Archive for August, 2010

Aphorisms for August

August 20, 2010

Success in the modern world is largely determined by how well one conforms to the various “systems” (social, economic, political) currently endorsed by the established order. A failure of the system is a victory for true individuality.

Contemporary intellectual thought can essentially be reduced to a process of filling in the proper boxes.

The news is designed to stifle opposition and curb dissent with the overwhelming message: “Just be glad you don’t live here.”

Modern bourgeois women can consume a man’s whole life with their need for security and support, this in exchange for love, which all of us are innately deserving of.

The tyranny of the majority is like a tide – an inevitable natural force.

Technology and resistance: Any effective resistance to the established order requires the use of technology (for communications, if nothing else). Yet all resistance is ultimately subsumed under the rubric of technological universalism. In this respect, the old adage, “resistance is futile” remains apt.

Individuals – human beings – long for mystery and the unknown. States and institutions abhor them. An essential tension results.

Humanity is now as a teeming mass of insects, each individual specialized in their replaceable capacity, no one ant more important or notable than any other. Still, the queen serves the colony and the colony serves the queen.

We eschew complexity at our peril. It is the lifespring; the diversity of existence. In a quest for order, we tamed and trained matter, threatening its inherent (molecular and genetic) difference. Sameness and uniformity are both progress and death. The very meaning of the material real is transformed – oversimplified; becoming a petrified monolith of artifice.


August 14, 2010

Rufus Rockhead

August 13, 2010

On My Desk, Vol.9, The Review Edition: Night of the Living Trekkies

August 3, 2010

This format doesn’t usually include detailed reviews, and though I’ve written many an academic book review, this is a welcome change from that more monotonous grind. Night of the Living Trekkies is a light, fun, cleverly twisted genre mash-up from Quirk Books, the same folks who brought you the bent genius of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

Written by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall, two self-proclaimed “lifelong science-fiction geeks”, Night of the Living Trekkies is ideal beach fodder for horror and sci-fi fans. The action, mostly taking place in a hotel in Houston, is channeled through quick, quirky and altogether convincing dialogue, making this short, sweet novel a pleasure to read. This is no masterpiece of literature, but it’s genre — a bizarre fusion of genres — at its best.

The main character, Jim Pike (this being only the tip of the iceberg of Star Trek references) is a former Marine — a veteran of the Afghanistan conflict. He has fallen on hard times, become a bit of a psych case, and now works as a bellboy at the Botany Bay Hotel and Conference Center (another subtle Trek reference).

As he prepares for the influx of Trekkies (or is that Trekkers?) attending the not-so-highly anticipated GulfCon Star Trek convention, Jim (a lapsed Trekkie) notices a series of unusual, possibly innocuous events. His only real talent, a finely honed sense of danger developed dodging IEDs in-country, proves a Godsend as he begins to suspect that something has actually gone horribly wrong.

Indeed, Jim and a cast of motley, costumed characters surrounding his visiting sister (also a Trekkie) are soon confronted with a veritable zombie apocalypse. The horror! Of course, these aren’t your usual living dead — many sport elaborate, silly costumes originally worn to the convention. Before you know it, Jim and his “crew” are battling Starfleet officers, Klingons, Borg and, well, other oddities too numerous to mention using their wits, a few tasers and a heavy dose of attitude.

Combining a sharp, steady pace with a series of well-woven plot twists, this zombie/sci-fi novel has something for everyone. It takes only minimal effort to boldly pour through the book’s chapters, all cleverly titled based on classic episodes from the original series.

Launched at this summer’s ComicCon, Night of the Living Trekkies is liable to become one of this year’s must-have geek tomes. It’s genre-bending brilliance at its best, and keeps the reader guessing until the very end, reminding us that space may very well be the final frontier…Of the undead!


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