A Series of Small Cataclysms

Title pageThe title? It’s the name of my play. Well – it’s not just mine – it is co-written by one of my besties and tribe member Jen Smith Anderson, and we’ve been working on it since summer 2013. There were many, MANY meetings where we just sat in my living room, building our world while eating delicious foods and consuming copious beverages.

A quick disclaimer: this post is less about any impending or fictional apocalypse and more about the journey of our play, so if that’s not of interest, feel free to skim or ignore. But, it does illustrate that my interest and investment in this topic goes far beyond being a fan of the genre when it comes to pop culture. I’m interested as an artist, as an explorer, as a historian. And I’m interested as a human being who might have to put survival strategies in place at some point soon, given the perfect storm of critical events swarming our little Earth at the moment. So read on, if it might interest you!

We didn’t know much about our piece at first, only that we wanted to work on a theatre piece together, and after reading a couple of great already-written plays by amazing authors, decided we really just wanted to make our own thing. We also decided we would not give ourselves any deadline, that we would work until it felt right. I can’t even remember at what precise moment we decided it should be post apocalyptic, but that we were talking a LOT about things like Stephen King’s plague epic The Stand (which we’ve both read multiple times) and climate change. We knew we wanted it to be woman-centric, and talked about the idea of female characters based on the 4 elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water). We talked about there maybe being a wedding, or some kind of event they were gathering for. And we talked about the story encompassing circular time – like, past, present and future are all happening NOW. And Jen brought up the idea that the play’s present did not have to be OUR present…that we could set it in the nearish future…and that may have been why it ended up inching into the postapocalyptic.

Anyway – we spent most of the summer and part of the fall of 2013 just meeting and talking about things. We wrote little blurbs of things we were thinking about. As November began to rapidly approach (you know: November, of NANOWRIMO fame, and also its little-known, red-headed stepchild NAPLWRIMO), I suggested we should just dive right into the actual writing of our play, otherwise there would never be an end to the world-building. So we started, and a tale began to unfold.

It was about 120 years in our future, and we used the soft, climate-change apocalypse depicted in Earth 2100 as our environmental history. At first, it was just four grown sisters (each based on one of the four elements) gathering at the death bed of their mother. It was basically a bittersweet family living room drama taking place at the end of the world.

ErisAnd then, chaos ensued. And by chaos, I mean CHAOS, Eris herself, the Greek Goddess of Discord decided to crash our play. I must admit that yes, I tend to write about mythology a LOT, it is definitely a HUGE source of inspiration. But this was not supposed to be a mythology play, this was supposed to be a postapocalyptic play. It was not supposed to be mythical and magical, it was supposed to be rooted in FACT and SCIENCE, but seen through a female lens. And so, I was more than a little thrown when, as I was writing the scene where our mother character wakes up after collapsing, I discovered, along with her four daughters, that Eris had taken over her body. I remember my heart racing and my breath coming out rapidly as the writing seemed to materialize through my keyboard. I took a break to look over what I’d just written. WTF??? I thought to myself. I need to get rid of this. Then I read it again and sighed. When a goddess decides you need to write about her, ESPECIALLY the Goddess of Chaos, you don’t ignore her. You don’t erase her words. You get the fuck out of the way and let her through. I’ve been visited by enough *divine voices* in my artistic career to know when I’m just a lowly vessel they need to get their point across.

So I got out of the way and let her speak. And BOY has she had an interesting tale to tell! At any rate, Jen and I wrote the bulk of our play between November of 2013 and January of 2015. And we had this THING that was part post apocalyptic family drama, part mythology play, part ritualistic choral ode. We really liked what we had created, but felt like it was SUPER WEIRD, and were really unsure how others would respond. I was part of a playwrights group at the time, and we both decided I should present it to that group for feedback, so I did. I attached our little play to an email, sent it out to my group, and then showed up the following Sunday at our meeting, feeling a little anxious about what their opinions would be…

And by and large, they REALLY liked it! At that point it still needed a great deal of work and development, but they were really into the world we had created…so much so that the group ended up splintering off into a second group with the idea of creating something postapocalyptic between us…but that is a tale for another time. Energized by the response we received from that group, Jen and I decided it was time to gather together a group of actors for an informal reading.

