Monday, November 17, 2014

Taking a stand, for the last time.

Last week, I said that A Pius Stand is coming.

It's finally going to be over.

If you've been with this blog since the beginning -- or if you've read "Pius Origins" link on the sidebar -- you know that this started out as a history paper gone amuck. It was a graduate paper in which I examined the truth behind Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust.

SPOILERS FOR A PIUS MAN, but, what I learned from my research was simple. Pius XII did more than any one person to save people in Europe during World War II.  More POWs. More Jews. More refugees. Because life was precious, and if they didn't like it, they could just come and get him.

But if you read any media around Pope Pius XII, you get Hitler's Pope. And Susan Zuccotti. And John Cornwell. And Gary Wills and Michael Phayer. The Wiki page on it has become more balanced, but still incomplete. You don't even want to know what it looked like when I started writing.  All of these great big names trying to spin a story I know to be false, and I spent a whole four months looking at primary documents as a grad student in America. They were journalists and historians. They should have known better.

I don't like liars.

The Pius Trilogy started out as a devotion. One that I tried to make readable for everyone. I wanted the opening to be dark and ominous to trap anti-Catholic to reading on, until they are so hip deep in the book that by the time that the revelation is given, the trap springs shut.

END SPOILERS.

The short version is, this was a devotion.  This was to sing the praises of God and His followers. This was a devotion to the truth, and a war on lies. At the same time, I was making it readable for other people. Heck, one of my friends on Facebook became a friend of mine BECAUSE of A Pius Man, and she's Jewish, I can't make it too much more open and readable than that.

The reason my cast was so big was simple -- I wanted to make it clear that the truth was not some subjective moving target. I needed a doubter, a neutral party, two red herrings, confirmation of the mystery ... well, you'll just have to read it to perform that matching column.

But my premise was that of philosopher Peter Kreeft -- this was an ecumenical jihad, a war against one very specific force of darkness, and one that the religions in A Pius Man could get behind. Because the liars I've been fighting since the beginning all have one thing in common.  What is that thing? Read A Pius Legacy.

But then I couldn't get the Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval for APM. Why? Because the book was too violent, and some poor little dear was squeamish. I know this happened because I had officers of the Guild come up to me and suggested that there needed to be changes in the was the Seal of Approval was handled. Devotion to truth? Devotion to God? Who needs it? I've got a gun-toting Catholic! Run!

Then I had one or two of those officers write positive reviews. I'll take it.

The reason I kept going was that some things needed to be said. Some things needed to be put out there and thrown at people's heads until they either take notice or are bludgeoned to death.  Because the truth is not a game, or a weapon, except against lies. Truth is what happened, and maybe we can speculate about reasons, or about the why of things, and sometimes people will leave a diary detailing what and why they did. Then we hope the poor schmuck isn't a schizophrenic or a pathological liar.

And I kept going because I had to. Because writing is all I have. This trilogy has been my life for ten years. And now it's time for me to say goodbye.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Arrow: Black Canary Reveal

If you're a comic book nerd, you've been laughing ever since the pilot of Arrow, where it was revealed that Oliver Queen's ex is named Laurel Dinah Lance.  As readers of the comic books know, Dinah Lance was both Queen's on-again / off-again girlfriend, but also the superheroine known as The Black Canary.

In a series that doesn't like to use the colors, it's time for a change.


Now, I know what some of you comic book nerds are thinking -- why isn't she wearing the traditional fishnets that have been part of the black canary character since seemingly forever?  After all, they even made a joke about Laurel and fishnets back in season 1.

Answer: because fishnets make no sense on this show.



Also ... a night stick? Why a night stick?  Um, because her father's a cop.

I like the look, and the wig makes a lot more sense in this context than it ever did with the other Lance sister, Sarah .... who was already a blonde ... but that was the only way to get the comic book color down correctly, I guess.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Pius Stand is coming

Hi.

If you don't know what A Pius Stand is, it's very simple. It's the last Pius novel. The final round. Where ten years of beating my head against a wall finally comes to a head.

