Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I got used to the new title pretty quickly

The Last Jedi should be fine.

To an extent I think how I finally feel about The Force Awakens will depend on how I feel about it's sequels.  Not unlike how BvS has effected my feelings on MOS.

I have feeling people are going be combing over this movie's Crawl to see what key phrase in it will turn out to be the title of Episode IX.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

This is the first Star Wars title I dislike

Every Prequel title felt perfect to me from the announcement.  The Force Awakens I pretty much always understood.  And Rogue One was Rogue One.

But now Episode VIII will be

The Last Jedi

Number 1: Jedi has already been in a title, just two epsisodes ago they returned and now they're on the last one?

Number 2: The middle film title should be very verby, The Something Somethings, or The Somethinging of the Something.

Number 3: The middle film should also reference the villains in some way.

The people at GreedoSHotFirst seem to have a patter, no matter what they'll be snarky haters of the spin offs but blindly loyal to the Post-Lucas Episodes.  All while being not Prequels haters but still annoyingly dismissive.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Another post on Noir.

Last year I mentioned my revisiting of Noir, and then on Tumblr I went through it in Japanese with Subs for the first time.  I did all of it but either I forgot to post about the rest on Tumblr or forgot to Tag them.

One thing I forgot to talk about was how Noir anticipated not only my interest in Anime, but also my French Pulp Fiction fascination as well.  It was years after I already loved Noir that I first stumbled upon Paul Feval, and started reading articles on CoolFrenchComics.com

And the Les Habits Noirs lore with the emphasis on Corsica made me think of Noir, but so did the Secret Society themes in other works like those of Sue and Dumas.  And since CFC was talking this stuff in the context of WoldNewtonUniverse style crossover speculation. I quickly developed a Headcanon that the Bouquets were descended from the Bozzo-Corona clan somehow.

Something else I want to comment on is how Noir is an interesting Anime to watch as a Christian, and I'm one who's views have changed over the years, but certain core points have not.  I've become is a Universalist, the unchanging core is that God's Love is Unconditional.

Many times my fellow Evangelicals like Chuck Missler like to observe how The World often seems to understand the Problem, the Bad News, but is just lacking the Solution, the Good News, The Gospel.  He likes to quote Socrates though I've yet to find this quote verified.
"It may be that the Deity can forgive sins, but I do not see how."
The thing about Noir, and it may spoil it somewhat to say this.  Is that the original Soldats and Altena seem to to be well aware of the Problem, but are seeking a Solution that is totally twisted.  This aspect of Noir is I think a major part of why it appeals to me personally, though that was probably not the creators' intent.  But that is the nature of Art.

If you're curious what my view of The Gospel is you can watch the video below.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I'm attempting to revive my Shadowmen Lounge Message Board


I made some new posts there recently, largely copy/pasting stuff form my blogs.  But it's easier to manage and follow a conversation on a Message Board.  And I like my Blog Posts to be conservation starters.

So for Blog Posts of mine that would be off topic there.  Feel free to share one of my posts on a Message Board you frequent where it would be relevant, and then let me know about it.

I'm planning to read The Hollow Needle and 813 very soon.  That should hopefully give me much to talk about.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I've listened to more Audio Dramas

I've highly recommended this overlooked medium of story telling on this blog already.  Talking about how scientifically it can help stimulate the Brain and make you smarter.

The prior two posts were all about DC Comics based products.  And while I have also listened to some more of those (a Batman Death of the Family adaptation, and a Long Halloween one) I figured I should show here how I've checked out some beyond that.

I of course years ago listened to the Orson Wells War of The Worlds broadcast.  It was entertaining, I don't have much to comment on about it.

I listened to much of the Radio Drama adaptation of Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, up to the Mule.  I stopped there only because the story doesn't interest me as much once the Second Foundation stuff starts.  It's a good adaptation and I highly recommend it.

I also listened to and really enjoyed The Domino Lady All's Fair in War, fans of old Pulp Style stories should enjoy that.

I also listened to a Radio Play version of Carmilla, and it was great, the best adaptation of Carmilla thus far.

For the remainder of this post I want to talk about Rob Skiba's Seed The Series.  I just listened to the three Radio Drama episodes he has produced for it, which are supposed to equate to about half the eventual Live Action Pilot.

Rob Skiba is a controversial figure, who teaches many things I disagree with.  But still I like Rob Skiba and I would like his project to succeed.  But I have a tendency to be disappointed by Christian Fiction, so I worry.

I try to keep my criticism independent of my Interpretations of The Bible being different, after all I enjoy endless fiction from people who don't revere The Bible at all. The entire lore Rob has constructed for this is built on assumptions I have come to reject, chiefly the vilification of Nimrod, but also the Hybrid theory itself.  But still since I actually enjoy stories that are Gnostic Allegories (like Utena and to an extent SAO), all of that is stuff I can accept.