We had that first reading in the conference room at Uptown Espresso in the South Lake Union area of Seattle, and invited 9 of our actor friends to read so we could hear it. As I mentioned above, the play has some ritualistic elements. The conference room we were in had walls and a glass door, but the walls did not go all the way up to meet the ceiling, so the cafe’s patrons could hear us when our volume rose. There are moments in our play where the entire company is chanting “The doors of the sky are open!” over and over, and it builds in volume. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end as our actors chanted and everyone in the cafe turned to see WHAT IN THE HELL was going on in the conference room…what I felt was POWER. The sheer power of 9 female voices in unison, the energy that stirred up. And I started to feel like maybe, just maybe, we HAD something here.

13782008_10153542655632024_4642540589408663537_nFast forward to summer 2017, with not only 2 more informal readings under our belts, but also the related but excerpted 10-minute How To Build A Ritual we performed at Freehold’s Incubator Studio series in Spring 2016 that explored mostly the ritual and choral elements of the play and consisted only of chorus. We decided it was time to have a formal reading and invite an audience as the first step towards a full production in 2018.

At the present time, we are a couple weeks following that reading, which was presented at The Pocket Theatre in Greenwood. As we were in rehearsals for this reading (we had about 5, which is more than average for a reading, but added some physical and sound components that required a little more practice), doing some element-based work, the very planet itself seemed to be putting forth little tremors that echoed our work: flooding in India, Bangladesh and Houston. Hurricanes in the Gulf and the Caribbean. Wildfires throughout the western half of the United States. Earthquake in Mexico. It felt like artistic synchronicity at its most foreboding. And the play?

We packed the small house of The Pocket theatre, and had to add chairs. While I acted in the reading, Jen had decided to take a more stage managerial role. However, on the night of performance, one of our chorus members was mired in Seattle’s horrible traffic, so Jen had to step in for the first act, but upon watching the audience during the second half, she said they appeared to be intensely engaged, leaning in to listen, and never really yawning or checking out. We received useful feedback during our short talk-back following the show, and also many kudos.

Now? We have a little work to do as writers before we embark on a full production, and have plans to meet and hammer out a revision side by side in the next few weeks. Hopefully, we’ll be able to hold off on nuclear war with North Korea and/or stave off Handmaid-ship successfully and/or survive more and more intense hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and wildfires for just long enough to be able to produce A Series of Small Cataclysms fully next fall. Hopefully.

Group Shot
LtR: Beth Peterson, Pearl Klein, Rebecca Goldberg, Susan Graf, Christine White, Kristi Krein, Carolynne Wilcox, Andrea Karin Nelson, Stacey Bush

A Series of Small Cataclysms: The Reading took place at The Pocket Theatre in the Greenwood Neighborhood of Seattle, WA at 7pm on September 28th, 2017, with the following cast/creatives: Jen Smith Anderson (Understudy, Stage Manager, Co-Playwright), Stacey Bush (Chorus 4), Rebecca Goldberg (Tara), Susan Graf (Chorus 1), Pearl Klein (Chorus 3), Kristi Krein (Chorus 2), Andrea Karin Nelson (Aria), Beth Peterson (Ignis), Christine White (Ma/Eris), Lyam White (Director), Carolynne Wilcox (Vesi, Co-Playwright)

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Tom Petty & The Postman

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The world is falling apart. Between all the crap happening in the U.S., there has also been mass flooding in Bangladesh, Shinzo Abe wreaking havoc on the pacifist constitution of Japan, Catalunya vs. Spain, and on and on and yadayadayada. Puerto Rico is in DIRE need of aid after Hurricane Maria (and Irma before her) wreaked total havoc on the already shaky infrastructure: standing water, which will lead to PLAGUE before long, if nothing is done. Limited drinking water. No electricity. Parasites charging $3K round trip just to get OUT of PR. But then the next BIG BAD THING happens (Hello Vegas! Need a little attention?) and our fickle collective attention span immediately turns elsewhere. (also, not saying Vegas & gun control don’t deserve attention, of course they do – but not at the expense of other, equally if not MORE dire stuff STILL GOING ON ELSEWHERE).

