Until the end of the world again

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Drop me a note or comment too, unless my suspicions are true and I am the last man on earth and no one else is out there.

In other words, WE’RE FUCKED.

Once upon a time in the not-too-distant future (in distant days longing to sense it all so clear):

Still no new tale to tell lately.

Writer’s block is still affecting me and for the life of me I cannot lately put pen to paper and make universes appear out of nowhere. There is the useless short story contest that the Austin Chronicle has every year and I just heard of a British short story contest that is open for submissions internationally (with a nice financial prize for first place too) that should have gotten the creative juices flowing all over the place. .

But even with the cash incentive, I feel a bit apathetic to those contests. I get bursts of ideas every now and then (like what is the deal with the guy who was born from the coupling of a man of the sea and a woman of the mountains; and one of these days I really get to get down and tell the amazing tale of the Last Ones Left Alive) but it seems the creative spark is just there smoldering and refusing to fully flame on.

Maybe it is the holidays, maybe it is the state of the world, maybe it’s the fact that I am land locked (I miss the ocean), maybe it’s the fact that whaling is going on again, maybe it’s the war(s) all over the world and maybe it’s the fact that another year is about to end and I have not written anything significantly new.

One thing it is not though is that I am another year older. Fcuk that noise! With my luck I may turn out to immortal. Forced to the living hell and forced to see how hollow the general populace of humanity becomes. Yes, there are those that create new cures for cancers (didja hear the one where they created a cancer proof rat? The cells are programmed to EXPOLDE if they even get a hint of being cancerous. Okay not EXPLODE, but it’s more fun to imagine that than silent self disintegration.).

But more often than not, the normal person we see are those that are forced to waste two days waiting in line for Black Friday so they can finally afford a lap top (by the way, I can’t afford a lap top even at Black Friday prices). The normal person that can bear to watch the detritus and crap that gets shown on the boob tubes. The kind that still thinks that awards shows really celebrate quality.

Yes- more people get their fill of entertainment online nowadays but remember that that portal into hell known as TMZ was a website first so there is no excuse.

I am reminded of a scene in the original Books of Magic where Tim Hunter ventures into the end of mankind and discovers that humanity has evolved to mindless beings with chlorophyll in their skins blindly looking for the best spot to soak up the dim rays of the dying sun.

We are closer to that than you think.

My pessimistic view of humanity aside, how about something more fun- how a best of list?

Best Live Show of the Year: VNV Nation at the White Rabbit, San Antonio
Granted I did not go to many live shows this year, foregoing even the many free shows at SXSW- but VNV Nation shows are a must whenever they are within a respectable distance. One thing I miss about living in SoCal is that bands of a similar nature do not regular visit over here. Yes- the live music capitol of the world tends to skip over EBM/Industrial/Futurepop/goth bands. However, a VNV show is very much like a visit from an old friend. The show was energetic, the set list was awesome and the band treated everyone (and I mean everyone as I was towards the back of the venue) like they were playing the show just for you.
Runner up: Imperative Reaction (opening for VNV Nation)

Looking forward to next year: The Birthday Massacre (my number two band); The Cure (now a lowly three) and hopefully SXSW has better bands next year.

Best New Album: Walking with Strangers by The Birthday Massacre
Totally, totally awesome and an incredible follow up to Violet, this album plays in my head even when it’s not on the CD player. The melodies are magnetic and the vocals are the sounds you hear upon entering the good afterlife. If Chibi and the rest of the band were not entering their 30’s, I guarantee you they would be on the cover of every rock magazine out there. And the song To Die For actually is to die for. Too bad mainstream America would never be ready music as beautiful as this.
Runner up: Judgment by VNV Nation (As It Fades should be played at every funeral); the new [SITD] album; the new Combichrist album
I have yet to listen to: The new KMFDM album

Looking forward to next year: The new Cure album (come on, Fat Bob-tell me that the new line up has recharged your creative batteries); hopefully that Reformation CD from VNV Nation

Best Novel: Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis
I want this novel to be real life. I want to read out loud the Secret Constitution of the United States. I want sit in the same smoke filled room as Private Detective McGill and I want Trix to kick, nay-stomp our heads in. But no way in hell do I want to live in the same Texas as presented in this novel. New York and LA are okay, though.
Runner up: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (despite the meandering, seemingly meaningless middle portion)

I still have to read: Any of Bill Pullman’s books; some Doctor Who novels and Nury Vitacchi books that are on my to read pile.

Looking forward to next year: Any new work from Neil Gaiman that is not a screenplay and Warren Ellis’ next novel

Best TV Show: Doctor Who Series Three
My new favourite show, it just gets better (and by the looks of Time Crash, will continue to get better). Martha Jones is an awesome companion. The Sound of Drums is stuck in my head. The Dalek two parter was the movie I wanted Peter Jackson’s King Kong to be. Gridlock was the best version of a live action 2000AD strip. I will never Blink again when I see a statue of an angel. And I will never look at the word expillarmus the same way ever again. This show is just too much fun and I hate that I have to wait an ENTIRE year just to view what happens next.

WHAT?! Favourite moment when watching Doctor Who Series Three: Holly’s reaction when she thought the Doctor was going to regenerate in 42. The way she said “He’s my Doctor!” was the same as David Tennant’s 10th Doctor’s delivery to Peter Davidson’s 5th Doctor in Time Crash.