So Spoilers ahead.

The main character is bland, and I'm generally not into such military centric fiction, it's an incredibly cliche approach for a work of Western Fiction.  And having so little from any Female Characters thus far does not endear me either.

This is nitpicky, but I can't help but notice that Rob seems to have forgotten when the U.S. entered Iraq.  This is dated to late 2002, the invasion was in spring 2003.  Maybe most people don't remember the build up to that war as vividly as I do, but for me that's a slight immersion breaker.  Of course my right to criticize such Anachronisms is fortified since I wrote The Piano Maidens.

I myself as an aspiring writer have a tendency to do things like have my characters make Ghostbusters references, one of my favorite Animes is Lucky Star, that's what I like.  But the references made here were awfully generic and predictable.

Still, issues aside there is plenty of potential.  When he eventually records more I'll listen to em.  And I think these little Radio Plays could be very entertaining to someone who's tastes are different then mine.

Given the stated premise I'd heard from him about this before, about it being called Seed because he wants to start with small seeds and grow from there.  I do feel like he's started a little too big.  Meeting an actual Fallen Angel in the first episode is a pretty fully grown Tree I think.  And if he thinks viewers outside The Church (he said he wants it to have broad appeal.) aren't gonna get the Biblical References right away, he's grossly underestimating them.  Of course what he means by the references to Orion is fairly Esoteric, in fact I only know what he means cause I've listened to his non fiction ramblings.

I'm not saying it's a good idea to do a full bait and switch, make it seem not Christian at all only to suddenly go BAM here is a barrage of Bible Quotes.

I would use characters leading relatively normal lives.  In fact I'd do a High School drama, Western audiences look down on those often but I don't care.  I love, Buffy, Smallville, Spiderman, One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars and endless High School set Anime.

I'd have one main character who's a Christian interpreting what's going on to fit her Biblical World View, but hold off on showing anything to solidly verify her view is correct.  Make her have to actually have Faith.

And before encountering actual Old Ones, I'd build the supernatural aspects up more slowly.  I'd have Mages who practice Hermetic Magick.  Why favor Hermetic Magick?  Partly because I love Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero and like how it looks there.  And also partly because of how much I have enjoyed listening to the claims of William Schnoebelen about things like Transyuggothian Magick.  And I'd have at least one of them claiming to be an immortal Alchemist in the tradition of Saint-Germain, Cagliostro and Althotas.

Basically, I'd start the show with the paranormal aspects being mild, and let it build up over time, a growing sense of escalation.

And of course my main characters would all be Lesbians.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

John Devil Expanded Universe

I want to talk here a bit about my personal plans for expanding on the John Devil universe in future writings.  

Spoilers for what happened in John Devil will abound.

First to clarify I agree with Brian Stableford’s interpretation of what happened, Henri Belcamp and Tom Brown are the same person.  His timeline in the back of his translation is also very helpful.  I can’t overstate how much I recommend everyone buy it and read it.

Next I want to state that while my fictional universe in very much inspired conceptually by the Wold Newton Universe concept (particularly the French WNU) it's not ultimately compatible with the WNU proper.

One reason is because I write my fiction assuming my interpretation of Biblical Chronology to be true, as a Six Day Young Earth Creationist, so that leaves no room for things like Conan The Barbarian or the proper Cthulhu Mythos.

Another is because I don't like the explaining talented people by saying their ancestors were affected by a meteorite to begin with.  Though the idea of meteorites playing important roles in history is interesting to me.  As well as in genealogies.

In both of those cases nothing I write for TOTS will contradict the WNU proper.   Avoiding the events of 1795 should be easy enough, the closest historical period I might want to address is the Conspiracy of the Equals in 1796-97.  And since any stories written for that won't be set sooner than the English Revolution or at the least the Mayflower, anything said about Biblical history or the age of the Universe is free to be taken as merely that character's opinion.  And I will write characters who don’t share my personal opinions.

But one remaining major deviation from the proper WNU that won't exactly be avoidable is that I want to throw out the traditional WNU genealogy for Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes in exchange for making them descendants of Gregory Temple.  
I have decided against my initial instinct of having it be through Richard Thompson II, and instead will speculate that naturally Richard Thompson and Suzanne Temple had other children.  Mainly I want to give them a daughter who will become a detective herself but won't work for the police because of Victorian Sexism.  She'll do battle with Sir Williams and his mistress named Moriarty during 1840-43.  And she'll be Bisexual and eventually marry a Country Squire named Siger Holmes and give birth to Sherlock in 1854.  She may also have some sexual tension with Moriarty.

