Thursday, August 28, 2014

My thoughts on the Pretty Little Liars finale

Warning, there will be Spoilers.

So, I'm very surprised they killed Mona off.  But in the Books she was Dead awhile ago.

I'm more convinced then ever of the Twin theory, there is no dispute that was Sasha's hair.

Here is what gets me, as a Nerd and somewho studies the art of writing.

The Cop announcing "even though no Body was found" had me assuming of course she's not actually dead, that's Rule Number 1.  They'll find away to explain all the Blood.  Never even mind the fact that they couldn't be sure Mona was dead until they made sure all that Blood was Mona's, and there is no way they could've done that already.

But they then just showed her in the Trunk a few minutes latter.

They deliberately messed with us.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Scapular of Mercy, a revelation from The Blackcoats: The Invisible Weapon

In The Black Coats: The Invisible Weapon Chapter XIX, Lecoq claims to have once held the Scapular of Mercy and to have looked inside.

   “It’s a word: a single word, repeated in a very large number of languages, the greater number of which are unknown to me.  When my eyes fell upon the Hebrew letters that began the series, I thought that they signified the name of God-but the Arabic letters that followed did not say Allah; I remember how the characters were disposed. The Latin, which I already understood, said nihil; then came the German nicht, the English nothing, the Italian niente, the Spanish nada and to spare you the other languages-the French rien.”

    “And that’s the secret of theHabits Noirs!” cried Monsieur de Saint-Louis.

    “Nothing is the antithesis of God,” murmured Samuel.
I immediately was interested in the fact that the Hebrew came first, perhaps Feval (or the founders of the Brothers of Mercy) agreed with my view that Hebrew was the original Pre-Babel language. Not an uncommon view in Judeo-Christian circles.

I was of course curious if this at first mistaken reading of Lecoq’s is believable in Hebrew etymology, (where indeed different words spelled the same or similarly are common due to it’s lack of vowels) or if Feval was making this up out of thin air.

Fortunately I have a Strongs Concordance so I checked, and ‘al (Strong #: 408) which means Nothing, shares the same spelling as ‘el (Noun Masculine, Strong #: 410) the basic Hebrew word for God, but is pronounced differently (For the former the Aleph is pronounced as our "a" while for the latter it’s pronounced as an "e"). To copy/paste my Strongs computer Program entry on the word.
'al (al);  , Strong #: 408

not, no, nor, neither, nothing (as wish or preference)
do not, let not (with a verb)
let there not be (with a verb understood)
not, no (with substantive)
nothing (as substantive)
KJV Word Usage and Count
never  2
nay  1
neither  1
no  1
none  1
nor  1
not  1
nothing  1
rather than  1
whither  1
nothing worth  1
It's not the only word for Nothing, nor the obvious standard one, and so was probably the favored one here by the creator of the Scapular because of the similarity to El.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Review of The Vampire Countess by Paul Feval

 My Review of The Vampire Countess by Paul Feval translated by Brian Stableford for BlackCoatPress

Written in the 1850s, it's surprisingly modern in that it blends being a Vampire tale and other genres. It's set in 1804, as Napoleon is about to make himself Emperor. It has a Film Noir vibe to it with the titular Vampire (Often described as an Enchantress) serving as The Femme Fatale.

From here on the review may contain spoilers, but I'll try not to spoil to much.

The Vamp in question is involved in (And at times seemingly the leader of) a secret society plotting to Assassinate Napoleon. But she also latter secretly helps the police trying to thwart them. Her true agenda seems to be simply to obtain wealth for her master Count Szandor.

Some dialogue scenes drag to a great deal, but when we see the Vampiress in action it's one of the most powerful Seduction scenes I've seen written, rivaling even Carmilla (My favorite Vampire Tale).

I recommend this, for all avid fans both of Vampires and of Crime/Pulp Fiction.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Revenge of The Joker fan trailer

This is a Fan Trailer I wrote but that SolyentBrak1 edited
I wrote this years ago, long before The Dark Knight Rises came out.

The Premise is The Joker breaking out fo Arkham a decade after the events of The Dark Knight.

The source materiel is The Dark Knight and it's Soundtrack, a deleted scene form Batman Forever and a scene from Halloween 4.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I think Dracula has an overlooked relationship to the Yellow Peril trope

Dracula is not usually mentioned when discussing the Yellow Peril fear in fiction.  But I shall explain why I think maybe he should be.  (Note, The above linked Wiki sites could add Dracula in the future, but as of my writing this Post they don't mention Dracula).

Fu Manchu was not the very first such characters in fiction.  What he's usually considered to be is the first who's a really good Charismatic Super-Villain, but even that's disputed.

Fu Manchu himself was originally a much more sympathetic character then he's given credit for.  He has a Code of Honor, and was originally an extreme Revolutionary fighting to liberate the East from the British Empire.  Which makes me inclined to view him as being a lot like an oriental version of Paul Feval's Henri Belcamp or Fergus O'Breane., or Jules Verne's Captain Nemo.  And there was a genuine mutual respect between him and the British detective opposing his schemes.

The Yellow Peril Trope also has a strong connection to Gothic Horror.  H.P Lovecraft and some of his known influences like Robert W. Chambers. 

Above is a Police Sketch style drawing of how Dracula is actually described in Bram Stoker's Novel.  You may notice he looks kind of Asiatic.  The kinds of actors that pop into my head as someone who could look close to that are the ones that used to float around for The Mandarin before Iron Man 3 was cast.

