Lucifer – Great Entertainment

One of the tragedies of the pandemic shutdown (and this isn’t news to anyone) is the lack of production on television and movies.

They were halfway through a new season of one of my favorite (Lucifer) when everything stopped.

What is Lucifer you ask?

Well if you haven’t seen it Lucifer is now over on Netflix and the basic premise is what happens if the Devil gets bored down in hell and decides to “retire” from his eternal job.

He moves to Los Angeles, buys a night club (really nice one) hand helps the LAPD find criminals, because he kind of misses punishing people from time to time. Part time is fine but full time he’s kinda tired of.

Ok ok I get it, the premise is silly, and let’s face it a buddy cop show with the devil as a partner, how’s that gonna work.

Well it does.

Did I mention the bar he owns has lots of hot women/men is in virtually every episode and he delivers a series of one liners that are just hilarious?

For instance when looking at some suspects he sees a redhead.

His answer? “Oh how about that ginger chap, soulless bastards even give me the creeps.”

Ok it doesn’t work that well typed in a BLOG but on video…hilarious.

Add to that he gets upset when people scream out God (you know…women) and he’s forced to leave a good time because he and his dad (God) have a few issues.

If you haven’t seen it, and you have Netflix, watch the first two episodes, you won’t be sorry. Then drop me a line and tell me if you agree, disagree or if you think I am absolutely nuts.

World War 1 – Has much changed?

We have all sat and watched the news over the last decade and seen a reasonable amount of things change through that time. But have things changed that much fundamentally around the world?

I have been locked up (off and on) throughout the year due to COVID-19, and like many people have had to find things to do. One of the things that has occupied my time is working on a few writing projects (see the books area of this website) and reading a lot more.

One of the things I have been reading is about the history of World War 1, not just the battles but the politics of how it all started and I found a few things of interest.

First, it wasn’t just an assassination that caused it, that was the excuse but had that not happened something else would have kicked it off.

The largest contributing factor was really the way the world was governed at the time. There wasn’t really a democracy governing much of the planet besides the United States and a little bit in England (the Kind and Parliament were splitting duties a bit).

Mainly it was smaller countries not wanting to be governed by some aristocracy from some other nation. These aristocracies were made up of the same families just inheriting the governing position handed down from parent to child, and then these royal families would only marry into other royal families so at the time they were basically all cousins, half brothers, etc.

Now, we live in a world where, increasingly, if you aren’t born into a family with either a political background and therefore connections and family name recognition, or a family with tons of money and therefore less dependent upon donors you don’t stand a shot at being in leadership (and I’m not just talking about being President this goes to other offices as well).

Now, fast forward to 2021 in the USA and we are arguing about the validity of an election to fight over which person from this class of modern day aristocracy gets to be in charge.

Have we really changed or do we just call it something else now?

I’m not sure I’m smart enough to answer that question but I feel that it is one we must consider.

2021 versus 2020 and the next generation

So far 2021 is starting out just as stressful as 2020, and it has the potential to be either a disaster or to bring us out of the insanity. Too early to tell which way that’s gonna go.

One thing that happened in 2020 is the impact of everything on kids. Early in the calendar year late last school year in large numbers they were thrown out of their classrooms into distance learning with mixed results. Some kids thrived academically, some kids didn’t (this was largely down economic lines).

We had a curtailment of normal kid activities from sports to birthday parties. At a time when kids are learning the social skills we curtailed those skills, and let’s face it as a nation we have forgotten civility in many ways.

In 2021 we need to do better, and yes I mean for kids, however it goes further than that. We HAVE to be an example to the next generation, we have to be civil once again without regard to political party.

We must stop the name calling, we must stop the division, most of all in 2021 we have to learn how to have fun. Fun needs to be the name of the game, we need to relax, we need to be there for people in our lives without an agenda. Help your neighbor without thought of if it will immediately benefit you.

Let’s be adults again in 2021, and let’s enjoy ourselves, but stay safe all at the same time.

DragonLance Chronicles Volume 1

I have posted about my re-read of this series a few times. But I’m going to go through them book by book with some little mini-posts.

As you can tell I’m not using a stock photo of the book, that one is probably my second (or third) copy. The first one(s) having been loaned out and never returned. But it is an early one so it has followed me around for a long time.

I have recently been re-reading the DragonLance books, starting with the earliest of them written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Turn back the clock to 1985 when Dungeons and Dragons was a thing but not a massive thing, it was still on the growth swing.

These books were developed to basically be a DND party going through their adventures. They weren’t the lowest-level characters, but they weren’t the high-level ones they would become in later novels.

The books were, simply put amazing. I was 13 when they came out and starting to get to bookstores on my own (and still do but my wife won’t let me go alone anymore).

