Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Your Guide To Easy Reading



-WELCOME, GENTLE READER-

And Lo! An index was born.

!NEW! posts are marked accordingly in there respective categories. History. Science. Fiction. Horror. Comedy. Pop Culture. Commentary. Interviews. DIY's. And more. Lots to see so have fun.

I also have a YouTube channel. CLICK HERE.
Be seeing you, Sam

And so should you!


FICTION 
The Death of Joe Average  



CREATIVE TYPES! HELP ME FIND A HOME FOR THESE IDEAS!
-Read this first-   
A most delightful...dump. 



Potatoes are what we eat. Potatoes are what we ride


HISTORICAL

A 500-Hundred-Year-Old Rhythmic Rump is Music to the Ears
Chipping Away at the History of the potato Chip
The US Government's UFO interest just got weirder  
Voyager 1 fires thrusters silent since Jimmy Carter was President 
For Those Lost, Those Hurt, And Those Who Fight 
Romancing the (Rosetta) Stone
Total Eclipse (of the heart) 2017
Will the real Rosie the Riveter please stand up? 
The World is But a Stage(coach) for Mary
Words Have Meaning
Of What Weight is a Piece of Infinity?  
Planet X, you say? 
Home(stead) for the Holidays
Local necropolis, er, cemetery. 
Local necropolis, er, cemetery. PART 2 
When Superman fought the KKK  
iVon Daniken 
How Fast The Great Pyramid



BEWARE MY BRAIN

ROM the Spaceknight is an Archetype?  !NEW!
Star Trek Meant I Had A Future  !NEW!
Throwing Shorts Away with Throwing Axes
A Definition of the Martial Arts
Two Collections and One Novel Now Available on Kindle 
Speak Loudly, Do The Ghosts We Carry  
This Thanksgiving I am Thankful for YOU 
Goodbye, Stan. EXCELSIOR!  
The Stranglers meet the Mystery Men  
ALL FIXED! THANKS, POLITICS! 
Dear Dear.  A trail cam vid and 150th post!
A Rocket, A Tesla, and Some Horse Poop Walk Into a Bar   
How Creativity Works   
'He said, She said' aka 'Coyote Argument, Mostly Chemical'   video   
Something to Chew On About Zombies and the Living  
Hello Kitty and the Vermont Comic Con 
Wise Words, Parallel Worlds 
Happy Fourth of July (with a few well deserved shout-outs) 
Of Life and Gratitude (not my usual kind of post)
I Am the Terror That Croaks in The Night
Predatory Remains of the Calcium Kind
My Everyday On This Planet 
Welcome to Night Vale, the All Hail tour 2017
What If Storms Fell Up?
Happy New Year 2017, Humanity!
We Want Your Business
STOP READING THIS BLOG 
Baby It's Cold Outside
Did You Hear That?



INTERVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS THAT NEVER HAPPENED

Digging for an Oak Island interview 
Robert Clotworthy: You Know His Voice 
The 12,500 yr old Interview. Kind of…  
So this guy walks up to me at a con…  
This Interview Would Have Been Bullshit  
Here’s to hope! 
Strongarm Interview 3: Dr. Steel 
Strongarm Interview #2 Smeff 
Strongarm Interview: John "Widgett" Robinson



STUFF YOU MAY FIND INTERESTING

Doctor Strange 2 to be MCU's first horror film. Sweet. 
Funko's Alien 40th Anniversary Breakfast Cereal
Star Trek TOS Set Tour: Set Phasers to IMPRESSIVE!
SCP-4082 "Real Heavy" (A SCP submission)
Farewell Steve Ditko, Harlan Ellison, and Cinamon Hadley
Cinemassacre interviews Joe Bob Briggs. A post for my fellow B-movie fans.
Skyrim on Alexa: The joke that FUS RO DAH'd into reality 
How I Built My Floating Deck on Uneven Ground (video) 
The Nightmare Before Christmas on Broadway?
Proof of Time Travel. YOU CAN RELAX NOW! 
Touch My Anchor and I'll F*#% You Up! 
Slowing It Down
Where is your center?
My Captain America Shield is done!
The Circle of Internet Life
Cooking With Vsauce
Geek Moms and Geek Dads  
Hail! Our new Alien rulers!  
WALL-E you look at that! 
TAKE MY MONEY. LEGO® Scooby-Doo Sets and...YOURS?!