At this point, I just need a cover (being provided by the graphic artist / site admin of The American Journal, Allen Scott), and a proof copy (which comes after the cover) and I'm set. It will be done.

If you remember A Pius Legacy and A Pius Man, you can probably see how A Pius Stand came to life.  APS was simple the inevitable conclusion of the battles in APL. You could say that it's almost a train wreck of the church and the power of this world, and that it's going to happen again and again.

One of the things that has put me off of the news has been, well, the news.  Mass media in general 00 and reporters in particular -- know jack all about what Catholics believe in, which means darn few other people do either.

Heck, even the Pope has been a bit of a jerk -- not for anything he thinks of does, but for what comes out of his mouth.  I mean, damnit, even without the media translating him through their own PC-ears, Pope Francis is a bear and a half to deal with in general.  There are people who looked at the Pope's recent statement on science and went, "Huh?"  There are some people who thought that Francis had demoted God.  The only reason I knew what Francis was talking about is simple: I've got the useless degree in philosophy.

Anyway, A Pius Stand is the end of a very long journey for me. It has beaten me up a lot, and I would like to be able to say I got through it. I started what would become The Pius Trilogy because I wanted to make sure that the truth was out there. Then the truth kept saying "tell more of me." And I dumped practically my entire college education into that book.

And now it all comes to three words: This is war.

A Pius Stand will be out soon. Then, at long last, I can take a nap.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A new trailer from Avengers: Age of Ultron


Okay, this isn't all new, just the first minute or so, and a few additional frames here and there.

One of those frames includes the glowstick of destiny, which we know Hydra and Baron von Strucker still has.

Mount up. This is going to be freaking awesome.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

MarvelEvent Talks Black Panther and Inhumans



Help, I can't keep up anymore.

Over at The American Journal, I did an entire article about the Marvel movie release schedule.

Some preliminary thoughts: One, I'm very happy that they've started releasing more than two films a year. They needed to up their game. And I think they just bitch-smacked DC into next Tuesday.

2) It's not that they thought this through enough to include the Inhumans and Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) as they both tie the larger Marvel Cosmic universe to the Earthbound Marvel universe. And since Avengers 3 is going to have Thanos (see previous posts) tying them together will help.

However ... Would it have killed them to have a black Widow Movie? I know I'm not the only one who wants it.

3) It seems that, yes, despite what I said the other day, there will be a Civil War element to Captain America 3. However, the only real similarity to the premise is the title, and that there will be legislation about superheroes. It will be a global law, however, not just American. So, guess what, we're going to have Civil War without, well, a civil war. Since the "World Council" in Avengers and Cap 2 seem to be at odds with superheroes, I can't imagine that their successors will be too happy with them.

Does anyone realize that this will put Captain America at odds with the United Nations? Muahaha.

4) Black Panther has been announced. I like the character, and it should be interesting. Supposedly, he might be added to the team in Age of Ultron, but we'll see.

5) To no one's surprise, Avengers 3 is title The Infinity War. And it will be awesome.

 And I have this suspicion that it will include everyone.

6) Despite previous reports, Benedict Cumberbatch has not been confirmed as Dr. Strange.  I just want him on screen so he and Robert Downey Jr. can be on the same screen at the same time.

7) Again, according to the schedule, 2018 will have Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, THEN Captain Marvel, THEN Inhumans, and in 2019, the end of the Infinity War.  Does anyone else think the 2018 movies may all happen at the same time? Or perhaps conclude at the same time?  Just a thought.

For the schedule proper, again, check it out at American Journal.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Avengers, Age Of Ultron ... WTF Was That?

So, that was fun.

Time for my five cents.

Needless to say-- SPOILERS FOR ALL MARVEL FILMS UP TO THIS POINT.

Avengers 2.


WHAT WE KNOW

Ultron is the primary villain of Avengers2. It's really called Avengers: Age of Ultron. So, duh.

We know that Paul Bettany, the voice of JARVIS in Iron Man, is getting his own part as the Vision.  More later.

