Category Archives: Other Musings

Other postings about news, writing lifestyle, other authors, etc.

What is a Superhero Without Children?

There is a problem here in America. Our children have no superheroes. Long gone are the days of campy comic books, boy scout Superman films and tongue in cheek camp from Adam West and Burt Ward. Today’s superhero has to be conflicted, strong and of our world.

It wasn’t too long ago that American society rejected the dark and conflicted superhero. Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns” was so abhorred by parents that Warner Bros., the toy companies and McDonalds all cried foul and insisted they did not know the film was going to be so “dark” and realistic. Yet, today, parents don’t think twice about taking a five year old to see the PG-13 “The Avengers” or “The Dark Knight Rises”, and those films are applauded for their darkness and realism.

“Superman”, starring Christopher Reeves was such a huge success because it made Superman accessible to all generations. The kids could look up to his boy scout image and be inspired to do good things for truth, justice and the American way. Parents could identify with the love story and the tale of the ultimate immigrant coming to America.

Something happened along the way to present day. The kids grew up. And with that, a desire to see their superheroes grow up, too. “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises” all had prominent display shelves at the toy stores for kids of all ages. A less-informed parent who sees the toys and remembers Batman from his Adam West or even Joel Schumacher days would assume that the movie is just that – kid stuff. Unfortunately, “The Dark Knight Rises” is nowhere near safe for kids, and “The Avengers” (for all the toys they have you would think it is a G Rated film) has copious amounts of violence and the cast is filled with characters who all take themselves way too seriously.
The now 20-somethings love this stuff. Their childhood superheroes are now hardcore and based in reality. It makes the experience so much more real. Any attempt at toning down a superhero movie for children is considered lame, not epic enough, or stupid kid stuff. Except, these fans are forgetting something. It is a crucial piece in the puzzle to the longevity of superheroes. Without a proper role model superhero like Christopher Reeves’ Superman, or a campy version of Batman every now and then, kids will not get to see superheroes on the big screen or the comics, and they will slowly fade from existence.

Now that the realistic and gritty superheroes have had their moment to shine, the children need someone to look up to in our current times. Let the children have their heroes back.

Teenagers through the decades

I have been watching older films lately and there are a few things I have noticed. Teenagers portrayed in the 1980s tended to be doing something rather uncommon today: making their own fun. Whether it was going to a house party, cruising around your local downtown, hanging out at an arcade, or just talking with friends, teenagers in general seemed much more social than our current “social media” generation.
I was a teenager in the 1990s, and most of the time we hung out at malls or people’s houses and were intrigued by home video game consoles.

Anyways, I created this crude poster just for fun.

What is your opinion, and what do you remember doing when you were a teenager?

 

The Future of Microsoft Windows is in the Clouds

Besides Literature and writing, my other hobby in life is following the tech world – primarily Microsoft. To broaden the scope of my blog I have decided to expand my Other Musings category to include anything and everything I am interested in or have an opinion on. So, here goes.

I have been using Windows 8 since the Release Preview, and am now using Office 2013 Preview as well. Although you will find many negative reviews of Windows 8, I have found that after using it for the last few months, it is really something that once you get used to it, you will love it. I recently booted Windows 7 to do a few things with my data on there and it was like using some ancient piece of technology. The new features in Windows 8 really do make a difference. For the non-tech people who may be reading this: The Start Screen shows all of your apps, features, etc. all in one place on the monitor in front of you. On this Start Screen you have tiles for different things that you can customize to your liking. There is a Mail app, People, Photos, Weather, Video, Music, etc. All of these tiles present information to you so that you do not have to click on them and open them up to see what the app is all about. This is very handy for things like Weather, Social Media updates, e-mail, etc.
I have found that the Charms, Switcher navigation, and Start Tip are all very useful things that take a while to get used to, but once you do you can’t go back. I spent most of my time in Win 7 dragging my mouse to the bottom left of the screen to bring up the Switcher interface and using right-click in Internet Explorer to view the tabs I had open.

The best part of the new Windows and Office: all of this is synced in the cloud so that any Windows 8 computer or tablet I use will recognize me and all of the apps that I have installed. No longer is an app tied to your device, it is now tied to your user account. This is pretty cool stuff that most people have no idea is coming. Perhaps the most intriguing new feature coming with Office 2013 is that it is all tied to my Microsoft Account. I was using my computer at work and editing a file in Skydrive. Windows told me that it noticed I have Word 2013 and asked if I would like to use it for this instance or use Office 2010 that is installed on the hard drive of the computer at work.
I have all of my documents and pictures uploaded to Skydrive so I can access them from any device I may be using. This means I can be working on a Word document on my Desktop Tower PC, head on the road and update my document with my Surface Tablet, continue working on it on a train or taxi with my Windows Phone, and then come back home and have the completely updated file sitting at home on my desktop PC. it is this kind of interconnectivity between devices that I believe is the future.

There are some great features coming with Windows 8 and Office 2013. Give it a try when it comes out and it may surprise you.

I am back!

I apologize for the long absence in posting on this blog. I have felt less inspired lately, perhaps a case of writer’s block. To kick-start myself, and this blog, I am going to share with you today two great quotes from Edgar Allan Poe. The first reminds us all to slow down and live life, while the second is more a personal favorite about Literature.

“I have no faith in human perfectability. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. “
“Depend upon it, after all,  Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path.”
-Edgar Allan Poe
Coming in the next few days, I have an exciting announcement about an old story of mine that will soon be published for all the world to see, and some great news on Dead Skin Dave, the Pirate.

Early Halloween Treat

I don’t know about you, but I am already in the mood for Halloween! So much so, in fact, that I have begun to write a very special Halloween story that I will share exclusively on this blog.

Stay tuned for that to premiere in September!
Also, I will be posting some art from the art contest very soon, as well as announcing some smaller appearance dates this Fall.
Should be fun!

Cats

I went to see the musical “Cats” this past weekend and thought I would share my enjoyment of it with you. Being both a writer and Literature major, I have read  countless books and works by the most famous authors around the world. Why do I bring this up? Well, “Cats” is a musical of TS Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”, a set of poems which Eliot wrote for his godchildren. There really is not a story per say, but an introduction of several different cats throughout the musical.

Watching and listening to the musical does not need previous knowledge of Eliot’s works, but it really does help. Having read “The Waste Land” and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”,I was able to pick up on Eliot’s distinctive voice in the poems, which only added to the overall experience.

So, if you have not read any of the poems, I shall paste the URLs below of some of the poems. After you make yourself familiar with them, I urge you to seek out a theater showing the play, or grab the DVD, or visit YouTube.

Poems: http://www.msgr.ca/msgr-9/elliot%20cats%20litter.htm
http://www.heatercats.com/poems/naming.html