IT INVOLVES ME FOR SOME ODD REASON

My First Renn Fest! Huzzah!
From Bellicose to Vericose
Putting the Mental back into Mental Illness
Dear Sump Pump 
Sam's Presidential Campaign Updates
If I am elected your President  
Sam for President? 
You Can't Go Home Again
Kill It With Fire!
I'd buy that for a dollar!    
A Retinue of Reviews 
Beauty and the Beastmaster 
Six months of insurance sales hell 
Visiting Hours. A true ghost(?) story.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

ROM the Spaceknight is an Archetype?


Been thinking a lot lately. It’s kind of a curse, but I knew what I was getting myself into when the salesman showed me my pre-birth possibilities. I simply could not pass on HUMAN. Sure, it was WAY out of my budget, but how can you pass up on an optical system designed to detect ripe fruit, the movement of snakes, and the position of stars. How can you say no to a multi-layered nervous system engineered to sustain a bleeding edge blend of reptilian, mammalian, primate, and post-primate processing? Damn thing nearly drives itself! Sure, sometimes it drives into an early grave, or a series of spectacularly, fantastically bad choices when left on autopilot too long, but that’s the thrill of the ride. Repair and maintenance costs aside, the full package really got my engine revving. Then Bob showed me the mysteries, complexities, and (ahem) hypnotizing curves of the model I would be compatible with. Good golly Miss Molly, I couldn’t sign the papers fast enough! Practically threw my check book at the old boy. Great salesman, that Bob. Swell guy. Top notch. What am I saying, of course you know! You picked human, too. How’s your model working out? 

Back to thinking. 

Below is an image.  




Before you ask, it is ROM the Spaceknight. A toy hero turned comic hero created by Richard C. Levy, Bryan L. McCo, and Scott Dankman, per Wikipedia, and sold to Parker Brothers. ROM is interesting. Here’s a commercial.




Built to fight an enemy that can trick the senses, replace trusted friends, and rain destruction without warning. It’s as if the message is, we must be on guard for threats around us that don’t resemble threats. And to do so requires a means, let’s call it a combination of experience and wisdom, to see past the surface. How else do you build an Analyzer without the knowledge of knowing what to look for?


But I digress. Back to the picture. What do you see? Literally. Now, what do you see figuratively? Metaphorically? Archetypically? Psychologically? I’m not suggesting the artist tried to craft a multilayered image. Maybe they were, but nothing online confirms that. Odds are they were simply meeting a deadline, had an idea about the next slice of the plot, and needed to get this done before moving onto the next project. All the while, hoping the check shows up soon. However, we get our ideas from somewhere, don’t we? Yes, we do. Humans are built, and you may want to sit down for this, for the wilds. We’re built for surviving in an environment without power or grocery stores. We’re built to be part of a group, a family, a clan, a tribe, a city, a state, a nation. We are built to exist with and around people more than things. Things are a means to a human end. I know what some are thinking: “Sam. I like to be alone.” Maybe you do. Maybe you have your valid reasons and it suits you. Or maybe you’re just hiding. I don’t know. I bet you do. But you aren’t really alone, are you? Do you make the power flowing into your outlets? The food on the grocery store shelves? The clothes on your back? The movies and shows playing on your favorite streaming service? Nope. You rely on FAITH that the other humans of the larger group you belong to are predictable enough, similar to you enough, to keep the lights on, the plants tended to, the looms moving, and the cameras recording. That’s a lot of trust invested. No wonder our minds are tuned to recognize emotion so quickly. We need to know what the other humans are doing to predict what will happen next. 