We know that Pietro and Wanda Maximoff will be in the film.

Dr. Zola, in The Winter Soldier, has an artificial intelligence algorithm that is set to find threats to Hydra, like superheroes, and kill them.

Hydra has the glows tick of destiny from The Avengers.  It has a glowing gem that makes you control people's minds. A mind gem if you will (more on that later).

ADD IT TOGETHER, YOU GET...

Take the AI, stick it into some of Tony Stark's armor, whack it with the mind gem to give it life, and you have a crapstorm ahead called Ultron.

The Maximoff's were seen at the end of Winter Soldier in the clutches of Hydra. Which means that Baron von Strucker and his minions will be part of it. We have another army of darkness ahead.

That was before I saw the trailer.




Now that we've seen The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer ... now what?

Well, a few things.  To start with, the narration was obviously done by the marvelously malicious James Spader, who is voicing the killer robot Ultron. Blaming Hydra aside, we know a good chunk of stuff.
[More below the break]

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Avengers Age of Ultron. The Trailer is here







Doesn't this ending really just call for the soundtrack for Terminator 2?

Seriously, the last image should have been accompanied by "dun dun dun DUNDUN"

Monday, October 20, 2014

The American Journal, GamerGate, and other Insanity

A few weeks ago, I posted links to reviews of brand new shows that I wrote for The American Journal, which is a news site that lets me write for them. Usually, the more ranting and raving I am, the more the readers like it.  So, if you want to see me go bat-guano insane on a semi-regular basis, you can get it out. I think I've officially written over half the articles, so hit something at random, it might be written by Declan Finn.

Anyway, I've done a few articles in recent weeks that some of my readers may like.  In a lot of cases, I just keep a relatively neutral stance -- that stance being "Why can't you freaking morons shut up and leave me alone?"

However, you might want to check out some of these.

Walking Dead Actress Breaks up Sex Ring. Yes, this happened. And what did YOU do with your weekend?

Journalists Conspire to Shape News Over GamerGate This was just .... ARGH

Catholic Church to Support Gay Marriage Yeah, if you had questions about what the HELL is going on about this most recent synod, this is part of it. The other part: Here.

Comic Con Announces Guardians of the Galaxy Cartoon Good luck with that

Sequels for Iron Man and Independence Day in the Works

WB Releases DC Comics Movie Schedule

Video: Liam Neeson Returns in 'Taken 3' 

VIDEO: Viking Rejects Job Applicant Based on Faith -- It's not really politics, it's more of a comedy.  And completely insane. You have to see it to believe it.  Most of it isn't commentary, it's just the news story. Oy.

Zero Tolerance, Zero Intelligence. If you're read my official Amazon bio, you can guess why this is near and dear to my heart.

I think you folks might enjoy some of this.

And if you're wondering what I've been doing with my time.... now you know.

Monday, October 13, 2014

TV Review: The Flash

If you've seen Arrow, you know the premise before you even start the episode.  Barry Allen, CSI, is struck by lightning that had been altered by the explosion of a super-collider. It throws him through shelves of chemicals, just for good measure.

When Barry awakes from this, it's nine months later, the woman he grew up with, Iris, is dating the perfect cop, the world has moved on ..... and Barry can move faster than a ray of light.

The interesting part of the show is how they've decided to develop their rogues gallery. The explosion that created him unleashed all sorts of theoretical elements upon the city, warping and shaping various and sundry people in multiple different ways. It's a nice, simple way of pulling this off, and much better than what was initially done on Smallville -- which, if you remember, consisted of radiation from kryptonite creating a host of different mutations on parts of the population -- which was a cheap way of turning Smallville from Kansis into the Hellmouth from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The short version is that I like this series.  Character traits are quickly and easily set up. Barry is basically a good kid with a backstory that originally had him as the police department's Mulder. We've got the tinkerer, the misanthrope, the mentor (who's looking a little sinister by the end of the episode) and the love interest who friend-zoned Barry in the first three minutes of the episode.

