On this anniversary, in the face of the upcoming election, I ask all of us to remember how important unity is, how important fighting for each other is–rather than against. It isn’t that we can’t argue or partake in educated–or, at the very least, adult–conversation about the ideas, the morals, the values that drive us. It takes being respectful, mindful of the fact that not everyone will think like us. This doesn’t mean we can’t come together, find a common goal, and work together to achieve it–while still maintaining our own opinions, our own moral code, our own idea of ethics.
Shake the hand of an American you don’t know today. Thank your chosen deity for giving you another day and choose to appreciate it by showing gratitude to someone else. Give something to someone else–even when you’re feeling your own sense of lack. Put someone else’s perspective ahead of your own, just for a second, and you’ll see the world in a whole new light–especially when you get a smile from the person you boosted today.
When so much of the world is centered on segregating us, breaking us down along ideological, moral, or any other check-boxes, think about what makes (or made) us all the same today–we were attacked for the things that we, as Americans, hold sacred: freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and a never-ending drive for equality among all people–even when all those above us can do is continually show us how “different” they think we are.
The destruction of this day should stand as a lasting reminder of what can happen when we choose to see ideologies before the people who hold them. We are all people, and we all feel the loss of those who suffered at the hands of fear and violence. Let us cooperate, let us compromise, let us try diplomacy, so that no more innocent lives–on either side of the fight–are lost.
Thank you, Gene, for being a bright light and making us smile. Not only did I enjoy your performances in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, YoungFrankenstein,and Blazing Saddles, but I really enjoyed your small stint on Will and Grace as Will’s boss Mr. Stein. The world will be a little less bright without you. Gene was 83 and died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Did you watch “Stranger Things” on Netflix? Did you tear through it? Were you left wanting more? Then check out one of these books, sure to leave you riveted. Filled with the supernatural and extraterrestrial, normal people in bizarre circumstances, and a tinge of nostalgia, these books are must reads for anyone looking for stranger things…
I answered yes to all three of The Reading Room‘s questions above, but I’ve only heard of two of these titles–the King novel The Tommyknockers, for one–but I had no idea that John Dies at the End was a book. Whether it started that way or this is a novelization of the film matters not; it looks like I need to be making a trip to the library!
Have you guys seen Stranger Thingsyet? Did you like it? Do you think this Reading Room list does your feels from the series justice?
Brian Ives gives us a stately look at the Vamps’ 5 July show from New Jersey’s Borgata in Atlantic City. I’ve only provided an excerpt of Ives’s humorous and insightful passage here, but go check out the entirety, you won’t regret it.
In the wrong hands, the band’s central theme – paying tribute to people who’ve died, mostly through substance abuse – could come off as dour, or even as a “Just Say No” commercial. Instead, Cooper (who knew nearly all of these deceased artists) celebrates Lennon, Hendrix, Morrison, Moon, et al, by asking, “What would they have liked?”
The show began right after 8 pm with a film showing some of the artists that the Vampires pay tribute to, and then the band hit the stage with one of their few originals, “Raise the Dead.”
“A sudden quick demise,” Cooper sang. “And so the body dies, but the music stays alive.” The show was proof of that. From there they went into Spirit’s “I Got a Line.” Then, two songs by David Bowie, whose catalog wasn’t eligible for a Vampires cover when they released their self-titled debut last year, since he was still alive. That gave the performances of “Rebel Rebel” and “Suffragette City” more poignancy… or as much poignancy as a song that invites the audience to yell “Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma’am!” can have.
In this set, they performed covers of T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy” and “Bang a Gong (Get it On).” They sound awesome doing it! Watching Johnny Depp play guitar on T. Rex songs feels a lot like watching Johnny Depp in a Stephen King movie–double the joy! Double the satisfaction!
He looks good amid all the turmoil he’s facing off-stage, but the music is definitely providing a solid sense of escape for the man. He looks at home on the stage, in his element. I only wish I could go see him, but they aren’t coming far enough south. The closest they’ll be is the 7 July show in Aurora, IL. *heartbreak*
(From Alex Neff) Hollywood Vampires cover “20th Century Boy”
(From Steve Easton) Hollywood Vampires cover “Bang a Gong (Get it On)”
I am so excited to have The X Files back in active rotation. Just caught up with the first episode, “My Struggle,” and found it close to form. It generated a lot of new questions, barely answered any old questions, and gave us a whole new revised version of the old conspiracy to theorize about. All I know is I am locked in for the next episode, because I have just got to see how this mini-arc ends.
It was lovely to see Scully and Mulder “back together” and in the most awkward of consequences. They were more often trading barbs than kisses, which I’m okay with either way, but they did a fine job of simply making it feel awkward to watch them together. Again, not a bad thing, they are actors, after all, and it would be awkward to be called by a former boss to find a former lover, who is also a former co-worker, wouldn’t it? And, then, after more than a decade, hang out like it’s old times? Yep, definitely awkward.
We also get to see Skinner and the Cigarette-Smoking Man. Sans awkwardness, but with heated exchanges and statements of the obvious, respectively. And then there’s Joel McHale, playing buddy believer with Mulder, as a conservative TV host, who the New York Timesfelt was miscast here. But I thought he brought just enough energy, zeal, and overt seriousness (I mean, sometimes it felt like he was just trying too hard there.) to bring that character to life. It just reminds me that I need to start watching Community.
Overall, I was pleased, and I’m looking forward to where this little reboot takes us.
Oh, Alan Rickman, not you, too. So sad to see another favorite leave this world a little darker due to cancer. Master Rickman was 69 and will be greatly missed. Like Master Bowie, it has been a delight to share this time on Earth with you. Read the lovely Guardian article here.
Congratulations to Quentin Tarantino!! I have been a big fan of his movies since Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. I love how he tells a story, the actors he works with, and his dialogue is always intelligent and engaging. I haven’t seen a Tarantino film that I didn’t like. Pure entertainment, and well earned! Congrats to the folks who joined him in the “Class of 2016”. Click the image to see the entire USA Today article.
Love his quote:
“That’s really cool, I must have become a big shot,” he joked during his speech. “This is a real, real groovy day.”
On December 3, the world lost a bright rock ‘n’ roll light. Scott Weiland, famous front man for the Stone Temple Pilots (1986-2002; 2008-2013), Velvet Revolver (2002-2007), and the currently on-tour Wildabouts, was found dead, having passed in his sleep, on his tour bus just before a show in Bloomington, MN was scheduled to begin. The music world will definitely be a little more gray without him.
May you be peaceful and happy, wherever you are.
Here are two of my personal favorites from the Weiland repertoire.
With Stone Temple Pilots:
With Velvet Revolver:
Has anyone heard any of the new music from Scott and the Wildabouts? They released an album under that band name this year called Blaster. It includes a cover of T.Rex‘s “20th Century Boy”, which I find quite pleasing to the ear:
Simon & Schuster just sent along some information on Stephen King‘s newest short story collection. Here’s what they had to say about it. Certainly can’t wait to dig my claws into it!
A master storyteller at his best—the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.
Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.
There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.
Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”
To those who lost their lives; to those who sifted through rubble and debris; to those who survived and remember; to those who lost a loved one, a coworker, a boss, or a friend, I salute you and honor you and your sacrifice today. We will never forget the sadness, the terror, and the coming together that happened after such tragedy.
Yesterday, the horror world lost one of the greats. Rest in peace, Mr. Craven, though your handiwork did little to pass on peace to the rest of us. It makes me too sad to know the darkest corners of your mind are now beyond quiet.