I am still waiting for it to come out on DVD: Torchwood

I have yet to see: Battlestar Galactica Season Three (although I just saw the awesome BSG: Razor), Supernatural

Runner Up: The new Robin Hood, Chuck, Spooks, Hustle, Bones and despite its sixth season 24 (which is waiting for me at home to be rewatched)

Possible Wasted Potential: Heroes (the last two or three episodes of Volume Two were great but the rest of the season had me nodding off and wanting to kill the characters myself)

Looking forward to: More of the Doctor, 24 Day Seven and all the other shows I enjoyed this year

Best Movie: None really stood out this year, well maybe TMNT
I think I only paid for one movie in theaters this year (TMNT was a free screening at SXSW). And while it was flawed fun, I doubt Transformers should top anyone’s best of list unless it was for special effects. Most movies I saw were on DVD and while there were a few good sequels here and there and a good flick here and there- for the life of me I cannot think of any that I would say WOW to.
TMNT was fun because it returned us to characters we used to know and found they were still the same good guys they were, just a few years older.

A good anime I did see was Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society. It has been a while since anime (other than Miyazaki) has really interested me but it was fun and intriguing to see the good old Major again (and hearing new music from Yoko Kanno). It got me interested again in checking out not just more anime again but also cyberpunk in general (and made me rewatch the episode Kill Switch of the X-Files, probably my favourite episode of that show).

I did not get a chance to watch many HK flicks this year like I have in the past mostly because HK DVD’s are not region free like they used to be (and they are a little pricier nowadays too)

I will probably think of other movies I enjoyed later (like the third Pirates flick), but still, nothing really stood out this year.

I still have not seen: Beowulf and Stardust- so I guess you can revoke my Neil Gaiman Fan Club Membership; I have not seen Finishing the Game either

Looking forward to: Next year’s superhero movies, the new John Woo flick, the new Stephen Chow flick and the new Indiana Jones

Not looking forward to: Dragon Ball Z the movie- why is this getting made in the first place? Ditto for the Speed Racer flick that looks like my cat’s throw up.

Best Comic Book: World War Hulk (with special mention to Planet Hulk)
The comic book industry pissed me off this year. All the meaningless crossovers, the stupid creator exclusives with the big two, expensive prices and just the lack of heart and lack of the sense of fun that is put into many of the stories nowadays.

Then came the Hulk to smash the puny humans.

A beautiful bombastic blast of a read (take that Stan the Man!), Greg Pak infuses the best widescreen action movie you saw with the underlying theme of the consequences of anger and revenge. Never have I seen the Hulk’s anger as totally righteous and wonderfully portrayed (that and I cannot stand the idea of the Illuminati as presented in the Marvel Universe so I loved seeing them get beat up-I CAME TO HEAR YOU SCREAM- priceless). Yeah, I know Meik was the one who blew up the ship that killed the Hulk’s wife, but Manhattan would not have cracked in two if the Illuminati would just quit playing god.

It made me believe that mainstream superhero books can be good again. But then Marvel botched things up by stretching the tale needlessly to almost six months (should have been a weekly series) and it seemed they were too concerned with setting up the next crossover than concentrating on the one that they already had.
DC Comics were all crap this year.

Runner up: Buffy Season Eight- why is this book better than the superhero books? Well, Brian K. Vaughn wrote a portion of it.

Looking forward to: Ultimates Volume 3 just because Joe Mad is back in comics and whenever Udon returns to do more Street Fighter comics.

Not looking forward to: Final Crisis and Secret Invasion.

Best of the rest:
Best underreported news story: The creation of a cancer proof rat
Worst underreported news story: Buddhist demonstrations in Burma (important thins are happening, people- pay attention!)
It still sucks: The war in Iraq
I am tired of it already: Obama Vs. Hilary and the 2008 elections in general
It still sucks, Part Two: Angry men taking out their frustrations by shooting into a crowd. Not just them, but how society just ignores them until something snaps. Columbine, Virginia Tech and the recent mall shooting in Omaha need never have happened but you chose to ignore the signs and just named them as losers and loners. One wonders what would have happened if the shooters ever met (I sense a short story there, hmm...)
It still sucks part three: The weakening of the US dollar and the price of gasoline

Another year, another day, another dollar.
However as I write this the year is not yet over. 2007 was not a bad year; in fact it was a pretty good year. All my complaints are pretty much of petty, useless things that involve pop culture. Things could be worse, but I am happy that I do not dwell on that.
It reminds me of the following quote:
“Ultimately as in all aspiration to enlightenment, there is the abandonment of the self and the world.
The man [or] the woman who can fly simply believes that it is so; you have met the weight of the world and it does not matter.
Ignore it.

2007 was a pretty fly year.

But Judgement Day is still not coming soon enough.

Create Your Own Destiny

I've mentioned that we went to La Union last weekend for some surfing adventure. It was our first time to go there at this time of the year --- amihan. Usually, we go there every summer and during the rainy season like May - October when they say that the waves are at its strongest. But because of MDP (Management Development Program that I took for 6 months) and the numerous other trips
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