Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Good News All Around

Despite my long delay in posting again I do have a brief update to share some wonderful news before I start working on another official random post.

Both of these posts come from developments on two fronts, each of which I have been eagerly anticipating for some time.

On one the webcomic "Clockworks" has finally begun updating again after its author's lengthy hiatus. JOY! Clockworks is a steampunk webcomic based around an RP that the author and his friends played and felt it had a good enough storyline to be turned into a major webcomic. The author's prose and art has improved notably over the years and in the most recent few panels it has been improved upon greatly and the author's style is continuing to shine through! It is lovely work. I highly reccomend it to anyone who has ever RP'd or anyone who enjoys steampunk!

http://shawntionary.com/clockworks/?p=1636 (link)

And in other wonderful news another blogger and budding author whom I have been following has just completed his first draft for his novel "Battle for the Wastelands" and is working out the first draft now. I've been following his progress and have been hoping to pick up a few tips on writing and the like from him. He is an excellent writer and I have read some of his other works and I thoroughly enjoy them. Thus I am eagerly awaiting news of its publishing. I plan on being one of the first on amazon to buy it :) (of course this is provided he puts on on Amazon).

I reccomend people checking out his blog as it is a good read with some fascinating opinions. The following link leads to his blog and the attendant post about the completion of the first draft.


I'm wishing good luck to both these writers in their upcoming endeavors and I certainly hope to be seeing more of their work soon.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Russia and China veto on Syria

In the news today a rather unsurprising announcement has come about. A UN Security Council vote on what to do about the apalling situation in Syria was vetoed by China and Russia. It doesn't take a seer to predict this. Syria is friends with both these nations and each of these nations have reasons not to make any protestors anywhere look legitimate.

What baffles me is why the Security Council is still run the way it is. I mean I know there is the fear that by disbanding the 'big boys club' the US, UK, and France might be put at the whim of other nations regarding their actions, but as it stands now no nation can do anything when it comes to helping groups like this!

I also understand that these nations are on the Security Council because they actually have the power to enforce its decress but the weight of the opposing interests on either side is just mind boggling!

In effect I'm sad that events in Syria are playing out as they are with regional powers unable to quench the blood letting being undertaken by the regime and that the UN is paralyzed by the very rules it set down. I simply pray that the regime is somehow toppled in the end.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Grey: A Review

Recently I saw the film "The Grey". This film was promoted as a film about survival, and was also said to have a surprisng philosophical message. I call the promoters liars on both counts because of that. I am not saying the film was bad, far from it, I merely call the promoters liars. It is a good film and overall I enjoyed it.

To get this review started I will simply give a rough recap of the plot. A man employed by an oil company to protect workers from wolves in a remote drilling camp in Alaska and struggling over his seperation from his wife, is caught up in a disastrous plane crash while flying back to Anchorage and stranded in the wilderness with a number of other survivors and they are forced to survive on their wits and not much else.

This is the so called survival element. Though the film does show some interesting elements and very accurate ideas about surviving in such a harsh wilderness, the film plays more like a slasher movie.

Like any slasher movie it prays off our fears of something, in this case being eaten to death by wolves. It establishes from the start that the wolves are to be the films main antagonists and I'm surprised at just how much screen time they get in comparison to natures other perils, especially frostbite.

As wolves fufill the survival element and make the film a slasher by picking off our fairly dim protagonists we get a deep look into the ideological view of both narcisism and atheism.

The films philisophical tune is essentially harsh post-modernist nihilistic thought mized with passive atheism. The nihilistic thought creeps in as we see the characters struggling and continuing to fail despite any hope spots that might seem evident and consistently portrays the struggle against nature as hopeless and futile. This lends to a meta idea that struggle for reform or absolution is useless and that all we can do in life is fight and hope our deaths are not too meaningless. The atheistic element involves a camp fire discussion where one character asks about faith, another dismisses it as a fairy tale while a third says he wishes to believe its true but he can't. This directly leads to another scene where the principal character has just lost all hope and looks skyward and pleads with a higher power to do something saying "...fuck faith! Earn it! Do something!" in response we see an empty and uncarring sky looking back at him. A hope spot could have been inserted here but the writers chose for a long drawn out sequence to emphasise that there wasn't one. This reinforced the sense of passive atheism but gave the film a tone of ranting against nature and how unfair live could be.

I found that the setting for its post-modern views was uniquely thought out but by extension was self-fullfilling. Rather than a rant of how unfair life could be it showcased the deep uncaring ways of Earth and nature around us and seemed to mock the use of prayer. But by its very setting it merely proves the point of an uncarring Earth and not any sort of uncaring God, rather the writers knew this and decided to add the long sequence of empty sky in order to make that point. That and ensure that they kill the obviously religious members of the cast in rather cruel ways. Clever, but hardly proving the point. Instead of making an atheistic point it relies on old arguments of "why would God let this happen?" one which, mixed with many of the characters attitudes and various ineptitudes is rather uncompelling.

Though somewhat depressing due to its subject matter and portrayal I found the movie interesting but couldn't help be irritated once it abandoned its interesting survival premise and became a more predictable slasher film harping on an irritating ideological agenda. I reccomend it for those who enjoy slashers, not any sort of deeper ideological experience.

All in all I'll be generous and give it two and a half stars.