Moriarty is depicted directly very little in Doyle's canon, allowing a lot of room for interpretation of his character.  In the first Rathbone film he's essentially the prototype of Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor, on BBC's Sherlock he has a Joker quality to him, and in the RDJ films he's essentially a Victorian Post-Crisis Luthor.  But it's not as common to depict him as a villain with an arguably good motivation, or as a character who at least started that way and lost sight of it as the power corrupted him.

But since his name as well as his right hand man Moran's is Irish, and he works with an Irish revolutionary group in The Valley of Fear.  I feel, it makes sense to see him as someone carrying on the mission of Fergus O'Breanne from Les Mysteries de Londres.  (Note, in The Vampire of New Orleans I had originally mentioned the IRA but the editors choose to replace that with a more generic reference to Irish Freedom fighters, which I fully understand.  If I'd known then what I do now I'd have used the name of the group in TVoF).

So my genealogy for Moriarty begins with Sarah O'Brien (who I usually default to calling Sarah O'Neil because that's who we meet her as).  After the end of John Devil she married Frederick Bohem and births an heir for him, but he dies after not very long.  She then returns to The Gentlemen of The Night now being reorganized by The Colonel.  She has an affair with Fergus O'Breanne (who she'd met before) long before he establishes himself as the Marquis of Rio-Santo, and they have a daughter born legally under their Moriarty alias.  That daughter later has three sons, a Colonel, a Professor and a Station Manager, in my canon only the Colonel is forenamed James.  It is only the Professor who is fathered by Sir Williams.

I'm not fond of the Moriarty is Nemo theory, Robur and Moriarty I could maybe see as the same if it'd chronologically fit, but not Nemo.  Nemo I view as a son Henri Belcamp had with a princess in India while he was preparing that part of his plan.

Henri tells an elaborate story about how he met Percy Balcomb in Australia which we know is made up since Percy was really an Alias of Henri.  But maybe some aspects of that story were based on how he met Fergus O'Breanne since we know he too was in Australia for a while and visited Napoleon about the same time Henri did.  I think Fergus was a part of Henri's plan off screen, perhaps as a commander in the Navy that Henri wanted Robert Surrisy to lead.  I also suspect that between leaving Australia and reaching St Helena they visited the Il Padre Diogni in Corsica.

There is a Walter Brown on the high council of The Gentlemen of The Night during the 1830s, as well as a Peter Wood who could be a relative of Mr Wood  (according to Frank Morlock's translation of the Stage Play version at least).  Could he be a son "Tom Brown" had as a result of some random affair? It's more common than you might expect for a child born out of Wedlock to still wind up with their Father's Surname.  On the Mr Wood subject a James Wood also factors into Rocambole’s later adventures in London.

I can't think of any fictional Characters last named Davy right now, but that would be interesting to look into. Same as Palmer, cause 2 other identities Henry went by were James Davy and George Palmer.

But Henri's only marriage was technically under the Identity of Percy Balcomb to Jeanne Herbert. If she conceived a child during their brief time together in July he/she wouldn't have been born until 1818. The now in the Public Domain 1919 film The Master Mystery starring Harry Houdini features a Herbert Balcom, who runs a Company in the United States that makes advanced Technology, and he turns out to be a Super-Villain of sorts. People often changed in some small way their Surname when they immigrated to the U.S. So, could Herbert Balcom be a descendent of Percy Balcomb and Jeanne Herbert?  I think it's likely.

Let's leave what happened during and after the events of John Devil and consider the background.

One CoolFrencComics genealogy suggests that the House of Belcame descends from Riene de Kergariou of Paul Feval's Fee Des Greves.  Given the similarity in name and the common connection to Brittany, I think placing her in the ancestry of the Kergaz family from the Rocambole novels would be a more natural conclusion.  
A lot of John Devil characters were alive at the time of the French Revolution, which is interesting in light of my French Revolution Shared Cinematic Universe (FRCU) idea I suggested elsewhere.  They all seem to be in London mostly during that time however, Armand De Belcamp went there after being exiled.  Much of the drama of the Scarlet Pimpernel was in London at this time also, so there could be crossover potential there.

The desire to compare Gregory Temple to Sherlock Holmes is hindered mostly by that in John Devil we see the end of his career mainly, already old and past his prime.  During the French Revolution he’s already began his career, we could have Helen Brown as his Irene Adler and Mr. Wood leading the Gentlemen of The Night.

I would course seek to tie this into my own evolving theories about the roles Secret Societies played during this history.  Which I discuss on my Conspiracy History Facts blog.

