Archive for September, 2013

Everclear on MVM

Everclear was… I hesitate to say “huge” because I don’t think time has done them any favors. They aren’t remembered as reverently as Nirvana, nor have they been as consistant as Pearl Jam through the years. But for a couple of years in the mid 90’s, they were almost as big as most of the other headliners, and getting just as much airplay.

Father of Mine was one of their singles. Despite being from their third album, this is considered the track that broke them through to the mainstream. This one has always triggered some emotional reaction for me, but after recently rediscovering the track those feelings magnified now with the fact that I have a son of my own.

 

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1985 on MVM

I featured this week’s video before, but it was before this was a regular feature. Here we go, blowing some dust off of an homage to a bygone era. How many of the references can you spot?

 

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Money for Nothing on MVM

I’m a rock guy. I’m mentioned that a lot before, and most of these selections lean that directions. One of the earliest songs that latched onto my ear as I was really getting into music was Dire Straits’s Money for Nothing. For those of us from that generation, the background refrain (“I want my MTV”) is a reminiscent cry for nostalgia, especially considering there’s hardly any music on the channel anymore.

 

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Time Travel: A Thought Experiment

As someone with an elevated interest in the Time Travel trope (remember that Worldcon presentation from Reno, 2011?), I found this post from Charlie Stross’s blog interesting food for thought (which was triggered by another article).

 Why can’t women time travel? —asks Anna Smith in The Guardian, in a rather interesting op-ed piece on science fiction. While focusing mostly on movies, she’s got a good point; women are seldom the protagonists of first-person time travel stories, especially in cinema. And while I can think of a number of exceptions in written fantasy and paranormal romance, I’m coming up with pocket-lint in genre SF.

There’s not really a point in having an argument. Despite any evidence to the contrary, the majority of both pieces is spot on, the more I “sits and thinks” about it. Few women are shown as time travellers, and even fewer are given lead positions in those stories. Yes, there are exceptions (I’m sure MC would be quick to remind me of Gabaldon’s Outlander series), but those are the minority [and, I would argue that, while Time Travel is an element of the story, it’s not a novel that is classified as genre SF; it’s usually shelved under “Fiction”].

Which, as a story seed, gets me thinking: what might that kind of story look like and how might it play out?

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The Sureality of Death: A Reflection

It’s a weird thing to discover that someone has died, by seeing information for their memorial service on Facebook.

Let me start over. There’s this guy, his name’s Stephen. I didn’t know him well, but we were in two, maybe three  writing classes together a few years ago (we were both working on our Masters (MA)).  Two stories…

The first class was a script writing class, and of the twelve or so enrolled, we were the only two graduate students. I remember his script, at the time titled Spin, was a riff on the political spin-doctors working on the campaign trails. This was in the spring of 2008, as things were heating up for the Presidential election. I probably still have some of the pages on a hard drive, if he emailed any copies for the weekly critique rotations. Surely, I have his feedback on my pages…

Which leads to the second story. The other class was a fiction writing class, the following semester I think. I had written a Cthulu-werewolf mash-up (my first serious-ish attempt at writing horror), and some of his feedback led towards a discussion of the Jack Nicholson movie Wolf. Jump forward a couple of years, I submitted that same story for Viable Paradise in 2012. The same movie came up in the critique conversation, including some background information (about a certain publisher’s involvement in the production). I thought of Stephen, and his original feedback, and thought he might get a kick out of that sliver of information. Life being what it is, though, I never got around to sending the message.

Which leads to the surealness. I fired up Facebook on my phone last night, and one of the posts on my feed announced the plans for his memorial service. The awkward flicker of regret, the kind of ghost that shows up when you find out someone you’ve known – no matter how briefly – is gone, has been sitting on my shoulder since. My condolences go out to his family and those that knew him much longer (and better) than I did. I would have liked the chance to work with him more.

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Zombies on MVM

The Cranberries had a moment of mainstream success back in the mid 90’s. They had two singles that did very well on American radio (and a few others that likely did okay, but didn’t hit quite as big as their earlier singles). This is one of their bigger singles.

 

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Old Man and Me on MVM

In the mid 90’s, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing Hootie and the Blowfish. Their debut album did something like 15-times platinum, and had close to a half-dozen singles. I was *this* close to seeing them live (one of the local bars in my college town was one of their regular touring stops in their early days).

Like most people that lived through the time, I got more than a little burned out by the heavy airplay, but in going back some fifteen years later, a large number of the songs still hold up. In fact, I’m not above running through their Greatest Hits collection.

This track was one of their later hits (read: not on the debut album) and is actually one I was unaware of having a video until scouting for thise week’s selection.

 

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