a movie or story about World War II, I think about his book Fahrenheit 451 which was about burning books. A story about a possible future society that is controlled by a big brother type government that controls the thinking of it's citizens by burning any book which is contrary to their doctrines. An obvious parallel to Adolf Hitler who held similar book burnings. I can't look into the night sky and see the planet Mars without remembering his work, " The Martian Chronicles".
     Whenever a great author such as this passes away it saddens me. We will never again get to read a new story from that particular mind again. Some of his books are like old friends. I like to revisit them from time to time and be transported back to that time in my life when I first read it. I believe that part of who we are is made up of what we read. The ideas that we deem important and that stay with us for life. So to ray Bradbury I bid a fond farewell, I will be reading you soon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Guy Builds A Star Trek Phaser - YouTube

God I hope this is real. Water gun fights will be so passe'

Link: (sent via Shareaholic)


New Bladerunner film

In a recent interview Ridley Scott hinted at the possibility that he will work on a new Bladerunner film in the near future.
We can only hope that it will match the genius of his first effort.


Prometheus - A new hope for film Science Fiction

    With the premiere of the movie Prometheus approaching, I am looking forward to a resurgence of quality Science fiction in films. I have great faith that Ridley Scott will live up to his earlier efforts in the genre. Alien and Bladerunner were ground breaking films that have still not been equaled in my opinion. In this day of a short attention span, twitter society, movie studios have settled for effects laden brain dead efforts to represent the Science Fiction genre. Examples of this are the Transformer films and the recent battleship
     In Alien, Ridley Scott used many classic story telling devices to create a gripping edge of your seat story. At the start of the film the viewer was inserted into a gritty dank cargo vessel that seemed like it was actually a well used spaceship and not a sound-stage. You were introduced to a disparate group of characters that all had their individual quirks and experiences. You were given time for their back-story to develop  so you became invested in these characters.  Scott then began to slowly give hints that something dangerous was happening. Little by little we were given glimpses of the Alien as it lurked in the dark crevices of the cavernous ship. When the Alien finally started to attack the crew it was done in a way that made us use our imagination. We were given short, quick cuts of a partial view of the alien then a quick cut to the horrified crew member. In my opinion this fosters much more real terror than the in your face mutilations and bloodbaths that are endemic in t film today. When we were finally treated to a full view of the Alien it was like nothing we had ever seen in films before. It was a well thought out organic creature that drooled acid and was at once  ferocious and intelligent. Given that CG effects were still in their infancy this was a tremendous accomplishment.
    In his next masterpiece, Bladerunner, Scott introduced us to a dystopian near future that seemed like a lived in world and not a shiny new set of props that were designed for aesthetic quality. There were street scenes filled with a conglomeration of misfits and multiracial characters that appeared to be living out actual lives. Our senses were assaulted by futuristic vehicles that navigated the crowded cityscape with huge floating video billboards advertising a better life on an off world colony. So immediately you knew that the people that populated this gritty urban landscape were not living an ideal or pleasant life. The view that we were given was visually stunning and depressing at the same time. Great care was taken to design a world that was a cautionary tale of our future.
     As the story developed we were treated to an intelligent, thought provoking story line.It posed the question that if we could create humanoid androids that were as intelligent as humans, would they have souls? Where would the line between man and machine be drawn? Did they have the same right to a life as we do? These were provocative themes for a science fiction film. Most of the genre at the time was filled with space opera or schlock filled monster movies.
      I am praying that Mr. Scott has returned to his roots in film and has taken as much care in crafting Prometheus. I am also hoping with all my heart that it does well at the box office. Maybe then we could look forward to Hollywood emulating quality science fiction instead of 2 hour long assaults on our senses.