The first book Dragons of Autumn Twilight honestly begins with a bang. A group of friends return for a reunion and discover their peaceful meeting place had been taken over. They return to find war is about to break out and somehow, they end up meeting two barbarians who hold one of the objects that could cause the start of that war.

What I find fascinating about the book, and the author’s style is that it is compelling, I really want to turn pages as fast as I can, not sleeping until I am done. I remember when I first picked this book up in 1985 only two books in the series were available. I shot through them in a week, my dad shot through them in a weekend. It was the first book we really read together and talked about that you could tell my dad would have read without doing so for his kid.

Now, at the age of 40 something (ok late 40 something) I am re-reading them. I am instantly transported back into the land of Krynn and have a new, and different experience with them. Is it better? I certainly appreciate it more, and I also find that I strive to become a better writer myself as a result of the hard work that went into these novels.

Remember at this stage there were three books planned, so the reader knows the story is going to grow. The author has to set that hook in a way that gets you to come back for story 2 and 3, and in the case of DragonLance for many many more to come. This book achieves that goal in a huge way. It has the right level of detail without going nuts (I love George RR Martin but come on…his books can get dense).

Highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t read them to pick these books up and read them as quickly as you can. I don’t write in this genre but I can’t say that they haven’t influenced me. The way the authors intertwine the action and adventure sequences with the human story is amazing, and something many more authors should strive to do regardless of genre, for it is that human struggle that compels me to turn pages. The action matters, but the human side of the story turns a good book into a great book.

While you are here go click on the books page and check out some of my work. Have a great day! Thanks for visitin.

Land of Confusion – Song or Reality

I was a teenager when the band Genesis put out their song Land of Confusion. It still cycles through the radio from time to time and has a pretty solid cover version by the group Disturbed.

The Lyrics always stick in my head. At the time I took them to be a political statement on global leadership and how they should change or evolve. But now some 35 years later it seems to hold the same message. Has political leadership stayed the same or is that just the way the world is?

Let’s look at those lyrics and try figure it out. If you disagree with my interpretation please feel free to comment down below.

I must have dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They’re moving into the street

Here they seem to be indicating soldiers, or anyone who has seen trauma such as riots, are haunted by those images. I have been haunted by the screams they say. I myself am a veteran, I know many, and some of us are still haunted. I know at the time Vietnam vets were still coping (and some still are). Now we have war on terror challenges as well.

Now, did you read the news today?
They say the danger has gone away
But I can see the fire’s still alight
They’re burning into the night

They say look at the news, there is some new giant danger coming to kill us. Well the last year and a half has certainly had a lot of that. But honestly, the last 20 years has had nothing but news trying to scare us with real, and sometimes overblown dangers.

There’s too many men, too many people
Making too many problems
And there’s not much love to go around
Can’t you see this is the land of confusion?

Between news stories that are inaccurate because they went out without all the information to more and more violence overseas and at home, there are a lot of people, and a lot of problems, and not a ton of love. We need to try love more is what Genesis is saying, and honestly that isn’t a bad idea, even today.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in

Between pollution, disease, litter, and other issues…Yeah we are still working on this one.

Oh, Superman, where are you now?
When every thing’s gone wrong somehow?
Men of steel, these men of power
I’m losing control by the hour

We are always looking for that one person, that one leader that can fix it all. 1/3 of the country falls immediately behind this person and criticizes anyone they perceive as not fully supportive. Only problem is no leader is perfect, and we can’t be 100% behind anyone ever or you get Stalinlike governments. We should question power, we should question leaders and understand that not everything they do is perfect.

This is the time, this is the place
So we look for the future
But there’s not much love to go around
Tell me why this is the land of confusion

We are always trying to build a better tomorrow, there is always the promise of the future, but when does that future arrive?

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth living in

I remember long ago
When the sun was shining
And all the stars were bright all through the night
In the wake up this madness, as I held you tight
So long ago

Everyone seems to have that bright spot in their past they remember fondly. I know I do, and I have sought a return to that “simpler time,” don’t bother. That was then this is now.

I won’t be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
We’re not just making promises
That we know we’ll never keep

Every generation promises to fix it. So that’s not new, it felt new then, but it has happened forever.

There’s too many men, too many people
Making too many problems
And there’s not much love to go around
Can’t you see this is the land of confusion?

Now, this is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and let’s start trying
To make it a place worth fighting for

This is the world we live in
And these are the names we’re given
Stand up and let’s start showing
Just where our lives are going to

I think Genesis spoke to a generation, and I think that generation has been trying to not be the one to repeat this pattern. I also think that some of these things are just the nature of the world we live in. It is confusing, it is huge, and it is full of challenges, and Genesis found a way to make us think about those challenges.

I love the song, and both videos, the original by Genesis and the new one by Disturbed.