In the Novel he is described as a Sezkely, and takes great pride in his believed descent from Attila The Hun.  Attila like Ghengis Kahn is among the historical figures that Yellow Peril style Super-Villains tend to look up to or identify with. The way western Super-Villains often tend to admire Napoleon Bonaparte or Alexander The Great.

The Novel also has a West vs East theme to it.  About an Ancient Evil from the old uncivilized Eastern Europe coming to infect Modern London.

And the Book does predate all or most major fictional works with a Yellow Peril theme.  And is only two years after the term is believed to have been coined in Germany.

It is no secret that Dracula is a very well known, popular and influential novel.  So why would it's connection to the Yellow Peril trope be overlooked?

To being with, Stage and Film productions have always cast White Actors to play him (with no offensive make up job like they get when they play Fu Manchu or a Fu Manchu knock off).  Bela Lugosi actually was more ethnic then most, but still did not have the features seen in the sketch.  And Dracula's appearances in Comics and Animation have followed suit.  So most people think of someone like Christopher Lee when they visualize Count Dracula.

Another reason is the overemphasis on his thin connection to Vlad Tepes, which was originally only a small thing Stoker threw in and by no means central to how he viewed the character.  None the less it has taken over how people choose to expand on his history.  Here is a good discussion of that issue.

Vlad Tepes himself had some Asiatic ancestry too probably.  So why would that contribute to Dracula originally being a Yellow villain being obscured?

First off would be more of the above reason, Cinematic depictions of Vlad always use white actors.  Hollywood typically just sees Europe and thinks white (especially when pre-1500), being uninformed that Eastern Europe was and is more ethnically complicated.

Another reason however is characterization.

While the Dracula of Stoker's Novel chooses the Asiatic aspect of his Ancestry to take Pride in, (Attila as discussed already).  Vlad Dracula was the opposite, he hated the Asiatic Turks, and thus hated the thought of sharing any kinship with them.

So, that's my rambling for today.  I hope I've given fellow Nerds something to think about.

Paul Feval, a very over looked but historically important author

I want to increase familiarity with him, here are some links about his works, including ones selling modern English Translations. eval/

John Devil is arguably the first Supervillian, as a Detective author he is important in bridging the gap from Poe to Sherlock Holmes, and his Vampire stories are very interesting considering they predate Dracula and even Carmilla.

The Black Coats saga was his most seminal work, the in fact the first fictional depiction of The Mafia.

The Conflict in my reaction to The Dark Knight Rises

As a Stand Alone film it is Great, it exceeded my expectations.  As a Batman’s final adventure type story I feel it can compete with The Dark Knight Returns very well.  In fact it's better in my personal opinion.

But as a sequel to Begins and The Dark Knight I actually feel cheated.

What I had wanted was for Nolan’s entire trilogy to still be only the Beginning of The Batman’s legend.  To allow the next director to loosely follow his continuity but still do their own new thing, with the Escalation leading to less of a need for the heightened realism.

I wanted Crane’s experiments and the Arkham breakout/loosing of the Narrows to set the stage for potentially multiple villain origins.

I liked that Ra’s and Dent’s “Deaths” where left ambiguous, so they could still return for a future saga with only a loose connection.

The Joker’s final scene with Batman was clearly to me foreshadowing future Batman-Joker Battles, as well as the escalation of more eccentric villains being made.

I assumed the ending of The Dark Knight would lead to Batman still doing what he did but on the run from the Cops officially until the time came for that to end.

And I was hoping Gordon’s Daughter’s involvement in that final drama would lead to her becoming Batgirl.

Even if all those things never had happened in Nolan’s actual Trilogy, they could have at least been still in the cards for the future, at least in the Fan’s imaginations.

I don’t like that now after Rises clearly none of that happened or will happen, no matter how much Fan Films like The Joker Blogs want to make it still fit.

I don’t like Batman only being active for 1 year and then a few weeks out of another year nearly a decade latter.  I don’t like Robin being demoted to a mere Meta-Gag.  I don’t like Catwoman being someone who doesn’t feature into the Batman’s adventures until they're almost over.  And I really don’t like Batman having only dueled The Joker for a grand total of 5 days.

If I ever write my own Batman Fan Fiction, it’ll be set in a world where Begins and TDK are at least in a basic sense that Batman universes' origin story.  But Rises will not be canon at all, and I’ll find something to do very early on to make Rises incompatible.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gotham TV Show

As a life long Batfan I really want to be excited for a new Batman series.  But I'm really worried about this one.

If they wanted to make a Batman show without Batman why not just Nightwing, or the Time Drake Robin, or another chance for Birds of Prey, or a live action Batman Beyond?

If they want to do a Gotham themed police Drama they could have just based it on Gotham Central, have batman exist already but be merely a shadow in The Background.

If they wanted to do a glorified Prequel why not just Year One characters?  Instead of all these main supporting characters being around when Bruce is only 12.  Seriously besides Poison Ivy he's younger then everyone he helps or fights in The Future.

We have a Penguin who's skinny, a Poison Ivy with a random name change.  And Gordon is a Rookie next to every Cop he's supposed to outrank someday.

It's all just so random, they felt they couldn't sell a "Batman" show without putting numerous of the most iconic recognizable names in the Promo.  Even though Arrow has been a hit using lower profile characters.

I'll watch it when it starts, but my hopes aren't currently all that high.  And I'm someone who's usually pretty easy to please.

Introduciton Post

On this Blog I shall ramble about my various Nerdy interests.  And sometimes how those overlap with my unusual Religious and Political views.