Monday, January 9, 2017

My current recommended order for watching the Star Wars films

Goes like this.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of The Clones
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of The Sith
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

You may be surprised by that order.  My long advocacy for viewing the Prequel Trilogy first is not because of some unconditional principle that everything should be watched in Chronological order.  It's because I view the SW Prequels as being distinct from (most) other Prequels, they can work as their own independent Trilogy.  And because what I like about the OT mostly comes from watching them knowing the PT story.

The Chronicles of Narnia I think should be read in the order Lewis wrote them.  I don't know what order I consider ideal for reading Paul Feval's Blackcoats series.  But like Digibro I think the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya should be, on it's first viewing at least, watched in it's original broadcast order.

And in the case of Fate/Zero, the main reason I think it can make a better entry point into that saga then any version of Fate/Stay Night, isn't that it's set Chronologically before it, or even really the fact that it explains the rules and lore up front better.  It's the fact that it lacks the High School Harem Visual Novel aspects which might turn off many interested in that kind of story.  They weren't a problem for me, but I'm a Otaku, I'm used to it.  But many others who might be interested in a story about Hermetic Magick, the Holy Grail and a female King Arthur, and Gilgamesh as a Lucifer figure, are not so used to it.

I keep hearing people say that Rogue One was the first true stand alone Star Wars film.  I find that amusing, because A New Hope was the only one that might have had no choice but to stand alone.  While I personally feel The Phantom Menace still works best of all the SW movies as a stand alone.

While the Prequel Trilogy works great as Prequels if watched as such.  It's Rogue One that works only as a Prequel, I really would not recommend anyone view it as their first SW film.  So much about it, especially it's end, is predicated as us seeing things we recognize.  And the ending would clearly be read by such a person as a sequel hook. 

And I really would not recommend cramming it in-between Episodes III and IV.  While it's Rogue One that timeline wise ended right where ANH begins.  ROTS ended there thematically and narratively, and so I always want to go right to Luke and Leia's story after finishing it, Rogue One would be a diversion.

However I can also say that I would NOT recommend in the future when we have the entire New Trilogy having Rogue One interrupt it's viewing order either.

Update May 12th 2018:

Well the change to this made by The Last Jedi's release was what I expected.  I haven't seen Solo yet and probably won't for quite awhile, I really don't care about it.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The thing about Critics is knowing how to anyalize what they say

I've always been a bit of an Anti-Critic person, especially the main mainstream kind of critics.  2016 was a year in which taking such an attitude became particularly controversial, some of my fellow DC fans claimed a silly Disney conspiracy in negative reviews of DC films.

There is no direct correlation either way in whether or not a critically received film will be one I also like.  But when it comes to Genre films it's clear many are inherently disconnected from most of what casual viewers care about.

What I've come to learn is that the key is in knowing how to discern what they say, why they did or didn't like it.

I watched one YouTube video where a guy gave a positive review of the Comic Book Trade Paper Back Batman Black Mirror. A comic I haven't read.  And I concluded from what he said that this is a story I'd hate and shouldn't bother with.  Meanwhile I've had the exact opposite experience listening to his negative comments on Grant Morrison's Batman run.  But on plenty other Comics I've agreed with this person's opinion.

I've had similar experiences listening to YouTubers talk about Anime.

Digibro had a video recently where he said the differences between different tastes in fiction is being different in what flaws you can tolerate and what flaws you can't.  I disagree however.  Because the thing with especially the Star Wars Prequels is that so very often what I love is exactly what the haters hate, I don't respond to the criticisms because those very things are why I like Star Wars to begin with.

Now I have not yet watched Sword Art Online.  It's an Anime I've been putting off watching, I've decided I will try it soon, I'm not sure what I'll think.  But I know more about it going in then I have few other Animes.  Mostly from listening to very negative opinions of it.  Here I do not really hear the same things I hear from Prequel Haters.

Not once have I heard a complaint be something that is exactly what I'm looking for in Anime.  Some are things I'm not bothered by, like Plot Holes, Incest, and general Anime Cliches.  But also much of it speaks to exactly what often frustrates me in Anime, from gratuitous fan-service, to pointless sexual assault.

However these critics do mention occasional good things, and some are things that might win more points from me then they would others.   And I already know I like the cast it's Dub has.  And I really like it's composer, Noir/Madlax to Madoka to Fate/Zero, all great Anime Music.

I notice that the people who hate SAO the most, often really liked Asuna as a character, and are upset at how she gets treated.  That is certainly something I can relate to.

So I'll give it a shot, I'm expecting either something I'll hate, or something I'll enjoy with heavy reservations.  If I feel like talking publicly about it it'll probably be on my Tumblr, where I'll use an SAO Tag, and/or SAO Hate.