Buttressed by this abbreviated example of how you and I are interconnected, regardless of our desired level of proximity, let’s glide over to the next point and the picture. We’re connected because we’re human. We have minds molded by forces far, far older than the modern world. Forces we shared up to the not so distant past, given the youth of our species. The need for safety, food, sex, and shelter from deadly predators hunting in the dark. The need of holding value in the eyes of others and companionship, which in turn meant a greater likelihood of securing the first four I mentioned. Enter ROM. A group locked into a loop of ‘need satisfaction’ can last a very long time in a static system, but it will quickly crumble and die when faced with a threat or change to that system. Imagine a machine that gathers materials from a set point to use to make more machines. Those new machines, in turn, also gather materials from the same set point to continue the cycle. Now move the set point. Without growing or adapting, without knowing HOW to grow and adapt, the machines stop working and collapse. That’s the inevitable doom of no one leaving the loop. To be clear, most large changes to the loop (like moving a set point) is as much of a threat as a smart, hungry dragon settling into a cave outside your village. Nature isn’t good or evil, but it’s a cold killer nevertheless. So, what is the name humans give these individuals who travel far from home, learn, suffer, fail, try again, and ultimately return transformed into something new to enlighten their people and defeat the threat? Say it with me: HERO. Ideally, that HERO will then mentor others, perhaps even other new heroes, to refresh the upward, post-animal cycle.

Behold an infant teetering on unsteady legs after yet another bumpy fall, lifting itself from the ground and into a new world of exploration and greater independence. Later, an adolescent grapples with the mental and physical wonders of a raging biological fire burning away its childhood form to open, for the second time in perhaps as little as a decade, another new realm to navigate. This ought to sound familiar. It is your past, in case you forgot. Rom’s life followed the same path on his utopian (perpetual childhood?) home world until an outside force threatened to destroy it. He then volunteers to leave behind his life of comfort for a new, unfamiliar one of struggle and responsibility. It costs him all the physical comforts he ever knew. His mind and nervous system, the only means of knowing existence, are placed into an armed exoskeleton hardened for combat. He must learn this new way of living or perish. The trade-off? Clad in Bio-Armor, he can now sore through the scorching heat of atmospheric friction to lift himself form the gravity well of his planet to sail amongst the stars. He can see through the deceptions of the Dire Wraiths and rally powerful tools to one day restore peace. 

Brevity compels me to bring this to a conclusion, gentle reader. The length of a work is no guarantee of impact or importance. I’ve said nothing you don’t already know. That’s not self-deprecating humor or taking the easy way out. I’m talking concretely about matters (See what I did there? The linguists do.) and symbols created by YOUR human mind because Claw and Tooth and Hunger and Disease walked with us for millennia. They still do, lest we forget. Science wouldn’t exist if so many things weren’t hell bent on killing us hairless, pink things for so long. Consider that for a moment. Really consider that. Then consider this. Why is Female considered a creative and/or destructive aspect around the globe? Why is Male considered an orderly and/or tyrannical aspect? Why did Rom need to leave utopia in order to become strong and wise? Shiva wants to know. Odin the All Father wants to know. Glooscap wants to know. Akna wants to know. Lots of old deities and heroes have been poking around lately asking very uncomfortable questions. A few even asked for your cell number. I didn’t give it out, not to worry. It seemed like they were only trying to figure themselves out, but I didn’t take any chances. Maybe they just want to know what to do next. Maybe they only want to know what is best for them. And you.  Damned if I know, but you might, though. YOU might have the answers for gods and humans.

Blaze it across the sky, if you do. We’d appreciate it. Then brace yourself for pushback. Some humans don’t like being told what to do. Some don’t stay in the loop.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Star Trek Meant I Had A Future


People have argued for decades about the differences between Star Wars and Star Trek, and which is best. 

I have the answer. Star Trek. Case closed.

For me, at least.

Star Wars staked its second-place territory in the first few seconds of its birth.