I haven’t written here in about 3 weeks…I mean, it’s kind of like yelling into the void anyway, I’m not sure anyone is reading. But it started out as cathartic, and has become less so, and in the last month, just not even sure what to write. It’s becoming less about pop culture and more about what is starting to feel like a slow apocalypse occurring all around us, between government coups, oceans rising up, “leaders” comparing genitalia via nuclear weapons.

Got sucked into The Postman on Friday night. It was on HBO around 11pm…yes, the 1997, Kevin Costner, 3-hour monstrosity. It was late. I wasn’t tired. Significant Other had gone to sleep. Cat was in lap. “Research for my blog”, I told myself. And I watched the whole, stinking thing. And I ended up being quite glad I did. For starters, Tom Petty‘s in it. Tom Petty 1He shows up about 2/3 of the way in, and has a really cool part as himself (though his name is never said – he is listed in the credits as the “Bridge City Mayor”, but it is made clear with subtle dialogue bits that it is Tom Petty after the apocalypse). I hadn’t thought about him in years, wasn’t a fan, but wasn’t NOT a fan…his music made up the background of my young adulthood in the 80’s and 90’s. Couldn’t stop thinking about him showing up in the movie, that was a real treat…and then he goes and DIES yesterday. The universe works in mysterious ways. Like he needed extra consciousness directed towards him in those last few days.

Tom Petty 2But I was glad I watched it not only for Tom Petty. And I will say here: it’s not an especially good film, it’s long and clunky and kind of plodding. Kevin Costner is like the male equivalent of Julia Roberts. He’s not a bad actor, he just tends to do the same thing over and over. So, you are always watching Kevin Costner in different circumstances,

reacting as Kevin Costner would react…I guess maybe not a particularly imaginative actor. It is post apocalypse 2013, and they don’t ever explicitly mention what caused the apocalypse, though you can sort of figure it out in bits here and there: there was a dictator and possibly some sort of small scale nuclear war, people moved out of the big cities and out to rural, smaller hamlets.

In the film’s present, there is a dictator – Bethlehem – who is building a giant army in the west, citing the former dictator as inspiration. He is a BAD GUY. Costner’s character is a dude who goes from town to town on his horse, performing bad Shakespeare (WITH HIS HORSE!) for food and supplies. He ends up getting “recruited” couch *captured* cough by Bethlehem to work in a mine and become a good little soldier for Bethlehem’s shitty cause. The last he sees of his horse is from afar, with the army dudes trying to “tame” the creature.

Anyway, after some bad thing happen, Costner escapes and stumbles into an abandoned jeep. There’s a skeleton inside wearing a mailman uniform, also a bag of mail. He spends the night reading the bag of mail. After this, he dons the uniform, shoulders the mail bag and stumbles onto the next town, and, hoping for some food/shelter, makes up a lie that there’s a president in Minnesota (Richard Starkey! Rock n’ roll is ALL OVER this movie, you guys) who is rebuilding the United States again, starting with postal service, and that he, the first postman, has letters! The townspeople are skeptical, and refuse to let him in. He starts going through the mail until he finds a letter that is addressed to an actual, living Pineville resident. That gets him in the gates, gets him shelter and food for the night. He even gets laid by a woman (Abby, played by Olivia Williams) who wants a baby and whose husband is infertile (with his consent! Also, shoutout to a younger Charles Esten, of current Nashville and Carl’s Jr Commercial fame, who plays the husband)!

While he is in the midst of being a self-serving shyster, a teenager in Pineville (Ford Lincoln Mercury, folks, played by Larenz Tate) is so inspired by the fake postman that he decides he wants to be a postman too, and gets Costner to swear him in! Then Bethlehem arrives and wreaks havoc on the town, killing Abby’s husband and taking her as a concubine. Postman gets away again, then ends up in another town where he finds Abby again, and frees her with her help, getting shot in the process. They find a cabin in the woods where they shack up while he heals. She tells him she’s pregnant, but that her husband is the real father – fake postman is only the “body” father.