And there are enough little details to satisfy most people. During a monologue, Barry Allen declares himself the Fastest Man Alive, the tag on half his comic books.  The news station is channel 52 -- like the New 52 of the DCU.  There are minor cops brought in from all over the comic books, One of the reporters is a Linda Park, who married Kid Flash in the comics.  Barry's father is played by the actor from the original 1990 Flash tv show.  Ferris air, of Green Lantern fame, makes an appearance.

There's also a giant gorilla cage broken in the aftermath of the explosion. It's labelled "Grodd." If you've read the comics, I don't need to explain. If you haven't, there's no way I can explain it without it sounding stupid.

The short version: I liked this show. The cast aren't as deep as I would have liked, but it's only the pilot. As it stands right this minute, I'll happily watch the rest of the show. But since this is from the same team that brought you Arrow, we can only expect that things are going to get much better from here.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

TV Review: The pilots of the new season, Gotham, Madam Secretary, and more

Some of you might be wondering why it took so long to get some of these DragonCon vides and other blog posts up and running.  Well, I'll tell you. I've been doing a lot of reviews over at The American Journal.  Yes, those people who let me rant and rave and generally carry on cranky.

Anyway, if you've been wondering about some of my rantings and ravings about some of the latest in television watching, here are some links you might be amused by.

.

Gotham: In short .... was I watching a particularly depraved episode of Criminal Minds? I reviewed 1.5 episodes, and felt dirty.

The Pilot, and second episode of Madam Secretary: I've seen worse.  Also better.  At the end of the day, I don't like these people. The writers have some witty banter, but they don't know anything about the political process, or how things work. Period. Avoid.

How to get away with Murder:  This is the worse. More of the same from writer-producer Shonda Rhimes, whose characters are as morally and ethically bankrupt as in her other shows.

Scorpion: This was fun. Just fun. One of the better new shows.

Forever: Also up there as a good new show.

Mysteries of Laura: It's holding up.

Why am I only reviewing six new shows? Because those were the new shows that interested me that aired in September. The October ones are coming up.  However, since the new shows of October are coming up as late as the 24th, don't hold your breath.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Weapons of DragonCon, 2014

I had figured that I'd have the videos of my very own up by now. And I might. But this is a bit of a bonus. Kevin Dockery writes books on weapons. I even have one of them.  At DragonCon, he runs The Armory.   And here are three -- count 'em, three!-- lectures he gave on them.

Yes, these are  from 2013, but I think you'll like it anyway.

Impact weapons




Armor



Swords.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Breakfast with Saul Rubinek and Warehouse 13 @DragonCon, 2014

The show was fun if you could turn off your brain and just watch it.  Saul Rubinek, though, is a character actor I've enjoyed for years. I also saw Saul Rubinek at breakfast in the Hilton buffet every morning, and I swear he wasn't breaking character.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Amy Acker is a Person of Interest @DragonCon2014

I have an irrational love of the show Person of Interest. The main character is basically Batman with guns. How can you not love that premise?


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bringing Harry Dresden to life, @DragonCon

Remember when I mentioned that The Dresden Files was a tv show?

Paul Blackthorn, currently on Arrow, played Dresden in the TV show. I think Jim Butcher did an admirable job of not going postal.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about, you can refer to previous DragonCon reports, and listen to some of his hesitancy when answering questions about the show itself below.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

@DragonCon, 2014: An Hour with Jim Butcher

It's fun listening to author Jim Butcher, if only to hear someone else be such a nerd.

Butcher is the author of The Dresden Files novels.  There was, briefly, a tv show that ... ended badly.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Adam Baldwin @DragonCon 2014

I'm back from DragonCon.  My usual, typed reports will probably be taking a backseat to videos this year. Some of which I recorded personally. However, to start with, I'm found better video taken from other people.

First up, Adam Baldwin, actor, no relation to the Baldwin brothers.

I enjoy just listening to this guy.  The actor who usually plays thugs and tough guys is actually a lot more interesting in real life. Enjoy