Star Wars was the past. It was a history lesson. Might as well have been a documentary. Did I love it? Absolutely! A proper telling of the Hero’s Journey can shed illumination on many levels. Plus, it was just plain fun. However, it was left to me to apply those lessons, and there was not much of a point of trying since I would be dead soon. You see, it was the 1970's,

Star Wars debuted at toy stores everywhere on May 25, 1977. I was seven. Star Trek, however, debuted on September 8th, 1966. My parents hadn’t even remotely had THE SEX event that caused my existence. Star Trek, opposed to Star Wars, took place in the year 2265. It was a HUMAN future grown from my own Earth. Star Wars took place somewhere else and was long gone. Star Trek was a future where we FIXED things. Yes, it took hitting rock bottom in another cycle of war, but we stood back up swinging. We were alive and thriving by our works, our efforts, and our embracing of what it meant to be human. We were explorers. Innovators. Enablers of advancement and the exchange of ideas. We finally decided to not kill ourselves. That’s important. Paramount, in fact. I watched Star Trek when it was in syndication in the mid and late 70’s. The Cold War was a laugh a minute party even us kids knew about thanks to the atomic bomb drills. We got to kneel under our little desks and pretend they would save us from what happened to the Japanese children living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yeah. Don’t teach kids about World War II and not expect at least some of them to connect data points. Especially when you tell them the bomb (Hiroshima) dropped at a little after eight in the morning on a Monday. A few of us looked at the clock and did the math. We also knew the joyous wonder of waiting in long lines at gas stations while our mothers and fathers swore and muttered under their breaths about a Misery Index and the fuel shortage. The President had to wear sweaters in the White House to keep warm. We were taught a new, unstoppable Ice Age was coming to swallow the world, if mass starvation and a Population Bomb didn’t do it first. The Club of Rome sold millions of its report on why the planet would soon be a husk. (Does any of this sound familiar in current year? Just curious.) Penny on Good Times wasn’t safe. You had a Death Wish if you walked in Central Park any time of day. Even Saturday morning children television programs weren’t immune. The live-action Ark II took place hundreds of years in the future on our (wait for it) devastated planet, foreshadowing the post-apocalyptic movies of the 80’s we consumed as teens. At least it had a jet pack. That was pretty sweet. Killer bees were coming from the south to sting all my friends to death. Disaster films competed with Nature Turned Killer films at the box office. Logan ran and ran until he bumped into a bunch of damn, dirty apes. And don’t get me started on 70’s music. I lost count of all the clowns sent into cat’s cradles aboard the Edmund Fitzgerald after the new kid in town showed up. Do you see the landscape I’m raking? Some of us early Gen X’ers didn’t have much to grasp in the hopes of a future. Except, perhaps, that one weirdly appealing sci-fi program with that guy from In Search Of. That one example of a future, not perfect, but there and striving. That five-year mission with a crew from my future. 

Image from Alpha Memory, (c) Paramount
Star Trek was an optimistic vision in the midst of times filled largely with the opposite. This is not an Earth-shaking new statement. Many have made this observation before, and its been the subject of many interviews and documentaries. Search “star trek documentary” in IMDB and you’ll find twelve different titles alone. Beyond The Final Frontier (2007), Trekkies (1997), The Captains (2011), and For The Love of Spock (2016) are a good start. So is How William Shatner Changed The World (2005). It’s well-known, for example, that Star Trek inspired Martin Cooper to create the first cell phone. Remember that the next time you're watching a cat video on Facebook or Twitter while sitting in your car, or while watching Netflix at work. You can thank Star Trek for that.  
 
Time to wrap this up. Like I said, there’s tons of material about the impact of Star Trek on society at large, right down to individuals all over the world. Like me. I simply want to say I am grateful for all the actors, writers, production staff and everyone past and present involved in crafting Roddenberry’s little space western. I am grateful for all the fans who have stayed passionate despite the ups and downs. I am grateful for people like James Cawley who turned a labor of love into a Trek shrine in Ticonderoga, NY you can visit and stroll through.

Check it out here:  https://strongarmlabs.blogspot.com/2018/09/star-trek-tos-set-tour-set-phasers-to.html .

From the efforts of all these individuals, from all YOU wonderful people, I learned the future is not lost. Thank you.

Be well, gentle reader. Live long and prosper.