They decide to go back to Pineville, and on the way, they bump into a young woman on a horse, who says she’s mail carrier number (I’ve forgotten what number) something, and they discover that Ford Lincoln Mercury has been building a cadre of postal carriers while they’ve been hiding out. The fake postman ends up getting inspired by all these real, earnest young postal carriers and starts doing it in earnest, but still won’t divulge his lie, though he starts to take over their routes because Bethlehem has now found out about this postal group and has started seeking them out and killing them (Bethlehem is REALLY not into reestablishing America), so the fake (but now real) postman doesn’t want any more blood on his hands because of this lie. Meanwhile, the legend of The Postman has started gathering steam in all the small hamlets as well as amongst Bethlehem’s ginormous army. There ends up being a standoff at the end, where The Postman uses Bethlehem’s own rules against him, defeats him one on one, mano a mano, takes control of his army, and changes all the rules. And he and Abby apparently live happily ever after, because the epilogue is of their daughter dedicating a statue to him in 2043.

 

Anyway, I think the film bombed when it came out in ’97, and though it’s still a bit of a clunker, I saw more relevance to it than maybe there was back then. The idea of the United States falling apart seemed absurd in 1997 – I mean, this is the world’s oldest “democracy” after all! But in 2017? The idea of a country brought to nuclear conflict and by a dictator and falling apart into tiny hamlets doesn’t seem so farfetched. The idea of “rebuilding America” actually sounds a little bittersweet and naive, much like Ford Lincoln Mercury, who probably didn’t remember much about electricity or the mail system. So, though it’s not a perfectly well-made film by any means, it kept my interest (for THREE HOURS), and felt kind of relevant in today’s climate. I kinda wish he’d reunited with his supercool horse, though. I kept on waiting for that, especially when he and Bethlehem dueled at the end, but I was sadly disappointed.

The film has been stirring around my brain the last couple days, along with the latest episode of Fear The Walking Dead (which I won’t recap, because I think it’s available to watch, so go watch it! It has picked up CONSIDERABLE steam since the beginning, and I’d hesitantly say it’s better than the original right now), and both have been manifesting in some really dark, weird dreams lately. THE WORLD IS CHANGING. Is it a lost cause to hope the apocalypse stays in pop culture? Probably.

New Paradigm Ahead

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THE WORLD IS ON FIRE

 

underwater          So last weekend, Harvey flooded south Texas. That was only the beginning. This week, Oregon, Washington, California (the entire west coast, basically) and Montana are on fire. Hurricane Irma has just wreaked havoc through most of the Caribbean and is projectedto slam into Florida in the next day or two, and last night, a 8.0 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Mexico. Also, Hurricanes Jose and Katia are closing in. All four elements are rising up here. Elemental apocalypse. Yeah, it seems I forgot that one from my categories. Oh, and parts of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Nepal are also under water, though we’re not so much talking about them, since they’re not WHITE (and, to be fair, we’ve kinda got a lotta shit going on at home to focus on).

Here in Seattle, it’s been red dawn and red dusk each day since sometime early last week. The sky has been a weird yellow, the sun a dark orange and the moon blood red. Light ash has been falling from the sky, covering everything. My eyes have been burning IMG_0177and constantly watering since last Sunday…marginally better yesterday and today as I think the smoke cloud is finally beginning to move on, (so glad I live near WATER). I’ve never wished harder for RAINRAINRAIN in all my years here, as much as I was cursing it mid-June. Also, who knows what is in this air we’ve been breathing all week – I’ve felt mildly nauseated and totally lethargic all week – barely accomplished ANYTHING.

I have to confess…it’s been hard to muster the heart to write about post apocalyptic fiction this week as the fires rage, the water surges, the winds lash out and the earth churns. Oh, and I guess Lord Dampnut and Mr. North Korea are still measuring their pee sticks. And the potential repeal of DACA. And the constant assault on my LGBTQ and POC  brothers and sisters.  And on and on and on.

