The Dead Really Can Dance

OMG, OMG, I am doing back flips, somersaults, and cartwheels.  Well, not really because the mess and doctor bills would be incredible, but I am extremely excited.  One of my favorite bands has just released a new album after six years and I had no idea about it until today.  After a long day of work with a longer one coming tomorrow, I drove home in the pouring rain listening to their station on Pandora.  Out of nowhere comes this track that I hadn’t heard before.  I have to admit, I do not have all their stuff so could not be sure if this was not an older track I did not hear.

Well, I have had time to check into it and it is indeed a brand new album that released on November 2nd.  Gonna get it, gonna get it, gonna get it, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.  This was a sorely needed uplift given all the crap going on in my country.  So anyway, here is the track I was listening to on the way home.  Whoa there, don’t freak out.  Yes it is over 19 minutes long but there are sooooo many interesting changes that are well worth listening to.  It looks like it was designed as a story in some way.  Also, the cover is really cool to an artist like me.

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Savage Beasts and Snapping Beats

Soooo much driving.  Lots of time to reconnect with the music that pumps blood through my veins and forms the soundtracks to my stories.  Honestly, I would probably go bonkers with all this driving, two to three hours a day, with out my new unlimited data plan and Pandora.  The last day or so has been given over to my Peter Gabriel station.  Listening now as I write this post, Bruce Springsteen “Lonesome Day”, full of emotions and hope.

Music calms this savage beast, swirling mind, and battered soul.  With a mind as active as mine, it is helpful to have something to fill up some of the processing cycles or I might go into rampancy and think myself to death.  This is one of the curses of being an internally driven person stuck in a low activity situation like driving.  Well, enough sharing for this post.

 

P.S.  I wanted to mention that one of the tools I plan to use to make push Jack Carson over the edge in “Lost Contact” is his over active internal dialogue and analytical nature.

What is it that Stirs Your Soul?

Okay, time for me to turn the tables.  I have spent much of the last few months telling you the things that get me excited about being an artist and an author of science fiction and fantasy.  Now I want to know what draws you to the genre?  Many of us know how it is in most cases to love science fiction and fantasy.  You are looked upon as if you have some disease you should see a doctor about, which is strange given how popular science fiction and fantasy is in media these days.  TV series like Game of Thrones, Agents of Shield, and The Arrow have strong followings while Marvel’s movie franchise is a money-making juggernaut.  So, all the silly snobbery aside, what makes SFF so important to you, the amazing vistas, crazy creatures and cultures, or the thought-provoking ideas?  Or better yet, all of it.  Go ahead, fill up my comments.

Acoustically Challenged

Here is something from my quirky side.  I drove past a VFW the other day and they had a sign for a band that would be playing there, Acoustically Covered.  Well, being in a sarcastic mood, I came up with a new name for a band, Acoustically Challenged.  Now, my mind being what it is, I could not let the idea alone.  I began to think of the possibility for a rock and roll band that did not use string instruments of any kind.  What would they be like?  Could they do so and be any good?  I don’t know but I thought the name Acoustically Challenged would be great for such a band.  So, I freely give this name to anyone who can pull off a rock band without any guitars or string instruments of any kind.

Ending Net Neutrality would be the equivalent of Sauron winning the War of the Rings

Face it folks, we are in a fight for our lives.  Will we continue to let them separate us from any chance of a fair and balanced playing field or will we slink into a corner like a whipped dog and let them create a two standard internet?  An internet where the have’s get all the best service and the have-nots’ get the scrapes.  Class warfare at its finest.

This is the reality our form of Capitalism leads us to.  In pursuit of the all mighty dollar, nothing must stand in the way, not even God.  When you have an economic system where the people who profit the most can write the laws, is it no wonder that the laws help them to profit more.  We have already seen the results in the Banking industry where the banks basically run the Federal Reserve, which sets the policy that they follow.  Surprise, they mess up and we get stuck with the bill.  Also, isn’t it a conflict of interest for former bankers to run the Federal Reserve since they set policy for the banks.

Our health care is no better.  Health Insurance companies are nothing short of monopolies with large conflicts of interest.  Does it frighten anyone else but me that insurance companies are buying hospitals and healthcare systems.  Oh, they will say it is to help drive costs down, but I only see them going up.  The out of control costs of healthcare are creating yet another two-tier class system between those with the money to be healthy and those that don’t.  Dick Cheney can get all the heart healthcare he needs without sacrificing his home and family.  Can you?

Education is even worse than healthcare.  How long will it be before only the wealthy can go to college or even have a high school education?  We are already at a point where I question the worth of a College education.  For the cost of a college education (student loan debt) do graduates actually make enough in salary improvement that there is a net gain?  Will they spend the rest of their lives paying for the education that was to make their life better.

And now they want to do the same with the internet and I can guarantee we will open Pandora’s box if we let them have their way.  Public and private interests are increasingly dependent on the internet to function.  If providers can create tiered service, companies that want to provide better services will have to pay more and as a result charge more, which will limit the people they can sell to.  What happens when all music and video entertainment goes completely to streaming?  Will those that can afford the better service be the only ones that can enjoy music or movies?

What happens to companies that are dependent on internet sales to make a profit?  Will they have to pony up more money for a reliable connection in order to conduct their business?   If they do pony up, will they charge more or sacrifice profit?   How will the inability of large segments of America to afford the service level needed to access these businesses affect the company’s ability to make sales and maintain profitability?  What happens to a company that gets into a dispute with a provider over the cost of the providers service?  Will they be pushed down to a lower level of service with delays and errors that strangle the company to death?  We already had a taste of that with Netflix.

What about companies dependent on quick, efficient, and accurate transfers of large amounts of data to run their businesses.  Will Internet Providers be allowed to hold their life blood hostage to gain more profit?  In the end, who will bear the brunt of such power plays, the companies or the consumers?  Companies stay alive by making sure their costs are not more that the price they sell their product for; thus, if they pay more they have to charge more.  It is that simple.

Of course the proponents of this legislation will tell you that such things will not occur and if they do, they will only be minor aberrations.  Again, I draw your attention to Netflix and also, the cell phone services that had to pay fines for throttling customers data rates.  History shows that they will indeed misuse the power given them by the destruction of Net Neutrality.  Hell, Net Neutrality barely keeps them in check now.

In the end will America be for all Americans or will we continue down the path we are walking where only those with the money get to enjoy life?   Will history show that a once great people sold their children into economic slavery for the sake of profit?  Profit they never really shared in.  That is the path we have been on ever since the Federal Reserve was created.  We chose short cuts to wealth, which we are only now seeing the terrible cost of.   Will the end of Net Neutrality just be one more shortcut to quick wealth for the few at the cost of the many?  You decide.  Will Sauron cover the earth in an all consuming darkness or will Frodo destroy the one ring?

 

P.S. Note the number of tags I have made for this posts and think on how many are affected by access to the internet.  Then think of all the other things I have missed.