Greek Mythology 201: What the Movies Miss

Aegean Punk

If you’re anything like me, you’ve likely noticed this by now. Flashy visuals, postmodern takes on how god (or in this case the gods) don’t care/may as well be dead, trying to be hyper historical without a sense of what makes the story what it is, extreme fashion choices or drab all-white ensembles that look like they came directly out of Party City, and twenty new takes on Zeus that all seem to ignore one of the most fundamental (and disturbing and thus understandingly ignorable) pieces of his character.

The Greek Myth movie.

Between every strange, well-meaning, or outright deviating interpretation, Hollywood has hit the books again and again with entirely mixed results. I hesitate to say that there have been any interpretations of film myth that have really hit the mark, but there are things heading in the right direction, and things I wish we’d avoided entirely.

So…

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Star Wars Shattered Empire: Issue 1

Stuff Jeff Reads

StarWarsShatteredEmpire_01

This new series is dubbed “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” My friend Nikki at the comic store told me it ties in to the upcoming film and recommended I read it. How could I refuse?

The story picks up at the conclusion of the Battle of Endor (that would be the “Return of the Jedi” film, for those who are wondering). The Galactic Empire is defeated, but it is discovered that there is a hidden base on Endor’s moon. The rebels attack, intending to finish off the Empire for good. But they discover something…

My feeling is that this is great if you are really into Star Wars; if not, you can probably skip it. The writing is mediocre. Lots of snippets of conversation where you do not actually know who is speaking. I give the writers credit for trying to do something creative, but it just…

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Too far apart

Cristian Mihai

many“There are too many of us and we are all too far apart.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

I’m writing these words knowing that people from all over the world are going to read them. People of all ages, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, of different religious beliefs. Most of them, I’ll never get a chance to meet. Most of them, I don’t know how they look like, what’s the thing they want most in this world, or what is it that they’re afraid of… most of them are perfect strangers to me.

Yet, simply by writing these words with these strangers in my mind, having the certainty that my words will reach them, they become a little bit more than strangers. They become human beings, just like myself, and that is one of life’s greatest achievements.

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Pen Names—Necessary Evil or Ticket to Crazyville?

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of gaelx Image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of gaelx

Today we are going to talk about a somewhat touchy subject. The pen name. Before anyone gets in a fluff, understand two things. First, I’m on your side. Secondly, this is only a decision you can make. My goal here is to make sure you guys are making educated business decisions. Thus, I won’t stop anyone from having a pen name, but about 95% of the time? It’s unnecessary.

In my opinion? Pen names are more hassle than they are worth and they’re a fast way to land in Crazyville. Pen names used to offer benefits, but most of those benefits have evaporated because the world is digital and connected. In fact, pen names can actually hurt book sales and stall a platform and brand.

Let’s look at some of the advantages pen names used to offer that no longer exist.

I…

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Why literature is no longer art:

Further Annotations

Why literature is no longer art, a rant against what it has become:*

Now, I make no claim to know the complete span of the Hachette vs. Amazon kerfuffle, but I would like to point out that James Patterson (who is pro-Hachette) has started a laughable petition/open letter against Amazon over how they hurt authors. This is coming from a man who does not even write his own books, but uses ghostwriters. James Patterson proves that “the author” is no longer an artist. He is a brand.

Ghostwriters, too, have played their part in the destruction of literature as art. They write memoirs for celebrities and politicians who could barely type otherwise, lying to the public that “No, no, this person really IS smart enough to write his/her own book.”  This is the equivalent of a self-portrait painted by someone OTHER THAN YOURSELF. Should it be called a self-portrait…

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Irony in the Irony

Further Annotations

Adrian Jones Pearson?

‘To begin with, Pearson admitted to using a pseudonym, and his rationale—explained in an “interview” published by Cow Eye Press—echoed Pynchon’s stance on literary fame and public figuredom. “I’ve always had a severe distaste for all the mindless biographical drivel that serves to prop up this or that writer,” said Pearson. “So much effort goes into credentialing the creator that we lose sight of the creation itself, with the consequence being that we tend to read authors instead of their works. In fact, we’d probably prefer to read a crap book by a well-known writer than a great book by a writer who may happen to be obscure.”’

Read the rest.

[The ironic thing is, if he didn’t want his True Author Name to distract from the creation, his Fake Author Name is distracting from it. But perhaps that is the point, as I haven’t read the novel yet…

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