IMG_0176So, no fiction, this week, just reality. We’re living amid a slow, uncomfortable apocalypse, folks. It is happening. All around us, in one way or another. Pretty soon, we’re not going to get to say, “Oh, those poor people in ______. I’m going to pray/donate/help them”. Because we’ll all be too busy focusing on what’s affecting us close to home. I’m holding out a small, shining thread of hope and optimism that maybe, just MAYBE, after these weeks are over, we can maybe pull our collective heads out of our collective asses and NOTICE WHAT’S GOING ON and STOP DENYING IT. C’mon, Republicans…you can do it! ‘Cuz you’re going to be breathing the same air and fleeing from the same waters. It’s not just a poor people’s issue, it’s the MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE facing us today. It’s called Climate Change, and it’s not going away, and it’s going to get all of us if we don’t DO something about it.

 

End of World Subcategories: Man vs Machine!

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No, THIS is my favorite! (who am I kidding – they’re ALL my favorite). Have been contemplating the “robot uprising” for a looong time, ever since my imagination was captured, at the tender age of 16, by the bittersweet paradox of Kyle Reese travelling back in time to save a young and innocent Sarah Connor from the clutches of Schwarzenegger’s Cyberdyne Systems series T-800 Model 101 Terminator, who also came back to the 80’s to kill her before she was pregnant with John Connor, the savior of the future, only to discover, by the end of the movie, that Reese ended up —SPOILER ALERT!— the father of John Connor.

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In doing a little cursory research, there is a ton of pop culture out there with the “man vs. machine” theme, most of which don’t lead to any kind of end of the world as we know it, either soft or hard – scenarios where robots turn on their human masters on an individual level: think HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey or Sonny in I, Robot. This trope is also abundant in sci fi tv series, from Star Trek (the Borg!) to Dr Who (Cybermen!…and even K-9 turned on the doctor at least once), to the recently-cancelled Extant (both aliens AND emotional AI!).

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The times where technology actively brings about an apocalyptic event are less frequent, but prom-inent enough to have their own subcategory – usually, it’s outright AI and robots taking over, but I’m super interested in coming across more original ideas: in the series Revolution which, though it admittedly had MANY flaws, we eventually find out it was nanotechnology (perpetrated by greedy humans, of course) that caused everything electrical to fail, thus plunging the world into literal darkness as well as a new dark age. In Wargames, the government frame Matthew Broderick hacks into nearly starts WWIII but the humans are able to stop it before it happens. The cybermen in Dr. Who (like the Borg in Star Trek) don’t necessarily want to get RID of humanity…they merely want humanity to assimilate and join/expand their numbers.

I’m curious to see new ways (in FICTION)  in which humanity has to deal with machines getting too smart and turning against us in new ways. How ‘bout an AI at the CDC tipping over a plague jar? Or deliberately contaminating oceans/crops with poison or blight? I mean: robots don’t have to eat, and don’t catch human diseases. We could be easily eradicated this way, and they wouldn’t actually have to destroy the planet via nuclear means. Thoughts?

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Books: Dies the Fire by S.M. Sirling, Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson, Second Variety by Philip K. Dick, Argo by Rick Griffin

Movies: Terminator series, Matrix Series, Resident Evil Series, Metropolis

TV Series: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Revolution, Battlestar Galactica, Westworld, Dark Angel, Dollhouse

End of World Subcategories: Celestial Impact Disaster

 

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OMG, but I LOVELOVELOVE disaster movies of this type! Especially the ones that at least partially follow through with global carnage. The carnage is a MUST…and usually, in this type of film, we usually get a lot of precursory damage to local cities, aka smaller meteorites raining down on LA as a harbinger of the asteroid to come in Armageddon; the Space Needle in Seattle being taken out due to an earthquake, etc. It’s why I go often to even the crappiest-looking of disaster-y apocalypse films. Granted most of these are not usually POST apocalyptic, because most of the literature/films etc. don’t typically address being a survivor in the aftermath, just the lead-up and ensuing (usually abbreviated by the central heroes) carnage immediately post impact.

Interestingly, I remember watching a science program (can’t remember which, but this article also goes into some depth) a few years ago which discussed how rare the evolution of intelligent life on a given planet actually is, and how well-positioned in the universe our Earth is, not only its position relative to the sun’s orbit (warmth! crop growing! energy!), but its position as a smaller planet with several giant planets further out in the solar system – Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus take a lot of comet/asteroid impacts that would devastate other smaller planets like Mars, Venus and our blue gem. In fact, some scientists theorize the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars is actually the remnants of an ancient planet, possibly destroyed by some kind of celestial impact! This program went on to pontificate that while it’s likely we are NOT alone in the universe, existing, life-sustaining planets out there may actually not be as numerous as we might imagine…but I digress.

These films/movies usually tend to be leading up to the disaster, rather than dealing cometwith the aftermath, so technically aren’t usually POST apocalyptic…but I felt like I needed to include this subgenre anyway, because I enjoy watching some of the carnage wreaked. While Deep Impact in and of itself was a bit snorry, I wish they’d explored more of the aftermath of the comet strike – humans succeeded in diverting MOST of the comet, but a chunk still broke off and crashed into the ocean, causing an EPIC tsunami, and there were also thousands of people holed up in an underground/mountain shelter…after the strike, the president (Morgan Freeman!) talked about rebuilding, but then, since it was a 2-hour film, it had to end on this hopeful note. However, what kind of havoc did it wreak on earth’s oceans, for a start? How did the geography of the world change with regard to giant tsunami? Did this strike affect our ecosystem in interesting ways, triggering environmental collapse of any kind? They didn’t go into that. But I’m still curious.

          Seeking a Friend for the End of the World ended up being a surprising little gem of a film – also pre-apocalyptic, leading up to and ending with moments before an asteroid strike. I think it was meant to be humorous (because hello: Steve Carell!) however, it ended up being a really sweet story and presenting an alternative viewpoint counter to the rioting and freaking out we normally see when the public finds out disaster is imminent. Sure, there was rioting and freaking out. But there were also people who still got up and went to work, because they didn’t know what else to do. They still mowed comet 2their lawn. Steve Carell, with the help of his manic pixie dreamgirl neighbor Keira Kneightly went on a search for The One That Got Away. It was really reflective and sweet, and of course, the two leads ended up kinda falling for each other, but it never felt gratuitous, and then the world ended anyway.

I’d definitely be interested in something that presented us with a more truly post apocalyptic view of this type of disaster, but really, what I’ve discovered about this type of thing is that surviving humanity, when left to its own devices, basically descends into exploitation, usury and violence, which is discouraging, but considering the way the political climate is going right now, not at all surprising. What do you think?

Books: Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Hammer of God by Arthur C. Clarke, Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

Films: Armageddon, Deep Impact, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Melancholia

TV Series: Salvation, You, Me and the Apocalypse, Aftermath, Impact, The Last Train

Inconvenient Times

seattle-sunset-instagram-chalo16          I seem to get derailed from my original goal (completing these effing Subcategories before I do anything else!) a lot by current events these days, because I guess truth is stranger (and more frightening) than fiction, lately. Postapocalyptic fiction is seeming less and less cathartic and more and more an instruction manual.

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  • There is a LOT of yelling back and forth between Lord Dampnut and Kim Jong Un about flexing their giant, nuclear penises at each other. I am hoping it is just a lot of flexing. But it could also result in an actual, small-scale nuclear conflict. Which is not only bad for anyone who is in the strike/fallout zone, but also bad for

 

  • Climate change, which is happening. Like, NOW. I saw Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel last week. Went to the movie theatre mid-afternoon to escape the blistAl Goreering heat and smoke…Seattle, last week, which normally has some of the best air quality in the country for a big city, had unhealthy air and was compared with Beijing, due to wildfires in British Columbia and eastern Washington, and the heat wave was making it worse. Al listed fires as a direct result of global warming. We had some epic, red, nuclear-looking sunsets, though (see above). Hope it’s not a preview of things to come. What does seem to be coming, though, is

 

  • Social Apocalypse & Dystopia. Most notably, in Charlottesville, VA, but also in Seattle, on Sunday. WHAT??? In SEATTLE? But I thought Seattle was…yeah. I am proud of Seattle for lots of things, but we still have lots of work to do. If I was not subverting through art all weekend, I’d have been marching with the counter protesters. Nazis,marching freely in the streets, with full cop protCharlottesville.Nazisection. Wow, must be nice to be white dudes, eh? Also, white dudes should probably start to realize despite the fact they are in power, they are also in the numeric minority, so they might want to start taking that into account. Yes, I know, #NOTALLWHITEDUDES. Because, most of the white dudes I know are pretty awesome and empathic and actually give a crap about the planet and other people not like them, but I am seeing many on television and social media right now who do NOT. For them, I say: Look out. There are more of us than there are of you.

So, these things have been on my mind a LOT during the past week. I’ve discovered where my closest fallout shelter is, and many useful tips on what to do if you are in the fallout zone, both of which I will likely post very soon as a PSA…I mean, they’re talking Guam, but I feel a little uneasy being in a big city on the west coast of the U.S.

I also learned about “rain bombs”, or the more scientific term, microburst – global warming causes water vapor from the ocean to evaporate into the atmosphere, the water pressure builds and builds as the clouds are travelling, and it dumps a giant water bomb onto land, looking just like an inverted mushroom cloud. See one here.

And I’ve seen a LOT of ugly uncles on other people’s Facebook feeds justifying the marching Nazis and their hate. I mean: I’m a Jewish Latina, (so, basically, I’m a non-person and walls should keep me out of the US) and more importantly, an artist, and I have friends of every color, creed, gender ID & sexual orientation, we are all in their crosshairs. Democracy and freedom are in their crosshairs. Because they believe that “Some animals are more equal than others.”

I’m also optimistic that this is the burning fever before the cooling; the raging fire before the lull. This is the last gasp of the patriarchy hanging on for dear life, and good GOD they are tenacious f*ckers! But their ignorance and hatred can be defeated. The dinosaurs will die out.

I just hope we have a world left when they finally do.

TRAILERS! WALKERS! A Giant Tiger!

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Okay, so, full disclosure for my 3 followers, this has been an INSANE week (in a good way – SO many creative projects to tend to, and even a job interview to prepare for next week with the word “artist” in its title!!!), and I don’t feel I can give a full, thoughtful post on the current End of World Subcategory I’m tackling (ALIEN INVASION!!! Stay tuned…), but didn’t want to blemish my track record of posting at least once a week by taking a complete break.

And I just watched the recent trailers (unveiled just today at San Diego Comic Con!) for The Walking Dead and its little sister, Fear the Walking Dead:

Fear The Walking Dead 3rd mid-season premiereTrailer

The Walking Dead Season 8  premiere Trailer

Suffice it to say, I’m brimming with geeky excitement and anticipation for all the upcoming post apocalyptic carnage and badassery to come. I will try to keep my commentary brief, but:

FEAR TWD:

1.) Not sure if it’s because it’s original (not based on previous source material, other than its sister show), but I love that there aren’t any comic book spoilers ever.

2.) Also because it’s original and perhaps partly due to current times, FEAR is tackling social politics waaaaay more than TWD, and it’s spot on, timely and pretty savvy. I really appreciate how sometimes, instead of going in the predictable direction we are used to from TWD, Fear does a complete 180.

3.) The snippet where Madison comes face-to-face with Daniel in the storm drain! Can’t wait for that reunion.

4.) It’s looking like, instead of a Governor/Prison scenario, the native people and survivalist compound folks will form some kind of union (that will likely be tenuous, given that Troy is a sociopath, for one) and help each other, at least for awhile.

TWD:

1.) Looks like some great heroic speeches by Rick and Maggie…I kinda want Ezekiel to RECITE Henry V’s St. Crispin’s Day speech in its entirety at some point, because he is amazing, and it would be awesome, and it would totally work, since the character was a stage actor before the zombie apocalypse!

2.) BIG badassery from all our favorite folks. Daryl returning to being badass and blowing shit up instead of weepy, emo Daryl (pleasegodplease) sorry – I am a perv for Mr. Dixon.

3.) Was looking for the beach ladies, but didn’t spy them. I have to think they’ll show up again sooner or later, because why else would they have spent two episodes on them?

4.) Jesus and Morgan getting into it? WTF? Morgan saying “I don’t die”, means he’ll probably die.

5.) And…are they trying to psych us out with that ending? Is Rick going to wake up from his coma and discover it was ALL A DREAM??? That is awesome and sucks, all at the same time.

There you have it. Some impressions. This nerd girl can’t wait for September 10 and October 22 respectively!Fear The Walking Dead Season 3B, Photo credit: Courtesy AMC